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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
St. Louis County Police Officer Relieved of Duty for Public Comments; White House Signaling Syrian Airstrike Option Definitely on the Table; Remembering James Foley
Aired August 22, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. A lot happening around the country and around the world tonight, a lot to bring you in the next two hours that we're on the air for.
We begin with breaking news out of Ferguson, with a development that will certainly do little to convince many there that area police are in sync with the people they are sworn to protect. It concerns this guy, St. Louis county police officer, Dan Paige, who has just been relieved of duty. Now, he is the one who was pushing CNN's Don Lemon while he was live on the air earlier this week. You may remember that. But Paige's suspension is not over this video, but over a video of him a few months ago, giving a speech filled with harsh statements against gays, affirmative action, women, President Obama, you name it.
Don Lemon is in Ferguson for us tonight. He joins us now. So what exactly did this officer say in this speech?
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You're going to hear some of it. I'll play it for you, Anderson. I think you hit the nail on the head. This isn't going to do much to convince people that this isn't a broader problem with the police department. You're exactly right.
So Dan page, Anderson, a 35-year veteran of the police department, was speaking in front of a group called the Oathkeepers back in April. It was on videotape. And he starts making these inflammatory statements about gays, about women, about domestic violence and on and on. And today, the police department got wind of it. We notified them and they commented on it.
But first, I want to play for you the very disturbing thing he said about domestic violence, saying that they should just shoot themselves before the police get there. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN PAIGE, FERGUSON POLICE: When -- when those -- when the inner cities start to ignite, people are going to start killing people they don't like. And I'm going to warn the ladies on something. And this always gets me in trouble, but I've got to tell you, this domestic violence stuff, every time a man turns around and gets jammed up by his wife on this, you are heading for troubles, ladies. A man can be arrested now for domestic property damage, domestic peace disturbance, domestic destruction of property, so forth and so forth and -- how can you do that in your own house? You can be arrested for domestic trespassing. I've seen people with lines down the middle of the house. Stupid! You don't like each other that much? Just kill each other and get it over with. Problem solved. Get it done. Don't be wasting cops' time. Just shoot each other and get it over with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: As harsh as that is, as ugly as it is, and it goes, obviously, against the police code of conduct, Anderson, what the police department is even more concerned about are the statements that he made about killing, how he seemed to be glorifying killing. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAIGE: I personally believe that Jesus Christ is my lord, savior. But I'm also a killer. I've killed a lot. And if I need to, I'll kill a whole bunch more. If you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me. It's that simple. I have no problems with it. God did not raise me to be a coward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: For a police officer, saying, if you don't want to get killed, don't show up in front of me. You spoke with the St. Louis police chief just a few hours ago. What did he say about the officer's comment?
LEMON: I did, Anderson. I called him right away as soon as I got the video and he called me back immediately saying, of course, I will talk to you about it. And once we got on camera, he said that the officer was relieved of his duties, that he's going to have to undergo psychiatric examination, and here's more of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of the things he said regarding use of deadly force, things such as that, I find that troubling. I really do. And like I said, I used to think this is so unusual, this is just so bizarre that this would be unusual for anybody, not only a police officer, but a citizen, a member of the military, this really took me back when I saw it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And so, Anderson, another wrinkle to this story, Chief Belmar apologized there. And he also released a statement, just a short time ago, saying that Chief Belmar would again like to apologize to anyone this video has offended and ask any videos of this nature be reported, so we can take proper action against any officer not meeting our standards.
So, meaning, they now want people to come forward if they hear about any action like this, if they hear about any videos. It's certainly a very disturbing, you know, tale that is happening here.
And also, we should point out, this Oathkeepers organization says he's not a member, but he speaks to them occasionally. And according to the chief here, he really has -- his record as a police officer is really unremarkable. Not involved in any police shootings, you know, as far as the chief knows. So it's just really those inflammatory statements now that have gotten him in trouble.
COOPER: We will continue to follow it, Don Lemon, appreciate it. Thanks.
We're joined now by our CNN legal analyst and former prosecutor Sunny Hostin, defense attorney George Geragos, and George Zimmerman defense former attorney Mark O'Mara.
Sunny, you heard the police chief apologizing about this. Obviously, there are a lot of good police officers and that goes without saying. And this was a very difficult circumstance that people -- the police were dealing with in Ferguson.
But in the space of two days, you have two officers who have now been suspended from the force. And it just so happens that there were all these cameras there. And so this officer was caught on camera, you know, pushing around Don Lemon and the crowd, and another officer was caught on camera pointing his rifle at unarmed protesters, saying, "I'll f'ing kill you." It raises the question, what happens when there aren't a lot of cameras around.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It does raise that question. And I will tell you in the context of the shooting of Michael Brown and that investigation, what concerns me is that the St. Louis county police department took over that investigation so that the Ferguson county police department, they weren't investigating their own. But now, I suspect, the problem with the St. Louis county police department may -- what we're seeing may be emblematic of what is going on there.
COOPER: Let me just speak. At least the St. Louis county police department has a greater percentage -- has a greater effort at diversity. When I talked to the mayor of Ferguson last night, he said, there's no racial divide in Ferguson, their police force has 50 white officers and three African-Americans for a community that's 60 to 70 percent African-American.
HOSTIN: Well, that's remarkable in and of itself that the mayor would say anything like that, it's almost as if he's operating with blinders on. But I do think, Anderson, that, it's going to be very problematic with the community, the African-American community, because now we thought we were seeing this transparent investigation, right? There's a different police force investigating the shooting.
Now, I think people are thinking, well, this police force is really troubled. And so maybe we'll see the justice department looking into it, maybe we'll see a police monitor, but I suspect, at this point, shouldn't we be seeing a special prosecutor --
COOPER: Mark Geragos, this police officer, you know, I'm playing as devil's advocate here, he wasn't on duty, he was off-duty in his spare time, and if this is the way he thinks, and you know, I mean, so be it? MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I was going to play devil's
advocate. I mean, the way he thinks and what he was saying is not that different than a lot of people that I hear or talk to in various crowds who think that nobody is either taping them or that they're not going to be under the spotlight --
COOPER: So do you think this is just political correctness, given the sensitivity right now --
GERAGOS: Yes, I think it is probably a degree of political correctness. I don't think for a second that this guy believes, go shoot yourself, if he does, then he's psychologically deranged. But I could -- I could be wrong about that. But I don't think that there's -- you know, there's a lot of people -- he kind of was starting to refer to -- what was his code word? It was kind of like, when you go in the inner city or you go in that urban year something like that, he was using some code. And that's just -- I hate to say it --
HOSTIN: But he's been on the force for 35 years, doesn't that tell you that perhaps on that police department force, there is that sort of culture that's been acceptable?
GERAGOS: That's --
COOPER: Well, Mark O'Mara, what do you think of this? What's your perspective?
MARK O'MARA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: A couple of things. And this might get me in trouble, so take it carefully. That officer -- and if that officer's perspective is emblematic of who he is, I think we should be more concerned about someone like him than what we know about Darren Wilson, so far. Because this officer, evidence and ongoing frustration with the process, anger with the process, and that's going to show up, I think, in the way he treats other people on the street.
We know that Darren Wilson killed somebody, but we don't know why, how, or what he's like before that. This guy is much more troubling to me, if he is a law enforcement officer that's going to be still on the street.
GERAGOS: I don't think that this guy is all that different from a lot of other officers. I think there's a lot of officers --
HOSTIN: Well, then that's very troubling, then.
GERAGOS: With his frustration, you know, that rant of his about domestic property damage. I've heard that!
HOSTIN: But it's racist, m misogynistic, homophobic. When you have someone like that licensed to carry a gun in his line of work, I got to tell you, I think it probably is emblematic of the police force. People must know that those are his views.
COOPER: He's also talking about the new world order, the coming of martial law.
GERAGOS: And it doesn't help that he's wearing that shirt.
HOSTIN: And he has been there for 35 years. I can't believe that he is this anomaly and no one else on the police force either knew, Anderson, that he had these views or shared those views.
O'MARA: The silver ling --
COOPER: Let's just -- Go ahead, Mark.
O'MARA: The silver lining, if there is one, is, you know, a mom used to say, brush your teeth and wear clean undergarments, you never know what's going to happen to you. And now the video explosion and the social media is now giving us the opportunity to expose people and their predilections like this. Because, Mark, you might say this is sort of an off-the-record conversation, but we know as defense attorneys that credibility, an attack of somebody's credibility is not just when they're on the job. If this is who he is off-record, we get to use it as a credibility attack on record.
GERAGOS: But clearly --
COOPER: I just want to play one other sound, from his kind of hour- long speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAIGE: I said, I'm going to go find illegal aliens and put them where my undocumented president lives at. So I flew to Africa, and right there -- and I went to our undocumented president's home. He was born in Kenya.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, I mean, beyond just being, you know, factually incorrect and stupid, it is odd to have a police officer -- I mean, I would not want the guy in my house giving me orders, I would not trust this guy with a gun in front of me.
HOSTIN: You certainly wouldn't be happy with him in my home. I've got to tell you, again, we can't really, Mark, I think just sort of say, well, this is how people talk, because I think it would inform his actions and perhaps inform the actions of other St. Louis county police officers.
GERAGOS: Where did I see, there's some percentage of Republican voters who still believe to this day that Obama is a -- was not born here.
HOSTIN: But they don't have guns working on the St. Louis county police department.
GERAGOS: But there's a disproportionate number of people who believe these things and are police officers.
COOPER: Let's take a quick break. We'll have more with Sunny and ma Mark Geragos and Mark O'Mara. Stick around. Coming up also, there have been demonstrators in Ferguson who support
Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown, and the online fund-raising for him has raised more money so far than the Michael Brown fund. A closer look at Wilson's supporters, next.
COOPER: Tonight, we're going to take a closer look, as we mention before the break, at who Darren Wilson is, as well as the people rallying behind him. You obviously don't see many in Ferguson itself, although you do see some.
Two nights ago, a pair of Wilson supporters got into a confrontation with the marchers, or perhaps we should say the marchers got in a confrontation with Wilson supporters. Police escorted them away. Displays like that are exceptions on the ground in Ferguson.
Elsewhere though, it is a different story, especially online, where a legal defense fund has now raised a six-figure amount in the officer's name. More tonight from Jason Carroll.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His very name has stirred unrest and has invoked words about injustice and police brutality.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike Brown!
CARROLL: But to others here in Ferguson, Officer Darren Wilson's name is synonymous with justice and has become a pro-police rallying cry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police have done nothing wrong and this was a rush to judgment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not going home, honey! It's my America too!
CARROLL: The man behind so much division here in Ferguson has yet to emerge following the shooting of Michael Brown. A Ferguson police source telling CNN officer Wilson received death threats following the shooting when all the unrest broke out.
The source also says Wilson left Ferguson last week, to an undisclosed location for his safety. And he is now on paid leave, pending the outcome of an investigation. Ferguson's police chief has spoken to Wilson several times since the shooting.
CHIEF THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE DEPARTMENT: He's very shaken about what happened that day and in the aftermath.
CARROLL: Has he said anything about his emotional state of mind?
JACKSON: We talked, but he, you know, he's hurting.
CARROLL: For those looking for more insight into Wilson or his actions the day he shot and killed Michael Brown, may have to wait. Wilson is not talking, has no spokesperson, and the 28-year-old has not confirmed who, if anyone, may be legally representing him. As for his record on the force --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great job there.
CARROLL: He's a six-year veteran with no disciplinary action.
JAKE SHEPHERD, OFFICER DARREN WILSON'S FRIEND: I'm just here to try to tell people that he's a good person.
CARROLL: Wilson's friend, Jake Shepherd, was one of the first to publicly defend him.
SHEPHERD: It makes me sad, you know? I'm obviously sad for the family of Michael Brown, but I'm sad for Darren and his family too. Every law enforcement officer dreads the time when they are forced to make that split-second decision, whether or not they have to take someone's life.
CARROLL: Shepherd says after his interview on CNN, Wilson sent him text messages. One reads, the support is really keeping me going during this stressful time. Just stay safe. I appreciate all you have done. Wilson then wrote the following about his situation, I can't go out.
And while Wilson remains in hiding, support for him continues to grow, online. A gofundme page has already raised more than $250,000.
Jason Carroll, CNN, Ferguson, Missouri.
COOPER: We are back with our CNN legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, Sunny Hostin, criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos, and George Zimmerman 's former attorney, Mark O'Mara.
Mark O'Mara, Wilson's supporters, as he said, have donated over $250,000 right now for this go fund me campaign. Certainly, there is a lot of resembles of the support that George Zimmerman, frankly, garnered after Trayvon Martin's death.
O'MARA: An enormous amount of similarities in the way, you know. First the story came out, particularly on behalf of the Brown family, and not as much of behalf of Zimmerman, and in my case, and certainly the officer in this case, but there is a lot of financial support out there. I think what people are realizing is, at the very least, there are two sides to the story. And like we said in Zimmerman, if there is so much we don't know yet, that the rush to judgment and the predisposition to hate one side or the other is inappropriate and it just leads to more emotions and less fact gathering.
COOPER: And Mark Geragos, I mean, to kind of echo Mark O'Mara's point, sides are drawn on this. People automatically go to their respective corners, they view it through a particular lens. And as Mark said, we don't know the forensic evidence, there have been a few eyewitnesses who have come forward, but there will be other witnesses out there presumably who will testify to the grand jury. And obviously, you know, Officer Wilson has supporters. Does it surprise you, though, that he hasn't spoken or that other people around him haven't spoken, other than this alleged friend who called into the radio show? Or is that a wise thing right now to lay low?
GERAGOS: I don't think it's unwise. I'm a little surprised more people haven't spoken on his behalf. And I think maybe there's some reticence to do that because of the situation there and because there's so much -- or there was so much violence, no one really wanted to incite any more of that. But I think he's got a constituency and he's got support and he's got -- depending on where and if this case is brought, he's got -- if it is brought, I think he's got a built-in base of support.
HOSTIN: You know, it's remarkable to me. He's raised over $200,000 and he has all these supporters. We haven't heard from him. We haven't seen a police incident report that hasn't been heavily redacted. And so, all of these people are jumping on the officer Wilson' bandwagon with what information? And I think, at this point, they're drawing the lines of support, why? And it begs the question, is it because the black victim in this case has somehow been portrayed now -- he's thugified (ph). Now he's a strong-arm rubber. Now all the witnesses, five in all that I've heard, that seem to be giving the same exact story, now are not credible because they may have criminal histories.
COOPER: By the way, you used the word "victim," so you are assuming that Mike Brown is a victim?
HOSTIN: Well, he is a victim of a shooting death, right, at this point? Whether or not his shooting was justified is really the question.
COOPER: I'm not arguing with you, I'm just pointing out that there are people who will say they believe Officer Wilson is the victim in this.
HOSTIN: But that's the thing, they're believing Officer Wilson, and we haven't really heard anything from him.
COOPER: Mark O'Mara, I want you to respond.
O'MARA: But Sunny, you simply can't suggest that the Wilsonites are rushing to judgment but the Brownites are not? Everybody is rushing to corners in that.
HOSTIN: I disagree with that.
O'MARA: The facts that are out there, very few as they are, as you as a prosecutor know full well, very little is truly out there. Everyone is running to their corners, maybe because they're Brown supporters, because they believe as a young black male, he was targeted. And then there are supporters for Wilson who are saying, he is being unjustly accused of an inappropriate shooting. And we believe a good officer is a good officer until proven differently. All we're saying is no one should be rushing for judgment and you
can't blame the Wilsonites for doing it and say the Brownites are OK because there are four witnesses there? What about the evidence shot to the cheek, what about no prior record, what about a member of the KKK? We all know as lawyers, rushing to judgment 12 or 13 days into a case does no good --
COOPER: But there is no forensic evidence, at this point. All we have --
HOSTIN: Well, there is forensic evidence. We just -- it hasn't been released yet.
COOPER: Right, we don't know it.
GERAGOS: Sunny, aren't you a little troubled by kind of the drumbeat for -- when people say, "we want justice," that means, we want an arrest or we want charging. And when you have the attorney flying out there and putting that kind of pressure on and this kind of thing, there is a drumbeat to arrest this guy.
COOPER: We've got to go. We're way over time. We know your point. Sunny, we'll talk to you again, Mark Geragos and Mark O'Mara as well.
Coming up next, taking on ISIS and possibly, possibly going into Syria to do it or at least bombing Syria. The White House signaling the option is definitely on the table. A team of experts on what that would look like when our extended coverage continues.
COOPER: We'll have more in Ferguson coming up in our next hour.
But the brazen murder of James Foley and the threat to kill the other three Americans now in ISIS captivity that we know about has not deter U.S. military action against the group in Iraq or apparently wherever the terror group may be. Several new air strikes today on ISIS targets in Iraq and from back home, a warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN RHODES, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We will do what's necessary to protect Americans and see that justice is done for what we saw with the barbaric killing of Jim Foley. So we're actively considering what's going to be necessary to deal with that threat, and we're not going to be restricted by borders. We've shown time and again that if there's a counterterrorism threat, we'll take direct action against that threat if necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, joining us now with more on what that may entail as well as the steps already taken against targets in Iraq, Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr.
So we've heard today, not restricted by borders. That sounds like a pretty clear signal that strikes on Syria, inside Syria, could be in the near future?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's very clear that they're heading step-by-step closer every day. So you begin to ask yourself the question, what would it take for the U.S. military to conduct air strikes inside Syria? They are going to need better intelligence, realtime intelligence, instant information about where ISIS targets may be. That means with no boots on the ground, you have got to either put aircraft or drones in the air to collect that intelligence, to fly over Syria, look down, and try and identify is targets. Plenty risky on its own, but it's the first step they are going to have to take before they do air strikes, Anderson.
COOPER: I mean, is this all about Jim Foley because the administration has been opposed for years to striking inside Syria. Is it the execution of Jim Foley that pushed things past the breaking point?
STARR: I think, clearly, you know, once you saw Ben Rhodes today call this the first ISIS terrorist attack on America, essentially, it became clear that there was both a humanitarian issue here for the Foleys, for the family, and also a political issue, that it was high time to get after the ISIS threat. So that certainly seems to be part of it.
But, you know, we'd heard for years that the U.S. military couldn't go into Syrian skies, that the Syrian government had massive air defenses, that U.S. aircraft faced too great a risk of being shot down by Syrian air defenses, their missiles being tracked by their radars. What it seems like now, one of the changes may be, they're going to go after ISIS targets. That's not downtown Damascus, it's not the heavily populated areas, a little more sparse, perhaps less of an air defense threat. At least that's the assessment they are making right now.
COOPER: Is there any plan in getting any European nations involve here? Because I mean, they kidnapped Western European even though they pay ransom?
STARR: Yes, from the Pentagon's point of view especially the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, he wants other countries involved in this.
What he has been saying is, air strikes, you know, the U.S. has learned the lesson, you cannot kill all the militants in the world with all the air strikes in the world. It just doesn't work that way. You have to kill the ideology.
And that is going to take a political effort by European countries, by countries in the region, who are going to have to band together and it's going to be a very long-term effort.
COOPER: All right, Barbara, thanks very much.
COOPER: Let's dig deeper now on the military counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism dimensions to all of this, the national security analyst and former Homeland Security adviser, Fran Townsend, and former CIA and FBI counterterrorism official, Philip Mudd.
Phil, let me ask you, you know, for those who are worried about mission creep, when President Obama sent 500 advisers into Iraq, we now have a situation where the 500 advisers were sent in, then the U.S. had to do air strikes in order to protect those advisers on the ground and protect fighters.
Then ISIS kills an American because of those air strikes and now the U.S. is talking about more air strikes or is doing more air strikes, but also talking about striking possibly within Syria.
Does this play into ISIS' hands? Is this exactly what they want by specifically and so dramatically killing an American like this? Is this exactly what they are hoping for?
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL CIA AND FBI: I think in some ways, it's the same thing that we faced in Afghanistan. That is, you have an adversary that's so proud of its accomplishments and so driven by its ideology that they want to appear on the world stage as our peer.
They want an attack because it elevates them in the eyes of people who might fund them, who might be recruits, but there's one critical point here. And one gap in this conversation, Anderson, that I don't understand. I'm scratching my head, as the former deputy director of counterterrorism at the CIA.
Let me take you inside the room for one minute. When your focus on counterinsurgency operations, things like taking out artillery on the border with Kurdistan, the slivers of insurgencies and terror groups that are training British and American kids to come back to New York or London, are much different than the elements of those groups that are fighting on the front lines of Kurdistan.
I would judge that the elements in ISIS that are training kids to come back to Europe and the United States are in Syria. Remember, we had that Florida suicide bomber. He was in Syria.
So I don't understand why we have this debate in the first place. If you want to take out the people we most worry about, you have to go across the border.
COOPER: Fran, do you agree?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. In fact, that problem that Phil describes gets worse when you begin to bomb in Iraq and you've created yourself, allowed to maintain a safe haven in Syria. They go there, they wait you out, and then they come back.
And so it makes no sense to simply have an air strike campaign in Iraq. You've got to attract the organization, you've got to attack them wherever they have their assets, their people, their military assets, their money, right? You've got to attack it in all places at the same time.
COOPER: But can you do this from the air, Phil? I mean, it doesn't seem like you're talking about a site where they're training handfuls of Western Europeans or Americans or whatever to possibly go back to their countries and plant bombs or do whatever. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a large site. It can be a, you
know, a building with some rooms in it and a couple of handfuls of people. So, is this, without intelligence on the ground, without human capabilities on the ground, can you really do this stuff from the air?
MUDD: Heck, sure you can do it from the air. We have evidence of this for years. And that is Pakistan. We had the Taliban. We had al Qaeda and Afghanistan. Al qaeda moved into Pakistan in the winter of 2002, embedded itself in '02, '03 in the travel areas of Pakistan.
The past 11 years, we've been locking and loading with drones and no boots on the ground in Pakistan. I guarantee I was listening to what Barbara Starr said. I guarantee already there are task forces at the Pentagon and CIA who already have targets sets in Syria and are watching through intelligence the flow of fighters coming across the border.
That target set exists already. The last thing I'd say, I'll bet you a paycheck that the decision to go in has already been made. They're just setting us up for it.
COOPER: Fran, do you think that as well? You've been in these rooms as well.
TOWNSEND: No, absolutely. And by the way, just because you may not have U.S. Boots on the ground or U.S. targeters on the ground, you've been working with your foreign intelligence committees. They've got sources on the ground.
You've been working with the Free Syrian Army. There are people on the ground that you can trust. You can train, and that can help you do the targeting from the air. Phil's absolutely right, we can do this, we've done it, and we've done it effectively.
COOPER: Does it have to be though the United States all by itself. I mean, Western Europe has plenty of citizens involved in this as well. I don't hear a lot of talk from them about, you know, striking out. They're busy paying ransoms.
TOWNSEND: You know, Anderson, we're already hearing from sources here in Washington that our Arab allies have been spoken to. They've all offered different kinds of support, some military, some intelligence, some weapons. Allies in Western Europe are being spoken to. So I think behind the scenes, what's going on right now is the very coalition you're talking about is getting built as we speak.
COOPER: All right. Fran Townsend, Phil Mudd, appreciate it, thanks.
Coming up next, remembering James Foley. My conversation with his brother, Michael, tonight.
COOPER: Well, we spoke before the break about the case for and the mechanics of escalating the battle against ISIS. The killing of American journalist, James Foley obviously a catalyst for some of that reassessment.
I want to focus now though on James Foley himself, on the kind of person he was, the kind of son he was, and the kind of brother. Earlier today I spoke at length to his brother, Michael, about all those things and all the things he'll miss.
COOPER: Michael, I'm so sorry for your loss and for what your family is going through. First of all, how are you all holding up?
MICHAEL FOLEY, JAMES FOLEY'S BROTHER: We've had our highs and our lows. You know, we've a large contingent of family, extended family here, which helps quite a bit. It's great seeing all my brothers and sisters, you know, my brother and sister are in town, which is very helpful.
COOPER: What do you want people to know about Jim? What kind of a guy was he?
FOLEY: Anderson, I don't want Jim to have died in vain and from the amount of support I've seen and interest, I certainly don't believe that will be the case. But I want people to remember Jim and his legacy, how he, you know, his fight for the less than privileged people.
For the poor, for his love of journalism and desire to bring light, to bring the story out from places in the world that wouldn't otherwise be heard. And Jim is really, really my hero. And I think he's a hero for many people and I really just hope that that legacy carries on.
COOPER: Is that really what compelled him? I mean, he came late to the world of journalism.
FOLEY: He did.
COOPER: He was 40 years old when he died. But to go to the places, repeatedly, that he went to, I mean, there are other forms of journalism one can do, but he really chose the most difficult path and the most dangerous path imaginable. Was it, for you, in his the description of it, it was always about trying to give a voice to those who didn't have a voice?
FOLEY: It was. And I didn't appreciate it, especially after we worked for 40 days to get him out of Libya, I didn't really appreciate it until he went back to Libya that second time. And I started to understand it. And someone -- you know, I've been asked this question a million times, why he's gone back. And someone shared with me the analogy, you know, why does a fireman go back into that burning fire? Because they believe, they believe in their core, that this is what they're meant to do.
And Jim came to it late in life, but it really merged his talents and his desires and I really think he brought a lot of skill to the profession in the short amount of time he was doing it.
COOPER: It also, I think, is important to point out that, again, you know, he wasn't sort of this young, foolhardy guy going off to wars. I mean, he had been out there a long time. He had been experienced, as you said. He had been taken captive in Libya. He knew how to operate on the ground. Did you talk to him about the dangers? Did he discuss those with you, and about his thoughts on it?
FOLEY: Yes, I mean, we knew. I mean, he had a lot of experience, you're right. He was embedded with some forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then, of course, Libya multiple times. Syria more than once. But, you know, anyone that's following what's going on in Syria knows there is no -- there's no blueprint for safety.
COOPER: I was reading after he got out of Libya the first time, "Global Post," I mean, he had a job stateside for a while --
FOLEY: He did.
COOPER: But it just didn't fit. He just insisted on going over.
FOLEY: Jim actually lived with us in Massachusetts and it was a time that we cherished, my two boys really, really looked up to Uncle Jim. The fun uncle with no rules. But, no, domestic life wasn't for him.
He had to get back and just following the coverage around the world, there's so much about my brother that I didn't know. You know, the stories of people in Phoenix who have grown up, who he was their teacher 20 years ago, and have grown up into the person they are.
And remember Jim and how he visited them and just all the stories that have come out, it really just underscores that this was his calling and -- go ahead.
COOPER: You mentioned your kids, I'm not sure how old they are, but how do you explain this to your kids?
FOLEY: Well, they're 7 and 4, so the 4-year-old, Matthew, or Matty, as Jim called him, is too young to understand, but you know, Michael, Michael's beginning to understand. We just told them straight.
My niece, Rory, who's also 7, was a little more emotionally intelligent, said her heart was broken when we spoke with her, and that just, that just sums it up. A 7-year-old says it straight, says it the best way possible.
All our hearts are broken, and it's really important to me that Jim's legacy carries on, and I do want to highlight the scholarship fund at Marquette University that his friends have put together for disadvantaged students who want to go into communications. If you would find a way to post a link for that, I'd appreciate it.
COOPER: We'll definitely post a link and I'll tweet out a link as well. Just today, the White House said that they did everything possible and I know you said you believe there was more the United States could have done to perhaps secure Jim's release. Can you expand on that a little bit? What more do you think could have been done?
FOLEY: Well, the United States, for a country as large as it is, has pretty limited resources, at least I can see, with respect to these situations and I think there's more that state in particular could have done.
And their hands are tied in many ways by the rigid policies that we tend to follow, but I think -- I know there's more that could have been done, you know, directly contacting those.
And it's hard to go into much more detail than that, Anderson, but I think you can understand the picture that I'm painting. Several of our European journalists were freed.
COOPER: And as "The New York Times" has reported, I mean, Western European nations pay large sums for their citizens. The United States does not do that. Is that, for you, something that U.S. should do, or do you think there are other -- there was a prisoner exchange for Bowe Bergdahl?
Do you -- when you talk about more being done, do you think the United States should be more in line with what Western Europe does, or do you think it should be some other form?
FOLEY: There's definitely an argument for that, but I think more to the point, the large nations need to be consistent. I think they need to work together.
COOPER: Right, because the fact that Western Europe is paying, that makes it all the more difficult for the United States not to. And if Western Europe was on the same page, then there would at least be an even playing field.
FOLEY: That's correct, that's correct. And that's really what it boils down to. I don't have all the answers, but I do think that a more cooperative approach -- there wasn't sharing of information. You wouldn't believe how difficult it was to get information from release journalists -- not from the journalists themselves, but from the nations, because of the ways we have these walls built.
And that's not what I want to emphasize here, Anderson, but it is unfortunate, and I hope, more to the point, that there's some urgency put in place for the others that there are. Not just in Syria, but around the world, to do what we can to release them.
COOPER: When you heard that the United States had started conducting air strikes against ISIS targets, for you and your family, that must have been a very personal worry. Did you believe then that that might end up affecting Jim's captivity? FOLEY: Absolutely. And then, of course, that pit in our stomachs was underscored by the e-mail we received from his captors. And hindsight's 20/20, but it was clearly too late at that point. You know, once the bombing started. We thought we made a lot of progress.
And I don't have -- I'm not going to speak out against it. I think there's a lot of utility in what's being done there. It's just horrible what ISIL is doing to the citizens over there and something needs to be done. I'm just not sure that, you know, containment and some of these strikes is enough.
COOPER: Yes, I was thinking about your family when I heard that they had received an e-mail, and I just can't imagine the horror of even seeing that e-mail pop up --
FOLEY: Have you read it?
COOPER: Yes, I have. I mean, but just seeing, you know, checking your e-mail one day and seeing an e-mail from the people who are holding your brother, your child. I mean, I kept thinking about your parents in that situation and your whole family and I just -- there's no question there, just the horror of it really struck home for me.
FOLEY: Horror -- horror is a good word. It's, it's like right out of a Hollywood movie, unfortunately. You're in it and I just know that I'm comforted by the fact that it was clear in the image, in the video that Jim didn't flinch.
He had the courage. I'm certain that he put himself in a position to be first in line and he wanted us to be strong. And that's the message he was sending without saying it. And, you know, I want that memory to live on. We all loved Jim.
And I know there are a lot of others that look up to him. And it's just the people from all over the world, all over the country, from all walks of life have reached out to us, and it really, really means a lot.
COOPER: And the words of others who were held captive with him, a French journalist who was with Jim, who said that he was a pillar of strength for everybody else, despite what was happening to him at the time. That's also got to give your family such strength and pride.
FOLEY: No, it does. No surprise, though, Anderson, I'll be honest with you, but it absolutely does. And I look forward to meeting some of them in person and understanding more. There was a letter that was memorized from one of them that really just talked about my boys and really, really was great, great to hear.
COOPER: So one of the other captives had actually memorized a letter from Jim to your family?
FOLEY: Right, that's right. Yes, none of Jim's letters got out, but he was nice enough to take the time and they did have time, to memorize the letter and it was pretty long, actually. It really means a lot to us. COOPER: Michael, again, I'm just -- I'm really just stunned and so sorry for your loss. And if there's anything we can do for you or your family, please let us know.
FOLEY: Helping to get this word out is enough, Anderson. Thank you for taking the time and helping to paint a picture of who Jim was. Thank you.
COOPER: Thank you, Mike.
COOPER: And if you would like to make a donation to the scholarship fund that's been set up in James Foley's memory, we're putting the link on our screen right now, also on our web page, and I tweeted it out earlier.
Just ahead, a Chinese fighter jet buzzes a U.S. Navy plane, details on that ahead.
COOPER: We're going to get the latest on the other stories we're following. Randi Kaye has the 360 bulletin -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the Defense Department says there was an aggressive encounter between a Chinese fighter jet and a U.S. Navy plane this week. A spokesman says the Chinese fighter jet made several passes at the Navy plane in the South China Sea, coming as close as 20 feet at one point. The White House calls it a provocation and says the United States has lodged an objection with the Chinese government.
The United States says a move by Russia to divert hundreds of trucks into Eastern Ukraine is a flagrant violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. NATO says there are questions about whether the so-called humanitarian convoy could actually be a mission to resupply armed separatists.
And researchers have discovered a 500 million-year-old fossil site at a national park in British Columbia. The CBC reports researches have already collected more than a thousand samples and identified more than 55 ancient animals. I guess if you're into fossils, pretty cool.
COOPER: That's great. Randi, thanks very much.
Still ahead in our second live hour, we'll talk to a correspondent who's witnessing Iraq come unglued.
Plus more of my interview with journalist, James Foley's brother. We talk in depth about Jim Foley's legacy as a journalist and also the kind of brother, son and uncle he was.
COOPER: Good evening and thanks for joining us for this live edition of 360. A lot happening around the country and the world. Major new development in the Ferguson drama. This police officer suspended after an racial, toxic rant surfaces.