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Will Jailed American Missionaries in Haiti Be Released?; Former President Bill Clinton Hospitalized

Aired February 11, 2010 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: breaking news. It is certainly being felt here.

Former President Bill Clinton, the U.N. special envoy to Haiti and longtime friend of this country and 42nd president of the United States, is in the hospital with new heart troubles. You have probably heard that. But we have the latest on his condition, what doctors did today, what he's been through already with his heart and what anyone with heart disease can take away from his experiences.

Also, tonight, what we have learned on the ground here -- a lot of rumors today about those 10 American missionaries in custody, a lot of rumors that they would be released. That did not happen, but some talk that they may be released or some of them may be released in the coming days. We will have the latest on that.

And we're going to show you a great example at a local orphanage of how American missionaries can do the right things to help Haitians, including the youngest and most vulnerable here -- a heartwarming story, that.

But we begin with the breaking news.

Former President Bill Clinton, who had just gotten back from his second visit here since the quake, he checked into Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Upper Manhattan earlier today after experiencing chest pains -- now, doctors there unblocking, then putting a pair of stents into one of the arteries feeding the heart to hold it open.

More now from Jessica Yellin, who is just outside the hospital -- Jessica.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, President Clinton's cardiologist says this was not a heart attack, this was not a high-risk procedure, and the president's prognosis, he says, is excellent.

President Clinton came in here because they tell us he had been suffering for several days from what they describe as chest discomfort. The doctor went to great lengths to say it wasn't pain. It was pressure, a constricted feeling in his chest.

When -- when Clinton got here, the doctor said that they discovered that one of the grafts from the president's 2004 quadruple bypass surgery was completely blocked, completely blocked. So, what they did is this procedure where they place two stents, as you say, in a coronary artery.

The doctor said it went very smoothly. And, after the procedure, President Clinton was talking. He has already been up, walking around. And they say he is in good spirits. They plan to keep him here overnight simply for observation, but, Anderson, they say they expect him to go home tomorrow -- Anderson.

COOPER: Going home tomorrow.

Is this -- I mean, he's been obviously taken on a lot of work with the situation here in Haiti. Is this hospitalization, I mean, in any way related to an increased workload?

YELLIN: Right. Well, obviously President Clinton jets all around. He seems to be work exceptionally long hours and keep a frenetic pace. But the doctor here was adamant in saying that this procedure and this complication was not the result of the way President Clinton lives his life.

Here's Dr. Allan Schwartz.


DR. ALLAN SCHWARTZ, CARDIOLOGIST, NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL: The goal of the treatment -- and I think it will be achieved -- is for President Clinton to resume his very active lifestyle. This was not a result of either his lifestyle or his diet, which have been excellent. He's exercised regularly. He's in excellent condition.


YELLIN: Now, President Clinton clearly can go back to his workload and his life as it has been, can go back to his work in Haiti, as the doctor says.

We understand also, Anderson, that President Obama called President Clinton, this according to Ed Henry, our White House correspondent, and President Obama wished Mr. Clinton well and a speedy recovery, so that he can go back to that work in Haiti.

We're also told that Chelsea Clinton is here, has been here all day with her father. Secretary Clinton is here as well. She has been visiting with him, but plans to go on her foreign trip, which was originally scheduled to start tomorrow. She's pushed it back by just a day, a clear sign that they feel good about the president's prognosis.

COOPER: Right.

YELLIN: And even the doctor, Anderson, said that President Clinton can go back to work on Monday.

COOPER: All right, Jessica, thanks. Let's bring to political contributor Paul Begala, former top adviser to Mr. Clinton, as well as a friend, also another central figure in the Clinton administration, senior political analyst David Gergen, Candy Crowley, host of "STATE OF THE UNION," and, here with me, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, I want to start with you.

How serious is this?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think, in the scheme of things, any time someone has chest pain or discomfort, after having had bypass surgery, people have to take that very seriously.

He clearly had some blockage there that was causing him some problems. One thing the thing the doctor said during that press conference I thought was important was, this -- this discomfort was coming on at rest. Typically, people exert themselves in some way, the heart is demanding more oxygen, not getting it, that brings on the pain.

In his case, it was at rest. So, I think that -- that gives it a little bit more sense of an urgency here. He's had this over the last couple of days. And, you know, pretty soon, he got these two stents put in. So, things are fine now, but I think, for a while there, it was obviously something they wanted to act on.

COOPER: Paul Begala, I mean, what kind of workload does the former president have now? I mean, he's famously worked incredibly long hours. He -- he still does that, correct?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He does. He works his tail off.

Dr. Schwartz was serious about this. I have been in close touch with the people who are with President Clinton in the hospital. And they want to reiterate this, too, that it's not the workload, it's not cholesterol, it's not diet. All of that is manageable.

But, just to give an idea of his workload, just in the last year, he's been to Haiti five times, twice after the earthquake, three before. He's been to Kosovo. He's been Colombia. He's been to Peru.

And, by the way, if you recall, in August, he went to North Korea to bring back Euna Lee and Laura Ling, the two journalists who had been held by the North Korean regime. So, he's always been a hard- driving guy, and he will be after this.

I was please -- and I know his families and friends are pleased to hear his doctors say that the pace of his work is not what has caused this. It's just, this is the natural progression, apparently, of the bypass surgery he had four or five years ago.

COOPER: David Gergen, do you see him -- I mean, even though this -- his work may not have anything to do with this, do you see him -- is he capable of slowing down?


DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: People would say that Bill Clinton is an undisciplined person, but, Anderson, after his heart surgery of 2004, he took doctors' advice, and he went -- he's been -- he's been dieting regularly since then. He's been exercising regularly. He has got himself in better shape.

And I think, if the doctors were to tell him to slow down, I think he would. He's a survivor. In this case, as Paul said, there doesn't seem to be evidence or reason why he has to slow down. He has an enormous passion for life. He has an enormous passion for helping people.

Americans know now he has a big, big heart, but just not a very strong heart.


Candy, you covered him. I mean, you must have stories about trying to keep up with the former president.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It actually was ridiculous. Actually, the only campaigner that I have seen who worked harder than Bill Clinton was Hillary Clinton. She can outdo him on the 24-hour day, I can assure you.

But I remember, you know, in '92, we would go someplace and we would get into the hotel, and it would be midnight, and there would be people waiting in the hotel and he would talk to every last one of them. And then it would be 1:00, and we would get up at 5:00 and go to the next place.

I mean, he is -- doesn't seem to need a lot of sleep. I -- one of the things I thought was really interesting -- I think the doctor said this, but maybe it was someone else, who said some people, you know, if you told them to sit in a rocker would die there. You know, there's just -- you have got to be who you are.

And, you know, nothing that he's done will keep him from going on at this pace. He's just one of those people that doesn't seem to need a great deal of sleep or a great deal of rest.

COOPER: Sanjay, how is it possible, though, that -- I mean, my understanding is that the -- an artery was blocked after having the surgery in 2004. How does it, from the time that it gets cleared in 2004, how does it become fully blocked already?

GUPTA: Yes. Well, what happened in 2004, they actually did bypass grafts. So...

COOPER: They just went around it?

GUPTA: Yes. Essentially, like, you have a blockage, and instead of just addressing that blockage, they say, you know what, we will just bypass it with a different, in this case, a vein that's taken from the leg. It's that that became blocked. It's that bypass graft that became blocked.

COOPER: Yes, but why does that happen? I mean, if you're -- if you're eating right and if you're exercising, is it just genetics?

GUPTA: Well, part of it is a vein is just not as good as an artery. And they -- if you look at all the data, about 50 percent of people do have blockages, significant blockages, within 10 years of veins.

And, this case, they thought it really had nothing to do with his diet, before his cholesterol was fine, very well-managed. They say he was exercising well. And they don't think the stress of his job had anything to do with it either. It just happens sometimes.

What's interesting is, they didn't go after the bypass graft. They went after the artery that was blocked in the first place, and they opened that up with two stents today. That's why he's feeling better. He has got more blood flow to his heart.

COOPER: All right, we're going to have more with Sanjay. Sanjay actually did an interview with the former president about his medical condition.

We will show you some of that and give you an update, also more with David Gergen, Candy Crowley, and Paul Begala. We have a lot more ahead, also a lot more from here on the ground on -- in Port-au- Prince.

Those 10 American missionaries, we're going to give you an update, major new developments concerning their possible release from prison.

Also, our visit to an orphanage where the staff and kids are simply remarkable.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were so tiny when we found them.






COOPER: Well, by the time we're done with this conversation about President Clinton's illness, six Americans will have died of heart disease, nearly 2,300 every single day, one every 38 seconds. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control.

President Clinton says he came close to being one of those statistics five years ago, but, as we talked about, got the bypass surgery that he needed.

We're back now with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, as well as the panel, Paul Begala, David Gergen, and Candy Crowley.

You spoke to President Clinton about his health not too long ago.

I just want to play viewers some of what he said.


GUPTA: I have to ask you, how are you feeling? I was there outside the hospital when you had your heart surgery. Are you back 100 percent?

CLINTON: I think so. It's interesting. In some ways, I'm stronger than I was before my surgery. And by conventional measures, I'm healthier. I still got about ten pounds to lose that I have gained in the campaign last year working for Hillary, but otherwise I think I'm fine. The one thing I noticed was in my balance is better, when I'm doing balance drills.

But the one thing I noticed is what a friend of mine referred to as raw country strength. I don't know if I have recovered. Like, I can't hit a golf ball as far even though I can lift more weights.

GUPTA: How far are you hitting a golf bar?

CLINTON: Not as far as I used to.


CLINTON: I rarely hit it 300 yards anymore. I used to do it all the time.

GUPTA: Is that right?

CLINTON: It could just be aging. But I think -- I think the surgery kind of discombobulated my internal coordination a little bit. And I still keep -- I just got to keep working on it. And I don't -- I have been working too hard for the last year-and-a-half or so to do more than just sort of maintain my weight, maintain my level of fitness.

I think, if I did a few different things, I could maybe get it back.


COOPER: You know, for a lot of us -- I mean, I have a family history of heart disease. I think you do as well. We have talked about this a lot. It concerns me that you can seem fine and then, all of a sudden, they find that your -- actually, your whole artery is blocked or that the bypass they have used is suddenly blocked. I don't understand why they don't have technology that tracks this stuff more accurately.

GUPTA: Right. And it's funny, because President Clinton actually talked about that before his first operation in 2004. He talked about whether he should be more aggressive about getting angiograms or C.T. angiograms, a study that you and I had.

You know, it's difficult. It's one of those things where, if you screen 10,000 people, you're probably not going to find that many people that have significant disease. So...

COOPER: And the problem with C.T. angiograms, as we no know, is the radiation is actually incredibly high.


COOPER: And they have put out studies about that.

GUPTA: That's right. So, there are risks to procedures that would actually diagnose this thing. So, it is really a risk/benefit sort of thing.

What was interesting about that interview was that it was sort of the first time that he really talked about the fact that the operation, itself, did have some impact on him. He really said that he was doing fine. He felt great afterwards. He sort of admitted, look, it kind of discombobulated me a little bit.

COOPER: Paul, did -- did you see that difference?

BEGALA: Oh, big-time, Anderson. And I think, frankly, his friends and family maybe saw it more than the public did.

You know, he had to have a second operation -- and Sanjay is familiar with this -- I think, because of fluid buildup, which is not very common in these bypass operations. But it was enormously...

COOPER: Right. That was about six months after the bypass operation.

BEGALA: And that procedure was enormously painful for him, enormously. And the recovery took an awfully long time.

And it took, I think, quite a long time. He's fine now. I mean, I -- I don't know, I saw him a couple months ago and had dinner with him. And he's walking, exercising, playing golf, much more disciplined about his food than he and I were back in 1992, when we were eating our way across America.

So, you know, he's doing everything that he can do. And what I keep coming back to, I'm so thrilled, is that nobody is saying he doesn't have to be Bill Clinton anymore. He's still going to be going out there. He cares desperately about Haiti, Africa and his others projects.

I have written enough speeches for him. I know, if he were -- if he were here, this is what he would say: I'm going to be fine. I have got the best care in the world. But there are still hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti who don't. So, go to, and give a couple bucks to the Clinton Bush Haiti Relief Fund.

That's what he would want, because he's getting good medical care. But, as you guys know, they don't even have syringes or antibiotics or painkillers there, much less sophisticated heart stents.

COOPER: David, in terms of the impact this -- this may have, I mean, you don't think it's going to have much of an impact in terms of his willingness, his desire to continue to -- to be in the forefront on Haiti and other issues?

GERGEN: Not at all, Anderson.

There was a time -- Paul Begala's right -- after his first surgery and at that period after, when he had to go back in, a lot of us really worried about him. He didn't look himself. There was some question about whether the first surgery had been well-performed.

But he's been -- he's been -- seems much fitter. And he's -- his passion level is extremely high. And I think Paul Begala is right. This is a man who does want good health care for himself, but he cares enormously about ensuring that whatever benefits he has in life, that they're shared with other people, especially poor people.

He's a larger-than-life individual who really cares about others. And I think that's what has made him so popular around the world, so admired around the world, is how much he cares.

COOPER: He did say, in an interview, Candy, recently that -- that he noticed, while out campaigning for his wife during the presidential race, that -- that he didn't have the same kind of stamina that he had in the past.

CROWLEY: Yes. As one who saw him in his first sort of public political experience after his initial heart surgery -- it was for John Kerry -- it was -- it was a stunner to see him.

I mean, he did really well, gave a great speech, but he really was so much smaller and -- and almost gaunt in a way. And then he obviously has gotten to look a good deal better over time.

He's become this sort of time-marches-on figure, our first baby boomer president. There were so many baby boomers, you know, around that time. As, increasingly, we all grow older, he has been sort of the person, you know, to watch. I think he's been a great example, just in terms of his energy level, in terms of what he's contributing to the world.

I mean, basically, he's retired, I mean, if you want to look at it that way, except for he's completely active. So, I think, in some ways, he's just been sort of the ideal baby boomer person to watch as he ages.

COOPER: Yes, certainly has.

We're going to have a lot more with Sanjay throughout this hour.

Paul Begala, David Gergen, Candy Crowley, thank you very much.

We're of course going to continue to update you on the president's condition throughout the hour and the night. And, as I said, Sanjay will be back with more.

But just ahead from here, our visit to an orphanage where the mission is not getting kids out of Haiti, as those 10 American missionaries who are still in custody. And we will have an update on them. That's what we're trying to do.

But American missionaries, you're going to meet them, who are actually trying to give kids here in Haiti the best possible care here in Haiti.

We will also update you on a little guy who can make just about anyone smile. His name is Kenzy -- his reunion with his father and how they are doing tonight.


COOPER: Well, tomorrow, it's going to be exactly one month since the earthquake struck here, the death toll more than 200,000.

Of course, the story continues. The misery has not gone away. It's all around us. It doesn't make headlines anymore, but it should. And what's happening here, well, is the reason we have returned.

We're going to have the latest on the 10 American missionaries who are accused of trying to kidnap 33 Haitian children. There were a lot of rumors today that they were going to be released from jail, or at least some of them may have been. They weren't.

Karl Penhaul joins us with the latest.

So, what happened?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the judge, as we talked yesterday, he said that he was fast-tracking his consideration of the case, and he said that he fully expected to make a decision on that bail application today.

He didn't. And, so, the case file is now with the attorney general's office. And the attorney general has got to consider that. He will pass it back to the judge. And then the judge will make a final ruling. When will that happen? I asked an official from the attorney general's office. And he said Monday, at the earliest, because we have now got these three days of mourning. But then he added a caveat. He said, unless my boss makes me work Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Essentially, watch this space, but the smart money is Monday.

COOPER: But we had both talked last night to a Haitian official who said that he thought that maybe two of the missionaries would be released, possibly this week, maybe six more next week.

I hadn't -- didn't talk to the same person today. I don't know if you did. Has he changed his tune, or...

PENHAUL: No, not really. But I also put that to the attorney general's office, because the guy that we spoke to from the justice ministry is -- is from the political wing of the government.

And the attorney general's office is from the judicial wing of government. And, so, what they were very firm about in the attorney general's offices today is that they're trying not to have any political pressure put on them, but to let the judicial process run its course.

COOPER: Yes. All right, fascinating.

Karl, appreciate it -- Karl Penhaul with the update.

You know, the American missionaries who are in custody say that they were trying to help Haiti's kids by taking them out of the country, in fact, taking them, in some cases, allegedly, away from their own parents. But a lot of people here in Haiti believe the best things for Haiti's orphans is to grow up in Haiti. That's what the opinion of UNICEF is and a lot of groups like Save the Children.

They're trying to help as many kids who are here, because you can't take all the kids out of the country. The key is to try to help their families, so they can live a better life, or help the kids who are abandoned in orphanages or homes or with other families, where they can grow up and have fulfilling lives here and help this country.

So, we wanted to go look at an orphanage that is doing it right. And we found an orphanage on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, where some American missionaries are working in conjunction with the Haitian government, with the approval of the Haitian government, and with their Haitian counterparts at this orphanage.

Take a look.


COOPER (voice-over): At the Mercy and Sharing Orphanage outside Port-au-Prince, the goal is not to get kids adopted in America; it's to make sure they have a good life here in Haiti.

Raphaelle Chenet is the administrator of the orphanage.

(on camera): I mean, I think a lot of people in the United States kind of think, well, the best thing for kids is to have them adopted internationally. But, in a place like this, I mean, you care for them, and...

RAPHAELLE CHENET, ADMINISTRATOR, MERCY AND SHARING ORPHANAGE: Oh, no. We try to give -- we take care of them.


CHENET: We send them to school. And our goal is to have them go through high school and, after that, go to (INAUDIBLE) college.

I'm into keeping the children here. And they are Haitian. Let them go here and know their own country and become, you know, VIPs of Haiti. That's our goal.


You want to be a VIP?

(voice-over): There are 106 children here. All of them were abandoned before the earthquake.

(on camera): Just families just can't afford to -- to keep them?

CHENET: I think, most of them, it's because of financial reasons.


CHENET: Yes, because you have to understand, Haitians are good mothers.


CHENET: And women, Haitian women, we are usually good mothers. And they think that, if the child might have a better chance if somebody else takes care of...

COOPER: Right.

CHENET: So, I can tell you that, here, we do our best. They eat three times a day. They have snacks morning and afternoon. And we send them to school. We have five doctors that work for the organization. We have a beautician, who -- and we have five therapists. And, so, they work with the handicapped children.

COOPER (voice-over): Seventy percent of the children here have a mental or physical disability. This is one of the few orphanages set up to care for them.

CHENET: Her name is Lisa (ph).

COOPER: This little girl found in the streets a year ago. She has gained weight, but rarely smiles and has not ever spoken.

But, for many of the other disabled kids, there is joy and laughter. This little boy named Stevie (ph) just took his first steps. (LAUGHTER)

CHENET: And he's a happy kid.


COOPER: The orphanage even accepts children who are terminally ill.

CHENET: Some of them, you know, they were born with liver problems, heart problems. Some of them are -- stay alive after more than five, six years. So, we do our best to keep them alive.

COOPER (on camera): But you said you had three kids who died last month?

CHENET: Last month.

COOPER (voice-over): Considering all they have been through, it's remarkable how outgoing and curious the kids are.

(on camera): Ah, very good.

JEFF SWOPE, MISSIONARY: These kids get in your heart and they -- they won't ever leave.

COOPER (voice-over): Jeff Swope is a second-generation missionary in Haiti.

SWOPE: I have been involved with Haiti all my life. And, once Haiti gets you, it gets you.

COOPER: He helped build this orphanage and visits frequently with his wife, Terri, and daughter Kelsey.

Unlike the 10 missionaries charged with kidnapping, who were allegedly, in some cases, trying to get parents to give up their kids, Jeff says he would never dream of taking a child away from his parents.

SWOPE: I think someone with good intentions could do harm, because, truly, if a child has parents, even depending on their living conditions, we don't want to take them ever from those parents. So, sometimes, I think what Americans are think are better intentions for a Haitian really aren't better intentions for those kids, because those kids still love their parents, they still love their country, and we have got to look at that first.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what we're trying to do, just raise young ladies and gentlemen to be able to help their country, because, if we take them all away, you know, who's going to help out down here?

COOPER: Running a quality orphanage, however, isn't cheap. The money comes solely from donations in the United States.

CHENET: We're trying to give them a better life and make them good citizens.

COOPER (on camera): So...

CHENET: We have to rebuild Haiti. I think that, you know, if the international community wants to help us, help give them an education. Give them a better life.


COOPER (voice-over): Once the Haitian government gives approval, the Mercy and Sharing Orphanage plans to accept 100 new kids orphaned by the earthquake. They have enough room in their orphanage. And, more importantly, they have plenty of room left in their hearts.


COOPER: Wow. It is really a special place. For more information about the Mercy and Sharing orphanage, you can go to their Web site at That's

Actress Angelina Jolie arrived in Haiti this week. She's a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency. She and Brad Pitt are also the parents of three internationally adopted kids.

In an exclusive interview, Christiane Amanpour talked to Jolie about her visit to Haiti and also asked her something a lot of people have been wondering about. Take a look.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There's been a lot of speculation as to whether you will adopt from Haiti. Obviously, you're saying not now.

But will you? Is that something that you're looking at?

ANGELINA JOLIE, UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: I'm always open to children around the world,. We're that kind of a family. Brad and I talk about that. But -- but that's not what we're focusing on at this time, by any means. We're not here for that. We're here to see how we can help protect the children in country and scale up the needs here.


COOPER: Well, they talked about a lot more as well. You can watch Christiane's full interview with Angelina Jolie Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

We have been following the story of 5-year-old Kenzy Charles. He was reunited with his dad yesterday aboard the USS Comfort, where Kenzy was getting medical treatment.

Kenzy's parents thought he had died in the quake. Earlier this week, we showed you when they were shown a picture by a UNICEF worker, who showed the parents a picture of Kenzy. Preparations are now being made for Kenzy to leave the ship and be reunited with his family.

Today, Sanjay Gupta visited Kenzy. Sanjay is here with another update.

How was it?

GUPTA: Yes, it was pretty -- it's pretty amazing. Those are some of the good moments, obviously. I think we have some pictures, but a lot of smiles literally ear-to-ear.

Medically, he's doing very well. He had a little bit of a fever. And doctors are still go to monitor that for a bit of time. But, you know, it's just one of those great moments, his mother and father both alive, obviously.


COOPER: He had been -- he didn't realize that. And, apparently, earlier he had been crying out for his parents, obviously. And, so, the UNICEF tried to move as quickly as possible. Within, like, two days, they figured out who his parents were and they were able to track them down.

GUPTA: Which is really remarkable, considering how difficult it is to just call someone on a cell phone or get ahold of somebody.

You know, you will appreciate this. We asked Kenzy, "What's the first thing you're going to say to your mother when you see her?"

And he said, "I'm going to tell her that I have been on TV a lot and people really like to take my picture."


COOPER: Oh, really?

GUPTA: A little bit of influence on him. He's doing great.

COOPER: Yes. You've been looking at the health-care situation for Haitians. I mean, we obviously focused a lot on that in the initial days right after the earthquake. You were over at General Hospital, right?

GUPTA: Yes. Some things have gotten a lot better. But you know, it's interesting, because now we can start to drill down on what's still necessary here. And that's important. You know, every -- every natural disaster has its own personality. And I think we've got some things figured out.

COOPER: Let's take a look.

We're going to have -- we're going to have a lot more -- sorry. I thought we were going to the piece. We're going to have a lot more from Haiti. We'll be right back after a short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: In Iran a warning to the world and unrest in the streets as the country marks the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Take a look at the scene today. There were some violent protests, demonstrators clashing with security forces. Many in the country outraged over the results of last year's contested elections.

At the same time, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ratcheted up the rhetoric over nuclear program, one that the west fears could lead to a weapon of mass destruction.

Ivan Watson joins us with tonight's "Raw Politics" -- Ivan.


This is the official version of what happened today in downtown Tehran. Hundreds of thousands of people, flag-waving crowds supporting the government. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad giving a speech praising the achievements of Iran since the 1979 revolution in Iran.

And then basically, here is what the government media had to say about the opposition, which was also calling for competing rallies on the same day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A few hundred supporters of Iran's defeated presidential candidates have rallied in the capital Tehran. Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi gathered in western Tehran district. Police had stepped up security in the area to prevent possible disturbances.


WATSON: Now, Anderson, this is what the government did not want you to see. Internet videos smuggled out by activists who were risking their necks to try to take these pictures. Pictures of security forces beating a shirtless man, punching him in the head on the side of the street.

We saw tear gas being fired into crowds of opposition demonstrators who were chanting, "Death to the dictator." And huge groups of security forces out in the streets, clearly intimidating anybody who tried to disagree with the government on this, the 31st anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran -- Anderson.

COOPER: It's interesting -- it's interesting to hear the official state media's reporting on it and then to see those other images. Beyond the protests, though, I know what caught the attention of the White House was what the president, Ahmadinejad, said about Iran's nuclear program. What's the latest on that?

WATSON: Well, he called one of the big achievements that he said that Iran had accomplished becoming a nuclear nation. Because for the first time it had developed 20-percent enriched uranium, what he said is necessary for scientific or medical needs. You need up to 90 percent for a weapon.

Already we're hearing from the White House, from the White House spokesman some doubts whether Iran could really pull that off in just a few short days.

Let's listen to what the White House had to say.


ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: He says many things and many of them turn out to be untrue. We do not believe they have the capability to enrich to the degree to which they now say they are enriching.


WATSON: The debate over Iran's controversial nuclear program, far from over, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Ivan, thanks for that.

If you want to -- you know, it's interesting trying to figure out the power dynamic inside Iran. We all think Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the most powerful guy in Iran. He's not. Go to if you want an explanation of Iran's power structure.

We're also following some other important stories, of course, tonight. Candy Crowley has a "360 News & Business Bulletin" -- Candy.


A suicide bombing on a U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan has, in fact, killed some Americans -- wounding, sorry, five American soldiers. The attacker detonated the bomb in the base's sleeping area and reportedly was wearing an Afghan police uniform.

Late word tonight, Anderson, about Patrick Kennedy. He, of course, the son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Patrick a six-term congressman on Capitol Hill from Rhode Island. We are hearing tonight from our sources that Patrick Kennedy, the congressman from Rhode Island, is retiring. He will not seek re-election to office this coming November.

Now back to that -- I'm sorry. Again, Patrick is an eight-term congressman. This comes less than two months after, in Massachusetts, a Republican won for the first time in some time.

There is outrage in Seattle...

COOPER: Candy...


COOPER: Candy, that's pretty -- sorry, I was just saying that basically means, if he's retiring, that's really -- he's the last Kennedy to hold public office. Isn't that right? CROWLEY: He is. Yes. There -- and actually, I was thinking about this before we confirmed this story, and there was a time between Jack Kennedy, that is, former for the late President Kennedy, between his Senate term and then when his younger brother, Ted, took over. But it has been quite some time since there wasn't a Kennedy in power some place in Washington.

So it is...


CROWLEY: It is -- there are plenty, by the way, of Kennedys out there who are doing lots of things in various places who could run for office at some point, who even have tried to run for office. But Patrick is the last elected official as far as I -- there's a lot of them. As far as I can tell.

COOPER: All right. Candy, thanks a lot. We'll check in with you a little bit later.

Coming up next, an update on our top story. Hospitalized with chest pain. The latest on former president, Bill Clinton's, condition and procedure the doctors performed on him today.


COOPER: Want to get back to our breaking news: the new heart procedure for former president, Bill Clinton. As we've been telling you, Clinton was admitted to a hospital in New York today after complaining of chest discomfort. Doctors today inserting stents in one of his coronary arteries. He had quadruple bypass surgery, of course, back in 2004.

Joining us again is chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and, from Washington, Joe Johns, who last week was in Haiti and interviewed the former president here on the ground. And I want to just play for our viewers, Sanjay, some of your former -- of your interview with former President Clinton from last year.

Let's watch.


GUPTA: One thing I noticed when I was talking to you -- we've talked about this before. When you point with your finger...

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sometimes it shakes. See, it's a little shake. No shake here.

GUPTA: Is that...

CLINTON: I've been tested for it. I don't have Parkinson's.

GUPTA: Don't have it.

CLINTON: No. The doctors tell me that, as people age, they become more vulnerable, for example, to having these muscles -- like if I write a lot or play video games of, you know, just do anything with -- anything with my fingers and these things -- these tighten up. You know, or if I'm tired, if I'm working hard it will cause your hands to shake. So that's pretty common. A little bit of shake. Not much. None over here.

And some days they both shake. Some days none of them do. And I was quite concerned about it. Because if I had Parkinson's I wanted to know so I could prepare.


COOPER: It's interesting. I mean, that -- a lot of people, I think, noticed that finger thing, but it has nothing to do with Parkinson's. How did he -- I mean, he seems to say that he was doing fine.

GUPTA: Seemed to say he was doing fine. And you know, we just saw him a couple of weeks ago here in Haiti. And I mean, you and I both know that's a tough trip for anybody. He was walking across that long airport tarmac, and he was out visiting General Hospital around with lots of people.

COOPER: He was saying he gained ten pounds campaigning for his wife. Haiti will cut off ten pounds pretty quick.

GUPTA: Pretty quickly. But I have to tell you, I certainly wasn't looking for anything medical. I had no reason to suspect when I was talking to him here. But he looked fine. He had no shortness of breath. He wasn't complaining about anything. He was very engaging. And so I don't think he probably had any symptoms, or as you were...

COOPER: This is the kind of thing you don't necessarily -- I mean, when it happens it happens very quickly.

GUPTA: It can. You know, in fact, when some of the first news came out today, Anderson, they said he developed chest pains earlier today, and by the end of the day he had had these stents placed. And I thought, boy, that was really fast.

You know, I made some calls and actually talked to one of the counselors that was with him in the hospital. He said, "No, hang on. It was over a few days he was developing the symptoms." It does happen quickly, but in this case, still over a few days, as opposed to just one day.

COOPER: I know Jack Gray got -- our producer here got a report from somebody who had talked to him yesterday who said that he had said that he wasn't feeling well yesterday.

Joe, you interviewed President Clinton in Haiti just last week. I mean, what was your impression of his health?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm telling you. You know, I covered him when he was in the White House. And it was the same old Bill Clinton. He was multitasking. He was all over the place. He was at a hospital. It was very hot. He was wilted like all of us. I really thought he looked a lot better than I did at that point.

You know, he was talking to people. He was on the phone at one moment, the next moment shaking hands. Same old Bill Clinton and hadn't missed a step.

And as far as conversations with him, it was clear that, you know, this guy is very focused on Haiti. It did not seem to me that there was any problem at all.

It was also clear that he had a whole lot of stuff he had to do with regard to Haiti, and people have made so much of that. But you know, I can't make any other sense of it than to say that Bill Clinton was the same old Bill Clinton.

COOPER: He had two stents put into a -- what, a coronary artery? And I know we have an animation of that. Just describe what the procedure is.

GUPTA: You know, I don't want to belittle this at all, but basically it's plumbing, Anderson. You have blood vessels that provide blood to the heart. And in this case the heart simply wasn't getting enough oxygenated blood.

In this case, you know, he had the bypass before. As we were talking, Anderson, he actually put -- you bypass the blockages. Here, you're actually putting a stent in to hold that artery open, just allow more blood flow.

COOPER: I've read a lot on this. Because, as you and I have talked about it, we both have a personal interest in heart disease. Putting in stents and even just some kind of surgery, it doesn't necessarily prolong one's life if you have heart disease?

GUPTA: That is...

COOPER: Which I found very alarming.

GUPTA: Yes, but you're right. And it's a very interesting point, because people assume that you do the procedure that President Clinton had today, and it's going to prolong his life.

Now, most of the studies actually don't show that. They show it will reduce his symptoms of chest pain, the symptoms that he was having, and improve the quality of his life. But people who just get medicines versus stents and things like that, they don't have a vast difference in terms of their overall length of life.

Now, he would probably be delegated to not doing much because he has pain in his chest. So that would be -- that would be the downside of it.

COOPER: And obviously, he -- I mean, his dad died, I think his dad was 28 when he died or maybe 30. I can't remember. His dad died very young. I think his grandfather died young, as well. I mean, he's obviously lived a lot longer than his antecedents had. That's obviously a good sign.

GUPTA: Yes, no question. His genetics aren't working for him. By -- and they're not working for you or I either, as we talked about.

But for him a lot of it -- they say about 70 percent of how he's going to do is based on lifestyle. And the doctors sort of went out of their way today when they talking about him to say he's done a good job. His cholesterol is under wraps. Diet is a good diet and he's exercising quite a bit. So this really was sort a natural progression of existing heart disease.

COOPER: Twenty-eight is when -- his dad died at the age of 28.

It is, Joe, a really inconvenient time. There's never a good time for this. But it's -- I mean, given all that the president has on his plate in terms of working for the U.N., trying to rebuild Haiti, raise money for the rebuilding here.

JOHNS: Yes. I mean, he sort of ticked off some of the things he was doing. And it sounds like he's -- he's everything from the sort of public relations guy in chief to the person who's going to be the bill collector on the donors if they make promises to give money and then renege.

He's also very active in trying to keep this thing out in front of the public and try to get, you know, the cleanup done and then move to the rebuilding.

So his plate is very full right now. And it's clear to everybody, both sort of inside the circle and outside the circle, that this former president is back in the thick of it, almost in many ways just like he did when he was in the White House.

COOPER: Yes. Joe, thanks.

Sanjay is going to stick around, because after the break he's going to take us back to General Hospital with a look at how Haitians who need medical care, well, what they're up against right now and how injured quake survivors are being cared for. That's next.


COOPER: Of course, we all know that immediately after the quake here in Haiti hospitals and clinics were, frankly, overwhelmed, those that were still standing. A lot of them were makeshift, overflowing. The injuries were horrific. It was triage 24 hours a day.

It's now almost a month later. Tomorrow's the month anniversary. And it's a different scene in Haiti's hospitals, which made us wonder where have the injured gone to recover? And how are they getting along?

Sanjay Gupta looked into this today. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GUPTA: What you're looking at is a long line forming outside one of the largest public hospitals in Port-au-Prince. It is nearly four weeks after the earth earthquake, and a couple things you'll notice right away.

First of all, the majority of the patients here are not people who were injured in the earthquake. These are people who have chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, who are seeing the doctor, perhaps, for the very first time, some of them, in their entire lives.

The other thing you'll notice is that things are much more organized than they were a few weeks ago. Compare that to just two weeks ago. Here you see mainly quake survivors, patients who were dramatically injured requiring amputations. There was a lack of organization. There was a lack of supplies. Certainly, things have improved in a very big way.

You may be wondering, like I was, what happens to so many of those patients? Well, you're looking at it. Many of them end up here, what is supposed to be a temporary tent city.

Just take a look around. I mean, this is the conditions in which people are supposed to recover from major operations.

I can tell you, back in the states, patients would be getting all sorts of different treatments. They might still be in the hospital. They would be getting dressing changes. But instead, they're forced to recover in conditions like this. It is dirty. There's a lack of medications, and there's a lack of food, as well. Lack of good nutrition.

And there's something else here people are really worried about. It's rainy season. We saw our first rain this week in a month. And with rain comes all sorts of potential infectious diseases. World Health Organization says the incidence of measles goes up, the incidence of tetanus and the incidence of diarrhea, as well.

Take a look at this. I mean, rainy season is pretty tough here. Imagine living in this. This is somebody's home in the middle of rainy season. Instead they opt for structures like this, corrugated tin, to try and protect them.

It's not to say that people aren't trying to help. In fact, mobile clinics are going out into these tent cities, trying to give vaccines in a country that has not seen nearly enough vaccines in the future.

This is it. People are trying to recover in a temporary tent city that I can tell you is increasingly becoming more permanent.


COOPER: So when they're released from the hospital, I mean, are they given bandages to change their -- you know, to change?

GUPTA: I saw this firsthand. I saw people are given these papers saying you should change your dressings so-and-so often. You should pick up these medications.

The problem is there's absolutely nowhere to get these medications or these supplies. So -- and by the way, it was really astonishing to me. A lot of these discharge directions were in English. They couldn't read the instructions themselves. We were walking around and, you know, we were translating them for them. It didn't matter, though, because they couldn't get the supplies anyway.

COOPER: It's not like there's pharmacies and things or that people have money to buy.

GUPTA: That's right. And that's the thing, Anderson. You know, we came back this week.

You know, the first couple of weeks I think there was such an acute (AUDIO GAP) needs of people. But I've really come to realize that, unless the sort of longer-term needs are addressed, the immediate stuff becomes less meaningful. Because, you know, it doesn't -- if people get infections after -- even after a really great operation, they get an infection that makes them really sick or even die, it really takes away the value of the immediate...

COOPER: Why do you think they're not giving out, you know, bandages? Or do -- I guess on one hand, they're probably worried that people will go out and sell them or they'll become sort of a black market, because people need to make money some way or the other, and if somebody has medication, maybe they would sell it. I'm not sure.

GUPTA: Yes. I talked to one of the doctors about that. I said, why not just give them the pills and the dressings? They said, "Well, we hope that they come back to get that so we can keep monitoring them." The problem is they're living out here, and they're not getting back. So they need to get those supplies.

COOPER: There are going to be fewer and fewer doctors to be monitoring more and more patients. It's going to be hard.

All right, Sanjay. Thanks for the update.

Coming up, the tragic death of a fashion superstar. A top designer reportedly taking his own life. The tragedy stuns the industry. A report ahead.


COOPER: A major figure in fashion reportedly took his own life today. Alexander McQueen was found dead at his home in London. He was just 40 years old.

From hats to shoes, McQueen's designs stood out for their shock value and their brilliance. He was immensely popular and also deeply controversial. Randi Kaye has an up-close look at the life that ended in tragedy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On fashion designer Alexander McQueen's Twitter page just last week, a tweet announcing his mother's death. It reads, "I'm letting my followers know my mother passed away yesterday. Rest in peace, mom."

A minute later, another tweet, "But life must go on." Especially haunting now that, eight days later, Alexander McQueen is dead.

Style expert Mary Alice Stevenson knew McQueen well.

MARY ALICE STEVENSON, STYLE EXPERT: He said that his biggest fear was that he would die before his mother, Joyce, died. And you know, he died a week after she died.

KAYE: His body was found at his London apartment. Police say the death is not suspicious.

(on camera) It appears McQueen committed suicide, according to various media reports, including "The New York Times" and "London Times." If that's true, why would a fashion designer at the top of his game take his life? He was only 40.

(voice-over) Psychologist Karen Binder Brines never treated McQueen but says he sounded depressed.

KAREN BINDER BRINES, PSYCHOLOGIST: And the fact that his mother died a week ago and that he was so distraught about it, as he was Twittering to people, suggests to me that there might have been a correlation between, you know, his tragic death and the death of his mother.

KAYE: And just days ago another tweet: "Sunday evening. Been an awful week. I have to somehow pull myself together."

McQueen, who was born Lee Alexander McQueen, also may have been mourning the loss of his mentor and close friend, stylist Isabella Blow. She took her life by drinking weed killer three years ago. This was McQueen at her funeral.

For years McQueen stunned the fashion world with his outlandish designs. A few years ago he told CNN he'd like to create clothing that made a statement. He had a reputation as the hooligan of the fashion world.

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, FASHION DESIGNER: I think of fashion as the future, not as the past.

STEVENSON: He like to take things and twist them up and turn them upside-down and stand them on their head. He would take things like trash, birds, feathers, kaleidoscope prints and, you know, create clothes with them.

KAYE: Among McQueen's fans, singer Lady Gaga, model Kate Moss, and actress Sarah Jessica Parker, seen here with McQueen in 2006.

STEVENSON: He was not afraid to show what haunted him and take those fears and work that out through the clothes that he created.

KAYE: Lee Alexander McQueen, he lived and appears to have died on his own terms.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: A lot more at the top of the hour from here. And breaking news out of New York, where former President Clinton is hospitalized overnight. We'll be right back.