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New Role for U.S. Troops in Iraq; Cambridge Police Release 911 Tapes, Calls of Gates Arrest; Deadlines Slip, Haggling Continues on Health Care; New York Greeters Show Local Flavor; Trading Clunkers for Cash: Will It Help Auto Industry?; One Army Bases's Struggle with PTSD; Armstrong Happy with Third-Place Finish

Aired July 27, 2009 - 13:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Tony, thanks so much.

War is hell. We've all heard that, but sometimes it's even worse, and sometimes it follows the warriors home. We're pushing forward on troubled troops, violent crimes, and addictions, an indiscriminate force all tied to one unit at one shell-shocked base.

You haven't heard the last of the incredibly controversial arrest of a Harvard professor and a friend of President Obama's. The city of Cambridge pushing the issue forward. The 911 tape speaks for itself.

Gentleman, ladies, start your engines, if you can. If not, push those clunkers into new call dealers and Washington will make it worth your while. Well, maybe. CNN's Gerri Willis runs down the rules.

Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Collateral damage is the military term for injures, death, destruction that happen accidentally in war. Its toll in Iraq might never be fully known. But today we're learning more about the devastating toll on some U.S. soldiers, whose traumas in the field only multiply when they get home.

We're also getting an up-close look at the changing U.S. mission in Iraq, from combat to advisory. Iraqis are calling the shots; Americans are adjusting.

Our soldiers are trained to protect, to fight on the battlefield and take out the enemy. And they come back with war stories. But you don't expect them to tell this kind of story, the one that former Army Specialist Kenneth Eastridge told from a Colorado jail cell to a reporter from the "Gazette" of Colorado Springs.


KENNETH EASTRIDGE, FORMER ARMY SPECIALIST: I was totally out of money. And I had no place to go. I was homeless. I didn't really know -- I tried to get a job, unsuccessfully, because really I don't have any job skills. I just got kicked out of the Army. I got felony one. And so I don't know what to do. And so I said I'm going to commit some robberies and get enough money to get on my feet. That's all I was trying to do. I always said "no violence; I'm not going to hurt nobody."


PHILLIPS: Unfortunately, somebody did get hurt. Eastridge is serving ten years for accessory to murder after his comrade was shot to death and plans of an armed-robbery rampage were revealed. And what does Eastridge say triggered all of this? His duty in Iraq.

Since 2005, some soldiers, like Kenneth Eastridge, from Fort Carson's 4th Infantry Division, 4th Brigade Combat Team have been linked to beatings, rapes, DUIs, drug deals, kidnappings and murders.

Reporter Dave Phillips of the "Gazette" of Colorado Springs spent months interviewing soldiers and their families and scouring medical and military documents. He joins me live at the half hour with his jaw-dropping series on Fort Carson's struggle with soldiers and violent crime.

Well, the war in Iraq is a lot different: tougher and, in some respects, more dangerous for U.S. troops now than it was even a month ago. The reason: Iraqi forces are now calling the shots. And for Americans, used in being -- used to being in charge, rather, the change creates a lot of issues.

CNN's Arwa Damon has been talking with both sides. She joins us live from Baghdad.

Arwa, let's go ahead and begin. Tell us about the friction points and the misunderstandings that you have seen take place.

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, you know, this whole changing roles is being governed by the security agreement that was signed by both countries that, on June 30, saw the U.S. military complete the withdrawal of its combat forces from Iraqi cities and towns. But we still do have U.S. units in these areas in lesser numbers, and they are being called advisory units. Very heavy-duty advisory units, for that matter.

The problem, though, is that you have this convoluted document that is very difficult to navigate. So the Americans look at it and interpret it one way, and the Iraqis look at it and interpret it in an entirely different way. And so that has been the source of some friction, where the Iraqis have literally turned around some U.S. patrols, who also have the issue that you were just mentioning there, that the U.S. military isn't really used to taking this complete and total back-seat role.

Yes, in the past we have seen them in these advisory positions. We have heard terminologies such as "The Iraqis are in the lead," but at the end of the day, the Americans had the final world word. They don't have that any more. The Iraqis do. And sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.

And that's very difficult for these soldiers that are out there on the ground every day. Sometimes they have to sit back and accept that the Iraqi way is not necessarily their way. And then on the issue of security that you just mentioned. This is in many ways a big leap of faith for these troops that are out there because it wasn't just about handing over security to the Iraqis. It was also about putting trust in their capabilities. Sure, the U.S. still does maintain the capacity to fully protect itself. But at the end of the day, it's the Iraqis who are out there every single moment. It's their responsibility right now -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: And those Iraqis that were trained by U.S. troops and U.S. ways of fighting an enemy. So what type of help or support do the Iraqis usually ask for when they see that they're in trouble or they need support?

DAMON: Well, you know, the unit that we were with actually was very rarely being asked for boots-on-the-ground support as an extra U.S. soldier to go out on these missions. A lot of the times the Iraqis would come in asking for air assets, asking for eyes in the sky.

Just to give you an example, while we were there, the American commander had put together an entire intelligence brief on a target that the Americans wanted to go after. He handed over that full brief to his Iraqi counterpart, the brigade commander, and asked him if he wanted U.S. soldiers on this mission. The Iraqi commander said, "No thanks, but I will take your air support."

The Americans in this case do have to take this complete backseat role, and in describing it, they do admit that this is an entirely different shift in mindset. They're so used to being out there and fighting this battle to the max. And now they are in this more passive advisory role.

But as both sides are saying, they're saying, "Look, it had to happen sometime, so it might as well be happening while we still have over 100,000 American boots on the ground that can step in at any moment."

PHILLIPS: Arwa Damon, live from Baghdad. Arwa, thanks so much.

After a week of sound bytes, finally the tale of the tapes. Just in, the Cambridge, Massachusetts police releasing 911 and radio calls from the controversial arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Gates Jr. The arresting officer and the professor's camp each have said the tapes will back his version of how things went down.

Let's get straight to CNN's Elaine Quijano. She's in our Boston bureau with more -- Elaine.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, just got back from the Cambridge Police Department, where they did in fact release those tapes that you mentioned. We're going to play a little bit for you here. But I just want to set it up a little bit. What you're about to hear is a minute, forty-five into this 911 call from Lucia Whalen to the emergency dispatcher. Let's take a listen now and pick it up about a minute, forty-five into the emergency call.


LUCIA WHALEN, WITNESS: I don't know if they live there and they just had a hard time with their key, but I did notice that they kind of used their shoulder to try to barge in and they got in. I don't know if they had a key or not, because I couldn't see from my angle. But, you know, when I looked a little closely, that's when I thought...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Are they still in the house?

WHALEN: They're still in the house, I believe, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are they white, black or Hispanic?

WHALEN: Well, there were two larger men. One looked kind of Hispanic, but I'm not really sure. And the other one entered, I didn't see what he looked like at all. I just saw it from a distance, and this older woman was...


QUIJANO: So, why is all of that significant? Well, the attorney for that woman, Lucia Whalen, says she's been personally devastated by characterizations that have been out there that her client is somehow racist because she called in a report of two black men breaking into a house.

Now obviously, with these tapes out there, we'll continue to listen to them, Kyra. This just happened a short time ago. Obviously, this is something that she hopes will help clear the air a little bit.

Now, police, for their part, Cambridge police, are saying, "Look, these tapes speak for themselves." Again, we're not just talking about the 911 call, Kyra, but we're talking about the police radio transmissions, as well. Haven't had a chance to go through them completely, but we'll continue to do that and bring you more as we have it -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Sounds good. All right. We'll look forward to hearing more from the 911 tapes and also the police radio chat, as well. Probably, Elaine will help put some of the, I guess, uncertain pieces together for us as we continue to follow the story. Elaine Quijano, thanks so much.

Well, a cemetery, is this the new stomping ground for crooks looking to make an easy buck? It's a question big enough for Congress to hold hearings on it today. Two cemeteries in Illinois spotlighting the problem.

In the last few days, a human bone was found on the ground at Mount Glenwood Cemetery. A family has filed a lawsuit, and they claim that someone took a head stone from a relative's grave and tried to sell it.

And not far away, in Alsip, Illinois, four ex-employees, you may remember, of Burr Oak Cemetery are accused of digging up hundreds of graves, dumping the remains, and reselling the plots. Relatives of people buried there are expected to testify at today's hearing.

Stopped at customs and thrown in the clink, because the Army said he was AWOL. Pretty neat trick for a civilian, yes?


PHILLIPS: Installing a TV camera at more than 17,000 miles an hour. Yes, don't try this if you're at home. You're looking at live pictures as Endeavour's crew makes a fifth spacewalk.


PHILLIPS: Well, the volume is just a little bit lower in the health-care debate. We haven't heard the president hold another live news conference today yet either. And along with the expectations for some sort of breakthrough before lawmakers go home for the month of August. CNN's Brianna Keilar is bringing us up to date from her post on Capitol Hill.

Brianna, there was a big setback over the weekend. Tell us about that and then also about how health-care negotiations are going in the House so far today?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, as we left you last week, there was all of this Democratic infighting going on, and one of rare bright spots was the Democrats managed to agree amongst themselves on one of their ideas for how to save money in the health-care system.

Well, it turned out that agreement might be all for naught, because over the weekend the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said their -- this one particular idea for saving money actually saves hardly any money, just $2 billion over the course of ten years. Compare that to the $1 trillion price tag that health-care reform is expected to cost, and it really is just not that much money.

Meantime, that rift we were talking about between House Democratic leaders and key Democrats on key committees here continuing with these fiscally-conservative Democrats, the blue dogs. They are expected to meet later today, Kyra. But at this point they haven't really made any progress on their disagreements.

Just take a listen so what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, though, over the weekend on John King's "STATE OF THE UNION." She still sounds optimistic about getting a vote on the House floor.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's not a question of a rush. It's a question of the American people who have been waiting a very long time for health insurance that gives them confidence that, if they have a preexisting condition or if they lose their job or change their jobs or start a business, that they will have health insurance. If I take this bill to the floor, it will win. But we will move forward. This will happen.


KEILAR: So no one here, no one really saying at this point -- there's no sort of headline coming from House Democrats that this definitely is not going to come to a vote before the full House before the House leaves for August recess, Kyra. But we're getting more and more signs that it's looking really difficult.

One House Democratic leadership aide saying that, even in the best-case scenario, it would be really difficult to do something this week, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. What about in the Senate? What's the action like there?

KEILAR: Well, and that's a foregone conclusion as far as them getting a vote before the full Senate, not going to happen before they leave for their August recess.

And the key there, though, Kyra, is how much incremental progress can they make moving at least towards some sort of agreement in the -- in the key committee that's talking about health care, the Senate Finance Committee. You can see some of those key bipartisan members meeting from last week on the right side of the screen. And we're hearing those can be very difficult for them to even come to an agreement. So we don't know exactly if they will or if they won't. But we know that it's going to be a really heavy lift for them to do it before their August recess, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Brianna Keilar on the Hill, thanks so much.

Hey, Wal-Mart has got greeters. It's a giant retailer with lots to buy. So, why shouldn't New York City have greeters, too? After all, it's a giant city with lots to see. Well, now the Big Apple does have them, and they all have one thing in common.


PHILLIPS: Well, thunderstorms, hail, damaging winds, and elsewhere, lots of heat. It sounds like a good day to stay inside with the AC and just, you know, watch Chad Myers for the day.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We've been watching NASA TV all day. They were on their last mission outside the shuttle to do their repairs, a couple new wiring things, all the -- we do believe that all the guys and ladies are back on the shuttle. This is from earlier. They were moving things around. They were using their big expensive tools, screwdrivers and the like. And it's all back together. They're ready to get back in and get on the ground. They'll be landing Friday if all weather goes well there in Florida. PHILLIPS: Sounds good.

MYERS: It's good stuff. They've had their troubles, but they got it all done. You know one of those days when you just go, "All right, that wasn't the easiest thing, but I'm done."

PHILLIPS: Especially up in space.


PHILLIPS: That makes things just a little more difficult.

MYERS: Yes. You can't really call for help and have somebody deliver a pizza.

PHILLIPS: Exactly. Thanks, Chad.

MYERS: All right.

PHILLIPS: All right, Otis, cue the music.


PHILLIPS: And if you've never been to New York City and you want to go, or heck, even if you've been 100 times, you should check out a free program that the city has got going on. It's like a matchmaking service, matching tourists with genuine, accept-no-imitation New Yorkers. Well, let's see -- it lets you see the Big Apple like the locals see it and -- who knows? -- your match might be a star.

Here's CNN's Alina Cho.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Would you want a tour of New York from this guy? You would if he did this...


CHO: This is Bronx-born-and-bred Dominic Chianese, the actor otherwise known as Uncle Junior on the hit TV series "The Sopranos." And now he's a tour guide. A what?

CHIANESE: This is the neighborhood. This is the place with the cigars.

CHO: Chianese is the newest member of the Big Apple Greeter program, a non-profit group that pairs real New Yorkers with New York visitors. The celeb factor, a way to promote the city and show people like Nancy and daughter Katie Sexton from South Carolina a side of the Big Apple many never see or taste.

CHIANESE: Let's go over here.

CHO: Chianese and the Sextons start their day on the subway. Final stop: the Little Italy of the Bronx, Arthur Avenue, where Chianese was born.

CHIANESE: This is the neighborhood right here.

CHO: Spend a few minutes walking around town with the actor and you'll find...

CHIANESE: Good to see you, kid.

CHO: ... he's treated like the mayor, and he knows his food.

CHIANESE: Pizza. Delicious. Really nice. It's an old Italian expression.

CHO: Chianese also shows the Sextons the New York way to eat pizza: fold the slices in half.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is, like, the real Italian food.

CHO: A real treat.

CHIANESE: Thanks for coming by. Really.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't really tell you how much it's meant to us to be here with him and to see this community and just appreciate it for what it is.

CHO: The tour ends with a walk around the old neighborhood.

CHIANESE: I was born in this building, not the queen (ph), yes, in 1931.

CHO: And a stroll through Arthur Avenue Market, where they sample aged parmesan cheese and get a treat of a lifetime.

CHIANESE: (singing)


PHILLIPS: Once again, that was our Alina Cho.

Well, he learned the hard way the Army really doesn't like deserters, and they learned the hard way he isn't one. The total bizarre military mix-up straight ahead.


PHILLIPS: Well, it's a plan designed to improve America's fuel efficiency, and it could help the Motor City. But will cash for clunkers really get those gas guzzlers off the road?

You've probably seen the TV ads all weekend. The program, which kicks off today, offers up to $4,500 in credit toward a new fuel- efficient car or truck. But which types of vehicles can you trade in?

Let's bring in our financial editor, Gerri Willis. Gerri, we actually did some research and found that a lot of the older cars are so-called too fuel efficient to qualify, like the 1984 Ford Tempo, also, the '90s models of Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys. So let's sort of get people up to speed on what they'll need in order to qualify.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Right, right. Not everybody is going to qualify for this, obviously. And you know, the program really technically started back on July 1, but many auto dealers have been reluctant to do these deals until they understood the requirements. Finally on Friday, new rules were published detailing how detailers (ph) can get the checks and dispose of the cars.

The official name of the program now, Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS for short. It goes from July 1 -- that's a couple of weeks ago -- to November 1, 2009 or until the money runs out. So anybody who might have already traded in their clunker in the past couple of weeks, they're still eligible -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Well, and by the way, we should probably add that you don't actually get the 4,500 bucks...


PHILLIPS: ... until the paperwork clears, so that could take a couple of weeks.

WILLIS: And you don't even get it in your hot little hands. It goes right to the dealer.

PHILLIPS: OK. Well, all right. Then OK, that definitely changes things around a little bit. OK. So if a car meets the requirements then, in addition to that, what else should people arm themselves with before heading into the dealership?

WILLIS: all right. Well, let's go over some of these things you need to qualify. Your old car must be less than 25 years old on the trade-in day. It has to get 18 miles per gallon or less. It must be registered or insured under your name for at least a year. And the new car needs to get at least 22 miles per gallon.

Now, the credit, as you said, up to $4,500. But it could be $3,500. It's all based on how many more miles per gallon you can get. And you could get more. Since the program requires the scrapping of your trade-in vehicle, the dealer has to disclose to you the estimate of how much they're going to get for the scrap value. They get the first 50 bucks. You get anything over and above this. Now, this is in addition to the rebate and not in place of it.

If you want to know if you qualify, dial the hotline, 1-866-CAR- 7891 or go to -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Gerri Willis, thanks so much.

WILLIS: My pleasure. PHILLIPS: For the first time in two and a half years, the best- known Alaska politician, maybe ever, is a private citizen. With more than a year to go in her first term as governor, Sarah Palin turned the job over yesterday to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell.

In a farewell rally in Fairbanks, Palin said that she had no interest in hanging around as a lame duck. The 2008 GOP nominee for vice president called her governor stint a success, said that she doesn't need to title to speak out -- or doesn't need a title, rather, to speak out. And she also singled out the media for a parting shot.


SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: You represent what could and should be a respected honest profession that could and should be a cornerstone of our democracy. Democracy depends on you. And that is why -- that's why our troops are willing to die for you. So how about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit making things up?


PHILLIPS: Well, Palin leaves office with a pile of legal bills arising from a pile of ethics complaints. She isn't saying what she plans to do next.

We think we know what's next for Judge Sonia Sotomayor: a seat on the highest court in the land, possibly. The Senate panel that grilled her a couple weeks ago is due to vote tomorrow. We're going to set the stage at the top of the hour with our Candy Crowley right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Bizarre end to what had been a nice vacation. A Seattle man arrested by Homeland Security and jailed at Fort Knox because the Army had him listed as a deserter, which is pretty interesting because Chris Parks is a civilian. He spent two weeks behind bars, had his head shaved, the whole bit.

So, how could this happen? Possibly a snafu ten years ago when he almost enlisted but backed out?


CHRIS PARKS, CIVILIAN ACCUSED OF GOING AWOL: How paperwork could have gotten messed up enough to say that I was actually in the military and had made it there and I was -- actually, it says that I was in there for two years before they finally figured out that I wasn't and started counting me as a deserter.


PHILLIPS: So far, he says no real explanation from the military. Any updates, we'll sure let you know.

An American who joined al Qaeda, then plotted to kill then- President Bush has gotten a life prison sentence. Today's sentence is actually a do-over. Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was convicted in a federal court in Virginia back in 2005, but last year an appeals court ordered him to be resentenced, arguing his 30-year sentence was too lenient.

A rare claim of victory against the Taliban in Afghanistan. That's the word from the British military about its Operation Panthers Claw in the southern Helmand province. The goal, drive out the Taliban ahead of next month's presidential elections. Mission accomplished, but at a cost. Nine British soldiers were killed, and the Taliban suffered significant casualties. No specific numbers given, but the British commander in charge admits that many Taliban pulled out before the troops arrived and likely will return.

Body count is a controversial measure of progress in the Vietnam war, but no longer in the Afghan war. The U.S. military will stop publishing the number of Taliban and insurgents killed. It's part of a new strategy focusing on protecting Afghan citizens. In the words of the top American commander there, quote, "indicating the number of insurgents killed has little relevance to the lives of Afghans."

Soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado are serving right now in Afghanistan. Many of those soldiers have served multiple tours in Iraq as well. They come back with war stories, but you don't expect them to tell this kind of story, the one former Army Specialist Kenneth Eastridge told from a Colorado jail cell. Take a listen.


EASTRIDGE: I was totally out of money, and I had no place to go. I was homeless. I didn't (INAUDIBLE) because I tried to get a job unsuccessfully because really, I don't have any job skills. I just got kicked out of the Army. I got felony one. And so, I don't know what to do. And so, I said, I'm going to commit some robberies and get enough money to get on my feet. That's all I was trying to do. I always said no violence. I'm not going to hurt nobody.


PHILLIPS: Well, unfortunately, somebody did get hurt. Eastridge is serving ten years for accessory to murder after his comrade was shot to death and plans of an armed robbery rampage were revealed. And what does Eastridge say triggered all this? His duty in Iraq.

Reporter Dave Phillips of "The Gazette" of Colorado Springs spent months interviewing soldiers and their families and scouring medical and military documents. He wrote a jaw-dropping series on Fort Carson's struggle with soldiers and violent crime. Good to see you, Dave.


K. PHILLIPS: Let's first put in perspective, you know, Eastridge was just one of 3,500 soldiers in this particular unit, the 4th Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team. Tell me what these guys dealt with and saw that other soldiers don't deal with on a regular basis. What made this so extreme for them? D. PHILLIPS: Well, these guys had the bad luck to be in the worst place in Iraq for both of their deployments. First, they were in Ramadi in 2004, and then they were in downtown Baghdad in 2006 and 2007. And they just took tremendous casualties. They make up almost half of the casualties for the entire base of Fort Carson.

K. PHILLIPS: And, David, you looked since 2005, these soldiers have come back and been involved in brawls, beating, rapes, DUIs, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping, suicides. You talk about all of this in the first report that I read that was 23 pages long. For someone like Eastridge, for example -- and we heard from interview there in the jail cell -- did he fail the Army or did the Army fail him, as you investigated what he went through, his background and where he is now?

D. PHILLIPS: Well, it's certainly not black and white. Each one of these soldiers' stories is different. But Kenneth Eastridge joined the Army at 19. During his first deployment, he got medals for good conduct and achievement and had no discipline problems.

After his first deployment, he started showing sort of the textbook symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, which include disobeying orders, abusing alcohol. He also picked up a felony charge for pointing a gun at his girlfriend's face.

Now, where I think the Army may have failed him is that Army rules say that anyone with a civilian pending felony charge cannot go back to Iraq. He had that charge for pointing the gun at his girlfriend, and yet they sent him back again to Baghdad. After his second tour is when he was arrested for murder.

K. PHILLIPS: That's what's just so mind boggling. There were these signs. It wasn't like this just happened and folks reacted there at the base or within the Army.

And then you write about Anthony Marquez. He was actually the first in this brigade to kill someone after the Iraq tour. He used a stun gun to shock a drug dealer in a dispute over a marijuana sale. Then he shot and killed the drug dealer.

But here's what's interesting. Marquez's mom, as you wrote and as you discovered, came forward to his sergeant and said, I'm worried about my son. He's showing signs of violent behavior, abusing alcohol, pain pills, he's carrying a gun. She even said to the sergeant, he's a walking time bomb. And then apparently his sergeant took that phone call and tormented Marquez. I mean, this is something you would think in any normal situation, oh, my god, I've got to get this guy help.

D. PHILLIPS: Well, Marquez, he also joined up at 19, and he was shot and wounded in Iraq. He was actually personally awarded his Purple Heart medal by President Bush. Then he came home, and he also started showing signs of PTSD. Tragically for him, he started abusing his pain pills for his war wounds in order to treat his PTSD symptoms. His mother noticed that he was drinking too much, he was violent, he had nightmares. She called his sergeant, saying, hey, this kid needs counseling. And unfortunately, the Army still doesn't have a policy that would require that. And so they said, look, there's nothing we can do. Eight months after she called is when he tortured and shot this drug dealer in Colorado Springs.

K. PHILLIPS; And you write and put it into perspective here in your article, "Did the infantry turn some men into killers, or did killers seek out the infantry? Did the Army let in criminals or did combat-tattered soldiers fall into criminal habits? Did Fort Carson fail to take care of soldiers or did soldiers fail to take advantage of care they were offered?"

And as I read your report, it looked like time after time that members of the Army there didn't encourage counseling, or they made fun of individuals that were suffering from depression or from PTSD. And there was this stigma that just reigned on this base.

D. PHILLIPS: Well, absolutely. In fact, Fort Carson's commanding general just released a report where he looked at these very questions. And he said that there is a culture and a stigma against seeking help for mental health care that needs to change. But he also said that that's going to be very difficult.

And with a lot of these soldiers, the warning signs are obvious to us now, but when you're dealing with thousands of soldiers while at the same time trying to fight two wars, he said it's very difficult to spot, and he's not sure whether it will happen again or not.

K. PHILLIPS: Well, you also point out too all of changes that were made by Major General Mark Graham, including that when soldiers visit an Army doctor for any reason, including a sprained ankle, they can't leave without a mental health evaluation.

We are going to push forward and talk more about the changes that have been made. Dave Phillips, great job. Really appreciate you coming and talking to me. And let's follow up on this unit. I know they're in Afghanistan now. We want to see if these changes that are taking place will impact those guys when they get home. So, let's follow up, sound good?

D. PHILLIPS: Right, sounds good.

K. PHILLIPS: Great. Dave Phillips, all right. Great work.

D. PHILLIPS: Thank you.

K. PHILLIPS: Thank you.

And like I said, we are going to push forward. Major General David Perkins is actually replacing Major General Mark Graham, who's going to be moving on to a promotion. So now, the new man in charge at Fort Carson, Colorado, is going to join us live in just a few minutes to talk about his plans to deal with the problem of returning soldiers and violence on the home front. Well, he may not have been out on the top step of the podium, but it's still another victory for Lance Armstrong. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta has an exclusive interview with the cycling champ.


PHILLIPS: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention taking on a hefty issue today. Its conference in Washington is looking at the weight of the nation, and on its heels, a new study with a very blunt message. Researchers say it costs more -- some $1,400 a year more actually -- to treat obese patients than normal weight ones. In fact, obesity rates rose 37 percent between 1998 and 2006. About one in three Americans is obese now.

The higher costs include treating problems caused by excess weight, Like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Obesity-related spending now accounts for $147 billion, double what it was just 10 years ago.

Lance Armstrong used to be standing on the top step of the Tour de France's winner's platform. So, standing on the lower one yesterday for his third-place win might seem a little humbling. But considering the 38-year-old did it just months after coming out of retirement, he has no reason to hang his head. His teammate, 26 year- old Alberto Contador, came in first. Armstrong talked exclusively with our Dr. Sanjay Gupta shortly after taking the podium.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'll tell you, it's been a remarkable 22 days for Lance Armstrong right here in France. Tour de France started in Monaco, ended right here in Paris. Fans, cancer survivors from all over the world really cheering on the seven-time Tour de France winner.

Now I set on the board of Livestrong, and I can tell you, after a four-year hiatus, it was a big decision for him. I caught up with him just a few hours after he took third place at the Tour de France to talk about some of the challenges, to talk about some of the criticisms that have been waged against him, and how he responds to those and to simply ask him why he decided to get involved in all of this again.

GUPTA: Coming in first, I mean, is that something you thought about? I mean, did you care? You write it's not about the bike. But do you care if you come in first or not?

LANCE ARMSTRONG, THIRD PLACE, TOUR DE FRANCE: Well, I wanted to come in first. But sometimes in sports there's somebody that's better. And I was that guy for seven years. And I never understood what it felt like to get second or third.

I'm 38 now. And you race guys that are 24 or 25 or 26, and they're fast, they're strong. They have acceleration. They have all of the things that you had at that age. And you get third. That's what's the great thing about the Tour is that the best man always wins.

GUPTA: How was this race different for you in terms of how you trained, what you ate? Were there differences compared to five years ago?

ARMSTRONG: Well, I used a lot of the same training, the same idea with diet. I mean, the only difference, I guess, is that I'm now 38 years old. So, a 38-year-old man does not wake up every day like a 28-year-old. But I can't even complain. I mean, I think I rode well.

GUPTA: Why come back after four years? What inspired this?

ARMSTRONG: Obviously, I have to have a love for the bike. I have to have a love for the Tour. Otherwise, it's too hard. It's just way too damn hard to go out and do this. But my passion for fighting cancer and fighting it not just in Texas or the United States but around the world.

GUPTA: When you look at you the man, Lance, and the issue of cancer, do you think that people separate that? I mean, do they understand why you're riding and why you came back?

ARMSTRONG: Yes, I think so. You know, these days it's easy to get feedback. When people have a comment or have an issue, they let you know. And most of them are regarding cancer. So, that tells me that the people understand. They've been affected either themselves or through a loved one, and they understand it. And then they say ,keep going. You know, pedal hard for them tomorrow. Pedal hard for my mom or for my neighbor or my co-worker.

GUPTA: One of the things you mention --- you talked a lot about during the whole tour was the surprise test for doping. They just come and surprise you.

ARMSTRONG: They're not surprises any more.

GUPTA: Not surprising -- 40, I think over 40 tests.

ARMSTRONG: They're 50 -- they're 50 now.

GUPTA: What do you say to the critics? What do you say to the skeptics now at the end of the tour?

ARMSTRONG: Look, I've done this a long time. And I've been at the highest level now since 1992 until 2009. I've been tested more than anybody else. If I can take four years off and come back at the age of 38 with more controls than anybody else on planet Earth and get third in the hardest sporting event in the world, I think we've answered the questions.

GUPTA: A couple things worth pointing out. Lance's heart and lungs are different than most people. He pumps about 9 gallons per minute, as compared to five gallons for a normal, health 20-year-old. Also, with every breath he takes, he gets about twice as much oxygen as normal as well, which could be advantageous, certainly, in racing in a competition like this. I asked Lance what's next. He said he's going to Dublin at the end of August to have a global cancer summit to continue the discussion on some of those very same issues he talked about with me today.

Back to you.


K. PHILLIPS: Yes, and my guess is Sanjay will be going to Dublin as well. That will be fun. We'll be right back. More from the CNN NEWSROOM straight ahead.


PHILLIPS: Well, check out the guy in the middle. Notice how his hair is not flying off his head? Wait a minute. It's not moving at all.

Dennis Murphy is in the toupee business, my friends. He's also a client. So, this amusement park ad showing what its roller coaster can do made the hair on his neck stand on end. Those hairs are his, by the way. Dennis didn't care for the stereotype, so he got on the time machine in Myrtle Beach to show how far toupee science has come. He doesn't want to go backwards to, say, 1936.


PHILLIPS: Those days are so over, people. Just get that old stereotype out of your head, would you?

A smiling, happy family no more. Bitter tug-of-war being played out on two continents, and in the middle, a little boy.


PHILLIPS: A tug-of-war that's a parent's worst nightmare, fighting a spouse over custody of a child. But it does happen, as we've seen in one celebrated case involving one parent in New Jersey and the other in Brazil. Here's CNN's Deborah Feyerick.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, this boils down to something very basic. If you were unhappily married, how far would you go to keep your child? Would you break the law, kidnap your kid, hoping to gain custody in another state, another country? It's a desperate, terrible choice, but one thousands of parents have made, defying court rulings again and again.

(voice-over): At the age of 35, Bruna Bianchi had everything she dreamed of: Living in Brazil with her American-born son, happily remarried, a baby on the way, her own business. It was almost perfect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was really, really brave to come here. She wanted her life back.

FEYERICK: But it came with a price. Bruna gambled she would be able to keep her son, Sean, in Brazil and work out custody with her first husband in New Jersey, David Goldman.

(on camera): No one except Bruna knows the exact moment she decided to stay here in Brazil, but it's at this point that the stories of husband and wife take sharply different turns.

(voice-over): David went to court in New Jersey. Bruna in secret went to court in Brazil, an attempt to beat the system. Each got custody. But under the terms of the Hague convention, the U.S. court ordered Sean be immediately brought home.

PETER LAUZON, CHILD CUSTODY EXPERT: But oftentimes, parents are not allowed to move. And that's why in all likelihood she took this particular step of kidnapping the child.

FEYERICK: Goldman says Bruna warned him not to go to police, threatening...

DAVID GOLDMAN, SEAN'S FATHER: I would never see my son again.

FEYERICK: Her mother and brother say not true.

(on camera): Was she threatening him? Don't come, you'll never see your son?

SILVANA BIANCHI RIBEIRO, GRANDMOTHER: She asked him to come many, many times.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Goldman's attorney calls the invitation a bold-faced lie. Meanwhile, years passed. Sean was living in Rio, learning Portuguese and making friends. Then tragically last August, his mom died hours after giving birth to a daughter.

Again, Sean's world was about to change. A Brazilian high court judge ordered Sean's immediate return to Goldman, concluding Bruna's family had alienated the child from his real dad. Sean's stepdad is making a legal claim for Sean to stay in Brazil, where he's lived half his life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm pleased with this decision today.

FEYERICK (on camera): Why as a stepfather you're fighting for custody of another man's biological child?

JOAO PAULO LINS E SILVA: I was 60 percent of Sean's life together with him. I have given him love, care, protection, supporting him financially. (INAUDIBLE)

GOLDMAN: To allow a man with no blood relations to keep another parent's child is against their own laws.

FEYERICK (voice-over): So, why is Sean, now 9, still in Brazil? S. RIBEIRO: He always asks to me to mom, if some day, something will happen to me, please, Sean is your son, promise that you are going to stay with him.

FEYERICK: Bruna's family, still grieving her death, is determined to fight on.

LUCA BIANCHI RIBEIRO, UNCLE: Can you imagine now you have to live in America, and you've got to live with someone that you don't know but is your biological father, and you do not remember? Just go. I mean, he doesn't want to go.

S. RIBEIRO: He's so sad. And I miss my daughter so much.

FEYERICK (on camera): While the Hague convention does consider the best interests of the child and length of time living in a different country, experts say it's a flawed argument because it rewards the initial act of kidnapping -- Kyra.


K. PHILLIPS: Deb Feyerick, thanks so much.