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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Standing Up to Pat-Downs; Rep. Rangel's Ethics Battle; IRS Sits on Data about Missing Children; What Makes Dolphins so Smart
Aired November 15, 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 for watching everyone.
Tonight: standing up to pat-downs and other intrusive airport measures like full body scans that flyers feel have gone way too far. One man's pat-down videotape sparked this new round of outrage when he warned a TSA worker, quote, "If you touch my junk I'm going to have you arrested." How did that turn out? Well, we'll tell you. We're "Keeping Them Honest".
And the legal wrangling of Congressman Rangel, Charlie Rangel got up and walked out of his ethics trial today, claiming he needed more time to raise money for his defense. Saying his rights were being violated because he didn't have a lawyer. Is he for real or is this just the latest in a long line of excuses? We're "Keeping Him Honest".
And are animals smarter than you think? We begin a week-long series with the latest research on animal intelligence. Tonight, an underwater lab gives scientists a glimpse into the minds of dolphins. See how it's been discovered that dolphins actually recognize themselves in a mirror, some as young as 6 months, earlier than even human toddlers. The video is amazing and you will not want to miss it.
We begin though, as always, "Keeping Them Honest."
Tonight: airport security and your rights. Has the government gone too far? Become too intrusive at airport security checkpoints? There's a lot of anger right now over those x-ray scan machines now being used at dozens of airports nationwide. Over the weekend, a passenger in San Diego refused to go through one of the machines and that led to a confrontation with a TSA employee that he recorded on his cell phone camera. Listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to be doing a standard pat down on you today, using my hands going like this --
JOHN TYNER, AIR TRAVELER: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- on your body. Also, we're going to be doing a groin check. That means I'm going to place my hand on your hip, the other hand on your inner thigh and slowly go up and slide down.
TYNER: Ok. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to do that two times in the front and two times in the back.
TYNER: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if you'd like a private screening we can make that available for you also.
TYNER: We could do that out here, but if you touch my junk I'm going to have you arrested. Ok.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, we're going to have a supervisor here because of your statement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have a couple choices here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Someone is going to pat you down and they will be raising their hand up your inner thigh until they reach the bottom of your torso. If you're not comfortable with that we can escort you back out and you don't have to fly today.
TYNER: Ok, I don't understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not -- this is not considered a sexual assault.
TYNER: It would be if you weren't the government.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is considered an administrative search and we are authorized to do it. You have submitted yourself to it by coming through the checkpoint.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: So that was John Tyner on Saturday. That video has gone viral with more than 300,000 hits on YouTube. Mr. Tyner says he checked the TSA Web site before he went to the airport to see if he'd have to go through the x-ray machine and San Diego Airport was not listed as a location that uses the devices.
When we checked this morning, he was right about that, San Diego was not on the list. But guess what, mysteriously it was suddenly added to the list later this afternoon along with many other airports. The TSA Web site now says there are 385 x-ray machines at 68 airports nationwide.
At those airports there are signs like this that tell passengers the x-ray scanners are optional for everyone, and, quote, "If you choose not to be screened you will receive a thorough pat-down." Now, just how thorough? Well, they're a lot more personal than they used to be as you just heard. "Keeping Them Honest," though, there's no information about that on the TSA Web site and there's no details on what happens if you refuse to go through the x-ray machine and a pat-down. Mr. Tyner who recorded the video believes both are an invasion of privacy. He said, he doesn't think the government has any business seeing him naked as a condition of traveling about the country.
Here's what the TSA security director in San Diego had to say about the controversy this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL AGUILAR, TSA FEDERAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, SAN DIEGO: TSA is committed to protecting the privacy of our passengers and our customers. So we have a process in place that ensures that the officer who observes the display never sees the passenger. And that the officer, who is talking to the passenger, may be doing the pat- down, never sees the image on the display.
So -- and as you've already known and we've shared with the media, that image is not retained at all. As soon as the image is cleared, it's deleted from the system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano also spread that message in an article in today's "USA Today" she wrote and I quote, "The imaging technology that we use cannot store, export, print or transmit images." "Keeping Her Honest", that's not 100 percent true.
We found the TSA procurement specifications for the whole body imager devices -- that's what they call them. It says and I quote, "When not being used for normal screening operations the capability to capture images of non-passengers for training and evaluation purpose is needed". It goes on to say, "When in test mode, the WBI or Whole Body Imagers shall allow exporting of images, image data in real-time; shall provide a secure means for high-speed transfer of image data; shall allow exporting of image data raw and reconstruct it."
We also found a letter from the U.S. Marshal Service admitting that it stored more than 35,000 images of people scanned by their millimeter wave technology machine used on visitors at a federal courthouse in Florida. The same technology is used at several airports.
So all this shows the images can be saved on the machines and they often are. We should point out these procurement documents and the details from the U.S. Marshal's was obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. They are suing the government over the screening procedures; that's how the documents became public.
So what are your rights? Joining me now: senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin; and CNN contributor, Eric Erickson, editor-in-chief of RedState.com who's also a retired lawyer. Erick, do you think this is an example of governmental overreach, right? ERICK ERICKSON, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes very much so. I -- I mean, I suspect more of this to go to court you'd probably have a number of judges say -- yes, they can do this. But you know, even if they can under the Constitution, it doesn't necessarily mean they should. There are plenty of other countries out there that have worse security threats than ours such as Israel that -- that don't go through something like this.
And -- and frankly, the more I've read about these machines, my wife's family has a ridiculously high rate of cancer. I don't want to subject my children to an x-ray scanner, let alone on molestation by a TSA agent.
COOPER: Jeff, what about this? I mean, what are our rights? I mean, I -- I went through this for the first time this weekend flying out of Chicago and everyone's very nice and professional but I've got to tell you it feels incredibly intrusive. I had a pat-down after I had this thing because I left my wallet in my pants and I mean, it's pretty rigorous.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it is rigorous. But remember Detroit, Christmas Day. The al Qaeda bomber had a bomb in his underwear. I mean, this is not a frivolous concern by -- by TSA. And the law, at least so far, is very clear that you have a choice. You go through the scanner. You go through the pat-down or you don't fly, period. The -- the --
COOPER: You basically give up your -- your rights when you buy that ticket?
TOOBIN: And, I mean, even more than that, because if you go to a screener and you decide, the heck with it, I'm not flying, you still have to go through the pat-down, because they have said, we don't want would-be terrorists shopping around from security checkpoint to security checkpoint to see which works and which doesn't.
So, if you start the process, you have to get searched, even if you --
COOPER: You're saying, once you have entered that line --
TOOBIN: Once you have entered the line --
COOPER: -- you're in?
TOOBIN: -- you have to do it.
ERICKSON: But, you know, Anderson, there's a point here that Jeffrey raises indirectly. And that is that -- that the guy who wore the -- the explosive under wear on the plane to Detroit, the -- the bombs that were on UPS and FedEx, they all originated outside of the country.
To my knowledge, they have yet to see anyone try to go through American security as is doing this.
TOOBIN: Well, I mean, that's true. But the technology on the part of terrorists is obviously there.
And all I'm saying is that courts look at reasonableness, look at real risk. And I -- I think the fact that we've had the shoe bomber, we've had the underwear bomber, that's a pretty real risk.
COOPER: John Tyner, who resisted this, this weekend suggested that if anybody other than the government was doing it, this would be sexual assault. Is that a --
TOOBIN: I -- I -- I'm not sure that -- that's accurate. But -- but so what? I mean, it is -- it is a reasonable intrusion at an airport. You -- you -- you don't have to fly if you don't want to. And I think that's really just --
TOOBIN: But -- but if it's reasonable.
COOPER: It is interesting, Erick, though. As you said, when you fly overseas -- you know, I have been in airports in -- in England where they don't make you check your shoes, where -- they don't -- in a lot of places in Europe --
COOPER: -- they don't make you take your computer out of your bag.
So, it seems like the procedures which we have here are -- are not the same procedures which are being followed elsewhere. So, there's no one standard code of conduct.
ERICKSON: Yes, exactly. And I'm not exactly sure that it is reasonable, when you look at other places and what can be done. Take Israel, for example, which has a greater security threats than ours. And -- and their security at airports maybe not -- isn't quite as scalable, but it's based on behavior.
We have, in essence, in this country dumbed-down airport security, so that it's entirely physical. And -- and let's not forget that people do have body cavities where, if someone wants to blow up a plane they could insert a bomb, and you can't detect it through one of these machine. You can't detect it through a pat-down. And we're ignoring their behavior, by and large, by dumbing-down security in this country.
TOOBIN: Well -- well, it is true, I think, that there is some point where courts would step in and say -- if they made everybody strip naked and walk through these machines, obviously, that would not be allowed. The point between where we are now and that point, I -- I don't know where the point --
COOPER: Do you think these can -- this can be legally challenged? I mean, this group has challenged it legally.
TOOBIN: Oh, I'm sure they -- yes. It will certainly be legally challenged. I think it will lose. And -- and so -- you know, it's more of a political check than a legal check.
If people really start to get outraged, and they start going to their representatives in Congress and saying, stop this, that's when you'll see the process change. But as far as I'm aware, there's not any great groundswell of opposition to this. I think people don't like this process, but they recognize it's necessary in today's world.
And it's only if people really rebel that it will stop. It's not going to come through the courts.
ERICKSON: You know, I'm surprised, really, that -- that the homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano, has come out with her statement, and that the administration and members of Congress haven't yet done this.
Maybe having a Speaker of the House now that's going to start flying civilian will actually help in this regard. Just it seems like many politicians are -- are detached from this. And, frankly, I don't think that the majority of the public gets it because, when you look at the percentage of people who fly, it's not the majority of the public.
But, of those who do fly, particularly those with small kids, it's a growing problem. And -- and Jeffrey is absolutely right. Until people really start pitching a fit about this, nothing is going to change.
COOPER: I do think, until you have actually had it done to you, it's a hard thing to kind of visualize.
COOPER: And, I mean as I said, this weekend was the first time --
TOOBIN: It is startling.
TOOBIN: I have had it done.
TOOBIN: And it -- you know, it's -- it's -- it's different from the way --
TOOBIN: -- things used to be, and it's startling.
But, you know, are courts going to step in? I don't think there's much of a chance of that.
ERICKSON: The -- the pictures of -- the pictures and the YouTube of the nuns and the 3-year-olds getting searched, I think they are starting to resonate with people, much like we have seen in the last political cycle, with YouTube videos coming up ambushing politicians.
The TSA, I don't think they're -- they have really expected this, and -- and they don't really recognize what they're in for from the camera-wielding public.
COOPER: All right, Erick Erickson and Jeff Toobin, thanks very much for your perspective.
ERICKSON: Thank you.
COOPER: Let us know what you think at home. Join the live chat right now at AC360.com.
Up next: One of the most powerful Democratic congressmen walks out of his own ethics trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: With all due respect, since I don't have counsel to advise me, I'm going to have to excuse myself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He said he didn't have a lawyer and can't afford one anymore. That's Congressman Charlie Rangel. "Keeping Them Honest": is his gripe over not having a legal defense fund fair? Should he -- shouldn't he have known he could have created a legal defense fund? Does he -- does he truly not have an attorney? Some are even questioning that tonight. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
And later: are animals smarter than you think? This is a really fascinating report. We begin a week-long series on animal intelligence -- new insight into the minds of dolphins, why a lot of scientists consider them geniuses among mammals. And wait until you see what -- what happens when you put a mirror in front of these dolphins. It's fascinating.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Another "Keeping Them Honest" report tonight, this one from Capitol Hill. It involves one of the most powerful Democratic congressmen, who today walked out of his own ethics trial.
Congressman Charlie Rangel is accused of 13 ethics violations, as you probably know. They're laid out in 108 pages that were released in July by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct Investigative Subcommittee, the charges, including failing to pay taxes on this home in the Dominican Republic, misuse of a Harlem rent- controlled apartment as a political office, and improper use of letterhead in use of government mail service.
Now, the charges follow a nearly two-year investigation that involved the sworn testimony of nearly 50 witnesses, over 28,000 pages of documents.
Now, since day, Congressman Rangel has deflected blame and basically made excuses. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANGEL: Nobody that can read is going to bring any charges against me.
I plead guilty of not being sensitive.
These wild allegations.
Just because a reporter at "The New York Times" has a problem with me --
There has to be a penalty for grabbing the wrong stationary.
Unfair and inaccurate reports in the press. Every time I thought I was getting through, they started talking Spanish.
It's in the minds of some reporters who are looking for a Pulitzer Prize out of this.
I have not been able to explain my position, ever.
I guess it's all selling papers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, now, with the -- his ethics trial under way, there's a new excuse.
Mr. Rangel says he doesn't have a lawyer. Mr. Rangel says he has already spent roughly $2 million on campaign funds on a high-priced legal team, but when they suggested it might cost another million, and he says he couldn't pay it, he says they quit. That was more than a month ago.
Today, he said he needs more time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANGEL: Madam Chair, all I'm asking for is the time to get counsel. I have lawyers from Washington, D.C., and New York are willing to give me free counsel to be able to come here, because they don't think I have been treated fairly. And, yet, they say that, if they do that, it's a gift and violates all of the laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, he's right about that. It would be a violation of ethics rules for him to accept free legal advice.
But he has had plenty of time to begin a legal defense fund. Mr. Rangel insisted today he's being denied due process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANGEL: I'm being denied the right to have a lawyer right now, because I don't have the opportunity to have a legal defense fund set up and because I can't afford another million dollars.
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D), CALIFORNIA: You may hire whoever you wish as a lawyer. That is up to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, listen to what Mr. Rangel said there. He said he didn't have the opportunity to have a legal defense fund set up.
Well, that's not true. Mr. Rangel has had plenty of time and opportunity to set up a legal defense fund. How come he hasn't? Well, Mr. Rangel says he just recently found out it was an option, implying he didn't know he could start a legal defense fund before that.
"Keeping Them Honest," that is hard to believe. I mean, it's not like he's never heard of the idea. We all know of politicians who have set up legal defense funds. Mr. Rangel has known -- himself has known plenty of politicians with legal defense funds, long-time political tradition.
Bill Clinton had one. Sarah Palin had one. Even Congresswoman Maxine Waters has one right now. She's facing an ethics trial this month, too. She just started her defense fund back around Labor Day.
Hard to believe that no one on Mr. Rangel's crack legal or political legal team ever suggested a legal defense fund be created some time in the last two years. It's hard to believe that Mr. Rangel himself never thought about it in the entire two years he was being investigated. By the way, that wasn't the only excuse Charlie Rangel gave today. He also says that the agenda at this hearing, a hearing he's known about for weeks, came as a big surprise.
That seemed to come as a big surprise to the prosecutor, who said that Mr. Rangel had been kept in the loop every step of the way and that changes had even been made to accommodate some of his objections.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAKE CHISAM, CHIEF COUNSEL, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON STANDARDS OF OFFICIAL CONDUCT: Throughout the course of preparation and in recent days, we have entered into -- well, witnesses have offered affidavits. The respondent was given notice of those. He was provided copies, and in fact, in at least one of these instances -- instances, suggested changes to the language, which we negotiated and which we agreed to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That guy is Blake Chisam. That's his name. He's the chief counsel for the committee.
Now, before he got a chance to share that, Congressman Rangel had already walked out of the ethics trial. Take a look. Here's the exit. Congressman Rangel, always a politician, while leaving his own trial -- watch this -- he makes sure to give committee members handshakes.
The trial went on today without him. Oh, one more thing. Mr. Rangel insisted he didn't have a lawyer, right? Well, take a look at this. As Congressman Rangel walked out of today's hearings, he was with a man, the guy we have circled, named Abe Lowell, who just happens to be a high-profile -- oh, sorry, Abbe Lowell. He just happens to be a high-profile Washington attorney.
Mr. Lowell ended up sitting behind Congressman Rangel today in the first row and left when he left. Lowell is the kind of attorney who is used to defending politicians under investigation. He's represented former Congressman Gary Condit, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, among others.
So, we got in touch with Rangel's office. They tell us Mr. Lowell is a long-time friend and supporter of the congressman, and Congressman Rangel continues to remain without counsel, that he was just there as a friend.
Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, is questioning Lowell's presence, among other things. She joins us, along with CNN political analyst Roland Martin. And back with us again is Erick Erickson.
Melanie, I mentioned the attorney there, Mr. Lowell, was with Congressman, Rangel, today, but not formally representing him. You -- you say the congressman could possibly be committing an ethics violation during his ethics trial. How so?
MELANIE SLOAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON: Well, That's right.
If Mr. Lowell was representing him -- and -- and let's just understand this. I mean is Mr. Lowell and are Mr. Rangel, are they both saying that Abbe Lowell just happened to walk by the Ethics Committee room, and just happened to walk in when Mr. Rangel was having his hearing, and then just happened to sit in a reserved seat, and walk out with the congressman and guide reporters?
That seems really unlikely. It seems like Mr. Lowell was, in fact, providing legal advice to Mr. Rangel.
COOPER: But can't he be there as a friend?
SLOAN: He certainly could be there as a friend, but given Mr. Lowell's well-known position as a prominent legal defense fund (ph) who handles exactly these kinds of matters, that just doesn't seem all that likely in these circumstances.
COOPER: Roland, does it pass the smell test to you for Charlie Rangel to claim that he didn't know he could set up a legal defense fund?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, certainly he had time to set up a legal defense fund.
And one of the -- so, look, I don't understand why that wasn't set up. But also recognize, he was paying for his defense out of campaign funds, had a significant war chest. But, obviously, that came down.
Now, what really jumps out is the fact that the legal team withdrew from the case. It was not clear, based upon the today's evidence, that they actually left Rangel's camp. Now, the law firm, a Washington, D.C. law firm, later released their own statement by saying it was not their choice.
And, so, you know, again, that's being -- you know, so we're trying to figure out really what's going on here. I think that's something that's critical to understand. Why did his legal team that he's already paid $2 million not follow through and be the attorneys of record and withdrew from the case?
COOPER: Erick, it does seem kind of questionable that -- that his lawyers would say, oh, well, you paid us $2 million. We think this -- this thing may cost another $1 million, which is what Rangel is claiming he was told by one of them, and, therefore, we're just going to -- we're going to quit.
Do you buy this?
ERICKSON: No. And, in fact, in cases like that, the lawyers can't quit. I have been in situations like that when I was practicing law. And you can't just up and quit. You've got to tell the -- the judge. In this case, you've got to tell the House Ethics Committee, I would imagine --
ERICKSON: -- saying, this is the situation.
MARTIN: Actually not -- actually not true.
SLOAN: That's actually not true.
MARTIN: Actually --
MARTIN: -- that's not true, Anderson.
COOPER: Ok. Go ahead.
MARTIN: Anderson, the problem --
COOPER: Go ahead.
MARTIN: Melanie, go ahead. I'm sorry.
SLOAN: That -- that's not actually accurate.
That certainly would be -- Eric's right. In the case of a trial --
SLOAN: -- lawyers would never be permitted to withdraw from representation shortly before trial.
SLOAN: But the House Ethics Committee, you don't have the same right to counsel that you do --
SLOAN: -- that Americans assume you have, in front of the Ethics Committee. And certainly they could withdraw. And as -- my understanding is there is a dispute about money, and it -- it was a problem -- that they withdrew right before the trial.
But, that said, it's also a problem that Mr. Rangel isn't permitted to have pro bono counsel. Under House rules, gift rules, he would be banned from having pro bono lawyers. So, they're sort of in a rock and a hard place.
But, that said, when Mr. Rangel got up today and started asserting that he was counsel-less and this was all unfair, and he hadn't been prepared, I mean, that really wasn't true.
Mr. Rangel knew what was coming. He's known for two years. He had ample time to reach a plea deal with the committee, you know, a year- and-a-half ago.
COOPER: It also -- it also seems to me, Erick, that if you're -- you know, you've got a huge legal team, which you're paying --
COOPER: -- it's a top-flight legal team. You're paying them -- ok, he, say -- if Charlie Rangel is correct, he has paid them $2 million over two years, you -- you get a sense your funds are running low --
COOPER: -- Charlie Rangel knows he can start a legal defense fund. It's the most common thing. I mean, everyone knows you can do this.
ERICKSON: Well, maybe that's why Abbe Lowell was there today, to let him know he could.
It's -- it's -- it's insane that, if he was paying this amount of money -- and it's good to know that lawyers can drop him like that in these situations -- but he should have known that as well, given his background. And I would be hard-pressed to imagine that a lawyer in a situation like that would not explain to him that he could set up a legal defense -- I mean, the whole thing just defies --
MARTIN: Anderson --
COOPER: Erick, is there a political reason why --
MARTIN: Anderson --
COOPER: -- he might -- he might want to just try to run the clock out?
ERICKSON: Oh, yes.
COOPER: I mean, is there a political --
ERICKSON: Well --
COOPER: And do you think he's just trying to buy time?
ERICKSON: Well, yes, I think he's probably trying to buy time as well.
And there's a report that just came out a few minutes ago that he is thinking he wants to be the ranking member on Ways and Means Committee again, and maybe wants to put this off a little further to try to vie for that. There are plenty of political reasons. It just -- the whole thing, though, is becoming an embarrassment.
SLOAN: Well, I think, today, what also happened --
MARTIN: Hold on one second.
MARTIN: Here's -- here's -- Anderson, here's what we're facing.
The committee has already concluded, frankly, and so they have gone into their secret deliberations as it relates to this. That's first.
Second of all, you have the staff attorney, who has said -- he's been quoted -- I read the story on Politico where he was quoted as saying to the committee that he does not believe that corruption is evident.
He also said it is not clear that the -- that the congressman personally benefited financially from this. And so the question then becomes, what is going to be the ruling of this committee?
MARTIN: And, so, is it a -- this -- this is not like Ted Stevens, where there's a federal trial of corruption, compared to what the House Ethics Committee is doing.
COOPER: But -- but, Melanie, to -- to Roland's point -- and -- and he's right -- the prosecutor did say that -- I don't understand that, because, I mean, to me, if you're -- if you have rent-controlled apartments that are supposed to go to, you know, people without means in New York City, and you have three of them under your name or under your son's name, whether that's, you know, directly financially -- you're doing it because you want to use those apartments for whatever purposes, that seems corrupt to me.
I mean why --
SLOAN: Well --
COOPER: -- why is everyone jumping for hoops saying, this isn't corruption, this isn't corruption, it's just sloppy record-keeping? If you -- if you're using rent-controlled apartments not for the intent that they're supposed to be, that seems kind of sleazy.
SLOAN: Well, the prosecutor did say he wasn't sure whether Mr. Rangel had a personal financial benefit. He said he wouldn't call it corruption, but there might be a personal financial benefit.
But what is compelling here and what is abundantly clear is that Mr. Rangel committed all of these violations.
COOPER: It was a fascinating day.
Roland Martin, Erick Erickson, Melanie Sloan, thank you all. Appreciate it.
ERICKSON: Thank you. COOPER: Still ahead: another fascinating story. The IRS often has information that could help locate kids who have been abducted by a parent or a relative. So, why won't it cooperate with desperate families and investigators? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
And a convict serving a long prison term for killing a 14-year-old boy on his bike is now suing his victim's parents. We'll tell you why.
COOPER: Following a number of other stories tonight. Let's check in with Joe Johns and a "360 Bulletin" -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Haiti, protesters angry with the government's response to the cholera epidemic rioted in two northern towns today. More than 900 people have died and nearly 15,000 have been hospitalized with the illness.
In New Delhi, India, the search is on for people who may be trapped in the rubble of a five-story residential building that collapsed today. At least 32 people were killed, and about 40 others were injured.
Gay rights activists protested the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy today by handcuffing themselves to the White House fence. They want President Obama to do more to end the ban on gay troops serving openly. The protesters were all arrested, led by former Army Lieutenant Dan Choi, who was forced out by the rule.
And a Connecticut man in prison for killing a seventh grader on a bike is suing his victim's parents for negligence. David Weaving was convicted of manslaughter after he struck and killed Matthew Kenny with his car in 2007. He told the Associated Press he's endured years of pain and suffering and said Kenny's parents are to blame --
JOHNS: -- because they let him ride his bike without a helmet. I think that's just unbelievable.
COOPER: Incredible. Yes.
Joe, I don't know if you've seen tonight's "Shot". Take a look at this; something that's going to make you smile after that story. It's a cat -- the video is all over the Internet -- staring down and lunging after an alligator, who then backed off. The alligator then kind of went back to the water, actually gets a friend, comes backs. The cat smacks down the second alligator, as well.
JOHNS: That's just unbelievable. What was the line? No scaredy cat here?
JOHNS: What's incredible is the second alligator coming.
COOPER: I like that. Later in the broadcast, we're going to tell you about the latest fascinating cutting-edge research on animal intelligence.
We all know dolphins, for instance, are smart. But now scientists are learning so much more about how they actually think and what they understand. These -- take a look at these pictures. These dolphins are now -- are actually right there looking at themselves in a two-way mirror.
Most animals wouldn't recognize themselves in the mirror, but dolphins do, though, and they spend a long time just kind of checking each other out, checking themselves out and opening up their mouths. It's amazing. We'll tell you the latest research.
We're also going to find out why the IRS often has information that could track down missing kids but are not releasing the information to investigators. We're "Keeping Them Honest". We'll talk to Marc Klaas, whose daughter, Polly, was abducted and murdered nearly two decades ago. We'll to Marc, coming up.
COOPER: The Justice Department reports that every year in America more than 200,000 kids are abducted by a family member, very often by a parent. It turns out the federal government sometimes has information regarding the whereabouts of those kids who have been missing for a long time, but it doesn't share that information with families or with investigators.
The "New York Times" reports that parents or relatives who abduct a child often will file -- file a federal tax return. But because of strict privacy laws, the IRS is barred from releasing that information.
It's like the story of Susan Low of -- sorry, Susan Lough (ph) of New York, whose estranged husband took off with her 9-year-old son.
She spent three years searching for the boy when she discovered her ex-husband had claimed him as an exemption on his tax return. When Susan asked for the address where the tax refund was mailed, the IRS refused to give it to her, and it took her two more years to find her son.
The IRS told us today that the agency is sympathetic to the plight of abducted kids and said, and I quote, "We do everything we can under the law to assist in these investigations. For those instances when law enforcement obtains federal court orders, the IRS provides the requested information as allowed under federal law, yet there are circumstances where the IRS has no discretion to break taxpayer privacy law."
So is the government, in effect, protecting abductors? And what can be done about it. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Marc Klaas is the founder of "Klaas Kids Foundation". His daughter, Polly, was abducted and murdered in 1993. And Ernie Allen is president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Ernie, obviously, it's important to uphold laws that protect people's privacy, but you'd think that basic common sense would prevail in a situation where a child has been abducted, wouldn't you?
ERNIE ALLEN, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN: Anderson, you certainly would think so. This is very obvious. These are fugitives from justice. There are felony warrants for their arrest. They had children in their possession. They're listing them on their tax returns. And yet, law enforcement can't get access to that information. It's wrong. It needs to be fixed.
COOPER: Marc, you said that the IRS protecting criminals who harbor kids is similar to the church, the Catholic Church hiding pedophile priests. Do you really see the IRS as complicit in the crime?
MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Well, you know, in both of these instances we're talking about large institutions that control huge amounts of wealth, and the determination has been made to protect the wealth and to protect criminals over the rights of children so yes, absolutely.
Things need -- something needs to be done. The law needs to be changed so that the IRS will comply and assist with recovery of these kids.
COOPER: This was started, Marc, my understanding, these taxpayer privacy laws, so that -- because, you know, you didn't want a Watergate style thing where the government was able to investigate people that they didn't like. They didn't want the government to have an enemies' list and be able to check the tax records of people -- that they just deemed as enemies. You can understand that being a reasonable position.
KLAAS: Oh, absolutely, it's a reasonable position. But exemptions are already made. Exemptions are made for child support, for people that are being considered for federal salary-based benefits and in federal cases where children have gone missing, those cases that are being investigated by federal agencies. So it just seems a very simple and logical step to extend that to all missing child cases.
Anderson, we're talking about a situation where as many as 200,000 children are kidnapped every year by non-custodial parents. And according to a Treasury Department study, as many as one-third of those missing cases are filing tax -- those absconding parents are filing tax returns. It seems to me that they could recover, you know, tens of thousands of children annually, and why they're not is beyond me.
COOPER: Ernie, the IRS told us that they have a thing called the "Picture Them Home Program" which includes photos of missing kids with forms mailed to taxpayers. They say that's helped recover more than 80 kids. That doesn't really impress you in terms of this aspect?
ALLEN: Well, it doesn't. And we're grateful for what they're doing. We're grateful that they're posting missing child photos in their publications. And we think this is a problem, frankly, that Congress needs to fix, not the IRS.
COOPER: So what, Congress needs to pass a law on exemptions?
ALLEN: Well, there are exemptions in the privacy act for certain things, as Marc points out. Child support, for example. There needs to be a missing child, a child abduction exemption written into the law.
COOPER: And is there anybody proposing that at this point, Marc? I mean, is anybody working on that?
KLAAS: You know, the first I've heard about this was last night when your producer notified me about this whole issue and about this story in "The New York Times".
I would be more than willing to reach out to lawmakers to see if there's anybody that would help write and carry the legislation, and then in those brief moments that I'm in Washington, I would spend my spare time going to various offices, lobbying on behalf of this legislation.
Certainly, Ernie and his group are in a much better position to be forcefully advocating on behalf of this issue than I am but let's join forces. Let's do it.
COOPER: Ernie, have you heard of anyone advocating for this?
ALLEN: Anderson, there are. I think "The New York Times" article struck a chord. People across the nation, people in Congress thought this just defies common sense. We've heard from the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Leahy. We've heard from other senators, other members of Congress who want to fix this.
And I think there is momentum to do it. You're shining a light on this problem, I think, will move that along, as well.
COOPER: Well, we'll continue to follow it. Because it is -- it's the kind of thing, just on the face of it, doesn't make sense, particularly when you point out there are other exemptions that have been made. This seems to be one that's kind of one of those obvious things.
We'll continue to follow it. Ernie Allen, appreciate it. Marc Klaas, always good to have you on. Thank you, gentlemen.
Still ahead tonight, dramatic developments in the search for an Ohio family missing since Thursday.
Also ahead, our new segment "The RidicuList," where we call out people for, well, just kind of ridiculous behavior, hypocritical behavior, just double speak. Tonight's case, one of the most kind of surprising flip-flops we've seen in a while. See who's made tonight's "RidicuList".
First, our look at animal intelligence tonight: new research on dolphins and what they see when they look in the mirror.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Tonight we're kicking off our series, "Amazing Animals: Smarter than You Think". It's been a really fascinating assignment. What we found may change the way you think about animals and their lives.
Scientists around the world are proving that some animals are capable of many things that were thought to be uniquely human, like abstract thinking, language, even a sense of self and time. What they've learned could help explain how human intelligence has evolved.
We begin tonight with dolphins. Their brains are not only big: they're incredibly complex. Some scientists believe the dolphins are the second most intelligent species after humans. Randi Kaye tonight shows us why.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Spend a day with a dolphin and you're quickly reminded of why they've always captured our imaginations. They are playful, sociable and just incredibly fun to be around. But scientists say there's a lot more to these animals. And they're just beginning to understand the intricate thinking of these so-called "big-brained mammals".
(on camera): Here you go, Noni (ph). Good girl.
We came here to the Baltimore Aquarium to see just how intelligent dolphins are. You see them playing with their trainers all the time, but scientists who study them say there's a lot more happening there than just play; that their intelligence actually rivals ours.
Here you go.
(voice-over): To see up close what has scientists so excited, we climbed down into a tiny underwater lab, with a window into the aquarium where scientist Diana Reiss puts up a two-way mirror up against the glass. The dolphins can't see us, but Reiss can study how the dolphins react to the mirror.
DIANA REISS, SCIENTIST, CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK: We used to think we were the only species on the planet that can think, and now we know that we're amongst many thinking species. So the questions are no longer can they think but how do they think? And what's amazing in this capacity, with giving them mirrors it looks, it like they're doing a lot of things that are similar to us.
KAYE: Reiss has been studying dolphins' behavior for 25 years.
REISS: Most animals don't even pay attention to mirrors. So if you put a mirror in front of your dog, most dogs won't even look in a mirror. Cats don't pay much attention. Other animals do pay attention but never figure out it's themselves. They think it's another of their own kind.
KAYE: But dolphins do figure it out.
REISS: And not only do they figure out that it's them, but they show interest to look at themselves. So one thing is to understand it's themselves; it's a whole other thing to say -- I want to look at myself. I want to look and see what may face looks like or what does it look like when I turn upside down and blow a bubble?
KAYE: We sat in awe as this group of dolphins explored themselves before us, unable to ignore the mirror. Several did hang upside down.
REISS: He's upside down. Things are going to get wild now. He's being very innovative. Watch this.
KAYE: Other dolphins opened their mouths and stuck their tongue out. They put their eye on the mirror to get an even closer look.
Not convinced a dolphin can recognize itself in the mirror?
Take a look at this video of an earlier experiment from 2001. Scientists marked this dolphin on the side with a black pen, but did not mark the other.
When released, the dolphin with the mark swims directly to the mirror and turns the mark towards the mirror, like he's trying to take a look at what's been done to him. The unmarked dolphin doesn't show the same behavior.
Dolphins aren't the only big-brained mammals, who recognize themselves, elephants do, too. Watch what happens when Reiss tested them at the Bronx Zoo. This one with the white "X" marked on his face turns towards the mirror over and over to take a look.
Back at the Baltimore Aquarium, Reiss is now focusing her research on younger dolphins.
REISS: Bo is 5.
KAYE: Just like human children, younger dolphins make lots of movements and watch their reflection. They quickly learn they are watching themselves.
(on camera): What are you trying to figure out with the younger dolphins?
REISS: So we're trying to figure out at what age, at what developmental age do they start figuring out that it's them in the mirror? When are they showing interest in the mirror?
KAYE (voice-over): Foster, who is 3, started recognizing himself in the mirror about the same time toddlers do: when he was about a year and a half. Reiss says some dolphins pick up on it at just six months, much earlier than children.
REISS: This is Spirit. Now Spirit's testing this. She's still figuring this out. And what's funny is we recognize this, because it's so similar to what kids do, what chimps do. It's amazing.
They go through the same stages. These are animals that have been separated from us for 95 million years of evolution. Big brains, processing things in similar ways.
KAYE: With a mirror providing a window into the dolphins' minds, Reiss believes she is discovering that their super high levels of intelligence are, in many ways, much like our own. And if that's true, the question is, what does that tell us?
REISS: In the end, what this tells us is that we need to look at these animals in a new light, with a new respect, and really provide much more protection in terms of conservation efforts and welfare efforts for these animals.
And also appreciate that we're not at the top anymore. We're not alone. We're surrounded by other intelligent species.
KAYE (on camera): Wow, so smooth. Beautiful.
(voice-over): Remember the old saying that it always seems like dolphins are smiling at you? Well, maybe they are.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Baltimore.
COOPER: I think that's so amazing, watching those dolphins look at themselves in the mirror and seeing them sort of recognize themselves.
Tomorrow we're going to look at lemurs and the interesting thing they discovered. It turns out lemurs don't like to gamble. We'll try to -- we'll tell you how they figured that one out.
Coming up also tonight, a new segment we're called the "RidicuList". Who's done or said something that doesn't make sense, something downright ridiculous? Well, tonight, the well-known wife of a well- known politician makes the list. We'll tell you who it is and why they are on tonight's "RidicuList".
And a pop quiz. Sarah Palin created a new word a little while ago, so folks poked fun at her at the time. But guess who's laughing now? The New Oxford American Dictionary has added Palin's invention to the dictionary. Do you remember what the word is? We'll tell you in a moment.
COOPER: We start off a new segment tonight and like a lot of what we do a lot on the program, it's about accountability, exposing hypocrisy, double talk, or just stuff that's downright ridiculous. We call it the "RidicuList". And tonight, Cindy McCain joins the list.
Now, it's nothing against her personally, she seems like a very good person. But she just made one of the most brazen flip-flops we've seen in years. Last week Mrs. McCain appeared in an online video called "No H8", making a not-so-subtle dig at the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY MCCAIN, JOHN MCCAIN'S WIFE: Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future.
They can't serve our country openly. Our government treats the LBGT community like second-class citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right. So much was made of the fact that Mrs. McCain was taking a very public stance which was the very polar opposite of her husband's. John McCain is leading the effort in the Senate to prevent a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell".
Barely 48 hours later after that statement was made, though, Mrs. McCain sent out this tweet. Quote, "I fully support the "No H8" campaign and all it stands for and am proud to be part of it, but I stand by my husband's stance on DADT.
What happened between the videotaping and that tweet? We have no idea, but it can't have been too pretty. We don't take political positions on this show, so as far as we're concerned, she can believe anything she wants, but holding two completely contradictory opinions at the same time that doesn't make any sense.
Politicians get made fun of for being for something before they were against it. Mrs. McCain is taking it one step further. She's for it and against it at the same time. That's kind of ridiculous. That's why tonight she's on the "RidicuList".
Joe Jones joins us right now for "360 News & Business Bulletin".
Joe, what have you got?
JOHNS: Well, that's just stunning. And I guess she's not the maverick we thought she was.
Anyway. All right, discount designer retailer Loehmann's Incorporated has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, which operates 45 stores across the country, will stay open while it restructures its debt.
And the search continues tonight for an Ohio mother, her 10-year-old boy, and a family friend, all missing since Thursday. The boy's sister, 13-year-old Sarah Maynard, was found early yesterday, bound and gagged in a home about 50 miles northeast of Columbus. Matthew Hoffman, who lives in the house, was arrested for kidnapping. Additional charges are expected.
Closing arguments begin tomorrow in the Chandra Levy murder trial. Jurors will have two fewer counts to consider. Defendant Ingmar Guandique will not face charges of attempted kidnapping and attempted robbery because the statute of limitations has expired. Guandique still faces first-degree murder charges. And Sarah Palin took a lot of flak for coining the word "refudiate", an apparent combination of the word "refute" and "repudiate". Well, the New Oxford American Dictionary has chosen "refudiate" as its 2010 word of the year. It will be entered as an actual word in the next edition, which makes me wonder when they're going to put in "strategery" and "misunderestimate."
COOPER: Misunderestimate. Yes, we're still waiting on that. Joe thanks very much.
Hey that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts now.
I'll see you tomorrow night.