misery. from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden, and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline." january 1st, 2013. good evening, i'm terry moran, and we begin tonight with some late-breaking news out of washington. just a little while ago, the house of representatives approved the passage of a last-minute deal to narrowly avoid that fiscal cliff after weeks of increasingly heated, even ridiculous infighting. this late compromise will prevent many of the dreaded effects of the cliff, only the top 2% of americans are going to see a tax increase, sparing the other 98%, and those big spending cuts, they will be postponed. president obama tonight spoke about the nation's road ahead. >> the sum total of all the budget agreements we have reached so far proves that there is a path forward, that it is possible, if we focus not on our
politics, but on what's right for the country. and the one thing that i think hopefully in the new year we'll focus on is seeing if we can put a package like this together with a little bit less drama, not scare the heck out of folks quite as much. >> we'll see. "good morning america" is going to have all the latest on these developments in washington tomorrow morning. but for right now, we're going to turn to brand-new developments in the story "nightline" has been following for the past year. it's an amazing story involving an american man caught in a worst case scenario far from home. it's been 580 days. 580 days since jacob, an american small businessman, a brooklyn father of five and grandfather of 11, was arrested in bolivia and incarcerated in the prison, one of toughest and strangest prisons in the world. they said he was a money
launderer, involved in bolivia's vast drug business. we met him in that prison last may. have you ever been involved in drugs or money laundering? >> absolutely not. never. >> so why are you here in this prison? >> that is my question. >> for a year and a half, among the murderers and rapists and petty drug criminals locked up in this bizarre and dangerous place, where prisoners run the prison and guards do not enter, jacob languished. no charges, no evidence brought against him. >> i'm going to fight for the truth and for justice. >> he told us he was desperate. >> it's an absolute nightmare. i feel all alone. i am begging the american people to try to help me. >> then last month, in part thanks tonig "nightline's" investigation, a stunning revelation. he was released after several officials in his case were arrested and charged with
corruption and extortion. the scandal has engulfed bolivia. a key player in this drama, sean penn, who directly appealed to the country's president on jacob's behalf. >> jacob and his family are living a nightmare of human abuse. >> but jacob is not free to go home yet. >> i feel like i'm in the twilight zone. >> under house arrest in bolivia, suffering from parkinson's disease that came on while he was in prison, jacob told us today his life may be in danger. >> there are 13 people in prison, and those are very high government officials. things don't look good right now. there's a lot of death threats against me. >> it is the latest twist in a tale. he invested $200,000, his life savings, as a very junior partner in a rice growing venture in bolivia.
it was a good business. 40 million pounds of rice the first year, 200 bolivian employees, and that, he and his defense team told us, was the reason he was targeted. he's got to start paying them money. steve moore is a retired fbi agent, he advocated for the release of amanda knox, and he's investigated jacob's case for free. here we are in front of the palace of justice. is this a place of hope for jacob? >> no. no, the palace of justice is a misnomer. there should be an atm in the lobby. it should have a "we take credit cards" sign on the front. >> what's really happening to moore and others on jacob's defense team is an old fashioned shakedown. bolivian officials are demanding money. >> here's a guy they see coming in from new york who's got probably a lot of liquid cash and they saw an opportunity. >> jacob's wife miriam has made the 4,000-mile trip back and forth to bolivia more than a dozen times. she knew what was going on and told us she was scared for her
husband. >> the way things are going there, the justice system, the corruption, i don't even know if i should talk about that there. doesn't look like they're going to release him any time soon. >> a big hug and a kiss. >> when she arrives at the prison, they are for a moment an ordinary american couple again. but the little ones back home, their grandchildren, they don't understand. >> dearest grandpa, hello, how are you, i miss you so much, i am scared that something happened to you. send me back a picture of you so that i shouldn't forget what you look like. she's 10 years old. >> jacob's life is terrifying, and he told us he would do anything to get out, except one thing. >> if they would make me sign a document that i have done something wrong, i will never do that. >> you will not do that? >> i will not do that.
>> jacob lost 40 pounds in prison, and as she left last may, miriam worried her husband was nearing a mental breakdown. when you leave this prison, what does it feel like? >> torture. the pain of watching him watch me leave, he stands behind the gate and he sees my anguish and he runs in to make it easier for me to leave, and he's thinking of me and he's the one suffering, and it doesn't get any easier, no matter how long i've been doing this. >> so now, it looks like jacob has been vindicated. it was all a vicious shakedown. but still the bolivian government keeps him under house arrest. and he wears a bulletproof vest because they fear they can't protect him in their own courthouses. and so his nightmare continues. >> it's time for them to cut me loose and let me go home to my family. they have done enough damage and now that everybody knows that
this had to do with a massive extortion ring, it's time for them to let me go home and let me go back to my country. >> an amazing saga. we will keep you posted when jacob comes home. next up, my co-anchor jumps, shoots, and dives at the extreme navy seal camp based on the training of america's most elite soldiers. [ male announcer ] this is the age of knowing what you're made of. why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. this is the age of taking action. viagra. talk to your doctor. this is the age of taking action. but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers.
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training of america's most elite troops, the navy seals team 6. here's bill weir with an encore presentation. >> let's go. >> reporter: some guys golf. some guys fish. some guys lay on the beach and drink. but these guys are spending their vacation at almost $2,000 a week doing sit-ups until they're ready to puke. they're eating mud while being sprayed with pellet guns. setting their sleep-deprived shoulders on fire with 500-pound logs. and jumping out of the occasional helicopter into a freezing river, all while being insulted with real salient profanity. >> in a microsecond if you're [ bleep ] up, i'll make sure i correct that. >> reporter: welcome to the extreme seal experience, the closest most mortals will ever get to tasting the pain and glory of buds.
that's basic underwater demolition school, the navy's six-month meat grinder where 80% of the men who enter fail. but sniper besik and don shipley will sell you a sample. how authentic is this experience to life as a seal? is it a little taste? >> it's a little taste. it's education. you want to be a pro quarterback, you go to a football camp and hang out with those guys. same thing here. >> reporter: since seal team 6 put a couple shots in bin laden's face, his camps are packed with a mix of young wanna bes and old dreamers, like doug who had to promise his wife a trip to jamaica to come. >> it's my midlife crisis. >> reporter: there's alan waller, a minister from philadelphia. >> i don't believe in violence, but i do believe in defense.
i appreciate knowing how to handle myself. >> the difference between seal team and all the other forces is that big black scary ocean out there and the lack of guys who are comfortable in it. that's why it's such a small fraternity. >> reporter: and on hell night, these desk jockeys, high school students and suburban dads are forged into warrior teams. on the anvils of pain and humiliation. >> i don't get you guys out here to do this for no good reason. there's a point to it. reach deep. focus. get the team thing going. >> reporter: for one of the men, it's too much. chest pains, labored breathing sends him to the emergency room. the diagnosis, bruised ribs. >> he's okay. >> good. >> very dangerous out there.
>> reporter: but for those who grind through, the rest of the week is filled with elaborate war games in the heart of darkness. pastor waller takes the lead securing an intersection. demolition charges are set. the hostages are rescued. >> i'm a little stressed so quit pissing me off tonight. >> reporter: it's probably best there's no taliban in this part of virginia tonight. >> let me tell you guys, you are so [ bleep ] you failed this op. >> reporter: but i quickly learned that blasting paper terrorists, walking the wall commando style, and tasting the shock and awe of a 50-caliber sniper rifle -- >> that will clear your sinuses. >> reporter: are only part of the allure. what they are really praying p is the addictive camaraderie that only comes from shared pain. >> you're tired, hungry, cold, so is everybody else. you work together, motivate and
kind of focus on helping the guy next to you. >> reporter: there's never been any temptation to, you know what? i'm getting in the car. going to go get some sleep. >> it's fun. again, it's fun. we know why we came down here. if you don't want to do it, then don't come down here. >> your most vivid memories are from hardship, they're from suffering. the easy stuff, you just forget. most of these guys have never been pushed this hard before. and it's just going to stick out in their head. jumping out of a helicopter, it's those things -- it's a little high, a little cold water, a little scary up there. it's things like that. >> reporter: that's right. the reward for all the work and pain is a stomach-flipping, apocalypse now style ride along the tree tops, followed by the pilot's encouragement to unbuckle the seat belt, step out on to the strut, and jump into the northwest river. since i skipped hell night, i
feel a little guilty getting such a quality adrenaline snack without earning it. >> now that's a shower. >> reporter: so maybe i'll come back someday. but next time, i'll bring the marshmallows to roast during the camp photo. i'm bill weir for "nightline" in chesapeake, virginia. >> navy seal camp. thanks, bill. just ahead, for those of you who might have had a few too many glasses of bubbly this new year's eve, we meet one doctor who claims he can help that hangover. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
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history tells us that gangis kahn cured his hangovers with pickled sheep eyeballs and tomato juice. but if you're looking for a less disgusting cure, you might want to hear from this doctor. again, abc's lindsay davis. >> reporter: waking up the a nasty bout of nausea, battling a blinding head ache, hopefully nothing like what the guys in "the hangover" experienced. >> what the [ bleep ] happened last night. >> hey phil, am i missing a tooth? >> reporter: while no one argues excessive drinking can be harmful, some think the only sure cure for a hangover is time. and then there's dr. leonard grossman. >> once you have the hangover, you're done. there's at least four hours of your life that's just lost. >> reporter: he says he's created a way to prevent hangovers without vinegar, pickles, or raw eggs. it's called bytox and he says it
does for the hangovers what dramamine patches do for motion sickness. he says this is like being attached to an iv, continuously infusing vitamins into the bloodstream. >> alcohol in itself is a diuretic. the kidneys go into overdrive and you're basically washing out everything that's water soluble. >> reporter: he created it with alex, who suffered a hangover so awful, he had to call in his family friend dr. grossman for help. >> he administered an iv full of vitamins and within ten minutes, i felt great. >> reporter: so the head ache, the nausea, the dizziness -- i sound like i know firsthand. but if i've had maybe three drinks the night before, i'm going to wake up tomorrow and feel great. >> absolutely. you'll feel great. >> reporter: hangover remedies have been around as long as booze. coffee, honey, greasy foods, hair of the dog. and now there's blow fish. no, not the poisonous puffer fish. a new over-the-counter drug that
promises to up right your hangover. not with fins, but with fizz. bytox and blowfish are two of a growing list of anti-hangover products, tried and tested by researchers who turned themselves into lab rats. >> i had at least 12 shots of tequila. >> reporter: admittedly, the typical scientific protocols for testing didn't exactly apply. >> i was surprised the next morning how great i felt. >> reporter: but the authors of a 2005 study in the british medical journal found no convincing evidence that any conventional remedies can cure a hangover, and dr. grossman doesn't exactly dispute that. >> it's not a cure. it's only a prevention. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm lindsay davis in new york. >> hangover prevention. thanks, lindsay. and thank you for watching abc news. we're always online at abcnews.com. jimmy kimmel is coming up next. we'll see you here tomorrow.
>> dicky: next on "jimmy kimmel live," this week in unnecessary censorship -- >> i might [ bleep ] your bum if you're naughty. >> dicky: carson daly. >> how many times have you been to the white house since i've had my daughter? >> twice. >> you choose this country over your friend's daughter. >> dicky: from "happy endings, zachary kn