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Military Plane Crashes in South California; Sanctions on Syria; Eman Al-Obeidy Speaks Freely; Strauss-Kahn's Lawyers Apply for Bail; Mother of Schwarzenegger's Son Identified; Turning Ideas into Reality

Aired May 18, 2011 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening everyone. We begin tonight with breaking news.

Pictures just coming in from the West Coast, military jet engulfed in flames at the end of the runway at Point Mugu Naval Air Station. That's just up the coast from Los Angeles, south of Santa Barbara.

The plane is a military version of the old Boeing 707. A public information officer at the field telling affiliate KTLA the plane was being operated by a contractor called Omega. According to the affiliate KABC, it crashed on what appears to have been an aborted takeoff. There are skid marks nearby. We don't yet know what went wrong nor do we know if weather played a role. There are very high winds in the area right now.

We do know the crew of three managed to escape with just minor injuries. We're, of course, going to bring you more details of this as we learn more throughout this hour.

Now tonight, we begin "Keeping Them Honest", with a statement so outrageous it would be laughable except it concerns and tries to gloss over systematic killings by the regime in Syria. Much of those -- many of those killings caught on camera.

Syria's dictator Bashar al Assad today is saying, authorities have made quote, "some mistakes", unquote, in their handling of anti- government protests. "Made some mistakes", he said.

Today President Obama slapped sanctions on Assad and six aides. Tomorrow he's expected to make Syria a major part of his address on the region. Tonight, we'll show you shocking evidence why, not as the Syrian dictator claims of just some mistakes but evidence of murder.

More than 850 people have been killed since March, according to Human Rights Watch. How many in prison and tortured we have no way of knowing. Innocent civilian protesters gunned down in the streets, shot dead trying to retrieve the dead. And now something even more barbaric, this is video that claims to be from Daraa posted online. We can't independently confirm the specifics, but it's pretty plain to see.

I want to show you an ambulance in the middle of sniper fire. You can clearly see the Red Crescent painted on the side. You can clearly see a driver in medical garb with a surgical mask sitting up front. Now, we can see it. And so could the snipers and they didn't need a scope to verify what they were looking at. It could not be plainer. Ambulances by any rule of war and simple human decency are supposed to be off-limits. But watch what happens.

What you're seeing are snipers opening up on a clearly marked ambulance, targeting it. Nothing accidental about it, no stray shots; bullets aimed directly at the front windows, directly at the ambulance drivers inside. The driver, as you can see, is hit. We don't know if he's dead or wounded. We don't know -- know exactly what happened to him.

We do know from experience that Syrian snipers target people trying to retrieve the dead and the wounded. Those aren't mistakes. That is murder. We know they target people at funerals. Not some mistakes, that's murder. We know they shell their own cities. Not mistakes, murder.

And as video shows, they shoot teens and children. Watch. We can't show you the rest of this tape. It shows another much younger child horribly wounded, probably killed. Again, these are not mistakes. This is murder.

Let's bring in Jill Dougherty; also Elliott Abrams, a veteran of the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations and currently a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Elliott, obviously some -- some tough sanctions announced today, maybe the President will have more to say. But how much can be done? How much can be accomplished? What can -- what else can be done to stop these killings?

ELLIOTT ABRAMS, SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Two things. First, we need to be clearer that Assad has got to go. The President has said that about Mubarak and Gadhafi. He still hasn't said it about Assad. I hope he does tomorrow, but the sooner the better.

We need more sanctions and we need more Europeans to join us in them. Because we've got to get the richer people, the elite, particularly the Sunni elites in Syria to turn against him and the way to do that is through the economy.

COOPER: Jill, do we know what the President is going to say tomorrow?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: We think it's going to be tougher. There could be a good portion of it on Syria. I don't think judging by what we heard he's going to go as far as Elliott is saying in saying, you know, you have outlived your usefulness. You have to step down.

The sanctions really did that; or at least that's the message. But you know, look at what they said, Anderson, in the sanctions announcement today.

Go for political transition or leave. They're still leaving that window open for political transition, even though the United States has no idea, no -- there's no belief at all that he's going -- that Assad is going to change.

COOPER: Elliott, I mean the White House in the past, toward the end of the Mubarak regime, called on Mubarak to step down, Gadhafi obviously. Why hasn't the President made the same demand of Assad?

ABRAMS: Well, I think one thing is they still believe in this reform nonsense. You're shown these pictures, this is a regime that survives by murdering its own population. But it's been very slow to get particularly Secretary Clinton to turn away from this idea that he's secretly a reformer.

The other thing is they're afraid of what comes next. There's the bogeyman out there of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Syria. No one ever produces any evidence for why that would happen. But that's the other argument.


COOPER: So you have no concerns about what comes next? Because I mean, we've all seen in many -- and look what's happening in Egypt right now, things are not turning out necessarily the way -- certainly many of the -- the secular reformers wanted.

ABRAMS: Well, how much worse can it get than this regime? It's murdering its own people. It is Iran's greatest ally. It is an enemy of Israel. It is trying to take over as it used to have control over Lebanon. It is a regime that was building a nuclear weapon with the help of North Korea. It was a regime that funneled jihadis into Iraq to kill as many Americans as possible. What's going to be worse than that?

COOPER: Jill, we've seen ambassadors pulled from other countries that are in a lot better shape than Syria is right now in terms of violence directed at its people. Any discussion of removing the ambassador?

DOUGHERTY: No. In fact, we talked to two state department officials today who said they are not thinking about that. And you know the rationale they usually use in this case is having the ambassador there, even if you can send a signal by yanking him out, it still gives you a chance to talk directly with the regime, deliver a message, that type of thing, maybe even a harder message.

But they're not talking about pulling him out yet.

COOPER: Elliott is there some -- I'm sorry, go ahead, Elliott.


ABRAMS: I'm just going to jump in and say that's a mistake, because as I talk to Syrians, what they're worried about is why is the American government in favor of Assad staying? We need to do something symbolically that proves to Syrians we're on their side, not on his side. Pulling the ambassador is probably the easiest symbolic move to make that clear to them.

COOPER: Elliott Abrams, I appreciate you being on the show, Jill Dougherty as well. Thanks very much. Again, we'll continue to follow this tomorrow when the President is supposed to speak about it.

A lot more news out of the Middle East tonight, there's a new Osama bin Laden audiotape that's now making the rounds. In it, the terror leader talks about the so-called Arab spring. The recording was reportedly made about a week before he was killed by U.S. Special Forces.

The release of the tape has obviously been rumored for a couple of weeks. And as I said, when we first heard of this probably about two weeks ago, I'm not going to play you this tape on this program. We would rather remember the victims who bin Laden massacred; the brave men and women who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan still to this day than listen to bin Laden's cowardly voice recorded in his hole in Abbottabad.

Up next, Eman Al-Obeidy in her own words; she's the Libyan woman who burst into a Tripoli hotel saying she had been gang raped by Moammar Gadhafi's man. She's now safely out of Libya and talking about her ordeal. You'll hear why it was so important for her to speak out against the regime despite the constant fear in where she lived.


COOPER: Well, we've been closely following the case of Eman Al-Obeidy on this program. She's the Libyan woman who gained worldwide attention when she burst into a Tripoli hotel in March; the hotel where international journalists were staying, saying that she had been beaten and gang raped by Moammar Gadhafi's security forces.

Al-Obeidy was immediately hustled out of the hotel, taken away. Despite fear and threats, she refused to remain silent. Gadhafi's government also would not allow her to leave Libya. But she did finally get out, she escaped to Tunisia and she is now safe in Doha, Qatar.

That's where she talked to CNN about what it's like to be out of Libya, what she feels about her alleged attackers and much more.

Here's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She is free and in her first full interview, Eman Al-Obeidy reveals how vulnerable her brutal rape by Gadhafi's forces has left her.

(on camera): What are you going to say to your parents when you see them on Saturday?

EMAN AL-OBEIDY (through translator): I do not know. I feel it's a difficult problem. I've tried many times not to think about it.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Her tears speak of lost innocence, of a daughter's love for her parents. They stood by her after her rape. Her father, finding her a fiance, when some in this culture might have disowned her, even killed her for dishonoring the family name. Her parents traveled from rebel held eastern Libya to join her in Qatar. She fled here from virtual house arrest in Gadhafi's stronghold Tripoli over a week ago. It's their first meeting since they saw Gadhafi's thugs attacking her on TV in a Tripoli hotel two months ago. She had gone there to tell journalists of her rape.

Only now, safe from Gadhafi, can she talk freely about her abuse.

AL-OBEIDY: I never used to hate people in this way. But now I reached this level where I abhor them.

ROBERTSON: Only now can she explain how she endured gang rape and penetration with a gun.

AL-OBEIDY: I was telling myself to defy them. These animals cannot slip without punishment. I'm going to speak out no matter how much people will talk about me and would blame me and would ask how would a Libyan woman and a Muslim go on the media and say this.

All these things did not matter to me. I must take my rights. I felt I must expose the regime. They must receive their penalty.

ROBERTSON: And only now is she revealing her rape was just the beginning of her torment. Her character assassination by state TV and a government spokesman cut even deeper.

AL-OBEIDY: Sometimes words are worse than beatings or rapes. They put a great deal of psychological pressure on me, and they did not try to be credible or transparent in what they said about me. They did not even give me a chance to respond.

ROBERTSON: Her chance, when it came, was to escape. But the odds of making it alive across the border were not good. Her mountain drive with two deserting army officers could have ended in disaster.

But after two harrowing days she made it across the Libyan border into Tunisia; from there to freedom in Doha.

AL-OBEIDY: I felt my soul is liberated. I'm able to talk like I want, live like I choose. I was living in fear and terror and I was tired psychologically. But when I arrived to Doha, I felt comfortable, as if I had forgotten all these problems that happened to me. I felt so relieved.

ROBERTSON: Eman Al-Obeidy is not looking for pity; instead she found something in herself.

AL-OBEIDY: It changed my view of people and view of life, and it taught me that people should not give up when problems happen to them. On the contrary, if you face it and do not feel ashamed, they will find that everyone loves them. And they will love life.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Can you ever forgive what they did to you?

AL-OBEIDY: No, no. Impossible. Would you forgive them?

ROBERTSON: I'm sorry?

AL-OBEIDY: Would you forgive them?

ROBERTSON: If they did that? How could you?

AL-OBEIDY: Impossible. I cannot. Even if I forgave them, the people won't. No one will forget what they did to me. It's not only I, who went through this, but many Libyan girls were subjected to rape by Libyan forces and they were not able to speak out. Maybe people will look at me as a symbol of the Libyan opposition because I exposed the truth.

On the contrary, I opened the door that no one else could open. They were too scared. But I opened it without claiming (ph) it and after I opened it, it was on the media and I spoke to human rights organizations about what happened to me. And I'm happy for that.

I call on all girls, not just in Libya, but in the whole world, to speak out and not be afraid.

ROBERTSON: Nic Robertson, CNN, Doha, Qatar.


COOPER: Coming up, an update on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' recovery from getting shot in the head. Today, Giffords had surgery on her skull.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to join us and actually show you the procedure of how they take off part of the skull. It's something Sanjay does -- he's a neurosurgeon and does this quite frequently. He's going to show you how it works in the operating room. It's actually really fascinating. You should stick around for that.

And later, new revelations about Arnold Schwarzenegger's -- well, the woman he had a child with. Plus Maria Shriver making an appearance in Chicago. All of that ahead.


COOPER: A big step forward in the recovery and rehabilitation of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. You can recall, of course, she was shot in the head at a constituent meeting in Arizona back in January, severely wounded; six people were killed in that attack.

Well today, Giffords underwent surgery to replace a piece of her skull that doctors removed because of brain swelling. A hospital says she's doing well tonight. A short time ago, I spoke to 360 MD, Sanjay Gupta, about the procedure.


COOPER: Sanjay, you perform these kind of surgeries every week. You did a demonstration in the OR on exactly how much of her skull had to be originally removed to save her life. I just want to take a quick look at that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So one thing to keep in mind, the brain, unlike other organs of the body, if it starts to swell, it's really got nowhere to go. It can only go downwards and that's what's called a herniation.

And the second part is simply to try and connect these holes. This is the last cut now we're making. And one of the things that's really important is when you take this bone out, you want to make sure that you're protecting the brain underneath. And go ahead and lift that bone right out of there. And this is the area where the brain is actually allowed to swell now.


COOPER: So for four months she's been living and traveling with that much of her head removed?

GUPTA: Yes. And -- and surprisingly to a lot of people, this is not that uncommon on situation. Let me just show you again. You just saw that -- but just again to give you an idea of how much we're talking about here, that's -- that's how much, a significant portion of the left side, and the bone piece itself is about that size.

So it's -- you know, it's something that's done quite frequently and as you might guess the skin is closed over this area, but there's a concavity.


COOPER: So the skin grows back over it? Or they graft skin on?

GUPTA: Well, the skin, you know, there's an incision made and then when the -- after the operation is performed, the skin is brought back together.


COOPER: After they --

GUPTA: -- and just -- and just you know, and put together with sutures. But -- but you're absolutely right, Anderson, to your point, the only thing protecting the underlying brain now is that layer of skin. The bone is gone.

So if a person were to fall or something were to injure this area of the head, that would -- that would be a problem. A lot of times people will wear helmets in order to protect that part of the head from this very cause. But people can walk around with it.

COOPER: So during her surgery, did they put back the original piece of bone?

GUPTA: Well, this is interesting. In fact, that original piece of bone -- what they were concerned about was because of the gunshot would itself that they were concerned that bone may have some risk of infection. So what they did was they created a bone substitute. It's got the same consistency of bone. They essentially just model the same contour and they go ahead and place it back as you see there.

Anderson, I don't think you could see this around the edges, there is these little plates --



GUPTA: -- and essentially just tiny little screws. Now, two screws in the -- in the graft, the bone graft here itself and two screws back in original skull. And that's what holds it in place, Anderson.


COOPER: That's amazing.

GUPTA: Again, close this skin over it and that's the operation.

COOPER: That's incredible. And you spent time with her doctors.

Do they think she's going to regain enough function to -- I mean can she return to Congress?

GUPTA: You know, it's interesting -- I spoke to many of her doctors, including the doctors who originally treated her. And they all, the answer they all seem to give is, yes, but not tomorrow. And obviously, no one is thinking it's going to happen tomorrow.

But their point is I think that the rehab process is going to take a while. And they don't want to pin it down and for -- for good reason. I mean every patient is going to sort of return at their own -- their own pace.

But in terms of this type of injury, Anderson, as we've talked about, the impact on speech is there. The impact on function, motor strength on the right side of the body, the opposite side of the body of where the injury was, that's -- that's an issue, as well.

And as those things starts to improve, they may get a better idea of when that function is going to return.

COOPER: It's just an incredible thing to do. Sanjay thanks.

GUPTA: Thank you, Anderson.


COOPER: Well, still ahead tonight, we now know the name of the woman Arnold Schwarzenegger had his -- had another child with. And photos of her have surfaced.

But first, other stories we're watching tonight. Joe Johns has that "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Joe. JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the swollen Mississippi River is cresting in Vicksburg, Mississippi tonight, at more than 14 feet above flood stage. Parts of the city already under water and officials warn that even after the river crests, the flood waters will take weeks to drain.

Newt Gingrich now says he made a mistake when he criticized the Medicare provision of the House Republican budget plan. The GOP presidential candidate called it quote, "Right-wing social engineering", saying it would impose radical change on Americans. He now says his comments were inaccurate and unfortunate.

A bill introduced in the Senate today would limit how many times Americans can tap into their 401(k) retirement accounts for loans. The bill sponsors say 401(k)'s should not be used as piggy banks. Right now employers decide how often loans can be made. The bill would also make it easier to pay those loans back.

And a parade of A-List celebrities and journalists, including Maria Shriver, turned out in Chicago last night to bid farewell to Oprah Winfrey's iconic talk show. Shriver thanked Oprah for being a friend for 30 years.

And look at the line-up; stars on stage: Tom Hanks, Beyonce, Madonna and Tom Cruise on the far right in your screen. Oprah's final show airs next week. And a coda (ph) Anderson, I don't think Maria Shriver talked at all about her husband, the big issue.

COOPER: Yes interesting. Joe thanks.

Just ahead, the identity of Schwarzenegger's -- well, housekeeper who he fathered a child with. New details about the child they had together. Obviously we're not going to show you any pictures.

Plus, why previous complaints from women about his behavior fell flat with the public.

Up next though, also lawyers for the head of the International Monetary Fund file an application for bail. We're going to see what they've asked the judge on their client's behalf and we'll talk to senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin about his chances of being released.


COOPER: Well, in just a few moments, the identity of the woman Arnold Schwarzenegger had a child with and the first photos of her surface publicly.

But first, "Crime and Punishment", a move by lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the IMF, to get him released on bail as early as tomorrow. He's obviously, as I said, the head of the IMF; he's accused of sexually assaulting a maid in a New York City hotel on Saturday. He was arrested after boarding a flight to Paris later in the same afternoon, and remanded to jail. Late today, his lawyers filed a bail application, saying that he has no prior criminal record and does not represent a flight risk. They said Strauss-Kahn would post $1 million and agree to 24-hour home detention with electronic monitoring.

Jeffrey Toobin is CNN's senior legal analyst. He joins me now.

The defense is asking for bail. What do you know about that and what details do you have on it?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's an unusual -- I mean it's a very persuasive motion I have to say, Anderson. Here's a guy who is a now very big public figure, who has a -- you know, his daughter is a graduate student here at Columbia. He lives in Washington. He has a lot of roots in New York, and he's also agreeing to electronic monitoring.

The idea that he's a risk of flight --

COOPER: Would he give up his passport?

TOOBIN: Oh, he's already given up his passport and he's agreed to surrender that. He really does not seem like much of a risk of flight. It's a very serious crime.

And there was also an interesting new disclosure in the motion which was -- you know a lot of it -- there's been a lot of attention, of course, that he went right to this flight. But the defense asserted in the papers filed today that he had a reservation on that flight for a week.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: So it was not a new thing. He didn't just sprint for the airport.

COOPER: So they're saying he wasn't trying to just run away and escape. It's interesting because he actually left, I think, in a hotel car, which if you're trying to flee from a hotel it would seem an odd thing to do.

TOOBIN: And they also point out that, you know, the only reason they knew where he was is that he called for his cell phone. He called the hotel and said, "Did I forget my cell phone back in the room?" If you are trying to keep your whereabouts a secret, you don't call the hotel and say, by the way, I'm on this flight, please bring me my phone.

Of course, none of this means he's innocent, but it does relate to the issue of flight.

COOPER: Right. One can always say, well, rationally it doesn't make sense. Of course, in something like this, people don't actually act rationally.

TOOBIN: That's for sure. COOPER: What about some are calling the Roman Polanski effect? You know, some have been saying -- drawing comparisons between the cases, arguing that if he would leave the U.S., France would be under no obligation to try to send him back to face trial.

TOOBIN: Well, you know, it is kind of amazing how many parallels there are. And in fact, the prosecutor in the initial bail here earlier this week explicitly raised the Polanski comparison. He's a French national. It was a sex crime. He was out on bail. Now there are many differences. Polanski was not required to surrender his passport and he certainly wasn't under any sort of electronic monitoring.

But the fight that the American government has had literally for decades to get Polanski back, if not explicitly a legal precedent, it's certainly on a lot of people's minds and it's just another argument for keeping him in jail.

COOPER: Do you think the judge will release him on bail?

TOOBIN: Boy, you know, I've been struggling with that question. I think there are a lot of hard -- I mean a lot of questions about these legal proceedings are pretty easy to answer. This one is hard. If I had to guess, I would say if not this time then sometime next week they will put together a bail package that will get him out. If you really believe risk of flight is the main issue here, as it's supposed to be, I think the defense makes a strong case.

COOPER: What would be different about a bail package a week from now than the one now? What would make a better bail package?

Toobin: $2 million --

COOPER: So more money.

Toobin: Additional signatories. A tighter restriction on where he might go. The package presented today didn't identify the place where he would be monitored. I mean you can work within these systems. This is a much more common practice in federal court, this sort of out on bail with electronic monitoring.

So I think one disadvantage Strauss-Kahn has is both the prosecutors and the judges are less familiar in the New York state system, because they deal mostly with violent crime, not white-collar crime, people with access to that sort of thing. So I wouldn't be surprised if the judge said, "Well, we may be getting there, but we're not there yet."

COOPER: If he gets bail, though, it seems -- I mean do you think he can hold on to his job at the IMF?

TOOBIN: No way.

COOPER: He can't travel. If he can't travel like he does for the IMF, you think that alone would seem difficult.

TOOBIN: Oh, I mean not traveling and also this is a crime, where if he's convicted, he's not looking at months in prison, he's looking at years in prison. I mean sexual assault is a very major crime. He's going to have to devote all his attention to figuring out how he's going to fight this case, and how can anyone take him seriously? How can anyone think that he's actually going to be paying attention where best case scenario, he's confined to an apartment with an ankle bracelet?

COOPER: They live in Washington. Would he be -- could he leave New York? I mean could he live down in his home in Washington?

TOOBIN: Inconceivable to me. I can't imagine.

COOPER: Really? Inconceivable?

TOOBIN: Oh, yes, I mean -- remember, we're not talking about the U.S. government. We're talking about New York State. This is New York State bringing this case. New York State is not going to take the risk that somehow other jurisdictions, courts get involved. They are going to say, if he's let out at all, you have to stay in Manhattan.

Remember, this district attorney, he's not even the other four Burroughs. It's just Manhattan. He's going to have to stay here and in an apartment where his comings and goings are very tightly- controlled. He can go to the doctor. He can go to the lawyer. That's about all when you're under that sort of 24-hour detention.

I think Washington is out of the question. And I think his departure from the IMF is not a question of if but when.

COOPER: Yes. A question of time. Jeff Toobin, appreciate it. Thanks. We'll see what happens tomorrow.


COOPER: A source close to Arnold Schwarzenegger says the revelation that he fathered a child with a household staffer has been difficult for him and he's apologized to his family. The New York Times is reporting the child's mother is Mildred Patricia Baena, a former housekeeper for the Schwarzenegger family. These are pictures from her MySpace page. There's also pictures of her son which we're obviously not going to show you his face.

TMZ posted this picture today reportedly of Schwarzenegger and Baena at a party at his house in 1994. Three years before she gave birth to his child. There's new video today of Schwarzenegger in his car, as well.

Maria Shriver, meanwhile, appeared last night as Joe mentioned in Chicago for a taping of the final episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show". Shriver got a standing ovation, a hug from Oprah. No mention though directly of what Shriver is going through right now, though.

This is not the first sex scandal that Schwarzenegger has been involved with. Before he was elected California governor, the "L.A. Times" ran a series of articles about more than a dozen women who accused him of sexual harassment over a 30-year period. Former "L.A. Times" reporter, Tracy Weber, broke that story back in 2003. She's now a senior reporter for ProPublica.

Earlier I spoke with Tracy and with Adam Nagourney of "The New York Times".


COOPER: Adam, your reporting in the "New York Times" helped uncover the identity of this woman. We know there's obviously this media frenzy outside of her home. What have you learned about who she is and where she is?

ADAM NAGOURNEY, "NEW YORK TIMES": We're not sure where she is. We had a lot of reporters outside -- there were a lot of reporters outside her house today. She hasn't been seen for a couple days.

She worked for the governor and his wife for 20 years as a housekeeper. She retired about a year ago, I think, and moved out there. And that's where she's been living.

COOPER: And a lot of the pictures that we're seeing are from her MySpace page.

NAGOURNEY: From MySpace page, right.

COOPER: You confirmed that she and Maria Shriver were -- they said pregnant around the same time?

NAGOURNEY: I mean the son -- let me get this right -- the son of Ms. Shriver and Mr. Schwarzenegger, the younger son was born within a week of the son -- the illegitimate son. So they were pregnant -- women were pregnant at the same time. And I think -- I believe the kids actually played together in the mansion for a couple years there.

COOPER: Tracy, you covered the groping allegations against Arnold Schwarzenegger that came to light during the 2003 campaign when you were working for the "L.A. Times". A, were you surprised to hear about this secret child out there? I mean there had been rumors certainly. I know you've investigated.

TRACY WEBER, FORMER REPORTER, "L.A. TIMES": Well, we were -- had heard that there had been a child, and I had actually gone to talk to a woman who was alleged to have had a child with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and she vehemently denied that at the time.

COOPER: This was a different woman?

WEBER: This was a different woman. But I wasn't surprised, but I'm actually quite surprised that it hadn't come out earlier than this.

COOPER: That he's been able to keep it secret this long?

WEBER: Right.

COOPER: When you investigated the groping allegations and you talked to a number of the women involved, it's kind of -- I mean explain what happened after those -- after those allegations were revealed. It didn't seem to make much difference.

WEBER: That was actually quite difficult, because I was called into the story in order to, you know, find some of these women where we had indications that had been involved in incidents with Arnold Schwarzenegger. And he was the leading candidate for governor.

And I -- I tracked down these women, and I started talking with them. And it was very difficult for them to talk about these things that had happened to them because he was in a position of power, and they were -- not only had things happen to them, like he had groped them. He had pinned one of them between a friend of his and kissed her aggressively and laid on top of one of the other women.

COOPER: This was while on movie sets? These were women who were working on movie sets?

WEBER: Right. These are women working on movie sets. And it was very difficult to convince them to go public with this, because once you're out in the open like that, you can face a lot of, you know, questions and issues and comments, and it kind of marks you.

And they, by the end of talking to them, agreed that it was important for voters to know that this had happened. And you know, we checked these women out, we validated their stories. We found people they told at the time. We even checked criminally, civilly. These were really validated stories. And they went out and agreed to go on the record.

And then a couple of days later, voters didn't seem to care about it. He won by a wide margin and it was just devastating for these women, because that was one more, you know, humiliation for them. And it was hard for me, too, because I had convinced them to go public with this.

COOPER: It does seem -- and I reread the reporting you did back then. And I mean it does seem like he, Schwarzenegger, as a top paid movie star, had a sense of entitlement, a sense that he could get away with basically just about any kind of behavior on a movie set with women, and they didn't feel they could really do much and it.

WEBER: Well, you know, he -- these movies are $100 million movies. He's a mega movie star. If you complained on a movie set like this, you not only complained about him, but you had a reputation then for doing something to damage a franchise. And they were -- didn't feel anyone would listen to them or chastise him.

You know, I spoke with a lot of women that didn't want to have their stories shared, as well. And there was a sense that no one was going to tell him no because he was the money.

COOPER: And in terms of where this story goes, Adam, as a reporter, what are you most interested in at this point?

NAGOURNEY: I guess -- interesting questions you're raising because what people are interested in generally these days. I mean I think there's going to be a lot of interest in the questions you're raising: how long they worked together, how -- you know, how -- why it took so long for Mrs. -- for his wife to find out.

What I'm interested in -- this might reflect my own bias in covering government and politics -- is how did people in his office not know? Or did they know and did they help him cover up. Did he do anything -- and I'm thinking of John Edwards, I want to be clear -- I'm not remotely making any allegations, just things I've been thinking about. Did he do anything to use his official powers to try to stop this from coming out? Those are the kind of questions I'd be interested in.

And I'm also interested in whether or not he made an arrangement with her where he paid her money basically not to talk, which is very common here in Los Angeles and is generally legal but not always. But those are the questions I'm interested in.

COOPER: Tracy Weber, appreciate you coming on and talking about it. Adam Nagourney, as well; thank you Adam.

NAGOURNEY: Thank you.


COOPER: Coming up, if you have a bright idea for any kind of project, for instance making fashionable reflective clothing, but you don't have the money to make it happen, there's a Web site that can help. We'll explain how coming up in "The Connection".


COOPER: Tonight in "The Connection", an Internet company that's helping people turn their ideas into a reality. It's a Web site called Kickstarter and it's a place to go if you have an idea but you need the dollars.

Here's -- Deborah Feyerick reports.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Got a good idea? Yancey Strickler has an idea for your idea.

YANCEY STRICKLER, CO-FOUNDER, KICKSTARTER: We'll take that special project, that piece of art, that record -- whatever it is and put it out to the world and let them have a say versus, you know, some boardroom, some businessman.

FEYERICK: In this small office on New York City's Lower East Side, you won't find a boardroom, just Strickler and two dozen employees, the heart and soul of an Internet company called Kickstarter. Their concept is simple: fund and follow creativity.

STRICKLER: It's a way for creative people of all kinds, artists, filmmakers, musicians, documentarian's, chefs, technologists, whoever, to bring the ideas they have to life. FEYERICK: it's not charity, rather something in between art patronage and commerce. Through Kickstarter, users can post a plea for their projects and anyone can support them with a financial pledge. In exchange the project creator gives donors a reward or unique experience like a signed memento or tickets for screenings. You can see how much a project has been funded already, and how many days remain to reach the goal.

Kickstarter won't give the project creator any money until all the funds have been raised.

Alex Vessels and Mindy Chu are two grad students who came up with an idea to create more fashionable reflective clothing. It's called "We Flashy".

ALEX VESSELS, CO-FOUNDER, WE FLASHY: We're both casual bike riders and we wanted clothes that we could wear everywhere but also provided us with extra safety and visibility.

FEYERICK: It started as a class assignment to make wearable technology. They used special materials on shirts that would reflect light on busy streets but that are hardly noticeable in normal environments. They took We Flashy to Kickstarter and raised well above the $6,000 start-up costs.

VESSELS: Not only was it our classmates and our friends are donating but people we've never even met before.

FEYERICK: To date, Kickstarter has raised more than $50 million and supported more than 20,000 projects, ranging from an artist who wanted to pen a handwritten letter to every person in the world, to a short film nominated for an Oscar last year.

STRICKLER: Some of the projects that we have on the site, you know, are from people who probably could get more traditional money and here are opting for a different venue. Other people here, this might be their only chance and so to create a place where all that can happen and happen, very simply was definitely the dream.

FEYERICK: A dream letting other dreams come to life.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Joe Johns is following other stories for us tonight. He's back with a "360 Bulletin" -- Joe.

JOHNS: Anderson, Libya frees four journalists held in detention. They include two Americans and two Europeans. The journalists were captured weeks ago by Libya's army and accused of entering the country illegally.

And a "360 Follow". Tonight, state police in Maine believe they've identified the body of a young boy found over the weekend near the New Hampshire border. They're not naming him. Meantime, authorities from three states are interviewing a woman in the death. She was picked up today at a rest stop in Massachusetts and was later taken to a hospital for medical evaluation. Authorities have not identified her or her connection to the boy.

Queen Elizabeth and Ireland's president attended a formal dinner tonight at Dublin Castle. Speaking in the Irish language during a toast, the queen expressed deep sympathy for those who suffered during the long and difficult history between Britain and Ireland.

And the birther controversy lives on in an unexpected way. President Obama's re-election campaign sent an e-mail to supporters selling T- shirts and mugs with a picture of Obama above the words "Made in the USA" and a copy of his birth certificate. His deputy campaign manager said there's really no way to make this stuff completely go away. The only thing we can do is laugh at it and make sure as many people as possible are in on the joke.

There you go.

COOPER: A souvenir of your own joke. Joe thanks.

Time now for the "RidicuList" and tonight, we're adding the Dallas County Republican Party. Not for any political reason at all.

See, last night a special election, they elected this man, a man by the name of Wade Emmert, chair of the party. Now, I'm sure he's a fine individual. I actually don't know anything about him. I'm not in any way taking sides in county politics. Mr. Emmert, we certainly wish you well and wish you nothing but the best.

But the reason all this winds up on the "RidicuList" is because by electing him, the party has deprived itself of the unique and extraordinary vision of this lady, Debbie Georgatos. Who is she, you might ask?

Well, I'm glad you asked, because now I get to show you her fantastically surreal campaign video in which Debbie tackled the important issues, all the while employing melancholy cello music, cutting edge editing, and the occasional shot of a baby elephant.


DEBBIE GEORGATOS, FORMER CANDIDATE: There's an elephant in the room, a weak elephant. Do you know what I mean?


COOPER: That's just the beginning. And we didn't edit in the picture of the elephant. That's actually in the video.

The video goes on for a full two minutes, and every second of it is really quite splendid. It's an epic journey in which Debbie makes her case without ever making eye contact with the camera.

And I just want to point out, we did not edit any of these clips at all. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGATOR: In the November 2010 elections, Dallas County bucked a national trend. While Republicans won races around the country, the Dallas County Republicans lost every race -- every single one.


COOPER: Every single one. So what went wrong, Debbie? What is the problem with Dallas County? Is it a person?


GEORGATOS: The problem is not necessarily a person. It's a mindset. A mindset that says, we always have to do everything the way we always have. It's an establishment mindset.


COOPER: Clearly Debbie does not fall victim to the establishment mindset. She has catapulted out of that mindset. The mindset that says you shouldn't splice random clips of black and white science- fiction movies into your campaign video. The mindset that says a campaign video shouldn't simultaneously be trippier (ph) than Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and look like it was shot by a junior high AB club dropout. And yet, somehow she lost the election. By a vote of 140- 95, the Dallas County Republican Party chose Wade Emmert. Wade Emmert, who as far as I know has not adopted any particular stance on the super massive black hole.


GEORGATOS: The super massive black hole is the most destructive force in the universe. It literally sucks in and destroys everything within its reach.


COOPER: Whoa. Now I'm just kind of scared, but not as scared as you should be, Dallas County. Because without Debbie's leadership, it's not just the massive black hole you have to worry about, now you also have to worry about the super massive blue hole.


GEORGATOS: We don't want Dallas county to become the super massive blue hole, because we don't know what that looks like. It's called Detroit.


COOPER: Did she just slam Detroit? I think she just slammed Detroit. But I can't tell for sure, because I feel like I'm on mushrooms. Not that I've ever actually been on mushrooms, but from what I've read, that's what it feels like.

It is the best campaign video ever.

For not electing this woman, Dallas County Republican Party has hereby fallen into the super massive black hole on "The RidicuList".

We'll be right back.


COOPER: That's it for 360. Thanks for watching.

Piers Morgan starts now.

I'll see you tomorrow.