tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 22, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT
to the cnn hero of the year. vote up to ten times per day at cnnheroes.com. share your vote on facebook or twitter. all ten will be on live at cnn heroes, an all-star tribute, on december 2. that's all for us tonight. anderson cooper starts now. good evening, everyone. we have breaking news tonight. exclusive new details that you will only see on this program about the attack in libya that killed four americans, including ambassador christopher stevens and two former navy s.e.a.l.s. they died heroes, we have known that, but until tonight we had no idea of just how far beyond the call of duty these two men went. again, you will be learning this right now for the very first time only on "360." new reporting as well on why the assault on the night of september 11th was so deadly to ambassador stevens and computer technician sean smith even though they were holed up inside
of what was supposed to be a fortified part of the consulate compound. the attackers doused the building's exterior with diesel fuel, killing smith and stevens with dense toxic smoke. and there's yet more we're learning about the attack tonight as well as other late developments out of benghazi. a large pro-democracy march on the headquarters of an extremist islamic group in benghazi. first, the breaking news about how the two former s.e.a.l.s perished and how far they went to save other american lives. joining us now to flesh out her exclusive reporting, cnn contributor and former homeland security advisor, fran townsend. fran currently serves on the cia external advisory committee and recently visited libya with her employer, mcandrews forbes. also with us, arwa damon, who has been breaking news all week for us from benghazi. so fran, what have we learned about these two navy s.e.a.l.s? initially a former s.e.a.l.s, it was thought they were there to protect the ambassador. that's not the case. >> that's not the case, anderson. they are part of this protective security contractor force.
these two contractors -- the contractors generally are recruited from elite special forces because of their training and experience. in the case of doherty, he had served in iraq and afghanistan. these were both men who understood very well the dangers, the trouble and how to respond to it appropriately, but they were not -- they were there but not with the ambassador's security detail. they coordinated and deconflicted with the ambassador's detail. they also coordinated with libyans. their presence was not a secret, but they were there, frankly, at the annex with others as part of a much larger team to provide security. >> and there were two structures, this annex that we're learning about, it seems like there was an ambush there. the second attack on the annex seemed to have been an ambush. >> it's not really clear what the parameters of that were. so what happens is you have to appreciate, you talked about glen and tyrone being heroes. they're at the annex, the annex is secure, the perimeter's secure, they're not taking any fire. that's the area of their primary responsibility.
they get a phone call that their colleagues over at the consulate are taking fire, that it's chaotic and they need help. they leave the security of their -- the annex compound and they run in the direction of the firefight. what they do there is they round up all of the consulate staff. that includes americans, foreign service nationals, it includes everybody working at the consulate, it also included regrettably at that time the body of sean smith. they can't find the ambassador but they must he evacuate because they can no longer help defend the consulate and they take all these people to the much smaller annex where they secure them and they're there trying, figuring they're not taking fire there. it's not clear how the assault begins, what causes it, whether or not they were set up and ambushed or followed there. the sources i've been talking to, hopefully that comes out in if investigation. >> arwa, you say that particular attack, the one on the second site, involved even heavy artillery. >> reporter: that's what we're hearing on the ground here, anderson.
the attack that took place, the second attack was a much more intense attack than what was initially seen at the consulate, although much shorter in duration. some of the military officials we're talking to here were saying that they were using rocket propelled grenades. one was even saying that they were using mortar fire and that the rounds impacted pretty much immediately and for anyone who knows how mortar calibration works, it's pretty rare that you would be able to hit your target the first time you do try to attempt to hit it with a mortar, but we are hearing here that the second attack most certainly was more intense and involved more fire power than the first time around and that is why libyan government officials are saying that they believe that this was a pre-planned strike. perhaps not necessarily to be timed with september 11th, but that most certainly the extremists that carried out this assault had planned it, perhaps they shelved the plans and then had seen a target of opportunity to strike, and strike they did
as we now know. >> you were talking about the annex. back to the main compound where the first fighting or gunfire took place, u.s. officials have insisted that the attackers hijacked a protest going on over the anti-muslim movie but libyan witnesses are telling you a very different story. the "new york times" reported today that the front of the compound was completely quiet before the initial attack, no protests. what are you hearing? >> reporter: that's what we heard days ago, anderson, from a number of witnesses, including one of the guards who was at the main gate to the compound at one of those main gates. he said that the situation was calm, it was quiet, and suddenly he heard voices growing increasingly louder, chanting "god is great" and then he says the attack began simultaneously from three different directions. another eyewitness on the scene that we spoke to as well, the gardner, also confirming that report and a number of other individuals we have been talking to, saying around 9:30, heavily
armed men appeared around the compound and that shortly thereafter at around 10:00, the assault itself began, anderson. >> fran, we have been reporting about differing reports on security at the main compound. last night we reported that security was actually beefed up there. you're hearing new information as well. >> that's right. consistent with the "new york times" story, anderson, there were five armed americans and four armed libyans. that was the beefed-up presence. you can question whether or not given what the history in that area had been, was that enough, and remember, that does not include the armed personnel, security, professional security personnel at the annex so you would also have had them to fall back on which of course they did have to do. >> you also have new reporting on diesel fuel, which was apparently poured around the compound where the ambassador was and mr. smith was. >> that's right. look, any sort of fuel would have caused, you know, accelerated the fire. diesel was particularly unfortunate -- an unfortunate accelerant because of course
what happens there, there's this acrid, thick, very black smoke and we understand that's how they lost sight of the ambassador, they couldn't find him, and probably contributed to the fact that he and sean smith died of asphyxiation. >> that's probably an overstatement. we don't know -- around the consulate, around the structure that the ambassador was in. >> correct. >> arwa, during protests in benghazi today, tens of thousands on the streets protesting against the extremist militia some say was involved in the attacks on the compound. protesters actually stormed the group's headquarters later in the day. what can you tell us about this and what's happening? >> well, earlier in the day we had this massive pro-democracy demonstration that did in fact take place and following that at around 10:00 at night, hundreds of these individuals went to the headquarters of a known militant extremist group here, and remember, the libyan government says that it has detained some individuals from that
organization in association with this attack. it was in fact the attack on the catalyst for these demonstrations but then the catalyst for these individuals to go out and try to retake the compound, and they were saying retake the city from the hands of the extremists. and at the compound itself, was really quite the sense of euphoria, people saying that they were the ones that began this revolution in benghazi, that they were going to be the ones who were going to take their city back. they were actually apologizing to america, saying that this is the real libya. the libyans who are going out trying to regain control of their own cities, trying to implement the democracy that they fought so hard for, but then things took a very sinister turn because the second location that they struck, in fact, ended up being the headquarters of a battalion that has been legitimized by the government. the government took to the air waves trying to convince these individuals to back off that and other various compounds saying it was gadhafi loyalists trying to capitalize on the euphoria of
the crowd to try to move them towards these other units that were in fact under the control of the government, that were in fact loyal to the government in and of itself. we were at one of these locations, some pretty intense gunfire. we're hearing that over a dozen people were wounded and it just goes to underscore how chaotic and how volatile the situation here really is. and of course, how easily manipulated. >> arwa damon in benghazi, be careful. fran, thank you very much. on wednesday we reported that a source familiar with ambassador stevens' thinking said in the months before his death, ambassador stevens talked about being worried about what he called the never-ending security threats in benghazi. we also reported that the ambassador specifically mentioned the rise in islamic extremism, the growing al qaeda presence in libya and said he was on an al qaeda hit list. the information for that report like all of cnn's reporting was carefully vetted. some of that information was found in a personal journal of ambassador stevens in his handwriting. we came upon the journal through our reporting and notified the family. at their request, we returned
that journal to them. we reported what we found newsworthy in the ambassador's writings. a reporter followed up on what we found newsworthy in the ambassador's writings. let us know what you think. we're on facebook, follow me on twitter. i'm tweeting tonight. up next, the attack's political fallout here at home. has president obama's handling of it given mitt romney an opening? fareed zakaria joins us.
welcome back. more on libya now as our breaking news was unfolding today, new details about the killings in benghazi and the rioting and chaos that followed a pro-democracy march today in benghazi. a number of the protesters burning cars, taking over the headquarters of an extremist militia group that the government suspects of involvement in last week's assault. it began peacefully with marchers outnumbering a much smaller crowd of religious radicals. many carried pro-america signs including some demanding justice for ambassador christopher stevens. back home, pursuing that notion has neither been simple, nor easy, nor untouched by election year politics. it began early on with mitt romney's late night claim that the administration's first response was to sympathize with the attackers. that was not the case. but the white house's subsequent line downplaying terrorism as a factor, to many that strained credibility. late this week the administration backed down from that position while dismissing the notion that they're backing down. >> it's as everybody who has spoken to any of these details has said starting with what we
said here, what everybody along the way has said. the information we've given to date is based on initial assessments. we've given you all kinds of caveats, including from here, that the investigation was going to have to tell us the complete and final story. >> that investigation is ongoing. yesterday behind closed doors, senior defense intelligence and law enforcement officials briefed members of congress. today, though, and for the next month and a half this tragedy is being and will be hashed out as well in the public eye, especially out on the campaign trail. joining me now is fareed zakaria. he's got bill clinton on his program this week. also jim acosta and jessica yellin at the white house. jessica, we'll start with you at the white house. they've been very cautious in dealing with this. really only one brief statement from the president. took about a week and a half for them to call the incident in benghazi a terrorist act. is there any indication we are going to be hearing more directly from the president about this any time soon?
>> yes, anderson. i would expect that we will hear from the president on this when he addresses the u.n. general assembly next week, both about the specifics of the attack in libya and the unrest in the middle east more broadly. they don't have a lot to gain to be just crassly political about it. from talking to -- talking too much about it until they have more facts. because he is going to the u.n. next week, he will have the big world stage so it's a natural opportunity for him to address it. look for it there. >> jessica, is there a caution on talking about it out of not wanting to, you know, is it an understandable desire to gather intelligence, figure out exactly what happened, or is it politics? >> look, it's both. they have had problems in the past when they've jumped too quickly. remember after osama bin laden's raid and they came out with a series of facts and that was a positive scenario for them and the facts in that case weren't exactly right so they've learned get the facts straight before you come out publicly. on the politics of it, they don't really have anything to gain.
mitt romney has handed them so many openings on this one, he's botched his response on libya. there's no political upside for the president to weigh in. he just needs to be presidential on this. >> fareed, we did see some dip in poll numbers on foreign policy in the wake of this. do you think, do these attacks hurt the president in terms of foreign policy? >> i don't think so but i think the president is making a mistake if he's entirely silent. as jessica says, the obvious place would be the u.n. general assembly. look, most americans, much of the world is trying to figure out what does all this mean, and what does it mean for our presence in afghanistan, what does it mean for outreach to the muslim world. the president has an extraordinary opportunity to be as bill clinton was during the democratic national convention, an explainer, kind of explainer in chief. i think it helps him politically because most crises, jimmy carter is the exception, most crises make a president look presidential. he gets the stage, he gets to speak in serious terms, he has all the gravitas.
the other guys out there taking pot shots but he's on the campaign trail and the president is the president. >> jim, we also have romney seemed to actually lose ground on the foreign policy issue in the wake of the incident. is there any sense in the campaign that this is ground the governor has to try to make up in the foreign policy sphere, even though his focus has been on the economy? >> well, i had a chance to talk to a senior romney advisor about this. he said about the benghazi attack and the administration's response to it that they would like to see what he called more clarity from the administration when it comes to what exactly happened, what led up to the deaths of those american diplomats in libya. but i think the campaign also acknowledges, anderson, that they've had a rough couple of weeks, starting with that initial statement on what happened in libya and egypt, mitt romney clearly spoke before all of the facts came in, and then as you saw what happened this week with his hidden camera video leaked to mother jones, they were put on the defensive over economic issues. >> jessica, we did see ambassador susan rice at the
u.n. saying that -- i mean, indicating, not really talking about this in terms of being a terrorist attack. it was days later the terrorist attack part of this was really discussed. is there concern in the obama campaign this controversy might be providing republicans some fodder to put a chink in the president's foreign policy armor? >> well, not yet. not given romney's response so far, which was not handled well, anderson. but the larger potential here is that if there is another attack on americans in another country or in libya, if this grows in some way, that's the real danger for the president, because his strength in foreign policy is really about the perception that he is a decisive and clear leader, and that's what voters, it's perceived that voters are responding to. if world events seem to be spinning out of his control, then that leadership quality
could erode for him. but we're not at that stage yet and so the campaign is not reflecting any kind of anxiety on that front at this moment. >> it is interesting, fareed, that a loss for the president in the foreign policy sphere does not necessarily translate to a victory for the romney campaign in the foreign policy realm because of the way they've handled all this stuff. >> but the crucial part is what you said last. because of the way they've handled it. generally speaking, a loss for the president does translate into a gain. think of again jimmy carter. ronald reagan was seen as wildly inexperienced and kind of somewhat crazy on foreign policy, somewhat radical. once carter started having trouble, the iran hostage crisis, soviet invasion of afghanistan, all reagan had to show was that he was stable, that he was, you know, he wasn't going to blow up the world, and he benefited. >> i should also point out, reagan did not politicize that event. he basically put out a statement as i recall, you know, saying we stand behind -- we're all one. >> he could see that bad news was hurting the president. he didn't need to do very much to pile on. i think that in this case,
because romney has been inept, it hasn't really translated much. i agree with jessica, if something else were to happen, it might change that, but obama again, if he gets out ahead of it, because really, these have not been events where people feel as though the united states is under attack, under siege. there's a feeling that something is spinning out of control in the middle east and we need to understand it. >> fareed, thank you. jim, jessica. be sure to tune in sunday night, 8:00 and 11:00. fareed has a fascinating special. global lessons, putting america to work. thanks, everyone. we polled registered voters to identify their top foreign policy concerns what keeps you up at night? syria number five concern, afghanistan four, china, three, number two is immigration and the number one concern was terrorism. tonight, the man whose long service as mayor of new york and public persona ever since has been defined by a single horrific act of terror, rudy giuliani.
>> the thing that keeps me up at night, probably more than most, is the fear of an attack, probably because i lived through one and had to be responsible for a city during the worst attack in the history. >> put your mask on. >> very hard to tell people in america not to be worried about terrorism, i wish i could say that to him, you shouldn't worry about it. because the reality is, that we are at risk, of having a terrorist attack in the united states. not just a day of september 11th. i watched people before the buildings came down. i watched people dying from debris that fell from the building and hit and crushed them. i was trapped in a building myself for 20 minutes, 25 minutes. so, sure, i can relate to the fear and it's a real fear. the thing that keeps me up at night the most is the whole idea of the use of nuclear material and the use of what i would call extraordinary biological weapons.
chemical and biological weapons where we don't have the capacity yet to deal quite with that -- with that form of attack. i remember exactly the date. the night of september 14, 2001. president bush had come to new york that day. >> usa, usa, usa! >> 9:00, i set up a secret meeting at gracie mansion with my medical task force, brought in the law enforcement people and brought in all of the experts that i could find on biological weapons. they started telling me about the danger of smallpox and the choices i would have to make if there was a smallpox attack on new york city and the choice basically came down to putting people on randall's island and letting them die and then surrounding randall's island with troops so they couldn't get off randall's island and spread smallpox to other people. god forbid we had to face these choices. ♪ oh say does that star spangled banner ♪
>> these things are here and if americans do stay up at night worried about them, i would say let the government worry more, rely on the fact that the chance of it happening to you are very small, but if you're worried about it, you're not worried about it for irrational reasons. are you worried about it for real reasons that exist in the world. it has been a brutal week for mitt romney in the wake of his 47% comments. will the release of his 2011 tax returns help change the conversation? has it already? will it put any questions about his finances to rest? 0ñ@ñfñ
you probably heard that. showing he made $13.7 million last year in mostly investment income, and paid an effective tax rate of 14.1%. the campaign also released a letter from the accounting firm price waterhouse coopers saying the romneys paid taxes every year from 1990 to 2009 at an effective tax rate of at least 13.6% each year. that information obviously contradicts what senate majority leader harry reid has been claiming about romney for more than a month now. >> the word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for ten years. let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't. >> oh, when harry reid said the word is out, the thing is that reid himself was the one who put the word out. he's the one who made the accusation in the first place. turned out he didn't have any proof of his own. at least he hasn't offered any. he said a source was an investor at bain capital, romney's investment firm, an unnamed source. you might think that tonight in the face of the letter from romney's accounting firm, senator reid might retract his earlier claim. instead he released this
statement. quote, the information released today reveals that mitt romney manipulated one of two years of tax returns he has seen fit to show the american people and only to conform with his public statements. that raises the question what else in those returns has romney manipulated. reid is talking about the fact that the romneys actually paid more taxes than required in 2011. the romneys didn't claim all their charitable deductions in 2011 because they wanted to make sure their tax rate didn't fall below 13%, the minimum rate that romney has said he paid over the last decade. you can decide for yourself if that amounts to manipulation. joining me is cnn political contributors mary matalin and james carville. james, is that manipulation? >> look, this is the best day romney's had all month. of course it's manipulation and of course he can file after the election and get the refund which is totally legal and he's always said that he paid the minimal amount of taxes so all of a sudden, the milk of human kindness comes from mitt romney and he's going to give the federal government money that he doesn't owe. i don't know of any other explanation. maybe somebody can come up with one.
>> so anderson -- >> mary might be able to. mary? >> i just want to get this straight. so now what the complaint from my liberal friends is that romney gave 30% of his income last year to charity and over the course of the many, many years that he's paid 100% of his taxes in direct contradiction of harry reid, the senate majority leader calling him a felon and a scofflaw and a tax cheat, he's paid 100% of his rate, he's been 20% of his income over those 20 years to charity, and there's something wrong with that. if they said if he could prove that he could walk on water, they would complain because he couldn't swim. >> again, i think the point you were making was, is that he didn't take charitable deductions because he said his tax rate was 13% and that would have driven it below it and he can do it after. like i say, this guy has done 13 events in 20 days. he doesn't, you know, he thinks he's above releasing his tax returns like everybody else so
this stops the story about the 47% of all of those things he's done. so all in all for him, even though the story is bad, it's probably the best story he's gotten all month. >> you think they released it today in order to try to change the narrative? >> no, they released it today because it was filed today. it was completed today. >> it is a friday afternoon, though, which is sort of when you do the document dump. >> yeah. >> but it was done today, they asked for the extension. price waterhouse cooper, whatever they are, unless you want -- if harry reid wants to call them liars, scofflaws, felons and tax cheats, why doesn't he malign and libel everyone in the country. i think this is a good story. i don't think it's a data dump. i think it's done, it's exactly what he said, it's more generous than anyone -- anybody we know and anyone could have expected, and the real story where people are really concerned about is the middle east and beyond, is
completely melting down and after a week of denying it, this president finally fessed up that it was a terrorist attack. we've had a serious terrorist attack and we're less secure than we were. that's what presidential campaigns are going to be about, not mitt romney's 20 years of generous charitable giving and complete 100% tax completions. >> okay. the fact remains that he did that, he said it was 13. the fact when he ran for governor of massachusetts said he filed a massachusetts return and then later had to fess up that he really didn't. i don't believe anything mitt romney says on his taxes, to be honest with you. >> you calling him a liar? >> i don't believe -- he did before when he was filing in massachusetts, told people he filed in massachusetts and didn't. he said he paid 13% in taxes. he had to manipulate his tax return to not take charitable deduction to do that. that's his history. i don't think on his taxes he's been very forthcoming. he will only give us two years of them. >> mary, critics of romney will say look, we know, you know, they've released the information
that he's given years of money to charities but not what he's actually paid in taxes over the years. why is it okay to give, you know, that information on charities and yet not -- why wouldn't he just give out his taxes? >> he's released decades of financial disclosure, everything that the law requires. he's paid all his taxes, 100% and more than the law requires, which actually i do think is kind of weird. he's given millions and millions, scores of millions of dollars to charity. we're going to try to make this into a negative? i just don't see how this turns into a negative story unless we're completely detached from reality and the reality that is the everyday life of voters who are not voting on romney's tax returns which are now complete and for them to judge for themselves how charitable and legal he is, or do they want to care about their own taxes which will be going up if this president's re-elected. >> james, mary raises a good point. you've seen harry reid's response. he says these returns raise more questions about mitt romney's
finances but the fact is, the evidence out there suggests the senator was wrong, that reid was wrong when he claimed that romney had paid no taxes for ten years. there's no evidence of that. >> well, look, he said i'm sure we're going to get this guy's name before it's over, the offshore cayman islands swiss bank account deal that romney was in, and that he didn't pay any taxes. that's what he was basing it on. we only see two years of tax returns, by the way. that's all we see. he's paying 12% of the federal tax. so he won't be -- he won't tell us what his tax returns are prior to this. he has a history of putting out false information about tax returns when he ran for governor of massachusetts. so i think there are a lot of doubts that are raised here but after you call 47% of the people in the united states slackers, there's not much more you can do to sort of hurt yourself, to be honest with you. >> it's not what he said.
and now they want to libel an iconic american accounting firm, price waterhouse cooper, been around forever. they're just going to libel everybody in their way. so let's take down all of our big institutions, everything that's iconic in this country in pursuit of obama's re-election. you sound insane. >> i don't think price waterhouse cooper's running for president. mitt romney is and mitt romney is not forthcoming on his tax returns. he only releases two, he manipulated his last tax returns. he was dishonest about his tax returns in massachusetts. >> what is it like living with you two? >> friday night, if we weren't with you, we would probably be having a good stiff drink which we're about to go do right now. >> i'll let you go do that. mary, thank you. james carville, thank you. >> you bet. >> i would like to join them. it's been a pretty rough week for the romney campaign and the shots are not just coming from democrats. in a blog post tuesday, "wall street journal" columnist peggy noonan wrote it's time to admit the romney campaign is an incompetent one, not big, not
brave, not thoughtfully tackling great issues and intervention is in order. mitt, this isn't working. today, she doubled down writing the romney campaign has to get turned around. this week i called it incompetent but only because i was being polite. i really meant rolling calamity. noonan is not alone. other high profile republicans are also calling for a campaign reboot. in the face of all this, not so friendly fire, ann romney is now returning fire. here's randi kaye. >> ann romney has a message for what she calls the chattering class republicans criticizing her husband. >> stop it. this is hard. you want to try it, get in the ring. this is hard. you know, it's an important thing that we're doing right now and it's an important election, and it is time for all americans to realize how significant this election is. and how lucky we are to have someone with mitt's qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country. >> in another interview, she defended her husband over the
now famous 47% tape. >> you know, i know the guy. i know him really well. i know he cares and that's why we're running. so it's unfortunate when something gets misinterpreted like this or is taken out of context. >> it's nonsense. i don't let it sink in. you hear it and then you just let it go right by. and you're used to it, honestly at this point, i'm not surprised by anything. >> reporter: to those who know her, mrs. romney's attitude is nothing new. it has always been ann to the rescue. in the romney household, she is often called the trusted advisor and the mitt stabilizer, but first and foremost, she is the great protector of all things romney. ron scott, who has known mitt romney since 1985 and wrote a book about him, says ann is no pushover. >> the last person on earth you would want to cross would be ann romney. if you go after one of her kids or after her husband, she's going to be there.
>> reporter: on the campaign trail, long before mitt romney was officially nominated, his wife tried to humanize him, calling him her most disobedient child. she often shared secrets about his love of chocolate milk and his obsession with peanut butter. more recently at the republican national convention -- >> what a welcome! >> reporter: she hoped to help america embrace her husband. >> i know this good and decent man for what he is. he's warm and loving and patient. he has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith and love of one's fellow man. from the time we were first married, i've seen him spend countless hours helping others. >> reporter: yet no matter how much she builds him up, team romney can't seem to catch a break. listen to what she told neil cavuto on fox. >> as you know we always feel like we're getting picked on more than anyone else. it's just what happens. >> you think the media's fair to you? >> that is going to get me in trouble if i answer that honestly. >> reporter: with the campaign
calendar ticking down, the race may very well come down to the three presidential debates. ann romney says she knows the stakes. as she always has, trusts her husband will get the job done. once again, ann romney will be in her husband's corner. >> i feel like my best advice is just to bring peace and calm to him and just trust in him and say i know you can do it. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, atlanta. >> as we mentioned earlier, ann romney had a bit of an airborne scare today. we just got an air traffic control audio from the incident. that's ahead. also, police in colorado find an arrest -- they arrest an alleged bank robber but end up stopping 19 cars in the process, holding teenagers at gun point, putting a lot of innocent people in handcuffs. did they go too far? that's the question tonight. matt's brakes didn't sound right... ...so i brought my car to mike at meineke...
crime and punishment tonight. a bank robbery case in colorado is raising serious questions about how far police can go to catch the bad guy. in the process of stopping traffic to find and arrest an alleged bank robber, police also held innocent civilians at gun point. now the whole case against the alleged robber could be in jeopardy because of it. ted rowlands reports. >> reporter: marcy stopped at a light on her way home from shopping in denver, colorado. next thing she knew, police had her at gun point. >> i said i have kids in my car, and that rifle's pointed right at me. >> reporter: 19 cars were held at this intersection that saturday afternoon. everyone was ordered out of their cars at gun point, including children. the boy in the green shirt is 16-year-old michael hantz. >> they had rifles, guns and everything pointed at me with shields and a canine dog. >> a robbery just occurred with a gun at wells fargo. >> reporter: police were looking for this bank robber seen here wearing a beekeeper's mask and
armed with an air horn and loaded gun. he had just made off with $25,000 from a wells fargo a few miles away. >> last seen wearing a beehive mask. >> reporter: police thought the bank robber was at this intersection because there was a gps tracking device hidden in with the money. the problem is, they had no idea what car he could be in and because of that bee keeper's mask, they didn't even know what he looks like. so everyone was treated as an armed and dangerous suspect. >> we all had to have our hands showing and our arms out the window and we had to keep our arms like this. >> reporter: one by one, police approached each car with guns and shields, nearly everyone was handcuffed. marcy's 4-year-old daughter was asleep for most of the ordeal. her 8-year-old son, however, was awake. >> my son was crying and i kept telling him to keep his head down between his legs, because i didn't know if open fire was going to happen. >> reporter: that's crystal deguzman in handcuffs moments after she watched police take
her son, 16-year-old michael, away at gun point. >> i think any mom would be upset. not knowing what's going to happen to your kid. >> reporter: police eventually searched this white expedition. inside, they found two loaded guns, the money and the bee keeper's mask. >> they have a suspect in custody. >> reporter: 45-year-old christian pache, a school teacher with no criminal record, was arrested and charged with armed robbery. he's pled not guilty. was this a case of good police work, or did they go too far? federal law gives police some leeway to detain citizens for a reasonable period of time as part of a criminal investigation. >> a little bit of inconvenience, getting cuffed for a minute to see if you're armed, getting detained very briefly to see if there's some probable cause to believe you've done something, you do have to put up with that. but two hours at rifle point, i think that's a little excessive. >> no question we inconvenienced citizens. we feel badly about that. we apologize to them. but we've made a tough choice here and we arrested a very
dangerous armed bank robber. >> reporter: but what police did may have put the entire case in jeopardy. the accused robber's attorney says there was no probable cause to search the vehicle, and that police violated his client's rights by pressuring him to agree to a search after he initially refused. if a judge agrees, all of the evidence, the guns, the money, the bee keeper's mask, could be thrown out because of the way it was collected, and as crazy as that sounds, some legal experts say they have an argument. tim olson, who was among those handcuffed at the intersection, says that would send a message to police. >> if the bank robber gets away with it, that says you didn't do your job properly. >> reporter: the judges ruling in the case should indicate whether police were doing their job or if they crossed the line. ted rowlands, cnn, aurora, colorado. >> scary stuff. some tense moments also in pittsburgh today. a former u.s. soldier allegedly took a man hostage for several hours. details on that ahead.
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back with a 360 moment. a scary moment on the campaign trail. a fire on ann romney's plane. it made an emergency landing in denver. no one hurt. an armed man who took a hostage inside a downtown pittsburgh office building surrendered peacefully. he talked to negotiators during the standoff. the hostage not harmed.
space shuttle "endeavour" flew over southern california atop a modified boeing 747 jet. it will go on display at the california science center in l.a. time for the shot. a close encounter with a cheetah in kenya. the big cat apparently want aid closer look at a jeep, and the tourists inside. okay, then. once up on the hood, they took her time checking it all out. hanging out for several minutes, even lying down at one point. she was just inches from the tourists sitting in the jeep. eventually, the driver started up the jeep, only then did the big cat decide, i'll jump off. anderson back with the "ridiculist." right after this. @p@p
there has been a lawsuit filed over this pink playhouse. take a look at that eye sore. you can't even see it from the front of the house. you have to peak around the house to the backyard. the homeowner's association knows it is there and they know it's pink. the first rule of homeowner's association, don't talk about the homeowner's association, no unapproved colors on free standing backyard structures. it doesn't even take account the nefarious activity in the structure. take a look. >> put a little water in it. >> that's 4-year-old aubrey. aubrey isn't pulling this off all on her own. oh, no. her accomplice,/grandmother who built the playhouse as a christmas present. >> this is ridiculous. too much crime and everything else.
these lawyers need to be worrying about other things way more important than whether or not my granddaughter has a pink playhouse or not. >> i want to apologize for using this. i've never done that before. there has been some public outcry, but the president of the homeowner's association is standing firm. take it away. >> part of the problem is the color. we didn't disapprove the playhouse, you disapproved the color. >> you think the color pink is worth this legal mess? >> obviously it is. neighbors complained about it. >> okay. need to get other things going on in your life. totally reasonable. sounds like the lawsuit would go away if they painted the playhouse, why not? what could possibly be more thrilling than for a little girl finding the pink playhouse she loves transformed to i don't know, a shade of dirt brown. >> why do you like it pink? >> because it's my favorite color. >> do you want your playhouse brown? >> no. >> the grandmother has two weeks topo