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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Ravens Coach on Firing Ray Rice; Another NBA Owner Wrong On Race?; Terrorist In ISIS Execution Video Identified?; Virus Sickens Hundreds of U.S. Children
Aired September 8, 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 ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks very much for joining us.
The original images were shocking enough. Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice dragging the unconscious body of his fiancee from an elevator at the Atlantic City Casino. A fiancee he beat into unconsciousness. The second shock, no jail time and just a two-game suspension from the league. Tonight, though, that suspense is now indefinitely. His employment with the Ravens terminated. And here is the reason why.
You can now see the entire scene including from inside that elevator of the moment that Ray Rice battered the woman who would later become his wife. Raw domestic violence caught on camera.
Just minutes ago Ravens head coach John Harbaugh spoke to reporters about the newly public video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HARBAUGH, HEAD COACH, BALTIMORE RAVENS: It's something we saw for the first time today, you know, all of us. And it changed things, of course. You know, it made things a little bit different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John, did he mislead you? Were you misled in any way? Because you stood up here and defended the guy, and now you see the video and make this decision?
HARBAUGH: You know, I don't want to get into all that. I don't -- I don't think of it that way. You know, everything I said in terms of what I believe, I stand behind. I believe that still. And I'll always believe those things and we'll always stand in support of them as a couple. And that's not going to change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, he had no answer for why the team's first viewing of the images from inside the elevator was just today. So Ray Rice is off the team but not yet out of the league. He's on indefinite suspension.
Many of the questions, though, remain about the NFL's stated zero tolerance for domestic violence. Rachel Nichols takes a look.
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN HOST, UNGUARDED WITH RACHEL NICHOLS (voice-over): The controversy had stretched for months, but in the end the resolution came quickly. First this afternoon Ray Rice was cut from the Baltimore Ravens. Then just minutes later, suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
The catalyst for this sudden change? This video acquired by TMZ showing Rice punching his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City casino elevator then dragging her limp body halfway out the door, dropping her on her face with her skirt hiked up.
Rice had already been disciplined by the NFL for this incident in July, receiving just a two-game suspension. At the time he said he was sorry for what he'd done.
RAY RICE, BALTIMORE RAVENS RUNNING BACK: My actions were inexcusable. And, you know, that's something I have to live for -- have to live with the rest of my life.
NICHOLS: Still, the late penalty sparked heated debate. The NFL was eventually forced to create a more stringent domestic violence policy with Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledging, quote, "I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better."
But it wasn't until this morning when the public was able to see the incident unfold in real time that the debate transformed to outrage. Even from fellow NFL players. Denver Broncos co-captain Terrance Knighton tweeted, "That man should be thrown out of the NFL and thrown into jail. Shame on those deciding his punishment."
And former veteran quarterback Sage Rosenfels, "I wonder how many games the suspension would have been if that was Roger Goodell's daughter lying there?"
The NFL quickly released a statement noting, quote, "That video was not made available to us and no one in our office had seen it until today." But that only sparked more questions. If TMZ had obtain the video, why hadn't the NFL? What other flaws had there been in the league's investigation?
Finally, just after 2:00 p.m., the double-barreled discipline to Rice came down. But with other players currently active in the NFL despite having been arrested on domestic violence charges, Hall of Famer Steve Young is one of the many still wondering how much further the NFL has to go.
STEVE YOUNG, NFL HALL OF FAMER: Fundamentally, if the league is going to have a no tolerance policy for domestic abuse, we've got to back it up. We can't be backed into it with a video. Any company in this country, any big company, if that happens, they don't -- they send you home. They don't -- they might pay you, but you don't play -- you don't come to work until we figure this out. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Rachel Nichols joins us now along with former Buffalo Bill and Atlanta Falcon linebacker Coy Wire, also CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Sunny Hostin, both former federal prosecutors.
Rachel, it is disconcerting that it took this video -- I mean, they had seen him dragging his limp, unconscious wife or fiancee out and dropping her on her face.
NICHOLS: She got that way.
COOPER: Why seeing the video -- why did that make a difference?
NICHOLS: Yes. A lot of people have been asking that question even before this morning. It's disconcerting of course that they apparently didn't look very hard for the video. Let's say we believe them and there are people who don't believe them that they didn't see it until this morning.
COOPER: Well, there have been some reporting that maybe some folks there at the NFL had seen the video.
NICHOLS: Yes. Exactly. But let's say that you're going to believe them. What do you mean you asked for it and you didn't get it? This is the NFL, one of the most powerful businesses in the country. TMZ obtained the video. You should be able to also obtain the video.
COOPER: Right. The NFL, by the way, have their own security personnel --
NICHOLS: Of course.
COOPER: -- who have law enforcement connections. I find it hard to believe they couldn't --
NICHOLS: Thoroughly vet any draft pick that they want. They can do that for their own purposes, but they can't find this video? This was a huge, huge falling down on the job. And it's really only the outcry of the American public and TMZ, the unmasker of Donald Sterling, by the way, who did this, and maybe it is similar to the Sterling case, which followed Sterling so many other cases of accused racial discrimination, but it wasn't until we heard it with our own ears that people got so viscerally upset.
And now that they're seeing this as well it's caused the same reaction. It makes you think whether you need to be a little bit more careful before you can see this kind of evidence.
COOPER: Of course, some players -- I mean, have spoken out today saying that Ray Rice needs to be gone. You said he needs to be banned. Are you surprised that more didn't speak out before they saw this video?
COY WIRE, FOX SPORTS ANALYST: I think many have spoken out on social media. Talked to many current players who are livid that they are now associated with Ray Rice and his actions, even former players who are part of the NFL fraternity for a lifetime are not happy with being associated with that type of action. Abusing women is wrong. An example needs to be made of Ray Rice.
COOPER: Jeff, what do you make of the coach's comments just, you know, within the last hour or so saying that, you know, kind of nothing changes in his perception of Ray Rice, although, you know, the video does kind of change things. Let's just actually play a little of what the coach said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said it changed for you. How did it change after seeing this?
HARBAUGH: I don't know if I want to get into all the details about it. And I think it's pretty obvious and pretty apparent. Everybody's seen the video. And just leave it at that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You know, I thought well maybe Ray Rice had lied to them, but he was point blank asked that and he said that's not really his perception of it.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Moronic, disgraceful, outrageous. Just exactly that kind of attitude is what got the NFL into this situation. And if we can just pause while we're slamming the NFL -- well deserved -- how about the prosecutors who allowed Ray Rice in New Jersey to get away not even with pleading to a misdemeanor but pleading to basically like a 16-year-old kid who gets caught graffitiing a wall who -- if he wasn't arrested again, he would have a clean record, a diversion program.
I mean, the idea that that kind of assault could get you just a diversion program, the Atlanta County prosecutor has a lot to answer for as well the NFL.
COOPER: Sunny, I do think, you know, reading that tweet from a player who said if that was, you know, Roger Goodell's -- one of Roger Goodell's daughters, you'd think that's all the punishment he would have gotten from the NFL?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's remarkable. And I agree with you, Jeff. I mean, you know, I prosecuted domestic violence cases. And there's no question that there's a zero tolerance policy at many prosecutor's offices. I am shocked that he was even eligible for a diversion program having seen this brutal attack. And that really is what it is. I mean, he was indicted on aggravated assault. He would have gotten five years in prison had he been convicted.
So to offer someone a diversion program in New Jersey is just remarkable. I'm a member of the New Jersey bar. I'm admitted to the New Jersey bar. And there's an exception to pretrial diversion programs, you can't get a diversion program for animal cruelty. That's an exception. COOPER: Are you serious?
HOSTIN: Yet -- I'm serious. Yet that exception was added in 2010.
COOPER: If you abuse an animal you cannot get a diversion program --
HOSTIN: No. But you --
COOPER: But this guy who --
HOSTIN: But you can clock your wife and knock her out cold and drag her out of an elevator and get a diversion program. That's unbelievable.
COOPER: So does the law just not view this as a big deal?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, the -- the problem is really not the law. The problem is the prosecutors who don't enforce the law. That's illegal what he did.
HOSTIN: That's right.
TOOBIN: You don't need to change the law to say that that's not --
HOSTIN: It's criminal.
TOOBIN: Of course it's criminal but the prosecutors gave him the sweet deal. And you know, one thing that a lot of people, I think, have a misimpression of, is that, you know, a lot of women, tragically, who are victims of domestic violence, they say they don't want to press charges. That's not -- that doesn't decide whether a case gets brought. Domestic violence is a crime against the community.
COOPER: And we should point out, in this case the fiancee chose not to press charges and actually talked to the NFL --
HOSTIN: But it doesn't matter.
TOOBIN: It's the community.
COOPER: No, I'm not saying it matters. I'm just saying --
NICHOLS: And by the way, when the NFL interviewed her and supposedly that was one of the main reasons that they later said that they only gave him a two-game suspension, they interviewed her next to him, sitting in front of him. That's a giant breach of protocol.
COOPER: Also, the Ravens tweeted out a while ago that she accepts responsibility and feels sorry for the role that she played in this incident. The fact --
NICHOLS: Which is the cause of that press conference you're showing right now. COOPER: The fact that that's something that the team chose to tweet
out, I mean, what does that tell you, Coy?
WIRE: It's absurd. What we tolerate, we perpetuate. The NFL has to make a strong stance right now against domestic abuse. Ray Rice can be the example that sends a more demanding message and commanding message to all NFL players and the youth across the nation who look up to those players that hitting women is wrong.
I think we need to broaden the microscope and the focus not just on the NFL, on the prosecutors, how about the players? The NFL players association needs to step up in this moment to make a difference. It exists to protect the rights of its players. Now they have an opportunity to protect rights of women everywhere.
COOPER: And Coy, just yesterday, I mean, there are other players involved in domestic abuse cases who were playing yesterday.
WIRE: It's wrong. Right now, better late than never. Never late is better, of course, but now is a moment that can be used to create positive change to help women everywhere in this world, in this moment.
WIRE: The players need to step up, the NFL needs to step up. Ban Ray Rice from life. I believe in second chances but sometimes an example needs to be made. He can be the one right now.
COOPER: And Coy, I mean, you played, you know, in this league. Do you buy their explanation?
WIRE: No, I don't at all. And I think it's absurd that they weren't able to get that video that was in -- if they couldn't get that video, then they need to hire someone from TMZ to be the head of their investigative --
HOSTIN: Can I mention something that I think we're hearing so much about. We've been hearing, in my view, this blame the victim stuff, over and over and over again. That somehow she may have provoked this attack and that that was a mitigating factor. And Ray Rice's attorneys themselves sort of hypothetically put out this what if she hit him first. And we saw people come out and say well, no one should hit anyone and so somehow she was to blame.
I really think that this the opportunity to discuss domestic violence, discuss why women do stay, discuss why that this is part of the vicious cycle of domestic violence and I agree that the NFL Players Association has this wonderful opportunity to come out. I believe they've been silent so far. They need to come out and explain, you know, what they intend to do to change this culture.
Because this is not the first time that we're hearing about violence against women in the NFL, right? We're hearing about it all the time.
COOPER: And also, Rachel, I mean, let's talk about whose responsibility it is to sanction because we've just been talking about the NFL. The Ravens could have done something as well.
NICHOLS: Every single group and person along the way failed this woman and failed the rest of women across the league who are partners with some of these guys and there's several cases of domestic abuse sitting in the NFL offices right now. This is not the only one. You had the Ravens who could have deactivated him, could have suspended him, could have released him before today.
Remember, when Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder, the New England Patriots didn't wait for due process. They cut him within the hour. Ray Rice could have been cut within the hour of being arrested on these charges.
TOOBIN: Mark my words, he will play in the NFL again.
TOOBIN: He is -- he has not been banned for life by the NFL. This is a league -- he's a 27-year-old superstar running back who has already been on a super bowl champion. Those people are extremely valuable in professional football. He will go through one of these phony baloney, you know, psychiatric evaluation and he'll be there and they'll have a tearful press conference with his wife and somebody --
HOSTIN: What kind of message does that send?
TOOBIN: It's a horrible message. But this is a league that's all about winning.
HOSTIN: I can't imagine that that's going to happen. If something like that were to happen, I mean, I think --
COOPER: I also got to say his, you know, press conference where he look, I was raised by a single mom, this goes against -- we've heard that before.
HOSTIN: Over and over and over again.
COOPER: And that was Chris Brown's press conference --
TOOBIN: We hear it all the time.
COOPER: -- from -- that was Chris Brown on Larry King four years ago whatever it was.
NICHOLS: If anything, though, it speaks to how pervasive a problem it is. There's no one type for an abuser. It's not as of this is a bad guy and that's how you identify the abusers. There's all kinds of people, there's all kinds of athletes who do these kinds of thing and they're all equally accountable no matter what kind of (INAUDIBLE).
HOSTIN: It's the response I think that's going to be most important. I am actually appalled at the coach's response. I think --
COOPER: Just tonight. I mean --
HOSTIN: It was just appalling saying that he supports the couple. Well, that in and of itself shows you how far we need to go in terms of at least the NFL in dealing with domestic violence.
COOPER: Coy Wire, appreciate you being on, Sunny, as well, as always Rachel Nichols, jeff stick around. I know we're going to talk to you just shortly.
More to talk about next from the intersection of pro-sports and big league controversy. We spoke briefly about Donald Sterling, Rachel mentioned that. Now another NBA owner is selling his team after his racially charged remarks came to light. The question, though, did what Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson say, did it add up to racism or simply an awkward expression of racial realities or business realities.
See what he said, you can decide for yourself. See what NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has to say on the subject. He's going to join me live. You might be surprised by his take.
Later, more breaking news. Major developments in the search for this masked man's identity. The so-called executioner. The English accented voice of the murderer, or one of the murders at least. Two Americans and ISIS captivity details. How do U.S. authorities zeroed in on who that guys really is. Details ahead.
COOPER: Well, today was certainly a wakeup call for anyone who still believes that professional sports exists on a separate plane from the real world. Somehow removed from the real world problems like domestic violence and racism.
Exhibit A, today, Ray Rice, exhibit B, the case of Atlanta Hawks' majority owner Bruce Levenson. Like the L.A. Clippers' Donald Sterling he is in hot water for things he said about African- Americans. Unlike Donald Sterling he's selling his stake in the team without a fight. Also unlike Sterling, he's got some big named defenders including NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who joins us shortly for an exclusive interview.
But first background tonight from Martin Savidge.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the e-mail this cost a team. In 2012 Atlanta Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson fired off these insights on why the franchise wasn't attracting more affluent white season ticket holders. "Looking around It's 70 percent black," Levenson wrote. "My theory is
that the black crowd scared away the whites." He goes on, "I think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or in a bar where they were in the minority." He says it bothered him every fan picked out for a contest is black and says, "I have even bitched the kiss cam is too black."
For the NBA, it's another embarrassment as the league is still struggling to overcome the racially-laced diatribe of former Clippers owner Donald Sterling earlier this year. In fact, Levenson was one of Sterling's strongest critics speaking out to CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE LEVENSON, ATLANTA HAWKS OWNER: Donald Sterling, was he said. I'm his partner. I can't be partners with somebody who shares those views.
SAVIDGE: Sunday Levenson issued an apology and announced that he's selling the team, dumping the PR nightmare into the lap of the Hawks' brand new CEO Steve Koonin. In an exclusive interview Koonin told me he was dumbfounded when he read the 2012 e-mail.
(On camera): That said business bigoted e-mail. And it is breathtakingly stupid as far as a business communication. What were your thoughts when you read it?
STEVE KOONIN, ATLANTA HAWS CEO: I couldn't believe it. I think you just said breathtakingly stupid. I think I had an audible gasp. And there are no words to describe, there's nothing but mortified and angry.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Koonin told me the outrage came to light after Hawks general manager, Danny Ferry, made what was considered by some fellow front office managers as a racially insensitive remark and that Ferry has since been disciplined.
KOONIN: I have punished Mr. Ferry in excess of the findings. He and I have --
SAVIDGE (on camera): Punished in what way?
KOONIN: We're going to keep what that punishment is as a team private matter. That is the way that we feel is best to do it. But I can assure you we listened, we reacted and we've put a punishment that is appropriate, some will say it's too -- could say it's too harsh, some could say it's not harsh enough.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): An internal investigation was launched due to Ferry's remark and Levenson's bombshell e-mail was found. Attempts to reach Ferry have so far been unsuccessful. Koonin realized first he had to apologize to the fans and second face the team.
(On camera): Have you spoken to any of the team?
KOONIN: There was a meeting. I addressed them. SAVIDGE: What was that like?
KOONIN: It was like walking into a funeral. These are young men who wear our city's name and our logo on their chest. They played for a team and they're supposed to be supported by their ownership and ownership failed in supporting them.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): CNN tried to speak to Levenson but he has yet to be seen publicly since the sale announcement.
(On camera): When was the last time you spoke to Bruce Levenson?
SAVIDGE: What did you say?
KOONIN: I think it's best if you walk away.
SAVIDGE: And what did he say?
KOONIN: You're right.
SAVIDGE: Of course, all of this came out on Sunday, yesterday, the first day of the NFL season. So many people were focused on football, not on the NBA. So it's going to be interesting now that this information is coming out about this e-mail and what was said, what the reaction will be. It is likely to grow.
Martin Savidge, CNN.
COOPER: Well, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed calls the Levenson e-mail reprehensible. A local pastor calls the remarks horrible and civil rights leader in Atlanta says they show that racism is alive and well in the city. NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he joins me now. He wrote in "TIME" magazine in a column, he wrote, "Atlanta Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson is no Donald Sterling. Nor is his e- mail racist. In fact his worst crime is misguided white guilt."
He joins me now for an exclusive interview.
Thanks for being with us. You say that Levenson is, quote, "a businessman asking reasonable questions about how to put customers in seats and that he was simply addressing a problem that seemed obvious to him." But he's talking about black people scaring away white people and white people feeling uncomfortable being at a bar with black people.
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, FORMER L.A. LAKERS PLAYER: Well, you know, what I see is that the whole idea of racism is a very uncomfortable subject. And it's very complex, it's emotional. It's hard to pin certain things down. How do you know how much guilt is affecting which certain person in what way. You know, you go through all types of weird scenarios. We're trying to figure these things out. And it's very difficult. And I think that in this case, Mr. Levenson should be given the
benefit of the doubt because he was trying to assess how to run his business in a more efficient and profitable way. I don't think it had anything to do with him trying to keep blacks out of the arena where his team plays or in any way saying that black people were the problem.
COOPER: But isn't that what -- I mean, isn't that what he's saying? I mean, you can say this is a business decision, but he is trying to figure out how to get more white people to come in and fewer black people to come in. I mean, how to get white people or companies to buy season passes and to buy box seats. Isn't that automatically meaningless African-Americans?
ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, I think you want to get as many affluent people who can afford to buy season tickets to do so. And that will come from across the racial spectrum. I don't think that any one group is singled out there. You want to get as many affluent people as you can to support your team.
COOPER: But he is saying white people are scared -- he's saying white people are being scared away. He says the audience is 70 percent black. He says they need, you know, some white cheerleaders in there and less black people on the kiss cam.
ABDUL-JABBAR: I don't -- you know, I haven't heard his voice in all this. I'd really like to hear what he has to say because, you know, there are a lot of different ways to interpret this. And I would really -- I really feel that he deserves at least the chance to defend himself.
ABDUL-JABBAR: We can find out exactly what he was thinking and, you know, what he meant when he was saying those things.
COOPER: Is there anything in what you read, though, that makes you uncomfortable? Obviously we would love to hear from him. He hasn't made any public comments. I'm sure he's probably being advised by various PR people not to -- or to lay low for a while. But is there anything in those comments that as you read them that you thought, wow, that's -- I don't -- I mean, I understand that's a business decision, but fewer black people on the kiss cam?
ABDUL-JABBAR: I don't think that he is expressing any hatred for any racial group. I didn't see that. He might have -- the way things came out were very awkward and it's hard to figure out exactly what he's talking about because getting more people in the seats is a problem or an issue for anyone who owns a professional sports team. So one of the issues that this gentleman had to try to deal with was race.
And again it's a very volatile and emotional issue, but I think he should get the benefit of the doubt and be given a chance to explain exactly what he was talking about.
COOPER: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, appreciate you being on. Thank you very much.
ABDUL-JABBAR: My pleasure.
COOPER: And people can check out your article at TIME.com.
Let's dig deeper now with CNN political commentator and "New York Times" Charles Blow, back with us is senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.
Charles, what did you think of what Kareem said?
CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, I have all the respect. I grew up watching Kareem. So I look for him as well as a sports star and even now as an elder statesman. But I cannot agree -- disagree more with what he's saying.
We can't get a business waiver for bias. I don't even understand that. I don't even understand how you can read what Levenson has written there and not take away from that that he is thinking about, contemplating, placating unreasonable racist fear or discomfort around African-American people in the stands and how do you look at that and look at the history of this country and realize what kind of business interests have been used to propagate the most grotesque forms of racism in this country.
COOPER: Let me just play devil's advocate here because Kareem's not here on this. As a businessperson if you were saying, we need to fill more seat and why don't we have a greater more diversity in our audience, why don't we have big companies paying big money for box seats and things like that, maybe some people feel uncomfortable, maybe we need a greater diversity in our cheerleading staff, a greater diversity of those who appear on television on the kiss cam. Is that wrong?
BLOW: But dig down to what you're saying. Right? So the -- if you're saying that the reason that they won't do that is because there is a visceral reaction to the -- to black people and that we need to modify the people who come to our stadium to kind of appease this racist, visceral reaction that people are having, that is offensive in the highest order.
This kind of business rationale. That's -- that's why we had segregated lunch counters is because people were uncomfortable or afraid of black people being next to them. That's why we had, you know -- a lot of the Jim Crow architecture is built around comforting white people so they did not have to be around black people and therefore they would stay redlining in neighborhoods is built around the same idea.
COOPER: Jeff, what do you make?
COOPER: On the side you were saying is we need to play a greater diversity in music, something that, you know, a guy in his 40s, you know, not so much hip-hop and gospel which is apparently what they were playing a lot of.
TOOBIN: You know, I was more sympathetic to what Kareem wrote in at TIME.com. Look, you know, like all businesses they want to diverse customer base. If you look at the Atlanta metropolitan area, most of the rich people, the people who can afford season tickets are white. How can we get more white people in the building, I think that's what he was concerned about. It was a legitimate way to get more people into the stadium.
He expressed himself in a horrible way. It is appropriate that he's selling the team. I think Adam Silver who should be commissioner of baseball as well as basketball.
He said at his first press conference, we are a league that is overwhelmingly black among the players and overwhelmingly white among the owners, so we need to be more sensitive than most on this and they are more sensitive and thus --
COOPER: Is it just a sensitivity issue?
BLOW: No, that's a problem to even phrase it that way. When you say the reason that you need to be more sensitive is because the more of your players are black, no you need to be more sensitive because that's the more humane thing to do.
The humanity in us should dictate that we do not punish people or play to people on the basis of race. It shouldn't even be about what the composition of the players is.
COOPER: You have a lot to write in "The New York Times." Charles Blow, thank you, and Jeff Toobin as well.
More breaking news tonight, the U.S. may have identified the masked man in the James Foley execution video. Is it is same terrorist seen in the ISIS video of another murdered American, Steven Sotloff. We'll talk to one of Sotloff's close friends about this new information and about his friend's remarkable life and career.
COOPER: There's more breaking news tonight, law enforcement telling us they may have identified the man behind the mask in the murders of American, James Foley and possibly Steven Sotloff. Our Pamela Brown has got late word in the apparent breakthrough in the manhunt. She joins us now. What do you know, Pam?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, sources say U.S. and British law enforcement authorities are honing in on a subject they believe is a man known as Jihadi John. The masked man shown right here putting a knife to James Foley's throat in the execution video.
They believe he is a British citizen tied to a group of extremists based in London. But at this point, Anderson, officials declined to name the suspect citing the ongoing investigation and also there are a number of sensitivities surrounding publicly identifying him. ISIS still has other American hostages whose lives are in danger. That's a big consideration and investigators want to nail down who the suspect's network of possible co-conspirators are before making any sort of public identification.
COOPER: Do we know what tools they used to identify him and how they did it?
BROWN: Well, just from speaking to sources, FBI and British authorities have been using all sorts of human and technical means to identify this person. Initially there was a lot of focus on voice analysis, which helped investigators trace the man's British accent to London. That was a good starting point.
But speaking to former officials and learning that it was really the human intel that was likely the biggest factor here, Anderson. This former CIA official says Brits have good human source intel on the ground and have the catalogue of names and sources to give them intel on people that probably made the big difference here.
COOPER: We should also point out despite more than one person involved in the actual murder here. Do they think now to the same man who was in the video of Steven Sotloff?
BROWN: Yes, that's a good question. Officials I've been speaking with today, Anderson, are cautioning against drawing a connection at this point between Foley's alleged killer and Sotloff's alleged killer.
Even though the British accents sound similar in both videos, officials are still trying to determine the identity of the militant in the Sotloff video and it's just too premature to know anything definitely just a week out from that video being published -- Anderson.
COOPER: They're also cautioning this is not 100 percent -- they don't know for 100 percent, right?
BROWN: That's right. Officials I've spoken with today are saying it is not 100 percent because even though they do have a pretty good idea of who the masked man is in that video, they still have to go through multiple layers and cross-check with British authorities to have confirmation that it is the right person.
And also Anderson, they may not want to put everything on the table right now and tipoff ISIS. You know, they realize ISIS may collect intel on us by watching the news and you have to think about the factors I mentioned earlier, the fact that ISIS still has American hostages and also this is still an ongoing investigation -- Anderson.
COOPER: Pamela, appreciate the reporting. Pamela Brown, thanks.
Joining us now is Barack Barfi, who was a close friend of journalist Steven Sotloff. Currently spokesman for the Sotloff family. Barack, thank you for being with us. I'm sorry for your loss and the loss of everybody in the Sotloff family. Just first of all, I mean, what do you mean people to know about Steven? Just looking at his career, the amount of time he spent in very dangerous areas, you know, dedicating and risking his life to tell the stories of peoples whose voices were often unheard. That's what really struck me.
BARACK BARFI, SOTLOFF FAMILY FRIEND & SPOKESMAN: Anderson, Steve loved the Arab and Islamic world. And he wanted to bring their suffering to the world stage. He believed that everybody was created equal, and the people in the Arab and Islamic world weren't terrorists; they were just people like you and me who wanted to give, who wanted to give their kids a good education and possibly travel to Europe when they had the time and money.
COOPER: And I understand you spoke to him just shortly before he was taken.
BARFI: I was with Steve the morning he was kidnapped. I saw him off at about 7:30. And then minutes before he was kidnapped he called me from inside Syria to tell me that he was in. And then minutes later, he was kidnapped by ISIS.
COOPER: He knew the risks, and yet he did it -- he repeatedly went out to tell people's stories.
BARFI: Well, Anderson, for the first time we can say that Steven was sold at the border. Steven's name was on a list that he had been responsible for the bombing of a hospital. This was false. Activists spread his name around.
COOPER: He was sold at the border?
BARFI: Yes, we believe that the so-called moderate rebels that people want us -- our administration to support, one of them sold him, probably for something between $25,000 and $50,000 to ISIS. And that was the reason that he was captured.
COOPER: How do you know this?
BARFI: We know this from our sources on the ground. It happened so quickly that when he was kidnapped, they didn't have the time to mobilize those resources. Somebody at the border crossing made a phone call to ISIS, and they set up a fake checkpoint with many people. And Steve and his people that he went in with could not escape.
COOPER: When you've heard the administration's response to all of this, what do you make of it from your vantage point?
BARFI: The administration has made a number of inaccurate statements. They've said that the families have been consistently and regularly informed. That is not true. I speak now only from the Sotloff family. I can't speak for the other families.
They said that these hostages were moved frequently. We know that for most of the beginning of this year, they were stationary. We know that the intelligence community and the White House are enmeshed in a larger game of bureaucratic infighting, and Jim and Steve are pawns in that game. And that's not fair. And if there continues to be leaks, the Sotloff family will have to speak out to set the record straight.
COOPER: What do you mean that they were pawns? Can you say more?
BARFI: Well, I'll just give you one example. People now are talking about the torture that some of these hostages suffered. People talked about specifically some of the tortures that Jim suffered. And that's just not fair to his family. They need time to heal.
And there was an article last week in the "Wall Street Journal" basically revealing some of the details of the raid. The Pentagon, the intelligence community were pushing back against the White House and saying it was their fault, that they didn't provide the surveillance necessary to find the hostages.
COOPER: The -- do you feel -- but you're saying that if the administration continues to say things which you believe are not true and the Sotloff family says are not true that what the Sotloff family will have more information to say?
BARFI: Anderson, the relationship between the administration and the Sotloff family was very strained --
BARFI: Yes. We do not believe they gave us the cooperation we need. And the Sotloffs -- once Steve appeared in that video, the Sotloff family made one simple request of the administration, and they were rebuffed on that.
COOPER: Can you say what the request was?
BARFI: I can't say that because I have to think about protecting the other hostages inside.
COOPER: The White House has put out a statement. I just want to read that to you. They say, "We understand the very real pain the Sotloff family is feeling at this time. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them as they grieve Steven's loss." They go on to say, "We condemn the murders of Steven and Jim Foley, and we remain committed to bringing the perpetrators of these crimes to justice."
Do you have any response that?
BARFI: Anderson, when your view into the largest and most powerful government in the world is two FBI agents, that's simply not enough for 80 percent, 90 percent of the interaction you have with the government, that's not enough. The administration could have done more. They could have helped us, they could have seen them through.
These are people of modest means. They are not cosmopolitan, they don't have college educations. They don't understand the large ramifications in foreign policy. And we just don't believe they were afforded the opportunities and the respect that they should have been afforded by this administration.
COOPER: Do you hope to see a change in the way families are dealt with? A change in the way hostages are dealt with?
BARFI: This is the first time that we've had so many Americans kidnapped and held by an al Qaeda or jihadist group ever for so long amount of time.
The government needs to set up a crisis center. It needs to coordinate better between its arms of government. It needs to establish early on a senior administration White House point of contact that the families can contact on a regular basis. Not five, six months in, not eight months in.
At the beginning so that the families know there's someone to hold their hand all the time. And we need to be able to work closer with our allies. Intelligence sharing and cooperation just isn't as good as it should be.
COOPER: Do you have any response to the idea that U.S. intelligence may have identified at least one of the people in that video?
BARFI: Anderson, we know a lot of the hostages have come out, and they've told us things about people in the prison. So these British guards, known as The Beatles, we've had a lot of information on them. We know that they have East London accents from people who told us from the inside the prison.
So, we know a lot about their modus operandi. Who does what, who is in charge, who is the smarter one, who's the one who does more Islamic preachings. There's a lot of information out there.
COOPER: I appreciate you being on, Barack Barfi. And I appreciate -- again, given the sensitivity of this. There are other hostages being held. I know that's something that weighs very heavily on you and the entire Sotloff family. And again, my condolences to you and the Sotloff family. Thank you.
A lot more ahead. A respiratory virus leaves hundreds of children in at least 10 states hospitalized, some critically ill. It may be just the tip of the iceberg. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us ahead.
COOPER: Tonight federal health officials are trying to determine if hundreds of kids in at least ten states have been sickened by the same respiratory virus. Many of the kids are so sick they're sending up at the hospital critically ill and needing intensive care.
Symptoms start out like an ordinary cold but in a matter of just hours a child can be left gasping for air. So far the outbreak of a virus called EVD 68 seems to be limited to children not adults. And health officials fear the outbreak maybe just in the early stages with a lot more cases possible.
I want to bring in our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. So Sanjay, what do we need to know about this virus?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this virus isn't new. It's been around for some time. What's sort of unusual about this is in the last 50 years or so, you've only had a few hundred, maybe about 100 cases total.
So why exactly it suddenly has come on with such a vengeance this particular year is unclear. What happens sometimes is that the viruses shift just a little bit genetically, so in the past while it may not have been that prevalent, because of that shift, it's just becoming more common this year.
Also Enterovirus, the name, that typically means from inside the body and specifically inside the gut. So this is something that comes from the intestines and then is spread through other parts of the body. There are hundreds of them. That's the way they spread -- Anderson.
COOPER: And I mean, kids are more susceptible, but anyone can get it. Adults can, right?
GUPTA: Yes, and the reason that kids are more susceptible is we adults have seen various forms of Enterovirus through our lifetime. We just get exposed to it. As a result of having all those colds over the years, we build up some immunity.
Young people have never been exposed to any Enterovirus, so they don't have as much immunity. But adults can get it as well. Older people can get it. They're at risk because their immune systems have become weakened as well.
COOPER: The CDC is saying it may be just the tip of the iceberg. Is there a vaccine or treatment at all?
GUPTA: No. Unlike with bacterial infections, viral infections, there's not an antibiotic you can give. There's a couple of antivirals that are sometimes given, but they don't work too well with Enteroviruses, there's no particular vaccine as well.
It's really some of the same stuff we've been talking about with regard to Ebola, what's known as symptomatic treatment. People get really dehydrated with these viral infections, making sure you replace the fluids is really important and just plenty of rest. It doesn't sound like much, but that's basically what most doctors are going to recommend.
COOPER: Is there anything for a parent to watch out for, a symptom or something they can do to protect their kid?
GUPTA: In terms of when you need to go seek medical attention, that's a very important point. When someone has a fever. I like to give numbers with fever. Because a fever of 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit is a real fever and if someone has that for days that warrants medical attention.
If you give Tylenol and it comes down, that's one thing, but it should come down on its own over a couple of days. Seek medical attention. Obviously, you want to make sure that if you have a viral infection in the home and you have other children, that they're not getting it as well.
So just keeping people isolated, keeping the surfaces as clean as possible. Washing the hands, something you and I talk about a lot. But all that makes a difference.
COOPER: I have been washing my hands a lot more and for a lot longer based on your advice.
GUPTA: You've looked much healthier, I must say, as a result.
COOPER: But I'm always surprised how dirty my hands are. I'm taking your advice to heart, Sanjay, thanks very much.
GUPTA: Thank you.
COOPER: Just royal baby news. Prince George is getting a little brother or sister. What Prince William said today about baby number two on the way next.
COOPER: Let's get the latest on other stories we're following. Randi Kaye has the 360 News and Business Bulletin -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, at least one person has been killed in flooding in Arizona. The governor has declared a statewide emergency because of the flooding that's now blocked road, shut down schools and knocked out power.
The NCAA has lifted Penn State's football ban saying the university has made progress in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and alleged cover-up by the school. Penn State will now be eligible for a ball game this season.
A Hongkong family has pledged to donate a record $350 million to Harvard University. The money will help support Harvard's School of Public Health.
And baby number two is on the way for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William said today that they are thrilled. And Kate is feeling OK but it has been a tricky few days they say. Buckingham Palace says she's suffering severe morning sickness as she did during her first pregnancy, which Anderson already has folks betting that it's going to be another boy.
KAYE: They're betting on the hair color, the gender, the name, you name it.
COOPER: Randi, thanks very much. Another live hour of 360 including the breaking news on the Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens dumped by the team, suspended by the NFL as surveillance video surfaces of him punching his future wife. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)