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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Kidnapped BBC Reporter Released; Who's Under U.S. Surveillance?; Doctors Accused; Less Severe Prognosis; Patient Fires Back; Border Insecurity: Northern Exposure
Aired July 3, 2007 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He said also that interestingly enough his captors did allow him to have a radio and he listened all the time to the "BBC World Service."
And one thing that kept his spirits up throughout this nightmare, as he described it, was that he was able to hear on the BBC messages of support from family, from colleagues, from friends around the world.
And I can tell you, he sounded pretty good for a guy who has spent 115 days in captivity, it appears, in a basement in Gaza city -- Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: How does he look to you? You know him.
WEDEMAN: You know, he doesn't look too bad. He looks like he's lost a bit of weight. His hair has grown out a bit. But by and large, for somebody who's gone through that, I'd say he looks pretty good.
COOPER: What do we know about -- and again, just for viewers who are joining us now at the top of the hour, we are waiting to see if Alan Johnston is going to be making any public statements at what was described to us as a press conference. We're not quite sure if that is in fact what it's going to be. Clearly, there are some microphones there, so we're waiting to see if Hamas officials allow Alan Johnston to speak.
What do we know, Ben, as we're awaiting this press conference, about the attempts to get him out for these many months, but in particular these last several days?
WEDEMAN: Well, certainly the attempts to free Alan intensified after June 14th, when Hamas took more or less complete control of the Gaza Strip.
They made it clear from almost the very beginning that freeing Alan Johnston was one of their top priorities.
The question was how were they going to do it? And certainly, one of the options that they seriously considered, according to Hamas figures I've spoken with, was an assault on the building where he was being held. And of course, that raised a lot of alarm in the BBC and among others because that could have resulted in harm or even worse to Alan Johnston.
But within basically the last 24 to 36 hours it appears Hamas took a final decision that the kidnapping had to be brought to an end. They brought in reinforcements, surrounded the area where they believed Alan was being held, and were in the final steps of preparations for launching an assault on the building when another faction intervened and basically worked out an understanding whereby Hamas would free those members of the army of Islam they were holding and the army of Islam would likewise free Hamas hostages.
And at the end of this process, when all those hostages were released, Alan was released. We understand -- yes?
COOPER: Ben, I just want to interrupt you. We have a spokesman talking right now. If you can listen in and tell us what he's saying. He's speaking in Arabic.
WEDEMAN: This is Ismael Haniyeh, the dismissed Palestinian prime minister speaking.
He's addressing the Palestinian people and what he describes as all the free people in the world.
And he's basically saying that this was -- the freeing of Alan Johnston was based upon their -- the principles and conviction of Hamas that this man should be freed and that his kidnapping did not serve the purposes or the cause of the Palestinian people.
And looks like he's going to make a fairly lengthy statement about the importance of freeing Alan Johnston for the Palestinian cause and the importance, he's saying, of the --
COOPER: Let's talk about that, Ben, you and I, a little bit as we listen in. If Alan Johnston begins to speak, we'll obviously go back to it live.
How important is it for the officials in Gaza to have Alan Johnston out? In terms of getting -- allowing reporters to work there with someone like Alan Johnston held captive, the willingness of international journalists certainly to go there, the ability of international journalists certainly to go there, is severely restricted.
WEDEMAN: Well, those restrictions have been eased dramatically since Hamas's takeover because that resulted in an end of the fighting, which was one of -- which made working in Gaza almost impossible. And certainly they've been able to restore a certain amount of law and order to Gaza that we haven't seen there for quite some time.
But the Alan Johnston case is a complicated one for Hamas. On the one hand, they wanted to gain the political credit by winning his release. On the other hand, the group that's holding him, the army -- or was holding Alan Johnston, the army of Islam, is associated with a very large and well-armed clan, a clan with very close ties to the Fatah movement. And really what they want to do is crush this clan, which really is one of the last major obstacles to their complete takeover of the Gaza Strip.
On another level the Hamas movement was worried about this clan because they thought that it had been infiltrated by the al Qaeda mentality.
Certainly, what we saw in terms of the videotapes coming out of that group, the statements really were reminiscent of al Qaeda.
And in the spectrum of radical Islam Hamas is not in the same zone, so to speak, as al Qaeda. Hamas is, after all -- it's a political movement that has by and large restricted its military activities to this theater, to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It hasn't really engaged in international terrorism, only regional, local terrorism. And therefore, they're worried about al Qaeda as sort of a group that could politically outmaneuver them.
So it's a very sensitive situation for Hamas. And getting Alan Johnston freed was important to them for a variety of reasons, as I've already mentioned -- Anderson.
COOPER: What has changed? I'm looking at a statistic from the Committee to Protect Journalists. Alan Johnston was one of 15 journalists abducted in Gaza since 2004. You have spent a lot of time there. Most of these journalists have just been held for a very short amount of time. Alan Johnston is the one who's been held the longest. What does that mean? And what is the significance of that? What has changed in Gaza in terms of kidnappings?
WEDEMAN: Well, really it was last summer, Anderson, when we got a serious warning that things were changing when two reporters for the American FOX network were kidnapped and held for 10 days, which was unprecedented. Before that most kidnappings ended within hours.
In the case of our CNN producer, who I was with in Gaza in September of 2004 who was kidnapped, that was just for 24 hours.
But after the FOX kidnapping, there was a realization that it was no longer just a situation whereby you were held for a couple of hours, drank tea and had a meal, and then were released with a statement. The fact that Alan was held for 115 days was a warning that things had really changed dramatically for the worst.
Having said that, it does appear that now that the factional fighting has ended, now that Hamas has really gained control of the Gaza Strip, the threat, the immediate threat of kidnapping has receded somewhat -- Anderson.
COOPER: And in terms of operating in Gaza, you were there recently, I know. How is it compared to the way it was, you know, two years ago or so?
WEDEMAN: It's much better. You don't hear the sort of constant background of gunfire that you did in the past. I was in Gaza, for instance, in December of last year, and frankly, everywhere we went it seemed that a gun battle would break out. It was extremely dangerous.
Now Gaza seems to be a much calmer, a much quieter place. We went out one day with a Hamas patrol that was enforcing long forgotten traffic regulations.
Having said that, there's still a lot of uncertainty and fear in Gaza, especially among former -- or rather Fatah members who are not quite sure what their future in the Gaza Strip is.
There's also concern that economically the place is going to simply go down the drain because of the continued Israeli embargo on the Gaza Strip. Israel still allows water and electricity, food and medicine, but the worry is that for political reasons that supply could be cut at any moment.
But just to sum up, Gaza now is a much safer place to work in, but of course in a place like the Middle East you have to take these things day by day. We don't know about tomorrow.
COOPER: And of course for our viewers who are just joining us, or sort of wondering what we are watching here, Alan Johnston there on the left, the BBC journalist freed today after some four months in captivity, the longest-held journalist in Gaza. Obviously, a great relief. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes movement.
You're watching an official from the Hamas-led government making a very long statement in Arabic.
We're waiting to see if Alan Johnston is going to be allowed to make any sort of statement. He is still in Gaza.
Ben, do we know when he will get out of Gaza? Do we know --what is the process?
WEDEMAN: He's got to cross through the Erez Crossing, which is the main point where you go through to get into Israel. That is a scene of some serious destruction. It's not an easy place to cross over. And on the Israeli side, it doesn't open until 7:00 in the morning, which I think is about an hour away by our time.
So he's got to really wait until the situation there is calm, quiet, so he can go over.
We spoke with our colleagues at the BBC here in Jerusalem. They said they expect him to come here to Jerusalem before he heads later in the day to Ben Gurion airport and back to the United Kingdom.
Obviously, they want to get him reconnected, reunited with his family in the United Kingdom as quickly as possible.
COOPER: We are continuing to watch this rather lengthy talk by a Palestinian official. We will continue to cover this. If Alan Johnston is allowed to speak, we will bring his statements to you. Alan Johnston, released after some four months in captivity. We had seen him in several videos released by his captors. At one point, most recently, wearing a suicide vest.
Clearly, there had been great concern about any efforts to actually free him through force. Clearly, there was some sort of negotiations that went on. And there you see the handshake between Alan Johnston and a Palestinian official.
ALAN JOHNSTON, BBC JOURNALIST: The last 16 weeks, of course, just by far the very, very worst of my life.
JOHNSTON: The last -- the last 16 weeks, of course, just were the very worst you could imagine of my life. It was like being buried alive, really. And occasionally terrifying. You were in the hands of people who were dangerous and unpredictable. And always frightening in that you didn't know when it might end. And after two months, three months you think, why might I not be here in nine months, 18 months, or longer.
And every kidnapped victim, I'm sure, worries like that. The psychological pressures and stresses are absolutely huge. And it's a huge battle to keep in mind in the right place and stay healthy in every way you can and just the most unimaginable relief that it's finally over.
I dreamt many times, literally dreamt of being free again and always woke up in that room. It's almost hard to believe that I'm not going to wake up in a minute in that room again, but I don't think so. The way things are going.
And I -- I, you know, I felt one lucky break in that I got hold of a radio and was able to listen to the BBC after the first two weeks onwards, and I was able to see just how much extraordinary support was coming for me around the world. There were demonstrations from Beijing to Buenos Aires, Beirut to London to Washington. And you know, I could feel how much the Palestinian people were feeling that this wasn't -- wasn't right and how many -- how much support there was for an end to my captivity from the Palestinian people.
And I have to say especially to Palestinian journalists, I was able to sense from them how much they were pressing, pressing for efforts to free me.
And of course, across the Palestinian spectrum politically, there was condemnation of the kidnapping, calls for my release and so on.
But Prime Minister Haniyeh, from the outset, it was very clear that in his view -- I remember him saying that I was a guest of the Palestinian people and that it wasn't right what was happening, and he was very solid from the very beginning in going against the kidnappers and working to free me. I have to say, though, that the kidnappers seemed very comfortable and very secure in their operation until a couple of weeks ago, when it became clear that Hamas were going to be in charge of the security situation on their own here, and after that the kidnappers were much more nervous and began to realize and I began to feel that perhaps, just perhaps if I was lucky the end was coming.
I know that Mr. Haniyeh and Ghazi Hamad and Dr. Zahar did a huge amount to pressure the kidnappers. And I know that the Hamas security forces did a huge amount, too, to make their presence felt.
And to be quite honest, I think if it hadn't been for that real serious Hamas pressure, that commitment to tidying up Gaza's many, many security problems then that I might have been in that room for a lot, lot longer.
COOPER: A statement from Alan Johnston, freed journalist, freed in Gaza.
Ben, your thoughts on hearing what he said.
WEDEMAN: Well, it's interesting. As you can see, he seems to be speaking quite comfortably. For somebody after 115 days in a basement in Gaza, he seems to be in fairly good shape.
What was interesting was he said that his captors seemed fairly comfortable and secure in their position until the Hamas takeover of Gaza in the middle of June, which raises the possibility that there was some sort of connection, which is widely believed by many sources here, both in Gaza, the West Bank, and also in Egypt, that there was some sort of connection between the captors and the Fatah movement.
Obviously, this is going to require more investigation. But that's what really strikes me from what Alan just said.
COOPER: We're going to take a short break, and we'll be right back.
Ben Wedeman, thanks for the reporting.
(END BREAKING NEWS)
COOPER: We're going to update you on the investigation into the U.K.'s latest round of terror attacks in a moment, but first, a look at what is happening in this country tonight, on the eve of the Fourth of July holiday.
U.S. officials say there's no specific threat they're guarding against tonight, but they are deploying special security teams called VIPR teams to mass transit systems in eight of the largest American cities, including here in New York.
TSA officials say the expected surge in holiday travel is the reason for the extra security, not the British terror plots. A lot of money, as we all know, has been spent upgrading U.S. security over the last several years. But, as we reported the other night, only about half the 9/11 Commission's recommendations for making this country safer have been enacted.
What is being done?
"Keeping them Honest" for us tonight is CNN's Kelli Arena.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the aftermath of the U.K. terror strike, the usual faces with vague reassurances.
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, SECRETARY, HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, we do actively investigate and actively monitor the activities of a significant number of people in the United States who we are concerned are linked to terrorism, either as facilitators or even as potential operators.
ARENA (on camera): Now, that statement alone raises a lot more questions than answers. Who are these people? How many of them are there? And what does "actively monitor" mean?
(voice-over): "Keeping them Honest," we asked those questions and got the official, "We won't go beyond what the secretary said" from the FBI.
But, unofficially, we're learning a lot.
Counterterrorism sources say the FBI had at least 300 individuals in the United States currently identified as persons of interest. Officials say some have communicated with known terrorists. Others make the list because their name somehow surfaced in terrorism investigations. They are all being watched, but not all the time.
To put any one of them under 24-hour surveillance would take at least 24 agents.
GEORGE BAURIES, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Because surveillance activities drain so much on law enforcement resources, often, other techniques, such as going through one's trash, looking at financial records, looking at other databases, are often used as means to do a more efficient investigation.
ARENA: The FBI can't afford to ignore anyone. But the results of its investigations have been mixed.
Seven men were arrested in a high-profile sting in Miami for allegedly plotting to bring down the Sears Tower. But officials later determined the group was hardly a professional operation.
Authorities also broke up an alleged plot to bomb a fuel pipeline at JFK Airport in New York. But there are continued questions about how serious or developed the plot was.
But, even when the plots don't appear to be as dangerous as they first seemed, experts say these FBI investigations are essential.
MATT LEVITT, FORMER FBI ANALYST: I, frankly, believe it's important to flush these cells out long before they get to the point where they're capable and ready to conduct the type of an operation, because Glasgow and London demonstrate it doesn't take very much.
ARENA: Just simple materials -- hatred, and determination. And that's why it's hard to stop them.
Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Hard to stop them.
Again, despite all the lip-flapping, though, from politicians, only about half of the 41 recommendations by the 9/11 Commission have so far been enacted.
Meanwhile, the investigation in Great Britain goes on. And one of the most chilling facts that we have learned about the British terror plot is this: The two men arrested after driving a jeep into the Glasgow Airport terminal are perhaps the last people you would expect to try to harm others. Both are trained to save lives, not take them.
They're medical doctors. And so are at least three other suspects in custody tonight.
More on the case from CNN's Nic Robertson.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Both doctors, both bombers -- Khalid Ahmed from Lebanon and Iraqi Bilal Abdulla. According to U.S. intelligence sources, they were recruited by al Qaeda in Iraq because they were medical professionals.
It starts with a personality type -- quiet, unassuming, professional.
Intelligence sources say, Drs. Ahmed and Abdulla appear to have been a sleeper cell, living quietly in the village of Houston, near Glasgow, attracting little attention. A local taxi company says, this is Dr. Abdulla, booking a taxi just a few weeks ago.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hiya. Can I have a taxi for six Neuk Crescent Houston to the airport?
OPERATOR: Where are you, sorry?
CALLER: Neuk Crescent Houston.
OPERATOR: What number?
OPERATOR: Six Neuk Crescent, yes? What's your name?
OPERATOR: Abdul, you're going to the airport?
CALLER: Yes, to the airport.
OPERATOR: OK. That will be 10 minutes. Goodbye?
CALLER: OK. Thank you. Bye.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Ahmed and Abdulla worked here, the Royal Alexandra Hospital near Glasgow, where police arrested two more young men, also believed to be doctors of Middle Eastern origin in the doctors' residences on Monday. They, too, lived unnoticed.
DR. MURRAY STEWART, ROYAL ALEXANDRA HOSPITAL: Staff in the wards of the units in which these doctors may have worked would know them better than we would do in the residence where it's a fairly quiet community, keep themselves to themselves, do their shifts, come and go on about their own business, without too much interaction.
ROBERTSON: Then, there were more. Jordanian Dr. Mohammed Asha and his wife, arrested Saturday, were also said by neighbors to keep themselves to themselves.
And, yesterday, two other doctors, one in Liverpool, one in Australia, have also been arrested. They studied in India together and worked at the same hospital in the U.K.
All but one of the first eight people arrested are doctors. The picture that emerges is of al Qaeda's careful planning, with skilled professionals willing to sacrifice themselves.
PROFESSOR PAUL WILKINSON, TERROR EXPERT: It's a mistake to think that they're all very poor and underprivileged. It is the ideology of fanaticism and the hatred they have for the West which motivates them.
ROBERTSON: Combine that hatred with their profession and a struggling health care system, and you get a perfect opportunity for al Qaeda to strike.
(on camera): In recent years, the health service here has come increasingly to rely on doctors who have trained overseas. According to Britain's General Medical Council, there are 90,000 of them. That's one-third of the total workforce of doctors.
(voice-over): Health service officials refuse to speculate about how the doctors met or if they arrived with the intent to kill, but insist the government runs tough checks. SIAN THOMAS, NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE: And those checks include verification of somebody's I.D. They include legal checks, such as, has somebody the right to live and work in a foreign country?
ROBERTSON: The fact is, if you're a doctor, you will be top priority.
Intelligence sources in the Middle East warn, this cell of doctors is a sign of things to come, new tactics for al Qaeda plots here and in the United States.
COOPER: That bears repeating, Nic.
Just to be clear, you're hearing from intelligence sources that this is the kind of thing we should now expect to see from al Qaeda, that this is, in a sense, is the new al Qaeda or new al Qaeda strategy?
ROBERTSON (on camera): Yes, not just in Britain, but in the United States as well, by using people that you wouldn't first suspect, like doctors, who go in with a long-term strategy, who are radicalized before they arrive. They perhaps come in in groups. They are effectively sleeper cells.
They are difficult to spot because they don't stand out in the community. They don't integrate too much. So, they don't draw attention to themselves in any way. This is what we're told by the people who are following al Qaeda inside the Middle East. They hear and believe that these types of groups and cells, we are going to see more of them -- Anderson.
COOPER: Ominous words.
Nic Robertson, thanks.
The U.S. and the U.K. are allies, of course, in the war on terror. But, on the home front, one nation spends far more on the battle. Here's the "Raw Data."
Over the next 10 years, Britain will spend roughly 6.7 billion euros on anti-terror programs in Great Britain. That's about 8 billion U.S. dollars over the decade. By comparison, the budget for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security calls for more than $46 billion for 2008.
Up next, our exclusive interview with Andrew and Sarah Speaker. You remember Andrew, the patient the CDC said had a serious case of TB, resistant to almost all drugs. Well, today, he got a new diagnosis, and he is wanting an apology from the CDC.
The interview you won't see anywhere else is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW SPEAKER, TB PATIENT: The change in diagnosis is going to be a page 10 story. All people are going to remember is Andrew Speaker and the Speaker name, and going about recklessly endangering lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, a remarkable turn of events today in a story we have been following for weeks now. Andrew Speaker, the man that you just saw speak, the man supposedly infected with a deadly strain of tuberculosis, has been found today to actually have a far less deadly strain.
Today, hospital officials in Denver where Andrew has been isolated, say he has the more treatable form of the disease, MDR-TB. The CDC is still defending its actions, but failed to fully explain why he was ever diagnosed with the deadly strain XDR-TB.
Andrew wants an apology, as you will hear in a moment in my exclusive interview with him and his wife, Sarah.
But, first, a quick look back at how we got to where we are today.
COOPER (voice-over): Andrew Speaker knew he was infected with TB back in January. But, as he told us in our first interview, he was living a normal life.
ANDREW SPEAKER, TB PATIENT: I was just going to work, going about my daily business, going to court, going home to my wife, going home to my daughter.
COOPER: Then, in May, a deadly diagnosis -- health officials informed Speaker he carried a multidrug-resistant strain of tuberculosis known as MDR-TB. Despite warnings, Speaker and his fiancee flew to Europe for their wedding in Greece and honeymoon in Italy. Officials claim they urged him not to fly.
DR. ERIC BENNING, FULTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: We are not a police authority. But we did tell him in no uncertain terms that he should not travel. And we told him the reasons why.
COOPER: Speaker, however, says that's not true.
A. SPEAKER: No one told me that I was a threat to anyone.
COOPER: While Speaker was still in Europe, the Centers for Disease Control concluded that he had XDR-TB, even more virulent than MDR. It's highly drug-resistant and could require surgery. It triggered a worldwide health scare.
DR. JULIE GERBERDING, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: They were contacting the patient's family. They were searching the Internet for information. They were on a detective hunt.
COOPER: The CDC called Speaker in Rome to alert him and tell him he could not take a commercial flight back to America for treatment. Speaker flew anyway, landing in Montreal.
Even though a border agent knew Speaker was on a watch list, he let him drive across the border into New York. The agent was later suspended.
Speaker was then taken by private plane to Atlanta, where he was placed in federally imposed isolation, a first since 1963. He was then transferred to the National Jewish Medical Center in Denver, a top TB research hospital -- his chances of survival, just 30 percent, but today, a stunning development out of Denver and welcome news for Speaker and his wife.
DR. CHARLES DALEY, NATIONAL JEWISH MEDICAL & RESEARCH CENTER: Based on extensive testing of multiple isolates of the organisms that we have cultured from Mr. Speaker, we have been able to demonstrate that he does not have XDR TB, or extensively-drug-resistant TB. He does have multidrug-resistant TB.
COOPER: But, at the exact same time doctors were saying he did not have XDR, the Centers for Disease Control was still standing by its handling of Speaker.
DR. MITCHELL COHEN, COORDINATING CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: In an instance where you have to make a public health decision, it is better to err on the side of caution, where you can reduce potential exposures and risks to individuals.
COOPER: Two very different conclusions for one very disturbing case.
So, what's behind the discrepancy?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There are two possibilities that could explain this discrepancy. One, there could be a lab error in the CDC test.
And two, at the time that he was tested, he could have both XDR and MDR-TB. That is possible. It doesn't happen that often, but it is possible.
COOPER: Most experts -- most scientists and doctors we talked to today said that they thought that most likely the CDC made a mistake.
Andrew is still in isolation in National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver.
Earlier, I talked with him and his wife, Sarah, a 360 exclusive. It's their first television interview since learning the encouraging news. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: I want to play something that someone from the CDC -- the CDC said earlier today at a press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
M. COHEN: Regardless of the revision of the patient's drug susceptibility at this time, the public health actions that CDC took in this case and are continuing to case -- to take are sound and appropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Andrew, do you think what they did was sound and appropriate?
A. SPEAKER: I've got a couple of things I'd like to make very clear, because it seems like the waters are -- are getting a little muddied here.
When they -- instead of apologizing for having the wrong result, they started using the term, "predominant strain," which no one else mentioned. There's a lot of -- use of the vocabulary to kind of make -- try and make excuses here.
COOPER: Should the CDC apologize to you? Do you think you're owed an apology by the CDC?
A. SPEAKER: Yes, I do. I think they owe an apologies to the people that they scared.
It just -- I know they do dual testing here, where when they're running a test to see whether or not something has tuberculosis or what kind, they run two at the same time to make sure the results are correct.
They -- they created a huge international panic. They scared, you know, millions of people around the world.
COOPER: The CDC right now is saying that someone with your type of TB, MDBR, should not be flying on commercial airliners. And do you have any concern now that what you did may have infected others or endangered others? Do you have any regrets?
A. SPEAKER: Sure.
SARAH SPEAKER, WIFE OF ANDREW SPEAKER: Yes. Very much so. That's doesn't change. We have great remorse. We are -- we carry it around with us constantly that we -- that we put people in a position where they have to worry about their health. That is not something that we would have done knowingly and something that we still are very regretful for -- XDR or MDR.
A. SPEAKER: Yes, you don't want anybody to have this.
S. SPEAKER: No. Gosh.
A. SPEAKER: But -- it is a relief knowing that it's not XDR, if that makes sense. It doesn't -- doesn't make you feel justified in having gone, in retrospect.
But you -- you feel better that if something happened -- I guess, you know, kind of -- I feel better in that I know my treatment -- prognosis is much better.
And so I hope that other people out there that are scared and worried about this, that they feel a little better and it calms some of their fears a little bit, if that makes sense.
COOPER: In their public pronouncements, the CDC put a lot of emphasis between maintaining the public trust and also trying to protect individual liberties, your rights.
How do you think they did?
A. SPEAKER: Those were the big buzz words, you know, the balance of the scales of personal liberties versus public health. And I think the state does have to step in sometimes and exercise that authority. But it is such a massive power. And it should be used with complete discretion.
And they spoke of a covenant of trust and that they were conducting their actions based on a covenant of trust. Well, that -- in order for me -- for that covenant to work, I need to trust -- and they need to realize that Americans need to trust what they're saying.
And you need to not only be above reproach in your actions in order to exercise that kind of authority, but you need to make sure you're right.
And people need to know that when you mess up, you're going to step up and say so. So that they can trust that if something does go wrong, you're going to fix it instead of just trying to cover it up.
COOPER: You are an attorney; your dad's an attorney. What are you -- are you considering at all legal action against the CDC?
A. SPEAKER: I honestly haven't -- haven't considered that. I'm sure people aren't going to believe that.
I'm more concerned about, you know, because of this, my job -- my family's careers, a lot of them, to a large extent, just been destroyed, because the people aren't -- they're going to have a hard time remembering, you know -- the change in diagnosis is going to be a page ten story.
All people are going to remember is Andrew Speaker and the Speaker name. And going about recklessly endangering lives. It's had a huge impact.
And next time something like this happens, where they get these results, they need to have a better plan to make things work. It's -- it's not right to do this to people and go after their family and pursue their -- their personal character in a public medium if they're wrong.
COOPER: We'll have more from Andrew Speaker and Sarah in a moment.
But first, let's check in with John Roberts to see what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ROBERTS, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, Anderson.
Tomorrow, it's a special Fourth of July edition of the most news in the morning. We'll be visiting the troops on the front lines and catch up with the candidates for president as they campaign on the holiday. We'll talk with Senator Joe Biden on the trail in Iowa.
So wake up to the most news in the morning, beginning at 6 a.m., Eastern, right here on CNN -- Anderson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Up next, what Andrew Speaker plans to do when he gets out of the hospital. Our exclusive interview continues.
Also ahead, if you're concerned about border security, you will definitely want to see this report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): Many of you were stunned when we told you about this -- a shack and a phone call to a border agent 50 miles away.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm going to hold you up my passport first. Can you see it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
TUCHMAN: That's me.
COOPER: You think the honor system at the border is nuts? You won't believe what we found now, when 360 continues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (on camera): Welcome news for Andrew Speaker and his wife today. Tests confirm he has a less severe form of TB than originally thought.
As we mentioned earlier, he's still in isolation at National Jewish Medical Center -- Medical and Research Center in Denver.
Here's more of my exclusive interview with Andrew, as well as his wife, Sarah.
COOPER: Andrew, when you first heard that doctors at the National Jewish Medical Center had told you that you don't actually have XDR-TB, but this much more treatable version, MDR-TB, what went through your mind?
A. SPEAKER: I don't know if vindication is the right word, but just kind of this amazing amount of relief and just kind of a new hope.
S. SPEAKER: A very new hope, and not just for us, but for the public that was fearful of this scary XDR. So there's more hope for anyone that's worried, as well.
COOPER: Andrew, what does the new diagnosis mean? Treatment -- surgery has been delayed. I don't know if it means it's delayed indefinitely. Will you get out of the hospital sooner? What happens now?
A. SPEAKER: It's -- a lot of that is still up in the air. With MDR, there's so many more drugs to treat it.
With the XDR, the -- they pretty much only have one shot at it. And if they don't get it right, you may not be able to cure it. So, going in and taking out as much of it as you can, so that what's left inside of your lungs is as little of the bacteria as possible, gives you the best chance for those drugs going in and killing it all.
Whereas with MDR, you have a lot of drugs that work, that are effective, and so instead of going in and having this major operation, you can just let the drugs -- do some tests and see if the drugs are killing it on their own. There's not that "if we don't act soon, we may not be able to do anything" kind of fear.
COOPER: Andrew, you've been in this hospital room now. You haven't been able to leave the grounds. When you finally are able to, what are you -- what's the first thing you want to do?
A. SPEAKER: Well -- sit at the lake.
S. SPEAKER: Yes.
A. SPEAKER: It will be nice just to sit somewhere, look at her without a mask on, put my feet in the water, and have a beer and relax.
S. SPEAKER: Yes.
COOPER: And Sarah, that's something you want to do, too?
S. SPEAKER: Yes, I will definitely be -- be with him. This is -- this has been very -- you know, very trying.
But I have to say, it's just made me realize how much I love my new husband, and I can't wait to start -- start our lives together.
COOPER: That was Andrew Speaker and his wife, Sarah.
We contacted, of course, the CDC to get its side of the story. They told us, and I quote, "We recognize it's been a difficult time for the patient and his family, and we are hoping he will have a fast and successful recovery. Both multi-drug and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis are very serious diseases that can be transmitted to others. People with these infections should not be flying on commercial airlines, and if it is discovered that such travel has taken place, an effort needs to be taken to notify and evaluate passengers who were seated near them. CDC's public health actions were taken so that other people, including airline travelers, were not placed at risk for getting a difficult-to-treat disease."
You'll notice their statement did not explain why they initially gave Andrew Speaker a diagnosis which doctors today say is not the correct one. We'll keep on it.
Do you think the CDC mishandled Andrew Speaker's case? Tell us what you think. Send us a v-mail -- that's right, v-mail, video mail. A new feature set up on our CNN site. Go to CNN.com/360. Click on the v-mail link. It's pretty cool.
Immigration will be a hot topic at this election, no doubt about it. And with all the talk about border security, we were surprised to see this -- people driving between Canada and the U.S. without being stopped. Where is this happening and why? We'll find out next.
COOPER: Right now there are thousands of border agents on the U.S.-Mexico border. That is some 2,000 miles of territory, a lot of ground to cover.
If you think that it's challenging, consider the border with Canada that stretches more than 5,000 miles. Given the amount of space, the checkpoints are few and far between.
And that's not a problem for the people in Derby Line, Vermont, but it is for Washington. And soon, a way of life may change forever.
CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Drive down this quiet village street in Quebec, Canada, and without passing a border gate or border guard, you'll be in the United States.
There are three residential streets here in Derby Line, Vermont, where the international frontier is unguarded. Canadian cars drive into the United States; U.S. cars drive into Canada. Signs warn all who've done that to go to nearby, sometimes crowded border checkpoints. But despite video cameras up high, many drivers do not.
Border apprehensions in this small community, many for drug violations, continue to climb. Forty-four people were captured in 2006. Halfway through this year, the number has already reached 32.
But with an unknown number of people not being caught, and Interstate 91 providing a quick nearby getaway into the U.S., authorities are considering toughening things up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Discuss the secret...
TUCHMAN: Border officers from both countries told an audience of Americans and Canadians that it may be time, for the first time since the roads were built, to block through traffic.
But it's not a particularly popular idea in this area, that considers itself one unified community. One of the town officials in Derby Line, Vermont, is Buzz Roy.
(on camera): Do you think though that closing off the streets makes the United States a little bit safer?
BUZZ ROY, TRUSTEE, DERBY LINE, VERMONT: No. Maybe a little bit safer, but not appreciably safer and not for -- for the -- the stress it will cause in the villages.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Blocking the roads would create longer trips for residents to go between countries.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to like it.
TUCHMAN: But the idea of beefing up this border goes hand in hand with terrorism concerns.
Canada was the starting point for a high-profile terrorist plot in 1999 when Ahmed Ressam was caught by border guards entering Washington state. He was convicted in a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport.
(on camera): So what is the main recommendation of law enforcement officials for closing off these streets? The concept is not high-tech or elaborate. The idea? In the middle of the roads, place flower planters.
(voice-over): Vermont citizen Rich Hodio was at the meeting.
RICH HODIO, DERBY LINE, VERMONT, RESIDENT: A number of people chuckled. They thought it was really droll or whatever.
TUCHMAN: The idea will be further discussed later this month.
In the meantime, on two of the three unpatrolled streets, it's unclear where the border even is, which leads to accidental crossings. Diane Rollo (ph) lives on the Canada side of one of the streets.
(on camera): It's hard to tell what country you're in on this street, isn't it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: I mean, can we be 100 percent sure if we're in the United States or Canada right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you will have to see probably the maps.
TUCHMAN: And how long have you lived here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-seven years.
TUCHMAN: And you're not exactly sure?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I know, I'm living here for 27 years. That's I'm sure about.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): She can't be sure, though, that her street will remain untouched. In the name of national security, those flower planters could be coming soon.
COOPER: Gary, how effective are these video cameras in catching people who illegally go across the unguarded border?
TUCHMAN: Well, certainly not as effective as having real people here. But we know firsthand they do work, because since we've been here for the last 24 hours, I've driven accidentally into Canada twice, just like 20 feet or so. And I made some funky u-turns.
And on three occasions, we've had the Border Patrol cars with lights come up to us and tell us -- and ask us what we're doing.
At one point, we had the Border Patrol agents say to me, you go into Canada again, we're going to give you a $5,000 fine. And obviously, we didn't want to dip into petty cash for that, Anderson.
But I can tell you that if I took like three or four steps back right now and stood here for two or three minutes, we'd probably have a Border Patrol car here.
But the fact is, if it was so effective, we wouldn't need any border crossing checkpoints in Canada and Mexico; we'd just have a bunch of cameras.
COOPER: Interesting story. And by the way, if $5,000 is petty cash around here, we need some new accountants.
Gary Tuchman, appreciate the reporting. Thanks very -- very much.
Up next, a new twist in the case of two New Orleans nurses accused of murdering patients in the days after Hurricane Katrina.
Plus, not something you expect to happen during your commute -- a construction crane crashing into your car. There's the crane crashing right there. We'll show you the video. It's our "Shot of the Day" next.
COOPER: The "Shot of the Day" coming up, a free fall caught on tape. Not what you want to see on your morning commute. A crane crashing down. We'll have that in a moment.
But first, Erica Hill from "HEADLINE NEWS" has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a new curse for a flooded town in Kansas. More than 40,000 gallons of thick crude oil now coating nearly everything in Coffeyville, and it is on the move. The oil closing in on a large Oklahoma reservoir that supplies water to several cities including Tulsa.
In New Orleans, an update on the story we've been following closely here on 360. The D.A. has now dropped charge against two nurses accused of killing four patients at Memorial Medical Center following Hurricane Katrina. The two testified before a grand jury last month. A doctor who also works at the hospital is still facing charges.
In business news, some tough times for America's big three automakers. GM saw sales sink 21 percent last month. Ford's were off 8 percent. Daimler-Chrysler's sales declined just under 2 percent.
And the rights to O.J. Simpson's book, "If I Did It," expected to be granted to Fred Goldman. That controversial book was shelved before it ever hit stores last year.
In it, Simpson writes hypothetically about the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and her friend, Ron Goldman, who is of course, Fred Goldman's son. An attorney says Goldman is considering publishing the book under the title, "Confessions of a Double Murder" -- Anderson.
Time for the "Shot of the Day." Check out this video from a Rome, Georgia, police car dash cam -- got to look closely. There's a crane just collapsing. It falls into traffic and lands on a car.
HILL: My gosh.
We get a close-up look at the damage. The car was smashed up. The driver, however, was able to walk away. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution. The crane operator was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries. HILL: That's just wild. We actually spoke to the officer who shot that dash cam earlier tonight. And he said that, there was -- thankfully, no one was in the back seat, but there was actually a baby seat in the back seat of that car. And thankfully, obviously, no kids in the car at that time. It's just wild.
We want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. If you see some great video, tell us about it. CNN.com/360. We'll put some of your best clips on the air.
If you want another look at "The Shot" or get the day's headlines, you can check out the 360 daily podcast. You can watch it at CNN.com/AC360podcast or get it off of iTunes, where it's a top download.
Up next, breaking news. A BBC journalist released after nearly four months in captivity in Gaza. We're expected to hear from the journalist, Alan Johnston, in a press conference at the top of the hour. We'll bring it to you live when it happens.
Also ahead, our exclusive interview with Andrew and Sarah Speaker. The man at the center of an international TB scare has a new diagnosis and plenty to say about the CDC. An interview you'll only see here. Still ahead.
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