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Coverage of Whitney Houston's Funeral in Newark, New Jersey; Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum Gear Up for Contests in Michigan and Arizona; Syria's Military Continue Slaughter of Civilians; Post Senate, Big Bucks For Santorum; Supreme Court Justices Unprotected?

Aired February 18, 2012 - 18:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

Coming up, Candy Crowley is in "THE SITUATION ROOM" with your political fix and more.

But first, good-bye to a tremendous talent, the world watch as friends and family honored music legend Whitney Houston.


JOE CARTER, PASTOR, NEW HOP BAPTIST CHURCH: We're here today, hearts broken but yet with god's strength we celebrate the life of Whitney Houston. Today.



WHITFIELD: Opening the service, Joe Carter pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, the church that Houston grew up then. The four hours that followed were mournful, reverent and ultimately joyous.

Houston's famous friend, one after another, gave point in tribute like actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry.


TYLER PERRY, ACTOR, FILMMAKER: There was a grace that carried. A grace that carried her from heaven down through Mrs. Houston, a grace that brought her up from through singing, a grace that from what I understand she wasn't supposed to be able speak let alone sing because of an incident that happened to her as a child. But there was a grace that kept on chanting all the way through.


PERRY: The same grease led her all the way to the top of the charts. Sold all of these albums and just done some amazing things, won all these awards. She sang for presidents and there was a grace that kept on carrying her.


WHITFIELD: And fans will get to see Whitney Houston performing new music in the film "sparkle" scheduled for release this summer. It was one of her last projects before her untimely death. Bishop T.D. Jakes produced the movie and was sure that Houston was poised for a comeback.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't you dare think death has won. You'll learn what all of us know who we lost people we've loved. You'll be driving down the street one day and you'll hear Whitney's voice talking in your head. Something she said or something she did. Will pop up in your spirit and you'll giggle inside of yourself as if she was sitting in the car with you. And you'll find that people that you really love they may leave you outwardly, but they never leave you inwardly.


WHITFIELD: Houston made her film debut in 1992 in "the bodyguard." Her co-star Kevin Costner recalled her struggle to land the role and her triumph.


KEVIN COSTNER, WHITNEY HOUSTON'S CO-STAR, THE BODYGUARD: It's a tree we can all hang from. The in-explainable burden that comes with fame, call it doubt, call it fear. I've had mine. And I know the famous in the room has theirs.

I asked her to trust me and she said she would. A half hour later she went back in to do her screen test and the studio fell in love with her. The Whitney I knew despite her success and worldwide fame still wondered am I good enough. Am I pretty enough. Will they like me? It was the burden that made her great. And the part that caused her to stumble in the end.

Whitney, if you could hear me now, I would tell you, you weren't just good enough. You were great.


WHITFIELD: Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, our Jelly Bebe and CC Winans all honored Houston with their voices today. Aretha Franklin was scheduled to be there but had to cancel because she wasn't feeling.

CNN's Susan Candiotti is in Newark, for us tonight outside the Newark club restaurant where Susan, I understand all full of lot of people who are at the services there today were there to honor Whitney Houston are now gathered.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. At this hour, and they started coming right after the funeral was over with, Fredricka. A full red carpet was set up, the rope limes, limousines coming and other private cars as guests continue to come and go at this hour. They are having a private gathering and a dinner upstairs. Special guests of Whitney Houston's family. A number of people we recognized including Kevin Costner who we just heard from. Jesse Jackson. Cissy Houston we saw going in there as well as Oprah and Gayle King. Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z. A lot of celebrities and a lot of people across the street where cross six lanes of traffic trying to get a look.

But you watched every bit of that funeral didn't you, Mary Lou, from home?


CANDIOTTI: What impressed the most you were telling me especially about the eulogy by Marvin Winans.

BOGAN: Prioritize your life and what goes on in your life. And I thoroughly enjoyed the song that was performed. "Stand." You can't do nothing else but stand and know that God has you in the palm of his hand. Just knowing that. Nothing else matters in this world as long as you know you're in God's hands, it's going to be all right.

CANDIOTTI: And you felt compelled to come down here too. What did you come here for today? Why did you want to see these folks tonight?

BOGAN: I wanted to see the people who came out the support Cissy Houston in her time and the family. And just all the love that was shared today. As it was said that Cissy brought the world to church today, you know. Everybody coming out. Kevin Costner. I had the pleasure of seeing him today. I was here to witness several stars come and go. And I just -- I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it.

CANDIOTTI: You think it was the right decision by the family to hold a private service yet because you still got see it.

BOGAN: Yes, I did. I think that them showing, having a private ceremony was the right decision. I mean we've had Whitney for 30 years. And this was their day. They had it and they still shared it. I mean we were held at a distance but yet when he a chance to enjoy it as well. I enjoyed it thoroughly as well at home on my sofa.

CANDIOTTI: Thank you very much. Kiara, did you have a favorite Whitney Houston song?


CANDIOTTI: Which one is that?

KIARA: I want to dance with somebody.

CANDIOTTI: Dance with somebody. That's a good one. Anyway, thank you very much to both of you.

Obviously Fredericka, a lot of people touched by the funeral today. Not a dry eye here and a lot of people here tonight that were really genuinely touched by that funeral today. And being out here too, being together and part of this experience. Back to you. WHITFIELD: Yes. All right. Thanks so much. Susan Candiotti, appreciate that.

All right. Singer Bobby Brown made a brief and dramatic appearance at his ex-wife, Whitney Houston's funeral today. Police tells CNN that Brown left abruptly after being told his entourage couldn't sit together.

In a statement Brown says quote "we were seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions. I fail to understand why security treated my family this way." End quote.

But then he does go on to say, quote, "I gave a kiss to the casket of my ex-wife and departed as I refused to create a scene." Brown and Houston were married for 15 years and divorced back in 2007.

All right. Other headlines now. We're keeping a close watch on the 29-year-old Moroccan man charged with trying to launch a suicide bombing attack in the U.S. capital building as made as first court appearance. If he is convicted he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. He allegedly went to a parking garage nearly capital, Friday, and accepted a firearm and what he believed to be vest loaded with explosives from an undercover agent. He was arrested as he tried leaving the garage.

A crowd of mourners in Damascus, Syria fled as security forces fired on them today. Two people were killed as the funeral march in the capital turned into a protest against President Bashar Al Assad. Fifteen more were killed across Syria. Meanwhile, President Bashar Al-Assad hosted China's vice foreign minister. The Chinese official said, he urged Syrian leaders to negotiate with the opposition.

An Iranian admiral says the latest deployment of naval ships to the Mediterranean Sea is a show of friendship and strength. It's just the second time since 1979 that Iran has sent ships through the Suez Canal. The first was a year ago as seen here in this video. The ship's passage was reported by an Iranian news agency. Israel is keeping tabs on the ships. Their destination still unclear.

And the Pope has officially inducted 22 new cardinals including the archbishops of New York, and Baltimore. They will play influential roles as advisors and they will also play a role in deciding who the next Pope will be. Pope Benedict also announced seven new saints including the first native American saint.

Much of Japan is getting hit with another round of snow and strong cold air. Spots along the sea of Japan are seeing especially heavy snow this time around. Japanese media report the number of snow related deaths this winter has now surpassed 100.

NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first American in orbit.

Back in 1959 the space agency selected John Glenn as one of the original group of seven astronauts for the mercury program. Three years later he blasted off to the famous words Godspeed John Glenn having become the first American to orbit the earth.

All right. "THE SITUATION ROOM" continues now with Candy Crowley right after a quick break.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST: Thank you for joining us here in "THE SITUATION ROOM." I'm Candy Crowley in for Wolf Blitzer. It's time to get you caught up on the other big stories this hour.

In the Republican presidential race, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are gearing up for a rematch a week from Tuesday with contests in Michigan and Arizona. Polls suggest Romney might suffer a very personal loss in the state where he was born and raised. Santorum leads Romney by five points in the latest poll of likely Republican primary voters in Michigan. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich far behind.

And in Arizona, Romney holds the top spot in the latest poll of likely Republican primary voters. He has a seven-point advantage over Santorum and again Gingrich and Paul are trailing.

Our analysts Gloria Borger and Ron Brownstein are standing by to talk about the contests ahead. But first, Rick Santorum says he's proud to be a conservative and a catholic. His politics and his religion are at the center of an unfolding controversy over his views on birth control.

Mary Snow is looking into that for us -- Mary.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, an interview that Rick Santorum did six years ago has resurfaced. His comments about birth control are drawing attention with critics calling him out of touch. But he insists his personal and public policy are not one and the same.



SNOW (voice-over): As he gains momentum in polls, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum's record comes under more scrutiny. And these remarks about contraception made in the 2006 interview have gone viral.

SANTORUM: From a government point of view I support title X, I guess it is. And have voted for contraception. And I don't think it works. I think it's harmful to women. It's harmful to our society.

SNOW: Washington Post conservative columnist, Jennifer Rubin, first posted the video writing the impression that Santorum finds the prevalent practice of birth control harmful to women is frankly mind numbing. "If he meant to focus on teenage sexual promiscuity, he surely could have, and thereby might have sounded less out of touch."

Rick Santorum also brought up birth control in this interview on October with the evangelical blog site saying he considered it an important public policy. SANTORUM: One of the things I'll talk about that no president has talked about is the dangers of contraception. (inaudible).

SNOW: But Santorum told CNN's Piers Morgan Wednesday that despite his personal beliefs, he would not support any law to restrict contraception.

SANTORUM: The issue is, you know, as a public servant how do I feel about tissue of contraception. It should be available.

SNOW: The fact that contraception success raised is drawing fury among groups like Emily's List which promote democratic women candidates supporting abortion rights. It asks. "if this is the 2012 presidential election or 1956? Saying it's hard for one extremist to stand out in today's GOP."

A new CNN ORC poll finds 81 percent of Americans disagree with the notion that birth control is wrong, 77 percent of Catholics polled feel the same way.

Could this issue hurt Rick Santorum? Republican strategist Mary Matalin says, no.

MARY MATALIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: He was articulating the catholic proposition on contraception. So that's his belief. He specifically said he would not. His policy position is not to ban birth control. And when this plays out, that can't hurt him.


SNOW: Now, this isn't the first time talk about contraception has come up in the Republican presidential campaign. You may remember a few months ago Mitt Romney was asked about it in a debate about whether a state has the right to ban contraception. At the time Romney said it was an unusual topic to be raised and said it should be left alone - Candy.

CROWLEY: At least at that time but we're not leaving it alone at the moment. Thanks so much.

We want to bring in our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger with CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein.

Let's just pick up where Mary left off. Because it seems to me if you're a voter in Michigan or in Arizona you look at this and say, perhaps I agree with Rick Santorum. But what does it say about his chances in November?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. Well, Rick Santorum ran the last time in 2006. He lost four suburban swing counties outside of Philadelphia by 175,000 votes. He lost over 70 percent --

CROWLEY: -- which is where he made his original statement.

BROWNSTEIN: Right. I mean, he is someone who can energize the Republican base but expressing views on a variety of issues that will be a challenge, the biggest in general election with more socially moderate voters. On that last point --

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: What about women? I mean, it's going to hurt him with women and he's already not doing as well as Mitt Romney.

BROWNSTEIN: Two quick points. And that last point about what Mitt Romney said the issue shouldn't be reopened. Rick Santorum said in January to change (inaudible) see that the 1965 decision that barred states from prohibiting use of birth control was wrongly decided and the state should have the right to ban birth control even though he himself voted against such a law. And of course, there are broader range of issues that are all coming together now as with Republicans like Mitt Romney talking about eliminating title X funding and this big fight in Washington about overturning the new Obama mandate to provide contraception under healthcare.

BORGER: You know, couple of things here. First on the social issues. It's a little bit difficult for Mitt Romney to be the person taking on Rick Santorum which is what kind of saves Rick Santorum here because then Rick Santorum could turn around and say, weren't you, you know, against or pro -- against abortion and now before you were for abortion.

BROWNSTEIN: Right. Right.

BORGER: And so, he can turn that around. Also secondly, I don't think the Republican party wants to be having the culture warring fight right now, particularly in the state of Michigan when they taught be talking about the economy. Right?

CROWLEY: Absolutely. But don't -- they kind of do and don't. Rick Santorum actually likes the issue of contraception because let's face it, it started out. It's not contraception issue as far as the way the Republicans want to argue it. They want to argue religious liberty and the federal government telling a catholic entity that they must provide birth control.

BROWNSTEIN: And the challenge though, is when it spread beyond that and becomes an issue about --


BROWNSTEIN: Although, I agree with your point though. Rick Santorum is OK with a cultural divide in the Republican Party. In fact, that's what we're seeing occur even before the candidates got to this focus on social issues. You do have a clear class divide. Romney from the outside has been a stronger candidates with college plus and upper income voters. The alternative to him whether is Gingrich or now Santorum is always been more rely on a more blue collar culturally conservative populist wing of the party where there is evangelical Christians are blue collar Catholics, that is I think the core of the entire Romney vote.

BORGER: So, Gingrich can take on Santorum on the culture wars. Mitt Romney a lot more difficult. Sure, he can on the issue of -- the issue of life as long as it's not related.

CROWLEY: Yes. Let me - look. This could help Rick Santorum win Michigan. I must say I don't believe those internal polls that say people don't care as much about someone who can beat Obama, they are looking for someone who sides with them. I think that's wrong. That's something you say to a pollster. But the fact of the matter is there's a real chance here, Gloria, that Santorum could take Michigan, which would be a huge psychological blow to Mitt Romney.

BORGER: Psychological and real blow to Mitt Romney. I think - look. Mitt Romney can lose Michigan and still win the nomination, right? Agreed on that. But, what happens is, is it blows the race wide-open and makes the ground a little bit more fertile on Super Tuesday for Newt Gingrich to rise for the third time.

BROWNSTEIN: I guess I would say, you know. Remember the old map we're talking about the 15th century that's what beyond here and dragons. I mean, that was sort of what Michigan is. If Mitt Romney loses the Republican race totally goes into unchartered waters. And then people will have the most serious contemplation that Romney couldn't be the nominee.

And if you look at Super Tuesday, if Santorum can win in Michigan, you have a number of blue collar evangelical states like Oklahoma, Tennessee, Ohio plus the caucuses it could be a very long super Tuesday for Romney if Michigan provides Santorum a boost of momentum.

BORGER: And our producer, Kevin Bond, reports that Sheldon Adelson is about to put another 10 million more bucks in to Newt Gingrich's super PAC.


CROWLEY: I want you to listen quickly. I saw that Newt Gingrich said earlier of the week just because he may have known a little something we didn't know.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This thing has a wild rhythm. It resemble riding space mountain at Disney. I've been the front-runner twice. I suspect I'll be the front-runner again in a few weeks.


CROWLEY: OK. First of all, let's just say everyone is saying he taught stop talking about space and move on.


CROWLEY: But could he be the front-runner? Is that a little optimistic.

BROWNSTEIN: I think it's going to be hard at this point. I think the race has polarized into a kind of center of the party versus right of the party. And Santorum is taking that right whether you look at tea party supporters or evangelical. He seems to be the guy as long as he is doing well. Hard to see Newt getting pass him.

BORGER: Here's the great irony of politics though which is why you have to love it. Mitt Romney now needs Newt Gingrich to stay in the race.

CROWLEY: We love it. Well said.

Gloria Borger. Ron Brownstein. Thank you both very much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

CROWLEY: A quick reminder. You can see the next Republican presidential debate right here on CNN coming this Wednesday live from May Center, Arizona starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern time.

And speaking of the presidential contenders almost all of them have released their tax returns. The latest, Rick Santorum. We're taking a close look at how he made all his millions and what he spent some of it on.

But first, a CNN exclusive, inside Syria. Our Arwa Damon takes you into a make shift clinic inside the un-battled city of Homs.


CROWLEY: Dozens of new deaths are being reported in Syria amid the government's continued military onslaught against its own citizens. The city of Homs is taking the worse of it. The international committee of the Red Cross and Red president say it's unable to reach trapped citizens in devastated areas of the city. Residents said they have not had any humanitarian aid reach them in more than a month.

The shelling is in defiance of a U.N. resolution that passed by a broad margin this week condemning the humanitarian rights violations and calling for an end to the violence. But instead Syria's president Bashar Al Assad is proposing changes in Syria's constitution. The government portrays it as an important reform initiative. But many other see it as window addressing. A referendum is scheduled for February 26th.

And now a CNN exclusive. Our Arwa Damon and photojournalist, Neil Bosworth (hp) were able to get inside the besieged city of Homs and they spent time in a make shift clinic that has neither the exportation or the equipment to treat people bravely wounded by the unrelenting shelling.

Viewers may find some of Arwa's reporting upsetting. And for her team's own security we're not revealing its location inside Syria.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the horizon thick smoke billow from a sabotaged gas pipeline. This is the war zone that Homs has become. We're in a Baba, Hama, a neighborhood that's endured constant shelling where civilians are killed and wound every day.

A 30-year-old man lies on the brink of death after shrapnel hit him in the head. He had brain matter that came out of the wound last night.

I couldn't really do anything for him the Dr. Mohammed says. I just stitched him up to keep the brain matter in and insert ad tube. It's actually a nasal tube to suction the blood. He will die if he done get out. Dr. Mohammed is one of only two doctors here. His specialty is internal medicine. The other doctor is actually a dentist.

The 36-year-old's arm is attached by a number of muscles only. I just went out to take out the trash. I saw that the shelling had quieted down he recalls. I had hardly stepped out the door when I heard a massive sound.

The father of three tried to get his wife and children out of the area. But he says government forces turned them back.

In a weak voice he implore, we're begging all countries in the world please get involved. Mohammed also tried to escape but wasn't allowed through the checkpoints. He said he was hit by a tank round after running to help those wounded in a rocket attack in front of his house.

The doctor is just saying that this is a patient that has to get outside Baba, Hama within 24 hours or else his leg most definitely is going to need to be amputated and the doctor also pointing out how at this point you can smell the rot coming from the wound. This patient has been lying here like this for four days now.

The feeling of helplessness in the face of such suffering is overwhelming.

We've lost all feeling Mohammed says. There's no value to life. The rockets just rain down. Dr. Mohammed can't hold back the tears. This is a case that survived he says, most cases we get like this they die within an hour or two because we can't do anything for them. This is how they have to move around just a short distance to get from one location to another where they have the patients.

Six patients were killed in this building after a strike. The shelling is relentless. What they've had to do because the clinics keep getting targeted is try to distribute the patients around so they have a number of houses in the vicinity where they also have these makeshift clinics as well.

In what was a living room one man groans as he shows us his wound. Next to him another patient, struggling to speak as well. He initially traces the shape of a tank on the wall and then communicates through crude drawings.

This here is Abad and he's been drawing trying to explain to us what's happening. He's in so much agony he can't speak. He's one of the cameraman who goes out, ricks his life all the time.

Some of his clips that we constantly see posted to YouTube and broadcast and he's been drawing two tanks and explaining how he was moving down the street across from them when they fired at him.

He's got a severe head injury. His skull has been cracked. The nurse says he's suffering from internal bleeding as well. Lying in the room nearby, a 19-year-old is barely hanging on, wounded when the clinic was hit a few days ago.

Among those treating him is a 27-year-old woman who is a volunteer. There's a team of 20 volunteers now on the medical front lines after just 15 days of training. I swear to you he's just a youngster she cries, her voice filled with anguish.

He came here to help people and now he needs help. No one is equipped to deal with the scale of the casualties. An average of 60 wounded a day. Not to mention the rising death toll.

These are humans she says, her voice trembling. They are not stone. All they want to know is how many, how many have to die before some sort of help arrives? Arwa Damon, CNN, Homs, Syria.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: And a postscript some sad news out of Homs. Since Arwa filmed in that makeshift clinic, the 19-year-old featured in her report died.

Returning to this hour's top story, a final farewell to Whitney Houston. Up next, the warning her mother gave her, which could have saved her life.

Plus a Supreme Court justice attacked with a machete at the while on vacation and no security guards nearby. Why do the nation's top judges not have 24/7 protection. We investigate.


CROWLEY: Now back to the top story this hour, Whitney Houston's funeral. As her friends and family mourn her passing, there are still many questions about whether drugs and alcohol played a role in Houston's death.

The singer struggled with addiction was long, painful and public. Our Lisa Sylvester has more on a problem that affects literally millions of people around the world.

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that certainly right, Candy. And the autopsy has been completed on Whitney Houston. The L.A. chief coroner has said there were no signs of foul play and no injuries to Whitney Houston's body.

The coroner has not yet determined an official cause of death. But there's speculation that her years of drug abuse may have played some kind of role in her death and her death has now put the spotlight on drug and alcohol addiction.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SYLVESTER (voice-over): We don't know the cause of Whitney Houston's death. It will likely be weeks before the toxicology reports are completed.

But what we do know is Houston had a lengthy battle with drugs. Those around her including her mother had begged her to get help. She spoke to Oprah Winfrey in 2009 describing one such intervention.

WHITNEY HOUSTON: One day my mother came to my house. It's kind of funny. But now that I look at it I see the love and passion that my mother had for me hasn't has for me.

She walks within these sheriffs and says I have a court junction here. You're going to do it my way or we're not going to do this at all. We'll go on TV and you're going retire. You're going give this up. This is not worth it.

SYLVESTER: Whitney Houston went seven years without a new album. In 2009, she was back on the scene now divorced from singer, Bobby Brown. In her Beverly Hills Hotel room there were a few prescription bottles, but according to the coroner' office not many.

Was it drug abuse that killed her or something else? There have been a string of celebrities who have died because of alcohol and drug abuse, singer Michael Jackson, actor Keith Ledger, singer Amy Winehouse and model Anna Nicole Smith among them.

The number of deaths from overdoses of prescription pain killers has more than tripled in the last decade according to the nation's drug czar.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think people recognize that prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs.

SYLVESTER: When prescription drugs are mixed with alcohol, it can be a particularly lethal combination.

DR. CHRISTOPHER LANG, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: When you put the two together again it could have devastating effects. That margin of error gets smaller and smaller the more you're adding things together.

SYLVESTER: William Moyers started using marijuana as a teenager and then eventually became hooked on crack cocaine before getting cleaned.

WILLIAM MOYERS, HAZELDEN: Addiction doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care who you are or who you aren't for that matter. If we as people who are addictive in recovery don't take care of our recoveries we relapse.

SYLVESTER: Whitney Houston spoke publicly of her battles including in that Oprah interview speaking of her mother's efforts to save her.

HOUSTON: She said let's go. She said let's do this. I'm not losing to you the world. I'm not losing you to Satan. I want my daughter back. I want you back. I want to see that glow in your eyes. That light in your eyes. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: The anti-anxiety medication, Xanax was among the prescription drugs found in Whitney Houston's room. Investigators are now contacting pharmacies across the country seeking more information on her prescription drug use and trying to determine whether it did in fact play a role in her death -- Candy.

CROWLEY: I think, you know, not only her story, but her mother's story as told through her is just so many families dealing with that. A mother's sheer pain watching her daughter go through this.

SYLVESTER: That has to be so heartbreaking for her when you see all the efforts that she made trying to save her daughter.

CROWLEY: It is tough topic, gets a hold of you. Thank you so much, Lisa Sylvester. We appreciate it.

Rick Santorum has released his tax returns. We're going inside the numbers to find out how he made his millions and what we spent it on.

Plus after a Supreme Court justice was attacked, we decided to look at how justices are protected. What we found just might surprise you.


CROWLEY: Life after Congress has been pretty profitable for Rick Santorum. The Republican presidential candidate has released his tax returns showing a considerable jump in income since leaving the Senate.

Our CNN senior congressional correspondent, Dana Bash is combing through his returns for us -- Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Candy, in Rick Santorum's first year in the private sector after leaving the Senate, he quadrupled his salary. Just like many departing senator, he used his defeat here in Congress to find financial opportunity.


BASH (voice-over): On the stump, Rick Santorum sells himself as a candidate from coal mining country, champion of the working class.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not an oil man from Texas. I'm the grandson of a coal miner.

BASH: But these days, Santorum is hardly working class. Four years of newly released tax returns show since his 2006 defeat from the Senate, he raked in a total of $3.6 million. He made nearly $667,000 in 2007 his first year in the private sector and nearly doubled that by 2009 earning $1.1 million.

Still Santorum made far less than Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. In 2010, Romney's income was $21.7 million, Gingrich $3.1 million, Santorum $930,000. Most of Santorum's income came from work for energy and health care interest as well media contracts.

Thanks to relationships built during his decade and a half in Congress. Romney's campaign says Santorum cashed in as a Washington insider. He describes it this way.

SANTORUM: It's a really great opportunity to give a whole bunch of different life experiences in the private-sector and I think that's made me a better candidate coming forward here for president.

BASH: Bigger paychecks allowed Santorum to move his seven children into this big house he bought in suburban Washington. But he tries to use the purchase to connect with millions affected by the housing crisis.

SANTORUM: That house has lost 40 percent of its value so I had to do a lot of paying down of debt to keep my mortgage payments down and to get my head in a sense suffer what a lot of people did.

BASH: With Santorum's fatter paychecks, heftier tax bills. In 2007, he paid $167,000 in federal taxes, $310,000 in 2009. His effective tax rates between 25 percent and 28 percent. That's nearly twice the 14.5 percent Romney paid on his income from investments.

SANTORUM: I do my own taxes. Romney paid half the tax rate I did. So obviously, he doesn't do his own taxes maybe I should hire an accountant.

BASH: And what about charity? Santorum gave $81,500 in charity over four years. That's 2.2 percent of his income, far less than Romney slightly less than Gingrich. To be sure with seven children, Santorum does have big expenses.

SANTORUM: Got two kids in college and, you know, a child with a disability and, you know, needing care.


BASH: These tax returns were a long time coming. Santorum said for nearly a month that they were, quote, "coming soon."

Still Santorum made to point out that he has now released all of his taxes since he was defeated from the Senate that's four years worth and it is more than his GOP competitors.

Mitt Romney released two years of tax returns, Newt Gingrich one year and Ron Paul hasn't released any at all and says he doesn't plan to -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Dana Bash, thanks. A man with a machete that's what this Supreme Court justice faced while on vacation. So why didn't a security guard stop him? We investigate next.

Plus, it's one of the most popular songs Whitney Houston ever sang and she wasn't alone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CROWLEY: The FBI says it's helping Caribbean police investigate the robbery of Supreme Court Justice Steven Briar by a man with a machete.

We broke the story right here in THE SITUATION ROOM and it got us to thinking about security or the lack of it for members of America's highest court. Brian Todd has been looking into that.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, there are some measures of protection for the justices that are not discussed publicly. But there are also vulnerabilities exposed when Justice Briar came face to face with his assailant.


TODD (voice-over): A law enforcement official tells CNN there's nothing so far to indicate that Supreme Court Justice Steven Briar was specifically targeted when an assailant entered his home on the Island of Neves recently and robbed him at the point of a machete.

But the incident raises a serious question, are America's top judicial figures adequately protected?

(on camera): The Supreme Court won't talk publicly about specific security arrangements for the justices, but here in Washington area, where they live, justices often move around without visible security in protection.

Justice Briar's home is on this street in Washington. There's nothing in front of his house. Two Supreme Court justices live on this street in suburban Virginia. We look for visible signs of protection. Nothing.

(voice-over): That's where we met, Ralph Basham, the former director of the Secret Service. That agency works with the Supreme Court police to investigate threats to the justices.

But like many top government officials, there's no extended protection when they're at home.

(on camera): Shouldn't they have some level of personal protection with them at all times?

RALPH BASHAM, FORMER SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR: I don't believe that they necessarily need protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you're going to do protection, you have to do it totally, because if people are in fact watching to see where you may be vulnerable, they're just going to wait to see when that protection goes away.

TODD: Basham says 24-7 protection is very expensive and invasive to privacy. The U.S. Marshal Service protects the justices when they travel domestically.

A marshal spokesman would only say that agency is aware of the incident involving Justice Briar and assisting in the investigation. Basham points out one effective form of protection for the justices is their relative anonymity. But there have been close calls. Justice David Souter was once mugged in Washington though there's no indication he was targeted.

Justice Clarence Thomas was the target of a racially motivated threat. And someone once fired a bullet through the living room of Justice Harry Blackman who wrote the court's opinion legalizing abortion nationwide.

BASHAM: Some motivated individual that is determined, he or she, they have -- there is a potential that they could get to one of our public figures, yes.


TODD: Basham and other experts say justices at the federal district court level often face greater threats to their security than Supreme Court justices because they deal firsthand with the criminal element.

They point to the case of District Judge Joan Leftco who found her husband and mother shot to death inside her home in Chicago in 2005. The assailant was believed to have been someone who had a lawsuit dismissed by Judge Leftco.

It all boils down to question still being asked are top judicial figures being adequately protected? Candy, that's an answer we really don't have tonight.

CROWLEY: We don't and probably we've been asking for several years. It's never a really good (inaudible). Brian Todd, thank you very much.

Back to this hour's top story, Whitney Houston's funeral services. Up next, a unique look at one of her most famous songs.


CROWLEY: It's the song the world remembers when it thinks of Whitney Houston and it never seems to gets old. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If this isn't stuck in your mind by now -- you have a Teflon skull. It's not just the media playing it over and over. It's the tributes from professional singer/songwriters like Butch Walker who hosted this to YouTube.

These singers, Sasha, and the amateurs are singing it too, from the dorm rooms, to the New York City subway cars. Whitney Houston's number one hit sung on the number two train. Elisabeth Hasselbeck wore it on her blouse on "The View."

ELISABETH HASSELBACK, "THE VIEW": That was always my karaoke song and I would to get that last part, you know, where she and I would always cough.

MOOS: To cover the failure to reach that high. Some in the music business had a name for the highest part of that song. It was called simply "The Note." But sometimes even Whitney couldn't hit it. This concert in South Korea --

She drank some water and continued. The song's appeal was global when it was sang on a Taiwanese talent show and brought some of the audience to tears when he sang it on "Ellen" and we think of it as Whitney Houston's song.

It was Dolly Parton who wrote it. She wrote it to ease the pay when she decided to part ways with a business partner, she later said it sang just because I'm going don't mean I won't love you.

One the most popular tribute video richochetting around the web was from the United Arab Emirates where the Dubai fountain showered Whitney Houston with love even before her death.

Chances are we wouldn't have to be remembering her soundtrack from "The Bodyguard" if only she had guarded her own body better. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CROWLEY: That does it for me. I'm Candy Crowley in for Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Be sure to join us every weekday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN and at this time every day on CNN International. The news continues next on CNN.