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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Civil War in Yemen?; John Edwards Indicted; Casey Anthony Murder Trial Continues
Aired June 3, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We begin breaking news tonight, new signs tonight that Yemen could be on the brink of civil war. For weeks , we have watched demonstrations build, but today the fighting reached the corridors of power. The presidential compound came under attack.
There you can see smoke rising over the capital after sources said RPGs hit the compound's mosque while the president was there for Friday prayers. President Ali Abdullah Saleh was injured. A government official says he has a slight head injury. But he's not been seen publicly since then. Several other top government officials were also hurt. A Muslim cleric, along several bodyguards were killed.
The president did speak on state-run TV. Only his voice could be heard, no pictures of him. He blamed the attack on -- quote -- "gangsters" and insists he's in good health.
There's also new video showing what looks like a violent government crackdown against protesters demanding the president step down. Just today, there was gunfire in the streets of the southern city of Taiz. This video was posted on YouTube. A youth activist in Taiz says four anti-government protesters were shot today during Friday prayers. Government security forces fired at protesters at various locations across the city, including Freedom Square, anti- government protesters throwing rocks in Taiz as they're reportedly shot at by riot police.
And heavy black smoke is seen pouring from the area. Now, unlike many countries in the region, many people do have access to weapons in Yemen, and there are reports gunmen supporting the demonstrators burned an armored vehicle belonging to security forces.
In the other cities, there have been huge crowds, like this one gathering, chanting anti-government slogans. As we said, day after day now, week after week, we have seen images like that out of Yemen.
President Saleh, who has been in power for more than three decades, has several times agreed to resign, only to pull out at the last minute. It's important to note Yemen is home to the terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has been behind a number of planned attacks on the U.S.
A short time ago, I spoke with an American named Jeb Boone, managing editor of "The Yemen Times," a GlobalPost correspondent. He is in Yemen. He saw the attacks on the presidential compound.
We want to point out we had problems with the phone connection, so we decided to add subtitles because we think it's important that you know what is going on inside this country at this critical turning point.
Here's the interview.
COOPER: So, Jeb, you were near the presidential compound when the fighting began, when it came under attack. What did you see? What did you hear?
JEB BOONE, MANAGING EDITOR, "YEMEN TIMES": Right. As I drove through the area in a cab, actually, shooting and RPG fire crossed the road that I was traveling down. One RPG round actually hit about 20 yards in front of the cab I was in before it struck the wall of the compound of one of the opposition tribal leaders.
And as it was happening, people in surrounding restaurants sort of bolted out and dove for cover. Some of them were actually armed and started shooting in random directions and sort of a desperate confusion.
COOPER: The president was already using his special forces in the city. I mean, has he used all the power that he has, or is there more that he might bring to bear?
BOONE: There's one thing he hasn't used inside the city, and that's airstrikes. And, in this instance, the biggest fear that we have, the biggest concern is that he may be tempted to use his airstrikes against the tribes inside of the city now that he's been personally attacked himself.
COOPER: So, at this point, is this now a full-on civil war?
BOONE: I don't think we have reached that point quite yet, but it has the incredible potential to spread.
Saleh has fought with a different tribal confederation 30 miles northeast of the capital. And in that fighting, this tribe took over a Republican Guard base, shot down one helicopter and forced two other helicopters to land before they captured them. These tribesmen have also expressed that they're willing to come to Sanaa or to other cities to fight against the government forces that are engaging their fellow tribesman.
COOPER: Like many dictators in the region, President Saleh has often said -- sort of played himself as the only bulwark against al Qaeda. There is obviously al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, very strong in Yemen. The government is also reporting that some areas of the country have been taken over by al Qaeda. Is that true? Is that accurate?
BOONE: Unfortunately, it is accurate, but al Qaeda was only able to move into these areas of the country after Saleh removed his military from the areas. These are the elite counterterrorism units that have been trained by the Americans and the British who have engaging these al Qaeda militants for months now. And they have had them on the run.
And, for some reason, he's ordered these troops to leave these areas where there's a significant risk of al Qaeda in the area.
COOPER: And where do you see this going, Jeb?
BOONE: I don't think the violence is going to stop any time soon. and I do expect that he's going to use his last option that he hasn't used in the cities, airstrikes against the tribes, in an effort to push them out. The violence definitely doesn't show any sign that it's going to let up any time soon.
COOPER: Jeb, I appreciate you talking to us. Stay safe.
BOONE: Great. Thank you.
COOPER: Well, Jeb said that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is gaining ground in Yemen, taking advantage of the chaos.
This is the same group linked to various terror plots, including the Christmas Day underwear bombing on a U.S. airliner.
Now, I talked about its growing reach in Yemen and other concerns with Christopher Dickey. He's Middle East editor for "Newsweek" and a contributor for The Daily Beast, also Fareed Zakaria, host of GPS here on CNN and an editor at large of "TIME" magazine.
COOPER: From a security standpoint, what does Yemen in crisis mean? It seems like it's on the brink of civil war.
CHRISTOPHER DICKEY, "NEWSWEEK": Yes. It looks like it's really on the brink of -- on the brink of going from a fragile state to a failed state and many multiple civil wars and all kinds of chaos.
And from an American point of view, from a security point of view, that's close to disastrous, because that's exactly the kind of situation that al Qaeda and other groups can take advantage of. You basically have a vacuum of power, places -- a place that the U.S. can't reach into very easily. And the next thing you know, we're looking at another Somalia, another Afghanistan.
COOPER: And the dictator has -- or the president has often said, like a lot of dictators in the region, that he's the only bulwark against al Qaeda. But, in Yemen, you actually do have a very strong presence of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. There's no question that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is the strongest Islamist terrorist movement directed at the West, directed at America, other than the one in Pakistan.
And it is quite sophisticated. So, remember that last attack, which was those printer -- the bombs in the printer cartridges, that was actually quite sophisticated.
ZAKARIA: That was not just a guy trying to light his shoes or set off his underwear. This was pretty sophisticated. It suggested sophisticated bombmaking techniques that they have.
And to your point, Anderson, President Saleh is now withdrawing all of his forces from the peripheral parts of Yemen, consolidating power. But in a sense, he's ceding ground to al Qaeda...
ZAKARIA: ... because the people who are taking over in those -- in town after town are al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. So he's presenting the world and Yemen with a pretty stark choice, which is, if I go at this point, these guys are gaining ground. Do you really want the country to go al Qaeda?
COOPER: And al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is run by this American-born cleric, Awlaki, they're actually kind of very creative in their terror. It's not going for what al Qaeda central wanted, which was huge 9/11-style attacks. It's much more -- it's smaller attacks, but they seem much more kind of aggressive about it.
DICKEY: Well, much more imaginative.
DICKEY: On the one hand, they're willing to go for much smaller targets than Osama bin Laden was willing to go for. So, they will just try and take out one airplane with a guy who can blow up his underwear or they will try and take out the head of security in Saudi Arabia, or they will send these printer cartridges that will basically paralyze international air freight for several days.
So they will do these imaginative things. And even when they fail to go off, they say, look what we were able to do. Awlaki is a great publicist and a good terrorist, and he's been very successful at that.
But you also have to remember that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a relatively small organization. We're talking at most a few hundred people. So, even finding a few hundred people in a country in chaos becomes more and more difficult.
The U.S. invested a lot of time and a lot of effort in working with counterterror and intelligence forces in Yemen.
DICKEY: And, of course, what's happening now is that we're flying blind, because those forces, as Fareed was suggesting, those forces are now concentrating on keeping him Saleh power or just keeping their own.
COOPER: And if it becomes a failed state, if it becomes -- already large parts of the country are kind of beyond government control or very limited government control -- then what? It becomes another -- a more efficient Somalia?
DICKEY: Then we have a real mess on our hands.
And you're going to have also a risk of a lot of displaced people. I mean, this is a country that is running out of money. It is running out of money water. It's running out of fuel. It is running out of money everything. And it's certainly running out of order. So, you could just have -- let's put aside the terrorist issues -- you could just have an enormous imploding population, 24 million people with no place to go and nothing to do.
ZAKARIA: Well, and the place they will go or try to go is Saudi Arabia.
DICKEY: Try to go, try to go.
ZAKARIA: The two -- but all this turmoil in the Middle East, there are really two places you need to worry about as -- for Americans particularly, Saudi Arabia because of the oil, and Yemen because of al Qaeda.
Strangely, they border one another. And so now instability in Yemen has the potential to cause some instability in Saudi Arabia. And you have instability in Saudi Arabia, you get $250-a-barrel oil and potentially another recession.
COOPER: And what the U.S. now seems to be trying to do is basically broker some sort of exit strategy for Saleh, but then what?
DICKEY: Well, but this is the problem. We think we have all these contacts, and we go into broker an exit strategy -- and this is what Ambassador Frank Wisner tried at one point with Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
And then, all of a sudden, there's all this backpedaling. You go away, and they don't leave. They stay. Saleh can't imagine Yemen without him, and he can't imagine himself without Yemen.
COOPER: All these people start to believe that they are the country, like Mubarak, right.
DICKEY: That they are indispensable, exactly.
ZAKARIA: Well, and also, there's a web of corruption that is beyond them. It's the families. It's the courtiers. And so they cut a deal which gets maybe -- President Saleh gets a nice villa in the South of France, but all the others say, wait a minute, what about us?
ZAKARIA: And they refuse to do it.
And, so, so much of what seems to be happening here is, as Chris was saying, there are so many competing factions at this point. The government doesn't even control that much of the territory anymore anyway. So, if he leaves, you might put a vice -- let's say the vice president becomes president. You are still faced the two rebellions, the al Qaeda problem, the fact that there is this economy in freefall. All that still remains.
DICKEY: The Saudis, the Americans, everybody who is interested in Yemen has been working very hard now for months to make a transition, a smooth transition.
And, as you say, every time we have come close, Saleh has backed away. So, ultimately, he's creating a situation where there cannot be a smooth transition. And I think we're just about at that point right now.
COOPER: Thanks very much.
COOPER: Well, let us know what you think about it all. You can follow us on Facebook or on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will be tweeting tonight.
Up next: former presidential candidate John Edwards indicted. He says he's done bad things, but didn't break the law. Joe Johns was in the courtroom today. We will talk with him and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who says the government is going to maybe have a tough time proving its case.
Also tonight, did you see what happened in the courtroom today in the Casey Anthony trial? She's accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter. Her lawyers say her little girl drowned accidentally, and they covered it up. Well, either way, Casey Anthony has been spinning a web of lies to cops and to her own family.
She has made up a story about a nanny who never even existed. We will show you the shocking video that was shown in court today, conversations where the lies just flow freely. Remember, Casey Anthony is claiming her father sexually abused her and her lying is a reaction to that abuse. Again, the videos shown in court, her pre- trial conversations with her dad, they sure seem to show their relationship was a good one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I miss you, sweetie. CASEY ANTHONY, DEFENDANT: I know that. And I miss you, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish I could have been a better dad and better grandpa, you know?
ANTHONY: You have been a great dad and you have been the best grandfather. Don't for a second think otherwise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We will have more of the courtroom videos ahead.
Also, Isha is following some other stories for tonight.
What do you got, Isha?
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, bloodshed in Syria, a grim milestone, a new report showing just how many people have been killed in the uprising there -- details just ahead.
COOPER: What a day for John Edwards.
The one-time vice presidential nominee of the Democratic Party is looking at the possibility of 30 years in prison. But he isn't going down without a fight. Today, a grand jury hit Edwards with six -- a six-count indictment, charging him with conspiracy, making false statements and breaking campaign contribution laws.
It's because he accepted more than $900,000 in an attempt to cover up his affair with that woman, a campaign worker named Rielle Hunter. Edwards broke his silence about the case today shortly after pleading not guilty. And I want you to listen very carefully to the words that he uses in his brief statement today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EDWARDS (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: There's no question that I have done wrong. And I take full responsibility for having done wrong.
And I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I have caused to others. But I did not break the law. And I never, ever thought I was breaking the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The phrase -- the last phrase, "I never, ever thought I was breaking the law," it's important. we will go into why in just a moment.
But, first, the story of how the sex, the lies and the video and supermarket tabloids brought down a man who thought he could be president of the United States.
Here's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 2006 was big for John Edwards. He launched his bid for the White House, had already hired Rielle Hunter to shoot campaign videos, and his private life started falling apart.
EDWARDS: I wrote my speech out, by the way.
RIELLE HUNTER, EDWARDS VIDEOGRAPHER: Oh, my goodness.
EDWARDS: It's a great speech.
HUNTER: Can you read it?
EDWARDS: Yes, I can read it.
FOREMAN: That's Hunter's voice on one of her videos posted on YouTube. The former -- quote -- "spiritual adviser and astrologist" was being paid more than $100,000 to produce these so-called Webisodes for the campaign. She and Edwards met at a bar in New York, according to a campaign aide.
And she later told "Newsweek," right away, she could feel Edwards' special energy. The relationship was born. But that aide, Andrew Young, says the sleepovers with the senator began even before she was hired.
EDWARDS: As a result, there was a biopsy done.
FOREMAN: By next spring 2007, Edwards and his wife announce her breast cancer has returned. But, soon, the indictment says, Hunter has news, too. She is pregnant. The denials begin. The story is false, Edwards tells reporters who suspect an affair, untrue, ridiculous.
On a Web site, Hunter calls it dirty politics. By mid-December, however, "The National Enquirer" has a photo of her pregnant. Andrew Young issues a statement saying he is the father; Edwards knew nothing.
But, as 2008 dawns and Edwards drops from the race, Rielle Hunter gives birth to a girl. "The Enquirer" reports seeing Edwards at a Los Angeles hotel visiting the baby. The questions heat up.
QUESTION: Has you or your -- anyone affiliated with your presidential campaigned provided any financial help to Rielle Hunter or Andrew Young?
EDWARDS: I have no idea what you're asking about. I have responded to -- consistently to these tabloid allegations by saying I don't respond to these lies.
FOREMAN: Then, in August 2008, "The Enquirer" publishes a photo they claim was Edwards with Hunter and the baby. He goes on ABC News to admit he cheated on his wife.
EDWARDS: She's mad. She's angry. I think furious would be a good way to describe it. And it was painful for her, hard and painful for her. But she responded exactly like the kind of woman she is. She forgave me and we went to work on it.
FOREMAN: He still denies being the father of the child or any hints that he hired Hunter because of the affair.
EDWARDS: That is a great speech.
HUNTER: I'm so glad you like it.
EDWARDS: I like it.
FOREMAN: It takes another year-and-a-half before Edwards admits the child is his, coming clean in a written statement. Within a week, he and his wife of 32 years separate.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, Joe Johns went down to North Carolina for Edwards' court hearing today. He joins us, along with CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Jeff, let's talk about the words that Edwards used. Why were you saying that that's so important?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Because this is what's called a specific intent crime.
This is a crime that you're only guilty of if you intend to violate the law. The classic example of a non-specific intent crime is speeding. If you are speeding, it doesn't matter what your intent is. The cop doesn't care if you didn't intend to speed. You're speeding. You're guilty.
TOOBIN: But, in this, you have to intend to violate the campaign laws by getting this money to Rielle Hunter through these two very rich people.
And he's saying, look, I knew they were giving them the money, but I hadn't -- I wasn't thinking about campaign finance laws. I was thinking about protecting my wife from this embarrassing information. This was not about campaign finance laws, so I didn't intend to violate the law.
That's what he's saying in his statement today.
COOPER: So that's why the intention is so important?
COOPER: Why couldn't have -- if -- everyone says he's very wealthy, and I don't have the facts on -- I mean, I have heard rumors and stories about it -- but why couldn't he have just given her money directly?
TOOBIN: Well, if you believe that part of this whole ruse was to keep the fact of the child and his parenthood...
COOPER: From his wife.
TOOBIN: ... from his wife, presumably, she would notice if $900,000 was missing. He's not the rich.
Joe, you were -- were you in the courtroom today?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I sure was.
JOHNS: Yes. It was pretty interesting, too.
COOPER: Yes. What was it like?
JOHNS: Well, the first thing I thought of was, gosh, here's a guy who was the last man standing in the 2008 presidential race for the Democratic nomination. And now he's standing up in court.
He answered a bunch of questions, most of them, "Yes, sir, I understand, I understand, yes, sir." And at one point, he got a little bit annoyed. He's a big-time trial lawyer, got a little bit annoyed, it seemed, at a question and told the judge: "I understand. You know, I'm an attorney," didn't say much more than that.
And the most interesting thing, I thought, was the conditions of release. He got released on his own recognizance and he was told, you know, stay in the United States, surrender your passport, pretty standard, right, and then told to stay away from Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, who is that 100-year-old philanthropist who apparently kicked in hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to keep this whole affair quiet.
And that, I guess, at least in part, is because he went to see her a week or two ago, and there was a whole uproar over that, Anderson.
TOOBIN: I mean, that was so weird that he went to see her, because here she is. (CROSSTALK)
TOOBIN: She's obviously a very key witness in this case, if she can even show up for the trial. She is 100 years old.
TOOBIN: And the other person who provided the money, Fred Baron...
COOPER: He's dead.
TOOBIN: ... he's dead. So -- and the fact that out of all the people in the world, he would go see her right before the indictment was coming...
COOPER: It raises a lot of questions.
TOOBIN: ... it raises questions.
And it also -- if you were trying to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutors, they are going to be pissed of if you go see the key witness. So, I can't imagine what he was thinking in going to see her.
COOPER: He's not just fighting to stay out of jail. He's also fighting to keep his law license.
TOOBIN: Very important. And that is something when you negotiate a plea bargain with someone who is a lawyer, that is always a critical issue. And there are various ways to structure a plea bargain to keep a law license or to make sure that it's gone. If he's convicted, it's gone.
COOPER: Joe, there was that whole thing of a tape, a sex tape, alleged sex tape. Where is that? Does that play into this at all?
JOHNS: I don't think it really plays into this, other than it just sort of adds to the lurid, kind of sordid nature of the whole story.
Apparently, there was a sex tape, a tape of he and Rielle Hunter having sex, and that tape ended up in the hands of Andrew Young, who is sort of the guy who worked for Edwards and ended up writing the book telling this entire story.
That was turned over to the court, a lawsuit actually filed to try to certainly keep it from public view. But, no, I don't think that necessarily is a part of this.
JOHNS: It seems pretty well-established that they have had sex.
COOPER: You think a tape, though, that may play in this is the interview that he gave to ABC News... TOOBIN: To Bob Woodruff. We saw a little...
COOPER: ... which was his big confessional interview, in which he continued to lie and claim that the child was not his.
TOOBIN: I think it's incredibly important, because one of the key issues in this trial will be, does John Edwards take the witness stand?
And if he does take the witness stand, you can be sure on his direct testimony he will be very honest, I mean, appear very honest and forthright. And, look, he's a good speaker. He's a politician, a successful one.
But he's now open to cross-examination, where they play that tape, where he will presumably be just as persuasive and say, you lied on national television about this even while you were confessing.
I think that's a very damning tape.
COOPER: How tough a case is it, though, for the government?
TOOBIN: Well, it's also problematic for the government, because no one has ever been prosecuted, as far as I'm aware, I think as far as anyone is aware, for a campaign violation of this kind, because the money -- this is all rooted in the rule that says you can only give $2,300 to a primary campaign. And they gave almost a million dollars. So, that's a clear violation if you believe these expenditures, this -- were campaign contributions.
COOPER: But couldn't Bunny Mellon just say, I gave it because I knew he was in a bind and I wanted to help him -- help protect his wife, who I cared about, and so I wasn't giving it to the campaign?
TOOBIN: She certainly could say that. There is a note of hers quoted in the indictment where she talks about spending money for the campaign.
TOOBIN: So, I mean, that's problematic for them. And it's also -- even if she intends that it's for his benefit, the government may well argue that a reasonable observer would find this a campaign contribution.
But all this is sort of legally murky. And in a case where you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, legal murkiness helps the defense.
COOPER: Jeffrey Toobin, thanks.
Joe Johns, thanks very much.
In Washington, House Republicans brought up another reason why they're unhappy with President Obama. It has to do with who got left out when the president gave the go-ahead for military action in Libya. We will have that story next.
And also later, the Casey Anthony murder trial, the revealing and disturbing jailhouse conversations of a mom accused of killing her little girl.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to have something to go on.
ANTHONY: Mom, I don't have anything. I'm sorry. I have been here a month. I have been here a month today. Do you understand how I feel? I mean, do you really understand how I feel in this? I'm completely, completely out of the loop with everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Let's check some of the other stories we're following tonight. Isha Sesay has a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the uprising in Syria has hit a grim milestone. The U.N. says more than a thousand people have now died there. And just today 34 more demonstrators were reportedly killed in the city of Hamda (ph).
In Washington, the GOP-controlled House gave a thumbs down to President Obama on Libya. In a nonbinding resolution, it said he should have consulted Congress before launching air strikes and asked the White House to explain U.S. objectives.
Dr. Kevorkian, the Michigan oncologist who advocated assisted suicide, has died. Nicknamed Dr. Death, he was charged with murder many times for helping terminally ill patients take their own lives. He was convicted once and spent eight years in jail. Kevorkian died of kidney and respiratory problems. He was 83.
There is more bad news on the economy. The Dow lost 97 points today as unemployment has gone up again to 9.1 percent. It's the first time since 2004 that the market has finished down five weeks in a row.
And Anderson, if you thought Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen just looks good on the runway or on the arm of all-pro hubby Tom Brady, look again. "Forbes" magazine says she also has financial brains. Along with millions in modeling fees, she's put her name on everything from jewelry to cosmetics to lingerie. The magazine says she could soon be the first billionaire supermodel.
SESAY: Yes. What does she -- what do you have that she doesn't have is a Ben and Jerry's flavor ice cream.
COOPER: Yes, well, in my -- in our fantasy world, I have a Ben and Jerry's. SESAY: I'll still give that to you.
COOPER: All right. Thanks.
Isha, time now for "The Shot." And tonight, I guarantee you, this is the cutest motivational speaker you've ever seen. I'm not sure if you've seen this online. It's a video posted on YouTube. A dad asks his son, who just learned to ride a bike, if he has anything to say to all the other kids who might be trying to learn to ride a bike. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody, I know you can believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you will know how to ride a bike! If you don't, you just keep practicing. You will get the hang of it, I know it! If you -- if you keep practicing, you will get the hang of it, and then you can get better and better and you'll do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me some thumbs up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thumbs up, everybody! Rock 'n' roll!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All right. How cute is that?
SESAY: He's absolutely brilliant. And before long he's going to be speaking at universities across the land.
COOPER: Probably so. As he should be. Isha, we'll check in with you in a little bit.
Coming up, jurors in the Casey Anthony trial, hearing more jailhouse conversations between Casey and her parents and the web of deceit just grows wider by the day. I'll talk next with Jean Casarez and Dr. Drew. We'll take a close look at Casey's lies and her videos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY: No one has once said anything for me, that I love my daughter, that I want her safety, and that she and the rest of our family is my only concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: In "Crime & Punishment" tonight, the murder trial that has attention focused on a Florida courtroom.
Testimony in the Casey Anthony trial today focused on forensic evidence, with crime scene investigators on the stand. One talked about the smell in Anthony's car, describing it as an odor of human decomposition. Now, earlier in the day, jurors got to hear more of the conversations that Anthony had with her parents when they visited her in jail, and it's these tapes, as well as reported police interrogations, that painted a very disturbing picture of this young woman.
Whether she killed her 2-year-old daughter or whether Caylee accidentally drowned and Casey was covering it up, as the defense is claiming, her behavior in the early days of the case, for weeks back in 2008, is confounding. Her behavior isn't what one would expect from either a murderer or a grieving mom.
But what Casey is doing in these early days is spinning an elaborate, detailed and confounding web of lies, inventing people and places, phone numbers, addresses. It's a fascinating drama that has people around the country riveted to the trial.
Look at this. This is people trying to get into the courtroom in the morning, almost stampeding, trying to get inside.
We're going to hear from Dr. Drew Pinsky and "In Session's" Jean Casarez in a moment. But first, here's a look at some of Casey's lies caught on tape.
COOPER (voice-over): For a ninth day, jurors heard how Casey Anthony created elaborate lies surrounding the disappearance of her 2- year-old daughter, Caylee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, she's very convincing.
COOPER: But in audio recordings played in court, detectives early on believed Anthony wasn't telling the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know and you know that everything you've told me is a lie, correct?
CASEY ANTHONY: Not everything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Pretty much everything, including where Caylee is right now.
COOPER: Prosecutors say Anthony misled everyone every step of the way. In this recording with her parents, Anthony goes into great deal about someone she calls Zanny the nanny. No such nanny existed.
CASEY ANTHONY: They never searched by her full name, Z-E-N-A-I- D-A. And I know she went by both last names. She always has, since she was younger, since her mom remarried. Victor and Gloria are her parents.
CINDY ANTHONY: Victor and Gloria are her parents.
CASEY ANTHONY: But I know she has a lot of money, and that's where she got the car from. She has his last name. And her mother's last name.
CINDY ANTHONY: He adopted her?
CASEY ANTHONY: He adopted her. He legally adopted her, yes.
CINDY ANTHONY: I thought you said Zanny had a sister.
CASEY ANTHONY: Her sister's name is Samantha. They have different dads.
CINDY ANTHONY: Samantha is a student?
CASEY ANTHONY: She was a student at ACF, yes.
CINDY ANTHONY: Is she older or younger?
CASEY ANTHONY: She's older.
COOPER: In another visit with her brother Lee, she's pressed on where he should search for clues for his niece.
LEE ANTHONY, CASEY'S BROTHER: Where should I focus the search? We're reaching out to people.
CASEY ANTHONY: Check things locally, Lee, in all honesty, places that are familiar to us, to our family.
COOPER: In the videos, Anthony often fantasizes about the return of her daughter.
CASEY ANTHONY: I told you in my gut I know she's still OK. I can feel it, Mom. I know she's still OK. We're going to get our little girl back, and she's going to be just as she was.
COOPER: On this visit in August 2008, she gets agitated with her parents when they press her for details.
CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY'S MOTHER: We need to have something to go on.
CASEY ANTHONY: Mom, I don't have anything, I'm sorry. I've been here a month. I've been here a month today. Do you understand how I feel? I'm completely, completely, completely out of the loop with everything.
COOPER: But that was not exactly the case. For an entire month, Anthony did not report Caylee's disappearance. Instead, she hung out with friends, went shopping and hit the night clubs, including competing in a hot body contest.
Last week, the defense claimed Caylee drowned in the family pool and Anthony and her father together covered up the death. An interesting take, considering this sarcastic response from Anthony talking to her parents in August of 2008.
CINDY ANTHONY: Someone just said that Caylee was dead this morning, that she drowned in the pool. That's the newest story out there.
CASEY ANTHONY: Surprise, surprise.
CINDY ANTHONY: Someone just sent me some of the stuff that's been online.
COOPER: Her father denied involvement in his testimony last week. The defense says Anthony's compulsive lying is the result of her trying to conceal her pain, something she's learned to do, they say, after allegedly being sexually abused by her father.
In the videotaped conversations, however, the relationship seems a close one.
G. ANTHONY: I miss you, sweetie.
CASEY ANTHONY: I know that. I miss you, too. You've been a great dad, and you've been the best grandfather. You and Mom have been the best grandparents. Caylee has been so lucky.
COOPER: As another investigator took to the stand today to talk about what he smelled in Anthony's car...
GERARDO BLOISE, CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATOR: Professionally speaking, my opinion is that it was the smell of human decomposition.
COOPER: ... it increasingly appears as though Casey Anthony's web of lies is unraveling fast.
COOPER: Earlier I spoke with Jean Casarez, who's been in the courtroom covering the trial for TruTV's "In Session," and with Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of "DR. DREW" on HLN, which airs at 9 p.m. Eastern.
COOPER: Jean, you were in the courtroom today. We heard more of these recorded conversations between Casey and her parents. And again, just lie after lie after lie. How is the jury reacting to all this?
JEAN CASAREZ, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": They are so seriously watching their monitors. They can take -- they're taking this evidence very seriously, Anderson.
But I think what's interesting is the main lie that we heard in the videotapes today was Casey saying, "I know Caylee is alive. I know it's just a matter of time. We will all be together again."
And the defense theory is that she drowned in the swimming pool in a tragic accident, so Casey had to know she was dead, either from the prosecutions theory or .
COOPER: Regardless of who's right in this, the prosecution or the defense, we know that at this point, these are lies and she knew that her child was dead at that point.
CASAREZ: Exactly. And you see her mother grieving. I mean, uncontrollably grieving and asking Casey for leads, where can we look? n can we find her? Casey seems to get really angry and really upset at it. So this is strong evidence for the prosecution.
COOPER: Dr. Drew, when you look at these videos, I mean, you've, you know, done therapy with clients; you've seen people probably lie to you. What do you see, when you hear -- when hear spinning these stories, which we know were not true?
DREW PINSKY, HLN, HOST: You're absolutely right, Anderson. And the only thing we've seen in this case is lying, lying, lying, lying, lying, lying. The attorneys I've spoken to believe that particularly some of the tapes they watched today that we've been hearing really damage her case.
COOPER: Dr. Drew, though, does somebody have to believe what they're saying is true in order to lie like that?
PINSKY: In my experience, people that lie like that -- and part of addiction is lying. And you're very much right, that in order to lie with this degree of conviction, you kind of, on some level, have to really believe what you're saying.
Now, the question here, though, is he a premeditated cunning cold-blooded killer, a criminal trying cover for herself, is she a sexual abuse survivor who has disassociated and doesn't know what she's doing, or is she somebody who has a long history of lying who is just trying to protect a terrible, terrible accident?
COOPER: Jean, this sexual abuse allegation that basically has been made against Casey's father as part of her defense, is there any -- has anything been presented about that? I know he's denied it, obviously, when he was on the stand.
CASAREZ: Right, right. There's no corroboration that I understand, from everything I know. There never was a health professional called in, so there's documentation. There are some jailhouse letters that Casey wrote, though, and in those she wrote that her brother, Lee, had walked into her room when she was younger, shined a flashlight in her eyes and when she woke up that next morning, her bra was up around her neck. The hook was unhooked. And she said, "I think my father did that, too."
But the defense opening was simply the opposite, that George Anthony had sexually abused her, and George [SIC] had tried to take that path but had not.
PINSKY: Yes, Anderson, let me just say that if somebody is going to be so severely sexually abused that they end up, you know, really not having any appreciation of right or wrong or being able to lie the way we see her lying and to be able to use people and exploit them the way we've seen her do, that is -- even if that were to happen, if you were to lay that at the feet of a history of sexual abuse, it would have to be chronic severe sexual abuse of a longstanding nature. They've described nothing like that so far.
COOPER: So Jean, once the defense puts on its case, will they have to call Casey onto the stand? Because, I mean, if there's no physical evidence of abuse or no -- no record of it, it would have to be her testimony that it came from.
CASAREZ: That's a great point, because they're going to want an instruction to go to the jury on this. The judge is going to look for evidence.
But here's the thing. If she puts her hand on the Bible and swears to tell the truth, is the jury going to believe her? If they don't believe her, then they may really dislike her, hate her, and then, if there's a penalty phase, what are they going to recommend for her, life or death? So it's a tough decision.
COOPER: Dr. Drew, I want to play just a piece of the conversation Casey had when she was in custody, allegedly about this nanny, this nanny who is -- well, let's play it.
CASEY ANTHONY: Z-E-N-A-I-D-A. And I know she went by both last names; she always has.
CINDY ANTHONY: I thought you said Zanny had a sister.
CASEY ANTHONY: Her sister's name is Samantha.
PINSKY: She described not only Zanny the nanny, her name, where she lived, where she worked, how she wore her hair, what he body habit was, how she wore her jeans. She had similar detailed descriptions about Zanny's roommates and Zanny's co-workers. None of these people existed.
And my own little pet theory about Zanny the nanny is Zanny is a sort of street name for Xanax. And there's some theory out there that she used to use Xanax to sort of subdue her child when she became more problematic and she wanted to go out and party. We've heard these kind of alleged testimony out there. Zanny the nanny becomes even more condemning evidence for her.
COOPER: And there was testimony today about a hair found in the vehicle. What's the significance of that, Jean?
CASAREZ: This is big, because the car, the trunk of the car that Casey operated, she had control of, prosecutors say one of those hairs had the banding showing decomposition, that it was on the scalp of a decomposing body. They did mitochondrial DNA testing. It can only be from Caylee, Casey or Cindy. And two of the three are alive. Caylee is not. And so the prosecution is going to say that shows that the body of Caylee was in the trunk of Casey's car. The defense will counter that, saying, "Unh-uh, it's not a decomposing hair at all."
COOPER: I also watched the defense attorney today cross- examining one of the crime scene investigators who had -- who testified that he smelled death in the vehicle. They didn't make much of a dent, though, in his testimony. CASAREZ: No, and do you know, Anderson, that they saved tin cans filled with that air. And they want that jury to smell -- they want to open up a can, and they want the jurors to smell the smell of decomposition.
COOPER: It is definitely a distinctive smell. Dr. Drew, thanks. Jean Casarez, thanks so much.
CASAREZ: You're welcome.
COOPER: Well, still ahead tonight, never before heard details about Jaycee Dugard's kidnapping and life as a captive. Hear what she told the grand jury. The transcript was released today.
And the woman who's famous for being famous, well, her detractors land on our "RidicuList." We'll explain why.
COOPER: Check some of the other stories we're following tonight. Isha Sesay is back with a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
COOPER: Oh, man.
SESAY: Oh, yes.
COOPER: Oh, man.
SESAY: In other breaking news tonight...
SESAY: Yes, really. In other breaking news tonight, it is indeed Anderson Cooper -- it's his birthday, everybody. So I come bearing cake. And look what else.
SESAY: Yes, just for you.
COOPER: Wow, a pony.
SESAY: Not just any pony.
COOPER: A pony with a dog on it?
SESAY: A pony with a dog on it.
COOPER: Wow. That's kind of surreal. This is pretty surreal. Can I get up and touch the pony?
SESAY: You can, yes. COOPER: Wow. Hey, wow, this is kind of surreal.
SESAY: Yes, and...
COOPER: This is like an acid trip or something.
SESAY: It is like...
COOPER: Or what I imagine an acid trip to be like.
SESAY: It is, and Frankie comes courtesy of the Big Apple Circus.
COOPER: Wow, thank you. Wow, cool. What's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jenny.
COOPER: Nice to meet you, Jenny. And who is this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Daisy.
COOPER: Daisy. Wow. That's amazing. And who's this?
SESAY: This is Rob. This is Rob is the juggling clown.
COOPER: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Wow.
SESAY: Please be seated.
COOPER: Wow. All right.
SESAY: So we brought you a cake.
SESAY: We know these are your favorite.
COOPER: These are cream puffs from -- where are they from?
SESAY: I have no idea.
COOPER: What is it called?
SESAY: I have no idea.
COOPER: Big -- big -- what is it? Beer Tapas (ph). I don't know why it's called that.
I love that there's a pony with a dog on top of it.
SESAY: I would like the pony to do his trick one more time.
SESAY: Courtesy of the Big Apple Circus. There we have it. COOPER: Aww. Amazing. I got to say, I knew there was something up when I came in and there was a huge carpet on the floor. But then I talked to my executive producer, and he swore to me that there was no surprise and that I should work on the "RidicuList," and I spent the last 20 minutes working on the "RidicuList." So...
SESAY: We have it all for you on "AC 360."
COOPER: I'm glad you're not a full-on clown, because clowns kind of scare me. Yes.
SESAY: Really? You could have worn those, but clowns scare you?
COOPER: Yes. I love that there's a pony with a dog on it here. I just find this among the more surreal moments of my life.
SESAY: We would like you to blow out your candles, of course.
COOPER: Well, thank you very much. All right.
SESAY: Grab all your gear and come over here.
COOPER: Let me make a wish.
SESAY: OK. Yay!
COOPER: Thank you very much. Thank you. How you got a pony with a dog into the building without me knowing...
SESAY: I'll never tell.
SESAY: It was incredible. We've also got some of our favorite moments of you up there on the screen, as you can see.
COOPER: By the way, just to explain, that's not me on the right- hand side. That's a turtle man. Wow. All right, cool.
Well, thank you very much for coming all the way. It couldn't have been easy bringing a pony in. so thank you very much. Thank you so much.
SESAY: The pony, as I tell you, from Big Apple Circus.
COOPER: Big Apple Circus?
SESAY: Big Apple Circus to wish you a happy 44th birthday.
COOPER: That's very kind of you. Thank you very much, everyone. I appreciate all your tweets and Facebook messages all day long, and please stop this music.
COOPER: All right. Thank you very much. Have a great weekend, everyone. See you on Monday.
SESAY: Bye, everyone.