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Unsupervised Visits Allowed for John Hinckley; Where Are WMDs?

Aired December 17, 2003 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST (voice-over): A judge grants John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot President Reagan, unsupervised visits on the outside.

Now that the U.S. has found Saddam, are weapons of mass destruction next?

Seventy-eight years of silence broken. Strom Thurmond's biracial daughter speaks out.

Our special pre-holiday series, "Miracles." Tonight, healing that some say defies medical explanation.

And a former schoolteacher and mother of three busted for selling, well, it ain't Tupperware.


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

COOPER: And a good evening to you. Thanks for joining us on 360.

The big question for Saddam Hussein: where are the weapons of mass destruction? Are U.S. interrogators getting any answers? We'll have more on that just ahead.

We begin, however, with a name from the past: John Hinckley, Jr. A few hours ago, we learned the man who tried to kill President Reagan will get limited leaves from a psychiatric hospital to see his parents without an escort.

Details now from CNN's Justice correspondent, Kelli Arena.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An early Christmas present for John Hinckley, Jr., who has lived for the last two decades at this Washington, D.C. mental hospital. A judge is allowing Hinckley six unsupervised day visits with his parents, and if all goes well, two unsupervised overnight visits, all within a 50-mile radius of the nation's capital. Hospital staff told the judge the visits are the next step in Hinckley's recovery. JEFFREY HARRIS, FMR. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ATTORNEY: What the judge's job is, is to evaluate the medical expert testimony about the risks to Mr. Hinckley and the state of his health. And if he accepts that testimony, I don't think he has -- really does have much of a choice.

ARENA: But the government disagreed, alleging Hinckley has shown a pattern of deception. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan said in a statement she is disappointed and continues to, "fear for the safety of the general public." Sarah Brady, wife of former White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was shot and permanently disabled by Hinckley, wrote the judge to oppose the release.

SARAH BRADY, JAMES BRADY'S WIFE: He fooled his parents, he fooled the doctors, the hospital, and law enforcement.

ARENA: Hinckley has been out in public on dozens of day trips with hospital staff. The Secret Service is always alerted. For these future outings there are strict conditions. For example, Hinckley is not permitted to leave his parents' supervision. He must follow a detailed itinerary. He's not allowed to contact the media or his ex- girlfriend.


ARENA: The judge opted for a more incremental approach than Hinckley wanted. And if there are any problems, Anderson, the privilege can be revoked at any time.

COOPER: All right. Kelli Arena, thanks very much for that tonight.

We go now to Iraq, where there is still the burning question: will Saddam Hussein, now in U.S. custody, be able to provide the U.S. with any new information?

CNN's national security correspondent, David Ensor, is tracking the interrogation for us tonight, and CNN's senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, is in Samarra, Iraq, where U.S. forces have launched another major sweep for insurgents.

We begin tonight with David Ensor.

David, what do you know? How is the interrogation going?

DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, he has had his fourth day and third night of questioning. And you can assume it's going day and night. We have not heard in the last day or so anything new. So we have to assume that he is still denying everything and proving pretty much unhelpful.

There are, however, a lot of techniques that can come to play. The CIA has now been put in charge of the questioning, and they've had some successes with senior al Qaeda leaders, using a variety of techniques, which are within the rules, so to speak. There is sleep deprivation. Some of these prisoners don't really know whether it's day or night anymore. They are treated better or worse depending on whether they are being helpful.

And with a man like this, some of the experts say the thing to do is to get a megalomaniac, which is what they view him as, to boast about his career. And in boasting, perhaps reveal things without realizing he's doing so. That's the view of a former CIA officer who is now the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Porter Goss.


REP. PORTER GOSS (R), CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I don't think he will willingly or knowingly or directly, but I think in the process of professional interrogation there's a very good chance that we will get information from him. I think we can probably get him off guard a little bit by some of the things we know that he doesn't know we know. And in artful questioning, I believe it will be possible to get some value out of that.


ENSOR: But, Anderson, he's a pretty tough customer.

COOPER: Yes, he certainly is at that, David. Any new word about WMD? Has Saddam said anything on this?

ENSOR: My latest word is he is denying having had any weapons of mass destruction any time recently. They are hoping that perhaps because he's been captured some Iraqi scientists may now feel less fear and may come forward with what they know. But skeptics say they don't think there are any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and they think that Saddam was bluffing all along, trying to, on the one hand, seem to cooperate enough so that the U.S. wouldn't go to war, on the other hand, make his neighbors think he still had weapons.

Obviously he miscalculated on that one.

COOPER: All right. David Ensor live in Washington. Thanks, David.

Exactly how does the CIA conduct an interrogation? It's a fascinating, frustrating, difficult process. We're going to take a closer look at that coming up.

Now to Samarra, Iraq, a hotbed for diehard Saddam loyalists. And yes, they are still out there. Today, U.S. troops sealed off the city, went house to house, sweeping up more suspected insurgents. You see them right there.

Let's check in with CNN's senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, who is live in Samarra -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, that operation is known as Operation Ivy Blizzard. It is the largest coalition operation against Iraqi insurgents in the last six months. Three thousand troops were involved, backed up by Apache helicopters, (AUDIO GAP), Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, all used to seal off Samarra before the troops went in, going door to door, knocking on the houses where they believed anti-coalition elements lived.

They have detained so far at least 30 people in this operation, they tell us. The operation continues. There are still checkpoints around the city. We are told by coalition officials that the operation will continue as long as they feel it is necessary to provide security and stability in the town of Samarra.

They say they are also following up this military operation with an infusion of money into Samarra, money that will go into the police force, money that will go into forming a council. Samarra has been a hotbed of insurgency, arranging attacks against coalition forces here the last few months. The town is viewed as being far behind other towns in Iraq, less well developed.

And what we have seen on this base, which is where many of the troops involved in the operations in Samarra are going on, we have seen some of the detainees the troops have here. They've been walking through the base as they go through their process. What is happening, coalition officials tell us, is they are being debriefed, they're being interrogated for intelligence, and that they hope that the intelligence they get from these detainees, the 93 who they have in custody here, will be used in the coming days to target other individuals in Samarra -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Nic Robertson live in Samarra. Thanks very much, Nic.

The capture of Saddam Hussein has of course given a big boost to President Bush's approval ratings. Last week, his approval rating was at 54 percent. Look at this, though. The latest CNN-"USA Today" Gallup poll shows a jump to 63 percent. And that, of course, is not all. The president has opened up a more than 20 percentage point lead over Democratic frontrunner Howard Dean in the 2004 presidential race.

Well, meanwhile, Howard Dean's campaign is taking another hit. This time it is coming from his fellow Democrats. At issue, a TV ad that uses an image of Osama bin Laden to attack the candidate's national security credentials.

More from CNN's Boston bureau chief Dan Lothian.


HOWARD DEAN (D), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is against everything the Democratic Party has ever stood for.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): They are political ads that have rattled the Democratic race for the White House and caused some of the labor groups which finance them to have second thoughts. Targeting frontrunner Howard Dean, the most critical ad shows a picture of Osama bin Laden on a magazine cover as the former Vermont governor's national security qualifications are called into question. NARRATOR: And Howard Dean just cannot compete with George Bush on foreign policy.

DEAN: I think the people behind it ought to be not only ashamed of themselves, I think they ought to remove themselves from the party.

LOTHIAN: It's the work of a non-profit Democratic political organization called the Americans for Jobs, Health Care and Progressive Values, based in Florida, formed last month, and financed in part by these labor unions.

(on camera): But two of the unions now say what they expected were advocacy ads and what they got is "despicable." One union official says, if it were up to him, he'd ask for a refund.

(voice-over): On the campaign trail, Senator John Kerry was distancing himself from the controversy. A former staffer now works for the organization which put out the ads.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know who has done this ad. And I can tell you unequivocally that I have nothing to do with it.

LOTHIAN: Representative Richard Gephardt, who was endorsed by two of the unions and once used a fundraiser who also works for the non-profit group, is also denouncing the attack ads. The group behind these ads isn't backing down. One official saying the latest ad was intended to highlight national security experience and "that is what it does."

Dan Lothian, CNN, Boston.


COOPER: Well, tough ads, of course, are nothing new in the rough and tumble world of politics. Democratic groups use them, so do Republican groups. Let's flash back to a particularly notable ad, 1988, an ad that accused Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis of being soft on crime.


NARRATOR: His revolving door prison policy gave weekend furloughs to first-degree murderers not eligible for parole.


COOPER: Dukakis was attacked for having approved as governor a Massachusetts prison furlough program during which a man by the name of Willie Horton, a murderer serving life without parole sentence, escaped and went on to rape a woman in Maryland. The ad appeared nationally on cable television for 28 days, sparked an outcry. It was made by a conservative political action committee. Then Vice President George H. W. Bush distanced himself from the ad.

Let's move on. Right now, we're following a number of other stories "Cross Country. Let's take a look.

Chicago, Illinois: ex-governor busted. Republican George Ryan is facing federal corruption charges. A grand jury indicted the former Illinois governor for fraud and racketeering conspiracy. If convicted, Ryan could serve up to 20 years.

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina: celebrating the Wright stuff. There it is. A hundred years later, almost to the minute after the first flight, a replica of the Wright brothers' famous flier rolled down a launching pad. It didn't quite fly there, as you just saw. It sort of hopped and ran into a puddle.

The event was the celebration of the first ever powered flight. Now, engineers say they'll try to fly their craft another day.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: snowmobiles shut out. A federal judge has tossed out Bush administration rules that would have permitted snowmobiles in the park this winter. Instead, the judge said the park service has got to go back to the old guidelines. Now, those rules allowed only snow coaches run by tour guides into the park.

Moving on, Washington, D.C.: stopping the run. President Bush is going to have his knees looked at when he visits Walter Reed Medical Center tomorrow. He'll have an MRI.

The president, as you can see right there, an avid runner, has been experiencing pain. He had to curtail his runs. Apparently he's not happy about it.

That's a look at stories "Cross Country" tonight.

Nurse death. He has admitted to killing dozens of patients. The question is, how did he go from hospital to hospital unnoticed? We'll take a closer look at that tonight.

Also, as part of our special holiday series, "Miracles," we're going to look at medical miracles. Do they really happen? Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes a closer look.

And you're going to meet a woman with tumors whose pain mysteriously vanished. The Vatican says it was a miracle. Tonight you can judge for yourself.

And breaking silence on a family secret. The biracial daughter of former senator and segregationist, Strom Thurmond, spoke out today about her life in the shadows. Hear what she says about her famous father now.

First, let's take a look "Inside the Box" at the top stories on tonight's network newscasts.


COOPER: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas out there. We move now to New Jersey, where Nurse Charles Cullen has been charged with attempting to kill and killing two patients under his care. But in court, he has admitted he may have been involved in the deaths of as many as 40 patients.

CNN's Michael Okwu has more.


MICHAEL OKWU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since Charles Cullen's arrest, shock days after no signs of it ending. Prosecutors scrambling to review dozens of potential cases, while scores of family members wonder whether the jailed nurse killed loved ones under his care.

WAYNE FORREST, SOMERSET COUNTY PROSECUTOR: We've received 50- plus phone calls from family members. I have been doing this for 28 years, and in my law enforcement career I have not seen anything like this before.

OKWU: Details of Cullen's questionable past emerging. Officials at St. Luke's Hospital in Pennsylvania say last year they launched an investigation involving Cullen after the hospital discovered vials of heart and blood pressure drugs improperly placed in a needle bin.

SUSAN SHANTZ, ST. LUKES HOSPITAL SPOKESPERSON: We had enough suspicion, certainly no proof, but some suspicions based on Charles Cullen's evasiveness.

OKWU: The hospital removed Cullen from having any patient contact, but found no conclusive evidence against him. Cullen resigned the next day.

Meanwhile, the Warren County prosecutor's office in New Jersey has reopened a case involving the death of a 91-year-old woman who had complained Cullen administered an improper injection while she was a patient at this hospital. Her niece said she died the next day after being discharged. Hospital officials say an autopsy found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Police reports in Phillipsburg (ph) reveal Cullen has a history of mental illness, that he twice tried to commit suicide and was treated at this psychiatric hospital. Psychiatric treatment does not disqualify a nurse from continuing to practice.


OKWU: Now, in Cullen's only court appearance at this point, he says that he does not intend to fight the charges. A public defender has not yet been assigned to him. In the meantime, New Jersey's attorney general may get into the picture, reserving the right, the opportunity, to try to coordinate efforts in various jurisdictions now investigating the possible cases against Cullen -- Anderson.

COOPER: Just an unbelievable case. Michael Okwu, thanks, from New Jersey tonight. Medical serial killers, nothing new. Here's a fast fact for you. The most deadly serial killer in medical history is British doctor Harold Shipman (ph) -- you're about to see him there -- convicted in 2000 of killing 15 of his elderly patients. But a later inquiry found him responsible for 215 deaths over 23 years.

Now, amazingly, he was only caught because local undertakers became suspicious of the death rate of his patients. Shipman's (ph) patients had died nearly 10 times more often than other doctors' patients.

Well, we are following a number of international developments right now. Let's check tonight's "UpLink."

London: a story that traumatized much of England may finally be coming to a close. Today, former school caretaker Ian Huntley was given two life sentences for killing these two 10-year-old girls in August of last year.

Madrid, Spain: Spanish authorities say a series of raids targeting an Internet porn ring have netted 27 arrests. Police there launched a crackdown in May after learning pictures of kids being sexually abused were being sold in Spanish chat rooms.

Taipei, Taiwan: a researcher studying the SARS virus in Taiwan has apparently come down with that country's first case in five months. It's ominous. Health officials accuse him of carelessness, saying he didn't wear protective gear and failed to see a doctor right after he started showing symptoms.

And that's tonight's "UpLink" for you.

Medical miracles: do they really happen? What do you think? Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to take a closer look for us just coming up.

Plus, you're going to meet a woman who says she was cured by prayer. And the Vatican says, well, it's true. Part of our weeklong series, "Medical Miracles."

Also tonight: interrogating Saddam. How does the CIA get prisoners to talk? Find out coming up.

And a little later on: the midweek crisis. You're going to meet this Texas housewife arrested for selling, well, sex toys at private parties. She's going to join us live.


COOPER: Now as we continue our pre-holiday series on miracles, a fascinating look at what some say are medical miracles. CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, looks at some cases of unexplained healing that have left doctors mystified.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lazarus was believed to have risen from the dead. And while no one has ever documented that, there are countless stories of people returning from that gray zone, between life and death, the vegetative state, coma.

Take Terry Wallace (ph), who had been in a coma since a car accident in 1984. This past summer he uttered his first words, and his condition continues to improve.

While giving birth is enough of a miracle, Amanda Thomas (ph) did it while in a deep coma. Earlier this year, son Charlie (ph) arrived 15 weeks early, but mother and son are now healthy and alert.

Of course, nothing is more remarkable than a young child who simply defies the odds. In Canada, a 2-year-old girl was thought to be frozen to death after being left in below-freezing temperatures for six hours. Doctors were amazed that she sustained only severe frost bite.

Jonathan Levister (ph) was only 11 years old when he was shot in the head and a third of his brain removed. Now, two years later, he's going to middle school.

And then there are some who try to lay claim to their own miracles, such as 76-year-old Indian guru, Prala Jani (ph), who says he has survived nearly seven decades without food or water. You don't have to be a doctor to find that impossible, although he certainly pulled it off for 10 days when a group of Indian doctors observed his every move.

Admittedly, there is much about medicine and anatomy doctors do not yet know. While surprising, we learn more about these events so that one day they become more common and we no longer call them miracles.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Well, you are about to meet a woman who the Catholic Church says experienced a miracle herself. As a child, Bernadette McKenzie Kutufaris was in constant pain due to a tethered spine. Doctors told her to prepare for the worst, a life of pain and eventual paralysis. She had tumors on her spine.

Then after prayers by thousands of people, she says the pain went away and it's never come back. I talked to her earlier today about how it all happened.


BERNADETTE MCKENZIE KUTUFARIS, MIRACLE BELIEVER: Well, I got to a point, actually, where my illness became so terrible that the doctors told my parents that there was nothing more that they could do for me. And I came home ready to face a life of illness and pain.

And the sisters at my parish, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) sisters of St. Francis (UNINTELLIGIBLE), suggested to my parents that we do an ovena to Mother Francis (UNINTELLIGIBLE), who was the founder of their order. And so our community and my church started to pray for my cure to Mother Aviat (ph). They prayed in ovena for nine days, and a few days into the ovena, all of the pain and symptoms of the disease completely disappeared.

CAFFERTY: Now, the moment you realized you were out of pain, what was that like?

KUTUFARIS: It was very peaceful, actually. The day started like any other day. I was homebound, of course, and I was doing schoolwork. And the next thing I knew, a time period elapsed and I couldn't account for it.

I just knew that it was the afternoon. And I realized I didn't feel any pain anymore. So I stood up slowly, and I realized I could do that. And then I started testing myself.

I started walking around slowly, and then up and down the stairs, and realized I could do all of these things and I wasn't in pain. And that morning, my parents, when they left me, I was in bed. And when they came home I was standing at the door ready to greet them.

CAFFERTY: Now, earlier in the day, we spoke to your neurosurgeon, Dr. Bruce Northrop. This is what he said: "Is it a miracle? It's not my call to make. That's a call for the Vatican."

"But I have no medical explanation. It happened very suddenly. I was quite surprised. This has all the earmarks of a case that would continually spiral downwards."

And yet there are skeptics who will say, look, this may be unexplainable, but there is no reason to say it's a miracle.

KUTUFARIS: Over the years I've learned something. And that is, I firmly believe, if you believe in miracles, then no explanation is necessary. And if you don't believe in miracles, then no explanation is ever going to be sufficient for you. And I've come to believe in that and hold that strongly in my heart.

COOPER: And the Vatican has said they investigated this for several years, and they have said, in fact, they believe this is a miracle.

KUTUFARIS: Yes. After several years of investigation, that involved hundreds of doctors and theologians, they decided that, indeed, what had happened to me was a miracle. And because of that, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was made a saint. She was canonized two years ago in November.

COOPER: And today, how do you feel? I mean, this happened when you were 12 years old. I understand the tumors are still there, but you have not had any pain.

KUTUFARIS: Absolutely. If you were to take an MRI of my back, it would show you that the disease is there and it's impossible for me to be really sitting up in front of you talking to you right now. And I'm fine.

I live a normal life. I went ahead, I grew up, I got married, I went to college, I got my masters degree, I've traveled. And now I'm a schoolteacher. And I live, for all intents and purposes, a very normal life.

COOPER: Well, Bernadette, you've brought a lot of people hope. And we appreciate you joining us tonight. Thanks.

KUTUFARIS: Thank you.


COOPER: Well, we'd like to hear what you think. Our "Buzz" question is this: Can miracles cure when medicine fails? Vote now: Results at the end of the program tonight.

And our series on miracles continues tomorrow. We'll talk about claimed sightings of the Virgin Mary. Some have caused pandemonium. You're going to see for yourselves some of these alleged apparitions and can make up your own mind.

Then on Friday: why are so many of us so fascinated with miracles? And what affect can miracles, real or imagined, have on your mind and your body?


COOPER (voice-over): And the former schoolteacher selling sex toys rubs cops in Texas the wrong way.

We'll be right back.



COOPER: Time now for the reset, the top stories we're following right now. Police in Columbus, Ohio say they've got another shooting to add to the list. Sixteen separate incidences now of someone firing a rifle near Interstate 270. One woman was killed back in November.

The lawyer for the Australian man detained at Guantanamo Bay says his client is likely to be charged conspiracy. Stephen Kenny is the first defense lawyer to be given access to any of the camp's 600 inmates. He's also under a gag order about what he can disclose from his visit.

Word from the Vatican is the pope has seen a copy of Mel Gibson's controversial new movie, "The Passion," and he likes it. The movie depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus's life. Gibson's film has come under fire from some Jewish and Roman Catholic groups who are concerned it's going to fuel anti-Semitism. The film comes out in February.

Remember Joey Butafucco? Well, he was the guy who had the affair with the Long Island teenager, well named Amy Fisher, who shot his wife and went to jail. You have to remember him. Anyway, he's back in the news. Busted in California where he runs an auto body shop, this time insurance fraud. He could face six years in jail if convicted.

And the average age at which American women are having their first kid has reached an all time high. It is 25.1 years old. Analysts say it's because many women are putting off having kids until their 30's and 40's, and also because of the rate of teenage pregnancy is going down.

And that is a look at the top stories in the reset tonight. With Saddam Hussein in custody, interest turns now to information he's going to give up to captures if any. Adnan Pachachi and a couple of other members of the Iraqi Governing Council were aloud to meet with Hussein for a few very dramatic minutes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was rather tired and haggard. And sometimes he seemed defiant, or even unrepentant. And sometimes he seemed a little incoherent. He tries to explain everything away you know? He -- sometimes it was dismissive even. But he never acknowledged that he has made any mistakes.


COOPER: Well, it seems the real question for the CIA at this point, is how do you get a man to talk who's willfully murdered and tortured hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen, including members of his own family? Security Analyst Kelly McCann is with us live from Baghdad to give us some insight. Before we get to Kelly though, we want to warn you. Some of the images you are going to see in the next two minutes are disturbing. They've been edited very carefully, but this is the story about one man's institutionalized brutality. And some of the pictures are shocking. Kelly McCann now joins us in Baghdad.

Kelly, good to see you there in Baghdad. Let me ask you, this interrogation that's going on -- apparently they are showing Saddam Hussein videotapes. We're going to show you some of the images that are similar to ones that are probably being shown to him. Why are they doing this?

KELLY MCCANN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: A couple of reasons, Anderson. The first reason is of course, there's an implied threat there. That there is evidence that exists, that could be used against him in a trial. If he's brought to court for crimes against humanity, et cetera.

The second reason may be to break his reality. I mean you know, if you tell a lie many times over and over, then it becomes truth. I mean his real world has to be a little bit disturbed right now. So I think that it may be an effort to try to start to set a framework for the rest of the interrogation. COOPER: This report of the video comes form "USA Today," that's where we learned about it. But how do you go about interrogating a guy like Saddam Hussein? I mean, he was the leader of a country. It's not like interrogating some criminal off the street. Do you have to use different methods? I mean does good cop, bad cop, does sleep deprivation, does that work?

MCCANN: Well, time is on the interrogator's side. A good interrogation lasts longer, because then there's more time to confirm, and correlate what the person is saying. It's almost impossible to remember details of what you say today, two weeks from now. So the same questions asked many times, many different ways. A very, very (UNINTELLIGIBLE) approach of course is the very simple good cop, bad cop, which can become sophisticated with other elements introduced. When you introduce disturbed sercadium (ph) rhythms. You start to not have those kind of touchstones we all need. Which is, what time of day is it? Did I eat an hour ago, or was it six hours ago? That can be very upsetting to a person.

Now one thing I can probably almost guarantee you is that this -- Saddam Hussein will treated presidentially. I think initially, to not treat him with that kind of difference would have him shut down right away. That's the bargaining chip. I think that in fact he made that very evident when the council members saw him. And he was dismissive of these people that were in these mass graves. He basically literally translated as I sat there, he -- when questioned several times, the doctors said he basically said, a breast, an arm, a leg. So dismissively, that his reality is just a fantasy. And I think that that has to be broken.

COOPER: We've been showing some of our viewers some of these images, these torture videos that were found in Iraq. Some of the things that took place, that according to "USA Today" are being shown to Saddam Hussein. You reported Kelly that they did a personality indexing right off the bat of Saddam Hussein. What does that mean? What does it accomplish?

MCCANN: Well the process is formalized. First you want to do a health index, and make sure that there is nothing going to wrong physically with him as he enters into the process. Because it can be arduous, depending on how it goes. The second thing is, an assessment is done of his personality. Similar to maybe the personality index tests that are given, only this one is much more subjective because it's verbal, and there's interaction.

That assessment is given to the actual team of interrogators, who will then start to build an architecture about how this is going to proceed. And they will look for his hot buttons. They'll look for ways to both praise him, and also to not discipline him, but punish him in subtle ways where he understands, when I do something you want, I'm rewarded, and when I don't, then I'm punished.

COOPER: It is just a fascinating process, this whole interrogation thing. Kelly McCann, live in Baghdad, thanks very much Kelly. Moving on now to justice served. Let's take a closer look at tonight's top story concerning John Hinckley Jr. A judge says he can have unsupervised visit with his parents, under certain restrictions. 360 legal analyst, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom is in San Francisco with her take on today's ruling. Good evening, Kimberly. Were you surprised by this ruling?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, 360 LEGAL ANALYST: I was surprised by it. I mean, keep in mind this is an individual who attempted to assassinate former President Ronald Reagan, and severely disabled Press Secretary James Brady. The government strongly opposed any kind of relief from John Hinckley. In addition to Nancy Reagan opposing the relief, and Sarah Brady. I think it was surprising.

But then again, you look at the facts of this case. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He has been held for 20 years in this mental hospital, and has successfully gone out into the public on supervised visits. This will be the first time that he's allowed these six unsupervised visits. The secret service is still going to keep a good close look at what he's doing though.

COOPER: Yes, and there are limitations as to how far he can go. He can't actually visit his parents' homes. Apparently they live to far away.

NEWSOM: Right.

COOPER: I think it's like a 50-mile radius.

NEWSOM: Fifty miles, yes.

COOPER: Right, exactly. What kinds of things does a judge think about when trying to come up with a decision like this? What goes into the thought process?

NEWSOM: A judge will have to look at whether or not Mr. Hinckley poses a danger to himself or a danger of threat or harm to the community at large. And what we saw in this case, which was very difficult for the government to overcome, was prior witnesses and experts that testified for the government previously, now said that they feel that he should be released, that this is appropriate. That he no longer poses a risk of harm or danger to himself, or others. So faced with that kind of information, it's hard for a judge to deny a request like this.

COOPER: It's interesting, when we first talked you said -- the first thing you pointed out was that this man had tried to assassinate the President of the United States. If this had been a regular citizen that he had tried to kill, would he be treated differently now?

NEWSOM: Well, I think so. You might see that he would have been released earlier. I mean, the scrutiny that's on a situation like this is so intense, given that it's a former president. If it was someone else, perhaps he would have been released and able to have these supervised visits maybe even five years earlier, or 10 years earlier. But given the kind of danger that this situation poses, there was no indicator in the beginning when this first occurred back in 1981, that he posed a danger to the President.

That's why this is a very unpredictable, individual, and the government officials and prosecutors feel that still he is engaging in a pattern of deception. He's no longer doing writings, or reading certain books or materials. SO it's hard to get insight into his mental state. And what kind of paranoid delusions or thought processes he might be having? It's tough to call.

COOPER: I had been interested to read too, that he had had a relationship with a person while in the hospital. And he's been told to keep away from her on the outside. So a lot of people...

NEWSOM: That's right.

COOPER: I sense this is not the last we've heard about this story. Kimberly, good to talk to you.

NEWSOM: No, he better be very careful, they'll revoke it.

COOPER: Yes exactly. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom thanks. Moving on now, the late Senator, Strom Thurmond's biracial daughter speaks out. Coming up, revealing the truth. Hear what she is saying about the end of a long held family secret. Plus, there's new legal trouble for the sellers of "Girls Gone Wild", hard to believe. Also ahead, our midweek crisis. A woman arrested for selling sex toys at private parties.


COOPER:, send us an e-mail; we'd love to hear from you. Well, she kept his secret from the first time she knew his name. But today, Essie Mae Washington-Williams was able to speak the truth. She said that doing so finally set her free. David Mattingly has the story of Strom Thurmond's oldest daughter's day in the sun.



DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a single instant, the secret that had burdened her for much of her 78-years was gone. As Essie Mae Washington-Williams publicly proclaimed that she was the daughter born to a 22-year-old Strom Thurmond, and a 16-year- old African American housekeeper, for the Thurmond family.

WASHINGTON-WILLIAMS: I am Essie Mae Washington-Williams, and at last I feel completely free.

MATTINGLY: Applauded by a crowd of friends and well-wishers, Williams spoke fondly of the father who privately visited, and supported her financially from the time she was in college. But never acknowledged her publicly. A secret she kept as well.


MATTINGLY: To protect the political career of the one time ardent segregationist.

WASHINGTON-WILLIAMS: We respected each other. I never wanted to do anything to harm him, or cause detriment to his life, or to the lives of those around him. My father did a lot of things to help other people. Even though his public stance appeared opposite.

MATTINGLY: More than a personal milestone, former classmates say William's announcement reflects a new era in a new south. Where racially mixed families no longer have to keep secrets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In our vocabulary today, we have a term that we didn't have in the 40's. And that's biracial. We just didn't have that word in our vocabulary.


MATTINGLY: The Thurmond family receiving praise tonight as well for how they are handling this event. They say that they look forward to meeting with Essie Mae Williams, and her children some time in the future in a more private event. In the meantime, Essie Mae Williams says she would like to say a change to monuments like this here, at the capital in South Carolina. She says she would like to see her name one day, etched in stone alongside that of the other four Thurmond children.

Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Just a remarkable story. David Mattingly, thanks very much for that tonight. Well every night, we like to dip our toes in the pop culture current, so to speak. Let's take a look tonight.

What are seeing at some 100 American movie theaters yesterday, die-hard "Lord of the Rings" fans watched all three movies in a row, including the new installment, "The Return of the King." The 12-hour event was dubbed "Trilogy Tuesday." Those who attended were back at work or school today. A day their friends and coworkers have dubbed, "Somebody Please Shut this Guy up Wednesday." That's what I called it.

Julia Roberts doesn't like the term "chick flick" in her latest movie, "Mona Lisa Smile." Roberts plays a teacher who inspires a cast of ingenues to spread their wings and break free of the status quo at Wellesley in the 1950s. Robert's says the movie is definitely not a chick flick. We polled all the men who saw the film to get their thoughts, he said it was OK.

The FTC has filed a complaint against the company that makes the "Girls Gone Wild" videos. Accusing the company of billing customers for videos they never ordered. The girls themselves aren't expected to get involved in the lawsuit unless they're way drunk, and a really cute guy asks them to.

Squeaky-clean singer Clay Akin was number one on the list of the 10 best mannered people of 2003. Put together by the National League of Junior Cotillions. A group that teaches young people the finer points of table manners, waltzing, and standing in a receiving line at a formal event. We here at 360 are naming the National League of Junior Cotillions number one on our list of groups that think it's 1934.

Number one, still to come on 360, don't mess with Texas, and certainly don't sell marital aids to its undercover police. It's a lesson one woman is learning the hard way. We're going to get her story when we come back.


COOPER: Time for midweek crisis. A Texas Housewife is in trouble with the law. She hosts -- well kind of tupperware parties, except that instead of tupperware she sells well -- adult toys. You know, like sex toys. Take a look.


COOPER (voice-over): Meet Joanne Webb. Former fifth grade teacher, housewife, mother of three, and now according to the state of Texas, criminal. Webb hasn't robbed a bank, hasn't sold drugs.


JOANNE WEBB: Well, I do have a lot of stock items.

COOPER: What she was selling were adult toys -- sex toys to be exact. Jellies, things with batteries, things that tickle. Webb works for Passion Parties. A company who's consultants host private parties for house wives to embarrassed to shop in a store for well, let's call them marital aids.

In her town near Fort Worth, two undercover narcotics cops approach Webb. They posed as a married couple with trouble in the boudoir. They bought a vibrating device, an obscene device according to Texas law. Webb now faces up to a year in jail, and a $4,000 fine. Her husband says he can't believe this is happening.

CHRIS WEBB, HUSBAND: I'm shocked and amazed at how far someone would go -- some folks would go to try to shut down a business that they disagree with. Especially one that is clearly oriented towards helping people.

COOPER: There are plenty of stores selling adult toys in Texas, they get around the law by pushing signs that say sold only as novelties. Joanne Webb is facing a misdemeanor charge. It could have been worse. If she had sold a vibrator wholesale, she'd be facing a felony.


COOPER: Well, we invited the sheriff and the district attorney to come on tonight, and they declined. Joining us now from Dallas, Joanne Webb, and her attorney, BeAnn Sisemore. We appreciate both of you joining us.

Joanne, did you have any idea that what you were doing was illegal under Texas law?

WEBB: Not at all. I started this business because I wanted to have an opportunity to help women in their relationships, to encourage them, to educate them. That is what my goal was when I decided to become a Passion Parties consultant. And obviously, there was a problem.

COOPER: Well now these items, you're selling them in people's homes to adults right? I mean you check people's ages; you're not out on the street corners selling these to kids right?

WEBB: Right. Women, 18 or older invited to the parties. I'm invited into the homes by the hostess, and their friends are invited. They're given invitations that have basically exactly what I'll be selling at these parties, and presenting at these parties. So everyone is aware of what they're getting into when they come to my parties.

COOPER: Now BeAnn, exactly what is your client being charged with here?

BEANN SISEMORE, WEBB'S ATTORNEY: She's basically charged under an obscenity statute, with promoting, or selling an obscene device. And Texas doesn't define all of them, but one of the -- it does define some of them. It's a very broad statute. Texas also has a law that says it is presumed that you own them to sell them. If you own more than six. So you can go to jail for that.

COOPER: I see. Well, Joanne, I guess you own more than six of these since you sell these. What kind of reaction have you been getting...

SISEMORE: No comment.

COOPER: OK, I'm not pressing you on that one. Frankly I don't really want to know how many of these things you own. But Joanne, what kind of community reaction have you been getting? Your town's I think is about -- it's near Fort Worth.

WEBB: Yes.

COOPER: It's a relatively small town.

WEBB: Yes. Everyone that I've come in contact with has been very supportive. They've all been shaking their heads. Scratching their heads saying what? We can't understand why this is happening. They've been really wonderful to my kids, to my husband, all of us. They've been very supportive.

COOPER: Bow BeAnn, I understand it was two undercover narcotics detectives who came in to purchase this item. Is there not a drug problem in this town? I mean, is this common to use narcotics officers to do this kind of thing? SISEMORE: It's not common to this thing period, regardless of which officers you use. In fact, in the United States, there's only eight states that have had this law. And four of them or maybe more have already been struck down. It is ironic that as recently as 1972, which isn't that long ago for some of us, we had laws in the state of Texas that said unmarried people could not buy birth control. And so sometimes, laws in times change. What's very concerning to us -- the big thing that's concerning us is that older women who don't want to go into a sexual or novelty shop if they've got some sexual dysfunctions their relationships, or in their marriage are now forced to do that.

COOPER: Well I know you're...

SISEMORE: Because it's legal to sell it there.

COOPER: I know this thing is still developing. It's still going to go through the courts. Joanne Webb, BeAnn Sisemore, we appreciate you joining us. We'll have to follow this up for you. We'll see how it goes for you both. Thanks very much for being with us.

SISEMORE: Thank you so much for having us.

WEBB: Thanks very much.

COOPER: Well, tonight, Barbara Walters reveals who she has picked for the most fascinating people of 2003. Coming up, we reveal our own People of the year list, and take it to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But first, today's "Buzz." Can miracles cure, when medicine fails? What do think? Vote now., results in a moment.

And tomorrow on 360, R.E.M. unveiled this music video right here, just a few months ago. Now we leave -- we're going to let lead singer, Michael Stipe take over my job. At least just for a few moments. You won't want to miss that tomorrow night right here on 360.


COOPER: Here's the "Buzz." We asked you, can miracles cure when medicine fails? Seventy-six percent of you said yes, 24 percent no. Not a scientific poll, just your Buzz. We thank you for your votes.

Tonight, listing badly to "The Nth Degree." As we approach the end of the year, we've noticed that just about everyone has become obsessed with lists. Later this week, "People" magazine unveils its best and worst of 2003 issue. And tonight, Barbara Walters will air her 10 most fascinating people special. But you know, if we've learned anything this year, it's this: As long as you employ the right number of stylists, makeup artists, and public relations flacks, you don't really need to be intriguing to be considered intriguing.

So tonight, we've compiled our own little list. This year's most remarked upon unremarkable people. Number four, Ashton Kutcher. His conspicuous conoodling with the equally unremarkable Demi Moore had tongues wagging endlessly this year. Sure, "Punk'd" was great, but now it's gone. No one remarks much about Kutcher's movies, ironic because they are remarkably bad.

Number three, David Blaine. Truth is, we've always found Blaine unremarkable. On ice, on a poll, in a hole, or in a box. Doesn't much matter. We did find it remarkable Blaine's box stunt managed to conjure up genuine emotions from British people this year. Many of whom, well, loathed him. We expect plenty of more unremarkable things from Blaine in the new year.

Number two on our list, Trista. We're glad Ryan finds Trista remarkable, but frankly we don't see it. Sure, her obsession with pink is kind of interesting. But the show, the shower, and the wedding were all just too much. The only thing that would be remarkable is if once the cameras are gone, the love still remains.

And finally, the most remarked upon unremarkable person of the year, Paris Hilton. Congratulations. We used to think she was just spoiled and vapid. But now with that video and that reality show, we know she is.

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



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