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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
On the Front Lines; Rumsfeld and Politics; Iran's Nuclear Ambitions; Iran 101; Genocide in Darfur; Demolition Dangers; Duke Arrests Imminent?; Accuser's Cousin; Girl Murdered
Aired April 17, 2006 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: ... Ramadi, it wasn't a matter of who should stay or go, it was simply a matter of staying alive. CNN's Arwa Damon was there in the middle of it as insurgents attacked the governor's compound.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We'll need to be down from here.
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Iraq, the real firefight is between the troops and insurgents; a world away from the political battle now raging at the Pentagon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clear.
DAMON: Here, there is no talk of Rumsfeld, no talk of retired generals. This is active duty.
(On camera): This is a complex attack. Mortars were fired followed by what U.S. Marines initially believed to be a suicide car bomb and then a sustained gun battle for a couple of minutes. This is a normal occurrence for this location in downtown Ramadi. Attacks like this happen on a daily basis, sometimes four or five times a day, lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to hours long.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go.
DAMON (voice-over): The next moments at the governor's compound are hectic.
Platoon Commander Lieutenant Carlos Goetz (ph) puts two phones to his ears, trying to figure out exactly what is going on, resupplying ammunition to the fighting positions almost as fast as Marines are firing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey Nana (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to the right. Move me.
DAMON: The attack coming from all directions. Quick reaction forces respond, firing two main tank rounds into a mosque where they say they were receiving heavy fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's main tank. Gone. Gone.
DAMON: The gunfire ends. A victory smoke is lit up. Celebrations down below.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't need the grease. We don't need the battle of Stalingrad, man. We got the battle of Ramadi right here in modern times, baby. Stalingrad ain't got nothing on us.
DAMON: Security patrols launched in the area are described as being more intense than face to face combat. For these men, bringing each other back alive is mission accomplished. No matter what the public in America may be saying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all back alive.
CORP. NATHAN BUCH, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS: We know what we got to do. We know what we're doing. You know, it's a job we got to do. And you know, we sacrifice what we do for the people back home and hope they appreciate that.
DAMON: All these men know the fight will be back again, no matter who stays or goes inside the Pentagon.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Ramadi, Iraq.
COOPER: Real life on the ground.
Tomorrow, commanders on the ground in Iraq will meet by teleconference with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. They'll be accompanied by defense analysts and military commentators who regularly appear on news programs, some of them on CNN. Meanwhile, those very programs will no doubt continue debating whether Rumsfeld should resign.
Earlier I spoke with CNN Political Contributors James Carville and J.C. Watts. I began by asking J.C. Watts if he thought politics was behind the criticism against Rumsfeld.
J.C. WATTS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I think if this criticism grows from generals, I think, you know, the president's going to be faced with a pretty serious challenge. But again, when you see all the generals that has been on the ground over in Iraq and Afghanistan, you know, this is, two. But nevertheless, they are two that's been strategically involved in the war in a real significant way. But that doesn't alarm me that it's two. Now, if that grows, then I think the president has some problems.
COOPER: James, what about you? I mean, is this going to be seen as just part of the political game out of Washington, or is this something else, something different? JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: This is unprecedented. And the idea to say, well, there's 7,000 others is a little bit like saying, well, you know, 5,000 planes land safely and a couple of them collide in midair and you want to spend all your time covering that. Well, of course, they are, because this is unprecedented in American history that you have this number of retired generals that are coming out questioning the secretary of defense. And, of course, it is bringing a lot of political grief upon the White House. But that's what happen when you start a war, and it doesn't go well. It frustrates people and things like this happen. It should have been anticipated before they made this decision.
COOPER: J.C., Michael O'Hanlon, military analyst with Brookings Institution said, and I quote, "For Bush to fire Rumsfeld is for Bush to declare himself a failure as president. Iraq is the main issue of his presidency." Do you think there is any chance even if this president was unsatisfied or unhappy about certain things with Rumsfeld, that he would let him go?
WATTS: I do. I think if the president felt like Secretary Rumsfeld was not doing the job, that we were not getting the job done in Iraq, I do think that he would -- he would let him go. I think the president feels like that they're having success based on the reenlistment numbers, based on all the good things that they see every day that never gets out to Joe Six-Pack or John and Sally Doe out there. So I think the president thinks that the secretary is getting the job done and I think you'll see him standing with him.
COOPER: Even if he was dissatisfied with Rumsfeld, do you think he would let him go?
CARVILLE: Yes, I don't know, and I'm not sure it would be politically good for him. It's not a given that by letting Rumsfeld go -- because remember, they have all of this vested in things are really going well in Iraq, things are better than you think, we're really making progress. And if he lets Rumsfeld go, then that's a huge signal that they're not going well. I'm not altogether certain that getting rid of Rumsfeld is any kind of a political advantage for them right now. You could argue it either way.
COOPER: Well, J.C., it would certainly send the message that things are not going well, that there is a problem.
I think, you know, again, the president is making this decision to keep the secretary. I think based on what he sees in Iraq, in Afghanistan, not based on what he's hearing from, you know, J.C. Watts or James Carville or critics that might have a difference of opinion on what should be happening there.
CARVILLE: As -- and if I could interject myself a little bit here, this is the standard everything is fine, it's just the only thing that's wrong is the press, that they keep reporting bad news and things. Like these five generals that have come out, the commander of the 82nd Airborne is sitting there reading, you know, his "New York Times" or watching CNN and is not fully aware what is going on the ground in Iraq and is not fully cognizant all these other commanders. I mean, it just, it -- now, the president may be, in his mind, convinced that things are going well, that certainly the impression that he's giving the American people, I think you would find a lot of people that would have very, very serious and profound doubt as to whether the president is right in that assessment.
COOPER: J.C. Watts and James Carville.
Staying in the Middle East, Iran announced last week that it had become a nuclear power. Well, today we got a new look literally at its suspected expanding ambitions.
CNN's David Ensor investigates.
DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The new pictures from space suggest to experts that Iran is racing forward with its nuclear program.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The picture surprised us because we found a new tunnel entrance.
ENSOR: More tunnels mean more underground construction.
DAVID ALBRIGHT, INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE & INTERNATIONAL SECURITY: The Iranians appear to be trying to further their capabilities to withstand a military strike.
ENSOR: And in Natanz, Albright's group compared pictures from 2002 to now. First, underground structures with a concrete floor going in. Then what looks like a concrete roof. Then dirt. Then finally, another layer of earth covering the whole facility which is now about 26 feet, eight meters, underground.
ALBRIGHT: It's probably not practical to think about destroying any Iranian nuclear weapons program from the air. We see too many tunnels being built. We see things buried. And that also means that the Iranians are probably thinking of being able to move things.
ENSOR: There are plenty of indications U.S. intelligence officials say that there are other nuclear sites in Iran that the world does not know about. Even more alarming was what Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told students last week. He said Iran is now conducting research on a much more sophisticated type of uranium enrichment centrifuge called the P2 that could greatly speed up their nuclear effort whether it's for energy or for a bomb.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: If the statements prove to be true, it would be a very serious concern, undisclosed work on P2 centrifuges would be a further violation of Iran's safeguard obligations.
ENSOR: Iran has admitted receiving blueprints for P2 centrifuges in 1994 from A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist who ran a black market nuclear ring.
(On camera): If Iran should turn out to have been dabbling with P2 technology for years, then the U.S. intelligence estimate of about five to 10 years for Iran to develop a bomb might need to be revised, one U.S. official says, to something closer to the Israeli estimate, three to five years.
(Voice-over): But for several years, Iran has denied working on P2 technology. So why did Ahmadinejad say it?
ALBRIGHT: Well, it's perplexing and worrying at the same time. Because, you know, does it mean that he's made a goof and has just revealed a secret program that was being hidden from the I.A.?
ENSOR: That is what International Atomic Energy Agency Deputy Director Olli Heinonen and his team of inspectors now in Iran want to know. The IAEA team is headed for Natanz later in the week, officials say, with some very pointed questions.
David Ensor, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, it is not just Iran's nuclear program that has made relations with the United States prickly, of course. Things have been difficult for decades now. Iran's hard-line religious leaders called the U.S. the great Satan. President Bush says Iran is part of the so called axis of evil. And trading insults, well that is the very least of it.
CNN's Randi Kaye looks back at how things got so bad.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iran, known as Persia until 1935, is part of the Middle East, sandwiched between Iraq and Pakistan. It is roughly the size of Alaska with just under 70 million people. The official language is Persian and most residents are Muslim.
In 1979, Iran became a hard-line Islamic republic after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and the Shaw was forced into exile. Today it is a theocracy run by a supreme leader, the Ayatollah Khomeini.
So how did Iran earn a reputation as a radical nation looking to wipe out the West?
Dr. Jim Walsh, who studies Iran, says it started with President Jimmy Carter's decision to allow the Shaw to get medical treatment in United States.
DR. JIM WALSH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EXPERT, MIT: That tripped off those riots in Tehran that eventually led to the hostages being taken and then, you know, we were off to the races. KAYE: Its frosty relations with the United States came to a head during the 1979 hostage crisis. Iran held 52 Americans for 444 days. President Carter retaliated by ordering a complete embargo of Iranian oil. What followed was a series of bloody terrorist attacks on U.S. targets overseas.
In 1983, Iranian-backed Hezbollah operatives rammed a pickup truck full of explosives into the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. Seventeen Americans died. Months later, another truck exploded at the U.S. Marine barracks there, killing 241 Marines.
WALSH: They're out to throw out the Western devil, the great Satan. And this is really the period of time when Iran was engaged in more terrorism than any other point in its history.
KAYE: In 1985, the two countries negotiated a secret arms for hostages deal. Known to history as the Iran-Contra Affair and carried out by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North. It was the biggest crisis in Ronald Reagan's presidency.
In July 1988, things got ugly again. An American Navy ship mistakenly shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people. Iran call this a deliberate attack. It is a complicated relationship that still causes outrage today.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.
KAYE (on camera): Despite the violence and growing hostility, experts say the majority of Iranians have a great affection for American people, just not for American policy. Iran and the U.S. are two extremes that go beyond oil which Iran has plenty of.
Many of the freedoms we enjoy here are not available there. Freedom of the press, free speech, and freedom of religion are virtually nonexistent in Iran.
(Voice-over): The voice of Iran is President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, second in command and well known for his provocative statements about Israel.
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): A new wave of Palestinian attacks would destroy the Jewish state.
KAYE: And boasting about his country's nuclear capabilities. Walsh doesn't blame the long list of Iranian leaders for vilifying the United States and flexing some muscle.
WALSH: They're surrounded, as they say today, on all sides by either American troops or countries friendly with the U.S. And I think that -- when you have a young country that's gone through a revolution that feels it's surrounded and that it's different from everyone else, then that carries with it a certain attitude.
KAYE: Attitude that one day, again, could turn into conflict. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, in Africa, a disaster of massive proportions. Why the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur is spilling over into neighboring Chad. You thought it couldn't get worse. It has. And why much isn't being done about it. Tonight, "Hiding in Plain Sight."
Another major development in the alleged rape case that has divided a small North Carolina university town. A grand jury hands up indictments in the case. We'll have the latest from Duke and talk with the cousin of the accuser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. LOUIS CATALDI, STATE MEDICAL EXAMINER: We're at another hurricane season. I don't know what could happen now. If we don't get the search resolved and God forbid if we have another flood, we again may never, ever find folks who we should have found.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Should have found, indeed. Incredible though it may seem, rescuers are still finding bodies in the rubble of New Orleans. Another one has just been found. It is a desperate race against time. Question is, are enough resources being put into the search? We're "Keeping them Honest" tonight on 360 next.
COOPER: The images of people going through a pain no human should endure. They are victims of the battle over Sudan's Darfur region, a battle that has led to the deaths of thousands of people. It is happening right now, and it is spreading. Though so many people here in the U.S. know very little about it. It's a problem literally "Hiding in Plain Sight." Tonight we hope to change some of that by taking you inside the tragedy.
COOPER (voice-over): Though there's been fighting in Sudan for many years, the battle in Darfur is relatively young. It started in 2003. A fight between black Africans and an Arab militia group, known as the Janja Weed recruited, many believe, by the Arab-Sudanese government, although the government denies it. It is, in part, a fight for resources, access to land and water, control of the region's rich oil reserves, but it's already being called the world's worst humanitarian crisis by the United Nations and labeled a genocide by the U.S. government.
If the conflict is new, it's also been incredibly deadly. Depending on the source, between 180,000 and 300,000 people have died, many from starvation and disease; the rest from horrific and relentlessly violent attacks. The main weapons of the Janja Weed, slaughter and rape.
This woman told CNN that like many in her camp, she's been repeatedly raped simply because she's black.
She says, sometimes if you go to collect grass or firewood, you'll be beaten or chased away or sometimes they'll just take turns raping you, leaving you for dead.
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, "NEW YORK TIMES" REPORTER: When you ask these people in these refugee camps, why do the women go out when they know that they're vulnerable to being raped?
KRISTOF: And they say, look, when the women go out, they're raped and beaten up. But when the men go out, they're killed.
COOPER: "New York Times" Reporter Nicholas Kristof has made several visits to the region and talked to many who have witnessed the horror firsthand.
KRISTOF: One of the stories that just I think affected me the most, was talking to this woman called Fatina (ph), who was in a village that I visited. And early one morning, the Janja Weed came. She heard the gunfire, she ran out of her hut with her youngest child, a 2-year-old daughter on her back. The Janja Weed grabbed the baby from her back, threw it to the ground, and beat it to death in front of her.
COOPER: Darfur is a region in western Sudan. It's more than half the size of Texas. But the people caught up in the conflict say the Sudanese government's support for the Janja Weed leaves them helpless to fight back. And so they're forced to flee; 200,000 have crossed over the border into neighboring Chad. Now facing its own fight with rebels determined to stop upcoming elections.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE, FRENCH AMBASSADOR: There is a relation between the situation in Darfur and the situation in Chad. Those rebels were coming from Darfur.
COOPER: But apart from a few hundred peacekeepers from the African union, there's been little outside help to end the bloodshed and save a race of people possibly facing extinction.
COOPER (on camera): "New York Times" Columnist Nicholas Kristof, whom you just saw on that piece, won a Pulitzer Prize today in part for his work focusing on the genocide in Darfur. I discussed the crisis with him.
COOPER: First of all, congratulations. It was announced today you have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, certainly well deserved. Do you feel at times that like you were shouting into a wind tunnel, though? Because, I mean, you go back to the same places along the border with Darfur, and essentially are telling the same stories, and yet do you feel like anyone's listening?
KRISTOF: Once you've gone there once and you've seen, you know, these orphans whose parents have been murdered by the Janja Weed, and they're alone under a tree somewhere and not getting help, then it's kind of hard just to forget about them and move off to, you know, to other issues and other places. So that has kept drawing me back and back and back. Sure, I mean, it feels great that, you know, that this has given some recognition -- well, to me, but especially to that issue.
COOPER: You talk about slaughter. I mean, we're talking about babies being thrown in bonfires. The worst things that -- I mean, things which you cannot even imagine people doing to one another is happening.
KRISTOF: On my last trip, I talked to a father whose small baby, I think the baby was six months old, was grabbed from the mother's arms, the soldier checked that it was a boy, and because it was a boy, threw it to the ground and shot it in the chest and killed it.
And everywhere you go in these burned-out villages, people tell the same stories of kids being killed, women being not only gang raped, but then mutilated to stigmatize them for life. It is the kind of atrocity that we can really, you know, barely imagine. It's the first genocide of the 21st century.
COOPER: And yet with genocide, I mean, everyone always says, well look, we'll make sure it never happens again, then Rwanda happened. And then after Rwanda, you know, the U.S. apologized and said, OK, we'll make sure it never happens again.
The U.S. has called this a genocide, and yet there doesn't seem to be forward momentum or enough forward momentum to institute change. What can be done?
KRISTOF: A lot. And you know, the U.S. has been against the genocide. And much of the world has been, but it hasn't been a priority. And we've been, you know, making statements against the genocide, but what we need to do, one of the lessons of history, is that you need to bellow your outrage. You need to shine a spotlight. And that we have not done. And, in fact, at those -- on those occasions when there has been a lot of an outcry against what is going on, then, indeed, the level of killings does subside. And you know, we have that tool. President Bush has that megaphone, and he's not using it.
COOPER: Beyond though, shouting about it, I mean short of sending in U.S. troops, which politically, it seems like that is always something, certainly since Somalia, that U.S. presidents have a hard time wrapping their minds around, I mean, what can be done? There's an African force. Are they effective at all? KRISTOF: They -- the African force is better than nothing, but they haven't been terribly effective. But there are a couple things we can do -- and sending in ground troops is not a good idea, frankly. It would just antagonize a lot of other Sudanese. But, for example, we can, together with France, impose a no-fly zone. And we can declare that any Sudanese aircraft that starts bombing civilians, we are going to take that plane out on the ground afterward. And the military -- the U.S. military has said that's entirely feasible. We haven't done it.
And when Sudan does invade Chad, as it has been doing, we can work with the French who have an air base in Chad to straight (ph) those invading columns, to stop them from destabilizing Chad as well. We can move toward a U.N. force, a larger U.N. force with Pakistanis and Turks and others to be in Darfur and provide security and getting maybe airlift capacity from the U.S., but not actually having U.S. ground troops there.
COOPER: Nicholas Kristof, I appreciate you coming on the program and talking about this again. And again, congratulations on the Pulitzer Prize.
KRISTOF: Thank you so much.
COOPER: Well, what is happening in Darfur sadly is history repeating itself. The victims and oppressors, of course, different this time. The outcome, horribly familiar.
Here's the raw data on some of the deadliest acts of genocide in the 20th century. Seven million people died in Stalin's forced famine. Six million were murdered, of course, in the holocaust. And most recently in Rwanda, at least 800,000 Tutsis and their Hutu sympathizers were slaughtered.
In New Orleans, another gruesome discovery. Beneath the rubble in a neighborhood that has caught no breaks so far, more bodies found. How many more might be left behind in the rush to rebuild? That's the question. Are they actually about to stop searching? We're "Keeping them Honest" tonight.
Also, a dramatic development in the alleged rape case against members of the Duke University LaCrosse team. A grand jury is investigating. They have handed down some indictments. We'll tell you the latest, coming up on 360. And we'll talk to the cousin of the accuser.
COOPER: We take you back to New Orleans now and another story we have been following for months. All the bodies still missing and possibly buried under the rubble in the lower Ninth Ward. Today we learned two more bodies were found in the debris, bringing the Louisiana's death toll from Katrina to 1,296. Now, the bodies -- or rather what remained of them after they were damaged by excavating equipment, a reminder of all that is at stake in the rush to rebuild, and there is so much.
CNN's Sean Callebs is "Keeping them Honest."
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cadaver dogs led recovery crews to the remains of two bodies buried in the rubble in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans today. So far 11 bodies have been found in this devastated neighborhood. It marks the first time since March 25th that teams found human remains.
STEVEN GLYNN, NEW ORLEANS FIRE CHIEF: We'll put it to rest at some point. You want to feel like it's over. And it's just not yet.
CALLEBS: Steve Glynn is commander of the operation. Right now he plans on wrapping up the search for bodies in the Lower Ninth on May 28th, even though the state medical examiner has said he expects there are as many as 400 bodies unaccounted for.
GLYNN: I don't think there's anywhere we'd find anywhere near that number.
CALLEBS: Dr. Louis Cataldi says his estimate of the dead is far from an exact science.
DR. LOUIS CATALDI, STATE MEDICAL EXAMINER: I don't have answers as to why we're not finding those numbers.
CALLEBS: He's basing the count on the number of repeat phone calls -- brothers, sisters and parents looking for loved ones.
This is the Family Assistance Center in Baton Rouge, tracking the missing and the dead. See these dozens of yellow rectangles? They each mark a home in which Cataldi suspects someone died.
CATALDI: We think these people are truly missing. OK, like truly missing, which means we think we should have been able to find them, for whatever reason, and we're not.
CALLEBS: It's getting hotter in New Orleans. Slowing operations. Cadaver dogs can work two or three sites before they must cool down. There are still splinters of some 1,700 homes to be checked before the May 28th deadline.
CATALDI: Will it satisfy me? No. I won't be satisfied as long as we have a missing person.
CALLEBS: The official number of missing now stands at 727. Some may have relocated to other parts of the country, and no one expects to find that many victims. Cataldi suspects many of the dead washed into the Gulf, lake or bayou. And June 1st, a date everyone here watches anxiously, is getting closer.
CATALDI: We're at another hurricane season. I don't know what could happen now. If we don't get the search resolved, and God forbid, if we have another flood, we may never, ever find folks we should have found. CALLEBS: Cataldi says not getting closure will be devastating to families. And he expects post-traumatic stress from this disaster will last many, many years.
COOPER: So Sean, the fire department, the man you talked to, said they're going to stop May 28th. They've got 1,700 homes. How are they going to be able to do all those homes by May 28th? And if they do stop May 28, do they feel that they have covered every inch of ground?
CALLEBS (on camera): Well that is the question. Steve Glynn, the commander of the fire department down in this area, believes they can get through all the homes by May 28th. Seventeen hundred homes. Right now they have two cadaver dogs that are out working. They have to stop every now and then because it's simply so hot. We saw the dogs jump in puddles of water out here, trying to cool themselves.
Now, Louis Cataldi says if they have not thoroughly checked all of those homes, he will not let this operation stop on May 28th. Cataldi and Steve Glynn have had a very good working relationship up until now. So if there some kind of friction, both sides believe they can work it out.
And, Anderson, once they are done here, that leaves them about 21 or so days to go to other parts outside of the Ninth Ward, the Lower Ninth, and begin looking at other homes. There is a lot of work to do, a short period of time, and hurricane season is bearing down quickly.
COOPER: It is so horrific to think there are still people out there and still families waiting. We know there are so many families, hundreds of families still waiting.
Sean, thank you.
A major development today in the alleged rape case at Duke University. Could arrests of two LaCrosse players be imminent? A grand jury has made a big decision. We'll tell you about that and we'll talk exclusively with the cousin of the woman at the center of all of this.
And the latest on the Oklahoma child killing. Deviance doesn't begin to describe what the suspect had in mind allegedly. The prosecution says it wants the death penalty. The latest when 360 continues.
COOPER: In a moment, a CNN exclusive. We'll talk to a cousin of the young woman who has accused three members of Duke's LaCrosse team of raping her.
Today -- to today's developments first, though. A source tells CNN that two sealed indictments were returned by a grand jury. Arrests may be imminent. Tonight, the Associated Press is reporting that a defense attorney is saying that two young men have been charged with crimes they did not commit.
CNN's Jason Carroll has the latest.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The city of Durham had been waiting for, a grand jury assembles to consider indictments against one or more members of the Duke University LaCrosse team for rape.
The 18 members of the grand jury heard evidence from the prosecution, and according to a source close to the case, the racially mixed group submitted two sealed indictments against two players, accused of sexually assaulting a young woman, a student from a nearby university who was hired as an exotic dancer for a party.
Sealed indictments are not public record. So the names of anyone charged in those indictments would not be revealed, not even by the judge here in this courtroom.
The district attorney would not confirm whether any indictments were issued, sealed or otherwise, saying he was feeling the effects of such a high-profile case.
MIKE NIFONG, PROSECUTOR: It would be nice if you could figure out a way to give me back my anonymity, but I don't imagine you're going to be able to figure out how to do that.
CARROLL: Defense attorneys tell CNN the uncertainty surrounding who the district attorney is targeting is weighing heavily on the players. As a precaution, some players spent this past weekend preparing to be taken into custody. They gathered character witnesses and their passports just in case they would be needed for a bail hearing.
Defense attorneys also tell CNN they informed the district attorney any player indicted would be willing to turn himself in. But, they say, the D.A. turned their offer down, saying he was, quote, "not interested."
The players' attorneys became so from us frustrated, some even considered having 46 members of the Duke LaCrosse team show up here, at the Durham County Courthouse, to show that none of them are hiding from authorities.
Duke University issued a statement saying, quote, "We are aware that the district attorney made a presentation to the grand jury today, but we have no knowledge about the contents of his presentation. Until we have greater clarity, it would be inappropriate to comment further."
COOPER: Jason, why were the indictments sealed, and why just two indictments instead of three?
CARROLL: Well, your first question, why the indictments sealed? Usually a prosecutor will ask for something like that if he feels as though the person they're targeting might be a person who might be a risk -- be at risk of flight.
Now, in this particular situation, if an indictment is sealed, theoretically, when they're coming after the person, the person that they're coming after isn't aware they're coming after him because he's not aware that the, you know, that these charges have been filed. So that is the situation in this case in terms of why the indictment was sealed, although the defense attorneys say that none of these players are at risk of flight.
COOPER: All right. A little odd there. Jason, thanks.
It's been more than a month since the alleged rape. In all that time, very little has been heard from the accuser.
Tonight in a CNN exclusive, I spoke with her cousin and spokesperson. For privacy, we are using her first name only, Jackie. We spoke earlier.
COOPER: Jackie, first of all, have you talked to your cousin at all? I mean, how's she doing?
JACKIE, ACCUSER'S COUSIN: I have not talked to her. I have talked to her mom. I'm supposed to talk to her tomorrow.
COOPER: How's the family?
JACKIE: Devastated. Her mom's very concerned, very worried. She's the youngest of three. Her mom's very, you know, it's her baby.
COOPER: You feel in all this coverage something is getting lost. What is it?
JACKIE: Basically that her occupation. I think it's been said over and over that first they go from her being a stripper to being an escort to -- she's a victim who was victimized. I just want people to realize that it could be your daughter. It could be your niece. It could be your cousin, as it is mine. So I just want people to think about that.
COOPER: Are you -- do you have confidence in the process, in the system as it's executed thus far?
JACKIE: I have my doubts. I mean, Duke University, it's a very big institution, so I hope there's no cover-up anywhere. So far, I'm pleased.
COOPER: It seems like this has also -- this case, these accusations, have sort of raised a lot of questions about race and class and divisions that have existed in that community on that campus and on those campuses.
COOPER: Do you see that? I mean, do you see that that's happened as well?
JACKIE: Oh, yes, I see it every day. People who don't I'm related to her, usually it's African-American people who are outraged because they feel, you know, for years it's always been you know, an institution like that, that's powerful, and someone making an accusation. White people always -- usually always assume that she's lying, especially when the DNA came out, they just assumed that she was lying.
COOPER: As this story moves forward, as this case moves forward, what do you want people to keep in mind?
JACKIE: Just keep -- just that, keep an open mind and don't just assume that because she is African-American and she was trying to make a living as an exotic dancer, don't just condemn her for that. Just keep an open mind. That's it.
COOPER: Jackie, when you see her tomorrow, what are you going to say to her?
JACKIE: The first thing I'm going to do is probably give her a big hug and just tell her I love her. I think that's the most important thing. I think when something that devastating happens to you and you feel like the whole world is against you.
COOPER: What's your greatest concern for her?
JACKIE: Her safety.
COOPER: Her physical safety?
COOPER: Do you feel that's threatened?
JACKIE: It has been, yes. It's been documented. She has been threatened. So has my aunt. So has my uncle, yes. People that know where they live.
COOPER: Well, Jackie, we appreciate you coming on. I appreciate talking to you. Thank you.
JACKIE: You're very welcome. Thank you.
COOPER: Well, a small town is shaken by a horrific and gruesome murder. The victim, just 10 years old. Her alleged killer, a neighbor who fantasized on the internet about cannibalism.
Also, we're going to update you on the condition of the woman who underwent the world's first face transplant. Guess what? She's not the only one who's had this operation. A man in China has had. We'll show you his pictures next on 360.
COOPER: Well, tonight, a store clerk is on a suicide watch in an Oklahoma jail after allegedly confessing to murdering a 10-year-old girl. Now the prosecutors call it one of the most gruesome crimes he's ever seen.
CNN's Ed Lavandera has the latest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's bring him on in! (Expletive deleted) him! String him up! Let's string him up! Let's string him up! Baby killer!
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Armed with a lasso and a bucket, this man expressed his anger just outside the courtroom where Kevin Ray Underwood was making his first court appearance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could have been one of my kids! Let's string him up! String him up! Hang him!
LAVANDERA: Tension was running high in this small Oklahoma town as prosecutors revealed the horrifying details of how 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin was murdered, and promised to seek the death penalty for the accused killer.
The target of this anger was a 26-year-old man who's described him as troubled. In a brief court appearance, Kevin Ray Underwood was shackled around the waist and wrists and around his ankles. The judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and appointed defense attorneys.
(On camera): Those defense attorneys are now asking for a gag order. They say the district attorney and police chief have made, quote, "inflammatory and prejudicial statements about the case." The judge is expected to rule on that on Tuesday.
(Voice-over): Jamie Rose Bolin's relatives said seeing Underwood made them sick.
LINDA CHILES, JAMIE'S AUNT: My stomach started to turn. I went numb. I just -- I wanted to look at him. I didn't want to look at him. I wanted to see if he was sad. I wanted to see if he was proud. I just -- I wanted a lot of things.
LAVANDERA: Underwood sat emotionless, a hollow look on his face. Internet diaries written by Underwood, paint a picture of a man who struggled with depression and isolation. The online blogs date back several years. In them, Underwood writes that he is "single, bored and lonely." In 2004 he wrote, "my fantasies are getting weirder and weirder. Dangerously weird. If people knew the kind of things I've been thinking about. I'd probably be locked away." And in perhaps the most chilling entry, he writes, "If you were a cannibal, what would you wear to dinner?"
Underwood's family did not appear at the court hearing, but the Purcell police chief says they had a tearful meeting on Easter Sunday at the jail.
CHIEF DAVID TOMPKINS, PURCELL, OKLAHOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT: The father and the mother got to speak with Kevin yesterday for about 20, 25 minutes. It seemed to help them out -- the family out a lot. Both of them were emotional to each other, you know, from what I could see.
LAVANDERA: Jamie Rose Bolin's family says they hold no ill will toward Kevin Underwood's family. In the meantime, the man accused of committing the small town's most gruesome and heinous murder is on suicide watch while he sits in a jail cell all by himself.
Ed Lavandera, CNN, Purcell, Oklahoma.
COOPER: Hard to believe. Erica Hill, from "HEADLINE NEWS," joins us with some of the business stories we're following -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Anderson.
The first one, probably not one that we all want to hear. The price of oil hitting an all-time high today at $70.40 a barrel. That tops the previous record set when Hurricane Katrina hit. The rise is attributed to growing tension between Iran and the West. Stocks fell sharply on the news and there are some fears that oil prices could cut into business profit.
Also linked to Iran and a weaker U.S. dollar, gold and silver futures are at their strongest in two decades. June gold futures have climbed now to more than $619 an ounce; and silver futures for May peaked at more than $13 an ounce.
The chairman and CEO of the Wendy's hamburger chain has unexpectedly retired. Jack Schuessler has been replaced in the short term by the company's CFO. Wendy's has faced falling sales and is seeing increasing pressure from a revitalized McDonald's. See, now McDonald's has revitalized. Last hour we told you they were all worried they were going to lose money because of their menu. So hey.
COOPER: There you go. Who knew? An hour can make such a difference.
HILL: Huge difference.
She made medical history five months ago. Now she is in uncharted waters. How much progress has the world's first face transplant patient really made? That is still ahead. She's also no longer the only one to get the procedure. We'll tell you about the man now who has joined this elite club, next on 360.
COOPER: Another historic face transplant in China. We want to show you the pictures of the man. We want to warn you, though, that some of the images you're about to see are graphic, but we think worthwhile. Surgeons in China have performed the world's second face transplant. We are learning more details. Take the picture. Turns out the patient -- there it is -- a man was severely mauled by a bear two years ago.
Late last week in a 15-hour operation, he received a new face. It is too soon to know if his body will actually reject the new tissues. This, of course, sounds a lot like the case of Isabelle Dinoire, the French woman who made history five months ago when she received a transplant after being mauled by a dog.
CNN's Heidi Collins with an update now on her story.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In February, the recipient of the world's first partial face transplant went public. Telling the world, in French, I can open my mouth, and I can eat, and I can feel my lips and my nose.
As shown in "People" magazine, Isabelle Dinoire once looked like this, but then looked like this after being mauled by her pet Labrador.
For six months, she said, she could barely eat or speak and was ashamed to be seen in public without her surgical mask. Doctors decided reconstructive surgery was not enough. She needed a new lower face.
It was in November of last year when a team of French surgeons made medical history in Amiens, France. Just one week later, she was eating and speaking. Today, Dr. Dubernard tells CNN 39-year-old Dinoire is in very good condition. He says she may be reaching one of the hallmarks of full recovery -- smiling and showing emotion.
In the early weeks after her operation, she could only feel slight sensation through her new skin. Now her facial muscles are slowly gaining function.
The most vital feature of her recovery? She has shown no recent signs of rejection. Her body is growing nerve connections with her donor face, reportedly from a young, brain-dead woman who had committed suicide.
ISABELLE DINOIRE, FACE TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT (through translator): There is no comparison between the face I have today and the one I had seven months ago. Quite different.
COLLINS: To her doctors' dismay, Dinoire still smokes cigarettes, which could slow her healing. But Doctor Dubernard tells CNN, she is perfect. As for the future, Dinoire will continue to visit her doctors for three days each month, and other transplants are on the horizon. He says he wants to ensure that other patients in the world and from France should be able to draw from the progress.
Chinese doctors have watched and learned from Dinoire's case. And in the United States, the Cleveland Clinic is now screening potential patients for the first American facial transplant.
Heidi Collins, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, "On the Radar" tonight, the 360 blog still being flooded with comments on retired generals calling for Donald Rumsfeld to resign.
Josette in Hopelawn, New Jersey, writes, "What you need to do Anderson, is interview a lot of returning soldiers and get the real deal on what's going on."
Frank in Iowa Park, Texas, says, "The reason these former generals are speaking out now is that they never had the guts to face Mr. Rumsfeld with their true opinion when it mattered. We don't need generals with those qualities. It is good they are retired and out of the way."
David in Savannah, Georgia, thinks, "When our military leaders say it's time for a change, then IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE!!! These generals were there on the frontlines and NOT behind some office, they know best what it takes to keep our troops safe. If anyone is playing politics, I certainly don't think it's the generals."
And Al from Chesapeake, Virginia, shares this, "This blog is just what you can expect from a liberal leaning network and media. As previously mentioned keep politics out of the military and let the hard working troops do their job."
Al, we don't take positions on 360. Maybe you have us confused with someone else, but we're not liberal leaning or conservative leaning. We prefer just facts.
More of 360 in a moment. Stay with us.
COOPER: Well, tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," it is the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake that killed 3,000 people, destroyed more than 28,000 buildings. It may not just be a West Coast problem, however. Seismologists predict the next big one could devastate America's heartland.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM WILKINSON, CENTRAL U.S. EARTHQUAKE CONSORTIUM: We're looking at about 11 million people at risk from an earthquake in Central U.S. Of that 11 million, about 2.5 million respectively from Memphis and St. Louis, so we still have a lot of people vulnerable in rural communities in Central U.S.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: When do experts predict the next big quake? Find out tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," starting at 6:00 a.m., Eastern.
That's it for us tonight.
"LARRY KING" is next, guest -- excuse me. Man, it's late. Guest hosted by Star Jones. See, I'm all excited. She and her guest will spend the hour on the new arrest in the Natalee Holloway case.
Have a great night. See you tomorrow.
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