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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Cheney Fires Shot at Obama Administration; More Doctors Targeted in Jackson Death Probe; Swine Flu Fears

Aired August 25, 2009 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We have got more new information in the Michael Jackson death investigation, new signs that Dr. Conrad Murray isn't alone. It now appears that this man on right, Arnie Klein, Michael Jackson's former dermatologist, may be a major part of the investigation. And so could five other doctors.

Randi Kaye is working the story. She joins us shortly with what she is finding.

First, though, our top story: another salvo fired at President Obama by none other former Vice President Dick Cheney. In response to news the Justice Department is investigating actions taken by CIA interrogators, Mr. Cheney's has accused the president of playing politics and threatening our safety. The investigation, he says, serves -- and I quote -- "as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this administration's ability to be responsible for our nation's security."

Mr. Cheney's longstanding claim is that harsh interrogation of terror suspects after 9/11, what some call torture, did in fact work, did prevent terror attacks.

But does the newly released CIA report actually back up Mr. Cheney's claim?

Tonight, Tom Foreman is "Keeping Them Honest."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The former vice president has said all along, if top-secret papers were made public, they would also make his case that what he calls enhanced interrogation and others call torture was necessary to make captured terrorists talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 21, 2009)

RICHARD B. CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The intelligence officers who questioned the terrorists can be proud of their work, proud of the results, because they prevented the violent death of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: But, "Keeping Them Honest," the newly released papers are not so black-and-white. In page after page, they do say that much information used to disrupt al Qaeda came from detainees, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah, both of whom were repeatedly subjected to the controversial techniques.

The papers say those men not only revealed potential targets, but their information led to the arrest of others and disrupted attack plans, including some aimed at high-rise apartment and more passenger jets.

But those plots were, in many cases, little more than vague ideas, according to CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen. So:

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Did coercive interrogation reveal plots that were really serious threats? And I think the short answer is no.

FOREMAN: The papers say call Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was giving only outdated, inaccurate information until the tougher techniques were applied. But even some former members of the Bush administration, like his homeland security and terrorism adviser, Fran Townsend, now a CNN contributor, admit he might have given up the more important intelligence anyway, as his captivity wore on.

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: It's very difficult to draw a cause and effect, because it's not clear when techniques were applied vs. when that information was received. It's implicit. It seems, when you read the report, that we got the -- the -- the most critical information after techniques had been applied. But the report doesn't say that.

FOREMAN (on camera): So, in terms also of determining whether Mr. Cheney's claims are accurate, the new papers make for murky reading and a tough job for the Justice Department as it tries to sort out what was done and why and whether it was illegal -- Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: More on the implications, repercussions of what we know so far, where there is leading, and why the fight is far from over.

Let's talk strategy from the left and the right with political contributor Paul Begala and Mary Matalin, who was an adviser to Dick Cheney when he was vice president.

Paul, Vice President Cheney is essentially saying that President Obama is politicizing the Justice Department and damaging national security.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.

And I -- I got to say, for Dick Cheney to be accusing anyone of politicizing the Justice Department, after what the Bush people did, it's a little like -- you know, I don't know. It's like Paris Hilton saying, "You know, that girl's a little too slutty for me." It's preposterous. He has absolutely no grounds to say it. Eric Holder, the attorney general who was smeared today by the vice president, when he was a Democratic-appointed U.S. attorney, by a Democratic president, you know what he did? He indicted the Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee when we were trying to pass a health care bill through his committee.

Eric Holder is beyond politics, believe me. And it's a really sleazy thing for Dick Cheney to say, particularly given the Bush record of politicizing the Justice Department.

COOPER: Mary?

MARY MATALIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Anderson, of course, even its redacting sense, you could tell from these released documents, the CIA dump, that these programs, these interrogations were highly successful.

They thwarted second-wave mass casualty attacks. They revealed domestic cells. They were responsible for the -- for the bulk of the intelligence, which is our first line of defense against these terrorists. And they resulted in the apprehension of almost every al Qaeda extremist that we got. So...

COOPER: But, Mary, Mary, the report isn't...

MATALIN: But Dick Cheney is not playing politics.

COOPER: But, Mary, the report is not saying that enhanced interrogation, as they call it, which others call torture, resulted in these things.

In fact, it's kind of ambiguous on that. And, all along, Vice President Cheney has been saying these classified reports are going to show that enhanced interrogation techniques saved lives and -- and resulted in -- in -- in terrorist activity being stopped. But, in fact, these reports don't show that.

MATALIN: These are -- reports are and subsequent -- or previously declassified report are not ambiguous. They're -- categorically show the success of these interrogations, from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to Abu Zubaydah, to Nashiri. That's how we got this intelligence. They have -- they were effective.

COOPER: But Vice President Cheney today -- but Cheney today didn't -- in his statement, doesn't even make that claim anymore.

He's now just saying -- and I quote -- "The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda."

He's not saying -- he's no longer saying enhanced interrogation led to this information.

MATALIN: Well, we have been having an ongoing conversation here. He gave a quick statement. He happens to be on his way back from Alaska.

I'm sure you will be hearing more from him and all the other experts on this. But the politicizing of this is Obama going backwards to -- and it's dumb politics, too, because the last time he went up against Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney moved the needle against Barack Obama on these security issues some 20 points.

I don't know why Barack Obama is picking this fight. And it's -- it's going backwards.

But can I just speak to this torture? The way people throw around the term torture, it has a very strict legal test. And the way the political people throw around this word, as if our first line of offense, our war heroes, our intelligence collectors are sadists and torturers. I don't -- I don't really understand what the Democrats think they hope to gain by maligning the first line of defense in the war against terrorists.

BEGALA: Well, I think -- I think this is a political loser for the Democrats. That's right. But it's a matter of justice.

I mean, I -- I'm just not that interested in the polls. And I don't think Dick Cheney grew up wanting to torture people. In fact, there's ample evidence that he grew up wanting to avoid conflict. He got five draft deferments in Vietnam, after all. My goodness.

But, you know, my old suspicion is, something happened. You know, he was given responsibility for America's security. He was asked to chair a task force on terrorism. The task force never met. They plainly ignored the warnings before 9/11, whether it was from Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism expert, whether it was the CIA briefing that was later released that said bin Laden determined to attack America.

And, so, I think, from that point on, all of a sudden, Dick Cheney wanted to, you know, play tough and be a cross between Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men" or Jack Bauer on "24" or something.

But none of that is what makes America safer.

COOPER: Paul, what about the argument that these interrogations were already examined by in 2004 by career prosecutors at the Justice Department, which the argument Mary is making, people who were not political appointees? Why not just leave it at that, and move forward, as President Obama has said he wants to do?

BEGALA: Yes. No, I think that that's a legitimate point.

There's also that worry about scapegoating someone way, way down. The responsibility, ultimately, has to lie at the top. It has to lie with Mr. Cheney. It has to lie with Mr. Bush. It has to lie with Mr. Gonzales. I' I'm not for prosecuting them. I think the better of the argument is not the sort of selective releases that Mr. Cheney is asking for, but the sort of thing that Nancy Pelosi asked for, the speaker of the House, a truth and reconciliation commission.

COOPER: Mary, it worked in South Africa. Would a truth and reconciliation commission work here?

MATALIN: Have -- have at it. And Dick Cheney has not been for selective anything. He's been for laying it all out.

The notion of this truth and reconciliation, there's nothing to hide, except from the terrorists, who now know everything we're doing to thwart their activities.

COOPER: We have got to leave it there.

Mary Matalin, Paul Begala, thank you.

BEGALA: Thanks.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, the conversation continues online right now.

Let us know what you think. Join the live chat now under way at AC360.com. I'm about to log on during the commercial break myself.

Up next, though, what Randi Kaye's learning about not one, not two, but seven doctors now named in the Michael Jackson homicide investigation.

And, later, anti-health reform anger at a congressman's town hall directed at a big-name guest, Dr. and former Governor Howard Dean.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howard Dean is a baby-killer. He's a baby- killer.

(SHOUTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: New developments to tell you about tonight in the Michael Jackson homicide investigation: more evidence that Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician at the time of his death, was far from alone in the roll call of doctors in Jackson's life or now under investigation.

It features at least seven doctors, including this man, dermatologist Arnie Klein -- Drs. Klein, Murray, and five others named on the search warrant affidavit that -- affidavit that came out yesterday. But that is not all we are learning tonight.

We have much more now from Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The day Michael Jackson died, a search of his bedside revealed numerous bottles of medications prescribed not only by Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician at the center of this case, but also by two other doctors, including the singer's longtime dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein.

Klein's name was on a prescription pill bottle of Zanaflex, a muscle relaxer. Court documents show most of the other drugs found at Jackson's home were used to treat insomnia. Together, medical experts say the combination can be deadly.

DR. DREW PINSKY, AUTHOR, "CRACKED: PUTTING BROKEN LIVES TOGETHER AGAIN": There's simply no rational basis for this combination for the treatment of insomnia. There's no protocol on earth that would include these substances.

KAYE: Dr. Klein's criminal lawyer told me via e-mail, "The affidavit does not say that Dr. Klein was giving sleeping medication to Michael Jackson. Based on our analysis, we continue to strongly believe in Dr. Klein's lack of culpability in this matter."

On CNN's "LARRY KING LIVE," Dr. Klein discussed the dangers of propofol, also known as Diprivan, the powerful the coroner's preliminary report shows Jackson overdosed on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")

DR. ARNIE KLEIN, LONGTIME MICHAEL JACKSON DERMATOLOGIST: I knew at one point that he was using Diprivan when he was on tour in Germany. And, so, he was using it with an anesthesiologist to go to sleep at night. And I told him he was absolutely insane.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Just last week, the coroner's chief investigator was back at Dr. Klein's office serving a second subpoena. Klein's criminal attorney does not believe his client will be charged with manslaughter.

When I asked Dr. Klein's civil attorney if it's possible the dermatologist had seen Jackson within 24 hours of his death, he told me, simply, "I don't know."

(on camera): And there's more. Turns out, a few weeks after Jackson died, court records show a woman gave police a list of aliases Jackson used when he visited Dr. Klein, including the alias Omar Arnold. Court documents show detectives found a prescription at Jackson's residence in the name "Omar Arnold" prescribed by Dr. Klein. The name of the drug was not given.

(voice-over): Now, after two months of searching for answers, according to the affidavit, detectives believe "miscellaneous prescriptions from multiple doctors could have contributed to Jackson's death," and that "it cannot be determined whether the cause of death is due to the actions of a single night and/or a single doctor, or the grossly negligent treatment of several doctors over an extended period of time."

For the pop star's long list of doctors, that's more bad news.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So, Randi, of all those doctors being looked at, how many does the affidavit say that actually gave Michael Jackson propofol?

KAYE: Actually, Anderson, two doctors in all, one being Dr. Murray, the other a doctor named David Adams from Las Vegas.

The affidavit says, Dr. Murray told investigators he was in Vegas at a cosmetologist's office when Dr. Adams sedated Jackson with propofol. I spoke with Dr. Adams' lawyer by phone today, and he told me -- quote -- "My client did not administer propofol to Michael Jackson in a cosmetologist's office."

Well, I pressed him about whether or not his client ever gave Jackson that drug anywhere at all, not just in that office, and he would not say, nor would he say if his client has been questioned by police.

So, Anderson, just add Dr. Adams to the list of doctors who may or may not have contributed to Michael Jackson's addiction and death.

COOPER: And, of course, there are reports from years ago that Dr. Gupta followed up on, that you reported on, about other doctors going on tour with Michael Jackson and giving him propofol while Jackson was on tour for -- for days at a time -- so, a lot more to be discovered.

Up next, more on Jackson's drug use, reputed drug habit, and chronic pain. We will speak with a pain specialist and anesthesiologist who was asked to consult on the case.

Also, 360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta on that scary swine flu report. Do the numbers check out, possibly 90,000 deaths in America? Who should be vaccinated? And will the bug roar back before a vaccine can stop it? Dr. Sanjay Gupta answers your questions.

And, late, Kate Gosselin opening up tonight on "LARRY KING LIVE" in an exclusive interview about her marriage collapsing -- her thoughts now about her husband, Jon.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: More now on what went into Michael Jackson's body on the day he died, what he might have been taking prior, and who got him the drugs in question.

Dr. Conrad Murray says he gave Jackson Valium, then two other more powerful chemical cousins, on the morning in question. Then he administered anesthetic propofol. He says he gave a smaller-than- usual dose. But, somehow, Jackson ended up with what the coroner calls a lethal amount in his body. And, as Randi Kaye reports, there were other drugs found nearby and other doctors named in a court document. It raises a lot of questions.

Let's dig deeper now with anesthesiologist and pain medicine and addiction medicine signature specialist Dr. Jayson Hymes, who declined an offer to consult on Michael Jackson's pain problems.

Tell about that. How did that come to pass?

DR. JAYSON HYMES, ANESTHESIOLOGIST AND PAIN MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST: A number of years back, I was called to see if I would be interested in working with this gentleman's pain problems.

And I had known one or more of the physicians involved in his care. And I decided that it was probably not in my best interests to get involved.

COOPER: Why -- you know, I have heard from a lot of doctors who say it's hard for celebrities to get good quality medicine. Why -- why is that? I mean, is it just because they're -- they're demanding and they're demanding; they think they should get special treatment?

HYMES: You know, celebrity medicine is different in many ways than regular medicine.

And celebrity patients, whether they be entertainment industry, or politicians, or captains of industry, tend to not get such good care, because, in many ways, the people that care for them may be placed in ethical situations that you -- your care or my care might not ordinarily be.

You know, many of these...

COOPER: Because they -- what, they get sort of sucked into the world of the celebrity and want to be kind of part of that world?

HYMES: Sucked in is a very, very reasonable way of looking at it.

No one goes out necessarily with the concept that I'm going to start giving people things that I know better than to give them. But, in fact, they become your patients, and you're somehow now involved in a world that you wouldn't ordinarily see, and you're asked to make a decision or do something that you might not ordinarily do, and then another, and then another.

And these people are demanding. And, if you don't give them what they want, you know that they will get it from someone else. And, somehow, of course, you think that, well, if I do it, I can keep a lid on the situation.

And, in reality, you get sucked in, like anyone else would.

COOPER: And -- and here's this Dr. Conrad Murray, who had financial problems of his own, who is suddenly getting $150,000 a month from this patient to be this guy's only doctor.

What do you make of a cardiologist suddenly, you know, giving drugs that an anesthesiologist in a hospital would normally give, and -- and weaning somebody off addiction -- you know, off an addiction? Was he qualified to do any of this?

HYMES: Was he qualified to do any of this?

You know, my personal opinion is probably not. You know, practicing in Los Angeles, as I do, you know, it is not uncommon where I would see someone brought in from out of town that lands in the middle of a bad situation and tries to come up to speed, is way over their head, has no one to call, and, suddenly, things go south very, very quickly.

And, so, here you have someone that I -- I don't know -- I don't know what his qualifications are, but, from what I have heard, he's a cardiologist -- is asked to administer anesthesia in a non-anesthesia- based setting, giving drugs he probably had only read about and certainly never used, dealing with someone that has problems that he's unfamiliar with, addiction...

COOPER: Yes.

HYMES: ... or substance abuse issues and pain problems.

And they're running around trying to do these things, trying to do the right thing. And they not only can't keep up, but they're unable to really fathom the depth of the problem.

COOPER: Until it's too late.

Dr. Jayson Hymes, I appreciate your expertise tonight. Thank you very much.

HYMES: It's my pleasure.

COOPER: Still ahead tonight: singer Chris Brown's sentence for beating his pop star girlfriend Rihanna. Did he get off too easy, though? We will let you decide when you hear the sentence.

And the new warnings about swine flu, dire warnings that as many as 90,000 of us Americans could die this flu season. Dr. Sanjay Gupta answers your questions -- tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Some 90,000 Americans could die from the swine flu this fall and winter. 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta joins us to talk about how to protect your family.

But, first, Erica Hill has a 360 news and business bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a chaotic scene tonight at a health care town hall being held in Reston, Virginia. Democratic Congressman James Moran invited former Vermont Governor and Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean, who's also a medical doctor, to field questions from constituents.

Not exactly invited to the event was Terry Randall (sic), who is founder of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a sick person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howard Dean is a baby-killer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a sick person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howard Dean is a baby-killer. Abortion is murder. And Howard Dean is a baby killer. Howard Dean is a baby- killer. Abortion is murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take him out. Take him out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howard Dean is a baby-killer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get him out. Get him out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howard Dean is a baby killer. Abortion is murder.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Randall Terry was eventually escorted out by police. The meeting continued as planned.

Nearly 40 people killed, up to 80 wounded, when a tanker truck full of explosives blew up in front of a construction company in Kandahar, Afghanistan, tonight. The head of the provincial council says the blast was so intense, windows in homes more than half-a-mile away were shattered.

And, in southern Afghanistan today, four U.S. service members were killed when a roadside bomb exploded.

President Obama taking a break from his Martha's Vineyard vacation this morning to nominate Fed Chair Ben Bernanke to serve another four-year term. He credits Bernanke with helping to end the economic freefall in the financial system.

And, just north of Atlanta, in Alpharetta, Georgia, some just- released dramatic dash-cam video of a high-speed chase. Check this out. Police say it happened on Sunday. At one point, the driver of the stolen SUV tries to get away from police by -- there you see it -- jumping out of the vehicle, passenger still inside, car still moving.

The SUV crashes, you can see there. Both people were arrested.

COOPER: Unbelievable. Crazy.

All right. Coming up: He's the pop singer who, back in February, became a poster child for domestic abuse. And, today, Chris Brown learned his fate for assaulting his then girlfriend, Rihanna. The 20-year-old Brown was sentenced by a judge in Los Angeles to five years of probation. In addition, he will have to serve 1,400 hours of what the court called labor-oriented service.

Brown was also ordered to stay away from Rihanna. He was given a warning from the bench. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: Remember, even though you have probation, this is a felony. And it does come with the potential of state prison, if you should violate, in any way, the terms and conditions of this probation or pick up any new case. Do you understand that? I just want to make myself perfectly clear.

CHRIS BROWN, DEFENDANT: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Brown punched Rihanna in the face, bit her, shoved her head against a car door window, and threatened to kill her.

As, we also learned today, this was not the first time he brutalized her.

So, the question tonight, is this justice?

Lisa Bloom is a legal analyst for CNN. She joins me now.

Lisa, what do you make of it? Was this too lenient?

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know what's sad about this, Anderson, is, this is right in keeping with what first-time domestic violence offenders typically get here in California.

I mean, we're all shocked and outraged -- or most people are -- I think, to hear that this kind of violent act gets off with no prison time. But this is exactly what non-celebrities get. He's a first- time offender. He doesn't have a criminal history. We learned today, as you say, that there were two prior incidents. But they were both outside the country, and Rihanna did not report them to law enforcement.

So, as far as the court looks at it, he's a first-time offender. He gets probation. He got a pretty serious amount of community service, six months of physical labor. Other than that, he's off scot-free.

COOPER: But -- but, I mean, even though he has these two previous domestic violence incidents, I mean, does -- just because it was out of the country and it wasn't reported, that doesn't play a role? BLOOM: Well, you're right. You used the word incidents. They were incidents, apparently admitted to him -- by him to the probation officer. But they're not offenses. They're criminal convictions. They're incidents that I assume Rihanna discussed with a probation officer and Chris Brown discussed with a probation officer.

In one of them, the probation officer says that she slapped him in Europe. He shoved her against the wall. And the second one, they had an altercation in Barbados, and he punched the car windows so hard that he broke two car windows. In both of those incidents, Rihanna was not harmed, according to the report.

COOPER: Right.

BLOOM: But, from the point of view of the law, they're not criminal convictions, so they really don't count.

COOPER: We're also learning more about these details about when Rihanna was assaulted in Los Angeles. A report says that her injuries were inflicted by a large ring on Brown's hand which he used to punch her. And you can see the cuts and the bruises in this picture obtained from TMZ.

What is the message that -- that folks are left with now that -- that Brown's been sentenced, do you think?

BLOOM: You know, and every time I see that picture, it just makes me remember how awful it was to see it the first time. I mean, this poor woman was really brutalized. And the damage to her career, she had to cancel a lot of appearances. She was out of the limelight for a long period of time, for several months.

What kind of message does it send? I think it sends a terrible message. You know, in studies, Anderson, young women, many of them, feel that Rihanna brought this on herself, even though there's no evidence of that at all. They had a verbal argument, which he alone escalated to physical violence, physical violence which included choking her to the point where she nearly lost consciousness, according to the police report.

And he's pled guilty to that. So, I -- I think this sends a terrible message. It doesn't get any prison time. But it's just the same message that all of the batterers get when they don't get prison time either.

COOPER: Well, we will see what happens to his career now, as well as hers.

Lisa Bloom, appreciate it. Thanks.

BLOOM: Thank you.

COOPER: If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, there is help. You can go to AC360.com for a list of resources.

Also, you can join the live chat right now at AC360.com.

Next: terrifying worst-case scenario for the swine flu -- the grim report from a presidential advisory board, warning half the country could be infected, and the death toll could reach 90,000 -- the latest ahead.

And, later, Kate from "Jon & Kate Plus 8" -- her exclusive interview tonight with CNN, the divorce, the children, her future -- Kate Gosselin in her own words in a few moments.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight, we're digging deeper on that sobering new report showing just how deadly swine flu could be once it kicks in full force. A presidential advisory panel says the country may be -- and we stress, may be -- heading for catastrophe. Take a look at this.

The swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, has claimed at least 522 lives in the U.S. so far. Nearly 8,000 people have been hospitalized, and some 1 million Americans have been infected by the virus. That's according to the CDC.

Now, here's what could possibly happen next. The advisory panel says up to 90,000 people, mostly children and adults, could die from the swine flu this fall and winter. That's more than double the deaths in an average flu season.

It also warns that as many as 1.8 million Americans may be hospitalized and says the virus could infect up to half the U.S. population this fall and winter, roughly 150 million people.

Now, we want to stress these numbers are a worst-case scenario. The toll could also be much smaller. The question is, how worried should you and your family be?

Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now.

Sanjay, I've got to believe -- these numbers are frightening. As much as half the U.S. population affected, 90,000 deaths. How seriously do you take this?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, there are pretty good models to try and predict this sort of thing. And in some ways, it may be better news than we think.

If you think about -- you know, sort of figure out the number of deaths with respect to the number of people infected, it says that the mortality, the likelihood of death, is actually still pretty small, Anderson.

And the number that you and I have talked about, that's worth repeating, is the seasonal flu, the regular flu that we think about, often causes about 36,000 deaths a year.

Having said that, there are things about this that really are a little bit alarming. The way we fight off viruses is, if we've seen the virus before, if our virus have seen the virus before, we're better at fighting it. With H1N1, it is novel. It is new, which means we're not very good at fighting this particular virus. That's a concern.

COOPER: The report, though, says that this H1N1 virus may peak earlier than thought. Is the vaccine going to be ready?

GUPTA: No, this is something we've been investigating, really trying to look into this.

You know, first, we heard that the vaccine would likely be available, sort of mid-October. But that would be the first shot of two shots. So what we're hearing from this presidential advisory committee is that it would be great to try and get this vaccine available sooner.

I don't know how they do that, frankly. You know, you have to obviously test these for safety. They're just trying to expedite that whole process.

COOPER: We've got a couple of viewer questions submitted on the AC360 blog. I just want to read them to you and ask you about them.

Teresa would like to know, "How are you planning on protecting your own children, Dr. Gupta?"

GUPTA: We follow typical vaccine schedules for our children. I have a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old. So my youngest might be a little bit young for the vaccine. But we will probably plan on getting the vaccine for our two older children.

Anderson, it's worth pointing out that there's been some back and forth regarding the utility of school closings. The official line from health and human services is, you know, the -- the schools probably won't be closed. It may not make that big a difference.

And they stay stick to routine. Routine that you and I always talked about. Hygiene, washing your hands. All the sort of things to try and curb the spread of the virus from one person to the next.

COOPER: Sanjay, Kim asks, "How long does the vaccination take to be preventive of the virus?"

GUPTA: The thing about this particular -- this particular vaccine is it's going to be two shots. So in between the first shot and the second shot will probably be about three weeks. So say you get the first shot in mid-October. You probably wouldn't get the second shot until sort of the beginning of November. And it will probably be two or three weeks after that.

So you know, you're talking about a period of time. It's not instantaneous.

COOPER: Here's a question from Tish. She says, "I've heard that people specifically over the age of 50 may be less likely to become ill with the H1N1 flu. If so, should my mom, who's 78 and lives in an assisted living facility, be vaccinated?"

GUPTA: Anderson, it's my guess that at some point way back there's some variant of this H1N1 swine flu circulated around, and people who are older saw that virus. Their bodies saw it. So they have a little bit of protection against that. And that's probably why they're not, these older people are not as affected by it.

So for the 78-year-old grandmother, I'd get the seasonal flu vaccine first.

COOPER: Good advice. Sanjay Gupta, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

GUPTA: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Safeguarding against the swine flu. A topic has come up at some of those contentious health-care town-hall meetings. Tonight, we saw how chaotic they can sometimes get. We showed you that Howard Dean meeting just a short time ago. Many people want to be heard, including, as you'll see, President Obama's great-uncle.

Dana Bash has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ralph Dunham isn't your average 92-year-old heading to a health-care town hall. In fact, you could call him special. He's President Obama's great-uncle.

RALPH DUNHAM, OBAMA'S GREAT-UNCLE: He's my brother's grandson.

BASH (on camera): So he's your great nephew?

DUNHAM: He's my -- yes, he's my great-nephew.

BASH (voice-over): On this day, he's just looking for information on his nephew's health-care plan.

(on camera) Do you feel like you have a good grasp of what's in the plans for overhauling health care?

DUNHAM: No, I don't, because the thing's over 1,000 pages long.

BASH: Do you feel confused by it?

DUNHAM: I don't really know very much about it. I don't know whether to be confused or not.

BASH (voice-over): Dunham says he has a good relationship with the president, who lives 11 miles away in the White House, but hasn't spoken to his nephew since he took office.

(on camera) He's got a pretty good grassroots operator in you.

DUNHAM: Yes.

BASH: You think -- you think maybe he should call you and say, "Help me get the word out, Uncle?"

DUNHAM: Well, I don't know about that. But he's been pretty busy lately.

BASH (voice-over): So Dunham came to this forum.

DUNHAM: I'm hoping to get some information just like everyone else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This generation is kind of afraid of what's coming next.

BASH: Unlike many of his friends here, expressing fear that proposed cults in Medicare to pay for reform, jeopardizes their benefits, Dunham worries more about his uninsured son, the president's cousin.

DUNHAM: If something should happen to him, we could either let him die or go broke. That would be our choice.

BASH: That's why, though Dunham's in the dark about details, he's fiercely supportive of his nephew's quest to expand health coverage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Health care is a right, not a privilege.

BASH: Here, he learned a bit more about the proposal but says the spirited meeting also taught him his nephew must do a better job communicating.

DUNHAM: He's going to have to talk to the general public about it and reassure them about it.

BASH (on camera): A White House spokesman says not everybody in the president's family should be expected to know the details of his health-care plan.

As for Dunham, he never ended up asking a question at this town hall. He simply listened to the presentations from his congressman and others. And he did tell us afterwards it helped him better understand the health-care plans moving through Congress.

He also said he believes the president, his nephew, will ultimately be successful in what he call also this life-or-death cause.

Dana Bash, CNN, Springfield, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, four years after Hurricane Katrina, four years after a shooting on this bridge what really happened in the chaos of the storm? Did police act as heroes in this particular case? Or was there some sort of a cover-up? We'll look at that in a moment.

And a serial bank robber on the loose, making no attempt to hide his identity. What are police doing to catch this armed invader? That story, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: It was the storm that destroyed lives and nearly drowned a city. It made landfall four years ago this Saturday. Hurricane Katrina.

We've been back to New Orleans a lot since 2005. We're going to return again this Thursday and Friday to report on the pain and the progress.

Tonight, an update on a violent death in the chaotic days after Katrina. You may remember the incident. Police opened fire on a bridge. Two people killed, one of them a mentally-disabled man. The question is, was it self-defense or not?

"Keeping Them Honest," here's Drew Griffin with new developments in a disturbing case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four years after the storm, a mystery remains on the shootings on the Danziger Bridge. But everyone does agree on one point: that first Sunday after the hurricane, police shot and killed a 40-year-old mentally handicapped man.

The question: was it justified? Ronald Madison says there is only one answer.

(on camera) You believe police, New Orleans police, murdered your brother?

RONALD MADISON, BROTHER OF VICTIM: Yes, I do.

GRIFFIN: And then covered it up?

MADISON: Yes.

GRIFFIN: Now, four years later, armed with a search warrant, the FBI and other federal law enforcement officials, descended on the New Orleans Police Department. Seizing records, investigative files, evidence Ronald Madison believes will prove a police cover-up.

It was in the chaos engulfing New Orleans that Lance Madison and his mentally handicapped brother Ronald, fleeing floodwaters, ran head on into what's become known as the Danziger Bridge killings.

MADISON: My brother was shot about right over here. Right here. And we kept running up the bridge here, trying to go zigzag so they wouldn't hit us.

GRIFFIN: Crossing the bridge, they suddenly found themselves being shot at by armed men dressed in T-shirts driving a postal truck. What they didn't know was the armed men were actually police who thought they were coming to the rescue. There had been a frantic radio call that Sunday morning. It was reporting police under fire, contractors being shot at on this bridge.

(on camera) It turns out it was all just one big mistake in the chaos after Katrina. Some would say it was based on lies. There were no contractors under fire on this bridge. Police never found anybody with a gun.

(voice-over) What they did find was a man running away from them, down this bridge. They chased him, shot him, and killed him. Two people were killed that day. Ronald Madison was one of them. Another four were wounded.

The seven police officers involved have always said the shooting was justified. And the New Orleans Police Department, which investigated itself, agreed. The civil rights division of the Department of Justice is now trying to figure out precisely what happened on the bridge.

And as Tulane University criminology professor Peter Scharf points out, it is now the New Orleans police investigation itself that is being investigated.

PETER SCHARF, TULANE UNIVERSITY: The more critical question is not the seven guys on the bridge, but can this police department investigate itself?

GRIFFIN: Police say they fired in self-defense when Madison reached for his waist and turned on them. But over the past four years, CNN has been uncovering details that raise doubts.

An autopsy, revealing Madison was shot in the back. Lack of any evidence Madison was ever armed. And finding a witness who says he saw officers line up and gun down a man running away.

KASIMIR GASTON, WITNESS TO SHOOTING: Would arm motion moving and...

GRIFFIN (on camera): And then how did he fall?

GASTON: He just fell, like, like he was collapsing, like, like he was collapsing. Like something had just, like, wiped him out.

GRIFFIN: You didn't see any gun on him?

GASTON: I didn't see any on him.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Seven police officers cheered as heroes by their colleagues were indicted for the murder and attempted murder of Ronald Madison. But the case was thrown out on a technicality. And six of the officers are now back on the street.

(on camera) You believe these officers did nothing wrong, that there was no crime or even misconduct on that bridge?

MIKE GLASSER, POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NEW ORLEANS: None whatsoever. We're confident that these officers acted appropriately, in fact heroically. We're certain that this investigation will have the same conclusion as the last one. That they did, in fact, act appropriately and heroically.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Ronald Madison says in the aftermath of Katrina, the police force did what it wanted.

(on camera) Of all the victims of Hurricane Katrina, your brother among them, was justice and the rule of law also a victim in this town?

MADISON: Yes, they were just as badly wounded as my brother was. Because it just doesn't exist.

GRIFFIN: The federal Justice Department wouldn't comment for this story, wouldn't comment for this story, wouldn't confirm that they're investigating the possibility of a cover-up by the New Orleans police.

What the Justice Department is promising is a thorough review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the shootings on the Danziger Bridge.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And a reminder, we're going to be in New Orleans Thursday and Friday reporting on the recovery efforts four years since the storm.

There are a lot of organizations continuing to help storm victims. You can go to AC360.com to find out how you can help make a difference.

COOPER: Another programming note: the guy who stuck in the home of Burma's pro-democracy leader, Aung Sun Suu Kyi, is telling his story to CNN. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the same time, the heart-wrenching knowledge that this experience had brought Aung Sun Suu Kyi and the trial, I've wept every day and I've suffered every day. It's not about her. It's certainly not about some unfit fellow going through the water. It's about stopping the killings. And that's what was from day one, because my message was why isn't anyone stopping the killings?

And this has been her message of peace. And so what I believe has happened is -- it's not me. I didn't save Aung Sun Suu Kyi. That was you guys. The whole world has taken an interest. And because everybody -- this is so how high-profile the junta dare not orchestrate this legal assassination plot.

(END VIDEO CLIP COOPER: This the guy who broke into her house, and resulted in her being resister resulted in her being arrested and now sent to prison. It's fascinating to see his take on this. Watch the full interview tomorrow on "American Morning."

Coming up next, a reality star unplugged. Kate Gosselin on her marriage, her kids and why she called the police to her house, in her own words.

Later, a new X-rated show that's not opened in New York, and it's free. Check out this hotel where guests are literally putting on a performance as families are walking underneath in a new park. Erica Hill actually has some personal information about this. That's our "Shot of the Day." We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Millions of people tune in every week to watch "Jon & Kate Plus 8," which is one of the most popular reality shows on TV.

But as many people know, the Gosselins has been torn apart by ugly rumors, now a divorce. Kate and Jon are living apart now.

So what was behind the break-up? And what do they tell their kids? In an exclusive interview, Kate Gosselin talked to Larry King tonight. Here's some of what I had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR: They're doing remarkably well. This has opened up a lot of discussions between them and myself. A lot of questions come my way. And we're dealing with it. They're doing very well, considering.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Do you take any responsibility?

GOSSELIN: Everyone who is in a divorce or has been is responsible to a degree.

KING: Police came to your home.

GOSSELIN: Well, No. 1, the tabloid and the whole media mess always makes it worse than it is. Remember that. It actually was not this huge fight. It was just a thing where I wanted to be there with the kids. And as opposed to babysitter. And he wasn't fond of that idea.

And I just had a very rough day. I have good days and bad days. This day was a rough day. I just wanted to be with the kids if he wasn't going to be with them. And I did, I did. It was not a 911 call. It was the local routine police phone call...

KING: There was no violence?

GOSSELIN: No, no, just to meet me there. Just in case things got ugly. I didn't want them to get ugly in front of the kids. And the kids were not even around.

And I left peaceably, knowing that it's true. It was his day to be there. We bought that house for the kids. It is the kids' house. And it is the most stable, normal thing for them to remain there. And I do live there with them. And he does when he has the kids.

KING: And you go where?

GOSSELIN: Elsewhere.

KING: I mean, for days?

GOSSELIN: I do. I have to. It's the hardest part of all this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: All right. Let's check some of the other stories we're following. Erica Hill has a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, the FBI is plastering billboards with the face of a brazen bank robber. He hasn't bothered to cover himself up. In hopes the public can help catch this man.

The suspect is wanted for holding up at least ten banks in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. You can see the pictures there from the surveillance video. Well, he's been captured by those bank cameras in all four states, sneering, it appears to be, a pistol sideways, even showing off some tattoos on his forearms during the heist.

So far, he hasn't hurt anyone during the robberies. The FBI does consider him to be extremely dangerous.

The new women's world 800 meter champion coming home to a hero's welcome in South Africa today as the controversy surrounding her gender continues to grow.

Eighteen-year-old Caster Semenya's record-breaking performances have been -- have prompted the International Association of Athletics Federation to ask for a sex determination test. Results of that test, though, won't be available for a few weeks.

And a warming for all you Jessica Biehl fans out there. Be careful what you with for.

Computer security company McAfee tells the -- calls the actress, rather, the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace. According to McAfee, one in five Internet search results for terms related to Jessica Beale will lead you to Web page, photo, video or spam, basically something bad containing a cyber security threat. She's followed by Beyonce, Jennifer Aniston.

Not a good list to be on.

HILL: Not so much. COOPER: No. Still ahead tonight, "The Shot," unobstructed views in the middle of Manhattan. Guests in a new hotel baring it all for sightseers passing by. Some are calling it New York's own "Wild Kingdom." We'll show you all the bits and pieces, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:

COOPER: Alrighty then. So for tonight's "Shot," this is kind of the only in New York kind of story. In a brand-new spanking hotel -- emphasis on spanking -- the Standard Hotel, very cool-looking hotel, straddles a new pedestrian park called the High Line, which is really an amazingly beautiful and cool space which draws thousands of visitors, Erica Hill among them.

But what no one guessed would happen is that certain guests in the hotel are putting on, well, shows, by taking off their clothes.

HILL: Oh, yes, they are.

COOPER: See, there's -- these two dancing naked women aren't the only ones baring it all for the people down below. It seems many guests are stripping in front of the windows. Then there's also, like, this guy. Apparently, has no problem letting his bait and tackle hanging out there.

(SOUND EFFECT: WOLF WHISTLE)

COOPER: Where did that come from?

HILL: I don't know. It's a good sound effect.

COOPER: We've got these pictures from "The New York Post," which by the way, reported people looking up and seeing a porno film being filmed in one of the rooms.

And Erica, you actually have an experience with this?

HILL: You know, we were down at the High Line with some friends, with the kids. We had had brunch.

COOPER: And the High Line is amazing. It's the coolest thing New York's done, and everyone should go to it.

HILL: It's a fantastic park. They turned this old elevated railway into this beautiful park.

So we're walking by. And my husband's a little bit ahead of everybody. And he's just stopped, looking up. And we all said, "Dave, what's going on?"

He said, "Two windows in, three up." And we all just stood there with our mouths agape because there were two people clearly having a very good time with the blinds open on a Sunday afternoon. We covered the kid's eyes. COOPER: All right. Well, anyway, the High Line is great. You should go.

Coming up at the top of the hour, Dick Cheney says harsh interrogation tactics, what many call torture, kept America safe. He said newly-released evidence supports it. But does it really? Finding the facts, "Keeping Them Honest." We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight, we've got more new information in the Michael Jackson death investigation. New signs that Dr. Conrad Murray isn't alone. It now appears that this man on the right, Arnie Klein, Michael Jackson's former dermatologist, may be a major part of the investigation. And so could five other doctors.

Randi Kaye is working the story. She joins us shortly with what she's finding.

First, though, our top story. Another salvo fired at President Obama by none other than former vice president, Dick Cheney. In response to news the Justice Department is investigating actions taken by CIA interrogators, Mr. Cheney's accused the president of playing politics and threatening our safety.

The investigation, he says, serves, and I quote, "as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this administration's ability to be responsible for our nation's security."

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