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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Moammar Gadhafi Speaks on Libyan TV; What Should U.S. Do in Libya?; Meet the Gadhafi Family; What's Behind Sheen's Rants?
Aired March 8, 2011 - 22:00 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, everyone, breaking news after a day of dramatic developments in Libya.
Libyan state television right now airing a new statement from disaster Moammar Gadhafi, taped earlier today, the dictator seeming to put out a new explanation of the uprising against him. This is a live image right now.
He now seems to be blaming the opposition on communist agents of America. Now, this is an early translation and, as you know, figuring out exactly what Moammar Gadhafi is saying is not always so easy. So we're going to continue to listen, continue to try to get another translation just to make sure.
But if that if a new -- if he is in fact blaming communist agents of America, that would certainly be yet another explanation of what is going on in his country.
As you know, we have heard everything from al Qaeda fighters to kids who have been drugged with hallucinogenic drugs. Now, even as he does all this, poorly armed opposition forces are trying to hold on against attacks by Gadhafi's forces.
Tonight, we bring you new video from inside a surrounded city. The city is Zawiyah. Gadhafi claims his forces took it days ago. They didn't. And he clearly doesn't want you to know what's happening there right now. Reporters are banned from going inside Zawiyah, but the video we're about to show you was shot by a team from Britain's Sky News, the only foreign reporters in that city who managed to get in before the fighting began.
Their video is disturbing, we warn you, but it's important because it contradicts much of what Gadhafi, his sons and his spokesmen continue to claim. Remember, they all claim they're fighting al Qaeda, not Libyans who hate them. They claim they have not fired on Libyan civilians. They claim casualties have been few.
From what you're about to see and what witnesses on the ground are reporting, those claims are false, untrue, incorrect, lies. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
What you're seeing is full-fledged warfare on opposition forces that are hanging on, just barely, poorly armed, most of them civilians with no military training and few weapons, at a hospital in Zawiyah, plenty of wounded, some of them children. This little boy has a head wound. There's a little girl nearby.
Remember, Gadhafi is claiming they haven't fired on any civilians. A local doctor tells us, since the video was taken, the hospitals have been shut down. He says the army shot and killed two colleagues in the main square.
Even more chilling, he says that when troops encounter wounded residents, they don't take them for treatment or render any assistance. Instead, according to this doctor, the wounded are simply shot dead. We cannot independently confirm that, but that team from Sky News was in an ambulance that was fired upon by government forces.
All of these accounts totally contradicting the government line that there's no uprising and that major Libyan cities are being held hostage by small numbers of al Qaeda fighters. It also lays bare the claim repeated by one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons on Al-Arabiya today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAADI GADHAFI, SON OF MOAMMAR GADHAFI (through translator): The leader gave clear instructions that the military doesn't intervene, except in cases where there are vital areas that need to be protected and to be ready in case of foreign intervention.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: None of what you see in Zawiyah or any place else so far backs that up. Yet the regime keeps repeating it, falsely claiming about 100 fatalities, many of them police officers they say killed by al Qaeda or crazed Libyan teenagers hopped up on hallucinogens.
You will recall that even when the government unveiled that haul of so-called hallucinogenic pills last week, this is what they showed. The drug turned out to be a hospital painkiller. The side effects? Drowsiness and constipation. It's not a hallucinogen.
But even when its own evidence falls flat, the regime keeps at it. Gadhafi himself repeated untrue statements during an interview with Turkish TV. It happened at a Tripoli hotel today where foreign media had been bottled up. Shortly before his boss appeared, spokesman Musa Ibrahim, the official Libyan government spokesman, warned NBC's Richard Engel that going out and taking pictures from the hotel roof would be deadly. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUSA IBRAHIM, LIBYAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: Some people are sneaking from the balconies up there. They will be shot dead immediately. Don't do that. Don't film me. Please, come on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Not wanting to be filmed, saying that they will be shot dead if they go up on the roof.
Gadhafi came to the hotel seven hours late after a day of speculation, first that he was willing to negotiate his departure, and later, when that report didn't pan out, that he would give a news conference. Instead, he spoke only with a Turkish reporter, reprising his old lines, and now this taped statement from him tonight playing out on state television live that we continue to monitor.
Meantime, airpower is giving the regime an upper hand in Eastern Libya. This is apparently a weapons depot being hit, but opposition leaders say water supplies are also being hit in Ras Lanuf. Again, the government denies targeting any civilian targets. It also denies negotiating with the opposition.
And earlier today, rumors that Gadhafi wanted to negotiate his departure from Libya proved to be just that, rumors, not before the State Department weighed in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P.J. CROWLEY, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs: There's nothing preventing Mr. Gadhafi from leaving his tent, climbing in an airplane, and leaving Libya, so his people can have a better tomorrow than they have today.
There's nothing preventing him from doing that.
QUESTION: But, in theory, if he comes to you and he...
CROWLEY: Again, it's not for us to choose his final destination. We are going to hold him accountable. There is a commission of inquiry under the ICC. So, my favorite booking would be a trip to the Hague.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, apparently, that's not in the cards.
With us now in Tripoli, our own Nic Robertson and David Kirkpatrick of "The New York Times" and, in Benghazi, CNN's Ben Wedeman.
Nic, this thing where Gadhafi arrived and his spokesman warned NBC's Richard Engel and other reporters that if they went on the roof, they would be shot instantly, was that about?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There was so much confusion before Gadhafi came, and the government officials, Musa Ibrahim among them, were trying to figure out where the journalists could go.
There were sort of -- there -- Mr. Ibrahim didn't know that Gadhafi was coming. This is the man that is in charge of the journalists in the hotel here. The red carpet had been rolled out. He was trying to figure out where we could go and where we could stand. And he was trying to negotiate that with Gadhafi's security forces.
He seemed to be diligently trying to do that. Yet, at the same time, he issued a very flat and straight-out warning to everyone that if you get on the roof, then Gadhafi's security forces are going to see that as a threat, so don't do it. He's been faced with journalists trying to get every angle on the story.
Why? Because his office hasn't been able to get us to places like Zawiyah. So he knows exactly we're going to get out and try and get the story. So this seemed to be a -- it seemed to be a warning, but not so much a threat. It was, just don't be stupid. Don't get up there. Don't put yourself in harm's way -- Anderson.
COOPER: Ben, you've had -- you're in the east of Libya, areas controlled still by the opposition.
You were near Ras Lanuf. And I'm probably mispronouncing it. How do you see the battle at this point, the ebb and flow of it? Who has the upper hand now? Is it the Libyan regime?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The regime clearly has the upper hand, Anderson. They have got a lot of tanks, surface-to-surface missiles.
And their real sort of ace in the hole is airpower, helicopters and fighter bombers that, at will, can hit the rebel positions. The rebels have these old ancient Chinese and Soviet anti-aircraft guns that are almost useless. They're more useful really at sort of shooting horizontal at oncoming troops.
What we're seeing is that the government forces are stationary at the moment. They're just outside the town of Bin Jawad. But every time the opposition forces try to move there, try to go in that direction, the government forces just let loose with everything they have. It appears their offensive, so to speak, has come to a screeching halt -- Anderson.
COOPER: David, from your perspective, what are you hearing in terms of the battle for Zawiyah and some of these other cities, Misrata? How do you see the ebb and flow of this?
DAVID KIRKPATRICK, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I think it's very much right. It appears that the Libyan military has an overwhelming advantage in firepower.
They have a deficit in morale. And so despite that advantage in firepower, we have seen them swept aside at certain points by smaller and poorly armed forces. There's some indication that bombers are dropping their bombs far, far from their targets. So even though they have this enormous airpower, they're not even able to decimate the rebels as much as you would like, but some analysts -- as much as they might like.
But some analysts say they even have -- the rebels have anti-aircraft weapons in their supply areas back in Benghazi. But they don't have the logistics to get them to the front, so they could take on some of these planes. But they can't get the weapons to the battle.
COOPER: Nic, you were on the outskirts of Zawiyah yesterday. I want to play some of that video, because the government by then, the Libyan regime, the Gadhafi regime was claiming they were already in control of the city. They didn't let you go into the center of the city. But from what you saw on the outskirts, clearly, there was still firing and fighting going on. I just want to play that video for our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's the sound of heavy machine gunfire. It sounds -- heavy machine gunfire cracks, the shots -- just ducking for cover. We're OK behind this wall.
So that's what we can hear going on, on the outskirts of Zawiyah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, Nic, from what we're hearing there from Zawiyah from a doctor who escaped said that they -- that the government has actually shut down the two hospitals that were treating opposition wounded.
If that's in fact the case, that's an extraordinarily alarming development, the idea that there's no place for the wounded to get treated.
ROBERTSON: And that any wounded that the government forces are coming across, according to this doctor, that they are being shot. It is alarming and it certainly begins to paint a picture that the rebels (AUDIO GAP) rushed into Zawiyah as well are slowly sort of succumbing to that weight of force.
The doctor also talked about tanks being involved in that fight, quite heavy use of tanks. I followed up this with the deputy foreign minister here this evening, and he reiterated again no use of heavy firepower against civilians, no civilian casualties.
And that is at the same time as these pictures from Sky News are already out on the Internet. So it just diminishes faith, if whatever faith there was, in what government officials say. Or simply are they being duped by Gadhafi? Are they not looking at the Internet, like other people in the country are? It just -- it defies logic really when you hear these things -- Anderson.
COOPER: David, I mean, I don't know how to phrase this exactly, but does the Gadhafi regime have any credibility in their public statements whatsoever?
KIRKPATRICK: Well, we're in an atmosphere here where facts are increasingly rare.
And I think that's one of the reasons why we're seeing so many rumors flourish. The Gadhafi statements on state television have seemed far, far, far off base. It's also true that not everything the rebels say is ironclad either.
I have had a lot of people, even people in Zawiyah -- as you know, we're not able to get to Zawiyah. So for a while, we were relying on phone calls to people who were there, who would give us shocking and graphic reports, some of which were true, not all of which were true.
Now all the phone lines are down, the electricity is down, Internet is down. So, what suffices for information from Zawiyah really now, aside from that Sky TV tape that is a few days old are people in neighboring towns telling us what they think is going on in Zawiyah.
So I would say, no, that the state TV reports and the news from the Gadhafi administration is not necessarily fully reliable. Neither is what we hear from the rebels either.
COOPER: Ben, in the east, you have traveled with the opposition forces. You have seen them under fire and returning fire. How important is the Gadhafi air force? How important is their air superiority to what's happening on the ground? The question obviously, if there was a no-fly zone, whether taking out aircraft would really make that much of a difference in terms of the battles on the ground.
WEDEMAN: It would make a huge difference, because this is what has prevented the opposition forces from moving ahead.
You have to realize that in desert warfare, it's open terrain. There's really nowhere to hide. There are no mountains, there are no forests, nothing. And as the opposition forces move ahead, and they move in a very haphazard, sort of random, chaotic way, they're just sitting ducks out on this open terrain, a long, black strip through the desert.
And as long as the aircraft of the Libyan air force, helicopters and fighter bombers, can watch what's going on, can see what's going on, they have complete control of the situation. We have seen the helicopters letting loose with rockets into rebel positions -- not even positions -- I'm talking about just pickup trucks as they drive along the road.
So, a no-fly zone, which is something that everybody you speak to here says they desperately need, would make a huge difference. It would take the pressure off the opposition forces, because at the moment, this is their main terror is, when you're driving down the road, you hear that plane overhead. Everybody panics -- Anderson.
COOPER: Nic, from what you're hearing from Gadhafi officials, has the -- international talk about a no-fly zone, has that impacted the course of the battle from the Libyan government's position?
ROBERTSON: You know, it's accelerated it.
Talking to a government official last week, he was saying, look, we can't wait for the international community to make up their minds what they're going to do. If we sit here and wait to see, hey, let's wait and see if this decision becomes final and put in place, our hands are going to be tied.
So, they -- this has accelerated the battle for them in some ways, that they realized that they had to get on and fight it using the advantages that they had. They contend that they're up against a military force.
But when I talked to the deputy foreign minister a few hours ago and asked him about the imposition of a no-fly zone, he said this was effectively the international community declaring war on Libya, that the international communities should send monitors to the country to see the situation for themselves.
His office, he said, has been (INAUDIBLE). The government's position is this is an internal Libyan affair. This is a government dealing in an armed uprising. Any government around the world would put down an armed uprising in their own country.
So it's slightly I would say worrying if that's the prevailing thought or potentially worrying for the international community if the prevailing thought (AUDIO GAP) effectively declaring war on Libya. What does that mean then? What does it mean that Libya will (AUDIO GAP) do then in which case? -- Anderson.
COOPER: Having some problems with the signal, but we will continue going. Final question.
David Kirkpatrick, anything else you want people to know or people should know about what happened today, what you're hearing in your reporting?
KIRKPATRICK: The one thing I would add is an experience I had at the airport. All of us who have come in saw a horrific scene when we flew into the airport, where tens of thousands, it seemed, of migrant workers from all over the world were trapped in desperate, squalid conditions waiting to get out, many of them illegal. They didn't have passports.
They couldn't get into the airport -- Bangladeshis, Egyptians, Filipinos, people from everywhere. I went back this week to check on that scene. And what I found was, in a way, smaller, but in a way more horrifying. Most of those people had been removed by their home countries, but there's a group sub-Saharan Africans, mostly Ghanaians and Nigerians, who have not. They're still there.
International aid groups or the Red Crescent, the Red Cross, can't reach them. No one is doing anything for them. They're camping out in piles of garbage with little babies behind a -- by a ditch full of excrement. It's more depressing than anything I have seen in a long time and very much sort of below the radar of the rest of the civil war here.
COOPER: David Kirkpatrick, appreciate you joining us from "The New York Times." Ben Wedeman, Nic Robertson, all stay safe. Thanks.
Let us know what you think. We're on Facebook. Or follow me on Twitter at AndersonCooper. I will be live tweeting throughout the hour tonight.
Moammar Gadhafi has nine grown kids. You know -- you have probably only heard one or two of them. All hold some positions of influence. One allegedly helped plot a coup against his father, but is back in the fold now. They're certainly not the Brady Bunch. We will take a look inside the Gadhafi clan later tonight. We will also look at the no-fly zone, a debate about whether or not it actually would work.
And, later, Charlie Sheen's very public breakdown taking a pretty disturbing turn. It's a story we haven't really reported on, but his latest statements and video appearance startling. Dr. Drew Pinsky joins me ahead.
Also, Isha Sesay is following some other stories tonight -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, some astounding images coming out of King Harbor Marina in Redondo Beach, California, today. What you are looking at are millions of floating sardines. The dead fish surrounding those boats were a foot deep in some parts. So what caused this massive fish kill? I will tell you what officials are saying -- that story and much more just ahead.
COOPER: Updating our breaking news: Moammar Gadhafi speaking right now on tape, on state television in Libya, after a day that began with rumors he was negotiating his departure. That did not pan out. They were just rumors.
With his forcing apparently gaining the upper hand, there's no immediate sign it will pan out in the immediate future. We're trying to translate his statement right now, and as it often is with Gadhafi, decipher what he is actually saying, it is often not clear.
Our interpreter right now just said he was speaking gibberish. So we're trying to get a better translation. Also less than clear at the moment, just how much pressure the world may bring to bear on him. Today, the Organization of the Islamic Conference said it wants the U.N. to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya.
The group represents 56 member states. Meantime, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it's important that any no-fly zone over Libya not be a U.S.-led effort. When pressed on whether the U.S. would support a no-fly zone, she told Sky News -- quote -- "We're going to support the efforts that are being made because we think that the people of Libya themselves have to be supported and we know how difficult this struggle is."
That's as far as she would go.
Ed Henry joins me now from the White House. Ed, what is going on inside the administration? There was talk a lot about doing something maybe through NATO. Are they any closer to coming to a firm decision on a no-fly zone?
ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Anderson, they don't seem any closer at all.
Today, the president did a phone call with the British prime minister, David Cameron, and afterwards White House officials put out kind of a readout of it and basically said, look, they agreed Gadhafi must go, all options are on the table, including a no-fly zone.
But, frankly, we have heard that same formulation for days now, a couple of weeks, in fact. And when Jay Carney was pressed by reporters a bit after that, what are you going to do, are you going to go before the U.N. Security Council, he kept hedging and basically said, I'm not going to get into the details of exactly what process we're going to use.
So it's still anyone's guess, are they going to go through the U.N., are they going to go through NATO? You know, having "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT" interview Donald Rumsfeld is a reminder. And when you talk to senior U.S. officials, they remind everyone about the experience in Iraq, the experience in Afghanistan, and that you have got to be really careful before a commander in chief starts any kind of U.S. military action.
But as they continue the same kind of formulation day after day, they're facing real pressure to act and it's no wonder then "The New York Times" today had a pretty tough editorial saying the U.S. is losing credibility as it continues to wait.
COOPER: And so now you have senators like McCain and Kerry talking up a no-fly zone, but Secretary Gates a couple days ago was talking about the difficulties of it, saying it's essentially -- this is not some video game that you basically have to get involved in, in a war on the ground; you have to take out anti-aircraft elements.
He now -- I don't know if he's softening or changing his position, but now I think today he stressed just the importance of doing stuff with international cooperation.
HENRY: Right. And I think that same caution is now being reflected in the words of Secretary of State Clinton, as you referred to in that Sky News interview as well. She had seemed to be a little more forceful, maybe more in favor of a no-fly zone say a week ago.
But with Secretary Gates and others, Bill Daley, the chief of staff here at the White House, seeming to put cold water on that, take a listen to just a couple quick back and forth. The Sky News reporter said to the secretary, Secretary Clinton, will you support a no-fly zone?
She said -- quote -- "Well, we want to see the international community support it."
"So, would you support it if the international community would?" he pressed.
"Well, but I think it's very important, she said, that this not be a U.S.-led effort."
The reporter pointed out, "Of course, but you have got other countries involved, Britain, France, et cetera."
She said, "Right."
So he said, "In theory, the U.S. would support a no-fly zone?"
And she said, as you noted a minute ago, "We're going to support the efforts that are being made."
That's not exactly a clear answer. It seemed to be dancing around that very direct question, are you supporting a no-fly zone or not? Frankly, Secretary Clinton doesn't want to get ahead of the White House, because they haven't made a decision yet -- Anderson.
COOPER: Ed Henry at the White House -- Ed, thanks.
Joining me now, Fouad Ajami, professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Also joining us, national security contributor Fran Townsend. In 2010, Fran visited high-ranking Libyan officials, including Saif Gadhafi, at the invitation of the Libyan government. She's also a member of the CIA External Advisory Committee. And Benjamin Barber, author of "Jihad vs. McWorld." He also worked with Saif Gadhafi in promoting democratic refineries in Libya.
Mr. Barber, do you support a no-fly zone?
BENJAMIN BARBER, AUTHOR, "JIHAD VS. MCWORLD": I support any effort that I think will work to overthrow the Gadhafi regime.
And the question is, will this work to help or will it hurt? And I have in my imagination the possibility of images of civilians on the ground killed in an attempt to suppress anti-aircraft fire by American planes, now dead Muslim Arab civilians killed by American pilots in a good cause, but without result.
I have in mind the possibility of images once again of American planes over an Arab country being used by al Qaeda, being used around the world as propaganda against us. I have in mind the danger that Gadhafi himself, with his wild claims that this is an American war, suddenly now has warplanes overhead from the United States and can say, you see, I wasn't crazy. I was right.
So there are lots of reasons we need to do effective things to help the rebels. We must do that. But they have to be effective. They can't endanger people on the ground and they can't endanger the United States in a way that once again we become associated with neocolonialism, the repression of people in Libyan countries.
In the end, Libyans themselves are going to have to do this. We need to give them all the help we can, but I think the presence of American aircraft over airspace in Libya could be extremely dangerous.
COOPER: Not just militarily that it could go wrong, but also in the war of ideas, it could be very dangerous.
FOUAD AJAMI, PROFESSOR OF MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES, JOHNS HOPKINS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: I'll tell you, in the war of ideas, it's a scandal, what we are now witnessing. And I disagree very much with Professor Barber. I think everyone now knows the spectacle that we are seeing. These are basically unarmed people facing a regime heavily armed still with tanks, with airpower and the like. And the idea somehow or another that people in Ramallah or people in Nablus or people in Amman will mind seeing the Americans come to the rescue is really a form of abdication.
This is what the administration in a way has fallen back on. We keep saying we want this rebellion to be organic, we want it to be authentic, we want it to be Libyan. It is authentic. It is Libyan, but the people still are still facing a heavily armed regime. It's still an uneven fight. And it's a moral burden that we have, that we have to level this killing field in Libya.
COOPER: Fran, in terms of national security interests, well, there are those who argue, well, look, morally, there may be issues here that the U.S. should get involved, but that there's no national security interest.
TOWNSEND: Well, let's remember, Libya has important oil reserves. And so you have got an energy national security interest alone.
But let's remember all across the Maghreb in North Africa, we have had a very active al Qaeda presence. And what do we know about al Qaeda presences in that region? They look for ungoverned states. And to the extent we allow this chaos to continue without supporting the rebels, without ensuring some government and rule of law structure there, we leave open the possibility that al Qaeda will come in.
There's no evidence that they're there now. Contrary to Gadhafi's claims, there is no -- I have talked to sources in the administration, in the intelligence community. There's no evidence that al Qaeda is interfering right now. But if we leave it in chaos, if we leave an ungoverned space, they will come in. It's what they have done in Yemen.
COOPER: Professor Barber, what sort of message does -- if Gadhafi is allowed to continue killing his people, the way he has, and it is -- seems to be an unfair fight, no matter -- all the images we have seen, all the firsthand reporting and witnessing, what message does that send, though?
And are you concerned about the message it sends to other dictators in the region, that, you know what, suppression works, killing your people actually does work, and the international community will stand by?
BARBER: I'm deeply concerned, but the United States has learned I think the hard way now that if we alone try to repress dictatorship with armed force, we are likely to be seen as part of the problem...
COOPER: What about under cover of NATO or U.N.?
BARBER: I would love to see this done by the United Nations. It's unlikely Russia and China will allow...
COOPER: What about NATO?
BARBER: NATO, there, you've got go neocolonial powers -- quote, unquote -- "neocolonials," seen by -- I would rather have it done that way than just by Americans.
The problem is, the U.S., as we did in Bosnia, always ends up carrying the heavy burden, because of our obligations, because of our willingness to commit forces and risk American lives, which is a beautiful thing about this country.
But, as a result, we often end up overcommitted in ways that leave us standing alone. I mean, it's great now to stay we have got to jump in and do something. But if we jump in and others don't come with us and we end up looking once again like imperials and bullies, not just to al Qaeda and Hamas, but to people -- there are people in Benghazi who have said we don't want American planes coming in if it's going to be seen then as an American war and not our uprising.
In the end, people have to make their own revolutions. We can try to equal the playing field and should. We can do that from offshore. We can do it by jamming communications. We can do it by supplies. There are lots of things we can do.
But once you put American forces in the air and the danger of shooting down American pilots, hurting civilians on the ground as inadvertent targets against anti-aircraft, you put the U.S. in a position where we look like the bad guys. And I think you make it harder for those making the uprising to demonstrate that this is their liberty, their uprising that this is about.
COOPER: Well, to affirm the people who are doing the uprising, we are hearing, Ben Wedeman is saying they are all saying a no-fly zone.
AJAMI: I don't care what they're saying in public. But you have -- we saw the pieties of Arab nationalism, if you will, and the pieties of a population reared on this diet of anti-colonialism.
But they're also telling us something else. They're telling us something else in the e-mails people send us, to you, to me. They're telling us that they want protection. They're telling us that they can't win this fight. They're telling us that romance and patriotism are not enough, that unless you have air cover, unless you neutralize the advantages of Muammar Gadhafi, this rebellion will be crushed. And we're talking about national security interests in Libya. They are huge for the United States.
Imagine in this Arab spring, if you will, if this awakening of the Arab people is turned back, if it's defeated in Libya. The consequences will be with us for many years to come.
There is something very interesting about history. We never quite see in front of us the consequences of what we don't do. For example, we did not finish off Saddam in 1990-91, and guess what happened? We had to station American forces in the Arabian Peninsula, and that radicalized the Saudi Arabians, radicalized the Saudi population, and we paid the price a decade later.
We shall pay a price for our abdication. And I think we will look back, if we don't save this beseiged population, this embattled population, we will come to great grief. Just one sentence. Here is a sentence from Bill Clinton.
The failure to try to stop the Rwanda's tragedy became "one of the greatest regrets of my presidency." There shall be a memoir written by Barack Obama, perhaps eight or ten years from now, and he will look back on this time. He look back on this fight in Libya. He will look back on the fight of the people without any cover, any support, and maybe he will reflect in such language.
COOPER: Fran, what about arming the opposition?
TOWNSEND: Well, we don't really know who that is. And that's part of the problem. Part of the difficulty is...
COOPER: The folks in Benghazi say we do know who they are. They're doctors, lawyers; they've set up this council. Is that not the opposition?
TOWNSEND: But Anderson, if you're a national security policymaker, you have the memory of Afghanistan, where we armed opposition against the Soviets, and ultimately those weapons were turned against us. And I think there's right reticence about arming them.
But to the no-fly zone, I think we can and should do that. The difficulty in that, when you here reticence on the part of the U.S. military is, this is a man who's willing to kill his own people. We must be prepared. He may use his own people as shields on air strips around anti-aircraft missile defense and put civilians around them, so that if we go in there to take them out, we will face -- we will have to face civilian casualties.
COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there. Professor Barber, we're definitely glad to have you back. Fascinating things, also, about Saif Gadhafi that I want to talk to you about.
Dr. Ajami as well, and Fran Townsend, thank you very much.
Still ahead, what we've learned about the people who know Gadhafi best, his family. He has nine grown kids, including a son who likes to party with A-list celebrities. We'll kind of break down the many family -- the branches of the family tree here just to explain who some of the players are fighting on the ground right now.
Later, in a very different vein, a story we haven't really done much about, but frankly, a new tape kind of stopped us in our tracks today. It seems as though Charlie Sheen's spiral downward is deepening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHARLIE SHEEN, ACTOR: People need to hear my goal as it rolls out. It's like disappearing? Disappearing, like so many freaking, you know, magicians and rabbits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You heard a bit at the top from Gadhafi's son, Saadi. Like his brother Saif, he sticks to the family line and has been richly rewarded for it.
Remember, Muammar Gadhafi claims that he has no money, claims he has no power, but somehow, his children have access to almost unlimited wealth and power. They've also at times acted as the more westernized faces of this brutal regime. But now that their father is facing the fight of his life, they have rallied around him and are, in some cases, leading the fight against the Libyan people they had hoped to one day themselves rule.
Tom Foreman tonight with a family portrait.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Muammar Gadhafi has not only held onto power for a long time; he's also had a large, if at times quarrelsome family to help him. Gadhafi has nine grown children, one the result of a short marriage to his first wife, seven by his second wife, and one by adoption. And they hold many positions of influence in Libya's security forces, military, telecommunications, and other industries.
The most noted power player is Saif Al-Islam. He is second oldest, educated at the London School of Economics. He speaks fluent English, and he paints. He's been seen as a possible successor to his father and was considered a more modern thinker, but that was before his recent vow to fight protesters to the end.
A rival possible successor to power, Moatessem. He once allegedly helped plot a coup against his father and fled the country when it failed. He was eventually forgiven and is now his father's national security adviser, who was involved in talks about better U.S.-Libya relationships with secretary of state Clinton in 2009.
Ayesha is 34. She's the only daughter, believed to be a peacekeeper between the brothers. She's long supported anti-government groups like the IRA and insurgents in Iraq. She was part of Saddam Hussein's legal defense team. And when "The Telegraph" asked last year how she felt about Iraqis who say he slaughtered thousands, she said you're bound to meet people who may be against your policies.
And then there is Hannibal Gadhafi, the headline maker. He has reportedly paid millions for private parties featuring big name entertainers like Beyonce and Usher, Mariah Carey and Nelly Furtado, several of whom now say they've given the money back. He's also been implicated in a string of violent incidents in Europe. He was accused of beating his staff. The charges were later dropped. He is married to former model Aline Skaf, seen here on ArabiCelebrities.com. He was accused of beating her in a London hotel. She later said she broke her nose in an accident.
Hannibal was also stopped after driving his Ferrari 90 miles an hour the wrong way down the Champs D'Elysee. He invoked diplomatic immunity.
The sixth son, Khamis, seen here in this photo from ElPayees.com (ph), is said to command a special forces unit known as the 32nd Brigade, or the Khamis Brigade, which protects the Gadhafi family. His troops have been involved in much of the heavy fighting throughout Libya.
Still, despite the various problems among these strong personalities, nothing seems to have driven the family members far enough apart yet to weaken their collective grip on power.
Tom Foreman, CNN.
COOPER: Well, another country facing new demonstrations in the streets. Isha Sesay has that and more in "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, at least 40 anti-government protesters have been injured in Yemen in front of a university. Witnesses say security forces fired into the air and shot tear gas into the crowd of demonstrators.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is defending the homeland security committee chairman Peter King's controversial terrorism hearings. There's been a backlash from some Muslim groups over the hearings about radicalization in the American Muslim country. Congressman King says people can react the way they want but that radical Islam is a threat overseas and at home.
Officials in California say more than a million sardines died from natural selection, not environmental reasons. Officials say tests show lack of oxygen caused the massive fix kill in king harbor marina after a large school of sardines got chased into the harbor.
And a new survey shows that Hawaii is the happiest state in the country. Surprise, surprise. I mean, what's not to be happy if you live in Hawaii? Anyway, the phone survey lists 12 categories of well being, including work environment, health, and community satisfaction. The top five happiest states, Anderson, if you'd like to take a guess. Aside from Hawaii, any thoughts?
COOPER: Well, they're on the screen right now.
SESAY: Yes, I know, I just saw that. Anyway, don't cheat. Wah-wah. Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska and Colorado. And...
COOPER: That sounds about right. I can imagine that. Good healthy outdoor living places.
COOPER: Sure, beautiful.
SESAY: Yes. All right. New York, you know where that came in?
COOPER: No, where did it come in?
SESAY: No. 32.
COOPER: What? That's wrong! I'd say it's No. 6. It's No. 1 for me, but...
SESAY: OK. But more to the point...
COOPER: ... I live here, so it seems normal.
SESAY: More to the point, my adopted home state of Georgia tops your Big Apple. We're at 31.
COOPER: Not so much better.
SESAY: We top your apple.
COOPER: OK. Yes, you top my apple. All right. More from Isha in a moment.
Coming up, a story we haven't covered much, because compared, frankly, to what we have been covering, it doesn't seem that important. But a new video by Charlie Sheen we saw today, well, it stopped me in my tracks, I've got to say. In a moment, we're going to show you what was so disturbing. We'll talk to Dr. Drew Pinsky.
We said it's very clear what's happening to Sheen, even though it's most very clear what he's sometimes talking about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEEN: Winner.com, Winner.com. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. I don't think so. We're on a Sheen dinner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We haven't been covering the Charlie Sheen saga, because while it's been all over the place and certainly it's captivating, it's certainly not as important as what we have been covering.
But tonight we decided to talk about it for a few minutes, because a video released by Sheen last night online is pretty shocking, and pretty disturbing. Sheen appears incredibly disheveled and appears to be having a conversation with one of his representatives named Bob.
Today it was announced that Live Nation concert promoters have made a deal with Sheen to market products using some of his catch phrases, like "winning." TMZ posted a video of Sheen on the -- on the roof of the Live Nation building in Beverly Hills, brandishing a machete and drinking from a bottle marked "tiger blood," which refers to one of his many catch phrases that have entered the collective vernacular. Still not sure exactly what tiger blood really is.
In the video from last night, Sheen was at times incoherent. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEEN: Built by trolls. Keep that in mind. Phones were built by trolls.
OK. That gives us like 6,000 hours. OK, great, great, great. As it should be, duh. People need to hear my gold as it rolls out, not as it's, like, disappearing, disappearing, like so many freaking magicians' rabbits.
We are in the middle of a movement here, an odyssey of epic proportions. Epic, epic proportions. Well, hello, duh.
I had more than fun. I had me with it.
My plan is the best one in the world. People are starting to wake up and realize that. Walk into my plan, and you're going to win, win, win. Winner.com. We're in the middle of genius. Foiled by phones (ph) and trolls. People are calling through, and it pisses me off, because they're like interrupting again my brilliance.
Well, I mean, what's not to love? It's my life. Winning. As I was saying, because people are calling to change my number to get rid of these interrupting trolls. Winning.
Waiting -- winning -- waiting for everyone to catch up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Earlier I spoke with addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky about what may be going on with Sheen.
COOPER: So Dr. Drew, I haven't been following this as closely as a lot of people, but I saw this video today, this latest video that he's put out, and it's really just stunning. This is a guy, he seems to be on the edge.
DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Right. It's disturbing, and it's uncharacteristic. It's clearly a change. It's a condition we call hypomania. It's an inflated sense of self, grandiosity, pressured speed, distractability, a belief in special powers. It's infectious, but the fact is, it's a medical condition.
COOPER: What do you mean infectious?
PINSKY: He either gets worse -- the people -- you notice how the people around him are still, you know, playing along with him. In fact, that's the disturbing part of this for me, is that the people around him are validating these behaviors and actually amplifying them.
And this either goes up into a psychotic episode or manic episode or starts to come down. And when it comes down, that's when the drug addict starts using again. In all likelihood, this is drug induced.
Another thing that's bizarre to me s how preoccupied people are with whether or not he's using. He's probably not using. I see this all the time, where stimulants induce a psychotic state. And when they become so high in their hypomanic state, then they don't want to use.
COOPER: So he may not even be using any drugs now, but his brain has changed? I mean, he seems like a fundamentally different person than he used to be.
PINSKY: That's exactly right. He's in a different biologic state, a hypomanic state. And for somebody like me that deals with these kinds of things all the time. It's like looking at a rash or any other symptom complex. It's obvious what's going on here. And in all probability, it's drug induced.
COOPER: But what's amazing to me is, I mean, Live Nation has now signed some sort of a deal with him in order to promote his, you know, his brand of winning.
PINSKY: Yes, yes.
COOPER: And as you said, these kind of sycophants around him, this guy he's talking to on the phone who, I guess, is one of his representatives, just kind of plays along with whatever he says, laughs at what he says or just kind of plays into it, keeps saying what he's saying is brilliant, his tweets are brilliant.
COOPER: I just want to play for our viewers some more from this-- this rant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEEN: I had more than fun. I had me with it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I like the way you go to this thing and you see -- right when you go to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) dot com...
SHEEN: It's radical. It's radical. And the people are doing exactly what they should be doing, which is watching me and listening to you, because we have all the answers. We have all the gold. We have all the solution, Bob. And keep in mind, like any time I roll something out, my plan is the best one in the world and people are starting to wake up and realize that. But their plan is (EXPLETIVE DELETED); my plan is gold.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sort of the grandiosity is -- I mean, it just seems comes off as being completely out of touch.
PINSKY: Right. It's out of touch. It's a belief in special powers. And the thing about hypomanics is, they don't believe they have a problem. They believe you're the problem, and it sort of begs no alternative.
They're very difficult to treat, because they don't see it as a problem. Because they are so high in that state, they'll often say things like, "I figured it out. I understand the universe now." They feel in such with something bigger than they've ever been in touch with before, but it goes to a very bad place. It's a medical condition.
COOPER: So how do you recover from that?
PINSKY: And it does not stay the same.
Well, usually it's medication, or if it's drug-induced, obviously, it's treating the underlying addiction. It's time sometimes. Again, when you have somebody who's an untreated addict, though, when they start coming down is when they start using again.
COOPER: There's one more piece of this video I just want to play.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEEN: What kind of a dog is that you said? You said, "What kind of dog is that?"
I said, "It's a Sheen dog. What other kind of dog would it be?" And it's inhabited -- its soul is inhabited by the ghost of Betty. And now it will murder people, eat trolls with its razor fangs. And drop their slings (ph) off with their children's tiny houses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I mean, does -- does a family intervene? I mean, what happens in a case like this? He's got, obviously, huge amounts of money.
PINSKY: Right. That torrent of speech is so typical of hypomania. You know, those of us that don't have power, fame and money, your employer would step in, your family would step in. And the fact is, what usually happens is a doctor or the law enforcement steps in and puts somebody on an involuntary hold, a 5150. And that's where many of these patients end up oftentime before they are effectively treated.
COOPER: But somebody who has money like him, I mean, he's going to get a radio show or -- you know, can he continue to function?
PINSKY: Isn't that crazy? Yes. No. It's going to get worse, and things are going to be bad. I just don't know when. And isn't that funny, though?
And this is why people have a -- seem to not be able to comprehend that celebrities, the reason they seem to have so much trouble is they have so -- they don't have the usual barriers that the rest of us have. They don't have -- they have sycophants around them. They have unlimited amounts of money. So their diseases, their psychiatric conditions, when they occur, tend to play out to a much greater extent, and the consequences often are much, much worse before they ever come to treatment.
COOPER: And treatment is possible, though?
PINSKY: Absolutely. I've got lots, lots and lots of patients like this. This is a very common thing. In fact, I just had a patient two days ago who told me that he was -- he was jealous and angry at his friends, cocaine addicted friends that get like this, because they're high all the time and they don't need to keep using. And eventually, of course, they know that never goes to a good place.
But the drug addict thinks that way, like, "Damn, he's like that even without using."
So this business about is he using or not using, there's no doubt in my mind he's not using right now, but there's also no doubt in my mind that he will use again soon.
COOPER: Dr. Drew, appreciate your time. Thanks.
PINSKY: Pleasure. Thanks.
COOPER: Well, a quick reminder for everyone who likes to see more Dr. Drew. His new nightly show premieres April 4 at 9 p.m. Eastern on our sister network, HLN.
Still ahead tonight, after the worst offshore oil disaster in American history, today an apology. The BP CEO told a roomful of the world's top oil executives. Next.
COOPER: Let's get an update on some other stories we're following. Isha Sesay has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Isha.
SESAY: Anderson, more testimony today in the trial of self-help speaker James Arthur Ray, who's charged in the deaths of three people who took part in a sweat-lodge ritual in Arizona. A volunteer said she and others received only about ten minutes of training on how to assist people who fell ill during the event and no instruction on how to help anyone who was unconscious. Ray has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charges. BP's CEO, Robert Dudley, today told a gathering of oil industry executives he's sorry for the Deepwater Horizon disaster which disrupted oil exploration and production in the Gulf last spring. Eleven people were killed when the rig exploded, creating the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
The trustee charged with recovering funds investors ripped off by a Ponzi scheme of Bernard Madoff is ready to distribute $2.6 billion of recovered funds to the victims. The remaining money $7.2 billion, Anderson, the trustee has collected is still tied up in litigation.
COOPER: Wow. A lot of money.
COOPER: A lot more ahead at the top of the hour, starting with Libya. A new statement from Muammar Gadhafi.