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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius Granted Bail; Winter Storm Wallops Central U.S.; White House Urges End Of Defense Of Marriage Act; Boeing Proposes 787 Battery Fix
Aired February 22, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tom, thanks. The blade runner walks. We will it tell you why he may never face trial.
Another wheel comes off Lance Armstrong's life as the federal government decides it will join the doping case against him after all.
And deadly winter weather is back on move. We will show you where it is going because you will want to know if this is heading for you.
A very busy night ahead. We begin with freedom for now for Oscar Pistorius. His bail granted after a week of high stakes and high drama in and out of court. It wasn't just that the whole world is watching. It's not just that the lead detective was revealed to be an alleged would-be killer. Not just that the accused killer is a national hero nor that the victim is a national heart rub. It was all of the above and it all came together today.
Robyn Curnow sets the stage.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A media frenzy on a Pretoria road at rush hour. Cameras trying to see what's behind the tinted window of the silver land rover. A glimpse of Oscar Pistorius sitting quietly in the backseat. That over there is Oscar Pistorius driving to freedom. He is just got bail and is driving off down this street.
In court this morning, the gold medal winner accused of killing his girlfriend was gone motionless with no idea whether or not he would be granted bail. Following final arguments, chief magistrate Desmond Nair allowed live audio transmission of his ruling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you are dealing with circumstantial evidence, pieces of the puzzle need to be put together.
CURNOW: A ruling that detailed the evidence of the case and the history of the laws relating to it. Through the almost two-hour presentation, the magistrate criticized the media and alternatively chastised the prosecution and picked up the case for the defense for not presenting definitive evidence, not giving any clue which way he would rule until finally he presented enough evidence to grant bail. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The accused has made a case to be released on bail.
CURNOW: A short burst of joy from the courtroom, but Pistorius was still silent. No reaction, just drained. Outside the court that was hanging on each development were generally mixed about his freedom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An innocent woman was prematurely murdered. And that we want justice for her. We don't believe that bail was sufficient at this had this point in time. I believe that Oscar should have been kept behind bars for the murder he committed. I mean, whether or not it was premeditated.
CURNOW: Others are sympathetic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm happy he's been given bail. The nation is already divided. And I think that more of the younger generation feel sympathy towards Oscar and his mother's generation feels he should go to jail.
CURNOW: Pistorius is out on bail of about $112,000. There are other conditions including he must give up his passport so he cannot leave the country, he must report to police twice a week and he can't drink alcohol, which didn't bother his attorney much after the hearing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How concerned are you about the issue of alcohol?
BARRY ROUX, OSCAR PISTORIUS' DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He doesn't drink so that's it fine.
CURNOW: But Pistorius is barred from going to the scene of the crime. So, as he was driven off this afternoon, he knew he could not go home and would be staying with his family. The family telling CNN they will be watching him closely during this time. This was just a bail hearing filled with emotion, conflict and overwhelming public interest here setting the scene for the trial of a revered home country athlete who is charged with the premeditated murder of a young, beautiful model both with a promising life in front of them. No trial date has been set.
TAPPER: And Robyn joins us along with CNN producer, Diane McCarthy.
Diane, you were in court today. Take us inside. What was it like in there?
DIANE MCCARTHY, CNN PRODUCER: Well, the first thing I can tell you is it was very, very hot. It was very tense and it was very hot. We were all clustered together in this quite small courtroom. And together with this emotion that was just sort of reverberating off the walls, everybody was sweating, tense, whispering, quiet. TAPPER: Robyn, that's quite a loquacious judge, he spoke for two hours. Is that par for the course for a bail hearing in South Africa?
CURNOW: You know, this whole bail hearing has taken on the facade of the trial within the trial. We have been gripped by all the forensic details and also by the theater of it, you know. And I tweeted today is this bitter or is it thorough? One expert said this is a fair judgment. He had to balance everything, every minute detail of the bail hearing. You know, I think it's a bit of both. I think the judge knew he had literally the world sort of waiting for his every, you know, word. We were all gripped. It was very dramatic.
TAPPER: Diane, over the last few days in court, people watched Oscar to go from distraught to stoic and withdrawn. What was he like today?
MCCARTHY: He was withdrawn. It was difficult to watch. And felt like he had aged years since we first saw him on Friday last week. He got quiet and quieter, head down, eyes down, and really there was very little emotion coming out of him. The only time he really showed a glimmer of anything was when the magistrate spoke about Reeva. And that he always -- he fell apart every time he heard her name. And when bail was granted, he cried and I think it was just a release of tension.
TAPPER: Of course, Robyn Curnow, Diane McCarthy, thank you so much.
As you can tell for South Africans, this is an all-consuming story. Today, a magazine called "Heat" published what it feels as Reeva's Steenkamp's final interview. The headline, there it is, I absolutely adore Oscar.
And as you heard in Robyn and Diane's reporting, there's plenty of adoration for Oscar Pistorius even now. So, what about those who knew and loved Reeva Steenkamp? What do they think of the fact that the man who took her away from them whether deliberately or by accident is, for the moment, a free man?
Joining us is Reeva Steenkamp's cousin, Kim Martin.
Kim, first off, our deepest condolences on your loss. It must be very difficult and all our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Obviously Oscar Pistorius was granted bail today. What's your reaction and what's your family's e reaction to that? Are you hoping that would happen or would not?
KIM MARTIN, REEVA STEENKAMP'S COUSIN: Obviously, we weren't hoping. We just - to us, this is a bail hearing only. We weren't really concerned. We try to concentrate on getting through the last few days and saving our energy for the trial.
TAPPER: The way that you found out that your cousin had die, you were in the car with your husband, correct?
MARTIN: We heard it was on one of our local channels. And they interrupted the show and the deejay said they have breaking news. And that they can't confirm what has happened, but he kept on saying that over and over and it was taking a long time to get to the story.
Then, at first, he mentioned Oscar Pistorius and he broke for awhile too often. I jumped up, my husband jumped up. And then, it's almost like the whole world just stood still for a couple seconds. And at first I thought something had happened to him. And then he mentioned my cousin's name. Well, he didn't mention her name. He just said his girlfriend. Something had had happened to his girlfriend and then he said she had been shot by Oscar and he had mistaken her for an intruder. And I remember, that's when my husband said, turned around, pulled the car out of traffic, turned around and we just sped like crazy. And then, I just remember being -- I was frozen. I was hysterical. I was crying. I was - if everything has happened the whole time, my husband just kept telling me to calm down. And (INAUDIBLE) and I was praying that maybe they were referring to somebody else.
TAPPER: What did Reeva tell you and others in your family about the relationship she had with Oscar?
MARTIN: She wasn't the type of person that would ever boast about the friends she had or the things she was doing. So I never pushed her, you know. I knew that part of her life was something separate to the family. I did meet Oscar once briefly. She came down just after new year's eve for a day or two. And we went for breakfast. But she literally drove in and drove out. And I met him very briefly. But I never got a chance to speak to her about the relationship at all. You know, she was going into a different phase with her work and she was getting very busy and she was attending a lot more functions, get in getting a lot more jobs and we chatted a couple times over. She just always said I'm very busy. It's crazy here. I'm sorting my life out. She had moved in with a friend of hers. And there is a lot going on in her life. And I did say to her, are you happy and she said yes but we need to chat. So, we chat one day about it. We don't have time. She said next time I'm here, we'll get together and have coffee. But, of course, that is obviously, not going to happen.
TAPPER: Do you have an opinion of what may have happened? Are you convinced of his guilt or innocence?
MARTIN: For me it's very, very difficult. I have lots of questions, lots and lots of questions. But, I believe that when the trial starts, the truth is going to come out and we're going to get to the bottom of this.
TAPPER: What questions do you have?
MARTIN: I would like to ask Oscar why he didn't lean over and touch my cousin first and just, you know, when he thought that there was somebody else, why didn't he just nudge her and say, you know, are you OK, keep quiet, I'm coming now. That is just - I just think about it the whole time, that's something I would have done, you know, or my husband would have done. I'm sure, he would have grabbed me and said, be quiet, there's somebody in the house. Same question I would like to ask.
TAPPER: And then lastly, what would you like people to know about Reeva? What kind of person was she?
MARTIN: She was the most amazing human being. And she was kind to everybody. She was always concerned about everybody else's well being more than her own. And she always looked after everybody. And I just feel nobody got the chance to ever look after her.
TAPPER: Kim Martin, our deepest, deepest condolences. I hope you do find justice and I hope you find success in getting the word out as to who Reeva really was. Thank you so much for your time.
MARTIN: Thank you.
TAPPER: And let us know what you think. Follow me on twitter @jaketapper. I will be tweeting tonight.
Next a closer look at the legal tactics that won the day for Oscar Pistorius and why one of our experts is saying this case may never come to trial. More remarkable moments as well from a remarkable day in court.
Also, the storm that's already done all of this. And who should be bracing for it now. Tens of millions of people still in its path.
TAPPER: As many as 4.8 billion people watched at portion of the 2012 summer Olympics. That's billion with a "b" including millions who saw Oscar Pistorius compete. The whole world was watching then and the whole world is watching now. Our legal panel is here to talk about what happened today and what's to come.
But first, Randi Kaye will take us inside that courtroom for a closer look.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A bail hearing every bit as dramatic as the trial is shaping up to be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I look at the judgment on the bail application --
KAYE: Expected to be a short proceeding, it became a marathon of twists and turns as the magistrate Desmond Nair ping-ponged from side to side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have difficulty appreciating why the accused did not ascertain the whereabouts of his girlfriend when he got off the bail.
KAYE: At point, Nair seemed to lean towards the prosecution's case. DESMOND NAIR, CHIEF MAGISTRATE: I have difficulty that he did not seek to identify who was in the toilet when he could have asked. I have difficulty appreciating why the deceased would not have screamed back from the toilet.
KAYE: At other times he seem e seemed to side with the defense.
NAIR: I cannot find it has been established that the accuse is a flight risk.
KAYE: And not all the drama from the magistrate. Oscar quietly Pistorius sobbed as the magistrate detailed his version of the events the night his valentine died.
NAIR: He went downstairs and locked the door and then (INAUDIBLE) comes up, as he had been advised to take her to the hospital. On his way down, the deceased died in his arms.
KAYE: t time, it seemed to border on self-indulgence. It was almost as if the magistrate was performing. Why else would he spent seven minutes explaining why videotapes were not allowed in court.
NAIR: Broadcasting has the potential to distort the character of the proceedings. This is particularly dangerous given that visual and audio recordings can be edited in a manner that does not disclose the fact of edits.
KAYE: Just when we thought we were about to get a decision on Pistorius' bail, the magistrate called for a break, a break from his own hearing.
NAIR: Five minutes. Thank you.
KAYE: And finally, nearly two hours after it all began, a decision, but not before one painfully long pause.
NAIR: I have come to the conclusion that the accused has made a case to be released on bail.
KAYE: No question, nobody waited longer to be granted temporary freedom than Oscar Pistorius.
Randi Kaye, CNN. New York.
TAPPER: Criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, had quite the debate last night over what would happen today. Predictions were made, garthlings (ph) laid down, thrown down, really, and we all know how painful that can be. And now, the moment of truth and I'm plenty of insight about what's to come.
So Mark, you know, you got it right.
MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The winner. (CROSSTALK)
TAPPER: But Jeffrey, I have to say, I spoke with the brother of the victim, Reeve, and he said without taking a position, he thought that the facts would indicate that he could not get bail. I mean, in a situation like this it, one doesn't get bail.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, under South African law, it takes extraordinary circumstances to get bail in a case this serious. But, the thing that really seemed to tip the magistrate's scales was the risk of flight issue. That Oscar Pistorius is so famous and he is obviously so distinctive looking that there's really no way he could flee. And there was nothing the prosecution could say that made him seem like a risk of flight. He surrenders his passport. He is a huge celebrity. There's no way he's going to flee. And I think that's what made the difference.
GERAGOS: You know, I will say that I think the prosecution overplayed this. I think that there was a way that they could have kept him in without bail if they had not taken such an extreme stand that he was a flight risk. And I think when you push the envelope like that, I have seen that happen hundreds if not thousands of times with prosecutors, that you reduce your credibility and you end up doing exactly what they did with this judge, which is when you ask, where did you hear about that it particular piece of evidence? Like he has a house, and he says, well, I heard it somewhere.
And then, factor in the other thing that I know Jeff and I disagree on, I think it's so incredible that the lead detective is now facing seven counts of attempted murder. I just can't believe that doesn't factor in. The judge is saying look, I have the lead detective here who is asking me not to give bail and this guy is out after shooting in a car and trying to kill someone.
TOOBIN: Well, he talked for almost two hours and didn't even mention that. How important could it be?
TAPPER: Let's talk about that for a second, the judge. That was really - I don't want to be disrespectful to a judge, but that was really odd.
TOOBIN: I thought it was odd. But you know, in a way, I thought it was great. You know, he was being thorough. He was going over the law. He was going over the facts. And you know, he had obviously paid very close attention. He understood the arguments for guilt, the arguments not for guilt, the issues of flight. You know, I would rather judges err on the side of being overly meticulous. Well, I mean, he was milking the drama a little bit, but there was a dash of theater at hand.
GERAGOS: He did indicate, I think, why. I think he wanted to make sure nobody was going to misread what he said or edit it out or anything else. He was going to it get out everything in his opinion. TOOBIN: But the key point here, I think, is that this is more than just a big victory for Pistorius. It's a huge victory. It's not just getting out on bail. It changes the whole dynamic of the case.
TAPPER: How so?
TOOBIN: Well, because now he can take as long as e he wants to prepare for trial. If he were in prison, he would be saying, get this thing going.
GERAGOS: I want closure. It's the worst thing in the world to have a client in custody facing this kind of case.
TOOBIN: The case has prepare and delay is almost always the friend of the defense in a criminal case.
TAPPER: Mark, what's the deal with him not being allowed to have alcohol?
GERAGOS: Well, I think the idea always is when you are released on bail, and you have got restrictions, it's always you give up generally any kind of alcohol, drugs, firearms and you also, obviously, have to check in and everything else. Those are fairly standard conditions for most releases on bail.
TAPPER: OK, but Jeff, you say this really, at the end of the day, this comes down to forensics.
TOOBIN: That's right. I think the one real gap in this bail hearing was that there was almost no forensic evidence. The entry and exit wounds, the ballistics, how close was Pistorius to the victim when this happened. How high were the shots. Was he really wearing his prosthetic devices or not? Those are going to be very important parts of the case. Presumably, we will know a lot more when the prosecution and defense experts start.
GERAGOS: If we actually get to trial. One if the interest concern is that his defense lawyer today started making the argument that it was not a premeditated murder, that it would be something less than that which was culpable homicide. If it is culpable homicide, he is almost telegraphing, if you hear him saying it, maybe this is where this case ends up, this is how we plea on this.
TOOBIN: Well, that's the thing that really jumped out at me of the day is that, this case -- South Africa, like the United States, has a real culture of plea bargaining. It happens all the time. Margaret Thatcher's son, you may remember a long ago was charged in South Africa with trying to start a war with equatorial Guiney. That was plea bargained away.
This does seem to offer the possibility of a plea bargain where Pistorius pleads. The only issue in this case is intent. Everybody knows he killed her.
GERAGOS: It's just a matter of degrees, if you will. It's the same thing you have a lot of times in the U.S. TAPPER: But, his - OK, the victim's cousin, you heard her. And she said something that the judge also said. The unanswered question, any one of us, I would imagine, you get up, you hear an intruder, you're going to like nudge your wife or your girlfriend or whoever you're in bed with. You are going to saw --
GERAGOS: Well, presumably, maybe you didn't want to nudge her so she would be startled and say something so somebody would see where she was. We have a tendency here in the U.S., and I know it was the cousin saying it at least lives there, we have a tendency to kind of project on what our cultural norms on to them. I mean, you're talking about somebody --
TAPPER: We don't love our spouses more than South Africa.
GERAGOS: But, you have a situation where somebody is in a gated community where there's a culture of fear where there's this idea that people are doing home invasions and things of that nature.
TAPPER: You don't represent him right now. I know you are an expert defense attorney. But, I mean, come on. Do I wake for the --
GERAGOS: No. If I think somebody is already inside of the room, I'm not going to turn on lights so they can find me. I'm not going to do anything else.
TOOBIN: Can I say something? I mean, come on, is exactly the right answer. This is the preposterous part of his defense. Remember, it is not that he goes and he says he goes to pick up the fan from the balcony, brings it back in, he then goes into the bathroom. All of which he says it's so pitch black he doesn't even realize that his girlfriend is not in bed. And he doesn't say is that you.
GERAGOS: Right. But, I tell you what, it may be as preposterous, if not more so, is the prosecution theory that with absolutely no history of any kind of a fight other than some witness who is 600 meters away who obviously couldn't hear it, no history of this guy having anything but unabashed love for her. He just wakes up in the middle of the night and decides to shoot her while she's on the toilet? I mean, that fact doesn't strike as being preposterous.
TOOBIN: But domestic violence is a fact. The people who get murdered are overwhelmingly likely to be murdered by people they know, especially intimate partners, especially in South Africa.
GERAGOS: I understand that. But I don't know why you come to this and automatically assumed that it's domestic violence. Why is it?
TOOBIN: She had four bullets in her.
GERAGOS: I understand that. Is there -- why can't we assume that maybe it is what he says is plausible?
TAPPER: Let me ask you a question. Is it even a crime in South Africa, and you might not know the answer about South Africa law suit and apply it to the United States, if it is just easier for you, OK, to just hear somebody in the bathroom and you just shoot through the door?
GERAGOS: Is that a crime, yes.
TOOBIN: That came up quite often in the hearing. That's clearly a crime. It takes only a degree of negligence to be culpable homicide in South Africa. And certainly firing through a door without knowing who is behind it is negligence. Now, his defense will be if this gets to trial will be self-defense. But, it's going to be a tough argument to make that it's self-defense based entirely on his assumption that someone had crawled through the window when he absolutely had no idea.
GERAGOS: Even on self-defense, there's an argument and his lawyer made it, that he's still culpable. So, and they call it culpable homicide by definition. It really is not that much different than the U.S. law in terms of the degrees of homicide.
TAPPER: And very quickly because we are almost out of time. Isn't it just common sense that he would yell before he would shoot? Whoever is in that bathroom, I'm going to shoot? I mean, isn't that just common sense?
TOOBIN: I will answer that yes. Go ahead and make up something.
TAPPER: Reeva, that is not you in there?
TAPPER: Even if it is not you -
GERAGOS: Here I am, why don't you shoot first? I mean, you know, I mean, please, this is somebody who has just been waken out of bed. This is somebody who his entire life has had to overcome some adversity. This is somebody who presumably has got somebody he loves very much there and wants to take care of her and he's panicked and he has violence done to him in the past. I don't know that it's just that crazy as what the prosecution's theory is.
TOOBIN: I mean, come on.
GERAGOS: There's no jury and the judge today said he can't be so sure.
TAPPER: I think you have made a good case, sir.
Jeffrey Toobin and Mark Geragos, thank you so much.
Mark, by the way, is co-author of "mistrial, an inside on how the criminal justice system works and sometimes doesn't."
We are far from through with this story because there's so much interest. We're devoting a full hour to it at 10:00 eastern. "Anderson Cooper 360, blade runner, murder or mistake?"
Again, you can see it starting at 10:00 eastern time, right here on CNN.
Parts of Kansas got buried in 22 inches of snow as a massive winter storm makes its way across the country. We will tell you where it's headed coming up next.
Also ahead, Boeing is getting its 787 Dreamliners back in the air after they were grounded because if battery fires. What the FAA is saying, ahead.
TAPPER: On the medical front there's a new drug to fight advanced breast cancer. A targeted treatment that's not a cure, but it can extend life. That's ahead.
TAPPER: That major storm we have been tracking all week is now heading to New England. Just two weeks after a massive blizzard hit the same area. The storm is expected to be at its peak Saturday night into Sunday afternoon. The storm has already dumped more than 20 inches of snow in some parts of Kansas. Meteorologist Karen Maginnis has the latest.
KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: The central U.S. did get hammered with a late winter storm system that produced record-setting snowfall amounts. Russell, Kansas, 22 inches of snowfall, Kansas City, shattered their daily snowfall record. They saw 9 inches plus of snowfall.
But look at what happened in Wichita, Kansas. This was sent from our I-Reporter, Amanda Laviana. She says she was in her office building. They heard a loud roar. They thought it was an earthquake. So she went down and photographed these large pieces of ice and snow falling off her building.
What can we expect for the weekend? We're watching an area of low pressure that's going to move from the mid-Atlantic up towards the New England coast. So Boston, all day, we have been checking on the forecast there and our computer models are not really agreeing.
At least they are not in sync, could be rain, could be snow, it could be a mix, but generally speaking, one of our computer models from Europe says maybe 4 inches to 8 inches of snow. But interior sections of New England, you might see 8 inches to 12 inches.
So it's going to be a messy weekend across New England and across the southeast, some of the rainfall totals are going to be staggering the next couple days, 4 inches to 6 inches in the deep south -- Jake.
TAPPER: Karen, thanks. Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following tonight. Isha Sesay joins us with the "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, breaking news, today, the Obama administration urged the Supreme Court to strike down the defense of marriage act. Today was the deadline to file briefs in the challenge to the 1996 law. The case is scheduled to be heard March 27th.
Federal regulators say they are reviewing Boeing's proposal aimed at returning the 787 Dreamliner to flight. That won't happen until they are confident the airplane's batteries are safe. The entire fleet of 787s were grounded last month after the lithium ion batteries on two separate planes failed.
A 360 follow, that shooting and fiery crash along the Las Vegas strip has triggered a national man hunt. Police are looking for suspects who fired shots from a black Range Rover Sport into Maserati driven by aspiring rapper Kenneth Jerry Jr., known as Kenny Clutch. He died. His car smashed into a taxi killing the driver and the passenger.
New video shows the aftermath of shelling the Syrian opposition group killed dozens in Aleppo. Syria's principal opposition group, the National Syrian Coalition said today it is fed up with the world ignoring the slaughter and in protest says it will not attend "Friends of Syria Conference" in Rome.
The FDA has approved a new drug to treat late-stage breast cancer. The therapy is for women with positive breast cancer. It should be available within two weeks under the brand name Kadcyla.
And Jake, take a look at this. Have you ever seen someone sink a half-court shot like this? That was a flip. She's a cheerleader at William Perry University in Mississippi, pretty impressive.
TAPPER: The cart wheel itself is impressive.
SESAY: As I am the world's least coordinated person, I'm truly impressed by that.
TAPPER: Isha, now time for the shot. The AC 360 staff as you know is packed with dog lovers. All week I have been showing them my dog, Winstorn, playing with his buddies at Doggy Daycare. We're doing some minor construction to my house.
So Winston's Dogs Day Care just so happens with a camera so you can watch what your pooch is up to. I have been compulsively checking it all day. Frankly, it's a bit addictive. We thought we might as well put it in the show tonight.
There he is right there. He's definitely a tapper. He likes to be noticed. He's outgoing. There he is making friends with the teacher on her leg. Sometimes he makes a little bit of a mess there in the corner. I don't know if somebody had to clean that up.
FYI, Winston has his own Twitter account @winstontapper. Somewhat inexplicably he has more than 1,000 followers.
SESAY: OK, here's the deal. I went on Twitter and I did a little snooping around. I found a Winston Tapper whose favorite tweet appears to be arf. TAPPER: He likes to bark. He's a big -- there's always a photograph of him. He's up to no good.
SESAY: He has attitude. He tweets things like wazz up, chilling, what you doing.
TAPPER: You know, don't be a hater.
SESAY: I'm not hating.
TAPPER: Hate the game, don't hate the player.
SESAY: You did not just say that.
TAPPER: That's my instruction to you, young lady, the play not the player.
SESAY: All right, we'll pick this up offline.
TAPPER: All right, Isha, thanks.
Up next, there's new muscle behind a whistleblower lawsuit that could end up costing Lance Armstrong millions of dollars. It looked like a settlement was in the works, but now the Justice Department says it will join the suit. What happened? Coming up, "New York Times" sports reporter, Juliette Macur has the back story.
TAPPER: A woman in the military who was raped by a fellow service member says she was almost more traumatized by the way the military handled the case than she was by the attack itself. It's the subject of an Oscar nominated documentary called "The Invisible War." I speak with her and the director when 360 continues.
TAPPER: So here's how Lance Armstrong's week is ending. Settlement talks between his lawyers and the Justice Department have broken down and now the Justice Department says it will join the lawsuit that could end up costing the former cyclist a lot of money, millions.
The suit accuses Armstrong and other former managers of the cycling team once sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service of defrauding the federal government. It contends they knew team members were doping and did not do anything about it.
Armstrong, as you know, confessed last month in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he doped for years while racing. The whistleblower lawsuit the government will join was filed two years ago by Floyd Landis, Armstrong's former teammate and of course, a fellow doper.
Landis was stripped off his 2006 Tour De France title after failing a drug test. The Justice Department's move comes just days after Armstrong refused for the second time to cooperate with the Anti-Doping Agency that shattered his career.
"New York Times" sports reporter, Juliet Macur joins me now. Juliet, welcome. I know the government seems to be asking for more than Armstrong wants to give, but wouldn't common sense dictate that at this point, it would be in his best interest to just settle this as quickly as possible and put the whole thing behind him?
JULIET MACUR, SPORTS REPORTER, "NEW YORK TIMES": You're exactly right. That would totally be the case. It's exactly what Armstrong and his lawyers have been trying to do really for the past few weeks and several months they have been trying to knock out a settlement and give them $5 million.
And the government said, you know, we don't think that's enough. So they came to a stalemate and the government went ahead and joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff today to force him to pay more money possibly.
TAPPER: And the things is if this goes to trial, even if it goes to just pre-trial discovery, they are going to be a lot more embarrassing details that come out about his doping, which are very likely going to tarnish his already tarnished reputation even more, right?
MACUR: Well, you would think that was the case, although I find it hard to believe how Lance Armstrong's reputation can be tarnished anymore or how many more sort of details there are to come. But obviously his lawyers might think that that would be the possibility. But they also don't want to owe $90 million either. So they wanted to pay the government off as soon as possible, but they weren't able to knock out the agreement.
TAPPER: But this is characteristic Armstrong, putting up a fight, this is what he does.
MACUR: This is exactly what he's done for the last decade. Those who saw the Oprah Winfrey interview last month where he confessed, he wasn't humble throughout the whole interview. Maybe some pieces here and there, but he doesn't know what the word humility is I believe. He's defiant and looks like he will be defiant for years to come.
TAPPER: Floyd Landis, the whistleblower in this case, the man who Armstrong very publicly scorned for years and years. He may end up with a payout from all of this and in part helped by the federal government because of what happened today, right?
MACUR: It's a huge help that the government joined the case as a plaintiff. I have been told that the government wins or settles 80 percent of the cases that they join. So Floyd Landis has a rally big chance of winning a lot of money if he does stay apart of the case.
It's a possibility he's thrown out as a plaintiff. It does happen in some cases. For all those years that Armstrong called Landis a drunk and said that he was mentally ill and all these crazy things that weren't true, you know, Landis could possibly get the sweetest revenge. And that's a huge paycheck.
TAPPER: And this is probably, when it comes to lawsuits, just the tip of the iceberg.
MACUR: Yes, it is already. Armstrong is dealing with several civil lawsuits against him, one for $12 million, another for $1.5 million. I mean, I think he has about $125 million in the bank right now and that's going to be dwindling quite quickly.
TAPPER: Tell me what you think his strategy is in refusing to settle with the federal government more than $5 million.
MACUR: Believe me, your guess is as good as mine. He has many, many lawyers, many spin doctors, dealing with all these kinds of things, all this money and all the P.R. that has to do with it. I'm not sure what his strategy is.
I think maybe he's thinking he's losing money quite quickly and has no sponsors. They all abandoned him a couple months ago when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report came out saying that he was the kingpin of this big doping program. So maybe he thinks he just doesn't -- there's just not going to be enough money to go around.
TAPPER: Juliet Macur, thank you so much.
Coming up, a documentary film nominated for an academy award this raises serious questions about how the military handles cases of service members who get sexually assaulted by their fellow troops. I speak with the director of "The Invisible War" and one of the rape victims profiled in the film coming up.
TAPPER: An Oscar-nominated documentary is lifting the shroud of secrecy over the disturbing issue of sexual assault in the military. The is called "The Invisible War" and it says that sexual assault of female and male service members is an epidemic that often goes unreported.
And many times when it is reported, the women or men who make the complaint are the ones who face retaliation. Take a look at this scene from "The Invisible War."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNAH SEWELL, U.S. ARMY: I was screaming and yelling for help and for him to stop. Nobody came to the door, nobody came to help me, came to my rescue or anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They made it very, very clear that if I said anything they were going to kill me. And then I didn't have anyone to talk to because the people that were perpetrating me were the police.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Earlier this week, I spoke with Director Kirby Dick and Kori Cioca, one of the women profiled in the documentary.
TAPPER: Kirby, this documentary really digs into the dire situation these women and some men face after they are sexually assaulted. For those who have not seen the documentary, tell us just how large you think this problem is and why you think it's so under the radar.
KIRBY DICK, DIRECTOR, "THE INVISIBLE WAR": Well, according to the Department of Defense own estimates, 19,000 men and women are sexually assaulted each year in the U.S. military. If you multiplied that out past several decades, you're looking at hundreds of thousands, perhaps close to a million men and women sexually assaulted over the last several generations.
So it's something that's been -- it's extensive and it's been really covered up for all this time. I think the military has been unwilling and to really confront it has this problem. It's reactive to whenever something came out about this.
It has reacted to it by first denying it and then blaming the victims, trying to discredit them. Then saying it's a localized problem and then saying they fixed it and they haven't. It's still a very significant problem.
TAPPER: Kori, you went through a horrible ordeal. You were physically assaulted and you were raped. Tell us about the difficulties you went through with the military after your experiences.
KORI CIOCA, "THE INVISIBLE WAR": After the experience, my trauma, it was horrible. It was almost even more traumatizing than the rape itself. I pretty much was not a shipmate anymore. I became the bad person. It wasn't the predator that was who to go after. I was attacked. I became the target.
I was no longer seen as a shipmate. I was a whistleblower, somebody to stay away from. It was funny for him to do what he did to me and they kept pushing me and didn't give me the help I needed. It was a horrible experience.
TAPPER: What did they say to you exactly? Did they claim you were making it up? Did they say you just -- boys will be boys and you need to deal with it? What exactly was the response for them to justify their behavior?
CIOCA: When I first reported the rape and I walked into my chief, he told me he was not going to bring in coast guard investigators until a place where officers come in and train. They needed my perpetrator to train them. So they weren't going to bring in any kind of investigators until that was over with.
And when the investigators finally came in, they told me I was not going to put rape on my statement. If I did, I would be falsifying a government document and put in the brig. They told me that he admitted that the sex was consensual, but admitted to hitting me during it. So they were going to proceed with assault charges and inappropriate relationship charge.
TAPPER: Kirby, I want to play a clip from the film. Let's take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you report something, you better be prepared for the repercussions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If a man gets accused of rape, it's a setup. The woman is lying.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My friend catching him raping me, they still didn't believe me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I reported it two different times to my squad leader. He told me that there's nothing he can do about it because I didn't have proof.
TAPPER: So these women seem to have hit a wall even punished when it comes to reporting the abuse. After this documentary was released, what has changed for these women and do you think it's enough?
DICK: Well, what happened is several months after the documentary came out, Secretary Panetta did institute some very important first steps. He elevated the decision to investigate and prosecute these crimes from the level of unit command tore the level of colonel or Navy captain.
The problem is he kept it within the chain of command. That's a conflict of interest. It has to be outside the chain of command where experienced prosecutors are making this decision.
Right now we have 86 percent of men and women aren't reporting. If these men and women don't report, these perpetrators, which by the way most assaults are caused by serial predators, they go on to assault again and again.
TAPPER: Kori, you really opened yourself up in this documentary. You even read out loud a suicide note you had written. What lessons are you hoping that women entering the military now can learn from your experiences?
CIOCA: Well, I hope they watch "The Invisible War" so they can learn the statistics and what's happening to people and that it could happen to them. I never thought this would ever happen to me and it did. It ruined everything that I had planned in my life. So I hope that they watch the m movie and consider what changes have been done and if it's fit for them.
TAPPER: The documentary is "The Invisible War." It's one of the nominees for the academy award for best documentary. Kirby Dick, Kori Cioca, thank you so much for speaking with us tonight.
DICK: Thank you. (END VIDEOTAPE)
TAPPER: And we'll be right back.
TAPPER: That does it for this edition of 360. We'll see you one hour from now at 10:00 p.m. Eastern for AC 360, "Blade Runner, Murder or Mistake," an in-depth hour on the case against Oscar Pistorius and the death of his girlfriend, Reeve Steenkamp. Thanks for watching. "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" starts now.