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NFL Suspends Michael Vick Indefinitely; Keeping Them Honest

Aired August 24, 2007 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Anderson is going to be along shortly with a 360 special, "Keeping Them Honest," but, right after we catch you up with a few of the big breaking stories.
First, Atlanta Falcon Michael Vick, starting tonight, he's a quarterback by hobby, not profession. The NFL suspended him indefinitely without pay after the gory details of his dogfighting plea deal became known.

In a written plea agreement to a federal conspiracy charge, Vick admitted to bankrolling and running a dogfighting ring and killing dogs that did not perform. Under the plea deal, prosecutors will ask for a sentence on the low end of 12 to 18 months. But Judge Henry Hudson could give Vick up to five years.

Here with some perspective, Jeffrey Toobin, former federal prosecutor, CNN legal analyst, and -- full disclosure -- a loving dog owner here.



FOREMAN: Well, Jeffrey, some people would have said that Michael Vick could have gone to the Super Bowl. Now he's going to go to jail. For how long do you think he will go?

TOOBIN: Probably about a year.

Judges are not technically bound by these plea agreements, but, outside of extraordinary circumstances, that don't seem present here, they tend to follow these agreements. And -- and I don't see in reason why Judge Hudson wouldn't follow this one.

FOREMAN: The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, sent Vick a letter today, calling his conduct illegal, cruel and reprehensible. So, I guess there's no surprise that he's suspended without pay?

TOOBIN: No. And it's worth remembering one other thing that makes Vick's case for reinstatement worse.

When this story broke a few months ago, Vick had a face-to-face meeting with the commissioner. And he looked the commissioner in the eye and said: I had nothing to do with this dogfighting.

So, what we know is that Vick lied in the commissioner's face. And that is not something the commissioner will look kindly upon when it seems like a very much open question whether he will ever be allowed to play in this league again.

FOREMAN: Well, do you think that really is open? He says he didn't bet on any of the these dogfights; he didn't take any of the winnings. But it seems like such a long shot that they would ever reinstate him, after this.

TOOBIN: Well, you never know. People who bet on games, going back to the '60s, Paul Hornung, Alex Karras, they were suspended and reinstated for betting.

So, there is some precedent of allowing people to be readmitted. And, you know, this -- he will have served a jail sentence. There probably will be some sentiment to let the guy start earning a living in his chosen profession again. But this is a very serious, very appalling crime. So, I think Roger Goodell will have a tough decision in a year or two, when he has to decide how long the suspension lasts.

FOREMAN: Well, even once the sentence is decided upon and served, what about the possibility of state charges? Can that follow behind this?

TOOBIN: It can. It's very unusual for a state to prosecute the exact same crime as the federal government. Now, it is true, as a legal matter, under the double jeopardy clause, the state could do it.

But Vick's lawyers will be arguing very strongly to the state prosecutors in Virginia, look, the federal government has got control over this. He's not getting away with something.

I really don't know how that will turn out, but the usual rule is one jurisdiction for the same behavior.

FOREMAN: Very, very briefly, Jeffrey, here, what are the chances that the Falcons will come back to Vick and say give us some of the money back; we have paid you a lot?

TOOBIN: I think a very good chance. This is an enormous amount of money. He's betrayed his team. He's betrayed his fans. I think there will certainly be some of the money given back, and, you know, perhaps a great deal of it.

FOREMAN: All right, Jeffrey, thank you so much for your time.

Moving on, no end to the misery in the middle of the country, another day of rain and high wind, yet another day of major flooding. Today, Illinois' governor declared four counties, including Cook County, a disaster area. That's Chicago, folks.

And, as CNN's David Mattingly tells us, that's not all.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Houses surrounded by water in Illinois, in Indiana, three miles of interstate shut down by rain. Flood-soaked and storm-pounded communities can't catch a break, as more rain pours across the soggy Upper Midwest. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mother Nature overtook us. There's not a thing we can do right now.

MATTINGLY: In less than a week, storms and floods are blamed for at least 17 deaths. Hundreds of homes are damaged.

In Ohio, the sound of generators means it's time to pump out flooded basements. Many of the city streets in Ottawa, Ohio, remain submerged. Emergency crews continue to patrol by boat. Even the Coast Guard got involved in one high-profile rescue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have got to start bringing cats.

MATTINGLY: This Ottawa couple refused to leave a house full of purebred cats.

JOHN FRIEMONT, RESIDENT OF OTTAWA, OHIO: My wife's been crying a lot.


FRIEMONT: I'm ready to.


MATTINGLY: After three days, they finally got the help they needed to move cats by the dozen to higher ground.

(on camera): This was no small operation. There were a total of 63 adult cats that needed to be rescued. And that's not counting all the kittens that have been born since the flood happened.

(voice-over): But, as quickly as this flood hit, catching so many by surprise, its retreat is painfully slow, measured in inches at a time, and leaving a huge mess behind.


MATTINGLY: And the one thing we didn't need to see tonight here, look at this, more rain, not enough to perhaps cause new flooding, but certainly enough to slow down the retreat of the water that's already here -- Tom.

FOREMAN: Thanks very much, David. And the best of luck to all the folks out there in the rain.

As if Minnesota isn't getting enough grief this week, Minneapolis today released the 911 calls made just minutes after the I-35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have an emergency or can you hold?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get everything you have got. The whole bridge over the river fell down. There's cars all over the place. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Where, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to say 35W over the Mississippi, down by the (INAUDIBLE) What road is that? (INAUDIBLE) road?

There's hundreds of cars down the river. Bring everything you got.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, sir. We're getting them started, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, hurry up.


FOREMAN: Thirteen people died. About 100 more escaped with injuries. State and federal authorities, of course, are still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong there.

That's all the headlines we have time for, a lot coming up this weekend. I'm Tom Foreman.

Starting now, Anderson Cooper with a 360 special, "Keeping Them Honest."


We're devoting the hour tonight to "Keeping Them Honest," putting the pressure on politicians and people in power. We have made it part of our core mission here at 360.

It's simple, really. All we want are honest answers, the truth. Tonight, we're going to show you what we uncovered about your money, your rights, and the risks you face.

We will head to Capitol Hill and look at those pork-barrel projects, high-priced and often self-serving. And guess what? You're paying for them. Lawmakers have promised it was all going to change this year. We will see if that has really happened.

At hospitals, some patients undergoing surgery are awake, even though they should be on anesthesia. How could that happen?

We begin in Congress and questions of ethics and accountability. If a politician wants the American people to pay for something, he or she can get it done with earmarks. They can be secret. They can also be pretty shameful. But, on Capitol Hill, they're vowing to change that.

CNN's Drew Griffin is "Keeping Them Honest."


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Over the last few months, our search to reveal the secrets of secret earmarks and to find out how billions of your tax dollars are spent took us to Alaska, where we found $500,000 being used to renovate a ski lift; down to Florida, where we found $96,000 to upgrade this luxury hotel; and to rural Wisconsin, where we found how Congress spent $2 million to extend the runway at the Rice Lake Airport.

Why? Well, because a couple of corporate jet owners were inconvenienced by a runway not long enough for their private jets.

All of this paid for by congressional earmarks with the details buried in big appropriation bills.

Well, it was all supposed to change this year. The Democrats pledging transparency and, if not an end, at least a cut in some of the more ridiculous spending.

And, while there have been some trims here and there, congressional watchdog groups say members of Congress have acted much the same this year as in years past -- what do I get for my district?

STEPHEN ELLIS, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: Members are addicted to this junk. They're addicted to earmarks. They can't quite understand that they should be reducing this number. They feel like they have to get these earmarks in order to get re-elected, and so they just can't stop. They can't help themselves.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Members of Congress, or at least some of them, are not on the same page as our own CNN viewers, who have overwhelmingly told us Congress needs to cut pork, not spend more of it, especially on those questionable projects we have been pointing out.

(voice-over): Like what? We went to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to find out what the National Drug Intelligence Center was all about.

Congressman Jack Murtha, year after year, has kept this 200 federal jobs program alive in his district. This year he's getting another $39 million.

In 2005, the Office of Management and Budget asked the NDIC be shut down because it has proven ineffective in achieving its assigned mission.

Murtha is, according to his office, proud of the earmark, but not proud enough to explain it to CNN. He's again refused our request for an interview. So did the people who actually work at NDIC when we went to visit in May.

(on camera): Do you guys work at NDIC? Sir?

Do you work at NDIC?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Talk to our upper management.

GRIFFIN: I tried that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, sorry. GRIFFIN (voice-over): Jack Murtha has always been a big earmark requester, but this year, with his Democratic Party in control, he is the hands down earmark champion -- $163 million will go to Murtha's pet projects, "The New York Times" calculated.

But Murtha is not alone. Critics say the reason earmark reforms didn't get very far is because some members of Congress like earmarks, and the increased scrutiny has only meant increased competition among politicians to get what they can.

Nancy Boyda of Kansas had 72 earmark requests on her list this year, including money for a museum about prisons. She told the "New York Times," quote: "Democracy is a contact sport, and I'm not going to be shy about asking for money for my community. My guess is that next year I'm going to be putting in more earmarks."

To Republican Senator Jim DeMint, therein lies the problem.

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We know there's a problem. Many campaigned on fixing the culture of corruption here, but this bill is effectively window dressing. It puts the Senators in charge of determining whether or not we're doing the right thing. It's the fox-guarding-the-henhouse phenomenon.

GRIFFIN: The foxes are now on summer break, and according to the National Taxpayers Union, that's the only time taxpayers get a break.

Last year, the NTU estimated Congress approved spending of $150 million for every hour it was in session.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Well, pork-barrel projects begin in Capitol Hill, but they're spread throughout the country, sometimes even far from the lawmakers' home state.

That's what we uncovered after investigating one congressman. He represents Alaska. So, why is he spending your money in the Sunshine State?

CNN's John Zarrella is "Keeping Them Honest."


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): This is Coconut Road in Fort Myers, Florida. Past the fence, across the open field, on the other side of the trees, about half-a-mile away, is Interstate 75. Two years ago, a federal transportation bill included $10 million to start work on a new interchange, linking the road and the highway.

Sounds great, right? But here's the problem. County planning officials never asked for a highway interchange here at Coconut Road. And, on top of that, it's not what Congress voted for either. Carla Johnston chairs the county planning organization. She charges something fishy happened after Congress passed the bill.

CARLA JOHNSTON, CHAIRMAN, METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION: Some time between then and when the president signed it, somebody tampered with the bill.

ZARRELLA: In the bill passed by the House and the Senate, the $10 million goes for -- quote -- "widening and improvements for I-75 in Collier and Lee counties." But, in the final version the president signed, the language was changed, says Johnston. The money was now going to -- quote -- "Coconut Road Interchange I-75, Lee County."

Alaska Congressman Don Young was chairman of the House Transportation Committee. It was his bill. When contacted by CNN, Young's office could not immediately say who made the change or why it was made.

Citizens Against Government waste calls it:

TOM SCHATZ, PRESIDENT, CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE: Legalized bribery is exactly what it sounds like. It's a form of providing money in exchange for a project. And, in this case, it's totally legitimate.

ZARRELLA: At time the bill was making its way to the president, Young attended a campaign fund-raiser at a hotel on Coconut Road, where local business leaders gave his campaign $40,000. One of them was Joe Mazurkiewicz.

JOE MAZURKIEWICZ, LOCAL BUSINESS LEADER: And the public perception, the spin of this whole story has been, it's been a political payback. And I just don't see is that way.

ZARRELLA (on camera): You don't see it as a political payback?

MAZURKIEWICZ: No. I don't see it as -- I see it as really proper planning.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Mazurkiewicz says Young spent much of the day assessing the area's transportation problems, highway gridlock, and the need for more hurricane evacuation routes. Young also met with and was briefed by local university officials, whose independent studies concluded an interchange, along with highway widening, would relieve congestion.

But, last Friday, two years later, the county planning officials, while agreeing to keep the money, voted overwhelmingly not to use it for Coconut Road.

JOHNSTON: I think that this is not only a local issue. This is a national issue. I mean, we can't have the constitutional process hijacked. And this is hijacking the constitutional process.

ZARRELLA: Congressman Young's office did issue a statement to CNN regarding the interchange, saying -- quote -- "The people of Florida are perfectly within their right to choose to use or not use the money. When they saw a need for a hurricane evacuation route, Representative Young helped them fill it. If they no longer see the need, then that is their choice" -- end quote.

(on camera): County planners say they have no intention of giving the money back. Rather, they want Congress to change the wording of the bill back to its original form, so they can use the money for what it was originally intended, Interstate 75 improvements and widening.

John Zarrella, CNN, Lee County, Florida.


COOPER: Ahead on our "Keeping Them Honest" special:


COOPER (voice-over): Broken promises.

SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: A lot of Americans have lost faith in their government.

COOPER: Why immigration reform gave us a lesson on Washington at its worst.

And later: hospital horror.

TODD WHITLOCK, EXPERIENCED ANESTHESIA AWARENESS: There was a pain -- there was a pain that you cannot deal with.

COOPER: Awake during surgery, it's more common than you might imagine.



COOPER: We're "Keeping Them Honest" on illegal immigration.

Here's the "Raw Data" on where America's illegals are coming from. The Pew Hispanic Center says an estimated 57 percent are from Mexico. Twenty-four percent come from other Latin American countries. Nine percent are Asian. And 6 percent are from Europe and Canada.

Now a look at the battle over the borders and the questions of accountability. We hear a lot of talk from politicians on Capitol Hill about how they're dealing with the issue, but are they?

CNN's Joe Johns tonight "Keeping Them Honest."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three-fifths of the Senators, duly chosen and sworn, not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We wondered, how much time and effort did it take to get here? How much time did the House and Senate spend failing to pass the immigration bill? In little over one year, they have held 26 hearings -- 16 in the House, 10 in the Senate -- called at least 127 witnesses from all over the country, generated thousands of pages of transcripts, statements, debated for hours on the Senate floor.

Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma opposed the bill.

SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: The prime example that the government is broken. And how do we fix that? You fix that by integrity and being confident that you will do what you say will do. And the American people said, you have been telling us this.

JOHNS: What Congress wanted the bill to do is to somehow control 12 million people who are illegally in the U.S., convince them to go home, and then to come back legally. But who really had the confidence this was doable? Remember the bureaucratic mess after Katrina?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Mary Landrieu's office.

JOHNS: The phones in Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu's office were ringing off the hook. In fact, there were so many calls to the U.S. Capitol complex, that the entire system shut down. Landrieu voted against going forward with the bill, too.

SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D), LOUISIANA: It also gave so much more work to Homeland Security. And, of course, we know they're having a very difficult time doing the work that they're supposed to be doing now, in terms of recovery, rebuilding, and getting prepared for other hurricanes.

JOHNS: Not to mention, the U.S. has such a bad record with border basics. Look how porous the border is. On top of that, much of the public is divided over letting illegals come back to the U.S., saying it amounts to amnesty.

Even the backers of it admitted that concerns about broken government had a lot to do with how the vote turned out.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: People look out, and they see the failures of government, whether it's Katrina or whether it's the inability to get enough passports out for people. And they say, how are they going to accomplish all of this?

JOHNS: So, the bottom-line question in all of this is, why? Why, after all this effort, can't the government get it together on immigration? "Keeping them Honest," it's partly a question of trust.

SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: A lot of Americans have lost faith in their government. They don't think we can control our borders, that we can win a war, that we can issue passports. And, so, they ask the question, why should we grant a special status to people who came here illegally, until we know that you're going to get serious about enforcing this new law?

JOHNS: And the moral to this story, prove you can take care of the basics before you try to get too fancy.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: While Congress drags its heels over immigration, one border state has come up with a plan. The aim is to prevent companies from hiring illegal workers. But some are asking, is it easier said than done?

Here's CNN's Thelma Gutierrez.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With its long border, Arizona is at the center of the immigration debate. A new state law means a business can be shut down if an illegal worker is found on the payroll.

RUSSELL PEARCE (R), ARIZONA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Enough's enough. The greatest enforcement tool we have are going after those businesses who -- who -- who cheat.

GUTIERREZ: But some Arizona business owners say that logic makes no sense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a sad situation.

GUTIERREZ: Like Nan and Dick Walden, who run the largest pecan farm in the country. They say there's no way to guarantee that every employee is legal, and believe the law will lead to discrimination.

NAN STOCKHOLM WALDEN, PECAN GROWER: One of the first things that will happen is that employers will be afraid to hire people with Hispanic surnames. There's a -- there's a perfect consequence of a stupid law, and that would be very detrimental to our economy and to the many legal American citizens who happen to be of Hispanic descent.

GUTIERREZ: One out of every four people in Arizona is Hispanic.

JASON LEVECKE, BUSINESS OWNER: When I heard this bill was proposed, I couldn't believe that they were serious. It's -- it's -- it's anti-Hispanic. It's anti-immigrant. It's anti-business.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): Business owners warn, there will be an economic backlash to this law. The owner of this franchise was about to open 45 new stores right here in Arizona, but now he says those plans have been scrapped.

(voice-over): Jason Levecke has 66 restaurants in Arizona. He employs 1,200 people. He says he only hires employees with documents. But he worries that, if one illegal worker slips through the cracks, his business could be shut for 10 days. A second offense could get his business license revoked.

LEVECKE: There's no logic to it. It's going to destroy our economy.

GUTIERREZ: But Representative Russell Pearce, who authored the law, says it's Arizona's illegal immigrants who are destroying the economy.

PEARCE: Two billion dollar a year just in K through 12 for -- to educate illegal alien children and the children of illegal aliens.

GUTIERREZ: But that's not the whole picture. The real cost is just under $1.5 billion for health, education and a portion of law enforcement costs. So says a new study by the Udall Center for Public Policy at University of Arizona.

And here's the other perspective -- the economic output of all those non-citizens far exceeds those costs. It's $29 billion.

STOCKHOLM WALDEN: We all came from somewhere else, unless we were Native American. My grandparents came from Scandinavia. The -- the contribution of foreign workers in this country has always been important and vital.

GUTIERREZ: Pearce says his law is about saving Arizona's economy and protecting American jobs.

PEARCE: Wages are suppressed. Jobs are taken away from Americans.

GUTIERREZ: "Keeping Them Honest," we looked at that, too. Truth is, Arizona's economy is booming, and unemployment here is below the national average, at 3.6 percent.

In other words, employers will tell you, workers are hard to find.

Ask Sheridan Bailey. He runs a multimillion-dollar steel manufacturing business.

SHERIDAN BAILEY, BUSINESS OWNER: We're paying 35 percent more for structural steel fitters this year than what we were paying last year.

GUTIERREZ: He says he pays his steel fitters $20 an hour, with benefits, hardly cheap labor. And, yet, he says he has a hard time finding enough workers.

BAILEY: We have advertised on the Web. We have run ads in the newspaper. I have called relatives in Ohio.

GUTIERREZ: Bailey says, without a labor pool, and with the threat of employer sanctions, he may not be able to grow his business in Arizona.

BAILEY: We're looking at relocation into Mexico. We have looked at outsourcing in Canada, where they have better laws.

GUTIERREZ: If Bailey goes, he takes 85 jobs with him.

Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


COOPER: Up next on this "Keeping Them Honest" special: eyes wide open, the shocking reality of being awake in the O.R.

Plus, predicting hurricanes. Is a satellite failing, putting you at risk?


COOPER: Welcome back.

We're devoting this hour to holding people in power accountable. And it's not just politicians we're talking about. Every day, thousands of Americans have surgery. And many of the procedures require general anesthesia. But, as we found out, a surprising number of patients are actually awake during the operation. And, incredibly, doctors have known about the problem for years.

CNN's David Mattingly tonight "Keeping Them Honest."


MATTINGLY (voice-over): We know how it's supposed to work. We go in for surgery. The anesthesiologist puts us to sleep. And then we wake up after the surgery's done. This is what happens when things go wrong.

TODD WHITLOCK, EXPERIENCED ANESTHESIA AWARENESS: There was pain -- there was a pain that you cannot deal with.

DIANA TODD, EXPERIENCED ANESTHESIA AWARENESS: It just goes on and on. And you're screaming inside your head.

MATTINGLY: These former patients went under the knife, but did not go under. They heard, they felt, they remembered everything.

ERIN COOK, ALERT DURING SURGERY: I just kept praying, God, please just knock me out. Just knock me out. Let somebody know that this hurts so bad.

MATTINGLY: Victims call it anesthesia awareness, a condition that occurs when anesthesia paralyzes the body, but through some error does not render the patient unconscious.

(on camera): A 2004 study estimates it happens to 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 patients. That's potentially thousands of people every year who go into surgery and come out with some memory of what happened.

COOK: I was startled awake because I could feel the doctor cutting me open.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Erin Cook went in to have an ovary removed in March. She emerged with vivid memories of searing pain, feeling trapped in her body, unable to move or speak. The experience left the young mother psychologically scarred and in need of therapy.

COOK: The fear of dying has become something that I live with every day.

MATTINGLY: Victims say they are frequently unable to sleep and filled with anxiety. In 2006, Sherman Sizemore, a Baptist minister from West Virginia, took his own life after his family claims he was conscious for 16 minutes during abdominal surgery.

(on camera): Have any of you ever thought about suicide?

WHITLOCK: The thought entered our minds when we were there on that table. And they were cutting into us with a pain that was beyond description. The first thought comes to your head, dear God, come and take me now...

COOK: Take me now.

WHITLOCK: ... because I can't deal with this.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): A victims' group called the Anesthesia Awareness Campaign says many cases could be prevented by a device in more than half of the nation's ORs. A machine that monitors brain activity.

But the largest manufacturer of these devices reports they were used last year in only 17 percent of general anesthesia surgeries. "Keeping Them Honest," we went to the American Society of Anesthesiologists and found that organization stopped short of recommending monitor use, leaving that decision up to the doctor.

(on camera): You say that one case of awareness is too much. Could these devices prevent that one case?

DR. MARK LEMA, DR., PRES., AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS: That's what we're studying. And that's what I'm trying to emphasize, that as a society, as a medical specialty, as medical scientists, we need data to show that.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Society President Mark Lema says his organization is only beginning to study the reliability of brain activity monitors and questions claims that there are thousands of victims a year.

LEMA: We've known this to be a rare side effect of anesthesia since I've trained in the '70s and before that. The incidents that we've seen on reports that have come to the ASA have been maybe a few cases a year.

MATTINGLY: But critics say that's because historically, anesthesiologists rarely track their patients. (on camera): Any idea how often an anesthesiologist actually is able to follow up with a patient and ask them, did you have any awareness during that surgery?

LEMA: I can't answer that question.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Anesthesia awareness has been making headlines at least since 1994. A decade later, an ASA president questioned his own organization's fact gathering. He asked: "Will patients be denied the potential benefits of innovation because of a deadly perfectionism?"

WHITLOCK: What happened to us can't happen to other people.

TODD: Your whole existence becomes that pain that you're in. There's nothing else. It is the total measure of your existence for that time.

MATTINGLY: Before their surgeries, these patients had never heard of anesthesia awareness. Now they say there's no escaping it.

David Mattingly, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Much more ahead in this hour, including this.

Smithsonian sham.


CHARLES BOWSHER, FMR. U.S. CONTROLLER GENERAL: They lived this kind of life up there, you know, limousines all the time, going first class.


COOPER: Presiding over our national treasures and living like kings.

Plus, is this the solution to our dependency on foreign oil.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ethanol makes a lot of sense.


COOPER: But does it? The high price we pay to save energy when this "Keeping Them Honest" special continues.




COOPER: Some "Raw Politics" on the government's famous Smithsonian Institution. Nineteen museums, 144 affiliate museums, nine research centers and more than 136 million objects, artworks and specimens. That is some collection.

The Smithsonian Institution has been called the "Keeper of America's Treasures." But now the keeper of all that treasure is engulfed in a big scandal.

Once again, here's 360's Joe Johns.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The vast Smithsonian Institution has a billion dollar budget and you, the taxpayers, pay most of it. And evidence is mounting that this guy, Lawrence Small, who ran all of it from a castle-like Smithsonian building, was actually operating like a king.

BOWSHER: He came out of Wall Street, keep that in mind. And they live this kind of life up there. You know, limousines all the time, going first class.

JOHNS: Not to mention private jets, lavish parties and a salary that far exceeded the compensation of people who held the job before him. Small started out seven years ago making $536,000. By the time he resigned he was up to $915,000, including perks according to a new report examining his royal treatment.

(on-camera): One of the perks Small got for taking the job was a six-figure housing allowance, allowing him to use this house, his personal residence, for official Smithsonian hospitality. In the year 2000, that housing allowance started out at about $150,000 a year. By 2007, it was up to almost $200,000.

(voice-over): The report said Small rarely used his house for entertaining, that the allowance was actually a way to increase his pay. Why such a big salary? His bosses, the Smithsonian board, thought with Small's Street connections, he'd be a fund-raising superstar. But that report said with Small, private fund-raising actually went down, not up.

All of the controversy comes down to money. Not only what the Smithsonian paid him but from what he earned elsewhere at the same time. Small also earned almost $643,000 in cash, $3.5 million in stock, and another $1.8 million in stock options by serving on two corporate boards.

So how could Small do all of this while ruling the Smithsonian kingdom? By taking time off, of course, 64 days of leave to work for the boards and that's apparently in addition to the 10 weeks of vacation he took almost every year he worked at the castle.

PABLO EISENBERG, GEORGETOWN UNIV. CENTER ON NON-PROFITS: He was disrespectful of the fact he had a public trust. I think he tried to be greedy and get every penny he could serving on two outside corporation boards, not spending sufficient time at the Smithsonian.

JOHN: But like any good story about royalty, there is a twist. It appears all of Small's actions were allowable under the deal he had with his bosses, the Smithsonian's board of regents. And as it happens, one of them was on Capitol Hill today trying to explain how they let this happen.

(on camera): There has been a lot of talk about the board in the past being asleep at the switch. But I haven't heard the response.

ROGER SANT, SMITHSONIAN BOARD OF REGENTS: I think we said we were. We agreed. When we saw the evidence of some of the things we missed, we just said, yes, that's an appropriate title. Nonetheless, we feel like it is our responsibility to change that.

JOHNS: Lawrence Small didn't return our calls. He did say in his resignation letter that accusations about his compensation were baseless and he suggested he was leaving because of congressional meddling at Smithsonian.

But "Keeping Them Honest," that kingdom where America's treasures are kept, is now taking a long hard look at who gets the crown next time.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Coming up, a battle over a satellite used to predict hurricanes. Some say it's failing, others say it's not even needed. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

Also ahead, when saving energy costs a fortune. The truth about one popular alternative fuel when this "360" special continues.


COOPER: "Raw Data" on the hurricane season shows that it's just gearing up. On average, July sees a tropical storm about half the time and rarely sees a hurricane. August is different, with a little more than two tropical storms on average and more than one hurricane. September is the worst month with about three tropical storms and two hurricanes. And the waters calm down in October with less than two tropical storms on average and one hurricane.

The 2007 hurricane season was predicted to be active. But due to cooler ocean water temperatures, forecasters at the University of Colorado have now lowered their forecast to eight hurricanes, that's down from a prediction of nine in May.

If a storm should form, the government has a satellite that may give people in harm's way the information they need to be safe. But some say this satellite is outdated. So why isn't there money for a new one? Well, CNN's John Zarrella is "Keeping Them Honest."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): August 2004, Category 4 Hurricane Charley suddenly shifts course, slamming into Charlotte County, Florida, killing four people. Tragic to be sure.

But, Emergency Manager Wayne Sallade says it would have been much worse if Charlotte County hadn't been in the emergency warning area. It was right on the very edge and county officials were prepared.

(on camera): What do you think would have happened if you had not been in the warning area?

WAYNE SALLADE, CHARLOTTE COUNTY, FLORIDA, EMERGENCY MANAGER: I'm really concerned that our loss of life would have been significantly higher than the four that we had perish.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Sallade worries next time he may not get similar warnings. The reason, a satellite called QuikSCAT. It's used by forecasters to help predict the path and intensity of storms. Designed to last three to five years, QuikSCAT is now in its eighth, working with a backup data transmitter. And no replacement satellite planned until 2013.

BILL PROENZA, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: It's going down the road without a spare tire.

ZARRELLA: That was Bill Proenza when he led the National Hurricane Center. He lost the job last month when he warned publicly that if QuikSCAT fails, it would be a lot harder to accurately predict a storm's path.

PROENZA: Bottom line is the protection of life. We're able to protect life so much better. QuikSCAT has essentially revolutionized the amount of data that we can work with.

ZARRELLA: Take a look at this satellite view of the Pacific. Just off the coast of Mexico, images taken without QuikSCAT during Tropical Storm Barbara a couple weeks ago.

PROENZA: Here we have one ship report, a second ship report and a third ship report, that's it.

ZARRELLA: Now, the image following a QuikSCAT pass. An 1,100- mile wide swathe filled with data: intensity, direction, the wind field.

PROENZA: All of a sudden the whole ocean is filled with data around Tropical Storm Barbara.

ZARRELLA: But Proenza's bosses aren't happy that he went public, reprimanding him. They said he had caused anxiety and disruption, and put him on indefinite paid leave.

PROENZA: They wanted me to be quiet about it.

ZARRELLA (on camera): Muzzle you?

PROENZA: Essentially.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Proenza's employees weren't happy with him, either. Half the Hurricane Center's staff signed a letter that called for Proenza's ouster, saying he was a divisive boss who hurt the forecaster's reputation, and his concerns about QuikSCAT were "misguided."

Proenza says they were intimidated into signing the letter and he's fighting for his job, saying his bosses violated the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act. One Florida congressman says he wants a hearing on Proenza's removal.

Still, the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, don't share Proenza's concerns about QuikSCAT.

MARY GLACKIN, ACTING DIR., NATL. WEATHER SERVICE: We're beyond the warranty here. But there's no reason to think that we're not going to get good service out of this spacecraft.

ZARRELLA: Mary Glackin says if QuikSCAT fails, forecasters have other tools, satellites, hurricane hunter aircraft, and weather buoys.

GLACKIN: So the idea of something flying blind -- I can't tell you, we're so far from flying blind here. We have this covered.

ZARRELLA: But this recent study published by, you guessed it, NOAA itself, tells a very different story. "When QuikSCAT is gone, it will be like going back seven years in tropical cyclone analysis."

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida charges NOAA just doesn't want to pressure the White House budget office for the $400 million a new satellite would cost.

SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: I just hope and pray we don't have to go through a major hurricane strike and damage as a result of lessened predictability in order to get the money for this new satellite.

ZARRELLA: If QuikSCAT fails, Charlotte County Emergency Manager Wayne Sallade says he'd be forced to protectively move more people sooner and sometimes unnecessarily.

SALLADE: Over-warning by the hurricane center, over-evacuation by state and local authorities, leading down the road to an ambivalence by a population that will say, been there, done that, didn't happen, not going.

ZARRELLA: In a period where all the experts are predicting more major hurricanes, a jaded population that won't evacuate is a frightening proposition.

John Zarrella, CNN, Punta Gorda, Florida.


COOPER: Next, the hard facts about a popular fuel alternative. Politicians say ethanol makes a lot of sense, but does it?


SCOTT ZABLER, PINE LAKE CORN PROCESSORS: Ethanol is not here to replace foreign oil. That's never going to happen.


COOPER: We'll investigate.

Plus, cutting the pork on Capitol Hill.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know there's a problem. Many campaigned on fixing the culture of corruption here. But this bill is effectively a window dressing.


COOPER: From a ski lift to a luxury hotel, how lawmakers are still letting you pay for secret spending provisions. That's all ahead in our "Keeping Them Honest" special.


COOPER: "Keeping Them Honest" on energy. Here's the "Raw Data" on our consumption. Only 7 percent of our energy comes from renewable sources, 8 percent is nuclear, natural gas and coal each make up 23 percent of our national energy consumption, and the biggest source thanks to all those hours in the car, petroleum at 40 percent.

Well, as those numbers tell us, conserving energy is an uphill battle. To be sure, steps are being made to come up with alternative fuel resources, particularly with ethanol. States are adding it to gasoline. But you won't believe what it takes to create it.

Once again, here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No other state grows corn like Iowa, and Iowa has never done it like this. Just ask ag expert Bruce Babcock from Iowa State.

(on camera): Have they ever grown this much corn in the state before?

BRUCE BABCOCK, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY: No, this is an all-time record.

FOREMAN (voice-over): A record harvest driven by ethanol plants, springing up everywhere, turning corn into the alternative fuel hailed by Washington as an important step toward energy independence.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Obviously, ethanol is one of them.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are producing as much ethanol as possible.

MCCAIN: Ethanol makes a lot of sense.

TOMMY THOMPSON (R), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ethanol, ladies and gentlemen.

FOREMAN: But "Keeping them Honest," we went to ethanol country and listened to the first thing Scott Zabler told us at the plant he runs.

ZABLER: Ethanol is not here to replace foreign oil. That's never going to happen.

FOREMAN: Why? Planting, harvesting and converting all that corn to ethanol takes fuel. How much is debated. Government researchers say you can produce a gallon of ethanol with about three quarters of a gallon of fossil fuel.

Other researchers say, no way.

DAVID PIMENTAL, CORNELL UNIVERSITY: It takes more than a gallon of oil to produce one gallon of ethanol. So we're actually importing oil from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere to produce the ethanol.

FOREMAN: Other issues. Pipelines are the cheapest way to move fuel, but are no good for ethanol, which absorbs impurities in the pipes. It must go by train or truck. And even if we planted all of our farmland in corn for ethanol, we could not replace all the gas we get from oil.

BABCOCK: We can't grow enough ethanol from corn to replace all of the fuel that we use. That's 100 percent true.

FOREMAN: So how much oil could we replace?

BABCOCK: About 10 percent is where we think we're headed under the current set of incentives and the current technologies that we have for ethanol.

FOREMAN: And that's not free. The ethanol boom is driving corn prices up. But that means more expensive food, and feed.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you're a hog farmer, you're getting tired of seeing the corn prices go up. If you're a corn farmer, it's a nice feeling to see the prices go up.

FOREMAN: Ethanol is great for much of the rural economy. High corn prices mean many farmers, like Larry Meints, are not collecting crop subsidies. That's good for taxpayers.

LARRY MEINTS, FARMER: I think it's one of the biggest things that I've seen in my career of farming. Absolutely. FOREMAN: But "Keeping them Honest," even the politicians have to admit corn-based ethanol alone is a very limited part of America's quest for greater energy independence.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Steamboat Rock, Iowa.


COOPER: Up next, pet projects and your tax dollars. Congress is vowing to change their secretive earmarks. We're "Keeping Them Honest."