Return to Transcripts main page


Gorillas in the Midst of Murder; Hillary and Barack Playing Nice?

Aired December 15, 2007 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: What I can say, Larry? Your musical special inspired us here.
So, we begin tonight, before we get to the hard news, by briefly breaking format.

In the spirit of the season, here now the musical stylings of our own 360 glee club and floor crew.




COOPER: That was the A.C. 360 glee club and floor crew, also available on eight-track tape. Call now to get a very special bonus, "A Very Blitzer Christmas." Operators are standing by for hard news.

OK. Let's get serious now.

We begin tonight with endangered animals under attack, one of the most majestic animals in the world, the mountain gorilla. There are only about 700 of them left in the world. And, in the last year, 10 of them have been killed, all shot to death.

It has gotten so bad, that conservationists now fear the entire species could be wiped out. The gorillas live in a forest that straddles Rwanda, Uganda, and the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. And that is where, this year, the killings have taken place.

Last year, you may remember, for 360, I traveled to Congo. I saw the endangered mountain gorillas in Congo. I have actually been six or seven times over the years to the region since I was a teenager.

Some of those gorillas, as we saw then, are now dead. And, a few weeks ago, I returned to Congo for CBS News' "60 Minutes" to find out who was killing them, why, and what can be done to save them.

Tonight, we bring you that report. Some of the images you see will be disturbing, but the slaughter of gorillas is happening, and the world needs to know.


COOPER (voice-over): They act tough, but mountain gorillas are really gentle giants, playful, peaceful, highly intelligent, one of our closest animal relatives. They live in families, each headed by an adult male called a silverback because of its distinctive coloring.

Over the years, they've been gradually introduced to people, so scientists can study them, taught that people won't hurt them. But this year, in Congo, humans have betrayed them. Mountain gorillas are under attack.

EMMANUEL DE MERODE, DIRECTOR, WILDLIFEDIRECT: They're extremely threatened in Congo, threatened to the extent that we're worried about the survival of the whole population.

COOPER (on camera): The whole population could...


DE MERODE: The whole population could be destroyed, could be wiped out.

COOPER (voice-over): Dr. Emmanuel de Merode heads a nonprofit group called WildlifeDirect, which helps pay the salaries of Congo's park rangers, who protect the gorillas.

He was with the rangers in July when they made their most gruesome discovery, finding the bodies of four gorillas who had been slaughtered in the dead of night.

DE MERODE: It was a terrible, terrible scene to witness. It was our whole lives, everything we were working for, that was shattered in front of us.

COOPER: The dead gorillas were part of the Rugendo family, filmed earlier this year. They were the first gorilla group introduced to humans.

DE MERODE: We had spent time with that group. And it was, in many ways, a strong sense of trust.

COOPER (on camera): And you found a female named Safari first?

DE MERODE: Yes. She was quite famous in many ways because she had just had a baby. And we had taken a photo in the days after she was born, and that photo had been you know a real symbol of hope for us. And then to find her dead, and her baby nowhere to be seen was gutting and for all of us.

COOPER: And she had been shot?

DE MERODE: She had been shot twice through the chest. And then they had poured fuel on her and set her alight.

COOPER: What was the scene like?

DE MERODE: There was a very, very strong smell, which for all of us will always remain. It went right through your clothes. It went to the back of your throat. It was everywhere. And it stayed with us physically for days afterwards.

COOPER (voice-over): The next day, they found the body of the family's leader, a giant silverback named Senkwekwe.

DE MERODE: We think he may have been shot and then chased into the forest. He had several bullet wounds through his chest.

COOPER (on camera): Had you ever seen anything like that?

DE MERODE: No, I hadn't, thankfully. Nothing prepares you for the horror of a whole group that's been massacred.

COOPER (voice-over): He calls it the worst day of his life, and so do park rangers.

Augustin Kambale couldn't believe his eyes.

AUGUSTIN KAMBALE, PARK RANGER: I was thinking that I'm in dream. And still now, it continue to move in my head.

COOPER: You still think about it?

KAMBALE: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Still now, I don't understand why people can kill gorillas.

COOPER (voice-over): In silence, rangers and villagers made stretchers and hoisted the gorillas up on their shoulders. They wanted, they say, to carry them out like kings.

KAMBALE: It's to show people that how this animal is very, very important.

COOPER: You wanted to show the people that you respect them like a king?

KAMBALE: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Exactly.

COOPER (voice-over): So why were these kings assassinated? Simply, it seems, for this, charcoal. More than a million people in this area, practically everyone, use charcoal to cook their food. It's made by burning the trees in the gorillas' forest. They cover mounds of wood with mud and set it on fire, turning the ancient trees into brittle bricks of charcoal.

You can see the fires from the air. Robert Muir of the Frankfurt Zoological Society took us for a tour.

ROBERT MUIR, PROJECT LEADER AND COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE, FRANKFURT ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY: They're cutting down the forest. And they're smoking it out, basically. And they will continue to move further and deeper into the forest, cutting down prime habitat.

COOPER: It's being carried away bag by bag, step by step.

MUIR: There it is, a train of (INAUDIBLE) guys. You see it?

COOPER (on camera): Yes.

(voice-over): Women carry huge bags of charcoal for miles on their shoulders. Men wheel bigger loads to market on handmade wooden bikes. It's a multimillion-dollar business, illegal, but backed by powerful interests, businessmen, soldiers, corrupt government officials, a charcoal mafia.

When rangers try to stop the destruction of the forest, Rob Muir says the charcoal mafia killed the gorillas to warn the rangers to back off.

MUIR: In June, a female gorilla was found, killed, a bullet to the back of her heart execution style. They want to intimidate and scare the Congolese wildlife authority. The message was, if you don't stop, we can kill all the gorillas.

COOPER: But the rangers refused to stop.

MUIR: Continued, even upped their campaign to try and dismantle the charcoal production. And then a month later the Rugendo family was decimated. I'm sure that the charcoal mafia were behind this.

COOPER (on camera): How do you solve the charcoal problem? They're all using charcoal. They have no other source. How do you get around that?

MUIR: Provide alternative fuel, butane, for example.

COOPER (voice-over): But butane requires special stoves. And buying that equipment for every family would cost tens of millions of dollars.

MUIR: So, it would need to be subsidized. I mean, we desperately need donors, the E.U., the World Bank, someone like that to really come in and say, hey, we have got some money here. You know, we appreciate this is urgent. You know, if we don't act now, we could lose the gorillas.

COOPER: Muir says two babies were orphaned this summer when charcoal makers killed their mothers. One baby was found clinging to its dead mother's corpse. The other had been pulled to safety by an older brother, but was starving without its mother's milk. Rangers rescued both orphans, and vets are still trying to nurse them back to health.

(on camera): Have you ever seen these mountain gorillas as under threat as they are now?

MUIR: Never. Never. I don't think -- I don't think they have ever been as threatened as they are currently today.

COOPER (voice-over): Just how threatened? No one knows, because the rangers haven't been able to see Congo's gorillas for more than three months.

(on camera): Almost 200 mountain gorillas live here in the Congo along the forested slopes of that volcano. The problem is, there are more than a half-dozen armed rebel groups fighting government forces in and around those forests, and the rangers who protect the gorillas have had to flee. That means Congo's entire population of mountain gorillas is now left unprotected, and they're caught in the middle of a civil war.

So, the gorillas right now are cut off. You cannot get to them?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. They can shoot them. They can be in traps. We can't know the situation of our gorillas.

COOPER: The gorillas can get caught in the crossfire?



COOPER (voice-over): Congo may be a dangerous county for gorillas, but it's even deadlier for people. There's been fighting here for more than 10 years and more than 100 rangers have been killed. At a rangers' post outside the park, their sign is pockmarked with bullet holes.

MUIR: Over 300 rebels would surround a patrol post during the night and just shoot it to hell, heavy artillery, bombing...

COOPER (on camera): Why?

MUIR: ... with no care for human life. And they're after the rangers' equipment, ammunition, rifles. They see the rangers as a soft target.

COOPER: So, rangers are outnumbered, outgunned?

MUIR: Completely. Completely. This is probably the most dangerous park on the planet.

COOPER (voice-over): So dangerous that all the rangers can do now is gaze at the forest from afar and hope for a cease-fire.

But, in that same forest, just a few miles from the fighting, across the borders in Rwanda and Uganda, the rest of the mountain gorillas are safe for the moment, but they face yet another threat. There are so few of them, that Ebola or some other deadly virus could wipe them out. It's a tough trek to get to Rwanda's gorillas, but it is an extraordinary experience.

(on camera): We're on way to a family of 21 gorillas, headed by an adult male silverback the park rangers call Agasha. Trackers have already gone up ahead of us and found Agasha's family. They have radioed back the exact location. Now we just have to hike up and find them.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Well, in a moment what happened when we found the gorillas in Rwanda and why one of them decided to charge right for us. That's next.


COOPER: Well, before the break, we took you to Africa to see why so many endangered mountain gorillas have been shot to death this year. The gorillas are victims of a civil war in Central Africa. They're also being killed off because the trees that make up their habitat are used to make charcoal. Hundreds of thousands of people in the area rely on charcoal to cook their food.

I went to Africa a few weeks ago for CBS News' "60 Minutes."

In part two of that report, which you're about to see, we're on our way to meet a family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda. They're thriving in Rwanda, in stark contrast to the danger gorillas now face in neighboring Congo.


COOPER (voice-over): It can take from 20 minutes to four hours to find the gorillas. The forest is dense, the trail muddy.

As we reach Agasha's family, our guides grunt like gorillas to assure them we come in peace.

While it's impossible not to be impressed by the size of the gorillas -- Agasha weighs more than 400 pounds -- they didn't seem too impressed by us. They spend their days eating bamboo and other plants and the occasional mound of termites. Agasha eats up to 60 pounds a day. He needs the energy: He has 11 adult females in his family, and tries to mate with each of them every day to keep them from wandering off.

This female is pounding her chest, trying to get Agasha's attention. The silverback seemed unconcerned by our arrival, but he did want to make sure we knew who's boss. Twice, when he thought we had gotten too close, he charged right past our cameras.

Mountain gorillas seem to have a sense of humor, and like to stare at those who stare at them. Gorilla see, gorilla do. You're only allowed one hour with gorillas to limit their risk of catching a disease. Poachers are another problem. Two gorillas in this family have lost a hand because of snares. Even in Rwanda, poachers set snares, usually to catch antelope, but gorillas get trapped in them, too, a fact which pains our guide, Olivier Nabonimona, who feels that gorillas are a national treasure.

OLIVIER NABONIMONA, GUIDE: We really love these gorillas, because they need, they deserve this right to -- to survive. Also, they bring money in the country. Then it helps in poverty reduction.

COOPER: In Rwanda, gorilla tourism has created jobs for guides, handicraft makers, and hotel workers. Each visitor pays $500 to see the gorillas. Rwanda will make $6 million from tourists this year.

Part of that money goes to villagers who live right next to the park to convince them that protecting the gorillas, and the forest, can enhance their lives, too. The government has installed 10 new water tanks, so villagers don't have to walk miles to get clean water. They've also built a new health clinic, new schools, and planted thousands of new trees.

But, back in Congo, all that's new are the graves of Senkwekwe and Safari and the other mountain gorillas killed this year. They're buried outside the forest. It's still too deadly for park rangers to return to Congo's side of the forest to find out what's happened to the animals they feel they can talk to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you are together with them, you will see that they have some sounds.

COOPER (on camera): But do you speak gorilla?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can speak some...



COOPER: Yes, you can?




COOPER: Well, speak some gorilla.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Means that, that is something which not going well here.

COOPER (voice-over): So much is not going well here: charcoal, civil war, poachers, disease. And all of it is threatening these gentle giants, these last few kings of Congo.


COOPER: They are truly magnificent.

We're going to have more on the gorillas at the end of the program tonight.

To find out how to help, go to Click on the link to the blog. Again, that's We have some organizations listed there.

We're following a number of other stories tonight, including a suspected serial killer facing jail for another crime.

Gary Tuchman has that and more in our 360 bulletin -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a Phoenix man has been sentenced to 438 years in prison for the sexual assault of two sisters in 2005. Mark Goudeau still faces trial on charges he's the city's "Baseline Killer." He is accused of killing eight women and a man. If convicted, Goudeau could get the death penalty.

Tonight, the Plains are being hit by another storm. Up to eight inches of snow is expected to fall on parts of Kansas and Oklahoma by tomorrow morning. The area is still trying to clean up from an ice storm that, at one point, left nearly one million customers without power.

In South Korea, they are at it again. Anderson, watch this nasty fight between lawmakers in the national assembly. Unbelievable. Punches, choke holds, even a cane and a telephone are being used to fight off opponents. One man was apparently knocked unconscious.

Now, Anderson, for our viewers who might bad-mouth the U.S. Congress, well, at least they don't fight. Or perhaps maybe they should. I don't know.

COOPER: Man, un...


COOPER: Unbelievable.

Now, Gary, I know you kind of have a beef with me, kind of, something about my guest-hosting duties on "Regis and Kelly" this morning.


COOPER: We will get to that in a moment.

Also tonight, later, new poll numbers showing that nice guys -- or at least politicians who people believe are nice guys, and women, perhaps -- might finish first.

All that and more -- after this short break.


COOPER: This is where we usually show you "What Were They Thinking?" But, frankly, it will ruin the surprise. So, stick around.

It's coming up right after this break.


TUCHMAN: Anderson, you usually handled 360's "What Were They Thinking?" But, tonight, we have to ask you, Anderson, what were you thinking?


TUCHMAN: It's from this morning, when you were subbing for Regis Philbin on "Live With Regis and Kelly." You know we just could not let this slide.



COOPER: I was going to take the subway last night, and there was a cab. So, I decided to take a cab. And then I realized I didn't have any cash.




COOPER: So, I run into a deli. I run into a deli, to an ATM, and there's like four drunk girls there at -- just hanging around the ATM.

And I knew...

RIPA: Hanging around the ATM?

COOPER: Yes. I don't know what they were doing. It was -- they were drunk.

RIPA: Right.

COOPER: And they were -- I mean, you could tell they were drunk just from like -- as soon as I entered the store, I just saw it.

RIPA: Right.

COOPER: Like, you heard their conversations. And the conversation, of course, was like every drunk girl's conversation, which is like...

RIPA: I'm not drunk.

COOPER: I am so drunk.


COOPER: And then the other one was like, I know. I'm so drunk, too.


RIPA: And, so, they see you.

COOPER: Right. And, clearly, they were having trouble operating the ATM. So, anyway, so I...


COOPER: I do what I always do when -- when I'm...




RIPA: It says, swipe it. I'm swiping. I'm swiping.


RIPA: Magic box of money.


COOPER: So, I do what I do when always I know I approach a group of people. I take out my BlackBerry and pretend to talk on the phone.

RIPA: Good for you. That's a good one.

COOPER: Right, because I don't want to actually have to talk to them.

RIPA: Yes.


COOPER: And, so, there I am, you know, pretending to talk on the phone. And I go over. And I'm waiting for drunk girl to finish.

And I -- finally, she says (INAUDIBLE)


COOPER: So, I say, thank you.

RIPA: Right.

COOPER: And I do the thing.

And as I'm doing it, they're gradually realizing they sort of vaguely recognize me from somewhere. And one of them says, have you ever been on a nature program?


COOPER: I was -- I was just like, no. No. I'm talking on the phone.


COOPER: And then the other one was like, are you John McEnroe?


COOPER: And, at that, I was...


COOPER: I was insulted at that.


COOPER: That, I got off the phone. And I was like, I got to call you back.


COOPER: What? John McEnroe?


COOPER: John McEnroe is like 50.


COOPER: I used to watch John McEnroe when I was a kid when I was -- when I was a kid.

RIPA: And so brilliant and so great.

COOPER: So, finally, I get my money, and I say, bye, drunk girls.


COOPER: And I walk off. And I go to hail a cab. And drunk girls come out, and they're trying to hail a cab, too.

RIPA: Oh, I know...

COOPER: And you know, when you're in New York, there's like a zone of cab protection. Like, you have like a half-block, Like, if you're on the corner, you can't go within a half-block of someone else.

RIPA: That's right. You're not allowed to then scoot away, scoot across the street in front of that person and hail.

COOPER: Right. Yes. That doesn't work either, yes.

RIPA: Mm-mmm.

COOPER: Or you can't go behind a double-parked car and do it.

RIPA: Correct. COOPER: You need to move at least a full block away from someone else hailing a cab. That's just basic New York etiquette, if any of you are visiting New York for the first time.

RIPA: Right.

COOPER: Because you will be shot if you do...


COOPER: ... if you do infringe on that zone of protection.

RIPA: Or we will talk about you right here on this program.

COOPER: That's right. That's right.


COOPER: Oh, I'm about to reveal the names of the drunk girls.



But -- so, they come within my zone to hail the cab.

RIPA: Oh, yes.

COOPER: And a cab comes. And I, like any gentleman, run, grab the cab, and get it in.


COOPER: And -- and they're, like, teetering on high heels. And they come over and they're like, I can't -- John McEnroe just stole my cab.




TUCHMAN: Needless to say, the nation woke up in a good mood this morning.

That is a funny story, Anderson. And I hear you're playing The Laugh Hut...


TUCHMAN: ... in Paramus, New Jersey, now, two shows a night.


(CROSSTALK) COOPER: That's right. Try the veal.


TUCHMAN: But, seriously, we wanted to get feedback from the people -- or not so seriously, actually, but we wanted to get feedback from those people that you encountered last night...

COOPER: That would have been nice.

TUCHMAN: ... after you left this building. Unfortunately, we weren't able to locate the un-sober young women or the taxi driver.

I know you're listening to this and wondering, what the heck are we going to say?


TUCHMAN: Here's what we're going to say.

We got ahold, Anderson, of John McEnroe.



TUCHMAN: We showed him the tape. And after, watching it, McEnroe sounded off. And this...

COOPER: Uh-oh.

TUCHMAN: ... was his immediate reaction to what you said.








MCENROE: You're a disgrace. And everyone here is disgraceful.




TUCHMAN: Now, as a 47-year-old guy, I'm going to tell you what got him mad.

COOPER: Uh-huh.

TUCHMAN: You said he was 50.

COOPER: Uh-huh.

TUCHMAN: He's actually 48. And we're very sensitive about that...



COOPER: Oh, is he really?


COOPER: All right, my apologies to John McEnroe.


COOPER: Yes. All right. Gary, very funny.

Thanks, Gary.

Coming up tonight: What do Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee, even Hillary Clinton, have in common? They're all trying to be nicer. Find out which two are succeeding, "Raw Politics" tonight -- next.



COOPER: That's the 360 singers testifying. You better be good, for goodness' sake. I have no idea why, but we thought why not tonight.

In "Raw Politics" tonight: The presidential candidates are trying to be good -- How's that for a segue? -- trying, some more successfully than others, not to be -- or to be nice, not naughty -- Hillary Clinton today unveiling an ad featuring her mom, Mike Huckabee channeling Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama talking about hope.

Our question is, is it working? And new polling out today says, yes.

Tom Foreman has the "Raw" rundown.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, maybe it's Christmas spirit. Maybe it's campaign fatigue. But whatever it is, something has changed. And American voters have started thinking with their hearts.


FOREMAN (voice-over): They are the sunshine boys. The upbeat, upstart hope-mongers Republicans and Democrats are swooning over these days.

Mike Huckabee, summer's folksy afterthought, is winter's formidable frontrunner, and not just in Iowa either. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll has Huckabee out front in South Carolina, too, with 24 percent of Republican voters in his corner. In July, he had 3 percent.

OBAMA: Our moment is now.

FOREMAN: After a summer slump, Barack Obama has got his game back, sounding themes that made him a contender in the first place: hope, optimism, possibility. He's neck and neck with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, gaining on her in South Carolina.

OBAMA: When folks tell me I can't do something, that's when I like to do it.

FOREMAN: The "Raw" read at the end of an endless primary campaign. Many voters are sick of being told who they should vote for, and now it's about who they want to vote for.

Still, sunshine only goes so far, and today Huckabee added some muscle to his momentum.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today I'd like to make an announcement that I believe will help to fill in many of the gaps that we've had up until this point.

FOREMAN: Legendary political strategist Ed Rollins, the brains behind Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide reelection, is now Huckabee's political Yoda. The message, this is for real.

ED ROLLINS, CHAIRMAN, MIKE HUCKABEE CAMPAIGN: Governor Huckabee has inspired me as much as Ronald Reagan.

FOREMAN (on camera): All roads lead back to Reagan, of course, in the world of sunshine politics. So it's no surprise that Obama and Huckabee are winning with plays from the Gipper's playbook, selling the idea that it's morning again in America, or at least it could be -- Anderson.


COOPER: For more now on the salesman, Ed Rollins, and a few not so nicey-nicey moments between the Clinton and Obama camps, with us now, "TIME" magazine's Joe Klein and CNN's Gloria Borger.

Joe, Hillary Clinton came under fire this week. Her campaign co- chair mentioned cocaine use of Barack Obama in the past. He resigned. Hillary Clinton today had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, as soon as I found out that one of my supporters and co-chairs in New Hampshire made a statement, asked a series of questions. I made it clear it was not authorized. It was in no way condoned. I didn't know about it. And he stepped down.


COOPER: In that same announcement, though, she's talking about how if she gets elected, she's vetted. She's a known quantity. There will be no surprises. Isn't that a swipe at Obama?

JOE KLEIN, COLUMNIST, "TIME": Yes. I think she's saying that there's still things to -- to be learned about Obama. What she's really trying to do is stop the bleeding at this point. You know, she isn't -- she isn't gushing blood. She isn't falling apart, the way some of her colleagues are saying.

But there is a slight downward trajectory.

COOPER: That's the sort of media narrative right now, that everything is collapsing.

KLEIN: It's not -- that's not true. She has -- she has plenty of time. What she really has to worry about is that kind of cold aspect that you just saw in that clip. Yesterday in the debate, she was asked about her failure when she tried to inform health care during the Clinton administration.

And she could have said, "God, I just screwed that up. You know, I really learned a lot from that." But what she said was, "I learned that we needed a stronger media communications strategy."

I mean, you know, regulation human beings just don't talk like that.

COOPER: Gloria, what is it that the people who like Hillary Clinton, what is it that draws them to her? And those who support Obama, what it that draws those to him?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN ANALYST: Well, you know, I think Hillary Clinton has campaigned as the most experience candidate, and I think, you know, people are drawn to that. Certainly, women are drawn to Hillary Clinton.

But the irony here, Anderson, is that the woman in the Democratic field is known as the toughest candidate, which is -- which is kind of interesting. And now she's known as tough, but her likeability is a real problem for her. And so now she's got to get a little warm and fuzzy. You've seen these ads she's done with her mother and her daughter, trying to get people to know who she really is as a person.

Barack Obama, people like him an awful lot, but they don't think he's tough enough at this point and not experienced enough. And it was interesting in the Democratic debate the other day. When he was asked what his new year's resolution was, he said, I can't be so timid.

And Hillary Clinton says her new year's resolution is to exercise and to win. Those are two of the candidates right there.

COOPER: Ed Rollins, Joe, taking over for Mike Huckabee's national campaign. Will that change? What does it mean?

KLEIN: Ed Rollins is a (UNINTELLIGIBLE). By the way, he wrote one of the best political memoirs, one of the funniest ones I've ever read and one of the most candid. He -- Ed Rollins has a history of getting into trouble with his mouth. It's going to be a very interesting relationship.

BORGER: That's why we love him, though, right, Joe?

KLEIN: We absolutely -- we absolutely...

BORGER: We love him.

COOPER: But does Mike Huckabee have a national campaign at this point?

KLEIN: He has a network of a lot of evangelicals who really like him and there are -- I think -- but that's only part of it. The big part of it is the fact that when people see him in these debates, he seems like -- he seems like a normal guy. He seems like someone who's comfortable in his own skin.

Could I just make one other point about Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani? As the war in Iraq has kind of subsided, as we've learned that Iraq doesn't have nukes, as security issues and toughness issues have receded, both Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani have receded. And who have emerged? Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee, the guy who's, you know, let us reason together. Can't we all just get along here?

COOPER: Right.

KLEIN: The Rodney King candidates.

COOPER: Gloria, let's talk about Giuliani. He was the national front-runner all summer that Joe's talking about. Now some polls have him running second to Huckabee. Giuliani's focusing -- on winning Florida, basically. And the big states that vote on Super Tuesday. Is that -- is that still a viable strategy?

BORGER: No, I don't think so. And I think the Giuliani campaign would be the first campaign to tell you that that's not a viable strategy anymore. I mean, they have to come in second somewhere early, if not win somewhere early. And he's clearly not going to win Iowa.

And he really has to do well, because you have to have enough credibility and enough momentum to go on to those Super Tuesday states. And so that -- you know, that strategy is sort of gone away at this point. And they really understand that they need to do something to get their momentum back. Because those national polls, Anderson, don't really mean anything right now.

COOPER: Right.

BORGER: They're all about name identification and all the rest of it.

COOPER: Joe, when you're on a campaign, do the people in the campaign, do they -- when something changes -- Gloria was talking about, you were talking about something changing, the war receding, other things. Do you feel it in the campaign?

KLEIN: You feel the zeitgeist. You absolutely feel it. It's like living in a cult, especially when you get down to -- down to these last days. And each day now seems as long as a month used to seem.

COOPER: For the candidate and the people.

KLEIN: For the candidate and their people and the pressure is absolutely enormous.

Let me tell you what Rudy Giuliani is really rooting for. He is rooting for Hillary Clinton to get beat in Iowa. Even though he'd love to run against her. You know why? Because if she gets beat, she's the big story that night, and whoever wins the Republican caucus is kind of forgotten as an afterthought.

BORGER: But Anderson, to get back to your question about what it's like inside a campaign, I mean, we all have our BlackBerries. It's not a daily schedule anymore. It's every hour, every ten minutes. Every campaign is hearing what's going on in another campaign, or there's another poll that CNN has just released in South Carolina. Did you hear the result?

And so, you know, they are just so tightly wound right now because they know this next three weeks, anything can happen.

COOPER: It's fascinating. Joe Klein, Gloria Borger, thanks. Appreciate it.

Still to come, your thoughts on the destruction of mountain gorillas and the race to save them from extinction.

Also, corruption caught on tape. Politicians and oil executives who call themselves -- brace yourselves -- the Corrupt Bastards Club. Yes, that's the name they kind of championed. We're "Keeping Them Honest" when 360 continues.


COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" in Alaska tonight. It's a big job in America's biggest and coldest state, considering what's described there as a culture of corruption. We're talking about the kind of graft that lines the pockets of some powerful politicians, while benefiting corporate interests. Graft is now being exposed.

"Keeping Them Honest," here's CNN's Joe Johns.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Something is rotten in the state of Alaska. Watch carefully. The man on the far right of your screen is counting money. It's a bribe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me count first, here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.

JOHNS: In the state capital of Alaska, this has been business as usual. That man on the right, he's a top oil executive. He's paying off the man on the left, a high-ranking state official who is helping the oil company.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll get her done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing? I'm serious about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care. I'll get her done. I'll get her done.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll sell my soul to the devil.

JOHNS (on camera): It was a room just like this one in the Baronoff Hotel in Juneau, Alaska, just a few blocks away from the state capital that broke this case wide open.

A top executive from an oil-field services company set up shop in the hotel, and the FBI set up a hidden camera to record all the action.

(voice-over) Hotel management didn't know it, but Suite 604 of the Baronoff served as a cash machine for crooked politicians and a favor bank for the oil industry. All caught on tape in thousands of secret videos and audio recordings by the FBI.

In this tape on the right, two executives from an oil services company called Veco, including Bill Allen, the company's former CEO, who later pleaded guilty to bribery. In the middle the politician they bought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to get it done. I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie.

JOHNS: That's State Representative Pete Cott. He's the former Alaska House speaker.

And what did the oil services company get for its money? Well, the crooked lawmakers tried but failed to kill a law that could cost the oil industry millions of dollars. And all of this could only be the beginning. In July the FBI raided the home of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, a lion of Alaska politics and one of the most powerful men in the nation.

There are questions about whether Bill Allen -- remember, he's the oil company executive on the tape -- helped renovate the senator's home. Stevens denies doing anything wrong.

CNN has also learned that Alaska Congressman Don Young's connection to that oil services company is also under investigation. Young denies wrongdoing, too.

Stevens and Young literally built modern Alaska, funneling hundreds of millions of federal dollars back home over decades in the U.S. Congress. Their supporters say they're being unfairly tarnished.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's turned into, like, a witch hunt. You know, it's been like from McCarthyism. There's no question that there were some guys who did some things that were inappropriate. But to reflect that upon our senior senator and our long-term congressman, those guys had nothing to do with that.

JOHNS: The scandal has brought ridicule to Alaska.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): Suite 604.

JOHNS: There's a parody song about what happened in Suite 604 at the Baronoff Hotel. A local coffee shop is selling a brew called Corrupt Bastards Blend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): While the FBI's looking...

JOHNS: It's a reference to the Corrupt Bastards Club, which is what the crooked oilmen and politicians called themselves, even making baseball caps with a CBC logo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it started off as meaning as a joke, but I'm not sure who's laughing now.

JOHNS: For one, Pete Cott isn't. He's the Alaska lawmaker taking that bribe on tape. The court found he accepted $29,000 in bribes from Veco. Last week he was sentenced to six years in prison, though he says he is still innocent.

(on camera) Do you sort of regret all those conversations in the hotel?

PETE COTT, ALASKA LAWMAKER: Oh, yes, I mean barroom talk, locker room boys.

JOHNS (voice-over): Two other state lawmakers have also been convicted of taking bribes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what they say, Bill. The bigger you are...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The harder you fall.

JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Anchorage.


COOPER: Ha, ha, ha. Now a 360 follow on the frankly outrageous story we ran last night, David Mattingly's report on Samuel Snow.

Today another lawmaker took up Mr. Snow's cause. You'll remember he was convicted of a crime he says he did not commit, drummed out of the Army and stripped of his pay and G.I. benefits. That was back in the 1940s.

More than six decades later, the Army sent him a check for his back pay, $725, saying the law doesn't give them the discretion to pay him more than that. No interest, no G.I. benefits.

Today Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said he'll draft election to change that, to be voted on as early as next week. Said a Nelson staffer about David's report, quote, "That was a heck of a piece."

Monday another report that you'll get -- well, that should get a lot of attention, or certainly should get your attention, especially if you've been following the sickness known as "stop snitching."

Because of it, in many inner-city communities, it's hard to get people who witness a violent crime to come forward. So what happens when they actually do come forward bravely? Take a look at what Randi Kaye found out.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This man doesn't want you to know his name or where he lives. What's he so afraid of? Getting killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're on constant alert.

KAYE: We'll call him Scott. Eight years ago Scott and his wife witnessed a crime. Their decision to testify against the suspect nearly cost them their lives, and they're not alone. One prosecutor told Congress, witness intimidation is an epidemic.


COOPER: Randy Kaye reporting from a state where they spend more money planting flowers than actually protecting crime witnesses. That's Monday on 360.

Still to come tonight, what did Michael Vick write to the judge in his dog-fighting case? And would it move you if you were the judge? You'll hear for yourself when 360 continues.

Also a guy rips off someone's wallet. A camera catches him doing it. That's not the only camera that caught him. And you will not believe where both pictures ended up. It is an amazing coincidence. It's our "Shot of the Day," in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: "On the Radar" tonight, the mountain gorilla is targeted for death in Central Africa. We brought you the story I did from "60 Minutes" earlier in the program.

Sharon of Indianapolis says, "The murder of the gorillas is genocide."

Jamie in Pennsylvania writes, "It's hard to believe that such wonderful creatures are being murdered to the point of extinction. I'm glad you were able to have the opportunity to get up close with them. That must have been such an amazing experience."

It is truly an amazing one. You should try it.

And S.R. says, "Amazing. Please continue to focus on the plight of these amazing creatures, so they aren't forgotten amidst the fighting. We need to do as much as we can to prevent these magnificent creatures from becoming extinct."

We want you to stay -- we will stay on it. We want to keep you updated. To read my column and find out how to help the gorillas, go to Click on the link to the blog. Again,

Coming up in a minute, the "Shot of the Day," a thief caught on tape and caught by an odd coincidence. A quadrillion in a zillion chance. You will -- it is remarkable. "The Shot" is coming up.

First, Gary Tuchman again with the "360 Bulletin" -- Gary.

TUCHMAN: Quadrillion in a zillion.


TUCHMAN: Anderson, in Louisiana an apartment break-in, and two LSU students are dead. The pregnant wife of one of the victims reportedly found the two men shot to death. Both students were Ph.D. candidates from India. No suspects as of yet.

In a letter asking for leniency, disgraced NFL star Michael Vick tells a judge, quote, "I am not the beast." Vick was sentenced Monday to 23 months in prison for financing a dog-fighting ring and helping to kill pit bulls that did not fight aggressively. Vick also promised to make amends.

Authorities say she helped her son assemble a stash of weapons for an attack on a high school near Philadelphia. Now, Michelle Cossey is facing trial, accused of buying a handgun and two rifles for the 14-year-old boy. He's admitted plotting the attack, which fortunately never occurred.

The boy will be sentenced next week.

And Christmas greetings coming a little late for one Kansas woman. 93 years late to be exact. A postcard send to the woman in 1914 just turned up, mailed from Illinois inside a new envelope. Ready for more mystery? There was nothing to indicate who found and resent it.

Unfortunately the woman isn't able to read it herself. She died a long time ago, but it's been given to relatives.

And incidentally, the card originally was mailed with a 1-cent stamp. So Anderson, neither rain, sleet, snow, nor the passage of most of a century will stop our post office.

COOPER: That is pretty cool. Still to come, Gary, how you can be part of our New Year's Eve celebration. Find out what one baby has to do with our party plans. That -- aww! -- Baby New Year. Also, "Raw Politics" ahead when 360 continues.


COOPER: Time now for "The Shot." Not this shot. But take a look at it anyway, the surveillance video. You'll see why in a minute. It's a thief caught on tape, grabbing a wallet that was left on a counter. The guy walks right out. It's a clean getaway, you might think.

But have a look at the front page of the local paper. You'll recognize the frame from the surveillance tape right there on the front page there. Now look closely at the photo above. That's right. Police say it is the same man. Conveniently for the cops he's identified by name in the caption.

Police confirmed the man's identity and made the collar, and they say he admits taking the wallet. He was photographed just washing a window in a totally unrelated story, and they named him. And right below, there he is on the security camera.

TUCHMAN: Poetic justice.


And on our double bill tonight, another shot we wouldn't resist. Take a look at this. That's Liza Minelli on the right, and on the left, if you can see through the makeup, that's Liza's ex-husband, David Gest. And as "London's Daily Mail" described it, looking all the world like Liza.

Apparently, like the day after she fainted on-stage, he went to some party dressed up as her.

TUCHMAN: Anderson, when they got married, I thought it would be for eternity.

COOPER: Yes. We're just going to move on from that one. We don't want to appear mean or anything.

But my producer's starting to freak out a little bit. You see, he just looked at the calendar and realized that there's less than three weeks until new year's. And as you know, we have a big show on New Year's Eve with me in Times Square, along with our very special guest this year, Kathy Griffin.

And we need your help. We need your pictures, like this one from last year's show. That's little Jake McKenzie. His sash says "Baby New Year 2007." Pretty adorable right there.

We want your videos like this one, as well. That is the Reverend Lillian Porter from Niagara Falls doing the old pot-banging trick to ring in the new year.

So go to and send us your photos. Tell us your memories of new year's, post a shout-out to friends. The possibilities are endless. And during the broadcast, if you're having a party on New Year's Eve, you can send in an I-report. And we'll try to photograph -- we'll put up some of the photos from the parties or videos.

Straight ahead tonight, more on the mountain gorillas in Central Africa. You can take it for granted they'll always be there, but they won't unless the world acts. Their story next on 360.