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Single Parent vs. U.S. Soldier: Who Watches the Kids When You're Called to Service?; Avoid Owing Too Much at Tax Time
Aired November 17, 2009 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
T.J. HOLMES, HOST: All right, kind sir. Thank you so much, Tony. We'll see you, buddy.
Well, coming up this hour, war and a single parent. Who cares for soldiers' kids when duty calls? Well, one GI may go to jail for refusing to go to Afghanistan and leave her baby behind.
Also, too young for mammograms. There's new advice on when to start looking for breast cancer. A lot of experts don't want to hear it. Millions of American women don't want to hear it either. We'll gauge the risks and the benefits.
Also, we're tracking allegations of racism in a rural California sheriff's department. Well, who's making the allegations? Former and current officers.
But we do want to start this hour, though, any working parent, of course, can relate. Job pressures take a toll on what's happening at home. Responsibilities at home infringe on the job.
But if your job is the military and your country's at war, home, family, and just about everything else has to come second. Well, when it's time to ship out, you ship out, and you ship the kids off to whoever will take the little rascals, whoever you trust, really, when you're away from home.
But what if there is no one? And then you're in trouble, like 21-year-old Army Specialist Alexis Hutchinson, at Hunter Army Airfield here in Georgia. That's where she's based. She has a 10-month-old son you see there who thought -- who she thought would stay with her mom while she deployed to Afghanistan November 5, but Hutchinson's mother in California has other family members who depend on her, as well, including a special needs daughter, and she runs a day care center at her house.
So Hutchinson stayed behind when her unit shipped out. She had to stay with her baby, she said. She was promptly, though, arrested, now confined to the base while the Army contemplates charges. The 10- month-old, her son, Kamani, is staying with his grandmother in California for the time being.
So single parents, active soldiers, exactly how many out there? From the 3.5 million men and women in the United States military, take a look, a little over 5 percent are single parents on active duty. More than 8 percent of reservists or guard members are also single parents. Now before the Army sends single parents to war, they have to fill out a form. I have it here. It's called a DA-5305. It's called a Family Care Plan. Pretty much like a contract. It has a lot of stuff to take a look at. There's a lot of stuff you have to sign off on.
It says, in part, "If arrangements for care of my family members fails to work, I am not automatically excused from prescribed duties." It also says unit commanders will provide the soldier a reasonable period of time to attempt to rework a family care plan. A soldier will be afforded at least 30 days to correct deficiencies in a plan, unless a shorter period is specified by the unit commander. So, those are the regs. Let's talk about real life now.
I want to bring in Meredith Leyva. She's a military spouse who founded the Web site Sinkhouse.com, wrote the book "Married to the Military," joins me now from Phoenix.
Ma'am, thank you so much for being here. I guess a lot of people hear the story of the soldier here in Georgia, and their hearts go out to her. What is she supposed to do? I know a lot of single parents out there, but it sounds like her case she had some extenuating circumstances. Do you sympathize?
MEREDITH LEYVA, AUTHOR, "MARRIED TO THE MILITARY": You know, I do sympathize, but unfortunately, I don't sympathize for her professional situation. You know, if you're a civilian, and you sign up for the night shift at the hospital as a nurse, you know, you can't turn around round and say, "Oh, sorry, I don't have anyone to care for my kids." You'd be fired.
Well, it's the same case here. And this is a professional military. These are not draftees. There are other jobs out there. And you need to think long and hard before you sign up for duty. We're facing two wars now. The likelihood of deployment is well known. She should have known better.
HOLMES: How common of a problem is this? We hear maybe a case or two out there. And, of course, there's a lot of parents out there are going through this. A lot of military, single parents are going through this. But how common of a problem is it that people do? Soldiers do have to scramble, almost last minute, trying to find someone to care for their kids?
LEYVA: They often do. Most single parents do, as well as dual- military parents. But they understand that this is part of what they signed up for. They do have plans in place, and as you can tell, the Army is working overtime here to take care of this young gal, to make sure that they do, all of these parents do have plans in place before they deploy. And they're looking out for these kids.
HOLMES: Now, Meredith, is that really the case there, in your experience? Have you seen, and in studying this and dealing with other military families and parents, do you find that the military tries -- does it really go out of its way to try to help these parents out? Of course, like we said, we have this form. It shows them exactly what the parents have to do. But does the military really go out of its way to try to help out? And certainly, they don't want to set a precedent. I mean, they don't want other people just to maybe not try as hard, if you will, to try to find someone to take care of their kids.
LEYVA: Well, that's exactly the risk. And, yes, they do go out of their way.
What civilian employer gives -- you know, has this family care plan months in advance of a deployment? Walks you through the process, then gives you 30 days, you know, to clarify things to make sure that your own child is being cared for? Civilian employers don't do this. Yet the Army, the military, does it as a whole, in order to make sure those children are cared for.
But the risk is, certainly, that if you let Alexis go, as bad as her case may be, how many other single parents would say, "Oh, sorry, can't find a caregiver?" How many dual, you know, service members?
This is the commitment you sign up for in the military. These are professionals. They need to be professional about it.
HOLMES: Last thing: do you think any kind of an adjustment needs to be made to the policy, to the way the military looks at this? And in the case of a Ms. Hutchinson here, Specialist Hutchinson, what are her options? They even mentioned foster care possibly to put the child in. Is that really the best route to go if she really doesn't have anybody to take care of the child?
LEYVA: Well, foster care is -- I think, is an extreme and unusual situation. I've seen families, neighbors, friends in the community look out for other service -- the kids of other service members in their units during the deployment or in other unusual situations. There are many people in the community who would be happy to help out, but you have to be able to reach out. Those are extreme cases.
But, again, this is a professional situation. If Alexis doesn't go, if all these single parents and dual-military parents don't go to war, because that's what we're committed to right now, then who is going to fill their shoes? We'll be that much more short-handed and so on. Again, this is the commitment they signed up to.
HOLMES: And like you say, we are at a time. We are battling on two different fronts, two different wars right now. So Meredith Leyva, we appreciate you taking the time out for us. Thank you so much. Enjoy the rest of your day.
LEYVA: Thank you, T.J.
HOLMES: All right. Well, combat stress and trauma will almost make 2009 a record year for suicides in the U.S. Army, the fifth record year in a row. The Army announced this morning that 140 active-duty soldiers are believed to have taken their lives so far this year. That's the same number as all of 2008.
But the general in charge of a ramped-up suicide prevention campaign says the numbers since March are trending down. He says the soldiers' mental well-being is a priority like never before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. PETER CHIARELLI, U.S. ARMY VICE CHIEF OF STAFF: The biggest step that we have taken to enhance wellness in the entire force through prevention, rather than treatment, is the Army's new comprehensive soldier fitness program. It is an investment in the readiness of our force that gives the same emphasis to psychological, emotional, and mental strength that we have previously given to physical strength.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Some of those figures you just heard don't include ex- military. The V.A. estimates that veteran suicides add up to about 6,500 a year. That's about 18 every single day.
Well, let's turn to the president now. And climate change, clean energy, nukes, trade, human rights, all topics President Obama and Chinese president Hu Jintao have been talking about in Beijing. President Obama says both nations benefit from their relationship, despite the differences, because China has been helping out in the U.S. recession.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As President Hu indicated, we discussed what's required to sustain this economic recovery so that economic growth is followed by the creation of new jobs and a lasting prosperity. So far China's partnership has proved critical in our of the to pull ourselves out of the worst recession in generations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, the U.S. and China, a complex relationship to say the least, and it's tops in a new CNN/Opinion Research poll. Most Americans who responded agree that China is an economic threat, more than 70 percent saying yes. A military threat, though, not so much. Barely half of the respondents think so, with a margin of error of about 4.5 points.
The president's next stop, his last stop in Asia, is Seoul. He'll meet with South Korea's president and speak to U.S. troops at the Osan Air Base. He comes back to the U.S. on Friday.
Well, is it time to question everything you thought you knew about breast cancer prevention? One group says yes. Another big group says, "huh-uh." So, where does that leave you?
HOLMES: All right. Well, 22 guns and camouflage, a wife, eight kids. It's kind of like the Waltons, but with more firepower.
HOLMES: All right. Taking everything you thought you knew about preventing breast cancer, just tossing it out. That's what a lot of people feel like. We're not to that point just yet, however. But some new medical recommendations could dramatically shift the way women think about mammograms. Beginning a whole lot of debate.
And, Elizabeth, a whole lot of confusion. People are just confused right now. Who are you supposed to believe? We're told this group is legit, but they're telling us to do something that's against everything we've been taught for the past decades, it seems, almost.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Let's take a look at exactly who this group is and what they are recommending.
COHEN: This is the U.S. Preventive Services Task force. They are part of the government. And they say when you should get your mammogram, when you should get a colonoscopy, when you should get all sorts of screening things. So what they have come out with just this week, yesterday, saying is that the task force recommends against routine screening mammography in women ages 40 to 49 years.
The way it works now, and I know, as a woman in your 40s, you go for your annual gyn visit, and the gynecologist says, "All right. Go. Go forth; go get your screening." They're saying that that is a bad idea. That instead, the doctor should go over the pluses and minuses of mammography.
As T.J. alluded, everyone and their brother seems to think this is a bad idea, starting off with the American Cancer Society. What the American Cancer Society says is, "With its new recommendations the task force is essentially telling women that mammography at 40 to 49 saves lives, just not enough of them."
Various groups have come out against this task force recommendation, including, as we just saw, the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Susan G. Komen Group and the Patient Advocate Foundation. So plenty of people are saying they're wrong. But what this group is trying to say is, yes, it may save lives, but is it enough, considering that mammograms have a downside?
HOLMES: The downside, I know a lot of women would disagree and say, "Isn't it just better to be safe than sorry?" You know, the risks versus the benefits. If you save some lives, you save one life, you save two, that's worth it to let the women still get tested in their 40s.
And how many are we talking about anyway in their 40s who do find out they have cancer? COHEN: OK. We're talking about a lot of women in their 40s get diagnosed with cancer. And what's interesting is that 15 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in their 40s, 15 percent of them found out through a mammogram, so -- which sort of gives you another pause. And you think, "Wow, if 15 percent of women in their 40s found out through a mammogram, you know, that's -- that's a lot of lives."
HOLMES: OK. So they're saying it can be harmful. Again, a risk versus the benefit.
HOLMES: They're saying some of the risks here are associated with getting a mammogram. What is the downside? Why wouldn't you want to get a mammogram?
COHEN: One of the downsides is when you get a mammogram, they may find something that isn't really cancer. And then you worry, and you miss work, and your family worries. And you have to go get a biopsy, and you have to get that read. There are false positives with mammograms.
So, what this group is trying to say is that, given those false positives, and given the costs of doing mammograms, and given the small amount of radiation, they're questioning, is it worth women in their 40s getting mammograms?
Again, this group thinks it's not necessarily worth it, that a doctor and a patient should talk about it first. Other groups say, no, this is a no-brainer. Starting at age 40, you should just go have the annual mammogram.
HOLMES: We can go back and forth all day with this, but I want to get to one viewer question. We did ask people out there to send them in, and we have one from, I think, Kawynn. Hope I got the name right here. But says, "Can you clarify" -- and this is an interesting question. We got this whole health care debate going on, but asking, "Can you clarify whether these new guidelines have anything to do with the current health-care debate?"
COHEN: In a big picture way, yes, but in an absolute way, what's happening now way, no. The health-care reform is sort of happening over here. This task force group is doing its work over here. They're two separate processes.
However, I think what's interesting is that I think that this probably isn't good news for the people who want health-care reform, because this looks like the government is telling you what to do. This looks like the government is telling women in their 40s, "Nah, don't go get your mammogram," when, in fact, this is really two separate groups.
An remember, this task force doesn't tell you what to do. If you want a mammogram in your 40s, go ahead and get one. Your insurance might not pay for it... HOLMES: Yes.
COHEN: ... because of what this group did, but you can still go ahead and get a mammogram. But that's a whole other discussion.
HOLMES: That's a whole other -- they're telling me to wrap, and then we've got to wrap it up with me. But this story is just something else. It has a lot of people talking.
COHEN: That's right. Thanks.
HOLMES: Thank you so much. We'll talk to you again soon, for sure.
Again, The American Cancer Society says the task force is sending the wrong message here. They oppose the new guidelines about mammograms right now. And earlier chief medical officer Otis Brawley told us why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OTIS BRAWLEY, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: The task force did find that screening women in their 40s does save lives. It reduces the relative risk of death by 15 percent.
They went on to do some calculations, calculations which by the way, we disagree with, and estimate that you have to screen 1,900 women in their 40s to save one life and 1,340 women in their 50s to save one life. It leads me to say, what's the number between 1,340 and 1,900 in which mammography screening is no longer beneficial and no longer useful and should not be recommended?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: So exactly what is this the U.S. Preventive Task Force? How does it affect your health care?
Well, it falls under the Department of Health and Human Services, and according to its Web site, it's made up of independent doctors. These doctors take a closer look at the benefits of different medical services, and they do make recommendations.
Just how important are their recommendations? Well, they are actually considered a gold standard. Medical societies, medical schools, they do use the task force printed guide.
Not going to leave it right there, folks. Going to be talking about this some more. We're going to take it to the task force. Going to be asking them in a bit if they're trying to rewrite the book on women's health, and what's really behind this?
HOLMES: To some of our top stories this afternoon.
The woman accused in Elizabeth Smart's kidnapping has pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal. Wanda Eileen Barzee and her then- husband, Brian David Mitchell, are accused of kidnapping Smart from her family's home seven years ago and holding her for nine months. Not clear if Barzee will get a reduced sentence as part of that plea deal.
To Missouri now, where more than a dozen new charges against 77- year-old Burrell Mohler and his four adult sons in a sex-abuse case involving children. They're all in court today for arraignment on the original charges. They're accused of sexually abusing relatives who were all children at the time. Mohler's 72-year-old brother also in charge -- being charged in this case. He's in custody in Florida.
And just a strange story out about suburban Atlanta. High school teacher accused of trying to have one of his students killed. The teacher says it was a joke. Police not laughing. Randolph Forde, you see there, accused of trying to persuade another student to kill a 16- year-old boy. Said he held up a piece of paper with the boy's name on it that said he had a hit on that kid. Forde now faces charges of making terroristic threats.
Well, past-due mortgage payments hit another high in the third quarter. Transunion says six and a half -- or six and a quarter percent of mortgages were 60 days or more past due. That's a record.
The silver lining here: Transunion also found the pace of delinquent mortgages has slowed down. They haven't been growing by leaps and bounds like they had been. The company doesn't expect that six and a quarter percent figure to drop until the middle of next year.
So, when it comes to taxes, not always cut and dry. And now a new report says that a lot of people end up owing the IRS more money than they expected.
Ah, can't wait to hear you spin this one, Susan Lisovicz. I can't wait to hear this one! Yes, you can put a silver lining on some things, but I'd love to hear this. What's this about?
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's too much stimulus.
LISOVICZ: Now you have to give it back. That's -- yes, unfortunately, that's probably going to -- going to be the case for nearly 15.5 million of us. Remember the "making work pay" tax credit, T.J.?
LISOVICZ: It was part of the stimulus package, enacted way back when in February. It was meant to give a lot of us a small boost in our paychecks by reducing the withholding taxes, which would boost the disposable income. Money would show up little by little, instead of one lump payment like last year. And the idea was to boost spending, to help out the economy. Problem was, well, the accounting got a little out of whack. And a whole bunch of us got more of a break than we should have. So, the result, T.J., is that you have to pay back the government, of course. So you'll either get a smaller-than-expected refund from the IRS next year, or you may just owe the IRS...
HOLMES: You got to be kidding.
LISOVICZ: ... outright. I'm not kidding you.
HOLMES: OK. So essentially what you're telling me, there was an accounting error, and some of us got more than we should have gotten.
LISOVICZ: Exactly right.
HOLMES: We didn't know that. That's not our fault.
LISOVICZ: Also correct. It was -- you can blame it on the boss!
HOLMES: OK. Was this -- is this just some anomaly, or is this kind of maybe a broader problem we're going to see crop up? I mean, because there was so much money here and there and refund and taxes and credits and so on and so forth.
LISOVICZ: Well, you can understand. You know, I mean, Monday- morning, you know, quarterbacking is always pretty easy to figure out why it went wrong. It's the -- your employer, right, who figures out whether you have the income, which would merit this withholding, this break, if you will.
But the employer doesn't know everything about us. Sometimes we think they do. But they don't -- they don't know if our spouse works. They don't know in a lot of cases whether we have another job, and so that's where the problem is.
Where are we seeing most of these problems? In two-income households with two paychecks, you might top the income limits. People with more than one job, same sort of story. Also, people who collect pensions or Social Security, but have a job. Also, people who have a teenager who might be working. If you have a seen that's claimed as a dependent.
So all of these could create problems. It's a little bit late in the year now to adjust your withholdings, so watch very carefully for your tax bill next year. That's advice we would give any year, though, T.J.
HOLMES: Any year, any time. I cannot believe we've got to give some money back that was meant to help out.
Susan Lisovicz, thank you, as always.
LISOVICZ: You're welcome.
HOLMES: We'll see you again soon.
Well, we'll turn to some weather now, and this might sound a little familiar, Chad. Stormy Pacific Northwest and Midwest.
HOLMES: All right, Chad Myers, keeping an eye on things. Thanks, as always. We'll check in with you again real soon.
A lot of people out there familiar with the term "driving while black," "driving while brown." What about "driving while Jose?" Yes, deputies in one California sheriff's office said racial profiling isn't something that just happens. It's actually what they were trained to do.
HOLMES: Complaints of racial profiling by police coming from police themselves. Some current and former members of the San Francisco Bay Area sheriff's department are coming forward, saying racial profiling and discrimination are systemic problems there. Dan Noyes from our CNN affiliate KGO with this story.
DAN NOYES, KGO-TV CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lake County has a population of just 64,000 people. Seventy-five percent white, according to the Census Bureau. But the percentage of minorities in the sheriff's department is even less. And these current and former officers say that's leading to a serious problem. Racial profiling.
DEP. FRANCISCO RIVERO, LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: This is a good ol' boys network run amok is what is the Lake County Sheriff's Office -- is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're targeting people that, you know, just because of their color. It's -- it's totally wrong.
NOYES: Kip Ringham left the department after 27 years because of it. Francisco Rivero is still there. Brian Landy left after a year- and-a-half as a rookie cop.
BRIAN LANDY, FORMER COP WITH S.F. BAY AREA SHERIFF'S DEPT.: What I was being told here is that pretty much under any circumstance if I see Mexicans, I should stop them.
NOYES: Landy says racial profiling was part of his training, and that discrimination was commonplace.
LANDY: On an almost daily basis you would hear deputies refer to people they believed to be Mexican, whether or not true. Didn't matter where they were from. But based on their skin color, they would refer to them generically as Joses, and not as a kind of friendly colloquialism. In a derogatory way...
NOYES (off camera): Dan NOYES from Channel 7. I need to talk to you, please.
(voice-over): Lake County Sheriff Rodney Mitchell did not return repeated calls for an interview, so we caught up with him as he headed to work one morning.
SHERIFF RODNEY MITCHELL, LAKE COUNTY, CA.: This is not the right location.
NOYES (on camera): That's all right. Well, you didn't return our calls.
MITCHELL: That's true. Meet me at the office.
NOYES: Meet you at the office. Follow you there?
NOYES: Absolutely. We will. Thank you.
NOYES (voice-over): When we arrived at the sheriff's office, Mitchell told us he's launched an internal affairs investigation into the complaints.
(on camera): Does the department have a problem with racism?
MITCHELL: I do not believe that we have a problem with racism, because that's a broad-based term. So, -isms, anytime you throw in in an -ism at the end, it's pretty far-reaching and broad based. But I'm not going to tell you we have zero problems with any issues because we haven't finished our investigation.
NOYES (voice-over): The officers who spoke to the iTeam say Mitchell is sending the wrong message to his deputies.
Take a look at the poster hanging outside the sheriff's office. A member of the San Diego Sheriff's department is pressing the bloody face of the suspect into the pavement. The caption: "Forethought: Think about the consequences before you mess with a deputy sheriff."
NICK FALLOY, SOLANO COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER: I thought, you know, wow, this is Lake County. These guys are yay-hoos, they are obviously are not very professional.
NOYES: Nick Falloy is a public defender from another county who went on a ride-along with a Lake County deputy sheriff last year. He says he watched one sergeant treat Hispanic suspects roughly.
FALLOY: And at that point I remember seeing (EXPLETIVE DELETED) grabbing the guy by the arm and kind of, like, pulling him up towards the front of the truck to, you know, push him into the cab of the truck. And flapping him on the back of the head, you know, just like, you know, with an open palm.
NOYES: If it is true, then the law enforcement officer deserves to be held accountable, period. That -- that would be highly inappropriate conduct if it's true.
NOYES: Mitchell's own officers say the department often breaks the rules meant to prevent unwarranted search and seizures. For example, at DUI checkpoints, deputies are supposed to pull over cars at a set interval -- every third car, for example. But they say deputies will pull over everyone who appeared to be Hispanic.
LANDY: I watched deputy, as the car was coming up, look into it. Point at it and say, this -- here is a "no licensia. We have a Jose."
NOYES: That same night, several sources tell the iTeam officers arrested these three field workers for disorderly conduct involving alcohol and took them for what's called a screen test.
RIVERO: They also stuffed all three of those individuals into the back of their patrol car and purposefully took corners at excessive speeds and hit the brakes.
NOYES: Hit the brakes, so the men in the back of the patrol car would slam their faces into the screen separating the front and back seats.
LANDY: I heard it the very next day they were bragging about it at the Laurel Lakes Sub Station about how -- how much fun they had watching, you know, the Joses squirm in the back of the car as they drove recklessly to the county jail.
NOYES (off camera): And the people in the back are quite uncomfortable bouncing around.
MITCHELL: Did a current member or a former member of my department tell you that?
MITCHELL: Please tell me who that is so we can investigate that allegation.
MITCHELL: That is a very serious issue.
NOYES (voice-over): Mitchell is facing other serious issues, including deputies being targeted by fellow officers because of their disability, their sexual orientation or their race. From those who complained about the conduct, we've heard reports about retaliation. Sergeant Kip Ringham told a superior about the slurs hurled at Franscisco Rivero.
RIVERO: ... and tells them I've been called a bunch of other things a wetback. Four hours later he is on administrative leave. They took his badge. They took his gun. They took his I.D.
NOYES (on camera): Is that how it happened?
SGT. KIP RINGHAM, LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Pretty much.
NOYES: Rivero and another officer have filed discrimination complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As a result, the Lake County Board of Supervisors ordered an independent investigation. DENISE RUSHING, LAKE COUNTY SUPERVISOR: Any accusations of racial profiling and discrimination would concern us as board of supervisors.
NOYES (off camera): Why?
RUSHING: For one thing, it's against the law. For another, it's county policy to treat everyone fairly and with respect.
NOYES: Should people be concerned actually driving through Lake County? From what you tell me...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
RIVERO: Yes. Yes. Unequivocally, yes. I am here because I have to be here. I have no choice. This has to stop.
LANDY: It's not right. And citizens of Lake County deserve more than that.
HOLMES: Well, all right, here, let's bring in Dan NOYES, the reporter on that piece. Dan, some great work just to collect all of that and get all of that together. I know it wasn't easy trying to get everybody and track down the sheriff, as we saw there.
HOLMES: But the least one of your subjects there making some of these allegations -- he is actually looking for the sheriff's job, is he not?
NOYES: Well, that's right. In fact, T.J., you know, we started working on this story back in May. It took us months really to track down all the people to check out all the allegations.
And during that process, the man in the story, Francisco Rivero, decided he's going to step forward and try to clean up these problems. He declared he's going to run for sheriff. He did that about two months ago, and the election is next spring, in June, so it really should be interesting to watch.
HOLMES: Interesting there. Was it interesting to see from the sheriff, yes, he's facing these allegations about this racial profiling, but he tried to back it up with some arrest numbers. What do you have?
NOYES: Right. He sent us an e-mail just a couple of days ago, saying he has checked the arrest data in terms of percentage of population, the different races, and he said Hispanics are not targeted.
But, you know, even more telling would be the traffic-stop data. He doesn't keep that data. But the officers involved tell me oftentimes traffic stops happen. That's where the harassment happens, and that an arrest never occurs, so that's even more telling, the traffic-stop data.
HOLMES: Absolutely. Well, Dan Noyes, we appreciate you sharing that piece with us, and appreciate you hopping on. And we'll be following. I'm sure there will be a follow-up. Thanks so much.
NOYES: Thank you, T.J.
HOLMES: Well, 22 guns, throw in some camouflage, a wife, eight kids. You got the Waltons with a whole lot more firepower. We'll show you what it's like to grow up militia.
HOLMES: Well, some of our top stories now. The woman accused in Elizabeth Smart's kidnapping has pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal. Wanda Eileen Barzee is her name, and her then-husband, Brian Mitchell, both accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart from her family's Utah home seven years ago and then holding her for nine months. Barzee apologized in court. Prosecutors are recommending 15 years in prison.
Also, what is a woman to do? Conflicting advice from the American Cancer Society and a government task force. The task force recommends that women should forgo regular annual mammograms until they reach the age of 50. The Cancer Society says guidance on beginning breast exams should remain at age 40. So, the Cancer Society not seeing it the same as this task force.
Also here, U.S. military brass suggests they're going to take a tough look inward after the deadly shooting rampage at Fort Hood. They're planning to investigate whether any warning signs about the alleged gunman were missed. Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 murders in that Fort Hood rampage.
All right, wait until you're 50 to get regular mammograms. Really? It seems to fly in the face of everything that so many have been hearing about breast cancer prevention in the past several years. Well, as we told you earlier, a government panel is recommending just that. Wait until 50. It says women shouldn't even bother really with breast self-exams.
So, let's go to the source here. Joined on the phone by Dr. David Grossman. He's a member of that task force. It's the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Dr. David Grossman is a pediatrician and medical director of preventative care at the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle. Lot of titles there. Get them all in.
Sir, we thank you for taking some time with us. Let's start with this question that a lot of women do have. I guess what is the downside? Why is it not okay to just be better safe than sorry and continue getting those mammograms once a year, once every two years through your 40s?
DR. DAVID GROSSMAN, U.S. PREVENTIVE SERVICES TASK FORCE: Well, thank you. I just want to clarify what the task force is saying.
HOLMES: Yes, sir.
GROSSMAN: ... is that we recommend women between the ages of 40 and 49 talk with their doctor and make an individual decision about whether screening is right for them. So, but to tell women routinely that all of them should be screened between 40 and 49 is something that we think is no longer important. I think that what we are saying is that women need to really take into consideration a number of things, including their general health...
GROSSMAN: ... their levels of anxiety and their family history as to whether or not they should be screened.
HOLMES: Dr. Grossman, like you said that -- you all believe that 40 to 49, you said there, it's no longer important to get the mammograms. But at the same time I'm asking here, I guess, what is the downside? If a woman feels she wants to continue on the routine she's been up to, why not, just in her opinion -- safe than sorry? I guess, what's the downside to the mammograms?
GROSSMAN: The task force believes it's a bit of a close call ,and because there are some potential harms associated with breast cancer screening and mammography that women should know more about. And those include the possibility of having false positive tests, the need for having to go back for repeated X-rays and more tests, as well as additional biopsies that ultimately are not necessarily -- and also a problem we call overdiagnosis, which means that identifying cancerous lesions that in fact, are very, very limited and for reasons that we don't fully understand don't progress to become invasive cancer and that otherwise would be fine if left untreated.
HOLMES: And those things you mention there, some of those harms, having to go through extra screenings -- I guess, how prevalent in your evidence, in you all's evidence, how often is it happening? Is it happening so much that you feel it's a huge problem?
GROSSMAN: Well, it's really -- what the task force looks at is the overall balance between those harms and the benefits. And the benefit for women for mammography and screening, clearly, we all agree, increases with increasing age. Age is really aside from some genetic risk factors like having the gene that disposes them to cancer age is really clearly the most important risk factor.
And so the benefit really increases steadily with greater age. Whereas the harms are -- remain relatively high across those age groups. So, the balance tips into the favorable range. Clearly at a later age. We believe that for those reasons, women should really discuss this and make an individual decision with their doctor about whether they want to be started just screening at 40 or 50.
HOLMES: Well, sir, I have to ask this as well, because a lot of people are concerned about it, and this question has come up, whether or not these recommendations have anything to do, quite frankly, with money? Trying to bring down the cost of health care in such a way that some of this over-screening or some of these just initial screenings -- if you can cut down on a lot of these tests, the mammograms that women get year after year for that decade, that could bring down the cost of health care.
And at the time with this health care debate going on in Washington, that could be beneficial for the government, for the administration, to make their case. Did money have anything to do with you all making these recommendations?
GROSSMAN: Money -- the U.S. Preventive Task Force does not consider cost or cost effectiveness in making its decisions, recommendations about clinical preventive services for the U.S. public. We are independent -- we are an independent group of primary care experts and prevention experts that look at available evidence. But we do not use costs in making our decisions.
HOLMES: All right. Well, Dr. Grossman, sir, I appreciate you taking the time out. Hopefully that added some information for our viewers to help get some clarity on what's happening here. But, sir, thank you so much for taking the time out. I'm sure we'll be talking to you again down the road.
GROSSMAN: Thank you so much.
HOLMES: All right. What is it? Taking a Jack Lambert with a couple of mean Joe Greens and a Ben Roethlisberger. That sounds like you're playing fantasy football with the Steelers. Who would have thought, though, this might be a way to buy some drugs?
HOLMES: Four Iraqi prisoners shot execution-style at a Baghdad canal. Three U.S. Army sergeants convicted. Now, an "AC 360" investigation starting tonight looks for answers. CNN has obtained nearly 24 hours of Army interrogation videotapes that detail the crime. And tonight, Special Investigations Unit junior correspondent Abbie Boudreau talks to a soldier who says the sergeants did the right thing.
ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The soldier we talked to was one of the last to see the men alive. He describes how his first sergeant decided not to take the four Iraqis they had just captured to a detainee center. He feared they would be released since there was not enough evidence to hold them.
I asked Joshua Hartson what happened before the men were killed.
JOSHUA HARTSON, FORMER PRIVATE FIRST CLASS: My first sergeant comes up to me and pulls me away from everybody. Then he asks me if we take them to the detainee facility, the DEHA (ph), that they're going to be right back on the streets doing the same thing in a matter of weeks. He asked if I had a problem if we took care of them and I told him no.
BOUDREAU: And what do you think he meant by that?
HARTSON: To kill them.
BOUDREAU: How could you be OK with that?
HARTSON: They were bad guys. If we were to let them go or take them in we risk the chance of them getting out and killing us, killing other people.
BOUDREAU: The four Iraqi men were lined up next to the Baghdad Canal and killed. All three sergeants were eventually convicted of premeditated murder.
We take a hard look at the Army's policy for detaining prisoners in our four-part investigation, "KILLINGS AT THE CANAL, THE ARMY TAPES" it begins tonight on "AC360."
HOLMES: It's a story you do not want to miss. "KILLINGS AT THE CANAL" is tonight, 10:00 Eastern on "AC 360."
The evidence is there, the technology is there to take rapists off the streets and put them in jail. So why in the world are police departments not using it? We are taking a look next hour.
Also, cyberspace. Privacy? Forget about it. We have a report coming up that will have you looking over your virtual shoulder.
Also here, f you're in Pittsburgh and somebody asks you if you would like a football jersey, you might want to pass. Because you might get a heck of a penalty here. A Pennsylvania attorney general, Tom Corbett (ph) says his office has busted a $2-million cocaine ring uses sports codes to do their business.
All parts of Operation Bad Sports. So, the way this things works: say somebody wants to buy a quarter ounce of coke. It's about seven grams. They would ask for a Ben Roethlisberger jersey or Michael Vick jersey. Get it? They're both number 7.
HOLMES: There's a growing number of armed militias out there in this country. Some people call them patriots, others call them extremists. Who exactly are they? CNN's Jim Acosta went home with one militia and got to know him, his family and tried to understand what exactly it is they're gunning for.
LEE MIRACLE, LEADER, SE MICHIGAN VOLUNTEER MILITIA: And we only fight over the important things, baby. Spinach pie.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's dinner time, and Lee and Katrina Miracle have their hands full.
KATRINA MIRACLE, WIFE OF LEE MIRACLE: Do you want a lot of meat or a little bit?
ACOSTA: For starters, they have eight kids, ages 6 to 18.
(on camera): With eight kids, you had combat experience.
L. MIRACLE: Oh. We've got more than combat experience with eight kids.
We're practicing target acquisition.
ACOSTA: Then there's Lee's weekend hobby, leading training exercises once a month for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia.
L. MIRACLE: You know, the Lee and Kate Plus Eight plus the gun rack, I guess, I don't know.
Thank you, Emily (ph).
ACOSTA: Are you normal guys?
L. MIRACLE: Yes, absolutely. I mean, we don't have barb wire or barricades or gun placements around the house. I mean, we're normal people. I love that sound.
ACOSTA: For the Miracle family, normal includes keeping more than 20 guns in the house. Not all of them under lock and key.
(on camera): And this is one of how many in the house?
L. MIRACLE: Twenty-two I think.
ACOSTA (voice-over): And they bring their children, like 13- year-old Megan on militia outings.
And they use the weapons, they use the firearms?
L. MIRACLE: Yes. Yes.
K. MIRACLE: They have -- sure. They have all shot from the youngest to the oldest.
ACOSTA: And the youngest is how old?
K. MIRACLE: Six.
L. MIRACLE: Yes.
ACOSTA: Even 6-year-old Morgana (ph).
K. MIRACLE: I do want to point out, though, that she's not using it by herself. She's being highly supervised.
ACOSTA: Are you raising them to be in the militia?
L. MIRACLE: No, that's their choice.
Megan, of course, is already in as far as I'm concerned.
ACOSTA: The Miracle family is out to show there's more to the militia than what critics see, gun toting extremists venting their frustrations at the government. From Lee's YouTube page...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
L. MIRACLE: When you hear a story about the militia in the media, this is probably the image that you get. A crazy guy with camouflage on and a wacky helmet holding a rifle. I'm here to show you a different picture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: To his job as a postal worker.
(on camera): Is there a little irony in that being in the militia and working for the federal government?
L. MIRACLE: Not at all.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But this self-described happy warrior admits he's angry at the government, suspicious of the Obama administration's stance on gun rights, and even opposed to health care reform, which he deems unconstitutional.
L. MIRACLE: But I'm really angry when 300 million other people are not as angry as I am. So I blame -- a lot of my anger is directed at America as a whole because they are letting this happen.
ACOSTA: Lee Miracle believes a well-armed population is the best defense against government excess.
L. MIRACLE: What's one big thing about today?
ACOSTA: Growing up in a militia may not be everybody's idea of the all-American family. But it is to them.
K. MIRACLE: So what do you want for dinner tomorrow?
MIRACLE: Can we do some taco salad or something?
ACOSTA: Jim Acosta, CNN, Sterling Heights, Michigan.