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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Could Foley Scandal Cost Republicans Election?; Military Families Coping With Long Deployments; Hope Fading Fast in Iraq?; Author Weighs in on Foley Scandal; Page Speaks Out about Foley; Rumors Emerge of Gay Mafia in D.C.; South Lebanon Recovers from Conflict; Controversial Documentary Looks at Christian Camp
Aired October 6, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening again, everyone.
Tonight: a wakeup call from a nightmare. A top Republican supporter of the war in Iraq says things just aren't working. That is the wakeup call. Here's the nightmare.
ANNOUNCER: Rising casualties, growing terror.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got -- it was just two rounds, the same direction we heard that one round from.
ANNOUNCER: American troops in the middle, not even knowing who the enemy is anymore, watching the bodies pile up, waiting for a plan, trying to stay alive.
Foley fallout -- the president rallying around the disgraced congressman's boss -- leading conservatives deserting the president.
And from the mouths of babes:
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag.
ANNOUNCER: A camp that turns children into little soldiers for the lord. Spreading the good word or brainwashing?
ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Sitting in tonight for Anderson, and reporting from the CNN studios in Washington, here's John Roberts.
ROBERTS: And thanks again for joining us.
We begin tonight with a stark warning from a supporter of the war in Iraq. Iraq, he says, is drifting, and, if the Iraqis can't get their act together soon, the United States ought to rethink everything -- so, all the angles tonight on that shot across the bow from Republican Senator John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee -- more, too, on some of the numbers behind it, U.S. casualties growing, the Iraqi death toll skyrocketing, 4,000 Iraqi police killed in the past two years, hundreds of civilians murdered each and every week.
Also, the families for whom Iraq seems a never-ending story -- their loved ones in combat, their tours of duty extended, hometown anger now aimed at the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
First, though, CNN's Arwa Damon, who spent a day on the streets of Baghdad with troops just recently deployed to Iraq. They're newcomers, but they're learning fast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, one round fired in this direction, just around the (AUDIO GAP) corner.
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The soldiers call it chasing ghosts. With no warning, shots come out of nowhere. Then, like phantoms, the shooters vanish. With 21 U.S. troops killed in Iraq in just six days, about half the deaths the result of small-arms fire, chasing ghosts is deadly serious.
Lieutenant Daniel Quinn and his men move with caution. Imagine, their mission is to meet Iraqis, win their confidence, earn their trust. But, to do that, they must be on the streets and out in the open. The men are tense. One minute, a child is waving -- the next, out of nowhere, shots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The same direction we heard that one round from.
DAMON: So, they chase the ghosts, moving through dusty, trash- filled back alleys, hunting for clues. They scan the rooftops, while, all around them, everything looks normal. The enemy disappeared into thin air.
It could have been someone just taking pot shots at them, or it could have been a sniper and a deadly trap.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go.
DAMON: Another radio call, another ghost. Quinn's platoon joins another unit's call for backup, just a short distance from the other incident.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... (INAUDIBLE) one wounded in action. They're still engaged.
DAMON: But, by the time they arrive, the ghost has slipped away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was coming from this house (INAUDIBLE)
DAMON (on camera): But no weapons were found in there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not yet. But it's an easy pitch. Look at that backyard.
DAMON (voice-over): This man, clearly nervous, is found alone in the house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
DAMON: Upstairs, the men search for clues and possible escape routes.
(on camera): The soldier was shot right on that street corner, taking a bullet through the arm. U.S. forces immediately medevaced him and searched this home, finding shell casings littering this rooftop.
(voice-over): The Iraqi man is detained for questioning and gunpowder tests.
LIEUTENANT DANIEL QUINN, U.S. ARMY: If it was us up there, you know, we would shoot, and then scurry down a couple rooftops, before going down, and having a predetermined, like, one of these doors open, to get out. There's a good possibility that's what he did.
DAMON: It seems the ghost shooter is long gone.
We're told the wounded soldier will recover. But the soldiers say, every time they hit the streets, they roll the dice. With so many dead in the last six days, the stakes seem to only get higher.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.
ROBERTS: Neither Secretary of State Rice, nor Senator Warner got caught in a firefight in Iraq.
But Secretary Rice, who arrived there yesterday, was wearing a flak jacket when she stepped off of her plane. Baghdad Airport still isn't secure.
And Senator Warner, whom we mentioned at the top, came home from his latest visit so troubled by what he saw, that he made headlines today.
With that, here's CNN's Jamie McIntyre.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Citing what he calls the exponential rise in the number of deaths, both U.S. and Iraqi, along with the failure of the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to disarm the warring militias, Republican Senator John Warner is sounding a dire warning: While he still has hope, it's fading fast.
SEN. JOHN WARNER (R-VA), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I assure you, in a -- in a -- in two or three months, if this thing hasn't come to fruition, and if this level of violence is not under control and this government able to function, I think it's the responsibility of our government, internally, to determine, is there a change of course that we should take?
MCINTYRE: Just back from meeting with Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders in Baghdad, Warner is giving voice to what many inside and outside the Pentagon are coming to believe, namely, the U.S. strategy of standing down as Iraqi forces stand up is failing.
COLONEL DOUG MACGREGOR (RET.), U.S. ARMY: This change that the senator is talking about is long overdue. We have no business occupying central Iraq. It has been enormously wasteful. The change that's indicated is departure, at the earliest opportunity.
MCINTYRE: But, even as Warner says the situation is, in his words, drifting sideways, he argues, withdrawal would simply turn the Iraqi oil fields into a treasury for the world terrorist movement. And he expressed continued faith in U.S. Commanders.
WARNER: But we have just got to stand behind them and give those military operations the time needed to succeed.
MCINTYRE (on camera): What went wrong? Senator Warner blames himself, along with former CENTCOM Commander General Tommy Franks, for not asking the right questions about Iraq's history and culture.
Had they paid more attention to the problems the British had forming Iraq nearly a century ago, he says, they would have had a better understanding of how difficult it would be to forge a working government from three rival ethnic groups.
Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.
ROBERTS: And that's not the only problem.
Experts say you can't win hearts and minds, or even tell the good guys from the bad, with troops rotating in and out all the time. And simple arithmetic says there simply aren't enough troops, period.
So, whether out of good tactics or simple necessity, tours of duty are getting longer. It's making for a lot of heartache back home, and anger.
Here's CNN's Dan Simon.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a common setting throughout America: a mother home by herself, while her husband is at war.
MICHELLE CUTHRELL, WIFE OF U.S. SOLDIER: Oh, my goodness.
SIMON: Like most wives, Michelle Cuthrell counted down the days until the reunion.
CUTHRELL: I keep a countdown on my wall. And I ran over to my countdown, and it said, 10 days and counting.
SIMON: That countdown was replaced by a question mark, after learning her husband's yearlong deployment in Iraq had been extended for at least four months.
CUTHRELL: I became hysterical. I started crying. I just fell -- literally fell to the ground, and I did not know what to do. I did not know what to think.
SIMON: Michelle's husband, Lieutenant Matthew Cuthrell, is a member of the Army's 172nd Brigade, stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to swing wide with this.
SIMON: The unit's 4,000 troops in Iraq had a firm departure date last summer, or so they thought. Dozens had even made their way home, only to make a U-turn to the Middle East. Four soldiers who otherwise have been home died in recent weeks while fighting in Baghdad, the most recent death on Wednesday, 27-year-old Jonathan Rojas, killed by insurgents.
Fairbanks, an area of 85,000 people, has rallied around the soldiers' frustrated families -- in their crosshairs, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Two members of Fairbanks' elected assembly, upset over how the war is being waged, drafted a resolution, calling on Rumsfeld to resign immediately.
FRANK BARTOS, CO-SPONSORED RESOLUTION: And, if you look to where the buck stops, the buck stops at the secretary of defense's office.
SIMON: The assembly took comments from citizens, who overwhelmingly supported the motion.
DAVID DELONG, RESIDENT OF FAIRBANKS, ALASKA: The utter failure of this war, it's specifically tied to decisions that Rumsfeld has made.
REX FISHER, RESIDENT OF FAIRBANKS, ALASKA: I think, if there's a vote here against this resolution, that you have blood on your hands.
SIMON: The assembly will vote in coming days. The Army won't comment on the resolution, but says it understands the community's anger, especially over the last-minute extension imposed on the troops.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My job is to help those families, no matter who they are, to get through this, because we have got to survive together, until we can get the soldiers home.
SIMON: A few wives, like Sue Ulibarri, say they understand the military's need to keep troop strengths up, even if it's at their husbands' expense. SUE ULIBARRI, WIFE OF U.S. SOLDIER: He is being a part of -- of something that really has a lot of meaning to us and to those people over there.
SIMON: The military says, the 172nd Brigade can now expect to be home in December, just before Christmas.
But Michelle Cuthrell doesn't want to get her hopes up yet.
CUTHRELL: Having been disappointed and heartbroken once, it is really hard to start that countdown back on my wall again.
SIMON: Still, she knows she is a lot luckier than others, whose husbands won't be coming back at all.
ROBERTS: And Dan Simon joins us now live from Fairbanks, Alaska.
Dan, a -- a lot of these wives made plans for their husband's return. Is -- is the military doing anything to help them out?
SIMON: Well, John, it has just been a nightmare for a lot of these folks.
And we are outside the Army base. And they have set up a resource center here to assist the troops and their families. But just to give you an example, some folks, you know, had garage sales, and -- and sold their homes, and were preparing for the move. Others had vacations planned.
And, as you know, the airlines aren't exactly good about issuing refunds -- so, the resource center trying to assist folks with those problems.
But the biggest ordeal, John, has been the emotional one. The woman we profiled in the piece there, Michelle, her husband hasn't seen their baby since he was born -- so, everybody just hoping that these troops come home soon and come home safely -- John, back to you.
ROBERTS: Well, you know, the -- the airlines should be good about changing fares when it comes the military.
Dan Simon, in Fairbanks, thanks very much.
Of course, Iraqis are truly facing the brunt of this war. Here's the "Raw Data."
As we briefly mentioned earlier, 4,000 Iraqi police officers have been killed in the past two years. Another 8,000 have been wounded. And, according to their Iraqi Ministry of Health, at least 50,000 civilians have been killed since the war began.
And now a 360 follow-up on one civilian death that could send Marines to the brig for the rest of their lives. Today, a Navy corpsman offered grim testimony to what he had saw at Hamandiyah earlier this year. Petty Officer Melson Bacos says he watched Marines drag Hashim Awad from his house, bind him, hand and foot, and then fire up to 10 shots into him.
Then, he says, he watched a Marine puts Awad's fingerprints on an AK-47 rifle and a shovel. Bacos was accused of firing the rifle into the air to make it look like a shoot-out. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy. In exchange for his testimony, seven Marines are charged. Two face life sentences, if convicted.
Still to come tonight: the Foley mess. How are Republicans handling the fallout from the congressman, the page and those graphic messages?
Also, the very delicate situation facing gays in the Washington Republican establishment.
And, later, Anderson's special report from the killing fields of Africa, including the connection between your computer and cell phone and African misery.
You are watching 360.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
NARRATOR: ... is a mess. And Mike Sodrel is part of it. Convicted Congressman Cunningham gave Sodrel $2,000 for his campaign. Indicted Majority Leader Tom DeLay gave Sodrel $20,000.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: It was bound to happen.
Today, the first attack ad to specifically mention disgraced Congressman Mark Foley hit the air. And that is not all -- also today, a wave of counterspin. Add to that a pack of old-line conservatives fed up with their party, and you have got a story that just won't die.
We are going to get into all of that tonight.
First, though, how we got here, starting with the revelation last week that Congressman Foley had sent e-mails to a 16-year-old page.
ROBERTS (voice-over): Thursday, the e-mails, sent about a year ago, were described as friendly, chatty. But, when Foley requested a photo, the teen forwarded them to a congressional staffer, ABC News reported, writing, "Maybe it's just me being paranoid, but, seriously, this freaked me out."
One day later, new revelations that Foley had sent sexually charged instant messages to at least one other young page in 2003 -- those I.M.s became the talk of television news. The six-term Republican's congressional career imploded in an instant.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: A stunning resignation and a potential scandal on Capitol Hill tonight.
ROBERTS: Foley, the former co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, once fought for tougher penalties for people who preyed on the young.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MARK FOLEY (R), FLORIDA: We need to completely change the way we treat sex offenders. They are not petty criminals. They prey on our children like animals, and will continue to do so, until we stop them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Now he is at the center of a scandal that threatens to rock the Republican Party, starting with House speaker Dennis Hastert.
While Hastert was announcing a hot line where pages could report problems, and asking for state and federal investigations into Foley's conduct, others were questioning just how much Hastert knew about that conduct, and when he knew it.
Republican congressmen said they had alerted the speaker or his staff about Foley two years ago. Majority Leader John Boehner says he found out this spring, and talked to the speaker.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: And he told me it had been taken care of. And -- and in -- in my position, it's in his corner. It's his responsibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Foley's former chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, said he, too, had alerted Hastert's aides about Foley's behavior in 2004, asking them to intervene.
On October 3, the Republican-friendly "Washington Times" called for Hastert to step down, saying, "Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, or he deliberately looked the other way, in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away."
Foley's attorney attempted some damage control, saying, his client was sorry, and offering up a list of Foley's woes.
DAVID ROTH, ATTORNEY FOR FORMER CONGRESSMAN MARK FOLEY: Mark voluntarily entered a substance abuse and mental health facility on Sunday, at approximately midnight, Eastern time.
Mark has asked that you be told that, between the ages of 13 and 15, he was molested by a clergyman. Finally, Mark Foley wants you to know that he is a gay man.
ROBERTS: Eight days after it started, the Justice Department, the FBI, Florida law enforcement, and the House Ethics Committee have all opened investigations into the conduct of former Congressman Mark Foley. And even the speaker has softened his stance, offering up an apology of his own.
REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I'm deeply sorry that this has happened. And the bottom line is that we're taking responsibility, because, ultimately, as someone has said in Washington before, the buck stops here.
ROBERTS: The timeline may be convoluted and confusing, but, for Republicans running for office next month, this much is clear.
The scandal, safe to say, is not going to help them on November the 7th, but how much will it hurt them? Coming up: a look at some of the tightest races across the country and how the scandal factors in.
Plus: The page at the center of it all prepares to meet with the FBI. What exactly was his relationship with Mark Foley? Coming up, I will talk to his attorney -- when 360 continues from Washington.
ROBERTS: He's a star witness in the Foley scandal, a former page from Southern California, his lawyer now speaking out -- 360 coming up.
ROBERTS: Even before the page scandal broke, Republicans were worried about keeping control of Congress next month. Now, with 32 days to go until Election Day, as we mentioned earlier, Democrats are already leveraging the scandal in campaign ads.
Here's CNN's Dana Bash with a look at which Republicans are most at risk.
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New York Congressman Tom Reynolds is in charge of getting Republicans elected to the House. In a tough year for Republicans, holding on to his own seat in Buffalo is a challenge. Now he is a central player in the Mark Foley drama, and he could lose.
REP. THOMAS REYNOLDS (R), NEW YORK: When I found out about this whole instance for the first time, in the spring of '06, I reported it to my supervisor, like anyone would in an office circumstance. I took it to the speaker of the House.
BASH: Democrats say their internal polling shows Reynolds eight points behind his opponent. Dozens of Republicans were already at risk of losing in November. And, while senior Republican officials hope the worst of the Foley scandal is now over, most admit there is damage.
VIN WEBER, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: I would say the panic is out of people's voices, but a deep-seated concern remains. I mean, those -- those members that have been polling regularly -- and we're in that season where members of Congress are doing regular tracking polls -- have found a dip in Republican ratings across the board.
BASH: On the campaign trail, GOP candidates are seeking cover. Tom Kean Jr., a Republican running for Senate in New Jersey, announced, Hastert should resign as speaker.
TOM KEAN JR. (R), NEW JERSEY SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Speaker Hastert is the head of the institution. And it's happened on his watch. I think there should be an independent investigation by outsiders.
BASH: GOP strategists say they are very concerned about the impact Foley will have in some of Indiana's conservative and highly competitive races.
Republican Chris Chocola was already getting pounded for being part of an unpopular GOP Congress. He was one of the first to release a statement, saying, "If leadership acted inappropriately, they will lose my support."
In Indiana's 9th District, Mike Sodrel's Democratic opponent just starting airing this ad, raising questions about where his campaign money is coming from.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, AD)
NARRATOR: And $77,000 from the House leadership, who knew about, but did nothing to stop sexual predator Congressman Foley.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Most Republican strategists say it's too early to know if the scandal will really help Democrats pick up the 15 seats needed to seize control of the House. But they also say this.
WEBER: We are close to the election. And it is an election in which the Republicans have had a stiff wind in their face all along. So, it's not good.
BASH (on camera): Some Republicans are making the case, this may not have a major impact. GOP pollster David Winston says, his new data shows virtually no nationwide change in how Americans intend to vote.
But Republicans do worry that, if conservatives stay home in just a few tight races over this on Election Day, it could help Democrats win the House.
Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
ROBERTS: Well, fair to say, Republicans who are the angriest in the wake of Foley scandal are those right of center, including Richard Viguerie. He's an activist and author of "Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause."
And he joins me now.
Richard, in the year 2000, four million Christian/values voters from the Republican Party stayed home. Do you think that they are going to stay home again this year?
RICHARD VIGUERIE, AUTHOR, "CONSERVATIVES BETRAYED: HOW GEORGE W. BUSH AND OTHER BIG GOVERNMENT REPUBLICANS HIJACKED THE CONSERVATIVE CAUSE": Well, I'm afraid, John, that a lot more than four million are going to stay home.
After six years of waiting for this president and this Congress to deliver for the conservative agenda, for the Christian, religious value voter's agenda, they're -- they're just kind of tired. And I think they have tuned out this president. And I think they have tuned out the -- the Republican Congress.
ROBERTS: Well, wouldn't conservatives just be cutting off their nose to spite their face, if they stayed at home, and if the elections went to the Democrats, and they took control of Congress?
VIGUERIE: Well, you know, it has nothing to do with my views. I want the Republicans to keep Congress.
Most all Republican leaders -- excuse me -- conservative leaders at the national, state and local level that I know, you know, they want the Republicans to keep control.
But the Republican leaders are the ones that, in essence, dissed the...
VIGUERIE: ... their voters, their base. They moved away from and govern as if they were liberal Democrats, spinning out of control, and, you know, amnesty, and -- and just growing the government, not abolishing government programs.
And after, you know, six years of this, the voters are just kind of disappointed. And they have tuned the -- the Republicans out.
But I will say this, John. I tell every conservative that I can talk to: Don't fear defeat. We don't welcome it. We don't want it.
ROBERTS: Mmm-hmm. Mmm-hmm.
VIGUERIE: But don't fear it, because our best gains sometimes come after defeats. Reagan wouldn't have been elected president in 1980 if Ford had been elected in '76. And we wouldn't have got Congress in '94 if George H.W. Bush had been reelected in '92.
VIGUERIE: So, we don't want it, but we don't fear it.
It -- so -- so, is it all about teaching the Republican leadership a lesson? One -- one fiscal conservative I talked to a few months back said, a couple of years out of power would probably be a good lesson for these guys to learn.
VIGUERIE: Well, I don't advocate that, but, yes.
If these people do come back, quite frankly, they are going to feel emboldened. They're going to feel like, well, the voters rewarded us for spending at the record rate that we have been, and -- and ignoring the conservative voters who put us in office.
So, yes, it -- I'm afraid it would embolden them to continue their bad habits.
ROBERTS: You -- you said that -- quote -- "It will be exceedingly difficult now to convince conservatives and values voters that there is a significant difference between Republicans and Democrats on issues such as a culture of corruption, abuse of power, spending, etcetera."
Have -- have the Republicans really fallen down that badly?
They have become that which they beheld. In the late '80s, early '90s, Newt Gingrich and -- and others, myself included, we talked extensively about the culture of corruption, abuse of power by the Democrats.
And, after 12 years in office, lo and behold, the Republicans in Washington, D.C., have become that which they -- they beheld. And these people, many of them, came to Washington talking about they wanted to come here and clean up this cesspool, John. And, after a few years, I'm afraid too many of them feel that that cesspool has turned into a hot tub.
ROBERTS: A hot tub of corruption.
You -- you have mentioned this idea of corruption. You have also talked about just an absolute lack of -- of -- of discipline when it comes to spending. Let's drill right down. Let's narrowly focus on this Foley scandal. Do you think that this scandal alone is going to risk Republican control of Congress?
VIGUERIE: I think so.
I'm just -- I -- I think that it just puts icing on the cake, that, yes there's really not that much difference between the culture of corruption and abuse of power, the Democrats and the Republicans.
And I'm afraid a lot of conservative voters, value voters, are just going to feel...
VIGUERIE: ... they have got other business to take care of on Election Day.
You -- you -- you have said that Dennis Hastert should resign. Yet, other conservatives, like William Kristol, Congressman Mike Pence, argue that he should stay in his leadership position.
What -- what good would come from his resignation now? Would -- wouldn't it just weaken the party, and make this scandal even bigger than it is right now?
VIGUERIE: Not so.
I think, as I said, John, the voters have tuned out this -- this party. The Congress, the -- the White House, they have tuned them out. And I think, if they were to come back to Washington, select new leaders -- and any of the leadership that knew about these e-mails, and didn't do anything about it, should resign.
But it gives them a chance to connect with the voters and draw a distinction if they spend a couple of weeks here in Washington, voting on making tax cuts permanent, reducing spending, voting on judges. Doing the type of things that would nationalize the election and draw a clear distinction between the Republicans and the Democrats.
Right now, people are not hearing what the Republicans are saying.
ROBERTS: Well, I don't know if you're going to get to that, because they certainly have their hands full with other stuff.
Richard Viguerie, thanks very much. Appreciate it. Good to talk with you.
VIGUERIE: My pleasure, John.
ROBERTS: The former page at the center of the Foley scandal says he's going to talk to federal agents next week. I'll talk to his lawyer, coming up.
And what impact, if any, will the scandal have on other gay Republicans on the Hill?
Plus life in southern Lebanon after the cease fire. A look at the peace effort there when 360 continues.
ROBERTS: All this week on 360 we've taken you inside Africa to show you the escalating violence, the political turmoil, the massive human suffering facing Sudan and the Congo.
You don't hear that much about it here in the United States, but we think it's important that the world knows what's going on there. And it's not just humans in danger. As Anderson reports, so are the gorillas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Visiting the mountain gorillas is probably one of the most incredible and intimate experiences you can have with an animal in the wild. When you're this close to the gorillas and you see their eyes. You see how intelligent they are and how really similar they are to human beings. Each one really has a unique personality. Each one is an individual.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: More on gorillas coming up in a special hour of 360, "The Killing Fields: Africa's Misery, The World's Shame".
Now back to the Mark Foley scandal. Tonight one of the former pages who allegedly got explicit messages from the former congressman is stepping out of the shadows. His name is Jordan Edmond. He's now 21 years old, and next week we're told, he'll going to meet with FBI agents.
What he says may very well determine the next chapter in this growing scandal. For now his high profile attorney, Stephen Jones, who defended Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, is doing all the talking.
I spoke with Stephen Jones earlier.
ROBERTS: Mr. Jones, why did Jordan Edmond reach out to you and retain your sources services? Why didn't he think he needed a lawyer?
STEPHEN JONES, LAWYER FOR JORDAN EDMOND: I think Jordan called me because it's a legal process, a political process, and a media process, a velocity of coverage and public interest in the matter. And he wanted someone's help in helping him guide him through it, and I agreed to help him.
And he's certainly not a suspect or he's not done anything wrong, so just a steadying hand, perhaps.
ROBERTS: You had described him as a witness. How would you define witness in this case?
JONES: I would define witness as somebody that might have some information that's relevant to the inquiry that I understand is being conducted.
ROBERTS: Did he know Congressman Foley, and if he did, how did he come to know him?
JONES: Oh, yes. He was a page during the time in the early part of this decade when Mr. Foley was in the House. Jordan was a page, worked on the floor in the documentation desk. He knew Congressman Foley, like he knew most, if not all, of the Republican members of the House and probably a few Democrats.
ROBERTS: Do you think a crime has been committed here from what you know of the case?
JONES: There's two or three statutes that might be applicable, but I don't know whether there's evidence of a crime yet that would justify prosecution. I think it's awfully early to draw those kinds of conclusions. I think it's better to trust the process.
ROBERTS: Does Jordan, Mr. Jones, feel like he's in this any danger? Has he received any threats?
JONES: Well, I don't intend this as any criticism of the media, but any time you have this type of situation, I think he is at some risk.
I mean, three days before he was anonymous. His privacy has been invaded. The media are camped outside his home, his campaign headquarters. They're calling his parents, his friends, his relatives. We have people on the Internet that are pro and con on this matter.
I mean, it's bound to be confusing and embarrassing to a mature adult. We're dealing with a college student here.
And, yes. I think he's at some risk. I think his reputation is at risk. I think he's physically at risk. And frankly, I believe that we should respect his privacy. I've refused to list -- to release photographs of him, and that's why I'm talking to you instead of Jordan talking with you.
ROBERTS: But as we saw, and not to directly associate these, but as we saw with the priest sex abuse scandals of the past, unless the victims come forward, we don't learn much about this.
So, I mean, is it not in the best interests of society that these pages come forward to explain what might have happened to them?
JONES: Well, the house is under attack. Its credibility, its stature in the governmental system and the constitutional system is drawn into question. Its leadership is drawn into question, and then there's the question of federal law or possibly state law violation. I think the better thing to do, which Jordan is doing and, frankly, I have to admire his courage and integrity for doing it, is that he is coming forward. And he is saying, "I will answer your questions under oath truthfully."
Now, we don't know the whole picture, and so, other people that have that responsibility will decide. The House will decide. The American people will decide. I think we'll know something before the election. And of course, a Department of Justice or a sitting federal grand jury must decide.
ROBERTS: All right. Well, Stephen Jones, we look forward to hearing those facts. Thanks very much for your time. Appreciate it, sir. Good to talk with you again.
JONES: Thank you, John.
ROBERTS: This story is also bringing to light a very private aspect of Capitol Hill. It involves Republicans adhering to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
CNN's Joe Johns reports.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Of course, there was Mark Foley's announcement of a secret that's been well known in Washington for years, that he's gay. Then almost immediately, whispers began circulating that there might be a secret list of congressional staffers and even members of Congress who are gay and in the closet.
But guess what? The editor of Washington's gay and lesbian newspaper, "The Blade" says that's not even a new story.
KEVIN RAFF, EDITOR, "THE WASHINGTON BLADE": This story gets resurrected every, you know, year or two. I've heard -- I've heard this story several times now.
It certainly is possible that somebody has put together, you know, the list. There are a number of closeted gay Republican who are in senior staff positions on the Hill. There are closeted gay Republican members of Congress, still. So that list may very well exist.
JOHNS: An old story given new light by the Foley scandal.
So what does this have to do with allegations of abuse of power? The inference is that there is what has come to be known on the Hill as the Velvet Mafia, a close-knit group of gay Republican staffers who look out for each other and gay elected officials like Mark Foley, until he resigned.
Even Congressman Barney Frank, an openly gay Democrat from Massachusetts, has been quoted as speculating that gay staffers gave assistance to Foley. He told TheAdvocate.com, quote, "I'm sure the group of gay Republican staffers hid Foley's actions as best they could."
We asked for an interview with Mr. Frank but were told he was unavailable.
But is there any evidence of a cover-up by gay staffers? What we know so far suggests otherwise. Consider the role played by Foley's one-time chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, who is widely reported to be gay. He says he went out of his way to warn Republican leaders of his old boss' problems, though the top leader has denied it.
RAFF: Kirk Fordham, for example, has been very forthcoming and answered all the questions. And at least so far it seems that -- that, you know, that the gay people who are linked to the story so far have actually been doing the right thing.
JOHNS: So what's going on here? In three words, election year politics.
Many fervent social conservatives have been long critical of homosexuality and say they see the Foley matter as evidence of what can happen in a permissive society.
On the other side, some liberal gay activists say they want to expose Republican staffers who they see as hypocrites.
Caught in the middle are the mainstream gays who fear Foley's behavior and even his attempts to defend himself, have given their critics some powerful ammunition.
JOE SOLMONESE, PRESIDENT, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN: What we see in these situations time and time again is that they look for someone to blame. And in this situation, the most convenient group of people to blame seem to be once again gay people.
JOHNS: So what's a voter to do? One idea is to ignore all the background chatter about the so-called Velvet Mafia and secret lists. The fact is what Mark Foley did, whether it was illegal and whether there was a cover-up or still the central issues.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
ROBERTS: And we're going to leave the Foley scandal behind to take a look at another controversy, this one involving a new documentary. The title: "Jesus Camp".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me say something about Harry Potter. Had it been in the Old Testament, Harry Potter would have been put to death.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Amen.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: So are the lessons on faith going too far? You decide when 360 continues.
ROBERTS: The war is over in Lebanon. But dangers are still everywhere in towns and villages hit hard by Israeli bombs. Lives lost from what the fighting left behind.
Here's CNN's Brent Sadler.
BRENT SADLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A strange calm hangs over what were the battlefields of South Lebanon. Hard to imagine now, but less than two months ago Hezbollah and Israel fought a merciless war across this winding, now tranquil line of separation.
(on camera) This is as close as the two sides get to each other. An Israeli position on that side of the fence. Over here, Lebanese army troops man this check point. United Nations vehicles passing along here now.
Very much a dramatically changed situation to what it was before the cessation of hostilities.
(voice-over) These Lebanese soldiers are fresh into a new mission, appearing in places only a stone's throw from Israeli units. An uneasy standoff. But as international forces build up their military muscle in South Lebanon, there's hope their firepower can prevent another war.
Neither United Nations' peacekeepers nor Lebanese army troops are able to mount search and seize missions to disarm Hezbollah, because they don't have the political mandate or military power to do it.
And the pro-Iranian militants seem to have lost no ground in areas pulverized by the Israeli army like Vidishvail (ph).
(on camera) This town is now rising from the rubble. So, too, it seems is the popularity of Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah. His images, his speeches, poems about his performance in the war with Israel, are all laid out on this market store. One of the most popular selling items is his post-war claim of victory over Israel.
HASSAN NASRALLAH, Hezbollah LEADER: (speaking foreign language)
SADLER (voice-over): Nasrallah's foot soldiers move among the civilian population, fiercely loyal to what they call the armed resistance to Israel.
Yellow Hezbollah flags flutter over the blue berets of Spanish peacekeepers. The flags are everywhere. Often hoisted above the rubble in a wasteland of destruction. The product of a war that is still claiming victims and causing fear. A deadly harvest sown by Israeli cluster bombs in the last days of the conflict. U.N. officials claim as many as a million bomblets failed to explode over houses and fields in more than 700 sites.
Some Lebanese claim Israel fired cluster munitions to deliberately plague the land in the failed hope Hezbollah would be blamed.
Israel denies that, saying its weapons met international standards and Hezbollah victimized Lebanese civilians by fighting from residential areas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two, one. Now.
SADLER: It will take at least a year to finish the dangerous job of clearing the cluster munitions, a year in which the Israeli/Hezbollah truce faces a rigorous test. And Hezbollah's grip on South Lebanon is stronger than ever.
Brent Sadler, CNN, on the Israeli/Lebanese border.
ROBERTS: Coming up on 360, he's a wanted man accused of unspeakable crimes. Why one African warlord is hiding in plain sight. We'll have that report just ahead on a special edition of 360, "The Killing Fields: Africa's Misery, The World's Shame".
And training young children to spread the word of Christ. The controversy behind "Jesus Camp" when 360 continues.
ROBERTS: The evangelical movement is on a mission to gain young converts. With enrollment at Christian colleges on the rise, an increase in sales of religious music, and the growing popularity of Christian youth festivals, the fundamentalist movement seems to be thriving.
But some ministers claim if current trends continue, only four percent of teenagers will be Bible believing Christians as adults. And they worry that a controversial new documentary opening nationwide today could drive many more young people away.
Here's Gary Tuchman.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fourteen-year-old Levi lives in Southern Missouri with his brother and parents. In many ways, he's a typical kid.
LEVI, EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN: People try to trip you off your path. Off of your race. Off the course. Don't let them do that.
TUCHMAN: But kids don't typically end up preaching in a documentary like Levi now is in movie houses across the country.
LEVI: We are a generation that needs to rise up.
TUCHMAN: It's the true story of the summer camp, a place called Kids on Fire, where adult indoctrination of children to fundamentalist Christianity is seen as the key to salvation. The movie is called "Jesus Camp", and it's eye opening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No more, Lord. No more. No more!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raise them up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here, God.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Do you think sometimes maybe it's a little harsh to be a kid and hear all these things from adults?
LEVI: Well, when we're crying, we are not -- we're not scared for ourselves. We're scared for the people out there who can't get it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): A Pentecostal minister runs this North Dakota camp, where children are taught when it comes to their beliefs, there is no compromising.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me say something about Harry Potter. Warlocks are enemies of God. And I don't care what kind of hero they are. They're an enemy of God. And had it been in the Old Testament, Harry Potter would have been put to death.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amen.
LEVI: Yes. I like it.
TUCHMAN: Levi says God regularly talks to him.
(on camera) What does he tell you?
LEVI: Like sometimes, like, when I need to hear it, he'll tell me that he loves me. And he told me to be a doctor to this certain nation, and I don't want to say.
TUCHMAN: You don't want to say the name of the nation?
LEVI: No. Because this is going on in the world -- somewhere or ever.
TUCHMAN: The nation might be happy to hear a doctor is coming.
LEVI: Yes, but they may not be happy to hear that a missionary is coming, too.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Levi's father is an evangelical minister. His mother and father home-school Levi and his brother.
TIM, LEVI'S FATHER: Somebody could watch the movie and think that maybe we are being narrow-minded, but we're not. We're single- minded.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That looks better.
TUCHMAN: The movie was made by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing.
HEIDI EWING, MOVIE DIRECTOR: I think even the people in our film, the subjects, would say, "This is an extreme sort of radical way to raise our children." You know? But again, it is a free country and they -- they're doing what they see is the right thing to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, whose savior delivered us from sin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, whose savior delivered us from sin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, whose savior delivered us from sin.
TUCHMAN: Levi left Jesus camp with sadness for those who don't have the faith he has.
(on camera) So you don't think they'll go to heaven, though, if they don't believe what you believe?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): they're taught to spread the word.
LEVI: This generation is a key generation to Jesus coming back.
TUCHMAN: And Levi is only just getting started.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, St. Robert, Missouri.
ROBERTS: And that's it from Washington for tonight. I'm John Roberts.
Still to come, a 360 special. Anderson Cooper is next from the killing fields of Africa.
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