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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Charity Scam?; Romney's Bain Career Under Scrutiny
Aired July 12, 2012 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
And we begin "Keeping Them Honest" with a woman who's been making money by tugging at your heartstrings and playing to your patriotism. Her name is Terri Crisp. She runs a charity that claims to reunite military dogs with personnel they served with overseas.
What could be more heartwarming and patriotic than that, right? She said the program, called Baghdad Pups, and her charity, SPCA International, were all about helping the troops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRI CRISP, SPCA INTERNATIONAL: SPCA International is, you know, certainly going to do everything we can to continue to support the military. Hopefully the wars will come to an end and we won't be doing anything as dramatic as this. But, you know, we have become real attached to the fact that military personnel love their animals and we want to do everything we can to keep them together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sounds great. It's a noble thing to do, right, if, in fact, that is what Terri Crisp is doing.
Instead, "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, CNN's Drew Griffin has discovered only a slim fraction of the $26 million that woman raised could even possibly have gone towards rescuing dogs. And, as you will see, a charity watchdog group has serious doubts how even that slim fraction was spent.
As they put it, the numbers don't just seem to add up. The appeal though, reuniting dogs and troops, is powerful, just as it was six-and-a-half years ago after Hurricane Katrina when Terri Crisp was running an operation called Noah's Wish and the appeal then was to help reunite pets and survivors.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Terri Crisp of Noah's Wish is in Sacramento, California. She joins me tonight.
Terri, good to see you.
CRISP: Good to see you, Anderson, too. COOPER: You have brought an animal with you.
CRISP: This is Tabasco. He is one of the survivors from Hurricane Katrina. He was found on a washing machine in a house that flooded. He, his sister, his mother and another dog all survived.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, turns out, though, and I didn't know it at the time, there were serious questions too about Noah's Wish and a legal settlement with the state of California.
We have been reporting on this for weeks now as part of a continuing investigation into the people asking you for money, into charities and what they do with the money they raise. One thing we have not been able to do is confront Terri Crisp, that is, until tonight.
Here's Drew Griffin.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It is the televised appeal on CNN's HLN...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our salute to the troops today is actually live in the studio.
GRIFFIN: ... that so many of you found outrageous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sitting right beside Nugget is Terri with the SPCA and Ivy is down at my feet.
GRIFFIN: March of 2011, Terri Crisp with SPCA International was telling our viewers Ivy and Nugget...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just look at that face.
GRIFFIN: ... were two bomb-sniffing dogs that had worked for a U.S. contractor in Iraq and had been essentially abandoned by the company. She rescued them and was trying to find them homes. Along for the visit was an unwitting dog handler. HLN anchor Robin Meade understandably couldn't believe the story.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So how is it that they fall through the cracks and get stranded there? That's unthinkable to me.
CRISP: It is unthinkable. That's why SPCA International is making sure that these dogs don't get forgotten and that they get brought home.
GRIFFIN: It turns out Ivy and Nugget were not abandoned. They were donated, taken from their adoptive homes in Iraq, a military contractor tells CNN, after Terri Crisp asked for them.
The military contractor, Reed Security, told CNN they had no idea Crisp would use Ivy and Nugget as fund-raising tools in the United States. For weeks, CNN has been trying to track down Crisp. First we were told by her spokesperson she was unavailable.
This week, we drove to Terri Crisp's rural home, down this dirt road in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada and found Crisp driving straight towards us.
(on camera): Ms. Crisp, it's Drew Griffin within CNN. We would sure like to talk to you.
(voice-over): Terri Crisp, dog in hand, got out of her car and walked right up to our camera and acted like she was about to answer our questions.
CRISP: This is not the place to do an interview.
GRIFFIN: Well, what is the place to do an interview? Because we have been trying to get an interview with you for a long, long time specifically to ask you about Operation Baghdad Pups.
CRISP: Yes, Stephanie Scott, our director of communications, has communicated with you directly.
GRIFFIN: Yes, I understand that, but can you tell us why you came on CNN and basically lied to our viewers about Ivy and Nugget?
CRISP: You need to talk to Stephanie.
GRIFFIN: I think you need to talk to our viewers and explain to us what Operation Baghdad Pups is all about because it appears to be just a fund-raising effort for your lifestyle and Quadriga Art, quite frankly.
CRISP: Well, like I said, again, you just need to contact Stephanie. All of our interviews are coordinated through her. We have offered to do them with you.
GRIFFIN: You have been on our air, ma'am. You have told our viewers that Ivy and Nugget were abandoned military contract dogs, which we have confirmed they were not, basically lying to our viewers. And I know you got an outpouring of support and most likely money after that appearance.
Our viewers feel like they -- and so do we. CNN feels like we were lied to. Do you have any explanation for how that happened?
CRISP: This, like I said, is not the time and place. We're happy to talk to you. Everything has to be coordinated through our director of communications.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Crisp is part of SPCA International, a group raising millions of dollars with its sympathetic fund-raising campaign called Baghdad Pups.
According to these IRS tax filings, SPCA International has taken in more than $26 million in donations over the past three years -- $23 million of that money has gone right into the coffers of the direct- mail company Quadriga Art, not towards rescuing military dogs.
What has it done with the rest of the remaining $3 million? SPCA International says it rescued about 447 soldiers' pets from Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Bob Ottenhoff, the president of the charity watchdog group GuideStar, says the numbers just don't seem to add up.
BOB OTTENHOFF, PRESIDENT, GUIDESTAR: I can't understand how to connect the dots between how much money is spent on fund-raising to how much money is spent on programming and what the sources of those revenues are, and I also can't really measure the impact of this organization. What difference are they really making?
GRIFFIN: And this isn't the first time Terri Crisp has been at the center of a questionable charitable fund-raising drive involving animals. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, she showed up on TV stations and networks, including CNN, claiming to be rescuing stranded animals as part of her animal rescue charity called Noah's Wish.
This is a former bookkeeper for Noah's Wish who wants to conceal her identity unrelated to her work at the charity. She says she watched soon after Katrina as the donations came pouring in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was cash. There were checks. There were cashier's checks. There were letters, heartbreaking letters, from kids, that instead of having birthday parties, they wanted all the money to go to Noah's Wish to help those poor little animals. On a given day, we would have, oh, my gosh, easily, $20,000.
GRIFFIN (on camera): Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, just in checks.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): And, she says, suddenly Terri Crisp changed, hiring her daughter and acting as if the money was hers to keep.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They did. They did. Terri at one time said that: I have worked so hard for so many years doing animal rescue. I'm entitled to this money.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, six-digit salaries.
GRIFFIN: For mom and daughter?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For mom and daughter.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): The bookkeeper and others went to California's attorney general, which investigated. The Noah's Wish organization signed a settlement agreement with the state, agreeing to forfeit $4 million.
And Terri Crisp was banned from being an officer or director of any charity for five years.
(on camera): Let me ask you about Noah's Wish, which you're no longer with, but...
CRISP: And I can't talk about that either.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Terri Crisp refused to talk about anything.
(on camera): When you were the director of Noah's Wish, did you pay yourself a six-figure salary, along with your daughter?
CRISP: I'm not going to talk about that.
GRIFFIN: You did, didn't you?
CRISP: I didn't pay -- I didn't set up my salary. It was done by the board of directors.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Crisp maintains she is now just an employee of SPCA International, not a director, and by not talking, she's just following orders.
(on camera): So, I will give you one more opportunity to explain why you came on CNN and basically lied about those two -- quote, unquote -- "military contract dogs."
CRISP: Well, like I said, we would be happy to do an interview, but we have procedures in place and everything has to go through Stephanie. And we have been in communication with you. We have provided you with lots of information, and you have taken a lot of that information and not reported it correctly.
GRIFFIN: Now's your chance, ma'am. Now's your chance.
CRISP: I would love to, but I said, you know, I'm an employee of SPCA International.
GRIFFIN: How much do you make?
CRISP: Not a lot for what I do.
GRIFFIN: Well, can you give me a figure?
CRISP: No. I'm be going to reveal that, none of it. I can't answer any of your questions right now. Believe me, I would love to.
COOPER: It's amazing to me, Drew.
You would think if she had as she says nothing to hide that she'd take advantage of you being there and tell you the good things that she's done and what's happened to all those millions of dollars.
GRIFFIN: She's had plenty of time to think about it, Anderson. We have been trying to get a sit-down interview with Terri Crisp for weeks and weeks, working with that communications director she mentioned. But we never got a clear answer when we could talk to Terri Crisp which is why we drove up to her home, trying to get some kind of comment.
That communications director, by the way, Anderson, called us right after and said, hey, now that you have done this, the odds are you're never going to get an interview with Terri Crisp.
COOPER: Well, I have my doubts whether she ever planned to talk to you, regardless. Could Terri Crisp be in some trouble with the state of California?
GRIFFIN: You know, she may be.
The attorney general's office here in California, we know, is actively reviewing that settlement agreement that was signed by Noah's Wish. We don't really have the details of how far that review has gone. But there may be some trouble down the road for Terri Crisp. We will just have to stand by and let you know what happens when the A.G.'s office releases its report.
COOPER: It's amazing stuff.
There's also some breaking news tonight on another story that Drew has been reporting on. It involves Toyota and all those cases of sudden unintended acceleration, Toyota cars and trucks without explanation surging ahead, out of the driver's control.
What's going on with that, Drew?
GRIFFIN: Well, you know, Toyota has been relying on that government agency's report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's report, which basically Toyota says cleared it of any electronic problems with its unintended acceleration in its vehicles.
Today, the ranking member, the Republican ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Charles Grassley, says that's not good enough. He's asking NHTSA, that agency, to re-look at all the data and reinvestigate sudden acceleration. Here's why, Anderson. He says it was too narrow in scope.
And the senator also says he has whistle-blowers coming forward to him, saying that that NHTSA investigation may have been flawed. That's Senator Grassley's words. He wants to take another look at it. There have been 9,600 or so reported cases of this. You know, last March, we reported on your show, Anderson, about an internal testing document we got out of Toyota which seemed to indicate to us and to a lot of electrical engineers we talked to that they did find electrical sudden unintended acceleration in one of its prototype vehicles.
Toyota says that is not the case. But the key thing there is, we don't have any evidence that test was part of the government's review. We will see what happens. Senator Grassley asking for a whole other investigation into unintended acceleration with Toyota vehicles. COOPER: Drew, appreciate the update. Thanks very much.
We received a statement from a Toyota spokesman that reads in part -- quote -- "There's no problem with the electronic throttle control systems in Toyota vehicles. And all the scientific evidence confirms it."
You can read the rest of Toyota's statement on our Web site, AC360.com.
Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook obviously. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper.
Up next, "Raw Politics": Mitt Romney says he left Bain Capital in 1999 to run the Utah Winter Olympics. Now SEC filings list him as chairman and CEO for days after that. We will tell you why the date could be important and could impact the election ahead on the program.
COOPER: "Raw Politics" now.
Revelations casting doubt on a key claim by the Romney campaign and the candidate himself, leading the Obama campaign to suggest Mr. Romney may have committed a crime. Heated stuff, to be sure. Here's what it's all about.
Mr. Romney has, of course, spent the past few months trying to make sure the Obama campaign does not define a narrative of his successful career in the private sector. Basically, the Obama campaign wants to paint Romney as the greedy, out of touch rich guy whose company Bain Capital closed factories, killed jobs, just to make a quick buck. That's what they want. Mr. Romney said many of the allegations don't count because he'd already left the firm.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the most recent attacks are really off target. And I think they know that.
They have said, oh, gosh, Governor Romney at Bain Capital closed down a steel factory. But their problem, of course, is that the steel factory closed down two years after I left Bain Capital. I was no longer there. So that's hardly something which is on my watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, the key development in today's story is the year, 1999. That's when Mr. Romney says he left Bain to run the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
However, a number of news outlets have uncovered filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that show him still on the corporate books through 2001. They list Romney as CEO, president and managing director of Bain Capital. You can take a look right there. The question, of course, is did Mr. Romney exercise an active role at the time? Was he actually making management decisions? Or was this just some kind of clerical artifact of his leaving so suddenly?
The Romney campaign telling us -- quote -- "The article is not accurate. As Bain Capital has said, as Governor Romney has said and has been confirmed by independent fact-checkers multiple times, Governor Romney left Bain Capital in February of 1999 to run the Olympics and had no input on investments or management of companies after that point."
The Obama campaign on the other hand is playing this up. Spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter telling us -- quote -- "This puts him at the center of responsibility for troubling investments involving outsourcing and bankruptcies. It also raises serious questions about why he misrepresented the date of his departure and whether he is concealing his tax returns because there is still more about this period and beyond that he doesn't want people to know."
Campaign legal counsel Bob Bauer going even further. He says that under normal circumstances the question of the truth in SEC filings would trigger an investigation into possible criminal, as well as civil violations of the law. The Romney campaign is demanding an apology from President Obama for that.
Let's get some perspective. Let's step back from this a little now and get some perspectives from chief national correspondent John King and senior political analyst David Gergen.
John, when the Romney campaign says he had nothing to do with the company post-1999, is there any reason to doubt that's true? What benefit possibly would they get from not being fully accurate about his dealings there?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When you show those SEC filings, there's the reason to doubt it. And they're going to have to explain that away. That's a government document. It is filed with the United States government.
Here's how they explain it. They say he left in February 1999, that it took almost two years to have the new management team put in place, and that they're required by law until that new team is in place to list Romney as the top guy.
Is there any evidence that he had a hands-on role? No. You heard what Governor Romney said, "The Washington Post," FactCheck.org, our partners at "Fortune" magazine. I today have either spoke or communicated by e-mail with four current or former Bain officials. Three of these four are Democrats. Two of them are active Obama supporters in campaign 2012.
They were all there at the time. They say Mitt Romney left in a hurry in February 1999 to take over the Olympics and he was never involved after that to their knowledge, not in any meetings. Not signing any documents. Not involved in any deals. Again, three of these four are Democrats, and they say what the Obama campaign is saying isn't true.
COOPER: So, David, is this an overreach, overreaction by the Obama campaign trying to fit it into the narrative that they have been running with now over the last couple of days?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It certainly may well be.
I talked today to two of the senior leaders of Bain Capital, people I have known for a long time. They said exactly what John King just reported, that when the request came in from the Olympics for him to come out there, he said, guys, you know, I don't really want to go, but in the end I think I must.
And he left within five to 10 days. It was a real hurry. A lot of the documents that pertain to a number of entities took a while to unwind. They were in no hurry because they didn't think there was anything like this ever coming.
But the critical thing is, what they said, to a person, is after February 1999, he made no calls on behalf of Bain Capital. He made no hiring decisions. He made no investment decisions. And they suggested another way to check this would be to talk to people who invested in the next round of fund-raising -- money raising for Bain Capital about whether they thought he was running things. And they said, if you check with him, you'll find they thought he had left.
Now I should tell you, Anderson, that I have had not only personal relationships, I started out with Bain Capital folks, partners, been a great philanthropist here in Boston but I have also had financial data and I might give them a couple of paid speeches for them. And I also was part of a company that was sold to Bain Capital. I was on the board of a company. We sold, they gambled. We thought they did a terrific job. But I did realize some financial gain from that.
Having said all that, knowing what I know about the Bain Capital partnership, how I think that they are people of real integrity. They're very well regarded in Boston. I think that the -- I think that the Romney people, the burden is on the Obama people to prove this. FactCheck.org today, which is a respected organization, said they stood by their reporting. That Romney had no active engagement with Bain Capital after February 1999.
I would point out that that report by FactCheck.org was co- written by Brooks Jackson who used to be a very, very good investigative reporter for CNN.
COOPER: Yes. John, I mean, both of the campaigns have gone all in this week on the message that the other side is lying about Bain, Romney's business record. How critical do they think this debate is to the campaign? And where could it have the biggest impact?
KING: Well, in some ways, inside the Obama campaign, they might say they're winning, even as we have a conversation in which we say it doesn't appear that what they're saying about Governor Romney is true. Why? Because we're not talking about the broad U.S. economy. We're not talking about four months in a row of rather dismal job reports.
And the Obama campaign -- look, if it were a Republican president right now, they'd be trying to do the same exact thing. Get us to talk about anything but the single biggest driving force in American politics which is right now a very weak economy.
So what are they doing? As voters make up their mind over the next couple of months, Anderson, how am I going to vote, the Obama campaign wants to say, maybe you don't like me, maybe you're upset with the strength of the economy right now, but look at this other guy. He's greedy. He keeps secrets. He's not telling the truth. You can't trust him. COOPER: David, there's no question this is complicated. It may take days for reports to get to the bottom of the story. Although frankly from both of you it sounds pretty definitive. If you're the Romney campaign, do you want to clear this up completely or does the ambiguity actually help somehow? Or is this -- just having this discussion hurtful?
GERGEN: I think John is right. Every day that's spent talking about this helps the Obama campaign. I do think the Romney campaign, I think Bain Capital has a very strong interest in getting the facts out as they know them. And then putting it forward. And trying to close the books on it.
I also think that over time Mitt Romney's going to have to provide more of his tax returns than he's been willing to do so far. Having said that, again, what's surprising about this is the Obama campaign is now playing a very rough form of politics. And is that really what we were promised way back when?
COOPER: Not -- and the answer, clearly, your indication, is not.
GERGEN: I don't think so.
COOPER: John, there have been questions raised about Bain's relationship with a company called Stericycle and what role, if any, Romney had in that deal? What do you know about that and how, if any way, does that play into this?
KING: It's one of the reasons people inside the Romney campaign and inside Bain Capital think that the Obama campaign is trying to stretch the calendar. To try to say that Governor Romney was involved way past February 1999. Why? In November 1999, Bain did invest in a company called Stericycle. It's a medical waste company. Among the things it did, and excuse me for saying this, was helped dispose of aborted fetuses.
Now what some people inside the Romney campaign believe is that the Obama campaign would like to be able to say we've now convinced you he was there into 2000. Well, in 1999 Mitt Romney, who says he's anti-abortion, invested in this company. How would they use that? Nobody is quite certain. But inside the campaign, they think it could be used as -- say, on Christian radio. A direct mail piece, late in the campaign to try to discourage turnout among social conservatives who would be absolutely critical to any Romney path to victory.
COOPER: All right. John, appreciate the updates today. David Gergen as well. Thanks very much.
Still ahead on the program, scathing report on Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. If you think you knew a lot about this case, new details today. It slams the university for what it's called a total and consistent disregard for Sandusky's victims. The president of the university not even mentioning the children for a long time until Sandusky was charged and arrested.
We're "Keeping Them Honest." We'll talk to an attorney for some of the victims.
COOPER: New word tonight that Jesse Jackson Jr. may not return to work until after Labor Day. His office says the 47-year-old congressman is receiving inpatient treatment for what they described is a mood disorder. The question is, what conclusions, if any, can we draw from that? Or should we draw from that? Dr. Drew Pinsky lays out the possibilities ahead.
COOPER: Well, tonight, there are still more questions than answers about Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. One new detail that surfaced, it looks like he will not return to work until after Labor Day. That's according to ABC News, citing a senior aide close to Mr. Jackson.
The 47-year-old nine-term congressman is up for reelection in November, but has not appeared in the House since late May. He's been on medical leave since June 10. His office released his most detailed statement last night, saying Jackson is receiving -- quote -- "intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder and is expected to recover." They quote an unnamed doctor. They didn't go into what "mood disorder" means. It's more information, though, than we've had. But it's obviously not the whole story. There's been a lot of speculation, rumors, basically false reporting also on this.
Let's dig deeper with Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN's "Dr. Drew."
When you hear mood disorder, I mean, to me that covers a whole wide variety of things. What do you make of that?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW": Really we're talking about unipolar depression, which I think everyone is aware of what depression is, or bipolar disorder, what used to be called manic depression. And these are one of the most common diagnostic categories for which any individual be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
Now, before we get into speculating about Congressman Jackson, I hope -- let's be really clear. We have no business knowing anything about his medical care. Our -- our prayers and thoughts should be with his recovery and that he's getting medical care and nothing more. Unfortunately, we still live in a time where people make great distinctions between mental health and physical health. The reality is, we're all just talking about the brain, which is a biological entity, and we can hope for his recovery.
Having said that, like you said, Anderson, they've left us with a statement that is somewhat confusing. And so let's sort of break it apart. They've left this wide swath of mood disorder, which means, you know, either bipolar or unipolar depression.
The problem is, even when people are admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a mood disorder, often there are common conditions in relation to the mood disorder like substance abuse or alcoholism or other conditions. Mood disorder is one of them at the top of the page, but it's often not the only condition.
The other confusing part about this report, let me tell you, they say that he's in a residential treatment facility. Well, mood disorders aren't treated in a residential treatment facility unless it's chronic severe psychiatric problems for which there's no evidence he's that.
So by saying residential facility, they really throw this whole thing into question. The only thing treated primarily in a residential facility is addiction and alcoholism. Now, if he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and not a residential facility it starts to make much more sense.
COOPER: Well, could you describe addiction as a mood disorder?
PINSKY: If you were admitted to a psychiatric hospital, it's often the reason you go to a psychiatric hospital first is because of the instability of a mood disorder which is made acute -- is severe because of substances. But you wouldn't typically step a mood disorder patient down to a residential facility. You would step an addiction patient down to a residential facility.
And let's face it: the "residential" may just be a euphemism for hospital. So we really -- unfortunately, they've given us -- they've left us with more questions than answers.
The reality is, I wish they'd just said, "He's sick, he's getting proper care. He's going to be fine." Because that's all we have the right to, to be fair.
COOPER: It is interesting, the point you raise, though, about the kind of stigma that still exists around mental health issues, and the unfair stigma that really exists. That if he was being treated for a, you know, some sort of ailment of, you know, of an organ, would people view that differently than they would if it was depression? And I'm guessing some people would and unfairly so.
PINSKY: Absolutely. Even if he had a neurological condition that caused, say, behavioral problems, people would go, "Oh, I get it, his brain." But if you say depression, somehow it becomes something about his personhood, which it's not. Depression is a brain disorder. Addiction is a brain disorder. These things have medical treatments. Medical management. And they are prognostically very good, provided that someone stays in medical care.
Again, part of the stigma here is avoiding saying "hospital" and saying "residential facility." Well, technically, you stay as a resident in a hospital. But a residential treatment center is a place for chronic psychiatric patients and drug addicts and alcoholics.
So I'm suspecting that he was actually admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a mood disorder. He may or may not have concomitant things like substance or alcohol. Who know? None of our business. He's in care. Let's say prayers for his positive outcome, and with all likelihood, things will go well.
COOPER: Yes. Certainly wish him best. Dr. Drew, appreciate it. Thanks.
We're following a lot more tonight. Isha's here with a "360 Bulletin."
ISHA SESAY, HLN/CNNI ANCHOR: Anderson, a deadly day in Syria, the deadliest since the uprising began. Opposition activists say government forces killed 287 people, 220 people in the province of Hanna alone.
Meantime, the Syrian ambassador to Iraq who defected and joined the opposition has been relieved of his duties. That's according to Syrian authorities who, in a parting shot, said the ambassador made statements contrary to his job duties.
Nine climbers are dead after an avalanche in the French Alps. Two managed to survive the encounter while four others thought to be missing were found alive and well after taking a different path on Mt. Blanc.
And today marked the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones' first gig. The location, a jazz club in London. The Stones are celebrating with a photo exhibit in the same city and a new book. And in an exclusive interview with Reuters, they hinted at a new tour. They aren't slowing down in their late 60s, early 70s -- Anderson.
COOPER: Isha, thanks.
A new report shows Penn State's most powerful leaders showed a, quote, "total and consistent disregard" for victims of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky and even, quote, empowered Jerry Sandusky to continue his abuse. It is a devastating report. We're going to have details. " Them Honest," next.
COOPER: A terrifying moment after an alligator bit off a teen's arm captured on a 911 call. That call, the teen's quick thinking, saved his life. We'll see the tape, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: A scathing report about Penn State's handing of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal was released today, and it is devastating. It slams the university. It slams its former president and the board of trustees for lack of oversight. And "Keeping Them Honest," the report shows that top Penn State officials knew more about Sandusky's serial abuse of children than they said they did.
The report is long. It's 267 pages, and it's incredibly extensive. A special investigative counsel interviewed more than 430 people, examined more than three and a half million pieces of evidence.
The panel was led by Judge Louis Freeh, the former FBI director. At a news conference today, he did not mince his words. Freeh said Penn State's top official showed a total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUIS FREEH, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Misters Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims till after Sandusky's arrest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: They never demonstrated concern for Sandusky's victims, for the children, in all of this.
The men he's referring to are the university's former president, Graham Spanier; former vice president, Gary Schultz; Coach Joe Paterno; and former athletic director Tim Curley.
Now, Schultz and Curley are charged with perjury and failing to report the abuse. Jerry Sandusky, of course, was convicted last month of 45 counts of sexually abusing boys over a 15-year period. He could be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. In fact, it's probably inevitable he will be. The question is for how many years.
Judge Freeh said the four Penn State officials were aware of a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky on allegations of sexually abusing a boy in a locker room shower but failed to take action.
The report noted the following: report by a young boy's mother of a possible sexual assault by Sandusky in the Lasch building on May 3, 1998. On May 5, 1998, Schultz' notes about the incident state: "Is this opening up Pandora's box? Other children?" Question mark.
The report went on to say Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley took no action to limit Sandusky's access to Penn State's facilities or took any measures to protect children on the campuses. The report also looks extensively at the incident that took place on February 9, 2001. That's when graduate assistant Mike McQueary reported that he saw Sandusky sexually assault a boy in a shower.
The report confirms what CNN first reported last week, that there was a series of meetings and e-mails between the men on what to do about Sandusky.
On February 25, 2001, the report states that Spanier, Schultz and Curley discussed a plan of action, which included informing the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.
In the next paragraph, however, the report states on February 27, 2001, Curley recommended a different course of action to Spanier and Schultz, if Sandusky was what they called 'cooperative,' not to inform the Department of Public Welfare of the allegation. Not to inform them. Again, here's Judge Freeh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FREEH: They exposed this child to additional harm by alerting Sandusky, who was the only one who knew the child's identity, about what McQueary saw in the shower on the night of February 9, 2001.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And then there's this. Judge Freeh reports the janitors witnessed Sandusky's sexual assault of a young boy in the shower back in 2000, but they said nothing because they were afraid of being fired for reporting a powerful football coach. Can you imagine that?
Freeh added that the investigative report makes more than 100 recommendations on how Penn State can move forward. He said that one of the most important goals should be to create a more open and compliant culture that protects children and not adults who abuse them. Well, this afternoon, a member of Penn State's board of trustees agreed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH C. FRAZIER, MEMBER OF THE PENN STATE BOARD OF TRUSTEES: An event like this can never happen again in the Penn State University community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining me now is Justine Andronici, attorney for victims No. 3, 7 and 10, as well as other Sandusky victims who testified at the trial.
Also joining us, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Justine, clearly all signs have pointed to a major failure at Penn State. Now this report has certainly confirmed that. Were you surprised at just -- I mean, how damning this report is? JUSTINE ANDRONICI, ATTORNEY FOR VICTIMS: I can't say that I was surprised by the factual information. I was pleased that they were able to capture so much of what we have known and suspected for months. The report is devastating.
And, you know, I want to say I was surprised, but I think the reality is that we were well aware that this is what had occurred in this case.
COOPER: Jeff, I was reading this report. And you think about the civil suits that the school now faces. I mean, it becomes much more problematic for Penn State.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: To say the least. Anderson, I apologize for a crude image but, you know, I was thinking that Justine and her colleagues, who are suing Penn State are going to need wheelbarrows to fill -- to carry all the money the juries are going to give them. I mean, people are going to be so outraged.
And usually when you have a scandal, you can say, well, it was a bad apple. It was, you know, a group or a small -- this was the president of the university. This was the head of the athletic department. These were the top people in the university. So how the university is going to go on from this and deal with the financial fallout, I really just don't know.
COOPER: Justine, obviously, you and your colleagues have spoken to some of the victims that you represent since this report came out. What was their reaction?
ANDRONICI: First, I'll tell you we pored through the report, and the very first thing we did was talk to our clients and talk with them about his findings. They were not surprised by the scope of the cover-up. I think, though, they were very relieved that it is public that the highest level officials at Penn State University actively concealed a child predator in their midst.
They, I think, were also very encouraged by the condemnation in terms of the tone of the report, stating that these folks made a decision to prioritize their brand, Penn State football's image and the university and their own reputations above the well-being of children.
I also think some of them were a bit disappointed that there wasn't a little bit more information in there about what had occurred prior to 1998 at Penn State. I do believe that there is much more to come from this story.
But overall, this is an extremely damaging and devastating report for Penn State University, and our clients recognize that.
COOPER: So, Justine, you think there's more prior to 1998, things that haven't even come out yet?
ANDRONICI: I do. I think this -- you know, certainly, there are mountains of evidence in this case. We learned quite a bit from the criminal trial. This is one investigation. And there's substantial amount of evidence coming from this investigation. There are more investigations under way. And we are conducting our own investigation. We have no doubt that there's more to come in this story.
COOPER: Jeff, I mean, if that's true, right now, two school officials, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, are facing charges of lying to authorities. Joe Paterno, obviously, is dead. Do you think there's additional criminal liability among other people who failed to protect kids from Sandusky?
TOOBIN: Well, certainly, nothing in the report that I saw is -- suggested that there were more criminal charges to come.
Look, people generally do not become child molesters for the first time in middle age. If they are going to be child molesters, they start earlier. So it is certainly a reasonable supposition that Sandusky did more of this. But as for specific evidence, I haven't seen any.
COOPER: Justine, do you have specific evidence or do you have specific information that there might be more criminal charges?
ANDRONICI: I think you'd have to consult with the attorney general about what additional criminal charges there may be in this case.
Certainly, we have the ongoing perjury criminal charges against top Penn State officials, Curley and Schultz. And I think a lot of the information in the report does raise questions in my mind about whether additional people may be charged in that. But that's really a question for the attorney general with respect to how they proceed on the criminal case.
COOPER: Justine, in terms of a civil case, I mean, how do you even go about trying to quantify the kind of damage that's been done or put it into a monetary term? Because that's ultimately what civil cases boil down to. And I'm not saying that that's what this is about. But how do you even go about that?
ANDRONICI: Well, I think the very first thing you do is recognize that -- a very important reason for our civil justice system is to hold institutions accountable when things like this happen. And accountability is an incredibly important thing in a case like this.
The behavior that we saw is simply reprehensible. And putting a number on it, I think, is not necessarily an exact science. But there is a way in which the civil system does communicate the values of our legal system.
And, frankly, in this case, with the kind of blatant disregard that we saw for the well-being of children, I have every reason to believe there will a significant value.
COOPER: Jeff, is there anything about the report that really surprised you? I mean, we've heard charges and stuff but to kind of see it all like this I just found -- I don't know, eye opening in a different way.
TOOBIN: Every page you're waiting for someone in an e-mail to say, "Well what about the kids? What happened to the kids? Should we look in to see how they're doing? Should we see if there's other" -- I mean, there's nothing, zero, concern for the victims of -- of what went on here.
And, yes, we knew in a general way that that was the case. But just to see e-mail after e-mail worried about the perpetrators and the protectors of Sandusky instead of the kids is just really horrifying.
COOPER: Yes, as Justine said, worrying about the brand, as opposed to the kid.
TOOBIN: Yes, the brand.
COOPER: I mean, stunning. Justine, appreciate you being on. Thank you very much. Jeff, as well.
Newly-released FBI reports could shed new light on the role that race played in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, if it did play a role. Will the new evidence hurt George Zimmerman's defense case? We have details on that ahead.
COOPER: There's a lot more happening tonight. Isha's here with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, multiple witnesses told federal authorities that George Zimmerman is not racist. And a co-worker said he was devastated after Trayvon Martin's shooting.
Those details are among FBI reports released today by Florida's state attorney. The interviews were conducted during a civil rights investigation by the Justice Department. The agency has not yet released its conclusion.
Florida teenager Kaleb Langdale is recovering from an alligator attack that cost him part of his arm. The life-saving 911 call that his friend made in the terrifying moments after the attack was released today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, what's your emergency?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, this is 911.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma'am. A gator just got my friend. He's in the water.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Well, Freddie Mac reports rates for 30- and 50-year mortgages have reached new lows: 3.56 percent and 2.86 percent respectively -- Anderson.
COOPER: Isha, thanks.
Tonight's "Shot" reminds us of the fierce determination of the individual athlete which sometimes translates into "screw the rules." One sprinter in 110-meter hurdle at the Chinese University Games had trouble clearing the first two hurdles. So from there, he just decided to plow through them instead of jumping over them.
When he got to hurdle No. 7, he tripped and fell into an opponent's lane. Wait for that. Boom. But like a true athlete, he got up, he finished the race anyway. "London Telegraph" reports he came in sixth place, although he was most likely disqualified.
Well tonight, we raise the bar for embarrassing resume blunders with a random bizarre picture of actor Nicolas Cage. "The RidicuList" is next.
COOPER: Time for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding the old Nicolas Cage resume mix-up. This is possibly my favorite story of the day.
A young lady in Toronto noticed a job posting for an administrative assistant and decided to inquire about it via e-mail.
"Dear Kelly," she wrote, "I found your ad at the Career Center the other day. I was wondering if the position was still available and if you could give me some more information about it. I've attached my resume and cover letter for your consideration. Regards, Vanessa." So far, so good, right? I mean, nice letter there, polite. Not overdone.
Here's the problem, though. Instead of attaching the zip file containing her resume and cover letter, she attached a photo of Nicolas Cage. A particularly kind of -- well, crazy kind of looking photo of Nicolas Cage. Even by Nicolas Cage standards. A photo which this woman has apparently saved on her computer.
Now, I'm the first one to say what good are computers if you don't use them to store unsettling photographs of Nicolas Cage or yourself or whatever? But mixing up the files? That just doesn't live up to the Cage standard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS CAGE, ACTOR: How could somebody misfile something? It's all alphabetical. You just put it in the right file. According to alphabetical order. A, B, C. D, E, F.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir.
CAGE: G, H, I, J. K, L, M, N, O, P. Q, R, S, T, U, Z. Huh! That's all you have to do!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: All you have to do. It's very simple.
By the way, can we put that e-mail up again? I just want to get another look at the photo. I mean, what do you think was going through his mind when that photo was taken?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAGE: I was a little drunk. Plus, I was horny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: OK, that settled that.
Believe it or not, though, it's not the first time that kind of resume mix-up has happened. I did some digging in my inbox today and found this.
"Dear Anderson Cooper, I've been watching you for years and particularly enjoy your work on 'Loveline' and 'Celebrity Rehab.' I'd be quite honored to work for you, provided you don't mind that I'm rather gassy. I've attached my resume for your consideration. Sincerely, Kevin." And this photo was attached.
By the way if someone really did list Gary Busey as a reference, just forget about the interview, you got the job, OK, no questions asked.
There was also this e-mail that got sent to our D.C. office. "Dear Wolf Blitzer, I was wondering if you might be in need of a new staffer on 'THE SITUATION ROOM.' I'm hardworking, punctual, and full of ideas on how you can get a closer shave. Happening now, Jenny." She also attached her resume.
As for Vanessa, the job applicant up in Toronto, she told "The Washington Post" that, no surprise, she got a reply to her e-mail saying the job had been filled. And oh, by the way, instead of your resume, you actually sent an exotic photo, shall we say, of Nicolas Cage.
By the way, can we check in with Mr. Cage just again?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAGE: I was a little drunk. Plus, I was horny.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Thank you.
As for you, Vanessa, don't despair. You might not have gotten the job but you've now attached to a Cageful of fun on "The RidicuList."
And that's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.