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VP Biden Discusses Security Situation, U.S. Assistance in Call with Iraqi PM; Benghazi Suspect Being Questioned Aboard USS New York; Iraq Veterans Disappointed, Divided on What Went Wrong

Aired June 18, 2014 - 20:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" ANCHOR: Good evening. It's 3:00 a.m. here in Baghdad going to a could be some of the most challenging days yet for this country and for the United States. We've just gotten word from the White House that Vice President Joseph Biden called Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. They had a phone conversation. We're going to get more details on that from our Jim Sciutto in just a moment.

Sunni extremist fighters now have a serious choke called, on part of the fuel supply. A lot to talk about tonight. Even though the central government is claiming to be driving them back, the front line remains as close as some 37 miles from the capitol of Baghdad where I am. Faith in the government remains low in many quarters, trust in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to look out for all Iraqis, Shia, Sunni, Kurds and Christians seemingly non-existent. Against that backdrop, the prime minister has requested and the Obama administration is considering air strikes and other military assistance.

This afternoon, President Obama met with Congressional leaders giving his perspective according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi but not running through a list of possible actions that he's planning to take. Tonight, we will run through a list of possible actions but first, a wrap of the big developments here today.


COOPER (voice-over): Long live ISIS these Sunni militants chant on the streets of Baiji today. They are now in control of this city and at least part of its massive oil refinery. Black smoke fills the air as militants are said to have set fires to at least five oil storage tanks. Clashes are still ongoing at this Iraq's largest refinery.

(on camera): The loss of Baiji refinery is going to be a big blow for the government here in Baghdad. It's one of just three refineries in the country and its entire output is used within Iraq. It's used for domestic consumption, so it means that there is going to be longer lines at gas stations in Baghdad as people try to fill up their cars and there is just not as much gasoline to be had. Already, power, electricity is intermittent at the capital, you don't get it 24 hours a day. You can hear that humming sound, that buzzing, there are generators use in businesses and private homes. And mostly that can't afford to run a generator for several hours every day. So, the lost of that refinery is going to be longer blackout periods for many families.

(voice-over): The fighting comes as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki today promised a counter offensive saying, Iraqi forces will strike back at ISIS and promising to, quote, "teach them a lesson after suffering humiliating defeats last week." Iraqi military officials say they have retaken the border town of Talafareh (ph) in the northwest of the country, CNN has not independently verified the government's claim. Tonight, a Maliki spokesman also announced investigations into some 59 high-level Iraqi police and military officials for allegedly abandoning their posts. If found guilty, they could be executed.

Meanwhile, Kurdish Peshmerga forces pushed back Sunni militants from the outskirts of Kirkuk today, further strengthening their hold on the city. Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk, a coveted center for oil production last week. And Iran weighed into, the leader of the Shia nation warning Sunni extremists in Iraq that his country is prepared to protect Shia shrines in Iraq at all costs.


These terrorist groups and those who are supporting them whether in the region or across the world are nothing against the will of the great nation of Iraq he says and the Muslim nation of this land will put them back where they belong. The announcement comes after the head of Iran's elite paramilitary Kurd force met with Iraqi officials in Baghdad over the weekend to help the government coordinate a response. Saudi Arabia's foreign minister in turn said, his country opposed any foreign intervention and interference in Iraq. The statement wildly believed to be directed specifically at Iran.


COOPER: The big question tonight, though, concerned how much and what kind of American military involvement, if any at all. Now, the only thing the White House has ruled out is sending combat forces back into Iraq.

For a look at the extent of planning for all the other options, we're joined now by chief National Security correspondent Jim Sciutto. Also retired army major general and CNN military analyst James "Spider" Marks.

Jim, let me start off with you, this phone call that we've just learned about between Joseph Biden the vice president and Nouri al- Maliki, what details do we know?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know this, we know he spoke, he spoke with Nouri al-Maliki but he also spoke with the president of the Kurdish region Massoud Barzani as well as the speaker of the Iraqi parliament. And when you look at the read out of this call, you see a consistent message coming from the administration, that is him saying that they talk about potential military assistance for Iraqi security forces but always coupled with a political component. He says, he was very direct with Maliki saying that this will have to

be paired with Maliki reaching out to the other minorities, the Sunnis and Kurds there, so they are acting on behalf of Iraqis as a whole not just the Shiite majority of which Maliki is a member as well. And it's interesting, because we also heard today from General David Petraeus, of course it was commander in Iraq, the architect of the surge 2007, '08, '09 that rescued Iraq from its last march until civil war. And he had a similar message in his comments in London saying, warning against military involvement in Iraq, unless it has a political component, unless it is in conjunction with an Iraqi government that is acting on behalf of all of its people and not just one minority there.

COOPER: Which exactly was the political component that was supposed to happen in the wake of the surge, which Nouri al-Maliki has not followed through on. Jim, the Pentagon has put together this draft list of ISIS targets. It has not finalized that, is that correct?

SCIUTTO: It is not. What I'm told is that they have a draft list but this list is always being updated with new intelligence that they have so it has the latest options for the President but, you know, this list has been presented to the President so he can consider it. And other thing I'll mentioned is that, for several days now, speaking to military officials, myself and Barbara Starr a Pentagon correspondent, we've heard a consistent message about what those options are. Yes, air strikes, though, limited air strikes, in addition to that, the U.S. sending additional military advisors into Iraq to help coordinate Iraq's military response.

Now to be clear, these advisors would not be on the front lines where they would be at risk, you know, breaking the President's promise not to have boots on the ground but they would be in the embassy compound where there are already 200 some odd military advisors who act in a similar capacity. So, bolstering that existing capacity there and then the other component to military options reconnaissance flights and in fact, we're told that those reconnaissance flights have already begun. So flying over those ISIS positions getting intelligence that the U.S. can share with the Iraqi side but also possibly use if the President decides to launch missiles or bombing missions over those sites, as well.

COOPER: General Marks, the fact that this target list is being put together and refined as events change on the ground, the fact that there are already over flights, reconnaissance flights that might sound like air strikes are imminent. That's not necessarily the case. This is something that would be done just as a planning purpose.

MAJOR GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it is and beyond the planning, what it really gets to is the effort that the United States is now taking on with the advisory element of the forces that are on the ground. I mean, the 300 some odd forces that were put on the ground just a couple days ago, really have a couple of missions, one of them is the non-combatant evacuation possibility and also, the advisory role, which has everything to do with targeting. And so the United States in concert with the Iraqis in the sanctuary of either the Iraqi joint chief staff command center or there in the embassy where we have a very large down linked capability where all the intelligence capabilities can come into an intelligence center where all of that can be fused, so that we can hand off targeting data to the Iraqis so that they can use both on the ground and that's being updated and refreshed by these flights. And I would hazard to guess that most of these flights are probably by UAVs or drones at this point.

COOPER: General Marks, though, if they do send in special operations forces, special operators, is it likely, though that they would really just stay at the embassy? I mean, is that -- I mean, if you really want to get an influence on the Iraqi military and have them influence the fighting capabilities of a lot of these battalions out on the field, don't these special units have to be -- the Special Forces have to be out with those units in bases in the field?

MARKS: Anderson, that's a great question. Yes, it's the difference between what they can do, what their doctrine that they have been taught, their tactics, techniques and procedures and what their authorizations are, what the policy is stated by the President is. So the special -- if there are going to be special operations forces involved and advisors at that level, I can guarantee you at this point they are not moving forward to help direct fire or to help maneuver elements or to help use -- help indirect fire from ground units that the ISF, the Iraqi Security Forces are engaging right now with ISIS. I think at this point, they are providing a top level command and control element into the very highest levels at the Iraqi Joint Chiefs of Staff.

COOPER: General Marks, I appreciate you being on. Jim Sciutto as well.

I want to bring in our Nic Robertson now here in Baghdad and Arwa Damon. And Nic, I want to start with you. This idea that Vice President Biden had a phone conversation with Nouri al-Maliki, what are you hearing? You've been talking to a lot of sources here on the ground. What are you hearing about the confidence people within the government and elsewhere have in Nouri al-Maliki?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Confidence is low. There are politicians here really don't believe even in his own party withhold by people that are in conversation with him, they don't think Nouri al-Maliki is the man to make the compromises, he hasn't shown that so far, the decisions that he's taken some people consider will further alienated Sunni politicians here. There are politicians that just don't feel that they can work with him, therefore, how can he really be the man to make concessions and take the country forward, a new prime minister is needed.

Now, the election results from the last couple of months should have been ratified, and therefore, that should begin a process towards the end of this month that would determine the new prime minister speaker of the parliament being announced. There is a constitutional scope for that change to happen, but a lot of that is going to depends on Nouri Al-Maliki himself. Is he prepared to make the ultimate concession for himself and give up power? COOPER: Arwa, in the north, you've been talking to Christians outside

Mosul and in northern areas, A, do they have any confidence that Nouri al-Maliki is the man to continue leading this country, and also, how concerned are they about life under ISIS?

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They very much feel, Anderson, as if they are the victim of politics and they believe that the country's leaders lack the political maturity that is necessary at this stage to actually move the nation out of this current crisis and horrific bloodshed. The Christian community here, remember, during the years of the Iraq sectarian warfare, and even afterwards was consistently targeted by insurgent groups on all sides. And that fear is returning to them once again. This town that we went to go visit is only ten minutes away from ISIS' positions in Mosul.

Mosul being the first city that fell as a terrorist organization was advancing. They have begun to -- the Christians in this town have begun to armed themselves. They are setting up civilian defense units. A lot of shops are closed either because the owners have fled or they're not bothering to open. They have been cut off for the last four days from electricity, from water and they are absolutely terrified that no one is going to come to their assistance. And it's absolutely heart breaking to speak to them, Anderson, because so many of them will say to you, you know in the last ten years since Saddam Hussein was taken from power, if we ever had a chance, if there ever was a glimmer of hope, something would always happen to take that away and that is happening most certainly across the country at this stage.

COOPER: And Arwa, I mean, you talk about Mosul, the city of some two million people as you said, the first to fall to ISIS forces. You know, they have a very draconian vision of what life should be like. They apparently posted, you know, new rules for the town, women, you know, should stay indoors, no smoking, no drinking, no music, things like that. Do we know what life has become like in Mosul? Have they started to institute their rule of law there?

DAMON: They have but perhaps in a more subtle way than we've seen them try to impose their rule of law in Syria. For example, they are encouraging people to abide by the rules at this stage. Let's also remember that they are trying to keep this relationship that they have going on currently with the Sunni tribes and the various other Sunni insurgent groups to former bufos (ph) as a fairly solid one-and-one that loose arrangement was made to bring all these Sunni groups together to launch this current offensive.

ISIS was supposed to abide by certain rules and that was not to impose their own interpretation of Sharia Islam on the population, most certainly not to carry out those mass executions. So, we're hearing from sources that they have been told to sort of hold back on trying to impose their ideas on the population, but that being said, they are continuously issuing orders most recently they have told all journalists that they are not allowed to film anything unless they have specific permission from members of ISIS -- Anderson.

COOPER: Of course, Nic, how long does that kind of liberal rule, if you can even call it that, how long will that last? We've seen it certainly in the past they may be trying to win people over right now. We'll see how long that lasts. We got to go right now. Nic, thanks very much. Arwa Damon as well.

Quick reminder, make sure you set your DVRs, you can watch 360 whenever you want. Next, you've seen the propaganda videos of ISIS have put out. You've heard the claims of mass killings committed by their fighters. Tonight we have what almost no one knew about the Shadow Organization. How it runs its campaign of terror. The information, thanks for remark, intelligence -- you're going to learn a whole lot more ahead.

And later, major new details moment by moment about the raid that captured one of the alleged Benghazi ringleaders and why there is a big fight going on now about, where he should be held, interrogated and tried for murder.


COOPER: Welcome back, we are live in Baghdad tonight, they are less than an hour's drive from here, they control Iraq's second biggest city, Mosul, part of the biggest oil refinery in Baiji and territory larger than the state of Israel right now. They've rounded up government officials, military commanders, people they consider non- believers and apostates, claiming to have killed 1700 prisoners which would have true, one of the worst atrocities in recent memory. War crimes no doubt about it. And when you consider that ISIS is estimated to number only a few thousand in all, you can see why the Sunni militants known as ISIS have inspired such terror.

They are after all, the group that al Qaeda famously considered too extreme in some ways for them. An American security official worry that like Al Qaeda, they could eventually target the United States. All that makes a recent discovery in Mosul, such as coup, this is before they took over Mosul, window directly inside the organization ISIS. Martin Chulov wrote about it for the "Guardian," I spoke with him earlier today.


COOPER: I was fascinated by this article you wrote and you're the only person I've read who found out this information. Talk about the intelligence that was discovered about ISIS before Mosul happened.

MARTIN CHULOV, MIDDLE EAST REPORTER, "THE GUARDIAN": Two or three days before that dramatic storming into Mosul took place, the Iraqi forces had gone to the house of someone that they had been told was the head of the military counsel, the ISIS organization that was led to him by a Kuria (ph) who would finally broke after two weeks of interrogations, gone to the house, shot him dead and found 162 memory sticks and on those sticks were an absolute treasure trove of information.

COOPER: These were computer sticks that belonged to ISIS?

CHULOV: Yes, absolutely.

COOPER: They had all the information. All the intelligence about ISIS.

CHULOV: Everything. Financial accounts, strategic leadership, the second tier of leaders as well which is really important to them because while they (INAUDIBLE) knew who the senior leaders were, they didn't know much about the second tier. And they were the guys who feeding in there. The new recruits. The foreigners who are coming from all around, from Europe, from the U.S. and from elsewhere. They had code names and initials of at least a thousand informants I should say, infiltrates into the Iraqi institutions.

COOPER: So ISIS has people that infiltrated the institutions of Iraqi government.

CHULOV: Not had been on for long time. Not to this scale. It had been known that they are more or less, you know, got into the security establishment, the finance military, the foreign ministry, every ministry in the country and you know, these was something that was startling even to the Iraqis who had more or less been --

COOPER: So, ISIS really has a very kind of well organized structure?

CHULOV: Absolutely. Not only that. They are strategically capable, very, very capable. I mean, there had been -- like a sense of an understanding of that but not to the extent that was revealed. These accounts would have passed any forensic auditor. They were before Mosul took place, they had $875 million in cash alone.

COOPER: That's a huge amount for, I mean, any kind of terror group.

CHULOV: Massive amount and $36 million of it according to these accounts that come from losing -- antiquities and -- around the country. The rest had come from during the oil fields of Eastern Syria and then selling that oil back to the regime itself or across the border into Iraq or into Turkey.

COOPER: And now that they control Mosul, they were able to lewd the banks there as well so they have even more stockpiles of gold and cash.

CHULOV: Straight up cash and gold, conservatively 500 million. Military equipment including 200 sort of armored troop carries, at least 50 humvees, five tanks, ammunition rockets whatever, conservatively around a billion dollars. So, you do those, some say wrap around $2.3 billion at the moment.

COOPER: Do you see a rise in sectarian violence or the potential for a rise in sectarian violence as you know, volunteers now, tens of thousands have said they will take up arms largely Shia joining this militias?

CHULOV: You and I been coming here for many years now, and we both know when the street is turning. Not quite there yet but it has the real potential to do so. The issue with these militias, they are signing up on sectarian lines, they're not doing so as nationalists. Their sense of sectarian identity has promised any allegiance to the state. COOPER: Do you see any chance for Nouri al-Maliki's government to

reach out to Sunni groups, to reach out to Kurds, something that he's not been willing to do in the last couple of years.

CHULOV: I think he's building bridges with the Kurds and I strongly suspect he's building bridges with the Sunnis. I can't see how he could bring this back. His military, three divisions walking why he's lost authority there. His authority to lead has been -- well, he was commander in chief of the country. How is he going to assemble a coalition, you know, to take more than half the sits in the 320 exit parliament which he needs to be -- the third time, well, that sort of a backdrop.

COOPER: You've been reporting here since 2005, you know this place better than anyone. Were you surprised by the speed of ISIS forces and how important is this moment right now?

CHULOV: Absolutely. I was surprised and so were they. They weren't anticipating being the central of Mosul and the afternoon of the day that they attacked. They didn't think that the Iraqi military would abandon that posts such as that and give them open to the loot of the country.

COOPER: Because that's really where the issue was in Mosul, it wasn't even so much being defeated on the battle field.

CHULOV: It was not fighting.

COOPER: It was not fighting. It was fleeing before they even got there and suddenly ISIS moved in and said, they are gone.

CHULOV: Yes. And by any measure, this is an existential threat to the country, not any of this country but potentially the region, as well. I mean, the boarders between Iraq and Syria are already increasingly irrelevant when ISIS can drive (INAUDIBLE) highway. That's what they took the west and say, they took from Mosul, they have a huge -- from rock release in Syria, to Mosul and down to Baghdad. They control that strategically. If their insurgency continues to take hold, that is undoubtedly going to destabilize the region. We've already seeing -- this is history large at the moment.

COOPER: Well, thank you so much for talking to us. I appreciate it.


Martin Chulov with "The Guardian."

For more on the story now, just go to Coming up tonight, news details about the dangerous operation that captured one of the alleged masterminds of the deadly attack in Benghazi and why it took nearly two years to get Ahmed Abu Khattala, next.


COOPER: One of the alleged masterminds behind the deadly attack in the U.S. mission. Benghazi, Libya is on board a navy ship at this hour being questioned by FBI's high value detainee interrogation group. Ahmed Abu Khattala his name, he's going to likely face a federal trial in the United States. It's been nearly two years since that attack in Benghazi, left four Americans dead, set-off of course a political firestorm, Khattala was captured at the weekend. New details about the operation are coming to light. Barbara Starr tonight reports.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Ahmed Abu Khattala was lured south of Benghazi. Army Delta Force commandos, the FBI and intelligence agencies had been watching him for days. They swooped in Sunday night.

The chairman of the Joint-Chiefs hinting at how dangerous it all was.

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: The Abu Khattala operation though it may have looked, you know, rather routine, it took us months of preparation and intelligence.

STARR: Khattala, a key operative in Ansar al-Sharia, the group the U.S. blames for the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. Intelligence gleaned from local Libyans helped draw Khattala to the location. They captured him with no shots fired, no one getting hurt. Then U.S. commandos whisked him to the USS New York in the Mediterranean. He is now undergoing questioning.

Delta force commandos had been in Libya before. In October, they captured alleged Al Qaeda operative Anas al-Libi in Tripoli in a raid that took less than 30 seconds. Some wondered why it took so long to get to Khattala when journalists like CNN's Arwa Damon found and talked to him more than a year ago.

DAMON: We met with Akhmad Abu Khattala in public at the coffee shop of a well known hotel here in Benghazi for around two hours. He seemed to be confident, his demeanor most certainly not that of a man who believed that he was going to be detained or targeted any time soon.

STARR: So how could CNN find Khattala and it took U.S. Commandos over a year to get him. Khattala had gone into hiding, U.S. intelligence had to track him down and get ready to move.

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, FORMER U.S. AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: You have to know where he lives, frequents, when he goes where, does he go with his family, does he have a security detail? All of these questions have to be factored in. Once you know that then you develop your plan on how you're going to take him.


STARR: The Delta Force Commandos who got Khattala belonged to the Joint Special Operations Command, one of the most secretive organizations in the U.S. military. The same military command that got Bowe Bergdahl back a few weeks ago and also went after Osama Bin Laden. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon. COOPER: Joining me now are CNN national security analysts, Fran Townsend, is a member of the DHS and CIA external advisory boards, also former FBI and CIA senior official, Phillip Mud and special agent in charge, Robert McFadden, who is the senior vice president of Soufan (ph) Group.

Robert, Abu Khattala is now aboard the USS New York being questioned, being interrogated. I know you've interrogated, questioned a lot of terror suspects. Can you take us inside? How does it work?

ROBERT MCFADDEN, SENIOR VP, THE SOUFAN GROUP: The way it would be working right now, you of course, have the A level interrogation team that's out there. Of course, first thing first, the subject with the medical clearance, I'm sure that was taken care of everything. We heard about it was that it was a very clean pickup. So once the medical is over, then the team, the interrogation team makes an engagement with the subject and starts on what we refer to usually as an operational cord to get to the matters out hand.

COOPER: When you said matters at hand, are investigators more interested at this point in actionable intelligence and current information that he may know about events that may still take place, rather than what happened at the consulate?

MCFADDEN: Absolutely. Think of it in exactly those terms, Anderson. It's about national level security requirements and intelligence requirements at the national and DOD level. That would have to do with things like disrupting plots, what plots might be underway? Who is involved? What are the communications nodes? What is the command and control structure?

All the present actionable intelligence that would disrupt threats and save lives and protect U.S. interests. Of course, what happened in Benghazi was a critical importance, but if you think in terms of essentially setting aside A level interview team will certainly get to those requirements. Now it's about intelligence and security.

COOPER: And Fran, in terms of options that investigators have, there are a lot more options they have now before the suspect gets to the United States and starts to be processed in the judicial system, correct?

FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's right, Anderson. They are not constrained by Miranda or those things. Khattala does not have to answer them. They will establish a relationship and work through the requirements as have been discussed. First are there current threats?

Of course, the next sort of level of things they want to know are were there co-conspirators and can he identify them and lead investigators, give them intelligence leads to where they may find other individuals involved in Benghazi.

COOPER: I'm always interested why people actually talk and Robert, you know, you've been in there. Why does the suspect start to talk and reveal information that may not be in the best interest to do so? MCFADDEN: Yes, there are just really a spectrum of different reasons. I know this is less than satisfactory, but in the post 9/11 interview situation, me and my partner had access to notable al Qaeda members, a few examples, some were motivated by the uncertainty of the situations. Others were motivated as they called it fatigue with the jihad life. Every human being is motivated by one or two main things that if tapped into, effectively, can modify behavior.

COOPER: And Fran, it's no accident that they have this suspect on a ship. I mean, they could have easily flown him to the United States, but they want that time to talk to him before they get to the U.S., correct?

TOWNSEND: That's right, Anderson. The investigators will establish a relationship with the suspect to establish a relationship of trust and get more information. Frankly, there is a legal reason. On a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean, he doesn't have access to the U.S. legal system, he doesn't have access to a lawyer so they can -- a lawyer can on his behalf file a habeas claim to get him released or brought before a court.

They will keep him outside the jurisdiction of the United States as long as they believe they are getting valuable intelligence information and keep him there until they are satisfied with the attorney general's permission they are getting valuable information.

COOPER: Robert, what can you do on a ship before you bring somebody to the United States where Miranda rights have to be involved that you can't do, you know, in a holding facility in the United States? I mean, it certainly raises questions what kind can of techniques are they actually using on this person. Are they using, you know, in the Bush administration enhanced interrogation which people refer to as torture. What can they do on board a ship and not the United States?

MCFADDEN: They can get the subject to a safe environment with a minimum of distractions. In this case, likely in international waters. The short answer to the question, there really isn't any difference technically or physically, but from what I understand from colleagues who have been involved in some of these, it really is quite conducive to good interviews.

COOPER: It's a fascinating, Fran Townsend, Robert McFadden, thank you.

I talked to Robert. He said the enhanced interrogation techniques, some call torture, frankly, don't work as well as other methods. Just ahead, more than 4,400 American troops died here in Iraq. How did the one whose survive think about what is going on now? We'll talk to some vets ahead.


COOPER: The crisis threatening Iraq is depressingly familiar after dictator after dictator are falling across the Middle East. The countries they once ruled had descended into chaos. It's a pattern that some experts predicted based on an uncomfortable fact, dictators by virtue of sheer brutality tend to keep a tight lid on disorder. Randi Kaye tonight digs deeper. We want to warn you Randi Kaye's report contains images that might not be suitable for young viewers.


RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You're looking at Gaddafi's final moments. Soon after this video, Libya's ruler of 42 years is dead, a gunshot to the head. October 20th, 2011, Libya was in the midst of a civil war. But is Libya any better off today than during this strong man's rule?

ROBERT BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: These things never work. You can't decapitate a regime and expect order to follow. It's never happened.

KAYE: Gaddafi's death gave rise to even more sectarian violence. Tens of thousands are dead. Cities like Benghazi where four Americans were killed in 2012 during an attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound are caught in the chaos. Without any organized opposition, nobody is in charge.

BAER: The Libya broke into a tribal groups, Islamic groups, sectarian groups and we have what's an open-ended wound, a civil war that is going to continue for a very, very long time.

KAYE: Nearly 30 years after he was elected president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak announce in February of 2011 he would not seek re-election driven away from Arab spring protesters that thought Egypt would be better off. But even after the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi became president, the violence continued, Christian churches were burned.

(on camera): The military took control and impose what had is still today an authoritarian government, the new government designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization sentencing hundreds of supporters to death.

(voice-over): It's only gotten worse in Iraq since this moment in 2003.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, we got him.

KAYE: Saddam Hussein captured by the United States from a spider hole in Tikrit. Inspected head to toe, he is later sentenced to death, but the in-fighting among the Sunnis and Shiites didn't die with Saddam Hussein. A sectarian civil war soon followed leaving nearly half a million people dead.

With Saddam Hussein long gone, the Shiites are still desperately trying to hold on to power and hold back Sunni militants as ISIS rolls toward Baghdad we're left wondering what really is best for these countries. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: A lot to talk about with our Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS." He joins me now. Fareed, we really have seen this now so many times, dictators, people who have been dictators for decades in some cases, over thrown leaving power and kind of an attempt at democracy that stumbles as it is right now here in Iraq.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS": Anderson, if you look 15 years ago, the entire Middle East from Libya to Tunisia, Iraq to Syria, you had secular dictatorships under pinning this order. Secular dictatorships often supported by super powers or foreign powers, the whole structure of authority has collapsed and what is interesting is into the vacuum have risen all these Islamist groups.

What that tells you is, when order is threatened and breaks down, what people grasp to is their oldest identity, Shia, Sunni, Arab, Kurd. This might be a title wave coming and that is going to have this kind of period of transition for this region.

COOPER: You know, it's so frustrating and especially for people who served here, who sacrificed, you know, body parts here and friends here and family members here, I mean, there was such opportunity in this country. This is a country with huge oil reserves with the vast potential for wealth.

It makes a lot of money now and yet, we've seen this really through a failure of leadership by the prime minister, this failure to reach out in very basic ways and kind of share the wealth.

ZAKARIA: Absolutely. We made our share of mistakes, Anderson. We reinforced sectarian identities and empowered the Shia hard liners. Maliki is to principally blame the prime minister. People say we could have done more, we left too soon. Remember, Anderson, if it took almost 200,000 foreign troops, mostly American, if it took billions of dollars to get Maliki to temporarily be nice to the Sunnis, how long was that going to last anyway? We're seeing is Maliki's true colors and he's revealed himself to be a sectarian thug, sad to say. It's tough to imagine how he can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

COOPER: So you don't see a scenario in which he maintains power and the country stays together?

ZAKARIA: The only hope is a government of national unity and if it doesn't happen, there won't be an outright partition because they will end up with no oil. Everyone will fight for the central government. It will be a very unstable long period sort of like Syria with a lot of bad lands and no go zones in the middle where very nasty people will take root.

COOPER: But at this point, does the U.S. really have that much influence over the events here? I mean, Iran obviously is the major partner, don't they have more control over what happens here, at least in terms of the government?

ZAKARIA: Iran has a lot of influence. That's part of what has been motivated Maliki and one of the reasons Maliki didn't want to sign the status of forces agreement with America that would keep American troops in Iraq in small numbers. I heard that from several politicians that said this deal is never going to happen because Iran doesn't want it. The Iranians do have influence. We could have some influence particularly now.

This is Washington's moment of maximum leverage because Maliki needs the United States and needs military help. This would be the moment for President Obama and his team to try to extract the maximum they can and what I would urge is that that maximum be Maliki resign and new government be shaped perhaps with Maliki's party. Look, there are ambitious politicians in Iraq, there are all kinds of people who could be reached out to and you try to come up with a new governing coalition because this one lost credibility.

COOPER: Fareed Zakaria, thanks very much for joining us.

ZAKARIA: Pleasure, Anderson.

COOPER: I want to talk about what vets feel about what is happening here, soldiers from Fort Hood in particular. They paid a big price. Tonight some of their fellow soldiers speak out about what they feel is going on here.


COOPER: American troops that sacrificed so much for so long in Iraq are like everybody else, watching this country unravel. We can't speak for what that feels like because we weren't risking our lives day in and out watches friends lose lives for the mission. No U.S. military base lost more troops than Fort Hood in Texas where Gary Tuchman went to talk to Iraq veterans.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At VFW Post 3892, just a short drive from the front gates of the U.S. Army's Fort Hood, we meet one of the people who helps run this post. Over a game of pool, we start learning more about what changed his life forever.

(on camera): When did you serve in Iraq?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Specialist Gilbreath was in Kuwait as the war began, he was an Abrams tank system mechanic and was part of the invasion of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. He joined the Army in 1999 and still serves in the National Guard.

VAN GILBREATH, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: Seemed like it would smooth out and Iraq would continue into a nice path.

TUCHMAN: It was, of course, anything but a nice path. More than 500 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas were killed serving in Iraq. More than any other U.S. military instillation, about one out of every nine Americans that died in Iraq were deployed from this base. Here at Fort Hood, feelings about what happened in Iraq in the past vary. So do feelings about what should be done in the future. But in this community, the sacrifice of so much, there is a common sentiment about the present and that is profound disappointment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt almost as if we wasted a lot of time.

TUCHMAN: First Sgt. Richard Phillips was a senior medic in Baghdad in 2004 and 2005. He served in the Army for 24 years.

RICK PHILLIPS, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: Did we accomplish anything? Let's look at the situation right now. I don't think we did.

TUCHMAN: Specialist Gilbreath though believes the situation is not a lost cause, but the Iraqi government can still make a positive difference.

GILBREATH: I think if they organized their troops correctly with the training that we've provided them, that they could overtake the situation without U.S. troops involved.

TUCHMAN: But many soldiers at Fort Hood don't have that same level of faith. Staff Sergeant Marshall Burton is still active duty army. He received a combat action badge after serving in Iraq in 2005 and 2006.

MARSHALL BURTON, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: We're the baddest force in the world, so of course, we'll be able to make a difference, but that is deeper than, you know, the U.S. Army being there. It goes back to the bible, you know.

TUCHMAN: He's not alone in thinking the U.S. military can't solve religious disputes that go back many centuries.

PHILLIPS: Before we went, I didn't think we should go because I -- not being a predicator I'd probably could have said, look, they have been living this way 5,000 years, this long how will we change it.

TUCHMAN: Specialist Gilbert says he'd like all U.S. troops to stay out of Iraq but.

GILBREATH: The Iraqis can't control the situation. U.S. troops may have to go back in I guess. I would hate to see that.

TUCHMAN: At Fort Hood, there is a strong and enduring sense of mission, even when there is disagreement about what the mission should be. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Fort Hood, Texas.


COOPER: Well, up next tonight, emotional testimony on Capitol Hill, a member of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's platoon says he committed the worst.

And the teen that stowed away in the airplane speaks out for the first time about how and why he did it.


COOPER: Check in with Susan Hendricks with the 360 Bulletin -- Susan. SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, an Army specialist that served with Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl said at a House hearing today that Bergdahl committed the ultimate betrayal and should be charged with desertion. For his part, Congressman Jerry Connally said Bergdahl deserves the benefit of the doubt and judgment should be withheld until facts are known.

The California teen who stowed away in a plane's wheel well and survived the 5.5-hour flight to Hawaii is speaking out. In his first interview, the teenager said he was trying to see his mother at a refugee camp in Utopia and chose a plane that was heading west.

And at the World Cup, 85 Chile fans were detained after trying to get in without tickets reaching fences, overrunning security. Argentina fans did the same thing on Sunday -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Susan, thanks very much. That does it for us in Baghdad for this hour. We'll see you again at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 a.m. Baghdad time, for another edition of 360.