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Shake-Up in the West Wing; Priest Accused of Murdering Nun; Another FEMA Foul-Up?

Aired April 17, 2006 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again, everyone.
We have got a shakeup in the West Wing. The new White House chief of staff calls for fresh blood -- no sign Don Rumsfeld is going to be sacrificed, though.


ANNOUNCER: A case of cleaning house at the White House? The president new chief of staff says he's wasting no time to refresh and reenergize the team. So, who's out the door?

Mobile homes for Katrina victims sitting empty in Arkansas are finally on the move. But you won't believe where they're headed. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

And an unholy act -- a nun is murdered, and the accused shocks a town.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's an innocent priest. He could never do that.

ANNOUNCER: Why the priest who presided over her funeral is now standing trial for her murder.


ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, here's Anderson cooper.

COOPER: And thanks for joining us. We begin with the prospect of pink slips and resignations at the White House.

Today was Josh Bolten's first day on the job as the president's chief of staff. And, quickly, he made it clear that changes were coming, possibly big changes as well. And considering the president's falling approval ratings, Bolten's first order of business may mean some last days at work for a few White House insiders.

Tonight, we're covering all the angles. Who may be the first to go? We will talk to former presidential adviser David Gergen. Also, will Bolten's changes take the heat off Don Rumsfeld? There has been a lot of pressure on the defense secretary to step down. He says he's staying put. We will have more on the battle later on.

First, Bolten's big bang.

Here's CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): White House staff changes are on the way.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Josh has hit the ground running as chief of staff.

MALVEAUX: Josh Bolten, the president's new chief of staff, told senior advisers in his first closed-door Monday morning meeting:

MCCLELLAN: If you are thinking about leaving sometime in the near future now, would be a good time to do it.

MALVEAUX: Because Bolten said, in the weeks ahead, he will be making personnel changes to refresh and reenergize the president's team, using his first seven to 10 days on the job to evaluate how to improve White House operations. Some Republican strategists and Bush administration officials say, Bolten is specifically focusing on White House communications and legislative affairs.

Press Secretary Scott McClellan was asked whether he had any plans to leave.

MCCLELLAN: Look, I never speculate about personal matters.

MALVEAUX: But the White House is talking about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Breaking with tradition to remain mum on the issue, the president interrupted his Easter holiday to put out a statement, saying, "He has my full support."

White House aides insist, despite calls for Rumsfeld to resign now coming from six retired generals, Rumsfeld is here to stay.

MCCLELLAN: What the president did on Friday was make a strong statement, reiterating his full support for Secretary Rumsfeld.

MALVEAUX: But speculation continues to swirl around the fate of Treasury Secretary John Snow. He appeared by the president's side today, as he has over the past several weeks, to deliver good economic numbers, but has failed to get the kind of robust public endorsement Mr. Bush offered his defense secretary.

McClellan says Bolten's first priority will be to fill positions that are already vacant, including his old job as director of the Office of Management and Budget and that of domestic policy adviser, held by Claude Allen, who resigned in February.

(on camera): It's unclear how extensive these personnel changes will be, but Bolten says, he's going to put his stamp on things.

Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, the White House.


COOPER: And that surprised some people.

Change at the White House, of course, is nothing new. It happens in every administration, to some degree. What is unusual, perhaps even shocking to some, about this announcement is the indication of just how much power Josh Bolten is getting in his new job.

Earlier today, I discussed that and more with former White House adviser David Gergen.


COOPER: So, David, what do you make of this, Josh Bolten saying there are -- there are probably going to be changes to -- to refresh the Bush administration?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: I find the story that has emerged from the White House today absolutely extraordinary, even bizarre.

The -- Scott McClellan, the press secretary, has come in front of the press today to say that Josh Bolten, at a senior staff meeting, said that he was going to refresh and reenergize the White House. That's entirely understandable.

But Scott McClellan is quoted by "The New York Times" as going beyond that, to say that the president has given his new chief of staff wide latitude to not only shake up the White House staff, but to even choose new Cabinet members.

The last time I looked, Josh Bolten was not President Bolten. Now, if the -- the -- under our system, it's the president who chooses his Cabinet, sends the names up to Congress, up to the Senate, and they're confirmed. So, to have a situation -- Scott McClellan went on to say that Josh -- Josh Bolten might start by naming his own successor at OMB. That's a Cabinet-level position.

Is the president really surrendering his appointment capacity to his chief of staff? That would be the first time in my memory...

COOPER: Do you think it's -- it's a...

GERGEN: ... it has ever happened.

COOPER: Do you think it's a -- is it a misspeak or just a misstep?

GERGEN: Well, at -- at first, I thought they may have meant -- had one misstatement, in effect, that -- that -- that Scott McClellan maybe went a little far.

But, if you read the full story, it sounds like, no, they're really giving Josh Bolten a -- a hand in saying -- now, they're not saying he can name Rumsfeld's successor or to make that decision. But "The Times" is reporting and others reporting that he is going to -- the inner circle of the president, which includes Scott -- Josh -- Josh Bolten and the vice president, are going to be able to decide what happens to Don Rumsfeld.

I just -- I -- I think that they will find -- come to their senses and not allow this to happen. But the very idea that they're bringing in a chief of staff who's going to be given this kind of authority is, to me, astonishing.

I mean, let me -- let me put it another way, another piece of this, into place, Anderson, if I might. Ordinarily, the role of the chief of staff within the White House itself is to come to the president with recommendations for people who might serve in the White House.

The press secretary serves the president, not the chief of staff. The communications director serves the president, not the chief of staff. You serve at the pleasure of the president. And to give your chief of staff even the appointive hiring and firing capacity, and to say, it's up to you, Josh, you just figure out who's best, and I will go with it, to me, is an abdication of authority.

I just don't think the president wants to do that, and I just can't believe he will do it. So, I'm astonished by what they're saying.

COOPER: It -- it does seem like they're getting their act together, in terms of responding to these generals, to these six generals, who have come out, calling for Rumsfeld to step down. Over the weekend, they sent out talking-points memos, the Defense Department did.

Rumsfeld is going to meet with some, I guess, TV analysts, retired generals, tomorrow.

What do you make of that? I mean, how serious do you think they are taking this, and how seriously should they take this, these comments from the generals?

GERGEN: Very seriously.

You know, the White House says, well, there are 8,000 generals out there. Listen, there are only a handful of generals who actually directed the operation in -- in Iraq. Two of them -- two of the people here who are dissenters were division commanders in Iraq. They had very large responsibilities.

And -- and it's -- it's -- it's rare. Again, it's -- we are in -- we're in new -- new -- new waters here. I cannot remember a time when so many generals at high levels during a war have come out against the defense secretary.

So, it's very serious, Anderson. What I think we see is, the White House is effectively circling the wagons around the secretary. They clearly want to defend him. Whether that's going to be sufficient to protect him, in the long term, I think, is very problematic.

COOPER: Protecting him, though, I mean, at a certain point, does the president step away from him, or is that an admission that there are serious problems in Iraq?

Because what the White House had been saying now is, look, things are going much better than this media is -- is portraying.

Would having Rumsfeld resign send a message that, actually, there are serious problems and have been big mistakes?

GERGEN: Well, that's clearly the -- one of the major reasons why the president does not want to have him leave, because I think he sees -- and I think he's right to see -- that these attacks on Don Rumsfeld, in effect, are attacks upon him.

This is not a happy development for the administration. It does reflect some very deep, pent-up frustrations. There are generals who have come out in support of him. We ought to be very clear about that. And there are people in the Pentagon who do support him.

But to have this kind of division, which is obvious, is not helpful to the president and this end game in Iraq.

COOPER: Tough decisions for...

GERGEN: Tough...


COOPER: ... Josh Bolton to make.

GERGEN: Tough -- and tough decisions for Josh Bolton. But, last -- well, I don't know. Maybe President Bolton will have some fresh ideas.


GERGEN: We will -- we will have to wait and see.

COOPER: Let's -- let's -- let's see.

David Gergen, thank you.

GERGEN: Thank you, Anderson.


COOPER: Well, as we just talked about, the White House is fighting back against generals who have called for Rumsfeld's resignation.

Coming up, the White House strategy and the generals who are sticking to their guns on both sides. I will talk to some retired generals with very different opinions. Plus, those mobile homes FEMA brought for Katrina victims -- remember? You remember the ones. They're the ones that you paid for. They have been sitting unused in Arkansas, hundreds of millions of dollars worth? Well, some of them are on the move. Some of them are heading -- well, just wait, because you're not going to believe where they're heading. Let's just say they're not heading to Katrina victims. We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

And this:


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... report says, by the end of this century, the -- the polar bear is headed towards extinction.


COOPER: What is happening to our white, furry friends, the polar bear? A disturbing report on the reality of global warming -- when 360 continues.


COOPER: The battle over Donald Rumsfeld is heating up. With a half-dozen retired generals calling for his resignation, the Pentagon issues a counter-strike, a bullet-point memo in support of the defense secretary. The question is, will it stop the bleeding or simply add more fuel to the fire?

CNN's Jamie McIntyre takes a look.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Under fire from a half-dozen recently retired U.S. commanders for his handling of the war in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is rallying a quick-reaction force of two-, three- and four-star retired officers, in an attempt to outrank and outflank his critics. His strategy includes radio appearances, like this one on "The Rush Limbaugh Show."


DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: This, too, will pass. The sharper the criticism comes, sometimes, the sharper the defense comes from people who don't agree with the critics.


MCINTYRE: And some of those Rumsfeld defenders are getting ammunition from the Pentagon press office, in the form of bullet points aimed at refuting the criticism that Rumsfeld ignores the advice of his top brass.

"Senior military leaders have been involved to an unprecedented degree in every decision-making process," says the talking points e- mailed to retired generals and military analysts Friday. The single- page memo cites 110 meetings Rumsfeld had with his military chiefs last year, and 163 meetings with commanders, and another 29 meetings with the chiefs, and 45 with the commanders so far this year.

It's no coincidence, those verbatim words showed up Monday in a "Wall Street Journal" opinion piece entitled, "In Defense of Donald Rumsfeld," signed by four long-retired generals, who blasted Rumsfeld's detractors.

"Some may feel he has been unfair, arrogant and autocratic," they wrote," but argued, "Those sentiments and feelings are irrelevant as long as Rumsfeld retains the confidence of the commander in chief."

The piece concludes, "So, let's all breathe into a bag and get on with winning the global war against radical Islam."

One of CNN's military analysts, retired Brigadier General David Grange, says he thinks the dispute is not so much the numbers of meetings, but more about how Rumsfeld runs them, in other words, faulting his tact more than his tactics.

BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I think, a lot of it, they don't like the secretary's management style. And -- and it is a bit gruff, I think, at times, from what I have -- from what I have heard. And I think that's the biggest problem.

I -- I think it would be inappropriate right now, just for -- to accomplish the mission that this country has taken on with the war in Iraq, to have Secretary Rumsfeld step down.

MCINTYRE (on-camera): Rumsfeld is planning to meet Tuesday afternoon with TV military analysts and other opinion-makers to make the case that Iraq is on track. The press office insists, it's nothing unusual, but says the get-together was quickly arranged, once a cancellation opened up a hole in Rumsfeld's busy schedule.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


COOPER: Well, I asked three retired generals to talk about Rumsfeld.

Retired General John Batiste commanded the 1st Infantry Brigade in Iraq from 2004 until last year. He thinks Rumsfeld needs to go now. Retired Air Force General Don Shepperd and retired General Kevin Ryan say Rumsfeld doesn't have to resign. And, as you will see, that's not exactly a total vote of confidence.

They joined me, all, earlier.


COOPER: General Batiste, now the White House is sending out talking points, how to effectively rebut your criticisms, some of the other generals. They say, look, Rumsfeld has met more than 100 times with military chiefs and commanders, and, sure, he's tough, but he listens.


MAJOR GENERAL JOHN BATISTE (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Anderson, as I have said several times now, our secretary of defense does not listen. He holds others in contempt. He dismisses advice. He has an opinion. And it doesn't matter, quite frankly, what other people think.

COOPER: And -- and to those who say, OK, so what, so his management style is -- is brusque; so he's got an attitude, as some have said; why does that matter, in your opinion?

BATISTE: You know, Anderson, I have worked for men much tougher than our SecDef, much more aggressive.

The difference is, they don't treat people with contempt. They are not dismissive. They understand teamwork. And they listen to good ideas. If you're not willing to listen to your subordinates, then, you end up with bad strategic decisions. You go to war with the wrong war plan. You end up with Abu Ghraib. You stand down the Iraqi military, which causes enormous problems.

COOPER: General Ryan, what about that? I mean, if there have been serious strategic mistakes, should the defense secretary be the one held responsible?

BRIGADIER GENERAL KEVIN RYAN (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Well, first of all, I disagree with the premise that the secretary should resign. I think it would be a bad move at -- especially at this time.

COOPER: Well, General Ryan, do you make any linkage between his -- the -- the secretary's style and -- and -- and any strategic mistakes or tactical mistakes that have been made?

GERGEN: The combatant commander, working with the secretary, comes up with the plans, with the numbers of soldiers we need, the kind of units, the strategies that we -- that we need to execute in the war, after the war, and throughout his region.

So, in that respect, the secretary and the combatant commander share responsibility for those decisions. And, certainly, I think it's clear now that we made mistakes in -- in -- in estimating what we needed for the transition from combat, if you will, from a combat phase, into the post-combat phase.

COOPER: General Shepperd, let me bring you in.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers had this to say about this criticism of Rumsfeld over the weekend. Let's listen.


GENERAL RICHARD MYERS (RET.), FORMER JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHAIRMAN: It's inappropriate, because it's not the military that judges our civilian bosses. That would be a -- we would be a -- in a -- in a horrible state in this country, in my opinion, if the military was left to judge the civilian bosses, because, when you judge Secretary Rumsfeld, you're also judging the commander in chief, because that's the chain of command.


COOPER: General Shepperd, I know you received this talking-point memo that was sent out over the weekend. You're meeting with others and Rumsfeld tomorrow.

What do you make of the counterattack that is under way right now?

MAJOR GENERAL DONALD SHEPPERD (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think the counterattack is understandable, Anderson.

They're going to put the best face they can on this, on the secretary has met widely and received a lot of counsel. I think there's a big difference between listening and then deciding. The secretary has to make decisions, and he's going to listen to a lot of people. If you don't like his style, as General Batiste says, we have all worked for a lot -- a lot tougher bosses than Secretary Rumsfeld.

I have talked to people that worked directly for him that are now retired, and they say he is extremely tough. And you better have your act together when you talk to him, or he will dismiss you, and dismiss you very quickly.

So, this isn't about style. It's about the substance. And I agree with General Batiste and General Ryan that, basically, the generals and the president have to be -- and -- and the secretary have to be held responsible, through the electoral process, of -- for the outcome of this war on terror.

That's the way to do it, not by calling for his resignation.

COOPER: General Batiste, tell me, if you can, when you were on the ground in Iraq commanding troops, as you were for -- for quite some time, how did this filter down to -- to where you were, I mean, this -- this sense of the secretary of defense's arrogance, not listening? How -- I mean, how did you see that on the ground?

BATISTE: Anderson, we had great debate within the corps, within the multinational force Iraq, tremendous dialogue between commanders up and down.

And -- and, as you know, in the -- in the military, at some point, the discussion is stopped, and a decision is made. And you either execute the best idea you have ever heard, or you get out. I personally chose to retire on principle, so that you and I could be having this discussion right now.


COOPER: Well, the generals speaking out about Donald Rumsfeld are only a fraction of the top-ranking officers, active and retired, in the U.S. military.

Here's the raw data. There are more than 2,200 retired generals and admirals alive today. And 881 are currently serving in the four branches of the military. Three hundred and twelve are in the Army.

There we go.

Two hundred and fourteen are in the Navy, and 82 in the Marines. Two hundred and seventy-three are in the Air Force.

Now, this is a key point that's made by the Pentagon and the White House in the last couple days when deflecting criticism of Donald Rumsfeld. Critics, however, say, the outcry is justified because, of the six generals who have spoken out against Rumsfeld, one of whom you just heard, three commanded troops in Iraq, under Rumsfeld's leadership.

Well, the debate's not over. We will continue with it tomorrow.

In other news, mobile homes for Katrina victims are moving away from the Gulf Coast. Does that make any sense? We are "Keeping Them Honest" tonight. We will take a look at that.

But, first, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with some of the other stories -- Erica.


An overcrowded bus plunges 650 feet into a ravine in eastern Mexico. At least 60 people are dead. Police aren't sure what caused the crash, but they say the bus was trying to move into a lane designed for vehicles with brake or mechanical problems.

In Durham, North Carolina, a grand jury reportedly hands up sealed indictments against two members of the Duke University lacrosse team. Now, the players are accused of raping a woman hired as a dancer at a team party. A source close to the investigation says arrests could be made soon.

In Aruba, a man arrested on Sunday in connection with Natalee Holloway's disappearance will be held for eight more days. He is scheduled to appear before a judge tomorrow. Holloway has been missing since last May.

And, in Japan, movies are really starting to smell. When "The New World" plays there later this month, fragrances will be pumped into at least one theater. New technology, basically, will shoot out smells to go with certain parts of the film, for example, a floral scent for a love scene, and a -- an herblike concoction during an angry scene, which apparently eucalyptus and tea tree oil.


HILL: I thought those were supposed to help you relax, but maybe they're supposed to help you get into the angry scene. I don't know.

COOPER: I can direct you to several theaters in New York that have quite an aroma.

HILL: I don't think those are the ones that we're all going for, no.


COOPER: Probably not.

Erica, thanks.

OK, so, remember those nearly 11,000 mobile homes that -- well, FEMA bought them, but, really, you paid for them. They were for Hurricane Katrina victims? There they are, sitting in Hope, Arkansas, for months now, sitting empty.

Well, now FEMA has them on the move, but not to help Katrina victims. You won't guess where they're going. We will tell you ahead. We are "Keeping Them Honest."

Plus, "Justice Served" tonight -- a priest in Ohio on trial accused of murdering a nun. The question a former cop is asking, did the police soft-pedal the original investigation to protect the church? -- that when 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, the fate of thousands mobile homes earmarked for Hurricane Katrina victims has finally been decided, but you won't believe where they're headed -- details next on 360.


COOPER: Well, it's a story we have been reporting on for months now, the nearly 11,000 mobile homes sitting unused in Hope, Arkansas, just fields of them, as far as the eye can see. There they are. FEMA bought them after Hurricane Katrina for more than $300 million. Those were, of course, your taxpayer dollars. Three hundred homes were moved to the Gulf region to -- to house just really a fraction of those who are facing desperate times, still waiting for trailers.

The remainder have just been sitting there. Tonight, we can tell you finally that they are on the move. But they're not going anywhere near the Gulf Coast.

CNN's Susan Roesgen "Keeping Them Honest."


SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Under pressure from everyone from local officials to the president himself, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is finally sending some of these infamous mobile homes not south, where Katrina hit, but north. About 100 are headed to another town in Arkansas, Marmaduke. Between 600 and 1,000 are headed to Caruthersville, Missouri. And between 300 and 500 are going all the way to Edison, New Jersey, 1,300 miles away. FEMA says, mobile homes in Arkansas and Missouri could be used to house people who lose their homes in a tornado. But, Edison, New Jersey? A FEMA spokesman told me, that's in case the Atlantic Seaboard gets hit with a hurricane or a terrorist attack. FEMA will pay $6 per mobile home per mile, making the moving cost for just the first 1,000 mobile homes more than $5.5 million.

But, at this point, FEMA has no plans to take any down to hurricane victims in Louisiana, because, according to FEMA's own rules, in most cases, mobile homes can't be placed in a flood zone.


COOPER: It's just unbelievable. How many of them are -- now, I -- I didn't catch the -- the early part. Are they all moving out?

ROESGEN: No, Anderson. Eventually, about half of them, between 5,000 and 7,000, are expected to move out. Right now, around 1,000 expected to move out to a few other cities across the country, but, as you mentioned, not coming anywhere near New Orleans.

COOPER: It's just un -- unbelievable.

And, of course, nothing really -- I mean, no -- we have no confidence that this couldn't happen again the next time around, I mean, that they would buy these trailers, these mobile homes, even though -- knowing that they can't be sent to the very place that they needed to be sent and were bought to be sent. It's -- it just boggles the mind.

ROESGEN: Well, you know, Anderson, you talk about Edison, New Jersey, and you think, could a hurricane really hit there?

And we recently talked to some emergency management folks in New Jersey, who say they're prepared for any kind of big storm. So, I think, this year, in this hurricane season, either FEMA is going to look very prescient or not very prescient, Anderson, maybe a little dumb this year.

COOPER: Wow. Susan Roesgen, thanks, "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

The "New Orleans Times-Picayune" newspaper and "The Sun Herald" of Mississippi today won Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting on Katrina. The Pulitzer Organization gave "The Times" two awards for its heroic, multifaceted coverage, and said "The Sun Herald" had provided a lifeline for devastated readers.

And we could not agree more.

In tonight's "Justice Served" -- a priest accused of murdering a nun, his supporters say it cannot be true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a quiet person, kind of shy. And that's why those of us who know him just cannot fathom how he would be capable of a crime like this.


COOPER: But prosecutors believe the evidence tells a much different story. We will have the latest on what is a truly shocking case.

Also ahead tonight: Are polar bears nearing extinction? Experts fear yes, and they fear their demise is due to global warming. We will investigate -- when 360 continues.


COOPER: In Ohio tonight, a man of God stands accused of a cold- blooded murder. The defendant is a Roman Catholic priest. The victim was a woman who devoted her life to the church and whose death took decades to solve. She was a nun. CNN's Gary Tuchman has more in tonight's "Justice Served."


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When a nun was found murdered in Toledo, Ohio, more than a quarter-century ago, Father Gerald Robinson presided over her funeral mass. Now, he's standing trial, charged with being the murderer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All we can say is that the murder weapon, we believe we'll be able to demonstrate, was in the control of the suspect.

TUCHMAN: The body of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was found in a hospital chapel the day before Easter 26 years ago. The wounds on her chest and neck resembled a cross. A bloody altar cloth covered her body. Former Toledo Police Officer Dave Davison was among the first on the scene.

DAVE DAVISON, FORMER TOLEDO POLICE OFFICER: We knew she had been strangled, because of the marks on her neck. We knew that she had been stabbed, and it looked like a rape, so we're thinking this has to be some kind of butcher.

TUCHMAN: Officer Davison says, when he talked with people, only one name came up as a suspect: Father Robinson.

DAVISON: Well, they were claiming he was an alcoholic and he had a temper, had struck nuns before.

TUCHMAN: But nobody was ever arrested, and the case went cold. Robinson, a chaplain at the hospital where the killing took place, remained an active priest until 2003, when a Toledo woman came forward, alleging she was sexually abused as a child by Catholic priests, including Robinson and the local diocese during Satanic rituals. Police don't know if those claims are true, but the investigation into Sister Margaret Ann Pahl's murder reopened, and the priest was arrested, alleged to have stabbed the nun with a letter opener. Investigators say blood stains on that weapon matched those from the altar cloth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When a weapon is laid down or when anything is laid down, it leaves a pattern. So we're talking about blood transfer patterns.

TUCHMAN: There is a gag order in the case, so it's not known if allegations of Satanic rituals will be brought up in the trial or just what the alleged motive it. The priest has been placed on leave, but is free on bond, allowed to wear his collar, and insists he's innocent.

During his jury selection on Monday, at least two prospective jurors said they doubted a priest could kill a nun. He has had much supporter among parishioners.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's an innocent priest. He was a priest for how many years? I knew him for 20 years. He could never do that.

TUCHMAN: Father Paul Krikowski (ph) used to be Robinson's roommate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a quiet person, kind of shy. But that's why those of us who know him just cannot fathom how he would be capable of a crime like this.

TUCHMAN: The cop who found the nun's body claims police weren't aggressive with the case years ago because it was helping to protect the church. The department today says it will not comment about that charge, but Davison says the church still holds sway in this heavily Catholic city.

DAVISON: If he's convicted, I'll be the most surprised person in the city.

TUCHMAN: If he is convicted, Gerald Robinson faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Wow, shocking crime.

Coming up, global warming. It is real, and it is being felted most strongly at the polar ice caps. We're going to take a look at that. It is especially, of course, bad news for polar bears. Take a look.


BOB CORELL, AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY: They're getting thinner, and thinner, and thinner. And so, instead of having two or three cubs a year, they're now having one and zero.


COOPER: So the question is: Could polar bears actually become extinct by the end of this century? We'll investigate.

Also, wildlife expert Jeff Corwin on the unthinkable, the Arctic Ocean ice freeze all summer long. It's all part of our weeklong look at global warming. Across America and around the world, you're watching 360.


COOPER: Well, some news organizations might have you believe that global warming is a phony concern, but the overwhelming majority of scientists think otherwise. That's why to us at 360 the issue is too hot not to handle.

So all this week, we're taking a look at global warming, starting with its effect on polar bears. Yep, they are trying to tell us something. You can almost hear them ask, "What on Earth is going on?" CNN's Joe Johns investigates.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the top of the world, the top of the food chain, a strange and troubling new phenomenon: Polar bears are drowning, and some scientists say these kings of the arctic ice may vanish from the wild.

BOB CORELL, AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY: They're getting thinner, and thinner, and thinner. And so, instead of having two or three cubs a year, they're now having one and zero. And our report says, by the end of this century, the polar bear is headed towards extinction.

JOHNS: What's going on? To understand that, start with a simple fact: Polar bears depend on sea ice, and the sea ice is melting and growing thinner. And that means their primary prey, seals, are harder to find with the new expanses of water and harder to kill.

The disappearance of the sea ice off the north coast of Alaska was reported at the end of last year by the U.S. Minerals Management Service, which matched it up with a sharp rise in sightings of swimming and drowned bears.

They're drowning because they're apparently trying to swim to shore, as much as 80 miles in a desperate attempt to find the food that was once readily available on the ice. Harry Reynolds has been studying bears his whole life, and he had never heard of a polar bear drowning until recently.

HARRY REYNOLDS, INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR BEAR RESEARCH: That's in the last two or three years. And prior to that, I don't recall of hearing any in the 32 years that I've been in Alaska. JOHNS: Flying over Barrow, the northernmost town in the United States, it's easy to see the problem. The pack ice is breaking up earlier than in years past, cutting the polar bears' seal-hunting season from nine months to six. The bears may be falling victim to the way they hunt and their dependence on winter seal kills to get them through the summer.

REYNOLDS: Can't make it through the summer, then they're not as physically fit. You know, their offspring are more likely to die or, in some cases, their offspring might not even be born.

JOHNS: The melting is coincided with an increase in temperatures in parts of Alaska, some scientists believe as the result of global warming. And over the last few years, they say, the process has started speeding up.

The bottom-line question: What's causing the warming? Is it because of greenhouse gases, as a majority of scientists believe, or simply because of natural climate fluctuations that different species have always had to adapt to?

Whatever the answer, because the climate change has been so rapid, adaptation may be hard for both the bears and their prey.

Just last week, a team of scientists from the Woods Hold Oceanographic Institute published a scientific paper describing an unusual incident from the summer of 2004. The team, cruising in a Coast Guard icebreaker off the north coast of Alaska, reported seeing nine walrus pups swimming without their mothers, highly unusual since the walrus young are dependent on their mother's milk for up to the first two years of life.

CARIN ASHJIAN, WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE: These little walrus pups would just come swimming up to boat, and look at us, and just start barking. And they would just sit there and bark for hours. Our theory is that the sea ice retreated very fast to the north and that the mothers had to abandon their babies because the babies couldn't keep up with the retreating sea ice.

JOHNS: The arctic north is a harsh world where even small, climatic changes can have a magnified effect and where the effects of global warming are becoming apparent in ways that are almost impossible to ignore.

Joe Johns, CNN, Anchorage, Alaska.


COOPER: Well, there's certainly much to explore here, the delicate balance between a species and its ecosystem and how both can be affected by global warming. We're joined by wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin of the Animal Planet's "Corwin's Quest."

Jeff, good to see you again. So we just heard that polar bears are trying to swim up to 80 miles and are drowning. How far can they swim? JEFF CORWIN, ANIMAL PLANET HOST: Well, you know, these bears are just absolutely incredible. They have a great sense of stamina when it comes to going out in the open ocean. And your average polar bear can easily do 20, 30 miles a day. And when pushed, it's capable of doing 50 to 60 miles. But 80 is just absolutely extreme for these creatures.

And what you have to keep in mind is: Every time this animal is moving, not only is it putting pressure on its own body, dealing with the cold environment, but it's burning calories, desperately needed calories. And there's no payoff in the end if it doesn't find its prey.

COOPER: Is there anything besides seals that they eat?

CORWIN: Well, a polar bear primarily feeds on seals and whales. That's the ultimate sort of perfect prey for these amazing bears. And what's interesting about them is that they're actually unique amongst the bears, in that polar bears are actually classified as a marine species.

So dealing with this rugged environment is nothing new, but these animals are now being so pressured that they no longer have access to the traditional prey. So they're being forced to eat birds, carrion, which is dead animals. They've been seen trying to stalk reindeer, even trying to eat berries and things like that.

An animal like this needs to eat about 10 to 20 percent of its body weight every day. So a male polar bear, weighing in at 1,100, 1,200 pounds, is needing, like, upwards to 200 pounds of food each day.

COOPER: So, you know, some people will say, "OK, look, it's sad about the polar bear, but what does that have to do with me? Why does this really matter? So what?"

CORWIN: Anderson, you know, you hit the nail on the head. So what's the big deal about these polar bears? I mean, right, how does it affect us?

What we have to do is look at these creatures as almost like indicator species. They're telling us the direction we're heading to as a nation and as the world.

Keep in mind that these animals are taking part and feeding on the same resources that human beings need for survival. As fish disappear, so does the prey of the polar bear, which are the seals, so that animal is under pressure.

But as we know, as we discussed earlier, salmon are disappearing because of global warming. Many other creatures are disappearing, as well. This will ultimately affect us, because we rely on these natural resources, as well.

COOPER: Where in the United States can we see global warming's impact? CORWIN: Simply go to -- a good example is go to Glacier National Park in Montana. You know, Glacier National Park is named for the majestic sheets of ice that basically blanket the peaks of this extraordinary mountain range.

Every year, a great portion of these glaciers fade away forever. And probably within the next few decades, we're going to have to come up with a new name, because the glaciers that have existed there for tens and tens of thousands of years will very quickly have disappeared.

COOPER: Jeff Corwin, it's always good to talk to you. Thanks, Jeff.

CORWIN: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Shifting gears, just a word about tomorrow night's special two-hour edition of 360, we're going to be, by the way, looking at global warming all throughout this week. But tomorrow, we have a special two-hour edition of 360.

We're going to examine a noted author's investigation that may rewrite the history of the Boston Strangler, the notorious serial killer of the 1960s who was responsible for over a dozen murders. The question is: Was another man convicted for what was actually a killing by the strangler? The book is by author Sebastian Junger of "A Perfect Storm." It's a controversial book. There are many critics. We'll look at all sides.

Still ahead tonight, a development in the alleged Duke sex scandal. A grand jury has reportedly handed down sealed indictments. In a CNN exclusive, we'll talk with the cousin of the woman who claims she was raped by Duke athletes, when 360 continues.


COOPER: Tomorrow night, a special edition of 360 on a new book by the author of "A Perfect Storm," Sebastian Junger. In "A Death in Belmont," Junger explores a murder that happened in the suburban Boston neighborhood where he grew up, a murder that looked disturbing like the Boston Strangler, but for which another man was convicted.


COOPER (voice-over): The story begins in 1963. Sebastian Junger was barely a toddler then. John F. Kennedy was president, and race relations were at a boiling point in the country, especially in Irish Catholic Boston. But Boston was also paralyzed by fear. The serial killer, who came to be known as the Boston Strangler, was still at large and still killing women.

ELLEN JUNGER, SEBASTIAN JUNGER'S MOTHER: The city was just -- became locked in a grip of incredible fear.

COOPER: On March 11, 1963, all these events would collide in the quiet Boston suburb of Belmont, when a man named Israel Goldberg came home from work to discover his wife, Bessie, dead. She had been raped and strangled with her own stocking.

But this time, police had a suspect. When Bessie Goldberg's 24- year-old daughter, Leah, arrived at the house, she found something police had missed: a note from an employment agency.

LEAH GOLDBERG, DAUGHTER OF BESSIE GOLDBERG: And it had the name of the person who they had sent, and the name of the person was Roy Smith.

COOPER: Roy Smith was the name of the man sent to clean the Goldberg's house that day. He'd be the first and only suspect. A few hours after the murder, at her home a mile away, Sebastian Junger's mother got a call with the news. She immediately went to tell her handyman, Al.

JUNGER: I put the phone down, and I went out to the studio. And Al was up on the ladder. And I said, "Al, something so horrible." He said, "What?" And I said, "There's been a strangler murder in Belmont." And he said, "Oh, that's terrible."

COOPER: In an almost unbelievable turn of events, the Jungers would learn to their horror that Al, the handyman, was Albert DeSalvo, who two years later confessed to being the Boston Strangler. During 50 hours of confessions, no one ever mentioned the name Bessie Goldberg.

F. LEE BAILEY, ALBERT DESALVO'S ATTORNEY: I never asked him about it, never heard of Bessie Goldberg at the time. The police never asked him about it, in 50 hours of interrogation, and the panic to convict somebody probably sent Roy Smith directly to prison.


COOPER: It is a controversial book. We'll be discussing it tomorrow in a special two-hour edition of 360. Join us for "A Death in Belmont" tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

Coming up, the "Shot of the Day," but first Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with some of the business news of the day -- Erica?

HILL: Hey, Anderson.

We start off in Houston, where former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling is facing cross-examination. Today, he defended his sale of millions of dollars in Enron stock after resigning from the company. Skilling also said at the time he didn't know anything about an Enron whistleblowers' e-mail to former CEO and chairman Ken Lay citing financial abuse at the company.

Oil prices at an all-time high -- well, new high, that is -- due to diplomatic tensions between Iran and the West and concerns about supply coming from Nigeria. The closing price today hit $70.40 a barrel, the highest close since Hurricane Katrina.

And McDonald's is looking to tout its healthier menu choices ahead of a highly anticipated book and movie expected to criticize the world's largest fast food chain. Critics blame fast food companies for the nation's childhood obesity epidemic, but McDonald's CEO points out the chain does offer healthier options, like fruit and salads, and says it's all about choices and getting a meal that fits each person's lifestyle -- Anderson?

COOPER: All right, Erica, thanks.

On tonight's "Shot," the video that caught our eye. You know him, the "Star Wars" kid. His parents, well, they sued, but his parents say he was humiliated and forced to leave school and undergo psychiatric care. They sued for the parents of the boy who had uploaded the video for $351,000 in damages, claiming, basically, cyber-bullying.

The case was due in court today, but a Canadian newspaper reports that it was settled last week. So in honor of that, though there are no details in the agreement, we give you "The Shot" today, the "Star Wars" kid. There you go.

Coming up, sealed indictments against two Duke students accused of rape. Will arrests be coming soon? We'll bring you the latest and talk to the cousin of the accuser.

And the brutal death of a 10-year-old girl in Oklahoma, and the disturbing Internet trail left by the alleged killer, including talk of cannibalism.

Plus, it has been called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. It is happening right now. And many people know so little about it. We'll take you inside the horror in Darfur, human beings going through so much misery, the violence causing it is spreading. The chilling details, when 360 continues.


COOPER: Good evening. The Pentagon defends Secretary Rumsfeld, while U.S. troops fight to defend themselves. Tonight, we put you on the frontlines in the war in Iraq.


ANNOUNCER: As the war of words continues in Washington over Donald Rumsfeld, the battle for life and death rages in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... sacrifice what we do for people back home, and hopefully they appreciate that.

ANNOUNCER: 360's on the ground in the battle for the troops' reaction to the Rumsfeld debate.

Sealed indictments of two lacrosse players handed out in the Duke case. Will arrests be coming soon? Tonight, the latest from Durham.

And a medical marvel in China. Doctors complete the world's second face transplant. Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: Well, tonight in Washington, the battle over Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is intensifying. There have been more calls for his resignation, especially from politicians, ever since six retired generals spoke out against him. Other generals and politicians have come to his defense. And yesterday, the Pentagon fought back with a memo praising Rumsfeld's performance.

Amid the anger and political maneuvering, there is a war going on. And today, in the Iraqi city of Ramadi, it wasn't a matter of who should stay or go; it was simply a matter of staying alive.


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