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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Iran Broadcasts Video of British Sailors; Oprah Under Fire Over New South Africa School

Aired March 28, 2007 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. We have got a lot going on tonight.
Oprah Winfrey has opened a new school in South Africa, and has taken some heat about her other school there. One parent compared it to a prison. Tonight, Oprah responds like only Oprah can. We will hear from her later.

But, first, showdown with Iran, a new development: our first look at the 15 British sailors and marines now being held somewhere in Iran, with an international crisis building over their captivity and American warships on maneuvers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAYE TURNEY, CAPTURED BRITISH SAILOR: My name is leading seaman Faye Turney. I come from England.

COOPER (voice-over): Both reassuring and unsettling, today, state-run Iranian TV aired video of the 15 British sailors and marines seized in the Persian Gulf last week. The detainees are seen on boats and sitting down eating. They appear in good addition.

Faye Turney, the only female captive, is shown wearing a black head scarf. She says the British patrol boats crossed into Iranian waters.

TURNEY: I was arrested Friday, the 23rd of March. And, obviously, we trespassed into their waters.

COOPER: Iran also aired what it claims is a handwritten letter by Turney apologizing for entering Iranian territory.

Britain called the broadcast of the captives completely unacceptable, and expressed concern the detainees may have been coerced. Iran is refusing to say when the tape was recorded or where the captives are being kept. It did promise to release only Turney some time this week.

Today, British Prime Minister Tony Blair made it clear the standoff is entering a new phase.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It is now time to ratchet up the diplomatic and international pressure, in order to make sure that the Iranian government understands their total isolation on this issue. COOPER: That pressure includes Britain's move to freeze all official bilateral business with Iran. The detained crew was stationed aboard the frigate HMS Cornwall.

According to British authorities, on Friday, they set off in two inflatable boats on a routine patrol for smuggling. The British say they were inspecting a merchant ship in Iraqi waters when they were seized by Iranian forces. Britain called it an ambush.

Today, they produced global positioning coordinates to prove it. Iran, however, insists it has the coordinates to show the sailors were in Iranian territory. As the tensions rises, the White House is taking notice.

DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: The president fully backs Tony Blair and our allies in Britain.

COOPER: Senior U.S. officials tell CNN Britain is asking the U.S. not to make too much noise over this incident. Sources say Britain doesn't want this to become a showdown between Iran and the U.S.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is conducting massive military exercises in the Persian Gulf, the largest since 2003. U.S. commanders regarded the exercises as a warning to Iran.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, earlier, the Associated Press reported today that Iran will let British officials meet with the captains, perhaps signaling a willingness to resolve the crisis or simply an attempt to buy more time.

Steven Cook is with the Council on Foreign Relations. He joins me now.

Steven, I want to tell you something that Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, posted on "The National Review Online," a conservative publication, obviously.

"The Iranian government's decision to take 15 British marines hostage is an act of war. The decision was both deliberate and central. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and is not a rogue element. That Iranian decision-makers took such a step is not the result of too little diplomacy, but, rather, too much."

Is Iran, in your opinion, trying to send a message by seizing these hostages? And, if so, what is the message?

STEVEN COOK, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, I'm not sure, as Michael Rubin suggested, that this is an act of war.

But, clearly, the Iranians are sending the message to the United States and its allies in the Gulf that, after six weeks to two months of the United States ratcheting up the pressure on the Iranians, through diplomatic moves at the U.N., through taking Iranians in Iraq, and with the current military exercises, that, even though the United States wants to rattle the Iranians' cages, the Iranians have the means to strike back.

COOPER: So, it's a warning: Don't push us too much?

COOK: Exactly.

COOPER: Is it also an attempt to weaken British resolve in Iraq?

COOK: Well, clearly, the British public is opposed to the British military's presence in Iraq and in the Gulf. And part of this has got to be a strategy to further demoralize the British people, and ultimately push the Brits out of the Persian Gulf completely.

COOPER: Do you think the Brits are handling it in the right way? They don't seem to be sort of taking the bait and ratcheting up this. They seem to be kind of keeping it low-key.

COOK: Well, I think that the Blair government needs to be commended for keeping it as low-key as they have.

Any type of saber-rattling on the part of either the Brits or the United States is likely to create a backlash in support of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Revolutionary Guards.

As we know, there is a lot of dissension within Iran over Ahmadinejad's aggressive foreign policy. So, if the United States or the Brits engaged in a certain amount of aggressive response, it's likely to force Iranian society and those who are opposed to Ahmadinejad to actually coalesce around him.

COOPER: Iran is also sending a message to the region. It's not just a message to the United States and to Britain. I mean, they like nothing more than sort of poking the West in the eye, building up their own power in the eyes of the Islamic world.

COOK: Well, I think that what the Iranians are trying to do, after, again -- once again, is, two months of which the United States has taken a more aggressive posture against the Iranians, is to demonstrate not only to the West, but to the region, that Iran won't be pushed around.

COOPER: It's interesting that Britain seems to have sent a message to the United States, saying, basically: Don't get involved in this. We don't want this to become a U.S.-vs.-Iran situation.

COOK: Well, certainly, if it becomes a contest between the United States and Iran directly, the likelihood is that you will have these British soldiers held captive in Iran for a longer period of time, because the Iranians certainly be unlikely and unwilling to back down in any type of confrontation with the United States over an issue like this.

COOPER: What do you make of this video that they released today? I mean, is that -- is that a -- what kind of a gesture do you see that as? COOK: Well, I don't see it as any kind of positive gesture at all.

Clearly, this is -- the statements of this British woman, Faye Turney, were scripted. Clearly, they were coerced. I don't see how it possibly could help the situation at all.

COOPER: Steve, we appreciate your perspective. Steve Cook with the Council on Foreign Relations...

COOK: Thanks very much, Anderson.

COOPER: ... thanks very much.

Some firsthand perspective now from someone who knows what life in Iranian captivity is like. In 1979, Barry Rosen was serving as a press officer at the American Embassy in Tehran. The shah had fallen. And, after President Carter allowed him into the U.S. for medical treatment, the embassy was sieged. They took hostages, including Barry Rosen, who spent 444 days in captivity.

He joins me now.

You know, Barry, thanks for being with us.

BARRY ROSEN, FORMER HOSTAGE IN IRAN: Thank you.

COOPER: The Iranians said today that they're going to release one of the hostages, this woman Faye Turney. Does it surprise you that they have focused on her and put forward -- highlighted her in this video?

ROSEN: No, not at all.

It really is part of the cultural scene within Iran, to -- the idea of respecting women in Islam, that's -- and it's also part of a public-relations, I think, scheme, too.

COOPER: To show that they're benevolent?

ROSEN: Yes, they are benevolent, and that they respect women, and, even though she may be doing something wrong, criminal, we do respect women.

COOPER: When -- I want to play some of what she said, and talk about your take on it.

Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TURNEY: I was arrested Friday, the 23rd of March. And, obviously, we trespassed into their waters. They were friendly, very hospitable, very thoughtful, nice people. They explained to us why we had been arrested. There was no aggression, no hurt, no harm. They were very, very compassionate. (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: You know, I'm sort of torn about even showing this, because, in some ways, it's playing into their hands. And, yet, obviously, it's being seen around the world. And -- and it's important, I think, to look at it in context.

How do you see what she has said?

ROSEN: Well, I see it as reminiscent of what happened to all of us in 1979.

The Iranians did the same thing. They put us up in front of the television screens. And everybody would say: Oh, Barry looks good, or so-and-so looks good. And now the reporters are all -- many reporters are saying, look, oh, well, she looks pretty good, and they're all being treated well.

From my point of view, I -- I think she's being coerced. Look at the adjectives that she's been using there: compassionate. They're kind. They're nice. This has been inculcated into her.

I'm not saying they're -- they're -- they're terrorizing her, but they're making her life very, very difficult. And they're also making the lives of the others difficult. I don't think that luncheon that they were all having in the film is anything more than a setup. Most of these people are in a room somewhere, and they're held captive.

COOPER: What is it like being -- you know, especially in those first couple of days, when it has got to just be terrifying?

ROSEN: Those were the worst. And I'm almost certain they're the worst for these people, too.

We -- at that time, I mean, the Iranians had seen so many "James Bond" films, that they thought they were all -- we were all CIA agents, and, therefore, that we could do almost anything. So, they blindfolded us. And they held us without any communication with other hostages for approximately three months. So...

COOPER: No communication with other hostages?

ROSEN: None at all.

And, then, when they saw that things were going rough for us, that's when they let us loose, and -- and accepted us as partly human beings, and -- and we were able to speak with others.

There was a sense of fright and fear at the same time. And they -- and they took most of their fear and fright on us -- out on us.

COOPER: Were -- were you ever forced or encouraged to make some sort of a confession?

ROSEN: Yes, absolutely. But this was done not in public, but in -- in private. That is, there were about six or seven Iranians with automatic weapons, brought me into a room. And they said to me, you have to make a confession about your attempt to use the Iranian press, because I was a press attache, to subvert Iran.

And I said, well, I won't agree with anything that you're doing. It's against the Geneva accords.

So, they said to me, forget about the Geneva accords. They put a gun against my head, and they counted from 10 to one. And they said, if you don't answer and write down your confession, we will shoot you.

Obviously, by the time they counted to one, I signed that confession.

COOPER: All these years after, I mean, do you -- you still must think of it. This never goes away, does it?

ROSEN: It's part of your life.

You have to live every day. And the exigencies of life are there, but it's there all the time. And, the sooner this is over, the better it is for their mental health. The longer it gets, it's bad for both their mental health and it's bad for diplomacy, too, because both sides will get their backs up. And that will be a very difficult situation to resolve.

COOPER: Well, it's nice to have you here, Barry. Appreciate your perspective.

ROSEN: Thank you.

COOPER: Thanks, Barry Rosen.

During the Iran hostage crisis, oil prices hit their highest level ever, $80 a barrel, adjusted for inflation. Here's the "Raw Data" on where prices stand today.

Crude oil closed at just over $64 today. That's after spiking at one point to more than $68 yesterday on rumors that Iran fired on U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf. Traders fear it could climb to $100 a barrel, if Iran could pulls its supplies off the market in retaliation for any military strike or U.N. sanctions.

We are going to bring you some late-breaking developments in a moment on two missing kids. Take a look at this videotape released today. If you have seen them, the FBI wants to hear from you, a boy, 2 years old, and his 4-year-old sister. An Amber Alert is in effect. The story is unfolding in the Northwest. Up next, we will have late details.

Also tonight, this:

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER (voice-over): Oprah Winfrey opens a new school in South Africa. But some parents are complaining about her first school, some even comparing it to a prison.

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW": I saw the newspaper article where two parents were quoted.

COOPER: We will talk with Oprah and parents, and get the facts firsthand -- tonight on 360.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: An Amber Alert has been issued for the two small children you see in this surveillance video, 4-year-old Remi Baugher and 2-year-old -- her 2-year-old brother, Lars. These images taken at a McDonald's in Montana just yesterday. Look closely at them. Police say they were abducted by their father from Washington. His name is John Baugher. That is him on the videotape.

Joelle Remillard is the mother of Lars and Remi. She joins me now on the phone from Walla Walla, Washington. Also with us by phone, the children's great uncle Pierre and Captain Dan Aycock of the Walla Walla Police Department.

Joelle, first of all, how are you doing?

JOELLE REMILLARD, MOTHER OF MISSING CHILDREN: Well, I mean, you could imagine how, you know, a mom must feel in this circumstance.

COOPER: When you saw this videotape, does it give you hope?

J. REMILLARD: It does. It makes me realize that, in John's mind, he does, you know, somehow care for the kids, in way that he's not going to take them in the woods. I loved seeing the video.

COOPER: How do the kids look to you?

J. REMILLARD: Very strange with their haircuts. But, you know, they're their typical selves. It seems to me like Remi is skipping, you know, like she does when she loves to talk. And -- but she's very girly. So, whoever sees her will question whether that's a boy or a girl. So, I -- that makes me feel good.

COOPER: We're showing pictures for people out there who may be able to see something.

Captain Aycock, where does this stand? Give us an update on any clues on where the investigation is.

CAPTAIN DAN AYCOCK, WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Right now, we're dead. As you know, the last information we had was when he was in Missoula yesterday afternoon around 3:00 or later -- a little later in the evening.

Since that time, we have got a number of call-ins from around the region, none of which we have been able to prove helpful much at all.

COOPER: When was -- when did this start? When did he take the kids?

AYCOCK: Well, he first picked up the kids on Saturday, around 1:00, I believe it was. The story really started, then, around 1:00 on Sunday, when he failed to return them.

COOPER: Is there any evidence he may be armed or dangerous?

AYCOCK: No. We have nothing that would indicate that.

COOPER: In this tape that we're watching that was just released, we see a woman. Is there -- do we know, is he traveling with a woman?

AYCOCK: We believe that, at the time that he arrived in Missoula, that he was. And I know the federal people and the other officers in the Spokane area are following up some leads to probably identify that person fairly soon.

COOPER: And we're showing pictures of Lars and Remi. Joelle indicated their appearance in the video has changed. What's different about them, Captain?

AYCOCK: Yes.

In the original pictures that we had, and at the time he took the kids, that they were dressed like a little boy and very girlish, like a little girl. Remi had very long, medium-blonde, curly hair, again. And Lars' was a little bit longer. And both of them were, I think, a little brighter or lighter colored in their hair.

Now, you can see from those videos that Remi, in particular, her hair has been cropped very short. Looking at the still that I'm looking at here in the Roth's (ph) store, I couldn't tell which was which when I first looked at them.

COOPER: Pierre, you're the great uncle to Remi and to Lars. Does this video give you hope that someone out there is going to see this?

PIERRE REMILLARD, GREAT UNCLE OF REMI AND LARS: Oh, absolutely. Mm-hmm.

COOPER: How -- what -- Joelle, how do you get through the days? What is -- how close are you following the police angle on this? How do -- I mean, are you waiting by the phone?

J. REMILLARD: Yes. I have not left the house since -- well, honestly, since Saturday, as they left.

But, yes, we just wait by the phones. And we analyze everything, and try to remember John, and things that he said, and people that he's known, and just trying to figure out his motives, basically, to what -- you know, what he's doing. I -- I don't understand it. COOPER: Well, Joelle, I wish you strength in the hours and the days ahead. And I hope those -- those hours and days are short. And I hope Lars and Remi come back soon.

And, Pierre, thank you very much.

And, Captain, good luck to you in the investigation.

Again, we're showing the pictures. The number to call there was on the screen, 1-800-THE-LOST, with any information you may have on these two kids. An Amber Alert is in effect.

We will continue to follow that story.

A lot more to come tonight, including "Raw Politics" -- a presidential front-runner getting some help from a couple of billionaires, including Donald Trump. Which front-runner, you ask? Well, actually, it's the guy in the dress. If you don't recognize him here, don't worry. "Raw Politics" is just ahead.

Plus: new questions and new controversy over Oprah Winfrey's school in South Africa. It's taking some heat for, well, at least one or two parents saying it's being too strict. Tonight, Oprah responds.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: I am not bothered by the complaints, because the number-one priority for me is the safety and well-being of the children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Money and politics tonight, big money, "Raw Politics," including politics in dresses.

For that, we go to CNN's Tom Foreman in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Cyndi Lauper said it. And it's still true: Money changes everything, especially in politics. And that's where our "Raw Politics" jukebox cranks up tonight.

Republican Rudy Giuliani ringing the Nasdaq bell in celebration -- billionaire and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes has joined the Giuliani campaign.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has picked up support from the in-and- out presidential hopeful Tom Vilsack, but she is picking up his tab, too, agreeing to help pay off $400,000 worth of his campaign debt. That's probably about $40 for every Vilsack supporter. You do the math. Next on the hit parade: Can I get a witness? The General Services Administration is under fire. That's the agency that uses your taxes to buy all the things the government needs to operate. But the woman in charge, Lurita Doan, is accused of trying to misuse her office and your money to help Republican political candidates. That would violate the Hatch Act. Oh, that sounds bad.

Not taking it.

REP. BRUCE BRALEY (D), IOWA: Did you ever make the statement, "How can we use GSA to help our candidates in the next elections?" or words to that effect?

LURITA DOAN, GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATOR: Congressman, I cannot recollect making that statement.

FOREMAN: Huzzah. No huzzah for Sam Fox. The White house wanted him to be the ambassador to Belgium. But he took too much heat for his connection to the Swift Boat ads and inadequate knowledge of waffles. They have tossed him overboard.

And, hey, Donald Trump, who was that lady I saw you with last night?

That was no lady. It was Rudy Giuliani again.

Trump will host a fund-raiser for the former New York mayor, who, last year, rather inexplicably, dressed in drag for a gag with the Donald. Great for laughs on YouTube, maybe not so great for the presidential image.

That's "Raw Politics" -- Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Tom, thanks.

President Bush poked fun at his own image tonight. The annual Radio and Television Correspondents dinner is being held in Washington.

There are plenty of jokes to go around, including this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You in the press certainly have had a lot to report lately.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Take the current controversy.

I have to admit, we really blew the way we let those attorneys go. (LAUGHTER)

BUSH: You know you have botched it when people sympathize with lawyers.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Buh dum bah.

The commander in chief doing stand-up there at the correspondents dinner.

Well, she turned her dream of educating young Africans into reality. But now Oprah Winfrey's Academy for Girls is coming under fire.

And she's firing back. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Oprah Winfrey opens a new school in South Africa. But some parents are complaining about her first school, some even comparing it to a prison.

WINFREY: I saw the newspaper article where two parents were quoted.

COOPER: We will talk with Oprah and parents, and get the facts firsthand.

Plus: They show their love by jolting their child with an electric cattle prod. Some call it torture. The state calls it illegal.

FRAN BERNSTEIN, MOTHER OF BRADLEY BERNSTEIN: It needs to be used on him. Screw the law.

COOPER: Barbaric or beneficial? The call may be tougher than you think. Both sides, plus Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- tonight on 360.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Some new controversy tonight surrounding Oprah Winfrey -- we were there a few months ago when she opened a $40 million school in South Africa. She handpicked 152 lucky girls to attend the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy. For the girls from some of South Africa's poorest families, it was a dream come true.

Now some of their parents are comparing the dream school to a prison.

CNN's Africa correspondent, Jeff Koinange, reports. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's back in Africa, building another school. But even as she was inaugurating the school for boys and girls in a remote town in South Africa, Oprah Winfrey found herself facing the first big test of her philanthropic venture.

Her $40 million Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg has come under pressure lately after newspaper articles accused her of denying the students e-mail access and cell phone privileges during the week and banning junk food in the school compound.

(on camera) Now, back in January, when Oprah officially opened her Leadership Academy for Girls, she stressed that one of her goals is all about building bridges and creating a new generation of leaders in South Africa.

Well, some of the girls here, many of whom are barely in their teens, are finding it tough going in the early days, quietly complaining that some of the school rules are a bit too strict.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST/PHILANTHROPIST: I saw the newspaper article where two parents were quoted. I called those parents, and they were very surprised that their comments about the school were interpreted as they were.

They said to me, that, yes, they do believe that the school is strict but it's necessary for it to be strict. They said the school is strict, but their children also love the school and their children are doing well in the school. And their children, she said, "My daughter now has rosier cheeks."

KOINANGE (voice-over): Oprah insists her No. 1 priority is the well-being of her hand-picked students.

WINFREY: I would say this about the complaints. I am not bothered by the complaints, because the No. 1 priority for me is the safety and well-being of the children. And if you look at any other private schools or public private schools in South Africa and throughout the world, there are rules. There are rules.

KOINANGE: Other reports allege the leadership academy limits the number of visitors a student can see to four a month. They all have to come at the same time, and the visit must be approved two weeks in advance.

WINFREY: We have a visitors policy that says you can't bring more than four guests at one time to family functions, because the school is going to eventually hold 450 girls.

We're making rules now that will be applicable three, four years from now. Every year we add 75 more girls. You can't have more than four family members, because there's just not enough room.

KOINANGE: We tried to get a response from the parents quoted in the newspaper articles, but nearly all the parents we contacted refused to talk to us. All of them except Anushka Meyers.

You may remember Anushka Meyers. We visited her back in January. Her daughter, Mbali (ph), is one of Oprah's chosen few. Anushka Meyers is 29, single and jobless. She lives in a one-room shack in Alexandra, one of Johannesburg's poorest suburbs.

She's seen the newspaper article quoting some parents and completely disagrees.

ANUSHKA MEYERS, MOTHER OF STUDENT: Why should they not complain about it? I don't know how -- why they must complain about it. Because it's a nice thing. It's an opportunity for our children.

If it wasn't for Oprah, I don't know. I don't know. I really don't know. You must say thanks and stop complaining. It's a nice thing. At least we see our children. Our children is very happy.

The school is strict, yes. It's a nice thing. Because if the school is not strict, they never learn.

KOINANGE: And she's quick to defend the single monthly visits, as well.

MEYERS: For me, it's fine because you can't upset the children there. If we see the children now and then, we are disturbing then -- them. It's fine to see them once a month, it's fine. Because they're doing great at school.

KOINANGE: Meyers says her daughter's happiness is her ultimate goal.

MEYERS: I'm happy, and she's happy. If she's happy, I'm happy.

KOINANGE (on camera): And she's told you this?

MEYERS: Yes. She's phoned me every weekend. She told me she's very happy and she's doing great at school.

KOINANGE (voice-over): It's not clear whether this controversy about the leadership academy is just a case of a few disgruntled parents or a genuine cause for concern.

Oprah says she puts her girls first, and nothing will stop her from achieving her goal of giving every child a chance in South Africa.

WINFREY: The drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest until every black boy and every black girl has had a chance to prove their worth.

KOINANGE: Jeff Koinange, CNN, Johannesburg.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, just ahead tonight on 360, using pain and electric cattle prods to stop severely autistic people from hurting themselves. It sounds barbaric, but how painful is it, really? Coming up, Randi Kaye sees for herself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'll try just for a second. Oh, that's not horrible. It's not pleasant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: On the next hour of 360, we're going to take you inside the busiest American combat support hospital in Iraq. The doctors and nurses that work there everyday is a race against time that's fueled by adrenaline. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, it's out of your hands now. You did the best you could to patch them up and try to prepare as best as you could so that you ward off all of the bad voodoo. You know, as long as you prepare for everything that could go wrong, hopefully, nothing will go wrong, you know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Our special report, "Combat Hospital", starts at the top of the next hour, here on 360, about 20 minutes from now.

This next story may seem outrageous unusual on its face, but it's actually not as simple as that. On one side are some parents who believe they know what's best for their mentally disabled son. On the other side, those who accuse the parents of torturing their son.

What the two sides disagree on is one of the most controversial issues in the field of autism and mental retardation, whether it's ever ethical to use pain to control self-destructive behavior.

Here's CNN's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): Bradley Bernstein is 48 years old, but his parents still call him their baby.

FRAN BERNSTEIN, BRADLEY'S MOTHER: We wanted him so badly. He was the best thing that ever happened to us. We feel we were chosen to have Bradley. And to give him what he needed in his life.

KAYE: Does what he needed include electric shock? Because for nearly 40 years, the Bernsteins have been using a cattle prod to shock their son.

(on camera) A lot of people, though, watching this story might wonder how, as a mother, you could shock your own son. What would you say to them? F. BERNSTEIN: If this stops my son from having black eyes and bleeding in his mouth and having his face all swollen up, believe me, it's worth it.

KAYE (voice-over): You see, Bradley is severely autistic and mentally retarded, diagnosed at age 3. He lives in a group home, only speaks a few words and spends much of his day rocking in a chair with the lights out.

(on camera) Can I get a high-five? Nice to meet you.

(voice-over) His parents tried psychotropic drugs, restraints. Then someone suggested the cattle prod. They insist the only thing that stops Bradley from beating himself bloody, like many with autism do, is a sudden zap. It makes him forget he was hurting himself.

(on camera) Can you show me what it feels like? Do it again.

BOB BERNSTEIN, BRADLEY'S FATHER: It's not something that's going to kill anybody.

KAYE (voice-over): This portable prod shoots 4,500 volts of electricity into Bradley as often as several times a week. But now the state of Illinois says no more. It passed a law last year making electric shock illegal in community facilities, so Trinity Services, which operates Bradley's group home, has stopped using it.

ART DYKSTRA, TRINITY SERVICES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Our mission is to help people live full and abundant lives. I don't think you do that with cattle prods.

KAYE: Yet, decades ago, Trinity's Art Dykstra and other experts agreed a jolt of electricity was the only answer for Bradley. Dykstra wasn't aware the treatment continued this long until just a few years ago when Trinity took over the home where Bradley lives.

DYKSTRA: It was supposed to be temporary. My goodness, it wasn't meant to be carried on for 30 years.

KAYE (on camera): Since Trinity and this group home stopped using electric shock last September, Dykstra says Bradley has tried to strike himself seven to 10 times. While that may be double the number of incidents that were occurring when the cattle prod was in use, Dykstra believes Bradley is happier and communicating better.

(voice-over) But the Bernsteins don't buy it. They sued Trinity. The case was dismissed, since shock treatment is outlawed.

F. BERNSTEIN: The law should say, yes, Bradley can use the shocker. It needs to be used on him. Screw the law.

KAYE: Fran and Bob Bernstein argue their son can still be shocked based on this agreement from 1987 with the Illinois Department of Mental Health. The department won't comment, but the agreement allows Bradley to be treated with electric shock. (on camera) The executive director of ARC, the largest advocacy group for people with mental retardation, calls this shock treatment torture/

B. BERNSTEIN: In most cases, it probably is. But there are some cases where it isn't. It's the only thing available.

KAYE (voice-over): The Bernsteins still use the prod when Bradley is visiting them at home. The new law doesn't prevent that. Bob says he shocked his son just two weeks ago.

But at his group home, attendants now restrain Bradley or give him a drug to calm him. Fran still calls the cattle prod the most humane treatment and convinced me to try it.

(on camera) I'll try it just for a second. Oh! That's not horrible. It's not pleasant.

F. BERNSTEIN: No. But is it horrible?

KAYE: No.

(voice-over) If Bradley could speak, what would he say? Barbaric or beneficial?

F. BERNSTEIN: He's a sick boy, man, and we need to be there for him. And some day we won't be around. So I have to make sure while we're here that he gets taken care of.

KAYE: Taken care of the way they see fit.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Des Plaines, Illinois.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Today, the Bernsteins petitioned an Illinois judge to have their son, Bradley's, treatment grandfathered in under the new law. And if that doesn't work, they may sue the state or try to move Bradley out of the state.

As we said, this form of behavior therapy is extremely controversial in the field of autism and mental retardation. Three- sixty M.D. Sanjay Gupta joins me now.

You know, Sanjay, Randi underwent the cattle prod and said it wasn't horrible. But based on what we know about people with severe retardation and autism, is there any way to know if it hurts them?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's very hard to extrapolate Randi's experience to anybody else, whether they have autism or not. Sometimes people might have a hyposensitivity to it. They might be hypersensitive, as well, to it. What's hard to figure out is what a person's pain threshold is. And this is a very sensitive thing.

But also, you know, just the very act. You and I have talked a lot about autism, Anderson. Just the very act of walking into a crowded room, for example, and having all sorts of different stimulations can sometimes, by itself, lead to a meltdown.

You add this aversive therapy, which is what it is, essentially, and that could even worsen things both physically and emotionally. So it's very hard to say, Anderson.

COOPER: Why do people with autism hit themselves, or some people with autism?

GUPTA: We're not sure exactly. We do know that about 10 to 15 percent of people with autism do do this. It could be a source of frustration, perhaps. It could be a lack of the ability to communicate in what many people with autism call neural typical sort of ways. So it could be a combination of those things.

Most likely, it could be a form of communication, which is sometimes hard to believe, considering how awful the sort of self- flagellation can be. But it might be a form of communication when they can't otherwise get someone's attention or communicate a message.

COOPER: How do most parents deal with if their children are hitting themselves?

GUPTA: Well, you know, I mean, if you sort of buy into the theory that this could be a cry out, if you will, to try and communicate, you do something called functional behavioral assessment. Try and figure out why they're doing this? Are they trying to communicate some particular message? And then act on that message.

Sometimes that doesn't work. And obviously, this is a source of frustration for a lot of people with autism and their parents or loved ones. There are certain medications, such as Risperidone. Halidol also is a medication that sometimes works.

Sometimes people will just put on protective gear, I mean, you know, helmets and other sorts of protective gear so that they simply don't hurt themselves.

COOPER: Is there any way to know, and I'm guessing that there's not, what's worse for someone like Bradley: electric shock or self- injury?

GUPTA: Well, it is hard to know. But here have been a lot of studies on aversive therapy, using some sort of painful, either physical or emotionally painful stimuli. We don't know what the emotional impact on this would be.

You said that Randi said it didn't hurt that much. But what is the emotional impact on someone who may not quite understand why this is being done to them. Which is -- I think it's awful to think about.

But also keep in mind that people say that unless it could be done to a healthy person, a person without autism, and really cause no significant physical or emotional repercussions, it should not be used as an aversive therapy for anybody at all. Those are some guidelines that people talk about. But it's really hard to know, as you say, which would be worse.

COOPER: A difficult situation. Sanjay, thanks.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COOPER: We're getting some new video right now into the NEWSROOM, a tornado tearing through the Oklahoma panhandle. These pictures from CNN affiliate KOCO. Local authorities tell CNN they hit a home about two miles east of the town of Elmwood. Two people were in the house. At least one of them is dead.

The twister also knocked down power lines and forced the closure of a local highway and knocked out power in the area. As you can imagine the size of this thing. A tornado warning remains in effect until midnight. We'll continue to follow the story.

And last night, we brought you breaking news, preschoolers being held hostage on a bus in the Philippines. Coming up, we're going to show you how it all ended. That's coming up next.

And last year, we saw this man rescue a pair of dolphins. Tonight, the world's tallest man is back in the news. The reason why is our "Shot of the Day". Some happy news for him, coming up on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: When politician want to win, they target the middle class, because that's where the votes are. Yet, plenty of middle class Americans say they're being overlooked by candidates, and by officials and lawmakers, issues like health insurance, wages, immigration, CEO's salaries are hitting home.

Lou Dobbs has been on a mission, fighting to bring these stories to lights. Tomorrow at 8, he's going to anchor a special hour here on CNN devoted to the middle class. He joins us tonight.

Lou, you spoke today before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. One of the issues you talked about was U.S. free trade policies. What did you tell the subcommittee about the impact these policies are having right now on the middle class?

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": As a result of those failed trade policies, we've sustained 31 consecutive years of trade deficit. That we have lost 3 million manufacturing jobs in this country in the past six years, 3 million more middle class jobs lost to outsourcing.

And that this president should not be given fast track authority. And Congress should retain its power and its prerogative over trade policy in this country for the good of the people they represent.

COOPER: Talking about Congress, whatever happened to the increase in minimum wage and the democrats were promising when they regained control of the House?

DOBBS: The House obviously passed the legislation. It is bogged down in the Senate without apology or explanation so far from the Senate leadership. And it's critically important that this legislation become law.

COOPER: I know it's one of the things you're focused on tomorrow night, 8 p.m. on the special.

DOBBS: Absolutely.

COOPER: Lou, look forward to it. Thanks.

DOBBS: Thank you very much, Anderson.

COOPER: Of course, you can see Lou and company every night this week at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Tomorrow night's installment, "War on the Middle Class". Lou's regular program, of course, is at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Well, they say opposites attract, and our "Shot" tonight is an extreme example of that. It involves the world's tallest man. Check it out.

But first Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS: Anderson, new guidelines tonight for as many as 1.4 million women who have an unusually high risk of developing breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society says these women should get annual MRIs in addition to mammograms. And a new study suggests all women newly diagnosed with breast cancer should also get MRIs. The scans reveal cancers in the opposite breast that were missed by ordinary mammograms in 3 percent of these cancer survivors.

Stocks closed lower today after the Fed chairman said he was uncomfortable with inflation and uncertain about the economy. The Dow dropped 96 points. The S&P 500 lost 11. And the NASDAQ gave up 20.

And we want to bring you an update now on a story we watched unfold last night. More than 30 preschool children and their teachers were released after being held hostage for hours on a bus in the Philippines.

The hostage taker, who actually owns the daycare center the children attend, apparently wanted to call attention to education and housing issues. He was arrested. No one, luckily, was hurt.

And you expect a few fights to break out at a hockey game but at a swim competition? A Ukrainian coach was caught on tape in scuffle with a swimmer who also happens to be his daughter. It happened at the world championships in Australia. He is now banned from having any contact with his daughter.

She won her 50-meter backstroke heat today but didn't qualify for the semifinals. It's unclear just what sparked that assault -- Anderson. Wow!

COOPER: That is terrible. Yikes!

HILL: Indeed.

COOPER: I don't know what to say.

HILL: It's kind of one of those speechless pieces.

COOPER: Yes. It's just horrible. I feel bad for the family.

Take a look at the "Shot of the Day", a happy story for this family. The world's tallest man has met his match. That's right. There's somebody for everybody.

HILL: Look how little she is.

COOPER: Well, Bao Xishun, his search for a bride covered the world and ended up marrying a woman about half his age and half his height from his hometown. The 56-year-old goat herder is nearly 8 feet tall. His new wife is 29 years old and 5'6".

HILL: And how about that? She was in his hometown all along?

COOPER: I know. It's like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz". You know, it's right in your backyard.

HILL: It's meant to be, if you will.

COOPER: And you may have heard about this guy before. You may remember, back in December, he saved two dolphins by reaching into their stomachs.

HILL: That's right.

COOPER: Yes. It all comes around full circle. He reached into their stomachs and removed pieces of plastic that veterinarians couldn't reach with their surgical instruments. And yikes, those are big pieces. Guess how long his arm is.

HILL: Four feet?

COOPER: No. You're supposed to always guess a little lower so that when you actually hear the amount, it sounds better. It's 41.7 inches, which is like three feet. I don't know, three feet what?

HILL: OK. Well, do you think -- here's a question. Do you think it was the reaching in and saving the dolphin that won over the heart of his bride?

COOPER: I bet it was. How can you not love a guy who can reach into a dolphin's stomach?

HILL: Absolutely. I mean, you would do it, wouldn't you?

COOPER: Reach into a dolphin's stomach?

HILL: To save a dolphin.

COOPER: Sure, if I could, but my arm -- I've got a little, you know, little tiny arm.

HILL: Well, if it was a small dolphin. And that's why people around the world love you, Anderson, because you care.

COOPER: Because I would do that for a dolphin.

HILL: You would.

COOPER: Glad we got that out. Are we done?

HILL: I think that's it for tonight.

COOPER: I think so, too.

HILL: OK. Until tomorrow.

COOPER: OK. Bye-bye.

HILL: Bye-bye.

COOPER: And we want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. You see some amazing video, tell us about it: CNN.com/360. That's the address. We'll put some of your best clips on the air.

Straight ahead, why even Baghdad's Green Zone is turning into a no go zone, not to mention a killing ground for Americans.

Also, where the wounded go. A vital link in their long road to recovery. A rare look inside the military's 10th Combat Support Hospital next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We begin the hour with breaking news. A deadly tornado, one of a pack of them, across the Oklahoma panhandle and parts of Texas. The pictures tell the story right there. You see it. The pictures from CNN affiliate KOCO.

Local authorities tell CNN this funnel cloud hit a home about two miles east of the town of Elmwood. Two people were in the house at the time. At least one of them is dead.

The twisted also knocked down power lines, forced the closure of a local highway and knocked out power in the area. There's a tornado warning in effect in the region until midnight.

We also have some new video, as well. Pictures of a storm coming through Silverton, Texas. Take a look at that one. That is in the Texas panhandle near Lubbock. Luckily, no reports of fatalities there. We're just trying to check and get the latest information, but the picture is just remarkable, the funnel cloud clearly visible in that image. We'll continue to follow that story.

Now to Iraq. Nearly four years after that statue of Saddam Hussein came down, just four square miles of Baghdad are even remotely safe for Americans. We're talking about the Green Zone.

And even there, even with thousands more American troops patrolling nearby, the Green Zone can still be a killing ground. More now from CNN's Jamie McIntyre.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the now familiar video from a week ago, new U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flinches as an insurgent rocket lands nearby during a press briefing. Rocket attacks like this one, that left a cloud of smoke over central Baghdad this week, are frequent enough to show that the secure Green Zone is not so secure after all, especially lately.

A deadly attack Tuesday killed two Americans, including a contractor and a soldier, and wounded five others, underscoring the danger.

The Green Zone is a heavily guarded, walled in section of Baghdad, controlled mainly by the U.S. It's the site of the Iraqi government and parliament, as well as the sprawling U.S. embassy.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com

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