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Disaster in the Gulf; Photojournalists Killed in Libya; Roommate Indicted in Suicide Case; Gulf Coast Wildlife One Year Later; The Future Pharmacist: a Robot

Aired April 20, 2011 - 23:05   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. We're in New Orleans. But our hearts are elsewhere tonight, because two of the very best photojournalists and storytellers have been killed in Libya: Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros.

Tim, in addition to bringing 360 a number of memorable images, was also co-director of the Oscar-nominated film "Restrepo." We're going to remember both men tonight.

First, though, we're "Keeping Them Honest" on the disaster that began a year ago on a deep sea oil rig 50 some miles out into the Gulf and it continues today. Eleven men died when the Deepwater Horizon blew up in a deadly mishap blamed on BP, rig operator TransOcean and drilling contractor Halliburton; 206 million gallons of oil poured into the ocean, doing untold damage to wildlife, the fishing industry and everyone who depends on the Gulf.

Tonight, a year later, BP is painting a rosy picture of progress and promise-keeping. "One year later," it reads, "our commitment continues." We'll have more on that in just a moment. The copy goes on to say that all beaches and 99 percent of waters are open. And while that's technically true there's that something that BP doesn't mention. Open doesn't necessarily mean oil-free.

Listen to Louisiana's Governor Bobby Jindal today.


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: We continue to call on BP and the Coast Guard to continue to clean up our shoreline. There are still over 300 miles -- again 300 miles -- that have some amount of oil, 40 percent of the Louisiana coastline that have been oiled during this spill continue to be oiled today.


O'BRIEN: And so do the marshes.

This is what Anderson found last year on one of Louisiana's barrier islands, oil covering the surface. Well, these days, a lot of it remains as David Mattingly discovered on a recent trip to the Gulf.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Returning 10 months later, the Louisiana governor's office gave me an exclusive and disturbing look inside this damaged ecosystem. I could still see oil everywhere, sticking to the plants.

(on camera): It's like tar. It's so sticky. Look at that.

(voice-over): It's also saturated their fragile soil. You can find it a foot below the surface.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right down here.

MATTINGLY (on camera): Yes, it's down into the roots.


MATTINGLY: Look at that. It's like a -- it's like a paste.


O'BRIEN: As for BP's continuing commitment highlighted in their ad, Governor Jindal isn't buying it.


JINDAL: We stood here with -- with some leaders from BP towards the end of last year and they made promises, promises about replanting oysters, promises about building saltwater hatcheries and those promises have still not been kept.


O'BRIEN: BP also points to the $20 billion pledged to make people and businesses whole. But as we showed you on the program last night, only about 25 percent of it has actually been paid out, and a lot of people who believe they have got legitimate claims say they're being stiffed. And 25 percent, of course, is still better than absolutely nothing. And absolutely nothing is precisely what lawmakers in Washington, D.C. have delivered.

Listen to Keith Jones. He lost a son on the DeepWater rig. He was pushing Congress to change an archaic maritime law that limits liability in cases like his son's.


KEITH JONES, FATHER OF DEEPWATER HORIZON EMPLOYEE: If you want these companies, one of which is headquartered in Great Britain and another in Switzerland, to make every effort to make sure their employees don't act as these did, putting American lives at risk, you must make certain they are exposed to pain in the only place they can feel it, their bank accounts.

As a friend recently said, make them hurt where their heart would be, if they had a heart.


O'BRIEN: The bill that Mr. Jones was pressing for died because one single senator objected to what would have been otherwise been unanimous consent.


SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This bill has not been vetted properly by a committee, and again, it undermines our whole system of the rule of law. So I am compelled to object.


O'BRIEN: And so the bill failed. And so has a bill to enact many of the recommendations made by the bipartisan commission on this bill, and so have about 150 others in the last year, that is one for every million dollars that is spent by the oil and gas industry last year to lobby in Washington, D.C., $146 million spent on lobbying last year alone.

Then there's this:


TONY HAYWARD, CEO, BP GROUP: There's no one who wants this thing over more than I do. I would like my life back.


O'BRIEN: BP's CEO Tony Hayward last May. In a moment, we'll tell you what his life looks like now. First though, how some people down here described life after the spill. Here's 360's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Andy Leboufe (ph) says he worked the oil booms just a few days.

ANDY LEBOUFE: Well, I was coughing stuff out of my lungs every 20 or 30 seconds, just coughing constantly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have had a lot of memory loss, a lot of eyesight loss. I have lost half my eyesight.

LEBOUFE: I was down for about three weeks where I couldn't do hardly anything.


O'BRIEN: Some people who say the oil or the dispersants ruined their health. BP is disputing those allegations. The federal government is studying the claims.

On the mental health front, local professionals have been seeing a jump in stress-related depression, drinking and strain on marriages. As for Tony Hayward, he no longer runs BP, but a friend of his tells CNN's Zain Verjee Hayward hooked up with a Swiss commodity trading firm, he's setting up an oil and gas trading fund of his own. So, kind of looks like he got his life back.

That of course will never be true for the 11 TransOcean workers who died drilling his well. Today, BP sued the maker of the well's blowout preventer, but blame for the disaster goes far beyond that single part. The president's commission determined that mistakes by BP, by Halliburton and by TransOcean all caused the disaster.

"Keeping Them Honest" tonight we want to revisit the earliest moments of it as seen through the eyes of the workers who made it off the rig. Anderson sat down with some of them not long after they got back to shore.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): For survivors of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the horror of that night began with an ominous sound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We began hearing the loud hissing and venting sound.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it just kept getting louder and louder. And I said, "Something's not right."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just looked at me and he goes, "Man, I smell gas." I said, "What do we do?" He goes, "Run."

COOPER: What was that explosion like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like being hit by a freight train from behind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like the movie "Titanic" right before the ship sinks, everybody is just hysterical. But when I got up on the lifeboat deck, I just stopped and I looked up and I was like, "There is no way we can put that fire out."

COOPER: What did it look like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looked like you was looking at the face of death.

COOPER (voice-over): Then a second explosion rocked the rig, killing at least one man, the crane operator, Dale Brokin (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he was on -- on the -- by the handrail about to come down the stairs and then the second explosion happened. And it literally picked him up, I mean, like -- like -- like a child would throw a toy, and threw him over the handrail and he ended up bouncing off of the pedestal for the crane.

COOPER: Amid the chaos, getting the 115 survivors on board the lifeboats and lowered 75 feet into the water would take an agonizing 45 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like you're almost waiting to die and there's people screaming, you know, "Put it in the water." In fact, one of the guys, he panicked so much that he got up out of the lifeboat and then jumped overboard because it just seemed like it took forever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember another explosion. And when it exploded, the lifeboat free-fell for about three foot, and then just stopped all of a sudden. I was scared to death sitting there in that lifeboat. And the only thing going through my mind is, you know, family back home. And I just, I started praying. I didn't know what else to do.

COOPER: These three survivors first told us their story in the weeks after the rig exploded. A year later, they say they're still living with the horror of that night, still carrying the memories of the 11 men, men they call their fallen brothers, who didn't make it.

(on camera): Do you think about the night that -- what happened on the rig? I mean, do you think about -- do you run through it a lot still in your mind? You do?





MATTHEW JACOBS, DEEPWATER HORIZON SURVIVOR: It's been rough. I still have the nightmares.

COOPER: What kind of nightmares?

JACOBS: It just takes me back to that night, like I'm on the rig, and I'm -- I just wake up screaming. I mean, it's just -- just like it won't go away.

COOPER (voice-over): All three have physical injuries from the disaster. They provided us with medical records showing they have been diagnosed with PTSD and they say they suffer from depression and are taking medications for a variety of mental issues.

Dan Barron says depression led him to attempt suicide.

DAN BARRON, DEEPWATER HORIZON SURVIVOR: And I had a six-shot pistol and I just wanted it to be done with. You know, I couldn't take it anymore.

COOPER (on camera): You thought about suicide?

BARRON: No, I tried to. I had -- I knew I had bullets in that gun, and I -- and I clicked it twice, two or three times, and I had two bullets in the gun.

COOPER: And what was going through your mind at the time?

BARRON: I just -- I just feel like -- I just feel worthless.

COOPER: Is that something you ever would have thought you would find yourself doing?

BARRON: No, no way. I always believed that if you did that, you went straight to hell. That's the way I was raised in a very Catholic family. And I always thought that was a cop-out. But you get to the point where you get so frustrated with everything.

COOPER (voice-over): These survivors say their mental and physical injuries have left them unable to work and they're suing their employer TransOcean for loss of earnings and pain and suffering. While technically still employees, the company was paying them their full salaries until December 15th of last year when they were given an offer of an additional six months of full pay to drop any claims. They refused that offer and are no longer getting a salary from TransOcean.

They believe before the accident, TransOcean valued profits over safety and after it, saving money over taking responsibility. We asked TransOcean about their allegations. They told us in a statement: "From the first hours, TransOcean has focused on providing support for its employees and the families of those who were lost aboard the Deepwater Horizon, including continued full pay and benefits for eight months following the incident and professional counseling for those in need. Today more than one-third of the Deepwater Horizon crew are back to work at TransOcean and the entire company continues to be inspired by their courage and commitment."

Despite the disaster and loss of 11 lives, TransOcean recently deemed 2010 their safest year in the company's history, and awarded top executives, bonuses.

DOUGLAS BROWN, SURVIVOR: To me it was like a direct slap in the face. You know, how could they say that? That we have 11 people dead, so many others seriously injured and many with psychological problems for the rest of their lives, and they claim that is their best year in safety? How dare they?

COOPER: After a public firestorm, top executives from TransOcean announced they would donate the bonuses to the Deepwater Horizon memorial fund.

STEVE GORDON, DEEPWATER HORIZON SURVIVORS' ATTORNEY: There was a discussion that BP may go bankrupt, TransOcean may go bankrupt. The only people that are going to go bankrupt are people like this, because BP's income hasn't stopped. TransOcean hasn't stopped, but they have cut these people off, and they have no income.

COOPER: TransOcean does still pay these three survivors for some medical care and a small stipend for room and board, which they're required to by law.

As they mark a year since the disasters, the survivors say they want to put the accident behind them and they want something else from TransOcean and the other companies involved with the accident.

BROWN: Accountability. Be accountable for your actions. I would love to see them do that; practice what they preach.

COOPER (on camera): You don't feel TransOcean has been accountable?

BROWN: No, none of them. They're just pointing fingers back and forth. I -- I want one of them or several of them to come forward and say, "Yes, we were wrong. We are responsible," hold themselves accountable, like they wanted us to.


O'BRIEN: Just ahead tonight, we'll have the very latest on Libya, the war photojournalist and acclaimed filmmaker Tim Hetherington died covering, that and memories of his remarkable career that was tragically cut short today.

Then later, he jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate allegedly streamed video of his same-sex encounter onto the Internet. The question at the time was should the roommate face criminal charges? Well, today a grand jury's decision was handed out.


O'BRIEN: We mentioned at the top, part of the program is elsewhere tonight. That's because two members of a treasured group of men and women have died doing what all of us need someone to do. They died trying to provide a clear, honest, human view of war, uncut by disinformation and propaganda. Photojournalist Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed in Libya in the battle for Misrata.

This is new video of the fighting there. As always, with amateur video, we can't say exactly when or where it was taken. Somewhere in the chaos, though, Tim and Chris were killed today, Tim by a rocket- propelled grenade.

His last Twitter posting apparently dated yesterday reads this: "In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Gadhafi forces. No sign of NATO."

This is one of the last known pictures of Tim Hetherington, taken in Misrata just hours before he died. He was no stranger to war, and we're proud to say he was no stranger to 360.

He accompanied Anderson a year-and-a-half ago, documenting life at a Marine forward operating base in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. Afghanistan was where he gained widespread fame for his work with Sebastian Junger, co-directing the Academy Award nominated documentary "Restrepo."

Of his friend and colleague, Junger says this: "Tim was one of the most courageous and principled journalists I have ever known."

For Tim, though, it wasn't a question of courage, but of instinct.


TIM HETHERINGTON, PHOTOJOURNALIST/FILMMAKER: Often when I'm working in a very pressured situation, my -- I can almost flick the off switch and go into a default of filming. And later on I come to and it shocks me what I have done. And that's just something I have been able to do. And that's, perhaps, why I continue -- why I realize that I'm good at what I do.

But it does have the side that it is very dangerous. I remember being in the Korengal in fire fights and realizing -- a guy said to me while I was filming close range, and he said, "Do you see the tracers pass between our heads?" And I hadn't. And later on, I saw the trees behind me all shot up, and I realized we were very exposed. And I'm in default, and that can be a funny thing later to -- to understand.


O'BRIEN: But if instinct got him through the fire fight, something deeper drove him to be there in the first place.


HETHERINGTON: My experience in that trauma, I think, is insignificant, really compared to what the soldiers went through. And -- but even more than that, I'm always thinking again of the wives and the loved ones back home here in America. You know, 50 million people are connected to soldiers who have or are currently serving in the military.

And soldiers don't come home, just as journalists don't come home, really, and tell their loved ones what they went through out there. And yet their loved ones really want to know. They really -- they need to know.


O'BRIEN: Tim Hetherington was 41 years old.

I want to bring in CNN's Fred Pleitgen, who has more on what happened today and how Tim died; also national security analyst Peter Bergen, who was a friend; and retired Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt for some insight on what is apparently now a stalemate in Libya.

Fred, let's begin with you. You have been reporting from Misrata. Clearly it's dangerous. Was anything unusual happening today? Was there anything today that made it more dangerous?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, there was the general shelling that goes on pretty much every day. The last that I have gotten from people in Misrata on the ground is that basically there was a lot of shelling, especially in the city center.

We do have some information as to what happened to that group of photojournalists that Tim was a part of. It was four photojournalists in all. All of this happened on the western fringes of Misrata in a place called Tripoli Street, which is definitely one of the most dangerous places in Misrata at this point in time. I can tell you from having been there myself.

And it appears as though that they were pretty much in the front line area with some of the rebel fighters when that rocket-propelled grenade hit and, of course, they were all rushed to one of the few hospitals there that is still working at this point in time as fast as possible.

Tim, however, was pronounced dead on arrival. Chris was rushed into an emergency room, but he died in that hospital a couple of hours later. And, of course, all of us who were covering the war here in Libya are absolutely devastated at what happened.

And I can tell you from having been in that very clinic in hospital in Misrata, it's not equipped to deal with trauma like that. They have a shortage of doctors, a shortage of operation tools.

And the other thing is, Soledad, if you get wounded in a place like Misrata at this point in time, there's almost no way to get you Medevac'd out of there. The only way is by boat. And the shortest boat trip out of Misrata is more than 20 hours -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Oh, my gosh.

Peter, I know that Tim was a friend of yours and you wrote a column today that talked about him being humble and modest. How do you think he would like to be remembered by his fellow journalists?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, you know, first of all, he would like not to have been remembered in this way.

I mean no one -- you know, this is a great tragedy for him, his family, his friends. But I think, you know, Tim was a gentleman. He was a very modest guy, very humble, very thoughtful. I knew him. I was embedded with him in Helmand, in Afghanistan. You spent a lot of time with somebody.

He never really mentioned the fact that he had gone to Oxford to study literature. He wouldn't talk about himself. He was very interested in the others and the soldiers that he was covering. He felt a great affinity for the soldiers that he covered in "Restrepo", these young guys who he spent almost more than a year with, who he actually went to the Oscar ceremony with some of them.

You know, he was a wonderful human being, and a very thoughtful one, and a very, very good photojournalist, somebody who also did art photography, Soledad. He was quite a complex guy. He was not your typical war photographer. There wasn't a lot of bravado about him. He wasn't boastful. You know, he wasn't a war junkie. He was the real deal.

O'BRIEN: General Kimmitt, I think whenever a reporter is killed in action, it makes a lot of news. And really often I think those very reporters would say no, the focus should be the people who are in the battle. Don't focus on me. Is there anything that comes out of the deaths of journalists? I mean does the focus, the attention make a difference in some way, do you think?

BRIGADIER GEN. MARK KIMMITT (RET.), FORMER U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR PLANS AND STRATEGY: Well, I think it's always helpful when you can bring to the American people, when you can bring to the international community the cost of wars, whether it's the loss of an individual soldier or the loss of an individual journalist.

All of them are doing their duty on the battlefield. All of them could certainly be at another place far safer and probably far wealthier. The journalists I worked with in Iraq were, by and large, much like Tim Hetherington in the sense that they wanted to get the job done, they wanted to learn the soldiers' stories, and most of them really wanted to get the story right. And in that way, it really does credit the soldiers and credits their mission.

O'BRIEN: All right. Fred and Peter and General Kimmitt; thanks to the three of you. I appreciate it. And of course, Peter, our condolences to you for the loss of your friend. Appreciate you guys talking to me tonight.

Still ahead, you might remember Tyler Clementi, the gay college student who took his own life after police say his roommate secretly videotaped him with a man and then streamed the encounter online. Well, tonight, that roommate is facing charges. We'll tell you what this could mean for cyber bullies and their victims.

Also ahead, we'll take you live inside the fight to save animals, including this one right there, still struggling one year after the massive oil spill here in the Gulf.

Stay with us.


O'BRIEN: In "Crime & Punishment" tonight, an indictment against the roommate of Tyler Clementi.

Last September, the 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman killed himself after a sexual encounter with another man was broadcast online. Excuse me. Tyler jumped off New York's George Washington Bridge after he posted a message on his Facebook page that said, quote, "Jumping off the G.W. Bridge. Sorry."

Tyler's roommate was Dharun Ravi. He's accused of secretly setting up a camera in the room and then streaming the video online. Today, he was indicted on 15 counts, including invasion of privacy, bias, intimidation and witness tampering.

The case exposed bullying problems across America and led to new anti- bullying efforts. Joining us this evening to talk about all of this is Sonny Hostin. She's a legal contributor for "In Session" on our sister network, TruTV. Also, Dr. Dorothy Espelage; she's a professor at the University of Illinois. She's been studying bullying for nearly 20 years and has implemented bullying prevention programs in more than two dozen schools.

It's nice to see both of you.

Dr. Espelage, let's begin with you. You're not surprised that this is a hate crime among those 15 counts. Why not?

DR. DOROTHY ESPELAGE, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY: Because increasingly what we're finding in the last 20 years of research that we've done around bullying is increasingly middle school and high school kids are reporting that they're being tormented and teased through homophobic epitaphs. So increasingly, as kids are going through middle school and high school and coming to college, like freshmen at Rutgers, they're holding kind of homophobic attitudes because this attitude is so prevalent within middle school and high school.

And to add to that, we're doing very little in our bullying prevention efforts to address that content that is homophobic in nature. We have 67 bullying prevention programs of some sort in this country, only five address bullying directed at assumed or presumed sexual orientation.

And the bottom line is, we're not having a conversation with these kids about their homophobic attitudes, and their attitudes stem from society in general. As adults are continuing to have problems with same-sex marriages and other things that we're really grappling with at the national level, we're seeing this play out very nicely within our adolescents.

And just because someone goes to college doesn't mean their attitudes turn into adults, and focused attitudes and respect. So it's not a surprise to me. He's an adult, he can be -- this could be looked as a hate crime. The reality is, until we address this problem early on, we're going to continue -- continue to see these problems, especially when you have college students who are LGBT -- go ahead.

O'BRIEN: I just wanted to read a statement that came from Tyler Clementi's family. And it goes like this: "The grand jury indictment spells out cold and calculated acts against our son, Tyler, by his former college roommate. If these facts are true, as they appear to be, then it is important for our criminal justice system to establish clear accountability under the law. We're eager to have the process move forward for justice in this case and to reinforce the standards of acceptable conduct in our society."

Which is really what you were talking about, Dr. Espelage, a moment ago.

Sunny, were you surprised by this indictment?

SONNY HOSTIN, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, TRUTV'S "IN SESSION": No, I wasn't surprised at all. Prosecutors typically use cases like this to really send a message to society as to what behavior will be appropriate, and what behavior will not be tolerated.

What I have really been surprised at is sort of the reaction of the public that's saying prosecutors piled, you know, these charges on; prosecutors went too far here. And I'm very surprised at that, because that really isn't the message that should be out there. The message should be out there is that these types of behaviors are illegal, they're criminal, and people will be held accountable for behavior like this.

O'BRIEN: Sunny Hostin, Dorothy Espelage, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.

Still ahead tonight, one year after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, this little turtle is one of the lucky survivors. He was rescued after the spill, nursed back to health. But a recent surge in animal deaths in the Gulf is raising new worries about the possible long-term toll on wildlife. We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.


O'BRIEN: Some of the most heartbreaking images the BP oil spill gave us were these turtles and birds coated with oil. A year later, the full extent of the damage to the Gulf wildlife is still being measured, and experts say some of the consequences won't be known for years.

The groups involved in the recovery say deaths of turtles and dolphins surged in the first two months of this year, and experts are now trying to prove the BP oil spill is responsible.

"Keeping Them Honest" tonight, here's Rob Marciano.


ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Days after the spill, thick, crude oil everywhere. Wildlife organizations mounted a massive animal rescue effort to save Gulf wildlife. Today, dead animals continue to wash up on Gulf shores.

MOBY SOLANGI, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR MARINE MAMMAL STUDIES: This one came just covered with oil. It was a little baby, and now it's grown.

This one came from Alabama, and it was oiled.

MARCIANO: Moby Solangi and his staff continue to treat dolphins and turtles impacted by the oil. But animals are still dying. Since January 1st 220 sea turtles and 175 dolphins have been found dead. Solangi's team performed most of the necropsies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe take it on the edge of this.

MARCIANO: The results are not yet available, but the early numbers are startling.

SOLANGI: I've been in this business for about 30 years. We've been studying these animals in the wild and in captivity. And in the months of January and February, we've never seen this type of spike. It's about ten to fifteen-fold increase, which is significant.

LORI SCHWACKE, NOAA, HOLLINGS MARINE LAB: It's tough to see the -- you know, think about what is happening to this population. I mean, they're a protected species for a reason.

MARCIANO: Lori Schwacke studies dolphins.

(on camera): There was a lot of speculation early on that dolphins are smart creatures, that if they saw or even smelled oil, they wouldn't swim into it. Did you find that?

SCHWACKE: No. We saw animals -- I mean we saw animals coming up in sheens of oil.

MARCIANO (voice-over): Now they're hoping to see them coming up for air and snap some pictures.

(on camera): Suzanne is on the telephoto lens. We're trying to get close-up shots of the dorsal fins. That's their actual markings, their fingerprints of the individual dolphins. By doing that, they can estimate the growth or the decrease in population from when the oil spill started.

(voice-over) They're elusive, so it's not easy to figure out the oil's more subtle impacts.

SCHWACKE: There may be health effects that we just don't observe. It's not -- it's not going to kill them right now, but it's going to impact their health, or they're just not going to live as long or they're not going to reproduce the way that they normally would have. So we're going to just have to follow the population over time and see what happens.

MARCIANO: Not many people want to wait for answers. And frustrated scientists say the criminal investigation into BP is keeping vital information from being shared.

(on camera): The public wants to know why is it taking so long when a dolphin washes up on a shore or there's a dead sea turtle.

BOB HADDAD, CHIEF, NOAA ASSESSMENT AND RESTORATION: This is going to sound trite, and I don't mean it to, but we really don't live in a "CSI" world. I can't take these in today, turn everything around, with all the complexity that nature provides us, and give you answers tomorrow.

MARCIANO (voice-over): NOAA's Bob Haddad is collecting evidence and building a legal case against BP. He's looking for a settlement big enough to rebuild the Gulf.

HADDAD: This is not a spill about turtles or about shorelines or about fish. This is a spill about an ecosystem.

MARCIANO: One year later, man and machine work to clean some marshes still covered in oil.

DAVID MUTH, LOUISIANA DIRECTOR, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION: Everything out there is getting some of that sheen. You can see it.


MUTH: Sure. Still and it happened -- it's been happening for a year. You can't see any of it. All of those birds, even if all they have is a little smudge on their breast, they're constantly preening and trying to clean that off. They're ingesting the oil.

MARCIANO: Last year over 2,000 birds were rescued from oil, with over 1,200 moved away from the spill to Texas and Florida. David Muth of the National Wildlife Federation can only hope they survived.

MUTH: There's not a whole lot of science on how effective any of that is. No one has done any real long-term studies of how effective it is to clean a bird of oil and then release it back into the wild.

MARCIANO (on camera): Come on, guys.

(voice-over): Nor will they ever know how many animals died or will die from the spill. But if the government shared information, threatened wildlife might be saved now.

MUTH: We need to try to keep them honest. The trustees, the federal agencies, the states have primary responsibility, and because what they're doing is so secret most of the time, it's very hard for us on the outside to be able to evaluate, you know, how effective the job is doing.

HADDAD: We need to make sure that we understand the totality of the injury before we're able to settle and let anybody off the hook, whether it's BP or any of the other responsible parties.

MARCIANO: In the end, all the best efforts man has made may not be enough.

HADDAD: This is such a tiny reaction compared to the level of what happened. Because most of what happened, there's nothing anybody can do about. There is no good ending in an oil spill. There's no -- there's no way to make it come out right.


O'BRIEN: Up next, "The Connection." Meet the farm system of the future. See how it can transform the way you get your medication.


O'BRIEN: The numbers are staggering. Americans love their drugs. A new report from the consulting firm INF Health shows that nearly 4 billion prescriptions were written last year. The overall price tag for those drugs, more than $307 billion; that's up more than two percent from 2009. When it comes to filling those prescriptions, there's always a concern that a mistake could be made. But some high tech help could change that. Dan Simon explains in "The Connection".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meet your future pharmacist: a robot that picks and packages drugs with perfect precision with little or no danger of accidentally mixing up the medication.

(on camera): When people hear about robotic pharmacies, they may think to themselves, well, we don't need pharmacists anymore.

LYNN PAULSEN, DIRECTOR, UCSF PHARMACY: Well, in actuality what we're doing is we're leveraging the pharmacists so they can spend more time in the hospital really focusing on the improvement and drug therapy.

SIMON (voice-over): Lynn Paulsen purchased this robotic equipment from the University of California's San Francisco Hospital for $7 million. It's not at your neighborhood pharmacy yet, but medical experts believe someday it will be.

The robot gets its commands from a digital prescription pad. From a doctor's orders entered into a computer data base. From there, the machine plucks the pills one by one and packages them.

PAULSEN: Twice a day, we get an electronic feed of all of the doses for every patient in the hospital that needs to be filled.

SIMON: The equipment will even assemble and mix intravenous medicine, which all but ensures the products are just right and limits human exposure to these dangerous medications.

Through a bar coding system, the hospital will be able to track all these drugs from the time they're manufactured until the time they're administered.

(on camera): No matter what safeguards are put in place, human beings are always going to make mistakes. According to the Institute of Medicine, there's at least one medication error per day involving patients in hospitals across America. Systems like this are designed precisely to eliminate those problems.

(voice-over): This system, for instance, would likely have prevented the near-tragic medical mistake involving the twins of actor Dennis Quaid. In that 2007 mix-up, hospital staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles gave Quaid's 10-day old twins massive overdoses of the blood thinner heparin. The problem was blamed, in part, on nearly identical packaging for both the infant and adult concentrations of the drug.

UCSF says through bar code scanning, the wrong medicine would have been immediately detected.

As for this technology, most hospitals won't be able to make use of it until the prices come down. And once that happens, the future of medicine looks to be safer.

Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.

(END VIDEOTAPE) O'BRIEN: And we'll be right back.


O'BRIEN: That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching.