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Budget Battle; Targeting Goldman Sachs; Gadhafi "Must Go and Go for Good"; Catherine Zeta-Jones Fights Mental Illness; "Mr. Z" the Storyteller

Aired April 14, 2011 - 23:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone.

Sometime between now and tomorrow, President Obama is expected to sign the bill Congress passed today which will keep the government funded through this year. By signing it, he'll avert a government shutdown.

When the deal was struck last Friday, it was announced that there would be some $38 billion in spending cuts this year, $38 billion. "Keeping Them Honest," however, it turns out the numbers don't add up. That realization has angered many in the Tea Party and Republicans on Capitol Hill. We saw that today but in the end lawmakers simply had enough and passed the bill.


REP. HAL ROGERS (R), KENTUCKY: I just want this bill over with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm with you. Let's get it over.


COOPER: And they did, but with one in three freshman Republicans voting no; the measure passing more easily in the Senate.

According to a Congressional Budget Office report, the bill, which claims to cut $38.5 billion from the 2011 budget, would only cut $350 million in actual spending this year, which is largely due to the way the budget process works. Money that lawmakers authorize spending and money they ultimately spend are two different things and they often happen months apart.

But even allowing for that, this was a package both sides praised because they promised it contained real cuts. And House Speaker John Boehner set the bar high.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We're talking about real spending cuts here, no smoke and mirrors.


COOPER: Well, it might not be smoke and mirrors, but some of the math is kind of fuzzy.

We have done some digging on certain items in the deal, and here's some of what we uncovered. $350 million is supposedly being saved on dairy farmers but they get the savings by not renewing a program that was designed to expire anyhow. So deciding not to spend more money suddenly becomes saving money.

They also claim $650 million in so-called savings on highway programs but again they use the same trick by not renewing a one-time- only expenditure -- $3.5 billion from Children's Health Insurance Program. But we've learned that the money likely wouldn't -- wouldn't have been spent in any case.

And even if you calculate how much will be saved over time, not just cut this year, it still doesn't add up to $38.5 billion, more like $18 to $20 billion. And we haven't even looked at every item in the package yet.

Joining me now: on Capitol Hill, Dana Bash; also senior political analyst David Gergen; and Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS." He has got an op-ed in today's "Washington Post" titled "Obama's Deficit Speech Reveals His Core Beliefs."

Dana, first of all, let's talking on the reporting front. This CBO report today, it kind of spooked a lot of Republican members of the House, didn't it?

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Spook is I think is understate, Anderson.

Starting last night when reports of this began to leak out and then this morning, when it really was out there, House Republican leaders really tried to go into damage control mode big time because they were hearing from their rank-and-file about confusion and concern.

And look, this is already after the fact that they were hearing about some of this fuzzy math that you reported on, some that we have been reporting for the past couple of days, once we actually got the details.

And on top of the fact as well that many of these Republicans already didn't like the fact that the -- that the overall spending cuts were not higher than they were. So they held briefings. They had fact sheets going out. The House Speaker went to the floor of the House, which you rarely see, with charts and figures trying to explain that from his perspective these are real cuts.

And in the end, Anderson, talking to several members of the rank- and-file on the Republican side, they said that this did spook them and perhaps push them over to edge to that no vote today.

COOPER: And David Gergen, what does this mean moving forward for Speaker Boehner? I mean, he lost a quarter of Republicans on this.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think they -- they lost the American people over this whole deal anyway. There was a Pew survey last week, two-thirds of the American people thought the whole process is ridiculous. That number is just going to go up as a result of this fuzzy math.

But I do think it illustrates, as Speaker Boehner has a hard time holding his caucus together, it really underscores that. It shows he lost approximately about a quarter of his caucus, a third of the freshmen as you said on this vote, which means he does not have that kind of power behind him.

But there is a double-edged sword here, Anderson, in this sense. As a negotiator, he can now play good cop/bad cop. He can play the good cop in the negotiations and always say, you know, if you don't work with me on this, I got those bad cops back there in the closet and they're going to come out here with clubs and they're going to -- they're going to destroy this deal. So we've got to pay attention to them.

It gives them a little more leverage and it gives him something extra. It's always good in a negotiation to have sort of a -- if there's a crazy element in your party, it can help in the negotiations.

COOPER: Interesting.

Fareed tomorrow is the vote on the Paul Ryan budget. You say that it's a test for President Obama, his budget.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes. And I think President Obama has passed the test, which was the -- the danger was that what the Democrats would do was take a serious Republican proposal and demagogue it entirely and just talk about how this is -- this is going to be terrible for the country, it was going to dismantle everything.

And Obama, in his speech, was pretty tough on the Ryan budget, but he began by saying look, this is a serious plan. It addresses issues that we have to address. I agree with the goals. But here's why -- how I would achieve them. And, by the way, I'm open to negotiation.

That -- that kind of framing it in those terms meant that what Obama was able to do, he was able to make a pretty powerful, passionate defense of his view of American government, his view of America, his view of the budget but say look, it's a democracy and he said this in the speech, I'm not going to get my way, you're not going to get your way, let's sit down and negotiate.

COOPER: David, for -- for -- I mean, we've been talking about President Obama and his leadership style in all of this. Paul Ryan comes out with his budget, sort of putting a flagpole on the right of where they stand. You had the -- the President Obama's bipartisan commission, which put out their plan earlier, which was sort of a middle ground. And I guess yesterday President Obama kind of planting a stake somewhat left of center. Are now all sides here -- are all the positions known and now the deal making goes forward?

GERGEN: No, I don't think so at all.

I -- I do agree that he planted a flag firmly on the left of center position. I think he stated his values very well. I think as a political matter, he played it masterfully in terms of setting up the 2012 campaign. But as a negotiating document, as a basis for reaching a compromise, I respectfully disagree with Fareed.

You know, we've had a variety of reports -- Dana can speak to this -- about how angry the Republicans were about finding it as partisan as they did. Paul Ryan was invited to sit there on the front row and he felt insulted to a degree by what was put out there.

So I think it's going to get very tough now, Anderson, and the fact that Congress is going home for two weeks in the face of this looming deadline on the -- on the budget, on the deficit ceiling, the debt ceiling, is just bizarre to me. They ought to be working night and day to make sure we don't go over the debt limit.

ZAKARIA: Look, while Republicans are upset about this, partly one has to say it might be because they think it was a very effective political response, that they -- they have -- they are saddled with a president who made -- who framed the issue in a way that makes it difficult for them to deal with.

Polls show consistently that Americans love Medicare and they think the single most effective way to reduce the deficit is to raise taxes on the rich. Whatever you may think of those issues from a public policy point of view clearly Obama framing the issue in those ways helps him.

But I only disagree with David in this sense. Obama did keep saying look, this is how I feel. I respect you guys, you have a different view. Let's sit down and negotiate. He invoked the Simpson-Bowles commission.

He also invoked many of the Paul Ryan ideas, for example, getting rid of tax deductions and loopholes; making the tax rates more competitive.

So if people are serious, there's room to work here. If we want to turn this into a theological debate, you can. But really it's all about money. You can split the difference anywhere on money.

COOPER: Dana, how -- how nasty is this debate now going to get? I mean, we -- we thought it was bad last week. What happens now?

BASH: What happens now is actually a vote tomorrow on the Paul Ryan budget in the House. And the split that we saw today in the Republican Party in the House, we're not going to see that I don't think as much tomorrow. It's going to be -- and we're not going to see the bipartisan vote that we saw today tomorrow. Just keep in mind, today, 81 Democrats voted for this compromise on last year's spending.

We're not going to see anything near that tomorrow. But the bottom line is that as much as this is going to be a Republican vote tomorrow, I can already tell you that Democrats who are -- who are running against Republicans, they already have the scripts written for any of these Republicans who are in tough districts, and many of them are in tough districts because they beat Democrats all across the country who had been there for a long time; scripts against them saying that you voted to dismantle Medicare.

And the Democrats who are running campaigns are chomping at the bit for this -- for this vote tomorrow and that just leads to this discussion. I know there is -- there are a lot of important discussions going on about how you get to a middle ground, but you cannot take politics out of the equation, because politics is what this is all about, unfortunately.

COOPER: But David does -- does having that political argument really help actually solve the nation's deficit problem, the budget problem? I mean does demagoguing them on Medicare, does that really -- it works politically, perhaps, but does it actually work for getting stuff done?

GERGEN: It doesn't. I think because the politics of 2012 are so ever-present in all this. I think the chances have gone pretty high now that we will not get entitlement reform and we won't get a serious reform of taxes until after the 2012 election.

To me the question is: are we going to find ways to extend the debt ceiling and get a budget for 2012? Are there more modest compromises that could be made of the kind Fareed is talking about? Can you find some middle ground?

I -- I think -- that there's such a wide gulf on taxes and on Medicare, Anderson, I don't see that being resolved before the 2012 election.


BASH: Yes.

COOPER: Do you agree with that?

ZAKARIA: Well, I -- I wonder. Because I -- I agree with what David is saying in principle, except for this.

On taxes, if the Republican Party continues to take an absolutely theological position that you simply cannot have any tax increases, and if by that we mean even no elimination of loopholes, no -- no elimination of deductions, then we're in -- I mean this is the math doesn't work. We're taking in 18 percent of GDP of taxation, we're spending 23 percent. You've got to close that gap. Doing it all through budget cuts is impossible. You will be talking about shredding many of these departments.

COOPER: Dana? BASH: And there is a small group, Fareed, small, of Republicans who aren't drawing that line in the sand saying absolutely no tax increases. They are saying maybe getting rid of some of those deductions and loopholes are possible. And those are the Republicans who are working quietly, and have been for months, with other Democratic senators trying to come up with a middle ground.

Unclear if they're going to be able to make progress, actually come up with a bipartisan plan, but that so-called Gang of Six is one we're watching very closely.

COOPER: Dana, David, Fareed, thanks very much.

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

Up next, new allegations today that the head of Wall Street's richest investment bank ran his firm like a crooked casino. It's a stunning new Senate report. We will lay it out for you with journalist Matt Taibbi and Eliot Spitzer, who used to prosecute obviously Wall Street bigwigs.

Over the break, try and just guess how many top Wall Street executives have actually gone to jail since the collapse.

Also tonight, Moammar Gadhafi making a new appearance in Tripoli, kind of a bizarre one, fist pumping, strange appearance, causing a big stir. We will show you more of the bizarre video and what President Obama, the French president and also the British prime minister are saying now about Libya.

Plus, you just saw her, Catherine Zeta-Jones, her admission she's being treated for bipolar disorder, also raising awareness. We're going to talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about what bipolar disorder really means.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's still so stigmatized that despite the fact it's so disruptive, people do not seek treatment, which is incredibly sad.



COOPER: So, two-and-a-half years since Wall Street brought the economy to death's door and guess how many senior Wall Street executives have gone to jail. Any guesses? Well, the answer is none. None has even been charged with a crime.

And yet some of what these Wall Street firms and banks did helped wreck the global economy and cost millions of people their homes and millions more their jobs. But now a leading U.S. senator has taken aim at this guy, Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, the richest investment bank on Wall Street, the guy who said at the peak of foreclosures and layoffs that he was, quote, "doing God's work."

Well, Michigan Democrat Carl Levin says Blankfein and other Goldman executives who testified before his Senate subcommittee lied and should be referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. Now, the allegations are contained in the 639-page report on the larger crisis and Goldman's role in it. According to the report, investigators found evidence that Goldman's sales people were peddling securities to clients based on shaky mortgages, mortgages they knew were shaky. At the same time, Goldman traders were betting the firm's own money that those securities would blow up, basically a scam.

Last April, Senator Levin asked Goldman's mortgage head about one batch called Timberwolf that Goldman insiders were e-mailing about. Take a look.


SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: June 22 is the date of this e-mail. "Boy, that Timberwolf was one (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal."

How much of that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal did you sell to your clients after June 22, 2007?

DANIEL SPARKS, FORMER GOLDMAN SACHS MORTGAGES DEPT. HEAD: Mr. Chairman, I don't know the answer to that, but the price would have reflected levels that they wanted to invest.


LEVIN: Oh, of course. But they don't know -- you didn't tell them you thought it was a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal.

SPARKS: Well, I didn't say that.

LEVIN: No. Who did? Your people internally. You knew it was a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal and that's what your e-mail shows.

SPARKS: I think the context, the message that I took from the e- mail from Mr. Montag was that my performance on that deal wasn't good. And I think the fact that we had lost money related to that wasn't good.

LEVIN: How about the fact that you sold hundreds of millions of that deal after your people knew it was a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) deal? Does that bother you at all?


COOPER: Now Goldman maintains it gave truthful testimony to the subcommittee and that in Wall Street speak it was not really betting against clients in any systematic way. Quote, "We did not have a massive net short position because our short positions were largely offset by our long positions and our financial results clearly demonstrate this point."

Senate investigators don't dispute that Goldman took certain losses during the meltdown, but say that the people selling the crappy investments, shall we say, were indeed in contact with the traders betting on their crappiness, betting and winning while most Americans were losing. Goldman's 2008 profits were $2.3 billion, $13 billion a year later.

And in the years since 2007, Lloyd Blankfein has pulled in close to $100 million in salary and bonuses. Again, Goldman says they have done nothing wrong. Supporters say they're being punished for being right, for being smart.

Joining me now, CNN colleague Eliot Spitzer, who prosecuted Wall Street tycoons when he was New York's state attorney general, and Matt Taibbi, who has written extensively about the financial scandal for "Rolling Stone." Eliot, do you believe Goldman broke the law and lied?

ELIOT SPITZER, CNN HOST, "IN THE ARENA": Yes, I do. And I know people are going to say how can you say that as a lawyer?

I have read this report. It confirms our worst fears about double dealing, lying. Goldman Sachs has zero, none, nada credibility in my book. They have scammed the American public, lied to Senator Levin's committee. That's what he said. They made a high-level decision in 2006, December '06 that this entire market was going to collapse. They bet against it.

COOPER: They saw that the market was going to collapse?


SPITZER: That's right, two things, two critical things. One, they then bet against it, meanwhile telling their clients keep buying it. And even worse, after years of having the financial services sector say trust us, we will regulate ourselves, they did not pick up the phone, did not go to a regulator, did not go to their colleagues and say this merry-go-round is out of control, we better stop.

They said we can make money and they pounded forward. It is an outrage and I think the American public should say enough. They have learned nothing.

COOPER: But is there a smoking gun in this? Is there really clear evidence of a crime?


I think the only reason that this is even controversial, that we're even asking the question should they be in jail is because this is the financial services industry and this stuff is complicated.

If this was any other industry, if this was a car dealership, for instance, basically what happened was imagine you're a Ford dealership and you get a whole inventory full of Broncos that have defective brakes in them and you decide not only to sell them, but to give bonuses to your salespeople to sell these defective products. And then you go out and take out life insurance policies on the drivers of the cars that you sold.

That's exactly what happened here in a nutshell. They had defective merchandise. They had these terrible mortgaged-backed deals that they knew were going to blow up and they unloaded it as fast as they could on their clients while they bet against them.

SPITZER: You know, Anderson, there are documents out there that came from Clayton, the company that did due diligence on the underlying mortgages -- I don't want to get too technical - that the banks had, many of the banks had this that said these mortgages are no good. They will not satisfy even your own standards for issuing mortgages. These are the mortgages they then wrapped up into these securities, sold them off saying buy this stuff, and bet against it.

COOPER: But wait. But weren't all these mortgages also being looked at by the people who were supposedly regulating these industries and the folks who were supposedly giving bond ratings and they got good ratings?

SPITZER: To say that there was negligence and there were abuses throughout the system is in no way to exculpate what Goldman Sachs did.


COOPER: But can't they point to that and say --


SPITZER: No, no, because they gave the information to Moody's and to S&P's, and they all were culpable, which is why Moody's and S&P's, in my view, should also be stripped of their capacity to rate these things. They all blew it in the most fundamental way.

When I was AG back in 2002 and 2003, and went after these companies for the same thing, lying to the public about the quality of the stocks, they said, we get it, we have learned. Bunk. They did the same thing year after year after year because they saw a penny they could pick up. Outrageous.

COOPER: Matt, two-and-a-half years after this, no one has gone to jail; no one has even been prosecuted on charges.

TAIBBI: Well, but they have sure gone after Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

COOPER: Those are easy pickings and -- TAIBBI: I mean the entire history of this whole era clearly demonstrates that the Justice Department has no appetite whatsoever for taking any cases against any of these Wall Street executives, even when they have very good evidence and very strong cases.

COOPER: The failure of regulators is just extraordinary. You have documented this incredibly well in "Rolling Stone."

TAIBBI: Sure. Absolutely. The regulators were completely asleep at the wheel and in some cases they were tremendously understaffed and didn't have the resources or the wherewithal to take on these jobs. A great example being AIG, whose regulator was the Office of Thrift Supervision; a savings and loan regulator was regulating the world's largest insurance company and they had one insurance expert on their entire staff.

SPITZER: Although I will tell you an interesting story. We went after AIG, got them to get -- the biggest settlement in history. Their accounting was a fraudulent scam, top to bottom.

I was called and told back off by the U.S. attorney in the Southern District, we will take care of it. They never did, never did it.

Tim Geithner, treasury secretary, apparently reported in today's "New York Times" was calling people saying don't bring cases, it will unsettle the markets, so they let these guys go free. Meanwhile, he signed off on $12.9 billion to Goldman to cover a bad bet they made.

COOPER: Civil fines are one thing, though. To actually bring a criminal case, don't you have to prove intent?


SPITZER: Absolutely.

COOPER: And can you prove intent on Goldman Sachs, intent to defraud?

SPITZER: It gets harder to prove this, and this is where the complexity and structure of an organization creates insulation as you move up the hierarchy, because proving the intent to deceive as the paper trail gets a little thinner is a problem.

But the civil charges that should be brought are there screaming out to be brought based on the Levin report, based upon the documents that are out there. And the fact that it hasn't been done yet is really staggering.

COOPER: Do you think politicians are scared of going against Goldman Sachs?

TAIBBI: Absolutely. Goldman Sachs was the number one private campaign contributor to Barack Obama's presidential election campaign. It's one of the single biggest campaign contributors to both parties in Congress.

So it's a rare event when, you know, an establishment politician like Carl Levin decides to basically open up a shooting war against a company like this. It just doesn't happen very much because the consequences for these politicians are so severe, and that's one of the reasons why they have lasted this long.

SPITZER: Anderson, before I sued, went after Merrill Lynch, which was the first case we filed many years back, I was told by their lawyer -- this is a direct quote -- "Be careful, we have powerful friends."

COOPER: Do you think the Justice Department will prosecute?

SPITZER: If they don't, shame on them. If they don't, the Attorney General should resign if he can't bring this case.

COOPER: Really?

SPITZER: Yes. I am --


COOPER: You think it's an easy case?

SPITZER: Anderson, it is so outrageous to me, the deeper we dig and the more fundamental the violations we see that these investment banks hiding behind the patina that they would take care of the public interest in regulating the stock market, time and time again scammed and deceived and our tax dollars are paying those grotesque bonuses that we still read about.

COOPER: I remember there was a quote in one of the articles you wrote, Matt, and I don't want to quote it word for word, because it was quite, well, descriptive, but it was somebody saying that basically if one of these guys was sent to prison, that would stop these shenanigans from happening again, that that's really all it would take, if somebody was held accountable, it would have a cooling effect.

TAIBBI: Yes, absolutely. I talked to one guy who was a former SEC investigator and he said basically if you start sending Lloyd Blankfein or one of those guys, put one of those guys in a real maximum security prison for six months, this whole thing would be over very quickly. The whole situation would be cleared up.

But the problem is, there's no incentive for these guys to change their behaviors, because they never, ever get punished. Not only do they not get punished. They get a bailout.


COOPER: And has there been any change in regulation? Is the regulation better now? Is the oversight better? SPITZER: Look, Dodd-Frank made some improvements, and it was better to have it than not have it, but it doesn't change the simple fact that all you need is common law fraud on the books or there as a theory. A prosecutor who wants to go after Wall Street banks for lying will do it. That hasn't happened yet. It should happen.

COOPER: Matt Taibbi, appreciate it, as always. Thanks. And Eliot Spitzer thanks.

Up next breaking news, three world leaders including President Obama, pointing their pens at Moammar Gadhafi. It's a pretty interesting development and it's actually kind of a new development in Libya. We will tell you about it ahead.


COOPER: Breaking news tonight on Libya.

In an extraordinary gesture, President Obama has joined with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in writing a joint op-ed piece that will appear tomorrow in major international newspapers under the headline "Libya's Pathway to Peace."

The leaders write they're looking to a future without Moammar Gadhafi, that it's unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government. They also write -- and I quote -- "However, so long as Gadhafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds. Then a genuine transition from dictatorship to an inclusive constitutional process can really begin, led by new generation of leaders. In order for that position to succeed, Gadhafi must go and go for good."

Meanwhile, Libyan state TV aired this video of Gadhafi standing in the sunroof of an SUV, fists pumping, both arms raised in triumph, greeting a crowd of supporters in Tripoli.

Forces loyal to Gadhafi launched another deadly assault today on the besieged city of Mesrata. According to a local doctor, at least 23 people were killed, more than 100 injured. We can't independently confirm that, however.

Tonight, Libyan state TV also aired video of Gadhafi's daughter, Ayesha, speaking to a rally of supporters, praising her father's importance to Libya.


AYESHA GADHAFI, DAUGHTER OF MOAMMAR GADHAFI (through translator): Gadhafi isn't in Libya. He is in the hearts of the Libyans. My father once said that "If the Libyan nation doesn't want me, then I don't deserve to live." The Libyans answered him in a united voice: "Those who don't want you don't deserve to live."


COOPER: Our Ben Wedeman joins us now from Benghazi tonight. We're also joined by Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. And back with us is Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS."

Governor Richardson, if the crux of this op-ed by the allied leaders -- it seems that the crux of it is that Gadhafi must go, then why not just kind of recalibrate the mission? Or are they trying to recalibrate the mission because the mission is supposed to be-- to protect civilians? In this new op-ed, they're saying you can't protect civilians if Gadhafi remains in power.

BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: I do believe it's a little bit of a policy shift in the right direction. It's basically saying, number one, Gadhafi must go.

Number two, I think, is a signal that NATO is going to intensify its military strikes or its military participation. And I think it's also -- it's kind of a rejection of the African presidents, who had just been in there, calling for a cease-fire, but had left fuzzy whether Gadhafi would stay or go.

So I think it's a stepping up. It's basically saying it's not regime change, but there can't be a future, there can't be a Libyan government with Gadhafi still around. So it's I think intensifying the military commitment of NATO. These three leaders have put a lot of prestige on the line by doing this op-ed.

COOPER: It also opens it up to a much longer involvement, because previously, there were those who argued, well, look, if Gadhafi withdraws his forces from some of these cities that he is besieging like Mesrata, he can stay in power. This is saying he can't be in power; civilians cannot be protected if he's in power, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: That's exactly right, Anderson.

You pointed out, you highlighted the crucial sentence. "However, so long as Gadhafi is in power, NATO must maintain its operations."

Now I read it slightly differently than Bill does, which is I don't know that it's a signal they're going to intensify the military operations. I think what they're trying to do here is to say, look, we have a U.N. mandate for a limited military operation. We're not going to do more than that. They say that. You know, the military operation's purpose is not to remove Gadhafi by force.

But we have as much political pressure as we can bring to bear. We're going to bring to bear to try to force him out of office. We're talking about a contact group. We've got sanctions in place. We're not going to let him sell his oil. So it's an effort to see if there's a way to escalate the political pressure.

Because I see -- I think they do understand if they were to go beyond -- if they were to escalate militarily, they would lose a lot of countries that feel, wait a minute. The U.N. mandate only allows you to protect civilians. So they're playing this game and saying, well, how much non-military presence can we bring to bear? And this op-ed is, in a sense, non-military pressure.

COOPER: Ben Wedeman, I've been reading your tweets, and you've been noticing some new equipment, some new weaponry that the opposition has.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we do see new weapons. We've seen Milan anti-tank weapons, which are made in France but by all -- it appears that they're supplied by Qatar. We've seen radio equipment. We've seen new military boots worn by some of the rebels outside of Ajdabiya.

But what we haven't seen, really, is the ability to actually push forward. We saw them trying to launch an offensive to retake Brega today. But they got about 15 yards before the whole thing fell apart into sort of wild gunfire and rocket fire in almost every direction. So new equipment, yes; new leadership, no.

COOPER: Wait a minute. You said they tried to launch an offensive, and they got 15 yards?

WEDEMAN: That's about right. It's not altogether clear why, but they just left the area of Brega and literally, about 15 yards, somebody opened fire with a machine gun, a heavy machine gun. Then we saw rockets being fired in almost every direction.

And soon I was told by one of their commanders that they had to postpone the mission, also because there was an Eastern Libyan army contingent that arrived too late. So they just called the whole thing off. We'll be back tomorrow to see if they actually resume it.

Ben Wedeman, continue to stay safe.

Governor Richardson, appreciate your time; Fareed Zakaria, as well.

Coming up, "Crime & Punishment": the search for new clues in the suspected serial killings in Long Island, New York; police and the FBI scouring 18 different spots. Did they find anything new? At least eight bodies found so far, remains of.

Plus Catherine Zeta-Jones checking into a mental health facility for bipolar 2 disorder; being very public about it, trying to break some of the stigma behind mental illness in this country. I'll talk to 360 MD Sanjay Gupta about what bipolar disorder is, how it's treated, and how it manifests in people's lives.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: True bipolar disease, you know, classic bipolar -- is incredibly disruptive to the individual and incredibly disruptive to the people around them.



COOPER: A lot of concern and questions tonight about the news that Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health facility. Her rep tells CNN that Zeta-Jones is seeking treatment for bipolar 2 disorder, which the Mayo Clinic says is a less severe form of bipolar disorder.

The rep also says she's decided to check into a facility after dealing with the stress of the past year, obviously, when her husband, Michael Douglas, was fighting throat cancer.

So we wanted to get some more information about what exactly bipolar 2 disorder is and how it can be triggered by traumatic events. For that we went to 360 MD Sanjay Gupta.


COOPER: You know, Sanjay, there's still such stigma over mental health issues in this country. I think for someone as well known as Catherine Zeta-Jones to be very frank about an issue she's facing is really remarkable.

What exactly is bipolar disorder?

GUPTA: Well, it is a -- people refer to it as manic depression. It is a disorder sort of characterized by what is known as mania, manic episodes, and also depressive episodes.

Now manic episodes, people are, you know, really at the highest of highs; and depressed episodes, the lowest of lows. But so much so, Anderson, that it really interferes with your ability to conduct your normal life. These episodes can last a period of time, usually over a week at least. And, you know, it can be so disruptive not only to the individual but to all the people around them.

That's typically what bipolar is sort of characterized by.

You know, what is interesting, if I can show you really quickly, Anderson, is that we have more insight specifically into what's happening in the brain now, as well.

For example, let me show you what is known as a functional MRI of a normal brain. Now up near the top, that's the area of the frontal lobes. That's the area of the brain that's responsible for judgment, for your ability to sort of filter things, to add to -- to filter something, to think before you do, to think before you act. That's a normal brain.

Now, take a look at what a bipolar diagnosed brain, something who's during a manic episode. You see hardly any activity in those frontal lobes.


GUPTA: Now, think about that, no activity in the frontal lobes, Anderson, means hardly any filter. You think of something, you immediately say it. You think of something, you immediately do it. You have nothing sort of putting on the brakes. I just find that extremely fascinating, because it's some objective evidence of what specifically is happening in the brain during one of these episodes.

COOPER: And she has bipolar disorder 2, which I hadn't heard of. How is that different from what you just explained?

GUPTA: Yes. There's a few different types of bipolar, and these are all characterized now, Anderson, by, you know, what's known as a clinical diagnosis. So you're sitting down with a doctor, being asked questions and coming up with the diagnosis.

Basically, the big difference is that, instead of having true manic episodes they have more of what are known as hypomanic episodes. They still develop mania, which can be, you know, lots of -- it can be lots of activity, fast talking, little sleep; but not quite to the degree of someone who's in a full manic episode. But they still can have the severe depression. Sometimes the depression is even worse than in someone who has classic bipolar or bipolar 1.

COOPER: And obviously, she has endured a lot of stress over the past year with Michael Douglas, her husband battling cancer. Does stress trigger bipolar disorder?

GUPTA: I think it can, absolutely. And I think "trigger" is the right word, as opposed to "cause." Because I think, you know, there's mounting evidence that people probably have a predisposition, some sort of genetic predisposition toward it, you know.

We know that children, for example, if they have a parent with bipolar, four to six times more likely to develop it. So there's some genetic component. They haven't identified the genes. But the trigger, that's always been, you know, something people have been looking for, and stress is certainly a big one.

COOPER: And in terms of -- I think she has checked herself into a facility. For a lot of people, this is something that they live with on a day-to-day basis. It doesn't consume their lives to the point where they can't do anything. Or it can.

GUPTA: Well, I think, you know, true bipolar disease, you know, this classic bipolar, is incredibly disruptive to the individual and incredibly disruptive to the people around them.

I think you know what it is, Anderson? I think it's still so stigmatized that, despite the fact that it's so disruptive people do not seek treatment, which is incredibly sad. Because while there is no cure, there can be some pretty effective treatments.

And people are often diagnosed very late if they're diagnosed at all with this disease because they tend to try and mask it, get around it, or they become very socially inward. They don't go out because they're afraid of exhibiting these symptoms.

And again, like I said, we're working on this documentary. But that part of it is, I just think incredibly sad. So there's treatments available out there.

COOPER: Well, again, I just think for her to be so up front, it's going to help a lot of other people out there, who don't -- who haven't talked about it as much or maybe don't even know they have it.

Sanjay, thanks.

GUPTA: Thanks, Anderson.


COOPER: Up next, the incredible new details about just an unthinkable crime. A 10-year-old boy who escaped from his family's minivan after his mom drove it into the Hudson River shares her last words, talks about his little brothers and sisters who didn't make it and what he told the woman who found him.

Also ahead, emotions running high, BP's annual shareholder meeting if you can imagine.


COOPER: Following a number of other stories. Let's get an update. Randi Kaye has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we're learning more about the young New York mother who appears to have intentionally driven her car into the Hudson River Tuesday night, killing herself and three of her children.

Listen to what her 10-year-old son, who survived that incident, told the woman who found him frantic by the side of a road.


MAEVE RYAN, HELPED FRANTIC 10-YEAR-OLD: At the last minute when he was leaving to go out the window, he heard his mother saying, "I made a terrible mistake. I made a mistake." So she came from the middle of the row to the driver's side and tried to reverse the car back out, but at that time she was too much in the water at that point -- too much in the water at that point to even leave.

So he said -- he said, "The best thing I could do, Maeve," he said, "Was go up for help. And he said, "No one was stopping. No one was stopping for me." He said, "Thank you so much for stopping for me." He said it about 50 times, "Thank you for stopping for me. Thank you for stopping."


KAYE: In Long Island, New York, a high-tech helicopter was used today in the expanding investigation of a possible serial killing case, but no new evidence was uncovered. Eight bodies have been found along a desolate coastal stretch since December, and more skeletal remains were discovered earlier this week.

Demonstrators gathered outside BP's annual shareholders' meeting in London today, protesting the oil giant's role in last spring's deadly and catastrophic explosion and spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Inside the meeting, shareholders demanded to know what steps BP has taken to prevent another disaster.

And big changes ahead in daytime TV: ABC is canceling its long- running soap operas, "All My Children" this coming September "and One Life to Live" next January. They'll be replaced by one show about food and a second show about health and lifestyles.

Say it isn't so, Anderson.

COOPER: I know. Wow, that's amazing.

Up next, tackling illiteracy; meet a man who didn't learn to read and white until the age of 35 and wait till you see where he is now.


COOPER: An estimated 30 million adults in the United States lack the basic reading and writing skills to read a newspaper or fill out a job application. Our education contributor and principal Steve Perry sat down with a man who was forced to face his illiteracy head on and now works in an unlikely place, a library.

Here's tonight's "Perry's Principles."


JOHN ZICKEFOSSE, MR. Z: David's mom always said, "No, David."

STEVE PERRY, CNN EDUCATION CONTRIBUTOR: John Zickefosse is known as Mr. Z.

ZICKEFOSSE: Hey can I drive the bus?


PERRY: His mission: to get kids excited about reading.

ZICKEFOSSE: I'm having probably more fun than all of you, and there's a special reason for that. Mr. Z. didn't learn to read and write until I was 35 years old. Yes.

PERRY: How did you get out of high school not knowing how to read?

ZICKEFOSSE: I will say I was a master at deception. Figuring out what I needed to do to survive.

PERRY: You walked across a stage and got a diploma.

ZICKEFOSSE: Yes. Obviously that still hurts, because I know the lie that it was.

PERRY: As a young boy, Zickefosse was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD.

ZICKEFOSSE: It's important to note that I'm not trying to jab at the education system. Today, we're so much better equipped at dealing with the learning disabilities that I have.

PERRY: He managed to keep his illiteracy a secret from everyone.

ZICKEFOSSE: Including my wife; she didn't even have any idea until our son busted me. That was really one of the turning points of sitting with my -- both my boys Shawn and Adam on either side of me, reading simple children's books. And what would happen is, my son Shawn, would actually fix the words that I got wrong and say, "No, dad, that's not what it says."

PERRY: There was something so penetrating about that, that it rocked it to your core. What was that?

ZICKEFOSSE: I'm not the father that I want to be.

PERRY: Then Zickefosse had back surgery, which made returning to his restoration job impossible.

ZICKEFOSSE: At that same time, my wife saw in an article in the newspaper for the literacy program here at the Cornell Library (ph) and called them. They said, come in. It wasn't easy.

PERRY: Not only did Zickefosse learn to read and write, he's now the outreach coordinator for the library.

This had to be the scariest place on earth for you. What were you thinking?

ZICKEFOSSE: Because I was in the literacy program working on my skills, I found a new me.

PERRY: So when Mr. Z reads, does it make it feel like he cares for you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he wants us to read.

PERRY: You are to these kids a super hero.

ZICKEFOSSE: I know in my heart of hearts that when I do that and share my story, there's a child out there who's going through the exact same thing that I went through, that says you know, wow, if Mr. Z. can do it, maybe I shouldn't give up on myself.


COOPER: It's an incredibly moving story. I know your granddad couldn't read. What can adults do if they're in that situation?

PERRY: They have to be honest with themselves. They have to be honest with themselves and know that it's not something that they did to themselves. They can go to the local library, strange as it is, the place that you would go, you would most be afraid of, the library -- many of the programs that people have around literacy actually are in their local library.

Mr. Z did that and it changed his life. I'm so encouraged by him and I hope so many more families decide to encourage the loved one in their life who is struggling with reading, regardless of their age to go to one of the local libraries or any literacy program that they can find either online or in their community.

COOPER: Yes. Good advice and a really moving story. Thanks, Principal Perry.

PERRY: Thank you.

COOPER: Hey, that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.