Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

The Fight For Afghanistan; President Obama Under Pressure

Aired October 5, 2009 - 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: Tonight: decision time in Afghanistan.

President Obama under pressure, U.S. forces under attack -- this weekend, the worst single-day battlefield loss for U.S. forces since the war began.

Tonight, Christiane Amanpour and Peter Bergen on Mr. Obama's choices. Will he send more troops or rethink the entire strategy?

Also tonight, "Raw Politics,": The Olympic loss, the health care battle, has President Obama lost his mojo? Republican strategist Mary Matalin squares off against Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who says conservatives are acting like bratty 13-year-olds.

And, later, "Crime & punishment," ESPN reporter Erin Andrews videotaped nude in her hotel room. Tonight, an arrest is made -- new details about the alleged stalker now accused of doing it.

First up tonight, Afghanistan. Just moments ago, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told our Christiane Amanpour that the Taliban now has the momentum. The pressure to make a decision is growing on President Obama from the military, as well as the political left and right.

Tomorrow, congressional leaders from both parties go to the White House to voice their views. This weekend, around 500 people protesting the war set up outside the White House, some chaining themselves to the gates.

Also, a reminder this weekend that the war is not on hold while the president tries to decide. Saturday, eight U.S. troops were killed when their remote base came under heavy Taliban attack. Pentagon officials say hundreds of insurgents attacked two U.S. military outposts located near the Pakistan border.

The small number of U.S. forces were sitting ducks, holding low- lying positions in valleys surrounded by high mountains filled with Taliban fighters.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): U.S. forces in remote outposts like this one in eastern Afghanistan are meant to prevent Taliban insurgents from sneaking in from Pakistan. But surrounded by mountains in hostile territory, they're often isolated and outnumbered. Saturday's attack took place in eastern Afghanistan's Nuristan Province. But we have seen attacks like it before. Just 20 miles away, a year ago, July, in Wanat, 49 U.S. troops were attacked by an estimated 200 Taliban fighters. This video obtained by CBS News reveals the ferocity of the firefight.

The soldier on the ground calls for U.S. choppers to fire very close to their position.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I know it's high-risk, but we need to get these guys off of us. Over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten meters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have got to be kidding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I'm inbound with a missile.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. That's how you do it. That's how you do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see muzzle flashes down there like (EXPLETIVE DELETED) lightning bugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, roger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're taking fire. We just got hit in the lower belly just to north side of the aircraft.

COOPER: In the Wanat attack, nine U.S. troops were killed. And, then, this Saturday, an Afghan and a U.S. base in the same remote region were targeted by insurgents.

Officials say American gunships arrived within the first half- hour of the fighting, but, even with the air support, the militants continued their assault. The battle lasted several hours. When it was over, U.S. forces had fended off the Taliban, but eight U.S. troops were dead.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And we just got this picture. This is a photograph of 22-year-old Kevin Thomson from Reno, Nevada, one of the soldiers killed in Saturday's battle. He was in the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.

As we saw when we were with the Marines a couple weeks ago, U.S. forces on the ground are doing an extraordinarily difficult job and doing it under very tough conditions. But they are stretched thin. And the Taliban is now on the move, now operating in areas in the west and north that they never used to.

Here's what Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Christiane Amanpour just a few moments ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT GATES, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: And the reality is that, because of our inability and the inability, frankly, of our allies to put enough troops into Afghanistan, the Taliban do have the momentum right now, it seems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Christiane is host of CNN's "AMANPOUR." She joins me now, along with CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen.

Christiane, is the secretary of defense advocating more troops being sent, which is the position held by General McChrystal?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, he certainly did not say that. In fact, they didn't answer any specific questions as to the nature of the strategy sessions or whether they were going to advise more or less.

But he did say, as you heard, that, because there were not enough troops over the last several years, that meant that the Taliban had gained the momentum. And they have got some 80 percent presence in -- in parts of Afghanistan, vs. 54 percent just two years ago.

COOPER: Peter, we have seen this kind of attack that we saw this weekend before. And it's not -- it's not the -- the timing of it doesn't seem to be an accident.

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: No, because I think the Taliban understand that the center of gravity for them is the American public and other NATO publics.

That's why we have seen attacks on Italian soldiers, German soldiers, French soldiers recently, because they're looking for -- you know, to persuade the publics in the various countries that are sending troops to turn against the war. And, actually, this has been pretty successful, because I can't think of a single country now that has soldiers in Afghanistan where at least half the population, including in the United States, now thinks the war is a mistake.

COOPER: Peter, what do you make of the fact, though, that you have yet again another U.S. base in a remote area, a couple -- you know, 49 U.S. troops or -- or a few more than that, and an overwhelming Taliban presence?

BERGEN: Well, I mean, this is just a huge problem. You know, the Army looked into the same very similar attack that happened a little over a year ago. They had three investigations, a several- hundred-page report. It is supposed to be a lessons-learned exercise.

And then, exactly 20 miles away from the event about a year ago, exactly the same kind of attack happened. So, you have to ask yourself, what were the lessons learned? Or were the lessons not implemented? And these remote combat outposts, you know, are -- are obviously sitting ducks.

We're going to more with Christiane and Peter in a moment. What do you think needs to be done? Are more troops needed for Afghanistan? Join the live chat at AC360.com. Christiane and Peter are going to be back right after the break.

Also ahead tonight: President Obama, has he lost his mojo? His critics are emboldened by the Olympic defeat, by the health care battle. Tonight, Republican strategist Mary Matalin and economist Paul Krugman square off. He says spite is now driving the Republican Party to be against anything President Obama supports.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL KRUGMAN, COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": The Republican Party, the party that opposes anything that Obama proposes, even if it's something that, by bipartisan agreement, we thought was something the country had to do not very long ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Later, the first H1N1 vaccinations began today, and Dr. Mehmet Oz joins us to answer your questions. You can send them by going to AC360.com or tweet them at Twitter at AndersonCooper. Or you can go to Facebook.com/AndersonCooper360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Talking about Afghanistan, the war now at a crucial point, a debate raging over the strategy in play. Saturday's deadly attacks in a remote part of eastern Afghanistan, well, frankly, it's raising new questions about what U.S. strategy is and what it should be.

The U.S. outposts were in an isolated area near the Pakistan border.

Nic Robertson was in the same area back in 2007. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The province is called Nuristan, which means land of enlightenment.

Well, the terrain here is really tough. Nuristan is so remote, it doesn't have any paved roads, doesn't have any hospitals, doesn't even have a proper center of government here, doesn't even have a provincial capital, not a real one. And, as the commanders here like to say, where the roads end, that's where the bad guys begin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A rough area in a war that is now front in center in the debate between the president and his generals.

Joining me again, Christiane Amanpour and Peter Bergen.

Christiane, you have just finished an exclusive interview with Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary Gates.

General McChrystal, top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has been very outspoken, making a speech, even, which was critical of -- of any other policy really than the one he is now suggesting to -- to President Obama. Secretary Gates was asked tonight if McChrystal is now being muzzled.

Here's what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GATES: Absolutely not.

The minute the president makes his decisions, we will get General McChrystal back here as quickly as possible and up on to the Hill, because, I will tell you, there is no one more knowledgeable and more persuasive on these issues than Stan McChrystal.

But it would put -- I believe it would put General McChrystal in an impossible situation to go up in a hyperpartisan environment to the Hill before the president made his decisions and put the general on the spot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It is pretty stunning, though, Christiane, though, to have a top U.S. general making a public speech which basically says that any other strategy that the president may be thinking of will fail.

AMANPOUR: Well, he hasn't actually said that, in his -- to -- to be fair about what he's -- what he's said.

But the thing is, what I put to Secretary Gates was, do you not think perhaps this public airing of advice is a reflection of the last, some would call it a debacle, when many of the generals, many of the officers did not challenge the strategy of putting too few troops in Iraq in 2003, after which there was some five years wasted, lots of lives and a reassessment that led to a surge.

So, I was asking whether perhaps this public nature of General McChrystal's advice had something to do with the lessons learned and the mistakes, as they have been assessed, notably fiasco, as it was called by one book, and that is perhaps why he was doing it.

And Secretary Gates and Secretary Clinton seemed to endorse General McChrystal in general, saying that he was the best commander for the job.

COOPER: Peter, the alternative proposal, or one of the alternative proposals, to General McChrystal's idea -- McChrystal is calling for more U.S. troops to continue a massive counterinsurgency operation.

The -- the other side, I guess, would be the anti-terrorist operation, or counterterrorism operation, involving more drones in Pakistan, and not having as big a footprint militarily on the ground. What -- what's -- what is the best case made for that strategy?

BERGEN: Well, you know, the drones have been very successful. It started under President Bush in the summer of 2008. It was ramped up very quickly. Obama has ramped the drone program up even more.

Half the militants in the Pakistani tribal region, the leaders, have been killed. This is even getting some acceptance from the Pakistani government now, because a number of drone attacks have taken out the Pakistani Taliban, who are opposed to the Pakistani government.

So, yes, the -- the drones are -- that is -- the success of the drones is a new factor. But I still think the people who are proposing this have to answer the question, how does this really differ from the early Bush years, where the whole thing was under- resourced, there weren't a lot of soldiers on the ground, and -- and it was a counterterrorism mission?

To me, this has a very much back-to-the-future flavor, this suggestion.

AMANPOUR: And, Peter...

COOPER: Go ahead, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: ... the -- the whole drones and bombing from the air, as the U.S. commanders know, and Secretary Gates reaffirmed, is something that has sucked, drained goodwill from the United States, because of the civilian casualties, whether it be in Pakistan or in Afghanistan.

And that is something they're looking very, very carefully at. And even General McKiernan, before he was relieved of his position, decided to reassess the use of the drones. So, this is a very, very precarious thing, as all the commanders and the secretary of defense have noted, to depend on.

COOPER: But, Christiane, essentially, what the U.S., under McChrystal's strategy, would be doing is nation-building. I mean, it would be rebuilding schools. It would be trying to rebuild infrastructure and governance -- governance and convince the Afghans that their government is working for them, and try to show them evidence of that.

AMANPOUR: Well, if you look at what General McChrystal has proposed, he's actually proposing precisely the -- the plan that President Obama laid out in his major speech on Afghanistan and Pakistan back in March.

And we asked Secretaries Clinton and Gates about that. In that George Washington-hosted interview there this evening were asked about that, and they told us, no, the objectives have not changed. The objectives are the same, which involves nation-building in protecting the Afghan citizens, in providing them with an economic opportunity and providing good governance, in standing up the Afghan security forces. And both of them, you know, sort of acknowledged that these things take time and patience.

COOPER: And a lot of money, Peter Bergen, and a lot of risk.

The -- the strategy that General McChrystal is proposing means more U.S. forces out on foot patrol interacting with civilian populations, and doing it in a way, I believe term humility is the term General McChrystal continues to use. That means exposing themselves in a bigger way.

BERGEN: Well, it does, yes. And, I mean, Anderson, we saw that in Helmand when we out on patrol with the Marines. The Marine unit we were with was very insistent to do as many patrols on foot as possible.

Obviously, with -- when you have 80 percent of -- of the casualties now being caused by IEDs, improvised explosive devices, you know, you're taking on risk when you go out on a foot patrol. There is no doubt about it.

COOPER: It's -- no doubt, no matter what the strategy is going to be, it's not an easy road ahead.

Reminder, you can watch Christiane's rare joint interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. on a special edition of "AMANPOUR" right here on CNN.

Still ahead, has President Obama lost his mojo? It's a question some of his critics are asking. Coming up, "New York Times" columnist Paul Krugman and Republican strategist Mary Matalin square off. Pretty sure neither of them lost their mojo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARY MATALIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: So, I love when Paul does this. It's great. I don't just respect Rush. I revere Rush.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And, later, Dr. Mehmet Oz will answer your questions about the swine flu vaccine. The first doses were distributed today -- what you need to know about the vaccine coming up. You can submit your questions to our blog at AC360.com, or tweet them at Twitter at AndersonCooper. Or you can go to Facebook.com/AndersonCooper360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Ahead, how ESPN Erin Andrews videotape -- was videotaped naked in her own hotel room without her knowledge. An arrest has been made. And wait until you hear what her alleged stalker did to get the shot.

But, first, Randi Kaye joins us with a 360 news and business bulletin -- Randi. RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson.

Pakistan blames the Taliban for today's suicide bombing at the World Food Program's offices in Islamabad. Five people were killed. Security cameras show the bomber dressed in a Pakistani paramilitary uniform entering the main building of the U.N. Food Agency seconds before the bomb explodes. He gained access by asking to use the bathroom.

Rescue workers in Padang, Indonesia, ended their search for survivors today, as the focus now shifts to recovery. At least 608 people are dead, a number expected to climb into the thousands in the wake of last week's two devastating quakes.

The inspector general of TARP, the Troubled Assets Relief Program, chastised federal officials for claiming the first banks getting bailout money were healthier than they actually were. In a report issued just today, Neil Barofsky faulted the Treasury and the Fed for creating unrealistic expectations that damaged the trust of the American people.

And three American researchers have won the Nobel Peace Prize in medicine for discovering how chromosomes are protected against degradation. The breakthrough could shed light on aging and diseases like cancer -- Anderson.

COOPER: Wow. That's pretty cool.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Coming up, "Raw Politics." President Obama's conservative critics applauded when President Obama's bid to get the Olympics failed. Are they rooting for anything that hurts Mr. Obama, even if it's good for America? Mary Matalin and Paul Krugman square off.

And David Letterman making another apology tonight, this one much closer to home. Find out who he is saying sorry to now -- ahead on the program.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: In "Raw Politics" tonight: the mounting pressure on President Obama, under attack from his critics and on the defense about his policies. The shocks are not just coming from the right anymore. Check out who "Saturday Night Live" chose as their newest target over the weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

FRED ARMISEN, ACTOR: On my first day in office I said I would close Guantanamo Bay. Is it closed yet? No.

I said we would be out of Iraq. Are we? Not the last time I checked.

(LAUGHTER)

ARMISEN: I said I would make improvements in the war in Afghanistan. Is it better? No, I think it's actually worse.

(LAUGHTER)

ARMISEN: How about health care reform? Hell no.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: The sketch then went on to lampoon Mr. Obama for Chicago losing the 2016 Olympic Games.

Now, some of the president's conservative critics literally broke out in applause when the news broke that Chicago had been rejected.

Today, "The New York Times"' Paul Krugman said the GOP has become a party ruled by spite, eager to see the president fail, even if it's on something that is good for America. His latest book is "The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008."

Paul Krugman and political contributor Mary Matalin, who's -- who was a counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, joined me earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: There is a narrative right now that -- that President Obama has lost his mojo. There was a couple people saying that the last couple days, "Saturday Night Live." Do you -- do you buy that?

KRUGMAN: No.

I mean, I think there are -- there are a lot of problems. And he -- you know, it's very difficult to be a strong, successful president when the employment picture is still worsening. And the employment picture is still worsening. And the stimulus law, while it has helped, isn't big enough to turn that around any time soon. So, he's got some problems.

But, look, health care, the -- the mood I get from the people who are really working on health care legislation is that this thing is now going to happen. A few weeks ago, there were real doubts about whether it was going to happen. But now it looks like it is going to happen. And that is going to be a huge thing.

Regardless of exactly what happens in the midterm elections, if we come out with legislation establishing universal health care by the end of this year, which I now believe we will, My God, that is transformational. We will be a different country. So, that is mojo in -- in the space that matters.

COOPER: Mary, do you believe that he has lost his mojo? I mean, there's people saying: Look, health care has not worked out. He's been weak on. He hasn't been out in front of it enough. The situation in Afghanistan, certainly, and other issues. The Olympic thing is just the -- the latest.

MATALIN: I don't -- I don't know if he lost his mojo. I never drank the Kool-Aid in the first place.

(LAUGHTER)

MATALIN: I always thought and I think there's increasing illustrations of his being a political Potemkin village. There's just not a -- a lot there. There wasn't certainly everything there that everybody fused him with. And he saw this himself.

He said many times: I'm a vessel. People, fill me up.

So, I don't know if it's a mojo thing. But when you get to whatever he said in the campaign and whatever celestial aura he had, when you get to the detail of forging this very difficult policy, it is not -- I know Paul and others want to blame this on Republicans as obstructionist or spiteful or whatever, but what -- what stopped health care so far and what is going to be transformational for the Democratic Party if it passes are the Blue Dogs, the centrists, whatever you want to call them.

There are 74 of them in the House. And there are over a dozen of them in the Senate. And they're representing real people.

COOPER: Paul, you wrote today that "The modern conservative movement which dominates the modern Republican Party has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old."

Do you think the opposition that the Republicans are throwing up now is different than what the Democrats threw up against President Bush?

KRUGMAN: Yes.

You wouldn't find the same kind of -- at least, you wouldn't find major media organizations with a liberal slant going -- making triumphant, you know, shouts of triumph, Bush loses, Bush loses for minor things that were actually bad for America.

COOPER: You're talking about when...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: "The Weekly Standard," someone blogged that they cheered when -- when the Olympics went to Rio.

KRUGMAN: Yes. I mean, it's -- this is a -- really dumb stuff. It was puerile.

I don't think -- of course, you can always find somebody on the other side who -- who is immature. But you didn't find that at the level of what were -- are in effect house journals of -- of the conservative movement.

COOPER: Mary, what about that? Paul also wrote today that -- he said: "At this point, the guiding principle of one of our nation's two great political parties is spite, pure and simple. If Republicans think something might be good for the president, they're against it, whether or not it's good for America."

MATALIN: Well, maybe Mr. Krugman, who is an otherwise really smart guy, was asleep for the last eight years, when -- when the Senate leaders -- I mean the Democratic leaders in both chambers called Bush everything from a liar to a loser, we're losing the war, on really big issues, making false claims.

But let me take my conservative hat off here and ask a strategic question, because I do think Paul is smart. And I do think my husband are -- is a smart strategist. I don't know why you would relentlessly and repeatedly employ a tactic that not only doesn't work; it works against you.

The liberals and the Democrats have been demonizing Rush Limbaugh for over two decades, and they have just made him stronger. And they have expanded his audience.

KRUGMAN: You know, let me -- let me weigh in, first of all just on the issue of Rush Limbaugh. You know, he actually is over the top, and in a way that no major figure on the left is, no one would with -- with that kind of influence, that kind of respectability. Mary was just giving him the respectability he has.

And, well, as for the strategy, who knows? But I would say that, to some extent, yes, people are flocking to listen to him, but they're also pulling the Republican Party further and further out of the mainstream of this country.

MATALIN: I love when Paul does this. It's great. I don't just respect Rush. I revere Rush.

And I will say again, every time he's attacked, it's not just made him bigger. It spawned a lot of Rush knockoffs, some of whom are out there. But, when you drive people to these -- to these shows, and they're hearing a lot of data, and it's data that makes sense, and it comports with their life, and it's not demonizing them, or calling them anti-American, or angry mobs, well, it -- it just expands the -- what this country is anyway.

It's a center-right country. The data supports this.

KRUGMAN: This was not a column about how Rush Limbaugh is a really bad guy. I will write that column now and then.

But this was a column about the strategic decision of Republicans, the Republican Party, to be the party that opposes anything that Obama proposes, even if it's something that, by bipartisan agreement, we thought was something the country had to do not very long ago.

COOPER: We are going to have to leave it there.

Paul Krugman, I appreciate you being on. Mary Matalin, thank you very much.

KRUGMAN: Thank you.

MATALIN: Thanks, Paul.

Thanks, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And, for those who may not know or have forgotten, Mary Matalin is married to Democratic strategist James Carville -- she mentioned her husband several times -- who managed the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign.

The first vaccines against the H1N1 virus are being distributed. Are they safe? Should you get one? Will you be able to? We'll let you ask the expert. Dr. Oz joins us to answer the questions about the flu, coming up. You can send them to us by going to AC360.com, Twitter, @Andersoncooper or Facebook.com/Andersoncooper360.

Also tonight, stalking and spying. This gets creepier and creepier. The man accused of secretly videotaping sportscaster Erin Andrews. There's been an arrest made. We have the details on the case against him and how he was caught, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Twenty-seven states are now reporting widespread flu activity, a lot of it swine flu. Today health-care workers in Indiana and Tennessee received the first available doses of the H1N1 vaccine, kicking off a national campaign to inoculate tens of millions of Americans. Now, the plan is to give the vaccine to high-risk people first.

Since April in the U.S., the deaths of 28 pregnant women and 60 kids have been linked to swine flu. Both groups are considered high risk.

Joining me now is Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of "The Dr. Oz Show" and vice professor of surgery at Columbia University.

There's a lot of confusion about where and when to get this vaccine. Linda on our blog asks, "It seems that none of the local doctors' offices are expecting to get the H1N1 vaccine. Where will it become available?"

DR. MEHMET OZ, HOST, "THE DR. OZ SHOW": Well, if you go to flu.gov, it will at least tell you where it's going to be distributed. But unfortunately, you have to actually call to see if they have the vaccine yet.

Just to set everybody at ease. We don't think we're really going to have a fair number of the vaccines out there until the end of October.

COOPER: End of October?

OZ: You've got two or three more weeks before you have to start making a lot of the phone calls. If you're a high-risk group, we especially want you to get treated. We're mandated to get vaccinated by the end of the month. Our hospital will get them to us, because we're high risk.

COOPER: And they're giving them first to kids and pregnant women?

OZ: Pregnant women, as you mentioned earlier, a very high risk is always a tragedy. They're the, of course, group that we also are concerned about giving the vaccine to. But we've done a fair amount of testing that makes sense. And the medical community has come together, generally, behind giving pregnant women, young kids and health-care professionals who serve as doctors who spread the virus, who don't get treated, the vaccinations.

COOPER: There is a lot of skepticism out there and a lot of concern. We got a tweet that asks, "It takes years to get drugs to the market. How do I know H1N1 vaccine is safe for my family? It seems rushed by comparison. Nervous for my 4-year-old girl."

A lot of people very concerned. Should they be?

OZ: I bet half the people in the country have concerns. And just to be fair about this you can never know for sure if a vaccine, especially a new one, is completely safe. Be knowledgeable, though, that the H1N1 swine flu vaccine is built on the chassis of the older original seasonal vaccine. So it should have similar risks which have been proven to be very low.

But if I can just put this in perspective, if you can imagine a government not worrying about a flash 4 hurricane coming to the coastline, even though they know that the hurricane might divert and shift, every once in a while Katrina happens, you understand how our nation's leaders in this process feel. The vaccination is free because the government feels so strongly that it ought to be offered.

I sense a lot of resistance, as you do, and it came across in our Twitter feeds. Because people are saying, "Wait a minute. I'm being pushed too hard."

So I think we ought to just get everyone comfortable with the reality that some people aren't going to want to get vaccinated no matter what. Somebody tweeted us. Some are going to get it immediately. A lot of folks are in the middle.

COOPER: I've seen the videos of people getting, I guess, the mist in their nose. It's not an injection they're getting. They're actually just getting a spray up the nose. What's the difference between that and the actual injectable vaccine?

OZ: The injectable version that you get into your arm has a kill virus in it. There's no way can you get infected from that. The inhalant, which you push into the nose, actually has an attenuated, which means a weakened virus. So we don't want to give that to people who are high risk of maybe converting a weakened virus to still a big enough infection that they could have problems.

So the groups we worry about the most, pregnant women, kids under 2 years of age, folks with auto immune disorders. We want them to get the injection for sure.

If I can just mention something. Data is brand new. We probably have to get 45 to 50 percent of the population inoculated to have any meaningful slowdown of the rate of virus transmission. Remember, part of the reason you want people to get the vaccine is not just for you, but it could slow down transmission to others, especially within your family. That's where this -- immunity plays its biggest roll. If mom and dad and the kids get it, the chance of the toddler getting it go down. Because at least you've got protection within your community.

COOPER: You know, people, though, think a lot of this is hype. I may have had swine flu in Afghanistan. You know, there are lot of people who say, well, look, you know, OK, you had a bad cough. But, you know, it didn't kill you. So is it that bad?

OZ: Well, for the vast majority of people, it's not going to be a problem at all. But if you happen to be one of those high-risk group or you get the bad luck of getting the virus and getting knocked out by the lung complications, you die.

And remember, it's not just dying from the virus, but also remember lost workdays which are substantial. And people just sort of having the malaise that goes along with the flu. And we know that the seasonal flu vaccine over time reduces things like heart attack rates.

Because when you don't have an inflammatory rage in your body of fighting off a virus, you don't succumb to other also come to other things that are taking you off.

Anderson, I know how you feel, because I'm getting the vaccine. I have to anyway. My wife won't. So even within my own family and my kids, of course, go with what the wife says, as in most families. So I think we're going to have this battle within American families and within our culture. It should be a productive one, though. And again, I think it's about getting the middle mass of Americans to say, "You know what? This one I think I'm going to go with the system and get the vaccine."

COOPER: All right. Good advice, Dr. Oz. Thanks a lot.

OZ: Always a pleasure, Anderson.

COOPER: If you want more information about when the H1N1 vaccine is going to be available in your state, you can go to AC360.com for a schedule of the rollout.

Tomorrow night, the new 360 special, "Underground America." The special series takes you below the Las Vegas strip to see how people are living under the city. Here's a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, if it rains for, like, three solid days and it just comes down and down and down, that water is going to get up to here. And there's nothing we're going to be able to do except leave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Casinos above them, darkness under them. Living under Las Vegas. Watch our special report tomorrow night.

Next, a suspected stalker revealed. Chilling details how ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was tracked down and how the investigators say the suspect got close enough to videotape her nude in her hotel room.

And an apology from David Letterman, a new one. His words to his wife about the sex scandal ahead, as well as some jokes about the matter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, CBS'S "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": I got into the car this morning, and the navigation lady wasn't speaking to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Today, a judge in Illinois granted bail to the man accused of secretly videotaping a female sports broadcaster in the nude. Prosecutors say the alleged peeping tom recorded ESPN's Erin Andrews through hotel room keyholes. They believe he followed Andrews across the country, videotaping, stalking her. Now he faces federal charges.

Randi Kaye has the details in tonight's "Crime & Punishment" report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are new details. For the first time, investigators explaining how an average Joe was able to stalk and shoot nude video of an ESPN sports reporter in her own hotel room. Room 1051 at the Nashville Marriot, where reporter Erin Andrews was staying. Evidence the room's security peephole had been tampered with, the eye piece hack-sawed. That is how investigators say this man took video of the sideline reporter while she was naked, then posted it online.

TOM DAY, SUSPECT'S NEIGHBOR: It's absolutely shocking. I can't believe it.

KAYE: Neighbors were floored to learn Michael Barrett, who works for an insurance company, is now charged with interstate stalking, using harassing and intimidating surveillance. He was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare Airport over the weekend.

In court today, he did not enter a plea but was released on bail with restrictions. His lawyer told reporters Barrett is, quote, "a good man and a great friend," who he thinks never even had a parking ticket.

(on camera) But here is the details prosecutors laid out in court. Barrett allegedly stalked Andrews for at least ten months, calling dozens of hotels to figure out where she was staying while traveling for ESPN. Barrett then allegedly booked a room at that hotel right next to Erin Andrews' room.

At the Marriott in Nashville, police say he even used his home address to register. And in his file at that hotel, police say, a note that simply read, "Guest requests a room next to Erin Andrews."

(voice-over) Court records also show another alleged incident. Barrett booked a room at Milwaukee's Radisson Airport Hotel when Erin Andrews was staying there, but he never checked in. Still, when investigators checked it out, they say the peephole of that room had also been hacked off, tampered with, just like the peephole at the Nashville Marriott.

Court documents say in all, eight videos were shot. They appear to have been taken from the hallway through the peephole in the hotel room door. Investigators determined several of the videos were 42 seconds long and slightly grainy, which indicates to them a cell phone video camera could have been used.

The Marriott videos were allegedly e-mailed from Barrett's phone to his Yahoo account.

(on camera) Barrett is accused of trying to sell the videos to the celebrity gossip Web site TMZ.com. What authorities say is his personal e-mail address, HandsForYou@yahoo.com, was used to make the deal. TMZ didn't post the videos, but investigators say Google did, in February this year.

(voice-over) The tape sent to Google, court records show, was allegedly sent from Barrett's account and labeled "Erin Andrews naked butt." Investigators say all the videos were posted on an adult Web site and marked "Sexy and hot blonde sports celebrity shows us her all."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: This is so creepy. Has this guy done this before? I mean, is it alleged that maybe he did this to other people?

KAYE: Investigators certainly think so. They found other similar videos of women on a Web site. And they say that the person who posted that video and those videos had -- actually had the same user name as the person who posted the video of Erin Andrews. So they think that he might have done this before. Those videos also, Anderson, I should mention are of naked women. And investigators believe that those also were videotaped through a peephole in a door. So coincidence...

COOPER: He was allegedly just standing there outside the door.

KAYE: Right.

COOPER: Recording this just by putting his thing up to the...

KAYE: Right. He tampered with her peephole in her room, allegedly, and then stood outside with his cell phone, allegedly, and put the cell-phone camera right up to the peephole and was able to record what was going on.

COOPER: And -- and no one apparently saw this?

KAYE: No one.

COOPER: Other than the hotel staff who knew that this person wanted a room next to Erin Andrews?

KAYE: Apparently not. And there were seven videos taken at this one Marriott in Nashville. Go figure.

COOPER: Unbelievable. Scary stuff.

All right. Coming up next, how one U.S. soldier's fears caused him to flee. He went AWOL. Today, we were there when his life changed forever. We'll tell what happened.

Also, David Letterman telling jokes about his sex scandal but also apologizing for the first time publicly to his staff and wife. Letterman in his own words ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Up close, an exclusive interview with an American soldier, Iraqi war vet, who just today surrendered. We found out about the story from the soldier's mom who contacted us. She was concerned about her son. Why did he leave and what happens to him now? Gary Tuchman reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Don Gartin is saying good-bye to his girlfriend. He's a fugitive. But for the last half year, he's been on the run.

DON GARTIN, AWOL FROM MILITARY: I need to get this behind me. I can't keep looking over my shoulder.

TUCHMAN: So with his tearful mother also watching, this soldier who served in the infantry for 16 months, is about to walk into a Illinois state police station.

We'll show you what's about to happen in a second. But first some background.

Gartin was a deserter. He's been on the run for nearly a half year. We interviewed a much different looking Gartin last week on the Internet because he was a fugitive, but we did not know his location. He said he has posttraumatic stress disorder and didn't get the help he needed from the military and basically felt he was a danger to his fellow soldiers.

GARTIN: When you want to be that person that gets a phone call that says your brother or your sister, your significant other was killed today by another soldier because of mental problems he was dealing with.

TUCHMAN: The 25-year-old comes from a military family, was in ROTC in high school, and re-enlisted in the Army just last year. He says he was then sent to Texas.

GARTIN: Once I got to Ft. Bliss, it was all downhill. I mean, my mental stability just slowly started dwindling away.

TUCHMAN: The Army specialist says he didn't turn himself in earlier because he was afraid he would be sent back to active duty.

(on camera) And you think you made a responsible decision to desert?

GARTIN: Yes.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): His mother lives in a farmhouse surrounded by corn fields in central Illinois. She says she did not know her son's whereabouts for the last several months, although she did arrange rendez-vouses to see him. When he told her he was going to leave the Army...

JERRI HYDE, MOTHER: I said, "This will follow you the rest of your life. You're a good person. You served your country." It made me really angry. And I was incensed that my kid was trying to get out.

TUCHMAN: The Army said that while desertions are up because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has treatment options for troubled soldiers like Gartin. But Gartin claims he had no choice, and that's why it's come to this.

GARTIN: I was a horrible person. I was in a dark place.

TUCHMAN (on camera): So what will happen with Don Gartin? A U.S. Army spokesman we talked with told us that, for soldiers like Gartin, here's what could occur: a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay, and up to five years in a military lockdown.

(voice-over) When Gartin emerges from the police station, he's in handcuffs. He's led to a squad car by surprised Illinois state troopers, who didn't expect to see a military deserter today. He will be transferred to U.S. Army custody.

(on camera) Do you still consider yourself a patriot?

GARTIN: I think it would be foolish for me to consider myself a patriot being in the situation that I am in.

TUCHMAN: What do you consider yourself?

GARTIN: I'm just a person, just trying to live my life. And I can't live my life in the military.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gartin is now living his life behind bars. He is not eligible for bond.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So Gary, what happens to him now? I mean, what happens next?

TUCHMAN: Well, Anderson, Gartin right now is this county jail in the tiny town jail of Eureka, Illinois. You may heave heard of Eureka, because it's the home of eureka college, the alma mater of late president, Ronald Reagan.

Under U.S. military code, the Army now has 30 days to pick up Gartin for court-martial procedures. So Gartin could be in this little county jail until the beginning of November.

COOPER: And what are the Army or the Pentagon saying about his case?

TUCHMAN: Yes, we were very curious what they say about his specific situation. But as of now, the Pentagon says it is not commenting about his specific situation, at least for the time being.

COOPER: All right. Gary, appreciate it.

If you are or you know someone who's suffering from posttraumatic disorder, you can go to AC360.com for details on how you can get them help.

Let's get caught up on some of the other stories we're following. Randy Kaye has a "360 Bulletin" -- Randi.

KAYE: Anderson, a 360 follow now. Texas Governor Rick Perry still will not answer our questions about why he removed three members of the state panel investigating whether an innocent man was put to death. In fact, he's ruled out any interviews this week.

We brought you the story last week of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed under Perry's watch five years ago. New evidence just Willingham wasn't guilty of arson or killing his three children when their house went up in flames.

Today, supporters of Willingham started a petition to clear his name.

The ex-fiancee of a cast member from the real housewives of Atlanta has died after a fight outside an Atlanta strip club. Ashley "A.J." Jewel was engaged to Candy Burris until about two months ago and appeared in some episodes of that show. A suspect has been arrested in that beating death.

Comedian David Letterman isn't afraid to crack jokes about his own sex and extortion scandal. Here's what he said when he taped the show tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, CBS'S "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Did your weekend just fly by? I mean -- I'll be honest with you, folks, right now I would give anything to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I -- I got into the car this morning, and the navigation lady wasn't speaking to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Tonight Letterman also showed a more serious side, apologizing to his staff and family. He said, quote, "The other thing is my wife Regina. She has been horribly hurt by my behavior. And when something happens like that, if you hurt a person and it's your responsibility, you try to fix it. Let me tell you, folks, I got my work cut out for me," end quote.

The attorney for the CBS producer accused of trying to extort $2 million from Letterman is firing back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GERALD SHARGEL, ATTORNEY FOR JOE HALDERMAN: David Letterman didn't give his side of the story. David Letterman gave what he wanted the public to know. He wanted to get out ahead of the story. And that's exactly what he did. He's a master at manipulating audiences. That's what he does for a living. To think that David Letterman gave the entire story and there's nothing more to be said is simply wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: And check out this incredible video from Bangkok, Thailand. A British man is lucky to be alive after his bungee cord malfunctioned. Wow. That's hard to watch. He hit the water of a lagoon at -- get this -- 80 miles per hour. Now ,the man spent a month in the hospital recovering from collapsed lungs, a ruptured spleen, and other injuries. Wow, that's tough to see.

COOPER: That will make you never want to bungee jump.

KAYE: I never had the desire to.

COOPER: I never had the desire to. But I just don't think I will now ever.

KAYE: Yes, that's done it.

COOPER: All right, if everyone -- if anyone ever made fun of a kid with an accordion, I give you tonight's "Shot."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I didn't know this was real. Apparently, it is real. Shows the accordion can do lots of things. You should give the accordion the same respect as, I don't know, the clarinet, the oboe, the glockenspiel.

KAYE: Sure.

COOPER: Yes.

According to, by the way, Accordions.com which is where we went to to find out some more information about recordings, they first appeared in 1777. Did you know that?

KAYE: No, I didn't. That's great. Do you have more?

COOPER: And we think maybe he was playing Vivaldi.

KAYE: Check that out.

COOPER: You can you see all the most recent "Shots" on the Web site, AC360.com.

Coming up at the top of the hour, crunch time in Afghanistan, will President Obama send more troops or will he rethink the strategy? We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight, decision time in Afghanistan. President Obama under pressure, U.S. forces under attack. This weekend, the worst single-day battlefield loss for the U.S. forces since the war began. Tonight, Christiane Amanpour and Peter Bergen on Mr. Obama's choices. Will he send more troops or rethink the entire strategy.

Also tonight, "Raw Politics," the Olympic loss, the health-care battle. Has President Obama lost his mojo? Republican strategist Mary Matalin squares off against Nobel-Prize-winning economists Paul Krugman, who says conservatives are acting like bratty 13-year-olds.

And later, crime and punishment. ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, videotaped nude in her hotel room. Tonight, an arrest is made. New details about the alleged stalker, now accused of doing it.