CNN TALKBACK LIVE
Saudi Arabia Friend or Foe?; Who Should Get Sniper Reward Money?
Aired November 26, 2002 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ARTHEL NEVILLE, HOST: Hello, everybody. Welcome to TALKBACK LIVE. I'm Arthel Neville.
The war on terror has focused on al Qaeda, but some administration critics say we need to get tougher on our friend Saudi Arabia. We'll talk about U.S.-Saudi relations and ask whether oil is the slick that ties binds.
And then stay tuned as we look at who should collect that reward money in the D.C. sniper case. And then we'll see -- when they'll get the cash, is the question.
And then later: PBS wants to let the public watch a jury deliberating a death penalty case. I'll tell you what happened when a judge agreed to let "Frontline" do it.
OK, though, it's "Free-For-All" day, so we're going to meet our panel. Jeffrey Jacobovitz is a trial attorney.
JEFFREY JACOBOVITZ, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Good afternoon.
NEVILLE: Peter Noel is a radio talk show host on WWRL in New York.
PETER NOEL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hello, Arthel.
NEVILLE: Debbie Schlussel.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hi, Arthel.
NEVILLE: Debbie is an attorney and sports agent. She is also a columnist at PoliticalUSA.com and a talk show host on WKRK Radio.
Debbie, you have like about four or five jobs? Do you sleep?
SCHLUSSEL: Well, you know, life is short.
NEVILLE: That's a good attitude.
And Paul McGuire is host of "The Paul McGuire Show" on KBRT Radio in Los Angeles. He is the author of several books, including "Countdown Armageddon."
PAUL MCGUIRE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hey, Arthel. How you doing?
NEVILLE: I'm great. Thank you.
OK, Jeffrey, I'm going to start with you.
The U.S. is urging the Saudis to be more aggressive in cracking down on charities and businesses that finance terror. Is that enough or does the U.S. need to take a tougher line?
JACOBOVITZ: Well, the Saudis are in a very difficult position, because they're concerned about the stability of their government if the terrorism continues and flows over into their country.
But the bottom line is, we are too dependent on their oil. And our concern is the strategic petroleum reserve and the amounts of oil that are in reserve if in fact there's a crisis. And if there's a crisis, at this point, we're still relying on Saudi oil. And we should look for alternatives and other sources of oil.
SCHLUSSEL: Arthel, the fact is that the Saudis are not in a difficult position.
Every week, they're holding telethons on TV raising money for terrorists that are part of the al Qaeda network, such Hezbollah and Hamas. And not only that, but we know from the raids in Operation Green Quest in march many of Islamic organizations in the United States that they were funding over $1.2 billion to al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad through our very country. We need to get tough.
And I might add that that oil that we're dependent upon was oil that we developed and then they nationalized and seized it. And we could easily seize it back. Or we can go and use South America's oil and not use the Saudis.
JACOBOVITZ: Well, it's very difficult to just seize it back. There's something called international law.
SCHLUSSEL: International law doesn't allow seizure and nationalization. And they got away with it, because we let them.
JACOBOVITZ: Well, here's the issue.
The issue is, we're too dependent on them. They have been funding terrorists, although now the family denies they were funneling any money towards individual terrorists. But we know that's been happening. And we have to do something about it. And we've been afraid to do anything about it and confront the situation. It's time that we should confront the situation. MCGUIRE: And the reason we're afraid to confront the situation is because we have big oil companies that -- excuse the expression -- are in bed with the Saudis. They sell us cheap oil. And we don't want to open a Pandora's box.
NOEL: I believe the Saudis are hiding something. I have no sympathy for the Saudis at all. I believe that they knew that -- some people within the royal family knew about the existence of these hijackers and actually came and actually took the lives of so many people. I believe that we need be tougher with them. I have no sympathy for them at all.
NEVILLE: So, Peter, do you think it's because a because one- sixth of U.S. oil imports come from Saudi Arabia that they're maybe turning a blind eye, the U.S. is?
NOEL: Yes. I think that's why we're coddling them. We need them at this point.
I don't think they're going to use their base. I think, at some point, yes, they might allow the U.S. to use their bases. We need the oil. And they've already assured us that they're going to produce more oil for us in the case of war with Iraq. And I think that that's not enough.
SCHLUSSEL: But, Arthel, they need us more than we need them. Let's not forget that, only a little over a decade ago, if it weren't for us, they would be a province of Iraq. And the whole royal family would be in Switzerland.
NEVILLE: Debbie, the deal is, some people are saying they should not forget that.
SCHLUSSEL: They shouldn't forget that. And we shouldn't forget it ourselves. I think they need us more than we need them. And the fact is, we shouldn't let them forget that.
MCGUIRE: We know that every time we go to the gas tank and fill up a tank of gas, part of that money that we're spending at the gas tank is going to finance terrorism, through Saudi Arabia, right here in the United States of America.
NEVILLE: So, should we not use gas or just use less of it, Paul?
JACOBOVITZ: Ten years ago -- Debbie was right -- 10 years ago, Kuwait came first and then Saudi Arabia was next for Iraq. We saved Saudi Arabia. And now it's somewhat inconceivable that they're not allowing us to use the base. And, finally, they come around about that, if in fact there's a war with Iraq.
And it's a short-term memory for them, but they really need to own up to what's going on here and starting helping us out a little bit more.
MCGUIRE: And the Saudis are not our friends. We need to realize that the Saudis are not our friends. They were caught red-handed financing terrorism in the United States of America. With friends like the Saudis, who needs enemies?
SCHLUSSEL: That's right.
And, by the way, we can go with a month without their oil and get it from other sources. They cannot go a month without our money. The royal family has 7,000 princes or more strong that they have to support. And they're heavily in debt. They need our money more than we need their oil.
NEVILLE: Hang on for me. I have an e-mail coming across I want to share with you.
Now, it is coming from Kay in North Carolina: "I'm disappointed the U.S. is still so dependent on foreign oil. We should be spending as much money as developing oil alternatives as we do on purchasing oil from foreign sources."
Moving on now to another full screen, which is Princess Haifa's statement regarding possible -- well, here is it. She said: "I heard U.S. lawmakers in the American media say that money that I have donated to a needy Saudi family living in the United States was transferred to two Saudi 9/11 terrorists. My father, King Faisal, was killed in a terrorist act in 1975. I find that accusation that I contributed to terrorists outrageous and completely irresponsible."
And, Peter, what do you make of those remarks?
NOEL: Yes, I think it's a bum rap about her. I that think there's no evidence that the princess directly funneled any money to terrorists. We have no evidence that that was done. There's no money trail that she actually did that.
SCHLUSSEL: Oh, please. They're holding telethons every week.
NOEL: She didn't do it. She didn't directly finance any terrorists.
MCGUIRE: Her nose keeps getting larger and larger, like Pinocchio's.
NOEL: Do you any of you have any evidence? JACOBOVITZ: The Saudis have a well-oiled P.R. machine here in the United States.
NOEL: So does the U.S. government.
JACOBOVITZ: And that's what they're doing. And the princess is playing naive here.
NOEL: So does the U.S. government in terms of the propaganda.
MCGUIRE: Well, it's not propaganda. There's a major lawsuit.
NOEL: It's a bum rap. And you need to recognize it for that.
MCGUIRE: There's a huge lawsuit being initiated by many Americans who were the victims of September 11 directly against Saudi Arabia for their financial involvement in bankrolling...
NOEL: You cannot tie the princess to terrorism.
SCHLUSSEL: Please. They're holding telethons where they're actively donating the rolls to terrorists.
NOEL: Show me the evidence. Show me the money. Show me the money.
NEVILLE: Excuse me, panel. Hello, panel.
Liam is going into speak out.
We're very focused on just the Saudis, because it's the thing to do at this time. But the Texacos, Shells of the world, they are not dashing out to make electric cars. So the government here, all of our governments have a vested interest in using oil.
MCGUIRE: You're absolutely right.
NEVILLE: And why aren't they making those electric cars?
JACOBOVITZ: Well, everybody keeps driving their SUVs. And the consumers here aren't interested in those electric cars.
MCGUIRE: Don't blame this on the SUVs, for crying out loud.
NEVILLE: Are you defending SUVs, Paul?
MCGUIRE: I drove my SUV into the CNN studios -- and no apologies for an SUV. I'm not financing Saudi terrorism. SCHLUSSEL: That's right. I drive an SUV also. And I'm sorry, but all of these liberals who attack SUVs and attack oil are the same people that won't let us drill for oil in Alaska.
MCGUIRE: You're absolutely right.
SCHLUSSEL: Because they want us to remain dependent upon the Arabs...
NOEL: I thought we were talking about the princess.
SCHLUSSEL: ... because their holy trees and their holy caribou are more important than terrorism.
NEVILLE: There is the bell. Time for a break.
Later this hour, I want to know who you think should have gotten the half-million dollar reward for helping locate the D.C. snipers and why. Give me a call or send an e-mail right now.
Then up next: Is Hans Blix tough enough to stand down Saddam Hussein?
TALKBACK LIVE continues after this break.
NEVILLE (voice-over): Today on TALKBACK LIVE: A Texas jury could star in a PBS special deliberating a death penalty case, as the whole country watches.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jurors have never before believed that what they say once that door is closed will ever be made public. So, I believe it's a big deal.
NEVILLE: Could this latest version of reality TV have any impact on the jury's verdict?
We'll let you rule later this hour.
NEVILLE: And welcome back.
Weapons inspectors in Iraq begin their searches tomorrow. U.N. teams will focus on looking for chemical and biological weapons, as well as missiles and nuclear weapons. Chief Inspector Hans Blix says Iraq is concerned about meeting a December 8 deadline for lifting all of its weapons of mass destruction.
The Iraqis claim they have no such weapons. Now, Blix told reporters he has no illusions that it's going to be an easy job, OK?
So, Peter, I want to talk to you right now and say this. Hans Blix has taken some criticism for not being aggressive enough with Iraq. An opinion piece in today's "Wall Street Journal" is headlined "Hans the Timid." So, is he the man for the job?
NOEL: Well, some say Hans has blinked already.
And I believe, Arthel, the real issue is, the Iraqis are very good at cheating and retreating. And we also know that the Bush administration is very adept at moving the goal posts. How come we're not talking to Saddam about taking him to another country? How come we're not negotiating about actually avoiding war?
NEVILLE: You tell me, Peter. What do you think?
NOEL: I think we should talk to Saddam Hussein, talk to some country, and get Saddam out.
NEVILLE: You really think that it would be that simple, to talk to Saddam Hussein? You really think he would leave?
NOEL: Listen, we are threatening to bomb the man out of existence. The man is scared for his life. And I think, at this point, he has actually talked to Libya about actually getting into this country. Why doesn't the United States government talk to Libya about letting Saddam Hussein flee with his family and then he can have a regime change without shedding blood?
SCHLUSSEL: He will never leave voluntarily. He will never leave.
We've been negotiating over this for 12 years. He's violated every agreement, including the cease-fire agreement, after the Gulf War. What makes you think that any agreement or negotiation now will be any different? It won't be. And Hans has blinked in this whole job. This is all phony.
MCGUIRE: Peter, you're very naive.
NOEL: No, no, I'm not naive.
MCGUIRE: Saddam Hussein is up to his eyeballs in weapons of mass destruction. And we're sending 19 inspectors to search a nation the size of the state of California? We've got 19 inspectors to find weapons of mass destruction? Get real, Peter.
NOEL: I'm not naive at all.
(CROSSTALK) NOEL: Then you are certainly ignorant about the way the American government works. The CIA has been secretly negotiating with Iran.
SCHLUSSEL: How do you know? Are you part of the CIA?
NOEL: We know about our history. We know that.
NEVILLE: Jeffrey, go ahead.
MCGUIRE: Did you read that in the cartoon section of the paper?
JACOBOVITZ: Peter, those discussions are probably going on behind the scenes right now.
NOEL: Of course. I believe that.
JACOBOVITZ: We're not privy to it.
And the only issue there really is, is this a pretext for war? And if, in fact, it is -- and, obviously, Iraq is not going to pass. There's going to be a material breach. What happens next? If Scud missiles fly, does Israel get involved? If Israel gets involved, what happens in the Middle East and does the Middle East blow up?
NEVILLE: What do you think, Jeffrey?
JACOBOVITZ: Well, I think it's a tough situation.
In fact, if Saddam uses chemical or biological weapons on Scud missiles and sends them into Israel, Arik Sharon is not going to just sit by this time around, like the Israelis of last time, and not do anything. I think they'll have to respond. And if they respond, the question is, what happens in the other Arab countries?
MCGUIRE: The best defense is a good offense.
SCHLUSSEL: Well, there's no reason he won't use those kind of weapons. He's used them against his own people.
MCGUIRE: The best defense is a good offense. And we need to go into Iraq militarily, destroy all those weapons of mass destruction. Sooner or later, Saddam Hussein is going to use them against Israel. He will use them in terms of sleeper cells here in the United States of America. We need to take Saddam Hussein out.
NOEL: You want to defend Israel.
MCGUIRE: Yes, I do want to defend Israel.
SCHLUSSEL: Yes, what do you want to do, Peter, annihilate it and help your Palestinian commie buddies take over
NEVILLE: Panel, time out.
MCGUIRE: America must defend the nation of Israel.
NEVILLE: Paul, is this your first time on this TALKBACK LIVE thing?
MCGUIRE: I apologize.
NEVILLE: All right, now.
Listen, Marie, go ahead.
MARIE: I just think it's all smoke and mirrors. You say go in. You can't go in and find something that you have no idea where it is. So what are we going in looking for? We're looking for a piece here, a piece there. We find one thing. OK. They're hiding something else someplace else. It's all smoke and mirrors. It's a game of dollars and cents. Who has the most money? Who controls the oil? That's where we're sitting, people.
JACOBOVITZ: And that's a big issue. That's a good point, because the issue is, who will control the oil afterwards if in fact Saddam is removed? Will it be some new Iraqi leadership in the government? Will it be controlled by other Western powers?
There's a significant amount of oil there. And that amount of oil could lessen dependence on Saudi oil. So that is really a good point.
SCHLUSSEL: Well, hopefully, we will support the Iraqi opposition that we supported the last time and then abandoned after the Gulf War. And many of them were killed by Saddam. This time, we have to support them and help them take over, so that we can partake in the oil and in building a democratic country.
NEVILLE: Excuse me.
Earl from Georgia.
EARL: Yes, as I understand it, the inspectors just arrived, what, yesterday? It's a little early to start prejudging the outcome, when only a portion of their inspection team arrive. So I think we're jumping the gun.
NEVILLE: Thank you. I couldn't remember if today was Wednesday or Tuesday. So, yes, they did arrive yesterday.
I have a programming note for you right now. TALKBACK LIVE, by the way, won't be on tomorrow, because Christiane Amanpour will have an exclusive interview with Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix. That's at 3:00 Eastern, noon Pacific. But TALKBACK will be back on Thanksgiving Day.
In the meantime, stay where you are.
Up next: The Department of Homeland Security, it's official and it's big. So now do you feel safe?
We'll talk about that after the break.
NEVILLE: And welcome back, everybody.
A whole new Cabinet position was signed into law yesterday. The Department of Homeland Security will soon gobble up the Secret Service, the INS, Coast Guard, FEMA, Customs, among other things. At the helm of this new bureau is Tom Ridge. And the whole thing could take more than a year to get up and running.
So, do you feel safer? Well, a CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll shows most people do, with 13 percent saying they feel a little a lot safer and 47 percent saying a little safer; 39 percent are left feeling just about the same as they did before.
OK, now we go on to Paul. Is this agency going to be effective? Or could it be a bureaucratic nightmare, Paul?
MCGUIRE: Unfortunately, Arthel, it's going to be a big bloated bureaucracy. It's a step in the right direction, but it's a very slow step.
But the real concern here is, what happens to all of our freedoms when the day is done? I have grave concerns about the loss of freedoms, Big Brother invading every aspect of our lives. Sure, I want to support the war on terrorism, but I don't want a camera monitoring everything that I do in my life.
NEVILLE: What do you think, Jeffrey?
JACOBOVITZ: Paul's point is very well taken.
The issue of what happened after the Patriot Act and now Homeland Security, it's a great blow to civil liberties. And a lot of civil libertarians in the country have been discussing that. But what we have here is something that, hopefully, will work, because we needed some better coordinated effort to fight terrorism and look at the 9/11 failures.
But we don't have the FBI, we don't have the CIA, and we don't have the NSA involved with this homeland security group, or bureaucracy, as you may want to call it, as anyone may want to call it. So, the question is, how effective will it be? I also might note that it's interesting that a Republican president is developing a large bureaucracy here. SCHLUSSEL: Well, listen, the primary purpose of government is to provide for the defense of the people. And Republicans always have said that. So, there's nothing wrong with having an agency dedicated to that.
But the problem is, as you have pointed out, there are a number of agencies that are really doing great work, specifically the U.S. Customs and IRS and Treasury agents that are tracing the money and who is laundering money in this country and in other places to support terrorism. And I wonder how this new agency is going to work with U.S. Customs. Are they going to take over their investigations into money laundering and where the money is going?
In addition to that, I have a problem with a lot of these new things that the agency will be doing, like mining our credit card data, because what I think of, oftentimes, because they want to be politically correct and they don't want to target Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans who, let's face it, they fit the profile of the people who have done these things, they don't want to target them. So, they're going to target blonde-haired, blue-eyed people like me who have never done any terrorist acts in this country.
We haven't crashed planes into buildings. And they're going to use it against law-abiding citizens to be politically correct.
NEVILLE: What color was Timothy McVeigh, guys?
Hang on. Dale (ph) is here in the audience. And she wants to speak out right now.
DALE: I have noticed a vast improvement in airport security. But what about the people who are still getting through on planes with knives? I know there was a gentleman a couple weeks ago -- I'm not sure what airline -- but he actually got on the plane with a knife. And they -- I guess he turned it in to one of the stewardesses.
NEVILLE: So your point is?
DALE: Is there going to be a tighter way to actually catch people?
NEVILLE: But, at this point, do you feel safer?
DALE: It has been improved. I do feel a little bit safer. But there's still those cases where people are getting through onto planes with knives and things. Is there a better way to screen them?
NEVILLE: Let's see what Peter has to say.
NOEL: Arthel, I don't feel safe at all. I feel violated. I feel that this government -- we should start using the term secret police already. Remember the Stasi? Remember the Stasi? Remember Germany's secret police? Remember what they did? I think that this is what's going to be happening in America. They're going to into your e-mails. They're going into the fact that you're using an E-ZPass to go visit your grandmother, to go visit your wife, your spouse. They're digging into all our lives. And people don't understand how far the government will be reaching into our lives.
NEVILLE: So, Peter, even with all of this information, would it make you feel safer?
NOEL: No. That's the issue. They're going to be terrorizing us.
SCHLUSSEL: But, Peter, the problem was that, before 9/11, they didn't go into these things. And, in fact, they wouldn't even touch Zacarias Moussaoui's hard drive. Had they done that, they would have discovered all of this.
MCGUIRE: We've gone into a situation of overkill. And we run the risk of really losing our freedoms here in the United States of America.
NOEL: Before 9/11, they went into the lives of African- Americans, who were afraid to fly, who were afraid to drive, who were afraid to walk. They went into the lives of African-Americans, who were afraid to fly, Debbie.
SCHLUSSEL: No, actually, most polls say African-Americans feel safer and they support all this.
NEVILLE: Peter, what did you say? I have to understand this.
NOEL: I was trying to remind Debbie that, before 9/11, the American government, people, the people, the security people at airports went into the lives of African-Americans. We were just flying. But just because we were black, they stopped us while we were driving. They stopped us while we were talking. They stopped us while we were at the corners.
This is the type of intrusion that is going to be more in-depth now with this new Homeland Security Bill. I'm telling people we need to watch that.
SCHLUSSEL: This is completely different than driving while black. And the fact is, surveys show that most African-Americans feel safer and they support profiling. They support these kinds of government interventions.
NOEL: I don't know what type of surveys you've been conducting, Debbie, because we do not support
SCHLUSSEL: I don't conduct them. I read them.
JACOBOVITZ: I don't know what survey she's seeing.
NEVILLE: Hang on. I have two black women in the audience who would like to respond.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a teenager, I don't like being profiled when I drive down the street with my friends. I don't like being followed when I go into a store just because I'm black. So, I don't know what black individual she spoke to. But if she speaks to my black friends and the black individuals that I go to, every last one of them will tell you that we don't like being followed and we don't like being stopped just on the basis of our color.
SCHLUSSEL: That's not what this is about. That's a completely different issue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a middle-class black woman, I take offense to her saying that we as black people feel more secure. In fact, I feel less secure. I feel we're moving to "1984," George Orwell's book, where Big Brother is following me in my bathroom.
SCHLUSSEL: Well, you know what? You're not representative of the samples used for Zogby, Harris and Reuters polls. In poll after poll, the vast majority of your people say that they support this, as do all Americans.
JACOBOVITZ: I don't know what polls you're reading, but there's obvious profiling going on.
SCHLUSSEL: Every poll.
JACOBOVITZ: The questions, for example, in airplane security, if people are willing to put up with some sort of profiling in order to ensure safety, and the question a little while ago on airline security is, it's not foolproof.
And look at El Al. If somebody with a knife got through on El Al, which IS an airline that hasn't had a hijacking in 10 years...
NEVILLE: And now I'm going to go to South Carolina, where Sonya is standing by on the line.
Go ahead, Sonya. You're live.
CALLER: Hi. How you doing? As far as the Homeland Security Bill is concerned, I think it was a good attempt on the part of the administration. But, with the war that we are ultimately going to embark on with Iraq and eventually Iran and North Korea and whoever else the government feels like we need to uplift and make the world a more peaceful place, I think that retaliation is inevitable. And I feel that there is no safety that can be assured once we start what I feel will be World War III. And that's just my comment.
NEVILLE: Oh, there is the bell. We have to take a break.
Up next: PBS wants to bring reality TV into jury deliberations. "Frontline" producers say, if a jury is deliberating a death sentence, it should do it in front of the world. A Texas judge agrees. Do the our attorneys have a problem with that?
Find out after this.
NEVILLE: And welcome back, everybody. Forget "Survivor." The real test of human endurance often takes place inside a jury room, where men and women sometimes weigh life and death decisions. Traditionally, it's done behind closed doors so that jurors can engage in free and open discussions.
Well now, PBS wants to bring reality TV to the jury room, so that everyone can watch and listen as a jury decides a death penalty case involving a 17-year-old defendant in Texas. A Houston judge agreed to let the cameras in, but that ruling is on hold, as an appeals court weighs whether or not it should be overturned.
And Paul, I'm going to go to you right now and ask you, should PBS "Frontline," be allowed to tape deliberations during this trial?
MCGUIRE: Absolutely not. It's going to turn the entire jury process into an O.J. Simpson trial. What juror is going to feel comfortable talking confidentially about a particular case if he's got a camera recording his every move? In fact, jurors are going to be afraid to make the hard decisions for fear of recriminations. The cameras don't belong in the jury process.
NOEL: But Arthel, I believe that the whole image of the jury of executioner and seeing that image is just disturbing. You know I think some jurors might actually show off, they might actually play to the cameras, you know. Hey, if this is a remake of 12 angry men, I could be starring in it. If it's going to be played live on CNN, why not?
SCHLUSSEL: You know this is just another incarnation of the sorry genre that is realty TV. These jurors are going to be turned into like other contestants on "Survivor" or "The Bachelor." He is right. It will be changed into an O.J. trial, and it will be a farce with the dancing Itos and everything else.
And not only that, but we have the Supreme Court, who just ruled that jurors are allowed to be anonymous. And there is a reason for that. In certain high-profile murder cases, jurors don't want the person they're sentencing to know who they are. In this case, not only will they know who they are, but they'll know what thought process went on and it will be a disgrace.
JACOBOVITZ: I've tried many cases where I've been able to talk to jurors after, or done mock jury trials, and jurors are very insightful and say tremendous things. And really, in fact, give lawyers ideas about how to better their cases.
But in this situation, in a capital murder case -- and it's been done in other kinds of cases. But a capital murder case is a little bit different, because they're determining the life or death of a defendant. And I think in this situation, it would inhibit the jurors from really speaking out and discussing what they need to discuss, and it's just not a good idea.
NEVILLE: I have John (ph) in the audience, who is an attorney.
JOHN: Hi. I totally agree with the speakers. I think the jurors should be concentrating on the evidence and whether the person is guilty or not. And if they're worried about being on TV, or harassment about some of the friends, relatives of someone that they might find guilty, that could really disrupt the process totally.
And I think it would really be a travesty of justice. I think you absolutely have to have the jurors have their independence, the privacy and be able to deliberate in private and say what they're going to say.
NEVILLE: Thank you, sir. You know, Paul, the defendant and his attorney both want to go ahead and have this camera in the jury room, in the deliberation room, because he says or they say that his client will get a fair trial because of that so nobody can pull an okey-doke (ph).
MCGUIRE: Well, yes, because they want to do an end run around the jury process and appeal to the American public. It's basically about getting his client off. But it's a corruption of the judicial process and it will really hurt our court system.
NOEL: Maybe there's something really wrong with the case. Maybe there are irregularities in terms of the evidence and he wants to expose that. That might be one way of doing it.
MCGUIRE: But that's a job for the jurors to decide.
SCHLUSSEL: The way to expose is in the courtroom before the jury, where everybody else, reporters, stenographers can report upon it.
NOEL: You didn't hear about the case until we started talking about it. So this is one way in which the defense attorney can get the word out and say hey, something is wrong with this case. My client has been railroaded. I would like America to see this.
SCHLUSSEL: Defense attorneys never have a shortage of press outlets to complain about their clients, the case and the evidence. And this will just be another way to avoid the death penalty and turn our courtrooms into reality TV. And we don't need that.
JACOBOVITZ: One interesting issue would be whether, in fact, they can appeal the jury's verdict based on anything said within the jury room. They've agreed not to, but there has to be a way that they're going to try to do that because, in fact, once you hear the deliberations, it could lead to trouble within the system.
NEVILLE: OK. I have Drew (ph) from Alabama here in the audience.
DREW: I think it's fine as long as they like blur out their face and disguise their voice. But if it's anything besides that, they don't need to be in there. That's their personal opinion and they don't need to be spoken (ph) until they do it as a group.
NEVILLE: Thank you very much, Mr. Drew (ph). And I want to talk to Ed (ph) now, who is standing by on the phone. Go ahead, Ed (ph), you're live.
ED: OK. I think having the cameras in the jury room is good. It gives Americans a chance to see how the jury system works. And I believe that they'll handle their job the way they always do. That's about it.
NEVILLE: OK. Thank you. Tiffany (ph), what do you say?
TIFFANY: I think the cameras need to stay out of the room because the jurors -- like they were saying earlier, the jurors are going to maybe look for fame and that could -- the cameras might affect the way that they feel and change how they decide. So I think...
NEVILLE: So it's not a good idea?
TIFFANY: No, I don't think so.
NEVILLE: OK. Thank you. Oh, there's the bell. There is the bell, which means we have to move on.
Coming up next, who should get nearly $500,000 in reward money for helping catch the alleged Beltway snipers? There are several candidates, including a priest, a truck driver and the person who reported a bullet riddled tree stump. It's our question of the day. So give us a call now, 1-800-310-4CNN, or you can e-mail us now at TALKBACK@CNN.com. We're back in a moment.
NEVILLE: And welcome back, everyone, I'm Arthel Neville. There is a $500,000 reward waiting for whoever was key in helping police solve the Beltway sniper case. And for a while today, we thought we were going to find out who got it. Would it be the truck driver who found the two suspects at a rest stop? How about the priest who overheard someone bragging about the killings?
But, Montgomery County, Maryland Police Chief Charles Moose says they've been evaluating more than 60,000 tips. And for those and lots of other reasons, a decision on the reward has not been made.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF CHARLES MOOSE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Once you give someone reward money, they do move into the category of potentially being a paid witness. So there are a lot of potential missteps in the distribution of reward funds. We will work with people that have experience and then eventually will also make sure that we have the proper number of attorneys involved in this entire process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEVILLE: OK. Jeffrey, who should get the money?
JACOBOVITZ: Well, it's interesting that I get to start, since we lived through the sniper here in Washington, D.C. And the question really is who should get the money? I think anyone remotely -- anyone that remotely contributed to it should share in the reward. For example, there was an individual who tipped off the Maryland police that the blue Chevy Caprice was driving away without lights on at an earlier killing in D.C. That was completely ignored.
They were only looking for this white van. That person should get money as well. And I think Captain Moose's point regarding a paid witness is very important, because if you're going to prove a case against Malvo and against Muhammad, you have to show that the witnesses are credible. And if they're paid, an attorney could right away attack their credibility and say it taints their testimony.
NEVILLE: Paul, how do you see it?
MCGUIRE: Well, how are you going to divide up $500,000 amongst 60,000 witnesses? Is everybody going to get $10 a piece?
JACOBOVITZ: Well, it's not 60,000 witnesses.
MCGUIRE: Well, that's what Moose just said, 60,000 people.
JACOBOVITZ: 60,000 tips, but not 60,000 people who led to the arrest.
MCGUIRE: Look, you promised a reward. Quit hemming and hawing. Give the reward. Form a committee to decide who is the best candidate and give out the money quick.
SCHLUSSEL: I think that the whole thing is ridiculous. This priest, that's his job to hear confessions, and she's supposed to take an oath of poverty. Really, the person that found these guys in the last place was at the rest stop. And, as you guys have pointed out, many of the people that gave tips that also were ignored.
But the point here is that, in America, it's our civic duty to turn in suspects who commit crimes. This shouldn't be about the money. This should be about saving people's lives and doing your duty.
MCGUIRE: But Moose promised a reward. They came out publicly and promised a financial reward. They need to deliver on the promise.
NOEL: Arthel, listen -- Arthel, I believe that, look, I don't know who should get the money. I think it's a tough call. There's an issue here that's going on that no one has looked at, and that's Chief Moose.
The man has been reduced, actually, to being the financial guardian for a sniper bounty. This is America's policeman. I mean he is actually now trying to decide who gets money. This is a man who should be on "TIME" magazine's cover as person of the year.
He's actually trying to find out who is going to be -- how the money is going to be doled out. That just belittles him. He should have never been given this type of job, and that's the issue for me.
JACOBOVITZ: Well, I don't think Chief Moose is the one ultimately determining. I think there's a number of people making that determination of who gets the money. But I think it shouldn't be done right away. I think it's something that needs to be done carefully so it doesn't have an impact upon the following trial.
NEVILLE: OK. Let's see what Elaine (ph) has to say.
ELAINE: I think that Americans are getting too greedy, and that all of them took part in turning them in and it should be divided equally among all of them.
NEVILLE: All three of those people?
NEVILLE: Thank you.
SCHLUSSEL: I think most of the people that called that line called because they wanted to stop a killer of Americans. And I don't think most people called in because of the money. I would like to think that, anyway. I think I'm right.
NEVILLE: OK. Let's see what Pleshette (ph) has to say.
PLESHETTE: I believe all of them, the money should be split with all of them. And they should cut it off right now, because the next thing you know, there's going to be a lot of other people calling saying they had some part in this too.
NEVILLE: OK. Let's good to the phones now, where we have Janet (ph) from Georgia.
JANET: Hi, how are you?
NEVILLE: Hi, Janet (ph).
JANET: I just want to make a comment. I agree with the lady on your panel. I mean, it's a civic duty for anybody with any heart at all to be able to just call in on anything like that. And why does money have to play such a huge part in doing the right thing in your life that you're supposed to do to begin with?
I'm sorry. My husband's a detective with a police department. And sure, tips help. Every single day, tips help. But is this the only way that the United States can come together and be a country like we are without having to be paid off for it? I mean, it's a shame.
NEVILLE: Thank you, Janet (ph). Oh, you know what, Alice (ph) is going to speak.
ALICE: I say give each of those three $1,000, give the rest to the victims. If I got $1,000 for telling something I knew, I would be very happy.
NEVILLE: Thank you, Miss Alice (ph). Thank you very much.
And the bell has rung. So we move on and say who should -- who do you think should get the reward? It's our question of the day. Go ahead and give us call or e-mail us now and I'll take your ideas a little later this hour.
Up next, no more "Love Me Tender" Cage and Presley. We'll have that story and more in our flash round. Stick around.
NEVILLE: And welcome back, everybody. It's time for our fast- paced flash round.
Up first, the marriage may be over before the honeymoon for Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley. Cage has filed for divorce after nearly four months of marriage. Lisa Marie issued a statement today saying the two never should have been married in the first place. Is she right, Jeffrey?
JACOBOVITZ: It's amazing it lasted that long.
NOEL: I think the sex was bad.
SCHLUSSEL: Still trying to figure out Ben Affleck marrying J. Lo. (ph).
MCGUIRE: I think they need to go to a marriage counselor.
NEVILLE: OK. Up next, could Cruise and Cruz be headed down the altar? Tabloids say Penelope and Tom are planning a spring wedding. If it happens, would it be a marriage made in movie star heaven or too much star power -- Jeffrey.
JACOBOVITZ: I think it would be too much money spent on the wedding.
NOEL: Exactly. I was about to say the same thing. Too much money on the wedding.
NEVILLE: What, $2 million is it -- Debbie.
NOEL: $50,000 for a ring? Come on.
SCHLUSSEL: Two more self-absorbed celebrities getting married? Who cares?
MCGUIRE: I feel sorry for Nicole Kidman.
NEVILLE: All right. Up next, who are the world's best lovers? If making love is any guide, it's the French. A survey of 50,000 people in 22 countries found the French have the most sex. The U.S. dropped from first place last year to 11th place this year. So what happened, Jeffrey?
JACOBOVITZ: This is an amazing finding for cardiologists, because they always thought it was the red wine helping hearts.
NOEL: Arthel, they have not surveyed the West Indians. You know that Europeans flock to Jamaica and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and Barbados? They have not surveyed the West Indians.
SCHLUSSEL: Only a condom company would judge or country, the greatest on earth, by this doubtful standard.
MCGUIRE: The French are lying, everybody knows married Americans have the best sex.
NEVILLE: All right. And Pat (ph).
PAT: Well, I think we've had a difficult year. So who cares?
NEVILLE: All right. Next up, how does the U.S. measure up to the rest of the world when it comes to education? A new U.N. study shows the U.S. ranked 18th out of 24 of the world's richest countries. South Korea ranked number one. Can we catch up, Jeffrey?
JACOBOVITZ: Well, this is actually a serious point. And the question is why aren't we higher? And that's something that needs to be looked at.
NOEL: Come to New York City schools. It's the worse in the country.
SCHLUSSEL: South Korea doesn't have Emimen, the NEA and teachers for life opposing vouchers and free capitalistic education.
MCGUIRE: We need to quit concentrating on social engineering and reading, writing and arithmetic.
NEVILLE: OK. Up next, a Bush birthday. Barbara and Jenna Bush turned 21 yesterday. Now that the twins are legal, are they fair game for the media, Jeffrey?
JACOBOVITZ: I always thought they were fair game before and the media looked after them carefully.
NOEL: Leave those kids alone.
SCHLUSSEL: Wish the media was as hard on Chelsea and the Gore kids as they've been on the Bush daughters.
MCGUIRE: Absolutely they're fair game.
NEVILLE: All right. Well listen, that is all the time we have for our flash round. Jeffrey Jacobovitz -- sorry, Jeffrey. Peter Noel, thanks, Peter. Debbie Schlessel and Paul, McGuire, I want to thank you, because you got hush factor put on you this afternoon. But, you know, we mean no harm here at TALKBACK LIVE. Thanks so much for being with us.
And up next, I'm going to take your phone calls and e-mails on the question of the day. Who deserves the $500,000 reward for helping break the D.C. sniper case? Don't go anywhere. TALKBACK LIVE continues in a moment.
NEVILLE: And welcome back, everybody. Guess what? My buddy, Charles Barkley sent something over. There he is. Charles won't be here tomorrow, but maybe this bobble head can keep us company until next Wednesday, when Sir Charles joins us live. I see you bobbing your head, Charles.
OK, right next, the question of the day. Who deserves the reward money in the D.C. sniper case? We have some e-mails coming through right now I want to share with you. First up, Tony in Washington, D.C. says, "If the reward goes to anyone, it should go to aid the families who tragically lost their loved ones."
And moving on to Rich in New Jersey. "The money should be divided equally among those people who gave information leading to the identification and apprehension of the murderers."
And now we're going to Virginia, where Mike (ph) is standing by on the phone. Mike (ph), what do you think?
MIKE: I think you've got to give it to the trucker who made the phone call. He was the one most directly responsible for catching the guys.
NEVILLE: OK. Thank you very much.
And listen, we are out of time. I think they're telling me I'm off the rest of the week for Thanksgiving holiday. So that's good news for me. But, of course, you can tune in tomorrow, CNN right here, at 3:00 PM Eastern, because Christine Amanpour will have an exclusive live interview with Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector Hans Blix. It's all part of our hour-long special on Iraq, the weapons hunt beginning at 3:00 Eastern, 12:00 Pacific.
You know what, I will be here Thanksgiving day. In the meantime, have a happy Thanksgiving.
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