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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Rosie's Tenure Ending on "The View"; Church Takes Confessional to Cyberspace; Marine Colonel's Organization Helps Families of Wounded Troops; Hillary and Barack Under Fire Over Iraq War Vote; Rosie O'Donnell Says Goodbye to 'The View'; Planet in Peril: The Shrinking Ice Sheet
Aired May 25, 2007 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everyone. Anderson Cooper is on assignment in the Arctic.
Tonight: America's nemesis reappears in Iraq -- what the return of Muqtada al-Sadr could do to make the job of thousands of troops in Baghdad even riskier.
Also: the early departure of Rosie. Rosie O'Donnell fades from "The View" -- well, not exactly fades. We will have the fireworks.
And our anchor is in Greenland, along with wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, where global warming is being felt.
Let's check in right off the top with Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, John. Thanks very much.
Good evening, everyone.
We are about as deep in the Arctic as you can get. We are about 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle in a research station called -- called Swiss Camp. Here, researchers and scientists from -- from NASA and the University of Colorado have been working for years, trying to understand the amount of climate change that has taken place here in Greenland -- of course, climate change, in large part, due to global warming -- and how that's going to impact all of us around the world, in particular, how it's going to -- what it means for -- for sea levels around the world.
This camp is extremely desolate. The conditions are brutal. It is extremely cold. You can see the -- the tents where these scientists are living for several weeks out of each year. It is an extremely remote camp.
We will have a lot more from here later on in the program.
But, John, let's go back to you in New York.
KING: Fascinating stuff.
Anderson, we will be back to you in a bit. Take care.
And, here at home, President Bush tonight signed the $120 billion funding the troops in Iraq, with no timetable for pulling them out. Numerically, Democrats didn't have the strength to force a timetable on the White House. But they're taking heat for caving, nonetheless, heat from their own anti-war members and activists.
But, for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who voted no on the bill, there's another threat. It comes from the Republican side, which has already started slamming them, fairly or not, for selling out the troops.
More on that now from CNN's Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the campaign trail in Iowa, Hillary Clinton was already explaining her vote against funding troops in Iraq.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We owe them more than what they're getting right now. We owe them...
CLINTON: ... a change in course in Iraq that recognizes the realities on the ground.
BASH: So was her main Democratic opponent, Barack Obama.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is time to bring this war to a close.
BASH: Both were reacting to the rapid-fire Republican criticism of their no-votes on the war funding bill. John McCain called the votes the "height of irresponsibility."
Mitt Romney said, Clinton and Obama's votes "serve as a glaring example of an unrealistic and inexperienced world view."
It's all political fallout from last night's drama. After refusing for days to say how they would vote...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Obama. Mr. Obama, no.
Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton, no.
BASH: ... by voting against funding the war, both presidential candidates stood exactly where many Democratic primary voters want them. Cutting off funding is something both had vowed not to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JANUARY 20, 2007)
CLINTON: I am not prepared to vote to cut funding to American troops.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, APRIL 11, 2007) OBAMA: Democrats aren't interested in playing chicken with the troops. And we're absolutely committed to making sure that the troops have the equipment they need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Changing their positions is sure to help in the short term with staunchly anti-war voters both candidates need to win the Democratic nomination.
But how will it play in the general election? Flash back to 2004, when Democrat John Kerry voted against a war spending bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: The Bush campaign pounced, saying he:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Abandoned our troops in combat by voting against the funding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: But things are different now. The vast majority of Americans oppose the war.
ANDREW KOHUT, PRESIDENT, PEW RESEARCH CENTER: The Democratic candidates now come closer to the way the middle of the country thinks about the war in Iraq than -- than -- than do Republican candidates.
BASH (on camera): Senators Clinton and Obama are banking on that trend continuing: more and more Americans, Democrats, independents and Republicans, opposing the war. But that's hard to predict. And there are still 18 months before Election Day.
Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
KING: As Dana noted, hard to predict whether this will have legs beyond a news cycle or two. That is an open question. But, at least for now, it's a big deal.
And I talked about it earlier tonight with CNN political analyst Bill Schneider.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KING: So, Bill, break down the political calculation for us. Clearly, Senators Clinton and Obama are worried more right now about the fervent anti-war movement on the left in the Democratic primaries than they are about any potential downfall for a vote like this in a general election.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That's nearly a year away.
You know, Harold Wilson once said, a week is a long time in politics. A year is an eternity. They're worried about the near future. And that means dealing with Democrats.
And this is also important. The bill passed. The troops are being funded. So, they're -- they're less likely to have to deal -- those who voted no, like Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, are less likely to have to deal with negative repercussions. Those who voted yes on the bill are going to have to deal with the fact that the war goes on.
KING: But we did just see in the last piece an example of how George W. Bush used this against John Kerry in the last campaign. Do they need to be worried about that, in the context of a political ad, this could be T-ball?
SCHNEIDER: It's a long time away. And everything really depends on how things are going in Iraq, how things are going in the overall war on terror. I mean, it's impossible to predict.
Clearly, the Republican game plan for 2008 is to rerun 2004, as you just described it, to make it all about the war on terror. The Democrats' game plan is to rerun 2006, their most recent success, and to make it all about Iraq. Very difficult to predict if either party can control the agenda for next year.
KING: Well, let's look in the immediate term, then, at the Republican reaction to all this.
Specifically, let's start with Senator Obama. Mitt Romney and John McCain criticized both Obama and Clinton. But Senator McCain was very pointed in his criticism of Senator Obama, saying, well, when you have only been in the Senate for two years, I guess you can vote against the troops, going straight at his experience.
SCHNEIDER: Well, yes, that's always been a criticism. You hear a lot about Senator Obama. You hear it from Democrats, as well as Republicans.
His response to that is, well, you know, Dick Cheney had a lot of experience, Donald Rumsfeld. They had been around a long time. His response is, judgment should count, not just your direct experience.
But very important for John McCain, because he has military experience, a lot of it. He was an officer. And he was a prisoner of war for five-and-a-half years. So, he's going to lose no opportunity to point to the absence of direct personal military experience on the part of his Democratic opponent, whoever that might be.
KING: And many say Mrs. Clinton has a higher burden on the military commander in chief credibility issues, if you will, because she would be the first credible female candidate for presidency.
Is that fair? And is that a factor in a decision like this?
SCHNEIDER: Well, I'm not sure, because we just don't know. People can't answer that question. They won't answer it right now.
There is such a -- there is a problem of sexual stereotyping. And everyone hopes the country is beyond that. But the question is, will it become a factor when people are asked to vote for the first woman president?
Most women don't have military experience. So, will they hold that against a woman? Other countries have elected woman leaders. But there is something unique about the United States. And this is the only country where commander in chief is part of the constitutional job description of the national leader. Will that be a problem? We just don't know how much of that kind of prejudice there is.
KING: Bill Schneider, thank you very much.
KING: And more fuel for the Iraq political fight today, a Senate Intelligence Committee reports, saying the intelligence community warned the administration back before the invasion about many of the problems that would later develop in Iraq -- Senate Democrats are spinning it as evidence of presidential negligence, Republicans calling the report partisan, President Bush saying that, despite the problems, America is better off without Saddam Hussein.
But toppling him paved the way for people like Muqtada al-Sadr to move in. Today, the Shiite cleric made his first public appearance after months in hiding. He called for American forces to pull out and said he was ready now to reach out to Sunni rivals.
Some perspective on the implications of that from John Burns, the remarkable Baghdad bureau chief of "The New York Times."
We spoke earlier.
KING: John, I would like to begin with this dramatic return to the public scene of Muqtada al-Sadr today, coming out in the public eye for the first time in quite a long time, and giving a speech, railing against the U.S. occupation, as he puts it.
What do we know about Muqtada al-Sadr's endgame here? What is his objective?
JOHN BURNS, BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, his objective is to be, in my view, the undisputed ruler of Iraq. And it wouldn't be a democratic rule either.
I think the American military command regard Muqtada al-Sadr as, next to the al Qaeda leaders in Iraq, just about the most dangerous man in the country. He's come back from Iran, where he spent perhaps as much as the last seven months, certainly the last four, fleeing from the American buildup under the surge.
Why did he come back? Because his position, his base here, was being eroded by American and Iraqi military raids on Mahdi army strongholds.
KING: So, if he's back to reestablish his support and reaffirm his military base, and he's railing against the occupation -- you say the United States views him as the most dangerous man in Iraq -- can the United States do anything about it? Would the United States military take any steps to try to target him?
BURNS: Well, for quite a few months, going back to General Casey's time in command here, and continuing under General Petraeus, there have been discussions about a broad-based American-led offensive, with Iraqi troops, in effect, into Sadr city to clear out the -- the -- the main body of the Mahdi army from there.
It's politically very complicated, because Mr. Sadr is a key political ally of Prime Minister Maliki.
KING: Is he capable of putting off -- pulling off, engineering enough public pressure to get the Iraqi government to vote the United States to leave? As you know, President Bush just went on the record saying, if the Iraqi government were to say, get out, he would have no choice but to get out.
Can Muqtada al-Sadr engineer such a vote?
BURNS: Virtually everything that Muqtada al-Sadr says has to be taken with not just a pinch, but about two tablespoons, full of salt.
When he said today, demanded, the U.S. military withdraw, not for the first time, he carefully did not state a timeline for that. Sadr is a realist. Whilst he would like to rule Iraq, he knows very well that it could very well be that no Shiite leader will rule Iraq if American troops are withdrawn before the Shiite-predominated Iraqi security forces are ready to withstand the onslaught of the Sunni insurgency, Baathists and al Qaeda.
It's a complicated problem. But he is a populist. He's a demagogue, Sadr. And he knows that, by calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, he can make political gains, without actually having to face up to the consequences, as it now seems.
KING: Let me ask you, lastly, the president has signed into law this new war funding bill that does not include a timetable for getting U.S. troops out, but does include 18 new benchmarks, largely asking the Iraqi government to make progress in national reconciliation, to make political and security steps that, in the past, they have been unable or unwilling to make.
Is the Iraqi government up to the challenge laid out in this new spending bill?
BURNS: All the signs are that the Shiite and Sunni leaders of the government, that's to say, the Maliki-led government, are about as far apart on the key issues as they have ever been.
In fact, Maliki himself said, in a television interview here on Iraqi television only two nights ago, that no sovereign government, as he put it, is going to be dictated to by any foreign government.
Well, that's good for consumption for the home audience, but, as you and I know, looking at the winds in change in Washington, completely unrealistic.
KING: A rather sober assessment.
John Burns of "The New York Times" -- John, as always, thanks for your time.
BURNS: Thanks a lot, John.
KING: A little more now on -- a little more now on Muqtada al- Sadr's private army. It is powerful, and it's not the only one. Here's the "Raw Data."
The Council on Foreign Relations say there may be as many as 23 militias in Iraq. Al-Sadr's is one of the largest, with possibly up to 10,000 fighters. Most of the militias are believed to get funding from Iran.
One more fact about al-Sadr: His father was a grand ayatollah who was killed by Saddam Hussein.
And just as we begin the Memorial Day weekend, some sobering numbers from the Pentagon. The Pentagon announced today the deaths of eight more soldiers and one Marine, making the month of May one of the deadliest on record.
Up next: the one Democratic candidate not scrambling to explain his vote on Iraq.
Also tonight: these stories.
KING (voice-over): Greenland is covered in ice, but for how much longer?
COOPER: And it's hard to tell where the ice ends or the ocean begins.
KING: Anderson explores a part of the world that's getting warmer, and what it means for hundreds of millions of people across a "Planet in Peril."
Also tonight: the shy, retiring, always prim and proper Rosie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE VIEW")
ROSIE O'DONNELL, COMEDIAN: You can imagine, in China, it's ching chong, ching chong.
O'DONNELL: Ching chong, Danny DeVito, ching chong, chong, chong, chong, drunk, "The View," ching chong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: After ripping Kelly, trumping Donald, and hassling Hasselbeck, see why she's gone for good from "The View" -- tonight on 360.
KING: As we said before the break, Democrats who voted against the Iraq spending bill, especially those in the presidential race, are now bracing for political fallout.
That's where "Raw Politics" begins.
Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John, Democrats in this town are always worried about appearing weak on defense. It's almost like a psychosis with them.
But guess which one is not scrambling to explain his Iraq vote? He's trailing in the polls. He's short on money. But Delaware's big Joe Biden is the only Democratic contender to vote yes on the funding measure. The senator supports a plan to partition Iraq into three separate areas, Sunni, Shia, and Kurd. And he's betting that policy difference will help him with voters.
Congress punches the time clock.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: After 10 years of cold indifference, we have raised the minimum wage for millions of hardworking Americans.
FOREMAN: No, not really millions. The Bureau of Labor says fewer than two million Americans work for minimum wage or less. But the president says he will sign it, goes from $5.15 an hour to $7.25. Hey, now the kids can go to college.
Some quick hits: Republican Mitt Romney says his opposition to same-sex marriage should not be viewed as intolerance for gays.
New books on the shelves slamming Hillary Clinton, her enemies will love them. Her fans will hate them. Very few people will actually read them.
And picking picnic partners -- which candidate would you most like to share a burger and chips with over Memorial Day weekend? Quinnipiac University did a poll, and the Obamarama came in first on the Democratic side, with Rudy flipping the patties for the Republicans.
And I will take mine raw, just like my politics -- John.
KING: Thank you, Tom. I'm not hungry.
If you like "Raw Politics," you're going to love CNN's coverage of the presidential debates. We will be in New Hampshire June 3 for the Democrats and June 5 for the Republicans.
Now, though, to Atlanta and Erica Hill for a 360 bulletin.
KING: Hi, Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: John, U.S. military supplies have begun to arrive in Lebanon. The body armor, night- vision goggles, and other equipment are for Lebanese forces battling an Islamic militant group at a Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli. The militants have ties to al Qaeda.
To Aruba now, where Wednesday marks the two-year anniversary of Natalee Holloway's disappearance. Recently, police stepped up their investigation, visiting the homes of the -- of three men who were last seen with the Alabama teen at a bar. They have even dug up the yard of one of those homes. All three deny having anything to do with Holloway's disappearance.
And the man at the center of the astronaut love triangle leaving NASA next Friday, June 1 -- you may recall, shuttle pilot William Oefelein had a relationship with the now fired astronaut Lisa Nowak. Well, she's accused of attacking and trying to kidnap Oefelein's new girlfriend, an Air Force captain, after driving cross-country and allegedly confronting her at the Orlando Airport. Nowak is expected to face trial in September.
KING: Bizarre case.
HILL: Yes, it really is.
Now on to this one. That makes you go "What Were They Thinking?" So does this one, John.
Meet Tony Wright. He may be a little tired, because the man has been awake for 11 days and nights -- that's a total of 266 hours, by the way, without sleep -- at a bar in Penzance, England, which might you wonder how he did it.
But here's what happened. He stayed away from the booze, stuck with the herbal tea and raw foods, such as fruit, salads, and nuts. His goal was to find out the effects of sleeplessness on the body and to set a new world record.
But he's in for a bit of a rude awakening, because, John, it turns out, the "Guinness Book of World Records" has stopped acknowledging such attempts because of health reasons.
KING: Hmm. Looks to me like maybe he's trying to practice to work in cable television, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
HILL: He might be. But he can't beat the John King record, can he?
HILL: Nice try, buddy. It's not working.
KING: I fall behind Wolf Blitzer as the...
KING: He holds the crown around here.
HILL: He just might.
HILL: See you later.
KING: Now here's John Roberts with what's coming up Monday on "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ROBERTS, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Monday on "AMERICAN MORNING," we're live from the Mall in Washington for Memorial Day, with a special salute to veterans and their families.
We will talk with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and we will met a young woman whose tribute to vets is sweeping the YouTube nation.
You won't want to miss it. Join us for Memorial Day, "AMERICAN MORNING," beginning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern -- John, back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: And don't go anywhere. Anderson joins us from Greenland next -- tonight, his journey to an island discovered only after the ice melted. It's another dramatic example of our "Planet in Peril."
And, a little later, she's saying goodbye earlier than expected, but her colorful comments live on. Rosie O'Donnell's "View" one last time -- when 360 continues.
KING: A breathtaking view is the latest stop on our "Planet in Peril" series,(r)MD-BOŻ Swiss Camp, Greenland, right near the top of the world, a place where you can actually watch global action -- global warming in action.
Anderson and his team are at a research station on the western side of Greenland's giant ice sheet. Scientists there have been monitoring the effects of global warming for more than a decade. And what they're finding is quite sobering.
We have this report from Anderson Cooper, who has been up in Greenland now for two days.
COOPER: This is where we're headed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We're headed for -- that island there. The three fingers is very diagnostic of it on the map.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a very unusual feature.
COOPER: It looks like three fingers...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It looks...
COOPER: ... jutted out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... a bit like a hand.
COOPER: And this is -- on the map, it looks like this is part of the land mass of Greenland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
COOPER: It's attached by ice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
COOPER: But that's not true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's not true. And we didn't know that until 2005, when we sailed in there, serendipitously, and found that it had broken away.
COOPER: It's an extraordinary sight to be flying over Greenland, as we are, in a helicopter right now.
It's a sea of ice and snow, interrupted by jagged peaks. I have never seen anything like it. It's -- it's almost disorienting, though. It's hard to tell. We're -- we're traveling up along -- the Atlantic Ocean is on our right. But it's hard to tell where the ice ends and where the ocean begins.
This is the island right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one has ever been here before. We're the first people ever to walk here.
COOPER: No one's ever been here, really?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. We're the first to ever walk here.
COOPER: What you're looking at is the -- the edge of a glacier.
And, back in 2004, if we were here, you wouldn't have been able to see that, because there was a continuous ice sheet, basically, an ice bridge, which connected that glacier to the glacier we're standing on right now.
So, when you look at the map of Greenland, it looks as if where we are now is actually part of the mainland. But it's not.
And it was Dennis Schmidt (ph) who, back in 2005, discovered that, in fact, this is an island. And he named it Warming Island, because he knew, even then, that this is a prime example of -- of the effects that climate change is having on -- in Greenland.
Where were you when you first noticed it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We -- I was right in here. I was...
COOPER: You were on a boat right in the water?
HILL: Yes, a small boat right in the water, the coming up to the cliff face, and looking through there and seeing that it was open water, and then becoming confused, disoriented, thinking -- my first thought was, I'm not where I think I am. Something's completely wrong here.
It took me one minute of looking around, 360 degrees, and, then, thinking, no, I am where I think I am. This place has completely changed.
COOPER: You realize this, where we're standing, is the newest island in the world?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. That -- that hit me at that moment. And that -- that was the moment of revelation, you know, the discovery.
COOPER: You have to be very careful when you're walking on an ice sheet or walking on a glacier, because there can be hidden crevasses, which you can really fall into, and that would be the end of you.
But the actual thickness of the ice in Greenland has become a cause of concern to -- to scientists who are studying it. It's diminished greatly over the last several decades. In fact, in some spots, in the last 40 years, the -- the ice thickness has diminished by as much as 40 percent.
Greenland is like no other place I have ever been. It's, of course, the world's largest island, about a third the size of the United States. Eighty-two percent of it is covered in ice. But the ice is melting. There's no doubt about it.
Already in the last 30 years, at least 400,000 square miles of sea ice has melted. That's about the size of Texas and California combined. And, as the ice melts, it affects sea levels around the world, which impacts tens of millions of people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone has to be worried about this. It's not just for the people in the northern latitudes. That rise in sea level, because of the changing ice cap here, will affect people in New Zealand and Australia and everywhere else in the world.
COOPER: This is Anderson Cooper.
And I'm here with wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin. We're in Swiss Camp, which is in the interior of Greenland, about 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
This is about as remote a place you can possibly get for -- for a live shot.
JEFF CORWIN, HOST, "THE JEFF CORWIN EXPERIENCE": But the -- the upside of this, this is just absolutely tropical.
COOPER: That's right.
CORWIN: I have never -- it's so cold right now.
CORWIN: I have all these layers on, and my fingers are frozen.
COOPER: This -- this camp is run by Dr. Conrad Stephan (ph) with the University of Colorado. There are also scientists and researchers here from NASA.
The -- the point of this camp is to study the amount of climate change that has taken place in Greenland and that is taking place, and what kind of an impact the climate change here is going to have on all of us around the world.
It's really remarkable. We're standing here on top of well over 3,000 feet of ice. And there's a sense of permanency to this place. But, if there's anything I have learned from this expedition, is that global warming is really not a problem about the future, as much as it is about the present.
We often talk about, how does climate change impact the generations to come? But it's impacting the planet now. And you can see it in the way this ice is shifting, the way it's melting. And a lot of that discovery has come from the researchers and the scientists working at this field center.
COOPER: In the last 30 -- 30 years, the average temperature here in Greenland has risen 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. That's more than double the -- the rise in temperatures anywhere else around the world.
And, obviously, that impacts the ice here. And, as the ice here melts, sea levels around the world can rise.
And Greenland is losing an incredible amount of ice. If you were here 10 years ago, this place would have been at a state of equilibrium, which means the ice that they lost during summer was gained by the snowfall and frozen water during winter.
But, today, it's actually losing ice at about 100 billion tons a year. I mean, that's incredible. One hundred billion tons of ice is disappearing.
And, of course, it just doesn't go up in smoke. The ice melts. Not only do you have to deal with water being lifted up, with the potential sea level going up virtually 20 feet, but also salinity. People aren't thinking about this problem. What happens when a saltwater environment becomes more fresh lake?
COOPER: The -- this -- this camp, as we said, is incredibly desolate. You can see behind us, these are the tents where Dr. Stephan (ph) and the other researchers actually live. It's where we're...
CORWIN: And where we're staying.
COOPER: ... we're staying for the next couple days.
And you've heard about the land of the midnight sun. It is past midnight now. It's about 12:20 or 12:30. The sun is still up in the sky. And it remains 24 hours a day of sunlight. So it's very disorienting.
It's also very surreal. If you look out past the tents all the way to the horizon, you really can't tell at times where the ice ends and where the sky begins. You can get very easily lost out here.
CORWIN: This is what's really amazing. If you were back home, for example, in New York, and you could see where the skyline is, you could see where the horizon is.
But if you look, there's horizon all the way around you, which is really incredible. You're that close to the top of the world, that you don't get sort of a dividing point. You're completely surrounded by the top of the world.
COOPER: It's a remarkable place to be here. The work that they are doing is incredibly important. We're going to have more on it in our "Planet in Peril" series in the days ahead.
Let's go back to John King right now in New York -- John.
KING: Anderson, thank you. Fascinating stuff. And good to see both you and Jeff. And our thanks to the producer, Charlie Moore, on that trip and the crew, as well. Trust us when we tell you, it is not easy to get a live television signal out of the top of the world. It's great to see Anderson and Jeff. And we'll see more, as he said, in the days ahead.
And ahead tonight, take a ride with Anderson to the opposite side of the Arctic, to some of the hottest spots on earth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of the main infiltration routes for the enemy. They've begun to do a lot more rocket attacks.
COOPER (voice-over): Captain Dye doesn't know for sure, but he believes Taliban militants are learning how to make IEDs from foreign fighters trained in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a trainer coming out here, telling them how to do stuff. That's what my intelligence tells me.
COOPER: To stop jihadists and the Taliban from crossing into Afghanistan, Captain Dye and his men routinely patrol the rugged mountains along the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Behind enemy lines in Afghanistan to the heart of Africa. Anderson's "Dispatches from the Edge", a 360 special, coming up.
Also tonight, Rosie O'Donnell's dispatches from the edge, over the edge and beyond.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING (voice-over): The shy, retiring, always prim and proper, Rosie.
ROSIE O'DONNELL, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": You can imagine in China, it's like, "Ching-chong, ching-chong, ching-chong, Danny DeVito, ching-chong, chong, chong, chong drunk, 'The View'."
KING: After ripping Kelly, Trumping Donald, and hassling Hasselbeck, see why she's gone for good from "The View", tonight on 360.
Also tonight, what happens when the act of confession goes from this to this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're afraid to go to the church, but here's the church coming out to them.
KING: The church web site called IveScrewedUp.com. Some are calling it a cop-out. Wait until you hear the confessions. Ahead on 360.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": You are an adult.
O'DONNELL: So are you.
HASSELBECK: And I am certainly not going to be the person for you to explain your thoughts. They're you're thoughts. Defend your own insinuations.
O'DONNELL: I defend my thoughts.
HASSELBECK: Defend your own thoughts.
O'DONNELL: Right. But every time I defend them, Elisabeth, it's poor little Elisabeth that I'm picking on.
HASSELBECK: You know what? Poor, little Elisabeth is not poor, little Elisabeth.
O'DONNELL: That's right. That's why I'm not going to fight with you any more, because it's absurd. So for three weeks, you can say all the Republican crap you want. I'm not -- I'm not going to do it.
HASSELBECK: It's much easier to fight someone like Donald Trump, isn't it?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That was two days ago. And that is it for Rosie O'Donnell. She's leaving "The View" for good, effective immediately, a couple of weeks before what was supposed to be her mid-June departure.
It's been a wild ride for Rosie, and for all of us who have watched her spar with the famous and the people she calls her friends. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It began with jokes.
O'DONNELL: I don't want to say who sent me these beautiful flowers sitting in front of me, but it could be someone named Tom Cruise.
JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": Yes.
TUCHMAN: And ended in jabs.
O'DONNELL: I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying.
HASSELBECK: Did I say yes?
O'DONNELL: You said nothing. And that's cowardly.
HASSELBECK: No, no, no. No, no, no.
HASSELBECK: Do not -- you will not call me a coward. Because, No. 1, I sit here every single day.
O'DONNELL: So do I.
HASSELBECK: And tell people exactly what I believe.
O'DONNELL: So do I, Elisabeth.
TUCHMAN: In just eight months, Rosie O'Donnell took "The View" to new ratings heights with outrageous comments.
O'DONNELL: You know, you can imagine in China, it's like "Ching- chong, ching-chong, ching-chong, Danny DeVito, ching-chong, chong, chong, chong, drunk 'The View'. Ching-chong."
Someone I believe should call for the impeachment of George Bush, to let the world know.
TUCHMAN: Then, there were the memorable battles with the likes of Kelly Ripa.
KELLY RIPA, CO-HOST, ABC'S "LIVE WITH REGIS & KELLY": You don't know where that hand's been.
O'DONNELL: Listen, to me, that's a homophobic remark.
RIPA: Rosie, I love you dearly. I have to strongly, strongly disagree. I think what you said is downright outrageous. Let me explain that. O'DONNELL: You know, I come from my perspective. You come from yours.
TUCHMAN: And who could forget her on-air war with Donald Trump?
O'DONNELL: This man is like sort of one of those, you know, snake oil salesmen. His hair looping, going, "Everyone deserves a second chance."
DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Well, Rosie's a loser. She's always been a loser.
Rosie is an extremely unattractive person. I mean, this woman is a disgrace.
TUCHMAN: Rosie has, of course, taken on her own co-hosts.
O'DONNELL: I went to dinner with Meg Ryan, who I haven't seen in a while, because we...
BEHAR: Is she a rich person or a poor person?
BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": She's a rich person.
O'DONNELL: Yes. She's -- yes, she's a rich person. But she's not a rich person like Barbara's friends. Like...
TUCHMAN: But it was the feud with Elisabeth Hasselbeck that gave us the biggest fireworks. This week, their political sparring turned personal.
O'DONNELL: How's how it gets spun in the media. Rosie, big, fat, lesbian, loud Rosie, attacks innocent, pure, Christian Elisabeth. And I'm not doing it.
Do you believe I think our troops are terrorists, Elisabeth?
HASSELBECK: I don't think that...
O'DONNELL: Do you believe that, yes or no?
HASSELBECK: Excuse me. Let me speak.
O'DONNELL: You're going to double speak. It's just a yes or a no.
HASSELBECK: I am not a double speaker. And I don't suggest -- I don't put suggestions out there that lead -- that lead people to think things and then not answer my own question.
TUCHMAN: In a statement released today, Rosie said of her leaving "The View", "It's been an amazing year, and I love all three women."
Rosie's view on "The View" is over. You can be sure we haven't heard the last from her. Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.
Up next on 360, it used to be simple: have a guilty secret, go to confession. But now, one church is putting the confessional in cyberspace. Wait until you hear the results.
Plus, he can get more than $3 per gallon. So why did one gas station owner just decide to stop selling gas? The answer ahead on 360.
KING: A husband admits to having an affair. A man cops to killing four people. Those are just two of the many confessions being shared in cyberspace. The person behind this popular web site is convinced God is reading every word.
CNN's John Zarrella reports.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned." Most Christians are familiar with traditional means of confession, in a booth or face-to-face.
Now, the Internet highway may be the road to salvation. Bearing your soul is just a mouse click away. At this web site, IveScrewedUp.com, you can type away your sins.
TROY GAMLING, PASTOR: You know, I mean, you got a 19-year-old that's struggling with pornography on the web and wants to put it down but doesn't know how.
ZARRELLA: Troy Gamling is lead pastor at the nondenominational Flamingo Road church in Cooper City, Florida.
GAMLING: No matter how much you or I have screwed up our relationship with God, no matter how long ago it was we actually let go of the hand of Christ and kind of walked away to do life our own way, it doesn't matter.
ZARRELLA: Pastor Gamling and several other church members decided the Internet was a way to reach out.
GAMLING: I would look at it more, we're leveraging it, you know. In other words, that's the world we live in, is people are doing life on the Web. And so instead of try to fight that, we want to leverage that.
ZARRELLA: But they never expected the reaction. More than 1,000 mea culpas have poured in since the site went up on Easter Sunday. All are kept anonymous. Church leaders screen them before they're posted.
ZARRELLA: For Ashley Iodice, a church member, it was the perfect forum.
ASHLEY IODICE, CHURCH MEMBER: I mean, you can take your laptop and you can just be free to write whatever you want, whatever you feel. And you don't have to worry about someone judging you or someone looking at you wrong. So I think that actually was the appeal. That was the appeal for me.
ZARRELLA: One person confessed to stealing $15,000 from family members. Another wrote, "I hate myself! The way I look. The way I think. The way I feel. Everything."
The most common confessions -- you probably guessed -- deal with sins of the flesh.
GAMLING: It seems like the ones that people struggle with the most are their -- is the sexual realm of their life, you know, whether it be pornography, whether it be adultery. All those kind of things are what keep coming up and up, over and over again.
ZARRELLA: There's no way to know for sure which are real and which are jokes. But Pastor Gamling says he's confident the ones they post are legit.
Some are more painful than others, like this one believes Gamling is from a soldier.
GAMLING: I killed him only because he shot at me first. The worst was when I buried my K-Bar all the way to the hilt in this guy's throat. I looked into his eyes, and as the adrenaline went away, I found myself whispering, "I'm sorry," as the life escaped from his eyes.
And so it's cool that there are people going. It's cool that we're getting these confessions. But it's -- it hurts you, as you read them, because you know there are a lot of people that are hurting and nobody knows.
ZARRELLA: It is a refreshing approach to saving souls, says religious studies professor Daniel Alvarez.
DANIEL ALVAREZ, RELIGIOUS STUDIES PROFESSOR: There's many people out there who want to express themselves spiritually. They're afraid to go to the church, but here's the church coming out to them. That's vintage Christianity. And that should be celebrated.
ZARRELLA: Vintage, but not completely original. In the movie "Bruce Almighty" actor Jim Carrey plays God and is quickly fed up with the amount of e-mail he's getting.
JIM CARREY, ACTOR: What a bunch of whiners. This is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ZARRELLA: Unlike Carrey, who sends a blanket e-mail response...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning. Welcome.
ZARRELLA: ... the Flamingo Road Church doesn't respond at all, believing that, if your confession is sincere, God is listening. Or in this case, reading. And most importantly, forgiving.
John Zarrella, CNN, Cooper City, Florida.
KING: Food for thought.
Up next on 360, gas prices are way up. But is anyone driving less this holiday weekend? The answer and what one gas station owner is doing to protest the high prices.
Plus, our "Shot of the Day". A boy claims he shot a pig big enough to rival the mythical Hogzilla. Is it a hoax? We'll let you decide, next.
KING: The "Shot of the Day", coming up. A big beast caught. Is this real? Or a hoax? We'll let you judge.
First, though, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us again with a "360 Bulletin".
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: John, prosecutors say Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff should spend up to three years in prison. They say Lewis "Scooter" Libby showed no remorse for obstructing justice in the investigation of who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to the press.
Plame was a CIA officer who was exposed after her husband wrote an op-ed disputing pre-war intelligence on Iraq. Libby was convicted in March. His sentencing is set for June 5.
Despite the high gas prices, plenty of you are hitting the road this holiday weekend.
According to an Associated Press poll, about 38 million Americans are expected to travel 50-plus miles over the holiday. And nearly 85 percent will drive to their destinations. That is with the average for gas at $3.22 a gallon.
In Wisconsin, a gas station owner, angry about the high cost of fuel, though, shut down his pumps for 24 hours this week, a protest, he says, to send a message to oil companies that they need to lower prices. Several drivers pulled up to the gas station, honked and gave the owner the thumbs up. And in California, a new tactic in the attempt to rescue two wayward whales stuck in the Sacramento River. Biologists now trying to get that pair to swim back, of course, to the Pacific Ocean, which is about 70 miles away. But playing audiotapes of other whales hasn't worked and neither has clanging pipes.
So now, they're going to try to spray those whales, John, with water from fire hoses.
KING: Let's hope, Erica, the third time is the charm.
And stay put right there. Time for "the Shot of the Day". Get this. An 11-year-old Alabama boy claims to have shot and killed this wild pig, or as he likes to call it, and look at it, the monster pig.
KING: Jamison Stone said he spotted -- yes, look at that. Jamison Stone said he spotted this beast on a hunting trip with his dad and two guides in eastern Alabama on May 3. He says he shot it eight times with a .50 caliber gun, then chased it through the hilly woods for three hours...
KING: ... before finishing it off with a point-blank shot.
His dad says the wild pig weighs 1,051 pounds and is 9 feet 4 inches long from snout to the base of its tail.
HILL: I don't know.
KING: His mom apparently -- look at that. That's lunch. His mom apparently gave this picture to the Associated Press. But a lot of people in the newsroom, we're skeptical in this business.
KING: They think it's all a hoax. Maybe the wonders of PhotoShop. You know?
HILL: Could it be?
KING: Take a peak.
HILL: I mean, it's happened in the past, right?
KING: Uh-huh. Like the giant cat.
HILL: Wait. The giant cat is not real?
KING: That guy is strong. And don't forget this one, killer shark.
HILL: That totally happened.
KING: Taking aim at a helicopter.
HILL: I saw it online, which means it's true, John.
KING: Absolutely true.
And my favorite here, the giant bunny on a farm...
HILL: I like that one.
KING: ... saddled up, waiting for you to take a holiday weekend ride.
HILL: There you go. But apparently, as I understand it, the boy who shot the Hogzilla there, his father says he's going to make sausage from it and plans to make something like 700 links. I'm a little worried it would be king of tough, though. I mean, an animal that big, I think the meat's a little old.
KING: It's completely redefined seeing is believing.
HILL: Yes, it does.
KING: But real or cleverly concocted, we want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. If you see some amazing video, tell us about it at CNN.com/360. We'll put some of your best clips -- make them convincing -- on the air.
Monday, of course, is Memorial Day. And as we take time to honor the fallen, we want you to meet a man who has served his country and is now reaching out to families in need.
CNN's Randi Kaye tonight has tonight's "Giving 360".
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marine Reserve Colonel John Folsom has seen first-hand the toll that war takes. During a tour of duty overseas, a visit to a military hospital in Germany left a lasting impression.
COL. JOHN FOLSOM, MARINE RESERVE: It was just an empty room. But what they had set up were cots. And in these cots were all these Marines. And I went back to -- went back to Stuttgart to the forces of P.X. and bought the biggest TV I could find. And we gave it to the hospital.
KAYE: That day was just the beginning of his newest mission, helping injured soldiers and the families of fallen soldiers.
FOLSOM: When we go to war, our families go to war. They're paying a price. And we need to recognize that.
KAYE: Colonel Folsom created Wounded Warriors. The premise? Help families deal with the emotional aftermath of war by providing vacations, for free, to qualified military families. FOLSOM: You got kids who -- young kids. Where's Dad? They're going to grow up, basically, without a dad. Or the trauma of, well, Dad walked out with two arms and two legs. And because of an IED blast, he's not the same guy who left.
KAYE: Families stay in resorts in Texas and Florida and visit area attractions, all paid for with donations.
FOLSOM: Get away for a week. Don't worry about physical therapy. Don't worry about unpaid bills. Don't worry about stuff. Focus on what's really important in your lives: our families.
KAYE: The cause has turned into a full-time job for Colonel Folsom, one he's happy to do.
FOLSOM: I've always believed that I had a destiny that would lead me to do something really good.
KING: That's it for me, tonight. Thank you for joining us. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.
But don't go anywhere. Up next, a 360 special, hosted by Anderson Cooper. It's a journey to the front lines and behind the scenes of some of the biggest stories of our time. "Dispatches from the Edge", 360 next.
COOPER (voice-over): The map of the world is always changing. Sometimes it happens overnight. All it takes is the blink of an eye, the squeeze of a trigger, a sudden gust of wind. Wake up, and your life is perched on a precipice. Fall asleep, and it swallows you whole.
I've been a journalist for more than 15 years now and reported on some of the worst situations on earth: Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Rwanda. I've seen more dead bodies than I could count, more horror and hatred than I can remember. But I'm still surprised by what I discover in the far reaches of our planet. Even when there's brutality, you find bravery. Even in chaos, there's compassion.
Tonight, you'll see it all in this 360 special, "Dispatches from the Edge".
(on camera) Good evening. In the hour ahead, we're going to take you on a journey to the front lines and behind the scenes of some of the biggest stories of our time.
Many of the dispatches you'll see tonight form the basis of my book, "Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters and Survival". The book has just been released in paperback with a new chapter, and some of those new stories you'll see tonight. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com