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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Prosecutor Purge; Cheap Politics or Fair Play?; Planet in Peril; Missing Scout Found

Aired March 20, 2007 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: More than 8,600 miles from our studio in New York for the last several days we've been shooting stories here and in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
I'm going to head to Cambodia later this week.

In all the places we're focusing on trafficking of both humans and animals.

Someone I interviewed earlier today with the United Nations made the point that when we speak of the trafficking of humans, we should call it what it is -- slavery. And she's right.

As shocking and unbelievable as it may be, millions of people work as slaves today in brothels and sweatshops, on fishing boats, in back alley factories.

We'll have some of their stories later this hour and throughout this week.

But first, there's a major news event out of Washington tonight. John Roberts is standing by in New York with the latest -- John.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, thanks very much.

With Democrats threatening to subpoena his top Political Aide Karl Rove, President Bush drew a line in the sand today.

Democrats want Rove and others to testify under oath about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year.

President Bush vowed to go to the mat to prevent that. Here's what he offered instead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Justice Department, with the approval of the White House, believed new leadership in these positions would better serve our country.

The announcement of this decision, and the subsequent explanation of these changes, has been confusing and in some cases incomplete.

Neither the attorney general nor I approve of how these explanations were handled. We're determined to correct the problem.

I'll allow relevant committee members on a bipartisan basis to interview key members of my staff to ascertain relevant facts.

These extraordinary steps offered today to the majority in Congress demonstrate a reasonable solution to the issue. However, we will not go along with a partisan fishing expedition aimed at honorable public servants.

Initial response by Democrats, unfortunately, show some appear more interested in scoring political points than in learning the facts.

It will be regrettable if they choose to head down the partisan road of issuing subpoenas and demanding show trials when I have agreed to make key White House officials and documents available.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Tough words from the president today. But key Democrats were quick to reject the president's offer.

Senator Patrick Leahy is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here is what he had to say about the president's response.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: President Bush came out late this afternoon and basically said to Democrats, don't you dare, when it comes to subpoenas. What do you say to him?

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: Well, we are going to issue subpoenas. We'll probably issue them on Thursday, or at least authorize the issuance of them on Thursday.

We're not trying to play any kind of political games. I just want to find out what happened with the firing of these U.S. attorneys. It's had a ripple effect throughout law enforcement all over the country. And the U.S. attorneys are supposed to be above politics.

ROBERTS: Senator, the president said this afternoon that if you go ahead and proceed down this road of issuing subpoenas for people like Karl Rove and Harriet Miers, you are going to provoke a constitutional showdown and one that he is not going to back away from. Are you ready for that fight?

LEAHY: Well that's what -- you know, he can say what he wants. All we want is the truth. They've offered to have these people, have Karl Rove or Harriet Miers or others, come up here and give us private briefings, off-the-record briefings, no transcript, to a handful of senators.

I've had those kind of briefings. And usually two days after we've had them, we pick up the paper and find a whole lot of things that were never told to us. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: We should note that lawmakers from both parties are questioning whether those firings of the U.S. attorneys were politically motivated.

Justice Department officials say that at least seven of the dismissals were based on performance or managerial problems.

But they have acknowledged that one fired attorney was pushed out of the way to make for a protege -- make way for a protege of Karl Rove.

CNN's Tom Foreman has more on that angle.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): To understand this storm shaking Washington, you have to go to Little Rock and consider two wildly different views of one man who has benefited from the firings -- U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin.

First, look at his resume -- Tulane Law School, Oxford for graduate studies, a decorated captain in the Army Reserve, a prosecutor with the Department of Justice -- it goes on and on.

MIKE ALLEN, POLITICO.COM: Tim Griffin is very legally qualified, including serving as an Army lawyer in Iraq. In addition to that, he has his political life. He's part of this tight-knit group here in Washington that helped get the president elected twice.

FOREMAN: And that brings up the other view of Griffin. He spent years working with Presidential Adviser Karl Rove, researching the president's opponents, and as the New Yorker puts it, making the bullets to shoot them down politically.

So last year, the former U.S. attorney in Little Rock Bud Cummins was told his bosses wanted someone else was in his job, and that was Griffin.

BUD CUMMINS, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: There really was no more explanation than that, but they asked me -- they didn't ask me, they told me to be ready to step aside when that person was ready.

FOREMAN (on camera): Have any laws been broken or, as Democrats allege, were these firings designed to put legal heat on them and take it off of Republicans? No one has proven that yet.

Does the president have a right to pick his people? Everyone says yes.

So what is this fight all about? Just this, Republicans smell a rose and Democrats smell a rat.

(voice-over): Tim griffin is not talking about it, at least not publicly; others are. ALLEN: The Tim Griffin case illustrates the fact that one person's loyalist is another person's crony.

FOREMAN: Democrats call the firing a cheap shot. Republicans call it fair play. And both call it shocking to find politicians playing at politics.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Let's turn now to our Senior CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeff, you've got the president on the one hand saying, I'll give you an interview, but you're not going to put them under oath.

You've got the Democrats on the other side saying, no, we want this all under oath. We're going to subpoena them for hearings.

President Bush says, you do that, you're going to provoke a constitutional confrontation. I'll claim executive privilege perhaps. How broad is his executive privilege? How broad is his claim to say you can't talk to them under oath?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, It's a very broad claim, but especially in recent years executive privilege has been defined pretty broadly. Anything involving internal deliberations of the White House has generally been found to be off- limits.

It's funny, you know, during the Clinton presidency, you had Republicans complaining all the time about why was Clinton citing executive privilege and shielding, you know, his internal deliberations. Now, of course, the shoe is on the other foot.

But you know, the Democrats are fine to have this argument, for months, if they like. I mean, because you know, this is going to put the Bush presidency, which is already pretty much on hold, even further on hold if he wants to pick this fight with the Senate.

ROBERTS: So let's go back to the Clinton era and the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal. The president tried to shield a couple of people, including Bruce Lindsey, from the White House Counsel's Office; also worked for him as a personal attorney at one point. He lost that fight in federal court. So can we use that as an indication of how this might go if President Bush -- if President Bush fights it?

TOOBIN: Absolutely. I mean that is the route that the -- this goes. Legally, if the president refuses to comply with the subpoenas, -- and it looks like for sure that the subpoenas are coming. It goes to the federal district court, then potentially to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; then potentially the U.S. Supreme Court.

This could all take months and months. And perhaps the story will just simply fade away during that period when the legal fight goes on; or maybe it will just -- you know, the Democrats will find ways to keep it alive.

ROBERTS: Last hour we talked with David Gergen and David said the president's got a little more than 18 months left in the office. Why would he want to drag this out through that long process in the courts and get nothing done and be at odds with Congress? Can you see a reason?

TOOBIN: Well, I think George Bush really believes in the prerogatives of the presidency. This is something that Dick Cheney in particular, has devoted decades of his life to protecting and expanding.

ROBERTS: Is he the man behind the mask?

TOOBIN: Well, I can't say that. I mean, certainly, this bears the hallmark of Cheney's philosophy.

ROBERTS: He looked at what happened during the Clinton administration and said, I'm not going to throw away executive power like they did.

TOOBIN: Absolutely. And if you look at all the other ways he has expanded executive power, all of the ways related to the war on terror, this response today is very much of a peace -- peace with that.

You know, frankly, with the Democratic majority, the Bush presidency isn't getting a hell of a lot accomplished as it is. They'll certainly get less accomplished with a big constitutional fight. But he will motivate his base perhaps, which has been a guiding point of this presidency, and rally them around. But you know...

(CROSSTALK)

ROBERTS: Yes, you look at these conservative blogs, and they're all applauding President Bush for coming out today, you know, giving the Democrats one upside the head, saying that you've just been sitting there as a punching bag for the last week and a half.

TOOBIN: And maybe that will rally some support, but you know, he's been at about 35 percent in the polls for about a year now and it's hard to man that changing much one way or another.

ROBERTS: Real quick, after what the president said today, do you think Gonzales lives or dies, in a metaphoric sense?

TOOBIN: It seems like he certainly gets a little more time. I mean, you know, just yesterday it looked like they were leaking names of replacements, which was really -- looked like a political death warrant.

Now, he's not going anywhere, for a while. But the question has always been, when do the Republicans turn on him in the Senate? If they turn on him, he's gone. But if they don't, I think he stays in. ROBERTS: You know, maybe Gonzales is doing what John Sununu (ph) was rumored to have done back in the first Bush administration, and that was leak to newspapers reports of his imminent demise just so the president wouldn't fire him.

TOOBIN: That strikes me as Machiavellian...

ROBERTS: Fits him absolutely perfect for Washington.

TOOBIN: Absolutely.

ROBERTS: Jeff, thanks very much.

TOOBIN: OK.

ROBERTS: Let's go back now to Anderson in Bangkok.

Hi Anderson.

COOPER: Clever indeed.

John, thanks very much.

We're here in Thailand, reporting on a huge problem hiding in plain sight -- the illegal wildlife trade and also human trafficking.

The wildlife trade is said to be the world's second or third most lucrative black market, just behind the drug trade and arms trade.

Thailand, Cambodia are largely recognized as ground zero for the underground market in endangered and threatened animals.

The U.N. estimates it's a $5 billion to $8 billion industry. Some estimates go as high as $20 billion a year.

Shortly after we arrived in Thailand, my crew went along with Thai police as they raided a main animal market here in Bangkok. Here's what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): On the weekend, in Bangkok's Chatuchack market, you can find every kind of animal for sale. Most of the trade is legal. But among these shops and stalls, there is a far more sinister trade as well -- wildlife traffickers buying and selling endangered and threatened species.

Using an undercover camera, we discover in one store endangered tortoises smuggled in from Madagascar.

Here are rare marmosets and lemurs.

In this cage a slow laurus (ph), a primate nearly driven to extinction in Thailand. The illegal trade of animals is a booming business, worth anywhere from $8 billion to $20 billion annually. And Thailand has become a major hub. Endangered animals like these are sold as pets or smuggled illegally to China and America.

It's like a profit from gambling, this animal trafficker tells us. We can make four times our money. We get at least double what we invest.

We agreed not show this illegal trafficker's face or reveal his name. He uses these snares to capture endangered animals. Some of them, he sells alive, others he kills for body parts. He says he's been caught before, but has never gone to jail.

In Thailand, he says, the trade in wildlife has better profits than drugs, with less punishment than drugs.

Thai authorities have begun to crack down. This morning we were there when a special unit of the Thai police prepared to raid Chatuchak Market.

(on camera): Thai police are getting ready to go raid Bangkok's main animal market, but they've already found several dozen animals today. Some dozens of turtles over here, and they also have several hundred small birds.

In 2006 Thai police estimate they recaptured some 10,000 wild animals, but that's a small fraction of the illegal animal trade.

(voice-over): Wildlife experts estimate as many as 1 million animals are illegally traded through Thailand every year.

Today, they've sent an informant with undercover cops to scope out the market. But by the time the police arrive in force, several of the suspects' stores are shut.

(On camera): As soon as they show up at the market, word spreads like wildfire that the police are here. A lot of the illegal animal traders quickly close up their gates, lock their doors. A place like this, police simply can't get in.

(voice-over): The store where their informants saw endangered animals being sold this weekend is shut. And without direct evidence, they can't break in.

Steve Galster works with police on behalf of the Wildlife Alliance, a conservation organization.

(on camera): So only if they can identify a species that is from Thailand and being illegally traded can they actually break in?

STEVE GALSTER, WILDLIFE ALLIANCE: That's right. And with regard to species from other countries, they actually have to prove that that person smuggled it in. Otherwise -- the trader's here -- that's why Chatuchak Market is so ripe with illegal wildlife trade.

COOPER: So, for now, they're just going to walk away?

GALSTER: They have to.

COOPER (voice-over): They do, however, have some luck in the part of the market where birds are sold.

(on camera): The police have found an illegal warehouse. This is where a lot of the animals are stored when the shops are closed. They found a number of birds, all of these should not be traded on the open market.

(voice-over): The birds are kept in poor conditions, sporadically fed, with little water. Many have died in their cages or are close to death.

(on camera): Why should people care about the illegal animal trade? I mean, there's human beings being traded? Why focus on animals?

GALSTER: Sure. Well, there's a couple reasons. First, these animals could spread diseases if this is not a regulated trade.

Secondly, we got to remember that wildlife laws were made by people, really for people. It's based on a large body of scientific evidence that suggests when you take one species out of an ecosystem, that has a knockdown effect on every other species including us. So it's really based out of fear and self survival that we protect wildlife.

COOPER (voice-over): Police recover more than 100 birds, but no arrests are made. Until Thai laws begin to punish people who traffic in endangered animals, there's little chance this illegal trade will stop.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (on camera): And to give you an idea of just how many animals are sold on the black market, take a look at raw data. Every year an estimated 40,000 primates, ivory from 90,000 African elephants, 4 million live birds, 10 million reptile skins, and 350 million tropical fish are traded illegally.

Ounce for ounce, wildlife products worth more than a class A drug, like heroin or even cocaine or even gold in some cases.

Coming up, we'll look at another trade, the sex trade. See how one woman fought back and is now helping dozens of children escape the brutal way of life.

First, these stories.

ROBERTS (voice-over): A Boy Scout, lost in the wilderness for days, and found alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He slept in tree branches. He's curled up under rocks.

ROBERTS: Tonight, new details on the search and how he was discovered.

Fancy homes, cars and boats -- all bought by doctors and others who are not paying their taxes. And guess what? You're footing the bill not once, but twice. We're keeping them honest, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Twelve-year-old Boy Scout Michael Auberry is back home tonight with his family, after spending three nights lost in the wilderness in North Carolina. Michael was found this morning. Rescue teams discovered -- he got to put to use some of the skills he learned as a Scout. Tonight, there are new details on the search for him.

Joining us from McGrady, North Carolina, CNN's Randi Kaye -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson.

It really was a remarkable rescue. There were dozens of search teams looking for him on foot. At some point they were even using these heat-seeking helicopters. But in the end, Anderson, it was a dog named after a wizard from "Lord of the Rings" that worked his magic and led rescuers to Michael Auberry.

The dog's name is Gandalf. He's a Shilo shepherd. He's about two years old, and he was working with his trainer and owner Misha Marshall. They were searching one of 30 key sites on a grid here of the park. They were about a mile north of the Boy Scouts original campsite.

Gandalf had never worked a mission like this before, so he was very excited about it I'm told. He and his owner had just arrived, as a matter of fact, early this morning. They had only searching for about two hours, when Gandalf picked up Michael's scent.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: How did you and your dog spot Michael?

MISHA MARSHALL, FOUND BOY SCOUT: He was upwind of us. He started air scenting him, and dogs do what's called a head pop. And then he popped his head three times in one direction. We came around the corner and he spotted Michael.

KAYE: What was the first thing he said to you?

MARSHALL: He asked for some water, he asked for a snack, he asked if a helicopter could take him out.

We said, well, I don't think so, buddy -- he obviously heard helicopters.

KAYE: Typical 12-year-old boy, huh?

(END VIDEOTAPE) KAYE: This was a really important rescue. The paramedics who looked Michael over told me that he was dehydrated. He was also showing early signs of hypothermia.

I asked one of them how was he able to survive four days in the woods, especially since two of the nights he was missing, the temperatures had dropped to 20 degrees.

They told me that -- well, first of all, he kept his clothing on. He was layered up pretty well, so that certainly worked to his advantage. He drank a lot of water from the stream, so that certainly helped him. But remarkably, he didn't eat anything since he had lunch at the campsite four days ago. He didn't eat any of the local vegetation or any of the bark from the trees.

He and his parents enjoyed a very private reunion at the hospital late in the afternoon. His father told us he gave his son some chicken fingers, which he enjoyed.

And after that reunion, he shared some more details with reporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENT AUBERRY, MICHAEL'S FATHER: He slept in tree branches -- I'm not sure exactly what that means yet. He said he curled up under rocks.

And Michael's not completely aware of the passage of time and how many days he was out there. But he's doing great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: The big question, of course, tonight, Anderson, is why did Michael wander away to begin with?

Apparently his father says that Michael told him that he was homesick. He was searching on foot for the nearest highway, hoping to find a way to hitchhike home.

His mom says tonight that, after hearing that, she will never let Michael out of her sight again -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, we know why he wandered away. Do we know how it was possible that he wandered away? I mean, weren't people supposed to be watching over him?

KAYE: Well, anybody who knows anything about the Boy Scouts knows that they have a buddy program in place. And that's supposed to work between the...

COOPER: We've lost Randi Kaye. Obviously, we'll try to get that connection with her again.

Obviously, that's one of the things they're going to be looking into is to exactly how it was that he was able to wander away. All the other scouts apparently had left for a hike and there was one person there with Michael, but Michael left without telling him, apparently.

So we'll continue to follow that story. No doubt it's not the last we've heard of it. Boy scouts are taught to be prepared.

Up next, we're going to talk to an expert about the specific training and how it helped Michael survive.

Also we've been talking to shocking sale of humans into the sex industry. It's a big problem here in Southeast Asia -- around the world, for that matter.

Still ahead, how one woman escaped the sex industry and the amazing work she is doing to help others, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KENT AUBERRY, MICHAEL'S FATHER: Want to thank people for their prayers, thank people who went to look or him. And we want to thank Gandalf especially for your dog here who came and found him.

Although, he knew is that Gandalf did eat the peanut butter crackers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: That's Ken Auberry, passing on words of thanks from his son, Michael, the 12-year-old boy survived three freezing nights on his own in the wilderness of North Carolina.

For more on the search and rescue, I'm joined by Joe Ware. He's assistant chief of the McGrady volunteer fire department in North Carolina.

Joe, you were one of the first people to see Michael Auberry after he was found. What kind of condition was he in after three days, three nights in the forest?

JOE WARE, ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF, MCGRADY VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT.: He was in pretty good condition. He was a little dehydrated and a little disoriented.

ROBERTS: We heard that he had found some water to drink. But after spending that long out in the wilderness you've got to think this kid's got to be pretty shaken up. Did he look like he was frightened? Or did he seem pretty good?

WARE: He looked surprised to see all of the people around him when I arrived at the scene.

ROBERTS: I bet he was pretty thankful to see you, as well?

WARE: Yes, he -- he talked to us and, you know, just basic talk. You know, we asked him questions about his school and favorite foods.

ROBERTS: Did you talk to him at all about how he got lost, how he got separated from the other Boy Scouts and how he managed to keep himself in the condition he did for three days and three nights?

WARE: No, I actually didn't. The team that actually found him, I don't know if they did, but I was with the team that had the medic that first checked him out.

ROBERTS: Right. And when he checked out, was he showing any signs of physical injury, other than the dehydration?

WARE: No, no, he didn't have any physical injuries that we could see.

ROBERTS: So you're a member of the volunteer fire department. I'm sure that this is the sort of thing that you have to deal with on occasion. How many people get lost out there in the hills?

WARE: This -- it's rare, as far as getting lost. You know we may have the occasional hiker that sprains an ankle and we have to go carry him out. But as far as actually getting lost, it's rare.

ROBERTS: You know, one question that we were wondering here -- and we're in New York and we're a long way away from the Blue Ridge Mountain there, but why would it take three days to find somebody who is only a mile and a half away from the camp where he disappeared?

WARE: Well the terrain that he was in is really -- it's really rugged. Some places is real steep. You basically have to use ropes to repel or climb.

ROBERTS: Right. So it's heavily forested as well that area?

WARE: Yes, it is. It's real densely forested with lots of mountain laurel (ph) that makes it real difficult to search.

ROBERTS: Right. Yes, I'm sure it gets even more difficult in the summertime as well.

What was the key to his survival, do you think?

WARE: His Boy Scout training and just he -- he told us that he would lie down at night some and just -- to stay warm. And basically drinking a little water out of the streams.

ROBERTS: Right. Well, good for him. Because it got pretty cold there in the mountains, I know, for a couple of nights there. So we're really impressed to see that he managed to keep himself not only alive, but keep his wits about him.

Good work to all of you folks for finding him as well.

Joe Ware, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

WARE: Thank you. ROBERTS: Good to talk with you.

Michael's family was especially concerned for him because he takes Ritalin to treat his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. And he didn't have the medication with him on that weekend.

Whether or not that played a role in his getting lost and may have made the situation worse is still unclear.

I spoke about that earlier with our 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Sanjay, Michael Auberry's father was saying in the press conference today, he was concerned that his son didn't have his ADHD medication with him. Do you think that that may have hindered his chances of being found until he was? And could the ADHD have been responsible for him getting lost in the first place?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's certainly hard to say. There's certain types of ADHD. There's the hyperactivity compulsive component. There's the inability to pay attention. And there's a combination of both. You can sort of see by those traits it may have had an impact on that.

Although a lot of people will say, that we talked to, that it shouldn't have had an impact on his ability to take care of himself to be able to survive. Now, there is the more compulsive component in it. Would it have made him more impulsive to do something that was erratic, making it harder to be found, perhaps? But the ADHD, in itself, probably not, John.

ROBERTS: He said he was homesick. Perhaps the impulsivity may have led to him try to get away and try to go home.

As far as him being off of the drugs for the weekend, is there anything unusual about that? Do parents often give children with ADHD these mini drug holidays?

GUPTA: Yes. It's interesting. There are these medication holidays. There are some side effects to these medications. That's part of the reason they might get the holiday -- the decreased appetite, sleep problems, which can be pretty severe as well, and especially in older children, or more severe ADHD personality changes with the higher doses.

A lot of kids don't like the medications because they're singled out in classes as well to take the medication. Parents, as a result, give holidays not only for the weekend, but the entire summer as well, John.

ROBERTS: What do you suggest of parents of ADHD children or even ADD children who are thinking about going away on a weekend event like this one? Should they keep their kids on the drugs to keep them sharp, keep them focused? Or should they give them a holiday? GUPTA: We looked into this, John. There are some real studies out there about children who have ADHD, who are taken off their medications. And they see some alarming things, especially in the more severe cases.

For example, there's ten times the higher likelihood of high bicycle accidents, of pedestrian accidents, of self-inflicted injuries as well. Other studies have shown that rates of emergency room visit goes go up accordingly as well. So there is some concern there. It really seems to be stratified towards the more severe cases and the higher doses. It's hard to say. Certainly talk about it with your doctor.

But also, one good indicator, if there's been any indication of impulsive behavior that's ever put your child in jeopardy in the past, that's a good indicator not to give the drug holiday, or at least think seriously about it.

ROBERTS: Good information. Sanjay Gupta, as always, our "360" M.D., thanks very much. Appreciate it.

GUPTA: Thank you, sir.

ROBERTS: Up next, you, the taxpayer, getting stuck with the bill for wild spending by doctors and other health professionals. It is outrageous. We're keeping them honest.

Also tonight, thousands of women and children trapped, forced into sex slavery.

MAM SOLAMY, FORMER PROSTITUTE: They have been raped, usually by 10, 8 men, 20, 25.

ROBERTS: In a dark world, a sign of hope. See how one woman has turned her life around and saved at least 50 children.

Fancy homes, cars and boats, all bought by doctors and others who are not paying their taxes. And guess what? You're footing the bill, not once, but twice. We're keeping them honest, when "360" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Some of the photographs taken by Jeff Hutchins with Getty Images, who's traveling with us.

We're in Bangkok, Thailand, tonight, focusing on the sex industry and the terrible toll it takes of young lives, not just here, but across Southeast Asia.

For some, of course, there is hope and a life after prostitution and drug addiction.

CNN's Dan Rivers reports now from Cambodia on the work of one remarkable woman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here in Phnom Penh, brothels are everywhere. The U.N. says 50,000 prostitutes work here, one-third of them are underage girls. Some are barely even old enough for school.

Many bars put on chorus lines of underage girls for sale. They might seem cheerful, but this is a violent, dangerous netherworld where rape, beatings and even murder are common.

Carr (ph) knowing the dangers too well. She's just arrived at a women's refuge after an awful night on the streets.

She tells me that last night a client paid her $10 for sex, but then five other men arrived and brutally gang-raped her. The last man was drunk, and smashed her in the eye.

Her arms are marked from where she's repeatedly cut them, self- mutilation carried out when she was addicted to methamphetamine, a habit she kicked after an agonizing battle.

The refuge also has a clinic where Carr (ph) gets treatment for her eye. But that's the least of her problems. She told us, almost as an afterthought, that she also is HIV positive.

The clinic and the refuge are run by Mam Somaly, herself a former prostitute.

SOMALY: Poor women, they have been raped. They have been -- you know, by 10, 8 men, 20, 25, gang-raped. They hit them. They receive a lot of violence. So why I'm here.

RIVERS: But Somaly has turned her life around, taking her campaign to end this modern day slavery as far as she can, despite almost no help from the Cambodian government.

And it's not just adults that benefit. She's rescued a total of 55 children from brothels in Cambodia, bringing them to this refuge. Most aren't even teenagers yet.

Taking them off the streets and offering them a new home in the countryside where they get a chance to learn new skills and find a new life.

SOMALY: A lot of them, when they arrive first, they are like, you know, problem, very big problem. And then they never have, like, love, by the people, by the parents, even by their parents.

RIVERS: Every single child you see here was rescued from a brothel.

(on camera): What's horrifying is that many children were sold into the sex trade by their own parents for as little as ten U.S. dollars. And some of them were only 5 years old.

(voice-over): Like this Shray (ph), rescued from a brothel at the age when most children haven't even begun school. And like so many other children here, Shray (ph) is HIV positive.

These children may be free, but they've lost any chance of living a normal, healthy life.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Kampong Cham, Cambodia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Of course, it's not just the sex trade. It's not just prostitution. People are being forced into all sorts of jobs, all sorts of forced bondage, many forms of modern-day slavery.

I talked to Lisa Rendy Taylor, technical adviser to the U.N. interagency Project for Human Trafficking earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So when you talk about trafficking, when you talk about slavery, what do you see? What kind of forms of slavery still exist?

LISA RENDE TAYLOR, HUMAN TRAFFICKING EXPERT: There are all kinds of forms in the region where you see people who cannot -- they have no control, freedom of movements. They are in debt bondage situations. They're in highly abusive situations. You can find this sometimes in brothels. You can find this sometimes, though, in factories.

COOPER: The case of brothels you see, what? You see family members selling other family members?

TAYLOR: I think that that may be is the stereotype. Sometimes I think that that's the case. If you have families that are in very desperate situations.

I have interviewed parents who said, well, one daughter wanted to go off and we thought that was OK and we got a little bit of an advance. Do you call that selling?

But then you have a lot of people who work in these situation, as well. And they said, "Well, I thought I would give it a shot in the urban area. And this is the only work I could get. And I want to get out of here. And it's pretty terrible." So are the parents complicit or not? If they send money home to support the family, are the parents complicit or not? It really is kind of difficult.

COOPER: Then some of the other kinds of slavery that exist that you're talking about, factory work, indentured servitude basically. These are people moving across borders or moving from one village to another and just, what? They find themselves in a situation they can't get out of?

TAYLOR: Well, I mean, it's Asia. Look at the region. There's a real disparity in incomes and livelihoods and opportunities.

If you have people who have a little bit desperate circumstances or if you have people who have a bit of an education and they want a more exciting life in the urban area, there will always be a supply of people to work in these situations. And there will always be people who run these factories or establishments who can make a lot of money profiting off of slave labor. And they do.

COOPER: It's important for you to make the point that this is a crime. Do some people not see it as a crime?

TAYLOR: I think it's a situation where bad things happen to people who need to be protected and who need to receive support services and so on and so forth. If something happens often in poorer countries.

So I think the typical response is often the international development kind of response, where they feel like perhaps some poverty alleviation or microcredit programs or putting people in shelters, maybe this will alleviate the situation.

But I think that what most of us would agree is perhaps this is not going to solve the problem in itself. It's not just poor people in Asia who are being exploited. That is not what is causing the exploitation. Its exploiters who are causing the exploitation. And often times, it's not necessarily -- you can't generalize and say, "Oh, it's poor world people."

COOPER: So it's not necessarily just a social condition? It's a crime and a crime that needs to be punished?

TAYLOR: It's a crime that needed to be understood as well. Certain people are vulnerable to it. But it's not always the most ignorant, the least educated, the poorest.

Often times, in Southeast Asia, if you go into a village and -- and I've done this. If you go into a village and interview a whole series of people to see who are the ones who are migrating, who are the ones that are in the hazardous situations, it's actually the ones who are the most educated because they feel like, "I want to get out of here. I think I have a chance at a better life. I have a little bit of capital. I'm not the poorest. I'm going to go to Bangkok and see what I can do for myself, and see what I can do for my family."

These are the people who are the most vulnerable. Do most of our development programs target these people? Not always. And this is the problem.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Up next, a billion dollar tax dodge. Tens of thousands of doctors and others don't pay their taxes. We're keeping them honest.

Plus, big names, big money, the fight over 2008 campaign cash. It is "Raw Politics" when "360" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: How would you feel if you knew that you were paying for medical care once with your tax dollars and then paying for it again? Unfortunately, it's not a rhetorical question.

CNN's Joe Johns, though, is keeping them honest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Twenty-one thousand doctors, health care professionals, suppliers, who get paid by the Medicare program -- that's your tax dollars -- didn't pay their income taxes or payroll taxes in 2005.

And if that's a tough pill to swallow, how about this? An audit by the Government Accountability Office found some of them are using your tax money for the good life -- luxury automobiles, fancy homes. One doctor even bought this pleasure boat.

If it sounds like taxpayers are getting taken for a ride, listen to what one Senator says.

SEN. NORM COLEMAN, (R), MINNESOTA: They should be angry that the federal government is putting money in pockets of folks thumbing their nose at the rest of us and not paying their tax obligations.

JOHNS: And we're not talking about chump change. Those 21,000 health care professionals owed the government more than $1 billion. That's right, $1 billion.

But to be clear, it's not only about the money. It's also about the quality of service some of these tax cheats have been providing Medicare patients.

(on camera): The GAO also said some doctors received Medicare payments, even though they had gotten into serious trouble, like being reprimanded or having licenses suspended or their hospital privileges revoked.

GREGORY KUTZ, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE: Substandard care, drug abuse, embezzlement, abusive prescription writing -- that doesn't sound like, Senator, like people we should have doing business with the federal government.

JOHNS: But they have been. And they're getting away it because the government has no policy to prevent people who owe tax debts from getting Medicare money. Even the administration says it's unbelievable.

LESLIE NORWALK, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CTRS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID: I am outraged there are Medicare providers out there right now harming our beneficiaries.

COLEMAN: I get a sense that this issue has, for whatever the outrage, doesn't filter down.

JOHNS: In fact, keeping them honest, the Health and Human Services Department already has a way to collect some of those back taxes. It's called a levy program. And some on Capitol Hill are wondering why doesn't Medicare just go after the money? SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, (D), MISSOURI: You came to a hearing on how to collect unpaid taxes. And you don't even know how many levies you've collected. I think, you know, that's -- you know, that's pretty much in the category of the dog ate my homework.

JOHNS: But even with the Senate howling, let's be clear. This has been going on for at least ten years. And no one's fixed it yet. More than anything else, it's the bureaucracy that makes it hard to catch Medicare tax cheats and force them to pay.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Keeping them honest tonight.

Up next, "Raw Politics." John McCain seeing green. Clinton and Obama seeing red, when "360" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: On the presidential campaign trail, just three days after St. Patrick's Day, you might think it's all about the green. And you know we're not talking about shamrocks. That's just some of the raw material for our "Raw Politics" segment.

Tonight, for that, let's go back to John Roberts in New York -- John?

ROBERTS: Anderson, thanks.

The hottest race for the presidency right now is the race for cash. The filing deadline for the first quarter fund-raising less than a month away. That is going to give us an idea who's really in the game for president.

At a fundraiser in Alabama today, Senator John McCain played a little ba da bing with contributors.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), ARIZONA: Do we have your name? Give more money -- give more money or hire someone to start your car in the morning. Thank you very much.

ROBERTS: Johnny Mac is hoping to raise a ton of money at a series of fund-raisers in Florida over the next two weeks.

A battle over who is more anti-war. Sounds a little weird, right? But that's the latest fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Obama's campaign released a three-minute video today proving, they say, his consistency on the anti-war issue.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think the president's made the case on Iraq because I don't see what...

UNIDENTIFIED HOST: You said this before the war.

OBAMA: I said this in October of 20 -- October of 2002.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: And e-mail pointing people to the video. Obama's campaign said he spoke out against the war at time when it was very difficult to do so, when his opponent, in fact, was voting for the war. Take that, Senator Clinton.

John Edwards unveiled an energy plan today that aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050.

Edwards is making global warming a centerpiece of his campaign. But wait a minute, you say. Isn't Edwards building a 28,000-foot compound in North Carolina. How much energy does that use? Not much, claims Edwards. Lots of solar power and more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN EDWARDS, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We've committed to operate this house in a carbon-neutral way, which means, in addition to using energy-saving devices in the house itself, to the extent that doesn't cover it, we're going to purchase carbon credits on the market.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: So I know. The question you have is where do I go to buy carbon credits? I didn't see them at Target. Edwards buys his from nativeenergy.com, $12 a metric ton for carbon credits, which seems to include a pretty markup since, on the Chicago climate exchange, they're only $4. No exact figure for the Edwards manse. But carbon credits for the average family of four can run about $400. Critics, though, call them nothing but feel-good hype.

And that's "Raw Politics" -- Anderson?

COOPER: John, thanks very much.

A new twist in the battle over Anna Nicole Smith. A judge in the Bahamas weighing in on the case and about the DNA. Details when "360" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Let's get right to Kiran Chetry, who joins us with the "360 Bulletin."

Hey, Kiran.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Anderson. A new twist tonight in the nuclear showdown with Iran. Russia reportedly pulling its experts out from a nuclear plant they were helping the Iranians build. They say it's unless Tehran agrees to stop the nuclear enrichment program. Moscow denying the report.

The Bush administration, though, saying it is true. The White House hoping a Russian pullout will step up pressure on Iran to end its nuclear ambitions.

Well, a DNA test has been ordered in the Anna Nicole Smith case. The sample is to come from Smith's baby daughter, Dannylynn. A judge in the Bahamas wants the test done to identify the infant's father and hopefully help end the bitter custody dispute.

And Harry Potter's publisher is seeing green. It's not just the money. The next and final book in the series will have the blessing of environmentalists. That's because "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows" will contain at least 30 percent recycled paper. And the book will, of course, start flying off the shelves when it comes out in July.

Anderson?

COOPER: No double about that. Kiran, thanks very much.

I want to thank John Roberts for sitting in for me in New York. We'll see him again tomorrow night.

"Larry King" is coming up next. You can also watch "American Morning" at 6:00 a.m. eastern, with Soledad and Miles.

Stay tuned for Larry. We'll see you tomorrow.

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