Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Cheney and Secrecy; What $300 Million Could Buy; Trailer Travesty; ER in Crisis?; Addicted to Love; Surgery for Better Sex?; Dog Treat Danger?

Aired February 14, 2006 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: As you know, we didn't even hear about it until some 20 hours after it happened.
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan apparently wanted the media to hear the news sooner, but according to a new "TIME Magazine" report, the vice president insisted on using his own channels instead. The magazine says Mr. Cheney worked out a strategy with Katharine Armstrong, owner of the ranch in Corpus Christi, Texas, where the accident happened.

According to "TIME," Armstrong would spread the news through a trusted reporter at a local newspaper. She apparently got through to that paper at noon Easter Time, Sunday, and the story was first reported nearly three hours later.

This story, though, is not too surprising. As CNN White House Correspondent Dana Bash reports, the vice president, well he likes to keep information close to his chest.


DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dick Cheney went to Capitol Hill today. We can't show you a picture. His office didn't let journalists know he was going.

Standard operating procedure for a vice president with a pension for secrecy, which makes this all the more unusual. A statement from the Vice President's Office with remarkable details of how he learned of Harry Whittington's heart scare. "...passed him a note at about 12:30 p.m. ET...doctors would brief in Texas about 1:00 p.m. ET..." "At about 1:30 p.m. ET, the Vice President called Mr. Whittington and asked if there was anything he needed."

Those who know Mr. Cheney well, foresee little long-term change in the way he does business. Scant details of regular workday meetings. Even less information on hunting and other personal trips. And though heart problems make his health an issue, he does not always immediately reveal when he has medical procedures.

VIN WEBER, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Let me tell you, that's Dick Cheney. He's not particularly concerned about how that affects his public image.

BASH: It is a departure from the way his recent predecessors, like Al Gore, did business. MICHAEL FELDMAN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE VICE PRESIDENT: The Vice President's Office felt that incumbent upon them to notify the press and the public as to the vice president's general location.

BASH: This vice president makes light of the mystery. Here, just after being released after medical treatment on his ankle.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm a little hobbled up today. I'm not ordinarily carrying a cane like that, but Don Rumsfeld's been chewing on my ankles.

BASH (on camera): Playful, yet another reminder the vice president keeps secrets. Carefully deciding what he will and will not talk about. Like the time here in the mountains of Pakistan, when I asked him about Osama bin Laden.

CHENEY: If I knew where he was, I couldn't talk about it.

BASH: You couldn't talk about specifics, but do you have a better sense at all at this point?

CHENEY: I can't discuss it with you.

BASH (voice-over): Friends say his first White House experience in the early 1970s with President Ford, shaped his approach now. He was the youngest chief of staff in history.

WEBER: His job was to be supportive, behind the scenes and in many way to stay behind the scenes, as far behind the scenes as you could get.

BASH: Most vice presidents spend their days as number two, positioning to move up. Not this one.

CHENEY: I have no ambitions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't want to run in 2008?


WEBER: And that gives you a little different job description than almost anyone that has ever had the job before.

BASH: That means big public speeches when the president needs help, but mostly his work is behind closed doors, delivering tough news to world leaders, twisting arms on Capitol Hill, trying to protect presidential powers and not spending much time worrying about those who disagree.


COOPER: Well, Dana, there was another contentious White House briefing today.

BASH: There was, Anderson. And you know, it probably could get even more contentious and that is because during that briefing, Scott McClellan came out and he knew about the fact that Mr. Whittington had had a mild heart attack, but he didn't tell the press corps. So, during the whole briefing, he knew that something was wrong. He told us afterwards. I talked to him. He said that he really had literally -- as he was getting up from his desk and going towards the briefing room, he had heard that this had happened, but he said he didn't have a lot of details. He wanted to wait until the hospital gave the press briefing because he knew that was going to happen at the time. But a lot of questions after the briefing, if you can believe that. Even more perhaps than during the briefing about why that piece of information took so long to get out.

COOPER: I'm just surprised by how all this works down there in Washington. I mean, it seems like the Vice President's Office does stuff that the White House doesn't even know about. Does that annoy people in the White House?

BASH: The short answer is yes. And it's actually remarkable. You and I talked about this last night. The fact that Scott McClellan made perfectly clear during his briefing yesterday that if he would have been in charge of this, he would have handled it quite differently. And in fact, that it was the vice president himself who made the decision along with the owner of the ranch to do it the way they did it.

But it's actually when you talk to people quietly, behind the scenes, they're really not shy about the fact that they are very upset, not only with the way Mr. Cheney handled this initially, but the way he is handling it right now. They want him to come out. They want him to make a statement publicly. And they want to try to put this behind them.

President has a speech on healthcare tomorrow. No one at the White House thinks that's going to get any attention at all, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Dana Bash, thanks.

What began as a rocky week for the White House, just got even rockier. A Congressional report on Hurricane Katrina that's going to be made public tomorrow, is about as damning as it gets.

A House Committee, made up mostly of Republicans, calls the government's response at all levels, from the White House on down to local officials, and I quote, "...a national failure, an abdication of the most solemn obligation to provide for the common welfare." "If 9/11" it goes on to say, "was a failure of imagination, then Katrina was a failure of initiative. It was a failure of leadership." A failure that quote, "cost lives, prolonged suffering, and left all Americans justifiably concerned our government is no better prepared to protect its people than it was before 9/11 even if we are."

The report is more than 500 pages long and chastises Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and many of the other officials who promised to do better.

And we promised to "Keep them Honest," which brings us back to those empty trailers sitting in the mud in Arkansas. Nearly 11,000 mobile homes that officials now say are damaged and may never be used. That's what a Homeland Security inspector testified to yesterday. FEMA spent more than $300 million on the trailers -- $300 million of your money, my money, our money, money that could have gone a long way in New Orleans, a very long way. CNN's Tom Foreman shows us how.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A hospital reopens downtown. Cost: $92 million. But it's priceless in this city right now. So imagine what could have been done with the $300 million spent on the empty trailers sitting in Arkansas.

Realtors say for $300 million, almost 2,500 permanent homes could have been built and sold for $120,000 each to working class people. Then, the money could be turned around to build even more.

The New Orleans School Board has spent $20 million from its operating budget to reopen 20 schools. Educators say with $300 million, every school in town might be back in session.

A new 10-acre roof for the Super Dome, $33 million. The Convention Center, before Katrina, it brought in almost $2-1/2 billion a year to the local economy. It's being refurbished now on insurance money. Cost: $100 million.

Debris removal, police supplies, levee repairs, public transit, the needs in New Orleans are endless. And many locals will tell you, so is the frustration over every wasted cent.

FOREMAN (on camera): No one knows if all those tax dollars spent on that ghost town of trailers would have otherwise gone to needs on the Gulf. But still, it is an awful lot of money that certainly could have been used elsewhere.

(Voice-over): What could you do with $300 million? No kidding, you could lay a carpet of dollars more than five feet wide, all the way from New Orleans to Washington. Or maybe you could buy trailers in the right place for the right folks who are trying to rebuild.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Unbelievable. We have used that word so often when reporting on the Katrina response. But it does boggle the mind to hear that so many of the trailers FEMA bought are simply unsuitable under FEMA's own rules, for the very flood plains where they were supposed to be used. So how does something like this happen?

Senator Joseph Lieberman is the leading Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which will have its own report on the Katrina response. We talked earlier today.


COOPER: Senator Lieberman, 25,000 mobile homes ordered by FEMA cost about $850 million. Some of them -- about 10,000 are literally sitting in the mud in Arkansas, sinking, may never be used to house evacuees. What is going on with FEMA?

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: Yes, I mean that's the question, Anderson. What was going on with FEMA? This is another in some ways, yet more outrageous example of what happens when your Federal Emergency Management Agency doesn't prepare.

So when Katrina struck, one of the many things that the people at FEMA were running around trying to do quickly without any preparation is to find housing for the people who had been displaced. And one of the things they did was spend almost $900 million on 25,000 modular or manufactured homes, most of which by FEMA's own regulations, could actually not be used in the hit areas because they can't be put in a flood plain. Now 11,000 of them are in a -- basically, at a base in a field in Hope, Arkansas.

COOPER: And the mayor of Hope, Arkansas, tells CNN that he informed FEMA that, you know what, this is actually -- they're going to start sinking in this field. This isn't a great field to store these things in.

Does FEMA think outside the box at all? Because I mean, theoretically, they could change their own regulations and at least move these things, you know, to the flood plains in the Gulf and at least get some families in there.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, absolutely. Short-term, there must have been -- first up, they shouldn't have bought these things if they had looked at their own regulations. Secondly, there's got to be a way temporarily to steady these manufactured and modular homes in a flood plain to meet the immediate urgent need for the housing.

So, this was lack of preparation, stupefying bureaucracy in the midst of desperate human need for housing and ultimately, an incredible waste of money.

COOPER: The two Democrats, though, on that committee who are observing the proceedings, there were only three Democrats observing those proceedings, said that they didn't think that report, blistering as it may be, didn't go far enough because it doesn't assign personal accountability. It doesn't hold people actually accountable by name, by their rank. Will the Senate do that? Will you do that?

LIEBERMAN: I hope so. I can tell you yesterday, just to go back to this story of the wasted $900 million. I asked the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, who reported to us who made the decision to buy these homes? And he said, our investigation is not complete yet, so I can't tell you yet. But I will.

You know, people who do this, with all respect, they have to be held accountable. That's a colossal waste of taxpayer money and a colossal failure to help the people who really need the housing.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: So what's confusing about this is now there's another side to the story. FEMA's Acting Director David Paulson told us earlier on 360 in the last hour, that he sent out some of his staff today to inspect these empty mobile homes the ones that have been sitting for months in Hope, Arkansas, and his staff told him the mobile homes are just fine. They say not one of them is damaged. And what's more, they say they're built to last a long time -- 15 to 20 years. Mr. Paulson said the mobile homes will be used to house Katrina victims and reports to the contrary are simply wrong; that testimony, he said, on Capitol Hill was wrong.

We've repeatedly asked to see for ourselves. Susan Roesgen, in fact, went out there to Hope, Arkansas, with the Congressmen. FEMA said no way, they wouldn't allow her onto the spot. Tomorrow, we're going to request again to see these mobile homes for ourselves and try to find out what is true and what is not.

More ahead from New Orleans. More than five months after the storm, a small step forward for one of the city's hospitals. Finally, it is reopening. Progress for sure. It is not nearly enough. We'll tell you why.

Plus, a trend we almost didn't believe was real. Surgery that some women are clamoring for. They say it is the best gift they can give their husbands. But some say the gift crosses a line. A very private surgery coming up on 360.


COOPER: Progress in New Orleans today. Is the city's medical crisis over? That's coming up. Hardly.

First, Erica Hill, from "HEADINE NEWS," joins us with some of the other stories we're following tonight -- Erica.


We start off with more defiance from Iran. Today, it officially resumed enrichment of uranium at one of the key plants. Iran says it's nuclear program, though, is designed just to generate electricity. Much of the West, however, believes Iran is trying to develop nuclear bombs.

New cases of bird flu to report now in Western Europe. The virus detected in Germany and Austria now in wild swans. The deadly strain was also reported in swans in Iran.

Off the coast of Uruguay, history surfaces from the sea, where divers recovered the eagle emblem from the Nazi battleship, the Graf Spee. Once the symbol of the (unintelligible), the Graf Spee was scuttled in 1939.

And by the way, Tom Cat still very much a couple on this Valentine's Day. OK? Tom Cruise and his pregnant fiancee Katie Holmes say any reports that they are splitting up, just plain false. "Life & Style" magazine had said the couple broke up. But in a statement, the pair's publicist called the story 100 percent false and said they're moving forward with their wedding and of course, baby plans, Anderson. And that's good because, you know, Valentine's Day, you hate to hear about a breakup on V-Day.

COOPER: I'm just shocked that "Life & Style" magazine...

HILL: How could they get it wrong?

COOPER: ... could have got it so wrong.

HILL: I'm with you.

COOPER: So wrong. "Life & Style" magazine -- what is that?

HILL: I, honestly, I think it's right up there with "Celebrity Living," which I just (unintelligible) the first time the other day. Very reputable sources.

COOPER: All right, you know, Erica, you sent me some greetings for my dog.

HILL: I know.

COOPER: I know. And we got a story about it coming up.

HILL: My dog still eats them.

COOPER: Well, we should watch this report. I haven't seen it yet. We'll watch it together and we'll talk about it later.

HILL: All right.

COOPER: All right. So with so many thousands of Katrina victims still waiting for temporary shelter, with so much debris across the Gulf still sitting where it fell more than five months ago, maybe this next story shouldn't surprise us -- shouldn't, but still does because it's simply not right.

Here's CNN's Sean Callebs.


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Emergency medical treatment in the New Orleans Convention Center. Not days after Katrina, not weeks after the storm punished the city, but today. And what passes for an emergency room for the city's poor.

Dr. Peter Deblieux is the ER director.

DR. PETER DEBLIEUX, ER DIRECTOR, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE UNIT: Did I ever picture myself working in a tent? Certainly at some point in time of my career, I did, but I just didn't think it would be this country.

CALLEBS: Doctors say the street parties of Mardi Gras traditionally spike ER treatment by at least 30 percent. And 911 calls go up fivefold. Deblieux says he's not looking forward to the added business.

When people say what quality of healthcare are people getting in this city right now, what can you tell them?

DEBLIEUX: I would tell this. That if you were new to our city and you had a complicated medical illness, regardless of your ability to pay, I would tell you this is not your best place to be. You are taking your life in your hands right now, being in the city.

CALLEBS: For five months, the staff has been operating in musty tents, now treating close to 5,000 patients a month -- chiefly, the doctor says, New Orleans' working poor.

About a mile and a half away, a sparkling new emergency room. Today, Tulane University Hospital reopened after five months and $90 million worth of renovations. Only 63 of 250 beds are open. It will take some of the burden off this staff, but it doesn't make the job any more palatable.

DEBLIEUX: It's disturbing because, you know, after a while, you kind of think is anybody listening? Is anybody paying attention? Do they -- you know, nobody would expect to treat other people in this country like this.

CALLEBS: Right now, Deblieux says there is no level one trauma center open in New Orleans; meaning, instead of a seriously injured victim reaching the operating room in minutes, in some cases it can take two hours.

RAY NAGIN, MAYOR, NEW ORLEANS: New Orleans is back.

CALLEBS: Nine of 16 area hospitals closed after Katrina. Tulane is the first to have reopened, if only partially.

But the round-the-clock staff at the city's makeshift emergency room says right now they're a little too busy to celebrate.


CALLEBS (on camera): Well, the good news is a level one trauma center is scheduled to reopen in this city sometime in the next four to six weeks. The disappointing news is that is going to be after Mardi Gras. And also, some disappointing news for Dr. Deblieux -- and yes, that's the way he pronounces his name, despite the way it's spelled. He believes that most of the national public, as well as national lawmakers don't believe or don't understand that doctors are still treating thousands of patients every month in dusty, musty tents.

And some more disappointing news -- they're only going to be operating in that Convention Center until March 6. Then the Convention Center reopens and they're going to have to look for another home. Right now, the frontrunners are a washed out mall or a washed out shopping center. So, more disappointing news for the months to come -- Anderson. COOPER: I'm embarrassed to say, you know, I've been down there so many times over the last couple of months, I had no idea that they were still operating out of those tents. It is shocking to see.

Sean, appreciate the report. Thank you.

The science behind, well, a little lighter story coming up. The science behind Valentine's Day. We hate to tell you this, but that four letter word, love, may actually have more to do with the 12 steps of addiction. Our 360 MD Sanjay Gupta explains, ahead.

And later, they are the most popular dog treat on the market. Erica Hill even sent me some -- for my dog, not for me. But could they also be dangerous? Tonight, a 360 investigation.


COOPER: Ah, the science of lerve -- or love -- or lerve. That's from a Woody Allen movie, but anyway. I won't go into it.

Happy Valentine's day, everyone. Remember, nothing quite expresses that deep feeling of affection like a Whitman's sampler. Or better yet, a bear with a blinking heart. The bear thing is a mystery to me, but chocolate, that makes a lot more sense. Especially to scientists. Some believe it causes the same chemical response to being in love. So how's that for romance? 360 MD Sanjay Gupta, on the addiction to love.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's because I love you.

DR. HELEN FISHER, AUTHOR, "WHY WE LOVE": Some people live for love. They kill for love. They die for love. They sing about love. Our myths and legends about love.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is said that falling in love is magical. It's been universally described by people from all over the world in similar terms. Euphoria, exhilaration, elation, an intense craving for the person they love.

But what exactly is love? Is it an emotion or something far more clinical?

Dr. Helen Fisher, Dr. Art Aron and Dr. Lucy Brown joined forces to study the science of love.

Dr. Brown, a neuroscientist at Albert Einstein University has been studying the brain for more than 40 years. But this study was different than anything she had ever done. She looked at 17 people, who by their own description, had recently fallen deeply in love. Each person was asked to look at a photograph of their sweetheart while lying in a sophisticated scanner, a functional MRI. The goal? To find out what's happening in the brain when someone is intensely in love. DR. LUCY BROWN, PROFESSOR, ALBERT EINSTEIN COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: When I started this study, I thought I was studying a very strong, positive emotion. Now I have changed my mind, the way I think about early stage romantic love, that it is a motivation. The person is a goal.

GUPTA: In fact, the part of the brain that lit up strongest, was the reward, pleasure part of the brain. Not nearly as poetic as romantics would have thought. It turns out, love is just another reward. Much like chocolate, or a drug for an addict.

DR. ART ARON, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY: What we think these data suggest is that everyone is focused intensely on getting this reward, being connected with having this person part of themself.

GUPTA: And there are even more startling similarities between being madly in love and some forms of mental illness. Serotonin is 40 percent lower in people who had been madly in love for the previous six months.

Another group of people with significantly low serotonin levels, those with OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to get married pretty much as soon as I get back. I really don't see the reason to wait around. And, you know, start our lives together. Let's do it all. Let's get the house and 3.2 children or whatever you get.

ARON: When you're intensely in love, and especially if it's being reciprocated, there is an incredible sense of exhilaration. You feel this person is the most wonderful person in the world. And if they were part of you, if you were together, your life would be perfect.

GUPTA: But how long can those kinds of feelings last?

FISHER: One of the main characteristics of romantic love is that it's not permanent. It doesn't last forever. At least that very early doesn't last forever, that pounding heart, the obsessive thinking, the craving, the intense motivation. In very good relationships, it will go down to a lower level.

GUPTA: Simply put, the burst of neurotransmitters, that dopamine drenched craze that leads to those feelings of mad love, starts to wear out.

So, have I been ruining your Valentine's Day by examining the magic of love under a microscope?

FISHER: You know, you can know every ingredient in a piece of chocolate cake and you still sit down and eat that chocolate cake and it's wonderful. In the same way, you can know all of the ingredients of romantic love and still feel that passion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You may kiss your bride. GUPTA: There were so many interesting findings out of these studies. They talked about this intense love actually being present at any age. Dr. Helen Fisher, one of the scientists, she's an anthropologist, actually found an 8-year-old boy who had some of the same findings as someone much older, as well.


GUPTA (on camera): So these feelings of intense love and the changes in your brain when you're feeling intense love can happen at any age -- Anderson.

COOPER: And do, according to these studies, I mean, do older couples experience as much romantic passion as younger couples?

GUPTA: That's a good question. That's funny because I was looking for some of that same data myself. I guess it depends how you define old, first of all. I mean, I looked at 800 couples, some over the age of 45 and some under the age of 25, so I guess the over 45 were considered old, and they did have the same level of intense love and changes as well in the brain in terms of the neurotransmitters and everything.

COOPER: So what does all this science teach us about love?

GUPTA: Well, you know, the interesting thing I guess, if you're going out on a first date with somebody, you're going to have lots of different neurotransmitters in your brain firing. But one of the things that I think you learn more than anything else is that the more neurotransmitters firing, the better. So, for example, going on a first date to an amusement park, or going ice skating, or something a little bit more high risk, is going to tend to make the date a little bit more favorable to possibly a second date.

COOPER: Interesting. OK, a little dating advice there, from Dr. Gupta. Thanks.

GUPTA: No tips here. No extra charge.

COOPER: Wow. Is there anything you don't know, Dr. Gupta?

GUPTA: Happy Valentine's Day, everybody.

COOPER: Thanks Sanjay.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COOPER: All right, from the science of love to a surgery for better sex. A surprising cosmetic procedure that some women believe give them self-esteem and may jumpstart their sex lives.

Also tonight, if you own a dog, you need to watch this. Allegations that a common pet snack may for some do more harm than good. We'll investigate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well, I just want to warn you at home, this is an explicit story and not appropriate for very young viewers. I'm telling you that now so you have a couple moments to ask them to maybe go to their rooms.

This year alone, nearly 11 million women will have plastic surgery in the United States. The most popular cosmetic procedures will be the usual suspects, liposuction, breast implants, face lifts. But there is another operation that is becoming increasingly well known. Its aim is to improve women's sex lives. It is highly controversial. CNN's Randi Kaye investigates.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jeanette and Louis Yarborough have been married nearly two decades. They fell fast for each other. And soon had two daughters. Two daughters, and yet at age 38, Jeanette says she lost her virginity all over again.

JEANETTE YARBOROUGH, HAD VAGINAL REJUVENATION SURGERY: There'll be another gift in his life that he can never say tops it. No matter how old we go, no matter 50th anniversary.

KAYE: Today, her husband calls it an amazing gift. What started out as a medical issue, turned into something more. Jeanette had bigger plans. This is what happened.

After her second child, Jeanette experienced some common post- delivery complications, which she lived with for years. Jeanette's OB-GYN, Dr. Troy Robbin Hailparn.

DR. TROY ROBBIN HAILPARN, GYNECOLOGIST: This is a pelvic model. What happens with childbirth, is you get a lateral stretch at the opening, a lateral stretch of the back wall, and a lateral stretch of the front wall.

KAYE: The condition affected Jeanette's bladder and would often cause her embarrassment. It affected her self-esteem; and certainly, her sex life.

YARBOROUGH: It got to a point where if I could avoid it, I would. I was never in the mood anymore.

KAYE: But she lived with it for years, in fact. Until 18 months ago when Jeanette had corrective surgery. And that's when Jeanette decided to go one step further.

YARBOROUGH: I thought, I'm going to restore my honeymoon. And Louis was even surprised. He gave me that look of, what?

KAYE: As an anniversary gift to her husband, Louis, Jeanette paid to have her vaginal canal tightened. And more. She also had her hymen reattached.

KAYE: So is this revirgination? HAILPARN: To a degree. If a woman has the hymen replaced and the vaginal canal tightened, then in fact it is an unused vaginal canal with a gate and so you could then consider this woman a virgin in that regard.

KAYE: What did Jeanette's husband think of all this?

LOUIS YARBOROUGH, WIFE HAD VAGINAL REJUVENATION SURGERY: I said, you don't really need to go through all the other stuff, because that's going to be a lot more pain and, you know, healing and recovery time.

KAYE: But in all honesty, you did stand to benefit from the cosmetic part of this procedure?


KAYE: Let's be honest.

L. YARBOROUGH: I did. Yes. I stand to benefit a lot.

KAYE: For Jeanette, surgery to stop those embarrassing moments was medically elective, but she felt necessary. The sexual restoration -- some might call it vaginal vanity.

(On camera): There are no hard numbers yet, but the demand for designer vaginas is on the rise, which keeps Dr. Hailparn busy in the operating rooms. In the last year, the number of labia reductions she performed tripled. The demand for vaginal tightening procedures doubled.

(Voice-over): Jeanette says some women even bring the doctor pictures from graphic men's magazines.

YARBOROUGH: Do you see the way that vagina looks? I'd like to look like that.

KAYE: But New York OB-GYN Dr. Hilda Hutcherson thinks society's gone crazy. The calls vaginal rejuvenation insulting and irresponsible.

DR. HILDA HUTCHERSON, GYNECOLOGIST: Why is it that we as women feel that we have to live up to some ideal?

KAYE: Some gynecologists, including Hutcherson, call hymen replacement a bogus procedure. Feminist groups call it genital mutilation.

HUTCHERSON: It's bad enough that we have to get collagen and all kinds of things injected into our faces so that we don't have wrinkles. We have to get our breast altered to look like a Barbie doll. When does it end? Now, our vagina has to look a certain way.

HAILPARN: There is nothing mutilating about recreating a piece of tissue. KAYE: Dr. Hailparn, who says she's done hundreds of these surgeries, insists, though hardly lifesaving, they have saved marriages. Many patients have written glowing testimonials.

Thirty-two-year-old Sandra Karaz has a different medical condition. Besides embarrassment, she has pain. She's married, with a baby girl, and looking to have vaginal rejuvenation for a different medical condition. For her, sex is sometimes painful.

SANDRA KARAZ, CONSIDERING SURGERY: I have had a problem with the labia being a little too large.

KAYE: For years, Sandra experienced discomfort with certain cuts of clothing. During intercourse, she's felt pain to a point where she says she's so insecure about her appearance, she turns the lights off when making love to her husband.

KARAZ: It just makes you feel bad. It makes you feel like something's wrong with you. And I think over time, you start to get a little depressed about it and feel like you're ugly because you're not looking like what you think you should look like.

KAYE: So where does cosmetic surgery end? How many 40-year-old virgins might be created? Breast enhancement, liposuction, revirginization, what's next?

HAILPARN: I don't know what's next, but I do know that it's very important to listen to the needs of the women that we're taking care of.

KAYE (on camera): How much did you pay for the surgery?


L. YARBOROUGH: $12,000.


KAYE: $12,000. That's a hefty price for good loving.

YARBOROUGH: Well, it's not really one night. You're talking about an investment of a future together.

KAYE (voice-over): It's an investment and a gift which has restored, among other things, their relationship and Jeanette's self- esteem.

Randi Kaye, CNN, San Antonio, Texas.


COOPER: There's more about this story on our blog on It had something like 300,000 hits today. A lot of people leaving their comments. So if you want to just check us out at

Coming up, some owners believe a popular snack may have killed their pets. The company insists their product is absolutely safe. We'll show you the controversy ahead on 360.


COOPER: So tonight, some pet owners believe that the most popular dog treat on the market may be doing more harm than good. Now, the company disputes the allegations.

Consumer Correspondent Greg Hunter has investigated the claims, tonight reveals what he's uncovered. First, a word of caution, some of the images you are about to see may be kind of difficult to watch.


GREG HUNTER, CNN CONSUMER CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Tyson, an 8-month old Boxer, who before Christmas was happy, healthy and full of life. But not long after these pictures were taken, he suddenly died.

LEAH FALLS, TYSON'S OWNER: I kept waiting for someone to say they had the wrong dog or, you know. It was a shock.

HUNTER: The cause of Tyson's death was a mystery to his owners, Leah Falls and Josh Glass.

JOSH GLASS, TYSON'S OWNER: I couldn't imagine what it could have been.

HUNTER: Doctors couldn't either until they discovered a severe blockage in his intestine.

DR. KEVIN SCHLANGER, BRENT-AIR ANIMAL HOSPITAL: It was very clear that it was something dense and firm that had caused an obstruction.

HUNTER: Here's the object Dr. Kevin Schlanger removed. It's a dog treat, called a greenie. It's the hottest selling dog treat on the market. Shaped like a toothbrush, advertised as edible. It claims to clean dogs' teeth. There are different sizes to match your dog's weight. And many dog owners seem to love them.

Just last year, Greenies sold 325 million treats worldwide, nearly tripling the sales of its nearest competitor, Milk-Bone.

The credit goes to this man, Joe Routheli, of Kansas City, Missouri, the founder of S&M NuTec, the company that makes Greenies.

JOE ROETHELI, S&M NUTEC FOUNDER: Dogs really love the product. They do a very effective job with cleaning teeth and freshening breath.

HUNTER (on camera): But along with skyrocketing sales across the country, CNN has learned about dozens of cases where Greenies have caused life-threatening obstructions in dogs, raising safety questions.

(Voice-over): Recently, in New York, Mike Eastwood and his wife, Jenny Reiff, filed a lawsuit, asking for $5 million in damages. They claim the product is defective and blamed Greenies for the intestinal blockage that caused the slow painful death of their dog, Burt.

JENNIFER REIFF, BURT'S OWNER: I miss him and think about him every single day.

MIKE EASTOOD, BURT'S OWNER: I'm mad that their packaging states that the product is 100 percent edible, highly digestible, veterinarian approved, yet our dog died from it.

HUNTER: The company won't comment on the case, but in court papers, it denied the allegations.

(On camera): Is your product defective?

ROETHELI: Our product is safe. It is used every day by thousands of dogs, millions a week, and it is basically a very safe product.

HUNTER: Still, local television and newspapers across the country have reported case after case of Greenies getting stuck in dogs' throats or intestines, causing severe problems, including death.

(On camera): So Greenies can cause a significant health risk to a dog?


HUNTER (voice-over): Dr. Michael Leib is a Virginia Tech professor and veterinarian gastroenterologist. He showed us the problem on videotape of a 2004 surgery he performed.

LEIB: We're looking inside the esophagus now, about halfway towards the stomach.

HUNTER: Dr. Leib says this is a piece of Greenie stuck deep inside a dog's throat. After two days, he says, it was still solid. Even though the surgery was difficult, he successfully removed it.

(On camera): You saved a dog.

LEIB: In this case we did.

HUNTER (voice-over): Dr. Brendan McKiernan is a Denver veterinarian.

DR. BRENDAN MCKIERNAN, VETERINARIAN: This is a dog who came in to us.

HUNTER: In a little more than two years, his clinic has seen at least seven dogs with solid pieces of Greenies stuck inside them. Those cases prompted McKiernan to start studying obstructions from treats like Greenies. He says, his research shows compressed vegetable chew treats, like Greenies, are now the third biggest cause of throat obstructions in dogs, behind bones and fish hooks.

MCKIERNAN: They don't break down.

HUNTER (on camera): When you say, don't break down, what does that mean?

MCKIERNAN: Well, they're still solid. They take them out and these things are still hard when you tap on them. They're not like a Cheerio that breaks down and dissolves in your mouth. This is a product that doesn't seem to do that.

HUNTER (voice-over): But the manufacturer says in most cases Greenies do break down. And they urge dog owners to pick the right size treat for their dog.

(On camera): So just what's in a Greenie? Things like wheat gluten and fiber. Experts tell us nothing all that unusual. But the process used to form a Greenie, makes it really hard. And the company says it has to be that way in order to clean a dog's teeth when it's chewed.

On each package, there's also a warning. The fine print says monitor your dog to ensure the treat is adequately chewed. Gulping any item can be harmful or even fatal to a dog.

(Voice-over): This group of Denver dog owners all insist they followed package instructions, and still their dogs got sick. Some say they fed their dogs Greenies for a year or more before they had a problem. And others, all it took was one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It got stuck in his esophagus. It didn't go up, it didn't go down, and it almost killed him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's not going to gulp this any more than she gulps her food or any other treat and nothing else has choked her nearly to death.

HUNTER: Ruthie Shimabukuro's dog, a Samoyan (ph), died after being sick for a week. A Greenie got stuck in its intestine.

RUTHIE SHIMABUKURO, DOG DIED: She was suffering a great deal. I feel so bad that she had to suffer so much.

HUNTER: And these dog owners are not alone. Our CNN investigation discovered 40 cases since 2003, where a veterinarian extracted a Greenie from a dog. The average weight of the dogs was about 40 pounds. In 13 cases, the pet died.

Like Fern Finer's dog, Twiggy, in Los Angeles.

FERN FINER, DOG DIED: I just started crying because it's like this is like, this is my baby. This is like part of my life. You know. She was everything to me.

HUNTER (on camera): How many deaths, injuries, complaints have you had?

ROETHELI: It's a very, very, very low number. HUNTER (voice-over): Roetheli and his company vet, Dr. Brad Quest, say the focus should instead be on dental benefits. For instance, they say, Greenies are much safer than putting a dog under anesthesia to clean teeth.

(On camera): You're saying that the good Greenies do, taking care of teeth, far outweighs any deaths or injuries on the other end?

ROETHELI: There is a very, very low downside risk with them. There is a huge benefit that many, many dogs have been saved in effect by having Greenies, vs. not having any care or using a different type of oral calitry (ph).

HUNTER: But vets say the big problem with Greenies is if they're swallowed in chunks, they won't break down.

DR. BRAD QUEST, S&M NUTEC VETERINARIAN: And most of the veterinarians that we have contact with are very supportive and have absolutely no issues with the Greenies.

HUNTER: But the ones that we've talked to have. And they've taken them out of dogs, still intact. Doesn't that concern you guys?

ROETHELI: Certainly it concerns us. And we look at it and try to do the best that we possibly can to deal with issues like that, try to learn from them and it's why we're working with FDA closely, voluntarily, to get to the bottom of what the cause is.

HUNTER (voice-over): The Food and Drug Administration says it's looking into eight complaints, but has not formally launched an investigation.

CNN also spoke with several vets who recommend the product.

QUEST: The end of the day, Greg, you know, literally millions of Greenies are enjoyed by dogs on a weekly basis with absolutely no incidents.

SCHLANGER: And this is Tyson, right here.

HUNTER: Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for Tyson, who died in December.

FALLS: Our vet said he probably felt like he was very, very sick, which in my head, was just a nice way of saying he suffered. You know, that he was in pain.

HUNTER: Greg Hunter, CNN, New York.


COOPER: So coming up, birth control in the form of the morning after pill. Will it soon be coming to a Wal-Mart near you? That's next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: A check with the comments on the 360 blog, coming up. But first, Erica Hill, from "HEADINE NEWS," has some of the business stories we're following -- Erica.

HILL: Hi Anderson.

In Houston, today, testimony continuing in the trial of fallen Enron Executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, the former head of Enron's broadband unit, Kenneth Rice testified he led outsiders to believe everything was fine with his unit, even as it was losing tens of millions of dollars. Rice also said Enron sold future revenue in order to claim immediate profits, a practice he referred to as quote, "one more hit of crack cocaine."

Meantime, a surge on Wall Street this Tuesday. The Dow closing above 11,000 for the first time in a month. And the NASDAQ up over 22 points, to 2,262. Tomorrow, it is all eyes on interest rates as new Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke makes his first public appearance before Congress.

Massachusetts joining now with Illinois, in requiring Wal-Mart stores to cover the so-called morning after pill. Reportedly, Wal- Mart's policy is not to stock the emergency contraceptive medication, citing slow sales and low demand. The giant retailer, though, did say it will abide by today's directive.

And if you're maybe thinking about early retirement, a new test might help you to determine just how much cash you'll really need. Tomorrow's Journal of the American Medical Association offers a quiz that lets baby boomers -- get this -- calculate their mortality. It gives a point value to question to determine your risk factors and is said to be 81 percent accurate. Oh, we've got time to tell you this point, is the lower your score, the longer you're going to live.


HILL: I wouldn't take it.


HILL: But that's me.

COOPER: Erica, I don't know if you've heard this. Just in, the top winner of the famed Westminster Dog Show here in New York -- that's a picture -- 2006 best in show trophy was awarded to Rufus...

HILL: Ahh.

COOPER: ... a colored Bull Terrier. He beat out six contenders in Madison Square Garden. I wish we had a closer picture of Rufus.

HILL: Oh, there you go.

COOPER: There we go.

HILL: Oh, look at that mug. COOPER: Yes, his handler, Kathy Kurtz (ph) says that she was ready to pass out from all the pressure. More than 2,600 dogs competed in the 130th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

I didn't put Molly in because I didn't want her to sweep.

HILL: You know, and that was really thoughtful of you. I didn't put the Jake Man in because frankly, he never would have won. And it's not because he's a mutt, because that just makes him more wonderful. It would probably be the fact that he likes to hug people by jumping up and literally putting his arms around them.

COOPER: Judges like that sort of thing.

HILL: Yes, and at 75 pounds, it's not that well received by the judges.

COOPER: All right, Erica, thanks very much.

So love is "On the Radar" tonight and all over the blog, especially Dr. Gupta's piece on the science of love.

Lee In New York has this to say. "I don't care is love is a science or not. Just follow your heart, and as you said, it's better not to know all that is going on in our brains.'

Joanna from Harpswell, Maine, weighs in, saying, "The real reason love can never possibly be measured is that it has nothing to do with the brain, the heart or any physical part of us but has everything to do with being human."

And this from Susan in Greenville, Ohio, "I now have a physical reason to blame for some of the crazy things I've done for love, and I thought it was just me! Happy Valentine's Day!"

And Happy Valentine's Day to you all. A lot more to come on 360. Stay with us.


COOPER: So thanks for watching 360.

"LARRY KING" is next. "Judge Judy," the no-nonsense TV judge, gives some straight answers to some of Larry's tough questions. Stay with us.