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Iraq: The Endgame; Oregon's Empty Jail; Race & Politics

Aired July 20, 2007 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody.
You could barely get in the door here today. There is a bookstore in the building, and people are lining up to buy the final "Harry Potter" book, millions of people across the country wanting to know how it ends, 18 bucks and change.

Some endings are easy to know. Others are neither easy, nor simple, nor happy. Tonight, we are going to look at how America might get out of Iraq and what could happen if and when it does.

Also ahead in the hour, a multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art jail in a place with a shortage of jail cells, all that money, all that space, but it's sitting empty three years after they built it, and criminals are going free. Tonight, we're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also, caught on tape, armed robbers, a gunshot and the lady who simply would not give in.

We begin tonight with how to get out of Iraq, something most Democrats and a growing number of Republicans seem to support now, how to leave, how quickly, and perhaps most importantly, when, what happens after that?

"TIME" magazine's Michael Duffy has been working the problem, along with a team of correspondents and military experts, his report part of "TIME" magazine's coverage titled "Iraq: What Will Happen When We Leave?"

Michael Duffy joins me now. And, in Baghdad, as he's been since day one, CNN's Michael Ware.

Michael Duffy, what is the best way to pull out? You write in this week's "TIME" -- and I quote -- "Done judicially, a pullback from the war would start restoring America's ability to advance its interests and deter aggression beyond Iraq."

How do you go about doing it?

MICHAEL DUFFY, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR, "TIME": Well, there aren't many good things that would come out of a pullback.

It be difficult for the U.S. to do. It would take a long time. It would be tough on the country, bad for our relationship with allies, but it wouldn't be completely a disaster. There are some advantages that we would conceivably be able to gain. We would gain some bandwidth intellectually in the region to do some other things. We would be able to apply some diplomatic pressure in some other directions. Iraq takes up a huge amount of just space, time and money of American foreign policy now. So, it's not without some upside. But, as you point out, it would be hard. People think it can be done quickly, and it really can't be. It takes a long time.

COOPER: How long are you talking about, I mean, to pull out a significant number of forces?

DUFFY: Well, it took the Soviets 10 months to get 120,000 troops out of Afghanistan, Anderson, and they were next -- just going next door. The Pentagon estimates it would probably take a month for every 10,000 troops. We have 160,000 troops.

No one is really talking about pulling them all out. But we also have about 50,000 U.S. contractors. And I believe there are probably between 35,000 and 100,000 Iraqis who might want to come with us if we made a staged withdrawal.

So, I think most estimates be -- have it would probably take at least a year-and-a-half, and maybe longer, to get everybody out. And no one is really talking about that.

COOPER: Yes, certainly not -- those timetables are not being discussed. You also write about what would happen if we leave Iraq U.S. casualties, of course, would likely decrease. But what happens to the Iraqis? I mean, there -- there are a number of scenarios about what happens on the ground.

DUFFY: And none of them are very good.

Some people think that the Iraqis, after an initial burst of violence, sectarian violence, would eventually get control of their country. But that is not a widely held view, Anderson. Most people think that the 1,000 Iraqis who are dying per month, that rate would double, triple, maybe even grow by a factor of 10, for some period of time.

No one knows how long. The U.S. would have to pull back to a position where it was really not trying to referee that fight anymore. Some people think it would be good for the Iraqis to have some of that out. It would be a huge moral and human cost for the United States to do that.

But, increasingly, that is the view of many people who are looking at this problem. What they do worry about is that spiraling out of control into a regional conflict, where Sunnis and Shias from nearby countries get involved as proxies, shipping men or money or both to join that fight.

And then it could go in any direction. That's also dangerous.

COOPER: Michael Ware, if it became a regional conflict, then, I guess the concern is, all gloves are off. I mean, there's no telling what would happen then. MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely.

And I can tell you, Anderson, that U.S. commanders certainly fear that happening. I mean, in a muted sense, you already have it now. All the regional players have their proxies on the board in play as we speak. I mean, you have 160,000 U.S. troops here right now, and you can't stop it. Commanders say they can't even close the borders as it is.

So, if you reduce it to 70,000 or 80,000 American soldiers huddled in little bases, what kind of a disincentive do you think that's going to be? Absolutely none. It's going to humiliate America. Anyone who thinks that you can have any kind of phased withdrawal and maintain any shred of American dignity in this part of the world or, indeed, elsewhere, is living in a dangerous fantasy.

America cannot withdraw in any form from this country, until it begins to address the fundamental problems. I mean, America has created a failed state built upon the building blocks of militias, mostly funded by Iran. You can dress this up as a fight against al Qaeda, but, until you deal with the militia problem and the Iranian problem, you're just shooting yourself in the head by sticking a bunch of poor American soldiers in bases on borders you can't close.

COOPER: Michael Duffy, there are some who argue that, if the U.S. did withdraw or pull back a significant number of forces, basically, Iran would step in more than they have on the side of the Shias, and maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing, in -- in terms of dragging Iran in, bleeding Iran a little bit economically.

DUFFY: Well, it would certainly reduce Iran's leverage over the United States at the moment, since, as long as we have that many troops there, we are very hard-pressed to actually influence events at the moment in between us.

Most people expect the Sunnis to fight back with their preferred weapon of choice, the car bomb. And that would become pretty bloody pretty quickly. Most -- the military officials that I spoke to for this story said, it's going to be violent, no matter what we do, whether you leave everybody there or you pull them out all -- or you pull some of them out.

And, so, the question becomes, what are our interests going forward that we really have to protect? And I think that's the question that's beginning to be addressed here in D.C.

COOPER: You can read more about that in "TIME" magazine.

Michael Duffy, appreciate your coverage.

And Michael Ware as well -- thank you very much from Baghdad, Michael.

By the time it is all over, the cost of this war could easily top $1 trillion. Taxpayers have already paid tens of billions of dollars simply to help rebuild Iraq and try to win Iraqi hearts and minds. But a recent U.S. government report shows that the effort may be failing. Of eight projects that inspectors looked at, covering hospitals, power, water purification, and more, seven had essentially fallen apart, projects costing about $150 million.

But there's one program not included in their report that did seem to be working, a lifesaving idea costing only about $100,000. Yet, somehow, it ended up on the chopping block.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen wanted to know why. And, tonight, she's "Keeping Them Honest."


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This 4- year-old boy from Baghdad has kidney cancer. His doctors thought they had everything under control, but then one day the little boy swelled up, and no one knew exactly why.

Like most doctors in Iraq, his physicians didn't have modern medical training like doctors in the West. They weren't quite sure what to do, until they got some cutting-edge medical advice from top physicians in the United States. The Iraqis didn't have to board a plane to get it. All they had to do was turn on their computers, and doctors from some of the best American hospitals were right there with them, through a videoconference.

BEDIA AN-NAJIB, NURSING INSTRUCTOR: It was very, very beneficial and was very good for us.

COHEN: For this boy, the American doctors suggested a test that could help find the cause of the swelling, and then recommended treatments to solve the problem. Many patients all across Iraq have been helped this way.

DR. CRAIG SABLE, CHILDREN'S NATIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: I think it was much more helpful than even we thought.

COHEN: The U.S. doctors and nurses volunteered their time, and the State Department paid for the satellite time and other expenses at four Iraqi hospitals, about $90,000 per year, according to WiRED, the group that runs the program. That's peanuts when you think about the more than $50 billion cost of Iraq reconstruction.

California Congressman Tom Lantos has looked at hundreds of programs aimed at helping the Iraqi people.

(on camera): Cost wise, how does this one rank?

REP. TOM LANTOS (D), CALIFORNIA: Probably the best. It's the most bang for the least amount of buck.

COHEN (voice-over): And it's exactly the kind of program the Bush administration loves.

KAREN HUGHES, UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: I believe that this type of medical diplomacy, medical outreach is one of the most effective ways that we can reach out people to people across our world.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are coming to bring you food and medicine and a better life. And we are coming, and we will not stop.

COHEN: But his administration did stop it. Without warning, and without explanation, WiRED says, last September, the State Department just ended the funding, seven months into the program.

LANTOS: I was appalled. It is one of the most cost-effective, probably the most cost-effective and intelligent way of helping the Iraqi people.

COHEN: When the Democrat wrote a letter to complain, he was shocked by the answer he got. The State Department gushed about the program.

"WiRED has helped save lives," the State Department wrote. "This is very much an example of American diplomacy of deeds that reflects the best of our country to the world." The letter didn't even say why the funding was cut.

So, "Keeping Them Honest," we asked the State Department, and they said they are funding the program. But Gary Selnow, who runs WiRED, said he hasn't seen a single cent since last September. The State Department declined to clarify.

Lantos says that's not good enough.

LANTOS: Unless I get the full funding back, I intend to speak to the secretary of state. And I have every expectation that she will come through. She's a very intelligent woman.

COHEN: It's been nearly a year since the teleconferences had to end. The State Department has promised some money, but it hasn't arrived yet. And, even if it does, WiRED says it's not enough to keep the program going anyway. WiRED is now looking for private money. And, in the meantime, U.S. doctors are waiting, ready to help.

SABLE: With this program, with a reasonable amount of funding, we could make a huge impact.

COHEN: And Iraqi doctors and nurses wait, too.

AN-NAJIB: We wish it will continue, yes, because, you know, we had a lot of plans.

COHEN: And Iraq's ill and wounded patients must also wait, while the war wears on.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: It's a Washington mystery.

It is clear Iraq's health care system is in crisis. Here's the "Raw Data" to prove it.

Before the war, there were 34,000 doctors in Iraq. Now that number is down to 22,000. Reportedly, 2,000 physicians have been killed in Iraq since 2003, and the average salary for an M.D. is just over $5,000 a year.

No matter what happens in Iraq, there's little doubt it's going to dominate the election campaign. Take a look at these numbers from the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

In South Carolina, which is the site of Monday's CNN/YouTube debate, only 34 percent of adults surveyed say they support the war. Sixty percent oppose it. President Bush has a 35 percent job approval rating there. Sixty percent say he's doing a bad job.

And, among registered voters, 48 percent say they're either voting Democratic or leaning Democratic for next year's general election.

But there is a primary first, with an especially tough choice for the state's African-American Democrats to make: Clinton or Obama?

CNN's Candy Crowley reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you like the food?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good. Your food is good.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At Mac's on Main in Columbia, Barry Walker serves up soul food, peach cobbler and a fair amount of politics. This year, scrambled politics.

BARRY WALKER, RESTAURANT OWNER: You know, Bill Clinton was one of my greatest presidents. I loved him. I supported him. Hillary Clinton, I'm supporting her, too. But I'm not really sure that I want to go with another Clinton in the White House right now. Barack Obama, to me, is a bright star.

CROWLEY: It's like that in South Carolina right now. An abundance of riches for African-Americans who make up 40 to 50 percent of the Democratic primary vote.

Coming after Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire, this first southern primary also offers the first truly diverse set of voters, which is to say the state can make or break the candidates who get this far.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think that Democrats in South Carolina, want to be with a winner. They want to really be able to say we did launch this campaign.

CROWLEY: Every year, Congressman Jim Clyburn has a fish fry in Columbia, more food and politics. Democratic candidates dare not miss this occasion, because few are more influential and more attuned to South Carolina politics than Jim Clyburn.

CLYBURN: Hillary has an opportunity to be the first woman president. And that plays well with black women as well. Obama, an opportunity to be the first African-American president, and that plays with black people, male and female. You got Edwards, born in the state, and carried the state the last time. And being a home boy means a lot to people, black and white.

CROWLEY: In the latest snapshot, a poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation found that black South Carolinians favor Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama by 16 points. A sizable gap, explained in part by our husband's popularity among blacks and by overwhelming numbers showing blacks believe she's more experienced, more electable and better understands community problems.

Obama opened his Charleston headquarters this week. There is time yet, and work to be done.

TODD SHAW, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA: What he really does have to do is to give all voters and African-American voters in particular a certain level of surety that his newness really does speak to new ideas, is sort of breaking out of a mold.

CROWLEY: Politicos in South Carolina think Clinton's lead is nowhere near the last word in a state and community still in flux over the '08 election. At Mac's on Main, Barry Walker has proof of that at home with his two 18-year-olds.

WALKER: He's a Barack Obama supporter. He believes that this guy looks like him, is young like him and represents what he believes in. I have another 18-year-old who is totally different. She's behind Hillary because she's a woman and she's a woman, and she says this is what we want in America.


COOPER: Candy joins me now, along with CNN's John King and Perry Bacon of "The Washington Post."

Candy, is it surprising that Hillary Clinton has a 16-point lead over Barack Obama with black voters in South Carolina?

CROWLEY: It's not surprising when you look at first the Clinton machine, second, the Clinton name, and, third, the fact that, on the issues, they pretty much know where she stands.

What I hear when you talk to South Carolinians, particularly the African-American community, is that they don't really know what Barack Obama stands for. They understand that he's a rising star. They're really attracted to him in that way, but they want to see where he is on the issues, and they just haven't done as good a job of that at this point as Hillary Clinton has done.

COOPER: John, obviously, Bill Clinton very popular with the African-American community overall. A lot of folks point to this fact when they're talking about why Hillary Clinton is getting so much support. That only gets her so far, though.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It only gets her so far, but it gets her a great way, which is in the door with instant credibility.

Bill Clinton, in eight years as president and in his time as Arkansas governor, has very good relationships in the African-American community, very good relationship with pastors and ministers around the country, who can help you turn out votes when it comes to Democratic primaries.

Yes, Hillary Clinton is going to have to prove her own credibility with these African-Americans and with any constituency around the country. But she does have credibility, and she's worked these constituencies as well in her days as first lady, in her days as the first lady of Arkansas, and including in her days in the Senate from New York, and now as a presidential candidate.

So, that name recognition, that experience, and that credibility, it's a great way to start. It certainly helps.

COOPER: Perry, almost half of the Democratic voters in South Carolina are African-American. How important is this state in the big picture? How does it shape the other state primaries, or is shaped by those other state primaries?

PERRY BACON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think the big factor will be, it will be shaped by the other primaries.

One of the things you find when you talk to black voters about Obama is, there's some doubt whether America is really ready for a black president or not. So, if Obama walked in having won Iowa and New Hampshire, then I think he would -- then I think he would do very, very well in the black vote.

If he has lost both those states, I think that makes it much more difficult. I think there's a question about, can he win? Can a black man win? I think that's an interesting question to be figured out by the voters in that state. I think they're sort of wary and nervous about that issue.

COOPER: Because South Carolinians want to pick a winner?

BACON: Because they want to pick a winner, vote -- they want to -- they want to vote for the winner, like everyone else. But they also want to -- there's also just some doubts about whether -- you know, they want to pick someone who can win the general election as well. And, if they think a black person can't win the general election, then I think that will be a big point for them.

COOPER: So, wait. If someone wins Iowa, if someone wins New Hampshire, chances are they're going to win South Carolina?

BACON: Yes, it suggests that they're winning. That's what we saw last time in part from Kerry, who won a lot of states after he won -- he was down in a lot of states until he won Iowa, and then he won a lot of states he was losing in before that.

COOPER: Candy, what are -- I mean, in polls, I mean, what are the most important issues to African-American voters in South Carolina?

CROWLEY: The same issues that are important sort of nationwide.

Education is very big down here. I hear that an awful lot when people talk about their concerns, but also health care, gasoline prices. So, you pretty much see it meshing with the general population.

COOPER: John -- John, where does John Edwards fit into all of this? I mean, he's from South Carolina.

KING: Well, he's been lost so far, but he did win the primary here back when he was a presidential candidate in the last cycle.

And you were just talking about the key point in this race. It comes down to momentum. He's well known in the neighborhood. He is a Southerner. He does know the issues down here. And he has his own relationships in the African-American community.

But what he needs is momentum. In the -- not quite this early in the last cycle, but Howard Dean was the front-runner for the Democrats last time. And then John Kerry won Iowa, won New Hampshire. If somebody, whoever it is, pulls off a few victories in a row, the question for South Carolina will be, bless that candidate and make him and her the nominee, or stop them and prolong the race a little bit longer.

John Edwards has to hope for a win in Iowa or New Hampshire. He's focusing more energy in Iowa at the moment.

COOPER: Perry, it's interesting. On the Republican side, you look at -- at the polls, Giuliani is leading McCain by eight points in South Carolina. Romney only has, I think, 4 percent of the vote right now. How do you explain that, considering how conservative South Carolina is?

BACON: Giuliani right now is doing very well in some of the national polls among all Republicans. He's very well known. He's also got very strong credentials on terrorism issues.

I think, though, as the campaign is joined and sort of more of the candidates spend more time in South Carolina -- I know Romney has an ad up right now talking about his sort of stances on values issues -- I think that Giuliani will have some more -- will have to explain his abortion views more precisely, if he's going to win down there.

I think, right now, it is sort of early on. And, once Fred Thompson, who actually is a Southerner, gets in, that will be a big question as well for Giuliani and Romney in South Carolina.

COOPER: Perry Bacon, Candy Crowley, John King, guys, thanks very much.


KING: Thank you.

CROWLEY: Sure. thanks.

COOPER: Again, Monday, I will be at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, along with Candy and the best political team on television, for the first CNN/YouTube presidential debate. I will be hosting the event.

But, as we have been saying all along, you will be supplying the questions. Just put it in a video, post it on YouTube.

This is one of them that caught our eye.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, Democratic candidates. I have been growing concerned that global warming, the single most important issue to the snowmen of this country, is being neglected. As president, what will you do to ensure that my son will live a full and happy life?

Thank you.


COOPER: I didn't know snowmen sounded like that.

Anyway, you have got until Sunday to submit your videos. Just make sure it's under 30 seconds. Everything else you need to know is at

Again, the Democratic debate begins Monday, live from the Citadel, 7:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Tuesday on the program, a young man's death in a Mississippi jail, how authorities said he died, allegations of a cover-up, and a chilling pattern of alleged abuse that is coming to light involving accusations of guards victimizing inmates, and, as CNN's Kathleen Koch discovered, mothers losing sons.

Here's a sample from her exclusive report.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Leshaun Smith (ph) raced to the jail, demanding answers about her son. Instead, she says she got lies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I got there, no, they kept denying it, denying it, denying it.

KOCH: Finally, the warden came in and delivered the awful news. Her son was dead.

The county autopsy found that Lee Smith (ph) died of natural causes, a -- quote -- "massive recent pulmonary embolism," a blood clot in the lung. But the young man had never before had health problems. Then, as if in confirmation of their suspicions, Smith's grandmother had a disturbing dream.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said: "Momma, I was murdered. They killed me."

And it just ran chills all through my -- my body. I just woke up instantly.


COOPER: Again, that story, that investigation is Tuesday, only on 360.

Coming up tonight: owls with messages, senators on sex-ed in kindergarten, dogfighting, and more. What is it about "Raw Politics" on Friday?

Plus, a gold-plated jail with room for an art collection, Boy Scouts, and more, everything except inmates.


COOPER (voice-over): They needed a jail. They paid top dollar, tens of millions, top of the line.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And then there's the $600,000 spent on artwork at the jail, $100,000 alone just for this sculpture.

COOPER: OK, but at least they got the jail space they needed, right? Uh-uh. And thousands of criminals have gone free because of it. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also tonight, order one from column E for endangered and column A for almost extinct.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Canadian seal. They have Australian lobster. But they also have tiger paw and tiger penis.


COOPER: 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta visits a little known corner of the food world that is literally eating a "Planet in Peril" to death -- tonight on 360.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: That jail you're looking at is in Portland, Oregon. It cost millions to build. And one reason it looks so nice is, it's never been used. It's literally been sitting for years.

We first told you about this story more than a year ago. Back then, there were promises made to open the jail and get it running -- empty promises, it turns out.

"Keeping Them Honest" tonight, we're asking why.

Here's CNN's Dan Simon.


SIMON: It's a sleek modern design. The beautiful lawns and the sculpture belie what it really is, a county jail. But it's also something more, a huge embarrassment, and, so far, a waste of money.

SHERIFF BERNIE GIUSTO, MULTNOMAH COUNTY, GEORGIA: We're not here because we're looking good. We're here because we're the laughing stock of this country.

SIMON: That's what the sheriff who controls the jail told us a year ago. The problem then was, the jail was empty, no inmates, none.

And today? Well, zip, nada, no change, for the sheriff, still frustrating.

GIUSTO: I dare to say that we're the only empty jail, brand-new jail, in the United States, brand-new jail that's never been opened.

SIMON: It's a $59 million state-of-the-art facility to incarcerate 525 inmates. It was built to ease chronic jail overcrowding in the Portland area. But it has never opened, even though it was completed -- get this -- more than three years ago.

So far, it's been used for a Boy Scout overnight to learn about law enforcement and as an occasional training facility for the sheriff's deputies. As for taxpayers in Portland, the whole mess makes them feel like a punching bag.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a great facility for the sheriff's department to do some training, but Gold's Gym is down the street.

SIMON: Here's what happened. Since the jail was built, the local economy soured and tax revenues shrank. And the county just doesn't have the money, $20 million a year, to run the jail.

And, to add insult to injury, even having the jail standing there doing nothing is costly.

(on camera): There may not be any inmates here, but the lawn sure looks nice. It cost county taxpayers more than $300,000 a year just to maintain the jail and its grounds.

And then there's the $600,000 spent on artwork at the jail, $100,000 alone just for this sculpture.

(voice-over): But, "Keeping Them Honest," we checked on that inmate overcrowding problem. What we found, since the jail has been completed and sat empty, more than 8,500 criminals in the Portland area have been released because of overcrowding.

In fact, over the last year, with county finances only getting tighter, the sheriff actually lost another 114 jail beds. It's a vicious cycle. Authorities say the early release of criminals means more crime.

In one case, it proved fatal. A deranged man arrested for trespassing and drinking in public was let out, only to get in a fight and kill a total stranger. Those stories of released inmates only makes people here angrier and angrier.

TED WHEELER, MULTNOMAH COUNTY CHAIRMAN: As long as this facility remains unused, it will stand as a symbol of how not to govern.

SIMON: But Ted Wheeler, the new county board chairman, says he might be able to fix it.

WHEELER: The jail hangs over county government like Damocles' sword.

SIMON: But, with county money tight, he must ask voters to agree to a tax levee. Even if approved, best case, the jail could open in 2009, five years after it was finished. You could say it's turned out to be nothing more than a field of dreams. If you build it, they will come -- eventually.

Dan Simon, CNN, Portland, Oregon.


COOPER: 2009? Remarkable.

Here's John Roberts with what's coming up on Monday on "AMERICAN MORNING."



Monday, we bring you the most news in the morning, including a look into the Pentagon's crystal ball. What would happen if the U.S. were to leave Iraq as quickly as some critics would like? Military analysts have gamed it out. We will look at the various scenarios, what it means for U.S. troops and for the people of Iraq.

Join us for the most news in the morning, Monday, beginning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern -- Anderson.


COOPER: Up next tonight, from "Hill-mione" to "Lord Romney- sert," to "Flip-Flop-icus," it's "Raw Politics" meets "Harry Potter," as only our Tom Foreman can tell the tale.

And new details on a problem that may have caused the inferno in Brazil that took the lives of nearly 200 people.

Stay with us.


COOPER: There's a live picture there of the bookstore here in the Time Warner mall and theme park downstairs where Harry Potter mania is at a fever pitch with the latest and last adventure of the boy wizard going on sale at midnight. Fans lining up from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach, coast to coast. Many have been waiting all day.

Maybe it's all the hype, or maybe it's actually some sort of spell, but Hogwarts seemed to be everywhere tonight, even in "Raw Politics."

Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a very big day around the campaign cauldron, and the first clash for the wizards of Washington, the Obama-rama (ph) versus Lord Romnizer (ph).

Mitt Romney is getting all hexy over sexy education. He is after Barack Obama for suggesting kids should start learning the facts of life in kindergarten.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How much sex education is age-appropriate for a 5-year-old? In my view, zero is the right amount.

FOREMAN: Obama calls it a cheap shot, saying he just wants little children to know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching.

Harry Potter has run into some bad dogs. But no one is badder than West Virginia's Robert Byrd when he talks about dogfighting as he did on the Senate floor.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Barbaric. Barbaric!

FOREMAN: Owls bring unexpected messages to Harry Potter. The Internet brought an unexpected question for our YouTube debate. Mike Duncan of the Republican National Committee accusing top Democrats of opposing an exit date in Iraq not long ago, but now wanting one. His magic words, "flip-flopicus (ph)."

MIKE DUNCAN, RNC CHAIRMAN: Senator Kerry was criticized for his contradictory positions on the Iraq War. How do you expect to win this election by taking a page from his playbook?

FOREMAN: Hermione Granger has great powers, but what about Hill- mione (ph)? Hillary Clinton asked the Pentagon about plans for leaving Iraq. An official says she's encouraging the enemy. Presto, change-o. Now the Hill is portraying herself as a voice of reason against a reactionary administration. The left loves it and the slapdown is being spun into campaign gold.

(on camera): Are you a wizard, Hillary?

(voice-over): Republican contender Mike Huckabee says his party is underestimating her strength. So how does the dark horse counter her dark arts? Huckabee says she'll make your taxes rise. He wants income taxes replaced with a national sales tax.


FOREMAN: Ah, but the "Raw Politics" crystal ball says Huckabee better levitate his poll numbers before the Iowa caucuses or he may disappear -- Anderson.

COOPER: Tom, thanks. Don't miss "Raw Politics" and the day's headlines with the new 360 daily podcast. You don't need an iPod. You can watch it on your computer at, or get it from the iTunes store.

Erica Hill joins us now with a 360 bulletin -- Erica?.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson, a new twist in the investigation into Tuesday's deadly plane crash in Brazil. TAM Airlines says one of the two thrust reversers was turned off. Now that's actually part of the braking system which may explain why the plane overshot the runway. Investigators though caution it is still too early to say what caused the crash that killed at least 191 people.

Tomorrow, President Bush will hand over his presidential powers to Vice President Dick Cheney for about two-and-a-half hours. While Mr. Bush will be under anesthesia, he is going to undergo a routine colonoscopy at Camp David. The White House says the president has no symptoms of colon cancer, he is just following doctor's orders and getting that procedure done every five years.

In Jersey City, New Jersey, a surprising find on a woman's front lawn, a rocket launcher, like this one. The kind that are used by insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq. The FBI says the one found in New Jersey didn't work. It was turned over to the U.S. Army to dispose of, but now they're just trying to figure out, Anderson, where it came from. A security expert says, "don't look at al Qaeda, it doesn't leave a rocket launcher on the lawn of middle-aged ladies."

OK, and there you have it.

COOPER: That's bizarre, someone just left a rocket launcher on her lawn?

HILL: Can you imagine walking out in the morning too and being like, oh, hey, I've got a rocket launcher? A little strange. That may sound like a "what were they thinking," but we've got another "what were they thinking" for you. And this one is just -- honestly it's wild.

Redding, Ohio, outside Cincinnati, a bank robbed at gunpoint. Police say two college students pulled off this heist for an undisclosed amount of cash. They were in court this week. The alleged cash though that was stolen may have been for tuition. A mom of one of the students said he has really been struggling, working two jobs to pay for his education. One is a theater major, the other who is accused of this is a major of electrical engineering.

COOPER: What were they thinking?

HILL: What were they thinking, my friend?

COOPER: Yikes. Erica, thanks.

Still to come tonight, a restaurant you might not know about dealing in dishes you'll sure want to hear about. The fate of the planet may just depend on it.


COOPER (voice-over): Order one from column E, for endangered, and column A, for almost extinct.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Canadian seal, they have Australia lobster, but they also have tiger paw and tiger penis.

COOPER: 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta visits a little-known corner of the food world that's literally eating a "Planet in Peril" to death.

Plus, what would you do?

CAROL, JEWELRY STORE OWNER: You get out of her right now, young man. You leave!

COOPER: She thought back and you'll see it all ahead on 360.


COOPER: So do you recognize any of those delicacies? For now, let's just call them "exotic." 360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his team are in Beijing tonight, working on our "Planet in Peril" series. They have been looking to a shadowy link in China's food chain.

You may not know that China is the world's biggest consumer of wildlife, and up to 80 percent of illegal wildlife smuggled out of Southeast Asia is headed for China. Once it arrives there, that's where the trail gets hard to follow and, well, hard to swallow as Sanjay soon found out.


GUPTA: We're in Beijing, and one of the stories that we've been looking at is the movement of wildlife from farms and markets to people's plates. This is a storefront here and I just want to show you something. This is actually deer antler inside that box. And over here is deer bone. These are both being sold. And over here is actually deer penis. All of that is being sold here.

And it's important to emphasize that none of that is actually illegal. But the concern, though, is what else might be getting sold at places like this? This is actually a restaurant called Strength in a Pot. Let's go inside and take a look at the menu.

I'm sitting here with Mr. Chen (ph), who is not only the manager, but also a nutritionist. And he has suggested that we get one of the most popular dishes on the menu. So we're going to give it a try.

(voice-over): But when Mr. Chen left to place the order, something caught our eye.

(on camera): We actually found a second menu, a much more expensive menu. This one, the first page actually has a platter of dishes that cost about $1,500. What we saw here was Canadian seal, they have Australia lobster, but they also have tiger paw and tiger penis. This is something we're definitely going to ask Mr. Chen about when he gets back.

(voice-over): To start off the meal, a bottle of deer antler wine, made of deer antler blood and shreds of the antler itself. Mr. Chen says it's good for one's immune system and kidneys.

(on camera): It's OK, it's a little bitter, but it's OK.

(voice-over): After our toast, the meal arrives.

(on camera): Mr. Chen just told me that this is stud bull penis, this is deer penis, these are lamb testicles. This is Russian dog penis and this is just deer meat, venison.

(voice-over): Next course, soup. But Mr. Chen won't tell me about the concoction until I have a taste.

(on camera): So we're going to try the soup first, then we'll find out what's in it. An act of faith, actually, am I the only one drinking? All right.

(voice-over): A mixture of mushroom broth with chicken bones, chicken, baby pigeon and duck. It doesn't taste bad.

(on camera): Mr. Chen, if I wanted to order some tiger paw, tiger paw or tiger penis, can I order that here?

(voice-over): Mr. Chen tells me no.

(on camera): Doesn't this say "tiger paw" here?

(voice-over): He says it's just a name of a dish.

(on camera): And this is in part why this is so difficult. We see tiger paw and tiger penis on the menu. Mr. Chen though is adamant that they don't have it here and that's just the name. They won't let us back in the kitchen to actually see for ourselves.

(voice-over): There's no way for CNN to verify the manager's claims or our suspicions. What we do know, the illegal wildlife trade is a $5 billion to $20 billion business a year, but most of it is underground, hard to find.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Beijing.


COOPER: That is just one piece in our "Planet in Peril" series which we have been working on for a long time now. The whole series airs in October. It's a really ambitious project we've committed a lot of time and resources to. We've shown you little bits of it all throughout the last couple of months.

But you can learn more about it by going to, it's one word, no spaces, It is our changing planet. It's really one of the most important stories of our times, and the story is breaking right now.

What does the choice of a spouse say about the presidential candidates themselves and how should it affect your vote if at all? The answer of that ahead.

Also, 5'2" and filled with fight, bullets fly, but a woman stares down criminals posing as customers. The amazing story next on 360.


COOPER: The video of an armed robbery is from Arizona. And it shows a woman who some consider a hero. Others think she's lucky to be alive. We're going to let you be the judge. Here's the tape and the story behind it.


CAROL: Hey you.

COOPER (voice-over): Tuesday, July 17th. Business as usual in at Gaston Jewelers (ph) in Phoenix, but not for long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody on the ground. Get on the ground.

COOPER: Criminals posting as customers pull out guns and confront an owner refusing to give in.

CAROL: You get out of here right now, young man. You leave!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get back! Get back!.

COOPER: Even as one of the suspects fires a bullet just inches away from her, the 5'2" woman continues to fight. Another surveillance camera captures the encounter.

CAROL: Get out of here right now, young man. You leave!

COOPER: As you can see, three employees obey the orders and get on the ground. But the woman, who only wants to be identified as Carol, battles back.

CAROL: What are you guys doing?

COOPER: Sounding more like an impatient schoolmarm than the victim of a violent crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh, open the safe! Open the safe! Come on! Uh-uh! Where you at?

CAROL: The safe's open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open the safe! Get on the ground! Get on the ground!

COOPER: Incredibly, even after almost getting shot, Carol follows them out of the store. We showed this tape to a former NYPD detective.

GIL ALBA, FMR. NYPD DETECTIVE: She owns the store, probably her life savings is all in their. And she's not giving it up to any two punks that come in, even with a gun. However, you put the other people in danger, you put the other employees in danger. She's forcing these guys to take action. They have the guns and those guns were loaded. So therefore, you know, give them what they want, let them get out as fast as they want.

COOPER: In 2005, more than 900 people were murdered in the U.S. during the course of a robbery.

CAROL: What is wrong with you guys?

COOPER: While police look for the robbers, we wanted to know what drove Carol to turn on her attackers?

CAROL: I'm not that big of a person, but whenever I see something like that, I don't think about my life. I was just livid that they would do this to me.

COOPER: And if this happens to Carol in the future? She says she'll be armed and ready.

CAROL If I would have pulled a gun on them, somebody probably would have been dead. And I don't really want to kill anybody, but whenever my life is at stake or my employees or my customers lives are at stake, you bet I would fire.


COOPER: I believe it. On the other hand, you might not believe this. We're going to give you the story behind a massive waterspout. And there's more. Michael Jackson behind bars?


COOPER (voice-over): Who's bad? Who's bad? They are. See what happens when an entire jail catches moonwalking Michael Jackson fever. That's our shot tonight we couldn't be prouder.

And meet the women and the men behind the presidential candidates. What makes them tick and how might they end up making history? "Running Mates," a 360 special, coming up next.


COOPER: Our "Shot of the Day" is coming up, it's a tribute to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" that frankly is a little scary, yes, prisoners. We'll tell you about that in a moment. But first, Erica Hill from HEADLINE NEWS gives us the headlines with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

HILL: Anderson. President Bush signed an executive order today on the detention and interrogation of terror suspects by the CIA. That order prohibits cruel or inhuman treatment, including insulting a person's religion or religious practices. The order comes more than a year after the Supreme Court ruled al Qaeda prisoners were covered by the Geneva Convention which does ban and degrading humiliating treatment.

We want to get you to an update on a story we have been following closely here on 360. Georgia's top justices hearing arguments today over whether Genarlow Wilson should be freed. He's the young man who is serving a 10-year prison term for consensual oral sex with a fellow teenager. In June, a state judge ordered his release, but the state attorney general appealed. The justices will decide whether the state judge's order should stand.

And an incredible sight in New Orleans, a waterspout on Lake Pontchartrain. The spout visible from high rise buildings from downtown. The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office said it found a total of three spouts yesterday. Two of them on Lake Pontchartrain. One on another lake. No property was damaged. No one was hurt.

COOPER: Incredible. Time for the "Shot of the Day." Erica, are you a Michael Jackson fan?

HILL: I mean, who doesn't like the music, right? The old school stuff from the '80s.

COOPER: Sure, all right. We know he has had some -- oh, I don't know, some rough patches maybe.

HILL: That may be a fine way to characterize it, yes.

COOPER: Sure he has taken plastic surgery to a frightening new level. But back in the day, he could perform. Remember "Thriller"? Well, apparently... HILL: Oh, yes.

COOPER: ... these guys do.

HILL: Hey!

COOPER: Yes. Guess who these are?

HILL: The Orange Brigade?

COOPER: These are prisoners, they are inmates at a detention and rehabilitation center Cebu City in the Philippines.

HILL: Oh, really? So that's what they do in prison in the Philippines, huh?


COOPER: Check out the choreography. The Rockettes really have nothing on these guys. I guess they have a lot of time to practice this. You know, highly motivated. I think the core group there is in the little triangular formation. They seem the most intense dancers.

HILL: Yes, I hear these people also do one heck of a rendition from something from "Sister Act." But I'll see your inmates' "Thriller," and I'll raise you a Bollywood "Thriller." You ready?

COOPER: Oooh, yes.

HILL: Check it out. It's like "Thriller" on like fast forward too. Does that boy have moves or what?


COOPER: He looks kind of creepy.

HILL: Just a little.

COOPER: Those are like -- this is -- yes, I would be scared, too.

HILL: So you feel just like she does, yes.


HILL: How fantastic is that?

COOPER: I love this music. Let's just listen a little bit more. Excellent

HILL: Do you ever watch Bollywood movies? I'm a huge fan.

COOPER: Well, no, I haven't. Do you watch a lot of them?

HILL: I mean, not a lot, but I love catching them -- I really do love watching them on TV. They are super fun. COOPER: Yes, a little goes a long way. Erica, it's your birthday. Happy birthday.

HILL: It is. Thank you.

COOPER: That "Thriller" video was for your birthday.

HILL: Just for me? Gosh, you guys are nice.

COOPER: Well, the prisoners in the Philippines just thought, you know what, for Erica Hill, we'll do it.

HILL: They are so good to me, I tell you.

COOPER: Yes. I know, you're loved in prison populations everywhere.

HILL: Oh, thanks, thanks.

COOPER: We want you to send us your shot ideas. If you see some amazing videos, some prisoners dancing, or some Bollywood people dancing, send it to We will put some of those clips on the air.

And still ahead tonight, some say they're running mates, but spouses of the '08 presidential candidates may be more qualified than their partners to sit in the Oval Office. We're going to look at the exceptional field of potential first ladies and maybe the first first husband in the next hour of 360.