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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Interview With Former President Bill Clinton; What's Killing Billions of Bees?; Prince Harry Not Headed to Iraq
Aired May 16, 2007 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone.
Tonight: a life-and-death search for three missing Americans, U.S. troops working literally until they drop from exhaustion to find three buddies missing in Iraq.
Also tonight, the 360 interview: President Bill Clinton on bringing the troops home, his role in Hillary Clinton's campaign, the environment, and more.
Plus: allegations the President Bush's top legal adviser browbeat a drugged-up man, the attorney general of the United States, no less, on his sickbed into signing off on a program he believed to be wrong.
And Britain's royal about-face -- Lieutenant Windsor, better known as Prince Harry, is not going to Iraq.
We will have all those stories.
We begin, though with the search for three American soldiers who disappeared during an ambush in a part of Iraq known as the Triangle of Death. We're talking about al Qaeda territory, Sunni radical territory, and now not an inch of it going unturned.
CNN's Arwa Damon joined U.S. troops on the search, and has this exclusive report.
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pushing themselves to the limit, some soldiers are collapsing from the oppressive heat. But the hunt continues, defined by long hours and glimmers of hope. They have trudged across miles and miles of fields and farmland, navigated the harsh terrain to avoid the roads and the bombs. They even drained this canal parallel to the attack site to look for clues.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN VALLEDOR, U.S. ARMY: Yesterday, our soldiers, those in the brigade, physically walked the canal, and on both sides, to make sure -- you know, make sure that there isn't anything in here related to our missing soldiers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need your help.
DAMON: They have said the same thing hundreds of times since Saturday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any information will help us.
DAMON: Information that leads to the missing soldiers is worth $200,000. And they have been receiving tantalizing tips, but none have panned out. It's a hunt for three men in an area about 330 square miles.
COLONEL MIKE KERSHAW, U.S. ARMY: A piece of U.S. equipment which we think could possibly be from the soldiers that were abducted or -- or could have been just equipment abducted from the site.
DAMON: Nothing is taken for granted or left to chance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in here almost every day, so that this is -- this is kind of a -- just -- just covering all the bases. We're out of -- we're just making sure. We're checking every -- every house again.
DAMON (on camera): It's day five in the search for the missing soldiers. These men have been out for about seven, eight hours now. They are both physically and mentally exhausted. But no one is even talking about giving up.
(voice-over): These men have been fighting out here in an area better known as the Triangle of Death for nine months now.
KERSHAW: This sector has historically been one of the most lethal in -- in -- in Iraq. And there are some very capable insurgents out there. And we do not underestimate them.
DAMON: The military doesn't underestimate them, but it is determined to defeat them.
CAPTAIN DAN HURD, U.S. ARMY: All the motivation is -- is what they're -- they're going after. You know, we -- we -- we talk about the soldiers. And, you know, they know who -- they know who they're -- they're looking for. They know their names. And that's as -- that's as much motivation as they would ever need. Every time they get tired, they think of that, and -- and then keep going.
DAMON: All these soldiers have sworn to never leave a man behind.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Yusufiyah, Iraq.
COOPER: Well, let's hope those soldiers know that so many of their buddies are out there searching for them day and night.
Anti-war Democrats in the Senate today failed to pass a measure to cut off funding for the war starting next spring. Another proposal supported by Republican John Warner to slash reconstruction funding if the Iraqi government didn't meet certain benchmarks, that also failed.
Earlier today, I sat down with former President Bill Clinton, whose wife is grappling with the war in the Senate and on the campaign trail. We covered a lot of ground, including Iraq.
COOPER: Iraq, is the war lost?
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don't believe that we have the capacity to stop the Iraqis from fighting each other. Only they have that capacity. We never had that capacity.
COOPER: Do you think that's inevitable, that...
CLINTON: So, if that's the measure of defeat and victory, then we can't win.
On the other hand, they have had an election. They have got a government. They have got to take responsibility for themselves. And they have got to figure out a way to do this.
I think our presence there has probably minimized -- well, it's maximized death and destruction for Americans, and played an enormous role in undermining our -- the readiness of our military and our flexibility to meet some unforeseen challenge.
I think that our people are good. They have been brave and good. And I think their presence there has probably led to fewer Iraqis dying and fewer Iraqi refugees. And, so, as we take our presence down, as we must -- you know, they're all fighting about this now -- but we don't have any choice.
We have got to bring a substantial number of those troops home, first, to have them ready if they're needed in Afghanistan, to keep the Taliban and the al Qaeda from making a comeback there, and, second, to rest them up, so we can get people to continue to join the military and be there.
COOPER: A recent piece in "The New York Times" described you as a fund-raising machine for your wife's campaign, as a master strategist. I think they also said you're sort of a consigliere.
What kind of advice do you give...
CLINTON: No, the story also said, a couple of times, I have tried to pontificate about something going in New York, and didn't know what I was talking about. And Hillary told me...
COOPER: She told you to get out of the room.
Well, I was actually going to ask you about that.
CLINTON: She told me I was...
COOPER: While she was -- the story claims that, while preparing for a Senate debate, you were giving too much advice. And she basically kind of scooted you out of the room.
COOPER: Is that true?
CLINTON: That was back in 2000...
CLINTON: ... when she was nervous about it.
We get so much nervous at each other's debates. It's very interesting.
COOPER: Do you really?
CLINTON: Oh, she used to get so nervous, that she could hardly bear to come to my debates.
And it's very interesting, because she's very calm when she's on the line. But -- and, when I was on the line, I was always calm. But, when she is in the line of fire, I get nervous.
I think it's a -- you know, it's a husband-wife thing. It's -- you know, it's just -- so, that was true.
I -- I'm just trying to help. I can do a lot of the New York fund-raising, because they will take me here, and it saves her time that she can be in states where she needs to be to get votes, in the primary states, or being in Washington, doing her job as a senator.
And I -- you know, I otherwise try to help. I -- but I don't do anything different than we did all those years when I was in office.
COOPER: Mr. Clinton had a lot more to say about politics and the environment, including new initiatives for cutting greenhouse gases and creating American jobs. That's coming up in the next hour of 360.
But, right now, a story about powerful men and the lengths they go to when they think no one is watching. In this case, however, someone was watching. And now he is talking. If the story is true, it means a standoff between the White House and the Department of Justice over a program to spy on Americans was settled with two of the president's own men browbeating another of the president's men in the dead of night while he was drugged up on painkillers, literally on his hospital sickbed.
Joe Johns tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This really happened, sirens blaring and speeding through Washington, a race to stop the president's men from getting a signature from a drugged and weakened attorney general on a document they knew he absolutely did not want to sign -- coming from the White House, Bush Chief of Staff Andrew Card and then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales.
Rushing to stop them and to protect his hospitalized boss, Attorney General John Ashcroft, was this man, James Comey, Ashcroft's second in command.
JAMES COMEY, FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: That night was probably the most difficult night of my professional life. So, it's not something I forget.
JOHNS: It's March 10, 2004. At the White House, the president's men are under intense deadline pressure.
The next day, a secret program to eavesdrop on people in the U.S. without a court order is set to expire, and the president and his men do not want that to happen.
What they want, and don't have, is a certification from the attorney general that the program is legal. In fact, Ashcroft had already concluded it wasn't.
But, now, on the eve of the expiration, Ashcroft is seriously ill, in intensive care at George Washington University Hospital, not taking visitors, not signing anything. And the man he left in charge, acting Attorney General James Comey, won't sign, because he agrees with Ashcroft, that the National Security Agency'S program is probably not legal.
Out of the blue, Comey gets a call.
COMEY: I was headed home at about 8:00 that evening. My security detail was driving me. And I remember exactly where I was -- on Constitution Avenue -- and got a call from Attorney General Ashcroft's chief of staff.
JOHNS: Ashcroft's wife, Janet, had called the office to say that Card and Gonzales were on their way to the hospital. To Comey, it sounds all wrong. If he's in charge, why are the president's men trying to get to Ashcroft?
COMEY: I was concerned that, given how ill I knew the attorney general was, that there might be an effort to ask him to overrule me, when he was in no condition to do that.
JOHNS: Comey tells his driver to gun it.
COMEY: They turned on the emergency equipment and drove very quickly to the hospital. I got out of the car and ran up -- literally ran up the stairs with my security detail.
JOHNS: Comey, Card and Gonzales surround Ashcroft's hospital bed. And then something no one anticipated happens.
COMEY: And Attorney General Ashcroft then stunned me. He lifted his head off the pillow and, in very strong terms, expressed his view of the matter, and then laid his head back down on the pillow, seemed spent, and said to them, "But that doesn't matter, because I'm not the attorney general."
JOHNS: Ashcroft, sick, in pain, on medication, tells the president's men, that, because he was in the hospital, Comey, as acting attorney general, was in charge.
The next day, the secret wiretap program was reauthorized without Comey's suggested changes. The president did it without a signature from the Justice Department. And, that day, Comey prepared his letter of resignation.
And this is the story's epilogue. On Friday, before he could resign, and after meetings at the White House, it was decided that Comey could have the changes he wanted to the wiretap program to make it legal. What had been the worst day of his life ended up a victory of sorts.
John Ashcroft resigned the next year. A year later, Comey resigned. And the president's man, Alberto Gonzales, became attorney general.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: One potentially important note: Last year, Attorney Gonzales told a Judiciary Committee there was -- quote -- "no serious disagreement within the administration about the wiretapping program."
Today, the Justice Department reaffirmed his testimony.
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin used to work for the Justice Department as a federal prosecutor. He joins us now.
Jeff, good to see you.
Does this surprise you?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Stunned, shocking.
TOOBIN: I mean, I have never heard of anything like this.
COOPER: I mean, you have seen this kind of stuff in movies.
TOOBIN: It sounds like a movie.
And think about how unethical what Gonzales and Card did was. They knew two things. They knew that the -- Comey was the acting attorney general. They knew that Ashcroft was sick. And they knew that the official position of the Justice Department was against this program.
So, in -- so, in spite of that, in the dead of night, they show up on this guy's sickbed to try to go around what they knew to be the official policy. I mean, it's just appalling. And, then, in one of the great pieces of testimony that wasn't shown, Comey says: Well, what are you doing here?
And Card says: Oh, we just wanted to wish him feel better.
I mean, come on. I mean, it's just -- and this -- and now Gonzales is attorney general.
COOPER: How much do we know about this classified program?
TOOBIN: I mean, darned little.
TOOBIN: I mean, we know that it was program involving primarily, but perhaps not exclusively, phone calls internationally, either starting in the United States going overseas, or going -- starting overseas and coming to the United States.
And then the key fact about these -- about the program is that it had no judicial authorization at all. No warrants were -- were passed on. And that was what made it so controversial.
And, you know, it's not like John Ashcroft and Comey were some big liberals here. I mean, these are the -- the most conservative people who have probably ever worked in the Justice Department, and they wouldn't put up with what the program was structured as.
COOPER: And, yet, they were trying to do an end around, around...
TOOBIN: And -- and they trying to do an end around.
And they did for a day. And, then, finally, President Bush, I think quite appropriately, said, look, work this out.
And they did.
COOPER: Does -- does any of this matter in terms of -- of -- of Gonzales? I mean, as long as the president is behind him -- I mean, Chuck Hagel came out today saying he should -- he should step down. But... COOPER: It -- it looks like Gonzales is here for the duration. I mean, he has almost no credibility with most members of Congress, except for some Republicans in the House.
You know, he -- there are now three Republican senators, Hagel, Smith of Oregon, Sununu of New Hampshire -- Specter of Pennsylvania has all but called for his resignation. I mean, he has almost no support. But, you know, there's not -- he's not going to get impeached. So, he...
COOPER: And does this have an impact on the Justice Department? I mean, is it -- it must be a big distraction.
TOOBIN: It is.
I mean, even Gonzales has said that morale is horrible in the Justice Department. I mean, they feel like they're being led by someone who has no credibility, no respectability. But, you know, he is there. And the Justice Department is full of extremely competent, honorable people who serve one administration after another, who are career people.
But it's embarrassing for them to have this kind of -- this kind of tumult at the top, you know, and this is all, of course, on top of the firing of attorney gen -- of these U.S. attorneys, which has never been satisfactorily explained.
COOPER: It's an amazing story.
Jeffrey Toobin, thanks. Appreciate it.
Coming up: the British contribution to the war on Iraq now minus Prince Harry.
COOPER (voice-over): When it came to fighting in Iraq, Prince Harry was gung ho.
PRINCE HARRY, GREAT BRITAIN: If they said, no, you can't go frontline, then I wouldn't -- I wouldn't drag my sorry ass through Sandhurst.
COOPER: But now he's a no-go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There have been a number of specific threats which relate directly to Prince Harry as an individual.
COOPER: See how the royal family and the government is dealing with this royal embarrassment.
Also, what's happening to the bees? It's the biggest vanishing act anyone has ever seen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somewhere between a quarter and a third of all the bees in the United States disappeared last winter. We're talking about a serious situation.
COOPER: Some blame a Russian plot, some the rapture. We have got the facts on what's killing billions of bees -- ahead on 360.
COOPER: Republican presidential candidates spent the day trying to build on the momentum they got from their debate last night in South Carolina, or recover from their mistakes, as the case may be.
For a closer look, we're joining by Republican strategist Ed Rollins, and Arianna Huffington, founder of TheHuffingtonPost.com.
Appreciate both of you being on.
ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thank you.
COOPER: Arianna, let's start with you.
One of last night's probably more memorable moments came after Congressman Ron Paul argued that 9/11 occurred because the U.S. had been bombing Iraq for years.
Giuliani jumped all over Paul with this response. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's really an extraordinary statement. That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of September 11, that we invited the attack, because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I have ever heard that before, and I have heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Arianna, this certainly played to -- to Giuliani's perceived strength.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, CO-FOUNDER, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM: But, also, you know, Giuliani clearly misinterpreted, deliberately, what Ron Paul said.
As Ron Paul tried to explain later, he was talking about blowback. In fact, Giuliani immediately evoked his having been there for 9/11. And this has been, of course, a theme throughout the debate. I mean, there's also a theme, when torture was involved, when Brit Hume asked whether Giuliani would support enhanced interrogation techniques, as he called them, and, immediately, Giuliani evoked 9/11 to justify torture, including, specifically, water-boarding.
COOPER: You think he's using 9/11? (CROSSTALK)
HUFFINGTON: ... was pretty sad.
COOPER: You say he's using it?
HUFFINGTON: He's using it and using it and using it.
And, in fact, I think John McCain won that part of the debate by categorically being against torture, and standing up for what used to be a real moral ground of the -- of the Republican Party.
COOPER: Ed, Fred Barnes, who is the executive editor of the conservative "Weekly Standard," said this about Giuliani's performance.
He said: "In a few emotional moments in the debate, he grabbed the national security issue and didn't let go. It trumped abortion. And, for now at least, it's the issue that is likely to come to mind when reporters and commentators and Republican voters think about Giuliani."
For primary voters, Ed, does perceived strength on national security trump lack of comfort with his position regarding abortion?
ROLLINS: You know, I think this -- this campaign has to play itself out.
And, traditionally, abortion was a critical issue. This is a year I think leadership is going to come under -- for play. And I think, because of the lack of leadership in the White House for the last couple years, I think someone like Giuliani, who basically is at the front of the pack because of what he did on 9/11 -- he became a hero to Americans.
And I think that issue is still something people are very concerned about. So, I think it's very legitimate for him to argue: I have been there. I did it. I know how to do it.
I think Congressman Paul may have been misinterpreted last night. He may -- may have intended exactly the -- what -- what came out. But I can promise you that South Carolina Republican Party and conservatives across this country do not think there's ever justification for Americans to be attacked and killed.
COOPER: Arianna, if the situation in Iraq doesn't improve, how damaging does it become to Republicans, who, you know, are very linked to the -- to the president's Iraq policy, come the general election?
HUFFINGTON: Anderson, I think it becomes very damaging, because they appear very detached from reality.
After all, we have major events happening at the moment, including three soldiers missing, one of them dead, and cannot been -- even be identified, because his body is so burned. We had the Iraqi parliament last week voting for a petition demanding the immediate withdrawal of American troops. We are supposedly there to bring democracy to Iraq. Now the democratically elected government wants us out. Our soldiers our missing. These are really dark days.
And, to the extent that John McCain and Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, the front-runners, are completely endorsing the president's policy, it is going to be very hard for them in the days ahead. And it leaves a kind of vacuum, which a candidate like Chuck Hagel may decide to fill down the road.
COOPER: Ed, does it become -- I mean, if it was held now, I guess it would be a referendum on the war.
COOPER: Is it too soon to tell what the situation is going to be on the ground a year from now?
ROLLINS: Well, first of all, there's no candidates, Democrats or Republicans, who want us to still be in Iraq when this election is fought a year from now.
And I think everyone wants to give this president enough time to try and get our troops out of there, whether it's three months or four months, or, as Dick Cheney even said, we are going to stay there until the end.
Well, if they stay there until the end, then it's their war.
I think the Republicans who are running for president have to basically support the president for the period of the primary. Beyond that, I think then you are in an open debate about what your alternatives are.
And the irony here is that there are no clear-cut alternatives. I think the Democrats' policy of, you know, let's drop our guns and get out of there, vs. the Republicans' stay the course, there has got to be a middle ground somewhere. And no one has come forth with it.
COOPER: We're going to...
COOPER: Arianna, one comment, and then we got to go.
HUFFINGTON: Just -- just very quickly, nobody is suggesting that we drop the guns and come home. The Democratic proposal has nine months in which to bring the troops home.
ROLLINS: No. They're cutting off money. And there's been multiple propositions.
And you certainly watch the -- the Congress as closely as I do. The Democrats want us out of there, and want us out of there now, without an alternative.
COOPER: Two different perspectives.
ROLLINS: Thank you.
COOPER: ... Ed Rollins, appreciate it.
ROLLINS: Thank you.
COOPER: Thank you.
ROLLINS: Nice to see you, Arianna.
COOPER: Democrats vowed back in January to force an end to the Iraq war. And, as we mentioned earlier, today, in the Senate, they took another stab at it.
That's where "Raw Politics" begins tonight.
Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Democrats who want to cut funds for the troops in Iraq were slapped down hard in the Senate today.
But there's always more than meets the eye in "Raw Politics." A number of funding bills are up for votes under the watchful eye of the Democratic majority, not because they will pass -- they won't -- but because the Dems want to see how much support they have for continued pressure on the White House over withdrawal deadlines, benchmarks for progress, you name it.
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: Nothing is off the table.
FOREMAN: Fueling the fire -- oil industry analysts say gas prices will probably not stay over $3 all summer. But that's where they are now.
So, consumer advocates are in front of Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: American gasoline consumers are fed up, mad as hell. And they have good reason to be.
FOREMAN: Gas prices are simmering as an issue for voters, but both parties are watching, in case the economy boils over.
The land of Lincoln is joining the land rush. Illinois is in the process of moving its primary up to February. With more states jumping up in the primary line, it is less clear which ones will set the pace for the nominations. But this could help home state candidate Barack Obama. And he may need it. John Edwards is now mounting a stiff challenge to the Obamarama for the union vote. Keep an eye on that.
FOREMAN: A lame-duck slumber party -- President Bush isn't quite there yet, but his pal British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be out of office in a few weeks. He's arrived for his last official visit. Not sure what they're talking about, but Iraq and tee times are a good bet.
And we got a lot of nice notes on the blog about how Hillary Clinton should use Bill Clinton in her campaign. Now a new button for sale here in Washington points out at least how some Democrats feel about it.
Now, that's really "Raw Politics" -- Anderson.
COOPER: Tom, thanks.
You can get all the latest political news from the CNN Political Ticker. You can even sign up for e-mail alerts. Just log on to CNN.com/ticker.
In a moment, you won't believe what happened to three crying babies at a day care center in Tennessee. The story made us wonder, what were these guys thinking?
That's just ahead.
But, first, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Palestinians' fragile unity government edged closer to collapse today.
In Gaza City, at least 19 people were killed in the worst fighting in nearly a year between the rival groups Fatah and Hamas. In the last four days, street battles have turned the city into a war zone. Today, Hamas fighters also fired homemade rockets into Israel, which struck back with airstrikes, killing six people.
In Argentina, more fallout today from a riot at a major commuter rail station -- it broke out during yesterday's rush hour, after a train broke down, blocking traffic in and out of the station. Twelve police officers were slightly injured. Nine people were treated for smoke inhalation. Today, Argentina's president threatened to crack down on private rail operators for failing to make upgrades that would improve poor service.
And, Anderson, in this edition of -- of tonight's "What Were They Thinking?" segment...
COOPER: Uh-huh. HILL: ... it just -- it's just awful.
We start off in Lafayette, Tennessee. This day care that you see here, it's now closed. And there's a very good reason why. An inspector was sent to check the place out, sort of a random inspection, right? Well, they found only one adult there caring for eight kids, which is a violation.
But that is just the beginning of it. It turns out three infants had actually been hidden behind a closed door in a storage room.
HILL: They were in playpens, blankets pinned over them. In this room, there was a hot water heater. There was an electrical outlet. There were chairs...
HILL: ... and boxes stacked up. And get this. The woman apparently played dumb when the kids were found, and said, oh, I didn't know they were in there.
COOPER: Oh, you're kidding.
And, then, shockingly, the license was revoked, and now children services are investigating.
COOPER: Wow. What were they thinking?
COOPER: ... thanks very much.
Well, maybe sending out a member of the royal family out to fight on the front lines isn't such a good idea after all. Prince Harry is not going to Iraq. It's a P.R. mess for the royal family and for Britain.
Coming up, we will have that story.
And a little role reversal, where I'm not asking, but answering the questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The explorers came upon an auriferous discovery. Thrilled, one of the explorers yelled: coal; gold; fossils; or the lost city?
COOPER: I got to get a look at this. Auriferous. Aur. Aura. Auriferous. Auriferous. Thrilled, one of the explorers yelled: coal; gold; or -- mmm, OK. I don't know. I'm going to say gold, B.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is correct.
COOPER: Oh, yes! I knew it.
COOPER: I knew it. I knew it. Excellent. All right.
COOPER: Not too insecure, am I?
COOPER: We will have more with Matthew (ph) ahead.
COOPER: Even princes sometimes have their dreams dashed. Prince Harry of Wales, now 22 and a military officer, was preparing to deploy to southern Iraq in the next few weeks, where he would have led a 12- man tank unit.
But today, Britain's army changed its mind, saying that a number of specific threats against Prince Harry have made the mission too dangerous for him and for his unit.
With the story, here's CNN's Richard Quest.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The British army had always kept their options open, saying the decision to send Prince Harry will be kept under review. Now the insurgency has made it public they will target the prince, that was reviewed (ph) that it was simply too dangerous for the third in line to the throne and the men under his command for Harry to be in Iraq.
GEN. SIR RICHARD DANNATT, HEAD OF BRITISH MILITARY: There have been a number of specific threats, some reported and some not reported, which were linked directly to Prince Harry as an individual. These threats exposed not only him but also those around him to a degree of risk that I now deem unacceptable.
QUEST: The sheer amount of media interest in Harry's role also played a part. The Army feared it would be impossible for Harry to get on with the job, given all the hype surrounding his deployment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was always impossible for him to go to Iraq. It was far too dangerous. The danger was that he would be targeted, that he would be kidnapped, he'd be murdered. Either one of those would be a disaster for this country.
QUEST: Prince Harry is a professional soldier and has always made it clear he wanted to go to Iraq.
PRINCE HARRY, UNITED KINGDOM: If they said, "No, you can't go to the front line," then I wouldn't drag my sorry ass to Sandhurst, and I wouldn't -- I wouldn't be where I am now. Because the last thing I want to do is have my soldiers sent away to Iraq or wherever like that and for me to be back home twiddling my thumbs, thinking about what about David, what about Derek?
QUEST: Clarence House, where the prince lives, said that Harry was disappointed by the decision but that he will continue his army career. The prince hasn't said anything beyond that so far.
(on camera) In the end, this has turned into something of a public relations mess with the British army and a potential P.R. coup for the Iraqi insurgents. After all, with the military changing its decision so late in the day, many will be saying the army simply couldn't keep the royal prince safe.
Richard Quest, CNN, Buckingham Palace, London.
COOPER: A tough break for him.
Coming up, a 12-year-old who has more words in his head than most dictionaries have in their pages puts me to the test and puts me to shame tonight.
Also these stories.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): What's happening to the bees? The biggest vanishing act anyone's ever seen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somewhere between a quarter and a third of all the bees in the United States disappeared last year. We're talking about a serious situation.
COOPER: Some blame a plot (ph). Some, the rapture. We've got the facts on what's killing billions of bees.
He knows her best, but do others?
(on camera) Do you think America knows who she is?
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No.
COOPER (voice-over): Bill Clinton's surprising take on his wife and perhaps his wife's toughest opponent.
(on camera) Are you surprised by the strength of Barack Obama's campaign?
CLINTON: No. COOPER (voice-over): See why not, why he's keen on some Republicans and his knew plans to grow jobs by turning New York and the country green, coming up on 360.
COOPER: Here's a story you need to know about. There's something very strange happening to America's bees, the honey bees, in particular. They're vanishing by the billions.
Considering how vital they are to our crops and to our food supply, unraveling the mystery has become a top priority. Congress is holding hearings. Even the vice president has been briefed.
CNN's Randi Kaye investigates.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the scene of the crime. But where are the bodies?
DAVE HACKENBERG, BEEKEEPER: The bees are gone.
KAYE (on camera): so this is what you call a dead hive?
HACKENBERG: Yes. Empty box, no bees.
KAYE (voice-over): They're gone and presumed dead. But no corpses, no clues.
(on camera) The buzz began with Dave's bees at Dave Hackenberg's bee farm, ground zero for the mystery of the missing bees. Hackenberg believes he's lost more than 2,000 hives. With about 40,000 bees per hive, that's 80 million bees gone.
HACKENBERG: I mean, boxes are empty. There's just, you know, nothing here. No dead bees on the ground, no bees anywhere.
KAYE (voice-over): The Pennsylvania beekeeper now finds himself in the unlikely role of investigator, collecting evidence.
(on camera) So this is a healthy hive.
HACKENBERG: This is a little fresh honey they have made here in the last...
KAYE: Yes. We haven't seen that anywhere.
HACKENBERG: No, no. The other bees don't have any fresh honey. You know, they're...
KAYE: They're dying.
HACKENBERG: They're dying.
KAYE: Billions of honey bees in more than 25 states and five Canadian provinces have simply vanished.
And there's more than just honey at stake for all of us. The USDA estimates bees contribute $15 billion to U.S. agriculture each year. We get an astonishing 30 percent of our food from plants pollinated by honeybees. Crops like almonds, apples, blueberries and broccoli wouldn't grow without them.
HACKENBERG: Somewhere between a quarter and a third of all the bees in the United States disappeared last year. You know, we're talking about a serious situation.
KAYE: Serious enough for scientists to give this bizarre syndrome a name: colony collapse disorder.
(on camera) How does a honey bee simply vanish without a trace?
HACKENBERG: That's a good question, a real good question.
KAYE (voice-over): Colony collapse disorder appears to throw off the bees' homing skills. They can't find their way home, so they die. Without them, the queen and babies die, too.
Most of Hackenberg's hives, if not already dead, are in the midst of collapse.
Meanwhile, the search for clues has moved to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's lab in Beltsville, Maryland, which is responsible for honey bee health. Investigators here are painstakingly conducting bee autopsies.
(on camera) I would imagine doing an autopsy on a bee is a bit challenging, given their size.
JAY EVANS, USDA RESEARCH GENETICIST: Yes. But if you do enough of them, it gets easy after a while.
On the left is a viral disease.
KAYE: The USDA research geneticist, Jay Evans, is doing his own detective work.
EVANS: So what we're doing now is devise experiments where we can inject them or expose bees to those pathogens and see if the symptoms after that are similar to what's been observed in the field.
KAYE: Think of it this way, recreating a murder to catch the killer. Already, some popular theories have been ruled out, like cell phone radiation interfering with the bees' natural ability to navigate.
(on camera) Do you buy that this could be a Russian plot?
HACKENBERG: Not really.
KAYE: The rapture, God calling all the bees back to heaven?
HACKENBERG: I don't think he needs them up there.
KAYE (voice-over): When Hackenberg first called for help in November, Penn State entomologist Diana Cox Foster, who studied bees for 20 years, got involved in the case.
Since last fall, she's heard all kinds of crazy ideas.
DIANA COX FOSTER, ENTOMOLOGIST, PENN STATE: We don't think this is a terrorist event triggered by Osama bin Laden.
KAYE: Cox Foster's suspicions are now focused on an insecticide farmers started using a few years ago.
(on camera) What alarms you most about this?
FOSTER: The impact and how quickly the colonies are dying. And there's some evidence, very good evidence to suggest that there is a pathogen involved.
KAYE (voice-over): A pathogen or disease, but which one?
FOSTER: We did sort of do our own little CSI, if you will.
KAYE: In the lab, they grind up dead honeybees to extract genetic material, then place it on these gels, which communicate to a computer.
(on camera) That might mean that the bee that was tested there...
FOSTER: Is negative.
KAYE: Is negative?
KAYE (voice-over): In some bees at least five different diseases have been discovered, which suggests...
FOSTER: Their immune system has broken down completely, gone haywire.
KAYE: Something similar to what happens in humans who have AIDS.
Honey bee specialist Maryann Frazier says even trace amounts of an insecticide could be lethal.
MARYANN FRAZIER, ENTOMOLOGIST, PENN STATE: It could interfere with their ability to learn or to navigate. This is well documented that pesticides can have these kind of effects.
KAYE: Whatever it is, more bees are disappearing every month. Dave Hackenberg's hives tell him there isn't much time left.
(on camera) How do you feel when you look at something like this? I mean, this is your livelihood?
HACKENBERG: I feel pretty empty.
KAYE (voice-over): For the bees and for the rest of us, it's time to figure out how this mystery ends.
Randi Kaye, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
COOPER: That's a fascinating story.
We found some fascinating facts, also, about honeybees. Here's the raw data.
A honeybee can fly about 15 miles an hour. To make one pound of honey, a hive of bees travels more than 55,000 miles. And how much honey does one bee make in a lifetime? Just 1/12 of a teaspoon. Imagine that.
Turning the tables tonight on 360, our "Shot of the Day" is a -- well, it's a rabbit attacking a snake. That's right. That's coming up.
But first, we'll have more news on the host -- I'm on the hot seat in the hour ahead. Twelve-year-old Matthew Evans asking some tough questions. Take a look.
MATTHEW EVANS, WORD POWER CHALLENGE WINNER: Which Amazon feature is a cataract? A, the Andes Mountains; B, the San Rafael waterfall; the tiger striped butterfly; or D, the Jari River.
COOPER: Thank you very much for being with us, Matt. We appreciate it.
Sorry, the cataract. It's not -- read me the options again. Actually, the options are -- which option features a cataract. Cataract I guess, is the -- San Rafael waterfall. I say the Jari River.
EVANS: No. That's B.
COOPER: Really? B. That was my other option. I knew it had something to do with water.
OK, well, hopefully Matthew will do better than I've just done. We'll be back with him in a moment.
COOPER: Time to put away my pride. I'll just say it up front. Hegira would have stumped me if I had been in Matthew Evans' shoes. The word did not stump 12-year-old Matthew. He not only knew how to spell it -- H-E-G-I-R-A -- you see it there. He also knew what it means. Anybody? There it is, a journey to a better place.
He's the winner, Matthew is, of the Reader's Digest National Word Power challenge. He's a boy wonder when it comes to words. He's home schooled. We've already seen him quiz me. I did pretty badly.
He let me quiz him earlier and also told me how he trained for word marathon that won him a $25,000 scholarship. He's a great kid. Take a look.
COOPER: Congratulations on the win. Were you -- were you surprised that you won?
EVANS: No. I had studied a lot to prepare for this.
COOPER: How do you prepare? What kind of studying do you do?
EVANS: I use a variety of resources, including, like, my mom can just not throw owl old "Reader's Digest" magazines. And so when I started participating in this competition, she went to all the old "Reader's Digests" that she had and cut out all the Word Power columns. And I studied all those words.
COOPER: And did that help?
EVANS: Yes. It helped a lot. There's a lot of good words. They tend to reuse them.
COOPER: It's a tough competition. Because you're not -- it's not just, you know, a spelling bee where you have to know how a word is spelled. You have to know what these words mean.
EVANS: Right. Right.
COOPER: You have to narrow -- do you just study lists of words?
EVANS: Yes. With the definitions there. And some of my books have example sentences inside them to know how the world would be used in a sentence.
COOPER: What's your favorite word?
EVANS: My favorite word is (speaking foreign language). It's a German word. It's some kind of psychology term.
COOPER: So you can be quizzed on words from other languages?
EVANS: Yes, yes.
COOPER: That's tough.
EVANS: Yes, it is.
COOPER: (speaking foreign language) EVANS: Yes. That's why one of the things I study is language rules, know how to spell words, language rules about German or French, how to spell the word.
COOPER: Why -- why is that word your favorite? You just like the way it sounds?
EVANS: Yes. It's just so weird sounding.
COOPER: You must read a lot.
EVANS: Yes. I read a lot
COOPER: What's your favorite book?
EVANS: My favorite book is "Watership Down" by Richard Adams.
EVANS: I also like the "Left Behind" series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
COOPER: And you would like -- you're 12 years old now. You're in seventh grade. You'd like one day to be a pastor?
EVANS: Yes. I think that would be really neat to do, to share the gospel with others.
COOPER: And you're -- you're competing in the national spelling bee, as well?
EVANS: Yes. In a couple weeks I'm going to be going to Washington, D.C., for the national spelling bee.
COOPER: Are you nervous?
EVANS: I don't know. It's my fourth time there, so I'm used to the competition. But who knows what words I could get?
COOPER: Right. OK. We've got a little quiz. You quizzed me, and I'm going to -- I've got a couple of words. And basically, I'll read you the sentence and the options. You can tell me which one -- which is the one you think it is.
The word is quatrocintro.
COOPER: In Italy, you'll be able to see old buildings with quatrocinto Florentine frescos. Quatrocintro, is it A, from the 15th century, especially with reference to Italian art and literature; B, having a large central tower; C, colorful; or D, damaged.
EVANS: A, from the 15th Century.
COOPER: Very good. All right. How do you know that? You just...
EVANS: That was actually on my list of spelling words, that word.
EVANS: I remembered that. And it's got the root quatro, meaning four. The 1400s is the Fifteenth Century.
COOPER: The word is pogonip. According to Native American tradition, breathing pogonip can danger your lungs. Is pogonip A, smoke from the campfire; B, bee pollen; C, frozen fog; or D, smelly fish guts?
EVANS: Frozen fog.
COOPER: Right. How did you know that one?
EVANS: That was another spelling word, actually.
COOPER: There are things that -- pogonip is a noun. A dense winter fog containing frozen particles. It's formed in deep natural valleys in the western U.S. Who knew?
OK, I have to make sure I pronounce this correctly. This is -- zygodactyl. Wood peckers and other birds that climb tree trunks often have these zygodactyl toes. Zygodactyl -- zygodactyl. Is it A, webbed; B, two toes facing forward and two toes facing back; C, sharp; or D, really big?
EVANS: Two toes facing forward and two toes facing back.
You won a $25,000 scholarship.
EVANS: Yes. That's going to help a lot when I go to college.
COOPER: We love having you on, Matthew. Congratulations on winning. I hope you do well this go.
EVANS: Thank you. Thank you.
COOPER: Great to see you.
COOPER: Just 12 years old. A great kid.
Ahead, former President Bill Clinton on global warming, the race for the White House and what should be done about Iraq. The 360 interview.
And right after the break, it's an old Monty Python tale (ph). There's no such thing as a killer rabbit. Well, don't be so sure. We've the video. It's our "Shot of the Day".
COOPER: Our "Shot of the Day" is coming up. Have you seen it? I would say that's a silly rabbit. It's brave enough to take on a snake, however. We'll show you who won.
First, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with a "360 Bulleting" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, embattled World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is working on a resignation deal, according to an official familiar with the talks.
That official says as part of the agreement, Wolfowitz would like an acknowledgement from the bank that he doesn't bear all the responsibility for the controversy over the generous pay package for his girlfriend. She worked at the bank and was transferred to the State Department when Wolfowitz arrived and that big pay raise.
On Wall Street, another record for the Dow. It rose 103 points to close at 13,487. The S&P and the NASDAQ also finishing in positive territory.
And in Sacramento, some unusual guests. A pair of humpback whales, believed to be a mother and her calf, near the city's port, after they made a 90 mile trek from San Francisco. The whales appear to have injuries from a boat propeller.
Shipping and small boat traffic has been stopped in the canal near the port. Biologists are hoping to lure the whales back to the ocean, Anderson.
COOPER: Free Willie.
HILL: Free Willie. And the other mini-Willie there, the baby Willie.
COOPER: Yes, the baby Willie. We'll leave it at that.
Time for the "Shot of the Day". We heard about this video from a 360 viewer, who spotted it on YouTube. Check this out.
COOPER: Yes. One very brave rabbit. Not afraid of a snake.
HILL: My guy!
COOPER: It bobs, it weaves.
HILL: Forget the tortoise and the hare. It's the tortoise and the snake. I mean, the hare and the snake.
COOPER: It's like Riki Tiki Tavi and the mongoose story.
HILL: There you go.
COOPER: I don't want to get all, you know...
HILL: You don't want to get all literary on me.
COOPER: Exactly. If you ask me in the end, though, the rabbit won.
HILL: I think the rabbit did win.
COOPER: The snake basically just slithers away, and the rabbit lives to...
HILL: That rabbit, too, is getting some air.
COOPER: ... eat carrots another day.
HILL: Who says white rabbits can't jump?
COOPER: And see, then there's like a duck that wandered in. But that duck didn't know.
HILL: The duck is pretty smart. The duck is like, "I ain't going near this thing."
COOPER: I think the rabbit was defending for the duck or whatever that was.
HILL: Is that a hose on the ground? You think the snake was confused, thought it was a relative?
COOPER: A giant relative, spouting water from its mouth? Perhaps. Very well. We'll try to find that out. We'll have our crack researchers work on that.
HILL: OK, great. I look forward to the answer.
COOPER: Yes, OK. Erica, thanks very much.
HILL: See you later.
COOPER: That was from a 360 viewer, as we also say. If you see some video that could be the "Shot of the Day", tell us about it at CNN.com/360. If it's good, we'll put it on 360. Why not?
Coming up on the program ahead. The Bible is a best-seller, but should it be taught in school as literature? That controversy ahead.
Also, President Bill Clinton on the environment and of course politics and why he isn't surprised by the strength of Barack Obama's campaign, when 360 continues.
COOPER: You're watching the only live newscast on cable right now. Tonight, my exclusive interview with former president, Bill Clinton, about the environment, Iraq and his wife's campaign.
Also tonight, you've heard the stereotypes about Asian-Americans and academic achievement. Tonight we have the facts, instead.
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