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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Senator Hillary Clinton Weighs in on Iraq War; Cold Weather Grips Country; Bill Imperfect in Stopping Convictions for Congressional Crooks; Renewed Threats to Mountain Gorillas; Sex Study Reveals Surprising Results
Aired January 17, 2007 - 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.
The story of two missing boys found in the home of their alleged abductor is taking a very dark turn tonight. It is not just about the children who were recovered. It is about the children who were not.
Take a look at these two faces, 13-year-old Bianca Noel Piper and 11-year-old Arlin Henderson. She was last seen in 2005. He vanished in 1991. Their cases bear striking similarities to that of Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck. And now police fear one man may be responsible for kidnapping all of them.
Tonight, the investigation is heading in several directions. Many questions remain unanswered, but there are new details about the suspect, the charges, and a weapon he may have used on one of the kids.
We begin with the children, the two kids who have been found and the two still missing tonight.
CNN's Jonathan Freed reports.
JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michael Devlin is already facing kidnapping charges in two rural Missouri counties. Now a third county is looking into whether Devlin may have been connected to the unsolved cases of two other missing children. Eleven-year-old Arlin Henderson disappeared in 1991, thirteen-year-old Bianca Noel Piper in 2005.
DEBRA HENDERSON, MOTHER OF ARLIN HENDERSON: If someone's got him, please let him go. He's all I have got.
FREED: Authorities in Lincoln County say there are similarities between those cases and the abductions of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby, who were found by police in Devlin's home on Friday. Both Hornbeck and Henderson disappeared at the age of 11 while riding a bike on a rural road. And both boys were slight and had close-cropped hair.
HENDERSON: I think about him. Every day, I pray: God, if he is alive, let this day be a good day for him. FREED: Meanwhile, prosecutors in Franklin County are preparing for Devlin's first court appearance on the charge that he kidnapped Ownby. And new charges were filed against Devlin in Washington County for allegedly kidnapping Hornbeck.
KEVIN SCHROEDER, WASHINGTON COUNTY, MISSOURI, SHERIFF: Our main concern is Shawn. He's -- he's, you know, been away from family and everything for four -and-a-half years. So, we have got to get him some time to rejoin that family unit, and -- and start becoming comfortable again, and -- and just get re -- reconnected.
FREED: Prosecutors allege, Michael Devlin used a handgun to kidnap Shawn Hornbeck more than four years ago. And they say that should put to rest any questions about whether Hornbeck was abducted or somehow went with Devlin willingly.
JOHN RUPP, WASHINGTON COUNTY, MISSOURI, PROSECUTOR: Shawn was abducted against his will, period, end of the story.
FREED: Investigators say they have spoken to Hornbeck several times, and are impressed by how well he's holding up.
SCHROEDER: Shawn seems to be a very strong young man. He's a very articulate young man, speaks very well.
FREED: They sidestep questions about whether they see Hornbeck eventually taking the stand as a witness in any trial.
Devlin's attorneys say they're gearing up for a long battle to protect their client's rights to a fair trial.
COOPER: Jonathan, what happens in court tomorrow?
FREED: That's the big question.
And the answer is that he's going to be here, but not in person. He is at the Franklin County Detention Center, which is about two miles away. And the sheriff here in Franklin County, Anderson, says that he has, among other things, some security concerns. He doesn't like the idea of transporting the suspect in such a high-profile case.
So, for the arraignment tomorrow, he is going to appear by closed-circuit television. He will see the judge, and the judge will see him. And the entire proceeding, if it lasts 30 seconds, we're told, that will be a long time. It's what they call here a very perfunctory hearing -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Jonathan Freed, thanks for the latest.
We want to give you more information now about those two missing kids. Bianca Noel Piper disappeared on March 10, 2005. She was last seen about a mile from her home in Foley, Missouri. Bianca was 13 at the time.
Arlin Henderson vanished on July 25, 1991. It happened just a few miles away from Foley in Moscow Mills. He was 11 years old.
If you have any tips, we urge you to call 1-800-THE-LOST.
Michael Devlin had no criminal history, but he did have a temper and, it seems, secrets to hide.
CNN's David Mattingly has been investigating the many sides of the accused kidnapper.
ROB BUSHELLE, NEIGHBOR OF MICHAEL DEVLIN: He pointed to this sign over here.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Late last summer, Rob Bushelle says he got into a loud argument with a neighbor over a parking space.
BUSHELLE: He -- he wanted this space. And I was kind of in the middle of these two.
MATTINGLY: That neighbor was an irate Michael Devlin.
(on camera): So, he was getting angry at you just that quick?
BUSHELLE: When he pulled up, he was angry. When he saw my car here, he was already angry. It was, I mean, just like, boom.
MATTINGLY: Were you -- were you intimidated?
BUSHELLE: A little bit. I mean...
MATTINGLY: Did you think there was going to be a fight?
BUSHELLE: I -- yes. I -- I mean, my first instinct is that I'm about to get in a fight with this guy.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): There wasn't a fight. At the time, Bushelle says Devlin was accompanied by the abducted Shawn Hornbeck. But, in a move that no one today can understand, Bushelle says Devlin himself called the police.
BUSHELLE: That was my first and last run-in with him.
MATTINGLY: And other neighbors say they had problems as well.
Harry Reichard lives above Devlin, and complains, Devlin disturbed him with frequent late-night shouting and unexplained noises.
HARRY REICHARD, NEIGHBOR OF MICHAEL DEVLIN: And the yelling and -- and -- and the vulgarity and everything, it -- it's just ridiculous.
MATTINGLY (on camera): You never got a chance to talk to him about this, though, did you? REICHARD: No, I wanted to stay away from that guy. I don't like that man. He -- he basically, you know -- you know, is somebody that I don't want to deal with.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): But, whatever problems Devlin might have had at home, they didn't follow him on the job. He worked at this local pizzeria for 20 years, becoming a manager, and had a reputation for being dependable and good with the customers.
(on camera): Devlin worked here during the times that each of the two boys was reported missing, but his boss says, he never saw any signs of any suspicious behavior.
In fact, the day before he was arrested, Devlin was in this very restaurant, having a friendly conversation with a police officer.
(on camera): What was his demeanor during this conversation?
MIKE PROSPERI, BOSS OF MICHAEL DEVLIN: Like you and I are talking right now, just not -- his voice probably wasn't shaking as much as mine is. You know, he was just -- just cool as could be.
MATTINGLY: Mike Prosperi says, the 300-pound Devlin had health problems and recently quit smoking, and was trying to lose weight.
Still, he kept his private life private and almost never missed work. It wasn't until Devlin missed a day of work last week, when Ben Ownby was reported missing and his vehicle matched a police description, that Prosperi considered calling authorities.
PROSPERI: And, even at that -- at that time, I told the captain -- I said, I'm 99.9 percent sure that it's -- that this is not Mike.
MATTINGLY: It was the end of many longstanding perceptions and the beginning of many unanswered questions.
David Mattingly, CNN, Kirkwood, Missouri.
COOPER: Well, it's clear there is much we don't know about Michael Devlin, like why may he have kidnapped two children and perhaps others.
Helping us get a better idea tonight are former FBI profiler Candice DeLong and Dr. Keith Ablow, clinical psychiatrist and the host of "The Dr. Keith Ablow Show."
Appreciate both of you being with us.
Candice, authorities are looking into whether Devlin may be connected in any way to other missing children. If he is guilty of kidnapping Shawn and Ben, do you think it's likely he's preyed on children in the past?
CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, quite possibly. I mean, look at his age that he is now -- or how old he was, what, maybe four or five years ago, when he was alleged to have taken Shawn. That would make him about 36 years old at the time. I'm -- would be surprised to find out that Shawn was his first abduction, because when you -- it's not simply a case of abducting a child, and then letting them go.
He abducted a child and kept them, allegedly, for years and years and years, and didn't get caught. That's a pretty high level of sophisticated -- pretty sophisticated criminal behavior. And, usually, we don't see that in someone until they have done lesser crimes before that, generally speaking, starting in their 20s.
COOPER: Keith, I have interviewed a convicted pedophiles and ephebophiles, and all have struck me as incredibly manipulative. Do -- do these people have no remorse?
DR. KEITH ABLOW, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I don't think that they do , in general, have remorse. They don't have empathy, which allows them to force themselves on young people, who obviously aren't in a position to accept or in any way engage in a mutual relationship with them.
So, absolutely, they lack remorse. They lack empathy. And, in general, I have always found, having interviewed lots of sociopaths and pedophiles, that there's a reason, in their own life histories, for why they don't have emotional connections to others.
COOPER: Candice, does -- does this crop up at an early age? I mean, these -- whatever these compulsions are or attractions, or whatever it -- the motivation of someone who kidnaps a child is, does it -- I mean, as a -- as a child, do they feel these compulsions, or is it something that builds with age?
DELONG: Well, there's a couple things.
For someone that is a pedophile -- and that's a clinical term -- it means the individual is -- is aroused by prepubescent children. Generally speaking, pedophiles discover that they are, in fact, attracted to children at the same time normal, if you will, people are discovering that they are heterosexual or, you know, they like the kid that sits next to them in math class when they're 14, 15, their sexual awakening. The pedophile realizes that he is attracted to the 5-year- old down in the kindergarten class. So, that's one thing.
And the second thing is, oftentimes, sociopaths that commit violent acts against other human beings do start fantasizing about it in their early teen years. And, then, they perfect the fantasy by the time they're in their 20s, and then they start acting out.
COOPER: And -- and, Keith, is it often that they have had abuse in their past, I mean, not to make excuses for them, but is that often the case?
ABLOW: You know, yes. And, Anderson, I don't think it's -- it's excusing in any way, but it might help us explain and understand it. You know, the -- the sex drive is like a freight train, if you will, running through the center of our lives. And what's happening to you as you transition from child to adolescent to adult kind of gets piled on that train. And, so, if what you're experiencing at the time is abuse, and being victimized yourself, those events, that kind of thing in your life can become attached to your erotic impulse.
And, so, it will be, potentially, for a lifetime moving to you sexually.
COOPER: Candice, what do you make of -- of some of the similarities between some of these -- these victims? Arlin Henderson this little boy who is still missing...
COOPER: ... Ben Ownby, they both look kind of alike. They both disappeared...
COOPER: ... riding their bikes in rural Missouri.
If you were conducting this investigation, what would you do next?
DELONG: Well, without question, I would go back and look at missing children cases anywhere that Devlin has lived or worked since he was an adolescent, 13, 14 years old, and look at those very carefully.
However, it's important not to get too caught up in the fact that these boys looked alike. Ted Bundy was credited with 31 murders, and many of the women had long brown hair parted in the middle. And it -- that was -- a lot was made out of that.
And, when he was asked about it and he finally answered, he said: No, that just -- that wasn't my preference. That's how most of the women of the era when he was killing wore their hair.
COOPER: Candice DeLong, Dr. Keith Ablow, appreciate your expertise. Thank you both.
DELONG: You're welcome.
COOPER: Straight ahead tonight: the icy chill that is gripping Missouri and beyond, way beyond, costing lives and soon costing all of us money at the checkout line.
Also tonight: Senator Clinton is talking about a cap on troops on Iraq -- why that could be a risky move for her politically.
And a terrible crime against an endangered animal that we have shown you up close.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) (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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): That was back in October. But, when you find out how things have changed, it might just break your heart and make you wonder, who is the real animal here, ape or man?
When 360 continues.
COOPER: Well, until now, unless you live in the Rockies, you might have been wondering what became of winter. Well, tonight, it finally feels like January here in New York. And that's to be expected. As you can see, it is January in New York. That's the Zamboni making the rounds there at Central Park's Wollman Rink right now.
But, elsewhere, in the South, Southwest, even Southern California, it also looks and feels like -- well, like January in New York, or even worse. We're talking about snow, ice. Power lines are down, people in the dark. Crops are dying on the vine. Money and lives are being lost.
Reporting for us tonight is CNN's Jeff Flock.
JEFF FLOCK, CNN CHICAGO BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Wine country in white, parts of Missouri and Oklahoma still in the dark, Georgia bracing for the worst.
Tens of thousands remain powerless in Oklahoma, including half the town of McAlester -- no power at the jail, but all secure, thanks to generators. The governor toured McAlester today, but canceled a more extensive trip because of bad weather. The forecast remains frigid -- many also remaining in the dark in Missouri.
We spent the night by candlelight with Bill Hamilton (ph) outside Saint Louis this weekend. The power company still hasn't gotten everyone's lights back on, though it's close. The wave that hit Oklahoma and Texas now threatens the Southeast -- trucks at the ready in the North Georgia Mountains.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're getting by.
FLOCK: In New Hampshire, you wouldn't guess they are more used to winter weather. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The trees coated with ice draped over the power lines have to actually be manually beaten upon in order to break off that ice and lift off the power lines. Otherwise, the power just can't travel on that line.
FLOCK: Back to the west, in California, this is San Mateo -- rare snow in the Bay Area.
To the south, blizzard conditions stop traffic on a stretch of Interstate 5 in the mountains north of L.A.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's about three inches of snow on the ground, and with a blanket of ice underneath that. There's multiple cars that have spun out, big rigs, several jackknifes.
FLOCK: And there is now word that 70 percent of California's oranges, lemons and tangerines were still on the trees when the cold hit. That could spell a loss of three-quarters-of-a-billion dollars, and, according to labor leaders, 12,000 jobs among pickers and packers -- so cold in California that it looks like it could be Michigan.
And, on the shores of Michigan, well, it looks a little like California. Yes, they are surfing in Lake Superior. This is Presqu'ile Park in the upper peninsula, where the temperature at surf time was 15 degrees -- wet suit -- make that ice suit -- required.
Jeff is live for us in Chicago, where it is a balmy 25 degrees.
Jeff, it seems like -- and I might be wrong about this -- but it seems like an unusual of people are without power these days. If that's true, why is that?
FLOCK: Well, I think you're absolutely right about that, Anderson.
I think a couple of reasons. One, you know, we get a lot of snow sometimes in January, but these storms have had a lot of sleet, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and a lot of ice. That tends to be tougher on the power lines and on the branches and trees that sometimes fall on the power lines.
The other thing about the reason that these folks have had power out for so long, some people suggest that these power companies just are running much more leanly when it comes to personnel, and they don't have the personnel to respond to a widespread outage, like these storms have produced.
COOPER: All right, Jeff, stay warm. Thank you, Jeff -- Jeff Flock reporting from Chicago.
No matter where you live, you will seen feel the effects of the -- the freezing weather at your local supermarket. Here's the "Raw Data."
As Jeff reported, the cold may have destroyed up to $750 million of California's citrus fruit. At least 93 million cartons of fruit are at risk. Here's why it's a problem for everyone. California produces 95 percent of the navel oranges sold here in the U.S. and 98 percent of the lemons. Industry experts say we could start seeing price increases nationwide by early next week.
Well, it was another deadly day in Iraq, and a rough one in Washington for the president's Iraq policy -- coming up, Republicans breaking ranks, and Hillary Clinton weighing in with her own ideas on whether to escalate or pull back.
Then, a new twist in the pension story -- that bill to stop crooked congressman from getting taxpayer pensions, you know, the pensions that you're paying for, well, we have been looking at the fine print, and you might not like what we found -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: Crooked congressmen still getting their pensions, pensions you're paying for. You demanded action, but did lawmakers listen? Or are they trying to weasel out -- weasel out of making changes?
We're "Keeping Them Honest" -- next on 360.
COOPER: An assault in New York near a school caught on tape, taped by the bullies themselves.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH LARIA, SUPERINTENDENT, NORTH BABYLON SCHOOL DISTRICT: This is not cool. It's a disgrace. It's despicable. And forceful action has to be taken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He's talking about this video, three girls chasing down an eighth grader, then punching and kicking her in the face -- images were then posted on YouTube and other Web sites.
Sadly, these days, your child could be a victim of a cyber-bully. We will look at that in the 11:00 hour of 360.
But, first, we go to Iraq, where two U.S. soldiers were killed today in Anbar Province. An American civilian aide worker died in Baghdad, along with three security guards, when gunmen ambushed their convoy. At least 17 people were killed by a suicide bomber in Sadr City. You see the results there. And police discovered upwards of 70 bodies scattered throughout the city. Meantime, a second Republican senator, Olympia Snowe of Washington, has signed on to a nonbinding resolution opposing President Bush's troop buildup plan.
Senator Hillary Clinton, just home from Iraq, went further, saying she's for a cap on American forces there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Rather than an escalation of U.S. troops, which I do not believe will contribute to long-term success in Iraq, we should be beginning a phased redeployment of U.S. troops, as a way to put pressure on the Iraqi government to take responsibility for its own security and future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, I talked about the idea of a cap and the politics of Iraq with former presidential adviser David Gergen -- David Gergen earlier.
COOPER: David, Senator Clinton's proposal would cap troop levels, as well, and force the president to seek reauthorization before sending additional troops. Do you think that's a smart move politically? What is she trying to do?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Well, she's trying to prevent the president from going through with the surge. And I think it's a very risky move politically.
As a general proposition, Anderson, the -- the Democrats -- I think smart Democrats are saying: Let's stand up against the president. We're not giving him a green light, but let's not handcuff him either, because the degree to which he's handcuffed, he can later claim: Hey, if I had only put the troops in, we would have succeeded. You're the ones who brought this down.
COOPER: Calling for a cap, I mean, it's kind of neither here, nor there. It's not -- it's not a withdrawal. It's not a phased withdrawal. It's no timetable. But, at the same time, it's not more troops. So, you -- you kind of wonder what is the policy.
GERGEN: Well, exactly.
There's no -- there's no policy behind it. It -- it -- they haven't really gone to say, are we going to do sort of a Baker/Hamilton, and have a lot of negotiations, or what? I -- I think it's more symbolic than anything else.
She has this problem, Anderson, and that is, her chief rivals now for the Democratic nomination are emerging as John Edwards and Barack Obama. And both of them are taking very strong anti-war positions, Edwards in particular. And that's going to leave her, with her own party -- her own base is enamored with the idea -- and a lot of the activists in the Democratic Party are enamored with the idea -- of voting no, and actually trying to prevent the president from doing that.
But, to win a general election, you -- I think to be the party who says, no more troops, and actually stops it, is very dangerous politically. So, she -- she's in a dancing position. She's trying to keep her base happy, and, at the same time, not damage her prospects for a general election.
COOPER: She is also, though, trying to set herself up in contrast to President Bush.
She's now saying Maliki -- you know, she got lip service from Maliki, that, basically, she doesn't believe him, whereas the president is now sort of in this unenviable position of saying, you know, in effect, what he said about Vladimir Putin in -- in Russia, that he, you know, looked into his eyes and saw his soul.
GERGEN: Oh, absolutely. And I think, on that part -- on that part of it, Mrs. Clinton is very wise, because, you know, all the signs have been -- since the president gave that speech about the surge, all the signs have been that -- that Maliki is pursuing an entirely different course -- course.
And, of course, his government looks not only incompetent, but monstrous, when it comes to hangings, so that I think to separate out from Maliki is wise on her part. The president is -- is, at the moment, held hostage by Maliki, because he has bet -- he -- he has bet the farm on Maliki. And -- and Mrs. Clinton sees, that's not a very good bet.
COOPER: Should the White House be nervous about the Senate's nonbinding resolution opposing the troop increase?
GERGEN: Yes, they -- the White House should be, very definitely, nervous about it.
A -- a vote by the United States Senate against the troop increase, not one that handcuffs him, but it's a resolution saying, we don't approve this, and a vote that attracted up to 10 or 12 Republican senators, would be a major political blow, damaging to the president, would hurt him in Iraq, would send a clear signal to Maliki and others in Iraq that this president is hanging on at home.
And that weakens his negotiating -- it weakens his leverage position. That's what a lot of Republicans are trying to argue. It does -- indeed, does weaken his bargaining position in Iraq.
COOPER: Yes, there are at least -- at least eight Republican senators right now who say publicly that they oppose it.
You -- on the other side, you have House Republicans who want to propose legislation prohibiting Congress from cutting off funding for troops in the field. Is -- is that a good move for Republicans?
GERGEN: Yes, I think that they -- that the -- that the Democrats have thrown down the gauntlet. And they -- as you say, they have this -- a number of Republicans in the Senate on their side.
It's -- it's important for other Republicans, the more conservative, who are backing the president to draw the lines, and to -- and to -- to show what the differences are. That's -- that's fair and -- and -- and actually smart politics on their part. They're going to be in a minority position, but at least they have staked out ground.
COOPER: David Gergen, thanks.
GERGEN: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, coming up tonight: We reported the story, and you put the pressure on lawmakers to stop crooked congressman from getting fat, taxpayer-funded pensions. It looked like they were getting the message. Now there's a catch. So, next, we're still "Keeping Them Honest."
And later: Democrats and Republicans and, well, sex.
COOPER (voice-over): Birds do it. Bees do it. But how do Dems and GOPs do it? Sex, politics and a new survey -- where do you fit in?
When 360 continues.
COOPER: We're keeping an eye on the clock. House Democrats are 34 hours and five minutes into their first 100 legislative hours. Tonight, they passed the fifth of six bills on their 100-hour agenda, a bill that would cut the interest rate on many student loans in half from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent.
The cuts would happen over five years. They will benefit the nearly 5.5 million students who get federal loans.
Last week the Senate approved an amendment to the ethics reform bill that would prevent congressional crooks from collecting fat government pensions. Now the House is working on its own version. It's a story, as you probably know, we've been following and, well, it is far from over.
A closer look at the Senate's bill shows that some lawmakers who break the law will still be able to cash in. So what's the point?
Tonight, CNN's Drew Griffin is "Keeping Them Honest".
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the Senate last week passed a bill 87-0 banning the pensions of congressional crooks, it sure sounded good. But when you look at the fine print -- and here it is -- you notice the bill only singles out five specific felonies.
Now the House has a very similar bill filed Tuesday night by congressional newcomer Nancy Boyda of Kansas. She's learning the ropes and learning that what can look like a big step in Congress is sometimes only a baby step.
REP. NANCY BOYDA (D), KANSAS: It's a start to break the tie between money and the legislative process.
GRIFFIN (on camera): The problem is this: even if these bills pass, will still allow lawmakers to collect a pension. Why? Call it the lawmakers' pension escape clause. Unless you're convicted of these few specific felonies, you'll collect your money. Get a good attorney, get a plea bargain down to a misdemeanor, you'll collect for life.
(voice-over) Case in point, convicted Congresswoman Mary Rose Oakar. She served 16 years in Congress before being indicted on seven counts, all felonies. But Mary Rose Oakar wasn't convicted of any felonies. Instead, she pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and, according to the National Taxpayers Union, is now collecting an estimated $54,000 a year pension.
DAVID DURENBERGER, FORMER SENATOR: The Department of Justice has charged me and two of my friends with...
GRIFFIN: Former Minnesota Senator Dave Durenberger was another lawmaker originally charged with felonies, in this case, fraud, but he pleaded guilty to five misdemeanors. Since 1995, he's been eligible for a federal pension that the Taxpayers Union now values at $86,000 a year. Durenberger would not return our calls.
Mary Rose Oakar now heads the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Her attorney tells us that Oakar's convictions were for minor crimes. The serious charges were thrown out. And that she earned and is entitled to her pension.
The point is new legislation targeting a narrow list of felony convictions will not prevent all congressional crooks from cashing in. And it will not retroactively go back and stop the checks of those already convicted.
In the hundreds of e-mails we've received since first breaking the story, you have overwhelmingly told us any crime, whether a felony or a misdemeanor, committed by a member of Congress should disqualify that congressperson for a taxpayer funded pension. No loopholes, no plea bargains, no deals.
According to freshman Congresswoman Nancy Boyda, that would also mean no pass.
(on camera) Should it be any crime?
BOYDA: This was something that we could get done. I was so frustrated that so many people -- that it was gridlocked and nothing got done. This we can get done. I think we can get wide bipartisan support. I think we can get it through the Senate. So I'm just happy that we moved the ball forward. It's not perfect, but it's a good first start.
COOPER: And Drew is in Washington tonight.
So how do these lawmakers explain limiting this to just a few felonies?
GRIFFIN: Anderson, here's what they're telling me. Last year's election the message was getting rid of the corruption in office. So they tailored these bills not to get away with murder in office, assault in office, drunk driving in office, just those specific things involved with corruption, like bribery, fraud, those kinds of issues.
And like you heard Representative Boyda say, you have to tailor these laws up here to specifically target the problem to get them through. Otherwise, if you had a broad-based law, Anderson, I don't think it would pass.
COOPER: So if a congressman was convicted of murder, they would still get their pension?
GRIFFIN: Based on the law, that is correct.
COOPER: We heard last week that some congressional -- I can't believe this. That some congressional lawmakers were worried what a ban on pensions would do to family makers of Congress. It sounded ridiculous to a lot of viewers who wrote in, kind of outraged. Are they still talking about that?
GRIFFIN: Yes, both of these bills have provisions that provide for the spouse or the dependent child. They want to make sure that none of their children or their wives, for instance, would be left destitute.
But the critics are all over this, Anderson. They're saying pass the law, don't give any pension to the spouse. And I bet you that spouse will keep a closer eye on the congressman to make sure he doesn't do it in the first place.
COOPER: And you said none of these are retroactive. So all the congress people who have already been convicted of crimes or even serving time in prison right now, they're still going to be able to get their pensions?
GRIFFIN: That's correct. Including the ones who will be in line for pensions, like Bob Ney. He'll still get a pension. But he hasn't qualified for it yet. He has to be old enough to get that.
COOPER: And the kind of deals they make in Washington.
Drew, thanks for "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.
Coming up, sex and politics. We're going to continue on this story, by the way. A lot more to be done on it. But coming up in this hour, sex and politics. You can find out how your love life could actually be linked to your party affiliation. I find that hard to believe, but apparently, there's a new survey that claims that.
First, though, Randi Kaye joins us with the "360 Bulletin" -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Anderson.
Big changes are being made to the highly controversial domestic spying program launched by the Bush administration after the September 11 attacks. The Justice Department now says it will allow a top secret federal court to oversee the eavesdropping program.
Previously, the White House claimed the right to tap without getting a warrant. It will also now seek the court's permission before monitoring international communications of people with suspected ties for terrorism.
Nationwide for the second year in a row, fewer Americans are dying of cancer. According to the latest numbers from the American Cancer Society, 3,000 fewer people died of cancer between 2003 and 2004. Doctors credit several factors, including fewer smokers and improved treatment.
Wall Street, stocks slipped, due to fading hopes that interest rates will be cut later this month. The Dow lost five points, NASDAQ dropped 18, the S&P fell slightly.
But Apple is on the rise in the last quarter, thanks to the strong holiday sales. Profits soared 77 percent from a year ago. Apple also reports quarterly sales of more than $7 billion. You can credit there to the iPod. Apple sold more than 21 million iPods in the last quarter alone.
COOPER: That's a lot of downloading and a lot of music.
KAYE: You bet.
COOPER: Randi, thanks.
Coming up, the politics of sex. Democrats and Republicans in the bedroom.
Plus, silverback slaughter. Who is killing endangered gorillas and why? Our report from the Congo, next on 360.
COOPER: A disturbing report caught our attention today in central Africa. At least one, maybe two, endangered silverback mountain gorillas have been killed and eaten. It happened in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And tonight, conservationists feel that more of the animals are under threat.
We reported on the plight of mountain gorillas several months ago in the Congo, and given the latest attacks against them, we thought we'd show you some of these remarkable animals as we saw them, up close.
COOPER (voice-over): After years of war and government neglect, nothing is easy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
To find the last remaining mountain gorillas you have to drive for hours among bumpy dirt roads. Then, guarded by park rangers, hack your way through thick forest.
(on camera) There's only about 700 mountain gorillas left in the entire world, and all of them live in central Africa. They live in two distinct groups. One group of about 320 live on a mountains in Uganda. The others, about 380 of them, live here in the Burungas (ph), a densely forested series of mountains that straddles Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
(voice-over) In Rwanda the mountain gorillas are the country's biggest tourist attraction, bringing in about $2 million a year. But here in the Congo, years of fighting have driven away the tourists, and since 1994 more than 100 of these park rangers have been killed.
(on camera) The gorillas here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are under threat from all sides. Farmers desperate for land are encroaching on their habitat. So are miners, who are exploiting the natural resources of the country. Miners also need food to eat, and so they hunt gorillas. They also set traps, snares for other animals that the gorillas get caught in.
(voice-over) Many gorillas have lost hands to snares. Others have died from subsequent infections or been killed by poachers looking to steal baby gorillas and sell them on the black market.
The park rangers patrol every day, searching for snares set by poachers.
(on camera) These guards protect the gorillas from hunters and poachers, but their salaries aren't being paid by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In fact, the government here can rarely pay anybody's salary. The salaries are picked up by the U.N. and a consortium of private conservation groups. But without these guards, it's likely many more gorillas would get killed.
(voice-over) After hiking for more than an hour, the park rangers find a nest where a family of gorillas spent the night. Nearby, they discover food...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bamboo shoots. These are the bamboo shoots.
COOPER: ... recently eaten by the gorillas.
A few feet away in a small clearing we get our first sight of the mountain gorillas. They're playing together.
(on camera) There's nine gorillas in this group, and every gorilla group is headed by an adult male called the silverback. That's the silverback right over there. That's the distinctive coloring on his back. A fully grown silverback can weigh about 500 pounds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His name is Umba (ph). And we think he's about 22, 24 years of age. He's the only silverback in this group.
COOPER (voice-over): Patrick Melman (ph) is a gorilla expert with the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund and Conservation International.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just testing us. He's just testing us. It's OK. He's just trying to pass now. Just let him pass. As long as he doesn't feel like we're doing anything threatening, he'll just walk right by us as he did.
COOPER: Gorillas are highly susceptible to human diseases, so visitors are only allowed one hour with the mountain gorillas, but it's more than worth the trip.
(on camera) Visiting the mountain gorillas, it's 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.
(voice-over) Despite the obstacles mountain gorillas still face, they are, in some ways, a success story. In recent years their numbers have been slowly climbing.
For other gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, however, so-called lowland gorillas, the picture is much bleaker.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lowland gorillas have, indeed, suffered from the effects of civil war, because you've had several armies and all of these armed rebel groups moving through the habitat, and there are occasions when they'll just take out their AK-47s and have target practice. That happens.
COOPER: That happens and likely will continue to happen until a government takes hold in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that makes protecting gorillas a priority. If not on principle, then simply as a way to bring in some desperately needed tourist dollars.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Well, as we mentioned at the top of the story, one, maybe two, of the silverback mountain gorillas have been killed and they have been eaten. When we were there we found some young gorillas rescued by conservationists. Take a look.
COOPER: I can feel the gorilla behind me. Any advice on...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just ignore her.
COOPER: Ignore her? Really?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just ignore her.
COOPER: This is a gorilla named Etaberi (ph). She's 3 1/2. She was rescued from poachers about a year ago. They -- they stole her from her family and hoped to sell her on the black market. She's now smelling my armpit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Park officials blame rebel soldiers for the latest killings and say they may be followers of that man, a war lord named Laurent Nkunda, who we met. We met with General Nkunda while we were in the Congo. He's been accused of numerous human rights abuses. His troops have allegedly committed rapes, as well as indiscriminate killings, charges he flatly denies.
In the last eight years, some four million people have died in the Congo. Four million people. And the suffering there, for humans and for animals, continue.
In the next hour, an ice storm in Texas, snow in Southern California. More on the bizarre and deadly weather gripping much of the country.
And the new revealing sex survey on sex and politics. What do Democrats like? What makes Republicans randy? Where do you fit in? Does one survey really answer these questions? We'll find out next on 360.
COOPER: A new sex survey published by "Esquire" and "Marie Claire" magazine takes a peek inside the bedrooms of men and women across the country. And some of the findings, especially about politics, just might surprise you.
Randi Kaye reports.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Obviously, we're having some technical problems. We're going to take a short break. Going to be right back.
COOPER: Well, as we mentioned a moment ago, a new sex survey is out, and some of the findings, especially about politics, may kind of come as a surprise.
Randi Kaye investigates.
KAYE (voice-over): Politics later. Let's get bipartisan first.
In their joint sex study, the magazines "Esquire" and "Marie Claire" surveyed 1,700 readers, men and women ages 21-49. They found nearly 50 percent of men said they've cheated or would cheat, given the chance, compared to 34 percent of women.
Also, surprise, men masturbate more, 4.9 times a week, versus 2.8 times a week for the ladies.
LAURA BERMAN, SEX THERAPIST: It's not so much that women aren't interested in self-stimulation. It's that they have more guilt and anxiety around it and less understanding of how their anatomy works.
KAYE: But ladies are looking for love online, or at least looking at love. Women in the survey said they surf porn 1.5 hours each week. The guys spent an hour more doing it and were twice as likely to gander at the goods while at work. Pretty sure that's against company policy.
(on camera) And while we're on the subject of work, listen to this. The study revealed that 12 percent of men and 7 percent of women had actually answered a work call or sent an e-mail while having sex. Isn't that just plain rude?
BERMAN: Very insulting for the person that's on the other side, you know, the one that's not whipping out the cell phone during sex. I think it's a real testament to how over the top we are with our workloads and our technology these days. We really need to learn how to set more limits, especially in the bedroom.
KAYE (voice-over): But it's these little gadgets that may actually get you into bed to begin with. Nearly 60 percent of men, 52 percent of women, said they use their cell phones, PDAs or BlackBerries to initiate sex. No, not like that.
BERMAN: Well, there is a growth for technology, not only in, you know, finding a mate but flirting with your mate or even, you know, making a midnight booty call, as they call it. You know, I think a lot of people are using cell phones and BlackBerries to reach out to a new partner and also to kind of flirt and seduce and be playful with an existing partner. KAYE: One of the most tantalizing tidbits ties political preference to position.
BERMAN: All the sensitive new-age guys who are out there touting Democratic politics like to take charge in the bedroom. And all those, you know, conservative Republicans that are out there perhaps like to give up some of the control in the bedroom, as well. It's a nice escape.
KAYE: So next time you choose your favorite candidate, try not to think about where he or she may fall in this very unscientific sex survey.
COOPER: Not sure I really want to know the answer, but what were some of the other interesting results?
KAYE: Anderson, I am so glad you asked. This is groundbreaking stuff. We did find through this study that couples are actually having sex five or fewer times per week. And our expert was actually surprised by that. She thought it would even be less.
Thirty-five percent of the women -- this is where it gets a little steamy -- 35 percent of the women said that they would be willing to have sex on an airplane. Thirteen percent of them said that they would be willing to take part in an orgy.
COOPER: And we need to know this because?
KAYE: Because these are the results, and you asked. Men -- you want to talk about what women and men want more? Men want more oral sex; women want more erotic massages. Aren't you glad you asked?
COOPER: Very glad I asked.
Thanks very much, Randi.
COOPER: Appreciate it.
Coming up, on thin ice, no, not Randi Kaye. The winter storm that has killed dozens and left thousands in the dark and millions caught in a deep freeze. Miserable weather. We'll have the latest.
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