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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Three Familiar Suspects Arrested in Natalee Holloway Case; Former Spokesman Revealing Bush Administration Secrets?
Aired November 21, 2007 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, new developments in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway: three suspects back in custody. Police let them go last time for lack of evidence. They say, this time, they have got the goods. We're digging deeper.
Also tonight, the president's former spokesman -- his new book dishing dirt about deception at the highest levels of government, naming names, including Cheney and Bush. But there's a twist and a wrinkle in the twist, and maybe some fog on top of that. We will try to clear it all up.
Also tonight, actor Dennis Quaid's children reportedly falling victim to a medical mixup at a hospital. We will look at what went wrong and why a million-and-a-half Americans fall victim every year to sometimes deadly mistakes -- all that and more tonight.
First, though, that break in the Natalee Holloway case -- she vanished on a school trip to the Dutch island of Aruba. That was way back in May of 2005. Tonight, authorities have three suspects in custody. And you will remember their names. That's because the three being held tonight are the same three who were held once before in Natalee's disappearance and presumed death.
So, what's different this time? In a moment, you will hear from the key suspect's lawyer.
First, late details and some background from CNN's Susan Candiotti.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whatever new evidence authorities have on Joran van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers is being kept under wraps for now. Natalee Holloway's father tells CNN's "NANCY GRACE" show, the investigation has come full circle.
DAVE HOLLOWAY, FATHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: They have been investigated for the last two-and-a-half years. And, hopefully, with what they say that they have, this new evidence, maybe we will finally get some answers.
CANDIOTTI: Last spring, Dutch investigators returned to the island and dug up again part of the van der Sloot property and revisited the Kalpoes' home. They returned to Aruba last month, and now say they have new incriminating evidence. Whatever police have, one defense attorney says, it must be scrutinized.
MARK EIGLARSH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It's been two years since they presented evidence in front of a judge. Now they're doing it again. I, from a defense perspective, would argue that now they have a little bit more of something, and they're giving it another try to see if they can get an indictment.
CANDIOTTI: It took a week for police to begin searching the small Caribbean island after Natalee disappeared. Two days after that, authorities finally picked up the boys from the bar for questioning.
Van der Sloot claimed at one point he left Natalee drunk on the beach and walked home by himself. About two weeks later, his father, a judge, was arrested, then released. A landfill was searched. A pond was drained. Every inch of the island, it seemed, was covered, but still no Natalee.
Law enforcement sources said the boys' stories had changed repeatedly. Things didn't seem to add up. Yet, in July 2005, the Kalpoe brothers were released, as was van der Sloot two months later. All were freed for lack of evidence.
Van der Sloot left to attend college in the Netherlands. The Kalpoe brothers went back to their lives on the island. Last year, van der Sloot said he's being wrongly portrayed as a suspected rapist and murderer, and he seemed concerned over Natalee's welfare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, ABC NEWS)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did it seem like a wrong thing to do, leaving a girl on the beach like that?
JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, SUSPECT: At that moment in time, for me, it wasn't the wrong thing. But it's something a real man would do. It's not normal. It's not right at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you did it?
VAN DER SLOOT: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: A former deputy police chief in Aruba who worked the case tells CNN he suspects Natalee was not left at the beach, but went home with van der Sloot, that may have been weakened by alcohol and possibly drugs, and may have collapsed. He suggests the boys panicked and -- quote -- "got rid of her."
Van der Sloot is expected to be extradited to the island in the coming days. The Kalpoe brothers will be in court Friday. Authorities say they expect to reveal some of their new evidence then.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, Miami. (END VIDEOTAPE)
KING: Joe Tacopina is a defense attorney representing Joran van der Sloot. He and I spoke a short time ago.
I began by asking him where his client is tonight.
JOE TACOPINA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR JORAN VAN DER SLOOT: He's in custody in the Netherlands. He will be transported back to Aruba. Again, he's not fighting extradition because he's -- he's ready to answer any questions they have in regards to his knowledge of the events of the night that Natalee went missing.
KING: Have you been able to speak to him at all or his family since this happened?
TACOPINA: I have spoken with his family. I have spoken with his parents. You know, obviously, we have been down this road before. They have been put through the ringer for the last year-and-a-half. You know, they were hoping it was over. They did a very thorough investigation.
Three countries had looked into this for the last year-and-a- half, not found a stitch of evidence, incriminating Joran. That's because he had nothing to do with -- with Natalee's disappearance, I firmly believe.
But, you know, this is par for the course here. Thirteen -- now 13 arrests have been made in this case without a single person being brought to charges or any answers really being -- being given.
KING: You say par for the course. I assume you have seen the police statement. They say they have new evidence, which is why they went and re-arrested these suspects.
KING: Any idea what that new evidence is?
TACOPINA: No, John, no idea whatsoever what that new evidence is.
But, again, I will -- will caution to be not too optimistic here, because, again, we have been down this road before. They have said they had new evidence. And the new evidence turned to be insignificant or irrelevant factually.
And what they have told me, which has been very little, is that the new evidence, they have been specific to say that it reflects and it pertains to the Kalpoe brothers. Now, I don't know what know what that evidence is either. But they have specifically not mentioned that they have new evidence against Joran.
And, again, he's being held under the suspicion that they have said. They have not charged him with anything. They're going to bring him back. And we fully expect that he's going to be brought back, questioned, and subsequently released, and hopefully be able to resume his studies back in the university in the Netherlands.
KING: You seem to consider this a case of Keystone Kops. Obviously, there's been an international spotlight on the authorities. They have been ridiculed. They have obviously been criticized by the Holloway family quite extensively.
You really think they would go through this again without any new evidence?
TACOPINA: Hey, listen, I didn't think they would be arresting people eight months ago and a year ago without any evidence whatsoever. But they did it.
I don't know, John, what to make of this. I don't know what their motives are. But I will tell you -- I will tell you that they botched this investigation from the get-go. They focused on -- and rightfully so did they focus on Joran and the Kalpoe brothers from the beginning.
But when the evidence did not lead them in that direction, continually, they stayed there. And I think they let a lot of leads go. There was a predator that was seen on that island that accosted American tourists just days before Natalee's disappearance right by that same area. They didn't put a composite sketch up of that individual until a year later, when the new police chief came in and wanted to refocus the investigation.
So, this investigation may never give us the answers that we want or the Holloway family wants. But, unfortunately, we're back here again. And, before we get too excited, I think we need to see what this new evidence is.
I doubt it's going to have any forensic value whatsoever. It could be witness statements, which, again, you're going to see called into question without any corroboration. But, you know, I'm confident in the truth here. And I think, at the end of the day, Joran will be released.
KING: Joe Tacopina, thanks for your thoughts. And we will keep track of this, as this bizarre case takes yet another twist.
TACOPINA: Thanks, John.
KING: Thank you.
KING: And it seems like everyone involved in this case has an attorney.
Vinda De Sousa is the lawyer in Aruba for Natalee's dad Dave Holloway. She joins us now live on the telephone from Aruba. Let me begin with this question. Have you been able to talk to Natalee's father and stepmother? And what is their reaction, if so, to the news of these arrests?
VINDA DE SOUSA, HOLLOWAY FAMILY ATTORNEY: Hi. Good evening.
Yes, I have talked to Dave Holloway. I reiterate that I'm Dave Holloway's attorney in Aruba. I have spoken to him. And, of course, they're pleased with any developments in this case. Anything that could lead to a satisfactory solution or at least knowing what happened is very pleasing to them.
KING: Now, the prosecutors say they have new incriminating evidence, the reason for re-arresting these three initial suspects. Can you tell us anything at all about what you know about this evidence?
DE SOUSA: No, they're not -- they're very tight-lipped about the evidence, and rightfully so, understandably so. They don't want to hamper the investigation in any way.
What they're saying is there is new evidence or/and new facts and circumstances that have led to this re-arrest.
KING: Over the course of this confusing and often controversial investigation, the Aruban authorities have suggested at times that Natalee may have overdosed on drugs or died of alcohol poisoning. Has the family ever believed that?
DE SOUSA: It is my understanding that the family never did, but the authorities certainly are looking into that. And it's their belief.
KING: And let's look at the specific charges now, as these three suspects have been re-arrested. the charge is involvement in the voluntary manslaughter or causing serious bodily harm to Natalee Holloway. What does the wording of the charges tell you about this case?
DE SOUSA: The wording of the charges tell me that they no longer believe that there is any evidence or anything to do with premeditated murder or first-degree murder, that something -- they believe that something happened that was involuntary, but that the suspects are somewhat involved.
KING: Now, this case has not cast the Aruban authorities in the best light, to say the least, around the world, and particularly here in the United States, where Natalee Holloway lived. It's been referred to as the catch-and-release justice system. In your view -- and you know the island well -- obviously, you know the law there well -- has the case been handled properly under Aruban law?
DE SOUSA: Under Aruban law, they have handled it the way they should have, in the sense that they held the suspects. We don't have the bail system here in Aruba. So, once a suspect is arrested, they need to present first under suspicion of having committed a crime. Then they have to present enough evidence to justify holding the suspects longer.
And, the longer they hold them, the more evidence they have to present in order to justify holding them longer. The fact that the suspects were held as long as they were is because they were looking at the case, they were investigating, and there was enough justification to hold them as longs as they did.
They were released because there were no new facts or evidence to justify holding them any longer. Now, in order to have a suspect who has been held in preventive custody and then released, in order to re- arrest them, they need to new facts or circumstances or new evidence. That's the sole grounds on which they can re-arrest them. And, evidently, they do have enough of that to justify their re-arrest.
KING: And give us, as best you can, the timeline for what happens next.
DE SOUSA: The timeline of what happens next is, they will be held for eight days. And, from there on, a new -- a judge commissioner, there will be there -- there will be a new arraignment hearings. And, from there on, again, their prolongation of their arrests will have to be looked at and justified enough for them to be held longer than those.
KING: Vinda De Sousa, the attorney for Natalee Holloway's father Dave Holloway, thank you so much for your help tonight. Thank you.
Like most young women, Natalee had hopes and dreams. Here's the "Raw Data."
She was 18 years old when she disappeared in 2005, about to graduate from high school. A straight-A student, she had a full scholarship to attend the University of Alabama, where she planned to be premed and eventually become a pediatrician. Last month, Natalee would have celebrated her 21st birthday.
Up next, finally, the word we have all been waiting for, a minor detail perhaps, you know, when the presidential primary season begins.
Also, what the spokesman saw -- reaction to Scott McClellan's allegation that he misled the American people, with the involvement of the president and the vice president.
KING: After weeks of keeping the country in suspense, New Hampshire's secretary of state, Billy Gardner -- or Billy Gardner, as the locals call him -- made it official today. He set a date for the primary.
So, mark your calenders. It will be the caucuses in Iowa on the 3rd of January -- that's a Thursday -- and Wyoming for the Republicans the following Saturday, followed by New Hampshire on Tuesday the 8th. Bim, bam, boom. Then, a week later, Michigan, caucuses in Nevada on Saturday, the 19th, along with South Carolina's Republican primary. The Democrats do theirs a week later. Both parties close out January in Florida on the 29th.
Got it? There's a quiz in the morning.
Now a big twist in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. It comes from Scott McClellan, no longer following his job description back when he was the White House spokesman. Those words? Don't make news.
Tonight, he's making news all right, dishing dirt on his old bosses in an upcoming book. We have only gotten a taste. And his publisher says that's all we're going to get. But, as teasers go, it's pretty juicy.
McClellan's allegation: that top government officials, including the president and vice president of the United States, were involved in his misleading the public about the identity -- the leaking of Ms. Plame's identity -- the meaning of the phrase "were involved" left unclear.
Here's what we know.
KING (voice-over): Flash back to the fall of 2003, and a White House under siege.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has made it very clear that the leaking of classified information is a serious matter, and he takes it very seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: At issue was the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame and rumblings that top White House aides Karl Rove and Scooter Libby might have been involved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCLELLAN: They're important members of our White House team, and that's why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved.
I -- I had no doubt with -- of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it's accurate before I report back to you. And that's exactly what I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now Scott McClellan says he was misled. "It was not true," he writes in an upcoming book. "I had unknowingly passed along false information." Then comes the potential blockbuster. "And five of the highest-ranking people in the administration were involved in my doing so, Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff, and the president himself." Libby was convicted of obstructing the investigation. Rove was not charged. Given McClellan's new take, Plame's husband says the president and vice president have some explaining to do.
JOSEPH WILSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR: At a bare minimum, I think it's incumbent upon the president and the vice president now to release the transcripts of their statements with the -- to the special prosecutor, so that we now have a fuller understanding of what they knew, when they knew it, and what they said to Justice.
KING: McClellan is declining interview requests until his book is finished. His publisher, though, tells CNN, the former top Bush confidant is not accusing the president of lying to him.
"Scott has not suggested that the president was himself party to a conspiracy to mislead," Peter Osnos of Public Affairs Books said, "but it's pretty damn clear that other people knew what they had done and didn't tell the truth."
Back in March, McClellan suggested to CNN's Larry King that both he and the president were misled.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")
MCCLELLAN: I said what I believed to be true at the time. It was also what the president believed to be true at the time, based on assurances that we were both given. And knowing what I know today, I would never have said that back then.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: McClellan's new account raises fresh questions about what Mr. Bush knew and whether he was lied to, not to mention the vice president's role. The book, a rare behind-the-scenes look from a former Bush insider, is due in April.
KING: Joining me now, David Gergen, veteran adviser to presidents, from Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton
So, David, Scott McClellan, we have seen a blurb from the new book. Washington gossip or something meaningful here?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Well...
GERGEN: ... it's about as muddy as the Mississippi River, isn't it, John.
GERGEN: You know, you can't tell what the heck this guy is saying.
He's -- McClellan is not saying or suggesting that the president sent him out to lie. But he certainly heavily suggests that the president was complicit, that the president was somehow an enabler in him going before the press corps and lying about the non-involvement of Libby and Rove.
See, what we have on our -- here is a press secretary who got burned inside. And he's angry and he's hurt. And he's now writing a book and he wants to sell books. So, it's a combination. And I do think that it has brought a cloud over the president that is very, very hard to tell exactly what he's saying. I think he owes us an explanation.
KING: Well, as we wait for the book, David, you were a fireman in previous administrations, brought in at times of trouble to help clean up messes.
What is it like behind the scenes -- take us into the Oval Office -- when you're dealing with a crisis like this presidency was dealing with back in the fall there, when all these allegations from Joe Wilson were out there, were dealing with how to rebut him? The press secretary, I assume, wants to be in on all the meetings. But what is the risk if -- somebody who speaks for the president being sent out based on bad information?
GERGEN: Well, there is that risk.
Scott McClellan had just come there in July. This all happened in October. And the problem for the press secretary is this, John. The press secretary inside the White House almost has to play reporter. He or she has to go around to the principals involved and ask questions, and then trust them to tell him the truth before he goes before the press corps.
And, in this case, McClellan clearly did that. He went around and asked questions. And at least two people -- we understand that Rove and Libby misled him before he went out.
What's new about this is, he is saying, when he went out and unknowingly misled the press, there were five people involved. And he lists the president, the vice president, chief of staff, and -- and Libby, and Rove. So, we're down to one of these classic cases when he uses the word involved.
It all depends, I'm afraid, John, on what the meaning of the word "involved" involves.
KING: It depends on your definition of involved.
GERGEN: Exactly right.
KING: Democrats are having a field day with this, David, many of the presidential candidates on the Democratic side issuing statements about that. I want to read you one from Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut. He wants the new attorney general, Mike Mukasey, to investigate. He says this: "I call on the attorney general to live up to his word and launch an investigation, an immediate investigation, to determine the facts of this case, the extent of any cover-up, and what the president knew and when he knew it."
Political theater here? Do you see any potential legal ramifications of this, or is it just a political drama?
GERGEN: I think this is a political drama. I must say, I don't see the legal ramifications. Joe Wilson and his wife have filed a civil suit here in this case. And it was thrown out at the lower level. They're appealing that. Should it go to a civil suit, then there will be some legal implications.
But, you know, the presidential prosecutor has worked on this case extensively, some would say exhaustively. And I think it's been basically behind us.
This is Scott McClellan raising a non-legal issue that's more political than -- and he's raised it in a confusing way, that I think he owes the public -- I also think he owes the president -- a clearer statement of what this is all -- what the heck he is really saying here.
KING: Well, we may not get that until the book comes out in April, we are told.
GERGEN: Well, I think that's -- I think that would be wrong.
I mean, he did -- he did take the president's bread. I mean, he was on the president's payroll. And to bring the president in like this, to imply somehow that the president and the vice president were somehow responsible for his misleading the public, I think he owes it to the president, and the vice president, as well as to the public, and to the Wilsons, to clarify long before his book comes out.
KING: David Gergen, thanks for your thoughts on this...
GERGEN: Thank you.
KING: ... the latest in the continuing political drama of the CIA leak investigation.
David, thanks very much.
GERGEN: Thank you.
KING: Up next: two lawmakers in trouble for two very different reasons.
First, a city councilman you will recognize from our Katrina coverage.
And check this out. She's a congresswoman. He's a journalist -- the story behind the slap coming up.
KING: A 360 fallout for you tonight: former New Orleans City Councilman Oliver Thomas sentenced to three years and change for corruption.
Thomas pleaded guilty earlier this year to bribe-taking, and promised then to help other authorities catch other bad apples in city hall. But what do you know? Prosecutors say Thomas later told them he didn't want to be a rat.
He will, however, be a new fish reporting to prison January 3 -- not so happy a new year.
Corruption, immigration and more, ever wonder why they never seem to get fixed?
CNN's Glenn Beck has some solutions, but you might not always like them. That's why he's calling his new page-turner "An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems."
He talked about it all with Anderson. Take a look.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: What's the big thing that's driving you crazy right now? Your -- your -- illegal immigration is something you -- you talk a lot about.
GLENN BECK, HOST, "GLENN BECK": Yes, illegal immigration is, I think, just an example of how far off the tracks this government has gone and how much sovereignty we have sold out really to our global corporations. The -- the solutions are really common sense. They're...
COOPER: You literally think a wall should be built between Mexico and the United States and between Canada and the United States?
BECK: Yes, for security reasons, yes, absolutely. That's not going to stop illegal immigration. That will -- that will dramatically cut it down, but you're not going to stop people from coming in.
Just like the war on drugs, you have got to stop the desire. You have got to stop the carrot.
COOPER: Corporations who are -- who are...
BECK: Corporations who are...
COOPER: ... who want cheap labor.
BECK: Yes, who are -- who want the cheap labor.
And I -- I can't believe that I would be called a racist or a hate-monger for trying to speak out against these global corporations who are wanting cheap labor. I believe illegal immigration on that front is modern-day slavery.
COOPER: It is interesting in the book and on the radio and on the television, I mean, you get vilified a lot by those who say, well, look, you're contributing to this -- these divisions in America, this polarization of society. In truth, of, I mean, the solutions that you write about in the book boil down to, let's discuss this, let's get together, whether it's global warming, whether it's immigration.
COOPER: I mean, you're actually not particularly divisive. I mean, you're actually talking.
BECK: I know.
COOPER: You're actually a proponent of conversation...
COOPER: ... and -- and discussion.
The problem is -- and -- and it's so funny, because, if -- if you watch the television show, I will have people on -- I have had Hollywood celebrities on the show for a full hour that swear they hate me when they first sit down. And, when they leave, they end up liking me. And it's because we have a lot in common.
We have more in common -- and those things are principles -- we have more in common than we have that separate us. We need to remember, the left and the right, that what divides us are policies, not principles.
COOPER: But we're encouraged by our politicians and by people in the media to focus on those divisions. I mean, we're encouraged to be polarized.
BECK: That -- and that is -- and that is the big lie.
We -- I talk a lot about this and political correctness and the political games in this book. That is the big lie. And that's what's really going to destroy us in the end.
I don't know about you, Anderson -- and I know you travel all around the world. I travel all around the United States. And I have sensed something happening in this country that I have never sensed before. And that is real discontent and real separation from each other.
We must understand that Democrats, for the most part, are not, you know, dope-smoking hippies that want to take us to the Soviet Union, and Republicans, for the most part, are not evil, hate- mongering war-mongers that just want to blow the world up. There are those people on both ends, but that's not who the average person is.
The average person loves America, understands common sense, and just wants to get it done.
KING: Anderson there talking to Glenn Beck.
Now we want to get you caught up on some of tonight's other headlines. So, here's Erica Hill with a 360 bulletin.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: John, a lot of outrage tonight over a rape case in Saudi Arabia. This week, a Saudi court sentenced a rape victim to 200 lashes and six months in prison, boosting her previous punishment of 90 lashes.
Well, today, her husband spoke out to say she is crushed by that sentence. He blamed just one judge, though, who he says has a personal vendetta. He did not blame the Saudi judicial system.
More recalls and more concerns tonight about lead, this time in Sparkle City Charm Bracelets and other children's jewelry -- you guessed it -- made in China. The items were sold at Big Lots, Family Dollar Stores, as well as other locations.
And some new insight tonight on the brain power of babies. A new study suggests six-to-10-month-olds can actually tell the difference between naughty and nice playmates. They know which one to choose even before they can talk.
But you know that, because your children are gifted. You could tell when they were that young, right?
KING: They certainly could. How about yours?
HILL: Oh, absolutely. He's a very smart little boy.
KING: I hope, unlike mine, they choose nice, not naughty.
HILL: All right, now on to our next segment, "What Were They Thinking?"
This video is wild. A lawmaker in Venezuela takes aim at a journalist. Take a look. Yes, again, the woman in the T-shirt there, she's a Venezuelan lawmaker...
HILL: ... who stormed on a live TV set, slapped around the journalist, accusing him of slander, after he wrote about the death of her infant son years ago.
HILL: Yes. And she, by the way, wants an apology. She wants an apology.
I don't know. I don't -- you're in Washington all the time, John. Would that happen there with a lawmaker?
KING: She wants an apology?
KING: I've been -- I've been cussed at by politicians. I've been glared at by politicians. I've never been slapped or thumped with a microphone. That's all new -- a whole new world for me.
How about you?
HILL: It never happened to me. But watch your step. You're around them much more than I am. The beat-down could be next, John King. It's election season.
KING: I'm not sure we should show them this video. It might give them some ideas.
HILL: It might. Excellent point. Maybe they're not watching. They're on their way home for Thanksgiving.
KING: Amen. Erica, thanks very much.
Now, here's John Roberts with a look at what's coming up tomorrow, Thanksgiving morning, on "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ROBERTS, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, John.
Tomorrow, we bring you the most news in the morning, the Thanksgiving edition. We're live from Butterball University, answering your e-mails about your holiday bird.
Plus, a family reunion. A father and son serving together in Iraq lay eyes on their parents and grandparents back home in Mississippi.
And meet a couple of real-life action heroes. Soldiers who have become models for video games.
Wake up to...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Butterball University.
Up next, if you haven't left for Grandma's house yet, take a look at what you're facing. Question, though, are things as bad nationwide as they look in some places? We'll check in with Chad Myers. Also ahead, actor Dennis Quaid's newborn twins reportedly given an overdose of a potentially deadly drug. It's not the first time this has happened. We're keeping hospitals honest, coming up.
KING: Lines at the airport, but not quite the nightmare many were expecting. Close to 40 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more this weekend. That's according to AAA, but how much of the holiday crunch is turning out A-OK?
CNN's Chad Myers tonight, handling traffic and weather -- Chad.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Traffic and weather on the fours today.
KING: On the fours.
MYERS: On the 34s. Good evening, John.
Things are looking OK today. La Guardia never did very well all day. The arrival rate was 34, and La Guardia needs more than 34 planes on the ground every hour to keep up. And right now it's down about two hours or so.
Still 4,300 planes in the sky right now. For a time, we had 7,100 today.
So where are the choke points? Really, it was always the northeast. Even though there was rain across the Midwest, the Midwest never really went down very badly. I mean, we never really saw Chicago do anything more than about 35 minutes or so.
La Guardia, you are still a two-hour ground delay. Now what does that mean? A ground delay for you means that, if you are planning on taking off from an airport to La Guardia, they are holding you for two hours at your gate, no matter where it is -- Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, wherever -- just before you can take off, because they don't have enough landing time, because of the low clouds there in Newark/La Guardia, as well.
That because of the low clouds, you can't get as many planes in. You have to separate the planes out a little bit farther, so you can't get them in as fast. You can't get them in a many as, obviously, as you would like.
Something else I want to talk to you about, too, is one more thing going on across the southeast. We do have a lot of rainfall coming through from Jackson, Mississippi, and even some rain in Atlanta. And there's nobody here in Atlanta, John, who's going to complain about this rain, because it's so very dry here. All the reservoirs are drying up.
But a lot of rain across the upper Midwest. It's a -- it's a terrible drive at night, to drive in the rain, windshield wipers going, headlights on. You can't see as well. Slow down, take your time, because as soon as you get through the wet, then you get white from Milwaukee back to Davenport -- John.
KING: And applause at home for -- from everyone for Chad for keeping us posted on this all week.
Chad, thanks very much and a happy Thanksgiving.
MYERS: To you, too.
ROBERTS: And do you have a Thanksgiving travel horror story? If so, we want to hear it from you. Go to CNN.com/360. Link to the blog and post your comments. We'll read some of them in the next hour.
Now a shocking story that might have been overlooked, except a celebrity's involved. And it's likely to hit home for anybody who needs medical treatment.
The details in brief: the newborn twins of Dennis Quaid and his wife reportedly given an accidental overdose of a blood thinner at a hospital in Los Angeles. Fortunately, with no adverse affect, in this case, according to the hospital.
More on that in a moment. But consider this: The Institute of Medicine reports at least 1.5 million Americans die or experience adverse reactions from avoidable medication errors each other. That's at a cost to hospitals of more than $3 billion a year.
Now David Mattingly, "Keeping Them Honest" on a matter of life and death.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Until a few months ago these containers of the blood thinner Heparin looked so similar, but one contained a dose 1,000 times stronger than other. Patient safety advocates say labeling drugs more clearly should be an easy fix.
MARK MEANEY, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR PATIENT RIGHTS: It's a problem that has remained on the back burner. And to that extent, it makes me angry to see when this occurs.
MATTINGLY: The celebrity news Web site TMZ reports that on Saturday twins belonging to actor Dennis Quaid were given a serious Heparin overdose at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The hospital admits three patients were mistakenly given a dose 1,000 times too strong.
According to a hospital statement, two of them needed medication to counter the overdose and afterwards showed no adverse effects.
(on camera) "Keeping Them Honest," we wanted to know how such a mistake could happen. But Cedars-Sinai will not comment on the source of the mix-up, except to say that it was a preventable error.
An overdose of Heparin can be fatal. Three premature babies died at an Indianapolis hospital in 2006 after a pharmacy technician with 25 years experience delivered the wrong vials.
Just like at Cedars-Sinai, babies were overdosed with a concentration 1,000 times too strong.
(voice-over) After that tragedy, Baxter Pharmaceuticals joined with the FDA in February, warning of fatal consequences of misreading its similar blue labels.
(on camera) A spokeswoman for Baxter tells us those labels have since been changed but would not say if the new ones were in use at Cedars-Sinai. Vials of the higher doses are marked with a black bar and wrapped in a special caution sleeve.
(voice-over) Doctors familiar with the drug tell us in most hospitals Heparin is mixed into a baby's I.V. solution in the pharmacy, and when it's used in very small doses, it's a valuable agent to prevent blood clots in newborns. Without it, blood clots could clog nutrients dripping into the baby's system. Clots could also break free and cause serious complications.
DR. FAUD FAKHREDDINE, NEONATOLOGIST: Heart damage, infection, sepsis and stroke.
MATTINGLY: And in spite of Heparin precautions, a spokeswoman for the manufacturer says there is still no substitute for careful reading of the labels.
At Cedars Sinai, the worst of tragedies may have been averted, but clearly the danger still exists.
David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
KING: Up next, more a case, perhaps, of medical misjudgment than straight-up mistake. Just the same, it can be deadly. Doctors prescribing a powerful narcotic patch, too powerful for a lot of patients, when 360 continues.
KING: Before the break, a medical error, reportedly resulting in Dennis Quaid's newborn twins getting an overdose of blood thinner. It's not uncommon, as David Mattingly reports. Well over a million people a year having an adverse reaction, even dying in some cases, from medication errors.
Now, an often misused medication that has killed more than the pain. Here's David again, looking for answers and "Keeping Them Honest."
MATTINGLY (voice-over): It's up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and it could kill you. The pain medication Fentanyl, often delivered in a medicated patch, comes with pages and pages of warnings.
DR. ROBERT ZOROWITZ, VILLAGE NURSING HOME: The patch cannot get too warm. A heating pad or hot water or direct sunlight that causes the temperature to go up will cause the medication to be delivered at a much higher rate.
MATTINGLY: Fentanyl patches, originally marketed under the name Duragesic by Johnson & Johnson, were created as a painkiller of last resort for patients in constant pain or with terminal cancer, who have already built up a tolerance to weaker pain medications.
But in spite of government warnings and packaging, experts say this drug continues to be misused, with fatal consequences.
MICHAEL COHEN, INSTITUTE FOR SAFE MEDICATION PRACTICES: The No. 1 problem we see is it's misprescribed. It's given to patients who should never receive the drug.
MATTINGLY (on camera): You're about to see one of those tragic cases. It's a man who died after using just one patch, prescribed after surgery. And you won't believe what that surgery was for.
DEANA KINAMON, SISTER OF FENTANYL VICTIM: They went in and cut the uvula off the back of his throat.
MATTINGLY: That little thing in the back of your throat? That's what he had cut out?
MATTINGLY: And he did this so he could sleep better?
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Bud Kinamon went to a military hospital n 2005 for surgery to cure sleep apnea. When doctors sent him home with a patch to recover, he went to sleep and never woke up.
KINAMON: So I called 911, and even at that point I said, "I think my brother is dead."
MATTINGLY: A coroner's report determined Kinamon died of acute Fentanyl intoxication.
Just three months earlier, the Food and Drug Administration issued a Fentanyl patch warning following death to incorrect use. And the U.S. military forwarded that warning to all its facilities: "Fentanyl patches should not be used to treat short-term pain, pain that is not constant or pain after an operation."
KINAMON: It was prescribed in complete violation of its warnings.
MATTINGLY: From 1998 to 2005, 3,545 deaths were reported to the FDA that had been linked to Fentanyl overdoses. While it's not known what percentage of the deaths were due to misprescribed Fentanyl patches versus abuse of the drug, Michael Cohen of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices maintains misprescribing is the major issue and that there could be thousands more deaths going unreported.
(on camera) Where does the responsibility for all these deaths lie? Is it with the patient? Is it with the doctor, the pharmacist?
COHEN: Well, I think that's a good question. I think a lot is on the company and working with the Food and Drug Administration. We need a much better warning system with these drugs. We need more alerts. We need the physicians to be more aware of it.
MATTINGLY: "Keeping Them Honest," we went to Johnson & Johnson with questions on how Fentanyl warnings could be improved. They sent us to a subsidiary called Ortho-McNeil here in Northern New Jersey.
But no one here would talk to us on camera.
(voice-over) But a company spokesman told us in writing that they "communicate consistently" with health-care professionals and patients, and they continue to support a risk-management program, working closely with the FDA.
Not enough, according to Michael Cohen.
COHEN: So I would like to see much stronger warnings on the wrapper that these patches, individual patches come in.
MATTINGLY: The drug became available to generic manufacturers in 2005 making it cheaper and more available to patients than ever. We asked the FDA, if people are dying, why do doctors keep misprescribing the Fentanyl patch? That was yesterday. Tonight, a spokesman said they still don't have an answer.
David Mattingly, CNN New York.
KING: You can find more information on Fentanyl patches and the brand-name drug, Duragesic, on the 360 blog. Go to CNN.com/360 for a link to the blog.
Up next, a big Thanksgiving helping of "Raw Politics." Plus, a giant turkey you have to see to believe.
Also ahead, more than two years after she disappeared, a major new development in the Natalee Holloway case. Details coming up on 360.
KING: Among politicians, work is always on the menu, but tomorrow they can opt for a helping of the other, other white meat. We're talking turkey, of course, and until it's roasted, basted in rotisserie, it's ripe for "Raw Politics."
Here's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The turkey is roasting. The gravy is bubbling. But let's be thankful for some "Raw Politics" first, and we start with what might be the final piece in that primary puzzle.
(voice-over) Thanks for New Hampshire. The Granite State has finally decided to hold its primary on January 8, just five days after Iowa's caucuses.
BILL GARDNER, NEW HAMPSHIRE SECRETARY OF STATE: First and foremost, we were going to preserve the New Hampshire tradition, and -- and this will let us do it.
FOREMAN: And what does all this mean for normal voters? Only this: with all the big states that will quickly follow, we should clearly know the Democratic and Republican nominees well before Valentine's Day.
Thanks for the new Mideast piece conference coming up. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she hopes for a lasting peace deal before the end of the Bush era. Yes, and I'm hoping for a pony.
Thanks for dinner guests. Quinnipiac University asks which presidential wannabe would you want at your table for the holiday meal? The Hill, the Obamarama and Rudy lead the pack, in that order. Insert your "extra turkey" joke here.
John McCain, by the way, not available. He will be in Baghdad.
And big thanks for this: almost all the other candidates are off the trail for turkey day. A full day of no attacks, counter attacks and counter, counter attacks.
(on camera) So enjoy your bird, eat your stuffing, but keep your giblets warm. We'll have another big bowl of "Raw Politics" on Monday -- John.
KING: Assuming he doesn't eat too much, Tom will be back on Monday.
A reminder: a lot more "Raw Politics" one week from tonight. That's when Anderson hosts the second CNN-YouTube debate. This time it's the Republican candidates answering your questions. We've already had thousands of submissions, like this one from Robert in Culver City, California.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT SCHMIDT, PUBLISHER, BLUE CORN COMICS: These are American Indians. And these are American Indian mascots.
Robert Schmidt, publisher of Blue Corn Comics from Culver City, California. My question is simply this: yes or no, are these mascots insulting to Indians and should we eliminate them?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The debates on Wednesday the 28th. And if you want to send a question, it's not too late. Just go to CNN.com/YouTubeDebate.
Almost time for "The Shot of the Day," an annual ritual, just a turkey toss from our CNN studios here in New York. A turkey toss? And there's something new in the air.
First, though, Erica Hill joins us again with a "360 News and Business Bulletin."
HILL: John, tens of thousands of lives are threatened tonight by powerful storms barreling towards Southeast Asia. Up to 200,000 people in the Philippines are being moved to shelters, and Vietnam is appealing for international aid.
New developments emerging in a sensational Italian murder case we've been covering. Police are now waiting on DNA test results for 20-year-old American student Amanda Knox, as well as her Italian boyfriend.
The couple are among three people being held in the killing of Knox's British roommate.
Investors are going to have to look to hearth and home for something to be thankful to tomorrow, because they didn't find it today on Wall Street. The Dow sliding 211 points on the session to close about 200 points below the 13,000 mark.
Both the NASDAQ and the S&P also posted losses.
And the Grinch may be giving a little bit back this holiday season. A judge in New York today ordering the curtain to rise again on the Broadway show, "Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas." That show had been closed since stagehands walked off the job 11 days ago. Apparently, not going to last much longer.
KING: Is some connection between the stock market diving yet again and the Grinch coming back on-stage?
HILL: An excellent question. We'll be doing an investigative look for you tomorrow.
KING: Yes. We'll be into that all over. "Keeping Them Honest."
Erica, stay right there. The shot, a preview of things to come on turkey day. The annual inflating of the balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.
HILL: Love it.
KING: You know, Erica, we do this story every year. Rather predictable. Never gets stale. Look at that.
HILL: You know, I love the balloons. I love the parade. However, I've got a little something for you. I'll see your inflatable animals, and I will raise you some "Dramatic Animal Video." Scruff, our friend the squirrel.
This is the craziest turkey I've ever seen. It may not look real big in this picture, but just wait. I think we have another picture of this, an 85-pound gobbler, sitting next to a man. Here's the story.
It actually turns out this is going to be a 72-pound turkey on the table tomorrow. This was sent to us by Richard Portner (ph) from Minnesota. He apparently has had for over 20 years a little friendly rivalry going with his dad and then his sister to see who could have the biggest bird on turkey day.
He found himself an 85-pound bird. There it is. After it was plucked and, poor guy, was killed, going to be 72 pounds tomorrow. I think there may be a few leftovers there. He could make a turkey tetrazzini. That's what my aunt always does with her leftovers.
KING: Turkey tetrazzini.
HILL: Oh, yes.
KING: Send me the recipe.
HILL: I will. I'll call my aunt Sarah (ph). I'll have it sent to you.
KING: Happy Thanksgiving to you, Erica.
HILL: And to you.
KING: And a reminder: we want you to send us your "Shot" ideas after you enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner. If you see some amazing video, tell us all about it at CNN.com/360.
Up next, the case captured international attention, and tonight there's a major new development: three arrests in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Will her family finally get justice? We'll talk to attorneys on both sides when 360 continues, next.
KING: Tonight, new developments in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Three suspects back in custody. Police let them go last time for lack of evidence. They say this time they've got the goods. We're digging deeper. Also tonight, the president's former spokesman, his new book, dishing dirt about deception at the highest levels of government, naming names, including Cheney and Bush. But there's a twist and a wrinkle in the twist and maybe some fog on top of that. We'll try to clear it all up.
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