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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Foley Fallout; The Killing Fields: Africa's Misery, the World's Shame

Aired October 4, 2006 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM CALDWELL, SPOKESMAN, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: As far as U.S. casualties goes, you know, this has been a hard week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: And now an Iraqi police brigade is accused of the unthinkable.

Plus, how the killing fields of Congo are linked to your cell phone. Natural resources exploited. But those who mine it aren't the ones getting rich.

Reporting from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360, "The Killing Fields: Africa's Misery, the World's Shame." Here's Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back. We are live in Rutshuru tonight, on the eastern edge of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Congo is Africa's third largest country. It's become a symbol of really all the misery and all of the hope that exists on this continent. A country whose future is literally hanging in the balance, even as it absorbs waves of refugees from Sudan who come here to their killing fields at a pivotal time for both countries.

Coming up, much more from Congo, as well as from Sudan.

But first, John Robert is in New York with latest breaking details on the Congressional page scandal -- John.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Anderson. This story is as messy as they come. A jumble of allegations, denials and conflicting time lines. And it got even messier today when a top Congressional Aide Kirk Fordham tossed a new bombshell into the mix. He says that he warned the House speaker's chief of staff more than two years ago that former Congressman Mark Foley was having inappropriate contact with Congressional pages, well before Republican leaders say they knew about it.

At the time, Fordham was Foley's chief of staff. Today he resigned as chief of staff for Congressman Tom Reynolds.

Dennis Hastert's top aide flat out denies that Fordham warned him about Foley's conduct.

But the new allegations come as Hastert faces growing pressure to resign. As for Foley, the six-term Florida Republican resigned on Friday, after his e-mails to a teenage boy who served as a Congressional page became public.

Since then, he has dropped several bombshells of his own, confessions that have raised plenty of questions.

Here's CNN's Rusty Dornin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 8 years old and grinning for the camera, Mark Foley, the face of innocence, as an altar boy at Sacred Heart School in Lake Worth, Florida. Five years late, Foley now confesses he was molested it.

DAVID ROTH, ATTORNEY FOR MARK FOLEY: Specifically, Mark has asked that you be told that between the ages of 13 and 15, he was molested by a clergyman.

DORNIN: That leaves questions. What denomination? Was it a priest? Minister? Where did it happen? Foley's attorney says no further details will be given until the former Congressman finishes rehab.

But during the years in question, the late '60s, Bill Brooks was a priest and Mark Foley's high school guidance counselor.

(On camera): He claims that he was abused by a clergyman between the time he was 13 and 15. Did you see any sign of that?

BILL BROOKS, FOLEY'S H.S. GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: No, I did not. And I think we have to put it in perspective. David Roth is a superb attorney and he's doing basically what a defense attorney has to do protect his client.

DORNIN (voice-over): Brooks later quit the priesthood, married and says he remained close to Foley for more than 40 years. He saw only one flaw in Foley, a propensity to being a workaholic, but no sign of being abused, then or now.

(On camera): Do you think he would have come to you if he had something like that happen?

BROOKS: His -- perhaps I'm naive, but Mark and I have a very strong relationship that grew as he grew and especially into politics. I don't know.

DORNIN: Do you believe it happened?

BROOKS: It could have happened, I don't know. I can't say it happened or it didn't happen.

DORNIN (voice-over): A spokesman at Palm Beach Catholic Diocese told CNN Foley's allegations were too vague and it would be inappropriate to comment.

Confession number two, Foley says he is an alcoholic.

Former colleague Congressman Peter King told "FOX News" he has trouble with the idea of Mark Foley's secret life as an alcoholic. He told them, "I don't buy this at all. I think this is a phony defense."

Even Foley's own brother-in-law told reporters, he didn't know about the drinking.

Then, there was this confession about something he'd kept secret for years.

ROTH: Finally, Mark Foley wants you to know that he is a gay man.

DORNIN (on camera): That wasn't news to Tony Plakas, who used to run the local gay and lesbian community center.

It seems like it was a secret, but it wasn't really a secret.

TONY PLAKAS, GAY COMMUNITY LEADER: Right. I think it was something that just wasn't talked about. I think people had a lot of respect for him politically and it was part of his private life.

DORNIN: The secret confessions of a man whose life is collapsing around him, the pressures of a guilty conscience or a man desperately seeking to place blame elsewhere.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, West Palm Beach, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Since this story broke, former pages have been going public with details of disturbing encounters they say they had with former Congressman Mark Foley.

Here's CNN's Brian Todd with that part of the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tyson Vivyan says when he was a page in 1996 and 1997, Congressman Mark Foley didn't speak to him, but Vivyan says shortly after he left Capitol Hill, the Congressman initiated contact with instant messages. Vivyan says he was 17 at the time, a minor.

TYSON VIVYAN, FORMER PAGE: The conversation turned sexual almost immediately.

TODD: It went on for years, according to Vivyan -- e-mails, brief phone conversations, instant messages.

VIVYAN: We're probably talking upwards of 40 to 50 instant message conversations that took place over that entire period. Some of them sexual in nature -- the majority of them sexual in nature, some of them not.

TODD: Vivyan tells CNN on one occasion, after his tenure as a page, when he was about 19, he returned to Washington and was invited to Foley's house. He says he brought another former page with him to make sure things didn't get out of hand.

VIVYAN: He and I went together to Congressman Foley's brownstone on Capitol Hill a few blocks away from the capitol. He ordered pizza for us. He offered us beer, but we were minors at the time, we both declined.

TODD: The other former page who went with Vivyan that night, Josh Abrons, tells CNN he doesn't recall alcohol being present. Vivyan and Abrams both say nothing inappropriate happened.

But Abrons also says Foley had exchanged instant messages with him, after he left the page program, but while he was still a minor. Abrons says he initiated contact with Foley but only to talk about politics. He says, Foley did talk politics, and...

JOSH ABRONS, FORMER PAGE: He did make explicit references. He talked about anatomy, his own and other people's. He did enjoy talking about sex frequently, and asking questions, making statements. And he did ask if I was attracted to him physically or if I would ever be interested in him in the future.

TODD: Neither Abrons nor Vivyan could not provide copies of their alleged communications with Foley from that time. Vivyan showed us correspondence he said he had with Foley when Vivyan was in his mid 20's.

Abrons and Vivyan say they made it clear they were not interested in physical relationships with Foley. But why didn't they report this contact to authorities?

ABRONS: For a 17-year-old to receive instant messages from a member of Congress is quite something and you do not want to burn that bridge with a member of Congress.

TODD (on camera): We tried to reach Mark Foley's attorney, David Roth, for reaction to Vivyan's and Abrons's accounts. He did not return our calls. Tyson Vivyan tells us he is a liberal Democrat. Josh Abrons says he has been both Republican and Democrat and now considers himself Independent.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: This scandal has put a spotlight on a program that has been part of Congress for more than 150 years. Pages who serve in the House and Senate must be high school juniors, at least 16 years of age.

Jonathan Turley was a House page from 1977 to 1978. Today, he's a law professor at George Washington University. I spoke with him earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Jonathan Turley, are you angry about what happened with Mark Foley?

JONATHAN TURLEY, HOUSE PAGE, '77-'78: Oh, I think all former pages are very, very angry. You know we have a great love for the page service because it gave us something you unique, something that resonates with us our whole lives. And it taught us something about character and about our own expectations. It's a very unique institution. And for it to be abused yet again by a member of Congress is maddening.

ROBERTS: But when you were a page -- and I don't want to say how long ago it was -- you did witness some things as well, did you not?

TURLEY: Sure. You know, back then in the medieval period, you know, all the male pages were left to themselves. You know, the female pages were housed at the YWCA. But we were told to get apartments. And, yes, and I encountered at least one pedophile, not a member of Congress, who would give drugs and alcohol to pages and take them into the woods to shoot guns and take pictures. So there were dangers back then.

ROBERTS: In fact, you wrote in your Op-Ed today in the "New York Times," you said, "For a member with dark predilections, the presence of trusting and vulnerable pages can be an irresistible temptation." How does the behavior happen? You know, do pedophiles assume a fatherly role? What exactly is it?

TURLEY: Well that's exactly, that's exactly what happens. And the fact is that they are representative of the country in good ways and bad ways. And one of the bad ways is that like the country, there are always some pedophiles or predatorial members in Congress. And that is a reality we have to deal with.

The problem for the page service that is we have a system that simply can't protect pages the way they need to be protected.

ROBERTS: You -- often is the case when something like this crops up and it was again today when Congressman Ray LaHood said, well, maybe we need to abolish the page program. You are proposing a new system, though, to protect pages which takes it actually out of the jurisdiction of Congress.

TURLEY: LaHood's suggestion that we should eliminate the page service is really grotesque. I mean, basically, he's saying we'll keep the members and get rid of the children because we can't be trusted with children. And that's just outrageous.

You know, the problem is not the page service. The page service is one of the few pristine traditions left on Capitol Hill. In a scandal-laden Congress, the pages are one of the few good things, the right things that you can find these days on Capitol Hill. To eliminate it because of misconduct of a member is absolutely bizarre. ROBERTS: Yes, I mean, it is rather bizarre for the members of Congress to essentially say, trust us with running the country, but don't trust us with your children.

TURLEY: That's right. And you know, the page service is going to be going into its third century in this country. It's a wonderful tradition. It's not just something that benefits the pages. Those pages when they walk through the halls of Congress are a constant reminder to members of the idealism that brought them to public service.

And even though you've got creatures like Abramoff in those halls, you also have those pages and they a symbol of something good about this country.

ROBERTS: Jonathan, real quick, if you would, do you think if it were former pages who were looking after the pages, if there were incidents like this in the future, those young pages may be more inclined to come forward?

TURLEY: Absolutely. I think the current pages would be more comfortable speaking with former pages. And there's no question that former pages would not hesitate to drop the hammer on any member of Congress that hurts a page or the page service.

ROBERTS: Jonathan, it's an interesting proposal. And it's just the sort of thing that may fly. Thanks very much. Appreciate it.

TURLEY: Thanks a lot, John.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: To Iraq now, where bomb attacks are at an all-time high.

Plus, a shakeup in the Iraqi police force after some are accused of helping the enemy.

Plus this...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: About 100 feet or so inside a mountain in eastern Congo. The mine itself is a low tech operation, but increasingly tin is used in high-tech products. Because of changes in the environmental regulations, tin has replaced lead in circuit boards used in equipment like, well, like these cell phones. Chances are, if you use a cell phone, you're probably carrying a piece of the Congo with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Anderson tells us how a fight over Congo's natural resources has fueled the violence. When this special edition of 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: Another day of deadly violence in Iraq. 12 people were killed and 70 wounded in a series of bombings targeting employees of the Iraqi government. This comes as the U.S. military admits it's facing a more brutal insurgency, and as the Iraqi police force comes under fire.

Here's CNN's Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With both car and roadside bombs now at an all-time high in Iraq, and U.S. casualties on a pace to make October even worse than September, which was the second deadliest month this year, there's not much positive a military briefer can say.

MAJOR GENERAL WILLIAM CALDWELL, SPOKESMAN, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: As far as U.S. casualties goes, you know, this has been a hard week for U.S. forces over the last couple of days.

MCINTYRE: In just four days, 19 Americans have died in Iraq. And if that rate continued, it would result in 147 deaths in October, surpassing the previous highest monthly toll, 137 in November of 2004.

Iraqis continue to die at even higher rates, about 1,000 a month, mostly from grizzly murders and executions in which the victims are often tortured.

And now a brigade of Baghdad's police has been pulled off the streets on suspicion of involvement with kidnappings and murders.

CALDWELL: They've been pulled off line and will go through retraining before they'll be recertified and allowed to again conduct activities as police forces for the government of Iraq.

MCINTYRE: The police of the eighth brigade will get new criminal background checks and face lie detectors in an effort to weed out militia killers.

(On camera): The dissolution of the Eighth Iraqi Police Brigade and the arrest of its commander is providing a partial answer to a question many people inside and outside the Pentagon are asking, why is it with 300,000 Iraqi security forces standing up the U.S. military can't yet stand down?

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: About 700 police officers have been pulled out of service because of suspected ties to some of the sectarian violence in Iraq.

With more on that and today's other developments, CNN's Michael Ware joins me now from Baghdad. ROBERTS: Michael, how rapid is this problem of death squads infiltrating the police forces and just being allowed to operate with impunity?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, some of these death squads, and we're talking about the Shia death squads particularly here, are institutionalized within the framework of government on the ground here in Baghdad and beyond.

I mean, these are police units in legitimate police uniforms with legitimate identification. They have been going to Sunni neighborhoods, taking people away and the next thing is they're dead on the street.

This has become a problem deep within the government itself. And these anti -- these American raids against the death squads, they have to use some of these police and army forces as partners in these operations. So, as soon as the Iraqis are told, the death squads learn about these things.

And we're also seeing a CBS reporter tonight, even in the hospitals the Sunnis have no safety. It's also -- they're also run by a militia. So these death squads are permeating so many levels of the government -- John.

ROBERTS: What's the perception there in Baghdad, Michael? Does the Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, have the political will and the capability to deal with these death squads?

WARE: Well, the American mission here is investing all its eggs in the Maliki basket, so to speak. Maliki is relatively powerless. He was a compromised candidate settled upon by the Shia alliance after they won government. He was seen as relatively harmless and manageable by the larger blocks that actually retain the true guts of power here in Baghdad.

The Americans are trying to prop him up, develop a popular support base among the people. Through this battle of Baghdad or operations together forward, the massive operation to reclaim the capital from militias, death squads and insurgents and give the prime minister the credit so that people support him and give him a wedge against these militias which truly hold the power -- John.

ROBERTS: Michael, you spent an awful lot of time there with American forces. I talked to a retired American general today with very close ties to the Pentagon who says that the growing perception there at the Pentagon is that this battle is being lost, not won. Does that perception reflect what you're seeing on the ground there?

WARE: Well, that's a very difficult question. But there's certainly no sign that the U.S. forces are winning this war, either militarily or in the hearts and minds. So the question does raise, is this war actually being lost?

So far, those who have gained most from this war has been al Qaeda, which the U.S. intelligence agencies themselves say has become strengthened; and Iran, Iran has been emboldened enormously by this war. And indeed, many elements of this government are much more closely aligned with Tehran than they are with Washington.

So we see two of this administration's sworn enemies benefiting from this war, rather than the U.S. troops. There's simply not enough troops here to do the job that really has to be done -- John.

ROBERTS: Not enough troops, even though there's still 140,000 American troops there and some 300,000 Iraqi troops?

WARE: Well, this is the thing. We're almost reaching the point now where the targets for Iraqi troop numbers that the U.S. military had set to put in place, trained and in the field, has almost been reached. Yet, there still is little if any, headway against the insurgency.

And as you know, in the midst of this holy month of Ramadan, offensive attacks across the board are up. The killings of Americans and Iraqi civilians are at extremely high levels. So just having these troops is proving to be less than enough -- John.

ROBERTS: And a particularly deadly day today, as well.

Michael Ware, in Baghdad, thanks very much.

And a grim reminder of the toll that U.S. service members have paid in Iraq, here's the raw data. The Pentagon says 2,727 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq. Of that number, 2,174 died from hostile fire; and 20,687 Americans have been injured.

Now, back to Anderson in Democratic Republic of the Congo -- Anderson.

COOPER: John, thanks very much.

I know the Democratic Republic of the Congo seems very far away to most people. You may think you have no connection to what's happening here, but that may not be the case. Your cell phone, your laptop and other gadgets are linked to the mines here where precious minerals and metals are dug up to make them. And the thing is the violence, well, it's all linked to the natural resources of the Congo.

Plus, thousands of children being born in refugee camps in Chad. We're going to take a look at what life is like for the most innocent victims of the civil war in neighboring Darfur, when this special edition of 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: One of the sad ironies about Democratic Republic of the Congo is that this country is actually probably about the richest country in Africa -- natural resources, gold, and diamonds, all sorts of minerals and metals which are used all around the world, are mined right from here.

And yet, 70 percent of the households here suffer from malnutrition. Two-thirds of the people here have no access to medical care whatsoever.

So why that disparity? Why aren't the natural resources which are so rich, why isn't that money benefiting the people here? We tried to find out some answers in one of the mines here in the Congo.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): A young miner descends into the earth, hoping to scratch out a living in the dangerous darkness below.

(On camera): It's pitch black in the mine. The ceiling of this mine is maybe 2-1/2 feet. You're literally crouching down, crawling through the mine.

(Voice-over): Hunched over, sitting in a pool of water, we find this 23-year-old Siva Jua (ph). The rocks he pulls from the ground earn him just a few dollars a day, but they've also created widespread corruption and helped fuel a civil war that resulted in more than 3 million deaths. Dozens of warring armies and militias have fought for control of Congo's natural resources.

(On camera): This is a cassiterite mine. It's where tin comes from. We're probably about 100 feet or so inside a mountain in eastern Congo. The mine itself is a low-tech operation, but increasingly tin is used in high-tech products. Because of changes in environmental regulations, tin has replaced lead in circuit boards used in equipment like, well, like these cell phones. Chances are, if you use a cell phone, you're probably carrying a piece of the Congo with you.

(Voice-over): In the last four years, the price of tin has more than doubled. You'd think that would be a great development for the cash-strapped Congo, but very little of the money paid for Congolese tin actually ends up benefiting the people here.

JASON STEARNS, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: It's a predator's state, so you have -- the customs officials are completely corrupt. It's an estimated 60 percent to 80 percent of customs are never embezzled, never get back to the people. You can blame the people who are doing it. They're doing it because they can and they can because there's no state, there's nobody to tell them not to.

COOPER: A 2005 report by the non-profit group Global Witness found most miners have to pay bribes to local police and military officials just to sell their tin.

(On camera): Much of the cassiterite or tin (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that's mined here is smuggled illegally into Rwanda and other neighboring African countries. Corrupt Congolese officials are paid to look the other way.

According to aide workers, the export of tin is worth at least $50 million. And the Congo should be profiting from that by taxing it, but so far, they're not.

(Voice-over): The Congolese government says there is regulation, but the problem is enforcing it. The infrastructure is poor, so it's hard to prevent smugglers and looters from taking mineral resources out of the country illegally.

(On camera): Theoretically, I mean, the Congo, the government should be making this money and giving the money, you know, and services to people. That's just not happening.

STEARNS: The government provides almost no social services to the people; 98 percent of the education in the country is actually provided by the students, the cost of the education provided by the students themselves. I don't think the state provides next to anything for health or education, the roads.

COOPER: It's not just the illegal export of tin that's a problem. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is rich in natural resources. Cobalt and copper is mined from here. That winds up in the lithium batteries that we use at home. Also, a mineral called coltan is mined here. That ends up in cell phones. There's also large mines for diamonds as well as for gold.

(Voice-over): For the miners themselves, the payoff is low, and the risks, huge. Last month a miner died here while trying to pump water out of one of the shafts.

It was the gas, Siva Jua (ph) says. The pump from the generator suffocated him. Siva Jua (ph) would like to quit, but he has a wife and child to support and knows of no other way to make a living.

A lot of us get old in this mine, he says. I want to make my money and go.

It is just one of the many tragedies in the Congo. Thanks to mismanagement and corruption, the mineral wealth that could be such a blessing remains in many ways a deadly curse.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (on camera): I'm joined now by Jason Stearns with the International Crisis Group, a Congo expert. He's been traveling with us.

Thanks for being with us again this morning.

What is the solution? I mean, this corruption is just so endemic in this country. How do you even begin to change that?

STEARNS: Well, I think it, I mean, it can either be a blessing or a curse. I think we need to make sure that it's a blessing and not a curse. In order to do that, you need to create the institutions necessary.

I mean, the Congo at the moment, like we see, very few institutions are there. So you need to have a parliament, you need a court system to punish the people who are doing wrong things. You have a ministry of mines, for example, to look out and make sure that the conditions of the mines are good enough. You need to make the state work for the people and not against the people. That's the really the trick. And that will be the trick of consolidating the peace and making sure the Congo doesn't return back to war again.

COOPER: Because, I mean, for 30 years plus, it's been a kleptocracy.

STEARNS: That's exactly right. And I think that's the key. I think many people see people with guns as the killers, but I mean, corruption is as much a killer here as people with guns.

COOPER: How do you mean?

STEARNS: Well, I mean, the people, like you say, you know, it's an incredibly rich country. People -- 90 percent of the people who die, the 4 million people figure that you often mention, died because of humanitarian cause, not because of direct violence. That means that they become displaced, they run into the woods. There's no support network. There's no health services, education for them to live off.

So I think that the fact that there's no state there to help these, to marginalize people, the poor and the weak, that's really key to solving the conflicts. You need to address that, you need to create a state.

COOPER: You called it a predator state because the infrastructure that is there isn't really for the benefit of people. It just doesn't work that way.

STEARNS: It doesn't work that way and that's the real problem. I think you need to make the predator state into a caretaker state.

COOPER: The sexual violence against women, I mean, it's hard to fathom, tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of women have been raped. The majority of them, according to some aide workers, have been gang raped. Why is that happening?

STEARNS: Well, I think there's two reasons. I mean, you really need to look at these people are -- they're definitely abusers, they're definitely brutal. But you also have to look at the context in which they grew up in. You have a society that's completely broken down in terms of its moral value structure. The customary...

COOPER: Because I mean African societies have very strong morals.

STEARNS: Very strong morals. And this would be in a strong, tightly knit African society. This would be condemned, looked down upon and punished. Those -- all of those systems, mechanism, the moral value system is completely broken down through the war, through corruption. You have a huge youth population that's growing up here, outside of any moral support system. So these people grow up, people give them a gun and that is often the best way to define their lives, to make sense out of their lives.

And unfortunately I think that we need to see violence in that way, in a world that's pretty desolate. It doesn't make sense to them. Violence becomes a way to make sense out of their lives and it happens in gruesome and terrible fashion.

COOPER: And there's no punishment.

STEARNS: There's absolutely no punishment. And that's the other problem is we need to create a court system that actually punishes these people. 90 percent of Congolese don't have access to courts. They live outside of court systems.

COOPER: And it's hard for, I think, a lot of people in the West to understand the reality of life here.

Jason, appreciate you talking. Thanks.

STEARNS: Thanks a lot.

COOPER: Thanks very much. Jason Stearns, with the International Crisis Group.

Thousands of humanitarian workers and others in Darfur have been deeply affected by the pain and misery there.

Next, a former Marine tells us what he experienced, in his own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had no remorse. It's as if when you looked in their eyes, you can tell that these people have no souls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That next, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN GRAPHIC)

Sudan

Sudan is Africa's largest country.

It is seven times the size of California.

(END GRAPHIC)

COOPER: Dawn just breaking here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A woman getting ready, bringing some vegetables to the market, probably to try to sell or to barter, the beginning of a very long day for the people here.

Brian Steidle is a former Marine who found himself with a front row seat to genocide in Darfur. Two years ago, Steidle entered Darfur as one of three U.S. military observers working with the African Union peacekeepers. His mission was to assess the situation and report to superiors.

Here's his story, in his own words and his own photos. But a warning, some of the images you'll see are graphic.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN STEIDLE, FORMER MARINE: Our job was to document the atrocities and to write reports. And part of those reports were taking photographs, photographic evidence, and implanting them inside of these reports.

We saw villages of up to 20,000 burnt to the ground; men, women, children, who had been killed.

We drove right into this place and jumped out of the cars and I was standing on a vertebrae and ribs. There was an area that was 50 meters by 50 meters where you couldn't walk without stepping on human bones.

There were people who had been dismembered, arms here, legs there, fractions of skulls. We had no idea how many people were there.

I don't even know how to describe it. I mean, the smell there, the smell of death, and just seeing these pieces of humans all over the place. I mean, it was, it was indescribable.

The Janjaweed would come in with the government troops. They would first of all push the people out. The people that wouldn't leave, they would kill. They'd call these people dogs. They'd call them slaves. They'd hack them down. They'd lock them in their huts, burn them alive.

We would sit down with these Janjaweed commanders, and we would ask them, what happened? They'd say, well, you know, what happened, happened. They had no remorse. It's as if when you looked in their eyes, you could tell that these people have no souls.

I was trained as a Marine. I mean, my job was to protect the innocent, to protect people who can't protect themselves by using a gun and my Marines behind me to go into a place and protect these people. And here I am thrown in a situation where all I have is camera and notepad. And we felt completely helpless.

The one photograph, they're the series of photographs that I took after the attack on the village of Aliette (ph), are the ones that have stuck with me the most. And it was this 1-year-old girl named Mihad Hami (ph). Mihad had been whipped on the side of her neck, shrapnel in her head and a bullet wound to her back, entry and exit wound. She wasn't breathing really well at the time. And most likely she had died overnight. And this, the entire reason that I'm in this is because, well the one thing I always go back to is Mihad, a 1-year- old girl, as innocent as you possibly can be, was shot by the government of Sudan simply because of what her tribe was.

These types of atrocities should not happen in this day and age. And they are happening right now. They're happening on our watch. And we are doing nothing to stop it.

It's never too late. I mean, as long as there are still people that are alive that are being killed right now as we speak, it's never too late.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: That was Brian Steidle, a U.S. Marine, talking about what he saw with his own eyes.

Hundreds of thousands of women and children have made it out of Darfur and across the border and to refugee camps in Chad. For some children, the camps are the only homes they have ever known. Up next, what it's like to be born a refugee.

And aide workers under siege. The dangers that humanitarian workers face every day here in Africa, when this special edition of 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Some 200,000 people have made it out of Darfur and into refugee camps in Chad. Many of them, of course, long to return home one day. But for some, especially young, it's the only home they've every known.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently visited the camps in Chad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): So happy, in part because they have no idea what they do not have. Life in Jabba (ph) refugee camp. Their smiles conceal a startling fact. This conflict has raged so long, an entire generation of children knows only the life of refugees. They were born into it.

(On camera): No doubt it is not easy to take care of people in a refugee camp. But here's where it gets really difficult. This is a structure built specifically to take care of malnourished children. For example, Ashda Dumi (ph) here, who is 2 years old and weighs less than 10 pounds. Her mother knows she doesn't have a very good chance of survival, but they're doing the best they can, trying to get her to eat as much as they can.

(Voice-over): Just for comparison an average 26-month-old in the United States weighs 27 pounds. Almost three types what Ashda (ph) weighs.

And here, even a slight cough in a young baby can become life threatening.

(On camera): You see so much abdominal breathing here. She's not even using her lungs to actually breathe. That's a sign that she's really struggling to try and get some air. She's in respiratory distress. There's no breathing machine here, there's no breathing machine there, so what happens to a child like this? DR. HENRY MURAMBO, OJABAL REFUGEE CAMP: Well, we do our best. We'll use what we have here.

GUPTA (voice-over): Without some way to help this baby, it is unlikely she will survive. But in this refugee camp, she's been given at least another day.

But sometimes some of the best treatments are anything but elaborate. Cereals and oils mixed together, part of a nutritional plan funded by UNICEF. It helps little Ashda (ph), who in just days gains a few ounces. Good news.

But as they get older, if they survive to get older, it will get even harder still.

(On camera): It's over 100 degrees here today, but this is part of what life is like in a refugee camp typically. They have to live off the land. They take these seeds, for example, and pound them into a paste that they can eat. Sometimes they'll take these stalks after they harden and actually use them to build the huts.

It is not an easy life for so many of the children that you see here, but it's a necessary one for time being. They're praying that they can get back to Sudan, but that doesn't look like it's happening anytime soon.

(Voice-over): They want to return to a place they've only heard about, but never known, their homeland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now here in the Congo.

That little boy in the piece, whose breathing was so labored, what happened to him?

GUPTA: Well, you know, those are one of the unfortunate stories. I mean, a boy like that, there is no breathing machine. There's no way to really take care of someone like that. So, you know, for the vast majority of people, they're pretty good at it. But when you get on the fringes like that, unless they can ship him to a hospital, unlikely, can't even get across the roads here, there's a good chance he won't make it.

COOPER: And a camp like that, in some ways it's really changing the culture of the people.

GUPTA: I found that fascinating, Anderson. Your refugee camp come in there, you know, girls, for example, really aren't educated in Chad and so many of the schools there. Come to the refugee camps, everyone's offered an education. It's huge. I mean, every parent, that I talked to, that's something they kept coming back to, yes, we want the food and the water. We want to make sure we get an education for our kids, boys and girls. So it is changing the culture.

COOPER: What do you think of the Congo? This is your first time here. It's kind of overwhelming.

GUPTA: It is. And, you know, I think you see so many of these children around here and you hear the stories before I got here of what it's like. The stories are true, as far as I can tell.

COOPER: We'll have a lot more here from the Congo.

Let's go back to John Roberts right now in New York -- John.

ROBERTS: All right. Thanks very much, Anderson.

We begin bulletin with an update on the condition of the survivors of Monday's shooting at an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania. A 12-year-old girl who suffered gunshot wounds to the arm and leg when Charles Karl Roberts open fired on a group of girls, has been upgraded to serious condition now, which is an improvement. Doctors also say she's now able to communicate with her family. Another girl, though, is in serious condition; three others are in critical condition.

The FBI and the FDA served search warrants today on two California spinach growers in connection with the deadly E. Coli outbreak. The state's U.S. attorney says there is no indication that the spinach was deliberately contaminated. The investigation is focusing on whether growers took the proper steps to ensure the safety of the spinach.

Another record day on Wall Street. The Dow closed at a new high, hitting 11850, after climbing up 123 points. The S&P closed at a 5- 1/2 year high, up 16 points. The NASDAQ ended out the day 47 points.

So now, of course, Anderson, the question is, is it going to keep going higher or is a bust just ahead? Let's hope it's the former, not the latter -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, let's definitely. John, thanks for that. I'll check in with you shortly again.

Coming up, though, from here in Africa, aide workers under attack. The dangerous job that many of them face every day. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: And we are here in Rutshuru, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where we're starting to attract quite a crowd here of people curious to see who sort of showed up in this village. And I'm sure they've never quite seen anything like us here.

The lawlessness that is so pervasive in parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has even forced some Swiss foreign workers out of parts of the country. The problem, however, is not just in the Congo. It's been an especially dangerous year for humanitarian workers in Darfur.

Here's CNN's Africa Correspondent Jeff Koinange. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF KOINANGE, CNN AFRICA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They have come from comfortable surroundings far away at an almost risk to themselves. Anne Cecile Mellet and Balginder Heer are part of a fast disappearing breed in this region, foreign aide workers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just, we have to continue to use as a treatment.

KOINANGE: Six months ago, Mellet was a pediatric nurse, making the rounds in one of Paris's leading hospitals, when she was offered an overseas assignment. She said yes even before she learned her destination would be Darfur.

ANNE CECILE MELLET, ACTION AGAINST HUNGER: For myself it was beginning to all my life change completely.

KOINANGE: In her native French, she comforts a young malnourished girl named Yasnina (ph). Don't worry, she tells Yasnina (ph) and her mother, it won't hurt. Yasnina (ph) is 13 months old and weighs just 15 pounds. That's what 6-month-old babies should weigh. What Yasnina (ph) really needs is an intravenous drip to build her up. The best they've got here is some high protein milk and an old plastic cup.

And then, there's the constant danger lurking both within and outside these refugee camps.

(On camera): Here's an interesting statistic for you. Ever since a peace deal was signed five months ago, 12 aide workers have been killed, all of them Sudanese nationals. That's more aide workers than in the entire history of this conflict. The foreigners too are feeling vulnerable that they could very well be next.

(Voice-over): 31-year-old Balginder Heer was a researcher into tropical children's diseases for nearly a decade in London. She wanted to put her research into practice, and she chose to do it here. Her parents tried to talk her out of it.

BALGINDER HEER, ACTION AGAINST HUNGER: Of course, this is a conflict zone. It is dangerous. It's not as bad as people may imagine. It can be just as dangerous, if not worse, in some of the big major capitals around the world, like New York or London.

KOINANGE: She's also constantly aware that women here face an unusually great risk of being raped. She spends her nights in a protected compound, a 20-minute drive away.

HEER: Of course, when you hear about instants like this, it has huge shockwaves through the NGO and the U.N. agency communities, very traumatic. And it has huge impacts and direct impacts on the work that we do and how people feel here.

KOINANGE: Both admit what they do out here in the middle of nowhere in Africa is not suitable to everyone. MELLET: We have nothing, no tools. We have nothing to work with them. So, what we have, we try to do our best.

HEER: Sometimes it can be very hard, especially when you lose a child. It can be very, very difficult.

KOINANGE: There are more than 14,000 aide workers in Darfur alone, and only 1,000 them are foreigners. The risks are huge. So are the rewards.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Jeff Koinange joins us now from Darfur on broadband.

Jeff, you've been there a number of times over the years. Is it getting worse?

KOINANGE (on camera): No doubt about it, Anderson, it really is getting worse. You can't say enough how it's getting worse. There's a huge government troop buildup in the area. More and more people are being driven from displaced camps where they were before. So they're be redisplaced, if you will.

The cities are getting more crowded. The people are getting more desperate. And the World Food Program, for instance, last month they couldn't feed 150,000 people. As more people -- as the fighting intensifies and more people keep moving, next month they may not be able to feed even more. In a word, it's getting a lot worse.

COOPER: Jeff, stay safe. Appreciate your reporting. Thank you.

Before we go, we wanted to show you what's on the radar, some of the responses to our programming on the 360 blog.

Sharla Jones from Buckeye, Arizona, writes on the blog, "Watching this series right now on 360 is really making me re-evaluate my own life and how I'm living it... Watching the pain and suffering right now... it made me cry."

This from Kelly in Marietta, Georgia, "It shames me to think that we apparently learned nothing after Rwanda. Why are we, nor the rest of the world, helping more?"

And Claire Colvin of White Rock, British Columbia, writes, "I can't wrap my head around someone fleeing to a refugee camp of their own volition because the conditions there are better. Surely we can do better than this."

We'll have more of 360 in a moment. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING" here on CNN, a new message about HIV is creating quite an uproar in Los Angeles. It associates those who have the disease with being gay, and that's upsetting many HIV-infected heterosexuals. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going backwards because the HIV virus has a face and it's your face and it is my face.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: How is it that a message that's intended to create awareness is instead creating controversy? That's tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," starting at 6:00 a.m., Eastern.

That's it from here on state's side. Back to Anderson in the Congo -- Anderson.

COOPER: John, thanks very much. As you can see, we've attracted quite a crowd here in this village here in Rutshuru. We're going to be back here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo tomorrow. Appreciate you watching this special edition of 360. So does everyone here.

You guys want to say good bye?

Bye!

All right. "LARRY KING" is next.

We'll try to do better maybe next time. All right. See you tomorrow.

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