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CNN SUNDAY MORNING
Suicide Bombers Target Iraq Police Headquarters; Israeli Prime Minister in Washington for Talks with President Bush Monday; Iran Says it Will Ignore Sanctions for Continuing Nuclear Activity; Combat Hospital; Changed By War; Spiritual Restoration for Ted Haggard
Aired November 12, 2006 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN ANCHOR: "Now in the News," dozens dead, dozens more wounded in Iraq. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a police recruiting center in Baghdad. This was one of several attacks there today.
We'll have a live report from Baghdad in about three minutes.
Democrats get ready to dig into what they say is waste and fraud in Iraq. According to "The New York Times," the new Democratic- controlled Congress wants to restore power to the federal agency that investigates government contracts. A Republican-backed bill would shut down that agency, but soon-to-be Senate majority leader Harry Reid tells "The Times" that should be stopped immediately.
Remembering the victims of Flight 587. This morning, a memorial will be dedicated to the 265 people killed in this American Airlines crash five years ago today. The plane plowed into a neighborhood in Queens, New York. The investigation blamed both pilot error and mechanical problems.
Warning signs on a Hawaiian beach after a shark attack. A Canadian swimmer survived after getting bitten on his leg and hand. It happened about 30 to 40 feet off the Maui beach yesterday afternoon. The man is in stable condition and a two-mile stretch of the beach is closed.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Still stuck in the mud and needing rescue. Now the Navy says it will help free the USS Intrepid from its muddy confinement. The aircraft carrier-turned-museum got stuck Monday during efforts to move it to New Jersey for repairs. Part of the plan to free the Intrepid, dredging underneath the ship's stern.
A historic milestone for former president Gerald Ford today. He surpassed Ronald Reagan, living longer than any other U.S. president. Reagan lived 93 years, 120 days. And today, Gerald Ford is 93 years and 121 days old.
We turn now to Bonnie Schneider, sitting in for -- hanging out with us this weekend -- for Reynolds Wolf.
Good morning to you, Bonnie.
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, T.J. (WEATHER REPORT)
HOLMES: All right. Thank you, Bonnie. We'll see you shortly.
And of course we run down the top stories for you every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, with in-depth coverage for you all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 7:15 Eastern.
Chaos and carnage in Baghdad. Iraqi police recruits come under attack.
Live to the capital straight ahead.
From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is November the 12th.
Hello to you, everybody. I'm T.J. Holmes.
ROESGEN: And I'm Susan Roesgen, again filling in for Betty Nguyen.
Thanks for starting your day with us.
HOLMES: An explosion of violence across Baghdad this morning. In the deadliest attack, suicide bombers targeted would-be police recruits. Almost least three dozen are dead, scores more wounded.
CNN's Arwa Damon joins us now live from the Iraqi capital.
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, T.J.
The recruits were waiting just outside of the Iraqi national police headquarters. That is located in the center of the capital.
They were being secured by Iraqi police, but two suicide bombers managed to get in amongst the recruits and detonate their deadly explosive belts. At least 35 would-be Iraqi policemen were killed in that attack, another 60 were wounded.
And a number of other explosions. Roadside bombs and car bombs in the capital claimed the lives of at least another 14 Iraqis, wounding dozens more.
It has been a very deadly day here in Baghdad. And this a cycle of violence right now that has become and actually has been normal for the better part of the last three years.
Iraqis are living with this violence every day. And we are seeing the scenes of it playing out across TV stations, scenes of carnage, scenes of devastation. The sirens that are wailing, the tragedy of family members grieving those they have lost. The body count here is really just rising.
Iraqis simply cannot continue to live like this. Something has to change here -- T.J.
HOLMES: Arwa, it wasn't that long ago we heard that Baghdad was going to be the focus, pulling forces from other areas, U.S. forces, going into Baghdad, going to solve the violence problem there. It is obvious to many that that plan is not working.
Well, what else is out there? What else is being talked about on the table for possibly getting Baghdad under control?
DAMON: Well, T.J., first to address the big push into Baghdad that you are talking about, that was called -- and is actually still ongoing -- Operation Together Forward. And it saw a flood, an increase of U.S. and Iraqi security forces in Baghdad. That operation was based on a three-phase approach: move into a neighborhood, secure, hold, rebuild.
What we are seeing is, in some areas, when U.S. forces are moving in, they are able to provide a relative degree of security in that area. However, when it comes to the hold phase, that is where they're faced with challenges.
Some commanders here are arguing that there are not enough U.S. troops for them to be able to hold the ground that they have been able to secure so that they can sustain that decreased level of violence. We are hearing talk, or a desire, perhaps, for more U.S. troops. We are also hearing from the Iraqi government that some 20,000 more Iraqi security forces are required, are going to be trained up and added to the current existing level of Iraqi security forces.
The Iraqi government, though, as of yet, has not put forward a real concrete plan about how it plans on dealing with the security. We're hearing a lot of talk from the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al- Maliki, a lot of meetings that are taking place, but no real action just yet. And the situation just becomes worse every day.
HOLMES: CNN's Arwa Damon reporting for us from the Iraqi capital.
Arwa, thank you so much.
And, of course, getting control of the violence in Iraq is crucial to getting U.S. troops out. So how long will it be before the Iraqis are ready to take over security operations?
Our John Roberts talked with the man in charge of training Iraqi forces. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, U.S. ARMY: I think by the end of 2007, with -- with -- with minimal enabling, for us providing capabilities to them, that they will be largely self-reliant. That's our goal.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SR. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a way that U.S. forces will be able to come home?
DEMPSEY: In a way that U.S. forces will be able to come home, unless we determine that our mission has somewhat changed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: And you can see the full interview with General Dempsey on "This Week at War" with John Roberts from Baghdad. That's at 1:00 p.m. Eastern today.
ROESGEN: Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has arrived in Washington today, and he will meet with President Bush tomorrow. This meeting comes just after the U.S. vetoed a United Nations resolution that would have demanded that Israeli forces get out of Gaza. The U.S. cast the deciding "no" vote, infuriating the Palestinians.
So let's go live now to CNN's Paula Hancocks, who is in Jerusalem this morning.
Paula, what do you think will come out of this meeting now between the president and the prime minister?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Susan, obviously at the top of the agenda will be the situation in Iran racing towards nuclear capability. Also, the situation in Gaza. But the one crucial thing to remember is that this will be a very different meeting to the meeting that Olmert and Bush had about six months ago.
There are some in the Israeli media that are calling this a summit of two lame leaders. Of course, we have President Bush coming to the end of his term. And also, consider what Olmert has been through over the past six months.
There was that war during the summer with Hezbollah which many in the Israeli public consider a defeat, and also there has been an increase in civilian deaths in Gaza. At least 18 civilians killed last week, which has increased international condemnation of the military action there, and also causing some of the Israeli public to question whether or not this military action is excessive.
So Olmert does touch down in Washington with just a 20 percent approval rating. So it will be a very different meeting between the two. Some political analysts are wondering whether anything substantial can actually come out of this summit.
ROESGEN: Well, you know Israel has indicated that it would be willing to start new talks now with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. How likely is that to happen?
HANCOCKS: Well, just a couple of days ago, he gave his strongest suggestion that he wanted to sit down with President Mahmoud Abbas, saying that Israel could offer him a lot and Abbas would be surprised at what Israel could offer him. Now, obviously he wants also to wait until the Palestinian unity government, which would be President Mahmoud Abbas, along with some of the Hamas government members joining together to form a coalition, which may be the international community would accept more than just the Hamas government. He wants to make sure that that's in place before he sits down with President Mahmoud Abbas. But also, Abbas is supported by Washington. So Olmert, by saying he's very willing to sit down with Abbas, is also securing himself a soft landing in Washington.
ROESGEN: All right. The meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is tomorrow right here in Washington.
Paula Hancocks joining us live in Jerusalem -- T.J.
HOLMES: Susan, Iran turns up the rhetoric over its nuclear program. Iran's foreign minister said this weekend his country would ignore any sanctions as punishment for continuing its nuclear activity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANOUCHEHR MOTTAKI, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): Sanctions is in fact a political pressure, and we do not accept it. We have shown America within the past 25 to 26 years that we do not pay attention to sanctions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Iran's president also criticized the U.N. Security Council today over its push to impose sanctions on Iran. Iran has repeatedly said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
CNN's Aneesh Raman joins us now by phone from Tehran.
Aneesh, we are -- have kind of gotten used to hearing tough talk, talk of defiance from Iran. Is there any reason for us to believe that this latest tough talk is going to lead to a further escalation of already tense times, or is this kind of just more of the same from Iran?
ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's more of the same, T.J., from Iran, but the ball is in the U.N.'s court. Iran feels it has a pretty strong (INAUDIBLE) right now. That deadlines from the U.N. passed on August 31st for to suspend its uranium enrichment. It didn't, and we still don't have any action from the U.N. Security Council.
Iran has warned before and since that if sanctions are imposed on the country, it would reconsider its participation in the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, perhaps kick out IAEA inspectors. And we've heard, of course, more belligerent statements warning against any attack. We heard that as well today from the foreign ministry, saying that if Israel takes such a -- in their words --stupid (INAUDIBLE) attack, the answer of Iran and its revolutionary guard will be rapid, firm and destructive, and it will be given in a few seconds.
Now, it's interesting, by the way, that Iran is voicing this at Israel. It tends to be the statements directed at the United States. It seems that on the ground in the political circles, they have been very much watching what has happened in Washington, a change in Congress, a change at the Pentagon. And at a huge level I think it strengthens Iran's hand in their own mind.
They feel now that they have more leverage to push back. But again, the Europeans are sort of on board with the United States. You have a U.N. consensus to put pressure on Iran to try and get it to suspend uranium enrichment. But at the moment, there's no sign whatsoever that Iran is going to be willing to do that, and it feels it has the upper hand, because, again, the deadline has come and gone, action has not.
HOLMES: All right. Our Aneesh Raman for us in Tehran.
Aneesh, thank you so much.
ROESGEN: And still ahead this morning, you know the Republicans took a beating. Now the Democrats are getting ready to flex their muscle. What can and might the Democrats change in government? We'll get a reality check with CNN's Joshua Levs in about five minutes.
HOLMES: Plus, meet an Iraq war veteran who believes music is the medicine to heal his wounds and maybe those of others. The story in about 25 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
ROESGEN: "Now in the News," at least 35 potential police recruits killed in Iraq. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside police headquarters in Baghdad. Sixty people were wounded. And this attack was just one of several in the Iraqi capital today.
Democrats are getting ready to dig into what they say is waste and fraud in Iraq. According to "The New York Times," the new Democratic-controlled Congress wants to restore power to the federal agency that investigates government contracts. A Republican-backed bill would shut down that agency, but soon-to-be Senate majority leader Harry Reid tells "The Times" that that should be reversed immediately.
HOLMES: More fallout over Israel's invasion of southern Lebanon. A second general has quit. According to Israeli media reports, a brigadier general has resigned after a military probe accused him of "improper functioning." The capture of two Israeli soldiers triggered the month-long war with Hezbollah guerrillas.
And an historic milestone for former president Gerald Ford today. He has surpassed Ronald Reagan, living longer than any other U.S. president. Reagan lived 93 years, 120 days. And today Gerald Ford is 93 years, 121 days.
And we run down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, with in-depth coverage for you all morning long. Your next check of the headlines coming up at 7:30 Eastern.
ROESGEN: For months now, Republicans have been telling Americans that terrible things would happen if the Democrats got control of Congress. And the Democrats said the country would be worse off if the Democrats didn't get control of Congress. A lot of the nastiness was just political trash talk, but what can we expect from the new Congress?
CNN's Joshua Levs is here with a CNN reality check -- Joshua.
JOSHUA LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hi, Susan.
You know, it happens in every election, every two years. You see the different sides trading barbs over what could, will, maybe will happen if Congress changes hands. It's an election standard at this point. But this year is different because it's actually going to happen.
So what we wanted to do was take a look back at what each side was saying would happen if Democrats got control of Congress. And we want to compare that to the early indications we're getting now of what's actually to come.
LEVS (voice over): A top GOP talking point leading up to the elections...
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm convinced that your taxes go up when Democrats win.
LEVS: And the other big one...
REP. PETER HOEKSTRA (R), MICHIGAN: It is cut and run in Iraq.
LEVS: Now that the political tide has turned, will those things happen? First, let's look at taxes.
REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: In terms of taxes citizens making $75,000, $100,000 a year are going to make, no, they're not going to go up.
LEVS: Tax cuts for the wealthiest expire in 2010, and the Democrats are making no promises.
REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: There's a lot that has to be done before then, and what happens with the war, to a large extent, will determine our resources.
LEVS: And how will Democrats handle the war?
HOWARD DEAN, DNC CHAIRMAN: We don't believe that we ought to cut and run, as the president was so fond of saying. We believe that we need to stabilize the situation and leave in a thoughtful, gradual way.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: We would not withhold our funding for the troops there.
LEVS: What are the Democrats going to do? Their main campaign slogan wasn't exactly specific.
BOB CASEY (D), PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR-ELECT: It's about time that politicians in Washington were held accountable on Iraq. And that's part of the new direction.
BUSH: After a series of thoughtful conversations, Secretary Rumsfeld and I agreed that the timing is right for new leadership at the Pentagon.
LEVS: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's departure may be a sign of the changing politics, but it doesn't automatically mean changes in Iraq. And the Democrats acknowledge they can't force a new direction.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You can make recommendations, basically...
BLITZER: ... but there's not much more. If you're not going to use the power of the purse, there's not much more you can do. You can do some oversight.
PELOSI: Well, the oversight will be very important because then the truth would be revealed.
LEVS: And so you see there the Democrats have not revealed a plan that can automatically change things in Iraq. They are talking about holding people accountable; holding congressional hearings; holding some sort of large summit; potentially support for what's called strategic redeployment, under which some U.S. troops in Iraq could be moved to surrounding nations. Still, all that said, the crux of the issue, the conditions in Iraq, is still anybody's guess.
You know, Susan, a lot of Democrats were voted in this year based on what they're not. Come January they're going to get to start showing what they are.
ROESGEN: But you know, Joshua, I can't help but thinking some of them are sounding like wimps now. You know, they were so fiery out on the campaign trail, and now you have people like Howard Dean, who never watched what he said before, saying, we're talking about a thoughtful and gradual, you know, removal pullout from Iraq.
Come on. Isn't this what the American people elected Democrats to do, get people out, lower taxes? Why are they sounding so moderate?
LEVS: Well, I don't know if Howard Dean has never done that, and it did just happen. What I think we can see for a fact is that it's still very much up in the air. What's going to happen is up in the air.
Howard Dean, for an example that you used, has in the past called for tens of thousands of National guard troops to just be pulled out of Iraq. Will that still be a Democratic priority when January comes and when they're actually in power? I think right now what you're seeing is molding, the very beginnings of a process that can't take place for a couple of months. So we here at CNN will keep a close eye.
ROESGEN: Molding and maybe some morphing.
LEVS: To start, yes.
ROESGEN: Thank you, Joshua.
LEVS: Thank you.
ROESGEN: Appreciate it.
Well, if you watched our election coverage here on CNN, you were not alone, because more viewers came to CNN than to any other cable news channel on Election Day. And CNN.com was the number one news Web site on Election Day.
So now you know where to stay tuned as the countdown to 2008 begins. Stay with CNN and the best political team on television.
And we're talking politics in our e-mail question this morning. We'd like to know what issue you would want the newly-elected Democrats to take on first. And powerfully.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll read some of the e-mails later in the newscast.
CNN goes beyond the headlines to show the frantic fight to save the lives of wounded troops. We have an excerpt from our special "CNN PRESENTS Combat Hospital." That's coming up in about 12 minutes.
ROESGEN: Fire, wind, even rain. You name it, they've got it all in Reno today. This is what firefighters were dealing with there yesterday. November wildfires are rare in Nevada, but that may have been the blessing in disguise, because a fire department spokesman said a mixture of rain and snow was a huge help in getting the fire out before it spread to any homes.
So, wildfires out West, and kind of chilly this morning here in the East.
HOLMES: We've got a tale of two coasts here.
Bonnie Schneider hanging out -- hanging out with us.
Good to see you here for Reynolds Wolf this morning.
SCHNEIDER: Good morning, T.J. and Susan.
ROESGEN: Thank you, Bonnie. We'll be watching -- T.J.
HOLMES: All right. Thank you, Bonnie.
Well, we got this just in now to CNN. Reuters is reporting that Iraq's prime minister is planning a major reshuffling of his cabinet. Of course this is Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
He called today for a "complete cabinet reshuffle." This is according to a statement from the prime minister's office.
The prime minister called for a complete ministerial reshuffle in accordance with the current situation, the statement said, describing Maliki's address to a closed session of parliament. Maliki has just been in office there six months, has said previously he wanted to change several ministers in his national unity coalition, but appears to have run into some opposition from main parties in his coalition. So, again, Nouri al-Maliki wanting to shuffle things up a bit. A complete reshuffling of his cabinet.
Don't know what that may mean for the current political and military situation there. Of course, the violence, a lot of people say it needs to be a political solution, not a military solution.
So we'll keep our eye on that.
ROESGEN: And speaking of the violence in Iraq, still ahead there, the first line of serious medical care for our wounded troops. Meet the doctors and nurses who struggle to save lives in a war zone.
An excerpt of our "CNN PRESENTS" special, "Combat Hospital," that's coming up in about five minutes.
HOLMES: Also, a battle-hardened war veteran turns musician to heal himself and others from wounds suffered in and by the war in Iraq.
His story in seven minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
And then tonight, Lou Dobbs salutes the men and women in uniform protecting Americans at home and abroad. CNN celebrates America's "Heroes" tonight at 7:00 Eastern.
Again, that's only here on CNN, the most trusted name in news.
HOLMES: From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is November the 12th.
Good morning, everybody. I'm T.J. Holmes.
ROESGEN: And I'm Susan Roesgen, filling in for Betty Nguyen.
HOLMES: Well, on the front lines of battle, the bottom line, survival. This weekend, "CNN PRESENTS" goes inside the 10th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. Life-and-death struggles play out there every single day. And for the combat medics it's all just part of the job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it the face that's hurt, or is it the...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. No, the face. You guys were just pushing down on it really hard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry. We're just trying to...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. We have to. OK?
Watch your head now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My toes are killing me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your toes are killing you? I just gave you some more pain medication. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Am I touching your pinky? What finger am I touching now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The second to the left.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Index, thumb.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the story, doc? I mean, give me -- give me a brief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The brief -- well, your face is going to -- if it doesn't have any fractures, it's going to require a lot of sewing and wash out in the OR. Your left...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you put me out for that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. We're going to lift you up a bit. All right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now we're lifting. Hang on to that I.V.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your left toes, it looks like you're going to lose a little bit of the -- the end of it, right at the toenails there. Just a tip off the big toe and maybe the second toe in. Just the tip.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like the toenail part.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will I still be able to walk?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hell yes. Of course.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll be able to do...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a problem.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, there's a little puncture wound right here. A few punctures.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doctor, this isn't my first barbecue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? You've been through this before?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the second time I've been -- I actually just went through...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got to stop visiting us. But we appreciate you taking one of the team. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I hate you guys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But we love you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we love you, too.
Man, you don't want to be like a frequent flyer with us. That's never a good sign.
So after that happens, you, like, win a set of steak knives and get to go home. How about that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send me home, Doc.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This one's a first for me having a repeat customer. A lot of them come in just with major injuries and they're joking around, trying to pull through. They just roll with the punches.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Based on your experience, how long do you think it's going to take me to recover?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a good question. Probably, I don't know, maybe a month.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A month for all this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) to recover?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it would be my guess.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to prolong that because we still got three months left. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did I say that? I meant three months. Didn't I say three months?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't call my mom this time. Last time they called her she was (EXPLETIVE DELETED) freaked out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. You're the one who's going to call her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you're going to call her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It passed right through and they blew another one.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: another one?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Luckily, nobody got hurt.
It's not letting me open it up all the way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These guys are great guys. They really are. They have courage I would never ever expect people to have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, that guy served his country. I mean, what more can you ask? Wounded twice in action, plus the fear of every day going out and you never know if you're going to get wounded again.
That guy's a hero.
HOLMES: And stay tuned this weekend for "CNN PRESENTS, Combat Hospital." It airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
ROESGEN: And you can go to our Web site for a closer inside look at that combat hospital and find out what makes those doctors and nurses so good and so tough. Go to CNN.com and click on "Combat Hospital".
Well, any veteran will tell you that war can change a person. The bullets, the bombings, the killings, they can all have a profound impact. But CNN's Randi Kaye met one Iraq war veteran who says he's been changed by the war but he finds comfort in music.
JOSH HISLE, IRAQ VETERAN (SINGING): Stop screaming freedom...
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Lyrics like these...
HISLE (SINGING): Will a thousand more dead make you be aware?
KAYE: ... can only come from experience. Just what you'd expect combat to be. Whizzing rounds and, you know, loud explosions and just fire, and round after round.
KAYE: Josh was a marksman with Marine Company Fox 25 out of Camp Pendleton. His unit was one of the first to invade Iraq.
HISLE: We were excited. You know? We were writing a page in history and, you know, we didn't care if we died. The Marine Corps trains you that way.
KAYE: A showman even in a war zone, Hisle entertained his fellow troops just hours before they crossed the border into Iraq...
HISLE (SINGING): Well, we're lucky to be alive. Which one of you tankers brought that damn 45?
KAYE: ... winning their talent contest.
HISLE: They had some big spotlights, a small P.A. system. Insane. It was a sea of Marines, and we rocked out a couple songs. And they were screaming. It was really cool.
KAYE: At this point, Hisle had no idea how much he would lean on his guitar as the violence escalated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down!
KAYE: Just hours after the talent show, his unit fought its way towards Baghdad.
(on camera): You believed in this mission.
HISLE: Yes, I did.
KAYE (voice over): Hisle returned home from his first tour of duty to marry his high school sweetheart. They had a son. But just two weeks after Holland (ph) was born, Hisle was called back to Iraq. This time it would be different.
(on camera): When did it turn for you?
HISLE: I'd say in Ramadi it turned for me. We were getting blown up from roadside bombs (INAUDIBLE). It was insanity. And we couldn't control it. We couldn't stop it. And people there, they wanted us to leave.
KAYE: Do you know if you ever killed one?
KAYE: You did?
KAYE: How many?
HISLE: I don't know. I don't know.
HISLE: I guess. I didn't keep count.
KAYE: How does that affect you? How do you live with that?
HISLE: It's really -- you don't think about it. Like I said, it's another...
KAYE: How could you not think about it?
HISLE: You just do it and then it's done.
KAYE: How did you change while you were there?
HISLE: I guess my change was, I just didn't feel the cause anymore. I just didn't see it anymore. My heart wasn't there. I just wanted to go home.
KAYE (voice over): Hisle lost himself in his music.
HISLE: I played every day. Every time I got a chance I would sit out and play (INAUDIBLE). I wrote a lot of great songs over there.
KAYE (on camera): So the music was really your outlet?
HISLE: I could complain all day with my guitar and no one -- no one had anything to say about it.
KAYE (voice over): Freelance journalist Mike Soray (ph) was embedded with Fox 25 and interviewed Hisle in Ramadi.
HISLE: This time, yes, I'm definitely watching my own ass a little bit more because I want my kid to have a dad.
KAYE: Soray (ph) saw how Hisle and his unit changed from one tour to the next.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once you got into the war, you could see he and the others became far more reflective and far more sensitive to the emotional and personal loss involved in war. As a result of that, you could see Josh's music change quite dramatically. He was more focused on writing folk songs really about love and loss, writing about his family, writing about things he missed, and his fear of not coming home alive.
HISLE (SINGING): I'm sick of calling this potential (ph).
KAYE (on camera): Is there an anti-war theme in your music today?
HISLE: There is slightly. I mean, I don't want to -- I don't want to be pinholed as an antiwar political guy, because, you know, any Marine over there, any soldier over there, for that matter at all, is in my heart. But it's bring 'em home music, it's get them back here, get them back to their families music.
KAYE (voice over): For Hisle it's been a musical catharsis of love, of loss, of what he says is regret about what he did in the war.
HISLE (SINGING): Then let me die a traitor's death...
KAYE: He wrote this song, "Traitor's Death," after a massive firefight in the desert left him once again questioning why he was there.
(on camera): Who's the traitor in that?
HISLE: I'm saying, if I'm wrong, then call me a traitor. I'm going to say this is wrong. And if you don't think I'm right, then kill me, traitor's death style. Whatever -- I don't care.
(SINGING): And these days I never will forget...
KAYE (voice over): Today, Hisle is trying to launch a music career. He has a lot to say, and he believes if things don't improve in Iraq soon, there will be plenty of people that will want to sing along.
HISLE (SINGING): So rock out to the sound of my regret.
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Cincinnati.
ROESGEN: Coming home can be tough. So we have this program note. CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta are taking an in- depth look at life after war. What really happens when our war veterans come home? Tune in tomorrow for "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
HOLMES: He took a long, hard fall from grace, and now he's trying to recover.
ROESGEN: Former evangelical leader Ted Haggard is seeking spiritual restoration. Will it help him and his former congregation?
That's our "Faces of Faith" in five minutes.
ROESGEN: "Now in the News," at least 35 people dead and 60 more injured by two suicide bombers in Baghdad. It happened outside police headquarters. It was one of several deadly attacks in the Iraqi capital today, including several car bombings and roadside bomb explosions.
And this update just in to CNN. Reuters is reporting that Iraq's prime minister now is planning a major reshuffling of his cabinet.
The prime minister of Israel has arrived in Washington for talks about Iran's nuclear ambitions and the situation in Gaza. Ehud Olmert is expected to meet today with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and he's scheduled to meet with President Bush tomorrow.
HOLMES: The White House brands Iran and Hezbollah "a global nexus of terrorism." The White House statement says Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. The White House adds that Iran's financial and military support of Hezbollah has allowed it to carry out violence across the globe.
And of course we run down the top stories for you every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, with in-depth coverage for you all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming up at the top of the hour.
And we're back in 90 seconds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. TED HAGGARD, FMR. PASTOR, NEW LIFE CHURCH: We are the ones with the role to say, there is a moral plumline and we need to rise up to it. And that's also why secular people are so concerned when the church doesn't fulfill its own moral stand. Like, if a pastor falls into corruption or becomes dishonest or greedy, it's heartbreaking, because even secular people want godly people to be authentically godly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: That is former evangelical leader Ted Haggard in his own words in the upcoming HBO documentary "Friends of God."
Haggard, as you know, has admitted to what he calls sexual immorality. He's asked for forgiveness from his family and his congregation, but will that help cushion his fall from grace?
CNN's Susan Candiotti reports.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For fallen evangelical Ted Haggard, the road to spiritual rehab won't be easy.
REV. TONY CAMPOLO, BAPTIST MINISTER: To suggest that a few prayers and a few spiritual things, some scripture reading is going to solve the problem, it won't.
CANDIOTTI: As Haggard goes through spiritual restoration for what he called sexually immoral conduct, Haggard will have to face his demons working with a select group of advisers. A generally accepted four-step plan calls for him to submit to the authority of his counselors, admit his sins, make restitution, and be humbled.
Reverend Jimmy Swaggart famously sobbed through a confession he had been with a prostitute, started spiritual restoration, but a few years later was caught with another prostitute.
Tony Campolo was one of three ministers who counseled President Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Campolo draws a parallel between Haggard and Clinton.
CAMPOLO: With -- with Bill Clinton, he had a wife in Hillary who has pledged, committed to keep this marriage together no matter what. He's got that kind of wife. That will help.
CANDIOTTI: Florida-based conservative evangelical Dr. James Kennedy broadcast worldwide sermons weekly. He says Reverend Haggard's ability to regain acceptance in his ministry could take years.
REV. JAMES KENNEDY, CORAL RIDGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: He must get back. Like if they're a pastor, back into their church, simply as a layman, simply as a member of the congregation, and demonstrate a godliness. And that when all of the people involved in the ministry and the church and everything see that his life has certainly been tremendously changed, they would agree that he has been restored.
CANDIOTTI (on camera): What do you think the chances are of that happening in this case?
KENNEDY: I would say it's going to be an uphill climb.
CANDIOTTI (voice over): And Haggard's climb up the hill of spiritual rehab is just beginning.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, Fort Lauderdale.
ROESGEN: And coming up, do you have a digital camera or a cell phone that takes pictures? That's all you need to join our news team these days.
Nicole Lapin is here to tell us how to do that -- Nicole.
NICOLE LAPIN, CNN PIPELINE ANCHOR: Wait. You haven't sent anything in to CNN.com yet?
ROESGEN: I don't have a cell phone with the capability.
LAPIN: Well, Susan, I'll show you what you're missing when CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues.
ROESGEN: OK. Thanks.
ROESGEN: In stories "Across America," tragedy overnight in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The police say a wrong-way driver slammed his pickup truck head on into a car, killing five members of one family. One teenage girl survived. The pickup driver is in the hospital. The police say the crash may be alcohol related.
In Washington, volunteers with the USO spent Veterans Day stuffing care packages for troops overseas. They still do this. They packed more than 10,000 packages, including the USO's one millionth package. That's a milestone.
And in Wisconsin, a man claims he was ripped off by maybe Bigfoot. The police say the man's job is to pick up dead deer off the roads, but he called to say that he saw a large black animal he thought taking one of the dead deer off the back of his truck. He says this animal, whatever, was at least seven feet tall.
HOLMES: Right. Sure, sure, sure.
ROESGEN: They investigated, but they did not find the deer or Bigfoot.
HOLMES: All right. Last week we were talking a lot about the election, and you want to talk about it some more, huh?
LAPIN: Well, you have a digital camera, right?
HOLMES: I do have a digital camera. I am going for the I-Report of the week.
LAPIN: You have some competition.
HOLMES: I see. I'm going to send it in anonymously and win that T-shirt.
LAPIN: No, you have some more competition, because a lot of people while they were busy voting in last week's midterm elections, a lot of you became I-reporters for CNN, trying to compete with T.J. here. So many of you took some time out to send in pictures of your voting experience.
You even took a stab going even further. Can you do this, T.J.?
HOLMES: What's that?
LAPIN: Drawing your own political cartoons. And some are really, really good.
Look at this one sent in by Lisa Cooley from New York. She was so excited for voting because it was her very first time. She recently became a U.S. citizen and was so happy to take part in the democratic process.
No, that is cool.
HOLMES: That is cool.
LAPIN: And then this shot by William Barron of campaign workers literally making a last-ditch effort to campaign for their candidates. This is in Sun City, central Florida. Talking about the 11th hour here.
Also, check out some of these political cartoons. This one drawn by Greg Kearney from Casper, Wyoming. So we should tell you that Greg is also a cartoonist for the "Casper Star-Tribune".
LAPIN: So he has a little experience here. But he sent us this one of a man leaving a voting booth and just saying, "There, I have the right to complain for another year."
And then this one by Jim Brenneman of Marcellus, New York. Jim went the extra mile. He colored in his political cartoon.
HOLMES: Very nice.
LAPIN: Look at this competition you have, T.J.
You can see two political parties, the donkey and the elephant, of course, running from the wave of scandal toward elections. And the caption reads, "It's hard to pick sides when both sides are all wet."
Did you like that one? Did you want to see it again? Or did you feel a little inspired to send us your own political cartoon? Well, don't worry, it's all for you there at cnn.com/exchange.
HOLMES: And do you get extra points for coloring it in?
HOLMES: Oh, give the guy something.
LAPIN: We'll try.
HOLMES: All right. Thank you.
ROESGEN: Pictures, video, and even cartoons.
ROESGEN: OK. Thanks, Nicole.
HOLMES: Thank you, Nicole.
ROESGEN: Well, you may be waking up to a pretty chilly morning.
HOLMES: Yes. Bonnie Schneider here now with a check of our weather.
Hello again, Bonnie.
ROESGEN: And we're going to go back to our top stories at the top of the hour in just a minute.
HOLMES: Including another deadly day in Iraq. We'll take you live to Baghdad for more on the latest attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't afford a wheelchair. And I've got no way to get around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROESGEN: Someone stole his wheelchair. What happened? We'll find out.
And what issue would you want the newly-elected Democrats to take on first? E-mail us, email@example.com, and we'll read some of the e- mails in the next hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
ROESGEN: "Now in the News," more carnage in Iraq. Almost three dozen people dead, scores more wounded in two suicide bomb attacks at a police station. This is one of several deadly attacks today in Baghdad.
Still talking about Iraq, the country's prime minister is calling for a complete overhaul of his cabinet. That's according to news reports from the region. Nouri al Maliki met in with lawmakers in a closed-door session today. Two members of parliament then told the Associated Press that Al Maliki ordered lawmakers to declare loyalty to a unified Iraq not to any religious sector political parties,
HOLMES: A report today says U.S. officials think Cuban leader Fidel Castro has terminal cancer and may not live through 2007. The Associated Pres cites unnamed U.S. government and defense officials. The A.P. says the Cuban leader may have cancer of the stomach, colon or pancreas.
The list of 2008 presidential want to be's is getting shorter here. Senator Russ Feingold says he is not going to run. The Wisconsin Democratic says he wants to focus on his work in the new Democrat- controlled Senate.
ROESGEN: Controversy at the United Nations. The U.S. has vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israel for its military offensive in Gaza. U.S. officials say the resolution was biased and politically motivated. A Hamas government spokesman calls the veto shameful.
We run down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 8:15 Eastern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't afford another chair, and I got no way to get around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROESGEN: Who would steal a Korean War vet's motorized wheelchair? A story of both outrage and joy.
HOLMES: That's a shame. Well, we'll get into that here shortly. From the CNN Center this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is November the 12th. 8 a.m. here in CNN Headquarters in Atlanta, 4:00 p.m. in Baghdad. Good morning everybody, I'm T.J. Holmes.
ROESGEN: I'm Susan Roesgen in for Betty Nguyen. Thanks for being with us.
Car bombs, roadside explosions and a deadly suicide attack on an Iraqi police station, just another violent day in Baghdad. CNN's Arwa Damon joins us there now. Arwa, before we get to the violence let's ask about those reports that Iraq's prime minister is reshuffling his cabinet, what have you heard about that?
DAMON: Well Susan this news is just coming out. It came out of a parliament session today that happened behind closed doors. What we do know at this point from a parliament member who is Mahmou Mahmoud Othman (ph). He said that in that closed doors session the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki addressed parliament saying that when he took power the cabinet had already been formed and he was asking the political blocks for permission to reshuffle. This is not the first time that we've heard him say that the cabinet does need to be reshuffled but this comes at a very interesting point for the Iraqi government.
Nouri al-Maliki's government is largely viewed as being very weak and incapable to handle the violence and the many challenges that it does face heading up this country. It also comes at a time where the prime minister himself is being watched very closely. The exact political game that he is playing is coming under some scrutiny. He is very close to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr and he also appears on many levels that he is trying to consolidate and build up his Shia power base and this could be for one of two reasons.
On one hand, he could be trying to bring all of the Shia political parties and members of the government on one-page so they can then draw the Sunnis further into the political fold or he could be trying to build up a strong Shia power base that he could push the Sunnis out of power. If this cabinet reshuffle does take place it will be very interesting to see how power is divided up between the Sunnis and the Shias, Susan.
ROESGEN: Meanwhile, the violence just goes on, more of this today. This suicide bombing outside the police headquarters there. You talked to us earlier this morning, you said it's just getting worse and worse over there. What can this new cabinet even do?
DAMON: Well, Susan, that is the big question. Many Iraqis here are calling for change. They cannot live like this anymore. We just take what happened today as an example and in a single day, in a space of five hours at least 49 Iraqis lost their lives and over a hundred were wounded in a number of attacks. One of them that you just mentioned. The twin suicide bombing that attacked a number of Iraqi police recruits that were waiting outside the police station.
Iraqis want change. They've seen change happen in D.C. There is a slight binge of hope that could lead to change here. If this cabinet reshuffle does happen, Iraqis will be looking to see what kind of changes it will implement. But remember this is a government and this is a prime minister who we have heard a lot of words from in the past and so far from many Iraqis, all those words that he has said, whether it is in terms of forming a national reconciliation committee or today, a reshuffle of his cabinet. None of that has translated into action that has actually changed and decreased levels of violence on the ground.
ROESGEN: So true. I think we have a pretty realistic picture of what's happening over there. Thank you, Arwa Damon reporting live for us this morning in Baghdad.
HOLMES: Expected to be a busy Monday for President Bush. He and the national security team plan to meet with the Iraq study group some time tomorrow. In all President Bush prepared to do his job as commander in chief. According to the latest "Newsweek" Magazine poll, just 31 percent of Americans actually approve of the way he's doing his job. CNN's Ed Henry live at the White House with more on tomorrow's meeting. Good morning to you, Ed.
ED HENRY, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, T.J. You know the biggest drag on the president's popularity of course and one of the biggest factors in last week's election is the fact that the Iraq war has been dragging on. It's been very difficult for the president, obviously. He's been used to having Republicans on Capitol Hill giving him a relative freehand to conduct the war. That, obviously, is all going change now with Democrats taking over both Chambers of Congress.
That's why this White House meeting tomorrow with the Iraq study group will be so critical. It's led by the high-powered, bipartisan duo. Republican James Baker, Democrat Lee Hamilton, they were in power before the election by Congress to come up with a bipartisan report to look for a new direction in Iraq. The way forward, if you will. That report is going to have a lot of resonance now after the election since there has been a power shift, and also it's very interesting that the president has taken one step already in a new direction, of course, pushing out defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld this past week.
It's very interesting when you look at the man who has been picked to replace Rumsfeld, it's Robert Gates. He is a former member of this Iraq study group, he has now had to step down from the outside group in order to prepare for his confirmation hearings that are likely to start in December and it's also interesting that you have James Baker a member of the presidents father's administration, Robert Gates was the CIA director for the president's father. There's been so much talk in recent months about whether or not this President Bush has been listening to much other advice and not listening enough to advisers from his father's administration. This really seams also to be a real shift in that direction where the president now is listening to some of the elders in his party who served his father in trying to find a new direction in Iraq, T.J.
HOLMES: That big meeting of course tomorrow as you talked about with the Iraq study group. Another big meeting on the Presidents illiteracy tomorrow meeting where the Israeli prime minister. What do we expect to be discussed there?
HENRY: Absolutely, Prime Minister Olmert is here already. They will be meeting tomorrow. Iran and its nuclear ambitions will of course be at the top of the agenda, but also that bloody war this past summer, Israel and Hezbollah. There's been a fragile cease-fire, it's been holding, but just a couple of weeks ago the White House put out an ominous statement saying that they're concerned that Iran and Syria could be working to undermine the fledgling democracy in Lebanon. You can bet that will also be at the top of the list.
HOLMES: Busy day tomorrow for the president. Ed Henry at the White House for us, thank you so much.
HENRY: Thank you.
HOLMES: You can get more insight on the White House strategy for dealing with Iraq later this morning, coming up at 11:00 Eastern on "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer." Wolf is going to talking to the White House chief of staff John Bolten.
ROESGEN: The Democrats in Congress now say they are ready to go after possible waste and fraud in Iraq. Today's "New York Times" says they could introduce legislation as early as tomorrow to extend investigations into government contracts. The paper says Republican Senator Susan Collins is expected to join with Senators Joe Lieberman and Russ Feingold to push this measure in the Senate. The Democrats want to restore power to the federal agency that investigates waste and fraud in Iraq contracts in particular. A Republican-backed bill would have shut down that agency next year.
That brings us to this morning's e-mail question. What issue do you want the newly elected Democrats to take on first? E-mail us at WEEKENDS@CNN.com and we'll read some of the e-mails in about 15 minutes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lifted up my leg and my boot just stayed on the ground and I was, like, oh, no. That was gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Now this soldier is learning how to walk again. His story is coming your way in five minutes.
Also this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: David's body has detectable levels of 165 different chemicals; including 97 PCBs, which are so toxic, they were outlawed in 1977.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROESGEN: What might number your own body? Coming up at the bottom of the hour, you might be surprised by what some modern conveniences can do to you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It has been called one of the hottest workouts, but you have to take your exercise sitting down. Creator Josh Crosby says indo-row is all about teamwork.
JOSH CROSBY, INDO-ROW.COM: Train with a group and you're going to get better and you are going to make gains, but there's no impact. You burn tons of calories, you build muscle and you build long lean muscle, which seems to be the trend, these days and not bulky anymore and it's just a lot of fun.
COSTELLO: Crosby is passionate about rowing and he's on the U.S. National Rowing Team and a third generation rower, he ends each class at the Sports Club L.A with a little competitive racing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the fact he put you in teams as you're really rowing in a boat, that's just an added motivation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite part is when he makes us go all out. When he builds up 50 percent strength and 75 percent and a 100 percent and your doing and giving it everything you got.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am an endurance athlete, a competitive athlete and this has taken me to a whole new level. Yes.
COSTELLO: Crosby says besides working every major muscle group in your body, rowers can burn 400 to 900 calories in a 50-minute class. Carol Costello, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROESGEN: Now in the news, two suicide bombers attack a police headquarters in Iraq. Almost three dozen police recruits were killed and scores more were wounded. One of several attacks in Baghdad today.
Also in Iraq this morning, news of a government reshuffles. There are reports that Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki plans a complete cabinet shake-up and we're watching events in Lebanon this morning where a government upheaval is making headlines. Several Hezbollah ministers say they're resigning after talks to give them more power collapse. Hezbollah is threatening street protests. Lebanon's prime minister says he will not accept the resignations. Some anti-Syrian leaders in Lebanon are threatening counter demonstrations, raising the fear of confrontations and more violence.
In Haiti, gunmen killed two U.N. peacekeepers from Jordan in an ambush over the weekend. A U.N. spokesman says the soldiers came under attack while they were driving to their base near the capital of Port- au-Prince.
We run down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage all morning long so you can check the clock on the wall or your watch. Our next check of the headlines is coming up at 8:30 Eastern.
HOLMES: Some of our vets return home with another battle to wage. CNN's Thomas Roberts met up with an Iraq vet whose daily enemy now is more pain than most could ever bear.
THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For Sergeant Luke Murphy, pictures of the past are a sharp contrast to pictures of today.
SERGEANT LUKE MURPHY, U.S. ARMY: An enemy took this from me.
ROBERTS: Murphy is talking about his right leg and his ability to walk. In April he and his unit were on a routine mission near Baghdad when their Humvee hit an IED, a roadside bomb.
MURPHY: I Remember the heat of the round coming through, you know the shrapnel coming through the vehicle and blasting right through our armor like nothing, and I remember the heat and then the smoke and I remember choking on the smoke, and I lifted up my leg and my boot just stayed on the ground and I was, like, oh, no. That was gone, and then I checked this leg and it was, you know, mangled and then I was, like, oh, what about my guys and then I heard the moaning.
ROBERTS: The others in Murphy's humvee were also injured, but his were some of the worst. He was immediately rushed for treatment. MURPHY: There was no doubt in my mind that I was going make it. I knew for a fact. No problem. I will make it through this, just got to stay calm.
ROBERTS: Luke Murphy kept a cool head, but not his right leg. His left leg so damaged it's now filled with pins and pain.
MURPHY: Any time you get 16 pins going right through your bones, you're going to tend to be in a little bit of pain. That's a bad bump.
ROBERTS: Murphy with his girlfriend Kristine by his side is now in rehab at Walter Reed Medical Center.
MURPHY: I don't think I'm going to be able to walk again.
ROBERTS: He has good days and bad days. Today might be a bad day.
MURPHY: I'm starting to sweat it hurts so bad.
ROBERTS: For Luke, this is excruciating work and Kristine knows it, watching his every move and sometimes catching herself counting the leg repletion's he is performing.
KRISTINE, MURPHY'S GIRLFRIEND: It's easy for me to support Luke because he is the love of my life and he's just a really special guy.
MURPHY: It's hard. When I push myself as hard as I do, the next day I get mad because I can't do it again.
ROBERTS: But Luke Murphy knows every leg lift, every stretch, every painful exercise brings him one step closer to walking on his own.
MURPHY: I've got my eyes and my arms and all my senses and there are a lot of guys here that are hurt much worse. So I kind of got off lucky with losing a leg.
ROBERTS: In Atlanta Thomas Roberts, CNN.
HOLMES: CNN's tribute to the troops on this Memorial Day weekend continues tonight at 7:00 Eastern. Be sure to watch Lou Dobbs special "Heroes." Then at 8:00 Eastern this evening "CNN Presents: Combat Hospital." The frantic fight to save the lives of wounded troops in Iraq. Then tomorrow night find out what really happens when the troops comes home from the front lines beginning at 10 Eastern. It's a special "AC 360, Coming Home." Anderson Cooper will take a look at life after war.
Well who could possibly steal a war veteran's motorized wheelchair? Hard to believe that this could happen, but this story does have a hero. A story from the heart in four minutes. But first, a preview of what's ahead on today's "House Call."
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, T.J.
Well we have a great show coming up this morning; we're looking at how toxic the world is that we live in. Toxins are in the air, in what eat, even what we wear. The key is which ones are harmful. That's coming up on "House Call" at 8:30.
ROESGEN: This next story is one that reflects the worst in people and the best. A Korean War vet loses his independence and it's the kindness of a stranger that gives him it back. Lynn Jolakre (ph) with CNN affiliates WCVB reports from Massachusetts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since June this wheelchair has sat silent and still in James Carlson's Peabody living room, a constant reminder of his wife, a double amputee who died that month.
JAMES CARLSON, DONATED WHEELCHAIR: My wife would be very happy if she knew a veteran was getting this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Suddenly, on this Friday the chair found a new home. Carlson and his daughter immediately stepped up after he saw fellow Peabody resident Donald Murphy, a stranger to him on Channel 5, and 6 p.m. news.
DONALD MURPHY: I had my wheelchair parked outside my automobile and I come back and it was gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Murphy, a Korean War veteran was at a doctor's appointment when his motorized wheelchair was stolen from his parking lot where he routinely left it over the last two years. The idea someone would do such a thing as the nation marks Veteran's Day.
MURPHY: It's very --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just about too much for the 72-year-old to bear.
MURPHY: I couldn't afford another chair, and I got no way to get around.
CARLSON: How is this one to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, thanks to a quick-acting stranger with a big heart and huge respect for veterans.
MURPHY: I appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This former sailor who drove landing craft into battle on the beaches of Korea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's all right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can safely drive himself through his daily routine, still mostly independent.
MURPHY: If I wouldn't have believed it.
ROESGEN: He's believing it now. Sweet story.
HOLMES: Who takes a wheelchair? Who does that?
ROESGEN: That's why it's news.
HOLMES: Yes. Especially on Veteran's Day.
We'll say hello to Bonnie Schneider. She's hanging with us this weekend and she has the weather. What's happening this time?
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We're watching New Jersey because we're getting some not so pretty pictures out of Atlantic City at this hour. Because we're expecting a lot of rain for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and into Maryland and Delaware. This is Atlantic City courtesy of affiliate WPVI out of Philadelphia. And the New Jersey sky is definitely looking gray because rain, if it's not there, it's on the way. It's expected. We could see two to three inches of rain. The overcast skies are not going let up for today. This flood watch is in effect from noon today straight through tonight. So it's actually going to be in effect very shortly. As we take a look at the big picture. You can see the rain getting better organized.
This moisture coming onshore and sweeping across Virginia and it's really going bring some heavy rain, not only there but also into the Washington, D.C. area, up towards Pennsylvania where the rain is moderate right now, but heavier stuff is on the way for sure.
We're also watching not only the east coast but also areas further to the west where we have watches and warnings posted for a wintry storm. This will be for the Pacific Northwest, all these areas in orange, this indicates high wind warnings. These will be in effect for late tonight into tomorrow. Wind gusts could get as high as 67 miles per hour along the Oregon coast later on. A powerful storm is coming onshore and when the storm gets here it will not only bring wind, but heavy rain as well and snow to the higher elevations. Something to keep an eye on closely for tonight into tomorrow.
T.J. and Susan.
ROESGEN: Thanks, a little bit of everything. Thank Bonnie.
HOLMES: We want to check some viewer emails to our question of the day. We were asking what issue do you want the newly elected Democrats to take on first?
We heard one from Kyle in Maryland. He listed them for us. "One, resolve the quagmire in Iraq. Two hold those accountable for their actions or lack thereof. Three reach across the aisle and make amends." ROESGEN: And then we have this one from Mark in Alabama. He says, "I would like to see the Democrats move forward with the recommendations provided by the 9/11 commission and the Baker commission on Iraq. I would like to see the Democrats governing with partnership and class."
HOLMES: Finally here from Michael in Arizona. He says, "What should Democrats investigate first? The question is what shouldn't they investigate? Starting with wasteful spending in Iraq by Halliburton is a good start and a sure bet, but why stop there?"
So thank you all so much for giving us your thoughts and your comments for the e-mail question of the day.
Well coming up, you remember this video. This Michigan deer, we have been keeping an eye on. For the past week we've had our eye on this thing. Plastic pumpkin stuck on his head. There's a new development we want to share with you. That story is coming up in three minutes.
ROESGEN: What's happened to this deer? We will find out. Then it's "House Call." Dr. Sanjay Gupta shows you what could be toxic in your own home.
HOLMES: At the top of the hour, proof they have a championship for everything. Loosen up the hand. Get your rock, the paper and the scissors ready. The world is crowning a new champion. Stay here.
HOLMES: Now in the news, two suicide bombers attacked a police headquarters in Iraq. Almost three dozen police recruits were killed, scores more wounded. It was one of several attacks in Baghdad today.
Also out of Iraq this morning, news of a government reshuffle. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is planning a major cabinet shake-up. This programming note, tune in to "This Week at War" with John Roberts from Baghdad today at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is in Washington for talks with President Bush tomorrow. The two leaders plan to discuss Iran and Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the wake of the U.S. midterm election, the shift in control of Congress to Democrats.
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