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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Craigslist Killer Caught?; Chaos at U.N. Racism Conference

Aired April 20, 2009 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We begin with breaking news in the search for the so-called craigslist killer.

Just a short time ago, police in Boston said they caught the man who used the popular classifieds Web site to lure a young woman to her death. That's the surveillance photo the police were working off.

Surveillance video captured him on the night he allegedly met the aspiring actress and then, in a hotel room, shot her to death. He's charged with murder. He's also charged with robbery and kidnapping in another case.

And, in stunning late developments tonight, authorities say the 22-year-old killer is a premed student at Boston University. They say he has no criminal record and fear he may be linked to a string of violent crimes with craigslist as the bait.

Randi Kaye has more on the breaking story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the man police say has been stalking women on the popular Internet bulletin board craigslist. And now, detectives say, they know his name. He's 22-year-old Philip Markoff from Quincy, Massachusetts.

DAN CONLEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Our top priority is holding Philip Markoff accountable. He's a predator.

KAYE: A predator because they say he attacked at least two women, killing one of them. All of them had advertised erotic services on craigslist. Markoff is a premed student at Boston University. Police say he's been under surveillance and was picked up on Route 95 just south of Boston.

Tonight, he's charged with murder, armed robbery, and kidnapping. He will be in court Tuesday and has not yet entered a plea. Police say Markoff fatally shot 26-year-old Julissa Brisman, who had advertised massages on craigslist. She was found dead last Tuesday at a Boston Marriott.

Police suspect it was an attempted robbery and that she struggled with Markoff.

CONLEY: In the hours to come, they will execute a search warrant to develop more evidence in this case. They have not rested, and they will not rest until Julissa Brisman's killer has been held to answer for his crimes.

KAYE: Four days before Brisman's death, another woman was robbed at a gunpoint at a Westin Hotel in Boston. Investigators say that was Markoff, too. Police say both women had offered erotic massages.

(on camera): Boston police are working with investigators in Rhode Island to determine if these photos just released are also Philip Markoff. The suspect here is making his way through the Holiday Inn Express in Warwick, Rhode Island. That's where police say he tied up a woman who had advertised lap dances on craigslist. Detectives say he had a gun, but fled before he could rob his victim.

(voice-over): Boston authorities say they received more than 150 tips. Investigators consulted computer crime experts and connected computer I.P. addresses to physical locations. Police fear there could be more victims out there. They're asking anyone who was robbed or hurt after advertising on craigslist to come forward.

ED DAVIS, BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Someone that clearly is -- is preying on people who -- who are in a vulnerable position, and someone that is committing a very, very serious crime that clearly has led to violent acts, in our estimation. So, we are very, very happy to have this man off the street in such a timely way.

KAYE: Off the street, but investigators still have few answers. They still don't know why a 22-year-old college student without any criminal record would suddenly stalk and kill.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, at least he's been apprehended, it seems -- no criminal record, premed student at Boston University now accused of being the craigslist killer.

So, who is Philip Markoff? And how did authorities connect him to the murder?

Joining us now, former FBI profiler Candice DeLong, "In Session" anchor Lisa Bloom, and Maria Cramer, a reporter for "The Boston Globe."

Maria, let's start with you.

What -- what is the latest? What do we know about this guy?

MARIA CRAMER, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": We don't know much about Philip Markoff yet, except that he's a 22-year-old from Quincy. He's been studying medicine at Boston University. And he's been living in Quincy, which is a town just south of Boston, in a building, actually a quite nice building, where a lot of young couples live.

And from, all accounts, he's -- he's been described to us as a young, unassuming, clean-cut man who nobody would ever suspect of something like this. COOPER: Candice, no criminal record, I mean, is this the -- the profile of a killer who hunts victims on a Web site?

CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, most -- people have been -- predators have been using classified ads, and, in this case, an electronic classified ad, for decades to find victims.

This -- those are happy hunting grounds for them. It's a perfect medium for them. This man seems a little bit young, but there's a first time for everything. And most killers generally don't start killing until they're in their 20s.

COOPER: Lisa, I guess the fact that, I mean, he was using a computer, he using a site like craigslist, it helps in the capture of him.

LISA BLOOM, TRUTV ANCHOR: Yes, the police say that they have forensic and electronic evidence. And it's not hard to trace him, since he did use, allegedly, craigslist to get both of these women.

They can -- as was said in the piece, they can search the I.P. address back to his computer. If they have his computer in custody, they can do searches. People think they can delete searches and information on their computers. They really can't. The forensic analysts can find that information.

COOPER: So, Maria, how many other instances do they know about that they are looking to see whether this is the guy?

CRAMER: Well, right now, we know of at least three, the -- the two women in Boston, one of whom was killed, Julissa Brisman, and a third woman, a 26-year-old prostitute from Las Vegas, who was attacked in Rhode Island.

Police are not sure if there are any other people who have been attacked by him, but they are pleading with people to please come forward just in case.

COOPER: So, the -- the -- the last woman that was killed, what do we know about the details of that crime?

CRAMER: She's -- again, she's a dancer. She has -- she worked at a place called Cadillac Lounge.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: This is her picture that we're putting up.

CRAMER: Yes.

And she -- oh, I'm sorry -- oh, Julissa Brisman. This is the victim who was killed in Boston. She's 26 years old. She's from New York. And she was in Boston, specifically to see people, clients, regulars, really that -- that she would -- that she would provide these massages for. And she met, according to police, Philip Markoff in her hotel room at the Copley Marriott, where he tried to bind her with a plastic cord. He used these -- the cords in -- in the other attacks. And, as they were struggling, she -- he shot her several times in the torso.

COOPER: And, then, before that, the other one that police believe is linked to him, this attempted robbery, how did that happen?

CRAMER: Right.

Well, you know, he actually ended up robbing her of $800 in cash, about $250 -- $250 in American gift -- American Express card gift certificate.

And he -- again, he -- he bound her with these plastic cords, zip ties, according to a witness that spoke to us, gagged her, put duct tape over her mouth, and held her at gunpoint, and -- and took everything, then dashed off.

And she had to wriggle herself out of these restraints and -- and call for help.

COOPER: Candice, do -- do people who end up killing, I mean, are -- do they escalate? Do they start with a robbery and then, especially, I mean, if it involves this sort of intimate tying-up of somebody?

DELONG: It depends on what the motivation for the -- for the -- the attack is.

If, it's a sexual-motivated crime, then, oftentimes, they usually work up to it with lesser crimes to start out, and then work their way up to something that they're always interested in, or have always been interested in, which is the violence.

It's hard to say right now, looking at this, if that's what happened here.

COOPER: And, Lisa, I mean, millions of people use craigslist every day. They're not liable in this, are they?

BLOOM: No, they're not, because these were lawful services, just barely, lap dances and erotic services. But they are lawful.

I also want to say, we always see him on some kind of mobile device on those video surveillance shots. That's also something that can easily be tracked by law enforcement to place him at the scene of the crime at the time the crimes were committed.

COOPER: That's a good point.

Lisa Bloom, thank you very much.

BLOOM: Thanks.

COOPER: Candice DeLong and Maria Cramer, as well, thanks. DELONG: You're welcome.

COOPER: We're following this developing story closely. We will bring you any updates throughout this hour.

You can also join the live chat right now at AC360.com, talk to other people viewing the program.

Also, check out Erica Hill's live Webcasts during the breaks tonight.

So, just ahead, the outcry over President Obama's handshake with Hugo Chavez -- did he get too cozy with the Venezuela leader over the weekend?

Also, a world conference on racism turns into a virtual circus -- what Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said to make dozens of diplomats like those walk out.

And what would you do if your 13-year-old daughter was strip- searched at school in front of her male principal because he believed she was hiding ibuprofen? It happened to one girl. She sued. The Supreme Court takes up the case tomorrow. We take it up tonight.

And also ahead, could long naps and sex add years to your life? Scientists uncovering surprising secrets to living a long and healthy life on a Greek island -- where people in their 90s say they still enjoy sex. We will have details on that.

And meet Scottish singer Susan Boyle. You know her. Meet her new competition, a 12-year-old boy who is making a play for the top spot on "Britain's Got Talent." Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT")

SHAHEEN JAFARGHOLI, CONTESTANT: My name is Shaheen Jafargholi.

SIMON COWELL, JUDGE: OK. What are you going to sing?

JAFARGHOLI: I'm going to sing "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse.

COWELL: Are you?

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

COWELL: OK. Good luck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So, how did the audition go? Well, it's wowing a lot of people. We will show you -- coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A U.N. conference on racism erupted in chaos today with Iran's president at center stage. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's very presence at the Geneva meeting was a magnet for protesters. Hecklers wearing clown wigs tried to prevent him from speaking, didn't succeed. Ahmadinejad lashed out at Israel, calling its government the -- those were the hecklers there -- calling its government the -- quote -- "most cruel and repressive racist regime."

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Following the World War II, they resorted to military aggressions to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering. And they sent migrant from Europe, the United States, and from other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in the occupied Palestine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, dozens of European diplomats walked out during the rant. There were boos, but also applause from some non-Western diplomats. The U.S. wasn't there.

The uproar came as the United States is pressuring Iran, of course, to release a jailed American journalist convicted of spying. It also comes -- comes as President Obama is feeling heat for how he handled himself at the Summit of the Americas. Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, was also there.

Mr. Obama shook hands -- there's the picture right there -- even patted Chavez on the shoulder. Later, Chavez gave President Obama a book, a gift, the book describing centuries of American abuse in the region. A day later, the title had shot to number two on Amazon.com, up from 54,295.

President Obama's friendly exchanges, beamed around the world, are now under fire by some of his critics.

Candy Crowley examines it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who's that man laughing with President Obama, and why is everybody talking about these pictures?

SEN. JOHN ENSIGN (R), NEVADA: I think it was irresponsible for the president to -- to be seen kind of laughing and joking with -- with Hugo Chavez.

CROWLEY: Charitably, Hugo Chavez is the leftist anti-American leader of Venezuela, a country with a lot of oil. He understands photo-ops. Did we mention he brought his own cameraman?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, politically, at this point, it's convenient to, you know, not antagonize with President Obama. He's aware of the popularity and the prestige of President Obama.

CROWLEY: Chavez is unpredictable -- another way of saying that, two months ago, before this weekend's chummy pictures, he had this to say about President Obama.

HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT (through translator): At the very least, you could say he is a poor, ignorant man.

CROWLEY: It's an improvement over what he said about then President George Bush at the U.N.

CHAVEZ (through translator): Yesterday, the devil came here.

(LAUGHTER)

CHAVEZ (through translator): And it smells of sulfur still today.

CROWLEY: The U.S. government considers Chavez an authoritarian ruler who has persecuted political adversaries. He believes in elections, at least the ones he wins.

At the left-leaning Brookings Institution, one expert suggests, Chavez doesn't seem much interested in other pillars of democracy.

MAURICIO CARDENAS, SENIOR FELLOW AND DIRECTOR OF THE LATIN AMERICAN INITIATIVE, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: It's less clear that he's democratic on the issue of -- of basically having a -- a framework that respects checks and balances, especially the judiciary.

CROWLEY: He's also got some snapshots with such pals as Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

And that's why everybody's talking about these pictures, not as much the handshake as the chummy part.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on NBC:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TODAY SHOW")

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Enemies of America are going to use the picture of Chavez smiling and being with the president as proof that Chavez is now legitimate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CROWLEY: Former Vice President Dick Cheney on FOX.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "HANNITY")

RICHARD B. CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Both our friends and our foes will be quick to take advantage of a situation if they think they're dealing with a -- a weak president.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CROWLEY: The president has said he doesn't think a handshake endangers U.S. national security. And, at the White House, they think, this is a picture not worth quite so many words.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs fired the big zinger.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is in our national interest to have images going all over the world of thousands of protesters burning in effigy some look-alike of the American government?

CROWLEY (on camera): Also pushing back against the critics, senior Obama adviser David Axelrod told one group, the real message of the weekend is, anti-Americanism isn't cool anymore.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, let's dig deeper now senior political analyst David Gergen, also Reza Aslan, author of the new book "How to Win a Cosmic War."

David, just last week, the Obama administration indicated the possibility of some kind of flexibility regarding Iran's nuclear program. This kind of hostile language, though, from -- from Iran's president, I mean, it's got to make it more difficult for President Obama to offer any kind of concessions to Iran.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: A huge complication and a setback for this effort.

You know, President Ahmadinejad of Iran just seems nearly bipolar. On some days, he's -- he's reaching out constructively. On other days, he seems like a dangerous madman, as he did today, in -- in the way he condemned Israel.

And from the -- President Obama's standpoint, just as the very moment when there seemed there might be slight change in the relationship, and maybe the Iranians would be willing to talk in a serious way, here -- here comes Ahmadinejad, and throws a hand grenade right in the middle of that, blows it up, and I think puts pressure on President Obama now, because he's willing to have -- if he moves another step forward, he's going to get nailed by a lot of critics, especially from the right.

What he's got to do, I think, now is go to the Europeans and say, look, this -- we're dealing with a madman. Maybe we can deal with him, maybe we can't, but, in the meantime, let's get serious about potential tighter sanctions.

At the same time, Ahmadinejad has got to free that American journalist that the Iranians have just imprisoned.

COOPER: Reza, I mean, Ahmadinejad has his own audience at home that he is playing to when he makes these kind of speeches. REZA ASLAN, AUTHOR, "HOW TO WIN A COSMIC WAR: GOD, GLOBALIZATION, AND THE END OF THE WAR ON TERROR": Yes.

Let's not make any bones about it. This is a politician. And he's doing what politicians do, which is, you know, reaching out to his base. And these kinds of speeches and this kind of platform is the -- is the kind of platform that he really thrives in.

And we have to understand that, while, certainly, this makes things a little bit more difficult with regard to Obama reaching out to Iran, the fact is, is that the multinational diplomatic efforts that are under way right now with regard to things like Afghanistan or Iraq, with the drug problem that -- that's coming out of that region, those things are going to go forward just as they were.

But the -- any hope for any kind of bilateral talks between the United States and Iran, those wouldn't have happened until after the June elections in Iran anyway. So, I'm not sure if this is necessarily going to put that much of a wrench in Obama's plan.

COOPER: And Ahmadinejad is up for reelection, right?

ASLAN: He is up for reelection. He's...

COOPER: Is he going to win? Do you know?

ASLAN: Well, he's -- he's profoundly unpopular.

And the -- the one sort of issue that he had going for him in the previous election, which was the economy, has just completely -- he's lost it. I mean, the economy's in the tank. So, really, all he's got left is this kind of issue of national sovereignty, the nuclear issue, you know, the anti-Israeli sentiments. This is how he gets his votes.

COOPER: David, what do you make of the...

(CROSSTALK)

GERGEN: The problem is...

COOPER: Sorry. Go ahead.

GERGEN: Go ahead.

I think the problem is, though, when Ahmadinejad becomes a pariah in the international community, it's very hard for an American president, especially a Democratic president, to cut a deal with him.

And that's why I think this is very complicating. It's very hard for the Americans now to take the next step in this little (INAUDIBLE) we have been going through with him about who's, you know, moving forward and who's moving back.

You know, it just -- it's -- it really -- it complicates the politics back here a lot.

COOPER: Yes.

What do you make of -- David, of the Chavez picture?

GERGEN: Well, I think President Obama, you know, campaigned that he was going to try to open and change relationship in Latin America and Europe and that sort of thing. He's following through, doing just what he said he would do.

So, I think he's going to get a lot of credit from the American people from that, as well as Latin Americans. I -- I think he got a little trapped on the picture. You know, it's -- he -- fine to -- fine to do the handshake. Hold the smiles.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, in the -- in the still photo, he is smiling. Clearly, the second time around, when Chavez sort of very publicly hands him that -- that book, there wasn't a smile.

ASLAN: Yes. First of all, I have got to figure out how to get Chavez one of my books, because, apparently he's gold.

(LAUGHTER)

ASLAN: But, no, look, the larger issue is that this isn't high school.

I mean, this is international relations. We have already tried eight years of ignoring our enemies, and it hasn't worked. We have completely ignored South America, while China has basically walked in there and completely muscled the U.S. and our interests out of that -- the entire continent.

So, I think Obama recognizes that we have tried this previous way, and that, you know, shaking hands with people that we don't like, talking to people that we don't like, that's how we get things done.

And I don't think that the American people disagree with him. It may give people like Newt Gingrich and Glenn Beck a -- an aneurysm, but I think Obama can live with that.

COOPER: All right.

We have got to leave it there.

Reza Aslan, David Gergen, thank you very much.

Go to AC360.com to read an excerpt from Reza's new book, "How to Win a Cosmic War." See why he says the so-called war on terror isn't against terror at all.

Coming up next: defending the release of the CIA interrogation memos, President Obama today a trip to CIA headquarters, facing stinging criticism from the former director, that and new details on what some are calling the shocking number of times the U.S. water- boarded two suspects.

Also tonight, a 13-year-old girl strip-searched at school -- now, should kids accused of having drugs be forced to remove their clothes? She was accused of having ibuprofen. It's a landmark Supreme Court case, starts tomorrow. We will talk about it tonight.

And, later, could more naps and more sex be the secret to longevity? Surprising research we uncovered on staying young -- coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: President Obama visited CIA headquarters today in Langley, Virginia, where he met with Director Leon Panetta and other top officials, and talked to officers on the front lines.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you succeed, as you so often do, that success usually has to stay secret.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: So, you don't get credit when things go good, but you sure get some blame when things don't.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Now...

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I have got an amen corner out here.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Mr. Obama was hoping to boost morale to defend, also, his decision to release memos detailing interrogation techniques used against al Qaeda suspects under the Bush administration.

Now, critics say President Obama's release of those memos has compromised national security. Tonight, there are new details about just how often water-boarding was used to pry information from two top al Qaeda suspects.

Tom Foreman has the "Raw Politics."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At CIA headquarters, a sustained cheer for the president's first visit, and, from him, firm words over the so-called torture memos: Don't be discouraged. OBAMA: We are willing to uphold our values and our ideals even when it's hard, not just when it's easy; even when we are afraid and under threat, not just when it's expedient to do so. That's what makes us different.

FOREMAN: The controversy is growing louder as more details emerge from those memos in which Bush administration lawyers approved CIA interrogation methods, from locking prisoners in tight boxes, to forcing them into stress positions.

For example, the papers show that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, considered the mastermind of 9/11, was put through that simulated drowning called water-boarding 183 times in a single month. Suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah was water-boarded 83 times in a month.

The papers indicate those sessions produced important intelligence.

(on camera): But the memos also reveal, at one point, when interrogators in the room were convinced that Zubaydah had cracked and was spilling his secrets, CIA bosses back at headquarters ordered one more session of water-boarding, just to be sure.

(voice-over): It all has some Democrats screaming for someone to be prosecuted, and the White House steadily saying, no.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is focused on looking forward.

FOREMAN: Meanwhile, Republican critics continue saying, second- guessing the intelligence community is putting politics before professional spy work.

Former CIA boss Mike Hayden hit the Sunday talk circuit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY")

GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN (RET.), FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: You're going to have this agency, on the front line of defending you in this current war, playing back from the line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: The president insists, he is doing the right thing.

OBAMA: And, over the long term, that is why I believe we will defeat our enemies, because we're on the better side of history.

FOREMAN: And he's clearly trying to get the better of his opponents in this political battle, too.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, people who have worked in intelligence don't necessarily see this in the same light.

Joining me now are Robert Baer, a former CIA officer and an intelligence analyst at TIME.com, also Gary Berntsen, former CIA officer and author of "Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism and National Leadership: A Practical Guide."

Bob, Vice President Cheney was on FOX News a short time ago. He was asked about President Obama's decision to release these interrogation memos.

Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "HANNITY")

RICHARD B. CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the things that I find a little bit disturbing about this recent disclosure is, they put out the legal memos, the memos that the CIA got from the Office of -- of Legal Counsel, but they didn't put out the memos that showed the success of the effort.

And there are reports that show specifically what we gained as a result of this activity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Vice President Cheney has been saying this for a long time, that -- that these activities, water-boarding, worked.

A, do you believe that? And, B, do you think those memos which showed, according to him, what the results were should be released?

ROBERT BAER, INTELLIGENCE ANALYST, TIME.COM: Could I answer that?

COOPER: Yes.

BAER: Look, Cheney's right. We have to start out by finding out, is it worth it? I don't know of any cases where, specifically, it saved lives. No case has been made in the public. And we need to see that, to see whether this is justified, and then you can carry on the argument whether it should be done or shouldn't.

But, so far, Michael Hayden, and no one else, has said, look, Abu Zubaydah led to the saving of American lives.

When I see that, I will trust it, but I haven't seen it yet. So, Cheney's right. I hate to agree with him, but he's right.

COOPER: Gary?

GARY BERNTSEN, AUTHOR, "HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, COUNTERTERRORISM AND NATIONAL LEADERSHIP: A PRACTICAL GUIDE": I agree with Bob. Let's take a look and let's examine the record.

Look, both sides, whether they be Republicans or Democrats, when they're in charge of the White House, spin on the issue of terror. And let's have a fair examination of what was said.

Now, I will say one thing, though, also. And the argument has been out there that -- that these documents should have been -- should not have been released because it's already been in the press.

I can say this. Having been inside of al Qaeda safe houses myself and gone through the documents, frequently, they like official American documents. They download them. They study them. They train off of them.

COOPER: You're saying this is giving too much intelligence to the enemy?

BERNTSEN: Too much. I don't think we should have released these documents in the first place.

COOPER: OK.

BERNTSEN: And...

COOPER: We're going to talk more about that. We have got to take a quick break.

We will have more with Bob and -- and Gary.

Also, discuss more details about the controversial interrogation methods online at the live chat happening now at AC360.com.

Also ahead tonight, what caused 21 polo ponies to fall sick and die? Investigators now think poison was involved. The latest in this tragic mystery.

And the key to a longer life may start with sleep and perhaps your sex life, the first part of our new series airing tonight, "Secrets to a Long Life."

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: President Obama continues to defend his decision to release top-secret memos detailing interrogation methods used to grill al Qaeda suspects during the Bush administration. He's feeling a lot of heat, even from some in his own party. Critics say he's compromised national security by releasing the memos.

We're looking at the "Raw Politics."

Joining me, Robert Baer, former CIA officer and intelligence analyst at TIME.com. Also, Gary Berntsen, former CIA officer and author.

Gary, before the commercial break, you basically made the point that, by doing this, by releasing these memos, we're basically giving all this information to our enemies, to al Qaeda to know exactly what they will face if they are ever caught. ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OFFICER, INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: You know, it wasn't much of a secret because in "The New York Review of Books," it details, Mark Danner's article exactly what happened. And you look at the SERE (ph) manuals, escape invasion manuals that the military puts out. and you pretty well know what the program is and you've got some original documents.

Now, I agree with Gary, you don't want to take intelligence and splash it across the papers. It's the worst thing to do, but it's already out there. The problem is that, once these guys start being released, they have detailed exactly what happened to them, in greater detail that was in those memos.

So the secret was out, and it was doomed from the beginning that we'd ever be able to keep this secret.

COOPER: Gary?

GARY BERNTSEN, FORMER CIA OFFICER, AUTHOR: Not all of them were debriefed in the same ways. But I'll say this, that al Qaeda doesn't cut out -- wasn't cutting out newspaper articles and saving them. They were looking for official documents, training manuals. The SERE (ph) manual Bob's talking about, they had that, too. They had a lot of things. They'll download documents from the White House Web site.

COOPER: What about the argument that this makes it -- if the U.S. is doing this kind of stuff, then when an American is held captive somewhere and tortured, there's not much we can complain about.

BERNTSEN: Americans are kidnapped and tortured all the time. We received no protection under the Geneva Convention from Hezbollah, from Hamas, from al Qaeda, from the Taliban. There are no American prisoners there. They kill and torture every one of us.

COOPER: But in a war if we're captured in state by a state by a government...

BERNTSEN: By a state, they're going to sign the Geneva Convention. These guys didn't sign the Geneva Convention.

COOPER: But doesn't this then, essentially, nullify the Geneva Convention? Doesn't it make it OK by North Korea or anyone else?

BERNTSEN: Under the Geneva Convention -- well, first of all, the issue of enemy combatants is really what we're discussing. The al Qaeda members don't, you know, receive Geneva Convention treatment, because they don't meet the four standards: you know, not under -- not in uniform; not carrying arms openly; not under the authority of a competent person; and finally, not conducting themselves in courts with rules of law. They don't meet that. They're marauders.

I've argued that many of those people could have been and should have been executed for their participation in this. I'm not a supporter of torture, but I will say this, though. We live in very, very dangerous times. Eventually, we'll face a situation where we have WMD, someone will be picked up with this, and then President Obama, if he's, you know, in two terms, one or two terms, in the future we're going to face -- a president will face a situation where they're going to have to make very difficult decisions. And you should never say never.

COOPER: Bob, does this stuff work?

BAER: No, it doesn't work. On torture we've looked, over the years. The Israelis have looked at it. The French have tortured people in Algeria, and it generally leads to false leads.

You know, there's a question of the ticking bomb: is it going to go off and you get the right guy? But in general, it's good, old- fashioned espionage that works. And that's what we should be doing.

BERNTSEN: We want good, old-fashioned espionage. I agree. Torture, sadly, works very, very well. A lot of horrible governments use it. And they're getting incredibly -- incredibly accurate results off of it. And that's how a lot of these terrible dictators have held themselves in power.

That's not to say that we should be doing it. What we need to recognize, we live in a world now where we're going to see WMD used in terror. That's the next phase. Hang onto your hats.

COOPER: Bob, it's interesting, you know. For years, really, we have heard sort of unnamed sources telling reporters over the course of time, you know, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was waterboarded, or these two suspects were waterboarded a handful of occasions. Now it turns out we're talking about, you know, dozens, more than several hundred times.

BAER: Well, the man was -- the man was completely broken morally and physically, as well. It's clear. You look at his affidavit, when he ended up in Guantanamo, and it's pure dribble. I see no evidence in that affidavit that he gave up any al Qaeda operations, if he knew them, in fact, that saved American lives.

Again, it goes back to the Cheney argument. The government better prove that this actually worked, and there's no reason why they can't take these interrogation reports and put them out. It's not violating sources and methods.

COOPER: Gary, do you take the fact that we did it so much that it worked or that it didn't work?

BERNTSEN: I wouldn't put them out, but he had a ten-year operational history, Khalid Mohammed. That's probably why they did this so many times.

COOPER: Right.

BERNTSEN: You know, we've got to go remember, only three people were waterboarded: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh and I believe it was al-Masri, the guy who did the attack on the Cole. There were only three that were waterboarded. So this wasn't broadly done.

COOPER: Abu Zubaydah.

Clearly, a lot of this stuff is still to come out. We'll continue to follow this. Gary, appreciate your time. Gary Berntsen. And Bob Baer, thank you.

Join the live chat at AC360.com, let us know what you think. Also Erica Hill's live Web cast. Check that out during the breaks.

Coming up next, a school orders a 13-year-old student strip- searched, a 13-year-old girl, teenager was humiliated. Now she's speaking to CNN about a case that is headed to the Supreme Court tomorrow.

Also, staying up late, taking naps, having sex. Will they make you live longer? Some surprising things we found out on one island. It's all part of our special report, "Secrets to Staying Young."

And later, we're going to make you smile before the go to bed. The 12-year-old boy who may be Britain's next singing sensation. He's Susan Boyle's big challenger on "Britain's Got Talent." Wait until you hear him sing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tomorrow, the Supreme Court takes up a case that could affect every child in the country. The issue is explosive, and it's a question all parents need to hear and understand. Should public schools have the right to strip search your kids?

A decision centers around a teenage girl named Savannah Redding. In 2003 when she was just 13, Savannah was suspected of carrying prescription-strength ibuprofen in her Arizona school. Now, the district had a ban on all controlled substances labeled prescription painkillers as drugs.

Savannah, who was in eighth grade at the time, was taken to the nurse's office, told to remove her clothes, including her bra and her underwear. They found no pills.

Savannah is now 19, spoke to CNN's Roland Martin earlier tonight. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAVANNAH REDDING, WAS STRIP-SEARCHED AT SCHOOL: Before it happened, you know, I loved school. I loved everything about it. You know, I had a 4.0 GPA, honor roll. And now, well, afterwards, I never wanted to go to school again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, Savannah and her family sued the school district, claiming the strip search was an illegal violation of her constitutional rights. The school said the search was excessive intrusive and had reasonable suspicion that Savannah had drugs.

The Supreme Court takes up the case tomorrow. We take it up tonight with CNN legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

What do you make of this?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, now, this case is really a hard one because, in general, when it comes to schools and drugs, the Supreme Court has said, in recent years, there are no limits essentially. There can be drug testing, if you want to be on a team. There can be searches of students.

But this case is so egregious that the United States Department of Justice, under the Bush administration and in the Obama administration, has taken Savannah's side. So it's not as cut-and- dried as most cases.

COOPER: The appellate court ruling, the majority said, quote, "It does not require a constitutional scholar to conclude that a nude search of a 13-year-old child is an invasion of constitutional rights of some magnitude. More than that, it is a violation of any known principle of human dignity."

TOOBIN: Well, that's what the Ninth Circuit said, which is a court that is often overturned by this Supreme Court. So, you know, we don't -- we don't know for sure that that's -- that that's how the justices are going to see it.

Remember, in 1985 the court had a somewhat similar case about a girl in a high school in New Jersey who was found with cigarettes. And they said, you know, if someone's found with cigarettes, you can search them.

Now, it was only the search of a purse. What makes this case so outrageous is the strip search aspect of it.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: And that's going to give some justices pause, I suspect. But they are also going to say, "Look. You know, we have to give school districts, school officials a lot of latitude, because we have to protect students from drugs."

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: So we are not just about the rights of one student. It's protecting all the rest of them.

COOPER: I want to play something else that Savannah said to Roland earlier tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REDDING: I definitely think that they should call the parents first and foremost. And, you know, a kid shouldn't have to sit through that alone. And you know, I was extremely confused and scared, and I didn't really know what was going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I mean, if this had been an accusation brought to the police, the police, would they have been able to strip search her?

TOOBIN: Probably not.

COOPER: Right.

TOOBIN: But one of the golden rules in recent years is that students have fewer rights than other citizens.

Remember, just last year, the Supreme Court said it was OK for a student to be disciplined for holding up a poster that says "Bong Hits for Jesus." Now, you or I could walk on the street with a "Bong Hits for Jesus" poster. No one could arrest us for trying to -- adults.

COOPER: In fact, I've often seen you on the street.

TOOBIN: It's one of my causes, actually. In fact, John Roberts, chief justice, his opinion, he says, "We can't figure out what it means either," but it has something to do with drugs, and schools have a lot -- have a lot of discretion when it comes to drugs.

So I think there are going to be some justices who, as invasive and awful as this speech is -- as this search is, they're going to say, "Look, we don't want to police how schools take care of drugs."

COOPER: Do we know when we'll know the results?

TOOBIN: Probably by June.

COOPER: All right. Jeff Toobin, thanks very much. They'll take it up tomorrow. Jeff writes more about the case on our blog at AC360.com. And read why students' rights aren't what they used to be. Interesting stuff.

Up next, this heartbreaking mystery: 21 polo horses all from the same team dead in a 24-hour span. Investigators now searching for clues as to what killed them.

And an American journalist in Iran sentenced to eight years in prison for spying. President Obama speaking out. We'll tell you what the U.S. is trying to do to bring her home.

And we're kicking off our new series, "Secrets to a Long Life." Tonight, the surprising results about how your sex life affects your longevity. Right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Ahead on "360," searching for the fountain of youth and what sex and naps have to do with it. Some surprises ahead on how you can live a longer and healthier life.

But first, Erica Hill joins us with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, veterinarians are ruling out infectious or contagious diseases in the sudden deaths of 21 dead horses in a pool event. On Sunday, 15 horses died within minutes of each other before a polo match in Wellington, Florida. Six more horses died overnight.

Officials say the horses may have been injected with something or drank foul water.

Growing international outrage over the conviction of an American Iranian journalist in Iran. Roxana Saberi was sentences to eight years for espionage. President Obama calls the charges baseless. Even Iran's president told the prosecutors to show the American journalist a full defense appeal.

A six-week rally on Wall Street now dead in its tracks. The Dow losing nearly 290 points today. The NASDAQ fell nearly 65 while the S&P shed 37.

And a NASA astronaut today accusing the government of covering up the truth about aliens existing in the universe. Edgar Mitchell told a UFO conference that an unnamed admiral once confirmed to him that aliens crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.

Mitchell, though, adds the same admiral now denies the story. But he stands by his claim that there's life out there, and it's being covered up.

COOPER: Hmm. I don't know. Go figure.

If you've got a comment on a story we're covering tonight, join the live chat at AC360.com right now. Also, check out Erica Hill's live Web cast during the break. I'm having trouble tonight. But I hope you aren't at home.

Up next, how your love life could hold the secret to a longer life. Details ahead as we kick off a special weeklong series.

Plus, the singing battle that millions are following. Meet the 12-year-old boy who also wants to win "Britain's Got Talent." He's Susan Boyle's challenger, and he's our "Shot of the Day."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: So tonight we take you to a place where people are much more likely to live into their 90s than the average American, and they're healthy to boot. It's part of a weeklong project here on 360, "Secrets to a Long Life." So why do some live longer than others? That's the question we wanted to know.

And Dan Buettner investigated, with astonishing results. He heads a team of scientists supported by the American Association for Retired People as well as the National Geographic Society. And he writes about it in "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from People Who Have Lived the Longest." Tonight we take you to one of the blue zones, the Greek island of Ikaria.

Dan Buettner is there, and Erica Hill talked to him earlier.

Erica, any surprises?

HILL: Yes, one word, sex. And so when you hear that sex has to do with living a long life, we thought we couldn't ignore that. So we figured it was probably a good place to begin the journey.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILL: Dan, I know you're just getting there starting on your research, but I couldn't help notice this. Not only do people in this area tend to live a long life. They also have a very active sex life, pretty much until their death. Is there a connection there?

DAN BUETTNER, AUTHOR, "THE BLUE ZONES": Well, we've only been here a few days, but we know anecdotally that men 80 years old are having sex with women half their age at a very unusual rate.

In fact, on an island close to here, researchers from the University of Athens interviewed 63 men whose average age was 95 and found that only three of them were demented; very low rate. Seventy- five percent are still working, and 70 percent are still reporting an active sex life.

And we don't know if it's the sex that's helping them live longer or if they're living longer to have sex. But they are active at ages much -- much longer than we would expect.

HILL: That's wild. They also, some interesting things, though, the fact that they have such a low rate of dementia. They actually -- they sleep a lot, but they don't go to bed until very late, and they're pretty active socially. How important are all those Factors?

BUETTNER: Yes, you know, the point of blue zones is not only living longer but living longer better. And here, first of all, it's just Easter. So they are partying. Easter is like their Christmas. But normally, they do go to bed at 2 in the morning. They sleep until 10 or 11, and then take naps.

And there's very good research that shows that people who take four naps a week, about 30 minutes of time, have about 60 percent lower rate of heart disease than people that don't take naps. So you can make a connection between one and the other.

HILL: I kind of like that connection. I'll have to file that one away and tell my bosses. What about...

BUETTNER: Tell your boss, yes.

HILL: Exactly. I'll let you tell them, Dan.

What about this island, though? I understand it's also -- it's also pretty tight-knit. Not just when it comes to families, but socially, everybody really gets together a lot. BUETTNER: Yes. You see in all these blue zones are relatively isolated places. This island's been forgotten for about 1,000 years. And like all isolated places, people stick together. They're very social. Every afternoon at noon, every night at about 9 p.m., you see people coming together.

And we know people who have at least two good friends live two to three years longer than people who are isolated. And yet this is another one of those ingredients, we believe, that is part of the formula for longevity.

HILL: But the fact, though, that it is isolated, Dan, is it really more that this group of people, because they've been on their own, has just developed a really good gene pool?

BUETTNER: Well, we have a team of researchers on island right now to look into that.

But most of the time, only about 20 percent of how long we live is dictated by our genes. The other 80 percent is our lifestyle: what we eat, how we shed stress, what kind of herbs we take, whether or not we have religion in our life. So most of what we're doing over the next two weeks is talking to people over 90 to find out what they do in a methodical way.

HILL: All right. And if we've got 80 percent to work with here in the states, hopefully we could learn a lot from them.

Dan, really looking forward to the rest of the week with you. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

BUETTNER: Live large. All right. Good talking to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HILL: Dan is living larger.

Now, what's really interesting is our Web site at AC360.com, Dan has actually put together this amazing life expectancy calculator. So you just plug in all your information. There are 35 questions. And it will tell you how old you can live to, how many of those years will be healthier, and also gives you some tips on how you can actually live a little longer.

Also at the Web site, Anderson, you can vote on what you think Dan should investigate next. Some of your choices are, there was a 78-year-old American man -- and Dan wrote about this also on our Web site -- who was told by doctors here he had just months to live. Went to Ikaria. He lived for, like, 35 years or something. Maybe it wasn't 30 years, but ended up living for a long while longer, came back, and all of his doctors in the states were dead.

COOPER: Really?

HILL: And he was still alive and doing great. It's wild. So that's one of the things you can vote on. The life expectancy... COOPER: I'm a little creeped out by the life expectancy calculator. I know.

HILL: I'm going to be 93.

COOPER: Really?

HILL: But apparently, only 79 of those years will be in good health, so I think I need to make some changes. Maybe I need to sleep more.

COOPER: Good to know then. OK. Maybe I'll do this. It's on the Web site?

HILL: It's on the Web site.

COOPER: All right. Thank you.

HILL: Everything is there. It's amazing.

COOPER: It's all there, yes. You can get your laundry done there. You actually can't.

"The Shot" is next. He's little, but this kid has a huge voice. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: History of being a singer, very much alive.

SHAHEEN JAFARGHOLI, AUDITIONED FOR "BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT": My name's Shaheen Jafargholi.

SIMON COWELL, JUDGE, "BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT": OK. What are you going to sing?

JAFARGHOLI: I'm going to sing "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse.

COWELL: OK. Good luck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Better choice than "Rehab," I think. Will he defeat Susan Boyle? We'll let you decide if he has talent next on "The Shot." You'll actually hear him sing.

And at the top of the hour, the fallout over this photo: President Obama's handshake with Hugo Chavez, the man who called former President Bush the devil. Was it a mistake? Mr. Obama, the smile, to shake his hand, or was it a smart move? We'll have the latest, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: For tonight's "Shot," Susan Boyle's biggest challenge may come from a boy who just turned 12 years old. Shaheen Jafargholi is now giving the Scottish singer a run for her money after his audition for "Britain's Got Talent." Let's just say the producers certainly know how to milk the drama out of this thing, starting with the first try at a song. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAFARGHOLI (singing): Well, sometimes I cry by myself...

COWELL: You got this really wrong. What do you sing apart from that?

JAFARGHOLI: "Loving You" by Michael Jackson.

(SINGING) Well, now loving you, I wonder who -- can loving you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: This is the most manipulated show I've ever seen. I don't believe that for -- I don't buy that for a second.

HILL: Anderson Cooper, this is a reality show. Reality shows are all about being...

COOPER: Please. Please. You know that kid has done that. You knew Simon knew exactly what to say.

HILL: You know, it's funny. I don't know if you heard Piers Morgan, one of the other judges, on "LARRY KING" on Friday night. He said, "I just talked to Simon Cowell. I think he's got dollar signs in his eyes about Susan Boyle." I think there's some...

COOPER: We should shoot our show as tight as they shoot this show. This is like the most intense, dramatic, like, "Shot" of, like...

HILL: There you go.

COOPER: Yes. That's how it would look like.

HILL: Dramatic.

COOPER: We could do the news like this. Wouldn't that be dramatic?

HILL: That would be great.

COOPER: See the sweat?

HILL: Great.

COOPER: OK. You can see all the "Shots" on our Web site, AC360.com. Yes. The prompter has to move if I'm going to continue to speak.

Coming up at the top of the hour, we have the breaking news on the situation regarding the so-called Craigslist killer. Also, the political firestorm that was set off by President Obama and his greeting of Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez. Not bad without a prompter. Be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)