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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
U.N. Demands Access into Syria; Delegate Strategy Dilemma
Aired March 12, 2012 - 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, everyone. We begin "Keeping Them Honest" with diplomats talking while a dictator keeps killing. As the U.S. and Britain pushed the U.N. Security Council try to get tough on Syria, Russia, which as a veto, warns against assigning blame of acting out of revenge against the Assad regime.
The only signs of revenge we see today in Syria come down from YouTube videos of innocent victims in ordinary neighborhoods targeted by Assad's forces. This is from Homs where government troops have free reign, body after body, truck after truck.
According to the opposition these were women and children stabbed, burned to death late Sunday. Some had their throats slit. You see 22 body bags in all of the 45 reported dead. As always we can't independently verify the claims of the video. But today at least we got a kind of confirmation from Syrian State media. It, too, broadcast images of the victims in Homs which is something of a departure for the regime. Normally, state TV limits itself to footage of funerals for police officers and security forces.
Now at least it is showing civilian victims. But on Syrian State television, they blame those killings on so-called armed terrorist groups. It's a narrative we've heard over and over from the regime. Remember the Syrian military has once again taken control of the neighborhoods in Homs.
The Assad regime is digging in, not backing down. The pictures you just saw may, in fact, support that assessment. In his meetings Saturday and Sunday with U.N. Special Envoy Kofi Annan, Syria's dictator conceded nothing to the U.N. sticking to the story, though, the violence is being committed by armed terrorist gangs, insisting his regime is not slaughtering civilians. Despite that and despite the grim accounts from the U.N.'s own people, people who've seen things up close, Annan somehow found reason for optimism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KOFI ANNAN, U.N. AND ARAB LEAGUE SPECIAL ENVOY TO SYRIA: Yes, it is going to be tough. It is going to be difficult, but we have to have hope. Almost every Syrian I have met wants peace. They want the violence to stop. They want move on with their lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: But "Keeping Them Honest." Annan's assessment treats the violence as if it came out of nowhere, that it's somehow just happening to the Syrian people.
It is not just happening. The regime is making it happen. The violence is being done to the Syrian people, at least to Syrian Sunnis. It's being inflicted on the Syrian people. And not one bit of it stopped, not for even a moment while Kofi Annan and Assad were talking.
Activists say that in addition to the 45 killings in Homs, the videos of which we just showed you, dozens more were killed over the weekend and many more today all across Syria. And with major shelling in Homs where those bodies you saw were buried in Daraa where the regime is reportedly doing what it did against Baba Amr, the neighborhood in Homs, pointing antiaircraft artillery at houses and apartment buildings.
And even though the Free Syrian Army is now fighting back, as you can see in this new video of an attack on a tank, they're no match for Assad's army which in any case seemed mainly focused on civilian targets as they did against Baba Amr.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Is it even a war? I mean is it accurate to call it that?
PAUL CONROY, PHOTOJOURNALIST: No, I think -- I think it would be wrong to call it a war. This is -- this is, I think, they have a medieval siege and slaughter. I would hesitate to use the word war.
CONROY: In Baba Amr.
COOPER: You say it's a slaughter?
CONROY: Absolutely. It's a slaughter house in there.
COOPER: Now Syrian forces are free to go house-to-house, apartment-to-apartment, and seek whatever revenge that they want. And there's really no one there anymore to document it. No international correspondents and even locals with access to YouTube cameras and uploading things on YouTube.
CONROY: absolutely. I mean that's -- unfortunately now, that was a line of defense to appoint, that the fact that this could be documented and maybe, maybe hopefully the presence of photographers and journalists, both Western and Syrians, held a (INAUDIBLE) of security but not that's gone. This will -- this will continue in the dark, undocumented.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: In a moment we'll hear more from Paul Conroy, a photojournalist who escaped from Homs. We'll also talk with Professor Fouad Ajami. But first, the U.N.'s Humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, who's just back from Syria and she's from refugee camps across Syria's border with Turkey.
COOPER: The Syrian government insists and has insisted for nearly a year now that what they call armed terrorist gangs are responsible. From what you saw, does it make any sense to you that armed terrorist gangs are capable of the wholesale destruction of Baba Amr?
VALERIE AMOS, UNITED NATIONS HUMANITARIAN CHIEF: There are clearly been heavy fighting going on. Any kind of opposition or armed gang would have had to have the considerable weapons at their disposal.
COOPER: You met with the foreign minister, other members of the Assad regime. How do they -- I mean, in private, do they actually use the same rhetoric of armed terrorist gangs? I mean do they really seem to believe that?
AMOS: All of the ministers that I met made it clear that the Syrian government was fighting terrorism. They were fighting people who wanted to see regime change in the country and also made the point that they did not think that there was significant humanitarian needs in the country.
COOPER: How can they say that there's not, you know, significant humanitarian needs in the country? I mean we have seen with our own eyes in countless videos the shelling of Baba Amr. We've seen the -- what other -- what independent reporters who I've talked to have called the wholesale slaughter of people there?
AMOS: I'm really worried about what has happened to the people of Baba Amr because there was no one around. It was pretty much deserted. Thousands of people have been displaced. We don't know how many people have been wounded, we don't know where those people have gone or indeed what their needs are. So, my view is that there are humanitarian needs in Syria and I'd like us to be able to find out more about exactly what those needs are and how we can help.
COOPER: As you know, the Syrians -- there are a lot of Syrians who watch this program who will say that the Assad regime is basically just buying time. They're just using you, they're using Kofi Annan, they're using the U.N. They'll have meetings, they'll -- you know, make pronouncements. What they want is basically just buying time to slaughter people on the ground.
What do you need to see? What is your timetable for action by the Syrian regime in order to prove that they are serious about meeting the humanitarian needs of the people?
AMOS: Well, what I heard from the Syrian government in terms of their proposal to me to conduct these assessments is that they should start within a week of my visit. That means Thursday of this week. That is what we are planning for.
COOPER: I know you are in a difficult position. You have to deal with these people and meet with these people. But I guess from an outsider's perspective, if they don't allow the Red Crescent into Baba Amr in the days after they have been shelling it for weeks and weeks and weeks, and we know that there are desperately injured people there who are afraid to go to government-run hospitals, there's little medicine, there's been little food getting in.
If the Syrian regime refuses to allow the Red Crescent in immediately to bring in humanitarian supplies, why should anyone believe that a week from now or two weeks from now, they're going to kind of help you do an assessment of the needs of the people? Won't a lot of the people already be dead?
AMOS: My job is to keep trying. My job is to try as hard as we can to get the help to the people who need it. My job is not to give up.
COOPER: Valerie Amos, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
AMOS: Thank you very much.
COOPER: I want to bring in photojournalist Paul Conroy who was wounded in the siege of Baba Amr in the same attack that took the lives of his colleague Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlick. He joins us by phone. Also Fouad Ajami, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution?
You know, Fouad, Valerie Amos is obviously in a difficult position. Seems like a nice person but it's kind of ridiculous to be going through this facade where she's saying well, there's this timetable, we wanted to bring in humanitarian aid. They've been shelling the city for a month killing countless number of people and then they won't even allow in the Red Crescent Society to bring in humanitarian relief when it's most needed.
FOUAD AJAMI, SR. FELLOW, STANFORD UNIVERSITY'S HOOVER INSTITUTION: Well, what's interesting is, I think, I was listening carefully to you and you said that all this is buying time, which is is very interesting and very compelling. There's a 22-year-old protester in Syria who was quoted in "The New York Times" saying, the world is buying time by sending more delegations and envoys. Kofi Annan will do nothing. And Valerie Amos will do nothing.
And these are very weak people because they understand the brief they're given by the United Nations. They understand the abdication at the United Nations and they understand the abdication of American power which is hiding behind the Russian veto, to be honest with you. We keep going to the U.N. and we sent them Kofi Annan. One of the most morally compromised bureaucrats in the international order. Where there's reputation, solid in Rwanda with his reputation questioned. In Bosnia with his reputation again questioned. In the Oil for Food program over Iraq and he walks in like this innocent man thinking that there's peace and love to be dispensed around in Syria.
COOPER: The -- Paul, last time we spoke, you just made it out of Syria and you very plainly called what happened in Homs a slaughter house, what was going on there. The idea that the Syrian regime is still claiming well, it's armed gangs who slit the throats of children and women in neighborhood in Homs, now that they control those neighborhoods once again, when you hear that, what do you think?
OK. I'm sorry. OK. Wait, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm not sure we're -- I'm being told we are not hearing you on the air. I'm actually hearing Paul on my ear so I apologize for that, for that long pause. We'll try to get that technical problem fixed.
But, Fouad, for this -- for the U.N. to kind of still be paying lip service to the Syrian regime's claims of armed terrorist gangs just seems absurd to me.
AJAMI: But look, the U.N. is really irrelevant. I mean I think we're -- when we talk about the U.N. we're focusing on the wrong player. It's the power, the democracies. The so-called friends of Syria. It's basically what will the U.S. do? What will Britain do? What will France do? What will the moderate Arab governments with their money and support, alleged support, for the Syrian people? What will they do?
So we go to the United Nations. It's a cul-de-sac. When you go to the U.N., you already are going to face these obstacles at the U.N., the Russians, the Chinese, other powers. And I think the Syrian people are right to conclude that they live alone and dwell alone and die alone in this fight.
COOPER: Also, for the Syrian regime to claim that, well, it's armed terrorist gangs who are slitting the throats of children and women, it does not make sense. They claim that they are trying to kill all these people in order to make it look like the regime is killing these people. Activists are saying it's in fact these militias that are pro-Syrian government. Militias that the Shaheeb who are doing this.
AJAMI: Well, I think one of your colleagues, Arwa Damon, did some amazing reporting from Syria. And she put the light to all the claims of the regime. The regime is committing barbarous deeds. We're talking about skinning people. We're talking about killing people, we're talking about slitting the throats of children.
We go back to where we started 14 months ago when we started doing this Arab spring and the theme of this broadcast as I understood it then and it remains the essential theme is that fear has been defeated.
AJAMI: What Bashar al-Assad now wants to do in Baba Amr and other -- in Idlib and other places is to recreate the culture of fear, to frighten the Syrian people into submission. And you know what? If the rest of the world doesn't come to the rescue, they may yet succeed.
COOPER: I want to see if we got Paul. Paul, are you there? Can you hear me?
CONROY: I'm here, Anderson.
COOPER: OK. Sorry about that, Paul. When you hear the Syrian regime claiming it's still these armed terrorist gangs and when you hear of the slaughter that happened over this weekend with women and children in Homs, you said it's like you're in "Alice in Wonderland."
CONROY: Absolutely. The rhetoric coming from the U.N., from Kofi Annan, from Valeria Amos, is an absolutely no connection to what is happening on the ground in Syria at the moment. The slaughter continue to take place while they had seen biscuits and then we hear rumors that there is room for optimism. One thing I also heard was Kofi Annan saying we should not arm and supply bullets and ammunition to the Syrian -- to the Free Syrian Army because it may increase the level of bloodshed.
It's impossible to raise the level of bloodshed anymore. How bad does it have to be to stop this? I mean, if they don't get these people what they need purely to defend themselves, then it's a moderately corrupt world what's happening now. While it's being plated, we are hiding behind the fact that Russia will veto. I think people at the U.N. are happy that Russia is vetoing. It's an excuse for action. It's reprehensible corruption.
But people who are suffering are the women, the men and the children, they're slaughtered and they didn't stop for a moment while Kofi and crews sat there. They carried on as if nothing was happening and they will continue to carry on. They will blame armed terrorists gangs. And to see to the (INAUDIBLE) then "Alice in Wonderland." This is a very corrupt and dangerous game that's being played by --
COOPER: And Paul, the -- Miss Amos from the U.N. who's in charge of humanitarian relief and assessing the needs, you know, she says well, we need a schedule, we need to see if the Syrians are serious about meeting the humanitarian needs of the people. I mean it -- that's a tough sentence to even listen to given that they have been shelling their own people now for months. And then again I keep coming back, they would not allow the Red Crescent in with a media humanitarian assistance, food and medical assistance, after getting a victory in Homs.
CONROY: Absolutely. I mean -- I mean anybody should -- I mean I find it difficult to wait a minute, to sit there and think, we're going to be late on the regime that soon. What he has done that we witness. We know it's happening. And to sit there and say, we'll give it a week. We'll see what can be done. I mean, are we living in -- we are not that naive. I can't describe it, Anderson.
You know, before I managed to keep me cool. Now I'm furious that the -- we're plagued with this corrupt game of waiting for Abe to go on. It's nonsense. The problem is we're about eight months too late on this. We're trying to play catch up and the U.S. is not going to move in the military. What it needs now is safe areas, safe corridors, controlled by the military to get them people safe. All of this nonsense about, you know, armed terrorist gangs is the problem.
We know the problem. We all sat and listened with revulsion to this regime. I lies -- I think it's (INAUDIBLE) what's happening. And I must say because the harder I feel when I see Kofi Annan and crew going in and paying lip service to a regime that is annihilated a large part of its own citizens.
CONROY: It's almost too much to bear. You know -- you know, thankfully, there are people who are aware of this and good god.
CONROY: We're really going to play this game? You know, it's a horrible game to see being played these people.
COOPER: Yes, it is, Paul.
CONROY: I'm sorry I'm so angry.
CONROY: It's --
COOPER: I know. I understand the anger.
CONROY: I wish I was a bit more subtle. But no, I'm angry. And I hope somebody wakes up and says get them people out of there. Let's stop this nonsense.
COOPER: Paul Conroy -- I appreciate you -- I appreciate you being on. And I know it's -- you saw with your own eyes so I understand the anger.
Paul, I appreciate it.
Fouad Ajami, as well.
We should also point out a funeral was held today in New York's Long Island. Family and colleagues and friends paying their last respects to Marie Colvin's -- to Marie Colvin. Her mother's fear that her body would never make it back from Syria nearly came to pass. It took days after -- well, many days of diplomacy just to bring her home from Baba Amr. Tonight, she is home. And we say that with heavy hearts and the deepest respect for the work that she did.
Marie Colvin was just 56 years old, and was truly a remarkable lady.
Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook and Google Plus. You can follow me on Twitter @Andersoncooper. I'm tweeting tonight.
Ahead on the program, what we're learning about the American soldier who's accused of massacring 16 men and women and children in Afghanistan, killing the very people American forces are there to protect.
And up next, the tight race in two southern states tomorrow that could give Newt Gingrich's campaign some new political life or start Mitt Romney on a roll that could be tough to stop. Details ahead.
COOPER: "Raw Politics" now. The night before two crucial primaries, Mississippi and Alabama, late-polling shows a tight race in both states between Newt Gingrich, who's running as the son of the south, and Mitt Romney who seems to be putting himself up for adoption.
According to ARG, 34 percent of likely Mississippi voters choose Governor Romney with 32 percent for Speaker Gingrich, effectively a tie. Same foes for Alabama with Gingrich slightly ahead but again within the margin of error. Rick Santorum is third in each. This race is something of a Romney surge in two states and Newt Gingrich seemed to predict victory in as recently as yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we'll win both and I think we're probably pulling ahead in both states right now. We have great organizations in both states.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Today, though, he appeared to backpedal a bit telling the Associated Press, quote, "I think there's a fair chance we'll win." It's just something most politicians do given how big a role expectations can play.
But few campaigns that end up lowering expectations are quite as bold as the former speaker at initially raising them. Days before the Arizona primary, his campaign described it as, quote, "an early benchmark," where, quote, "victory is vital." There's a chance his victory slipped away. That statement disappeared from the campaign Web site.
Another example, here's Speaker Gingrich weeks before the Iowa caucuses before the first votes have been held anywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRICH: I want to be the nominee. I mean it's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, in the following weeks, of course, the campaign went from predicting a win in Iowa to saying second place would be fine, and then third then fourth. Gingrich finished fourth. We should mention that every candidate since the beginning of time has tried to play down the expectations game to perfection. Mitt Romney is, too. But another big part of his southern strategy going to tomorrow's race is to sound more southern. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Morning y'all. I got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits, and see some of your fine wares. Here a nice old John Deere tractor from awhile ago. I'm learning to say y'all. And -- I like grits and to think there are strange things are happening to me. Wouldn't you love to hear them sing "Sweet Home Alabama"? Would that be wonderful? Yes. I've been getting hugs from these southern girls. I came from 12 to -- well, a lot more than 12.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mitt Romney calls the south his away game. Rick Santorum says for himself there's no such thing as an away game.
Joining us now is chief national correspondent John King who's going to be working the magic wall tomorrow night. Also Rick Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart. And Kellyanne Conway, pollster and senior advisor to the Gingrich campaign.
So, Alice, your campaign put out a memo today making the case that the senator is in a better position on delegates than Mitt Romney is. Romney has more than twice the delegates you do. It does seem like he's struggling on that front, doesn't it?
ALICE STEWART, SPOKESWOMAN FOR RICK SANTORUM: Well, you have to wonder why someone like Mitt Romney, after Super Tuesday, comes out with the inspiring message about math. That's not very inspiring. What he's doing is they have put out memos and talked about the fact that it would be mathematically impossible for Rick Santorum to come out ahead in this fight.
When the truth is, that's nothing more than a smoke screen to demonstrate the fact that he's not inspiring the base. He's not in touch with conservatives. And what we are -- letting folks know today is that the math is still a long way out. Rick is the true conservative in this race. He is inspiring the base and that's why he has stood up --
COOPER: But you were saying that your campaign --
STEWART: -- with Governor Romney up against the ropes.
COOPER: You're saying your candidate is in a better position on delegates than Mitt Romney is. How is that possible?
STEWART: Well, it certainly is. A lot of these delegates out there are still unbound. And typically the unbound delegates are going to swing more toward a conservative candidate like Rick Santorum, where as oppose to --
COOPER: So you're saying it's better for your candidate to be so far behind in delegates than the frontrunner is? Just logically, does that make sense?
STEWART: Well, what I'm saying is, the Romney campaign is using the delegate math as a smoke screen to say that he is not inspiring the base, whereas the delegates that are left to be decided, many of them are in states that are better suited for Rick Santorum. And as I said, a lot of the unbound delegates are typically going to go to a conservative candidate.
STEWART: And not a moderate like Mitt Romney.
COOPER: Kellyanne, the speaker is obviously been very cautious calling any state a must-win. But wasn't his whole southern strategy -- I mean, wasn't it dependent on winning someplace in the south? If he can't win there, where can he win?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, POLLSTER AND SENIOR ADVISER TO THE GINGRICH CAMPAIGN: Well, he's won in Georgia big, almost a majority of the vote last week. And he won in South Carolina, which really stopped the Romney machine because the day before Newt Gingrich won in South Carolina. Rick Santorum was actually declared the winner of Iowa. All of a sudden, everybody, all the pundits, were saying, you know, Mitt Romney made history, he won Iowa and New Hampshire, now he's going to win South Carolina, and certainly important. And here we are --
COOPER: Right. But South Carolina is history. I mean tomorrow --
CONWAY: That's the south. But you asked about the south.
CONWAY: But frankly -- no, we're doing very well in Mississippi and Alabama. Newt, the day after Super Tuesday, decided to stay there through the Alabama and Mississippi primaries. So he has literally been there the entire time. And I think --
COOPER: But you're not predicting a victory there?
CONWAY: We are very competitive of both states. We've actually been in the field in the campaign. We're very competitive in both states. And I do know that today Senator Santorum is damping down expectations.
But let me say this, Anderson. The -- there's no must-win state, there's a must-win election this year. And the place that Newt can really win, and we've seen our polling also in the debate stage with Barack Obama, voters in the Republican primaries believe that to beat Obama in the fall you first have to beat him in the debate. And three are already scheduled. And there's one guy who's peerless and fearless when it comes to that.
I think that Mitt Romney, you know, is no more -- no more convincing these southerners that he's one of them, that he's convinced conservatives. You were never -- it's never part of the Romney campaign plan for you to have a Gingrich spokeswoman and a Santorum spokeswoman a week after Super Tuesday. They had rigged the system. They weren't supposed to be here so it shows you his inevitability doesn't matter.
COOPER: John, let me bring you in. How important are tomorrow's votes for the Gingrich campaign? Are they a must-win for him?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, he's on the record himself saying they're both must-win states. I understand why he's moderated that a bit. His spokesman is on the record saying they have to win from Spartanburg all the way to Texas. So that would include Alabama, Mississippi tomorrow, then Louisiana, and then Texas and maybe Arkansas.
But I -- look, this is what happens when you polling. The fact that you have a -- too close to call in both Alabama and Mississippi, Anderson, reminds us yet again this is a wacky, incredibly volatile Republican race. And when you have campaigns putting out their memos and the like, they are driving this blog culture where we keep scoring out by the minute, not even by the hour, let alone by the day. And so they're trying to get on the conservative blog saying Santorum is still in it, Gingrich is still in it. The Romney people do it, too.
I'm not picking on Alice and Kellyanne here. You just had the segment about Syria. We had a horrible murder in Afghanistan. What about gas prices? What about taxes and spending? The Republican campaign, in part because it's so close and so volatile, has become about petty little things at the moment that I think that's a shame.
COOPER: What about Santorum? How well do you think he needs to do?
KING: If he could get a win, it would be great. If you look at the polling numbers there, he's down in the 20s. This will be tough for him. He's won in the Midwest. Coming out -- if he does not get a win, it gets harder. Now he can say Speaker Gingrich is strong in the south. If Gingrich wins in both, Santorum can say OK, Newt is back, I'm strong, Romney is still in it, on we go.
If Governor Romney gets a win tomorrow and runs very competitive in the other state in the south, the two campaign people you have with you right now are going to have a tougher day. Even if it's close. If Romney could win -- one of their biggest arguments has been the Massachusetts moderate, as they call him, can't win in the geographic base of the Republican Party, that's the Deep South.
If Governor Romney comes out with a win tomorrow night, it gets very hard for the Santorum and the Gingrich campaign to spin that away.
COOPER: We've got to leave it there. Alice Stewart, thank you. Kellyanne Conway, thank you. John King, thanks as well. I'll see you tomorrow night.
Stay with CNN, complete coverage tomorrow night of the primaries and caucuses. Erin Burnett starts at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. At 8:00 I'll join Wolf Blitzer and the entire CNN political team as the votes for Alabama and Mississippi start to come in. We'll continue our coverage, a full hour of 360 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. A full wrap up.
Still ahead, new details tonight about that U.S. soldier who allegedly gunned down 16 Afghan civilians including nine children in the middle of the night.
Also Bobbi Kristina Brown's first interview about losing her mother, Whitney Houston. Are there any clues about what actually happened. We'll talk to Dr. Drew Pinsky on that.
COOPER: Tonight, the Taliban in Afghanistan are vowing revenge for the massacre of 16 civilians, women, children and men who were pulled from their beds and shot dead allegedly by U.S. army staff sergeant. The killings have enraged Afghans. President Hamid Karzai has called the attack an unforgivable crime.
The White House released this picture of President Obama talking on the phone Karzai yesterday on his way to his daughter's Sasha's basketball game. Here is what President Obama said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I talked to President Karzai and expressed my deep condolences. This is a situation where we are although we are still doing an investigation, appears that but you have a lone gunman who acted on his own, and just a tragic, tragic way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The Pentagon is calling the attack an isolated incident, the work of one troubled soldier. They have not released the suspect's name. He's stationed in Joint Base Lewis McCord in Washington state.
Tonight, there are new details about him. Here is Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 3:00 Sunday morning, deep in Taliban territory, an Afghan troop spot an American soldier leaving his combat outpost all alone. They alert U.S. commanders who determined it is an army sergeant in his mid-30s with a wife and kids, who deployed to Afghanistan for the first time in December. They will soon learn, although he is now working security, he is a qualified sniper. He suffered a brain injury in a vehicle accident in 2010 but was found fit for duty. He's been to Iraq three times. As they organize a search, they have no idea where he is headed. But a short while later, less than a mile away, witnesses say the night erupts.
One guy came in and he pulled a boy from his sleep and shot him in the doorway, this woman says. Then he came back inside the room and put a gun in the mouth of one child and stomped on another.
According to residents, the uniformed gunman moved from house-to- house in two small villages, shooting into some, entering others. Several people were wounded and survived, 16 people did not, four men, three women and nine children. At least one of them, just a toddler, was killed. Most of the dead were related to each other.
Look at this, the bodies, this man says, they all belong to one family. Witnesses say the gunman set fire to some of the bodies before he finally retreated into the night. Military officials say the first they knew of all of this was when some wounded Afghans showed up at their base telling tales of the vicious attack.
Official says the search party found the missing sergeant heading back to the post where he immediately turned himself in. What they are looking for now is any explanation of what happened in the horrifying hours while he was gone.
COOPER: Tome, what are we learning about other similar incidents from the base in Washington where the soldier was from? According to "Stars and Stripes" magazine, this base is known as the most troubled base.
FOREMAN: Well, yes. it's certainly, there's nothing quite similar to this, Anderson. As you know, this is really one of the most horrific things we have seen over there. But this base, Joint Base, Lewis McCord is huge sprawling base, 100,000 civilians and military personnel there. It was an army base and air force base joined together. And it really has been for sometime sort of sitting at an intersection here between concern in the military about various disorders, PTSD with enough people treated properly, with people being pushed back into battle. Some of the families pushing saying we need better investigation. There have been investigations about other problems. Big suicide rate there, couple of years back. They had a problem of another troop from that base who is convicted last November of murdering Afghan civilians.
So, the problem for the base, have been there, Anderson, is knowing there are many, many great leaders there and great soldiers there. Men and women and their family who is want to serve, who want to have a record of going the extra mile and yet this concern that maybe some people are being pushed too far. We don't know if that's the case in this case, but that's the concern is, Anderson.
COOPER: Right. Well, if these allegations are true, it happened in Afghanistan and it makes it that much harder for all the other soldiers and marines who are serving their honor to get their jobs done and complete their missions.
Tom, appreciate it. Thanks.
We are following number of other stories tonight.
Isha is here with the "360 Bulletin" - Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a short time ago, an Egyptian official told CNN that a truce has been reached between Israel and the Palestinians to end days of violence and bloodshed. At least seven people were killed today in the Gaza Strip and more than three dozen rockets fired from Israel to Gaza. This was the worst Africa violence in months. At least 23 people in Gaza have been killed since Friday.
The head of the organization that produce the documentary, "Kony 2012" released a video today that he hopes will answer questions from critics. And this short film, "Kony 2012" has been viewed more than 17 million times on you tube. It reveals it's trustees committed by African warlord, Joseph Kony. But some of question invisible children's transparency.
And Anderson, check this out. A shark feeding frenzy off the coast of Perth, Australia. More than 50 sharks feasting on massive school of tuna. An event like this is rare. Birds we are flying around to snatch up the leftovers.
COOPER: Wow. Incredible.
SESAY: I know you are a shark boy. I knew you would like that.
COOPER: That's right, a shark boy. Isha, thanks.
Still ahead, Whitney Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina talking to Oprah Winfrey about losing her mom and how she's handling her grief. We'll talk to Dr. Drew Pinsky about his thoughts ahead.
COOPER: On the four weeks into Whitney Houston's death, there's speculation into the role drugs and alcohol may have played. They expect the toxicology report on Whitney Houston to be complete later this month.
Meantime, Bobbi Kristina, Houston's teenage daughter with Bobbi Brown, has given her first public interview since her mom's death. Here's some of what she told over Winfrey this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOBBI KRISTINA BROWN, WHITNEY HOUSTON'S DAUGHTER: I can sing her music, but to hear it right now, I can't. You know, to hear it, I can hear her voice in spirit talking to me and telling me, you know, keep moving baby. You know, I'm right here, I got you.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Bobbi Kristina was Houston's only child. They were very close. Hours after Houston died, Bobbi Kristina was hospitalized reportedly for stress and anxiety. She seems very poised in the interview but some are wondering, was it too soon.
I spoke earlier with Dr. Drew Pinsky.
COOPER: You know, Dr. Drew, Bobbi Kristina is not just a daughter who lost a mom, but a daughter who lost a very famous mom. It's interesting to me that she would want to do an interview so soon after her mom died.
DOCTOR DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST, DOCTOR DREW: That's absolutely true. That's something I wondered myself. And there are a couple hints there that it is actually too soon. One is, if you notice, she didn't actually sit-down with Oprah. Probably because that level of intimacy would trigger such intense emotion that reasonably she didn't want to go through that. That's one thing.
The other issue is, she seems very contained about all this. And it's less than a month. I mean, she can't be feeling OK about it. It's just not possible. This poor kid is sort of keeping it held together.
COOPER: I mean, people, you know, in grief react in different ways. I want to play more sound from last night.
OPRAH WINFREY, TV SHOW HOST: I'm sure that, like, with everybody who loses a loved one, it comes in waves, you can be perfectly fine one day, then the slightest thing puts you back there.
BROWN: Yes. It does. It comes in waves. One minute, you know, I could be laughing and happy. Then it comes over me like, you know, it's my mom. I have to, you know, start crying, deal with it. Here again, I hear it again, come on, keep moving.
COOPER: I mean, I guess perhaps one of the reasons she wanted to do this was to try to kind of change the narrative about Whitney Houston's death or -- I'm always mystified by some people, especially in the midst of grief talk. And I guess, I don't know, I didn't get many answers in this.
PINSKY: No, no, I'm with you, I didn't either. The one interesting thing she talked about there of what you saw a little hint of in that little tape, was that she was talking about feeling her mother's spirit, hearing her voice. And she wasn't explicit about this, but sometimes it can actually be normal for people to have hallucinatory experienced that's wrap to 60 even 90 days after a major lost like this, when they really feel like they are actually talking to that person.
And I think that's what was she was talking about. I mean, she buffered it by saying well, it's just her spirit I feel. But as she talked about it with certain kind of vividness that led me to believe that she actually feels like she's talking to her. And that is not necessarily abnormal at this stage of the game.
COOPER: There's another thing about feeling her in dreams. Let's play that.
WINFREY: Have you had the visitation? I know some people think we are crazy?
BROWN: Yes. Yes.
WINFREY: Where they come to you in your dreams?
WINFREY: You had that?
BROWN: Yes. And especially throughout the house. Throughout the house, you know, I'm - lights, you know, turn on and off. I'm like mom, what are you doing.
BROWN: Yes. You know, we still like, I can sit there and laugh with her, you know, I can sit there and talk to her.
COOPER: That, I mean, that feeling somebody in dreams, that goes on for a long time after a loss.
PINSKY: For sure. But again, I think she's actually talking about interacting with her as she goes through the house. She talks to her. She, you know again, she buffers it by saying well, it's just signs of her being present.
But I think she really actually has these experiences where she feels as though she's talking to her. And gain, I want to caution people, that that's normal. That that's what your brain does when it can't handle these overwhelming losses. It is a way of sort of buffering it and getting used to the idea of this patient, this person being gone.
COOPER: It's interesting. I have learned a lot from listening to you on this subject. But in subsequently I was talking to friends who had an addiction issues and consider themselves addicts because I think most people who have addiction issues do. And they said that even when getting drugs from their doctor, prescribed drugs, they don't want to take anything that has any mood altering effects less it kind of trigger something back.
PINSKY: Right. That's exactly right. What it does is it reawakens the biology of addiction. There's certain drugs trigger that biology. And these are the drugs that people are dying of these days having been prescribed by doctors. And again, let's remind ourselves, just because they are prescribed, if they are prescribed to an addict, it doesn't make them any safer. Sorry Anderson, about your ambience. I know they are really troubles you whenever I wrote that up, but I know it's not a problem in your case of course, I understand.
COOPER: To be honest, I have not had an ambience since we had that discussion because it so kind a concerned me.
PINSKY: Well, it should. I mean, again, these are -- the other thing I want to get out of people's mind is there are good drugs and bad drugs. Ambience, it is an excellent drug. Morphine and codeine, these are excellent drugs, if you have cancer, if you actually need to take them. But if you have addiction, if you have a history of addiction or you may have addiction triggered, these are the chemicals that can kill you.
COOPER: All right. Dr. Drew, thanks.
COOPER: Dr. Drew Pinsky.
Still ahead, she is accused of running a high-end escort service. But the attorney for the accused, says the mother of four, quote, "doesn't have two nickels to rub together." We will tell you what he offered for bail. Details ahead.
COOPER: Other stories we are following tonight. Isha is back with the "360 bulletin" - Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, a lawyer for a suburban mom accused of running a high end (INAUDIBLE) at New York City apartment, is asking that she be released into his custody and he is offering his own loft as security. Anna Christina is behind bars with bail set at $2 million. The lawyer said she is broke and says should be allowed to stay in his apartment and wear an electronic ankle bracelet. The hearing is set to Thursday.
The defense has rested in the trial of the former Rutgers' student accused of using a web cam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi who later killed himself. Dharun Ravi did not take the stand to testify. Closing arguments are set for tomorrow.
In California, Pacific Gasoline Electric will pay $17 million in restitution for a pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people. Doe dozens of homes were destroyed in the incident in September, 2010.
And Anderson, the Leonardo de Vinci's masterpiece lost since the 16th century may have been found. Italian officials say the mural called "the Battle of Anghiari" might be hidden behind a newer work by another artist. Researchers drilled holes through the new mural and found paint that apparently matches pigment from Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. COOPER: Wow.
SESAY: I don't see a sign.
COOPER: That's take Hoffa for some artist to paint it over in Leonardo Da Vinci's
SESAY: Yes. It's a Da Vinci, so what.
COOPER: All right. Coming up, Isha. How many times mostly remind teenagers that their own rear ends are not suitable bottle rocket launchers. The ridiculist is next.
COOPER: Time for the ridiculist.
And tonight, we are adding a little incident involving a bottle rocket that has led to a lawsuit.
College student in West Virginia suing the Alpha Tower maker fraternity and one of its members. Apparently, last May at an HEO party, everyone was just seemed outside chilling on the deck at 1:30 in the morning when a guy apparently decided to shoot a bottle rocket out of his rear end. Dude.
Now, another guy who was at the party was so startled by said, bottle rocket, that he fell off the deck, and now he's suing for pain and suffering, et cetera. The lawsuit says that racket man was, you guessed it, in a drunken stupor and quote, "plaintiff asserts that the activity of underaged drinking and firing bottle rockets out of one's own anus constitutes an 'ultra-hazardous' activity."
Oddly, there's no video of the incident itself which I think pretty makes it the only time someone has fired a bottle rocket out of that particular area and did not post it on you tube.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
COOPER: There are many, many, many more of those videos. But we don't want to glorify something that's so quite essentially asinine. So, let's just pause, you remember that any kind of fireworks rear fired or otherwise, can be really, really dangerous, especially to mannequins.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
COOPER: Now, the consumer product safety commission puts out warnings demonstration to every year, and yet every year, some dude named Travis decides to try to impress his frat brothers by, you know, putting a rocket not in his pocket.
Now, I guess fraternities don't have a lot of time to look up at consumer products safety commission guidelines though. You know, with all the food fights, the toga parties, the singing of Louie, Louie on mass, the attempts to outsmart the Dean. And yes, everything I know about fraternities does come from "animal house."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I, state your name --
CROWD: I, state your name --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do here by pledge allegiance to the frat.
CROWD: Do here by pledge allegiance to the frat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With liberty and fraternity for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, who knows what's going to happen with the rear rocket lawsuit? Perhaps set a president, perhaps the Alpha Tower Mega house they will put on double secret probation. Perhaps the guy will be awarded a ton of money and the whole darn fraternity will end up in arrears, remains to be seen.
But in this cautionary tale can make just one drunk frat dude on a park somewhere, think twice about launching a rocket out of his airs, is ridiculist, well it have been worth it.
That's it for us. We will see you again one hour from now. Another edition of '360," 10:00. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts now.