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Iraq on the Brink; Presidential Peril?; Milosevic Mystery; Boot Camp Death; Antibiotics and Asthma

Aired March 14, 2006 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening everyone.
He once called himself the war president. Now with Iraq on the brink of utter chaos, the president is looking politically like a potential war casualty.

ANNOUNCER: Execution style attacks leave dozens dead in Baghdad. While the White House admit civil war is a possibility.


DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We have heard predictions of an imminent civil war in Iraq for some time now.


ANNOUNCER: The president's poll numbers sink to an all time low. What happens next?

A sleeping pill taken by millions that could cause people to sleepwalk, sleep eat and even sleep drive. And they don't remember a thing. Tonight 360 investigates.

And Mike Wallace announced retirement. Tonight, a candid conversation with the legendary journalist about the depression that almost killed him.


MIKE WALLACE, LEGENDARY NEWSMAN: You think about how would you off yourself.


ANNOUNCER: From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: And good evening again.

We begin the hour with the president's bad poll numbers, the lowest ever for him, and a rising death toll in Iraq. Two kinds of casualties, each connected to the other, each with powerful consequences.

Two reports tonight out of Baghdad and Washington, and roundtable on what the president may do next.

And word of some kind of shakeup at the White House maybe.

First, CNN's Nic Robertson in Baghdad.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in the last 48 hours, 86 bodies have been discovered just in Baghdad.

Yesterday police were directed to a shallow grave in the east of the city in a Shia neighborhood. Through the day discovered 29 bodies there. They said that all the bodies had their hands tied, they had blindfolds on, some of them had masking tape over their mouths. All the bodies had been shot in the head, the police said. Some of them showed signs of torture.

On the western side of the city in a Sunni neighborhood, 15 body bodies were discovered in the back of a pickup truck there. Those bodies had all been strangled. The police don't know who all these bodies are. They don't know exactly who killed them or why. The impression in this city at this time is that that -- the deaths were a result of sectarian violence.

Also, expecting the trial of Saddam Hussein to continue. He may appear in the (inaudible) today. He will face questioning from the judge in the last round of the trial here.

(Voice-over): Saddam Hussein's chief judge, Awad al-Bander, said he had signed the death warrants for 148 people, he said had confessed to conspiracy against Saddam Hussein.

He said it was quite simple, that they were working for a Shia militia back from Iran. The country was at war with Iran and this had been part of a plot to kill the president and they confessed very quickly. And that's why he had signed their death warrants.

Saddam Hussein expected to face questioning about that from the judge.


COOPER: That was Nic Robertson reporting from Baghdad.

On now to the war at home and how it's affecting the commander in chief.

With that, CNN's John King.


JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the defense secretary's custom to open with headlines, Rumsfeld style...


KING: ... which makes this beginning all the more telling.

RUMSFELD: I think it's clearly a very difficult situation. Violence continues, the democratic process can be frustratingly slow. And of course, we have heard predictions of an imminent civil war in Iraq off and on for some time now.

KING: Hardly the summary the administration had hoped to offer just days from the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

Three weeks of bloody sectarian violence have forced the more sober assessments. And instead of talking about troop withdrawals, Pentagon officials say some short-term increases in force levels are likely.

RUMSFELD: There's a pilgrimage coming up. We may very well -- General Casey may decide he wants to bulk up slightly for the pilgrimage.

KING: The administration, though, insists the big picture is one of progress.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With the goal of having the Iraqis control more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006.

KING: The president's low approval ratings and second-term struggles are being driven by Iraq worries and a U.S. death toll now past the 2,300 mark. Fifty-seven percent of Americans -- a new high -- now say it was a mistake to send troops into Iraq; and a stunning 67 percent in the new CNN/USA Today Gallup poll say Mr. Bush does not have a clear plan for victory.

BILL MCINTURFF, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: Those numbers are incredibly intense and they are incredibly negative. And it makes being heard on any other issue very, very difficult.

KING: And a president whose image was first framed by 9/11, now is defined almost exclusively by the war he launched three years ago Sunday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bush presidency is wrapped around this issue. And for good or for ill, that's now his presidency.

KING: A frequent administration complaint is that the media play up the bad news and ignore signs of progress.

RUMSFELD: Well why do you keep taking the negative? Why don't you take the positive? What if they do step up?

KING: The administration at times contributes to the mixed messages.

On Monday, for example, the president forcefully blamed the government of Iran for allowing the manufacture and shipment of the deadly IEDs killing U.S. troops in Iraq.

On Tuesday, Secretary Rumsfeld said there's no doubt many of the bombs originate in Iran, but...

RUMSFELD: With respect to people, it's very difficult to tie a thread precisely to the government of Iran.

KING: The chairman of the joint chiefs is another case in point. Last week he said things in Iraq are going well.

This week, that there might be a civil war. Not the best choice of words, he says now, but not inconsistent thoughts.

GENERAL PETER PACE, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: There is the path toward civil war and pieces of that path are in place. And there's a path to freedom and representative government and a prosperous future.


COOPER: A lot to talk about tonight in Washington. Some buzz to go with it. So along with John King, let's bring in CNN White House Correspondent Dana Bash and our Senior National Correspondent John Roberts.

John King, as you just reported, the number of Americans who think going to Iraq was a mistake is at an all time high. How can the president do anything to rally the public at this point?

KING: Well, Anderson, even most White House officials would concede there's not much the president can do with speeches. The main goal now is to stop those numbers, as bad as they are, from getting worse because one of the reasons they're getting worse, is the president is beginning at a trickle pace right now to lose Republicans.

And if he loses more Republicans in this election year on the question of Iraq, the White House will be in even more trouble. But they will readily concede, Anderson, stopping the damage is all they can hope for right now. The only way the numbers will turn around is based on the situation on the ground in Iraq. The violence has to stop. The government has to stand up. The Iraqi police have to do better. That is the only way the White House would concede to really change those numbers.

COOPER: And certainly, the port deal fiasco has not helped here on the national security front.

Dana, it's no secret there's been pressure in the White House to shake its staff up. Is that actually going to happen?

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's a big open question, but you're right. This has been pressure on the White House from Republicans for quite some time. But what makes what we're hearing different now is it is apparently coming from friends and loyalists of this White House.

And now what we are told is that they realize people who are close to this president and senior staffers there, that the president puts a premium on loyalty and he's very resistant to changing any staff particularly when it comes to his inner circle.

So what they are telling people close to the White House inside the White House is that, look, at least -- the very least, the president should bring in somebody else. An experienced veteran, somebody who would be able to pick up the phone, call senior members of Congress, be able to troubleshoot inside, to be able to do things that perhaps some of the tired senior staff simply are perhaps letting go.

But I can tell you, Anderson, to answer your question, some senior officials I talked to tonight say at this point the president is resisting any of that.

COOPER: I always thought that was one of the things the Vice President Dick Cheney did a lot of.

John Roberts, will a staff shakeup really be enough to turn things around at the White House though?

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean it was in the late 1980s with the Reagan administration, they were really in a lot of difficulty before they brought in Howard Baker and some new staff. They managed to turn things around, they got the message back on track and Reagan finished on quite a high.

As to whether or not one person coming into this White House could make a difference, you'd have to really question that because so many of the other people in the inner circle have been around for so long, they have been working such long hours, they have been working under such intensity.

I mean, don't forget that eight months after this president took office, the war on terror erupted and they have just been working at a frantic pace ever since then with so much on their plates.

Can the rest of the people in the inner circle -- can they -- will they have enough stamina to be able to get things back on track and last another three years?

COOPER: So, John King, I mean the human factor, you know, human fatigue -- David Gergen talked about that in the last hour, John Roberts was just talking about that. I mean, that really plays a role at a time like this in the White House?

KING: Of course it does. On the one hand, these people are all exhausted. Not only have they been in the White House for five plus years, they went through two presidential campaigns. One of them while acting as senior members of the White House staff, sort of dual double lives, if you will. So they're under a great deal of stress, they're all very tired and they all readily admit that.

At the same time what they would argue is they also have this experience that should help them. Many would question that, critics would question that. They also have the trust of the president. This president is very unique. Unlike Ronald Reagan, he doesn't like to bring new people in. Ronald Reagan delegated a lot more than this president does. He simply doesn't trust new people.

And one of the arguments the president has made, I'm told, against any kind of a shakeup is, we don't have time for the transition. We need to get things done now. We're going to do it with the team we've got.

COOPER: John Roberts, what's fascinating though, for all the troubles this White House is having, the Democrats don't seem able to capitalize it or make much of it at all.

ROBERTS: Yes, I think David Gergen said it in your last hour, Anderson, that the greatest thing that the Republicans have going for them is the Democratic party.

You know, they're getting a little bit of attraction of this ports issue, being able to kind of do a flanking maneuver on the president, on the issue of national security. But beyond that, they really don't have anything to coalesce around.

Until and unless they find something, some real cohesive message to be able to take to the American people, the Republicans are still going to be able to have the edge on a lot of issues.

COOPER: Fascinating discussion. John Roberts, John King, Dana bash, thanks very much.

Turning to the surprising and mysterious death of the man known as the "butcher of the Balkans." Preliminary autopsy results say that former Yugoslav Leader Slobodan Milosevic died of a massive heart attack Saturday. There's nothing shocking there. After all, he did have a heart condition. But his family won't leave it at that. They think Milosevic was murdered. And then there's the question of what's been found in his blood.

CNN's Paula Newton investigates.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While doctors concluded Milosevic died of a heart attack, his body remains under intense scrutiny. Exhibit A in a death that some say is murder, others say an accident. But there's little doubt it's a medical thriller.

With so many suspicions about his death, when forensic medical investigators at this Dutch institute conducted an autopsy, they filmed and photographed it.

There's no doubt he died of a heart attack. He had a heart condition. But the former dictator's son, Marko, says there was in fact a conspiracy to murder his father.

In an exclusive interview, the War Crimes Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, who has been trying to convict Milosevic for four years, tells CNN lingering questions about his death are getting to her. Her own suspicions focus on Milosevic himself.

CARLA DEL PONTE, U.N. WAR CRIMES PROSECUTOR: The detention of the accused. But I want to know exactly what happened and if we could avoid that. But I -- I don't know. We expect the results to make our proper evaluation.

NEWTON: In other words, she wonders if Milosevic had a hand in his own death, so she is waiting for blood tests from the autopsy. Just weeks before he died, a very strong antibiotic, rifampicin, a drug he was never prescribed, and which is usually used to treat TB or leprosy was detected in Milosevic's blood.

If it was still there when he died, it could have neutralized the effect of medication he was taking for his heart.

JOHN HENRY, TOXICOLOGIST: The blood pressure would race away and the tablets would not work. This is quite possible. It's a well- known effect of this particular drug.

NEWTON: Toxicologist John Henry wonders if Milosevic himself secretly had someone bring the unusual antibiotic to his cell in hopes his heart condition would worsen and he could then demand medical treatment elsewhere.

HENRY: The next question is, how did it get into him? How was this tablets given to him? Now, it could have been put in drink. It could have been put in food. Just dissolved and cooked in the food. He could have been told that this was what was happening and he could have taken it regularly to reduce the effectiveness of the drugs so that he could get into hospital or get sent to Moscow, which was what he was pleading for.

NEWTON (on camera): For months the tribunal was getting reports that Milosevic was getting unprescribed drugs smuggled into this detention center. Authorities here warned the tribunal they could no longer guarantee his safety.

SCOTT TAYLOR, AUTHOR: Ever since he arrived, everyone knew about his paranoia.

NEWTON (voice-over): Author Scott Taylor spent more than six hours being interviewed as a witness by Milosevic at the U.N. Detention Center in 2004. He was supposed to testify at the trial. He says that Milosevic prepared his own food and although security was tight, he believes drugs could have been smuggled in.

TAYLOR: It is possible. I know that he was given a cigar for his birthday. There was family visits et cetera, I mean, I know that cavity searches were performed, not on a regular basis, but different individuals going through.

NEWTON: Death brought an end to the Serbian dictator's trial for war crimes and genocide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His death terminates these proceedings.

NEWTON: And now his antics and delaying tactics in the trial and the horror of the accusations against him have been obscured by the medical mystery of his death.

Paula Newton, CNN at the Hague.


COOPER: Just ahead, the boot camp says it was simply using justifiable force on a teenager who wouldn't follow orders, but the young man died later that day. There's video of the attack and now a new autopsy raises new questions.

Also, a new study raises new concerns about antibiotics and babies. Could the drugs actually raise your child's risk of developing asthma? We're going to look into that.

Plus this...


JUDIE EVANS, AMBIEN CAUSED TO SLEEP-EAT: I don't even like eggs, and I was cooking eggs and bacon.


COOPER: Cooking eggs and bacon while she was sleeping. She's not the only one. Could a drug be causing this bizarre behavior? A very popular drug you may be taking right now. A medical mystery coming up on 360.


COOPER: Well the pictures are hard to watch, to say the least. Boot camps aren't known for being warm and fuzzy places, but young people who are sent to them are also supposed to come out alive. 14- year-old Martin Lee Anderson did not.

His death in a Florida boot camp has launched state and federal investigations. And today, results from a second autopsy seem to support what the teenager's parents have said all along, or at least an interpretation of what those results will be.

Here's CNN's John Zarrella.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It took nearly two months and two autopsies, but Martin Anderson's family and their supporters believe they are now closer to the truth.

The second autopsy performed yesterday by a medical examiner at the request of a Florida special prosecutor lasted more than 12 hours.

Anderson died after being restrained and struck by workers at the Bay County Sheriff's Boot Camp in northern Florida.

A first autopsy done by the Bay County medical examiner shortly after the boy's death in January determined that his death was a result of complications from a blood condition called sickle cell trait.

Preliminary results from the new autopsy indicated that was not the case. In a statement the special prosecutor's office investigating the teenager's death, wrote, quote, "The preliminary findings indicate the boy did not die from sickle cell trait, nor did he die from natural causes." End quote.

MICHAEL BADNA (ph), FORENSIC EXPERT: It was clearly a mistake.

ZARRELLA: Michael Badna (ph), a forensic expert representing the family observed yesterday's post-mortem.

BADNA (ph): My opinion is he died because of what you see in the videotape.

ZARRELLA: Videotape from a fixed camera at a juvenile boot camp in Panama City captured these images. Anderson's parents charge they prove that their son died as a result of being brutalized by camp workers on January 5.

The teenager, sent there by a judge in part for taking his grandmother's car for a joy ride, died later that day.

GINA JONES, MOTHER: Now the truth is -- and I want justice. I want the guards and the nurse to be arrested. It's time now.

ZARRELLA: The tape shows Anderson over 40 minutes during an orientation drill on his first day at the camp. He's forced to the ground by various takedown methods. Knees to the thigh, pressure points to the ear, punches to his arms, and a little later, another camp staffer hits him from behind, lurching his body forward.

Some experts on juvenile justice call it excessive force.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was not about control. This kid was not fighting anybody. This kid was not about to go anywhere. This kid -- you could tell very clearly that he was not in control of his own body.

ZARRELLA: Afterwards, the boot camp staff prepared a report obtained by the "Miami Herald," detailing the techniques they used on Anderson.

Ammonia capsules under his nose, knee strikes, a straight arm bar takedown, bending his wrist, pouring water over his head. To explain the use of force one staff member writes, quote, "I ordered offender to stop resisting and relax his arms. Offender refused to comply with those instructions." End quote.

At one point during a running exercise, Anderson told them he couldn't breath well enough to continue. The report says he resisted repeated attempts to get him to complete the run. Pulling away, tensing his body, struggling, balling his fists.

A nurse stands by and, according to the report, on at least one occasion determines his vital signs were normal.

(On camera): Florida's Governor Jeb Bush assigned the case to a special prosecutor here in Tampa, who in turn ordered the second autopsy as part of his investigation.

No charges have yet been filed against anyone. Final results of the autopsy and what caused Martin Anderson's death are still weeks away.

(Voice-over): The boot camp where Anderson spent his last day alive has been closed. The sheriff's office that ran it says the closure has nothing to do with Anderson's case, but the eight people involved in the incident were not offered new jobs.

John Zarrella, CNN, Tampa.


COOPER: Well earlier tonight I spoke to Martin Lee Anderson's mother, Gina Jones and her attorney, Benjamin Crump, who also watched the second autopsy when it was performed yesterday.


COOPER: Gina, you've just come less than two hours ago from reburying your son. Did you ever have any doubt about what it was that killed him?

JONES: They beat my baby. My baby was killed in the boot camp. When I went to the hospital, when they tells me he isn't breathing, of course he's not breathing he's dead.

COOPER: And when they initially said that it was internal bleeding from sickle cell disease, what did you think?

JONES: Oh, that was just another lie.

COOPER: I just want to read, you know, I'm looking over these methods that they used. This takedown method is what they call, the knees to the thigh, pressure points to the ear, punches to the arms, a hit from behind, and on all the while a nurse standing by.

I guess, I mean, Benjamin, is it possible that there is an explanation for each of these individual actions?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, FAMILY'S ATTORNEY: Anderson, as an attorney, my office has told me over and over again, these maneuvers that they were using, these use of force methods were outlawed by the Department of Juvenile Justice. So you have to ask yourself, why were they even using these things. And when you look at that video with your own eyes, you see, Anderson, how that he is unconscious. They try to say he's uncooperative -- he is unconscious. He is going in and out of consciousness and yet they are still kicking him, slamming him to the ground. And you say, my God, you wouldn't do this to a dog. This is a human being.

COOPER: What is it like, Gina, when, you know, all the officials are saying one thing and the government is saying one thing and you feel in your heart you know the truth. I mean, what is that like to kind of go against the system? It's got to be a tough thing to do.

JONES: Yes, it is. All I want is just for the guards and the nurse, just like I have been saying ever since January 5th, they need to be punished for what they did. The governor know what they did was wrong to my baby.

This is a cover up right here. They're doing all they can to protect the guards and the nurse. He asked the governor, he need to go ahead and say it's time to arrest those men, to arrest that nurse for killing my baby.

COOPER: Gina, Doctor Badna (ph), who you've hired, who observed this second autopsy, says he thinks the coroner made a mistake. Do you think the coroner made a mistake?

JONES: No, I do not. He never made a mistake. He's been trying to cover up ever since day one, and he's still trying to cover up.

COOPER: If the second autopsy report does indeed show that Martin died from the beating, what happens next?

CRUMP: Well certainly nobody's above the law, Anderson. And just because you have a badge and a uniform does not give you the right to do what we witnessed with our own eyes on that videotape.

Ms. Gina Jones and Mr. Robert Anderson was right all along when they said their son was dead when they put him on that stretcher from the boot camp.

It's been confirmed now. The findings are he did not have sickle cell trait. He did not die from the sickle cell trait and he did not die from natural causes.

At this point, the government officials have to hold these guards accountable. They have to hold the nurse accountable. And there's a simple question, Anderson, will they get away with this? Will they get away with murder?


COOPER: That was Benjamin Crump and Martin Lee Anderson's mother, Gina Jones.

A disturbing new report out tonight about antibiotics and what they may do to babies. The study finds a link between the drugs and serious health problem, one that could be with the child for the rest of his or her life. That story is coming up.

Plus, you've heard of sleepwalking? Well, how about sleep- eating? People trying to hit the hay end up hitting the snacks without realizing it, maybe because of a popular sleep aid, one that you very well may be taking.

And legendary Newsman Mike Wallace, not exactly saying goodbye, but you won't see him on the air quite as much. His major announcement when 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, if your doctor thinks your child needs antibiotics, you may want a second opinion. A new study says that infants under the age of one are twice as likely to get asthma if they're give antibiotics.

Now, it gets worse. With each new exposure to the drugs, the risk of having a baby develop breathing problems may dramatically increase.

CNN's Heidi Collins investigates.


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 8-year-old Andrew is an athletic kid. He likes to play basketball and keep up with his friends. But sometimes that's hard.

ANDREW, 8 YEARS OLD: I feel terrible breathing and then I feel like something's going to happen.

COLLINS: Like approximately one in every eight children in the United States, Andrew has asthma. His inhaler is what comes between Andrew and a crisis.

DR. LISA KAUFMAN, SON HAS ASTHMA: My worst fear is that he is going to be wheezing at night and having such a hard time breathing that he will stop breathing and I won't know.

COLLINS: Andrew's asthma was diagnosed when he was just 10 months old. But his health problems began six months earlier when he developed frequent ear infections.

Like most moms, Dr. Lisa Kaufman, herself a pediatrician, didn't hesitate giving her son prescribed antibiotics.

KAUFMAN: I would say he was probably treated four or five times with an antibiotic, which is a lot.

COLLINS: Now doctors are asking could antibiotics be linked to asthma? Compelling new research suggests yes.

Canadian researchers examined studies involving 12,000 children and found infants who were given antibiotics before their first birthdays were twice as likely to develop asthma.

Studies of more than 27,000 children found the more courses of antibiotics they were given, the greater the risk of asthma.

DR. CLIFFORD BASSETT, ASTHMA AND ALLERGY EXPERT: Researchers have looked at this and they're looking at larger studies now of 200,000 children or more, to see whether this is really a link or a relationship between the early antibiotic use, infection and the diagnosis of increasing asthma.

COLLINS: An important piece of the puzzle, why? Researchers don't have the answer yet, but experts say evidence lends support to the hygiene hypothesis, that the early overuse of antibiotics may be killing off disease fighters and making kids more susceptible to asthma in the long run.

BASSETT: With the immune system, we're finding that we may need to expose ourselves to environments that contain bacteria and other endotoxins that are bacterial products to boost or have our immune system develop normally.

COLLINS (on camera): Doctor Kaufman tells me she's thought long and hard about what may have caused Andrew's asthma and she's not convinced it had anything to do with antibiotics. Researches stress the link between antibiotics and asthma is not conclusive. But experts agree there is an important take home message for parents.

BASSETT: Antibiotics can certainly do good, but they certainly can cause harm. And this study shows that we need to be judicious and we need to prescribe antibiotics only when necessary.


COOPER: It's, you know, easier said than done. If your baby is screaming with an ear infection, is there anything else you can do besides antibiotics?

COLLINS: Well, yes, it is really hard to hear them scream because, boy, they really do scream with ear infections. It's painful, but it's worth repeating that Lisa Kaufman is a pediatrician.

She says medicine is pointing to the fact, and doctors are learning a little bit more about ear infections, that they can get better on their own. Sometimes you just have to wait them out. But for immediate pain, she says there are analgesics out there that offer relief, things like acetaminophen or even mullen oil. You're supposed to heat it up and that soothes them and drop a couple drops in the ear.

COOPER: I hear lot of parents out there saying, yes, right.

COLLINS: Yes, right. Go to the doctor -- I know. And as we said, the study is not completely confirmed. You should always check with your doctor and choose the option that is best for you.

COOPER: That's fascinating. Heidi Collins, thanks very much.

So, will you still be working at the age of 87? I'm not sure that I may.

Newsman Mike Wallace is amazingly and only now is he taking a little step back -- don't call it retirement. We're going to take a look at his legendary career and his personal struggles with depression. And we'll have my one-on-one interview with him, coming up.

Plus, they go to sleep and end up in the kitchen, even cooking bacon and eggs. Mmmm, bacon. It is bizarre behavior which may be linked to a popular sleep drug. Perhaps one you are planning to take tonight or maybe you've already taken. Well don't drift off to sleep yet.

Across America and around the world, you're watching 360.


COOPER: Well there was some early images of CBS News Mike Wallace doing what he does best. It is impossible to imagine the show "60 Minutes" without Mike Wallace because he's always been there. Ever since it began more than 37 years ago. And with Wallace still kicking near the age of 90 -- he's 87 and about to turn 88. It seems as if he'd be there -- well, today we learned that he won't be there, at least not quite as much as he has been.

Mike Wallace is stepping down from "60 Minutes," as regular correspondent at least. Not exactly a goodbye. He's still going to be doing the occasional news piece, but it is the end of an era.


COOPER (voice-over): Even before the clock started ticking, Mike Wallace was challenging the icons of our time.

MIKE WALLACE, LEGENDARY NEWSMAN: Are you the least bit afraid of what might happen to you as a result of make these revelations?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, I probably am a dead man already.

COOPER: Well into middle age when he became America's favorite Sunday night guest...

WALLACE: I'm Mike Wallace.

COOPER: ... now at 87, finally dialing it back a bit, but don't you dare call it retirement.

WALLACE: I'm not sitting in judgment. I'm simply asking a question.

COOPER: In the '50s and '60s Mike Wallace was already a master, interviewing a parade of best known. A cigarette always at his fingertips.

In 1968 the clock started ticking. He pulled no punches.

WALLACE: You don't trust the media. You've said so. You don't trust whites. You've said so. You don't trust Jews. You've said so. Well, here I am.

COOPER: Probing the serious...

WALLACE: The Butcher Amin. You help and you talk about human rights?

COOPER: And the not so serious.

WALLACE: You really believe that you've lived lives before and...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh yes, Mike. I don't -- there's no doubt in my mind about it.

COOPER: Mike Wallace let those he interviewed make their own beds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you dare call me self-involved?

WALLACE: I want you to get it right. I don't want to look like an ass.




WALLACE: Because my kids are watching this.


COOPER: More than once he put the White House on notice, from Watergate...

WALLACE: Conspiracy to obstruct justice. All of this by the law and order administration of Richard Nixon.

RICHARD NIXON: Is there a question in there somewhere?

COOPER: To "Monica-gate," asking the FBI director how does one obtain a presidential DNA sample?

WALLACE: How did you get it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we went over to the White House, we did it very carefully, very confidentially.

COOPER: What a remarkable career. So many memorable interviews, 20 Emmy awards, a spot in the television hall of fame.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a fellow who started as a $20 a week radio announcer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1939, to wind up in the television academy hall of fame with the likes of Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow, you can imagine.

COOPER: Yes, Mr. Wallace, we can. Yes, we can.


COOPER: Mike Wallace's accomplishments go far beyond the milestones in his career. He has also triumphed over some serious personal battles, battles with depression.

About a year ago he and his wife, Mary, sat down with me and talked about how they struggled and eventually beat depression together.


COOPER: When did you realize first you were actually depressed?

WALLACE: I was on trial for my life, Anderson. I was in a libel trial.

COOPER: The Westmoreland case?

WALLACE: The Westmoreland case. I was on trial for $120 million in a libel suit brought against me, George Crile, the producer, and CBS.

Little by little, I was finding it difficult to sleep, difficult to eat, et cetera, et cetera. It was just miserable.

COOPER: Did you know it was depression?

I mean, did you realize he was depressed?

MARY WALLACE, MIKE WALLAC'S WIFE: No, I knew nothing about depression. What happens when somebody is depressed and you're the wife or the mother of the son or something, you think you're doing something wrong. And you think you can fix it. And so you try this and that, and it doesn't work. And this is what's so hard about living with a depressed person because you think it's your fault.

WALLACE: She would get up every morning and accompany me down to the courtroom, federal courthouse. And I dreaded going down there because, you know, when the defendant in a libel trial sits there and hears every miserable thing, you know, you're a liar, you're a fraud, you're a cheat, you are et cetera, et cetera.

And little by little, for whatever reason -- and I had done pieces about depression before, but I never fully understood.

COOPER: That's interesting. You had done reports on it, but you didn't feel it in your gut that that's what you had?

WALLACE: No. I didn't know what the dickens I had. And the doctor said to me at the time, and why I didn't go to a psychiatrist at the time, he said, oh, come on, Mike, you're -- come on, get over it. You're -- you're OK.

COOPER: Your doctor said get over it?

WALLACE: In effect, he did. MARY WALLACE: Yes. He said -- I think you even asked if there's someplace to go and be treated for whatever is wrong, and the doctor said that would be very bad for your reputation.

WALLACE: I can't tell you how tough it is. I mean, you're copeless, you're hopeless, your self-esteem leaves you.

COOPER: You were suicidal at times? You thought about suicide?

WALLACE: Of course, of course. The...

COOPER: Was that something -- did you actually visualize it? I mean, did you make plans or was it just sort of impulses?

WALLACE: Oh, no, no. You think about plans. How would you off yourself -- pills? You begin to think about, well, maybe if I put a bag over my head or something. You're sick.

COOPER: Did his depression rub off on you?

MARY WALLACE: Oh, yes. I even started a little group. I found some other women who had husbands that were depressed and they were so discouraged. This breaks up more marriages than anything. And we all had the same problems. We didn't know what to do. We thought we were responsible. And I hired a psychiatrist to get the group together and say it's not your fault.

COOPER: Was your work effected? I mean, did...

WALLACE: Oh, of course. Look, what you try to do is to mask it. But you don't mask it successfully. I would do an interview with somebody, like you and I are sitting here talking. I didn't know what the dickens the questions were that I was asking, and I didn't hear the answers. You were doing it basically by wrote.

And the people who are -- the producers who were working with me -- and it's a very collaborative undertaking as you know, they would say, well, Mike is just, you know, he's not very pleasant to begin with, but come on, let's help him.

COOPER: Right.

WALLACE: And they did. They helped me through it. Now people come to me because they know I've been public about it a long time. And they'll come and tell me, and it can be cured if you stay on your medications, if you get a good shrink, if you are open about it. It can be cured.


COOPER: I spent Saturday night with Mike and Mary Wallace, having dinner in Florida and they both are doing great. And Mike is in amazing shape. He's going to be 88 years old this year. And I have no doubt he's going to continue working for many years to come.

Coming up in a moment, the strange link between a sleeping pill and late night eating, even cooking while fast asleep. Talk about heartburn -- mmm, heartburn.

Also, a wakeup call and it won't cost you a penny. Free coffee, see where, see when. Guess who's behind it. Next on 360.


COOPER: So just before you may be about to get your Zs, there are new concerns about a popular sleeping pill. Now some users, they are falling asleep all right -- that's not the problem. What they're doing once they have fallen asleep, that's the problem.

For starters, they might be advised to barricade the kitchen. 360 MD Sanjay Gupta explains.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It happens under the cover of darkness, during sleep. The mysterious use urge to eat.

For years doctors wondered how sleeping and eating could happen at the same time. Now two unpublished studies suggest that a possible cause may be the popular sleep drug, Ambien.

DR. CARLOS H. SCHENCK, MINNESOTA REGIONAL SLEEP DISORDER CENTER: Ever since Ambien came on the market, there was sporadic reports of sleepwalking being induced by the Ambien. And then there were some reports coming out about eating with the sleepwalking induced by the Ambien.

GUPTA: Six years ago Judie Evans began taking Ambien for insomnia. Soon after, curious side effects set in. She said that night after night, she would leave her bed and trudge like a zombie to the kitchen.

JUDIE EVANS, AMBIEN CAUSED TO SLEEP-EAT: I had gotten out of bed and I was cooking. I don't even like eggs, and I was cooking eggs and bacon.

GUPTA: Each night brought another trip to the kitchen, to make a sandwich, cook an elaborate meal and one time turning the oven up to 500 degrees.

Suspecting something was wrong, her son stayed awake. He was startled by what he saw.

EVANS: He told me what I had done. And I said, no way. I did not do that.

SCHENCK: In all cases, there is complete amnesia the next day. There is no recall whatsoever of what that person engaged in.

GUPTA: And Ambien may account for more than just sleep-eating. There have even been cases of sleep driving, says Dr. Carlos Schenck, who led the studies linking Ambien with abnormal sleep behaviors. Dr. Schenck said that in sleepwalking, sleep-eating and sleep driving, Ambien may confuse the brain. You can perform complex behaviors while the mind is partially asleep.

SCHENCK: You're acting like a zombie and you're rolling the dice. And whenever you roll the dice, it is very dangerous.

GUPTA: In a statement, ambien's manufacturer, Sanofi Aventis, says it could not comment on specific cases, adding that " is difficult to determine with certainty whether a particular instance of sleepwalking is drug induced, spontaneous in origin, or a result of an underlying disorder."

Now, this is no large study to gauge the risk. And even Dr. Schenck says the vast majority of Ambien users should not worry, and to follow the warning labels provided with prescriptions.

SCHENCK: For people who are carefully diagnosed with insomnia or trouble falling asleep, Ambien is an excellent medication. And for most people, it is very safe and well tolerated.

GUPTA: The manufactures says if you find yourself sleepwalking after taking Ambien, see your doctor.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


COOPER: Fascinating.

New pictures are just in of devastation in Hawaii, where a dam burst earlier today. It happened on the island of Kauai, after heavy rains proved too much for a 40-foot fall earthen dam. It burst, unleashing a torrent of water 150 yards wide, which poured into the Pacific Ocean.

One witness said it looked like a reverse tsunami. The wave swept away homes, killed at least one person. As many as seven others are missing. Helicopters are searching for them in the debris.

When the dam broke Kauai was under a flash flood watch because of heavy rain. In the past two days, two to eight inches of rain have fallen across the island, which is as much as 17 inches in higher elevations.

Erica Hill has some headlines -- the top business stories we're following right now -- Erica.


We start off with a well known search engine and well known battle. A federal judge now saying he plans to force Google to give up search information for a government study.

Now the government has been asking for some random samples of Google users' search requests. Though Google has refused to cooperate for months, saying it's worried about violating users' privacy and also about some of its proprietary information search technology. But the idea here, says the government, is to demonstrate filtering software is inadequate to prevent kids from seeing sexually explicit material online. And the Justice Department says it doesn't want any of that personal information that would violate a customer's confidentiality.

Meantime, the nation's top three credit bureaus have come up with a standardized way to evaluate your credit. That mean, yes, the credit score for things like loan applications and also to measure your financial health. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are introducing Vantage Score to banks, mortgage lenders and credit card companies immediately. Basically, it just means they're all using the same equation.

And tomorrow, Starbucks, throwing a national coffee break. Giving the stuff away. Stop into any Starbucks between 10:00 a.m. and noon, and you'll be treated to a 12-ounce cup of Joe. That is a tall size in Starbucks speak. The Buck, as we like to call it, estimates it will serve more than half a million free cups of coffee at more than 7,500 U.S. stores.

And maybe it doesn't pay to think big after all. U.S. Customs agents busting a California man who was in the possession of 250 bills. Each of these bills, with a face value of $1 billion. The problem here -- and I know it's going to be tough to believe -- but the government doesn't actually print a billion dollar bill. Hmm, yes.

COOPER: Yes. He knew how to forge stuff, but he was just really dumb.

HARRIS: Yes. A few too many zeros on there.

COOPER: Ironic, I love it. A billion bill. Erica, thanks.

Still ahead tonight, why certain murders get big coverage and others don't. Our viewers weigh in "On the Radar," next on 360.


COOPER: "On the Radar" tonight, our report on why certain victims of murder -- women, mostly young, white women, seam to catch the public eye and dominate cable news coverage.

Responses on the blog start with a suggestion from Anil in Birmingham, Alabama, "The news industry," he writes, "should develop certain standards to allot a certain amount of time to a certain type of crime. It should be limited to that for all individuals. Once that time is exhausted, move on to new news. You might be surprised people still have an appetite for that."

Plain and simple from Sylvia in Denton, Texas, "The fact in life is that, life is never fair, no matter what or who is covered."

And from Matt in Columbus, Georgia, not especially kind words for his fellow viewers. His words, not ours. "I guess idiots ultimately get what they deserve, and that is endless human interest stories about pretty faces. P.S. I dare you to censor this."

Matt, we wouldn't dream of it. All views all welcome on the blog. I pinky swear.

More on 360 in a moment. Stay with us.


COOPER: "LARRY KING" is next, with an exclusive. New evidence in the case of a man jailed 27 years for killing his family.

Thanks for watching. I'll see you tomorrow.


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