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War of Words Over Donald Rumsfeld Intensifies; Katrina Relief Money Wasted?; Black Bear Kills 6-Year-Old Camper

Aired April 14, 2006 - 22:00   ET


The war of words over Donald Rumsfeld gets louder. Tonight, Rumsfeld and the president speak out.


ANNOUNCER: Rumsfeld under fire and speaking out -- tonight, a fact check. And two generals weigh in on whether the defense secretary should resign.

Fallout from Katrina -- a FEMA audit suggests a whopping $1 billion of your tax dollars wasted. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

COOPER: Man, I don't want your job. Oh.


ANNOUNCER: And "Animal Planet"'s Jeff Corwin stops by with some amazing creatures rarely seen outside of the wild.


ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, here's Anderson cooper.

COOPER: And good evening again.

We begin with the battle between Donald Rumsfeld and the generals. Safe to say it has been a rough week for the top -- top chief at the Pentagon, under fire for the war in Iraq. Now six retired generals, some fresh from battle, say, Rumsfeld must go. Today, he responded to his critics.

We're covering all the angles -- Rumsfeld in his own words, part of his interview with the Arab TV network Al-Arabiya, and whether what he said jibes with the facts.

Also today, more generals stepping forward, this time voicing support for Rumsfeld -- one of them in a CNN exclusive interview.

And we will look at the potential political fallout of all of this on Capitol Hill during midterm elections. Will Republicans take a beating? Today, the top man of the party, the president, spoke out. We begin with that.

Here's CNN's Barbara Starr.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The opinion that matters most for now was finally heard, after a weeklong firestorm.

President Bush issued a written statement, saying, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld -- quote -- "has my full support and deepest appreciation."

But, now, it's more than just Iraq and Don Rumsfeld. There are historic questions about relations between the civilian leadership of the military in this country and the generals they control. Can the generals ever be critical?

General Richard Myers recently retired as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In his first interview since the feuding began, Myers told CNN, even retired generals should restrain themselves, that it's not the military's job to take on civilian leaders.

GENERAL RICHARD MYERS (RET.), FORMER JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIRMAN: ... is that it's bad for the military. It's bad for civil- military relations. And it's potentially very bad for the country, because what we're hearing and what we're seeing is not the role the military plays in our society, under our laws, for that matter, under our Constitution.

STARR: But some retired generals say, the problems cannot be swept under the rug.

LIEUTENANT GENERAL DAN CHRISTMAN (RET.), U.S. ARMY: It's disturbing, Barbara. I was trying to go back in history and just think, now, when has it been this sharp, this cleavage between civil and military sides, the civil-military relationship debate?

STARR: Christman won't say if he believes Rumsfeld should resign, but listen to his read of his fellow generals.

CHRISTMAN: ... sensing is that, within 18 months, Secretary Rumsfeld has undermined the professional growth of this Army in a deeply troubling way.

STARR: And those generals who feel that way?

CHRISTMAN: This is not a wacky, lunatic fringe, either, of the general officer corps. These are highly respected officers.

STARR: General Myers has little patience for those who criticize Rumsfeld's well-known abrasive style.

MYERS: This is not a job for somebody that is -- that is not -- doesn't have courage and toughness. On the -- on the other hand, I don't -- that does not intimidate me. I mean, that's -- our job is to provide the best military advice. Shame on us, if we don't do that. It would be -- it would be an absolute crime, in my view. I should be shot if I didn't provide my best advice.

STARR (on camera): Consider this. As one Army general said, the debate has now moved into the stark realm of extremes, those for and against the war in Iraq and Rumsfeld. This general said, there may be much deeper concerns: Will al Qaeda take advantage of the dissension and the impact on the morale of young American troops fighting for their lives?

Barbara Starr, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: We're going to talk about that potential impact in a moment with two retired generals.

But Rumsfeld talked to an Arab TV network today, saying many things about the war in Iraq.

CNN's Joe Johns was taking notes. We asked him tonight for a fact check.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In an interview with Al-Arabiya television, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was asked whether he agrees that a lack of troops led to the abuses of Abu Ghraib prison. Rumsfeld took issue with the premise of the question.


DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There are people who have different views on that, but General Tom Franks and General Abizaid and General Casey have been the ones who have determined how many troops there would be. They have made those recommendations to me and to the president, and we have agreed with them. There's a -- there's a balance that's needed in this.

You can have not enough troops, in which case, things can be disorderly, or you can have too many troops and be too intrusive. Too much of an occupying force....


JOHNS: It's true that the generals in the chain of command did recommend how many troops to have in the field. That's why there are an estimated 130,000 coalition forces in Iraq right now.

However, critics of the war note that, in 2003, Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki reluctantly answered a senator's question about the number of troops in Iraq needed for a successful completion of the war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FEBRUARY 25, 2003) GENERAL ERIC SHINSEKI, U.S. ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF: Something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are -- are -- are probably, you know, a figure that would be required.


JOHNS: However, Shinseki was not one of the war planners recommending troop levels.

Back to Rumsfeld -- he was asked in the Al-Arabiya interview whether he was wrong on anticipating the number of casualties in the Iraq war.


RUMSFELD: I made a conscious point of not predicting. I did not know. I -- I do not know now. I know I don't know. I don't pretend to know. And I think people who think they know and have a high degree of certainty about how long it lasts, or how -- what the dollar cost will be, or what the cost in human treasure will be, as I say, are almost always wrong, and, therefore, listening to them is probably not worth one's time.


JOHNS: It's true that Rumsfeld became famous for refusing to be pinned down on such issues.

RUMSFELD: Much of the reporting in the U.S. and abroad has exaggerated the situation.

JOHNS: However, some other administration officials did make predictions of a sort, including Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz.

And Vice President Cheney said on "Meet the Press," before the war started, that the U.S. would -- quote -- "be greeted as liberators."

Secretary Rumsfeld also was asked about alleged abuses of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and he said, visitors to the island verified that conditions were good.


RUMSFELD: The other people, hundreds and hundreds of journalists, members of the Congress, members of the Senate, representatives from -- from 20, 30, 40 countries, have been down there. They have seen it.

The treatment of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay is excellent. The medical care they're receiving, the food they're receiving, their treatment is excellent. And people who have never been there, to run around, making the kinds of statements that were made, I think, is not a responsible approach.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JOHNS: The fact is that access to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay has been extremely limited to journalists, human rights activists, even politicians. Some have been given tours of the facility, but the treatment of the prisoners is still an open question in the eyes of many. Reporters are not allowed to question the prisoners themselves.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, we asked some recently retired generals, all very distinguished, to discuss Rumsfeld.

Retired General Dan Christman, who you saw in Barbara Starr's questions some of the secretary's actions in Iraq, though he won't say whether he thinks Rumsfeld should resign. And retired General John Jumper supports Rumsfeld. He was the Air Force chief of staff from 2001 to 2005.

I talked to both men earlier.


COOPER: General Jumper, six retired generals have now said publicly Donald Rumsfeld should be replaced. I want to play something that General John Batiste said on our program last night.


MAJOR GENERAL JOHN BATISTE (RET.), U.S. ARMY: We need leadership that understands teamwork, just like we do in the uniformed services, and leadership that doesn't use intimidation and arrogance to accomplish what he's trying to do.


COOPER: He says, Rumsfeld should resign.

Is Rumsfeld arrogant, and does he intimidate?

GENERAL JOHN JUMPER (RET.), U.S. AIR FORCE: Secretary Rumsfeld, as we all know, you especially in the press know, is no shrinking violet.

And there are a couple things about the secretary that I learned over time. One is that, when you go before him, you better have your duffel bag full of facts and be ready to -- to present your case in a factual manner. And the second is that, if he doesn't agree with you or pushes back and pushes on you, you need to be ready to push back.

COOPER: It doesn't sound, though, General Jumper, that the criticism from -- from these other generals is that, you know, they -- they were shocked that he's not a shrinking violet.

I think the -- the criticism, certainly, that comes out of "Cobra II," for instance, seems to be, well, it -- it's all well to -- that you have got to bring your -- you know, a bag full of facts with you to the table. I think the criticism of Secretary Rumsfeld is, he has got his own bag, and -- and -- and he's pulling his own stuff out of there, and that's what he's going with, and he's trying to get everyone else to go along with what...


COOPER: ... is in his bag.

JUMPER: But you -- you got to be ready to push back, Anderson. And I -- if -- you can talk to Pete Pace or Dick Myers, and there have been plenty of occasions where the secretary has changed his mind.

General Christman, what about that? I mean, there are people out there who will say, with these generals who have come forward, saying Rumsfeld should resign, they should have been speaking up sooner.

CHRISTMAN: I think they have been.

The issue is not so much did they speak out or not, but whether their views were dismissed. And I think the sensing, as I read these tea leaves, is that these officers are concerned that the views were -- were treated dismissively and treated arrogantly.

COOPER: General Christman, the secretary spoke to Al-Arabiya television today. And I just want to play just a quick bite of what -- some of what he said.



RUMSFELD: If, every time two or three people disagreed, we changed the secretary of defense of the United States, it would be like a merry-go-round.


COOPER: The other line he has been using, and others from the White House have been using today -- and I suspect it's somewhere in some kind of a talking-points memo -- is that there are 4,000 to 5,000 to 6,000 retired generals, and -- and these are only six generals who have come forward, and that's to be expected.

What do you make of that? Are -- are these just some six generals from thousands?

CHRISTMAN: Brother, we really need to watch rationalizing all of this, Anderson.

Again, I come to the point, I don't think, in the -- in the history of our Office of the Secretary of Defense, over the 21 that have occupied that office, we have ever seen this kind of -- of deep- seated concern about the competence and about the treatment by the secretary of the flag officer community. I think what we have to ask ourselves, openly, here is, is the lack of credibility by the secretary undermining our effort here in the war against the insurgency? That is, cutting through all of this, Anderson, I think the $64 question.

COOPER: Well, General Jumper, it's -- it's interesting that he says that, because General Myers saying today to CNN's Barbara Starr, what's undermining the war, what is undermining the credibility is this discussion. It's not necessarily the actions. It's -- it's the discussion by these -- these retired generals.

Do you believe it's inappropriate to have that discussion, for these generals to have come forward?

JUMPER: Well, Anderson, you do have to be sensitive to the impact on morale of the troops in the field.

It has been my experience, when you go visit the troops, that they strongly believe in what they're doing. As a matter of fact, during my visits over there, my morale -- they did more to boost my morale than I did theirs.

COOPER: General Jumper, do you believe -- I -- I mean, the -- the camps of this, the -- the pro-Rumsfeld, the -- the -- the camp that wants Rumsfeld to resign, seems to be separated along a central issue.

And -- and the question seems to be, do -- do you believe that the troop levels on the ground in Iraq were actually determined by the generals, as this administration has repeatedly said for years now, and as Rumsfeld always said, and has said again today, that he listened to the generals on the ground, and they're the ones who really came up with this figure, or was it really determined by Rumsfeld, predetermined in advance, because of his desire to trim down the military and -- and make it more of a -- you know, of a lighter, meaner, effective fighting force?

Which do you believe? Do you believe this really comes from the generals on the ground, the current troop levels?

JUMPER: First of all, the troop levels that are over there have consistently been higher than anything that was planned for.

And all the arguments that -- that I heard, I -- I never heard arguments come in that weren't taken to the secretary that argued for the right kind of troop strength and -- and were accepted by him. And I think that Secretary Rumsfeld did, in fact, comply with his commanders on the ground.


COOPER: Well, that was retired General John Jumper and also Dan Christman as well.

Now, some say that these retired generals are maybe just caught up in politics. And, true or not, there are plenty of political implications for all of this.

CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider is monitoring that angle of the story.

Bill, you know, it's one thing for politicians to criticize the president on Iraq. It's another thing entirely for the generals who have been fighting the war to do it. Is it going to have an impact on midterm elections?


These are military figures who are respected, and who are respected, principally, for their experience. They have been there. They were on the ground. They were part of the Iraq campaign. And they are supposed to know what -- what's going on.

People respect their experience. And, when they criticize the management -- management of the war, that means something must be terribly wrong, because it jibes with the widespread perception that what's going on in Iraq is not very good, that we're not making progress, that we're not winning, exactly the opposite message that the president is trying to send.

COOPER: Is Iraq issue number one?

SCHNEIDER: Yes. Iraq is issue number one, though I should point out gasoline prices are creeping up there. But, right now, Iraq is the big issue. It's the main reason Americans are getting angry, increasingly angry, at this president.

The main -- their main criticism of the White House, they feel deceived. They feel that the war is being mismanaged. And they wonder, how in the world is the United States going to get out of there?

COOPER: Democrats have been critical, of course, of Rumsfeld for quite some time, but they have not gotten traction on this issue. I -- I'm assuming that's because they don't really have an alternative plan for the war.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. Democrats haven't really come up with an alternate plan. They did not gather around the so-called Murtha plan of a rapid redeployment of forces, because that's very risky.

Americans don't know what to think. All they want is someone who will tell them how the United States is going to get out of this situation.

And there is one discouraging fact that's at the center of it. They have an election in Iraq in December. We're supposed to be fighting this war to make Iraq a democracy. Well, here it is, the middle of April, and they can't form a government. In fact, Americans believe they're at the verge of, if not already in, a civil war. Well, that means not much is being accomplished. COOPER: And I -- I saw this "USA Today"/Gallup poll, stunning figures. Forty-six percent of Americans would prefer the United States to mind its own business internationally. Compare that to three years ago. Only about a third of Americans felt that way.

That -- that's pretty ominous for -- coming up for these midterm elections.

SCHNEIDER: What it does suggest is that there may be an Iraq syndrome setting in. There was a lot of talk once about a Vietnam syndrome after that war, when Americans were very, very shy of any kind of military intervention for at least a number of years.

And that's what concerns a lot of people. You know, the White House argument -- the White House has a strategy here. And this is one reason why the Rumsfeld controversy is very dangerous. The White House strategy is to argue, since November, we're winning, and this war is winnable -- remember, the strategy for victory.

Well, Americans do not want to fight an unwinnable war. That's why the White House has stuck to this line, we're winning.

But, now, with the criticism of -- of Secretary Rumsfeld, with dissent among leading military figures, who have that experience, it has got to raise the question in Americans' minds, are we really -- really winning, and, can we win? Once they conclude, we can't win, they're going to say, then, what are we there for?

COOPER: But, then, using that strategy, they painted themselves into a corner, because they can't get rid of Rumsfeld, because, then, that would be acknowledging that -- that the strategy isn't working, if -- if, in fact, that is what's happening.

Bill Schneider, interesting stuff. Thanks.


COOPER: Other news that we are following tonight: several tornadoes touching down in the Midwest, one death so far. The cleanup is under way, but the trouble may not be over. In fact, there are reports right now of tornadoes in Indiana. We will get a live update.

Also, in Tennessee, death at a campsite -- a black bear killed a 6-year-old girl, injured two other members of her family. And this bear is still on the loose. We will update you on that.

And just how many of your tax dollars earmarked to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina have been wasted by FEMA? What's your wildest guess? One hundred million? Two hundred million? Five hundred million? Well, you're not even close. It's a disgraceful amount. We will tell you ahead. We are "Keeping Them Honest" -- tonight on 360.


COOPER: Well, several powerful tornadoes ripped through Iowa and Illinois last night. One woman died when her trailer home overturned. Many others are counting their blessings.

Here's CNN's Rob Marciano.


ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): With the sunrise, the scope of the tornado damage was visible. Residents were shocked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm wandering around looking at the sites of my beautiful city -- my former beautiful city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's unbelievable. Unbelievable.

MARCIANO: Iowa City was the hardest hit. Three tornadoes destroyed a three-and-a-half mile swathe, leaving 6,500 initially without power.

Entire neighborhoods were blown apart. Debris smashed cars. Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn said, early-warning sirens kept the number of injuries low.

ROSS WILBURN, MAYOR OF IOWA CITY, IOWA: Getting people safe, people getting in their basements, just a fantastic response, and I think that contributed to the fact that there were -- you know, as best you can, reduce the number of injuries.

MARCIANO: The roof of a historic church was ripped off, and classes at the University of Iowa were canceled. Students were surprised to see a tornado in the city.

JERRY ZATTA, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA: We hardly ever see that here -- here in Iowa City, downtown Iowa City. It was scary. I thought, you know, that we were going to die for a second. But, after we -- we ran downstairs to the basement, and we -- we were there, like, for maybe an hour.

MARCIANO: Tornado Alley has been busy this spring. Nearly 500 tornadoes have struck, 300 more than last year. A very warm winter in the plains has gotten things popping early.

That same early warm weather sparked New Mexico wildfires this week, far ahead of the spring fire season. And a new outlook predicts more fires across the South and West in the coming weeks.

On the West Coast, it has been wet, wet and wet. More than two weeks of steady rain and mudslides killed a man in California Wednesday. And nine counties have been declared disaster areas. More rain is predicted for Easter Sunday.

And for the East and Gulf Coasts, hurricane season begins June 1, just 37 days away. Forecasters were gearing up for it Friday in Orlando.

PHILIP KLOTZBACH, FORECASTER, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY: Unfortunately, it looks like another pretty active year this year. We're calling for a total of 17 named storms, nine hurricanes, and five major hurricanes, which are the Category 3, 4 and 5 storms.

MARCIANO: It may be hard to imagine a hurricane season worse than last year, but, after last year, anything seems possible.


MARCIANO: I'll tell you what. We don't even want to start thinking about hurricane season, even though it's right around the corner. We have got to get through tornado season, which we're just ramping up now.

Those same storms that rolled through Iowa last night, that cluster, moved across Illinois and Indiana tonight. And we have had reports of golf-ball-sized hails in -- in parts of Indiana. We have four watch boxes that are out. There, you see some of the video. It looks like winter, but that is damaging-size hail.

And with that came some gusty, damaging wind as well, and tornadoes. Tonight, we have one, two, three, four watch boxes out. The red ones are the tornado watches. And those are the ones we're most concerned with.

Just in the last 20 minutes, a tornado warning was fired off for Indianapolis proper for a storm that had a history of producing tornadoes upstream or up, in this case, I-65. Now, you see the purple area here. Likely, this is some heavy and big hail that just rolled south of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, likely in the last 20 or 30 minutes.

If they have sirens in this area, they have been going off, now heading through the south, in through parts of Johnson County -- also, another tornado warning up just to the northwest into parts of White County.

Tomorrow, a stronger system that is now in California, the Rockies, pulls out into the plains. And we have the threat for more severe weather, potentially in the same areas last night that were hit in Iowa, eastern Nebraska as well, and, also, high fire danger for north Texas and New Mexico, with high winds tomorrow -- a busy time in the Weather Center here -- Anderson...


MARCIANO: ... back over to you.

COOPER: Rob Marciano tracking the storms -- thanks, Rob.


COOPER: While there have been more tornadoes this spring, compared to last year, it is possible one record will not be broken.

Here's the raw data: According to the National Weather Service, the most tornadoes in any month since record-keeping began in 1950 was in May 2003. There were 543 tornadoes then. So far this month, 205 tornadoes have hit the U.S. Of course, it is just April 14. Coming up, billions of dollars of your tax money went to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, right? Well, tonight, we investigate just how much of that has been wasted.

But, first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with some of the other stories -- Erica.


The United States wants other countries to consider freezing Iran's assets. France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China will meet in Moscow next week to discuss just how to respond to Iran's announcement that it has become a nuclear power.

Back stateside, in Purcell, Oklahoma, a male suspect is in custody tonight, after the body of a missing 10-year-old girl was found in the apartment complex where she lived. Jamie Rose Bolin was last seen on Wednesday getting into a car, after leaving a library near her home.

An old childhood enemy reemerging in the Midwest this week -- more than 600 people in Iowa now have the mumps. Public health officials say they're concerned, not only about the outbreak, but also that some people might have been infected on airline flights.

And the drug enforcement agent who shot himself in the foot while demonstrating gun safety to school children is now suing the agency. It happened two years ago. Lee Paige was telling the classroom that he was the only one in the room professional enough to handle a gun, when the gun went off, like this.


LEE PAIGE, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY: I'm the only one in this room professional enough that I know of to carry the Glock 40. I'm the only...



HILL: Shot himself in the foot, and then continued. He blames the agency for the leak of the video, saying the incident has made him a joke of the Internet.

So, he's suing, Anderson, and making the rounds of several news organizations and TV shows.

COOPER: There you go.

HILL: Hmm.

COOPER: I don't even know what to say about that, Erica.

HILL: Yes. It's tough.

COOPER: Bizarre.

Thanks, Erica.

Coming up: Katrina outrage and money, literally, for nothing. See how the government is taking your tax dollars and throwing them down the drain. Now, how much do you think they have wasted? Fifty million? One hundred million? Five hundred million? Well, you're starting to get a little warmer. We will tell you the shocking figure ahead. We are "Keeping Them Honest."

Also tonight, bear attack -- a family was mauled at a campsite. A little girl was killed. And the bear is still on the loose. We will have the latest.



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to thank you all for -- and, Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job.

The FEMA director is working 24...



COOPER: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." That was the president's vote of confidence for then-FEMA Director Michael Brown. It took place just days, of course, after Katrina hit.

Brown resigned in disgrace. He's gone, but the story's really not going away. And we're making sure of that. We're going to continue "Keeping Them Honest."

Today, the Department of Homeland Security issued a scathing report on FEMA's response to Katrina. Now, how much do you think they have wasted so far? Do you think, like, $10 million? You think maybe $50 million, maybe $100 million? Well, not even close.

"The Washington Post" estimates that, when it's all said and done, more than $1 billion will be spent on projects that make no sense whatsoever, $1 billion of your money.

Now, that is just the beginning.

CNN's Susan Roesgen is "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.


SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The finger- pointing at FEMA took an unusual turn today as the agency took a candid look at itself, and it didn't pull any punches.

A 219-page report lays out the agency's missteps in the aftermath of Katrina and cites widespread examples of inefficiency and outright waste.

The search and rescue operations. The audit says FEMA was ill- prepared to coordinate them. In some cases, FEMA rescuers were actually searching buildings that already had been searched and marked by state rescue teams.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The places that were supposed to have ice did not have any ice.

ROESGEN: Emergency supplies. The report says some FEMA employees had to double their orders for things like ice and water just to get half of what they needed.

The most damaging finding? Money wasted on housing. FEMA spent nearly $1 billion on manufactured homes, homes that, in most cases, will never be used because the agency's own rules deem them unsafe for use in flood zones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what to do. I don't. All we're asking is that we get a trailer.

ROESGEN: And remember those cruise ships housing evacuees and emergency personnel? FEMA spent $249 million on that effort, about $3,300 per week per evacuee during the first month when the ships were not full. After that, the report says, occupancy increased significantly.

The internal audit culminates with 38 recommendations to avoid similar missteps. But the question remains: can an agency that so thoroughly bungled such a critical operation actually learn from its mistakes? With hurricane season less than two months away, there's a significant chance we will find out.

Susan Roesgen, CNN, New Orleans.


COOPER: All right. One more note on a Katrina-related story. And I know a lot of people have moved on from this, but I've got to tell you, we're not going to because we do not want to let those in power forget their promises. There were a lot of promises made, and a lot of them have not been fulfilled.

So remember all those unused mobile homes sitting in that parking lot in Hope, Arkansas? There they are, 10,777 mobile homes. You remember them. You paid for them, so you certainly should remember them. FEMA bought them for more than $300 million. Those are all mobile homes. They're all just sitting there unused.

Guess what? They are still there. Yes. Well, they did move 300 of them to the Gulf region for use by evacuees. But that only leaves 10,444 of them still sitting there.

Remember, there are thousands of families still waiting for trailers in the Gulf for any kind of home. Our Susan Roesgen recently spoke with FEMA director Ron Paulison, who admitted to her the agency made a mistake in their purchase of the homes. He said they might be used across the country for other natural disasters. Maybe, might, maybe. Who knows? We'll see. "Keeping Them Honest."

There's something else going on that demands the nation's attention. Take a look at this.


MARTHA BREAUX, PATIENT: They have no beds. They're waiting for someone to be discharged, if they will be discharged. It's very possible I'll be here tomorrow, in the emergency instead of in a room.


COOPER: No beds for the sick in New Orleans. Some basic hospital services collapsing, emergency rooms overflowing. What are officials doing about it? Well, Sean Callebs "Keeping Them Honest" ahead.

Plus, a fatal bear attack that cost a little girl her life. Seems she ran away when her brother was attacked, only to be chased down. Tonight, the black bear is still on the loose. We'll have the latest when we continue.


COOPER: Well, tonight, just by countless reassurances by national, state and local politicians, New Orleans' health care system is virtually on life support. Things are so bad that just last week the president of the American Medical Association was brought into town to see for himself. The hope, according to "The Times-Picayune," is that his support will help bring some relief.

CNN'S Sean Callebs is "Keeping Them Honest."


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The emergency room at East Jefferson in New Orleans is overflowing. Martha Breaux was brought her for chest pains. She's been in the E.R. for 12 hours, and she's frustrated. She has insurance. There is just nowhere for her to go.

BREAUX: They have no beds. They're waiting for someone to be discharged, if they will be discharged. It's very possible I'll be here tomorrow in the emergency instead of in a room.

CALLEBS: There is almost always a wait for the 400 beds here, and the operating room is overbooked. On top of that, this and all the other hospitals in New Orleans are hemorrhaging money. East Jefferson's CEO says dire news for a city struggling to provide adequate health care. DR. MARK PETERS, CEO, EAST JEFFERSON GENERAL HOSPITAL: We also have to look at the long-term stability of our hospital. And we'll do nobody any good if we're not here.

CALLEBS: The situation is much the same at the other four hospitals open in the area.


CALLEBS: Doctor Joseph Uddo is chief of surgery at East Jefferson.

UDDO: The medical staff and the nursing staff in many situations are getting overwhelmed and overworked and ready to go somewhere else.

CALLEBS (on camera): The Orleans Parish Medical Society says as many as 40 percent of the New Orleans doctors have left this area simply fed up. And there is such a nursing shortage that traveling nurses, those who come here from other cities, are paid as much as $85 an hour.

UDDO: We have the New Orleans government saying -- telling people to come back. And just the slow gradual repopulation is very hard for the medical community to keep up with.

CALLEBS (voice-over): And another issue: the uninsured. East Jeff is saying three times as many patients with no insurance. Before Katrina, most of them went to Charity Hospital, but it's now closed with no plans to reopen. State funding that used to go to Charity has not found its way to the hospitals that survived.

PETERS: We really feel strongly that the money needs to be going to whoever's providing the care. That just makes common sense to us.

CALLEBS: With no quick fix in sight, hospital officials say a serious problem could get critical with the hurricane season just around the corner.


COOPER: So Sean, if someone is injured in New Orleans and needs medical care, what happens? Where do they go?

CALLEBS: Well, Anderson, the simple answer is they will get care. It's just how long they will have to wait. The number of hospitals has shrunk from 11 to four, so the E.R. is always crowded.

Now, we heard it with Mrs. Breaux. She gets treatment, but there's nowhere to put her, so she has to wait and wait. She faced spending the night in the E.R. And recovery rooms, once patients go through surgery, they can't get out of recovery rooms.

What's happening upstairs in all those rooms? Well, typically, say a patient would go through and have surgery, two or three days, then be discharged. Well, they can't discharge someone to a FEMA trailer, so people are staying there a lot longer.

It is a vicious cycle. People have to wait longer. Elective surgeries wait longer. Emergencies wait longer. It is frustrating. And the hospitals in this area really, really, want some financial help from the state.

COOPER: Sean Callebs, thanks, "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

Thousands of people are keeping an eye out for a killer black bear tonight. A child is dead, others in her family hospitalized. Campers, hikers, folks in southeastern Tennessee are on guard. We'll have the latest.

Plus, a very different kind of animal story. Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin stopped by with some exotic species he found in the Himalayas. Amazing animals.

Across the country and around the world, you're watching 360. Stay with us.


COOPER: Well, according to veteran hikers, the train around Benton Falls, Tennessee, offers really some of the most dazzling sights in the Appalachian Mountains. Yesterday, however, for a mother and her two children, the view was -- well, it was unimaginable terror.

A black bear attacked and killed a little girl, left her mother and baby brother injured. Tonight throughout the area, a massive hunt for the bear is under way. He's still on the loose.

CNN's Rick Sanchez investigates.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ranger Dan Hicks has spent years telling people that black bears generally don't attack people. Now, working just a mile from a deadly assault, he's telling a different story.

(on camera) You're perplexed by this?

RANGER DAN HICKS, SPOKESMAN, CHEROKEE NATIONAL FOREST: Yes, definitely. Definitely. Because it goes against what I've been telling the public for a long time.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): It happened to a mother and her two children. They, along with seven other sightseers, were visiting Benton Waterfall in Cherokee National Park. They didn't know it at the time, but there was a 300-pound bear lurking behind a fence, as Ranger Hicks illustrates.

HICKS: The bear did cross over that fence, and then just went straight for the 2-year-old and just literally picked the 2-year-old up by biting him in the head. SANCHEZ (on camera): Wow!

HICKS: He's holding this baby in the air.

SANCHEZ: Forty-five-year-old Susan Cenkus managed to save Luke, her 2-year-old, and got the bear to maul her instead. Her injuries so severe she went into shock. The question is, where was her 6-year-old daughter?

HICKS: The little girl's body was found 100 yards from the waterfall.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): In fact, it wasn't until paramedics arrived 20 minutes later that they found the little girl. And the bear was hovering over her, guarding its fallen prey.

(on camera) The little girl, it sounds like, just made a run for it, because she was so frightened about what she had just seen.

HICKS: Exactly.

SANCHEZ: and she thought maybe she'd be able to get back to her car?

HICKS: There's no telling what she was thinking, but I think she was wanting to get away from what was happening.

SANCHEZ: Elora, the 6-year-old, was killed, her condition, as explained by this veteran ranger, just too horrible to detail. Her 2- year-old brother is doing remarkably well, even though he suffered puncture wounds that penetrated his skull.

DR. GREG TALBOTT, ERLANGER MEDICAL CENTER: He was alert when he arrived her but anxious about the medical care environment, obviously frightened, and today somewhat irritable. And he's just, you know, gotten out of the operating room and is on some pain medication. And so I would say he's doing about as well as you can expect.

SANCHEZ: Doctors say the mother is awake and alert.

DR. VINCENT MEJIA, ERLANGER MEDICAL CENTER: She is still facing significant future operations for her soft tissue injuries, upper extremities and lower extremities, but other than that she's doing well.

SANCHEZ: Why did the bear attack? Was it famished from a long winter, or could it have had an illness of some type? Hicks suggests rabies or a brain tumor, for example. Rangers will only know if they catch the bear in one of the eight traps they've set. Not easy in this 1,500-acre section of the forest roamed by as many as 500 black bears.


COOPER: Such a terrible story. That was Rick Sanchez reporting. And the bear, as we said, is still on the loose. Coming up, a special hour devoted to the mystery of Jesus. Scientists and scholars sifting through the available evidence to help provide a better understanding of his story. That and more when 360 continues.



JEFF CORWIN, ANIMAL PLANET: We have found ourselves a frog. Our objective is to try to identify the species that call this stream home. This may look just like a boring gray-colored, small-bodied frog to you, but to me, this is discovery. This is the essence of science.


COOPER: Well, "The Realm of the Yeti". Now, honestly, when I first heard of that, I thought of sasquatch and some guy in a monkey suit running around, leaving fake tracks in the snow. But our next guest, Jeff Corwin of the Animal Planet, just returned from Nepal, actually in search of the yeti.

Tomorrow night on a new special, Corwin's quest, "The Realm of the Yeti", he goes in search of the legendary beast. Earlier he showed us some of the animals that he found on his trip.


COOPER: So why did you go to Nepal, and why in search of the yeti, of all things?

CORWIN: Well, you know, that's the whole thing about the yeti. It's this creature that's existed in folklore and mythology for thousands and thousands of years. But the thing to me, what is so cool about the possibility of the yeti, is that we came to believe that it actually could be possible.

I went there as a skeptic. My eyes really started to open up when the experience, and eventually, after weeks and weeks, we came across -- came across a creature, a real creature, a powerful, large, mammal, very furry. It was a creature I had never encountered before. And when I said to the gentleman with us, I said, "Well, what is this?"

He said, "Well, this is what we call a yeti."

But on this episode, you will see what I think very well could serve as one of the potential yetis.

Now, you told me you weren't afraid of snakes.

COOPER: I used to collect snakes as a kid, and then all of a sudden I got scared of them.

CORWIN: You can grab him. Just pull him up like that. COOPER: Oh, my God.

CORWIN: And this is an extraordinary snake.

COOPER: It's a python, right?

CORWIN: This is a python right here. This is a Burmese python, also called an Indian python.

COOPER: You can feel his muscles moving.

CORWIN: Incredible, isn't it? You can actually feel those muscles undulating under his skin. It's just an amazing, amazing snake.

COOPER: How heavy is this?

CORWIN: Well, I would say this guy is pushing 100 pounds. But he could be twice this length and twice his weight.

What I think is important about snakes like this is they have a very important conservation story to tell. Because the habitat where this creature lives in, mostly in the sultry rainforest, in places like Nepal, India and other parts of Asia, are disappearing so quickly, along with poaching. These animals are heavily poached for their skin and for their meat and their bones, for the underground medicinal industry there, traditional medicines, that these snakes are quickly disappearing. And unless radical efforts aren't made, a creature like this could disappear.

This is an awesome animal. And it's not an aggressive animal, but he can be a little nippy. So you want to just take this banana, and be careful with your fingers.

This right here...


CORWIN: I know. One, two, three, four, five. OK. This right here -- oh, you don't want to do?

COOPER: He seems busy over there.

CORWIN: This right here, this...

COOPER: Look at that.

CORWIN: It's called a bearcat. It's also called a binturong. And that's amazing about these creatures is this extraordinary animal can spend upwards to its entire life, 15, 20 years, living in the canopy, living at the top of the forest.

COOPER: Uh-huh.

CORWIN: Never touching the ground, which is really, really amazing. COOPER: And those whiskers are so -- man.

CORWIN: I know.

COOPER: Check that out.

CORWIN: He's hungry. And he's -- you know, so when you look at those...

COOPER: Look at that face.

CORWIN: Yes, he's got a cool face. So when you look at those -- when you look at those whiskers, what does that tell you? Now, it's fun right now, but when you run out of bananas, it hits the fan. OK?

COOPER: I'm out of here. When the bananas are gone, I'm out of here.

CORWIN: This cool goat right here is a cashmere goat.

COOPER: It's like going to a sale at Banana Republic.

CORWIN: Yes, it's like going to a sale at Banana Republic, but you know, needs a little more shampoo.

COOPER: This is where cashmere comes from.

CORWIN: This is where cashmere -- like one of the types of cashmere.

And what's so important about this animal is that it represents sustainability. This is a creature that's native to this region. So this animal can be harvested for many years without killing it.

In fact, it's actually part of the process. That you take a brush and you brush it. And you'll actually get this very dense fur off. That fur is blended with silk, and that's where cashmere comes from.

COOPER: Do they milk as well?

CORWIN: You could -- yes, they do produce milk. You know, sort of a win-win: fur and a really nice, elegant sheep (ph). Yes.

COOPER: Thanks so much for coming by.

CORWIN: My pleasure. Awesome.

COOPER: I look forward to the show.


COOPER: Corwin -- Corwin's quest, "Realm of the Yeti," airs tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on the Animal Planet.

Sticking with animals, we are happy to report Molly the cat, who had been trapped inside the wall of a New York City deli -- remember, we told you this story last night. This cat had been trapped for two weeks, has now been rescued.

Rescue teams have been working around the clock for days to get the cat out. They couldn't tear down the walls because of the deli -- because it's a landmark building, more than 150 years old. That is the cat being rescued. It happened just a short time ago this evening.

So now is the time in the program when we usually do "The Shot", our favorite picture or piece of video of the day. Tonight's a little different, because we're saying good-bye to a friend. Our technical director Sam Sawyer -- there he is -- is leaving us after tonight, heading off to greener pastures, as they say. He's been with us since the beginning of "360," really.

And Sam, you will truly be missed. We want to thank you for everything that you have done. In honor of Sam, "The Shot" tonight is one of our all-time favorites, one Sam I know has enjoyed many times, maybe too many times with us, a commercial for the Japanese Navy. We call it "Seaman Ship."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking foreign language)



COOPER: Sam, thank you very much. And good luck to you in all your future endeavors.

Coming up, a special edition of -- I could watch that "Seaman Ship" thing over and over and over again. I don't know. We've been watching it for years now.

He is, of course, one of the most influential figures in history, Jesus. But how much do we really know about him, about his life? Coming up in this special edition of 360, "The Mystery of Jesus" next.


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