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Senator Tim Johnson in Surgery; Iraq: The Endgame; Retracing the Steps; Holding Out Hope; Duke of Hatred; Remembering Peter Boyle; Prisoners' Organs; What is a Christian?

Aired December 13, 2006 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, we begin the hour with breaking news. A late update on Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota. He was hospitalized today. His illness, initially unknown. Control of the Senate potentially at stake. Now another development.
With that, CNN's Dana Bash -- Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, tonight we are told from two Democratic sources familiar with Senator Tim Johnson's condition that he is actually in surgery this evening at the George Washington University hospital here in Washington, D.C.

Now, as you mentioned, the Senator has been at the hospital pretty much all day long. Initially going because of symptoms that appeared to be symptoms from a stroke this afternoon. And that's what his office thought that he had, a possible stroke.

This afternoon, a spokesman for Senator Johnson came out and told reporters that in fact, it was clear that he did not have a stroke.

And tonight, just moments ago, we have some word though -- again, they're being very careful and very cautious about what exactly the Senator's condition is, but we have a new statement from the capitol physician, a Dr. John Isold, who is suggesting that what he did suffer was similar to a stroke.

Here is what the Capitol Physician John Isold said in a statement that we just got. "Senator Tim Johnson was admitted to the George Washington University Hospital today with the symptoms of a stroke. He is currently under the care of physicians at the George Washington University Hospital."

You can tell that statement there, rather vague. But again, just trying to read between the lines, if you will, suggesting that whatever it was, whatever the Senator is in surgery for as we speak, it is something similar to a stroke.

Now why does this matter? Of course it matters because everybody in Washington is thinking and praying for the Senator, but big picture, this is a Senator, a Democrat, and just a month ago, six weeks ago or so, the Democrats did win control of the U.S. Senate by one seat, one vote. 51-49 is where the Senate is right now. That's what gives the Democrats their majority. And if in fact, depending on what happens and we want to be careful here, but if in fact for some reason Senator Johnson is unable to serve, and if his seat is vacant, then what could happen is the governor, who is a Republican, would nominate or put somebody in that place. And tradition is that Republican governors or Democratic governors appoint people from their own party.

If that happens, that could tip the balance of power in the U.S. Senate and snatch the Democrat's majority away from them even before they officially take it in January.

Again, that is not something that people are officially talking about yet. Again, Senator Johnson is still in surgery. We don't know his condition, but it is certainly the cold reality, the political reality that this Senator's condition could have huge political ramifications here in Washington -- Anderson.

COOPER: Hmm. Certainly a lot of thoughts and prayers tonight are with him and his family.

Dana, thanks for that.


Other news now. President Bush today, said he will not be rushed into laying out a new plan for dealing with Iraq. He's been meeting with commanders and reading reports. Whatever he comes up with, staying around might not work and leaving too quickly could be worse. Not a lot of great options.

In a moment, Saudi Arabia is warning about the consequences of that. First, the consequences of day in and day out life on the streets of Baghdad, a city stocking up for all-out chaos.

With that, here's CNN's Nic Robertson.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's nighttime in Baghdad, and this is the new face of war here -- Sunni vigilantes. In the neighborhoods where Iraq's mostly Shia security forces are simply not trusted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Sectarian war is happening. Destroying mosques, forcing Sunnis to leave their neighborhoods.

ROBERTSON: These few snatches of video tell a disturbing story of just how bad sectarian tensions have become.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is no other way. If they come to us, they will slaughter us. Resisting them is the only way we have.

ROBERTSON: On an Iraqi Web site,, citizens post their own reports. Recently, this appeared. A chilling account from a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad. A resident stockpiling weapons, shooting outsiders. (On camera): But as I am finding out, not all vigilantes are volunteers.

(Voice-over): I am meeting a Sunni. He's afraid to show his face. He says local gunmen have forced him to join the fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You have to defend yourself. All the neighbors are doing it. And if I stayed at home, they would say you're a coward and they would take action to deal with you.

ROBERTSON: He describes what he calls a dissent into civil war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are a Sunni area surrounded by Shiites. We are under mortal attack day and night. Snipers are working from high buildings, shooting at people day and night. And at night, the mortars start falling.

ROBERTSON (on camera): The neighborhood he's describing, the Ama Mello (ph) worker's neighborhood, is just over there, just off the main airport highway. It's so volatile, we can't drive through there right now. In fact, sometimes the fighting overspills onto the highway here.

(Voice-over): Sectarian havoc is clear in other neighborhoods. Here, a Sunni mosque has been destroyed to drive Sunnis out of a mostly Shia neighborhood.

On walls in another neighborhood, new graffiti tells Sunnis to get out.

This is one of 40 Sunni families forced out from one small neighborhood this past weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We asked the Iraqi army to come and help, but the army didn't interfere and it seems they are conspiring with the militia.

ROBERTSON: And it isn't just Sunnis on the run. This Shia lady says her husband and son were killed by Sunnis, then her house torched and she was forced out. They told me to go out from your house, Shiite. We're going to burn it.

A close look at the map of Baghdad reveals where tensions are highest. Dark blue is strongly Shia; dark red, strongly Sunni. Where the colors fade are the mixed neighborhoods. A sectarian fault line runs north/south all the way through Baghdad.

Iraq's ministry of defense says security forces are stretched too thin. But for some Sunnis, it's clear it's not the numbers the Iraqi army lacks, it's trust.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When the Americans are in the neighborhood, we sleep. When there are no Americans, everyone carries his weapon and protects himself.


ROBERTSON: It's a wakeup call for anyone who thinks Iraqi security forces are actually ready to take control of the country -- Anderson.

COOPER: It certainly sounds like that. Nic, thanks.

With us now is Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

And Reza Aslan of the U.S.C. Center on Diplomacy and author of the book, "No God but God."

Good to see both of you.

Reza, just off of Nic Robertson's piece, Iraqi security forces are talking about the idea of being able to take control of Baghdad by early next year. The majority of them are Shia. Can they be trusted?

REZA ASLAN, U.S.C. CENTER ON DIPLOMACY: Well, I mean, it's -- you're hard pressed to trust the army at this point or really any kind of security forces in Iraq.

I think most of the Sunnis are probably legitimately concerned that if Iraq got to the point where somehow the American troops withdrew in large numbers and the Shia majority army was in charge, that that would really spell doom for them. I mean, I think the Shia have said over and over again that they know how to deal with this insurgency. And what they mean by that is pretty much what we can guess what they mean.

COOPER: Anne-Marie, how realistic do you think it is that Saudi Arabia, if the U.S. did pull out, would intervene on the side of Sunni insurgents? Because, I mean, there are a lot -- a lot of these insurgents are Sunni extremists who want to overthrow the royal family in Saudi Arabia.

ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, WOODROW WILSONS SCHOOL, PRINCETON: That's true. While on the other hand, the Saudis are saying as a matter of supporting their coreligionists and also tribal and family ties, that they would have no choice but to intervene, that they can't stand by and watch Iranian power grow in supporting the Shiites and they cannot abandon their fellow religionists even though there are clear ideological splits.

COOPER: Reza, do you think a -- basically, a full-blown (UNINTELLIGIBLE) war is a real possibility?

ASLAN: Yes. I think Anne-Marie just hit the nail on the head. This is a lot more to do with Iran than anything else.

I think Saudi Arabia is scared to death of the regional influence that Iran has had since the war in Iraq. They're worried about their own Shia minority and the rumblings that they see in a part of Saudi Arabia in which all the oil is. And so I think in many ways what we are seeing now is this is a result of the conversations taking place in the United States about what to do in Iraq, about who to reach out to, whether we do need to bring Syria and Iran to the table. And the Saudis, like almost anyone else in that region, is trying to make sure that their interests, their ideas are also heated in however we move forward from here on out.

COOPER: Anne-Marie, clearly right now, the Bush White House, though, is trying to build some form of coalition that could replace the power of Muqtada al-Sadr. The president met yesterday with the vice president who is a Sunni. Also met with a Shia cleric last week. Is that -- I mean, is it possible to reduce the power of these militias? I frankly don't understand how you do that because it seems in a security vacuum, they fill a role.

SLAUGHTER: They fill a role and we have been here before. We tried to isolate him when he first came on the scene. We tried arresting the people who worked for him. We were faced with mass demonstrations. We recently pushed the Iraqi government to go into Sadr City. We backed down. Every time we have confronted him, we've had to back down. We're going to have to deal with him. And I think that means we're going to have to deal with the Iranians as well, but we're going to have the Saudis and the Turks and the Jordanians at the table at the same time.

COOPER: We're going to have to leave it there. There's a lot more to talk about. We'd love to have you both back on.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, it's always good to have you. And Reza Aslan, as well. Thanks guys.

SLAUGHTER: Thank you.

ASLAN: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, coming up tonight, a world away, time is running short as well. Rescue crews being hampered in their efforts to bring three stranded climbers down off of Oregon's Mt. Hood. We're talking about freezing rain, sleet and gale force winds, all playing havoc.

They are hoping for a break in the weather. Cloud cover above the 7,000 foot level is making it really impossible to send crews after the one climber, believed to be holed up in a high altitude snow cave.

Whatever happens next, one thing is for sure, it was not supposed to end this way.


COOPER (voice-over): Three men, three different lives, brought together by a passion for climbing that led them to an uncertain fate.

36-year-old Jerry Cooke is a lawyer from New York; 37-year-old Brian Hall is a personal trainer from Dallas. Also from Dallas, Kelly James, a 48-year-old architect. All experienced mountaineers, all with loved ones who have faith.

FRANK JAMES, KELLY JAMES' BROTHER: I want to assure you all that the families are very, very hopeful. We have not given up hope in the least.

JASON BUTERBAUGH, FRIEND OF JERRY "NIKKO" COOKE: He's strong. I have no doubt whatsoever that he'll be able to pull through it.

COOPER: They set out for Mt. Hood last Wednesday, leaving behind a note on the dashboard, detailing their plan. It reads, "We are party of 3 ... attempting N. Face ... We plan to sleep 12/7 on route and descend south side on Friday. We will retrieve truck Sat afternoon ... In emergency/storm we will be descending Cooper Spur and have food/fuel in truck ... thanks."

They said they descend the 11,239 foot mountain, the tallest in Oregon from the north face. That would take them along the Cooper Spur Route, a popular path for climbers during the spring and summer. But in December, covered in ice and snow and plunging slopes, every step could end in catastrophe.

After reaching the summit, the men would descend the south face. Traveling light and fast, they hoped to be done by Saturday. The weather was good for the first two days, but on Saturday, the 9th, a storm arrived, bringing rain, ice, snow and hurricane force winds, more than 80 miles per hour.

On Sunday, James made that desperate cell phone call to his family from a snow cave. As rescue teams search the mountain, family members of the climbers are waiting.

JAMES: These are three extraordinary men. I can't emphasize that enough. Very determined, strong-minded people. But they come from strong-minded families, and the families are remaining strong just like they are.


COOPER (on camera): And there are a lot of people risking their own lives to try to find these three men.

Mountain rescues like this are incredibly risky. Take a look at this videotape of another rescue attempt on the same mountain, Mt. Hood, four years ago. Six Air Force Reserve members were inside this helicopter right when it crashed right there. It tumbled 1,000 feet down the mountain. All six were injured, one seriously. Remarkably, they all did survive.

The crew was trying to save nine climbers who had fallen into a crevasse, three of whom died. This was back in May, with much better weather conditions than they are currently experiencing.

Still, Mt. Hood is a beacon for climbers. Here's the raw data. Every year about 10,000 people attempt to reach the summit. Between 20 and 25 have to be rescued. In 1986, seven teenagers and two teachers froze to death on Mt. Hood, one of the worst climbing disasters in American history.

Last year, Tim Dopp and his son, Logan, were rescued from another location, Sawtooth Mountain in Idaho. They know what it's like to try to survive in grim conditions. And they were handed a $14,900 bill for their own rescue. Tim and Logan Dopp joined me earlier.


COOPER: Tim, it was in October of 2005 that you went with your son to climb one of the highest peaks of the Sawtooth range. And I know there was a bit more snow than you guys expected. What happened?

TIM DOPP, RESCUED FROM SAWTOOTH MOUNTAIN IN 2005: Well, initially, we were going the take the climb in the summer; and like you say, it was fall before we got up to Thompson Peak. And we encountered more snow than we expected. And so we chose a different route. We didn't bring climbing gear with us because we were going to take a non-technical approach to the summit, but that approach had a lot of snow, so we tried a more north face approach without the gear and got stranded under an overhang at about 10,700 feet.

COOPER: When did you know you were in trouble, Logan?

LOGAN DOPP, RESCUED FROM SAWTOOTH MOUNTAIN IN 2005: Right after we got there. I mean, once we were in the situation, we realized that we couldn't go any higher.

COOPER: What was that like, I mean, going through the night? You didn't have a tent, you didn't have sleeping bags?

T. DOPP: You know, initially, we were pretty optimistic because we were dressed in winter clothing, and we have night skied and so we thought that if we keep talking, keep moving, we will be fine. But about 4:00 in the morning, that 4:00 to 6:00 window was really difficult because Logan was pretty hypothermic by that point.

L. DOPP: You kind of just take it minute-by-minute. I mean, once we were there, we didn't think, OK, what are we going to do for the rest of the night? We just planned it out, we need to do what we need to do to stay warm and stay alive for the rest of the night.

COOPER: And was that really an issue? I mean, did you feel like there were times that you might not be able to stay alive, Logan?

L. DOPP: I don't think I ever felt that, partly because it was me in the situation. If I would have been looking down upon it, maybe so. I mean, my dad can probably answer better whether or not I was any sort of risk. But I didn't really realize the severity of the situation as I was there. It was once we came down that we realized that it had been close.

COOPER: What did it feel like to be hypothermic?

L. DOPP: I kind of started to go numb, but once at that point -- it starts getting warm, I mean the coldness goes away, the shivers go away, so that kind of got pleasant. But that's a very dangerous point to be at.

COOPER: Yes, pleasant for Logan, not so pleasant for you, Tim, I'm sure.

T. DOPP: Not at all. And like you said, if you could reverse the situation, I could tell that he was getting thick-tongued and lethargic and hypothermic, and I was very worried.

COOPER: You guys were eventually rescued. It took five government agencies, I understand, something like 60 different people, a helicopter. And now there is a question about who's going to pay the bill. I know the folks of the county have actually sent you a bill for about $15,000. Are you guys going to pay that?

T. DOPP: They have sent us that bill, and we are in negotiations with them about how we can pay that. I certainly don't want the residents of Custer County to pay it. I think we need a better system, rather than these small rural counties where these peaks are found paying the bill. Or even the person who is rescued paying the bill seems to be fraught with danger, if you ask me.

COOPER: Danger because what? Then you would be less likely to call for help if you feel you have to pay a bill?

T. DOPP: That's my concern. We feel like we should pay our fair share, but I am a little worried that at some point if we continue to do this, somebody's going to hesitate to make a call, and that hesitation could cost them their life.

COOPER: Hmm. It's a remarkable story. Tim and Logan, I'm glad it ended well for you guys. Thanks very much.

T. DOPP: Thank you.

L. DOPP: Thanks.


COOPER: A lot of people tonight are praying for a safe ending to this story. We'll continue to follow it.

In a moment, Iran's new best friend, a Westerner, an American, a former clansman. Coming up, why David Duke was in Tehran this week and what he told Wolf Blitzer today about Jews.

Also ahead, if you were dying and the only thing that could save you was an organ transplant, how far would you go? All the way to China? Even if the organs were being harvested from prisoners, prisoners who had no choice? We'll look at that ahead.

And Actor Ray Romano remembers his friend and co-star, Peter Boyle, in his own words, when 360 continues.


COOPER: That was David Duke shaking hands with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Tehran. A former clansman and a Shia Muslim leader. It might seem like an odd match. But the two men found common ground this week at a conference condemned around the world.

Here is CNN's Mary Snow.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet Iran's new American friend, David Duke, the former politician and ex-grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He's applauding Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for assembling a conference of holocaust deniers. Duke says it's all about free speech. Many see it another way, with one headline in the U.S. reading, "Cringing at Iran Kookfest."

DAVID DUKE, FORMER KU KLUX KLAN LEADER: And (UNINTELLIGIBLE) said use the holocaust as a weapon to deny the rights of the Palestinians and to cover up the crimes of Israel.

SNOW: World leaders have expressed disgust. British Prime Minister Tony Blair says Duke's presence just points to Ahmadinejad's extremism.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I had to get someone to go and check twice that they actually invited this person who was the former head of the Ku Klux Klan there. I mean, it's unbelievable.

SNOW: And Iran's not the only spot abroad where Duke's found a receptive audience. Last year he took his anti-zionish rhetoric to Syria. The southern poverty law center which monitors hate groups, says Duke has been getting an international audience larger than he gets in the U.S.

MARK POTOK, DIRECTOR, THE INTELLIGENCE PROJECT: I think David Duke is without question the best known white supremacist leader in America today. You know, that said, he is not anything like he was 10 or 15 years ago.

DAVID DUKE, EX-GRAND WIZARD, KU KLUX KLAN: The time is coming when the American majority will find its way to its rights and its heritage.

SNOW: Then Duke was in the thick of politics, saying he put his days as a clansman behind him. He served in state office in Louisiana and at one time tried running for president.

In 1990, even though he lost in the Louisiana U.S. Senate race, he startled many when he won more than half of the white vote there.

In 2003, he went to prison for tax and mail fraud. And some say because he is discredited in the U.S., he searched for new audiences.

POTOK: Well, I think that what Duke is doing in Iran is really giving life to the holocaust denial movement and it is helping to stoke very dangerous fires in the Middle East and in Arab countries in general. SNOW: Duke said in an interview that he planned to meet privately with the Iranian president and said the U.S. should not view Iran as an enemy.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well earlier today in "THE SITUATION ROOM," David Duke talked to CNN's Wolf Blitzer. As you are about to see, Mr. Duke thinks his past is being unfairly thrown in his face. He says his Klan days are behind him, that he's gone on to do other things. The question is, has he changed his views? And what about the hate speech that he was once notorious for? That's where we begin.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": What do you say to those who say -- who charge, and there are many, that you're there in Tehran at this Holocaust conference simply because you hate Jews?

DUKE: Well, first off, Mr. Blitzer, I resent the introduction you made of me. You mentioned the Ku Klux Klan 11 times. That was over 30 -- well, 30 years ago in my life, and since that time I got elected to the House of Representatives, I became -- and I received a full doctorate, I have been a teacher, I have one of the best selling books in the world.

And I don't -- you interviewed12 many former communists in governments all over the world and you don't introduce them by saying, former communist and not -- certainly not 11 times. I think you're biased because you're a former lobbyist for AIPAC. You're a Jewish extremist, supporter of Israel, so you want to bias anyone who criticizes Zionist.

BLITZER: Well, do you hate Jews?

DUKE: No, I don't. Do you hate people who don't want to be controlled? Do you hate Americans who don't want the Israeli lobby to have Americans fight and die and thousands maimed because Israel wants it in the Middle East? We have a war in Iraq because Israel wanted that war, not for American interests.

They lied to us about weapons of mass destruction, and now they're trying to get America into war against Iran, and I think it would be a tragedy for this country, a tragedy for the world. And you don't like what I say against Zionism so you want to talk about the Ku Klux Klan rather than the issues facing the world...

BLITZER: Do you...

DUKE: ... the terrorism of the Israel state.

BLITZER: Do you believe in a two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, a new state of Palestine living side by side with the state of Israel? DUKE: I think that's probably the best solution. I think you have to ask the people who live there, of both Israel and the Arab countries. But I know one thing. You can't impose a solution from the Zionist's domination of American foreign policy.

Pearl and people like Wolfowitz, Feith, Wurmser, Kristol, Abrams -- we can go on and on. It sounds like a Jewish wedding. They have set American policy and they have hurt American interests in the Middle East. Just as I have said for years, as Walt and Mearsheimer of Harvard have said, it's a fact. And we are dying right now in Iraq because we're there for Israel's interests. We've gotten no oil out of this war. I said -- I went around the world, around the country before this war, and said there were no weapons of mass destruction.


BLITZER: Well, let me interrupt for a moment, Mr. Duke. As far as I know, the president of the United States, who is the commander in chief, is not Jewish. The vice president of the United States is not Jewish. The secretary of defense is not Jewish. The national security advisor to the president, not Jewish. The director of the CIA, not Jewish. Are these people simply tools of the Zionist conspiracy?

DUKE: They're not tools of a conspiracy, but they are definitely tools of the Zionist media and political power. Even the "Washington Post" said that 60 percent of the contributions for the Republican Party come from Jewish sources. Plus, if any politician in America dares to criticize Israel, millions will go to his opponents and he will be attacked in the media where Zionists have incredible power. Even the "Jewish Chronicle," the "Jewish Los Angeles Times" -- excuse me, not the "Los Angeles Times," the "Jewish Times of Los Angeles" stated that four of the five conglomerates of the media -- largest media conglomerates are owned by Jews, and the fifth is even more pro-Israel than some of those conglomerates. We have a controlled media in the United States, and that's why we're not hearing the truth about this conference.

This conference is about the fact that there must be freedom of speech.


COOPER: Well, you can, of course, see Wolf Blitzer on "THE SITUATION ROOM," every weekday between 4:00 and 6:00 and again at 7:00.

Coming up here, how far would you go the save a life? Save your own life? Tens of thousands of desperate foreigners flock into China for transplant surgery. The truth about the organs that are for sale there.

First, Actor Comedian Ray Romano remembers his friend and "Everybody Loves Raymond" co-star Peter Boyle, when 360 continues.


BRAD GARRETT, PLAYED ROBERT IN "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND: Nothing is ever good enough and it's always our fault.

PETER BOYLE, PLAYED RAY BARONE IN "EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND": Hey, you can't speak to your mother like that.


BOYLE: She's not my mother.


COOPER: That was Peter Boyle and Ray Romano in a scene from the TV show, "Everybody Loves Raymond." The 71-year-old actor died in New York yesterday. He had been suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease.

For nine seasons, Boyle played the grouchy, the very funny father on the popular sitcom.

Tonight on "LARRY KING LIVE," some of the cast remembered their friend and co-star. Here are Ray Romano and Brad Garrett, in their own words.


ROMANO: This is a guy who, you know, look at the characters he played and he was the exact opposite of that. You know, he could get into that role. He could embody that character and yet to know him, you know -- this is a guy who, you know, he was a Christian brother for two years. He went a vow of silence, the whole thing. That's in the beginning of his life. He thought that was his calling. And then he was, you know, a theatrical actor. He could talk about history, politics, religion.

GARRETT: Yes. He was an amazing intellect. Really...

ROMANO: And the amazing part is yet he could -- he could dumb it down for me, you know?

GARRETT: And me, put me in there. Absolutely. He never made you feel that there was anything superior about him but he was able to...

KING: So you're saying he was the superior intellect on the show?

GARRETT: Absolutely.

KING: By far?

ROMANO: Oh, yes. The smartest guy.

GARRETT: What was amazing is his love for children. You know, there were like 13 kids that were born in the nine years of "Raymond" from people on the crew and we all had kids. When the kids showed up, they just flocked to Peter because he was a big kid and he would get on the floor with them and do his impressions with them. You know, it's amazing, he couldn't be more unlike the people he played, but what he had in common is he was the every man. You know, he was the regular guy.

ROMANO: I had no idea what he was like, and, yes, I was intimidated by him. And he -- and this is just a credit to what a good man he was. Of all the people, he took me in, you know, and he made me feel welcomed and he made me feel like one of his peers, which I wasn't. And I came from New York. I got an apartment in an apartment building because my family stayed in New York for the first year. He came from New York. He had me get an apartment in the same building, so for the first year we shared apartments in the same building and we just hung out. He became my friend. He would come on the weekends. I would rehearse on the weekends with a coach because like you say, this was something new to me. He would come down into my apartment and he would rehearse with me on the weekend. This is a guy, you look at his career, you know. He didn't need to be this...

GARRETT: He was an amazingly generous actor on stage and off. And we were better being around him. Not just as a -- he had a great sense of humanity and he was wonderful, to share a stage with him, you were better.

ROMANO: It's weird because I'm still getting over the show coming to an end, you know? And I'm still making adjustment to that. And so to be in touch with all the characters keeps -- keeps the show alive. And to lose one of our -- the members of, like we say, it's like losing a member of the family. So, you know, it's been a sad day.


COOPER: A remarkable life and a remarkable career, Peter Boyle, who died at the age of 71.

Right now, there are thousands of people waiting for organ transplants here in the United States, up next. The question is, how far would you go to save your own life? Would you use organs from an executed prisoner for instance? One man's desperate story, when 360 continues.


COOPER: Close to 100,000 people in the U.S. in need of an organ transplant. The wait, of course, can be agonizing. In fact, some patients have become so desperate, they are turning to foreign countries in an attempt to save their lives.

As we continue our special series, "How Far Would You Go," we bring you a report first aired in June. A look at the growing business of selling organs in China and their surprising source.

Here's CNN's Randi Kaye. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIC DELEON, NEEDED LIVER TRANSPLANT: Take it down! Take it down! Take it down!

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eric DeLeon of California, a father of six, desperately needs a liver transplant.

But he's so sick with nine tumors on his liver, doctors concluded even with a new liver, his chances for survival were low. So they removed him from the U.S. transplant list.

ERIC DELEON: I just knew that cancer was going to grow and spread throughout my body and I would be another statistic. And I just thought I got to get it out of me.

KAYE: But Eric would not give up. Online he found Web sites offering transplants in China. Many advertised kidney, liver and other transplant surgeries for as much as $200,000. He would have only weeks to make a life or death decision.

DELEON: I didn't want my kids to watch me wither away and die in front of them, so this was either it works or it doesn't and then it's cut and dry and done.

KAYE: In fact, people who cannot get transplants travel to China from all over the world.

REP. CHRIS SMITH (R), NEW JERSEY: They house these people in hotels. The dictatorship makes an enormous amount of money.

KAYE (on camera): Chris Smith chairs the House Subcommittee on Global Human Rights. With tens of thousands of foreigners paying for transplant surgery in China, he says many do not know the terrible truth about the program.

(Voice-over): Those organs may be surgically cut from an executed death row prisoner without consent. Even worse, to keep the organs as fresh as possible, some organs are said to have been removed before the prisoner even took a last breath.

Human Rights Activist Harry Wu testified before Congress about a doctor who told him he removed an organ from a prisoner who was still alive.

HARRY WU, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Of course, he's warm, he's breathing, the blood is still moving out. But we just push very hard, just take the organ, keep it fresh.

KAYE: Other gruesome tales come from this doctor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The prisoner had not yet died, but instead lay convulsing on the ground. We were ordered to take him to the ambulance anywhere where urologists extracted his kidneys quickly and precisely. KAYE: Critics say some prisoners in China, both men and women, are actually executed for petty crimes, such as tax fraud, embezzlement and bribery. The practice provides an endless supply of organs for needy foreigners willing to pay top dollar.

Amnesty International says China executes more prisoners than all other nations combined. More than 4,700 in the last two years.

According to human rights experts, a single shot to the head, if chest organs are needed; a shot to the body, if the brains or eyes are needed. And recently, China started using what's called death vans, mobile execution vans where lethal injection is administered inside. Death by injection leaves the whole body intact. And according to Amnesty International, allows for a speedier and more effective extraction of organs.

SMITH: You can't take prisoners who are on death row, destroy them, murder them, and then take their organs. I mean, that smacks of Nazism, when people were reduced to mere commodities that were wanted only for the organs they could provide.

KAYE: Chinese law details the procedure. Transplant surgeons are actually poised at the execution site. Once shot, the prisoner's body is quickly placed inside an unmarked blue van like this one. Inside, doctors quickly and secretly remove the organs needed.

(On camera): Just last year in a move that shocked the transplant world, China's deputy health minister acknowledged harvesting organs from Chinese prisoners, but said the organs come only from those who give consent.

But what constitutes consent? In the United States, death row prisoners aren't allowed to donate their organs. The government believes they can't truly give consent while behind bars.

(Voice-over): Still, the Chinese government by law considers a signed piece of paper, a fingerprint on a donor form or unclaimed body consent. Though that sounds straightforward, death notices like these are often posted not immediately, but days after an execution. So families have no time to collect the bodies of loved ones.

Regardless, the Chinese government maintains they are not doing anything wrong and are merely performing transplants in accordance with their laws.

DELEON: Good job, Dominic.

KAYE: Back in California, with two small children, the tumors on his liver growing, Eric DeLeon was getting weaker and weaker.

DELEON: My feeling -- my gut feeling was I wouldn't live that long.

KAYE: But what did he really know about what seemed like his last best opportunity to survive? How much did it matter where his liver came from? What would you do? (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, Eric DeLeon is running out of time. He's in desperate need of an organ transplant. But does he really understand where his liver might come from? How far will he go to save his own life? That story is coming up, the second part of our report.


COOPER: Before the break we met Eric DeLeon, who is among the more than 17,000 patients waiting for a liver transplant in the United States. An offer by China was certainly tempting. How far would Eric go to stay alive? Once again, here is CNN's Randi Kaye.


KAYE: For Eric DeLeon, it is a race against the clock. Nine cancerous tumors are eating away at his liver. Chemotherapy hardly made a dent. And because his cancer will likely come back, doctors in the United States have taken Eric off the transplant list. But Eric is refusing to give up, refusing to die.

DELEON: I said, I'm going to beat this. I'm going to do whatever it takes to get this done. I'm not going to leave my family behind.

KAYE: Eric's doctors aren't nearly as confident. A transplant coordinator at Eric's California hospital wrote this note, "I guess he is toast and is looking to get a TX (transplant) in China. Oh well life is sweet."

A world away, after mortgaging his home, Eric finds hope. China is offering organ transplants to foreign patients willing to pay whatever it costs. It's called organ tourism. Eric finds a Chinese transplant service. Two weeks later, Eric and his wife are in Shanghai.

(On camera): You were never given any indication that your husband's new liver may come from a prisoner?

LORI DELEON, ERIC'S WIFE: Not -- no. We weren't told beforehand that this is where it's coming from. We weren't told after.

KAYE (voice-over): With more than 4,700 prisoners executed in China over the last two years, according to Amnesty International, there is no shortage of organs. But thing organs may be coming from prisoners who did not provide consent. Critics say some organs in China are even taken before the prisoner is actually dead.

(On camera): Remember, not any donor is suitable because of the risk of rejection. Blood and tissue types must match as closely as possible.

In China, Eric and other would be recipients provide a blood sample. Then Chinese doctors find a match. But for some activists and physicians, that raises the question about the timing of certain executions.

DELEON: If somebody was actually killed for me, yes, I would feel bad. But there is no way of knowing that.

KAYE (voice-over): The Chinese hospital gave Eric a cell phone and instructions. He and his wife should enjoy the sites until the cell phone rang. That would signal a matching organ was available.

Though nervous, a new liver seemed all but certain, they did enjoy being tourists.

Then just two weeks later, the phone rang. After five and a half hours in the operating room, Eric had a healthy new liver. A second chance at life. U.S. doctors are seeing more and more transplant patients who have returned from China.

DR. THOMAS DIFLO, TRANSPLANT SURGEON: Whatever that source might be, one can speculate about. However, there is significant correlation between the actual number of executions that are done at any particular time and the number of transplants that are done.

KAYE: Some doctors, like New York Transplant Surgeon Thomas Diflo, believe what may be happening to prisoners in China is a gross violation of human rights. He refuses to treat people who have had surgery in China.

Dr. Diflo recalls the first time he heard about it. It was a female patient.

DIFLO: I said where did you get your organ? And she said from an executed prisoner.

KAYE: Dr. Diflo was horrified. So what is the United States doing to stop organ tourism?

Chris Smith and more than a dozen other Congressmen wrote this letter to the president of China, demanding the practice be changed. No response.

SMITH: The Chinese government, unfortunately, is largely tone deaf when it has come to human rights.

KAYE: The Chinese government refused our request for an interview, but issued this statement to CNN, "The reports about China's random transplant of organs from executed criminals are untrue and a malicious slander against (the) Chinese judiciary system." Adding, "In China, it is very prudent to use organs from death penalty criminals."

SMITH: The bigger the lie, the better people will swallow it. And this is a big lie.

KAYE: As for Eric DeLeon, he says the answer is more donors in the U.S. More than 90,000 people are on the transplant waiting list in the United States today. Last year, 6,268 people died while waiting. Still, Dr. Diflo call's Eric's decision ethically irresponsible and unacceptable. Eric has no regret.

(On camera): What if they didn't consent?

DELEON: If they didn't consent, that's a hard question.

KAYE: Would you still want that liver?

DELEON: No, I don't think I would. But, I don't think I'll ever know that.

L. DELEON: Everybody has the right to their own opinion. If you're not in the shoes that my husband was in, or my position where, you know, you're so close to home with it, it is very hard for you to even judge somebody or state what you would or wouldn't do.

KAYE (voice-over): So while the foreign powers figure out how to come to terms on organ tourism, Eric's children continue to celebrate their dad's recovery.

DOMINIC DELEON, ERIC'S SON: And I looked in there, in his shirt, I felt the liver.

KAYE (on camera): You felt the liver in his shirt? Did you hug him and tell him you loved him?


KAYE: What did you say to him?

D. DELEON: I love you.

KAYE (voice-over): With a 90 percent chance his cancer will return and no spot on the transplant list, Eric is making the most of his time with family. And quietly thanking the stranger who saved him, whether he did so willingly or not.


KAYE (on camera): Since that story first ran on ANDERSON COOPER 360, China has acknowledged that most of the human organs used in transplants are taken from executed prisoners and that many of the recipients are foreigners who pay hefty sums to avoid a long wait. The deputy health minister in China is now calling for a strict code of conduct and better record keeping to stem China's thriving illegal organ trade.

Also, the liver recipient who was featured in our story, Eric DeLeon, tells us his cancer has returned and he's now undergoing chemotherapy in California -- Anderson.

COOPER: That is sad news. Randi, thanks.

Tomorrow, we're going to have more of our special series, "How Far Would You Go?" Log onto, click on our special report link. We want to hear your thoughts.

Straight ahead tonight, Christianity in America. What is a Christian these days? Where do you fit? And why, Christian or not, the answer matters to all Americans. Next, on 360.


COOPER: Well, we're trying something different tonight and tomorrow. It occurred to our producer Claire Brinberg that so much in politics, science, ethics, you name it, is shaped by kind of great unspoken question. The question is, what is a Christian? How does the faith of nearly nine in 10 Americans profess affect their lives and our country? And how is that faith changing?

The fact is, when it comes to what is a Christian, one size hardly fits all.


PASTOR RUSSELL JOHNSON, FAIRFIELD CHRISTIAN CHURCH: Secularism, materialism, intellectualism, hedonism...

COOPER (voice-over): Pastor Russell Johnson rallies so-called patriot pastors behind conservative issues. He preaches America is in the grips of a war over its moral soul.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've said, this is a battle between the forces of righteousness and the hordes of hell.

JOHNSON: I do believe there's a battle between right and wrong. I do believe that there is a forces of darkness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And all God's people shouted...

COOPER: Many Christians believe the end of days prophesies in the bible are happening right now.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you see what's been happening in the Middle East as the beginning of the end of time?

PASTOR LARRY HUCH, NEW BEGINNINGS CHURCH: The beginning of the end as we know it, yes. Yes. You look at the bible and you will see all these things lining up, and it's not a coincidence.

COOPER: And there is a fast-growing group, millions of Christians who say if you believe, truly believe, you will prosper.

PASTOR CREFLO DOLLAR: The Word of God is the gateway to the world of wealth.


COOPER (on camera): So what is a Christian? You might be surprised. You might wonder where you fit in. It is a 360 special report tomorrow night. I hope you watch that. Tonight, a lot of us on the blog about our shot last night, the amazing blindfolded Rubik's cube kid. Did you see it? If you blinked, you probably missed it.

Let's take another quick look at it.

This kid, he basically looks at it for a few seconds, then puts the blindfold on and boom. And there -- it's -- in under two -- I believe two minutes he does it. Pretty amazing.

Kerry Ann in Palm Springs, California writes, "Back in the 1980s, when this toy first came out, I had a second cousin who was also good at the Rubik's cube. He could do it in 12 seconds."

Linda in Boulder, has her doubts, "I think he was peeking," she writes, "don't you?" Frankly, I do. Yes.

And Rupa in Boston puts it simply, one word, "Impossible!!!!"

Don't forget, you too can leave us a word or two. Just go to and weigh in.

Coming up, your chance to win a behind the scenes look at 360. You just have to play along. We'll show you how. Stay tuned.


COOPER: If you ever wanted to walk around the 360 studio -- I don't see why you wouldn't. See what we do around here. Well, here's your chance. Time for 360 "Takes you Live" sweepstakes. Here's the location of the day, Australia. That's the code you need to enter the contest. On our fan Web site,, just click on the chance to win sweepstakes link. Here's your first shot of the grand prize, a trip to New York and a behind the scenes look at 360. The Web site again, And good luck.

"LARRY KING" is next with the cast of "Everybody Loves Raymond," remembering Peter Boyles.

See you tomorrow night.


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