AC 360 DEGREES
$87 Billion More for Iraq?; Could New Evidence Clear Michael Skakel?; FBI: Pizza Delivery Driver Did Not Act Alone
Aired September 8, 2003 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Where will the $87 billion go? Starting from scratch in the Middle East? Where are al Qaeda's leaders hiding? The Saudis: whose side are they on?
Could new leads lead to a new trial for the Kennedy cousin behind bars for murder? Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife hits the campaign trail. A Death Row inmate cleared of the rape and murder of a 9-year- old. And the mental anguish of reality TV?
ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN broadcast center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
COOPER: And a good evening to you. Thanks for joining us. I'm Anderson Cooper. Welcome to our debut hour.
We're following a number of developments for you tonight. We're going to take you to Baghdad where there has been more violence and more reaction to President Bush's plan for Iraq.
Also ahead, after three months of quiet, Miami police are worried the serial rapist has struck again. We'll tell you details.
And we'll take you to California. You're looking at a live picture right now. There she is. Maria Shriver making her first solo appearance in her husband's campaign for governor. We'll have a live report, all the details.
We begin, however, tonight, with the president's speech, in which he told the nation that Iraq is the central front in the battle against terror, a battle the president wants $87 billion more to pay for.
The speech has created fallout, both here in the U.S. and in Iraq. For that, we turn to John King at the White House and Nic Robertson in Baghdad. First the White House and John King.
John, let's crunch some numbers for a minute. How does the White House plan to break down the $87 billion and how is it going to affect the deficit?
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the White House is trying to sell that $87 billion, much more for the war in Iraq than many had envisioned just even weeks ago. And word from the administration tonight that, yes, this will balloon the record federal budget deficit even more. So that will complicate the president's sales pitch, especially because next year is the year he will be asking the voters to re-elect him.
Let's look first at the deficit. The administration already was projecting a $475 billion, a record $475 billion deficit this year. It says with the Iraq war that deficit will balloon to at least $525 billion, perhaps even higher. Again, that a record.
Now how does the $87 billion break down? Most of it goes to Iraq: $20 billion for Iraqi reconstruction; $51 billion to pay for U.S. troops, 130,000 expected to be there throughout the next year. Another $16 billion in the president's request would go to pay for the war in Afghanistan and other fronts in the war on terrorism.
And Anderson, as the president makes the pitch for this money in Congress, there's no doubt he'll get it, but there will be tough questions from key members of Congress. And Vice President Cheney was out in the country today and he said the president is prosecuting this war. And he also raised the prospect of even more fronts in the future if the war on terrorism perhaps expands -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. We're going to be hearing a lot more questions coming down in the next couple days. John King, thanks very much.
Now to Iraq we go and an improvised explosive device blew up under a U.S. convoy. Among some Iraqis, it seems the efforts of the U.S., past, present or promised, are not welcome.
Nic Robertson explains.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Only three hours after President Bush's speech, soldiers in this unarmored open-top Humvee attacked, four flak jacket for improvised protection still draped over its side.
According to eyewitnesses, an explosive device dropped on the soldiers as they drove under the bridge. Only two soldiers from the soft-skin vehicle injured, but ending two days of no U.S. casualties.
In Baghdad, the coalition's top administrator pushed his nation- building agenda, meeting the newly appointed interim minister of works, emphasizing the benefits of President Bush's call for more money.
PAUL BREMER, U.S. ADMINISTRATOR IN IRAQ: And it is a clear, dramatic illustration of the fact that the American people are going to finish the job we started when we liberated Iraq here some four months ago.
ROBERTSON: Feelings about President Bush's speech not matched by some Baghdad residents. "What do you see around?" says salesman Hayda (ph). "There is nothing: no security, no rebuilding. It's all lies. Bush is a liar, just like Saddam."
Sparking disbelief also, President Bush's defining that the war in Iraq, in terms of the war on terrorism.
"Is this terrorism?" questions this lawyer. "I mean, if I go and occupy the United States and the American people resisted me, will that be labeled terrorism?"
To the north of Baghdad, the hunt for anti-U.S. elements did go on. Four men arrested overnight in raids around Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.
COOPER: And Nic Robertson joins us live in Baghdad.
Nick, you mentioned renewed violence. Is there a sense among U.S. soldiers in the last 24 hours or so that this $71 billion that President Bush has asked Congress to allocate to Iraq is going to, perhaps, suffice to make them safer?
ROBERTSON: Well, certainly, they would like to see it make them safer. The armored vehicle those soldiers were attacked in today was a soft-skin vehicle. If more of the soldiers had more of the armored Humvees that are here, more of them would spend more of their time here being safer.
Soldiers would also like to see more spare parts arriving for their Bradley fighting vehicles, for their Abraham's (sic) tanks. They've been running short of some spare parts. They go out at less than full strength.
They would also like to see, in some situations, more troops so that they can better do their job. They know what it would take to do their job and many of them say if we had more people we could do it more effectively, more quickly -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Nic Robertson live in Baghdad. Thanks very much, Nic.
Want to give you some perspective here for a moment. So far $131 billion has been spent, or allocated for the war with Iraq. Now, in current dollars the first Gulf War cost $76.1 billion. The Vietnam War, $484.3 billion over eight years and the newly -- the nearly four- long year Second World War, $2.9 trillion. A little perspective.
Back here at home, some new legal developments to tell you about right now. The question tonight: is there new evidence that will clear Michael Skakel, the Kennedy cousin now serving time for the murder of a neighbor 28 years ago?
Skakel's new lawyers are saying they'll seek a new trial based on a statement that allegedly implicates two other people as the real killers.
David Mattingly has the latest.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one down and 19 to life to go for Michael Skakel, convicted last year for the 1975 murder of his 15-year-old neighbor Martha Moxley.
But the new attorney for this Kennedy cousin says she has newly discovered evidence and may seek a new trial.
A former teenage classmate from Skakel's private Connecticut school, according to the "Hartford Courant," claims that Moxley was killed instead by two of his former friends.
LYNNE TOUNY, "HARTFORD COURANT": And all the police reports and interviews done after the murder, no one has mentioned seeing these tips.
MATTINGLY: The newspaper identifies the former classmate as Miami resident Tony Bryant, reportedly a cousin of NBA star Kobe Bryant.
Moxley's body was found beneath this tree outside her home, beaten with a golf club. Bryant claims, according to the published report, that his friends were carrying golf clubs they picked up in the Skakel family's yard and were talking about attacking a girl caveman style. It was clear to Bryant, according to the article, they were talking about Moxley.
RICHARD MEHAN, APPELLATE ATTORNEY: If this young man is telling the truth and this is believable evidence, this could be the key that unlocks the prison door for Michael Skakel.
MATTINGLY: Bryant, at his Miami home, declined comment to CNN, saying he wants to protect his family's privacy, something that has been in short supply for anyone involved in this high-profile case, a case full of twists and celebrity intrigue that began with the murder of a young girl, 28 years ago.
David Mattingly, CNN.
COOPER: A lot of questions still unanswered. The fact remains, even if this is new evidence, it doesn't mean there's going to be a new trial for Michael Skakel. But we're going to talk about what happens now later on in our program with legal expert Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom. That's in about 20 minutes or so.
The investigation continues into that bizarre bank robbery in Erie, Pennsylvania. The suspect, he said he had been forced to rob the bank, died when an explosive clamped around his neck went off.
Mike Brooks has the newest information. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
MIKE BROOKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The FBI now thinks there was someone else behind the Erie bank robbery, that pizza delivery man Brian Wells did not act alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evidence that was gathered thus far certainly indicates that that is the least likely scenario and we are to the point where we have discounted that as a possibility.
BROOKS: Immediately after the bank robbery, Wells pulled into the back of this McDonald's only half a block away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Wells was provided instruction to go through that sign to receive additional information and direction, relative to the robbery.
BROOKS: They said Wells was told to drive to a wooded area off a nearby interstate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was to park his vehicle on the side of the road and enter into the wooded area right directly across from the traffic light indicator sign.
BROOKS: This is an FBI sketch of a man who was seen, quote, "running feverishly out of those woods and across a busy road a short time later."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he, according to the witness, was actually maneuvering himself between cars and placing his hands on the trunks or hoods of various vehicles to avoid from getting -- to avoid getting hit.
BROOKS: The FBI also released a sketch of a black man seen running across the same road some distance away. But investigators still do not know what relationship, if any, either man may have with the crime.
BROOKS: The FBI also says that they believe that Brian Wells did, in fact, make his final pizza delivery to a radio tower in a remote area just prior to the bank robbery -- Anderson.
COOPER: Such a bizarre case. Mike Brooks, thanks very much for the update.
Want to check the uplink for other news around the world tonight.
America's closest allies sending more troops to Iraq. Britain is sending 1,200 more soldiers to Iraq. Already 11,000 British troops in Iraq.
Six months just isn't enough. The U.N.'s chief atomic inspector, Mohammed ElBaradei, is asking for more time to examine Iran's nuclear program. Now he told the atomic energy board in Austria they are making good progress, according to him, but need to be sure Iran is using its nuclear program for peaceful purposes only.
And it is Australia's worst serial murder case in history. This man right there, two men, in fact, have been sentenced to life in prison after a 20-month killing spree that left 18 people murdered. Many of the bodies were tortured, dismembered, stuffed into barrels. Now witnesses said the pair had a deep hatred of suspected pedophiles or homosexuals.
And massive flooding in northern China has some half a million people fleeing their homes right now. It is being called the country's worst flooding in 20 years. More than 100 small villages have already been submerged. No signs of letting up right now.
And Palestinian prime minister, not exactly a job many people are lining up for. And so Ahmed Qorei, the new man tapped for the post, is taking his sweet time before giving a final answer. And he's demanding a few guarantees, as well.
Matthew Chance has that.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He may be Yasser Arafat's choice for prime minister, but as a skilled politician, Ahmed Qorei knows the risks. He says he'll take the job only if there's wide support from the U.S. and others.
AHMED QOREI, CONSIDERED FOR PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER: I want to see that the Israelis will change the way of dealing with Arafat. They elected a president because I cannot go without his support.
CHANCE: It was lack of support from Yasser Arafat that proved a major factor in the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas over the weekend. His departure flung the U.S.-backed road map peace plan into uncertainty and underlined how powerful President Arafat remains, despite the best efforts of Israel and the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is (UNINTELLIGIBLE). So he runs the Palestinian authority.
CHANCE: And beyond the political developments in Gaza, the violence continues. This the aftermath of Israel's latest strike on the militant group Hamas. Any new Palestinian prime minister, says Israel, must be willing and able to crack down on the militants himself.
JONATHAN PILED, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTRY: What concerns us really is whether or not we have a partner on the other side, whether or not he can deliver, whether or not he's willing to fight the terrorist organizations.
CHANCE: But whether any new prime minister can succeed where the last one so dramatically failed remains in doubt.
Matthew chance, CNN, Jerusalem.
COOPER: Well, still ahead tonight, the search for al Qaeda leaders continues. Ahead, keeping track of who's still on the loose.
And getting the wrong guy, then getting the right guy years later. Will DNA finally bring justice to a murder case?
COOPER: Welcome back. With the anniversary of the September 11 attacks coming up, we turn our attention to the war on terror.
With al Qaeda remaining the key target, we often hear about this al Qaeda leader or that one being captured or killed, which begs the question, who is still out there? How many?
CNN's Mike Boettcher is keeping track in our terror watch.
MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ramsey Binalshibh, nabbed after a shootout in Pakistan, a year to the day after 9/11. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, captured a few months later. Proof, says President Bush, that al Qaeda is on the run.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nearly two- thirds of al Qaeda's known leaders have been captured or killed, and we continue on al Qaeda's trail.
BOETTCHER: Intelligence officials say al Qaeda's captured leaders are spilling big secrets about the group.
ROHAN GUNARATNA, AUTHOR, "INSIDE AL QAEDA": Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was called Mokta (ph), the brave. And when he was detained, basically he wanted to prove himself again as a great man to his interrogators.
BOETTCHER: That information may have helped prevent new al Qaeda plots. But it's not clear that it's gotten America or Pakistan any closer to capturing Osama bin Laden or his number two, Ayman al Zawahiri.
The U.S. and Pakistanis thought they had bin Laden in March, but that lead proved false. The search for al Qaeda's leader is now focused on an area along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, particularly on the Pakistan side.
PETER BERGEN, TERRORISM ANALYST: The United States doesn't appear to have a mole within al Qaeda that could give real time information about their whereabouts and the people around them don't seem to be motivated by the cash rewards.
BOETTCHER: Two other al Qaeda leaders, Sudanam Abu Haydan (ph) and military commander Saif Al Adel, are said to be in Iran, in custody, possibly with bin Laden's son. Also thought to be in Iran, according to intelligence officials, Abu Alzarqawi, head of an al Qaeda affiliated group and seen as the key link to cells in Iraq.
Bin Laden may have fewer lieutenants, say terrorism experts, but the group is not out of business.
(on camera) And, in fact, several coalition intelligence sources tell CNN the al Qaeda leaders to worry about now are the ones we don't know about.
Mike Boettcher, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: This program note: in a couple of minutes we're going to talk to Jay Carney from "TIME" magazine about their cover story this week, all about Saudi Arabia and whether Saudi Arabia is doing enough to support the U.S. and coalition forces in the war on terror. That coming up in just a couple minutes.
Some other developments to tell you about now across country.
A controversial first day at the first publicly funded gay high school in New York City. A small group protested against the school as some 200 supporters rallied. The school in Manhattan's East Village was privately funded for 20 years.
The government has approved a new birth control pill called Seasonale that can greatly reduce the number of menstrual cycles a woman has each year. Now, with this pill, a woman can go 12 weeks without having her period. Still unknown if this shortens the process.
NASA is expected to get the space shuttle flying again, possibly by next March or next summer. A new return to flight plan was unveiled today which looks at several safety steps the agency is considering to meet that goal. The shuttle program has been grounded since the Columbia tragedy on February 1.
And the Dalai Lama is touring America. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was in Bloomington, Indiana this week. He dedicated a temple to world peace and told thousand people there to be religious and choose a faith.
And California continues to spin around its recall axis, a political experience unlike any other.
Now, today is the first day residents can cast their absentee ballots, just in case they want to miss the rest of the campaign. Don't know why they would.
CNN's Kelly Wallace has found out California's embattled governor just keeps on swinging.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The gloves are coming off. Arnold Schwarzenegger's team demands an apology after Gray Davis told a supporter a few days ago, quote, "you shouldn't be governor unless you can pronounce the name of the state." Instead of apologizing, Davis slammed the actor turned candidate for supporting a 1994 initiative banning benefits for illegal immigrants.
GOV. GRAY DAVIS, CALIFORNIA: We were just joking around. But it's no joke that Arnold Schwarzenegger supported 187, which is perceived as anti-immigrant.
WALLACE: Schwarzenegger tried to turn the Davis flap to his advantage.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: He doesn't like the way I say the word "California" because I say "California" rather than "California." But there's many other words that he doesn't like. He doesn't like lost jobs.
WALLACE: A few words that the major Democrat on the ballot, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, barely mentioned Sunday in his opposition to the recall. His new strategy, focus on his candidacy instead.
LT. GOV. CRUZ BUSTAMANTE, CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I have to make sure and distinguish myself in terms of my ideas and what I do. And so that's where I'm focused.
WALLACE: Other lesser known candidates are focusing on trying to get some attention, including Republican businessman Peter Ueberroth, who started running his first television ads Monday.
ANNOUNCER: Peter Ueberroth took the L.A. Olympics...
WALLACE: The key question, what do the voters think? Some answers will come tomorrow when the latest poll is expected to be released.
COOPER: And Kelly Wallace joining us live now. And earlier we saw that live picture of Maria Shriver making her first solo campaign appearance. I think it's still going on in Sacramento right now. How much impact can we expect her to make in this campaign? I know she's been active behind the scenes already.
WALLACE: Well, Schwarzenegger's aides say she is going to be playing a dual role. She's going to be going out there, speaking on behalf of her husband. And she's also going to be doing what he did today in Sacramento: encouraging voters to register.
Political observers think she could have a strong impact, encouraging possibly some Democrats to vote for Schwarzenegger and also attracting some women to the polls. Now, there were some protesters at that event today protesting against Schwarzenegger.
Maria Shriver did not spend a long time there, but she will be out in full force, we are told, on the campaign trail.
And Anderson, as for Governor Gray Davis, he will be here in Los Angeles about two hours from now, another one of his town hall meetings, encouraging Californians to go to the polls and defeat the recall -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Kelly Wallace, live in Sacramento, thanks very much.
Now Michael Skakel's attorney wants a new trial. We're going to talk about that coming up. Do they have a realistic chance of getting one? We'll talk to Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom.
Also, tonight from the serious to the surreal. A lot of new reality TV programs getting on the air. How do the contestants cope with all the pressures? We're going to talk about that when we return.
COOPER: A few minutes ago we told you that attorneys for Michael Skakel plan to seek a new trial based on what they see as new evidence that somebody else killed Martha Moxley. Is a new trial likely or even possible?
Want to get an expert opinion. Want to bring in Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, assistant district attorney in San Francisco.
Kimberly, thanks for being with us.
My understanding, in order to even get this evidence, to get a new trial, it's got to pass a couple of different tests. What are those tests?
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SAN FRANCISCO: Basically, they have to show and demonstrate that this is newly discovered evidence that wasn't available at the time of the first trial, in fact, that it would be admissible and that it could have produced a different result, had the jury been privy to it at the time that they reach their deliberations and made convictions in this case.
So it's a very hard standard to reach. And in fact, one of the hurdles that this new defense team is going to have to overcome is showing that, in fact, the present defense team at the time of the trial didn't have this information. In fact, there are reports that they were made aware of it and chose to discount it, the police, the prosecutors and the Moxley family, at the time it became available.
COOPER: If that, in fact, is the case, that the defense team knew about it, the prosecution knew about it, other people knew about it, that would instantly seem to indicate, well, it's not then new information and, therefore, no new trial.
NEWSOM: That's the problem with this particular kind of information coming forward. However, the judge will have within its discretion to balance these factors and look at all the different information in this case. And if believed true, this information could clear Michael Skakel. If believable, it is compelling and would cast reasonable doubt and would have affected, I believe, the outcome of the verdict in this case.
COOPER: Even if it's not evidence that could be admitted into a new trial, I mean, is it being floated by the defense simply to sort of muddy the waters and raise the possibility, perhaps, some time down the road, of some sort of defense, maybe based on someone else's testimony?
NEWSOM: Well, I think that the prosecution is also looking into this evidence as actually eager to get any information the defense has. They'll be filing their new trial motion. The prosecution does have an obligation to check it out.
The bottom line here is to serve justice. And if the wrong man has been convicted and sits in jail for a crime he did not commit, then everyone involved has an obligation to see this through and get to the bottom of it.
COOPER: Bottom line, do you think it's going to be a retrial?
NEWSOM: I think they are going to -- it's a long shot at best. But if this information is true, it definitely should come forward and it should be the kind of information that would set him free.
COOPER: All right. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, thanks very much.
Still to come this evening, first DNA made him America's first veteran of Death Row to walk free. Now has DNA pinpointed the man whose crime he was once sentenced to die for? Remarkable story, when we return.
COOPER: To (UNINTELLIGIBLE) today's top stories, we start our second half of the program. There's a partial price tag for the war on terror. President Bush is asking Congress for $87 billion for reconstruction and ongoing military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. There's been mixed reaction. One former White House aide called the amount eye-popping.
The governor of Indiana had surgery after being found unconscious in a Chicago hotel room. The surgery has just finished, we're told. A hospital spokeswomen said Frank O'Bannon suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain. His doctor says the next 24 to 48 hours will be crucial.
A Colorado judge says the October 9 preliminary hearing for Kobe Bryant will be off camera. The judge says, court rules specifically prohibit cameras at pretrial hearings. Bryant, of course, is charge with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in his hotel room at a mountain resort. And a correspondent for the Arab TV network Al Jazeera will spend three more days in jail. A judge in Spain ordered him held, while police investigate possible links to Al Qaeda.
A Brooklyn church was packed with more than 1,000 firefighters. They were there for the funeral of Michael Ragusa. His remains were never found, so his family buried a vile of blood he had donated to a bone marrow center.
More on the war on terror. The Saudis are taking a hard line on terrorism, two years after 9/11. But many Americans are still finding it hard to trust the Saudi government. A recent CNN/"Time" Magazine poll shows 72 percent of Americans do not think Saudi Arabia can be trusted as an ally and only 20 percent believe the Saudis are cooperating with the U.S. as much as it can in the war on terror.
This week's "Time" takes an in-depth look inside the Kingdom.
"Time" White House correspondent Jay Carney is in Washington. He joins us right now.
Jay, thanks very much for being with us right now.
JAY CARNEY, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Thank you.
COOPER: How about it?
How is Saudi Arabia cooperating?
I mean, you hear from Washington, especially since the attack in May that they have really turned over a new leaf and are really trying to cooperate. Are they doing it?
CARNEY: Well, May 12 is a key date. As a lot of Americans know and were frustrated by, after 9/11, the Saudi government took a long time in conceding a simple fact, which is that 15 out of 19 of the hijackers on September 11 were Saudi citizens. They were reluctant to cooperate fully with U.S. investigators after the 9/11 attacks. May 12 changed things when the war on terrorism was brought home to Saudi Arabia, when three bombs went off in Riyadh and killed more than 30 people.
COOPER: But one of the points you bring up in "Time" is they seem to be cooperating when it's something that might affect them or the royal family in Saudi Arabia, but perhaps not cooperate as much when it's talking about financial links or trying to track down financial links outside Saudi Arabia.
CARNEY: That's right. One of the -- basically the deal with the devil that the Saudi ruling family made years ago was to fund these radical clerics who preached a version of Islam that was extremely anti-west and anti-infidel, to the point where it called for violence against non-Muslims. Part of the deal was no violence in the kingdom. You know, keep us safe, keep the royal family in power. Once that changed in May and it became clear some elements of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups were willing to take on the Saudi ruling family and commit acts of terrorism in Saudi Arabia, the Saudis became suddenly much more interested in cracking down.
But the cooperation, while greatly enhanced since May 12 with U.S. investigators, is still too focused, a lot of U.S. officials think, on improving the situation internally in Saudi Arabia. There's not a lot of focus on finding out what we can about the al Qaeda cells within Saudi Arabia and what that tells us about how al Qaeda is operating outside the country.
COOPER: As you talk about in the article, part of the problem, I suppose in the eyes of some people is Wahhabism, the sect of Sunni Islam. A very hard-line, strict sect, and it's really been increased by the Saudi rulers. They say they're now changing. I guess they've said they have taken away some of the power from some clerics. But a lot has still unchanged.
CARNEY: That's true, but there's a great deal of skepticism. Because another grand deal perhaps with the devil, that the Saudi Family made is essentially back hundreds of years ago, and especially in the early part of this century, the Saudi family bound together with the Wahhabi sect, and basically turned the Saud Kingdom, which was established in the '30s, into -- made Wahhabism the state religion of the country. And it was a deal basically where the ruling family got to remain in power if they gave a lot of leeway to the Wahhabis to run the cultural and religious life of the country. Because, remember, Saudi Arabia is home to the two most important shrines in Islam in Mecca and Medina. It's a fascinating article, it's in this week's "Time."
COOPER: Jay Carney, thanks very much for coming in and talking about it.
CARNEY: Thank you.
COOPER: There's a new twist in the case of the first American death row convict to go free. Just as Florida's controversial new law is about to go into effect limiting the use of DNA evidence. We talked about this last week. The same DNA that set Kirk Bloodsworth free has led prosecutors to a new suspect, 19 years after Bloodsworth was wrongly accused.
KURT BLOODSWORTH, RELEASED ON DNA EVIDENCE: I can breathe for the first time in 20 years.
COOPER (voice-over): In 1984, Kirk Bloodsworth was 23, just out of the Marines. That same year, 9-year-old Dawn Hamilton was found dead, beaten and sexually assaulted. An anonymous tipster led police to Bloodsworth. Five people testified they saw him with dawn. Bloodsworth spent the next nine years in prison. Two of them on death row in a cell under the gas chamber. It wasn't until 1993 that new DNA testing set him free. Still, he spent the last decade under a cloud of suspicion, until last week. Another round of tests showed a DNA match with a convicted sex offender, Kimberly Ruffner. Ruffner knew why Bloodsworth was in prison because that's why the two met. BLOODSWORTH: He's an evil man, to kill a child and then have the person that he put in jail. No, sir. I have no feelings for this man at all.
COOPER: Ruffner has yet to obtain a lawyer. It's reignited concerns about limiting DNA use and raise questions about how well the justice system is working in cases there is no DNA evidence.
Kirk Bloodsworth, joins us now from Washington to share his story with us. And here with me in New York, is Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project. Appreciate both of you being here.
Kirk, let me start off with you. How does it feel finally to have this weight, this cloud lifted off of you?
BLOODSWORTH: Just about like it is to have the earth on your back for 20 years and then have it suddenly just shoved right off. It's unbelievable. My wife and I have just been inundated with words of support from throughout the country, and I'm just flabbergasted. I feel very vindicated today finally.
COOPER: This other person, this man who has been charged with, or accused of the crime using the same DNA evidence used to exonerate you, you served time with him. You knew this person. What do you think about him?
BLOODSWORTH: Well, at this point, you know you know the case, this Mr. Ruffner has not went to trial yet. And I really, if he did do it, like I said before, he is a coward indeed. However, you know, we -- I have to think of something else. You know, if the evidence wasn't preserved and we didn't preserve the evidence, I wouldn't be here. If we didn't have access to DNA testing, I wouldn't be here. And if I didn't have a competent lawyer like Barry Scheck and Robert E. Warren, I would not be here. And that is what we need. We need preservation. We need access to DNA testing, and we also need competent counsel like Barry Scheck and others. We need those kind of people to represent people on death row.
COOPER: Kirk, let me bring in your competent council Barry Scheck is with me in New York.
Barry, to you, what is the lesson of this case, of kirk's case.
BARRY SCHECK, CO-FOUNDER THE INNOCENCE PROJECT: It's extraordinary that DNA testing which could exonerate an innocent man like Kirk Bloodsworth. And let nobody forget that when Kirk was sentenced to death, the whole courtroom stood up and applauded. Five eyewitnesses mistakenly identified him.
COOPER: Five eyewitnesses said he was the man who did it.
SCHECK: And it was a mistake and it's clear how that can happen and how we can prevent it. But DNA now has been used to find the real assailant. We asked the prosecutor in this case to do that starting in 1998. We wrote her another letter in December of 2002, and it took them all this time to do it. Imagine if this Ruffner had been paroled or something. He might have been out there free to commit more crimes.
Now we have a situation in the state of Florida where on October 1, as you know, Anderson, they are threatening to flush down the toilet the biological evidence in hundreds of cases where people have been unable to go to court, just as Kirk was talking about, so they can prove their innocence, and we can also god willing, find the person who really committed the crime before he commits more crimes. It is just ludicrous that the state of Florida is going to allow this to happen. We have to stop it. We only have October 1 as a deadline.
COOPER: Kirk, just finally tonight, you've served in two institutions of this country. You've served in the Marine Corps and you've also time in a prison. Are you angry? Are you bitter? I mean, you have this unique perspective.
BLOODSWORTH: Well, they destroyed my life, my family. They vilified me and called me a child killer. You know, it shouldn't happen to a person in this country, and if we don't pass and Congress don't do something, and put this thing in action and make some doggone good legislation, have -- preserve the evidence, have access to DNA testing, and competent lawyers to see all this thing through, you're going to have a lot of Kirk Bloodsworth in this country and we need them to step up to the plate and make a good deal for America. Saving people like myself so there's no more Kirk Bloodsworth or Mr. Smiths like it is in Florida. That's the facts.
COOPER: Well, Kirk Bloodsworth, we appreciate you joining us here tonight in more ways than one and Barry Scheck. Thank you very much for joining us..
BLOODSWORTH: Thank you. I feel very vindicated. Thank you.
COOPER: All right. Glad to see you out. Thanks very much.
We'll be right back.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we're all still dating.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes we are. Me and my two dates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we live together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you guys are roommates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, you may not know this, but tonight millions are expected to watch the finale of "For Love or Money 2." it's particularly tawdry. And the new fall season bridges a whole new crop of similar reality TV shows similar in theme.
Take a look.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I came back for one reason -- specifically to talk to you and call you out.
COOPER (voice-over): Today, reality TV is all about drama.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want you gone. Maybe you didn't hear me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yahtzee, game on.
COOPER: When "Survivor" first started, the focus was physical. But mental manipulation is what got viewers hooked.
Now, whether contestants are playing for love or for money, the psychological pressure can be intense.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want people to see me like this, Dave. I feel like Dorothy. I feel like there was a tornado and I'm stuck in this place with all these weird-ass munchkins that aren't really munchkins, but (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
COOPER: Moments of weakness are packaged and produced. The cameras zoom in. The music builds, hoping tears will start to flow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have all these hopes that someone is going to see something. Just one deep breath, please! I just don't want to back out. I don't want to.
COOPER: Contestants have little control over how they are portrayed. Not all end up happy with the results.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this actually totally sucks. I was having fun until a couple of minutes ago.
COOPER: When the games have ended and the cameras stop rolling, for some, that's when the real reality begins.
COOPER: Well, clinical psychologist Richard Levak has work for several reality TV shows, including "Survivor," "Big Brother" and "The Amazing Race." He's helped producers cast their shows and he's helped counsel contestants after the shows are over.
He joins us from San Diego.
Richard, thanks for being with us. Have things gotten more -- I mean, amplified in reality TV. I mean, from where it started to where it is now, as a psychologist, what are you looking for? RICHARD LEVAK, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I work mostly for the reality TV shows that are produced by CBS and what I do -- I'm a personality expert -- is I help the producers, really, in two ways. One is that we want to try to eliminate putting people on for whom the show is just too stressful. And we're also -- I help them to understand what kind of people they are getting.
COOPER: Because ultimately -- I mean, what producers want may be at odds with what sort of healthy psychologist want. They want some level of clash. I mean, they want personalities who will generate some heat. Is that correct?
LEVAK: Well, I think they want people who are interesting characters, good examples of a certain character. The different characters that viewers recognize among their friends and people they know.
I think that there -- also at CBS, I think, they're very mindful to not put on people just to exploit them. I mean, that's part of why we're employed is to help them...
COOPER: But you're not choosing people in a vacuum. I mean, you're choosing people who are going to be interacting and a lot of thought, I imagine, goes into how they're going to interact. And you don't necessarily want -- I mean, what makes for good TV does not necessarily make for a good living situation.
LEVAK: That's right. But there is a balance between finding interesting, complex characters who make interesting TV, and avoiding putting on people who are just going to sort of fall apart or be a danger to themselves or to others. So it's a fine line. But the producers really don't want -- certainly CBS -- don't want to put people on who are going to have a tough time and be a problem.
COOPER: All right. Richard Levak, thanks for joining us. Fun to you. Thanks very much. A whole new season of reality TV coming out.
Coming up next, the power of the press. What's between the perfume samples in this week's new magazines.
Also tonight, would you watch a show based on the life of Ronald Reagan's daughter? One report says she thinks you will.
Stay with us.
COOPER: Every Monday, a huge wad of magazines hits newsstands. Too many for you to go through on your own, really. So in our regular segment, "Fresh Print," no relation to DJ Jazzy Jeff, we'll look at what's new in the printed word, whether it's on glossy paper or on online.
Jayson Blair is back, this time in "Jane" magazine. Blair writes about the mistakes he made at "The Times." One of them, he says, is that he, quote, "flaunted the rules." Perhaps another was that -- was not knowing the difference between "flaunt" and "flout." At least he got the "fl" right.
"In Touch Weekly," apparently, aimed their cover story at fans of the film, "Deliverance." Is it just me, or do the Olsens, the four Olsen eyes seem to be using their hypnotic power to send us all a telepathic message. Maybe just me. According to "In Touch," they are falling in love. Turns out, it's with other people.
Lest a week go by in which we do not hear from Jennifer Lopez, "W" has an interview, and if money, fame, fun and Jennifer Lopez were not enough reasons for you to resent Ben Affleck with unreasoning madness, here is one more for you: She read all the stories about his strip club adventures, and told "W," quote, "it wasn't an issue." You hold on to that lady, Ben Affleck.
"Vanity Fair" lost me this months. Spreads on the Concorde, the princesses of Monaco, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of moguls, and George Clooney cavorting in the waters of Italy's Lake Cuomo (ph). All in all, a little too much vanity, not enough fair.
Finally, the Internet. Plastic.com has a helpful explainer on the recent developments in the Middle East, including the following insight. And I quote: "Blah, blah, blah, Yasser Arafat, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, down this road before, blah, blah, blah, blah." Pretty much sums it all up. Though you really have to read the whole thing, though, to get the full impact.
Time for a quick check of the current. Director Roman Polanski finally got his hands on the Oscar he won for "The Pianist." Polanski did not attend the awards ceremony in Los Angeles this month, possibly because he's been wanted in the U.S. since 1978, when he skipped sentencing for having sex with a minor. The award was delivered to him by Harrison Ford who starred in "Frantic," and now that I think of it, "The Fugitive."
"USA Today" says Simon & Garfunkel will reunite again. The tour would be their very first reunion since 1994, which was their first reunion since the one before that.
Ronald Reagan's daughter Patty Davis is developing a TV show loosely based on her own life. Davis told "The New York Post" that viewers will wonder, quote, "did she really do that?"
And singer/songwriter Warren Zevon is gone. Zevon died yesterday after a career that included the hit "Werewolves of London," but also a catalogue that won him a cult following and critical acclaim for such songs as "Lawyers, Guns and Money," "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me" and "Carmelia." Most of his last album, "The Wind," was written after Zevon was diagnosed as terminally ill. As he once said and as his Web site says today, "enjoy every sandwich."
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Every night at this time we're going to look at a topic that's on our minds and see what we can learn by pushing it to the "Nth Degree." Tonight, I wanted to share one of the challenges that we faced launching a new program, figuring out how to say good-bye. See, I grew up watching Walter Cronkite, who said good-bye by reminding viewers that what they just heard was, in fact, true.
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WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: And that's the way it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: These days, the big guys go generic.
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PETER JENNINGS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: We hope you have a good evening, good night.
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: And I'll see you back here tomorrow night.
DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Good night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: As you see, Dan Rather has mellowed from his more experimental past. Remember the courage good-bye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RATHER: Thank you for joining us. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Actually, that was the courage good-bye in espanol. Even better.
Saying good-bye is an awkward acknowledgment of the odd intimacy of television. It seems I'm talking to you, but in fact I'm really just talking to a camera. Now, if you buy into the intimacy too much, if you take it to the Nth degree, see how I got that in there, you end up with something painful and downright cheesey. Kelly, can you roll the tape marked Geraldo Rivera, please?
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LOU FERRIGNO, ACTOR: He's always wanted to get involved in politics. So he's taking a chance now.
GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS: Great seeing you again, man. Good luck to you, Lou. Thanks for watching, everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Let's see the start of that one again. And it's two fingers to the lips, then is it a wave or a thrown kiss? You decide.
As for this program, we've decided in TV, as in life, it's best not to say goodbye but instead look ahead to what's next, which in this case is the debut of "PAULA ZAHN NOW." Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with former President George Bush.
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