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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

New Video Shows Murder By Syrian Rebels; Travelers: Keep Your Shoes And Jackets On; Victim's Family Reacts To Ariel Castro Death; Tesla CEO Plans Coast To Coast Trip; Man Accused Of Exposing 300 To HIV

Aired September 5, 2013 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" next, who are the good guys in Syria? A shocking new video tonight -- We're going to show it for you -- complicates the debate over the president's plans for military action.

Plus, another shocking report tonight, thanks to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the NSA spying on the only e-mails that you thought were safe, literally.

And then, a 14-year-old commits suicide after being raped by a 54-year-old teacher. He was convicted and sentenced to only 30 days in jail. Tonight, the mother speaks out.

Let's go "OUTFRONT."

And good evening, everyone, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, who are the good guys in Syria? There is new video tonight obtained by "The New York Times," which paints frankly an unbelievable and horrific picture of the Syrian opposition, the same opposition that America would be helping with a military strike.

According to "The Times" this video that we are about to show you was shot in April, smuggled out of the country by a former rebel who grew disgusted by the killings. Now, I've watched this video several times today. It is shocking and I want to warn you, it's very graphic, but we believe it's important to show you. Watch.

It's horrific to watch. How are images like that affecting the White House's push for intervention? OUTFRONT tonight, our Jim Acosta, he has been traveling with the president. And, Jim, you know, you watch that video, it's chilling and it's horrible. How are images like that playing into world leader concerns that President Obama may not have this right?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This goes to why the Obama administration has been so cautious about getting involved in the civil war in Syria, why the administration has been saying from President Obama to Secretary of State John Kerry that they are not going to be getting boots on the ground in Syria, that these limited strikes they're talking about is really aimed at punishing Bashar Al-Assad's forces for alleged use of chemical weapons.

And also not making things very easy on the president here as he makes his case on Syria is Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who is the host of this summit. President Obama recently said that President Putin looks like the bored kid in the back of the classroom, not anymore. He's been taking every chance he can get to tweet the president when it comes to a variety of issues.

BURNETT: And, of course, countries like China now getting on board with Russia. I mean, it doesn't necessarily feel like it's going in the president's favor, you know, the number one ally of the United States used to be the U.K., but Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out military action after parliament vote also against it, shocking everybody. I mean, this seems to lead President Obama with a somewhat surprising ally, right, I mean, one really close friend that people didn't necessarily expect.

ACOSTA: Right. Who have thank it, France during the Iraq war you'll recall a lot of Americans in the United States who were calling French fries freedom fries. Now, when I've talked to administration officials about this, they are very much praising the French these days and pointing to the French and the Turks as two allies that are with the United States.

They want to make -- make the record clear that President Obama is not going it alone on the world stage. He might be militarily, but certainly not without support from a number of important allies. And I think the French would say, Erin, look, they were involved in the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. They were involved when it came to air strikes in Libya.

And that this is a continuation of that. And the French president, Francois Hollande, he does not have the same problems that U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has. David Cameron had to get the approval of parliament. Francois Hollande does not have to do that in France -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, thanks very much to Jim there, obviously a different situation. Well, in between the meetings at the G-20 Summit, which has Jim was reporting have been rather difficult for the president, President Obama's been calling undecided senators back at home trying to convince them to authorize a strike. But is he getting any more support?

OUTFRONT tonight, Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And, Senator, thank you very much for taking the time. I want to play, again, because I know our viewers just saw this, but you did not, but "The New York Times" video of the Syrian opposition. It's so powerful that I wanted to play it for you and, again, I want to warn our viewers. It's very graphic. Here it is, sir.

Senator Johnson, of course, that was Syrian rebels standing behind shirtless members of the Assad army who are lying on the ground and then those gunshots, of course, as they kill them. What's your reaction to that?

SENATOR RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: Well, it's horrific and, of course, that makes the decision even more difficult, and, you know, Erin, let's face it. I don't envy President Obama having to grapple with these extremely difficult and complex issues in Syria. And so it's -- these are enormously difficult issues and my problem in terms of deciding how to vote on these resolutions, in 25 hours after we started hearings in the Senate, we were asked to already vote on that.

There were far too many questions that are -- remain unanswered. What I certainly intend to do over the next course -- over the next few days, you know, the course of the next week, before I take that final vote, is I want to try to get as many answers to those questions as possible. But, again, it's an enormously difficult situation.

BURNETT: And, of course, it is difficult because there is no obvious good guy. And you have been under pressure from members of your own party, Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor both support a strike in Syria, but what's interesting about it, it's not just politics. It's not just Republican side of the aisle. Members of the intelligence committee have serious concerns and think the strike should go ahead. I want to play two important comments here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL HAYDEN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: It would be near catastrophic I think for American influence in the world for the American Congress not to support this.

REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I think he should do it. I think he should go ahead and strike.

REPRESENTATIVE MIKE ROGERS (R), MICHIGAN: This is a national security issue. This isn't about, you know, Barack Obama versus the Congress. This isn't about Republicans versus Democrats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And, of course, Robert Gates, the former secretary of defense under George W. Bush and President Obama said failure to act by Congress would have profoundly negative and dangerous consequences to the United States. Are you concerned, Senator, about the repercussions at this point if the United States does not act?

JOHNSON: Absolutely. And, you know, from my standpoint the number one reason this is a national security concern of America is those chemical -- chemical weapons stockpiles, if those things fall into the wrong hands and if they fall into the hands of the al Qaeda-backed rebels, people that want to kill Americans, that absolutely is a national security concern, in addition to the slaughter of hundred thousand Syrians, the 2 million Syrians that are pouring over the borders to destabilize the entire region.

This does affect America, but the problem is what is the strategy? What is going to be the effect of strikes? You could also make a case, you know, if we do ineffective strikes that may be worse than -- than taking no action at all because what it could do is rather than turn -- rather than keep the world's attention on the heinous war crimes of the Assad regime. It could turn the world's attention on our almost unilateral military action. So again, these are enormously difficult issues. It's hard to decide between very bad options.

BURNETT: And they are all very bad, but what, Senator, is the bottom line here. Obviously on the Foreign Relations Committee you voted no yesterday to authorize force, but you haven't decided. When this hits the floor -- so you're not a no. I mean, that was no, I guess, more on principle. You might vote yes.

JOHNSON: I might, but I'm going to have to -- you know, certainly give a lot better answers to the questions I've been raising than I've gotten in the past and, you know, the fact of the matter is, we had a vote in Foreign Relations 15-3 to start arming the vetted. Let me underline the vetted, you know, rebels which, again, are very difficult to identify.

BURNETT: Right.

JOHNSON: But, you know, Syria is by and large a secular nation and there are people that did really spring up to overthrow the Assad regime. We need to identify those people in a far more robust way and I think a better strategy than a military strike might be to really garner the global, the world, support and shame anybody, and that includes Russia, potentially China, anybody that would support that heinous regime, you know, that committed these war crimes. We may be better off really trying to shame and, you know, really, you know, put our efforts toward that as opposed to a unilateral military strike.

BURNETT: All right, well, Senator Johnson, thank you very much. And, of course, the heinous crimes by the regime and heinous crimes as you just saw in the horrific video by some of the rebels, too.

Still to come, the TSA is making it a lot easier for you to move quickly through security. There's a big change in the process tonight to tell you about.

Plus a day after Ariel Castro committed suicide, response from the women he held captive for more than a decade.

And later a major development in the personal life of George Zimmerman to tell you about.

And the CEO of Tesla Motors is a literally CEO rock star pulling off a major stunt.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our second story, OUTFRONT, keep your clothes on. TSA is expanding their fast track screening program to another 60 airports by the end of the year. When I say fast track, here's what I mean, you pay $85 and then you can go through security without removing your shoes, your jacket, your belt, all that kind of stuff, pretty nice? It's 85 bucks. But does this put America's security at risk or does it prove that costly TSA measures simply have never been worth all the taxpayer money? Alina Machado is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Keep your shoes and belts on and don't bother removing your laptop computer. Just leave it in your bag. Those are some of the perks the TSA will soon be offering more passengers. More than 15 million people have used the TSA's expedited screening program called "Precheck" since it started in 2011.

JON ALLEN, TSA SPOKESPERSON: They made a certain eligibility threshold. Their airline will contact them and give them the ability to opt into the program.

MACHADO: But by the end of the year, the program will go from 40 to 100 airports. Passengers will also be able to apply directly through the TSA. It costs $85 for 5 years and requires U.S. citizens to verify their identity, undergo a background check and provide fingerprints at an enrolment center. It sounds convenient, but the big question is does the expedited screening undermine security. One aviation expert thinks so.

JIM TILMON, AVIATION EXPERT (via telephone): To me one of the greatest threats we have now is the person who has never crossed the line as far as the law is concerned, that has a perfect record, never gotten a traffic ticket, nothing, absolutely zero. That can pass this kind of a check with just a fingerprint and other information and $85.

MACHADO: The TSA insists the program improves security.

ALLEN: We look at TSA "Precheck" as an enhancement to security because it enables us to offer a benefit, expedited screening, for those passengers we know more about and focus our resources more sharply on those passengers we don't know much about.

MACHADO: The expansion is expected to kick off this fall. For OUTFRONT, Alina Machado, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Our third story, OUTFRONT, the fallout from Ariel Castro's suicide. The man convicted of holding three women captive for over a decade was found dead in his prison cell Tuesday night. He had committed suicide just over a month after being sentenced to life plus 1,000 years behind bars. Public reaction to Castro's death has ranged from outrage to relief. His three victims though, still have not said anything.

Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT. Martin, I know you've been covering this from the beginning in Cleveland and the girls obviously haven't spoken directly yet. CNN, though, did speak exclusively with a family member. So what do you know about how the girls are reacting to Castro's suicide?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. It's correct. The girls have not spoken publicly. I've talked to their attorneys and they say that is not going to happen, but CNN's Pamela Brown did speak to the aunt of Gina Dejesus. Just so you understand the background here, the Dejesus family is close friends with the Castro family. They know, knew, Ariel. So it adds to the heartbreak. Here's the aunt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANICE SMITH, AUNT OF GINA DEJESUS: I think it's closure for them. They finally got the closure. It's over. You know, they're sad about, you know, his mother, but, you know --

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They feel sympathy towards --

SMITH: Yes, towards the mom, but it's closure. Finally over, you know, end of this chapter. They can move on and live their lives now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: The girls, like many in this community, realize the separation Castro's family's not to blame here. Castro was and that's what's expressed by many.

BURNETT: And, Martin, you know, there have been reports that Ariel Castro's family is preparing to claim his body sometime later tonight. What can you tell us about that and the plans from there?

SAVIDGE: Yes, the process is under way. We know according to the coroner down there, just south of Columbus, Ohio, that the body was claimed by a family member. It is now in transit. Castro's family said no funeral, no wake, no service of any kind and most likely simple cremation.

BURNETT: And, you know, Martin, you're standing -- when you were standing there last night I was wondering where you were and you are at the site where Ariel Castro's home used to stand. It's amazing. That home we have all seen, you know, boarded up now it's a garden. What is the Cleveland community doing with that lot behind you?

SAVIDGE: Yes, this is really my favorite part of the story so far. The land here is now owned by what's called a land bank here locally. The house was torn down. I was here for that. This is sort of Phoenix that is rising from the horrible ashes. The flowers, roses, and you got hydrangeas and glasses here and grass in general. It's all donated and it's being cared for every day. Somebody comes by. In fact, they were just here. They were watering and observing it. This is a symbol now of something much brighter than what used to be known as the house of horrors -- Erin.

BURNETT: I thought so. It looks so beautiful and peaceful. Thank you, Martin.

SAVIDGE: Sure.

BURNETT: And a big announcement from Tesla Motors today, so Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla and he's going to drive cross-country in a Tesla model "S." So Musk is going to spend six days driving 3,200 miles from Los Angeles to New York City. The Model "S" is an electric car. Musk is going to spend nine hours total, about 90 minutes a day charging the vehicle. The stunt is designed to show off the capabilities of the Tesla supercharger stations, which are about to open in most metro areas. Now that's a big accomplishment and you can now get your car and your fuel from the same company. Even though 90 minutes of day of fueling is, well, you know, kind of awful. But anyway, this trip is as much about Elon Musk as it is about Tesla.

Because the celebrated founder of the company is the face of it. He is Tesla. His lifestyles and relationships and initiatives, like Solar City, and that Hyperloop, they drive Tesla, which is a pretty interesting thing because for so many years we've been hearing the days of the celebrity CEOs are behind us.

And that since the death of Steve Jobs in particular, the head of companies have disappeared. It's businesses and not CEOs who are the ones launching new products. Well, that's clearly not fully true and what better way to herald the return of America's CEO-driven culture than by a CEO driving across America.

Still to come, an AIDS scare in Missouri tonight. A man is accused of knowingly exposing 300 people to HIV. The sentence that he could receive for that will shock you.

Plus another bombshell out of the NSA investigation, what the federal agency did to get around encrypted e-mails, the ones that you thought were safe from prying eyes.

We have got the results, who is the father of this? That is a baby panda. It looks like it's got the shakes. Anyway, it was born just a few weeks ago at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. It took a paternity test for that mom to figure out what that thing was! We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our fourth story, OUTFRONT, exposing hundreds to HIV. Tonight there's a sense of panic in a community outside of St. Louis because a man told police he may have exposed 300 people to HIV. His name is David Lee Magnum. He was arrested last month after his former partner tested positive for the virus.

OUTFRONT tonight, legal analyst Paul Callan. Now, Paul, in Missouri, if he knowingly exposed someone to HIV, he can get 15 years. Now it turns out his partner or former partner actually got it, they're assuming from him. I'm shocked by the sentence. It would seem to me, if you knowingly expose someone to HIV, you are knowingly willing them to die.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, when I heard you were shocked, I thought you were shocked because it was such a severe sentence but, in fact, you're shocked --

BURNETT: The opposite.

CALLAN: -- because you think lock him up and throw away the key and give him life. Here's the problem with these cases, this is a disease we're talking about and it happens to be the only disease that we're punishing under the criminal law like it's murder. And there are a lot of people out there saying we should treat this like a disease and not like a gun or a weapon, which is how Missouri is treating HIV.

BURNETT: So, and you're saying, for example, if you infect someone with syphilis or something else, which also can be catastrophic and kill people.

CALLAN: Yes, OK.

BURNETT: There's treatment for it like there is now for some people with HIV. There is no sentence for that.

CALLAN: There is in the sense that you can always be charged with reckless conduct.

BURNETT: OK.

CALLAN: That hurts another person. That's always been the standard that we've had, if you knowingly infected somebody else with syphilis trying to hurt them, that's criminal and you could be prosecuted for that. But with AIDS and with HIV we changed the rules because people got panicky about it because of its deadly nature and its incurable nature and we've really made it into the functional equivalent of attempted murder.

BURNETT: Bottom line though, he said he didn't disclose his HIV status because of rejection. I say you're darn right, fear of rejection. How is that a defense?

CALLAN: Well, it's not a defense. He's got better defenses later on. He may say his partner got it from somebody else, who knows what he'll say at the time of trial. But that's not a good defense for him.

BURNETT: All right, everyone, let us know what you think, 15 years fair or life?

Still to come what's really at stake in Syria? Some say attacking Syria could mean Iran attacks America.

Plus our special investigation into the IRS continues, the agency accused of targeting some groups for political reasons, but are those groups as clean and innocent as they seem?

And we finally have an answer to one of the biggest paternity questions of the year, who is the daddy?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT. It looks like George Zimmerman might be getting a divorce, Kelly Sims, an attorney for Shellie Zimmerman confirmed to us that Shellie filed for divorce in Florida today. CNN legal analyst Mark Nejame says it's not unexpected. A lot of times in a case like Zimmerman's where someone potentially faces long jail time a marriage fails. If George Zimmerman chooses not to fight this in court the divorce could be completed within one month.

Well, if you thought that encrypting any of your e-mails or your data, you know, your health records, anything important you keep on the computer at home would keep the government from spying on you, think again.

According to a report from "New York Times", "ProPublica", and "The Guardian", the NSA has employed several techniques to getting around encryption, which is basically a way of scrambling your data so people can't steal it. The technique includes using superfast computers to crack codes, but another technique that might surprise you is that the NSA actually is working with, colluding with, whatever word you may want to use, American and other companies to make their encryption programs just weak enough so the NSA can sneak and get access to the data.

Retired Colonel Cedric Leighton, a former deputy director at the NSA, tells us code breaking is essential to the NSA's mission and that without it we would lose 80 percent to 90 percent of the American intelligence collection capability. Makes you think twice.

All right, well, it's a girl. The national zoo announced that the panda cub born two weeks ago is, in fact, a girl. I guess it's not always that easy to tell. Sometimes it takes a little while to figure out boy or girl apparently.

But another thing we did not know is who is the father of this blob that one day will be a very cute panda. The real -- the reason this was in question was not because the momma was a promiscuous panda, it actually appears to be the opposite. Two different male pandas were used as donors to artificially inseminate the cub's mother. So, the zoo had to conduct a paternity test to see who had to pay alimony.

It confirmed the father is TNT, a 16-year-old panda and a longtime resident of the national zoo. In keeping with Chinese tradition, the cub's name will be announced 100 days after her birth.

It's been 761 days since the U.S. lost its credit rating. What are we doing to get it back?

Well, today, there was some good news on jobs. The private shows private employers added 176,000 jobs last month. Tomorrow is the monthly employment report, so this is a good sign, economists surveyed by CNN Money estimated employers added 185,000 jobs last month. That comes out tomorrow morning.

And now, our fifth story OUTFRONT: the real truth about striking Syria, is that it might actually be about Iran.

Some say that if the president does not act now after laying out his red lines, Iran will be emboldened and plow ahead with building a nuclear bomb, others say that if he does act, Iran will be emboldened and use terror to strike America.

OUTFRONT tonight, our national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto.

Now, Jim, the administration has made a point, and, you know, many officials are saying that our action in Syria is intended as a message for Iran. So, what's really at stake here?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, the administration wants to internationalize this. They want to make it not just about Syria and they're taking every opportunity, right, it's about in effect all bad actors, Hezbollah, North Korea, but also certainly Iran, front and center. One, because of its nuclear program and, two, because of its close relationship with Syria and the President Bashar al Assad.

We heard this several times from both Secretaries Kerry and Hagel this week. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Iran is hoping you look the other way. Our inaction would surely give them a permission slip for them to at least misinterpret our intention, if not to put it to the test.

CHUCK HAGEL, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: A refusal to act would undermine the credibility of America's other security commitments, including the president's commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: So, what's at stake specifically? I mean, with each of these countries, Syria it's about the use of chemical weapons. North Korea, attacking the South, and with Iran, it's about taking this nuclear program and turning it into an actual nuclear bomb.

What's interesting, actually, Erin, this is happening as there's some warming or potential warming of the relationship with Iran. You have some backchannel communications, some shuttle diplomacy going on right now. So, as with everything involved with the Syria decision, it's very complicated, it's not black and white, but certainly Iran is part of the administration's calculation.

BURNETT: All right. And could be a crucial one -- Jim, thank you.

I want to bring in Nicholas Burns now, former lead negotiator on Iran's nuclear program, a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School, and Alan Dershowitz, a professor at Harvard Law School, and the author of the forthcoming book called "Taking the Stand: My Life and the Law."

Professor Dershowitz, let me start with you, because you say the administration has to be tough and send a message to Iran that it means business. And you sent a tweet that caught my attention first thing this morning. I wanted to call you.

And this is what your tweet said, "Obama, get approval from Congress on Iran now."

Now, that's a pretty incredible statement, right. He's going to get approval on Syria. You're saying get approval on Iran.

Why do you think he should get congressional approval for military action there now?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Well, first of all, Iran involves our national security to a far greater extent than does Syria. The Syria issue is largely humanitarian. Chemical weapons are not weapons that endanger the United States.

But as the president has said nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran are a game-changer. They provide Iran with an umbrella over which they can protect terrorists. They might hand some of those weapons over to terrorists. And if, in fact, the president will now seek congressional approval before he acts, it would be too late to seek congressional approval after Iran developed nuclear weapons the way he's seeking it after Syria has used chemical weapons.

So, the only logical thing is to seek congressional approval in advance to allow him to act if they cross a red line. That would send a very powerful message to the Iranians and would perhaps prevent the need to use military action.

BURNETT: It would sure send a message, Nick, and you think the professor is dead wrong.

NICHOLAS BURNS, PROFESSOR, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL: I would give Professor Dershowitz "A" for creativity on this issue, and I agree with him that Iran is a much more serious issue to our national security than is Syria. There are times when the president will have to obviously defer to the Congress or at least let Congress vote. There's always the case that the president has to consult and inform Congress.

But there's also times when the president has to be able to act in secret. An example of that was the raid on Osama bin Laden. President Obama sent Special Forces 150 miles inside Pakistan. That required secrecy. You don't always want to forecast to another government what you're going to do.

So it may be what the president really needs on Iran is flexibility and he certainly has the authority under the Constitution to act to protect the country against a foe like the Iranians.

BURNETT: Nick, the Iranian president today sent out a message, Hassan Rouhani, it was a significant tweet actually, since, you know, Professor Dershowitz, some tweet, this is also on Twitter. Now, this tweet I want to note to our viewers could have been sent by someone's on the president's behalf, but he certainly hasn't distanced himself from it.

It said, of course, "On the Jewish New York, as the sun is about to set here in Tehran, I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah." Now, Nick, let me just ask you this, is that smart PR from a very smooth leader who's trying to convince the world he's all about peace as he pursues a nuclear weapon or is it the real deal?

BURNS: Well, if that tweet is accurate, it's obvious a big change in course at least in style and presentation of the Iranian leadership. Rouhani is a very different figure than Ahmadinejad. He has a track record of, frankly, cooperating fairly well with the Europeans.

But we shouldn't judge him on his style and on his poetry. We've got to judge him on his actions. He works for a supreme leader who is an odious figure, who is anti-American and has been trying to create a nuclear weapons program for Iran.

So, what really matters is what Iran does. We need to see some pragmatic concessions from the Iranians on a nuclear issue before we're willing to judge they've changed.

BURNETT: Professor?

DERSHOWITZ: On the very day that he sent that tweet, Samantha Power, our very distinguished representative to the U.N., announced that Iran was making more trouble, that they are moving toward developing more centrifuges, more sophisticated centrifuges, and she basically had to warn Iran today that they're moving closer to obtaining nuclear weapons.

And I want to give the president flexibility and I think when Congress says that if they cross red lines, and the red lines involving Iran are not specific. Because president has said they will not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. If there were congressional approval in advance, he would still have all the flexibility. Congressional approval doesn't say he has to act, even if he had congressional approval to go after Osama bin Laden, that would have meant nothing. He would have picked the time and place, it would have been secret.

I just think sending a message now that Congress has already approved it, you cannot be able to prevent the president from keeping his promise by lobbying Congress with (AUDIO GAP) message that the red line has been drafted not only by the president but by Congress and the support of the American people.

BURNETT: All right, Nick Burns, Alan Dershowitz, thanks very much to both of you. And to our viewers, please let us know what you think. Do you think it's smart the president actually tries to get advanced military authorization to act against Iran now from Congress?

Still to come -- a story we've been following since day one, a student kills herself. She was raped by her teacher. The teacher got only 30 days in jail. The victim's mother OUTFRONT, tonight, next.

And one of the world's tech companies gets a major overhaul or so it says. We're going to show you if the claims add up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our sixth story OUTFRONT: will a 30-day sentence for rape stand?

Tonight, there is last-minute legal wrangling in a case out of Montana that has made headlines around the world. We've been following this story from day one. A high school teacher got only 30 days in prison for raping his 14-year-old student. She later killed herself.

Now, the judge is backtracking on his sentence but is it too little, too late.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT tonight in Billings, Montana.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Excuse me, Judge Baugh, good morning. Hi.

JUDGE G. TODD BAUGH, DISTRICT JUDGE: Good morning.

LAH: I'm Kyung Lah from CNN. Do you have one minute to chat with me, sir?

BAUGH: No, thanks.

LAH (voice-over): Judge G. Todd Baugh is no mood to talk. He's sparked a national outrage by sentencing former teacher Stacey Rambold to 30 days in jail for raping his 14-year-old student. At sentencing the judge said the victim, Cherice Morales, seemed older than her chronological age. She committed suicide before Rambold's case went to trial.

Judge Baugh's one month sentence for the teacher's guilty plea to child rape sparked protest in Montana, anger across social media, and now, an appeal to the state Supreme Court from prosecutors.

SCOTT TWITO, YELLOWSTONE COUNTY ATTORNEY: I want people to know that they need to have faith in their officials that handle matters in the criminal justice system, and we will get this right.

LAH: But prosecutor Scott Twito said there's a wrench in his appeal. Judge Baugh wants everyone back in his courtroom tomorrow, acknowledging he should have given Rambold at least two years not one month behind bars.

TWITO: And he's seeking to correct that.

LAH (on camera): So he is trying to fix an error on his part.

TWITO: Yes. That's what the order indicates to me.

LAH (voice-over): But that's yet another mistake by Judge Baugh says the prosecutor and the defense to no one's surprise agrees. In a flurry of legal filings, they say Judge Baugh can't change the sentence. The ball is now with the state Supreme Court.

TWITO: Give the court credit for recognizing this. But there's a method to this. And the method tells us that the Supreme Court has to do that once a sentence has been pronounced.

LAH: Legal experts say it's rare to see a judge change his mind so much in just a week and a half.

DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Judges don't typically issue orders saying mea culpa or saying I may have been wrong in applying this sentence.

If a judge applies an illegal sentence, the traditional course is going to be wait to see what happens with the appeal.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Now, Kyung, I know you just spoke to the teenager's mother, her first interview since it was announced there might be a new hearing that could bring some justice to her daughter, although two years still seems like a light sentence to many. What did she tell you?

LAH: Well, what she said is what she thinks is really being lost here, Erin, by the system, by this judge is that this is her loss. This is the loss of a life of a young girl, 14 years old, and she is going to be there tomorrow to try to remind everyone of that. Here's what she told us --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AULIEA HANLON, VICTIM'S MOTHER: He needs to pay for his crime and 31 days is not it. I mean, 31 days? She was a kid. She was my kid.

I'm a little biased but that's, you know -- I don't know. It's, you know, whatever the judges decide as long as it's more than 31 days, because it's a slap in the face.

LAH: Does it make a difference to you that the judge has said that he wants to -- he made a mistake, that he needs to go back and provide a longer sentence? Does it change it for you?

HANLON: I don't know. He's apologized a couple of times. I mean, Rambold, he's never apologized to me. He's just covering his butt.

LAH: So, all of these lawyers, all of these court filings, but in the middle of all of this is your child.

HANLON: Yes.

LAH: What do you want people to remember about what happened here to your daughter?

HANLON: You know, everybody says don't trust any strangers. What's that say about having -- I mean, you know, he was a teacher. He was -- he was the adult.

LAH: Do you want to tell the judge something about your daughter? Did he forget your daughter? Do you think?

HANLON: I don't think he -- there's no way he could have known her. If he'd have known her I'm sure he'd have probably went out and shot the guy, isn't he from Texas or something, you know?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAH: And this is a loss, Erin, that this woman says that you simply don't recover from. She said she'll be listening to the radio and she'll hear a song that she and her daughter loved and it just brings her right back to square one. So she's really hoping to get an appropriate sentence, Erin.

BURNETT: Kyung Lah, thank you very much for that incredible reporting. She's been on the story from the beginning.

Coming up at the top of the hour, Anderson will continue to cover the story and he'll speak with the victim's mother, Auliea Hanlon, that you saw there with Kyung. That and more at the top of the hour.

Well, every night, we take a look outside the top stories for something we call the OUTFRONT "Outtake".

Yahoo! has a new logo, apparently this logo, which was launched in 2009, is a little stale, so they have launched this logo to replace it. It doesn't seem all that different. Still, Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer swears a lot of thought went into it. She released this math- heavy blueprint explaining what they changed and why, including the company's very last move, which was tilting the exclamation point by nine degrees to add a little bit of whimsy.

You saw that, there a whole writing on the thing, it was a whole weekend to get a nine degree shift in the exclamation point. You have to wonder how many software engineers it would take to change a light bulb by Yahoo.

All right. All joking aside, Yahoo! may have the right idea with a design, because, often, we the customers do not like change. Not counting a brief makeover during the 1980s, the Coca-Cola logo has basically not changed over 100 years. And while rival Pepsi has totally changed its look, Coke is still number one by far.

But there's one example of a major logo overhaul that worked. The current FedEx logo you see to the right is drastically different than the original and it's considered one of the most successful makeovers ever. But most fail.

Tropicana Orange Juice faced a major crisis when it swapped out the very popular orange for a glass of juice. I mean, who would think this would cause a problem? It did. Sales actually plummeted, no joke. This why Tropicana's Web site now features bottles of orange juice living inside an orange, they are scared to get rid of the orange. Logos matter. So, what do you think of the new Yahoo! logo? Let us know on Twitter @ErinBurnett or @OutFrontCNN.

Still to come, the latest installment of our special investigation into the IRS. It's accused of targeting groups for political reasons, as you know. But here is the question, what are those groups hiding?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Our seventh story OUTFRONT: too political to be tax- exempt?

So, tonight, we're going to go to the heart of targeting scandal that rocked the IRS. As part of the special week-long OUTFRONT investigation, our Gloria Borger looks into whether groups seeking tax-exempt status are hiding their true intentions and cheating the system.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AD NARRATOR: Twenty-three million Americans without full-time work, the results of President Obama's failed stimulus policies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney is not in touch with the little guy.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Here they go again, more political adds paid for by political groups. Right?

Actually, wrong. These ads are paid for by groups which are supposed to be exclusively devoted to something the law calls social welfare, helping to promote the common good.

AD NARRATOR: How come our president be so out of touch?

BORGER: Does that sound like social welfare to you? Of course not. But these groups say they do just that. And in return, they get a gift from you, the taxpayer. They're tax exempt.

So how does that happen?

Over the years, the IRS has allowed groups to stay tax exempt if they simply spend less than half of their money on politics, say 49 percent. So, you don't have to be exclusively devoted to social welfare as the law states but just primarily devoted to it. Get it?

(on camera): So, only in Washington does exclusive mean primarily?

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: I think, you know, most people, the fairly grade would know that that is a totally mangling of the English language. But that is exactly what happened. Well, they totally changed the plain meaning of the word "exclusive". I think anybody knows exclusive means that's the only thing you should be engaged in.

BORGER (voice-over): Senior House Democrat Chris Van Hollen is filing a lawsuit to enforce the law as it's written.

VAN HOLLEN: The law is very clear, that if you want to be a tax- exempt organization, you should be exclusively involved in social welfare activities.

BORGER: Robert Maguire tracks these groups for the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

ROBERT MAGUIRE, CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS: They are pushing the limits on what they should be able to do in order to influence the outcomes of elections. It's very difficult to figure out what the IRS is actually thinking when it comes to how they evaluate these groups.

BORGER: That's because the IRS doesn't seem to know itself so when confronted with a barrage of new applicants for tax-exempt status, some agents began a clumsy investigation into the exact mission of some groups, calling the names that sounded decidedly political, like "Tea Party" or "Patriot" or "Progressives". It blew up.

REP. DAVE CAMP (R-MI), WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRMAN: This is the IRS being too large, too powerful, too obtrusive and too abusive.

BORGER: Some remain convinced that the IRS was abusing its power. Others say it was just dumb.

For its part, the IRS says whatever occurred was not intentional and it's working to make sure that it won't happen again. But all the pounding of the pinata doesn't answer the underlying question, why should some of these groups qualify for the same tax exempt status as your local volunteer fire company?

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D-NY), WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: Again, it's almost an invitation as the law is written for abuse in terms of political activities.

STEVE MILLER, ACTING IRS COMMISSIONER: It's something that we have to look at closely, yes, sir.

BORGER: That's because these groups are big players and getting even bigger. In 2012, they spent at least $256 million on political activity. They're really popular because they offer something that other groups cannot -- donor anonymity and less disclosure.

VAN HOLLEN: This, in my view, has a slow corrupting impact on the system because now you have a vehicle for millions of dollars of secret money.

BORGER: For all parties, but it's lopsided, 85 percent of the money spent by these groups last year was on the conservative side.

AD NARRATOR: Obama and Tester dug the hole. They want Montanans to pay the price. BORGER: Besides airing political ads, these groups say they deserve their tax-exempt status because they also engage in education and advocacy efforts.

DAVID KEATING, CENTER FOR COMPETITIVE POLITICS: Social welfare means the group is working for betterment of the country and society in some fashion, and there are many ways to do this, and I see political activity, really, it's a tactic. It's not a purpose of the organization.

BORGER: David Keating of the Center of Competitive Politics, who wants less regulation says these groups are just helping the political dialogue.

KEATING: As long as that's not a majority of the effort or majority of their tactics, then they are a social welfare group.

BORGER: And that's the way it stands at least for now.

(on camera): Ironically, one of the most perverse results of the IRS controversy is this, some of these tax exempt groups, which could use some real scrutiny are much less likely to get it now. The political dangers of wading back into that pool may just be too high, Erin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: All right. Thanks so much to Gloria.

That's our IRS series. Please let us know the feedback on that. Tomorrow, we have a special report on manufacturers in the United States exploiting a loophole that allows them to sell explosives that literally detonate on impact and can threaten Americans. We're going to see with that special report again tomorrow.

"AC 360" starts now.