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Government Shutdown; U.S. Military Raids; Anthony Scalia Speaks in Rare Interview; How Real is Science in 'Gravity'?

Aired October 7, 2013 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Welcome to "AC360 Later." Thanks for joining us.

A lot on the table tonight, two U.S. raids on terrorists in Somalia and Libya with two different outcomes, Supreme Court Justice Scalia loves "Seinfeld," but does not love when ladies use the F-word, apparently, another revelation from what is to the say the least a very eclectic new interview. And most of NASA is on furlough. The good news is, that's given them time to see the movie "Gravity," what a rocket scientist thinks of the movie that everyone is talking about ahead tonight.

We begin of course though with the government shutdown day seven.

Joining me on the panel tonight, CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, Tina Brown, editor in chief of The Daily Beast, CNN political commentator and Republican strategist Ana Navarro, Peter Beinart, editor of The Daily Beast's blog, and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Let's start with the latest from chief congressional correspondent though Dana Bash on Capitol Hill.

Dana, has anything changed, is there anything new, any movement?


The only movement has been the sound of the president talking and of House Speaker John Boehner talking and maybe the whoosh sound of them talking past each other and that's really unfortunately about it.

That's the truth. There has been a little bit of discussion about what kind of process could probably work to give the president space to have him save face from his line in the sand that he is not going to negotiate on anything, meaning the government shutdown or the debt ceiling. A little bit of discussion about what possibly could allow the speaker to save face in his insistence that he is not going to allow a clean bill on either of the measures to come forward.

But when it comes to actually talking and actually getting to the next step, we are not any closer today Monday than we were on Friday, or Saturday or even a week ago Monday.

COOPER: Grover, let me ask you, why not allow a clean bill to come up for a vote? Republicans say they don't have the votes -- the Democrats don't have the votes to pass it, even with some Republicans saying that they would go for it. But why not allow it? If that's true, why not allow it to come up and eliminate that talking point by the Democrats?

GROVER NORQUIST, PRESIDENT, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: The Republicans say why not allow the Senate to vote on the issue by issue clean C.R.? The Republicans have said are you concerned about national parks? The president is putting up fences around parks in D.C. and around the country. They passed a clean C.R. for national parks. Let's keep them open. Let's make sure the National Institutes are Health are kept open.

They are passing a series of these, as they did for the military and for veterans.

COOPER: But is that a financially responsible way to operate the government?

NORQUIST: What it does it says to the government and the politicians and the president can't turn around and use the politics we are not going to let the cancer patients get their stuff. Republicans said fine, let's fix that. They have really passed a law to do that. It's the Senate, the Democrat Senate that won't allow a vote on that.

COOPER: Peter Beinart, what about that?

PETER BEINART, THE DAILY BEAST: This is insane. You don't only keep open the parts of the government you like. You keep open the government in total.



BEINART: The argument that Grover is making -- because it has not been historically considered a legitimate tactic in American politics that because you don't like a policy that was passed by Congress, ratified in an election and accepted by the Supreme Court to say as a result we are going to shut down the government and therefore only allow those parts of the government that we agree with to actually go forward.


NORQUIST: More that half of debt ceilings have had efforts to restrain spending attached to them. There is nothing new about this.


BEINART: We haven't had a government shut down in 17 years.


BEINART: We have never had a debt ceiling default. Go ahead. CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it's OK.

I have just come back from overseas and overseas people are completely gobsmacked. They just simply can't believe this. "The Financial Times"' headline is United States' flirting with self destruction. That is just the shutdown.

Now with the idea of a default, people are freaking out. The markets hate what Speaker Boehner said yesterday, that we are not going to pass a clean debt ceiling bill. We're not going to bring it. It may even be staring at default. Do you know what makes America a superpower, Grover? What makes America a superpower is not just its great military and its great democracy but it's its great confidence in its finances.

And if some petty political argument is going to strip the confidence to the world's most powerful currency it's a little like unilateral disarmament. It's a little like self-destruction.


ANA NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Guys, let me tell you this. It takes two to tango and it takes two to argue.

I think the defense of one side or the other really is not leading to a result. The bottom line is the American people want Congress and the White House to work together and get the government working.

AMANPOUR: That's exactly right.

NAVARRO: Right. We are seeing more and more polls where, yes, the Republicans are taking a bigger hit, but just ever so slightly.


COOPER: Because Republicans are saying that the president won't negotiate and the Democrats won't negotiate. Harry Reid says, wait a minute, I did negotiate with Boehner. We put forward a resolution for the budget for $988 billion. That's not the number we wanted. That's the number the Republicans wanted. That's compromise.

Is that true?

NAVARRO: Look, I don't know whether it's true or not. I was not the room. What I can tell you is that we are where we are now. There has to be some sort of solution that encompasses what Dana just said, that saves face for the speaker, for the Republicans and for the White House. And that would be, by the way, a good solution, a good way to do things.

TINA BROWN, CO-FOUNDER, THEDAILYBEAST.COM: I certainly think what we are seeing now in the polls is the blaming of the Republicans alone is now also shifting to Democrats in the sense that now people just want the government just to work together and get it done. And there may be now actually a very good moment for the Democrats to start negotiating over the budget before the debt ceiling and before that, rather than continuing taking the stance we are not going to just give in to hostages. Actually, Peter Beinart, my own contributor here at The Daily Beast, wrote a very good piece on that today on The Daily Beast describing how this could in fact be a very good moment to actually start negotiated on the budget in better terms for the Democrats because actually all the Republicans need now is a kind of fig leaf.


AMANPOUR: The Chinese are absolutely freaking out.

They own most of America's debt or at least a lot of America's debt and they are saying, please, Republicans and Democrats, get together. Please don't do this. They are really, really freaked out. It could be a 2008 or worse style global economic crisis.


BROWN: The biggest threat now to national security was two miles of Washington, D.C., that actually it was far worse than any kind of...


NORQUIST: In 2011, we were told there was this big crisis. What actually happened was we ended up cutting $2.5 trillion out of Obama's planned spending, we got the sequester and that was very helpful to the economy because we're not overspending.


BEINART: Very helpful to the economy? Is there -- the sequester has been a disaster. It was terrible for the economy. It was exactly the wrong way to cut government spending. Economists say it slowed our recovery from economic growth, and that was just getting close to a debt ceiling, not actually defaulting on the debt ceiling.

NORQUIST: No, that is not nonsense. What we did was we stopped $2.5 trillion of Obama's planned spending. We culled it back. We need to do more.


BEINART: They did not do anything about the long-term entitlement spending that everyone knows is the real driver of the debt. You basically cut short-term spending that was necessary to stimulate the economy.


NORQUIST: Obama had the presidency and the House and Senate for two full years and he did nothing about long-term entitlements, other than to add to it. The idea that he secretly desires to deal with long-term entitlement spending, he spent every day in 2009 waking up in the morning not dealing with entitlements and going to bed, every day in 2010 waking up and not doing anything with entitlements and going to bed.

We really believe that he secretly wants to do that when he had all the power and he did nothing, except make it worse?

BEINART: Obama actually offered cuts in Medicare and in the consumer price index as part...


NORQUIST: Tied to a trillion dollars in tax increases.

BEINART: Right, because every single time that we have actually done something about the budget deficit in the past, under George H.W. Bush and under Bill Clinton, it was a compromise with cuts in spending and increases in revenue.


NORQUIST: Not in 2011. We got just spending, which is the right way to go.

NAVARRO: Grover, do you think he could have passed it the first two years knowing he was facing a reelection and his base was looking at what he was doing?

NORQUIST: He threw away his House majority doing something else.

COOPER: I want to bring -- Dana, I saw you trying to get in here.

BASH: The one thing I was thinking is, first of all, I wish I could say gobsmacked and not look like a fool the way Christiane can say that. I don't know. Can I say that word? I don't think I can.

BROWN: It's a British word, gobsmacked.

BASH: I know. I know. I love it. They don't say that in New Jersey.

But with regard to looking forward to this week, the vote that we're going to look for is in the Senate, because the Senate Democratic leadership will try to bring up a clean debt ceiling bill.

It looks at this point like probably no Republicans are going to support them. That means it's going to be a party-line vote, 54 Democrats likely maximum are going to vote for this. And so that may put the pressure more on Democrats, frankly, because the Democratic- led Senate will be able to say they have the majority, but not enough -- 60 votes to break a filibuster. It might put the pressure on the president and the Democrats to give a little bit on their line in the sand that they're not going to negotiate. COOPER: Where is the give room? What should, Grover, do you think the White House should give on, assuming -- are you talking about Obamacare or are you talking about debt reduction?

NORQUIST: There are a couple of places. I think it is unlikely to move on Obamacare simply because that's what everybody has talked about so much.

What could happen is a trade. The Democrats don't like the sequester. It is squeezing their interest groups. They would like to be able to spend more this year. The Republicans want to solve the long-term problem of entitlements.

We could trade. And this is what Boehner and others have been putting forward for quite some time. Reduce the long-term entitlement overspending in return for more spending today with sequester caps being lifted temporarily.

So I would pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. You can have the hamburger today, which is more money than sequester lets you, Democrats happy and Republicans happy with serious long-term savings in entitlement spending.

COOPER: That was a Popeye reference.


BEINART: This is the reason. Because if you give the Republicans something for threatening the full faith and credit of the United States and shutting down the government, you are giving them an incentive to do it again.

And Obama is not going to allow that to happen, and thank God, thank God the American people are soon enough going to punish the Republicans so badly for that we're not going to have to sit here and listen to people saying this kind of thing again because the Republican Party is sending itself towards oblivion with these positions that are driving it deeper and deeper into a political hole.


NAVARRO: ... take the blame, I think you are mistaken. And the longer this goes on, the more impatient the American public...


BEINART: Look at "The Washington Post" poll today. Obama's popularity is up four points.


NAVARRO: But let me just tell you, it is not just the Republicans who are paying a price. When you continue seeing children that can't go to parks in Washington because they're closed down, when you continue seeing veterans who can't go to their own memorial, everybody is going to get upset about this. Enough of the blame game and figuring out who is winning. We have been doing that for the last week. Tell you what.


BROWN: What we have seen though is so much money has been put into this defunding of Obamacare.

I saw the piece in "The New York Times" which talked about the $200 million that the Koch brothers -- once again, they're like the Rasputin of Republican politics, but their names keep emerging. And they spent $200 million in this activism against the funding of Obamacare. It's just mind-blowing to me that they put all this money into trying to deprive people of their health care.


COOPER: Do you think the Republicans who have been running on defunding Obamacare or eliminating Obamacare would give up on it? Because the negotiating point that you were talking about wasn't about Obamacare.

NORQUIST: Look, the Republicans, including the more conservative Tea Party elements of the Republican Party, are worried about overspending. Obamacare is a piece of that.

If you said to them, look, we have got $64 trillion in unfunded liabilities, present value, unfunded liabilities from entitlements, if we start to bring that down in a serious way, yes, absolutely.

AMANPOUR: I just want to know, flat out, you just outlined a bit of a sort of a trade or a deal. Do you think what Speaker Boehner said, that we are looking default in the eye, is it going to happen?

NORQUIST: Well, the president of the United States started this entire debate.


AMANPOUR: I just want to know what...

NORQUIST: Yes. I think the president by saying if you don't give me higher taxes and more spending, I will shut the government down and go to default, he was the first to say that this year. Yes, I think it's a danger. I hope we don't do that.


COOPER: What you think Republicans should do, allow that?

NORQUIST: No. I think that Republicans should continue to offer things as they done.


BEINART: What would you rather see, a clean continuing resolution or a default of the debt?

NORQUIST: That's not the option.


BEINART: I'm giving you that option. Which would you rather choose? Tell me.

NORQUIST: I'm arguing that what I think the Republicans are able to make the case for...


NORQUIST: The president said he would rather have a default than not get his tax increase and more spending.


NORQUIST: He started this conversation that way.

NAVARRO: We also saw today the White House signaled they would be open to a short-term debt ceiling hike, which means the White House doesn't want it and we know Republicans don't want it. We know Speaker Boehner doesn't want this.


BROWN: ... growing wing in the Republican Party that now is trying to say that default doesn't matter as much, that something this is this extraordinary echo chamber...


BEINART: We saw a Republican congressman today say that actually debt default could be great for the world economy.

COOPER: We have to take a break there. We have to take a quick break.

I next want to talk about the two special forces operations that are getting so much attention, Delta Force and Navy SEALs targeting a pair of very bad actors, including a longtime member of America's most wanted list, a guy allegedly with a lot of blood on his hands. We will talk about it ahead.


COOPER: Hey, thank you for watching and thanks for tuning in and your tweets as welcome to #AC360.

Later, we're getting the inside information now on a pair of military operations that landed a longtime member of the most wanted list in American custody, but let another top figure remain at large. Al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi wanted in the 1998 embassy bombings was grabbed by Delta Forces in Libya, while Navy SEALs aborted the mission to capture the suspected leader of Al-Shabab, the group behind the shopping mall massacre in Kenya, after meeting too much resistance on the ground.

Back now with Christiane Amanpour, Tina Brown, and Ana Navarro. I also want to bring in national security analyst Peter Bergen and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto.

Jim, what do we know about the -- I'm sorry. Told Jim isn't there.

Peter, talk about this guy we grabbed in Libya. How significant is it? Is this something they wanted just for justice for the bombings in the past or do they hope he has current operational information?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think mostly the former answer.

It's quite possible his wife has told CNN he kind of got out of the al Qaeda business and that may well be true. It may also not be true. But one way to score his relative importance is there was a $5 million reward for him. The leader of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, has a $25 million reward. By that metric, he is about 20 percent less important than the leader of al Qaeda, which makes him important, but I don't think -- it's not perhaps the most seismic thing that has happened in the war on terror.

AMANPOUR: You know, I think he is kind of right, but also Daniel Benjamin, who used to be the State Department anti-terrorism coordinator, and others have said that he was so instrumental in the 1998 bombings and he does apparently still have links to Afghan -- Pakistan, rather, and other such al Qaeda franchises.

And they feel that capturing him alive, in other words, putting boots, which was very rare -- we have been seeing drones for the last several years. This is one of the first times we have seen boots on the ground in this kind of operation. And it shows a desire -- at least this is what some of the experts say -- to try to get as much intelligence as possible as well as what Peter said, to send a message as everybody is saying that you can run, but you can't hide and eventually justice will come to you.

Certainly, the al-Libi case is like that.

NAVARRO: The important message to me is that, look, once you have been in the al Qaeda business, even if you get out of it, you were in it and if you try to harm Americans, if you did harm Americans and commit acts of terror against Americans, it may take one year, it may take 10 years, it may take 15 years. And you can hide. You can go pray.


NAVARRO: But we are going to catch you. And we're going to continue hunting you.

BROWN: It was good symbolism as well for Obama right now because after Syria, where everybody felt it was a whole flip-flop that he did, that this was actually a good symbol.

But at the same time, it also raises a question of the state of Libya now, too, because there is this incredibly sort of fragile government going on.


AMANPOUR: I spoke to the prime minister, Zeidan, who is Western- backed, as you know, and who is not an Islamist and who is treading a very, very tricky line there, because as he said it's not a failing state. We are not even a state yet.

BROWN: Not even a state. But also do you think perhaps America, once the spotlight is gone, the Libyan revolution happened, but actually do we leave enough support in place to support these regimes when they take over?

AMANPOUR: They don't think there was enough support.


AMANPOUR: So it was actually important to do that in Libya.

And, Peter, I know we have been listening to the Libyan authorities say we didn't know about this. This is a kidnapping, we're not into this, how dare you violate our sovereignty? But clear that they were not going to do it.


COOPER: Do you buy that, Peter, that they would not have known?


BERGEN: It's quite -- they are saying no. But it's conceivable that they might have had a heads-up.

One thing that is interesting is the Pentagon has described this as a capture that was under the laws of war, which is an interesting formulation, because it actually suggests that it was done without the permission of the Libyan government, because under the laws of war, the United States' basic attitude is if a government is unwilling or unable to take action, we, the United States, will employ military force, whether it's drones or special forces, to do the things we want.

COOPER: And, Peter, also, let's talk about the operation in Somalia. What stands out to you about that?

BERGEN: Well, I guess its mixed result is the big thing. Unfortunately, clearly, it didn't go as well as planned.

But I think take the two events together, it shows that Obama is very comfortable with special forces, the use of drones, the use of cyber-war against Iran, basically all sorts of things that fall short of conventional war. If you look at the budget right now in the Defense Department, the only place you are seeing any real growth in terms of forces is special forces. Everyone else is cuts. And you're also seeing growth in the area of basically cyber-war and protecting against cyber-attack.

COOPER: Peter, I talked to Ali Soufan earlier, formerly with the FBI. He was saying he doesn't think is it a coincidence they both happened at the same time and also with the anniversary of the Black Hawk Down operation in Somalia, the U.S. operation in Somalia back in the early '90s. Do you think that's true?

BERGEN: I don't think they are necessarily connected. I think that is one of life's happy coincidences. Obviously, Abu Anas al- Libi, the guy they snatched from Libya, that is someone they have been looking at probably for the last two years in one way or another.

The Al-Shabab operation really came after the Kenya mall incident two weeks ago. I don't think that they are necessarily related.

AMANPOUR: But, Peter, you don't think that the Al-Shabab operation was after the mall designed, right? Because they said it was hatched much before that, that it's way too soon.

I spoke to the Somali foreign minister who was absolutely delighted that the U.S. had come in. Any time, come in.

COOPER: Right. He said any time, right.

AMANPOUR: Come in. Get there. We don't want them here. But I think it's fascinating and I do think a message that the Obama administration is saying particularly at a time we were discussing when the shutdown makes the administration...


BROWN: The sort of Black Hawk Down anniversary, though, it is interesting the kind of -- that casts over it all, because I did kind of wonder the decision to then not to call them back and actually not continue with the raid. There is such a kind of haunting in that area of we don't want to find another Black Hawk Down.

NAVARRO: I think it shows the world that the United States is capable of walking even in circles and chewing gum at the same time, that while you talk about all these headlines, international headlines, about the shutdown and what that means and the dysfunction in Washington, we are still capable of doing...


AMANPOUR: Clearly, what was going through the minds of the administration at this time. Obviously, that is one added benefit to these operations.

BROWN: Isn't there such an enormous disconnect anyway between frankly the people who are in Washington and the people who are actually in uniform or are in the special forces?

There's a real contrast between people who step up and actually do what they are supposed to do and those who don't.

COOPER: We got to take a break.

Peter Bergen, thank you very much.

Up next with the panel, being Supreme, Justice Scalia's thoughts on everything from equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans to "Seinfeld" to the existence of the devil. Jeffrey Toobin is on just ahead.


COOPER: Hey. Welcome back.

It's everything you ever wanted to know about Justice Antonin Scalia and maybe a few things you didn't. In a wide-ranging interview in "New York" magazine, Justice Scalia weighs in on a number of topics.

Just a sampling. He says that the devil is real. He caught one episode of "Duck Dynasty." He thinks the State of the Union address is childish. He doesn't know why anyone would want to be friended on the Internet and he thinks he has some gay friends, but doesn't know for sure.

It's a fascinating interview. We have some fascinating people to talk about it. Back with Christiane Amanpour, Tina Brown, Ana Navarro.

Joining us also at the table, CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos.

I'm pleased to have you, have you here.

What did you make of the interview?

MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Look, he has been quoted -- and I agree -- he is the pinup girl or pinup boy for criminal defense lawyers.

This has guy has been -- and you would not expect that. You would think someone who is that conservative and who is that ideological of a...

COOPER: What do you mean he's the pinup boy?

GERAGOS: He has come up with and penned cases like Apprendi, Crawford, and I could go through all the Supreme Court cases.

He has been the greatest savior for the rights, constitutional rights of the accused of anybody probably in the last 100 years. So, I let him do whatever he wants to do. And I think the fact that he has bonded with Elena Kagan on their hunting trips is not a bad thing.

COOPER: I want to bring in our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, who obviously has followed the court very closely. What did you make of this interview, Jeff?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I thought it was a tremendous public service. Because anybody who thinks that the Supreme Court is anything except a deeply political institution got to see a portrait of a 1950s social conservative. He doesn't like the Internet. He doesn't like this sex and violence on TV. He's not sure if he's ever met a gay person. I mean, this is who Antonin Scalia is. And this is what his rulings reflect. Jennifer Senior did a fantastic job with him.

COOPER: By the way, Jeff's book, "The Nine," is a brilliant account inside the secret world of the Supreme Court. You should read it.

NAVARRO: Let's also remember something. He also reflects that he's 77 years old. You know, a lot of those -- a lot of these issues, particularly the LGBT rights issues, are very generational across the country. And I think what he -- you know, we see from him is that.

I thought it was a terrific interview. It was colorful. He obviously doesn't care about political correctness. He doesn't care what they think about him. He's going to be long dead and gone and everybody's going to be sublimely happy or sublimely unhappy. I thought it was...

BROWN: I thought it was...


NAVARRO: Antonin Scalia unplugged.

BROWN: What I saw was kind of interesting, as well. And he said he didn't read the "New York Times" or the "Washington Post" because they make him angry. He only reads the "Washington Times" and "The Wall Street Journal."

NAVARRO: And "The Daily Beast."

BROWN: I know. But it was interesting to me that he actually, you know, he also lives in his own echo chamber, too. I would have thought that he would have wanted to have that range of opinion, just so that he could be more widely informed.

COOPER: Jeff, does that surprise you?

TOOBIN: Well, and talk -- and right-wing talk radio was also a big part of his life.

And if you want to talk about the age issue, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is three years older. She's 80 years old and she's done two same-sex marriages this summer. I mean, this is a woman who is very much in tune with the modern world. So I don't think it is purely an age matter. It's just a matter of ideology.

GERAGOS: But he has -- I was going to say you're a senior legal analyst because you look older than me, but the -- the thing that's fascinating about him, to me anyway, is this bonding of him and Kagan. I think that that -- and he is -- she has brought him -- I know you don't think that. But that Florida case with the dog sniff where he broke with the conservatives, it's a whole different dynamic that's going on at the Supreme Court. This is becoming her court. This is becoming Elena Kagan's court.

TOOBIN: Sleazy journalists -- sleazy journalist like me are always pointing out the relationships between the justices and Ruth Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia go to the opera together. And Scalia and Kagan go hunting together. It's all not very important. What matters is ideology. Kagan and Scalia don't vote together very often.

GERAGOS: What about the -- what about the last case...

TOOBIN: This is a court -- this is a court...

GERAGOS: ... the dog sniff case in Florida.


BROWN: Dog sniff case?

NAVARRO: I want to know what the dog was sniffing.

COOPER: For those who haven't heard this interview -- for those -- let's move on. For those who haven't read the interview, here's what he said about television. "I don't want watch 'Homeland.' I don't even know what 'Homeland' is. I watched one episode of -- what is it? -- 'Duck Dynasty.' I watched 'The Sopranos.' I saw a couple episodes of 'Mad Men.' I love 'Seinfeld.' In fact, I've got some CDs of 'Seinfeld.'" I believe they're called DVD's. "'Seinfeld' was hilarious. Oh, boy. The Nazi soup kitchen, no soup for you!" I imagine he did the imitation.

So Jeff, but you're saying personality doesn't matter on the Supreme Court?

TOOBIN: No, no -- It's not that personality doesn't matter. It's just that the idea that justices influence each other is usually vastly overstated. What matters on this court is there are five Republican appointees and four Democratic appointees. That's most of what you need to know. This is just like Congress. Democrats vote one way, and the Republicans vote the other. And that really...

GERAGOS: I could not disagree more. Look at what happened with Breyer. Breyer has all of a sudden jumped the shark on all kinds of cases. Scalia is going the opposite way on all kinds of cases. You have to take a look at these. There is no way you can say that this is a Republican/Democratic kind of a split.

COOPER: Jeff, you ought to take a look at the Supreme Court.

GERAGOS: You've got to pay more attention. Why don't you do some research on that, Toobin?

BROWN: He also says there may be millions of reasons...

TOOBIN: Look at the Voting Rights Act.

AMANPOUR: ... to discriminate against women but not against minorities. So that doesn't make me very happy.

But can I ask you a legal question? Is al-Libi going to get successfully prosecuted when he's sent here to New York.

GERAGOS: My prediction is he will never be sent here to New York.



COOPER: You think for political reasons?

GERAGOS: For political reasons.

AMANPOUR: He was indicted here.

COOPER: Jeff -- Jeff...

NAVARRO: We're about to disagree again.

BROWN: Where is he going?

COOPER: Jeff, go ahead.

TOOBIN: In keeping with the spirit of the day, I disagree with Mark about that, too. You know, this is not Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who occupies a completely separate space because he's such a celebrated and notorious criminal. This guy is much more in the category of the shoe bomber, the Times Square bomber. And these are people who...

GERAGOS: No, no, no.

TOOBIN: The American legal system has dealt with very successfully. And I think that there's no reason to think this guy won't be prosecuted here.

GERAGOS: This guy there's no way you can compare him to Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. This guy is substantially higher up in the food chain. He is...

COOPER: Hundreds of people were killed, as well.

GERAGOS: Yes. And I just don't -- I mean, this is not some crazy. This is an ideologue.

BROWN: So where is he going?

GERAGOS: If he comes here, I think politically the U.S. Would make a huge mistake. Because bringing him here will increase his status amongst the -- amongst the...

AMANPOUR: We'll show the world in an open situation that there can be justice...

COOPER: But that's been the concern of a lot of these prosecutions. Has it actually borne fruit, that that gives them a showcase?

TOOBIN: Never. It has never been the case. It has never been the case that someone who's tried in an American courtroom turns into a hero elsewhere.

GERAGOS: Are you out of...

TOOBIN: The only hero is the American legal system, which is very successful in prosecuting these terrorism -- these terrorism cases.

GERAGOS: None of these guys have become? Jeff -- Jeff, are you kidding me? The guys who were prosecuted in '93 for the World Trade Center became kind of the iconic giant symbols for the jihad.

TOOBIN: Really? Name one, Mark. Name one.

GERAGOS: The guy who drove the truck.

TOOBIN: That's how famous they are.

GERAGOS: Well, yes. I'm not in the jihadist movement. So -- But I will tell you that...


GERAGOS: Give me a break on that. These guys do not be -- they become lionized when they get prosecuted here.

AMANPOUR: No, that's not true. That's not true.

GERAGOS: The idea of bringing him here -- the idea of bringing him here to the U.S. is crazy.

AMANPOUR: No, it's not true. It's not true.


COOPER: But you're making -- but you're making a distinction between them being lionized for what they did and lionized because they were tried -- it wasn't the court process that made them lionized.

NAVARRO: You torture them and...

GERAGOS: These are not -- this is not a criminal justice issue. A criminal justice issue is where you pick somebody up. You arrest them. They're a citizen. You afford them their...

COOPER: You don't believe that there is power by actually subjecting them to criminal prosecution?

AMANPOUR: Of course there is, and it's been prosecuted a lot more successfully.

GERAGOS: To give them all of the rights Zarqawi in Washington, D.C., to give him in front of that judge, the court judge, a forum to incite people in other places. And you going to tell me, because you are my hero when it comes to Middle East policy. You think this is a good policy?

AMANPOUR: I'm people who have been indicted coming here to get prosecuted rather than languishing and not getting prosecuted.

GERAGOS: I'm not talking about languishing. I'm talking about if they are -- if they are...

NAVARRO: They are becoming martyrs.

GERAGOS: They become martyrs when you bring them here.

AMANPOUR: When they're not tried.


COOPER: A difference of opinion on this. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you very much.

The new movie "Gravity" wins the weekend box office, takes one giant leap into scrutiny. Our panel weighs in, along with a rocket scientist. We actually have a rocket scientist. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back. "Gravity" was the blockbuster movie of the weekend, putting in more than $55 million. It's obviously a space thriller starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, two box office winners. They're aboard a space shuttle mission out on a spacewalk when debris damages the shuttle, and they're set adrift.

Some scientists are now apparently moonlighting as film critics saying a lot of what happens in "Gravity" is really more about movie magic than actual science. Isn't that really the point? It's a movie.

Back with the panel: Christiane Amanpour, Tina Brown, Ana Navarro and Mark Geragos. Also, we have joining us by remote. I want to bring in Bobak Ferdowsi, the flight director who helped the Curiosity rover land on Mars.

It's great to actually have an expert here. Thank you so much for joining us.

BOBAK FERDOWSI, NASA: Thanks for having me.

COOPER: So you saw the movie. I did not see the movie, and a lot of our viewers haven't. So please don't give away any major plot points. But did you quibble with some of the science of it? Because I read from some astronomers and others, quibbling with some of the facts?

FERDOWSI: No -- first of all, I thought it was actually an amazing movie. So beautiful. It's really quite fun to watch. There were a few things I think that, you know, maybe if you were really paying attention to these kind of details you might be bothered by.

But otherwise, I thought it was great. It works out really well. The timing and the pacing is great. I think if you try to make it too accurate it might have been a little too long and boring.

NAVARRO: That guy is obviously a cool scientist.

COOPER: Everybody says you should see it in 3-D and see it in IMAX.

GERAGOS: Where is he with? JPL?


But so Christiane, you have not seen it. You have seen "Captain Phillips."

AMANPOUR: "Captain Phillips."

COOPER: Which is another movie opening this Friday which I'm dying to see.

AMANPOUR: Exactly. And we've been talking about Somalia and terrorism. These were Somali pirates in 2009 who took a commercial ship, the Maersk Alabama, an American ship, carrying cargo, and captured the Captain Phillips who was the captain of the ship. He saved his crew, saved the ship and...

GERAGOS: That's not what the crew is saying. The crew is now suing...

AMANPOUR: Are you on their side?

GERAGOS: No, I'm not on -- I'm not on either side of that. But they're saying he should have gone out 600 miles and not 300 miles.

AMANPOUR: All right. This is a movie. And Captain Philips doesn't claim himself to be a hero. Actually, I did...

COOPER: This is from your interview with Tom Hanks, who plays the captain. Let's play that.


TOM HANKS, ACTOR: The primary motive was get these guys off the ship. If I can get them off the ship in any way. For a while it looked like they were just going to sail away with 30,000 bucks. And then they changed the game on him. But he would never -- he -- he would never use the word "hero" in regards to himself. He said, "I was waiting for the heroes to show up."


AMANPOUR: And they, of course, were the Navy SEALs, who I mean, unbelievable, spectacular rescue operation.

He's sitting there, by the way, Tom Hanks, with Paul Greengrass, the director.

COOPER: An amazing director. "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum (ph)."

AMANPOUR: This is going to be the big blockbuster this weekend.

BROWN: You know what I think, though? I've got to believe "Lone Survivor," which is another great movie coming out.

COOPER: Doesn't come out, though, until late December.

BROWN: But that -- that is the movie that I took for the Oscar.

GERAGOS: We're going to talk about movies I'm going to talk about "Rush." "Rush" I saw yesterday, and I'm telling you...

BROWN: ... in Afghanistan.

GERAGOS: ... that dynamic between Niki Lauda and James Hunt, which is based on pretty much a true story, is an incredible movie.

COOPER: Bobak, let me ask you, how does the filmmaking of -- or the space scenes, how does it compare to images you see on monitors when you're doing your job?

FERDOWSI: Well, I work on Mars. So I don't necessarily see the Earth in orbit, but no, it's absolutely beautiful. I think the thing is -- I talked to a few of my astronaut friends, and they actually described it being very realistic, as actually a tool for them to describe to their families and friends what it's like to be in space and what it's like to look down on the Earth.

A good friend of mine, Mike Mathinew (ph), worked on the Hubble servicing mission and he, in fact, said the exact same thing, that this is how he showed his family, basically -- not this part that we're seeing right now. But the part -- the early part at the Hubble space telescope and what it was like.

COOPER: Do you ever want to go into space? I mean, watching it from the, you know, the controls where you watch it from, do you ever think, like, why can't I be the one up there?

FERDOWSI: There's a part of me that wants to go to space, definitely. I think there will be a time. But these guys are so dedicated and hard-working, these astronauts, and they spend so much time training and working hard and making, you know, family sacrifices and friend sacrifices. I think it's very difficult. So I'm not quite ready to make those choices yet. COOPER: Are you allowed to have a Mohawk in space? You're famous for having a Mohawk.

FERDOWSI: The helmet might kind of crush it.

COOPER: The helmet might crush it.

AMANPOUR: How many people can say, "I work on Mars?"

COOPER: Yes. That is...

NAVARRO: I love what this guy is saying. He understands that this is cinema. This is good movie making. This is not a documentary. And it's about, you know, having people watch it. And I just -- I love the fact that you're making it accessible to everybody. And I think your hair rocks.

FERDOWSI: Thank you.

BROWN: In space, too.

FERDOWSI: It wouldn't change. No, I've got to say the movie gets a lot of the science correct, though. It's got the zero gravity element going. It's got all the little attention to detail about the space station and the telescope and, you know, the suits and everything else.

So you know, there are things, a course -- when you go -- I think when you get too correct and you're so good at it in some things, people kind of find the small flaws. But it's a really -- it's a fantastic movie. It makes me want to go to space even more, even though it's scary.

COOPER: There's another actually space movie I saw on on demand called "Europa Report." I don't know if you saw that, Bobak, but...


COOPER: It was kind of cool, I thought. It was kind of realistic.

FERDOWSI: It's a great movie. Yes. It turns -- but it's -- and that one actually had a lot of, you know, same kind of people, a lot of astronauts and other specialists in the field kind of came in and helped them to make that movie happen and get the details correct.

NAVARRO: If George Clooney is going to be there I want to go to space, too.

BROWN: But in terms of the sort of veracity point. Are the ex- crew members now trashing Captain Phillips?

COOPER: There is a lawsuit.

AMANPOUR: There's a lawsuit, yes, but here's the thing.

GERAGOS: And that is -- it's almost silly in a way, the lawsuit itself, when it's brought into this discussion.


COOPER: There's nothing that interrupts the actual amazingness of this.

Thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it. Appreciate all you do.

Up next for the panel, "What's Your Story?" I'll ask each of you to share a story that caught your attention today. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back. It's the time where we ask "What's Your Story?" A story that may have missed the main headlines but caught the attention of our panelists. What's your story?

NAVARRO: Well, my story is about this 9-year-old kid in Minnesota. Listen, I can't sneak a five-ounce tube of toothpaste through security at the airport, and this 9-year-old got on a plane to Las Vegas without a ticket after having been at the airport casing it out; got through security; ended up in Las Vegas. This just -- this just blows my mind. And I just want to know where that kid is and how can I hire him to bring my toiletries on board.

COOPER: I'm glad he wasn't, like, comped at the resorts.

The flight attendants grew suspicious about halfway through the flight that he wasn't on the list.

GERAGOS: He was ordering double vodka rocks.

BROWN: A stowaway.

AMANPOUR: My story is one that's actually trending on Twitter, freedom (ph) in Iran. Which could be an oxymoron, given that the -- you know, social media is blocked there. But everybody from the president and everybody else has gone around all these softwares to block it.

And guess what's trending: #jeans. Basically, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel gave a very heartfelt interview to BBC Persia and said Iranians will only be free when they can wear blue jeans, amongst other things, and so guess what? Every single Iranian has gone on social media to show that they are actually wearing blue jeans and have done.

AMANPOUR: Tomorrow -- tomorrow we should all wear jeans in solidarity with the Iranians.

COOPER: Mark, what's your story?

GERAGOS: You know, the -- last week, we talked about the motorcycle case here... COOPER: Right.

GERAGOS: ... and, you know, cable news sensation. Today we find out that it looks like -- and I think I gave the prosecutors too much credit, in fact. You were hard talking about that last week, saying that -- why are you supporting the prosecutors? It looks like now the reason that various people weren't being prosecuted is there were a whole lot of undercover cops there, which I just think is amazing.

COOPER: At least two undercover police officers who did not report it until several days later.

GERAGOS: They didn't want to blow their cover by protecting somebody who was getting the holy crap beat out of them.

COOPER: It's unclear that both were actually there, present for the beating.

GERAGOS: Now they're talking now that there may be as many as six undercover cops there.

BROWN (?): What were they doing?

GERAGOS: Well, that's a very good question. Deep under cover to ride...

COOPER: Or just motorcycle enthusiasts.

GERAGOS: Or motorcycle enthusiasts. We don't know. But coming up here tonight, I saw Gloria Allred downstairs. Gloria has got one of the motorcyclist's relatives...


GERAGOS: ... that she's representing and she will change...


COOPER: Tina, what's your story?

BROWN: I was actually rather obsessed with the piece over the weekend about the mug shot Web sites about how, if you actually get apprehended and you end up having a mug shot taken but you didn't do anything, in fact, that mug shot will appear on -- it comes up on these Web sites again and again and again, and it dogs you everywhere you go. And every single job interview or woman that you date, up comes the mug shot.

COOPER: And you have to pay to get rid of it.

BROWN: Yes. You've got to pay to get rid of it. And it could be an extortion racket.

GERAGOS: I can't tell you how many client's I've had, celebrity clients, that will pay anything to get that down.

COOPER: We've got to go. Thanks for our panel.

Thanks for watching this edition of AC360 LATER. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.