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Debt Negotiations Continue; Terror Training Fraud?

Aired July 13, 2011 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.

We begin tonight with breaking news, high tension at the White House, and very, very high stakes. Talks to diffuse the debt crisis ending tonight in frustration on both sides and conflicting accounts tonight from each side about what really happened in that room.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor saying that when he proposed a short-term deal, something the president opposes, Mr. Obama got agitated and said he'd sat there long enough. A number of sources say he then asked -- quote -- "Would Ronald Reagan be sitting here? I have reached my limit. This may bring down my presidency, but I will not yield on this."

Congressman Cantor says Mr. Obama told him -- quote -- "Eric, don't call my bluff. I'm going to the American people with this."

Finally, Cantor says the president pushed back from the table and left. Now, a Democratic source telling it very differently, saying the president challenged Mr. Cantor for what the source called -- quote -- "talking out of both sides of his mouth."

All the same, they will be back at the table tomorrow. The stakes though could not be higher. Moody's today put America's credit rating on review, hinting at a possible downgrade. And Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke today warned Congress that defaulting on the debt would be catastrophic, the Chamber of Commerce also sounding the alarm.

Jessica Yellin is at the White House tonight with what her sources are telling her.

Jessica, what have you heard from these differing accounts?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Democratic sources say that bottom line is that the president was schooling the crowd in the room when Eric Cantor changed his position.

All along Eric Cantor as you have said, the House majority leader, had endorsed doing a deal that did reduce the deficit and that had some of these various components we have talked about. But when he supported the short-term deal, which as you have pointed out the president has made clear he opposes, the president sort of told the entire group that this is exactly what Americans think of as Washington at its worst, Washington catering to the base, catering to politics, putting their own political future ahead of doing important things and taking on the big issues, and that he called on the group to take on this challenge and then called the meeting to an end.

No matter how you read that, it's clearly an increase in tensions on day three of these debt negotiations, with no sign of real progress with the clock ticking. And I do have it confirmed that this president really did say, with my presidency at stake, I will not yield on this issue.

COOPER: You know, there have been some reports -- and I think "The Wall Street Journal" did an editorial about this -- suggesting that this has all been kind of part of President Obama's plan, that he's been very kind of calculating in the way he's gone about these talks, intimating -- letting the Republicans talk about spending cuts and then only later on really being aggressive and pressing for revenue raisers, for tax increases down the road.

How does the White House respond to that? Is there any truth to that from the White House perspective?

YELLIN: Well, look, if this were part of a plan he'd have a deal by now, because no president wants this kind of debt threat hanging over their head.

He cannot benefit from having any kind of default at this point in his presidency. So you could accuse the White House of playing tactics instead of having a strategy. You could accuse the president of going out and using this for his own political advantage to the extent he can. But laying this entire scenario out as some sort of grand plan is nothing that anyone would do, I would argue, for their own political advantage.

The problem is at this point what we see is, instead of progress, each side sort of digging in and taking a step backward at the very point when they need to be making -- locking in deals and moving forward.

COOPER: And no sign of that. Jessica Yellin, appreciate the reporting tonight on a fast-moving story.

Joining us now is former McCain and Palin campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace. She also served as director of communications for the Bush White House. In addition, she's also a novelist, the author of "Eighteen Acres," which is an analyst book. Senior political analyst David Gergen is with us as well, and on the phone Democratic strategist Paul Begala.

Paul, what do you make of what happened today in this meeting and signs for any kind of progress, potential for progress?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, for a guy we thought was no-drama Obama, sounds like a pretty dramatic meeting.

I do think the only way you can get to a deal is if both sides want to deal. And the only way you get that is if the Republicans believe that president would walk away if they don't meet him halfway or at least part of the way. It does seem to me untenable for one side to say, well, we will even put Social Security on the table, which apparently reportedly the president has done, and the other side says, well, we won't put a nickel of revenue even from corporate loopholes on the table.

It does seem like it's a pretty unfair negotiating strategy for the Republicans, and it looks like maybe it's blown up in their face.

COOPER: David, David Gergen, your take on this and especially on this day where Moody's is talking about reviewing a potential downgrade of our credit rating.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Anderson, I think the fact that the meeting broke up in the way it did is extremely unfortunate, not only for trying to solve the debt ceiling, but trying to solve the underlying problem of the mounting debts, the debt crisis that we're approaching.

And I don't want to apportion blame here. I don't agree with Paul's analysis, but I don't want to get into the blame sort of situation. What it does seem to me is this, that the president and the leaders all have to come out of their corners and arrive at some sort of deal in the immediate future that averts a default on the national debt.

That's the single most important thing and whatever that deal is. The president says he does not want a short-term deal. And I know personally that he feels very intensely about that. But his own top economic adviser, Larry Summers, wrote today in "The Financial Times," he's got to get -- any deal is better than no deal. We have to get past the default crisis and then we can deal. Unfortunately we have to postpone this, but then we can deal with the underlying issues of the mounting debts.

COOPER: Nicolle, you were in the Bush White House, where the debt ceiling was raised a number of times. Now that you're in New York and you have got some distance on D.C., how do you see this?


But, look, I don't know that we have ever seen a negotiation go from such highs, where just days ago they were talking about a historic deal that would have a generational benefit and impact, to bullying each other and cramming peas down each other's throat, pushing back from tables and digging in.

So I think this deteriorated much more dramatically and much more quickly than anything else. And I think when you get out of Washington, I think it just -- it's a cumulative thing with the public. The public is so beyond disgust with the leaders in Washington.

And I think even Republican voices like Sean Hannity understand and are arguing in favor of making sure that the country does not default on its debt. But I think what Republicans feel like they have contributed, if you will, or what their part of the compromise was agreeing to let this country get deeper into debt.

COOPER: But from a Republican perspective, Nicolle, where do you see the possibility for compromise? Is compromise possible? I mean, if Republicans are saying the line in the sand is absolutely no tax raising, how do you increase revenues?

WALLACE: Well, I think Republicans are against raising taxes for some pretty good reasons. One, we're not an undertaxed country. Two, raising taxes doesn't actually get at the cause of our deficits.

Our deficits are in part as large as they are because we haven't had any growth in years now. So I think Republicans will make the case, and it will play out if not in Washington, then in the presidential campaign in the next year, this debate about how to grow our way out of these deficits.

But, look, what's at issue at the moment is getting a deal done. And I think as unfortunately so often happens in Washington, something small, something temporary and something that both sides are unhappy about is probably what will ensue.

COOPER: Paul, is a compromise possible?

BEGALA: Well, it's essential. It's absolutely necessary.

But you do have what I think the (INAUDIBLE) planners would call asymmetrical warfare. There's nothing more central to being a Democrat than protecting entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. This president has apparently put them on the table the. There's no bigger trump card he has as a Democrat to say, OK, I'm a Democratic president. I'm going to...


COOPER: But, Paul, Republicans are saying that the president hasn't been...


BEGALA: But the Republicans have to come with some taxes.

COOPER: Paul, Republicans have been saying and saying in this meeting to the president that he hasn't been specific about what spending cuts he's talking about.

BEGALA: But then -- I'm not in the room, but I think we know what Social Security is, we know what Medicare is, and we know what no is.

The Republicans' position is untenable. We have both a spending problem and a revenue problem. It's obvious. Federal tax revenues now are only 15 percent of GDP. Federal spending is 25 percent of GDP. Both of those lines need to come to meet. You can't do it with spending alone nor can you do it with taxes alone. It's actually a very obvious deal. It's just that one side won't give an inch. And that's the Republicans. COOPER: David?

GERGEN: Well, that's one way of looking at it.

I must say, look, there's some very strong ideological differences on this. The Republicans are committed to lean government. They do want a smaller government. They want it much less than 25 percent. They believe the Democrats are addicted to bigger government, and they believe a lot of what's being offered in these talks are gimmicks or are illusory in terms of budget cuts. And that's why they're saying let's put the -- let's put -- Mr. President, put your budget out on the front of the public. Let us see what you're proposing. You have never really proposed a serious budget. We have. We have proposed a Ryan budget. Where's yours?

So they're going to clash over this, but, Anderson, that's not the big point right now. The critical point is, as Moody's is warning, as Ben Bernanke warned today in Congress, the critical point is this country must not go into default on August 2. And they need to reach some minimal agreement to avoid that.

That should not be hard to do. Now, what they can get beyond that is really important, but it's not as urgently necessary as making sure we get this done. Then we can move to the more moderate-term crisis or the moderate crisis, moderate-term crisis, which is the huge deficits. We do have to solve those, but not before August 2. We have to get a deal to avoid a catastrophe on August 2.

COOPER: So, Nicolle, for Republicans tomorrow, do they need to change strategy, given what happened today? Or what do they do going into this meeting tomorrow?

WALLACE: Look, it was Barack Obama who stood in the Rose Garden just a few months ago and talked about he -- when he signed into law the extension of the Bush tax cuts, he seemed to understand that raising taxes is not the right thing to do at this time for our country.

So I think Republicans -- the difference between putting Social Security reform on the table and tax increases on the table is that Social Security and our entitlement programs are on a road to disappear. They're not going to be there if we don't do something about them.

Taxes don't have to increase. Most people believe that we pay plenty of taxes, that we are not an undertaxed country. So they're being treated with a moral equivalence because there's an intense negotiation taking place and our legislators have guns to their head to meet this deadline.

But I don't think that when the dust settles, that they will be treated as comparable items. And I think that where the Tea Party, the establishment Republicans, and the independent voters of America are the most closely aligned is in their belief that the size and the cost of the federal government is way too much.

COOPER: Nicolle Wallace, David Gergen, Paul Begala, thank you very much.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I will try to be tweeting tonight in this hour as well.

Up next, a "Keeping Them Honest" investigation. This is a fascinating story, a man who claims to be a former Islamic terrorist traveling the country advising law enforcement about terror. Just one catch -- CNN's found no evidence he was ever actually a terrorist. And actually there's another catch as well. Your tax dollars, our tax dollars are going into his pocket. Find out what happened when our Drew Griffin confronted him with questions. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

And later, a very close call for CNN's Ben Wedeman and his crew in Libya. This is about as close as you can get to being caught in the middle of a firefight. Take a look.






COOPER: Wait until you see what happens next. This goes on. We will talk with Ben also. He was all right and his crew was all right at the end of it, but some incredibly tense moments. This is going to get your heart to stop. We will talk to Ben also and show you the rest of that video.

First, also, let's check in with Isha Sesay.

Isha, what are you following?

ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, new developments in the Halle Berry case. Her alleged stalker had a court date today. We will tell you how he pleaded and what the court had to say -- that and more when 360 continues.


COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, a fascinating report about your tax dollars going into the pocket of a man who claims to have unique insight on terrorism because he used to be a terrorist.

Walid Shoebat is his name. He claims to have bombed an Israeli bank, been a member of the PLO who attacked Israeli soldiers and grew up a devout Muslim who hated Jews. Now converted to Christianity, he travels America lecturing churches and police about the dangers of Islam and he gets paid for it.

His books have titles like "God's War on Terror," "Satan's Footsteps" and "Why I Left Jihad." They were big sellers where we found Shoebat, speaking at the South Dakota Conference on Homeland Security. He was there addressing more than 300 police officers and first-responders.

His message was American Muslims need to be profiled. All Islamic organizations from doctors to engineers to students ought to be investigated and mosques in the U.S. should be considered terror centers, not houses of worship. He says terrorism and Islam are inseparable.


WALID SHOEBAT, TERRORISM SPEAKER: You want them to say that Islam was hijacked. It was not hijacked. Islam is Islam is Islam.


COOPER: Well, full disclosure: At one time or another, CNN and other networks have turned to Shoebat for his perspective on the war on terror, an apparent look from the inside.

But "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, we're discovering that Walid Shoebat's story just doesn't seem to add up.

Here's CNN's Drew Griffin of CNN's Special Investigations Unit.


SHOEBAT: I think we are at war with Islamic fundamentalism and Islamism, which stems from Islam. No historian can deny that Islamists basically invaded Christendom.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Walid Shoebat's message is the epitome of good vs. evil. He has an advertised pedigree that makes him an expert: Islamic-terrorist- turned-ultra-conservative-Christian.

A U.S. citizen because his mother is American, he is a darling on the terror circuit, the church and university circuits, and, yes, he believes the war on terror is a holy war. He portrays himself as a man converted and on a mission, once a Jew-hating, bomb-throwing terrorist, now a devout Christian convert warning the world Islam is out to destroy you

SHOEBAT: (SPEAKING ARABIC) That's how you recite the Koran. I know the Koran inside out. English. And if you meet the unbelievers, then smite off their necks. What part of smite off their necks you Americans don't understand?

GRIFFIN: His message before a largely positive crowd of cops and emergency responders at this South Dakota Homeland Security Conference, trust no Muslim, especially those who organize.

SHOEBAT: Know your enemy. Know your enemy. All Islamist organizations in America should be the number-one enemy, all of them, the Islamist organizations. Islamists inside North America should be focused on. You got that on camera? Yes, please.

YELLIN: He is being paid $5,000, plus expenses, to speak here with your tax dollars. He was also given a Rapid City police guard during his time in the city, a nice day's work.

And judging by his Web site, where he highlights more than three dozen speaking engagements, Shoebat gets a lot of work.

(on camera): Being a terrorism expert has become a cottage industry since 9/11. The Department of Homeland Security has spent nearly $40 million on counterterrorism training just since 2006. DHS doesn't keep records on how much is spent just on speakers.

But some of the so-called experts who go around the country teaching and in some cases preaching about terrorism and the dangers of Islam are not quite what they seem, people, it turns out, like Walid Shoebat.

The first thing I want to ask you is, what was the purpose of your talk this morning to these cops and emergency responders here in South Dakota?

SHOEBAT: Well, being an ex-terrorist myself is to understand the mind-set of the terrorist, number one.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): An ex-terrorist. It's Walid Shoebat's claim to fame, a terrorist, a PLO member who bombed a branch of an Israeli bank in Bethlehem Square, throwing a firebomb on the bank's roof.

The problem with the story, with a lot of Shoebat's stories, there's no evidence for them. And despite CNN's many requests, neither Shoebat, nor his business partner have provided us with any.

(on camera): Bombings in Bethlehem Square, you specifically said you threw.

SHOEBAT: The bank was in Bethlehem Square.

GRIFFIN: You threw explosives on top of that bank?

SHOEBAT: Yes, I did. Yes, I did.

GRIFFIN: No record.

(voice-over): CNN's Jerusalem bureau went to great lengths trying to verify Shoebat's story, finding the general location with a branch of Bank Leumi once stood, but not finding anyone who could remember a bombing.

We contacted the bank headquarters in Tel Aviv, asking officials to search records. No records found. And Israeli police found no record anyone ever threw a bomb at the branch of the bank.

(on camera): Why would the bank not have a record? Why would the Israeli police not have a record? SHOEBAT: Why would the Israeli police not have a record? I don't know. I mean, I don't know where you checked, what dates, all these things.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): There's another part of his story that doesn't check out. Shoebat says he was arrested and spent two weeks in an Israeli prison.

GRIFFIN: There's no record of you being in prison. I think there would be at least an arrest record. They held you for two weeks. Would the United States know you were in prison, if you were a U.S. citizen?


SHOEBAT: How about me and you go to the Mascubia (ph) prison and extract the records? The records are there.


SHOEBAT: Would you be willing to do so?

GRIFFIN (voice-over): We did. And the Israeli detention center could find no record of detaining anyone with the name Walid Shoebat.

(on camera): Yes. You obviously can see why people are critical of your claims. There's a whole lot of gaps in your story.


SHOEBAT: There's no gaps.

GRIFFIN: We don't have a bank bombing.

(voice-over): And we don't have a terrorist, because it turns out Walid Shoebat, even on his own admission, was never charged.

SHOEBAT: I was in prison for a few weeks.

GRIFFIN: Was there a charge?

SHOEBAT: No. I was a U.S. citizen, remember? I was born by an American mother. The other conspirators in the act ended up in jail. I ended up being released.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): There's another problem, his family. In the neighborhood where Walid Shoebat grew up, relatives say he was just a regular kid.

And Daood Shoebat, who says he is Walid's fourth cousin, goes even further.

DAOOD SHOEBAT, RELATIVE OF SHOEBAT (through translator): There were only two banks in Bethlehem district, and they are Bank Leumi and Discount Bank. They were on Nativity Square. And Walid never had any connection with those two banks, not a close or a distant connection. I tell you this out of experience. I am one of the people who are considered a responsible man in the area of Bethlehem or (INAUDIBLE). I have never heard anything about Walid being an mujahid or a terrorist. He claims this for his own personal reasons.


COOPER: So, Drew, he's saying he claimed this for his own personal reasons. What personal reasons?

GRIFFIN: Well, there's a big personal reason here. It's called money. Anderson, I don't have to tell you, classic investigative reporting, you follow the money. Like his background, how Walid Shoebat is now making that money is about as mysterious as his past.


GRIFFIN: Yes. The Walid Shoebat Foundation, is that a charity?

SHOEBAT: Walid Shoebat Foundation is part of the FFMU.

GRIFFIN: And what does FFMU do?

SHOEBAT: Basically, we're in information. And we do speaking and we do also helping Christians that are being persecuted in countries like Pakistan. And we help Christians who are suffering all throughout the Middle East.

GRIFFIN: And how do you do that?

SHOEBAT: None of your business.


COOPER: "None of your business." That's interesting.

Our investigation continues tomorrow night, right? Tell us -- what are we going to see tomorrow?

GRIFFIN: Yes, tomorrow, how he makes a business out of his expertise, how these donations to his cause end up with a so-called foundation owned by his business partner, and also the bigger question, Anderson. Why are our taxpayers going to pay this guy? He can say whatever he wants, but where are the people vetting these so- called terrorism experts that are suddenly making a lot of money in this country?

COOPER: That's interesting. Drew, fascinating. We will continue to follow up. We will have that report, part two, tomorrow. Thanks, Drew, a lot.

Coming up, you may not have been following the war in Libya recently. But tonight you are going to get as close to the combat as anyone can. Our Ben Wedeman and his crew caught in the crossfire today, literally. And the video of it is heart-stopping.



We're going as fast as we can. We can't tell who the...


COOPER: We're going to show you the full video of what happened. We will talk to Ben. He was able to get out. His crew's OK, how he and his crew got out alive, we will talk to him about that

Also ahead: Should the man accused of shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, wounding 12 others and killing six people, accused of that, should he be forced to take medicine for his schizophrenia, medicine that would make him competent to stand trial and face the death penalty? A court has ruled. We will tell you what they decided today.


COOPER: In Libya, eight opposition fighters to the Gadhafi regime were killed and dozens wounded in new fighting today in the western part of the country. Rebel forces regained control of the village of Qawalish in a five-hour battle. Rebel leaders say Gadhafi's forces have been bringing in weapons from other parts of Africa, using a highway leading from that village to Tripoli.

Senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman got a look at the fighting there firsthand when he and his crew were ambushed by Gadhafi loyalists and caught in the midst of gunfire. Take a look.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.



You in, Mary (ph)?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Just calm down.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down! Get down!

WEDEMAN: OK. We're leaving this area because there's gunfire all around us. And we believe that Gadhafi's forces are doing a roundabout movement, so we are rushing out of this area.


COOPER: I've watched that, Ben, I've watched that video now multiple times. And every time my heart is still -- still racing. Everyone in your crew is OK, yes?

WEDEMAN: Yes. Everybody's fine. In fact, that was just the beginning of a very long day. And there were other instances where we had to hug the dirt as we came under bombardment from rockets and mortars, because this battle went on for a long time. Eight were killed. At least 30 were wounded in the course of it. So everybody's fine. But it was a very long and difficult day, Anderson.

COOPER: So for you and for the fighters, too, how do you know where the -- where the Gadhafi forces are? And it seems like you were saying that they were kind of circling around to try to kind of entrap you and/or the fighters.

WEDEMAN: Well, one of the problems in this part of Libya is there's no cell-phone communications. Few of the fighters have any walkie-talkies. So we got to the edge of this village, and there were just two young guys, maybe 17, 18 years old, supposedly manning the checkpoint. And they didn't seem to know what was going on.

So our drivers went to the top of a hill overlooking the town. And when they got there, they saw just about 150 meters away from them two cars full of Gadhafi soldiers. So they came running down the hill. And that's really when the gunfire began.

So you really, whether you have -- it's very hard to know the situation on the ground. And you can just sort of turn a corner and find yourself face-to-face with the wrong people.

And you may recall that when those four "New York Times" journalists were kidnapped or captured by Gadhafi forces, the first thing they did, the Gadhafi soldiers, was kill the driver. So that explains why the driver was in such a hurry to get out of the area, because they know that journalists might be spared. The Libyans were not.

COOPER: And how are -- the forces opposed to Gadhafi, how are they doing? How are their -- early on for weeks we talked about their level of training and the disorganization. I assume that's gotten better. How much better has it gotten? And how much progress and/or lack of progress has occurred?

WEDEMAN: Well, in this part of the country they do seem to have made progress. They've expanded the area they control quite dramatically. So there are some areas you can drive for an hour and still be in rebel-held territory. But they may have reached the sort of the edge of the zone that they can effectively control. Increasingly they're coming upon towns that are not rebel -- they're not at all in favor of the rebels. In fact, they're pro-Gadhafi. And so every one of those towns they run into, the battles can be quite bloody and the aftermath quite messy.

You saw the Human Rights Watch report indicating that, in towns that were known to be loyal to Gadhafi, there were lots of instances of vandalism, of burning of houses, of in some cases, mistreatment of prisoners. So that sort of atmosphere is going to make it very difficult for them to really make progress towards Tripoli, unless of course, there's an uprising in Tripoli itself.

And of course, we've heard from people in Tripoli that that's not something -- that is something that could happen. But it's just a question of when, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. When and how. Ben Wedeman, appreciate it. Just remarkable day today. I'm glad you and your crew, Mary and everybody are OK.

Let's check the latest on some other stories that Isha Sesay is following for us tonight. She joins us now with a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson Afghan President Hamid Karzai wept at his brother's burial today in the family's ancestral village. Ahmad Wali Karzai was one of the most powerful and controversial men in southern Afghanistan. He was assassinated in his Kandahar home yesterday by a family security guard.

The same-sex marriage law signed last month by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has caused a town clerk to resign. Laura Fotusky, a Republican from Boston, New York, says she'll quit on July 21, three days before the law takes effect, to avoid compromising her, quote, "moral conscience."

A California man charged with stalking actress Halle Berry has pleaded not guilty. Richard Anthony Franco was arrested after allegedly trespassing three times in three days on Berry's Hollywood Hills estate. At his arraignment, Franco was ordered to stay 500 yards away from the actress.

And a "360 Follow." It started as a bet. Anderson, remember Marine Sergeant Scott Moore? Well, he's currently serving in Afghanistan, and he made a YouTube video asking actress Mila Kunis out on a blind date. It worked. She agreed to be his date at this November's Marine Corps ball after some encouragement from her "Friends with Benefits" costar Justin Timberlake. A happy ending, right?

Not so fast. According to "Hollywood Live," Mila will be busy filming two movies in November, and she can't go after all. Instead -- I know. Instead, she says she's meet in private with Sergeant Moore.

COOPER: Well, that's good.

SESAY: No. No, no. I think you should join me in urging her to reconsider.

COOPER: Well, I tell you. I met her once, and she's really cool. She seems super nice. So I'm sure she would go if she could. But at least she's going to meet the guy. So that's cool.

SESAY: I'm a fan of love. I'm being a fan of love here.

COOPER: Oh, you think there's actually going to be love here now?

SESAY: I'm a woman. I'm fast forwarding it to love and happiness.

COOPER: All right. Wow. Slow down there, Isha.

SESAY: OK. I'll slow my rolls (ph). I'll slow it down. Whatever.

COOPER: All right. Time now for "The Shot."

One of our interns, Nick Greinlich (ph), spotted this on YouTube. An embarrassing moment caught on tape during a recent broadcast of "BBC Breakfast." Charlie Stayt is talking about 3-D movies with co- host Susanna Reid and suffered, I guess, an epic memory failure. Let's take a look.


CHARLIE STAYT, CO-HOST, "BBC BREAKFAST": Well, I saw a 3-D film recently in which someone I was with just took the glasses off quite early on and said it made no difference whatsoever.

SUSANNA REID, CO-HOST, "BBC BREAKFAST': That was me when we went to see...

STAYT: Well, OK. I went...

REID: I can't believe that.

STAYT: We went to see a film recently.

REID: Yes. A screening of "The Green Lantern," in fact.

STAYT: Halfway through I turned to you, because obviously it was you who was with me at the film. And you didn't have your glasses.

REID: That was about three days. Have you seriously forgotten we went to the cinema together three days ago? "Green Lantern." You've come back here (ph), and you've forgotten it.


SESAY: Yes. In Hollywood... COOPER: I like that he already forgot it was "Green Lantern" again.

SESAY: And forgot he was with her.

COOPER: Well, that -- yes, that is a classic.



SESAY: What can I say? I'm just putting it down to early mornings, breakfast television.

COOPER: Yes. Or -- I mean, he seems -- she seems to have kind of remembered all the details. I don't know. It doesn't really surprise me the guy is like, "Oh, yes, I was at the movie with someone. I can't remember who it was."

SESAY: She probably is like me, had fast forwarded.

COOPER: She had fast-forwarded, right. She thought this was a big night out.

SESAY: She did indeed.

COOPER: Yes. Oh, well.


COOPER: Great moment. That's cool.

All right. A lot more ahead tonight. Serious stuff coming up. "Crime & Punishment," the ruling that some are calling infuriating. It's going to keep Jared Lee Loughner, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords's accused shooter, from facing trial any time soon. Dr. Drew Pinsky and TruTV's Sunny Hostin weigh in on a complicated medical and legal ethics. Basically, should he be forced to take medicine to treat his schizophrenia, which would allow him then to be ruled competent to go to trial?

Plus Oprah Winfrey is getting a new role at her struggling network. Details on that ahead.


COOPER: In "Crime & Punishment" tonight, a controversial ruling that will ensure that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords's alleged shooter will not face trial any time soon. A federal appeals panel has ruled that Jared Lee Loughner can, until his next hearing in late August, refuse anti-psychotic medication, the very drugs that right now are the only thing standing between him and a jury.

In May, Loughner, who has schizophrenia, was ruled incompetent to stand trial in the January shooting rampage that killed six people, wounded 13. Congresswoman Giffords among them suffered the most serious injuries. She was shot point blank in the head while meeting with constituents at a shopping mall.

Well, Loughner is being held at a federal mental hospital. And his lawyers argue that prosecutors wanted to medicate their client merely to make him able to stand trial rather than to keep him safe. Their argument worked. But it also means a very sick man is not getting treatment that he obviously needs.

Now I talked earlier with Sunny Hostin, legal contributor for "In Session" on TruTV, and Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN's "Dr. Drew."


COOPER: Dr. Drew, from a medical ethics standpoint, are you comfortable with this ruling?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST, HLN'S "DR. DREW": Well, I'm not -- I'm comfortable with most of this entire situation. I mean, the fact is the physicians that are involved in this case are in a double bind on almost every front.

On one hand, they have a gentleman who is dangerous, who has been a killer, who's acting out dangerously, and they can't treat him. He is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and they can't give him the routine medications that you would give somebody to, frankly, make them feel and be better and also make it possible to keep them from endangering themselves or other people on the unit. They're not being able to do that because of another ethical issue which is, what rights do people have to render somebody improved and competent in order to have them stand trial?

Now, mind you, somebody who is floridly psychotic when they committed their crimes, while making them better to stand trial for a possible death penalty case. It's really a problematic situation for the doctors.

COOPER: But Sunny, it did seem that the authorities were saying, "Well, look, he threw a chair and he acted out in his room, and therefore we need to medicate him. He was being a danger to himself and to others."

There are those who say, well, look, plenty of patients do that and don't get forcibly medicated.


COOPER: That they were trying to do an end run, basically, around the system. Because if they could say he needed to be medicated for his own protection, they didn't have to go through an entire court hearing to get him medicated. They could just do it with an administrative hearing, where the rules were a lot easier.

HOSTIN: That's right. And I think that's why this appellate court did the right thing, because the defense argument is compelling. They're saying if you want to make him competent to stand trial, you need to meet the more robust requirements that the Supreme Court has set out. And that is, as you mentioned, have a full hearing and say what it is. This means you don't want to really protect him from himself or others. What you want to do is make him competent to stand trial.

And I think that is really where we're going here. We're going to have another hearing, apparently, to determine the medical issues but also the legal issues. And really, the legal issue here is, are you trying to make him competent to stand trial, or are you really just trying to make him safe for himself and others? And I don't think that the appellate court bought that state argument.

COOPER: Dr. Drew, from what you know publicly about the public information that's out there, that he threw a chair, I mean, does that seem to reach the level that he is dangerous enough that he needs to be forcibly medicated?

PINSKY: Let's think about this for a second. It's across a six- month window that he had these outbursts. And I understand that people are skeptical that there were a couple of outbursts across that period. This is a man who killed six people. I mean, witnessed to have killed six people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, who must be miserable. And these doctors cannot do their job.

But the door, interestingly, has been left open to do things that were not allowed to do, we at least try not to do out in the community. They have left the door open to leather restraints and takedowns and emergency tranquilizers, which are the worst practice of medicine. That's harm. That's really putting this guy in harm's way, as opposed to giving him the routine medications that would make him better, alleging all the while that somehow that's going to endanger his life. Nonsense.

HOSTIN: Well, I want to disagree a bit with Dr. Drew. And that is because, listen, this is an issue that has been around for decades. Can you forcibly medicate a pre-trial prisoner? A pre-trial detainee? And I think it makes us feel bad, right? Because in these United States you can't forcibly medicate any adult. It's sort of your fundamental right to refuse medication. People refuse medication all the time. They refuse medication for cancer.

PINSKY: Except when they're a danger to themselves and others.

HOSTIN: That's right, Dr. Drew. However...

PINSKY: Except in that situation which is what we seem to have here.

HOSTIN: Let's face it. Isn't there a more or rather a less intrusive way of protecting him? He's been in isolation. He threw a chair against a wall.

PINSKY: You now are practicing medicine. And I'm telling you, in the community...

HOSTIN: He spit on somebody. That doesn't mean he's a danger to himself under the law. PINSKY: ... that does not stand up to scrutiny.

HOSTIN: It stands up to Supreme Court scrutiny. It absolutely does.

PINSKY: Listen, the fact is -- the fact is, this is what -- that is what's so difficult about practicing medicine. You put the doctors in binds on every front. The standard in the community is, you avoid restraints. You avoid emergency tranquilizers.

HOSTIN: But you can't forcibly medicate anyone.

PINSKY: You keep them in therapeutic medicine appropriate for this...

HOSTIN: You can't forcibly medicate adults.

PINSKY: When they're a danger to themselves. When they're a danger to themselves in an emergency situation, two doctors can do that.

HOSTIN: And that's the issue.

PINSKY: And when they feel so much better. And they're...

HOSTIN: Is he really a danger to himself?

PINSKY: ... clear, usually they're willing to cooperate.

HOSTIN: Is he really a danger to himself?

COOPER: Wait, wait, wait.

HOSTIN: A danger to others?

COOPER: This is -- Sunny, this is not just some guy who was talking to himself on a subway and was arrested...

HOSTIN: That's right.

COOPER: ... rounded up in jail. This is a guy who was witnessed -- I mean, he has not been convicted in a court of law. He's presumed to be innocent, but there were witnesses who saw him shoot people.


COOPER: You know, trying to kill people. And in fact, killing people. So...

HOSTIN: But the question is, is he a danger to others right now? He's in isolation. He's separated from everyone else. And when you look at that fact...

PINSKY: Is that appropriate for him? Is that good care for him? That's the kind of care you want to avoid. That's cruel care. As opposed to giving him the routine things that would actually make him better.

HOSTIN: But you can't force him to do it, because you use that medication.

PINSKY: That's the point. I know you can't, but that's...

HOSTIN: And that's what the issue is. It's about forcibly medicating someone.

PINSKY: ... that's what the bind these doctors are in. By the same token, by the same -- you're absolutely right, of course. But that's the bind the physicians are in. And by the same token then you're asking them to render this guy competent so he can stand trial when he was known to be floridly psychotic when he committed these acts. I can understand the doctors not wanting to do that, as well.

COOPER: It is a fascinating case. Dr. Drew, thank you very much.

Sunny Hostin as well, thanks.


COOPER: It's a tough call. We're debating it right now on Twitter, @AndersonCooper if you want to join in on the discussion.

Still ahead tonight, should severely obese kids be taken away from their parents for their own good? A doctor and Harvard researchers say yes. We'll explain that.

And "The RidicuList." A Foo Fighter fighter lands on the list. We'll explain.


COOPER: Coming up, a Foo Fighters concert-goer lands on our "RidicuList." We'll explain why in a moment.

But first, Isha Sesay joins us with a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha

SESAY: Anderson, three senators are calling for a federal investigation into whether Rupert Murdoch's media empire went too far here in the U.S. They want to know if any Americans had their voicemail hacked by a News Corps newspaper. The allegations are already under investigation in Britain where the scandal began.

The struggling Oprah Winfrey Network is getting a new CEO, Oprah Winfrey. She'll take the top post this fall. And she's combining the new Los Angeles-based channel with her Chicago-based production company, Harpo Studios. Winfrey says she wants to, quote, "unleash the full potential of the network."

Parents in some cases should lose custody of their severely obese children. That's a suggestion from a doctor and researcher at Harvard University. They say the move may be justifiable because of the health risks to the child and the parents' chronic failure to address them. That controversial idea is in the "Journal of the American Medical Association."

And "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" part two has already racked in $25 million in the U.S., and it hasn't even opened yet. It's all from presales. The movie opens Friday.

So Cooper.


SESAY: Have you been holding out on me?


SESAY: I just want to make sure that you haven't been passing yourself off as a wizard. Let's put up a shot. We'll explain. Do you see the...

COOPER: Oh, right. That's creepy.

SESAY: I want to make sure you haven't been passing yourself off as Draco Malfoy.

COOPER: Yes, no. No. That's very creepy. Enough.

SESAY: It is very creepy.

COOPER: It's like the ghost of Christmas future and past.

SESAY: All rolled up into one big mess.

COOPER: But no, I'm very excited to see the movie. Are you?

SESAY: I am very, very excited to see the movie. I just wanted to make sure to see where you've been because you have been MIA recently.

COOPER: That is true. I was shooting a story in Cuba.

SESAY: Not casting spells?

COOPER: No, no. Yes. I want to see the movie in 3-D, though.

SESAY: I do, too, actually. I do, too.

COOPER: I'm the biggest geek around.

All right. Time now for "The RidicuList." And tonight we're adding a guy who I like to call the Foo Fighter fool fighter. Now, we don't actually know his name. All we really know about the guy is that he went to a Foo Fighters concert in London last night, apparently got into some kind of dust up in the audience during the show. And Dave Grohl this he's an A-hole. And let me tell you something about Dave Grohl. His agitation amp goes to 11. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE GROHL, MUSICIAN: Hey, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Stop, stop. No, no, no, no, no, no. You don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) try to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) at my show, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Let him see him. Who's fighting right now? Who's fighting? Let me see. That guy in the striped shirt right there. Hey, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), look at you. Look at me. Hey in the striped shirt. Look at me right here, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Look at me. Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) of my show right now. Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of my show. Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of my show right now.


COOPER: I might almost feel sorry for the schlub in the striped shirt if I hadn't spent a lot of time in London where on any weekend night you are bound to see a couple of drunk guys punching each other outside pubs. That's usually after they have urinated on the street and/or thrown up on the street and/or thrown up on themselves and/or on their urine. Yes, I know. It's disgusting.

So I got to go with Dave Grohl on this one. And it's a good opportunity for us to review some basic concert-going etiquette. A few rules: don't fight, don't push, don't stand on your seats so the little kid behind you can't see. Don't get drunk and sing off key at the top of your lungs. And unless you're Courtney Cox in a Bruce Springsteen video, do not try to get on stage and dance.

Also, can we stop yelling "Free Bird," please? It's just not funny anymore. Even if you think you're being ironic, the irony is you're not.

And whatever you do, this is very important. So come here. Just come here a little closer. Come here a little closer if you can. Listen carefully. Do not talk on your cell phone in the front row at a Tori Amos concert. Believe me. Don't let the whole willowy piano- playing wood sprite image fool you. She well pull out the key of "F" bomb faster than you can say Lilith Fair. Take a look.


TORI AMOS, MUSICIAN: Hey, hold on. Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of my show. It's a privilege to sit in the front row. Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out.


COOPER: Thrown out of a Tori Amos concert. That, my friends, is a walk of shame.

Another word of advice: if you're at a Faith Hill concert and her husband, Tim McGraw is playing, too, don't touch Tim's McGroin.


FAITH HILL, MUSICIAN: You don't go grabbing somebody else's -- somebody's husband's balls. You listening to me? Very disrespectful.


COOPER: First of all I love Faith Hill. I also love how the band is still playing, and she's still kind of dancing as she gives a serious southern smack-down to the package handler.

OK. So let's just sum up. No talking in the front row, no crotch grabbing and please no Foo Fighting.


GROHL: You don't come to my show and fight. You come to my show and (EXPLETIVE DELETED) dance. You (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


COOPER: That's right, you A-hole. Dance. Dance like you never danced before. And try to avoid an encore on "The RidicuList."

We'll be right back.