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Hurricane Season Arrives; More Alleged U.S. Military Atrocities?

Aired June 1, 2006 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening from Saint Bernard Parish.
It is day one of hurricane season. That's one headline tonight.

The other involves U.S. troops and alleged massacres of civilians in Iraq. That's plural, massacres, not just the one in Haditha. A storm is now gathering over the Pentagon.


ANNOUNCER: Beyond Haditha -- reports of murder charges and another killing, and separate allegations of another massacre.

Ready or not, here it comes. Ready or not, that's the question.

Taking blame -- 6,000 pages from the people in charge of protecting New Orleans, 6,000 pages, one stark conclusion: We blew it. And others say, they will blow it again.

Also, imagine nursing your comatose daughter for months, then discovering she's not really your daughter. Imagine burying your daughter, then discovering she never really died -- one accident, two families, one unbelievable case of mistaken identity.


ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Tonight, live from Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: And thanks for joining from Saint Bernard Parish tonight, a community still devastated from Hurricane Katrina all these months later.

We are coming to you tonight from in front of the stark reminder not only the power of the storm, but also the long road of recovery and the long road that still lies ahead, this on the first day of hurricane season.

Take a look at this, this boat behind me. It's a shrimp boat carried some three miles by the storm, deposited right here on this street. The owner of this boat thinks FEMA may help him pick it up at some point, but he hasn't talked to FEMA in about five months. We just noticed a letter on the side of the shrimp boat from the Coast Guard, saying, in essence, that it's up to the owner to -- to move this boat.

He thinks it's still seaworthy. He would like to get it back, working again, back working as a shrimp fisherman. It remains to be seen. It is still right here, one of most surreal sights that we have seen in all our time here in New Orleans and in Saint Bernard Parish.

We are going to have much more on Katrina in a moment, not to mention the greater than one-in-three chance that people here will be facing another one this hurricane season. That's according to a new forecast.

First, though, we turn our attentions to that new allegation of an atrocity in Iraq and likely murder charges against U.S. troops in a separate incident, all of this on top of the alleged massacre in Haditha back in November, a lot to sort out, a lot to nail down.

We are going to start at the Pentagon, where CNN's Jamie McIntyre has the duty tonight.

Jamie, tell us about the murder charges.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, first of all, we should make clear that this does not involve Haditha, even those it's Marines who are at Camp Pendleton.

These are Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. They have been held, some of them, in pretrial confinement, which was an indication of the evidence against them. Now one of the attorneys representing one of those Marines has told the Associated Press that he expects seven Marines and one Navy Corpsman -- and, you know, with these units, they often have a medic who is a Navy personnel -- to be charged with everything ranging from murder to kidnapping.

This involves the death of a single Iraqi man, who investigators believe may have been pulled from his home and killed, and then made to look as though he was an insurgent. Again, these -- this happened in April of this year, separate from Haditha, but also Marines from Camp Pendleton. They're in the brig tonight -- Anderson.

COOPER: Is it known why they allegedly killed this man?

MCINTYRE: Well, we don't know many more details, although the implication is, they were looking for insurgents and either believed he was an insurgent or treated him as an insurgent.

The complaints of the local -- the local Iraqis came to the U.S. military, said, this man was killed improperly. They looked into it, found enough evidence to send these Marines back and basically put them in jail while they continued the investigation. Now we're told charges may be coming out very soon.

COOPER: OK. And, as you said, as you pointed out correctly, that is separate from the Haditha incident. What is the update on Haditha, two investigations go on right now?

MCINTYRE: Yes. And, of course, now, the second one is looking at whether there was a cover-up. And, tonight, we're able to tell you that there's some indications that that second investigation is going to point the finger of responsibility a little higher up the chain of command.


MCINTYRE (voice-over): One of the big questions surrounding the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha is why the cover story, that they were killed by a roadside bomb and resulting firefight, held up for months, from November until February, when "TIME" magazine began raising questions about it?

The answer, according to Pentagon sources familiar with an investigation done by Army Major General Eldon Bargewell, is that the Marines involved in the killings allegedly gave false information about what happened, and their superior officers allegedly failed to scrutinize their accounts.

There was another failing as well, sources tell CNN. Marines who arrived afterward were confronted and, in some cases, even photographed bodies that had been shot at close range, but did not challenge the official story. The mother of one Marine, Lance Corporal Ryan Briones, who was assigned to help clean up and document the scene, told CNN her son knew he had witnessed an atrocity.

SUSIE BRIONES, MOTHER OF LANCE CORPORAL RYAN BRIONES: It was -- it was horrific. It was a terrible scene. The biggest thing that keeps to his mind is the children, you know, that -- that were there.

MCINTYRE: In the wake of the findings of investigators, all 150,000 U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq are getting refresher training on the law of war and the responsibility to protect non- combatants caught in a war zone. The message is simple and direct.

MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, MULTINATIONAL FORCE SPOKESMAN: I don't think there is any question in our mind, if you're carrying a locked and loaded weapon, you're not going to pick it up and aim it at somebody unless you feel your life is threatened.


COOPER: Jamie, there are also new reports of yet another separate incident involving U.S. soldiers. What can you tell us about that?

MCINTYRE: Yes. And this is pretty troubling.

But -- and this goes to show you what the problem is here. This allegation, which was aired by the BBC, purports to have videotape that contradicts the official U.S. version of events, what happened in an incident in a town called Ishaki, north of Baghdad, earlier this year.

It says 11 civilians were shot to death, in contrast to the U.S. military's report that they were essentially killed when a building collapsed. Now, we don't know much about this incident. We have asked the U.S. military to provide us with some details. But the -- what this shows, though, is that -- and, by the way, the BBC says that this video came from a hard-line Sunni group, the group opposing the United States in Iraq, in -- in Iraqi forces.

So, but it shows how, now that this Haditha incident is getting such play, the U.S. military is going to have to respond seriously to all these charges. And, you know, Anderson, there are dozens of cases in which civilians have been killed in Iraq. Now they're going to have to be subject to criticism in each one of these. And they may have to go back and look at a lot of them again.

COOPER: Jamie, appreciate the update on all three cases. Thank you.

All three stories really touch on the possibility, the possibility, that military discipline failed at some point. They're all set against a backdrop, as we have been reporting, of daily brutal insurgent attacks on troops and innocent civilians, that and troops serving two, three, even more rotations in Iraq.

The bottom line, though, these are also crime stories and criminal investigations.

With us by phone, Scott Silliman, now a law professor at Duke University, and a former Air Force attorney.

Professor, thanks for being with us.

How rare is it for U.S. soldiers, U.S. Marines to be charged with murder?

SCOTT SILLIMAN, FORMER AIR FORCE ATTORNEY: Well, it's quite rare, Anderson, and particularly in a combat environment.

And, as Jamie's lead-in suggested, to have now three major investigations all going on at the same time is -- is extremely rare and quite extraordinary.

COOPER: Let's talk about this -- this first incident, seven Marines, one Navy Corpsman, the shooting death of an Iraqi civilian, allegedly a civilian, allegedly, you know, leading to murder charges against these Marines. What does that indicate to you?

SILLIMAN: Well, I think what it indicates to me, Anderson, is that you have got these Marines. They were operating in and around a small village called Hamandiyah, west of Baghdad.

Again, as Jamie suggested, the allegations are that they pulled and individual from his home, shot him. One Marine perhaps fired an AK-47, left the weapon and the shells surrounding him, along with a shovel, to suggest that he was an insurgent trying to plant an IED, an explosive device, got into a firefight with the Marines, and was lawfully killed.

Now, obviously, that story has come apart. They have all been charged with murder, which, by the way, under the military system, Anderson, under these circumstances, could probably carry up to life imprisonment for anyone charged with that.

So, it's a very, very serious offense. It is particularly disturbing, because the Marines pride themselves on always complying with the rule of law.

COOPER: Well, there's also now two ongoing investigations for the death of 24 Iraqis in Haditha.

A, what potential charges could be brought against them and how high up in the chain of command could this investigation go? Because, as you know, one of these investigations is about whether false information was passed up the chain of command, whether the chain of command kind of knowingly just kind of ignored some of the evidence.

SILLIMAN: That's correct, Anderson.

First, as to the charges, again, these individual can be charged with murder if the facts, as you and I are hearing them and your listeners are hearing them, bear any kind of substance, there is an intentional killing, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which carries up to life imprisonment.

I don't think they would charge premeditated murder, which would carry death. When these individuals are put in solitary confinement, or in the brig, Anderson, military law does not allow for any kind of bail. So, when an individual, a military member, is put in jail like this, charges have to come fairly quickly.

But the investigation is going to ensue. And, as you suggest, the real question is now, who knew and when did they know it? And if it goes higher up, particularly into the officer corps, then I would expect that we may see further charges in the Haditha incident.

COOPER: It -- it is certainly troubling.

Scott Silliman, appreciate you joining us, Professor, tonight. Thank you very much for your expertise.

With us now in Washington, CNN military analyst and Retired Brigadier General James "Spider" Marks.

Just on a gut level, when you hear these kind of charges, what do you think?


You know, Anderson, this is -- when you hear the charges, your first reaction is, this is aberrant behavior. This is not what Marines do. This is not what the normal Marine, what the bulk of the Marines do; 99 percent of the Marines in combat and the Marines in uniform are honorable and courageous young men and women.

The soldiers on the ground are confronted with this all the time, just as the Marines are. So, when you hear this, you're disgusted. But you have to realize that this is aberrant behavior. And the goodness in -- and if there's goodness in any of this, it's that the Marines, the Navy are looking very, very deeply and very openly into these charges.

This is a wide-open aperture, and they're shedding a lot of light on it, as they should.

COOPER: Look, there are going to be some people who see this and say, look, you know what? Sure, this is terrible, but this is a war. And terrible things happen in a war. And the pressures that these soldiers, these Marines are under every day, it's a miracle this kind of stuff doesn't happen more often.

Some might even say, you know what? Give them a break. You know, why investigate? Why delve so deeply into this? As a military man, what do you -- how do you answer that?

MARKS: There but for the grace of God go I.

These -- these incidents could occur, and probably are at the cusp of occurring, multiple times during the day, especially in a theater that has 150,000 deployed soldiers and Marines on the ground, trying to deal with the chaos. And you're fighting an enemy that doesn't present himself or herself.

This is a faceless enemy. It's a -- this is deadly. And when the Marines are confronted with one of their buddies who bleeds out and dies in their arms, of course, there's an immediate reaction. It's vitriolic. It's emotional. And they want to respond. But the soldiers and the Marines on the ground are trained.

And General George Casey is reinforcing that training throughout his chain of command right now that says, look, we must act with honor, and dignity, and respect, and courage at all times. And we have to understand what the rules are.

Sadly, you often don't know who the bad guy is until a shot is fired.

COOPER: It sounds like -- you know, Ryan Chilcote did a report the other night in which a reporter interviewed some of the people, the survivors from this Haditha incident. And one of them sort of -- at the third time that she was giving her interview, this young girl, she said that she was expecting this bomb blast, this IED blast.

I guess if this gets to a court of law, and it gets to the defense, I guess the Marines will be arguing that these civilians knew of the IED, and that's, I guess, why they were targeted.

MARKS: Well, they were -- obviously were targeted by an IED. Those facts are out. And I think they're indisputable right now.

But I think, at this point, we all need to kind of take a step back and breathe through our noses and try to take the -- take the long view on this. And let's figure out, how do you prevent this in the future? Let's not cast aspersions. Let's not call it a massacre. Let's not call it irresponsible. And let's not call it a rampage.

Let's look at facts. We all are entitled to our own opinions. None of us are entitled to our own facts. And we have got to be able to look at this very, very aggressively. I know the Marines are doing it.

Anderson, this is -- this is bad news. It's unfortunate. But, please, it's aberrant. I know you know that.

COOPER: Certainly do.

I mean, when you think, as you said, more than 100,000 U.S. troops on the ground there every day, on patrol, around the clock, it's extraordinary that we don't hear more of these kinds of incidents, as, frankly, given especially the nature of the insurgency that they are fighting against and the brutality that they're fighting against.

What does it tell you, though, that now all across, that all branches of the service are kind of looking at their core value training, and, in fact, instituting new core value training, and everyone's going to have to go back to these courses? Is that for real? I mean, do people take those courses seriously?

MARKS: Sure they do.

Throughout my career, absolutely. We would routinely dip ourselves -- routinely dip ourselves back into that which is core to our professional ethos, which is dignity and respect. Of course, you have to be absolutely violent when necessary. But you have to step back and you must treat everyone the way you would want to be treated.

So, the training is -- is important and it is taken seriously. And I think it's important that, even though there are a number of investigations ongoing, what's the alternative? That we don't do the investigations when we find out that there's aberrant behavior?

I think the goodness in this is that we're looking at it.

COOPER: And that's, I guess, what separates the U.S. from -- from the enemy that they are fighting.

MARKS: It does.

COOPER: General Marks, appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

One footnote: Today, a court-martial found Sergeant Santos Cardona guilty of aggravated assault and dereliction of duty. He was a dog handler at Abu Ghraib prison, the tribunal concluding that he did, indeed, use his animal to terrorize Iraqi prisoners there.

He was found not guilty, though of maltreatment, conspiracy, and making a false official statement, sentencing on that case expected tomorrow.

Now to hurricane season. It is here. That's a fact no one can change. But exactly how bad will the next six months be? We would like to think we can predict these monsters of nature. Experts say this will be another busy season -- coming up, a look at where they think the biggest storms could hit.

Also, is your family prepared for the power these storms pack? We will show you what you need to protect yourself and your loved ones this hurricane season.

And a horrible crash ends five lives. A young woman survives, but she's not who everyone thought she was. A heartbreaking case of mistaken identity -- next on 360.


COOPER: You're looking at a live -- or, actually, not live, aerial shots we took earlier today of the location we're in. That shows the shrimp boat in this -- in this residential community here in Saint Bernard Parish, a community just completely torn apart, devastated by the storm.

Some 45,000 homes in Saint Bernard Parish before Katrina -- guess many there are here now that are habitable? Just a couple of dozen. That's how bad things are. And, as you can, the shrimp boat is still here, nine months-plus since this storm hit.

Hurricane season arrived today. So did a new forecast -- the bottom line, a greater than one-in-three chance that the victims of Katrina will face another storm some time this year.


COOPER (voice-over): The wind, the water, the devastation -- hurricanes can't be stopped, but they can be predicted. That's the theory, at least. This year, the experts are predicting a very active hurricane season, with 17 named storms, nine hurricanes, and five expected to be major. That's Category 3, 4, or 5.

That's the latest forecast by William Gray at Colorado State University. And it's in line with predictions by federal agencies. Gray's record, over about 20 years, is one of most reliable. But he was way off last year.

In 2005, he said there would be 15 named storms, but there were 27. He also expected eight hurricanes, four of which would be intense. But there were 14 hurricanes last year, and seven were major, including Katrina, which left more than 1,800 people dead.

Gray told CNN that, in April of last year, the signals just didn't look so bad. But everyone made the same mistake. As for this year, Gray says there an 82 percent chance of a major hurricane slamming somewhere along the U.S. coastline. For the east coast in Florida, he says there's a 69 percent chance of a Category 3 or stronger hurricane this season.

And the chances of another major hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast are 38 percent. Most forecasters believe the odds of four major storms this year are very small. But if 2005 tells us anything, it's that forecasting hurricanes is an inexact science. The best bet is to heed the warning of Max Mayfield, the director of National Hurricane Center.

MAX MAYFIELD, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: And when everybody's saying it's going to be above average, people need to sit up and take notice. And the message is, you know, very consistent: Prepare, prepare, prepare.


COOPER: Let's hope we hear that message.

On a large scale, that preparation involves rebuilding the levee system. Last night, we had the privilege of a close-up look at the men and women scrambling to finish a giant piece of it. For them, the job is very personal.

This next story is not about them. It is about the organization that employs them, the Army Corps of Engineers, spending tens of billions of your tax dollars to protect against hurricanes, even before Katrina critics were calling it dysfunctional. Today, it issued a report, more than 6,000 pages, taking a big chunk of the blame.

CNN's Joe Johns tonight "Keeping Them Honest."


JOE JOHNS, CNN CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In its massive report, the Army Corps of Engineers concluded the obvious about the system of New Orleans levees it was responsible for -- quote -- "The hurricane protection in New Orleans and southeast Louisiana was a system in name only."

Among the findings: Pumping stations were not designed to handle major hurricanes. Hurricane protections structures were too low. Levee sections had erodible materials, which, well, it's not good.

For the chief of planing and policy at the Corps, it's a chance to get it right next time.

THOMAS WATERS, CHIEF OF PLANNING AND POLICY, ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: I think what we have got is an opportunity to learn a tremendous amount from this report.

JOHNS: An opportunity, yes, but the fact is, the Corps has a long history of squandering opportunities. The Government Accountability Office says, it's been bungling the basic legwork for years.

ANU Mittal, NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT DIRECTOR, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE: What we have found is, the Corps' analysis tends to be fraught with errors and miscalculations. They tend to use outdated information. And they use invalid assumptions.

JOHNS: In other words, the Corps has a pattern of getting it wrong.

In one case, GAO says it found inflated costs of $56 million, a computer error of $4.7 million, and erroneous projected benefits of $4.4 million, all in the same river project in the Northeast.

On the Gulf Coast, another example -- the Corps placed a $40 million order to buy temporary classrooms for Mississippi schools in the wake of Katrina. The original price had been half that, about $22 million. The GAO says the Corps never even questioned the contractor when it suddenly raised the price.

So, what's going on here?

STEVE ELLIS, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: After the hurricane hit, a lot of people's response was, we didn't spend enough money. Well, no, it's really is that we didn't spend enough money wisely.

JOHNS: Steve Ellis of Taxpayers For Common Sense says the Corps needs to clean up its act.

ELLIS: The problem is that it's sort of wrapped in this sort of wonky economic science that people aren't really paying attention to, until the levee in your backyard fails, and your house is full of water.

JOHNS: The Corps has said it's working on improving the way it does business.

WATERS: A lot of what has been brought out, we -- we have already instituted our own methods to improve how we do things.

JOHNS: But the Corps answers to Congress and the White House and says it does what politicians want. Some in Congress say that doesn't include miscalculations and overspending. They want the Corps to get it right before another catastrophe.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: We have noticed a disturbing trend with recent hurricane activity. Here's the "Raw Data."

Nine of the last 11 hurricane seasons have been above normal. And, since 1986, 13 Category 3 and stronger storms struck the U.S. But seven of them, more than half, hit in 2005 and 2004. Last year, we saw the most powerful hurricane on record, Hurricane Wilma. At one point, its wind speeds reached 175 miles per hour.

There's just no getting around it. There will be a -- there will be a next time. But, right now, Katrina victims are still in need of housing. We're going to bring you the latest on FEMA's field of empty mobile homes. Remember those? Why can't they be put to use? We all paid for them. You're keeping -- we're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

Plus, a deadly crash and a terrible mixup -- one victim wasn't who everyone thought she was. We will explain when 360 continues.


COOPER: And welcome back. We are live in Saint Bernard Parish.

We have got people who need housing and housing that needs people. So, who do FEMA's mobile homes still bake -- or why, I should say, do FEMA's mobile homes still bake in the Arkansas sun? Tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest" -- next on 360.


COOPER: And welcome back to the -- the scene here in Saint Bernard Parish, where so many are still without homes, and this shrimp boat is just sitting in the middle of the street, carried by the strength of Katrina some three miles, and slammed down right here. And here it has sat all these nine months.

Housing remains a top story here in Louisiana. Countless families are split up and scattered across the country. Their frustration rattled New Orleans City Hall last night, when some displaced residents vowed to seize fenced-off storm-damaged housing.

Meanwhile, those FEMA mobile homes we have been watching, remember those? Well, they stay empty, hundreds of millions of dollars worth. New Orleans isn't getting them. And neither is anybody else.

Here's CNN's Susan Roesgen "Keeping Them Honest."


SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here they are, nearly 10,000 mobile homes lined up end to end in Hope, Arkansas, and still empty.

It's FEMA's mobile home park, 450 miles from the Gulf Coast. As taxpayers, we paid $300 million to buy these mobile homes, $6 million to put gravel under them to keep them from sinking in the mud. And we're still paying $25,000 a month to lease the land they sit on.

SEN. TIM JOHNSON (D), SOUTH DAKOTA: It seems to me that they ought to be able to part with at least some of them for some of the housing crisis problems we have in Indian country.

ROESGEN: FEMA rules say, in general, mobile homes can't be placed in a floodplain, which makes them pretty much useless along the Gulf Coast.

So, South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson says, why not drive those mobile homes up to his state, where he says 90,000 families need housing on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation? But FEMA rules won't allow that, either.

DAVID PASSEY, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: Right now, it's not possible. FEMA's housing mission is confined to disaster housing after presidentially declared disasters. So, we're legally not able to use mobile homes that were purchased for disaster housing for any other form of housing.

ROESGEN: So who makes the FEMA rules?

We do hereby move --

ROESGEN: FEMA says it's the same group that's complained about the agency the loudest lately, congress. Congress made the rules and congress can change them. Senator Johnson of South Dakota says, FEMA should bend the rules.

SEN. TIM JOHNSON, (D) SOUTH DAKOTA: It seems to me that FEMA ought to be more creative, ought to be more innovative, ought to be thinking outside of their own little jurisdictional box. What I think is going to happen is that these trailers are going to continue to deteriorate and we're going to wind up with a lost investment and no one's going to get the value of the trailers.

PASSEY: It's not that we aren't supportive of Senator Johnson's efforts to improve Indian housing in South Dakota and around the United States. There are organizations in the federal government designed to do that. But FEMA's the disaster coordination agency for the federal government.

ROESGEN: Since we first started reporting this story, FEMA has moved several hundred mobile homes from Arkansas to other states as housing for potential tornado victims. Some have even been sent to Edison, New Jersey, just in case the east coast gets hit with a hurricane or a terrorist attack. But FEMA intends to leave about 5,000 mobile homes in Hope, Arkansas, ready to be used but with no guarantee they ever will be. Susan Roesgen, CNN, New Orleans.


COOPER: And it is all still sitting there. In a moment, the shot of the day but first Tom Foreman joins us with some of the other stories we're following tonight. Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Anderson. CBS News says critically injured correspondent Kimberly Dozier has begun communicating with her family. Dozier was wounded Monday in a Baghdad car bombing that killed her cameraman and sound technician, as well as an American soldier. Although unable to talk, Dozier can write. Her first question, what happened to the crew? She was told the truth and remains in critical but stable condition at a U.S. military hospital in Germany.

In Indonesia, officials on the island of Java today urged a stop to aid distribution at night to prevent theft and looting. Tens of thousands of Indonesians were left homeless when the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck early Saturday, killing more than 6,000 people. Rescue workers are still pulling bodies from the rubble there.

To California, where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger blinked today. He agreed to send about 1,000 California National Guardsmen to the Mexican border ending a 17-day standoff with the Bush administration. The two sides had been at odds over whether California guardsmen would join the effort to beef up the border patrol and who would pay for it.

And Monaco's Prince Albert has acknowledged that he is the father of a second illegitimate child, a 14-year-old girl in California. That's according to an interview with his lawyer, published in a French newspaper. French media reports have said the 48-year-old ruler had a brief affair with the girl's mother in 1991 when she vacationed in France. The prince's daughter cannot take the throne and she will not bear the Gramaldi family name, neither will his other illegitimate child, a 3-year-old boy. Anderson?

COOPER: Who knew? Tom, time now for the shot, stick around for that. It is -- it's a dear friend of ours, the shot, do you remember red?

FOREMAN: Yes, of course.

COOPER: The pit bull appeared on "360" in February. Red became homeless after Katrina, he was hit by a car that left him partially paralyzed, he got around using a type of doggy wheelchair. He's an amazing dog. Well good news, this is red today. He is a happy dog. And the woman next to him is Diane McDermott, his new owner. Diane had seen Red on our program and she felt such a strong connection with him, she called up Best Friends Animal Society and arranged to adopt Red. Yesterday she picked him up but only after Red got a sendoff party at his temporary shelter in Houston. He is now at his new home in Florida and we wish him well. Tom I don't know if you saw that, this dog can run, I think faster than I could run even though it only can use its two front paws.

FOREMAN: That's a lot of enthusiasm there. Good for Diane. Good for Red, too.

COOPER: Yeah, not an easy thing to do -- but a special needs dog. Tom thanks very much and Diane (INAUDIBLE) thanks very much.

Look all around me and you see all of the damage a hurricane can do. But apparently it is not warning enough. Coming up, another wake-up call for all of those who plan to weather the next storm. You might not feel safe after you see this.

Plus the political game between the U.S. and Iran when offers to talk really mean something else. We'll uncover it ahead on "360".


COOPER: And welcome back. We are live from St. Bernard Parish tonight with this shrimp boat which is really a symbol of just the power of this storm and also the power of the rebuilding effort and the long path that still lays ahead. This boat was carried some three miles by the storm, just plunked down right here on a residential street and hardly anyone is living on this street. I mean all of the houses are empty. People's possessions are all still laying around. Here's an old videotape from someone's home. Here's a -- looks like a child's doll from Disneyland.

You find this kind of stuff all -- you can go down any street here in St. Bernard Parish and you'll see all the destruction. It's still all just laying around here. It's so hard to comprehend that after all of this time, there's still so much that needs to be fixed, so much help that needs to come here. You'd think with scenes like this that people would know to get out if the next storm comes but there are some people who say they haven't learned that lesson and they don't plan to get out. CNN's Rob Marciano has their story.


ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even against the backdrop of Katrina's destruction and all the warnings about this hurricane season, some people in Apalachicola, Florida still suggest they can ride out any storm.

JOHNNY DAVIS, OYSTER FARMER: I'm really not too concerned about hurricane season.

MARCIANO: Johnny Davis, an oyster farmer, is not worried that his town sits on a spit of land right on the gulf.

DAVIS: You can't live in fear and wait on a hurricane.

MARCIANO: He's not alone. In a recent survey 43 percent of gulf and Atlantic state residents said they don't feel vulnerable to hurricanes. And 13 percent say they will not flee their houses even if ordered to do so. But maybe they've never seen what's go on in Texas. Here at Texas Tech meteorologists and engineers team up to test debris flying through the air up to 100 miles an hour to see how it will affect structures like say the wall of your home. They do it by using a 20 foot long PVC pipe and firing it like a cannon. The result, a tiny burst of a hurricane's potential strength, to demonstrate the danger to all those seaside homes.

LARRY TANNER, TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY: This is constructed just exactly like virtually all homes in America are built.

MARCIANO: Doesn't exactly make you feel safe.

TANNER: No. It doesn't make you feel safe.

MARCIANO: The purpose of this is not to scare people, but rather to develop houses that might better withstand a hurricane's winds. These scientists already know where many weaknesses lie.

TANNER: The connections need to be very strong, roof to wall, wall to floor. And the door also must be capable of withstanding the wind pressure.

MARCIANO: And they're already coming up with solutions such as these hurri-quake nails, which hold so tightly the wood around them will fail before the nails do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This brick wall, obviously reinforced, the ideal wall in a safe room.

TANNER: If you're on the other side of the wall, you're going to be perfectly safe.

MARCIANO: But there's nothing safer than informed, cautious citizens. Folks like commercial shrimper Smokey Parish, he's already made plans to move his valuable frozen shrimp inland if a storm threatens. The memory of Katrina is fresh.

SMOKEY PARISH, SHRIMPER: It was a wake-up call for everybody up and down the coast.

MARCIANO: For all of the promising research, millions live in houses that aren't designed to withstand major hurricanes. And despite all of the calls for safety first, it seems plenty of them will stay put, even as the summer storms come roaring in.


COOPER: So, Rob, someone watching this now, what should they do to prepare for a hurricane?

MARCIANO: Well you know Max Mayfield and all the other government officials have really been pounding the drum the past several weeks, we've got to be prepared. Some things are pretty obvious. If you live any where near the coast, you're going to want to have a first aid kit pretty handy. Other things, you know, may not be so obvious, canned goods because if you're without power you can't do any sort of cooking, you want non perishable food items. On that note, water. One thing that you can never have enough water. You're going to need at least three gallons per person per day in your home. So do the math depending on who you have living with you. You want a solid flashlight, preferably one that can be stood up like a lantern.

And here's another thing, you don't have to live close to the coast for this. You're going to want to have plastic bags to wrap your legal documents in. You could be 100, 200 miles away from the coast. It does not take much wind to spring a leak in your roof. Now June 1st is no coincidence that this is the start of hurricane season. Just recently the last few days water temperatures in the gulf of Mexico have reached 80 degrees. That is the threshold, that's the temperature the water has to be in order for hurricanes to develop.

It doesn't mean they're going to spring up today, doesn't mean it's going to happen next week or the week after. Matter of fact, June is typically a pretty quiet month. Only on average about every other year do we have a named storm in the month of June. But the forecast is for an above average hurricane season, as you know Anderson, because the water temperatures overall in the Atlantic are above average. Back to you.

COOPER: Rob, thanks very much.

From harsh storms to harsh diplomacy. The U.S. plays tough with Iran over its nuclear program, even as it extends an offer to talk. We'll look at what's really going on and bring you new developments tonight.

Plus a horrible mix-up. The parents of a young woman killed in this accident is told she's alive while their daughter's buried by another family. How could this happen? The story when "360" continues.


COOPER: Major step today in the effort to control Iran's alleged nuclear ambition. The U.S. and five other world powers have agreed to offer Iran a quote far reaching set of incentives to start negotiations but only if the country stops making nuclear fuel. This comes after Iran rejected a proposal yesterday by the U.S. which would have begun talks between the two countries again if Iran were to stop its nuclear activity. Of course there was more to that proposal than meets the eye. With that CNN Senior National Correspondent John Roberts.


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Iran's rejection of the White House offer was not just expected, it was part of the plan. According to administration officials, the entire goal of this new overture was meant to heighten awareness of the world to Iran's intransigence.

KENNETH POLLACK, SABAN CENTER BROKINGS INSTITUTE: In the eyes of Europe, China, Russia and many other countries, it's going to look like Iran is the problem like Iran is the country that doesn't want to see a peaceful resolution of this process.

ROBERTS: What looks on the surface like a softening of the U.S. position, the offer of face-to-face talks is actually just another play in the president's game of diplomatic hardball to force Iran to give up its nuclear program.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they choose not to suspend and if they continue their -- they continue to say to the world we really don't care what your opinion is and the world is going to act in concert.

ROBERTS: The tricky part for the White House has been coming up with a set of punitive measures Russia and China could agree to. An oil export ban would have been the harshest perhaps most effective penalty. But sanctions expert Gary Hufbauer says, because of its effect on the global economy, that's off the table.

GARY HUFBAUER, INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: If you put sanctions on oil exports I think the global pain is too great given that that we're already a little over $70 a barrel and people are already screaming at the pump.

ROBERTS: Public agreement on punitive measures doesn't ensure they'll actually pass the U.N. Security Council. And there's this question -- would anything short of sanctions against the oil industry have the teeth to bring Iran to the table? Iraq endured 11 years of crushing sanctions over weapons it didn't even have. For Iran, nuclear muscle is a matter of national pride, their seal of status and power in the region. And one they'll not easily part with.

HUFBAUER: I'm sorry to say, but that's extremely popular throughout Iran and even amongst Iranians that I have met in this country who do not like the regime but they like the idea of a grander Iran.

ROBERTS: With his hands full in Iraq, President Bush is anxious to avoid military action against Iran. He is also just as concerned about what Israel might do. So these next few weeks will be critical in determining whether this showdown continues along a peaceful track or escalates. John Roberts, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, most stories carry emotions that we can all relate to. How about this one however, students in a fatal car accident, parents are informed. But the girl everyone thinks they buried is actually recovering in a hospital. A terrible mix-up when we come back.

Plus, dispatches from Katrina, the courage of the people and the power of nature when "360" continues.


COOPER: Well the pain of losing loved ones is on too many faces in this region and you know they'd of course do anything to be able to turn back time. Tonight, people far from here also touched by tragedy face the same emotions but theirs also has a horrible twist to their pain. Here's CNN's Jonathan Freed.


JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Imagine discovering the child you thought died in a traffic accident, the child you thought you had buried, actually survived. That's what happened to the family of 18- year-old Whitney Cerak when she woke from a coma shocking everyone because she wasn't who she was supposed to be.

RON MOWERY, CORONER, GRANT COUNTY, INDIANA: She was asked if she knew her name which is standard procedure. She said, yes. She knew her name and she spoke her name.

FREED: The name people were expecting to hear was Laura VanRyn, a 22-year-old who was in the same car wreck with Whitney in Indiana in April. It was Laura who was killed, along with three other students and an employee of Taylor University northeast of Indianapolis. The coroner's office had mixed up their identities. So, now imagine discovering the child you thought had survived the traffic accident had actually died. That's what happened to Laura's family after they had been sitting by Whitney's hospital bed for weeks. Emotional whiplash hit both families.

KEVIN EVANS, DEPUTY CORONER, GRANT COUNTY, INDIANA: One family had tragedy and the other family had a sense of joy.

FREED: It's not clear why the mismatch happened, but in trying to explain it, the coroner pointed to what he called the uncanny resemblance between the women, including body type, hair color and facial features. Even Laura's family agreed. And on a family Web site, set up to chart what was believed to be Laura's progress in the hospital, the VanRyns say, "We will mourn Laura's going home and will greatly miss her compassionate heart and sweetness. We rejoice with the Ceraks that they will have more time on this earth with their daughter." The Grant County coroner apologized.

MOWERY: The one thing that I am most -- regret the most, is it did happen on my watch.

FREED: A hospital spokesperson says cases of mistaken identity are so rare, it's not routine to check.

BRUCE ROSSMAN, SPECTRUM HOSPITAL SPOKESMAN: If there isn't any reason to doubt the medical record and the family that's along with the patient, then we don't take any further action.

FREED: At Taylor University, where the grieving has started again, Whitney and Laura's fellow students say they hardly have any emotions left to deal with this. Because they're already numb. Jonathan Freed, CNN, Chicago.


COOPER: That's so terrible.

Coming up in the next hour, dispatches from Katrina. With the new hurricane season under way, we'll look back at some remarkable people and those extraordinary moments and update you on what has happened to them since our stories from the week after Katrina and updates on the people and the places we saw then. When "360" continues.


COOPER: A city under water, hospitals without necessities, police stations under siege and thousands of people living in turmoil. The stories we must never forget, dispatches from Katrina next on "360".


COOPER: Good evening from New Orleans. The hurricane season of 2006 has officially begun. Tonight, the threat of what could happen and the reality of what has happened. Dispatches from the storm. Then and now, stories from Katrina.

ANNOUNCER: From the watery rescues --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rescuers going down. We believe there may be at least two more people in the house.


ANNOUNCER: To the victims who could not be saved.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The smell, it's overwhelming.


ANNOUNCER: The chaos at the convention center.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not the way we live.


ANNOUNCER: A hospital under siege.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no showers or toilets at all.


ANNOUNCER: And cops under attack.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just heard a gunshot.


ANNOUNCER: They are the images and the stories we will never forget. Tonight, "Dispatches from Katrina." From New Orleans, here's Anderson Cooper.


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