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U.S. Talking to bin Laden's Wives; Unrest in Syria

Aired May 12, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.

We begin tonight with breaking news, a 360 exclusive. We have learned for the first time that U.S. intelligence has gained access to three wives of Osama bin Laden swept up during the raid that killed him, details you will only hear here, including why America is unhappy with the arrangement it's getting so far from the Pakistani intelligence services.

There's more tonight, new details we're uncovering about how complacent bin Laden was in Pakistani hideout, how he didn't even have an escape plan, details giving intelligence experts even more reason to believe he thought he could rely on a network of Pakistani protectors to keep him safe.

Put it all together, and it's not a pretty picture tonight. As one of Pakistan's leading opinion writers put it in a recent column: "If we didn't know that bin Laden was in Abbottabad, we are a failed state. If we did know, we're a rogue state."

Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest," some of the latest facts to support that view. Recall, last night, we asked Pakistan's American ambassador, Husain Haqqani, about whether U.S. intelligence would be given access to the bin Laden wives. Listen.


COOPER: I have talked to one former Bush administration official who had dealings over the years in Pakistan who said sometimes Pakistani officials promise one thing, but don't deliver on it.

When do you actually expect U.S. officials to get access to be able to interview and/or interrogate these women?

HUSAIN HAQQANI, PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: I'm not going to go into the specifics of intelligence cooperation. All I'm going to say is that the people who deal with these matters in the U.S. government will, within the next two to three days, be talking to you and others and they will make it very clear to you what exactly is the state of play.

COOPER: Can you at least guarantee that U.S. official will be allowed access to bin Laden's wives who are in custody?

HAQQANI: Pakistan and the United States will continue to share intelligence. The arrangements are going to be worked out between both our sides.


COOPER: Well, in fact, what we have just learned is that what the ambassador either didn't know or knew and wasn't saying is the interrogations had already begun.

But, as you will hear in a moment, CNN national security analyst Fran Townsend is getting exclusive inside information about snags in that process.

I also asked the ambassador about the evidence, more of which CNN's Barbara Starr is reporting tonight, of a bin Laden support network and questioned him about his own government's inconsistent statements on that subject. The interior minister categorically denied that there was any kind of support network to our correspondent. Yet, the ambassador told me the matter was still under investigation, then refused to comment further.

Now, sources are telling us that, when Navy SEALs raided the bin Laden compound, they found no signs he had either a plan to escape or the means to destroy the gigabytes of data recovered from his hideout.

The bottom line, our sources think he felt safe. The question is, was it out of laziness or because he knew he had the right people looking out for him?

New details on that and exclusive details on the interrogation of his wives now from CNN national security analyst Fran Townsend, who was homeland security adviser in the last administration and currently serves in the Department of Homeland Security and CIA External Advisory Committee.

Also late reporting on the possible bin Laden support network from Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr and Reza Sayah in Pakistan.

So, Fran, you have some breaking news tonight, new details about bin Laden's wives. What are you hearing from your sources about the ability of the U.S. to interrogate them?


After your interview, it was clear that people were frustrated, people on both sides, both the Americans and the Pakistanis, with whatever it was he was unwilling to say. And so I heard both from Pakistani -- a Pakistani official and American officials that in fact the American intelligence had had access to the three bin Laden wives in Pakistan.

They were -- they got access in the presence of Pakistani intelligence. The three women were together at the time, and they were quite hostile, is how it was described to me. They were quite hostile to the American officials, the American intelligence folks who were there.

The eldest wife of the three seemed to speak for the group.

COOPER: This is the Yemeni woman?

TOWNSEND: That's right.

And, Anderson, you know, it was described to me -- I think my sense was that the American officials felt like this was at least some progress, that this was early going. They didn't expect any major breakthrough, but that there was at least some progress and there had been an exchange of intelligence, an ongoing exchange of intelligence between Pakistani and American officials.

COOPER: I understand I was wrong, actually. The Yemeni is not the eldest.

But -- so your understanding is, U.S. intelligence was able to try to talk to these women, but they were all together, which is obviously not the way they would want to try to interrogate or talk to -- talk to them. And Pakistani intelligence was in the room at the time?

TOWNSEND: That's exactly right.

Anderson, as you point out, the preferred way that you would do this, of course, is the American intelligence officials would not have another service, like the Pakistanis, in the room with them. They would question the women one at a time, separately, and try to find inconsistencies in these stories and get leads.

That's not the arrangement that is currently in place, but both sides reinforced to me that, in fact, they were talking about what the ground rules, if you will, would be, and that this was an ongoing process, that we were just at the beginning, that this was an ongoing progress.

COOPER: Now, I understand you also spoke with the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, who I talked to last night on the program. What did he have to say about this?

TOWNSEND: Well, he would -- I asked him about these facts that we have just talked about. He absolutely did not want to comment, refused to comment, although I will say to you, Anderson, it was interesting, because he didn't seem unhappy with the news that I knew. He was not upset with it. He just said he wouldn't comment. In fact, he wanted me to talk to American intelligence officials.

COOPER: Will U.S. officials be able to speak to the bin Laden wives again? Do we know that, and maybe speak to them more on terms which are -- benefit the United States?

TOWNSEND: It was certainly the impression I was left with that it was likely that American officials would have additional access.

I think, right now, the question is, what will those ground rules be? And, in fact, the Pakistani ambassador, before we got of the phone, said he was traveling to Pakistan tomorrow. COOPER: Reza, I want to bring you in here.

Fran is saying this move was basically kind of an effort by the Pakistanis to change the narrative, the perception that they have been uncooperative. How much of a concern has that been among Pakistani officials you have talked to?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it's a big concern.

For 11 days now, ever since this U.S. raid, Pakistan, its government and its military has been pummeled with questions and criticism how bin Laden was allowed to hide out here, the criticism culminating last week with none other than U.S. President Barack Obama coming out and saying that he believed bin Laden had a support network here, and he didn't rule out that that support network included elements within Pakistan's security establishment.

Obviously, this puts tremendous pressure on Pakistan. It fuels those old questions that maybe they're playing a double game, maybe they're being selective in what type of extremists that they're after. And they were under pressure to change that perception. And I think they're in a position where they know they have to change it with more than rhetoric and words. They have to make a substantial move. And I guess access to these wives is one small step.

COOPER: So, some people in the United States are going to be listening to this, Reza, and say, well, look, why wouldn't Pakistan allow access to the United States to interview these women?

SAYAH: Yes, and that's the balancing act Pakistan has to play.

On one hand, they have to cooperate with the U.S. On the other hand, they have to address a domestic crowd, a public that's been embarrassed by this episode, a public that, for the past week, has viewed the Pakistani military as being pushed around by the U.S. They have to change that perception, the military does.

This is a very proud and usually respected military. If they go out right after this raid, where U.S. forces came deep into their territory and went out without being detected, if they come out and give access to these wives to the U.S., that's not going to help changing that perception.

I think they're going to try to create the impression that, moving forward, they're going to do things on their own terms when it comes to matters on their own soil. But, again, at the same time, they have to be seen as cooperating with their partner the U.S. as well, tough balancing act.


COOPER: Barbara Starr, we're learning some new details about what -- well, I think "The Washington Post" called -- referred to Osama bin Laden's fixation with attacking the United States. It actually caused some friction within his movement, right? BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Anderson, U.S. officials who are looking at the intelligence haul from all of this say he appeared to be very much fixated on trying to get his followers to launch another attack on the United States.

He wanted to see another mass attack, mass casualties. He knew that this would be the kind of thing that would make the American people react. In that so-called diary of his, there's -- and other handwritten documents -- there's discussion of how to attack, when to attack, attacking, as we have talked about, on some of these anniversary dates, like the anniversary, the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 coming up.

He also apparently, by all accounts, was trying to recruit American minorities to fight for him. But the real bottom line now, we have all of these statements out there about what he was trying to do. How effective was he? Fine, he had command and control from this compound, but could he effectively communicate with his operatives, get them to launch attacks? Could he get communications back from them? That is still something we really don't have a good fix on, Anderson.

COOPER: You know, Reza, it's interesting. You talked to the interior minister -- ministry in Pakistan. The ambassador here has said, well, yes, clearly, he had some sort of support network.

You -- the interior minister says -- said to you, categorically, bin Laden didn't have a support network in Pakistan.

Do they still stand by that? If he was sending messages and receiving messages back, that would, at the very least, seem to indicate some sort of support network.

SAYAH: Yes, look, the interior minister, and I think most government officials are clarifying that they don't believe he had a support network that included elements within Pakistan's current security establishment and government.

I don't think even the government here is ruling out that there may be rogue or retired elements from the security establishment that may have helped him. You have to remember, to many here in the security establishment, 20 years ago, Osama bin Laden was a brother in arms. He fought alongside a lot of the spy agents here in a successful Afghan jihad against the Soviets.

And now many are calling on this same security establishment to turn on him. So, it's plausible that some retired or rogue elements may be involved in a support network here. And I don't think even the government here is ruling that possibility out.

COOPER: All right, Reza Sayah, appreciate the reporting.

Fran, Barbara, stick around with us, a lot more to talk about, including more breaking news, late word the entire bin Laden raid was captured on helmet video cameras. And another exclusive about the raid itself: We have been wondering what was happening outside the compound while the raid was going on. We know the details of the raid now. The questions are, did Pakistani authorities show up, the military, the police? After all, the U.S. was attacking for 40 minutes. And if they didn't show up, why not? Well, now for the first time, we're hearing some details from Pakistani locals about what they saw outside the compound.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will try to be tweeting some tonight.

And later, from the Middle East, a scene of unbearable cruelty and remarkable courage under fire -- snipers in Syria -- I don't know if you have seen this video -- snipers in Syria gun down a man with a motorcycle. Then they try to stop his friends from either saving him or even recovering his body if he died. You will see it in real time, just how far some people will go in the name of simple human decency to save a friend. We will also talk with an incredibly brave woman in Syria on the run tonight, hiding from government thugs who have already arrested her husband.

That's just ahead.

First, let's check in with Isha Sesay -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the wall of water is moving south tonight, down the Mississippi, Memphis still flooded, Vicksburg, water rising, sandbagging in parishes across parts of Louisiana. And in New Orleans, the river now stands at flood stage -- live reporting tonight ahead on 360.


COOPER: Breaking news tonight, reporting exclusively that Americans have already interrogated three captured wives of Osama bin Laden, the conditions less than ideal, the cooperation apparently rocky.

Sources telling us they're hoping to work out better and more productive arrangements. We're also getting fresh reporting on the growing suspicions that bin Laden was comfortable enough, complacent enough to suggest some kind of network within Pakistan was protecting him or at least working with him. There's other breaking news as well, CBS News reporting that tiny helmet cameras worn by each SEAL team member captured the entire raid from -- obviously from multiple perspectives and the killing of bin Laden as well.

CBS' David Martin reporting that officials are using the video to reconstruct a more accurate version of exactly what happened.

Now, from us, yet another angle you won't see anywhere else. It comes from CNN's Nick Paton Walsh, who spent time today near the bin Laden compound. He found rage at America, not unexpected, but, in addition, he also uncovered an exclusive, stories the locals are telling about mysterious encounters with shadowy troops just as the raid was going down.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The strongest emotion you can count on seeing in the town where Osama bin Laden lived is rage at the United States, not at bin Laden living here under the noses of locals or for plotting in his diary more attacks against the West or at the Pakistani army or police, who run this town, but didn't get to site of the raid for more than 40 minutes, by which time the Navy SEALs were long gone.

(on camera): Well, no Pakistani military officials serving or retired would talk to us on camera about their response when American helicopters swooped in over Abbottabad.

One retired official did tell us, though, that he was woken by the sound of the Americans detonating the helicopter that crash-landed here, after which the sound of small-arms fire and the unusual noise of a helicopter in the night sky did, he said, caused the army to respond quickly.

But the question still remains, why was the Pakistani military so slow to respond in a town as militarized as this?

(voice-over): The helicopter burned as the news slowly emerged of what happened, even though locals had no idea who their neighbor was. Some tried to approach during the raid, saw no Pakistani police or army around, but remember one mysterious detail, men with laser- sighted rifles encircling the compound, speaking a local -- that's right -- a local language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We never saw their clothes, but they were speaking Pashto and told us to go away. After a while, one our normal electricity blackout ended and the light came back on. They told us to turn them all off.

WALSH: It's possible these men were SEALs trained in Pashto or even Afghan commandos known to sometimes help U.S. special forces. Other locals were shaken awake by the thud of helicopters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We tried to go there and they pointed their laser guns on us and said, no, you can't go. They were speaking Pashto, so we thought they were from Afghanistan, not America. We heard three small blasts, one big one. And after that, we went inside. Soon, the noise of the helicopters disappeared -- 15 minutes later, we came out of our houses. After five minutes, a few police arrived, and then seven or eight army, then a whole lot of them.

WALSH: That would mean it was nearly an hour after the assault began before any Pakistani authorities even showed up. But the nearest police station is just over five minutes' drive away, the army base even closer, caught off guard, perhaps, never expecting the U.S. to attack, and bin Laden to hide right under their noses.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: And Nick joins us now from Islamabad.

Nick, I mean, how is it possible that the military or police would not have shown up, if what you're hearing is right, for nearly an hour? That seems hard to believe, given all the noise, the explosions that must have been going on.

WALSH: Absolutely. I think that is the enduring question from this.

It also perhaps helps explains to people who might be wondering why was bin Laden able to hide out there for some long. If it takes them an hour to respond to a large helicopter raid like this that woke locals, that seems to have caused massive consternation in the village around, it's going to be pretty hard for those same security services to track down a man like bin Laden keeping himself to himself inside a house there.

Remember, locals didn't really reach out to the police there. They don't trust them. They consider them to be greedy, corrupt, inefficient. So, their arrival, I think, was much considered to be -- frankly, to be outsiders coming into the village, rather than welcome help -- Anderson.

COOPER: Nick, Fareed Zakaria had suggested last week, and again, there's no -- we don't know, but it's suggested it's possible maybe someone from the U.S. called the military and said, look, as the operation began, saying, look, there's an operation going on, you know, don't interfere.

Is that possible?

WALSH: I have to say, I'm very skeptical about the idea of the Americans tipping off the Pakistanis.

Before this operation, trust was at an all-time low. They really were not communicating. They were at each other's throats, frankly, over a series of issues here based around the U.S. drone campaign. Also, from our experience, the Pakistani military isn't actually that smooth a machine.

You can imagine a phone call being made by the Americans to some part of the Pakistani military's higher-ups, and then it taking a significant amount of time for that trickle down. I mean, even at NATO in Kabul, for example, their communications aren't that fast when they are trying to liaise with the Pakistanis, Anderson.

COOPER: That's a good point.

Nick, I also want to bring in Fran Townsend now and Barbara Starr in Washington.

Fran, we just heard a local person telling Nick that there were people outside the compound during the raid keeping locals away, who may have been speaking a Pashto dialect. If that is in fact true, would that surprise you at all? TOWNSEND: Well, it would surprise me, Anderson.

The only thing one can imagine -- and I don't know -- is that if the Navy SEALs brought with them some people to put on their perimeter to help them who spoke the language, so that they didn't -- so that no one else tired to get into the compound.

But it's bizarre. And, as you point out, the length of time that it took for the response is, frankly, inexplicable.


Barbara, we're getting also fresh evidence that bin Laden was pretty comfortable in that compound. What have you learned so far?

STARR: Well, let me get to that in a second, Anderson.

I want to go back to what both Fran and Nick and you were chatting about. What we did learn today is of the 24 SEALs that landed on the ground, about one-third of them actually, our sources tell us, went and did perimeter security. They were outside the compound walls trying to keep local people away.

We have this now from multiple sources. There seems to be no question that these men that were seen were U.S. military commandos.

On the question of bin Laden's complacency, what our sources are telling us is, look, he had no escape plan. What was he doing, waiting on a third floor in a bedroom for the Navy SEALs to come busting up the stairs? He had no escape plan. There's no evidence that he tried to destroy this mountain of intelligence material that the SEALs were taking away.

At the end of the day, he lived in this location for five years, didn't move, didn't seem to worry about it. And he basically was caught with three other men, his -- one of his sons, a courier, and the courier's brother.

That's not a lot of firepower, you know, even on a good day, let alone when you have got a bunch of Navy SEALs coming through your walls. So, he clearly must have felt complacent or he got lazy, but the thinking is he was complacent and he felt he was in a place where he would safe.

COOPER: Well, and I guess that's -- there -- it could be complacency, it could be laziness after that amount of time.

It could also be that the reason he felt safe is he felt that there was a certain amount of security or had some folks, you know, his network, watching after him. Again, there's no way to know at this point.

STARR: Well, I think that's right.

I mean, these people did practice very significant what you call operational security. These couriers that we keep talking about, we know now that they used thumb drives. We're all familiar with those, the little computer thumb drives. Somebody would show up at the compound, take the thumb drive, go to the next town, deliver it to another courier that they didn't even know. And it goes from town to town to town.

This is how he communicated. This is how he so-called e-mailed out to his operatives. He felt that he was clearly in a place where he had support, he had people watching out for him.

What he didn't know, of course, is that the U.S. government was keeping an eye on him for the last many months.

COOPER: And, Fran, U.S. officials have not ruled out the possibility of some sort of collusion between bin Laden and members, either current or former, of Pakistan's intelligence services, have they?

TOWNSEND: That's right, Anderson. But I should say everyone I spoke to today -- and I spoke to three different people on this subject -- all made the point to me that there was -- there has been no evidence, they have seen no information to support the idea that there was someone in -- an official inside the Pakistani military or intelligence that was supporting him. They can't rule it out, but they haven't found anything so far that would support it.

COOPER: Fran Townsend, a great job today of working a lot of sources. I appreciate that, Barbara Starr as well.

And Nick Paton Walsh as well, as always, thank you so much. Stay safe.

Coming up: the latest from Syria, unbelievable images we are seeing now, security forces just firing on demonstrators, killing civilians in the streets. And you're going to see a heroic effort to try to retrieve a mother and son lying in the street, just the latest disturbing scene from an uprising that has left hundreds dead, according to human rights groups.

Also, I will speak with the wife of a political activist, an activist herself, a human rights activist. Her husband has been taken, arrested. She doesn't know where he is or what has happened to him. She's now in hiding, but she's determined to speak out. She wants her voice heard.

Plus, a watery state of emergency throughout the South, the Mississippi River cresting at a record level in Memphis, flooding on the move. We will get a live update from Martin Savidge in Memphis next.


COOPER: Well, across the South, the Lower Midwest, about three million acres of farmland are flooded tonight, and the waters are still rising along the Mississippi River.

Here's what it looks like in Memphis, where the river crested this week at a record level, leaving as many as 1,000 properties underwater. The flooding, well, it is moving steadily south.

Take a look at Vicksburg, Mississippi, historic town already hit hard by floodwaters. The river hasn't even crested there yet. Farther south, Louisiana bracing for the rising water. In St. Mary Parish, they're piling up sandbags to try to save the church there. Some 26 parishes in the state have declared states of emergency.

In New Orleans, the river is already at flood stage, and the Army Corps of Engineers has begun opening more bays at a spillway that directs water into Lake Pontchartrain. They have also warned they may open another spillway, which would spare New Orleans, while flooding Southeastern Louisiana instead.

Martin Savidge joins us now from Memphis.

What are you seeing with the flooding where you are, Marty?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, even though the floodwaters have begun to recede here in Memphis, there are still pockets of misery. And this is a clear example of one of them.

We're in North Memphis tonight. And this was, still is, I guess, a mobile home park that had anywhere from 100 to 150 units in it. Water is now in every single one of those units. The water has been there now for up to one week. Everybody here got out safely. That's because they had days' notice to begin preparing to leave. But still, everything they left behind is now ruined.

There are about 800 people that were forced to evacuate by the high water; 400 remain in shelters tonight. Anywhere from 800 to a thousand properties in the city that were affected by the water.

But again, it is beginning to recede. The only bad news now: rain is once again back in the forecast. It's expected to move in later tonight and in fact, there are concerns by officials here there should be flash flooding.

COOPER: And the area that's affected is obviously enormous. You've got Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Southern Illinois. We're still looking at thousands of people who could still need to be evacuated in the coming days.

SAVIDGE: Right. And the real concern here is, of course, that so far, so far the levies and the system has worked as was expected and was hoped by many of the officials. But there is still that nagging fear in the back of many people's minds that, if you just had one breach of one levy or one thing that went wrong, it would be catastrophic with all the water that is out there on the Mississippi and the various tributaries tonight. So that is what is in the back of people's minds.

Nobody is relaxing at this point, and of course, as you say, it is a slow-moving event. It's not going to get to Vicksburg until a week from today. So they are going to be under the gun, and they are going to be with a lot of concern for seven more days and nights. COOPER: And we were talking about this last night. You can kind of chart this on your calendar when the water is going to arrive. You were saying, I think, in New Orleans, it may not arrive until around the 23rd or 24th, if memory serves me correctly. Is that right?

SAVIDGE: Right. But as you just pointed out, they're at flood stage already down there. It's just a couple of inches above flood stage, but that's when the problems begin. And it's only going to continue from there, continuing to rise. So they face several weeks now of problems.

And, again, as we know down there, that is a state and that is a city that is very much remembering what happened to its levies back in the stays of Katrina in 2005. And five years may have gone by, but these are different levies now. They're going to be pressured in different ways. So no one is going to be sleeping soundly down there for quite some time.

COOPER: Martin Savidge, appreciate it. Thank you.

A lot more we're following tonight. Let's check in with Isha. She's got a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Former senator John Ensign could face prosecution in his sex and lobbying scandal. The Senate Ethics Committee has sent its findings to the Justice Department, saying there is evidence Ensign engaged in improper conduct and broke the law. Ensign resigned after it came to light that he had had an affair with a female aide and allegedly helped her financially.

Robert Mueller could stay on as FBI director after his 10-year term expires in September. President Obama is seeking a two-year extension, which would require congressional approval.

U.S. Marshals will auction off some of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski's personal effects later this month, with the proceeding going to some of his victims. Among the items going up for sale: typewriters, driver's licenses and checks, and his original hand-written manifesto.

And Anderson, another battle in the Facebook-Google war. It turns out Facebook was behind an e-mail campaign to journalists last week accusing Google of violating users' privacy. Now Facebook admitted it hired a PR firm to focus attention on the issue, but Anderson, it's denying that it intended it to be a smear campaign.

COOPER: Hmm. Interesting.

SESAY: Pretty.

COOPER: All right, Isha. We'll check in with you shortly.

Still ahead, more violence, more arrests in Syria, more death. I'm going to talk to the wife of a political activist. She is a human rights activist herself. Her husband has been taken away, snatched off the street, she says. He has been in hiding for weeks. She's still in hiding, been there for weeks, moving around, trying to stay ahead of authorities. We'll talk to her.

Disturbing video that claims to show demonstrators under fire. They try to retrieve the bodies of two injured people. You have to see this video from Syria.


COOPER: Well, in Syria, where it's Friday morning, security forces are preparing for new anti-government protests expected across the country after Muslim prayers.

Human rights groups say at least 776 protesters have been killed so far across Syria since mid-March.

Now I want to show you a video that appears to show Syrian security forces firing on demonstrators in Daraa as they try to retrieve two people lying in the street, reportedly a mother and her son, who appear to have been shot. Now, we can't verify the video's authenticity. And we should warn you the images are disturbing.

But it shows you, we think, not just the brutality of this regime that's killing their own people, it shows you the great lengths that some people will go to, the risks they will take, to help others in need. Look.





COOPER: You can see the men were able to retrieve the woman's body without getting shot themselves. She appears dead, though we didn't be certain.

Reaching the man is harder. First they try to use a rope to pull the motorcycle out of the way. Watch.




COOPER: This next clip, you'll see one of the men throw a metal pole across the street where people we can't see are also trying to reach this man.







COOPER: People crying "God is great." They eventually succeed. Hard to tell, though, if the man is alive or dead.

You might be wondering why are they making such effort to retrieve people who may be dead? And why would the government be shooting people trying to get at some bodies?

The government has, we've been told, repeatedly shooting at people who try to retrieve the bodies of those -- of those they've already shot, because oftentimes the funerals of the dead who have been killed become protests. And so the government doesn't want to give the bodies to the families, to the protesters, because they're afraid more protests might break out.

Thousands of protestors in Syria have been arrested. We got word today the political activist Wael Hamada (ph) was arrested today. He's been in hiding for weeks now.

So has his wife, a woman named Razan Zaytouni, one that we've spoken to before on this program. She's a human rights activist. She is still in hiding right now. She's not backing down, even though her husband has been arrested. She is determined to continue to speak out, to use her name and talk about what is happening, no matter the risk. I talked to her earlier tonight.


COOPER: What happened to your husband? How was he taken?

RAZAN ZAYTOUNI, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I just heard a few hours ago that he was taken yesterday morning from his job. He wasn't going to his job for weeks now, because they tried twice to arrest him the last few weeks.

I don't know what exactly happened yesterday and why he went there. I only got news from his colleague that he was -- got arrested.

COOPER: Why do you think he was arrested?

ZAYTOUNI: He's an activist, also. He's wanted. And there was two attempts to arrest him before. Two weeks ago they break into our house and arrested his little brother as a hostage, because they didn't find him.

COOPER: How long have you been in hiding for now?

ZAYTOUNI: It's a few weeks now.

COOPER: And are you moving around, or are you trying to stay in one place? ZAYTOUNI: Yes, I'm moving around every few days, yes. They cut the Internet connections in different places where I were. They cut my mobile phone. It's like they surround you from -- from all sides.

COOPER: What do you want the world to know about what is happening in Syria right now?

ZAYTOUNI: What's happening is crimes against Syrian people daily, committed against them. And daily, killing people only because they want to protest peacefully, daily. Children got killed in this way. A woman got killed in this way.

Everybody knows what -- should know what is going on and should know that these people want one thing: their freedom to start a new future with freedom and democracy and dignity.

COOPER: We're seeing a video right now of people being arrested and put into a van and just being punched and beaten inside the van. What happens to people once they're taken away? Do you know?

ZAYTOUNI: They take them to the security branches, practice all kind of torture against them: electricity, beating on all their kind -- all their bodies. Some -- even sexual violations. All kinds of torture, all kinds.

COOPER: In the past, I've gotten some -- some tweets from people when I've said that we're talking to you who say that we shouldn't use your name, that we shouldn't put your on TV, because we're putting you in more danger. And I've tried to explain your perspective, but some people here don't seem to understand why you feel it's so important.

ZAYTOUNI: It's so important because the whole time the official media say those eyewitnesses are lying, those eyewitnesses don't use their names. All videos we put on YouTube is fake.

We want to say no, we are real people. We have names. We have families who got arrested, who got tortured. And in spite all of that, we want to keep going. Nothing will stop us.

COOPER: Do you worry that the regime is just too strong, that they're willing to kill too many people, they're willing to do anything to stay in power?

ZAYTOUNI: It's nothing related to strength. This regime doesn't understand any other language but the violence. It's not something new.

COOPER: Can you defeat them?

ZAYTOUNI: With our insistence, with people getting peacefully in this way, in this civil way, in spite of everything, I think we will defeat them.

COOPER: And if -- if they come for you, if they take you, what then?

ZAYTOUNI: What then? I'm only one person. I'm only one individual. Everything will keep going.

COOPER: Please be careful as you can, and try to stay safe. Thank you so much for your courage.

ZAYTOUNI: Thank you. Bye.


COOPER: The courage of that woman is just incredible.

A quick programming note. We planned to run my interview with British Prime Minister Tony Blair tonight. Due to breaking news, we weren't able to. We hope to have it for you tomorrow. Here's a preview.

BLAIR: People say, what should we worry about most? Would it be Afghanistan? Would it be Iraq? Would it be in Pakistan? Would it be Yemen? Would it be Somalia? And the answer to that question is all of those, I'm afraid.

COOPER: I talked to him about Syria, as well. Again, we hope to bring you the full interview with Tony Blair tomorrow on 360.

Up next tonight, big oil on Capitol Hill facing some tough questions about high prices at the pump. The ranking Republican on the committee, Senator Orrin Hatch, saying the hearings are a dog-and- pony show, and he brought a picture to prove it.

TRUMP: Also ahead, Botox becoming child's play. Literally. We're going to tell you about the mom getting it for her 8-year-old daughter and why she's not on tonight's "r RidicuList," next.


COOPER: A lot more happening tonight. Let's check in with Isha with another "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this new video, which CNN cannot independently verify, reports to shows rebel forces in Libya trying to take control of Misrata's airport. There are conflicts reports who is in control of the city.

A spokesman for the Transitional National Counsel said all of Misrata has been liberated, but spokesmen for the Libyan rebels said forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi were still in control of parts of the port city.

A retired U.S. autoworker was convicted today of being an accessory to Nazi war crimes. In a legal battle that stretched over three decades, German prosecutors accused the 91-year-old Ukraine native of being a guard at a Nazi death camp in Poland.

On Capitol Hill, five big oil executives defended the tax breaks they get, despite record profits. Democrats want the tax cuts repealed, saying the bill would save $21 billion over ten years. One Republican called today's hearing, a quote, "dog-and-pony show" political points, since the bill has virtually no harm of being passed. Democrats are only trying to score political points since the Bill has virtually no chance or being passed.

And Anderson, Tiger Woods off the politic care and dropped out of the players championship after only nine holes. His return to golf after suffering knee and Achilles injuries was short lived. It's now unclear if he'll compete in the U.S. Open next month. I'm no psychic, but the golfing gods are not happy with him.

Isha, thanks.

Time for the "RidicuList." Perhaps you've heard about the mom who's giving her 8-year-old daughter Botox. Yes, it's true, and there's been a lot of outrage expressed by people toward this mom. Her name is Carrie Campbell, and tonight, we're not adding her to the "RidicuList." No, we're adding all her haters.

Carrie Campbell gives her 8-year-old daughter, Brittany, Botox injections in the face. Why, you may ask? Well, l look at her. Clearly, that's why she needs it. Brittany and her mom were on "Good morning America" today, explaining it pretty well, I thought.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you do it for?

BRITTANY: I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you do it because you see wrinkles?

BRITTANY: Oh, yes. Like wrinkles and...

COOPER: Yes, see every time she makes those cute faces all I can think of is that she's adding more wrinkles.

Let's look at this from Carrie's perspective, from the mom's perspective. Was she supposed to do nothing when the other pageant moms -- oh, yes, didn't I mention? She's a pageant mom, the lines on little Brittany's face.

See, back in the olden days, yes, they called them dimples and always said they were so adorable. But you know what? in the olden days they had polio, too. You wouldn't want that either, would you?

JIM CRAMER: I don't really get what the big fuss is about. Brittany is 8 years old. It's not like she's 7. Although keep up those injections and maybe she'll be able to pass for 7 one of these days. Might need a chemical peel, though.


KERRY CAMPBELL, GIVING DAUGHTER BOTOX: A lot of the moms are giving their kids Botox, and it's pretty much like the thing. I'm not the only one that does it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: See, she's not the only one that does it. I can see everyone getting upset if this was the only lady who stuck needles in her daughter's face, but she's not the only one who does it. I mean, if you watch "Toddlers and Tiaras," you know there's no better group of people from whom to take parenting cues than other pageant moms.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't tear it. Don't tear it! No, you did it. No!


COOPER: Yes. That was a 5-year-old getting her eyebrows waxed. Pageant moms, the real heroes.

Now, some of the Botox mom haters are also yapping about where she's getting the Botox from, is it poison of the highest quality, legally obtained from a qualified professional, blah, blah, blah. As far as I'm concerned she put those questions to rest pretty succinctly on "Good Morning America."


CAMPBELL: I do have a trusted source where I get it. He is behind the doctor scene.


COOPER: She gets it from a guy who's behind the doctor scene. Lighten up, haters.

I think we should applaud this mom. Even taking the whole pageant thing out of the equation, how do you expect an 8-year-old girl to be popular in elementary school without painful cosmetic procedures? We all remember the note that kids pass each other in second grade. Mom's just giving her an extra edge.

When you think about it, it's kind of like the people who play classical music for their babies while they're still in the womb. She's teaching her daughter extra early about what's really important. Some people might -- some people, like uptight people with those, like, really wrinkly babies, they're making a bunch of noise about how Botox might affect such a young girl.

So let me just clear that right up now, because I talked to someone behind the doctor scene. And I found out the only side effects are -- well, they're pretty minor: bruising, drooping eyelid, double vision, uneven smile, inability to close eyes, reduced ability to chew, headaches, fatigue, swelling, flu-like symptoms, dysphagia, which apparently is trouble swallowing.

But see, that's for adults. I don't think they even test Botox on kids, so it's got to be fine. Right?

So Carrie, you keep shooting poison in your little baby's face, because pageants are important. And even if Brittany doesn't win, she'll keep on smiling, because her face is frozen, and she has no other choice.

We'll be right back.