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Man Charged With Kidnapping Dru Sjodin; On Patrol With U.S. Troops Hunting al Qaeda; Polygamist Gets Creative in Court

Aired December 2, 2003 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: A suspect charged with kidnapping Dru Sjodin. But where is the missing North Dakota coed?
We take you on patrol with U.S. troops hunting al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

A polygamist behind bars for having five wives gets creative in court. Will justice be served?

Why an American GI who married an Iraqi woman is kicked out of the Army.

Thousands are sick with a severe strain of flu. Are you and your family at risk?

ANNOUNCE: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: Good evening. Thanks for joining us on 360.

We begin with new and startling developments in the investigation of a series of shootings along Interstate 270 near Columbus, Ohio. Detectives now say that ballistic evidence now positively links four of the shootings. Plus, they say the gun used to kill a woman last week was fired again and in a shocking location.

CNN's Kris Osborn has the latest.


KRIS OSBORN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A sense of heightened urgency filled the room as Franklin County officials announced two new ballistic matches in the ongoing effort to solve the mysterious shootings along Ohio's Interstate 270.

The number of shootings has climbed to 12. The only death, 62- year-old Ohio native Gail Knisley.

Security concern is now no longer only along the highway. New ballistic evidence has now linked a nighttime shooting at a nearby elementary school.

STEVE MARTIN, FRANKLIN CO. SHERIFF'S DEPUTY: A recently submitted bullet fragment taken from a shooting incident at Hamilton Township Central Elementary School, 1105 Rathmill (ph) Road, Columbus, on November 11, 2003 has now been positively linked to the weapon used to kill Mrs. Knisley.

It should be noted the incident at the school occurred on Veterans' Day morning at approximately 1:35 a.m. Obviously, no children or employees were present at this time of the shooting.

OSBORN: According to the police report, the security alarm went off and those arriving on the scene found a bullet hole through a window at the school.

Authorities have now linked a total of four shootings. As a result, security in the Columbus area is expanding to include residential type-settings and schools.


OSBORN: And as you might expect, Anderson, the notion of a bullet firing through an elementary school window is causing some concern.

Chief Martin made it clear that authorities are in contact with schools in the area about additional security -- Anderson.

COOPER: Kris Osborn, live, thanks very much, from Columbus, Ohio.

On to the sniper trial of Lee Malvo in Chesapeake, Virginia. The defense is trying to show that convicted sniper John Muhammad treated Malvo like a surrogate son who he wanted to control.

Well, today they brought in Muhammad's real son to help make that case.

Here's Jeanne Meserve.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): John Muhammad's son testified on behalf of the young man who posed as one, Lee Malvo.

Lindbergh Williams said he loved his father but described him as a manipulator who tried to persuade him during a summer visit that his mother was abusing him.

Lindbergh, then 11, said he eventually believed Muhammad and was only, quote, "decoded" after returning to his mother, Muhammad's first wife, Carol Williams. She testified that after a visit to Baton Rouge, Malvo left her niece a letter, quote, "crying out for help" to get out of the situation he was in.

CRAIG COOLEY, MALVO DEFENSE ATTNY: We believe it accurately reflects his state of mind at the time, but I think you're going to have to wait until tomorrow to get the text of the letter.

MESERVE: The director of a Bellingham, Washington homeless shelter where Malvo and Muhammad once lived testified, "I saw John Muhammad as the trainer and Lee as being a trainee."

The chaplain from the shelter said Muhammad was leading, Malvo was following.

An Muhammad juror observing this trial also heard several witnesses describe Malvo as quiet, courteous, obedient.

DENNIS BOWMAN, MUHAMMAD TRIAL JUROR: I keep hearing that in the courtroom. And all that comes to mind in my case is I hear his voice on the tape, "Until then, just follow the body bags." So I'm not buying it.


COOPER: Jeanne Meserve joins us now.

Jeanne, the defense theory is basically that Malvo was somehow indoctrinated. Are there any signs that he's coming out of that, or any changes in his behavior or attitude?

MESERVE: His defense attorneys have always said that part of his indoctrination was his conversion to the faith of Islam.

Today we heard -- but the jury did not -- that after 9/11, Malvo had had some qualms about that. He went to the chaplain at that mission in Bellingham, Washington and said that during his conversion Muslim leaders had said to him we'd like to take over America.

And the chaplain said Malvo said to him, "I'm not sure I want to be part of that."

In addition, Malvo's lawyer said today he has now renounced Islam and returned to his Christian roots -- Anderson.

COOPER: Interesting development.

Jeanne Meserve, thanks very much.

We want to turn now to Iraq, where another U.S. soldier was killed today, his convoy hit with what they called an improvised bomb.

While counter-insurgent operations continue, the U.S.-led coalition scored a symbolic victory today, removing this, Saddam the icon, from Baghdad, if not Saddam himself.

The story from Walter Rodgers.


WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Saddam's head removed. But the still-at-large former Iraqi despot may well be taunting Washington, where's the rest of me?

In Baghdad, Saddam had four massive heads of himself cast. Each 30 feet, or 8 meters high, weighing seven tons. He fancied himself a great warrior, hence the head gear. At times, Saladin, at others Nebuchadnezzar. The U.S. administrator here in Iraq fancied Saddam's monuments to Saddam gone.

PAUL BREMER, U.S. ADMINISTRATOR IN IRAQ: I've been looking at these heads for six months and I'm just delighted to see them coming down. It's a symbol of how the regime they represent is gone.

RODGERS: There was applause from the U.S.-led coalition at the head lifting, but Iraqis remain too frightened to applaud just yet, especially with Saddam still eluding capture.

This man should know. He used to work in the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Iraqi people will continue to fear him. I think the public opinion is such that from past experience, it shows that this man was always able to come back.

RODGERS: As recently as last week, President Bush assured the Iraqi people that will never happen.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The regime of Saddam Hussein is gone forever.

RODGERS: The problem is, many Iraqis say the U.S. has a credibility gap in Iraq.

ABDUL SATTAR JAWAD, BAGHDAD UNIVERSITY: The failure to catch him is not in favor of the American forces. You must squeeze him as soon as possible. He's a sort of menace, a sort of threat, and he is a violent man.

RODGERS: The U.S.-led coalition has squeezed Saddam, driven him underground, made his loyalists bleed. But at the end of the day, Saddam keeps getting away.

GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ, U.S. COMMANDER IN IRAQ: It is difficult to find him, given that I haven't found him, killed him, or captured him. And I need the Iraqi people's help. And together, we'll find him. We'll capture him or we'll kill him.

RODGERS: Short of that, however, the U.S. is having to settle for these symbols, which are less than persuasive to the vast majority of Iraqis.

Walter Rodgers, CNN, Baghdad.


COOPER: In Cincinnati, Ohio today police face continuing scrutiny after a violent videotaped encounter with a man.

The 350-pound man with cocaine and PCP in his system lunged at police who then used nightsticks to subdue him. The man later died.

Today the city's police chief met with some people questioning the officer's tactics. Here's CNN's Ed Lavandera.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside this Cincinnati building, a group of African-American ministers met with the city's police chief behind closed doors. A tough crowd for the city's top officer when you consider what many of them are saying publicly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police chief needs to go home. Go on vacation. Take a leave of absence. But he needs to get away from here. We need a police chief that's more conscientious about the way his officers act when they get out in the field.

LAVANDERA: Speaking for the first time since the beating death of 41-year-old Nathaniel Jones, Police Chief Thomas Streicker says he will not step down. He also says his officers acted appropriately.

THOMAS STREICHER, CINCINNATI POLICE CHIEF: It is incumbent upon the police department to conduct a 360-degree evaluation of this incident so that hopefully at the end of the day, we can answer each and every question that everybody has.

LAVANDERA: Local African-American leaders have many questions about why Nathaniel Jones had to die in this altercation with police. But one question seems to anger them most.

REV. CALVIN HARPER, MINISTER: Why are our city officials and police supervision so eager to exonerate the police before a full investigation has been conducted and all the evidence has been presented?

LAVANDERA (on camera): The medical examiner here says police have turned over more evidence, that traces of cocaine and PCP were found inside Nathaniel Jones' car. A full autopsy report could be released as early as Wednesday.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Cincinnati.


COOPER: We move on to a breakthrough in another investigation. An arrest in the case of a missing university of North Dakota student. Right now, a convicted rapist is in custody, suspected of kidnapping this woman, Dru Sjodin.

However, there is still no sign of her. Family, friends and police are not giving up hope of finding her alive.

Here's CNN's Jeff Flock.


JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A father with hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honey, we're still looking for you.

FLOCK: Police with a possible break in the disappearance of 22- year-old Dru Sjodin.

CHIEF JOHN PACKETT, GRAND FORKS POLICE DEPT.: Our community is a safer place this morning.

FLOCK: Because, Grand Forks Police Chief John Packett says, they arrested 50-year-old Alphonso Rodriguez, Jr., a man who has spent nearly all of the past three decades in either treatment or prison for violent sex crimes.

(on camera): Though they won't say how they got it, police investigators say they have developed information that Mr. Rodriguez was here the night Dru disappeared from this Grand Forks shopping mall. It is that information, investigators say, that led them to make the arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a level three sex offender in Minnesota.

FLOCK: Grand Forks County Prosecutor Welte would give few details, but according to Minnesota corrections officials, Rodriguez's record includes a conviction in 1974 for attempted rape and aggravated rape. He did time in treatment, but within days of being released six years later, stabbed a woman and tried to force her into his car. He did 23 years for kidnapping and assault and was released in May of this year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to try to continue to find Dru, and that remains our primary focus.

FLOCK: Investigators put divers in the Red River near Rodriguez's home Crookston, Minnesota, east of Grand Forks, and also released a picture of his maroon 2002 Mercury Sable, saying they believe they have the evidence to link him to the disappearance of the former homecoming queen who has now been gone for 10 days.


FLOCK: And, Anderson, there's going to be a big search here tomorrow. More than 1,000 volunteers will be looking for Dru Sjodin, perhaps designed in part to send a message to whoever is responsible for her disappearance, the message being, you'd better tell us where she is now because we are going to find her -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jeff Flock, covering the story for us, thanks Jeff.

A little later on, we're actually going to talk to two of her sorority sisters who are actually going to take part in that search tomorrow.

Here's a fast fact for you, though about crime in North Dakota. According to the FBI, that state has the lowest rate of violent crime in the country. In 2002, in North Dakota, 81 people per 100,000 were the victim of a violent crime. And just six murders were reported in all of last year.

For comparison, Florida has the highest crime rate. 812 victims of violent crime per 100,000. The national average, 506 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

Moving on, we're following a number of other stories now cross- country. Let's take a look.

Seattle, Washington. Echinacea and kids. A study of more than 400 Seattle-area children found the herb worked no better than a dummy treatment in reducing sneezing, runny noses, and fever. Apparently the echinacea group was also found to be slightly more susceptible to unexplained rashes.

Washington, D.C. condom give-away. District health officials will soon install condom dispensers in some government offices and again handing condoms out for free. Washington, who has the highest rate of AIDS in the nation, with 162 cases for every 100,000 people.

New York, New York. Holiday gloom at toy central. Say it ain't so. FAO, parent company of famed toy store FAO-Schwartz, said that for the second time in a year it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The retailer says it hopes to sell its FAO-Schwartz and The Right Start stores and will liquidate its Zainy Brainy chain. The stores will remain open for now, including the flagship New York store, though sales will be final.

Miami, Florida. Grand theft outrage. Miami's Haitian and Cuban communities are up in arms over Grand Theft Auto's Vice City, saying it incites hate crimes. Apparently characters in the game tell players to kill the Haitians and kill the Cubans.

That is a look at stories across the country for us tonight.

Accused wife killer Scott Peterson heading back to court. Find out why his lawyer is arguing the whole case should just be dismissed.

Also tonight, inside and on patrol in Afghanistan. An exclusive look at U.S. forces on the trail of terror.

And many wives, private lives. Jailed polygamist Tom Green hopes the Supreme Court will help get him off the hook. You won't believe his new legal strategy.

We'll talk about that, but first let's take a look inside the box. Tonight's top stories on the network newscast.


COOPER: Cold night for hot dogs.

Well, tomorrow will be a busy day for defense lawyer of the moment Mark Geragos. And it has nothing to do with Michael Jackson. No, tomorrow it's all about Geragos' other high profile client, Scott Peterson. He faces arraignment tomorrow on charges that he murdered his wife and unborn child. Rusty Dornin is in Modesto.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Don't expect any trial date set for Scott Peterson this week to be set in stone.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos says he plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges because of insufficient evidence against his client. That alone, prosecutors say, could delay a trial date.

And Geragos has made no secret of the fact he plans to file for a change of venue, but a decision won't be immediate and prosecutors also have a say.

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTNY.: Sometimes they will fight it. Sometimes they'll propose other solutions. Ultimately, though, it's up to the judicial council after the judge makes his decision.

DORNIN: Also up for discussion, Peterson's truck and nearly $15,000 in cash, both seized as evidence. The defense says neither is critical and wants it returned, claiming a financial hardship on the Peterson family.

But prosecutors say hold on. Sometimes evidence like that is useful in a trial.

JOHN GOOLD, D.A. SPOKESMAN: Where we've actually had the jury go outside where a car is parked, take a look at a car, and then come back in and hear the testimony about it. It seems to have more impact, in our view, when they can actually see the vehicle.

DORNIN: There will also be dates set for defense motions to exclude evidence from wire taps, a hypnotized witness, devices used to track Peterson's vehicles, and tracking dogs. And No one involved has been allowed to talk about this case since last June. The judge will decide whether to keep things that way by ruling whether to continue the gag order.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Modesto, California.


COOPER: All right. Let's go global right now. Let's check some of the other stories on the UPLINK.

Madrid, Spain. Day of mourning. A state funeral for seven Spanish intelligence agents killed in an ambush south of Baghdad. After the funeral, Spain's prime minister rejected calls for withdrawing Spanish forces from Iraq.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Peacekeepers told to get out. Pro- government mobs armed with everything from rocks to machetes surrounded a French army base in this country. They want French peacekeepers to clear the way for militias who want to attack rebels and possibly restart a civil war. The Hague, Netherlands. Long sentence -- U.N. war crimes judges sentence this man, a former Bosnian Serb army commander, to 27 years behind bars. A tougher sentence than some had thought for his confessed role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre that left up to 8,000 Muslims dead.

Vatican City, change of plans. Mel Gibson will not have a private screening of his controversial movie "The Passion of Christ" at a religious film festival tonight. Gibson's production company says it isn't done editing the final version of the film. Some Jewish leaders claim the movie could promote anti-Semitism because it suggests Jews were responsible for Christ's death.

And that is tonight's UPLINK.

Now to the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan and a rare look at the place where U.S. forces are facing another hard winter hunting for suspected al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is there and brings us this exclusive report.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN is the first television news crew to be taken here. Firebase Catamount (ph), deep in northeastern Afghanistan.

2,000 U.S. troops spread out in these mountains, hunting suspected small groups of Taliban and al Qaeda in grim winter conditions. This is the war that is not Iraq. At the firebase in the valley below, soldiers prepare to fire mortars, a warning to any enemy forces in the valley to stay away from the local village and leave the farmers in peace as Afghanistan struggles to rebuild.

(on camera): Here at Firebase Catamount (ph), soldiers are working with local villagers, providing security for farmers and schoolchildren, part of the new Afghanistan.

(voice-over): The soldiers say the villagers tell them there are foreign fighters in the mountains, but the intelligence is not yet specific enough to take action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's too hard to tell because they seem to blend right into the local population.

STARR: But special forces continue to hunt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're seeing a lot of caches, war raid caches or individuals that are trying to organize locals into doing something to disrupt the government or attack U.S. forces.

STARR: It is a crucial time in this country. The road from Kabul to Kandahar is scheduled to open, a vital route for commerce. And the loya jirga, a meeting to write a new constitution is planned. Worries that these so-called soft targets might be attacked by enemy forces.

BRIG. GEN. LLOYD AUSTIN, COMMANDING GENERAL: They will eventually resort to acts of terrorism, because those are easy to do, high payoff. Hard to prevent.

STARR: The best prevention: keep on hunting, say these soldiers.

Barbara Starr, CNN, Firebase Catamount (ph), eastern Afghanistan.


COOPER: From the frontlines of the war on terror.

How to survive a killer flu season. Health officials sound the alarm over a new and deadly strain. Find out how to protect yourself. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us live with that.

Also tonight, melting Kilimanjaro. We're going to take you to the top of the world where breathtaking glaciers are becoming a thing of the past, at the top of Africa, at least.

And a little later, a jailed polygamist fights for what he says is his right to have many wives. Will a recent Supreme Court decision actually help his cause? We're going to take a closer look.

And that gets us to today's BUZZ. Should polygamy be legal? What do you think? Vote now. The results at the end of the program.


COOPER: I don't want to sound like your mom, but have you gotten your flu shot yet? I know it's the nagging question you hear every year around this time. But this year in particular a flu shot could really mean the difference between life and death. And that's because a new very dangerous strain of flu has emerged.

Dr. Gupta has the latest.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across the country, influenza has struck early, leaving droves coughing, achy people in its wake.

DR. RICHARD WEBBY, ST. JUDE'S CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL: It started early. And also the virus that's circulating is a little different than the virus that's actually in the vaccine this year.

GUPTA: Influenza is widespread in 10 states already, making this what officials are calling one of the most intense flu seasons in recent history.

One reason is something called the Fujian (ph) strain, also called a drift strain. It is not covered in the current vaccine. DR. JULIE GERBERDING, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: As flu strains gradually evolve in people, we don't always have exactly the same strain in the vaccine that is circulating in the community.

GUPTA: So now communities are being hit hard. Colorado: 4,700 cases and four children have died. In New Mexico, three children and one adult died last weekend after reporting flu-like symptoms.

There's no evidence confirming the flu caused the New Mexico death, so it will take an autopsy to be sure. But for now the message remains the same: a flu shot, while not perfect, is still your best protection.

WEBBY: Although it's not a perfect match, it's certainly going to reduce the severity of disease that anyone gets.


GUPTA: And, Anderson, you should definitely get your flu shot. I've gotten mine.

But people in particular who should be getting this flu shot, people over the age of 50, children age 6 months to 23 months, and certainly anybody who has a weakened immune system, considerations about hearts and lungs as well -- Anderson.

COOPER: It's scary, though. Given the vaccine doesn't specifically address this strain this, Fujian (ph) strain, it's understandable that people would be worried.

GUPTA: Not specifically. And these vaccines are designed to basically try and fend off some of the most common strains in any given flu season.

This time they didn't exactly hit it on the mark, so they're missing one particular strain. But there's a lot of different flu strains it does cover. And this vaccine may confer some immunity against that Fujian (ph) strain as well. So you're still going to be better protected for sure by getting this flu shot.

COOPER: All right. I haven't gotten mine, and I will now.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks very much.

All right. Here's a flu flashback for you. The deadliest and most devastating flu on record was the Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918 to 1919. It affected nearly every inhabited part of the globe.

Listen to this. In India, it's believed to have suffered at least 12.5 million deaths during this pandemic. The United States, about 500,000 deaths. Altogether, an estimated 25 million people around the world perished.

A suspect but no victim. What are police doing to find Dru Sjodin?

A convicted bigamist gets creative in court.

And things get goofy in the board room. Has Disney lost its magic touch?

We'll be right back.


COOPER: Here are tonight's top stories in the "Reset."

Washington, D.C -- terror warnings, a U.S. official warning about possible terror attacks over the next few days in Nairobi, Kenya, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Officials also say there's reason to be concerned about a possible al Qaeda attack in London or against British interests elsewhere.

Washington, D.C. -- assisting adoptions. President Bush has signed legislation extending a 1997 law that rewards states for promoting adoptions. States that report year-to-year increases in adoptions can be eligible for an extra $4,000 per child.

Washington, D.C. -- the law on addiction. The U.S. Supreme Court says employers do not have any responsibility to rehire former narcotics users. The ruling came in the case of an Arizona worker who resigned after failing a cocaine test but later completed a drug recovery program. When the company refused to rehire him, the worker claimed he was a victim of discrimination under the disability laws. The high court today rejected that argument.

Flander, South Dakota -- emotional testimony. Tears flow today in the manslaughter trial of U.S. Representative Bill Janklow. That's him there. Janklow's car plowed into a motorcycle at a South Dakota intersection last August, killing the rider. A friend of the victim cried as he described witnessing the rider's death.

And that is tonight's "Reset."

That brings us to tonight's "Justice Served." A Utah bigamist already in jail is asking the state's highest court to strike down his conviction, arguing that the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay sex also puts what he does in the bedroom outside the reach the law. Tom Green has 5 wives and 30 kids and says that shouldn't be a crime.


TOM GREEN: My crime was creating a family and giving my children too many mothers, in the eyes of society. And for that, the father has to be taken away from his children? That doesn't make a damn bit of sense to me. And that burns me. I hate it!


COOPER: Well, Green is now serving a five-year sentence and a concurrent sentence of five years to life for child rape because he had sex with a 13-year-old girl whom he considered to be himself married to. The lawyer working to get Green out of prison is John Bucher, who joins us tonight from Salt Lake City. Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom is also here with me in New York. She'll join us shortly.

John, appreciate you joining us tonight. Let me start off -- how is it possible -- I'm not a lawyer, so try to explain to me and our audience how a Supreme Court ruling decriminalizing gay sex applies to your client, who's in jail on multiple counts of bigamy and one count of child rape?

JOHN BUCHER, ATTORNEY FOR BIGAMIST TOM GREEN: Because in Utah, there are two elements to bigamy, and in Mr. Green's case, in their ability to marry him to one of the wives so that they can prosecute him for bigamy. And that's the concept of cohabitation. What they're doing is they're claiming that the cohabitation of the bigamy statute is like another marriage, and therefore, he is subject to prosecution. Our claim is, among other things, that the -- what you do in your bedroom is protected by the 5th and the 14th Amendment.

COOPER: You're saying, basically, it's consenting adults, and therefore the law shouldn't apply to them.

BUCHER: Yes, as far as the cohabitation section of (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

COOPER: How do you get around the child rape charge? Because, I mean, some would argue a 13-year-old girl is not, you know, able to make -- make such a decision.

BUCHER: Well, I'm not arguing Lawrence versus Texas or the 5th or 14th Amendment in the rape case. We have other arguments about that. And that wasn't subject to our argument before the Supreme Court yesterday.

COOPER: All right, let's bring in Lisa Bloom from Court TV. Lisa, it's an interesting. What do you think?

LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: I think it is an interesting argument, but I think it's distinguishable. Lawrence versus Texas, last summer's Supreme Court decision, has to do with intimacy in the bedroom -- in other words, gay sex. The gay marriage cases will be more on point, but those are out of Massachusetts and Vermont, not Utah, so I don't think it's going to help him.

COOPER: What do you think your chances are, honestly, John? I mean, your client's already in jail. I know you're trying to get him out. Where does the thing go from here?

BUCHER: Well, it's very interesting. We're stretching Lawrence versus Texas to apply to Mr. Green. And one of the reasons that we're doing that is because of the language in Lawrence versus Texas that talks about a compelling state interest, that you leave people alone in their bedroom unless you can show a compelling state interest.

BLOOM: Well, if he had never married anyone, he would have a better claim, wouldn't he? Because, surely, he could engage in sexual relations with other adults and be all right under the law of Utah. The problem is his insistence on marrying multiple women. The other problem he has, surely, is he's got to be one of the worst test cases for polygamy. He's convicted of child rape and criminally failing to support his 30 children.

BUCHER: Well, I'd like to make a distinguishment. He didn't marry them. He went out of his way not to have legal marriages to these women. And most polygamists do the same thing.

COOPER: But John, isn't that sort of a convenient argument? I mean, one day he's saying in front of TV cameras, he's saying, We're married, we're married, we're polygamists, and then in court he's saying, Well, actually, we're just kind of spiritually married, and therefore we're not really married?

BUCHER: Well, he didn't try and be legally married. You must understand, all these marriages, except for the ones he sought a divorce for in order to avoid various things, but -- all of them were spiritual. None of them purported to be legal. And that's the way polygamists do their family affairs in Utah and other places.

BLOOM: You know, I'll say this, Anderson. I think it's interesting, in that the law of gay marriage is pushing the question of whether the state can decide who gets to get married in this country and what the circumstances are. And this polygamy case is what the courts are afraid of when they talk about slippery slope in gay marriage cases. What's going to be next, bigamy, polygamy cases? That's what the courts always ask, and now, sure enough, here it comes, next case down the pike.

COOPER: It'll be interesting to watch. John Bucher, appreciate you joining us tonight. And Lisa Bloom, always good to talk to you. Thanks.

BUCHER: You're welcome.

BLOOM: Thanks.

COOPER: All right, let's put polygamy in perspective here for just a moment. While the Mormon church outlawed polygamy long ago, right now, an estimated 30,000 people in Utah are part of polygamist families. Worldwide, by one estimate, three out of four cultures at least allow some form of polygamy, though comparatively few people practice it.

That brings us to today's "Buzz" question: Should polygamy actually be legal? What do you think? Vote now, Results at the end of the program.

Well, more traditional marriage has caused trouble for two U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Both men married Iraqi women a few months ago, and the U.S. Army is not happy. The men tied the knot in a double ceremony back in August to their brides while on foot patrol in Baghdad. That's where all the trouble is right now. At least one of them, Sergeant Sean Blackwell, is likely going to be kicked out of the Army. His lawyer, Richard Alvoid, joins us now from Pensacola, Florida.

Richard, thanks very much for being with us. I guess the problem is, in the Army's eyes, that this man informed his bride and I guess other Iraqis of where their patrol was going to go, therefore, in order to have this ceremony while on patrol. And that's the essential problem, right?

RICHARD ALVOID, ATTORNEY FOR SGT. SEAN BLACKWELL: That is correct. That's exactly why Sean received a letter of reprimand, for disclosing the time and location of the patrol. However, it should be known that that patrol was routine, and it was well known in that neighborhood, and I would guess that the enemy knew very well that that patrol was taking place. So it seems to be more of a formality to issue this reprimand.

COOPER: All right, so he's gotten this letter of reprimand, as has the other soldier who married a bride. it seems like proceedings are going to start against him. But he's not going to be court- martialed. It's going to be what, a dishonorable discharge, you think?

ALVOID: That's what it seems, at this point. Keep in mind, the letter of reprimand came out about 10 days ago. And that was after talk of a possible court-martial or Article 15 non-judicial punishment. But it seems like the final punishment is going to be a letter of reprimand and also a discharge. For sure, the discharge is coming. Whether it's honorable or not...

COOPER: Now, I know Sergeant...

ALVOID: ... is yet to be seen.

COOPER: ... Sergeant Blackwell right now restricted to the base in Iraq. He's still there. Has he been able to contact his wife at all? I mean, what are his plans?

ALVOID: He has not seen his wife since the wedding. However, he's exchanged e-mails with her. The last month, he's been able to do that. And just recently, he did have a telephone conversation with her.

COOPER: Now...

ALVOID: But he's not been able to leave the base to see her.

COOPER: Now, the other soldier, his bride is already calling for a divorce. I guess she's under a lot of pressure from her family. Do you know -- as far as you know, how is your client's bride doing? How is she holding up to all this?

ALVOID: Our bride is holding up very well. Heda's (ph) her name. She's quite a fighter. In fact, both Sean and Heda are strong- willed persons and...

COOPER: But she's received some threats, hasn't she? ALVOID: Exactly. Yes. Her house was almost broken into. She receives daily threats. Her face is all over the Arabic media, the Arabic world. Her name is known. She doesn't cover. She wears Western dress. So her face is -- her identity is easy to see. So basically...

COOPER: So you're thinking he's going to get back here when, February, and you hope she's here already by that point?

ALVOID: I hope, but I doubt very seriously. As an immigration attorney, I can tell you it's going to take much longer than that, unless the government decides to expedite her visa, which we will, of course, be asking for.

COOPER: All right. Richard Alvoid, appreciate you joining us. Thanks very much. We'll keep following the story.

ALVOID: Thank you.

COOPER: A convicted rapist arrested, but the search is still on for a missing North Dakota student. Coming up, we're going to talk with the girl's sorority sisters about the search for their friend.

Also tonight, how quickly we forget. Whatever happened to those Enron executives? Remember them? Well, you'll find out. Stay tuned.


COOPER: Send us your e-mails anytime,

More now on the arrest of a suspect in the case of a missing North Dakota student. Right now, a convicted sex offender is behind bars. He is accused of kidnapping Dru Sjodin. She's been missing for 10 days now. Investigators say the arrest only takes them to the 50- yard line. They are hoping to still find this young woman alive.


PETER WELTE, N.D. STATE ATTORNEY: Right now, our entire focus on this is finding Dru. We have a separate chapter that's been opened by the kidnapping charge, but by no means is this the end. This is a marathon, it's not a sprint. We're going to try to continue to find Dru, and that remains our primary focus.


COOPER: A lot of people are still looking. Two of them join us right now, live from Grand Forks, North Dakota. Two of Dru's friends and sorority sisters, Randy Kennedy and Paulette Palmer. And we appreciate both of you joining us.

Randy, I understand shortly after this man, this suspect, Alfonso Rodriguez, was arrested, police came to you -- came to the sorority. What did they tell you?

RANDY KENNEDY, FRIEND OF DRU SJODIN: He -- we were at our normal meeting for Gamma Phi, and he -- when we came upstairs, we knew that we were going to have a meeting with some officials at UND and the police chief just to go over some brief safety tips. And in -- he walked in and told us the news of Alfonso being arrested and behind bars. And I think at first, we were all shocked. It was very quiet. And then the reality started to hit. It kind of hit home. And there was every kind of emotion you could possibly have.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, Paulette...

KENNEDY: The girls were crying and...

COOPER: Yes. Paulette, when you heard that this man was a registered sex offender, that he had been convicted before, had a history, what went through your mind?

PAULETTE PALMER, FRIEND OF DRU SJODIN: I thought -- the exact words, actually, that went through my mind were, Oh, my word. There's this real guy out there who took Dru away from me, from my sorority sisters, from her family. It wasn't an issue anymore of Dru is missing, it became someone took Dru from us.

COOPER: Randy, I mean, how are you doing? How are your friends, your sorority sisters, all the friends of Dru doing?

KENNEDY: We're trying to stay positive. We're definitely pulling support from each other. The support from the community and the university has been amazing. And so we're just trying to stay positive, and I think that's the only way we're going to make it through this and give our strength. Hopefully, Dru can feed off our strength.

COOPER: We're looking at people searching right now. I know you're going to take part in a search tomorrow morning. You're optimistic. You believe she's still out there, or you believe she's alive, you have hope.

PALMER: Oh, yes.

KENNEDY: We definitely have hope. There is -- we know that Dru's out there, and we're going to find her.

COOPER: And if she's watching tonight -- I mean, her dad sent out a message to her via TV cameras earlier today. Your message?

PALMER: Yes. Dru, there are so many people out here that love you and are thinking about you constantly. Every making moment, I'm thinking of you. And we're coming. We're determined. And we're not going to give up.

COOPER: Well, Paulette Palmer and Randy Kennedy, appreciate you joining us tonight. I know it's a difficult time for you, for all the friends. And our thoughts and prayers are with you and with Dru right now. Thank you.

KENNEDY: Greatly appreciate it.

PALMER: Thank you.

KENNEDY: Thanks.

COOPER: Well, changing gears right now -- not often we can take you to 19,000 feet into the sky. Tonight we can, thanks to CNN's Jeff Koinange, who climbed atop Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro, not just for the awe-inspiring view but to get a look at an environmental treasure that is increasingly threatened.


JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It begins with a simple fire like this, as farmers clear land for planting crops. Before long, the fire spreads, leading to entire forest areas being reduced to ashes. Forests are essential to the generation of rain. Less forest means less rain. Less rain means imminent drought and famine. Scientists studying changing weather patterns in the Kilimanjaro area have noticed something more ominous affecting Africa's most famous symbol.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is now estimated that by the year 2020, there will be no glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro.

KOINANGE: As we made the climb to the summit, we found evidence of all too frequent forest fires. But according to some, the priority right now is not to save the glaciers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people figure -- they see the glaciers, OK, there is water up there, and we're getting our water from this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) But that's not true. And to preserve the forests, this is the most important thing on Kilimanjaro.

KOINANGE: The landscape changes rapidly as we climb up through different climate zones. Along the way, rivers once bursting with mountain spring water are now simply reduced to babbling brooks. The glaciers that spawned these rivers are shrinking.

(on camera): At nearly 6,000 meters -- or to be more precise, 19,340 feet -- this is Kilimanjaro's highest point. Wind chill factor, minus-15. But with less rain falling on Africa's highest peak and global warming increasing at an alarming rate, it's no wonder that one of Africa's icons has come to symbolize the continent's beauty will soon, sadly, be a thing of the past.

Jeff Koinange, CNN, on the roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.


COOPER: Wow. Jeff Koinange, man, goes anywhere.

Remember when the country was demanding the heads of Enron, literally? How quickly we forget. Sop we'll remind you with a look at where those executives are now and how much Enron's bankruptcy is costing. You're not going to believe it. And could a former "Baywatch" actress be the next star of an Internet sex video? Oh, we'd be shocked, shocked, I tell you! We'll be right back.


COOPER: Checking some e-mails. Time to check on pop news in tonight's "Current." Let's take a look.

"The New York Daily News" reports former "Baywatcher" Gina Lee Nolan may be starring in the next Internet sex video. The tape reportedly shows Nolan biting her then-husband, a video producer who made the tape, in what "The News" calls, quote, "a sensitive area." It's not clear whether Nolan's lawyers plan to file a suit.

Federal agents are auctioning off goods seized in a drug investigation, including 5,000 tubes of frozen bull semen like that seen here. The government used to give away a similar commodity for free on occasion during the previous administration. You'll get it in a few minutes.

"The New York Post" reports Ned Beatty has likely blown his shot at a Tony after dissing the theatrical skills of his co-stars on Broadway's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Jason Patric and Ashley Judd. Our older viewers may remember Ned Beatty as "shore havin' a purty mouth."

Viacom is reportedly close to selling off Blockbuster, the huge video rental chain. The new owner could fork over as much as $2.5 billion but would have to return Blockbuster by noon on Thursday.

Now, every Tuesday, we like to look at a story that was once a hot headline grabber, but because of the ADD-like attributes of cable news, it's been quickly forgotten. Tonight, Enron. Filed for bankruptcy two years ago today. It was to be a first step in correcting a corporate mess. But how quickly we forget.


COOPER (voice-over): For Enron, bankruptcy ain't cheap. Being broke has cost the company half a billion dollars in lawyers fees, accountants, not to mention the very occasional creditor. The post- mortem investigation alone has cost nearly $100 million, not surprising when some employee interviews are conducted by as many as three lawyers at once, billing about $500 an hour. The company will get back some money. Today the corporate headquarters went on sale. Estimated value, $93 million.

And the bigwigs who led Enron into this mess?

KENNETH LAY, FORMER CEO, ENRON: I come here today with a profound sadness...

COOPER: Sure, former chairman and CEO Ken Lay had to sell off four Aspen homes at a reported loss of $1 million. But he's free, and no charges have been filed against him.

JEFFREY SKILLING, FORMER CEO, ENRON: I have no knowledge of any -- and had no knowledge of any wrongdoing...

COOPER: Or against former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling. Some two dozen Enron employees are facing charges, but the highest- ranking, former chief financial officer Andrew Fastow, won't even go on trial until next year. Right now, former treasurer Ben Glisan is the only one doing time, five years in federal prison. He's handed over $900,000, which is nice but only covers about two tenths of a percent of what it's cost to clean up the Enron mess so far. Final pricetag? Who knows?


COOPER: How quickly we forget. Now, the Walt Disney Company is having trouble of its own these days, as Walt's nephew calls for heads to roll, even while he takes off, and as we take the whole ugly mess to "The Nth Degree." Bippity, boppety, boo. We'll be right back with that.

But first today's "Buzz." Should polygamy be legal? Vote now, Results when we come back.


COOPER: Tonight, taking Disney to "The Nth Degree." Disney's board met today, following the very public resignation of two board members who apparently felt that the wonderful world of Disney wasn't big enough for them and chairman Michael Eisner. It's a small world, after all. One departing board member, Roy Disney, sent a blistering letter to Eisner. And we want to make sure that the board understands exactly what Roy Disney is saying because it's definitely not "Hakuna Matata."

First, he accused Eisner of, quote, "micro-management." Now, even those of us without an MBA know what management, and micro means small. So what exactly is micro-management at Disney? Well, CNN has learned that, in the past, Disney management has used small people, some of whom are seen here in this video, not only to work as miners but also to sing and dance, a clear OSHA violation.

Second, Disney's letter also claimed that under Eisner's leadership, the company has, quote, "lost its focus, its creative energy and its heritage." What he's saying is that Eisner is no longer, in layman's terms, the fairest of them all. When Disney writes Eisner, quote, "I once again call for your resignation or retirement," that's legalese for saying he wants the woodsman to find Eisner and cut out his heart. And when he signs off with "sincere regret," what he really means is M-I-C-U in Hades, K-E-Y, why? Because profits are down. L-O-U-S-E.

That wraps up our show tonight. Coming up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


U.S. Troops Hunting al Qaeda; Polygamist Gets Creative in Court>

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