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Former Navy SEAL Robert O'Neil Stepped Out of the Shadows, Breaking the Famous SEAL Code of Silence; U.S. Opens Communication with Iran; American-Iranian Journalist Jason Rezaian Held in Iranian Prison; NFL Investigator Had Been Accused of Discriminating against Women

Aired November 6, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

Tonight, an American's plea to Iran to free his brother. Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and his wife, they were arrested just weeks after filming with CNN's Anthony Bourdain over the summer. His wife is now free, but Mr. Rezaian is not. His family says his health is failing. And tonight, you'll hear their plea in their first television interview. We will also talk to Anthony Bourdain who joins me coming up.

Also tonight, Ray Rice's testimony in the hearing that will decide if he gets his job back.

Plus, troubling questions about the man the NFL has tasked with investigating the domestic abuse case against Rice. His investigation the you only see here on "360."

We begin, though, with breaking news. A Navy SEAL stepping out of the shadows, breaking the famous SEAL code of silence to take credit for firing the bullets that killed Osama bin Laden. His name is Robert O'Neil. He first told the story anonymously to "Esquire" in 2013. The article refers to him simply as the shooter.

Now, in that article, Mr. O'Neil described in gripping detail how the now legendary 2011 raid went down in bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. This exclusive CNN video was shot the day after the raid. Well now, Mr. O'Neil who has become a motivational speaker, has gone public in an interview with "the Washington Post." That decision alone is a breach of the SEALs code of honor, not to mention the claim that he's making contradicts with other accounts of how the deadly mission unfolded.

Brian Todd takes a look.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A former Navy SEAL comes forward, saying he's the man who killed Osama bin Laden. Sources in the special operations community tell CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen Robert O'Neil claims to be the shooter. O'Neil is a decorated former SEAL from Montana, who now works as a motivational speaker.

ROBERT O'NEIL, FORMER NAVE SEAL: My name is be Robert O'Neil. I was a Navy SEAL for almost 17 years. I was involved directly with combat since 9/11 started.

TODD: O'Neil's account is three SEALs moved to the third floor of the bin Laden compound. He told "the Washington Post" he fired a shot which struck bin Laden in the forehead. The terrorist leader died instantly, he said, his skull split by the first bullet.

But sources in SEAL team 6, the unit which conducted the bin Laden raid, gave Peter Bergen had another version, illustrated in this animation. They say after three SEALs moved up the stairs, another SEAL fired fatal shot from the area of the stairs leading to bin Laden's floor as bin Laden peered out the door of his bedroom.

PETER BERGEN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Most of the people in the SEAL community I've spoken to say that the night that bin Laden was killed, somebody called the point man who is never going to identify himself publicly, was the guy that took first shot at bin Laden and winged him and then bin Laden collapsed on the ground in his bedroom and he was finished off by two other SEALs.

TODD: Those two SEALs, according to Bergen's sources, Robert O'Neil and Matt Bissonnette who wrote the book, "No Easy Day about the raid," separately a U.S. military official told CNN's Barbara Starr there was a SEAL named Robert O'Neil on the mission, but they don't know if O'Neil fired the kill shot. Bergen acknowledges the scene was confusing.

BERGEN: It was a night with no moon. There was no electricity in the house. It was a helicopter had crashed. There were two or three fire fights. These guys were wearing night vision goggles so, and the whole event of killing bin Laden, my guess, took place in ten seconds.

BERGEN: The head of the SEAL command sent a letter in recent days reminding SEALs not to break their code of silence, warning of, quote, "judicial consequence if they do." Former SEAL John McGwire says neither O'Neil or Bissonnette should have spoken about the bin Laden raid.

JOHN MCGWIRE, FORMER NAVE SEAL: Everybody wants to know how special operations most do things. Our enemy wants to know more than we do. And we have to protect future missions and other Americans' lives.

BERGEN: We tried to reach Robert O'Neil directly and through his representatives, we could not get him to comment. O'Neil told "the Washington Post," the SEALs expected that bin Laden compound to be heavily guarded and booby trapped and said this was the first mission where he thought he would likely be killed.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: A lot to talk about. I want to bring in CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen who you just heard from in Brian's report. He is one of the few journalists that ever actually interviewed Osama bin Laden. He spent years reporting on Al-Qaeda and bin Laden. Also joining us is former Navy SEAL Jonathan Gilliam.

Jonathan, I want to start off with you. I mean, one of the things that really strikes me always about the SEALs is the brotherhood, not only for people who are currently in it, but even for people who are in it in the past. As long as you keep that -- the code there is that brotherhood for your entire life, from all the SEALs I've talked to so far, this guy has now sacrificed that. He's blown that up for himself.

JONATHAN GILLIAM, FORMER NAVY SEAL: That's absolutely correct. But he's sacrificed a lot in doing this. Whether he is the real shooter or not, he's put a bull's eye on his back that is bigger in a lot of ways than the bull's eye that Osama bin Laden had on his.

COOPER: You're talking about actual bull's eye from --

GILLIAM: Jihadists, you know. So, his family, himself, he's on the speaking lecture circuit. Anybody that goes to see this guy is a target, when they're in a room with him. That's a big deal for his career and what I believe is his motivation.

COOPER: If you were invited to go hear him speak, would you want to be in the same auditorium?

GILLIAM: You know, I also served as an FBI agent. I'm here to tell you right now that I wouldn't be anywhere close to this guy.

COOPER: So you really think there is potential threat against his life, from -- coming forward and giving his name, identifying himself?

GILLIAM: Sure. And, again, you know, you're talking about the brotherhood, talking about secrets, this transcends many, many levels, but it is not a SEAL problem. It is an O'Neil problem. It is a Bissonnette problem. These two individuals have gone out and taken the knowledge that they're trusted with, and exposed this, and it -- perception is reality. It had an effect on the way the public looks at us and that is wrong because the SEAL community, as you know, you know many of us, it is a brotherhood and it is a tight group that is very professional and they take their job very seriously. And this is not a good light to be shown on us.

COOPER: Peter, you know, do you believe that Al-Qaeda, its affiliates, ISIS, anybody out there, would basically want to seek revenge against this particular man?

BERGEN: You know, I'm scratching my head, Anderson, to think of an example of an assassination attempt by Al-Qaeda against -- in this country against anyone. You know, I don't think they really have the capacity to do this kind of thing. Maybe some sort of somebody radicalized on the Internet who got it into his mind, might try and seek this guy out. But, you know, that's a little bit different. I don't think Al-Qaeda has the capacity. COOPER: But certainly in terms of targets for deranged people out

there, or people who want to make a name for themselves in the jihadist community, whether they actually are part of Al-Qaeda or just, as you said, you know, are Nidal Hasan and watched this stuff online, this guy would seem to be somebody they would make a name for themselves with.

BERGEN: Indeed. So and, you know, there are plenty of whackos out there.

COOPER: Do you think, Jonathan, that some sort of legal action should be taken by the government, by the Pentagon against him?

GILLIAM: Well, you know, like we were discussing earlier, off camera, you know, if you were my attorney, and I had a widget that I invented and you went out and were going to handle the legal part of that, the case was settled. But then you went out told all my secrets, you would be held accountable for that. That's an illegal violation of the law.

And it is no different when you're dealing with classified information. It is classified for a reason. And whether it -- it doesn't matter what you think is right or wrong, it is classified and that's against the law. And, you know, again, this is a leadership problem. When you have the vice president and the secretary of defense pretty much giving the same briefs or allowing Hollywood to come in and sit in a brief --

COOPER: The movie "Zero Dark Thirty".

GILLIAM: That's correct. You know, now we have these guys that they are saying hey, we can go out. We can do the same thing and probably not be punished. But the reality is the leadership of the SEAL team should look to pulling these guys back in. They have broken laws --

COOPER: Pull them back in to prosecute them.

GILLIAM: Back in the navy, reduce in rank, prosecuted and then given dishonorable discharges.

COOPER: Peter, do you think that's actually likely?

BERGEN: Well, you know, there is a criminal investigation of Matt Bissonnette. And we don't know what the justice department will look at in the case of Robert O'Neil, but they have -- I'm sure they'll be looking at it. You know, and the issue is not sort of talking about what these raids so much, it is the issue of not clearing the information through the usual channels.

I mean, it is fine if you're the Leon Panetta has written a book where he got cleared by the agency and there is a chapter in it about the bin Laden raid. And, you know, we live in an open society. As American taxpayers, significant events are going to come up and be part of the historical record and there is nothing wrong with the public finding out about things that are cleared by the appropriate agency. So what Matt Bissonnette did and what Rob O'Neil is doing is just to go outside the channels. That is really the problem here.

COOPER: Right. I mean, you look at a guy like Marcus Luttrell who wrote "Lone Survivor" and service and other, you know, movie was made of it, he cleared everything with the Pentagon. He cleared everything with the SEAL community. And is in good standing with the SEAL community.

BERGEN: Sure. Think about General Stanley McChrystal who wrote a wonderful book which gets into details about joint special operation command that was entirely cleared by the Pentagon. And, you know, it is a good book and there is no -- the issue here is not publishing books, the issue here is getting the proper clearances to do it.

COOPER: Do you think this is -- I mean, he doesn't have a -- this guy O'Neil doesn't have a book out yet at this point. Do you think this is about just making a name for yourself, he's on the lecture circuit, I guess this boosts his value on the lecture circuit.

GILLIAM: Well, of course, I mean, you know, the value of him speaking probably just went up tenfold. But again, did it really? Because do you want to be in a room with this guy?

And I don't disagree with what peter is saying there. But I do think that, you know, there was a day and age when the silent professional was the person who did the job and didn't look for the glory. Now what you have is classified information being used for power, by politicians and money by some of the guys that have gone and done this, and it has happened in other communities as well. The fact is just simply going out and releasing this information, showing that there are guys that don't follow the channel, that there may be a break down in leadership, that in itself can embolden the enemy.

COOPER: And Peter, you have heard and I talked to some folks who actually have backed this up as well, you heard from sources in the community that O'Neil is kind of known for going out to bars and talking, I'm the guy who killed bin Laden.

BERGEN: Yes. I mean, he got thrown off red squadron, which was the group -- the small group within SEAL team six that actually did the raid. And that sort of speaks for itself. I mean, his reputation in the community, I don't know him personally, is not a very good one. It is not -- it is the issue, first of all, of going out and being public about it.

And secondly, there are people who basically are undercutting his version of events. You know, Matt Bissonnette also went out with no easy day, but no one is questioning his version of events. So this seems to be like a double whammy for O'Neil here.

COOPER: Peter Bergen, appreciate you being on and Jonathan Gilliam, thank you so much. (INAUDIBLE) let both of you have on for the first time.

Quick reminder, make sure you set your DVR. You can watch "360" whenever you want.

Just ahead, breaking news about a letter that President Obama reportedly sent to Iran.

Plus, officials believed a U.S. airstrikes in Syria has killed a top bomb-maker for Khorasan. We will tell you who he was and why he was considered a high-value target.


COOPER: Welcome back. There is breaking tonight. Two sources telling CNN that the U.S. has opened communication with Iran via Iraqis concerning military action against ISIS. We also learned just last month President Obama sent a letter to Iran's supreme leader expressing the two countries shared interest in beating ISIS. All this even as the military and the White House continue to insist they're not cooperating with the Iranians on strategy or on intelligence.

Now, also tonight, it looks like the U.S. airstrikes in Syria may have killed a high-value target, it is a 24-year-old French-jihadist and skilled bomb-maker for group Khorasan, which is an Al-Qaeda linked group. There was target in the first wave of airstrikes in Syria, you may remember back in September.

Overnight, five strikes -- airstrikes targeted the group again. This video purportedly showing some of the aftermath. The U.S. defense official says that one of the strikes near Idlib targeted a vehicle believed to be carrying the bomb-maker.

Joining me with the latest in all of this is chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto and senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh.

So Jim, I understand, you have some new information about communication between the U.S. and Iran about these airstrikes against ISIS.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Multiple officials tell me that communication channels have been opened up with Iran as you said via the Iraqis. Now, this is not to coordinate military action but it is to share information to avoid conflict between U.S. and Iranian military assets in the air or on the ground. You have both the U.S. and Iran fighting ISIS now, in Iraq, that includes a lot of planes in the air, and because of that, they want to avoid shooting at each other if that were to happen by accident, no intention, or getting in each other's way. And as a result of that, they're sharing information about military operations via the Iraqis.

It is really remarkable cooperation necessary in light of the fact that they're both fighting the same enemy there. But also an unusual form of cooperation between the two countries.

COOPER: And what do you know about these airstrikes allegedly targeting this bomb-maker?

SCIUTTO: Well, this was a convoy where they had intelligence that David Drugeon was in the convoy, they have not confirmed he was killed, but a military official has told our own Barbara Starr that they believe he was killed in the airstrike.

It tells you couple of things. One, it is progress. Because remember, it was only last week that U.S. officials were telling us that they had confirmed that the first round of airstrikes that were on that very first night of the air campaign in Syria against Khorasan, they concluded had not killed any of the senior leaders.

Two, it tells you that they're improving their intelligence on the ground there. Syria had in effect been an intelligence black hole for the U.S. because, frankly, if hadn't been involved there. That's the handicap with these military operations. And if it is true they have gotten him, it would show their intelligence improved substantially.

COOPER: Yes. The idea they would know in advance they were in this vehicle enough to be able to target this vehicle.

Nick, the U.S. thinks they got their target in the bomb-maker. You said there are consequences to the attack. What are you hearing?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There were five airstrikes, and, yes, may have been the Khorasan members, and David Drugeon were amongst those hits.

But other buildings too hits as part of that. One, Al-Nusra headquarters, the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, prescribed as terror organization. But another building hit belonging to a (INAUDIBLE). Now they are a conservative via ideology but (INAUDIBLE) by leaning militant group, Sunnis too, but they are not considered a terror organization and they are not ally to Al-Qaeda. So there are some Syrian scratching their head precisely as to how they came under U.S. crosshairs and the group itself saying women and children were killed in that blast -- Anderson.

COOPER: So, I mean, is the impression on the ground from where your vantage point that this is doing damage to U.S. credibility?

WALSH: Certainly, I think there are many Syrians who thought attacks against Nusra, who let's remember in the eyes of many Syrian citizens are in fact protecting them in the lengthy civil war against the Syrian regime. But also targeting (INAUDIBLE) is targeting another protector. They are also militarily successful against the regime.

Now, while the main target is ISIS, remember what Jim said about military not coordination but pass the information with Iran, the key backer of the Syrian regime. After the strikes, now broadening it seems, to an Al-Qaeda affiliate, (INAUDIBLE) perhaps by mistake or simply because they seem necessary target at the time. That's going to leave many Syrians who have been, frankly, wondering what the U.S. policy in Syria has been for some time, quite whether or not they are in fact inadvertently or directly now assisting the Syrian regime.

COOPER: All right, Jim Sciutto, thanks. Nick Paton Walsh as well.

Stick around. I want to pull the focus back a bit now to (INAUDIBLE) why are look at all this. Philip Mudd joins me now. He is former senior official in both the CIA and the FBI. I mean, it seems -- the situation in Syria, Phil, it just seems like

it is becoming more and more complicated. Does it seem that way to you?

PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: It sure does. Boy, in my career, you got to have mission focus when you're dealing with complexity like this. For example, if you're dealing in a situation like Somalia, very limited engagement, point targets using drones against terrorist leadership. When you want a regime change in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, major military engagement.

But let's shift to Syria. We're telling our allies we kind of want you to fight ISIS, but we don't share your goal of ousting Assad. We're telling the Syrian people, we kind of don't like Assad, but we're going to kill some of the militants, even though they might be terrorists in our eyes, who want to oust Assad. At some point you got to step back and say exactly what are we up to in Syria because I don't think the current situation is going to stand forever.

COOPER: So -- I mean, there doesn't seem to be at this point, at least publicly clarified, a simple and specific mission, certainly in Syria.

MUDD: I think there is the beginnings of a simple focus and that is let's take out the elements of ISIS, Khorasan -- pardon me, the elements of Al-Qaeda, Khorasan group who are directly focused on targeting the United States. When you start getting into the Syrian opposition, I think that's where this starts to fall apart.

Again, the Syrian people saying I understand some of these strikes, but when you get into what we did last night, they're saying these people are people who are viewed by Syrians as fighting Assad and protecting the Syrian people. I think we have to step back and sort it out.

COOPER: Do you believe that the U.S. is losing credibility or risk losing credibility by multiple strikes and different groups?

MUDD: I do. I think when you're looking at supporting an opposition group and you don't share the goal of the opposition group that is ousting Assad, almost inevitably that will get you crosswise with the people who are supporting the opposition group. You're taking people like the free Syrian army and saying if you fight ISIS, it is OK, if you fight Assad, that's sort of not our game right now. I don't think that confusion is going to stand.

COOPER: All right, Phil Mudd, appreciate it, interesting.

As always, you can find out more on the web at on this story and others.

Coming up, police find a suspected cop killer, Eric Frein they find his stash of supplies he used while he alluded them for seven weeks. As you know, he is now in custody. From a laptop to radio glow sticks, DVDs. We are going to show you, and we have this video of what police found next. It is fascinating stuff. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, suspected state trooper killer Eric Frein alluded capture for nearly seven weeks. And now, we're learning more about exactly how he survived. Frein is in custody now after being captured last week near Tannersville, Pennsylvania. He was charged with first degree murder and other charges in connection with an ambush at the Pennsylvania state police barracks that left one trooper dead and another injured. He was found near an abandoned airport hangar you have probably known. Police found more than 100 items including a laptop, a bible, food, clothing, weapons.

Jason Carroll joins me now with more on the supplies that the police found. We have video of this. What are you learning?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is incredible. I mean, when you look at all of the items that they found, it is very clear from what police are saying about this man's state of mind, and what he planned to do.

More than 120 items, I've got the list here, Anderson. You've got -- I've got to look through some of these things. You know, the general items, some things you might expect, several guns they found, 200 rounds of ammunition, but also a bayonet, binoculars, maps, glue sticks, first aid supplies, seven DVDS, although, they did not indicate what the titles were.

Something that is interesting here as well. This is a man who cared about his hygiene. Contact lens case, hydrogen peroxide, shaving kit, nail clippers as well. Also man who seemed to care somewhat about religion. When you see a copy of the new testament was found there at the hangar. Three typed pages of prayers.

COOPER: All that stuff in the picture, is that all stuff he brought in?

CARROLL: Well, see. That's what is up for debate here. I think what prosecutors and what police say is, you see all the items this man -- that were found at this hangar, it is clear to them that these are not only the types of things he could have all of a sudden found when he was on the run. I think what they're going to say is these are items that he had planned to bring out, that he brought out, that he stashed there.

COOPER: Which then gets the whole premeditation as -- I mean, evidence of premeditation. I mean, he was planning to do something and had this huge stash built up.

CARROLL: Well also, you think about what they have already found at his house. I mean, look, even when he was on the run, when they looked at his laptop, computer at home, they found that he had done searches for how to evade police. They found that book in his bedroom. Training for sniper gunfire. So these are the types of things that I think will be argued that this is a man who planned this for a very, very long time.

COOPER: And he's facing a couple of charges. As we said first degree murder, attempted murder. When is his next court date?

CARROLL: Next court date is scheduled for next Wednesday. However, I think what you're going to see is since his attorneys were basically -- he just got his attorneys last week. I think what we're going to end up seeing is a continuance. So it might be a while before we see him in court.

COOPER: All right. Jason Carroll, thanks very much. Fascinating stuff.

There is a lot more happening tonight. Randi Kaye has a "360" bulletin -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, President Obama is not backing down from his pledge for immigration reform and could sign an executive order on the issue by the end of the year. That's what White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer has told CNN's Wolf Blitzer today.

On Capitol Hill, House speaker John Boehner blasted that plan saying the president will burn himself if he goes down that path.

A federal appeals court upheld sex same marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. This means the battle will likely go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And the polar vortex is making a comeback. Meteorologists warn an arctic invasion will arrive in a central U.S. next week and then move east. The worst of it will be felt from Fargo, North Dakota, Chicago, and St. Louis.

Anderson, get ready.

COOPER: Did the polar vortex always exist or this something that, like, the weather channel just dreamed up recently?

KAYE: I don't know. I never did weather. I'm not sure. It sounds scary, though.

COOPER: I feel like the things pop up and everyone acts like it is the polar vortex, it is back. Like I feel I just heard about it the first time ever last year. Does it exist before?

KAYE: I'm not sure about that.


COOPER: All right, Randi, thanks very much.

Up next, more on the breaking news tied to Iran, President Obama reaching out to the supreme leader about the fight against ISIS.

Plus, an American journalist being held right now, his family say in solitary confinement, for months that he has been held -- *

An American journalist being held right now, his family say in solitary confinement for months that he's been held in Iran. No trial, his family says he's done nothing wrong. I'll speak with his brother and also CNN's Anthony Bourdain who's fought for the journalist's freedom. He showed Anthony around Tehran for "Parts Unknown." We'd be right back.


COOPER: Back to our breaking news on Iran, the U.S. opening communication with Tehran via the Iraqis regarding military action against ISIS, according to two sources. And two sources also say last month President Obama sent a letter to Iran supreme leader expressing that two countries shared the interest in beating ISIS. But the president also said Iran's nuclear program was a main impediment to greater cooperation. Meanwhile, a "Washington Post" reporter is detained in Iran without a trial for more than 100 days, about 107 days to be exact. Well, he may finally be released in less than a month, according to a senior Iranian official. Who spoke with Euro News? Now, the reporter is 38 years old, his name is Jason Rezaian. He was arrested along with his wife on July 22. She was eventually freed last month, but not Jason. According to reports, Iranian officials allege Jason was involved in "activities beyond journalism." The senior Iranian official has offered no specifics, only claiming his actions breached the security of the state. Again, there is no evidence of that. Jason's family says his health is deteriorating. They have been pleading for his release now for months and now there is word it may finally happen. In a moment, I'll speak with Jason's brother as well as CNN's Anthony Bourdain. This summer, Anthony spent time with Jason and his wife while filming an episode of "Parts Unknown." take a look.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST "PARTS UNKNOWN": Do you like it? Are you happy here?

JASON REZAIAN: Look, I -- I'm at a point now after five years where I miss certain things about my home. I miss my buddies. I miss burritos. I miss having certain beverages with my buddies and burritos and certain types of establishments. But I love it. I love it and I hate it, you know? But it is home.


COOPER: Ali Rezaian, Jason's brother joins me along with Anthony Bourdain.

Ali, your brother has been held now for more than 100 days, 107 days. Do you have any idea how he's doing?

ALI REZAIAN, JASON REZAIAN'S BROTHER: We know that he has got some health issues that have been actually getting worse since the last month or so. We have talked a little bit about his blood pressure in the past and we know that that's been taken care of. And he's been - that's been monitored over time. But currently, he's having some issues with his eyes as well as his back and, you know, we also know that he's really feeling very depressed. It's been a long time and he's been in solitary confinement.

COOPER: When you first heard that he had been taken, what did you think?

REZAIAN: Well, you know, unfortunately this kind of happens sometimes. Right? I mean I think Tony had that experience when he was there where people get talked to. And it is not a horribly uncommon occurrence. So, when we first heard about it, we thought maybe, you know, he would be taken for a day or so. Once we found out that his home had been ransacked afterwards, we knew that there was something different. But at the beginning, we were really hopeful that it wasn't going to be going on that long. You know, even acknowledged that he was being held for over a week.

COOPER: And - I mean they've now finally said why -- or -- that he's been charged with, activity, that, quote, "breaches the security of the state."

REZAIAN: Well, I think what they've said is that there are accusations that he has done something that was outside the bounds of journalism and it was - but I really don't think that - that - it's not a legal charge. They haven't charged him with that. Because legally in the country that would change some things.

COOPER: Anthony, when you first heard that he had been taken, this guy who - I mean he and his wife were both taken, you had just spent time with him, what did you think?

BOURDAIN: Confused, horrified, of course. Worried. You know, I just met and talked at length with the guy who was so positive about Iran, so positive about the possibilities for a better future. In no way critical, a voice of reason and understanding and a kind and caring person, proud of his Iranian roots, and proud of his adopted city, and here to tell us about it, so we came as a really terrible surprise, particularly as our experience shooting in Iran had been a shockingly positive one. I mean, we were very encouraged that perhaps things were improving and getting better, so this news came as a real slap to those hopes.

COOPER: There has been some public word from some officials in Iran that perhaps the end is in sight, in terms of his imprisonment. That's got to be -- I mean, do you believe that? Do you believe the end is in sight?

REZAIAN: You know, I -- I sure hope so. It has been a really long time, over 100 days. And, you know, there are things going on in the world that we hope don't play into keeping him there any longer than he needs to be.

COOPER: Anthony, do you have any message to Iranian authorities?

BOURDAIN: Just that these are two lovely blameless people who are not deserving of this, of this fate. And I hope that they will come to their senses and do the right thing.

COOPER: And they represented Iran in your program -- BOURDAIN: In a very positive way. Unfailingly. There was no area at

all or hint of any area of concern. We were talking about quality of life. Why should Americans care about this country? Should we be looking at context and history? Culture. Is there a bigger picture? Is there a bigger Iran than the one that we constantly see, that we only see on the news when, you know, bad things happen. And I think he was strident in insisting that, yes, this is a glorious and ancient empire and however you may feel about the past, the long ago past, or the recent past, it is a place worth looking at, and trying to appreciate.

REZAIAN: It really came across that, you know, Tony was there, he learned some things and really understood, you know, how different it is over there than what's perceived in the media. They give travel ...

COOPER: Often in news stories, you get a very small slice, if you're looking at the politics of something. What's the great thing about Tony's show, is it is journalism in another form. You're seeing the life of a place. And it is not just the food. I mean it is the whole life, the culture.

BOURDAIN: Reaction that we have gotten from - what the show has been -- since it first aired, was overwhelming and a lot of that reaction was shock from people who - I've never thought about Iran in any other way than one way. It was eye opening, confusing, inspiring, but it was a positive reaction with the sort of emotions that one would assume would be -- you would be happy about. Interest, the notion that maybe they aren't the axis of all evil as they were called at one time.

And Jason was largely responsible for that. And I would like to say also, one of the things that - to take away from the scenes with him, the footage that we got with him, is how proud Yegi (ph) is and was in the scenes to be Iranian, of her heritage, where she came from. To me, that was the - you know, you know, the way she held herself, her demeanor when she spoke of her country, and how happy she was to live there, and how proud she was of it. It is hard to imagine how anything these people could have ever said or done that would, you know, put them in this position.

COOPER: Well, I hope there is good news soon. Thank you very much for talking to us.

REZAIAN: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, for more on Jason, you go to the website, on Twitter. Use the #freejason at the top of the hour. You don't miss an encore of Anthony Bourdain "Parts Unknown: the Iran" episode with Jason and Yegi, - and it's fascinating hour, that's in just a few minutes. Right here on CNN.

Up next, day two of the Ray Rice appeal hearing. He wants to play again in the NFL. He insists he should not have been suspended indefinitely for hitting his then fiancee in an elevator, knocking her out. Tonight, Randi Kaye - the NFL chief investigators pass why one woman says he shouldn't even be investigating domestic abuse cases, next.


COOPER: Well, the Ray Rice appeal hearing is over. Wrapped up late this afternoon in New York and the former Baltimore Ravens running back want his job back. According to reports, Rice along with his wife Janay testified separately today. The key issue, what they told the NFL investigators about that now infamous video from Atlantic City elevator where he hit her and knocked her out. Rice says the NFL subjected him to double jeopardy by first giving him a two-game suspension and then extending it to an indefinite suspension when the damaging video surfaced publicly in September. Rice has also - has asked for a former federal judge to rule that he should play again. There's no word on when a decision is actually going to be made. According to reports, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was the first witness to testify under oath yesterday for more than two hours.

The NFL has its own security team that looked into the matter and one woman, a former FBI agent, is speaking out saying the league's top investigator who once worked at the FBI is the last man who should be investigating a domestic violence case. Randi Kaye is back with her story.



RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dree Ann Cellemme was a special agent with the FBI when this happened.


KAYE: That was October, 2006. That's Cellemme, in the back of tan Austin Texas police car, very drunk and very combative. By this time, Cellemme had been with the FBI for four years. She wasn't driving on this night, nor did she have her gun. She was off duty, out with friends. Still, she says, the incident cost her her job. Claiming she was discriminated against at the FBI because she is a woman. A charge with implications surrounding of all things the Ray Rice controversy that has consumed the NFL.

DREE ANN CELLEMME, FORMER FBI AGENT: There is clearly a double standard that boys can be boys, but girls always have to act like ladies.

KAYE: The year before the incident in the car, Cellemme got sloppy drunk at the FBI's Christmas party. For that, she was suspended 15 days, but this would turn into something far worse.

(on camera): Have you seen the video of you in the back of the police car?

CELLEMME: It is shocking for me to watch it, clearly. It shows someone in the throes of alcohol addiction who needs intervention and treatment. KAYE (voice over): In Austin, Cellemme was charged with public

intoxication. In the heat of the moment, listen as she threatens the officers.

CELLEMME: I'm going to tell everyone you raped me.

KAYE (on camera): Do you remember making the threat that you made toward the Austin police officers?

CELLEMME: Not at all. I have -- I was pepper sprayed and I do not remember being pepper sprayed.

KAYE (voice over): The next morning in an interview with Austin police, Cellemme says she told them the threat regarding rape was all part of a drunken stupor, that she had no plans to file complaints against the officers.

CELLEMME: I paid a $200 fine and pled no contest. It is a classy misdemeanor in Texas, it's just a step above a traffic ticket.

KAYE: That might have been the end of it, had it not been for a man named John Raucci who got involved in Cellemme's case after she appealed her 15-day suspension for being drunk at the FBI Christmas party. At the time, he was the FBI's deputy director of human resources. Handling discipline for agents seeking appeal. Raucci put Cellemme on indefinite suspension while continuing to look into the case of her drunken behavior in Austin, Texas.

Cellemme says that was unheard of at the FBI, in another case, similar to hers, she says a male agent was suspended for just 17 days for public intoxication and verbal allegations that police officers had stolen his money. And she says another male agent had been cited for two DUIs, but only given a 45-day suspension. After that male agent killed another driver with his car, he was finally dismissed.

(on camera): How would you say Mr. Raucci treated you unfairly?

CELLEMME: I was subjected to things that no other agent in the history of the FBI has been subjected to.

(voice over): If the name John Raucci sounds familiar, it should. He's the same John Raucci who is now director of investigations for the NFL. In charge of gathering information on domestic violence cases. Raucci left the FBI in 2012. The FBI told us in a statement that it followed all appropriate procedures in the case involving Miss Cellemme and denies her allegations of discrimination. A judge didn't agree. In August, a court ruling found that Cellemme was "the object of unlawful disparate treatment based on sex when suspended indefinitely, refused back pay, refused information about her employment status and maintained on the agency's list of terminated employees during an indefinite suspension." Adding that John Raucci was the only managing officer responsible for this decision.

CELLEMME: Clearly someone who just had a finding of sex discrimination against them is the last person who should be investigating domestic violence issues. I mean it is just unconscionable that they would be in that position.

KAYE: In fact, just recently NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, taking questions from the media about domestic violence and the NFL's personal conduct policy, said this.

ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: We didn't have the right voices at the table. We need to get better expertise.

KAYE: Is a man just found guilty of sex discrimination, the so-called right voice? He's been with the NFL for two years as its director of investigations. But now will be called on to consider a woman's side of the story in a domestic abuse case. When we reached out to the NFL and Raucci to ask about that, the NFL referred us back to the FBI for anything related to the Cellemme case. And told us that Raucci's role is, quote, "to provide investigative services," and to gather information adding he's not in a role to determine discipline. Given this statement from Goodell at that same press conference --

GOODELL: We will continually evaluate. Do we need other resources? Do we need other individuals?

KAYE: The question now is will the NFL re-evaluate having this man potentially making important decisions about women.


COOPER: So do we know did Raucci have a role at hearings that concluded today?

KAYE: I wish I could tell you, but, Anderson, the NFL won't talk to us, they won't give us any specific questions, answers to any specific questions, they won't talk to us on camera as we had requested and we went at them several times, we called them, we e-mailed them and they keep sending us back to the FBI, which doesn't make any sense. Because this guy John Raucci doesn't work for the FBI anymore, he works for the NFL. We want to know what his role is at the NFL. We got sort of a non-statement statement from them. So, we got pretty much the run around. But on a separate topic, the polar vortex, which you and I were talking about just a short time ago, you said you were going to get the crack team on it.


KAYE: Well, we did.


KAYE: And it turns out that NOAA ...


KAYE: Named the polar vortex back in 1853.


KAYE: Says that it was named back in 1853. COOPER: I just haven't heard about it.

KAYE: I hadn't heard about it either. We got a bunch of tweets on it, saying well, it was in the arctic but it did exist.


KAYE: There's the answer.

COOPER: Had I gone to the Arctic, I would have known probably.

KAYE: Here you go.

COOPER: Randi, thanks very much.

Coming up, it's been a long day, so we'll make you smile at the end of the day. The Ridiculist ix next.


COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist." And tonight, I'm counting down to the return of one of the funniest most brilliant television series ever. This weekend, "The Comeback" returns to HBO with new episodes. Nine years after its first and only season. It stars Lisa Kudrow as a washed up actress who's followed by reality TV cameras as she tries to make a comeback on a new sitcom where she's cast as the track suit wearing Aunt Sassy. Now, from the very first episode where we saw her practicing her catch phrase I thought it was TV gold.


LISA KUDROW Note to self, after a long day at work, I don't want to see that. I don't want to see that. I don't want to see that. Note to self, after a long day at work, I don't want to see that. Don't want to see that.


KUDROW: Note to self, I don't need to see that.



COOPER: Now, I love this show, I'm a huge fan of the show. I'm glad it is coming back. But I probably would not have mentioned it on air except they sent me this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At 360 degree view in Anderson Cooper, note to self, I do need to see that. I hope I don't make your ridiculous.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not what it's called, is it? Is it really called that? OK. I thought he did the news. Is it comedy news? At 360 degree view I Anderson Cooper. Note to self, I do need to see that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do need to see that.


COOPER: All right. They totally got me. She even mentioned "The Ridiculist," so here we are, hook, line and sinker. By the way, I'm still waiting for the talking cutout of my other favorite character, Nicky.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nicky is here. I'm going to get the door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ding dong. Avon calling.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ding dong. Avon calling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, very good. This is Mickey. He's funny.



COOPER: Hair and makeup, last looks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you just won the way to my heart.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't have worn my clogs.


COOPER: See, I like the show. I can sit here and sing the praises of that show all day long, but really I would like to take this opportunity to speak to the PR people out there who send us pitch after pitch for stuff that we never talk about on this program. I get sent stuff all the time. I'm not allowed to accept gifts so I just give them to the staff, I give them to anybody who wants them. For example, we got a pitch asking me to interview the inventor of the following product.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Introducing pea pocket, the revolutionary new urinary device exclusively developed by a team of doctors for use by women all over the world. The pee pocket is a single use waterproof funnel that allows women everywhere the remarkable advantage to relieve themselves while standing.


COOPER: Sure, who doesn't want to relieve themselves while standing? Did we actually get a pitch for - from the maker of that? So, I don't even hear about these things. The point is, I'm probably not going to do the interview of the pee pocket, although it does seem sort of like an intriguing product.

But just blasting out press releases it's not going to make it happen. If you really want to be on T.V. its simple, whatever you're promoting just make a cut out of Lisa Kudrow and get her to record a personalized message about your thing. That's how you get the attention of the Ridiculist. That does it for us. We'll see you again 11:00 p.m. Eastern for another edition of 360. Anthony Bourdain in Parts Unknown, starts now.