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Massacre Suspect Returning to U.S.; "There Was No Cooperation from America"; Living in Luxury While Syria Burns; Obama Campaign Watching You Online?; ABC: Pet Owners Say Toxic Treats Made In China; Osama bin Laden's Key Documents; Monster Twisters; Cuban Prison; Women of the Senate

Aired March 16, 2012 - 17:00   ET



Happening now, the soldier suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians is heading to a military detention facility here in the US. We will hear from his attorney.

Syria's leader lives in luxury and gets advice from Iran, while his security forces carry out a brutal crackdown. Thousands of leaked e-mails give us a look inside the al-Assad regime.

And we also have video smuggled out from one of the Cuba's most notorious prisons. You will see the appalling conditions and you'll hear from an American inmate who says he's been beating mercilessly.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world.

Breaking news and political headlines are straight ahead.

Wolf Blitzer is off.

I'm Candy Crowley.


The U.S. soldier accused in the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians is on his way to a military detention facility in the U.S. right now. But back in Afghanistan, an angry President Hamid Karzai is casting doubt on the U.S. version of events and on the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship itself.

CNN's Sara Sidner is standing by in Kabul. But we begin with CNN's Casey Wian in Seattle.

He has fresh details from the accused shooter's attorney -- Casey.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Candy. That accused shooter is expected to land in the United States at any moment, according to his lawyer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WIAN (voice-over): John Henry Browne, the high profile Seattle attorney representing the U.S. soldier suspected of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians, says his client is being moved from Kuwait to a military detention facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Although no charges have been filed against the still unidentified 38-year-old staff sergeant, it's clear his attorney already is laying the groundwork for a possible defense -- the effects of three deployments in Iraq.

JOHN HENRY BROWNE, ATTORNEY FOR SUSPECT: There's been a big problem with soldiers who have been previously deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, with concussive head injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I know there's been a lot of controversy about this particular base in Washington not treating those illnesses. We do know he had a concussive head injury. We also know he was injured in his leg severely. And I am somewhat confused as to why they would send him back to Afghanistan.

GEN. DAVID M. RODRIGUEZ, U.S. ARMY: I'm confident there's sufficient screening going on prior to repeated or during the repeated deployments. We continue to learn and get better at that every time. And while we're not perfect, we have made tremendous progress on that. And I'm confident that the system is working overall, yes.

WIAN: Before being deployed from Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington in December, Browne says the soldier was first told he would not be going and then he was sent.

One former military attorney questions Browne's strategy of publicly discussing the case.

THOMAS KENIFF, FORMER JAG OFFICER: With all due respect to the defense counsel, I think that's an ill-advised decision, because you don't want to say anything at this point where you're going to over commit to one particular defense or not.

WIAN: Browne says he only has had one phone conversation with his client and did not discuss the shooting or recent reports that alcohol may have been involved.

We asked if his client has expressed any remorse and Browne would not comment.


WIAN: Browne also says because of the highly political nature of this case, he's very concerned about his own safety and the safety of the soldier's wife and children. They remain under protection at Joint Base Lewis-McChord tonight -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Casey Wian, thank you.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai today met with the families of the 16 civilians allegedly killed by the U.S. soldier. He made it very clear he is not happy with the U.S. response to the shooting.

CNN's Sara Sidner was at that meeting.

She joins us live now from Kabul -- Sara, President Karzai made a serious allegation against the U.S. today.

What did he say?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was sitting and listening for more than an hour to villagers, who were very angry, and saying that they believe that there was more than one U.S. soldier involved in this. And he said, well, based on what you're saying, there was more than one U.S. soldier involved in this, kind of reiterating what they were saying.

But he also said that the relationship between the United States and Afghanistan is -- and I'm quoting here -- "At the end. We're at the end of our rope," is how he put it.

And so you can see that there is a great deal of frustration on his part. And he was referring to many of the things that have happened in Afghanistan over the past three months. We're talking about not only this incident, but the past incidents with the burning of the Koran and the -- the picture showing U.S. troops allegedly urinating on dead Afghan bodies. So a lot of frustration there.

And he also was very clear on how upset the Afghan officials are and his government is about how the U.S. is handling the investigation, angry that they sent the U.S. soldier out of Afghanistan, who's accused in this massacre, without allowing Afghan officials to interview him.

Here's what he said about that.


PRES. HAMID KARZAI, AFGHANISTAN: The Afghan investigation team did not receive the cooperation that they expected from the United States. Therefore, these are all questions that we will be raising and raising very loudly and raising very clearly.


SIDNER: Now, we understand that Mr. Karzai spoke with President Obama this morning. And he talked mostly in Pashtu, because that is the language of those coming from Kandahar, from the village and speaking to him. And he said that the president was upset with him over this new demand that -- this transition from having NATO forces be in control to having Afghan forces be in control by 2013 as opposed to 2014 -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Sara, we've been hearing reports of compensation for the victims' families.

Have you heard anything about that?

SIDNER: We know that the families have said, we don't want your compensation, we want justice. That was said over and over again. And then we asked Mr. Karzai about that, as well, what have you heard?

He said, at this point, we're going to reiterate what the victims are saying here. We don't want justice. The government -- I mean, excuse me. We don't want compensation. The government doesn't want any compensation, they want justice.

And what justice that they're looking for is to have this U.S. soldier who is accused in this killing to be brought back to Afghanistan and tried right here on Afghan soil.

Is that going to happen?

If you talk to American officials -- and you heard from his attorney -- likely that will not happen -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Sara Sidner, always an amazing reporter, in Kabul for us tonight.

Thank you.

Now moving on to Syria, where thousands of e-mails are giving us a stunning look inside Syria's ruling family. While his security forces have carried out a bloody crackdown and thousands have died, President Bashir al-Assad has been getting advice from Iran and enjoying a lavish lifestyle. It's all detailed in 3,000 e-mails CNN obtained from sources in the region.

We cross checked many of the e-mail address, as well as times of certain events, like speeches and family vacations.

Here's CNN's John Vause.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This all began about a year ago, we're told. A government worker in Damascus managed to smuggle out what appears to be the e-mail addresses and passwords of the Syrian president and his wife. And so, for the past 12 months, it seems, Syrian activists have monitored the regime in real time.


VAUSE (voice-over): The e-mails, first leaked to "A.C. 360," give extraordinary insight into the life of Syria's first family, as the regime moved to brutally crush a civilian uprising. The e-mails also reveal some of Iran's influence over Syria's president.

Just before Bashar al-Assad delivered a speech in January, an aide e-mailed him, saying: "A political adviser to the Iranian ambassador encourages Assad to use powerful and violent language."

In that speech, Assad then promises to crush the opposition with an iron fist.

There are also e-mails from this man, Hosein Mortada. According to his Facebook page, he's the Damascus bureau chief for two Iranian news networks. Twice he offers advice to the president's aide, who passes it on to Assad. On Christmas Eve, Mortada writes: "Don't blame al Qaeda for a recent attack. I even received calls from Iran and Hezbollah," he wrote. "They advised me not to even mention al Qaeda. This would be a serious tactical media error."

And then, two days later, with Arab League monitors on the ground, Mortada e-mails the same aide: "We need to take control of public the same time groups affiliated with us will fill the squares."

We reached out to Mortada, asking if the e-mails were his. So far, no reply.

Shortly after the arrival of Arab League monitors, an apparently amused Assad shares this YouTube video with one of the his closest advisers, mocking the monitors' failure to spot regime tanks.

"check out this video on YouTube," he wrote.

The reply?

Laughter and: "Oh, my God, this is amazing."

And the e-mails show how the regime learned of the presence of international reporters in Homs. Last month, American journalist, Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed as a makeshift media center came until heavy shelling from government forces.

But some of the most interesting insights in the Assad e-mails are personal.

Last November, as the Syrian military ramped up its attack on Homs, First Lady Asma al-Assad seemed more concerned with the latest Harry Potter DVD. Mailing a friend she asks: "Are you coming around the 2nd or before? If so, can you bringing the Harry Potter "Deathly Hallows Part 2?"

This past year, the first lady appears to have spent much of her time online, shopping for expensive jewelry, art and furniture, e- mailing boutiques in London and Paris.

During some of the worst of the violence last month, Assad apparently e-mailed his wife the lyrics and audio file to a country and Western song, ""God Gave Me You" for the ups and downs."


VAUSE: The e-mails also show the president fawning in a circle. "I never met an amazing person like you. I get so proud when people meet you and go to tell the world how amazing you are. Miss you," wrote one aide.

Another sent this racy photo with no written message.

And, finally, it seems not even close friends can convince Assad he should step down. The daughter of Qatar's emir, concerned about the worsening violence, e-mails the first lady: "It seems like it's getting worse rather than better. It seems like there needs to be an exit strategy."

Months later, she suggests exile in Doha.


VAUSE: Activists acknowledge there is no smoking gun here. And they say they released these e-mails now because their small group was breached by a larger group of hackers and then last month, suddenly, all traffic to the Assad e-mail account stopped.

John Vause, CNN, Atlanta.


CROWLEY: It may have been Osama bin Laden's last plot. New details on why he wanted al Qaeda to kill the president and why he worried that al Qaeda's brand had become a problem.

Plus, tornadoes slam Michigan, trying apart dozens of homes. Now we're learning more twisters may strike. We'll tell you where and when.

And you've probably never seen this before -- video smuggled out of a notorious Cuban prison, where this American says he lives in appalling conditions.


ALAN GROSS: I am singled out for abuse. And I cannot count all the times that I have been chained by my hands and legs and beaten mercilessly.



CROWLEY: The Obama administration wants a bill to protect your privacy rights from online companies that harvest your personal information. Now, at the same time, the Obama re-election campaign appears to be using some of that same data mining to target voters for them. CNN White House correspondent, Dan Lothian, is looking into that -- Dan.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this is something that may spook some people. It seems a little bit like Big Brother, but in fact, advertisers have been doing this for years, and now campaigns are getting onboard, the Obama campaign doing data mining.

In other words, going through data banks, perhaps, information that they gathered during the 2008 campaign, going through information that's posted on their website, on Twitter, on Facebook, to try and build a better profile of the voter. Rayeed Ghani (ph), who had been doing work kind of work in the corporate world, has been brought on board to do similar work for the Obama campaign.

One example of how this can work is, let's say, for example, you tweet a lot about the environment. Well, the campaign can see that and appeal to you, whether for support or to go out and get engaged by talking about the environment. It gets your attention. If it were about something else, you may not attention. I spoke to a technology writer who says this kind of targeted approach can not only be effective, but also efficient.


ALLEN GANNETT, TECHNOLOGY COLUMNIST: Where everything campaign is actively for information. They're putting it into one centralized data bank, then taking this data and using it for ads, solicitations, what have you. So, anytime they're asking for information, it's all going to a one central repository, and this is a big innovation of this campaign.


LOTHIAN: This is, obviously, something that the Obama reelection campaign does not want to talk about publicly. They're very cautious, because as one official said we don't want to let the other side know exactly what we're up to. There's official also saying, quote, "There's a lot of secret sauce in how we're using these tools" -- Candy.

CROWLEY: And maybe they're not too keen on voters knowing it either, but are they using information that's already available? Are they finding new ways to gather information?

LOTHIAN: That's a very good information. They are also finding new ways to gather information. For example, you probably got one of these e-mails where the campaign will say, tell us your story or tell us what appeals to you or what you would like to see us to.

They can put all this information in those banks that have additional information that they got from elsewhere and get a clearer picture of who that voter is. And what you can -- what will make you either vote for them or donate money.

CROWLEY: Dan Lothian at the White House, thank you.


CROWLEY: A former Rutgers student accused of spying on his gay roommate's sexual encounter. Is he to blame for the suicide that followed? The verdict is in.

Plus, a mother goes to war with a shark to save her daughter from a vicious attack.


VALEH LEVY, MOTHER OF SHARK ATTACK VICTIM: It was to me like a scene out of the "Jaws" where the girl is getting sucked under. And I said there's no way this thing is going to kill my daughter.


CROWLEY: A guilty verdict in the case of a former Rutgers student accused of spying on and intimidating his gay roommate. Our Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in the SITUATION ROOM right. Lisa, what have you got?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Candy, Dharun Ravi (ph) is facing up to ten years in prison and deportation to his native India for using a hidden webcam to watch a sexual encounter between 18-year- old Tyler Clementi and another man back in 2010. Clementi killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after learning about the incident. Then, (INAUDIBLE) has a put national spotlight on bullying in schools.

Well, a rocky day on Wall Street today despite a week of overall optimism in the economy. The Dow closed down about 20 points as investors digested new reports on inflammation and consumer confidence. The economists say the Consumer Price Index was up just 0.1 percent for the month, but despite soaring gas prices, inflation still is in check.

Pet owners are demanding the government take action against toxic treats made in China they say are either killing or making their dogs sick. According to ABC News, the FDA has received more than 500 complaints in the last four months, but because a definitive cause for the illness hasn't been determined, China isn't being blamed, and no products have been recalled.

And horror in the waters off of a Florida beach. A mother goes to war with a shark to save her daughter. Quinn Schuler (ph) of CNN affiliate, WKMG, has this report.


QUINN SCHULER (ph), REPORTER, WKMG: Fifteen-year-old Sydney Levy (ph) wasn't up to talking after she got out of the hospital. Who could blame her after the terrifying day she had surfing with her mom?

LEVY: This was my worst nightmare to see an animal that could kill my daughter, pulling her underwater.

SCHULER: Her mom, Valeh, says they were both long boarding in New Smyrna Beach about a half mile south of the Jedi when Sydney was attacked by a shark. Sky 6 was there after it happened. She says the shark clamped down on Sydney's ankle and pulled her off her board. Here's a picture of the wound. She says Sydney was able to get back up, but then shark came back and grabbed the rope attached to her leg.

LEVY: It was, to me, like a scene out of "Jaws" where the girl is getting sucked under. And I said, there is no way this thing is going to kill my daughter. And I grabbed her shoulders, and I put her up and threw her on the nose of my board.

SCHULER: She says the shark continued swimming around them as they called out for help to two nearby surfers who helped them to shore. Luckily, an ambulance was just up the beach helping another surfer, 17-year-old Nick Romano who had just bitten, too.

NICK ROMANO, SHARK ATTACK VICTIM: I saw the full thing right in front of me, just tail whipped right in front of me. He still came out of the water.

SCHULER: He had to get 17 stitches from the huge bite mark.

ROMANO: My reaction was to shove him right away. And then, like, he swam back down, and I just stood down. I was like, I just got bit by a shark. Every surfer always thinks, oh, one day, I'm going to get bit by a shark. Today was my day.


SYLVESTER: Wow. What an unbelievable story about that mother. Well, a beach patrol spokesperson tells our affiliate, WKMG, it's highly unlikely the same shark attacked both surfers and that a group of sharks was probably in the area feeding on fish. The beach reopened shortly after those attacks -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Thanks so much, Lisa.

After promising to halt long-range missile launches in exchange for food, North Korea makes a stunning announcement.

New information about what may have been Osama Bin Laden's last plot, and why was he so worried about al Qaeda's brand?

Plus, secret video smuggled from a notorious Cuban prison. You'll see the appalling conditions, and you'll hear from an American who says he's being brutalized there.


CROWLEY: Just weeks after pledging to halt nuclear tests on long-range missile launches in exchange for desperately needed food, North Korea has announced plans to launch a satellite and that is not going over well at all with the U.S. and other members of the U.N. Security Council. CNN foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty, joins us. I don't know, Jill. I guess, given North Korea's past history, we shouldn't be surprised, but was the U.S.?

DOUGHERTY: Well, it shouldn't be surprised, but in a way they were, because after all this deal that they had was just a couple of weeks ago and North Korea said, you know, we will stop, suspend these missile tests if you give us food, a quarter of a million tons, practically, of emergency food aide. So, they thought they had a deal.

And they also, the United States, warned North Korea at that point that if they had any type of missile tests, it would be a deal breaker. So, now here at the state department today, Victoria Nuland, the spokeswoman said, it is unclear whether North Korea really can be trusted. here's what she said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICTORIA NULAND, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: So, frankly, if they were to go forward with this launch, it's very hard to imagine how we would be able to move forward with a regime whose word we have no confidence in, and who has egregiously violated its international commitments.


DOUGHERTY: Yes. So, the food deal, Candy, is on hold, as she put it a pause.

CROWLEY: OK. So, two questions, first, has any of the food actually reached North Korea? It sounds like no. And second, what's North Korea's rationale for saying, hey now, we're going to launch a satellite?

DOUGHERTY: Yes, well it hasn't, but they were very close to planning how it would be going in, so it was moving forward, but the North Koreans say, look, we have a right to space exploration, and this missile, this (INAUDIBLE) missile would launch what they're calling an earth observation satellite. Now the U.S. says, sure, you do have that right, but the missile technology that is used to launch that satellite is what we are worried about. That is what violates U.N. Security Council resolutions -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Jill Dougherty, thank you.

After U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, they left his compound with key documents, among them orders to draw up a plan to attack the aircraft of President Obama and then commander in Afghanistan General David Petraeus. Bin Laden wanted Vice President Joe Biden to take over, viewing him as quote, "totally unprepared for the post". That's from a column in today's "Washington Post" by David Ignatius. David joins me now along with our CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen. So as you looked at these documents, David, what just bounced out at you most?

DAVID IGNATIUS, WASHINGTON POST: The most striking thing in these documents, and I should say that it's -- they provide an amazing opportunity to get inside the head of Osama bin Laden before his death. The most striking thing was how worried he was that al Qaeda had tarnished its image so badly in the Muslim world by killing so many Muslims in the midst of its jihad against the United States that he wrote in one document al Qaeda should change its name and rebrand itself. I found that fascinating. Al Qaeda leader brooding in his compound, isolated from all his colleagues, clearly worried that his organization was going in the wrong direction.

CROWLEY: Peter, it's almost like a -- he sort of treated it like a corporation. There was some talk about you know vice emirs (ph) and this kind of thing. Is that sort of in keeping with previously how he ran it?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It's always been fairly bureaucratic. You know had bylaws (INAUDIBLE) 36 pages. They had vacation policies, more generous than the vacation policy at CNN, for instance, and you know so this is of a piece of bin Laden, you know as David wrote in "The Post" today and I'm, you know, writing for CNN as well, you know, this was a guy who wrote a 48-page memo to his deputies, with very micromanagement kind of instructions, but the other thing that was striking to me was they were very concerned about the drones program in Pakistan --

CROWLEY: The unmanned missiles --


CROWLEY: -- that the U.S. sends over into Pakistan.

BERGEN: Right.

CROWLEY: It has done quite a bit of damage.

BERGEN: Right. I mean in 2010, when bin Laden wrote this memo, there were 118 of these strikes, many of which have killed a senior lieutenant, so he was very concerned. He was instructing his followers to move to Afghanistan away from the drone strikes into remote regions that he's familiar with in Afghanistan. So -- and he was concerned about his son, who was also in this area, and telling him that he should, you know, hide in tunnels to avoid drone strikes, so the picture of it emerges of an organizational life support that had very big goals, you know kill Obama, but very little means to do it.

CROWLEY: Right and I was going to ask you, David, sort of a double-pronged question, that is they really didn't seem to have the wherewithal to carry out these giant plans to shoot down the president's plane, et cetera. And if you would also comment because one of the things, and maybe it's because I'm a political junkie, that struck me was his summation of Joe Biden as being inexperienced and it would be all chaos in the U.S. when he would then become the president, just seemed to me a very naive look at the American political system.

IGNATIUS: I think he was naive. He spent an awful lot of time watching television in that compound in Abbottabad. I think he was concerned that Obama had turned the tables on al Qaeda. He notes in one of these documents that Obama had successfully rebranded the war on terror. He notes that they're calling it not the war on terror anymore. They're calling it the war on al Qaeda and that puts us on the defensive in effect, so I think he was focused on Obama. His comments about Biden were surprising in the sense that Biden has had far more experience on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and generally than Obama had. It's fascinating to see a man who is at once out of touch and totally plugged into the global grid following everything on a daily basis.

CROWLEY: I agree. It was just this -- it was a weird disconnect, it seemed to me between you know just following everything and yet not knowing so much. Let me ask you, Peter -- I want to ask you both just as our closing question here, a couple of months we're going to have the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden. There was a lot of tension at that time that al Qaeda would you know launch some kind of you know retaliatory attack.

In what shape is al Qaeda now? And should we expect that the anniversary of his death would bring anything more than his death did in terms of retaliation -- Peter.

BERGEN: The organization is on life support. That's what these documents show. And that was well understood by the leaders of al Qaeda itself. Sure, somebody opportunistically may try and do something on the anniversary, but you know it's not going to be a big deal and it's unlikely to succeed.

CROWLEY: And David is -- have we done it? I mean is al Qaeda gone?

IGNATIUS: Al Qaeda is down, as Peter is one of the world's real experts on this says, it's on life support, but these documents do show that Osama continued presumably until the day he died to be looking for ways to get the United States. In one of the documents he talks about asking the brothers in this movement to find someone who could travel easily in the United States. Presumably it was an American or had a passport that would get him into the U.S. easily. He was always looking for that seam that might allow him to conduct a spectacular attack. The capacity to pull it off obviously very limited, down, but not out.

CROWLEY: David Ignatius, great column in "The Washington Post" today, people should read it, and Peter Bergen, great article today on


CROWLEY: So go and read that one as well.

BERGEN: Thank you.

CROWLEY: I've given everybody their reading assignments for the evening. Thank you both so much.

Monster twisters barrel through parts of Michigan leaving homes and buildings in their wake but the -- leveling homes and buildings in their wake, but the worst may be yet to come. We're tracking the path of more potential storms.

Plus, new potential legal trouble for Google. Ahead, details on the major privacy investigation that could be unfolding.


CROWLEY: You are looking at some extraordinary video of just one of the twisters that hit Michigan yesterday, reducing homes and buildings to shreds. At least seven people were injured in yesterday's severe weather across the Midwest and more could potentially be on the way. CNN meteorologist and severe weather expert Chad Myers is joining us from the CNN Weather Center. Chad, walk us through what happened.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Candy, you know severe weather season in Michigan is May and June, certainly not the beginning of March, but yesterday very near a town near Dexter (ph), Michigan, just west of Ann Arbor the storm began to rotate. And it literally was the only storm rotating for a while. There was another one that kind of moved down toward Monroe County (ph) for a while later on the day, but this is what the pictures look like from storm spotters and chasers that were driving very close to the storm yesterday.

Weather Service went out there today, and they found EF-3 damage. That's 135-mile-per-hour winds. Those winds were on the ground, causing that damage, literally, you can't even tell that that was a house. (INAUDIBLE) you can tell it's a structure, but right there under that where the twisters tear homes apart that was a home there right by that fire truck. That was a two-story home reduced to only the bottom story. That's why we tell you to get to the lowest level, because the lowest level typically remains, even in a very strong storm. Seven people hurt, but nobody killed in a 135 to 145-mile per storm -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Chad, I know you're forecasting it could get worse next week.

MYERS: Yes that's absolutely true. This is going to be a big storm. It's causing rain and snow from Portland and Seattle above 1,000 feet for the snow, all the way down with rain in L.A. tomorrow, but the big story will be as it turns and move into Sunday we'll have a large area of severe weather, Oklahoma, Texas, especially right along the mountains here, about 150 miles east of the mountains, there's something called the dry line. That's where the storms will be on Sunday. Moving ahead for you to Monday, we start to see the storms move a little bit farther to the east, into Nebraska, parts of Texas, maybe even toward Dallas and Waco, all the way down to San Antonio, now again now we're moving into some bigger areas Monday into Tuesday here we are and now we're into big cities.

We're on up into the quad cities. We're into parts of Missouri and down south into Louisiana. That's not the area I'm most worried about because by Tuesday into Wednesday now we have shifted this area back into Michigan, right into Chicago, and down into the southeast and the potential for dozens of tornadoes will exist in the next four days, starting on Sunday, as the storm that's causing a lot of havoc in the west moves into the Midwest. That will cause the warm and the cold to clash. It's been 80 degrees in the Central Plains. We broke 400 record highs yesterday across the Central Plains. When this air pushes it away, the cold air pushes that warm air away, there will be big storms and they are coming Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday -- Candy.

CROWLEY: OK, Chad, I'm going rogue here because I might not ever get you back to a one-word answer. Because it's been so hot this winter in so many places and because we're having such an early spring, does it necessarily mean it will be a hotter summer than normal? MYERS: It doesn't mean it's going to be hotter than normal, but it does mean that summer may arrive sooner. Right now I think we're almost into spring, so when spring is a two-month, maybe a 2.5 month season, so when seasons are over then we could just stay hot. We could stay 80, 90, 100 degrees for the entire month, maybe eight or nine months all the way into October and November. Could be a very long summer, probably not hotter, but certainly longer --

CROWLEY: Longer. Chad, thanks so much.

MYERS: You're welcome.

CROWLEY: Shocking words from an American jailed inside Cuba.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The conditions here (INAUDIBLE) are subhuman, and the food is unfit for human consumption.


CROWLEY: We have secret video smuggled out of the one of Cuba's most notorious prisons and that's just ahead.

And shocking chants from the band at an NAAC -- NCAA tournament game, a player hounded because of his ethnic background -- details ahead.


CROWLEY: Now something you probably have never seen before. We have obtained video smuggled out of one of Cuba's most notorious prison, showing appalling conditions for those inside, including an American inmate who says he's been brutalized. Our Brian Todd has been digging into this -- quite a story.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, Candy. This could be the first look ever inside a Cuban prison at least for a broader audience; a courageous dissident who actually lives in Cuba took a risk and got an inmate to take a risk in filming it.


TODD (voice-over): A so-called bathroom mired in filth, the toilet a hole in the ground, the food described as worse than animal feed.

DOUGLAS MOORE, INMATE AT CUBAN PRISON: The food is unfit for human consumption.

TODD: Grime so thick in one cell that it's almost black.


TODD: Decaying sinks, leaking sewage all around. The Cuban government doesn't want you, the Red Cross or anyone else on the outside to see this video, an inside look at the maximum-security prison known as Cabana Del Este (ph) near Havana, one of Cuba's most notorious. We got the video from a Cuban dissident and cannot verify its authenticity. The prison houses critics of the Castro brothers and others convicted of criminal offenses. Some inmates give testimonials in the video. There's apparently at least one American here. The man who ID's himself as Douglas Moore says the conditions are subhuman and --

MOORE: I am singled out for abuse and I cannot count all the times that I've been chained by my hands and legs and beaten mercilessly, then robbed of my few meager possessions by the (INAUDIBLE) here at Cabana Del Este (ph).

TODD: Moore described in the video as jailed on drug charges shows bruises on his legs and walks with a cane.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, mom. Hi, dad. Hope you all are doing OK.

TODD: He displays the frame of a chair which he says he uses to sit over a toilet that's broken. In another clip, we see an inmate who the narrator says is talking to himself. He is described as crazy, but the narrator says he came in healthy. Donar Verhen Garcia (ph), a dissident journalist, who we got the video from, says it was shot in late January with a camera smuggled into the prison.

FRANK CALZON, CENTER FOR A FREE CUBA: We monitored what they say about us.

TODD: We watched the video with Frank Calzon, a Cuban opposition leader who communicates with prisoners who have been released there. He describes some of the worst cells.

CALZON: (INAUDIBLE) there's no toilet. There's just a hole in the ground. (INAUDIBLE) sometimes for weeks they have -- they don't have any light.

TODD: The International Committee of the Red Cross tells us it wants access to prisons in Cuba, but hasn't gotten it.

(on camera): Frank Calzon says some of the prisoners who appeared in that video will probably be punished. He thinks some will be beaten, maybe placed in worse conditions. We called, e-mailed, came by and rang the buzzer here at the Cuban Intrasection (ph) in Washington for response to any of these accounts, we got nothing.

(voice-over): We also could not get response from Cuban officials in Havana or at the U.N to the video or to Calzon's comments.

(on camera): Why would these prisoners take a risk of appearing in this video?

CALZON: Because the only hope a prisoner has in Cuba, in North Korea, in Iran, and Equatorial Guinea (ph) in Saudi Arabia is for the outside world to know about their plight. Getting attention is a way of forcing the government not to mistreat them.


TODD: Calzon says some of those prisoners might be mistreated now but in the long run he says the Cuban government knows the outside world is aware of these people and might spare them some of that. He says if he hears of any prisoners in this video being mistreated after this he'll immediately sound alarms with the media and he says he'll contact representatives for Pope Benedict XVI who is traveling to Cuba later this month -- Candy.

CROWLEY: And I know you have more information from Calzon on detentions in Cuba.

TODD: That's right. Calzon says the detentions in Cuba overall even short term detentions have increased this year. He says opposition members have gotten more visible. Like the Middle East they've used social media to spread their word around to spread word of other activities and the government has felt threatened by that and has incarcerated more people this year than they usually do and again we've tried to get response from the Cubans to this and we've gotten nothing.

CROWLEY: Yes, far away from the Middle East but lots of similarities --

TODD: Sure is -- right.

CROWLEY: Thanks so much Brian Todd. The U.N. point man on the escalating Syrian crisis demanding unimposed access for humanitarian relief, our Lisa Sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Lisa, what do you have?

SYLVESTER: Hi, Candy. Kofi Annan says he's quote "doing his best" to try to find a peaceful solution just days after holding meetings with embattled Syrian President Bashar al Assad in Damascus. The government insists in new letters to U.N. officials that terrorists are behind the slaughter despite new reports of deaths, shellings and arrests just today.

According to "The Wall Street Journal", Google is being investigated here in the United States and Europe for bypassing the privacy settings of millions of Apple Safari Web browser users. The move could mean years of legal trouble and heavy fines for the Internet search giant. A Google spokeswoman says the company will cooperate with any officials who have questions.

And mass outrage over chants at an NCAA basketball game.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a freshman but he's about as cool as they come right now. No facial expressions whatsoever --

(END VIDEO CLIP) SYLVESTER: Members of the University of Southern Mississippi Band were chanting "where's your green card" at a Kansas State point guard of Latino descent. The university president and athletic director have apologized for the incident. The player says he ignored it when it happened and accepts the apology -- Candy.

CROWLEY: Wow. Even at a ball game. That's pretty amazing. Thanks so much, Lisa Sylvester. Appreciate it.

Some unusual allies on Capitol Hill, ahead an exclusive look at how they crossed party lines to support each other and are doing things their counterparts cannot.


CROWLEY: They call it the zone of civility. One of the rare places you can find bipartisanship despite party differences. CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash is taking an exclusive look at the women of the Senate as one of them celebrates a major milestone.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Senator Nancy Cassebaum (ph) and me.

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Democrat Barbara Mikulski came to the Senate in 1998 there was only one other woman, a Republican.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The hemline is a little different, the hair color. That's when there were two --

BASH: The two forged a bond across party lines. Now there are 17 female senators.

SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D), MARYLAND: We have five Republican women, 12 Democratic women.

BASH: Mikulski is now becoming the longest-serving woman in congressional history. To mark it she invited three other women across parties and generations to her Capitol hideaway to talk to us about what Senate women call their zone of civility.

MIKULSKI: And when the day's over let's kick back and put our lipstick on and have a glass of wine and keep the institution and America going.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: She hosts the dinner every quarter of all the women senators and obviously those dinners are highly confidential, but we talk about --

BASH (on camera): Just among us girls --

(LAUGHTER) GILLIBRAND: Well, we talk about our families and our concerns and our lives. And sometimes we talk about what we're working on. But it's a very collegial setting.

BASH (voice-over): This subject is especially poignant for Olympia Snowe, leaving the Senate because it's so polarized.

SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE (R), MAINE: We're all a team as women. We may not always agree on every issue but that's not the point. We know how to work together and the give and take of it to achieve results. And that's what frustrates us I think many times when we get together for dinner. One thing we can let you in on --

BASH (on camera): Spill it.

SNOWE: -- is that you know we like to get results.

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: I think one of the other ways though that makes it different, the women of the Senate versus the men, I don't -- I don't think we've got as much ego attached with who is getting the credit.

BASH (voice-over): One example, legislation to help 9/11 first responders.

GILLIBRAND: Both Lisa and Olympia were encouraging me. They said you know we're not going to be named sponsors of the bill in the first instance but we believe in what you're doing.

SNOWE: We trust each other. It's almost instinctive.

BASH: They differ on everything from taxes to energy policies, but generally agree on women's issues. Lisa Murkowski recently voted with fellow Republicans against free access to contraception then regretted it.

(on camera): Did any of your female colleagues come to you and say, Lisa, come on, you know don't go with your party on this.

MURKOWSKI: I wish that we had had that discussion. I think that my party is in an unfortunate place right now, as viewed by many, many women in this country who are feeling very anxious about what they believe to be attacks on women's health.

BASH (voice-over): In a bitterly partisan era, Senate women cherish their bipartisan sisterhood.

MIKULSKI: When I fell and cracked my ankle two years ago the first person on the phone to talk with me was Senator Murkowski.

BASH: Ironically this dean of the Senate women learned from an old boy's network that no longer exist here, get to know each other personally, work better professionally.

MIKULSKI: I won't always be here. But I hope the legacy of civility that I've worked with the other women to create will remain. BASH: Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.


CROWLEY: Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Candy Crowley in THE SITUATION ROOM. The news continues next on CNN.