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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

'Duck Dynasty' Decision'; New NSA Ruling; Justice in 2013; Year in Justice 2013; Six Dead in Beirut Car Bombing; Federal Unemployment Benefits Stopping; Cabbie Returns $300K Left in Car

Aired December 27, 2013 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR: There is a huge new development in the "Duck Dynasty" controversy and a major ruling on the government's power to spy on you.

Also tonight, the Target data breach just got worse. We learned that hackers now have millions of PIN numbers to go with the credit and debit card data they stole. We will ask an expert if you should be all the more worried.

And, later, we will take you on board that ship stuck in polar ice as 74 passengers and crew members learn a rescue ship that was steaming their way might need to be rescued as well.

But we begin tonight with that big court ruling on your privacy and your security and the government's power in so many words to keep you safe by snooping on you, me, the guy down the hall, all of us.

Today, a New York federal court judge weighed in on the NSA operation that collects the numbers called from all of our phones, when those calls are made and for how long. It's a defeat for the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued to stop the NSA.

And Judge William Pauley wrote: "While robust discussions are under way across the nation, in Congress and at the White House, the question for this court is whether the government's bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This court finds that it is."

One catch, though. Just a week ago, another federal judge, Richard Leon, looking at the very same facts, reached the exact opposite conclusion. He wrote: "I cannot imagine a more indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval."

The question now, how do we square these two rulings and who gets the job of doing that?

Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin gets the job of trying to answer both.

So break this down for us, Jeff. This is really interesting. A couple weeks ago we have a judge down in Washington appointed by or nominated to the bench by George W. Bush who says this is against the Fourth Amendment, this will not stand. We can't Hoover up this metadata and keep it forever.

This judge here in New York two weeks later appointed by Clinton disagrees.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's a pretty amazing situation.

I have never seen something precisely like this. Here you have two judges, exactly the same legal issue inside of a couple weeks deciding it completely differently. I think the big difference is that the judge here in New York said there's a Supreme Court precedent that controls this case.

There is a Supreme Court 1979 said when you dial the phone, you're telling the phone company what number you're dialing. You will see it on the bill. It's not something you have any right to expect privacy.

WEIR: But, again, 1979 when we had rotary phones and the founder of Facebook was negative-5.

TOOBIN: Correct. Correct.

And that's what the judge in Washington said. That may be the president on the books, but it's obsolete now. So I am going to find this a violation of privacy. You know, appeals courts don't take too kindly to district court judges saying, you know, the Supreme Court, it's wrong.

So I think the judge in New York may have the advantage on appeal, and I think the odds favor, although it's not a sure thing, this metadata program being upheld.

WEIR: And one is saying it works. The other is saying it's worthless.

TOOBIN: This was the thing that I found the most surprising in these whole opinions, because Judge Leon in Washington said -- and it's been proved -- that this hasn't stopped any terrorist attacks. Judge Pauley here in New York has a list of terrorist events, would-be attacks that it -- was stopped.

I don't -- I mean, that's just frankly a mystery to me and I hope that gets sorted out as these cases proceed because it's obviously an important question, does this thing do any good?

WEIR: Well, that's it. Final question, then. It has to wind its way through the appellates. May be a year before it hits SCOTUS.

So knowing what you know, if the bench -- if the Supreme Court stays the way it is now, how do you think they come down on this?

TOOBIN: I think they uphold it?

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: National security is something that judges take very seriously and they recognize that they don't have expertise in this area. They defer to the executive branch, to the experts on these areas, and I think, ultimately, that's how it will turn out.

Now, it may also be that President Obama modifies the program in some way on his own initiative. But the courts, I think, will ultimately go the way of saying we're not going to interfere. This is a political question for the executive branch. But as we have seen, different judges see it differently, and I could be wrong. It's happened before.

(LAUGHTER)

WEIR: No, no. I have been a fan of your work for a long time. It's great to share a set with you, Jeffrey.

TOOBIN: Good to see you, Bill.

WEIR: Whether or not the government should have your number is obviously debatable. Whether or not crooks should is pretty clear. So now in "Crime & Punishment," just days after we learned they have gotten ahold of 40 million credit and debit card numbers from Target, we're learning those crooks also have the PIN numbers.

It's a terrifying headline, but digging deeper, how concerned should people be?

Shawn Henry is the FBI's former top cyber-crime honcho. Currently, he's the president of data security firm CrowdStrike Services.

So, Shawn, if you had used your debit card at Target in that period there, what would you be thinking tonight? Would you do?

SHAWN HENRY, FORMER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR: Well, I think if you're talking about debit cards, you want to be looking at your bank account.

Your liability is limited solely to the money that you have in your account and there is a lot more concern there, rather than a credit card where you have got limited liability.

WEIR: But as a cautionary tale you wouldn't be using your debit card at a department store, would you?

HENRY: I personally would not, yes.

WEIR: But if somebody is in this category, maybe one of these 40 million, and they're worried, what should they do now?

HENRY: They should be talking to the bank. They should be looking for unusual transactions, any type of anomalous behavior they may recognize as fraudulent and contact the authorities, contact their bank officials immediately.

WEIR: You have a lot of experience in this world, headed up cyber- crimes for the bureau worldwide for awhile. Who are the usual suspects for something this big? HENRY: When you're looking at a sophisticated type of attack, you're oftentimes looking at organized crime groups most often operating out of Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union.

More recently, we're seeing groups operating out of South America and Asia. These groups are quite organized. They have got a lot of talent and a lot of skill and they're looking to make a lot of money and they're doing it on the backs of American consumers.

WEIR: Target didn't do themselves any favors by changing the story and saying the PIN numbers weren't compromised and now they say they are. Do they deserve the customers' ire in this story?

HENRY: There is oftentimes a fog of war. When something like this happens, it's a very complex investigation. It takes a lot of time. Oftentimes, as you uncover clues it leads to new conclusions and you won't often know exactly what happened until weeks or months down the road.

WEIR: But it's interesting. You told us in the pre-interview Target may be the poster child for this, but this goes everywhere and this is maybe a legislative issue, right? This has been going on. Our lawmakers have known about this and there is a lot of stuff they could have done before this.

HENRY: Yes. Target is really a symptom of a much greater illness that faces this country.

Congress has known about this problem for many, many years. There are a number of bills. There are more than 40 currently up on the Hill that have not been signed into law looking at how people can better share information, how authorities can get involved to help identify who the adversaries are.

We keep hearing about Target. I haven't heard anyone ask who actually did this. And again this is really a symptom of a much greater problem. Every retailer is at risk. Every banking institution, all of our commercial networks are at risk.

WEIR: In the meantime, one last takeaway for folks with the cards that are worried, just check the statements, call the bank?

HENRY: You got to be aware. At this point, all the consumers can do is really to be vigilant and to ensure that they're monitoring what is occurring in their bank accounts, on their credit cards so that if they identify something that appears to be fraudulent, they make sure they protect themselves by going after their providers and letting them know they have been victimized.

WEIR: Shawn Henry, president of CrowdStrike Security, appreciate your time.

HENRY: Thanks, Bill.

WEIR: We have big news tonight for millions of "Duck Dynasty" fans out there. Big news, too, for everyone offended by what Phil Robertson, star of that show, said about gays and African-Americans, or, for that matter, everyone offended -- and there seems to be a lot -- by A&E's decision to suspend him.

Well, that suspension is over. The network announced tonight that they will resume filming with a full cast in the spring, but they also will promise to broadcast public service announcements promoting unity and tolerance.

Just a reminder. In an interview with "GQ," Phil Robertson quote Scripture that seemed to equate homosexuality to bestiality. He said gays are going to hell and he also said that African-Americans he knew in the Jim Crow South were happy and weren't, as he put it, singing the blues.

Let's get some perspective now from senior media correspondent Brian Stelter, host of CNN "RELIABLE SOURCES."

Hey, Brian.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Hey.

WEIR: Some wanted to make this about the First Amendment, which it's not, right? He has the right to say whatever he wants. This is about the invisible hand of the market deciding how many people he can anger and then keep his job.

Did A&E cave at all or did this seem to be predictable given the success of the show?

STELTER: I couldn't say it better myself. It's about the market.

A&E I think had to do something when this "GQ" interview was published. After all, some of their own staff members who happened to be gay or happened to be African-Americans were offended by these comments.

But A&E was in a no-win situation here. A lot of people are calling this a retreat tonight. For what it's worth, the network was never in risk of losing the show. We have a story on the CNN home page about what A&E was thinking. And we quote an executive saying -- quote -- "We knew we had a great relationship with the family."

It wasn't as if the show was in danger, but they had to find some way out of this suspension. And here we are, only nine days later, and they have unsuspended him. I guess if anybody is going to be suspended from work, this is the way to do it.

(LAUGHTER)

WEIR: Right.

And a bit of the moral indignation is lost when they run the "Duck Dynasty" marathon.

STELTER: That's right, to very high ratings, by the way.

WEIR: Very high ratings, and you know that they're even going to go higher after all of this.

But I just wonder if Phil Robertson might be part of these PSAs they're promising.

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: That's what I'm wondering too. A&E isn't officially commenting right now.

I do think the network hopes some of the "Duck Dynasty" cast members will participate in these public service announcements about tolerance and unity. Right now, though, I'm having a hard time imagining Phil Robertson participating, given all of the press that's happened in the last week. I guess we will find out early next year.

WEIR: All right, Brian Stelter, appreciate your insight, brother.

STELTER: Thanks.

WEIR: See you later.

Coming up next, the race to save those Antarctica explorers who sailed into an ice pack and just can't sail out. What is it like to be on board this ship, can you imagine that, tries and fails to reach them? The icebreaker from China coming to their rescue is now stuck. We're going to be talking to three members of that team.

And then later, the year in justice. Anderson and our own 360 dream team looks back the biggest cases of 2013.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WEIR: Welcome back. I'm Bill Weir, in for Anderson.

"Up Close" tonight: There is a new definition of cold comfort on board a research vessel that has been stuck in the ice off Antarctica since Christmas Eve. That's because the Chinese icebreaker that came to unstuck them just got stuck. Some of the stranded travelers are from Britain's "Guardian" paper and they have been feeding a video, including this from the middle of a blizzard yesterday as they climb on deck to file a report.

Just get a load of what they are stranded in down there. In a moment, you will hear from three people trapped aboard that ship, but first how they and 71 others got there.

Here's 360's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The team of 74 researchers and crew set out last month aboard the Academic Shokalskiy, their expedition getting off to a great start.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's half past midnight and we're just going past some fantastic looking bergs. KAYE: Lead by Professor Chris Turney from the University of New South Wales in Australia, they were looking forward to spending Christmas studying climate change in Antarctica and retracing the steps of the great Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson, who lived and studied live on the barren continent between 1911 and 1914.

Professor Turney's team dug their way in Mawson's cabin from a century ago. But on Christmas Eve, just about 100 miles from where they started out, their adventure came to a halt, quite literally, their ship stuck in a heap of ice, some of it as high as 13 feet. They haven't budged in days.

It's a predicament that has even raised the curiosity of the locals here. The professor even tweeted about the penguins who have come to check out what is going on.

CHRIS TURNEY, EXPEDITION LEADER: The team spirit has been fantastic. It really has. We carefully chose the people we had together. We thought we would get on well. We weren't expecting such a severe test of the community spirit, but everyone has kept really good morale.

KAYE: And if the ice wasn't enough of a test, there was a blizzard, too.

TURNEY: It's Boxing Day 2013, and as you can see, we're actually in a blizzard at the moment with a low-pressure system sitting over our expedition vessel, the Shokalskiy. The vessel hasn't moved for the last two days and we're surrounded by sea ice. We just can't get through.

KAYE: The winds were gusting up to 45 miles per hour.

TURNEY: The ship is tilting because of the pressure of ice and we had to readjust the ballast. So, even today, we still can experience just quite frightening conditions at times.

KAYE: But help is on the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's that on the horizon, Chris?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the icebreaker coming to rescue us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brilliant.

KAYE: Turney's team spotted the rescue ship from China known as the Snow Dragon in the distance, but their excitement was short-lived. It got close, but not close enough. Heavy winds and thick ice are making it impossible for even the rescue ship to move, just six nautical miles away from the trapped vessel.

Two other icebreakers are also on their way, one French and one Australian, but it may be another day at least before anyone reaches the Professor Turney and the others.

TURNEY: How long it takes to actually extricate us, I don't know. It's a bit like lancing a wound. You have got to relief the pressure around the vessel before we can get out.

KAYE: Get out and get on their way again to retracing the footsteps of history.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WEIR: Well, since we have the means and they seem willing, we just had to dial these guys up.

You saw a little of Alok Jha and Chris Turney in Randi's report there.

Alok, a science correspondent for "The Guardian" and Chris Turney, the expedition leader, and both join me from the stranded ship, along with "Guardian" video producer Laurence Topham.

Gentlemen, it's amazing to see you all in good spirits. We take this technology for granted, but a couple generations ago, you would be deciding which one to eat first, but now you're tweeting penguins to the world.

(LAUGHTER)

WEIR: You go first, all right. But has there been any moment of fear?

ALOK JHA, "THE GUARDIAN": Well, I am a journalist.

I have seen lots of people who are fearful. Here in Antarctica Right now, I don't think anyone is fearful. Chris is the expedition leader.

No one is fearful, right?

TURNEY: No. People have been remarkably good, actually. Morale is really high actually at the moment.

LAURENCE TOPHAM, ABOARD STRANDED VESSEL: We have wonderful food, three meals a day.

JHA: It doesn't seem to run out.

WEIR: Talk about the weather and the storm. Mother Nature bats last. You guys are climate scientists. You know that. I wonder if you have a false sense of security at all.

TURNEY: Yes, this area is notorious for high winds. It's actually in the Guinness Book of Records as the windiest place in the world. We're following in the footsteps of Douglas Mawson. And he called this the home of the blizzard and he experienced average wind speeds of 70 kilometers an hour for two years. And we just had that on Boxing Day. And I think after a day or two that was enough for us.

JHA: It was quite -- we -- Laurence and I posted a lot of video of us doing our journalism in the blizzard. And it's gone viral, that picture, which tells you that people don't really experience these things that much. But the interesting thing that what happened was the blizzard blew all of these ice floes normally on this water right towards us, and pinned us against the Antarctic continent.

Behind us, you can't really see it, that's the Antarctic icecap. And we're pinned to it. And the ice sheet is growing. If the winds blew the other way, all of it would just disappear by itself and we would be able to sail out by ourselves. But at the moment, we're waiting for some icebreakers.

WEIR: That's unbelievable.

So, Chris, I understand you gave everyone the day off for Christmas. How does one celebrate Christmas while pinned against the Antarctic ice sheet?

TURNEY: It's -- I would have a mutiny if I had tried to ban it for the day.

We had a fantastic Christmas Day, actually. A lot of people had done preparations. We arranged beforehand we would have a $10 gift each, so that was all wrapped beforehand. And then they were given out to all sorts of people ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Santa found us. It's always amazing how he finds you wherever you are on the planet, even the other side. He was here. And we had the most fantastic Christmas dinner. It was a really traditional meal with ham and turkey and all the trimmings and even had crackers as well.

I think everyone had a fantastic time. And I think it was just what was need after Christmas Eve, when we realized we had sent the alert for help to break us out.

WEIR: Finally, I want to know the sensation is like. You guys all seem to be taking this quite well, but was there a sense of relief when you could actually see the Chinese icebreaker headed your way? Are you counting the hours until you're free of it?

LAURENCE TOPHAM, ABOARD STRANDED VESSEL: I was with the expedition leader Greg Mortimer when he first sighted the Chinese icebreaker on the horizon.

And he said to me that, psychologically, that was a really important moment because as soon as the Chinese captain visibly saw us, the incentive to get to us was that much greater then suddenly. We were suddenly then a real thing rather than just a blip on the radar. He said that that was a really crucial moment in this rescue operation.

JHA: And it's a crucial moment actually for all the people who seem to be following us. We're kind of in a little bit of a bubble here.

Chris and I have been using social media this whole time to share what we have been doing, but it's very hard to see the reaction outside. Yesterday, Laurence tweeted a tiny picture of the Xue Long, the ship that was coming to rescue us.

And within five minutes, it had been sent around the world 200 or 300 times. This is levels of Twitter that we're even not used to. Maybe Justin Bieber is, but we're not.

(LAUGHTER)

JHA: We have been doing a series of very well-produced Vine videos describing the trip, and they have gone viral, too. What do you think?

TURNEY: They been fantastic. It's wonderful, the satellite technology we can use today just allowing us to chat to you now. It's just superb. In the old days, we would be stuck off the edge of a map and no one would know where we are. Today, we can chat to you from one end of a planet to the other end.

WEIR: Well, if things get worse at all and things really turn grim, we can probably get Justin Bieber down there to help you guys out. I follow him on Twitter, so I'm sure he will pitch in.

JHA: I heard actually one piece of news. I did hear from the outside world that he has retired this week. Is that right?

(CROSSTALK)

WEIR: Yes. Yes, while you have been trapped in the ice, Justin Bieber retired. That's how long it's been.

(LAUGHTER)

WEIR: Chris, Alok, Laurence, stay warm out there. And I hope your spirits stay high. We're rooting for you every step of the icy way.

JHA: Thank you.

WEIR: I want to ring in the new year with those guys.

As always, you can find more on this story and other stories at CNN.com.

And coming up, Anderson looks at the year in justice, crimes that shocked, courtroom dramas we couldn't stop watching, and verdicts that are still causing controversy.

Plus, a look ahead to New Year's Eve, a preview of what Anderson and his irrepressible co-host, Kathy Griffin, have in store for all of us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WEIR: Well, tonight, we're taking a look back at the year in justice.

2013 will be remembered in part by the crimes that horrified us, the courtroom dramas we couldn't stop watching, and the punishments the perpetrators faced. Some of the most sensational cases aren't over yet. Here is Anderson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JODI ARIAS, DEFENDANT: No jury is going to convict me.

COOPER (voice-over): In January 2013, the trial of Jodi Arias began. She was accused of first degree murder in the brutal killing of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's the one that did the stabbing. She's the one that slit his threat.

COOPER: Arias, who was on the stand for 18 days, claimed self-defense and said she had no memory of the killing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a memory of slashing Mr. Alexander's throat?

ARIAS: No.

COOPER: The jury deliberated for more than 15 hours before returning their verdict.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As to count one first-degree murder, guilty.

COOPER: Arias still faces the possibility of the death penalty.

COOPER: Racial profiling loomed over the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman, who served on his neighborhood watch, shot and killed 17- year-old Trayvon Martin after he spotted the teenager walking through his Florida neighborhood. Martin was unarmed.

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, DEFENDANT: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) They always get away.

911 OPERATOR: Are you following him?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

COOPER: After the violent confrontation, Zimmerman claimed self- defense.

ZIMMERMAN: Felt like my body was on the grass and my head was on the cement and he just kept slamming and slamming.

COOPER: Ultimately, the jury believed him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find George Zimmerman not guilty.

COOPER: Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner for his prosthetic legs, faced cameras in a South African court after he was charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Steenkamp, 29 years old, was shot and killed by Pistorius in his bathroom one night. Pistorius says it was a tragic mistake, that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder in his home. His trial begins next year.

Legendary Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger finally had his day in court after 16 years on the run. His trial lasted for months and in the end, the 83-year-old gangster was found guilty on 31 counts, including murder and extortion. Bulger now faces prison for the rest of his life.

Ariel Castro also faced a life sentence in prison after three women were rescued from his Cleveland home. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were kidnapped by Castro about 10 years ago. They were held in dungeon-like conditions and sexually and physically abused.

Michelle Knight faced Castro in court.

MICHELLE KNIGHT, VICTIM: I am finally being heard, and it's liberating.

COOPER: Castro pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison, but just one month into his sentence, he was found hanging in his jail cell, his death ruled a suicide.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WEIR: Clearly, a busy year for CNN legal analysts. And Anderson sat down with them for a recap of the highlights and low points.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, joining us, criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, former federal prosecutors Jeffrey Toobin and Sunny Hostin, and defense attorney Danny Cevallos.

Mark, for you, what was the interesting trial or unexpected trial do you think of the year?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think clearly the most interesting trial of the year was the Zimmerman case, just for the way it kind of gained momentum.

And it was really kind of a reverse O.J. The -- as angry as whites were at the O.J. verdict, you had the reverse phenomena with Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. And so I think that one clearly brought up all kinds of great issues I think for people to talk about. And to me, at least, it was the most compelling.

COOPER: You were pretty much the only one who seemed really surprised by the verdict.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I was. And I'm still surprised by it.

I thought it was unjust. And I think it is because, one, I was in the courtroom. Two, I think it's because, as a person of color, I always believed that justice was sort of colorblind. And I didn't believe that race was going to be such a factor.

I didn't believe that these jurors, five of them mothers, could not empathize with the victim and did not -- could not see what I saw --

GERAGOS: Which means that race trumps gender and everything else.

HOSTIN: And that was a lesson for me.

GERAGOS: You had an a-ha experience.

HOSTIN: I did and I'm still --

COOPER: And I interviewed the jurors, one of the first jurors to speak, it was clear her talking about it, she did not feel a connection in the same way to Trayvon Martin --

HOSTIN: She did not --

COOPER: As to George Zimmerman.

HOSTIN: I think Danny said it so well when you said Rachel Jeantel was un-relatable to people and I really took you to test for that. What do you mean --

DANNY CEVALLOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She was the friend of Trayvon Martin.

HOSTIN: She was so unsophisticated, how could she make things up and your point I think it was right one.

CEVALLOS: Well, thank you, Sunny. I have no response to that. Laugh will have.

GERAGOS: The wheels came off the bus with Rachel Jeantel with that particular jury.

CEVALLOS: This case was so racially device and we haven't seen something like this since O.J. and here is the thing. I think this is where we disagreed a lot. Mark and I are criminal defense attorneys and if you want to make the case race is an issue in the criminal justice system, we will agree with you. We see it every day. When we walk in prison and Mark and I have been to many. Most of the people in there are young males of color.

Something is going on, but, this is not that case. I think to many attorneys out there, this case in the public at large. This was not only a run of the mill self-defense case, but a strong self-defense case. You had substantial evidence of actual injury. So I think from a legal perspective -- I know we disagree, Sunny.

HOSTIN: No way.

CEVALLOS: I think the criminal defense bar will plant the flag and say race is an issue in the criminal justice system but this wasn't the exemplary case for that.

COOPER: Jeff, in terms of what were you most interested in in terms of legal rulings, trials this year --

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I mean, in terms of broader legal rulings, I thought the Supreme Court ending the voting rights act is a hugely important case. The Windsor case, a very opposite ideological decision, which ended the defense of marriage act, those two book ends Supreme Court case were enormously important and one, we just got mentioned in passing, which was the Bulger case, which was an extraordinary story about a family that dominated Boston for many years, and incredible FBI corruption -- the abuses that went on within the FBI in that case.

COOPER: FBI turning for years a blind eye --

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: They were enabling -- not enabling fraud and theft, enabling murder.

CEVALLOS: It raises the question, I have to wonder if Mark is with me on this, especially in federal cases, how much should the federal government be in the business of joining crime to catch crime, whether paying informants, dealing them to go against each other or creating the crime, creating drug drops, situations to attack --

COOPER: And picking sides in a gang war, in a mafia war and helping Whitey Bulger killed the side that the FBI wanted knocked off.

CEVALLOS: Do you think on day one they started out, we're going to become criminals? No, it happens gradually --

COOPER: Although it is fascinating reading a fantastic book and this FBI agent, John Connelly who grew up in the neighborhood, I mean, a lot of it was old allegiances to the Bulger family.

TOOBIN: And also, South Boston where so much of that case took place is now becoming genderfide in a way it was such an insular --

COOPER: He returned to a Boston he didn't recognize.

HOSTIN: But I will tell you, there wasn't a lot of media coverage, but I was in the courtroom for the sentencing for Bulger, and what was so remarkable to me is we're talking about crimes that span decades. The victim impact statements were no different than the victim impact statements that you hear every single day in court. These people, you could just still hear and feel the passion and the pain that they suffered.

COOPER: Bulger, what he was so concerned about was not being seen as a rat and not being seen as somebody who killed women which apparently he did.

TOOBIN: He did. It is too bad there weren't cameras in the courtroom because his whole defense in the case was not that I'm not guilty of being a gangster, I'm not guilty of being a drug dealer and killing my enemies, I just didn't inform, and I didn't kill women.

COOPER: All right, we're going to take a quick break. We're going to have more when we come back, more crime and justice ahead.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: I'm back with Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Geragos, former federal prosecutors, Jeffrey Toobin and Sunny Hostin, and defense attorney, Danny Cevallos. Danny, for you, what trial was most interesting.

CEVALLOS: It was something that never made it to trial, it was the Castro case, and I'll tell you why. Obviously, it never made it to trial, but to someone like me, I look at that case and feel like we should still be talking about that case 24 hours a day. It's like when astronomers tell you that the human brain doesn't have the capacity to understand the large galaxy or the universe. I don't think any of us can fully comprehend the public, what it would been like to live ten years in an attic in shackles.

So we just sort of well, I can't even comprehend that so we're moving on. I think that case should have been 24-hour news coverage still to this day. Now Castro is no longer with us so I think that diminished the interest. Has there ever been anything so bizarre, three women shackled in an attic for not one year, two years, ten years, what were you doing ten years ago and make that the marker and you think, wow, they have been upstairs on the third floor since that day.

HOSTIN: And I actually think an interesting thing that came to that case, Danny, is that it gave renewed hope to all those parents and relatives that have these missing --

GERAGOS: I can see that -- there is hope they are still alive.

HOSTIN: There is hope. So that's something that came out of it and also, what is crazy to me is you're talking about three women, girls around the same age abducted within a one-mile radius and the cops never figure it out. They never put it together.

GERAGOS: That doesn't surprise me.

HOSTIN: That was shocking to me.

CEVALLOS: That doesn't speak well of the cops.

HOSTIN: There were so many -- there were rallies, there were neighbors that saw unusual behavior in that home. Castro's relatives were in the home, and for ten years, no one did anything or saw anything or suspected anything.

TOOBIN: The Castro case reminded me in a weird way of the Jerry Sandusky case, the Penn State assistant coach who was such a serial child abuser and all I could do and think in both cases is there is evil in the world.

COOPER: Absolutely.

TOOBIN: And no explaining. I don't know what causes it, but there are people who are stone cold evil.

CEVALLOS: The second log of the Castro case is the sentencing where you see him. To build on the evilness and all the people we perceive as evil in their mind are self-justified. If you saw Castro's statement --

GERAGOS: How do you sleep at night when somebody confesses to you they have done a crime? When that first happens, I'll reach that point but it never happens.

COOPER: It never happens.

CEVALLOS: The ability to justify what it has done, think about it.

COOPER: Ariel Castro in court was sickening --

CEVALLOS: Blame the others, but that is something I have to say Mark and I probably see and Sunny see every single day. The power of self- justification, if you think about the last argument you had and how you justified yourself, these people are facing serious prison time so the mind, it may not be true lying --

COOPER: And that brings up the Jody Arias case. This is a woman had multiple explanations, multiple lies, told so many stories about what went on --

TOOBIN: Another thing, it illustrates in part why the death penalty is disappearing in this country that case would have been over in two weeks --

GERAGOS: She's on the stand for 18 days. You could have done that whole trial in less than 18 days.

COOPER: Was there a case we haven't talked about that you think is interesting?

HOSTIN: For me, Zimmerman professionally and personally. I didn't understand why everyone was so interested in Jodi Arias. She admitted to killing him. It was almost pure from people, yes, attractive. Fatal attraction, a guy's worst nightmare, you date a hot chick. She kills you and murders you.

GERAGOS: Slashes you in the shower.

COOPER: To see somebody lying on the stand was televised and to see it day after day as a viewer you get hooked into it.

HOSTIN: It was shocking to me.

COOPER: They start to feel like they are on the jury. Thank you very much, Danny Cevallos, Mark Geragos, Jeff Toobin, Sunny Hostin, thanks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BILL WEIR, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Coming up, a cab driver in Vegas finds $300,000 left in his car. Find out what he did next and later, it is almost New Year's Eve, which means another chance for Kathy Griffin trying to get Anderson fired. Despite the standards and legal department, they are hosting again live from Times Square again this year. We'll get a little preview when "360" comes back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WEIR: Let's get the latest on some other stories we're following tonight. Susan Hendricks has the "360 Bulletin" -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bill, a massive report has been released by the Connecticut State Police more than a year after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first grader and six adults dead in Newtown, Connecticut. The report is thousands of pages long. Last month a summary was released concluding that the shooter's motives may never be known.

At least six people were killed and more than 70 injured in a car bombing in Central Beirut. The dead include a former ambassador to the United States and his bodyguard. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

And federal unemployment benefits will stop tomorrow for 1.3 million Americans. Congress did not extend the program when it passed the budget deal last week. The White House says the Senate will vote on an extension when Congress is back from recess.

A cab driver in Las Vegas found $300,000 left in a paper bag in the backseat of his cab. He didn't take the money and run, as the saying goes. He turned the money in and police tracked down its rightful owner, a 28-year-old professional poker player who gave the driver $10,000 as a reward for his honesty.

WEIR: Now here is the question for you, Susan.

HENDRICKS: Yes.

WEIR: You're on an honest type.

HENDRICKS: I am.

WEIR: If you're driving a cab in Vegas and you found 300 large in the back, you would want to give it back, but if you knew that it belonged to a gambler, would you want to give it back?

HENDRICKS: Good question, I would want to give it back, $300,000, you don't really know what goes on there.

WEIR: Not me. Easy come, easy go.

HENDRICKS: All fair in gambling and cabs, right.

WEIR: You're a better soul. Thank you, Susan. Well, it's almost time once again for the host of this show to brave the cold of Times Square and the spice of Kathy Griffin. Anderson and Kathy are co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve coverage and here is what to expect.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So what are we going to do on New Year's Eve?

KATHY GRIFFIN: I'm going to give you a pepperoni right at 9:00.

COOPER: No. That's not going to happen.

GRIFFIN: I have a written statement from my mother because every year she's embarrassed by my behavior. May I read it?

COOPER: Sure.

GRIFFIN: Dear Mr. Cooper, the Vanderbilts, the Roosevelts and the entire team of CNN. I'm quite thrilled that my daughter, Kathleen Mary, was asked to join Mr. Anderson Cooper, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus for the celebration.

COOPER: They aren't going to be on.

GRIFFIN: All right. I'm also happy that Santa Claus remains now and forever white, God. She watches Fox a lot. I apologize. I've already begun toasting to your success by enjoying the finest of boxed wines, that's true -- I'll never forgive myself if my daughter Kathleen shames the Griffin name again. Yet, again, the only promise I make is that I will not be sober during your broadcast, love Maggie. There is your beloved Maggie that you think is so charming.

COOPER: I think she is charming. I think she's lovely and I find it hard to believe that you come from her.

GRIFFIN: Well, guess what?

COOPER: What?

GRIFFIN: She's here right now.

COOPER: No, really?

GRIFFIN: Mom?

COOPER: Are you serious?

GRIFFIN: Mom?

COOPER: Mom --

GRIFFIN: Look over there.

COOPER: Hi, Maggie, how is it going?

MAGGIE GRIFFIN: Hi, Anderson. How are you doing?

COOPER: I'm doing all right. I'm doing all right. Are you going to watch us on New Year's Eve?

MAGGIE GRIFFIN: Definitely, Anderson. Certainly I'm going to watch it.

KATHY GRIFFIN: What are you looking forward to? Tell him, he's right there.

MAGGIE GRIFFIN: There are some things Kathleen Mary is not going to do, will do or not do.

COOPER: What is she not going to do?

KATHY GRIFFIN: Like what?

MAGGIE GRIFFIN: Well, she's certainly going to be a pillar of elegance, that's for sure, and there will be no transactions.

KATHY GRIFFIN: Transactions?

MAGGIE GRIFFIN: No shenanigans.

KATHY GRIFFIN: I'm curious about the transactions. What transactions?

MAGGIE GRIFFIN: As a mother, I can promise you that you will be fully dressed at all times, thank God, and she will also not take the Lord's name in vein.

COOPER: That's good.

MAGGIE GRIFFIN: Or attempt to disrobe him, attempt to disrobe Mr. Anderson, Mr. Cooper.

MAGGIE GRIFFIN: You don't have to call him Mr. Anderson --

COOPER: Is she reading from the CNN contract you were forced to sign. I hope so.

KATHY GRIFFIN: Yes, she is. We had to put it in really big font. She doesn't normally read contracts.

COOPER: Let me show Kathy what I'm concerned about. Let's show the clip from some years past.

I'm here with, of course, Kathy Griffin.

KATHY GRIFFIN: I'm here with not Ryan Seacrest. The Jonas Brothers. You're fraud.

COOPER: You can't do that.

KATHY GRIFFIN: Yes, did.

COOPER: I almost wore this. I was this close to wearing this.

KATHY GRIFFIN: This is not awkward at all. Sorry, hi, everybody. Paper crush -- take your hands off me, honestly.

COOPER: Kathy was saying it's like the prom she never had. I texted Kathy saying to her happy Thanksgiving.

KATHY GRIFFIN: It was a really sweet text.

COOPER: You know what she texted back? Are you drunk? There are so many unmentionable things that we can't show and I just choose --

KATHY GRIFFIN: I had better moments and I think you know exactly what I'm referring to, where the heck, heck was my near nudity. Where was the f word, which I still don't think I said, and I'm sure there is some sort of make out session you left out, remember that year you took off all your clothes except when you wore an athletic cup?

COOPER: But seriously, I know that's your stick and that's what you do, but I'm really hoping this year just like, you know, just keep it clean. I mean, don't -- do your thing, but don't be tawdry, you know what I mean? I got tweets.

KATHY GRIFFIN: Tawdry? I didn't know it's the roaring '20s. I'll try not to be tawdry at the speak easy. We're on from 9:00 until 12:30.

COOPER: I know, that concerns me as well.

KATHY GRIFFIN: Do you think by 12:00 I'll care anymore?

COOPER: That's what concerns me.

KATHY GRIFFIN: We should pick a clean block, like maybe 9:15 to 9:30 I'm dressed and the rest it's just go time.

COOPER: Go time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WEIR: There you go. Join the pillar of elegance and Anderson, New Year's Eve. She said the clean part starts at 9:00. Everything after that all bets are off right here on CNN.

Coming up, we've been counting down the top five "Ridiculist" of the year based on your votes and the choice for number two is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WEIR: You voted for your favorite "Ridiculist" of 2013. Remember, you did. Tonight here is your choice for number two from back in March when a cat with a weight problem plus an amused local news anchor made for "Ridiculist" gold. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Time now for the "Ridiculist." Tonight, we get an important news item from Roanoke, Virginia. A local news anchor there tried to tackle a serious story in the struggle of one cat in particular to lose weight. Take a look.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cats, they're not usually known for their love of swimming. One feline in Northern Virginia is hitting the water instead of the gym in an effort to lose weight. Holly is a 13-year- old cat who dislikes the outdoors and other physical activities. Encouragement from her owner -- he managed to lose one pound in six weeks. Stay with us, everybody. We've got a lot more to come.

COOPER: So unprofessional. That poor cat worked his tail off to lose one pound in six weeks. I think that's what she said. The anchor can't even keep it together to give that story the gravitas it deserves. I know what you're thinking, I have laughed too on this program.

Let's move beyond that, OK. I'd like to point out there have been many more times I held it together against all odds.

COOPER: Let's think about this. By the way, a couple of Kung Fu panda is going to cost you. If you're the adventurous type or you just like to splurge on crap, you'll --

Literally, Subway hasn't commented on the lawsuits. But it did release a statement today promising it really does want to give you all 12 inches and I -- and I quote. We have redoubled our efforts -- it's the Christmas boobsie -- it's a beer cuzzi with breasts, a concept that debuted at the holiday wonderland that is hooters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you not eat my pants?

COOPER: I watched it like 30 times. Of course, sometimes, you have no choice, you have to let it all out.

Sorry, this is torture. Departu, I know, you got it, but -- all right. Look. There will always be those stories that just get to you and sometimes after all the bad news, a fat, wet cat is just what the doctor ordered.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WEIR: You can tune in Monday to find out the top "Ridiculist" of 2013. That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching. "ANTHONY BOURDAIN PARTS UNKNOWN" starts right now.