tv John King USA CNN August 18, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
sayi ining something about the economy in the united states. here to talk about it, al ali velshi and stephen moore, and robert reich, labor secretary during the clinton administration. currently he's a professor of public policy at the university of california at berkeley and author of "aftershock -- the next economy and america's future" out in paperback. ali, what happened today? >> we had a situation where it's not just fear we were talking about. this was actual fact. we started this morning with slow bad markets out of europe. then before the markets opened we got this report from morgan stanley which talked about slow growth around the world, telling us things we already knew. but they said we're on the precipice of a recession. they also cited errors in policy making here in the united states and in europe, and they said it's likely that european
central bank and the fed would have to get further involved in this economy. now, you know all week we've been talking about rick perry saying it would be treasonous for the fed to get involved. while his comments may have been misinformed it represents a view in america that fed should do no more work in stimulating this economy. so now we have investors saying we need more investment. you got the morgan stanley saying we do. and you've got a lot of people in america saying don't do it. so we're at an impasse. investors said let's get our money out of there. they put it into bonds and into gold. >> the nikkei down 2% on opening. robert, i know you say look at unemployment more than you look at the dow. but when people's retirements are tied up in this roller coaster and every day it's up and down hundreds of points, what should people be thinking? >> anderson, obviously right now we have a jobs and wages and growth crisis. and not a debt crisis. and until we actually get more spending, whether it's individuals and businesses or even in the short term, government, we won't have enough aggregate demand to get people back to work and get the market moving and get economic growth actually back in force.
that's not just in the united states, it's also in europe, it's also increasingly around the world. >> steven, i saw you say earlier today there's a lot of confidence in the united states particularly in president obama's ability to lead. but doesn't congress also -- i mean, there's a lot of people don't have much confidence in congress, either, in their ability to govern. >> yeah. you're right about that, anderson. but look, people look to the president in time of crisis like this. and i simply think that president has been off tone on the last week. i mean, as an example on his tour around the midwest this week, i mean, what was the message out of the white house? raise taxes on the rich. you may think that's a good thing to do for redistribution purposes but that's not going to get the economy moving. and i think by the way, anderson, there's a broader problem around the world. there just isn't much leadership anywhere in the world. where are the ronald reagans, the margaret thatchers, the strong figures talking about growth?
i think it's missing. that's one component of it. by the way, ali, when you talked about the bad news today you were exactly right. but there's other bad news as well unfortunately. the housing numbers were pretty lousy. you mentioned manufacturing. it's hard to look at anything right now that's pointing in a very positive direction. >> the interesting thing, though, both of you guys opposite ends of the political spectrum do agree that aggregate demand will be the solution. if we can somehow get more people working, more people paying taxes, more people will be buying goods. and that's ultimately probably our best solution out of this. >> is this a presidential problem? is this an obama problem among others? >> well, i think we're in a vicious cycle right now. workers are consumers. consumers are workers. consumers are 70% of this economy. and if as workers they are worried about losing their jobs or have lost their jobs, if their wages are dropping and the median wage continues to drop, and if they see their major asset which is their homes continue to drop in value, then obviously they're not going to be in any mood to spend.
if they don't spend then they're not going to be more jobs. which is exactly why it is important right now to have more of a dare i use the word stimulus or a jobs bill or a more active government that can counter act all of these recessionary trends. >> robert, you want to see taxes on the rich go up? >> well, i think as a matter in terms of dealing with the long-term deficits, the rich have to pay their fair share. but right now, right now if we're talking about right now, i don't want anybody's taxes to go up. and i want right now if i were going to make policy i would say we want to have government right now with an active jobs plan in the united states, we want the federal reserve board and the european central bank to be expansionary with regard to monetary policy, and we want fiscal policy to be expansionary around the world to the extent that it is possible without igniting inflation. >> bob, it already has been. i mean, i think one of the things that frustrates
conservatives like me, anderson, is that we've done this. if you look over the last two, actually three years starting at the end of the bush administration, as you know, ali, the fed has had the pedal to the metal on the money supply. we've had record levels of money creation in this economy. and bob, as you know, we've had -- we spent a whole hell of a lot of money. we borrowed $4.5 trillion. this has been the biggest keyensian stimulus experience in the history of america. it hasn't worked. >> this is a recession, steven. we don't know what we didn't do because of it. >> that's true. we don't know whether we might have had a depression. but we do know if you look for example at what reagan did in the 80s, an opposite approach of cutting taxes and trying to get expenditures under control and slamming the brakes on the money supply in order to get inflation under control, we had a boom period after that. >> steven moore, if i may, this is nothing like the recession of '80-'81. the great rescission is much more like the great depression. it's a big, big burst of an asset bubble.
when an asset bubble bursts, the government has got to do more than it typically does. the stimulus package, the first stimulus package was very, very small relative to the size of the shortfall in consumer demand, particularly when you add in that state and local governments were cutting like mad. >> just very briefly, steven and robert, both of you, steven, what do you think the chances of going back into recession are? >> you know, if you'd asked me that 48 hours ago i would have said i don't think there's a high prohibit, anderson. but look, my meter on recession went up today because of the bad news. but i still think what's more likely, anderson, is maybe 1 to 2% growth, kind of this slow growth which just isn't enough to create the jobs we need. >> robert? >> i think we're about at the 50-50 yard line right now with regard to recession. but i'm concerned also about the underlying structural problems. as long as so much of the national income is going to people at the top, the middle class just doesn't have the aggregate demand, the purchasing power, to keep the economy
going. robert reich, appreciate your time, steven moore too ali appreciate yours as well. follow me on facebook i'm on twitter @anderson cooper is it possible all the atrocities we have witnessed in syria just aren't what we're seeing, lies. we're going to hear from a top diplomat who says that. getting a first-hand report from the dissident who sees everything the ambassador denies. new details in the case of missing robyn gardner. the case against the last person seen with her. what he told police. first, let's check in with isha sesay. david letterman has dealt with stalkers and blackmailers, now he's facing a potentially deadly threat from radical jihadists. we'll tell you who wants him dead and why and what he's doing about it when "360" continues. and appreciative fl that quicken loans can offer service members va loans. it was very important for me to be able to close and refinance my home quickly. i wanted to lower my mortgage payment. quicken loans guided me through every step of the process. the whole experience was amazing! [ tony ] serving those who serve us all... one more way quicken loans
for softer, stronger... ... hair with life. or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion. should i bundle all my policies with nationwide insurance ? watch this. on one hand, you have your home insurance with one company.
and on another hand, you have your auto with another. and on another hand, you have your life with another. but when you bundle them all together with nationwide insurance, they all work together perfectly and you could save 25%. wow... it's all in the wrists. ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪ keeping them honest, in just a moment we're going to play my interview from earlier today with syria's ambassador to the united nations, the same man who compared the london riots to the is discriminate murder happening in syria. or i should say the deliberate killings. more than 2,000 murders human rights groups say. 2,000. in my interview you'll hear the ambassador adamantly tow the line of his government that syrian security forces have not attacked, not killed civilians. in the face of so much evidence with new videos coming out of syria every day, the ambassador repeats the claim made by president bashar al assad that armed gangs and terrorists are
responsible for the violence. but we've seen no direct evidence of that. before we get to my interview, today the obama administration took its hardest line yet against the syrian government, calling on president bashar al assad to leave power and stop slaughtering his own people. britain, france, germany, canada and the european union immediately echoed that statement. at the same time, report out at the same time, report out today by the united nations said that it found patterns of human rights violations and systematic attacks against civilians that may amount to crimes against humanity. as soon as anti-government protests broke out earlier this year,nd protestors were being shot dead in the streets, the syrian government, including the president himself, blamed the violence on seditious elements inside and outside the country and claims that that's what they are fighting. the government there has kept that message consistent. [ gunfire ] >> you look at videos like this, a person shot in the street and then government forces shooting at anyone who tries to retrieve
their body. they're now using -- trying to get ropes and use a piece of metal to pull the body. finally they were able to. but time after time we've seen protesters shot dead in the streets or wounded in the streets and then government snipers shooting at anyone who tries to help that person. as other men try to remove the body they were fired on as well. we've seen that time and time again. now, all through this conflict, all through this bloody five-month-long conflict, human rights activists have reported that aid workers who try to rest cute wounded have been fired also on by security forces. cnn can't independently verify the claims since our reporters are not aloud inside syria. this video shows an ambulance that was struck by gunfire, one of the attendants wounded. one of the most sickening sites to come out of syria is violence perpetrated against innocent children, like 13-year-old hamza. according to his family he was kidnapped, tortured and killed. how could a 13-year-old child ever be a threat to a brutal, long-standing regime?
the signs of torture on his bloated body told the world the answer. was this young boy part of an armed terrorist gang as the assad regime would have you believe? hamza has become a symbol of the uprising. kids took to the streets, some hoisted on their parents's shoulders, carrying signs and photos of hamza. do these youngsters look like thugs and armed terrorists to you? the senseless murders in syria, even of children, prompted the u.n. secretary general to comment that assad government has lost its sense of humanity. unfortunately, the killing of kids has not stopped despite world revulgs. a 2-year-old girl trying to escape with her family this week from the government onslaught in the coastal city of latakia shot in the right eye and killed. the 2-year-old, not a threat to anybody, not even strong enough to hold up a gun.
cnn can't confirm this but activists, people who took these videos say a government bullet took her life. one man called assad a dog and a pig in this video, two major insults in arabic. for five months now, human rights activists inside and outside syria are telling the outside world that security forces have shown no mercy, firing on crowds of peaceful protestors who are simply asking for their civil human rights. this rally was broken up by gunfire in march. >> this protest was back in june. there may not be personal freedom in syria but the government sure has plenty of ammunition. and time and again, over all these months, almost half a year, this is what the world has witnessed, syrians struggling to get their wounded or murdered friends or even strangers off the streets. still being fired upon when they try. now listen to what bashar ja'afari has to say about what's happening in his country. >> mr. ambassador, today president obama called for president assad to step down saying "the future of syria must be determined by its people, but president bashar al assad is standing in their way. his calls for dialogue and
reform have run hollow while he is imprisons, torturing and slaughtering his own people. for the sake of the syrian people, the time has come for president assad to step aside". how do you respond? >> i think this is an unacceptable statement coming from an important heavy weight administration in the world affairs. we were expecting the american administration to go in a different direction, actually. >> do you deny, though, that your president, his government has imprisoned, tortured and killed thousands of syrian citizens in the past five months alone? >> i deny categorically and une equivalent okayally all these wrong references to bloodshed and killings taking place in my country. the way they are described by the media. >> we've seen countless videos of children with broken bodies returned after weeks in detention. we've seen people being shot at as they try to retrieve the dead and wounded bodies of their friends and family on the
street. we've seen protest after protest broken up with tear gas and security forces, uniformed and not, firing live ammunition into crowds. are all of these lies? >> i have also countless other videos showing exactly the opposite. i am not denying that we have loss of lives over there. i'm saying that we should be objective in our approach while analyzing what's going on in syria. what's going on in syria is that we do have an opposition, legitimate national opposition, and we are listening to their claims. but at the same time, we do have armed terrorist groups that are resisting the syrian forces crimes against civilians. >> who are these armed terrorist groups and why is it after so many years in power they've all of a sudden sprung up out of the blue? all of this began in dara when some children were arrested and being held and peaceful protesters came out after mosque one day calling for -- asking for the children to be released. and they were fired upon. some of them were shot dead.
they weren't even calling for the government to be overthrown. they were calling for the kids to be released and then basic reforms. and now, because of the repression, because of the response by your government, it has escalated. >> the government is not running against the civilians. these civilians are our own people. we are there for protect them. >> but the government is killing them. >> we are against the terrorist armed groups. >> what terrorist armed groups are they? who are they? name them. >> yeah. those who have killed so far, 500 officers and soldiers of our army and police officers. and police soldiers. and security forces. >> again, you haven't named who these unnamed mysterious armed terrorists are.
>> they are the outcomes of the american-british invasion of iraq, anderson. they are the dakfiri group, the muslim military wing. they are all these kind of extremist groups in the area. all of them spread all over the area after the american-british invasion of iraq. >> but you have had a -- i mean, your government has been in power since 2000. before that, bashar al assad's father was in charge. a very restrictive government. it seems incomprehensible that all of a sudden you have thousands of salafists who are calling for the overthrow of the government. it just doesn't make logical sense. i mean, are you denying that there were peaceful protests, that there are peaceful protestors who have legitimate gripes, who have legitimate demands for basic dignity and freedom? >> the government allowed peaceful demonstrations to take to the streets, and they are protected by the police. >> sir, you know that's not true. you're a very educated man. you simply know that is not true. in dara when people were asking for children to be released, you're telling me they weren't fired upon, they weren't killed? >> you don't know all the faces of the story, anderson. >> you're not allowing us in. you're not allowing reporters to
actually go to the frontlines and see. you're restricting reporters. it's disingenuous to say you don't know the truth when you're not allowing the international community to see the truth. >> this is wrong, too. we have allowed three delegations, big delegations of journalists and reporters to enter the country. >> come on. you keep them in damascus or you control them very carefully. >> we don't control anybody. we are there to protect them from armed groups. >> sir, i reported in damascus. and i had a minder with me who watched everything i did and every single person i talked to. and that was at a time when you didn't allegedly have armed groups going around. so i mean, to say that you're allowing free rein for reporters is just simply not true. >> anderson, you are biased and taking sides. and you shouldn't do that because you are a seasoned -- >> i'm taking side of the truth.
i just think what you're saying, you have not offered any proof. >> this is not the truth. i am afraid this is not the truth. you are reporting what somebody told you. this shouldn't be done on cnn. >> sir, i'm reporting what i've seen with my own eyes and i've seen the corpses of little children who have had their penises broken off. their broken, battered bodies and protesters trying to get the dead bodies and wounded bodies of their friends and colleagues and family members and complete strangers and people being shot at while they're trying to retrieve bodies. >> you wouldn't be more sorry than us seeing these victims. they are our own people. and this is why we are saying that the american sanctions against us and the american president obama's call for our president to step down are both an instigation and incitement to violence and sending a wrong message to the armed groups that they are under american protection. >> up next, more with the syrian ambassador. he says outside journalists should come to syria and see for what's going on for themselves. we'd love to. we'll talk to cnn's arwa damon who was there, who tried. we'll see how that turned out. also a dissident who cannot escape the daily reality of
syria. later, crime and punishment, a cnn exclusive in the disappearance of robyn gardner. only we know what the leading suspect told police before they arrested him. stay tuned and you'll know, too. boy, i'm glad we got aflac huh. aflac! oh, i've just got major medical... major medical. ...but it helps pay the doctors. pays the doctors, boyyy! [ quack ] oh yeah? what about your family? ♪ we added aflac, so we get cash! it's like our safety net... ♪ to help with the mortgage or whatever we need! so my family doesn't feel the pain too. ha! [ male announcer ] help protect your family at aflac.com. [ pigeons ] heyyy! hooo!!! ♪ let me make you smile ♪ let me do a few tricks ♪ some old and then some new tricks ♪
♪ i'm very versatile ♪ so let me entertain you ♪ and we'll have a real good time ♪ [ male announcer ] the new hp touchpad starting at $399.99. ♪ so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life, but with advair, i'm breathing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis
and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. if you're still having difficulty breathing, take the lead. ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com.
before we listen to part two of my interview take a look. [ shouting ] [ gunfire ] >> it sure looks like protestors being tear gassed and then fired upon on the streets of hams this week. the ambassador says that's not the case. he said outsiders simply can't understand what's going on. keeping him honest, is this so hard to grasp or so easy to confuse with something else? does it seem even remotely pop possible that in a total dictatorship the tens of thousands of gun-toting thugs would suddenly emerge and suddenly be doing this? we've gotten images like this day after day, week after week, month after month for five months running now. is it possible as the ambassador suggests that none of them are what they seem in do all the human rights groups have it wrong?
all the countries now imposing sanctions? the u.n., all the brave people inside syria daring to stand on the streets with dignity and call out for basic freedoms, all those who have spoken out on this program? are they all making it up? if so it would be one of the biggest conspiracies, the biggest lies the world has ever seen, which would make bashar al assad history's greatest victim. is that what you believe is happening? again, many videos from syria and ask yourself, does that seem likely? there somebody being beaten, shofrd inside a trunk by what looked like uniformed government forces. does this look like scenes of a dictator being victimized? or a dictator victimizing people? keep in mind, these images as you listen to this part two of my interview with the u.n. ambassador to syria, listen, keep this in mind. >> the united nations high commissioner for human rights accused your government and i quote "of a pattern of human rights violations that constitutes widespread or systematic attacks against the civilian population which may amount to crimes against humanity".
they go on to say that you are intentionally going after children. they say children have not only been targeted by security forces but they have been repeatedly subject to the same human rights and criminal violations as adults, including torture, with no consideration for their vulnerable status". i mean, how can children be targeted and then returned to their parents? or do you deny that's happening? >> absolutely. children are not targeted by the police, neither by the army. but let me comment on what you have just said. the report of the high commissioner is unfounded and biassed. she didn't reflect any of my government's points of view in her report. she didn't even go to syria. she just relied on reports coming from syrian refugees in south turkey. >> sir, back in april you yourself said that no international commission needed to come to syria or was allowed to come to syria because your government was perfectly capable of being transparent around doing your own investigations. but that certainly does not seem to be true. >> no, no, no. absolutely. i am sticking to my words. and we are not talking about the commission coming from geneva. we have allowed after the presidential statement adopted by security council we have allowed a mission, a
humanitarian mission from ocha. >> but back in april apparently you said you didn't need this. so now under pressure you're allowing some groups in. your president has been promising reforms from before he took power back in 2000, before the baath party congress in 2005 he was promising reforms. other than a few banking reforms there's been none. he's promising reforms months from now. why should anyone believe your president? >> because all these reforms the president assad talked about are now being fulfilled on the ground. >> he's had since 2000. >> the media are ignoring. this they are launching and waging a humanitarian war against us. >> so you're saying the international media is on the side of salific, of al qaeda, of people who would kill members? the u.s. is on the side of al qaeda-related groups that britain is as well, that france is as well, that kuwait, saudi arabia, turkey are now in an international conspiracy with unnamed terrorist groups and gangs against your regime?
does that just sound logical to you? >> you are putting in my mouth -- anderson, you are putting in my mouth something i didn't say. i didn't refer to al qaeda. of course al qaeda -- >> salific groups in league with al qaeda. >> you don't know all the details with this very important terminology. you have to be more acquainted with these words i know. you are outside of the area. >> you recently accused the west of hypocrisy for describing rioters in england as gangs. i want to play some of what you said. >> what happened in london, birmingham, bristol, is only 1%, maybe, of what happened in some restive areas in my country. however, some people they don't want to acknowledge the reality. >> are you saying that what happened in england is the same as your government using snipers and warships against your own people? >> this is your own version of the events. i didn't say that. i didn't compare the two situations. i just wanted to shed some light on the hypocrisy of the british prime minister while addressing the situation in my country. any gangs, wherever they are, should be dealt with accordingly by the security forces. whether they are in england, in syria, in usa. the peaceful demonstrators are protected in syria according to the law. >> sir, that's not true. >> they have the police
protection. >> that's not true. >> this is your opinion. this is your opinion. i respect your opinion but you have to respect mine. >> i've talked to protesters. i've talked to human rights activists inside syria who say this is not true. a woman whose husband was arrested and kidnapped, taken away and held for weeks and weeks without her having any knowledge of what happened to him. i talked to these people. >> you may have talked to one or three or ten or 100. but syria is 23 million. >> i've heard from many protestors whose loved ones get
injured that they can't -- or get shot, they can't go to hospitals because your security forces are inside the hospitals and will arrest anybody who's taken in. >> this is another lie, anderson. this is wrong. we have had many delegations coming to syria, journalists, reporters, officials. today we have almost 300 members of a russian delegation. reporters, journalists, politicians. they visited everywhere in syria. and they haven't seen any wrong doings. >> they're not allwed to visit everywhere in syria and journalists are not allowed everywhere in syria. i know. this we have tried. >> this is wrong, anderson. this is wrong. i'm sorry. this is wrong. because 72 reporters were in syria just a couple days ago. yesterday 60 other reporters came. >> and you're telling me they have absolute free access? they can go wherever they want, can talk to whomever they want? they can go to dar, hams, they can talk to protesters in the street? really? >> absolutely.
and you know what? the humanitarian mission of the united nations is going to syria on saturday. and you will see with your own eyes that they will fulfill their mission and get back with a report. >> ambassador, i appreciate your time. and i do appreciate you coming on. it's a difficult thing and i appreciate you talking with us. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir. it's worth repeating any claim that outsiders cannot understand what's happening inside syria would be a lot more credible if the syrian government actually gave outside, independent reporters and observers permission to see for themselves unaccompanied by government agents who steer them away from people they want to talk to. arwa damon manage add brief look inside syria mostly from damascus. she joins us from beirut, lebanon tonight. we're joined by a syrian human rights activist, her husband was taken off the streets, held for months, only just recently released. she's continued to speak out bravely for months now. rezan, when you hear syria's ambassador to the u.n. deny the bloodshed, deny the killings, say it's in fact government
security forces being killed by armed gangs and that they're not targeting children at all, what do you think? >> i can't believe that these people would keep lying and keep repeating their lies time after time and again and again. i think the only way that mr. ambassador changes his speech when one member of his family gets arrested and tortured or maybe killed and tortured like what's happened, for example, with ismael -- yesterday in atakia. it's impossible that they still deny what is going on in spite of that reported videos by the families of victims of all these violations. >> razan, when you hear the ambassador say that peaceful protestors are actually protected by police, that seems like just a complete slap in the
face to the thousands who have risked their lives to turn out in the face of tear gas and bullets and thugs with batons. >> mr. ambassador, actually he's just saying jokes, not anything else. as of this moment, we have 2,186 names of people, civilians who were killed by the security and by the army around the country, besides dozens of thousands of prisoners. dozens of them that killed under torture in prisons. if that means protection in his vision, it's a different thing. i don't think anybody can call this kind of dealing with people as a protection. >> anwar, the ambassador says that journalists can go report from wherever they want, whenever they want and the government minders are just there to protect them. you were there reporting. i was there years ago.
and i had a minder who was watching everybody we talked. to you were there just recently. were you free to go anywhere you wanted, talk to anyone you wanted? >> no, anderson, of course we weren't. we were assigned a government minder who was give an piece of paper that was preapproved which pertained to the certain neighborhoods that we were allowed to film. in we repeatedly would ask to go to places outside of damascus and we would just get told that it was quite simply not safe enough because of the so-called armed gangs every single time when we were in the presence of these government minders. and we were out in the streets of damascus. it was very carefully orchestrated, very carefully regulated. there is absolutely no semblance of free journalism whatsoever when you're operating inside syria. >> i think we just had a technical problem. arwa, are you still there? >> yes, i am. >> okay. i'm having technical problem hearing arwa. razan, when the ambassador says that syrian government is not targeting children, which is now exactly the opposite of what the
united nations has been saying, that in fact children are being abused just like adults are, what do you think? i mean, how many kids have you seen, how many kids do you know about who have been arrested, who have been held for often a long time and who have been killed? >> who got arrested. until this moment there is no distinguishing between the children and the adult people. besides that, not the government taking children as hostage for their fathers or their older brothers. it happens all the time. and the last one, which was a kid, only 13 years old. they arrested him a few days ago because they wanted his father. so they are arresting children all the time. and we have many of the children who got killed and tortured in the prisons. >> arwa, i don't understand the logic of some of what the
ambassador is claiming. he's claiming that u.s., the european union, the united nations, turkey, saudi arabia, that entire international community basically is now in league or trying to support or defend hard-core islamists who he believes and he says are these armed gangs, these armed terrorists. when you were there, did you see any evidence of armed gangs or armed terrorists? i'm not denying there may be hard-core islamists who maybe opposed to the syrian government, but is that what's driving these protests? >> no, anderson, it most certainly is not. and if in fact -- and this is what does exist is that this fringe armed element, it most certainly does not demonstrate or is not representative of the mainstream demonstrators. we actually got taken by the syrian government surprisingly to an anti-government demonstration in the damascus suburb while we were there.
i have to say we were dropped off and were specifically told to be careful of the individuals standing in front of the mosques who were wearing long sleeves because that is where they were hiding their naifs. now, we deliberately ignored the government warnings. we ended up venturing into the neighborhood. we saw absolutely no evidence whatsoever of these armed gangs. our government minders kept calling me on the phone telling us to be careful of the armed gangs, telling us they were coming after us. but again, we saw no evidence of this whatsoever. all we saw was a group of individuals who were quite simply asking for their basic rights, to be free and for the government security forces to stop shooting at them indiscriminately. >> arwa damon, rezan, thank you for talking to us. up next, cnn has exclusive new details in the case of robyn gardner, the american woman missing in aruba. what her traveling companion, now a suspect, told police before his arrest, and why authorities say some of this statements are simply not adding
up. also ahead, no laughing matter. a violent threat made against late night tv host david letterman. we'll tell you who is making it ahead. that one day on the red hills of georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. i have a dream today! [ male announcer ] chevrolet is honored to celebrate the unveiling of the washington, d.c., martin luther king jr. memorial. take your seat at the table on august 28th.
martin luther king jr. memorial. -woohoo! -yes! ♪ it was the best day ♪ it was the best day yeah! ♪ it was the best day ♪ because of you [echoing] we make a great pair. huh? progressive and the great outdoors. we make a great pair. right, totally. uh... that's what i was thinking. covering the things that make the outdoors great. call or click today. or creates another laptop bag or hires another employee, it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion.
crime and punishment tonight, in aruba cnn exclusive. cnn has obtained a transcript of a police interview with gar giordano before his arrest. he's the maryland man being held in the disappearance of this woman, robyn gardner. they were vacationing together. they'd met online. according to the "washington post" she was last seen around 8:00 p.m. august 2nd in a restaurant with giordano. he told police he lost track of her while they were snorkeling in rough water. giordano told police he feared
for his life when he signaled her to turn back and didn't look for her as he turned to shore. the police say the sea was calm at the time. in the interview police also grilled giordano about his finances and about travel insurance policies he bought for himself and gardner before their trip. tonight there are also new details about photographs found on a camera that authorities confiscated from the couple's hotel room. martin savidge joined me now from aruba. martin, what did we learn from the transcript? >> reporter: it's really pretty amazing. we obviously wanted to talk to gary giordano. we wanted to talk to his attorney to get their side of events that. has always been denied to us. essentially what we have here is the statement that gary giordano gave to aruba authorities on august 5th. that is the day he was taken into custody. but it's just hours before he's
actually detained, it's really his account, his own words. what we find is that very early on, authorities have already zeroed in on maybe that money is the motivation here. because they start asking him about what does he do for a living, how much money does he make, what alimony does he owe, how much of a mortgage does he pay every month. then they start asking about the insurance policies. but after that it moves on to the issue of the events of that particular day. and it gets to the point of being in the water. they ask him, well, how far offshore were the two of you snorkeling? he says, you know what, i don't really remember. i pointed it out to police yesterday. how deep was the water, they asked him. he estimated it was at about 20 feet when he finally touched robyn gardner and said i'm going back to shore. he turns, starts heading that way. then the authorities said well when you were swimming back did you look back to see if robyn was swimming after you? he said no, he didn't do that. in fact he said, i only looked back when i hit a rock. before that i did not look back. i was only busy saving my life. this is the first time,
anderson, we've ever heard him say that he was in trouble and apparently he was fearful he might die in the water. and of course we know robyn gardner never came out of the waves according to him. >> what about these new photos from this camera that apparently was in the hotel room where they were staying? >> right. police revealed to us that they did in fact retrieve a camera they think is gary giordano's. i said well what photos were on there. they wouldn't tell us that. now it's being said that these are photographs, some of them are around the island, but others are explicit photos. that's what investigators told me. i said, well, do you mean naked photos, explicit sex photos? they wouldn't say. only explicit. others have said they're beyond pornographic. the authorities here say that she did not appear under duress, but then i again questioned taco stein with the prosecutor's office and he admitted he hadn't seen the photos himself.
he was listening to what investigators told him. so it's not clear what her state of mind was. >> anything new about this travel insurance policy that he allegedly took out on her? >> well, the authorities have confirmed to us tonight that it is $1.5 million. two policies. one he took out on himself, the other he took out on robyn gardner. we know that beneficiary he named for himself was his own mother. when i asked authorities, well, who was the beneficiary for robyn gardner, they wouldn't give me any comment. they said they would have to talk to gary further on that particular issue. right now, he's not talking. >> martin, thanks very much. obviously they still have not found robyn gardner at all in aruba. still ahead, serious threats against comedian david letterman. why a jihadist website is urging followers to kill him. more details on that. also what caused me to lose it last night during last night's ridiculist. oh, good. here we go. sorry. this has actually never happened to me. [ laughter ] >> we'll be right back.
[ male announcer ] get ready for the left lane. the volkswagen autobahn for all event is back. right now, get a great deal on new volkswagen models, including the cc. and every volkswagen includes scheduled carefree maintenance. that's the power of german engineering. right now lease the volkswagen cc sport for just $289 a month. ♪ visit vwdealer.com today. energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy developement comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to
safely and responsibly providing decades of cleaner burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources within self contained well systems and using state of the art monitoring technologies, rigorous practices help ensure our operations are safe and clean for our communities and the environment we are america's natural gas. sure, but let me get a little information first. for broccoli, say one. for toys, say two. toys ! the system can't process your response at this time. what ? please call back between 8 and 5 central standard time. he's in control. goodbye. even kids know it's wrong to give someone the run around. at ally bank you never have to deal with an endless automated system. you can talk to a real person 24/7. it's just the right thing to do. you can talk to a real person 24/7. we'll never stop sharing our or getting lost in a good book.
we'll always cook dinner, and cheer for our favorite team. we'll still go to meetings, make home movies, and learn new things. but how we do all this, will never be the same. should i bundle all my policies with nationwide insurance ? watch this. on one hand, you have your home insurance with one company. and on another hand, you have your auto with another. and on another hand, you have your life with another. but when you bundle them all together with nationwide insurance, they all work together perfectly and you could save 25%. wow... it's all in the wrists. ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪
anderson is back in a moment. first a 360 news and business bulletin. breaking news. a suicide attack in afghanistan. what we know right now, there were two explosions near the united nations office, and and ian cultural center in kabul. police say there are casualties. the fbi is looking into a death threat against david letterman posted on a jihadist web site. it says letterman's tongue should be cut off after he joked about an al qaeda al qaeda leader killed in pakistan. a fbi spokesman says these threats are common but they check them all out. james whitey bulger's long time companion pleaded not guilty today to charges of harboring him. catherine greeg allegedly helped
hide the gangster since june of 1995 until they were arrested. hewlett-packard is looking to spin off its personal computer business and it's killing off the touch pad tablet that it launched less than two months ago. hp ceo has said his vision focuses more on software. now back to anderson. the ridiculist in case you weren't watching i couldn't quite keep it together last night. >> all right. i promise no bathroom puns. we used them up all last night. the ridiculist is next. [ waves crashing ]
[ martin luther king jr. ] i still have a dream that one day on the red hills of georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. i have a dream today! [ male announcer ] chevrolet is honored to celebrate the unveiling of the washington, d.c., martin luther king jr. memorial. take your seat at the table on august 28th. [ male announcer ] they'll see you...before you see them. cops are cracking down on drinking and riding. drive sober, or get pulled over. if you don't have facetimee, on your phone, cops are cracking down on drinking and riding. which makes it this easy to talk face-to-face with another iphone.
this easy to talk with a mac and this easy to talk with an ipad. facetime. just one more thing that makes an iphone an iphone. but think about your heart. 2% has over half the saturated fat of whole milk. want to cut back on fat and not compromise on taste? try smart balance fat free milk. it's what you'd expect from the folks at smart balance. [oinking] [hissing] [ding] announcer: cook foods to the right temperature using a food thermometer. 3,000 americans will die from food poisoning this year. check your steps at foodsafety.gov.
time now for the ridiculist. and tonight we have no choice but to add last night's ridiculist. so i guess i'm adding myself again. also known as that time that i completely lost it on national television. i was talking about gerrard depardieu who reportedly peed on an airplane right in front of the other passengers. i want you to know that last night's ridiculist contained not one, not, two but 21 puns about the incident. jet stream, oui oui, incontinental airlines, thespeean. 21 puns all soaked in good old-fashioned bathroom humor. in case you're keeping score at home, it was number 16 that finally took me down. let's take another look. now, all i can say is they should thank their lucky stars it wasn't depar-two. sorry. that made me giggle every time i read it. he hasn't commented on this incident [ laughter ]
depar-two. i know you got it. but -- [ laughter ] all right. sorry [ laughter ] sorry. this has actually never happened to me. this is going to be on youtube. all right. sorry. all right. i have to admit it's a little embarrassing to lose it like that, especially because i giggle like a 13-year-old girl meeting justin bieber. i was hoping no one would notice this giggle fit but i got a lot of tweets about it. at times like these, it helps to
know i'm not alone. in my defense it took almost three full minutes of toilet jokes to get me to that point. for matt lauer all it took was one little double entendre. >> you say the size of the package is very important? >> it is important because a trick that some of these retailers will use is to shrink the size of the package. we've seen a lot of consumers switch to store brands, switch to generics. and they're going to continue to make that switch [ laughter ] >> i'm sorry. >> something struck me as funny there. oh, gosh. >> now, on home shopping network all it takes is one caller making one little request. >> say hi to abby for me. she's sitting here with me. >> hi, abby. >> she's my baby dog. >> oh. [ laughter ] >> see, diane, you might have just done it. you might have pushed me off the edge [ laughter ] >> i like that she's holding the
gold chain all throughout that. and in england the mere mention of a certain planet can instantly turn television hosts into beevis and butthead. >> who is the roman goddess of love? is it a venus, b pluto, nonsense, or c, uranus? if you know the answer -- [ laughter ] call right now. 0901-499-1200. that's 0901-499-1200. the lines are open until 10:00. >> that's funny. and on the local news, forget about it. all it takes is a traffic report. >> you know, traffic is just fine. [ laughter ] i should just toss it to john because there's nothing else i can say [ laughter ]
you're going to make me suffer, aren't you? >> i feel better now. he snorted. sure it's been kind of strange having people critique my laugh on twitter all day writing "i watched the anderson cooper clip and now my cat is desperately searching for a wounded chipmunk". people have been writing really nice things as well like" omg. watching anderson cooper giggle is like watching a unicorn fart rainbows". i think that's a compliment. whatever. if my meltdown made you smile i'm glad. because really at the end of the day if laughing about a possibly drunk french actor openly relieving himself on a plane is wrong, then i don't want to be right. that's it for "360." "piers morgan" starts now. what will it cost you? >>