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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Israel Troops Enter Gaza to Retrieve Kidnapped Soldier; Troop Withdrawal; Protecting the Flag; Western Wildfires; Missing in the Floods; Record Rain
Aired June 27, 2006 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: ....for the Israelis. The popular resistance committee, one of the groups responsible for kidnapping Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier, now claims to have kidnapped a second Israeli, an 18-year-old West Bank settler. They say they have him. Their patience is running out. And unless the Israeli forces withdrawal from Gaza, he will be killed -- John.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: John, it almost sounds like a cliche to ask this again, but I think it bears asking. What is all of this going to go to do to the peace process? Yesterday we saw a very, very slight glimmer of hope with Hamas saying that it may enter into some negotiations to in some tacit way, recognize Israel and now this?
VAUSE: Well, essentially the peace process has been in tatters for so long, has had virtually no chance of being reborn while the Hamas government is in power. We saw a little bit of movement in the last 24 hours, With Hamas agreeing in principle to this demand made by the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to agree it a two- state solution, implicitly recognizing Israel. All of these peace talks cannot happen while an Israeli is being held hostage.
But of course the problem for Hamas is that it still has to meet those three demands being made by Israel, by the United States and by most of the international community -- renounce violence, recognize Israel's right to exist, and disarm. So until that happens, then the peace process will not be moving anywhere. In fact, we seem to be going quite the opposite direction now -- John.
ROBERTS: All right, John Vause, live for us is in what is now Wednesday morning in Gaza City. John, thanks.
Now to Iraq, new signs that even though Americans have serious doubts about President Bush's handling of the war, their reservations are growing about the Democrats.
Is it an election year sea change? Too early to tell, but as CNN's Candy Crowley reports for us now, it may be bigger than just a blip.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New polling suggests, House and Senate debates on a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq may have given Republicans a bit of political juice.
SEN. BILL FRIST (R), MAJORITY LEADER: Cutting and running before Iraq can really defend itself, I believe, threatens the American people.
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MINORITY LEADER: These terms that my friends like to throw around, cut and run, tax and spend. The American people know what's going on here. They know what's going on.
CROWLEY: A "Washington Post"/ABC poll finds Republicans with a seven point edge on the question of, which party would best handle terrorism? Forty-six percent of Americans said, Republicans; 39 percent said Democrats. That's a seven-point drop for Democrats in a month.
In between the May and June polls, U.S. troops killed al Qaeda Leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The Iraqi government completed its cabinet. President Bush flew to Baghdad. And in House/Senate debate, Republicans poked at the Democratic fissure over whether and when to set a timetable for withdrawal.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: It appears that they have no unifying position and they have no plan to lead to victory in Iraq.
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: A hundred percent of the Democratic caucus believes it's time for change. And 100 percent of the Republican caucus believes it's time to stay the course.
CROWLEY: The new poll shows Democrats lost ground on Iraq. They still hold a six point edge as the party that would do a better job in Iraq. But Republicans gained five points.
DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC ANALYST: That they're stabilized. Perhaps they have gotten a little political IV with all of the red meat that's being thrown at them. But the good news is that Democrats are still well-positioned.
CROWLEY: Democrats still enjoy a healthy double-digit lead, when people ask whether they prefer a Democratic or a Republican Congressional candidate. Still, Democrats don't want to seed any ground on the signature issue of this campaign. They are continuing the debate long after the roll call, embracing, as precisely what they proposed, the words of the top commander in Iraq, that some troops may come home by the end of the year.
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: ... put it beyond the Republicans to call General Casey old, Cut and Run General George Casey. Totally inappropriate, but that won't stop him.
CROWLEY: While the House/Senate debates may have budged the politics of 2006, they did little to change minds on Iraq. The "Post" poll and another by Gallup show Americans remain just about evenly divided over whether to set a timetable for withdrawal.
ROBERTS: Well, one thing's for certain, Candy is no cut-and-run correspondent. She stuck around for questioning on her report, along with CNN's Joe Johns and Dana Bash, all part of the best political team on television, and our roundtable earlier tonight. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ROBERTS: Candy Crowley, these changes in poll numbers, is that an indication that after all of that debate on Capitol Hill, voters don't think that the Democrats have a viable alternative plan for Iraq?
CROWLEY (on camera): Actually, the truth is they don't think anybody has a viable plan for Iraq. You look the at numbers, the Democrats are in the 70 percent range of Americans who don't believe Democrats have a plan. The White House can't really rejoice on that because in the upper 60's percent, they don't believe that the president has a plan. So, it's not...
ROBERTS: So why do you think these numbers are moving toward the Republicans, then?
CROWLEY: I think that things cut through. I think cut and run has a very real meaning as a slogan. They picked it particularly. They were very good at pounding. And it is true, in fact that Republicans were largely together because of this. And Democrats did have their differences of opinions and mind you, the debate came after what was largely a pretty good couple of weeks for the president, which included the killing of Zarqawi.
Joe Johns, the cost of the war, as you said over $300 billion now. Dramatically more expensive every year. Democrats talk about the high cost of the war, but it never seems to really cut through. Do you think that they're going to try to make it more of an issue as we get closer to the election?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they would certainly like too, John, but it's not clear that it's going to break through. I talked to David Obey, he's the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, today. He makes the case as a question of disclosure. Every time we turn around, there's more money and even more money going into the war in Iraq that people didn't know about. He basically says what the president and the administration need to do is level with the American people. Tell them how much this thing is going to cost. The fact is, John, really a lot of people don't know.
ROBERTS: Dana Bash, the flag burning amendment that failed by one vote today. There hasn't been an epidemic of flag burning around lately. So what is this all about? And who benefits from it?
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): That's an understatement, not an epidemic at all. I mean, looking at even the proponents, their Web site, it was hard to find anything that was really that significant in the past couple of years.
But look, the bottom line is that people who have been pushing this issue -- like Senator Orrin Hatch, for example -- have been trying since 1989, since the Supreme Court said that laws banning flag desecration are essentially unconstitutional, they have been trying to do this. And this time, this year, they looked at the votes. They looked at the way Republicans have an advantage and said, maybe we can get it, we can actually pass this, but look, it was one vote short. It didn't actually get there.
ROBERTS: Candy, as Dana just said, Frank Lautenberg called this politics at its worst. Do you expect the Democrats are going to continue to make this an issue? Is it the sort of issue that's going to have lasting traction through this election year?
CROWLEY: I think they're still throwing Jell-O up against the wall to see what's going to stick. I mean, basically the Democrats, almost anything fits under the umbrella of we need change. So insofar as it fits into that, absolutely. I think you'll hear Democrats, you know, we've tried the culture of corruption, the incompetence on the part of the president. So there's any number of themes that are out there. But they all fit around that big umbrella, which is, this is a referendum on Republican leadership. It's about change or staying the course.
ROBERTS: Dana Bash, what kind of an effect do you think this flag burning debate might have on Democrats in tough races who voted against the amendment?
BASH: I'll tell you what's interesting, John. It's because this actually did fail by just one vote, 66 votes only, there are Republicans who are saying, you know, Democrats who are in tight races who voted against this, beware. One Republican senator I talked to actually said that he said that directly to a Democratic senator as she was casting her vote. You know, you better be careful because Republicans are going to already -- they already have their ads ready to go. Essentially saying you, you, only you were the person to keep this victory from happening.
ROBERTS: Joe Johns, Dana Bash, Candy Crowley, as always, thanks.
ROBERTS: Safe to say that a lot of Americans had bigger issues today than what's happening in Iraq or whether burning the flag passes constitutional muster. Here in Washington, it was rain. Out West, fire, including flames that turned one of the wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon into a terror of nature.
ROBERTS (voice-over): It was another day of fierce wildfires. More than 250 new blazes broke out from California to Florida. Most of them in the Southwest; 14 of them considered large and active.
TORY HENDERSON, NATIONAL INTERAGENCY FIRE CENTER: We're actually experiencing a little bit more of a critical weather pattern coming through at this time of year than we have last year.
ROBERTS: In northern Nevada, fires have ravaged more than 79,000 aces in recent weeks, closing two major highways and forcing evacuations of at least 300 homes and businesses around Carson City.
The flames spread to an area 50 miles northwest of Reno, but didn't immediately threaten any homes there.
More than 50,000 acres are still burning next door in Utah. One of the biggest fires in Kolob. They shut down parts of the Zion national park. In many place, bad weather isn't helping.
HENDERSON: We're getting a lot more dry lightning storms coming through in the variety of geographic areas at same time.
ROBERTS: But rain is always welcome. In New Mexico, it helped firefighters battle six different blazes that have scorched the North. The biggest one has blackened 51,000 acres in the Gila National Forest. It is now mostly contained.
There was high drama in Arizona, as a wildfire edged closer and closer to the Grand Canyon's north rim. The flames forced officials to close Highway 67 on Sunday, leaving about a thousand visitors and workers stranded on the Canyon's remote northern edge.
HENDERSON: The fire was approximately 20 miles from that edge of the park. So the threat wasn't there at this present time, but they wanted to play it safe and get them out.
ROBERTS: National Park Service and firefighters today evacuated everybody from the area, except for 30 workers who needed to stay. The firefighting is far from over.
SKYE SIEBER, NORTHERN ARIZONA INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM: We're at approximately 5 percent containment. Got 95 percent to go. We've got a large area now that we're trying to contain -- over 50,000 acres. So few more miles of containment lined to build, nonetheless.
ROBERTS: And fire season has just barely begun.
(BEGIN BREAKING NEWS)
ROBERTS (on camera): Some breaking news out of Frederick, Maryland, tonight. Police there say at least two teenagers are reported missing and they may have been swept into a creek, pulled into rough waters caused by the storms hitting the Washington region.
Jeff Napshin from Affiliate WUSA has been closely following the story. He joins us now.
Jeff, what's the latest from where you are?
JEFF NAPSHIN, WUSA CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, John.
Actually, disheartening news. That search has been called off tonight because of the weather conditions. As you mentioned, some terrible rain coming over this area over the past few days.
Well, many of the creeks and rivers in the area are swollen way out of their banks.
That's the situation at this creek, about five miles from where I'm at on the border of Carroll County, here in Maryland.
Now what happened, we're told, is about -- sometime this afternoon, a 14-year-old and 15-year-old decided to go down to a local creek around here. Apparently they decided to go in the water. We're told that a bike and some clothing were found right next to this creek, again about five miles from where we are at. The boys have not been seen since.
And when they didn't come home, one of their fathers called 911 for help. And authorities have been out here ever since. There are search teams out here. They've been out all afternoon and all evening.
But unfortunately, again, because the weather conditions, they have not had much luck. We're told that they had wanted to put boats in the water, but because the water is so swollen right now, they can't do that. That is why they've had to call off the search for tonight. They may continue tomorrow, but unfortunately, those two young men remain missing at this time.
ROBERTS: Jeff, out where I live in northern Virginia, the local creek there, Difficult Run, breached its banks Saturday evening, into Sunday morning. And it's probably running about six feet above flood stage. What's it like in the creek that these boys went missing in?
NAPSHIN: I had a chance to look at it. We were up above on a bridge and it's like all of the rivers throughout this area. It's gone from what I suppose would have been a small dry or semi-dry creek before. To be honest with you, it looks almost like a mini raging river. Water is pouring through this creek at a very high rate. It's dirty. Browned. Obviously it's moving at a fast rate. If those two young men decided to go into that water, it doesn't look good -- John.
ROBERTS: Jeff Napshin from WUSA, up there in Frederick, Maryland, with the latest for us. Jeff, thanks very much.
(END BREAKING NEWS)
ROBERTS: As you can say it's a real mess. They're bailing water up and down the Eastern Seaboard and opening flood gates as well to try to get rid of some of the flooding.
Here is CNN's Jane King on that.
JANE KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The floodgates here at the Howard Duckett Dam in Laurel, Maryland, were opened to try to prevent more flooding like this. But dozens of people in this area south of Baltimore had to be evacuated.
TIM CLEVELAND, FLOOD VICTIM: I called the fire department, to have them come get my kids out of the house so I knew they were safe and then it's pretty much just fight for the house.
KING: And nearby Mount Airy, some people were stranded in their homes as firefighters struggled to get to them.
And nearby, Washington, D.C., declared a state of emergency after three straight days brought nearly a foot of rain, and more flooding is expected. The mayor is considering calling in the National Guard.
In Upstate New York, near Elmira, the cleanup has begun after flash floods came roaring through. Boats, not cars, were in the streets of Hancock, New York, rescuing residents.
JANE BARTOW, FLOOD VICTIM: I have family that's down there. I don't know if they're there or if they got out. I don't know what to say. This is just devastating.
KING: Constant waves of heavy rain also caused problems in Pennsylvania, sending creeks, spilling into the street, and leaving people without power.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a horrendous situation that has become worse and worse with each storm.
KING: And it was slow going for Virginia Beach residents as floodwaters took over some neighborhoods. Similar scenes were repeated from there all the way to New York.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This driveway just got flooded over, and then roads to the river came up. And everything was just flooded in.
KING: Officials in much of the Eastern Seaboard were calling on people to stay indoors. Because more rain and flooding is expected overnight and into tomorrow.
ROBERTS: You saw those pictures of the water sluicing over the floodgates of the Howard Duckett Dam up there in Laurel. That's where Jane King is now.
Jane, are officials just hoping that that's going to take care of the problem? Do they have reasonable expectation that it will?
KING (on camera): Well, they're hoping so. In fact some officials here say they really didn't have a choice but to open at least six of the seven floodgates here today. They have been open all day long. You can probably hear this behind me, just raging water coming through into the river.
But they say by doing, this it will relieve some of the water pressure that will actually prevent the dam from overflowing and that will prevent more damage in the long run.
ROBERTS: Is the stream downstream going to be able to handle all of that extra water? KING: It is going downstream, right into the city of Laurel, Maryland. They say that they keep in very close contact with city officials there.
In fact, earlier today they were urging residents, in low-lying areas especially, to evacuate. Those were just voluntary evacuations. They may start demanding them. We are continuing to get rain. It's been raining steady now for four or five hours. We're expecting another five inches overnight.
ROBERTS: Jane King up there in Laurel, Maryland, with the latest on the situation there. Jane, thanks.
When it's not pouring down rain here, they're building a visitor center the at U.S. Capitol. It has taken years and the cost keeps on rising. Is it a boondoggle or a wise use of taxpayer money? We're keeping them honest tonight.
Plus, identity theft the old-fashioned way. Criminal records get mixed up. A guilty party gives a false name and an innocent person is in jail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I strapped one here to my arm just to see how powerful the shock is. It's delivered with a remote control. Ouch. Oh, man. That hurts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Yow, she pushed her own button. Using electricity to get kids and teens to change their behavior. Jarring, painful to some, and now increasingly controversial. We'll hear both sides when 360 continues.
ROBERTS: If you have ever visited the capitol building in Washington, you probably had a perfect enjoyable time without feeling that you were missing out on something. Something like, say, a brand new half a billion dollar visitor center. Well, whether or not it's necessary, may be beside the point. It's been under construction for years and years. Cost overruns? Of course. And our tax dollars are paying for it.
CNN's Joe Johns is "Keeping them Honest."
JOHNS (voice-over): It's a spectacular underground addition to the U.S. Capitol. The Capitol Visitor Center, a sprawling complex of theaters, restaurants, and work space. But it's also way behind schedule and way over budget. And that has the project's managers in a deep hole with their bosses in Congress. REP. DAVID OBEY (D), HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: I think it's a colossal misuse of space and dollars.
JOHNS: It was first conceived more than 10 years ago, with a projected price tag of $100 million. By 2000, the price tag jumped to $265 million. The latest estimate? A whopping $584 million of your tax money. What happened?
(On camera): After September 11, the cost estimate skyrocketed, partly because of all the safety and security measures that got added on. Basically, behind this fence, the Congress decided they would build a safe place in the event of an attack on the capitol.
(Voice-over): The project, known as the CVC for short, is overseen by the office of the architect of the capitol.
TOM FONTANA, CVC SPOKESMAN: We're trying to create...
JOHNS: Spokesman Tom Fontana has the unenviable job of explaining the price hikes and delays to the critics.
FONTANA: Within about six months from 9/11, we had close to $160 million worth of work added to a budget that was already at $265. So it's often frustrating to read that it's a project that doubled in cost without the clarification that it's a project that almost doubled in size as well.
JOHNS: That's true. Among the additions, 85,000 square feet for the House and Senate, and a theater that could double as a legislative chamber in the event of a terror attack on the capitol.
But the critics say not all CVC cost overruns have to do with security.
OBEY: I want Congress to finally know what the costs are going to be. I want Congress to not have anymore surprises on this package.
JOHNS: The project is years behind schedule, after repeated construction delays.
In 2002, they said it would open in 2005. In 2005, they said 2006. Now, it's 2007. And a new controversy threatens to delay the project.
Cancer-causing asbestos found in an old utility tunnel deep beneath the existing U.S. Capitol Complex, a tunnel that connects with the CVC.
And what really annoys some members of Congress is that the architect of the capitol was told about the problem six years ago. And according to government investigators, failed to clean it up.
PETER EVELETH, CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE OF COMPLIANCE: They notified the architect about a problem concerning asbestos and concerning other matters as well. Concerning the heat stress in the tunnels. They get to be very high in temperature at certain times of the year.
JOHNS: To your knowledge, was that in writing?
EVELETH: Yes it was.
JOHNS: The architect and the GAO disagree over whether the asbestos problem will cause further delays to the CVC.
Meanwhile, some workers from the old tunnels are now raising concerns about their health. The office of the architect says some of the asbestos problems have already been addressed, and that precautions are being taken to protect the workers.
As for when the public will finally get to see the CVC, the best guess is sometime next year, or the year after that, or the year after that.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
ROBERTS: Imagine getting arrested for a crime that you did not commit. Not once, but seven times. All because of a form of identity theft. And get this, it could easily happen to any of us. That story is coming up.
Plus, if you go to the E.R., should your family go along with you? It's a controversial practice happening at a lot of hospitals and many doctors aren't happy about it. All the angles when 360 continues.
ROBERTS: Now a story about identity theft, but not the kind that you might be used to. This story does not involve computer savvy thieves hacking into a corporate database, nor does it involve massive purchases and ruined credit.
No, this story's about an act so simple it's scary how easily it was pulled off. And how it created so much agony for one woman.
Here's CNN's Dan Simon.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every time Stancy Nesby looks in the rearview mirror, she can't help but wonder if she's about to be pulled over.
STANCY NESBY, IDENTITY THEFT VICTIM: Everybody needs to put themselves in my shoes and know that this could happen to them.
SIMON: A 30-year-old single mom with four kids who holds two jobs working as a nurse's assistant. Life was hard enough before her problems with police.
NESBY: It's made it really hard for me to smile and be the normal person that I felt like I was at first.
SIMON: It started four years ago when Stancy was pulled over for speeding in the Bay area. She admitted going too fast, but couldn't understand why she was being arrested.
NESBY: I ended up going to jail that day. They didn't believe anything I was saying.
SIMON, (on camera): It turned out Stancy had a warrant for her arrest. The police database has showed she'd been busted for cocaine possession here in San Francisco's seedy Tenderloin District back in 1999, but that she never showed up for court appearances.
Stancy had to spend three days in jail. The problem? She was innocent.
(Voice-over): Police later confirmed it when her fingerprints didn't match the real suspect who had used Stancy's name.
NESBY: I've had nightmares about this.
SIMON: She says police told her they'd fixed the problem. But two months later, Stancy was arrested again. This time at her home in Berkeley. Once again, she says when the officer discovered the error, they told her they'd help her clear her name. But three months later, Stancy was arrested again in yet another jurisdiction.
And it didn't end there. From 2002 to 2004, Stancy was arrested or detained seven times by five police departments. In one instance, hauled off right in front of her children.
NESBY: The kids were crying. And basically they ended up, you know, throwing me on the ground and sticking their knees in my back.
SIMON: Every time she says authorities promised to fix the problem, but didn't.
NESBY: Maybe it's because I'm not a rich person, that they feel like I'm nobody. But I am somebody and I have feelings and I don't think that they should ruin people's lives like this.
SIMON: Stancy filed this lawsuit against San Francisco, claiming false imprisonment and emotional distress after failing to remove her arrest warrant from state databases. Her attorney says the case is clear-cut.
MATT GONZALEZ, NESBY'S ATTORNEY: You think you've seen so many cases that you're jaded to what you're going to see, but this one still hits you in a very kind of visceral level. You just -- you just look at it and you say this is not right.
SIMON: The city says it's not responsible for correcting faulty arrest warrants. It also notes that Stancy was never arrested in San Francisco, but concedes she was wronged.
MATT DORSEY, CITY ATTORNEY SPOKESMAN: This is something that I don't think you would wish on your worst enemy. You know, you pray it doesn't happen it to you.
SIMON: No one has taken responsibility for Stancy's ordeal. The courts ruled against her twice. Her attorney says he'll appeal to the state Supreme Court if necessary.
GONZALEZ: Bureaucracies don't change because people wake up and want to make them more efficient. They generally change because they're forced to take responsibility for something that they're doing that they shouldn't be doing.
NESBY: I just can't believe that people that are supposed to be helping, you know, people that are supposed to protect and serve would actually hurt somebody who's innocent.
SIMON: Even though a judge dismissed her lawsuit, the court asked the D.A. to remove the warrant from the database, which finally cleared her name.
Still, she can't help looking in the rearview mirror.
Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.
ROBERTS: It's a question that you may not have thought about, should you be allowed to watch while doctors try to save the life of your loved one? Coming up, why many doctors don't want you in their E.R.s, and why others say it helps.
Plus, kids who are seriously out of control, a danger to themselves and others, but have the adults in charge of treating them gone too far? Both sides when 360 continues.
ROBERTS: Tonight, a battle that's playing out in emergency rooms across the country. Imagine, a loved one -- your child, your spouse, maybe a parent is critically ill or injured. Their vital signs are failing. The language of medicine -- they're crashing. They need to be resuscitated.
Then imagine being asked to leave the room. For decades, that's been standard medical practice and you see it on all the shows as well. But it's changing.
Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When Denise Hanlon's father, Eddie, was rushed to a Boston hospital, his heart failing from long illness, she expected him to die. She did not expect to be invited into the emergency room while the medical team tried to save him.
DENISE HANLON, PATIENT'S DAUGHTER: It was traumatic to see him. Although it was also heartwarming to see so many people trying to do the best they could.
FOREMAN (on camera): And you never had any second thoughts about this?
HANLON: Not at all. Not one. No. It just seems, how could we not be with my dad if we had the opportunity to?
FOREMAN (voice-over): Massachusetts General is among a growing number of hospitals. By some accounts, close to half, that now allow families into emergency rooms even at life and death moments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will somebody please call my mom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No problem, just hold on.
FOREMAN: The controversial idea was spurred by TV shows like "E.R." have increased public understanding of what goes on at such times. And by nurses, like Patricia Mian, who spent years working with families as loved ones fight for life.
PATRICA MIAN, PSYCHIATRIC NURSE, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: And what they would be saying is, why can't I be with him? I need to see him. I want to be with him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Often a psychiatric nurse will offer the option to the family and say, if you would like to be with your family member while the doctors and nurses are trying to resuscitate them, I will accompany you, and stand there with you, answer questions and make sure you're there with them.
FOREMAN: It's a simple idea, yet fiercely opposed by many doctors. They argue that distraught family members can distract medical teams, may be more prone to lawsuits. And as Dr. Stephen Smith says, may find the experience of seeing a loved one cut open shocked or more severely unsettling.
DR. STEPHEN SMITH, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEDICAL CENTER: Many of the things that we have to do in the trauma setting are done very quickly. They require literally split-second decisions, and can be quite invasive. I think that that's probably not a good time for an unprepared family member to be present in the resuscitation area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is one of the resuscitation bays and this would be one of the ones that we would use.
FOREMAN: Mass. General's Chief of Emergency Services Alasdair Conn felt the same way. But he gave it a try. And says he has found families deal with both doctors and grief better this way.
DR. ALASDAIR CONN, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: The family members need to understand there's a lot of things going on and you just can't question and you can't begin to interfere. And also we have a nurse that goes in specifically helping to manage the patient.
MANN: They kiss the patient, they hug the patient, they stroke the patient while we're doing CPR. They aren't watching what's going on. They're so focused on being with that person.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need antidote kits now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... is 99.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's seizing!
FOREMAN: Concerns remain. On TV, patients undergoing resuscitation often live. In life, 90 percent of the time they die. Supporters are not deterred.
CONN: If you were dying, would you want to be alone? Would you like your wife or your brother or your son or daughter to be 20 feet away? Would you rather be in there? Holding hands for those last three minutes.
FOREMAN: Denise Hanlon lost her father, but found an answer to those questions.
Do you think it made a difference to your father that you were there?
HANLON: I like to think that it did.
FOREMAN: It certainly made a difference for her.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Boston.
ROBERTS: This is a major shift in longstanding medical practice. And as Tom pointed out, clearly not all doctors are happy about it.
Anderson recently talked to 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta about this trend, including the crucial role that nurses play.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sanjay, how important is it to have the nurse there with the family?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think it is pretty important here. You know, to the untrained eye, when you go into one of these resuscitation situations where it seems like there's a lot of chaos going on in the room and for the untrained eye, it probably would seem exactly like that unless there was a nurse to sort of explain who things are coming along.
I can't imagine that someone who's never been in a hospital or an emergency room would be able to understand that. So the nurse is probably pretty crucial there.
COOPER: Is there any research to actually support the notion that these E.R. visits lead to more lawsuits if the patient doesn't make it? GUPTA: You know, that's interesting, Anderson, because I think that's the big sort of knee-jerk concern by most doctors, who say, wait a second, you're letting these family members into the inter- sanctum of our emergency room and trauma bays and all that. There's really no data to support that lawsuits would increase. Of course, this isn't widely done either, so we just don't know for sure.
What they have started to find, though, for the most part, families do feel a sense of closure, which is really important and it sort of closes the door on everything and they don't seem to see an increase in lawsuits.
COOPER: And I know this was mentioned in the piece, but I think it bears repeating. Resuscitations are not often successful, even though a lot TV shows make it seem that way, right?
GUPTA: Yes, you know, it's an important point. I mean, when you talk about these cardiac arrests, where you see the whole scene when someone's actually pumping on the chest and putting in breathing tubes and stuff. The problem is by the time that resuscitation starts, oftentimes too much time unfortunately has passed for the patient. You know, you don't have that much time and by the time they get to the trauma bay, by the time they get to the emergency room, it's about 90 percent of the time they do not end in success.
COOPER: So what if -- I mean, say the family members comes to the hospital with the patient by ambulance, for example. Can the family member go right into the room with them? Or do they have to wait? Do they have to fill out forms?
GUPTA: Well, you know, with Tom's piece, in Massachusetts General, you can see that they actually can go straight into the room. But this is really done a hospital-by-hospital situation.
What's interesting, Atlanta, for example, here, usually the families can't go on until all the invasive procedures are already done. And this is just very different from city to city. There is no national regulations on this.
But, you know, Anderson, for a long time, it just was considered completely out of vote for families to even think about coming in to the trauma bay like they do in "E.R.," for example. But it is starting to become more popular. So there might be something nationally, sort of recognized on this.
COOPER: Interesting stuff. Sanjay, thanks.
GUPTA: Thank you, Anderson.
ROBERTS: A school for troubled children is under fire for a controversial treatment that one mother calls torture. It's an electrical form of aversion therapy, at the center of a bitter court battle. Coming up, CNN's Randi Kaye sees for herself what it feels like. Plus, soldiers back from Iraq and onto their next assignment -- patrolling the streets of New Orleans. Next on 360.
ROBERTS: Now for an update on a story we first reported several week ago. The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, in Canton, Massachusetts, has been treating children with severe disorders, using electrical shock aversion therapy.
The state is now investigating claims that as many as 10 children have been burned by the electrodes used to deliver those shocks. The complaints were filed anonymously, and the school denies that any student was abused. They say their center provides special education services to children and adults with life-threatening behavioral disorders.
CNN's Randi Kaye has more.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Antwone Nicholson's former school looks more like Disneyland than a place for kids with special needs. Pinball machines and cartoon characters, wax figures and artwork, punctuated with cornflower blues and vivid pinks.
Each student has a computer, healthy food, plush quarters, heavy supervision, and constant attention.
Why then would Antwone's mother, Evelyn Nicholson, have fought like mad just to get him out of this place?
EVELYN NICHOLSON, MOTHER OF STUDENT: He was calling me up crying and say, you got to get me out of here. I can't take this.
KAYE: Because along with the perks at this center for troubled children come the punishments.
The Judge Rotenberg Center claims to be the only one in the country using electric shock aversion therapy. They call it the Graduated Electronic Decelerator, the GED. And half their students go to school each day tethered to electrodes housed in a fanny pack.
(on camera): Really bad pain on a scale of one to 10, what would you say? Ten is really bad.
KAREEM ANDERSON, PATIENT, JRC: Like seven.
KAYE (voice over): It's a therapy almost as old as electricity itself, banned as barbaric at a far higher voltage, illegal in some states.
To Evelyn Nicholson, it is "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" for kids.
Child psychiatrist David Fassler. DR. DAVID FASSLER, CLINICAL PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY: This is clearly an intervention which is out of the mainstream. Personally, I worry about the ramifications and the implications long term for the kids.
KAYE: Yet, Evelyn signed a legal consent form that allowed them to strap electrodes on Antwone that deliver 65 volts of electricity by remote control. He got them one at a time, each time he cussed, hit, threatened, or frightened someone.
(On camera): You still signed it?
KAYE: How come?
NICHOLSON: Because that was the only -- that was the only place they had for Antwone.
KAYE (voice-over): Now she's suing her New York school district for sending Antwone out of state so they could, in her words, torture and abuse him for engaging in aggressive, unfocused behavior.
Dr. Matthew Israel has been under fire from parents and doctors and psychiatrists since he invented the electric shock device 16 years ago. Dr. Israel calls it behavioral skin shock, a bee sting, a prick, an electric spanking, nothing like the convulsive shock treatments demonized in films.
DR. MATTHEW ISRAEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JUDGE ROTENBERG CENTER: Children who otherwise might blind themselves have been able to stop that behavior and become a much more normal life.
KAYE: Dr. Israel says he has treated 226 students on the GED. The 24/7 program costs taxpayers $213,000 per child each year.
(On camera): If you hadn't come here, where would you be today?
CATHERINE SPARTICHINO, PATIENT, JRC: I would be dead or in a hospital, doped up on Thorazine.
KAYE (voice-over): The key to his credibility, he says, are students and parents. Inside his own colorful headquarters, Dr. Israel refused to speak to CNN without them, and his lawyers, staff, cameras, and recording devices.
(On camera): When you hear people or critics of this therapy say, this is like child abuse, this is inhumane, this is torture, does it make you all very angry?
(Voice-over): These parents say their kids are the worst of the worst, head-bangers and biters, obsessive compulsives, out of control. A danger to themselves and others. That the GED, which is only administered with court and parental approval, saved their children's lives.
RICHARD MESA, FATHER OF GED STUDENT: My daughter was punching herself constantly like that in her eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thank God for the GED.
ROBERT WASHINGTON: She wouldn't be alive today.
KAYE: According to his medical records, Antwone could also be one scary kid. He stole things, hit people, tried to sexually assault a girl.
NICHOLSON: He's 17, but he's really in between the age of a 4- year-old and a 5-year-old child. And he can't -- he really can't function. He can't think. And he's really constantly repeating himself.
KAYE: When Antwone first arrived at the center, Dr. Israel says he acted out constantly. Mouthing off got him a reprimand, physical aggression was punished with a zap. Dr. Israel says after many zaps that number dropped to near zero.
(On camera): Your mom told us that you told her it was very painful. Is that true?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. It was painful.
KAYE (voice over): Dr. Israel says his treatment is also about rewards. Kids who behave well get treats and games. Bad behavior brings a single two-second skin shock.
(On camera): A student can wear up to five electrodes strapped to their arms and their legs. I strapped one here to my arm just to see how powerful the shock is. It's delivered with a remote control.
Oh! Oh, man! That hurts.
(voice-over): What long-term harm or good prolonged treatment would have on a mentally handicapped teenager like Antwone is anyone's guess. His mother took him out of the Rotenberg Center in April. He's now at a residential hospital in New York where they do not use corporal punishment.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Canton, Massachusetts.
ROBERTS: Coming up, U.S. troops with guns locked and loaded, but we're talking not Iraq, New Orleans. First, though, Thomas Roberts, with some of the business headlines.
THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, John.
A pretty rough day on Wall Street. The Dow fell 120 points. The NASDAQ, losing 33. And the S&P 500 dropped 11 points. Investor anxiety over this week's federal reserve meeting on interest rates fueled the declines. Swiss drug maker Novartis got approval today from the FDA to promote Exelon for the treatment to mild to moderate dementia in Parkinson's disease patients. Exelon has been used by Alzheimer's patients since 2000 and many doctors have already prescribed it to Parkinson's patients.
And in a move that pits Rue Goldberg, or at least the little guy against big business, the Supreme Court agreed today to take up a case on inventions and patents. The question for the court, when is a patent so patently obvious that it shouldn't be granted? The case is attracting a lot of attention from the likes of Cisco and Microsoft and others now paying millions to patent holders for designs or ideas that they believe anybody could have come up with.
John I wouldn't want Microsoft looking at me if I'm a patent holder.
ROBERTS: Yes, so what's the threshold, Thomas? That you've got to have something that's relatively unique before you can patent it?
T. ROBERTS: Right, basically so. So, now they're looking at the basic idea and the definition behind patent. But this could really be a sticky mess for a lot of people.
ROBERTS: All right. Thanks, Thomas.
T. ROBERTS: Sure thing. Have a great night.
ROBERTS: After serving, and surviving in Iraq for a year, some National Guard troops are now in the streets of New Orleans. And we're on patrol with them, next on 360.
ROBERTS: We return to New Orleans now by way of Iraq. After a surge in violent crime, New Orleans has called in reinforcements. Hundreds of National Guard troops, many of them just back from Baghdad.
Here's CNN's Sean Callebs.
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It looks like it could be a road block in Baghdad, except this is New Orleans' Fifth Ward. But on this night, it appears the National Guard troops are babysitting a block party. That is, until a moment when our camera wasn't rolling, sounds of gunfire.
SGT. KENNERY FOSTER, LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD: You always got to keep your sixth sense. You always have to be alert. I mean, it's danger anytime you get on the streets anywhere, whether it's Baghdad or New Orleans.
CALLEBS: These troops spent a year in Iraq and returned home months ago. Now they are bringing their combat savvy to the streets of New Orleans.
SPC. RICKY NICHOLAS, LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD: That's that sixth sense. When it happens, stop, look, and listen. See what the radio puts out. See if any screams, see if anything's like that, you know?
CALLEBS: Troops call in a helicopter with infrared sensors in an effort to pinpoint where the shots came from. No luck. But troops have an idea what they are in store for during their months in New Orleans.
FOSTER: I'm kind of surprised that they need Guardsmen at this point. But so far as separating myself, I work for the state of Louisiana. I'm an Army National Guard, so I love this state. I would do anything I can to get it back on track.
CALLEBS: Getting New Orleans back on track means doing their part to help prevent thugs, gangs and drug dealers from becoming entrenched in the city.
The troops were ordered to New Orleans by Governor Kathleen Blanco last week after a bloody weekend when five teenagers were killed as they sat in an SUV in a crime-infested area of the city at 4:00 in the morning.
Tonight, troops are trying to keep people from cruising in front of a late night club called The Duck off.
NICHOLAS: As a police officer or as a soldier, you always have to be focused, have eyes on, stop, look and listen to see what's going on and be aware of what's going on around you.
CALLEBS: And if they catch a criminal...
FOSTER: We will call NOPD in and they'll come in and take over. Because we're here to support them. This is their city. We want them to control their city. We're only here to help them and support them.
CALLEBS: Troops with guns, attack dogs, humvees lining the streets again for the first time since right after Katrina. It's not the image the city wants to portray to the rest of the world. But the National Guard troops are need. And if they're successful, they won't have to put their combat skills to the test here.
Sean Callebs, CNN, New Orleans.
ROBERTS: More of 360 in just a moment. Stay with us.
ROBERTS: Tomorrow, on "AMERICAN MORNING," protecting the security of the United States from space. A rare look at America's spy satellites. A CNN exclusive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spy satellites are fundamental to the American way of warfare. It's fundamentally the way that the intelligence community keeps up with crises around the world. The spy satellite is always the first American capability on the scene of a crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Spy satellites, the nation's eyes and ears. A CNN security watch tomorrow, on "AMERICAN MORNING," starting at 6:00 a.m., Eastern.
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