tv CBS Evening News CBS May 7, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
get the network that delivers more. get fios. a network ahead. >> tonight, inside bin laden's hideout. the u.s. releases video seized from the terror leader's compound, showing bin laden rehearsing his messages and watching himself on television. i'm anthony mason. also tonight, historic flooding along the mississippi. rising waters in memphis are challenging a record set more than 70 years ago. the sports world mourns golf great seve ballesteros, who died of a brain tumor at the age of 54. and a new stage. singer suzanne vega tries on a new role as a playwright and actress. captioning sponsored by cbs
this is the "cbs evening news" >> mason: good evening. six days after his death in pakistan, a new picture of osama bin laden is emerging tonight. in an-- it is almost certainly not one he would have wanted us to see. video seized by the navy seals who raided his compound show a distinctly unheroic-looking terrorist leader which may be why the government selected them for release. homeland security correspondent bob orr in washington begins our coverage. >> reporter: it's a startling image-- a haggerred looking osama bin laden huddled in a blanket and ski cap, holding a remote control, watching television news coverage of himself. the video, one of five released at a by the u.s. government, shows bin laden sitting alone in a drab, run-down room in front of an old tv connected by a bundle of bare cables to a satellite receiver. the government did not release the audio of the home movie but bin laden is watching a broadcast of one of al qaeda's many terror messages.
in one scene, he appears with his deputy, ayman al-zawahiri, walking in the rugged mountains of afghanistan. another scene shows the burning towers of the world trade cent center. the tape was found a midst a mountain of material recovered from bin laden's lair. the computer disks, handwritten notes and tapes have now convinced analysts that bin laden to the very end remained the center of his al qaeda network. a senior intelligence officia ce compound an active command and control center. there is evidence he was manning terror plans and giving tactical directions. he was obsessed with his public image. this clip shows him rehearsing a speech. this is another practice session in front of a wrinkled sheet that may have been draped to hide the background. and here's a clip showing an al qaeda blooper of sorts. bin laden with a false start and a take two.
officials did find what seems to be at least one finished, yet unreleased bin laden tape, in which the al qaeda leader rails against america. it was apparently recorded late last year, some time between october 9 and november 5. it's also clear bin laden had a streak of vanity. in all of the rehearsal tapes and in the last videoed message that was released in 2007, the terror mastermind appears with a died black beard. in a candid tape of his tv viewing session, bin laden's beard was gray, the same color it was last sunday when he was shot and killed by navy seals. while the government has no plans right now to release any more of the evidence, a senior intelligence official says the u.s. now has unquestionable proof that it was bin laden who was killed. a final analysis of d.n.a. calculates the odds of it being anyone else at one in .8 quadrillion. finally, u.s. officials also say the future leader of al qaeda is
an open question. bin laden's deputy, ayman al-zawahiri is the presumed sec sussor but there are indications he may be following out of fav favor. >> mason: for more context on the bin laden videos and what they mine we're joined in washington by cbs news security analyst juan zurati. juan, they picked five specific videos. why just five and what's the point of releasing them now? >> anthony, the administration is trying to hit multiple audiences with this release. first they're trying to demonstrate they did, in fact, kill bin laden, that they got inside his compound and have some fairly discreet and behind-the-scene video. in addition i think they want to release videos that start to cut and undercut the image and mythology of bin laden as a warrior and instead demonstrating he's a vain human worried about his image and his survival. finally, i think they wanted to send a message to the al qaeda membership still at large to say, "we've gotten on the inside, and this is just a taste of the type of information that
we have. we've got more, and we're coming after you." so i think there are multiple audiences that are trying to be reached by this, and the videos do just that today. >> mason: as you say, it suggests there's more material. how valuable are the videos and the documents that were pulled from that compound turning out to be? >> i think we're just now coming to realize that not only did we get a huge volume of data out of the compound, but the quality of it is incredibly important. bin laden remained actively engaged with the al qaeda network until the last day. and so that means we have names, phone numbers, addresses, all sorts of documents that will give us clues to not only other al qaeda leaders but to the working of the network at large. and i think, anthony, what we're likely to see is a counter-terrorism blitzkrieg to come in the coming weeks and months as a result of this treasure trove. >> mason: national security analyst juan zurate.
every viewer of the videos sees them from a different perspective shaped by their personal experiences. seth doane has two cases in point. >> evil comes in all kind of wrappers, doesn't it? >> reporter: the video released by the pentagon to the world today was a personal release for charles wolf. >> i don't want to be dwelling on this for much longer. the death of osama bin laden has lifted almost like a-- almost like a black shadow off of me. >> catherine susan wolf. >> reporter: a shadow cast when his wife, catherine, was killed in the world trade center. looking at the pictures today, wolf saw a man plotting, scheming. >> kind of reminds me of one of the villains in a james bond movie who's isolated and has all these tv screens around him, but he's ultimately in control and everybody fears him. >> this is the real story, isn't it? >> reporter: that same video seen through a very different lens. security expert bob straining trained with the department of justice d.e.a. and f.b.i.
most of us wouldn't glean that much from a video like this. you'd see a lot more? >> what we're looking for is the kind of things al qaeda is doing to communicate, the kind of things they're doing to raise money. you know, how did they live their life? we never had a view of this. this is a tremendous opportunity for us. >> reporter: an opportunity to expose a man once feared living under virtual house arrest, covered in a blanket, with just a remote control clicker and small tv. >> at the end, he is only a man who can be taken down by a bullet. >> reporter: at first, charles wolf was reluctant to speak with us, but then he saw that video and was so struck that he changed his mind. this is a week that stirred so many emotions folks have dealt with for nearly a decade. anthony. >> mason: seth doane, thanks, seth. the news of the bin laden videos broke late in the day, and pakistan, which was already in turmoil over the circumstances of his death. elizabeth palmer is in islamabad tonight with reaction there.
liz, how did the pakistanis respond to this? >> reporter: we're going to see widespread reaction tomorrow because the video only began to surface around midnight, but on the newscasts at midnight, we got a flavor of how things will be presented. basically, pakistanis are going to be told, look, these vooz don't prove anything. they don't show that osama bin laden was in that compound in abbottabad. pakistan is still in denial. they're inching up to-- to coming to grips with the fact that this colossal security failure has happened inside the country. but it's going to take some time for them to come to grips with it. the implications are huge. people have lost respect for the army-- which used to be very respected-- and, also, they have to realize that there may, indeed, be rogue elements inside the isi, the security services, who are al qaeda sympathizers, something that people hoped they'd put behind them.
>> mason: this has implications for relationships between the u.s. and pack takens. are they beginning to wrap their head around this? >> reporter: there is a lot of superficial american sentiment. pakistanis feel betrayed, particularly the security services acting in good faith with the scae because they weren't taken into the loop of trust but the government has made it pretty clear they're going to have to rebuild that relationship fast because it's necessary not only for the united states to fighting terrorism but also very necessary for pakistan sphwhrais elizabeth palmener pakistan tonight, thanks. the taliban is promising that bin laden's death will inspire more resistance to the afghan government and to u.s. forces. mark phillips is just outside the capital city of kabul. >> reporter: just 20 miles from the center of kabul, the taliban are confident enough to parade with their weaponry and defiant enough to denounce the killing of osama bin laden and threaten revenge. the commander of this group
calls himself mulah bilal. "it doesn't matter that plnd i n laden is dead. here it is the taliban that is fighting the invader. not al qaeda." in fact, al qaeda has lately taken a more subordinate role in the fight here. while some taliban funding may come through al qaeda channels, much of it from the marketing of narcotics produceed in the afghan poppy fields, the al qaeda presence is down by u.s. estimates to perhaps 100 fighters. the death of osama bin laden was an opportunity for the taliban to distance itself from al qaeda if it had wanted to. thus far, it has not, and this war in the post-bin laden era is looking a lot like the war when he was around. but the killing has inflamed other internal afghan passions over whether to try to entice the taliban to the negotiating table. president hamid karzai has called the insurgents brothers and said there could be talks if they laid down their arms.
it's a suggestion that has infuriated his political opponents, who say proposing talks makes the government look weak and the taliban strong. >> what we are against is any method, any process, which can lead to the strengthening of the taliban without getting us any closer to achieving peace. >> reporter: and offering negotiations you think does th that? >> begging the taliban. >> reporter: begging the taliban, if that's what it is, hasn't worked. "talks will never happen," mulah bilal says, "while foreign armies are still in the country." the american troop draw-down to presurge levels is scheduled to begin this summer with the unproven afghan army taking on a larger role. bin laden or no bin laden, more fighting, not talking, seems to be in afghanistan's future. mark phillips, cbs news, kabul. >> mason: and still ahead on
powerful relief from pressure and bloating in a fast-acting chewable. gas-x. pressure's off. >> mason: thousands of people are being warned to prepare for the worst tonight as the mississippi river swells to historic flood levels. heavy rain poured over the last four weeks has pushed the river to its limits, forcing water back into already swollen tributaries. mark strassmann is in memphis tonight where the city is preparing for the surge. good evening, mark. >> reporter: good evening, anthony. this is one of many roads in memphis that leads to a lot of unwanted water, which is exactly how many people here see their immediate futures. this is, of course, a real issue here and shelby county's mayor today pleaded for calm, saying potentially, this was a large-scale disaster.
around memphis, they're building a buffer, filling sands bags, raising levees near surging waters, and getting to higher ground. the mississippi has become a mebas. menace. it's just mind-boggling to see it. >> reporter: north of memphis kathy lineberry showed us where her family is living in a camper. there's water for four miles that extends from your house. >> yes. >> reporter: their home sits in 10 feet of floodwater, water that traveled four miles inland. >> what's next? i guess that's-- i mean, i don't-- we've never had anything like this. i mean, we've lost lots of crops to the water. we've never lost a house. >> reporter: at the dyer county fairgrounds a dozen families live in campers. they all lost a house. >> it is bad. bad for everybody. some of us lost it all. >> reporter: but it could be much worse. after the great mississippi flood of 1927, the most destructive in u.s. history, engineers built an elaborate
system of levees, reservoirs, and floodways. by one estimate, from cairo, illinois, to the gulf, it now protects four million people. >> money that we have invested in our levees on the mississippi river is paying off. >> reporter: but that system's being tested as never before by floodwaters higher than existing records. one measure of the river's surge is that ice box spinning round and round. it came from a now-flooded race track and has been stuck in that same whirlpool for the last four days. the lineberries know the feeling-- this camper could be home for the next six months. >> there's nothing you can do about it. it's just stuff. it's just stuff. all-- >> everybody is here. >> all four of us are here and we're heely and that's what matters. >> reporter: this wall of sandbags is just one more way people here are trying to help themselves. this is now a race against the river and on wednesday, the mississippi will crest at 48 feet.
that's 14 feet above flood sta stage. anthony. >> mason: mark strassmann in memphis tonight, thanks, mark. it's not just the mississippi that's flooding. in the northeast heavy rains and snow melt have triggered flooding along lake champagne. surging waters has flooded homes and cottages on the lake's 600-mile shoreline. just ahead on tonight's cbs evening news, seve ballesteros. remembering the passionate play of one of golf's greats.
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>> mason: it's been called the fastest two minutes in sports. today, at churchill towns in louisville, animal kingdom came from behind to win the 137th running of the kentucky derby. it was the thoroughbred's first-ever race on a dirt track. golf has lost one of its great players. today seve ballesteros died at home in spain after a two-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer. he was 54. in a game known for its rules and reserve, biwill be remembered for being wild and free. seve ballesteros was a champion known for his swagger as much as his swing. >> he. the walk. you know, he had the the swashbuckling matador golf swing. >> mason: ballesteros learned golf on the beaches of his native spain, a prodigy he turned pro at age 16. the 1979 british open was the
first of his five major wins. he sealed victory that year with a daring shot during the final round from a parking lot to the 16th green. >> oh, the golfing god really are with the smiling spaniard today. >> mason: he won the british open two more times and the masters twice. his first win at augusta, in 1980 at 23, made him the youngest masters champion until tiger woods came along. today, woods called ballesteros one of the most talented and exciting golfers to ever play the game. as the first european to win the masters, ballesteros paved the way for other european great like cbs sports' nick faldo, who played with him on ryder cup teams. >> we played our heart out, and it was largely due to the massive heart of seve ballesteros. >> mason: he would go on to win 87 pro golf tournaments with a record 50 european tour wins. >> you have to respect every hole and every shot because
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people with stomach ulcers or conditions that cause bleeding should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines, including aspirin, may increase bleeding risk, which can potentially be life threatening, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. tell your doctor all medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, reported sometimes less than two weeks after starting plavix. reported sometimes less than two weeks today we're going to surprise people with the taste of activia. mmm. this is really good. great flavor. it's really creamy. it's really tasty. oh, wow! jamie lee curtis! it's activia! it's really yummy. it's delicious. taste it, love it, or it's free. ♪ activia >> mason: finally this
evening, it all started with a photograph and an uncanny resemblance. that's how singer suzanne vega became fascinated with writer carson mccullers. on stage this week the two became one. ♪ i am sitting in the morning h1n1 at the diner on the corner ♪ . >> mason: as a singer who wrote the 19 eight ease hits "tom's diner," and "luca," suzanne vega is an experienced performer. but she's taking the stage in a very different role. >> ladies and gentlemen, carson mccullers. >> reporter: in her new solo show, carson mccullers talks about love. vega plays the late southern writer best known for her novels "the heart is a lonely hunter" and "the member of the wedding." what made you want to write a play about her life? >> i felt a sympathy with her character. there's the biography of her that i saw in a library when i
was 17. i saw her face. i felt that i could look like her. >> mason: the author, who died in 1967 at age 50, had rheumatic fever as a child and later suffered a series of strokes. >> there was this comings of fragility and of determination that she worked constantly. >> mason: in one of the 15 songs she's written or cowritten for the show, vega likens mack culler's to an iron butterfly ♪ i can be sweet. i can be wise ♪ . >> mason: the rattlestick play wright's theater in greenwich village where she's performing is around the corner from some of the coffee houses where the singer got her start but vega also studied theater in college. >> i always suspected i would like to put on a costume and a wig and jump around on a stage since i sometimes do that privately and i enjoy it there, too. i thought, wow--
>> mason: would you like to elaborate on that? ♪ this must be the irony of fae ♪ . >> mason: the play she conceive in school more than 30 years ago she finally finished by escape to an unlikely oasis-- the metropolitan museum of art. >> i needed to go some place other than my apartment. >> mason: where the members lounge offered her the peace and quiet to work on the words and music. you're living with carson mccullers on a regular base. >> i am feeling that way, yes. i feel her speaking to me from beyond the grave. >> mason: at last, the tranks formation suzanne vega imagined as a teenager is happening. it's a big surprise. what's it been? >> that people believe it. every night, i pulled it off again ♪ just like me ♪ >> mason: and that's the cbs evening news. later on cbs, "48 hours mystery." russ mitchell will be here tomorrow. i'm anthony mason in new york. thanks for watching. good night.