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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Will bin Laden Photos Be Released?; Casey Anthony Breaks Down as Ruling Goes Against Her

Aired May 3, 2011 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA, USA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA, USA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA, USA.

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, the world`s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, dead. While bin Laden is buried at sea, fierce debate around the photo of his corpse. Should the U.S. government release the gruesome photos of his dead body?

And tricked into training mass murderers? I`ll talk to the man who unwittingly trained some of the infamous suicide pilots from the 9/11 attacks, including the ring leader. What was it like to be up close and personal with these monsters?

Also, an ISSUES exclusive. A beautiful teenage girl says she was raped by nine men while on spring break in Florida. She says when she first reported the hellish crime to cops, they ignored her accusations. This young woman and her furious dad will be my guests in what they call a fight for justice.

Plus, mind-blowing rulings in the Casey Anthony hearings that have her sobbing in court. The judge wants to keep jury selection top secret and rules that the chloroform found in Casey`s trunk will be allowed as evidence. Will these rulings be game changers in the trial of the century? We`re taking your calls.

ISSUES starts now.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel my son`s, you know, joy and exhilaration that this very evil man was captured and killed by Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re glad it happened. Appreciate the sacrifice from the military and keeping us safe and going after -- going after that bastard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have respect for my military brothers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, reporting live from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. So much breaking news. We`re just going to give it to you. I`ve got it coming in on BlackBerries, on notes. We`re going to tell you as we get it.

Now, first, I want to show you some amazing new video from inside the bin Laden compound. And frankly, somebody described it as looking like a messy hoarder`s house. And that`s exactly what it looks like. It`s filled with a bunch of DVDs and CDs and computers, which according to some reports, were seized by the U.S. military and are being described as the mother lode, a whole bunch of information about al Qaeda and its operations.

I`m very curious to know how they managed to gather all that and also shoot bin Laden and take his body, all in under 40 minutes. Truly extraordinary.

We`ve also got some amazing night vision to show you, night vision video released by the Department of Defense, which is actually the raid as it is going down. Truly extraordinary stuff.

Now, as we show you that, I want to tell you about some breaking news. Everybody debating whether or not they are going to release the photo of bin Laden shot in the head right near the eye. We`re getting this from a CNN producer, who says he just spoke off camera to CIA director Leon Panetta as he left a closed-door briefing with senators. He said he thinks the photos of bin Laden`s body will be released at some point, even though he thinks the U.S. has provided enough proof of al Qaeda leader`s death without releasing the photos. Hot off the modern day press, BlackBerry, CNN producer spoke to CIA director

So once again, hot off the modern-day presses, i.e. a BlackBerry, a CNN producer spoke to CIA director Leon Panetta, who thinks the photos of bin Laden`s body will be released, but we`re not being told when. Only being told at some point.

And we can also tell you, a more old-fashioned way of doing it. I just got this note. According to another source, those -- some in Congress, some have seen the photos and described them as incredibly graphic.

Now, let`s go to some old-fashioned media here. I want to show you what the headlines are here in New York. "The New York Post," "Inside bin Laden Raid: How We Did It." That`s one. And also we`re going to show you "The Daily News," "How We Nailed Him." We`re going to get into that tonight. We`re talking to a former Navy SEAL who is going to take us right through this incredible operation.

What I want to begin with, though, is Deb Feyerick. And so delighted to have you, because you were part of CNN`s 9/11 coverage. You won awards for it. I want to ask you about this new information that we will, at some point, be seeing the photos. A shock to you, or do you expect it?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You sort of have to expect it. There are so many conspiracy theories out there that, if the photos are not materialized, why aren`t they materialized? And I think the U.S. has a very big challenge ahead. How do you release these photos in such a way that they do not incite the community worldwide, the Muslim community? Because again, death is considered very sacred.

You certainly don`t want to throw insult in the face of all of these people, because he was given a proper Muslim burial. Not a martyr`s burial. That`s why he was buried in the white sheet. He was given a private Muslim burial. But again, there is a risk that these could be too graphic and be a desecration of some sort, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I agree with you, because there are some not so nice things that are happening here. And I want to show you this T- shirt that I did buy, because I wanted to show it to you, and they didn`t give it to me. But it says, "Gotcha, dead." And on the other side it says, "You got me. I`m dead."

So this is something that really only reflects one aspect of the reaction here in the United States. There were many, many people who I spoke to today here on the streets of New York who said it`s time to stop the jubilation. And it`s really time to have a more somber attitude toward what is going on, in order, precisely in order to move forward past bin Laden, past the horror of 9/11 to a new chapter in American life.

I want to go straight out to the question that is on everybody`s mind. How on earth did the U.S. military pull off this extraordinary surgical strike? Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It began with four U.S. military helicopters and two dozen commandos arriving overhead. When some of the Navy SEALs landed on the ground, the assault steams stormed the compound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was up there on the second and third floor where bin Laden was killed. Two shots: one to the head, one to the chest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Real imagination (ph). All right. Now, I think we do have some video here, a voice over, an animation of this amazing strike as it went down. Truly extraordinary.

And I want to go to Brandon Webb, who is a former Navy SEAL.

Describe to us, Brandon, what exactly happened. Because I know there were four helicopters. One malfunctioned. I`m hearing conflicting reports about the total number of Navy SEALs. Some say 79. Some say it was more like 40. What do you know and how did it go down?

BRANDON WEBB, FORMER NAVY SEAL: Well, you know, we have to be really careful to really get into the specific details, Jane, because you know, a lot of these future operations are at risk. You know, these guys conduct these type of missions hundreds of times a year. We just don`t hear about it because it`s, you know, not -- not newsworthy.

But I can tell you this, that just the mission planning that goes into something like this is very, very complex, you know, months of planning. The assets involved on the ground. You`ve got guys gathering intelligence, human intelligence on the ground. Airborne outsets (ph) like Predator and UAV with synthetic aperture radar systems picking up footprints in the dirt from, you know, altitudes of excess of 15,000 feet and then bringing all this into a complete package to build this target package that is actionable intelligence that these guys can go in there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to jump in with a couple of quick questions, Brandon. One, how the heck did they get all of these computers and CDs and DVDs that`s being described as the mother lode in less than 40 minutes? Because my understanding is that they set the place on fire or it was set on fire. So did they go back later?

Do you think they were able to actually carry out this raid, shoot bin Laden, take a photo of it, upload it, send it to the White House, have it fed in real time, either video or audio, and along with taking bin Laden`s body also grab all these computers and CDs? I find that absolutely extraordinary.

WEBB: Yes, I mean, just to put it into perspective, some of the nighttime ship raids that I was part of when I was active duty, we would take a tanker down, send two teams on board, you know, one to the engine room, one to the pilot house. But we`d have that ship taken over in a few minutes. So you know, these operations are just well-rehearsed, and these guys, no doubt on my mind they carried it out in that amount of time or less.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk a little bit about Pakistan. A lot of Americans here on the streets of New York -- and I`m here live at Ground Zero -- are furious, saying that the United States has given $20 billion to Pakistan since 9/11 and yet reports are that bin Laden was walking around in broad daylight in a town that is chuck full of Pakistani military. Let`s listen to what CBS correspondent Lara Logan had to say.

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LARA LOGAN, CBS CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: When the world`s wanted man is living right in the arms of the military and the intelligence, I mean, it certainly will look to American taxpayers, they will be asking the obvious question, how can we be finding Pakistan when, you know, people like Osama bin Laden are given shelter on their soil?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anti-terrorism task force member, Robert Strange, you see Anderson Cooper there. He was questioning former Pakistani President Musharraf about Pakistan`s role in possibly protecting bin Laden.

A lot of people here on the streets of New York say, "Come on. They had to have known he was there." Did we get taken? Us Americans who gave $20 billion to Pakistan?

ROBERT STRANGE, ANTI-TERRORISM TASK FORCE MEMBER: I mean, just look at what happened -- yes, no question. Look what just happened a few months ago when all of our contract employees were thrown out of Pakistan by the government. That was a signal that there was something wrong.

We`ve been having mixed signals back and forth and trouble with Pakistan for the last year, and there`s no question that they say two things. In other words, if you ask Hillary Clinton what`s our relationship with Pakistan, you`ll get one answer. If you ask Leon Panetta from the CIA, what is our relationship with Pakistan, you`ll get another answer.

This is a very difficult country to work with, because the government wants to work with us, but the people don`t want to. So it`s very clear that once we had the go-ahead, and once we did this, independent, by ourselves, without the Pakistanis, we were successful. We probably should have done this ten years ago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, this compound has been around for five years. And I applaud the United States military for getting him, but I feel, as many New Yorkers and others around the country do, that, boy, they had to have known that they were in Pakistan.

We`re taking your calls, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Your chance to ask the experts what do you want to know about these extraordinary developments. We`re also going to talk about the president of the United States visiting right here, Ground Zero, on Thursday. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The raid was conducted with U.S. military personnel assaulting on two helicopters. The team methodically cleared the compound moving from room to room in an operation lasting nearly 40 minutes. They were engaged in a fire fight throughout the operation, and Osama bin Laden was killed by the assaulting force.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When you look at this building -- look at it there -- it`s different from all of the other buildings around it. It`s taller, and it`s got a higher wall. The compound starts right here. You can see how high the wall is. Look at this. OK. I`m 6 foot. My arm is maybe another two feet. That gives you an idea of just how tall the wall is. Of course, there`s razor wire at the top of it, as well.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, reporting live from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. The president of the United States expected here on Thursday. So much breaking news. We want to show you some new video just in of the compound where bin Laden was living when he was killed. And take a look at it, because people who have studied it say it looks like a messy hoarder`s compound. And it really does look messy.

Now, obviously some of that is the result of the fact that it was raided and set on fire, but it`s really extraordinary how mundane sometimes life is for those who are infamous. It looks like it could be any house anywhere, except that the United States military, along with seizing bin Laden`s body, also seized a treasurer trove, what they`re calling the mother lode of computer, DVDs, CD-ROMs, information that is going to tell them a lot about al Qaeda.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, now one of the new pieces of information we`ve gotten is that administration officials are now indicating, the head of the CIA, that they will ultimately release the photo of bin Laden`s body.

For reaction, I want to go to Jack Grandcolas, and thank you for your patience, Jack. We want to ask you, because you`re the one who has the most important voice in all of this. Your life was completely altered by 9/11. You lost your pregnant wife in Flight 93, United Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. Do you think that the photo of bin Laden`s body should be released, Jack?

JACK GRANDCOLAS, WIFE KILLED ON 9/11: Well, first I`d like to commend the Navy SEALs on their courage and their bravery. You know, this is a solemn victory. And releasing a photo that might cause greater hurt to others or incite violence may be a question that should take some time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I kind of agree with you. I feel that it`s really important for us to handle this juncture very, very delicately. We achieved an enormous victory. And we shouldn`t rub anybody`s nose in it, because that could have the unintended effect of boomeranging on us, where we really want to move past 9/11, past the terrorism, past all of the negativity of the past decade. Would you agree, Jack?

GRANDCOLAS: I completely agree. Again, it`s -- it`s more symbolic, because of the -- he`s been relegated to a home where he wasn`t getting out much and having much contact with the other terrorists. So it is -- it`s symbolic victory over the idealism of hatred, but I don`t think that he had as much power as he did on September 11.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jack, I really applaud your attitude. I want to go quickly to Deborah Feyerick about preparations. You heard a siren there moments ago. What are the preps, quickly, for the president`s visit here?

FEYERICK: High, high security. They`re going to bring him straight into the theater to walk around the site. Think about the symbolic value of this. President Obama at Ground Zero, saying the U.S. has kept its promise. Compare that to George Bush, who was here rallying the firefighters the day when they were looking for survivors and found none.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So we are going to stay on top of it.

We`re going to talk about Casey Anthony. We`re going to bring you some exclusive stories, and then we`re going to come back here and revisit this whole momentous occasion.

We are live at Ground Zero. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDI DEKKERS, FORMER FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR: Ten years of going after this animal, it is fantastic. It`s fantastic for the families that they can have a little closure now, that the heads of the snake is cut off.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) an imminent threat, to the administration of justice in this case, that is the right of Casey Anthony to receive a fair and impartial trial in this particular case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why is Casey Anthony sobbing in court? Could it be the avalanche of rulings against her, and she`s starting to get the idea that, "Wow, I may not be able to talk my way out of this." And it`s really a series of rulings that have come down against her in recent days, one after the other.

Let me give you a recap of those rulings. Chloroform evidence, that there was evidence of chloroform in the trunk of her car, that is in. The jury will hear that. That is very significant, because the prosecution believes that Casey Anthony used chloroform to knock her child out in the course of killing her.

Now, something else has been ruled in, the outline of a heart-shaped sticker that was found on the duct tape at the crime scene near where little Caylee Anthony remains were found, very significant because you will hear testimony that this was part of her M.O., to put these heart-shaped stickers on things.

Also, the canine units that hit on the trunk of Casey`s car, and they got really crazy and active when they got to the trunk of Casey`s car. That evidence will be allowed in. So that would indicate that there was a dead body in the trunk of Casey Anthony`s car.

And finally, another ruling is that the hair -- the single hair that they found in that trunk that shows signs of decomposition is in.

There`s also breaking news. Let`s go live to Jean Casarez from "In Session" for the very latest Casey Anthony breaking news. What just happened?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Jane, we`re getting some breaking news out of Florida right now. There has been an appeal by the media outlet that asked the judge to not have a confidentiality agreement as to where jury selection will be on Monday. They believe that it was unconstitutional to hold it. The judge disagreed. They have now filed an appeal with the district court of appeals in Florida.

It is the Fifth Circuit District Court of Appeals. They are asking the court of appeals for a petition, a review, saying the trial court departed from the essential requirements of law in allowing this confidentiality agreement for the location of jury selection will not be disclosed until Monday morning.

They are asking the court of appeals to vacate the order, which means turn it around and release right now where jury selection is going to be in the Casey Anthony case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Quickly, do you think it`s going to stop this process? We`re going to have this case on hold?

CASAREZ: From my understanding, the court of appeals can merely deny this request from the media outlet. On the other hand, if they accept it and they want to look at it, yes, that could turn the wheels of justice to a grinding halt here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, of course, you know how criminal justice system works in our country. Nothing ever starts when they say it`s going to stop. If I had a nickel for every time I went to court and then had to come back on another day.

We`ll be right back with more 9/11 coverage in a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: An ISSUES exclusive, a beautiful teenage girl says she was raped by nine men while on spring break in Florida. She says when she first reported the hellish crime to the cops, they ignored her accusation. This young woman and her furious dad will be my guest in what they call a fight for justice.

And tricked into training mass murderers? I`ll talk to the man who unwittingly trained some of the infamous suicide pilots from the 9/11 attacks, including the ring leader. What was it like to be up close and personal with these monsters?

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell life at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. And there are so many breaking developments in the bin Laden death. First, we want to show you some extraordinary new video that shows the inside of this compound where bin Laden was taken out. And what is so extraordinary about it is how mundane it is.

You might think a terrorist lair would be very exciting and dramatic; something out of a James Bond film. But no, this has been described as looking like a hoarders` house, a very unkempt. Of course, some of that may be as a result of the raid, obviously. But it couldn`t all be as a result of the raid. And there it looks like it could be blood; I don`t know for sure, but certainly dramatic video.

One of the things that is so incredible about this -- excuse me -- one of the things that is incredible about this is that along with getting bin Laden, taking him out and removing his body, they also got a treasure trove, the U.S. Military did, of CDs and computers and all sorts of documents that could really be and it`s being called the mother lode.

Now, I want to go out to Deborah Feyerick who is here with me at Ground Zero. She has been very involved in the CNN`s 9/11 coverage from that terrible day onward.

This is very significant, Deb, because it gives us a lot of information. What do you know?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely. And I was speaking to a number of people today; one man who is Special Forces told me that while his death is a major blow, it is certainly not the finishing blow. Think about all the things that were taken from bin Laden`s home; the computers, the DVDs the CDs, ok. FBI and all U.S. law enforcement agencies around the world have been told to be on high alert. To go back, to look at their cases, to pursue leads, re-interview people that they may be able to get more information from.

Several things could happen. A task force has been assembled to review all the intelligence. They want to identify whether there are other high value targets. They also want to identify whether there may be any plots that are in the works against the United States.

But if they identify that, several things can happen. A plot that may be operational may be launched sooner than anticipated. That is a very real fear. Also, however, a plot that could be at least close to being operational, those people could go underground. Now, that would be a considered a plot interrupted but it is still a plot. It will make things a lot more difficult.

And don`t forget, Jane, the Taliban Pakistan, the same guys that trained the Times Square bomber, they are praising bin Laden`s death. They are calling him a martyr. They say that we have people in America and we are sending more. So there is a threat.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are just being told by the CIA that, according to a CNN producer who spoke to the head of the CIA, the photo of bin Laden shot near the eyes, shot dead, will be released at some point probably. So we`re hearing, yes, we are going to see that photo.

And by the way, this is a photo of the President and the Secretary of State and the Vice President in the Situation Room observing in some way, shape, or form -- either hearing or seeing -- the raid as it went down in real time. Extraordinary inside look and again, this is the exclusive footage of the actual compound. But I have to ask you quickly, I would imagine they would certainly not release the photo or maybe I`m wrong, before the President arrives here at Ground Zero to talk to the families because the security threat would have to be through the roof.

FEYERICK: It`s a very good point and we`re going to have to see how that plays out. We have seen National Guards here -- armed National Guards -- and we`ve also seen a heavier port authority police presence here. So, yes, they are not going to want to take any chances.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. As we`ve been here, we`ve heard sirens and police cars sweeping by, National Guards a stone`s throw away. So even though you`re not seeing a lot of security here, it is here.

All right. Another extraordinary exclusive story we`re going to bring you now. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In Panama City when we were walking, there was a young girl that was sexually assaulted by nine men. And when she went home she reported this case to her father and he called the police chief. He said we can`t send a police officer out for everybody who cries rape. I mean this is something serious that we all need to be aware of and look for.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s horrible.

Oh, my God. Well, we want to cover that story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. You heard me say it. I heard the story live on our show on the air from a rape survivor who has become an activist. And I said we`re going to check this out and we did.

And so tonight, an exclusive interview with a young woman and her father. She says she was on spring break last month and she`s 18 years old and she was like everybody on spring break, enjoying and having a party. She says she was raped by nine men and she and her dad are very, very disgruntled with how it was handled by law enforcement.

Now, first of all, let me ask you if I may, Haley Rakestraw, I want to congratulate you first of all for coming forward --

HALEY RAKESTRAW, SAYS SHE WAS RAPED ON SPRING BREAK: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- because you are an inspiration to so many thousands, maybe tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of women in this country who have been sexually assaulted and who are afraid to talk about it. So you are doing a real service tonight by having the courage to come forward.

Briefly, tell us what happened. I understand you were having -- you were at a party. That`s what people do on spring break. I did it when I was your age. You were approached by four young men and they said we`ll take you for a ride and briefly what happened after that.

H. RAKESTRAW: I remember they asked me if I wanted to come up to the Burger King parking lot and hang out for a while. And I knew a lot of people out there, so I figured, you know, it would be ok to go up there. And they had actually had my bottle with my alcohol in it. And as I started to walk up, I noticed that I was becoming unconscious and not being able to realize what was going on.

I wasn`t -- I was having a lot of trouble figuring out what was starting to go on because I couldn`t really -- everything just started to shut down. And by the time --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So -- go ahead.

H. RAKESTRAW: By the time I got into -- once we got up to the parking lot, I remember them putting me into a car and once I got into the car, everything just became a big blur from there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you think that your drink was spiked with some kind of sort of date rape drug? Is that what you`re saying?

H. RAKESTRAW: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. You were taken to another location and at that location, according to what you wrote, my understanding is that you say you were sexually assaulted by nine men in this bathroom area. Is that correct?

H. RAKESTRAW: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Now, afterwards you contacted your family and you went to the hospital and here`s where some very controversial stuff starts and we want to get both sides, which is our legal obligation. But let me read you what you say. You wrote down, you claim that cops said, the cops who arrived at the hospital, or a cop, one of the cops who arrived at the hospital said, "Most girls end up drinking down here and doing things they feel ashamed of afterwards and they go scream rape at the hospital so they can get their fix for the morning after pill."

And you go on to write that you don`t even know what a morning pill or you didn`t even know what a morning after pill was at the time. Tell me again, are you saying that a police officer said that to you when you were in the hospital saying you had been basically gang raped?

H. RAKESTRAW: Yes. Yes. That`s the exact words that came out of his mouth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Were there any witnesses? And I`m only asking because those are serious allegations. Were you there with a nurse or a friend?

H. RAKESTRAW: Yes, the Salvation Army lady that was supposed to come in and sat with me, she was in there when this happened; also my best friend that staying with me at the condo came down and she was in the hospital with me the whole time to witness everything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to bring in your father but first let me say, here`s what the police sent us, a lengthy statement. Here`s a recap. They say there`s not a lot of information. They say well, you gave two different questions of how you returned to the condominium, which if you were drugged out and in shock I think it`s certainly understandable. The victim was examined by a sexual response team and they found no signs of sexual assault or a bruise. And they say the father claimed to have found the room where the attack occurred but when the cops checked on it, it was a family that was staying there at the time of the alleged assault.

Sir, your reaction as a dad to what the cops are saying here?

KEITH RAKESTRAW, FATHER OF ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM: Well, Jane, there`s been a number of things that have gone on other than just -- and that`s a good example actually. I actually went back to Florida myself three days later. We went back to Panama City and got Haley immediately and brought her because our first concern was for her safety and for her health. And so within a few days, after talking to the police and asking them questions and trying to give them information I realized that there really wasn`t a whole lot being done.

And so I went myself with a friend that knows the area well and we just felt we would go and take the information that Haley had given us and try to search on our own.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re almost out of time, sir. But I think you`re going to continue pursuing this, right?

K. RAKESTRAW: Yes. Yes, that`s correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to stay on top of this story and I`ll tell you something; we`re going to have you back. We`re not letting this go, ok. This is an outrage if what you`re saying is true.

Stay with us. We`ve got so much more for you. We`re just getting started here. Boy, that is a disturbing story. Come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell reporting live from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. The President of the United States expected here the day after tomorrow.

Meantime, we`re telling you about some other wild and crazy news of the day. We`ve got a video to show you is really going to knock your socks off because it`s just so wild and crazy. It`s of an Atlanta area I-Hop restaurant at 3:00 in the morning; a confrontation between a police officer and some people who were customers.

Check it out from YouTube.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(VIDEO FROM IHOP RESTAURANT IN ATLANTA)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, these kinds of restaurants -- and IHop is a fine restaurant along with many other restaurants -- I`m speaking about the hour. 3:00 in the morning, 3:00 in the morning when a bunch of people are at a restaurant at 3:00 in the morning usually means that everybody has been having a good time and sometimes things get out of control. But that`s now really the controversy.

The controversy is the fact that the cops appear to attack this woman and why? Well, we understand that the woman in the black sleeveless dress with her back to the camera had touched the officer on the shoulder. You`re not supposed to do that. You`re not supposed to touch officers.

The question is was his reaction appropriate? It all began apparently when another woman, who was in the same booth or same area, was yelling apparently. Yelling and yelling and yelling and the officer said basically pipe down, be quiet. She said, purportedly, "Hey, I don`t have to be quiet. I know my constitutional rights. If I want to talk loud, that`s my right." And then it escalated from there. Then the woman touches the officer on the shoulder and then all heck breaks loose.

All right. I want to go out to J. Wyndal Gordon, criminal defense attorney; this is crazy and wild video. The question is, did the officer have the right to respond the way he did. And before you answer that question, let`s play it one more time because we`ve got it on YouTube. It was recorded on many different cell phone cameras and then we`ll be able to get your reaction -- YouTube.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(VIDEO FROM IHOP RESTAURANT IN ATLANTA)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy, thank God for cell phone cameras. J. Wyndal Gordon, criminal defense attorney, were the cops out of line?

J. Wyndal Gordon, criminal defense attorney: Well, this is what I saw on the video. And I`ve looked at this video time and time again. What I saw was apparently there were two women who were being loud, not just one of them. That particular woman was being singled out. There was another woman who`s back was towards us. She`s apparently trying to reason with the police officer and the police officer just punches her in the face. And then she goes off, she commences to striking him repeatedly and the police officer then kind of cowers a little bit.

The second police officer grabs her, restrains her and then the first police officer comes back again and sucker punches her in the face. So you have a situation here.

This was iffy, you know. Was the police officer justified? I think he overreacted to the girl with her back to us because she`s apparently just trying to --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to jump in because here`s what really bugs me. Here`s what really bugs me about this whole thing. The officers are in uniform, which the women apparently said they didn`t even realize because there were some other people there in costume and they thought maybe these were just civilians in costume. Who knows? But anyway, that`s what they said.

But they were not on duty. The officer was off duty and apparently he said he was working for IHop. Now I know this is common practice but I think it`s bad. I think either you`re an officer who`s working or you`re off duty and in civilian clothes or in some other kind of uniform. Because when she said it`s my constitutional right to be loud, she was saying that.

Now, if he was representing IHop it`s his constitutional right to say, well, in this restaurant you can`t be that loud. But there`s confusion over the roles and that`s why I believe that you should not allow officers of the law to be working off duty for someone else and still wear their uniform. That`s a huge mistake and it has to change right away.

Now, when we come back, we`re going to talk -- by the way, thank you, J. Wyndal Gordon. Always great to have you on.

We`re going to talk to a man who unwittingly trained the terrorists who hit the towers that used to be right behind me. Stay with me, it`s an extraordinary story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We never can bring them back. But we can do everything we can to bring the people who were responsible to justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, reporting live from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. Earlier today I interviewed Rudi Dekkers who was a former flight attendant who unwittingly trained the two men who flew planes into, well, what used to the Twin Towers right behind me. And I asked him his reaction to the death of bin laden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDI DEKKERS, FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR: Ten years going after this animal, it is fantastic. It`s fantastic for the families that they can have a little closure now that the head of the snake is cut off. I don`t think it`s dead completely but we gave them a good hit. So I`m really happy for all the people involved that they can have this closure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was your reaction on 9/11 when you realized that the two men you trained were those who commandeered the planes that flew into the World Trade Center?

DEKKERS: I did not find out until the day after, September 12th, at 5:00 in the morning. I had a phone call from my manager who was in Venice. The FBI was there. Then I find out that I was involved and I can`t explain what my feeling was back then. It was like I was going out of my body and I saw myself sitting there on the floor. I was in shock. I was in shock. It was an emotional experience that I had never experienced before.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`ve had some choice words for Mohammad Atta one of the terrorists you unwittingly trained. Did you ever become suspicious of them? Did you ever pause during the time that you were training them and say, "Why are these guys trying to get trained? What are they looking for? What`s their purpose?"

DEKKERS: No. I had in flight school many students coming from the Middle East. We even had a space upstairs in one of the offices where we had a place for them to put their carpet down so they could pray to the east. It was a normal situation that they did that.

My biggest wish, I wish I had known because then I could kill them myself before anything happened but that was not the case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You spent time up close and personal, eye to eye with these people. Do you think they were psychologically unbalanced or were they just political extremist?

DEKKER: I didn`t like Atta from the first moment. I called him dead man walking. He had a whiteface. He was emotionless. He was not a friendly person. He was, in my opinion a nasty person that moment and the whole time he was with us. If I would have thought that he was not good by his mind for whatever reason I would have kicked him out.

I did not think that he was politically driven or that he was insane. I just didn`t like the guy. But if you don`t like a customer, then you still don`t get any conclusions that he could be something really bad. So, no, we did not have that opinion about Atta or Marwan Al-Shehhi when he was in flight school.

After the attacks I asked myself could I have known. Could I have known one percent in my body that this guy was a terrorist? And I answered myself a million times, no, no, no. We could not have known, even if we called him dead man walking, even if we didn`t like him at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I really felt sorry for Rudi. He had no way of knowing that the men he was teaching would turn out to be terrorists and yet his life was destroyed. I hope that he can now begin a new chapter.

We will be right back with more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Once again, I am here at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and I want to show you, what is really a metaphor for the juncture we`re at as a nation, and that is Ground Zero. You see those construction cranes. Well, they are a sign of us trying to move forward and that`s really what we need to do as a nation. Move forward to a post- 9/11 world.

And that means, really, turning a page. And what we`ve all got to do is start thinking, bin Laden is dead. And now it is time to heal. Now it is time to let go of our resentments about what happened on 9/11.

Easy for me to say; I didn`t lose loved ones. I know it will be a challenge. My heart goes out to those families of the victims. But I do feel for the sake of our nation and, indeed, the world, we need to move forward.

Nancy Grace, up next.

END