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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Journalists Killed in Libya; Remembering Gulf Coast Oil Spill
Aired April 20, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. We're in New Orleans. But our hearts are elsewhere tonight, because two of the very best photojournalists and storytellers have been killed in Libya, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros.
Tim, in addition to bringing 360 a number of memorable images, was also co-director of the Oscar-nominated film "Restrepo." We're going to remember both men tonight.
First, though,, we're "Keeping Them Honest" on the disaster that began a year ago on a deep sea oil rig 50 some miles out into the Gulf and it continues today -- 11 men died when the Deepwater Horizon blew up in a deadly mishap blamed on BP, rig operator Transocean and drilling contractor Halliburton -- 206 million gallons of oil poured into the ocean, doing untold damage to wildlife, the fishing industry and everyone who depends on the Gulf.
Tonight, a year later, BP is painting a rosy picture of progress and promise keeping. One year later it reads our commitment continues. We will have more on that in just a moment. The copy goes on to say that all beaches and 99 percent of waters are open.
And while that is technically true there's that something BP doesn't mention. Open doesn't necessarily mean oil free. Listen to Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: We continue to call on BP and the Coast Guard to continue to clean up our shoreline. There are still over 300 miles, again 300 miles that have some amount of oil, 40 percent of the Louisiana coastline that have been oiled during this spill continue to be oiled today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: And so do the marshes. This is what Anderson found last year on one of Louisiana's barrier islands, spoil covering the surface. Well, these days, a lot of it remains as David Mattingly discovered on a recent trip to the Gulf.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Returning 10 months later, the Louisiana governor's office gave me an exclusive and disturbing look inside this damaged ecosystem. I could still see oil everywhere, sticking to the plants. It's like tar. So sticky. Look at that. It's also saturated the fragile soil. You can find it a foot below the surface.
Right down here. Yes, it's down into the roots. Look at that. It's like a paste.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: As for BP's continuing commitment highlighted in their ad, Governor Jindal isn't buying it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JINDAL: We stood here with some leaders from BP towards the end of last year and they made promises, promises about replanting oysters, promises about building a saltwater hatcheries and those promises have still not been kept.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: BP also points to the $20 billion pledged to make people and businesses whole. But as we showed you on the program last night, only about 25 percent of it has actually been paid out, and a lot of people who believe they have got legitimate claims say they're being stiffed. And 25 percent, of course, is still better than absolutely nothing.
And absolutely nothing is precisely what lawmakers in Washington, D.C. have delivered. Listen to Keith Jones. He lost a son on the Deepwater rig. He was pushing Congress to change an archaic maritime law that limits liability in cases like his son's.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITH JONES, FATHER: If you want these companies, one of which is headquartered in Great Britain, and another in Switzerland, to make every effort to make sure their employees don't act as these did, putting American lives at risk, you must make certain they're exposed to pain in the only place they can feel it, their bank accounts. As a friend recently said, make them hurt where their heart would be, if they had a heart.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: The bill that Mr. Jones was pressing for died because one single senator objected to what would have been otherwise been unanimous consent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This bill has not been vetted properly by a committee, and, again, it undermines our whole system of the rule of law. So I am compelled to object.
(END VIDEO CLIP) O'BRIEN: And so the bill failed. And so has a bill to enact many of the recommendations made by the bipartisan commission on this bill, and so have about 150 others in the last year, that is one for every million dollars that is spent by the oil and gas industry last year at a lobby in Washington, D.C., $146 million spent on lobbying last year alone. Then there's this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BP GROUP: There's no one who wants this thing over more than I do. I would like my life back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: BP's CEO Tony Hayward last month. In a moment, we will tell you what his life looks like now. First, though how some people down here described life after the spill. Here's 360's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Andy Lebuff (ph) said he worked the oil booms just a few days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was coughing stuff out of my lungs every 20 or 30 seconds, just coughing constantly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have had a lot of memory loss, a lot of eyesight loss. I have lost half my eyesight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was down for about three weeks where I couldn't do hardly anything.
O'BRIEN: Some people say the oil or the dispersants ruined their health. BP is disputing those allegations. The federal government is studying the claims.
On the mental health front, local professionals have been seeing a jump in stress-related depression, drinking and strain on marriages. As for Tony Hayward, he no longer runs BP, but a friend of his tells CNN's Zain Verjee Hayward hooked up with a Swiss commodity trading firm, he's setting up a oil and gas trading fund of his own. So kind of looks like he got his life back.
That will never be true for the 11 Transocean workers who died drilling his well. Today, BP sued the maker of the well's blowout preventer, but blame for the disaster goes far beyond that single part. The president's commission determined that mistakes by BP, by Halliburton and by Transocean all caused the disaster.
"Keeping Them Honest" tonight we want to revisit the earliest moments of it as seen through the eyes of the workers who made it off the rig. Anderson sat down with some of them not long after they got back to shore.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): For survivors of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the horror of that night began with an ominous sound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We began hearing the loud hissing and venting sound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it just kept getting louder and louder. And I said, something's not right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just looked at me and he goes, man, I smell gas. I said, what do we do? He goes, run.
What was that explosion like?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like being hit by a freight train from behind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like the movie "Titanic" right before the ship sinks, everybody is just hysterical. But when I got up on the lifeboat deck, I just stopped and I looked up and I was like, there is no way we can put that fire out.
COOPER: What did it look like?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looked like you was looking at the face of death.
COOPER: Then a second explosion rocked the rig, killing at least one man, the crane operator.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was on the -- by the handrail about to come down the stairs and then the second explosion happened. And it literally picked him up, I mean, like a child would throw a toy, and threw him over the handrail and he ended up bouncing off of the pedestal for the crane.
COOPER: Amid the chaos, getting the 115 survivors on board the lifeboats and lowered 75 feet into the water would take an agonizing 45 minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like you're almost waiting to die and there's people screaming, put it in the water. In fact, one of the guys, he panicked so much that he got up out of the lifeboat and then jumped overboard, because it just seemed like it took forever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember another explosion. And when it exploded, the lifeboat free-fell for about three foot, and then just stopped all of a sudden. I was scared to death sitting there in that lifeboat. And the only thing going through my mind is, you know, family back home. I just, I started praying. I didn't know what else to do.
COOPER: These three survivors first told us their story in the weeks after the rig exploded. A year later, they say they're still living with the horror of that night, still carrying the memories of the 11 men, men they call their fallen brothers, who didn't make it.
Do you think about the night what happened on the rig, do you run through it a lot still in your mind? You do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day.
MATTHEW JACOBS, SURVIVOR: It's been rough. I still have the nightmares.
COOPER: What kind of nightmares?
JACOBS: It just takes me back to that night, like I'm on the rig, just wake up screaming. I mean, it's just like it won't go away.
COOPER: All three have physical injuries from the disaster. They provided us with medical records showing they have been diagnosed with PTSD and they say they suffer from depression and are taking medications for a variety of mental issues.
Dan Barron says depression led him to attempt suicide.
DAN BARRON, SURVIVOR: And I had a six-shot pistol and I just wanted it to be done with. You know, I couldn't take it anymore.
COOPER: You thought about suicide?
BARRON: No, I tried to. I knew I had bullets in that gun, and I clicked it twice, two or three times, and I had two bullets in the gun.
COOPER: And what was going through your mind at the time?
BARRON: I just -- I just feel like -- I just feel worthless.
COOPER: Is that something you ever would have thought you would find yourself doing?
BARRON: No, no way. I always believed that if you did that, you went straight to hell. That's the way I was raised in a very Catholic family. And I always thought that was a cop-out. But you get to the point where you get so frustrated with everything.
COOPER: These survivors say their mental and physical injuries have left them unable to work and they're suing their employer Transocean for loss of earnings and pain and suffering. While technically still employees, the company was paying them their full salaries until December 15th of last year when they were given an offer of an additional six months of full pay to drop any claims. They refused that offer and are no longer getting a salary from Transocean.
They believe before the accident, Transocean valued profits over safety and after it saving money over taking responsibility. We asked Transocean about their allegations. They told us in a statement: "From the first hours Transocean has focused on providing support for its employees and the families of those who were lost aboard the Deepwater Horizon, including continued full pay and benefits for eight months following the incident and professional counseling for those in need. Today more than one-third of the Deepwater Horizon crew are back to work at Transocean and the entire company continues to be inspired by their courage and commitment."
Despite the disaster and loss of 11 lives, Transocean recently deemed 2010 their safest year in the company's history, and awarded top executives bonuses.
DOUGLAS BROWN, SURVIVOR: To me it was like a direct slap in the face. You know, how could they say that? That we have 11 people dead, so many others seriously injured and many with psychological problems for the rest of their lives, and they claim that is their best year in safety? How dare they?
COOPER: After a public firestorm, top executives from Transocean announced they would donate the bonuses to the Deepwater Horizon memorial fund.
STEVE GORDON, ATTORNEY: There was a discussion that BP may go bankrupt, Transocean may go bankrupt. The only people that will go bankrupt are people like this, because BP's income hasn't stopped. Transocean hasn't stopped, but they have cut these people off, and they have no income.
COOPER: Transocean does still pay these three survivors for some medical care and a small stipend for room and board, which they're required to by law. As they mark a year since the disasters, the survivors say they want to put the accident behind them and they want something else from Transocean and the other companies involved with the accident.
BROWN: Accountability. Be accountable for your actions. I would love to see them do that, practice what they preach.
COOPER: You don't feel Transocean has been accountable?
BROWN: No, none of them. They're just pointing fingers back and forth. I want one of them or several of them to come forward and say, yes, we were wrong. We are responsible, hold themselves accountable, like they wanted us to.
O'BRIEN: Back with us tonight, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, also Democratic strategist and very devout Louisianian James Carville joining us from Washington, D.C.
James, let's start with you. Gosh, those stories are awful and just haunting and really incredibly disappointing about a lack of accountability. Do you think that there is a sense in this region even about people being able to, you know, be haunted by the depression and all these things that they talk about, the people who survived the disaster? JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I can tell you the street, it is not good. The feeling on the street is that our seafood industry has taken an awful whack. There was an excellent story in "The Gambit," a very good alternative weekly in New Orleans, that comports with what I saw about the health problems that we just reported about these people that have been working on the spill had.
There's still oil in those marshes, as the governor pointed out. The fund that was set up for $20 billion is to put it mildly is very controversial. Look, there's a long, long, long way to go here. And you know, like I say, the street does not feel good in terms of the way that people are feeling about the way they have been treated in Louisiana.
O'BRIEN: Billy, what about people feeling like they have gotten their life back or lives back? I remember hearing the CEO Tony Hayward at the time saying I just want to get my life back and thinking either he has just a completely deaf ear to all of this or he's just not very bright.
BILLY NUNGESSER, PRESIDENT, PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LOUISIANA: They just don't get it. We can never forget those 11 lives lost. And to hear those men that survived being treated -- and it's typical for BP. It's the way they have treated all the folks. And not that that is any more important than those men that were out there that survived.
How could they not continue their pay and anything they need for the rest of their life? It just shows the same attitude, cut and run as they have done here in the Gulf. They have said it's over, there's no oil, and you saw out there today with the governor, there's oil all over.
O'BRIEN: Yes. Clearly there's oil all over. James, let's talk a little bit about reform and legislation. A year later, it looks like there's nothing to point to. Is there anything?
CARVILLE: You know, it was an excellent commission. You could nitpick one thing or another. But Commissioner Reilly and Senator Graham, they were very professional. They made these recommendations. Nothing happened.
Look, the score on this thing is power 40,912, people 2. It's a rout. And the country needs the oil. Our economy in South Louisiana, we need to resume drilling, but the great fear of anybody that knows anything about this is that it's not going to be one lick safer today than it was a year ago. And that's the real tragedy, that no action taken.
Keith Jones, a lawyer in Baton Rouge, a friend of mine, lost that son on there, he's exactly right. Transocean is a Swiss company and BP is in London and they have been doing as little as they can and trying to get the heck out of here and we have got to hold them accountable. O'BRIEN: Stunning to me, Billy, to see the fund, the bonuses for Transocean executives who only really wanted to give them back or were willing to give them back and donate to the victims' fund after they were sort of called on it. Bonuses for safety in the year when this disaster happened seem just literally bizarre.
NUNGESSER: It's unreal. It's unthinkable. You know, they still have a chance to do the right thing. They see the claims thing is not working. And these people now, since they're not getting paid to clean up the oil, the hotels are empty along the coast, it's desperate for the people. They could step in here and do that.
They could put a couple billion up front, and let us clean our coastline, let us check the health of the people and let us do the things we need to do to stop the deterioration of the marsh. Because they're clearly not doing it. It's a dog and pony show. You saw it out there yourself. It's not happening. They didn't take care of the families. They didn't take care of the workers that survived. And they're not taking care of their mess.
O'BRIEN: James, when we talked to Kevin Costner today, one of the things he was telling me was that he wasn't sure that there was sort of the will of the people, which I guess would motivate then government to do something. Do you think it's there? People were so furious and then it kind of dissipated.
CARVILLE: You know, that's always what happens. And Kevin, I talked to him also, and he claims -- he has really worked hard and he has got something that can separate this and that. But that's why you have to stay vigilant in these things.
People wear down and then you have got something in Libya and in Egypt and then there's an earthquake in Haiti and Japan and we tend to forget. But Billy can tell you that one of the things that the commission recommended that is ultimately the most important thing we could have is this fine money go to coastal restoration. That was going on before the spill.
And now you're looking at the trauma these marshes are faced with, destruction of this grass is going to just accelerate that process. We have got to get started on that pronto.
O'BRIEN: Which clearly has an impact with hurricane season.
CARVILLE: Absolutely. Absolutely. Billy is losing his parish down there right now and I think he will vouch for what I'm telling you, it's disappearing out in the Gulf. And there's a solution that can be very helpful that's on the table. And nothing is happening.
O'BRIEN: It's a depressing thing to have to revisit a year out, to not have more to talk about success wise. James Carville, thanks for your time today. Billy Nungesser, also, we appreciate you joining us the last couple of days.
NUNGESSER: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Just ahead tonight, we will have the very latest on Libya, the war photojournalist and acclaimed filmmaker Tim Hetherington died covering, that and memories of his remarkable career that was tragically cut short today.
Then later, he jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate allegedly streamed video of his same-sex encounter onto the Internet. The question at the time was should the roommate face criminal charges? Well, today a grand jury's decision was handed up.
O'BRIEN: We mentioned at the top part of the program is elsewhere tonight. That's because two members of a treasured group of men and women have died doing what all of us need someone to do. They died trying to provide a clear, honest, human view of war, uncut by disinformation and propaganda.
Photojournalist Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed in Libya for the battle for Misrata. This is new video of the fighting there. As always, with amateur video, we can't say exactly when or where it was taken. Somewhere in the chaos, though, Tim and Chris were killed today, Tim by a rocket-propelled grenade.
His last Twitter posting apparently dated yesterday reads this: "In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Gadhafi forces. No sign of NATO."
This is one of the last known pictures of Tim Hetherington, taken in Misrata just hours before he died. He was no stranger to war, and we're proud to say he was no stranger to 360. He accompanied Anderson a year-and-a-half ago, documenting life at a Marine forward operating base in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. Afghanistan was where he gained widespread fame for his work with Sebastian Junger co-directing the Academy Award nominated documentary "Restrepo."
Of his friend and colleague, Junger says this: "Tim was one of the most courageous and principled journalists I have ever known."
For Tim, though, it wasn't a question of courage, but of instinct.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM HETHERINGTON, PHOTOJOURNALIST/FILMMAKER: Often when I'm working in a very pressured situation, I can almost flick the off switch and go into a default of filming. And later on, I come to, and it shocks me what I have done. And that's just something I have been able to do. And that's, perhaps, why I continue -- why I realize that I'm good at what I do. But it does have the side that it is very dangerous. I remember being in the Korengal in firefights and realizing -- a guy said to me while I was filming close range, and he said, "Do you see the tracers pass between our heads?" And I hadn't. And later on, I saw the trees behind me all shot up, and I realized we were very exposed. And I'm in default, and that can be a funny thing later to understand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: But if instinct got him through the firefight, something deeper drove him to be there in the first place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HETHERINGTON: My experience in that trauma is insignificant, really compared to what the soldiers went through. But even more than that, I'm always thinking again of the wives and the loved ones back home here in America. You know, 50 million people are connected to soldiers who have or are currently serving in the military. And soldiers don't come home, just as journalists don't come home, really, and tell their loved ones they went through. And yet their loved ones really want to know. They really -- they need to know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'BRIEN: Tim Hetherington was 41 years old.
I want to bring in CNN's Fred Pleitgen, who has more on what happened today and how Tim died. Also national security analyst Peter Bergen, who was a friend. And retired Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt for some insight on what is apparently now a stalemate in Libya.
Fred, let's begin with you. You have been reporting from Misrata. Clearly it's dangerous. Was anything unusual happening today? Was there anything today that made it more dangerous?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, there was the general shelling that goes on pretty much every day. The last that I have gotten from people in Misrata on the ground is that basically there was a lot of shelling, especially in the city center.
We do have some information as to what happened to that group of photojournalists that Tim was a part of. It was four photojournalists in all. All of this happened on the western fringes of Misrata in a place called Tripoli Street, which is definitely one of the most dangerous places in Misrata at this point in time, I can tell you from having been there myself.
And it appears as though that they were pretty much in the front line area with some of the rebel fighters when that rocket-propelled grenade hit and of course they were all rushed to one of the few hospitals there that is still working at this the president in time as fast as possible.
Tim, however, was pronounced dead on arrival. Chris was rushed into an emergency room, but he died in that hospital a couple of hours later. And, of course, all of us who were covering the war here in Libya are absolutely devastated at what happened. And I can tell you from having been in that very clinic in hospital in Misrata, it's not equipped to deal with trauma like that. They have a shortage of doctors, a shortage of operation tools.
And the other thing is, Soledad, if you get wounded in a place like Misrata at this point in time, there's almost no way to get you medevaced out of there. The only way is by boat. And the shortest boat trip out of Misrata is more than 20 hours -- Soledad.
O'BRIEN: Oh, my gosh.
Peter, I know that Tim was a friend of yours and you wrote a column today that talked about him being humble and modest. How do you think he would like to be remembered by his fellow journalists?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, you know, first of all, he would like not to have been remembered in this way.
No one -- this is a great tragedy for him, his family, his friends. But I think Tim was a gentleman. He was a very modest guy, very humble, very thoughtful. I knew him. I was embedded with him in Helmand, in Afghanistan. You spent a lot of time with somebody. He never really mentioned the fact that he had gone to Oxford to study literature.
He wouldn't talk about himself. He was very interested in the others and the soldiers that he was covering. He felt a great affinity for the soldiers that he covered in "Restrepo," these young guys who he spent almost more than a year with, who he actually went to the Oscar ceremony with some of them. He was a wonderful human being, and a very thoughtful one, and a very, very good photojournalist, somebody who also did art photography, Soledad. He was quite a complex guy. He wasn't your typical war photographer. There wasn't a lot of bravado about him. He wasn't boastful. You know, he wasn't a war junkie. He was the real deal.
O'BRIEN: General Kimmitt, I think whenever a reporter is killed in action, it makes a lot of news. And really often I think those very reporters would say no, the focus should be the people who are in the battle. Don't focus on me.
Is there anything that comes out of the deaths of journalists? Does the focus, the attention make a difference in some way, do you think?
BRIGADIER GENERAL MARK KIMMITT (RET.), FORMER U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR PLANS AND STRATEGY: Well, I think it's always helpful when you can bring to the American people, when you can bring to the international community the cost of wars, whether it's the loss of an individual soldier or the loss of an individual journalist.
All of them are doing their duty on the battlefield. All of them could certainly be at another place far safer and probably far wealthier. The journalists I worked with in Iraq were, by and large, much like Tim Hetherington in the sense that they wanted to get the job done, they wanted to learn the soldiers' stories, and most of them really wanted to get the story right. And in that way, it really does credit the soldiers and credits their mission.
O'BRIEN: Fred, you're in Tripoli now and there were airstrikes we know tonight. And I know there's not a ton of information, but what are you hearing about the NATO mission that clearly there's been a lot of criticism?
PLEITGEN: There certainly has been a lot of criticism and it's come from people inside Misrata who say that they would like NATO to conduct more airstrikes in that area. And of course NATO is in a very difficult position in all of this, because it's such a densely populated urban area there.
And what Gadhafi is doing is, he's hiding tanks and his artillery pieces in that urban area very close to schools. At some point in schools and other civilian installations. He's also using civilian vehicles in that area. So it's difficult for NATO to make out what is a Gadhafi target and what is not. But certainly that's caused some criticism for people in Misrata.
People in the east also criticizing NATO, as well. You're absolutely right. We did have some air strikes here tonight. It was three or four major explosions that we heard on the outskirts of Tripoli. It's a theme that we've been seeing over the past couple of days. It seems that NATO has been ramping up the air strikes somewhat, hitting targets around the Tripoli area. They're telling us some of them are command and control installations, ammunition dumps. Also, telecommunication installations, as well. They were hit around Sirte yesterday to try and keep Gadhafi from communicating with his troops on the brunt (ph) in the Benghazi and Ajdabiya area, as well, of course, around Misrata. Because those are the forces that he's using to attack the civilians there.
O'BRIEN: Peter and General Kimmitt, too, and Peter, maybe you can start with this question, but I'd like you both to answer it. Clearly there's a desire to have Gadhafi gone, but is the mission enough to get that to happen? Air strikes, obviously. Diplomacy doesn't seem to be working very well.
Is what's happening now enough to bring a conclusion to this? Peter, why don't you take that first, but I'd like to hear from General Kimmitt, too.
BERGEN: Well, you know, General Kimmitt is going to have a much better answer. Clearly, this has not gone very well. And it's dragging on. It's a stalemate. Diplomacy doesn't seem to have achieved very much. The opposition is very fractured. They're not very well led.
And Gadhafi is doing well. I mean, Misrata looks like Sarajevo at the moment. And I'd be interested in hearing General Kimmitt's observations. KIMMITT: Well, my view is exactly as Peter said. It's not going very well. There has to be a game changer on the ground. That game changer either has to be the rebels get stronger. And it could well be that could come about through some of these advisers that NATO and France and England are providing, but it probably won't be enough.
Time will start taking its toll on the Libyan forces. They're not built for long-term operations. A game changer could come around from NATO or the United Nations, allowing a more robust military operation, or possibly diplomacy could start paying off. And there's always the wild card of somebody internal to the Gadhafi administration turning the game on its head.
However, if things continue at the pace they are, this could be a very long, protracted operation, one in which the civilian casualties in Misrata exceed those that would have possibly come about from the alleged Benghazi massacre which brought us into this situation in the first place.
So fundamentally, I think we've got a long road to hoe, unless there is a significant game changer in the near term to change the situation on the ground.
O'BRIEN: All right. Fred and Peter and General Kimmitt, thanks to the three of you. I appreciate it. And of course, Peter, our condolences to you for the loss of your friend. Appreciate you guys talking to me tonight.
Still ahead, you might remember Tyler Clementi, the gay college student who took his own life after police say his roommate secretly videotaped him with a man and then streamed the encounter online. Well, tonight, that roommate is facing charges. We'll tell you what this could mean for cyber bullies and their victims.
Also ahead, we'll take you live inside the fight to save animals, including this one right there, still struggling one year after the massive oil spill here in the Gulf. Stay with us.
O'BRIEN: In "Crime & Punishment" tonight, an indictment against the roommate of Tyler Clementi.
Last September, the 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman killed himself after a sexual encounter with another man was broadcast online. Excuse me. Tyler jumped off New York's George Washington Bridge after he posted a message on his Facebook page that said, quote, "Jumping off the G.W. Bridge. Sorry."
Tyler's roommate was Dharun Ravi. He's accused of secretly setting up a camera in the room and then streaming the video online. Today, he was indicted on 15 counts, including invasion of privacy, bias intimidation and witness tampering.
The case exposed bullying problems across America and led to new anti-bullying efforts. Joining us this evening to talk all r about all this is Sonny Hostin. She's a legal contributor for "In Session" on our sister network, TruTV.
Also, Dr. Dorothy Espelage. She's a professor at the University of Illinois, who has studied bullying for nearly 20 years and has implemented bullying prevention programs in more than two dozen schools.
It's nice to see both of you.
Dr. Espelage, let's begin with you. You're not surprised that this is a hate crime among those 15 counts. Why not?
DR. DOROTHY ESPELAGE, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY Because increasingly what we'll finding in the last 20 years of research that we've done around bullying is increasingly middle school and high school kids are reporting they're being Tormented and teased through homophobic epitaphs. So increasingly, they're holding kind of homophobic attitudes because this attitude is so prevalent within middle school and high school.
And to add to that, we're doing very little in our bullying prevention efforts to address that content that is homophobic in nature. We have 67 bullying prevention programs of some sort in this country, only five address bullying directed at assumed or presumed sexual orientation.
And the bottom line is, we're not having a conversation with these kids about their homophobic attitudes, and their attitudes stem from society in general. As adults are continuing to have problems with same-sex marriages and other things that we're really grappling with at the national level, we're seeing this play out very nicely within our adolescents.
And just because someone goes to college doesn't mean their attitudes turn into adults, and focused attitudes and respect. So it's not a surprise to me. He's an adult, he can be -- this could be looked as a hate crime. The reality is, until we address this problem early on, we're going to continue -- continue to see these problems, especially when you have college students who are LGBT -- go ahead.
O'BRIEN: I just wanted to read a statement that came from Tyler Clementi's family. It goes like this: "The grand jury indictment spells out cold and calculated acts against our son, Tyler, by his former college roommate. If these facts are true, as they appear to be, then it is important to our criminal justice system to establish clear accountability under the law. We're eager to have the process move forward for justice in this case and to reinforce the standards of acceptable conduct in our society." Which is really what you were talking about, Dr. Espelage, a moment ago.
Sonny, were you surprised by this indictment?
SONNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": No, I wasn't surprised at all. Prosecutors typically use cases like this to really send a message to society as to what behavior will be appropriate, and what behavior will not be tolerated.
What I have really been surprised at is sort of the reaction of the public that's saying prosecutors piled, you know, these charges on; prosecutors went too far here. And I'm very surprised at that, because that really isn't the message that should be out there. The message should be out there is that these types of behaviors are illegal, they're criminal, and people will be held accountable for behavior like this.
O'BRIEN: How does -- how does the change in technology, Dr. Espelage, change the ease at which young people are doing this today?
ESPELAGE: Most certainly as we see bullying going into kids using technology, we see that they can reach their audience, a larger audience in a faster amount of time. Any rumor that's being spread or footage that's being taped can be distributed on a mass level. And the reality is, is that you can't escape from this.
And this is certainly a problem when, in fact, you're in middle school and high school, and you identify either as lesbian, gay or bisexual, or you're questioning your sexual identity. To then have, you know, this type of teasing and taunting thrown at you.
And let's remember that this isn't just about lesbian and gay and bisexual youth. Being in middle schools and high schools in the United States, where homophobic epitaphs are thrown around and teachers do not stop this type of name calling, it creates a hostile environment for any -- any adolescent that's wondering who they are and what they're going to be in life.
O'BRIEN: So then, Sonny, if you had to guess at this stage, do you think he will -- how do you think he'll be sentenced? What do you think he'll get? And how much jail time, if any, do you think he'll serve?
HOSTIN: Well, certainly, it depends on whether or not he's convicted at trial or whether or not he takes a plea. I would say that any prosecutor offering a plea in this case would be offering a plea that includes jail time.
If he is convicted on any of these counts, the invasion of privacy counts carry penalties from, I guess, the range of probation to five years. The bias intimidation counts carry penalties from range of five to ten years. So he would be facing a significant amount of time in prison.
I mean, many people are saying is this really something that he will end up in prison? I think it's very, very likely, because again, the message is being sent by the government, by the prosecutors here, that this kind of behavior is criminal. It's illegal, and unfortunately for him, he will be made an example.
O'BRIEN: Sunny Hostin, Dorothy Espelage, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.
Still ahead tonight, one year after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, this little turtle is one of the lucky survivors. He was rescued after the spill, nursed back to health. But a recent surge in animal deaths in the Gulf is raising new worries about the possible long-term toll on wildlife. We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.
Plus, we talk to Kevin Costner. His oil cleanup machine played a key role in the Gulf cleanup. Should it become the first response for all major oil spills? Our conversation is ahead.
First, though, let's check in with Isha Sesay. Isha, good evening.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Soledad.
There are growing calls tonight for a California GOP official to resign over an e-mail she sent depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee. Will she? She's speaking out. Her message in a 360 follow coming right up.
O'BRIEN: Some of the most heartbreaking images the BP oil spill gave us were these turtles and birds coated with oil. A year later, the full extent of the damage to the Gulf wildlife is still being measured, and experts say some of the consequences won't be known for years.
The groups involved in the recovery say deaths of turtles and dolphins surged in the first two months this year, and experts are now trying to prove the BP oil spill is responsible. "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, here's Rob Marciano.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Days after the spill, thick, crude oil everywhere. Wildlife organizations mounted a massive animal rescue effort to save Gulf wildlife. Today, dead animals continue to wash up on Gulf shores.
MOBY SOLANGI, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR MARINE MAMMAL STUDIES: This one came just covered with oil. It was a little baby, and now it's grown. This one came from Alabama, and it was oiled.
MARCIANO: Moby Solangi and his staff continue to treat dolphins and turtles impacted by the oil. But animals are still dying. Since January 1, 220 sea turtles and 175 dolphins have been found dead. Solangi's team performed most of the necropsies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe take it on the edge of this.
MARCIANO: The results are not yet available, but the early numbers are startling.
SOLANGI: I've been in this business for about 30 years. We've been studying these animals in the wild and in captivity. And in the months of January and February, we've never seen this type of spike. It's about ten to fifteen-fold increase, which is significant. LORI SCHWACKE, NOAA, HOLLINGS MARINE LAB: It's tough to see, to you know, think about what is happening to this population. I mean, they're a protected species for a reason.
MARCIANO: Lori Schwacke studies dolphins.
(on camera) There was a lot of speculation early on that dolphins are smart creatures, that if they saw or even smelled oil, they wouldn't swim into it. Did you find that?
SCHWACKE: No. We saw animals coming up in sheens of oil.
MARCIANO (voice-over): Now they're hoping to see them coming up for air and snap some pictures.
(on camera) Suzanne is on the telephoto lens. We're trying to get close-up shots of the dorsal fins. That's their actual markings, their fingerprints of the individual dolphins. By doing that, they can estimate the growth or the decrease in population from when the oil spill started.
(voice-over) They're elusive, so it's not easy to figure out the oil's more subtle impacts.
SCHWACKE: There may be health effects that we just don't observe. It's not -- not going to kill them right now, but it's going to impact their health, or they're just not going to live as long or they're not going to reproduce the way that they normally would have. So they're just going to have to follow the population over time and see what happens.
MARCIANO: Not many people want to wait for answers. And frustrated scientists say the criminal investigation into BP is keeping vital information from being shared.
(on camera) The public wants to know why is it taking so long when a dolphin washes up on a shore or there's a dead sea turtle/
BOB HADDAD, CHIEF, NOAA ASSESSMENT AND RESTORATION: This is going to sound trite, and I don't mean it to, but we really don't live in a "CSI" world. I can't take these in today, turn everything around, with all the complexity that nature provides us, and give you answers tomorrow.
MARCIANO (voice-over): NOAA's Bob Haddad is collecting evidence and building a legal case against BP. He's looking for a settlement big enough to rebuild the Gulf.
HADDAD: This is not a spill about turtles or about shorelines or about fish. This is a spill about an ecosystem.
MARCIANO: One year later, man and machine work to clean some marshes still covered in oil.
DAVID MUTH, LOUISIANA DIRECTOR, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION: Everything out there is getting some of that sheen. You can see it. MARCIANO: Still?
MUTH: Still, and it happened -- it's been happening for a year. You can't see any of it. All of those birds, even if all they have is a little smudge on their breast, they're constantly preening and trying to clean that off. They're ingesting the oil.
MARCIANO: Last year, over 2,000 birds were rescued from oil, with over 1,200 moved away from the spill to Texas and Florida. David Muth of the National Wildlife Federation can only hope they survived.
MUTH: There's not a whole lot of science on how effective any of that is. No one has done any real long-term studies of how effective it is to clean a bird of oil and then release it back into the wild.
MARCIANO (on camera): Come on, guys.
(voice-over) Nor will they ever know how many animals died or will die from the spill. But if the government shared information, threatened wildlife might be saved now.
MUTH: We need to try to keep them honest. The trustees, the federal agencies, the states have primary responsibility, and because what they're doing is so secret most of the time, it's very hard for us on the outside to be able to evaluate, you know, how effective is job is doing.
HADDAD: We need to make sure that we understand the totality of the injury before we're able to settle and let anybody off the hook. Whether it's BP or any of the other responsible parties.
MARCIANO: In the end, all the best efforts man has made may not be enough.
HADDAD: This is such a tiny reaction compared to the level of what happened. Because most of what happened, there's nothing anybody can do about. There is no good ending in an oil spill. There's no -- there's no way to make it come out right.
MARCIANO: No, that's true, but there's a lot of people that are working real, real hard to make the best out of a bad situation.
We're here at this marine mammal facility that we showed you in that piece. This is where they rehabilitate turtles. That's big momma in the tank there. She's been kind of elusive all night long. Two hundred thirty pounds, about 40 years old. That's a doozy.
But Megan is bringing in this guy. This is a loggerhead. That actually was on -- this was on ANDERSON COOPER. About eight months ago we first showed you this baby. And it was about the size of my hand. Hopefully, this particular animal will be released in the next four to six days, maybe in the next couple of weeks.
There are -- thank you, Megan. There are 17 other turtles like that, Soledad, that have been rehabilitated here all winter long and will be released a little bit later down the road back into the Gulf of Mexico.
O'BRIEN: Yes, but if they're -- if they're being released and some of them have been washing up dead in the Gulf, isn't that not a great idea to release them? Aren't they fearful that what will happen is something that's just been rehabilitated will end up dying?
MARCIANO: Yes, you know, that's -- that's a great question. There certainly is that bit of anxiety, but they're going to be able to track these guys. So they'll be able to, at least scientifically, see what these -- what they do. And certainly, if they wash up on shore on the bad end of the stick, then they'll have that data, as well.
But that point has been debated. You know, the science of this is complicated, and it's going to take quite some time before we get our arms wrapped around it for sure -- Soledad.
O'BRIEN: All right. Rob Marciano for us. Thank you, Rob. Appreciate it.
Still ahead tonight, actor and director Kevin Costner, he played kind of an unexpected role in the Gulf oil spill cleanup. Now he has even bigger plans for the machine that he helped spend years developing. My interview with Kevin Costner is straight ahead.
Plus, growing backlash over that e-mail that depicted President Obama as a chimpanzee. The official, the GOP official in California who sent it is digging in as calls for her resignation continue to grow. We'll have details ahead.
O'BRIEN: The biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history left important lessons in its wake. For example, we also have the usual cleanup methods really fell painfully short. Remember these images of workers suctioning oil from the water's surface, one tiny little patch at a time? That's ridiculous. It was backbreaking, time-consuming. Trying to bail out water from an ocean liner with a thimble.
But then came this, a sophisticated centrifuge that separates oil from huge volumes of water. This animation shows you how it works.
Actor Kevin Costner spent millions of dollars to develop the technology. He worked with a team of scientists, including his brother. During the thick of the Gulf oil spill, Costner approached BP, and the company ended up using dozens of the devices in the cleanup.
Today, Costner is urging the oil industry and regulators to make his machine a first-line option for responding to major oil spills. I had a chance to talk to him earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) O'BRIEN (voice-over): These are images of oil sucked from the Gulf: 5,000 barrels of thick, brown sludge, removed from the water by one of Kevin Costner's dream machines, a system he says that should be a no-brainer for the future.
KEVIN COSTNER, ACTOR/DIRECTOR: What we offer up now is eight boats to do what 9,000 couldn't. I think the collection rate out there was about 3 percent. That's the number that's been tossed about. And this would have gotten, you know, 98, 99 percent of the oil.
What we're standing on right now is part of a fleet that could effectively -- kept the oil from ever coming to shore. This is about 170 feet, and there's one right that's over 100 yards, over 300 feet.
O'BRIEN: And when you look at that, when you see why this one is called the little Gulf. The little baby compared to that big one.
COSTNER: Right. And then we got one hanging out you know on the back of a truck that we call a Mini Gulp. So I think probably the most important point to make, Soledad, is that this equipment, while it can handle the job incredibly effectively, is of no use if we use dispersants.
O'BRIEN: That's the chemical to try to do the same thing for --
COSTNER: Well, that's -- that's a chemical that's designed I really think to get something off the front page.
We're lucky that oil doesn't come up and then stay on the bottom. It comes to the top. And if we allow it to come to the top we can go get it.
O'BRIEN: So has BP come to you and said this is basically what we promised the Parish presidents, we want one of these?
COSTNER: No, not yet. Not yet, but the Parish presidents have come here and they have looked at this and said this is what we want.
O'BRIEN: What's the cost of this?
COSTNER: To protect the Gulf, to protect our biggest resource we figure out that eight of our barges, 15 of our Mini Gulps that we would like to position in four different harbors is about $48 million a year.
O'BRIEN: Kevin Costner and partner Lee Dragma (ph) say the $48 million price tag is a small price to pay to be better prepared for the disaster that left the Gulf reeling one year ago.
So were those grates are would be water, oil, everything garbage flowing in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's coming over the top.
O'BRIEN: And that's how you collect it to start.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes ma'am.
O'BRIEN: Ok, so that would be happening right underneath this. Then what happens?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right underneath this. And then it gets sucked up through these pipes.
O'BRIEN: So these yellow pipes would be full of garbage and oil and water mixed. Anything that you're collecting is in there?
COSTNER: Nothing stops this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
COSTNER: Nothing stops us. I mean, they were getting clogged with seaweed thee and clogged with trash. This thing just -- nothing stops this. And we stay out there 24/7. That's really important. That's a really important fact that the vessels that were out there had to come in when the weather was bad, it couldn't -- it couldn't negotiate just the smallest waste. This thing -- this thing is a beast.
O'BRIEN: It just sucks it up 24 hours a day.
COSTNER: It's a beast. It works.
O'BRIEN: Do you think there is a will among the people, among governments, among business, BP maybe specifically, to invest in something that could quickly clean up an oil spill?
COSTNER: I have to believe in my heart that people will do think that, you know now that something exists; now that the heavy lifting has been done. I have -- I -- I kind of guess I -- you know, not to live in a fantasy world, even though I make movies, I have to believe that ok, it's there, we do want it. We have to have it. I guess I have to believe that. Short of anything else, I kind of -- I would be just a little baffled, right?
O'REILLY: We're following several other stories tonight. Isha Sesay joins us with a "360 News and Business Bulletin". Good evening again.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Soledad.
Military prosecutors have recommended the death penalty for the accused master mind of the deadly bombing of the "USS Cole" in October of 2000; 17 sailors were killed and more than 40 others injured. The suspect will be tried before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
A "360 Follow" now, the FAA has fired two air traffic controllers for sleeping on the job. One worked in Miami, the other in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Meanwhile, the FAA and NTSB are investigating Monday's aborted landing of the plane carrying First Lady Michelle Obama because it was too close to a military plane.
And now the FAA will require a supervisor to monitor flights with the First Lady or Vice President on board. Before, they were only tracking flights involving the President.
Another "360 Follow": Marilyn Davenport, the GOP official in Orange County who sent an e-mail with this photo depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee, is rejecting calls to step down. She calls the photo political satire, not racist. Here's what she told reporters today outside her home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARILYN DAVENPORT, ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, GOP OFFICIAL: I'm an imperfect Christian gal who tries her best to live a godly life. I would never do anything to intentionally harm or berate others regardless of ethnicity and everyone who knows me knows that to be true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Also in California today, President Obama held a town hall at Facebook's head quarters, he answered questions on everything from the economy to education. Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg moderated in a coat, shirt and tie. Soledad, no hoodie but don't go getting excited, he did wear jeans and snickers.
O'BRIEN: Yes, I was going to say, it's yes -- he looks so weird when he wears a tie.
SESAY: I know.
O'BRIEN: He was like, who is that?
SESAY: I know.
O'BRIEN: He looks so familiar.
SESAY: Not so right.
O'BRIEN: Isha thanks.
SESAY: Thanks Soledad.
O'BRIEN: We have lots more ahead at the top of the hour, starting with all the broken promises a year after the Gulf oil disaster began.