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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Will Alberto Gonzales Survive?; Pentagon: September 11 Mastermind Confesses

Aired March 14, 2007 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
A new warning tonight about drugs millions of us take to get to sleep -- they work, all right, but, in some cases, the side effects can be both bizarre and deadly. Before you pop a pill tonight, you might want to watch our report. That's coming up.

We begin, however, with breaking news: a confession from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of 9/11. It was read during a secret hearing at Guantanamo Bay. According to a transcript released tonight by the Pentagon, the al Qaeda ringleader says -- and I quote -- "I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z."

He confessed to planning, training, and financing 9/11, along with a string of other attacks, including the work of the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, and the first attack on the Trade Center back in 1993.

We will get more now on the confession and hearings from CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen, author of the book "The Osama bin Laden I Know."

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Peter, was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, from A to Z -- not a surprise, really.


In fact, in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial, some of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's -- the -- not the transcripts of his testimony, but summaries of his testimony were -- were entered into evidence. He also gave an interview to Al-Jazeera that was aired on the first anniversary of 9/11. And he made a lot of the same kinds of statements that he would later make to U.S. investigators, that he was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

So, we have sort of known this. What's interesting is now the Pentagon releasing a whole series of other plots that he's supposed to be involved in, not least, you know, planning to attack, kill John Paul II in the Philippines at one point, but up to 29 separate plots that he claims to have been involved in. Some of them happened. Some didn't happen.

COOPER: What does it tell you about the structure of al Qaeda that this one man seemed to be -- or claimed to be -- responsible for -- for 29 operations?

BERGEN: Well, I think Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was sort of a professional terrorist, unlike a lot of the other people in al Qaeda who seemed to be motivated by some sort of religious belief, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed actually dated women if the Philippines, was living the life, not really of a sort of committed jihadist.

So, I think he was in it because he really enjoyed doing what he was doing. It was sort of fun. He is a guy who studied engineering in North Carolina. He did sort of hang out with sort of Muslim Brotherhood types.

But he seemed to be just somebody who just enjoyed doing this. And he was actually, unfortunately, rather good at it, because he started -- you know, in this new information from the Guantanamo testimony, he -- he says that he was involved in some way in the first Trade Center attack in 1993. So, this goes back some period of time.

COOPER: Do you have any information about how much information he has actually given up? I mean, there's already -- there's, of course, been reports over the years about what sort of treatment he has -- he has been under these last couple of years.

BERGEN: Well, I mean, you know, that -- that information is known to very, very -- very few people.

"The New York Times," you -- you may remember, Anderson, reported that he had been waterboarded, which is a type of technique where you -- you force people to believe or you get them to believe that they may be drowning.

Certainly, defense attorneys in his case will raise the matter of how this information was obtained in any future trial that happens, when that actually happens. And that could be years away from now -- Anderson.

COOPER: What happens to him now? I mean, does this -- this apparent confession, it was read out. Where does it go from here?

BERGEN: Well, I mean, the -- the -- obviously, this confession will certainly aid the determination that he is an enemy combatant. He is one of the very few people, I think, in Guantanamo where there's really no question that that's the case.

And, in fact, at one point in this testimony, he actually made some reference to the fact that, if he had been a George Washington detained by the British, in some sort of weird logic, they would have made him an enemy combatant.

So, he has really admitted it in the course of this testimony. So, there will be a trial. We still don't know exactly how these trials are going to happen. There aren't witnesses. I mean, there are no independent observers.

There are not even lawyers at some of these actions. So, this is all very closely held, and we still don't know much about how this will take -- you know, what sort of trial will happen in the future, not least that the congressional Democrats may say that some of these Guantanamo detainees, that they -- they should have the right to habeas corpus; they should be able to appeal their detention.

Obviously, that's irrelevant for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, because he has already confessed guilt. But that is relevant to a lot of the other people who are there right now, who would like to -- obviously, to appeal their -- their -- to do a habeas corpus appeal.

COOPER: Clearly, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a very dangerous guy, confessing today.

Peter, appreciate the -- the report. Thanks, Peter.

On next to new trouble for the nation's top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Today, the first Republican senator joined Democrats in calling for his head, and President Bush weighed in with a less-than-ringing endorsement of his old friend -- at the heart of it all, the firing of those eight U.S. attorneys, allegedly for not doing the administration's political bidding, that and growing questions about whether Mr. Gonzales misled Congress about it.

The latest now from CNN's John Roberts.


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a White House in full damage-control mode, dispatching Attorney General Gonzales to Capitol Hill later this week to explain what happened.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Al was right. Mistakes were made. And he's -- he is going to go up to Capitol Hill to correct them.

ROBERTS: Democrats had the president tuned out. They don't want an explanation from Gonzales. They want his skin.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: What is done is untoward. It's wrong. It's unethical. It's immoral. I believe it's illegal. And Gonzales should be fired or he should resign.

ROBERTS: But, in a national mea culpa on all the morning shows, Gonzales made it clear he is not about to step down.


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Is it time for you to offer your resignation?

ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: That is -- that is a -- a decision for the president of the United States to make. I am going to be focused on identifying what went wrong here, correcting those mistakes, and focus on doing good for the American people.

O'BRIEN: But the -- the decision...

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: Can Gonzales survive? Unclear.

Republican Senator John Sununu says he should be fired.

And this from conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham.


LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I would have respected Alberto Gonzales much more if he just came out and said, "The president can get rid of any U.S. attorney he wants to get rid of; that is within our right to do that," and fire back at these people. Instead, it's this mamby-pamby responses.


ROBERTS (on camera): Many conservatives are angry with Gonzales, not just for mamby-pamby responses, but for making this a scandal in the first place by not disclosing to Congress contacts with the White House.

DAVID FRUM, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR PRESIDENT BUSH: It looks like that they did not tell Congress the full truth. And the full truth would absolutely have protected them. The full truth is: We're acting within our rights. Everything we did was normal and customary. So, what's the story?

ROBERTS (voice-over): To escape the fallout, Gonzales employed a familiar tactic.

GONZALES: I acknowledge that mistakes were made here.

ROBERTS: The old "mistakes were made" defense, made famous by Ronald Reagan during Iran-Contra...


RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We did not achieve what we wished, and serious mistakes were trying -- made in trying to do so.


ROBERTS: ... faithfully used by every president since.


GEORGE H.W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think John said, if mistakes were made, I made them.



WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And, where mistakes have been made, we have tried to correct them. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.

ROBERTS: A way to take responsibility without taking responsibility, says CNN's Bill Schneider.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: They have coined a whole new grammatical tense in Washington, which is the past exonerative. Exonerative? That means: I'm not responsible. I'm not to blame.

ROBERTS: And it might have worked for Gonzales, if not, some conservatives say, for the fact he looked so frail and frightened when he said it.

FRUM: He made himself look like prey. And, in the jungle, if you look like prey, the predators pounce.


COOPER: John, what does Senator Sununu coming out against Gonzales really mean?

ROBERTS: It's significant, Anderson, that even one Republican senator is coming out and saying he -- he should be fired, and it could be the beginning of a slippery slope.

But one senior Republican official that I talked to this evening told me, said that, for the moment, it looks like Gonzales is safe. But, if this takes one new turn in a bad direction, he is probably gone.

COOPER: All right. John Roberts, we will talk to you shortly.

If Mr. Gonzales does wind up leaving to spend more time with his family, as they say in Washington, he will be among Mr. Bush's closest advisers to go. He won't, however, be the first.


COOPER (voice-over): President Bush was thousands of miles away, but he couldn't escape the mounting troubles facing his inner circle. One by one, some of his most trusted lieutenants have been forced out, or fallen under a cloud of suspicion.

Let's look back at his war cabinet from this "Vanity Fair" cover picture taken before the invasion of Iraq. Only Vice President Cheney and Condoleezza Rice are left.


COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We came to the mutual agreement that it would be appropriate for me to leave at this time.


COOPER: Secretary of State Colin Powell stepped down in 2004. So did CIA Director George Tenet.

Last year, Andrew Card resigned as White House chief of staff. Like their boss, they all pushed for a military response to Saddam Hussein.

In the forefront, Donald Rumsfeld.


DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We will win this war. It's a test of wills. And let there be no doubt that is what it is.


COOPER: The president handpicked the defense secretary to lead the war effort. He was the architect. The plans began to crumble, however, and so did his support.

Remember Harriet Miers?


HARRIET MIERS, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE: I am very grateful for the confidence in me that you have shown by this nomination.


COOPER: The president nominated the White House counsel and fellow Texan for the U.S. Supreme Court. But her qualifications faced questions. And, ultimately, her nomination was withdrawn.

Then, later, she resigned from her White House post, another Bush loyalist to go. Like Miers, Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales have worked for the president in Texas. Now both are under fire for the dismissals of eight federal prosecutors. Then, of course, there's the Cheney factor.


RICHARD B. CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Frankly, you're out of line with that question.


COOPER: His influence in the White House may have lessened, especially after the conviction of his former chief of staff, Lewis Scooter Libby.

Those in the inner circle have suffered, and they have paid a price. Judging by the polls, the president may have, too.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: And an insider's perspective now from David Gergen, who has served as a presidential adviser in good times and -- and bad.

You know, it's interesting, when you look at that "Vanity Fair" picture, how many of those people have gone. Is that just normal turnover?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Well, Anderson, there is always a lot of turnover as you go into a second term. And you would expect a number of Cabinet officers to leave.

But I must say, the -- the -- the tide of events has moved so firmly against them. This is very unusual. If you look at the president's Gallup poll rating, for example, 33 percent, that's the lowest of any president in this position, in a second term, in some 50 years.

Clinton never was -- was much higher than this at this time. Reagan was much higher. Eisenhower was much higher. Not since Truman, over 50 years ago, has any president been this low. And events keep pulling him down.

COOPER: You -- you talk about this tide. It seems like every major aspect of this administration is now under question: the prosecution of the war in Iraq, the handling of Afghanistan, the use of the Patriot Act, their -- their execution of the war on terror, the medical care for veterans, the vice president's -- the vice president's unprecedented power, their financial policies, now the attorney general.

What -- what has happened to this White House?

GERGEN: Well, it's an administration in which, I'm afraid, some very bad decision-making early in the first term has come home to roost on Afghanistan and Iraq, you know, taking our eye off the ball in Afghanistan, and then -- and then the -- the series of egregious misjudgments leading into -- into Iraq.

But I think, also, in any administration, there's a certain amount of hubris that sets in when you get elected to a second term, and you start making mistakes out of pride.

I -- Anderson, I said on the -- on your program just last week that this administration has been pretty free of scandal until now, and until Scooter Libby went to jail. I got a ton of responses from your viewers, saying that's not true.

Well, they have been free of -- of the kind of felonies, the kind of scandals that involve felonies that send people to jail, until Scooter Libby comes along with these felonies.

But what they have not been free of are sort of these rancid episodes, as we have with the U.S. attorney -- attorneys -- where -- when it's -- when people defend them and say, the president -- after all, these U.S. attorneys do serve at the pleasure of the president, that's true. But they are not pawns of the president for political purposes. That is out of bounds.

There are certain sort of -- even though the law says the president can -- can fire them, there are traditions that surround these U.S. attorneys. And the way they were fired and the misleading conduct of the administration since then, the lies that, in fact, were told to Congress, have just got everybody in Washington in a fervor about what this is all about.

It is true, Anderson, as well, one other thing has happened. The Democrats now control Congress. And, of course, they have the subpoena power, the investigatory power. And that is -- is one of the biggest single powers in Washington, and why the Republicans did not want to lose...

COOPER: But...


GERGEN: ... the House and the Senate.

COOPER: You know, David, a lot of Republicans, though, will say, well, look, what is -- what is different here than what Bill Clinton did? He fired all the U.S. attorneys.

GERGEN: He did fire all the U.S. attorneys. And -- and, by the way, he caught hell for it.

When -- when Mr. Hubbell and Janet Reno did that, way back in the Clinton years, they fired all of them. That is, again, within the law that you can do that, but that seemed -- there seemed to be some political motivation for that, obviously. And, in this case, the individual attorneys who were singled out, the Justice Department said they were fired for poor performance.

What they apparently mean by poor performance is, if you don't perform politically, if you don't bring -- you know, if you -- if you don't follow our script for who to go after and who not to go after, in terms of our political enemies and our political friends, then you're going to be on the -- you're going to be fired.

That is out of bounds. And -- and the one thing they have got -- one of the redeeming features this White House now has is, it has Fred Fielding in as -- as its general counsel in the White House, a veteran, a highly regarded, extremely ethical man. He is the person who could help him get out of this.

But I think, ultimately, it's going to mean that the attorney general is going to go.

COOPER: You know...

GERGEN: When John Sununu came out against him, that was really bad news for the attorney general.

COOPER: How do you think history is going to view this administration? Is it -- is there -- you know, a lot of their critics will say it's one of the most arrogant administrations in -- perhaps in -- in history, at least in -- in recent history.

Do you -- A, do you think that's really true? And is it that arrogance, if that is, in fact, what it is, that has caused, sort of is at the root of so many of these issues?

GERGEN: I -- I do think there is an arrogance of power of the kind that J. William Fulbright accused the Lyndon Johnson and Nixon administrations of back in Vietnam. I do think there's an arrogance of power that has been part of their undoing.

How they will be remembered, of course, history is -- it often depends on who writes the history. It's usually written by the victors. And, if the Democrats win -- history is often written by the victors. And, in this case, there are a lot of liberal historians who, of course, are going to be very tough on the president.

His -- his hope has got to be that he can somehow produce a miracle in Iraq. If that were the case, he will come out better. If Iraq goes down, I -- this president is going to be in the lowest ranks historically.

COOPER: You know, David, you have worked for a lot of different administrations.


COOPER: Aren't they all -- I mean, are they all arrogant?

GERGEN: All administrations have people who are arrogant. All administrations have tendencies in that direction.

What I -- what I have found again and again is that, it's when you get reelected -- as Dick Neustadt, the political scientist, used to teach us a long time ago, it's when you get reelected to office that the arrogance can become palpable, and it usually is the beginning of real trouble inside the administration.

It happened to the master, Franklin Roosevelt, when he was elected to his second term. He had a lousy second term, tried to pack the court, got his head handed to him in politics. Had it not been for the Nazis marching across Europe, he never would have been elected to a third term.

But it -- it does set in on the second term, and the -- but the point is, Anderson, knowing that, there are a lot of people, like Karl Rove, in this White House who are very historically-minded, who know that, and understand that danger, understand how -- that trap. And they have fallen straight the hell into it.

COOPER: Interesting.

David Gergen, appreciate the perspective.


COOPER: Thanks. GERGEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Some late word tonight on a development that could make the presidential primary season a whole lot shorter, just some of the raw material for our "Raw Politics" segment tonight.

For that, let's turn once again to CNN's John Roberts.

ROBERTS: Hey, Anderson.

We have got ourselves a Super Tuesday earlier. California is moving its presidential primary up to February the 5th, from the official date of June. California now joins Arkansas, Delaware, Missouri, and Oklahoma. And now New York and Pennsylvania might jump in, too. The big states are eager to play a bigger role in the selection of the nominees. Until now, California, the largest state, has pretty much been nothing more than an afterthought.

Now it's off to the horse races. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, barely out of the starting gate, and a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll has Clinton in front by double digits. She leads Obama 37 to 22 percent, a 15-point margin. Clinton's support is not only broad, but deep. Sixty percent of her supporters say that they will definitely vote for her. Two-thirds of Obama supporters say, well, they could just change their minds.

Rudy Giuliani is not too popular with the firefighters union. Is that why he stayed away from their forum in Washington today? Ten candidates from both parties attended the event, including McCain, Clinton and Obama. It's downright weird, though, that the man who built his reputation on 9/11 would be at odds with the union representing 9/11 heroes.

They have, though, got a longstanding disagreement over the recovery of remains at ground zero.

What's your carbon footprint? Do you even know what it is? Al Gore claims his is zero. And now John Edwards wants to go Gore one better and make his entire campaign -- quote -- "carbon-neutral." Edwards wants to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, both in campaign travel and their headquarters in Chapel Hill. It's a good indication that global warming is going to be a big Democratic agenda item in the upcoming presidential election.

And an anniversary for Senator John McCain -- 34 years ago today, he was released from the Hanoi Hilton, the famous POW camp in North Vietnam, where he had been held for five years. A new video about his captivity was posted on his campaign Web site today. McCain was offered early release by the North Vietnamese, but refused, wanting to stay with his fellow Americans in prison -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, "Raw Politics."

John, thanks.

In a moment: a fallen Marine, and the people who say he simply did not have to die.


COOPER (voice-over): What if he were your child?

MARIANNE SCHULZE, STEPMOTHER OF U.S. MARINE: Jonathan said, "Yes, I feel suicidal."

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The next day, when he called the hospital, you heard him tell them a second time...

SCHULZE: Yes, a second time.

KAYE: ... that he was feeling suicidal?

SCHULZE: A second time.

COOPER: There wouldn't be a third. Did two hospitals turn a deaf ear to a Marine's cry for help? And is an entire system failing thousands more like him? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Her mugging drew national attention.

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": These creeps are cowards.

COOPER: Tonight: crime-fighter John Walsh on the nationwide hunt for a guy who would do this, mug a 101-year-old lady for $33 -- when 360 continues.



COOPER: Well, you have probably seen the video by now. That's Rose Morat, a 101-year-old mugging victim. The crime has shocked even the most cynical New Yorkers, caused outrage across the country. Politicians are talking about it, the senseless act caught on tape. Her mugger is still on the loose.

And she has a few choice words for the bad guy.


ROSE MORAT, 101-YEAR-OLD MUGGING VICTIM: I got a little -- a little angry, you know? And I said, oh, that so and so. I hope you get caught.

I'm 101 years old. How are you going to run after a mugger?


COOPER: There was a report in one of the local papers here in New York today that police want to talk to her more about what happened, but she was too busy for -- to go to a canasta tournament. She didn't really want to talk to police. Hopefully, she -- she will eventually.

John Walsh has covered a lot of high-profile crimes on his program, "America's Most Wanted."

I spoke to him earlier tonight about this case.


COOPER: John, the two victims are elderly women, one of them 101 years old, the other woman 85 years old. They were attacked within minutes of each other.

To you, is this a crime of opportunity, or was this guy intentionally targeting seniors?

WALSH: Well, whoever he is, and why ever he did it, he is an incredible coward, to beat up a 101-year-old woman and an 83-year-old woman.

But I'm sure that he knew that they were easy targets. And -- and this is kind of a disturbing trend. We're starting to see increases in crime all over the United States. We're seeing increases in crimes against the homeless. And we're seeing incredible increases in crime against the elderly. They really are an easy target. And these creeps are cowards.

COOPER: Do you think the elderly are -- are often the forgotten victims of crime?

WALSH: Oh, absolutely.

I -- I -- I think that they're easy, easy victims and targets, number one, and that we really don't provide the -- the real safeguards that we need, and to take their care very seriously.

I know there's legislation being introduced in New York to make stiffer penalties for preying upon the elderly, because, right now, in New York State, it's only a one-year prison term.

So, Senator Hillary Clinton, the governor of New York, and several other people, Charles Schumer, are urging the New York State legislature to take crimes against the elderly seriously. People should pay for exploiting the elderly.

COOPER: And, I mean, in this case, we don't know, as you said, why this guy did it. I mean, he is on this videotape punching this 101-year-old woman, you know, breaking her cheekbone. He got away, in total, with $65, two rings.

Is -- is it about the money, or is it -- is there something more going on?

WALSH: No, I -- I think it's about the opportunity, the -- the vulnerability of the victim. Elderly people can't fight back.

In the old days, we used to have purse-snatchers. Now we have these angry creeps that have to punch a 101-year-old woman to get $33, and then punch an 83-year-old woman? Might be a guy that's on drugs. Might be a guy that is just a coward, and says: Hey, I -- I -- this is an easy, easy victim.

So, whoever he is, he -- the -- the world is going to be a smaller place, because people like you and I are publicizing this crime. In the old days, he would probably get away with it. But now everybody in New York City is looking for this creep.

COOPER: In New York, we have seen, in the last couple days, elderly women taking self-defense classes, martial arts classes.

Is there -- is there anything an elderly person, a senior citizen, can -- can do to protect themselves?

WALSH: Well, I think we, as a society, have to value them like we value children now.

You know, I look back 25 years ago. When my son Adam was kidnapped and murdered, there wasn't such attention to crimes against children. I think we have to look at the elderly.

Yes, self-defense classes are a good thing. It's mostly about being street-smart. It's -- it's mostly about elderly people saying: Look, I can be easily victimized. I have got to be a little bit more street-smart, and I have got to ask for help.

And it always falls back on to -- to us to protect the elderly, to -- to revere them, and to make it tougher for these creeps to prey upon them. Other societies really revere the elderly and protect them better than we do. We really have to step up to the plate.

COOPER: Yes. It's kind of a shame that it takes something like this, and takes it being videotaped, to kind of wake people up and -- and remember how vulnerable the elderly are.

WALSH: You are absolutely right, Anderson.

Thank God for the videotape, or this guy -- you know, this would have been a tiny, tiny one line in the newspaper: two elderly women mugged, beat up badly.

But, when you see it firsthand, when you see that coward punching those -- that woman twice in the face, and grabbing her purse, then it kind of brings it home. And thank God for the videotape. We're going to profile him on "America's Most Wanted" Saturday night. And, if he isn't caught by then, I think the world is going to be a much smaller place for this coward.


COOPER: We're going to have much more with John Walsh in our next hour, including what he calls a culture of violence in this country, and why he thinks so many young kids here are committing serious crimes.

There's been an uptick in violent crimes across the nation, particularly in the Midwest.

Now another example of brazen violence caught on tape -- this time, it was a dashboard camera inside a police car in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Started out as a routine traffic stop. Take a look. Turned into an -- all-out gunfire.




COOPER: In all, 40 shots were fired. The suspect, running between houses, continued shooting, as bullets ricocheted off nearby homes.

The officer hit him once in each arm, did -- that did not even stop the shooting. Eventually, he was taken into custody. He is now facing multiple charges, including attempted murder.

Still ahead tonight: He was a Marine. He was depressed. And, when he needed help, he was told to come back later. Did the waiting kill him? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Plus, 360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta with a new warning about a popular prescription drug that is making people do everything from drive to have sex while they're sound asleep.

What you need to know about some popular pills -- when 360 continues.


COOPER: For the last couple of weeks, we've been bringing you stories of substandard conditions at Walter Reed Medical Center. Tonight, the story of Marine Jonathon Schulze comes from a long line of military veterans. It was his duty, he thought, to fight in Iraq.

He came back with two Purple Hearts. But like many troops, Schulze also returned with posttraumatic stress disorder. He needed treatments, but instead, a Minnesota V.A. hospital told him he'd have to wait. The question is, did that wait kill him?

CNN's Randi Kaye tonight, "Keeping Them Honest".


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the story of Marine Jonathon Schulze, No. 26 on a list, a list no one wants to be on.

(on camera) So you're telling me Jonathon told this hospital twice now that he was feeling suicidal, and they told him...

MARIANNE SCHULZE, JONATHON'S STEPMOTHER: He was No. 26. They didn't have room. It would take two weeks. KAYE: Before he could be admitted?

M. SCHULZE: Right.

KAYE: Twenty-sixth on a waiting list?

M. SCHULZE: Right. And to check back in a few days to see what number he was on the list.

KAYE: Did you think that Jonathon had a few days at that point to wait?


KAYE (voice-over): Months of intense fighting in Iraq. That's all it took for this fun-loving teddy bear of a guy, with a smile as wide as the Minnesota farm he grew up on, to unravel. Twenty-five- year-old Schulze returned home in March 2005 a tortured soul.

M. SCHULZE: I remember a broken man. Somebody who had no expression on his face, who would cry very easily, who at night you'd hear him screaming, moaning, groaning.

KAYE: Jonathon's step mom says he was sleeping just two hours a night, drinking heavily, having panic attacks. There was guilt over the loss of 16 men from his squad, including his two best friends.

JIM SCHULZE, JONATHON'S DAD: He was big. He was strong. He was brave, but his whole experience over there almost left him trembling like a little kid.

KAYE: Jonathon's drinking and violence led the Marines to give him a general discharge. Jim Schulze says his son became withdrawn, edging dangerously close to ending his life. Jim says Jonathon talked openly about suicide.

The family doctor had diagnosed Jonathon with posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, and prescribed Valium, Ambien and Paxil. None of it seemed to quiet this Marine's mind.

Desperate for help, Jonathon turned to the V.A. hospital in Minneapolis. He couldn't hold a job, and without medical insurance, the V.A. was the only place he could afford.

(on camera) When he asked to be accepted into an in-patient program at the Minneapolis V.A., what did that hospital tell him?

M. SCHULZE: They told him he couldn't get into that program at that time. It was full.

KAYE: And he had to wait how long for the next one?

M. SCHULZE: Six months.

KAYE (voice-over): Jonathon was sinking fast. In January this year the Schulzes tried another V.A. hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota, about an hour outside Minneapolis.

(on camera) Jim and Marianne Schulze both insist they heard Jonathon tell the intake nurse he was feeling suicidal. They recall being told the social worker who screens PTSD patients was too busy to see their son that day, even though, they say, he'd been made aware of Jonathon's suicidal tendencies.

Jonathon was sent home and told to call back the next day. And when he did, his step mom was listening.

M. SCHULZE: And Jonathon said, "Yes, I feel suicidal."

KAYE: The next die when he called the hospital, you heard him tell them a second time?

M. SCHULZE: Yes, a second time. A second time. He eventually was told that right at that point it would be about a two-week wait. He at this point was No. 26 on the list and to check in periodically.

KAYE: Four days later with a picture of his daughter at his side, Jonathon wrapped an extension cord around his neck, tied it to a beam in the basement of this home he'd been renting from a friend, and hanged himself. Unanswered cries for help silenced.

M. SCHULZE: If our men are going to serve for our country and serve in a war or a conflict, when they come home, they should be taken care of.

They were promised when they went in. They were promised when they signed on that piece of paper. And they come home, and they have a problem, and what are they told? You're No. 26.

KAYE: In Jonathon's massive medical file an alarming absence. The social worker Jonathon spoke to by phone did not record the Marine's suicidal thoughts.

(on camera) How do you explain that in that 400-page medical file of his there isn't a single note mentioning that he said he felt suicidal?

J. SCHULZE: Very plain and simple. St. Cloud V.A. altered those records, or else the individual he talked to did not put it in there when Jon did mention that.

KAYE (voice-over): If so, why wasn't he admitted immediately? The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is investigating and would not comment.

J. SCHULZE: When a vet cries out that he's suicidal, even if they'd have to set a bed up in a kitchen, you don't turn them away, you don't put them on a waiting list.

KAYE: Keeping them honest, we've learned the St. Cloud V.A. hospital has just 12 beds for PTSD patients. The Schulzes say those beds were full. We've also confirmed the number of beds has remained unchanged for a decade, even though the U.S. has spent the last five years fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Veterans Affairs tells us it expects one in five returning veterans to need treatment for PTSD.

While the Schulzes struggle to heal, they find themselves at the center of a debate over the seemingly ill-prepared and overwhelmed V.A. system. Jonathon in death has breathed new life into the issue.

M. SCHULZE: Jonathon didn't come home to die.

KAYE: Nor did he come off the battlefield expecting he'd have to fight to get medical help at home.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Stewart, Minnesota.


COOPER: You can read more about Jonathon Schulze on our blog, You can also tell us what you think about the story and read comments from other viewers. Getting a lot of responses. You can understand.

The most recent available data shows a rise in suicides in the Marine Corps. Here's a look at the raw data. In 2004, 31 Marines committed suicide. That's a 29 percent increase from 2003. Eighty- three Marines attempted suicide.

In the Army 83 soldiers killed themselves in 2005. That's up from 67 in 2004.

Coming up next, a new warning about sleeping pills and what some people end up doing while they're asleep. You won't believe it.


COOPER (voice-over): Shocking police video. He's not drunk. He may actually be asleep, a victim of sleep driving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went to bed. I was reading. The next thing I know there's a policeman at my car door.

COOPER: Could it happen to you?


COOPER: Also, a case of mistaken identity.

CHRIS ROCK, COMEDIAN: Man, Regis, you look good. You lost some weight, Reg.


ROCK: It's working for you. COOPER: I feel good too.

What it's like to temporarily fill the shoes of a TV legend, when 360 continues.


COOPER: More than 23 million Americans struggle with addiction. Maybe you or someone you know. Tonight an alcoholic takes us inside his dark world.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ever since I was young, I started sneaking liquor and drinking just by myself, and then when I got to college, I went kind of crazy. And then I started falling back into drinking alone, which is what worries me the most.


COOPER: Now, weeks later his life is better, thanks to a new treatment that is helping him battle booze. His remarkable story, that's in the next hour of 360. And it could help a lot of people out there.

But first, some health news you need to know. Today the FDA called on the makers of 13 sleep drugs to include new warning labels of potential risks of allergic reactions and behaviors like sleep driving.

Our 360 M.D., Sanjay Gupta, reports dozens of people around the country already say they have been asleep, literally asleep at the wheel.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The man in this police video looks drunk, but he may actually be asleep. He says he was sleep driving the night he was arrested after taking two Ambien tablets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went to bed. I was reading. The next thing I know there's a policeman at my car door.

GUPTA: He doesn't want us to use his name or show his face. According to him, he doesn't even remember getting into the car. His case is on appeal after being convicted with driving under the influence.

Dr. Carlos Schenk says he has documented 32 cases of people with no previous history of sleep walking who began sleep walking, including walking, eating, even driving, while sleeping under the influence of Ambien.

DR. CARLOS SCHENK, MINNESOTA REG. SLEEP DISORDERS CENTER: Ambien does increase the percent of slow wave sleep, which is the stage of sleep that promotes sleep walking.

GUPTA: Doctors wrote more than 48 million sleep aid prescriptions in the United States last year. Ambien, the top seller, and its manufacturer (ph), over $1.7 billion by its 2006 third quarter.

In a statement, Sanofi-Aventis said it could not comment on specific cases, adding this: "It is important to emphasize that although sleep walking may occur during treatment with Ambien, it may not necessarily be caused by it. It is difficult to determine with certainty whether a particular instance of sleepwalking is drug- induced, spontaneous in origin, or a result of an underlying disorder."

There is no large study to gauge the risk, but for the vast majority of Ambien users, Dr. Schenk says don't worry and to follow the warning labels provided with prescriptions.

SCHENK: Even a sip of alcohol with Ambien can be dangerous, so I would strongly discourage any use, even a sip.

GUPTA: And if you ever do sleepwalk after taking the drug, you should stop taking it. This man wishes he had.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had no intention of driving, and I would just like people to know that. In particular the judge that hears my appeal.


GUPTA: Now, we talked to Ambien's manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis, who says the labeling update is consistent with its commitment to ensuring that physicians and parents both have the information necessary to prescribe and use Ambien appropriately.

The company adds that sleepwalking is rare, occurring in clinical trials at a rate of less than one in 1,000 patients, Anderson.

COOPER: Sanjay, is there any way of telling if you're especially susceptible to having this kind of reaction to Ambien?

GUPTA: Really there isn't. There's no specific part of the medication that appears to make a difference.

We asked the same question. What doctors told us is that, if you've had specific reactions, allergic reactions or other reactions to sleeping pills or to anti-depressants, you might be more at risk for this, as well, but still pretty rare, Anderson.

COOPER: So if you're already taking sleeping pills, is there anything you need to do based on this new information?

GUPTA: Well, I think a lot of people are going to hear this today and say, "Well, I really think -- have to think if I need this sleeping pill or not." You know, there's other things to do to try and get good sleep at night, good sleep hygiene, making sure you're going to bed at the same time. It's hard sometimes, obviously.

But also, just make sure you talk to your doctor about this. Also, tell family members if you're about to start a sleeping pill regimen, to tell them about it and see if they might look for this sort of behavior.

COOPER: All right. Sanjay, thanks.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COOPER: Well, still ahead tonight on 360, new polls that have Democrats feeling good about 2008.

But first, live before a studio audience, yes, that's right. It's Kelly Ripa and me. The tape tells the story, and well, it wasn't pretty today. The highs and, oh, the lows of my turn as a guest co- host, coming up next.


COOPER: Well, I've reported from war zones and battlefields and hurricanes, bus perhaps my toughest assignment is in an air- conditioned studio a few blocks from here.

As many of you know, Regis Philbin is undergoing heart bypass surgery. Several guest hosts are being called in to help on his program, and yesterday and today the job fell to me. And it wasn't always pretty. Take a look.


ANNOUNCER: Now, here are Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper.

COOPER (voice-over): I love filling in for Regis. I've done it a half dozen times or so, but the truth is, I'm still kind of awkward. I fiddle with my tie. I button, unbutton and rebutton my coat, and, of course, there's that nervous laugh.

It's not even a laugh really. It's like a chortle, like a chicken or something.

Anyway, thank goodness for Kelly Ripa. She's smart, stunning, and doesn't mind dealing with my quirks.

(on camera) This is your coffee.

RIPA: Oh, yes. How did you guess?

COOPER: Well, because it's hot, and I don't drink coffee.

RIPA: Oh, that's right. You don't drink coffee. Why is that?

COOPER: I don't really know. I just don't like hot things. Soup is fine, but things you actually have to drink...

RIPA: Anderson, soup is hot. COOPER (voice-over): If you watch the show, you know after the chat segment comes the phone call.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Kelly and Anderson.

COOPER (on camera): Hey, how's it going?

(voice-over) Then the prize spinning wheel.

(on camera) One, two, three.

(voice-over) I wasn't expecting the canon of confetti.

Chris rock was a guest on Tuesday's show, and it gave me a chance to try out my Regis impression.

(on camera) I feel good, too.

(voice-over) OK, so it sounded more like Jimmy Durante. I'm no comedian. Thankfully, Chris Rock is.

(on camera) Do people expect you to be funny all the time?

ROCK: People do expect me to be funny all the time. You know, just like people expect disasters from you all the time.

COOPER: Do they come up and be like, "OK, be funny now"?

ROCK: Same way they come up to you, "Hey, man, I got thrown out of my house. Report on that."

RIPA: Welcome back, Anderson Cooper from ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER (voice-over): By Wednesday I was feeling a little more comfortable in the chair. But then came this attempt at what I think was supposed to be a joke.

(on camera) That's what's great about the English. You can say anything and it sounds fantastic. It's like, "Oh, fancy a cup of tea?" It's like yes, sure.

(voice-over) I know. I don't know what it means either, and listen, you can almost hear the crickets in the audience.

Next Kelly wanted me to help her re-enact the opening of a sit- com.

(on camera) If you listen closely, you can hear the last shred of dignity I have.


COOPER (voice-over): After two days of co-hosting, it became obvious what's missing here. Regis, your co-host needs you. Gelman needs you. We all do. Get better, Reege, and get back soon. I don't know if Kelly can take much more of my laugh. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Yes. My laugh is not pretty.

Up next, "The Shot of the Day". A hairy competition. You -- well, you've got to see the video. It's this little kid with -- I'll give you -- I'll give it away. He's got a mullet, and it's quite a mullet.

Anyway, later another competition, the 2008 race for the White House. Find out why many Democrats say it's going to be their year when 360 continues.


COOPER: And I also should just point out, I saw on the wire Eyewitness News, a local station here, WABC -- ABC affiliate here in New York, is reporting that Regis Philbin had successful heart surgery at New York City hospital. So we certainly wish him a speedy recovery.

Coming up, our "Shot of the Day". Find out why one little kid earned a mighty big trophy. The hint, it has something to do with that hair. But first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with the "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, a Florida jury is recommending a convicted sex offender get the death penalty for killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford.

After deliberating for only an hour, the jury came back 10-2 in favor of death. The judge, though, will make the final call. Last week that same jury convicted Couey of kidnapping, raping, and killing Jessica.

An African immigrant whose wife and four children were killed in a New York City fire will be allowed to return to the U.S. after taking their bodies to his homeland for burial.

Today immigration officials gave Mamadou Soumare a so-called advanced parole, which allows him to come back to the U.S. from Mali. In all, ten people were killed in last week's fire.

In California a judge has dropped all charges against former Hewlett-Packard chairman Patricia Dunn in the HP spy scandal. A spokesman for the state's attorney general says the case is being dismissed because Dunn is battling cancer. Three other defendants have been sentenced to community service.

And stocks rebounded today, but only after a pretty bumpy ride. The Dow Jones finishing up 57. The NASDAQ rose 21. The S&P gained nine, Anderson.

COOPER: Erica, I don't know if you've seen "The Shot of the Day" yet. It comes to us from Florida. Check this out. The winner of the best mullet contest. I know Erica is a big fan of the mullet. HILL: Yes.

COOPER: There he is. Now, that is a mullet. Nine-year-old Dakota Russ of Georgia. You know, he's not old enough to remember when the mullet was probably one of the most popular hairstyles in the country, in the good old days, as we like to refer to them around here.

HILL: Those were the days, weren't they?

COOPER: The trophy is even bigger than his hair. And he says of his grooming method, he said he gets it wet and then puts glue in it.

HILL: Glue?

COOPER: That's what he said.

HILL: Not Aquanet. Glue. That's impressive.

Did you know Florida is also home to another mullet contest?

COOPER: I did not?

HILL: Did you know that the mullet is a fish? I didn't know until two years ago, and there is the mullet toss contest every year for Florabama, on the Florida-Alabama state line. Tossing fish.

COOPER: Really? Well, Russ there was tossing his own mullet. You know?

HILL: Just sort of doing the -- well, if you've got good hair like that, you might as well toss it around for the ladies.

COOPER: Well, congratulations, Russ.

Erica, thanks.

HILL: See you later.

COOPER: Ah, the mullet.

We want to give you -- I always mess this up. We want you to give us, "The Shot", a shot. Give "The Shot" a shot. Let's try it that way. You see some amazing video, tell us about it at I'll figure this out by next year. We'll put some of your best clips on the air.

And there's new polling tonight with striking news for Democrats. We'll crunch the numbers ahead.

Also, a look at the man who could be as tough to deal with as Osama bin Laden. That and more when 360 continues.