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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
The New Egypt?; Rising Cain
Aired October 10, 2011 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Erin.
We begin "Keeping Them Honest" in Egypt where dozens are dead, hundreds injured after a weekend of bloodshed. It's the worst violence in Egypt since the uprising eight months ago that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. All the talk of a peaceful transition just talk at this point.
Look at this. This is the reality in the new Egypt, too similar to the old. Military tanks right there running over people Sunday night. The clashes between the army and pro-Coptic Christian protesters turned deadly. At least 25 people killed, nearly 300 others wounded.
Coptic Christians are an ancient sect that make up about 9 percent of Egypt's population. They have faced a lot of violence in the recent months but it's unclear just how the violence started Sunday night or who is to blame.
But here's what we do know. The violence erupted when a group of Coptic Christians and supporters of their cause were marching toward the Egyptian state-run television building. Military trucks were set on fire. Some of the protesters could be seen throwing rocks. The army said some in the crowd had guns and fired on them. Yet witnesses say it was the army that fired on the protesters.
The stories may be different but no one, no one can deny this. Look right there. Dead bodies in the morgue. The victims of this weekend's clashes. Too many victims to refrigerate, so they are kept on ice.
This is the reality in the new Egypt, again, too similar to the old.
Once again the government has imposed a curfew from 2:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. And the people of Egypt still under emergency law, one of the main frustrations they protested back about eight months ago. And the military is not turning the government over to civilians as it promised to do.
Gone are celebrations back in February. You'll likely remember this was the mood. Look at that back then. People taking to the streets, climbing up on tanks joyous the Mubarak regime was history. After weeks of protest in Cairo's Liberation Square, the people of Egypt were facing a new day, new hopes, new dreams. Gone, they thought, were the armored personnel vehicles running over people.
You remember this?
Egyptians hope they never see anything like that again. But this past weekend they did. And just like during the uprising earlier this year, video is surfacing on YouTube. Now we can't independently verify these videos but we think it's important the world sees what's reportedly going on.
We found this video on YouTube. It was recorded last week. Allegedly shows several members of the Egyptian army repeatedly hitting an Egyptian Christian. The man tries to protect his face from the clubbing.
We found another shocking video on YouTube. We must warn you, though, it's not easy to watch. We've blurred the worst of it. This is Egyptian singer Ramie Assam. He says he was beaten by the Army in March. He says the scars on his back prove it. He claims they hit him and others with wooden sticks, metal pipes, hoses, leather batons and belts.
Also on YouTube, from October 2nd, video of a reporter to show Egyptian police and military forces torturing detainees using tasers on them. Men who aren't showing any aggression, yet they are tasered, slapped.
Again, this is the reality in the new Egypt. Too similar to the old.
Here at home, the White House says now is time for restraint on all sides so Egyptians can move forward together and forge a strong and united Egypt. Just last week Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Egypt and said he had full confidence in the country and its people. He also had this message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEON PANETTA, DEFENSE SECRETARY: It's extremely important for the stability of this region that Egypt be able to develop a strong democracy for the future and meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What does this latest violence mean for the future of Egypt?
Joining me now from Cairo are senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman. Also with us tonight, former U.S. State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter, currently a professor at Princeton University, and Fouad Ajami, senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
Ben, the most violent -- most violence in Egypt since the revolution. Take us back to last night's protests, exactly what happened. BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we understand, John, from eyewitnesses was that this demonstration was approaching the TV building in (INAUDIBLE) which has become a hub of a lot of the protests. They say as they approached the building, men in civilian clothing began to throw rocks at them and then attacked them with machetes and clubs, and then chaos ensued.
And, as we saw in those YouTube videos, some military vehicles just drove right into the crowd. And we did see bodies in the morgues that would indicate that they were in fact crushed by those vehicles.
Now the army has a completely different version of events. They say that some of the protesters attacked military vehicles, stole from them firearms, opened fire on the military, and killed at least three soldiers. But all of the protesters we spoke to today completely denied that version of events.
In fact, at this point -- last night the Egyptian state media was saying that three soldiers were killed. Now they're stepping back and the military is not saying how many were killed. So it's not at all clear the final result, but what is clear is what has happened is the tensions have really skyrocketed in Cairo.
The sectarian conflicts are on the minds of many people in the Egyptian capital this evening -- John.
KING: Ben, I want to note for our viewers you're joining us through a Skype connection so there's a little bit of a rumble in the audio there but it's important we talk to you.
Sectarian violence, nothing new in Egypt. Why an uptick since the revolution?
WEDEMAN: Well, many people say -- and certainly the situation on the street seems to confirm it -- that the military council that is essentially the government in Egypt simply is incapable of controlling the situation. You have to keep in mind that this is an institution that has no experience whatsoever in running the country.
And it seems that the only thing they're good at, as you saw from those videos, is the same kind of repression, the same kind of mindless brutality that, of course, brought the Mubarak regime down -- John.
KING: And Anne-Marie, we remember the scenes, the protesters in Tahrir Square celebrating alongside the soldiers when Mubarak was toppled. Pretty shocking to see just eight months later military vehicles running over demonstrators. How much has really changed?
ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, FMR. DIR. OF POLICY PLANNING, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: As I was watching that I was remembering the demonstrations back in February saying the army and the people are one hand. That was one of the chants of the protesters.
Well, based on the videos last night, the army and the people were not one hand. The real question it seem to me is whether this is the proof that the revolution really hasn't happened. In other words, that it hasn't changed the power structure, or whether what we're watching is a slow-motion revolution, where initially they tried to do nothing, then they sacrificed Mubarak, created this council, but that's still not going to be enough. And we're about to watch the next phase unfold.
KING: It's a fascinating question, Fouad. And as we watch the next phase, the prime minister is blaming foreign meddling for these troubles, claiming part of some, quote, "dirty conspiracy." That sounds eerily familiar to the language the regime used, the Mubarak regime, when it was trying to cling to power.
FOUAD AJAMI, SENIOR FELLOW, STANFORD UNIVERSITY'S HOOVER INSTITUTE: Well, yes, John, you're absolutely right. There is a kind of complete evasion of responsibility. Foreign agents, dirty hand remnants, we know that most of the remnants of the Mubarak regime are doing. This is a failure of the Egyptian social compact between Muslims and Copts, and actually, the way you said it was just right.
In the new Egypt as in the old, since 1972, since 1972 there have been 167 major incidents with the Muslims and Copts, this is an old story for the Egyptians and they better be on watch. And they can't offer up the old excuses and the old pretext.
KING: Ben, respect between the people and the military is critical if this transition is going to work. Do the Egyptian people still respect their military?
WEDEMAN: Well, some segment of the population does. There are Egyptians who feel that the military is sort of that last barrier against chaos, and they do support the military. But increasingly we're hearing both from Christians and Muslims that the military has failed. It's failed to live up to its promises to democratize the country, to lift the emergency law that's been in place in decades.
It still is sending civilians to military trials. There's a feeling that the time has come for these generals to go back to their barracks. They haven't succeeded. It is time for them to go home.
KING: Fouad, we knew this would not be easy. When you see these struggles play out, it's the hard truth. It's a hard truth. But how big of a concern should it be, I think, especially, especially given the military's involvement in violence?
AJAMI: Well, I think -- remember, I mean -- you know Ben Wedeman had it right. There was a big demonstration recently where people said basically the slogan of the demonstration to the army, thank you, now go back to your barracks.
The problem, John, is you've got 24 men. That's the supreme council of the armed forces. They're like the Wizard of Oz. They're behind a curtain. They're ruling Egypt without any responsibility. So they have the power and no responsibility. And then you have this prime minister, a decent man, Essam Sharaf, who's got the responsibility but he's got no power. The Egyptian armed forces have to speed along the transition of this -- to a democracy. And they must watch for this schism between the Muslims and the Copts. They can't tell lies about their country.
KING: Anne-Marie, you remember, and you know historically how Egypt is a beacon in the Middle East. You remember what a signal it was when Mubarak fell across the region. But what happens now if things stall and get more difficult and violent?
SLAUGHTER: Well, even with this violence it's going to -- it has spillover effects, for instance, in Syria where the Christians have been supporting Bashar Assad. They're bound to be looking at what's happening now and thinking that's not a scenario they want. But more broadly, if this revolution were not to be completed, if in fact the military does not relinquish power, then the entire Middle East looks different.
Because then Tunisia has had a successful revolution peacefully and Libya has had a successful revolution by armed violence, but everybody else looks at this and thinks, OK, really peaceful demonstrations haven't worked. It's either violence or simply continued oppression by government. So unless Egypt can continue its revolution, it will have -- it really does change the picture in the region.
KING: For Fouad, you heard from the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta there talk about how important it is that Egypt get to democracy. It was perhaps late but important when the Obama administration said Mubarak must go. A number of administrations going back told Mubarak implement democracy, and then turned away and he nothing when he did not.
What must the United States do now to keep the heat on the military government?
AJAMI: Well, I think Anne-Marie has it right. I think what we need is we need to keep the faith in democracy. We can't just simply say because this incident happened or that incident happened, then the cause for democracy is dead. Remember one thing. New Year 2011, New Year 2011 there was a big arson in the main Coptic Church in Alexandria, the church of St. Peter and St. Mark.
So this is not us really just this chaos, just this democratic process, old pharaoh himself, Hosni Mubarak, never, never took up the question of the challenge of the Copts and the place of the Copts. Egypt is a trendsetter. If Egyptian transition fails, may Allah help this region.
KING: And Anne-Marie, what must other governments including the United States do to make sure just to send a clear signal to the military, that do not use any violence, do not use any unrest, do not use any question marks to say we need more time, we need to delay the elections?
SLAUGHTER: Well, the U.S. military had been pulling out all stops, all contacts back in February with the message that a professional military does not fire on its people. And that has to be the first message that a military of the caliber of Egypt's military or professional military does not turn its guns much less its armored personnel carriers on its own people.
That's the first message because the violence has to stop, military on citizens, but then absolutely it has to be, look, you are -- you have been the stewards of this transition, but there must be a transition. That's important for Egypt. That's important for the entire region.
KING: Ben, often when you have a horrific incident like this, people spend the next day or the next days stepping back to try to understand what happened. What has happened here and what should we do about it. In the conversation the day after in Egypt, is there a lot of talk that will the military delay the elections?
WEDEMAN: No, there's no talk that the elections will be delayed. Of course, they're scheduled for November. What we are seeing is a lot of Egyptians sincerely concerned with this situation, with this violence, and when we were at this hospital today, the Coptic hospital, we did see Muslims, Muslim women, Muslim men, coming to give their condolences, to give their sympathy to the people because there is, in fact, a bedrock of national unity here in Egypt, but people see these events, this kind of violence and they're worried.
They are worried that there will be no winners if there's a sectarian conflict that Egyptians have lived together, Muslims and Christians. despite many incidents over the years. By and large they've lived in peace together and many people realize that the alternative to this current situation is much, much worse.
So there does seem to be a grassroots effort, despite the inabilities or abilities of the government and the military to smooth things over, to calm the situation down because people have seen in Iraq and Lebanon and elsewhere in the region the price of sectarian civil war is far higher than anybody wants to pay -- John.
KING: Perfectly put, perfectly put, no winners if this continues.
Ben Wedeman, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Fouad Ajami, thank you so much.
And let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @JohnkingCNN.
Up next Herman Cain is rising in the polls and the GOP presidential candidate also making headlines for his controversial plan he says will fix the U.S. economy. We have the "Raw Politics."
Plus was the U.S. killing of a U.S. foreign militant cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, was it legal? What the U.S. Justice Department memo says about the drone attack. Coming up.
First though, let's check in with Isha Sesay. ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: John, we have a special weeklong series, "BULLYING, IT STOPS HERE." Listen to what one student faces at school.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIDGET, STUDENT AT THE WHEATLEY SCHOOL: I would get comments like you're a slut, you're fat, you're a whore, you're disgusting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: No child should hear those words. Tonight the groundbreaking results of our study in bullying. Why bullies do what they do and what can be done to stop it. Just and much more when 360 continues.
KING: "Raw Politics" tonight. Herman Cain is a candidate on the rise. The GOP presidential hopeful is surging in recent polls. Could it be linked to his economic plan? What he calls the 999 plan?
The founder of Godfather's Pizza says the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, thousands of them now in New York and across the country, have got their anger all wrong. Listen to what Herman Cain said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know where it's going to go but they need to go away. Because in my opinion they're focusing on the wrong thing. Wall Street didn't pass a trillion- dollar stimulus bill that didn't work. Wall Street didn't create these economic policies that are not working. This was done by the White House. They need to be protesting the White House, not Wall Street.
Secondly, this is just taking class warfare to another level. That's all it is. Class warfare doesn't work. Although it will get some people to start to thinking in those terms, but they're protesting against the wrong entity. They didn't pass these ineffective failed policies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's the Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. So what does he think can be done to fix the U.S. economy? Cain claims his 999 plan is the answer. Here's how he touts the plan on his Web site.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAIN: Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery. The IRS has become the overseer of the American people.
In a Herman Cain administration, April 15th will no longer be a day to be dreaded. My 999 economic roads and jobs plan is a major step towards tearing the chains off the backs of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Here's the breakdown on the 999 plan. Mr. Cain wants a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent individual flat tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.
That's not all. Cain is calling for the end to the payroll tax and estate tax among other changes. His plan would bring in about $1.77 trillion. Right now our current tax system brings in more than that. At least $2.16 trillion. So that leaves about an 18 to 20 percent gap. And that's been met with some criticism on the right and a lot on the left.
Joining me now CNN political analyst Roland Martin and CNN contributor, editor of the conservative redstate.com, Erick Erickson.
Erick, let's start with the criticism on the right. Some of the toughest criticism has come from fellow conservatives who say not the way to go. Why?
ERICK ERICKSON, EDITOR IN CHIEF, REDSTATE.COM: Because if the Republicans were to pass the 999 plan, they would, in effect, be the party that introduced the national sales tax into the United States.
Now the Cain campaign says that this is -- this is phase 1-A and then 1-B headed to phase two which would be getting rid of the 16th Amendment, getting rid of the ability of Congress to enact an income tax into a fair tax. But you'd have to have two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, three-quarters of the states to get that done.
And a lot of conservatives are scratching their heads, saying, you know, conservatives are real good at stemming the tide of this. Are we going to introduce a national sales tax in addition to an income tax, in addition to a business tax? And then Republicans lose control of the Congress or the White House, it could go up from there.
KING: Roland, I'm not smart enough to say good idea or bad idea. But I do know this. If the federal government suddenly get 18 to 20 percent less money, meaning $1 in $5 essentially disappears, already we see these guys paralyzed dealing with spending and deficits and priorities. What would they do then?
ROLAND S. MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, John, here's what's interesting. Herman Cain talks about state's rights. If you enact his sales tax, that doesn't mean you -- you totally remove the sales taxes that you see right now in cities, counties and states. And so you're talking about his 9 percent sales tax plus what you're already paying in the states.
It's not like the state governments are going to say, oh, sure, Herman Cain, great, we'll just give more revenue away. He's not even calculating that particular aspect in there. But he keeps saying, oh, no, the numbers bear out. I have economists who looked it over. But then you say, well, who are they, but he won't release their names. And so how can he talk about being transparent if you can't even give us the names of the people who so-called vetted your plan. It makes no sense.
KING: You say the plan makes no sense. Roland, make sense of this. New Gallup numbers out tonight reflect what we've been seeing in some other recent polls. Let's take a look right here.
Cain has surged right there into the top tier. He's just under former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Is it time for people to stop thinking this is some weird anomaly?
MARTIN: No. Because remember Michele Bachmann surges, wins Ames, Iowa, straw poll, falls back. Rick Perry, comes in, hey, he could be the number one draft pick. He surges, debate, immigration stance, he falls back.
The person who's sitting in a perfect position is Mitt Romney because in all of these polls he's sitting at the top. Also this is the point I keep making. None of this stuff matters. 2007, then Senator Barack Obama was down 30 points to Senator Hillary Clinton at this point.
The only thing that matters is what takes place in Iowa come January 3rd, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada. And so all of this stuff right now is irrelevant. You still have to run. And it's a lot more time before any of that takes place.
KING: Erick, you often make the case, if you look at those polls, let's say, Romney, some are just below 30 percent, that means seven in 10 Republicans are looking at somebody other than their frontrunner. But when you see Cain now, the third insurgent -- Roland just went through it -- to make a bid for the top spot, doesn't it help Romney that the alternative to Romney keeps changing every couple of weeks?
ERICKSON: Very much so. I think Mitt Romney -- we're back to being his race to lose. And we (INAUDIBLE) if we think that it ever was his race to lose. You know a lot of these candidates don't have money either. Rick Perry's credit, he's got $15 million cash on hand apparently. Mitt Romney has much more than that, though.
To Roland's point, though, it's the state races and the state polling that matters right now. Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The national polling is largely irrelevant right now beyond those three states, maybe Nevada as well. And we'll see who lays out the ground game there. I'm not sure that Cain has laid the ground game in Iowa. He lost some staffers there. He lost his communications team.
ERICKSON: And a few others.
MARTIN: But also, John --
KING: Roland -- go ahead.
MARTIN: And also, John, what jumps out as really important as well is when you begin to break down part of the problem. Romney has an issue when it comes to health care. Governor Rick Perry has a problem when it comes to immigration. And so people are saying Michele Bachmann, can she hold it all together, Rick Santorum, is he more preacher as opposed to politician. Cain, really can you take him seriously?
And so at the end of the day, a campaign is all about finishing. You have to run the race. All this talk right now about who's up, who's down really is irrelevant. It really boils down to just like, you know, in sports, look, you can talk about somebody being a great potential pro player. Until you start playing the game what you did in college did not matter.
Once they start running and people start actually voting, that's really what counts. Right now it's like a beauty pageant.
KING: It is like a beauty pageant.
ERICKSON: We're in a marathon right now.
KING: Or Erick, let me make this point, though. The two guys at the top, if you look at the polls right now, Romney and Herman Cain, whether you agree or disagree, they're the two guys who have spent the most time talking specifics about the number-one issue facing voters which would be the economy.
KING: That has to have -- that has to have something to do with it. Cain is not just --
ERICKSON: Yes, you know --
KING: He's not just a repository.
ERICKSON: Right. Not only that, John, Herman Cain has been talking about this race in a way the other candidates haven't, including Mitt Romney to a degree. He's not running against Barack Obama so much as he's running for something. He has his plan, 999. You may like it, you may not. But people know about the plan as opposed to Mitt Romney's 57 points or -- Rick Perry doesn't have a plan yet.
Herman Cain is running for something. And people, doesn't matter whether they're Democrat or Republicans, historically people like to vote for someone, for something, not against someone. Barack Obama is still very popular. So he's got -- they've got to give somebody an alternative to vote for something as opposed to vote against Barack Obama.
MARTIN: And Erick, also, you know you don't need to appeal to 50 plus 1 percent. Right now it's about, can you pick up a 25 percent slice?
MARTIN: And so the GOP right now is fractured between, you know, your traditional folks, the economic folks, those -- you know, the people who are more libertarian, social conservatives. So everybody sort of has their own candidate. And so it all begins to shake out really once you get to November and December.
So right now all you need to do is appeal to 20 percent. Guess what? You'll be sitting in the top of polls.
KING: Then Happy New Year and Iowa votes.
Roland and Erick, thanks.
KING: Still ahead here, investigating "Fast and Furious." One Republican congressman says he's ready to call the attorney general to testify about that botched federal gun running operation. He wants to know who allowed illegal guns from Arizona to walk over the border to Mexico.
And painful words about a national epidemic. What our inside investigation uncovered about bullying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They physically abused me. Mentally abused me. Emotionally abused me. And I would -- I had thought to suicide in ninth grade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Coming up, bullying. It's happening even in the best of schools. Who are the victims and who are the bullies? Well, sometimes it's hard to tell. We'll take you inside our six-month look inside the roots of the national epidemic.
First, though, Isha Sesay here with a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, the head of the House Committee investigating "Operation Fast and Furious" says he's ready to serve U.S. Justice officials with subpoenas.
California Republican Darrell Issa says he wants to ask Attorney General Eric Holder when he knew about the botched operation, which allowed firearms sold illegally in Arizona to cross the border into Mexico in hopes of tracing them to drug cartels.
A Justice Department memo makes the case that the controversial killing of U.S. born militant cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki was legal. A senior U.S. official told CNN the memo determined that even though Al- Awlaki was a U.S. citizen his al Qaeda association made him a lawful target under congressional acts signed after 9/11.
The systems that control the U.S. military unmanned drone aircraft have been infected by a virus according to a defense official. No word on how the systems were infected, but the virus has now caused drone flights to be grounded.
Seven people including a 4-year-old child are recovering after they were rescued in waters off the Florida Keys. They had been stranded in the stormy waters for 20 hours. An 80-year-old woman drowned before rescuers could reach her.
John, take a look at this amazing video. It shows one of the famous Cornwall cliffs in southwest England crumbling then crashing more than 150 feet into the ocean. The cliffs have taken a battering from recent storms and rising tides. It really is just incredible. I mean, look at them.
SESAY: Yes, I know. When I read the story, I was struck by the fact that a local British newspaper quotes a local councilman as saying, these things the happen. Just don't sit under the cliffs.
KING: I'm glad he's low key. Mother nature never ceases to amaze.
KING: This is what we call a segue in the television business.
KING: Time now for the shot. We just showed you crumbling famous rocks, well, tonight we give you, squirrels, crashing the National League playoffs.
Look right here, apparently, they wanted in on the action as the Cardinals and the Phillies battle it out. Take a look, this little guy scampered on to the field in the bottom of the sixth inning on Friday.
That game in Philadelphia. Two days earlier, boom, this critter made a dash across home base. We think he was safe. We got it in slow-mo. Look at that. Not clear if it's the same squirrel or a copy cat. Next day, next day -- are ready, guys? Also in St. Louis, right there across the infield.
SESAY: I can only assume there's some kind of squirrel hot spot across the field or something.
KING: The one that was going out at the end was going straight to the beer stand. All right, don't go anywhere.
SESAY: I'm here.
KING: The squirrels, our beat 360 winners. It's our daily challenge to viewers a chance to show up the staff to come up with a better caption than the photo we post on the blog every day.
Tonight's photo, I love this, Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell shortly after exchanging marriage vows yesterday in London. Our staff winner tonight, he's been bragging about it all night long is Sean. His caption, her name was McGill and she called herself little, but everyone knew her as Nancy.
Sorry, Sean, even Isha didn't like that one. She's usually kinder than that. Our viewer winner, I love this, too, Phillip. His caption, wedding knight. He should get a drum roll or something.
SESAY: Something, but here's the thing. Doesn't Sean pick the winners?
KING: Wow. A little insight there. Look at that.
SESAY: I'm just saying. If Sean picks the winners and he's the winner.
KING: Because one of those voices in my head saying that Tom Foreman approved it.
SESAY: Sounds sketchy to me.
KING: Phillip, don't worry, despite the inside game being rigged your t-shirt is on the way.
KING: Much more serious news ahead here including a stunning look at the roots of bullying. The results of an important 360 study. Just how different are victims and their tormenters. For you parents who think it couldn't happening in your killed kid's school, well, just listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No matter what high school you go to, what age you are, what social group you're in, you've been bullied and you are a bully. You're never going to stop being bullied ever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: All this week on "360" we're taking an in depth look at an epidemic we've been reporting on for a year now, bullying in schools. We hear a lot about the problem, but what about the solutions?
In an effort to stop the bullying crisis, we set out to find how and where it starts. Who are today's bullies and what's driving their anger?
To learn more "360" partnered with two of the leading experts in the field and one very courageous school for a hard look at the roots of bullying. Here's Anderson now with some very surprising results.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would get comments like, you're a slut, you're fat, you're a whore, you're disgusting.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bridget is a junior at the Wheatley School on Long Island, New York. It's ranked as one of the top high schools in the entire nation where everyone graduates and 99 percent of kids go on to college. But like most schools it has a bullying problem.
(on camera): Is bullying a problem?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They physically abused me, mentally abused me, and emotionally abused me. I'll admit I had thoughts of suicide in ninth grade.
COOPER (voice-over): "360" teamed up with a group of sociologists for a six-month scientific pilot study at the Wheatley school. The goal, find out the prevalence of bullying and understand why it happens.
The results stunned all of us, but first, how we got them. Sociologist Robert Faris and Diane Thelmy designed a pilot study surveying more than 700 kids four separate times during the semester.
They were asked 28 specific questions like did a student at your school pick on you or do something mean to you. Did you pick on or do something mean to another student in your school?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want you to be as honest as possible.
COOPER: Kids were also given a roster of the entire school where every student had an I.D. number and they were asked to write down who did what. Their answers offer a glimpse into a world that most adults can't begin to comprehend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They told everyone I was gay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It couldn't help the pain I went there through.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Punched, kicked. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Depressed and isolated. I hate everyone at this school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can't do anything because bullying can't be stopped.
COOPER: Victims of bullying are never hard to find. It's the bullies themselves who have in the past have been so elusive to researchers. Why are they so aggressive? How do they choose their victims? Our study not only found them, but answered many of those questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I for years bullied a kid and made him feel bad. I feel terrible and I tried to stop myself from bullying.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will show her the mean mess she has had me battling on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I made fun of four students and said mean things about them. No consequences.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Teenagers are all insecure. We compensate by being mean and sizing ourselves up to other teenagers.
COOPER: The biggest shock? The study found that bullies or what the sociologists term aggressors, are often also victims. Dr. Faris says the aggressive behavior is part of what he calls social combat.
ROBERT FARIS, CO-AUTHER OF AC 360 BULLYING STUDY: We have found that social status and the school hierarchy really predicts both aggression and victimization. So when kids increase in their status, on average they tend to have a higher risk of victimization as well as a higher risk of becoming aggressive.
COOPER: We assembled a panel of students who were ranked by the researchers as either top aggressors, top victims or both at the same time.
(on camera): Do you think the lines are really drawn? I mean, do you think somebody is an aggressor and somebody is a victim or do you think it crosses over?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everyone is a bully and everyone's a victim.
COOPER: Everyone's a bully?
BRIDGET, STUDENT AT THE WHEATLEY SCHOOL: Like you have bullied, I've bullied, Josh has bullied, Andrew you bullied. Like whether you know it or not, you've bullied someone.
COOPER: Andrew, what do you -- how do you see yourself? Do you think you bullied? Do you think you're a victim? Where do you see yourself in all of this?
ANDREW, STUDENT AT THE WHEATLEY SCHOOL: You definitely do bully some people and at some state you do get bullied as well. It's definitely like both.
BRIDGET: No matter what high school you go to, what age you are, what social group you're in, you've been bullied and you are a bully. You are never going to stop being bullied ever.
COOPER (voice-over): Some of their experiences are heartbreaking. Josh says his two best friends turned on him in ninth grade to boost their own social status. The abuse got so bad he contemplated suicide.
(on camera): Did anyone know that you were having these thoughts and you were thinking about suicide?
JOSH, STUDENT AT THE WHEATLEY SCHOOL: No, I never told anyone.
COOPER: It's such a lonely feeling.
JOSH: It is and I felt betrayed. I felt -- I felt awful.
COOPER (voice-over): Bridget says she was tormented so much about her weight, she developed an eating disorder.
BRIDGET: It starts to build up and bad things start to happen. Whether you start cutting yourself, you kill yourself, you develop like an eating disorder, it's obsessive. It becomes obsessive.
COOPER: Despite their tragic stories, you might be surprised to learn that they weren't just ranked as victims.
(on camera): I'll give you envelopes. In each of the envelopes is your ranking. I'll ask you individually to open it up and take a look. And if you feel comfortable, tell us your results.
JOSH: I got top 5 percent of aggressor and victim.
COOPER: Does that surprise you to be in the top five aggressor group?
JOSH: This is interesting to find out this is what my school thinks of me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
BRIDGET: Jesus, I got top 5 percent of victims and top 20 percent of aggressors.
COOPER (voice-over): In fact, 56 percent of Wheatley students we surveyed were either aggressors, victims or both. The school district takes the issue very seriously, with anti-bullying programs that start in kindergarten and continue through senior year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something said in the hallway gets posted electronically.
COOPER: The Wheatley Principal Sean Feeney recognizes he has a problem on his hands. SEAN FEENEY, PRINCIPAL, THE WHEATLEY SCHOOL: Every high school has to deal with bullying, every high school has to deal with drugs and alcohol. This is not a sort of, well, can't do anything about it.
But you know, we don't want to be blind to the fact that just because we are in an absolutely wonderful school district, kids don't have a pass on those just because they're affluent and high achieving.
COOPER: Even in this school of affluent high achievers where parents are heavily involved, more than 80 percent of incidents were never reported to adults.
The results of this study in the suburb of New York mirror Faris' original study on this issue administered to thousands of teens in rural North Carolina. The geography, economic and racial demographics couldn't be more different and still --
FARIS: The patterns were still strikingly similar. These are quite different communities. What it suggests to us is that these kinds of behaviors arise in a wide range of schools across the country regardless of the particular community makeup.
COOPER: Meaning the intensity and causes of bullying at Wheatley are likely the same in high schools across America.
KING: Up next, more on the social combat your kids are probably facing at their school. It's a battle very few escape. Anderson sits down with the author of the study, Robert Faris who we just saw in Anderson's report and with bullying expert Rachel Simmons when we come back.
KING: Back now with more on our bullying study. The effects on victims are often devastating. It can lead to eating disorders, self- mutilation, even suicide. That's why it surprised us to learn that in many instances these same victims are bullies themselves.
Doctors call it a social combat, a constant battle through taunts, cyber attacks or physical abuse could be the top dog at school. To find out more, Anderson sat down with two leading experts on bullying.
Sociologist Robert Faris, the co-author of the 360 study, and Rachel Simmons, the author of the book "Odd Girl Out." Take a look.
COOPER: This whole notion of social combat, it kind of defies conventional wisdom. Explain what it means.
FARIS: You know, a lot of these aggressive behaviors are really rooted in the desire for status. It's about climbing these social hierarchies. Kids are doing mean things to each other and sometimes in quite cold blooded fashion.
So they're doing it online. It can be quite strategic. It is not necessarily always sort of emotional reactive kind of aggression that I think people are sort of used to --
COOPER: So it's not necessarily something that's coming out of their home life or family life or some emotional disturbance in their head. It is actually a response to where they are in the social order and they're trying to move up by putting somebody else down or by knocking somebody else down who is a little higher up than they are.
FARIS: Absolutely. I mean, we see both kinds and we do see that there are kids who have severe psychological issues and they do take it out on the vulnerable kids in school, the kids who are violated some sort of social code.
But the much more common in our research at least, the much more common pattern is this more tactical aggression that's occurring among kids who are quite popular. Not necessarily the most popular, but just right in the middle of the social hierarchy.
COOPER: And Rachel, you say challenging this notion of the schoolyard bully is important.
RACHEL SIMMONS, BULLYING EXPERT: It is because so much of Bob's research is about the fact that most of the bullying is psychological now. This idea of the guy who is kicking your butt and taking your lunch money is outdated.
So we need to understand that so much of this is indirect aggression, it's beneath the radar. There's a culture of victimization of day-to-day victimization that may not rise to the level of bullying, but that still is eroding the fabric of our schools.
COOPER: A culture of victimization.
SIMMONS: Right, a day-to-day thing. In other words, one of Bob's findings is that the research is showing there's so much aggression on a day-to-day basis. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's always an extreme situation, but every day a significant percentage of kids are engaging in aggression.
COOPER: And aggression and victimization it increases the high you get into the social order until a certain point. Explain that.
FARIS: So what we found was this interesting pattern where as kids are increasing in social status, both their aggressive behaviors and their victimization rates increase until they get very close to the top, say the 90th percentile, 95th percentile somewhere in there.
And then after that it begins to plummet. So there's certain, you know, a small number of kids who are kind of above the fray and who are not, you know, being picked on and not picking on kids, on average. COOPER: Some of that has to do with the age or the grade they're in. By 12th grade, you're finding less of that because kids are kind of focused on what's coming next.
FARIS: They're on the future. They're looking forward to college or jobs and whatnot. The high school status game starts to seem a little meaningless. It's unfortunate that other kids aren't seeing that earlier on because it's really tragic.
I mean, these kinds of behaviors, even these small incidents that we're talking about actually do have long-term consequences for victims. They increase their depression, their anxiety levels, they lose attachment to school and they become more marginalized.
So it does have tremendous effects on victims even though it may not seem -- it's so common it may not seem serious at the time, but a kind of constant erosion.
SIMMONS: It's also true that this behavior peaks around eighth grade, which I think you found and not so important to talk about because an eighth grader is so desperate to fit in developmentally.
Middle school is a time when you're obsessed with being accepted. So we've got to take those developmental norms into account when we think about our interventions.
COOPER: Something else that particularly interested you was about gender that girls, they are just as aggressive?
SIMMONS: I think girls get the short end of the stick here, Anderson. I mean, they are bullied more, they're harassed more. You found that girls harass girls more.
Boys harass girls more. I don't think there's a single statistic other than physical and verbal aggression where girls don't come out ahead at the leaders of the pack in terms of victimization.
COOPER: So in terms of victimization, but also in terms of bullying or just the victimization?
SIMMONS: Bullying as well. We're also finding that girls cyber bully too more than boys. I think some of this comes down to the fact that when we talk about cyber bullying, if you think about girls and what they do on the playground, they talk.
And boys tend to play games. That's the same thing that happens online. When girls go online they talk and that leads to more gossip and more bullying.
COOPER: Bob, this study was based on a much larger study you had done in a very different area, different kinds of schools than Wheatley, yet the results were similar.
FARIS: I mean, that's amazing to me. You know, I kind of thought these were general processes, but it was so great to see what we are talking about is something that's not typical of just one community or one type of school.
That this is a very common behavior that we see in rural North Carolina, we see it in rich, you know, affluent suburbs of Long Island. So it means that we do need to be having a national conversation about it.
COOPER: Bob and Rachel, thanks.
KING: This special study is part of our joint effort with Facebook and our corporate cousins, the Cartoon Network and Time Incorporated. We'll have more reports about the study each night this week.
Be sure to join Anderson for an encore presentation of his town hall, "Bullying: It Stops Here." That's this Friday, October 14th at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
Still ahead, new details of the last moments of the former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the official cause of death when 360 continues.
KING: Let's get the latest now on some other important stories. Isha Sesay joins us again with a "360 News and Business Bulletin."
SESAY: John, we now have the final cause of death for Apple founder Steve Jobs. Public health officials in California report that Jobs died of a respiratory failure brought on by a pancreatic tumor. Jobs died Wednesday at his home in Palo Alto. Apple employees say they'll celebrate his life on October 19th.
There's harsh criticism from Republicans. The "Occupy Wall Street" movement in New York is still growing. Organizers declared today, "Kids Speak Out Day." Tomorrow, they'll take their protests up town with a march on the homes of several business leaders.
Meantime, big gains on Wall Street today. The Dow added 330 points. The S&P and Nasdaq also rose sharply. Driving the surge new hopes for a solution to the Euro zone debt crisis.
Take a look at this. This is one very expensive ride. The steam-powered car was built in France in 1884 and just sold at auction for a whopping $4.6 million. Think of the money you'll save on gas. It's fuelled by coal and bits of paper and takes half hour to build up enough steam to run -- John.
KING: I want one. Isha, take care. That does it for this edition of "360." We'll see you again at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts now.