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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
W.H. Orders 350 New U.S. Troops to Iraq; ISIS Claims Second American Killing; Obama Authorized Extra Security for Baghdad Embassy; CDC Issues Dire Ebola Warning; Second American Doctor Battling Ebola; N. Korea Allows Access to American Detainees; Kids at the Gun Range; U.S. Targets Al-Shabaab; Daughter: Joan Rivers on Life Support; CNN Mourns Loss of Photojournalist
Aired September 2, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us for the special extended edition of 360. Very busy night on the hour ahead.
President Obama is just order about 350 new troops into Iraq to help secured diplomatic facilities in Baghdad including the embassy. There's been another new air strike in ISIS in Iraq and a release of a new ISIS murder video claiming to show the killing of American journalist Steven Sotloff. Like the last one for featuring journalist James Foley shows a masked killer with a knife in an English ascent committing murder in Gods name, in the name of vengeance for American actions against ISIS.
That action included today's action in the battle for a strategic dam near Mosul, that is far from settled. Our coverage begin in this hour with Anna Coren who's in the Kurdish capital Erbil.
So the executioner in the video release today names three sites of U.S. airstrikes, what is the status of those sites? Who's in control of them at this point?
ANA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look its Kurdish forces and Iraqi forces that are in charge of those particular cities and townships that we're mentioned by the executioner in that Sotloff video.
Obviously, those U.S. airstrikes pretty cool to making that happen. Hundred and twenty-four today recording to U.S. central command, they're taking out enemy target artillery more to oppositions. They're stopping those large convoys Anderson, of vehicles crossing these open planes, which they had been able to do for the last couple of months.
So they're containing them. But in saying that Anderson, ISIS is digging in. We're up at Mosul Dam over the weekend and we were quite surprise that (inaudible) the Peshmerga the Kurdish forces have complete control of that critical piece of infrastructure.
The towns and villages around it are still under ISIS control and there was fierce fighting going on. We'd heard of them sustaining serious casualties. ISIS militants packing a truck filled with explosive, driving in into the front line. Many soldiers are killed.
This all happening with the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, you know, only a few miles away. So these are the problems that forces are certainly encountering on the battlefield Anderson.
COOPER: It's also important to point out Anna that is not just ISIS forces that they are working very closely in many cases with Sunni groups. And in some cases Sunnis who have had military experience working for Saddam's Regime, others who were just part or used to be linked up with the Al-Qaeda and they were kind of pealed away during the so called Sunni awakening in 2006-2007. Is there any sign of any kind of divisions between ISIS and their Sunni supporters because that's going to be critical down the road?
COREN: Yeah, it's fundamental. I mean, at the end of the day the United States conduct as many airstrikes as they like in Iraq but it is going to tight the Iraqis to fight their own fight and it will take those Sunni Arabs, those Sunni tribes who had allowed ISIS into those towns, into those cities, those major stronghold cities like Mosul to create (inaudible) to rise up and kick ISIS out.
Obviously, this then comes back to that political solution. Yet the Sunnis, there is no trust whatsoever with the Shias. And obviously Maliki is a Shia lead government. So there is no trust. There needs to be trust and obviously the Iraqi comment who designate has to form this inclusive government. The clock is ticking until and unlit 10th of September to come up with this government.
If he is able to make it inclusive, bring back the Sunni tribes into Iraq, into this government and perhaps we might say that uprising that is so very needed to kick ISIS out. It leads here in Iraq Anderson.
COOPER: That's a long battle indeed. Anna Coren, I appreciate it.
This latest tape really intensifies the heat on President Obama. He's been taking plenty from Republicans even in a few leading Democrats, including Senator Dianne Feinstein and Former Congresswoman Jane Harman both at California. The President traveling tonight first at Tallinn, Estonia and then to NATO Summit in Wales where the Russian threat the Ukraine. We'll top the agenda that the President leaving earlier.
Jim Acosta in Tallinn for us. He joins us from there.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the President did not answer any questions about this video that apparently shows the killing of Steven Sotloff, as the President was leaving the White House to depart Washington for his trip to Estonia and until Wales. But President -- we are told by White House, official was brief on this video before leaving Washington. At the same time we should point out a senior administration official says that right now the Intelligence Community is trying to authenticate, they (inaudible) reason to doubt the authenticity of it but they don't want to authenticate this video.
And they want to answer some basic questions. When was it shot? Where was it recorded? Is the person who apparently killed Steven Sotloff the same person who executed James Foley in that video that was really a few weeks ago? So some key questions that they want to answer.
But all of these comes Anderson, as the President is coming under some heavy criticism from both sides of Capitol Hill after the President made this comments of the White House last week that he doesn't have a strategy for dealing with ISIS in Syria.
You heard Dianne Feinstein, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee over the weekend saying that the President perhaps is being cautious when it comes to dealing with ISIS. And that brought about a response from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest who was ask about this at the briefing earlier today. He said the President does take a risk when it comes to using the military, in the said of the case of the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
All of these obviously is going to be asked to the President. He's having a news conference here with the leader of Estonia in just about 10 hours from now. Of course that will come up also, the comments from the President that he doesn't have a strategy for dealing with ISIS in Syria.
And really the reason why the President is coming to Eastern Europe and that is to reassure this Eastern European nations that are a part of NATO's smaller ones like Estonia that are becoming increasingly nervous about Russia's moves in Ukraine. They are wondering if there are next.
The President will be sending the message that Article IV of NATO which states that any nation that is a part of NATO that comes under attack will be defended by the other nations in NATO that that commitment were remain sacred. That is a message the President will be delivering out here as well. Anderson?
COOPER: All right. Jim, I appreciate it. Thanks.
This has been the worst time imagine and not just for the families of Steven Sotloff and James Foley but British captive David Haines who ISIS now threatens to kill.
Joining us now, someone who knows precisely what he's going through right now, Investigative Reporter David Rohde, who was held captive by the Taliban for seven months in Afghanistan before he was actually able to escape.
I mean, here we are two weeks later from the killing of Jim Foley and yet again face for the death of American. It's horrific.
DAVID ROHDE: KIDNAPPED BY THE TALIBAN, HELD FOR SEVEN MONTHS: It is horrible. It's a murder. That's right what called it. And to be blunt I think we're going to see more of this. This is clearly a tactic that in their perverse world, you know, ISIS thinks is working.
COOPER: Working as a way to gain money? As a way to get recruits? ROHDE: They make it recruits. And, you know, this is a relatively small group but most they've got 17,000 fighters, there is this young alienated people from Europe, you know, potentially this British person who's now,...
ROHDE: ... you know, executed -- murdered two people publicly. Maybe they're going to be drawn to that. They are rational in the sense of they do these things. They released these videos for some purpose.
And I'm, you know, I do think though that this going to backfire in the long-term. I honestly think most people in the region are disgusted by it. And this kind of actions will turn the population against them.
COOPER: The fact now, they're showing a British man as perhaps the next to be executed. I mean, already we've seen a big reaction in Great Britain, a reassessment of how they are dealing with this threat and raising of the threat level. Do we -- is it known publicly and how many people ISIS has?
ROHDE: It's not clear. A lot of families don't want, you know, publicity about this. There have been reports that there are at least two more Americans being held. There maybe more British as well.
And this is, you know, as we talked about earlier, is the Islamic State a threat to United States? Isn't a threat to Britain that, you know, over the weekend that incident with the security levels sort of brought that home? And it is, you know, what the President says in the next few days, you know, it's a big moment for him. There was been a gap about no strategy. You know, how is he going to respond to this?
COOPER: It also -- again, you know, we keep coming back to the need to be on the same page for Western European Nations, for the United States, whatever the policy is to be on the same page and acting in concert whether it's the military action or even on how you deal with demands for payments.
ROHDE: Whether you're -- yes, it's Vladimir Putin in Ukraine or the Islamic State. You know, we have a huge gulf with Continental Europe. Again, you know, Jim Foley, Steve Sotloff, these young men should not die in vain.
The administration should at least privately and also publicly be pressuring European governments. Why were the French and Spanish and the Danish hostage held by the Islamic State freed? They were freed because ransoms were paid. The current approach is not working. It's not protecting Americans and it's not determining the kidnappers, it's getting them lots of publicity or lots of money.
COOPER: And -- I mean, I haven't watch this video because I just think it's -- at a certain point, I mean we know what they're like but I don't believe in showing these videos and, you know, a lot of place can seem to have kind of run them like wallpaper and that you just -- to me it feed into exactly what ISIS wants, which is they want that. I mean, they've put a lot of thought into this darkness of the image.
It's not a coincidence that, I mean, that the guy all in black. The person who is going to be murdered is, you know, in orange. It's a very stark background. I mean, they put a lot of thought into how everything looks.
ROHDE: And again, I don't know. I wasn't told the Syria and I, this is, you know, a different case. But when I was held by the Taliban they really believe that terror would work, that the west was weak, that we all fear death where they embrace death and we were sort of, you know, would quickly cave in if they just sort of killed enough of us.
Again, I think this is going to back fire -- the President has a little more, you know, room to maneuver now, the strikes are clearly having an impact in Iraq.
But, you know, those images are very clearly thought out and they are very chilling and it's just horrific again that we're here.
COOPER: David Rohde, I appreciate you've been here with us. Thank you.
Already tonight more on the man and the worst jeopardy, tonight burdens David Haines. We'll talk about him ahead.
COOPER: Again the breaking news, President Obama is sending about 350 more troops to Baghdad to help secure embassy and other diplomatic facilities. Also a new strike in a number of 124 targeting ISIS and of course the video that talked about featuring murder and just like the last one it close with a fresh threat, this time a threat to kill the next captive British aide worker David Haines.
The latest on his story, what we know about him and his family. We're joined now by Brian Todd. So Brian, what do we know?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESONDENT: Well Anderson at the end of that ISIS video of Steven Sotloff's murder, the militant makes a very similar threat to the one they issued in the James Foley video a couple of weeks ago. He threatens the life of British captive who you mentioned. The video identifies him as David Cawthorne Haines. Here is what the militant says in that section of the video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll take this opportunity to warn those governments who have entered this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State to back off and leave our people alone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: There's not a lot of information available on the man they identified as David Haines. Now, according to the Washington Post, he's an aide worker and was kidnapped in March 2013 near the Atmeh refugee camp. That's quite along Syria's Northern border with Turkey.
The Washington Post sites information from aide workers who have been trying to secure Haines' release. We've not been able to get additional information or really any comment at all from British officials about this man.
Now, on the statement by that militant, it strongly suggests a warning to the government of British Prime Minister David Cameron. The British are of course making humanitarian drops in Iraq sending weapons to the Kurds, Anderson. A lot more pressure now on David Cameron.
COOPER: And David Cameron just today makes very strong statements about battling extreme as both extremist, both in United Kingdom and that was before the news of Sotloff's killing.
TODD: That's absolutely right. Cameron wants to confiscate passports. He wants to ban suspects from boarding planes before they live this country.
Now it's estimated that about 500 British citizens are fighting with ISIS and other groups in Syria and Iraq then the militant in this video was thought to be British.
Our analyst Paul Crookshank says the reference to a British citizen in this latest video, David Haines, that puts added pressure on Cameron and he says these videos as horrible as they are, it actually helped ISIS with its message.
On the one hand Paul Crookshank says, this is playing out all over the U.S. as people come back from the Labor Day weekend. It's all over the media Anderson. Crookshank also says that was deliberant on the part of ISIS. He says, it's also working for them because it's energizing their supporters.
It's showing that they're fighting back against the United States during these airstrikes that really energizes Jihadist all over the world to maybe come and join them.
COOPER: There's also a new account from the man who claims who have been held by ISIS of what his captivity was right.
TODD: Fascinating account Anderson. This man's name is Bunyamin Aygun. He is a photographer for the Turkish newspaper called the Milliyet. He told the paper and an Arabic newsletter Al-monitor that he was held for 40 days by ISIS last winter. That's a picture of him as you there.
Now according to those publications, Aygun says he was hooded and blindfold of the entire time. He said fighters in black tunics would interrogate him everyday asking questions like, do you drink? Who are the women on your Facebook page? Who are you working for? He said quote, "All they did all day was fight and pray." But he described his captors as young and educated, who had a mastery of interrogative techniques.
CNN has not been able to independently verify that account, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Brian, I appreciate it. Thanks.
More now on what's become a multidimensional problem for the administration which runs that (inaudible) from British sounding terrorism video to British allies, to homegrown recruits, to strange alliances on the ground and skeptics back home.
Here to talk about it all, CNN National Security Analyst and former White House Homeland Security Advisor France Townsend and Quartz Managing Editor, Bobby Ghosh.
Bobby, you believe that the U.S. is going to have to come up with something very soon in order -- because the pressure just is growing now with the second video.
BOBBY GHOSH, MANAGING EDITOR, QUARTZ: On the President definitely and there is pressure growing on everybody as well. This is -- we are now very acutely aware of the threat to us, to the United States. But countries in the neighborhood and Europe have been acutely aware of the threat of them, perhaps coming before us and they've been aware for a while.
And so, I suspect that on his trip to Europe in addition to hearing about Russia and Ukraine, the President is going to hear quite a lot about, what question will be ask, what should we be doing about ISIS and what leadership is the United States willing to show.
COOPER: You know, Frances there are -- you got a lot of tweets from people saying, "Look, why is the U.S. has to be the world's policemen on this?" You know, regional countries have this much to fear, have more to fear from ISIS, Western Europe as well, why isn't there are more of a coordinated multinational response?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think what you see now is Secretary of State Kerry is trying to build that international correlation. I think the President's trip to NATO is a part of that building the International coalition.
I will tell you the regional allies are Arab allies have been incredibly frustrated with the administration for not taking action sooner. They are closer.
The Sunnis arrested some five or six dozen ISIS affiliated, you know, member and synthesizers and they do feel acutely the threat of ISIS and that's spreading. And I think what you're seeing now with Prime Minister Cameron, are Western European allies believed they're next.
If the first sense of the bleed out from the foreign fighters in Syria are likely to be in Western Europe, either against their targets or against American targets overseas. Remember you also have the G8 coming up in Wales. And so, you know, the British remember the 77 bombing which was on the margins of the international meeting.
And so I think that the pressure really is building. And so there is a sense that action is going to have to be taken but it's going to part of a broader coalition.
COOPER: Bobby you -- I mean, you covered Iraq longer than anybody out there. Again, there's a lot of (inaudible) now, there are still. And people say, look this is -- we've seen this playbook before. There's this drumbeat for military action. Now, there's mission creep being at 500 advisors going then there had to be bombings so we're going to protect those advisors in Peshmerga forces. Now you have more, a personnel on the ground. Now we're talking about bombing in Syria.
What do you say to those people? We say, "Look, there's always going to -- given the nature of the world say, "There's always going to be some group that hates the west, whether it was Al-Qaeda or Al-Qaeda in Iraq or in Arabian Peninsula and now it's ISIS. No matter what there is always going to be some group like this that has tries to install fear on us.
GHOSH: Well if there's always going to be some group like this then god help us. We're always going to be fighting because if we don't then they'll bring the fight to us if we don't take it off them. The point worth mentioning and it's gotten a little lost over the last couple of days is that there actually has been some progressive. It's very small and perhaps we're touching in straws (ph) but that's what we have at the moment.
The rescue of that small Iraqi town in Amerli, which is about 100 miles from Baghdad, by Iraqi forces and Shia militias with American air support, that's a small piece of good news. The taking of the Mosul dam back from ISIS, again American cover but Iraqi boots on the ground and Kurdish boots on the ground. That's a formula for how we're going -- this is going to have to be fought.
The fact that ISIS was pushed out of these two places, it begins to turn the narrative. So far ISIS has been these inexorable forces, irresistible force and the momentum have been entirely on their side and a myth has been growing in the region that they are unstoppable. Well, no, they are stoppable and they can be stop by Iraqis, by Kurds with outside help.
That's the beginnings of the possibility that we can change the narrative. Now, you need to build momentum of our own and that's going to be the challenge for the president as well as for the Iraqis.
COOPER: We also saw this Fran, with Al-Qaeda in Iraq which, you know, seemed unstoppable for a time and then as their violent tactics, you know, it begins to turn off Iraqis, Sunnis who have been supporting them. The U.S. had a very clever program to pay those Sunni groups, to have the Sunni awakening. There was the surge.
Is this something where you think that given time and right now they seemed to have a momentum as Bobby was saying but a given time, that momentum can be stop?
TOWNSEND: I do think. Look, we saw the momentum shift in Iraq with the surge, right? And so I think look, there is certainly the short- term momentum is on the side of ISIS right now because we're not really on the field. There has been some limited bombing in Iraq but there's no -- as the president said, strategy.
Now, I think what you do need is sort of an international coalition and that's not just money and rhetoric. You need a real international coalition. You need all instruments of national power. They should not be solely a military operation. It requires diplomacy. It requires economic sanctions. I mean this is a well-armed, well finance propaganda...
COOEPR: Do you see U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq in there?
TOWNSEND: Look, what I would hope you'd see are more military advisors and trainers. And so I think you need them to work with the Peshmerga, the Iraqi forces. As Bobby says, we've seen some success when we partnered with the Iraqi military. We have seen some success. And I think that's the recipe but that's going to be part of a larger strategy. This shouldn't just be a military operation all alone...
COOPER: And (inaudible) the United States.
TOWNSEND: That's right.
GHOSH: (inaudible), there's going to be another surge, the big difference. This has got to be an Iraqi surge. We've shown how it can be done. We can help them make this happen both with airpower but also with making those connections to the Sunni tribes that we've had because of our institutional memories...
COOPER: I mean, Iraqi surge.
GHOSH: ... but it has to be in Iraqi...
COOPER: There got to be Iraqi generals who can lead their troops, right?
GHOSH: And the Iraqi -- if the tribes are going to have to be bought off again in the way that we did before, it's the Iraqi government that's going to have buy them off, not the American.
COOPER: When -- which Maliki stopped doing after the U.S.
GHOSH: That's right and hopefully the new prime minister...
TOWNSEND: But Anderson, I would say, this can't just be an Iraqi operation because if you do that and you push ISIS into Syria where they enjoy safe haven, so you've got to have a broader strategy that includes the safe haven in theory.
COOPER: Fran Townsend, Bobby Ghosh, thank you so much. A lot more in this hour ahead, a dire warning about the out of control Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the same missionary group that a two missionaries fall sick with Ebola and now they say another American doctor there has gotten sick. A U.S. official says, time is running out to get the epidemic under control. And we'll also have more in the American doctor now battling the virus, we just learned about that statement in Liberia. Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is going to have the latest ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Dire warning today about the Ebola outbreak, it's become a full pledge epidemic in West Africa. The head of CDC said that time is running out to get it under control.
(BEDGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: There is a window of opportunity to temp this down but that window is closing. We know how to stop Ebola. The challenge is to scale it up to the massive levels needed to stop this outbreak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And the WHO has warned that as many as 20,000 people could become infected before the outbreak is contained, more than 3,000 have already been sick and more than half of those have died.
Dr. Kent Brantly barely beat the odds. He's the American physician who was airlifted back to America for treatment after contracting Ebola on Liberia. He was on NBC news tonight describing how close he came to death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENT BRANTLY, EBOLA VIRUS SURVIVOR: I don't think they ever said, "Kent, I think you're about to die." But I felt like I was about to die and I said to the nurse who was taking care of me, "I'm sick. I have no reserve and I don't know how long I can keep this up." Yeah, I thought I'm not going to be able to continue breathing this way and they had no way to breath for me if I'd quite breathing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And now, another American missionary doctor working in Liberia, friend of Dr. Brantly. As it turns out, has been diagnosed with Ebola. Earlier, I spoke with Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay, this other American doctor infected. He wasn't actually even treating Ebola patients.
SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. So this is a little bit of a mystery. Exactly, how did he contact this? What we know is he was working for the same organization where Dr. Brantly was working, so they came underneath that same umbrella. But as you've mentioned, he was actually working on the obstetrics ward for with pregnant women, not in this isolation where taking care of Ebola patients.
So as soon as he got sick, soon as he started to have symptoms, he isolated himself. It sounds like he's doing pretty well. But yes, how exactly did he get it? They're going to have a little press meeting tomorrow about this. Maybe they'll shed some more light on it. Hopefully they will because that's going to be a very important question to answer, Anderson.
COOPER: Some very tough words also from the director of the CDC that we just heard. I mean the message certainly seems to be that things are only going to get worst, at least for the near term.
GUPTA: You know, Anderson, there is hardly been any details that have been given about what the plan is. We've heard that -- and I heard Dr. Frieden's comment today, they echoed almost exactly what he said a month ago in front of congress, you know, and during his congressional testimony. They need more resource. They need more technical expertise. They need a more unified approach. You know, I don't know what that means frankly and I think that, you know, some of the specific now are really, really important.
What is a global unified approach really mean? And, you know, unless we have those specifics, I think it's harder to understand how this is going to be contained ultimately.
COOPER: There's also cases of, you know, nurses now going on strike because they're not been paid well. They don't have enough protective gear and the fact that we're well into this outbreak and there's still places where protective gear is an issue. I mean was this just underestimated this outbreak?
GUPTA: You know, I was there on April, just a couple of weeks after the first patient was officially diagnose and even during the time that I was there, the case numbers triple. You have the World Health Organization on the ground. You have MSF, doctors about borders on the ground. The CDC was on the ground. There were -- The Health Ministries of various countries were engaged. They saw the same thing as everybody else did.
Why we say now, so many months later that this is officially out of control? Call it underestimating, call it, you know, whatever you want but the fact that there's still no details, the fact that every time we hear from an official it just as things are getting worst. We know how to control this but things are getting worst. You know, at some point, I think it's really important for the details to emerge, what exactly is happening on the ground and what this is going to look like. Because look, just the public relations campaign alone is becoming very concerning.
You know, I think its worrying people to hear almost two separate things. We're going to contain this. It's going to have (inaudible) worst and out of control.
COOPER: You and I talked last week with Dr. Anthony Fauci. They're starting clinical trials of an experimental Ebola vaccine and that's going to start this week. That's at least a little bit of good news, not that it's initially going to help people in this outbreak.
GUPTA: Yeah. Right. It's going to take some time for this to go through the scientific process. By the end of the year it will take just to determine if this needs safety standards. After that, you got to go through a larger trial, more people in several counties to determine if this is in fact effective. It won't be available for this outbreak as what we keep hearing and there's good news and bad news in there. The good news is that also means that hopefully the outbreak will be over by the time a vaccine like this is ready. The bad news is that the vaccine is not going to be part of the strategy. But I will say Anderson, again, you and I traveled through some of these places in Central Western Africa, some of them are remote areas, even if you have the perfect med or the perfect vaccine, figuring out who needs it, figuring out how to get it to them. That's a huge obstacle as well Anderson.
COOPER: Well -- I mean, I was just in Congo two or three weeks ago and there's another outbreak there of a whole different strain. Again, just incredibly constrain. Sanjay, thanks very much, I appreciate it.
GUPTA: I got it. Thank you.
COOPER: Well just ahead tonight, the mystery surrounding Matthew Miller, the youngest of the three American detained in North Korea. What we're learning about him and what we still don't know.
COOPER: As we're reporting last hour, CNN's Will Ripley was able to interview the three American citizens being held now in North Korea, Jeffrey Fowle, Kenneth Bae, and Matthew Miller. North Korean officials arranged the surprise I meeting in yesterday in Pyongyang. Will interviewed each detainee separately. Now, here's what the youngest American detainee, 24 year old Matthew Miller told Will.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What's your message to your family?
MATTHEW MILLER, AMERICAN HELD IN N.KOREA: I've had the opportunity to phone call them so I've already spoken to them.
RIPLEY: What's the bottom line about your situation here and your message that you want to put out?
MILLER: That my situation is very urgent, that very soon I'm going to trial and I would directly be sent to prison. I think this interview is my final chance to push the American government into helping me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The circumstances of Matthew Miller's arrest, they're murky to stay at the list. He was detained in April for what North Korea calls rushed behavior. He was accused of tearing up his tourist visa and seeking asylum in North Korea. Kyung Lah reports now from Miller's hometown, Bakersfield, California.
So there's not -- We don't know a lot about this guy. What were you able to find out?
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, from all indications Anderson, he had a very average of bringing here in Bakersfield, California. Neighbors say that they watched him playing with the kids on the street. He comes from a stable home. He has several older brothers. He seemed like your average kid. He graduated from Bakersfield high school but people who graduated with him, well we spoke to two of them from 2008 say, they barely remember him.
He was that quite. One surprising thing is that a neighbor says they don't know where the accent came from. He may have detected that accent. He didn't have it here growing up in California. And another neighbor says, that knowing that he's from this town it makes that interview especially difficult to watch. Here is what she told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CIP)
LAH: What do you think watching that video?
JANET HART, MILLER'S NEIGHBOR: My heart just goes out for him and the whole family too. I just raise my heart. It's just real hard. It's got to be hard on the family too. I can't imagine being in that situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: And the entire of neighborhood saying that they hope they are somehow able to bring him home safely, Anderson.
COOPER: Has Miller family spoken at all?
LAH: This is the unusual part because what we've seen in other previous cases when people, Americans specifically, had been held of a DPRK, the families want to talk. Well in this case, the Millers absolutely do not want to talk. Here's what we've found when we arrived at their door. They have a bright pink sign post that's saying press, "We have no comment."
And beyond that Anderson, they've reached out to anyone who may have been a close friend. We've tried to reach teachers. We've tried to talk to people who are his direct neighbors and they've all been instructed by the family specifically to not speak to reporters, Anderson.
COOPER: And were you able to clarify exactly why his being held or why he was in North Korea?
LAH: Well, Miller Specifically said that because he hasn't gone to trial he doesn't know the exact nature of the charges but we did speak with Uri Tours, they are the tour company that arranged his tour into North Korea. They are U.S. based. And the tour company says that they believe that he was being -- that they were using -- he was using the tour company to try to seek asylum.
They had now idea that he was going to tear up his Visa. They release a new statement to CNN, here's what it says. It says, "We do not have any understanding of why he ripped his Visa. While we do our best to vet each participant who joins a tour, it is not possible for us to know each person's motivations for traveling to the DPRK." The tour company says in the future now they're going to try to vet people even more carefully. As for questions, trying to get secondary verification as far as his mental state, though, they don't know Anderson. His motivations tonight remain a mystery, Anderson.
COOPER: Very strange. Kyung Lah, I appreciate it, thanks. So a lot of questions tonight about why North Korea decided the let the three American detainees talk to reporters yesterday, talk to Will Ripley.
Joining me now, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson. I appreciate you being with us Ambassador. You say this whole thing is basically North Korea sending signals that they're ready to deal and that this three Americans are bargaining chips. That's how they do it?
BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: That's how they do it. It seems that the young leader Kim Jong Un who we know very little about. His negotiating tactics is now reverting to what his father used to do when he held detainees and American prisoners. They draw them out, they pressure them to admit that they were guilty, that they're being well treated, pleading to the American government to send an envoy to bring them back. But yeah, I believe what the North Koreans have concluded is they have this three Americans, their utility politically is probably ended.
They want something in return, the North Koreans want to dialog with us. The impasse Anderson, is that what we're saying the North Koreans, "Look, we're ready to talk to you but you've got to take some concrete steps towards denuclearization. Stop sending those missiles out. Stop detonating nuclear weapons. Behave responsibly." So that's the impasse right now.
COOPER: Two of the man asked for U.S. envoy to be send, Washington independently, I mean, they have tried to send their envoy for North Korean Human Rights issues with little success, is it the North Koreans want a bigger name, someone like you or former President Bill Clinton? Is that, I mean, what do you think?
RICHARDSON: No. I think what the North Koreans want this time is they don't want a Clinton, or myself, or somebody that's outside of the government. If your listen to Kenneth Bae, the hostage was been there over two years, U.S. government envoy, they want somebody in the State Department, in the White House, an official spokesperson that can negotiate with them, that can listen to their concerns.
Now, what we're saying is as I said before is, "Look, we're ready to talk to you but first release the Americans and take some responsible steps instead of like continuing the possibly a forth nuclear test."
COOPER: I've heard some U.S. officials they're talking about the current policy to North Korea as one of strategic patience based on isolating North Korea, not offering any kind of rewards for bad behavior, which certainly makes any effort to get these Americans back or the more difficult.
RICHARDSON: Well that's right. And I think what needs to happen is the Six-Party countries, South Korea, the United States, Japan, Russia, China, specially China that has leverage over North Korea, need to say to the North Koreans, "Look, release these three individuals."
They are hurting their pawns, their bargaining chips, and then perhaps convene the Six-Party talks. Find a way to get the main objective which is to get North Korea to stop their nuclear efforts to disrupt that part of Asia. That's really the objective.
COOPER: You alluded to this before but it's really fascinating that we still don't know a lot about Kim Jung Un.
RICHARDSON: No we don't but what is encouraging if there's anything encouraging about what what's happening is that now his reverting to what his father used to...
COOPER: To know a play book.
RICHARDSON: Basically yeah. Here the hostages is a bargaining chip, we want an envoy. Basically saying we're ready to deal which is not the case with Kim Jong Un for a while, you know, he was inviting Dennis Rodman, he had basketball tournaments. But the fact that they grabbed your journalist, who was on another assignment and said, "Look, you're going to have some very exclusive interviews." And then allowing the interviews to take place where those specific messages that were given to the hostages.
That's what happened. That's what's unusual, reverting to old tactics of the father. And the good news is that they're ready to deal, that's what seems to be the message.
COOPER: And that's Bill Richardson. Great to have you on, thank you sir.
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next. A nine year old girl accidentally shoots and kills her gun instructor. You probably saw this story. A lot of people are still talking about it. But tonight, a look at the big market for little kids at shooting ranges. We'll tell you how common this actually is in this country. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Tonight, we have new details of the nine year old girl who was caught on camera when she accidentally shot and killed her gun instructor at an Arizona shooting range. The Sheriff's incident report was released today. It shows the girl told her mother the UZI submachine gun was too much for her and hurt her shoulder. Also today is several 911 calls were released, here are some of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He got shot in the head?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hang on. (Inaudible)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is he shot?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right in the head, dude.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's shot in the head?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think he's going to make it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep breathing brother. Keep breathing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he able to speak to you at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep breathing brother. Keep breathing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The helicopter is on its way. I'm on the phone with the EMS right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes ma'am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he still able to speak to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. He's completely unconscious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The gun instructor is 39 year old Charles Vacca, an army vet who served in Iraq. He later died. There's no word on how the nine year old girl is doing. An attorney for the family said they're devastated by the accident. That turned in well what was supposed to be a unique and brief excursion from their summer vacation until tragedy.
We decided to take a closer look at these gun lessons for kids. They are more common than you may think. Gary Tuchman reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONTENT: Sidney (ph) is the big sister, age eight, a third grader, she likes painting by numbers in ballet. Abbe (ph) is the little sister, she's five and kindergarten, she likes to sing and play dress up. What both sisters like in common are guns. They like to shoot. The sisters are firing 22 caliber semiautomatic riffles and being instructed by their father at the Okeechobee Shooting Sports Range in Okeechobee, Florida.
But the facility owner Jeff Wait says there is no state at minimum age to fire a gun.
For some children in pre-schools old enough, if they're mature enough if you're saying?
JEFF WAIT, OKEECHOBEE SHOOTING SPORTS: We've had, you know, four and five year olds shoot here that do better than some adults.
TUCHMAN: Kindergartner Abbe is a veteran marksman. She's been shooting since she was three.
JASON REYNOLDS, FATHER: So when we get ready we're going to put the magazine in and you're going to pull the trigger OK? Only when what? You're ready to shoot.
TUCHMAN: The girl's father Jason Reynolds says he always repeat safety procedures and always keeps his hands on the weapon.
REYNOLDS: Can you see through the scope OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
REYNOLDS: All right, I'm going to take it off to safety. We're ready to go when you are. Nice shooting.
TUCHMAN: Big sister Sidney has been shooting for more than half her life, also since she was three.
REYNOLDS: Good shooting.
TUCHMAN: Jason Reynolds says his daughters have already gone hunting with him. He feels the younger they learn about shooting, the safer they will be.
REYNOLDS: I do believe the second amendment is a right for people of all age as all the amendment are.
TUCHMAN: So even small children?
REYNOLDS: Even small children. There's no age start on the amendment. They should all have this amends applied with them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we're going to take the bullet, so we're going to put them and they go, right? And when you're big enough you'll be able to do that yourself.
TUCHMAN: Lorenzo Farrugia is seven. He just started second grade. His mother brought him here to be taught by a professional instructor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we're ready and you're lined up you put your finger in the trigger and you squeeze. Go gently and real slowly. That's a good hit. That's a good hit.
MEGAN FARRUGIA, MOTHER: My husband and I both shoot and so there are firearms in the house. And we want him to know how to be safe with them.
TUCHMAN: Anybody who shoots has a lot to remember. You always have to be concentrating. But what happens when you detect a child losing interest while he or she is shooting. WAIT: Children do have a shortened tension spans. They may be gun ho about it the whole way there and by the time they started shooting they might be thinking about race cars or Barbie dolls and you just simply stop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a good hit.
TUCHMAN: Overall, though, you don't think there's anything inherently dangerous with a child as young as four or five shooting a gun?
WAIT: It's only as dangerous as a person that's doing it with them.
TUCHMAN: What if you see a gun lying somewhere else, what are you supposed to do?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALES: Stop. Don't touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.
TUCHMAN: Tell me that again?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop. Don't touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.
TUCHMAN: Education and training, stated priorities, at this place where guns are not only for adults.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go.
TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN Okeechobee, Florida.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Up next. An update on Comedian Joan Rivers hospitalized last week after going to cardiac arrest during outpatient throat surgery. What her daughter is now saying when we continue.
COOPER: A lot more happening tonight, Susan Hendricks is at 360 Bulletin. Susan?
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson U.S. airstrike in Somalia targeting the terror group Al-Shabaab. A Pentagon Spokesman said they believe they hit what they were aiming at but there is no confirmation, the leader of Al-Shabaab is dead.
An update now, Joan Rivers' daughter Melissa Rivers, confirms the 81 year old comedian remains on life support and thanks all of her fans for their support. Joan Rivers was rushed to a New York hospital last Thursday after she stopped breathing during throat surgery at an outpatient clinic.
And tonight, we remember CNN photojournalist Sarmad Qaseera, a long time member of CNN Baghdad Bureau died suddenly on Monday in Atlanta. Mr. Sarmad fled Iraq eight years ago after death threat. CNN Correspondent Michael Holmes wrote a moving tribute to Sarmad on CNN.com.
He says this, "Sarmad was unflappable committed to the job and yet at the same time a guff ball who could provide endless laughter when it was least expected and most needed." Sarmad Qaseera was 42 years old and Anderson everyone I spoke to here who had worked with him said he was really just an amazing man and always fun and great to work with professional but always light hearted, and they're devastated.
COOPER: Yeah, incredibly dedicated and their thoughts are obviously with his family and his friends. Susan thanks very much. That does it for this two hour edition of 360. Thanks for watching. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.