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THE SITUATION ROOM
No Diplomatic Loophole for IMF Chief; Arnold Schwarzenegger's Secret Child
Aired May 17, 2011 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And to our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now: The powerful global finance chief jailed on sexual assault charges apparently won't be able to escape through a diplomatic loophole. This hour, we are getting new details about his life behind bars and about the alleged victim, her lawyer describing how she was afraid for her life. Stand by. You will hear the interview.
A sex scandal tears apart one of America's most famous political families. Arnold Schwarzenegger now acknowledging he had a child out of wedlock, a child he kept secret for years from his wife, Maria Shriver.
And the Pakistani military vs. NATO. A border skirmish heightens tensions unleashed by the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Breaking news, political headlines, Jeanne Moos all straight ahead. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn enjoyed many perks as the powerful head of the International Monetary Fund. But today the IMF says he does not have diplomatic immunity in the sexual assault case that has put him behind bars. Right now, Strauss-Kahn is in virtual isolation in a jail cell in the famous Rikers Island prison complex in New York. His next appearance in court is scheduled for Friday.
We are also learning more today about the luxury hotel maid Strauss-Kahn is accused of attacking after chasing her down, allegedly chasing her down naked in a hallway at the hotel.
CNN's Deborah Feyerick spoke to the lawyer of the alleged victim.
Deb, what exactly did you learn?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we can tell you that the 32-year-old West African immigrant from Guinea is described by her lawyer as dignified, intelligent, a woman with no agenda, no pretense.
She has been working legally at the Sofitel for about two-and-a- half, three years and is apparently considered an exemplary employee who gets along well with supervisors and co-workers. The day of the alleged assault, the housekeeper entered the luxury suite around noon, as we know, thinking it empty. And that's when Dominique Strauss-Kahn supposedly shut the door and the alleged sexual assault took place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF SHAPIRO, ATTORNEY: Her world has been turned upside-down. This is a person who is a hardworking woman. She is a single mother supporting a 15-year-old young woman.
They live together. And she was grateful to have a job for which she could provide food and shelter for her, for the two of them. Since this has occurred, she has not been able to go home. She can't go back to work. She has no idea what her future is going to be in any respect. So, this has been -- aside from what took place in the hotel room, the trauma that has taken place in her life is extraordinary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: And according to the lawyer, the woman is very private. She is here alone with her daughter.
Strauss-Kahn, on the other hand, he is used to meeting with presidents, prime ministers, power brokers. He's now alone, isolated from the general prison population on a special wing of Rikers Island on suicide watch. This is a precaution. He is not necessarily suicidal.
But as a precaution, officials are making sure that they pay a little extra attention. His wife, the famous French TV journalist Anne Sinclair, arrived yesterday too late to see her his band in court, according to the Strauss-Kahns' lawyers, both of whom declined to talk to us today about this case.
When we asked the lawyer for the alleged victim whether this could have been consensual, whether the forensic evidence will not support her account, as the defense maintains, here is the answer we got.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAPIRO: She is frightened, yes, totally frightened. This is a person who assaulted her and raped her and she's -- any television program that she turns on is -- he is pictured on it. And she has to relive this. It is a nightmare that keeps recycling in her mind and she can't escape from it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: Now, the alleged victim has not yet testified before the grand jury, something which will happen, we are told. Now, the grand jury is expected to notify the judge Friday whether they have voted on the charges put forth by prosecutors. But the results of how they vote, well, that's going to remain sealed until the next court date -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Do we have any information yet about the forensic -- whether there were any bruising, bruise marks or anything along those lines on either of these two individuals or whether they have released any videotape, for example, of the hallway which may help better understand what happened?
FEYERICK: No. I called many, many people today trying to figure out whether in fact they had gotten the results of the forensics back, nobody confirming whether they have or not. Both the victim and the alleged attacker underwent forensic analysis.
As far as that video, well, that's crucial for detectives because they are trying to establish demeanor, whether Mr. Strauss-Kahn, whether he appeared nervous, agitated, whether something was amiss, whether he was leaving hurriedly because he was simply late for a luncheon or because maybe something else was at hand, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much for that report, Deb Feyerick.
We want to take you inside Rikers Island prison to get a little sense of how Strauss-Kahn's life of money and power has changed so dramatically since he left that posh hotel in New York that was the scene of this alleged crime.
Mary Snow is joining us now from the Rikers Island complex.
What's it like over there, Mary?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Wolf, this complex has a notorious reputation. It's right outside of New York's La Guardia Airport.
And Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been here about 24 hours now, arriving about 6:00 last night. We are told by the Department of Corrections that, in that time, he has had one visitor, but the spokesman would not say who that visitor was. And in a stark contrast to the life that Strauss-Kahn once knew, he's now in a unit at this jail complex where he is isolated.
SNOW (voice-over): Inside these walls, Dominique Strauss-Kahn now spends his day in an 11-by-13-foot cell. Most prisoners share barracks with about 50 beds in them. Because of his profile, a prison spokesman says he is separated from other inmates.
It is a far cry from the luxury suite at New York's Sofitel Hotel, where he stayed before his arrest, with some rooms going for as much as $3,000. While hotel guests there were offered a breakfast choice of a five-ounce black Angus sirloin steak with eggs, or maybe eggs Benedict, along with a morning cocktail such as a $20 glass of champagne Pommery, breakfast at Rikers consists of one apple and banana, a box of mini-wheat cereal, two pieces of toast, milk, coffee or tea.
Strauss-Kahn will be eating alone and won't have contact with other prisoners who number 13,000 to 14,000 on any given day.
Attorney Ron Kuby, who has been visiting clients at Rikers for decades, says things have changed since violence dominated the jail in the early '90s.
RON KUBY, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Its name is synonymous in popular culture with brutality, with corruption, with jail breaks, with people banging cups on bars, none of which is true anymore. But it still exercises a very powerful hold on the imagination.
SNOW: Most of the inmates there are waiting to go on trial and can range from low-level drug dealers to murderers.
Mark David Chapman, who killed John Lennon, was once held there. So was David Berkowitz, AKA the Son of Sam serial killer. In recent years, rapper Lil Wayne spent time there on a weapons possession charge.
Strauss-Kahn is able to leave his jail cell, says a prison spokesman, and can go outside for an hour a day, but will be escorted by a corrections officer. Inside, he is allowed to periodically walk around his housing area corridor, where he can watch TV.
KUBY: Everything is difficult. And the most difficult thing I think for any particular person is to deal with the dehumanization, because you are just one of 13,000 people, and to deal with being cut off from the outside world.
SNOW: And Strauss-Kahn, like other inmates here, can have three visits a week with up to three people each visit. But that does not stand for an attorney. A Corrections Department spokesman says that his attorney can visit as many times on any given day -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And he does have one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the U.S., Benjamin Brafman, representing him, so he will have a good attorney on that point.
Thanks very much, Mary, for that.
Let's get to a very, very different sex scandal right now, the bombshell confirmation that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child more than 10 years ago with a woman who worked in his home for two decades.
CNN's Casey Wian is in Los Angeles -- Casey.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it is hard to imagine that Arnold Schwarzenegger could become more controversial now that he is out of the governor's office, but he has.
(voice-over): Even as governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger often seemed to be acting. It turns out he was. Schwarzenegger acknowledges fathering a child out wedlock with a member of his household staff more than 10 years ago. Maria Shriver, his wife of 25 years, apparently never knew. In a statement, Schwarzenegger said: "After leaving the governor's office, I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children, and my family. I am truly sorry."
It perhaps explains the surprising marital split the couple announced jointly last week.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: We both love each other very much. We are very fortunate that we have four extraordinary children. And we are taking one day at a time.
But the bottom line is, I want to just take -- to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the people for their great, great support.
WIAN: In 2003, that support included his wife when, before the gubernatorial election, Schwarzenegger was accused of groping more than a dozen women over the years, and acknowledged behaving badly at times.
MARIA SHRIVER, FORMER FIRST LADY OF CALIFORNIA: You can listen to all the negativity and you can listen to people who have never met Arnold or who met him for five seconds 30 years ago, or you can listen to me.
WIAN: Today, Shriver said in a statement: "This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I rebuild our lives and heal. I will have no further comment."
A source tells CNN Schwarzenegger has provided financial support for the child, whose mother worked for the Schwarzeneggers for 20 years until January. It is a story with a familiar ring.
JACK PITNEY, CLAREMONT MCKENNA COLLEGE: The most obvious comparison is John Edwards. John Edwards was defeated in the 2008 primaries. But, still, you could picture him as a viable political figure until the story came out about his own love child.
WIAN: With his marital and political futures in doubt, a chess- playing Schwarzenegger on his Web site implores, "Stay tuned for my next move," check-mate-less perhaps.
(on camera): Schwarzenegger replaced California Governor Gray Davis during a recall election in 2003 and quickly became so popular, some Republicans were considering trying to change the Constitution to allow foreign-born candidates to run for president. But he couldn't solve the state's budget woes, so his popularity plummeted -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Casey Wian, thanks very much.
A dangerous new clash between Pakistan's military and NATO forces, tensions exploding in gunfire at Pakistan's border. We have new information.
Plus, President Obama's Syria dilemma, what's going on, what he may do about the crackdown on protesters and why he does not necessarily want to talk about it, at least not yet.
And drastic action on the Mississippi River. As floodwaters surge south, our own John King is there.
BLITZER: Jack has the 2012 presidential race on his mind. He is here with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The Republicans may have the keys to victory in 2012 in their grasp. But it is a question now of getting the horses out of the barn onto the track and into the race.
So far, the Republican presidential field is pretty awful. It is no wonder that President Obama is smiling, and it's not just getting bin Laden that has him grinning. The economy is threatening to recover. And the Republicans continue to resemble "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight."
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and real estate developer, casino owner and reality TV person Donald Trump both said they are out. They were never in, but they have said they are not going to get in. Huckabee and Trump, nevertheless, had shown more promise in the polls than a lot of the other names that are running or considering a run.
So, who fills the void? Well, there's Mitt Romney, raised a lot of money. But he already did this. And he lost. And he will lose again. Newt Gingrich, that's not happening. Sarah Palin? Get serious. There's Ron Paul, a man I think has some terrific ideas about how to solve our problems, but there are serious questions about his electability. He too ran in 2008.
There's Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann, both with potential to score big with evangelicals. But neither one seems to be scoring points with the rest of the electorate. That brings us to Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, who almost everyone agrees would be a formidable challenger to President Obama, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie says he's not ready to run for president, despite the fact that Republicans all over this country are begging him to get in the race.
Daniels says he hasn't made up his mind whether he's going to run or not. Daniels also says he could beat Obama. And he might be right. It is pretty much a lead-pipe cinch the rest of the Republicans mentioned can't, except maybe for Christie.
The question is this: Who is likely to fill the void that is left by Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee in the 2012 GOP field?
Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and pick a winner -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We certainly will, Jack. Thank you.
Over at the White House today, President Obama is kicking off a pivotal week for his Middle East policy. He met today with the king of Jordan, just two days before delivering what the White House describes as a major speech on the Middle East dealing with the challenges in the region.
Let's go to the White House. Our senior White House correspondent, Ed Henry, he's standing by.
Ed, a lot of people are trying to figure out the timing of George Mitchell's decision to resign as the special Middle East envoy, on the eve of the -- this critical speech and these important meetings the president is having.
ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.
And it may provide a clue about how much detail we will get from the president Thursday in this big speech about what has been happening with the Arab spring and, more broadly, but specifically what is going on with the with the Mideast peace process.
I'm told by people close to the administration that George Mitchell in private was one of those folks who was pushing for the president to be more detailed, lay down some sort of an Obama plan, get specific about borders and other issues, in terms of trying get the peace process going again.
So, a lot of people in town are reading the tea leaves and with George Mitchell's exit, suggesting that, come Thursday, we are unlikely to get a lot of details from the president about the peace process. And, in fact, today, when he gave those statements -- he and the king of Jordan delivered statements to the media -- it was very light on details in terms of the peace process, Wolf.
BLITZER: Is there going to be more specific details on Thursday, when he goes to the State Department to deliver the speech, specifically on Syria? Because there is an enormous amount of pressure right now from Capitol Hill on the president to specifically called for Bashar al-Assad, the leader of Syria, to go away.
HENRY: We're certainly expecting that. And here's why.
Number one, senior officials say privately that you can expect the administration over the next couple of days to come up with some tough sanctions against Syria, put some economic pressure on that administration, that government, number one.
Number two, we are also picking up that, with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, coming here to the White House on Friday, one thing he wants to press, according to people close to him, is make sure that Iran is still at the top of this White House's agenda.
Well, Iran obviously has a very tight relationship with Syria, the clashes on the border right now, a lot of bloodshed. And the bottom line is, what I'm picking up there is that there is an expectation from the Netanyahu government that there will be a lot of talk about Iran and Syria, because, if Syria is not held in check, that could be a big victory for Iran, as they continue to try to spread weapons in through Syria to get them to the Gaza Strip, et cetera. So, it's something to keep a very close eye on, Wolf.
BLITZER: We will be watching this speech very, very closely. We will of course have live coverage on Thursday.
Thanks, Ed. Thanks very much.
We are also right now learning new information about Osama bin Laden's communications with a notorious al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, details of new evidence bin Laden was in fact very much in the loop with fellow terrorists.
Plus, drugs like Viagra as a weapon of war, allegedly used to fuel gang rapes in Libya by the Libyan military -- disturbing new allegations from the International Criminal Court's top prosecutor. Stand by.
BLITZER: So, just how involved was Osama bin Laden in terror planning at the time of his death?
Lisa Sylvester is here. She has got some new information coming into THE SITUATION ROOM. She is also monitoring some other top stories.
What are you learning?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf.
Well, materials seized from Osama bin Laden's compound show he did communicate with the affiliate terror group in Yemen al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. That's according to a U.S. official familiar with the ongoing analysis of the documents. The source says it is not clear whether the group ever received the communications from bin Laden or if it acted on them.
BLITZER: A border skirmish between NATO and Pakistani forces, each telling a very different version of what happened.
And al Qaeda is said to have named an interim leader to temporarily fill bin Laden's shoes. Who is he? And will he pose a new threat?
Plus, Jeanne Moos on the powerful global financial chief, the latest high-profile suspect forced to do the so-called perp walk.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: It's a very, very worrisome development, NATO now investigating a cross-border clash between two of its own helicopters in Afghanistan and ground forces in neighboring Pakistan. It comes at a time of extreme tension between Pakistan and the United States over the raid on bin Laden's compound.
CNN's Brian Todd is working this story for us.
Brian, what do we know about this clash?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we have information that NATO aircraft and Pakistani forces both fired shots in this incident. Whether they fired them directly and purposefully at each other remains a bit unclear.
But we are at a point where the anger and mistrust between the two sides are at a boil.
TODD (voice-over): Pakistan's tensions with the West ratcheted up to military hostility -- NATO helicopters engaged in an exchange involving Pakistani forces near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Two Pakistani soldiers were wounded, and Pakistan's military has launched what it calls a strong protest.
(on camera): A NATO official says the incident occurred when coalition helicopters supporting Forward Operating Base Tillman, which is inside Afghanistan, but just a few miles from the Pakistan border, were flying in Eastern Afghanistan.
One official says this base had been receiving intermittent fire from across the border. A NATO official says the helicopters were fired on twice from the Pakistani side, and after the second time, they fired from across the border into this North Waziristan area of Pakistan.
(voice-over): Pakistani intelligence officials offer a different version. They say the incident started when a NATO fighter jet entered Pakistani air space. The official said Pakistani troops fired on the jet from ground positions. They say the jet then retreated, returned with the NATO helicopters, and fired on a Pakistani position. That area is a flash point of militant activity and recent strain between the U.S. and Pakistan.
JEFFREY DRESSLER, INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR: The majority of the drone strikes in Pakistan occurred pretty much in this area here, which is home to both al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba, who are responsible for the Mumbai attacks, but also the Hakani network.
TODD: The Hakani network is a militant group allied with the Taliban. It's not clear whether the NATO aircraft were American. I asked analyst Jeffrey Dressler if Pakistani and western forces might have a hair trigger in their current state of agitation. (on camera) Is the build-up -- are the tensions between the two sides a direct byproduct of the raid of bin Laden's compound?
DRESSLER: I don't think they're a direct byproduct. What we do know is that the army is feeling particularly tense right now, the Pakistani army. Intentions are running very high. But, you know, I doubt that that was actually the rationale behind the incident that occurred at the border.
BLITZER: Dressler does point out that there have been deadly cross-border incidents in the recent past before that bin Laden raid. In September of last year, NATO helicopters crossed into Pakistani air space from Afghanistan, chasing after insurgents. Dozens of people were killed in that incident, and Pakistan called that a breach of U.N. rules for foreign forces.
As we mentioned earlier, NATO says that it is investigating this incident -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Brian, NATO helicopters patrolling that area of the border, what's their mission?
TODD: Analysts say that's an area where the militants sneak across the border into Afghanistan to launch attacks on coerced forces. Then they sneak back into Pakistan.
The coalition choppers and other forces are there to seal off that area. But it's always a flash point where skirmishes cross borders. As we mentioned that incident in September last year. And that's maybe how this escalated.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, thanks very much.
I spoke about the complex relationship between the U.S. and the Pakistani government that Democratic Senator Jim Webb. He's on the foreign relations committee. Pakistan has about 100 nuclear warheads, we believe. So I asked him if the U.S. can allow Pakistan to become a failed state, if you will, possibly leaving that nuclear arsenal vulnerable.
SEN. JIM WEBB (D), VIRGINIA: The discussions that I've had with people in the Pentagon is that -- the security of these nuclear weapons right now is not a question, but the increased size of them and the -- the government, even before it becomes a failed state, and what its intentions are -- intentions are, are things we need to look at.
BLITZER: The billions of dollars the United States provides Pakistan every year, $20 billion since 9/11. Is that money well spent for U.S. taxpayers?
WEBB: I have been asking those questions for a couple of years now. I asked them directly, Admiral Mullen two years ago when I -- I'm confident that they are doing a better job here in our government of bringing accountability into the process but -- whether it's a direct program for program accountability or something else when you're increasing your nuclear arsenal the way that Pakistan is, somebody using money in some way that's not really healthy, I think, in this situation here.
BLITZER: So will you continue to vote for this aid to Pakistan?
WEBB: I think that the -- the situation right now, as tenuous as it is, requires all of us to be very careful when we're looking at questions like that. But I believe that the accountability on the one hand and then a way to ensure some sort of stability in the government itself on where we need to be looking.
And that's why -- I, again, I mentioned this morning that China could actually be a player here in a positive way, and I -- I'm someone who has criticized that -- the Chinese government in many different areas were not doing this, whether it's Iran, Burma or North Korea. But here I think even the Chinese have an interest. They're a long-term ally of the Pakistanis. There are people who would say that -- and I'm among them -- who would say that, I think, China enabled Pakistan to become a nuclear power.
They have a very strong interest in the stability of that relationship. And we haven't been addressing the situation that way at all. We talk about India, part of it. We talk about the Afghanistan part of it. And we need to realize that long-term, China is geographically in that region, and we should be calling on them to be more responsible in terms of a stability in Pakistan.
BLITZER: And China is playing an increasingly important role in many countries. Not just Pakistan, Afghanistan. But speaking of Afghanistan, is it time right now to simply pack U.S. bags and get out of there?
WEBB: I think what we're seeing -- I hope what we're seeing now is that -- kind of negotiations that would allow us to do that on the timetable that has been laid out.
BLITZER: Timetable through 2014. That's a -- that's a long time.
WEBB: Well, there are two timetables. One is -- the July of this year. To -- hear the results of the strategy that's been implemented and the plans for reduction of forces. And 2014 for complete turnover to the -- to the Afghani government and lights out for the American military.
BLITZER: I asked the question because it's costing, like, $10 billion a month for the United States to maintain 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. That's money that could be spent elsewhere.
WEBB: I totally agree with you. It's enormously frustrating. And I think what Secretary Gates said at the West Point speech a while back is right. And that is this is not the formula for the future. We have something of -- there is a law of -- duty of the -- negligence law where they said once you assume a duty, you have to carry it through. You have a responsibility.
And I think we're seeing that in Iraq and where we still have 50,000 people, by the way. And if -- in Afghanistan, and in order to reduce our forces and increase our maneuverability in military terms against the threats that faced us, and not to use this model in the future.
BLITZER: Senator, we're out of time but a quick question. Have you been thinking about life after the U.S. Senate?
WEBB: I've got my hands full here in the Senate for another year and a half.
BLITZER: All right. I'll take that as a no. You haven't been thinking about it. We'll have you -- we'll have you back. Appreciate it very much.
WEBB: Thank you.
BLITZER: New allegations of gang rape in Libya, using sexual enhancement drugs. Stand by.
And John King takes us to the flood zone as entire towns are abandoned.
BLITZER: An Egyptian who was once a Special Forces officer is the new caretaker leader of al Qaeda after Osama bin Laden's death. That according to a source with detailed knowledge of the group's workings.
Our national security analyst, Peter Bergen, is joining us on the phone right now. What do we know about this guy, Saif al-Adel?
PETER BERGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Saif al-Adel has been involved in militant activities since the late '80s. He was arrested, by his own account, for an assassination plot against an Egyptian politician in 1987.
He's been identified by people in U.S. custody as basically organizing resistance to the U.S., U.S. forces in Somalia in 1993. He's variously described as sort of the military commander of al Qaeda in recent years. He's been living under some form of house arrest in Iran since -- much of the time since 9/11. He's kind of a formidable guy.
And according to Loman Bin Otman (ph), who's a longtime associate of al Qaeda who's now kind of rejected their ideology, he has been appointed caretaker leader of al Qaeda., essentially because al Qaeda hasn't come up with a formal appointment, and this is causing some consternation within the global jihadi community, Wolf.
BLITZER: Is it significant he's an Egyptian?
BERGEN: I think it is significant he's an Egyptian because, you know, as we know bin Laden was a Saudi. For a lot of Saudis and Yemenis, they want to see a Saudi replacement. They -- you know, Saudi Arabia is the land of the two holy places, has a special place in Islam. So I think that, you know, having an Egyptian become leader of al Qaeda or even the caretaker is somewhat controversial internally.
BLITZER: Is -- what's this -- where did does leave Ayman al- Zawahiri, who had been the No. 2 al Qaeda leader, for that matter?
BERGEN: Well, it might grease the skids for his later appointment. I mean, This may be a sort of trial balloon since Saif al-Adel is an Egyptian. Ayman al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian. Or is Saif al-Adel's caretakership of al Qaeda sort of passes muster, it would allow Ayman al-Zawahiri to take over the group with a little more ease, Wolf.
BLITZER: Peter Bergen, our CNN national security analyst. Thanks, Peter, very much.
Meanwhile, some very, very disturbing allegations of institutionalized gang rape in Libya. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says security forces loyal to Gadhafi are using sexual enhancement drugs like Viagra as what he calls -- and I'm quoting him now -- "a tool of massive rape of women."
BLITZER: And joining us now, our Nic Robertson.
Nic, you had a chance to speak with the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the issue being Gadhafi, the Libyans, what they're doing, what did they -- what did he tell you?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, one of the things he wants to investigate now, he says priorities to investigate allegations of rape, rape that may be systematic, and rape that's being assisted, he said, by the distribution of Viagra or Viagra-like products. Sexually performance enhancing products that are getting in the hands of Gadhafi's forces and are being used as part of gang rape. And these allegations that are surfacing that he says wants to investigate as a priority.
BLITZER: So do they have evidence that Libyan military, on a systematic basis, were handing out Viagra to troops to go out and rape women as an act of war?
ROBERTSON: Well, this is his concern. And -- the information that he's getting is coming from a number of sources. But one of those sources is the rebels who say when they went into military bases to get Gadhafi's weapons, they found supplies of what they call Viagra and condoms. And they're putting this together with what they say is a systematic sort of disappearance of women when they're being stopped at Gadhafi's check points, taken into military barracks, gang raped in there. And they believe these drugs are being used. This is what he told me when I asked him about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are rapes. The issue is who organized them.
ROBERTSON: Do you -- and believe it's institutional?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were committed in some police barracks. Were the policemen prosecuted? What happened? There's some information with Viagra, so it's like a machete. It's a new -- Viagra is a tool of massive rapes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Some very powerful words there from the chief prosecutor. And I asked him how many women. He says he doesn't know. But rebel officials, senior rebel officials I talked to in Doha last week told me that there's as many as several hundred women raped in this way, Wolf.
BLITZER: I know you've also spoken with Eman Obeidy, the Libyan woman who says the Libyan troops raped her. She's now out of Libya. She's safe in another country. What did she tell you?
ROBERTSON: She said that she couldn't wait in Tripoli any longer. She wasn't being allowed to leave officially. She'd appealed on radio for any men, she said, who were honorable to help her get out of the country. Two soldiers came to her, officers, who said they were deserting Gadhafi's army and they would help get her out of the country.
She said she knew if she waited in Tripoli she could be killed. The drive to the border was almost as dangerous, going through the mountains. When they drove across the border, went across the border, there was -- there were gun battles going on. And she said it wasn't until she got to Doha that she finally felt free, free enough to be able to begin to talk about her traumatic and terrible experience. And she told me what she thought about the men who had so brutality raped her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMAN AL-OBEIDY, ALLEGED RAPE VICTIM (through translator): I was telling myself to defy them. These animals cannot slip without punishment. I must speak out, no matter how much people would talk about me and would blame he and would ask how could a Libyan woman, and a Muslim, go on the media and say this? All these things did not matter to me. I must seek my rights.
I felt I must expose the regime. They must receive their penalty. I must -- I don't know. I can not think of a word to express what I was thinking, but this is how I felt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: And of course now she has a lot of concerns pressing in on her. Her father had found her a fiance to save her honor, save her name. What is she going to do about the fiance? She told me this is a period of sort of getting to know each other. They will see. They both understand that, if they don't like each other, then there's no commitment there, Wolf.
BLITZER: Nic Robertson on the scene for us, as usual. Nic, thanks very much.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is asking who's likely to fill the void left by Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee in the 2012 GOP presidential field?
And the head of the International Monetary Fund joins another elite group: famous people who have taken a walk of shame.
BLITZER: Another round of drastic action to fight flooding along the Mississippi River. The U.S. Coast Guard closed the river around Natchez, Mississippi, today. The water's high point is pushing slowly toward the Gulf of Mexico, bringing danger and damage along with it. Our own John King is in Natchez, Mississippi -- John.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is a little Flood Control 101 in Natchez, Mississippi. This looks like a parking lot. Right? Well, it is a parking lot of the United States Coast Guard station right here in Natchez.
And you can see this here. There are some cement barriers down in here. Sandbags on top. More sandbags on top of the plastic sheeting. They've got about an inch, an inch and a half of water inside the Coast Guard station.
But you can see they're working 24/7. Twelve hours on, 12 hours off for the Coast Guard shifts here. They have these pumps inside, too. The pump's designed to bring the water outside.
And if you look around this building, it is amazing. The Mississippi River is a couple hundred yards that way behind this building. Normally plenty of room, pier space, dock space on the other side. Now the water all the way through this parking lot. And you see the building surrounded by this barrier. You see it this way. You see the flag pole there. Just over my shoulder here, that's -- that's the gateway in. You're supposed to be able to drive a car in there and park it in here.
And you can see just on the other side of the flag pole, there's a basketball court. Ten foot regulation hoop, Wolf. You know basketball. Well, it's got five feet of water in front of it, maybe five and a half feet of water. And just the other day, while they were building these barriers on the other side of the fence right there, they saw something swimming in the water. Fish and Wildlife came and pulled out a 10-foot-2-inch alligator. So the flooding not only causing some serious water control problems; also messing up the ecosystem a little bit -- Wolf.
BLITZER: John King is going to have a lot more at the top of the hour on "JOHN KING USA," reporting live from Mississippi. We'll be watching.
Let's go back to Jack right now. He's got "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question this hour is: "Who's likely to fill the void left by Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee in the Republican field for the 2012 presidential nomination?"
Bea writes from Indianapolis: "I think Mitch Daniels will announce in the next few weeks that he's going to run for president 2012. If he does, the Republican Party will come together behind his candidacy, as will moderate independents. Daniels will be a challenge for Obama with his message of fiscal discipline."
Donny writes from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, "Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty in the order, with Ron Paul the only one who might be able to win the independent and undecided vote. A race between President Obama and any one other than Ron Paul would be like watching grass grow. Although I would pay to see the Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann versus Obama debate. Talk about must-see TV."
Bob writes, "There's an entire brigade of lunatics that are still left. Give it a week and we'll see. They'll come out of the woodwork, some of them dumber than Palin or Bachmann. The GOP never fails to amaze."
Ann writes from California, "Chris Christie, are you mad? The people of New Jersey can't wait to get rid of him. Apparently, the Republicans see something in him that nobody in his own state does. To them, he's another Tea Party member who snuck in while the Democrats stayed home in 2010. There's no way he can beat Obama. Maybe Huntsman will come in as a dark horse."
William writes, "John Huntsman will be the Republican candidate for 2012. He's the only Republican that will have the appeal to win back all of the moderates that swung to Obama in the last election. He has incredible appeal, strong financial backing and has been very successful in his positions both as ambassador to China and governor of Utah."
And finally, Dave writes from Nashville, "What void, Jack? A blowhard gambler and trust fund baby coupled with a man of the so- called cloth. Neither had ever gotten into the race in order to qualify as backing out. Both were teasing their television ratings for the almighty buck. I'm glad they're gone."
If you want to read more on this, go to my blog: CNN.com/CaffertyFile.
BLITZER: You think, Jack, that Donald Trump was ever really serious about running for the Republican presidential nomination?
CAFFERTY: No. I said months -- I said months ago he would never run. No, he's done this three different times. He's just, you know -- no. He was never serious. Never intended to run.
And I'll tell you something, at that Correspondents' Dinner when both the president and that kid from "Saturday Night Live" took turns beating him about the head and shoulders, that was the end of it right there. I mean, if you saw the picture of him and his wife walking out of that dinner, it was over that night.
BLITZER: I never thought he wanted to release his financial statement and let everyone look at his IRS, his taxes and his wealth and all of that. I always assumed that was going to be something he wouldn't want to do. So what was his point? Why did he -- you know, for two months make it sound like he was so seriously thinking of running?
CAFFERTY: Well, because he's in the business of promoting Donald Trump. And he -- there was some question about whether NBC was going to renew his television show. And he wanted to get out and jack the ratings up for that thing. And so he got on this birther thing, again, for the umpteenth time, after it had been beat to death. But he did get the president to produce that long-form birth certificate. And then he got all fluffed up like a big peacock, was strutting around like "Look what I did."
But then he went to the Correspondents' Dinner and just got the snot knocked out of him. And it was the very weekend that President Obama and the Navy SEALs were taking out Osama bin laden. So he was dead that night.
BLITZER: All right, Jack. Thanks. See you tomorrow. Appreciate it. Good points.
It's a stroll no one wants to take, but everyone wants to see.
BLITZER: The perp walk. CNN's Jeanne Moos shows us the hall of fame.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a scene seen by Americans all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nicholas, did you strangle your girlfriend?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you do it? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm innocent. I didn't do it.
MOOS: But you tend not to look innocent, even when no one shouts a single incriminating question. It's what's called...
GRAHAM WISNER, LAWYER: The perp walk.
MOOS: "Perp" as in perpetrator. And some in France are outraged over the treatment of the head of the IMF accused of attempted rape. France's former culture minister called it a lynching that provoked horror and aroused disgust.
(on camera) French law bars the media from showing suspects in handcuffs before they're convicted.
(voice-over) Some say the perp walk goes against the presumption of innocence.
WISNER: It is done, probably, some would say, to humiliate the suspect, and they give off an aura of guilt.
MOOS: Though sometimes the aura doesn't fit the alleged crime, from the smiling accused Somali pirate to the JFK terror plot suspect. Others bend down or cover up to conceal their identity.
(on camera) Suspects use anything that's handy, and we do mean anything, to hide from the cameras during a perp walk.
(voice-over) Amy Fisher, the Long Island Lolita, used her own hair to keep her face out of sight.
The perp walk is a perennial. Always popping up, even as camera men pedaling backwards are falling down and suspects are falling forward.
And every once in a while you get an apparent confession.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something came over me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you regret it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course I do. No matter what he did. You know, you can't justify that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He's been charged with using an axe to murder a man. Sometimes a perp walk leads to perpetual cursing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you, get (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of my face, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I'll break your (EXPLETIVE DELETED), smack you. (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And finally, there was the armed robbery suspect who managed to escape in mid perp walk. It happened in Staten Island last year. The suspect took off down the street with police in hot pursuit. They recaptured him quickly. Check out how he slipped out of a loose handcuff to make his break. Now if only they could cuff this guy's mouth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll kick you in your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) head, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
MOOS: ... New York.
BLITZER: That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"JOHN KING USA" starts right now.