Return to Transcripts main page


Massive Snowstorm; Medical Lifeline; Who Wrecked Haiti?; Winter Wallop

Aired February 10, 2010 - 23:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening tonight from Port-au- Prince. Tonight, the heroic work being done on many blocks here as Haitians and American volunteers try to recover this city's dead before they are lost forever, as earthquake-damaged buildings are torn down.

We'll also have the latest on the ten American missionaries arrested for child kidnapping. Is it possible they could be set free?

And who broke Haiti? Who stole money given to Haiti over the years? We'll look at corruption before the earthquake to see if it can be prevented in the future.

First, though, a quick look at the important news back home: the blizzard, the streets in Washington empty, the government shut down, the second major snowstorm in days hammering the Atlantic coast and a lot of places now. The snowiest season on record: six feet of snow in Baltimore this winter, a deadly chain-reaction crash in Pennsylvania, airports shut down.

Gary Tuchman joins us in New York -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I know a lot of our friends in Minnesota, in Maine and Montana are wondering what the big deal is. But here is the big deal. The magnitude of this blizzards, ten states and the District of Columbia getting pelted with snow today and the most densely populated part of the country that's getting the worst of it, the parts between Boston and Washington, tens of millions of people.

Here in New York City, it started snowing at 11:00 last night, it's been snowing for 23 hours, expected to snow for hours more; 12 to 20 inches of snow on the ground by the time it's over. Schools were closed in New York City today and more than one million school children off of school. Only the first time in the last six years that's happened.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., eight to ten inches of snow, but that's on top of the huge snowfall that Washington got this past Friday. In Washington, D.C., federal workers have been off in the past three and a half days off of work; it's costing taxpayers about $100 million a day. The House of Representatives has already said there will be no votes the rest of the week. Philadelphia, 12 to 24 inches of snow, that's the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States. Baltimore, 12 to 20 inches of snow by the time this is all over. In Baltimore, in Philadelphia, in Washington, the most snow that's ever fallen in recorded weather history and it is only February.

Meanwhile, the airports, what a disaster we have there. Here in New York, LaGuardia, Kennedy, Newark International; in Baltimore, Baltimore-Washington International, Philadelphia International, Washington Reagan, Dulles Airport, we have a situation where the airports have either been closed or most of the flights canceled. Tens of thousands of flights canceled and we are told that this has been the most flights canceled for any time over the last five years.

And, obviously, the tip that we give people, don't go on the roads. They learned it the hard way in central Pennsylvania in the town of Clearfield, that's right in the middle of Pennsylvania near Interstate 80. Chain-reaction accident, with dozens of vehicles, one person killed and many people hurt; very disastrous on the roadways.

And here in New York City, for people wondering when this is all going to melt, for the next two weeks, the forecast, the temperatures never supposed to get above 38 degrees. Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Wow. It sounds like you're talking from another planet. It is very, very warm here, as you can imagine.

Gary, we're going to have more with you later on in the program. We'll also talk to Tom Foreman who actually skied to work today in Washington, D.C.; just downright surreal.

But I want to tell you about what is going on here on the streets of Port-au-Prince because there were extraordinary things happening. You know, in the first week or two, we all got used to seeing those remarkable rescues, Haitians and international volunteers literally risking their lives in very precarious rubble to rescue people who were still living, but would you risk your life to save -- to bring out somebody from the rubble who you knew was already dead? Would you risk your life just to bring their remains out and bury them with dignity?

A number of Haitians are doing just that on many blocks throughout this city. And today, we wanted to show you what is happening on just one block near General Hospital in the ruins of what was a nursing college. Take a look. It is very graphic though, we do want to warn you.


COOPER (voice-over): Nearly a month since the quake and Port-au- Prince is still a graveyard. In the ruins of the National Nursing College as many as 100 students remain crushed under concrete.

(on camera): At first on a site like this, it's hard to understand what you're actually looking at. It's like it takes time for your eyes to adjust to what you're actually seeing. I mean, there are notebooks scattered all around, a nurse's shoe. Then you realize this whole area, discolored area, is actually the remains of people.

Joseph Charles was a security guard at the school. Everyday now, he searches for the students he once tried to protect.

"They used to call me Poppy Joe, Poppy Joe," he says. "This is really hard." In a locked storeroom, he collects the personal possessions he finds, old textbooks, nurse's shoes, even their uniforms.

He has to work quickly, however. A government bulldozer is on site removing what's left of the building.

While rescue operations are delicate, precise and time-consuming, recovery operations in Port-au-Prince, as you can see, are anything but. They are just here to destroy and tear down what remains of the building. The backhoe just rips through the structure. The human remains mixed with the steel and the concrete. All of it just gets picked up and dumped into a truck.

Eric Jones, a volunteer, has been helping Joseph recover the dead.

ERIC JONES, VOLUNTEER: It's been very heart-wrenching to say the least.

COOPER: Heart wrenching?

JONES: Heart wrenching. Just the whole process and the tragedy of it, to have so many nurses, you know? Obviously, nursing is such an honorable profession, some of the hardest working people in the medical field and to have so many them killed here is just very emotional.

COOPER: Eric works in real estate in Washington, D.C., but he was once a paramedic. He doesn't like to talk about it but he received the Medal of Valor for pulling people out of the Pentagon on 9/11.

JONES: At Ground Zero, they had under the walls, names of loved ones. Here, there doesn't seem to be anything like that. And the truth is I don't know if we will ever really know how many people were killed in places like this. It is an unreal situation.

But it's --what's struck me most is just the incredible resilience of these people and you know, just their strength and their courage and their tenacity.

COOPER: Eric and Joseph may work side by side, but they don't speak the same language. How do you guys communicate, if you don't speak French?

JONES: Actually, this is the most communication we have had since I have been here.


JONES: So it's really nice to be able to finally communicate a little. COOPER: So, you haven't had a translator or anything, you just been kind of working together without -- just kind of hand signals and --

JONES: I speak a little bit of French you know, but yes, pretty much been hand signals and sort of helping him however he needs help. I am really appreciative of the translator today.

COOPER: The work they do is beyond words. It is the most gruesome job imaginable. They do the best they can.

Eric and Joseph found ten nurses about three days ago and they brought their remains here. They left them on the side of the road, expecting the Haitian government to come and collect them, but the government never came. Dogs ultimately got to their bodies and now all that remains are the smell and a few bones.

Scattered throughout the rubble are photos of the nurses.

All throughout the wreckage, you find photographs of the nurses. Here's some registration documents. This is a girl named Ruth. This is a student named Gabrielle. Here is pictures from a graduation ceremony.

Pictures aren't worth money, however and the men who scavenger for scrap metal amidst the rubble and human remains show no interest.

It's got to be incredibly frustrating.

JONES: It is, it's upsetting and frustrating to witness that but it's just the -- I think the state of the affairs is people, they don't mean disrespect by it, it's just they're hungry and they need money to buy food. And so they have to do what they need to do it to earn money for themselves and their own families. It's just sad, but that's what they have to do to get it.

COOPER: Eric has been in Haiti for weeks already. He plans to stay until he and Joseph finish the work at this site.

JONES: I was telling him earlier, I have so much respect for him, I've seen him every day for a week just working, 15, 16-hour a days, risking his own life time and time again to recover the artifacts and personal effects of the people he used to work with.

He has shown nothing but courage and dignity and respect and he is definitely my hero.

COOPER: He is your hero?

JONES: Oh, yes, absolutely.

COOPER: It is a heroic effort, a thankless task, amidst so much loss they try to bring dignity to the dead.


COOPER: What they're doing is truly just extraordinary and extraordinarily difficult.

I want to get you updated now on those ten American missionaries. They spent another day in court today with a lot of rumors swirling around that they could be released, and released as early as tomorrow. They are accused of course, as you know of kidnapping after being caught trying to take 33 kids out of the country.

Karl Penhaul has been trying to separate the facts from the fiction on these rumors. He spoke earlier tonight with the judge in the case. He joins us now. What do you know?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN VIDEO CORRESPONDENT: What's really going on is that there is an application pending for bail, for conditional release for all ten Americans. Now, the judge initially said that that could take up to probably another five days to rule on.

When I phoned him back tonight, he has obviously fast-tracked this whole thing and he says that he may have a ruling on whether the Americans can be set free on bail by as early as mid-afternoon Thursday.

COOPER: So if all of a sudden, I mean, this is supposed to take five days, all of a sudden he today is suddenly fast-tracking it, that sounds like there is some sort of behind-the-scenes work or pressure he's getting from above to move this thing along.

PENHAUL: He certainly said he was giving it a priority. Now, of course, we don't officially know --

COOPER: Right.

PENHAUL: -- whether there is any political pressure to bear. We saw some messages from Bill Clinton when he was here last week and the State Department stepped in and appeared to say, no, we'll let the Haitian justice system do its bit. But what it does mean is if conditional release is granted tomorrow, then the judge can also set conditions.

COOPER: And those conditions could mean that they could go back to the United States as early as tomorrow if they are released?

PENHAUL: Exactly. The judge can feasibly say you are released. You can go back to the United States on condition you come back at a later stage for trial, if it goes to trial.

COOPER: And even, you know, a month from now, they get them back to the United States, and a month from now they could just say well, we've decided to drop the charges and it could all go away.

PENHAUL: A very different picture a month from now. Because they know right now the media spotlight is on this case, both in the U.S. and in Haiti. But a month down the line, things are changing very rapidly here.

COOPER: There are some who's, you know, speculating and say well, look, you know this is allowed. This is like a face-saving move, this has allowed the Haitian government to say, look, we are enforcing our laws, we are protecting our kids and yet also, no one really wants the amount of attention that this have gotten here in Haiti, because it's distracting from the real story and the real struggle here, which is the half-million people in this city who are homeless right now.

PENHAUL: I think it would also be a face-saving move for the U.S. government as well. Because all the while they want to say that the Haitian government is capable of standing on its own two feet. And so if they take away the initiative from the Haitian government by pressuring it, then they will no longer be able to say well the Haitian government can run itself.

So I think it's a face-saving move for the U.S. government as well, if it comes down to that, which is we'll wait and see tomorrow.

COOPER: All right, we'll of course be there. We're going to be here tomorrow night and we're going to be here Friday night and we'll be covering all of this, all the things going on.

Karl, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

A man and his family connecting from opposite ends of the medical lifeline between South Florida and here. Our coverage from Haiti continues.

And the latest on that crazy weather all over the East Coast.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: According to the "New York Times", more than 500 Haitians have been flown to the United States for medical treatment since the quake. Now, it's put an enormous burden on the health care system and a terrible strain on families here, as you can imagine.

This next story is about there and about here; we're trying to forge a connection between the two.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The story is common, too common.

JEAN CHERY, HAITI QUAKE VICTIM IN MIAMI HOSPITAL: Ok. Yes, I was running, my shirt burned. You know the back of the shirt burned. I just closed my eyes and asked God, are you going to let me die?

GUPTA (on camera): The nightmare started here at a gas station in downtown Port-au-Prince. Thirty-nine-year-old Jean Chery was driving in a truck down this street when this power line fell and hit a propane tank. There was a huge explosion and just like that, Jean Chery was burned over a quarter of his body. His friends scooped him up and drove him quickly to a hospital two blocks down the road.

The care at these Doctors without Borders hospital is good, it's very good, but burns are notoriously difficult to treat and they are deadly if that treatment doesn't come fast; all of us will say that even in the best of times, Haiti wasn't the place for him.

(voice-over): And that meant a transfer, in this case, to the United States.

Since the earthquake, hundreds of patients have been brought to the U.S. like Jean Chery. As things stand today, their medical costs are paid for through a program called the National Disaster Medical System. Think of it as a special relief fund. And this is the first time that it's ever been used for a natural disaster outside the United States.

And here's something that might surprise you. The plan is the hospitals that take these patients are reimbursed at 110 percent of Medicare costs. Why 110 percent and not just 100 percent you ask? Well, we wanted to know as well. A government spokesperson told us, "It was set up as an incentive. We don't want hospitals to worry about extra costs or the extra manpower required to treat patients after a disaster."

(on camera): You know, as things stand now, there really is no end in sight. You see, there's a lot of critically ill-patients here in Haiti, in a country that can barely afford the basics.

As for Jean Chery, doctors say that he's going to do very well. And there is another thing to all this. His wife hasn't spoken to him or seen him in over a month, so we tracked her down, Eula, to this particular marketplace.

I wanted to show you a picture of your husband. Is it good to see him?


GUPTA: Yes? You want to talk to your husband? Here you go. This is the first time they have spoken almost since this all happened.

EULA: Hello.

GUPTA: He asked about the kids, said I love you and that he's coming home soon.


COOPER: Has this fund been activated before?

GUPTA: Yes, in fact, you know, it's surprising. It has been around for quite some time now, since 1984. And you should appreciate the fact that during Hurricane Katrina, actually most recently, it was activated. There were some 2,700 patients who were eligible for that.

For Louisiana the thought was it couldn't handle the entire medical burden, a lot of patients moved out of state and that's in fact --

COOPER: I think it does surprise a lot of people and probably concerns a lot of people that that they are paying 110 percent above and beyond the cost of the actual medical treatment.

GUPTA: Yes, you know, we really tried to drill down on that today, talked to a lot of folks at USAID as well as HHS. They said that they -- during a disaster, you have to provide incentives for these patients to be cared for in hospitals that may already be full. That may involve hiring more personnel to take care of those patients and also sometimes those patients don't have a place to go after they have recovered.

So just keeping them in the hospital or arranging some sort of a rehab --


GUPTA: -- also very important.

COOPER: All right, Sanjay thanks. I appreciate it.

Coming up, the little boy we told you about last night, 5-year- old Kenzie Charles was reunited with his father today aboard the "USS Comfort". Kenzie's parents thought he had died in the quake, if you remember. They didn't know he was alive until a UNICEF worker showed them photos of Kenzie. The boy was taken to the U.S. ship for medical treatment.

Now, preparations are being made for Kenzie to leave that ship and be reunited with his entire family in the days ahead. We certainly will follow up on that and wish him well.

Coming up next though snow, more snow and even more snow and Tom Foreman, who skied to work today.


COOPER: Just ahead, who broke Haiti? Abbie Boudreau "Keeping them Honest" on the money trail.

But first, the latest on a major blizzard that has ground cities to a halt; pummeled, buried, blasted, battered, take your pick. If you live in the northeast they all pretty much apply. If you live in or around the nation's capital, you're reliving last weekend's nightmare, a record snowfall for the second time in a week.

Tom Foreman joins me now from the thick of it.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson. The capital has never really seen any weather like this in the winter in recorded history. And the result has been staggering. This is the third day in which the federal government has been shut down by this. And that's not a cheap prospect. One official estimates its costing $100 million every day in lost productivity.

But the simple problem is right here in front of the Capitol even, even for people who want to get to work, there's just no way.


FOREMAN (voice-over): As the blizzard ripped through, dropping at times two inches of snow an hour, even snowplows were pulled off of the streets for safety now and then. And the impassable roads made the commute into D.C. all but impossible. I had to strap on cross- country skis just to break out of my neighborhood, where many drifts are running chest-high.

Well, you can see how getting out of the neighborhood is going to be tough at best. My skis are being buried in the snow and they're not real trail-breaking skis. So, I'm going to keep slogging down this hill up here and then there will be a bunch of up hills to go, to maybe make it to the metro about three miles from here.

The snow has closed schools, offices, museums. Even some White House staff members are working from home. The weight of the snow has caused some roofs to collapse, including one at a Smithsonian storage facility.

Overburdened trees have broken, taking down power lines and leaving tens of thousands without electricity at various times since the snows began.

We were without power for four days. You can see how buried a lot of these houses are. They really just have snow, in many cases well up into the windows. The blowing wind is really complicating things out here.

It's been complicated, too, at all of the Capitol region's major airports, closed after it proved impossible to keep up with the as steadily falling and drifting snow. Everywhere, from the city to the suburbs, the warning is the same, park the car, stay inside, sit tight until the storm passes.

Pretty much everything is closed. And you still see very few people out. I'm almost to the metro.

The metro trains proved one of the few operable lifelines, but even they are running with long delays and only on the underground sections of track. Still, if you want to commute in D.C. these days, it's the only game in town.

And finally, here I am, about three hours later, skiing up to the CNN offices.


COOPER: And Tom, I mean, how many inches -- first of all, I'm amazed that you skied into snow, I hope our bosses are seeing that. How many inches of snow are we talking about?

FOREMAN: Well, here's a measure, Anderson. Out at Dulles Airport here, this winter, they've had 72 inches of snow. That's as tall as I am. And one of the big problems that's coming up right now is evident right here. I'm standing in snow about a foot and a half down, but I'm standing on top of probably three feet of snow underneath that. They are simply running out of places to put all of this and we have more snow coming this way in the forecast, Anderson.

So for the capital, it's going to be a long time digging out.

COOPER: Amazing. Tom thanks very much. I hope you get a good night's sleep after all that skiing.

We're going to have more from Haiti ahead.

But first, let's get the latest on some other important stories we're following. Candy Crowley has a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Candy.


The Treasury Department says it's freezing the assets of four Iranian companies it says are linked with Iran's weapons of mass destruction program. The new sanctions come a day after President Obama warned that the U.S. and its allies are going to turn up pressure on Iran.

This all comes as Iran's government ratchets up efforts to prevent protests, like these last summer, from erupting tomorrow, the anniversary of Iran's revolution. Officials say they will arrest protesters and hold them until April if they disrupt state-sanctioned marches.

Two new national polls show a majority of Americans want September 11th terror suspects tried in military rather than civilian courts. In one of the polls, nearly seven in ten said terror suspects should not receive all the Constitutional protections afforded Americans in a civilian trial.

Google says it will begin testing a new super fast broadband network with download speeds of about 100 times faster than traditional broadband connections.

And a new picture to add to the collective family tree. International teams of scientists thinks this is what one of the earliest known inhabitants of Greenland looked like. They were able to sequence his DNA from samples of 4,000-year-old hair found frozen in Greenland's permafrost.

All words really, Anderson, I never thought I would say in a single sentence. I don't know what that means, but they found a really old guy.

COOPER: That is good to know. Candy thanks.

We're going to check in with Candy a little bit more with some other updates on the stories.

Still ahead, though, we're on the money trail and "Keeping them Honest", who stole Haiti's future and enriched themselves along the way? We investigate ahead.


COOPER: Some sad news to report from Port-au-Prince, two bodies were recovered: one was that of Air Force Major Ken Borland, he had been missing in the rubble of the Hotel Montana since the quake. His remains came back from Dover Air Force Base yesterday. They were met by his wife, Peggy and his stepson and sister and parents. Major Borland had been in Haiti to take a disaster preparedness course of all things.

Also today, a confirmation that American student Courtney Hayes died in the earthquake, three other students and two faculty members from Lynn University in South Florida are still missing and presumed dead. The group was in Haiti on an aid mission when the quake hit.

The earthquake that struck here was, as we all know, incredibly powerful, but the damage it did was magnified by the man-made disasters that came before it. This is what remains of Haiti's presidential palace after the earthquake. Parts of it, the front of it really just crumbled, collapsed.

By Haiti's building standards, this was probably one of the most secure buildings. To understand why Haiti was so poor and so ill- equipped to cope with the disaster of this scale, you have to follow the trail of corruption that robbed Haiti of so much over the years. The trail leads back to Papa Doc Duvalier and his son Baby Doc who used to rule this country.

Abbie Boudreau is "Keeping Them Honest".


ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We have come to Paris in search of the man who wrecked Haiti, the man whose family stole as much as $1 billion from one of the neediest countries in the world.

GILLES AUGUST, ATTORNEY: From the $500 million we documented, which are probably half of the money which has been embezzled by Mr. Duvalier, his wife and their accomplices. We have evidence they transferred abroad $120 million.

BOUDREAU: Gilles August is the attorney who was hired to get the money back and he is talking about this man, Jean Claude Duvalier, known as Baby Doc.

But it was really a father and son act. Baby Doc's father was a brutal dictator, known as Papa Doc Duvalier. He began their nearly 30-year crime spree in the 1950s. They had a vicious secret militia, the Tan Tan Makoot (ph), roughly translated, it means the boogiemen.

Under their reign of terror, as many as 60,000 Haitians were killed. After his father died, Baby Doc took larceny to a new level, especially after he married his glamorous wife, Michelle. Together, they used their country like a personal piggy bank. AUGUST: It's like the president going to the Federal Reserve and upon instruction of a president, please give $100,000.

BOUDREAU (on camera): Just writing himself checks?

AUGUST: Absolutely. And that was happening almost every day. Cash, cash, cash, cash, cash, cash, cash -- and this is the bank of the republic.

BOUDREAU: Oh, my goodness.

AUGUST: You see?

BOUDREAU: He was just using this as his personal bank account?

AUGUST: Absolutely. Here they are debiting something like $400,000 and this $400,000 are debited from the national defense to New York, care of Spitzer & Fuhrmann, which is a nice jewelry shop in New York.

BOUDREAU: Jacques Sales also worked on the case.

JACQUES SALES: Another example, on following instruction by his Excellency, the president for life, please transfer $100,000 to the Ferrari Automobile Company in Modena (ph), Italy, you know?

BOUDREAU: Ferrari? So he was buying himself cars and what other things was he buying himself?

AUGUST: Roughly $20 million to buy I would say stuff, you know, jewelry, mink coats, a yacht, cars, et cetera and then $100 million in cash or in real estate. That's why we believe that they had about $100 million when they went away.

BOUDREAU (voice-over): A popular uprising forced the Duvaliers to run away to France in 1986, but many of those who conspired and enriched themselves with the dictator remained in power, allowing Baby Doc to escape free and clear.

At first, the ex-dictator and his wife lived like royalty on the French Riviera, but the Duvaliers' riches and romance came to an end. Their divorce was messy. Michelle reportedly ended up with most of the loot according to British journalist Peter Allen, who showed us her ritzy Parisian penthouse.

(on camera): She is on the top floor?

PETER ALLEN, BRITISH JOURNALIST: She is on the top floor. She has a rather impressive apartment up there, which suggests she has retained quite a bit of the money that they managed to bring out of their homeland.

BOUDREAU (voice-over): Baby Doc fell on harder times and he has kept a very low profile. Despite his once vast wealth, critics say he is now hiding from bill collectors. ALLEN: Whereas his wife is now living in a penthouse, he is likely to be living in a small -- what they are, they are the kind of little flats which were originally used for servants in the building.

BOUDREAU: We heard Baby Doc was in this lower-rent Parisian neighborhood, so we showed a local store owner his picture.

(on camera): So you have seen him? Ok.

(voice-over): He said he was once a regular customer but the trail was now cold.

ALLEN: This is all part of the mystery and it's a mystery that needs to be solved if we are to put the questions to him that deserve to be put to him.

BOUDREAU: Duvalier had disappeared, like most of his money. But we did find what little was left. It's held in a UBS account in Geneva, Switzerland.

MARC HENZELIN: Out of the whole fortune of the Duvaliers', we managed to find only $5 million to $7 million at UBS here in Geneva. For the rest, it is probably in the hands of lawyers, real estate agents. We don't know, and probably even the Duvaliers don't know. Any case, the money will not go back to the Duvaliers, don't worry about that.

BOUDREAU: That is because Attorney Marc Henzelin blocked those funds on behalf of two men, victims who were tortured during Duvalier's reign.

ETZER LALANES, TORTURED DURING DUVALIER'S REIGN: My family was telling me it is time now to leave the country because if you -- if you don't leave, they will kill you.

BOUDREAU: Etzer Lalanes won his case against Duvalier but he hasn't seen a dime. He says he is not fighting this battle for personal gain.

LALANES: I will fight until I get the right because I don't want Duvalier to get a dime of this money. This money is for the people of Haiti. The people of Haiti will use this money.

BOUDREAU: People who desperately need it now more than ever. That's why Jacques Sales is so sorry Baby Doc has never been held accountable.

(on camera): How responsible is he for the people of Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake, given the fact that he had stolen so much money from -- from them?

SALES: They destroyed the country completely. The Army, the church, the university, everything was destroyed, everything. So they are naturally responsible for the state of the country today.

BOUDREAU: Just one day before the earthquake, Switzerland's Supreme Court ruled it could no longer block Duvalier's funds, but the Swiss federal government then quickly stepped in and promised to create a new law that would prevent Duvalier from ever getting that money.

Abbie Boudreau, CNN, London.


COOPER: Of course, we should also point out that the United States government supported the Duvalier regimes for years during the Cold War, a lot of that money given by the United States initially. Papa doc, Baby Doc, out of the picture for a long time, so who else is to blame?

Well, we'll pick up the money trail when we come back. We'll take a look at who has been bleeding Haiti dry over the years.


COOPER: Corruption in Haiti didn't end with Baby Doc and his wife. Billions in foreign aid had poured into Haiti and yet you can see in a lot of places little to show for it, and the earthquake has made that all too clear. Let's dig deeper with Dan Erickson, senior associate for U.S. Policy and director of Caribbean Programs at American Dialogue.

Dan, after Duvalier left, there was a lot of foreign aid coming in. Haiti received I think $4 billion between 1990 and 2003, $1 billion a year in aid pledges since 2004. Where did that money go? Do we know?

DAN ERICKSON, CARIBBEAN AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, we do have a sense of where the money went. The first thing that has to be said is with Haiti and foreign aid, it has really been a situation of feast or famine since the departure of the Duvaliers.

On the one hand, at different junctures, Haiti has received huge sums of money like what happened today but there have been aid cutoffs as well. So, there hasn't been a cumulative effect over time. What we do know, a fair amount has gone to the Haitian government itself. Obviously, corruption remains a problem there. And in addition, a large amount of resources have been going to nongovernmental organizations working in Haiti.

COOPER: And there was a 2006 report by the National Academy of Public Administration that found that about 30 percent of the civil service here were phantom employees. They didn't actually exist but people were getting paid for and taking money in it. Is that common?

ERICKSON: Yes. That's happened quite frequently in Haiti. Haiti is a country that has very fragile institutions, it is a weak state. Some would say a hollow state. You don't really have much operational capacity within the government, but there certainly has been cases over the years of bumping up payrolls or other types of graft, basically as a way to siphon off resources from the government.

COOPER: Is it difficult to actually track where the money goes in Haiti? I read that the U.S. had trouble tracking $45 million in aid that it gave to Haiti after a 2004 storm because I guess some initial fact-finding trip was ruled as too dangerous?

ERICKSON: That is right. Tracking the money has really been a huge challenge. Everyone realizes that there needs to be accountability in aid and that it is important to have zero tolerance policy for corruption.

But as a practical matter, what you have in Haiti is so much money coming in from different sources, private source, multilateral organizations, as well as the U.S. government and other foreign governments. It is going to nongovernmental organizations, local governments in some cases, the national government.

So, as a result, it's really hard to get a clear picture of where all this money is going. There are some successes, some areas were aid has been quite effective, but at the macro level, clearly it's failed to achieve any sort of sustainable development for the country.

COOPER: So, if a lot of money is going to NGOs and the U.N., I mean, I have never understood in these countries, U.N. people drive around in brand new vehicles. I have never seen so many brand new, gleaming white Land Rovers in my life that I've seen in Haiti and places like Congo. Are they spending a lot of money?

ERICKSON: Well, there is a lot of money. And also Haiti is considered to be an unstable environment and you tend to have a lot of money spent on things like security for buildings and for vehicles which is another important element. What I think international aid has contributed to in Haiti is the emergence of almost a dual economy, where there is the actual economy, people live on $2 a day or less, really struggling to get by and then there is a parallel economy where international aid workers work. Many of them do do-good projects but the fact is they operate on different level than Haitian civil society as a whole.

COOPER: There's been a lot of talk about, you know, influence of drug trafficking in this country, corruption in various arms of the government over the years. Is that an -- I mean, is there anyone investigating that here on the ground, in terms of international groups. Or are they tracking where -- I'm not talking about right now, the new money, I'm talking about the money that's been given. Are they tracking individually or is there one central international group that is tracking it?

ERICKSON: No, what you have is different groups that are tracking -- groups in general, particularly professional ones and multilateral organizations really try to track their own projects very effectively. And indeed, there is a warehouse of documents here in Washington D.C., in New York, of various relief agencies and international organizations, about the outcomes of their aid projects in Haiti.

So, it has really been very difficult to develop a central source. I think this is an area where the United Nations could perhaps play a much more dominant role in the coming months. Clearly the U.N. could serve as a clearinghouse for this type of organization and also important to focus on donor coordination. Sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing in Haiti when you have so many international aid groups working there. So, I do think it is important that there is more knowledge sharing and more transparency.

COOPER: And certainly, given the amount of money coming in here now and the amount of international interest, there's going to be more focus on how the money is being spent probably in Haiti than ever before and I mean international attention is certainly a good thing, transparency is key.

ERICKSON: That's right. International attention is very good for two reasons. The first is aid effectiveness. You want to make sure the aid is effective and it's going where it needs to go. The second is really the political sustainability of this current desire to help Haiti.

What Haiti needs right now is some successes, people are confident that their money is being well spent and governments are confident that their money is well spent. That will help to continue a more sustainable engagement with Haiti in the future. If, by contrast, there is a sense this money is ill-used or wasted, what you are going to see is a level of donor fatigue set in and Haiti could once again be forgotten.

COOPER: Right.

We want to continue looking at this, at the money trail over the last many years. So much money has been given and a lot of Haitian people kind of are saying where has it all gone? So we will continue to follow this.

Dan Erickson, appreciate you being on with us tonight.

Coming up, we'll take you to the eye of the storm, the latest on the blizzard slamming much of the East Coast. And braving the storm, Gary Tuchman shows us how people aren't letting the brutal weather ruin their day.

We will be right back.


COOPER: If you haven't been affected by the blizzard pounding the mid-Atlantic and northeast, consider yourself lucky. The storm has paralyzed cities, grounded thousands of flights and pretty much wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people.

New York has taken a direct hit with some pretty brutal weather conditions. But as Gary Tuchman found out, New Yorkers are, well, taking it in stride, as we do most things. Here is Gary's report.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the nation's capital the streets extremely quiet. Washington D.C., practically a ghost town from the blizzard.

But in New York City, the streets remain lively. Life can be fairly normal in Manhattan on a day like this, on an island where most don't need or have cars. Sledding hills all over Manhattan were jammed with a good number of the 1 million-plus school kids who had the day off.

When it's too far to walk here, there's the unglamorous but extensive city bus system. Some service may get delayed or canceled, but there are buses on Manhattan streets 24 hours a day, 365 days a year no matter the calamity.

Digna Castillo has been driving for 6 years.

TUCHMAN (on camera): When you woke up today and you saw it was snowing and icy, what did you think?

DIGNA CASTILLO, BUS DRIVER: I said oh my God. Do I have to go? And I pray, I say I'm going to do my best, and that's what I'm doing.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The streets are slippery. Visibility is bad. Sometimes the buses wait way behind a red light to gather momentum up a hill where they wait for the light to turn green. The faithful passengers are used to it and feel very secure.

(on camera): You have no concern about being on a bus in the blizzard?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, only the pick pockets.

TUCHMAN: Not the ride itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not the ride itself.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Passengers tend to dread getting on and off the bus and stepping in the huge ice puddles. But the ride itself fazes few.

Rebecca Shul is an actress who you can see on re-runs of the old NBC comedy "Wings". She's also a veteran bus passenger.

REBECCA SHUL, ACTRESS: You know the buses are heavy and most of the drivers are wonderful. She's a good driver. Sometimes you get a certain cowboy driver but most of the time --

TUCHMAN (on camera): So we don't have a cowgirl driver today?

SHUL: No, no, she's very careful.

TUCHMAN: What's the key to successful driving in the ice and snow?

CASTILLO: Take our time, go slow, yes.


COOPER: Gary, sanitation workers and bus drivers are the unsung heroes of this snowstorm, certainly in New York. What's the forecast for -- I mean, tomorrow people going to work. How long is this thing going to last?

TUCHMAN: Well, the system will be in the Atlantic Ocean. If you're in a boat, it will be bad. But things will be better on the East Coast tomorrow.

Here in New York City, the sledding should still be good, but the sledders will be back in school; New York City schools back in session. Most government workers, private workers back in work. So the city, while lively today, will be back to its New York style of lively tomorrow. Things should be pretty normal except, Anderson, for those big puddles when you get on and off the buses.

COOPER: I know those big puddles with yellow snow in New York you got to watch out for that. Gary thanks very much.

If you're snowed in go to for the best way to spend your snow day as suggested by our 360 interns.

Coming up next, a blizzard is no snow day for reporters like Gary but sometimes coverage overshadows the storm; we have the best of the worst reports.

It's our "Shot of the Day".


COOPER: Let's get a quick check of the headlines. Candy Crowley has the "360 Bulletin" -- Candy.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Former Congressman Charlie Wilson has died after being rushed to the hospital earlier today with difficulty breathing. The 12-term Texas Democrat is best known for helping arm Mujahedeen fighters against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. His exploits inspired the movie "Charlie Wilson's War". Congressman Wilson also earned the nickname "Good Time Charlie" for his love of the good life. Charlie Wilson was 76.

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to reduce radiation exposure in medical imaging tests, that's things like CT scans. Among the suggestions, developing more precise dosing standards and providing each patient with an imaging history card to keep track of their total radiation exposure.

An earthquake hit about 50 miles west-northwest of Chicago today but could be felt as far south as Chicago -- sorry -- as Georgia. No injuries reported in the magnitude 3.8 quake.

And they're taking time to inspect the roses. Agriculture specialists with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection are busy ahead of Valentine's Day inspecting millions of flowers before they go on sale here. They are looking for insects and plant diseases.

So Anderson, you can give someone 12 dozen roses and say, honey, they are insect and plant-disease free. Just adds a little to the romance. COOPER: Very romantic.

CROWLEY: Yes, right.

COOPER: Yes, exactly. Candy thank you for coming in, by the way. I hope you didn't have to ski in.

CROWLEY: I did not ski. I wouldn't -- even for you, I wouldn't have skied in, sorry.

COOPER: I don't believe that.

Anyway, if you've been watching the reports on the blizzard, you sometimes get the sense that the world is about to end. That's what happens in the media when they handle big weather stories like this.

We'll tell you a snowstorm is certainly serious business and it's costing a lot of money to the country. It also gives an opportunity to, well, maybe have some fun at our own expense. Here's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For these guys, snow time means show time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's the perfect day for sledding.

KAYE: News teams live for this stuff. They fan out, dig in, and measure up the white stuff; many with a breathless, heart pounding doomsday delivery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A beat-down this afternoon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Conditions are atrocious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is like getting hit with a big crashing wave.

KAYE: Snowmageddon, snow-zilla monster. And mother nature's wrath. And almost everyone gets into the act, CNN included.

With a promo that could easily double as a trailer for a Hollywood action film.


KAYE: Scary stuff for a time-tested weather formula that follows a simple TV equation.

They frequently start with dire warnings of an impending apocalypse; scary, very, very scary.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Weather not fit for man nor beast; all of the kids rather enjoying this snowstorm.

KAYE: Then you know by now what comes next. The live shots: from the salt trucks and airports to the roads and, of course, the mounds of snow.

Next: on the street interviews with drivers, business owners and the occasional pet.


KAYE: During the lulls, reporters turned to light-hearted banter, or as our own Reynolds Wolf demonstrated, an impromptu dance.

Remember, even though the forecast can be fearful, and in this case downright bizarre --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you shovel, just back over, shovel.

KAYE: Can you say meltdown?

Not everyone is preparing for the worst.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you glad that school is out today?


KAYE: Just look at these kids enjoying the winter wonderland and giving us all something to consider. Seems sometimes the snow can just be fun.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Hey, that's it for 360. Thanks for watching.

We'll be in Port-au-Prince tomorrow night.

"Larry King" starts right now.