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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Scientists Developing Way To Erase Traumatic Memories; Manhattan DA Vows Retrial Of Tyco Case; Police Now Think Wisconsin Woman's Abduction Was Faked

Aired April 2, 2004 - 20:00   ET

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


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR, PAULA ZAHN NOW: Thanks for joining us tonight, I'm Paula Zahn. It is Friday April 2nd, 2004.
Why did one of the biggest corporate fraud cases ever fall apart? We'll take you inside the Tyco mistrial with exclusive interviews with jurors.

Also, the FBI warns police across the U.S. of a possible terrorist plot against buses and trains.

And Jim Carrey's new movie is all about erasing bad memories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The safe technique of a focused eraser of troubling memories.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: We'll meet a scientist who is trying to make that happen. Would you take a pill to make the bad stuff go away?

All that ahead tonight, plus the news on that new terror threat. But first in focus tonight, spectacular collapse of one of the biggest corporate corruption cases ever.

The $600 million fraud trial of former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski and his chief financial officer. It came to an end today when the judge declared a mistrial. A mysterious letter sent to a juror appears to have been behind his decision. I'll have an exclusive interview with some of the jurors in just a moment. First Greg Clarkin reports on today's events.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GREG CLARKIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Call it the note that kept him free. The former CEO of Tyco was on the go after his corporate fraud trial ended in a mistrial. Dennis Kozlowski and Tyco's former Finance Chief, Mark Swartz strolled out of a Manhattan court as their six-month-old trial came to an abrupt end. The judge tossed the trial after the juror number four was sent a letter described as coercive.

She's the 79-year-old woman who made headlines when she reportedly flashed an OK sign to the defense team. Kozlowski is free, but the issue of whether he and Swartz looted Tyco isn't over, as the Manhattan D.A. promises a retrial.

STEPHEN KAUFMAN, KOZLOWSKI'S ATTORNEY: We're disappointed because of events that occurred outside of the courtroom that this case did not reach verdict.

CLARKIN: And the next jury is sure to hear the same excesses this one did. The multimillion-dollar party for Kozlowski's wife on Sardinia, the $6,000 shower curtain. The list goes on and on. But legal pros say prosecutors need to focus the next time around.

JACOB ZAMANSKY, ZAMANSKY AND ASSOCIATES: This was sort of a dress rehearsal for what will be the next trial. They have to cut it down, streamline it, and just go with the strong arguments.

CLARKIN: Both sides will meet with the judge May 7 to map out a plan for a new trial. Greg Clarkin, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Joining us now, Senior Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. Were you surprised?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANAYLIST: Stunned!

ZAHN: Why? We had an indication last week things were not looking to smooth.

(CROSSTALK)

TOOBIN: Well because it looked -- well --a hung jury, yes. I mean a hung jury would not have been a big surprise. But a case where a situation where this letter comes out of nowhere? That was certainly shocking, a big surprise to me.

ZAHN: Did the prosecution blow it?

TOOBIN: I think this case was not particularly well conceived or well tried. It was just too long, too complicated, and even before this case blew up, remember, this jury had been out for 12-plus days. So this was not a victory very likely for the prosecution, at least a big victory. And I think they at least -- and both sides probably will learn a lot and try it very differently the next time.

ZAHN: Do you believe as a former prosecutor, there was ever a case there?

TOOBIN: I don't know. The thing about this case is there was a real defense here. Is that these people made a lot of money, but there was the argument that it was authorized by the board of directors, including one board of director who conveniently or not, is now dead. So they said that this board authorized the payments to them. The jury bought it, a lot of them.

ZAHN: And we're going to talk to a couple of those jury members now if you wouldn't mind standing by Jeffrey Toobin, I'd like to have you hang on so you can react to what they have to say. Our exclusive interview now with three members of the Tyco jury.

I sat down with Glen Andrews, Greg Sutton, and Bill Johnson shortly after they were dismissed. They had expected to deliver a verdict this morning, and I began by asking Greg Sutton what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GREG SUTTON, TYCO JUROR: It was a complete shock. I mean, we really thought we were going to go in there and probably be done today, because we had thought a lot and worked our way through most of the charges, and we really thought we would be done today. And this shock came out of nowhere, and it was obviously very disappointing.

ZAHN: Greg, what did the judge tell you?

GLENN ANDREWS, TYCO JUROR: He apologized to us for the unfortunate mistrial that he declared, and that was basically it.

ZAHN: Let's talk about what your expectations were coming into the courtroom this morning. Did you believe that this jury was going to deliver a guilty verdict? On some counts? Most counts?

SUTTON: On some counts.

ZAHN: On some counts?

SUTTON: On some counts, definitely.

ZAHN: Walk us through the areas where perhaps you all were in agreement of, where you thought the law was broken.

ANDREWS: Definitely some of the grand larceny charges, only because there was lack of evidence to convince, I would say, any reasonable person that there was any type of authorization that would grant some of the payments that these two fellows received.

ZAHN: So the perception that they used this company as their own personal piggy bank was something that the jury bought into?

BILL JOHNSON, TYCO JUROR: We thought about that, but a lot of the things that they threw at us that they brought up in this trial, we knew that they were just there as a kind of a smoke screen, to get us to think that they were overdoing it, overspending or taking advantage of the company.

ZAHN: Give me a specific example where you thought the prosecution didn't deliver the goods.

SUTTON: Some of the artwork charges?

ZAHN: So when it comes to the artwork, your concern was?

SUTTON: Well, they were charged with grand larceny involving the artwork that Dennis had -- Mr. Kozlowski had bought, and we -- some of us did not believe that actually would have been a grand larceny charge, but that's what they were charged with. JOHNSON: Because he went out and bought this artwork and put it in his Tyco apartment. He didn't have it -- I mean, in an apartment here in New York, where he didn't even spend a large amount of his time. So it wasn't like he was buying it because he said, I want to own a Monet and I want to get up every morning and see this Monet.

ZAHN: So that seemed like a appropriate expense?

JOHNSON: Exactly, because it was there for Tyco's -- a representation of their CEO's apartment.

ZAHN: What about the other lavish expenses, the multimillion dollar party in Italy, for the wife's birthday? How did the jury view those expenses?

SUTTON: Did not come into play whatsoever. No one cared, honestly, it didn't matter to us.

ZAHN: Do you believe Dennis Kozlowski is a greedy guy?

JOHNSON: I think he's gotten accustomed to a lavish lifestyle.

ZAHN: It has been reported that sometimes the jury room was calm, sometimes it was very heated. When was there the most heat? The most contention?

JOHNSON: Definitely the day of the letter.

SUTTON: Yeah. When the jury sent out those three letters in rapid succession, that was definitely the worst day we had.

ZAHN: What was going on inside of there?

SUTTON: This huge acrimony. It was unbelievable. It was painful to be in there. It was unbelievable.

ZAHN: Why painful?

JOHNSON: I think you had a lot of people with very strong opinions and thoughts -- we had all sat through the same thing for six months, and we kind of had gotten our opinions together, and then when someone doesn't see what you're thinking or what you saw, and you try to talk to them about it, and there doesn't seem to be the right amount of give-and-take.

ZAHN: But my question to you, were there examples of times where you were convinced that certain jurors were not negotiating in good faith?

SUTTON: I'd say yes to that, definitely. I mean, there were some times when the vast majority of the group believed one way and we were trying to convince one or two or three other jurors of our beliefs, and why we held those beliefs, and they would not listen to us, and they just kind of shut -- you dig in your claws and you shut down.

ZAHN: Let's specifically talk about juror number four.

ANDREWS: She's a tough old lady. She had her ideas, and it was up to her -- up to us to convince her that maybe our ideas were maybe more likely than hers.

ZAHN: There has been a lot of discrepancy in the reporting about what she represented, what she didn't do in the courtroom, what she did. Did you see the apparent "OK" sign flashed to the defense?

JOHNSON: I don't think any of us saw it.

SUTTON: I didn't see it, no.

ANDREWS: None of us saw that.

ZAHN: Did you see any other indication that she overtly was supporting the defense?

SUTTON: I didn't.

ZAHN: Was it your belief that juror number four wanted these two men acquitted?

SUTTON: I don't think originally we all thought that, and I don't think actually even going through the true negotiations that we were going through at the beginning of deliberations anyone thought that. I think towards the end, some of us did think that.

ZAHN: And how did you break that deadlock?

SUTTON: We took the weekend off, and everyone started thinking about, well, here are my priorities and here is what my responsibility is, and I need to walk back in that room and start deliberating in good faith again, and actually I think we did for another couple of days.

ANDREWS: We did a good job of it too.

ZAHN: Smooth sailing? Or still some bumps in the road?

SUTTON: Of course there were some bumps in the road. I mean, once you put 12 diverse people together in one room, everyone having different ideas, then of course there will be some bumps in the road. But we were getting over those bumps in most -- in most aspects.

ZAHN: It's interesting to look at public perceptions of defendants, and everybody probably understands what happened to Martha Stewart and how entrenched public views were of her. To a certain extent, Dennis Kozlowski came in with the same kind of baggage, and yet it sounds to me from what you're telling me tonight there was a little bit of empathy for the guy.

SUTTON: Oh, sure.

JOHNSON: Of course.

SUTTON: Definitely was, yeah.

JOHNSON: Of course.

ZAHN: He was not perceived as this totally greedy, heartless guy?

SUTTON: No, not at all. Nor was Mark.

JOHNSON: Right. As a matter of fact, we were all shocked when we actually did see the Sardinia video, because that was the first time any of us actually heard Dennis speak. And we heard all this -- we heard -- we heard so much information about all of this lavish spending, how he was making all these great corporate deals, and you envision him to be like this big, strong, powerful man, and then his voice was actually kind of -- you know, just kind of middle of the road, kind of almost -- it didn't seem strong and powerful and forceful, it seemed like it was just a regular person just like talking to you casually.

ZAHN: Do you believe this case ever should have been tried?

JOHNSON: Yes.

SUTTON: Yes.

ANDREWS: Yes.

SUTTON: Not the way...

ZAHN: And you're all three saying that strongly -- not the way that it was tried?

SUTTON: Not the way that it was tried yes, but I do agree that it should have been tried. Of course.

ZAHN: And why do you feel that strongly?

SUTTON: I don't believe the prosecution went after the correct charges. I don't believe the way they went after the charges they decided to go after was correct, but the public has a right to know, and the public -- the people of the state of New York have a right to decide whether this was correct behavior or not, and that's what they were trying to do. Unfortunately this time it didn't work out, and we'll see what happens next time.

ZAHN: What is the potential in the second trial the prosecution could get a guilty verdict?

SUTTON: Huge.

JOHNSON: If they streamlined their case and had a strong presentation, they could get some guilty verdicts.

SUTTON: Yeah, they'll do it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: We'll dig a little deeper into the Tyco mistrial, and what it could mean for other corporate trials. More from Jeffrey Toobin and another legal observer who covered the case.

And rope, duct tape, evidence in alleged abduction, but now police say the victim bought them. We're going to look at why people might fake their own abductions.

And Mia Farrow's face launched the first issue of "People" magazine back in 1974. We're going to look back as "People" celebrates 30 years.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: What happened and what's next in the fraud trial of ex- Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski? Here with us again, Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Forbes.com senior columnist Dan Ackman, who is also an attorney who has been in the courtroom throughout the trial. Welcome back. Good to see you again.

Your quick reaction to what we just learned from three of the jurors in this trial, basically saying the prosecution blew it, they put too many witnesses out there, witnesses they didn't think they needed to hear from, they inundated them with too much paperwork, and then secondarily or thirdly, they felt that the charges were just too broad.

TOOBIN: And that the party video that we have seen so many times and we all thought was so incriminating and so horrifying, the jury wrote it off completely. They didn't care.

ZAHN: They kind of laughed at it.

TOOBIN: They kind of laughed at it. What is interesting is that white-collar defendants often generate sympathy and empathy on the part of jurors. I mean empathy, that's the word that you used, and the jurors absolutely agreed with. That Kozlowski was not a symbol of greed to them. He was a corporate executive doing his job.

ZAHN: They conceded he was greedy, but they still had empathy for him. I think way I gleaned from what they were saying is because they thought the prosecution had overreached.

DAN ACKMAN, SENIOR COLUMNIST, FORBES.COM: I think it did overreach, and one of the ways it overreached was with the Sardinia video tape, and the video tape of the apartment. You can call it a smoke screen, and the jurors say they saw through it, but nevertheless, I think the D.A. basically caught a break here with the mistrial on this ground, because I think there's a very strong reasons for reversing any guilty verdict that did come out of this trial, and the videotapes come right to the top of the list.

ZAHN: What we learned, then, from this mistrial through the mistrial, what would it teach you as a prosecutor going for the second trial? TOOBIN: Short and sweet, narrow the charges down to what your really sure you can prove, and try it in six weeks tops, instead of six months.

ZAHN: Do you think you can get a guilty verdict?

ACKMAN: I think you can, especially in some of the disclosure violations. Maybe not the grand larcenies. I think there's very strong problems with those.

TOOBIN: Although these jurors did seem to think that they could get convictions on some counts. And in fact, were ready to convict on some counts. So it's not like this was a total loss for the government. These jurors did tell you that they were looking like they were just about ready to convict on some, perhaps minor charges.

ZAHN: Give us a better understanding on what you've learned about what exactly triggered this mistrial today.

ACKMAN: We don't know what this letter was, or if indeed there was a letter, that's all under seal. But we do know that there was a lot stuff on the Internet, including violent threats against juror No 4, and against the defendants for that matter. If the letter that was received was anything like those, we can well understand why the judge would declare a mistrial. There was a lot of stuff on the Internet about finding a rope, about Jews protecting Jews, although she's not Jewish, things like that. They were very ugly.

ZAHN: What else did you learn from these jurors about this case going forward that would be of any help to these prosecutors?

TOOBIN: Well, I think they -- they didn't like a lot of this evidence. They did not like the idea -- you know, it's white-class warfare never works in America. These people were not millionaires, but they didn't resent the money. They didn't resent the lavish spending. They thought these were business people.

I mean, imagine, the corporate apartment which we thought -- we in the press thought was a symbol of such outrage. They thought, well, yes, he's a corporate executive, needs to put on a good front for the public. He's buying Monets for his corporate apartment, so it wasn't income to him.

ZAHN: Do you know what they said about the $6,000 shower curtain? That's a curtain that he never saw and it was used in another back bathroom that basically once again was being used for corporate entertaining.

TOOBIN: Amazing. Amazing. Another fact about this case, the press. This has got to be a milestone here. The reason we don't disclose jurors' names is they can be approached and intimidated and contacted. And what happened here is the "New York Post" and "Wall Street Journal" disclosed juror No. 4's name, and that's exactly what happened and I think there really should be soul-searching going on about it.

ZAHN: So you're saying that contributed to it mistrial?

TOOBIN: Absolutely. There really should be some second thoughts about whether that was the right thing to do.

ZAHN: Dan Ackman, Jeffrey Toobin, thanks. Have a good weekend, gentlemen.

Police are now saying they found no evidence that a young Wisconsin woman was actually abducted, but why would a person fake her own abduction? We're going to take a look at that.

A special screening of "The Passion" brings an unexpected guest and a generous surprise to an order of catholic nuns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Welcome back. Police in Wisconsin today said they believed 20-year-old college Audrey Seiler made up the story of her kidnapping. Seiler's case became national news this week when she turned up in a marsh in Madison, and police launched a massive search for the man she said had abducted her.

Well today, police said she had even bought the duct tape, rope and a knife to back up her claim, they actually have this all on a videotape. Left hanging in all of this is why someone would actually fake being kidnapped. Joining us now, forensic psychiatrist, is Dr. Michael Welner, good to see you. Does this make any sense to you at all?

DR. MICHAEL WELNER, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Things start to make more sense when you look at someone in late adolescence or young adulthood. And how someone who is quite immature copes with overwhelming stress, it's not so surprising to hear a scenario of someone trying to manipulate sympathy or trying to inspire sympathy and emotions from people that she either cares about.

You look at the age group and someone who does something this unusual, and you look at where the response is strongest. Is it the family? Or is it a caregiver, such as we see in stories of Munchausen's or Munchausen's by proxy, or is it in this young lady, there was an earlier incident about a couple of months, where police were also called.

So authorities got involved then, authorities got involved now, there's a similar scenario of her victimization, so there's something about the role, the emotional response that she creates, and the circumstances where this immature young lady is overwhelmed and does something that's very childish, and because she's her age, it stirs up the community.

ZAHN: You're basically talking about a poignant call for help.

WELNER: Yes.

ZAHN: For attention? WELNER: Perhaps for attention, or simply to manipulate the emotions of people that she may be in conflict with. I think what people will have to unravel as time goes on is, is the conflict something she's having with herself -- because she either can't cope with school, or loneliness or emptiness.

ZAHN: She's an honor student by all accounts.

WELNER: Well, but she may be overwhelmed. There are honor students who jump off of the building here locally, and we have a whole controversy at NYU over repeated suicides. Is this any less immature than an adolescent suicide?

But on the other hand, it may be that she's lonely, it may be a conflict within the family. Whatever it is, is the conflict within her, or is it a conflict with someone that she's manipulating?

ZAHN: What does it tell you about her state of mind that they have this videotape actually showing her purchasing some of these items she later alleged were used in her abduction?

WELNER: Sometimes these kinds of manipulations are spontaneous, impulsive, cutting of wrists. When a person becomes so overwhelmed or so empty that they have to do something that others react to.

ZAHN: There was the case of Princess Diana, and the alleged self-mutilation she practiced.

WELNER: And people find that unconscionable. What's more unconscionable, when a person dies or someone comes up with a creative scheme, perhaps because she can't bring herself to mutilate herself. The end result is the same. It inspires an emotional reaction or sympathy, in this case a real rallying of the community. And keep in mind she went through this before. How did people respond then? That may give us some indication about why, on reflection, she went out and orchestrated things as she did. And she orchestrated them.

ZAHN: How many people practice, maybe not this exact scenario, but similar kind of behavior, to get attention?

WELNER: What I'm concerned about as a psychiatrist is that what you see are the seeds of bad development, and we have people who are much more alone, who are much less connected, and so this is a lot more common than people think. This is just a more dramatic expression of it, but we need to be attentive to those in need. She needs help obviously.

ZAHN: Very, very sad. Dr. Michael Welner, thanks for your advice tonight, and your advise.

WELNER: I appreciate your interest.

ZAHN: Coming up, higher security is coming to America's buses and trains after a warning from Homeland Security and the FBI.

And wiping the mind free of painful memories is the plot from Jim Carrey's new movie. Now we're going to talk to one doctor who is actually trying to make that a reality.

And Monday an investigation claims that Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain could not have committed suicide. Does new evidence prove that it was indeed homicide?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And we're back. Here's what you need to know right now. Jurors in the corruption trial of ex-Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski said they were ready to reach a verdict this morning when the judge declared a mistrial. The judge cited outside pressure on one juror as the reason for his decision.

Citizens of some of America's closest allies will soon be fingerprinted and photographed when they visit the United States. Britain's, Italians, Japanese, and many others who don't need visas to entered United States will face the new security measures by September 30. U.S. officials are concerned terrorists might try to exploit the visa exemption.

On a highway near Orlando, Florida, 20 people were hurt today when a tour bus carrying high school students rear-ended a truck and then flipped on its side. Police say a car that had made an illegal U-turn triggered this accident. None of the injuries fortunately are life threatening.

There are some new concerns tonight about terrorists plotting to attack buses and trains in the United States. Let's turn to Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena who joins us from Washington on that new warning issued today. Good evening Kelli.

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good evening Paula. Those concerns were prompted by new intelligence about a possible plot to place bombs inside luggage or other carry-on bags. The advisory clearly states that the intelligence is uncorroborated, meaning that it hasn't been matched by other sources. And it does not name specific U.S. cities, and only offers summer as a time frame. But officials say that the train bombings last month in Madrid and the discovery of another bomb today have increased concern about mass transit attacks here in the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAPT. TIMOTHY GRONAU, D.C. METRO TRANSIT POLICE: We have increased our patrols. We've reassigned some of our administrative people back into the rail system during heightened hours. We've altered our sweep teams, and the method in which the do sweep, is we incorporated train-to-train, and also railcar-to-railcar sweeps as well.

ARENA: The advisory, which was not, by the way, meant for the public, also details the types of explosives that might be used. It says the plot calls for the use of improvised explosive devices, possibly made out of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel. That's similar to the explosives use in Oklahoma city nine years ago. British authorities just this week happened to seize about 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate during a terrorism investigation.

While there's nothing to suggest that any of those incidents are related to this intelligence, it does give you a thorough picture of why officials are concerned, even though the information they have at this time remains uncorroborated -- Paula.

ZAHN: Kelli Arena thanks for the update. We are going to dig more deeply into this with counterterrorism expert Edward Turzanski. He joins us from Philadelphia tonight. Welcome, sir.

EDWARD TURZANSKI, COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: Thank you.

ZAHN: So, how vulnerable do you think or bus system is and our train system?

TURZANSKI: Paula, if you look at what happened in Spain, consider they had 13 satchels left on those tracks which caused all of that damage. Look at the sheer size of the United States, consider the number of rail tresles, the miles we have that are devoted not only to rail but also to subway buses. This is a very large soft target in that respect, Madrid could happen here theoretically.

ZAHN: So how do you go about searching the kind of luggage, the volume of luggage that we see on these buses and on these trains?

TURZANSKI: Wel, there's the problem. You've put your finger on it. It's not just searching all of the luggage, but also taking away all of those places where you can plant an IED. And right now what you see is trash receptacles, anything that, in which something could be stored is being taken away, and if we get to the point where we think we're going to check everyone's bag, I would suggest that can't happened.

So really, as Kelli's piece pointed out, this was not a warning aimed at the public, this was aimed at all of those people who have responsibility for operational security to get them to start thinking of all the ways in which they can either screen passengers or luggage, or just provide a greater security presence. That, in and of itself, will add some confidence to the public and also make it more difficult for the placement of these IEDs.

ZAHN: You just used that dreaded acronym, IED, which is improvised explosive devices. As Kelli talked about some of the things that might be used: ammonium nitrate, potential, diesel fuel. How much stuff do you need to cause big damage?

TURZANSKI: You don't need a whole lot of it, and the problem is it's so readily available. That's why they're talking about ammonium nitrate. It's very easy to procure. A lot of the explosives that had been used in Madrid and throughout Europe are the sorts of things that people can acquire over time with very little difficulty.

That's precisely the problem. This is not a very sophisticated system in terms of building these bombs. And because -- and what tends to happen too, Paula, is that from place to place terrorists will use those materials which are most readily available, which is why it's difficult to try to fight this in a defensive posture.

And this administration, the Bush administration, have decided to fight terrorism in a very proactive way, go at it at its source, not to play defense, because the homeland is just too big to secure, and it's too easy to get these materials to build these bombs.

ZAHN: Well, you scared the heck out of me tonight. I'm sure as other members of our audience as well, but very important to talk about the consequences of this latest warning. Thanks.

Moving on to what happened in Iraq today, Muslim clerics condemned the mutilation of the bodies of four Americans killed in Fallujah. Now, that attack and the aftermath caught on videotape showed the world the extreme danger that Americans face in that city. Among those who know that firsthand, members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, who just days ago returned home after serving in Fallujah. David Mattingly talked with some of them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His limp is so slight it's hard to notice, but it is the only outward sign that Sgt. Chris Drolette carries two pieces of shrapnel in his left leg, painful reminders of his hazardous duties in the Iraqi town of Fallujah.

SGT.CHRIS DROLETTE, U.S. ARMY, 82ND AIRBORNE: Long periods of boredom followed by short periods of terror.

MATTINGLY: Drolette and others from the Army's 82nd Airborne, just returned home from Fallujah only to find the dangers they left behind again making headlines.

STAFF SGT. JOHN YOUNG, U.S. ARMY 82ND AIRBORNE: You hate that another person had to die like that, you know, just trying to do their job.

MATTINGLY: The soldiers describe Fallujah as a place so dangerous that convoys drive through town at breakneck speeds. You never venture out except in large groups, and you never, never close your eyes.

PFC. TOBY WHITNEY, U.S. ARMY 82ND AIRBORNE: You're looking at the ground, you're looking at the buildings, you're looking for people that just make you feel uncomfortable.

MATTINGLY: Contact with Iraqi civilians is frequent, and soldiers say almost always pleasant, but the sporadic and unpredictable attacks made true friendships difficult and unwise.

(on camera): Do you know who to trust while you're there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You trust the ones wearing American uniforms.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): But despite the unrelenting tension, these photographs are among the memories they bring home: waving children, busy markets, and lines at local gas stations, signs of a nation struggling to recover.

(voice-over): From what they could see, soldiers from North Carolina's Ft. Bragg say that life for Iraqis in Fallujah seems to be getting better. The same could not be said, however, for American troops still there. Despite their best efforts, soldiers returning home say that for American soldiers, Fallujah is not getting any safer.

(voice-over): Three of these soldiers are combat medics. In their line of work, they say Fallujah remains the busiest place in Iraq.

WHITNEY: The unknown, you just kind of become -- you expect the unexpected. You just wait for something to happen.

MATTINGLY: And the months of stress have taken a toll. Loud noises, even thunder, takes them back to the front lines.

DROLETTE: I'd hear thunder and I can feel the butterflies and the adrenalin start happening.

MATTINGLY: The future of Fallujah will now be in the hands of U.S. Marines taking over the mission as the Army rotates out. They departing soldiers leave with this simple advice: never let down your guard. David Mattingly, CNN, Ft. Bragg North Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And a new film with a peculiar idea. What if you could erase some of your memories? You're going to meet a doctor who says that could happen.

And an order of nuns dedicated to serving the poor meet one of most famous men in film, although not all of them realize it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here at Lakuna (ph) we have a safe technic for the focused erasure of troubling memories.

JIM CARREY, ACTOR: Is there any risk of brain damage?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Technically the procedure it is brain damage, but it's on par with a night of heavy drinking, nothing you'll miss.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Well, in Jim Carey's new movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," two ex-lovers go through a procedure to erase each other form their memories. It may sound like pure fiction, but the ability to wipe out a painful memory may not be all that far away. Researchers at Harvard Medical School are developing a drug treatment to actually remove traumatic thoughts from a person's mind. Of course, with this research comes a lot of ethical questions. And to debate this tonight, we are joined by Dr. Roger Pittman, a psychiatrist and director of the research at Harvard, and David Magnus, a bioethicist at Stanford. Welcome to you both.

So Dr. Pittman, obviously the goal is to try to wipe out just traumatic thoughts in a person's mind. Do you really think that is possible?

DR. ROGER PITTMAN, PSYCHIATRIC PROFESSOR, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: Well, I think we need to be clear about what the technology does and doesn't do. We actually are not talking about changing or erasing any memories that have already been formed. We are talking about influencing the strength of new memories.

The way we do that is by affecting a hormone in the medulla which is an area of the brain involved in boosting memory, and I'll bet you can remember pretty clearly where you were on September 11, 2001 at 9:00 in the morning, but I'll bet you don't remember very well where you were on September 10th, 2001, at 9:00 in the morning.

The reason is that event that happened on September 11 was the kind of event that would have gotten your stress hormones and adrenalin flowing and would have activated the medulla to boost the strength of that memory. In the psychiatry order that we call post- traumatic stress disorder, we think that memory-boosting mechanism has gone too far and creates memories that are very strong, very long- lasting, and very distressing, and these memories have such a command of a person's attention that it's difficult for them to adjust to what's going on in their life, because they're always thinking about the past, having bad dreams about it, and we're trying to reduce that boosting.

ZAHN: So, david, do you have a problem with what the doctor is talking about here?

DAVID MAGNUS, CTR. FOR BIOMEDICAL ETHICS, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: I think we have to be very careful. Obviously memory is pretty essential and central to who we are. One of the big worries I have about this technology is we're moving forward and learning a lot more about how the brain works and how to apply this technology is that we don't have any adequate controls to make sure it stays restricted to a very narrow usage. In fact, anybody watching this TV show and reading about this because this is an FDA-approved drug, could go ahead and apply this tomorrow. They could get a prescription and go ahead and take beta blockers for all kinds of reasons, some of which are far beyond the reasons in the scope of the research that would be justified.

ZAHN: But is there anything ethically wrong with someone wanting to get rid of what is left of post-traumatic stress disorder?

MAGNUS: I think the worry isn't about the fact there's a very narrow case where it could be utilized. The worry is at the present time there's nothing to guarantee it will be restricted that way. Once we go down this road, starting to erase some of our memories, where do we stop? Will we erase unpleasant memories? Will this turn into a morning-after pill, where if we're unhappy about what we did the night before, we'll start to take pills to try and forget the embarrassment or regretful actions we have taken?

ZAHN: So, Dr. Pittman, what about the concerns that some people might ultimately look at this as a crutch and use it as a quick fix for anything that's driving them a little crazy.

PITTMAN: I think the flip side of that point is that if we don't go down this road, then we're going to leave a certain number of people stranded in post-traumatic stress disorder whom we might have been able to prevent from getting it.

ZAHN: But are you worried about the potential abuse of the pill once it becomes available?

PITTMAN: I think it's possibly a concern. I have to point out, however, that morphine and other narcotics are also capable of being abused, but just because they're capable of being abused in the wrong setting doesn't mean we outlaw them completely and prevent people who are in severe pain from cancer or other medical conditions...

MAGNUS: But it's past time when we develop new technologies as we move forward and increase our power and recognize the potential for the ways in which these things can be abused, it's past time for us to put procedures in place to make sure those things aren't abused. I think it's irresponsible to develop new technologies which we know are likely to be abused and throw up our hands and say we hope it will be restricted to positive use. There are things we can do to help improve that.

ZAHN: You both have raised interesting issues here. Thank you both.

Moving along, nuns who lead a sheltered life see Mel Gibson's movie and get a whole lot more than they expected.

And "People" magazine passes a major milestone. From Audrey to Britney. 30 years of celebrity.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The Little Sisters of the Poor are still talking about the very big surprise they got. The Sisters operate a senior citizens home in Louisville, Kentucky, and had arranged a screening of the film, "The Passion of the Christ" for its residents. On the day of the showing, this past Wednesday, they had an unexpected visitor, Mel Gibson. And Sister Gonzague, the home's administrator joins us now. Welcome. Good to see you.

SISTER GONZAGUE, LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: Is it true you had no idea who Mel Gibson was?

GONZAGUE: I hate to say it, but it is true. I knew he was the producer of the movie, but we don't go to movies or watch the TV much, so one of the employees said to me, that's Mel Gibson and I said, who? And she said Mel Gibson. I recognized the name, so I went right over to him, I took his hand and I said, are you Mel Gibson? And he said, yes, I am. And I said, well, congratulation on doing a great movie. And so I started talking to him and I said, Mel, how did you get to be a producer? Were you an actor or something? It was really funny, but I didn't know he was an actor, and he said to me, well, Sister, I guess you can say I'm a good liar.

ZAHN: So you didn't hurt his feeling by not having seen any of the films he's made gazillions of dollars off of.

GONZAGUE: No, uh-uh. He was such a nice, approachable person. I mean, I didn't -- he didn't act like he was a big shot or an actor, I don't know, and I just didn't feel intimidated. He was just real friendly.

ZAHN: So what was the reaction of the other sisters who actually knew who Mel Gibson was and might have seen a movie or two?

GONZAGUE: They were in awe. I know our mother superior was at the front door and she recognized him as soon as he walked in and she went, oh, Mel Gibson and our receptionist got all excited and she started saying, oh, it's Mel Gibson and they went over and shook his hand and everything.

ZAHN: I understand he also left the convent leaving you a surprise. What did he do for all of you?

GONZAGUE: Oh, yes, he left us a donation. We were very happy, because we do -- we do collecting, that's how we sustain our work. We have homes for the elderly around the world, and we depend very much on God's providence to help us, and the goodness of people. So we had explained this to him, and after he had eaten his lunch he got his check out of his pocket, just a little folded up check and started writing the check. I was looking over his shoulder, you know, and I saw what he was writing it for, then he presented it to us, and we were very grateful for it.

ZAHN: We appreciate your sharing your story with us tonight, and we applaud the very important work that you do.

GONZAGUE: Oh, thank you.

ZAHN: With all the other sisters there.

GONZAGUE: Thank you.

ZAHN: I'm sure Mel Gibson will probably be sending her some DVDs.

Not just pretty women graced the pages of "People" over the years, we're going to look back on 30 years of "People" magazine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: "People" magazine celebrating 30 years of taking us inside the lives of the famous and the infamous. The first issue, debuted on March 4, 1974 with Mia Farrow on the cover, at a bargain price of, get this, 35 cents.

Well, now 36 million readers pick up a copy every week to get their fix of the world's most fascinating people. "People" magazine, in the interest of full disclosure, happens to be a part of Time Warner, the parent of CNN. And earlier this week, I sat down and spoke with "People's" managing editor Martha Nelson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Jessica Simpson lands this cover. What's the deal? She's not even 30.

MARTHA NELSON, "PEOPLE": She's much younger than 30, but is having a white-hot moment right now. She's really the funny girl of 2004, and she reflects what people is all about, which is what's happening this week, what's hot right now.

ZAHN: We're going to take a look now, at the folks who have graced the most covers, at that would be Princess Diana, of course.

NELSON: Princess Diana is our ultimate cover girl.

ZAHN: So 85 covers, how many alone?

NELSON: 51 times she was on the cover as a solo cover. And some of our best-selling issues of all time as well.

ZAHN: And you obviously brought her back, because she sold copies of your magazine. What was the allure of that story when she was alive and of course after her death.

NELSON: She had it all. She had beauty, she had gorgeous little children, she had a prince, she fulfilled the fantasy, right? She married the prince, and then all the intrigue started, and she had the eating disorders, the betrayal, the questions of infidelity. Did her husband love her? And then, there was that period when she started doing charity work, so you got to see this beatific side of her, and ending, of course, in the terrible tragedy of her death. That is about as dramatic as a story gets.

ZAHN: Julia Roberts takes second place for the most covers landed.

NELSON: Julia has been a great story for "People" magazine. She's had a lot of great romances, she's had a lot of great movies, and she has the most fabulous smile in the entire world.

ZAHN: Yes, it's a showstopper.

NELSON: Yes.

ZAHN: Then there's Michael Jackson in third place with 14 "People" covers.

NELSON: Michael Jackson, another person whose life has been just full of controversy. You know, much, much beloved. I mean, just huge when he was younger, you know, so appealing, so loveable, everybody wanted to moonwalk, you know, he knocked us out. And then that strange metamorphosis and the slide to the place that we find today. Again, it's drama. This is as strange and dramatic as people can get.

ZAHN: What has been the best-selling cover of all time?

NELSON: You probably think I'm going to say a celebrity, but in fact, it was our 9/11 cover. That was the cover that sold over 6 million copies of "People" magazine. We delivered 6 millions copies to readers, a huge audience on that. Because it was a monumental event and so many people wanted to know the story of the people behind the news.

ZAHN: I still have a copy of that. I was very moved, because the stories were extraordinary.

NELSON: That was a personal best for the People" magazine staff in terms of reporting. It happened at 8:50 on a Tuesday morning, and the entire -- we close on Tuesday, so the magazine was ripped apart, completely reconfigured, everything thrown out the door, and within less than 24 hours we were on press with an entire issue devoted to that subject.

ZAHN: What's the most controversial cover you've done?

NELSON: The most -- one of "People's" most controversial covers was eight years ago, a cover called Hollywood blackout. and people broke the silence about racism in Hollywood. And it wasn't necessarily the most popular cover in the entertainment industry, but I think that it really helped to shake up the industry and when, you know, two years ago when Denzel Washington and Halle Berry both won the Academy Award, for acting it was really kind of a wonderful moment for anybody who had worked on that cover.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: 30 years. Happy birthday, "People."

And we want to thank you all for being with us tonight. Appreciate you dropping by. Well will be back same time, same place Monday night. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.

A friendly little reminder now that you do lose an hour of sleep this weekend. Remember, set your clocks, you can set them early, but 2:00 am, Sunday morning is the appointed time.

Thanks again for joining us. Have a good weekend.

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


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