Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Major New ISIS Offensive Under Way in Iraq; U.N. Security Council Approves Resolution for Ukraine Ceasefire; Judge Blocks Obama's Executive Action on Immigration; Border Patrol Price Tag
Aired February 17, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. I'd like to bring you tonight, including an eye opening look at how drones like the ones hunting ISIS are used here in the United States along the border.
But first, breaking news from the front line. A major new ISIS offensive now underway in Iraq and new reporting. Evidence that the ISIS inspired gunman in the Paris Magazine office and at the Kosher market were communicating by phone and in person and coordinating their acts of terror.
Chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto is working both of those angles for us tonight. He joins us now.
First of all, this major assault by ISIS going on in Iraq, what's the latest?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. Taking place just to the south west of Irbil the major Kurdish stronghold in the north. It started undercover of 9:00 o'clock local time. It's ongoing, it shows a little sophistication there.
A couple points about it. One, there been a lot of talk about ISIS being on the defensive but in the last week, three major offensive actions by them, two in the north, one in Anbar province. And the other point that I would make is Irbil has hundreds of American military advisers, diplomats as well while it's well defended by Kurdish forces, it shows the fighting can get very close to that U.S. personnel.
COOPER: And I also want to ask you about the new evidence now in the last month terror attacks in Paris. Texts between Amedy Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers have now been revealed. What do the texts show? Because all along there were questions about how much coordination there was between the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly who attacked the Kosher market.
SCIUTTO: That' right. It shows closer coordination. We knew they were friends, they have been accused of being involved in a previous plot together and there been an enormous amount of communication between their wives. The wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, Amedy Coulibaly as well as one of the wives of the Kouachi brothers, some 500 calls in the years leading up. But in this case, you have text messages just in the hours leading up to these attacks. This is "La Monde," the French newspaper reporting, including one text just an hour before that "Charlie Hebdo" shooting started.
And based on the information in those cell phones, evidence that Coulibaly met face to face in the very early morning hours before the attack with one of the Kouachi brothers. That would suggest a level of coordination in terms of timing, target, et cetera, that we weren't aware of before.
COOPER: And "La Monde" is also reporting that the "Charlie Hebdo" attacks were on the verge of being cancelled. Why was that?
SCIUTTO: Yes. It's just one of those bizarre details. That one of the Kouachi brothers had the stomach flu in the days leading up to the attack. And that they considered cancelling it, you know, it's a reminder that terrorists are people and mundane things can get in the way, potentially I covered a terror attack in Kabul a number of years ago. Where one of the suicide bombers, once inside, called his controllers, his handler and said, could he sneak out with the civilians rather than set off his vest? He thought he had killed enough people.
You know, you see these guys, if you think of them as crazy atomic tons, which they are to some degree but they're also human beings and sometimes small things like that might have gotten in the way, in this case it didn't get away. Of course, they went away, they went ahead with the attack with horrific results.
COOPER: Jim Sciutto, thank you very much. Appreciate that.
Now the Copenhagen terrorists. One of the things investigators want to know, did he draw inspiration from the "Charlie Hebdo" attacks? They are already learning a lot more about how he became radicalized. In a moment, we're going to talk to someone who knew him, spent time with him as a young gang member as a teenager who stood out even back then for his violent temper. He's finally kick-out of his gang.
But first, Pamela Brown reporting from the Danish capital.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, the U.S. law enforcement is helping Danish authorities scour the social media and telephone records of Copenhagen shooter Omar Abdel Hamid El- Hussein to see if he had any communication with Americans.
CNN has learned the shooter used an automatic rifle in his attacked heard here in an audio obtained by the BBC. The M-95 like this is a powerful weapon often used by Danish military.
THOMS RATHSACK, FORMER DANISH SPECIAL FORCE: This guy, he fired his weapon in single shots with single shots and that tells me that he's quite calm, he's in control. He's not desperate.
BROWN: Just prior to the attack, it appears he swore allegiance to ISIS leader with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a what is believe to be the shooter's Facebook page. It is not believed he trained with the terrorist group overseas.
And following the initial attack, the Danish prosecutor says, two of El-Hussein associates provided him a place to hide, get a new shirt and another weapon before continuing to this Jewish synagogue, the two men have been charged.
It's believed El Hussein was radicalized while serving time in this Copenhagen prison after he was convicted of a violent crime. And Imam working at that prison says groups like ISIS do have influence there.
WASSEN HUSSAN, IMAM WORKING AT PRISON: They're interested it in because it's in the media. So they may have questions about what do I think about ISIS? What's my opinion about ISIS? They want to know, actually. Is it actually good or are they bad guys? Or what are they?
BROWN: In a psychological profile in prison, El Hussein describes himself as a positive, open and social person who is calm of temperament. The report found no suspicion of mental illness. El Hussein seen here in boxing video from 2013 was released from prison two weeks ago according to officials.
MAGNUS RANSTORP, SWEDUSG DEFENSE UNIVERSITY: They felt that he was more of a gang member than he was a violent extremist and they did not keep track of him after he was released.
BROWN: Investigators are looking to see if El Hussein may have been inspired by the terrorists in Paris who left 17 dead. The FBI's head of counterterrorism, Michael Steinbach, recently told CNN, copycat attacks are a major concern.
MICHAEL STEINBACH, FBI COUNTERTERRORISM DIVISION ASST. DIRECTOR: They want to conduct an attack just to make the news like the folks they saw on TV. They may be at one level of intent, but community events or world events, at least through their eyes, spurs them on to mobilize and conduct an attack.
COOPER: And Pamela Brown joins us now in Copenhagen.
So what more do you learned about the time that he spent in prison and how that may have factored into any radicalization?
BROWN: Well, Anderson, we've been speaking to people on the ground here in Copenhagen about that and people who knew him said that before he went to prison that he did express extremist views, anti-west views and then just anecdotally, people told us that they noticed a change in him after when he was released just two weeks ago saying that they were scared of him. But that clearly, something has changed in him.
We spoke to the imam at the prison where he was. He wouldn't say whether he worked directly with El Hussein, but he did talk about the issue of radicalization. I asked him, is it a concern of his? He says, they are aware of it. They are concerned it. It's not widespread, a systemic problem but he says what happens here is that the inmates have nothing else to do but watch television. He says, for some of them, they're learning about ISIS for the first time while they're in prison. And then as we heard him say in the piece, it will come to him, ask him questions about ISIS.
Again, he wouldn't be specific about El Hussein but I can say that we know he posted about ISIS, pledged his allegiance to ISIS right before the shootings -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Pamela, thanks very much.
I want to dig deeper into the roots of the killer's range now with sociologist, Aydin Soei, who encountered this guy back in 2011 when the gunman was 18 years old and in a gang.
Aydin, when you heard this man, whom you've met when he was a teenage gang member had committed this attacks in Copenhagen, what did you think? What went through your mind?
AYDIN SOEI, SOCIOLOGIST WHO MET THE GUNMAN IN 2011: Well, I think I was shocked like most people here in Denmark, but I'm really wasn't surprised. Because if you look at the things that have happened in Copenhagen the last seven years, then you can see there's a huge amount of the young people who were teenagers when the gang war started in Copenhagen back in 2008. Who have been used to using violence and the amount of weapons have escalated during the last seven years. And he was 15 years old when the gang wars started out. So he's part of a generation living in an inner city area where everyone has experienced someone they know who has been killed.
COOPER: What kind of a gang was he in?
SOEI: He was part of a gang called Brothas from an area called Mjolnerparken (ph) in the Copenhagen, an area which is often called ghetto in the Danish debate. And it is probably the area in Copenhagen who has been influenced mostly by the gang wars. And at that point when I met him back in 2011, they were fighting three different gangs. So it is a generation who has become more hardcore than the older generations and more hardcore than anything you've seen before.
So if you look at the education that he has gotten into radicalization and in using weapons, dehumanizing other people and able to kill them, he has learned that in inner city areas in Denmark, not in Syria and Iraq, he's learned it in the gangs.
COOPER: Did he -- I mean, did he seem like an Islamist? When -- I mean, he was a teenager when you spent time with him, did he -- did he talk about Islamic ideas? What was his -- did he have a religious identification then?
SOEI: Well, if you look at the gang members from the gang that he was a part of and if you asked him, are you a Muslim? Then they would say yes. But I've talked to dozens of these kinds of young people during the years and if you asked them, are you a good Muslim? Then you see them smiling and saying, OK, I'm not a good Muslim because I'm a gang member. It's not part of Islam, being a gang member.
But it's a part of the identity being Muslim. And if you take these gangs, especially the ones with a lot of young people with immigrant backgrounds from the inner city areas, they have a strong belief that society is against them, that they are suppressed, that they are not being accepted in the Danish society and religion is part of that story. We're not being accepted because we are Muslims.
But I think the reason why he became radicalized during the last couple of years is because he was thrown out of the gang he was part of.
COOPER: So he was thrown out, I understand, because he had an uncontrollable temper. They couldn't control him, is that right?
SOEI: Yes, exactly. He was known for having a very big temper. So, you know, he was part of a sick subculture and that's where he has learned how to use weapons. He had the identity of a Muslim and his radical believes before he was thrown out but then sought another identity. And he had been part of the gang, he probably would not have made this attack but then again, he wouldn't have made the attack if he hadn't been taught to use violence and to dehumanize other people in the gang.
I don't think that he was if you look at his profile, he wasn't a strong ideologist. He didn't do this because he wanted to turn society around, because he wanted to change the Danish society. He did this because of an enormous anger towards the Danish society and a feeling of being an outsider.
COOPER: Aydin Soei, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
Up next tonight. The prosecution rests in the American Sniper trial with the man accused of murdering Chris Kyle said, when he was caught after a police chase.
Also, later, it's winter hasn't just been snowy, cold has been deadly and expensive. What the city of Boston has spent on snow removal alone. It's going to surprise you, ahead.
COOPER: The prosecution rested today in the trial of the man accused in the murder of Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who's the subject of the blockbuster movie "American Sniper." The suspect's lawyer admits that his client killed Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield, at a firing range in 2013 but says he was suffering from severe psychosis at the time. Now before the prosecution wrapped up today, the accused own words were again in the spotlight.
Ed Lavandera has details.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT(voice-over): Eddie Ray Routh is placed into a police car moments after authorities chased him down on Texas highway. He's breathing heavy and teary eyed.
The officer asked if he's OK and Routh says, "I'm just so nervous about what's happening in my life today. I don't know what's been happening. I've been so paranoid and schizophrenic all day. I don't know what to even think of the world right now. I don't know if I'm insane or sane."
The judge isn't allowing courtroom audio to broadcast until after the trial ends. At times, Routh appears agitated in the video. He squirms around in the backseat, other times, he rests his head with his eyes closed. People who know Routh, like Tim Xeriland say, the former marine changed before the killings of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield.
TIM XERILAND, FRIEND OF ROUTH: I did notice a change several months before all this took place. It's hard to describe exactly but it just seemed like he was a little bit more jumpy.
CHRIS KYLE, NAVY SEAL MILITARY: I've got a woman and a kid, 200 yards out moving towards the convoy.
LAVANDERA: The legend of Chris Kyle was well established by the time he took Routh to that countryside gun range but Routh seemed to be more frustrated and annoyed with the two men who were trying to help him. The small arsenal of weapons, Chris Kyle brought to the range that day, was shown to the jury which included these five long rifles and several handguns including one of Kyle's rifles labeled American sniper.
But according to defense attorneys, Routh in his psychotic state thought he was walking into a showdown on that range. From inside the jail were Routh has spent the last two years, he spoke with a writer from the "New Yorker Magazine" three months after the shootings. Prosecutors played some of that conversation today.
Routh sounds annoyed at Kyle and Littlefield and says, "So we're shooting pistols here? OK. Again, that's pretty much saying, duel mother."
Later in the interview he's asked what sparks the killings and Routh blames Chad Littlefield for not shooting with him.
"I was like, what the -- are you even doing here, man? This isn't a spectator sport. It's a shooting sport. You shoot. And that's what got me all, you know, wired up."
He also said, "I took care of business and then I got in the truck and left."
As prosecutors said in their opening statements --
ALAN NASH, PROSECUTOR: I think the term used for folks like him is troubled. I think you heard testimony. He is a troubled young man.
LAVANDERA: But prosecutor say, this troubled man wasn't insane. They say these are the actions of a cold-blooded killer. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Ed Lavandera joins me now.
So I understand the suspect's mother also testified today. What did she have to say?
LAVANDERA: Anderson, she was one of the witnesses that defense attorney first called. She talked about incidents that happened in a month before the killings. She was saying, at one point, Eddie Ray Routh and held his girlfriend and her roommate at night point, also talked about how she had begged the V.A. hospital to keep him in. He had been admitted for several days. She begging the V.A. hospital in Dallas to keep him admitted. He was released just a few days before these killings happened. And she also talked about the cocktail of psychological medications, he have been taking there at one point. He was taking nine different medications.
COOPER: Ed Lavandera, appreciate the update. Thanks.
Joining me now is our CNN legal analyst, criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and Danny Cevallos.
Danny, you said that fact that the shooter, when he was caught, when he was apprehended, he said that he was so paranoid, schizophrenic all day. You said that can actually have a prosecution now.
DANNY CEVALLOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Here's why. In Texas, voluntary intoxication is not a defense to a crime. And the prosecution therefore, benefits from all this drug evidence. That seems to be counter --
COOPER: Seems to be he's been taking some drugs.
CEVALLOS: Right. Exactly. So the prosecution benefits from that whereas the defense would probably want to keep it out. Because at the end of the trial, if the jury gets the instruction of voluntary intoxication which is essentially says voluntary intoxication, not a defense to a crime. They're going to go back in to that jury room and say, OK. So all of that evidence of drug abuse is not evidence of insanity. So we can disregard that. So with each drug they put in front of that jury and I know there was controversial issues today, that will help the prosecution.
COOPER: The fact though that right away he was saying I've been paranoid all day, I feel -- I've been schizophrenic. Could the prosecution also say, well, the fact that he's aware so self-aware about his mental condition, that indicates that he would have known what was right and what was wrong.
CEVALLOS: Texas law is very clear. You can suffer from a mental disease or defect. You can. And the prosecution essentially considered that in their opening. The question ultimately is a very simple one in Texas. Because of that mental disease or defect, were you unable to distinguish right from wrong? And Texas courts have also answered, what do we mean by wrong? Is it moral wrong? No, in Texas, it means, was he aware that his conduct was illegal? And if he was, mental disease or defect aside, insanity will not be a defense that he can use.
COOPER: You know, Mark, we hear a lot about the insanity defense and we had Jeff Toobin on the show before talking how difficult it is to actually prove it or had actually get somebody off of a murder charge because of insanity. Do you believe this guy is insane and do you believe he knew right from wrong?
MARK GERAGOS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Jeff is right that it is a difficult burden because normally, if somebody is that insane that they're not guilty by reason of insanity, you can't restore them to competency long enough to put them in trial. Here you take a look at and I think one of the most remarkable things about this is take a look at him the day he was arrested and then take a look at him in the courtroom today.
COOPER: He's on unrecognizable.
GERAGOS: He look like virtually two different people.
Yes. I mean, it's a virtually -- I have to keep looking at it and try to figure out just how different, and I suppose that's probably a product of the cocktails of pharmaceuticals that he's either been on or was on before. And that mother's testimony today is highly significant because even if what Danny says, the prosecution keeps focusing on the drugs and the voluntary intoxication, the fact remains she was practically begging the V.A. to keep him in.
And that happens so often in these cases. I can't tell you how often that tragedy strikes within a week or a couple days of some loved one, I've got cases in the office right now where some loved one is begging somebody, keep him under a psychiatric hold. You can't release him. He's a danger. He's a danger. And unfortunately, it's just emblematic of the complete breakdown of the mental health system in America.
COOPER: But Mark, he can also make the argument that, I mean, he ran away. You know, he got in Chris Kyle's pickup truck and drove off, tried to escape. That would be some sort of indication that he knew what he had done was wrong or at least illegal, that he was going to get in some form of trouble for it. And, you know, I mean, isn't that kind of a damning? And he also told police that he at one point said to police in an interrogation that he didn't know right from wrong. He then later on said in multiple times that he knew what he did was wrong.
GERAGOS: Right. And that's what the prosecution is going to focus on. The defense is going to come back and the defense is going to argue and say, look. He fled because he thought he was in danger. He didn't know what was going on. He couldn't figure out what was going on around him. That's why he fled. You know, there wasn't because he had a consciousness of guilt. It was quite the opposite. He had a consciousness that something was going on in his own brain.
I mean, look, there is no real rational reason for him to do what he did other than he had a mental disease or defect. So then it's just a matter of, is this jury going to say, OK, we want to help him or is the jury going to say, no, we're done with this guy and we're going to find him guilty and that's the end of that.
COOPER: Yes. Well, prosecution rests and see what the defense does.
Danny, thank you very much. Danny Cevallos and Mark Geragos as well.
Just a head. Is a ceasefire in name only. Fighting continuing in the battle for Ukraine. We're going to get an update from Nick Payton Walsh. He's on the ground.
Also, I talk to the U.S. ambassador of Ukraine if he thinks, Vladimir Putin is pulling all the strings and could put an end to it all.
Also later, the U.S. border patrol, using high-tech drones to try to catch illegal immigrants. Might sound like a good idea. The cost though is staggering and guess who's paying? Well, tell you ahead. Taxpayers. We'll take a look at whether you're getting your money's worth coming up.
COOPER: Well, the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution calling on all parties to abide by the three-deal ceasefire in Ukraine, a truce between the government and pro-Russian separatists and at this point really exist only really on paper. Ukraine defense ministry says five more service members were killed in the last 24 hours. The cease fire was violated more than a hundred times. Hard even to call it a ceasefire.
The fighting on the ground continues throughout the U.N. calls numerous civilian casualties in one eastern city where fighters are battling for position and shelling hit a pipeline. Separatist reportedly have taken over 80 percent of the area.
A short time ago, I spoke with U.S. Ambassador of Ukraine. I asked him if there was any doubt in his mind that Russia's President Vladimir Putin has control of what's happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEOFFREY PYATT, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: President Putin could stop this violence with one phone call. These are forces which are taking instructions and direction from the Kremlin. And more importantly, as we've noted, we have solid information that there are now regular Russian forces involved in the fight. The problem right now is that Russia seems to be pursuing two different tracks.
They say one thing in diplomatic channels but their acting differently on the ground. And at least speaking for the United States government, our attitude, our approach to this crisis is going to be shaped by the actions that Russia takes on the ground and specifically, the halt to the relentless military assault that's been happening over the last three weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, CNN Senior International Correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is reporting for us from Ukraine. He joins me.
So Nick, heavy fighting in the last 24 hours. What's the latest on the ground?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The key issue is the bolts that has been the fight that has not stopped raging since the ceasefire was declared. Today, the separatists began by saying they have taken the railway station and part of the east, then went on and stay, they've taken 80 percent of the some caution but remarkably, the Ukrainian ministry came on and said "Yes. We've lost control of part of that town and also some of our troops are being captured." They're supposed to have hundreds if not thousands of troops and there are many civilians to encircle right now. They say they're being hit by grand rocket systems. It's clearly a very bloody messy dominant there. Russian state television is being joining pictures of prisons of war being graded and recently be large numbers. It's very troubling and it's certainly not a ceasefire -- Anderson.
COOPER: And why are the Ukrainian forces so unable to stop the Russian forces, their proxies? Is it just a matter of training, weaponry, what?
PATON WALSH: Well, the Ukrainian military in all fairness has for decades been under-resourced, subject to corruption in many different ways. They're facing a force which is by Ukraine and NATO's opinion massively better equipped, funded by the Russian military if not staffed by the Russian military. The kind of weapons they have are a whole different lead to that which the Ukrainians have. And we see the Ukrainians often towing their armor away or around the battlefield, it's a mess on the Ukrainian side. It's quite slick at times on the Russian side even though their force has appeared to be a hybrid of locals and also some better trained individuals as well.
That's the reason why Debaltseve potentially may fall in the hours or days ahead. The question really is, does the result of that, does the bloodshed potentially or mass surrender, or loss of equipment, does that generate an anger response from the Ukrainians or does it embolden the separatists so much they move on to try and take new parts of the Donetsk region that they used to hold, but have lost since to the Ukrainian government, Anderson?
COOPER: And another deadline passed today. Putin actually addressed the situation in Budapest. What did he say?
PATON WALSH: Remarkable to see Vladimir Putin in the European Union calling on Ukrainian troops, effectively, frankly, on Ukrainian soil to surrender to the separatists. He said they should basically down their arms and Ukrainian officials will (ph) allow that to happen, but we're not seeing that happen just as yet. We are seeing the OSCE, who's supposedly monitoring the ceasefire who said at the beginning of the day that it was holding more or less, apart from Debaltseve, to come out with a very strong statement saying they're profoundly disturbed by what's happening around Debaltseve.
With the clear head, there's no ceasefire to speak of. You can't have a ceasefire where the key point of military conflict is now the worst conflagration we've seen potentially in quite some time. The question is what happens next and nobody really knows, and it's deeply troubling for the future of security in Eastern Europe. This is not just some small contained issue in the Donetsk region. It emboldens Russia, risks the security of Ukraine broadly and, of course, this is right on the doorstep of the European Union, Anderson.
COOPER: Nick, please, be careful, Nick Paton Walsh. Thank you.
Just ahead tonight, a judge slammed (ph) down President Obama's immigration reform just a day before hundreds of thousands could sign up to stay in the country. President weighs in. So does our Jeffrey Toobin. Also drones like the ones being flown in battle are now being used back home despite illegal border crossers. It certainly sounds like a good idea until you actually see the price tag and why some are calling the program a waste of taxpayers' money.
COOPER: Welcome back. President Obama is pushing back tonight saying the law's on his side, this in response to a judge's move to block his executive action affecting more than a quarter million undocumented immigrants now and as many as 5 million further down the road. Starting tomorrow under the president's plan, undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children would have been eligible to apply for protection against being deported. Yesterday, though, Texas federal district judge threw up a roadblock. He sided with Texas and 25 other states, they are suing to stop the program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R ) TEXAS: I'm proud to report that late last night, a federal judge halted the president's executive action plan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's Greg Abbott, the newly elected governor of Texas. President Obama late today promised to appeal the case, said he only acted after Congress failed to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: As I said before, I'm not willing to just stand by and do nothing. And engage in a lot of political rhetoric. I'm interested in actually solving problems. I'd like to see Congress take that same approach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining us now, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Jeff, before you had said you thought the president was on pretty firm legal footing. What do you think of this judge's order?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, judging these days especially in the federal courts is a very political act. This judge was very carefully chosen by Texas. He's a known conservative judge who has been hostile to the president on immigration reform. This is a very, very bad ruling for the president and his administration, but it's not over and I think this case is on a rocket ride to the Supreme Court, maybe in a matter of weeks.
COOPER: Really? That fast? I mean this judge in Texas isn't actually ruling on the legality of the immigration order, correct?
TOOBIN: Not yet. This was simply a ruling that the Department of Homeland Security didn't follow the appropriate administrative procedures in implementing the policy. He didn't even deal with the merits yet. But now you have a situation where a program that was supposed to go into effect tomorrow is completely on hold. That's why the Obama administration is going to go to the fifth circuit court of appeals, which is a very conservative court, not good - not sympathetic territory for the president and given the stakes here, I think the Supreme Court can't really stay out of this for very long. And even though the Supreme Court term is well along and they're not really taking more cases, I think a case of this magnitude may well wind up before the justices argued this spring and decided by June.
COOPER: So, it can happen that fast?
TOOBIN: It can definitely happen that fast when you have stays entered. I mean here you have a situation where a law was about to go into effect, an administrative policy was about to go into effect and the judge stopped it. And Anderson, it's worth pausing to reflect that this sprang, the Supreme Court will have life or death decisions for the president's two most important domestic policies. The health care case, which will be argued on March 4TH, maybe the administration - maybe this case of immigration and, of course, marriage equality is also going to be argued. So, it's going to be a big spring at the Supreme Court.
COOPER: Big indeed. I'm not going to ask you what you think the Supreme Court will do because I knew you're wary sometimes on predicting that. Is it - do you think it's an obvious ...
TOOBIN: Our viewers have been burned with my predictions before. The - I think the marriage case really is heading in one direction. You know, the fact that they have not entered any stays, the fact that they have let 37, I think, states proceed with marriages suggest that they have really made up their minds. It's coming to all 50 states.
COOPER: All right. Jeff Toobin, thanks very much.
There's another facet of the immigration story. You should know - because very simply, you're paying a lot of money for it. We are talking about it the border patrol, using repurposed military drones to spot people trying to enter the country from Mexico. Technology is obviously truly something amazing to see. However, senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin reports so is the price tag. Take a look.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are sleek, mostly silent retooled weapons of war, now battling the war on Arizona's border. Predator drones patrolling the skies in the hunt for illegal immigrants and according to the retired Marine general who runs this program, they are proving invaluable.
RANDOLPH "TEX" ALLES, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION: We could never see the border in the same ways we could before we got these platforms.
GRIFFIN: Trouble is, General Randolph "Tex" Alles is one of the few in government who thinks so and a look at the price tag tells you why. Report after report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general basically calling this entire operation a waste of taxpayer dollars. Tom Barry with the center for international policy studies the billions spent securing the border and nothing could be a bigger waste, he says, than the $28,000 spent on a predator drone to catch just one illegal immigrant. You heard that right. $28,000 to catch a single illegal immigrant.
TOM BARRY, CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL POLICY: It has been a waste since the program began in 2005. The inspector general says that we shouldn't spend any money. I think it should be shut down.
GRIFFIN: Seen up close, it's impressive technology. Drones at 18,000 feet silently view the landscape below. Determine and lock on to potential suspects crossing the vast Arizona desert. Commanded by a control team safely tucked inside this virtual cockpit, those controllers send the guards right to where they're needed.
(on camera): So, this is happening now in real time. That's the pilot of the drone. This is the person who's the second pilot. He's watching the camera. And they have detected a group that is now crossing the border or illegally, potentially suspects, and another group of gentlemen which we can't show you actually has the radar screen and they try to vector in agents to see, are these guys illegal? Are they carrying dope? Do they need to be arrested? That's happening right now.
(voice over): Seems perfect until you actually do the math. That arrest according to the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general cost you the taxpayer, $28,000.
(on camera): That doesn't seem like an efficient way to protect the border.
JOHN ROTH, INSPECTOR GEN., U.S. DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, that's one of the reasons that we wrote this audit.
GRIFFIN (voice over): Each drone cost $12 million. Operations run $62 million a year. The entire program is $300 million. All for nine drones that fly part-time. Although he won't say it flat out, Inspector General John Roth' latest report is clear: military drones used by the customs and border patrol to catch illegal immigrants is a waste.
(on camera): The CVP has fired back, they are saying that you, your office, the Inspector General, did not capture a lot of the things that we believe are valuable about this program that can't be measured.
ROTH: So, the question you have to ask yourself, is what we are getting from this? You have to be able to measure your investment. And that's true in the government, it's true in business and I think that's what the American taxpayer wants.
GRIFFIN: And in the measure of this drone program, it's not measuring up?
ROTH: As we see it? While it contributes to border security, they haven't put any measurements in place as to whether it's effective. The measurements that we saw show that in fact it's effective.
GRIFFIN (voice over): The inspector general says his job is to point out where money is being wasted and the drones, he says, are indeed a waste. Yet they still fly and Congress is even debating to buy more. To Tom Barry, it's a clear example of Congress and the customs and border patrol simply ignoring the facts.
BARRY: The CVP refuses to set performance goals that it snubs its nose at these very reports that are made by government investigators. So one can become very indignant as a researcher and certainly indignant as a taxpayer.
GRIFFIN: The U.S. is now spending more than $12 billion a year, supposedly to secure the border which by almost all accounts is hardly secure. With or without predator drones.
COOPER: So Drew, if there's so many critics of this drone program, why is it still in place?
GRIFFIN: You know, Anderson, it is almost impossible to get rid of any government program once it's entrenched, even a bad one. You know, the inspector general pointed out that this drone program has had bad report after bad report almost since its inception, but it has these supporters in Congress that just will not give it up.
COOPER: And customs and border patrol, do they want more drones?
GRIFFIN: Well, not right now. And to his credit, the Marine general, the ex-Marine general who runs the program, "Tex" Alles says, he really wants to work with the drones he has, make them work, prove that they work before he asks for any more. But there are long-term plans supported by members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, who want to greatly expand this border drone thing, like a half billion dollars in spending and have these drones flying the entire southwestern border. So it's not going away.
COOPER: All right, Drew, thanks very much. Appreciate it. You don't need to drone to see what it's like outside in a big chunk
of the country tonight. Simply put, an icy ugly mess. The question now, when will it end? The answer ahead.
Also, the fiery train wreck that sent flames into the sky burning oil into a local river. Late results tonight and what it did to the water supply when we continue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you get a picture of that? Man, that's hot.
COOPER: Welcome back. There's a lot more happening tonight. Amara Walker has the "360 Bulletin." Amara.
AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson. A "360" follows small fires continue to burn more than 24 hours after a train carrying crude oil derailed in West Virginia. At least 26 oil tankers overturned causing massive explosions. Some oil leaked into a river, but officials do not believe any of it got into the drinking supply.
And chilly temperatures have a grip on most of the eastern United States from New Orleans to New England and it's going to be this way for the rest of the week. At least six deaths are blamed on the latest storms and so far, the city of Boston reports it has spent $30 million on snow removal.
And who says only cats have nine lives? A dog is home tonight after being rescued from an icy pond near Raleigh, North Carolina. That is Brody who spent about 30 minutes in the frigid water until firefighters got the pooch back on land. Close call for that little guy.
COOPER: Yeah, poor dog. All right, thanks very much, Amara.
Tonight, CNN airs a special report. Witness the assassination of Malcolm X. Now, this Saturday, in case you didn't know, marks 50 years since Malcolm X was killed while he was speaking onstage at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem. Tonight's special examines the life and the controversy that surrounded him featuring people who work with him and people who were in the room when he was assassinated. I want to show you a preview.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently, two men approached this speaker (INAUDIBLE). Discharged shots at him from apparently very close range.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As I turned around quickly, and the next thing I saw was Malcolm falling back in a dead faint.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mother threw herself over her babies and she yelled out, they're killing my husband. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard shots and I saw people crawling on the
floor. I saw, and so I got down too. Then when I was looking out, and I saw someone look in amazement to the front. I knew they had shot my husband.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He sustained one shot in the lower right chin and the other six hit him in the chest and the body.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I looked out at him and I said, he's going to die. I kept saying to myself, he's going to die. He's going to die.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Medic immediately.
Now, he wasn't dead immediately. But expired very shortly.
COOPER: It's a fascinating look. The CNN special report "Witnessed: the Assassination of Malcolm X. It's next at the top of the hour right here on CNN. I hope you watch it.
Coming up, "The Ridiculist." We'll be right back.
COOPER: Time now for "The Ridiculist." And tonight, we have a high- tech solution to a very basic problem. You're out in public and you have to use the restroom. Now, once upon a time, when you simply might try to find the public bathroom in any number of bars or restaurants or stores, museums, movie theaters, malls, coffee shops and the like. You know what I'm talking about, but I guess the problem with that, was that in no way involved your phone. Problem solved. There's an app called Air P&P. Crew, folks liked it. Laughed. Anyway, much like the invention of the light lightbulb, or the steam engine, it will change the very nature of the world, in which we live, I think, namely by helping you find people nearby who will let you pay to use their bathrooms.
You know, sometimes I really wonder is the reason we as a society haven't cured the common cold is because the most creative minds of our time are working on apps to let you do number 2s in the homes of complete strangers.
Just a thought. Air P&P's founder and PEO, yes, that's what he calls himself, the PEO, got this idea in New Orleans during Mardi Gras seeing a golden opportunity, on which to capitalize. So far, not many people signed up in New York, but, you know, there are a few. Someone on the Lower East Side will let you use their bathroom for nine bucks and promises the best hand soap and lotion ever. There are some in the West Village who's only charging $3. The listing for this one notes it's near the corner of bistro, which, by the way, is a bar and by the way, has a bathroom. If you are in midtown, you can pay $10 to use the bathroom in this guy's third floor walk-up, but you also get to pet his kitten, which I truly hope is not a euphemism.
(LAUGHTER) COOPER: Think about it. In general, New Yorkers do not seem to be too thrilled about this idea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's insane and very interesting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I will not pay to use no one's toilet. I have my own.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what other people are like to be going in somebody else's house to use their bathroom, instead of going to Starbucks or going home.
(on camera): You wouldn't want strangers coming up to use the loo.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't even like sharing it with my wife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: At least he's honest. I think the reason this has not taken off in New York is because this particular code was cracked along ago but one Mr. George Kastansa (ph) on "Seinfeld."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anywhere in the city.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anywhere in the city, I'll tell you the best public toilet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. 54TH and 6TH.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very - 14th "Morgan Apparel." Mention my name. She'll give you the key.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. 65TH and 10TH.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are kidding? When you can send to Alis Telly Hall (ph). The Met. Magnificent facilities.
COOPER: Who knows, maybe Air P&P will really catch on and soon we'll all be paying to use each other's toilets not even remembering the quaint and when we just held it on the "Ridiculist." That does it for us. Thanks for watching. We'll see you again 11 P.M. Eastern for another edition of "360."
The CNN special report, "WITNESSED: THE ASSASSINATION OF MALCOLM X" starts now.