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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Snow Blankets Northeast; Confusion Grows Over Iran's Role in Iraq; Faith-Based Cancer Doctor Under Investigation For Fraud
Aired February 14, 2007 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: And, yes, happy Valentine's Day to my wife and everyone else out there who is celebrating this day.
Keep on enjoying, by the way, Larry, that February weather in Southern California, 73 and sunny down there tomorrow, or so the forecast says it's going to be.
Here in the Northeast, however, and across the Midwest, it was a different story: snow, sleet, freezing rain, hundreds of car wrecks. You name it, we got it -- hundreds of canceled flights, too, along with one flight that probably should have been canceled to begin with. Instead, it sat hour after hour on the taxiway, going nowhere, eight hours in all, loaded with passengers. That is coming up.
We begin, though, tonight with an exclusive look at a making of another sort of mess, one involving the kind of allegations that can lead to war -- in this case, that Iran's government, at the highest level, ordered the shipment of armor-piercing IEDs into Iraq, where some are being used to kill American troops.
But, soon after the allegation was made at a briefing in Baghdad on Sunday, the backpedaling and restating began from the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and, today, the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: But, given some of those contradictions, Mr. President...
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no contradiction that the weapons are there and they were provided by the Quds Force.
What we don't know is whether or not the head leaders of Iran ordered the Quds Force to do what they did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Well, that directly contradicts what an intelligence official said at that briefing on Sunday in Baghdad.
How did such an allegation get made? Tonight, we want to know.
First of all, we are going to begin with that Baghdad briefing. It was long expected and had been a long time in the making as well. January 31, the State Department explains that the briefing about those weapons is going to be delayed. Then, from the 1st of February to the 8th, a military team in Baghdad assembles the evidence.
The briefing paper goes through 17 different revisions. On February the 9th, Defense Secretary Gates says the evidence is good, but he hasn't seen the details -- on the 10th, pressure. The White House learns that "The New York Times" has gotten a draft of the talking points.
On Sunday, the briefing happens, and here's where the whole thing comes unglued -- an intelligence official saying, orders to send the IEDs are coming from the highest levels in the Iranian government. He is saying, we later learn, what he thinks to be true, not what he knows to be true, not what his bosses expected him to say, not what was in the briefing notes.
This timeline came together through the reporting of CNN's Jamie McIntyre, Ed Henry, and Michael Ware, who was at that briefing in Baghdad on Sunday.
All three join us tonight.
Michael, let's start with you.
What were your impressions when you heard this intelligence official say those words that, clearly, this is connected to the highest levels of the Iranian government?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you accept the premise of the central allegation that is agreed upon by everybody from the chairman, General Peter Pace, to President George Bush, to Secretary Gates, and that is, that this Iranian special forces unit, the Quds Force, are the ones responsible for sending these deadly IEDs to Iraq, then you have to accept that what the intelligence analyst says is correct.
If President Bush is right, and this is the Quds Force, then you talk to anyone who knows anything about the Revolutionary Guard or the Quds Force, or someone who's followed them for two years, like myself -- indeed, I have met members of the Quds Force -- then there is one thing you know. They don't do anything without orders. And they answer to the highest office in the land.
So, if everybody is right, then, yes, these orders are coming from the highest levels in the Iranian government.
ROBERTS: So, Jamie McIntyre, if what Michael Ware is saying is, in fact, the case when it comes to the chain of command for the Quds Force, why is everybody walking this back?
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, he is absolutely right. And, of course, the intelligence officer who said that is absolutely reflecting the belief of the U.S. military.
The problem is, they expected this briefing, whatever was presented at it, to be bulletproof, to be backed up by evidence. And while, you know, common sense tells you, and -- and circumstantial evidence tells you, and everything else tells you that this is the case, they need to be able to really point to something. And they couldn't. So, they were not expecting this conclusion to be made public during this briefing.
And that's why you see everybody else being more cautious publicly. And, frankly, part of it is because the U.S. was stung by the intelligence failures leading up to the Iraq war.
ROBERTS: So, Ed Henry, what are the potential political ramifications of having -- having statements that you can't back up with evidence? You asked the president today in that back-and-forth, you know, can you guarantee that this evidence is going to be solid, unlike the evidence that took us to war in Iraq?
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That -- that is the rub.
And, as Jamie McIntyre just pointed out, I mean, after everything that happened in the lead-up to the Iraq war, you would think that, this time, in dealing with Iran, that the administration would make sure that it was rock-solid, that they had everything in line.
And, instead, what you are seeing between the reporting of Jamie McIntyre and Michael Ware in Baghdad is all this confusion about exactly what the truth is. And that has now put a cloud over what very well may be a rock-solid case that the Iranian government is behind this.
But now there's so much confusion and back-and-forth, and General Pace saying one thing, the president saying this, Tony Snow at the White House saying that, that it's almost clouded what could be -- and I stress could be -- a rock-solid case. And you have to wonder why all the confusion.
ROBERTS: Michael Ware, at his briefing, General Caldwell said that he would like to entertain the notion of talking with Iran about this, to say, look, either stop producing these munitions or find some way to stop them coming across the border.
Is that an idea that could work?
WARE: Well, no, not really.
I mean, certainly, these sentiments, these requests have already been, by and large, passed on through the Iraqi government and Iraqi intermediaries. The Iraqi government has already asked the Iranian government to stop this and many other types of activities.
Quite frankly, it's not in Iran's interest to stop, that they're in the driver's seat. They have got the momentum. The mojo is with them in Iraq. It is their friends, their surrogates who are in power. It's the Americans who are bogged down. Why would they take their foot off the accelerator? ROBERTS: Yes. And, as long as they keep the Americans bogged down in Iraq, the thought is that the Americans won't be able to wield their influence elsewhere in the region.
But, Jamie McIntyre, back to these pronouncements by this intelligence officer -- it -- it became so significant, because it really looked like the White House was beginning to make the case for war.
What was the reaction in the Pentagon as the media, and, indeed, the American public believed that they were going down that road?
MCINTYRE: Well, you know, Secretary Gates has said -- you know, he said, I can't tell you how many times I have to keep saying we are not planning for a war in Iraq (sic).
But, of course, the more you talk about that, the more people tend to believe -- disbelieve it. It was interesting, in the president's news conference today, when he was asked directly to sort of dispel that notion, he answered a completely different question, and never came back to it. So, that just, again, plants this doubt.
But there's -- there's -- I can tell you that, from all the sources we talk to, there's no planning for a confrontation with -- a major confrontation with Iran like that. And -- but the problem is, when people look at this, and they see the intelligence being laid out, that's what they think. And -- and it's hard to disabuse people of that notion.
ROBERTS: Yes. He did come back to it a little bit in response, Ed, to a question that you asked him. But he didn't go as far as he normally does, in saying, look, I have got absolutely no plans.
He kind of left the door open, which I found intriguing as well.
One of the other topics, Ed, that the president tackled was this resolution that is being debated in the House, will probably be voted on, on Friday, stating opposition, a sense of the House, stating opposition to the troop buildup in -- in Iraq.
Let's, first of all, quickly take a -- a listen to what the president said on -- on that particular front.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: My hope, however, is that this nonbinding resolution doesn't try to turn into a binding policy that prevents our troops from doing that which I have asked them to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Now, earlier, it looked like there was no danger that this was going to be anything other than just a sense of the Congress.
But, Ed, a statement from Nancy Pelosi earlier today leads some people to believe that they may be going down the road of binding legislation to try to bring an end to the Iraq war. What's -- what's the White House take on that?
HENRY: Well, the White House would be delighted if Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders want to go down that road. That's why you heard the president put his finger on that.
That's where they think Democrats have a weak point. The president, obviously, doesn't have a good hand in Iraq right now. He's hoping that this -- this plan, which, essentially, most people in both parties believe is the last chance, he is hoping it's going to work. But even he, the president, now admits that it might not, that they don't know how it's all going to turn out.
So, one way that they could get out of this, from a strategic standpoint, is if the Democrats overplay their hand and cut off funding for the troops. Republicans believe, especially within the White House, but some on the Hill, as well, that that would be a miscalculation by Democrats. It could blow up in their face.
And then the White House could turn it around, and blame it on the Democrats, and say, if only we had all the resources to help the troops in the field...
HENRY: ... we could have gotten this done.
So, the White House is almost hoping the Democrats walk into that -- John.
ROBERTS: And, Michael Ware, wrap us up here.
With -- with 21,500 troops going into Iraq, 17,500 into -- into Baghdad, which had been the scene of so many of these EFP attacks, if those attacks do increase, do you -- do you see the American intelligence services trying to make a greater case for connecting these two to the government of Iran? And -- and what might that lead to?
WARE: Well, John, let me say this.
First of all, if this is preparation for attack, or should that time ever come that the Bush administration is readying its people for an attack on Iran, you will know that's coming, because there will be a draft. There will be conscription in America, because, honestly, there is no other way for the United States to fight Iran, unless there is a draft.
It's already bogged down enough in Iraq. And what we're talking about here in Baghdad, one of the very reasons the military says it's gone public right now is because there has been a massive upswing in the use of these deadly bombs, 150 percent upswing over the last year.
And the last three months alone has seen more use of these bombs than in any other month since they first emerged in 2004.
ROBERTS: Yes. And I -- I saw a very -- from a very personal perspective what these things can do, as well. And they are just absolutely terrible.
Michael Ware in Baghdad, Jamie McIntyre, good reporting on the timeline. Thanks for joining us -- Ed Henry, as well, from our Washington bureau.
You can't tell from the shot that Jamie and Ed are in, because they're inside, but Washington right now is blanketed with snow. In fact, they're digging out everywhere east of Saint Louis tonight, digging out and thawing out.
But some are burning up. And here's why.
ROBERTS (voice-over): Prisoners on a plane.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was becoming a little scary for a little while there. And another passenger said to them, you're -- you're basically holding us hostage.
ROBERTS: Men, women, children stuck on board for hours -- how the winter storm turned their vacation into the trip from hell.
Also, she claims her treatment cures cancer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you remember her saying to you about it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just remember she was saying that she was going to be cured, everything is going to be taken care of, that the lord has answered her prayer.
ROBERTS: A doctor and minister, the people paying thousands for her treatment, and what that treatment really is. We're "Keeping Them Honest" -- ahead on 360.
ROBERTS: Snow and ice messing things up for millions of people from Kentucky to Maine tonight.
Take a look at this scene in Indianapolis today, roads virtually impassable, drivers who tried ending up in a ditch or worse. There are reports of at least 12 storm-related deaths in six states.
A rough day, too, for air travelers -- check out O'Hare in Chicago -- hundreds of flights canceled at major airports throughout the Midwest and the Northeast. And, as you might imagine, schools by the hundreds are closed, and hundreds of thousands of homes going without power as well tonight.
CNN's Jason Carroll and Gary Tuchman are covering the wintry blast in Upstate New York for us tonight.
We start with Gary in Syracuse.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Syracuse, New York, is used to getting a lot of snow, but rarely so much in one day. So, even here, this much snow induces some anxiety.
For the city's fire department, literally tons of snow create extraordinary and potentially dangerous challenges. We ride along on the snow-packed icy roads with the men of Truck Company 5 to witness a mission that takes place only during large snowstorms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five thousand six hundred and seventy-nine hydrants in the city.
TUCHMAN: Nearly 6,000 hydrants, and they all have to be cleared of snow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably, we won't use 99 percent of them, but it's the one that you need that's got to be shoveled out.
TUCHMAN (on camera): You get adrenaline from fighting a fire. There's no such adrenaline from this duty. It's also tiring. You're hopping in and out of a truck 20, 30, 40 times. Your clothes get wet. they get heavier.
And it's also thankless. The plows come down the street, and they put the snow back on the hydrants. But it's necessary work.
(voice-over): The firefighters consider themselves lucky that the daytime hours end up being relatively quiet. But then a call comes in that a baby is locked in a freezing cold car. The mother is scared.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once we put the seat belt on, we went around, and it automatically locked -- just locked up.
TUCHMAN: It only takes minutes, but it seems longer to the mother and other relatives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are welcome.
TUCHMAN: Fourth-month-old Malik (ph) had been bundled up and sleeping through the entire ordeal, waking up just after his rescue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel better now, relief, yes. TUCHMAN: In that kind of situation, with the subzero windchill and the heavy snows, response times matter more than ever. But the trucks can only go so fast to stay safe. And that is one of the hardest challenges...
(on camera): I mean, it looks like Antarctica out here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it does, or Syracuse.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): ... for the firefighters of icy Syracuse.
ROBERTS: Gary, that's an awful lot of snow. Did it shut the city down totally today?
TUCHMAN: The city is doing extremely well, considering these very inclement conditions.
We just measured, John, about 18 to 20 inches of accumulation here. The temperature right now is six degrees, the windchill seven below.
But they take a lot of pride here in Syracuse with how they handle snow. When you go to the Public Works Department, where all the salt trucks are, there's a big sign that says, "Through these doors walk the best snow fighters in the USA."
But I will tell you, the -- the pride, I think, may lead to some not-so-prudent decision-making, because, today, for example, lots of businesses were open, and the streets were crowded. And the fire truck we were in had to move slowly at times, because there were so many cars slipping and sliding in the streets.
Most of the schools were closed, but Syracuse University, which takes great pride in the fact that it hasn't shut down in 14 years, was open for classes this morning. The students mostly live here, so they can walk to class. But a lot of the professors couldn't show up. So, they made the decision, finally, this afternoon that the rest of the afternoon and tonight's classes would be canceled.
But it gives you an idea, you know. When you go further south, New York City, Washington, Philadelphia, they shut down pretty much all the city when you get this much snow.
ROBERTS: No, I will tell you, you get a half-an-inch in Washington, and they close it down.
ROBERTS: Gary, thanks very much. Appreciate it.
Now we look a little bit farther to east, to the state capital of Albany, and CNN's Jason Carroll, who's there.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Blizzard-like conditions brought whiteouts and 35 mile-per-hour winds. Drivers who didn't stay off the roads learned why they were warned to stay home.
(on camera): So, you think you are going to be able to get out of here, Barbara (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes. Sure thing.
CARROLL: For Barbara Delucha (ph), it was not sure thing.
(on camera): What is she supposed to do to get out of there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just keep the wheels straight and work it back and forth. And, eventually, it will go. She has got front-wheel drive.
CARROLL (voice-over): A little maneuvering and a lot of pushing finally got her on her way.
Government offices shut down early, most schools and businesses closed, as well. Single-digits temperatures, combined with subzero wind gusts, turned roads into ice and kept tow truck operators like Joe Pertorti (ph), busy rescuing stranded motorists.
Upwards of two feet of snow fell in some parts in a matter of hours. Albany's mayor set up an emergency command center.
(on camera): What would you say is your greatest challenge in dealing with a storm like this?
GERRY JENNINGS, MAYOR OF ALBANY, NEW YORK: Getting people to understand that we need their cooperation.
CARROLL: What do you want people to do in terms of cooperate? What can they do?
JENNINGS: Just watch the regulations and rules. Stay off the streets. There's no reason to be out driving around to look at anything. Stay home.
CARROLL (voice-over): But, if heading out in the storm, this might be the best way to do it.
MARK WALROD, STUDENT: I saw the opportunity present itself. And I just went out for a ski. You know, I -- I used to ski a lot more when I wasn't a student. But...
CARROLL (on camera): Yes.
WALROD: .... this is a -- a dream come true, really.
CARROLL (voice-over): Jason Carroll, CNN, Albany, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)
ROBERTS: Don't drive on the roads, but skiing seems to be all right.
Hundreds of flights were grounded by the storm, but one of them is getting very special attention tonight. It's every air traveler's nightmare, trapped inside an airplane, stranded on the tarmac for hour, after hour, after hour, after hour, eight of them, in fact.
CNN's Carol Costello reports.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're frustrated. They're uncomfortable. Many are anxious and hungry. And they are literally trapped on JetBlue Flight 751 bound for Cancun, but going nowhere.
Passengers took these photos during the eight hours they were literally trapped on the tarmac at New York Kennedy's Airport, victims of the winter weather gripping the Northeast, and also victims of what JetBlue admits were unacceptable decisions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, it was just sitting there and sitting there. And they would say that they were going to pull us into the gate, and they never did. They had -- you know, there was very little food. It was just a nightmare.
COSTELLO: This trip from hell started just after 8:00 in the morning, when the plane pulled back from the gate and got in line for deicing.
The airline says it was anticipating a break in the weather, but that never materialized. Then, JetBlue says there were no gates available. And some of the planes wheels actually froze to the ground. So, people on Flight 751 waited and waited and waited.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no power. And it was hot. There was no air. They kept having to open the actual plane doors, so we could breathe comfortably.
COSTELLO: Hours went by with no movement and no information. One passenger said it was like being held hostage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody gave us any answers. They kept telling us, we know as much as you do.
And I said, I don't work here. You work here. Give me answers.
We have no answers.
That's all we were getting all day.
COSTELLO: After more than eight hours, buses were finally brought in to take the passengers back to the terminal. In a statement, JetBlue conceded, it "should have returned Flight 751 to a gate."
(on camera): The airline is apologizing to the passengers and offering them a full refund, as well as a free round-trip ticket.
Carol Costello, CNN, New York.
ROBERTS: And the bottom line for those passengers? Didn't get to Cancun today. It looks like they're going to be stranded in New York at least for tonight. The plane never did get off the ground.
Just ahead: They were desperate and devout. She said her treatments could cure cancer -- the doctor who practices faith-based medicine now under investigation for possible fraud.
Plus: a man who calls himself "The Messiah" -- what some of his disciples are doing to show their devotion, and why his detractors think he's dangerous -- next on 360.
ROBERTS: Desperate people are easy marks for those who have got something to sell. And cancer patients are often desperate. Throw religion into the mix, and you have the outlines of a story playing out in California, where a doctor who claimed to be able to cure cancer with herbs and prayer is now under investigation.
Here's CNN's Dan Simon.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She was certain the doctor who practiced here was quite literally the answer to her prayers, because, for Emily Rodriguez (ph), what should have been a joyful time turned into a terrifying moment.
While breast-feeding her baby, she had discovered a lump in her breast. The doctor confirmed it was cancer. It was crushing news.
(on camera): How would you describe your mother?
NANCY OLIVARES, DAUGHTER OF CANCER PATIENT: A very giving, very honest person, very well-liked.
SIMON (voice-over): And devoted to her Christian faith. Rodriguez's (ph) daughter says her mother wanted to believe that God would steer her to the right doctor, and one who wouldn't put her through painful therapies.
OLIVARES: And she didn't want to have to do radiation and chemo. And she just -- she just wanted to leave it up to, basically, lord's -- you know, our -- our God's faith. SIMON: There is only this woman, Eugenia Vigilleti. She was also sick and prayed for a permanent cure, hoping the power of faith, with the right treatment, would work.
(on camera): You were diagnosed with breast cancer?
EUGENIA VIGILLETI, CANCER PATIENT: Yes, sir.
SIMON: Even though she had her lump successfully removed, she was terrified the cancer would return. Her husband had died of lung cancer. And the thought of her children losing both parents was a lot to bear. That's when she saw this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Praise the lord. TBN has a worldwide ministry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: TBN, the faith-based Trinity Broadcast Network -- and on the channel that evening, in December of 2002, Dr. Christine Daniel offered hope to people with cancer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you say to someone who has just been diagnosed; they have got -- and they have just been told they have got cancer?
DR. CHRISTINE DANIEL, OFFERS CANCER TREATMENT: We have a collection of herbs from the world, the best areas from every nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON: And Dr. Daniel told the national audience those herbs, combined with prayer, produced amazing results.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL: We have people today, stage 4-B cancers, across this nation that are living today because of our treatment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we're not practicing something that you don't see. We have over 60 percent cure rates of even the lowest level that we have.
SIMON: In other words, for her cheapest herbal remedy treatment, she claims to cure six out of 10 patients with cancer.
Eugenia Vigilleti and Emily Rodriguez were convinced they had found the doctor to help them battle their disease.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just remember she was saying that she was going to be cured and everything is going to be taken care of. The Lord has answered her prayer.
SIMON (on camera): Dr. Daniel works out of this small office just outside of Los Angeles. To her patients, she seemed like she had all the right credentials. She's a licensed M.D. She graduated from Temple University Medical School. For a time, she worked as an emergency room doctor.
There was the TBN broadcast where she bragged about her cancer cure rate, and Dr. Daniel has also done some humanitarian work, helping victims of Hurricane Katrina.
(voice-over) A TV station in Los Angeles aired a story about her practice and her Gulf Coast efforts. But Dr. Daniel's image for helping people would later be challenged by many of her patients.
When Eugenia Vigilleti (ph) went to her office, she says Dr. Daniel said she could help her only if she bought her formula, which turned out to be expensive.
EUGENIA VIGILLETI, CANCER PATIENT: She had different price treatments: $6,000. And she says, "I also have a thousand dollar one."
I said, "I can't afford the 6,000."
SIMON (on camera): What was the difference between the $1,000 treatment and the $6,000 treatment?
VIGILLETI: I have no idea. And I says, "Well, let me start with the $1,000 one."
SIMON (voice-over): A few days later, she says she received some liquids and pills in the mail. She followed the treatment for a few months but decided Dr. Daniel's approach wasn't for her.
VIGILLETI: She never put her hands on me in order to examine me or anything.
SIMON: She never asked for any refills and now, at 83, she remains cancer free.
Dr. Daniel's practice has caught the attention of federal and state investigators who are looking into whether she committed fraud and broke laws by introducing unapproved drugs into the market.
Investigators tell CNN they've identified nearly two dozen people who took her mixtures. Federal investigators believe by using religion to sell a, quote, "bogus miracle cancer cure," Dr. Daniel raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe even millions.
According to the investigator's affidavit, the price of her mixtures ranged from $350 a bottle to more than $4,200. Dr. Daniel claimed the higher the cost, the more potent the formula.
A Food and Drug Administration analysis of the mixture showed one to be merely Vitamin C and caffeine. Another formula contained beef extract and -- get this -- sunscreen, which investigators found perplexing.
For Emily Rodriguez, Dr. Daniel's treatments were far more costly. Her daughter says Daniel wanted $11,000 up front, just for the first few weeks of herbal supply.
(on camera) Did that seem excessive to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It did but, I mean, how can you put a price on your life?
SIMON (voice-over): That's why the family was willing to pay a lot of money for this brown powder, the patient instructed to fill the empty capsules with it. The Rodriguezes say they spent about $33,000 for a couple of months of Dr. Daniel's treatment.
But Rodriguez's cancer had spread before she began the herbal treatment and later died, but not before depleting the family's entire savings. Rodriguez was 47.
James Almeida is an attorney representing the Rodriguez family.
JAMES ALMEIDA, ATTORNEY: The chemist who did the analyst for us said that there was nothing in there that you couldn't buy at your local health food store or drugstore.
SIMON: Dr. Daniel's attorney wouldn't return numerous phone calls. As for Daniel herself, she denies any wrongdoing. She declined to go on camera but told CNN flat out that all of her alleged victims are lying.
At one point, she told us she never sold any products, period, only to contradict herself moments later, saying she has sold meals and yogurt.
She previously told KABC television she did sell herbal products and conceded they were readily available over the counter. Still, she said her faith-based medicine has helped many patients.
DANIEL: I have patients that the Lord has helped because of prayer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand.
DANIEL: They are ready to testify.
SIMON: Also ready to testify, Eugenia Vigilleti and the family of Emily Rodriguez, who believe Dr. Daniel exploited their faith to make money.
(on camera) What would you like see happen to Dr. Daniel?
VIGILLETI: I'd like to see her run off. I would like to see her put in jail. I'd like to see them take her license away from her. Because it's not right what she's doing.
(END VIDEOTAPE) ROBERTS: Dan Simon joins us now live now from Stockton, California, where he's working on another story.
On this particular case, Dan, do investigators believe that Doctor Daniel caused any deaths?
SIMON: Well, John, the answer to that is no. But they say it's possible that some of her patients who did die might still be alive, had they not abandoned their traditional doctors.
By and large, we're talking about people who were very sick to begin with, and according to investigators, the most disturbing allegation is that she took advantage of people in their most vulnerable state, charging some people tens of thousands of dollars for these treatments, again treatments you could buy at any drugstore.
John, the investigation is ongoing, and we'll continue to follow it.
ROBERTS: Desperate people, Dan. Sometimes the easiest to prey on. Excellent report. Thanks for that.
And the war against cancer rages on. Here's the raw data for you. According to the American Cancer Society, this year more than 1.4 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States.
Twenty-six percent of those will be breast cancer; 29 percent prostate cancer; 15 percent will be at the No. 1 killer, lung cancer.
That's a total of 213,000 cases, of which more than 160,000 patients will die.
Straight ahead, the usual mix, you know, Anna Nicole Smith, the son of God, Satan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS (voice-over): He says he's the second coming and then some.
JOSE LUIS DE JESUS, LEADER, CRECIENDA EN GRACIA: I do greater things than Jesus of Nazareth. Much greater.
ROBERTS: So what's with the devilish tattoos? Religious revival or a satanic cult? We'll take you inside.
Also, her body, her baby, the legal circus.
JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: The body belongs to me now.
ROBERTS: Yes. More strange turns in the Anna Nicole Smith saga. Ahead on 360.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: It's the military's little secret. Men and women with criminal records fighting for their country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: Your husband was convicted of arson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Um-hmm.
KAYE: Which is a felony.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
KAYE: But instead of going to prison, he went to serve in Iraq?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: And he's not alone. Why so many felons are getting into the military and allowed to stay there. That story coming up in the next hour of 360.
For reporters, Jose Luis De Jesus could seem like a godsend, the kind of character who makes great copy, a man who literally believes he's a godsend, as in the second coming of Jesus Christ.
His followers consider him the messiah. His detractors call him a cult leader and a danger. He claims millions of disciples worldwide, and some are willing to express their devotion in unorthodox ways.
Here's CNN's John Zarrella.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a tattoo parlor on trendy South Beach...
JOANN DE JESUS, DAUGHTER OF JOSE LUIS DE JESUS: You did the 666 really big?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
ZARRELLA: ... sat the daughter of the man who claims to be God.
JOANNA DE JESUS: He's God. He's here to teach us that we should reign in life, that there is no sin. And today, we're honoring him with the symbol.
ZARRELLA: Joann De Jesus is one of several dozen members of a religious sect called Crecienda en Gracia, or Growing in Grace. They were tattooed on their arms, ankles, even their necks with 666, the biblical sign of the antichrist. Why? Because their spiritual leader says he is the antichrist, not the embodiment of evil but rather the second coming.
JOSE DE JESUS: Six-six-six, antichrist means do not put your eyes on Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Put it in Jesus after the cross.
ZARRELLA (on camera): And that's you?
JOSE DE JESUS: That's me.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): And he says the word "antichrist" is a bad translation of a word that actually means the new Christ, the second coming.
Puerto Rican born, Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda founded the sect 20 years ago in a warehouse outside Miami.
JOSE DE JESUS: You receive it, you accept it, you confess it and it's done unto you.
ZARRELLA: The charismatic 61-year-old De Jesus claims millions of followers, most in Latin America. His sect does have hundreds of churches, cable TV stations and says it brought in $1.4 million in donations last year. And he boasts of a rapidly growing presence in the United States.
In an interview with us in September, he declared...
JOSE DE JESUS: I do greater things than Jesus of Nazareth. Much greater.
ZARRELLA: Now, sporting his new tattoos...
JOSE DE JESUS: Seis-seis-seis. Triple. Huh?
ZARRELLA: De Jesus says those expecting the second coming of Christ on a cloud with angels have misinterpreted what Jesus himself said.
JOSE DE JESUS: He said it. You won't see me anymore, because he will come in another body, which is me.
PROF. DANIEL ALVAREZ, RELIGION EXPERT: He's in their heads. He's inside the heads of those people.
ZARRELLA: De Jesus is dangerous, says religion professor Daniel Alvarez, because he believes he's God.
ALVAREZ: These megalomaniacal moves are the one that are very disturbing, because it shows that he does believe his own hype and he's capable of saying to his members, "Go tattoo 666 on your arm." I believe he's also capable of asking his church members to do even something more dramatic than that.
ZARRELLA: De Jesus laughs at the implication.
JOSE DE JESUS: They always say those things. They're going to keep waiting for me to kill everybody, you know. ZARRELLA (on camera): Right.
JOSE DE JESUS: I'm giving life to people.
ZARRELLA (voice-over): De Jesus is referring to the suicide death of more than 900 killed in the so-called Jonestown Massacre nearly 30 years ago. But he says mass suicide would never happen with his followers.
JOANN DE JESUS: If somebody tells us, listen, drink some Kool- Aid and then we'll go to heaven, that's not true. We are already in heavenly places.
ZARRELLA: De Jesus preaches that heaven can be found here on earth simply by following him. There's no sin and there is no hell. And that's part of why he's attracting so many followers.
But marking your body with 666 seems an unusual way to show you're a Christian, even unnerving the tattoo artist.
(on camera) I see you wearing a cross.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protection.
ZARRELLA: John Zarrella, CNN, Miami Beach.
ROBERTS: Garlic on the wall, as well.
Up next on 360, the tug of war over Anna Nicole Smith's body. Legal drama playing out on both coasts. Wait until you hear what one Florida judge is saying about the case. It's a doozy.
ROBERTS: Just when you thought that the Anna Nicole Smith saga could not get any stranger, it does. From coast to coast today, new drama over everything from the dead Playmate's DNA, to her burial wishes, even to who's going to get to claim her body.
CNN's Randi Kaye reports on all that.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A shrine to the late Anna Nicole Smith outside the Broward County medical examiner's office, where her body is still being held but maybe not for long. Medical examiner Joshua Perper has told the court Smith's body is decomposing and should be released soon.
JOSHUA PERPER, BROWARD COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: I sent an affidavit at the request of one of the attorney, indicating that the death occurred five days ago, and holding the body indefinitely would result in damage to the body. It would be difficult to embalm the body. KAYE: Perper also said he collected enough DNA samples as part of his autopsy to prove maternity.
His feedback set off a legal battle on both coasts. A Florida judge gave permission to embalm but not release the body for burial, just what the legal team for Larry Birkhead, Smith's former boyfriend, wanted to hear. They claim he's the father of her 5-month-old baby, Dannielynn.
SUSAN BROWN, LARRY BIRKHEAD'S ATTORNEY: The order says that the body stays at the medical examiner's office pending further order of this court or the California court.
KAYE: It didn't take long for a California court to counter punch. An L.A. judge ruled the body did not need to be held while the legal battle plays out over whether Smith's DNA should be preserved to help determine just who is Dannielynn's father. Smith's attorney cheered that ruling.
RON RALE, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S ATTORNEY: There was sufficient DNA. There was no need to, in any way, delay this process. We want Anna Nicole to have proper burial.
KAYE: But there won't be a burial just yet. Back to Florida we go and an emergency court hearing this afternoon where another judge matched everyone else's tone in this battle.
SEIDLIN: This body belongs to me now.
KAYE: And he has a much different opinion about how quickly the body will decay.
SEIDLIN: It's cold, but it won't decompose so fast. That baby is on a cold, cold storage room. It's not decaying so fast. I can go over there now and look at it and I can go back in a month and still look at it.
KAYE: That judge has delayed until at least tomorrow any decision about whether to release the remains for burial and, if so, who he'd give it to.
Those fighting for Smith's body include her partner and lawyer, Howard K. Stern, listed as Dannielynn's father on her birth certificate. He wants to bury Smith in the Bahamas next to her son, Daniel, who died in September.
Smith's mother wants the body buried in their home state of Texas.
Everyone playing their cards, even the Playmate's former bodyguard stepping forward, claiming he was another secret lover and could be the real father.
ALEXANDER DENK, FORMER BODYGUARD: I never spoke to any media. I never spoke to anybody about Anna and I because we had a very private, intimate relationship. And I'm very loyal to all my clients in my business I'm doing in my field.
KAYE (on camera): As for what killed Anna Nicole Smith, Howard K. Stern's sister says the centerfold was running a 105 degree fever the day she died after collapsing in a Florida hotel. She says Smith's immune system was low. She was depressed. She kept getting sick, and her body just probably broke down.
Of course, we're still waiting for the official cause of death from the medical examiner. Until then, no one will rest in peace.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
ROBERTS: In just a moment, an inspiring story that caught our eye this Valentine's Day. It's our "Shot" tonight but first, Erica Hill from Headline News with the "360 News and Business Bulletin".
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS: John, the defense rested today in the perjury trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby and special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald said the state won't call any rebuttal witnesses. Closing arguments begin on Tuesday. The jury should get the case by midweek.
A brigade of U.S. soldiers that was headed to Iraq will instead deploy to Afghanistan, where NATO and U.S. troops are bracing now for an expected spring offensive by Taliban forces. The roughly 3,200 troops are now based in Italy. The Pentagon said its change of plans won't affect the increase of forces in Iraq.
U.S. stocks rallying today, as investors reacted positively to the Fed's inflation outlook. The Dow Industrial Average closed at an all-time record high. The S&P 500 closed at its highest level in 6 1/2 years. The Dow's transportation and utility averages hitting record highs, while the tech-filled NASDAQ rose, as well.
And a wrenching day, unfortunately, for the automaker Chrysler, saying it will cut some 13,000 jobs through 2009 to stem its rising losses. The announcement came after Chrysler reported 2006 losses of nearly 1.5 billion.
The cuts will include 11,000 factory jobs and 2,000 salaried positions. DaimlerChrysler will also close its SUV assembly line in Newark, Delaware.
Sorry to end on a bad note. John, I'll hand it back to you.
ROBERTS: All right. Thanks, Erica. We don't mind if it's coming from you.
Now for tonight's "Shot". If you thought that young love or new love had a monopoly on Valentine's Day, well, tell that to Betty and Jeffrey Davis. They're 95 and 96 years old respectively and have been married for 70 years.
Today at the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging, they renewed their vows. They are an inspiration, and we wish them all the best.
Coming up, the tangled mess that led to a lot of people to think that the country marching to war with Iran.
Also, Rudy Giuliani's run for the White House. New poll numbers on his chances and his competition, ahead, on 360.
ROBERTS: Dealing with North Korea's eccentric dictator. Can he be trusted when it comes to giving up his nuclear program? 360 next.
ROBERTS: A lot of people are spending the remainder of this Valentine's Day by candlelight. It would be the romantic if that's the reason why, but it's not. It's because the power's out. A real mess out there: feet of snow in some places. Icy roads, trees and power lines down and at least a dozen fatalities.
At New York's Kennedy Airport, passengers grounded, stuck inside a jet for eight hours, waiting for a takeoff that never happened. Their story coming up.
We begin tonight, though, with another kind of cleanup effort, this one for the highest stakes: war and peace. It concerns the briefing in Baghdad over the weekend at which an intelligence officer said the Iranian government at the highest level ordered the shipment of deadly IEDs into Iraq.
We now know that he was saying what he thought to be true, not what he knew to be fact. In the end, he may be right, but he wasn't supposed to go that far. And every since, his bosses, even the president, have been doing damage control.
Here's CNN's Ed Henry.
ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Bush was confronted with questions of credibility about the claims by an anonymous but high level U.S. intelligence briefer made public Sunday, that top Iranian leaders are supplying weapons to Shiite militias in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The -- some of those contradiction, Mr. President.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no contradiction that the weapons are there and they were provided by the Qods Force.
HENRY: Mr. Bush was referring to an elite section of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which is part of the government, but he seemed to pull back from previous administration charges that high level Iranian government officials were responsible. BUSH: What we don't know is whether or not the head leaders of Iran ordered the Qods Force to do what they did.
HENRY: That squares with General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs, who said while the explosive devices are manufactured in Iran...
GEN. PETER PACE, CHAIRMAN OF JOINT CHIEFS: That does not translate to that the Iranian government, per se, for sure, is directly involved in doing this.
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