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Struggling to ID Those Killed in Joplin; Palin vs. Bachmann; 'Strategy Session'; Privacy Concerns on the Web; Bin Laden Considered Pakistan Deal; "This is America, We're Going to Rebuild It"

Aired May 27, 2011 - 17:00   ET


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, stunning new revelations about Osama Bin Laden just weeks since his death. Why U.S. officials now believe he may have been considering a deal with Pakistan in exchange for his protection.

Plus, a fluctuating death toll in Joplin, Missouri, as officials juggle to identify the bodies of those killed in a devastating tornado almost one week ago. Just ahead, I'll speak one of the coroners involved in the daunting and grisly task.

And news time, the GOP could be gearing up for a clash of conservative women in the 2012 the race for the White House. Will it be Sarah Palin versus Michele Bachmann?

Wolf Blitzer is off today, I'm Candy Crowley and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

First to the U.S. investigation into Osama Bin Laden and dramatic new clues revealing that he may have been trying to reach out to Pakistan for protection in the years before he was killed.

This comes as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a visit to the country in a new effort to ease tension in the wake of Bin Laden's death. CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence is at the Pentagon with all of the details. Chris --

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Candy, all of this is coming out of the massive treasure trove of intelligence that the Navy SEALs pulled out of Osama Bin Laden's compound. This revelation is fascinating in that it really reveals one of the ways in which Osama Bin Laden thought about trying to evade U.S. detection.


LAWRENCE (voice-over): Documents seized from Osama Bin Laden's compound show he was ready to make a deal. Al Qaeda will keep it hands off Pakistan, no attacks if Pakistan protected its leaders and allowed them to live there.


LAWRENCE: Pakistan's ambassador told CNN there were no contacts with his country. HAQQANI: You can think of many things of wanting to do them and so did Osama Bin Laden. Question is, did he raise with anyone? And the U.S. government clearly says that he did not.

LAWRENCE: Not quite that clearly. A U.S. official says Bin Laden did communicate with al Qaeda's operations chief about brokering protection.

And while there's no evidence that he ever approached Pakistani leaders to make a deal, American officials say there's still an open question about Bin Laden's links to people in Pakistan.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Our counterparts in the government were very forthcoming in saying that, you know, somebody somewhere was providing some kind of support.

LAWRENCE: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Admiral Mike Mullen have left Islamabad and one U.S. official says the American-Pakistani relationship, quote, "has been walked back from the brink."

CLINTON: But this was an especially important visit because we have reached a turning point.

LAWRENCE: The question is, turning where? Pakistan is again demanding a decrease in U.S. drone strikes and telling the U.S. military to send many of its 200 trainers home.

PETER BROOKES, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: They are talking about reducing the number of personnel in these joint intelligence fusion centers so I think there's a bunch of mix signals here.

LAWRENCE: Pakistan agreed to let the CIA send a forensic team into the compound. They can swab surfaces for DNA samples and possibly use infrared cameras to search for anything embedded in the walls.

BROOKES: There is potentially explosive material in this intelligence find.


LAWRENCE: And U.S. officials reiterated again today right now there is no evidence that senior or any Pakistani officials knew Bin Laden was there.

In fact, Secretary Clinton hinted that there could be announcements of new U.S. and Pakistan joint missions, just in the coming days, possibly focused on counterterrorism. Candy --

CROWLEY: Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon, thanks.

We want to get more on these revelations. Joining us now is CNN National Security analyst, Peter Bergen. But clearly, Osama Bin Laden by having plans to reach out to the Pakistani government at some level felt that there was a soft spot somewhere that might be willing to protect him. PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it was kind of a strange thought for Bin Laden. After all starting in 2007, Candy, he had made it an official al Qaeda policy to attack the Pakistani government.

One of the reasons that we've seen a rash of suicide attacks in Pakistan is that both Bin Laden and his deputy were encouraging attacks on the Pakistani government and state.

That said, you know, Bin Laden has had a fairly high favorable rating amongst ordinary Pakistanis. It's been dropping precipitously over the years. Somewhere in the Pakistani military, there are people who are sympathetic to this in the sense that think about General Musharraf who was for many years after 9/11 in charge of the country.

He was a subject for two very serious assassination attempts that was sort of linked to al Qaeda and that involved members of the military. So it was -- but it was -- it was a drawing board idea. It wasn't like he had actually done it.

CROWLEY: It seems -- what do you make -- let's think of the total that we know so far that came out of that house. T hat he thought that maybe he could make a deal somewhere, the Pakistani government, in exchange for not attacking Pakistani targets.

That he thought of maybe we are to attack U.S. train system. It seemed in his final years that he might have been more of a dreamer than a doer?

BERGEN: Yes, I think that's true. But all of al Qaeda's leaders, if you look at Sheikh Mohammed, the operational commander of 9/11 told American investigators. He gave 30 different scenarios of things that they would like to do.

Very few of them did they actually even recruit people to do. So Bin Laden had a lot of time on his hands, he's thinking about attacking on July 4th in Washington, sort of unsurprising things.

But I think you're right, he was doing a lot of dreaming. He wasn't doing a lot of like stuff that actually ended up with anything that actually happened.

CROWLEY: And let me ask you just listening to this piece from Chris about, well, now we've turned the corner in the U.S-Pakistani relation. Was there ever any doubt in your mind, given how much these two countries need each other, that they wouldn't find a way out of this.

Where we insulted Pakistan by going into their country with our military to kill Osama Bin Laden and embarrass them? We think maybe they protected him. But in the end, was there any doubt that they wouldn't come back and say, OK?

BERGEN: The relationship is way too important for both sides. I mean, Pakistan is about to be the fifth largest country in the world in 2015 in terms of population, has nuclear weapons, al Qaeda continues to be headquartered there. The Taliban is vital to what the United States does in Afghanistan.

And, you know, the Pakistan understands that the relationship with the United States is also incredibly important. So, yes, there was no doubt -- the relationship took a huge hit.

It wasn't just the Bin Laden discovery. It's also being the Raymond, the drone attacks, which Chris mentioned in his piece. And you know, it's a very anti-American country and ordinary Pakistanis are pretty hostile to United States.

CROWLEY: Thank you so much. Peter Bergen, thank you for coming by.

Now to the devastation in Joplin, Missouri. Almost one week since the killer tornado struck, 156 people remain unaccounted for. At least 90 people on the original list of those missing have been located alive, but some new names have just been added.

Meanwhile, there are new signs of life amidst the rubble. The first business is just now beginning to rebuild. We want to bring in CNN's Casey Wian.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, that's right. You know, you see all these devastation, this wreckage behind me that is still pervasive throughout a large portion of Joplin, but we came across one sign of hope that there's a good chance that Joplin will recover.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is America and we're going to rebuild it.

WIAN (voice-over): Four days after an historic tornado demolished much of Joplin, Missouri, contractor Darren Collins started construction on the first new building to emerge from the rubble.

DARREN COLLINS, CONTRACTOR: At some point, we're going to have to stop scratching our head and staring at the rubble and roll-up our sleeves and get things back to some sort of normalcy.

WIAN: He's rebuilding his wife's beauty salon, which he built once before 17 years ago. On Tuesday, Collins discussed the idea with city officials and on Wednesday, they gave him the OK to start and Thursday construction began.

COLLINS: We've had just an enormous out pouring of generosity and help to get prepared to get back to this point. The city has been great. The city of Joplin has allowed us a permit in record time.

WIAN: There's still no electricity in this part of Joplin. The substation across the street remains in ruins so a generator powers the tools.

COLLINS: Time to roll-up our sleeves and do what we can do to move on with our lives.

WIAN: Passersby continually stop to offer encouragement and support. COLLINS: I just had two police officers stop by and said, man, we want to shake your hand. The first glimmer of hope that we've really seen towards the town rebuilding.

WIAN: Four nearby homes that Collins built in the past year are in ruins. Already he has at least six projects waiting to be rebuilt.

COLLINS: My heart and prayer goes out to everyone that did lose loved ones and I hate for it to come to something like this to bring business to the area, but I believe everyone around here will surprise everyone in the country with the rate that we can come back.

WIAN: After so much tragedy and so much devastation, Collins takes solace in the cross that remains standing in the rubble of St. Mary's Church across the street and the support that he's received from his community.

COLLINS: I thank God to live in such a place.


WIAN: Collins says he expects to have the roof on that structure as early as this Sunday and hopes to be open for business in 45 days and that will allow five stylists to be back to work in their home location. Candy --

CROWLEY: It's so wonderful how such a little piece of news can sort of up everybody's spirits. Listen, Casey, you profiled a national guardsman for us yesterday and you have an update on it.

WIAN: Absolutely. Actually Army Reserviceman by the name of Dennis Osborne who was killed in the home depot collapse during the tornado. His body was found across someone else and they believe that he was actually trying to protect someone from that tornado.

We profiled his grieving widow, Stephanie, and part of the problem that she and so many others have been having here in Joplin is trying to get the remains of their loved ones out of the morgue.

The identification process has taken a very, very long time. She was frustrated as many people here are. We just got word from the county coroner this afternoon that in fact his body has been positively identified and she should be able to get her husband's remains either later today or perhaps tomorrow and be able to schedule a funeral.

And that's something that a lot of families here are really hoping that they can get done as quickly as possible. Candy --

CROWLEY: Yes, not good news, but comforting news I'm sure for his widow. Our Casey Wian for us in a very wounded Joplin, Missouri tonight. Thank you, Casey.

There is growing frustration, Casey just said, among families trying to get information about loved ones killed in Joplin. Just ahead I'll ask one of the coroners helping to identify bodies what's holding up the process. Plus, former President George W. Bush's $3 billion effort to help fight AIDS literally saving lives in Africa. Why it's now on Congress' chopping block.

And as the GOP race to the White House gains steam, you may be surprised by who is topping our latest poll. Here's a hint. They are not even running.


CANDY CROWLEY, GUEST HOST: The death toll in Joplin, Missouri, now stands at 132 and could rise. As authorities continue the grueling process of identifying those killed. DNA, finger prints and tattoos are all being used in the effort.

Mark Bridges is one of those helping ID the bodies. He's Newton County coroner and he joins us now from Joplin.

Mr. Bridges, thank you so much.

I cannot imagine what your job is like and I know you can't imagine what these families are going through as they await for confirmation of the death of a loved one. Could you just first just -- why does it seem to be taking so long to identify these bodies?

MARK BRIDGES, NEWTON COUNTY, MISSOURI, CORONER: Well, it's frustrating to the families and it's frustrating to me. When you depend upon people coming in from all over the country to help start your identification program, it takes a while for them to ramp up. So, we have adjusted from that point at the request of these families, at the family meeting last night at 6:00, and we have started pulling people out of the line that are readily identifiable, and that process has been taken place since about 8:00 last night.

CROWLEY: So, if I read you correctly, what you're saying is that there are people who are recognizable that you can say, all right, I have someone that roughly matches the description of your loved one. Will you take a look? But that there are others that are either too gruesome to look at or unidentifiable to look at that are taking more time, is that correct?

BRIDGES: That's right. Basically, we've put the people that are identifiable to the front of the line now at the request, of course, of the family members, and that's something that we've wanted. That's not protocol for the federal identification team, but the state of Missouri reacting to the family's wants and needs has assigned a number of personnel to make this happen and it is happening today.

CROWLEY: And so, do you expect to be completed with the identification of the bodies that you have today?

BRIDGES: No. It will be a long process with people. I'm sure that there will be some that -- I'm fairly sure that there will be some that will even have to be made with DNA and that will take a matter of weeks. But the people that are readily identifiable, I would say in the next few days they ought to be able to be identified. CROWLEY: I guess I'm not sure why if they're readily identifiable, it would take a couple of days for them to be identified by a loved one.

BRIDGES: Yes. What -- I hope -- I'm giving you a worst case scenario. I hope that doesn't take that long, but I'd rather be far out than be close. Once they find an individual, they pull him out, they have information on the body bag, then they take that information.

They -- just involved with one a while ago, they look at the picture, we looked at the picture in this case. It looked like the individual. He -- the only thing is, it just wasn't -- you know, somebody laying there that's dead versus a picture, we were a little bit hesitant. So, they are running through dental. There's five dentists on the scene. We have dental records on him, but that will take a little bit of time.

So, that is the process right now. We have some false identities -- false identifiers at first. And we don't want that anymore.

Early on, they were releasing an individual, for instance, that the family had ID'ed and it was, in fact, not their loved one. They came into the funeral home after he was cleaned up and they said, oh, that's not our loved one. We don't want that happening anymore.

So, I apologize to the families. It takes longer. But the steps we're taking I think that we're going to have positive IDs on the way we're working right now, would just -- it just takes time to go through those identifiers and get them to the families, get them -- get them cleaned up so they can look at them and actually say, hey, that does look like my loved one and we've got to have them say, that is my loved one.

CROWLEY: And just quickly, can you tell me approximately how many bodies you have in this morgue and how many people you have working helping to identify them?

BRIDGES: Well, I'm going to say right now, they have been releasing bodies. So, I don't have an exact count. But I'd say it's probably in the neighborhood of 115 and there's probably 75 people working in that morgue right now.

CROWLEY: OK. Mr. Bridges, no one envies you, your job. Thank you so much for taking the time out today to talk with us.

BRIDGES: Thank you. Appreciate it.

CROWLEY: Sarah Palin has played coy about whether she's ready to run for president. Could a new poll give her pause before taking on President Obama?

And Mitt Romney could throw his hat in the ring next week, but he had an alarming experience in Iowa today. That's ahead.



CROWLEY: President Obama ended his European tour by visiting an old ally.

Mary Snow has that and some of the top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM -- Mary.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, President Obama is in Poland wrapping up his six-day tour of Europe. Earlier, Mr. Obama honored victims of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising with a wreath-laying. Tonight, he co-hosted a dinner for the Polish president for central and European leaders. The visit is seen as a chance for the president to remind allies in the region that the U.S. remains committed to them.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is losing allies and fast. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is adding his name to the list of leaders demanding Colonel Gadhafi to step down. Previously, Moscow was a critic of the NATO-led mission in Libya. Leaders at the G-8 summit in France asked Russia to mediate in the conflict. Gadhafi's regime has asked for the same thing.

And, finally, closer to home, Mitt Romney isn't running for president yet, but he's already learning to cope with the crisis, sort of. At an appearance in Iowa, a fire alarm interrupted the possible Republican contender in the middle of a speech. It threw him off- stride, and in his own words, that just forced him to take his campaign to the street. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A question here from our audience. We are still recovering from the economic --

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: Well, let's see. I believe in following safety first. So, I would -- it's going to keep ongoing. Who can tell us what the circumstance is?

You know, discretion is the better part of valor. I think we ought to be very careful and just carefully go outside and I'll be happy to get pictures with each of you, shake hands with you if we got sometime, and I want to say thank you for being here. Thanks for your help. And let's win a good one here.


SNOW: All is fine. Mitt Romney's aide tells us that the fire alarm was set off by a bag of burned microwave popcorn.

He had to be dealing with corn while he's in Iowa, Candy.

CROWLEY: That's right. And, actually, it doesn't seem like anybody was in a great rush to get out. He had a pretty calm audience. So --

SNOW: Yes, they seemed pretty calm.

CROWLEY: They did. Thank you so much, Mary Snow. See you later. It is being called the wave of future. Law enforcement now using Facebook to solve more and more crimes. Is it coming at the expense of your privacy?

Plus, with the stroke of a pen, President Obama keeps a critical anti- terrorism bill from expiring. It's not your ordinary pen and now, it's sparking a little bit of controversy.


CROWLEY: Some dramatic twists and turns in the GOP race to the White House, just as the unofficial start to summer gets under way.

CNN's Joe Johns is monitoring all the new developments.

Joe, there's a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out of all the GOP contenders with a surprising name at the top.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It sure is a surprising name, Candy. Somebody we're not talking about much in politics right now, actually in the lead.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and -- I mean, that's interesting because you haven't heard much from him. A couple of points behind him, we see Mitt Romney. And a tick or two behind Mitt Romney, we see Sarah Palin.

So, if you look at that poll very carefully, there are two people who really haven't shown any intention of getting into the race doing pretty good right now.

CROWLEY: I always thought politicians always do best when they were not running for something. But nonetheless, is Sarah Palin, who has not decided, or at least has not said whether she's decided to get in this race, should get in, would that make Republicans happy?

JOHNS: Well, we've got numbers here that show there is a lot of polarization. You know, people, as we've always said, either like Sarah Palin or they really don't like her a lot. And you look at this poll, it sort of reflects that.

Forty percent of the people polled who are definitely not showing Sarah Palin much love right now. You know, conservatives I've talked to say there's an X factor, an unknown factor, that even though you know a lot about Sarah Palin, the celebrity, you don't know what she stands for politically.

They say they would like to see more about what she supports rather than the things she just opposes. And there's also a question of, you know, that business of leaving the governor's office in Alaska. I'm told that there are some conservatives who don't like that very much. It makes her look like, if you will, ,a quitter. So there's polarization.

CROWLEY: And let me ask you about one other female sort of standing around who we believe will also or at some point announce that she's in it. And that is Michele Bachmann, who is also a Tea Party favorite, as is Sarah Palin. And you and I know that the comparison is inevitable here.

JOHNS: Right.

CROWLEY: If the two of them get in the race, sort of going for the same element of the Republican Party, having many of the same stances, does Sarah Palin take away from Bachmann's support?

JOHNS: Well, right, the assumption is that they would be competing for the same values voters, social conservatives. The thinking is that they'd appeal to both in Iowa and they'd just sort of have to fight it out.

But there are a lot of people who are saying even though Sarah Palin is so well known, don't count Bachmann out. She is well known for her policy.

She's been on Capitol Hill sort of crafting language. And she's also known very well for raising a lot of money. So she could possibly stand toe to toe with Sarah Palin for a little while.

Nonetheless, at the end of the day, you talk to people who work for Palin and they say this woman can save -- raise money unbelievably, and she would probably just blow Bachmann right out of the water, at least on finances.

CROWLEY: Well, both of us would love to see a race of any sort. Any time it's exciting, we're for it. That's all I can say.

JOHNS: Yes, exactly.

CROWLEY: Joe Johns, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

JOHNS: You bet.

CROWLEY: We want to talk more about this in today's "Strategy Session." Roland Martin is a CNN political contributor, and Terry Holt is a Republican strategist who served as spokesman for George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.

So, here we have this poll, and two of three in the top three aren't even running at this very moment.

Any surprise there to you, Roland?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: No, it's not. Look, I think more people are like me. They are concerned whether or not the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat are going to go seven games, or what in the world Scottie Pippen is smoking saying LeBron James could be better than Michael Jordan.

Look, people are not going to pay attention to this race until after Labor Day. The rules have changed, Candy.

It used to be -- remember, 2007, we had Senator Barack Obama. He got in, in February. You had Senator Hillary Clinton. She got in. We had all that time in '07, then the primaries in '08.

I think this is different. They are not going to get serious until after Labor Day. And so you don't have the same pressure to get in early as you did in the last cycle. And so I think, wait until Labor Day, and then folks will pay attention.

CROWLEY: Well, Terry, nonetheless, isn't it kind of weird that Rudy Giuliani -- I mean, I know people recognize Giuliani's name, and he has the 9/11 mystique around him. But it just seems kind of weird he'd show up on the poll to me.

TERRY HOLT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, this is still very much a time of testing. And Rudy Giuliani had a lot of excitement associated with this candidacy at one point in 2008.

And I think that in this period, you see Giuliani at the top. But you also see everybody in very low double digits.

And what that means is that, for various reasons, this race is still very open. There are people that think they can come in and grab the nomination, and so they are floating their names. There is nothing wrong with that.

I think Roland is right to a certain extent. The issues are going to take the stage this summer. We're still talking about the debt ceiling and cutting spending and capping spending. Those are still the front line issues for the American people. They want to see results from this president, from this Congress, and we'll do this Republican nomination in due time.

I think Roland, after Labor Day, you've got it right on the nose there.

CROWLEY: Well, let me ask you --

MARTIN: Hey, Candy --

CROWLEY: Yes, sir?

MARTIN: Just one thing. There's a lot of folks excited about Rudy Giuliani, but he ran one of the worst campaigns imaginable. If it wasn't for Fred Thompson, he probably would have been --


HOLT: Oh, come on. There's lots of bad campaigns out there.

MARTIN: That was a really bad campaign. You know that.

HOLT: There have been a few. But let me say, it's going to take a national name awareness, and Rudy Giuliani brings that.

But for most Republicans, Pawlenty has a legitimate operation. He's put together a good organization. I don't think that anybody but Mitt Romney has a truly national operation. So while these guys have got their foot in the door, there is still a lot of voters out there -- MARTIN: Very true.

HOLT: -- to be grasped for, and that's what we see in all these polls.

CROWLEY: You might as well keep your place marker when the field is so unsettled, at any rate.

Listen, speaking of Mitt Romney, he was in Chicago yesterday. He met with some supporters and said this: "I like the president. He's a nice guy. But he doesn't have leadership experience."

So I thought maybe he got in one of his old 3 x 5 cards, because it does seems that that message, which didn't work four years ago, might not work next year. Or what do you think, Terry?

HOLT: It wasn't his finest moment. Barack Obama does have two years of leadership experience now. But the totally, totally, on-point message that wasn't very effective in the last campaign, we need to really focus on the issues that people care about in their homes and in their regular lives.

He's generally much more on message, much more aspirational and positive and on message than that. And I give the guy a break. It's early in the campaign.

CROWLEY: And -- but let me ask you, Rolland, just to, like, reverse roles here and tell me where you think President Obama is vulnerable, because looking at the polls and looking how he can withstand what's been a very terrible economy, and still have a pretty good approval rating, it says to me that you cannot go after this guy or his qualities.

Where is his vulnerable point?

MARTIN: He said himself in 2009 he will be judged by the economy in 2012. That is a real issue.

The question then becomes job growth, unemployment rate, and is the economy rebounding? Are consumers more confident? That is still going to be the primary issue. It's been the issue the last two years, it's going to be the issue in 2012. So, his own words, he will be judged by the voters for re-election based upon the economy, pure and simple, nothing else.

CROWLEY: You get the last 20 seconds, Terry.

HOLT: Yes. The disconnect here is that people do have a legitimate affection for Barack Obama, but his policies are not popular. And the things that he stands for when he articulates them, he comes across a little bit too preachy. And so I think people disconnect his nature with his unpopular policies.

CROWLEY: So you've got your job cut out for you on the Republican side, that's for sure.

HOLT: Absolutely. It's going to be a tough campaign.

CROWLEY: Terry Holt, Roland Martin, thank you both so much. Appreciate it.

MARTIN: Thanks, Candy.

CROWLEY: Social media help people stay connected, but they also help police connect the dots when they are investigating crimes.



CROWLEY: Hollywood is remembering the man known to movie fans as "Kenickie."

Mary Snow has that and some of the other top stories here in THE SITUATION ROOM -- Mary.

SNOW: Well, Candy, Jeff Conaway died today at the age of 60. He started on Broadway and then rose to fame, appearing beside John Travolta in the movie "Grease." Conaway then moved to television with a successful run in the sitcom "Taxi." But in later years, he battled drug and alcohol addiction.

He was hospitalized after being found unconscious at his home this month.

The man accused of going on a deadly shooting spree in Arizona is now at a federal hospital in Springfield, Missouri. A federal judge found Jared Lee Loughner not competent to stand trial after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Loughner is accused of killing six people and wounding 13 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Prosecutors hope he will eventually to be able to stand trial after treatment with medication.

And Republican Mitt Romney is no friend of President Obama's, but he may have some admirers in the president's campaign office. The GOP contender was in Mr. Obama's hometown of Chicago, speaking at Gino's East, a famous deep-dish pizza restaurant.

Afterwards, he had the leftovers sent to the president's re-election campaign headquarters. No word on whether the slices were eaten or thrown out.

And investing in social media is a cutthroat business. Facebook's founder takes that idea literally.

Mark Zuckerberg says when it comes to meat, he only eats what he kills. The billionaire has killed a pig and a goat for food this month. And each year he says he picks a project. Last year it was learning Chinese. Zuckerberg admits that since he doesn't kill often, he is mostly a vegetarian.

Who knew, Candy?

CROWLEY: Yes. Certainly I didn't know. Thanks, Mary.

Zuckerberg might not mind sharing these intimate details, but some Facebook users aren't so open. They like their privacy, and that's crashing up against outdated laws, especially when it comes to criminal investigations.

CNN Silicon Valley Correspondent Dan Simon joins me now with more on the story -- Dan.

DAN SIMON, CNN SILICON VALLEY CORRESPONDENT: Candy, law enforcement have a new tool. It's called social media. With so much of our personal lives going online, they say it makes sense to go after that information.


SIMON (voice-over): (AUDIO GAP) privacy settings. You can make your photos and personal information available only to friends instead of everyone. But that doesn't guarantee it will always be private.

Law enforcement are now turning to Facebook (AUDIO GAP).


CROWLEY: Let me apologize to our viewers -- go ahead, Dan. We lost your audio. So why don't you complete the story for us.

SIMON: Yes. What I was going to say is, civil liberties groups clearly are upset about the potential for this information to be misused. But the bottom line here is that people are concerned about their information getting on Facebook, getting on Twitter.

There is really only one solution for that, Candy. And guess what it is? Don't go online.

But if it's there, law enforcement, they can go after it and they can get a search warrant. They can get all of your Facebook photos. They can get all of your information, even if you click on that one tab that says that information is private. If you are suspected of committing a crime, law enforcement, they can go to a judge, get a search warrant, and get access to all that information on Facebook, all that information on Twitter -- Candy.

CROWLEY: But essentially that's not unlike getting a search warrant for a home. I mean, to argue law enforcement's side of it, right?

I mean, if you have reason to suspect somebody, and that's good enough for a judge, you can go to their home and toss their drawers. So it's kind of the same thing, only in cyberspace.

SIMON: It's exactly the same thing. But I think people have the perception that if you use Facebook, and you click on that "privacy" tab, that there's no way anybody can have access to it. Well, guess what? The cops, if they suspect that you did something wrong, what they can do is, you're right, just like going into a search warrant and getting access to your house, they are getting access to the cloud, if you will.

And again, that's something that civil liberty groups are a little bit concerned about. They just want everybody to be aware of that -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Dan Simon.

They should always be aware of what they put out there in cyberspace. Appreciate the information.

It's a medicine saving thousands of live from AIDS in Africa. Just ahead, why it could now be on Congress's chopping block.

Plus, imagine plunging 38,000 feet in an airplane in just three minutes. Up next, some horrifying new details about that Air France flight that crashed into the Atlantic.


CROWLEY: Here's a look at this hour's "Hot Shots."

In Egypt, a policeman watches a quiet street as the country marks 100 days since Hosni Mubarak resigned as president.

In Belgrade, newspapers herald the capture of accused war criminal Ratko Mladic.

In Annapolis, Maryland graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy take their seats during today's commencement ceremony.

And in Australia, lanterns float over Sydney Harbor as part of a festival.

"Hot Shots," pictures from around the world.

Some dramatic new details about the racial breakdown of the U.S. population. The U.S. Census Bureau now finding that more than half of the country's population is made up of Hispanics.

Here is CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is something we really have been waiting for a long time. These numbers are very exciting, and let's start with the big part of it first, the growth in the Hispanic population.

This was on the questionnaire this time. Not merely are you Hispanic or Latino, but what type are you?

Explain this to me.

ROBERT GROVES, DIRECTOR, U.S. CENSUS: Exactly. There were two questions we all answered. We call this the ethnicity question. It asks us to self-classify in terms of Hispanic origin. That was followed by a race question, but we're focusing on ethnicity today.

FOREMAN: So the question where you can check no, not of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. Or, yes, Mexican, Mexican-American, or Chicano. Yes, Cuban. Yes, another Hispanic Latino.

What did you find in terms of which boxes were checked the most?

GROVES: Well it's interesting. There are about 50 million people who did one of the yeses. The growth rates of these -- all of these categories exceed the growth rates of the whole population.

FOREMAN: Let's look at that, because this is really a fascinating number when you look at it.

This is the trend line since the last Census. Here we are over here, 281 million folks back in 2000. Here we are today, 308.7 million. And as you mentioned, the Latino population, 35.5 million, now up to 50.5 million -- 9.7 percent growth for everybody, but for that population --

GROVES: A 43 percent growth of the Hispanic population. And if you drilled into that and asked, what was the growth rate of the Mexican population within the Hispanic? It's about 54 percent.

But even more interesting, if you separated out the Mexican population from other Central American groups, they were growing at an average of 137 percent --


GROVES: -- over this 10-year period.

FOREMAN: That's huge.

Let's go over here and look a little bit more at how that growth happened in the country, because I also find this fascinating.

This is the map. So many of us, as you know, have always associated the growth in the Latino population as being here: Texas, the Northwest, over here into California, down in Florida a little bit. But here, look at this very closely. All the blue areas are 100 percent or more change, and these are all over the place, aren't they?

GROVES: Absolutely. The story of the 2010 census I think is the dispersion of the Latino population throughout the whole country.

So these big growth rates are in counties throughout the country, mainly in the Middle West and the South, that had fewer Hispanics in prior Censuses.

FOREMAN: And as you said, the bulk, it's not so much a question of Mexican immigrants now, which we always thought about, but a lot of Central American folks.

GROVES: Absolutely. In Maryland and the District of Columbia, the dominant Latino population is from El Salvador. In Rhode Island, it's the Dominican population.

So we are varied throughout here. And in the Northeast, Puerto Ricans, and in Florida, Cubans.

FOREMAN: You make no distinction in counting here whether people are here legally or illegally, because you want everyone to participate.

GROVES: Absolutely.

FOREMAN: And it's important to you to remain nonpartisan because you know there are a lot of people who want to use these for political purposes, those numbers.

GROVES: Yes. Our job at the Census Bureau is to count every resident of the population every 10 years. That's what we have done since 1790. And then our value to this society is dependent on people believing our numbers. We must be nonpartisan in how we do our work.

FOREMAN: Well, there will be a lot more numbers to come out of this. Thank you, Dr. Groves. We appreciate it.

GROVES: Great to be with you.

FOREMAN: And I know, Candy, we'll be covering it for a long time.


CROWLEY: That we will.

Saudi Arabia may be an important ally, but the kingdom's treatment of women can be appalling. How one Saudi woman went from behind the wheel to behind bars.

And the Constitution says bills have to be signed by the president to become law. But a machine is taking the place of President Obama while he's in Europe.

Can this be legal? That's up next in THE SITUATION ROOM.


CROWLEY: The growing political firestorm over spending here in Washington could land a number of key programs, including one that's fighting AIDS in Africa, on the chopping block. What if these cuts come at the cost of lives?

Here is CNN's Jim Acosta.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You're about to see what many call a miracle. This woman in Africa is dying of AIDS, barely able to lift her arms or open her eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow! I can't believe it.

ACOSTA: And here she is again, days later after treatment with inexpensive anti-AIDS drugs, talking, walking.

It is called The Lazarus Effect, captured in an HBO special by the same name. This astonishing transformation has been repeated all over the continent thousands of times. And Michael Gerson wants to you know the story because you are paying for it.

MICHAEL GERSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": There are good foreign policy reasons to do this sort of thing.

ACOSTA: Gerson is a conservative columnist with "The Washington Post," a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, and he was once the chief's speechwriter for the man who got this rolling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States!


ACOSTA: "He" was George W. Bush. And in 2003, Bush started the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, an unprecedented $3 billion a year to help the world fight AIDS. In 2008, he led the charge for renewal and expansion.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We can bring healing and hope to many more.

ACOSTA: He was not alone. A driving force in the effort was Evangelical Christians, who pushed the administration and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to support it. People like Justin Fung (ph).

JUSTIN FUNG (ph): This is, you know, something that is really important. And it shouldn't be an issue that divides us.

ACOSTA: But division, or, rather, subtraction, are precisely what supporters of PEPFAR now fear. The program comes with a hefty $50 billion price tag. And as Congress wrestles with the debt limit and trillion-dollar budget worries, foreign aid is under sharp fire.

Even in 2008, the last time PEPFAR was reauthorized, budget hawks went after it, including Texan Ron Paul.

REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: And I think if we are to do any social engineering or social suggestions, it ought to be here, and that we ought not to be naive enough to believe that we can change habits that occur in Africa.

GERSON: There is a perception out there that waste -- that foreign assistance is wasted, that it's thrown down a rat hole of corruption. A lot of people believe that, particularly on the right in America.

ACOSTA (on camera): That does happen in some cases.

GERSON: The argument is not there shouldn't be any cuts in government. I mean, there need to be. Everyone recognizes that. The question is whether we're going to have indiscriminate cuts.

ACOSTA: And what do you mean by that?

GERSON: Well, you know, are we going to have cuts that are working, that are saving people's lives? That when you make those cuts, it has a tremendous human cost.


CROWLEY: You can see the full report tomorrow night on "Stories: Reporter," 7:30 Eastern, right here on CNN.


Happening now, anguished families wait to find out the fate of loved ones lost in the Missouri tornado. But increasingly, that grim job is in the hands of coroners. We'll show you what they are up against when it comes to identifying the dead.

And a doomed airliner plunges 38,000 feet in three-and-a-half minutes. We're learning new details of the final moments of an Air France flight which went down in the Atlantic.

And President Obama orders that a machine be used to sign the Patriot Act extension for him. Is that constitutional?

Breaking news, headlines and Jeanne Moos are straight ahead.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Candy Crowley.