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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Election Day in Afghanistan; New Spotlight on Jackson's Dermatologist; Obese Unfit for Hire?; Inside a Crime Scene Lab
Aired August 19, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight, ballots and bombs in Afghanistan. We're live on the scene.
But first though, late new details in the Michael Jackson case. Another Jackson doctor gets another visit by authorities. Randi Kaye has a preview - Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson just when you thought this whole investigation was over, another twist and turn tonight we have the details of yet another visit by the L.A. County coroner's chief investigator to the office of Dr. Arnold Klein, who was Jackson's longtime dermatologist.
We know the singer saw Dr. Klein just a few days before he died. Did he see him again even closer to his death? We'll let you know what we've learned.
Also the coroner's investigator says, he was looking for, quote, "additional information." Why the second look? Is Dr. Klein emerging as another key figure in this case?
Remember, this is now the second time his office has been visited for records related to Jackson. We'll get to the bottom of all of it in just a few minutes.
COOPER: All right, Randi, thanks very much.
Now, we begin though, the program with breaking news. History and hope unfolding right now in Afghanistan; it is Election Day. Take a look it is morning in Kabul. That's a live picture of the capital city. Polls opening within this hour in a city that has been rocked along with much of the country by Taliban bombings, rocket attacks and a campaign of voter intimidation.
Sixty-some thousand American troops on the ground, a major battle underway, a shaky government now in place, high stakes, high pressure, no ordinary election this.
Ivan Watson is watching it unfold. He joins us from Bamiyan northwest of Kabul. Ivan, what's the situation today? What are you seeing?
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, just to give you a sense of the change here. Behind me is a cave that held a 1,500- year-old Buddha statue that was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, attracted international condemnation.
And now in this province you have elections going on, you have some 17 million people registered across Afghanistan in its second ever presidential election.
A historical moment. That said, much of this country is at war right now. Three American soldiers were killed in two separate incidents yesterday alone and that brings the death toll for American and western troops to more than 50 just this month we have reports of two -- of seven election workers killed over the last two days.
And I just got off the phone with a U.S. military spokeswoman who says there were cases reported overnight of small arms fire at some polling stations across the country.
We do know that many, perhaps, hundreds of polling centers are not going to be operating today because they're located in areas controlled by the Taliban insurgency.
In this province, however, we're seeing elections taking place. It's one of the safest provinces in the country, Anderson. And when the polls open, election workers expect that some 200,000 people in this province alone will be registered and able to vote for their next president -- Anderson.
COOPER: Well, as we said, polls open within the hour.
Ivan, we're going to check back in with you later on in this hour.
We're joined now by Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst in Washington and also by our own Michael Ware, who has certainly spent a lot of time both -- well, we know in Iraq and also in Afghanistan.
Peter, let's start off with you. A big day for this country. What is at stake right now?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, at stake is the entire project that the international community is engaged in. I mean, if this election goes off fairly well, many of them they say is I think will be shown not to be correct.
I think the main indicator to look for Anderson is voter turnout.
Karzai is going to win this election either in the first round or that second round and that's a virtual certainty. But if voter turnout is significant on the day, certainly about 50 percent or 60 percent, something like that, I think that sends a message that the Afghan population were not intimidated by the Taliban, were actively engaged in this very important election.
The last election was in 2004 there was 80 percent turnout. I think that's very unlikely that we'll see that kind of turnout. But a significant turnout would be a big signal to the Taliban that the Afghan population were not intimidated. COOPER: Michael Ware, Secretary of State Clinton says the U.S. is impartial in this in terms of who actually gets elected. Does it matter to the U.S. who gets it?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIOANAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it really doesn't - it doesn't -- in some ways it doesn't matter to the Afghan people and to some degree it doesn't matter to the U.S. interest in Afghanistan either.
I mean, I think I would disagree with Peter to some degree. I think this election is going to happen, no matter what. It might not be pretty; it's going to be disrupted in certain areas. Would we consider it a complete, clean, legitimate election? No there's going to be deep flaws within it.
But will it be enough for the Afghan people? I would think so. And we're going to see a lot of disruption in the south and maybe the Pashtuns in the south. The people from whence the Taliban came are going to feel even more disenfranchised, which is one of the Taliban's goals.
But I don't think this election is going to mean a great deal in terms of going forward, either for Afghanistan or for U.S. strategy because whether it's the return of Hamid Karzai or whether it's Abdullah Abdullah or anyone else, we're going to see a hodgepodge of warlords, corrupt officials and another government that cannot deliver services to its people.
COOPER: Peter, is corruption that deeply entrenched in Afghanistan right now? I mean narco-corruption and other forms?
BERGEN: Yes, I mean according to Transparency International, the NGO that tracks this thing, you know, Afghanistan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, perhaps only beaten by Somalia. So that's a pretty low bar, so yes, there's no doubt, as Michael says, it's a highly corrupt country. About a third of the economy is basically generated by the drug business and that's just a fact.
COOPER: And in terms of U.S. policy, Michael, clearly the Obama administration has tried to scale down what the end game -- or what the goal is. At this point, is the goal the U.S. set up achievable?
WARE: I think it is and we saw this begin under the Bush administration. It started to turn down its goals as it did in Iraq. The word democracy was dropped, for example.
And certainly we're not looking at, you know, shining models for that region, nor in the Middle East as Iraq was meant to be. Essentially a stable country that can hold itself together, won't host al Qaeda will be more than enough for U.S. interests.
And I have to tell you, I visited D.C. not so long ago. I went to the Department of State and it was made very, very clear to me that Afghanistan nor Iraq are considered strategically important to U.S. interests. They are important countries but they're not strategically vital as it was said to me and is accurate. Afghanistan is a pile of rocks. It just so happens that al Qaeda had bases there at one point. If the Taliban want to reengage, re- enter the political process in their insurgency, as long as they don't host al Qaeda, America doesn't care beyond that.
COOPER: Peter Bergen, I appreciate it and Michael, stick around. Michael, we'll talk about Iraq and I want to talk about an especially terrifying day in Baghdad.
Iraq's prime minister blaming al Qaeda in Iraq and Saddam Hussein loyalists for a wave of grisly bombings to the capital; a half-dozen explosions across the city. Including nearly simultaneous truck bombings at the foreign and finance ministries; nearly hundreds dead, hundreds more hurt.
Michael, what do you make of this, six bombings, 95 people dead, the deadliest day of violence since U.S. have pulled back troops from the cities. What happened?
WARE: This is welcome to Iraq. This is what's happening under the U.S.-led offenses, under the U.S.-led war. I remember when I was there just not so long ago, just before I left, 80 died in one day; today the death toll's 95 or 100. This is part of a long-running campaign.
COOPER: But the Prime Minister today said that they're going to quote, that this is going to lead to, quote, "the re-evaluation of our plans and security mechanisms." Is it possible that they would re- evaluate the U.S. position of pulling out?
WARE: Well, I know that the U.S. command there would like to redeploy some troops to the north certainly around Mosul (ph)and some of the more vulnerable villages up there because at the moment that's one of al Qaeda's latest strong hold. That's going to be very interesting question because the Maliki government has been dogged about running this war on its own in its own way.
It wants America to underwrite it but it doesn't want America to participate. It wants to do this its own way. IT'S tearing down the blast walls in Baghdad. And, for example, it's ludicrous to hear the Prime Minister of Iraq blame these bombings on Saddam loyalists or Baathist loyalists.
The Baathist loyalists went on the U.S. government payroll. They opposed al Qaeda during Saddam and opposed them now. That's just the sign of the Shia versus Sunni rivalry. It has got nothing to do with the real security threat.
COOPER: Rivalry which is alive and well.
Michael Ware, appreciate it. Thanks very much.
A quick programming note: starting the week of September 7th, Michael, Peter Bergen and Dr. Sanjay Gupta and I are going to be reporting from Afghanistan with American forces on the front lines in their battle with the Taliban. I hope you join us for that week. And as always, let us know what you think, join the live chat at AC360.com.
And up next, would Democrats still taking town hall heat over health care reform? Will they be able to stick together when it comes to passing a Democratic-only plan? New details on how that might happen.
And Barney Frank's reaction to one questioner who compared Obama to a Nazi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Later, Randi Kaye is back with more on Dr. Arnie Klein, Michael Jackson's former dermatologist and why investigators came calling again on him today.
COOPER: President Obama appealed today to faith-based groups for their help on health care reform. He spoke on a conference call streamed to an estimated 140,000 people online.
Meantime on the ground, opponents again, speaking loudly face-to- face; protesters there in Macon, Georgia, confronting Congressman Jim Marshall, a blue dog Democrat. He's on the fence about a public option but told the local chamber of commerce today he would consider any reasonable reform plan.
The question tonight, will he help President Obama and other Democrats if it comes down to going alone without bipartisan support or even the votes of some of his fellow conservative Democrats.
Let's talk about "Raw Politics" now with senior political analyst David Gergen, along with Democratic strategist, Paul Begala and Amy Holmes an Independent conservative.
I want to play for you all this Barney Frank exchange that he had with one young woman at a town hall. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy as Obama has expressly supported this policy? Why are you supporting it?
REP. BARNEY FRANK, (D) MASSACHUSSETTS: On what planet do you spend most of your time?
Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: David Gergen, what do you make of that?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think there are a lot of Democrats out there who would be cheered by that clip because they felt that their Democratic members haven't known how to handle, this thrust and parry of these town halls.
Claire McCaskill has done a very good job, a couple of others have. But Barney really nailed it there I think for a lot of Democrats.
COOPER: Paul, you're beaming like a Cheshire cat.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, because some things are ought to be beyond the pale. You know I think it takes a lot of guts for that young woman to stand up and confront -- presumably her Congressman, let's assume she live in Congressman Barney Frank's district.
But when you say that the president is pursuing a Nazi policy, that is beyond the pale; and I think Congressman Frank was right and say, "Next person. I'm not going to take you seriously when you use those kinds of epithets."
COOPER: Amy do you agree?
AMY HOLMES, CONSERVATIVE INDEPENDENT: Well, I agree that Nazi is beyond the pale, but I think Barack Obama does need to take public opinion seriously. Barney Frank doesn't need to worry about this young lady -- he's safe in his district. But Barack Obama does need to worry about the public polling that is going against him and particularly among seniors.
Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, he rang the bell on this way back in June. And we see with Pew and Gallup that seniors are scared, they are nervous, they don't have details. On my radio show we talk with them and even Obama supporters say they need to know more.
COOPER: Paul, one though, we got a text 360 question based on, I guess, the Barney Frank thing. Patty says, do you think the Obama administration is considering moving ahead because of negative Republican reaction at town hall meetings?
Well, I mean, do you think this idea of going it alone is in response to what they've suddenly seen at all of these town hall meetings?
BEGALA: I think, frankly, less the town hall meetings. That hasn't moved a lot of Democrats. I've talked to a whole lot of them they don't seem terribly rattled by that. But I think what they're seeing is...
COOPER: What about independents?
BEGALA: Well, I mean Democratic members of Congress. Among independents...
BEGALA: ...you know it's -- Republican opposition is hard and that's fine, they're the opposition party. But to try to pass something in a bipartisan fashion it's just going to be very difficult, almost impossible.
Look at this, there are four committees that have passed out versions of health care; three in the House, one in the Senate. If you add all those committees together, they accepted the Democrats who run the committees, 183 Republican amendments in those four committees -- 183.
Despite taking all those 183 amendments, do you know how many Republican votes they got? Zero, zilch, as we say in the Catholic Church, bupkis (ph), nada. At what point do you start to get the idea that the Republicans are just not going to play along?
More recently, you know, we have the Senate Finance Committee, is the last hope of bipartisanship. Senator Max Baucus the chairman is trying to negotiate with Charles Grassley, the leading Republican on the committee. And he's been reached out to, Grassley has, the president has praised him in the past and so what does he do?
He goes home, and grandpa Twitter gets on his BlackBerry and says the president wants to pull the plug on grandma and then he calls the President of the United States intellectually dishonest. That's who Obama is trying to deal with there. So there's no hope of bipartisan.
HOLMES: Grassley said that he does wants to sit at the table and try to work this out. But you know, I talked to Blue Dog Democrat Jim Cooper of Tennessee and he said he as a Democrat doesn't think Democrats have the vote in the Senate in particular those 60 votes in order to move forward on this legislation.
And he said that this government plan option, that's just not going to make it for a lot of those moderate Democrats. So when the president said that he can move ahead without Republicans, perhaps he can, but he might not be able to move ahead without Democrats.
COOPER: David, are you surprised at how the White House has, I mean, I guess, fumbled this whole rollout over the last week or so?
GERGEN: I have been very surprised by their failures on persuading people. Their messages are obviously not getting through but I think they also have substantive problems with this package just as Paul and I discovered it with the Clinton package.
There are a lot of Americans who do not want the kind of things Democrats are putting forward. But -- and my friend, Paul, I think would understand that I disagree with him on the question of what's in the national interest and what's in the President's interest? And that is, I think it's in the President's interest to push forward as far as he possibly can to see if he can find a way to bipartisanship. There was a Quinnipiac poll just two weeks ago that found that 59 percent of Americans would oppose a health care plan that was passed only by Democrats as opposed to only 36 percent of Americans who would support such a plan.
And it does seem to me, given this big a bill, 16 percent of the economy -- if you can find a way to bipartisanship and it may not be possible, these town halls, I think...
COOPER: But David, what about the argument that they push it through and a year from now no one's going to remember, you know, who was for it and who was against it, they're just going to see whatever the results are. You don't buy that?
GERGEN: I don't buy that. You know, we saw with catastrophic passed in the last year of President Reagan's administration, a year later the protests were so big, they were chasing Danny Rostenkowski down the street; elderly people with umbrellas and the plan got cancelled. These things can continue to roil the American political populous for some time to come.
I just think if they reach the end of the day and it's apparent to the public that the Republicans don't want play ball, that they embrace the Paul Begala argument that makes it much easier for Democrats then to go forward on their own.
COOPER: Paul, you say we're already there.
BEGALA: No, well, I think we're going to be there. David's right and I've read about this. I praise Senator Max Baucus, who a lot of my friends to the left are criticizing. And what I would counsel my Democratic friends is, at the end of the day, that David cites is September 15th, that's the day Senator Baucus has said, "By then I will either have a bipartisan bill," or Baucus himself had suggest he'll go it alone with Democrats.
I think that's giving Republicans nine months and 183 amendments, probably a lot more by the time you count up those that Senator Baucus accepts in the finance committee. I would like nothing better than to see this as bipartisan and so would President Obama.
I mean, look, Barack Obama ran for President believing in the myth of the reasonable, rational Republican. And it's a lovely myth and it's like the unicorn, or the tooth fairy, or a humble pundit, it's something you'll never find. You'll look all your life and there aren't any left in Washington.
HOLMES: Paul, speak for yourself on the pundits point but you know I also talk to my former boss, Senator Fritz and he said that he could support a co-op plan if it was at the state level, if it was at the local level.
COOPER: Does anybody know what a co-op plan actually means?
HOLMES: It's complicated as folks getting involved and covering one another...
COOPER: It's a theory though...
HOLMES: But getting back to Paul's point, yes Republican can support a co-op plan. He said that in the Senate they could squeeze this plan down to $500 billion; that could be something that he could support.
COOPER: All right, Amy Holmes, I appreciate it, Paul Begala, and David Gergen thank you very much.
Coming up next, Levi Johnston's mom could be heading to jail.
Also a return visit to Michael Jackson's dermatologist, the coroner trying to figure out what killed the singer and says he need a more information from Dr. Arnold Klein.
Randi Kaye is live with the latest developments on that.
And later, a swimsuit model stuffed in a suitcase that was left in a dumpster. The question is, who killed her and why do police to want talk to her ex-husband, a former reality show contestant.
More on that ahead.
COOPER: I want to update you now on another top story, a new development in the Michael Jackson investigation. The focus is not on Dr. Conrad Murray tonight.
It's on another MD, this man. A prominent Beverly Hills dermatologist Arnold Klein, who treated Jackson over the years, was paid another visit by the coroner's chief investigator who said last week his report was complete.
So the question of course is why did he return to Klein's office again? What was he looking for?
Randi Kaye joins us with more. Do we know what was at the coroner's office?
KAYE: We are trying to get some answers on that exactly but we do know that Dr. Klein's attorney says that the coroner's chief investigator came to the office to confirm or negate new information that he had received. This is significant, of course, because just last week the L.A. County coroner's office announced its report was complete, calling it thorough and comprehensive.
Well obviously, it's not as complete as they thought it was with the chief investigator back at it today, serving yet another subpoena at Dr. Arnold Klein's office. He was Jackson's dermatologist for decades. And this marks the coroner's second visit there seeking information, the last one, July 14th.
Now, here is what one of his attorneys told reporters outside his office after the coroner's investigator left.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Arnold Klein wants to maintain his utter cooperation with any and all law enforcement authority with respect to the investigation into the cause of death of Michael Jackson. He has done so; he will continue to do so
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Dr. Klein's lawyer does not believe his client did anything wrong. He said in his opinion, Dr. Klein did not give Jackson any drugs that were inappropriate. He also said he sees no reason to be concerned on behalf of his client. That he sees no evidence to support a charge of medical malpractice, which has been floated as a possible, possible charge against Dr. Klein.
COOPER: If their investigation was complete, though, and seemingly had focused on Murray, why all of a sudden the focus now on Dr. Klein?
KAYE: That's what we're trying to figure out and I do want to point out that these are really two very different circumstances. It's important to point that out here because Dr. Murray's clinics and his home have been searched by investigators seeking evidence of manslaughter.
That hasn't happened in this case with Dr. Klein. In his case he falls into that appropriate window of time, as it's being called. Investigators are looking at more than a dozen doctors who were in touch with Michael Jackson or treating him during what authorities see as a critical timeframe in this case.
And my source with knowledge of the investigation told me weeks ago that Dr. Klein is on the list of doctors investigators are focusing on. They are trying to determine what drugs Jackson was taking, who prescribed them and under what name of course. We know that Michael Jackson was getting drugs under 19 different aliases, including the name of his own son and his personal chef.
COOPER: So Klein himself doesn't believe he's under investigation?
KAYE: No. He really...
COOPER: Last month he said this...
KAYE: ... right, he really thinks that he is in the clear here, he does not believe that he's on the list of doctors be scrutinized and that the most dangerous drug he ever gave Jackson was, he says, was Demerol. Still, the coroner's chief investigator who's told me that he had visited at least two other medical offices in the Beverly Hills area, not too far from Dr. Klein's office, seeking records related to the Jackson case.
It's unclear though, at this point still, if Dr. Klein was ever affiliated with these clinics, if he ever did surgery there. His lawyer told me Anderson that he just doesn't know.
COOPER: And when was the last time that Dr. Klein saw Michael Jackson, do we know that?
KAYE: I did asked that today because really all of this time we've been told that it was just a few days before Michael Jackson's death. He was at Dr. Klein's office three days, in fact, before his death and that he was talking to other patients. Dr. Klein told CNN the pop star even danced for patients in his office that day.
But today, when I spoke to his lawyer by phone and I asked him, was that definitely the last time the two saw each other? Because we know Jackson had seen him numerous times in the weeks prior to his death. And Dr. Klein's lawyer told me he wasn't sure when the last time his client saw Michael Jackson was.
I asked him if he had seen him possibly within 24 hours of his death? And he told me flat-out, Anderson, he just doesn't know.
COOPER: All right Randi. Appreciate it, thanks for the latest.
Still ahead, we all know smoking isn't healthy but should it stop someone from getting a job? What about obesity? The smokers can't get jobs at one of the country's top hospitals and President Obama apparently is all for it. The CEO of the Cleveland Clinic is going to join us coming up to explain that.
But first, Erica Hill has a "360 Bulletin" - Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the terrorist convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 will soon be a free man. A senior state department official tells CNN, a Scottish court will release Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds despite objections from the U.S. Al-Megrahi who has terminal prostate cancer is serving a life sentence for the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. 270 people were killed and many of them Americans.
Hurricane "Bill," the first of the 2009 Atlantic season is now a dangerous Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 135 miles per hour. Forecasters say it should begin pushing large swells toward Bermuda and parts of the south eastern U.S. coast by the weekend. It is not clear just how close that storm will come to land.
Levi Johnston's mother today, pleading guilty to one count of possession with intent to deliver the painkiller, Oxycodone. Sherry Johnston's lawyer expects her to serve three years in prison, although she won't be formally sentenced until November. Levi Johnston of course fathered a son with Sarah Palin's oldest daughter.
And Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, speaking publicly for the first time today since he was beaten on Saturday night. Barrett was leaving the Wisconsin State Fair with his family that evening when he heard a woman holding a baby yelling for someone to call 911.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR TOM BARRETT, MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: Our immediate thought was that there was something wrong with the baby. And so I quickly pulled out my phone, as I think Molly did and we started calling 911. Within seconds we realized the problem was not with the baby. It was with the man, and he came up and was very, very agitated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Police arrested that man the next day. They say the 20- year-old attacked the woman and then hit the Mayor Barrett with a metal pipe. Barrett suffered a fractured right hand, several cuts on his face and head as well, Anderson.
A lot of people have asked about security. The mayor didn't have any security with him because he was there in a private capacity. He just decided at the spur of the moment to go with his family to listen to some music and spend some time together.
COOPER: Yes, unbelievable and amazing.
Still ahead, should someone be denied a job just because they're obese? It's already happening to smokers at one of America's top hospitals. Could the trend spread? We'll "Dig Deeper" on that.
Also ahead, the real CSI, crime labs are vital to convicting criminals, we all know that, but may they also be responsible for putting innocent people in prison? 360 MD Sanjay Gupta goes inside to get some answers.
COOPER: There's no getting around it, too many Americans are obese. According to the CDC there's been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States over the past 20 years.
As the fight over health care heats up there's one thing both sides seem to agree on. It costs less to take care of healthy people. So, should employers have the right to turn away the unhealthy?
The renowned Cleveland Clinic is doing just that. Two years ago, it stopped hiring smokers as part of a wellness initiative, a plan getting high praise from President Obama. And the present CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove told "The New York Times" that if it were up to him, if there weren't legal issues, he would not only stop hiring smokers, he would also stop hiring obese people.
I asked him about that earlier tonight.
COOPER: I read something that you recently said, you already stopped hiring smokers. And you said in an article that if you could legally do it, you wouldn't hire obese people. Is that accurate and is that fair?
DR. TOBY COSGROVE, CEO, CLEVELAND CLINIC: Well, I think that's -- I did say that, but it was taken out of an hour conversation and the parts that got left out of that, the conversation, were that we're very concerned about people being overweight.
We're not against people who are obese. We're against obesity.
COOPER: There's a stigma about smoking. Do you think there needs to be a similar stigma about being obese?
COSGROVE: I think we try to help people. We think it's a disease, and we think if that disease brings on more diseases. And I think we need to try to help people get past this -- their problems.
COOPER: Employees who smoke or employees who are obese, should they pay more for insurance?
COSGROVE: Well, I think what we're going to do is do it the other way. We're going to incent people to have good health. And right now we're doing exactly that. People who lose weight will get an additional positive incentive, financial.
COOPER: As you look at the health care debate as it's happening now, what is missing in this debate? I mean, there's a lot of heat. Not necessarily a lot of light.
COSGROVE: I'm really concerned about the debate. I think there really -- we started out talking about costs and access and quality. And now really we've gotten down to access. And, clearly, all of us agree that we need to have access to health care. I've never heard anybody who would debate that.
But the concern is that we're seeing an increasingly expensive health care program across the United States. For several reasons: first, more people, more elderly people who require more health care and more things we can do for them.
Right now, 40 percent of the premature deaths in the United States are secondary to inactivity, obesity and smoking. That's the number one preventable cause of premature death and that leads to a lot of chronic diseases.
COOPER: What you're able to do, though, is not something that a lot of employers are able to do. Not all employers can give free weight watcher meetings or curve meetings to employees. For them, it's a huge burden.
COSGROVE: And there's no question about it. But the things they can do are really simple. They can serve good food, which really doesn't cost any more. Almost all buildings where people work have stairs and people can be encouraged to take the stairs, to walk. There are a lot of things you can do that really cost very little.
COOPER: President Obama visited Cleveland, your office, last month. He really used it as a platform for his health care reform plans. Did you ask him about his own smoking?
COSGROVE: No, that subject didn't come up. We talked about the things that we thought that we could do to reduce the costs. No longer are we in the situation where we can expect all hospitals to be all things to all people. Care has just gotten too sophisticated.
COOPER: Doctor, we appreciate your time. Thank you.
COSGROVE: Thank you.
COOPER: A lot more online, go to our Web site ac360.com to read more about Dr. Cosgrove's take on health care reform. Let us know what you think, do companies have the right to refuse to hire smokers? And perhaps one day the overweight? Join the live chat happening now at ac360.com.
Still ahead, crime scene fraud: 360 MD Sanjay Gupta goes inside a crime lab to put cutting edge technology, like you see on shows like "CSI" to the test.
Also, he had one simple rule at "60 Minutes" for making great television. Tell me a story. We remember CBS's Don Hewitt and tell you his remarkable story just ahead.
COOPER: In our "Crime Scene Fraud" series tonight, we're putting high-tech forensics -- the kind you see all the time in "CSI" to the test. More juries are relying on things like bite marks, fiber analysis, ballistics tests to determine someone's guilt or innocence.
It's science but it's not as foolproof as you might think. We've all heard of course by now endless stories of innocent people being convicted.
To find out if cutting-edge techniques really lead to the truth, we sent 360 MD Sanjay Gupta inside a crime lab. Here's his report.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here is where a forensic investigation begins. Investigators cobble together a theory based on evidence, a swap of hair torn out during an assault, blood splatters, fingerprints, gun residue.
If this was "CSI" that's a motherlode of forensic evidence, the case as good as solved. But is it really foolproof?
(on camera): I really wanted to see to myself so we got some special access here to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. A pretty nondescript building, but inside, some of the most powerful tools to investigate a crime scene.
High-powered microscopes looking at hair and fiber, results of DNA technology; and amidst all this we're trying to answer a question that's been plaguing forensics for some time, is all of this really rooted in science? Let's take a look.
DR. GEORGE HERRIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: We're in the evidence section of the GBI crime lab and this is the section that examines hairs, fibers, paint chips, gunshot residues, glass chips that are found at crime scenes.
GUPTA (voice-over): this hair was found at a crime scene. It's compared to hair on the right taken from the victim. They seem to match.
The techs next show us fiber analysis. In this case they compare a fiber from a different crime scene to one that comes from a suspect's sweatshirt.
(on camera): Can you say that it's the same fiber?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We can say it came from -- either came from the same source or it came from another source, possessing fiber of the same characteristics.
GUPTA: I imagine people want to know, look, did that fiber come from the same sweatshirt that fiber came from.
And again, I mean...
HERRIN: We can never give that exact answer.
GUPTA: People want that answer, though.
HERRIN: They want it, but that's beyond the limit of this particular science.
GUPTA (voice-over): But what about ballistics? On TV it sounds infallible.
(on camera): We're in the shooting room now with George. He has a weapon as you can see there. This is a tank, it's filled with water. This is how they test the bullets to try and find out if there's potentially a match.
GEORGE STANLEY, FIREARMS EXAMINER, GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: I magnify these items and I'll get them to a certain magnification and I look for the similarity or dissimilarity of the marks.
GUPTA: Can you reliably, with 100 percent confidence say this bullet came from this barrel?
STANLEY: I can tell you based on my experience, training and background, this certain bullet was fired by a specific gun, yes, I can.
GUPTA (voice-over): Remember, this is the Georgia Bureau of Investigation -- its lab, among the best in the country. Outside of labs like this, that kind of certainty about forensic science is rare.
(on camera): In fact, the National Academy of Science released a scathing report saying reform is needed, new research is needed.
What is indisputable, what is irrefutable? Some say it's DNA. Let's take a look.
DNA is the gold standard, is that fair to say?
HERRIN: It's certainly -- it's a very specific and accurate test, you know.
GUPTA: Everybody wants it. That's all you hear about.
HERRIN: It is -- it is the one that everybody wants in homicides, sexual assaults. That's the test that everybody wants.
GUPTA: Is it possible for you to say at the end of this process, "We have irrefutable DNA evidence"?
HERRIN: In most -- in a lot of cases, yes. I mean, there -- there are certain cases in DNA, just like in any other science, where, you know, the answer is inconclusive.
GUPTA (voice-over): Such as, where the sample is old, tainted or too small. But in most cases Dr. Herrin insists conclusive forensic testing is possible.
HERRIN: The answers that we give, they could be used in a court of law to have a jury convict someone, who could go to jail for the rest of their life or be put to death.
GUPTA (on camera): That's a lot of responsibility.
HERRIN: It's a huge amount of responsibility.
GUPTA: On what is a science but maybe an imperfect science.
HERRIN: I wouldn't call it an imperfect science. I would call it a science that has limitations.
GUPTA (voice-over): Limitations, in a field that many have come to believe should have none.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.
COOPER: Tomorrow our series on crime scene fraud continues with a medical examiner under fire.
Tyler Edmonds was 14 when he was accused of killing a man. The testimony of the expert who conducted an autopsy of the victim helped lead to a conviction. But was the expert willing to bend the facts to please the prosecutors? The incredible story and the surprising outcome tomorrow night.
Ahead on the program tonight, though, more on our breaking news: polls open in war-torn Afghanistan. Ballots and bullets. We are live on the ground. You're looking at a polling station right there.
And next, a model murdered and her millionaire ex missing. Who killed the swimsuit beauty and why do police to want to talk to her former husband, who's a former reality show contestant? We'll have the latest on that.
Also tonight, joking before a midair collision. The phone call that had the air traffic controller laughing just moments before a helicopter crashed into a plane over the Hudson River. We can tell you what he said, coming up.
COOPER: In California tonight a reality show contestant is now wanted for questioning in the murder of a swimsuit model. This is a picture of the victim, Jasmine Fiore. Her body was found in a suitcase over the weekend.
Police want to talk to her ex-husband, who once appeared on a reality TV show. But first they have to find him. Now he's not a suspect, he's not even being named a person of interest at this point. They just want to talk to him, they say.
Once again, here's Erica Hill with the latest in the case in tonight's "Crime & Punishment" report.
HILL (voice-over): Early Saturday morning in Buena Park, California, a man looking through a trash bin for recyclables finds a small, unzipped suitcase.
FRANK DISTEFANO, DISCOVERED VICTIM'S BODY: It was partially opened. I lifted it up one time and saw skin, but I wasn't sure so I lifted it up again. Then when I saw the birth mark -- or the marks on the body and everything, I verified that it was a body. I immediately called 911.
HILL: The body was Jasmine Fiore.
LT. GARY WORRALL, BUENA PARK POLICE DEPARTMENT: Our preliminary results and findings from the Orange County coroner were that she was strangled.
HILL: Police are now looking for this man, Ryan Jenkins, who was reportedly briefly married to Fiore. He and Fiore were last seen on Friday night at a poker game in San Diego, about 100 miles south of where her body was discovered Saturday morning.
On Saturday night, Jenkins filed a missing persons report for Fiore. He hasn't been heard from since.
WORRALL: Our fear is that he might possibly be en route to Canada. He was the last person seen with her.
HILL: Jenkins, most recently a contestant on the VH1 reality show "Megan Wants a Millionaire," is described on the show as an investment banker from Calgary.
Police believe he is driving either a black BMW X5 SUV like this one with an Alberta license plate number HLY-275, or he may be in Jasmine Fiore's white Mercedes. Neighbors described Fiore as outgoing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was cool. She was well-intentioned. And didn't -- her roommate, her roommate is very friendly. She was friendly to everybody else. And it was just, you know, a shocker.
HILL: A former boss at the modeling agency where she worked in Las Vegas said Fiore seemed to have her head on straight.
KEN HENDERSON, OWNER, BEST AGENCY: She seemed very responsible. She seemed very driven, like focused on, you know, just wanting to do -- get into the business but not -- you know, wasn't enamored by it.
HILL: Henderson says the last time he saw her, she looked really happy. And mentioned, she had this great guy.
The question tonight: whether that great guy may know something about how Jasmine Fiore died.
Erica Hill, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, votes and violence in Afghanistan. The polls now open. It's Election Day there. We'll take you there live.
CNN's Ivan Watson joins us from just outside Kabul, next.
And later, the "60 Minutes" master, Don Hewitt, died today. Tonight, we remember his life, his legacy and the extraordinary way he changed television.
COOPER: We return to the breaking news from Afghanistan. Polls now open. This is a live picture in the city of Kabul. Seventeen million people are registered to vote in today's presidential election.
Ivan Watson is watching at a poll, joins us now from Bamiyan, northwest of Kabul, just outside a polling station.
Ivan, what's the scene there?
WATSON: Hi, Anderson.
These gates just opened about 20 minute ago. It's 7:20 in the morning here. And you can see -- you can see voters being patted down. They show their registration cards, and then they come right over here to these tents where the ballot boxes are assembled.
They'll be voting in here for -- there are some 41 presidential candidates. Some have dropped out at the last minute. There are also provincial council members, hundreds of provincial council members running for election at the 34 provinces around the country. This is a $223 million election.
And of course, large parts of the country are facing this bloody Taliban insurgency, Anderson.
This is a safer part of the country. We can see the people lining up. Some of these people already were waiting an hour for the gates to open so that they could cast their ballot -- Anderson.
COOPER: Even there, security tight. Ivan thanks very much.
More news back home. Erica Hill has a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, the man responsible for almost everything we do in the news has died. CBS's Don Hewitt is perhaps best known as the creator of "60 Minutes," but that is really only the beginning.
He also devised the first half-hour nightly newscast. He pioneered live shots, came up with what we call supers, that information you see in the lower third of your TV, and produced the Kennedy/Nixon debate.
He died of pancreatic cancer. Hewitt was 86.
New details in the Hudson River midair crash: the Associated Press reporting phone records reveal the air traffic controller making an improper phone call at the time, was actually joking about barbecuing a dead cat just moments before a small plane hit a helicopter, killing nine people. Seconds before impact, the controller reportedly cursed and hung up.
The number of women arrested for DUI up nearly 30 percent in the past decade. And while men who drive drunk do outnumber women by about 4 to 1, the Transportation Department says male DUI arrests actually fell 7.5 percent during that same period.
In Manhattan "Vogue" cover model Liskula Cohen winning a court ruling today against a blogger she says defamed her. The court ordered Google to identify the name of the blogger who posted photos of Cohen and awarded her the, quote, "First Place Award for Skankiest in New York City."
Now, armed with the blogger's identity, Cohen's attorney plans to sue for defamation, Anderson.
COOPER: Just on the Don Hewitt passing, it's so sad. As an employee also of "60 Minutes," it's -- it's remarkable to think the kind of career he had. We should all be so lucky to have such a remarkable career. This guy basically, as you said, is responsible for just about all the things that we take for granted now in television news.
HILL: He did everything. You know, it's wonderful. The nice part, though, has been all of the stories that you're hearing today and that you'll continue to hear as people remember what a wonderful person he was.
And not just what he contributed to TV news but also what he contributed to so many people he worked directly with for so long.
COOPER: And he was still walking the halls of "60 Minutes" up to a short time ago. I used to see him in my office over there. So he certainly will be missed but certainly will be remembered for a very long time to come.
Coming up, something light before you go to bed, "The Shot," a snapshot of a squirrel, how it has spawned a cottage industry for this little guy. We'll explain, ahead.
COOPER: All right. Time for "The Shot," Erica; it is about the squirrel crasher. And he's become an Internet sensation after popping up at the moment a couple snapped this vacation photo, which we're showing courtesy of "National Geographic."
Since then -- so I guess that's a real squirrel, right?
HILL: It is. They were -- they had set the camera on self- timer, and literally the squirrel just popped up in one of the shots.
COOPER: Since then others have taken the squirrel crasher to other places. There's the critter next to Nick Nolte's infamous wild- haired mug shot.
HILL: One of the best mug shots ever.
COOPER: Then half a world away the squirrel's chilling there with Vladimir Putin. Putin seems to be groping the squirrel, which is sort of a term the kids are using these days, groping the squirrel.
He's also used a time machine to be there when Nixon calls it quits, that's funny. Even before he started crashing the place, some other squirrels were already a Web hit.
Check out this dance mix. I haven't seen this.
HILL: It's good stuff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(MUSIC AND SQUIRRELS DANCING)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: I love that squirrel.
COOPER: That's good.
HILLS: It's a good thing those squirrels aren't really in the park. My poor dog would go crazy.
COOPER: Oh, no, it's a raccoon. We have a raccoon problem here.
HILLS: The crazy one. We have our own squirrel, don't we? Our own "Dramatic Animal Video." Is he not there? Oh, he's up there. Maybe we don't have it. There he is. There's our guy.
COOPER: I think it's the same one. You can see all the most recent squirrels at AC360.com.
That does it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts right now.
I'll see you tomorrow night.