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Sweetheart Deal with Taxpayer Money?; Bracing for a Fight over Character?

Aired December 8, 2011 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Erin, thanks very much. Good evening, everyone.

We begin tonight "Keeping Them Honest" with a 360 special investigation. Smallpox was eradicated from the entire world back in 1980. Even if it ever came back the federal government still keeps enough vaccine for every single person in the United States. So why is it that the federal government is spending at least $432 million to develop a new smallpox drug, not a vaccine?

A drug that incidentally one of the world's leading smallpox experts says has not been proven to work. Could it be because the company just awarded the contract has some pretty deep ties with the White House? And why is it that the company with deep ties to the White House, the company that just got a big contract for a drug that's not been proven yet, why is it going to make an 85 percent profit on its government contract?

Coming up, we're going to talk with a member of the company's board of directors, a familiar face here at CNN. We first got wind of this story in the "Los Angeles Times" but since then we've learned a lot more.

Investigator Drew Griffin is "Keeping Them Honest."


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's just another good business deal for billionaire investor and big-time Democratic political supporter, Ron Perelman. This major political contributor to both parties but particular friend of the Obama White House owns the controlling shares in a company called Siga Technologies, and Siga this year won a sweet $432 million no-bid contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that even a Democrat says is a little bit too sweet to ignore.

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), CHAIR, SUBCOMMITTEE ON CONTRACTING OVERSIGHT: How did this become a no-bid contract? Was it justified as a no-bid contract? Overall I think we need to begin asking some policy questions about the kind of money we're spending on developing drugs where the United States government is the only customer.

GRIFFIN: Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill is calling for an investigation. Capitol Hill Republicans have already launched their own.

REP. SAM GRACES (R), CHAIR, SMALL BUSINESS COMMITTEE: The fact that the regular procurement process wasn't followed. So that's something we definitely know. So there's a lot of -- there's a lot of political connection there.

GRIFFIN: First a little background. During the Bush administration and following 9/11, the idea of terrorists using bio- weapons became a real concern. Among the threats, smallpox. It hasn't been a threat in decades, and even if it did return, the U.S. still has enough vaccine for everyone in the country.

But what to do if terrorists somehow were able to release the smallpox virus before people could be vaccinated?

Siga, the company controlled by Ron Perelman, says it now has a drug for that. A drug developed with a lot of taxpayer money and government help. But one of the world's leading smallpox experts, Dr. DA Henderson, says Siga 's drug simply may not work.

DR. D.A. HENDERSON, CENTER FOR BIOSECURITY, UNIV. OF PITTSBURGH MEDICAL CENTER: The question is what will it do in the way of treating a patient who's had a fever and now has a funny rash that could be smallpox. Will it treat the disease? I've not seen the data that suggests it will.

GRIFFIN: That's mainly because you can't test the drug on humans without infecting them first. Siga insists it has cured infected monkeys. But this is a story about contracts. And when the Siga contract was being questioned last year, Siga placed another major Democratic political supporter on its board of directors, Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees Union International, a public workers union that put its entire weight in money behind presidential candidate Barack Obama, then used its political weight and money behind the president's push for universal health care.

Stern was named to the board at Siga around the same time another company called Chimerix said it too had a smallpox drug. Stern, his aide told CNN, was unavailable for comment. In fact Chimerix not only said it had a drug but it was and is a small business. By the Department of Health and Human Services' own requirement, the contract was supposed to go to a small business.

That's when the Department of Health and Human Services did something pretty interesting. The government changed the terms of the bidding, making sure any company, even large ones like Siga, could go after the contract. Then Health and Human Services determined that Siga was the only bidder that actually qualified.

(On camera): Do you feel, because some very large Democratic supporters of the White House, Ron Perelman and Andy Stern are involved with that company that this has the impression of a political payoff?

MCCASKILL: I'm not going to comment about people drawing conclusions about the appearances of this contract. I want to get into the facts.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): According to documents obtained by CNN, that's not the only question to be asked. Because internal documents reveal a profit return that one Health and Human Services official called outrageous.

How much? On March 18th of this year, a contracting offer questions Siga 's return on investment, which he writes is an overwhelming 180 percent. He adds, "I know you won't find a contracting officer in government who would sign a three-digit profit percentage." A half hour later, another HHS official, a doctor, writes back saying he fully concurs that 180 percent is outrageous and advises that considering all the money taxpayers have already invested in developing the drug, well, the U.S. government should get a major discount.

But that's not what happened. Instead, Siga 's CEO, a man named Eric Rose, complained in writing to the HHS contract officer about the government's approach to profit and asked that the negotiator be replaced by a more senior official.

And that is exactly what happened.

(On camera): So what did the White House say? Not one thing. They told us to get any answers we wanted from Health and Human Services, the agency that granted the contract. And guess what we found here?

Despite dozens of communication professionals on staff, not a single one would come out and talk to us.

(Voice-over): Instead we got a statement saying the contract was awarded, quote, "after a rigorous market analysis determined that Siga was the only known company in the world with the capability to produce the required antiviral drug within the required time frame."

As for that huge return on investment, HHS told us, quoting again, "We can't get into the details, but the final rates ended up well within industry standards." HHS even told us that the change in negotiators actually resulted in substantial savings for the U.S. government.

SIGA technologies got back to us in writing, telling us, "The negotiations and decision to award the contract were handled solely by career procurement officials at HHS who negotiated a fair and reasonable price. And that never at any time was any elected or political official asked to intervene in the procurement process by Siga or anyone affiliated with the company.

Republicans aren't buying that just yet.

GRAVES: You certainly can't ignore the political connections between the company and the administration.

(END VIDEOTAPE) GRIFFIN: And in a postscript to this story, Anderson, from the documents that we have seen, the CEO and the CFO included in this contract bonuses for themselves of $200,000 to $225,000.

COOPER: Drew, I want to bring in our national security contributor, Fran Townsend. Fran is here not in her usual role tonight but as a spokeswoman for Siga Technologies. She's on the Siga board of directors works full time for MacAndrews & Forbes, a company that's owned by Ron Perelman.

Fran, thanks for being with us. You just heard the reporting. How do you respond?

FRAN TOWNSEND, MEMBER OF SIGA BOARD OF DIRECTORS: I'm glad we're calling it "Keeping Them Honest" because I -- there are so many factual inaccuracies in the story I kind of don't know where to start.

So, for example, the contract was put out in a competitive process and frankly it was clear that the government wanted it to be a competitive process. It was awarded to Siga, as Drew's package reports, and it was set aside because of the small business concern. They then went out -- the government then goes out with what's called a sources sought notice, looking for competition. The only people who responded is Chimerix.

Chimerix ultimately is not competitive in this process because the scientist who discovers their drug admits in an application to NIH which Siga provided to Drew that the drug, their smallpox antiviral, causes toxicity in the gastrointestinal tract, so there is no competition. The government wants it -- and when the government finally awards the sole source contract to the only company that actually has a smallpox antiviral, what do they do?

They also give a research and development grant to Chimerix, saying that they want to encourage competition and they don't give the award of the contract for the entire requirement. That is another 12 million doses of smallpox antiviral. They decide they're not going to decide that and they're going to give Chimerix an opportunity to fix their drug so they can be competitive.

And so the government has bent over backwards to try and balance the need for an antiviral against competition.

And look, you know, Anderson, I sat in the seat when I was at the White House. These are difficult decisions. But when what you're trying to balance is the safety of the American people and competition, look, I think the board (ph) did the right thing and they did -- they did make an award that allows them to stockpile some, while allowing a competitor the opportunity and they gave them the money to go back and try and fix the problem with their antiviral.


GRIFFIN: I want to just point out that both these government oversight committees on the Hill, on the House, are calling these no- bid contracts. That's the language that they are looking into and asking why it appears that the contract negotiations were that way. But Fran --

COOPER: And you deny it. You're saying it was not a no-bid contract.

TOWNSEND: Right. It ultimately was, Anderson, a sole source contract but because there was nobody to compete. It was not a question of they directed it to Siga. The fact of the matter was there was nobody with a smallpox antiviral that could meet the government's standards. They -- Siga had gone through testing in the animal as it's reported with monkeys. There are four cases of what's called compassionate use where they ST-246 drug, the Siga drug, was used against humans who were infected with a -- with an orthopoxvirus who were cured.

So there's substantial evidence in this case that this smallpox antiviral is effective and in fact the secretary of HHS has found that it's likely to meet FDA approval and we're in the process of going through that.

GRIFFIN: Fran, it's likely to, but in the company's own filings it says, look, we don't know if it works and we don't know if it's safe. And that's why only the U.S. government is buying this right now because it has no commercial value.

TOWNSEND: Well -- that's right. But what it requires for the government to have even purchased the amount in the awarded contract, the secretary had to make a finding that based on what they know so far between the monkey -- the animal testing and the compassionate use cases, it was likely to receive FDA approval.

And by the way, what the piece doesn't mention is the FDA advisory committee who are looking at this very issue in the animal rule will have an open and public hearing that Drew can attend on December 14th.

COOPER: But why would a guy like Andy Stern who has all these political connections, why would he be on the board of this thing? I mean why would you bring in somebody like that unless it was to get influence with the White House?

TOWNSEND: You know what, Anderson, this is a board that's got doctors, it's got people with public experience, it's got -- it's a very diverse board. But the fact of the matter is this may be the only thing in Washington that the Republicans and Democrats agree on.

Just this week the underlying enabling legislation that gives the government the authority to purchase medical counter measures of can which the smallpox antiviral is one, actually passed -- that legislation passed the House unanimously.

COOPER: I'm just not sure what --

TOWNSEND: And nothing passed unanimously.

COOPER: What the company gets from having a high-level guy who worked at a big union that backed Obama other than that influence. I'm not sure what he brings to the table.

TOWNSEND: Anderson, I can tell you not Ronald Perelman, not Andy Stern, no member of the board was involved in these contract negotiations and never contacted anybody in the government about this contract. The contract negotiations were handled by career procurement officials and the management of Siga.

GRIFFIN: Fran, what does this say about how Washington works, though? Because from the outside looking in, we've got very politically connected people to the White House and we have you yourself who was in the White House drawing up and drafting this very legislation that you are now outside of the White House at a private company bidding on. People tell me this is the way that Washington works both cynically and not so cynically.

TOWNSEND: Well, this is fabulous. I mean if I'm part of the Washington revolving door, Drew, I don't -- it doesn't work very well. I went into the federal government, was a career public servant for 24 years. I came out and presumably Siga wanted me on the board for the same reason CNN hired me and that is because of my expertise in national security and bio-defense areas.

There's nothing improper about that. And in fact, you know, if you look at any major defense board today, look at Lockheed, look at Northrop Grumman or Boeing, every one of them have men who are retired four-star generals and admirals who are on those boards. Why? Because those public companies want the expertise of retired public officials. And I don't see anybody questioning the appropriateness of that.

GRIFFIN: Well, actually we have on this show, and the watchdogs of government say this is the very problem, Anderson, with a lot of these contracts revolving doors. I mean we have the government buying a drug that they can't sell to anybody else. This company can't sell to anybody else.

COOPER: What's the next step in the process for this?

TOWNSEND: Well, the FDA Advisory Committee meets next week in this public hearing. Chimerix will be at it. If Chimerix can get their drug together, they can compete for it. They will look at the animal rule and the testing that's been -- that's gone on. And by the way, we talk about $433 million contract. If you look at the contract, you will see there are a number of milestones that the Siga as a company and the drug, SD-246, must meet in order to get payments along the way. This is not a guaranteed -- $433 million contract.

GRIFFIN: We looked at the contract. Most of what we got was redacted. I must be honest with you.

Let me ask you really quickly about the profit margins. Are the profit margins accurate and is that too much for a government contract?

TOWNSEND: The profit margins that are reported are not accurate because of course what they did -- what was publicly available was take the 1.7 million doses and divide it into the $433 million on the contract which doesn't account for, by the way, the government required another 300,000 doses. It required pediatric testing for pediatric doses. It want -- requires a warm production capability so that you can produce more.

GRIFFIN: So what is the profit?

TOWNSEND: The profit is competitively confidential and it's been found by the government to be so, and so I'm not at liberty to say.

COOPER: But as you're saying it's not the --


TOWNSEND: But it is -- by the way, we provided you, Drew, with a list of drugs and so you can see -- even if you take the number that's out there publicly which is higher than is accurate and you look against orphan drugs and other drugs purchased by the government, it is substantially lower.

And in the end, this is about value. And so I never got the smallpox vaccine because I am not able to because of my health and I would need an antiviral. And if you're somebody who requires an antiviral, by the way, many people who did get the vaccine, it's no longer good, you would need it.

The cost of it is fair and reasonable. And it's funny, the quotes from HHS officials about outrageous, I have to believe though I've never seen them were early in the process because they were very aggressive in the way that they negotiated this contract.

COOPER: You can look at the full statement from the company, from Siga, on our Web site.

Fran, I appreciate you being on, Drew Griffin, as well.

Again, you can check it out at the Web site.

Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook, Google Plus, add us to your circles, follow me on Twitter @AndersonCooper. I'll be tweeting tonight.

Up next, opponents take aim at Newt Gingrich on policy and on his personal life. Are they clean hits or below the belt? We're going to look at his record and how it may affect his chances at the nomination and beyond.

James Carville is going to join us in a moment.

Also the latest after another deadly shooting at Virginia Tech University where that rampage four years ago took dozens of lived.

Let's also check in tonight with Isha Sesay -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, Jerry Sandusky makes bail and his wife is speaking out. Stay tuned to find out what she's saying about the sex abuse allegations now being leveled against her husband by 10 accusers. That and much more when 360 continues.


COOPER: "Raw Politics" tonight. No holds barred. Mitt Romney today unloaded on rising opponent Newt Gingrich. He unleashed a number of surrogates and supporters who lit into Gingrich's changing policy positions over the years. Rick Perry also took some shots as well today on that subject but it's Governor Romney's apparent attack on Gingrich's turbulent personal life that's getting the most buzz. Take a look.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've been married to the same woman for 25 -- excuse me, I get in trouble. For 42 years. I've been in the same church my entire life. I worked at one company, Bain, for 25 years and I left that to go off and help save the Olympic Games.

If I'm president of the United States, I will be true to my family, to my faith and to our country and I will never apologize for the United States of America.


COOPER: Romney, married once, the comparison with Gingrich is implied but it's pretty hard to ignore. It's no secret that Gingrich is on his third marriage or that he was having an affair with the woman who would become his third wife while pushing for Bill Clinton's impeachment for lying about his fidelity.

He actually devoted a section of his Web site to it, title, quote, "Extramarital Affair during Clinton Impeachment." In a moment our political panel on what Mitt Romney hopes to gain by going on the attack and what Newt Gingrich stands to lose.

But first, the background from Tom Foreman.



TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Newt Gingrich's private life has long been seen as an Achilles heel for the Republican fire brand. Strongly associated with the conservative base, he clearly relished that role when President Bill Clinton was caught having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and trying to hide it from investigators.

Gingrich called Mr. Clinton's actions --

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: The most systematic, deliberate obstruction of justice cover-up in an effort to avoid the truth we have ever seen in American history.

FOREMAN: Later, however, Gingrich's own personal issues came to light. Married three times, he was famously in the process of divorcing his first wife, Jackie, while she was recovering from cancer. The couple had two daughters. The split reportedly bitter and contentious.

He was married to his second wife, Mary Ann, for close to 19 years. They separated at one point, reconciled, but in the end that ended badly, too, with the revelation that Gingrich was having an affair with an aide who was some 20 years younger.

Moreover, that relationship was secretly under way even as he pushed for the president's impeachment in relation to the Lewinsky affair. He later suggested to the Christian Broadcasting Network this and other affairs were the outgrowth of overwork.

GINGRICH: There's no question that at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country that I worked far to hard and the things happened in my life that were not appropriate.

FOREMAN: He eventually married that former aide, his third and current wife Callista. They have been together for 11 years now and he has made some seemingly large accommodations to keep the union strong. He was raised Lutheran, was Baptist for years, but became a Catholic for her.

(On camera): The question is, has his troubled personal past been converted into the kind of history that conservative voters can forget or forgive?

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Let's dig deeper now with Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Also Democratic strategist James Carville.

So Ralph, how vulnerable do you think Newt Gingrich is on the issue of personal character particularly in light of Romney's new ad highlighting his own status as a family man.

RALPH REED, CHAIRMAN, FAITH AND FREEDOM COALITION: Well, you know, Anderson, this is going to be litigated during the course of the campaign. You know, Newt Gingrich is -- this is not his first rodeo. He knew that going in. Memories tend to be pretty short, but when he got in earlier this year, he addressed a lot of these issues.

He said that the mistakes that he made were inappropriate. He made it very clear that he had repented of those past mistakes. He's converted and become a very devout Roman Catholic. He's in a very devout and deep and loving marriage with his wife Callista. He's never been closer to his two daughters. I'm certainly not going to pass judgment on him, I'm not his judge. That's between him and the Good Lord and his family.

But I will tell you this, I think voters are fair-minded and I think they're going to look at the issues of his past, they're going to weigh it in terms of his leadership attributes, his policy substance, and look, at the risk of stating the obvious, he wouldn't have surged to the top of all these polls if voters didn't think he had something to offer.

COOPER: James, what do you think? I mean surging and at this point in -- you know before caucuses or primaries is one thing, general election is another. Is character a winning issue for Mitt Romney?

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Boy, he's got it -- look, he's been stuck at a number for so long and everybody is coming up and they've got three weeks to go. Of course he's got to do something than just to sit there, he's getting ready to lose.

Look, Gingrich has an excuse, he loved his country so much. You know if people want to buy that, that's their business. I can't -- I'm not a Republican. It's kind of weird to me. But if people want to believe that he did that out of love of country because he was working too hard, that doesn't -- that doesn't fit in with my view of life, but again, I'm a Democrat. So maybe we look at the world differently.

COOPER: Ralph, Gingrich has said he doesn't plan to go negative. It's been possible for him in debates not to kind of get into personal attacks or attacking other candidates because he hasn't been a top tier candidate. Everybody is now be gunning for him. Do you think -- does he hold up to that?

REED: Look, I think anybody who's underestimating Newt Gingrich is making a big mistake. You know, this is somebody who in 1994 pulled off something that nobody thought was possible. Republicans gained control of the House for the first time since -- in 40 years. They passed the first balanced budget since 1968. They had the most sweeping reform of a major social welfare program -- welfare, since the Great Depression and the new deal.

They had the deepest and broadest tax cuts since the Reagan era. This was cataclysmic. And, you know, I think that Romney -- you know, I don't generally offer unsolicited advice to candidates or campaigns, but I think this is -- it's more likely to be played out, Anderson, in terms of their differences on issues, of which there are a number, and who is the best leader.

I don't think that it's going to be possible to defeat Newt Gingrich by saying he's disqualified from being president because he's been married before. And again, 44 percent of the Republican voters are going to be evangelicals and they voted for Ronald Reagan, the first divorced man to ever sit in the oval office, against Jimmy Carter, who was a born-again evangelical.

Why? Because they agreed with Reagan on the issues. They believed he was uniquely qualified to lead.

COOPER: James, I mean there are some Democrats, to Ralph's point, who have been saying they relish going up against Newt Gingrich. Are they underestimating him?

CARVILLE: You know, I don't know. And certainly he's made an interesting thing having Mr. Boaten say that he would have him as secretary of state. I'm sure that Democrats and Romney are going to look at Mr. Boaten's history.

Something tells me that we're only in about the third inning here in terms of what we're going to find out about Speaker Gingrich. I don't think that we're through here. I think there's a lot more to go. I think Romney has no choice but to do this. He's been stuck at 22 percent forever. He's got to mix this thing up.

The Iowa caucus is like January the 3rd. That's like three weeks away. And he's got to go long here and I think he's starting to do that. And I think we're going to see a lot more of that in the next three weeks here.

COOPER: James, isn't Newt Gingrich pretty much a known quantity? I mean isn't pretty -- he's been under the microscope before, though not at a presidential level.


COOPER: But everything -- I mean you think there's more to it to emerge?

CARVILLE: I think -- I think he was under like a microscope in a ninth grade science class. I think he's getting ready to get under an electron microscope here. And I think -- like I say, I think we -- I think more will emerge. I think -- a lot of things that people will find out.

Now they may discard him. Look, it's obvious these Republicans -- it's obvious Ralph don't want to be for Romney, he wants to be for Gingrich, it's pretty clear, and it's pretty clear that that's the way a lot of them feel. And it's their party and they're certainly entitled to nominate who they want.

That's what -- you know, and it seems to me they're going to great lengths not to nominate Mitt Romney, so it's a very fascinating, interesting cycle to me.

COOPER: We got to leave it there. But Ralph, just because James intimated who you're supporting, are you supporting somebody at this point?

REED: Well, just -- just to be clear, I'm not endorsing anybody or supporting anybody, I just said as an empirical analytical matter, I just wouldn't underestimate Newt Gingrich.

COOPER: All right, Ralph Reed, James Carville, gentlemen, thank you. Interesting.

Up next, fear and chaos at Virginia Tech. Four years after the worst mass shooting in American history, another deadly shooting. We're going to have the late developments from campus in a live report.

Also ahead tonight Iranian TV showing off what they say is a U.S. stealth drone that went down Iran last week. Is it the real deal? New details ahead.


COOPER: For the second time in four years, gunshots echoed across Virginia Tech University and students hunkered down taking cover from a gunman.

He shot and killed a campus policeman as the officer was conducting a traffic stop. Walked right up to him and shot him. The campus went on lockdown as authorities searched for the killer.

Then in a parking lot near the campus duck pond, a second body was found. Early this evening, authorities have said the threat no longer existed.

On the campus where four years ago a student went on a shooting rampage that took 33 lives, as you can imagine, a lot of fears are being revisited.

Tonight joining us from the campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, CNN's Athena Jones. Athena, why do authorities now believe the threat has ended?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, investigators say they believe they have located the person responsible for the shooting. They are not getting into any specifics.

During our press conference a little while ago, they said you can read between the lines. What are they talking about is there were two people found dead. You have this Virginia Tech campus police officer and the second man who was found dead a short time later in another parking lot a little ways away.

That person was found with a weapon nearby, but police aren't saying anything about the weapon. They're also not identifying either that second victim or the second man found dead or the Virginia Tech police officer except to say he was a four-year veteran of the police force.

They have also said that the motive of this shooter is still unclear, so still a lot of details to emerge.

COOPER: So just to be clear, the police won't confirm or deny questions about the second body that was found or say more than they, quote, "located the shooter." The intimation being that second body could be the shooter.

JONES: Right. And what most interesting about that press conference was that you had one of the officers saying, you can read between the lines here. You have that second man found dead, a weapon was found nearby, but since they're not saying anything specific about identifying that victim, we'll have to wait and hear more as the next coming days come along.

COOPER: All right, it was interesting. Several school officials were in Washington today for a hearing on their response to the shooting at Virginia Tech back in 2007. We've heard that the response on today's threat was a lot swifter, more effective. What's the feeling on campus, the mood on campus now?

JONES: Well, certainly, as you say, you had today the head of the campus police and the Emergency Management director appealing this $55,000 fine that had been imposed by the Department of Education who said last time they failed to notify the students and faculty quickly enough.

Today, we had a chance to speak with some students. The campus was alerted through e-mails, through postings on the Virginia Tech website and through tweets as well. And so people were kept abreast all throughout the events today so certainly people here would argue that it went a lot better than it did four years ago -- Anderson.

COOPER: Athena Jones, thank you. Appreciate it. Let's check some other stories we are following. Isha is back with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Isha.

ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Iranian TV has aired images of what it says is a U.S. stealth drone that went down last week. One U.S. official says there's no reason to believe it's a fake, but another official is skeptical about how the drone could have remained intact since it's believed it crashed from a high altitude.

Attorney General Eric Holder in the hot seat over his handling of operation "Fast and Furious." At a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner said, quote, "heads should roll." The operation allowed illegally bought guns to get into the hands of Mexican gun cartels.

The former CEO of failed broker MF Global says he doesn't know what happened to $1.2 billion of its customers' money. At a House committee hearing, Jon Corzine apologized to, quote, "all those affected." Anderson, the investigation goes on.

COOPER: All right, Isha. Appreciate it. We'll check back with you a little later.

Still ahead, "Crime and Punishment." New details we've learned in the last 24 hours about the 20-year-old man accused of killing a 7- year-old girl in Georgia. His family speaking out and so some of his neighbors.

Also ahead tonight, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky made bail today. He's back at home under house arrest. Tonight, his wife is speaking out about the child sex abuse charges he's facing.


COOPER: "Crime and Punishment" tonight. The 20-year-old man accused of killing a 7-year-old Georgia girl is being held without bond and we are learning more about him.

His name, Ryan Brunn. He was arrested yesterday at the apartment complex where the little girl lived and where her body was found Monday in a trash compactor. She had been missing for three days.

Authorities say she was beaten, stabbed, sexually abused. According to our source close to the investigation, her mouth was duct taped. Her hands and feet bound with plastic ties.

A horrifying crime that her family and neighbors were trying to absorb when the second shock hit. The man now charged with the murder of someone who lived and worked among them, a new neighbor who moved in just weeks ago. Gary Tuchman reports.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His hands shackled, wearing an orange jumpsuit and a bulletproof vest. Ryan Brunn walked into a packed Georgia courtroom charged with the murder of little Jorelys Rivera.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You understand what you're charged. Two offenses, one is murder and the other is a false statement.

TUCHMANN: Brunn appeared shocked by the number of journalists in the courtroom. So much so, he had to be warned by a deputy to be attention to the judge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How old are you?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How far did you go in school?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you read and write?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you under the influence of any alcohol or drug at this time.

TUCHMAN: Just last month, Brunn started working as a maintenance man at the apartment complex where Jorelys was sexually assaulted, stabbed, beaten and killed.

NANCY HUDGINS, VICTIM'S NEIGHBOR: He'd go around picking up trash from other places around the park and everything else.

CONNOR BRUNN, SUSPECT'S BROTHER: Just moved there about three or four weeks ago.

TUCHMAN: According to his Facebook page, Brunn is originally from Brooklyn, New Work. He seemed to be looking forward to starting his new job in Canton, Georgia. New job, apartment, life coming soon he wrote in October. A post from November reads today is moving day. Not ready to go, but I got to.

VERNON KEENAN, DIRECTOR, GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Brunn was well known in the apartment complex because he was employed there. To the extent that he is known to the family of the child, I do not know.

TUCHMAN: Neighbor, Nancy Hudgins said she did not notice Brunn hanging around other kids and that he was quiet and kept mostly to himself.

HUDGINS: He had just moved in. He's got his girlfriend and stuff and I didn't see his girlfriend out with him or anything that way.

TUCHMAN: Brunn took part in the search for Jorelys, but Hudgins confided Brunn confided he didn't want police to go through his apartment, an apartment that overlooks the dumpster where Jorelys' body was eventually found.

HUDGINS: He was kind of scared because he had beer bottles and he was underage drinking. He thought he might get in trouble.

TUCHMAN: But Brunn soon had much more to be worried about.

BRUNN: Yes, he was very scared. He didn't know what to think because he's been questioned for the last 14 hours and whatnot. He just doesn't know. He's never been arrested before. He's never went to jail, never been in the back of a cop car, he's just been a good kid.

TUCHMAN: Investigators say Brunn has no criminal record that they know of, but they're still examining his past.

KEENAN: We have sent agents to other states, to another state and also to other counties and we will -- we are going to backtrack all of his activities and make a determination if he has been involved in other crimes.

TUCHMAN: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has yet to disclose exactly what evidence led them to arrest Brunn. Brunn's brother says he didn't do it.

BRUNN: He wouldn't touch a girl like that. He would never do something like that. Just like -- it's just all bogus.

TUCHMAN: But authorities say they are very confident they have their man.


TUCHMAN: Ryan Brunn is in jail tonight in solitary confinement. He's expected to return to court next month for his arraignment. The district attorney here hasn't made a decision yet, but there's a very high likelihood this will ultimately be a death penalty case.

You know, the city of Canton is very small. It's charming, it's picturesque. It's 45 miles north of Atlanta. This is where you come to get away from crime. But the crime, and a horrible crime, has come here -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Gary, appreciate the reporting tonight. Such a tragedy. Let's dig deeper now.

I'm joined by Mary Ellen O'Toole, a former FBI profiler, author of "Dangerous Instincts, How Gut Feelings Betray Us." This guy, Ryan Brunn, is only accused of the murder and hasn't been convicted of it.

If he did in fact kill this little girl and afterwards participate in the search for her you call that injecting yourself into the case. How so?

MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, he's injected himself into the search for the victim and that's a very high-risk thing to do. It's high-risk behavior.

We didn't see it a lot in the FBI as a profiler, but it does happen. It generally happens for several reasons. One of them -- one of those reasons includes it's thrilling and exciting to know that you're looking for the victim.

And the only one that knows where she is, is you. Also it's a great way to monitor the investigation and it does happen in these kinds of cases.

COOPER: Do people think it also going to obviously help them cover their tracks or you know, make them look not guilty if they're helping search for her?

O'TOOLE: It can be a number of motives. It can also show -- look, I'm helping, I'm trying to participate, I'm a member of the community. But I think the motives tend to be a lot more self-serving than trying to look altruistic to the community.

COOPER: The fact this little girl was killed in the way she was, I mean, raped, beaten, stabbed before her body was just tossed in the trash compactor right outside this guy's window, what does it tell you about his process, his thinking?

O'TOOLE: It's suggesting right now a couple of things, and I'd want to look at the order in which the homicide and the sexual assault occurred. The fact that he put her in a dumpster could mean that that's how he sees her, and it's very tragic to say.

He could see her as garbage. The other thing, however, is that he was interrupted somehow and he had to dispose of the body very quickly. So right now, we're not sure.

The medical examiner when they finish their report, they will be able to give us more specific information about the body disposal and then it will become easier to start considering one motive as opposed to another.

COOPER: Georgia investigators say they are confident that he is the killer and the murder was planned and calculated. If it was planned and calculated, though, it just seems such an obvious place -- I mean, to dispose of a body right outside your window seems not very calculated at all.

O'TOOLE: And it doesn't mean that these kinds of offenders are smart and calculating from beginning until the end. They can have a part of the scene that shows a lot of preplanning and then another part that seems almost stupid.

But if you dispose of a body right outside your window, it certainly allows you to monitor whether or not and when the victim is recovered and who is searching around the area. And if you have the opportunity, you may even be able to go in there and move the body a second time.

COOPER: Again, it's just so disturbing. Mary Ellen O'Toole, I appreciate your expertise. Thank you.

O'TOOLE: You're very welcome.

COOPER: Up next tonight, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky out of jail tonight as we said after being accused of new child sex charges. Now his wife is speaking out about the allegations. We'll tell you about that.

And a new lawsuit filed against Syracuse's associate basketball coach, Bernie Fine.

Later, Alec Baldwin kicked off an airline. You heard about that. The whole bizarre incident lands on "The Ridiculist."


COOPER: Following a number of other stories tonight. Let's check with Isha again in the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.

SESAY: Anderson, Jerry Sandusky is out of jail tonight after posting a $250,000 bail. The former Penn State assistant football coach was arrested yesterday on new child sex abuse charges.

Sandusky is now under house arrest, and his wife is speaking out, defending him. She says, quote, "We don't know why these young men have made these false accusations, but we want everyone to know they are untrue."

She goes on to say, I continue to believe in Jerry's innocence and all the good things he has done.

Meanwhile, former Syracuse associate basketball coach, Bernie Fine is facing a civil lawsuit from one of his alleged child sex abuse victims. Zachary Thomaselli claims Fine molested him in a Pittsburgh hotel room in 2002. Although Thomaselli's own father questions the allegations, and Fine insists he's innocent of the charges. Trustees for Florida A&M University have voted to reprimand the school's president, James Ammon for his actions after the suspected hazing-related death of drum major, Robert Champion. They have also decided to hire a public relations firm.

And, Anderson, listen up. Congratulations for 2011. You're the most searched media personality online. You're followed by Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, your BFF, Chris Matthews and Al Roker.

COOPER: Really? That's interesting.

SESAY: Trying and feign interest, if you will.

COOPER: I just don't believe in lists. I think these things are all made out.

SESAY: You don't believe in lists, you don't play games, you don't like spinach.

COOPER: I'm not playing with you, Isha. We talked about this last night. I am not playing games with you.

SESAY: Yes, you are. Don't fight.

COOPER: I don't play.

SESAY: There's only going to be one winner, baby, and it's not going to be you.

COOPER: So, Isha, we're just three days away from naming the 2011 CNN Hero. On Sunday, I'm going to host the live broadcast from Los Angeles where we're going to reveal the winner. I like how she just disappeared.

SESAY: I'll be there. I'll see you in L.A.

COOPER: Are you going to be there?

SESAY: I will be.

COOPER: All right, cool. It's Sunday night, a live broadcast. It hasn't been live in past years. It's going to be live. It's going to be exciting.

If you haven't already, go to to learn more about this year's top 10 heroes. Really amazing group of people. I mean, these are regular people doing extraordinary things.

We're going to be honoring them all on Sunday night. A great group. Just ask anyone who spent a few minutes with any of them. Here's Jonathan Torgovnik, a photographer for Reportage by Getty Images.


JONATHAN TORGOVNIK, PHOTOGRAPHER, REPORTAGE (voice-over): I was in Uganda photographing Derrick, the founder of Global Soap, an organization that provides soap to communities in need around the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't that great?


TORGOVNIK: And we visited a school, a primary school with children that come from northern Uganda internally displaced people that had to flee the conflict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are bringing you 5,000 bars of soap.

TORGOVNIK: It's amazing to see Derrick with the children in the school and how he interacts with the people in the community. He has this magnetic character. He's very charismatic. He was demonstrating to the people how to use soap in the most effective way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's very good.

TORGOVNIK: From something that sounds very simple, just washing your hand, he created a whole event and a whole happening within the community, which made it fun for them to do. I think derrick makes a huge impact on the community.


COOPER: Derrick and the rest of the top ten heroes are going to be joining me live in Los Angeles this Sunday, December 11th, for CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. Join us for that. "The Ridiculist" is next.


COOPER: Time now for the "The Ridiculist." We've got to add the airlines, the airlines that just can't seem to keep the stars in the sky. You probably heard about the latest one, Alec Baldwin kicked off an American Airlines flight.

He apparently wouldn't turn his phone off while the plane was sitting at the gate and there were some words exchanged with the flight attendant. Now as the old saying goes, there are three sides to every story, yours, mine and the one told in 140 characters on Twitter.

Baldwin copiously tweeted about the incident comparing the flight attendants to a, quote, "retired Catholic school gym teachers from the 1950s." American Airlines wrote on Facebook that Baldwin was rude and he slammed the bathroom door so hard the cockpit crew heard it.

Look, we weren't there so we don't really know what happened. So as is so often the case, we'll have to rely on the reporting skills of Oscar De La Hoya. Yes, he happened to also be on the flight.

He says he thinks the flight attendant overreacted. Baldwin apologized to the other passengers and has shut down his Twitter account in the wake of all this, which may be the real tragedy here.

Is it just me or has there been an epidemic of stars getting kicked off planes lately. Josh Duhamel wouldn't turn his Blackberry off. He got the boot.

Green Day singer, Billy Joe Armstrong, his pants were too baggy, he got the boot. A French actor, of course, you heard about this, urinated in the plane's cabin, he got the boot.

Kelly Ripa has actually noticed this trend as well. She and her guest co-host, Josh Grobin were talking about it on her show. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anderson Cooper famously put Gerard on his "Ridiculist." If you haven't seen it, it's all over YouTube. It's very funny. He does this thing about him making -- having to go wee wee in the aisle. He said at least it wasn't Gerard Depardieu.


COOPER: I don't know what she's talking about. I have no memory of that at all. But I do think the airlines, what, wait? All right. All right, fine, go ahead. You can roll it but consider this your Christmas present, control room.


All I can say is they should thank their lucky stars it wasn't Depart 2. Sorry. That made be giggle every time I read it. He hasn't commented on this incident. I know you got it. All right, sorry. Sorry, this has actually never happened to me.


COOPER: I'll consider it my Christmas present that you actually played the short version, I appreciate that. In any event with the holiday travel season nearly upon us, let's all try to make flying more pleasant. Let's make a packet to turn off our phones, pull up our pants and get ready for takeoff on "The Ridiculist."

That does it for us. Thanks for watching. I'll see you again tonight at 10:00 Eastern for another edition of 360. "PIERS MORGAN" starts now.