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THE SITUATION ROOM
Bales Atty.: U.S. Military Broke Promise; Massive Credit Card Security Breach; Bin Laden's Not-So-Secret Children; New Details in Trayvon Martin Death; Abandoned at the Border
Aired March 30, 2012 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S THE SITUATION ROOM: And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM, happening now, a massive security breach could affect more 10 million credit and debit card users in the United States this hour. You're going to find out if your line of credit is at risk.
Plus one of Osama bin Laden's widows is opening up about their years in hiding. When you hear what he was doing, you'll wonder how Pakistani officials could insist they could have possibly missed this.
And men, women and children dumped at the border after dark with no money, no phone. Who's behind it? The U.S. government is; we'll tell you why. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Well, we begin this hour with a story everyone in the United States seems to be talking about right now, the largest jackpot in lottery history, in the world. It's an astounding $640 million and it's still growing. That's because fortune hunters across the country are lining up in droves to buy Mega Millions' lottery tickets.
They have about six hours to go before the winning numbers are revealed. We have live cameras watching the action outside and inside lottery ticket sites. We all would like to know is there a way to improve the odds of hitting this enormous jackpot. Mary Snow is standing by at a convenience store in Manhattan with more.
Mary, lottery fever is sweeping the country.
MARY SNOW, CNN REPORTER: It certainly is, Wolf. You talk to just about anyone here buying a ticket and they'll tell you, increasing your odds are boosted instantaneously when you're buying one of these tickets, but sales are so brisk in New York, lottery officials are saying they're making about $2.4 million an hour in sales..
And there are a lot of theories out there about boosting your odds. There's one theory about avoiding single-digit numbers and we got some unconventional advice from a former winner.
From coast to coast, wannabe millionaires shrug off daunting odds for a shot at $640 million. At this liquor store in Hawthorne, California, some wait for hours, hoping luck will strike again. EDUARDO DURAN, BLUEBIRD LIQUOR: We made six different millionaires so everybody feels lucky over here and we sell a lot, and they figure we won't sell another one.
SNOW: That lucky streak is fueling hopes of reliving a moment that $112 million winner Cynthia Stafford remembers well.
CYNTHIA STAFFORD, LOTTERY WINNER: I just kind of stood and cried for a minute -- a moment, like, OK. This is -- this is -- this is awesome. This is really awesome. I didn't faint, though I kind of felt like I was close to it.
SNOW: Stafford used her millions to become the owner of a production company and philanthropist. She says she was in danger of losing her house, caring for her brother's five children after he was killed in a car accident, when she won big in 2007. What worked for her? She says she visualized the number $112 million and when the jackpot hit that amount she bought two tickets.
STAFFORD: But it was a number that I randomly picked and I said, well, that sounds good and wrote it down on a sheet of paper, meditated on it until I no longer felt the need to meditate, and it --
SNOW: What happened.
SNOW: Others see the numbers differently.
MICHAEL BERNACCHI, UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT MONEY: One in 176 million, that's with an M.
SNOW: The chance of winning is a hot topic for economists. Some say the best bet is not buying a ticket at all. Others say increasing the odds can come down to picking unique numbers.
STEPHEN BRONARS, WELCH CONSULTING: What are lucky numbers for people, like a 7 or 11, may actually really be an unlucky number because if that's one of the numbers that comes up, it might be more likely that there will be multiple winning tickets that are out in circulation.
SNOW: Lottery officials say it's all random. New York has had the most Mega Million winners followed by California and Ohio. Cynthia Stafford dismisses all the math and she's had the last laugh.
STAFFORD: I tell people, don't say I'm going to buy a ticket, and, oh, but I probably won't win. Yes, you're not going to win because you gave your ticket away. You gave your money away.
SNOW: So, Wolf, well, keep visualizing $640 million. Don't know if it's going to work, but it can't hurt. You know, one of the economists that we spoke with says because the jackpot is so large now, he expects there might be as many as three or four winners, and he says right now there's about a 5 percent chance, he calculates, that there will be no winner drawn tonight. Wolf? BLITZER: Five percent where you are, Mary. Big line over there, or is it relatively easy to go buy a ticket?
SNOW: It's -- you know, people are getting out of work, so the line is starting to form, but you know, there's so many convenience stores in Manhattan that are selling these tickets so we haven't seen really long lines that we have seen in other parts of the country.
BLITZER: Mary, thanks very much.
Even with a $640 million payout, there will still be lots of cash left over for 42 states and the District of Columbia that take part in the Mega Millions game. So where does all of that money go? Let's bring in our own Erin Burnett.
Erin, how much of the ticket money actually goes to states, and what do they use it for?
ERIN BURNETT, ANCHOR, ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT: Oh, this is -- it's a pretty interesting question. So about half of the ticket money actually goes to the winner, about 50 cents of every dollar wagered actually goes to the eventual winner of the lottery and about 35 percent of it -- 35 cents actually goes back to the states.
And it is a lot of money for states, Wolf. A lot of it actually goes to education. I've been looking today, since lotteries in this country began back essentially in the late 1960s, early 1970s, most of money tends to go to education.
And in the states that have the biggest lotteries over time, California, New York, Florida, they put the money all into education. New York, about 15 percent of the education budget last year in New York State came from the lottery.
BLITZER: So, in other words, if they're going to give out to the winner or winners $640 million, what I hear you saying is they're taking in, what, $1,200,000, something like that, twice as much as they distribute?
BURNETT: They're taking in a lot more money and it does add up over time. You know, last year, Wolf, I took a look from the National Association of State and Provincial Lotteries -- provincial, because Canada is actually a part of this -- $18 billion was what the states netted and that's a lot of money.
Now you compare it to New York State alone, which today passed a $133 billion budget, it doesn't look like a lot of money. But when you look at the gap of the money that states, the hole we have this year, given the fiscal crisis in this country.
The Center for Budget and Policy Priority says the gap in America right now is about $49 billion. That's essentially the deficit for states around the country, when you compare $18 billion in profits to the states from the lottery, about $49 billion gap, it actually does look like a lot of money. So there are a lot of interesting ways to crunch this and we're going to have a lottery winner on tonight who'd won $122 million and you know who I have on, Wolf? I have a guy named John Crow and he is the guy who is going to pick the balls tonight.
BLITZER: Wow. Have you bought a ticket yet, Erin?
BURNETT: Our show bought a ticket. We put all of our names on it --
BLITZER: What about you?
BLITZER: What about you?
BURNETT: -- I didn't buy one personally. I'll split it with the other 35. I think we have 35 total names that went on that ticket.
BLITZER: You're a generous person, you know, because you know what, I went out and bought a few tickets last night and I suspect in my pocket right now I have that winning ticket. But I tweeted earlier in the day, Erin, I will be back in THE SITUATION ROOM on Monday, even after I win that $640 million -- I'll be here because I love this job.
BURNETT: I would, too. And, Wolf, one other thing -- I'll just say, we're going to break down tonight, which is pretty amazing, you know, usually -- you know, the president talked about lotteries as a regressive tax and they usually are.
Usually for every dollar ticket, the expected value of your ticket is well below a dollar and that means it's a bad bet. But this lottery, because so many people are playing and it's gotten so big, well above a dollar, the expected value of a ticket. It makes sense right now to go out and buy one.
BLITZER: Erin, good luck. Good luck to your whole team. Good luck to everyone out there --
BURNETT: You too, Wolf.
BLITZER: Hope there are a lot of winners. Thank you.
Now let's bring in someone who knows a little bit more about the lottery and how it works. We're talking to the executive director of the DC Lottery, Buddy Roogow. Thanks very much for coming in.
BUDDY ROOGOW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DC LOTTERY: Oh, glad to be here.
BLITZER: All right. You got your winning ticket or are you allowed to buy a ticket?
ROOGOW: No, I'm really not allowed to play, unfortunately.
BLITZER: How important is this? And we make fun of it -- for the District of Columbia and the education process in D.C., the nation's capital?
ROOGOW: Erin had it right. Basically, 50 cents of every dollar goes to the winning players, not just the winner of the jackpot, but all the other winners at lower levels. And the other 50 cents goes back to the jurisdiction, as well as to the retailers who are selling the tickets. They generally get about 5 percent on everything they sell.
And you think about it, when people go and buy these tickets, they're not just buying Mega Millions tickets. They might buy a cup of coffee, a loaf of bread. It just brings extremely new business and great business to everybody who enjoys the benefit of it.
BLITZER: So I was right when I said about $1.2 billion might be created as a result of this? Half of it would go to the winner.
ROOGOW: That's -- well, the winners. Remember, you could win -- that's right, because you win less -- there will be plenty of people who don't win $400 or $640 million. That's $460 cash. Some will win as little as $4 or $5. Some will win $250,000 or even a million.
BLITZER: This is the largest lottery --
ROOGOW: Oh, it's the largest --
BLITZER: -- not only in the United States, but around the world.
ROOGOW: It's the largest in the universe. It's never -- it's such excitement. We expect that over, I think, 600 million to 700 million tickets are being sold just in the three days from Tuesday night when the last drawing was held, till Friday night, tonight.
So it's just tremendous excitement. And people are savvy. They know the odds are so long, you and I can get hit by lightning three times and we would have better odds for that --
BLITZER: All right. So let's say the ticket I bought last night, a $1 ticket, I win.
BLITZER: The guy who sold me the ticket at the convenience store, what does he get? What does the store get?
ROOGOW: It depends on the jurisdiction. They may get anywhere --
BLITZER: In the District of Columbia?
BLITZER: That's it?
ROOGOW: $25,000. BLITZER: The owner of the store --
ROOGOW: That's right.
BLITZER: -- not the clerk who actually --
ROOGOW: Well, we -- usually the owner will share some with --
BLITZER: But they don't have to.
ROOGOW: They don't have to. It's up to them.
BLITZER: But if no one wins tonight, what happens then?
ROOGOW: If no one wins, we're probably talking about a $1 billion jackpot. We're probably -- I don't have those numbers, but I'm told that we're probably talking a billion or more. It was 363 on Tuesday night. We're already we're at 640, and I suspect it may be 700 before the drawing tonight.
BLITZER: Even tonight's --
BLITZER: -- 11:00 pm Eastern, that's when the numbers will be --
ROOGOW: And I think it will be more than 640.
BLITZER: More than 640. So think maybe $700 million --
ROOGOW: Seven hundred million.
BLITZER: -- but whoever wins it has to pay tax.
ROOGOW: And you would still come to work on Monday.
BLITZER: I would be here -- if I got that $700 million -- I will be here in THE SITUATION ROOM. And, you know, I will interview myself and ask myself, well, how do you feel about that $700 million? And I'll say I feel pretty good about that $700 million.
ROOGOW: I hope you live in D.C. because you'll have to pay taxes.
BLITZER: Yes, you don't have to pay taxes --
ROOGOW: We want the windfall.
BLITZER: If you want to take it in one lump sum, an annuity, you don't have to -- you could get a lot less, right?
ROOGOW: If you take it in one -- you mean one lump sum, you would get about close to $500 million.
BLITZER: You still would have to pay tax on that. ROOGOW: Yes. About a third of it will go to the Feds and to the state or jurisdiction.
BLITZER: You know what? Let them take the money. It's still a lot of money for whoever --
ROOGOW: It's wonderful. Yes. Enjoy.
BLITZER: Thanks very much.
ROOGOW: You're welcome.
BLITZER: A new defense of the man who killed Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman's brother spoke exclusively with Piers Morgan. I'll ask Piers if he believes what he had to say.
Plus a new bombshell from Osama bin Laden's youngest widow about his years in hiding.
And could someone be using stolen information from your credit card right now? Stand by, new details of a truly massive security breach across the country.
BLITZER: The attorney for the American soldier charged in the deaths of 17 Afghan civilians is accusing the U.S. government of blocking access to key records and witnesses. Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is joining us now.
Barbara, he's saying promises were broken. What's going on?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, John Henry Browne, the attorney for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians, just wrapped up a press conference. And as you say, he's claiming an information blackout from the government.
The attorney has a list of complaints about what the government is not sharing with him, and it starts with he says being excluded from being able to talk to witnesses and victims in Afghanistan. Have a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HENRY BROWNE, ATTORNEY FOR ROBERT BALES: People on our staff in Afghanistan, went to the hospital where there supposedly were eyewitnesses to this allegation. And we are told by the prosecutors to come back the next day, which is fine. We went along with that.
And then we went back the next day, and they had all been released from the hospital and all been scattered throughout Afghanistan. So that was a violation of the trust that we had in the prosecutors. We also haven't been shown this --
(END VIDEO CLIP) STARR: What he's going on to talk about is that they are just simply -- and he says, not being shown the evidence that is being gathered against Bales, but, look, military officials tell us the investigation remains ongoing. They are continuing to gather evidence and that they are under no obligation at this point in the legal proceedings of the investigation to share everything that they know.
That discovery process will come later, and Afghanistan is, you know, a tough place to get to and to move around in. It is going to be as tough for the defense as the prosecution to gather evidence on the ground, talk to witnesses, get statements and get the type of evidence admissible in a U.S. court that people are really expecting. It's going to be very tough all the way around.
The attorney says it is going to cost up upwards of $2 million to defend what is certain to be a death penalty case, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, just beginning. It's going to be a long, long process.
Barbara, thank you.
A massive security breach that has credit card companies scrambling right now. Could impact -- get this -- 10 million credit cards across the country. Is yours one of them? We have the story.
Plus a terrifying close call for firefighters on the roof of this building. You're going to see the nail-biting video just ahead.
BLITZER: All right. This just coming into THE SITUATION ROOM. Your credit and debit cards at risk, after a massive security breach has been discovered. All major card brands, possibly millions of people across the country could be affected. Let's bring in Tom Foreman. He's got some details for us. What happened here, Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Wolf, look first here on the lay of the land, where this breach occurred. This is how your credit card works. You're sitting in the middle here. You made a deal with a credit card company. You probably get it through a bank of some sort.
And you're all working together to buy things like consumer goods and airline tickets and maybe gasoline and other things you might buy at a store here.
All of these transactions, every time somebody buys something, somebody else has to get paid and it has to be all processed through so that they get their share, they get their share and you get the bill. And all of that is handled by the processing center in the middle. That's a company that specializes in crunching all those numbers and making everything work.
Now there is an inherent promise in place by these companies, when something goes wrong in that procedure. Usually what they say is, look, if something went really, really bad here -- and in truth, you ended up getting some kind of false charge from an airline or from a consumer goods place and it came through this processing center and came to you, what they say is, we'll stop that.
You won't have to pay that. We've all have charges that show up on a credit card that don't belong there and the company, after you talk a little while, will often -- will say, no, you don't have to pay for that, that doesn't matter.
So why is this an issue, if all of this information has been stolen? The issue is not that you might get an extra bill on your credit card, now although that could happen with your information being stolen. The processing center in the middle has a tremendous amount of important information about this. This is not about your money right now. It's about the information about you.
Your credit card number. Your account number. Your credit limit, the type of account, your address, your phone number, your official numbers of all sorts and your official name. You know why all of this matters, Wolf? Because this is real. It's all accurate.
It all relates to a real person and a real place with a real income, and that's the value of a theft like this, not that they can rip of your credit card for something else, but because they can take this number, all this information and they can sell it to other people around the world who want to buy legitimate information.
Wholesalers -- and when I say wholesalers, these are illegal wholesalers, because what they would do in turn is then they would take that information and they would sell it again.
So it's been sold by the person who bought it to a wholesaler, who, in turn, then sells it to a variety of scam artists, who may then take your information to open new accounts -- and they use those new accounts to buy products which then they may resale, and on and on and on this goes.
So the truth is what they've done is they've taken your identity and created a whole bunch of new accounts that you may not know about for quite some time, until they're hugely in default and many thousands of dollars are involved.
Are you going to be involved in paying for that? Maybe not, but it can make a huge headache for you trying to clear up your credit and get your name back again for things that you knew nothing about. Robert Manning from the Responsible Debt Relief Organization spoke to us about it earlier today and how much trouble this can be for us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MANNING, RESPONSIBLE DEBT RELIEF ORGANIZATION: Some people have spent $50,000, $60,000 in terms of hiring attorneys, taking time off from work, traveling to different courts, testifying at local police hearings, filing with the Federal Trade Commission. I mean, this is a nightmare where the dimensions of the crisis for the individual are really hard to calculate. (END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: It's a little bit hard to follow, Wolf, but the bottom line is this is not so much about somebody taking your credit card number and charging something that you'll have to pay for. It's about them taking your identity and selling it over and over and over again to people who may charge many hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of goods.
You may not have to pay for that, but getting your identity back so that you can get a credit card again, so you can get loans, so you can go on with your life, that can be, as he said, a nightmare, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, it could be terrifying. Here's the question: what are the credit card companies saying about this? What are they doing about it?
FOREMAN: Well, what they're saying about it is what credit card companies usually say, is we will protect the people affected by this. We'll deal with this breach, but the trick is this. A credit card company -- and we're not targeting Visa here; we're just using them as one example.
There are many others -- MasterCard, American Express, all sorts of companies that may be caught in things like this from time to time.
The simple truth is they may protect you, up front, Wolf, but once it's gone through this process where your identity has been sold to a wholesaler and to other scam artists around the world, at some point, many banks, many credit card companies may say, hey, that's not us, anymore, that's a whole different endeavor and now you're on your own.
BLITZER: Tom Foreman, thanks very, very much. It's a whole new world out there, I must say.
It could have been a tip-off about where Osama bin Laden was hiding for years. Stand by to hear what his widow has been telling investigators.
And they're left at the border to fend for themselves without money, without phones. Some of them are children. Stand by for this report.
BLITZER: There's now even more reason to wonder if Pakistani officials knew Osama bin Laden was hiding under their noses for years. His youngest widow has told investigators that bin Laden fathered four children while he was a fugitive and he wasn't all that secretive about it. CNN's Brian Todd is taking a closer look at this story for us.
Pretty amazing, Brian. What are you learning?
BRIAN TODD, CNN REPORTER: It is, Wolf. Well, at least his wife wasn't all that secret. She did go to a hospital in Pakistan, she says, to have children on two occasions. She reportedly gave fake ID papers at that hospital, but this does raise all sorts of questions about Pakistani officials' knowledge of the movements of bin Laden and his family.
TODD (voice-over): He was alternately hiding, running and fathering children in the years after 9/11. New details of Osama bin Laden's life on the run have emerged given by his youngest wife Yemeni born Ajmal Ahmed Abdul Fatah (ph). According to a Pakistani police interrogation document obtained by CNN, Ms. Fatah (ph) told police that she and her family lived in Pakistan for almost all of the 9.5 years between the September 11th attacks and bin Laden's death. Consistently during those years, Pakistani leaders said this about bin Laden's whereabouts.
YOUSUF RAZA GILANI, PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: I don't think that Osama bin Laden is in Pakistan.
TODD: The interrogation report filed in January is paraphrased by a police official. The report has Ajmal Fatah (ph) saying the family lived in at least five locations in Pakistan after 9/11 in at least five safe houses.
(on camera): According to the report Ajmal Fatah (ph) says right after 9/11 her family scattered. She says she went from the area around Kandahar, Afghanistan, to Karachi, Pakistan, stayed there for about eight or nine months. In mid-2002 she says she went to Peshawar, Pakistan, reunited with bin Laden there, then she says the family went to Sawat (ph) in Pakistan, stayed there for about eight or nine months. In 2003 she says she went to the city of Haripur (ph) in Pakistan, stayed there for about two years, then in 2005 she says she went to Abbottabad, Pakistan, to that compound where she says they stayed for about six years until bin Laden's death.
(voice-over): Bin laden may not have been with her that entire time, but Fatah (ph) says while they were on the run she gave birth to four of the five children she had with bin Laden. In Haripur (ph), the report says she claims to have given birth to two children in a Pakistani government hospital. She says she only stayed in the hospital for two or three hours each time. "The New York Times" cites a separate document saying she gave fake ID papers to hospital staff. I spoke with terrorism analyst Brian Fishman about the children born in those years.
(on camera): What does that say about his mindset during those years on the run?
BRIAN FISHMAN, TERRORISM ANALYST: Well I think you know we have this notion that he was interested in preserving his legacy, you know. We've got that famous video of him watching his old videos, sitting there you know in the house in Abbottabad. So, you know, it's possible to think that he wants to have a big family. He wants to be seen as a major sheikh.
TODD: A U.S. official tells us bin Laden's wife's account does seem plausible. We've tried several times to get response from Pakistani officials to these accounts, specifically ask them if anyone in the government knew bin Laden's wife gave birth in a government hospital. We've gotten no response to that -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Brian what do we know about the other two wives who were actually living with bin Laden when he was killed, any information coming from them?
TODD: According to the "Dawn" (ph) newspaper in Pakistan, neither of those two widows who are older or their children have been cooperating with Pakistani authorities. It's likely that all three wives who were there with him will be charged in Pakistan on Monday with violating the country's immigration laws.
BLITZER: Brian Todd thanks very much. Let's bring in CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen -- just written a book -- it's going to be coming out very soon on bin Laden, on the hunt over a decade or so for bin Laden. I'm anxious to get that book, Peter. But you've seen these documents. You actually have copies of these documents. Give us your assessment, how credible, first of all, you think this information is?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think the information is completely credible. It kind of fits what we've known up to this point and one of the big questions, Wolf that we've had is what did bin Laden do before he got to Abbottabad. We know he was at the battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan in December of 2001.
There is some indication he went elsewhere in Afghanistan, but there's this big gap of four years. What was he doing? These documents helped answer that. And you know we can now say definitively in 2002, he was in Peshawar, a big city in Pakistan by the Afghan border and that he went to other big cities over the course of those years which were (INAUDIBLE) a bit of a blank.
BLITZER: So you would agree this latest information raises even more doubt on the credibility of Pakistani officials who insist they had no knowledge of bin Laden's whereabouts inside their country.
BERGEN: Actually, you know we have recovered -- the United States has recovered thousands of documents they were in Abbottabad. They've all been translated. There is no smoking gun in those documents.
BLITZER: No smoking gun that the Pakistani military, the intelligence service, the government, anyone in the Pakistani establishment knew he was hiding there in Abbottabad?
BERGEN: Right. I mean there's just no, you know it's hard to prove negatives, but there's no evidence of this. And you know it's not, if there was the evidence I think the U.S. government would have made it public by now --
BLITZER: Let me stop you with that.
BLITZER: Why would the U.S. government who needs Pakistan right now, they have a nuclear arsenal. It would completely you know destroy this, whatever semblance of a relationship still exists with Pakistan. Why are you so sure the U.S. government would make that public if they knew for sure that there was this smoking gun?
BERGEN: Well a lot of people have looked at these documents, Wolf. It's not a secret that you can keep at this point. They haven't been declassified yet. But the other thing is, you know if you go back to Admiral Mullen's testimony about the Hakani (ph) network in Pakistan, a very definitive, public statement that the Pakistani military was supporting a Taliban militia. You know we've said -- the United States has said things that have been quite critical, so I --
BLITZER: Including Leon Panetta, the secretary of defense who was the CIA director raising doubts about these denials from Pakistani officials.
BERGEN: Right. That was on "60 Minutes," as you recall.
BERGEN: You know his spokesman made a clarification that that was rather the old interview, that he was interviewed over the course of quite a long period of time. I mean it's a very good question to continue to ask. These documents you know --
BLITZER: What do you --
BERGEN: Right --
BLITZER: -- Peter Bergen, the expert on bin Laden.
BLITZER: You spoke with him way back when it was in the '80s or '90s, whenever you actually went there. You now have completed a book, which is about to come out on "The Hunt for bin Laden", do you believe that high-ranking Pakistani officials knew bin Laden was hiding there?
BERGEN: The short answer is no, and the reason that I think that is not only that we don't appear to have the evidence of that, the -- from knowing bin Laden pretty well and having thought about him for a long time, this was a very paranoid and secretive guy. There were people living on that compound who weren't sure if bin Laden was living there, some of those sort of, you know some of the kind of family members of his couriers. So he was, you know, he was keeping a very low profile and don't forget that al Qaeda tried to on two occasions to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. You know there was -- and that was bin Laden you know inciting attacks from a Pakistani state, so he was an enemy of the Pakistani state. He was a very paranoid guy and secretive guy and for those reasons I think it's unlikely that he would have you know given a head's up to any Pakistani official.
BLITZER: The new book comes out what date?
BERGEN: May 1st.
BLITZER: May 1st. You'll be in THE SITUATION ROOM shortly thereafter.
BERGEN: Thank you, sir.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, looking forward to it.
BERGEN: Thank you.
BLITZER: We're trying to piece together what happened in the minutes before Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. Our Piers Morgan spoke with the brother of the shooter, George Zimmerman. Stand by for some of that exclusive interview and my live conversation with Piers. I want his impressions. And women and children left at the border in the dark and in danger.
BLITZER: We're getting more conflicting information about the moments leading up to the killing of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman's family insists he was attacked by the teenager before he shot and killed him. Zimmerman's brother tells CNN medical records will help prove the shooting was in self-defense. Robert Zimmerman, the brother spoke with Piers Morgan. Piers is standing by to join us in a moment but first listen to some of this exclusive interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, HOST, CNN PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT: What did George tell you Trayvon Martin allegedly did to him?
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN'S BROTHER: hat has come out that I can talk about today is that Trayvon Martin somehow snuck up on him. And according to Mr. Crump (ph) (INAUDIBLE) an attorney, he was on -- we don't know if this is verifiable information, but he was on the phone with his girlfriend. I don't know if that's a police source, but I know his attorney at least holds up the girlfriend as a source and says Trayvon told him no, I'm not running. I'm going to walk real slow and Trayvon went up to George and said the first thing to George and then there's some discussion about did he say do you have a problem. Do you have a problem? Are you following me? Why are you following --
MORGAN: What did George tell you he said?
ZIMMERMAN: One of those things.
(CROSSTALK) ZIMMERMAN: You know do you have a problem with me, following me? Why are you following me, something like that. My brother drew back to grab his phone in retreat to call again 911 and say well now this person who I lost sight of and was not pursuing has now confronted me. That's what he did. He never got to make that call because he was attacked by Mr. Martin.
MORGAN: And when you say attacked what did George tell you Trayvon did to him?
ZIMMERMAN: Well, I don't know. I believe that at the time George knew he had sustained some kind of injury to his face or his nose. I don't know that he knew it was broken. I know that --
MORGAN: Here's the weird thing. How do you explain, as a family the video that came out last night of your brother within you know not much time after this incident, walking around unaided, perfectly OK with no apparent markings to his face. I mean if you get a broken nose or the kind of head injuries sustainable from having your head smashed on a concrete floor, you're going to have blood everywhere. You're going to have visible injuries. There is nothing. I mean we're looking at the images now --
MORGAN: There is no visible sign of any attack. How do you explain that?
ZIMMERMAN: We are confident the medical records are going to explain all of George's medical history, both how he was treated at the scene and how he was not. To me, his nose looks swollen in that video. I'm his brother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Piers is joining us now. Piers, a good interview, it's got -- obviously gotten a lot of buzz out there, but what do you think? How credible is this brother?
MORGAN: Well, you just don't know, Wolf. I mean the bottom line is he and his father, George Zimmerman's father, too, obviously who came out the night before and we didn't see his face, but he talked in a very, very similar way on the detail. And it seems that the family has an agreed line that they have come out to speak about, about what they claim happened. Now there are some contradictions here.
You know we know for a fact from one of the 9/11 calls that George Zimmerman was told to stop following Trayvon Martin and yet we are now supposed to believe that he carried on and then he stops and then Trayvon Martin "snuck up on him" to quote Robert Zimmerman and surprises him. So is that likely? Is that credible? It would seem unlikely, not very credible, but that's the version they have put forward.
The other interesting question that came from another guest of mine last night, Mike Tyson, when I asked him about this, he said it wasn't obvious in that interview when you talked to the brother was how Trayvon Martin would have known that George Zimmerman had a gun, a concealed firearm and that hasn't been explained. You know the argument that the family are putting forward is that George Zimmerman basically was going for his gun because he could see Trayvon Martin going for it first.
Well to do that he would have had to have known that there was a gun. And so there are lots of unanswered questions here and the family's version of events is very precise and you could argue, if you were cynical about this, very deliberately designed to qualify under Florida's particular Stand Your Ground Law, and if you believe their version of events and that is indeed what happened then they would have an argument under that law for self-defense because you believe that your life is in imminent danger, but if you look at all of the facts in their totality and you deduce this is unlikely given the fact that George Zimmerman was told in the 911-call stop following this boy, but defied that instruction, carried on following, but is then supposed to have stopped and then being surprised, you know that in law as Dan Abrams, the top legal adviser to ABC, tells me tonight that sounds pretty incredulous.
BLITZER: Yes, it sounds to me and you've done a lot more work on this story than I have that we're probably going to see an arrest of Zimmerman pretty soon, but give me your thought.
MORGAN: I think it might help everybody. I mean obviously it wouldn't help George Zimmerman, but it might help the temperature of this whole story if the legal process began with an arrest and a proper investigation and potential charges, maybe even a trial because at the moment you have a situation where it appears on the ground on the night the law enforcement authorities in Florida that night had differing views. Some wanted to charge him with manslaughter. Others thought under the Stand Your Ground Law he should be free to go home. Well clearly if they were having that argument on the night, wouldn't the easier thing to have done were to have been to have arrested him at the very least and then comes the question of the injuries.
You know if you believe the family, Trayvon Martin snuck up, there words not mine, on George Zimmerman, began attacking him, began pounding his head into the floor, broke his nose and yet within half an hour because we believe that video from the current timeline that's available was about 30 to 38 minutes later. He appears perfectly normal. There's no sign of any blood. There's no sign of any injuries to his head. It doesn't tally with somebody who has just recovered from a terrible beating so bad that he feared he was about to be killed.
BLITZER: Piers is going to have a lot more on this story coming up later tonight on "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" 9:00 p.m. Eastern. We'll be watching Piers as we do every single night. Appreciate it very much.
MORGAN: Thanks, Wolf. Appreciate it. Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thank you. Ford CEO under fire for a pay package worth a whopping -- get this -- $29.5 million. Now critics are calling that morally wrong.
BLITZER: A whopping $29.5 million pay package for Ford CEO. Lisa is back. She is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in THE SITUATION ROOM. What's the latest, Lisa?
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right Wolf. Critics are slamming the payout as, quote, "morally wrong". According to a company filing, Alan Mulally's (ph) total compensation was up almost $3 million from the year before. Ford was considered the weakest of the big three U.S. automakers before he was hired in 2006 but ended up the only one to avoid a government bailout on his watch.
And some terrifying moments for three Michigan firefighters battling a building fire when the roof began to give way with them on it. You can see them struggling to help each other to safety in this nail-biting video that's from our affiliate WXYZ. No injuries were reported. The cause of that blaze, it is under investigation.
And Honda is voluntarily recalling more than 550,000 vehicles here in the U.S. due to a wiring issue that could knock out low-beam headlights potentially causing a crash. Affected models include 2002 to 2004 CRVs (ph) and 2003 Pilots (ph). Customers are asked to bring in the vehicle in for servicing upon notification. There have been no reports of crashes or injuries related to the problem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) daddy is home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVESTER: And a soldier's welcome home goes viral. Check out how excited this dog is to see his owner. The soldier was returning after eight months in Afghanistan. This boxer named Chuck well he can't stop jumping all over the soldier, licking his face, wagging his tail. The video has gotten more than 2.2 million hits on YouTube. No surprise there. It's a great video, Wolf.
BLITZER: A great video indeed, Lisa thank you.
Men, women and children dumped at the border after dark. Who's behind it? The U.S. government, we'll tell you what's going on.
BLITZER: The U.S. battle against illegal immigration is breeding fear for thousands of deportees, many of them women and children being left at the Mexican border struggling to survive right in the dead of night. Here's CNN's Thelma Gutierrez.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're driving through the desert to Nogales (ph), Mexico. This is one of the busiest points of deportation along the entire U.S./Mexico border. So far up to 45,000 people have been deported right through here, and many of those deportations have happened at night.
(voice-over): The buses are packed. One after another, they pull up to the border, it's nearly freezing, a few men wear shorts, some have no coats.
(on camera): (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
GUTIERREZ: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
You're all from the interior of Mexico. What did you come with? Do you have cell phones?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(voice-over): No money, no identification.
(on camera): (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(voice-over): They tell me they're so far away from home, they can't even find it on the map. There are so many deportees deluging border towns like Nogales with no resources or place to go, human rights activists like Hannah Hafter of the group No More Deaths says this is a humanitarian crisis.
HANNAH HAFTER, NO MORE DEATHS: They're stripped from their lives, and they're thrown into this environment that is very confusing, dangerous, and they don't -- often don't know what they're going to do next.
GUTIERREZ: Like Ariel who's 19 years old. We found him with a group of deportees looking for shelter. He was dazed and confused. He told us he had lived in Santiago since he was two.
(on camera): Do you know the city?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't --
GUTIERREZ: Have you ever been to Nogales (ph) before?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No I haven't.
GUTIERREZ: Do you have money?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I do not have money.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): All Ariel had with him was a backpack and a picture of his mother.
(on camera): How dangerous do you think it is for somebody your age?
ARIEL, DEPORTEE: Very dangerous, very dangerous. I'm just terrified being here.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Jeremy Slack has spent four years studying patterns of deportation along the U.S./Mexico border. He's seeing a disturbing trend. Slack says people like Ariel who have been deported to Mexico or migrants waiting on the border to cross illegally into the United States have become prime targets for cartel gangs who control the border.
JEREMY SLACK, RESEARCHER, UNIV. OF ARIZONA: They know that migrants have connections to the U.S. and families in the U.S. can come up with a couple of thousand dollars to pay to get them out of trouble.
GUTIERREZ: There are only two temporary shelters in Nogales for deportees, and they're always packed. This woman tells us she and her husband were kidnapped at sundown.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
GUTIERREZ: She says they were taken to a hotel and held for ransom with 10 others who were kept in a room for four days until family members in Los Angeles wired $3,000 to their captors.
(on camera): (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
They tied your hands?
(voice-over): This man told us after he was deported to a town near the Texas border, controlled by the Seta (ph) cartel he and a friend were pulled off a public bus at 9:30 at night by masked men dressed as police. He says they were held for 48 hours and beaten. He was released when the gunman found out he was not from rival cartel territory, but his friend was never seen again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
GUTIERREZ: Just how many migrants have been victimized? No one knows for sure because victims like the people we talked to won't go to police. They're too afraid. In some border towns controlled by the cartel, even the police have fled.
GUTIERREZ: But that reality has not slowed down the deportations after dark. Mexican officials say deportations to the states of Coagula (ph) and Tamalipas (ph), Mexico known as cartel strongholds are up by nearly 60 percent in the last two years. These states are so dangerous. Our photographer who shot this video of men, women and children being deported at midnight couldn't risk being seen with his camera. He had to shoot from his car and get out. (SOUNDS)
GUTIERREZ: He knows how quickly word can get back to the cartel gangs. Which leads us back to the central question, why must these people be dropped off here after dark? U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials wouldn't talk with us on camera. But in a statement said, "ICE is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of individuals who are being removed from the United States. That the agency closely coordinates with the Mexican government on the location and timing of all repatriations of Mexican nationals."
Meanwhile outside, the buses keep rolling. People wander into the night or huddle together in the chapel of this shelter, praying for safe passage to a better life.
GUTIERREZ: We reached out to the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., and we were told that the only exceptions to night deportations are pregnant women, unaccompanied minors, sick or elderly people. A spokeswoman also told us that everyone else who's deported at night are picked up at the border and then taken to shelters. But during the two nights that we observed the deportations from 11:00 at night to 3:00 in the morning on the Arizona and Texas borders, we saw no such thing -- Wolf.
BLITZER: So it looks like this situation is going to continue, is that right?
GUTIERREZ: It sure does, Wolf. And you know, they say it's really not about whether or not they should be deported. It's really about the manner in which they're deported. Does it have to happen after dark?
BLITZER: Stay on top of this story and update us if we get new information, Thelma. Good report. Appreciate it very much.
That's it for me. Thanks very much for joining us. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. The news continues next on CNN.