Return to Transcripts main page


At Least Six Dead in D.C. Train Collision; Iranian Protesters Defy Government Forces

Aired June 22, 2009 - 22:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news and big questions: With six dead in the wake of it, how did this happen and why?

Looking here at live pictures of the aftermath. How did two trains on the one of the most technologically sophisticated transit systems manage to be in the same place at the same time?

This is, after all, the computerized automated Washington Metro that we are talking about, with digital technology to let engineers, dispatchers even passengers, know where every train is at any given instant. Yet, somehow, late this afternoon, on a stretch of track on the red line, just inside the District, two trains collided, and six people died.

The questions, how and why? The investigation just under way.

Our Joe Johns is on the scene tonight. And he joins us now with the very latest.

Joe, what are we learning?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, what we do know is that there are six people dead, at least 70 people taken to area hospitals, the very worst crash in the history of the subway system.

And, as you said, that is the investigation. How could it happen with all the technology available? The National Transportation Safety Board is here on the scene looking into that very question. And they have looked into things with Metro for quite a while. The safety record is not too bad.

On the other hand, there are some things in the history of this program that bear questioning. Now, we can talk to you a little bit about what is going to go on for the next several hours. But, first, let's take a step back and see what happened around 5:00 this afternoon Eastern time.


JOHNS (voice-over): A terrible accident at the very beginning of Washington's rush hour -- passengers said it happened so fast, there wasn't even enough time to scream.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just listening to my iPod, and then we hit. It was -- it was literally like that.

JOHNS: Jodie Wickett was on one of the trains. She is a nurse, and tried to help.

JODIE WICKETT, PASSENGER: A lot of people pinned between car -- seats. The front of the car had been split open and the seats themselves and all the people were at the end of the car that I was in helping. And they were just layered on top of each other. So, the people I couldn't get to, some of them just had injured limbs and were still breathing and whatnot. So, we just tried to triage and helped the people that needed us the most first.

JOHNS: Here is what happened.

At approximately 5:02, 5:03 today, one train was stopped, waiting for -- to get the order to pass because of a train stopped at a platform. The next train came up behind it and, for reasons we do not know, collided into the back of that train.

JOHNS: The impact was enough to lift one of the trains high in the air.

The injured were taken to Washington area hospitals, as rescue workers searched the wreckage -- among the dead, the female operator of the train that failed to stop.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty called it:

ADRIAN FENTY (D), MAYOR OF WASHINGTON, D.C.: The deadliest accident in the history of our Metro train transit system.

JOHNS: It's the third collision in 15 years for Metro, which carries up to 800,000 people a day, commuters, city residents and tourists.


ROBERTS: Joe, so, the crashworthiness of these cars has been called into question. Do -- do we know if that was a factor in this collision?

JOHNS: Well, it's certainly a good question.

Almost 10 years ago, the National Transportation Safety Board actually made recommendations about improving the crashworthiness of the cars. On the other, there's another big question here tonight, John. And that is about the automatic system that is supposed to slow these trains down when there is something on the tracks ahead.

For some reason, that system apparently did not work. Whether that system was actually overridden by some individual person or whether it malfunctioned is a big part of the investigation.

ROBERTS: All right, Joe Johns for us tonight in Washington -- Joe, thanks so much for that.

Just this moment, the White House issued the following statement: "Michelle and I were saddened by the terrible accident in Northeast Washington, D.C., today. Out thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends affected by this tragedy. I want to thank the brave first-responders who arrived immediately to save lives. My staff has been in touch with Mayor Fenty's office and will continue to monitor the situation."

That's from the White House and President Obama there.

As Joe said, investigators are on the scene. Unlike many incidents, they didn't have far to travel. Some perspective now on what they will be focusing on, as well as what typically factors into these train wrecks.

Joining us for that is Peter Goelz. He's the former managing director for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Peter, it's good to have you with us.

As Joe Johns pointed out, this is the third crash in 15 years in the D.C. Metro system. Is that a -- is that a high rate of accidents for one transit system?


But what it is terribly frustrating about many of these rail accidents is, is that they are entirely preventable, that the investigation shows that there's -- there are things that the organization or the individual operator should have done or could have done that could have prevented these accidents.

And you touched on two of the. One is, there is an automatic train control system. Was it operating, or was it turned off? Was the -- the engineer in control? What was she doing? And, secondly, the question is, is the crashworthiness of these cars. Were the collision posts strengthened enough to divert the energy? You know, these -- the physics of a train crash are awfully brutal.

ROBERTS: Well, the fact that we see one train actually mounted on top of the other, is -- is that an indication that those systems did work to deflect that energy? I mean, where does the -- where is the energy supposed to deflect? Is it supposed to deflect upwards? Is it supposed to deflect to the side?


ROBERTS: I imagine -- you know, we see, in -- in automotive vehicles, we see these crush zones. You couldn't have those in a train, because people would be sitting in those crush zones.

GOELZ: Yes, the -- it depends on where -- where the impact occurs.

And the -- the NTSB have wonderful metallurgists. They're going to look at the -- at the impact. The chief investigator, Ed Dobranetski, is a real pro on this. And he will do -- he and the NTSB will do a good job. And that will be one of the -- one of the real interesting parts of this investigation. ROBERTS: What are your initial thoughts about the collision, Peter? We know that one train was stopped at the this waiting for clearance to go. What does that indicate to you that happened with the other train?

GOELZ: Well, the question is, is -- they are going to look very carefully at the event recorder in the -- in the train that hit the stopped train. Exactly what was going on there?

And, you know, unfortunately, in a number of train accidents recently, both -- both in Boston and in Southern California, you had the engineer being distracted. My hope is, that's not the case here.

ROBERTS: Right. Do we know for sure that that is not the case in this particular incident?

GOELZ: The investigation is just beginning. I'm sure that is one of the issues they are going to look at.

ROBERTS: All right. So, if you were directing the investigation -- I mean, you jut -- you ran over a little bit of it.


ROBERTS: But what would be the thing that you would go after first?

GOELZ: Well, I think -- I think you start with the human factors. You know, who was in control of the train, and why? Were they following procedures? You want to get that event recorder. You want to download the information on it. You want to check the signals and -- to see whether they were functioning properly. Take it from there.

ROBERTS: In your experience, these train accidents, are they more ascribable to systemic failures or are they more ascribable to human error?

GOELZ: You know, the -- the systems tend to fail on the human factors. And that is the real tragedy.

ROBERTS: All right.

Peter Goelz for us tonight -- Peter, thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

GOELZ: Thank you.

ROBERTS: A lot more happening tonight, and a lot to talk about as well. Let us know what you think.

Join the live chat happening now at

And coming up next time: the latest from Iran, where protesters defied government forces and are getting ready to do it again. We will explore what is going on at the demonstrations and inside the Iranian power structure.

Also tonight, the woman's whose death was seen around the world and who, in death, has become the spirit of the resistance now.

And, later, South Carolina's governor -- no mystery why he fought so hard to turn away federal stimulus money. The big mystery for the last few days, though, about where the heck he went. The governor vanishes. And now we are beginning to learn what happened -- when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: Take a moment and think about your hopes for a 19-year- old daughter or a 26-year-old big sister or the bright young classmate, a co-worker, your fiancee. Do your hopes for them include facing down thugs in the street, tear gas, beatings, worse?

In Iran, that face you have such dreams for is the young face of unrest so threatening to the powers that be, that they are lashing back brutally. And there is more likely tomorrow, with new rallies planned -- new signs, as well, today that government resolve could be cracking.

One reason? That 19-year-old daughter. She's getting tougher.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it is my responsibility, because many of my friends are there in this -- in this situation.

And, when I stay home, I'm worried about my friends, other women, other boys that are killed, that are hit. I think I should go. Maybe I can help them.

I think I'm a little braver now, because, when someone gets hit once, the second time, I think, doesn't matter. For me, it is like this. Because when one hits me -- I say hit, I have been hit so many times. And, this time, it doesn't matter. I just want to help my brothers and my sisters.

I'm absolutely optimistic, because history has taught me that all the revolutions start like this. Every revolution has this violence, and some people die. But nothing stays like this forever.


ROBERTS: A 19-year-old Iranian.

We are not using her name. She is calling it a revolution. Its leader, presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, is not calling it a revolution, at least not yet.

There are many new developments tonight, as well as new calls for the West, America included, to become more involved.

First, though, a very hard look at Iran from street level, tough to look at, vital to see.

Here is Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A woman screams over her fallen child. On one street, protesters drive riot squads back. On another, police answer with bullets.


FOREMAN: Even faced with official orders to stop and mounting police pressure, demonstrators fought through the weekend. And they are at it still. The government admits voting problems in as many as 50 cities in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But officials say, that is not enough to give the victory to Mir Hossein Mousavi, who continues to encourage protests, in defiance of the supreme leader.

Mousavi is keeping out of sight. But protesters, many of whom hide their faces, speak of organized resistance.


MOHAMMED, IRANIAN STUDENT: Communication is very difficult, more than even you can imagine, in Tehran. But we -- I haven't -- I, myself, haven't received any orders from our leaders yet. But, as soon as I get any order, I'm ready to participate in any demonstrations that they tell of.

FOREMAN: The killing of one young woman named Neda widely publicized on the Internet has enraged what appears to be large numbers of female protesters, like this one, who says she was only watching until the violence came to her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He hit me. And he was twice as me. He was so big. And I said, "You want to him me?" And he said yes. And then he hit me.

FOREMAN: Some foreign affairs analysts believe Iran's top clerics are battling each other over how to resolve this matter, that speculation fueled by the unexpected arrest and sudden release of the family of former President Rafsanjani.

But, with mainstream media still banned from the streets, people with cell phones are sending a bewildering array of images and messages, in which nothing seems clear. Many eyewitnesses say the number of demonstrations is dwindling, but, at night, the rooftops ring with shouts of protests, and, in the darkness, cries of suppression.

Tom Foreman, CNN.


ROBERTS: And there is a lot more online for you, including one CNN producer who sees, in these scenes, a reminder of what he witnessed during the Iranian Revolution 30 years ago. You can find the link at, where you can also join the conversation on our live chat.

Just ahead tonight: the picture emerging tonight of Neda, Neda Soltan -- you saw a bit about her in Tom's report -- what we are learning about her death, her life, and now apparently her legacy.

Also tonight, what President Obama is saying, and the critics, as well as some Iranians, who believe that he should be saying and doing more.

Later: new research on what sharks just might have in common with Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy -- that and more tonight on 360.


ROBERTS: In South Carolina tonight, finally, word on where the missing governor is. He has been out of sight and out of pocket for days now. His office was keeping mum -- until tonight.

First, though, David Mattingly joins us with a 360 bulletin.

Hi, David.


President Obama today signed a sweeping anti-smoking law giving the Food and Drug Administration unprecedented power to regulate how tobacco is made, marketed and sold. At the Rose Garden ceremony, President Obama talked about his own struggle to quit smoking.

No comment from Apple on a "Wall Street Journal" report that CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs had a liver transplant two months ago. Jobs, a pancreatic cancer survivor, took a six-month leave in January saying he would return in June. Apple says, that is still the plan.

According to a new study, great white sharks have a lot in common with human serial killers. Researchers followed 340 great whites with a tracking technique used to track criminals. Think of it as "CSI" meets "Jaws." They found that sharks don't kill randomly. They stalk specific victims from about 100 yards away. They like their victims young and alone, and they get stealthier over time.

And is reporting that Farrah Fawcett has returned to a hospital, and, according to a source, is not doing well. In an interview with Barbara Walters that will air this week, Ryan O'Neal, Fawcett's longtime partner, said he had asked Fawcett to marry hi, and she has agreed.

Our thought are certainly with her tonight -- John.

ROBERTS: A terrible tragedy, what is happening to Farrah Fawcett.

What about those sharks, serial killers, learning as they go along? That's doubly frightening.


MATTINGLY: That's right. Don't go in the water, again.

ROBERTS: Yes, absolutely.

David Mattingly for us tonight -- David, thanks so much.

Next on 360: Her name was Neda, her murder caught on video in Iran and seen the world over. her story is coming up.

And later on, from suspect to felon -- accused of beating his ex- girlfriend Rihanna, Chris Brown strikes a deal with the prosecution. But is it just a slap on the wrist?


ROBERTS: It is the defining moment of the unrest in Iran. It also the most disturbing image from the violence so far. Tom Foreman mentioned her a moment ago. Her name was Neda. And, in death, she has become an iconic symbol for resistance, for tragedy, for outrage.

We have seen it before -- in Vietnam, this snapshot taken of a girl burned by napalm. She runs naked down the road. The picture put a face on a very unpopular war. More recently, Tiananmen Square, one man standing up against a row of tanks -- he didn't stop the army from crushing the demonstrators, but he sent a message to the government and to the world.

And now, in Iran, there is Neda. She was one of many in the crowd. Now she is mourned by millions. We warn you, some of the video you are about to see is extremely graphic.


ROBERTS (voice-over): This cell phone video taken on Saturday is our only glimpse of Neda Agha Soltan before her death. It shows the 26-year-old university student accompanied by her male music teacher peacefully observing an opposition rally in Tehran.

It was, at this same event, eyewitnesses say, Neda was shot in the chest by pro-government Basij militiamen perched on a rooftop nearby -- her final moments captured on this cell phone video. As men rushed to her side to apply pressure to her wound, a man begs for her to open her eyes.

Another voice says: "Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid, Neda."

But there was nothing they could do. Neda was dead.

According to a "Los Angeles Times" reporter who was with Neda's family as they mourned her death, friends begged her not to attend, fearing violence. Loved ones say Neda was an honest woman, a beam of light who enjoyed music and travel. They also say she wasn't an activist, but she felt a sense of outrage over what she thought was the injustice of the election results.

The Iranian government is preventing any vigils in Neda's honor. But that has not stopped the outcry over her death from spreading around the world, especially on the Internet.

This tribute on Facebook has over 6,000 members and refers to Neda as the "angel of Iran." Another on Twitpic posts a phone that claims to be of Neda's burial site, with postings like this one saying: "Neda, rest in peace. Your voice will never die."


ROBERTS: In death, Neda has become a symbol of the struggle in Iran, perhaps the most lasting one.

Let's dig a little bit deeper on this.

Joining us now is Abbas Milani, who is the director of Iranian studies at Stanford University and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution.

Abbas, will Neda Soltan become one of those iconic images of defiance and injustice? She -- she is, as we pointed out, being called an angel of Iran, an angel of freedom in these demonstrations.

ABBAS MILANI, DIRECTOR OF IRANIAN STUDIES, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: I think she has already become the icon. And I think she will become the image of this brutality and of the role, the truly significant role, that women have played in fighting this regime.

I think that women are the unsung heroes of the last few years. They are the ones who began chipping away at the authority, at the absolute dictatorship of the mullahs. And the fact that a woman named Neda, which, literally, in Persian, means the voice and the sound, to become the symbol of this movement, is truly sad, but poetic justice.

ROBERTS: Yes. We -- we have seen the pictures, of course, the cell phone video of her on the ground as -- as her life passed from her.

There are also some pictures that we received from "The Los Angeles Times" of her in happier moments, of -- of her in life. As we take another look at those pictures, the government doesn't want her to become a martyr for the cause. It was banning any sort of memorial gatherings or demonstrations to -- to mark her passing and to celebrate her life.

Does the government not want her to become a martyr here, a rallying point, as we saw during the 1979 revolution?

MILANI: The government has made every effort to even make it impossible, as you pointed in your description, of even having a funeral for this young lady.

But I think they figure consistently wrong. They miscalculate. They make the same mistakes that other despots make. They think, by pressure, by intimidation, they can erase memory. Memory has a way of surviving despotic interferences.

And I think Neda has become the voice and the image of this moment in history.

ROBERTS: Abbas, let's take a look at -- at where this is going in the coming few days here. The reform movement has managed to stay strong, despite threats by the government of a crackdown and the supreme leader's vow on Friday to not allow any more demonstrations, and that any demonstrations would be met with violence.

There is talk now of a general strike being organized. How effective a tool would that be in putting pressure on the regime?

MILANI: I think, if a general strike is organized, particularly if a strike is managed amongst the oil workers, which is the lifeline of this regime, we can begin to imagine the end of this regime.

What brought the shah down was precisely the strike amongst the oil workers, because it stopped the flow of income. And this is a regime that depends on its hooligans and hoodlums. It has to oil that machine. And it needs the oil money to oil this brutality.

ROBERTS: And there has been a change in tone among the demonstrators. In the -- in the early going, they wanted a new election. They wanted justice to be done in terms of their vote being counted, and their vote being counted properly.

Now, at a lot of these demonstrations, we are hearing the chant of "Death to the dictator."

What are they looking for now?

MILANI: I think, in -- again, in the piece you showed, they are talking about -- they are shouting, not just "Death to the dictator," which is obviously an allusion to Mr. Khamenei, but they are shouting death to Khamenei himself.

This would have been unimaginable five, six weeks ago. Mr. Khamenei, I think, made the gravest error of his life in putting his eggs in Mr. Ahmadinejad's basket, and then coming out with that surprisingly and foolishly intransigent speech on Friday.

ROBERTS: So -- so, then, what -- what would ultimately the goal be, then, for Mir Hossein Mousavi if he were somehow to become president? Would -- would he seek to remove the supreme leader, maybe even eliminate that position?

MILANI: Well, many people have talked about eliminating the spiritual leader, which is, I think, the first necessary step to have genuine democracy in Iran.

There are talks that Mr. Rafsanjani might be considering a move towards creating a collective leadership, which would essentially diminish the power of the leader. And, if Mr. Mousavi does become the president, then he's going to be the president of people, the president that came to power as a result of civil disobedience. His allegiance will be to the people, and not to an unelected official named Ali Khamenei.

ROBERTS: Abbas Milani, it's good to hear from you tonight. Thanks very much for spending the time and joining us.

MILANI: Thank you for having me, sir.

ROBERTS: More now on the Basij militia, which has figured so highly in the chaos that we see every day in the streets of Iran. Here is the "Raw Data" on them.

The all-volunteer force is implicated in raiding university dormitories and private homes and targeting demonstrators in the streets. According to the Iranian government, the Basij has 12 million members. Joining up can be as simple as going to a local mosque and receiving a membership card.

The group was formed during the 1979 Islamic Revolution. For years, they have been known for stopping people in the streets to enforce strict dress codes and restrictions on fraternizing with the opposite sex. Their pay is unknown, but members do get other perks, such as easy entrance to universities, and loans and licenses to start a business.

Well, many of you are weighing in on the bloody crackdown in Iran. You can join the live chat happening now at

And still ahead, President Obama, under fire from critics who say he's not taking a tough enough stand on Iran. His supporters say he is pitch perfect. Coming up, the "Raw Politics" of that debate.

Also, for days the state of South Carolina was wondering where its governor was hiding. His office says he was off somewhere recharging. Tonight we finally know where.

Plus, accused Craigslist killer Philip Markoff was back in court today, as prosecutors revealed disturbing new details about his alleged crime spree. All the details on that coming up.


ROBERTS: Social networks have become the engine of the Iran election backlash. They are full of pictures like these.

We don't know when or where this video was shot. Those details cannot be verified. It appears to show some sort of garage where injured people have taken shelter. We don't know who they are or how they were hurt.

This is how the rest of the world is seeing the story unfolding inside Iran, anonymous images, unverified but certainly powerful. They are part of the foreign policy challenge facing President Obama, whose response to Iran is under a microscope.

Candy Crowley has the "Raw Politics."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In exile since his father was overthrown 30 years ago, Reza Shah Pahlavi long hoped for this moment of uprising against the Islamic regime and what he calls a moment of truth for the rest of the world.

REZA PAHLAVI, FORMER IRANIAN CROWN PRINCE: The question is what would world government do this time? Are we going to have Tiananmen Square revisited? Or is it going to this (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?

CROWLEY: What is there to do? The Obama administration struggles to respond to an evolving unclear situation. It complicates the search for diplomatic sweet spots between competing concerns and limited options. The president can't over-promise, raising hopes the U.S. will somehow come to the aid of protesters, because that won't happen.

Nor can he be seen as not supporting a democratic movement.

MICHAEL O'HANLON, SENIOR FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: We don't want to discourage Iranian democrats and Iranian populists and reformers from trying to do their thing to take back their country from the extremists running it now for 30 years.

CROWLEY: After days of increasing tension, grainy cell-phone images of Tehran's streets and criticism he hasn't been supportive enough of protesters or hard enough on the Iranian government, the president pumped up his rhetoric. He called on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.

More forceful than he's been, but not enough for critics, some of whom privately suggest that the president is caught up in his promise of a new era of diplomacy in the face of an old era of totalitarian thugs. At the left-leaning Brooking Institution, Michael O'Hanlon worries the president is chipping away at the basic principles in the outlined in his speech to the Muslim world.

O'HANLON: He doesn't seem as sincere or as committed to democracy in real life, now that that we have a crisis, as he did rhetorically. And I think that hurts him and the United States.

CROWLEY: Supporters say the president has been pitch perfect, supportive without giving the authorities a chance to suggest the U.S. is behind the protest.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: It is very crucial, as I see, that we not have our fingerprints on this.

CROWLEY (on camera): The president holds a news conference tomorrow. His words will be parsed for new meaning. But in the end, any number of experts suggest that, in the short term anyway, even the right words might not matter all that much.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ROBERTS: During the election campaign President Obama said, quote, "The next president will have to deal with more than one thing at once." Well, he is getting a chance to prove it, with Iran now just part of the juggling act.

Let's talk strategy with CNN senior political analyst and former presidential advisor David Gergen.

David, you heard what Candy Crowley said. The president's supporter have said he is pitch perfect on the issue of Iran and his response to it.

You have said, though, that you think that the president should show more forceful leadership in this case. How would you define that?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, John, I want to concede up front this is a close call in any White House. We've seen these situations before and Tiananmen Square back in the presidency of George H.W. Bush. He was very cautious and restrained and was heavily criticized for it. People said that he was -- brought dishonor to his foreign policy.

And yet, 15 years later, Tom Friedman, a "New York Times" columnist wrote that it was because of his restraint that China stayed on course and actually became a freer and more -- free Market society than it was then. Had he interfered, it might have knocked it off course.

So there is a strong argument the other way. But I must say, I side with those who -- who believe that the president has offered to the world a voice of hope, for change, a new kind of politics, and that in this situation it's very important -- and I think people around the world are looking to him for leadership and leading the world to this new day. When this first moment of testing comes he retreats into what is the old style and staying out of it. And I think that it has emptied his Cairo speech of some of its meaning.

I don't think it was an -- John, it was an either/or about speaking up or not speaking up. Rather, I think it was a choice between doing very little or organizing a concert of nations to speak up together.

I think what's been missing here is a united voice from -- from democratic leaders around the world that could include, for example, the president of Turkey, democratic Muslim country. As Paul Wolfowitz has suggested. That kind of voice, I think, would have led hope to the people of Iran, because they're clearly crying out for the world to pay attention.

ROBERTS: And in fact, we heard one of those voices this morning on "AMERICAN MORNING." We talked to a fellow named Mohammed (ph). We withheld his last name for safety reasons. He was a student who was involved in the demonstrations, says he was beaten by the Basij. This is what he told us today about what he thinks the international community should do. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My message to international and other message to international community, especially I'm asking President Barack Obama directly, how governments that doesn't recognize its people's rights and oppresses them brutally and mercilessly can have nuclear activities. This government is a huge threat to global peace. We need your help, international community. Don't leave us alone.


ROBERTS: There, David, you hear from the plea from Mohammed (ph), who is in Tehran, who is part of those demonstrations, suffered physical violence against him because he was out there demonstrating in favor of reform. And he's saying, "Help us. Don't leave us alone."

GERGEN: Well, and that is a voice that we need to be listening to, but I think it's also true, John -- those pictures you showed of Neda were so moving. And as you said earlier, we have seen in the past, I think starting all the way back to Birmingham when Bull Connor, the sheriff of Birmingham, let those dogs loose on those -- those black students who were marching.

And we saw the viciousness then, and we saw that picture in Vietnam. Those kinds of pictures live forever in people's memories. One of these kind of naked moments in our political life when you see to the core of what the issue is.

And here in her death there on the streets and that blood, I think we saw through to the core of what this regime is doing to its people.

COOPER: I mean, there's no question, David, when you look at that picture, tears just come to your eyes, if you are a parent or a brother or a sister or whatever.

Let me just play the flip side of the argument that Mohammed made. The president says he doesn't want the United States to be used as a foil. Certainly, Iranian leaders have already tried to draw the west, particularly the United States, into it.

Anthony Cordesman writes in a new piece for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he's a scholar, he says, quote, "The situation would be different if the United States or any outside power had a magic wand or if any of the lies regarding foreign interference being told by [Supreme Leader Ali[ Khamenei and [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad were true. The fact is, however, that the United States cannot suddenly intervene in Iran. American political rhetoric is not going to change the Iranian facts on the ground. And there is no clear opposition outside of Iran worth backing."

So he's saying the president is doing exactly the right thing. Does he have a point? GERGEN: He has a point. And there are others. Henry Kissinger is among them. Many luminaries on the foreign policy side believe that President Obama is doing exactly the right thing. And I understand that.

I think there is a different alternative view of what politics can be, though. And that standing up for some principles, not trying to get ourselves injected into the middle of this. But I -- I have great respect for President Obama, but I do think that, in this situation, the voice of democracies around the world that President Obama as a leader organizes would send a clear message not only to Iran but to other dictators. You cannot get away with this forever. There will be pictures. There will be memories.

ROBERTS: We'll see if there's more pressure on him this week to say something similar to that. David Gergen for us today. David, it's always great to see you. Thanks so much.

GERGEN: Thank you, John.

ROBERTS: CNN will be following the events in Iran live all throughout the night and with Kiran Chetry and me tomorrow on American morning. You won't see more coverage of Iran on any other network. We promise you that.

We'll also have live coverage of President Obama's news conference that Candy mentioned in her report. That's coming up tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. He certainly has plenty to talk about: Iran, health care, the economy, plenty of directions that he could go in tomorrow.

Next on 360, the governor of South Carolina vanishes for several days. So where is he? Tonight we have the answer.

Plus the alleged Craigslist killer in court, indicted for allegedly murdering the masseuse that he met online. Today he spoke to the judge. We'll tell you what he said. That's coming up.


ROBERTS: It's Monday night. Do you know where your governor is? That's what the citizens of South Carolina are wondering: where in the world is our governor?

Governor Mark Sanford vanished last Thursday. Reportedly, even his wife didn't know where he went, and he wasn't even around for Father's Day. But just moments ago we got word of where he's been.

Let's go back to David Mattingly. He's in Atlanta with the details.

And David, what's the latest on the location, the whereabouts of Governor Mark Sanford?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, Governor Sanford hasn't been seen at the South Carolina state capitol since last week. Sanford told his staff Thursday afternoon he was going away for a few days and would be hard to reach.

Tonight we find out, this e-mail coming through just a few minutes ago, the governor is actually hiking the Appalachian Trail. That trail runs from Georgia all the way up to Maine. So it's not exactly narrowing down his location, but at least we know what he's doing.

When he left he told his staff he would be hard to reach. And tonight South Carolina's lieutenant governor had this to say.


LT. GOVERNOR ANDRE BAUER, SOUTH CAROLINA: After September 11 we know people that are in high-profile positions are more vulnerable than ever before. So when the leader of over 4 million people can't be contacted, can't be reached for over four days over a long weekend. I think all of us are concerned. We're worried about where he might be.


MATTINGLY: Sanford reportedly took off in a black state SUV without his security and apparently didn't tell anyone where he was going at the time, including his wife. She told the Associated Press the governor needed some time away from their children to write something and that they were not worried about him.

We answered questions of our own about this. When we called, we were told Mrs. Sanford was not available. The timing of this however, is just so strange. This well-known father of four young boys wasn't home for Father's Day, and he was not at work on Monday morning, John.

ROBERTS: Well, you know, the governor has been taking a big political beating lately. Most notably, the state supreme court ruled against his controversial rejection of federal stimulus money. Did all of that have something to do with his disappearance? His current absence?

MATTINGLY: Well, that is possible. His communications director tells me he's done this before. He said that the governor put in a lot of time during this last legislative session. And after the session winds down, it's not uncommon for him to go out of pocket for a few days at a time to clear his head.

And this has been a very rough year for him. Beyond the state supreme court ruling, the South Carolina legislature voted to override ten of his vetoes. So he might be out in the woods right now, really trying to clear his head and figure out what he's going to do next.

ROBERTS: If he's not at his desk and is hard to reach, who's running South Carolina at present?

MATTINGLY: Well, some of his political opponents are already asking that question. One even described his behavior as erratic.

His staff, however, tells me he's still in charge and will probably be back sometime later this week, but he will have some explaining to do. This is a politician, John, whose name was being mentioned as a possible GOP candidate for president.

ROBERTS: Well, we'll see how long he's gone. As you pointed out, David, that Appalachian Trail stretches an awfully long way. David Mattingly for us in Atlanta. David, thanks so much.

Tomorrow we have a "Keeping Them Honest" report you have to see to believe. It's about taxpayer dollars, millions in fact, being used to build a tunnel for turtles. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here in Tallahassee, Florida, the debate of stimulus spending has come down to a turtle tunnel and taxpayer dollars. The problem: turtles cross the highway to get from one pond to the another and get hit. On this one-mile stretch alone, biologist Matt Inresco (ph) says he counted nearly 9,000 dead turtles over three years.

Which brings us to item No. 414746 on Florida's list of shovel- ready, job-creating stimulus projects: $3.4 million for an eco passage. Translation: it's a turtle crossing for creatures like this.


ROBERTS: More on the turtles and the tunnel and the money tomorrow on 360.

Next, Chris Brown back in court today. He pleaded guilty to assaulting pop star girlfriend Rihanna as part of a plea deal. We'll tell you his punishment, ahead.

And a, quote, "life-changing" announcement from reality stars Jon and Kate tonight. We've got the big news for you.


ROBERTS: We've got "The Shot" coming up. Watch out Lebron James. An eighth grader in Ohio made an amazing trick shot on the basketball court. We'll show it to you in a moment. A little tease there for you.

First David Mattingly joins us again with the "360 News & Business Bulletin."

Hi, there.

MATTINGLY: Hello, again, John.

A plea deal tonight in the Chris Brown/Rihanna beating case. Brown, pleading guilty to assault. In exchange, he will either do community service or 180 days in jail. After that, he will have five years probation and attend violence counseling classes for his attack on singer and then-girlfriend Rihanna. A 23-year-old medical student has pleaded not guilty today to first-degree murder charges in a killing tied to Craigslist ads. Philip Markoff is charged with fatally shooting one woman and robbing another in Boston hotels earlier this year.

And despite tough economic times, Goldman Sachs is reportedly planning to pay its employees sizable bonuses this year. According to the "Guardian" newspaper, the Goldman staff in London could look forward to the bonus hikes if, as expected, the company registers its most profitable year ever. Insiders say the company has benefited because competitors have simply gone out of business.

And after months of speculation tonight, the star parents in TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" made it official. They are pulling the plug on their ten-year marriage. Divorce papers were filed today in Pennsylvania. The kids get to stay at home, and the show will continue. That is good news, because it is all about the kids.

ROBERTS: Here's the thing. I have to profess complete ignorance about this. I don't -- I've never seen the show. I don't follow the news about them. Is this just a ratings ploy?

MATTINGLY: Well, this is a real marriage in real trouble. So you have to look at it in that respect. If this is a reality show, this is reality hitting home right here in front of all of us.

But if you watch the show, most of it is just pure chaos, watching these little kids grow up and their parents trying to herd them in the right direction. So it's good to know that they won't be off television. We'll see what the parents have been doing from here on out.

ROBERTS: All right. David Mattingly for us tonight. David, thanks so much.

A quick programming note, by the way. Tomorrow on my day job at "AMERICAN MORNING," I will be speaking with Jon Bon Jovi about what he's doing to help promote the first lady's initiative on volunteering. The rock star has been an advocate of volunteering for years.

He doesn't just talk the talk, either. He is an active volunteer as a spokesman and in the trenches donating time and sweat equity to many projects. He doesn't make a big deal of it, though. He's very humble about the whole thing. He doesn't bring camera crews along to follow him while he does volunteer. I asked him about why he chooses to volunteer under the radar.


JON BON JOVI, ROCK STAR/PHILANTHROPIST: Well, I don't think that the need for the media spotlight is why I do this. I do it because we're making a difference. I do it because it feels good.


ROBERTS: He's been making a difference for years. More with Bon Jovi tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."

Next on 360, first comes the flip. Then comes the shot to remember. We'll show you the outcome on the basketball court.

And at the top of the hour, breaking news, two subways collide in Washington, D.C. There are several deaths. We'll have the very latest for you, coming right up.


ROBERTS: And it's time for tonight's "Shot," one of the best shots, literally, than we have ever seen. From an eighth grader in Ohio who shows the pros a basketball move to remember. Have a look at this. Sweet.

The young man's name is Aaron Shutway. Thanks to his basketball front flip he has now become an Internet sensation. Well done, Aaron. One more look at it there.

His shot raises the ante for Lebron James. If you remember this particular piece of video.




ROBERTS: That's Lebron showing off on "60 Minutes." Lebron, after seeing Aaron, the ball, as they say, is in your court.

You can see all the most recent "Shots" and tonight's beat. I'm sorry. You can see all of the recent shots and tonight at

Coming up at the top of the hour, serious stuff just ahead. Late new developments from the crash site of two Washington metro trains when 360 continues.