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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
China Confronts American Spy Lane; ISIS Takes New City, After Gains Near Baghdad; 1,000 Weapons Seized at Biker Shooting Crime Scene; Two Bikers On Trial For Beating SUV Driver. Aired 7-8:00p ET
Aired May 20, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:10] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. An American spy plane confronted. Only CNN cameras were there to capture it. Our exclusive report coming up.
Plus, the deadly biker brawl. Waco police have seized 1,000 weapons from the crime scene, including an AK-47. Some of those weapons were actually hidden in toilets. Our special report.
And the controversial hunter who killed that black rhino. He says he's saving the endangered species. My guest on this program live tonight, let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, an American spy plane confronted by China. Our reporter was on board. This was a classified American surveillance flight. The first American surveillance flight through some of the world's most dangerous air space. And this is America's most advanced spy plane. It's a P-8A Poseidon. Now, we're going to actually show you the confrontation, we're going to take you inside this top-secret spy plane exclusively.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Foreign military aircraft. This is Chinese navy. You are approaching our military alert zone. Leave immediately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Here's where the plane was. A dozen American naval officers flying over these disputed islands claimed by China.
Jim Sciutto just got back from that flight. And Jim, you were on a classified mission, you were the only reporter. You heard the Chinese telling the Americans to go away again and again, the language getting, you know, more and more elevated. I mean, how tense was it on board that plane?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Extremely tense, Erin. Basically you have an irresistible force meeting an immovable object. The U.S. insisting this is international air space it's going to fly through, it's going to sail through it. China insisting these islands though they're brank new are its sovereign territory. Those protests from China getting louder and U.S. military action getting bolder. It is hard to see how the tension does not escalate.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is the Chinese navy. This is the Chinese navy. Please go away quickly.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): It's a standoff in the skies between China and the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You go!
SCIUTTO: As Beijing makes a massive and unprecedented land grab 600 miles from its coast.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When was the last time you went up?
SCIUTTO: CNN got exclusive access to classified U.S. surveillance flights over the islands. The first time journalists have been allowed on an operational mission by the state-of-the-art P- 8A Poseidon.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I've just arrived on station now above the three islands that are the targets of today's mission. It's these three islands that have been the focus of China's building in the South China Sea over recent years.
SCIUTTO: In just two years, China has expanded these islands by 2,000 acres. The equivalent of 1,500 football fields and counting.
(on camera): You're a military man. You look at this, is there any doubt that that is a future military installation?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It appears to be a buildup of military infrastructure.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): For China this new territory is nonnegotiable. China's foreign minister calls his country's commitment unshakeable. And China defends the new islands closely, patrolling with coast guard and navy warships and ordering the P-8 out of the air space eight times on this one mission alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Please go!
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I am a United States military aircraft. I am operating with due regard as required under international law.
SCIUTTO: Chinese military sometimes shows its frustration.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Foreign military aircraft, this is Chinese navy. You are approaching our military alert zone. Leave immediately.
SCIUTTO: The standoff is military to military, but civilian aircraft can be caught in the middle.
(on camera): You heard over the intercom Chinese navy, this is the Chinese navy. What was interesting is that there are also civilian aircraft. There was a delta flight on that same frequency that when it heard that challenge, it piped into the frequency to say, what's going on? The Chinese navy then reassuring them. But as the flight curtails tells me, that can be a very nerve-racking experience for civilian aircraft in the area.
(voice-over): Five Southeast Asian nations claim parts of this area as their own. China says this territory is part of their history, claiming ownership back 2,000 years.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Recognize that as anything to do with in accordance with international law --
SCIUTTO: But many see economic and military motives as well. The islands are rich in oil and gas deposits. And they extend China's naval and air presence, challenging U.S. naval supremacy in the region.
(on camera): The U.S. is getting more alarmed now for two reasons. One, it's the pace of growth of these islands. In the last two years, they've gone from five acres to 2,000 acres, increasing 400 times, and they are still growing. But the second issue, and this is key, it is that China appears to be militarizing those islands, building air strips for its aircraft, building deep water harbors for its navy ships. And I'll tell you Erin, from the sky you see them, they look to be permanent installations. It is hard to see how even with bolder U.S. military action China would back down -- Erin.
[19:05:17] BURNETT: All right. Seems that way. And Jim, from your reporting, I mean, how this doesn't escalate, it's hard to imagine. One of the most important issues the U.S. faces right now. Thank you.
And OUTFRONT tonight, the former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, also the author of the new book "The Great War of Our Time." Great to have you with us, Michael. This is America's most advanced spy plane, right? And you heard the tension, first go away, then it's you go!
MICHAEL MORELL, FORMER CIA DEPUTY DIRECTOR: Right.
BURNETT: Eight times Jim said they were threatened while they were on board this flight in English. He's saying it's hard to see it not escalating. I mean, could this escalate?
MORELL: So there's a tactical issue here. And I think strategic issue. The tactical issue is there's a real risk, right? When you have this kind of confrontation for something bad happening.
MORELL: Remember in 2001, a Chinese fighter bumped a U.S. spy plane?
BURNETT: Right. MORELL: Creating a multi-day crisis. Right? So tactically
you've got to worry about something bad happening. Strategically, this is part of a very significant dynamic between China and the United States. China is a rising power. We're a status quo power. We're the big dog on the block in Asia. They want more influence. Are we going to move a little bit? Are they going to push? How is that dance going to work out? This is going to be a significant issue for the next president of the United States.
BURNETT: Considering the militarization going on in those islands, as Jim could see. I mean, the runways, deep-water harbors, and the ambitions that they have to top the U.S. military are significant. One thing though that we just heard in that report, there was an American commercial flight in that area, Delta Airlines flight. The pilot actually got on the radio and said, what's going on here?
BURNETT: Got involved in this conversation.
BURNETT: I mean, we saw MH-17s shot down over Ukraine, there was a plane shot down over Asia by accident militarily, and this is scary.
MORELL: Right. And you have to worry right, that a commercial airline becomes confused for a military aircraft and something bad happens. Absolutely.
BURNETT: I mean, that is, now people realize what can happen and how gruesome that can be.
BURNETT: I mean, that's a real threat I think brings us home to people. There's been heavy criticism from Congress about the U.S. caving to China on this issue. Basically as you say the big issue for the next president. But here's what the top republican and the top democrat had to say on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just the other day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I see no price whatsoever that China is paying for their activities in Southeast China seas, none. In fact, I see the price being us paying a price.
SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: We're not really showing any response to these type of provocative actions other than issuing a press release.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is the U.S. failing? MORELL: Here's what's interesting. Right? I saw a study
recently of all the times in history when a rising power, in this case China, comes up against a status quo power, in this case the United States. Seventy percent of the times in history, the result has been war. So only 30 percent of the time has it been worked out.
BURNETT: So the odds are for war.
MORELL: That's the fundamental issue we're talking about here. That's how important this is.
BURNETT: You think war's a real risk?
MORELL: Yes. Yes, absolutely.
BURNETT: War between the United States and China?
MORELL: Yes. It's not in our interests, right? It is not in their interests, it's not in our interests. It's in our interests to work this out. Right? But absolutely, it's a risk.
BURNETT: Wow! All right. Michael Morrell, please stay with me. I want to get to the other breaking news story tonight, this is ISIS with another major victory, taking over another city, coming on the heels of ISIS gains near Baghdad. The terror group now just miles from the Iraqi capital.
Our Arwa Damon is in Baghdad tonight. Arwa, you just got on the ground. And how worried are people there about ISIS closing in on the capital?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They're very worried, Erin, whether or not ISIS actually able to accomplish that we're going to have to wait and see. But this is a society and a city that is unfortunately only too used to violence. And the violence that has been brought on by ISIS over the last year or so is something that absolutely terrifies the residents here. Not to mention the fear that it instills in those who are forced to flee its onslaught. Most recently in Ramadi. The Iraqi security forces are really struggling. The Iraqi government has very few forces, units that are actually capable of even standing up to ISIS at this stage as we have seen in their defeat in many of these various cities. There is a unit, a number of units that are base in an area called Habani (ph) that is located right between Ramadi and Fallujah. They have been receiving some reinforcements.
But the battle for Ramadi is not going to be anything like the battle for Tikrit. The lay of the land is very different. The dynamics in al Anbar Province are much more complex and moving. Reinforcements out to those various different front lines is much more difficult as well because of the territory that ISIS controls in al Anbar Province. How long the units that are fighting along the front lines around Ramadi are going to be able to hold out without additional reinforcements, that also remains to be seen. We're seeing the Iraqi government calling for more of these volunteer units to move towards Anbar. The U.S. saying it's speeding up its shipment of weapons but it may at the end of the day be too little, too late. Because ISIS proving to be a much more formidable foe than many had anticipated -- Erin.
[19:10:39] BURNETT: All right. Arwa, thank you very much. She spent a lot of time on the ground in recent weeks covering ISIS. As she said, a much more formidable foe than many gave it credit for. Mike Morell, let me ask you this question, in the context of what she just reported, right Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA was on the show yesterday, he told me the U.S. has, quote, "absolutely no strategy in Syria, then he said, there's quote, only an outline of coherent strategy in Iraq." Do you agree?
MORELL: I think there is a strategy in Iraq. It is to train Iraqi security forces so that they, along with U.S. air power, can take back this territory.
BURNETT: Do you have any confidence in that? So, you end up with 1,000 of them being beaten by 100 ISIS guys.
MORELL: Yes, I do have confidence.
MORELL: In fact you have to look at the bigger context here, the bigger context is, we've taken back 25 percent of the territory that ISIS originally took. Is Ramadi a setback? You bet it is, significant. Okay? But you've got to look at the bigger context. I'm confident in Iraq that this strategy will ultimately succeed. I share Mike Hayden's view that we don't have strategy in Syria. I worry about Syria more than I worry about Iraq.
BURNETT: You worry about Syria more.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much Mike Morell. We appreciate it. Of course the author of "The Great War of Our Time" available now. And so great to see you.
MORELL: Great to be with you. Thanks.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, the deadly biker brawl in Waco. Tonight we're learning police seized 1,000 weapons from the crime scene so far, even some that were hidden in the toilet. We'll going to go to Waco live.
And do you remember this? Tonight we have new 911 tapes released from a biker attack on a young family.
Plus, classified information about Osama bin Laden just released today. Love letters and the son he grooms as his heir. He's on the run tonight.
[19:16:02] BURNETT: New developments tonight in the deadly biker brawl in Waco. Police tells CNN they've seized 1,000 weapons from the crime scene, even an AK-47. Officers have been going literally car to car in that parking lot. They have knives, they have brass knuckles, they find bullet-proof vests, they have found guns in the restaurant bathroom, some of them hidden there. And we are also tonight learning much more about the 170 suspects arrested in connection to the massacre.
Kyung Lah with our special report.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Days after the brawl, workers wash blood off the sidewalk of the restaurant. Bullet holes in the walls, half-consumed drinks, and beer cozies with bike club names still visible. Police say they've recovered more than 1,000 guns, knives and batons.
SGT. W. PATRICK SWANTON, WACO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Honest citizens don't have 1,000-plus weapons inside a restaurant, law-abiding citizen isn't going to hide a firearm or knife in between bags of flour. Law- abiding citizen isn't going to go into the restaurant restroom and try and stuff hand guns in toilets. That happened inside Twin Peaks Sunday.
LAH: What does that suggest to you about people who were here?
SWANTON: That these were vicious criminals that knew they were in trouble, that they were trying the dispels of evidence.
LAH: Around 170 arrested are in their 20s to 65 years old. Coming from all over the state of Texas, from all walks of life. Their biker lifestyle visible in their mugshots. Wesley McAlister age 32, the word "chaos" tattooed on his neck. Also arrested, George Earl Rogers, 52 years old, a rap sheet that includes charges of aggravated assault.
SWANTON: What was in that restaurant Sunday afternoon is not a motorcycle club of doctors, lawyers, laymen, honest, law-abiding citizens.
LAH: But there was a retired cop. San Antonio Police Detective Martin Lewis, 32 years an officer, a grandfather, who has pictures on Facebook wearing bandito gear.
SWANTON: When I heard that this morning, it made me sick to my stomach.
LAH: There's also a pharmacy tech, 65-year-old Lawrence Yager, his license expired perhaps due to retirement. He has no criminal history. There are also a few women, like Sandra Lynch, aka Drama. A member of the Los Peratos motorcycle club, married to Michael Lynch, also arrested. They're grandparents, sharing a love for biking and Twin Peaks. Drama picture here on a Facebook post with the scantily clad waitresses. Their son tells CNN they're not criminals, not gang members. They were at Twin Peaks for a monthly meeting. He says, "Everyone there is not a thug. My parents are not thugs. I think this is injustice to have so many people in jail." None of the defendants have had their day in court. The defendants' family CNN has reached say the $1 million bail is ridiculous and unfair.
LAH: The Waco Police Department says it is certainly prepared that not all 170 people arrested are going to be convicted of these charges. But it says that they want to follow through, if the D.A. does indeed try to prosecute all of them on these charges, legal experts are saying this is going to take millions of dollars of this county's funds and it is going to take years to adjudicate -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much. OUTFRONT now, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara, his department is helping with this investigation, good to talk to you again, Sheriff.
Let me start by asking you about these weapons. Authorities telling us now, they have, you know, lots of weapons have been recovered. What sorts of weapons have they found? And where? I mean, we're hearing about, you know, they were hidden in bags of chips, they were hidden in the bathroom. What have you found?
SHERIFF PARNELL MCNAMARA, MCLENNAN COUNTY, TEXAS: That's correct, Erin. There were many, many pistols found, handguns of all kinds, automatics, revolvers, knives, hunting knives, folding knives, fixed-blade knives. Some body armor, bullet-proof vests, brass knuckles, other types of weapons. Really weapons of all kinds. Weapons that you would definitely use against another human being.
BURNETT: Did it surprise you? I mean, you're not unfamiliar with these gangs. You're not unfamiliar with this type of a situation. But did it surprise you to find all of that?
MCNAMARA: Absolutely. You expect to find some weapons. But I certainly, you know, personally did not ever believe that we would find or the Police Department would find this many weapons of that type. And as Officer Swanton said, inside Twin Peaks they found weapons that were stashed under the tables, in the restrooms, all different places, they were found in the vehicles on the parking lot, on the ground, on the persons of some of the people that were detained. So the weapons really everywhere in this very violent, very dangerous situation that happened right here at Twin Peaks.
[19:21:04] BURNETT: And I know, Sheriff, you know, you're talking about this was violent, this was dangerous. You've got 170 people in custody. I mean, that's a lot of people. As you've talked about with me, I mean, they're all being held on $1 million bond.
BURNETT: I mean, are you sure you have the right people? Are you going to be able to find out whodunit in time? Or are you going to end up having to release them? I mean, this is a gargantuan task in front of you.
MCNAMARA: Time will tell, Erin. But I guarantee you that the Waco Police Department and the sheriff's office and other agencies are going to assist in doing everything we can to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly who these shooters were. And we are up to the task. We're going to hold these people as long as the court sees fit. And if they want them all held we're certainly going to do that. We have the facility, we have the manpower, and we have the willpower. We will hold these and we will do our best to keep peace in our community here.
BURNETT: Do you have the money? Kyung was saying, it could be millions of dollars. And I mean, it was reminding us back in 2002, a biker brawl in Nevada, three gang members killed, a dozen others injured, 120 people ended up being detained, 44 hell's angels were indicted. Only seven though were convicted. Obviously that's incredibly, you know, it's not a great rate but it took a lot to get there. A lot of time, a lot of money to get seven convictions out of 120. Do you have that time and money?
MCNAMARA: We will make that time and money. Whatever it takes. We're not going to put a dollar amount on human life. And when these people take human lives, we intend to make sure that justice is done. And we will do that.
BURNETT: All right, sheriff, good to talk to you again, Sheriff McNamara, appreciate your time.
MCNAMARA: Thank you very much, Erin. Thank you.
BURNETT: And remember this terrifying video, the driver of an SUV dragged out, beaten on the ground in a face-off with dozens of bikers? That was here in New York City. Tonight we're hearing the 911 call from that incident for the first time as two bikers, including an undercover police officer, on trial this week in connection with that attack.
Alexander Field is OUTFRONT.
ALEXIAN LIEN, SUV DRIVER: We're on 178th, help! 178th, please help! Please help! (Screams)
911 DISPATCHER: Sir, okay sir!
ALEXANDER FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The desperate call for help from a family under siege.
ROSALYN NG, WIFE OF ALEXIAN LIEN: We have a baby in the car! Oh my God, stop. We have a baby in the car!
911 DISPATCHER: Hello?
NG: We have a baby in the car! Stop. (Screams, crying)
FIELD: The driver of this SUV, Alexian Lean, pulled from his car and beaten by a pack of enraged bikers. NG: They started chasing us, pulled us out of our cars, and
they're smashing our windows, like everything, just hitting us and threatening to kill us. I don't know why.
FIELD: Lean's Wife Rosalyn Ng frantically describes the attack in newly released 911 tapes.
NG: My husband's bleeding all over the street, it's, we need help.
911 DISPATCHER: Okay.
NG: We need an ambulance.
FIELD: The family is reliving the ordeal at the trial of Robert Simms, seen here, and undercover Officer Wojciech Braszczok, off duty that day, both are charged in the assault and brutal beating. Began in September 2013 with a confrontation between Lean and riders at a motorcycle rally in Manhattan. Minutes later, Lean's SUV is swarmed by bikers on the West Side Highway.
NG: Can you send someone right away, please? They're all surrounding us right now.
FIELD: Lean testifies he was harassed, his mirror smashed, a minor fender-bender follows, and the rally turns into a mob. Alex asked me, what do I do? He's wife testifies. I said, just go, just go, because we just need to get out of there. We're not going to survive this. I make a hard right Lean testifies because I see there's an opening and I just go, knowing that I did hit someone. A biker is left paralyzed as Lean flees. Blocks away the bikers swarm him again. This time smashing the window and ripping him from the car. His wife makes a final plea for help.
NG: They're taking a knife to us. They cut my husband's face open with a knife.
FIELD: Eleven motorcyclists were indicted in relation to that attack. Two of them on trial now. Now, Lean had injuries to his face, his torso, his hands. His wife got very emotional on the stand, talking about the attack and specifically how he managed to get to the back of the car where her 2-year-old daughter was. She said she found her daughter covered in glass at the same time she's watching her husband being attacked just outside of that car -- Erin.
BURNETT: Incredible. Brings it home that this can affect pretty much anyone. All right. Thank you so much, Alexandra.
And OUTFRONT next, breaking news. Investigators in the deadly Amtrak crash say they are now focusing on the engineer's cell phone records specifically.
Plus an OUTFRONT exclusive. That man, the hunter, you saw him there yesterday on the show, he killed an endangered black rhino. He said he did it to save the species and he's home, he's OUTFRONT, he is live on the show tonight.
[19:29:57] BURNETT: Breaking news on the deadly Amtrak train crash tonight. Investigators poring through the engineer. Brandon Bostian's cell phone records. The NTSB is trying to figure out whether text messages and phone calls were made in that fatal train ride in those last moments.
Also new tonight, sources tells CNN that the Philadelphia police wanted to arrest Bostian on the night of the incident based on the fact that that train was going double the speed limit, more than double. Officials focusing tonight on why Bostian pushed the train's throttled forward, speeding it up.
Rene Marsh is OUTFRONT with the breaking developments.
And, Rene, I mean, that is a significant thing the Philadelphia police wanted to arrest him that very night. Why didn't they?
RENE MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They did from the very beginning, Philadelphia police, they were focused on excessive speed. The source tells me that they knew there were no problems with tracks, the signals, or the train. And that was all based on inspection documents and maintenance checks that the train and the tracks had undergone before the derailment.
So in their minds, that could only mean two things: either reckless behavior or an intentional act. And both could, according to this source justified criminal charges. But the NTSB is the lead investigator in this situation. And they were not ready to either rule anything in or out. So, they had to hold off on that arrest, Erin.
BURNETT: And at this time, of course, they are now focusing on the engineer extensively. I mean, they now have his phone. And correct me if I'm wrong, they have his physical phone and how significant do they think that is?
MARSH: They have his phone. They also have his phone records. So, now, they're looking into the issue as to whether or not he was distracted. We do know that based on the records, calls and check messages were made on the day of the incident. However, what they have not been able to nail down is whether those calls and texts were sent while he was operating the train.
So what they're doing right now is they're matching up the time stamps from the engineer's cell phone records with multiple data sources, everything from the train's recorder to that outward-facing video that the train recorded. Radio communications, they're even looking at cell phone video. They're going to make a whole graph based on the cell phone records and all the evidence that they have to determine, did he use his phone while he was operating this train?
One other thing that we learned today, Erin, is that he was new to this New York to D.C. run. He'd only been doing that route for two weeks, although he had been running trains along the Northeast Corridor for three year which sometimes included that curve that you're looking at there on your screen.
But this D.C. to New York/New York to D.C., that route was new for him.
BURNETT: All right. Rene, thank very much with the breaking news.
I want to bring OUFRONT now, the former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mary Schiavo, also transportation analyst for CNN, along with transportation attorney, Andrew Maloney.
I want to just disclose, Andrew, of course, your firm was retained by a victim in this train crash.
Let me start with you, Andrew, because we did learn today, as Rene saying this breaking news, Philadelphia police wanted to arrest that engineer the night of the crash. Obviously, he still has not been arrested or charged. But investigators now appear to be extensively, not exclusively yet, I wouldn't go that far, but extensively focusing on him and his actions in specific.
How significant is it that the police wanted to arrest him that night?
ANDREW MALONEY, TRANSPORTATION ATTORNEY: Well, that's not surprising to me. Whenever you have, for example, a motor vehicle driver speeding through a neighborhood and hits people, they usually get arrested at the scene if caught. So, it's not surprising they considered doing just that that evening. I understand he may have gone to the hospital to be treated for injuries.
But I'm glad the NTSB is really the lead agency here because they have the skill set and the experience to examine all the human factors including the use of the cell phone.
BURNETT: Mary, now, they're going through his cell phone specifically, right, as Andrew just mentioned. They want to see if he was texting, if he was on the phone, video games. And the fact that they have the physical phone is significant. You would think they'd be able to get answers to some of those questions that they might not be able to, if the phone itself was missing, right?
I mean, are they going to be able to figure this out without any question at all, whether this guy was on his phone in any way, whether or the internet, leaving a trail, or just on a video game?
MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER DOT INSPECTOR GENERAL: Yes, absolutely. In fact, what they will do is they do this graph that Rene mentioned, it's a timeline, it's down to the hundredths of a second, and will contain every piece of data they have, including the overlay of the cell phone usage, any kind of electronic communication they will be able to get, and it's really -- it's really good the kind of detail you can get and we use it commonly in all sorts of accident investigations. BURNETT: So, Mary, if investigators also they're focusing on the
engineer as the reason for the sudden acceleration, right? There had been a question, was it mechanical? Essentially it seems they have all but ruled all of that out. They're saying the only way, in their words, quote, an operable train could accelerate the way this train did would be for the engineer to actually physically push the throttle.
[19:35:02] What do you think when you hear that, when you hear the questions being put out there? Is this reckless behavior? Is this an intentional act?
SCHIAVO: Yes, I take it one step further. You would expect him to accelerate as he was leaving the station and accelerated for a full minute before. That's usual. But remember, he said he remembers the train accelerating, he remembers approaching the curve, and he remembers putting on the brake.
My question would be, if you remember all that, why did you not slow it down before? So, acceleration is typical when you're coming out of a station. But what's not typical is why didn't you brake? That's why so many people are looking to the theory of perhaps something hit the train and distracted him or something else.
But now, that appears not to be the case or at least investigators have put that into doubt. So that will be the big question. Maybe the cell phone will answer it, maybe not.
BURNETT: Andrew, one former engineer we spoke to today told OUTFRONT he feels the investigation is, quote, "throwing Bostian under the bus." Do you think they are jumping to conclusions about him saying, well, they're just looking at his cell phone, they're saying he's the only one responsible for pushing the throttle?
MALONEY: Absolutely not. The NTSB does a very good job of funneling down. What they do is eliminate other potential causes. That's what they've been doing for the last week. They funnel it down. They're left in this case where they started. And that is the speed of the train, which was known within a few hours, and the speed limit.
And those things add up to looking at that engineer. They've been looking at him from the beginning. They've looked at other factors -- mechanical, tracks, things like that. They've eliminated them. That's exactly what they do in every investigation.
So I don't think that's a fair comment to say they've only been looking at the engineer. But we're back where we started. He seems to be the culprit.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.
And next, hundreds of classified documents about Osama bin Laden being released tonight. And there's incredible information. Who he was grooming to be his heir? What did he write in letters to his wife? We have a special report on that. Plus, the hunter, the man who paid $350,000 to kill an endangered
black rhino. A lot of you are very upset, are very involved with this controversial story that wee been covering exclusively. Well, that hunter is going to be my guest exclusively tonight.
[19:41:12] BURNETT: The United States has declassified a treasure trove of documents recovered in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, offering an inside look into the world's most wanted man in the years before he was killed. His letters to his wives, one of his sons who was a potential heir apparent, and his reading list might really surprise you.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Newly revealed in the now-declassified bin Laden papers, al Qaeda sent agents to attack target in the United Kingdom, Europe, even Russia, with an emphasis on hitting Americans whenever possible.
So, why did the attacks fail? According to the master terrorist, it was "bad luck and God wasn't on our side."
The papers show in all the years since 9/11, bin Laden's desire to strike America again never let up. One says, "These pig-eating invaders and their loyal dogs are too scared of death to fight us face-to-face. The main reason they continue to kill us is because we do not have the knowledge and the resources to counter their technology."
Bin Laden clearly feared the power of American drones, warning his commanders to change locations only under cloudy skies to avoid detection. And he cautioned, "We should be careful not to send big secrets by e-mail because the enemy can easily monitor it. Computer science is not our science."
He distinctly saw any plan to establish an Islamic State as premature and risky, writing that his followers should be prepared for a long struggle for things like food and water shortages. "I'm sure that you're aware that climate change is causing drought in some areas and floods in others."
His online library also revealed in the documents contain nearly 40 books in English, including "Obama's Wars" by Bob Woodward, "Bloodlines of the Illuminati", and "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers."
And there is this, an application form for would-be jihadists, asking about their education, families, hobbies, and, do any of your family or friends work with the government? Would they be willing to help us? Do you wish to execute a suicide operation? And, who should we contact in case you become a martyr? Through it all are interspersed, surprisingly tender notes to his
family. Telling one of his wives, "I love you. God knows how sad I am for all the years that passed by with me unable to provide you with any support." And there exchanges to his son Hamza, a young man some intelligence sources thought was being groomed to take over al Qaeda, who is now in his late 20s, whereabouts unknown.
FOREMAN: It is overall a remarkable amount of reading, Erin, and presents a much more complicated picture of Osama bin Laden than most of us have ever known, although he stays true to his hatred of America. At one point penning a note to the American citizens basically saying, "There is no way you can win the war against us. You are becoming dispirited. You will be beaten."
And yet we know how that ended for him -- Erin.
BURNETT: Tom Foreman, thank you very much. Hard to imagine tender -- as Tom described it tender letters to his wife.
OUTFRONT next, an endangered black rhino hunted down supposedly in the name of conservation. Well, tonight, that hunter going to come out and talk about it. All the controversy that all of you out there feel, he's our exclusive guest.
And David Letterman saying good-bye. We're just getting new video of his final show.
[19:48:45] BURNETT: Tonight, a follow-up to an OUTFRONT exclusive. Last international we brought you the story of a Texas hunter who paid $350,000 for the right to kill an endangered black rhino. The black rhino is one of the most endangered species on the planet.
In fact during the hunt, which just happened, the hunter Corey Knowlton was told to target four specific rhinos, these were all considered a threat to the herd, they were old, they said that it was going to help the herd reproduce to kill them. He killed one of them.
Our Ed Lavandera was with Knowlton and a team of locals as they journeyed deep into the bush for several days until they finally found a nearly 3,000-pound rhino.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COREY KNOWLTON, HUNTER WHO PAID $350,000 TO KILL A BLACK RHINO: This was the angry one that already killed another bull. So he's likely just going to get up and come. So we need to be ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The team could barely even see the rhino charging until it was just 30 feet away. That is when Knowlton opened fire. Now, the $350,000 that Knowlton paid for the right to kill this rhino is being used by the Namibian government they say to help save younger black rhinos.
But after our story aired, it sparked a massive debate on whether this is acceptable to preserve an endangered animal.
[19:50:03] Corey Knowlton was the hunter. He literally just flew back from Namibia. He knows this controversy as we've been covering on the show.
I know you dealt with a lot of anger from a lot of people. He is OUTFRONT tonight in Dallas.
Corey, thank you for coming on the show and, literally, I'll emphasize here, you did just land and clear customs and come to this interview.
I want to go straight to the heart of this. The thing a lot of people don't understand and makes them angry at you, is they don't understand how this kill benefits the extremely endangered black rhino. They say -- they say why would you kill it to begin with. Why?
KNOWLTON: Well, Erin, I really believe they don't understand it is because you have to look past the headlines and educate yourself about the situation. This one black rhino in question was killing other black rhinos and the locals don't have a benefit for that and it is not good to live with when you have a danger animal in the area. And it was detracting from the value of the other things in the area like black rhinos that are living peacefully and not causing any trouble.
BURNETT: So, you're saying that these black rhinos, which they've identified four, right? And you were allowed to kill one of them. You're saying that they actually are killing younger males --
KNOWLTON: Certainly, one --
BURNETT: -- that their attack on the herd is actually hurting reproduction, not helping by letting them live, that's your bottom line.
KNOWLTON: Absolutely. That's not the bottom line, but that's one of the aspects of it, 100 percent.
BURNETT: All right. So, we got a lot of response from viewers, as you know, Corey, and I just want to share two tweets with you, both of which go at something that's also I think core to this. One of them, "Dude that killed the rhino is ridiculous. I'm a hunter also, and that is the lamest reason ever for a kill. He wanted the kill."
And then another one, "Black rhino killing for $350,000 makes no sense. He could have donated that money for conservation."
And that's the reason I have for you, Corey, right? I mean, if you have $350,000, why not just donate it to help save rhinos? Why do you have to kill one and exchange for the money?
KNOWLTON: OK, the easiest way to explain that is, the $350,000 was donated and the contribution would have been higher if it wasn't for the controversy. The $350,000 went through the most vetted possible by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the UCN and Conservation Force and over 170 nation members of societies. So it was the best way to ensure the money went to get the very best effect for the money.
Secondly, the other guy that says that I just wanted to kill it, if I just wanted to kill something, I would go work at a chicken plant, Erin, and kill things all day. I believe in the circle of life and human beings are the part of it, and it is ridiculous to say we're complicit in the fact these animals are in trouble, but we shouldn't be complicit in helping them, through -- through wildlife biology and scientific research.
BURNETT: So, so, so let me ask you this question about the kill. I mean, when you actually shot and killed that rhino. What is it about that that made you feel good about yourself?
KNOWLTON: Are you saying the act of killing itself?
BURNETT: Yes, the act of killing, yes.
KNOWLTON: I think hunters out there understand, it is part of who we are as human beings, OK? And I don't know that everybody removed from that can understand it. It is a different kind of emotion.
In this case, actually I feel good that Ed Lavandera didn't get killed as it was charging him, and he actually made the best move I think I've ever seen by someone who wasn't a hunter and wasn't used to being out there. He went to the exact place he needed to which save his life 100 percent and probably saved other people's lives.
So, I was dealing with that at the same time. It actually came out of absolute nowhere and it looked straight at Ed. And so, it was a whole different emotion with this actual thing. It was a very dangerous situation that we're in.
BURNETT: And Ed was saying that. I mean, it was very dangerous.
And we have video of your trophy room, Corey, because you're a big game hunter. You hunt a lot of big animals. It's something that you love to do and you celebrate that in your trophy room. We're showing images now which you know Ed was with you and you shot.
What do you plan doing with this rhino head? Which I know -- you know, are you putting it in your trophy room? What are you doing with it?
KNOWLTON: I think my plan once I get it back here, it is my personal property, to figure out a way that I can use it to raise awareness the best I can with it, and if that is putting it on loan to different museums, different places, that's what I would love to do. I don't believe any single act throughout modern history has
brought more attention to an endangered species than this one. So, if you are against it or for it, at least you are aware of the plight of the rhino and at least you're aware now of the real dangers to it, being poaching and the habitat infringement.
[19:55:03] And the best way to do that is to incentivize the locals and get them to be a part of it and that's exactly what this hunt did. We fed a whole village with this, Erin, for a long time. We employed local people.
It -- from America to Africa, as you well know, you've been around the world, you know the differences, it's giant. It's huge. And this -- just to have the meat meant world to those people. And you understand finance, you covered that for a long time, if it pays, it stays. If it's valuable, it's going to be there.
That's why we have -- we preserve things we value. That's why we have so many cows. If these people put a value on the black rhinos life, alive or dead --
KNOWLTON: -- it's an amazing thing. Nobody put a lower value on it than the anti-hunting community. They could have came in and bid on it, but they threaten bidders away.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Corey, I appreciate you taking the time. Thank you very much.
And again to our viewers, you've now heard Corey answer your questions, tell us what you think.
Next, David Letterman's final show.
BURNETT: Tonight, David Letterman airs his last late show. New video just in of his final stage entrance. Celebrities like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey, all there. The band the Foo Fighters is performing. Audience members say it was a heartfelt goodbye and goodnight and, of course, good luck to him.
Thank you for joining us.
Anderson Cooper is next.