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Striking Syria; President's Red Line; Interview with Paul Wolfowitz; Ariel Castro Kills Himself A Month Into Life Sentence; One Dead, Three Hurt In Stabbings At Texas High School; Oklahoma Governor Signs Extradition Order For Dustin Brown

Aired September 4, 2013 - 20:00   ET



Good evening, everyone.

Ariel Castro's life ends in death. The man convicted of kidnapping and raping three women for about a decade commits suicide in his prison cell say authorities. Tonight, an exclusive interview with Castro's family.

Also ahead, the 30-day rape sentence that caused outrage. A teacher who admitted to raping a 14-year-old student who later killed herself. A judge who suggested the young girl was partially to blame. Tonight, why the case may not be closed after all.

We begin, though, tonight with the question of a red line. Who set it, crossed it, the politics of it and what that all means as the United States weighs taking military action in Syria.

The red line is, of course, the use of chemical weapons, the United States is accusing Syria of using against its own people two weeks ago. The use of those chemical weapons violates a convention signed by nearly 200 nations. Syria not included.

It's a point President Obama made today at a stop in Sweden on his way to the G-20 summit.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world's population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty.


COOPER: So the president says he didn't set a red line. That raised a lot of eyebrows because "Keeping Them Honest" it sounds like exactly what he did when you listen to what he said in August of 2012.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.


COOPER: Both Democrats and Republicans alike have said that the president boxed himself in with that statement last year so many wondered if today they were hearing President Obama for the first time trying to talk his way out of the standard he himself set.

During the debate on the Capitol Hill today the number two Republican in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor said any president would have drawn that red line and Secretary of State John Kerry tried to further drive home the point that it wasn't something the president just made up.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Now some have tried to suggest that the debate that we're having today is about this president's red line. That this is about President Obama's red line.

Let me make it as clear as I can to all of you. That is just not true. This is about the world's red line. It's about humanity's red line. A line that anyone with a conscience should draw and a line that was drawn nearly 100 years ago in 1925 when the chemical weapons convention was agreed on.


COOPER: The Secretary Kerry there in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey faced tough questions today and that was set against a vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passing a resolution authorizing limited military action.

Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto has more.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Today the Syria debate moved to the less friendly territory of the GOP controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee. Some members saying the administration wants to do too much, others too little.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why does America always need to be the world's policemen?

REP. TED POE (R), TEXAS: Our enemies really don't know what our foreign policy is. Our friends don't know what it is, and I'm not so sure Americans know what our foreign policy is in the Middle East.

SCIUTTO: Secretary Kerry was forced even to confront the ghosts of the administration's last troubled Middle Eastern intervention in Libya.

REP. JEFF DUNCAN (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: The same administration that was seemingly so quick to involve the U.S. in Syria now was reluctant to use the same resources at its disposal to attempt to rescue the four brave Americans that fought for their lives in Benghazi.

KERRY: We're talking about people being killed by gas and you want to go talk about Benghazi --

DUNCAN: I absolutely want to talk about Benghazi.

KERRY: Well, let me --

DUNCAN: That's four Americans lost their lives. I have sympathy for the people in Syria. And I do think there should be a worldwide response. But we should act cautiously.

SCIUTTO: The administration's case remained the same. Framing the confrontation with Syria not as a personal test for the president but for Congress, the country, and the world.

KERRY: This is not about getting into Syria's civil war. This is about enforcing the principle that people shouldn't be allowed to gas their citizens with impunity, and if we don't vote to do this, Assad will interpret from you that he's free to go and do this any day he wants to.

SCIUTTO: But many members remain skeptical that even a limited intervention won't embroiled the U.S. in a civil war or leave it allied with some of the more radical Islamist elements of the opposition.

REP. TOM MARINO (R) PENNSYLVANIA: Do you implicitly trust these people?

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, that's not my business to trust anybody --

MARINO: Well, certainly it has to be -- it has to be the business because you're making decisions to go into war and put American lives at risk. So it's a simple concept. You either trust or do not trust.


COOPER: Jim Sciutto joins me now live.

Jim, the balancing act the administration is trying to achieve between too much action, too little, you get a sense of that from lawmakers today.

SCIUTTO: No question, Anderson. Because you have two vastly different, even contradictory arguments against military action. You heard from members that want the administration to do more. That the limited strikes don't go far enough and should be about changing the actual equation on the ground between Assad and opposition. You also heard from those who want to do less, repeatedly getting Secretary Kerry to promise there will be no boots on the ground and the U.S. won't get dragged into a larger conflict or end up strengthening al Qaeda-aligned groups.

You know, in effect, it's a Goldilocks proposition here, authorizing military actions that's not too hot, not too cold, not too aggressive, not too soft.

And Anderson, that's why we're seeing such a parsing of the wording on those proposed authorizations. And it's difficult to get wording that's going to get the votes on both sides diametrically as opposed sides of that debate.

COOPER: Yes. Jim Sciutto, good reporting. Thank you. And welcome to CNN. Good to have you on the show.

Joining me now live, former House speaker, Newt Gingrich, co-host of CNN's "CROSSFIRE" debuting Monday, CNN's senior political analyst, David Gergen, also CNN political commentator and "New York Times'" op- ed columnist Charles Blow, and CNN world affairs analyst, Fareed Zakaria, host of "FAREED ZAKARIA, GPS."

David Gergen, let me start with you. You just heard the president say he did not set a red line, the world did, and his credibility is not on the line, the world's is. Do you buy that?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Not really. I give the credit -- the president credit today for taking a high ground and trying to shame the rest of the world into taking action. He did that effectively. But when it comes to this argument about a red line, there is a real difference.

International treaties do say you cannot use chemical weapons, but if you then -- if you then violate those treaties, those treaties are silent about military action. In effect, what the world says is if you violate an international treaty you then go to the U.N. and that's where you decide on military action.

What the president did and why he got -- this red line business has gotten him in trouble is, in the context of saying whether he was going to use military action or not to intervene in Syria he said if they cross this line, I will -- that -- I will recalibrate my position. He sent a clear message that if they cross this line, he would use military action. That's very different from the treaties.

COOPER: Right.

GERGEN: And put his credibility on the line and as commander-in- chief, it's put the credibility of the United States on the line, and that's really important not just in Syria but in Iran.

COOPER: And, Mr. Speaker, the fact that the president also says Congress set its own red line in chemical weapons use, how do you respond to that? NEWT GINGRICH, CO-HOST, CNN'S "CROSSFIRE": Well, I think David Gergen just disposed of it. The fact is, the treaty doesn't require military action. If you go back to the 1980s, Saddam was regularly in the middle of using poison gas both against his own people and in the Iran-Iraq war. You go back a few years earlier, President Nasr of Egypt used poison gas in Yemen.

Nobody said that was a moral case for us. Start with the fact 100,000 people have been killed in Syria. A lot of children have been killed in Syria. This is pretty horrifying stuff, but is it stuff which justifies the United States engaging in, frankly, a limited confused strike against a dictatorship which is not going to be very effective by a limited strike and if Assad is still sitting there --

COOPER: So you would vote no?

GINGRICH: I'd vote no but I'll also say to you, if Assad is still sitting there after the strikes, he's going to be in the position to say the United States didn't do much to affect me. I'm still in charge. And then what do we do?

COOPER: Fareed, what about that? I mean, you see the president struggling clearly with two different paths here.

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: I think that is -- I mean, Newt has actually highlighted the great danger which is when you have a limited strike of this nature you almost yield the initiative to the other side because if they survive that strike, and if Assad is able to keep -- continue to do what he's doing, maybe he doesn't use chemical weapons again, you haven't really won because you have inched your way into the civil war.

You've taken a side and -- and you're not winning, and the United States can't put its credibility on the line and say that's it, we did our three days of strikes. After this what happens doesn't matter. Especially not when the secretary of state has compared this to Munich. The president has compared it to the holocaust now in Sweden.

When, you know, in order to sell this limited strike they are using language that has so inflated the spirits and dramatized it, but you kind of wonder won't the action have to catch up with this?

COOPER: Well, let's talk about this language because the administration is saying, I don't believe this -- I mean, Secretary Kerry said, I don't believe we're going to war. I just don't believe that. I mean isn't -- aren't we going to war?

ZAKARIA: Of course we're going to war. When you -- you know, assuming that this is going to be several days of dozens and dozens of cruise missile strikes by any definition of the word, you are -- you're going to war. And by the way, on the other hand he says this is -- this is your Munich moment, meaning this is your chance to stop aggression by using military action.

So you can't have it both ways in a sense. You know, it's either so dramatic that we have to go to war to stop this naked aggression or, you know -- the flagrant violation of international law, or it's a tinny military action that doesn't even qualify --


COOPER: And, Charles, last night on this program you're saying how ambivalent you are, deeply ambivalent. Did you hear anything today that changed your mind one way or the other?

CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, and I think that what I heard today actually muddied the waters even more. I mean, this idea of constantly talking about -- and language that says I believe -- one of the most striking lines to me, particularly as a writer, is the line the president used. "We believe very strongly with high confidence that in fact chemical weapons were used but that Mr. Assad was the source."

I think the factor is not a fact. Either you know it or you don't know it. This idea of constantly talking about what we believe, we have high confidence. That may be as much as they can give with the intelligence they have, however, as -- you know, the public receiving this, it sounds very squishy and on the back end of it, what assures us that if you slap a tiger that you don't plan to kill that it will retreat and not advance.

If you go in and you attack Assad and you do not take him out, what assures us that he will not retaliate at some point, even if it's not the next month, sometime in the future.

COOPER: Well, also, I mean, Mr. Speaker, do you have confidence that this Defense Department, this administration, has thought out what happens on day two? What happens on day three and beyond? I mean, when we got involved in Iraq and there hadn't been any plan, they hadn't really considered the idea of there being an insurgency.

Are you worried about long-term plans?

GINGRICH: I think you always have to worry. First of all you don't know what the Iranians are going to do to defend and protect Assad who has become in many, many ways their principal ally and they've been sending troops to Syria, they've been sending supplies to Syria.

Second, you don't know what Assad may end up doing. I think that there's -- once the United States engages you have a real obligation to win decisively or you look even weaker and you look even dumber. And I am very dubious -- Secretary Hagel today, if I read it correctly, said at one point we can do this for tens of millions of dollars.

Well, each Tomahawk cost about $1 million so is he talking about 20 of them? Thirty of them? This would be the equivalent of sending a tweet by Tomahawk. I mean, this is symbolic action in a way that's goofy, and you really see it in language. This is an act of war. For Secretary Kerry to say, I don't see us getting into war as he prepares to fire missiles at a sovereign country, is totally misleading language. Firing those missiles is an act of war against a sovereign country. COOPER: And David Gergen, there are only three Republicans in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who actually voted yes today on the world resolution. That can't be all that encouraging for the administration.

GERGEN: Well, Anderson, I think that you have to give the president a victory today coming out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He could have been defeated in committee.


GERGEN: Instead it came out 10-7. So I think start with that proposition. But what's interesting about this is if you project onto the House and Senate votes what happened today in Senate Foreign Relations, you give the same -- if you have for Republicans voting the same way proportionally in both chambers and Democrats voting proportionally the same way, the president would actually get a slim majority in each chamber, but interestingly, he would fall short in the Senate of 60.

You know, so we all assume -- that his worst chances are in the House, but based on today's vote, he's got a -- he's got a climb to make in the Senate to get to 60.

COOPER: Charles, you agree this is war?

BLOW: I absolutely -- agree it's war. And I want -- the speaker said, you know, let's talk about the Tomahawk missiles. We should actually be very clear about what's going to happen. We keep talking about there won't be boots on the ground. But this will not just be missiles launched from ships. There are aircraft carriers in the Red Sea for a reason because you will have to do some of this work with pilots in planes over Syria.

This cannot be accomplished by drones. Drones do not have the capability to do air-to-air combat. The Syrian military does have some air defenses, so they can fire surface-to-air. You cannot do it with drones. You have to put American bodies above Syrian air space that always holds the risk that some of them can -- and can be shot down. That is a real thing.

So this idea that we are not going to put the boots on the ground, meaning that we're going to stay back from Syria, that's not the truth. And I think people need to understand that.

COOPER: Fareed, do you agree that there has to be in the world a red line, though, with the use of chemical weapons? I mean, there are some people who say well, look, 100,000 people, as the speaker said, 100,000 people have died, children have been tortured to death, horrible things have occurred here.

I mean, is the use of chemical weapons a red line which the nations of the world cannot tolerate?

ZAKARIA: It's a terrible thing. It's -- you know, Assad is incredibly brutal, but, you know, he has -- about 100,000 people have died throughout the causes. About 1,400 have died because of chemical weapons. In a strange way, the chemical weapon convention is a throwback to a time when conventional weapons couldn't kill those many people. Now using bombs you can kill two, three times as many people as these chemical agents can.

So of course, it's a terrible thing. But I think if you look at the history it was included as a weapon of mass destruction really after the Gulf War when we wanted to put Saddam Hussein in a box, we wanted to make sure he wasn't doing anything bad, so we said, you can't build -- nuclear weapons, you can't do biological weapons and you can't do chemical weapons. And then we kept him in that box and we kept emphasizing chemical weapons.

So, you know, I think that yes, of course, you don't want these kind of weapons used but the impulse behind it which was that you could -- you can kill lots of people is actually no longer true. Conventional war kills many more people.

COOPER: And you already see mission creep.

ZAKARIA: I see mission creep because of this rhetoric. Because when McCain now says that he will support the resolution because he's been given private assurances, that this is not going to be a limited strike, this is not going to be symbolic, it's going to be much bigger, that there is going to be more arms given to the opposition, an opposition that has not been given arms because the administration hasn't been able to find those moderates, right?

So all of this suggests that now we're going to relax our standards as to who qualifies for weapons in training.

COOPER: Well, all of a sudden, John Kerry, it was yesterday or the day before that, suddenly said, well, actually they are a lot more moderate than we've been thinking, which is the first time we've heard that certainly from this administration.

ZAKARIA: And when -- and when Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, a week earlier, had said that we actually can't find a lot of moderates.

COOPER: We've got to leave it there. Newt Gingrich, David Gergen, Charles Blow, Fareed Zakaria -- gentlemen, thank you.

Let us know what you think, you can follow me on Twitter @andersoncooper. I'm tweeting tonight.

A lot more to talk about ahead including the specter of the Iraq war hanging over the Syria debate. You all remember the weapons of mass destruction claims that led to the war, claims that turned out to be false. The question is, will that legacy affect President Obama's chances to get a resolution through Congress? I'll speak with Paul Wolfowitz, who is obviously intimately involved in President Bush's Iraq policy.

Also ahead, Ariel Castro committing suicide in prison, according to authorities. He was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years for holding three women captive for about a decade. The prosecutor today said Castro couldn't take even a small portion of what he himself dished out.

Martin Savidge's exclusive report -- exclusive interview with the Castro family coming up.


COOPER: As Congress debates whether to authorize the use of military force in Syria, many lawmakers have brought up the lessons learned from the Iraq war. They want to be sure that it's different this time. They want to be sure there are no holes in the intelligence about Syria's use of chemical weapons. They don't want another Iraq, they say.

Here's what Secretary of State John Kerry said in the House committee hearing today.


KERRY: I remember Iraq. Secretary Hagel who will soon be here and General Dempsey obviously also remembers it very well. Secretary Hagel and I both voted in the United States Senate. And so both of us are especially sensitive to never again asking any member of Congress to vote on faulty intelligence.


COOPER: As deputy secretary of defense under president George W. Bush, Paul Wolfowitz was a major influence on the Iraq policy back in 2003. He was on Capitol Hill talking about plans for the U.S. invasion.

Paul Wolfowitz joins me now live.

Mr. Secretary, thanks for being here. There is a disagreement on what the objective is or should be. In your view should it be strictly to degrade and deter Assad from using chemical weapons again or do you think it should go further?

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think there's a much larger issue here, which is our whole Syria policy. And we've been sitting on our hands doing nothing while Assad slaughters his people, as said over and over again. More than 100,000 Syrians and now he's taking it a step further with the use of chemical weapons in a really horrific way.

And I think it's doing enormous damage to American interest. I was listening to your last panel. And I agree there's a whole parade of possible things that can go wrong, and I think -- I don't want to pile on, I think the president has handled things very badly and we're in a bad situation because of that, but the fact is doing nothing has big consequences as well and I think they are bigger, and I think one has to consider, too.

I wish the president hadn't thrown this in the lap of Congress, it's sort of looking for help for his own lack of leadership, but the fact is, if the Congress turns down the president now, it's not only a blow to President Obama, I think it's a blow to the presidency, it's a blow to American credibility in an important part of the world.

So I very much with those people who say to make this a serious response, it has to be more than just blowing up some targets in Syria. In fact the focus should be on helping Syrians. And I do -- I haven't been there. People like Senator McCain who have been there say there are plenty of Syrian who can use our help and we're not even letting them have gas masks. So I think that's a policy that has to change.

COOPER: Yes, I know you say you're concerned about a lack of strategy or discussion about the aftermath. You know your critics will say the same thing about the -- obviously the second Iraq war in which you were, you know, intimately involved, a key planner, that there wasn't planning for the insurgency. How do you respond to that? Do you feel like this administration has thought out steps two, three and four?

WOLFOWITZ: No, I don't. And look, there was plenty of planning. There was no -- there wasn't -- no one was predicting the kind of insurgency we ran into. No one is predicting al Qaeda. And the planning for that wasn't good. And it took a long time to get a counterinsurgency strategy in place. That's a fact.

I think in the case of Syria, we're looking at a situation that's a lot more like what we had in Iraq at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991 when Saddam slaughtered possibly 100,000, 200,000 Shia with our planes flying overhead. We did nothing to help those people and the result was he suppressed that rebellion. He remained in power for another 12 years. The country was crippled, in some ways destroyed by sanctions and by his misrule --


COOPER: You advocated at the time --

WOLFOWITZ: And we ended up with a mess later.

COOPER: You advocated at the time, if I recall correct, going after Saddam then, right?

WOLFOWITZ: Not going after Saddam. I advocated supporting the Shia rebellion. So I think if we had done that, they could have succeeded and I think Saddam then would have been taken care of by his own people.

COOPER: So to you is -- I mean is chemical weapons a red line that the world cannot tolerate a regime crossing?

WOLFOWITZ: Honestly, I think 100,000 people being slaughtered and doing nothing is a red line.


COOPER: So what --

WOLFOWITZ: Let me be very clear.

COOPER: With the use of aircraft --

WOLFOWITZ: It's very important, Anderson, the critical difference here is not about intelligence, it's about the fact that we're not talking about actions that involve a major risk to American lives.

The people who are risking their lives are Syrians and a lot of those Syrians and the interest and values, I believe, I don't know them, I'm taking this on the word of people who have been there, interest in values in common with ours and in that case, you know, it was once called the Reagan doctrine to arm people who were fighting on your side so your people don't have to end up fighting. I think it's a sound, strategic and moral principle.

COOPER: I talk to -- to Fouad Ajami a lot on this program, and he was saying last night his red line would have been the use of -- of Syria's air force against its own people. Would that, for you, have been something that should have been responded to?

WOLFOWITZ: Yes, I believe so but again, let me emphasize I think the most important response is enabling the Syrians to fight for themselves and to fight more effectively. And let me say something else. You know, there is a distinct lack of strategy here but to the extent there is a strategy it seems to be aimed at trying to find some peaceful resolution of this.

I'm all for a peaceful resolution. I'm not sure it's impossible to get one. I am sure it's impossible to get one until Assad and the people around him realize that they are on the way out, then maybe you can get some negotiating going. So we need some real leverage and the leverage isn't going to come from a few days of missile strikes. It's going to come from a much stronger Syrian opposition. That has to be the key to a strategy.

COOPER: We've also heard very skeptical members of Congress say the American public is war weary. Do you understand why the majority of the American public and polls seem to back this up?

WOLFOWITZ: Absolutely.

COOPER: Is opposed to military intervention to Syria, a lot of them say because of the second Iraq war.

WOLFOWITZ: Absolutely. We are very war weary after the Korean War. That didn't stop us from undertaking things that we needed to do later.

Look, I think the president should have been doing a better job for the last couple of years explaining to the American people, number one, that we have serious interest in Syria, both national interest, and I think correctly moral interest. And explaining that our goal here is not to send more Americans to die. We've had enough of that for as long as possible.

The goal is to enable Syrians to fight for their country so that we aren't stuck with a problem later on. And I think Americans understand some of that reasoning but it hasn't been presented to them by this administration.

COOPER: Mr. Wolfowitz, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

WOLFOWITZ: Thank you.

COOPER: Up next, the prosecutor who cut a deal with Ariel Castro to spare him the death penalty calls his suicide the coward's way out. Tonight Castro's brother-in-law speaks in an exclusive interview with our Martin Savidge.

Also the teacher who raped his 14-year-old student may not be getting off so easy after all. Montana's attorney general is taking action.


COOPER: Welcome back. "Crime and Punishment" tonight, the prosecutor put Ariel Castro behind bars is calling it the coward's way out. The kidnapper and rapist, who cut a deal to avoid the death penalty, has apparently killed himself according to authorities. He was found hanging in his prison cell a month after his sentence. The coroner ruled it a suicide.

Castro's crimes were so heinous. They are really beyond understanding. He pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts. The judge said there is no place in the world for his brand of criminal. The women he held captive for a decade, Michelle Knight, Gina Dejesus and Amanda Berry, are not expected to make any statements about his suicide according to one of their lawyers. One of Castro's relatives is talking tonight in an exclusive interview with CNN's Martin Savidge.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At one point, prosecutors had threatened the death penalty against Ariel Castro, in the end authorities say he delivered it to himself. Ohio corrections officials report Castro committed suicide, hanging himself in his prison cell, they found him at 9:20 p.m. Tuesday.

The question for many is how could it happen? Castro was separated from the prison population and supposedly under protective custody checked every half hour. Castro's family is shocked. They don't have suspicions but do have questions.

JUAN ALICEA, ARIEL CASTRO'S BROTHER-IN-LAW: The family has raised that question. It doesn't feel right. There's no note. We don't know that he wrote a suicide note.

SAVIDGE: Authorities aren't giving details and an investigation is underway. Castro's mother and sister last visited him ten days ago and notice the worrying change, the clear signs of depression.

ALICEA: His body language, tone of voice, his conversation, he wasn't as conversational.

SAVIDGE: A missed warning? Perhaps. Good riddance say most on the street and online. Their thoughts best summed up in the words of the prosecutor. This man couldn't take for even a month a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade. Castro's family gets it, listen his brother-in-law as he verbally walks a painful tight rope between justice and the family's love for the man they knew long ago.

ALICEA: The world in general feel that they are rid of a monster, but to the family, the family has lost a son, a father, a grandfather, an uncle, a brother-in-law, and even though he did all these bad things and the family does not condone that, you cannot change human behavior. They will and they must grieve the loss of their loved one.

SAVIDGE: But they will do it privately, no funeral, no wake, no service, not wanting in any way to revive the suffering of his victims, Gina Dejesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight.


COOPER: Let's hope history remembers their names and not the name of that awful man. Martin Savidge joins us now live from Cleveland. Is there an investigation by the prison about how this man was able to apparently kill himself?

SAVIDGE: Apparently, now there are two investigations, one being conducted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the independent of that then there is the Department of Corrections that launched its own investigation, both are expected to take weeks.

COOPER: And we're not expecting to hear anything from Amanda Berry or Michelle Knight or Gina Dejesus, right?

SAVIDGE: We haven't heard it yet. We know that they heard the news right away. Their attorneys haven't issued statements. The girls have not publicly said anything, either.

COOPER: Where are you located? Are you at the former location of the house?

SAVIDGE: Yes, I'm glad you asked. This was Ariel Castro's front yard and the house of horrors stood here. It was demolished and this is what was built in its place a community park. It's now referred to as kind of instead of the house of horrors, a place of hope.

COOPER: All right, Martin Savidge, thanks very much. Let's get caught up on some of other stories we're following. Isha is here with the "360 News Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, chaos at a high school outside of Houston, a 17-year-old student stabbed to death in a fight and three other students were injured. The school was put on lockdown leaving parents frantic. Investigators are questioning a 17-year-old boy who authorities say is considered the sole suspect.

A dramatic development in the epic custody battle over a little girl named Veronica. Today Oklahoma's governor signed an extradition order for her biological father Dustin Brown. He faces charges of custodial interference in South Carolina. This comes just days after Oklahoma's Supreme Court issued an emergency stay giving Brown temporary custody of Veronica.

George Zimmerman's latest traffic stop was caught on video. Florida police say he was doing 60 in a 45-mile per hour zone and given a $256 ticket. In July after his acquittal in the Trayvon Martin killing, Zimmerman was stopped for speeding, but let off with a warning.

For the second time this week, Japan was slammed with tornadoes. The twisters damaged dozens of houses ripping off roofs and shattering windows. At least three people were injured, just terrifying pictures there.

COOPER: Isha, thanks very much.

Up next, the new fight for justice for a young rape victim in Montana who ended up killing herself, a student raped by her teacher who got 30 days in jail by a judge, what the state's top prosecutor is trying to do now ahead.

Also tonight, the mystery surrounding a flag raised by three New York firefighters on Ground Zero on the afternoon of September 11th, 2001, where is that flag now?


COOPER: Welcome back, another "Crime and Punishment" report now, for more than a week outrage has been building over the incredibly light sentence given to a former teacher in Montana. That man who admitted to raping his 14-year-old student. The judge that imposed also made some outrageous remarks about the young rape victim.

Well, today Montana's attorney general stepped in and took action. Randi Kaye joins me now along with senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. So Randi, first of all, remind our viewers what happened in this case.

RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this case goes back to 2007 when Montana high school teacher, Stacey Rambold raped Cherice Morales. He was 49. She was 14 and a student. Now he was charged the following year with three counts of sexual intercourse without consent, but before the case could even go to trial, Cherice Morales took her own life just days before her 17th birthday. That was in 2010.

Prosecutors were understandably concerned about trying Rambold without their star witness so they offered him a deal if he admitted to one of the rape charges, completed a sex offender treatment program and had no unsupervised contact with minors, they would let him stay out of jail. But he failed that treatment program, Anderson, so the felony charges were all re-filed against him.

Last week, he was sentenced in the case and the judge only sentenced him to 15 years with all but 31 days suspended so he only got a month, Anderson, for admitting to raping a 14-year-old girl. That all brings us to today when Montana state prosecutors appealed the case calling the sentence, quote, "illegal," the judge said he was not made aware of a mandatory minimum sentence, Anderson, of two years.

COOPER: I mean, Jeff, this boggles my mind how a judge could sentence this guy to 30 days. Yesterday he filed a report saying that his ruling may have been illegal, but he basically blamed the prosecutors saying they didn't inform him about this mandatory minimum.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the judge, I think the key fact to know about him is he's up for re-election soon and he sees the public reaction, but I think you have to put this in context with sort of how a lot of people unfortunately view rape in this country. You know, remember in the Senate campaigns in Indiana and Missouri, you had people talking about well it's not real rape, and the idea that, you know, a 14-year-old is capable of consent to rape -- to sex, that is an idea that a lot of people still have in this country --

COOPER: The judge still has this idea.

TOOBIN: The judge had the idea.

COOPER: He said that she chronologically 14 but older in other ways, which, I mean, how is he purring into the soul of this --

TOOBIN: Who was by that point dead, I mean, it's bad enough that you would say that about any 14-year-old, but that one who had taken her own life as a result. I think it's indicative of how a lot of attitudes about rape have changed in this country, but a lot have not. Unfortunately, this judge is really being called on it.

COOPER: Randi, I mean, there has been very strong reaction to this. There were protests. Is there still a lot of uproar?

KAYE: Absolutely, Anderson and the judge may have brought it upon himself beyond his ruling. Remember, in trying to explain himself, the judge suggested that the 14-year-old girl, the victim, was as much in control, as you were just talking about of the situation, and that she seemed, quote, "beyond her chronological age," as you said. There was a media backlash and protest took place all over Montana and then he later apologized saying he regretted it. Telling the "Billings Gazette," he didn't know what he was thinking and saying and calling what he said was stupid and wrong. But Anderson, people are still calling for him to step down.

COOPER: How likely is it that this can get reversed? TOOBIN: I think it's pretty likely. Remember, he did sentence him to 15 years though he suspended all but 30 days of it. It's possible to sentence him to more time. The prosecutors have come back today and said we want 20 years. The mandatory minimum apparently, is two years, so somewhere between two and 15 years that seemed very likely at this point.

COOPER: All right, Jeff, appreciate the update, Randi as well.

Up next, a mystery connected to the immediate aftermath of 9/11 having to do with the American flag that was raised over the rubble of Ground Zero. It was seen in that know famous photograph. We'll explain a mystery about where the flag is now just ahead.


COOPER: Welcome back. As the U.S. debates military involvement in Syria, one week from today marks, of course, the 12th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, which of course, spurred the war in Afghanistan and tonight immediately following this program, CNN presents "The Flag" that explores the mystery surrounding the American flag that was raised over the rubble on Ground Zero on that horrible day, a mystery that most of us probably are not aware of.

You may recall the iconic photograph, three New York City firefighters hoisting the flag in the smoke and dust sending a message that the United States will not be defeated by terrorist. The flag toured the country a proud and reassuring symbol to a stunned nation. So it was believed. In fact, as tonight's documentary explains, that actual flag is missing. Here is a preview.


RUDOLPH W. GIULIANI, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY 1994 - 2001: My goodness, that was quite a picture.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you remember the first time you saw that?

GIULIANI: I do. I probably saw it -- somebody probably showed this to me sometime on the 11th or 12th before it was in the paper, whoever actually thought of taking it at exactly that time were the firefighters in doing it performed a tremendous service to the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tom's photo comes in and we huddled around the computer and he brings up this photo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that popped out because of the flag. Everything had this grayish blue tent to it and there you saw the red, white and blue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I sat there and I said, that's an incredible picture and Daniel was standing behind me and she said, that's not a picture, it's an icon. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About a year after 9/11, they asked for the flag back for a little ceremony on their boat and the city compiled. They thought this was a good idea and gave it to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We knew right away it was the wrong flag.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is another flag that somehow became substituted for the original flag. Where is the original flag and they went back to the mayor's office.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the city never called, they never did anything. And they don't seem to care that are very happy to make it sound like the flag is here, and it's this big flag, and this is the flag, and that big flag has everybody's signature on it. So they are quite happy to say this is the flag and leave it alone like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To this day, no one knows what happened to that flag.

BILL ISENGRIN: My name is Bill Isengrin. I'm the firefighter on the right, on the left is George Johnson and in the center is Dan McWilliams. It was literally over in a few minutes. We found a spot, raised the flag. We looked at each other, looked at the flag and that was that. It was no big deal and I'm sure Danny and George feel the same way. We just felt that we had other things that need to be accomplished right then. You know, we were thousands of missing people that was our mission to try to find them and bring them home. Dealing with the picture on the front of the paper really didn't matter at that point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It makes us all feel united. It makes us feel like we're bigger than just ourselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not until we're challenged that we reach back at what makes us Americans and what that is and what the symbol is, is the flag.


COOPER: As you see there, it says the flag is still missing. CNN received credible tips on what may have happened to it. Jason Carroll is here with that part of the story. I understand more than a dozen tips have come in.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, and speaking with the film maker, they tell us more than a dozen coming in as we speak. They call them credible tips, Anderson, because many of these tips have in fact led them to a flag, a flag at ground zero, just not the flag.

COOPER: And it's interesting, the people whose flag it was originally, they had a yacht, I guess, parked nearby Ground Zero and the firefighters grabbed the flag off that yacht and that's how they knew once it was returned to the yacht owners, wait, this flag doesn't fit. CARROLL: Here is what is interesting about that. She and her husband, the original owners of this particular flag, they are basically the only ones who can tell what that flag looks like. There is some undisclosed mark they are not revealing what that is, so once they are able to get a flag in their hands through a tip, through whatever means possible, that couple will then take a look at the flag and they will be the ones to make the determination.

COOPER: That is interesting. So they are the only ones --

CARROLL: They are the only ones.

COOPER: Wow. When I first heard about this documentary, I had no idea about this missing flag. I'm wondering, though, how some people may see the documentary. I haven't seen it yet. I guess there is a concern it could miss the point by focussing on the flag you miss the larger, the larger loss -- the larger horror of that day.

CARROLL: Look, like you and most people did not know there was a flag missing and I think there is also this concern when you talk about what is missing. There is people whose loved ones remains were never found.

COOPER: Of course.

CARROLL: I think that's a legitimate question. When I pose that to the filmmaker, he recognizes that as well. His hope and the team they worked with, part of their hope is not only will people, you know, think about the flag that is missing, but also will remember what the flag stood for during that critical moment in our history and hopefully, this will remind them and be a way people will not forget.

COOPER: "The New York Times" actually gave it a great review in today's paper and they raised that exact same point and the idea that if they had only focused on just the flag, it would have missed the larger point, but there is so much more on this.

CARROLL: Right. When you look at this documentary and I watched it last night for the first time, watched it actually more than once --

COOPER: How do you get a recording and I don't?

CARROLL: I'll give you my copy of it.


CARROLL: It's really worth viewing because for some of us who were actually here, you were here, I was here, you -- it is easy to forget, first of all. There is some images that remind you about what happened on that day, but what is really striking about this documentary is not only does it go into the search for this flag and people who think they may have it or come in contact with it, it's also just as much about the feeling of the mood of the country during that time, the first responders, you know, who were down there, how they put their lives on the line, the photographs down there. COOPER: Right.

CARROLL: During that period of time, all of that is part of this documentary, as well.

COOPER: Jason, thanks very much. Look forward to it. CNN films presents "The Flag" comes up next at 9:00 just 4 minutes from now. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back. We ran out of time for "The Ridiculist." Sorry about that. That does it for us on this edition of 360. Appreciate you watching. Up next the movie we were talking about, "The Flag," one of the great untold stories of the September 11th attacks.