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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  May 13, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EDT

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thank you, guys. i salute you all! >> thank you, larry. >> happy anniversary. >> larry: we owe you -- thank you we owe you a great debt. 4troops, on an exclusive with t.i. is tomorrow night, mick jagger is here tuesday. right now it's anderson cooper and "ac 360." thanks. the arizona uproar, this time over what school kids are learning allegations that latino pupils are taught to resent other races and to even overthrow the u.s. government. does it sound absurd? well, state legislators says the threat is real enough to pass a new law against it. the question is do they have a shred of evidence? we're keeping them honest. also tonight for the first time in your face pictures what a 5,000-a-day barrel oil spill looks like. why are calling their backup plan clogging the leak with golf balls and junk. worse than a bad joke. a crime story that isn't what it seemed. a police sergeant shot patrol.
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he blamed a black man in a neighborhood but he was lying. the truth was something entirely. first up though, keeping them honest. politicians in arizona now targeting ethnic studies classes in schools. first it was that make president obama show his birth certificate bill which failed and then the law giving police broad discretion to stop suspected illegal immigrants that passed, and now house bill 2281, this a copy of it right here. arizona's governor jan brewer signed it very quietly late yesterday. i want to show you some of what
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this new law says over here on the wall. as i said it's hb-2281. it bars any school district or charter school from including in its curriculum kidnap courses or classes that, one, promote the overthrow of the united states government, promote recent toward a race or class of people, or designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals. now, certainly the first two seem pretty straightforward, not have a i mean who wants a class that teaches kids to overthrow the united states government or resent a race or group of people? but is design a class for kids of a particular ethnic group wrong? is advocating ethnic pride or solidarity wrong? well, arizona's superintendent, a public education tom horne, this man right here, says the bill was aimed at tucson's
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chicano mexican-american studies program, which he says, is teaching kids that they are victims, and that they should be "angry and rise up." he says it's teaching "destructive ethnic chauvinism." tucson school board president says the school board does none of that and what the bill outlaws. superintendent horne's going to join us in just a moment and so will sociologist michael dyson. before that though the fact is whatever you think of this law and the new immigration law, arizona's paying a price for their recent laws. just today the los angeles city council passed a boycott resolution barring l.a. from doing business with arizona till the immigration law's repealed. a law, it's resolution calls racial profiling. arizona's governor now strongly disagrees. california's governor, meantime, kind of take a swipe over at arizona today. listen. >> i was to go and give a commencement speech in arizona, but were worried were going to deport me back to austria. so i canceled that idea right
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away. >> all right let's dig deeper now in this fight over ethnic studies with tom horne whom we mention a moment ago and also sociologist michael eric dyson. i appreciate both of you beings with. tom why shouldn't black literature, chicano literature, specific courses designed to introduce kids to other point of views be taught. >> the standards that we promulgate require that all social studies classes teach different cultures. we want all kids to be exposed to a lot of different cultures but what i'm opposed is dividing kids up so they have raza studies for the chick an open kids. means race in spanish. asian studies for the asian kids. >> but what's wrong with that? if an african-american kid wants a class that you know has a focus on african-american studies, what's wrong with that? >> what's wrong with it is it divides students up by race and i believe that one of the principle ideas of the american public school system is we bring kids together and we treat -- teach them to treat each other as individuals. what matters about a person is, what does he know, what can he do, what's his character or hers? not what race was he born into. and one of our important functions to teach kids from different backgrounds to teach each other as individuals, and not to infuse them weapon ethnic
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chauvinism about a particular race and teach them narrowly just about the background and culture of the race that they'd been born into but teach them about different cultures, races and traditions and not divide them up by race i think that's really backwards. >> michael you've taught a course like this at georgetown. mr. horne's basically saying look, these classes are teaching these kids that they'd been oppressed and it creats anger and hatred he said. >> it's ironic, to me, first of all mr. horne doesn't see the contributions in terms because he's targeted this law towards it chicano studies so he's targeted a racial subgroup and racial group. for this program. number two what's interesting is that ethnic studies are rife are in american studies. polish, irish, italian, white, european, western and eastern european identities that are the basis of ethnic identity and what constitutes american history. if there was an integration of chickana studies of african-american studies of latino studies of gay and lesbian studies into the broader curriculum there would be no need to have these subgroupings and these subcultural paid for these particular formation. thirdly, i teach classes all of the time at georgetown and before at depaul university and most of my students happen to be non -- people who are not
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students of color. so they happen to be african-american, but they also have to be latinoa, asian-americans and white americans. i think that white americans benefit from chicana studies. i think that white americans benefit from chicana studies. and finally, if we're talking about american history and shying away from the history of oppression we're not talking about american history. i live in washington, d.c., right next door the governor of virginia failed to mention that slavery was a critical part of the civil war. this is why we need these area studies to remind us the true history of america and i think that mr. horne would agree that when we tell the truth about american history the blood, the glory, the hardships and all of that needs to be told along with the great celebration of american democracy. >> mr. horne, a to respond to. i've got to take a quick break. gentlemen, stay with us. continue the conversation on the other side of the break. live chat up and running right now at join in on the conversation. suddenly the obama white house saying talking in afghanistan is overblown. the big "360" interview.
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the author who spent many months at one of the deadliest combats in the country has a new book about the war called "war." i'll ask him simply, can it be won? recently on "360" bill maher, demi moore, dr. phil, michael lewis, douglas brinkley, shakira and faith hill and tim mcgraw. you don't have to miss the big "360" interviews. the republican party today chose tampa, st. petersburg florida, for its 2012 presidential convention over salt lake city and phoenix. rnc chairman michael steele what's around the corner is one of life's great questions. and while it can never be fully answered, it helps to have a financial partner like northern trust. by gaining a keen understanding of your financial needs, we're able to tailor a plan using a full suite... of sophisticated investment strategies and solutions. so whatever's around the corner can be faced with confidence. ♪
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recently on "360" bill maher, demi moore, dr. phil, michael lewis, douglas brinkley, shakira and faith hill and tim mcgraw. you don't have to miss the big "360" interviews. the republican party today chose tampa, st. petersburg florida, for its 2012 presidential convention over salt lake city and phoenix. rnc chairman michael steele
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denying that immigration law played a part in the decision. other organizations, though, making it very playing, citing the new law, the climate they say creates and taking business elsewhere. all in all, according to the arizona hotel and lodging association, 23 meetings, worth about $10 million worth in business, have so far been canceled because of the immigration law and now in curriculum law. tom horne, arizona's superintendent, public instruction and sociologist michael eric dyson. you said chicano studies teaching kids making them oppressed, and angry. shouldn't kids learn that. >> well, let me say that i didn't say that i was quoting former teacher who said that. we have testimony from a number of teaches and former teachers about the radical separatist agenda that the raza studies program has. >> you did say -- you did say that actually in your arguments that you published as an open letter to the people of tucson. >> yes, i was quoting a teacher. so it wasn't from -- i wasn't just asserting it. we had quotations from a witness that -- >> but you believe that. why do you believe that? i mean, shouldn't --
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shouldn't -- if there has been a history of oppression which most people say there has, why shouldn't that be taught. >> the textbook they use called the prodigy of the oppressed. a well-known communist. i've read the book. and these kid's parents and grandparents came to this, this country most of them legally because this is the land of opportunity an they trust their children to our schools and we should be teaching these kids that this is the land of opportunity and if they work hard they can achieve their dreams and not teach them that they're oppressed. in fact one of the girls from it's they setup. >> so is there no racism today? i mean -- and is that something that should not be discussed. >> that's not predominant atmosphere of america. america's the land of opportunity and we should be teaching the kids that this is the land of opportunity and not teach them the downer that they're oppressed and that they can't get anywhere. they should be angry against their government. they should be angry against the country. there's what the teaches are saying, their observation is
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going on in this raza study's program. in fact i brought a picture that you might want to show that shows the revolutionary guard that they were when they protested against bi-law with masks, sunglasses, beret, brown shirts. this is a revolutionary program which is an absolute abuse of taxpayer money to do that in public schools. and we had -- there was a girl -- they set up a bunch of students who testified at legislature the girl was testifying and the state senator said count learn these things in other courses and she said no now that i took the course i realize that i'm oppressed. >> michael, what about this. >> well this is ludicrous. the correct pronunciation of the philosopher talked about the pedagogy. you can talk about michelle, a frenchman. many people who talk about oppression and the release from oppression. in effect, anderson, the history america is to seek relief from the oppression of the british so we could establish this country, so we're teaching relief from oppression when we talk about the relief from the british. but more specifically, this is ludicrous it assume that the entire history and culture of a people can be reduced to responses to white supremacy, social injustice and inequality. we've fought those battles but we've made america better. when martin luther king marched,
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that should be taught. because he fought against the principles and practices of prejudice so that the ideals of democracy could become real. cesar chavez when he fought for the worker's rights there in california, needs to be -- that that story needs to be told so that americans can understood. >> but michael, when people see that picture you know kids dressed up in khaki garb, that's going to concern some people. >> i understand that. i don't mind people being critical of certain aspects, but that's like saying the tea party movement that has racist and vitriolic portrayals of president obama should be wiped out altogether. and i'm sure that people say no, legitimate points to be made but those racist elements must be dealt with. i understand why it would be problematic but radical separatism has been the american
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government. the most radically separatist organization in this country has been the american government. so now we want to -- not deny the legitimacy of telling people the truth, we want to say, bring the truth in the open so we can understand the greatness of this country but we can't do so by pretending that the ugliness did not exist. >> so, tom, what about that? i mean are you throwing the baby out with the bath water? why not try to change the curriculum? >> you know i was on that march in washington in summer of 1963 just graduated from high school where martin luther king gave his famous speech. we should be judged by the quality of our character, not cot lor color of our skin. and that has been my most fundamental belief my entire life that we are individuals. we are not exemplars of the race we were born into, and this philosophy that's preached by this program in tucson and by your other guest that's a race-obsessed philosophy and it's a downer philosophy. teach people oppressed, make them angry, make it so that they don't have hope for their future. >> let me finish -- let me jump in. let me jump in too. i'm saying it's not about you. you keep saying downer. look a downer that people are oppressed, people that are people are depressed, a downer that people suffer injustice. >> you should not be teaching that. >> hold on. we have to deal with -- how many
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stories have we told about benjamin franklin. how many stories have we told about the founding fathers and brothers? and tell the truth about thomas jefferson. a great american, he wrote the declaration -- i mean the declaration of independence -- also one of the authors and also a slaveholder. let's tell the truth about the downer to sally hemings and tell the full truth about thomas jefferson and the full arc philosophy. and first oppressed and then we get mad when say oppressed. and then we deny them. this is part of american history. >> tom, response. >> american history to all of the kids and we can show both sides of issues when we teach history to all of the kids but don't divide them by race and teach the black kids black history, the chicano kids chicano history the asian kids asian history. they should all be exposed to all the history. >> absolutely. >> it's a race-obsessed philosophy that should be kept out of our schools. that kids should be put into
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courses where they only learn about the history of the race they happened to be born into. the wrong philosophy. >> if you had been demoralized and degraded and your history had not be taught why do we need a special class? deal with the profound and sophisticated contributions of chicano people to american society. once that happens -- >> we have that in our standard. >> wait a minute a. >> all of the kids -- >> once that happens and then when we integrate the full arc of the contributions of demoralized and degraded peoples into the curriculum and then we won't need that and until that time -- >> tom, i have to jump in here. tom, a lot of your critics say look this is about politics. you're running for attorney general. your term is up as superintendent. is that true that you're running for attorney general. >> yes, i am running for attorney general. i've served eight years for the public schools and that's all that's allowed. >> are you trying to appeal to potential voters? >> i've been fighting this law for four years and this is among my most deeply held beliefs. i mentioned that march in
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washington where martin luther king gave his speech. i believe very deeply that people are individuals. they're not exemplars of the race they were born into. and this race-obsessed philosophy that your other guest is expounding. >> sir. >> going on in tucson is wrong for the american i believe. >> it's not racist and first of all you repeated that statement earlier and it's a great line. the reality is martin luther king say -- continue to shake the foundation of this nation until they're granted full citizenship rights. he talked about the bitter legacy of white supremacy before he began to talk about that dream, and then he said that in america, it's an ideal toward which we shall strive, but in the meantime, we should adjust to the reality that we have some negative erealities that we should adjust to and that we should address, and i think that martin luther king jr. cannot be used to justify xenophobic and racist passions that are designed up.
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>> i would say that the xenophobia and racist is on your side. >> no, i don't want to keep anybody out. i want. >> you want to divide kids by race. >> no, i want white kids to learn about chicano people. i want white kids to learn about african-american. >> inspired us all by saying judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin and that's what we should be teaching in our public schools. >> one at a time because both at a time and no one's going to lift seen in michael, finish up. now you must raise them up. martin luther king jr. cannot be taken out of context and you cannot use one speech as if he was frozen up in 1968, as if what he said in 1968 where he was bitterly opposed to the practices of what america was doing in the name of freedom and democracy. that's tradition i think that the people who support chicano studies in arizona are carrying forward. >> tom, short and then we have to go. >> okay it's not out of context to say he's inspired us with the idea that we should be judged as individuals. what can k we do? what is our character? not race were we born into. don't divide kids by race. don't prop gagandize kids that they're oppressed. >> but anyone can take these classes, right? >> teach them this that this is the land of opportunity where if they work hard they can achieve their dreams and teach them american history.
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tom, just for accurate sake, anyone can take the classes. >> anyone can take the classes but designed primarily for the race, the african-american, the c hi cano, the asian. >> tom horne, michael eric dyson. appreciate your time. look at this new video released today by bp showing the leak blasting oil into the gulf of mexico. the truth is bp has no idea how to stop this anytime soon. they're planning to shove golf balls into the valve to stop the leak. seems pretty farfetched. we'll also talk with congressman ed markey who had blasted bp for their lack of planning. one of the violent outposts in afghanistan. what he saw and sees for the war ahead. ♪
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recently a whole new kind of cloud came to st. cloud, minnesota.
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well 23 days after the explosion that caused the gulf
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oil spill bp released video today finally giving the world its first look at leaking well a mile under water. take a look. 210,000 gallons per day looks like. efforts to stop the spill with a four-story-tall containment dome that failed last week. since then bp which owns the well, offered a bunch of ideas for stopping the leak and frankly they seem half-baked. the most surprising, something they're calling the junk shot, which involves shooting old golf balls, tires, rubber, cement, into the leak. talking about golf balls and tires. so that got us thinking if that's best bp can do, maybe you can do better. so we posed the question on our blog, what some of you came up, some solutions. gayle in massachusetts writes -- how about some feathers? if it sticks to birds so much, maybe they can be used to plug up the well. are there any down companies? >> they're going to try to use hair to soak it up on the surface. mary from philadelphia says "i
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suggest creating in essence giant robotic pliers that would squeeze the leak closed." and cathy wondered what about the shamwow. doesn't that absorb everything? seriously, if the junk shot is an option, why not the shamwow. but i think the shamwow guy had rent problems a while back. found this video online showing how a hay soaks up oil added to a pan of water, so well that maybe hay might look. take a look. >> that's pretty -- >> what kind of grass. >> hay grass. just regular hay. it's hay that farmers can use. >> okay. >> that we can use. >> okay. >> don't pay any attention to what is on the edge of the bowl. now look at this water. look at this water. >> wow. >> awesome. maybe -- maybe someone should show bp the oil. top executives were back on capitol hill today along with officials from two other companies involved in the spill.
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congressman ed markey from massachusetts pressed hard on all of the companies. i talked to him earlier. congressman, bp is now talking about shoving a bunch of rope and rubber and cement and golf balls into a valve to try to plug the leak. i mean, it would -- it sounds almost like a joke, but it's obviously deadly serious. it kind of makes one think, do these guys really have any idea what to do. >> i think that they're making it up as they go along. i think that most people believe that this is a very sophisticated industry with a very deaf command of technology, but in fact as they think about old rubber tires and golf balls to be shot down into this leak, we realize that we're really not talking about m.i.t. here. we're really talking about the pga. i mean they're doing things that you would think someone out on the backyard would be thinking of doing. not an industry with the level of revenues and research
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capacity, which obviously has not resulted in a system of safety being put in place which can guarantee that this leak can be shutdown. >> yeah, i read something -- you said something like you expect it to be like the apollo project but it's more like "project runway." >> it is more like "project runway." they are now take nylon stockings and beginning to fill them with hair as a way of sopping up the oil out in the gulf. and i think most people would have thought at this late date, that it would be more like the "apollo" project that it wouldn't be nylons and hair and i think it's very discouraging obviously for the people who live down in the gulf, but it's dismaying i think to every american to think that this is the level of response to such a catastrophic event that the oil industry can provide. >> how much of this was a failure of oversight on the part
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of government officials? >> i think that there was an assumption that an accident could not happen. i think that bp kept saying, don't worry, an accident cannot happen. and in this instance, boosterism led to complacency and complacency told a disaster. >> and clearly yesterday we saw in testimony, i mean they're all pointing fingers at each other. bp at transocean. transocean at halliburton. halliburton back at transocean. transocean back at bp. do you believe what these guys say? i mean were you satisfied with the testimony yesterday? did they seem apologetic enough? did they see humble at all to you? >> i did not detect the level of humility, which i think they should have. and they're each saying the same thing in terms of who is ultimately culpable as far as this historic mess. >> i mean what happens now? i mean, when do you think this oil's going to stop leaking? can anybody say that the point? >> no one has any idea when this
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leak is going to ultimately be plugged. if the golf balls don't work, if the rubber tires don't work, if this new top hat which the they're trying to lower down into the ocean doesn't work, it will be months before a new drill can reach this pipe and cut it off but that's months from now if none of these interim, temporary emergency measures continue to fail. >> it's -- it's stunning and just incredibly -- incredibly -- well it's incredibly stunning. congressman ed markey i appreciate your time tonight. thank you. >> thank you, sir, thank you for having me on. still ahead, what's behind a wave of gruesome deadly attacks on school kids in china? the attackers armed with knives, even a cleaver. what's being done to stop them. and plus the big "ac360" interview. sebastien younger has a fascinating new book about the war in afghanistan where he found another kind of perfect storm.
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horrific story out of china tonight where a man with a kitchen clever stormed a kindergarten killing a teacher and seven students, five boys, two girls, another 11 kids were wound. police say the attacker went
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home and killed himself but death toll continue to mount. the teacher's mother also wounded in the attack. later died at the hospital. senior international correspondent john vause joins us now from -- from lincheng village in china are this took place. stormed the classroom, killed all of these people including a number of kids. he went home and killed himself. what would be the motivation behind this attack and it's not the first one that china has seen, right? >> yeah, that's right, anderson. look we've spoken to neighbors who were in the same street as the kindergarten and they say the morning of the attack, wu huanming seemed perfectly fine. he lived on the same street just a few doors up. there is a preliminary police report which indicates there is some kind of dispute between wu and the owners of kindergartner. he wanted him out of building at end of april because their lease was up. they wanted to stay until the end the school year until july but hardly that seems like enough motivation to hack five little boys, two little girls and two women to death, anderson. >> and again this is not the first time this has happened. happened several times already.
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i mean it's kind of an unthinkable crime and to have it done multiple times, what's being done about it? >> reporter: yeah, this is the sixth time, an attack like this has happened. all across china since march 23rd. there are similarities. the attackers are being middle-aged men, through them according to state media suffering some kind of mental illness but a bigger narrative in all of this, that some kind of problem within chinese society. a society which is widely seen as being corrupt. if you have a problem, a grievance you can't go to the courts because you won't get justice. there's no voting here. you can't protest. there's no freedom of expression. and so there's this frustration and this anger build. there's no way to vent. there's no pressure valve and so people will snap and they can't target government or party officials because they're surround by too much security. so that leaves women and children and you find women and
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children at kindergartens and at elementary schools and middle schools and they're just self-targets, anderson. >> anything being done? are they putting police if all of the schools? probably don't have enough manpower for that. >> reporter: well, this country does have a lot of manpower and in recent weeks the central government has ordered a big ramp-up in security at all schools across mainland china. this was a privately run kindergarten so it appears no security guard in place. officials here in this county have ordered a review of security at all schools starting today. but what's also happening is that government sensors have clamped down this story ordering all state-run media on mainland china to only run with the official count coming out of xinhua news agency and the reason for that they're concerned that any widespread media coverage on the attacks like this may incite copycat attack, more attacks on kids at schools across the country, anderson. >> just stunning. john vause, i appreciate report. thanks, john. coming up sebastian junger. the author/journalist followed a single platoon in one of afghanistan's most dangerous outpost.
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tonight he's the first "360" bulletin. >> a 10-year-old dutch boy is the sole survivor of a plane crash today that killed 103 people in tripoli. the libyan jetliner crashed minutes before landing after a seven-hour flight johannesburg. the boy is recuperating. walmart today pledged $2 billion to food banks to fight hunger in the u.s. government reports show nearly 15% of all families lacked adequate nutrition in 2008. the highest level in more than ten years. south carolina governor mark sanford today confirmed reports he spent last weekend in florida with his argentine lover. while he didn't mention the woman by name, sanford admitted he was trying to rekindle that love affair that wrecked his marriage and nearly cost him his office. the affair was discovered last june when sanford disappeared for a weekend telling staff he was hiking the appalachian trails. so now i guess it's all out in
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the open. >> the old hike in the appalachian trail. >> yeah. >> john, thanks. still ahead the big "360" author. talk to author/journalist sbesian junger. and plus the story about his attack unravels in an ugly truth comes to light. can i eat heart healthy without giving up taste? a man can only try... and try...and try. [ male announcer ] honey nut cheerios tastes great and can help lower cholesterol. bee happy. bee healthy.
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meeting in washington today president obama and afghan president hamid karzai played down reports of tensions between them, to say the least. mr. obama's says he's confident to meet its self-imposed deadline to withdraw troops from snaun july 2011. but he also said the united states is there for the long hall. >> we're not finished with afghanistan. in fact to the contrary part of what i've tried to emphasize to president karzai and the afghan people but also to the american people is this a long-term partnership. >> in its ninth year has fallen since 2009. americans are now basically split on the issue with about half in favor and half opposed. author and journalist sebastian junger has watched the war play out up close in his new book "war." platoon duty in one of the most dangerous regions in the count ry. spent months with him. i spoke with sebastian junger for tonight's "360" interview. what was so unique about this place in the valley that you
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knew you wanted to writes a book about it. >> the first time that i was with one unit. the five one-month trips over the course of the year and i became accepted into this platoon. i was at this outpost, named after the platoon medic, and it was very remote up on this ridge. attacked constantly. there were days when i was there, four, five firefights in one day but i think that the unit been the through something like 500 firefights in the year that they were there. it was very remote. airpower was 45 minutes away. the nearest base was two hours away by foot. you were on your own out there. >> some of the men there, i mean they would sleep with their rifle, sleep with their boots on the threat of attack was that constant. >> there were times when guys slept with their boots on. they always had their rifles near them. everyone was ready to go literally within 30 seconds but everyone out there knew that getting overrun and everyone killed at a small base was an absolute possibility and so everyone slept -- no one slept
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very well. >> we were in a marine patrol base called jaker in helmand province last september and that was small but nothing compared to the outpost that you were out and i don't think that people understand just the conditions that our troops are dealing with on a daily basis particularly in an outpost like the one that you were out. >> no running water no, cooked food no, internet no, phone. the men would go a month at a time without bathing. they would wear their uniforms until they literally fell and burn them and put on new uniforms. once a month they got to go down to the main base and call their girlfriend and take a shower and have a hot meal and they'd go back up and they did this for a year. >> one of the chapters in your book is called "love," and i mean you're really writing about the bond between brothers out in the field. >> a lot of these guys came from restrepo and it was a terrible place, right? and they all missed it. i think one of the things they
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miss it's not tarantulas and the heat and the flees and it's not the adrenalin of combat. i think what they miss is being necessary to other people and that really is kind of intoxicating. and that's essentially what my book is about. >> there's also something very -- i mean obviously real about what is happening when you're in an environment like that. i mean it's life and death. it's all stripped away. everything is stripped away. and it seems like for a lot of troops a lot of people who've been over there when you come back regular life is much more complicated. >> there aren't as many absolutes in civilian life. like if you don't tie your shoes you might trip, big deal. no one on that doesn't matter, right? up there i saw a private accost another private, say, man tie your shoes.
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if we get hit run now and you trip i could get killed so tie your damn shows so when these guys come back from that they cannot tie their shoes, nothing has consequences. >> how is killing more complicated than we think. >> i think there's a moral revulsion of killing in humans. i mean this is just my opinion. that gets suspended when your friends are getting killed and when they killed enemy fighters they would cheer and i asked about that because it seemed like kind of an ugly sentiment. like i understood the need to kill but not the need to cheer and the guy said to me listen the guy that we killed an hour ago in the firefight that's not one guy who will not kill my best friend out here and that's what i'm cheering. i'm cheering that one of us will live not that he die. and when you put it like that, suddenly you understand this dynamic that keeps war going and of course the other side's doing the same thing. >> you focus on one -- one guy in particular a guy named brendon. why him? what was it about him that drew you. >> brendon o'beirne. he was a really good soldier. and he was also -- he had a pretty troubled background as a kid. the army kind of straightened him out, kind of saved him. he was a very, very good soldier. he thought about, like the right and wrong of the war, what it means to kill people, what it means to love people, like he really thought about those things. i had these really -- very -- very lengthy profound conversations with him about what it means to go to war, to be at war, to be in combat.
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he was also the only guy in the platoon who got out of the army. >> what was that transition like for him getting out? >> it was terrifically hard for him. i mean they came back -- the unit came back to vicenza, italy, where they were based. never in combat ordering these guys around who fought for a year and they absolutely hated that and that triggered a real crisis in brendon. he felt that the -- that their efforts were not honored with -- even within the military on the base that they were getting ordered around and by the -- by these very petty rules and so he really went into some very self-destructive behavior and i think he was -- i mean he's okay now but for about a year i would say he was probably in more danger to himself at home than he was in the valley. >> what you saw in the valley, did it change the way that you looked at the war in afghanistan? >> that's a complicated question. i mean i was not prepared for the amount of combat that i was going to see. i was not prepared for that.
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i didn't know that that was happening in afghanistan. >> right and most places you go they say look it's not as connecticut that's word that hey ten to use it's not as kinetic but there was it was. there it was, a fifth of the combat was taking place in the korengal valley. one fifth. that's amazing. but it did -- you know the last time i'd been in a afghanistan was in '05, before that it was 2001 when the u.s. toppled the taliban. and i remember walking down the street in kabul getting hugged by afghans because i was american. that's changed. that goodwill has really diminished and the war's gone on too long, too many mistakes were made and the afghans are now i think souring a little bit, and that -- so i've seen that transition, and that's a very, very painful thing for me. >> the mission has changed stanley mcchrystal, much more protecting population centers and therefore the importance of korengal valley. >> the pullout was emotionally very complicated for the soldiers.
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it was very painful. i mean they don't want anymore americans to die there, almost 50 americans died in the korengal. it was also very painful for them to watch the video online on youtube of restrepo being destroyed by american explosions. brendan o'beirne said to some of his friends he said look it's a base, it's a military base. we all knew eventually the u.s. army would pull out of there. what we did up there was for each other. we fought and we risked our lives and some of us died out there for each other. and you can't take that away. you can't erase that. in every war and this one included, there are nameless hilltops that don't have any obvious strategic value. and soldiers wind up fighting for those places, and not even knows why they're fighting for this little hilltop and what they do emotionally -- at least the guys that you i was with was they say to themselves maybe this hilltop didn't mean anything when we got here but we spent a year fight for example this, our brothers died for this place and now it has means we
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gave it meaning. >> the book is "war." thank you very much. >> thank you. >> you can join the live chat. still ahead a massive manhunt in philadelphia after a cop is shot but suspect never found. and investigators say they now know why. randi kaye has tonight's story in tonight's "crime and punishment" report. oil or cream? cream. some use hydrogenated oil. reddi-wip uses real dairy cream. nothing's more real than reddi-wip. communities. industry. energy. her. this. lives. how ? by bringing together... information. ... people ... ... machines ... ... systems ...
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clues didn't add up the case got really ugly. here's randi kaye. >> reporter: it was 4:00 in the morning when philadelphia when the radio call came in. cop shot. a white police sergeant said he'd been shot by a black man. officers responded in force. an all-out search of the african-american neighborhood in philadelphia's 19th precinct, where sergeant robert ralston said it all went down. the sergeant told the story this way. he'd come across two black men along the railroad tracks on the morning of april 5th. one ran away, he said. the other pointed a silver revolver at his head. he knocked it away, he said, but it fired anyway. and the bullet grazed his left shoulder. he also said he fired one shot, but wasn't sure if he'd struck the suspect. police gave thanks, their man had survived. tragedy averted, they said. the white cop described the shooter this way. dark skin, braided hair, and a
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tattoo next to his eye. but police never found the black shooter or anyone matching that description. and now more than a month later, we know why. the real story, the two black men that the cop said he'd encountered never existed. philadelphia police commissioner charles ramsey says sergeant ralston made the whole thing up. >> it was clear to us soon after it took place that this simply was just not true. just the evidence just didn't support the story he was giving. >> reporter: but wait, what about the sergeant's shoulder wound? the commissioner says sergeant ralston actually shot himself. which may be why, he said, he got off one shot at the suspect. an explanation as to why his gun had been fired. >> a test was run on his shirt. the powder on the shirt matched the same kind of ammunition we use in the department. >> reporter: that's right, the gunpowder on the sergeant's shirt was the same kind his own weapon used.
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and there's more. the angle at which the bullet struck him didn't square with his story either, says the commissioner. we tried to ask sergeant ralston to explain, but outside his home, he dodged our cameras and ducked inside. >> can you tell us why you did that, sir? >> reporter: neighbors called the sergeant's actions a sad statement. >> i can't believe that he would really do something like that, that's really uncalled for. ever since i've been listen he's really been antisocial around this area. >> reporter: what's unclear is why sergeant ralston. would make up such a wild tale. did he finally admit he finally shot himself on purpose. the police commissioner says he may have done it for a job transfer or maybe for attention but that the sergeant didn't give a reason. the police commissioner calls this a "terrible and embarrassing chapter in the department's history." >> the fact that he stated the two african-americans involves in this i think inflames tensions in our community. something that we certainly do not need. >> reporter: sergeant has been
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suspended with pay. the commissioner says he will be fired. he was given immunity in exchange for his confession so he doesn't face criminal charges. but he'll have to pay for the massive manhunt to find his phantom suspects. cops are still adding up the cost. the days of calling sergeant robert ralston a hero and crediting his quick actions for saving his own life, long gone. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> amaze. coming up arizona's latest controversy, this time it's a law targeting what kids learn in school. and next tonight's shot, something to make you smile before going to bed. a mama bear taking actions to help her cub. we believe you're at your best when you can truly be yourself.
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joe, shot from switzerland. a mama bear whose cub is in trouble. climbed a tree. couldn't come down so mama bear had to come to the rescue, how it all worked out. take a look. >> my gosh. >> yeah. >> universal, mama bear language. don't make me come up there. you are so grounded. let's see -- how many times do i have to tell you, stay out of tree? >> oh. >> yes. that's great. i love that. joe, thanks for your help tonight. serious stuff the top of the hour including new controversy over arizona. the state passing another law that critics say targets the state's latino population. talking about kids in schools.
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