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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Did Lance Armstrong Lie to Oprah?; Hillary Clinton's Future
Aired January 25, 2013 - 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: Good evening, everyone. It's 10:00 here on the East Coast.
And tonight, a remarkable if very unlikely partnership from opponents on the campaign trail to pals. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down together for an interview with "60 Minutes," one of Clinton's last interview before she leaves the State Department.
The question is, could this be a sign of big things for Hillary Clinton in 2016? We will take a look at that tonight.
Also, an extraordinary photojournalist, Tim Hetherington, killed in Libya is remembered tonight. We reveal what made him so special and why he's so missed. His close friend and colleague Sebastian Junger joins us for that. You will hear that from him ahead.
We begin though tonight with breaking news. The head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Travis Tygart, the man who has spent years investigating Lance Armstrong, has told CBS News that Armstrong lied about his doping in his interview with Oprah Winfrey, the same interview that was advertised as no-holds-barred, Lance Armstrong saying he was telling the full truth, the interview where Armstrong repeatedly said he was coming clean about his use of banned substances.
Well, now Tygart is the guy whose damning report about Armstrong's doping led to the cyclist being stripped of his titles and banned from the sport for life. Tygart also told CBS News he's offered Armstrong a deadline, February 6, to cooperate fully and totally truthfully with USADA in exchange for a lessening of his lifetime ban from sports.
Joining me now is Juliet Macur, sports reporter for "The New York Times," also Betsy Andreu, the wife of Frankie Andreu, a former teammate of Armstrong.
Betsy, as you have heard, the head of USADA, Travis Tygart, is telling Scott Pelley on "60 Minutes" that Lance Armstrong lied to Oprah Winfrey, particularly about his 2009-2010 attempt at the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong said also that he only used a little bit of EPO previously. Travis Tygart says that is absolutely not true -- and that also Lance Armstrong had claimed that he didn't offer USADA, or no one he knew offered USADA a at $250,000 donation amid lingering questions about whether he was doping or not, and that he didn't pressure teammates to dope their blood. Travis Tygart says all of that is not true, that he did pressure teammates, that a lieutenant of his did offer a donation, that he was doping 2009-2010, and that he pressured teammates.
What's your reaction to what Travis Tygart has said?
BETSY ANDREU, WIFE OF ARMSTRONG'S FORMER TEAMMATE: Well, I think that, remember, in the interview with Oprah, Lance said if he could go back to June when USADA reached out to him, he said he would do anything to have that day back and accept USADA's offer.
So despite trying to bankrupt USADA and destroy them, USADA has graciously given Lance another opportunity to have that day back. And if Lance is truly sorry, he is going to be truthful, and he's going to help clean up the sport of cycling, and tell the truth, no holds barred.
coo I want to play just some of what Travis Tygart has told "60 Minutes." This is the first time we're seeing this clip. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: You know, at one point in the interview, he said that he was curious about the definition of the word cheater. And he looked it up in the dictionary and didn't think it necessarily applied to him.
TRAVIS TYGART, FORMER CYCLIST: It's amazing. This guy, you could go to almost any kindergarten in this country or, frankly, around the world, and find kids playing tag, or four square and ask them what cheating is. And every one of them will tell you, it's breaking the rules of the game.
No real athlete has to look up the definition of cheating. It's offensive to clean athletes who are out there working hard to play by the rules that apply to their sport.
QUESTION: He suggested that cycling in those years was a level playing field because everyone did it. He wasn't doing anything special.
TYGART: It's just simply not true. The access they had to inside information, to how the tests work, what tests went in place at what time, special access to the laboratory. He was the one that was in an entirely different playing field than all the other athletes, even if you assume all the other athletes had access to doping products.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And, Juliet, for him to claim it was a level playing field, there was no team that had as much money as Lance Armstrong's team and as much access to private jets. I mean, it was not a level playing field, was it, Juliet?
JULIET MACUR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": No.
Not only did the U.S. Postal Service have the most sophisticated doping program around, but it really wasn't a level playing field when it came to the athletes who were on the team. Some of the athletes didn't require as much EPO to reach a level where they could perform, and some of them like Lance perhaps needed more. So it wasn't even a level playing field among their own teammates, much less in the sport.
COOPER: Betsy, your husband was on the team. Do you find it unbelievable when Lance says -- Lance Armstrong said he didn't pressure people to dope on the team?
ANDREU: Yes, and maybe in his own mind he thinks that that's how he justifies it or negates it. I don't quite get it, because at one point he said he wasn't the enforcer, but then at another point he said he was the bully.
From our own experience, we know that when Frankie refused to get on the program, to see Ferrari, he was left off the team. He eventually had no job.
COOPER: Ferrari was the doctor, I'm just saying for our viewers.
ANDREU: Yes. So I don't agree with that. Because not everybody -- I think Lance's projecting on to other people what he himself was doing, or what he himself felt.
COOPER: Juliet, it's interesting. USADA has now offered Armstrong a deadline of February 6 to cooperate with them, with the possibility, the possibility of them reducing his lifetime ban. Do you think he will take them up on that, that he would testify, that he really would come clean? Because in that Oprah interview, he really didn't go into details about how the doping program worked.
He said he only used a little bit of EPO, which Travis Tygart is saying that is just categorically untrue, that his levels were off the charts. Do you think, at this point, having given that interview, can he now come back and say, well, actually, you know, even though my ex- wife did tell me not to dope in 2009-2010, I did? Can he now change his story, Juliet?
MACUR: Sure. I think he can definitely change his story. Maybe it might become public. We won't know that until later. But I think he wants to come forward, not necessarily by February 6. This indeed just happened just last week or 10 days ago or something. He needs some time in order to really realize how he is -- by the world right now and how much he really needs to come forward.
And for Travis Tygart to say, Lance Armstrong, you have to come in by February 6, I'm not sure that's really the way to work with when it comes to Lance. He's not the type of guy who really works well with people strong-arming him and headbutting him. He really needs some time to think about it before he comes forward. It will be really interesting to see what happens. (CROSSTALK)
ANDREU: Excuse me.
I don't see that as being strong-arming Lance. This is not the rules according to Lance. USADA didn't have to do this. USADA is bending over backwards saying, we're giving you yet another chance. USADA is being really gracious here, I think.
COOPER: It's interesting, Betsy and Juliet. We had Daniel Coyle on, who co-wrote a book on doping and with a cyclist, with Tyler Hamilton.
He was saying often with Tyler Hamilton, it was difficult for Tyler to tell the full truth all at once, that somebody who has lied for so long, and so extensively, in the case of Lance Armstrong gone after people like you, Betsy, who were telling the truth, that he is sort of incapable of telling all the truth at once.
Do you buy that, Betsy, that for someone who's so ingrained with lying, that it's hard to kind of come forward?
ANDREU: It's definitely hard. Telling the truth and contrition are new concepts to Lance. But he did make the first move.
I don't think the Oprah forum was the right way to go. But it's said and done. So now he's got to mitigate the damage the interview did. And he can do that by telling the whole unadulterated complete truth to USADA.
COOPER: I want to just play a little -- I want to play a little bit of what Lance -- how Lance Armstrong described the doping operation to Oprah Winfrey, kind of minimizing it. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "OPRAH'S NEXT CHAPTER": Travis Tygart said in a statement that you and the U.S. Postal Service cycling team pulled off the most, his words, sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that the sport has ever seen. Was it?
LANCE ARMSTRONG, FORMER PROFESSIONAL CYCLIST: No. No. And I think he actually said that all of sport has ever seen.
And, Oprah, it wasn't. It was -- it was definitely professional. And it was definitely smart, if you can call it that, but it was very conservative, very risk averse, very aware of what mattered and didn't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's interesting.
Juliet, at first, he said, well, compared to the East German Olympic efforts of doping, you know, back in the '70s and '80s, it wasn't as sophisticated. He's comparing to an East German government's effort to dope at the Olympics. He also denied that even within the sport of cycling, it was not the most sophisticated.
But you're saying, Juliet, at least within -- it's arguable whether within all sport, but within the sport of cycling, there was no other team that could do what this team could.
MACUR: Well, I'm not sure. But if there was a team like that, then the U.S. Postal Service team wouldn't have won seven Tours in a row. That was pretty phenomenal. There was a reason for that. You know, people tend to think it was because they were doping better than everybody else.
COOPER: It's, again, just another development in this ongoing story. We will continue to follow it.
Betsy Andreu, we appreciate talking to you, as we have throughout this. And, Juliet Macur, thank you very much.
Let us know what you think right now. We're talking about this on Twitter. Let's continue the conversation on Twitter @AndersonCooper.
Up next: a surprise move in Washington, President Obama sitting down for his first joint interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. We will take a listen to some of what they said and a look ahead at what could be next for Secretary Clinton after leaving the State Department, a run for 2016? Two different opinions, the "Raw Politics" ahead.
COOPER: "Raw Politics" tonight: a first-of-its-kind interview, President Obama sitting down today with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for a joint interview which airs this Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes."
It's one of her last interviews before leaving the State Department. For Secretary Clinton, it caps off obviously a high- profile week that included her appearance at the president's inauguration, testimony at Congress about the Benghazi terror attack. And she returned to Capitol Hill to praise John Kerry at his confirmation hearing to replace her as secretary of state, but in the "60 Minutes" interview with President Obama offering plenty of praise for her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Why did you want to do this together, a joint interview?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, the main thing is, I just wanted to have a chance to publicly say thank you, because I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we have had.
It has been a great collaboration over the last four years. I'm going to miss her. Wish she was sticking around. But she has logged in so many miles, I can't begrudge her to want to take it easy for a little bit.
But I want the country to appreciate just what an extraordinary role she's played during the course of my administration, and a lot of the successes we have had internationally have been because of her hard work.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: A few years ago it would have been seen as improbable, because we had that very long, hard primary campaign.
But, you know, I have gone around the world on behalf of the president and our country. And one of the things that I say to people, because I think it helps them understand, I say, look, in politics and in democracy, sometimes you win elections, sometimes you lose elections. And I worked very hard, but I lost. And then President Obama asked me to be secretary of state. And I said yes.
And why did he ask me and why did I say yes? Because we both love our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It is incredible when you think about the fierce political rivalry that once existed between these two.
Now, in a minute, two opinions from two very smart reporters on whether or not Secretary Clinton will again make a bid for the presidency, but first Kate Bolduan takes a look back at how early battles with then candidate Obama evolved into this partnership.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have faced questions together before. Here in a 2008 presidential debate with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
OBAMA: I don't want to just end the war, but I want to end the mind-set that got us into war in the first place. That's the kind of leadership I can provide.
CLINTON: And, of course...
BLITZER: Senator Clinton, that's a clear swipe at you.
BOLDUAN: Back then, it was a very different relationship. In the midst of an already bitter rivalry.
OBAMA: While I was working on those streets, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart.
CLINTON: You were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.
BOLDUAN: But that relationship quickly changed.
CLINTON: I endorse him and throw my full support behind him.
BOLDUAN: Just as Hillary Clinton showed her support for President Obama, Obama showed his faith in Clinton.
OBAMA: I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is the right person to lead our State Department and to work with me in tackling this ambitious foreign policy agenda.
BOLDUAN: What was Hillary Clinton's initial reaction when you told her, "Look, we're actually considering you as the possibility for secretary of state?"
PHILIPPE REINES, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: She didn't believe it.
BOLDUAN: Philippe Reines is one of Clinton's closest aides.
REINES: I e-mailed her, I think it was, the Friday after election day after hearing it from two reporters, and I'm pretty sure her reply was something along the lines of not for a million reasons.
BOLDUAN: If she was hesitant, why not just say no?
REINES: I think she did or came awfully close. I think the president was very persuasive.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We're delighted to welcome Senator Clinton, secretary of state designate.
BOLDUAN: Clinton was quickly confirmed. But how would she get along with the man who defeated her campaign? Could she work for him?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: Everyone expected, including myself, that there would be a lot of division, a lot of Secretary Clinton going behind the president's back.
BOLDUAN (on camera): So was there any tension coming in between the two people at the top?
LABOTT: I think everyone's been surprised.
BOLDUAN (voice-over): Surprised that, while Secretary Clinton and President Obama have been separated often as she travels the world, they have maintained a unified front.
REINES: They very early on set a tone of, "This is how it's going to be. She is my secretary of state." And from her point of view, he is our president. And she brooked no anything contrary to that.
BOLDUAN (on camera): So what was that moment that you think crystallized their relationship?
REINES: They were in Denmark for a climate change conference. BOLDUAN (voice-over): Obama and Clinton believed China and other countries resisting a pollution standards agreement were meeting in secret.
REINES: President Obama and Secretary Clinton were talking kind of alone, you know, in some hallway. And he said, "Let's go."
And she said, "Let's go."
BOLDUAN (on camera): So they just kind of barged in?
REINES: They kind barged in. They said, "Hey. Hey, guys, what are you doing?"
BOLDUAN: We're here.
REINES: "What's going on here? Yes, we're here." And they got the deal done.
BOLDUAN (voice-over): They got that deal done and went on to three more years sharing success, controversy, even tragedy, as close partners.
REINES: And I think, you know, there are not a lot of people in the world who go through what they do. And, you know, it's the President H. W. Bush/Bill Clinton relationship. It's Carter/Ford, McEnroe/Connors. You know, whatever it is when you're on the court, after the fact you're like, "Hey, you're more like me than not. We're bonding. For good or bad, we've been put together." And it's always going to be like that.
BOLDUAN (on camera): From rivals to partners, the evolution of this friendship has been something to watch over the last four-plus years and is now entering a new phase, as President Obama takes on his second term, and Hillary Clinton heads towards her last day as a top member of his Cabinet.
Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: So now that Hillary Clinton is leaving the State Department, what is next for her?
Let's bring in chief political correspondent and anchor of "STATE OF THE UNION" Candy Crowley and chief national correspondent John King.
So, Candy, in 2008, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were bitter enemies battling in a very tough primary season. Now you fast forward, and they're doing this high-profile joint interview. What do you make of how their relationship has evolved?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it evolved out of -- political necessity is a very powerful force in politics. And it is not the first time that rivals have ended up being friends sort of.
COOPER: Are they friends?
CROWLEY: Well, look, have they been to the White House for dinner? We're told not. But...
COOPER: See, I find that kind of amazing.
CROWLEY: ... she owes him a lot and he owes them a lot. There were the Bushes and the Doles and the Doles and the Bushes and the Reagans, and they all didn't get along for a while. And then the political expediency, political necessity chimed in.
Do I think that they seem to have come up with a relationship that looks at least on the surface like a good one, beyond just a good working relationship? It certainly looks like it.
And let's remember, Hillary Clinton's been through a whole lot worse than getting defeated by President Obama. So it wasn't that much to get over. And I think they seem as though they're OK with one another.
COOPER: I do find it fascinating, John, that she and former President Clinton have not been over to the White House for a dinner, you know, a double date, if you will.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A double -- well, let's see if maybe they have a double date in the second term.
It's not the way this president operates. It's really not the way the Clintons operate in the sense they were rivals. There was more bad blood between President Clinton and then president-elect and Senator Obama than even candidate Clinton, if you will, back from 2008.
But that was a bitter primary. It took a while to get over it. What did he do? He gave her a global platform, and she became one of his most trusted advisers. He doesn't -- as we have discussed in many ways, he doesn't do this with Republicans, he doesn't do it with Democrats either -- he's not Mr. Social.
But they have formed a partnership. Is it a close personal friendship? I would not try to make that case. But they formed a partnership where they both trust each other, and as Candy noted, they have both helped each other at fairly critical times, including right now.
If this president had a secretary of state who was not such a rock star, who was not so well respected by Republicans, the Benghazi hearings could have been more dicey. Yes, they took some punches at her and, yes, they still have some questions for her. But trust me, if it were somebody of lesser stature, it would be very different than it is. And that helps the president.
COOPER: Candy, do you think she will run for president?
CROWLEY: I don't think so. And I'm sticking with that, because I would like to be consistently wrong, if she ends up doing it.
I don't, for a couple of reasons. First of all, she has said, maybe not in the most recent permutation, but she said, no, I'm not interested in that. I understand the pull of history. I understand people out there going, you could be the first woman. But she will be 69 years old should she run and get elected.
She has been all around the world. The reason her approval ratings are so high is that she's not in politics. And when you have been out there, you know, in the big city, it's kind of hard to keep them down on the farm. She has been out dealing with matters of global importance. And what she will have to do, and she will have an easy time raising money, I grant you, but she will have to spend the night in any number of places in Iowa, and have chicken dinners in Polk County and New Hampshire, et cetera, and it just doesn't seem to me that that's where she's headed.
But I will tell you that I didn't think she would run the first time. So, again, I just -- I don't get that vibe at this moment. I don't think she's made up her mind. I do think that's true. But I just feel like her leaning has always been toward no, that she's done with politics.
COOPER: It's also interesting in terms of hard to predict, because people on her staff said, if you asked them a couple of years ago would she accept secretary of state under Barack Obama, they would have said no, absolutely no way. And yet here we are.
John, do you think she will run and if so when would she have to make that decision?
KING: I take her at her word right now that she's not running. I'm not convinced that she will not run, to the points Candy made.
When they come to her in a year or so and they say, look at the field. Vice President Biden would be the big heavyweight. He's even older than she is. He's a question mark. At the moment, he is running. That would be an interesting dynamic.
Then you look at the field. No offense to Governor Cuomo, Governor O'Malley, Governor Hickenlooper, Governor Patrick, Governor anybody else who might be thinking about this on the Democratic side. But they're not in Hillary Clinton's league, at least today. She said her number one mission in life is the global empowerment of women.
If they come to her in a year or so and say there's no one out there who can do what you can do, you can raise more money than anybody else, you can wait a little bit longer than anybody else, Candy's dead right, the Taj Mahal is not in Des Moines, Iowa.
And so when she gets back out on the trail, she was so polarizing as first lady of Arkansas, as first lady of the United States, and when she was running for president -- she loves this. She loves being loved. And she goes out on a high note. I think it really depends on her health and what Chelsea does in her family and her professional life over the next couple of years. But the pull of history will be almost irresistible.
COOPER: There's a Taj Mahal in Vegas, isn't there? There's got to be a couple others around the country somewhere.
CROWLEY: I don't think it's the same, though.
COOPER: Well, you never know. Vegas is pretty amazing, Candy.
COOPER: Candy, thanks very much. John King, thank you.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton's glasses are also getting plenty of attention this week. She normally wears contacts, but she's been wearing the black-framed specks since returning to work after treatment for the blood clot.
Well, it turns out it's under doctor's orders. And according to CBS, it's the correct double vision following the concussion she suffered last month. It's to correct the double vision. A top aide said she sees perfectly with them.
A lot of promises of a network of high-speed trains and billions of your tax dollars have already been spent to make this network of high trains a reality. So, the question we have tonight is, where are those trains? And what happened to all that money? Coming up: a 360 investigation that you will only see here.
Plus, he brought us some images from the front lines of war like no one else. Now his life is the subject of an extraordinary new film. Tonight, we remember our friend Tim Hetherington and his unbelievable journey ahead with Sebastian Junger the nation.
COOPER: Tonight, a 360 investigation, a report you will only see here on CNN, a story that you really need to know about, because billions of your tax dollars are at the heart of it, tax dollars that were given away as part of the Obama administration's stimulus plan, money that the government promised would transform our rail system.
It was a very ambitious plan, no doubt about it, when it was first announced. The president, the vice president, the secretary of transportation, Ray LaHood, all of the White House announcing a $13 billion plan to bring high-speed rail to America. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour, walking only a few steps to public transportation, and ending up just blocks from your destination. Imagine what a great project that would be to rebuild America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was the idea. It sounded great. Bullet trains literally whisking passengers between American cities and the president outlining his plan to make it all happen.
Well, $8 billion in stimulus money to start and then $1 billion a year thereafter to match local projects. "Keeping Them Honest," though it is now three years later, and we can't find any high-speed rail that's actually been built.
Certainly not on this farmland in California, an area tapped as a high-speed train route. You're going to see fields of almond trees like there if you go there, lots of dairy farms, as well. Plenty of cows. But no high-speed trains.
In fact, nearly half of the $8 billion has been pledged to California where they have been planning high-speed rail between San Francisco and Los Angeles for more than ten years.
As we've pointed out on this program before, just by ten years and billions pledged, not a single piece of track on that line has been built.
So where has the rest of the money gone? Well, some of the money, believe it or not, went to Vermont, a state with no big cities, little congestion. And as investigative reporter Drew Griffin found out, very few rail passengers and even fewer trains.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a $50 million federal grant, tax dollars bringing high-speed rail to Vermont. Sleek, fast trains taking D.C.-ers and New Yorkers up to the tranquil countryside and quaint towns of the Green Mountain State.
Now, all the work is done. Listen and watch as those trains and your tax dollars whiz by. It's not that Vermont has done anything wrong with the money. In fact they did a pretty good job. They came in on time, on budget. They even got the local freight company to kick in another $18 million to improve the rails here.
The real problem is, hardly anybody is riding the rails in Vermont. I could stand here almost all day long and not ever worry about getting hit by a train.
(on camera): You can jog on the tracks, go to lunch without looking.
Ever worry about getting hit by a train?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
GRIFFIN: It's now 3 p.m. Still no train.
(voice-over): The sun would set before we would see our first train.
(on camera): Eight forty-four, and here it is, the first train that we've seen all day.
(voice-over): And at the busiest station in all of Vermont, 11 people got off. No one got on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm coming here to visit friends and go snowboarding in Stowe.
GRIFFIN (on camera): How many did you have?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Onboard today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 95.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): On average, the train from one end of Vermont to the other carries less than 250 people a day.
The next morning the same train, traveling south, saw 13 people get onboard, including Andrew Menke, who's making the trip to New York.
(on camera): How long will it take you?
ANDREW MENKE, TRAVELING BY RAIL: Nine hours. Kind of a long time. It's probably five and a half to drive, and seven on the bus. And nine on the train.
GRIFFIN: So the train is not your fastest route?
MENKE: Not at all, no. But you have the most room, so I think it's the most comfortable.
GRIFFIN: Do you wish it was much more high-speed?
MENKE: I wish it was faster, definitely. High-speed rail.
GRIFFIN: That's the other part of this story, the high-speed part.
So what do you get for your $52 million share of the $70 million project? Just 28 minutes. That's right, the new train is less than half an hour faster than the old train.
In some areas the train gets up to 79 miles an hour, but that's top speed. And just for a portion of the trip. (on camera): It's not necessarily high-speed rail, it's...
TRINI BRASSARD, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, VERMONT AGENCY OF TRANSPORTATION: No.
GRIFFIN: ... in the traditional sense that we're talking about, it's a little higher speed.
BRASSARD: Yes. We define it up here as higher speed rail.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Trini Brassard is an assistant director with Vermont's Department of Transportation.
(on camera): So the intent was never to get these Japanese- style, European-style bullet trains whizzing through Vermont?
BRASSARD: No. Our train stops are too close together, first off, for us to get up to the speeds, and then to decelerate by the time we get to the next station.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): So if Vermont will never have high-speed rail, why did it get federal high-speed rail money? Randal O'Toole studies urban transportation for the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute.
RANDAL O'TOOLE, CATO INSTITUTE: Well, the federal government had one criteria when it was passing out high-speed rail funds. And that was, had states done an environmental impact statement, so that the projects would be shovel-ready.
GRIFFIN: Vermont had a shovel-ready rail project, and the White House was ready to shovel out money.
O'TOOLE: It didn't matter whether the project was worthwhile. All that mattered was whether they had -- they were shovel-ready.
GRIFFIN: As for the low ridership, actually ridership in Vermont is up. Trini Brassard said we just hit a bad day. And if we waited until the late train Friday night on Martin Luther King holiday weekend, we'd see a big crowd getting off at this station.
BRASSARD: We have 28 reservations coming into the Essex station tomorrow night.
GRIFFIN (on camera): Twenty-eight?
GRIFFIN: All those people could fit on one bus. Right?
BRASSARD: It could. But it's not their choice. Their choice is rail.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Guess what else is coming to Vermont? Even more money from U.S. taxpayers for high-speed rail, that in reality is making slow-speed rail just a little faster. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Drew, from your reporting, it seems like a whole lot of money for very little improvement. What does the Obama administration or the Transportation Department have to say about this?
GRIFFIN: Well, you know, this was the first project under this high-speed rail initiative that was completed. And when it was completed, Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, was out there just praising that, again, that it came in on budget, came in on time. He said it's going to move goods more efficiently; it's going to create jobs for the economy up in Vermont. And it did increase speeds -- just a little bit. But it did increase speeds.
Nothing was said about the fact that this is not high-speed rail.
COOPER: You say even more money is going to Vermont for high- speed rail. Why is more money being spent on the project?
GRIFFIN: Well, they're still working on this same line. And basically another $8 million is going to be spent improving the track on this very train route from what is now the end of the line up to Canada.
Eventually, they want to reconnect Montreal to this line, thinking that somehow or another, that is going to increase the travel along this line.
But again, Vermont says, you will never have the high-speed rail that you or I think of, Anderson, on this rail line. It's just impossible given the topography and the station closeness.
COOPER: And how many other projects are there in this initiative, this high-speed passenger initiative, and do any of them actually reach high speeds?
GRIFFIN: The answer to your last question, so far, none that we can think of, or find out about. There are 154 different projects, $10 billion being spent. Some of that work is done. None of them have reached the speeds that, again, you or I think of in terms of the Japanese or the French or these other trains.
We're actually going to go around the country now and try to take a look at each of these individual projects. It's really becoming more or less a hunt for these earmarks that we've done in years past. Seeing what little improvement, or great improvement, or some improvement has come to these rail lines.
But Anderson, as we approach what they wanted, the 21st century Rail Network, we're still seeing slow trains going a little faster.
COOPER: And a lot of money spent. Drew, appreciate it. Thanks.
Well, let us know what you think about this. Let's talk about this on Twitter right now, @AndersonCooper. Up next, remembering an extraordinary life, the life of photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington. We're going to be joined by Sebastian Junger, his friend and colleague and director of a new documentary about Tim, joins us just ahead.
Also ahead, a warning from the CDC about a very contagious virus. Not the flu, but it can make you miserable in a whole other way. We'll explain ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back.
A new HBO documentary is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. It's a film that remembers a photographer and filmmaker named Tim Hetherington, who was killed in April of 2011 while covering the war in Libya, in Misrata.
I had the chance to work with Tim in 2009. We spent a week in Afghanistan with the Marines. Here he is with CNN photographer Phil Littleton.
During that trip, Tim captured some amazing images, as he always did. He was an incredibly talented photographer: dedicated, fearless, a real gentleman. A pleasure to be with.
The HBO documentary is called "Which Way is the Front Line from Here?: The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington." And it was directed by Sebastian Junger.
Together, Younger and Hetherington made the Oscar-nominated documentary "Restrepo" maybe you saw about the conflict in Afghanistan. We're going to hear from Sebastian Junger in a moment. But first, I want to take a look at Tim's work in a clip from the HBO documentary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right over the ridge, man.
TIM HETHERINGTON, PHOTOGRAPHER: I was completely surprised by the amount of fighting that was going on. These guys were in a lot of combat. People really haven't raised their heads up to what is happening in Afghanistan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm good, I'm good!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's still in there! (EXPLETIVE DELETED)!
HETHERINGTON: During that time, what was interesting was that, not to belittle kind of the fighting, but I got kind of tired of it. For me whilst there is a sort amount of adrenaline in combat and filming that, for me the important stories are being close to these men. And that's what it's about. That's what, really, I'm really there for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: "Which Way is the Front Line from Here?: The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington" is going to air on HBO in April. I spoke earlier with director Sebastian Junger.
COOPER: It's hard to believe that it's going to be in two years in April since Tim got killed in Libya. Why did you want to make this movie?
SEBASTIAN JUNGER, FILMMAKER: Originally, I wanted to understand how he died. There was a lot of questions about it. And people who were with him, journalists who were with him came to New York for the memorial service shortly after he died. And I took the opportunity to interview them with cameras, really interview them in a studio, just to find out.
And then I realized I had sort of the beginning of an incredible and tragic story. And, you know, within a couple months I talked to HBO and we decided to make a film, and they financed it.
COOPER: What do you think it was that drove Tim? Because I spent a little bit of time with him in Afghanistan. We were working together there. And he was so interested in combat, but it wasn't sort of the bang-bang. He was very -- I mean, it was about people, and sort of the war's impact on people. I thought that that really interested him.
JUNGER: We were out at Restrepo together, a small outpost in Afghanistan, with U.S. forces, and there was a lot of combat out there. And after a little while, I mean, combat gets your attention. it's very intense. But after a while, Tim said, you know, "The most interesting thing that's happening out here isn't the combat. It's what's -- what happens between the men, between the fire fights: the bonding, the friction, the sense of a group, the loyalty." He said, "That's really interesting. In some ways, it's more interesting than the combat itself."
I completely agreed. And, you know, combat is a lot of things. It's not just fear and shooting and all that stuff. It contains boredom. It contains exhilaration. It contains fear and desperation and longing. I mean, it's all the human experiences.
COOPER: And love, too.
JUNGER: And love.
COOPER: The love between the people who fight.
JUNGER: That's right. And Tim and I both were really interested in sort of developing the full spectrum of what happens emotionally in combat.
COOPER: We've got a clip from the film that you made. Let's watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HETHERINGTON: In my work as a photographer/filmmaker, I always look to be as close to the subject as possible. You're always looking for those moments when the machine breaks down, where there's cracks in it.
And I think what happened to us, in terms of being given access into this remote valley in Afghanistan, was that people kind of forgot about us. And I think it was that persistence of going back and back that gave us such unique access.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, guys. How are you doing? How are you now? Perfect day for a stroll.
JUNGER: When Tim and I got into the valley, the things that soldiers evaluate are, are you going to cause a problem? Are you going to freak out during combat and need to be taken care of? And finally, are you going to be sort of nasty and political about all this? And Tim and I were clearly not doing that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen up. Today we're going to conduct limited contact in the village. We've got 11 U.S. personnel, 5 A. and A., one Turk, and Sebastian and Tim. Anyone have any questions?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What was he like in the field?
JUNGER: Tim was incredibly dedicated. And very loyal to the group. I mean, he broke his leg in combat once, on top of a mountain. It was a trip that I was not on. He was there by himself. With this platoon. And he walked all night on a broken leg to get down off that mountain, because he realized that to sort of be a crybaby about it would have endangered everyone in the group. They couldn't medevac him. So he walked all night on a broken leg.
He was very -- he really thought sort of situationally. You know, like a fire fight would break out, and I would just sort of be focused on what was happening right in front of me. He really thought more in a very broad context about the story. And we were constantly talking, and he was constantly reminding me, like look, the story, it's not what's happening right in front of you. You really have to think deeply about these 30 men on this outpost and what's going on between them.
COOPER: I went to an art gallery where they were showing some of his -- his photographs. And he had taken this whole series of shots of soldiers sleeping, which I thought was really interesting.
JUNGER: It was amazing. I mean, there's a lot of boredom in an outpost like that, even one with as much combat that we had. There's days -- days will go by without a fire fight. Weeks even. And it was very hot. And everyone was kind of asleep. It was like midday. And soldiers sleep as much as they can. And I was just spacing out. Nothing was happening. And Tim was running around photographing these soldiers.
And we talked about it, and he said, "Look, you never see these images." You see the guys all geared up in their helmets and their vests and machine guns, and they look very, very powerful, and they are. You take all that stuff off and they go to sleep, and they look like 10-year-old boys."
That's really what we have fighting for us, are really boys, you know. And they very much look that way when they're asleep. And that was sort of the essence of what a soldier is, that he caught, that very few photographers would have thought of.
COOPER: Is this story worth -- worth dying for? Do you think Tim thought a story was worth...
JUNGER: I don't think -- Tim thought any story was worth dying for, and most journalists I know feel similarly.
The question is, which stories are worth risking your life for? And is the risk manageable or not manageable? And anyone who's done war reporting tries to make that calculation in a safe and wise way. And sometimes we're wrong.
COOPER: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
JUNGER: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Tim Hetherington was 40 years old when he died in Libya. He was an extraordinary man. An extraordinary life, cut far too short. We'll be right back.
ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: I'm Isha Sesay. Anderson will be back in a moment, but first, a "360 News Bulletin."
First the flu. Now look out for the norovirus. The Centers for Disease Control warns a noxious new strain of norovirus is spreading across America. This particular strain of the stomach bug was first detected in Australia. It's spread through contaminated food or drink or by touching a contaminated surface. Bottom line: wash your hands a lot.
A Florida appeals court has thrown out two of Casey Anthony's four convictions of lying to police, saying it was double jeopardy. Police were investigating the death of her daughter, Caylee. Anthony was acquitted of the toddler's murder in 2011.
The S&P has closed above 1,500 for the first time since 2007. Better-than-expected earnings reports helping to boost stocks.
And how cool is this? A photograph of a teenage Diana Spencer before she became Diana, Princess of Wales. It sold at auction for just over $18,000. A British newspaper acquired it just after her engagement to Prince Charles. As you can see, the photo is marked "not to be published," and until it went on the auction block, it had remained out of public sight.
Anderson will be right back with "The RidicuList."
COOPER: Time for "The RidicuList." And tonight we are adding goats. Yes, that's what I said, goats. And yes, all of them. Goats in general, and a few goats in particular, like the one that stole the show from a reporter in Florida, who was just trying to do her job and report on a county fair. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDA CARSON, WWSB REPORTER: The judging is complete. So come on out and meet the winners. The goats will be here through Saturday. And they're very friendly.
From the Manatee County Fair, Linda Carson, ABC 7 -- would you not eat my pants? Aaa! I'm fine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you OK, dear?
CARSON: Oh, yes. Not again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can never get enough.
CARSON: Did you get it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I got it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Thankfully, WWSB reporter Linda Carson was not hurt. And she's a great sport about it. She took the whole thing in stride and she laughed about it. So I hope she doesn't mind when I say, let's roll that one again, please.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: Would you not eat my pants? Aaa!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I've watched it, like, 30 times already.
So this is not the only goat-centered tomfoolery that has been in the news lately. In Australia, Gary the goat was recently exonerated in court. Gary's owner was charged with vandalism after Gary grazed in a flower bed outside a city museum.
And who can forget this goat named Voldemort? We told you about him a few months ago after he knocked a paperboy off his bike and chased him up a tree. Oh, and we also think he might be possessed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It made a weird noise, kind of like a grunting noise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Let's -- let's think about this now. We've got goats knocking paperboys off bikes, knocking reporters off their feet, and vandalizing public property. I'm starting to wonder if the goats are trying to take over.
Now I know for a fact that this one has taken over YouTube.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, I don't know which I like better, when the goat screams or when that reporter screams. If only we could see them side by side. Oh, we can. Look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: Would you not eat my pants? Aaa!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Nothing like ending a long week by repeatedly watching someone getting knocked over by a goat and watching a goat scream. Have a great weekend, everybody. And watch your backs.
That's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.