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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Wesley Clark Leading Democratic Pack; Interview with Bernard Kerik

Aired September 22, 2003 - 20:00   ET

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

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-two attacks in 24 hours, U.S. troops at constant risk. How long will it take to make Baghdad streets safe? The man formally in charge of rebuilding the police force, Bernard Kerik, joins us live.
Chilling new details in the savage murders of two Ivy League professors. Were the two students convicted of the crime serial killers in the making?

And San Francisco to New York in 63 1/2 days; 100 years later, we celebrate the first great American cross-country road trip with filmmaker Ken Burns.

And good evening and welcome. Thanks for starting the week off with us here.

Also ahead tonight: With no exit from Iraq in sight, how is the White House going to stop five straight months of decline in the president's approval rating? General Wesley Clark climbs to the tops of the polls within days of announcing his run for the White House, even though many people still don't know who he is. We'll look at the selling of the general.

And a new leak in the Scott Peterson case. A jailhouse informant claims Peterson met with neo-Nazi gang members about kidnapping his wife.

Here are some of other headlines you need to know right now.

An 11-judge panel is hearing an appeal of last week's court hearing to delay next month's recall election in California. The legal dispute centers around six counties that still use punch card ballots like the ones that caused so many problems back in the 2000 presidential election in Florida.

President Bush in Richmond, Virginia, today to get a look at the efforts to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. He visited an emergency operation center at the Virginia State Police Academy. Isabel left a path of destruction across nine states and the District of Columbia, leaving at least 36 people dead.

And Iran says it will scale back its cooperation with the U.N.'s watchdog group. The announcement comes in response to the International Atomic Energy Agency's October deadline for Tehran to prove its programs are peaceful. And for the second time in as many months, a suicide bomber has targeted the U.N. in Iraq. Early today, a bomber killed himself and an Iraqi security guard when he set off an explosion outside the U.N.'s Baghdad compound. The topic of Iraqi security is "In Focus" tonight.

I'm joined now by Bernard Kerik, former senior policy adviser for the U.S. in Iraq. He's also a former police commissioner of New York City.

Welcome home.

BERNARD KERIK, FORMER SENIOR IRAQ POLICY ADVISER: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: As someone who has devoted most of his adult life to being in charge of thousands and thousands of police officers on the street, and now at times the protection of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, how difficult was it for you to see the vulnerability of our troops there?

KERIK: Well, it was difficult, but I don't look at them as being vulnerable. A lot of people look at them as being victims. I look at them as being heroes.

And I saw, on a day-to-day basis, what they went through, what they had to do, and how much they did secure Iraq, how much do secure Iraq. So I don't look at them as victims, as many people think.

ZAHN: You don't view them as targets in a shooting gallery, as so many of their family members do?

KERIK: Well, it's not targets in a shooting gallery. They are targets. They are targets because they are attempting to free Iraq. There are many people there that don't want to free Iraq.

There's people internally, the Baathists and the Fedayeen. And there's people trying to get into Iraq to stop the freedom from growing. And we have to combat that element. We have to combat the resistance. And it is going to take time. It is going to take money. And sometimes, freedom comes at a cost. And sometimes, it's in money. Sometimes, it's in life. And, unfortunately, those things happen. But freedom is continuing. Iraq is growing. The economy is growing.

And Iraq is going to be a better place because of what the coalition is doing, what the United States and the other countries are doing, and we have to bring freedom to that region.

ZAHN: Give us a better sense of what kind of timeline you think we're looking at, for starters, how long it is going to take for the Iraqi police force to get up on its feet.

KERIK: Well, let's put it this way. In four months, we brought back 37,000 police officers in Baghdad alone, 35 police stations. If I tried to do that in New York City when I was the police commissioner, it would have taken me 10 years. We did it in four months. The Iraqi police service is standing up every day. They're bringing in more police. And that's the key to securing Iraq, more police, more civil defense, and more Iraqi military. Securing Iraq has to be the function of the Iraqis. But we've got to get them time to get in there, get them in, get them professionally trained and get them stood up.

ZAHN: What do you say to some of the mothers who have written to me in poignant letters, through e-mail, and they have said: My son or my daughter didn't train to be an M.P. Why are they there?

KERIK: Well, I would say this.

I would say, it's unfortunate. It's a horrible tragedy. And I tell them the same thing that I told the families of the 23 men and women that I lost on September 11. Freedom is necessary in this country. And being someone that stood beneath the towers when the towers fell and the towers were attacked, I know how important Iraq is to the freedom of this country. Their sons and their daughters are freeing this country, are bringing freedom to this country and I think that's what they have to realize. Their sons and daughters are heroes.

ZAHN: Finally tonight, a big day at the U.N. President Bush will be addressing the United Nations tomorrow, the French expecting to ask for the immediate transfer of power or sovereignty to the Iraqi people. Will that work?

(CROSSTALK)

KERIK: I don't think so.

ZAHN: Why?

KERIK: This is my opinion. I don't think they're ready.

If you want to turn over power, you have to turn over the power to someone who's prepared to take the nation forward. They're not prepared yet. They're not there yet. They don't have a sovereign gathering. They don't have the ability to do what has to be done. And they need all the support they can get. And right now, that's what they're getting with Ambassador Bremer and the coalition. I just think it's premature.

And I think that's what you'll hear from the president. And that's what you will probably hear from Ambassador Bremer. That's my opinion. I just think it's too early. Going in too early, giving them the power and authority could be extremely detrimental to a free Iraq.

ZAHN: I guess you're not expecting any dinner invitation from President Chirac anytime soon.

KERIK: I don't think so.

ZAHN: Mr. Kerik, welcome home. Thanks for your time tonight. KERIK: Paula, thank you.

ZAHN: The daily attacks in Iraq certainly seem to be affecting Americans' opinion about the war. Back in April, a CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll showed that 76 percent of those asked thought the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over. Now that statistic is down to just 50 percent.

And, at the same time, President Bush's approval ratings are in a freefall. Only 50 percent of those polled approve of the way the president is handling his job, compared to 71 percent back in April.

I'm joined now by Joseph Wilson, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

Always good to see you. Welcome back, Mr. Ambassador.

JOSEPH WILSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: Well, Paula, congratulations on your new show.

ZAHN: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

Let's talk a little bit about what your understanding is of what's going on at the White House. Would you characterize it as a state of panic?

WILSON: Well, I'm not sure I would characterize it as a state of panic. I do think they're probably taking a look at the polls.

But I think, more importantly, I think they're taking a good hard look at what needs to be done to secure the peace in Iraq, something that they've obviously been devoting a fair amount of attention to. The decision has been made to go back to the United Nations and to seek a broader international support and additional mandate, which I suppose the president is going to do tomorrow.

ZAHN: Do you think the United States will succeed in getting broader international support?

WILSON: Well, if you look at this as a sort of business proposition, a startup, or a bailout, when you seek outside investors, you generally have to give up, in addition to equity, certain seats on the board. And you have to harmonize your vision with that of those whose investments you're seeking.

So I think it will depend on the strategy that the White House uses to solicit outside investors up there at the U.N. tomorrow.

ZAHN: What do you think the White House strategy should be? There's almost general agreement that the U.N. resolution that's being proposed will ultimately go through. It's a question of how many foreign troops might end up being involved in Iraq and a sharing of resources financially.

WILSON: Well, I think it's important that we have a common objective. My own sense -- and this question is asked, are we going to fight the French again? I think the important thing is to figure out what makes sense for the reconstruction, successful reconstruction, stabilization, and ultimately the democratization of Iraq.

So I would hope that we would approach this in a more collegial fashion and understand that laying down the challenge and the gauntlet may not be the best way to attract outside investors. As somebody once told me, it's easier to attract flies with honey than with vinegar.

ZAHN: But when you talk about doing this in a collegial fashion, you heard what Mr. Kerik just had to say. He doesn't think it's realistic that you could have that immediate transfer of sovereignty, which the French are apparently going to propose tomorrow.

WILSON: Well, I don't think it's realistic, either. I think all of this needs to be done step by step. A democracy and stability is built really from a solid foundation. And the foundation is not yet, from everything I read, quite in place. But I suspect that there's lots of room there for dialogue and for people of sort of goodwill to come to an agreement.

ZAHN: Well, I hear what you're saying about dialogue and coming to some kind of consensus. I just don't understand where you see any flexibility on any country's part, particularly when you're talking about France, Russia, Germany, and the United States here. Who's going to give in?

WILSON: Well, we'll see what the president has to say tomorrow. If he goes up in a challenging mode, I suspect there won't be a lot of give on the other side. If he goes up and is willing to embrace those and truly look at putting bygones be bygones and inviting others' suggestions on this, perhaps there will be a different outcome.

Remember, we are the (SPEAKING FRENCH), as they say in French. We're up there asking for additional investment and for additional risk and burden-sharing on this.

ZAHN: But I'm just having trouble understanding what ideas you think it is that the U.S. administration would ultimately embrace.

WILSON: Well, first of all, on the military side, Paula, there's no question that we will not maintain absolute control of the military part of the operation.

But there is a whole political and reconstruction side. And there ought to be room in the United States position for inviting others to participate and inviting them to take seats at the table, not just on the board of directors, but also in the staffing pattern. Whether that means you hand over responsibility for the political and economic reconstruction to the United Nations tomorrow, not necessarily.

But I think what it does mean, it seems to me, that we do want as an objective here to get Iraqis to understand that this is a global effort to bring peace and stability and reconstruction to their country, and not, as they perceive right now, an American or foreign occupation designed to keep them in some subjugated state.

ZAHN: Ambassador Joseph Wilson, we've got to leave it there. Thanks so much for dropping by tonight. Appreciate your time.

WILSON: Good to be with you, Paula.

ZAHN: Thank you.

And for another point of view on the Bush administration and Iraq, let's turn to Victoria Clarke. The former Pentagon spokeswoman joins us now from Washington.

We have a very important announcement to make this evening, a brand-new member of our team here.

VICTORIA CLARKE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you very much.

ZAHN: Welcome aboard, Torie.

CLARKE: It is a great place to be. Thanks a lot.

ZAHN: Our pleasure.

Let's talk a little bit about these poll numbers that we gave attention to at the top of this hour. How concerned is the White House about those numbers right now?

CLARKE: I think they're focused less on those numbers and more on the speech tomorrow, obviously.

And the speech is another in a series of very direct and very honest conversations the president has had with the international community about what it will take in the war on terror and what's really at stake, which is people's lives. He knows it takes a very, very aggressive approach to go after the terrorists and those who are harboring and fostering them.

And I happen to think, Torie Clarke's personal opinion, most of the people who will be listening tomorrow agree with him completely. There will be some that may not like that message, but they know he's telling the truth. And poll numbers -- I guess we're getting into the season, but a definition of leadership to me is the fellow who will make the tough decisions and take the tough stands despite the numbers. And that's exactly what the president is demonstrating.

ZAHN: When you say this administration has told the truth throughout this process, you've heard Senator Kennedy blast the president and the administration for not being -- for not telling the American public the truth about weapons of mass destruction and the reasons for going to war.

CLARKE: Not to pick on any individual person, but I often think the people who criticize the most have the least to offer.

And I went back recently to look at interviews and speeches and briefings that the president and Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary Powell and others gave last fall in December and January, as we were leading up to the war.

And every one of them would say the same thing, say: We have not yet decided whether or not we'll go to war. We're consulting with Congress. We're consulting with the international community. However, there are certain things that will be true. This could be very hard. It could be very dangerous. People will die. There will be sacrifices. It could take a long time for Iraq to get back up on its feet again. There are several unknowables. They were very direct and very honest with people.

They couldn't give a date certain when it would end. To do so would have been absolutely foolish. And anyone who says you can do that is either foolish or mischievous. But if you go back and look at what they've been saying month after month after month, you will see a pattern of truthfulness and directness on these very tough issues.

ZAHN: Let's go back to a specific point the administration was making about any ties there might have been between al Qaeda and Iraq. The president made it pretty clear at the end of last week those ties did not exist, at least in terms of what happened on 9/11.

You had some representatives of our government saying that the president and his administration deliberately misled the people on that one and blurred the lines as to what Saddam Hussein's involvement might have been or could have been in 9/11.

CLARKE: Again, think, if you go to the record -- and people should do this. You should go to the Web sites, like defenselink.mil, where these transcripts are all posted for people to see. You will see a pattern of directness on this. And I think people went out of their way to say, we do not have evidence of a direct tie between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, but there are intel communities around the world who know of connections between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda had associations, has associations and relationships around the world. Saddam Hussein didn't pick and choose favorite terrorists. He was a harborer and sponsor of terrorists globally. So that's not a surprise at all.

ZAHN: I want to close with an excerpt of the president's speech on September 7, when he talked about the following and the strategy in Iraq. Let's listen together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our strategy in Iraq has three objectives: destroying the terrorists, enlisting the support of other nations for a free Iraq, and helping Iraqis assume responsibility for their own defense and their own future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: When is it fair to question why these objectives have not been met?

CLARKE: Well, I think people should be engaged and involved on this issue all the time. It's serious, serious issues. And it's requiring a lot of sacrifice and commitment on the part of many, many people, as Mr. Kerik was saying. So people should be asking questions all the time.

They should also be realistic. You're talking about a regime, one of the worst regimes of the last 100 years, that existed for 30 years. It's not going to turn into a peaceful and prosperous country overnight. It will take time. It will take not days and weeks, but months and years. But the sacrifice and the commitment is worth it. It's worth it for the regional stability and it's worth it for the peace and stability of the rest of the world.

ZAHN: And we have to end on that note.

CLARKE: Thank you.

ZAHN: Victoria Clarke, we look forward to working with you in the months to come.

CLARKE: Right back at you.

ZAHN: Appreciate your time.

Coming up: new details on a gripping murder case. We're going to learn more about the two killers of Ivy League professors in a small New England town.

Also, California recall mess is back in court today. We're going to have the latest for you.

And a look back at the Emmys and ahead to the new TV season.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: There was another hearing today on whether the California recall election should go ahead on October 7, as originally scheduled. There are also some new developments in the Laci Peterson case.

Joining us now to discuss both, our legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

Good evening. Welcome.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hey. Hi.

ZAHN: What do you think this court is going to do?

TOOBIN: Bottom line, it looks like October.

ZAHN: Like October 7.

TOOBIN: October 7.

ZAHN: The original date. TOOBIN: The original date will be this recall election is.

Of course, last week, the three judges on the 9th Circuit said, we want to move it to March. Listening to the 11 judges today, it seemed pretty clear to me that most of them were inclined to restore the original election date and just let the election go forward, as virtually everyone in California politics now wants them to do.

ZAHN: The Laci Peterson case back in the spotlight today. Tell us about this guy who is in jail and what he is alleging.

TOOBIN: Mr. Carroll (ph), in the most unreliable category of people at all, the jailhouse snitch, someone who claims to have information in order to help get himself out.

He claims that he met with Scott Peterson before the murder of Laci Peterson and he tried to involve him in some sort of insurance fraud and then claimed that he wanted to get Laci kidnapped. And this fellow says he referred him to two mysterious African-American gentlemen. That's the plan.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: I know you say this guy is making this up to get out of jail earlier. But how do you...

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: Why would he do it? To get out of jail.

ZAHN: I get that, but where do you pull all these threads together? If there is no plot, if you don't think this plot exists, you have to have a pretty creative mind to come up with it. So you give him some credit for that.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: Not really.

All this guy had to do was read the newspaper and read "The Enquirer" and know sort of what the general facts are of the case. What makes his story particularly unreliable, it seems to me, is that he doesn't have any original facts. It's all sort of built with facts anyone could have gotten out of the newspaper. In fairness to him, his attorney claims that he has passed a lie-detector test.

ZAHN: That still doesn't mean anything to you?

TOOBIN: Lie detectors are not admissible, for good reason, because they are unreliable. And, also, this was also not administered by some independent lie-detector person. It was his own lie detector.

But if it happens to be true, it's extremely devastating evidence against Scott Peterson. But it's a long, long way from being

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: The salient word in Jeffrey Toobin's vocabulary tonight: if.

TOOBIN: If. If.

ZAHN: The big if.

TOOBIN: One more thing.

ZAHN: Yes.

TOOBIN: You are going to be talking to the two guys who wrote a book about these Dartmouth killers later.

ZAHN: Right, in the next half hour.

TOOBIN: This weekend, I read the book. It's a sensational, riveting book. And everybody should go out and buy it.

ZAHN: And you really begin to understand what made these teenagers do what they did.

TOOBIN: Absolutely. So scary, so bizarre, and so real in this book.

ZAHN: Well, thanks for teasing my next segment, Jeffrey.

TOOBIN: I'm telling you.

ZAHN: He's a utility player here.

TOOBIN: "Judgment Ridge," the book is called.

ZAHN: Coming up: It was a grisly double murder that shocked a college community. Now there are new details surrounding the Dartmouth killings. An in-depth look is next.

And a little bit later on: General Wesley Clark has been in the presidential race less than a week, already leads the Democratic pack. How do you market a relative political unknown? We're going to try to answer that question.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: We are just beginning to learn more about a murder case that stunned the nation, the gruesome killings of two Ivy League professors two years ago in New England. In a moment, you're going to meet two journalists who have investigated the case and have learned more about what may have been driven two seemingly average teenagers to commit such a brutal crime.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN (voice-over): The crime was unimaginable. Two professors, Half and Susanne Zantop slaughtered with knives in cold blood at their home in a quite New Hampshire town. Who could do such a thing? Police had a single clue, a pair of knife sheaths left at the scene. It turned out the knifes had been bought by two teenagers who lived in a small, isolated town across the border in Vermont.

Robert Tulloch and Jim Parker were best friends. Tulloch, the product of a troubled home, was the leader, full of grandiose plans that never came to anything. A bloody footprint found at the scene matched one of Tulloch's shoes. Parker came from a more settled home life, but he followed his friend, first to a string of petty crimes, but to murder?

When the police came calling, the boys hit the road, fleeing across the country, until they were caught in Indiana. After their arrest, Parker cracked first, cutting a plea-bargain deal that could get him out of prison in 16 years. Tulloch pled guilty, too, and will serve life without parole. The crime was solved, if not the mystery. Why would two seemingly normal boys do such a thing?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And I'm joined by Dick Lehr and Mitchell Zuckoff. Their new book, "Judgment Ridge: The True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders," provides an inside look at the grisly killings and at the two teenagers who carried them out.

Welcome to both of you.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Let's talk a little bit about how this murder story was in the headlines before anybody knew that two teenagers were involved in them. What was it that captured the nation's attention?

MITCHELL ZUCKOFF, CO-AUTHOR, "JUDGMENT RIDGE": It was such a brutal crime and the most unlikely victims you can imagine, these wonderful Dartmouth professors, incredibly helpful, good people, suddenly butchered in their home, with no apparent motive, no idea of who the suspects were. So it was a murder without a motive and a great mystery.

ZAHN: What did you find motivated these two young men?

DICK LEHR, CO-AUTHOR, "JUDGMENT RIDGE": Well, after looking into it for about a year and a half and peeling away their lives in Chelsea, Vermont, which we found to be a beautiful little village in Vermont, we concluded that Robert Tulloch, the older of the two boys, is a budding psychopath. He was a serial killer in training.

And his motive behind all this was trying to get a few kills under his belt.

ZAHN: What evidence is there that he was a serial killer in training, that he was a psychopath? ZUCKOFF: Well, some of his own writings, his own statements to people in prison after he was caught. And we tracked his movements for almost two years before the crime. And, slowly, it pieced together somebody who was intent on satisfying a blood thirst, a blood lust.

ZAHN: What made this kid so bitter? What was he so mad at?

LEHR: Psychopathy is something that a lot of people don't really understand, what causes it, the origins of it. It's the study of scientists today.

But what you have is someone like Robert Tulloch, who was exhibiting these antisocial behaviors in school, the sense that he's a supreme being and better than anybody else in the world.

ZUCKOFF: He was almost certainly born that way. It's not that you make a psychopath. They are -- more likely, they come out that way and they show their stripes over time.

ZAHN: And what happened to his friend Jim? By all accounts, he came from a very different kind of home environment and a place where maybe he was surrounded by some love at some point.

(CROSSTALK)

LEHR: Oh, for sure. And what this book does, too, is, it explores the enormous power of friendship. And that's fascinating at its core, how two friends alone might not do something they do together.

And a lot of the things they did are the kinds of things teenagers everywhere dream about, getting out of town, going on a big adventure.

ZUCKOFF: Jim was so under his spell.

ZAHN: But not going on a killing spree.

LEHR: But that's when you bring in this toxic element of someone like Tulloch, with his condition and his illness, and then it takes it off the abyss.

ZUCKOFF: Exactly.

ZAHN: So what was the undue influence that Tulloch had over Jim?

ZUCKOFF: He was a charismatic young man, very intelligent, and knew just what buttons to push with Jim. He knew that Jim was a fantasy role player, a kid who was a budding actor.

And he knew that, if he created this fantasy around Jim -- "We're going to run off and be adventurers; we're going to go to Australia and lead exciting lives" -- he could suck Jim deeper and deeper into this.

LEHR: And this is not to take -- to let Jim Parker off the hook.

ZUCKOFF: No.

LEHR: Because he made a choice. He had Susanne Zantop by the throat and cut it. So he made a, you know, horrible choice there.

ZAHN: Do you think that was premeditated? I mean, do you think he planned, when he went out that -- out that night, to kill?

LEHR: To kill the Zantops? They were random victims. That's the other very chilling part of this. And Half Zantop opens that door to two students, doing what he was put on this earth to do -- he's a teacher, he's a professor at Dartmouth -- and those boys had the devil's luck on their side, at that moment.

ZUCKOFF: It was premeditated in the sense that Robert definitely led them there to kill. I think Jim more likely was still under Robert's spell, and so in the sense that he knew that was the plan, so that's premeditation, but when he finally got to it, he wasn't sure what he'd do, but then he made the horrible choice.

ZAHN: And you explain all of this in "Judgment Ridge." And heck, with that Jeffrey Toobin endorsement, you can -- don't even have to finish your book tour. Thank you for dropping by.

ZUCKOFF: Thank you.

ZAHN: President Bush is seeking help from NATO allies. Does he stand a chance of getting it? And what is the future of the Western alliance? We're going to hear two different views.

Also ahead, a cross-country road trip. Sounds easy, right? Well, not in 1903. Ken Burns will be along to tell us about that. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back. Here are some of the things you need to know right now. A federal appeals court in California has just wrapped up its hearing on whether the recall election will go forward on October 7. The clerk of the court tells CNN to expect a ruling tomorrow morning.

Police in Spokane, Washington, say they shot a wounded a 17-year- old boy after he showed up at his high school with a gun. The teenager is reported to be in good condition. Police say no one else was hurt. The boy's motivations are unclear at this hour.

President Bush will address the United Nations tomorrow. He is expected to seek help in rebuilding Iraq, but it may be a tough sell in some quarters, especially among some NATO allies who broke with the U.S. on Iraq before the war. Is the Western alliance dead? That's our debate tonight. We have two guests from Washington. Charles Kupchan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University. He is also the author of a book, "The End of the American Era: Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the 21st Century." And Karen Donfried is director of foreign policy at the German Marshall Fund. Thank you both for being with us tonight.

Charles, let's talk a little bit about the Western alliance. Of course, the alliance of Germany, France and the United States around for some 58 years. Is it dead now?

CHARLES KUPCHAN, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I probably wouldn't go so far to say it's dead, but I'd certainly say it's on a respirator. And if something isn't done very soon to resuscitate it, I think it will be dead. And there are two main problems here. One is the end of the cold war, no threat to push us together. The new threat, terrorism, we don't agree on. And the second problem is the Bush administration really has broken with the tradition of American foreign policy that Roosevelt started -- multi-lateralist, reaching out to allies. And the Europeans have become very disaffected, if not outright openly hostile to the U.S. And the Western alliance is, as a result, I think, hanging by a very thin thread.

ZAHN: So Karen, how do you think the administration needs to resuscitate the alliance?

KAREN DONFRIED, GERMAN MARSHALL FUND: I would not agree that the Western alliance is dead. I would agree that it has been undergoing a reappraisal since the end of the cold war, and at times, it's been an agonizing reappraisal. And we've seen very bitter disputes about the U.S. decision to go to war against Iraq. That being said, we're seeing the members of this alliance come together in New York this week to try to forge a new consensus about the way forward in Iraq.

ZAHN: Charles, do you see Germany and France reaching any consensus with the United States about U.N. involvement in Iraq down the road?

KUPCHAN: Well, I think that the French and the Germans realize that the U.S. is in a very difficult position. We're taking losses on a daily basis in Iraq. The country does not seem to be coming together. I don't think Germany or France wants to see the United States fail, so I expect there will be a resolution in New York. It will require ambiguity, some compromise on both sides, but I think what will happen is the French will basically say, Yes, let's have a U.N. umbrella, but I doubt very much that Chirac is going to go so far as to send troops to Iraq.

ZAHN: Do you agree with that, Karen?

DONFRIED: I don't think that the reason the French and the Germans will agree to a U.N. resolution is because they feel sorry for the United States. I think the French and the Germans have their own national interests at stake in Iraq. It is in neither country's interest for Iraq to be in chaos, unstable. And I think that's the basis of any alliance, is shared interest, and I think we do have that in the case of what we all would like to see happen in post-war Iraq.

ZAHN: Let's talk about the reality of money here. Senator Ted Kennedy came out with a blistering indictment of the Bush administration, suggesting that the Bush administration went as far as to bribe some countries to join the coalition. Charles, do you think that's true?

KUPCHAN: Well, I think there's no question that some of the money that is being asked for does go to aid packages, promises of kickbacks, if you will. But I don't think this is really about money. Some people say, Well, the French wants contracts, the Germans want contracts. I think this was a fundamental difference of opinion. The Europeans and the Americans parted company on questions of war and peace. The French basically said, This is going to stir up the hornet's nest in the Middle East. We don't need war to get the weapons of mass destruction, and we don't really see this helping the peace process.

And you know, I think the French were right. We don't see the war in Iraq having turned up weapons of mass destruction. It hasn't brought Arab-Israeli peace. So this really wasn't about the French sticking the thumbs in our eyes, it was a fundamental difference of opinion. And that's why I think the Western alliance is in trouble.

ZAHN: Karen, we are told that, ultimately, France and Germany will probably go along with this latest resolution that's being proposed at the U.N., but do you think, in the end, we will see French and German troops in Iraq?

DONFRIED: The key question is precisely that. Even if there's an agreement forged on a new resolution this week at the United Nations, what will flow from that? Will we see more troops? More money? And I think that will depend absolutely on the type of compromise that's forged and whether, indeed, the Bush administration sets a deadline on when the government would be turned over to the Iraqis and what precisely the role of the United Nations will be.

ZAHN: Charles Kupchan, Karen Donfried, thank you for both of your perspectives this evening. Appreciate your time.

KUPCHAN: My pleasure.

DONFRIED: My pleasure. Thanks.

ZAHN: Coming: Retired general and presidential candidate Wesley Clark tops the latest polls, but does he really have a shot at the White House? How do you actually market a candidate that half the people haven't even heard of? That's next.

A little bit later on: The long summer of reruns is over. The new TV season starts this week. We have a preview. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: All of a sudden, there appears to be a new front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Just days after he announced his candidacy, General Wesley Clark is now the top Democrat in a new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll. The poll puts Clark's support at 22 percent, compared to 13 percent for Howard Dean, 11 percent for John Kerry and Richard Gephardt and 10 percent for Joe Lieberman. This comes despite the fact that many Americans know relatively little about Clark or his politics. Obviously, it will take some strong marketing to keep Clark on top of the polls.

To find out what that means in plain English, marketing expert Donny Deutsch joins us. He is chairman and CEO of Deutsch Incorporated. Welcome.

DONNY DEUTSCH, CEO, DEUTSCH, INC.: Good to be here.

ZAHN: So take a look at these poll numbers...

DEUTSCH: OK.

ZAHN: ... with us tonight. There's another interesting number, that nearly half of Americans have no idea who this guy is.

DEUTSCH: Well, that's incredible to think that he's got 22 percent right now, leading the Democrats. The greet news about this guy -- you could not have created somebody better out of central casting. I mean, he's got this great look about him. He's a general with a military background. I mean, if there's anybody that can call Bush on a lot of the questionable questions, it's this guy. I think he's the only one that has the gravitas to really, really be a real threat to Bush.

ZAHN: But you're looking at this from an advertising guy's point of view. You're thinking photo montage here.

DEUTSCH: No, no. I'm thinking what this guy stands for because, basically, there are two major issues that the American public should be concerned about, the economy and national security. And really, did Bush lie to us? What should we know? What did we know? And what really was kept from us? This is the one guy that can stand opposite him and say, No, time out, I'm calling you on this stuff, and do it from a very, very credible way. So I think...

ZAHN: You may say that, but if you had been in charge of his marketing, how would you have made it clear to the American public why he wasn't too sure where he would have gone to a resolution to go to war?

DEUTSCH: OK. You know, basically, there was...

ZAHN: That's a problem.

DEUTSCH: ... some early waffling there right now, but this is a guy who's on the inside. And this is a guy -- I mean, picture -- literally, right now, go right to the debates, 2004. Picture this guy on stage. The gravitas is there, and Bush -- Bush for the first time is vulnerable. The Democrats are salivating. This is a guy who, as a marketer, there's a lot to work with there.

ZAHN: Democrats are salivating? Look at the columnists out there. I mean, they're basically saying this guy doesn't have a platform. He's not clear on the issues. Here's what columnist William Safire wrote in today's "New York Times -- "As a boot-in-mouth politician, Clark ranks right on up there with Arnold Schwarzenegger."

DEUTSCH: OK...

ZAHN: Is this a problem for Clark?

DEUTSCH: I disagree with him, by the way. And interestingly, the polls also disagree with him. You know, it's -- we live in a country right now that people are starving for leadership and people are really looking to people with credibility. Once again, he's not a politician, but that's to his favor. People are looking for outsiders, vis-a-vis look at California. We've got a -- we've got an actor out there. But I think this guy's the real deal.

ZAHN: So go on with your strategy...

DEUTSCH: OK...

ZAHN: ... for Wesley Clark...

DEUTSCH: Basically...

ZAHN: ... as the candidate.

DEUTSCH: Basically, there are three prongs to the strategy. No. 1, hit Bush two places. No. 1, on the economy. Obviously, this is the first time since Hoover there are less jobs created. We're going backwards with jobs. No. 2, once again, what didn't we know, as far as weapons of mass destruction? In other words, call into question, What are we being told isn't truth? Lay on top that that wonderful imagery of this guy kind of coming, a white knight coming in from nowhere. Guys have been elected with a lot less. I think there's something to work with here.

ZAHN: I want to close with California, a new ad out with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

DEUTSCH: OK.

ZAHN: We're going to look at it as we talk over it right now.

DEUTSCH: Yes.

ZAHN: Is he making any headway at all...

DEUTSCH: Well...

ZAHN: ... from your industry's point of view?

ZAHN: All you got to do is watch the Emmys last night. I mean, Darrell Hammond got on there and for five minutes did a riff. And I mean, I think the longer this comes on -- and obviously, the good news is for Schwarzenegger, they're back to October 7. But I think -- I don't think this guy's going to win. I think it just -- once again, there was a little fancy early on. People are seeing Schwarzenegger for what he is, a wonderful action star.

ZAHN: He wasn't even in the ad!

DEUTSCH: OK. Well, that's because -- last time I was on, I said, Get him off camera. He's showing himself...

ZAHN: Oh, yes!

DEUTSCH: ... to be an actor. Finally, somebody's listening out there.

ZAHN: So are you going to work for General Wesley Clark anytime soon?

DEUTSCH: I would -- you know, interesting -- everybody...

ZAHN: You sound like you're in his pocket!

DEUTSCH: Everybody I talk to is incredibly impressed by this guy. I'm telling you, this is -- this is a serious contender.

(CROSSTALK)

DEUTSCH: This is just a marketer looking.

ZAHN: All right, Donny Deutsch, thank you for your perspective.

Coming up next: coast to coast in 63 days. We celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first trip across America by car. And tomorrow, we're going to have some fun with Dave Barry.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: One hundred years ago, a man named Horatio Nelson Jackson bet friends he could drive a car across the country in less than three months. That bet may sound like a no-brainer today, but in an age of unpaved roads, do-it-yourself car repairs and primitive traveling accommodations, it was a bold prediction and the beginning of a grand adventure.

Award-winning director Ken Burns is out with a new documentary on Jackson's cross-country trek. It is called "Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip." Here's a sneak preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - "HORATIO'S DRIVE")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the evening of May 19, 1903, in the oak- paneled game room of the exclusive University Club in San Francisco, a group of well-to-do men were sharing drinks and conversation. Then the discussion turned to the feature of a new machine that only recently had been showing up on the streets of major American cities, the horseless carriage. Horatio Nelson Jackson was a 31-year-old doctor from Burlington, Vermont. That evening, Jackson argued that the automobile was more than a rich man's toy suitable only for short drives on city boulevards, and he disagreed when most of the other men declared that one would never be driven across the continent.

MARY LOUISE BLANCHARD, JACKSON'S GRANDDAUGHTER: He couldn't stand it. And he, I guess, got up from the table, went over and started talking to them about it. And eventually, within a few short minutes, he took out his wallet and put 50 bucks on the table and said, I bet I can drive across the country. And there was no turning back after that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: "Horatio's Drive" is on PBS next month. And director Ken Burns is in our studio right now. Always good to see you. Congressional.

KEN BURNS, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Thank you.

ZAHN: So can you just ruin it for all of us tonight? Did he win the bet?

BURNS: He did win the bet. He never collected it. And this is just one of those insane stories where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and yet he had this presence of character, this sort of American optimism, indomitable American optimism, to just each day, take what came, and then write his wife back in Burlington and say, Today was bad, tomorrow will be better, and tomorrow is always worse.

ZAHN: Set the stage for us. There were only 150 miles of paved roads back then. What was this guy up against?

BURNS: Just no maps, no idea where he was going. He's on cowpaths and wagon trails. And people are giving him the wrong direction, and people are sending him off -- he's breaking down in the middle of the desert, and he has to be towed out by a cowboy. He's waiting for the stagecoach to bring him spare parts -- the stagecoach to bring him spare parts. This is when the largest manufacturer of gasoline-powered cars sells 800 cars in a year, and he's got one of them, and he's going to try to make it across. He has no automotive experience. And all the guys, all the geniuses who have all of this have failed miserably trying to do this.

ZAHN: I can understand what attracted you to the story, but I'm trying to think of the thread that's run through some of your -- your documentary work, "Civil War," "Jazz," "Baseball"...

BURNS: Well, let me just say...

ZAHN: And now this. Road trip!

BURNS: This has no heavy themes. The worst thing that happens is a crankcase breaks. But at the same time, this is a love of this spectacular landscape we have. This is a cross-section of our country at a moment of unbelievable change. And this is the story of a really amazing guy. The great back story of this is that we found, after, you know, 100 years of being lost, all the letters and telegrams he wrote back. And we got our American everyman, Tom Hanks, to read them, and he makes them come alive gloriously. And you feel like you're on this trip with Horatio Nelson Jackson, doing this impossibly wonderful, impossibly American thing. Look, we're a country that loves firsts. We're a country that loves cars, and we love road trips. And this is the story of the first road trip. And I don't know why we're not taught it in school.

ZAHN: Let's listen to Tom Hanks read one of these letters.

DEUTSCH: He's fabulous.

ZAHN: Now. He's not with us, but he's on tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: "The hardest work I ever did was to say good- bye to you. I came pretty nearly having cold feet."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Why was the casting of Tom Hanks so critical? Because I know in the beginning, you were a little bit hesitant about doing that.

BURNS: I wasn't sure about diving in. And my partner on this, Dayton Duncan, who's a good ex-reporter, did all the legwork, he and his wife, and tracked down these letters. And at the moment we saw them, then we had a real person behind this. So it becomes a love story. He writes to his wife just beautifully awkward letters about how he is, and it betrays this great optimism. And we're thinking, We needed an American everyman. Now, 50 years ago we would have gone and gotten Jimmy Stewart, but you know, this year, Tom Hanks...

ZAHN: Tom Hanks.

BURNS: And he said yes.

ZAHN: Well, I congratulate you on the huge, huge effort.

BURNS: It's so much fun.

ZAHN: Thank you for dropping by to share it with us this evening.

DEUTSCH: Oh, it's my pleasure. Thanks...

ZAHN: We'll be looking forward...

BURNS: ... for sharing the word.

ZAHN: ... to seeing it next month. Ken Burns.

We really think you should keep the channel locked to CNN, but if you must know, the new fall TV season gets under way this week. We'll have a preview when we come back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The 2003 Emmy Awards are in the books, and there were plenty of winners and losers, as usual. Here to take a look at that, as well as give us a preview of the fall TV season unfolding this week is "US Weekly" West Coast executive editor Ken Baker. The magazine's fall preview issue is on newsstands now.

Good to see you. Welcome.

KEN BAKER, "US WEEKLY": Thanks for having me.

ZAHN: All right, we're going to give you permission to be as brutal as you want. Did the show work last night with the multiple hosts?

BAKER: No. How's that for an answer?

ZAHN: Well, you can expand on that, if you'd like!

(LAUGHTER)

BAKER: You know, we could have used some of Paula Zahn's charisma and glamour last night. Let's just say that. You know, it was just -- you expect -- it's Emmys, they're the biggest stars in television. You want to see beautiful dresses and glamour and drama. And there was none of it. And I walked that red carpet last night, just waiting to find someone who was going to knock our socks off. It was Sara Jessica Parker. She looked beautiful. She was wearing this really elegant chenille (ph) dress. Kim Cattrall looked really, really hot. Jennifer Aniston looked great. And then it was, like, Doris Roberts. You know, it was just -- there was no in between. Not that there's anything wrong with Doris Roberts, but it just didn't have that young, hip, sort of edgy glamour that you want to see at on awards show.

ZAHN: Well, Doris Roberts won the trifecta, didn't she?

BAKER: You know, Doris Roberts is a great actress. But I have to say that, you know, she had won it last year. And you know, "Everybody Loves Raymond" is a great show, but even that -- it won Best Comedy, and the producer got up and joked and said, I want to thank all the hip people out there in the audience who've been supporting us, you know? So it just wasn't as lively and youthful of a night.

And frankly -- they tried this eight-host system.

ZAHN: Yes.

BAKER: There just wasn't one co-host. And last year, Conan O'Brien did it solo. And he was just one of the eight this year. And he was the best by far. And Gary Shandling fell flat. His jokes just didn't click. Wanda Sykes (ph) -- she was walking the aisles, and I didn't understand what her jokes were about half the time. You know, it just didn't seem to click. And it was just, like, Put Conan back out there. You know, I mean, he was by far the funniest.

ZAHN: I'm sure he'd love to hear that from you. We're going to quickly fast-forward to what is on TV, and we're going to -- you can give me 15 seconds per show. "Friends" finale coming up. thought on that?

BAKER: Yes, the -- "Friends" -- look, it's going to be their tenth and final season. There's just so much ground to cover. There are six really compelling, fascinating characters whose story arch have to conclude. They need closure, except for Joey. Joey's going to come back next year with his own show on NBC. So there's just going to be a lot of compelling story lines to watch.

ZAHN: All right. On to "Miss Match" with Alicia Silverstone.

BAKER: Yes, Alicia Silverstone. Look, this is her time to come back. Alicia Silverstone is -- is now a woman. What she's known for most is "Clueless" and her movies in the '90s. And this is a chance for her. The critics really, really like it. NBC is giving it a really strong push. She plays a divorced attorney. And I think everyone's just really excited to see her.

ZAHN: Ken Baker of "US Weekly," thank you so much for spending some time with us this evening. And let's not forget Joe Millionaire's coming back this season. Thumbs up on that one?

BAKER: Yes. Yes. I think...

ZAHN: All right. We can't say much...

BAKER: ... people are going to get a kick out of that.

ZAHN: ... about it because we've got to move along here. But again, thank you for joining us tonight.

And we want to thank all of you out there for being with us tonight. Tomorrow on this program, defense attorney Gerry Spence on the media's influence on high-profile trials. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Have a good night, everyone.

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

Bernard Kerik>


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