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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Less Severe Prognosis For Tuberculosis Patient; Doctors Suspected in U.K. Terror Plot
Aired July 3, 2007 - 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.
There's breaking news tonight out of Washington and the Middle East. We begin with Washington, where John Conyers, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has just announced he's going to investigate the use and misuse of presidential clemency power. He's scheduled a hearing for a week from tomorrow.
In other words, Conyers is taking a direct swing at President Bush for commuting the prison sentence of former White House aide Lewis Scooter Libby, a move the president and his spokesman tried to defend and explain today.
The president's commutation cannot be reversed, of course. So, no matter what the Democrats do on the Hill, Scooter Libby won't go to jail. Much of this is political theater, some might even say politics as usual. But the president's move is clearly an issue Democrats want to put front and center in the halls of power and on the campaign trail.
Joining me now by phone from Iowa City is CNN's Candy Crowley -- Candy.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, you're right. This has become an issue on the campaign trail, largely because it feeds into Democratic claims that this is an administration that is responsible for nothing.
Senator Hillary Clinton, whom we have been following around today in Iowa, gave an interview to the Associated Press and said that presidents do give pardons. Her husband, as a matter of fact, granted some controversial ones.
She says, the difference here is that this pardon was granted by the Bush administration to cover up for the vice president, to protect him. So, she feels that this pardon was used to protect the Bush administration.
So, this also comes up with Senator Dodd, Senator Biden, a lot of the Democrats that are out here campaigning, have come up two days in a row. It's a good way to stir up the base of the Democratic Party, which is already very anti-Bush and already feels that the president has never been held accountable for anything.
(CROSSTALK) COOPER: And, so, this hearing that John Conyers is talking about for next week, clearly waiting until the holiday week is over, so more people will be paying attention to this. Really, the end result of it all is what?
CROWLEY: Well, you know, we have to wait and see.
There was -- they can vote to disapprove of it, in the sense -- a sense of the Senate: We don't like this.
But, as you noted, in the end, they can't do anything about it. The president has a clear power to grant what he did for Scooter Libby. So -- but, it stirs the pot. It keeps it going. The election year is under way, not just for the presidential campaign, but for the members -- all the members of the House and a third of the Senate.
This is a very good issue that goes exactly at what Democrats are trying to say, which is, to get accountability in Washington, you need to have a Democrat in the White House and on Capitol Hill.
COOPER: That's the message they are trying to get across. Candy Crowley, appreciate it. Thanks very much for the reporting.
As we said, a tough day for the White House -- President Bush and his staff spent much of it defending the commutation of Scooter Libby's 30-month prison sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice. In fact, President Bush didn't just defend his choice. He went a step further, leaving the door wide open for a full pardon.
Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I felt the punishment was severe. So, I made a decision that would commute his sentence, but leave in place a serious fine and probation. As to the future, I, you know, rule nothing in and nothing out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: In today's press briefing, White House spokesman Tony Snow faced tough questions, including what role special treatment in politics played in all of this.
As always, we will let you be the judge of the answers he gave. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The point of this is that you do not engage in these acts for symbolic or political reasons. You don't do it to make other people happy and say, "Boy, you showed it to so and so."
QUESTION: How can you stand there with a straight face and say that this is not a political act? What he did was inherently political.
SNOW: It was political in the sense that, as president, he has the authority to do this.
It is, in fact, a consequence of the kind of trial that you have got here. This is not something, again, where you have to go back and consult members of the Justice Department about what the facts of the case are or the circumstances surrounding it.
QUESTION: So, you say someone -- someone in this administration owes the American public an apology.
SNOW: I will apologize.
QUESTION: No, it's not. That's flippant. That's a very flippant way of doing something. It's very serious. It's a very serious matter, and that was very flippant.
QUESTION: But is one day -- even one day in prison excessive for this kind of a crime? I mean, people have spent, you know, time in prison for...
SNOW: No, this crime. This crime. This crime. This kind of crime.
You need to understand the guideline argument better.
I'm not going to try to get into what he owes or doesn't owe. I mean, that's -- ask Scooter Libby what he thinks he owes.
SNOW: I don't have any idea. This is not something that's come up.
How many of you have apologized for a controversial name appearing under tough circumstances in a news story? I dare say the answer is zero.
SNOW: Have we exhausted this, or do we have any...
QUESTION: Yes, we're pretty exhausted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, it was a remarkable press conference. And many in the room seemed to find some of Tony Snow's statements simply hard to believe.
Can the White House really say this case was handled routinely? That's one of the claims they made today.
"Keeping Them Honest" for us tonight, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. I talked to him earlier.
COOPER: An extraordinary White House briefing, I mean, very testy, obviously, on all sides. The issue was brought up as to whether the president might actually pardon Scooter Libby. And that's still very much a possibility.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: In fact, the president and Tony Snow today very much left that possibility open. And, if you look at how this has unfolded, it seems almost likely that he will get a pardon and have his -- have the slate wiped clean.
COOPER: Because one of the things Tony Snow mentioned today is that, look, this is a tough punishment for Scooter Libby. He's not going to be able to practice law because he's a felon. He's got this big fine. A pardon would wipe all that away.
TOOBIN: Would wipe all that away and allow him to go back to work as a lawyer, if he's even -- he probably wouldn't even be disbarred at that point. But it would eliminate that as a problem. So, it would be a big help, although he's been already helped plenty.
COOPER: So, the president could, in the waning hours of his administration, just pardon Scooter Libby, even though Scooter Libby hadn't applied for a pardon.
TOOBIN: Absolutely, and even though he doesn't qualify under Justice Department regulations.
Marc Rich didn't qualify for a pardon under Justice Department regulations, and Bill Clinton gave him a pardon anyway. Those are only for the little people, the Justice Department regulations, for ordinary people. If you enough juice, if you have enough friends in high places, you can go around the system. And that's what Scooter Libby did.
COOPER: Tony Snow tried to make this seem as if this wasn't a favor done for a friend, or, at the very least, attention given to a friend's case.
Here's some of what he said at the press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: I think it handled it in a routine manner in the sense that the president took a careful look. But it is an extraordinary case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: The notion that this was just a routine commutation of a sentence defies any reasonable explanation. I mean, that's just not possible.
(CROSSTALK) TOOBIN: One of the great things about Washington is, you can say basically anything, and someone is going to believe you.
TOOBIN: Now, I assume there is someone in the world who believes that this was somewhat routine. But this is obviously completely extraordinary.
COOPER: There's only been three commutations that this president has given in the entire six years. And the notion that he didn't give this because of the connections to the administration, it's impossible.
TOOBIN: It's impossible.
And all the pardons that he's given so far, 100 percent of the pardons and the commutations, have gone through the Justice Department, the usual routine, where you have to wait a certain period. The Justice Department contacts the prosecutor. The prosecutor gets to weigh in.
This is completely different.
COOPER: The president said, look, I can't comment on this while the appeals process is under way. Now it's essentially over. Yes, the appeals process will continue on some other points, but now the president is still saying, I won't comment on it because this is still in the court.
TOOBIN: Tony Snow refused to address the merits of the case, what Karl Rove's involvement is.
It seems to me that this strategy here is basically to just ride it out. The people who like the president are going to have one view. The opponents are going to have another. But they're not really even bothering to offer a sort of comprehensive defense. It's just, let's do it in the middle of the summer. Let's hope no one hates us more than they already do.
And that's all that's going to happen there.
COOPER: Also, the president's use of the word excessive, clearly, in this press conference, it became clear the president thought any jail time was excessive.
I mean, the interesting point that was brought out that, frankly, I hadn't thought of, which was, well, if you think the punishment is excessive, why didn't you let him serve six months or three months or as long as Paris Hilton served? I mean, he didn't do any of that. He made sure he didn't get any jail time at all. And that suggests that this is really much more like a pardon than it is like a commutation, because it's basically a complete get-out-of-jail-free card.
COOPER: A fascinating press conference.
Jeff Toobin, thanks.
COOPER: We also have breaking news tonight out of the Middle East: Kidnapped British journalist Alan Johnston has been released, after nearly four months of captivity in Gaza.
You're looking at these pictures right now. We're seeing them really for the first time. These are the first pictures we're seeing of him since he was freed earlier today. That's him in the middle there. The 45-year-old BBC reporter had been missing since March 12, held hostage by a group calling itself the Army of Islam. The Islamic militant group Hamas, which seized control of Gaza last month, has been pressing for his release.
CNN's Ben Wedeman broke the news just about an hour ago. He joins us now from Jerusalem.
Ben, how did this happen?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CAIRO BUREAU CHIEF: Basically, since yesterday morning -- or, rather, Tuesday morning for us -- Hamas built up its forces in this neighborhood in the Gaza City to surround the area where they believe that Alan Johnston was being held.
And I heard directly from Hamas officials that they were determined to go in there, one way or the other, and get Alan out. And, in fact, they were preparing for a military assault, until another faction intervened and basically convinced both the Army of Islam, which was holding Alan, and Hamas to release prisoners that they had grabbed from the other faction.
And this was really the beginning of the negotiations that led to Alan's release. Otherwise, this could have ended up with a much more unfortunate outcome, because, as you saw, Anderson, a few weeks ago, Alan Johnston appeared in a video put out by his kidnappers wearing an explosives belt.
And the group warned that, if Hamas tried to free Alan by force, the house where he was Being held would have Been turned into a death zone. So, for those of us who know Alan well, who are his friends, this is a huge relief -- Alan (sic).
COOPER: It's just an incredible day. How...
(CROSSTALK) WEDEMAN: Anderson -- sorry.
COOPER: That's all right, Ben. Don't worry about it.
How long did Hamas or officials in Gaza know the exact location of where he was? It seems like, from my reading of it, it wasn't an issue of them not knowing where he was. It was a question of, could they get him to get him because of what might happen?
WEDEMAN: Yes. Actually, many -- I knew where he was, roughly, in Gaza City. He was in the Sabra neighborhood, which is just south of the center of town.
Many people had a very good idea of where he was. And we heard both from Hamas and Fatah officials that they knew where he was, but they didn't want to go in and take him by force, because this group that is holding him is a fairly bloodthirsty -- it's almost a criminal gang, in fact.
And it's widely believed that they are heavily influenced by al Qaeda. Many of their techniques, many of the videos they put out really had a strong whiff of al Qaeda. And the worry was that these men would not hesitate to kill Alan Johnston. So, both Hamas and Fatah did not want to go in there with guns blazing -- Anderson.
COOPER: Ben Wedeman, no one knows the area better than you. Ben, appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much.
Great news for Alan Johnston and the BBC family and all viewers watching.
Up next: the latest on the U.K. terror plot -- tonight, new insight on the doctors accused of being behind the attacks.
We're "Keeping Them Honest." What is being done here in America to track potential terrorists?
Plus: a new twist in the TB scare.
COOPER (voice-over): Worldwide alert -- doctors give a new, less severe diagnosis. The patient wants answers from the CDC.
ANDREW SPEAKER, TUBERCULOSIS PATIENT: They owe an apology to the people that they -- they scared.
COOPER: But that's only one side of the story. You will hear from the CDC, and, only on 360, from Andrew Speaker and his wife.
Also tonight, many of you were stunned when we told you about this: a shack and a phone call to a border agent 50 miles away.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Going to hold you up my passport first. And can you see it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
TUCHMAN: That's me.
COOPER: If you think the honor system at the border is nuts, you won't believe what we found now -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: We're going to update you on the investigation into the U.K.'s latest round of terror attacks in a moment, but, first, a look at what is happening in this country tonight, on the eve of the Fourth of July holiday.
U.S. officials say there's no specific threat they're guarding against tonight, but they are deploying special security teams called VIPR teams to mass transit systems in eight of the largest American cities, including here in New York.
TSA officials say the expected surge in holiday travel is the reason for the extra security, not the British terror plots. A lot of money, as we all know, has been spent upgrading U.S. security over the last several years. But, as we reported the other night, only about half the 9/11 Commission's recommendations for making this country safer have been enacted.
What is being done?
"Keeping Them Honest" for us tonight is CNN's Kelli Arena.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the aftermath of the U.K. terror strike, the usual faces with vague reassurances.
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Well, we do actively investigate and actively monitor the activities of a significant number of people in the United States who we are concerned are linked to terrorism, either as facilitators or even as potential operators.
ARENA (on camera): Now, that statement alone raises a lot more questions than answers. Who are these people? How many of them are there? And what does "actively monitor" mean?
(voice-over): "Keeping Them Honest," we asked those questions and got the official, "We won't go beyond what the secretary said" from the FBI.
But, unofficially, we're learning a lot. Counterterrorism sources say the FBI had at least 300 individuals in the United States currently identified as persons of interest. Officials say some have communicated with known terrorists. Others make the list because their name somehow surfaced in terrorism investigations. They are all being watched, but not all the time.
To put any one of them under 24-hour surveillance would take at least 24 agents.
GEORGE BAURIES, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Because surveillance activities drain so much on law enforcement resources, often, other techniques, such as going through one's trash, looking at financial records, looking at other databases, are often used as means to do a more efficient investigation.
ARENA: The FBI can't afford to ignore anyone. But the results of its investigations have been mixed.
Seven men were arrested in a high-profile sting in Miami for allegedly plotting to bring down the Sears Tower. But officials later determined the group was hardly a professional operation. Authorities also broke up an alleged plot to bomb a fuel pipeline at JFK Airport in New York. But there are continued questions about how serious or developed the plot was.
But, even when the plots don't appear to be as dangerous as they first seemed, experts say these FBI investigations are essential.
MATT LEVITT, FORMER FBI ANALYST: I, frankly, believe it's important to flush these cells out long before they get to the point where they're capable and ready to conduct the type of an operation, because Glasgow and London demonstrate it doesn't take very much.
ARENA: Just simple materials, hatred, and determination, and that's why it's hard to stop them.
Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Hard to stop them.
Again, despite all the lip-flapping, though, from politicians, only about half of the 41 recommendations by the 9/11 Commission have so far been enacted.
Meanwhile, the investigation in Great Britain goes on. And one of the most chilling facts that we have learned about the British terror plot is this: The two men arrested after driving a jeep into the Glasgow Airport terminal are perhaps the last people you would expect to try to harm others. Both are trained to save lives, not take them.
They're medical doctors. And so are at least three other suspects in custody tonight.
More on the case from CNN's Nic Robertson.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Both doctors, both bombers -- Khalid Ahmed from Lebanon and Iraqi Bilal Abdulla, according to U.S. intelligence sources, they were recruited by al Qaeda in Iraq because they were medical professionals.
It starts with a personality type: quiet, unassuming, professional. Intelligence sources say, doctors Ahmed and Abdulla appear to have been a sleeper cell, living quietly in the village of Houston, near Glasgow, attracting little attention. A local taxi company says, this is Dr. Abdulla, booking a taxi just a few weeks ago.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hiya. Can I have a taxi six Neuk Crescent, Houston, to the airport?
OPERATOR: Where are you, sorry?
CALLER: Neuk Crescent, Houston.
OPERATOR: What number?
OPERATOR: Six Neuk Crescent, yes? What's your name?
OPERATOR: Abdul, you're going to the airport?
CALLER: Yes, the airport.
OPERATOR: OK. That will be 10 minutes. OK?
CALLER: OK. OK. Thank you. Goodbye.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Ahmed and Abdulla worked here, the Royal Alexandra Hospital near Glasgow, where police arrested two more young men, also believed to be doctors of Middle Eastern origin in the doctors' residences on Monday. They, too, lived unnoticed.
DR. MURRAY STEWART, ROYAL ALEXANDRA HOSPITAL: Staff in the wards of the units in which these doctors may have worked would know them better than we would do in the residence, where it's a fairly quiet community, keep themselves to themselves, do their shifts, come and go on about their own business, without too much interaction.
ROBERTSON: Then, there were more. Jordanian Dr. Mohammed Asha and his wife, arrested Saturday, were also said by neighbors to keep themselves to themselves.
And, yesterday, two other doctors, one in Liverpool, one in Australia, have also been arrested. They studied in India together and worked at the same hospital in the U.K.
All but one of the first eight people arrested are doctors. The picture that emerges is of al Qaeda's careful planning, with skilled professionals willing to sacrifice themselves.
PROFESSOR PAUL WILKINSON, TERRORISM EXPERT: It's a mistake to think that they're all very poor and underprivileged. It is the ideology of fanaticism and the hatred they have for the West which motivates them.
ROBERTSON: Combine that hatred with their profession and a struggling health care system, and you get a perfect opportunity for al Qaeda to strike.
(on camera): In recent years, the Health Service here has come increasingly to rely on doctors who have trained overseas. According to Britain's General Medical Council, there are 90,000 of them. That's one-third of the total work force of doctors.
(voice-over): Health Service officials refuse to speculate about how the doctors met or if they arrived with the intent to kill, but insist that the government runs tough checks.
SIAN THOMAS, NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE: And those checks include verification of somebody's I.D. They include legal checks, such as, has somebody the right to live and work in a foreign country?
ROBERTSON: The fact is, if you're a doctor, you will be top priority.
Intelligence sources in the Middle East warn, this cell of doctors is sign of things to come, new tactics for al Qaeda plots here and in the United States.
COOPER: That bears repeating, Nic.
Just to be clear, you're hearing from intelligence sources that this is the kind of thing we should now expect to see from al Qaeda, that this is, in a sense, is the new al Qaeda or new al Qaeda strategy?
ROBERTSON: Yes, not just in Britain, but in the United States as well, by using people that you wouldn't first suspect, like doctors, who go in with a long-term strategy, who are radicalized before they arrive. They perhaps come in, in groups. They are effectively sleeper cells.
They are difficult to spot because they don't stand out in the community. They don't integrate too much. So, they don't draw attention to themselves in any way. This is what we're told by the people who are following al Qaeda inside the Middle East. They hear and believe that these types of groups and cells, we are going to see more of them -- Anderson.
COOPER: Ominous words.
Nic Robertson, thanks.
The U.S. and the U.K. are allies, of course, in the war on terror. But, on the home front, one nation spends far more on the battle. Here's the "Raw Data."
Over the next 10 years, Britain will spend roughly 6.7 billion euros on anti-terror programs in Great Britain. That's about 8 billion U.S. dollars over the decade. By comparison, the budget for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security calls for more than $46 billion for 2008.
Up next: our exclusive interview with Andrew and Sarah Speaker. You remember Andrew, the patient the CDC said had a serious case of TB, resistant to almost all drugs. Well, today, he got a new diagnosis, and he is wanting an apology from the CDC.
The interview you won't see anywhere else is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. SPEAKER: The change in diagnosis is going to be a page-10 story. All people are going to remember is Andrew Speaker and the Speaker name, and going about recklessly endangering lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, a remarkable turn of events today in a story we have been following for weeks now: Andrew Speaker, the man that you just saw speak, a man supposedly infected with a deadly strain of tuberculosis, has been found today to actually have a far less deadly strain.
Today, hospital officials in Denver where Andrew has been isolated say he has the more treatable form of the disease, MDR-TB. The CDC is still defending its actions, but failed to fully explain why he was ever diagnosed with the deadly strain XDR-TB.
Andrew wants an apology, as you will hear in a moment in my exclusive interview with him and his wife, Sarah.
But, first, a quick look back at how we got to where we are today.
COOPER (voice-over): Andrew Speaker knew he was infected with TB back in January. But, as he told us in our first interview, he was living a normal life.
A. SPEAKER: I was just going to work, going about my daily business, going to court, going home to my wife, going home to my daughter. COOPER: Then, in May, a deadly diagnosis -- health officials informed Speaker he carried a multidrug-resistant strain of tuberculosis known as MDR-TB. Despite warnings, Speaker and his fiancee flew to Europe for their wedding in Greece and honeymoon in Italy. Officials claim they urged him not to fly.
DR. ERIC BENNING, FULTON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: We are not a police authority. But we did tell him in no uncertain terms that he should not travel. And we told him the reasons why.
COOPER: Speaker, however, says that's not true.
A. SPEAKER: No one told me that I was a threat to anyone.
COOPER: While Speaker was still in Europe, the Centers for Disease Control concluded that he had XDR-TB, even more virulent than MDR. It's highly drug-resistant and could require surgery. It triggered a worldwide health scare.
DR. JULIE GERBERDING, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: They were contacting the patient's family. They were searching the Internet for information. They were on a detective hunt.
COOPER: The CDC called Speaker in Rome to alert him and tell him he could not take a commercial flight back to America for treatment. Speaker flew anyway, landing in Montreal. Even though a border agent knew Speaker was on a watch list, he let him drive across the border into New York. The agent was later suspended.
Speaker was then taken by private plane to Atlanta, where he was placed in federally imposed isolation, a first since 1963. He was then transferred to the National Jewish Medical Center in Denver, a top TB research hospital -- his chances of survival, just 30 percent, but, today, a stunning development out of Denver and welcome news for Speaker and his wife.
DR. CHARLES DALEY, NATIONAL JEWISH MEDICAL & RESEARCH CENTER: Based on extensive testing of multiple isolates of the organisms that we have cultured from Mr. Speaker, we have been able to demonstrate that he does not have XDR TB, or extensively-drug-resistant TB. He does have multidrug-resistant TB.
COOPER: But, at the exact same time doctors were saying he did not have XDR, the Centers for Disease Control was still standing by its handling of Speaker.
DR. MITCHELL COHEN, COORDINATING CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: In an instance where you have to make a public health decision, it is better to err on the side of caution, where you can reduce potential exposures and risks to individuals.
COOPER: Two very different conclusions for one very disturbing case. So, what's behind the discrepancy? ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are two possibilities that could explain this discrepancy. One, there could be a lab error in the CDC test.
And two, at the time that he was tested, he could have both XDR and MDR-TB. That is possible. It doesn't happen that often, but it is possible.
COOPER: Most experts -- most scientists and doctors we talked to today said that they thought that most likely the CDC made a mistake.
Andrew is still in isolation in National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver. Earlier, I talked with him and his wife, Sarah, a 360 exclusive. It's their first television interview since learning the encouraging news.
COOPER: I want to play something that someone from the CDC -- the CDC said earlier today in a press conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MITCHELL COHEN, COORDINATING CENTER FOR INFECTIONS DISEASES, CDC: Regardless of the revision of the patient's drug susceptibility at this time, the public health actions that the CDC took in this case and are continuing to case -- to take are sound and appropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Andrew, do you think what they did was sound and appropriate?
ANDREW SPEAKER, TB PATIENT: A couple of things I'd like to make very clear, because it seems like the waters are -- are getting a little muddied here.
When they -- instead of apologizing for having the wrong result, they started using the term, "predominant strain," which no one else mentioned. There's a lot of -- use of the vocabulary to kind of make -- try and make excuses here.
COOPER: Should the CDC apologize to you? Do you think you're owed an apology by the CDC?
A. SPEAKER: Yes, I do. I think they owe an -- apologies to the people that they scared.
It just -- I know they do dual testing here. When they're running a test to see whether or not something has tuberculosis or what kind, they run two at the same time to make sure the results are correct.
They -- they created a huge international panic. They scared, you know, millions of people around the world.
COOPER: The CDC right now is saying that someone with your type of TB, MDBR, should not be flying on commercial airliners. And do you have any concern now that what you did may have infected others or endangered others? Do you have any regrets?
A. SPEAKER: Sure.
SARAH SPEAKER, WIFE OF ANDREW SPEAKER: Very much so. That's doesn't change. We have great remorse. We carry it around with us constantly that we -- that we put people in a position where they have to worry about their health. That is not something that we would have done knowingly and something that we still are very regretful for -- XDR or MDR.
A. SPEAKER: We don't want anybody to have this.
S. SPEAKER: No.
A. SPEAKER: But -- it is a relief knowing that it's not XDR, if that makes sense. It doesn't -- doesn't make you feel justified in having gone, in retrospect.
But you -- you feel better that if something happened -- I guess, you know, kind of -- I feel better in that I know my treatment, prognosis is much better.
And so I hope that other people out there that are scared and worried about this, that they feel a little better and it calms some of their fears a little bit, if that makes sense.
COOPER: In the public announcements, the CDC put a lot of emphasis between maintaining the public trust and also trying to protect individual liberties, your rights. How do you think they did?
A. SPEAKER: Well -- those were the big buzz words, you know, the balance of the scales of personal liberties versus public health. And I think the state does have to step in sometimes and exercise that authority. But it is such a massive power. And it should be used with complete discretion.
And they spoke of a covenant of trust and that they were conducting their actions based on a covenant of trust. Well, that -- in order for me to -- for that covenant to work, I need to trust, and they need to realize that Americans need to trust what they're saying.
And you need to not only be above reproach in your actions in order to exercise that kind of authority, but you need to make sure you're right.
And people need to know that when you mess up, you're going to step up and say so. So that they can trust that, if something does go wrong, you're going to fix it instead of just trying to cover it up.
COOPER: You are an attorney; your dad's an attorney. What are you -- are you considering at all legal action against the CDC? A. SPEAKER: I honestly haven't -- haven't considered that. I'm sure people aren't going to believe that.
I'm more concerned about, you know, because of this, my job -- my family's careers, a lot of them, to a large extent, has been destroyed, because the people aren't -- they're going to have a hard time remembering, you know -- the change in diagnosis is going to be a page ten story.
All people are going to remember is Andrew Speaker and the Speaker name. And going about recklessly endangering lives. It's had a huge impact.
And next time something like this happens, where they get these results, they need to have a better plan to make things work. It's -- it's not right to do this to people and go after their family and pursue their -- their personal character in a public medium if they're wrong.
COOPER: We'll have more from Andrew Speaker and Sarah in a moment. First, let's check in with John Roberts to see what's coming up tomorrow in "AMERICAN MORNING".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ROBERTS, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, Anderson.
Tomorrow, it's a special Fourth of July edition of the most news in the morning. We'll be visiting the troops on the front lines and catch up with the candidates for president as they campaign on the holiday. We'll talk with Senator Joe Biden on the trail in Iowa.
So wake up to the most news in the morning, beginning at 6 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN -- Anderson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Up next, what Andrew Speaker plans to do when he gets out of the hospital. Our exclusive interview continues.
Also ahead, if you're concerned about border security, you will definitely want to see this report.
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COOPER (voice-over): Many of you were stunned when we told you about this: a shack and a phone call to a border agent 50 miles away.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm holding up my passport first. Can you see it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
TUCHMAN: That's me. COOPER: You think the honor system at the border is nuts? You won't believe what we found now, when 360 continues.
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COOPER: Welcome news for Andrew Speaker and his wife today. Tests confirm he has a less severe form of TB than originally thought. As we mentioned earlier, he's still in isolation at National Jewish Medical Center -- Medical and Research Center in Denver.
Here's more of my exclusive interview with Andrew, as well as his wife, Sarah.
COOPER: Andrew, when you first heard that doctors at the National Jewish Medical Center had told you that you don't actually have XDR-TB but this much more treatable version, MDR-TB, what went through your mind?
A. SPEAKER: I don't know if vindication is the right word, but just kind of this amazing amount of relief and just kind of a new hope.
S. SPEAKER: A very new hope, and not just for us, but for the public that was fearful of this scary XDR. So there's more hope for anyone that's worried, as well.
COOPER: Andrew, what does the new diagnosis mean? Treatment -- surgery has been delayed. I don't know if it means it's delayed indefinitely. Will you get out of the hospital sooner? What happens now?
A. SPEAKER: It's -- a lot of that is still up in the air. With MDR, there's so many more drugs to treat it.
With the XDR, the -- they pretty much only have one shot at it. And if they don't get it right, you may not be able to cure it. So, going in and taking out as much of it as you can, so that what's left inside of your lungs is as little of the bacteria as possible, gives you the best chance for those drugs to go in and kill it all.
Whereas with MDR, you have a lot of drugs that work, that are effective, and so instead of having to go in and having this major operation, you can just let the drugs -- do some tests and see if the drugs are killing it on their own. There's not that "if we don't act soon, we may not be able to do anything" kind of fear.
COOPER: Andrew, you've been in this hospital room now. You haven't been able to leave the grounds. When you finally are able to, what are you -- what's the first thing you want to do?
A. SPEAKER: Well -- sit at the lake.
S. SPEAKER: Yes.
A. SPEAKER: It will be nice just to sit somewhere, look at her without a mask on, put my feet in the water, and have a beer and relax.
COOPER: And Sarah, that's something you want to do, too?
S. SPEAKER: Yes, I will definitely be -- be with him. This is -- this has been very -- you know, very trying.
But I have to say, it's just made me realize how much I love my new husband, and I can't wait to start -- start our lives together.
COOPER: That was Andrew Speaker and his wife, Sarah.
We contacted, of course, the CDC to get its side of the story. They told us, and I quote, "We recognize it's been a difficult time for the patient and his family, and we are hoping they will have a fast -- he will have a fast and successful recovery.
"Both multi-drug and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis are very serious diseases that can be transmitted to others. People with these infections should not be flying on commercial airlines, and if it is discovered that such travel has taken place, an effort needs to be taken to notify and evaluate passengers who were seated near them.
"CDC's public health actions were taken so that other people, including airline travelers, were not placed at risk for getting a difficult-to-treat disease."
You'll notice their statement did not explain why they initially gave Andrew Speaker a diagnosis which doctors today say is not the correct one. We'll keep on it.
Do you think the CDC mishandled Andrew Speaker's case? Tell us what you think. Send us an e-mail -- sorry, v-mail, video mail. A new feature set up on our CNN site. Go to CNN.com/360. Click on the v-mail link. It's pretty cool.
Immigration will be a hot topic at this election. No doubt about it. With all the talk about border security, we were surprised to see this: people driving between Canada and the U.S. without being stopped. Where is this happening and why? We'll find out next.
COOPER: Right now there are thousands of border agents on the U.S.-Mexico border. That is some 2,000 miles of territory, a lot of ground to cover.
If you think that it's challenging, consider the border with Canada that stretches more than 5,000 miles. Given the amount of space, the check points are few and far between.
And that's not a problem for the people in Derby Line, Vermont, but it is for Washington. And soon, a way of life may change forever.
CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Drive down this quiet village street in Quebec, Canada, and without passing a border gate or border guard, you'll be in the United States.
There are three residential streets here in Derby Line, Vermont, where the international frontier is unguarded. Canadian cars drive into the United States; U.S. cars drive into Canada. Signs warn all who've done that to go to nearby, sometimes crowded border checkpoints. But despite video cameras up high, many drivers do not.
Border apprehensions in this small community, many for drug violations, continue to climb. Forty-four people were captured in 2006. Halfway through this year, the number has already reached 32.
But with an unknown number of people not being caught, and Interstate 91 providing a quick nearby getaway into the U.S., the authorities are considering toughening things up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Discuss the secret...
TUCHMAN: Border officers from both countries told an audience of Americans and Canadians that it may be time, for the first time since the roads were built, to block through traffic.
But it's not a particularly popular idea in this area, that considers itself one unified community. One of the town officials in Derby Line, Vermont, is Buzz Roy.
(on camera) Do you think that closing off the streets makes the United States a little bit safer?
BUZZ ROY, TRUSTEE, DERBY LINE, VERMONT: No. Maybe a little safer, but not appreciably safer and not for -- not for the -- the stress it will cause in the villages.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Locking the roads would create longer trips for residents to go between countries.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to like it.
TUCHMAN: But the idea of beefing up this border goes hand in hand with terrorism concerns.
Canada was the starting point for a high-profile terrorist plot in 1999 when Ahmed Ressam was caught by border guards entering Washington state. He was convicted in a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport. (on camera) So what is the main recommendation of law enforcement officials for closing off these streets? The concept is not high-tech or elaborate. The idea: in the middle of the roads, place flower planters.
(voice-over) Vermont citizen Rich Hodio was at the meeting.
RICH HODIO, DERBY LINE, VERMONT, RESIDENT: A number of people chuckled. They thought it was really droll or whatever.
TUCHMAN: The idea will be further discussed later this month.
In the meantime, on two of the three unpatrolled streets, it's not unclear where the border even is, which leads to accidental crossings.
Diane Rollo (ph) lives on the Canada side of one of the streets.
(on camera) It's hard to tell what country you're in on this street, isn't it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUCHMAN: And can we be 100 percent sure if we're in the United States or Canada right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you will have to see probably the maps.
TUCHMAN: And how long have you lived here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty-seven years.
TUCHMAN: And you're not exactly sure?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I know, I'm living here for 27 years. That's I'm sure about.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): She can't be sure, though, that her street will remain untouched. In the name of national security, those flower planters could be coming soon.
COOPER: Gary, how effective are these video cameras in catching people who illegally go across the unguarded border?
TUCHMAN: Well, certainly not as effective as having real people here. But we know firsthand they do work, because since we've been here for the last 24 hours, I've driven accidentally into Canada twice, just like 20 feet or so. And I made some funky u-turns.
And on three occasions, we've had the Border Patrol cars with lights come up with us and tell us -- and ask us what we're doing.
At one point, we had the Border Patrol agents say to me, "You go into Canada again, we're going to give you a $5,000 fine." Obviously, we didn't want to dip into petty cash for that, Anderson.
But I can tell you that if I took three or four steps back right now and stood here for two or three minutes, we'd probably have a Border Patrol car here.
But the fact is, if it was so effective, we wouldn't need any border crossing checkpoints in Canada and Mexico; we'd just have a bunch of cameras.
COOPER: Interesting story. And by the way, if $5,000 is petty cash around here, we need some new accountants.
Gary Tuchman, appreciate your reporting. Thanks very -- very much.
Up next, a new twist in the case of two New Orleans nurses accused of murdering patients in the days after Hurricane Katrina.
Plus, not something you expect to happen during your commute: a construction crane crashing into your car. There's the crane crashing right there. We'll show you the video. It's our "Shot of the Day" next.
COOPER: The "Shot of the Day" coming up, a free fall caught on tape. Not what you want to see on your morning commute. A crane crashing down. We'll have that in a moment.
But first, Erica Hill from Headline News has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, a new curse for a flooded town in Kansas. More than 40,000 gallons of thick crude oil now coating nearly everything in Coffeyville, and it is on the move. The oil closing in on a large Oklahoma reservoir that supplies water to several cities including Tulsa.
In New Orleans, an update on the story we've been following closely here on 360. The D.A. has now dropped charge against two nurses accused of killing four patients at Memorial Medical Center following Hurricane Katrina. The two testified before a grand jury last month. A doctor who also works at the hospital is still facing charges.
In business news, some tough times for America's big three automakers. GM saw sales sink 21 percent last month. Ford's were off 8 percent. Daimler-Chrysler's sales declined just under 2 percent.
And the rights to O.J. Simpson's book, "If I Did It", expected to be granted to Fred Goldman. That controversial book was shelved before it ever hit stores last year.
In it, Simpson writes hypothetically about the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and a friend, Ron Goldman, who is of course, Fred Goldman's son. An attorney says Goldman is considering publishing the book under the title, "Confessions of a Double Murder", Anderson.
Time for the "Shot of the Day". Check out this video from a Rome, Georgia, police car dash cam -- got to look closely. There's a crane just collapsing. It falls into traffic and lands on a car.
HILL: My gosh.
We get a close-up look at the damage. The car was smashed up. The driver, however, was able to walk away. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution. The crane operator was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
HILL: That's just wild. We actually spoke to the officer that shot that dash cam earlier in the night. And he said that, there was -- thankfully, no one was in the back seat, but there was actually a baby seat in the back seat of that car. And thankfully, obviously, no kids in the car at that time. It's just wild.
We want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. If you see some great video, tell you about it. CNN.com/360. We'll put some of your best clips on the air.
If you want another look at "The Shot" or get the day's headlines, check out the 360 daily podcast. You can watch it at CNN/AC360podcast or get it off of iTunes, where it's a top download.
Up next, breaking news. A BBC journalist released after nearly four months in captivity in Gaza. We're expected to hear from the journalist, Alan Johnston, in a press conference at the top of the hour. We'll bring it to you live when it happens.
Also ahead, our exclusive interview with Andrew and Sarah Speaker. The man at the center of the international TB scare has a new diagnosis and plenty to say about the CDC. An interview you'll only see here. Still ahead.
COOPER: You are watching a -- what may be the start of a press conference out of Gaza. A British journalist, the man you see right there, Alan Johnston with the BBC, was released by his captors a short while ago.
The 45-year-old BBC reporter was kidnapped nearly four months ago by a group calling itself the Army of Islam. These are some -- these are the first live pictures that we have seen of him.
We were told there was going to be a press conference at the top of the hour. He is still with Hamas officials. Those are the people you see milling about the screen. We are trying to see if this is actually going to be a press conference or statements will be made and if statements will be made in English.
Clearly, Alan Johnston very relieved to be out. He was taken hostage March 12. And in recent days, the Islamic militant group Hamas, which had seized control of Gaza last month, had been pressing for his release.
Monitoring this with us is CNN's Ben Wedeman, who broke the news earlier tonight. He's joining us in Jerusalem. He talked to Alan Johnston a short time ago.
Ben, what did -- what did Mr. Johnston say to you?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was very relieved, Alan. He said, "I am very glad to be free."
He described the ordeal as a nightmare. He said he didn't think it would ever end sometimes. He said it was just a relief to be able to get on the phone and speak to his old friends.
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