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U.S. Airways Ignoring Safety to Save Money?; Afghanistan: Forgotten War No More

Aired July 16, 2008 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, breaking news: allegations that might make you think twice the next time you board a flight, no matter what class you're flying in, allegations -- and, for the moment, that's all they are -- that management at one of the nation's top carriers, U.S. Airways, is saving money at the expense of safety, pressuring pilots at takeoff carrying less fuel than they think is prudent, because carrying extra adds weight. And more weight means more high-price fuel.
And it boils down to money.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick is working the story, joins us now with all the latest -- Deborah.


Well, Anderson, you know, the pilots took the unprecedented move of making these charges publicly, saying that U.S. Airways was trying to infringe on the captain's authority by telling them that they had to fly with reduced fuel levels.

Now, what we're talking about is, we're talking about 10 to 15 minutes of extra fuel. However, the captains, senior captains who are used to flying international flights, say they need that fuel. That's their comfort level. That's the amount of fuel they want in the event they're forced to lay over, in the event they're forced to circle the major airports.

Now, the captains, eight of them again, filed complaints with the Federal Aviation Administration, saying that their authority was being undermined by U.S. Airways. And a spokesperson for the union says that, really, what this amounts to is intimidation and harassment.

U.S. Airways says, no, that's not the case at all, that what they're trying to do is, they're trying to get these captains to use an appropriate amount of fuel that will ensure safety, but also be more efficient. U.S. Airways saying that they're going to spend some $2 billion more next year on fuel -- I'm sorry -- $2 billion more this year on fuel than they did last year. So, all of this is at play right now as the captains take a stand to say we have to fly with as much fuel as we're comfortable with, and the airlines saying we can't do that, not in this environment.

If you have got an appropriate amount of fuel, it's safe, it's efficient -- Anderson. COOPER: So, U.S. air is saying categorically they're not pressuring these pilots, and, in fact, they're landing with more than enough fuel on flights on average?

FEYERICK: That's exactly right.

And I asked a spokesperson for U.S. Airways, and he told me that, in fact, the fuel stays in the planes. It's used for the next trip. However, I guess it's just an issue. It slows down the plane. It burns more. So, you're using more per flight. That's the problem they're having. And they're trying to cut back -- $2 billion more, that's a big dent, especially with what's going on with the airlines.

COOPER: All right, breaking this hour. We will continue to follow it.

Deborah, thanks very much.

Now major new developments concerning the war in Afghanistan, America's forgotten war, perhaps forgotten no more. The nation's top civilian and military officials revealing today accelerated plans for pulling of troops out of Iraq and moving them into Afghanistan.

It's a big change from an administration that, for years, has said we have enough U.S. forces there, even though the troops themselves have consistently indicated they need more help. Today, they got word that help is on the way.

It appears to be a serious shift in priorities. And, lately, Afghanistan has also become a big part of the presidential campaign.

We will save the politics for later.

First, CNN's Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's an acknowledgement of a situation that's gone from bad to worse. The Pentagon admits it can no longer wait for troops to leave Iraq before sending reinforcements to Afghanistan.

ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We are clearly working very hard to see if there are opportunities to send additional forces sooner, rather than later.

MCINTYRE: Gates has ruled out two options, extending the deployment of U.S. forces already in Afghanistan, or returning to longer 15-month tours. That leaves sending troops that were intended for Iraq to Afghanistan this year, on the hopes that progress in Iraq holds.

It's a dramatic shift in policy. Since 2003, Iraq has received the bulk of the resources and attention, while commanders in Afghanistan have gone begging. But now there's new urgency. And it's underscored by Sunday's sophisticated Taliban offensive in Kunar Province, what until recently was a relatively peaceful part of the U.S. sector.

The attack claimed the lives of nine U.S. soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy, and pushed the death toll in Afghanistan for July up to 15, compared to six for Iraq -- details of the attack, held back until today, point to an operation severely outmanned.

ADMIRAL MICHAEL MULLEN, JOINTS CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: They were well- trained, well-armed. And it was a significant number -- it was a significant, and it was a very complex attack.

MCINTYRE: Twenty-five U.S. and 20 Afghan soldiers were scouting a location to set up a combat outpost, like this one under construction nearby shown in a U.S. military television report. But military sources say no barriers had yet been erected when U.S. and Afghan forces were hit by around 200 Taliban militants, an attack of significant size and sophistication from an enemy now bold and strong enough to cause the United States to reexamine its priorities.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


COOPER: And that is what is happening today.

We have reported from Afghanistan several times on this program, and, each time, the troops we have had the privilege of working with have told us they feel forgotten. They are working extraordinarily hard in very difficult, dangerous conditions, and the situation on the ground seems to be getting worse.

The shift in policy by the Bush administration has ramifications on the campaign trail as well. Just yesterday, McCain and Obama were trading shots on Afghanistan, the two agreeing on the need to send more troops, but differing sharply on the connection with Iraq.

Take a look.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator McCain said just months ago that Afghanistan is not in trouble because of our diversion to Iraq.

I could not disagree more. Our troops and our NATO allies are performing heroically in Afghanistan, but I have argued for years that we lack the resources to finish the job because of our commitment to Iraq.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator Obama will tell you we can't win in Afghanistan without losing in Iraq. In fact, he has it exactly backwards. It is precisely the success of the surge in Iraq that shows us the way to succeed in Afghanistan.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Let's dig deeper now with senior international correspondent Nic Robertson recently back from Afghanistan, CNN military analyst retired Brigadier General David Grange, and CNN senior political analyst David Gergen.

Nic, Obama says Iraq distracts us from every threat we face and that the central front on the war on terror is Afghanistan, not Iraq. Is he right?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's certainly been a big training place for al Qaeda. They have certainly developed a lot of tactics and techniques.

But the border region of Pakistan, which is where the Taliban now really hold sway, is a haven for al Qaeda, for the leadership, Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri. The last three terror attacks -- well, one of those was an attempted, plan attack in the U.K. -- all came about because plotters went to that border region of Pakistan, learned terror techniques there, came back to U.K., tried to implement them.

Yes, that border region of Pakistan presents a growing threat because it's somewhere we can't put our troops into because we can't stop this sort of safe haven growing for al Qaeda. That's a problem. Iraq is still a problem in that sense that al Qaeda does still have operatives there. Most of those Taliban, though, that are getting picked up in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Pakistanis and Afghanis, not Arabs, although there are some there, Anderson.

COOPER: General Grange, are more troops on the ground the answer?

BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, more troops would definitely help.

It's part of the elements of power that would be required for this. Afghanistan has been somewhat of a holding action. You might say it's been done a little bit on the cheap. But it takes more than just the military. Really, you're talking about economic, informational, diplomatic.

We really need to be a little bit more robust in the whole package of elements of power that this nation and NATO can apply to the situation in Afghanistan.

COOPER: David, both candidates are calling for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In the past, McCain was only calling for more NATO troops. Now he wants three American brigades. Obama is calling for at least two American brigades.

I hate to look through a war through a political prism, but -- but this is where we are. So, politically, does Obama get to say he had this right all along?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, it's interesting, Anderson. For the last few months, John McCain has had the upper hand in the arguments about foreign policy, because -- as one of the chief architects of a surge that Obama voted against and now has seemed to work. And, yet, in the last two days, we have seen twice now the Bush administration reverse itself and take positions that are much closer to Obama's.

Last night, we talked about the fact that, suddenly, the Bush administration had reversed course and was going to begin talking directly to Iran this weekend. And now, tonight, we're talking about them reversing course and saying we must send more troops in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan is becoming in many ways at least as dangerous as Iraq.

You know, last -- in June, there were virtually the same number of American troops who died in Afghanistan as in Iraq. And, yet, in Iraq, we have five times as many troops. So, the danger, the greater danger to our troops right now is in Afghanistan. That's what Obama's been arguing all along.

COOPER: You know, General Grange, the last time I went, every soldier said the same thing to me, the guys I was embedded with, the men and women. And they all said that they get a week back of R&R. They're on a plane in the United States. Someone turns to them and says, where are you serving? They say, well, I'm serving in Afghanistan. And the person says, well, at least you're not in Iraq, as if Afghanistan is somehow some kind of a cakewalk.

General Grange, we talked with Peter Bergen last night on the program. He pointed out that the surge in Iraq worked militarily in part because of the massive sea change in attitudes towards al Qaeda by Sunnis and their willingness to work with Americans.

Does the same -- can the same thing work in Afghanistan then? People are calling it a surge in Afghanistan. Is it apples and oranges?

GRANGE: Well, they are different. They're both counterinsurgencies, but none of these fights are exactly the same.

I think, one, you have to look at both Afghanistan and Iraq as a regional fight. It's a campaign for the entire region. And, sometimes, you have to -- to reinforce or improve your resources in one area and then pull back to another, because it's not going to be a steady state.

But the difference in Anbar Province and let's say where the Taliban are in safe havens in Pakistan, it's a little different situation. Pakistan truly has to cooperate, unless we invade Pakistan. It's sort of like going into Laos from Vietnam. And, so, you have a safe haven for rest, recuperation, and training for the Taliban that you can't get to, except for maybe some covert action, special operations, or surgical strikes.

And, so, you really have your hands tied somewhat in able to counter this. But we are short-resourced along that border. There's no doubt about that.

COOPER: And, Nic, we have been trying now in Afghanistan for years to win over local populations. Sometimes, it works, and, sometimes, it doesn't, as you have seen firsthand.

ROBERTSON: Well, and one of the times when it doesn't work is when there's civilian casualties through coalition strikes. And the coalition today just admitted to another one of those in the western Afghanistan today. That counts against us. The Taliban play that up. The mullahs in the mosques where the Taliban -- in the parts of the country where the Taliban hold sway, they liken the Taliban's fight against international troops as Prophet Mohammed's battles in the early parts of his life.

So, it's a very strong rallying cry for the Taliban, and one that works for them. The tribal system in Afghanistan is one that's ancient. The Taliban plays to the idea that the Afghans, the Pashtuns in that border area of Pakistan have never been defeated, never defeated by the Soviet Union, never defeated by the British back in the 19th century.

That's the kind of mentality they play to. And that's one of the big differences between the tribes of Afghanistan and the tribes of Iraq, who have been subjugated before.

COOPER: Nic Robertson, General Grange, David Gergen, thank you all for being on. Appreciate it.

So, what do you think of the change in strategies? As always, I'm blogging throughout the hour. I'm about to log on. You can go to, log on, and join the conversation.

Up next: new polling on where Obama and McCain are now nationwide and surprising new polling on what black and white Americans think of Obama, racial progress, and what effect his running for president will have on race in America.

Also, a million names on the U.S. terror watch list. Could your name be on it? Our own correspondent Drew Griffin's name showed up, seemingly after he aired a critical report on the TSA. Now he's getting stopped at airports across America. It happened again today. So, is there a witch-hunt by the TSA against folks who criticize them? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

And, later, a murder story with an incredible twist. The killer was the victim and the other way around. We will explain -- "Crime and Punishment" tonight.


COOPER: Take a close look at these numbers from a new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll.

When asked, who do you trust more to handle the economy, more than half, 54 percent, said Barack Obama. Thirty-five percent said McCain. In the same poll, Obama leads McCain overall by eight points. Now, our poll of polls says five points, all of which might seem like good news for Senator Obama. But there's another question that may carry more weight in the November election. Is America really ready for a black president?

On that question, the numbers tell a different story.

CNN's Candy Crowley has the "Raw Politics."


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John McCain went before the NAACP and recognized the obvious: Barack Obama is making history.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course I would prefer his success not to continue quite as long as he hopes.


MCCAIN: But it does make you and me proud to know the country I have loved and served all my life, still a work in progress, and always improving.


CROWLEY: But a "New York Times"/CBS poll shows, despite Obama's already historic run, Americans still see things in black and white -- 59 percent of blacks describe race relations as generally bad in this country. Only 34 percent of whites say that. What's more, only half of black respondents think an Obama presidency would change race relations.

RON WALTERS, AFRICAN-AMERICAN LEADER CENTER: It lends some credence to the fact that, even if Barack Obama is now the nominee of the party or even if he wins the presidency, it's not going to have a profound effect upon race releases in the United States.

CROWLEY: And while Obama battles McCain to become leader of the Western world, the poll also found 64 percent of blacks think whites have a better chance of getting ahead. Just 35 percent of whites thought that.

It goes on, with blacks more likely than whites to see Obama as caring about the problems of people like them and more likely to describe him as patriotic. Whites are more likely to see Obama as a politician who says what he thinks people want to hear.

The truth is, blacks have voted Democratic for decades. No Democratic presidential nominee has won the white vote since the early '70s. These things take time.

WALTERS: You have to look at American culture and the fact that it's been 400 years for these kind of racial attitudes to develop, racial behaviors to materialize. And you're certainly not going to wipe that out with just someone being elected to any office in the United States.

CROWLEY: Making history does not change history.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Now let's talk strategy.

CNN senior political analyst and former presidential adviser David Gergen is here again, also political analyst and "Washington Times" columnist Tara Wall, and CNN political contributor and Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman.

David, are you surprised that Barack Obama's victory hasn't boosted African-Americans' views on the state of race relations?

GERGEN: No, because I don't think their lives have changed very much yet, Anderson.

What we have seen in the past is that milestones and really big breakthroughs legislatively or in terms of rhetoric can change things over time. History-making events do change history. That's one thing I disagree with about -- with Candy's report.

When we passed civil rights bills in '64 and '65 under Lyndon Johnson, racial relations -- racial attitudes didn't change for a long time, but, over time, as a result of those bills, they changed dramatically.

And, in the same way, Martin Luther King didn't -- didn't change people's attitudes immediately, but, over time, he had an enormous impact, so that Barack Obama, it's too much to ask him to, even through his nomination or an election, to become a post-racial president. He's going to have to deal with racial divisions.

But the election of an African-American president, whether it's Barack Obama or someone else, will, I am convinced, over time improve race relations.

COOPER: Tara, even though the polls show that race relations are polarized, certainly, Obama's candidacy doesn't seem to be particularly racially polarizing, if you believe this poll. Thirty- one percent of whites have a favorable opinion of him. Just 35 percent have a favorable opinion of John McCain.

TARA WALL, DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES": Well, you know, a lot of folks obviously still don't know -- at least African-Americans still don't know a lot about John McCain.

I that there are a couple of things you can see in these polls. First of all, the poll -- the word -- using the word bad, race relations are bad, that's very vague and subjective. I'm not even sure what that means.

Is there discrimination? Does discrimination exist? Yes. I think most Americans, including black Americans, would say that. Are there disparities between whites and blacks as it relates to wealth and economics and education and health?

Yes. And they're -- and each side has different ways of addressing those issues. But I think, overall, if you look at the numbers in some of the other polls that were out this week, and you look at generally, voters in general believe, 61 percent, that race relations are better, 82 percent say better than in the 1960s.

So, I think it's what perspective that you're looking at as it relates to race and race relations. Remember, Barack Obama is -- he is supposedly the black candidate. He's running to be the president of all the people, American people. And, quite frankly, he's black and he's white. Remember, he's biracial.

COOPER: Robert, what -- what surprised you about the poll?

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I think what was most telling to me about the poll was the fact that, if you looked at how the white -- white voters who were polled viewed John McCain and Barack Obama and Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain, the analysis was very similar.

And that -- I'm glad you brought that up, because that was very much an under-reported aspect of this story. And I think that's a very encouraging sign, because, obviously, we have issues that confront both -- all races of our society, and it is difficult. As David pointed out, changing history does take time.

But I think what's most compelling is that the issues that unite us, when you have 85 percent of America saying they want change, we have the crises we're facing at home and abroad, that's a very unifying message, in terms of bringing people together for change.

COOPER: David, I guess, on a poll like this, there's often what people say and then often some people are not willing to tell a pollster what they really think, and particularly on something as sensitive as race.

GERGEN: That's one of the great mysteries that we're going to face right up until Election Day, Anderson, and that is the question, is the so-called Bradley effect still -- and does it still apply in American politics, or has it worn away?

The Bradley effect was when Tom Bradley, an African-American, ran for governor of California, and he had a substantial lead in the polling, and then he lost. And it -- just to go to what you said, it appeared that many people told pollsters one thing over the telephone because they thought that's what the pollster wanted to hear, but did something quite different in the privacy of a voting booth.

And we have seen that in other races. It happened to Doug Wilder in Virginia when he ran for governor. But, more recently, when Deval Patrick ran in Massachusetts and Harold Ford ran in Tennessee in 2006, there was no Bradley effect. So, one of the -- they did as well in the voting as they did in the polling. So, we don't know if the Bradley effect still applies. What I do think is apparent is that Barack Obama's race is one of the factors that has kept this race closer than it might otherwise be if he was sort of a standard, but inspirational white figure. I think race is playing a role. We don't know how big yet.

COOPER: Robert.

ZIMMERMAN: No, I think what's interesting...

WALL: And that's...


ZIMMERMAN: I think, what is in interesting in looking at that issue of the Bradley effect is that, especially among younger people, the so-called Bradley effect is profoundly diminished. And younger people are approaching this election, having an impact, and truly seem to be freer, maybe not totally free, but freer of the racial divide that has impacted our society.



WALL: Yes.

COOPER: ... John McCain spoke in front of the NAACP today, focusing on educational forum. He praised Obama's historic candidacy.

Most Republicans admit McCain won't garner much of the African- American vote.

WALL: Right.

COOPER: Was this, though, an important step for him to make?

WALL: I think it was.

And I think he drew a line in the sand, where he said, here's an issue that we can all agree on, that we have common ground on.

And, quite frankly, it's an issue in the black community, when it comes to school choice, that -- that most black families support, overwhelmingly, that school choice. And I think that that -- the fact that he zeroed in on that is poignant.

And the fact is that he also pointed out that this is somewhere that he and Senator Obama differ. In fact, Senator Obama is opposed to vouchers. And this is the -- one of the areas that John McCain got the most applause in this speech.

So, I think he really drew that line in the sand and said, we can disagree, but here's an issue we agree on. And I think that it's one of the most poignant parts of the speech. He also said -- I just wanted to point out, one of the other things that I took note was, he says, "Whether or not I get your support, I need your goodwill and counsel."

It's almost recognizing, I want to hear from you. He's really brought himself up in this area. You know, his Memphis speech was a awkward and disappointing. I think the fact that he -- he recognized that he needed to go a little deeper to reach out and to say, we have some common ground, he showed that in the speech, and he showed that he's willing to listen.


WALL: And whether, you know, he wins or loses this thing, he still wants black folks to hear from him, and he still wants to hear from black folks. And he cares about these issues.

COOPER: Robert, Robert, you seem to be...


ZIMMERMAN: Now, I don't want to be cynical about it. Obviously, it was very important that John McCain went to the NAACP and showed respect for them.

But this also -- it also was a very strategic move, because that appearance there was a message that showed how he was separate from George Bush. And it was the beginning of trying to regain a maverick image, trying to show that he was independent from traditional Republican dogma, from the Bush administration...

WALL: I think that's true, too.

ZIMMERMAN: ... despite the fact that, ultimately, he's backing George Bush on all the critical issues.

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there.

Robert Zimmerman, Tara Wall, always good to have you on, David Gergen as well. Thank you. Good discussion.


GERGEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Tonight, Senator John McCain is facing pressure from a group of Catholics to distance himself from one of his faith advisers. Where have we heard this before? This adviser has run into trouble before over allegations he sexually harassed a college student. We will have more on that coming up, plus the McCain camp's response.

Drew Griffin also "Keeping Them Honest" about the government's terror watch list. The ACLU says there's a million names on it. Yours might be one of them. Tonight, Drew reveals what happened to those suspected of criticizing the TSA. When he started running these reports, he says he suddenly started getting stopped by the TSA at airports around the country.

It happened again today to him. So, is there a witch hunt going on? Drew investigates ahead.


COOPER: A 360 investigation on the terror watch list just ahead. It's is million names long now, but there are some seemingly solid citizens on it. Is it being abused?

First, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we begin with a stunning admission today about that daring hostage rescue in Colombia. Colombia's president now says one of the rescuers did wear a Red Cross bib as part of the ruse. He initially denied any international humanitarian aid symbols in used, which would be a direct violations of the Geneva Conventions. He has apologized to the International Red Cross.

A two-decade-old law barring HIV-positive visitors and immigrants from the United States one step closer to being repealed now. Today, the Senate passed a bill containing a provision that would end the ban. The bill will move now to a conference committee and then on to the president.

And, in Florida, Democrats and Republicans both crying foul over billboards that show an image of a burning World Trade Center and a message urging voters to choose a Republican for their next president. A local businessman paid to put the billboards in the Orlando area.

COOPER: Still ahead: the Terror watch list, the government says it's keeping us safe. Could your name be on it? We are going to tell you what happens to those who find themselves under suspicion. Drew Griffin investigates.

And, later, a single criminal and the accident that was really a murder, with one twist, then another, including stolen identity and a stunning climax -- "Crime and Punishment" coming up.

And John McCain feeling plenty of heat tonight from a Catholic group. They want him to dump one of his faith advisers -- how the McCain campaign is responding just ahead.


COOPER: Tonight, new trouble in the McCain campaign over another adviser whose job it's been to reach out to Catholic voters.

His name is Deal Hudson. And a group of Roman Catholic activists say he is -- quote -- "not the type of Catholic leader you want publicly associated with your campaign."

Why? Well, Hudson was the center of controversy four years ago when working as an adviser to the Bush reelection campaign. Allegations surfaced that he'd harassed an 18-year-old female college student 10 years earlier. Hudson resigned from the faculty of Fordham University in 1995 and in 2004 from his Bush campaign advisory post.

His critics are upset with Hudson for brokering a deal -- in addition to the allegations of past behavior -- brokering a deal between a meeting of conservative Catholics and San Antonio mega preacher John Hagee.

Now he's being pressured to dump Hudson, McCain is. McCain campaign tonight is brushing off those demands. Hudson's role in the campaign effort seems fairly distant, compared to some other, closer surrogates to both McCain and Barack Obama.

Congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin is up close tonight on the question of how much damage some of them have done.


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We've seen surrogates go off the reservation, like John McCain's economic adviser, Phil Gramm.

PHIL GRAMM, FORMER MCCAIN ADVISOR: We've sort of become a nation of whiners.

YELLIN: A nation of whiners? Not helpful. It threw McCain off message, and McCain threw Gramm under the bus.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Phil Gramm does not speak for me. I speak for me.

YELLIN: Samantha Power was one of Barack Obama's top foreign policy advisers until she told the BBC a President Obama might not get troops out of Iraq in 16 months after all.

SAMANTHA POWER, FORMER OBAMA ADVISOR: It's the height of ideology, you know, to sort of say, "Well, I said it. Therefore, I'm going to impose it."

YELLIN: That was news to the candidate. Power also called Senator Hillary Clinton a monster. That was the final surrogate straw, and she resigned.

Then there's the cringe factor. McCain surrogate, former CEO Carly Fiorina, complained about healthcare plans that pay for men's Viagra but not women's birth control. That created quite the awkward moment for McCain when he was asked his views on that subject.

MCCAIN: I don't know enough about it to give you a informed answer.

YELLIN: General Wesley Clark went where no Obama supporter is allowed to go: John McCain's military record.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), U.S. ARMY: I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president. YELLIN: Oh, dear. The Obama campaign denounced the comments, but still the controversy stole the headlines. Sometimes on the spot, surrogates can't find the right words. Like Republican South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, asked to name a single policy difference between McCain and President Bush.

GOV. MARK SANFORD (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Take, for instance, the issue of -- of -- I'm drawing a blank -- and I hate it when I do that, particularly on television.

YELLIN: Or Obama Texas supporter state senator Kirk Watson on HARDBALL.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, MSNBC'S "HARDBALL": Can you name anything he's accomplished as a congressman?

KIRK WATSON (D), TEXAS STATE SENATOR: I'm not going to be able to do that tonight.

YELLIN: Not good. As election day approaches, expect to see more surrogates get the old heave-ho.

Jessica Yellin, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, a McCain aide told our Dana Bash today they're not dismissing Hudson, because they don't throw him under the bus because of what the aide called a "gotcha game" from a group that's, quote, "so clearly liberal."

Up next, 1 million names on the TSA's terror watch list. Is yours name one of them? The name Drew Griffin apparently is. Shortly after CNN's own Drew Griffin did a series of "Keeping Them Honest" reports on the TSA. Is that a coincidence? What happened when he tried to get on a plane today?

Also ahead, a murder with a shocking twist. How the killer was actually the victim and the victim a killer. A "Crime & Punishment" report you have to see to believe, coming up.


COOPER: Updating a breaking story, U.S. Airways tonight denying allegations by eight senior pilots that it's pressuring them to carry less fuel to save money. The pilots and their union have filed complaints with the FAA. Prior to that, they said they were all called in for a, quote, "fuel conservation training," which they call intimidation.

The company says safety is its No. 1 priority.

Staying at the airport, last night we told you about how next time you try to check in for a flight, you could discover your name is on the government's terror watch list, you and hundreds of thousands of other people, apparently. Among the many names, Drew Griffin. Is it Drew Griffin the CNN's special investigations unit? The government says no, but as you'll see, it's not exactly a picnic for him at the airport, nor for a lot of other law-abiding citizens.

So how did this happen? And what, if anything, can we do about it, can you do about it? "Keeping Them Honest" tonight, here's what Drew found out.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Washington attorney Jim Robinson is a former assistant attorney general. He's a former U.S. attorney from Michigan. He holds a high level government security clearance, and he's a former law school dean, a husband, a granddad, an American.

And he gets delayed, if not stopped, every time he gets on a plane. Why? Because Robinson is also one of the estimated 1 million names now on the terror watch list.

JIM ROBINSON, ATTORNEY: So it seems for years now, despite my best efforts to get off.

GRIFFIN: This week, Robinson joined the ACLU in Washington to mark what the group calls a ridiculous milestone: a million names the government believes match known terrorists. And according to the ACLU, 20,000 new names, like Robinson's, are added every month.

What does it mean? It means, because of his name, he can't check into flights electronically. He can't check bags at the curb, can't check in at one of the new speedy airport kiosks. Every time he travels, he and a million others need to wait in line.

ROBINSON: And see somebody who then has to make a call and determine that, apparently, I am not the James Kenneth Robinson who is the cause of my being on the watch list.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you going?

GRIFFIN (on camera): I'm going to Chicago this morning.

(voice-over) Don't think it can happen to you? It's happening to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're on the watch list.

GRIFFIN (on camera): A watch list?

So how did I get on this list? Well, the TSA is adamant it's not even me, even though it is me getting stopped at the airports. The TSA says it's the airline's fault. The airlines say they're just following the list provided to them by the TSA.

And coincidentally, this all began in May, shortly after I began a series of investigative reports critical of the TSA.

(voice-over) Eleven flights now since May 19.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's on the watch list.

GRIFFIN: On different airlines, my name pops up, forcing me to go to the counter, show my identification. Sometimes the agent has to make a call before I get my ticket.

ROBINSON: It's a hassle.

GRIFFIN: What does the TSA say? Nothing -- at least nothing on camera. Over the phone, a public affairs worker told me again I'm not on the watch list and don't even think that someone in the TSA or anyone else is trying to get even.

CHRISTOPHER WHITE, TSA PUBLIC AFFAIRS: So if there's any thought or shadow of a thought that TSA somehow put you on a watch list because of your reporting, it is absolutely fabricated.

GRIFFIN: Jim Robinson, who served two Democratic presidents, says he's trying not to think politics is involved either.

ROBINSON: I don't feel safer because I have to go through this hassle, I can tell you that.

GRIFFIN: The ACLU's technology chief, Barry Steinhardt, says the list is so secretive and yet so shoddily put together, it's hard to tell how it's being used or abused.

BARRY STEINHARDT, ACLU: The truth is we really don't know how much is bureaucratic ineptness and how much is -- and how much is bureaucrat and how much is political retaliation.

GRIFFIN: Even more frustrating than being on it is trying to get off. According to the TSA, you fill out a form online, which I did on May 28. You then copy personal documents, fill out another form and send to homeland security, which I also did on May 28. And then apparently you wait. Robinson has been waiting now three years.

ROBINSON: On May 2, 2005, I filled out all their forms, made a copy of my passport, driver's license, my voter's registration card, put it in a package, and sent it off to TSA and never heard back. And it certainly doesn't seem to have done me any good at all.

GRIFFIN: My wait has apparently just begun.


COOPER: So, Drew, you flew today from Atlanta -- I mean, this isn't funny. I shouldn't be laughing. But you flew from Atlanta to Louisiana. What happened?

GRIFFIN: It's a big hassle. It's happened every time, and it happened again this morning. I have to go to the desk and have to prove to them, either with my driver's license and my date of birth or sometimes even my passport, or they have to make a call to prove that I'm not the terrorist Griffin that is on the terrorist watch list. Only then can I get my ticket. It is a huge hassle.

COOPER: I was a little confused about this last night after your report. Can you find out if you're on a watch list? I mean, if there's a million names of people out there watching, can they find out if their name is on a list, and can you get off one?

GRIFFIN: It's not out there, Anderson. It's supposedly a secret list. The only reason I found out is because every time I go to the airport, like I said, the airlines tell me, oh, your name matches the person with your same name, apparently, that is on the watch list.

Now, the FBI says, look, it's only 400,000 terrorists, mostly foreign and mostly living out of the country. It's a million names because some of those terrorists have multiple aliases, apparently one with the name of Griffin.

And we did hear from the TSA again today, Anderson. They sent an e-mail saying this whole thing is probably going to get better next year when the TSA is going to assume responsibility for matching the people on the terror watch list with the people like me who are actually flying. That should eliminate some of the problems.

But, you know, again, the FBI, Anderson, says this is a great tool. This is working, despite minor inconveniences to people like me.

COOPER: Let us know what happens, Drew. To you, especially.

You can find out more information on the TSA's terror watch list and how to get your name off of it apparently, maybe, on our website.

Up next, murder with a twist. What started out looking like a tragic accident turned into a crime with a stunning ending that, frankly, no one expected. The shocking details in tonight's "Crime & Punishment" report.

Also ahead, some amazing photos of sharks jumping literally feet from unsuspecting surfers. Are these photos for real? You can decide for yourself. It's our "Shot of the Day."


COOPER: Tonight a pretty shocking twist to a sensational crime that. You have to hear it to believe it. The story out of Lake County, Illinois, just north of Chicago, is hard to believe. But it's more like something out of Hollywood. But it is all true.

And for the cops, the mystery involves a cold-blooded act, a cunning plot, and a surprise ending. With tonight's two-part "Crime & Punishment" report, here's CNN's David Mattingly.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At first look it was a tragic accident. Businessman Ari Squire was crushed under his pickup when a jack gave way in his northern Illinois garage. Something sparked a fire, badly burning the body.

MARK CURRAN JR., LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF: From the standpoint of our initial detectives and officers responding, no, there was nothing unusual.

MATTINGLY: Though they could identify Ari's clothes, officially confirming the charred remains would take some time. Still, there seemed to be little doubt that Squire died instantly right there on the floor of his garage.

(on camera) But investigators say they weren't ready to close the case just yet. They had also just received a report of a strange missing persons case, a young man who knew Ari Squire, someone who was meeting with Squire the day he apparently died.

(voice-over) Justin Newman was recruited by Squire to work construction. His mother called police when he didn't come home. Only 20 years old, he was described as missing and endangered, like a runaway. But authorities had other ideas. Justin Newman was wanted for questioning.

CURRAN: We did think that that could be a possibility that Justin, in fact, did murder Ari. We were going to explore everything at that point in time. We were just -- you know, wherever the evidence would take us.

MATTINGLY: And it was about to take them places no one could have predicted.

While friends gathered to mourn Ari Squire, Justin Newman, it seemed, was on the run. Six hundred miles away, a police officer in Eureka, Missouri, made a chance discovery. A crooked license plate in a hotel parking lot caught his eye. The car belonged to Justin Newman.

Eureka police spokesman Mike Werges says officers prepared for the worst.

MIKE WERGES, EUREKA POLICE DEPARTMENT: As soon as they turned the handle and opened the door. It was caught by the security chain.

MATTINGLY (on camera): So he's in there?

WERGES: He's in there. Someone is in that room.

MATTINGLY: What happens then?

WERGES: As the security chain catches, the door can no longer go any farther, and the officers heard a shot rang out.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): The Shot the officers heard was the sound of the man inside taking his own life. But surprisingly, what they found would change everything they thought they knew.

(on camera) This was not Justin Newman?

WERGES: It was not Justin Newman.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Instead of Justin Newman, the man who just committed suicide was Ari Squire. He had faked his own death, and the whole twisted plot was about to be revealed.


COOPER: Yes, twisted and then some. Not only was Ari Squire a killer and a thief, but he was apparently trying to become the guy he killed. The stunning conclusion is next.

And later, new developments in the case of the belly-up bank. Was the IndyMac bank failure literally a crime? That's what the feds rant to know. Investigations under way. Details when 360 continues.


COOPER: Before the break, we told you the first part of an incredible crime story, one that had police detectives in Northern Illinois guessing until the very end.

After discovering a dead body, they began searching for a possible suspect to question, only to uncover clues that would turn the shocking case on its head.

Once again, here's CNN's David Mattingly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know on the closing.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): The jarring discovery in a Missouri hotel room told police they were caught up in the most elaborate deception they had ever seen.

Illinois businessman Ari Squire killed Justin Newman, burned his body, and used it as a morbid prop to fake his own accidental death. The plan was to cash in on an insurance policy worth millions. Instead, when police closed in, Squire took his own life.

(on camera) When the news hit here in Lake County, Illinois, investigators say they were absolutely stunned. The case that began as an accident had been turned upside down. The man they once knew as a victim was, in reality, a cold, calculating killer, and the man they wanted for questioning was his victim.

(voice-over) Squire could have been plotting for months. He lured Justin Newman, a man of similar build, to his house with the promise of a construction job. Investigators say Newman's body was wearing Squire's clothes, right down to the underwear. Squire's wallet and cash were in a pocket.

(on camera) What kind of a mind comes up with something like this?

CURRAN: Well, I think it's fair to say that Ari Squire was an evil individual. This level of planning, really, you seldom to never see.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): When Eureka, Missouri, police cornered Squire in the hotel room, he had been driving Justin Newman's car, using his driver's license. He had also purchased brown hair dye and blue contact lenses.

Squire's last deception was to become Justin Newman and to hide from authorities by living a lie. It might have worked if an officer hadn't spotted his crooked license plate.

WERGES: We had an officer that was vigilant, that routinely patrols the hotels. He had a suspicion on a vehicle, followed through with this suspicion, ran the plate, and the rest is history.

MATTINGLY: In the days after faking his death, investigators say Squire sent his wife e-mail, asking about his memorial party.

(on camera) Do you think he was enjoying this?

CURRAN: Yes, I'm sure he was enjoying it on some level.

MATTINGLY: Authorities say Squire also asked his wife if the body had been cremated. Without a body, his cover-up would have been complete.

But Squire's wife says she didn't know anything about her husband's plot, and the investigation continues. Authorities want to know if others may have been involved in this deadly and twisted scheme.

David Mattingly, CNN, Lake County, Illinois.


COOPER: Don't quite understand how the wife got e-mails from him but says she didn't know anything. But I guess we'll see what happens.

Erica Hill joins us again with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.

HILL: With you on that one.

Anderson, a source tells CNN the FBI is investigating IndyMac. That is, of course, the failed California bank taken over by government regulators last week. The bureau is reportedly looking into whether the bank engaged in fraud when it gave mortgages to risky borrowers.

On Wall Street today, I am so happy to finally give you some good news. The Dow gaining 276 points to close well over the 11,000 mark. The S&P and NASDAQ also finished in positive territory. Analysts say investors responded to a drop in oil prices of about $10 a barrel over the last two days. We'll take that, too.

And a bear-glary in process. COOPER: A bear-glary?

HILL: I can't take credit for that. I didn't come up with it. It is very clever. One of our writers did. It was Dave (ph).

Anyway, watch the bear shattering a glass door here, trying to get inside a Circuit City in Colorado Springs. Police say he actually started out at a nearby restaurant. But he set off the alarm. Apparently, it freaked him out.

So the bear lumbered over to the store, where he found his way in. He also eventually found his way out, not before raiding a candy rack, though.

COOPER: What is it about this program and bears?

HILL: I think they may be our unofficial official mascot.

COOPER: Yes. I don't know about that. All right. Now our "Beat 360"...

HILL: I'll make you a new "Beat 360" T-shirt with a bear.

COOPER: Yes? All right. This is all fodder for YouTube.

Time now for our "Beat 360 winners. Tonight's picture, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Ya-da-da-da, ya-da-da-da. Elephants taking an early morning stroll in L.A., where they're performing this week.

Our staff writer tonight, Joey, of course: "The cost of riding an elephant to work is peanuts compared to the price at the pump."

HILL: Well, he's...

COOPER: Not bad for Joey. He stayed up all night.

Our viewer winner is Gary from Canada. His caption: "Lou Dobbs was right. It was easy to get into America."


HILL: Good one (ph), Gary.

COOPER: Gary, your "Beat 360" T-shirt is on the way.

You can check out all the entries we received, play along tomorrow by going to Da-da-da, da-da-da. OK, enough.

HILL: You should have a top hat or something for that.

COOPER: "The Shot" is next, Erica. It is not a scene from "Jaws 5," but photos appearing to show sharks getting dangerously close to surfers in Florida, or at least freakishly close. Are these photos for real? You can decide for yourself. I'm not sure.

At the top of the hour, news of a new troop surge in Afghanistan.


COOPER: Time now -- doing a little blogging. Time now for "The Shot." You caught me blogging.

HILL: Oh, my God. I can't believe it.

COOPER: Can't be true. All right. Time we bring you surfing with sharks. Kind of pretty amazing looking photo. We're not sure it's legit.

The photographer says he snapped this picture of a shark spinning out of the waters off Florida earlier this month within feet of the surfer dude.

Experts who have analyzed the images say the shark is a Black Tip, about six feet in length. I don't know who these experts are.

HILL: PhotoShop experts?

COOPER: Black Tips are known to breach the surface, apparently. Exactly. They're also common off Florida coasts -- OK, maybe it's real -- where they're responsible for most of the attacks on humans. The photographer says the shots are real.

HILL: It reminds me of that one that I probably received about 800 times in the e-mail of the shark coming up to get, like, the Coast Guard helicopter.

COOPER: Yes. That was not real.

HILL: It's not?

COOPER: But these ones are a little less...

HILL: Wait. Whoa, back it up. Really?

COOPER: And here's Turtle Man.

HILL: I am so boycotting the Turtle Man.

COOPER: I think that we had just a few extra seconds in the program and just decided to toss in Turtle Man. This is Turtle Man, who we showed you last night who that's what he does.

HILL: Appalled. I hope one of those snappers gets him good, if you know what I'm saying, and I think you do. And I hope it's soon.

COOPER: Why the vitriol against Turtle Man?

HILL: Because he's mean to the turtle. What did the turtle do to him?

COOPER: He's just trying to get some good eating.


HILL: That's how I feel about it.

COOPER: All right. Serious news up ahead: stunning accusations by pilots at U.S. Airways. They're accusing the airline of pressuring them to use less fuel than they feel is safe in order to save money. What does U.S. Airways say? We'll have that. Details ahead.