Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Info Revealed in Death of Princess Diana; Will President Bush Act on Iraq Study Group Recommendations?
Aired December 11, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
Was it really an accident? And why was she under America surveillance? The death of Princess Diana -- tonight, new evidence and new answers.
ANNOUNCER: It's now official: the death, accidental, but the spying, deliberate.
JAMES BAMFORD, INTELLIGENCE EXPERT: Here, you have the United States eavesdropping on a member of the royal family, our closest ally.
ANNOUNCER: The blockbuster report on how Princess Diana died and who was tapping her phone.
What Iraq report? Seventy-nine recommendations for cleaning up the mess, will President Bush act on any of them?
Also, stranded in the mountains -- he went to get help for his family, but died trying. Now, moment by moment, what happened to James Kim, and how to make sure it never happens to you.
ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Reporting tonight from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Want to welcome our viewers here in America and watching around the world right now on CNN International.
We begin with the death of Britain's Princess Diana and her lover, Dodi Fayed, in a car crash in Paris nine years ago. Some, including Dodi Fayed's rich and powerful father, believe it was murder -- a murder, a conspiracy, and then a cover-up.
Well, tonight, details have started leaking from a long-awaited British report on the crash. And the bottom line, according to accounts of the report, the driver, Henri Paul, was in fact, drunk -- so, no murder conspiracy, at least not according to this report. But, as CNN's David Mattingly tells us, the report does say that Princess Diana was targeted by American intelligence for surveillance, not death.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The long- awaited British report is expected to raise a new question in the death of Princess Diana: Was U.S. intelligence targeting the princess for surveillance on that fateful night?
The Scotland Yard report, the British newspaper "The Observer" claims, will show, the U.S. was secretly eavesdropping on Princess Di's telephone calls in the hours leading up to the crash, and doing so without the knowledge of British authorities.
JAMES BAMFORD, INTELLIGENCE EXPERT: Certainly, it would be embarrassing, because here you have the United States eavesdropping on a member of the royal family of our closest ally, so -- especially with no explanation, and without any -- any permission.
MATTINGLY: "The Observer" reports, there were 39 classified documents detailing those final conversations, but did not reveal anything sinister or offer any insight into her death.
If so, it won't be the first time U.S. intelligence-gathering on the princess has been called into question. In 1998, the National Security Agency, the NSA, revealed it had compiled more than 1,000 pages of classified information on Princess Di. The contents and how it was collected were not revealed.
In 2000, Dodi Al Fayed's wealthy father, Mohamed, sued to get those papers. A CIA spokesman told CNN that agency did not spy on Dodi Al Fayed or Princess Diana, nor did it have any information of a plot to kill them.
J.D. HEYMAN, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE": Dodi Fayed's father has come forth with a whole bunch of allegations, including these allegations that the Americans were interested in eavesdropping on Princess Diana. And, certainly, it would seem, at least if we are to take these reports at face value, that there -- there is some truth to them.
MATTINGLY: A spokesman for the NSA tells CNN, the agency will not comment on the report until after it's released, but goes on to say: "NSA has made clear in the past, the 39 NSA-originated and NSA- controlled documents referenced in a response to a Freedom of Information Act request in 1998, only contained references to the princess. NSA did not target Princess Diana's communications."
The British report is scheduled to be released Thursday, the latest final word in an investigation that is now nine years old.
David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: And, again, if the newspapers are to be believed, the report is clear: Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were killed by Henri Paul's drinking and driving, not a conspiracy, but a combination of booze and drugs and recklessness -- if true, a simple fact.
But, as CNN's Paula Newton tells us, for some people, simple is proving hard to accept.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The world's most celebrated Princess died a common death at the hands of a drunk driver -- the paparazzi swarming her escape car, the chauffeur speeding and on tranquilizers. And now British media report that a government inquiry is to confirm he was drunk, three times over the legal limit.
According to reported leaks, that inquiry describes her death as a simple traffic accident, a finding that will be hard to swallow for some who believe that the British government, or her ex-husband, Prince Charles, had plotted to kill her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think many people find it really difficult to believe that a beautiful 36-year-old princess, with everything to live for, could just die in a tragic accident.
NICHOLAS DAVIES, AUTHOR, "DIANA: SECRETS & LIES": We cannot go on saying it was just an accident. Blatantly, the evidence now points to the fact that it wasn't.
NEWTON: One of the most sensational conspiracy theories points fingers at powerful people.
Author Nicholas Davies.
DAVIES: That it looks very much as though she was deliberately killed.
NEWTON: And, at the heart of his theory, chauffeur Henri Paul. Davies says a renowned chemist is backing the claim that Paul's blood alcohol level was elevated not just by booze, but by a combination of adrenaline, tranquilizers and his own body chemistry after he died.
DAVIES: The very fact of what the -- the -- the scientific chemist has said, to a great degree, A, proves that he certainly wasn't -- the driver wasn't drunk in any way. He was -- his words were sober -- you have to start, then, thinking, well, hold on. There's something fishy in this.
NEWTON: More troubling for some, the inquiry into Diana's death, reportedly set for release Thursday, will confirm, CNN reports, that the chauffeur who drove the princess to her death was a paid informant for the French intelligence service.
According to Davies, Diana was killed by British intelligence because of her political power, her media prowess. Princess Diana's very public campaign against land mines had already forced some armies to give them up. Davies' theory: British spies, aided by their French counterparts, bumped off the princess, pointing the finger at her driver, and rigging her seat belt, so she couldn't use it.
But no one has done more to fuel the mystery of her death than Diana herself. Her longtime butler, Paul Burrell, claims to have a note written by Diana, in which she says she lived in fear that Prince Charles was trying to kill her.
Allegedly, she wrote, "My husband is planning an accident in my car, brake failures and head injury, to make the path clear for him to marry."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It feeds the darker part of the mind. It's -- these are deep recesses we're plumbing here. And when something happens, like this strange letter, or this strange note that Diana wrote, then, it's fuel to the flames.
NEWTON: And, yet, the only person to survive the crash, Diana's bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, says there is no truth to any of the conspiracies.
TREVOR REES-JONES, FORMER BODYGUARD OF PRINCESS DIANA: As far as I'm concerned, it was just a simple car accident.
NEWTON: There are few who believe any member of the royal family had anything to do with Diana's death. But the car crash, the chauffeur, Diana's fear she would be killed, it's strange, even for Scotland Yard.
(on camera): And that's why, after all this time, the royal coroner asked the British government to conduct a full investigation, to be followed by a very publish coroner's inquest. Prince Charles has already been questioned. There are many memorials to Diana's life. This is meant to be the final word on her death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're actually going to the considerable expense of creating something like -- it's awful to say -- a video game that reconstructs what happens. And they're hoping that this will be shown on television all around the world, and people will say: Ah, yes, I see. I see.
I think it's a long shot.
NEWTON (voice-over): A long shot because there is a morbid media fascination with all this that feeds the undeniable, persistent public interest in Diana.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no doubt that, from -- for the next 50 years, maybe even 100 years from now, people will be still saying, Diana's death was a great mystery.
NEWTON: Authorities here in Britain will try to end the mystery with an exhaustive report on Diana's death that will be released Thursday and a public inquest to follow next year. After that, the case will be close -- Officially, at least.
But few believe anything will put an end to all those conspiracy theories.
Paula Newton, CNN, London.
COOPER: Author Dominick Dunne had met the princess, and has written extensively about her death in the pages of "Vanity Fair" and elsewhere.
We spoke to him earlier tonight.
COOPER: What do you make of this new report? I mean, do you think this will, once and for all, clear up all of the sort of conspiracy theories that have been out there?
DOMINICK DUNNE, "VANITY FAIR": You know, I don't think they will.
I think Princess Diana, like Marilyn Monroe, is going to be with us forever. I mean, she -- she -- there's -- there's a legend about women like that. And I think there's an utter fascination, still, that she's still making headlines all these years.
COOPER: Dodi Fayed's father, of course, continues to believe that this was a conspiracy by the British government.
The allegation had been that -- that the British monarchy, the British government, wouldn't want the princess to have married a Muslim, to have fathered a child with a Muslim. He alleges that -- that, in fact, she was pregnant.
But there's no evidence of that.
DUNNE: There's no evidence of that. And I don't believe that.
I honestly don't believe that Princess Diana would ever have married him.
COOPER: Really? Why?
DUNNE: I think he was a comfort zone for her. I don't think that was mad, passionate love.
COOPER: It -- it's sad, reading the details of this report, the -- the ones that have come out thus far, that, in the end, it's so sort of mundane and pedestrian.
I mean, you know, I think we all think of these incredibly rich, you know, royalty, sort of living this -- this charmed life. And, yet, in the end, this was a traffic accident, with a drunk driver. And she wasn't wearing a seat belt. And it's so basic and so simple, you know, all -- all of that just coming to such a -- you know, a tragic and yet so avoidable end.
But, you know, I think it was an accident, myself. I mean, I don't -- you know, although these things do come up. And Mohamed Al Fayed told me that day that I -- I saw him that, on the day of the accident, that the -- the driver, the drunk driver, put $200,000 into his bank account.
All these stories like that keep coming. But I -- you know, I -- I think it's too hard. They can't count on that happening. Do you know what I mean?
DUNNE: If it's set up.
I rarely believe conspiracy theories. People -- it requires too many moving parts...
DUNNE: Yes. Yes.
COOPER: ... to be in collusion and to remain secret, which, in -- in this society, things never do.
Often, the simplest answer -- and -- and, according to this report, he -- it is his blood, Henri Paul, the driver's blood. And -- and the blood alcohol content was way above the -- the limit.
DUNNE: Enormous -- enormous, very high.
COOPER: And I guess he had been called back from being off duty, called back to the hotel.
And a lot of people, I guess, in Henri Paul's life said that they never really saw him drink. Yet, he seemed to have sort of this other side to him that people just didn't know.
DUNNE: Didn't know about. I think so.
COOPER: You have seen the movie "The Queen."
DUNNE: I love...
The -- the -- the writer of the film said this about Princess Diana. He said: "History has revised Diana downward. We think of her less as a symbol, icon, and martyr, and more as a sad and troubled woman."
Do you think that's true, that -- that, over time, the view, public view, of her has changed?
And I do think she was troubled, I mean, I -- from people I know who knew her. But I think she was also the other. I think she was a divided person. And, I mean, the person that I met with her, that was not a troubled -- that was not a troubled woman. I had a great time with her. And I didn't see the troubled side of her.
But it's quite possible to have two parts.
Well, it's -- the full report, I guess, is released on Thursday.
Dominick Dunne, thanks for talking to us.
DUNNE: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, the theories about her death are debated, there's no doubt what Princess Diana wanted when she died. Here's the "Raw Data."
In her will, Diana gave most of her estate to her two children, Prince William and Prince Harry. It amounts to about $35 million, before taxes. Roughly $28 million of her fortune came from her divorce settlement she won from Prince Charles.
One other note: Her former butler, Paul Burrell, received about $82,000.
Now, another story that people just cannot stop talking about: James Kim, his family and their nightmare on a deserted mountain road in Oregon -- a story of survival, but also of tragedy.
SERGEANT JOEL HELLER, JOSEPHINE COUNTY, OREGON, SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Found the lug nuts from his wheels, found jars of baby formula, which -- or baby food, which we know that the Kim family had.
JOHN JAMES, BLACK BAR RANCH OWNER: Seeing the diapers there is -- is difficult, knowing that there was a 7-month-old baby out here for nine days.
HELLER: This is where Mr. Kim ended up burning the tires of his vehicle. He burnt that for the heat, initially. They wanted to create smoke to try to get a -- smoke column to attract attention to themselves.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: He burns the tires, nobody comes. Now he's out of tires.
GRIFFIN: His vehicle is not moving. And he thinks his only way to save his family is to leave his family.
COOPER: Coming up tonight: how he died, how his family survived, and how you can survive, if it happens to you and your family. "Stranded: The James Kim Ordeal," it's a special 360 hour at 11:00 Eastern time tonight.
But up next on 360: seeking advice on Iraq. President Bush says he will consider all the options he gets -- much of it coming from critics of the Iraq Study Group and its report -- coming up, how the report has divided the Republican Party.
Also ahead this hour: a one-month-old baby kidnapped. The story gets even worse. Was the infant actually taken to settle a debt?
Plus: How far would you go for affordable plastic surgery? Americans seeking out bargain tummy tucks and more, what price are they really paying? Part of our special report -- when 360 continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have told the members that this report, called "the Way Forward," is -- will be taken very seriously by this administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that was President Bush last week on the day the Iraq Study Group released the long-awaited report, warning that time is running out in Iraq.
There has been no letup, of course, in the bloodshed. Over the weekend, sectarian violence claimed 78 lives throughout Iraq. Across Baghdad, more than 50 bodies riddled with bullets were found. Today, there were at least three deadly bombings in the capital.
And, in a brazen display, at least 20 gunmen made off with $1 million cash after ambushing a security vehicle in central Baghdad.
That was the backdrop, as President Bush began a new round of briefings on Iraq, while seeming to distance himself from the report that he promised to take seriously just five days ago.
Here's CNN's John Roberts.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There was no mention of the Iraq Study Group at the State Department today, only words of thanks from President Bush for his team, searching for solutions in Iraq.
BUSH: I appreciate the advice I got from those folks in the field. And that advice is an important part and an important component of putting together a new way forward in Iraq.
ROBERTS: Later, the president sought advice from scholars and former military men, none of whom has high praise from the study group report, particularly its recommendation to pull combat troops out of Iraq.
Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations was among them.
STEPHEN BIDDLE, SENIOR FELLOW IN DEFENSE POLICY, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I think it's unsound, and likely to -- to lead both to an increase in sectarian violence and, downstream, to an increase in U.S. casualties.
ROBERTS: To Biddle, the ISG report is only a political foundation for a graceful exit from Iraq, not a solution to the problem. Rather than get out, Biddle would take a long shot to win the war, pouring thousands more troop into Iraq.
BIDDLE: The long shot I would take is to combine the largest force we can possibly sustain in the country, but not making an open- ended commitment to keep it there forever.
ROBERTS: It's the same approach advocated by Senator John McCain, who called the ISG report a recipe for defeat in Iraq.
Neoconservative David Frum, who, as a White House speechwriter, coined this famous phrase...
BUSH: Axis of evil.
ROBERTS: ... has nothing good to say about how President Bush has handled Iraq, but no faith in the ISG report either.
DAVID FRUM, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR PRESIDENT BUSH: The main suggestions are wishes and fantasies. They're not going to work. And the president has already made it clear it is not going to be the basis for his action.
ROBERTS: Frum opposes both the troop withdrawal and the idea of talking with Iran and Syria, and wonders how such brilliant individuals came up with such folly.
FRUM: It reminds you of that cynical poster you see in a lot of offices: None of us is as dumb as all of us. It is kind of amazing that such a distinguished group of Americans could produce such a feeble effort.
ROBERTS: The conservative tabloid "New York Post" newspaper went much further in its criticism, labeling ISG chairmen James Baker and Lee Hamilton -- quote -- "surrender monkeys."
Not all Republicans are so vicious. In fact, the ISG report has split the Republican Party. Many moderates, who saw the damage the Iraq war did at the polls in November, have embraced the recommendations.
About the only things from the ISG report that critics and supporters do agree on is how bad things are in Iraq and the plan to step up the training of Iraqi forces. In fact, the U.S. military has already begun that process.
But between the meetings and the reports he's expecting from the State Department, Pentagon and National Security Council, President Bush should have plenty of political cover to ignore the rest of what the ISG had to say, as long as he comes up with a workable alternative.
FRUM: The status quo isn't acceptable. The ISG is not acceptable. So, there has to be some other way. There has to be something better that the president has to find. That's the job of the president, to go out and listen to people.
COOPER: John Roberts joins us.
Now, John, the president is on this what they're calling a three- day kind of listening tour. When is he going to reveal what he decides, after the listening tour. Have they set a timetable?
ROBERTS: There's pretty broad agreement, Anderson, that the president only has a couple of months to -- to get a new plan going in Iraq, before things there descend into all-out chaos.
There has been some talk that the president might try to get a new plan out Christmas. There were some dates thrown around, maybe the 18th and 19th.
I talked with Tony Snow tonight about that whole thing. He says that they haven't yet decided when it's going to happen. I believe they are still shooting for that pre-Christmas announcement. Tony told me that they will probably have a better idea by the end of this week on exactly what the timing of that announcement will be.
ROBERTS: And it will be -- it will be an address to the nation in prime time.
COOPER: Sorry to interrupt.
Who else is producing studies? I mean, you have this ISG report. The Joint Chiefs has one, don't they? ROBERTS: Well, you have got a Pentagon report, which is a combination of the Joint Chiefs of staff and a number of people who are in country or have been in country. A lot of those were at the colonel level.
You have got the National Security Council, led by Stephen Hadley, that is producing its own report, based on its information, analysis, and intelligence. And, then, you also have the State Department report.
The president is going to consider all of these. And, as I said, Anderson, it's going to give him plenty of cover, if he wants to say to the ISG: Thanks very much for your hard work, but I'm going to listen to the people who work for me. And they have come up with some pretty good ideas, too.
COOPER: All right, John Roberts, thanks for the reporting.
The question is, what will the way forward be in Iraq or out of Iraq? Coming up, I will get some different opinions, I will talk to Frank Rich of "The New York Times" about what he said about the ISG report in his column this week, and why he says we have lost in Iraq. I will also talk to Anna Perez, who was part of the group that planned the war.
And later: a desperate search for a one-month-old infant taken from his mother at knifepoint. The question is, was the kidnapper actually trying to settle a debt? The latest on the investigation -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: Coming up: a vocal critic of the war and the other side. Both people have strong opinions about the way forward -- next on 360.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES BAKER, CO-CHAIRMAN, IRAQ STUDY GROUP: I hope we don't treat this like a fruit salad and say, I like this, but I don't like that; I like this, but I don't like that. This is a comprehensive strategy, designed to -- to deal with this problem we're facing in Iraq, but also designed to deal with other problems that we face in the region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was James Baker, co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, expressing his concerns last week.
The ISG's report was the focus of a lot of debate this weekend, from the Sunday talk shows, to the Sunday papers, including Frank Rich's column in "The New York Times." He basically wrote that it's too late to turn Iraq around, in his opinion -- not the first time Mr. Rich has written critically about the handling of the war -- far from it.
His new book, "The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth," accuses the White House of using propaganda to sell the war to the American people.
I talked with Frank Rich earlier today.
COOPER: Frank, you say we have lost in Iraq. Is -- is that really fair?
FRANK RICH, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I think it is really fair, because we have a government that isn't governing. We have -- whether you want to call it civil war or sectarian violence, with Americans in the middle. We don't really have a plan for victory. Each day brings another report of something that's very sad, like, for instance, in today's "New York Times," reporting that the oil revenue can't even be spent for reconstruction, because there's no bureaucracy that can accommodate it.
You have, what, 100 Iraqis a day dying, 100,000 a month leaving the country -- the American casualties, 11 on the day that the Iraq Study Group released its report. So, we have to face reality, because, only if we face reality, can we deal with reality.
COOPER: When I talked to the guys who were running the Iraq Study Group, Baker and Hamilton, they said, well, we're not -- we're not winning, but we're -- we're also not want -- we haven't -- we haven't lost -- or -- or, we're not losing, but we're also not winning.
The president says, point blank, we are winning. I talked to Dan Bartlett of the White House just last week, who claims to -- to still believe that we're winning.
Do you think the White House really does believe that, or do you think they're just putting on a -- a -- you know, is it just politics?
RICH: Why -- why would there be politics now? The election has come and gone.
This president cannot run for reelection. It's possible that they're delusional, or they have drunk their own Kool-Aid, or they don't -- and it's human. It's understandable. They don't want to admit how dire it is.
But, if you read the Iraq Study Group's report, and you read the part -- not the prescriptions, but just the description of what's going on in Iraq, and you look at the reporting of many people, including yourself, it's -- it's dire, as they said. And they can say it's not winning, as opposed to losing, but we have -- we're in a crisis in Iraq.
COOPER: You -- you have some pretty harsh words for the Iraq Study Group. You call their recommendations bogus. And -- and you wrote this. You said: "The Iraq Study Group isn't plotting a way forward, but -- but delaying the recognition of our defeat. Its real aim is to enact a charade of progress to pacify the public, while Washington waits, no doubt in vain, for Mr. Bush to return to the real world."
RICH: Well, look, the recommendations are earnest, I'm sure.
But -- and, look, we would all love it if, you know, Iran and Syria would intervene in a way to America's favor. We would love it if embedded American troops could succeed in a matter of months training the Iraqi army and police, after all these years of failure, or if all the various ethnicities and sects in -- in Iraq could reconcile.
They're wonderful pie-in-the-sky recommendations, but they're not practical when time is running out.
COOPER: So, what should happen, do you think? I mean, pull out now?
RICH: Well, everyone talks about precipitous withdrawal.
I think no such as precipitous withdrawal. We can't just, like, flee the country in 10 minutes. But I think we have to actually talk about a timetable that suits our interests, that focuses the attention of the Iraqis, but I think -- the Iraqi government -- I think that's the pipe dream. The most powerful person in Iraq probably is al-Sadr, who isn't even in the government. But we're going to have to have some kind of timetable and begin pulling out.
COOPER: Frank Rich, always appreciate you talking. Thank you, Frank.
RICH: Thank you.
COOPER: On 360 we don't take sides. We try to look at stories and issues from all different angles. One person that we expect will take issue with Frank Rich's analysis is Anna Perez.
She was a member of the White House Iraq group, which planned the communication efforts surrounding the war, the public relations, you could say. Ms. Perez has also served as a communications counselor for Condoleezza Rice and the National Security Council, and she joins me now.
Anna, thanks for being with us.
Rich has just said that the U.S. has lost in Iraq. Is that true?
ANNA PEREZ, FORMER MEMBER, WHITE HOUSE IRAQ GROUP: I don't think so. I think Saddam, by the way, is still gone. That is an achievement both for the Americans and for the Iraqi people that we should never lose sight of. COOPER: Do you believe we're winning?
PEREZ: One thing -- that's a gotcha game that Washington is playing right now, and the stakes are far too high for those kinds of games.
One thing I noticed that Frank -- and I greatly respect him. I read him all the time. But nobody ever talks about the consequences of our leaving. If you are going to recommend a policy, I think it's incumbent upon those who recommend that we leave Iraq immediately or in ten months, 15 months, 18 months, to give us your best guess of what those consequences would be.
I think one of the reasons people don't talk about the consequences of that kind of policy is that the alternative to, quote, unquote, "winning in Iraq" is too horrible to contemplate.
Let's remember that this is a region that even King Abdullah today was quoted in the "New York Times" as saying it's a tinderbox waiting for a spark to ignite it. That in Iraq, brothers are killing brothers. Now that's a fairly significant statement from the king of Saudi Arabia.
The other nations in that area, with two notable exceptions, Syria and Iran, there is -- I think, you're seeing a little bit at least publicly, a little bit more realism, realizing they in fact, do have a big dog in this fight. And they have to act on that realization.
COOPER: So -- so you're saying the ramifications of leaving are so severe and so horrific that they outweigh anything else?
PEREZ: I think one of the ramifications of leaving is that we will probably be -- end up back there in 18 months or 18, 10 months after we leave, because right now the situation is so volatile, as King Abdullah says, a tinderbox, that, yes, I think we need to figure out a way to get it done.
COOPER: A friend of mine who is a soldier just returned from his second tour of duty over there said to me that a common belief among a lot of soldiers is, look, leave and let these guys just sort it out. You know, it's going to come to Sunni versus Shia. And there's going to be this war, and just let it happen and see what happens afterward.
PEREZ: If it were as simple as that, that may be a policy we could consider. But it's nowhere near as simple as that, because it's just not Shia versus Sunni. It's Shia; it's Kurds; it's Shiites.
But there's also the hole in the wall effect, which means that if we leave, and it becomes -- and Iraq become as failed state, next stop is, remember the Hole in the Wall gang?
PEREZ: Hole in the Wall was a place where they could all come and they would breed. They could plan their next -- well, think of hole in the wall squared in Iraq.
COOPER: So what do you think...
PEREZ: If you think...
COOPER: What do you think of the ISG report then? I mean, they come up with all these recommendations. Frank Rich says it's basically pie in the sky. Do you think -- is it real or is it a kind of fig leaf we're pulling out?
PEREZ: I was not privy to their -- obviously, not privy to their deliberations, but I can tell you that I'm sure the president will take very seriously all of the recommendations.
But here's -- here's an indication of what you're dealing with in the Mideast. Today in Iran, the people that we are supposed to begin to bring into the process in a positive way, today in Iran the head of Iran opened a conference inquiry, quote, unquote, "inquiry into the Holocaust." Now, talk about fig leaves. We know what that means.
And you can always tell when the poison of totalitarianism is about to come after you, because they do -- a lot of times they go after the Jews first.
COOPER: But you could also argue, I mean, Ahmadinejad frankly isn't the real power in Iran. He doesn't have full power. And also in Iran today, people were -- students were burning his picture.
So I mean, is there any benefit to -- obviously this Holocaust thing that they're doing in Iran is abhorrent and ridiculous. But is there any benefit to trying to engage with Iran, do you think?
PEREZ: I think there's almost always benefits to engagement. Almost always. I can think of very few examples. And I'm no historian. I can think of very few examples where there wasn't.
But in this case you have to ask yourself, do Syria and Iran, is it really in their interest to have a peaceful Iraq? Or are they in the business of chaos, of fomenting chaos, of supporting chaos? You can have example after example where the latter is true.
Do I think we shouldn't talk to them? Oh, no. We should be talking to them. But everybody who talks to them ought to understand what they have already said their price is. And for Iran, it's developing a nuclear weapon.
Do you really want Iran to have that weapon, with the United States hamstrung, the United States and the western world, hamstrung because they wanted to make the chaos -- and it is pretty chaotic in Iraq right now, no question -- to make that go away?
Well, A, it's not going to go away. It's not going to go away. And if our relations with the North Koreans are any indication, how can take -- even if we get that deal with Iran, how can we take it seriously?
COOPER: No easy option. Anna Perez, appreciate your perspective, as always. Thanks for being on the program again.
PEREZ: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Take care.
Straight ahead, dark side of an already terrifying story. People smuggling immigrants into the country, then kidnapping babies from families who get behind in their payments. Police say it happened to a mother in Florida. They say she is not alone. We'll investigate.
Also, the James Kim story and two of the saddest words you'll ever hear about, what if. We'll explain ahead. You're watching 360.
COOPER: In about 20 minutes, the second hour of 360, we're devoting the entire hour to the James Kim story, to what he and his family endured on a road that no one should have been on, as they kept themselves alive and as he ultimately set off to get help.
We are now learning it never should have happened. We're getting new information, as well, about the moments as they unfolded in the Oregon woods, moments that stretched into hours that sadly became a lifetime for James Kim.
A sample now from our special report, CNN's Paula Zahn.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): James Kim, smart, methodical, technologically savvy. He and wife Kati devoted to each other and their daughters, qualities friends and family figured would pull them through this ordeal.
RYAN LEE, KIM FAMILY FRIEND: They're very smart people. You know, they're not going to, like -- they're going to try to do whatever is possible to, you know, to make it out.
ZAHN: His wife and daughters were found in time. But James' death leaves behind a trail of agonizing what-ifs. What if vandals hadn't cut a lock and left open the gate blocking the logging road?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Had this gate been locked, the Kims would have come to it and been forced to turn around. So if it had been locked, we'd have had a different story.
ZAHN: What if after leaving his family he had kept walking on the road instead of veering off into the canyon?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would have got back to Bear Camp Road. At Bear Camp Road he would have had a high likelihood of being able to flag somebody down and get help.
ZAHN: What if James Kim had taken more than just the flashlight and two lighters with him? What if James Kim, a self-described gadget geek, had GPS, a navigation device, in his car? Experts say it may have helped.
And what if he had stayed with his family? Ironically, his cell phone would have saved his life.
SHERIFF MIKE WINTERS, JACKSON COUNTY: Edge Wireless put a gentleman over here. It was through his computer model that we were able to locate a cellular tower hit that concentrated the search in the Bear Camp area.
ZAHN: But in the end, James Kim's footprints saved his family.
JOHN JAMES, OWNER, BLACK BAR LODGE: Apparently, the private helicopter pilot that actually saw them said he tracked Mr. Kim's footprints in the snow to this location. And he said, he picked the footprints up back on this road and tracked the prints back out here to the vehicle.
ZAHN: James Kim's story, five days in the frozen wilderness, a 16-mile hike in sneakers, came so close to a happy ending.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I want to make sure that's clearly understood. They did nothing wrong. James Kim did nothing wrong. He was trying to save his family.
COOPER: That was CNN's Paula Zahn. Again, you can see the full story at the top of our next hour, in about 18 minutes from now. It's a 360 special report, "Stranded."
Up next, though, a 1-month-old baby taken by knife point, and police say it may all be linked to the deadly trade of human struggling.
Plus, cosmetic surgery, a multibillion dollar industry here in the U.S. So why are so many Americans crossing the border for procedures? Tonight we kick off a special week long series, "How Far Would You Go" when 360 continues.
COOPER: ... battle over illegal immigration rages on, the business of human smuggling is surging. It is a multibillion dollar industry and for a price practically anyone can enter the U.S.
The risks, of course, are great. Nineteen illegal immigrants died back in 2003 in the back of that air-tight tractor trailer truck that was ferrying the human payload across the border from Mexico to Texas. The driver could face the death penalty.
Of course, to smugglers, the job isn't complete until they get their money. And tonight we're learning how far some of them may go to collect that debt.
CNN's John Zarrella has details.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Maria Santos wants her son back. On December 1 she says 1-month-old Bryan was taken from her at knife point. This is a sketch of the woman police are now looking for.
Maria says the woman stopped to ask her and a friend for directions, and took off with her baby son, Bryan. She thinks it's a kidnapping, but police think it's worse than that.
CHIEF HILTON DANIELS, FT. MYERS POLICE: We want to make sure that the people of Ft. Myers and Lee County know that we're not experiencing a female that is driving around the county looking to kidnap babies. This is a human trafficking motive.
ZARRELLA: Police won't elaborate but say they believe the baby was taken as payment of a debt the parents owed a human smuggling ring.
(on camera) Maria Dos Santos doesn't believe it, but she and the baby's father told a Ft. Myers newspaper they owed several hundred dollars to so-called coyotes, human smugglers who\'d brought them into the U.S. from Brazil about a year ago.
(voice-over) The newspaper also says the couple refused to say more because they're afraid.
Kidnappings as retribution are rare, but immigration attorney Marisol Zequeira says she wouldn't be surprised if that's what happened here.
MARISOL ZEQUEIRA, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: It's not unusual is the extortion and the length to which these people who are true criminals are going to go to get their pound of flesh out of these people. That's not unusual.
ZARRELLA: Immigration agents said they have made more than 5,000 arrests since 2003. Zequeira says tighter enforcement has made illegal immigrants more desperate and more vulnerable.
ZEQUEIRA: Their desperation makes them very easy prey to these people. So it is an increasing problem.
ZARRELLA: Maria Dos Santos cares about only getting her son back.
MARIA DOS SANTOS, BABY BRYAN'S MOTHER (through translator): please, please return my baby. I keep looking outside my window to see if my baby is going to arrive.
ZARRELLA: She says she's heard nothing and hopes the next car that passes by will bring back baby Bryan.
John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: It's hard to believe. You may not realize this, but Americans are crossing the border heading south for plastic surgery. Up next, the risks many people are taking, all for beauty. That's part of our special series, "How Far Would You Go."
Also ahead tonight, his tragic story captured the hearts of millions across the country. James Kim's efforts to save his family after being trapped in the Oregon wilderness. New details coming up in our special, "Stranded", at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.
COOPER: Cosmetic surgery in the U.S. is a $12 billion a year business. Make no mistake, it is a business. The number of doctors and clinics catering to patients wanting to improve or change their looks is growing. This hasn't stopped, however, plenty of Americans from going outside the country looking for bargains.
Tonight we kick off our special series, "How Far Would You Go", with a look at what some people are willing to do for beauty.
Here's CNN's Ed Lavandera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good. Super tight. Good.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Her hard work in the gym has kept Susan Witcraft as fit as a woman half her age. But at 50, she desperately wanted her face to match her figure.
SUSAN WITCRAFT, PATIENT, FACELIFT MEXICO: My face to me now looks kind of tired. My neck is sagging, I've got sags under my eyes. It doesn't quite match how I feel inside. I want my face to reflect how I feel.
LAVANDERA: Frustrated by U.S. prices for plastic surgery, Susan joined the 100,000 people living in the United States who travel south of the border each year looking for deals.
PAT MARINO, FACELIFT MEXICO: For roughly a third of the cost they can come here and rest, recuperate, luxuriate in this magnificent place and fly home, and nobody will ever know.
LAVANDERA: Susan paid Facelift Mexico $6,500 for a surgery and a spa vacation at Casa Verde in Sala Miende (ph). She came in looking like this and left like this.
DR. CARLOS BARRERA, FACELIFT MEXICO: This hospital is not too fancy like Beverly Hills and New York, but the level of the surgery is the same.
LAVANDERA: But traveling south for cosmetic surgery is not always so successful. A five-month CNN investigation found that some Americans are coming home with deep scars and life threatening infections. This woman, Melissa Vold, died after traveling to Costa Rica for work on her tummy and breasts. Her husband says Dr. Alberto Argueyo (ph) promised the surgery was not life threatening. Doctor Argueyo's (ph) lawyer, Wil Solano, told CNN, quote, "Every plastic surgeon in the world has at least one patient die" and that Melissa had a good outcome but died of an embolism after her surgery.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recently cautioned Americans about the risks of having surgery abroad.
DR. TIMOTHY MARTEN, PLASTIC SURGEON: Half the surgery is the follow-up care. And at most of these cosmetic surgery tourism type trips that the patients are only with their physician for five or seven or perhaps ten days. And many complications are just getting started at that point.
LAVANDERA: Dr. Marten is treating a San Francisco woman who's Argentine breast implants developed a raging infection and had to be removed. She is too embarrassed by her permanent scars to be identified.
"BARBARA", PLASTIC SURGERY PATIENT: The doctor came in and said the surgeries hadn't gone as well as he had hoped.
LAVANDERA: That Argentine doctor is Mario Legola (ph). He also operated on Marcella Greenberg's nose and on Jodie Shapiro, who wanted a tummy tuck, liposuction and breast implants.
JODIE SHAPIRO, PLASTIC SURGERY PATIENT: They had these packages, you know. Come, we put you up in a hotel and we pick you up at the airport.
LAVANDERA: Instead, she ended up in the emergency room with deep scars and infected wounds that will be hard to fix.
SHAPIRO: I saw green pus oozing out of all my scars, and my stitches were now opening and there was gaping holes.
LAVANDERA: CNN visited Doctor Legola (ph) in Buenos Aires. He provided us with many positive references and verified his academic credentials.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): these patients consented to a surgical operation and shortly thereafter were defaming me in various ways.
LAVANDERA: The doctor refused to comment, citing doctor/patient confidentiality, but he did say...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Complications exist in all surgeries.
LAVANDERA: But both Jodie and the San Francisco woman say they have scars that won't heal.
SHAPIRO: He cannibalized me. My -- I'm an Etch a Sketch. LAVANDERA: In Mexico, Dr. Carlos Barrera says Americans looking for a deal also need to check credentials.
BARRERA: When patients come to Mexico, they have to be sure looking for a doctor who have this government issue of this specialty.
LAVANDERA: His patient, Susan Witcraft, showed CNN pictures that showed a success of her low-cost Mexican surgery and said she's happy that finally she has a face that matches her body.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Miami.
COOPER: Buyer beware. This week, we're going to have more of our special series, "How Far Would You Go". Log on to CNN.com/360. Click on our special report link. Want to hear your thoughts.
And coming up next, a special report. We'll focus on what James Kim went through. How a wrong turn cost him his life and also how his family used their wits and every tool at their disposal to stay warm and live through a nightmare.
Also, Rick Sanchez out in woods showing you what it takes to spend a night, a week or longer out in the cold. Information you need to know.
And stranded by a blizzard, stuck in the snow, one man survived two weeks in the mountains. All part of a 360 special, "Stranded". That's coming up next.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com