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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Step to Identify Tornado Victims; Gadhafi Troops Accused of Mass Rape; Loughner Not Fit to Stand Trial; Ivy League without the Cost
Aired May 26, 2011 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone.
Breaking news tonight in the search for victims of the Joplin tornado. First, though, I want to show you some remarkable new video we got today, video showing the initial moments after the tornado struck, video captured by a couple racing to find a family member, a brother looking for his sister through a neighborhood which after the tornado they barely even recognized.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE MCKENZIE WATSON, TORNADO SURVIVOR: Aaron, look at this. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh, Aaron. Oh, my gosh.
AARON COX, TORNADO SURVIVOR: It went right through here.
WATSON: I don't know where --
A. COX: I don't know where we are.
WATSON: I don't even know (INAUDIBLE) I don't know where to go.
A. COX: We've got to keep going this way. Don't step on any of this. Come on. We got to keep going this way.
WATSON: I know, but I feel like I need to help if someone's hurt.
A. COX: Well, we will keep asking. Look at this house. It's gone. Come on.
You guys ok?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
WATSON: Oh, my gosh.
A. COX: Oh, my gosh. Look at these houses, babe.
WATSON: You guys ok?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Thank you. A. COX: What street is this?
WATSON: This is -- I don't know. Illinois (INAUDIBLE)
A. COX: Oh, babe, look.
WATSON: What? Oh, no. It's the hospital.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It was the hospital. We'll show you more of that video ahead.
Imagine, suddenly, you don't even recognize that community that you're living in because everything is so destroyed. And you can't even tell where you are.
Aaron Cox and Brooke McKenzie Watson (ph) racing to find Aaron's sister, Sarah. We're going to play you the rest of the video after the break. And you will really want to see how it ends.
Last night on this program the governor of Missouri said there would be changes in the search for the missing. And today we saw the start of those changes. The state took over a large portion of the disaster response, releasing an official roster of people missing or unaccounted for.
I have the roster right here. Remember, for days, we have been saying 1,500 unaccounted for; that was based on a local official's statement days ago. Well, today, after working all night, the state whittled down that number down to 232 people unaccounted for, 232.
But even officials concede the list contains error -- errors. Lantz Hare, for example, is on it twice, under his first and middle names. Those errors are obviously easy to correct.
What's proving more difficult, though, is the situation at the morgue in Joplin and the process for identifying the dead. You will remember we spoke to Lantz Hare's dad, Mike, who -- last night, who has been searching for days to try to find his son, searching and even continually calling his son's cell phone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HARE, FATHER OF LANTZ HARE: I started calling him and still never got anything. I mean, I called it all last night. I called it today.
COOPER: You have still been calling his number?
HARE: Well, I can't stop. I don't know why. I do. I stayed up until like 2:00 last night, and that's all I did.
COOPER: You called the cell phone. Does it ring? Or --
HARE: Yes. It rang for the first day-and-a-half, and now it goes straight to voice-mail, but just in case he gets it, I want him to know that his dad loves him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well today, the family got word, unofficial at first, that Lantz is dead. And it turns out he's been in the morgue all along.
His family got word through a friend in law enforcement, who had access to the morgue and as a favor, went there looking for Lantz. Now, if the friend hadn't done that, it's likely his family still would not know where Lantz is.
We also learned about -- of 16-month-old Skyular Logsdon today. His family has been searching too. We have told you his story. Well, it turns out he has also been in the morgue all this time.
But listen to this. His family only found out late yesterday and only because of a friend of a friend showed them morgue photos of the body of a small child they thought might be Skyular and in fact it was.
Now, both families are heartbroken, of course, but at least they know, they know where their child is. What's frustrating, however, to other families is that both found out about their kids unofficially, informally by back channels. Other families have said to us, if those kids were able to be identified, why can't their families have someone visit the morgue and check for their loved ones?
Now of course, some identifications can only be made by DNA, by forensics, but some will be recognizable to loved ones.
Now we want to make it clear, every official that we met in Joplin has been working incredibly hard and trying to do the right thing under very, very difficult circumstances. But some of the explanations for the delays and the red tape and the rules haven't made much sense to people who are searching for their loved ones.
And as we said, some people in Joplin continue to be incredibly frustrated. Tonight, the breaking news is that the local coroner now tells CNN that, starting tomorrow, some people under some circumstances will be allowed into the morgue to view remains.
Gary Tuchman is in Joplin tonight with the latest.
Gary, what are you hearing now? The state of Missouri took -- took charge of this missing-persons list today. What do we now know about people's access to go to the morgue?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right now, as of this moment, they have no access to go to the morgue. That may change tomorrow, more on that in a second.
You've said it yourself, Anderson. People are working very hard here. But what we have seen in this disaster -- and we have covered a lot of disasters -- there is an unusual amount of a lack of compassion and common sense among many of the people here.
And the case in point is Skyular Logsdon, the 16-month-old boy, his family frantic. He's missing for three days. I interviewed his father just yesterday, his father, Cord, in a hospital bed. His father was seriously injured in the tornado. His son was with him. He was convinced his son was still alive. He was saying, I know he's alive, but I just want to get into the morgue, have someone in my family get into the morgue or get some pictures from the morgue so we know for sure. But they wouldn't let them in the morgue.
And then two hours after I interviewed his father, a friend of a friend, as you just said, got them access to two pictures of toddlers in the morgue. And one of the pictures was of their son Skyular.
They still haven't found out officially. So, they're 90 percent or 95 percent sure he passed away, but not 100 percent, because they can't get in the morgue as of yet. So the coroner does say, starting tomorrow, people -- some people, he says, will be able to go into the morgue.
But it's not clear yet if that will happen, because we're not sure where the governor, who is the boss of the state, stands on the issue.
COOPER: Right. And we're going to talk to the governor.
And I asked him this a couple times. And this just broke literally as we were interviewing the governor, so we'll show you his reaction and we will try to -- to get the latest information.
You know, last night on the show, the governor said that he would do something about the problems we have been seeing with people -- with the slow access, with -- with -- with kind of disorganization. It does seem like he has delivered on that promise. I mean within a few hours of getting new people in there to take over, they suddenly got this list down to 232.
The governor is working hard. He's doing some good work. The list is at 232. And I can tell you it's actually much lower, the missing list, because we saw a family of five on the list. We wanted to go their house. How could a family of five be missing? The house wasn't that badly damaged. And we talked to neighbors who say the family is fine. They're just in another town right now. So we know that number will go a lot lower.
We can tell you about some strange things going on here. The morgue, where these bodies are right now, is a secret morgue, and it literally is secret. You call up officials and say, can you tell us where the morgue is, they say it's a secret, we can't tell you.
Families don't know where the morgue is. The families who do know where the morgue is are afraid to tell us because they're afraid they will get in trouble for telling us. So we had to do some investigating, because we wanted to ask questions of the morgue as to what is going on inside the morgue and what happened to this little boy. We wanted to find that out.
So we found the morgue after some investigating and I want to show you this very strange and unusual encounter we had on a public road with law enforcement officials. It felt like we were crossing an international border without a passport.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, guys, what are you doing?
TUCHMAN: Oh we're with CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok.
TUCHMAN: We're trying to find out where the morgue is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys got any cameras or anything?
TUCHMAN: Yes, we do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. They need to be secured in the back of your vehicle.
TUCHMAN: Well, why is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we have orders from our lieutenant to do that.
TUCHMAN: Lieutenant to do what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To secure your cameras in the back of the vehicle.
TUCHMAN: Is there secret activity going on here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys just can't be around here. That is all.
TUCHMAN: Yes, but why?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is private property there, private property --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in the middle of the road, where -- and you're a danger to yourself. As you can see, there's a vehicle behind you.
TUCHMAN: I know, but that's why I was off the road for a second while I was making a phone call.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a negotiation. Take your cameras and put them in the back of your vehicle.
TUCHMAN: Ok. We just want to find about a baby who may be in the morgue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Is he shooting back there? Hey, take that camera and put it in the back of your car, all right?
TUCHMAN: Go ahead and go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't come back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: He told us, "Don't come back."
The police officer actually opened our door. And I was afraid he was going to arrest our cameraman. And that's when he turned off the camera.
But we usually don't hear that, Anderson, from the good guys in the blue, saying stuff like that.
Listen, I understand why they're concerned about -- they don't want people going to this morgue and, you know, creating drama and stuff.
I want to play for our viewers what the coroner said on Eliot Spitzer's show earlier tonight. Just to try to get a sense of -- for people who may be listening and may be thinking, well, can I go to the morgue; let's play what the coroner said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BRIDGES, NEWTON COUNTY, MISSOURI CORONER: What -- I just stepped out of meeting at Missouri Southern State University with a group of family members and they expressed their concerns of just the concerns I have listened to tonight. And the decision was made if a person can make a positive ID with the, let's say, for instance piercings or tattoos.
A lot of people told us about, they would have a specific tattoo that nobody else would have, we're -- tomorrow going to start the process of allowing those people to view the bodies of the loved ones; if we can make a positive ID, going to go ahead and release those bodies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So that's -- that's what the coroner said to Eliot Spitzer.
So Gary, I guess they're -- we're just going to have to wait and see tomorrow what exactly the situation is.
I -- as you know, Gary, I talked to the governor while that -- that conversation was -- was airing on Eliot's show. I was speaking to the governor in a pre-taped interview. And when we spoke last night with Jay Nixon, Missouri's governor, he promised action. As I said -- and on this program, we point out a lot when politicians don't deliver on their promises, but we also believe in pointing out when they do.
The governor has delivered. The State's Department of Public Safety has, as we said, taken over the search for the missing. The governor ordered in some 20 or so officers to help get things organized and sorted out. And as you mentioned earlier, it took them just a couple hours to whittle down the estimated 1,500 unaccounted to a list of about 232 people unaccounted for.
So I spoke to the governor a short time ago. I asked him how that effort is going and also about these frustrations about what we've been hearing about the situation at the morgue.
COOPER: Governor, last night, you said on this program that your administration was going to take more direct control. It already has. Just this morning, you guys basically have taken over the effort -- the state has taken over the effort to try to locate the missing. The number -- the actual number of missing and unaccounted for has now been drastically reduced from the 1,500 that we have been working off of.
So clearly, there's already changes afoot. What's the latest from -- from your vantage point?
GOV. JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: Well, we did see that challenge. That list of 1,300 was out there from a myriad of sources.
We -- we took control of that yesterday morning and brought folks in there. They worked all night, got that down to 232. Then, this evening, I had a meeting with all of those families to go through the processes of the necessary identification.
Our goal is obviously to get the zero on that number, move down off 232 to zero. Unfortunately, some of those stories are going to be very, very sad. But the bottom line is that we have made significant progress today towards taking away that uncertainty and we are working all day and all night to finish that task.
COOPER: You do know this list of 232, obviously, some of these people are going to be alive. In fact, according to the AP, the first person on the list, a woman by the name of Sally Adams, is actually alive. They have already confirmed this. She was in an article that she survived the storm.
So this 232 number, you're -- you're quickly going try to whittle that down even more?
We had over a dozen folks who were able to get off that list very, very quickly late this morning as we move forward. That's good news, when you can find folks. Where they have been calls in, when they have been reports filed that they're -- that they're unaccounted for, we got these facts out publicly. We want to whittle that down.
But unfortunately, there's also some very, very sad stories on that list, as we expect some of those folks to be found in a condition that's no longer living.
COOPER: What we're still hearing a lot of anger about and frustration over is the situation in the morgue. And I got to ask you about it.
Gary Tuchman, our correspondent, just reported on a family member who has been shown a picture of her 16-month-old nephew, Skyular Logsdon, deceased. Now for days, the family hasn't known whether Skyular was alive or not. It turns out Skyular is in the morgue.
She was shown that picture through unofficial channels and yet she and her family have not been allowed in to see the body and receive actual confirmation that little Skyular is in fact dead. How is that possible?
NIXON: Well, that's one of the reasons we moved to have all 232 of the folks that were missing, those reporter -- the folks that have made those reports in a private meeting with the folks at the morgue, with the other areas.
But it's also important to note, Anderson that this was an incredible storm, and this is not a series of bodies lying in a row that are easily identifiable. There are pieces of folks. There are -- there are very, very difficult scenes. And it's not as easy as walking down a row and being able to instantly identify.
The DNA matches -- and, unfortunately, a significant number of these are going to be necessary to confirm that. That takes a little while. But it's a reality of a storm of this magnitude that's done this level of damage.
COOPER: But granted, no doubt about it, and obviously one wants to wait for DNA for final confirmation, but in the meantime, they have been saying that might take two weeks.
It doesn't seem reasonable to expect a grieving family to just be told to sit on their hands for two weeks. There are plenty of family members who would be willing to take -- take on the onerous task of walking down that row, and even if the sights are horrible, I know plenty of family members who want that -- that opportunity very badly.
NIXON: Well, as I said before, when we got a sense yesterday that the information wasn't moving quickly enough, we came in. We took over that operation. We have seen a dramatic shift today, going from kind of an unknown list of 232 to a list of 232 confirmed folks and then moving off that number already today, setting up and having a meeting with the morgue, with all of these families to go through that process.
COOPER: But it does seem like families who are lucky enough to have a friend in law enforcement who is able to get into the morgue, they have been able -- like Lantz Hare, for instance. This is a young man, his father has been on TV, been on my program last night weeping. He was -- doesn't have much money.
He was spending what money he could to drive to Springfield trying to look into a hospital there. It turns out his son Lantz has been dead in the morgue this whole time. And a family friend who is a law enforcement officer was able to get in and see that it was in fact Lantz because he knows the boy well, and he told the family that their son is in fact dead and in the morgue.
And still there's been no official confirmation of that. That just doesn't seem right, that a family that luckily enough has a connection is able to find information and get confirmation, and a family that doesn't has to wait two weeks. I mean, isn't there some way to speed this up and not just have it be relying on DNA to allow families access?
NIXON: Well, this has been an unmistakable tragedy, an almost unimaginable tragedy for this community. It's ripped apart families in so many ways.
As I said before, when we got the sense that there was challenges yesterday morning, we acted and we moved to accelerate dramatically the process. And it's hard to say we had a good day when you're identifying remains of folks that have been killed. I don't mean in any way, shape or form to show a lack of sensitivity.
But as I said to you, Anderson, right here in Joplin yesterday, I think you will see a significant change. And I think, when folks got up this morning, they saw a focused effort towards getting that information out.
There's certainly no -- no desire to hide this vital information from these folks in any way, shape or form. And we're pressing with the resources we have and additional resources to make sure that we get that information out as quickly as possible.
COOPER: I understand the local coroner now just told CNN tonight that beginning tomorrow people will be able to get into the morgues and identify bodies. Can you confirm that? Would you support that?
NIXON: We're going to work to continue, as we did yesterday, to move that number down. We're going to continue to move forward.
But there are some very difficult moments ahead for all these families, quite frankly, for this community. And it's a very difficult process. And -- and I just want everybody to know that the folks that we have got in there are working as quickly as they can to be sure and to get that information out to those families that are so in need.
COOPER: I'm just not clear, if -- again, I don't want to push you on this, but I'm just not clear. Does that mean you -- if in fact the coroner has said people can go, you would support that, or you're not sure at this time; you need to check with him and get back to us?
NIXON: I don't need to check with anybody. I know that there's people that, as this process has moved forward, have had access and they will continue to have access.
That being said, I mean as the day has moved on, more people have certainly had access to the process. More people have gotten direct notification. But we believe that those people deserve notification first, not by the governor talking to CNN.
We're dealing with families here and the lives of people. And I'm going to continue to move a process that focuses on the personal rights and liberties of those individuals and get that information out as quickly as we possibly can.
COOPER: All right. I think I got the answer on that one.
Governor Nixon, I appreciate your time. I know it's been a long day for you. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.
NIXON: Thank you. Thank you very much.
COOPER: Up next, we have video, some of the video we showed you earlier taken moments after the tornado hit. We want to show you the complete piece of video as a brother searches for his sister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. COX: Sarah. Mike.
WATSON: Sarah. Mike. Mike. Sarah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, we will show you how the video ended, how the story ends. You will not want to miss it. I guarantee that.
Later, new allegations against the Gadhafi regime: this is an incredibly disturbing story. It's stunning, not perhaps surprising. But according to some confirmed reports and some video evidence that a reporter has seen in Mesrata, his troops are engaging in systematic -- systematic rape, mass rape.
We're going to talk to one of the few correspondents still on the ground in Mesrata who has actually seen the video, video that stunned her.
We will be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well, our breaking news tonight: the coroner handling fatalities from the Joplin tornado now says that certain people with missing family members will be allowed in to make positive identification if they know of specific tattoos or other unique markings on the body of their loved one.
We showed you video at the top that was taken just moments after the tornado struck. It's video unlike really anything that we have seen over the last couple days. A couple, Brooke McKenzie Watson (ph) and Aaron Cox, searching for Aaron's sister through what was now a neighborhood in -- well, in name only. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. COX: Look at all this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you guys OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. You guys OK?
A. COX: Holy crap.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, they raced to the home of Aaron's sister, Sarah. A tree across the street was burning. Sarah's house was badly damaged. Look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. COX: Sarah. Mike. Sarah. Mike.
WATSON: Sarah. Mike. Mike. Sarah.
A. COX: All right, I'm going to check the basement.
WATSON: Mike? Sarah?
A. COX: You guys down here?
A. COX: Sis?
WATSON: Kirby (ph).
A. COX: Sarah?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're not in the bedroom.
A. COX: They must have left.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they're gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kirby. Kirby.
A. COX: Kirby Jean (ph)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just going to hope that they (INAUDIBLE) they took Kirby with them, OK? All right, come on. They're not in the basement?
A. COX: No, I don't think so.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. OK.
A. COX: Sarah. Mike.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're not down there. You went down there?
A. COX: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
A. COX: You can't really see anything, though.
WATSON: That's OK, baby. That just means they're not here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Kirby, by the way, is Sarah's cat. Brooke and Aaron did not find Sarah at home, but they did find Sarah.
Aaron and Sarah join me now.
It's very nice to see both of you together. Can you guys hear me? This is Anderson.
SARAH COX, TORNADO SURVIVOR: One, two, three, four, five.
A. COX: Yes, sir.
COOPER: Hey, Aaron, you can hear me. Good.
Sarah, you can hear me?
S. COX: Yes.
COOPER: All right. Cool. It's great to see you guys together.
Aaron, what was going through your head when you grabbed the camera and first ran outside? Had you ever been through anything like this before?
A. COX: Nothing like this.
I mean, I'm not sure anybody has, you know, with what they're saying about this kind of tornado. When we left the house, we had no idea it was like this, though. I took the camera thinking there would be some downed trees and stuff like that. But by the time we had to abandon the car because of the debris, you kind of realized the severity of everything.
And I already had the camera running. So we just kind of had it running as we went out searching. And every block you went in deeper, the worse and worse it got and the severity of it kind of set in.
COOPER: And, Aaron, it's amazing. You even had trouble figuring out where you were, even though it's probably a neighborhood you probably know very well.
A. COX: Yes. I have lived in Joplin my entire life. You know, I had been to my sister's house obviously plenty of times.
But everything was just so leveled you had no idea where you were. Even without -- with the street signs gone, there was no land markers, no houses, no trees, no nothing. It was just completely, completely barren. So we just kept having to ask people where we were. And even the people who lived on those streets were so dazed they had a hard time telling us where we were. So it was a real struggle to find out where the heck we were.
COOPER: It's amazing.
Sarah, where did you ride out the storm?
S. COX: We -- we were in the basement of our home. It was an old cellar -- I think originally an outdoor cellar.
And we just were watching TV, getting ready for dinner and we heard the sirens go off. So we went to the basement and continued watching TV, until we couldn't hear it anymore and realized what was going on.
COOPER: And what was it like being in the basement hearing this storm?
S. COX: It was crazy. I mean actually, the only reason I know that I knew what was going on was because of TV and people saying it sounds like a train. And it dawned on us when I said, oh, it sounds like a train going by. It was like -- we realized what it was.
And then when the pressure of our ears came, it felt like our ears were going to blow. And that is when my fiance said, this is definitely -- we're in a tornado. And so it was pretty terrifying.
COOPER: Aaron, how did you finally find Sarah?
A. COX: Well, after we didn't find them at the house, we didn't know what to do.
But people pointed us to the Walgreens a few blocks away, saying that was where they had a triage center set up. So, that's where we went. They weren't there, so we started just walking down Main Street, or what was left of Main Street, trying to get cell phone signal, which was nonexistent, asking people if they had seen them, yelling out their names.
And finally we just happened to walk into cell coverage and her fiance, Mike, got a phone call through to us that lasted about 10 seconds, pretty much saying they had made it to our parents' house, they were OK, and then the phone cut out. But, I mean that's all we needed to hear, thankfully.
COOPER: Later up tonight, we're going to take you to Libya to the besieged town of Mesrata. We are going to talk to Marie Colvin, a reporter, a British reporter there from "The Sunday Times" who has a story that's just -- it's hard to hear. I'm going to tell you that right now.
But it's an important story, evidence of systematic abuse, sexual abuse, sexual violence against young women by Gadhafi's forces. She has seen video proof of this actually taken by the soldiers on their cell-phone cameras. She'll explain what she's seen, ahead.
And later in "Crime & Punishment", accused Arizona gunman Jared Lee Loughner deemed not competent to stand trial -- we learned that yesterday; you've probably heard that -- because of mental illness. I'll talk to senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, also Dr. Sanjay Gupta about how Loughner's case compares to Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper, for instance, also diagnosed as mentally ill, who was just sentenced to life in prison.
COOPER: Well, for months on this program, we followed the story of Eman al-Obeidy, who says she was gang-raped in Libya by Muammar Gadhafi's soldiers. Well tonight, there are absolutely horrifying reports that Eman's case was anything but an isolated one. That, in fact, Gadhafi troops may have, at least in some cases, been ordered to systematically rape young women and girls in Mesrata, a town that they were -- have been besieging for months, a town they've been occupying, as well.
The women, the young girls, by and large, are too scared to come forward but there is cell-phone video; videos that were found on the cell phones of Libyan soldiers, Libyan government soldiers. Marie Colvin of Britain's "Sunday Times" has seen at least one of these videos. I spoke to her just a short time ago on the phone from Mesrata.
COOPER: So Marie, you have actually seen evidence of basically systematic rapes by Gadhafi forces of civilians in Mesrata. What have you seen? What have you heard?
MARIE COLVIN, REPORTER, "SUNDAY TIMES" (via telephone): I thought, well, it could be an urban myth, you know. Rumors travel, there's no phones here. Everybody has been literally -- virtually incarcerated in their homes. Maybe these are rumors.
But I watched one of these videos, and it turned my stomach. There's no way to describe the disgust I felt.
It was four young women, probably about 16, into the early 20s, stripped in front of their parents and two little children, and then taken into a separate room by about 20 soldiers in uniform, and raped horrifically. At one point, one of them screams for Allah, God, and a soldier screams back at her, "Our God is Gadhafi." And they raped these four young women repeatedly.
COOPER: And how do we know that this isn't just, you know, a group of thugs doing this? Is there evidence that this is directed by officers, that this is somehow, I mean, a part of their strategy?
COLVIN: The direct evidence that I have is talking to one of Gadhafi's soldiers who is a prisoner here, and repentant. And he said his two officers entered this house -- this is a different house. There's about a thousand rapes.
COOPER: A thousand rapes?
COLVIN: Entered this house -- about a thousand rapes across Mesrata over a two-month period.
The officers raped the young women first. Other members of the unit raped the young women in the house. They were standing guard, ordered to stand guard up on the roof. And then their next order was to come downstairs and rape two young women.
COOPER: Why would they being doing this? I mean, we've seen this in the Congo, where we've reported a lot -- the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where rape has become a weapon of war, and it's an attempt to destroy society. What is the -- what is the purpose here?
COLVIN: It's very much a weapon of war is the way to put it, Anderson. It's a -- it's a weapon particularly in this very, very conservative society. This is a -- it's not just the Islamic faith. It's a conservative, traditional society.
Women -- women who have been raped, sad to say, are unmarriageable. Women who are married and raped bring shame on the family. So terrorizing and undermining the effectiveness of your enemy forces, that's a weapon of war, and it's a war crime.
COOPER: And is there treatment for any of these young girls? I mean are they able to even come forward?
COLVIN: Women who have been raped are not -- I was not able to speak to them. They're shocked, traumatized.
I have spoken to doctors who are being very sympathetic. There is sympathy for these women that has, first of all, extended to some of the younger rebels, saying that they feel so guilty they did not get to these families in time to save the women of Mesrata. They want to marry -- they've offered to marry the young women, which would save them from a very lonely and blighted life.
The doctors here are taking very practical steps to begin with, trying to reach out to the community and get them treated initially for sexually transmissible diseases, and -- and offering abortions. Abortion is not legal here, but they see this as something they can do to, in some way, help these young women.
And then counseling; they're in touch with some of the counselors and doctors who helped the rape victims of Bosnia, for example, where you had 50,000 rapes and a wave of suicides. That's what they're worried about here to begin with.
COOPER: Well, it is just -- it's incredible. Marie, it's a hard thing to talk about, and I appreciate you reporting on it and talking to us about it. Thank you.
COLVIN: Good talking to you, Anderson.
COOPER: Still ahead, "Crime & Punishment;" a major roadblock to prosecutors in the Arizona mass-shooting case. A judge ruling that Jared Lee Loughner isn't fit to stand trial because of mental illness. On the same day, Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper was sentenced to life in prison. Why the different outcomes? Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Jeffrey Toobin join me ahead with that.
COOPER: "Crime & Punishment" tonight. Two high-profile cases take dramatically different turns. In Salt Lake City, a federal judge sentenced Brian David Mitchell to life in prison for kidnapping and raping Elizabeth Smart almost nine years ago while holding her captive for months. The state court actually found Mitchell mentally ill and unfit to stand trial.
But in federal court, the jury rejected the insanity defense Mitchell's lawyers presented, even though the defendant repeatedly sang church hymns in the courtroom. He did it again in his sentencing, when Smart addressed her kidnapper for the first time. He basically ignored her.
Here's what she said later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH SMART, KIDNAPPING SURVIVOR: I told Brian David Mitchell today in court that, whether he received his just sentence here on earth or after this earth life, that one day he will have to be responsible.
I was happy for the opportunity to say what I felt that I needed to say. And I am thrilled it's over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Meantime, in Arizona, a judge ruled that mass shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner is not competent to stand trial. Loughner is charged, of course, with killing six people, wounding 13, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
The judge said he based his decision on court-ordered mental evaluations of Loughner, who's been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Loughner is going to be re-evaluated in September when he's due back in court.
Remarkably, different -- very different outcomes in two high- profile cases; I talked about both cases to senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
COOPER: Sanjay, how do they determine if someone is mentally competent enough to stand trial?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in this case, there were two experts, a psychiatrist and a psychologist who spent a lot of time with him every day over a period of a month, after several hours, 18 hours of interviews.
And the interviews, incidentally, were described with him mainly in bed with the cover sort of up to his face, and he was sort of incoherently rambling was how they described it. They did that and they looked at all sorts of background information, got a really good medical history, looked at his history of substance abuse. Even gave an IQ test.
And at the end of all this, they make some conclusions. And these reports, incidentally, are submitted separately, it was my understanding, as well, to the judge. They said he did not seem to have the ability to understand the proceedings of the legal system. They say he had characteristics of both paranoia and schizophrenia. His thinking was very disorganized. And they both said, though, that he did not have any evidence, at least in their opinion, that he was malingering or faking in any way, as well.
COOPER: Mentally competent to stand trial and an insanity defense, Jeff, are too different things.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: They're very different things, and it relates to time. Mentally competent to stand trial means right now -- does he understand what's going on?
Insanity defense relates to his mental state at the time that the crime took place.
So, you know, there's a lot of evidence in this case, apparently, that he was looking on the Internet about possible penalties. What does it mean about solitary confinement, the death penalty? All of that would certainly be relevant on the question of insanity, if that's what he winds up pleading. That has no relevance to the question of right now, is he fit to stand trial.
COOPER: So even if he's a paranoid schizophrenic, that doesn't necessarily mean -- I mean could he -- could it still be that he's not insane at the time of the crime?
TOOBIN: That's right. I mean, they are separate judgments. All of these are very fuzzy legal categories. The legal system has struggled literally for centuries, since the 18th Century, to try to define these terms like insanity. And frankly, it hasn't been very successful.
So the short answer is, it's very hard to be found not guilty by reason of insanity. I mean we don't have a lot of people who get acquitted on those grounds, but it does happen occasionally. But the first step is you have to be found fit to stand trial.
COOPER: And right now, that's -- he's not fit to stand trial?
TOOBIN: That's right. And they'll come back in September. But this could go on for years. I mean, they could go on finding him not fit, but you don't get a free pass, like you are out -- you are in custody, and they keep making that evaluation.
COOPER: But Sanjay, I mean, if it's paranoid schizophrenia, there is medication. I mean, there are many people who are schizophrenics who live, you know, constructive lives and, you know, contribute to society by taking their medication. If he was able to take medication or forced to take medication, could he then be determined competent to stand trial?
GUPTA: I think so, and I think that's exactly what the plan is. You're absolutely right. We just did a whole investigation into these sorts of things, mental illness in particular. But right now he seems to have characteristics where he has lost touch with reality. He has specific delusional behavior. That delusional behavior can sometimes result in violent outbursts.
But you're absolutely right. The psychiatric sort of approach is that this potentially could be treated. Talk cognitive therapy as well as medication. And I think you're right. I mean Jeffrey would know better than I, that that's going to be forced.
COOPER: Can somebody be forced?
TOOBIN: Absolutely. And there's also a very interesting medical ethics question, because there are doctors who don't want to participate in this, because the goal of this treatment is to get him sane enough to go to go to trial, where he may be executed at the end of it. And he's not going to be executed if he's not fit to stand trial. So there's some doctors who say, "I don't want any part of this." And you know.
COOPER: Up next, "Perry's Principles," avoiding Ivy League debt. See how some are going to Harvard University tuition free.
COOPER: Students at Harvard University are often considered some of the most gifted in the country and it's often assumed they have plenty of money or graduate with plenty of debt. But that's not always the case; some students are going to Harvard tuition free. The price tag of more than $38,000 a year is waived for them.
In tonight's "Perry's Principles," CNN education contributor and school principal Steve Perry talks with a student benefiting from the program and to Harvard's president.
STEVE PERRY, CNN EDUCATION CONTRIBUTOR: I have to admit, when I first saw an e-mail that said that Harvard was offering up a no parental contribution for students whose families made under $60,000, I thought it was an urban myth. What's the likelihood of finding a student whose family makes under $60,000 who is going to post the scores and GPAs that Harvard has?
DREW GILPIN FAUST, PRESIDENT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: We have about 18 percent of the freshman class this year who fits that category. We want to make sure that people who are talented and can take fullest advantage of the opportunities here can come regardless of their financial circumstances.
PERRY: Alyssa Mackey is one of those students.
ALYSSA MACKEY, HARVARD STUDENT: I was actually applying to school as my father passed away. And so I guess that just dramatically changed our financial situation. So that's why I'm in need of the assistance.
When I applied, I didn't know about the financial initiative. It wasn't until about three weeks before I showed up on campus freshman year that I got my financial aid package and I remember my mom opening the letter and, you know, thinking that there was a mistake because it said "Family Contribution -- zero".
PERRY: When you started here at Harvard, you had a responsibility as part of the financial aid package there you're receiving, right?
MACKEY: There is a student contribution; it's not a lot of money. But it still comes from your summer earnings.
PERRY: There are many college presidents who are struggling with how to attract students from historically disadvantaged populations and what they can do. What is it you would say to them?
FAUST: We have to send a message to students that we want them and that those of us who can support the financial aid programs like ours will do so.
PERRY: How has this program impacted your career decisions?
MACKEY: If there was no financial aid initiative, there would be maybe a little more pressure to go into a field where I would be making a lot of money, maybe something that I wasn't all that passionate about. But the fact that I'm going to graduate without any loans, I won't have that hanging over my head and I can really, you know, do what I want to do.
So next year I'll be teaching special education for elementary school students in New Orleans.
COOPER: I went to college in the late '80s and it was incredibly expensive back then for a private college. You know, I can't imagine now. How can colleges make tuition more affordable?
PERRY: The costs are absurd, so one way that they can do is make it free. I mean seriously. Harvard University has taken the lead on this one. What they've said is if you're a student of a certain economic level and you can get into Harvard, they're going to pay for you to go.
Isn't that what we want? Don't we want schools who want children regardless of their circumstances? We know that they can do it for athletes, why can't they do it for great students? Harvard is showing us that it can be done. We have no more excuses. We can open up schools to more children.
COOPER: But you need a huge endowment to be able to do that.
PERRY: One would argue that, but somehow these schools find a way to put a basketball player in the school for free. They could put a good student in the school for free. It would seem to me that it benefits the school to have good students in their school regardless of how much money their parents have the opportunity to make.
COOPER: Yes. Principal Perry, thanks.
PERRY: Thank you.
COOPER: We'll be right back.
COOPER: That's it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts now.
See you guys tomorrow.