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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby Indicted; Floridians in the Dark; Interview With Acting New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley

Aired October 28, 2005 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Very troubled waters for the president, after a powerful political shock.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): The worst of times in a White House under fire.

PATRICK FITZGERALD, U.S. ATTORNEY: We need to know the truth.

ZAHN: One top aide indicted, another under a cloud, and the president under lots of pressure.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I got a job to do. So do the people who work in the White House.

ZAHN: Tonight, how will the White House recover?

And awake during surgery. You are supposed to be unconscious, but:

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was screaming inside: Stop, I'm awake. Stop. Stop. And nobody is hearing me.

ZAHN: It happens to thousands of patients. What's being done to keep you from waking up under the knife?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: We start tonight with the fall of a top government official.

Lewis Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, was indicted today, the result of a two-year-long investigation into whether someone in the Bush administration broke the law by leaking the name of a CIA employee. Libby is accused of lying to the FBI, lying to a grand jury when he was asked questions about the CIA leak case. He has resigned. He denies doing anything wrong and he says this is actually a case of faulty memory.

But there are some very important things that we still don't know tonight. Who leaked the name and blew the cover of CIA employee Valerie Plame Wilson? Libby wasn't charged with doing that. Nobody was. That includes President Bush's top aide, Karl Rove. Is he completely off the hook tonight? Well, we don't know that either. We only know, Rove was not indicted today and that the investigation isn't over.

Lewis Libby has been charged with five crimes, obstruction of justice, two counts of making false statements to the FBI, and two counts of perjury in his grand jury testimony. Libby's story, as detailed in the indictment, is that he learned about Valerie Plame Wilson's identity from NBC's Tim Russert in July of 2003, and that he later passed on the information about her to reporters Matt Cooper of "TIME" magazine and Judith Miller of "The New York Times."

Well, the indictment alleges a much different story, that Libby actually started digging in, in late May of 2003. Plame is the wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who, by that time, was turning into a vocal critic of the Bush administration. The indictment says Libby knew Wilson and Plame's identities by June of 2003, a full month before columnist Robert Novak published her name.

In a riveting news conference this afternoon, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald says, Libby's version of events is an out-and- outright lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FITZGERALD: At the end of the day what appears is that Mr. Libby's story that he was at the tail end of a chain of phone calls, passing on from one reporter what he heard from another, was not true.

It was false. He was at the beginning of the chain of phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter. And then he lied about it afterwards, under oath and repeatedly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Scooter Libby is the first White House official to be indicted in 130 years. He has been Vice President Cheney's chief of staff since the start of the Bush administration. He also worked in Congress, as well as the State and Defense Departments. He is a very big fish and his indictment drew this reaction from a grim-faced President Bush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Today, I accepted the resignation of Scooter Libby. Scooter has worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people and sacrificed much in the service to this country. He served the vice president and me through extraordinary times in our nation's history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Chief national correspondent John King has been watching all of this unfold.

John, thanks for joining us tonight.

This indictment, it seems to me, leaves as many unanswered questions, almost, as those questions that are answered. Let's start with the question of why Scooter Libby, a seasoned attorney, a man given great credit for helping people get out of legal trouble before, and very skilled at doing so, would lie to a grand jury.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, of course, he says he did not and he says he is innocent. And we should presume he's innocent until proven guilty.

But that's one of the stunning questions we have here in Washington tonight. Scooter Libby is an accomplished attorney; he's an accomplished political aide. He also has dealt with classified information. He knows the laws. He knows the rules. He has known them for some 15-plus years. So, when you read this indictment, it is absolutely stunning to think a man with that knowledge, with that experience, could have done the things this indictment alleges.

Specifically to the point you made, Scooter Libby said in sworn grand jury testimony, he learned Valerie Plame's name from reporters. In this indictment, it says that, in May of 2003, he received not one, but two documents from the State Department and then an oral briefing from someone at the State Department about all of this. Scooter Libby is a very smart man. He had to know those documents existed, records of that briefing existed.

As to why he would ever continue with a story that he learned from reporters, when that documentation exists, is a mystery to any reporter reading this tonight, anyone who knows Scooter Libby tonight. Again, he insists it's a case of faulty memory. But, when you read all this, if this is true, it is remarkable that he could have done such a thing. Who was he covering up for? Everyone here in Washington says probably thinking he was trying to protect his boss. But, again, the big question is why? This indictment doesn't say Dick Cheney did anything wrong. What did he have to protect him from?

ZAHN: All right. But we did find out relatively recently that, in fact, at least according to "The New York Times," that Mr. Libby found out about the identity of Valerie Plame and her role at the CIA from the vice president. How does this affect his credibility?

KING: Well, this document suggests perhaps from the vice president, perhaps from the State Department around the same time. It is certainly -- what many believe, many, including many friends of Scooter Libby believe, is that he thought he needed to protect the vice president as much as he could, to try to give answers that kept the vice president away from the focus of the grand jury, in the sense that we all know any reporter covering the White House back in those days knows, there was an aggressive effort to discredit the -- and to attack the credibility of Joe Wilson, to say he did not have the experience to take this trip; he didn't have the technical expertise, that he was a partisan Democrat who now wanted to lash out at this administration.

There was no question the White House was playing hardball in questioning the credibility and the -- the experience, if you will, of Joe Wilson. The issue, of course, is, did somebody cross the line and break the law in doing so? It appears, friends of Scooter Libby would say, that, if this was true, what he was trying to do is keep the prosecutors away from the vice president by, essentially, saying, the vice president had nothing to do with this. He wasn't looking for the name. He wasn't involved in this effort.

But, if that is what Scooter Libby and this is what he did in the process, he's in a lot of trouble.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Again, I want to keep saying, he says he didn't do this.

ZAHN: Sure.

Very briefly in closing, though, tonight, can we say that we know that someone deliberately leaked the name of Valerie Plame and the role she played at the CIA in revenge for the actions of her husband, who was considered a real thorn in the flesh of the administration...

KING: No...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: ... basically accusing the administration of going to war on false and misleading intelligence?

KING: Right.

We cannot say that. And the special prosecutor conceded as much today, because he did not charge anyone with breaking the law in the specific leak. Now, the investigation continues. Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff, is still under investigation. His attorney concedes that point. Sources close to Rove say they expect this to all be over in a matter of weeks, at the most.

But the investigation is still open. This White House is still under a cloud, including the man you see right there, Karl Rove. He insists, again, that he will be fine in a week or two. But there are always surprises in these investigations. We need to keep watching.

ZAHN: John King, thanks so much for the update.

KING: Thank you.

ZAHN: So, how much damage was done by revealing Valerie Plame's name to the public? I was struck by a point special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald made today. He said: "The leak compromises our ability to recruit people whose jobs benefit the whole country, people who need to know that their anonymity will not be cast aside lightly."

Here's national security correspondent David Ensor with more on the leak and the damage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forty-two-year-old Valerie Plame Wilson, whose husband referred to her as "Jane Bond," is clearly now the most famous female spy in America. Exposing her as a CIA undercover officer did damage to U.S. intelligence, U.S. officials say. They refuse to be more specific.

MICHAEL SCHEUER, FORMER CIA ANALYST: To have someone exposed deliberately and, on top of that, for a political reason, I -- I think, yes, it probably sent a chill throughout the clandestine service.

ENSOR: What made it worse is that she was not just an undercover officer. She spent part of her 20-year career as a NOC, a spy with non-official cover, that is, without the protection of diplomatic status. She was working, officials say, to recruit foreigners who knew about murky international deals involving weapons of mass destruction.

But potential foreign agents, potential spies, have now seen a CIA officer apparently betrayed by officials in her own government.

JAMES MARCINKOWSKI, FORMER CIA OFFICER: The issue here is, how are you going to tell that agent that their identity is going to be protected, when this government can't protect the home team?

ENSOR: And if any other CIA officers used the same cover as Plame, their work is in jeopardy, too. That cover was Brewster Jennings Associates, an energy consulting firm, a front company that apparently had no real address.

NOCs are harder to train, can remain undercover longer than conventional spies, and can go places and meet people that other CIA officers cannot. Some of them, like Plame, use loose cover, a false job. Others under deep cover use false names as well, complete fictional identities with forged documents, even disguises.

But NOCs are also much more vulnerable than regular spies. And intelligence sources developed by a CIA undercover officer are immediately in question if that officer is exposed.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The consequences for the U.S. government can range from embarrassment to having to pull the source out of an area because they have become jeopardized by this knowledge.

ENSOR: After her name appeared in Robert Novak's newspaper column, at least two foreign governments reportedly assigned their spy-catchers to figure out whether Plame had ever worked on their soil, and, if so, what she'd done there.

(on camera): And that is where the most damage likely done, other nations tracking down Valerie Plame-Wilson's contacts and sources and shutting them down.

David Ensor, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Coming up next, how bad is all of this for the White House, not only legally, but politically? Will there be more departures? Is the Bush administration permanently crippled?

Stay with us for the bigger picture.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Rusty Dornin in Miami, where standing in endless lines for ice and gas is only the beginning of a nightmare. Coming up, we will show you what it's really like for millions in South Florida to be powerless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: And, still ahead, picture yourself on the operating table and the anesthesia wears off, but you still can't move, you can't talk, but you can feel some pain -- a terrifying experience that happens far too often. We will hear from a woman tonight who will vividly describe what happened to her when she woke up in the middle of a serious surgery.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Right now, I want to go back to some of those disturbing unanswered questions in the wake of today's indictment of Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

Who actually leaked CIA employee Valerie Plame's name and why? Was it a case, as one Democrat calls it, revenge gone amok? When special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald was asked why Scooter Libby was indicted on obstruction charges and not for the actual leak, he replied with a very vivid baseball analogy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FITZGERALD: And what we have when someone charges obstruction of justice is, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He's trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view.

As you sit here now, if you're asking me what his motives were, I can't tell you; we haven't charged it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Joining me now to talk the big picture are two friends from opposite ends of the political spectrum, although they might not be at the end of this segment, Katrina Vanden Heuvel -- she's the editor of "The Nation" -- and "Wall Street Journal" columnist John Fund.

Great to have both of you with us.

Is this, as Senator Feinstein says, a case of revenge run amok?

John Fund.

JOHN FUND, COLUMNIST, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, as I have written on OpinionJournal.com, it can't really be a conspiracy to damage Joe Wilson, because the underlying crime was not violated. He was not charged with the underlying crime.

Certainly, though, perjury is a very serious charge. And regardless of what happened, if he lied to a grand jury, the consequences are going to be very severe.

ZAHN: Like what?

FUND: Well, the sentencing guidelines apply to the underlying crime, even if you aren't charged with it. So, in theory, he could be facing up to 10 years in prison, which is why I suspect that he and his new lawyers, which he has several of now, may be interested in a plea bargain. Or he may want to fight it, because, in some cases, this is a very weak, weak prosecution.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, "THE NATION": You know, these indictments, Paula, are not about a single aide. These are not about a technicality.

This is about a potentially criminal conspiracy to mislead this nation into war. And I think we need to keep our eyes on that at every moment. The baseball analogies, I think, will enamor Patrick Fitzgerald in the eyes of many Americans. He was like Eliot Ness today, I felt. He was sort of "The Untouchables," at a moment when the stench of corruption, cronyism, hangs over this White House.

I do think what is important is that this investigation carry on. I think it is not the end. It is the end of the beginning. And we may well see this lead into Cheney's office. This is deep in the White House.

FUND: Excuse me.

ZAHN: All right.

FUND: Democrats..

VANDEN HEUVEL: This is deep in the White House.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: OK.

FUND: Democrats with cooler heads, such as Lanny Davis and others, are saying, as much as you want to drag the Iran war and the weapons of mass destruction intelligence debate...

VANDEN HEUVEL: Iraq -- not Iran yet.

FUND: Iraq.

(LAUGHTER) FUND: Iraq and the weapons of mass destruction debate in here, it's not going to work.

The prosecutor, Mr. Fitzgerald, was asked specifically, is this about anything to do with Iraq and the weapons of mass destruction? And he stayed away from it. This is simply a case of somebody who is accused of lying before a grand jury and in front of investigators. If people want to turn this into a political circus, they can.

ZAHN: All right.

FUND: But the underlying facts are not there...

ZAHN: All right.

FUND: .. and don't justify it.

ZAHN: But -- but these are appropriate questions to ask, when it has just been recently...

FUND: Not in the courtroom.

ZAHN: Maybe not in the courtroom.

FUND: Exactly.

ZAHN: But, recently, it was revealed that the vice president, in fact, according to "The New York Times..."

VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes.

ZAHN: ... was the one who revealed the name of Valerie Plame...

FUND: He has a classified security briefing.

ZAHN: ... to Mr. Libby.

FUND: No law was broken.

ZAHN: ... and her role.

FUND: Libby has a classified -- that conversation between Libby...

ZAHN: And what would have been his purpose in revealing that? What would have been his motivation? That was on the heels of his apparently learning about Joe Wilson's mission to Niger.

FUND: Look, Libby is the one in legal trouble. But it's Joe Wilson's whose story has not checked out.

Go refer to page 46 of the Senate Intelligence report. Joe Wilson didn't tell the truth about what he found in Niger. Now, that's not part of this legal case, but it certainly bears on why the administration had a motive for trying to criticize him, because he didn't come out with the correct facts. VANDEN HEUVEL: But, John, the standard operating procedure of this White House has been to discredit and...

FUND: Was Joe Wilson telling the truth?

VANDEN HEUVEL: ... to discredit -- to discredit opponents of the war. But I think...

(CROSSTALK)

VANDEN HEUVEL: ... the abuse and misuse...

ZAHN: Hang on one second.

It's not like the Clinton administration didn't try to slime its critics either.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But I think...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: There's a precedent of this, is there not, in every administration?

VANDEN HEUVEL: The abuse and misuse of intelligence, as Patrick Fitzgerald -- Patrick Fitzgerald talked very seriously today about the dangers of compromising national security.

If you want to get into the Clinton administration, you can argue that there was perjury and it was about sexual relations. Perjury about national security matters I think is a grave threat, not only to the republic, to the democracy and to American people, but it's something we have to take very seriously. And I do think that it's that larger question of the nation being misled into war is the original sin and the cancer that is...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: You have not denied that perjury isn't a serious charge.

FUND: Of course, it is serious.

ZAHN: You said that right at the top.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Right. Right.

FUND: The prosecutor was asked today, was Valerie Plame a covert agent covered by the 1982 act? He wouldn't say. He was not -- Libby was not charged with the underlying act.

So, if you want to talk about national security breaches, certainly, what happened here is of concern. But no one's cover was blown under the 1982 law. Period.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Let's talk -- hang on. Let's talk about the political ramifications of this, short term.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Sure. Sure. Sure.

ZAHN: How much is the credibility of the president damaged by what has happened?

VANDEN HEUVEL: Disastrously weakened.

(CROSSTALK)

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think we have seen arrogance allied with incompetence equal no political capital left.

ZAHN: John Fund?

FUND: It appears Karl Rove will not be indicted. I think things would have certainly been far worse.

I think this administration, like Reagan during Iran-Contra, can recover, if they focus on the big picture and they move forward.

ZAHN: Thank you two.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Thank you.

ZAHN: Maybe you will talk to each other after this segment again.

(LAUGHTER)

ZAHN: I don't know.

Katrina Vanden Heuvel and John Fund, thanks so much.

This afternoon, New Orleans took action against dozens of its police officers who simply walked away from their jobs when Hurricane Katrina hit. How could anyone have left people during such a time of crisis? Coming up, a one-time AWOL cop tries to explain why he walked off the job the day.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: I don't think any of us will ever forget the frightening scenes of lawlessness in New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina struck and the stories about hundreds of cops going AWOL.

Well, tonight, we have got an update on that story for you. Forty-five police officers who failed to return to their jobs have been fired, along with six civilian police employees. Still up in the air is the fate of officers who did go back to work and are fighting charges of desertion, officers like our one Jason Carroll met during some of the roughest times New Orleans has ever seen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing, man? Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

(CROSSTALK)

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the days of lawlessness, looting and flooding, something happened few people in New Orleans imagines was possible. Hundreds of police officers, like Lieutenant Henry Waller, abandoned their fellow officers and thousands of evacuees when they were needed most.

LIEUTENANT HENRY WALLER, NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT: I defend it by saying that I left them in a bad situation, but I have would have been leaving my wife in a worse situation.

CARROLL: Waller has been a New Orleans cop for eight-and-a-half years. He's stationed at the First District downtown. And he's one of only a few high-ranking officers, the department says, who went AWOL, absent without leave.

H. WALLER: The one time that I know that I did the right thing and made the right decision, it's going to vilify me, that's difficult to deal with.

CARROLL: Waller explained how it happened, saying, Tuesday, August 30, the day after Katrina hit New Orleans, the situation was grave.

H. WALLER: We listened to the radio. And we're hearing the things, the water is still rising. The water is still rising. The water is still rising. The looting is this. The looting is that.

CARROLL: Waller says police superiors had no plan of action, and he was reprimanded for saying that to his unit.

H. WALLER: I got with another lieutenant in the First District, who essentially told me, look, you're a supervisor. You can't scare these guys. If they know you're scared, they're going to be scared. And I said, flat out, I said, you know what? I am scared. Everybody here is scared. And the bottom line is, I'm not going to tell these guys everything is going to be OK when it's not going to be OK.

CARROLL: That Tuesday, as 80 percent of New Orleans lay under water, Waller says he told another officer he would get supplies. Waller drove an hour away to Baton Rouge, where stores were open. It was also where his wife was staying with his family. She was upset, fearing something had happened to her father in hurricane-damaged Mississippi. Still, after getting the supplies, Waller says he went back to New Orleans, where he heeded a state trooper's warning at the city's checkpoint.

H. WALLER: And I started thinking. I said, well, you know, we have been hearing this story about the levees breaching all day. What if they're right and I get stuck in this car? I'm no good dead. And so, we will go back tonight. You know, and I will head back in the morning, once we have a better grasp of what is going on.

CARROLL: But Waller did not go back Wednesday morning. He stayed with his family and canceled plans to return to New Orleans Thursday, when his wife got news her father may have drowned. He's listed as missing.

CYNTHEIA WALLER, WIFE OF NEW ORLEANS POLICE OFFICER: I need my husband. And if they want to blame somebody for him leaving, tell them to blame me, because it was me who was literally begging him to stay. Call me a coward. Call me selfish.

H. WALLER: In a time of ultimate crisis, who needs me more, the police department or my wife? And it was a no-brainer for me.

CARROLL (on camera): What if all of the officers did something like that? Once you've taken an oath of protection, who is there to protect the people?

H. WALLER: That's a tough question to answer, only because I know that not all the officers are going to do that.

CARROLL (voice-over): But enough did. Nearly a quarter of the entire force went AWOL. Lieutenant Troy Savage says officers like him, who stayed, resent fellow cops like Waller, who didn't.

LIEUTENANT TROY SAVAGE, NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Everybody had a wife. Everybody has got families. Everybody needed to see them. But we didn't. We all didn't flee. We all didn't run in a time of crisis. And he did that.

CARROLL: Waller stands by his decision, but says it costs him sleep.

H. WALLER: The nightmares were horrible. Every time I fell asleep for a couple of minutes, I was having a recurring nightmare that one of my guys was -- needed help somewhere, was drowning or being beaten up.

CARROLL: Finally, nearly a week after being AWOL, Waller radioed the First District, saying he wanted to come back and was told, don't bother.

H. WALLER: People are going to have their opinions. I can only hope that, over time, you know, people will understand.

CARROLL: Maybe, over time, some people will find understanding. But forgiveness might be more difficult.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Jason Carroll reporting for us from New Orleans.

The acting superintendent of New Orleans Police is Warren Riley. And he joins us now to update us on this breaking news tonight.

Thank you, Chief, for being with us.

So, you fired some 45 police officers, as well as six civilian police officers. Why? WARREN RILEY, ACTING NEW ORLEANS POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: Well, it was obvious that during the crisis, during the time when we needed police officers the most, when our citizens counted on us and when we counted on our fellow officers to be there during the most challenging time in the history of New Orleans, in modern time, anyway, those officers were not there.

And not only were they not there; they have not returned since that time. So, it would be very difficult for them to function in our current operation. We need to be able to count on them, and they weren't there. So, they were terminated.

ZAHN: I know that Lieutenant Henry Waller, who we just heard from, his -- his case is under review. But is there any defense of that, when a man says to you, who needs me more -- quote -- "the police department or my wife?" And I chose my wife.

RILEY: Well, in our situation, we had a staff meeting, and all of our commanders knew that they had two to three days to take care of their families and to be here when Katrina hit and to be here for the aftermath.

So, I understand the decision that he had to make. But he also took an oath for the police department and for our citizens. And he did not uphold that oath. So, he made a decision, and now he has to live with it.

ZAHN: Chief, can you help me with some math tonight? I'm looking at some numbers here, because we were originally told by the New Orleans Police Department that 249 officers left their posts without permission during Hurricane Katrina.

Now we're talking about some 51 or -- let's say, use the 45 who -- who weren't civilians now have been fired. So, what does that mean for the roughly 200 other officers that -- that you all isolated weeks ago?

RILEY: Well, right now we still have 1448, 1450 police officers, right around there. Our department, we're staffed sufficiently right now primarily because the majority of citizens are not here.

The list of 249, that original list, has been dwindled down to 228. Those 228, the remaining 228, are still under investigation. You must understand that everybody on that list was not considered AWOL, but everyone who is on that list was not here at some point from the day that Katrina hit to somewhere maybe eight, ten or 12 days later.

Some of those officers were here for the first five or six days. Then they left to go check on their families. But, they did not get permission from their supervisors. So, we put everyone on the list. Everyone, even those who were here during Katrina, if they left without permission. Now, some of those aren't so serious.

ZAHN: So, chief, finally, I just need a really brief answer to this, even a yes or no will do. Do you expect then more officers to be fired once these investigations are over?

RILEY: I really don't know. I would anticipate a few, at least.

ZAHN: Chief Riley, thanks for your candor tonight.

We appreciate it.

ZAHN: When we come back, we going to turn our attention to Florida, a different hurricane, this one named Wilma.

And look at the recovery going on down there. Millions of people are winding up a week without electricity.

And a little bit later on, this one is a scary one. What if you woke up during surgery and felt the pain, but couldn't say stop, couldn't even scream? It happens to thousands of people every year. We'll hear from a patient herself, who will describe what happened to her when she woke up during surgery.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Tonight, millions of people in south Florida are still without power, five days after Hurricane Wilma struck. Since then, crews have worked feverishly to restore electricity.

But, get this. Utility officials said today, warning folks, that they may not have any electricity until Thanksgiving. And power is not the only thing in short supply, as Rusty Dornin reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT CAMPBELL, FLORIDA RESTAURANT MANAGER: Come on, guys. Let's go.

DORNIN: While waiting for gas in Hollywood, Florida, Matt Campbell is nearly running on empty. There's about 30 cars ahead of him and he's been here since 7:30 this morning.

CAMPBELL: About 5 1/2 hours now.

DORNIN: And what are you trying to get?

CAMPBELL: Gas for our restaurant.

DORNIN: Campbell manages this restaurant across town where owner Thomas Franco (ph) is struggling to keep the doors open.

How tough has this been, to try to get your business up and running without power?

THOMAS FRANCO, RESTAURANT OWNER: You can't. We try our best. Right now all we're doing is pizza. We have a generator out back, one refrigerator and a pizza oven.

DORNIN: But, it's one day at a time, right?

FRANCO: One day at a time.

DORNIN: Across town, Crystal Carlton cooks with propane is out of ice and now has to throw all her food out. But, she has plenty of time to figure out what to do for her family's next meal.

You're not working, right?

CRYSTAL CARLTON, COOK: Right. I work at a local hotel and we've closed down the hotel because we don't have any power, we can't take guests in. So, there's nothing to do. We ran out of gas, we had generators. But we can't get gas anywhere. So, it's kind of a desperate time right now.

DORNIN: Two blocks away, Princess Sacasa is also out of a job until the lights come back on. Besides the power, the water here is not safe to drink.

PRINCESS SACASA, FLORIDA RESIDENT: This is ridiculous. You have to go outside to go get something, you know, just to boil some water.

DORNIN: So, the family bought a new device in the backyard to heat food and boil water. It's not just that the power is out. It's affecting a lot more of your life.

SACASA: Exactly. Like yesterday, my mom got into an accident due to the street lights being out.

DORNIN: Carlton is looking for a signal that normalcy will soon return. If not, she has a plan.

CARLTON: Probably consider, you know, going on the plane and living with my mom in New York for a little while until we can get back to a real life, because this isn't a real life.

DORNIN: But it is life for her and more than a million others like her in south Florida who are still powerless.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Rusty Dornin in Hollywood, Florida. Looks like it's going to be a very long weekend for a lot of people in south Florida.

Still ahead tonight, something so terrifying, I don't think any of us could imagine this, unless it's happened to us. Waking up in the middle of surgery, feeling all the pain and not being able to tell anyone to stop.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY HAAPALA, WOKE UP DURING SURGERY: I was screaming inside, stop, I'm awake. This can't happen. Stop, stop, and nobody is hearing me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: They call it anesthesia awareness. It happens to tens of thousands of people every year.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And we're moving up on just about 20 minutes before the hour. Time for headline news "Business Break" with Erica Hill -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS: Paula, the Dow ending the week on a higher note today jumping 172 points on the session to reverse course, and showing its biggest one-day surge since April.

A jump for the economy, as well. The government says it grew 3.8 percent in the third quarter. That's better than many analysts expected.

And a 24 percent increase in quarterly profits helped push Microsoft shares higher, up nearly 3 percent today. Which in turn, helped give the Nasdaq a boost.

Bankrupt Delta Airlines is phasing out its cut rate carrier Song. Delta says, Song was a successful experiment and that some of the features customers liked about the discount carrier will be adopted by Delta.

Long suffering Sox fans couldn't get enough of the World Series. But, it turns out the event was a bit of a flop in the ratings. This year's broadcast was the lowest rated in history.

Now, on the other hand, Halloween is all treat for retailers. The National Retail Federation estimates you're going to spend more than $3 billion this year on Halloween. All right, not you personally, but collectively. That's more than a billion dollars on candy alone. Good news for the dentist.

Paula, back over to you. Have a great weekend.

ZAHN: Always is. Erica Hill, thanks so much.

"Larry King Live" is coming up in just a few minutes. Don't let the picture fool you here tonight. You might think he's way out there on the West Coast. But, no, he's just a couple hundred yards away, and he just couldn't see fit to walk 200 yards to come visit us in our studio tonight, Larry?

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: You want me to come over there now?

ZAHN: Oh, they'd be thrilled. I'm sure your director would love to have you walk out that shot.

KING: I saw you in the green room. You look great today.

ZAHN: Well, thank you.

KING: I like the shampoo. You look nice.

ZAHN: Let's explain what happened. Clive Owen, who is widely believed to be probably one of the most gorgeous men in the acting community, walked in as we were getting ready prepping for our show.

KING: Correct and Jennifer Aniston was there. And you were being shampooed.

ZAHN: Yes, we were getting ready.

KING: That's called getting ready.

ZAHN: It was a little humiliating, Larry.

KING: Humiliating?

ZAHN: You look fine in any circumstance. Come on.

ZAHN: Come on, Larry.

So, what do you have on your show tonight? Your talking about CIA leaks kind of stuff?

KING: Know what he said to me? Is she married?

ZAHN: He did not. He just made that up.

KING: But it looked good, didn't it?

ZAHN: Yes, it sounded really good.

KING: We're going to talk about the Libby indictment and a lot of great people coming on: David Gergen, Jay Carney, Senators Boxer and Dreier. And we're going to have John Dean and Richard Ben- Veniste. And we'll also have Congressman Chris Shays and Congresswoman Jane Harman. A major discussion on a major story in Washington.

But, hey, I was there yesterday, were they excited. That was their kind of day, Washington. Their kind of day.

ZAHN: Yes, they don't necessarily live for the kind of result you have today, but it certainly has all of us buzzing.

Thanks, Larry. See you in about 14 minutes or so.

KING: And have a great weekend, Paula.

ZAHN: Thank you, you too.

Coming up next, a situation that thousands of people can't imagine. They suffer the incredible pain of surgery when their anesthesia simply wore off and they couldn't tell their doctor. What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones?

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Right now, I want you to try to picture yourself in this position. You are on the operating table, undergoing surgery, and you wake up.

You feel all the pain, but you can't move. You can't talk. You can't even scream. It's absolutely terrifying. Yet, it happens to thousands of people like the woman you are about to meet.

Here's Keith Oppenheim.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): What's your surgery for?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My surgery is for my left knee. I have a cartilage tear in my left knee.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): Like thousands of people do each day, Jane Hubbard (ph) is undergoing surgery.

(on camera): When it comes to general anesthesia, what are your expectations?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be kept comfortable. To sleep during the procedure and wake up at the end, and not feel it.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): Kelly Haapala had the same expectations in 1999 when she went into surgery after shattering her hip socket in a car accident.

(on camera): That's quite a hit you took.

KELLY HAAPALA, WOKE UP DURING SURGERY: I'm lucky. And that's what I keep reminding myself. I'm lucky that it could have been much worse.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): As frightening as the car accident was, Kelly says her greatest trauma came during surgery.

HAAPALA: I remember I left my room, and I was wheeled down the hall. When I got to the operating room they introduced me to my anesthesiologist. He told me briefly, you know, well, we're going to put you under and everything will be OK.

And then they have you countdown from 10 and you are out.

OPPENHEIM: But, unlike most patients, Kelly did not remain unconscious. Some time after the surgery began, Kelly became aware. She could hear voices.

HAAPALA: I just kept thinking, maybe I'm dreaming that this is happening to me. And as I was slowly realizing that I was in the operating room that's when I started feeling the tugging, pushing, pressure. And then after that, I started feeling the pain.

OPPENHEIM: While the drugs that were keeping her unconscious were wearing off, other drugs still kept her paralyzed. HAAPALA: I don't know how to explain it other than like a hot poker just jabbing into you to scrape all of my fragments out of there. And then like a big vacuum noise of the suctioning.

OPPENHEIM: She could feel and hear everything that was happening to her, but had no way of communicating that she was awake.

HAAPALA: I was screaming inside, stop, I'm awake. This can't happen. Stop, stop. And nobody is hearing me.

OPPENHEIM: Eventually, Kelly could move. She began flailing her arms and legs.

HAAPALA: I was in such terror. I needed to let them know so badly that they needed to stop what they were doing. They just dove on me and started screaming at each other that I was awake. And put her back under, put her back under.

OPPENHEIM (on camera): Did you hear that?

HAAPALA: Yes, yes. They were frightened, as well.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): The medical term for what happened to Kelly Haapala is called anesthesia awareness. It's estimated it only happens to somewhere between .1 to .2 percent of patients, who receive general anesthesia.

But put that into the number of actual cases, and that means somewhere between 20,000 to 40,000 people in the U.S. become aware during surgery every year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a little antibiotic.

OPPENHEIM: Dr. Carl Rosow is an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

DR. CARL ROSOW, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: The problem happens when a person doesn't get enough drug for one reason or the other. Either they are insensitive to drug, and so the normal dose doesn't put them completely to sleep. Or, because something interrupts the flow of drug.

OPPENHEIM: Last fall, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations issued an alert to hospitals across the country saying anesthesia awareness is under recognized and under treated.

ROSOW: I think it's a very natural tendency for clinicians to try to explain it away. It's an embarrassing thing to happen. You feel like perhaps the care has failed the patient somehow. And it's nicer to think that it didn't really happen.

OPPENHEIM: Dr. Janet Osterman of Boston University Medical Center has studied patients who have experienced anesthesia awareness. Her findings show over 50 percent of patients who go through it suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. DR. JANET OSTERMAN, BOSTON UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: People had nightmares. They had intrusive thoughts, thoughts of their surgery or parts of their surgery would come to them while they were trying to do even simple things, like brushing their teeth or driving your car.

OPPENHEIM: Kelly Haapala's surgeon told her not to dwell on what had happened to me.

HAAPALA: I should have been able to talk to someone about what had happened to me. I should have gotten an apology, an explanation, anything would have been helpful.

OPPENHEIM: Even more upsetting to Kelly, she is now facing additional surgery on her hip.

HAAPALA: I am very scared that the anesthesia part of it, something could go wrong again.

OPPENHEIM: So what do you want?

HAAPALA: Well, they have brain activity monitors out, the best monitors are one form of them.

ROSOW: So take a look. What we're going to do right now --

OPPENHEIM: This is getting ready.

ROSOW: Is putting the BIS monitor on.

OPPENHEIM: BIS, or bi-spectral index monitoring, is a brain wave technology that measures how conscious a person is during surgery.

ROSOW: It's going to feel a little prickly.

OPPENHEIM: Doctor Rosow doctor routinely uses it. He's a consultant to Aspect, the company that manufactures the monitor. The BIS monitor displays a number. Anything above 60 means the patient is more likely conscious.

ROSOW: The BIS monitor is tracking something that I couldn't measure in any other way.

OPPENHEIM: She is fully anesthetized right now?

ROSOW: Totally anesthetized. She very rapidly went from a state of being conscious with numbers in the 80s down to a low number.

OPPENHEIM: But there's a split among anesthesiologists. And because the technology is relatively new, a task force of the American Society of Anesthesiologists recently did a one-year study of the monitors. Their conclusion, BIS monitors are still unproven.

But Kelly Haapala wants to be sure her next anesthesiologist is using it. As unsettled as the data may be on BIS monitors, she wants to feel more confident that during her upcoming surgery, she will wake up at only one time, when it's over. HAAPALA: There can always be human error. And that can happen in anything that you do. With today's technology, I don't see why we shouldn't have a monitor in every surgery.

ROSOW: You can probably remove this now.

HAAPALA: It's not a guarantee, but it's the closest we can get right now to a guarantee.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And that was Keith Oppenheim. Just this week, the American Society of Anesthesiologists adopted new some standards designed to keep people from waking up during surgery.

But, the group decided against recommending using brain activity monitors routinely during surgery.

Joining me now is Diana Todd, who is just shaking her head.

She said she was having surgery a year ago and woke up in the middle of it.

Diana, I've got to tell you, I am really struck by -- you probably don't know this. There was a picture of you up on my internal screen here and I was watching you watch this report and as you were hearing, two of these patients' stories, you were closing your eyes, you were wincing and you broke down crying.

Are you reliving the nightmare of what you went through?

DIANA TODD, GUEST: Yes. Just a little bit.

ZAHN: How hard has it been for you?

TODD: Most of the time I can keep a fairly objective viewpoint. When I get too close to it, when I think too much about it, it is very difficult to deal with. I can actually feel my muscles twitching where they cut me.

ZAHN: Diana, help the audience understand why this is so painful. Almost a year after having gone in to have a routine hysterectomy. What happened during that surgery?

TODD: I remember hearing voices and thinking, I'm hearing voices. And then realizing I shouldn't be hearing voices, I'm supposed to be asleep.

And then they started cutting. When you get an initial burn, the woman said something about a hot poker. When you get a burn and you feel that initial, real sharp pain, that burning sensation, it's like that.

But, it doesn't stop. And somehow as we grow up, we're taught that we have control of our lives. It's a sociological thing, it's a spiritual thing. But we can control our life. And this takes away your control. You literally have no control. You do feel like you are screaming inside your head. You think, oh, if I could just twitch my eye, if I could just move a finger, if I could just -- there's got to be some way to let them know you're awake. And you can't.

ZAHN: But Diana, you ultimately confronted the surgical team. And you tried to tell them what you heard and what you felt. What did they tell you?

TODD: It was after the fact. I was in my hospital room when I told -- I started telling people the next day, everybody I could tell. Nurses said -- a nurse said, no, it couldn't have happened, it was all in my head.

Another person said, it couldn't have happened because you were paralyzed. There's a lack of education, even amongst our medical personnel as to the fact that when you are paralyzed, it paralyzes your motor nerves. It does not paralyze your sensory nerves. And this is not a dream. This is not an imaginary thing. People do come to consciousness during surgery.

ZAHN: I know. But weren't you made to feel like you were imagining the whole thing?

TODD: Oh, yes. I actually questioned myself. I wondered if I was losing my mind. And I thought about it and thought about it and thought, no no, this is a memory. This is a real thing. It really happened.

ZAHN: And I know it's a memory you are still trying to erase from your memory bank. I know your reason for going on TV tonight is to try to help other folks out there who might be undergoing surgery to be aware of this potential danger.

We appreciate your sharing your story with us tonight.

And good luck as you continue to try to deal with this. Appreciate it, Diana Todd.

We're going to take a short break. We'll be right back.

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