Return to Transcripts main page


Ralph Nader Attacks Barack Obama; Military Murder?; Online Drug Danger; Anne Hathaway's Former Beau Arrested for Fraud

Aired June 25, 2008 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, look out, Imus. Now it's Ralph Nader's turn. He's mixing race and politics, targeting Barack Obama, accusing him of trying to talk white, in his terms, and ignoring problems in what he calls the ghettos. Did he cross the line? Does he even have his facts straight? We have got the facts, so you can decide. That's "Raw Politics" tonight.
Also ahead in this hour, "Crime and Punishment": a pregnant soldier found dead near her North Carolina base. Authorities suspect murder. This is the second pregnant service member found dead in the area. Only, this time, the mystery could be much harder to solve.

And a new twist to the danger we first reported on, sleazeballs peddling prescription drugs over the Internet, no prescription needed. Your age doesn't matter. What are online companies doing to stop it? What about the government? You might not like the answer. We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

We begin today with race and politics and what to a lot of people today was a striking statement, striking because it comes straight out of left field, almost literally, from a hero in progressive politics and American consumers way back when, to a presidential spoiler in 2000, and 2004, and now, apparently, a racial bomb-thrower.

We're talking about Ralph Nader, who's running for president again. But that's not why he's in the news tonight, not by a long shot.


COOPER (voice-over): His latest comments may be the most explosive yet.

RALPH NADER, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American.

COOPER: Constant agitator and White House candidate Ralph Nader is taking aim at Barack Obama, saying he wants to appeal to white guilt and show he's not -- quote -- "another politically-threatening African-American politician."

He added this:

NADER: I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos, payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white?

COOPER: That's what Nader told "The Rocky Mountain News." But what exactly did he mean by accusing Obama of talking white?

We wanted to know, so we asked Nader for an explanation.

NADER: I see him basically being very careful about not challenging the white oligarchic structure, the white-dominated corporate structure, and doing almost everything he can to avoid being seen or associated with some of the earlier African-American civil rights leaders, like Jesse Jackson.

COOPER: Nader believes Obama is only giving lip service to fighting corporate corruption, and, in particular, poverty.

It did not take long for Obama to respond.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ralph Nader's trying to get attention. He's become a perennial political candidate. I think it's a shame, because, if you look at his legacy in terms of consumer protections, it's an extraordinary one. But, at this point, he's somebody who's trying to get attention and whose campaign hasn't gotten any traction.

COOPER: In a new "Los Angeles Times"/Bloomberg poll, he has just 4 percent of the support of registered voters.

But considering how close the race between Obama and McCain may be, Nader could still have an impact in November.


COOPER: Let's dig deeper now. We're joined by CNN political analyst and radio talk show host Roland Martin, also the Reverend Al Sharpton, and Ed Rollins, CNN contributor and GOP strategist.

Reverend Sharpton, what about this? What was your reaction?

AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I mean, I'm one who has respected Nader in the past, but I think this is way over the line.

First of all, I don't know where Ralph Nader can be the one to decide what talking black is. I mean, that's arrogant, is the best way I could put it. But I also think it's untrue.

I think that Senator Obama, if you remember, when the race started, most blacks were polled not supporting him. He earned black votes because he addressed issues that whites and blacks and Latinos in the Democratic Party -- and I think now, nationwide, he's leading in all the polls -- were convinced he was the best candidate.

And he's worked with civil rights leaders. He certainly has talked when we want to talk. We don't agree on everything. But those of us that are on the scene now, Martin III, all of us, the older guys, Reverend Lowery, Reverend Jackson, everyone has had their accessibility to him.

He is not a civil rights leader. And I think Ralph Nader needs to understand, he's running for president for everyone. And to say he's half black, well, he's also half white, and he's got some Latino and Asian. He's all American. And that's what we want for president, all American, not half anything.

I think Ralph Nader is about 40 years behind the times in how we deal with the landscape here.

COOPER: Roland, I want to read you something else he said.

He said -- quote -- "He wants to appeal to white guilt," talking about Obama. "You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically, he's coming on as someone who's not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up."

COOPER: Does his rhetoric, does it come from another time?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The Spinners had a song that said, everybody plays the fool sometimes, no exception to the rule.

This is Ralph Nader. That's what it points to. Here's the fundamental issue.

COOPER: That is probably the first time the Spinners have been quoted in a political context.

MARTIN: Well, they're...


MARTIN: They're underappreciated.



MARTIN: But the problem with Nader, when it comes to this comment, is, he has -- he is defining black issues.

But education, that's a black issue. Health care, black folks are concerned about health care. The same issues that whites, Hispanics, Asians care about, that's what African-Americans -- but not only that. He brings up African-Americans and poverty.

Well, you know what? If I'm a white guy in West Virginia in right now, in Appalachia, and I'm poor, I'm wanting somebody to talk about my stuff as well. That is not a black issue. So, Ralph is way out of line. And McCain should be talking about the same issues. Obama should be talking about the same issues. But to point out the race issue, Nader is nuts.

COOPER: Ed, is -- is Nader even a factor in this? I mean, if he's polling at 4 percent, could he still be a player?

ED ROLLINS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he's a -- let me just say this. As the only homeboy on this group here...


ROLLINS: ... I certainly am not going to tell you to talk whitey.

SHARPTON: Define homeboy.


ROLLINS: I can't do that.

The bottom line here, if you're running for president, you try and talk to all Americans. And, basically, to be successful, you have to put coalitions together of blacks, whites, Christians, Jews, what have you to be successful.

Ralph Nader is -- is today a tragic case of what he may have been at one point in time, which was a crusader for good issues. I think he was a spoiler in 2000. I think he's only in this for ego purposes at this point in time. The Democrats have a very legitimate candidate, who obviously has an excellent opportunity at being the president. And I think this -- this kind of rhetoric only does a detriment to the process.

COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, we did find that Jesse Jackson had once criticized Obama during the whole Jena Six controversy for -- quote -- "acting like he's white." He said this to a newspaper, I think, in South Carolina.

Is it OK for Jesse Jackson to use that term, not for Ralph Nader?

SHARPTON: You know, when we were dealing with Jena, Michael Baisden and Martin III and I, I talked to Senator Obama. He released a strong statement that we felt was helpful, as did Senator Clinton and Senator Edwards at that time.

People have the right to state their opinions, but I think you also have to deal with the fact we all have different roles. You had Ed Brooke in the Senate and Martin Luther King at the same time. Senator Obama's role is not to lead a march in Jena, or Sean Bell. There are those of us that do that.

His role is, he is running for president for everyone. And what he has said was very helpful in those issues that we agreed in civil rights. And I think Roland is right. The war, health care, all of these things affect blacks. And I think that blacks understand that, whites understand that, Latinos understand that, which is why he got over 90 percent of the black vote.

Now, there will be people that will make whatever opinions they want, but I think that the public has to make their choice. The last thing I think Barack Obama needs to do is run and try to become -- to try and brush up his black credentials for Ralph Nader or his white credentials.

And why isn't he challenging John McCain on these issues?


SHARPTON: Now, is John McCain being asked to act more white, whatever that is? I mean, that's crazy.

MARTIN: Talk...


MARTIN: ... senior citizen and anything else.


SHARPTON: It's crazy.

And let me just say one thing I think is important. When Ralph Nader ran in 2000, I had him speak in Harlem. I had all the candidates. He spoke in Harlem. I didn't get the idea that he hung out in Harlem too often.

So, for him to be speaking for a community that I have only seen him in once -- and that was the time I invited him. And a lot of people were mad I invited him that time.

I mean, if Ralph wants to come to the black community, there are times he can come and be helpful, not when he's running for office, attacking another candidate, who has taken...


MARTIN: And Reverend Jackson did his butt kicked by folks like me for making that stupid comment as well. And, so, he backtracked from that. So, he got criticized, too, because it was a ridiculous comment.

COOPER: He later on said he didn't really remember saying it.

ROLLINS: I think the important thing in this campaign is that people who are leaders in the black community -- and Bill Clinton had been an extraordinary supporter and had extraordinary support -- many who started with Hillary Clinton came, as the reverend said, to Barack Obama, because he basically went out and was a tremendous candidate. He's the nominee because he's a tremendous candidate.

And I think the bottom line -- I have a Chinese daughter. She's 13 years olds. If we're going to start basically breaking this up by race and color and creed, it's not going to be America. America is a country that needs to move forward. Four-dollar-a-gallon gas and up is a serious problem. Rebuilding our military...


MARTIN: For blacks or whites. ROLLINS: For blacks or whites.

And I think, to a certain extent, who can communicate and effectively connect with ordinary voters is going to be the successful candidate.

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there. We're going to have more with our panel coming up.

Reverend Sharpton, thanks very much.

Roland and Ed will be back as well.

As always, I'm blogging throughout this hour, or about to. You can join the conversation. Go to our new Web site,

More politics ahead, as I said -- Hillary Clinton and Obama are preparing for two days of unity appearances. But how much unity is there really behind the scenes? Candy Crowley investigates.

And later, a pregnant soldier found dead in a hotel room, how did she get there? How did she die? Who was involved with her? If it sounds familiar, this is the second such mystery in less than a year in the same area -- in our "Crime and Punishment" section tonight.

Plus, fans knew Anne Hathaway's was an international man of mystery, but that doesn't even begin to describe him or the intrigue he's now at the center of, a real-life thriller featuring millions of dollars and everything from Hathaway, to Bill Clinton, to the pope -- the bizarre details tonight on 360.



MIKE COX, MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL: Our nominee, our great guy, Senator John McCain, was born on a military base in Panama. And, then, something that I found very interesting, or at least as I understood the coverage by "The Detroit Free Press" and "The New York Times" and the rest of the media, that, apparently, Barack Obama was born in a manger.


COOPER: That was Michigan's attorney general kind of warming up the room for President Bush tonight at a GOP fund-raiser. He got a few polite chuckles, as you may have heard, then said, "Come on, give me some help here."

Shecky Greene, he is not.

Laughs or not, the Republican Party has one thing this presidential season that the Democratic Party does not, at least not yet, unity among the nominee, his former opponents, and their supporters. For the next two days, Obama and Hillary Clinton will be making unity appearances tomorrow in front of big donors, Friday in public in Unity, New Hampshire. But how much unity is there really?

Today, Obama said he wouldn't be asking the millions of people who have donated small amounts to his campaign to help Hillary Clinton retire her campaign debt. And, of course, there's still the issue of Bill Clinton and how supportive he is or isn't.

CNN's Candy Crowley tonight takes us up close.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's flush with cash, watching upwardly bound poll numbers, and about to cap off party unity week with a campaign duet. What, him worry about Bill Clinton? He's got Hillary.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I'm going to be campaigning with her on Friday. So, it's understandable that the former president wouldn't want to upstage what is going to be, I think, a terrific unity event.

CROWLEY: It's been 18 days since Hillary Clinton conceded, and not a peep from Bill Clinton about Obama's presidential bid.

QUESTION: President Clinton, will you be endorsing Barack Obama?


CROWLEY: His office did follow that with a rather terse statement, saying, "Of course Bill Clinton will do whatever he is asked to do."

Offer accepted.

OBAMA: I want him involved. He's a brilliant politician. He was an outstanding president. And, so, I want his help, not only in campaigning, but also in governing. And I'm confident that I will get that help.

CROWLEY: But the primary was rough on the Clinton legacy. Obama often criticized the Clinton era, and Bill Clinton erupted more than once over suggestions he was playing the race card.

Give him a break, said a source close to the former president. He needs to decompress.

Hillary Clinton never had the luxury of time. She was at it again today, urging House colleagues to support Obama, vouching for her husband's intentions.

"There will be," she said, "a lot of work for all of us as Democrats to do, including him." She has been a trooper on a one- woman mission this week talking up Obama. And he has been perpetually complimentary, and has finally ponied up a little help to clear out her debt.

OBAMA: We don't have some 10-point strategy to do this. What I said was to my large donors, who are in a position to write large checks, to help Senator Clinton retire her debt.

CROWLEY: As party unity week continues, there is a Thursday night fund-raisers fest. She is bringing her top people to meet his. With varying degrees of enthusiasm, though, most of her money people are on board with Obama. There are a few, particularly a loyal band of women fund-raisers, who are vowing to sit this one out.

Friday, the crescendo, when the pair campaign together in New Hampshire for the money shot. Hard feelings remain. It was that kind of primary. But whatever Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama feel about each other personally, politics is a pragmatic sport. They need each other.

OBAMA: Thanks, guys.

CROWLEY: He needs to get elected in the best political atmosphere Democrats have seen in decades.


CROWLEY: She needs a future in the party, which would never forgive her if she sat on her hands.


COOPER: Candy, is there real division still between the campaigns?


And, remember, there are many levels of the campaign. And, as I said, there's sort of the -- the political coming-together, which clearly is happening. And then there's the personal. You recall, George Bush and John McCain in 2000. They took a long time to sort of see eye to eye on anything. Even when George Bush came to office, there were times when it really looked as though McCain was digging at him.

So, personally is different from politically. And, when you get down to the staff level, there really are still hard feelings about this. They went at each other since January a year ago. So, those hard feelings still do exist at that level. And, again, they exist at the fund-raising level, where, on the one side, you have the Clinton people saying, you know what, he hasn't really reached out to us. There hasn't been that kind of reaching out. This is some of the fund-raisers.

And the Obama camp is thinking, you know, they're such sore losers. They keep wanting us to do this and that. So, there's a lot of this that goes on. But, again, the goal here is that money shot on Friday. The goal here is to convince voters, Democratic voters, that they are together, that she is dedicated to seeing him get elected. And that is moving forward.

COOPER: It's definitely going to be interesting to see that event on Friday.


COOPER: We will obviously cover that.

One other late item, political item.

Candy, thanks.

One other late political item to talk about: new numbers from the Gallup tracking poll tonight showing the race dead even between John McCain and Barack Obama, 45 to 45. Now, yesterday, we reported another poll featuring a 12-point Obama lead, different polls, different methods, different days, very different outcome. And so it goes.

Just ahead: John McCain's critics are doing their best to link him to President Bush. So is his rival, Barack Obama. But do their claims hold up to the facts? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Plus, a young pregnant soldier is found dead in a hotel room, authorities calling her death suspicious, but was it murder?

The latest details on this developing mystery -- next on 360.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America's dependence on foreign oil was a troubling situation 35 years ago. It was an alarming situation 20 years ago. It's a dangerous situation today.


COOPER: Senator John McCain outlining his energy policy today in Las Vegas. The Republican presidential candidate said he will seek to break U.S. reliance on foreign oil by 2025 by stepping up nuclear power, conservation, and offshore drilling.

McCain, of course, used to oppose offshore drilling, and his recent turnaround has given his critics new ammunition in their effort to constantly link him to President Bush.

Barack Obama also seems to mention Bush and McCain in the same sentence. But is that fair? Is it accurate? Would a McCain presidency really be a Bush third term, as many Democrats suggest?

CNN's Tom Foreman tonight "Keeping Them Honest."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Democrats are trying to make the case. And, "Keeping Them Honest," John McCain does share many policy points with the president. Arguing for expanding offshore oil production, for example, the president said it was environmentally safe, and the senator echoed.

MCCAIN: It's safe enough these days. Not even Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage from the battered rigs off the coasts of New Orleans and Houston.

FOREMAN: On many issues, the two generally agree. They oppose abortion rights and gay marriage. They want a strong border and immigration reform.

McCain wants to keep the Bush tax cuts and free trade. Both men put faith in market forces, rather than government, for helping people with health care and retirement. But there are also real differences.

JENNIFER DONAHUE, NEW HAMPSHIRE INSTITUTE OF POLITICS: Senator McCain is the old-school Republican: Cut spending first. Look at foreign policy in an aggressive, tough fashion. Don't be afraid to engage if you think the mission is right. And deal with taxation in the overall cycle of the economy.

FOREMAN: That is a subtle distinction, but the results are stark.

BUSH: We're not in a recession. We're -- we're in a slowdown.

MCCAIN: I believe we are in a recession. I think the numbers indicate that.

FOREMAN: McCain speaks with contempt about excessive government spending in the Bush years, railing against pork projects. He talks about global warming and energy independence with much more urgency than the president does.

(on camera): McCain has sharply criticized interrogation techniques used on international prisoners. And, while he's always supported the war in Iraq, he has also been a chief critic of how the White House has waged that war.

(voice-over): Listen to him in 2004, long before the troop surge began.

MCCAIN: I was there in -- last August. I have said since then that we needed more troops. We need it very badly.

FOREMAN: For McCain, it is a delicate balance. He must look like a president if he wants to win, but not too much like that one.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Yes, not an easy task to pull off. Joining me for "Strategy Session," CNN senior political strategist Gloria Borger, once again, CNN political analyst Roland Martin, and Republican strategist Ed Rollins.

Ed, I mean, on the one hand, McCain doesn't want to distance himself too much to alienate a conservative base. I mean, there are folks out there who still like President Bush.

ROLLINS: The drill here, it's whether you differentiate yourself from policies, that are economic policies, or the war policies, or what have you, which may be unpopular.

But the overarching thing here is, it's about leadership. George Bush has failed, to this American public's eye, to lead this country effectively, whether it's in Katrina, whether it's in the war, whether it's on the economy.

And what McCain has to do is convince people that he's a much stronger and a different leader. He's always been a maverick. He has to draw a contrast, both with -- with the inexperience of Obama. And, equally as important, he has to draw a contrast with the kind of leadership George Bush has provided or not provided.

COOPER: Gloria, particularly on certain issues where there may be similarities, the economy, extending the tax cuts, how does McCain assure voters that he can do better than the president?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it goes back to Ed's leadership point. And it's really also a competency point and a management point.

I mean, he's going to say, I'm going to pay more attention to these issues than the previous administration did, and I'm going to manage them better.

And that's one of the reasons he went down to New Orleans to talk about Katrina. He says, you know, I would never let something like this happen on my watch. I believe the economy is in a recession. I'm going to tell the truth to you. And, by the way, I'm going to fix things faster than George W. Bush did.

COOPER: Roland, there's no doubt, though, that -- that Obama is going to continue to hit away at this idea that McCain is a third term of the Bush administration.

MARTIN: Oh, absolutely.

But the reality is, that's not what's going to put him over the top. Look, every president is different. George H.W. Bush, he may have run on the Reagan legacy, but he was different from Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton -- when Al Gore ran, he may have trumpeted what Bill Clinton did as president -- he was vice president -- but he was saying, this is how I am going to be different, certainly in terms of his behavior when it came to the Oval Office.

But Obama has to do this. It's no different than when the Republicans, for years, said of a Democrat, liberal, liberal, liberal. You want to stick a label on that particular person, hoping that buys off some voters. So, there's no doubt he will use it, just like McCain will use the -- you hear the words, naive, not sure about national security, weak. You use phrases to get your supporters excited to say, this guy's not a good person.

COOPER: Ed, I want to play you something that John McCain said about Obama linking him to Bush. Let's play it.


MCCAIN: You will hear from my opponent's campaign in every speech, in every interview, every press release that I'm running for President Bush's third term.


MCCAIN: You will hear -- you will hear every policy of the president is described as the Bush-McCain policy.

Why does Senator Obama believe it's so important to repeat that idea over and over again? Because he knows it's very difficult to get Americans to believe something that they know is false.


COOPER: Ignoring the green background, is that an effective response, Ed?


ROLLINS: No, it's not an effective response.

The response is, listen, I have had 22 years of experience, both in the military, in the United States Senate, in the Congress. I know the issues. I'm far more experienced than George Bush was when I came here. I understand how to move this country forward. I understand how, on day one, to be commander in chief. Whether you want the war or don't want the war, we're in a war. Our troops deserve the very best. Our country deserves the very best. I'm a leader. This is...


COOPER: So, it boils down to national security. It boils down to -- you think it's going to boil down with John McCain...


COOPER: ... to Iraq, national security, I can better handle this stuff?


ROLLINS: Well, he can't walk away.

It's his strength, and it's the weakness of Barack Obama. He can't -- he can't basically -- neither of them can put forth an economic plan that's automatically going to -- and what it really is, I'm experienced on day one. I can be an effective leader.

BORGER: And, Anderson, he turns the economy into a national security issue. He says, the -- you know, the oil independence is a national security issue. So, he's even turning domestic policy to his strength, which is national security. And that differentiates him from Barack Obama and from George Bush.

MARTIN: But he has to hope it creates some separation, Anderson. That's the most important thing.

He cannot sit here and allow Obama to have the wind at his back when it comes to the economy. But, again, you talk about -- Gloria talked about it earlier, risk, change. The voter is going to decide. And one of the things that -- and, so, McCain's argument, it may not really be the most important point. Will the American people buy into what Obama is saying, or will they say, you know what, I would rather have this guy, because I can trust him more?

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there.

Roland Martin, Gloria Borger, Ed Rollins, thanks very much.


COOPER: Up next: a shocking crime, the murder of a pregnant Marine. Now a pregnant soldier found dead near her base. Was she also murdered? New details in our "Crime and Punishment" report.

Also ahead, the ex-boyfriend of Hollywood star accused of an unholy scam, swindling investors out of millions by convincing them he was -- get this -- the Vatican's CFO -- the bizarre details coming up on 360.

COOPER: You're looking at a picture of Megan Touma. The pregnant soldier stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina was found dead in a hotel room. Authorities call the case suspicious.

It comes just months after Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, also pregnant, was murdered, allegedly by another Marine based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Now, police say they solved that crime. But now they have this new mystery.

So, let's get the latest developments. With tonight's "Crime and Punishment" report, here's 360's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A dedicated and decorated soldier preparing for another volunteer assignment with the Army, dead inside a North Carolina hotel room. How Megan Touma died is a mystery.

(on camera) Touma's body was found over the weekend after someone reported a strong odor coming from room 143.

The 23-year-old dental specialist was seven months pregnant when she died. She had just arrived here a couple of weeks ago to be based at Ft. Bragg.

(voice-over) The Army says Touma had been serving in Germany for three years. She was last seen at Ft. Bragg June 12. She had the option of staying on base while her paperwork was processed or pay for a hotel. She chose the hotel.

MAJOR ANGELA FUNARO, FORT BRAGG: We don't have any knowledge of any guests that she had with her. If she had any guests at all.

KAYE: The hotel wouldn't say if Touma had visitors. Police are calling her death suspicious. They're waiting on the autopsy to know how she died.

Touma's ex-husband says she told him she was going to name her son after him, even though he wasn't the father. El Sayed Touma says they were married three years. This would have been her first child.

EL SAYED TOUMA, EX-HUSBAND: We have a great relationship. And you know, we remain great friends. And -- and we e-mailed each other. And I mean, I still love her.

I mean, I am married now and I have -- you know, I have a wife, and I have a baby on the way. But I mean, I still love Megan. I still do. And I will never stop.

KAYE: Touma's aunt told CNN she currently had a boyfriend. She met him, a fellow soldier, while serving in Germany and had moved to North Carolina to join him at Ft. Bragg. The aunt did not know if Touma's boyfriend fathered her unborn child.

A soldier who served with Touma in Germany told CNN via e-mail, "She was very happy to be expecting her baby. She also showed me her ring and told me that she was getting married."

FUNARO: Here's a beautiful young woman. She's seven months pregnant. It's -- it's just bad and deeply troubling.

KAYE: Ft. Bragg is providing witnesses and helping police establish a time line.

Grief doesn't wait for answers. On her brother's MySpace page, a picture of them. His mood, crushed. He writes, "RIP, rest in peace Big Sis. We love you, and you are in our hearts forever."

In her hometown of Cold Spring, Kentucky, shocked.

CONNIE NELSON, FAMILY FRIEND: Megan honey was a sweet girl, kind of skipping down the road with her little long hair. Just sweet as she can be. Was a cheerleader, did well in school.

KAYE: Her success carried over to her military career. Among Touma's awards, the Global War on Terrorism Medal. She'd also completed a combat lifesaver course, an advanced course to help her save a fellow soldier's life in the field. Not enough, it appears, to save her own.


COOPER: Randi, is there any indication tonight that anyone thought the soldier was missing? You reported her body had been in the room long enough to develop an odor.

KAYE: Yes, Anderson. In fact, her family apparently thought she was missing. Because according to the ex-husband tonight, he says that her mother hadn't heard from her. So she called Ft. Bragg and was apparently told, according to him, that her daughter had gone AWOL.

Well, we asked the Army at Ft. Bragg about that tonight. And they said they are investigating her unit to see whether proper procedures were followed. They also said that one of her friends, another woman in the military base at Ft. Bragg, had told the family that she had gone AWOL. Where that report came from is what they're trying to get to the bottom of.

But what's also interesting here tonight is -- is what about the hotel? How did this woman, seven months pregnant, new to town just two weeks, how did she go unnoticed? How did it go unnoticed that she was missing? They had daily maid service at the hotel.

Her body wasn't discovered until it was so badly decomposed, according to the ex-husband, Anderson, she had to be identified by her dental records. So there had been some time that passed between her death and when she was found. So what happened during that time, what was done to find her, if anything, is still under investigation.

COOPER: All right. We'll keep following it. Randi, thanks.

We'll following several other stories, as well, tonight. Erica Hill joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: A Massachusetts jury has convicted Neil Entwistle of shooting to death his wife and their 9- month-old daughter, rejecting his claim that she killed the baby and then herself. Entwistle, you may recall, fled to his native Britain after those murders three years ago.

In Florida today, a jury convicted a man of killing writer Alan Shalleck. He's the one who with the co-creator of "Curious George" to bring the cartoon monkey to TV. Vincent Puglisi will be sentenced in July. In 2006, he and another man went to Shalleck's home to rob him, and it turned deadly. The co-defendant took a plea deal.

And the search for a group of hikers missing since Sunday is over in the Sierra Nevada. It ends with a happy ending. The nine teens and two adults showed up at a camp store today miles away from the search zone. That group was part of an Outward Bound adventure course, Anderson.

COOPER: That's really some good news they showed up.

All right. Here's tonight's "Beat 360" photo, Erica. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Hillary Clinton leaving a news conference on Capitol Hill today.

Here's the caption from our staff winner Kate: "Sold! The House speaker set goes to you in the back for, oh, let's just say $10.3 million."


HILL: Wouldn't it (ph)?

COOPER: Yes, it sure would.

HILL: A little bit less at that point.

COOPER: That's the campaign debt. Think you can do better? Go to our new Web site: Click on the link, send us your entry. We'll announce the winner at the end of the program. Remember, the winner gets a new fancy T-shirt.

Up next, the former bodyguard -- excuse me. The former boyfriend of "Devil Wears Prada" star Anne Hathaway busted by the feds for allegedly pulling off a devilish scam involving millions of dollars and the Vatican.

Plus, easy access to dangerous drugs online. The government knows it's a problem, so why aren't they doing anything to stop it? We're "Keeping Them Honest," coming up.


COOPER: That's actress Anne Hathaway and her former boyfriend, Rafaello Follieri, in certainly, happier times. They're no longer a couple, and he's in deep trouble with the feds.

Prosecutors say that the Italian businessman, who's been living large in America for years, swindled deep-pocket investors out of millions of dollars by spinning a web of deceit as bizarre as it is brazen. His alleged scam hinged on a lie about his relationship with, of all people, the pope.

Three-sixty's David Mattingly reports.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a mix worthy of a best-selling work of fiction. A former president, a billionaire friend, and a leading actress, all connected to an Italian financier who claimed he was tight with the pope.

But federal prosecutors say financier Rafaello Follieri, who rubbed elbows with Bill Clinton and dated summer blockbuster star Anne Hathaway, was living a posh life built on lies and the money of others. (on camera) Now targeted for fraud and money laundering, the 29- year-old Follieri is accused of scamming over $1 million from real- estate investors, claiming he was the chief financial officer for the Vatican and able to purchase church property under market value.

(voice-over) Instead, he allegedly used investor money to pay for a $37,000-a-month Manhattan apartment. There were also expensive gifts, meals, medical bills, and trips with his former girlfriend.

DAVID CAPLAN, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Follieri also really used Anne Hathaway's celebrity to gain access to a lot of these investors that he wanted to work with. Many times she was at many of the events together. They vacationed together. And she was really, essentially, a magnet for him to meet the likes of Bill Clinton, Oscar De La Renta, and all these other, really, players in the industry that he wanted to meet.

MATTINGLY: "The Wall Street Journal" reported Follieri used his connections to meet the former president and paid Clinton aide Doug ban $400,000 to help meet deep pocket investors, including Clinton's close friend billionaire Ron Burkle. Burkle's investment company reportedly sued and settled with Follieri last year for allegedly pocketing $1.3 million in company money.

Burkle's company is not mentioned in the federal complaint against Follieri. Neither is the former president nor his aides. Nor is Anne Hathaway.

FLORA EDWARDS, FOLLIERI ATTORNEY: I think being arrested is a traumatic experience for anyone. And I think he is certainly traumatized, as is -- as would be natural.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Follieri remains in federal custody. The court is seeking a $21 million bond. His attorney tells CNN he is not guilty. We reached out to representatives of Bill Clinton and Anne Hathaway. We haven't received a reply.

David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Next on 360, buying drugs over the Internet without a prescription. Just about anyone can do it, it turns out. So why is the government letting it happen? The stunning answer. We're "Keeping Them Honest" when 360 continues.


COOPER: You may not know this, but some of the most addictive, powerful and dangerous drugs in the world can be bought over the Internet without a prescription. The government knows about the illicit Web sale of prescription drugs. So do search engines like Google and Yahoo!

Now, this is a story we first brought you a few weeks ago. And tonight there is a stunning new development. We're learning why the government and others may be doing nothing to stop it.

"Keeping Them Honest," here's Drew Griffin of CNN's special investigations unit.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dr. Tounouse (ph), can I show you this prescription bottle?

(voice-over) We thought after chasing down doctors, confronting a rogue pharmacy, and basically exposing just how blatantly easy it is to go online, purchase prescription drugs, and get them delivered to our door, no questions asked, we might hear a reaction from the government on what's being done to stop it, and we did. Just not the one we thought.

JOE RANNAZZISI, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION: It's not a loophole -- well, it's not a loophole. There is an agency that conducts those investigations.

GRIFFIN (on camera): There is, in fact, a loophole so big that the bureaucratic agencies in Washington are finger-pointing over who should stop it. The White House sent us to the DEA, the DEA to the FDA. All the while, the government seems to be MIA in stopping Internet drug abuse.

JOHN HORTON, PRESIDENT, LEGITSCRIPTS.COM: This is a big problem, and we have got a lot of work to do in this area.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): John Horton worked for five years in the White House Office on Drug Policy, and like others, he told us prescription drugs are the new cocaine and heroin of drug abusers. And the Internet has changed the game on how it's delivered.

HORTON: There are more prescription drug abusers than there are for methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin combined today in the United States.

GRIFFIN: Full disclosure here: Horton is trying to start a business that polices Internet pharmacies to make sure they are legal. His potential customers are Google and Yahoo! Horton says the Internet search engines make an estimated billion dollars a year advertising Internet pharmacies.

Both Google and Yahoo! told CNN they do screen their pharmacies to make sure they obey the law. Horton is convinced Google and Yahoo! aren't doing much of anything.

HORTON: By our estimate, we think that only about 1 percent of Internet pharmacies are following those rules and verification processes.

MATTINGLY: Want proof? We bought Prozac and the antidepressant Elavil from the site called We accessed the site through Google. We bought the drugs without prescriptions.

Shortly after our report, disappeared from the Internet.

Want another example?

HORTON: Just the other day, we were able to pose as a minor, a 13-year-old, and without a prescription fill an order for over $500 worth of Soma, an addictive prescription-only drug, without a prescription, posing as a minor.


COOPER: So does anyone check these Internet drug sites? Google and Yahoo say yes. But do they really? We're "Keeping Them Honest," coming up in part two of Drew's investigation.

And later, redefining the skyscraper with dizzying results, an amazing new building, the Turntable Tower, ahead on 360.


COOPER: On Capitol Hill this week, hearings are being held on the illegal Internet sale of prescription drugs, drugs like Prozac, Zoloft and Vicodin. Now, as we told you before the break, rogue pharmacies are selling these drugs without a prescription. Basically, all they want is money.

The risks are obvious. Imagine if a child gets their hands on these kinds of pills, what could happen. As you're about to see, there's plenty of blame to go around in Washington and on the Web.

"Keeping Them Honest" once again, here's Drew Griffin of CNN's special investigations unit.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): There's just too much money in the search engine business, critics say, for Internet providers to cut off the flow of online drug sites. That's why Carmen Catizone with the National Pharmacy Board says companies like Google and Yahoo! enable these drug sites to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of prescription drugs a year.

CARMEN CATIZONE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BOARDS OF PHARMACY: Google and Yahoo!, they're accepting advertisement from these sites. And when those advertisements appear on their Web sites, people think they're legitimate Web sites, and therefore they go to them.

MATTINGLY: Google and Yahoo! both told us they rely on a third company to check on and verify that the Internet pharmacy sites are legitimate. But that same company allowed a mystery buyer posing as a 13-year-old boy to buy Soma.

(on camera) After we told them about the purchase, the verification of that drug site was suspended, meaning only that they can't advertise on the search engines. You can still go to the Web site. (voice-over) Google and Yahoo! both told us they're willing to do more, and Google even told us it has been heavily engaged on this issue, working with government agencies, though Google didn't say precisely how.

That led us straight back to the government. Actually, the government came to us. The White House Office of Drug Policy, the drug czar wanted to talk. Then a day before our interview, we were told the DEA would talk instead.

When we got to the DEA, a deputy director named Joe Rannazzisi told us his agency deals only with controlled substances, like morphine and Oxycontin, drugs so potentially deadly Congress banned their sale over the Internet. But most prescription drugs, many of which are just as deadly, are not controlled.

RANNAZZISI: What I can tell you is that the Drug Enforcement Administration has statutory authority to regulate and control the distribution of controlled substances. The two drugs you just mentioned, Prozac and Elavil, are not a controlled substance.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Soma, not controlled?

RANNAZZISI: Soma is not a controlled substance.

MATTINGLY: Highly addictive drug, flying over the Internet?

RANNAZZISI: We do see some abuse of that drug, yes. However, again, since it's not a controlled substance, I don't have the statutory authority to investigate the distribution, or the illegal distribution of that drug.

MATTINGLY: Confusing? That's why critics say it's so easy for the rogue Internet pharmacies to operate.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: And it keeps on happening. We'll continue to follow this story.

Erica Hill joins us once again with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.

HILL: And Anderson, we begin with a very closely watched case. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that child rapists cannot be executed. That 5-4 decision stems from the appeal of a Louisiana man sentenced to death in 2003 for raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter. The ruling affects six states.

For the first time in nine months, the Federal Reserve voted to hold its key short-term interest rate steady. It will remain at 2 percent. The widely expected move comes as many economists are focusing more on inflation than an economic slowdown. And plans for the world's first rotating skyscraper. It's set to be built in Dubai. Those plans unveiled today. The architect who designed it says each floor of this 80-story tower will be capable of rotating independently, powered by wind turbines. He expects to complete the project by 2010 -- get this -- even though this guy's never built a skyscraper before.

COOPER: Really?

HILL: Oh, sign me up for one. Not only would I like to get sick.

COOPER: I hadn't heard that detail of it.

HILL: Yes.

COOPER: It does look kind of cool, though. It's all prefabricated, apparently, the actual units.

HILL: It's kind of cool. But I think I would like to check that out on, like, floor three instead of floor 75.

COOPER: Sure. You might get a little nauseous. It's going to be constantly revolving.

All right. Now it's time for our "Beat 360" winners. Our daily challenge to viewers. A chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the picture we post on our blog every day, and a chance to dance and listen to cheesy music.

For those who haven't heard, we've raised the stakes with a new prize, a "Beat 360" T-shirt.

HILL: Hey, hey...

COOPER: All right. Tonight's picture: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Clinton on the Hill today. Why is everyone laughing? After talking to the media. Laughing about our T-shirt, I might add.

Our staff winner tonight is Kate. Her caption, "Sold! The House speaker seat goes to you in the back row. Oh, let's just say $10.3 million."


HILL: Were those gunshots? What was that?

COOPER: No, it was an auction sound.

Our viewer winner is Shawn from Overland Park, Kansas. Shawn's caption, "Remember, dear, I'm third in line for the presidency, not you."


HILL: That's where you pull out the "meows," I think.


So you can check out all the entries we received in our blog. Play along tomorrow by going to our new Web site:

"The Shot" is next. Check this out. Away she goes. Why go up and down an escalator when you can just spin in place? And wait until you see what happens when one of our staff members tried this stunt at the top of the hour.

Much more serious news at the top of the hour. Ralph Nader accusing Barack Obama of talking white, whatever that means. Tonight both men are speaking out on the story with the latest when 360 continues.


COOPER: Erica, time now for "The Shot." I was just checking our blog.

We found this on Andrew Sullivan's Web site. I'm not sure where it was taped or when. It's kind of unusual. Looks a little risky. Certainly an interesting way to use an escalator. I'm didn't know that was actually possible.

HILL: I'm sure this isn't encouraged, by the way.

COOPER: She makes it look easy, though. But is it? So to find out, we dispatched our intrepid staff member Ashley to give the escalator tour a go. Her mission was a top-secret location. We can't tell you where.

The alarms went off a few times, but Ashley managed to do at least one rotation without falling off.

Ashley deserves like an extra day off or something for doing that. It looks really dangerous.

COOPER: It doesn't look entirely comfortable either.

HILL: Not so much.

COOPER: I like that she keeps trying, though.

We congratulate Ashley on her attempts. Let's hope she doesn't start a trend. Please do not try this at home or anywhere. Ashley is a trained professional with years of escalator experience.

HILL: Which is clear from her abilities right there.

COOPER: That's right.

You can see all the most recent "Shots" on our new Web site: There you can see other segments from the program. Read the blog. Check out the "Beat 360" picture. HILL: Maybe win a t-shirt.

COOPER: You never know.

Coming up at the top of the hour, Ralph Nader, who years ago might have been pushing for escalator safety legislation. These days he's making -- at least today he's making racially charged remarks about Barack Obama, saying he's trying to talk white and he's abandoning the African-Americans.