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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Hard Evidence; Immigration Battle; Marriage and Politics; Misguided Agenda?; Terror Connections; Kidnap Victims Found; A New NOLA; Broke and Broken; Remembering Rita; In Her Name;
Aired June 7, 2006 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, new photographs that may show some of the victims were shot indoors and at close range.
Border backfire. The president's plan for illegal immigration. His policies under attack, and this time the critics are conservatives.
Changed city. Welcome to the new New Orleans. After Katrina, the Big Easy is smaller, richer and whiter.
And unbearable brief.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN, IMETTE'S MOTHER: When your child dies, you die. There's a part of you that will never, ever be resurrected again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: The mother of murdered graduate student Imette St. Guillen speaks out in an exclusive interview.
Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, tonight, sitting in for Anderson, John Roberts.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: And we start the hour with a CNN exclusive. What sources are calling strong evidence that U.S. Marines massacred Iraqi civilians in the village of Haditha. Hard photographic evidence. Images intended only for investigators and other officials. CNN is the only news organization to have seen them.
CNN's Jamie McIntyre now on what the photos show.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): So far the only images of the November 19th Haditha killings in which 24 Iraqi civilians died come from an aspiring Iraqi journalist whose video of the aftermath in the houses and the bodies in the morgue convinced "TIME Magazine" to pursue the story earlier this year.
But CNN has seen a set of 30 digital images shot by a U.S. military exploitation team assigned to document the incident. Images of men, women and children that Pentagon sources say are some of the strongest evidence that, in some cases, the victims were shot inside at close range. Not killed by shrapnel from a roadside bomb or by stray bullets from a distant firefight as Marines first claimed.
For now, the original photographs are evidence in a criminal probe, and only investigators and a few very senior officials have access to them.
GEN. MICHALE HAGEE, MARINE CORPS COMMANDANT: I have seen the photographs, but they are part of the investigation, and I'm not going to talk about those photographs.
MCINTYRE: But CNN was allowed by a source to examine copies of 30 photographs taken just hours after the killings, Which a military official says match both in number and description the pictures in possession of investigators.
However, the source would not provide the images to CNN out of concern for personal repercussions. There are images of all 24 bodies, each marked with numbers in red. Some numbers, one through 24, are written on the foreheads. Others on the victim's back. A senior military official tells CNN in some cases, the numbers may denote the location of bullet wounds.
Among the images, a woman and child, possibly mother and daughter, leaning against a wall, head slumped forward. Another woman and child shot in bed. A man sprawled face down with his legs behind him. An elderly woman slumped over, her neck possibly snapped by the force of gunfire.
All of the victims were wearing casual attire. Some had been shot in the head. Some were face down. Others face up. The pictures appear to show the locations of the bodies in the houses before a Marine unit loaded them onto a truck and sent them to the morgue.
Pentagon officials say there are no plans to release the gruesome images, even after the criminal investigation is complete.
Like the pictures of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, they say, the Haditha photos would simply serve to incite anti-American fervor, and therefore constitute a threat to national security.
(On camera): The Haditha pictures raise basic questions about what higher-ups knew and when they knew it. Did commanders ever see the pictures? Did they realize the photographs contradict the official account? Did they seek the truth, or did they just not want to know? One of two investigations now under way is trying to figure that out.
Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.
The White House, of course, is keeping a close eye on the Haditha investigation. It is also spending a lot of time this week on two other topics -- immigration and same-sex marriage.
And again, the president finds himself defending his policy on both sides. We'll get to marriage in just a moment.
But first, border politics. Here's CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One day after alleging his critics are using the word "amnesty" as a scare tactic, President Bush fired back at conservatives calling for massive deportation of illegal immigrants.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On the other hand, it makes no sense at all to say we can find people and, you know, run them out of the country. For some, I guess that sounds appealing. It's impractical. It's not going to work. And it's not -- it's not necessary, in my judgment.
HENRY: The president asserted again he's not for amnesty, insisting his plan does not let illegal immigrants off the hook.
BUSH: You've got to pay a fine for being here illegally. You've got to learn the English language. Pay your debt to society. And if you choose to be a citizen, you can. It's just you wait in line at the back, not in the beginning.
HENRY: While pushing back on amnesty, the president is offering conservatives some olive branches, talking tough on border security at a Tuesday stop in New Mexico.
And after touring a Catholic charities center Wednesday in Nebraska, the president stressed the need for assimilation, teaching immigrants American values and culture before they earn citizenship.
BUSH: I saw a place where people were learning to speak English. And learning the civic lessons of what it means to be an American citizen.
HENRY: But the president stumped the students when he asked, how many father/son teams have served as president of the United States? After noting his own father was the nation's 41st president, Mr. Bush revealed the other duo.
BUSH (speaking Spanish): Juan Adams.
HENRY (on camera): The president said he's still hopeful he can help break the impasse on Capitol Hill. But he also acknowledged the obvious, that the battle over amnesty is, in his words, the ultimate stumbling block to a deal.
Ed Henry, CNN, the White House.
ROBERTS: The president's immigration battle isn't over, but his fight against same-sex marriage may very well be, at least for now.
While nobody really believed that a proposed constitutional amendment would pass, today's defeat went well beyond expectations.
CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash reports.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Republican sponsor of a same-sex marriage ban opened the week with a bold prediction.
SEN. WAYNE ALLARD (R), COLORADO: We will gain more than a majority on this vote. I think that's a very significant milestone. This will be the first time since this amendment has been brought up in the Senate that we will have had more than 50 percent.
BASH: But that didn't happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The yays are 49, the nays are 48.
BASH: And the sting of defeat was impossible to hide.
ALLARD: We were hoping to get over 50 percent, but that didn't happen today.
BASH: GOP supporters of a federal same-sex marriage ban knew they'd be far short of the 67 votes need to change the constitution. But Senate Republicans gained four seats since last voting on this in 2004 and thought this time they proved their position is gaining steam. Now, it's their opponents claiming they won the political upper hand.
JOE SOLMONESE, HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN: They are desperate, and they're rolling out desperate tactics. And, of course, and as I think is going to happen unknowingly, these kind of moves, these mean- spirited, divisive moves are going to backfire on them.
BASH: What happened? Two Republicans, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who voted yes on this measure two years ago, switched.
Gregg says he now thinks the matter is best left to the states instead of changing the constitution. And made clear he disagrees with President Bush's argument that activist judges are threatening the traditional definition of marriage. Fortunately such legal pandemonium has not ensued, Gregg said in a statement.
A third Senator Republicans were relying on, Chuck Hagel, did not vote. He was in his home state of Nebraska with President Bush.
Some social conservatives say the president is at least partly to blame for a disappointing vote because he went silent on the issue after playing it up in 2004.
TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: The administration should have been out on this issue earlier. I think -- I actually believe that the discussion should never have stopped from the campaign. BASH: But supporters vowed not to give up and took the long view.
SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R), PENNSYLVANIA: The nation has, to some degree, focused on this issue. We've had a debate about what the consequences are for this country if the definition of marriage is changed in America.
BASH (on camera): The question is, how this will affect Republican election year efforts to energize the party's conservative base. Some conservative activists insist it will help galvanize the rank and file, but other Republicans strategists cast it as a clear defeat for the president and GOP congressional leaders who appear out of touch by pushing this issue at all.
Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
ROBERTS: The president's conservative base supports his social agenda, but mainstream Republicans may see it as a sign of trouble.
Joining me now are Republican Strategist Cheri Jacobus and Peter Beinart, editor-at-large of "The New Republican," also author of "The Good Fight."
Cheri, let's get you to kick it off for us tonight. The president likes to say that he doesn't pay attention to the polls. But listen to what Republican Strategist Ed Rollins said. "What the president needs to do is look like a leader, not be somebody who looks like a politician who is overreacting to polls." Cheri, is that what he's doing?
CHERI JACOBUS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, I don't think he's overreacting to polls at all, but there are obviously grassroots pressures that come to any politician. And so what we've seen today with this vote was sort of the fruition of that. It shouldn't come as a surprise.
I think a lot of Democrats are making too big a deal about the timing of this. This is an evergreen issue. This is something that conservatives have cared about for a long, long time, and little by little, they're gaining strength. So it would make perfect sense that this issue would come up again.
ROBERTS: Well, it certainly does seem to come up every couple of years.
Peter Beinart, what's your take on how the politics of the same- sex marriage issue is playing for Republicans? Was it a good idea? Bad idea?
PETER BEINART, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE NEW REPUBLIC: I'm actually really glad they did this because I think it's going to show that the issue has much less salient than people thought.
If you look closely at the polls in 2004, what you saw is the gay-marriage issue got George W. Bush nothing. He won that election on national security. I think you're going to find this year it does no good as well. The only chance to take advantage of this issue at all for Republicans is in response to some kind of judicial overreach. That's what gave it even that little bit of salience it had in response to the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision.
But when you bring it up out of the blue when nobody's talking about it, nobody's thinking about it, then it becomes a kind of Terri Schiavo situation. And I think to some degree that's what we have.
ROBERTS: Cheri, do you agree with that? Disagree that it had no effect in 2004 and will probably have no effect in 2006?
JACOBUS: Well, it is something that people care about. And so to say that they aren't paying attention to it, it comes out of the blue, it seems that way on the national level, but the fact is this is something that's been going on in the states. Forty-five out of 50 states have some kind of law or amendment or some sort of prohibition of gay marriage. So this isn't something that's just been lying dead and quiet. It's just now -- I think it's natural that it would come up here in Washington.
I don't think that it's something that's going to hurt Republicans at all. I haven't looked at the breakdown to see that those who voted against it, if they were up for reelection because, you know, as a Senate, they're staggered with six-year terms. But it will be interesting to see how that breaks down.
ROBERTS: Cheri, let's get you do to a little bit of a reality check here. Republicans today claimed to be gaining momentum on the same-sex marriage issue. Does the addition of one vote over the last time that this was voted on really count as momentum?
JACOBUS: It's not great momentum, but one vote is one vote. But I think that the real telling part of this story is what's happening in the states.
ROBERTS: Peter Beinart, let me change gears real quick here. On immigration, President Bush said yesterday that he saw a lot of common ground between the Senate and the House versions of the immigration bill, but many people only see huge divisions over this issue of amnesty. How do you read it?
BEINART: Yes, I think no bill is going to come out of this. Look, the Republican -- anti-immigration sentiment -- native sentiment has become an incredibly powerful driving force amongst the House of Republicans, the base of the Republican Party. They are not going to support anything that tries to deal with this in a comprehensive way.
And I think George W. Bush is not going to go along with a pure border enforcement effort, partly because he knows that the consequences for Republican standing with Hispanics would be devastating for decades -- not for years, for decades. Plus, to his credit, he doesn't believe it. So we're not going to get a bill.
ROBERTS: Cheri, let's put the final word to you here. Is there going to be an immigration bill? Can the House and Senate come together in a conference committee?
JACOBUS: I think after what we saw in the California congressional race that the Republican won yesterday, that it looks less likely. But I think the president does believe it in everything that he says. And I think this isn't going to be so much of a Republican-Democrat issue. It's going to be every person for themselves going back to their congressional districts, back to their states, fighting it out. It's not necessarily just a split Republican Party.
ROBERTS: Cheri Jacobus and Peter Beinart, always good to talk with you. Thanks for being with us tonight, folks.
JACOBUS: Thank you.
BEINART: Thank you.
ROBERTS: See you soon.
A new poll suggests that President Bush's troubles are shaking his GOP base. Here's the raw data for you.
According to the survey by the Pew Research Center for people in the press, Mr. Bush's support among conservative Republicans has fallen to 78 percent from 93 percent in December of 2004; while approval for moderate and liberal Republicans has dropped to 56 percent from 81 percent.
Straight ahead, tracing the connections from the alleged terror plot in Canada to the United States and around the world.
Plus, the changing face of New Orleans -- wealthier, whiter and what it may mean for the city's future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN, IMETTE'S MOTHER: When your child dies, you die. There's a part of you that will never, ever be resurrected again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: The parents of a murdered young woman, breaking their silence, making sure what happened to their daughter never happens to anyone's daughter again. Their story when 360 continues.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: The arrest of 17 Muslim men and teenagers on terror charges represents a new chapter in Canada's struggle with ethnic and religious extremism. Evidence that not even a tolerant and open society can avoid what now seems to be a global wave of terror. Because even though the alleged plotters are, by and large, homegrown, investigators believe that some also fit within a larger global picture.
CNN's Jeanne Meserve is tracing the connections.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The 17 suspects arrested in Canada over the weekend are part of a larger web of terrorism, U.S. officials and experts say, that reaches into the United States, Britain, Bosnia, Sweden, Denmark and Bangladesh. It is a web created and maintained over the Internet.
In Bosnia in October of last year, authorities uncovered the first clues. Evidence that led them to London, officials say, and the arrest of Younis Tsouli.
Internet experts and officials believe that Tsouli, a computer expert, was in the cyber world, "Irhabi 007." "Irhabi" means "terrorist" in Arabic. Irhabi 007 created Web sites, including this one for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, that facilitated communication between Arab extremists and English speakers.
BRIAN MARCUS, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: He was posting training videos about how to make suicide bomb belts; posting propaganda videos, such as the horrific attack against Nicholas Berg, the American killed in Iraq.
MESERVE: Law enforcement found on Tsouli's computer what appeared to be surveillance videos of possible targets in Washington D.C., videos that were taken, officials say, by two Atlanta men, Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, who are now in U.S. custody. Efforts to reach their lawyers were unsuccessful.
In addition, U.S. officials say, there is evidence the Americans e-mailed some members of the Canadian group, some of whom, U.S. officials say, used chat rooms frequented by Islamic militants.
And the BBC is reporting that the Canadians had links to two people arrested in Britain Wednesday on terrorism charges.
Each cluster of suspects, experts say, was largely self- contained.
JOHN MILLER, FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: What you have then created is a larger number of smaller networks where they recruit themselves and each other, where they finance themselves and each other, and where they launch their plans with their own wherewithal.
MESERVE: What connects them is their radical philosophy and cyberspace. MARCUS: These are terrorists who are using the tools of technology to further their goals.
MESERVE (on camera): Canadian intelligence officials say that on any given day, there are about 4,500 active extremist websites. If there is an upside, experts say, it is that users sometimes leave clues that help law enforcement track them down.
Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.
ROBERTS: The parents of murdered college student Imette St. Guillen, in an exclusive interview. That's coming up.
But first, Thomas Roberts from "HEADLINE NEWS," joins us with some of the other stories that we're following tonight.
THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, hi.
There's a new diplomatic approach over Iran's nuclear program. Under a proposal six world powers, including the U.S., wouldn't demand that Tehran commit to a long-term moratorium on uranium enrichment. Instead they're suggesting a shorter suspension while talks continue. Iran insists its nuclear program is to produce power and not a bomb.
Detroit, Michigan, two 911 operators are charged with willful neglect of duty for ignoring this 5-year-old's call for help. Back in February, Robert Turner called twice to report his mom collapsed. Dispatchers, they thought it was a prank and joke. And after the second call, they did send police to the house to chastise the boy. By the time they arrived, Turner's mom was dead.
On Wall Street today, the Dow closed below 11,000 for the first time in nearly three months. The NASDAQ lost nearly 11. And the S&P 500 fell 7 points. Fueling the sell-off, inflation worries and concern that interest rates could be climbing.
And Cadillac Escalade owners beware. Listen up. The luxury SUV, with chromed wheels and a backseat DVD system, is the top pick for car thieves. Now, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, for the fourth year in a row, the vehicle had the highest rate of insurance theft claims. And rounding out the top three, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab pickup. So, John, those people with those cars need to beware.
ROBERTS: And you know, it's interesting that one of the most stolen cars in the past had always been the Toyota Camry. So it looks like they're looking for something a little flashier.
T. ROBERTS: Right, not making the list this time.
ROBERTS: Hey, Thomas, stick around for the "shot of the day," the video that caught our eye. Take a look at this. The massive wave that you see here happened when a huge temporary dam used to hold back water from the Three Gorges Dam in China during construction was blown up on Tuesday. China's state media dubbed the project, quote, "The World's Toughest Demolition Job." Surf's up, dude. Take a look at that.
T. ROBERTS: That's good stuff. I hope the camera guy was not near that. I hope that was a stationary camera that they just placed there to capture that.
ROBERTS: Look at that turbulent -- oh, there goes the camera. So much for that one.
T. ROBERTS: So much for that one.
ROBERTS: Here it is from another angle. Take a look at this. Just amazing stuff as that wave takes off from the dam.
T. ROBERTS: Wow. It was worth the wait, John, definitely worth the wait.
ROBERTS: Disney World doesn't have a wave pool like that one.
T. ROBERTS: Nothing like that.
ROBERTS: Brother Tom, thanks. We'll see you tomorrow.
T. ROBERTS: You got it.
ROBERTS: A wounded journalist is back in the United States. She survived a car bombing in Iraq. Tonight, a look at the recovery that CBS Correspondent Kimberly Dozier faces in the weeks ahead. We hear from 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta.
Also, startling new numbers from the Census Bureau. How could Katrina change the very face of New Orleans? Will it ever look the same again?
All that and more ahead, ahead on 360.
ROBERTS: In Iraq, the war goes on and so does the violence. But in an effort to ease the sectarian anger, nearly 600 detainees were freed from Iraqi prisons today, put on buses and reunited with their families. Some, as you see, even kissed the ground to celebrate their freedom. Eventually, 2,500 Iraqi detainees will be released from prisons.
Also free, some of the people kidnapped in a bold and brutal attack earlier this week in Baghdad.
CNN's John Vause joins us live from there with more on this.
John, what can you tell us?
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, John. Well, 15 hostages were found on a street in East Baghdad by Iraqi police in the middle of the night. They say they had been blindfolded, beaten and tortured by their kidnappers. Three of the hostages had gunshot wounds to the foot.
There's still no word on at least 35 others who were taken with them. It's not known if any demands have been made. It's not even known if they're still alive.
All of them were taken at gunpoint on Monday by men dressed as Iraqi commandos. Sunni groups have accused the police of being involved in this mass kidnapping. The interior ministry now says it's investigating those allegations -- John.
ROBERTS: John, has there been any reason given for this mass kidnapping yet?
VAUSE: No word coming out from anywhere. All we've had is the information which we've received from these 15 hostages. What they've been able to tell police, essentially, that they were beaten and tortured, and that is about it -- John.
ROBERTS: What else can you tell us about the detainees? When will the rest of the 2,500 be released?
VAUSE: Well, the 2,500 prisoners should all be released over the next 30 days. This is one of the biggest release of prisoners since the U.S.-led occupation began.
The prisoners released today are those who did not have convincing evidence against them or may have been jailed by mistake. And this is seen as an olive branch by the prime minister here towards the Sunni groups. They make up the bulk of the 25,000 Iraqis currently being held in detention centers. They were the backbone of the Saddam regime and they have complained they are being targeted by U.S. and Iraqi forces, ever since the fall of Saddam -- John.
ROBERTS: John Vause for us in Baghdad. John, thanks very much.
Tonight CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier is back in the United States, and facing a long recovery after surviving a car bombing in Iraq. A bombing that killed two members of her crew. One, a personal friend of mine.
After all Kimberly had been through, word from CBS is that she's in good spirits. 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta has been following her treatment.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 39-year-old CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier was alert and talking today as she was transported to a military plane at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.
This afternoon she arrived at Andrews Air Force Base and was quickly moved to National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, accompanied by her boyfriend.
Dozier has certainly come a long way from her earlier prognosis. You'll remember, it was on May 29th when a Baghdad car bomb exploded near Dozier and her crew. Now, they were wearing helmets and flak jackets and protective eyeglasses, but still Dozier's cameraman and soundman were killed. So was an American soldier and an Iraqi translator.
And Dozier, herself, sustained serious shrapnel wounds to her head and to her lower body. A young medic applied tourniquets to her legs, and that probably prevented her from bleeding to death. She was rushed, screaming in pain, to what's called the 10th CASH, that's the Combat Zone Support Hospital in Baghdad.
At one point her pulse stopped. She underwent two emergency operations. Within 24 hours she was flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. She was under heavy sedation, unable to talk, able to breath only through a ventilator and completely immobile.
In a press briefing, her doctors were guarded. Just more than a week later, Dozier's progress is easily measurable.
Statements from "CBS News" say swelling in her face has decreased significantly. She is sitting up, talking with her family, even cracking jokes with her boyfriend. She's able to eat solid food. She's able to have her hair washed.
On Tuesday, she had her first physical therapy session for her fractured legs.
In a quote given to "CBS News," Colonel Bryan Gamble, commander of the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center says, "She's made what I think is some pretty good progress. She still has a long road ahead, but I think it's promising."
Dozier's first weeks back at home will be spent here at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Incidentally, it's just a few miles away from her Baltimore High School.
The staff will assess her condition and put together a care and rehabilitation program, hoping she'll show just as much progress in the coming months as they've seen in the past few days.
ROBERTS: Sanjay joins us now from Chicago.
And, Sanjay, it looks like Kimberly is making remarkable progress. Obviously, she's gotten the best of medical care from people who know what they're doing, but also what factor was the fact that she got such good medical care so quickly?
GUPTA: It's absolutely critical, John. There's two things to really consider. One is what we literally call the ABCs of trauma, getting the airway established, breathing and circulation. That's what it stands for. She was treated very quickly in terms of actually stopping some of the bleeding from her legs, which could have been life-threatening. You lose a lot of blood very quickly.
But the other thing that's really remarkable, John, I know you've seen some of this out there, is what are called these forward resuscitative surgical systems. They're also a CASH hospitals, combat zone support hospitals, really remarkable. They're right there. And they talk about this thing called a golden hour. And whether or not it's actually an hour or so is probably immaterial, but you got to get treated as quickly as possible to stop the bleeding, take the pressure off the brain if there's brain injuries, all these sorts of things. So timing really is everything.
I was out there, and I see people get injured, and within 20 to 30 minutes, getting treatment. That's really remarkable.
ROBERTS: Sanjay, as you pointed out, she suffered blast injuries to her legs and her head as well. In many ways, this is the signature injury of this war. From what you've been able to ascertain of the extent of her injuries, what kind of recuperative recovery period does she face here?
GUPTA: Well, you know, it is difficult to say. You're absolutely right, the blast injuries, especially to the brain, are the signature of this war. That's become more clear -- just even over the past couple of months. This is sort of new information that's coming out, John.
If you look back at Vietnam, it was limb amputations, it was penetrating injuries, it was Agent Orange.
In the Gulf War, it was a lot more of the penetrating injuries as well, as well as Gulf War syndrome.
But here, what we have found is that people have these great protective gear. They have the flak jackets, they have the helmets. So they're surviving. But what's happening is because of the IEDs and the mortars and the hand-propelled grenades, they're getting these blast injuries where the findings -- the damage can be sometimes subtle. Maybe they have some difficulty remembering. Maybe they can't recall certain words or speak as clearly as they used to. Sometimes that can take quite a while to recover from.
They say with regards to brain injuries, you can make recoveries up to 18 months after the injury. So it really -- it's impossible to predict this early how someone's going to do. A year and a half later, she could still be making gains, and that's what everyone hopes for.
ROBERTS: Yes, and certainly this idea that you can make gains for 18 months may bode well for Bob Woodruff of ABC as well, who suffered those terrible blast injuries.
GUPTA: Absolutely. He had what's called a dominant hemisphere injury, the part of the brain that's responsible for speech. And I understand he's making wonderful gains and hopefully will continue to do so.
ROBERTS: Great. Well, Kimberly's now getting the best of care here in the United States at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Of course, from all of us, we wish her the best.
Sanjay, thanks for being with us.
GUPTA: Thank you, John.
ROBERTS: Ahead, how Hurricane Katrina changed the face of New Orleans. Who lives there now and who has yet to return? Also, Hurricane Rita was not as deadly as Katrina, but for many people in its path, life will never be the same. A look at the damage that some say has been overshadowed by the storm that came first. Coming up next on 360.
ROBERTS: In the nine months since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, we have measured the damage in so many ways -- lives lost, homes ruined, trust shattered.
Tonight, a new measure of the storm's power. How Katrina reshaped the population of New Orleans. And what that could mean for the city's future.
Here's CNN's Sean Callebs.
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Who can forget this?
MAYOR RAY NAGIN (D), NEW ORLEANS: This city will be chocolate at the end of the day.
CALLEBS: But not so far. The latest study from the Census Bureau shows the New Orleans population is whiter, wealthier and older than it was before Katrina. That many low-income, African-Americans who left, haven't come back; While many white residents have. The differences are stark.
Pre-Katrina, the New Orleans metropolitan population was about 37 percent black. After the storm, it dropped to about 22 percent, or nearly one in five. And this -- households making less than $15,000 a year dropped, while those bringing in $75,000 to $100,000 went up.
ROB COUHIG, MAYORAL TRANSITION TEAM: People are going to come because there's jobs. They're going to come because there's houses. They're going to come because there's opportunity. And a large amount of them will come out of nostalgia. But the demographics of the city will be forever different. CALLEBS: Civic and Business Leader Rob Couhig was the man chosen by Ray Nagin to head up the mayor's first 100 days plan to rebuild New Orleans.
The decimated Lower Ninth Ward, a big factor in the Orleans Parish population plunge, from about 437,000 before the storm to 158,00 in January, according to the Census Bureau.
Many of those driven out by the flood, black. While many evacuees fanned out to Texas or Atlanta.
Eula Mae Mosley and her daughter, Janice Dright, moved to Minnesota to live with Mosley's other daughter. This is the third time they've returned to their old east New Orleans neighborhood since the hurricane. They really want to come back.
JANICE DRIGHT, KATRINA EVACUEE: I can't come back home to get anything done because I don't have nowhere to stay.
CALLEBS: Money, or lack thereof, is keeping some people from returning. Couhig says there are other reasons people can't go home again.
COUHIG: They have found other houses, they found other jobs, their kids have gotten new girlfriends, the whole deal. We have to rebuild an economy so that we can attract people who want to live here.
CALLEBS (on camera): New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas thinks Couhig is dead wrong and says the mayor's transition team is pulling back the welcome mat.
OLIVER THOMAS, CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: The conversations I've had with every day ordinary people is, they're still connected. And until I hear that they're disconnected, I'm not making those kinds of predictions.
EULA MAE MOSLEY, KATRINA EVACUEE: It takes time. Like my grandmother used to say, the world wasn't built in one day.
CALLEBS (voice-over): But it's unclear if this city will ever look like the one Mosley left more than nine months ago.
ROBERTS: Sean Callebs is in New Orleans and joins us now.
You know, Sean, this was something you almost could have predicted in the early going after Katrina. How does it affect Mayor Nagin's plan to have 300,000 people in the city by the end of this year?
CALLEBS (on camera): You know, you're exactly right, John. And indeed, I talked to Couhig, who is really the point man on this transition team. And I asked him what the headline was in all this. He said there really is no headline. He actually differs with the mayor. He thinks its too ambitious to say there are going to be 300,000 people in the city by the end of the year. In fact, Couhig says anybody who says they can guess how many people will be here are doing just that, taking a guess.
ROBERTS: Sean, you've also recently been to Waveland, Mississippi. How does the rebuilding there compare to New Orleans?
CALLEBS: Boy, that's tough. You know, we've been to Waveland a number of times over the past six months. And a lot of cities along the Gulf Coast were almost wiped off the map.
We spent some time with Mayor Tommy Longo recently, and he says because of a, quote, "bureaucratic nightmare," their city can't even restore the most basic of services.
CALLEBS (voice-over): It's obvious, Waveland, Mississippi, nine months after Katrina hit, is still a mess. The city is broke and broken.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's real frustrating because you fix a leak here and you fix a leak over there.
CALLEBS: There's more than $100 million in FEMA aid money just sitting there, waiting for Waveland. But naturally, there's a catch. And everyone here, like Roy and Mimi Lassis (ph), is caught.
ROY LASSIS (ph), KATRINA SURVIVOR: I'm ready to rebuild my house.
CALLEBS: But they can't. Because Waveland's water, sewer and other utilities are in such pathetic shape.
MIMI LASSIS (ph), KATRINA SURVIVOR: You don't see any progress yet. I'd like to see something started.
CALLEBS: All government entities -- feds, state and county -- agree it will cost well over $100 million to fix Waveland. And federal funds are earmarked for the town. But get this. Waveland can't get a penny until it raises 10 percent in matching funds, which would be well over $10 million.
Mayor Tommy Longo says his town doesn't have the money.
MAYOR TOMMY LONGO, WAVELAND, MISSISSIPPI: It's impossible. At this point, 95 percent of our commercial structures were substantially destroyed. So our economic base, our lifeline -- financial lifeline, is destroyed.
CALLEBS: So he stews. Recounting the litany of assurances from government leaders who promised to make Waveland whole again.
FEMA officials say they empathize with Waveland, but a spokesman says the agency works under strict guidelines. And by law, cannot dole out money to rebuild until Waveland has 10 percent of the needed funds.
Ridiculous says the mayor.
LONGO: One of the things that scare me dearly is that there's a lot of focus on the lessons that they've learned and a lot of focus on the upcoming hurricane season, yet we're still sitting here 95 percent substantially destroyed, trying to find a way to fix this puzzle.
DWIGHT HASKELL (ph), PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT: It's just nonstop.
CALLEBS: Right now Dwight Haskell (ph) is one of only four people in the public works department.
HASKELL: Go up to 6079 cutoff road.
CALLEBS: He says the idea of hooking up new commercial properties to water and sewer lines is laughable. And why? Leaky waterlines and broken down sewer systems.
(On camera): So basically your day is getting up, running around from thing to thing to thing, patching and trying to keep everything working?
HASKELL (ph): Basically.
CALLEBS: So the town limps along in limbo.
M. LASSIS (ph): We're trying our best to keep a positive attitude. That's all I can say. And it's hard sometimes.
CALLEBS: Residents and the town caught in a brutal catch-22 with no solution in sight, knowing only that they face a very uncertain future.
(On camera): The mayor says he has a commitment from a number of businesses who want to rebuild or relocate in the city, but he says they can't. So the mayor is begging, borrowing, doing anything they can to try and get those needed millions of dollars.
I tell you, John, it looks like Mayor Longo has aged about 10 years over the past nine months.
ROBERTS: Oh, and it's still so tough even this long after the hurricane.
Sean, thanks very much.
Waveland, of course, isn't the only broken town in the Gulf Coast.
Life in Cameron, Louisiana, is just as grim. But you haven't heard as much about it. And some people say that's because they are victims of a storm that got a lot less attention than Katrina. Also on the day her daughter should have been collecting her diploma, a grieving mother vows to fix the system that she says failed her child. Coming up on 360.
ROBERTS: Less than a month after Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast, along came Rita. Like Katrina, Rita started as an unnamed tropical depression in the Caribbean. But when it came to shore on the Texas-Louisiana border, it was a category three hurricane. In the end, not as deadly as Katrina. Rita claimed just seven lives. But death tolls don't tell the whole story.
Rita caused $10 billion of damage, more than enough to change everything for those in its path.
Here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shrimpers work off the Coast of Cameron, Louisiana. All looks normal until the boats dock and day breaks and you get a look at a destroyed town where 90 percent of the population is now gone. One of the most decimated towns in the Gulf. But this is not from Katrina, it's from Rita.
Barbara McCluskey lives in a FEMA trailer there with her mother.
BARBARA MCCLUSKEY, RITA VICTIM: I don't like to feel sort of abandoned or sort of stranded. And I do still feel sort of stranded.
TUCHMAN: The immense damage from Hurricane Rita has been obscured because of Katrina's fury less than a month earlier. And many who are suffering here believe the lack of attention to Rita led to a lack of government care.
(On camera): What do you think of the job of the federal government, the people in Washington who have been dealing with this disaster?
CLIFTON HEBERT, CAMERON PARISH EMERGENCY DIRECTOR: I think they just have dropped it.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Clifton Hebert is the emergency director in Cameron Parish who says federal workers on the ground have worked hard, but blames bureaucrats in Washington for red tape and delivering FEMA trailers and funding demolition and cleanup.
HEBERT: I certainly think that we're getting less attention.
TUCHMAN: The town of Cameron now has no livable houses, literally zero. There were 2,500 people who lived here. Now it's about 200.
The strongest winds from Rita ripped through Cameron. The town was under up to 15 feet of water. Thousands of livestock were killed. The destruction was violent.
(On camera): On the day before Hurricane Rita there were dozens of homes in this field behind me. Now it's as if they've evaporated. One of the houses that was here was built in the 1700s. It stood and withstood calamities large and small for all those years, until Rita.
(Voice-over): Barbara McCluskey's mother also happens to be named Rita. And she thinks Hurricane Rita may be the catalyst to her leaving Louisiana forever.
RITA MCCLUSKEY, RITA VICTIM: I'm thinking about Alaska. I really am.
TUCHMAN: Brian and Carla Richard wanted to get a FEMA trailer, but they heard nothing from the government until last month, which was too late because they had already gotten this trailer on their own dime.
BRIAN RICHARD, RITA VICTIMS: We wanted to come home, and that's the only way they could come home. So we bought our own.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Gil Jamieson is FEMA's deputy director for Gulf Coast recovery.
GIL JAMIESON, FEMA DEPUTY DIRECTOR: Are we perfect? Absolutely not. Have we responded to every need that they have with our programs? In many instances we haven't. But for the programs that we do have, we've done our best to get to them as quickly and as efficiently as we can.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Amid this devastated town sits a heavily damage church, with a monument commemorating past hurricanes. A plaque that says "do not harm my children," serves as a reminder that the people of Cameron were actually very fortunate that nobody was killed.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Cameron, Louisiana.
ROBERTS: And we are seven days into this hurricane season.
In a moment, a grieving parent honors the memory of her murdered daughter by attending what would have been her graduation. Imette St. Guillen was the victim of a sadistic murder. In her memory, could come a new tool to stop crime.
A CNN exclusive when 360 continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAY KELLY, NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: Today, we're announcing a break in this case. Darrell Littlejohn's blood was found on plastic ties that were used to bind Imette's hands behind her back. And a DNA match to Littlejohn was made. As a result of this and other evidence, Littlejohn is the prime suspect in this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: That's Ray Kelly, New York City's top cop, back when the investigation into a graduate student's murder dominated local and national news.
Imette St. Guillen was killed in February. She was supposed to have graduated this past weekend. At her commencement, she would have been encouraged by the keynote speaker to make sure that her life counts for something. Thanks to her mother, that seems to be happening.
Here's CNN's Randi Kaye with a 360 exclusive.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Graduation day at John Jay College in Manhattan. Imette St. Guillen should have been here. Instead, her mother and sister accepted her diploma.
MAUREEN ST. GUILLEN, IMETTE'S MOTHER: I was so proud of what she would have accomplished. But I was incredibly saddened by the fact that she wasn't there.
KAYE: Maureen and Alejandra St. Guillen watched from their seats as other graduates made their way to the stage. It was a day of many tears.
M. ST. GUILLEN: Every time they have an accomplishment, you have an accomplishment. If they have pain, you feel pain. In this case, when your child dies, you die. There's a part of you that will never, ever be resurrected again.
KAYE: Last February, police say 24-year-old Imette left this Manhattan bar about 4:00 a.m. with Bouncer Darrell Littlejohn.
Her body, hands bound, head wrapped in plastic, and a sock stuffed in her mouth, was found the next day in Brooklyn. She had been raped and mutilated. Littlejohn is charged with murder, but says he didn't do it.
JOE TACOPINA, ST. GUILLEN FAMILY ATTORNEY: This system failed Imette woefully in so many ways.
KAYE: The St. Guillen family wants to know why Littlejohn, a convicted felon out on parole, had no supervision from a parole officer.
Their lawyer, Joe Tacopina says they might sue the state to make it improve its parole system.
TACOPINA: The state parole officials have acknowledged Littlejohn went unsupervised.
KAYE: Though never convicted of a sex crime, Littlejohn's been in prison five times. New York state law forbids bars from hiring convicted felons. The family wants the state to enforce that law.
ALEJANDRA ST. GUILLEN, IMETTE'S SISTER: If Littlejohn weren't there, it is almost certain that Imette would be here today. And one of the reasons why Imette's not here is because certain systems weren't in place or weren't being enforced.
KAYE: Alejandra and her mother are also pushing the state to pass Imette's Law.
(On camera): Imette's Law, if it passes, would require all New York City bar owners to set up security cameras outside. Here at The Falls bar, where Imette was last seen, there are no cameras. If there had been, police may have been able to learn more quickly who Imette left the bar with.
(Voice-over): The law would also require background checks on all bar employees.
M. ST. GUILLEN: We don't want to think about the way her life was terminated. We just want to make sure there's change so people can just celebrate her life. She was a fabulous, fabulous young woman. It's a tremendous loss.
KAYE: A loss the family believes will only be slightly more bearable if it prompts change.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
ROBERTS: More of 360 in a moment.
ROBERTS: Tomorrow, on "AMERICA MORNING," a hard lesson in addition and subtraction. How the rising price of fuel is forcing schools to layoff teachers in the classroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These last two years we've seen such remarkable increases. And the cost of fuel, it's just kind of like the straw that broke the camel's back. It just has thrown our budget way out of balance. And so we were forced this year to take some fairly significant action.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: CNN's Dan Lothian continues to report from Iowa, "Paying the Price in the Heartland." An "AMERICAN MORNING" series tomorrow, starting at 6:00 o'clock, Eastern.
"LARRY KING" is up next. He's back inside California's infamous San Quentin prison.
We'll see you tomorrow on 360. Good night. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com