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Arrest Warrant Issued for al-Sadr; Marines Seal Off Fallujah

Aired April 5, 2004 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Dramatic developments in Iraq, an arrest warrant issued for a major Muslim cleric, the charge murder, the impact potentially explosive.

Marines seal off Fallujah but will the U.S. military send thousands more troops to Iraq?

Al Qaeda threatens in inferno in Spain. Spanish police try to crack down on terror.

The mother who stoned her sons to death is acquitted. What happens to her now? We'll talk with her attorney.

And, the power of forgiveness, could you forgive the unforgivable? Meet some parents who have reconciled with their children's killers.


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

COOPER: And welcome to 360.

Uprisings, a lockdown and a murder warrant, that is what is happening in Iraq today. Right now, no roads lead to Fallujah and its residents are being told to stay home.

U.S. Marines have sealed off the Iraqi city, imposed a curfew in a new front dubbed Operation Vigilant Resolve, its aim find and punish those responsible for the brutal deaths of four American contract workers last week.

And, in Baghdad, U.S. officials say an Iraqi judge has issued an arrest warrant for this man, Moqtada al-Sadr, in connection with the murder of a rival cleric last year. Coalition officials blame Sadr for some of the attacks on U.S. and allied troops.

Senior International Correspondent Walter Rodgers is in Baghdad with the latest.


WALTER RODGERS, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These Iraqis are followers of the fiery Muslim Sheikh Moqtada al-Sadr, the man the United States says is behind an armed Shiite revolt against coalition forces over the weekend.

In Baghdad alone, Sadr's outlawed militia killed eight American soldiers Sunday. The United States is now pressing an outstanding arrest warrant for their leader.

BRIG. GEN. MARK KIMMITT, COALITION SPOKESMAN: He is free to surrender. He is free to walk into any police station. He will be treated the same way every other alleged criminal in the Iraqi justice system is treated.

RODGERS: Branded an outlaw by the United States, Sadr is violently anti-American and pro-Iranian. He's promised an intifada against the occupation here. Most of his victims so far, however, are Iraqis, killed in violence spawned by his militia filling local morgues.

Sunday's violence spilled into Monday in violence ridden Shiite neighborhoods that fired at helicopters which in turn fired back sending smoke columns above Baghdad. Because this revolt was spawned by radical Shiites who have heretofore been quiet, a general worried allowed.

BRIG. GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, CMDR. 1ST ARMORED DIVISION: If it gains some kind of popular sympathy that eventually becomes popular support, then we have a challenge on our hands.

RODGERS: In Fallujah, the epicenter of violence with Sunni Muslims, U.S. Marines reestablished control hunting those who ambushed and killed four American civilians a week ago this in an ongoing operation.


COOPER: Walter Rodgers joins us now. Walter, has there been any attempt by supporters of Sadr to in any way link up with some of the Sunni extremists?

RODGERS: Nothing that we can see on the surface, Anderson, but this is the great danger. Ever since British colonial days, the Shiites and the Sunnis have been at each other's throats.

The great fear now is that by making Moqtada al-Sadr an object of American enmity, as President Bush did by saying that he is an obstacle to democracy here, this could become a lightning rod, something that galvanizes the two Sunnis and Shiites for the first time in 100 years.

If that happens, remember, this is the part of the world where they say my enemy's enemy is my friend and that's the great danger here, a unity between Shia and Sunni radicals -- Anderson.

COOPER: A great danger indeed. All right, Walter Rodgers thanks. Despite the violence, President Bush says the U.S. will stick to its plan to hand over sovereignty to an Iraqi government on June 30, less than three months from now.

White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux has more.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Bush emerged from a meeting with the family of a slain American soldier who served in Iraq to express his resolve to Americans and Iraqis.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will stay the course. The message to the Iraqi citizens is they don't have to fear that America will turn and run.

MALVEAUX: The president singled out the radical Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr as the man responsible for the recent carnage.

BUSH: Al-Sadr, this is one person who is deciding that rather than allow democracy to flourish he's going to exercise force. We just can't let it stand.

MALVEAUX: Mr. Bush insists the deadline for the U.S. and its partners to return power to the Iraqi people is firm.

BUSH: The intention is to make sure the deadline remains the same. I believe we can transfer authority by June 30th.

MALVEAUX: Top Republicans have suggested that the administration consider delaying the deadline due to the dangerous conditions on the ground. Some political analysts believe the power transfer relies more on having a workable governing body in place.

MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: The big issue is can we find a new kind of governing body or an expanded version of the Iraqi Governing Council that already exists and create it by June 30? If we can do that, we should still transfer sovereignty at that time. If we can't, we'll have to postpone as the date approaches.

MALVEAUX (on camera): The latest violence in Iraq overshadowed a day when the president was talking about jobs and threw out the first pitch for America's favorite pastime. But as the president warns as the days draw near to the deadline for transferring power to the Iraqi people it is likely there will be more days like this.

Suzanne Malveaux CNN, St. Louis, Missouri.


COOPER: Well, with even President Bush predicting more violence in Iraq, it shouldn't be a surprise that planners at the Pentagon are working overtime. General John Abizaid, the commander of coalition forces in Iraq, has asked them to prepare for sending more troops in country. This does not mean the troops are going but Abizaid wants information on what troops are available and exactly where they are right now in case the situation in Iraq worsens. Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre is going to have more on this latest development later on, on the program.

In Spain, new terrorist threats, al Qaeda or a group connected to it is sending the people of Spain a stark message, be very afraid.

Al Goodman reports from Madrid.


AL GOODMAN, CNN MADRID BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): This was supposed to be a relaxing Easter week holiday but Spain remains a nation under threat from Islamic terrorism.

This made public Monday, a letter faxed to Spanish newspaper ABC from an Islamic group linked to al Qaeda. It vows to turn Spain into an inferno unless Spanish troops are withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan. Its delivery comes as police press their hunt for suspects in the March 11 Madrid commuter train attacks that killed 190 people.

Police closed in on terror suspects in a Madrid suburb on Saturday but they blew themselves up as police raided the apartment. Authorities believe five suspects died, including the coordinator of the March attacks but others believed linked to the bombings remain at large.

ANGEL ACEBES, SPANISH INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): The investigation will focus on the arrest of some who might have escaped another two or three people, as well as collaborators and international terrorist connections that might exist.

GOODMAN: Spain, which for years has faced militant Basque violence, is still trying to come to grips with the Islamic terrorism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're definitely facing a new brand of terrorism, a king of terrorism that we didn't really know much about.

GOODMAN: Officials are boosting security along train tracks, at train and bus stations and even busy shopping malls and a nervous Europe seems to be taking note of Spain's dilemma.

(on camera): The stakes could not be higher. If, in fact, al Qaeda wants western democracies to have constant anxiety, as one newspaper editorial here suggest, then for now it seems to have Spain very much on edge.

Al Goodman, CNN, Madrid.


COOPER: Well, Al mentioned al Qaeda's demand that Spain pull out its troops from Iraq. Here's a quick news note for you on how many are actually there. Spain has 1,300 military personnel in Iraq. Three other countries besides the U.S. have more. The U.K. has 11,000, Italy, 2,700 and the Ukraine 2,000. The country with the fewest troops is Moldova with just 24.

Turning now to the manslaughter trial of former NBA star Jayson Williams, disputed new evidence has emerged causing a week's delay in the trial and it could even mean a mistrial.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick has details.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lawyers defending Jayson Williams say the failure by prosecutors to turn over key photos and notes has tainted the evidence and the jury.

BILLY MARTIN, WILLIAMS' ATTORNEY: Your Honor, we do not know if it's possible at all to go back and unscramble the egg that's been given to this jury with the untrue, false and misleading testimony.

FEYERICK: During the trial, prosecutors maintained the shotgun that killed limo driver Gus Christofi was inspected by two people, a detective working for them and a weapons expert working for Williams but what prosecutors failed to reveal until the trial was almost over was that a third person helping them also inspected the Browning citori.

A gun expert from Browning removed the wooden handle and inspected the shotgun's internal mechanism. No one from Williams' legal team was present during the inspection and photos and notes were not given to defense lawyers until after they'd rested their case. The lead prosecutor denies misconduct.

STEVEN LEMBER, PROSECUTOR: It was unintentional. There was no effort on the part of the state to hide anything from the defense.

FEYERICK: One of the prosecution's own witnesses had testified taking the gun apart would alter crucial evidence, a comment that could now come back to haunt prosecutors if the judge allows the defense to call back witnesses.

RICHARD DIENST, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Following through with his previous statements that disassembly of the weapon would render all other expert examinations useless that's powerful cross-examination.

FEYERICK (on camera): Williams' lawyers have called in a legal expert to help them decide what remedy they'll seek. Their choices include asking the judge to let them reopen the case, declare a mistrial, or dismiss the indictment all together.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, we are following a number of developing stories right now "Cross Country." Let's take a look for you. In New York, Clinton death threat, he is already behind bars for bank robbery but today a man by the name of Edward Falvi (ph) drew an additional 18-month federal prison sentence for threatening to kill Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Phoenix, Arizona, no more jail for Diana Ross, a judge ruled today that the singer had fulfilled the terms of her two-day sentence for drunk driving. Last month that judge was threatening to send Ross back behind bars for leaving jail three times and gaining final release one hour early.

Columbus, Ohio, highway shooting suspect, this man, defense attorneys are going through a pile of psychiatric records for him connected to the man accused of using a stretch of interstate as his own personal shooting gallery. Charles McCoy, Jr. pleaded innocent to murder and other charges today. One of about two dozen Columbus area highway shootings killed a 62-year-old woman.

Texas and New Mexico hit by spring flooding, a lot of rain there. Rain still falling on parts of the southwest swamped by weekend floods already. The high waters drove dozens from their homes, closed roads and caused a highway bridge to collapse.

In Washington, the little airline that could, in its first year carrying enough passengers to be ranked, jetBlue wins a rating for highest quality treatment of U.S. passengers in 2003.

Researchers using Transportation Department stats ranked three other discount airlines second, third, and fourth. They are Alaska, Southwest and America West. That is a quick look at stories "Cross Country" for you tonight.

Hit and run confession, a schoolteacher comes clean after killing two brothers, a dramatic story we'll tell you about.

Also, not guilty by reason of insanity, this woman who stoned her two sons to death gets off the hook for murder. I'm going to talk to her lawyer about whether or not justice was really served.

Also tonight, we begin our special series "The Power of Forgiveness." Tonight, can you forgive the unforgivable, some remarkable stories of people who have. You'll meet them.

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


COOPER: Well, people in Tampa, Florida were shocked last week by a hit-and-run accident that killed two children, injured two others but there was another surprising development today when a young woman came forward revealing her role in the tragedy.

CNN's Susan Candiotti reports.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Five days after a fatal hit-and-run, Jennifer Porter sat before cameras, her eyes fixed on a brief written statement and apologized to the victims' mother.

PORTER: I wish there was more that I could say to ease your pain. I know there is nothing I can do to bring your two precious sons back, Bryant and Deronte (ph).

CANDIOTTI: As her family watched, Porter and her attorney chose their words carefully. Neither technically acknowledged she was the driver of a car that struck and killed two of four young brothers who were crossing a Tampa street last Wednesday. Neither would discuss what happened or why the 28-year-old grade school dance teacher left the scene without stopping.

BARRY COHEN, PORTER'S ATTORNEY: No one knows how he or she will react in the face of what Jennifer was faced with, frightened beyond imagination.

CANDIOTTI: At a weekend vigil, victims Bryant Wilkins, 13, and his 3-year-old brother Deronte were remembered. Their 8-year-old sister, who has spoken with police and 2-year-old brother survived their injuries. Police say they're still looking for a van with possible witnesses. They say another car might also be involved in the hit-and-run.

Porter's family contacted the lawyer two days after the accident and he called police. Before Porter came forward, the victims' mother spoke publicly.

MALISSA WILKINS, VICTIMS' MOTHER: Whoever hit my baby I know you're probably scared and I hold no hatred for nobody.


CANDIOTTI: Police have not yet made any arrest. They say they are still collecting evidence from Porter's car and interviewing witnesses. Now, Porter's attorney says she is cooperating with police but won't elaborate how. So far he says he is not allowing her to speak with authorities because, as he puts it, she's dealing with some tough issues -- Anderson.

COOPER: Such a sad story, all right. Susan Candiotti thanks.

We're tracking a number of developing stories around the globe right now. Let's check the "Up Link."

Ottawa, Canada, bird flu, Canada says it is going to slaughter some 19 million birds, 19 million. In British Columbia it's a halt to spread a bird flu. (Unintelligible) influenza has been diagnosed on 18 poultry farms in an area east of Vancouver. So far none of the strains found cause serious illnesses in humans. The farmers may also get a compensation package from the government. Northern Mexico now, deadly flooding from bad to worse, a state of emergency is in effect after flooding killed at least 25 people, left 60 others missing so that death toll could rise. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Right now there's no power, no gas or running water. Even though the rain stopped more thunderstorms are in the forecast.

Moscow, Russia spy case, a Russian researcher was convicted of espionage today. He was jailed on charges of selling nuclear submarine and missile information to a British company. Investigators say the company is a front for the CIA. The man strongly denies the accusations.

And in parts -- I should say in Paris, in Paris celebrating a crucial alliance, Britain's Queen Elizabeth pulled into Paris today on the Eurostar train. She's the one in the hat there. It's a highly symbolic trip to celebrate 100 years of cordial friendship.

The British and French have always enjoyed a sort of love/hate relationship say some but they signed an agreement on April 8, 1904 which ended colonial rivalries between the two, and that is a look at tonight's "Up Link."

Can you forgive the unforgivable? We're going to meet two parents who are making peace with their child's killers, part of our weeklong series, "The Power of Forgiveness," that ahead.

Also tonight, worst case scenario, why the Pentagon may add more U.S. troops in Iraq.

And a little later on, cashing in on Kurt Cobain, conspiracy theories and accusations of murder, there's a new book that claims to tell all but does it, that ahead.


COOPER: Well today Christians and Jews around the world are marking the start of Holy Week and Passover. It is a fitting time, we thought, to bring you a special series on "The Power of Forgiveness."

Tonight a question can you forgive the unforgivable? If someone murdered your daughter or son, your wife or husband would you be willing to forgive them? Not a hypothetical question for the families you are about to meet.

In a moment why a man who killed -- whose daughter was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing has forgiven Timothy McVeigh but first a remarkable story of a woman who has not only forgiven her daughter's killers, she now works with them.


COOPER (voice-over): Californian Amy Biehl was a Fulbright scholar working in South Africa. Ten years ago on the eve of the nation's first multiracial elections she was stabbed and stoned to death. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You had no mercy in your heart that day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took the knife and stabbed her once in front on her left hand side.

COOPER: The four teens convicted of Amy's murder served just four and a half years in prison. They were granted amnesty by South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I apologize sincerely to Amy Biehl's parents, family and friends and I ask their forgiveness.

COOPER: Many parents would be outraged that their child's killers were set free but Linda Biehl saw her daughter Amy's killers as products of apartheid and worthy of forgiveness.

LINDA BIEHL, DAUGHTER MURDERED: You can forgive and say I forgive you and walk away and then, you know, kind of go on with your own life. But to reconcile not just with the perpetrators but with the situation that takes work and that in many ways is more painful at first than forgiving but once you do that things become easier.

COOPER: Linda created the Amy Biehl Foundation, which seeks to improve life for South Africa's youth. Remarkably, she's not only forgiven her daughter's killers, she's actually hired two of them to work with her foundation.

BIEHL: To be a part of their lives and to see their growth as human beings, I think Amy would be very proud of that and I think she would say, Mom, that's what this whole thing is really about.


COOPER: That's a remarkable story.

Our next guest, Bud Welch, lost his 23-year-old daughter Julie in the Oklahoma City bombing. Timothy McVeigh, of course, was executed for the crime. It has taken him several years but Bud Welch says he has found it in his heart to forgive McVeigh. He actively campaigned against his execution.

I asked Welch when he first learned of his daughter's death what his initial feelings were toward those responsible.


BOB WELCH, DAUGHTER DIED IN OKC BOMBING: Well, actually it was vengeance and Julie's body was found on Saturday. The bombing had been on Wednesday, three days earlier and by the time her body was found, Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols had already been arrested and in the process of being charged. And, at that point, I frankly didn't even want a trial for either one of them. I simply wanted them fried. That was the retribution that I was living with.

COOPER: You wanted to kill Timothy McVeigh yourself. WELCH: Absolutely, yes, well it was just a waste of time and that's all we needed to do just kill the two of them. And, I still struggled for almost a year beyond that with the death penalty for both of them and I was finally able to get through that process about ten or eleven months after her death.

COOPER: How long was it before you actually decided to forgive Timothy McVeigh?

WELCH: Well, the forgiveness process that took another five that took about five to five and a half years.

COOPER: Five, five and a half years, I mean it's a long process. Can you take us through it a little bit? I mean how do you go through the steps to the place where you can actually forgive somebody who is responsible for the death of your daughter?

WELCH: Well, I think the most important thing is time and that's what I've told many people from the World Trade Center that I have met and that's the most important thing you have is just give yourself time. And what I discovered when I was finally able to really forgive is I was releasing myself. Forgiveness is all about kind of being selfish for yourself.

COOPER: How so?

WELCH: I think somehow during that period of time until you've forgiven, you're living somewhat with some guilt and that's hard to explain unless you've been through it. And then once I was able to forgive I no longer carried any guilt of any kind.

COOPER: And the decision to forgive, I mean is it something that happens in your head, is it a process, something that goes through your heart?

WELCH: Yes. It's a process. It's certainly not an event. And I think one step that helped me tremendously was I met Tim's father, Bill McVeigh in September of 1998, three and a half years after the bombing and I think after meeting Bill and his youngest sister Jennifer, I think that also helped me in the forgiving process.

COOPER: When you saw a picture of Timothy McVeigh you didn't feel hatred?

WELCH: No. I don't feel hatred toward him anymore. I certainly did at one point but I no longer feel that hatred and I think that's part of releasing of yourself because when you're carrying vengeance around with you you're only harming yourself not anyone else.

COOPER: Prior to an event like this did you ever think that you would be capable of such a huge act of forgiveness?

WELCH: Well, no because it's something you really don't ever think of. When Julie was killed there was a tremendous amount of that retribution there with her death and after being able to struggle with this for several years, the forgiveness part of it, it just makes you feel so much better. You know when your mom and your dad die, you go to the hilltop and you bury them and when your children die you bury them in your heart and it's forever.

COOPER: Bud, I appreciate you being on the program tonight talking about forgiveness and talking about Julie. Thank you very much.

WELCH: Thanks.


COOPER: Well, our weeklong series on "The Power of Forgiveness" continues tomorrow night with the healing power of forgiveness. We're going to talk to one woman who says forgiveness literally saved her life.

On Wednesday, should you pardon a cheating heart? One couple shares their story of infidelity, hurt and eventually forgiveness.

Thursday, overcoming the pain of sexual abuse, is it always a good idea to forgive? Some say not.

And then on Friday, can you ever truly forgive yourself, the story of one woman who sent an innocent man to jail and to this day is consumed by guilt.


COOPER (voice-over): The mother who stoned her sons to death is acquitted. What happens to her now?

And fights, feelings, friendships, you're fired. All you need to know about this week's reality TV.

360 continues.


COOPER: In the next half hour here on 360, dramatic developments in Iraq. Who is the cleric the U.S. wants to arrest? All you need to know. Plus, planning for a worst case scenario at the Pentagon. Why more U.S. troops could be headed to Iraq. Now let's check our top stories in the reset.

President Bush wants to overhaul the nation's federal jobs training programs. In a speech in Charlotte, North Carolina, he proposed doubling enrollment to 400,000, giving states more control and requiring proof of results.

John Kerry is slamming Bush on spending, accusing the president of pushing $6 trillion in new spending that he failed to fund. A Bush campaign official says Kerry is projecting his own weaknesses on to the president.

Bank of America says it will cut more than 12,000 jobs as part of its merger with Fleet Boston Financial. The company says less than a third will come from attrition. Combined entity will be the country's third largest bank.

A joint U.S.-Canadian report is out on the massive blackout that plunged millions of people in both countries into darkness. It says utilities didn't understand their own systems and ignored voluntary safeguards and procedures. The report recommends they be made mandatory.

This year's Pulitzer Prizes are out. The "L.A. Times" is the big winner. It got five awards including breaking news and national reporting. Criticism, editorial writing and feature photography.

And that is vice president Cheney throwing out first pitch at Cincinnati's great American ballpark where the Reds took on the Cubs. It was a strike.

That's a quick look at the reset. After months of insisting no additional U.S. troops are needed to bring security to Iraq CNN has learned today that the top U.S. commander in Iraq has asked for the option of more troops just in case. More from CNN's senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: A senior Pentagon official called the request for options by the top Iraqi commander prudent planning for a worst case scenario in the unanticipated event violence gets out of control. As of now, U.S commanders believe there are adequate forces on the ground and so far there is no request for additional troops.

MCINTYRE (voice-over): Because the U.S. is in the middle of a massive troop rotation, it actually has a temporary spike in the number of troops in Iraq. From 120,000 at the beginning of the year to roughly 134,000 today. Commanders routinely reposition troops within Iraq and sources say shifting troops already in the country to troubled spots is far more likely than deploying additional troops.

Still the contingency planning itself shows how concerned the Pentagon is about the problem in Baghdad and further south. Where up to now the Iraqi Shiite majority has been mostly cooperating with the U.S.-led occupation force.

Unlike in Fallujah, a Sunni stronghold where the U.S. is convinced of forceful crackdown by U.S. marines will break the anti- American resistance, neutralizing the firebrand Muslim cleric who sparked this weekend's violence requires more finesse. The U.S. wants to arrest Muqtada al-Sadr without inflaming Shiite passions or making him a martyr. U.S. insists he is a minor cleric on a power grab whose outlaw militia numbers less than 3,000.


MCINTYRE: A senior military official vowed today that al-Sadr would be arrested sooner rather than later and that his private army would be disbanded and disarmed. But the U.S. military is biding its time, it is believed al-Sadr is hiding in mosques and the last thing the U.S. military wants to do is be seen as desecrating a Shiite holy place -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon. Thanks, Jamie. Whether new troops are deployed or current forces repositioned, the task, no doubt, daunting. Putting down the existing insurgency by Saddam loyalists and preventing a new one, Shiites. Joining me live from Baghdad to talk about it, "TIME" magazine correspondent Brian Bennett. Good to have you on the program. How hard is it for the U.S. to go after this Muslim cleric, Sadr?

BRIAN BENNETT, CORRESPONDENT, "TIME": It is very delicate issue. They don't want to be seen as alienating the Shiite majority here in Iraq that they have been so careful to depend on for stability in the country. And yet they don't want to be seen as pandering to someone who is running their own armed militia.

COOPER: Jamie McIntyre was saying the U.S. calls this guy a minor cleric, he has a couple of diehard followers. I guess there's a danger in the U.S. focusing attention on him, elevating him in eyes of many Iraqis.

BENNETT: That certainly is a danger. Muqtada al-Sadr does not have the respect that his father enjoyed, who was a major cleric in the Shiite tradition. However over the last few months he has gained the respect of many Iraqis on the streets who don't have jobs and see problems in the U.S. handling of the occupation.

COOPER: Brian, you spent a lot of time in Iraq. Do you feel like things are changing on the ground in terms of the resistance to the U.S.? Does it feel like desperate elements are uniting, that there is some sort of ground swell at all or is that not the case?

BENNETT: There certainly is a feeling in the last couple of weeks that there are more people on the ground who are opposing the U.S. and questioning the U.S. policies during the occupation. Some GC -- some governing council officials have been warning the CPA, the U.S.-led coalition, that they ran the risk over the last few months of alienating not only the Sunnis, but some of the Shiites by following their current policies of trying to reach out to some of the Sunnis and include them in a political process.

They warned the CPA that reaching out to the Sunnis and talking of reconciliation with Baathists and trying to bring former Baathists into the political process could run the risk of alienating the Shiite majority and that is the events of the last week where you've seen Muqtada al-Sadr's militia take control cities like Najaf and cause unrest in northern Baghdad, in Basra, maybe a result of that discontent among Shiites.

COOPER: And that is a very big risk indeed. Brian Bennett from "TIME" magazine in Baghdad. Thanks, Brian.

So who is Muqtada al-Sadr? Here is a fast fact for you. He's the younger son of a prominent Shia Ayatollah who was murdered along with two other sons in 1999 likely by Saddam Hussein's regime. It is believed al-Sadr has about 600 hardcore followers, as many as 3,000 militia members at his command. He claims to be 30 years old but some think he may be as young as 25.

Moving on tonight, a mother who stoned her own kids to death. You've been following this story no doubt. Not guilty by reason of insanity. Her lawyer joins us live to explain how she got off after such a brutal crime, that is just ahead.

Also tonight, Kurt Cobain, ten years later, conspiracy theories and rumors of foul play. Did the Nirvana frontman really commit suicide? We'll take a closer look at the controversy.

And a little later, turning on and tuning out what the boob tube is doing to your toddler's attention span. You will want to see this report. Be right back.


COOPER: Tonight on "Justice Served," a Texas woman who beat two of her sons to death and maimed a third is headed for mental hospital, not prison. A jury Saturday found Deanna Laney not guilty by reason of insanity. In a moment we're going to talk with her attorney. But first, let's get you up to speed on the case. Here's Eric Philips.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find unanimously and by a preponderance of the evidence the defendant Deanna Laney not guilty by reason of insanity.

ERIC PHILIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An emotional Deanna Laney learned she would not be going to prison for killing two of her children. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity.


PHILIPS: Laney said in this videotaped deposition that god told her to kill her children. Mental health experts say she was suffering from severe delusions.

DR. PARK DIETZ, PSYCHIATRIST: She believed this was a trial by god and that after killing the children, they would be resurrected.

LANEY: That's what I was told to do and that's what I had to do.

PHILIPS: Prosecutors argued that Laney was not insane, that she acted normal in the hours before bashing her son's head with rocks, the stonings killed two of the boys, 8-year-old Joshua and 6-year-old Luke and permanently injured their 2-year-old brother Aaron.

MATT BINGHAM, SMITH COUNTY DA: That day started out like any other day in the life of the Laney family with her manifesting zero, none outward signs of trouble to anyone.

BUCK FILES, LANEY'S ATTORNEY: You cannot understand what is going through her mind and see how it looks to her because of this psychotic illness. PHILIPS: The jury agreed that Laney was insane at the time of the violent killings. She will be held at a maximum security state hospital until doctors say she is well enough to be released.

Eric Philips, CNN.


COOPER: A murder defendant is claiming innocence based on insanity is tough odds but Deanna Laney's attorneys made it. Laney's, lead council Buck Files joins us from Tyler, Texas. Buck, thanks for being on the program.

A jury decided that your client was insane at the time of the killings.

What about now?

Is she sane?

Does she know what she did?

FILES: She certainly knows what she did. She's been under psychiatric care since about 10 days after the event. She had a local psychiatrist seeing her twice a week for the first several months. Once a week there after. She's been taking anti-psychotic medication and also medication for depression. She certainly is aware of what she did and feels so badly about it.

COOPER: She is remorseful?

FILES: She is clearly remorseful. During the trial, the tape of part D who you just heard was played and in which she goes into great detail, you can see her sobbing, crying, having difficulty controlling her emotions.

COOPER: But, Buck, a lot of people say, look this was not justice this woman stoned to death, crushed the skulls of her two little kids, permanently brain damaged her baby Aaron and she not going to serve any time in jail.

What happens to her now?

FILES: We do have a civilized society and people who are not responsible for their acts are treated differently than those who are. She will be sent to a state psychiatric hospital. It will be a court order to get her there and she will never leave without another court order. We had four psychiatrists, three of whom are former presidents of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law who all agreed on the diagnosis. There was simply no issue that she was insane at the time she did this. So she's simply is treated differently.

COOPER: To get a court order to get her out of that hospital is possible. You just need to prove at some point down the road whether it's a couple of years from now or a even couple of months from now she's no longer a significant threat to others. Is that correct?

FILES: Anderson, what you need to look at is the statistics on this. The majority of people who wind up with a not guilty by reason of insanity spend significantly more time in a state hospital than they would have spent in a prison facility. So a couple of months or a couple of years is probably very unrealistic in her case. But once again no one can be certain.

COOPER: Laney's husband Keith stood by her throughout the trial. Testified that he still loves her.

Is that still the case now that the trial is over?

FILES: Cannot speak for Keith. I know that he has endured things which no man should have to endure. I know that during the trial he did testify and say that he still loved his wife. He has been a wonderful human being.

COOPER: And is there any hope for this little boy, Aaron?

FILES: The family has asked me not to comment other than to say that he is in better condition than he was at the time that the last physician saw him who testified in this trial.

COOPER: Will your client Deanna ever have contact with him?

FILES: That's speculative. She has had no contact with him because she's been in the jail and it is unlikely she would have any contact in the immediate future.

COOPER: Buck Files, lead counsel for Deanna Laney, I appreciate you being on the program, thank you.

FILES: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: All right.

Well, 10 years ago today the death of singer Kurt Cobain was ruled a suicide. Since then rumors he was murdered persisted. Now the authors of a new book "Love & Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain" say they have new evidence, that's what they say, the rockers death was not an accident.

But is there anything we really have not heard before?

That's what we're asking in tonight's edition of "Fresh Print."


COOPER (voice-over): It is a sad tale, the depressed drugged out rocker famous for his songs of alienation, frustration and anger escapes from rehab and ends his life. As with so manufacture our icons who die too young, the rumors and conspiracy theories never die. A decade after Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain's death, another new book. In it authors Max Wallace (ph) and Ian Halperin say they uncovered explosive new information, new documents, a leaked autopsy report and a taped conversation with Cobain's widow singer Courtney Love, more famous now for her public meltdowns than for her music. But Love's battle gossip that she was involved in her husband's death for 10 years, so what is new?

MAX WALLACE, CO-AUTHOR, "LOVE AND DEATH: THE MURDER OF KURT COBAIN": The most important new information in our book is that we have obtained the exclusive case tapes of Courtney Love's former private investigator. Also a lot of new forensic evidence that reveals that the suicide was a scientific impossibility.

COOPER: Private investigator Tom Grant taped those conversations with love only days before Cobain's death. So why not release them when fans were crying out for answers and before the case was stamped closed?

Why wait until there was a book deal on the table?

TOM GRANT, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Let me make it clear, first of all, everybody was aware of the tapes. This has had to become a long, slow process.

COOPER: A long, slow process?

Their sales pitch seems pretty fast and furious with countless TV appearances. They say they're not accusing Courtney Love of anything, not exactly.

IAN HALPERIN, CO-AUTHOR, "LOVE AND DEATH: THE MURDER OF KURT COBAIN": It is important that she comes forward and finally clarifies her role in how Kurt died.

COOPER: As is the case with the deaths of so many icons, the mystery here may be more fulfilling than the fact. But as long as there is more to be written and bucks to be made, the theories if not the truth will be out there.

Anderson Cooper, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well the authors of the new book and the private detective Tom Grant will be guests on PAULA ZAHN NOW coming up after 360.

Stay tuned for that.

Cartoons and Sesame Street. Endless hours in front of the boob. I know I spent them.

Find out what effect is it having on your toddler today?

And Lynne Cheney and a lesbian love story. The out of print book that's going to stay that way. That's the "Nth Degree" coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: So a link between TV and ADHD? A new study raises that possibility. Senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is at the CNN center with the latest -- Sanjay.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good evening, Anderson. No big surprise maybe for some that television could cause ADHD. Certainly the barrage of cartoons and fastpaced media that kids see on television nowadays could be a cause of that. You watch these cartoons, certainly kids do watch them a lot. Could this possibly be a link to ADHD?

A lot of people believed for a long time that ADHD is more than hereditary. It could be linked to environmental factors and television was high on the list that was studied. Interesting, a look at 1,200 kids. What they found first of all very interesting that 53 percent of children have a television in their bedroom. These are children. 10 percent of TV watchers had attention deficit at age 7. Kids that are age 1, at 1 year of age are watching 2.2 hours of television a day, and by age 3, 3.6 hours of television. Three remarkable numbers there so for a long time, people believed all this television watching could affect the plasticity of the brain, possibly leading to ADHD later on -- Anderson.

COOPER: It is pretty alarming. Do the studies also extend to educational television? Is there any harm in that?

GUPTA: They didn't make a distinction between good and bad television. There is a lot better television out there. Baby Einstein for baby, things like that, that people will see. But an interesting point that they made was that the fastpaced medium sometimes when kids are watching it, before they go to school, when they get to the classroom, it is a much slower pace medium and they have a hard time adapting to that. That's why television could be linked to that -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, interesting study. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you very much from Atlanta, tonight.

Let's hope little kids aren't watching reality TV. Tonight millions of reality show addicts will tune in to watch the average ending of "Average Joe." I personally don't really care which average woman the average guy pretends to fall in love with this time but, hey, a lot of folks do. It is hard keeping track of reality TV these days, if you ask me. So many bachelors and bachelorettes, firings and hirings. To help you out, we thought each week we compile a short reality TV guide. Keep you in the know kind of. Maybe reality TV, but it is all getting very unreal.


COOPER (voice-over): So this is average Joe, actually his name is Adam. Tonight he chooses his average Eve. He's already broken the hearts of Heather...

Jennifer. Jennifer S. Courtney. Tracy.

COOPER: And that was just last week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is somebody out there for me. Somebody has to realize what I'm about. I don't know who that is yet.

COOPER: What is it with reality shows and people kissing and canoodling in water? On "High School Reunion" they kiss in a bathtub. The "Average Joe" seems to favor hot tubs though even a golf course water trap will do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, get a room. Go get a room.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: C.J., come on. Let's go.

COOPER: On last week's reality shows there were plenty of fights. But there was also talking, endless talking about feelings and journeys and understanding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't feel like my father respects the way I've lived my life to this point.

COOPER: Oh, please. Thankfully some of the contestants even seem tired of all the talk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't try to be my friend sometimes and talk behind my back. Don't talk to me at all.

COOPER: Who is in and who is out? Well, there will be no more talking or singing for wanna-be Idol Amy (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not going to go away so...

COOPER: Last week the tribe spoke to Jerri (ph).


COOPER: And the Donald had a few choice words for good old boy Troy (ph).



COOPER: See now you're fully up to speed, you don't even need to watch them.

Coming up, the story of marital rape, whorehouses and murder. No, not the tabloids but a book by the vice president's wife? What? Why you won't be seeing it in bookstores anytime soon. We're taking novel ideas to the Nth degree. That's coming up.

Tomorrow, our series on forgiving continues. Does forgiveness have the power to heal? We'll talk to a believer and a skeptic both tomorrow on 360. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight taking a novel idea to the Nth degree. Writers don't normally ask their publishers not to reprint their own books. According to the AP that's what happened with Lynn Cheney, wife of the vice president. The publisher of Mrs. Cheney's 1981 novel "Sisters" was going reissue it this election year. But after a call from Cheney's lawyer decided maybe not. "Sisters" is a novel set in the old West featuring marital rape, who are houses and murder. The main character Sophie is a strong beautiful woman who falls in love with another woman. Tonight Bob, the 360 cynic manager will play the part of Sophie.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us go away together, away from the anger and parodies of men. There will be only the two of us and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement and in the evening I shall read to you while you work your cross stitch in the fire light. And then we shall go to bed, our bed, my dearest girl.


COOKER: OK. Oprah, he ain't. Mrs. Cheney's lawyer said they don't want it reprinted because it is not the author's best work. Funny because a couple of years ago she told the "New York Times" she couldn't even remember the plot of the book. Perhaps she's reread it since then. I'm Anderson Cooper. Thank you for watching. I'll be on "NEWSNIGHT" tonight if you want to watch or just join me here tomorrow night, 7:00 p.m. Eastern for 360. Coming up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW." Good night.


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