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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Missed Opportunities to Prevent Arizona Shooting Rampage?; Giffords' Recovery Miraculous?
Aired January 13, 2011 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to 360. Thanks for watching.
Tonight, "Keeping Them Honest": the missed opportunities that might have prevented a massacre. Did campus officials at the community college that Jared Loughner attended know that the Arizona law would have allowed them or anyone to contact mental health professionals regarding Loughner?
Under Arizona law, it's a lot easier to have someone evaluated, but did school officials know that? Would it have made a difference?
Also tonight: witnessing a miracle. That's how doctors are describing Congresswoman Giffords' recovery. We will update you on that and talk to Sanjay Gupta, who spoke exclusively with her husband and fellow survivors.
And later: Congress concerned with its security. Members -- is members carrying a gun the answer for lawmakers on Capitol Hill? We will talk to one congressman who sometimes packs heat.
We begin tonight, though, with something no parent should ever have to do.
Today, John and Roxanna Green attended her funeral mass. Christina Green was just 9 years old. Her parents and brother Dallas were comforted by family, friends and Christina's classmates. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them all.
There was good news today to report as well. The woman Christina had gone to meet on Saturday, Congresswoman Giffords, continued her remarkable recovery. She is now aware of her environment, her doctors say, and is trying to engage in it. As we said, Sanjay has got much more from the hospital shortly, exclusive details directly from her husband.
As for the suspect, Jared Loughner, police recovered a bag containing several boxes of ammunition that they say matches the type used in the shootings. The FBI now has that bag. It was located in a dry riverbed. Loughner's father says he confronted him about the bag the morning of shooting, asked him what it was, what he was doing with it, got no clear answer from his son.
Details on all of that tonight, but we begin "Keeping Them Honest" with some tough questions about whether Loughner's school dropped the ball. Today, Pima Community College released records showing incident after incident of Loughner's bizarre and troubling behavior, troubling enough to bring campus police into the picture and eventually get Loughner suspended.
The question is, why did his behavior not get Loughner into the county mental health system or even on their radar?
Well, here's the latest that we learned today. February 2, 2010, the dean calls campus police to report strange behavior in class, Loughner reportedly reacting strangely to a classmate's poem, making comments about abortion, wars, killing, and asking, according to the teacher -- quote -- "Why don't we just strap bombs to babies?"
Campus police decide the remarks didn't justify their making contact with Loughner. Two months later, April 10, campus police are called to the library. Loughner was listening to music on ear -- earphones and making loud noises. They told him it wasn't appropriate behavior. He promised it wouldn't happen again.
May 17, a college instructor reports a confrontation over a B grade she gave him. He became -- quote -- "very hostile," she says. She says she feared the confrontation might become physical. The supervisor also reportedly felt intimidated. The instructor told police she didn't feel comfortable teaching Loughner without an officer in the area.
A few weeks later, June 1, Loughner was allegedly disrupting his math class, the report stating, "The instructor and students in the class are uncomfortable with Loughner inside their class and are afraid of any repercussions that could exist from Loughner being unstable in his actions."
On September 13, campus police were dispatched when Loughner and a teacher reportedly quarreled again. It was over a grade.
According to the police: "I noticed during my question that Loughner's head was constantly tilted to the left and his eyes were jittery and looking up to the left."
On the 29th, campus police served a suspension letter on Loughner and says he appeared to be staring as if in a trance. The same day, they alerted to a video he posted on YouTube showing the campus, claiming, "We are examining the torture of students, and this is my genocide."
Loughner was told he could not return to college without a note from a mental health professional, the college saying they have done all they could.
But did they? Take a look. The Pima College police chief, Stella Bay, told "The New York Times" the law could not initiate an involuntary mental evaluation of Loughner unless, she said -- quote -- "He posed an imminent danger. That's the only way to do it," she said. Now, that's actually not true. And that's actually true in many states, but it's actually not true in Arizona. Take a look. This is Arizona's law on involuntary commitment. It applies when someone is -- quote -- "a danger to self-or to others," as the campus police chief said, but she seems to be unaware of the rest, "is persistently or acutely disabled or is gravely disabled."
It's a much looser standard than imminent danger.
As for what it would take to initiate commitment proceedings, we spoke to Neal Cash, who runs a large nonprofit mental health provider in Pima County for the state of Arizona. He told us there's a 24- hour, seven-day-a-week hot line that people can call, anyone can, to get the ball rolling.
His organization has a crisis response team of mental health professionals. And if they determine there's an immediate threat, they will get local police and legal authorities involved. Cash says he doesn't have any record of anyone calling about Loughner.
As for Chief Bay, when we tried to reach her for comment, her office directed us to the college administration, who said they would come on the program tomorrow, but had no comment until then.
Joining us now is Chuck (sic) Arnold. He is a lawyer in Arizona specializing in mental health issues. He currently serves on the board of Mental Health America of Arizona. Also Brian Van Brunt, president of the American College Counseling Association.
I appreciate both of you being with -- with us.
Mr. Arnold, obviously, hindsight is 20/20, and it's very easy to kind of pick -- cherry-pick things, but you think Jared Loughner's college could and should have taken steps to submit him to an involuntary mental health evaluation. Why?
CHARLES "CHICK" ARNOLD, MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA OF ARIZONA: Well, you know, Anderson, as a practical matter, all mental health law represents a balance between individual rights and community rights.
Every one of us has the absolute right to have a mental illness and remain free from involuntary treatment. But when our community's rights trump that by a dangerous situation or, according to our statute, persistent and acute disability, it's critical that that person be subject to treatment.
Our law has -- has -- is the -- the product of a long study and many years of research that essentially wants to get into a problem before there's a dangerousness, before it manifests itself as danger to others or danger to self.
COOPER: Dr. Van Brunt, you disagree. You think there -- there wasn't enough evidence to -- to warrant involuntary evaluation; is that correct?
DR. BRIAN VAN BRUNT, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN COLLEGE COUNSELING ASSOCIATION: I think the case is unfolding now, Anderson, so we're still taking some information about that.
However, a college student being bizarre -- I don't know the last time Chuck was on a college campus, but simply being bizarre or acting strangely is not enough to necessitate an involuntary commitment.
What we're looking at here is, we would -- if this was the policy for all campuses, that we would take anyone who was acting bizarre or strange, and require a mental health evaluation, we would have -- we would essentially turn our community colleges and residential schools into inpatient psychiatric facilities.
There's a lot of bizarre or strange behavior. It's when it crosses over into threatening other students and becomes aggressive, that's the point where we need to take action.
COOPER: But if there's -- and, again, I don't know the answer to this, but, I mean, if you have multiple instances where the police are involved, and you have students saying and teachers saying, you know, they feel concerned, wouldn't the campus police at least, if they knew the law, you know, make that call?
VAN BRUNT: I think the campus police did take a step here. They didn't do nothing in this case, they took it forward. They actually separated him from the college through their campus behavioral intervention team, which is a standard practice.
They moved forward with the case. They went so far as to take a 22-year-old's rights away and notify the parents. They talked directly to the parents about the situation and moved forward on it, and went another step forward, saying, before you come back to our community, you need to have a mental health evaluation.
So, I think they took a number of steps to protect the community college setting there.
COOPER: Chick, where do you think they went wrong?
ARNOLD: Gosh, I would disagree with Brian.
As a practical matter, indeed, they did correct -- protect the college community. They failed to protect the larger community. And that's what our -- our statutes are intended to do, Anderson. As a practical matter, once again, every one of us recognizes that this man was more than bizarre.
The definition of persistent and acute disability suggests that a person who suffers a mental disorder such as Mr. Loughner is -- is suffering himself. And if his judgment is compromised, such as he is disconnected with reality, those are the criteria that trigger the process.
All the college needed to do was knock down one domino and transfer the responsibility for this young man to the mental health system, not the community college system.
COOPER: But, Chick, to -- but, Chick, to the doctor's point, I mean, they did notify the parents, which this was somebody who was over the age of 18. They probably didn't even have to do that. Couldn't you argue that's the domino they knocked down?
ARNOLD: You know, I'm a mental health lawyer, Anderson. And every one of us who is in this field recognizes the stress and difficulties of being a parent to a young person with a -- a brain disorder, such as Mr. Loughner.
We don't know what efforts, if any, the parents made in trying to connect him with treatment. This was an opportunity. This was a -- a result of many, many signals. And I would suggest, once again, that the responsibility for this could be handled well by Neal Cash's agency, by the mental health system in our state.
COOPER: Brian, what would have been wrong...
ARNOLD: Treatment works.
COOPER: Sorry. Go ahead. Go ahead, Brian.
VAN BRUNT: Well, I was going to simply say...
Brian, go ahead.
VAN BRUNT: Thanks.
I was going to say, you know, I'm not quite sure where -- where Chick's logic falls, as if -- if he would have it as he would like, we're talking about taking any persistently disturbed student -- and this includes a lot of students on campus who might have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, actively hearing voices...
COOPER: And you counsel students on campus, right? I mean, you counsel students on campus?
VAN BRUNT: I do, absolutely. I have a number of students on my caseload who experience some very severe, persistent mental health problems.
If we were to take them and force them all into mental health evaluation and treatment based on the opinions of concerned students, we would have, you know, full hospital units being looked -- trying to look at these students.
If there's a dangerousness, if there's an aggressiveness, if there's a direct threat -- and we saw these police being involved. In fact, in this case, an actual police officer stopped him the morning of the shootings, moved forward for running a red light, and went ahead and let him go there.
So, we -- we have a number of contacts. We had a father chasing him off into the desert, a lot of people trying to help. And I think we're trying to search for an answer of why is there evil, why are there problems like these. And it's convenient to look at the college, especially a community college setting, where we have a tenth of the resources compared to residential schools, and expect them to be doing this.
They don't have a counseling department. I would love to see community colleges having better access to mental health care. But to hold them accountable in this, looking back, hindsight, I think is just not a good practice.
COOPER: We have got to leave it there, but I also just want to make the point -- and we try to do this every time we have this discussion -- that -- that mental illness does not equal violence, and that, you know, it is a tiny percentage of folks who have some sort of mental illness who actually end up resorting to violence.
So, just by having this discussion, I don't want to give the indication that we somehow believe contrary to that.
Brian Van Brunt, I appreciate you being on.
And, Chick Arnold as well, thank you. I think I called you Chuck before -- Chick.
VAN BRUNT: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Thank you.
COOPER: Let us know what -- let us know what your thoughts are. Join the live chat right now at AC360.com.
The latest tonight on how the congresswoman, Giffords, is doing, we're going to have that next. We're going to hear from her doctors. We actually heard the word miracle used today by one of the doctors. Dr. Sanjay Gupta talked with her doctors and actually talked to her husband, first time we have heard directly from him, and other survivors -- the exclusive next.
COOPER: "We are wise to acknowledge miracles." That's not me talking. That's one of the doctors treating Congresswoman Giffords today -- today. That's what he said. He was delivering more hopeful news about the patient, continuing a very welcome trend that began last night, when President Obama electrified the crowd with this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right after we went to visit, a few minutes after we left her room and some of her colleagues from Congress were in the room, Gabby opened her eyes for the first time. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Gabby opened her eyes for the first time.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Gabby opened her eyes.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Gabby opened her eyes, so I can tell you, she knows we are here, she knows we love her, and she knows that we are rooting for her through what is undoubtedly going to be a difficult journey. We are there for her.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: A difficult journey indeed.
Her doctors today had no reservations about pointing out more progress. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. G. MICHAEL LEMOLE JR., CHIEF OF NEUROSURGERY, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: We have seen the eyes begin to track.
So, think about it. When you first wake up in the morning, you're all bleary-eyed and your eyes aren't focusing. Then the eyes sort of come together and start to focus. We're just starting to see those signs and -- and her trying to track her gaze to wherever she wants to look. That's very, very encouraging, again, reflects on a level of alertness.
We always worry and we're always vigilant because, even as we get outside of the window of problems neurologically, in patients who have breathing tubes and then so forth, we worry about all sorts of other medical complications.
But I have to say, this is a major leap forward, this is a major milestone for her. And we're hoping that she crosses through many more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that was the congresswoman's neurosurgeon.
Our neurosurgeon joins me now, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
In an exclusive, he spoke with the congresswoman's husband and the doctor who first treated her and some of the other wounded.
How is Mark Kelly doing?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: He seemed to be doing well, Anderson.
You know, he was in Houston when he first heard from -- from Congresswoman Giffords' chief of staff, called him, said, come quickly to Tucson. He's a pilot, as you know, Anderson, an astronaut, was able to get access to a plane, you know, took 45 minutes to get here. He arrived right as his wife was out of the operating room and heard from the first time from the -- for the first time from these two doctors, Dr. Rhee and Dr. Lemole, about specifically what happened to his wife, heard that she had been shot and what their expectations were.
Imagine that plane ride, Anderson, what it must have been like for him. You know, he talked a lot about what happened last night, some of what you were just talking about. I asked him specifically, does -- did Congresswoman Giffords know that the president visited her room last night? And he -- and he sort of paused for a second and said, I think she did, but she was trying to figure out why he was there.
And that gives you some idea of sort of what's going on in her mind. He talked a lot about the eye-opening. And he doesn't strike me as a man who is prone to -- to throw the word miracle around off the cuff. But he said it was miraculous, that she just opened her eyes.
He described it like this. He said she was reaching out with her left hand and she was sort of stroking his face. He joked with me that he thought maybe she was trying to strangle him, because he had been keeping anybody from visiting her in the room and just keeping things from her, quiet in the room.
He thought maybe she was trying to strangle him, but she was actually stroking his face. And it was shortly after that that she opened her eyes.
GUPTA: And he did use the word miraculous to -- to describe it.
GUPTA: It was quite something to talk to him, Anderson.
COOPER: You also spoke to one of the first trauma surgeons to work on the congresswoman after the shooting. What did he have to say?
GUPTA: Well, you know, he -- he gave us some really remarkable access to -- and showed us exactly how things unfolded.
One thing I will tell you is that, for a long time, it was believed that Congresswoman Giffords was brought to this hospital behind me by helicopter. That's not true. She was actually brought here by ambulance. The images of patients being taken off in choppers were other patients. Given the location, this is actually quicker to come by ground than by air. Then he showed me exactly where she was brought, to which trauma bay, and what unfolded in that trauma bay. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. RANDALL FRIESE, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: And the first thing I did was walked in the room. Some things were occurring. And I think I have said this before, but my first response was that I grabbed her hand, leaned into her and said, Mrs. Giffords, you are in the hospital. We are going to care for you. Please squeeze my hand. And she did.
GUPTA: I mean, did she have a wrap on her hand? Can you see the wounds at this point?
GUPTA: So, you know, you have some idea what the obvious wounds are, but you look at the rest of the body to make sure, for example, she doesn't have another gunshot wound, right?
FRIESE: Well, that is part of the trauma workup, that is part of the trauma evaluation, is that you never assume that just what you see is all that is present.
So, I saw the severe head injury. I saw some blood loss. Her eyes were closed. She did have a blackened right eye and swollen right eye. And she was grunting a little bit. I got the impression she was trying to communicate, but was being frustrated by the fact that she could not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: Scoop and run is how they describe it, Anderson, picking up the patient at the scene, in this case the congresswoman, and running her to the hospital as quickly as possible.
She did not have a breathing tube when she got here. They put one in, in the emergency room, took her to the CAT scanner after that, and then off to the operating room. The whole process took 38 minutes from the time she came into the door to the time that she was actually in the operating room.
COOPER: Wow. That's incredibly fast.
You also talked to some of the other shooting victims. How are they doing?
GUPTA: This was -- this was -- you know, I didn't know what to expect, Anderson, talking to some of these other victims.
I was talking to Ron Barber. He's a staff member for the congresswoman. He -- he -- you know, he worked 40 years in the -- the world of developmental disabilities, and was retired, and then came back to work as a community outreach member for the congresswoman.
You may know this. But he was with her, standing right next to her, Anderson, on this day. And he -- he described this in such vivid detail, it was -- it was quite shocking. He's a very kindly, soft- spoken man, so it was somewhat jarring to him speak like this.
But he -- he talked about the fact that he was looking at the congresswoman when she got shot. He heard a noise and then he saw her get shot. He turned around to look toward where the noise came from, and he himself was shot in the face and in the leg.
He fell to the ground and, suddenly, he was lying right next to the congresswoman. They were lying right next to each other, her back to his front. And he was so -- so sort of delirious with what was going on at that point, about just a -- less than a minute later, Gabe Zimmerman, another staffer, fell right in between them, he told me, Anderson.
COOPER: Oh, my gosh.
GUPTA: He fell right in between them face-down. And Gabe -- he said to me, "Gabe was completely still and that I knew that Gabe had died right there."
And it was -- it was an amazing story that he told me. And he was -- he told me he was scrambling for his BlackBerry because he wanted to call Gabby's parents. That was the only thing that he could think of, but he could not find his BlackBerry. That's how delirious he was.
And this woman named Anna, who was actually a -- someone just visiting the Safeway, ran over with her bare hands and stopped what would otherwise have been life-threatening blood loss from his leg. One of the big arteries in his leg was torn. She stood there with her bare hands and stopped that bleeding and probably saved his life.
GUPTA: Here -- heroes amidst the horror is -- is how he sort of described it. And it was -- it was one of the most unbelievable stories I have ever heard, Anderson.
COOPER: That's incredible. I mean, so many good people just -- you know, you never know how people -- anyone's going to respond when shots ring out. And so many people ran toward this, and literally stopping blood with -- with their bare hands, as we heard from Daniel Hernandez as well.
Sanjay, appreciate it. Thank you for being on tonight.
We -- we have some brand-new clues today also from people who knew the alleged gunman, Jared Loughner, and also clues from Jared Loughner himself. Randi Kaye has that in a moment.
Plus, new information about the black bag that was full of ammunition, it turns out, that is believed to have belonged to him. His dad reportedly spotted him carrying it in the morning of the killings. He chased him, lost him.
Man, think about how -- how things might have been different.
Also ahead: devastating floods in Brazil and Australia. Take a look at this. I mean, some of the rescues we have seen are just extraordinary. Hundreds of people have died. A lot more lives may be in danger. We will have the latest on that as well.
COOPER: Well, as we try to piece together what was going on inside the mind or the life -- with the life of Jared Loughner, the alleged gunman, it seems, every day, we are getting more clues, each more disturbing than the last, new statements from people who knew him, from experts and from Jared Loughner himself.
Randi Kaye tonight has the latest.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the months before the shooting, Jared Loughner appears especially disturbed. His world was getting darker, his questions stranger.
(on camera): Chat room postings published by "The Wall Street Journal" offer insight into Loughner's growing disappointment and resentment, a window into his state of mind. "The Journal" says Loughner, using a pseudonym, posted more than 130 messages last spring over a two-month period on an online gaming forum. He seemed to be dealing with feelings of rejection and searching for a purpose.
(voice-over): CNN hasn't been able to confirm independently the postings are Loughner's, but they're filled with aggression, many of them too startling to comprehend.
April 24 last year, he asked: "Would you hit a handicapped child/adult?"
Later that same day, a hate-filled rant titled "Why rape," suggesting college women enjoyed rape. "There are rape victims that are under the influence of a substance. The drinking is leading them to rape. Being alone for a very long time will inevitably lead you to rape."
May 9, he asked, "Does anyone have aggression 24/7?"
The next night, a new online thread: "If you went to prison right now, what would you be thinking?" He added, "Just curious."
May 20, he wrote, "I bet you're hungry, because I know how to cut a body open and eat you for more than a week."
If Loughner was looking to escape his demons, and reality, too, he may have done so through something called lucid dreaming, an alternative reality in which a person is aware he's in a dream and can manipulate that dream. Psychology professor Gary Schwartz has studied lucid dreams.
(on camera): Can lucid dreaming be dangerous?
GARY SCHWARTZ, PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA: For someone who might be mentally ill, it could become very dangerous, especially if they were obsessed with it.
KAYE (voice-over): And friends say Loughner was obsessed with lucid dreaming.
One friend, Zane Gutierrez, told "The New York Times": "Jared felt nothing existed but his subconscious. The dream world was what was real to Jared, not the day-to-day of our lives."
Another friend, Bryce Tierney, told the online publication "Mother Jones" that Loughner viewed dreams as his alternative reality. Tierney said Loughner even kept a dream journal. "That's the golden piece of evidence," Tierney said. "You want to know what goes on in Jared Loughner's mind, there's a dream journal that will tell you everything."
Strange ramblings apparently posted on YouTube by Loughner just within the last month or so paint the picture of a young man apparently losing his grip on reality.
On December 15, Loughner wrote about lucid dreaming: "My favorite activity is conscience dreaming. Some of you don't dream, sadly."
He later wrote, "The population of dreamers in the United States is less than 5 percent."
Also: "Jared Loughner is conscience dreaming at this moment. Thus, Jared Loughner is asleep."
(on camera): Loughner's focus on dreaming has some experts wondering if he could no longer tell the difference between dreams and reality. If so, is it possible he was dreaming when he allegedly shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and all those other people?
SCHWARTZ: It is conceivable, from what we know about his history, that he was -- he could have been confusing when he was in a dream and when he wasn't in a dream. And, so, we have to be open to that possibility.
KAYE (voice-over): Loughner's friend Bryce Tierney also told "Mother Jones" that Loughner had become convinced he could control his dreams. He said he told friends: "I'm so into it because I can create things and fly. I'm everything I'm not in this world."
Professor Schwartz says it seems Loughner enjoyed his dream world more than his daily life.
GARY SCHWARTZ, PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA: He was able to fulfill things in his fantasy that he couldn't do in reality. He's someone who was abusing this capability, and under those circumstances, it could be very dangerous.
KAYE: Dangerous indeed. And even if what happened was part of some dream for Jared Loughner, it was a terrifying reality for this community.
COOPER: Randi, there had been this report that the morning of the shooting his dad had seen him carrying a black bag and that his father had asked him what it was, and he wouldn't answer and had chased him. They found that black bag. What was in it?
KAYE: They did. And in fact, they told us today that there were a few boxes of ammunition in that black bag and store receipts. They wouldn't say which store that ammunition came from, but we do know from earlier in the week, CNN did learn that the ammunition had been bought at Wal-Mart here locally.
So there was this confrontation between Jared Loughner, apparently, according to police, and his father on that front yard the morning of the shooting over this bag. I guess his dad wanted to know what was in it, where he was going with it, and he took off. He did try to chase him, as you said, in his truck, but he wasn't able to catch up with him, and that bag was recovered by a young man today and turned over to police.
COOPER: The whole lucid dreaming thing, I mean, I guess when I heard about it in the movie "Inception," I don't quite get what it is, though.
KAYE: In a lucid dream, according to our expert and others, you actually realize that you're in a dream, just like the characters in that movie, "Inception." You realize you're in the dream, and you think that you can manipulate the dream.
But if you get too deep, like this Professor Schwartz told us, you can actually lose your sense of what is reality and what is the dream. And that can be very, very dangerous, like he said, for somebody who is mentally ill.
And we've heard from Loughner's friends that he really got into this dreaming and lucid dreaming, really just last year and got deeper and deeper into it. And like one of them said, if you're looking for answers as to what might have happened, if he did allegedly do this, then you should -- you could find those answers in his dream journal that apparently he kept, Anderson, for about a year.
COOPER: Interesting. Randi, appreciate it. Continue the reporting. Thanks, Randi.
Incredible flooding and other stories to tell you about. Joe Johns joins us with the "360 Bulletin" -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise trip to Baghdad today and held his first talks with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki since the new Iraqi government was formed last month. The future of U.S.-Iraqi relations topped the agenda.
Heavy rains and floods in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have claimed the lives of more than 400 people. Officials fear more have been buried in landslides or washed away by floodwaters. At least 5,000 families have been evacuated. And take a look at this video from Brazil of a dramatic rescue.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: Meanwhile, Queensland, Australia, is getting hit -- it is incredible. Queensland is getting hit by its worst flooding in decades. At least 15 people are dead in the state capital, Brisbane. Fifty-five others are missing. The flood waters have started to recede, but officials say the cleanup will take months there.
Back in the U.S., an historic online tribute to former President John F. Kennedy to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his inauguration. The National Archives in Washington unveiled the JFK digitized presidential archives, the largest of any online. It contains more than 200,000 digitized documents, photos and audio from JFK's times in office, the complete Camelot.
COOPER: Joe, appreciate it. Thanks. Can't get over that flooding.
A quick program note to tell you about. Tomorrow night at 9 p.m. Eastern on this special edition of 360, we have a special called "Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS." We're going to look at how far we've come and how far we still need to go.
Sir Elton John will be with me for the entire hour. He's the special guest, and you'll hear from these familiar voices, as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON STONE, ACTRESS: I was working in Vegas with Rock Hudson, and I played his lover in a movie. Suddenly, as the movie ended, I came to understand that Rock had AIDS.
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, NBA HALL OF FAMER: I was very fortunate to be a friend of Arthur Ashe. And in knowing him, it was one thing that really impressed me about him so much after he caught the AIDS virus. He never, ever complained about his bad fortune. He never, ever said, "Why me?"
SUSAN SARANDON, ACTRESS: These were people living with HIV, and that HIV was going to be an ongoing condition, just like diabetes or anything else, but that you could live with it, as opposed to being called an AIDS victim.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: "Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS." It's a special, 9 Eastern tomorrow night with Sir Elton John. I really urge you to join us. It's an important hour.
Tonight's "Shot," something to make you feel pretty good. Eight- year-old Elizabeth Hughes was singing the national anthem at a hockey game in Norfolk, Virginia, last week. Her microphone cuts out. There was a little bit of unsympathetic laughter from one audience member, but the rest of the crowd joins in to save the song, save this girl of any embarrassment. We found this on YouTube. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(MUSIC: NATIONAL ANTHEM)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: How great is that?
The Norfolk Admirals invited Elizabeth back to sing at the February 5 game. When that mike went out, I was so scared people were going to start laughing. One person did. But everybody just instantly jumped right in.
The video has nearly 1 million hits on YouTube and, as you can imagine, the interview requests for her are pouring in.
Up next, back to the serious stuff. Why some members of Congress say they should carry a gun after the shootings. We're going to talk with one of them.
And the USS Enterprise heads out on a new tour of duty while there's a new twist in the investigation of those videos that are linked to the ship and recorded years ago.
COOPER: A lot of Congress members are understandably concerned about their security these days. They're constantly interacting with people, both in Washington and in their home districts. Democratic Congressman Heath Shuler of North Carolina says he'll carry -- he'll be carrying a gun at events back in his district. Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah also carries a handgun from time to time back home. He joins us tonight.
Congressman, thanks for being with us. You've been a conceal/carry permit holder for years. What's your thinking now on when and where you'd carry a gun?
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Well, I don't do it in the district when I'm back at the Capitol. It creates some logistical challenges. At home I do it from time to time. Some days I do it, some days I don't. There's not a certain criteria or checklist, but it's something I feel comfortable with. It's not -- not for everyone, but I feel comfortable with it as a personal security for myself.
COOPER: Do you think you'll be carrying it more now after this?
CHAFFETZ: I hope not, because of what happened on Saturday. Initially I thought oh, I'm probably going to do that more, but I think the more I kind of relax and take a deep breath along with everybody else, I will do it from time to time -- but I won't do it all the time.
COOPER: You're concerned about, obviously, your staff, too, in the district.
COOPER: Because they're -- you know, they're interacting with folks all the time, as well.
CHAFFETZ: Well, yes. Look. We're not -- we're not scared of people. We're not scared of constituents. We're not going to slow down the discussion in the public square. I don't think that's what we should be doing. We don't want to overreact.
What I do think we do have to take more seriously are some of the threats that do come across. Every member in Congress on both sides of the aisle unfortunately does get an array of threats. And I think law enforcement are going to have to analyze those and look a little deeper because you worry that there's, you know, somebody who is off balance that will actually act out above and beyond what they may have written. That's the worry. Yes.
COOPER: Congress Louie Gohmert has announced he's going to push for legislation making it legal for members of Congress to carry a gun in D.C., including the Capitol and even on the House floor. Is that something you'd support?
CHAFFETZ: No. I don't think there should be any special rules or laws for members of Congress. We ought to live and act just like the rest of America. I think that gives us the right perspective. And so, no, I wouldn't support that.
COOPER: There is also one member of Congress who was suggesting a law that would outlaw anyone from carrying a gun within like 1,000 feet of a member of Congress. I assume by your last answer that's not something you would support either.
CHAFFETZ: No. Again, I don't think there should be any special rules or laws for members of Congress only. We ought to be treated just like everybody else.
COOPER: Congressman Chaffetz, I appreciate you coming on. Thank you, sir.
CHAFFETZ: Thanks, Anderson. Appreciate it.
COOPER: Have a good night. A lot more to cover tonight. Coming up, Haiti, one year since the anniversary. I have a question for you. How much of the rubble from the earthquake do you think has been picked up? What percentage of the rubble has been removed from Port-au-Prince? What do you think, like 50 percent, 30 percent? Ten percent? We'll tell you in a moment. You're going to be stunned.
I planned, obviously, to be in Haiti this week for the one-year anniversary. Our Gary Tuchman has been there, thankfully, on the ground. We're going to be hearing from him next, a rubble report that's just frankly amazing.
And why is part of the BP oil spill report on our "RidicuList" tonight? We'll tell you ahead.
COOPER: Well, the shootings in Tucson five days ago have all but overshadowed the one-year anniversary of the other unimaginable situation, the Haiti earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people, maybe even 300,000 people. There's no -- really no accurate numbers.
The sad truth is that Haiti's capital doesn't look much different today than it did last January 12. Hundreds of tent cities that were supposed to be temporary have pretty much become permanent, about a million people still living in them. And just five days ago three more bodies were pulled from the rubble in Port-au-Prince.
In fact, it's that rubble, mountains of rubble that's hindering the cleanup and rebuilding Haiti.
Gary Tuchman reports.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is something very wrong with this picture. Joseph Earl Eyma, 72 years old, is using a shovel and wheelbarrow to clear the rubble from what was his family home one year after the quake.
JOSEPH EARL EYMA, PORT-AU-PRINCE RESIDENT (through translator): I did not want to sleep in the streets. I wanted to return to my house as fast as possible.
TUCHMAN: But why is an elderly man clearing his own rubble? After all, countries around the world have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help rebuild Haiti.
(on camera) So after a year, what percentage of the rubble has been removed? The international aid organization Oxfam concludes it's a shockingly low number: 5 percent. Put another way, that means 95 percent of the rubble is still here. At that rate, it would take 20 years to remove all of it.
(voice-over) It turns out only about half of the reconstruction money pledged by donor nations has actually been received. The United States' percentage is far lower, less than 10 percent. Ten percent. The rest of the money is stuck in Congress.
Another one of the holdups? Many of the world's donors want their money to go to more glamorous projects than getting rid of rubble. But...
JULIE SCHINDALL, OXFAM: You can't really reconstruct when you have rubble blocking everything. And what we point to is that particularly donors who hold the purse strings for massive projects have not prioritized that most basic first step.
RANDY PERKINS, DISASTER RECOVERY CONTRACTOR: It's a domino effect. Once this debris starts moving, everything else will start falling into place.
TUCHMAN: Randy Perkins owns the Ashprit (ph) company, one of the largest disaster recovery contractors in the U.S. He has brought nearly $20 million worth of trucks and heavy machinery to remove rubble and start reconstruction in Haiti. We met him six months ago when the government hadn't issued any debris-clearing contracts.
Six months later?
PERKINS: Idle in Haiti. We have, you know, 85 percent of our equipment idle.
TUCHMAN: He got the first and only government cleanup contract back in October, but it was small and barely made a dent in the problem.
The lack of debris removal has dramatically curtailed the construction of temporary homes.
(on camera) The homeless situation in Haiti remains desperate. This is the seventh time I've been here since the earthquake. I've seen no decrease in the number of homeless people. The estimate is that there are still hundreds of thousands, up to 1 million people, who don't have homes.
These people have lived under this canopy for the last 12 months. The canopy at a Texaco station.
(voice-over) Oxfam also puts blame on the International Commission set up to coordinate and prioritize recovery spending. The IHRC has high-profile leaders: former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.
SCHINDALL: But so far, they haven't fulfilled their mandate.
TUCHMAN: CNN has asked for but not yet received the response from a Clinton spokesman. Joseph's followed through on his own. Out of a homeless camp for a month and into a temporary shack and is now days away from finishing his grueling project.
EYMA (through translator): I would like to rebuild my home, but God only knows how I will do it.
TUCHMAN: You see, Joseph doesn't have the money or equipment to rebuild. So he's hoping for something he hasn't received over the last year: some help.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
COOPER: It's hard to believe, 5 percent of the rubble. That's all that's been removed so far and it would take 20 years by current standards. Unbelievable.
Joe Johns joins us again with a "360 News & Business Bulletin." In a moment we're going to look again at some of that video, Joe, from Brazil, but I know you've got some other stories. What are you following?
JOHNS: You bet. It is incredible video, too, Anderson.
The carrier, Enterprise, sailed today, and the retirement of one of its former commanders is on hold. Navy Rear Admiral Lawrence Rice is sticking around pending an investigation into inappropriate videos made on board the Enterprise by his executive officer back when Rice was the ship's captain.
Admiral Rice had expected to retire on February 1.
Officials say Rice was second in command at the time. Captain Owen Honors is responsible for the raunchy videos that include anti- gay slurs.
Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson announced today she will not seek re-election next year after nearly 20 years in the Senate.
The U.S. economy is improving. That's the word from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who says he's predicting up to 4 percent growth this year. Bernanke's comments came at a forum sponsored by the FDIC, the government agency that backs your bank deposits.
And a 340-year-old Bible has been found at a small Lutheran school in Wisconsin. A sixth-grade teacher found it in an old safe two years ago, and it was just authenticated. Researchers say the Bible was printed in 1670.
JOHNS: In Germany. That's very cool.
COOPER: That's a beautiful book.
I just wanted to show that video of the flooding in Brazil one more time, because a lot of folks have pointed out something to me just now which I didn't notice. The woman was clutching a dog. She gets basically almost swept away, this rescue is under way. She gets saved, but I hadn't realized the dog doesn't, unfortunately, and it happens, I think, just like right about here. See the dog gets swept away. I didn't notice that the first time. I looked at -- we got a bunch of viewers commenting on it. So I just wanted to verify that again.
Again, just incredible pictures. She is safe. She's brought up to the top. We don't know what happened, sadly, to -- to her dog. Hundreds of deaths there, unbelievable.
Time now for the "RidicuList" tonight. And tonight we're adding, well, non-government speak, let's call it the oil spill report. In actuality it's the final report from the national commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon spill and offshore drilling.
It's a huge document that came out on Tuesday, and says if the government doesn't take drastic steps, another spill like the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico could happen. Which seems kind of obvious, but that's why it's not on the "RidicuList." Look, a lot of folks worked very hard on this.
But it's on the "RidicuList" tonight because of this line from chapter five, page 139. Quote, "Journalists encourage state and local officials and residents to display their anger at the federal response and offered coverage when they did. Anderson Cooper reportedly asked a parish president to bring an angry, unemployed offshore oil worker on his show. When the parish president could not promise the worker would be angry, both were disinvited."
Well, here's my report on that. Guess what? It's not going to take six months and almost 400 pages to say what I have to say.
That statement is 100 percent, without a doubt, completely untrue. Just wrong. False. First of all, I don't book guests, and in the two months that I was in New Orleans covering the BP disaster, I never called up a parish president or ran into one and asked them to be on my show or to find someone for me. It just never happened. I never did that.
You'll notice the government report says I reportedly asked a parish president. That means someone told them that. No name, so it's hard to know how to respond more directly. But I'm telling you, it didn't happen.
Second, no one on my staff would demand that a guest be, quote, unquote, "angry." And then disinvite someone else because they couldn't guarantee they could find a, quote, unquote, "angry person." We just don't work that way. We book people and sometimes have to cancel them for all sorts of reasons -- timing, scheduling, we change topics, the show changes direction -- but failure to find an angry person is not one of them.
And third, the idea that journalists were manufacturing the anger and frustration and fear among residents and state and local officials is preposterous. I can't speak for all journalists, but the idea that there were not plenty of legitimate reasons for people in the Gulf to be upset about the response to the spill is just ludicrous. It's rewriting history. It's nonsense, and it lands the oil spill report, at least that part of it, on tonight's "RidicuList."
A lot more ahead at the top of the hour, starting with a question. Might the tragedy in Tucson have been averted if the alleged gunman's college had done more than simply suspend him? No easy answers on this, but an eye-opening debate about mental health and community responsibility, next.