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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Flood Worries; State of Pakistan-U.S. Relations?
Aired May 10, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
We begin with breaking news. We have learned that some lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be allowed to view the photos of Osama bin Laden's body. Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee and those in the equivalent House committees will be allowed to view the photos, but only at CIA headquarters.
As for when, that is still being worked out. Now, this comes after President Obama announced last week the photos will not be released to the public. We will more on that coming up.
But, first, the other breaking development tonight. ABC News is reporting that Pakistani officials are interested in studying the wreckage of that stealth modified helicopter that was abandoned during the Navy SEAL raid at bin Laden's compound. And they're suggesting that China wants a peek at it as well.
Aviation experts s believe it's a classified modified version of a Black Hawk helicopter. It malfunctioned during the raid and the SEALs blew it up, but a large part of the tail and other parts survived that explosion. The Pentagon has asked Pakistan to return the damaged parts, but, so far, they have not done so.
Let's get the latest now from Reza Sayah, who is in Islamabad.
Reza, what do you know about what Pakistan plans to do with the abandoned chopper?
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we do know that they have parts of this secret stealth chopper. The Pentagon is not giving us much details about this incident and this chopper.
We do know that they want it back. It's not clear if Pakistan is going to give it back to the U.S., but you can be sure Pakistani military and intelligence agents are examining these chopper parts. I don't think the U.S. has a problem with that, but they certainly could have a problem with Pakistan allowing China to take a peek at these chopper parts, and that could be a possibility.
Remember, for the past 50 years, China has been a much closer ally to Pakistan than the U.S. has. They have given them billions of dollars in military aid and military equipment. It's not going to be a shocker if Pakistan, as a thank-you gift, says, China, you can take a peek at these chopper parts.
So, the U.S. would be concerned about that.
SAYAH: But, Anderson, I think if they had to do this operation over again, they knew that they would lose this chopper, they would still do it, considering what they netted.
COOPER: Yes. It may not be a surprise, but certainly a slap in the face to the United States who -- which has given billions over the years to Pakistan and to their military.
COOPER: There are several reports also, Reza, out there tonight that one of bin Laden's son, a 19-year-old son, named Hamza, dubbed the crown prince of terror for appearing in jihadist videos as a young boy, has been missing since the raid that killed his dad. What do you know about that?
SAYAH: Yes, this is information that reportedly came from a Pakistani intelligence official. This official says that Hamza bin Laden was also in the compound, and according to one of the widows of bin Laden, he's missing.
Now, this would mean that either Hamza bin Laden was not there at the compound during the raid or he escaped during the raid, or maybe U.S. forces took him away after the raid. Now, the U.S. is saying they didn't take anyone, other than the remains of bin Laden and some of these items, the computer and the computer drive.
So, at this point, the whereabouts of Hamza bin Laden, one of Osama bin Laden's sons, a bit of a mystery -- Anderson.
COOPER: You also interviewed the -- Pakistan's interior minister today, a guy who is responsible for the internal security of Pakistan. And he reiterated -- reiterated that the government did not know where bin Laden was. I just want to play some of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAYAH: This was a man living in a fortress, and you have intelligence agents swarming all over the country. How did they not know?
REHMAN MALIK, PAKISTANI INTERIOR MINISTER: Nine-eleven happened in New York. With all the maximum and the best available intelligence tool, the American parties could not make out 9/11's culprits. And they were still making training in the institutions there. So, sometimes, intelligence failures are there.
SAYAH: In your investigation, have you found any evidence that bin Laden had a support network here in Pakistan?
MALIK: There is no such thing at all, not an iota of doubt... (CROSSTALK)
SAYAH: So, you categorically deny that he had a support network here?
MALIK: Categorically deny it, no support network.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He also went to say he wasn't happy that the raid -- how the raid was carried out. How strained are U.S. relations with Pakistan right now?
SAYAH: Well, if you look back at the 10 years, I don't think they have been more strained, more uncertain.
But I think both sides, both Islamabad and Washington, publicly acknowledge that this does not mean a breakup for this relationship. These are two countries that still desperately need one another. The U.S. needs Pakistan if it ever wants to reach a political solution in Afghanistan and pull out its troops. Pakistan needs the U.S. to give its weak government some credibility.
It's getting billions of dollars in military and economic aid from the U.S. And the U.S. also gives Pakistan leverage against its perennial enemy, India. The key is, moving forward, what can Pakistan do to erase suspicions that it is playing a double game? There's plenty of evidence that Pakistan is doing a lot against extremists, but there's also evidence that it's being selective when it comes to choosing which militant group it goes after.
SAYAH: The key is erasing doubt that it's committed and fully on board in this fight against extremism, Anderson.
COOPER: Reza in Pakistan tonight -- Reza, thanks very much.
More now on that chopper and how some lawmakers will see the photos of bin Laden's body.
Joining us live from Minneapolis, Minnesota, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen and here in New York with me, who is also a member of the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security's External Advisory Committee.
Fran, are you surprised Pakistan might give the -- this helicopter technology to China?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: No.
Anderson, once they had the hard landing and they had to blow it up and leave it behind, I think U.S. military intelligence officials not only assumed that the Pakistani government would exploit it and try to reverse-engineer it, but that they might in fact share it with China. Remember, this is the same country A.Q. Khan, the nuclear scientist who proliferated that technology around the world. And, so, this should not surprise anyone, frankly, that they're thinking about doing that.
COOPER: Peter, though, isn't that, though, a slap in the face to the U.S. and all the money that the U.S. has poured into Pakistan and in particular into the Pakistan military?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, you know, China is Pakistan's closest ally. In fact, Prime Minister Gilani just recently characterized the Chinese as an all-weather friend, which is a thinly veiled reference to the Pakistan's up-and-down relationship with the United States.
China has built a very major port on the Indian Ocean in Baluchistan and is a vital partner to -- of Pakistan's because they both share a common enemy, which is India. And, in fact, Fran mentioned A.Q. Khan. I think there's -- the Chinese helped also the Pakistanis with their nuclear program.
And so the history between these countries is very long. And I think it's a very reasonable assumption to the Chinese, which are a group of -- a country that is engaged in very aggressive espionage, would want to get hold of this stuff. And, in fact, Anderson, back in 1998, you recall there was a U.S. missile strike, cruise missile strikes, in Afghanistan. There were credible reports of the Taliban selling unexploded cruise missiles to the Chinese at that time.
So, it would be deeply unsurprising if the Chinese eventually got hold of this in some shape or form.
COOPER: Fran, you're a former U.S. official who worked with Pakistan. Yesterday, it seems like they took one step forward to the United States by saying they would give access to bin Laden's three wives who were in that compound, so they could be interviewed or interrogated. Now it seems like they're, you know, threatening or -- or suggesting or maybe even having -- having already given this technology to China.
TOWNSEND: Well, I wouldn't even call yesterday one step forward. Look, Anderson...
COOPER: Because they haven't actually followed through on it?
TOWNSEND: That's exactly right. This is -- words are cheap, and especially in this part of the world. And many -- for many times, many years, when I was in government, Pakistan would make commitments that they never kept.
COOPER: So, they say one thing to your face, and then they never follow through on it. TOWNSEND: That's right. That's right.
And, so, until they actually give U.S. officials access to these -- these women and children, I wouldn't believe it anyway. And so I'm not sure that it's a step forward...
COOPER: Do you believe that bin Laden's son, Hamza, might have escaped from the compound?
TOWNSEND: Absolutely not. It's inconceivable.
To those of us who have been involved in military planning and operations, it's not like every SEAL who landed on these helicopters went into the house at the same time. There were SEALs who would have stayed with the helicopters. They would have formed a perimeter around it. You have to imagine this 19-year-old kid in pitch black of night -- it's after 1:00 in the morning -- he's going to scale 18- or 10-foot walls all by himself, miraculously get over them and get away, while you have got a perimeter of Navy SEALs watching the place.
It's just -- it's impossible to me.
COOPER: So you think it's just a false report that is out there?
TOWNSEND: That's right.
COOPER: Peter, do we know much about this son of bin Laden's, Hamza?
BERGEN: We really don't.
I mean, you know, he's one of about 11 sons. He's one of the -- sort of on the younger side. He would have -- he seems to have been -- he showed up in some al Qaeda propaganda videos and sort of al Qaeda's internal video production at the time that bin Laden was living in Afghanistan.
But we don't really know very much about him. I mean, there are some other sons, Saad bin Laden, for instance, who would be a name familiar to Fran, who has played a sort of middle management role in al Qaeda, was living in Iran, is now reported to be back in Pakistan, may have been killed in a drone attack.
But there's been no indication that I'm aware of, Anderson, that this guy, Hamza, has been involved in al Qaeda planning or is seen as a leader. He obviously does have a -- he inherits the family name, which has some legitimacy amongst jihadists. But we haven't -- he hasn't shown up as a player.
COOPER: Peter Bergen, appreciate you being on tonight, Fran Townsend as well. Thanks very much.
Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, of course. You can follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will try to be tweeting a little bit tonight as well during the program, during commercial breaks.
Up next, it was U.S. Navy SEALs of course who got inside bin Laden's compound, killed him, the elite of the elite. Now dozens of people a day, according to one person we're going to talk to tonight, are claiming they were once Navy SEALs, that they went through training like this to become SEALs. A lot of them are liars, impostors, and exposed as fake fighters. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
We're going to talk to a true Navy SEAL who is exposing the truth and found a pastor who was passing himself off as a veteran Navy SEAL. You cannot believe this pastor was doing this. We will -- we will expose him ahead.
Also tonight: the rising Mississippi, from Memphis, Tennessee, south to Louisiana. The swollen river is causing big problems tonight. We will have two live reports from the flood zone.
And Isha Sesay is following other stories tonight as well -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, new fighting in Libya, a rebel frontline in Misrata hit by mortars and rockets. And they refuse to give up. Plus, a boat packed with hundreds of refugees trying to flee Libya capsized. Dozens are dead or feared dead -- more on the new developments coming up.
COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, there is a really disturbing new trend that we have been told about.
After U.S. Navy SEALs killed bin Laden in his compound in Pakistan in the dark of night last week in a stealth operation, a number of people claiming to be former members of the elite fighting force has -- has gone up, according to a man you're about to hear from tonight, a former Navy SEAL himself who tracks down those who are fake Navy SEALs.
The man who tracks this sort of thing, he is a true SEAL, the real deal. You are going to hear from him in a moment. He exposed the lies of this man, a Central Pennsylvania pastor who said he was a U.S. Navy SEAL and Vietnam vet. His name is Reverend Jim Moats. That's right. He's a reverend. He is also a fraud on this. Moats boasted about his fake SEAL career in an article this past weekend in a local newspaper, "The Harrisburg Patriot-News."
He told the newspaper he was a SEAL four decades ago during the Vietnam War. He claimed he underwent water-boarding during training and said he was reassigned to kitchen duty, specifically dish-washing, for getting in a fight.
He told "The Patriot-News" -- and I quote -- "I had almost no discipline. I was as wild as they came. That was my nemesis." He added, "They weren't looking for a guy who brags to everyone he is a SEAL. They wanted somebody who was ready, but had an inner confidence and didn't have a braggadocio attitude." They were looking for a guy who brags, but that's exactly what Reverend Moats was doing, bragging and spreading lies to his congregation for five years. It wasn't just in this newspaper.
On Sunday, the day after the article was published, Moats went to the newspaper office and confessed he was a fraud. Here's what he told "The Patriot-News."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JIM MOATS, FAKE U.S. NAVY SEAL: I let them believe what they want to believe, and it is an ego-builder for me, but it's still a lie. I got caught up in the moment and I allowed my old nature to lie and continue to lie, and built upon it. And it's just simply wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, in that mea culpa, Moats said he did serve in the Navy from October 1970 to his honorable discharge in July 1974, but he never served in Vietnam. The closest he got to Vietnam was aboard the USS Enterprise in the Mediterranean Sea.
But that didn't stop him from wearing this pin, which is the Trident Medal. It's given to those who complete SEAL training. It symbolizes membership in the elite military team. Moats told "The Patriot-News" he bought the pin at a military surplus store.
He said he once wore it -- he only wore it once at a public gathering as a memorial to all SEALs. Moats also had a plaque hanging in his office implying he was a SEAL. There's another twist to this story. Remember Moats' lies about water-boarding and kitchen duty?
Well, the whistle-blower who we're going to talk to in a moment says the pastor's story sounds like scenes from the 1997 movie "G.I. Jane." Watch. That's Demi Moore getting roughed up during SEAL training, which is one of the things Moats talks about. And there's another movie, "Under Siege" from 1992 starring Steven Seagal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You stand fast. Everyone else, go now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Seagal's character got kitchen duty after getting in a fight. As you see, his new job didn't go so well, working in a kitchen, a similar plot in the pastor's tall tale.
Moats is not alone. There are plenty of fake U.S. service members. Back in June in 2009, we talked to a guy named Rick Strandlof who pretended to be a former Marine captain who won a Purple Heart and Silver Star. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: You had said you served two and a half tours in Iraq with the Marines. In fact, you were never a Marine. You were never in Iraq, correct?
RICHARD STRANDLOF, FAKE MARINE: This is correct, Anderson.
COOPER: And used claim you had gone to Annapolis to the naval academy. You did not go to Annapolis, correct?
STRANDLOF: That is correct, Anderson.
COOPER: And you'd claimed you were at the Pentagon on 9/11. You told a very dramatic story about being in the Pentagon on 9/11. You were never there?
STRANDLOF: That is correct as well.
ANDERSON COOPER: Where were you on 9/11?
STRANDLOF: I was in San Jose California watching it in horror on TV with a few other people.
COOPER: Were you incarcerated?
STRANDLOF: No, I was not at the time.
COOPER: Were you in a hospital?
STRANDLOF: No, not a mental hospital. It was a homeless shelter.
COOPER: Why did you tell all these lies?
STRANDLOF: Some severely undiagnosed mental illness, being caught up in the moment of an election and being surrounded by people who were passionate.
COOPER: Are you a pathological liar?
STRANDLOF: I don't think I'm a pathological liar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Strandlof was later convicted under the Stolen Valor Act, which makes it a federal crime to lie about receiving military honors.
Then, last summer, a federal court ruled the act violates the constitutional right to free speech. Lying is protected under free speech, basically, said the judge. An appeals court is going to hear arguments tomorrow in that case. We will talk with CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin about Stolen Valor coming up.
But, first, Pastor Moats' whistle-blower.
Earlier, I spoke with Don Shipley, a retired Navy SEAL. He's made it his mission to rat out those who lie about their military service.
COOPER: Mr. Shipley, how did you learn of this Pennsylvania pastor, and how did you know that his story was a fake?
DON SHIPLEY, RETIRED NAVY SEAL: I have been very vocal with these fakes after my own encounters with them, very vocal on YouTube.
I will stand toe to toe with these guys, Facebook. And I have got a large following of guys, younger guys, older guys that help out a lot, former veterans, young guys that want to become, and a lot of guys Google search. Every morning, they wake up and start Googling former Navy SEAL, ex-Navy SEAL, retired Navy SEAL, and they see what pops.
And it was forwarded to me almost as quickly as it hit the Internet. And, yes, I verified he was not a SEAL. Pretty easy thing.
COOPER: Is it true you thought the story sounded similar to Steven Seagal's movie "Under Siege" and the Demi Moore movie "G.I. Jane"?
SHIPLEY: Well, the going to kitchen duty thing for assault is a classic Steven Seagal from "Under Siege." And the instructors hitting you is classic Demi Moore-type stuff.
And, you know, a buddy of mine watches -- a SEAL buddy that mentored me watches all the terrible movies out there, no matter how bad they are, to pick up on these phony claims. And a lot of them use those movies as storylines, yes.
COOPER: As a Navy SEAL, as a former Navy SEAL, it has got to just infuriate you to find out about these guys.
SHIPLEY: It becomes a slaughterhouse mentality.
Now, I'm dealing since this bin Laden thing with 40 to 50 of these guys a day. A week ago, I was dealing with 15 to 20. I have heard it all.
COOPER: Fifteen to 20 in one day?
SHIPLEY: Forty to 50 now. I can't even get through the e-mail with what's happened with bin Laden and the pastor thing, but, yes, and 99 out of 100 of them are not Navy SEALs.
COOPER: You actually called up this pastor, left him a voice- mail. What did you say?
SHIPLEY: It's damage control, why and what and did they get something wrong?
When you do something like that, it's a big thing, especially with him. And I expected a phone call back. He called me back. And I will say that there are some terrible, terrible guys. We have got SEAL -- phony SEALs on death row, criminals out there.
But the pastor went viral for a lot of reasons. But he's one of the few guys that had the courage to stand up and say, yes, I made a big mistake. Most of these guys will take it to their grave or they will threaten you with everything.
COOPER: The Stolen Valor Act, which made it a federal crime to lie about receiving high military honors, was recently ruled unconstitutional by a judge who basically said lying is protected by free speech.
When you heard that, that must have been a blow.
SHIPLEY: Our military guys, this country was founded on its military veterans, Washington, Valley Forge. We celebrate heroes in this country. There has to be some kind of line drawn.
But you reserve that line for the worst of the worst. I wouldn't put that pastor in that category. There are plenty of really bad, bad guys out there that do this. It's terrible, when you really, really think of what these guys do, when they project themselves as these commando killer guys, and they will steal that young kid's valor who simply did his job. And deep stuff, man, deep.
COOPER: Well, Don, thank you for your service and also thank you for the service that you continue to do.
SHIPLEY: Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.
COOPER: Don Shipley.
Now more on the -- legal analyst on the Stolen Valor Act. Joining me now is CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin.
Is it constitutional for people to -- I mean, it's OK for people to lie; it's constitutionally protected for them to lie about their service?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know what? I think the judge who declared it unconstitutional was right. You can see why Congress passed this law, because it's so horrifying, it's so aggravating, it's so awful that people would try to claim that they have...
COOPER: It's hard to imagine somebody doing it, I mean, a pastor, let alone a pastor doing it, but just -- you know, it just -- and this pastor who did serve in the Navy had no reason to like trump up his service. I mean, his service sounded completely honorable. He got an honorable discharge.
TOOBIN: And you can see why Congress was so angry, because what these heroes do is very different than what the rest of us do. So, we want to sort of preserve a private space for them. But the problem is, if you make lies between private citizens a crime, that's something that has never been done before. And the judge, Alex Kozinski, a very smart judge in the court of -- in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, he said, look, are we going to say that a dentist who says this won't hurt a bit, and he's lying, is that a crime?
If someone goes on JDate and says they're Jewish, but they're not really Jewish, is that a crime? These are the examples he used in the opinion.
TOOBIN: And you can see why you don't want to make a federal case out of it. And I'm -- I think the opinion was right.
COOPER: Some people, though, can be prosecuted if they try to get veterans benefits based on fraudulent -- on a fraudulent record or something like that, or if they try to defraud people in some way.
TOOBIN: Absolutely. If you make a false statement to the government, if the FBI interviews you, even if not under oath, that's a federal crime.
If you lie during a grand jury testimony, that's under oath. But the -- private citizens dealing with each other -- if I applied for a job at CNN and I said I was a Rhodes Scholar, which I'm not, and they found out about it, they could clearly fire me. People get fired for lying under their -- on their resumes all the time, but prosecuting someone criminally for a non-under-oath statement between individuals, that opens a door that I don't think you want...
COOPER: If you lied about your military service on a resume, you could be fired?
TOOBIN: People get fired for that all the time.
COOPER: Fired from a job, but you wouldn't necessarily be able to be prosecuted?
TOOBIN: No. Well, no, you can't. And Navy SEAL is a little different. The Navy SEAL claim, which this pastor did, that wouldn't even be covered under the Stolen Valor Act, because it only applies to honors, the Silver Star, Congressional Medal of Honor, not to claiming that you belong to the Green Berets or the SEALs.
COOPER: Although if he was wearing a certain pin that was indicating graduation from SEAL service, you could say that's an honor.
TOOBIN: That might have been. That might have been. No one has -- the law is pretty new. It's only passed in 2005.
(CROSSTALK) COOPER: Do you think it will go further up to the Supreme Court? Or do you think...
TOOBIN: It may well. It's actually very similar to the case that a lot of people are familiar with, 1989, burning an American flag, because a lot of people -- we're all horrified at the symbol there.
But the Supreme Court said, very close decision, 5-4, two years in a row, they said, you know what? Even though the flag is different, just like a military decoration is different, it's still under the ambit of free speech.
COOPER: Protected speech.
TOOBIN: And we are not going to allow criminal prosecutions based on it.
COOPER: Fascinating stuff. Jeff, appreciate it. Thanks very much.
We invited the pastor on. We would like to contact the pastor. I can't remember if he didn't call us back or if he just declined to be on the program. Regardless, our invitation continues to stand. We would like to hear his explanation for what he did and why he did it.
Up next: the latest on the severe flooding from the swollen Mississippi River. One community in northwestern Mississippi has been devastated. We will also see how Memphis fared and how long it's going to be before that floodwater in the city begin to recedes.
And news that has shocked a lot of people -- Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are splitting up. They just marked their 25th wedding anniversary. We will take a look at their relationship and what went wrong, apparently.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Well, Mississippi and Louisiana are bracing for the onslaught of the swollen Mississippi River that's -- the huge bulge of water peaked today in Memphis and is now heading south.
Take a look at the video from -- further south in -- from Tunica, Mississippi, not far from Memphis. It's a resort town with nine casinos, all of them closed due to severe flooding. I think it's actually Tunica.
Hundreds of people have been forced out of their homes. Downriver in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has mobilized 500 National Guard members. And he predicts that upwards of three million acres of his state may be impacted by flooding when the crest hits next week.
Despite the damage to property and the disruption of countless lives along the Mississippi, we met one man who is not bothered by the flooding. His name is Danny Hayes, a 61-year-old retiree who lives in the rural community of Bogota, Tennessee. He described himself and his neighbors as good country people who survive these things. He's unfazed by the water. More concerned about snakes. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANNY HAYES, FLOODING VICTIM: I would say the average person that grew up in town, it would be a dangerous situation. I say a person that has learned to live off the land and has the ability to survive, it's not a big thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What kind of pistol is that?
HAYES: This is a .22, shoots long rifles but it's built on a .32 frame. It's from Spain. It's got a six-inch barrel and will shoot like a rife. It will hold range like a rifle. When you shoot true, you can shoot what you're hitting at. And that's why I'm able to keep those water varmints that are called snakes off me.
HAYES: See what kind of shell that put out there? You see how that scatters? That shatters like -- this sounds like a shotgun shell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you shoot a snake, what does it do?
HAYES: What you do when you have about seven shots going into it, and it blows holes all over it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Already getting e-mails from my relatives in Mississippi, annoyed that I said, "Ton-i-ca." Tune-i-ca, Mississippi. It's a very different story down in Tunica, down river from where you just saw, John King is tonight. He joins us live.
John, you're seeing the devastation up close. What's the latest from there?
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: It is heartbreaking, Anderson. We spent the day here. We saw the scope of the devastation. Huge property damage. Huge personal toll and psychological toll on the people who live here, and you also have just raw anger tonight. There are people who are mad because they can't go back to their homes that are still under water. The local government won't let them. They have raw anger because they think Washington is not moving quickly enough to declare a disaster declaration for the flood here that would get them more money quickly.
And as you watch this, Anderson -- we took a look at it. We took an aerial tour, went up into Desoto County. I'm in Tunica County. Desoto County is the next county to the north heading toward Memphis. The sheriff's office took us up, and it was amazing what you would see. You would see water hundreds of yards, sometimes as much as a mile away from the river, land that is supposed to be dry. It is park land. It is farm land. It is places where people hike and take trails and go out with their horses, underwater. People who have lived there for 40 years say they've seen nothing like it.
One area of concern, we saw one piece of the levy, the Army Corps of Engineers, rushing in truck loads of dirt, seeping water underneath there, getting to the side where the farms are. They think they have it under control. But they're nervous about that.
The saddest thing, the most heartbreaking thing we saw in that helicopter ride as we came over a neighborhood, it is known as the cutoff, because it's at the end of a road. There are 330 homes down there. All 330 of them under water, many up to the second floor. Most of them destroyed, Anderson.
Twenty-five people, 25 homeowners of the 330 have flood insurance. It was devastating when we saw it from above, and then a bit later in the day, we went through that neighborhood in a boat.
KING: They didn't think the water would get here?
CHIEF SCOTT GOFF, TUNICA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: The point is, they've been out here 40 years. They said there's no way it's going to get that high.
KING: In normal circumstances it would be dry below with us?
KING: And we're now in 32 feet of water.
KING: Who lived here? Tell us what kind of people are we talking about?
GOFF: Retired, a lot of retired people out there. Some young couples, working class.
KING: Blue-collar -- blue-collar working people? So the people who have the least?
COOPER: So John, you've got working people. You've got people who retired, on fixed incomes, most likely. What happens to them?
KING: It's a very tough place. In this county, the average annual income is about $29,000 a year. Many people, of course, make less than that. Some of them work -- this is Harris Casino behind me. It's hard to see here. That's the parking lot. The water is about halfway up, Anderson. There are nine casinos here. That is the base of employment here. This one is closed for the foreseeable future.
Now, Harris is paying its employees through the end of May, but they don't know what happens after that. Tens of millions of dollars lost to those companies. Millions of dollars lost to the communities here. Both the local communities and the state of Mississippi. Memorial Day coming up, the summer tourism season coming up, and so there's a devastating economic impact here. You have at least 330 people who have completely lost their homes, many of them with no flood insurance.
And I'm in northwest Mississippi. This is bad here. As the waters move south into Mississippi, and you mentioned Governor Jindal in Louisiana. It's bad here, Anderson. As it moves south, they think the problem, slowly moving, all the waters in the Mississippi, it will be worse in the days ahead.
COOPER: We'll continue to follow it. John, just heartbreaking.
While downtown Memphis was spared the river's wrath, parts of the city along the Mississippi and other low-lying areas are flooded. Residents are being warned that it's going to be a dangerous situation for the next couple of days until the river water, as well as creeks and tributaries have a chance to drain. They say that's not going to happen, though, for days.
Dave Mattingly is in Memphis with us tonight. He joins us on the phone.
The water may have crested but the danger is far from over for people in the community, right?
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via phone): That's right, Anderson. It's only half of the disaster so far. People have seen these waters come up. They've seen waters get into their homes, and now they have to wait for it to get out of here. It's going to be a very slow process. Even though it's crested, it's going to take days for it to start sinking down. And even then, it could be some time late next week, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, before it starts to retreat in any meaningful day. They're looking for this water to be up out of its banks until probably sometime in June.
And once people get back, the longer the water stays here, the more it's going to be doing damage to property that it's sitting on. So people -- there's about 500 of them in shelters around the Memphis area right now. By the time they go back to their homes, they're wondering what they're going to have left there to work with, if anything, because of the way the water is just sitting here and very slowly later this week, to start moving out of here, Anderson.
COOPER: What kind of problems are they seeing on the levies right now? MATTINGLY: The levies have a mix of problems, but nothing that the Army Corps of Engineers didn't anticipate. They're seeing some with some seepage underneath. They say that's normal and they're taking care of it as they see it.
Some of them all the way up through the Mississippi system have been impacted by this flood. They're seeing something called sand boils. This is where water sort of goes through the earth underneath the levies and then percolates up on the dry land and creates these areas where water is seeping up on the dry land.
Left unattended, that could erode away the base of the levy. But they say they're keeping it under control and they're not going to be a threat to the levies. It's the strength of the levies that's holding the flood back.
COOPER: Yes. David Mattingly, a lot of people in need tonight. David, appreciate it. Thanks.
Up next, rebels in Libya. The opposition forces defending the city of Misrata. They are still holding on, coming under heavy fire from pro-Gadhafi forces. They are not giving up. It's a remarkable battle. We'll have the latest.
Plus, one of the world's biggest power couples splitting up, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, after 25 years of marriage.
Also, Isha Sesay joins us now. She's following some other stories for us -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the royal newlyweds are just getting started on their married life together. Catherine and William's honeymoon destination has been very hush-hush. But we have some of the royal details coming up.
COOPER: A big loss for all of us here at the CNN family tonight. One of our founders, Burt Reinhardt, has passed away. Reinhardt helped build CNN into the global news network that it is today. After a stint as a vice president, Reinhardt served as CNN president from 1983 to 1990. It was CNN founder Ted Turner who named Reinhardt president of CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED TURNER, CNN FOUNDER: Burt had a lot of good common sense, and his feet were right on the ground. And yet he really knew what -- he knew journalism inside and out.
I'm not sure CNN would be here without him. He was, you know, an integral part of getting the whole operation going and keeping it going.
I was chairman, and he was president. And we got along like two peas in a pod, always did. And I love him like a brother. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Reinhardt stayed with CNN until he retired in 2000. He died in Atlanta from complications from a series of strokes earlier this year. He was a remarkable man who lived an extraordinary life, a true pioneer. Burt Reinhardt was 91 years old.
A lot of other news we're following tonight. Isha Sesay joins us with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, new eyewitness reports say rebels are making small gains in Libya as they defend themselves against attacks by government troops. Marie Culbin (ph), a Middle East correspondent for Britain's "Sunday Times," tells CNN that troops still loyal to Libyan strongman Muammar Gadhafi have been firing rockets into residential neighborhoods in the city of Misrata. But Culbin (ph) says the rebels are not giving up an inch.
Meanwhile, Somali officials say 54 Somalis trying to escape Libya are dead or presumed dead after an overcrowded boat capsized off the coast of Tripoli Friday.
Back in the U.S., President Obama renewed his push for immigration reform during a visit to El Paso, Texas, calling the U.S. immigration system, quote, "broken." But even some of his stronger supporters say the president simply hasn't delivered on his promises for reform.
Microsoft is buying Skype for $8.5 billion in cash, the biggest acquisition Microsoft has ever made. The company says it plans to use Skype's real-time video and voice in some of the existing products like the Xbox gaming system.
And Anderson, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, have gone off on their honeymoon to a secret destination. St. James's Palace won't say where they went, but it is believed they'll spend two weeks in a romantic resort, Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.
Anderson, the joys of British tabloid press. All sorts of useless headlines everywhere, useless information that no one really cares about, such as "William and Kate, together on bikes during their luxury honeymoon."
COOPER: I was kind of hoping it would be able to remain secret where they were so they wouldn't get bothered by people.
SESAY: Yes. Not so much.
COOPER: I guess not.
SESAY: Guess not.
COOPER: Oh, well. Well, we wish them well.
The news caught a lot of -- a lot of us by surprise. Just four months ago -- or four months after Arnold Schwarzenegger left political office as governor of California, he and his wife, Maria Shriver, have now announced that they are amicably separating were their words after 25 years of marriage. They said they came to the decision together after a great deal of thought and reflection, discussion and prayer. Gary Tuchman tonight has more.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As he was about to take the oath of office as California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger relied on his crutches to help him walk and his wife, Maria Shriver, to help him celebrate. They have been married for 25 years, just reaching that milestone anniversary two weeks ago, and they have had four children, Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher, ranging from ages 13 to 21.
Their love story was a great story.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: Because Maria is an extraordinary wife and a great partner. And she's not a partner. She's the best first lady that the state ever had.
MARIA SHRIVER, ESTRANGED WIFE OF ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: I think it takes great courage to run for any political office today. So I'm very proud of Arnold. I'm proud of the campaign he's run, I'm proud that he got in to do it.
TUCHMAN: In any ways you wouldn't picture these two together. Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-born, five-time Mr. Universe, seven-time Mr. Olympia.
SCHWARZENEGGER: The greatest feeling you can get in a gym or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is the pump.
TUCHMAN: And "Conan the Barbarian."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Conan, what is best in life?
SCHWARZENEGGER: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women.
TUCHMAN: And "the Terminator."
SCHWARZENEGGER: I'll be back.
TUCHMAN: Maria Shriver, the television journalist.
SHRIVER: This is -- also we're going to learn a little bit about Phoenix, Part of the Kennedy family. Her mother. Their uncle, senator Edward Kennedy.
SHRIVER: My uncle is wonderful and I think he's been supportive of Arnold in every way that he can be. And he's supportive of me, and I feel his love in my life all the time. And that's what's important for me. TUCHMAN: You simply don't get more Democrat than the Kennedy or more famously Republican than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their politics seem to be the only place where they differed. Listen to this exchange at the 2004 California forum where the governor was being questioned by his wife by the current CIA chief.
LEON PANETTA, CIA CHIEF: So you give this fierily speech at the Republican convention. How long did it take before you talked to each other?
SCHWARZENEGGER: There was no sex for 14 days.
TUCHMAN: There have been rough patches for the couple. During his gubernatorial campaign, at least seven women said they had been sexually harassed and inappropriately touched by Schwarzenegger over the years. Schwarzenegger disputed the allegations but also admitted he had on occasion, quote, "behaved badly." Shriver was asked about the allegations at CNN back in 2004.
SHRIVER: You persevere because life is about persevering. You cannot, every time you hit a road bump, every time somebody says something about you, whether you're in high school, middle school, college or as a grownup, you cannot be deterred by what other people say about you or people in your family. I learned that as a child.
TUCHMAN: Now, a different kind of road bump. The former governor and his wife releasing a statement declaring, "At this time we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship. We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives."
Schwarzenegger is now planning to resume his movie career, and Shriver, she made this recent statement on a YouTube video.
SHRIVER: It's so stressful to not know what you're doing next.
TUCHMAN: Viewers thought she was talking primarily about her career. It appears there was far more to it.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Simply wish them both well.
Still ahead, our latest edition to the "RidicuList." A man who challenged me to a TV feud. Oh, it's on. That's right, I'm talking to you, Steven Colbert. It is on.
COOPER: All right, time for the "RidicuList." And I've got to admit I struggled tonight whether or not to add this person to the list, but I decided in the end that enough is enough. So tonight we're adding a man by the name of Steven Cull-bert to the list.
Now, at first, I must admit, I'd forgotten who Steven Cull-bert -- what? Colbert? Really, are you sure? The "T" is silent?
Steven Colbert apparently, my team of PR professionals actually tell me I have been on Mr. Colbert's show, but I have no memory of that. Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I put Sean Hannity on the "RidicuList" because of a clip he used in a show on liberal bias, a clip of me on air, which his show edited to completely change the meaning of what I said.
Anyway, Mr. Colbert took issue and accused me of copying him. He went so far as to create something called the "Absurd-u Chart" just to put me on it. Look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN COLBERT, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL'S "THE COLBERT REPORT": You, sir, are nothing but a thief! Because your segment, "The RidicuList," is a clear rip-off of my "On Notice Board." And for stealing my idea, I'm putting you and your "RidicuList" on my "Absurd- u Chart."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: "Absurd-u Chart," I'm sorry. Words hurt, Mr. Colbert, words hurt.
Now, the very idea that I'm copying you is simply ridonculous, which by the way, was the original name we came up with for "The RidicuList." I cannot believe that you of all people say I am copying you when, in fact, sir -- oh, that's right, sir, I'm going there -- it has been you who has been copying me for years. That's right, I said it. I give you exhibit A.
Here you are on the cover of the current issue of "Outside" magazine. Like you ever go outside. But oh wow, where can you come up with the idea of being on the cover of "Outside" magazine? Could it be from me? Oh, yes. One year ago, April 2010, there I am. Look, I'm on the cover of "Outside" magazine. Not since I woke up disoriented smelling of toner in a Kinko's on 56th and Broadway have I seen such blatant copying. Now, admittedly, my cover shot was a far more heroic pose. Far be it for me to say, though I did just say it.
Exhibit B, here's your Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor, "Steven Colbert's Americone Dream." A big seller, I'm told. Sounds pretty good: vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl. Wow.
Wonder where you could have gotten that idea. Could it have been from my Ben and Jerry's ice cream, which came out years ago? Perhaps you've heard of it: "Anderson Cooper's White Bread Ripple." Little chunks of dry, white toast and vanilla ice cream with vanilla covered vanilla pieces. A swirl of gin and -- mmm -- just a hint of tonic. May not be as well known as yours, sir, but it does have a brisk business in Kennebunkport and Locust Valley late July to early August.
Now, look, I admit your "Absurd-u Chart" was very funny, particularly the part where you used peanut butter to affix my picture to an actual chart. I thought that was actually pretty inspiring.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COLBERT: All right, there you go. Boom! Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm. How does that taste, Anderson? I assume like peanut butter. I didn't even check to see if you had a peanut allergy. The ratings feud is on. I await your next move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, I know if I was one of these other cable anchors, I would try to keep a ratings feud going with you. It would get attention. It would get ratings. It would be mutually beneficial. But look, I'm not going to do that. I'm willing to just let bygones be bygones. We're both adults. We're both TV professionals. There's no need for a feud.
It's certainly not worth it for me, because as we all know, at the end of the day, everyone goes to sleep after "The Daily Show" anyway. So here's to you, Steven Colbert. Love your "Absurd-u Chart" and I'm proud to have you on tonight's "RidicuList." Pass the peanut butter, please.
Up next, the real news, the breaking news. Turns out some people will see the photos of Osama bin Laden's body. We'll tell you who when we continue.
COOPER: Good evening, everyone. We begin with breaking news tonight. We've learned that some lawmakers on Capitol Hill will be allowed to view the photos of Osama bin Laden's body.
Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee and those in the equivalent House committee will be allowed to view the photos but only at CIA headquarters. As for when, that is still being worked out.
And this comes after President Obama announced last week the photos will not be released to the public. We'll have more on that coming up.