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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
School Speech Uproar; Mass Murder Arrest; Wildfire Arsonist; President Obama to Draft Own Health Care Bill; Organs for Sale; War Effort in Afghanistan
Aired September 4, 2009 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERICA HILL, CNN Guest ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm Erica Hill. Anderson is on assignment.
Tonight breaking news: a major development in the Georgia killing rampage that left eight people dead. The young man who made that anguished 911 call -- this young man you see -- that he'd come home to find his entire family had been wiped out.
Well, he tonight is under arrest, charged with their murders. Details are just ahead.
But first, we want to concentrate on the growing pressure on President Obama with your children stuck in the cross-fire. The President talking to kids on the first day back to school may not seem all that controversial on the surface. Plenty of past presidents, both Republican and Democrat have done it without causing much fuss.
But not this president and not this time, that's because this time some school districts are refusing to carry the President's speech. Some parents now plan to keep their children home from school on that day.
It turns out there's a lot of fear out there and some folks believe teaching materials meant to accompany Mr. Obama's speech justify that fear.
Tom Foreman now takes a closer look at both the fear and the facts.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Call it a fast lesson in public pushback. The president's plan to speak to school kids on Tuesday has some conservative parents saying he's trying to brainwash their kids into buying his politics.
SHANNEEN BARRON, PARENT: Thinking about my kids in school, having to listen to that just really upsets me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Politics are totally up to the family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So will I send my child? I don't know. Right now I would say no. I will keep them home. FOREMAN: Across the country many school districts are encouraging students to watch. In New Orleans it will be required but that's an exception. In virtually every state at least some schools have decided to either not show the speech, review it first, or make viewing optional.
Some cite schedule conflicts and technical difficulties, but this was not what the White House expected. The president's speech will focus on keeping kids in school, a subject he's promoted before.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Unfortunately, nearly 30 percent of U.S. high school students aren't making it to graduation.
FOREMAN: But the core complaint seems to be with supplementary teaching material from the Department of Education. Originally they called for students to write, quote, "what they can do to help the president."
The White House has since changed that, suggesting the children now write about their own educational goals. Furthermore, the text of the President's speech will now be put online Monday so any teacher, parent, or politician can preview what's going to be said.
Plenty seem fine with that, including the National President of the PTA.
CHARLES SAYLORS, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL PTA: We have an opportunity here in the United States for parents, teachers, and students to take part in a tremendous civics lesson.
FOREMAN: Still, just like the crowds at all those town hall meetings, others are far less satisfied.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My rights as a parent are being circumvented so that this president can speak to my children.
FOREMAN: And they clearly resent the notion that they are unfairly questioning the president's motives.
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Education matters. And what you do today and what you don't do can change your future.
FOREMAN: After all, they point out when the first President Bush spoke to school kids on TV in 1991, top Democrats called that just political advertising on the taxpayer's dime.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
HILL: Going to talk "Strategy" now with political contributor and Democratic strategist James Carville; also joining us GOP strategist Tony Blankley who also is, of course, former Press Secretary for Newt Gingrich. Good to have you both with us. Tony, there is this very growing passionate conservative outcry against the planned speech. Tell us what exactly is the issue with the president's planned speech?
TONY BLANKLEY, FORMER GINGRICH PRESS SECRETARY: Well, look, I think this is an example of an unforced era by the White House staff. Every president has certain image vulnerabilities that you should try to avoid.
I worked for Reagan. People thought he didn't have a command of the facts. So we tried to avoid images that consist that. President Obama has certain images. Hillary Clinton talked about it, "Saturday Night Live" talked about it during the campaign.
And a smart staff would avoid playing into that. So when this White House...
HILL: Wait, wait, give me specifics, though. You are not telling me specifically what you think those vulnerabilities are.
BLANKLEY: Well, sure. There are one and all of that, there's and the cult stuff that's been talked about by -- as I say by Hillary, by "Saturday Night Live" and a lot of people since then.
And so why would they then send out an instruction to students, little kids around the country, to explain how the president inspires them. That plays into that fear and concern and a large part of the public has responded with deep concern.
HILL: So is the issue then not necessarily the speech, but the issue is more with the lesson plan?
BLANKLEY: Well, I think yes, that's where the White House admitted they have been infelicitous in the language and changed it. I think that was what sparked the concern. Obviously presidents have spoken to students on a regular basis.
BLANKLEY: Reagan did, Bush did. There's nothing wrong with that. But I think it was the lesson plan. When we started seeing the things that asking our kids to start asking him how does he inspire you?
WELL: Well I there was questions we should point out, they were talking about how did that speech inspire you.
BLANKLEY: Yes I know, I'm just saying if you are White House staff, you don't want to be stupid. You want to be smart.
HILL: Well, let's ask James about that. Tony is saying that the White House staff was kind of stupid with what they did. They did revise an initial question; did the White House not think it through initially?
So how would you answer that question if I was asking you? Join the live blog. You can log on at AC360.com. Up next James Carville will answer the question and a few more as we continue our conversation.
Also the breaking news tonight: his family murdered, his voice on the 911 tape heard across the country pleading for help. Tonight we'll show how that same man went from victim to defendant charged with eight counts of first degree murder.
HILL: Our conversation and the controversy over President Obama's planned back-to-school speech next week continues. Now, the White House today, calling concerns over the speech to students silly.
Many conservatives though, are taking this very serious. And some parents -- you even saw the tears there earlier -- promising to keep their children home from school on the day of the speech.
Before the break I was talking strategy with Tony Blankley and James Carville. And I asked James whether the White House had failed to anticipate the potential here for political controversy. Here's the rest of our conversation.
HILL: Did the White House not think it through initially?
JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I'm not sure, but I think it came out of the Department of Education and I think they were talking about in terms of it, as I understand it, it was like civic -- personal responsibility, being studious or something like that.
The truth of the matter is they've got people in this country that don't believe that Obama was born in the United States. That got people in this country that believe that the earth is 5,000 years old, all right. There's nothing that you can do about that. You have to live with it. You have to go on.
So the children want to sit there, this is a man that's sort of a testament to what education can do for somebody. His mother read to him at 4:30 in the morning. And he's a highly educated person. He can talk to kids. He could be -- might be able to connect with a lot of kids.
Do that and if you feel compelled to keep your kid out of school, it's your right. It's a free country; keep your kid out of school. But you cannot run a country based on birthers and creationists. You have to run a country based on (INAUDIBLE) and that's what these guys have got to learn to do.
HILL: Tony, in terms of keeping kids home from school, A, you can you give me a yes or no. Do you think it's a good idea? And if you are going to keep kids home from school, what should the lesson be that parents are giving their children that day in terms of a civic lesson?
BLANKLEY: I think every parent has to make their own decision as to whether they are -- what they want to do. I mean, keeping your kid out of school and on the first day is a big deal. On the other hand, a parent has a right to protect their children from anything they don't want to have.
And sometimes parents keep them from sex education and other stuff. That's a family's decision; it's not mine and it's not the government's.
HILL: James, would it be easier, the White House has said now that it will release a copy of the speech online on Monday so parents can review it ahead of time before school starts.
CARVILLE: I think they are, yes.
HILL: They are, they have confirmed that. But should they have done it sooner, say yesterday?
CARVILLE: Look, in retrospect -- in retrospect, you should have anticipated, again, this is a country that people believe that, these people believe Obama wasn't born in the United States. They believe the earth is 5,000 years old.
A parent has every right to take their kid to the creation museum in Kentucky. I don't (INAUDIBLE) that is a right. But this is something that we've got to live with in the United States. And I guess the administration saw this coming and the hindsight could have done this or that, that's fine. And people have a right to keep their children home.
But I think it would be better off if we sort of believed in what's backward and we had some kind of appreciation of what the scientific method was in this country. But hey...
HILL: I only have 15 seconds on this last one for both of you. So you're each going to have to do 15 seconds.
James, I'll start with you. Is this growing political divide getting to be too much? Is it something that can be overcome at this point?
CARVILLE: I don't know; it's pretty rough out there.
Look, I think the president is going to have to sort of -- you know, that was his kind of thing when he came in as a unity, community Democrat and everybody said, well, it was just the Clintons that made all these Republicans nutty, but it looks like maybe they were just that way from the start.
HILL: Tony, I will let you respond to that. He's calling you a little nutty.
BLANKLEY: No, well, look, I know James, James, if he was running this operation for his president they wouldn't have done this stunt.
But look, the fact is Obama had a tremendous opportunity when he came in as a post-partisan president, 70 percent job approval and I think in seven months they've thrown it away. And he's now just another president, another politician. And that's another example of sloppiness on the part of his staff.
HILL: So you don't think we can overcome that divide?
BLANKLEY: No. Somebody will. Somebody shrewder than the last several presidents will.
HILL: Well, we will be watching to see who it might be. Tony Blankley and James Carville, it's good to have you both with us. Thank you.
CARVILLE: Thank you, I appreciate it.
HILL: When we come back, the breaking news tonight: he called 911 to tell the operator he found his whole family dead. Now Guy Heinze Jr. is charged with those murders.
Authorities in Georgia speaking out tonight; just ahead the evidence that led to his arrest.
And later we are back on the fire lines in southern California where tens of thousands of charred acres are now a crime scene as part of a homicide investigation.
HILL: Breaking news out of Georgia where tonight a man is under arrest and charged with killing eight people. This is the suspect, 22-year-old Guy Heinze Jr. who now faces eight counts of murder. Seven of those victims are related to him. The eighth was a family friend.
The brutal crime happened last weekend and it was the suspect himself who alerted police to the horror. Listen to his 911 call.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GUY HEINZE JR.: I just got home and my whole family's dead.
OPERATOR: Ok, tell me what's going on, sir, what?
HEINZE JR.: I just got home from -- I was out last night, I got home just now and everybody's dead.
HEINZE JR.: I -- my dad's dead -- all the people are dead.
OPERATOR: How many people are there?
HEINZE JR.: There's like six. My whole family's dead.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HILL: A chilling call which authorities now believe was made by a killer.
Sean Callebs joining us live now from Brunswick, Georgia with the latest on the arrest. Sean, hello.
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Erica.
It has simply been a shocking development in this case, there's no other way to phrase it. Throughout the week people wondered out loud if indeed Guy Heinze Jr. could be involved in this. He was arrested almost immediately after authorities arrived. He was charged with tampering with evidence, lying to investigators and he had a small amount of pot, as well.
However, his bond was set at only $20,000. So when the chief of police here in Glynn, County came out just a short while ago and announced there was a significant break in the case, it certainly sent shock waves to the small coastal area.
The chief said that throughout the week, Heinze Jr. wasn't specifically a suspect until some significant information came to light. Here's what the chief said just about one hour ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF MATT DOERING, GLYNN COUNTY POLICE: Very late this afternoon, two pieces of information came forward to us. We took those two pieces of information, compared it to the whole of all the evidence collected all week long. We were satisfied that that led us to believe that Guy Heinze Jr. is the responsible person for the murders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CALLEBS: I really want to point out that Chief Doering was extremely tight-lipped throughout this week and he said very little at the news conference. He wouldn't talk specifically about what this new information was. He wouldn't talk if he -- he wouldn't discuss whether he had a motive, wouldn't discuss whether there could have been more than one person involved.
I want to show you some very sobering, very somber pictures. Look at this. Seven caskets in one room, these are seven of the eight people who were brutally murdered in a mobile home park here in a small coastal area last Saturday.
And we spoke with the family earlier today and they actually invited us to take these pictures. They wanted the community to see what was at stake. They said, quote, "We want this monster out there arrested."
Now, at the time the brother-in-law said he had no reason to believe at all that Heinze Jr. could be involved in this. Erica, I really want to stress this.
Now, think about this, it was a father, four children and who are Heinze's relatives as well as Guy Heinze Sr. So he is accused of killing five of his family members as well as three others and there is a 3-year-old child clinging to life this evening who remains on life support -- Erica.
HILL: It's just incredible to think of it and that visual, as you said, of those caskets really puts in perspective, I know you mention police have been very tight-lipped. You've been there since Monday. Earlier in the week, they were saying they really want to catch somebody. People were living in fear. What has it actually been like there, in Brunswick, Georgia over the past week?
CALLEBS: It has been amazing. I want you to walk you through this time line.
Well, first we had the 911 call and then Heinze Jr. was arrested and faced those three charges. And I spoke with his attorney Ron Harrison on Tuesday on the phone. Harrison categorically denied that Guy Heinze Jr. had anything at all to do with the murder.
Then on Tuesday bond was set, $20,000, not a high bond. Not the kind of bond you keep for someone who theoretically could have committed eight murders.
I spoke with the family just a little bit on Thursday. Then went back and interviewed them on Friday. It has been brutal for that family if you can imagine. The mother of the four children is basically in shock. It's been very difficult. They actually found out that Heinze Jr. had been arrested at the viewing this evening.
The funeral was slated for tomorrow. So -- just some horrific news and then this bombshell coming, that Guy Heinze Jr. had been arrested. This after the family said we have no reason to believe he is connected with this at all -- Erica.
HILL: Well, boy, just when it can't get any worse for that family, I can't imagine what it would feel like tonight. Sean Callebs live for us in Brunswick, Georgia. Sean thanks.
Just ahead: we're also following another case; arson now blamed in a deadly California wildfire. A homicide investigation now launched after the deaths of two fire fighters. Tonight we take you on that hunt for the killer.
First though, Tom Foreman joins us for the "360 News and Business Bulletin." Hi Tom.
FOREMAN: Hi Erica.
The August jobs report is in and the economic signals are mixed, at best. The unemployment rate jumped to 9.7 percent, a 26-year high. But the phase of job loss slow, employers cut only 216,000 jobs in August compared to 270,000 in July. Vice President Biden today insisted the numbers are still too high.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, I want to be clear about something. Less bad is not good. That's not how President Obama and I measure success. We're not going to be satisfied any more than the governor is or anyone else is until we start adding, not losing, thousands of jobs per month.
But one of the tools to get us on that point is the Recovery Act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Libya admits pressuring British officials to release the Lockerbie bomber. The son of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi says, he wanted the terrorist included in a prisoner release deal tied to trade deals between the two countries, but he says Britain refused. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, the bomber was later freed on compassionate grounds by Scottish officials to return home last month to a hero's welcome. Not the last we'll hear of that, for sure.
And it's a boy. The panda cub born at the San Diego zoo nearly a month ago was examined for the first time as its mother briefly left the den, weighing in at 2.8 pounds. The yet to be named cub is described as healthy and, quote, "very Roly Poly."
HILL: I think that's what you want in your panda baby, right?
FOREMAN: I supposed so, any ideas for a name? Any ideas yet there for the name?
HILL: What about Tom?
FOREMAN: Tom is not bad. I think I would go with Barney Frank.
HILL: I'm sure he'd appreciate that.
FOREMAN: He could be.
HILL: Yes, we'll talk about that on the blog.
HILL: Tom thanks.
Up next on 360 searching for the fire starter, the massive wildfire in California out of control and intentionally set. We are on the trail of the arsonist behind this deadly inferno.
And pushing his plan: President Obama's health care pitch after months of calling on Congress to come up with a plan. Will he now write up his own proposal?
HILL: They gave their lives trying to save others. Today the two heroes who died battling the deadly wildfire in southern California were laid to rest. Comrades saluted Captain Tedmund Hall as the hearse carrying his body drove to the funeral home. Hall and Specialist Arnaldo Quinones were killed on Sunday fighting the inferno. Memorial services for the fallen firefighters will be held next weekend at Dodgers Stadium.
Their deaths had been ruled a homicide at this point and officials believe the wildfire north of Los Angeles which has now destroyed nearly 150,000 acres and dozens of homes was deliberately set.
There's also late word tonight that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is pledging a $100,000 reward leading to the arrest of the arsonist. But just how can investigators find a culprit amidst tens of thousands of acres of ash?
Brian Todd reports on the hunt.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Erica, this is now an arson investigation. Officials here not giving many more details than that. And with this fire being fought on so many fronts, it's not as if fire fighters here needed any reminders of how serious this situation is.
But earlier today they got one.
TODD (voice-over): The remains of a fallen firefighter are driven past to saluting colleagues. His death and that of another firefighter mean the biggest wildfire in Los Angeles County history is now a homicide case. That's because investigators are now calling this arson. The incident commander adds another phrase.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For any act of arson in the wild, it is domestic terrorism. That's my personal opinion. I believe that other folks have said that because it affects communities, citizens, firefighters, law enforcement officers and what else could it be?
TODD: This could be ground zero, mile marker 29 on the Angeles Crest Highway in the Angeles National Forest, roped-off with red flags carefully placed. Veteran investigators tell us it's likely they believe this is the point of origin. Officials here are not commenting on a Los Angeles Times report that incendiary material was found here.
The source for that information didn't specify what material that is. Tom Fee, a former Pomona fire chief who's investigated thousands of wildfires all over the U.S. says it could be a range of things.
TOM FEE, WILDFIRE INVESTIGATOR: Probably they either found the match that was left there, the lighter that was left there, the incendiary device that was left there, the road flare that was used to start this fire.
TODD: Fee takes us through the CSI of wildfire investigations, clues he says are everywhere.
FEE: Paper on the ground like this also becomes good indicators.
TODD: These he says are indicators of the direction the fire burned in at the point of origin. An investigator on scene elaborates.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Indicators can be things such as burned rocks. It can be soil that's been damaged.
TODD: Fee says while these clues reveal the direction, arson is revealed by anything from something on the ground to a confession. But another key question.
(on camera): In a territory that is the size of a major city, burned acreage for as far as the eye can see, not only finding that point of origin, but determining that it's arson really fairly quickly in a manner of a few days, how do they get to that point in just a few days?
FEE: Each fire is a little bit different, but the things that we use are early-on aerial photographs, sometimes satellite photographs, witness statements, the firefighters that first arrived, they will know what the area involved was at the time they arrived.
TODD: With those methods he says you can narrow down the point of origin to an acre or less maybe even to a manmade object like this burned out bottle. They comb through the scene with everything from sifters to dogs and of course look for witnesses -- Erica.
HILL: Brian Todd thanks.
You can share your thoughts on this story or anything else we're covering tonight. Just log on to our blog at AC360.com to join the live chat.
Still ahead, a possible new strategy by President Obama and health care. But is this all too little too late?
And allegations a doctor is preying on the poor and illiterate desperate for just one thing -- their kidneys. More on our weeklong series "Secret Harvest" when 360 continues.
HILL: The health care battle heating up once again tonight as President Obama considers drafting his own formal health care bill. After weeks of angry debate about health care reform, the administration now promising to lay out in, quote, "understandable clear terms" exactly what it is looking for in this legislation. The details to be unveiled at the President's speech to a joint session of Congress next week.
Senior White House correspondent Ed Henry joins us with more.
Ed, there is a little bit of news, I know, coming out of the White House as we head into the holiday weekend about what these plans for health care reform might be. How much are you learning?
ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right Erica. We are learning some new information tonight.
As you know for months the President has been resisting unveiling his own health care plan. But sources close to the process are telling CNN tonight that in fact people inside the White House are now talking about drafting a legislative plan of their own as sort of a contingency plan in case a deal on Capitol Hill falls through. It's obviously very difficult to get something through right now.
In fact, my colleagues Jessica Yellin and Gloria Borger have heard as well that the President could send such a plan to the Hill sometime after next Wednesday's speech to a joint session of Congress. But I have to tell you a White House spokesman stressed to me tonight that while the President has looked at various proposals that are floating around, no final decision has been made on whether to send a formal legislative proposal.
So it could be just principles they send to the Hill, but we are hearing that they are considering now sending a full legislative plan.
Finally, the key is going to be what's in this. What we are hearing is that the President's top aides are still very deep into investigations with Senator Olympia Snowe. She is sort of the last Republican standing; the real last hope of them getting a Republican to sign on to what they could call a bipartisan bill.
The key there is there would likely not be a public option and instead there will be sort of this trigger mechanism that if insurance companies don't step up to the plate and make the changes that they promise to make, then the public option will be triggered as sort of a fall back.
And the key there is, will liberals revolt? Will they feel that the President just gave up too much here to get a deal? And that's going to be the big question here.
HILL: We want to dig deeper on that and a few other questions. I bring in senior political analyst David Gergen.
David, when you look at that trigger option, is that enough to break this impasse over health care reform, and is it a smart way to do it?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: On the surface, no, Erica, but we will have to wait and see who is willing to compromise, who is willing to bend. Here is the dilemma. The public option, essentially as you know, calls for setting up a U.S. government health insurance corporation that would compete with private health insurers.
On the left of the Democratic Party there is strong support for that because they think it will bring down prices, it will introduce more competition. The President's problem is that 60 members of the House have signed a letter saying they will not vote for a bill in effect that does not have a robust public option.
They don't want to trigger it. It's got to have a robust public option that goes into effect right away. Without them you can't get a bill through the House as Nancy Pelosi said last night.
On the other hand, a bill that does contain a robust public option looks like right now it will not get through the Senate. It will not get enough votes among senate Democrats to get through.
So the President has got a dilemma on his hands. I think his problem is going to be how does he -- I think what he needs to do before his speech, if I may say so, is see if he can't get a negotiated deal before the speech not to take sides in the speech because if he does that, one side is going to be disappointed and may well attack whatever his speech is on Wednesday night.
HILL: Ed, how much are you hearing too, about that speech? Is this address to Congress really going to be more of a sales pitch or an attempt to embarrass members of Congress into acting?
HENRY: I think he's tried the sales pitch over and over again, speeches across the country, and hasn't necessarily worked. I think David is absolutely right that what their hope is -- and it's just a hope right now -- is that they can get a deal with someone like Olympia Snowe before the speech. Then the President has something to present.
But they don't know if they can get that so they don't want to promise it yet. They don't want to raise expectation, so they are sort of caught here.
David is right; you can't really get a public option through the senate right now. You can't get conservative Democrats on board.
What I'm hearing the latest sort of iteration of this, some advisors to the President saying that what he's likely to do is tell liberals in the House, let's just get as much as we can now and go back later. Why kill reform altogether? Get as much as you can now.
HILL: David, would that have been a smarter strategy from the beginning to go with more of baby steps, limited approach. We'll see what we can do now. Because it seems like this effort to ram everything through at once, a, it's not working and, b, it seems to really hurt the President politically.
GERGEN: That's a very good question, Erica. I think we are going to have a lot of post mortems when this is all over, if the President gets a watered-down deal, which is I think the best he is going to get out of this right now.
The landscape changes on health care reform. It did for the Clintons and has for President Obama. What he could have gotten three months ago is -- he probably could have gotten a better bill three months ago than he could get now.
The way this has unfolded with this intense public negative reaction coming in through these town halls, with opinions souring -- he's still got a lot of people for it, but he's got a lot more people against it now.
He would have been better off, I think, cutting a deal three months ago and then go and taking it to the country. He might have gotten public support behind it.
This process has been so messy and chaotic in addition to have this sort of big liberal bill coming through the House that I think the whole thing has sort of began crater on him. He's got to -- Wednesday night is critical, but he's got to get a negotiation, if he can, before Wednesday night.
HILL: And everyone will be watching. I have a feeling we will be discussing it with both of you gentlemen. Always good to talk to you both, Ed Henry, David Gergen.
Up next, preying on the poor to harvest kidneys; desperate for cash and duped into giving up body parts. We'll tell you where the secret harvest is happening.
Plus, the fight for Afghanistan: increased insurgent violence and the debate over sending in more U.S. troops. Is this a war that can be won? We'll talk about all that with national security analyst Peter Bergen.
HILL: Our week long series on the harvesting of human organs concludes tonight with perhaps the most disturbing side of this worldwide trafficking business; the toll it takes on the donors, many of whom are in desperate need for money, lured by brokers to give away part of themselves. And in return, they're promised much but are often left with emotional and physical scars that may never heal.
Drew Griffin reports.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was centered in northern Israel where prosecutors allege a broker and a doctor treated the harvesting of kidneys like picking parts from used cars.
GILAD EHRLICH, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The object was the kidney. In order to get the object, you needed the person and you would traffic him in order to do that.
GRIFFIN: Gilad Ehrlich is one of the prosecutors who was able to shut down essentially a human trafficking ring that sent both Israeli patients, all Jews, and their Israeli donors, all Arabs to the Ukraine where an Israeli doctor would perform the surgery.
The broker is in prison, the doctor in the Ukraine avoiding prosecution. The allegation: that they preyed on illiterate poor and desperate people for one purpose, to get their kidneys.
(on camera): Basically these two men were trafficking humans like used cars, and using those cars, those people, for their spare parts.
EHRLICH: Exactly. And once the kidney was gone, so did the responsibility. No medical care, no one took care of them. As I mentioned before, we had the one victim that took out by himself his own stitches with a kitchen knife.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): The other prosecutor in this case, (INAUDIBLE) says the victims were lured in by newspaper ads like this one published two years ago. (on camera): The ads were placed in Arabic speaking newspapers targeting people like those who live in this very village in the north of Israel. Unemployment here is extremely high. The education level is low. The perfect place to find people desperate to sell just about anything, including their kidneys.
He's taking us to Kafar Manda, this is the village where a teenager was talked into, duped, really, into giving a kidney to somebody in the Ukraine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't know yet what happened.
GRIFFIN ((voice-over): This is one of those victims. (INAUDIBLE) says he's embarrassed, still hurting. Once inside away from the neighbors, he showed us the awful reminder of what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he still is tired. Still is weak. He feels like he's a half person, half human being.
GRIFFIN: He's a half human being.
He was promised $7,000 for his kidney. He was given roughly half. Then the broker began deducting expenses, meals he was given and lodging. In the end he sold his kidney for nearly nothing.
Prosecutors say the ring preyed on people just like this man, illiterate, destitute. One victim, a single, divorced woman living in a Muslim culture.
EHRLICH: When you are illiterate. When you have two kids, you are divorced and you are coming from a very, very poor family in a very, very poor village, in the end, you are the best prey.
GRIFFIN: Prosecutors won their convictions on evidence from just five cases. But they believe the ring has been going on perhaps for years. Its victims now too scared, too ashamed to admit they bear the scar of organ trafficking.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Nazareth.
HILL: It is a crime to buy or sell an organ for transplant in the U.S. But some say that policy should change.
Dr. Sally Satel supports the idea. She received a kidney from a friend in 2006. She's also a psychiatrist and the author of a new book, "When Altruism isn't Enough: The case for compensating organ donors."
On the opposite side, Dr. Gabriel Danovitch; he's a professor at UCLA School of Medicine. He's also on the board of the National Kidney Registry.
Doctors, good to have both of you with us tonight. Dr. Satel, you mentioned you would have paid for a kidney had you not gotten one from a friend a few years ago. We just saw on Drew's piece, though, essentially the rich preying on the poor. If it were legal to buy and sell organs, how would you keep that from happening?
DR. SALLY SATEL, PSYCHIATRIST & AUTHOR: Well, what you have shown, the story you showed is appalling. This is the ravages and depredations of the black market, which is exactly why we need a transparent legal means of exchange.
What I'm referring to here is not a free market, but a regulated system where the state or federal government would give a reward to a stranger who would like to give his kidney and save the life of someone else.
HILL: Should that reward be in the form of cash?
SATEL: We envision that reward more in terms of an in kind benefit, a tax credit, contribution to a 401k, even a contribution to the charity of the donor's choice so his altruism can be multiplied.
The reason that we don't -- I say we, my colleagues and I have been working on this issue -- and we talk not about cash because, as the show had shown earlier, you don't want to entice desperate people. It's desperate people we don't want; folks who, you know, feel that I have no choice but to give an organ. So you don't give cash because that's what desperate people want.
HILL: Dr. Danovitch though, I want to bring Dr. Danovitch in on this, so you're saying no cash but this should be regulated in order to avoid some sort of a black market. Dr. Danovitch, could that, in fact, help if it were regulated and if cash were not being handed out. If it was more of an in kind benefit?
DR. GABRIEL DANOVITCH, PROFESSOR, UCLA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: I think that would be a big mistake. The people who donate for a financial incentive, whether it's cash or non-cash are always going to be people who are vulnerable. What we need to do is promote voluntary donation.
And although we have seen a terrible story today about bad apples, there is actually a lot of good news. In the last ten years in this country, there have been 50,000 voluntary living donations, and the outcome for those donors has been excellent, both from the medical point of view and the psychological point of view. We need to promote voluntary donation. And there's good news around the world.
By the way, in this country, the National Kidney Foundation is promoting an end-the-wait initiative to helping prevent kidney disease and promote organ donation internationally. 80 countries and organizations have gotten together in the Istanbul declaration to promote organ donation. And in China there are improvements, in India and Pakistan and in Israel.
HILL: Here in the U.S. -- as we look closer here in the U.S., you mentioned some improvements, but there are still some 80,000 people who are waiting for a kidney. There are statistics that 13 people die every day. It's okay for a woman to sell her eggs, for a man to donate his sperm, is it really any different, Dr. Danovitch to decide to sell your kidney?
DANOVITCH: It's very different, Erica. The population that are targeted for egg donation tend to be people of high socioeconomic status whereas people who are targeted for financial incentives for a kidney transplant tend to be of low socioeconomic status.
The bad part or the part that scares me about Dr. Satel's proposal is that it will undermine voluntary donation. Voluntary donation and incentivized donations do not go together. Dr. Satel's donor, a wonderful woman voluntarily -- she would not have donated for money. You are going to undermine voluntary donation if you permit financially incentivized donation. We have seen that happen all over the world.
HILL: Dr. Satel, you're shaking your head no. I'll give you the last word; we're about out of time.
SATEL: Yes. I disagree with that vehemently. We have seen in Iran, which is the one country actually of all places that has a legalized means of compensating donors, increased and deceased donors by tenfold. One thing we are sure of is that if we continue with the status quo to tend the wait, not end the wait, as the National Kidney Foundation says. We are guaranteed more death of recipients, of people who need organs and the poor donors who are going to be exploited in the black market.
We have to reward willing, informed and educated donors.
HILL: Dr. Sally Satel and Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, good to have you both with us tonight. Two very different viewpoints in a debate that's far from easy to reconcile. Thank you both.
SATEL: Thank you.
DANOVITCH: Thank you.
HILL: Up next, an air strike in Afghanistan, scores killed, the tensions are rising. Is this really a winnable war? We'll speak with national security analyst Peter Bergen who joins us live from Kabul.
Plus, see where a Labor Day gift might leave you swimming with the sharks.
HILL: In Afghanistan today, a NATO war plane hit two fuel tankers which had been hijacked by the Taliban. At least 70 people died and many of them are believed to have been civilians. Meantime with the American effort ratcheting up, the public support shrinking for the war, the question here can Obama -- President Obama persuade the country to stick it out.
Joining us now with the "360 Dispatch" is national security analyst Peter Bergen joining us live from Kabul tonight.
Peter good to have you with us.
General Stanley McChrystal who's, of course, the top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan recently tightened the rules for calling in air strikes. He said, quote, "Air power contains the seeds of our own destruction. If we don't use it responsibly, we can lose this fight."
Although the strike early this morning was called in by German NATO forces, do Afghans make that distinction between, say, NATO forces from another country and U.S. troops?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No, I don't think they do, Erica. I mean, of course, most of the air strikes in Afghanistan are by the United States because there are so many more American air assets in the country. Civilian casualties is the major political issue in Afghanistan, Erica.
There's been some real improvement in the last several months with General McChrystal change to the rules change of engagement. But then you have an incident like this and Afghans are sort of, you know, outraged all over again.
So, yes, the rules of engagement have changed but you only need one big incident for it to become a problem.
HILL: Did this strike go too far?
BERGEN: Well, there's no doubt about it. As far as we can tell, you know, dozens of civilians have been killed and this was a mistake.
HILL: With August being the deadliest month in Afghanistan for U.S. troops, we've heard so much about how support for the war is dropping. A recent CNN poll; just 57 percent of Americans now supporting the war.
The casualties are particularly bad in certain provinces. Is this still a war that, for the U.S., is actually winnable?
BERGEN: Well, it depends what you mean by winnable. But bringing more security to the Afghan people, yes, Erica, I think that's very possible. Right now 40 percent of the country is subject to the high risk of Taliban attacks.
If you can show to the American people in the next year or so that the Taliban have been rolled back to, let's say, 30 percent of the country where they are effective. If you can secure the main road in the country, the Kabul to Kandahar road which right now is still quite dangerous. If you can search really tangible, achievable goals in the next 12 months, I think, yes, you can persuade the American people that this is winnable.
HILL: We'll be talking more about those goals and how the fight to win them is going later next week when you join us again more from Afghanistan. Peter thanks tonight. And just a programming note: Anderson will be in Afghanistan all next week, along with Peter, Michael Ware and 360 MD Sanjay Gupta are also there to see firsthand just what's happening in the country. Don't miss a 360 SPECIAL IN AFGHANISTAN: LIVE FROM IN THE BATTLE ZONE; it all begins on Monday.
We do want to get you caught up on some of the other stories tonight. Tom Foreman joining us again with a "360 Bulletin" -- hi Tom.
FOREMAN: Hi Erica.
California investigators have seized a van from Phillip and Nancy Garrido's backyard as potential evidence in the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard. And tonight the mayor of nearby Antioch, California, says a trust fund has been set up for Jaycee. She was reunited with her family last week after 18 years in captivity.
To Afghanistan where 14 private security guards at the U.S. Embassy have been fired; they are accused of sexual misconduct and intimidation. They are employees of the private security contractor, Armor Group North America.
Back home, the University of Oregon has suspended running back LeGarrette Blount for the rest of the season for this, that sucker punch he gives to a Boise state player last night. Since he's a senior, his college career is essentially over, anyway. Oregon lost that game, 19-8.
Some unwelcome guests off Cape Cod this holiday weekend -- sharks. Look at them. The sightings are mostly near Chatham's Lighthouse Beach. Officials are urging swimmers to be cautious. They say beaches will be closed immediately if a shark is spotted lurking in the water, Erica.
HILL: You know what Tom? I'm going to stay home in New York City just to be safe.
FOREMAN: That seems like a good policy. Sharks lurking in the water, let's close the beach.
HILL: I'd like you to avoid the sharks, too. We want you back here Monday, Tom.
FOREMAN: I'll be here.
The "Shot" is next. You're not done yet, I forgot we've got the "Shot." From beaming to chuckling: the bride who just couldn't stop laughing. It's funny stuff, we promise. I mean, she's laughing.
HILL: All right Tom. A fine way to end the week; how about some infectious laughter?
FOREMAN: Why sure.
HILL: Why not.
It comes from a bride who lost it during her ceremony. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be my waffly and pancaky...
I have been scared of this all my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: At least she's not crying and running away. The giggling gal is named Melissa after her groom said waffly instead of lawfully and then threw in the pancaky. She started cracking up because who wouldn't. The whole congregation started to laugh. It kept going for a little while as you can see here.
But eventually, the bride got it together. The vows were exchanged. They are now husband and wife. And I believe they enjoy weekend mornings with a fine waffle and maple syrup.
FOREMAN: That minister -- that judge guy didn't seem to think it was so funny.
HILL: Not amused in the least.
FOREMAN: I found in my experience, judges often don't have a sense of humor.
HILL: Tom, that is a story for another day. I hope you'll share it with us.
FOREMAN: Hey, you know this is my 23rd anniversary this week. This weekend -- my wife and I, 23 years.
HILL: Hey, happy anniversary. You should celebrate with a waffle breakfast.
FOREMAN: Yes, maybe we should.
HILL: Happy anniversary. Have a great weekend Tom. Talk to you Monday.
That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching.
"Larry King" starts right now.