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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Analysis of Saddam Hussein Capture; Analysis of Michael Jackson Case
Aired December 15, 2003 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This tiny hole is really small inside. It's concrete, mud on the walls, a wood (UNINTELLIGIBLE) here, water around the top of the frame.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, CNN's Nic Robertson takes you inside the actual hole in the ground where Saddam Hussein was captured Saturday night. Also, former Operation Iraqi Freedom prisoners of war Ronald Young, Jr., and David Williams. They were captured this past March by Saddam Hussein's regime. What do they have to say, now that he's been captured by U.S. soldiers? Plus, Bob Simon of CBS News, himself held prisoner by Saddam's regime in the first Gulf war.
And then: With child molestation charges expected to be filed Thursday or Friday against Michael Jackson, his parents have spoken out in a British TV documentary. Tonight, Daphne Barak, who just interviewed Michael's parents for that show, will be with us for the inside story.
All that and much more next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Before we check in with our panel, a friend of this program and a good personal friend of mine, Secretary of State Colin Powell, underwent surgery for prostate cancer today at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. The operation took about two hours. The word is he did extremely well. According to the spokesman, no complications, a full recovery expected. We wish him the best of luck. Good to see him back on the job soon. Our thoughts are with Colin Powell and his family tonight.
Right now, everybody's thoughts are in Iraq and the imprisonment of Saddam Hussein, a day of celebration in Washington and the United States, nowhere more evident than on the front pages of practically every newspaper -- "Wall Street Journal," "San Francisco Chronicle," "Chicago Tribune," "New York Post," "USA Today," "New York Times." "LA Times" probably had it perfect. Can't say it any better than that.
Nic, how did you get into that hole?
ROBERTSON: Larry, the coalition took us there, flew us in Blackhawk helicopters into the site, so that we could get a firsthand look at it, get an appreciation of exactly how and where Saddam Hussein was hiding. And to get in physically, it was a squeeze. It's a narrow hole, and you sort of drop down about four or five feet, and then you can see this tiny, tiny crawl space about six feet long, two feet across, three feet high, a very, very small space, Larry.
KING: And what covered it? How did he expect not to be seen?
ROBERTSON: Well, it appears as if somebody must have helped him, Larry, because there was a styrofoam cover that was scattered with dirt, and above that, a plastic mat or rug placed on top. So it seems that somebody helped him get in, covered it over and then moved away. Now, there were two other people picked up when Saddam Hussein was captured, so perhaps one of those people was responsible for helping hide Saddam Hussein.
This tiny space had a little light in it. It had an electric fan that powered -- that brought air in and out through a vent. But as the coalition troops told us, when they moved in on Saddam Hussein's compound, not only was the moon down but the electricity went off. So it was apparent that Saddam Hussein was in there without light and without this flow of air. And the conditions, as I saw them today, are very, very claustrophobic.
KING: Let's get the reaction of our other three guests, all of whom were prisoners of Saddam Hussein. Bob Simon for CBS News was captured by Iraqi forces near the Saudi-Kuwaiti border during the opening days of the Gulf war in January of '91. He was 40 days in captivity.
What did you make of the news? How did you hear about it?
BOB SIMON, CBS NEWS "60 MINUTES": Well, I heard about it on the -- I was called by CBS News man yesterday morning, and said, Did you hear? And I said, Heard what? I'm here doing a feature. Leave me alone. Said, Saddam's gone. I said, Oh -- it's always nice when your former jailer bites the dirt. I was told by several friends that with his filthy beard, he looked very much the way we looked when we were released in '91. But of course, we were heading to a better place than where he's heading right now.
KING: You were 40 days. What was your captivity like?
SIMON: It was miserable. It was very tough. And I'm sure that our cell wasn't all that much larger than the hole Saddam was in.
KING: Chief David Williams, United States Army, chief warrant officer, is with us in Fort Hood, Texas, 1st Battalion of the 227 Aviation Regiment at Fort Hood. He was captured March 23 after the Apache helicopter he and the other guest, Ron Young, who's in Atlanta, were piloting, were downed during a firefight. How long were you held, David?
C.W.O. DAVID WILLIAMS, FORMER POW UNDER SADDAM: I was held for 22 days, Larry.
KING: How did you hear the news of Saddam's capture? WILLIAMS: Yesterday morning, about 5:30 AM, my mother-in-law called the house, and my wife answered the phone. And it was kind of surreal because that is how she had heard that I had been shot down initially. So she went and turned the TV on, and lo and behold, there he was on television.
KING: You remember your thoughts?
WILLIAMS: Yes, sir. I was relieved because it kind of brought some closure to the whole captivity, and also, for the soldiers who are fighting, as well as the Iraqi people. I feel that now they don't have to live in fear anymore.
KING: Ronald Young, Jr., former U.S. Army chief warrant officer, were you released along with David?
RONALD YOUNG, JR., FORMER C.W.O., POW UNDER SADDAM: Yes, sir, I was.
KING: How did you hear the news of Saddam's capture?
YOUNG: My mother called me in the morning. I slept through my phone a couple of times. And finally, she got ahold of me, and I turned on the TV. I couldn't believe it, and of course, did a little dance in the living room, said a prayer. And it was some unbelievably exciting news.
KING: How were you treated, Ronald?
YOUNG: I think probably almost like every other POW's ever treated. In the beginning, it's not that great. You're being indoctrinated into it. There's certain information that they want from you, so they treat you certain ways, based upon that, in trying to get the information out of you. And you know, you're the enemy, so they're kind of ruthless toward you.
KING: Did you get a little better treatment, Bob, because you were a journalist, do you think?
SIMON: Oh, no. We were in the same jail as the pilots, the U.S. pilots who were shot down.
KING: Did you know where they were?
SIMON: Well, I don't know where these guys were. I knew where the guys were when we were captured during the first Gulf war.
KING: Where were you?
SIMON: We were in the intelligence headquarters in Baghdad. And we were in tiny cells. I went back there when I was in Baghdad about a month ago, and it was quite something to go back after all these years and see it. At least we were there in the wintertime. We were cold. But when I went there when it was hot, I was really glad we weren't there in the summertime.
KING: Where were you, David? Where were you held, David?
WILLIAMS: Well, sir, we -- there's still some ongoing investigations, but I believe initially, we were in the Agura (ph) prison complex in Baghdad. But you got to remember, we were moved -- as the coalition forces made their way north, we were moved every single day.
KING: What did you think, Ronald, of the job the Army did here?
YOUNG: I thought it was a really great job. I'm really glad that they got ahold of Saddam. They pulled him out and they brought him in alive, which I think is a major plus in this situation. It would have been really good to get him dead or alive, you know, but having him alive and having him be able to be held accountable and answer to some of these things he's done, and maybe show him all the victims and the people that he's killed in the past and ask him what he thinks about it.
KING: Nic Robertson, there was an informant, was there not? And if so, will he or she be paid the reward?
ROBERTSON: Larry, it seems unlikely that he or she will get the reward. We know this person was picked up in Baghdad around about lunchtime the day Saddam Hussein was captured. That person was immediately transported to Tikrit by the coalition because the officers here knew that this person would have some very relevant information about the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein.
Just as they were bringing him in for questioning in Tikrit, they were already beginning to deploy troops out into the field around Tikrit. By 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, they had nailed down exactly where Saddam Hussein was. They redeployed those troops in the field. By 6:00 o'clock, the area was surrounded. And by 8:30, Saddam Hussein was in capture. But this person seems to have delivered the information under duress, rather than walking forward out of the community. At least, that's what we understand at this time, Larry.
KING: So since not being forthcoming, it was not exactly a reward situation.
SIMON: Not exactly. I'm sure somebody will get a little money, perhaps the people who put the soldiers onto the -- onto this guy.
KING: His sons put up a fight.
SIMON: That's right.
KING: He didn't.
SIMON: That's right.
KING: Were you surprised?
ROBERTSON: No, I was not surprised. I always had a great deal of contempt for Saddam. I didn't think that he would ever put up a fight. I think that he's too narcissistic to put commit suicide and that he would do anything to survive. And I think the picture of him broadcast in the Arab world was quite a shocker...
SIMON: ... I think even for people who -- and many -- I spoke to several of my Arab friends yesterday, and these are far from people who supported or had any use for Saddam Hussein, but they were very uncomfortable. It was another humiliation of an Arab by the United States, by the West.
KING: They viewed it that way?
SIMON: Oh, yes. They felt it. And this is so much of a source of Arab rage against us.
KING: How did you feel?
SIMON: Oh, I felt good.
SIMON: I felt really good.
KING: Did you feel good, David?
WILLIAMS: I did, sir. And relieved.
KING: Did you feel good, seeing the way he looked, Ronald?
YOUNG: Absolutely. I loved every minute of it. Couldn't have been more pleased about anything in my life.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. We'll include your phone calls. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: It's very difficult to get in and out of. It wouldn't have been easy for the soldiers who discovered Saddam Hussein. He came with his hands up. He said, I'm Saddam Hussein. I'm the president of Iraq, and I want to negotiate, to which the troops, we are told, responded, President Bush sends his regards. After that, Saddam Hussein was whisked out of the hole, pulled up and taken away to a helicopter waiting in the field just across here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: A coalition show and tell, troops on the operation to capture Saddam Hussein explaining what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then this rug was thrown over the top. And then they moved it back, saw it, and heard noises in the bottom. That's when Saddam put his hands up, and they assisted him out. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Nic Robertson, what do we know, if any, about the details of the upcoming trial?
ROBERTSON: Still not clear. It could be anything from several months, we've heard, to even the end of 2004, the end of next year. There are many things that really have to be put in place. Obviously, initially, there's the interrogation to find out if Saddam Hussein can deliver any information about any anti-coalition attacks that could be in the near future, anything about weapons of mass destruction, anything about a whole host of issues. Then perhaps he would be -- begin to be passed over to Iraqi jurisdiction, perhaps as early as next summer, when the new Iraqi government -- the provisional government begins to take over from the coalition.
But Iraq's new war crimes tribunal is really in its very, very early days. It has five judges. It is under a lot of international scrutiny, certainly from a lot of human rights organizations at this time. So there seems to be a lot of work yet, the initial phases of interrogation, before the legal process and the Iraqi investigation to put forward a concrete case against Saddam Hussein can begin. So it could be, from what we're hearing, months to even at least a year, Larry.
KING: Bob, do you expect him to be cooperative in questioning?
SIMON: No, I don't. I think he'll be defiant. I think he struck that note yesterday, when he was talking to some of the Iraqi exiles who were led in to talk to him. I mean, he could at his trial make things very difficult for the United States, but I don't think that's his manner. He could say, Yes, I'm a murderer. Yes, I'm a rapist. Yes, I torture. Yes, I kill. I'm a bad boy. I always have been. I've been just like that, even when I was your boy, the boy of the Americans. Because he was our boy for a long time. He was our ally. We gave him all his weapons. We wanted him to invade Iran. We supported him when he invaded Iran. And he could say, Listen, I was always your guy, and then I had this meeting in 1990 and I thought I got the green light from President Bush, the elder, to invade Kuwait. It was a misunderstanding. And then you guys turned on me. And ever since then, you've been calling me a war criminal.
KING: He won't do that.
SIMON: I don't think so. I think he'll just be defiant and silent and say, You're all traitors and you're all occupiers.
KING: This a big victory yesterday?
SIMON: There's so many battles being fought in Iraq. One of them is a battle for power in the United States. It was a big victory for President Bush in that battle. In the battle the United States troops are waging in Iraq against Iraqi resisters, I think, in the long run, it's not going to mean very much. I think the resistance will continue. I don't think the resistance had anything to do with the person of Saddam Hussein. KING: David Williams, Chief David Williams, United States Army, are you surprised at the resistance?
WILLIAMS: Well, sir, I know -- this is my opinion -- that not all the resistance will die down. But I will say that those who are loyal to him did it out of fear. And I believe that it will -- the loyalists will quiet down.
KING: What do you think, Ronald?
YOUNG: I think also that it will quiet down, that a lot of these guys were in fear for their lives. I mean, even some of the guys that kept us captive, they were kind of more sympathetic with us and they were doing what they had to do because of the fear for their lives. So I think this will quell some of it. But of course, there's going to be a lot of uprisings because this is kind of a slap in the face for the Arabic people -- I mean, the people in Iraq, also.
KING: Let's include some phone calls. Homer, New York. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry.
CALLER: My brother just returned after 10 months in Iraq, and I'm wondering why -- these guys are over there risking their lives, if they are entitled to the reward money. And if not, why.
KING: Oh, would the Army be entitled -- David, are Army members entitled to reward?
WILLIAMS: Sir, I can't answer that question. I mean, it is our job. And when the president makes a decision, then we have to lean forward in the saddle. And you know, we do what we're told.
KING: Ronald, what do you think?
YOUNG: I don't believe we're entitled to any reward money. The Army pays us perfectly well, and that's what they say.
KING: What do you think, Bob?
SIMON: No, the reward money is meant to attract Iraqi informants. It's not for U.S. forces.
KING: Nic, do you expect someone to ask for money?
ROBERTSON: I don't. I suspect that the soldiers involved are going to look for the honor of their regiment and battalions. I don't think they would be looking for the money. Certainly from what we've -- the people I've talked to, soldiers I've talked to who were involved, they're just very, very proud that it was them and their units that took part and did this. That's what makes them proud.
KING: Los Angeles, California. Hello. CALLER: Hi. I'd like to know, where is Usama bin Laden at? He's the one that caused this whole 9/11 incident. It's like we lost our focus, you know, on him. What's going on?
KING: He hasn't been mentioned in a while.
SIMON: He hasn't been mentioned in a while. The Bush administration applauds that particular silence. If we knew where he was, we would have gotten him the way we got Saddam and...
KING: But no one expected this yesterday. So who knows, right? Be fair.
SIMON: OK, but I suspect that Usama's in a place which is a lot more difficult for U.S. troops to get to. I mean, he's clearly somewhere in the Afghanistan/Pakistani territories. And we don't have the kind of force there or the kind of control there that we have in Iraq.
KING: Do you expect the United States to try to influence the timing of the trial of Hussein?
SIMON: I don't know if the U.S. will try to influence it, but I think it would certainly be in President Bush's interest if the trial is held before the election, so that Saddam's war crimes and the man's brutality and inhumanity can be paraded before the world, and President Bush can say, This is the guy I brought down, even though, of course, Saddam's war crimes had nothing to do with the reasons we invaded Iraq.
KING: Do you not personally bear him great animosity?
SIMON: You know, no more than any other tyrant. I mean, I was in Bucharest when Ceausescu was shot. And I was pleased that Ceausescu was shot. He was another son of a (DELETED). I mean, these guys are all miserable. The fact that Saddam held me captive -- no, there's no personal animosity left.
KING: Take a break and be back with more of our panel and more of your phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Not only had Pitt (ph) and his men patrolled past the tiny ramshackle compound containing the spider hole before, but also taken aback by this hovel, with its messy bedroom and the equally squalid kitchen, such a far cry from the luxury of one of Hussein's palaces nearby. Surprise also for the lower ranks, who didn't know that Hussein was their target.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The initial thought from the soldiers is, OK, we got his cook.
ROBERTSON: All ranks, though, happy many months tracking Hussein paid off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. It was on our day off. I'll take a day off like that any day.
ROBERTSON: A day off unlike any other.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. RICARDO SANCHEZ, COMMANDER, U.S. FORCES: During the search, a spider hole was detected. The spider hole's entrance was camouflaged with bricks and dirt. After uncovering the spider hole, a search was conducted, and Saddam Hussein was found hiding at the bottom of the hole. The spider hole is about six to eight feet deep and allows enough space for a person to lie down inside of it. Saddam was captured without resistance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Bob Simon, someone called, didn't want to go on but wanted us to ask, do you think truth serum will be used in questioning him?
SIMON: No. I don't think the Americans can risk doing anything that's...
KING: Not at all?
SIMON: ... unorthodox, that's out of line, that could come to light later, as it would.
KING: London, Ontario. Hello.
CALLER: Yes. Larry, I have no doubt there's weapons of mass destruction. Does Nic Robertson have any information as to whether they were disposed of or whether they're still there?
KING: Nic, what happened to them?
ROBERTSON: That's the big question still, Larry. Nobody's been able to discover if there are any, where they are, or who might be able to lead the coalition troops to them. There's been many, many experts here, scientists trying to work on that. There is a hope that now Saddam has finally been picked up that perhaps some of his scientists will come forward with other information that would lead people to these weapons of mass destruction. But there's no evidence come forward so far that we've seen, Larry.
KING: Tampa, Florida. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question for Bob Simon and the panel, with regard to information, regarding MIAs such as Scott Speicher, do you feel that the information might be helpful in getting information from Saddam Hussein, and do you think the negotiation of that will be done by the United States, regarding MIAs?
SIMON: I'm sure he's being interrogated on that right now, and particularly on Scott Speicher because we don't know what happened to him. And he was high enough and a high enough profile that Saddam was certainly informed as to his fate. So I suspect this is one thing that we might get some information on, at long last.
KING: David, are there other MIAs, to your knowledge?
WILLIAMS: Well, sir, I did -- throughout my captivity, I scouted the walls for any writings of anybody who spoke English. And I knew of Commander Speicher prior to being shot down. But unfortunately, once the war progressed, we moved, you know, very quickly, so I wasn't able to study every place. But I didn't see any writing.
KING: Ronald, did you?
YOUNG: No, sir, I didn't. Actually, I did the same thing, scouring the walls, looking for anything that would be like a Roman numeralization or certain pictures and things like that. And there was a lot of Arabic on the walls. And we actually were in a prison where we did see three Arabic prisoners that looked like they were not taken care of very well, but nothing that would lead me to believe that it was any type of U.S. prisoner.
KING: Grant's Pass, Oregon. Hello.
CALLER: Good evening, Larry.
CALLER: And happy belated birthday.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: To those who served on your panel, I want to say thank you very much. A big thank you. My father's a Vietnam vet. My question is, has anyone contacted or has -- heard from Jessica Lynch on any of her comments about Saddam's capture?
KING: Anybody know? I guess not. I know she wasn't feeling too well. Any of you guys know, David or Ronald?
YOUNG: No, I met her briefly.
WILLIAMS: No, sir, I don't.
YOUNG: ... briefly in the hospital, but I haven't talked to her since any of this has come to light.
KING: Lancaster, Kentucky. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry.
CALLER: It's good to talk to you. I was wondering, on the panel, if anyone knew where his wife was, and also if she would have any information. KING: Nic?
ROBERTSON: His wife's in Jordan, as far as we know at this time, with Saddam Hussein's two elder daughters, Rana and Raghad (ph). Perhaps the one member of the family who still appears to be missing is Saddam Hussein's younger daughter. And people we've talked to who know her say that she really took after her father, but though she didn't have a particularly high profile, like his sons or the other two daughters. But the wife, at least the first wife, Sajida (ph), is in Jordan. And at this stage, that's where she fled perhaps a couple of months ago, Larry.
KING: Thank you, Nic Robertson. Bob Simon, always good seeing you. Thank you so much, Chief Williams and Ronald Young. You served your country well, and we appreciate having you with us.
When we come back, Daphne Barak, the host and executive producer of the special, "Our Son Michael Jackson." She interviewed the parents of Michael Jackson. She's with us. And then a panel again will discuss that situation, as we come toward a heading there that will be an arrest warrant filed either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. We'll be right back.
KING: Before our panel assembles, we're going to spend moments with Daphne Barak, she's host and executive producer of "Our Son Michael Jackson." That's the extraordinary television show featuring an exclusive with Katherine and Joe Jackson. Here's a sample of what she obtained. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE JACKSON, FATHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Don't worry, I'm strong like you. And so I knew that he was really meaning exactly what he said.
KATHERINE JACKSON, MOTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: You know, he was strong and he said, mother, don't worry, it's not the truth. You know, they can't do anything about -- but I told him, you don't know these wicked people. The people are just mean and wicked. I know it's not the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Daphne, how did you get this?
DAPHNE BARAK, HOST, EXEC PROD, "OUR SON, MICHAEL JACKSON": Just to be fair, Larry, we have two executive producers, Elizabeth Meredith and I. We were doing another documentary with Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, completely different. And in the middle of the shooting, we got a phone call from the parents, and from everybody else that Michael is going to be arrested. And of course, we -- it just came very natural that we taped an immediate interview with the parents. They wanted to respond. And we were there in any event. And that's how it happened.
KING: Did they put any restrictions on you, Daphne?
BARAK: It was so spontaneous, they were in a state of shock. There was not even a discussion about that.
KING: How did you -- I'm sorry go ahead.
BARAK: They were in total pain. You have to understand that when we taped the interview, I think the arrest was Thursday and it was in the weekend immediately. And Katherine Jackson was going through a terrible pain. Both of them, by the way, were going through a terrible pain. But Katherine was going through the physical pain. And she had a terrible pain in her back. She was trying to look very, very brave. But it was really a very difficult situation to tape this interview.
KING: Let's show the audience another example of what Daphne Barak obtained from Katherine and Joe Jackson. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
K. JACKSON: Some people are trying to accuse him of being a pedophile. That is not true. And they need to stop. And they need to stop saying he paid off the first thing, and he's not going to get away with it again. That is not the truth either.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Daphne Barak, what were your impressions of his mother and father?
BARAK: I think I would separate the father and the mother. The father, you know, as everybody else I've heard many saying, and I think there's a misconception about Joe Jackson. He's, from what I have seen, during the last few weeks, and when you shoot a documentary, Larry, you know you're really becoming very, very part of the family for a few weeks. He's a caring father. And for example, when Michael was about to release his single, just before the arrest, he was working the phone 24/7, just to help him to get further publicity. Now, about the mother, which that was a really big surprise, because she really rarely speaks. She is a very intelligent person. Not only a caring and loving and warm person, but she's very strong. And she is definitely -- you know, she called herself "The Rock." I mean, she's definitely part of the success of the family, and part of the legend. And she feels she should have been credited more for their success. And it looks that way.
KING: Were they shocked that Michael likes to spend so much time with young children?
BARAK: Their explanation -- and again, I'm not going to go to what you or I or everybody's thinks -- they're very convincing that he's actually -- he was brought up to help people. And he basically that's part of helping people and helping children. And I've spent enough time with them to know that that's not only what they said on camera, that's really what they feel and what they believe.
KING: They have pledged, have they not, to adopt his three children if the authorities try to take them away?
Did you cover that?
BARAK: Yes. And by the way, it's not just a slogan, it's very serious. We taped they were about to leave to Las Vegas and take action. And there was discussion afterwards which I was present. They're just very worried if there's an attempt to take the kids, they don't want the kids to end up outside the family. And they're very united, by the way, both Joseph and Katherine Jackson. They spend a lot of time together. They're very united. And absolutely determined that if something goes wrong, they're moving in and taking the kids.
KING: Do they have a fear like a conspiracy against Michael?
Do they understand why these people are pressing charges against him?
How do they react to it?
BARAK: I mean, when it comes to the conspiracy, of course, they have many thoughts, that they bounce back and forth with their attorney, and with other people. But I really think that deep down, they don't really understand why it's happening to him, and why it's happening to them. I mean, don't forget, in every such a story, you know, two ends are two families, you know. And basically they really feel they are the victims. There's not even a question mark in their mind.
KING: Where did you conduct the interview?
BARAK: I conducted the interview watched on Friday in the house in Los Angeles. They just came immediately -- it was just immediately after they came back from Vegas. They went to see Michael, and spent time with him. And basically they wanted to go with him when he was arrested. They wanted to show like a family solidarity. But there was some kind of mixup between them and Michael's people. And they had to go back to Los Angeles. By the time they arrived in Los Angeles, and they wanted to be with him, he already flew back to Vegas. So they decided to stay in Los Angeles. And that's where we conducted the interview, at their house.
KING: If this comes to a trial, would you expect them to be there for it?
BARAK: Oh, definitely, every moment, every second. There is not even a doubt in my mind. That's what they're doing right now. It's really around the clock. I mean, calling him, calling anybody who might help. They're very resourceful, both of them.
KING: Do they have complete faith in his attorneys?
BARAK: I would think so. I mean, Joe just had a concern that maybe because the high profile attorney is doing two high profile cases right now, he had some question marks about it. But I'm sure by now, it's resolved, because the attorney promised him that he could do both cases. And I'm sure that any attorney who felt otherwise wouldn't have taken two cases like that.
KING: And there's no question in their minds about his innocence, right?
I mean, they don't even show a hint of, could they be what they say he is?
BARAK: Oh, no. Actually, I was very surprised when I interviewed both of them, that Mrs. Jackson used the word pedophile. I mean, that's a very scary word for a mother to use about her child. I mean, I would be shocked. And basically she did use it, because she's so convinced that it's not her child. That she didn't have any problem to use it. On the contrary.
KING: Thank you, Daphne. Good job.
BARAK: Thank you very much.
KING: Daphne Barak, the host and executive producer of "Our Son, Michael Jackson."
When we come back, the regular panelists will join us. And we'll give it ago again. The arrest warrant is expected Thursday or Friday. Here's another excerpt from that interview as we go to break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARAK: They're talking right now that there would be an attempt to take his kids from him. You're not going to sitting around...
J. JACKSON: We're not going to let anybody take those kids. They're Michael's kids. They have no right to try to take those kids. There's going to be a big mess over that.
BARAK: What are you going to do as a grandmother?
K. JACKSON: I hope they don't try to take his children, that would be devastating to him. But if they do, I'll be right there.
BARAK: Would you try to adopt them?
K. JACKSON: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's meet our panel to discuss the events and upcoming events in New York. Here's Nancy Grace of Court TV, the former prosecutor. In Atlanta is defense attorney Chris Pixley. In Santa Barbara is Diane Dimond also of Court TV, the host of "Hollywood at Large." She's been covering the Jackson story since back in '93.
And in Chicago, Bill Kurtis, the anchor of the multiple-award winning programs on A&E Network including "Investigative Reports" and "American Justice." He's the host and executive producer of "A Bill Curtis Special Report: The Michael Jackson Case." It will premier on A&E Wednesday night. Nancy, the -- Mr. Sneddon, the district attorney has announced the charges will be filed Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. Why announce a pre-announcement?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I know. I think after his last announcements and his last press release, I think they should really just clam up. But the reason he announced it, I'm sure, is because he's getting so many questions and everyone is anticipating exactly what these charges are going to be. I was watching also, Larry, very carefully, the questioning of the parents in that documentary which I watched. And Larry, I'm not surprised at all. I've never seen a single defendant's parents say, yes, he did it. I'm not surprised. They always believe their son.
KING: Chris Pixley, what's the delay and why can't they file the arrest warrant last week?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, the D.A.'s initial statement to the press was that he needed time in order to set up a Web site, so that they could handle all of the demand for court documents that would be coming in. Now, you know, in my mind, the shelf life for that suggestion is about one week. It's not one month. And it's been over a month since they arrested him.
So I tend to believe, Larry, that they are still sifting through all of the documents that they lifted from the Neverland Ranch in the hopes that they can find something that will support their allegation. Short of that, there really isn't a good explanation for this long a delay.
KING: Diane, you're close to the prosecution. What's the difference between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning?
DIANE DIMOND, HOST, "HOLLYWOOD AT LARGE": Well, I know Chris Pixley doesn't want to hear about it, but there are certain things that I'm told they have to take care of before they release what the charges are going to be. You have to understand, this is a little teeny, tiny community. I'm in Santa Barbara. Santa Maria, California, is about another hour and 20 minutes north of here. It's a little tiny courthouse.
They took a page out of the Kobe Bryant case in Colorado and said, you know, if we put everything on a Web site, then maybe, just maybe, we won't be inundated by, you know, these hordes of media. Larry, you know and I know they're going to be inundated anyway.
But I really take exception with people who say, oh, you know, this must be a weak case. Oh, they're dragging their feet. You know, it just doesn't make any sense to hurry up on a case that is this important. And what's a month? It took Phil Specter eight months to be charged. Robert Blake a year to be charged.
KING: Bill Kurtis, isn't it hard to plan a documentary when events change so much. Like you're going to have a documentary running Wednesday night. They're always terrific, you're a great host. But there's going to be an event Thursday or Friday. BILL KURTIS, HOST, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER A&E, THE MICHAEL JACKSON CASE: And I was happy to hear that it was on Thursday or Friday. Otherwise, just like "Time" magazine and Newsweek, they would have had to change the cover in a matter of hours for Saddam Hussein.
KING: You would have changed it if it were Wednesday, right?
KURTIS: Oh, yes, you have to stay on top of it and make sure that you're updated to be accurate. But Ms. Dimond, I agree with Chris, we're all speculating here because we don't know the exact evidence of the prosecution.
DIMOND: Of course.
KURTIS: And so one is allowed to speculate that they don't have the smoking gun that they were looking for, presumably in videotapes. I must suggest if they don't have it yet, they're going to have some trouble, that's the prosecution.
KING: Nancy, the recent information that came out about the accuser, that there had been accusations before, different cases. Does that give you some pause as a prosecutor?
GRACE: Yes. Well, I'll just lay it on the line for you, Larry. That's going to be a problem at trial. Geragos is going to use that in cross-examination. He's going to suggest that the child is being coached by the parents and that the parents are out for money. You know what, Larry, I've never had a single child molestation case in my life when the defendant didn't say the victim was coached, it's all b.s. So this is nothing new we're going to hear in this trial.
KING: But don't they have some stories -- doesn't he have some stories to go on concerning the mother?
GRACE: I think that there have been civil suits in the past which I might point out, to my understanding, the mother won. There was a settlement with JCPenneys, in which JCPenneys obviously paid off the claim.
Now I don't know if that's a bad thing about the mother. But I can guarantee you this much, by the time it gets to trouble, Geragos will make a lot of hay with that on cross. Will it work? I'm not sure because, Larry, as you know, as we have discussed, the law in California has changed since the 1993 allegations and I would not be surprised at all if other children were not brought in as similar transactions to bolster this boy's complaint.
KING: Chris Pixley, would that be a fear of yours, as a defense attorney, that there's a lot more here than we know?
PIXLEY: Yes, you always have to be afraid of that. And I think Mark Geragos right now, and for the past several months, while he's been representing Michael Jackson, has been looking into other potential allegations.
But, you know, what we do know at this point in time is that it has taken ten years for another allegation of this kind to arise. And that suggests in and of itself, at this point at least, that you're not going to have a horde of people stepping forward and saying, yes, Michael Jackson did this to me as well.
You know, with respect to Nancy's comment about what the witness will take on cross-examination from Mark Geragos, you know, yes, every witness comes with baggage and this accuser will have it as well. But this case is particularly difficult for a prosecutor, because what is being alleged against Michael Jackson doesn't involve force, doesn't involve violence.
Therefore, it will not involve physical injury. And so if it does come down to the accuser's credibility, then these past allegations of sexual abuse, or abuse of any kind against someone else will matter and they will be difficult to overcome for the prosecution.
KING: Bill Kurtis, will the parents' appearances like they did on Friday, will that help?
KURTIS: Well, yes and no. It always helps when you have the support of parents and one's sympathy goes towards them. We feel for them. But it was the mother who brought up the word pedophile. And I believe the jury is going to turn on having to define the word pedophile.
Was he a pedophile who should be put away from society? Or was he Peter Pan who wanted to live out this fantasy of always being young so that his development was arrested pre-adolescence? Was Neverland a monument to Pedophilia, if you will, to seduce and attract his victims? Or was it to entertain?
KING: And that, Diane Dimond is the essence of it, isn't it? It's one or the other.
DIMOND: Absolutely. And you know what, we can sit here and opine all we want. We can make documentaries, and I can do my program every Thursday night at 8:30. But the fact is, it's not up to us, it's up to 8 -- 12 people, rather, on the jury here.
And up in Santa Maria, California, everybody knows who Michael Jackson is. He wanders around town. Runs errands in disguise. Sometimes not in disguise. And they're the ones that are going to have to decide. It's a conservative area up there. Minority mostly. So, you know, it just depends on what the jury decides. Not us.
KING: We'll take a break and come back with more with Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Diane Dimond and Bill Kurtis, his special airs on A&E on Wednesday night. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Michael is here. He's come back specifically to confront these charges head-on. He is greatly outraged by the bringing of these charges. He considers this to be a big lie. He understands the people who are outraged, because if these charges were true, I assure you, Michael would be the first to be outraged. But I'm here to tell you today that Michael has given me the authority to say on his behalf, these charges are categorically untrue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Again, the charges in the Jackson case will be filed either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. Lockhaven, Pennsylvania, hello. Are you there?
CALLER: Yes, I am, Larry.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: I've seen a gentleman, I don't know if he was the former head of security at Michael Jackson's at Neverland. He's been on several shows. And he's alluded to the fact that he was suspicious, and he had like -- his -- thing -- his underlying thing is he thought something was going on with the children. If he thought that, why didn't he come to authorities? And because he didn't, could he be charged with anything?
KING: Nancy, what do you know about that?
GRACE: Yes, I believe his name is Robert Wagner (ph). And he's the ex-security chief there at Neverland. And according to comments he has made, he believes over a period of time, I'm talking years, that Jackson has slept with around 300 kids, overwhelmingly little boys.
I don't think there's any way to address the caller's question that he can be charged with not being a good Samaritan and coming forward. However, I think that he could very well be a witness at trial, because I don't care who tries to say that Michael Jackson is reliving his youth through Neverland, and hanging out with little boys. You put it to a 12-member jury of why a 45-year-old man has sleepovers with boys, it's not going to wash with the regular jury.
KING: Chris, wouldn't you buy that? That's going to be tough?
KING: And then Diane. Chris.
PIXLEY: Yeah, I absolutely think also, that all of Michael Jackson's staff, he's got 120-some staff members there at the Neverland Ranch, are all being interviewed by the police. They are all potential witnesses. The question, though, really, Larry, is who are they going to be witnesses for.
I think the inference is that they will be inferences for the prosecution, witnesses for them, because they've seen something that was wrong. The fact of the matter is, though, they could just as easily be witnesses for the defense, because they're alibi witnesses. They're around Michael. He's rarely alone. He's surrounded by this cast of people. And if they don't have anything along those lines to say, or if they have alibi statements, we may find a group of people lined up by the defense that are around Michael on a regular basis.
KING: Diane, you were going to say something?
DIMOND: Well, right, I was. My understanding is the defense is already questioning anyone and almost everyone who has ever worked at Neverland, trying to get affidavits to say they didn't see anything.
But remember, this is a huge compound. And the bedroom upstairs is the alleged scene of the crime. Very, very few people ever get access to the upstairs there and that hallway back to his bedroom.
I'd like to just mention, though, about the caller's question about why in the world don't some of the employees out there call the police.
Well, last time around, in 1993 and '94, a whole group of them testified before the grand jury. They were intimidated because of that, both before and after their testimony. Many of them lost their jobs. They went into bankruptcy. And that is a tale that's told around the staff of Neverland all the time. They're scared to death.
KING: Bill Kurtis, the key here and conjecture is, what is proof. You would have to say, if you're saying pedophilia, you're going to have to have an eyewitness, aren't you? Or the witness of the person who has been bothered?
KURTIS: Yes, you have an accuser here and you have the brother of the accuser who does say that he witnessed.
KURTIS: But they're both subject to a big attack by Geragos on their credibility. The DCFS and the LAPD special unit investigated these charges in February, and found them unfounded. So -- which is the truth? When they signed the allegation or when...
KURTIS: But I would ask Nancy, what about those 300 kids who allegedly slept in the same bed with Michael Jackson? Why haven't they come forward? That's interesting.
GRACE: You know, this is the funny thing about child molestation cases. Obviously all 300 are not victims. What's the odd thing about child molestation victims is that they are afraid. They are children. I have had -- I will just be blunt with you, Larry, it's not easygoing down, but I have had, for instance, little girl victims, age 4 years old with no hymen, at trial recant their testimony. They are afraid. They are incredible malleable and they speak a language that very often adults don't understand. So that is why child molestation is one of the single most underreported crimes on the law books.
DIMOND: And Larry, I would like to go on the record for one thing.
KING: Quickly, Diane, yeah.
DIMOND: That DFCS report that came out of L.A. in February, in June when the boy's therapist tried to make an official report, they refused to take it.
KING: But Chris, they did not file charges, right, L.A.?
PIXLEY: That's right. They didn't file charges. They didn't file charges because these two parallel investigations found that there was no basis for the allegations. And insignificant...
DIMOND: In February, in February, but not in June.
PIXLEY: Well, that's ...
DIMOND: And that was the period of time where that child allegedly made his recollection.
KING: Guys, we'll see you all tomorrow night. And again, the charges will be filed either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. We thank our panel for being with us. And I'll be back in just a moment to tell you about tomorrow. Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night, we'll catch up with the latest doing of the royals in the mother country. That will be tomorrow night. And Wednesday night, Bill Maher will be our special guest, the always interesting, never dull, often very funny Bill Maher on Wednesday night.
We now turn it over to Aaron Brown. He will host "NEWSNIGHT" in New York. Mr. Brown did two hours last night. We all worked on Sunday, and so he's a little tired, but he'll get up. When that light goes on, magic occurs. Go!
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