Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Birther Debate Continues; U.S. Drones Over Libya
Aired April 21, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight on the myth that will not die, the bogus belief that President Obama was born elsewhere. In fact, far from cooling, there's new polling that shows birther fever has now infected an awful lot of potential voters. And Donald Trump, who says he really, really doesn't want to talk about it anymore, well, he's talking about it some more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TRUMP HOTELS & CASINO RESORTS: I think there's a real question as to whether or not, and frankly 75 percent of the people in the Republican Party are really doubting whether or not, they have very big doubts. So, you know, there are a lot of people. I don't know why he doesn't just show his birth certificate.
TRUMP: I would much rather run man to man. I don't know why he doesn't just show his birth certificate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Donald Trump on "AMERICAN MORNING." He also called in to FOX. You might have seen it this morning at the breakfast table with a copy of "USA Today" in front of you in a Donald Trump op-ed inside.
In it writes: "Allow me to repeat here what I have said on numerous occasions: I have spoken my piece on this issue."
He says, we in the press are to claim because we keep asking him about it. Now, leave aside for the moment that it's our job to challenge public figures on the facts. Just think about how easy it is for someone who really wants to change the subject and move on. To change the subject and move on. Then ask yourself, does Donald Trump really sound like that person?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Nobody from those early years.
TRUMP: I want him to show his birth certificate. There's something on that birth certificate doesn't like. Three weeks when I started, I thought he was probably born in this country. And now I have a much bigger doubt. Why doesn't he show his birth certificate? Why has he spent over $2 million in legal fees to keep this quiet? Barack Obama should give his birth certificate. Not a certificate of live birth, which is nothing. Which is absolutely nothing. Every day that goes by, I think so, I think less and less that he was born in the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Donald Trump, who just doesn't want to talk about it anymore. Well, just a reminder of the facts here. Classmates from those supposedly mysterious early years say they do in fact remember him. And here's the certification of live birth, the Obama campaign showed it back in 2008. Birthers, Donald Trump included, have said it's not the same as a long-form birth certificate. But as far as Hawaii, the State Department and a lot of other states are concerned, it is.
Here's the official stamp, and there on the left is the raised seal. Hawaii's current Democratic governor vouches for it. And back when she was in office, Republican governor, Laura Lingle, vouched for it too.
In addition, both Honolulu papers ran birth announcements at the time. The information provided by state health authorities. Yet that's apparently not enough for Mr. Trump, who says he's got private investigators on the case. But is being coy about what, if anything, they're actually finding. And it's not enough for a lot of potential voters.
In a new CBS News/"New York Times" poll, only 33 percent of Republicans, just one in three, say they believe President Obama was born here -- 45 percent say flat out no. Another 22 percent aren't exactly sure. Which is not to say every leading Republican or conservative agrees. Many are either backing away from birtherism, or never bought into it in the first place. Such as Michele Bachmann, John McCain, Karl Rove, House Minority Leader Eric Cantor, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, even the fire-breathing sometimes bomb-throwing conservative provocateur Ann Coulter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, "GODLESS: THE CHURCH OF LIBERALISM": Obama has produced his birth certificate. There were announcements that ran in two contemporaneous Hawaiian newspapers at the time. The head of the Hawaiian medical records has announced I have seen the long-form you all along. I don't know why the long-form is considered more credible than the short form. They're both from the same office. The State Department accepts the short form or as we call it the birth certificate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Yet some politicians continue to flirt with the birther theme, especially in the state legislatures. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed that state's first-in-the-nation birther bill. But more than a dozen others are in the works across the country mandating presidential candidates producer long-form birth certificates, including in Louisiana, where Republican Governor Bobby Jindal says if it passes, he will sign it.
I spoke with one of the sponsors, Republican State Senator A.G. Crowe, earlier tonight.
KAYE: Senator, thanks for coming on the program to talk about this. Why would you say that we need this bill and why now?
A.G. CROWE (R), LOUISIANA STATE SENATOR: Well, I think we need this bill here in Louisiana because my constituents, first of all, are asking for it. I think also around the state and around United States, people are wondering will this issue ever go away?
And it's very, very time consuming, I know, for me and unfortunately we're going to have to address this issue during our state legislative process this next session, simply because the issue won't go away. And perhaps if we pass some legislation here in Louisiana, and perhaps in other states, this issue will come to a forefront, it will be addressed and then it will be behind us, so that we can get on about the business of the country.
KAYE: I want to ask you where you stand on this. Do you believe that President Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States?
CROWE: I have no comment on that. That's not what this is about as far as I'm concerned. What this is about basically is protecting the Constitution of the United States of America.
KAYE: Well, certainly though the issue has focused quite a bit on President Obama.
CROWE: Yes, it has. I mean, obviously that's the reason the issue is out there and again it's the reason why we have to take time in our legislatures during our legislative processes throughout the country to address those, at least for those states who choose to do so.
KAYE: Well, getting back to the president, I should point out that a copy of his birth certificate has been released. I have a copy of one right here with me. We also have one for our viewers to see. It has a seal on it. It's a certification of live birth. There's a certificate number on it. Why isn't that good enough for you?
CROWE: It's not that it's good enough for me. I think it's the American public. I'm not going all around the country saying that this is an issue. This happens to be people calling me and telling me, constituents asking me to, as well as Representative Seabaugh up in Shreveport, to look at legislation to clarify this issue once and for all.
KAYE: But you are the one who is putting this legislation forward.
CROWE: Well, I'm a co-author of the bill, along with Representative Seabaugh from up in Shreveport. So, yes, I'm responding to my constituents.
KAYE: Well, I just want to point out the Hawaiian state health official who personally reviewed Barack Obama's birth certificate has affirmed again that the document is real, denounced any conspiracy theorists. Hawaii's governor has said this is not an issue. So do you think that this president could prove that he's a natural born citizen using the evidence that you're putting forward in this legislation?
CROWE: Again, my emphasis and our emphasis here in the next legislative session here in Louisiana is simply to do one thing and that's to clarify what our Constitution says.
The name Obama is not listed anywhere in the legislation. That's not our concern. Our concern is just making it easy for people throughout this country and our state certainly to understand exactly what the qualifications are, because if there was no confusion, this wouldn't be an issue and I wouldn't be here tonight.
KAYE: But if you have had the Republican governor of another state saying that there's no basis for these questions, we're talking about Arizona, isn't it your job to tell your constituents their concerns are unfounded? Isn't that what true leadership is about?
CROWE: Well, I think what true leadership is all about is finding out what the truth is.
KAYE: What do you say to your constituents when they bring this up to you?
CROWE: Well, on any issue, whether it is this issue or others, we have a process that we go through that involves researching. It involves, you know, questioning and looking at current law and so on. And basically go forward from there, depending on what we find in our research.
KAYE: So do you think that your bill will become law? And do you think that President Obama will qualify for your state's presidential ballot next year?
CROWE: Well, you keep bringing, you know, Obama and the bill together and our emphasis again, even though it derives from the issue that's out there around the country and around the state, because there was a question about his eligibility, but our bill again is focused on simply making it much easier for people in this state in Louisiana to understand what the Constitution says relative to this issue.
KAYE: Yes, I keep bringing up the president because that's what your constituents are talking about with you, and what you are responding to. So that's why I'm asking, do you think that he would qualify on the presidential ballot next year in your state? CROWE: Well, if he meets the qualifications of what we pass in the state legislature, certainly he would qualify.
KAYE: And do you believe he has those documents?
CROWE: I can't answer that. You need to ask him.
KAYE: All right, Senator, we will leave it there. A.G. Crowe, thank you.
CROWE: Thank you.
KAYE: A lot more to talk about, including the constitutionality of birther bills and, of course, Donald Trump, namely the damage some Republican insiders believe he's doing to the GOP.
Joining us now, senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Gloria Borger. Gloria wrote today about the Trump factor on CNN.com. Good to see you both.
Jeff, let me start with you. You heard the state senator from Louisiana there. What do you make of these state birther bills? Legally, they're sort of unclear, right? Some people think they're unconstitutional. Others aren't so sure.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they're moronic. Let's start with that.
But whether they're constitutional or not is actually an interesting question. The Supreme Court and even federal appeals courts have not really dealt with the question, because it's clear that states can say you need 500 signatures to get on the ballot. They can make rules about ballot access.
What's not clear is whether they can make rules about ballot access that enforce the federal Constitution. That's a separation of powers issue, because it is, after all, the federal government, the United States Constitution that establishes the requirements for who can be president. So can a state try to enforce that? I don't know.
But I do know that President Obama was born in Hawaii, and all these crazy people out there who are raising this issue, and if I could just add, you know, the state senator, my favorite part of the interview was when he said, you know, we want to get on with the people's business, we just have to address this first. That's like the guy who kills his parents and wants sympathy as an orphan. He's the one who created the delay in doing the people's business by getting on with this nonsense. So that's what I think.
KAYE: Well, Gloria, these state politicians they like to say, oh, this doesn't really have anything to do with the president. You heard it right there. Do you buy that? (CROSSTALK)
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No. I mean, this is not an innocent attempt at election reform in any way, shape or form.
This has everything to do with Barack Obama. As the state legislator just told you, I think, although he tried not to tell you that, this has everything to do with the presidential campaign. This has everything to do with trying to say, gee, we have this election law here in our state. And maybe then Barack Obama, who hasn't shown us his long-form birth certificate, is not qualified to be on our ballot in our state.
I mean, this is sort of the most basic thing in politics. It's called a wedge issue. It's a way to drive your people out to vote on your particular issue, and to get an instant base of support, which is exactly what Donald Trump is trying to do in his own campaign, or whatever you want to call it. There's a group of people out there who believe anything about Barack Obama, and the birther issue is one of those things that they rally around easily. So in an instant, Donald Trump is a credible Republican presidential candidate.
KAYE: And Jeffrey, earlier we played that sound bite from Donald Trump on "AMERICAN MORNING." You're a longtime New Yorker. Do you think that he's serious and if so can he actually run on the birther issue?
TOOBIN: Well, he is at least currently very close to the lead in a lot of polls. Now, that may speak simply to the fact that he's a famous person and early polls have a lot to do with name identification.
But the cynicism of what he's doing is just so astonishing, because I had believed that birthers generally fell into two categories, bigots and crazy people. And Donald Trump is neither a bigot nor a crazy person. The third category is craven opportunists and that's what Donald Trump is. He's preying on the fears, the anger, the bigotry, the craziness of a lot of people in the Republican Party and he's building a campaign around it.
But I have enough belief in the sanity of the Republican Party, not to mention the general electorate, that this is going to fade over time. But it is astonishing that he's gotten this far on this issue.
BORGER: And he may not declare. He may in the end decide say to have a radio talk show, when he can call and talk to anybody he wants.
TOOBIN: He has a TV show. He doesn't need a radio show.
BORGER: Right. Well, and he may decide, and this may well be about the ratings of his television show and all the rest, but he may decide in the end, of course, that politics, he doesn't like it. He would have to release an awful lot of financial information that he might not want.
And by the way, the Republicans that I talk to, lots of them don't believe that in the end he will run, but they believe that he is taking the Republican Party down a diversionary track.
KAYE: Yes. You wrote about this in a really strong column that I recommend everybody read at CNN.com.
BORGER: Thank you. Yes.
KAYE: That Donald Trump could really derail the Republican Party.
BORGER: For now.
KAYE: But, Gloria, if you listen to him, he actually says that he's rallying support and generating enthusiasm. So he thinks it might be good for the party.
BORGER: If you look at the early polls you were talking about, obviously that's a lot about name I.D. But there is a group in the Republican Party and by the way, there are -- 45 percent of Republicans are not sure that Barack Obama was born in the United States.
You know, that's a big number, OK? So he's playing to the base of the Republican Party. He's getting this instant constituency. But the Republicans I talk who are actually serious about issues and serious about beating Barack Obama are not happy with this development, not because he's number one in the polls right now. Those polls go away pretty quickly.
But they think he's taking the conversation out of the mainstream, in the wrong direction. What the Republican Party needs to be talking about is how to cut spending. They have started to do that in the United States Congress. These people say to me, we need to be talking about jobs. We need to be talking about the economy. We need to be talking about gasoline prices. We don't need to be talking about where Barack Obama was born. Because independent voters, 75 percent of them, believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States, and those are the people who actually win presidential elections.
KAYE: Jeff, let me give you the last word here.
TOOBIN: Well, the word that Democrats have started to use over and over again, their big talking point about the contemporary Republican Party is extreme, extreme, extreme. They're a bunch of extremists. If they build a presidential campaign around the issue of birtherism, they will be playing into the Democrats' hands, because that is extreme as well as insane.
BORGER: And that's why you see so many Republicans now starting to back away from that, because they realize that it's gotten a little out of hand.
KAYE: All right, Gloria, Jeffrey, thank you both so much. We will leave it there.
And one final note, and with any luck, the final world on the birther question. We sent Gary Tuchman to Hawaii to track down each and every facet of it. He followed the paper trail, talked to friends of the family, doctors, officials and much more. You can see the results of his reporting Monday and Tuesday right here on A.C. 360.
Meanwhile, up next, new allied action against Gadhafi. We have got the latest on airstrikes tonight in Tripoli and claims by Gadhafi spokesman that the regrets killing anyone, even rebel fighters. We're keeping him honest on that.
Later, thankfully on a very different note, the royal wedding and how commoner Kate dealt with other women's royal crushes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were some indiscrete moments in bars when girls would come up to him and there would be kissing. She handled it well. She wasn't happy with it, but she didn't end the relationship that they had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Signs tonight that NATO is stepping up the pressure on Gadhafi forces. Late reports from Tripoli of large explosions and the sound of jet aircraft overhead. The alliance today warning civilians to stay away from military installations.
Today saw the first use of American Predator drones armed with missiles. They're especially useful because of their precision targeting capabilities which keeps collateral damage and civilian casualties down.
But the hard work, the fighting and dying continues to be done on the ground, especially in Misrata, which now resembles a lunar landscape in places. Gadhafi forces have been shelling the city nonstop now for weeks, targeting civilian areas, allegedly using cluster munitions, which are specially designed to tear bodies apart.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Misrata is a very brutal, urban battle that is going on right now where the Gadhafi regime is engaging in activities that are deplorable, and which target directly civilians, men, women, adults, children, causing an enormous amount of death and suffering.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: The regime, of course, denies it all. Listen to spokesman Mussa Ibrahim today.
He was asked about photojournalists and Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros killed yesterday in Misrata but he goes beyond just their deaths and seems to be trying to put a humane face on the entire war, when every report and most of the video shows otherwise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUSSA IBRAHIM, LIBYAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: We are sorry for the loss of any human life, of course. We say -- you asked me this before -- we are sorry for the loss of the rebels' lives and we said we want people to stop fighting so no one dies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: They're even sorry for the loss of rebel lives.
"Keeping Them Honest" that wasn't the tone on the eve of the fighting. Back then, it was simply bloodthirsty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAIF AL-ISLAM GADHAFI, SON OF MOAMMAR GADHAFI (through translator): Blood will flow, rivers of blood in all the cities of Libya. We will never give up Libya. We will fight for the last inch, to the last shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Saif Gadhafi just weeks ago.
Shortly after that, his father called the opposition dogs and called on supporters to hunt them down behind every wall and show them no mercy. And take a look, some new video, as always, we don't know precisely where it was shot, but it claims to show just how Gadhafi forces treat captured civilians.
Not fighters, civilians, captured, hands bound kneeling and pistol whipped and yes beaten. Mussa Ibrahim says the government wants a cease-fire. And then he claims Libyans can decide whether Gadhafi stays or goes. Decide for yourself whether his government's actions say otherwise. Joining us now from Tripoli, CNN's Fred Pleitgen. Also with us tonight Princeton University's Anne-Marie Slaughter, she recently served as the State Department's director of policy planning.
Fred, let me start with you. Earlier this season you heard loud explosions in Tripoli, renewed NATO airstrikes on the Libyan capital. What is the latest at this hour?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we have since then heard several more very loud explosions around the sort of outskirts area of Tripoli. Those were actually by far more powerful than the ones that we had heard earlier tonight. We still don't have any word from NATO or from the government here in Tripoli as to what was actually hit, but I can tell you from the sort of sounds of the explosions they do resemble the ones that we heard earlier this week when NATO was taking out ammunition dumps here in the vicinity of Tripoli.
We have seen the airstrikes here around Tripoli increase over the past couple of days, as NATO is saying it's taking out the command- and-control infrastructure that Gadhafi has here, telecommunications installations, here both in Tripoli as well as in the town of Sirte and those ammunition dumps.
What they're trying to do is they are trying to prevent Gadhafi from communicating with his forces in Misrata as well as on the eastern front and trying to take his ammunitions away from him. Also, as you mentioned, NATO also saying that they're going to step up that air campaign and they're warning civilians in Libya to stay away from military installations.
As we also see as you said, using Predator drones now, Robert Gates saying that he believes that the first Predator strikes might already have started. And those will be strikes that will happen in places like Misrata, because we know from Iraq and Afghanistan that the Predators are very, very good at precisely taking out targets and they can stay in an area of operation for a very long time, hover there, find their targets and take them out -- Randi.
KAYE: What's so interesting, Fred, though is that these stepped up NATO efforts come on a day when opposition fighters actually made significant gains in Misrata and elsewhere in Libya at the border. Why is that so critical?
PLEITGEN: Well, it's very critical because obviously they have been criticizing NATO very heavily. I was in touch with some of the people in the opposition in Misrata earlier today and they told me that they have actually expelled Gadhafi's pretty much forces from the inner city of Misrata. That doesn't mean Gadhafi forces aren't still there by no means. Of course, they're still shelling the city. But they say they have taken out a lot of the sniper positions in downtown Misrata that have been causing a lot of carnage.
There's one building in particular in the middle of Misrata, it's quite an interesting looking city because it's got one tall building right in the middle called the national insurance building that just had snipers all over it. And that's now been liberated. They also say that other key parts of that town have been gotten rid of, Gadhafi's forces there in those areas. So a significant win for them there. And also, on the Tunisian border, the rebels say that they have taken a border crossing there, that's the western part of Libya.
And it's very significant because it seems to indicates that they have gotten a foothold in the west of the country. There are tribes there that for a very long time have been opposed to Moammar Gadhafi. They have been sort of part of this uprising from the beginning. It has been squelched by Gadhafi's forces but it seems as though now they are back up and fighting Gadhafi's forces and have made some significant gains there. Not a game changer yet as some people would say, I would say, Randi, however, it's one more thing for Gadhafi to worry about. KAYE: All right, let me bring in Anne-Marie.
Despite the rebels' success today, the fact remains the fighting seems to be at a standstill and Moammar Gadhafi remains firmly in charge of the country, despite a month of sustained Western bombings and all those airstrikes. So is this mission a failure as some critics are beginning to suggest?
ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, DEAN, WOODROW WILSON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Randi, I actually think the mission is going as well as you can expect it to go, given that this is a really tough fight.
It's been just about a month that NATO has been actually leveling the playing fields so that the rebels can fight back and they are gradually making progress. If we hadn't intervened at this point, Gadhafi would be in control of Benghazi, of Misrata, of all these towns. And instead, what you're seeing, and it's tough, are the rebels themselves making progress.
It's their fight and it will be their victory. And that's important. What NATO is doing is preventing Gadhafi from fighting in the way that he would want to fight, which is essentially taking out civilians everywhere, and really fighting completely illegally. So I think we're doing pretty well. I think what Fred just talked about in terms of fighting back in Tripoli is important, because it means we may not be able to take out Gadhafi's soldiers in Misrata, but we can degrade his overall ability to do the kind of thing he's doing in Misrata in terms of attacking civilians.
KAYE: Let me ask you quickly though the NATO allies have been divided over how to conduct this mission. It's facing shortages in terms of jets and some other equipment, so is NATO up to the task, do you think? Or will the U.S. eventually have to step back, maybe step back in, actually, take a bigger role, possibly even send in ground troops?
SLAUGHTER: First thing to say is I don't think there's any chance the U.S. will send in ground troops. And NATO has been having, you know, some kind of getting used to the mission issues. But overall, I think NATO is doing very well. We have been supporting them. We do have some capabilities NATO doesn't have.
But you need to compare what NATO now is doing to what the Europeans were doing back in the early 1990s in the former Yugoslavia where really the Europeans could not take it on themselves at all. And now they are leading this mission. Inevitably, there's going to be some friction when you have got 27 nations, some of whom are contributing in some ways and others in other ways. But all things considered, they're learning as they go. They're improving their abilities and having U.S. drones will certainly help.
KAYE: Fred, just to switch gears here for a second. Today, I know that you also spoke with Eman al-Obeidy, the woman who barged into that Tripoli hotel a few weeks ago and told a roomful of Western journalists that she had been brutally raped by Gadhafi forces, a CNN story we certainly we will never forget.
I want to play just a little bit of your interview with her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMAN AL-OBEIDY, LIBYA (through translator): I usually get harassed when I have to show my identification card to government officials somewhere and they find out who I am and that I have put complaints forward against Gadhafi's people. They humiliate me, to the point where other people gather around and start saying that it's shameful to treat a Libyan woman that way. It is the same thing every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: So, Fred, she continues to be trapped in Tripoli and harassed by government officials on a daily basis. It doesn't sound like things have gotten any better for her.
PLEITGEN: No, it certainly doesn't, and that's one of the things that obviously we have been following up on every since she came into the hotel here and told her horrible story.
And we have heard from government officials here in Tripoli that they were working on trying to get her to be able to leave the country. However, so far, it doesn't appear as though there's been any movement on that whatsoever.
And the other thing, also, is Randi that she's been trying to bring those to justice who raped her here in Tripoli. She said also on that, the authorities have been doing nothing at all.
And the simple fact was, that we actually had to meet her secretly in a car here in Tripoli because the authorities here are also trying to prevent us from seeing her, from speaking to her and from getting her story out there, Randi.
KAYE: All right. Fred Pleitgen, stay safe, please. Professor Slaughter, thank you so much.
Still ahead, four "New York Times" journalists describe the terror of being held for six days in Libya by pro-Gadhafi forces.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNSEY ADDARIO, "NEW YORK TIMES": I started crying, because I thought it's only going to get worse. This is just -- this is, you know, we're in the first 15 minutes. You know, this could last months.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Later, a wedding preview, in just eight days, Kate Middleton will become part of Britain's royal family. But the long road to marrying her prince hasn't been easy. At times, it's been even dangerous. That's ahead on 360. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KAYE: In Benghazi, Libya earlier tonight, this was the scene. Libyans, including rebel fighters holding banners. One said "UK and USA, your blood was mixed with ours in Misrata."
They were there to greet a ship carrying the bodies of two journalists killed yesterday in Misrata. Tim Hetherington, shown on the left, was a British citizen. Chris Hondros on the right, was an American. Both were award-winning photographers, seasoned journalists who were hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while covering rebel fighters.
Their deaths bring the number of journalists killed in Libya since February to four. That's according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which has recorded more than 80 attacks on journalists covering the conflict.
Last month, four "New York Times" journalists were captured in Ajdabiya by pro-Gadhafi forces. Their driver, who was captured with them, hasn't been seen since.
The journalists were freed after six terrifying days. They described their ordeal to Anderson.
COOPER: You had a driver, Mohammed, who was stopped at the checkpoint with you. You're not sure what's happened to him. He hasn't been found. But you think you may have seen his body?
ADDARIO: It's hard to say. I'll tell you what I did see, and obviously it was -- I was in sort of semi shock. This is in the first sort of 20 minutes to an hour after -- after we first got stopped.
And I looked over and I saw our car. And one of the doors was open, and there was a guy taking our stuff out and putting it on the sidewalk. And I looked down, and next to the driver's side was a man face down, with one arm outstretched and he clearly wasn't moving.
And my initial thought was, "It's Mohammed." But I didn't see his face, and it's hard to say, because we don't know, you know -- there was so much chaos after the car was stopped.
COOPER: We all rely on locals so often, fixers who, you know, taxi drivers, drivers. You must still be thinking a lot about him.
TYLER HICKS, "NEW YORK TIMES": Oh, yes. This has become the focus, and it has been in the beginning. You know, Mohammed has been part of our group that we've been inquiring about. Of course, we've been checking the jails, the hospitals, the morgues, everything. And still nothing has come forward and this is all weighing very heavily on all of us.
This driver was, you know, a great driver, was working with us. About 21 years old. And -- and we feel this huge responsibility. Really...
COOPER: Anthony, you wrote, "If he died, we will have to bear the burden for the rest of our lives that an innocent man died because of us, because of wrong choices that we made for an article that was never worth dying for. No article is, but we were too blind to admit that."
ANTHONY SHADID, "NEW YORK TIMES": That's right. I think the full impact of that burden, it's certainly starting to dawn on me. You know, why didn't I leave earlier? Why did I stay as long as I did?
You know, you hope that you're doing it because that story wouldn't have been told otherwise. But even if that story hadn't been told otherwise, it wasn't worth someone's life.
O'BRIEN: Well, as you can imagine, Steven Ferrell, Tyler Hicks, Lynsey Addario, Anthony Shadid had much more to say. Their story is the focus of a special 360 hour, coming up at 11 Eastern. You'll hear how they were captured, what they endured and why they were convinced they would die.
Anderson also talks with some family members about what those six days were like for them.
We're following several other stories tonight. Isha Sesay has a "360 Bulletin."
Hi, there, Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Randi.
Big news today in Syria. President Bashar al-Assad has lifted the 48-year-old state of emergency, and abolished a hated state security clause. His regime will In the past few weeks, many protesters have died in clashes with security forces.
A court appearance in Toronto, Canada, today for a man accused of murdering a university exchange student from China. Part of the young woman's struggle with her attacker last week was caught on a Web cam. She'd been speaking to a friend back home in China.
And users of iPhones and iPad 3Gs, take note. Your device is possibly tracking your movement and storing that data in a secret file inside the device. That word from two researchers, one of whom says he used to work for Apple.
Apple has not yet responded to the allegation.
Randi, I no longer feel so bad about not having an iPhone.
KAYE: I usually leave mine at work. Then I'm always tracking, always at the office.
SESAY: You're a dodgy woman, Randi.
KAYE: All right, Isha, thank you.
Up next, countdown to the royal wedding. William and Kate's path to the altar was not always easy, and they've had to deal with an intrusive British press. Ahead, see how the royal family has learned a lot from what happened with Charles and Diana.
And see who's celebrating a royal birthday today.
Also ahead, what caused senator John Ensign to call it quits sooner than expected? Back in a moment.
CROWLEY: The royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton is just eight days away. Their romance, however, began nearly a decade ago when they were both students in Scotland. Like so many young couples, their road to the altar was complicated.
In her new documentary "The Women Who Would Be Queen," Soledad O'Brien looks at the media scrutiny.
In the months after graduation, the press followed them every way, to weddings, polo matches. There were rumors of a breakup. Fleet street was on fire.
And in January 2006, it only got worse. William began his royal military training in the English countryside, leaving Kate alone in London.
CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON, AUTHOR, "WILLIAM AND KATE": He was beginning his military career, in essence, around a lot of other young men who were going to make their lives in the military. And so there was a lot of heavy drinking going on. There was a lot of partying going on.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Was he faithful to her, with the drinking and the partying?
ANDERSON: Yes. Yes, indeed he was. There were some indiscrete moments in bars when, you know, girls would come up to him and there would be kissing. She handled it well. She wasn't happy, but she didn't end the relationship.
It's probably difficult on their relationship. She was having that incredible scrutiny from the press. She would walk out of her flat and be besieged by 20, 30 photographers, and that really couldn't go on.
It was just chaos. They would follow her to work, stop her in traffic, flashing through the window while she was trying to drive her car. That's when it really was stressful.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) In her new documentary, "The Women Who Would be Queen," Soledad O'Brien looks at the media scrutiny of William and Kate when the world first got him to see them hating.
All dangerously reminiscent of what happened to William's mother. And in January 2006, it only got worse. William began his royal military training in the English countryside, leaving Kate alone in London.
ANDERSON: He was beginning his military control, in essence, around a lot of other young men who were going to make their lives in the military. And there was a lot of heavy drinking going on. There's a lot of partying.
O'BRIEN: Was he faithful to her with the drinking and the partying?
ANDERSON: Yes. Yes, indeed. He would. There were some indiscrete moments in bars when, you know, girls would come up to him, and there would be kissing. She handled it well. She wasn't happy with it, but she didn't end the relationship that they had.
JULES KNIGHT, FRIEND OF PRIME : It's probably difficult on their relationship. She was having incredible scrutiny from the press. She'd walk out of her flat and be besieged by 20 to 30 photographers. And that really couldn't go on.
ARTHUR EDWARDS, THE SUN'S ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHER: It was chaos. They'd follow her to work. They'd stuff her in the traffic, flashing through the window, while she was trying to drive the car. Sitting on the wall at her office waiting for her to leave; waiting to arrive. That's when it's really stressful.
O'BRIEN: All dangerously reminiscent of what happened to William's mother. Just look around at the images of Diana and Kate, both taken before they were engaged.
For Diana, the pressure was often too much to bear.
EDWARDS: I remember once Diana ran into a doorway, and was crying.
O'BRIEN: For Kate, it was very different. Despite her young age, she seemed very smart and guarded with the press. Kate's friend, Richard Dennis.
RICHARD DENNIS, FRIEND OF KATE: It was like there was a nightclub that everyone goes to. And she was famous for always nipping into the bathroom and checking her hair and makeup before she left, because she knew there were photographers waiting outside.
O'BRIEN: And while Kate publicly held her own, privately, there were serious concerns.
ANDERSON: She was not his fiance, therefore she was not entitled technically to any kind of -- to any bodyguards. William is surrounded by bodyguards, essentially, at all times. And he realized that, you know, she was pretty much on her own, and he was afraid for her.
KAYE: Kate Middleton's entry into the royal family has drawn many comparisons to that of Diana's 30 years ago. But her marriage to Prince Charles not only didn't last. Its disintegration involved a lot of questionable behavior on both sides, all recorded by Britain's notoriously aggressive press.
So a short time ago, I spoke to CNN's Richard Quest in London. I asked him if the royal family had learned anything from the past.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have learned a huge amount. Not least of which because they've learned the sheer amount of press and public intrusion into their lives destroys marriages, destroys lives, and makes it a misery.
Now, in the very early stages, Kate was on her own. She didn't have bodyguards. She didn't have royal protection, and there were -- it was a real royal circus. Since their relationship became more stable, since it became more serious, she was provided with protection. She was provided with the necessary attributes.
And indeed, this is just a day or two before her wedding. She's out and about in London. She's buying last-minute clothes believed to be for the honeymoon and now, of course, she has the full penalty of royal protection.
KAYE: So -- but we watched Diana really struggle under the media spotlight. Do you think Kate is going to be more comfortable handling that?
QUEST: She has several huge, huge differences from Diana. No. 1, she's older, and university educated. She's been around a while.
No. 2, she knows her fiance far better than Diana did. Diana was a shy, young woman who suddenly found herself in love with her Prince Charming. William and Kate lived together and have done so for several years.
No. 3, the royal family are far more aware of those pressures.
And finally, the press themselves. They are much more cautious, because they know. Lose access to the family, get on the royals' bad side, and they'll cut you off.
KAYE: Absolutely. So the queen unveiled this instrument of consent today. Sounds very official. Can you tell us exactly what that is?
QUEST: Yes, it goes back to the 1700s when permission had to be granted. The idea was to stop the monarchy from falling into foreign hands. No grubby foreigners in the royals.
So what they did was they created a statute, the Royal Marriages Act, that basically says if you're under 25, then you have to get the sovereign's permission to marry. If you're over 25, you have to wait a year, if she doesn't -- the sovereign doesn't consent and then parliament doesn't object.
Now, William is nearly 30. But even so, the Royal Marriages Act had to be complied with. The queen has granted her consent to their beloved Kate, Catherine Middleton, as it's put in the consent decree.
KAYE: So in simple terms, they had to ask Grandma for permission. As the queen...
QUEST: Oh, oh, oh! Stop that. Listen, didn't take you long for the poison to start pouring. No, the queen has never -- well, I say never denied. Her sister, of course, Princess Margaret, who wanted to marry Captain peter Townsend many decades ago, that was -- that was thought to be an inappropriate relationship, and it became clear that the princess wouldn't get the permission necessary, or at least she backed off before -- you know, before they went over the cliff.
KAYE: Also, speaking of the queen, today is her birthday but not the official one. That's actually in June. How does this work? How does she have two birthdays?
QUEST: Oh, very simple, very simple, as indeed most things; it's traditional and it's historical. The reason is, because there could always have been the potential that the real -- the monarch's real birthday would be at the wrong time of the year. November or December, January, when you'd have had a parade, a trouping of the color, and it wouldn't have been able to take place, and it would all be rather messy and nasty.
So what they did is they created a fictional birthday for the monarch, at the best time of the year, middle of the summer, when you can have your parades, when things can look good. Just think about it. No more worrying about a downpour and literally raining on your parade.
KAYE: Well, at 85, good for her.
Richard Quest, I know you're going to be on the streets of London watching the royal wedding. We'll be there along with you watching, as well. Thank you so much.
KAYE: And stay with us for our special coverage. We're live all next week in London with our coverage of all the magic and flourish of a royal wedding. The marriage of William and Kate, 10 p.m. Eastern, 7 Pacific right here on CNN.
Still ahead, serious stuff back home. The search for a suspect behind the apparent plot to bomb a mall near Columbine High School on the anniversary of the massacre. Also, a senator in the middle of an ethics scandal announces he's stepping down.
And an embarrassing moment for a Spanish soccer star in front of thousands of screaming fans.
KAYE: Let's get caught up on some other stories right now. Isha Sesay is back with a "360 News & Business Bulletin."
SESAY: Hi, there, Randi.
Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign is stepping down on May 3. Previously, he announced he wouldn't seek re-election in 2012 following revelations he had an affair with an aide's wife. It was also revealed that his parents gave money to the aide's family and demonstrating (ph) an ethics investigation in the Senate.
Police in Colorado are looking for the man seen in this surveillance video. They suspect he planted a pair of bombs yesterday at a mall near Columbine High School on the 12th anniversary of the shooting spree that left 12 students and one teacher dead.
The Justice Department has formed a group to investigate allegations of oil and gas price gouging, with prices above $4 a gallon in some cities. However, Attorney General Eric Holder says so far there is no evidence of illegal conduct.
And a victory parade hits a speed bump, of course, in Madrid, Spain. Watch this. As Madrid's Sergio Ramos, yes, he drops the 20- pound Copa del Rey or King's Cup and under the double-decker bus it goes. Whoops.
Ramos later tweeted to assure fans the trophy wasn't damaged, but a spokesman tells CNN the trophy is, indeed, being fixed, as you'd expect if a double-decker bus had its wheels go over it.
KAYE: Oh, that is awful. But you know, I guess there's a reason you don't use your hands in soccer, right?
SESAY: Unless you're the goal keeper.
KAYE: He should have been holding it with his feet or something, or balancing it some other way.
Isha, for tonight's "Shot," let's just say a belly-laughing baby is pretty hard to beat. We found this on YouTube. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP) KAYE: I love that. A baby cracking up, bubbles, a dog. Like I said, pretty tough to beat.
SESAY: Tough, but not impossible. I see your laughing baby, Randi, and raise you one ticklish penguin. A baby penguin, I might add, also from YouTube. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: I don't know where we find this stuff. Pretty cute, but I see your baby penguin, Isha, and raise you a baby raccoon who's tickled about bath time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SESAY: Not fair, not fair at all. The only way I can beat that is I if go to Anderson in a bathtub with bubbles and a dog. That's the only way I could raise you and beat you with that.
KAYE: That would be pretty good, yes. I wouldn't be able to raise you on that one either. But again, I have no idea where we find this stuff. I guess we'll thank our producers for that one. Thanks for playing along.
SESAY: Thanks, Randi.
KAYE: Well, Anderson is back tomorrow. Up next, Anderson and "Captured in Libya."