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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Resolution Calls for Immediate Pullout of Troops in Iraq; Close to 100 People Killed in a Series of Suicide Bombings; Raging Wildfire; Symbol of Neglect; Levee Probe; Power of Polygamy; TV Miniseries About Pope John Paul Gets Vatican's Blessing; Does Pope Benedict Wear Prada Shoes?

Aired November 18, 2005 - 23:00   ET

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


ANNOUNCER (voice-over): The latest on the House vote over the war and who is a patriot and who isn't.
Gamma becomes the 24th storm this record-setting season and could become a hurricane by the time it hits Florida. Tonight, the latest on the storm's path.

The haunting symbol of so much failure with Hurricane Katrina.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERBERT FREEMAN, JR., MOTHER DIED AT CONVENTION CENTER: I was angry. Because I had to leave. I never had to leave her before. I wanted to go one more time and tell her goodbye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: But this woman had a name and a family and a son that was forced to cover her with a blanket and leave her at the Convention Center.

And, religious sect or cult? Go inside the fundamentalist Latter Day Saints where polygamist men have several wives, dozens of children. And their elusive leader can banish anyone at any time.

This is Anderson Cooper 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Thank you for joining us. A lot to cover in this hour. Here's what's happening at this moment.

On Capitol Hill, a late night in the House, where the debating raging has been nasty, contentious and sometimes very, very personal. Resolution calls for immediate pullout of troops from Iraq. It was put forward by Republicans. Their strategy -- force Democrats to vote on the pullout. Something suggested yesterday by Democratic Congressman John Murtha. Democrats are calling it a cheap political stunt.

In the meantime, the top U.S. commander in Iraq has submitted a troop withdrawal plan to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. It recommends that brigades, which are made up of about 2,000 troops each, begin pulling out of Iraq by early 2006, but only after certain milestones are met. Rumsfeld has not signed off.

Tonight, the CIA is analyzing an audiotape believed to be made by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The recording posted on the Internet claims responsibilities for the hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan. It says the targets were U.S., Israeli and Iraqi intelligence agents, not civilians. Remember, a wedding party was blown up. Most of the 57 people killed in the attacks were Jordanians who were attending that celebration.

And Actor Robert Blake is facing an enormous bill tonight. He was found liable today in a wrongful death civil suit, brought by the estate of his murdered wife, Bonnie Lee Bakely. Now the jury ordered Blake to pay her children $30 million in damages. Blake was acquitted, you'll recall, of Bakely's murder back in March.

Well, more on the breaking news right now on Capitol Hill where a suggestion yesterday by Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania that U.S. troops promptly be withdrawn from Iraq, redeployed, he said, has resulted in an impassioned debate and an impending vote forced on House Democrats by House Republicans. A challenge, as it were, to put their votes where their mouths are. Here's what the man who started all this had to say earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: I didn't introduce this as a Partisan resolution. I go by Arlington Cemetery every day. And the vice president -- he criticizes Democrats. Let me tell you, those gravestones don't say Democrat or Republican, they say American!

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was Congressman Murtha speaking about half an hour ago. There are more speeches being made. We continue to follow this. We're going to bring you the vote as soon as this happens.

Meanwhile, the real war goes on in Iraq. And today, a lot more bloodshed. Close to 100 people killed in a series of suicide bombings. Most of the victims were at two mosques in a town near the Iranian border. They're bombing mosques. The other strike happened in Baghdad. Two suicide bombers hit a hotel popular with Westerners. That attack, caught on tape. CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson is following the action.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Security camera records in chilling silence as a suicide bomber in a white van pulls up next to a concrete security barrier surrounding the Hamra Hotel, then detonates. As debris is hurled in all directions, a second suicide bomber drives into the dust cloud and hidden from the camera, tries to get through the damaged concrete wall, closer to the hotel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERGEANT CARWIN: There was a wall placed across here and a truck bomb hit this wall, blew up part of the wall and then another smaller truck tried to penetrate and blow up these buildings behind you here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: When the dust settles, near apartments had collapsed. The Hamra Hotel, housing western contract workers and journalists, damaged, but not destroyed. Rescuers tried franticly to get a family out from under the rubble of their home. Six people, including two children and one woman died in the attack.

It is the same tactic used by Al Qaeda three weeks ago at the nearby Palestine hotel. Three suicide bombers in a complex attack. The first car bomber, trying to blast through the concrete security barrier, to make a way for the other bombers. The third vehicle, managing to get a little closer to the hotel, which is also used by Westerners.

In the Hamra Hotel attack, all the casualties were Iraqis. It's not clear if the foreign media were the target. But by picking high profile locations like the Hamra and the Palestine hotels, the insurgents were able to ensure widespread coverage for their attacks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: And about 85 miles northeast of Baghdad, two suicide bombers attacked two mosques in the town of Khaniqin, more than 90 people killed there. Many of them, according to officials were children who were attending the noon day prayers, as is typical custom in this country, with their fathers -- Anderson.

COOPER: Nic, I want to show that video again, taken from the Hamra security camera. How good is security at these hotels? I mean, how can a van pull up that close to a hotel?

ROBERTSON: You know, the attacks come at different times. The one on the Palestine hotel came at the end of the day. This one came very early in the morning. When the peoples' guard is down, these perimeters are quite big. The concrete barriers are there to stop suicide bombers getting through, but there are long expanses of these walls. And the suicide bombers, they probably watched, they probably planned, they probably know when it's quiet and no one's looking. The first vehicle goes up against the wall and their plan is to blow a big hole, to get the other vehicle through, Anderson.

COOPER: And is it Iraqi police who are protecting these hotels? Is it private contractors? Is it the hotel's responsibility?

ROBERTSON: It's a mixture. I mean what you'll find in many of these hotels, you'll find police on the streets, on the outer perimeter. You'll find the hotels have their own private security. And you'll probably find many of the people, particularly in the western hotels that are popular with Westerners, you'll probably find private security contractors belonging to or working with many of the people inside the hotels, as well. You can have three or four different security systems around them. The suicide bombers are looking for the weak links.

COOPER: And all it takes is one weak link. Nic Robertson, thanks.

In California, a fierce wildfire is being fed by the Santa Ana winds, which have been gusting up to 64 miles per hour. Extraordinary images we saw today. We're going to show them to you in a moment. It's already destroyed nearly 2,000 acres and some 200 homes are in danger tonight. Let's check back in now with CNN's Ted Rollins, who is standing by in Ventura -- Ted.

TED ROLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And tonight, within the last hour, Ventura County firefighters have backed off an estimation that they would have this contained sometime tomorrow. Now they're saying they hope to have it contained at some point within the next few days. The winds have picked up within the last hour. That is bad news. It is evening, obviously, so the temperatures are cooler. That will help firefighters.

This afternoon, the winds died down considerably and really gave firefighters an edge as they tried to break these fires from coming towards these homes. There are about 200 homes on a hillside community and in between the two different communities, there is a gulch. And the fire just ripped through there this after -- this morning. We were up there with fire crews and it was really touch and go. People who had gathered their things were told to get out and in some cases they scurried out as quickly as they could. They took their pets and their valuables and they left, not knowing what they could come back to.

Tonight they have been allowed to come back if they want, it's only voluntary are the evacuations tonight. And those folks are coming back to find their homes intact. Just a couple outbuildings were destroyed. One firefighter did suffer some smoke inhalation, but otherwise firefighters were successful -- unbelievably -- in protecting these homes. It was quite a scent today as these winds fueled these flames as they brushed up against these homes and almost took out a couple hundred homes today.

But tonight, all looks good in terms of the property in this area. And firefighters are keeping their fingers crossed that these winds will continue to be moderate and then die down tomorrow and give them a chance to put this thing out.

COOPER: Amazing pictures. Ted, I'm glad you're safe. Thanks very much.

I want to talk about Tropical Storm Gamma. It's unbelievable that we're still talking about storms. They say it may be on a path that Wilma took, which means it could hit Florida. Let's check in with Chad Myers, severe weather expert, at the CNN center in Atlanta.

Chad, where is this storm going and how strong is it? CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, its forecast about 6:00 o'clock, Monday night, to be very close to Key West. It's going to be about a 50 mile per hour storm -- not forecast to be a hurricane at all, but we do have tropical storm force warnings all the way from really, from Chetumal through the Tulum area, almost all the way up to Cancun and Cozumel. That area is under the gun for the storm, soon, like in the next 24 hours. It is just to the north of Honduras. The islands there, one of the islands there -- Roatan -- very close to that island. One of the cruise ship destinations sometimes. And the waves and the winds out there would be quite strong tonight, between 45 and 50 miles per hour. Here's Saturday, here's Sunday and here's Monday. Monday night, 7:00 o'clock, very close to the Florida Keys, forecast to be a 50 mile per hour storm.

Now I have noticed in the past couple of computer runs, and the more computer runs we kind of get under our belt, the better chance and the better way we'll know what this storm is going to do. It may actually get picked up by some westerly winds, head across Cuba, miss Florida altogether. Now that cone of uncertainty still takes it up possibly up into Tampa, but that looks more unlikely.

There's a big low pressure system that could make some snow for Thanksgiving, even in New York, that could pick this thing up and kind of just yank it up the East Coast. That would be Tuesday, into Wednesday.

COOPER: Unbelievable. I can't believe we're still talking about these storms this late in the year.

MYERS: Well, you know, people say, oh we only have six more days or eight more days. It's not a switch. It isn't like Mother Nature says, oh, no more hurricanes. I mean this could go on until December 5th or 6th, you know. But they're not going to be as big. That's the good news.

COOPER: If only there were a switch, Chad.

MYERS: I would have thrown it.

COOPER: All right. Chad Myers, thanks very much.

The House is now starting to vote on the measure we have been following, the resolution put forward by Republicans for immediate withdrawal of U.S. Troops. We'll continue to follow this vote and give you the results as it happens.

Coming up next on 360. She became a symbol of all that went wrong in New Orleans after Katrina. A woman -- her body left in a wheelchair for days outside the Convention Center, covered by a blanket. We now know who she was and how she spent her final moments. And we will talk to her son in just a moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to sit down with my children and say that the prophet told me that I can no longer be your father. And that was the toughest day of my life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A remarkable story. The man is talking about a secretive religious sect that many outsiders call a cult, where men have several wives, dozens of children and their elusive leader can banish anyone at any time -- cut them off from their families. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We continue to follow this breaking news. Congress voting on a Republican resolution to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. We will continue to follow the voting and bring your results as soon as we have them. That coming up later on 360.

In tonight's "Keeping them Honest," the image that infuriated America the days after Katrina. You know, we heard a lot out of New Orleans that made us angry. Certainly, the lack of food and water for survivors, the chaos in the streets, the lack of organizations, the meltdowns in the Superdome Convention Center. Where was the help, we kept asking.

Perhaps nothing stirred up emotions more than some of the pictures we saw. The picture of Ethel Freeman's body, slumped in a wheelchair, left alone. That made the rounds in a lot of newspapers. Well, this week, two months later, Ethel was laid to rest. And her story is finally being heard.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): The image is haunting. An elderly lady sitting in a wheelchair, dead. Her body covered by a blanket outside the New Orleans Convention Center.

HERBERT FREEMAN, JR., MOTHER DIED AT CONVENTION CENTER: They had displayed her like she was a nobody, you know, covered up like that. But I know that was her because that's the blanket I put over her. And I just felt bad. I felt empty inside, you know, just looking at that.

COOPER: Herbert Freeman, Jr., put that blanket over the woman because she was his mother. Her name was Ethel Freeman. She was 91 years old.

FREEMAN: I was told to go to the Convention Center because they was evacuating and they had buses there to take us out of New Orleans.

COOPER: But there were no buses at the Convention Center. There was only chaos. Ethel Freeman was frail and in the heat, quickly became ill. She pled with Herbert for a doctor or nurse, but there was no medical care to be had. Twenty-four hours after they arrived at the Convention Center, Ethel Freeman died.

Days later, when the National Guard finally arrived, Herbert says they told him to leave his mother behind. He put a note with his name and cell phone number in her pocket.

FREEMAN: I was angry. Because I had to leave. I wanted to go one more time and tell her goodbye, but the National Guard told me I couldn't go. I had to get on the bus. And he had an AK47 in his hand. So I knew I couldn't do nothing, but get on the bus.

COOPER: That bus took him to Birmingham, Alabama, where he spent the past two months desperately trying to find out what happened to his mother's body.

FREEMAN: I was calling up, I was informing different agencies to look for her. It was frustrating, but I never doubted. I always believed that God would, you know, come through.

COOPER: Finally, just two weeks ago, he got a call. His mother had been located at the morgue in San Gabriel, Louisiana. On Wednesday, Herbert was able to lay his mother to rest in a soft pink casket, finally giving her the honor and respect she deserved. He's now suing FEMA and wants someone to take responsibility for what happened to his mother.

FREEMAN: Well, when someone would come up to take responsibility of being negligent and leaving her and all these people out there like that without any help. Someone has to take the blame for it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Herbert Freeman didn't speak at his mother's funeral on Wednesday, but neighbors and family and friends say he didn't have to. They say he already did more than enough through the way he cared for his mother after the storm.

Earlier today, I talked with Herbert Freeman and his attorney about Ethel Freeman's final moments and Herbert's own struggles afterwards.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Herbert, how did you end up at the Convention Center?

FREEMAN: Well, I was told that there was a mandatory evacuation and I left with my mother and I went to the Convention Center. They said you can go to the Convention Center or the Superdome. So I went to the Convention Center.

COOPER: And you and your mom were put in a boat to get from your home because the rising water and then you actually, you wheeled her in the wheelchair to get to the Convention Center, right?

FREEMAN: Yes, I did.

COOPER: When did you arrive at the Convention Center?

FREEMAN: At about 10:00 o'clock. I left the house at about 8:00 o'clock. I got there about 10:00.

COOPER: That was on Wednesday?

FREEMAN: On a Wednesday -- yes, Wednesday morning.

COOPER: Days passed and then finally Sunday, the National Guard tells you you've got to go, you've got to get on a bus.

FREEMAN: Yes, right. I couldn't go back there to see her.

COOPER: That must have been incredibly difficult.

FREEMAN: Yes, it was. But what I did, I had left a note in her pocket, you know, with her name on it and then my name and my phone number to contact me, you know, whenever I get where I was going.

COOPER: You had put your name, your phone number, a way to contact you, in your mother's pocket with her body.

FREEMAN: Right. Right.

COOPER: And asking someone to call you and for weeks and weeks and weeks, no one called you.

FREEMAN: No. No one called me.

COOPER: What -- I mean, what have the last couple weeks been like for you, before you found out exactly where she was?

FREEMAN: Oh, well I was confused. I was angry. I didn't know what to do, but I had prayed and the Spirit told me just to, you know, hold out a little longer, that my help was coming, you know. So I just kept asking around, searching different help lines. And the last help line I got did help like, you know, to find the people that was living or the people that was dead. So it was Ms. Sue Faulkner (ph) from Baton Rouge, and she had guaranteed me -- she almost promised me on the phone that she would find my mother and she did. She called like two or three days later and told me she found her.

COOPER: John, your attorney, you filed a claim against FEMA that could lead to a lawsuit against the agency. What do you and Herbert hope to gain from that?

JOHN MASSICOTT, HERBERT FREEMAN'S ATTORNEY: Well, I think what needs to be stated here is that Ethel Freeman survived Hurricane Katrina -- she didn't survive the rescue. And what I think this is a monumental failure on all levels -- federal, state and local -- to implement what clearly was an emergency plan that was in place, but apparently no one knew how to implement it or was in the position to implement the plan.

COOPER: You're living now in Birmingham, Alabama. Do you have plans to return to New Orleans?

FREEMAN: Yes, I'm living in Birmingham. And I do not have plans to return to New Orleans because I met a nice person, a young lady by the name of Veronica White, and me and her is engaged. We're going to plan our wedding some time in a year or two. COOPER: Well, Herbert, I appreciate you talking with us and I'm so sorry for your loss to you and your family.

FREEMAN: Thank you.

COOPER: And John Massicott, as well, thank you very much for joining us.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well we're also trying to keep them honest about the levees. They failed for the people of New Orleans, but were they built to fail in the first place? Federal prosecutors have now launched criminal investigations into the design, construction and maintenance of the levees. That amid new charges of widespread corruption.

FBI Special Agent James Bernazzani is heading up that probe. I spoke to him earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Special Agent Bernazzani, where does the investigation into the levees?

JAMES BERNAZZANI, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, right now we're working very closely with the Army corps of engineers and the Department of Justice to ascertain the facts surrounding allegations that there may have some missed steps relative to the construction of the levee system, as well as the maintenance.

I've got to emphasize, though, that we have no preconceived notion of any criminal activity. The Department of Justice mandated that we set up what's known as a Katrina Fraud Task Force. And within that task force there's elements of federal, state and local law enforcement, to include prosecutors. And this fraud task force does not just look at things like contractual fraud, which basically is what the levee system is going to be about, if in fact it's true. We look at corrupt public officials. We look at websites that have been set up as a farce, that are designed to steal the monies of well- intended donors.

COOPER: Every time I go down there, everyone I ever talk to says you got to look into those levee boards, you know, it's sort of an old patronage system. It's kind of a good ol' boy network. These meetings, over the years, they are the ones who kind of oversaw the maintenance of the levees.

There's a quote from the U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, who said "We are aware of individuals in public situations who have undisclosed conflicts of interest and we're extremely concerned about those." Can you describe what those conflicts of interest are at this point or that you know of?

BERNAZZANI: There is a lot of bad intelligence in New Orleans right now and I don't want to contribute to the innuendo and rumor mill. We want to surface facts. And wherever those facts take us, that's where we'll go. And again, if we surface violations of federal law, we'll present those findings to Jim Letten for prosecution.

COOPER: At one point I know you had put out a phone number. Are you still looking for people out there who may have information to contact you?

BERNAZZANI: Absolutely. The public are our eyes and ears. If any person has any information indicating fraudulent activity, they can call toll free 1-800-CALL-FBI. That phone is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by the FBI.

COOPER: Just so I'm clear of the scope of your investigation. You're looking into basically everything involved with these levees -- how they were first built, how they were maintained, the people who oversaw the maintenance of it. Is that correct?

BERNAZZANI: That's correct. The scope is very broad and it's just not the levees that failed. It's the entire levee system. We'll go through another hurricane season and we don't want to be back here again.

COOPER: There's been a lot of testimony about what people have found thus far, who have been looking at these levees. They found the sort of inappropriate -- the wrong soil used, they found in some cases with sonar readings that the pilings weren't buried as deep as they had been led to believe or that the public had been led to believe. Do you need at this point more examination of the levees themselves or do you feel you have everything you need to know about the levees as they exist as they were built?

BERNAZZANI: Well, the investigation is in its preliminary stages. Anderson, we are on the upward swing of the bell-shaped curve. We have got a lot of work to do.

COOPER: And this is open-ended. I mean, there's no timeline on this thing?

BERNAZZANI: No, there isn't.

COOPER: All right, Special Agent James Bernazzani, we appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

BERNAZZANI: Thank you, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Coming up next on 360, take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can see your life going in a direction that's the worst place you'd ever want it to go, but yet there's nothing you can do to stop it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: A force beyond her control led her to leave her family, her dreams and embrace a religion that made her marry a stranger. Her story, coming up.

Also tonight, a Hollywood premier at the Vatican? Angelina Jolie's father, Jon Voight, is playing the part of Pope John Paul II, and Benedict the 16th approves.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And welcome back. Passing through Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah -- they're pretty much one community, really, straddling the state line. You take them to be just what they seem, picture postcard representations of small town America at its best. And they are that too, but there's something else as well. They're centers of a practice that's outlawed and disdained by the Mormon church a long time ago. Polygamy. These are towns in America, but they're controlled by a religious sect with its own rules, and they're led by one man who is now a fugitive, hunted by the FBI.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Carolyn Jessup grew up in a polygamous family in the FLDS sect in Colorado City, Arizona. She dreamed of going to college and becoming a pediatrician. Her father went to ask the prophet for permission and was told Carolyn Jessup had to get married first. That was nearly 20 years ago. The prophet then was Rulon Jeffs, Warren Jeffs' father.

CAROLYN JESSUP, WIFE OF POLYGAMIST: I didn't really know what to do with it. It's just like you can see something really bad's coming down, you can see your life going in a direction that's the worst place you'd ever want it to go, but yet there's nothing you can do to stop it.

COOPER: The man chosen to be Carolyn's husband, a 50-year old man who already had three wives and would eventually take several more.

JESSUP: I get in this car with this strange man, 32 years older than me, and we're going to get married that day and drive to his house to meet his family. It was like watching a horror movie, except for I was in the front seat of it.

COOPER: Carolyn moved in to her husband's home.

JESSUP: It was bad from the beginning. I mean, there was few if any happy moments. You're not allowed any form of birth control. And to say, you know, I really can't handle it, I'm having too many children, I'm having them too fast is a mortal sin. And so of course, if your husband sees you as worthy and he wants to father a baby with you, then it is considered a sin unto death to refuse him.

COOPER: She had eight children in 15 years, including a son who was severely disabled. Eventually there were five wives in her home and 54 children. Life became more extreme when Warren Jeffs took control of the sect after his father's death in 2002.

JESSUP: A lot of things changed when he took over. The children were pulled out of public schools and everybody was put into private schools. And then they burned all the books.

COOPER: Shortly afterwards, at the age of 35, Carolyn started thinking about the unthinkable -- escape.

JESSUP: Living in these polygamous homes -- or the one that I lived in, was like living in a police state. Everyone reports everything on everybody else.

COOPER: One night she had a unexpected opportunity. Her husband was out of town and all eight children were home. She called a brother in Salt Lake City.

JESSUP: He said, you know, Carolyn, I will do anything and everything I can to help you, but if I leave right now the soonest I can be there is at 5 in the morning. I just said, will you do it? And he said, I'll be there, but I don't want to come into the community. So he wanted me to drive three miles outside of the community and meet him at a store, it was called Canaan Corner.

The next issue was not letting the children know. There is no possible way they would have come with me knowing what I was doing. They were terrified of the outside world. So I had to come up with a story. So I got them up about 4 o'clock that morning. And I told them Harrison was extremely sick and that I had to take him to the doctor, which was common, that was life. And -- but I told them Arthur is here and so I want to get family pictures, so everybody is coming with me this time.

One of Merrill's other's wives walks in on my oldest daughter getting dressed and starts demanding answers. And so about 4:30 that morning I hear over the intercom, Merrill wants to talk to me on the phone. I knew I was -- I knew they were on to me.

COOPER: Carolyn began piling her children into the van.

JESSUP: The last person I went and got was Harrison, I took him off his oxygen, put him in his car seat, and I thought everybody was there. I got in the front seat and I was just about to put the key in the ignition.

COOPER: But her oldest daughter was missing.

JESSUP: Honestly, it was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had in my life. I mean, because I knew I was out of time. And do I leave her? Do I leave one and save seven? Or do I go back in and get her and none of us get out.

COOPER: She made a split-second decision and ran inside her house.

JESSUP: But she didn't want to come. And she was crying and she said, you know, Mother there is something you're doing that's wrong. Why doesn't Father know what you're doing?

COOPER: Carolyn grabbed her daughter and pulled her into the van.

JESSUP: After I got out of the community then the realization that my van was completely out of gas. So, it was like just making it on a prayer that I could get three miles out of town. And about a mile before I got to Canaan Corner the van was sputtering. It was definitely out. But I made it there.

COOPER: She met her brother and reached safety. Her life began all over again.

JESSUP: I have something now that I've never had in my life before. I have hope.

COOPER: Carolyn had to fight a bitter legal battle for custody of her children. But in the end she prevailed. They all live together near Salt Lake City.

JESSUP: I think that one of the things that the outside world doesn't understand about the world that I come from, is that they see the polygamous lifestyle as an issue about religious freedom, religious rights. But what I've experienced is its basically about human rights issues. You're not supposed to think. You're supposed to be willing to be perfectly obedient. To me, I see it as a life of slavery.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: One woman's struggle and a community's struggle. Coming up next on 360, what's the history of this sect and who exactly is the leader? Part 2 on our report, "The Power of Polygamy". And Pope John Paul II, the biopic, a blessed event, coming to TV.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Before the break we saw how people get caught up in polygamy, barely realizing what's happening, unable to question, because no one else around them is questioning either. Then reality sets in for some. Now a look at how it got so bad and who the FBI says is to blame in this one town, Awatamin (ph).

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice over): It's easy to see the isolation of this community along the Utah/Arizona border. What's harder to grasp is the total domination that one man, Warren Jeffs. Has over the 10,000 people who live here. They're part of a Mormon sect of polygamists, who call themselves the FLDS, the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. They call Warren Jeffs, The Prophet.

The mainstream Mormon Church banned polygamy in 1890 and doesn't associate with this sect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to sit down with my children and say, that The Prophet told me that I can no longer be your father. And that was the toughest day of my life. ISAAC WYLER, FORMER FLDS MEMBER: If young men, or something like that were called to stand in front of bullets for Warren, they wouldn't even hesitate.

COOPER: This is one of the few photographs of Warren Jeffs, a seemingly ordinary man but one with extraordinary power.

DR. DAN FISCHER, FMR. FLDS MEMBER, SMILES FOR DIVERSITY: If there were a Taliban of America, I would say this is it.

COOPER: Warren Jeffs hasn't been seen in more than a year. The FBI has been searching for him since June on charges of fleeing prosecution in Arizona for arranging marriages involving underage girls. Utah has now frozen the assets of Jeffs polygamous sect, which the attorney general says is worth about $100 million. In the FLDS, reality is filtered through Warren Jeffs. ] SAM ICKE, FORMER FLDS MEMBER: If the law comes in and takes over, or anything happens to them, it is all a test sent from God, through Warren. Everything is a test, because they believe that the afterlife is going to tell the truth. And they believe that once this life is over then they're going to be -- they're going to be either celestialized, which is you know, given the highest degree of glory in the kingdom of heaven, or they will damned forever to hell.

COOPER: Sam Icke is no longer part of the FLDS community. He was expelled by The Prophet when he was 18.

ICKE: The thing that actually got me kicked out was, you know, I kissed this girl and then she told. You know, told everybody what was going on. I got a call from the leader, Warren Jeffs, and he told me to come and talk to him about it.

I left, went home, and within the next day or so, he called my dad and told him that I had to leave.

COOPER: Sam is one of several young men asked to leave the community. They are called the "Lost Boys". What happened to them is to some a question of math. Too many boys are competing in a polygamous world, where some men have 10, 20 or even 30 wives.

MARK SHURTLEFF, UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL: They trump up charges against these boys, but the bottom line is they don't want them there competing. They are told that not only are the being kicked out of their homes, and from the community, the only community that they've ever known, but that they're going to burn in hell. Talk about "Lost Boys", that term, is absolutely applicable. These boys think that they have no chance in this life or in the afterlife.

FISCHER: They're extremely strict.

COOPER: Dan Fischer, a successful dentist near Salt Lake City has created the Diversity Foundation to help the "Lost Boys", who have banished from the FLDS in recent years. He says he has names of 400 young men. FISCHER: Some actually expelled out in which they are given no more than an hour or two to be out of town, pack their bags, take whatever they can carry, and be gone. And with the communication that they're not welcome back.

COOPER: But those who defend the FLDS say the lost boy issue is overblown. In a statement, Rodney Parker, an attorney who has represented the FLDS since 1990 said, quote, "The number is completely unsubstantiated as well. The label '"Lost Boys" ' is a characterization that I don't think most f the people it's applied to would agree with. They say, 'I chose to leave, this wasn't for me.' "

ICKE: Well, when I turned 18 I was kicked out, dumped on my head.

COOPER: Sam Icke lives under the protective wing of Dan Fischer, who actively supports about 60 lost boys, some with jobs, housing and schooling. Fischer was once part of the FLDS and had two wives, but he divorced one and left the sect 12 years ago. He's known Jeffs for years.

FISCHER: In the last few years, where this society has become a apocalyptic, at a fanatical level, it has set the stage for crazy things to happen and people accept it, believing that their salvation is on the line if they don't do as their told.

COOPER: The absolute power Jeffs wields destroyed the life Paul Musser loved. He was married for 23 years and hat 13 children. Jeffs told him suddenly, five years ago, that he was unfit to get his wife into heaven.

PAUL MUSSER, FORMER FLDS MEMBER: He just said that she needed somebody to exalt into the celestial kingdom and that I couldn't. And I kept asking him -- I asked him at least three times, if I could repent or make it right with him. And he just said, well, you don't have time to repent. And so that was it. He told me to move out, and my wife and family would be given to somebody else.

COOPER: What happened next may be hard for anyone outside the sect to understand. Musser told his family goodbye the next day.

MUSSER: I just hugged and kissed all my children. Told them that I love them very much. That I wasn't good enough to be their father anymore, according to what The Prophet said.

COOPER: Since then Paul Musser has had a change of heart.

MUSSER: As time went on and as I saw my family given to this one man, and then he fell out of favor. And then she was given to another man. So, she's been with two men, besides me. And I just said to myself, this is wrong.

WYLER: This is a fanatical religion. I mean, if you go back and look in Mormon history and see some of the things that's been done in the name of religion. It's not different now.

COOPER: Isaac Wyler was in a group of 21 men told to leave their families by Jeffs at a routine church meeting.

WYLER: That's the kind of control that is here. So being kicked out and losing your wife and children is -- it's a big thing, but it's not like throwing your life away. To die for The Prophet? To die for God? Yeah, that would make -- that would be an honor.

COOPER: We wanted to talk to people with a positive view of their lives inside the FLDS community. But David Zitting, mayor of Hilldale, Utah, and a member of the FLDS for more than 20 years, said that's not likely to happen.

"The citizens of this community have gone through many years of dealing with the media in various forms," he told us. "And what they have experienced in this has caused them to not to want to make statements to the media or be interviewed by the media because it has in the past tended to be more fabricated and non-factual."

Jeffs absolute control seems linked to his followers belief in his divine power. Wyler's daughter once asked him if Uncle Warren was Jesus Christ.

WYLER: And I says, no. What would give you that idea? And she says, teacher so and so -- because I don't give the teacher's name -- says that he's Jesus Christ and he's returned. Jesus Christ returned and he's going to be killed.

COOPER: In a country founded on the separation of church and state, it is hard to fathom a community where the church is the state. And hard to understand why polygamy is rarely prosecuted, even though it is a felony in Utah.

SHURTLEFF: The problem is, how do we put every single polygamist in the state in jail and then what do we do with tens of thousands of kids? I don't have the resources to get involved in that. I want to focus on the most serious crimes being committed in the name of religion.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It is remarkable to think that these are two communities in the United States today.

Coming up next on 360, the latest on the vote on the House floor, on Iraq. Also ahead, Pope John Paul II, a TV movie blessed by the current pope.

And our Jeannie Moos asked are those Prada shoes Pope Benedict is wearing? Can it be that the Holy Father is a clothes horse?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And breaking news to report, the final vote from the House floor on a resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq: Democrats denounced the GOP move as a stunt and most of them joined the Republicans in voting against the measure. The measure failed 403 voting against it, only three voted for it, six present and 22 had a no vote.

Joining me to discuss the implications of that, our CNN's Tom Foreman and Bill Schneider.

No surprise there, Bill Schneider?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: No. No, surprise. You look at that vote and you say look at that, bi-partisanship at last, on the Iraq issue. Well -- Democrats will say the Republicans put this vote up, they put the measure up to a vote and the last time, look, not a single Republican voted for it.

So, Democrats are going to say, it was a stunt. Republicans will say, the Democrats are treating John Murtha as hero, but they wouldn't vote for his position. But of course, Democrats will say this wasn't his position, it was a Republican caricature of his position.

Do you know why there was bi-partisanship on this vote? Very simple reason. It was meaningless. It was all about name calling.

COOPER: And that's what it was, Tom. There was no real debate about the actual suggestion that Murtha had of redeploying, he said, some called it withdrawal of U.S. troops.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly. And right now you can almost hear the tires squealing away from the Capitol, because these guys are all going on vacation for the Thanksgiving vacation.

And it's not really a vacation; what it means is going back to their districts and meeting with voters and it will be interesting to see what happens over the coming week. Because now, people from both parties are going to meet the litmus test of voters, people in their districts, who are going to say, what was that all about? And they're going to have to answer.

COOPER: Does this take away momentum, though? Does it take away momentum from Murtha, Tom?

FOREMAN: From Murtha? You know, the question is, how much momentum did he have? He had this big moment that he spoke out there, which was important. He said it in a heartfelt way. The question is, if this becomes as big a mess as it seems to have done here, it makes it, as Bill said, just simply meaningless. So I'm not sure there's any momentum there to be dealt with.

COOPER: Bill, you're shaking your head.

SCHNEIDER: No, look, the Republicans I think made a very serious strategic error by calling Murtha these terrible names, cowardly, shameful, encouraging the enemy. You look at Murtha, you just interviewed him. This doesn't sound like some sort of a Left-wing radical. He's a decorated hero, an expert on Defense spending. He voted for the Iraq war, for the Persian Gulf war. He's been very loyal on Defense. He's simply says, this is a war the United States is not prepared to win. But by calling him those names, I think, they ratcheted this up to their own disadvantage.

FOREMAN: The question, though, you have to look at in this, though, is does that have anything to do -- like this thing tonight -- with the actual war debate.

COOPER: And it doesn't seem to. Tom Foreman, Bill Schneider, thanks very much. Thanks for staying up late.

Coming up next on 360, a papal premiere on TV. And Pope Benedict is -- is there something different about his wardrobe? Is the pontiff sporting designer shoes? Has he gone haute couture? We'll try and sort it all out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: To a papal premiere now. We're going to go out on a limb by saying the Vatican isn't the most likely setting for a television miniseries. Not the king of place where you would expect Hollywood stars to be signing autographs while camera shutters click. But hey, stranger things have happened. Here's CNN Jennifer Eccelston.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JENNIFER ECCLESTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): High drama, intrigue, humor and love. The television miniseries, Pope John Paul II, with actor Jon Voight as the late pontiff, and a papal stamp of approval.

John Paul's successor watched the film during it's world premiere at the Vatican. Thanking the films actors and producers for honoring the memory of his dear friend.

It's not often the Catholic Church give such approval. It's not often TV executives seek out such an endorsement.

LUCA BERNABEI, MOVIE PRODUCER: It was giving it a dimension that the Vatican was with us, was supporting this movie.

ECCLESTON: The Rome-based producers close contacts with senior Vatican officials and the films scant mention of the more controversial aspects of John Paul's papacy, like the sexual abuse scandal in the U.S., may have hastened the Holy See's warm embrace.

(On camera): An embrace that included script guidance, insight from Vatican historians, rare filming privileges within the secretive city state, and access to behind the scene footage.

(Voice over): John Paul's varied travels and private conversations, including rare moments with the ailing pontiff just days before his death.

BERNABEI: The Sunday, before he died, so he appeared basically for the last time, trying to talk with them. But because he was so emotional he couldn't talk. And he was just one week before dying. So we will tell to the audience what happened in the room when they closed the window.

He blessed us.

ECCLESTON: Extra-ordinary insights for the actor who portrays John Paul.

JON VOIGHT, ACTOR: He certainly healed a lot of wounds and brought people together, very impressive fellow. So, for me it was an honor to be asked to do it. And it was a joy to work on it.

ECCLESTON: The former pope's message, he says, is universal. One that transcends the film's religious context.

VOIGHT: To share and appreciate each other and to encourage each other, sincerely. This was a marvelous thing that he did. Brought us all together.

ECCLESTON: The producers hope John Paul II, the movie, will also bring people together. A miniseries for the masses and not just for the faithful.

Jennifer Ecceleston, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, the current pope, Benedict XIV, reportedly arrived in the screening room for that TV miniseries just minutes before the lights went down. Not enough time we suspect for the curious to check out his shoes. More to the point, was he wearing Prada? We asked Jeanne Moos to investigate.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Never has papal footwear had this kind of scrutiny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They look fairly pricy and upscale.

MOOS: If, according to a recent best-seller, "The Devil Wears Prada", why not the pope?

(On camera): The pope wears Prada.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me see that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The pope wears Prada. I don't wear Prada.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my!

MOOS (voice over): And it's not just the shoes.

(On camera): These are supposed to be Gucci.

(Voice over): Gucci sunglasses? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Holy Mackerel!

(Voice over): The operative word is, "holy". But some who report on religion don't buy it.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH & VALUES CORRESPONDENT: What I'm saying is if does wear Prada, he doesn't know he's wearing Prada. He doesn't know what sort of glasses he's got on, he can barely find his glasses, probably.

MOOS: CNN's faith and values correspondent says Pope Benedict is a78-year-old intellectual. He's reading scholarly books not Italian vogue. Nevertheless, from European newspapers to a Catholic publication to "Newsweek", Pope Benedict's fashion sense is under the microscope. We haven't seen this much interest in red shoes since Dorothy, tapped her's together.

JUDY GARLAND, ACTRESS, "WIZARD OF OZ": There's no place like home.

MOOS: And there are no shoes like Prada.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what they say about those?

MOOS (on camera): What?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Angles don't wear red shoes.

MOOS: Well, actually, it's --

MUSIC, SINGING: You know that angles want to wear my red shoes ...

MOOS: We couldn't quite nail down whether Pope Benedict's shoes are absolutely positively Prada. The company couldn't confirm it. Other Vatican fashion rumors, likewise unconfirmed, have it that the pope is neglecting the tailor shop that's made papal garments for over 200 years, in favor of his own personal tailor. There were stories of a fashion faux paux when the new pope made his debut.

GALLAGHER: His cassock was about that high, you know, his hemline was of the cassock was that high from his ankles.

MOOS: Normally it's down here, instead of up there. There's also talk about the pope's handsome personal assistant wearing pricy shoes from Tod's.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you call him the pope's George Clooney.

MOOS: Next thing you know, they'll say that's Fendi fur the pope used as wind screens on this microphones. We're pretty sure the souls the pope wants to save aren't on the bottom of Prada shoes.

(On camera): They say he's a real intellectual and the last thing on his mind would be designers, except for maybe intelligent design. (LAUGHTER)

(Voice over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Hmm, the mystery continues. Coming up next on 360, more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Have a great weekend, Larry King is next.

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