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The Trial of Saddam Hussein; How Far Will Candidates Go to Get Inside Your Head?; California Considers Forcing Porn Stars to Use Condoms

Aired April 20, 2004 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Anderson Cooper, tonight on 360, the trial of Saddam Hussein.

COOPER (voice-over): The butcher of Baghdad will face an Iraqi tribunal but will he get his just desserts?

Kerry says check my record, what his files from the Vietnam War may show.

Focus groups and polls are one thing but an MRI of voters' brains, how far will candidates go to get inside your head?

HIV and the porn connection, California considers forcing porn stars to use condoms.

And the tallest, longest, biggest, fastest, the man who put Guinness in the record books.


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

COOPER: Good evening.

We begin with the trial of Saddam Hussein. Iraqi leaders have set up a tribunal to try the ousted dictator and other members of his Baathist regime.

Following this developing story tonight at the Pentagon, CNN's Jamie McIntyre and, at the White House CNN's John King, we begin at the Pentagon -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bush administration officials from the president on down have said all along that they want Saddam Hussein to face Iraqi justice and today Iraqi leaders announced that they have set up a tribunal process to submit Saddam Hussein to a trial, as well as other members of his regime.

The nephew of the head of the Iraqi National Congress Salim Chalabi was named to head the tribunal of judges and prosecutors. Seven judges have been assigned so far. More will be picked.

According to a spokesman for the Iraqi Governing Council, the budget for this tribunal will be about $75 million. No date yet for the trial of Saddam Hussein. The Bush administration has said all along that they want Saddam Hussein to face the justice that he did not provide to his own people -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Jamie McIntyre thanks very much.

Also in Iraq today confirming the worst, a quick news note for you. Halliburton revealed today that three of the four bodies found near the site of this attack on a fuel convoy earlier this month were, in fact, employees for one of its subsidiaries. A company spokesman says the fourth body found has not been identified. So far, 33 Halliburton contractors have died while working in Iraq and Kuwait.

Now let's get a reaction from the White House. That's where John King is monitoring the story of Saddam Hussein's trial, John what are you hearing?

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, officials here at the White House say this will be an Iraqi enterprise but the White House through the coalition provisional authority has provided some technical and legal assistance to the Iraqis in putting this tribunal together.

And, look, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. There is still criticism around the world. Many believe this president did not have the right or the reason to go to war in the first place.

The administration believes that a trial in which you unveil the evidence of what it says are significant and decades long human rights abuses by the Saddam Hussein regime will perhaps convince public opinion that there were legitimate reasons to go to war, certainly legitimate reasons and that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.

And, Anderson, the White House also dealing with a little diplomacy today the White House insisting that Spain's decision to pull its troops abruptly out of Iraq and Honduras' decision to pull about 400 troops out because those troops were serving with the Spanish troops, the White House insisting that, yes, that development is not what it would have liked.

It would have preferred that those troops stay in the coalition but the White House says there are no indications that any other major coalition partners are having second thoughts.

The most urgent effort now, Anderson, to try to keep the coalition from fracturing additionally or any further is to get a new United Nations resolution through the Security Council.

The time table the administration is hoping would be sometime in May. First you need the details of what the new Iraqi government will look like. Then the administration will push quickly for a new U.N. resolution -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, John King thanks very much from the White House.

Let's put this announcement by Honduras in some perspective. Not counting soldiers from the U.S. and Britain, there are 10,000 troops from 33 countries in Iraq. Of those only 368 are from Honduras, which today, as John mentioned, became the second country to announce it will withdraw troops. Spain, of course, was the first.

At the Supreme Court today a legal challenge to the Bush administration's war on terror, at issue whether terror suspects held under lock and key at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base should have access to the U.S. Justice System. Right now they do no.

CNN's Bob Franken reports.


BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In arguments released on audio tape the attorney for 16 of the detainees disputed a lower court ruling that denied the foreign prisoners a chance to fight their captivity. It held Guantanamo Bay as part of sovereign Cuba is beyond the reach of the U.S. legal system.

JOHN GIBBONS, ATTORNEY FOR DETAINEES: The Court of Appeals did rely on some mystical ultimate sovereignty of Cuba over, as we Navy types call it, GITMO treating the Navy based there as a no law zone.

FRANKEN: But several justices were skeptical repeatedly suggesting that the United States merely signed a lease with Cuba, which still holds sovereignty.

JUDGE ANTONIN SCALIA: It doesn't just say that Cuba has sovereignty if we give up the lease. It says the United States, this is the treaty, recognizes the continuance of the ultimate sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba over the leased area.

FRANKEN: But when it came time for Solicitor General Theodore Olson to argue for the Bush administration...


FRANKEN: Justice Stephen Breyer got to the heart of the case the administration's claim that in wartime the president has almost total power over so-called enemy combatants.

JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER: It seems rather contrary to an idea of a constitution with three branches that the executive would be free to do whatever they want, whatever they want without a check.


FRANKEN: Next week the fundamental arguments in the two cases involving the boundaries of presidential powers but this one was about the power of the federal courts and whether it extends beyond the boundaries of the United States -- Anderson.

COOPER: Interesting to hear their voices. Bob Franken thanks very much.

Here at home an alarming report indicates there may be terrorists already in place living amongst us waiting to strike, ahead a live interview with Undersecretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson.

Now to John Kerry and his hopes to quell any controversy about his decorated Vietnam service. Beginning tonight, Kerry begins releasing on his Web site all the documents his campaign says it has concerning his two tours of duty in Vietnam.

CNN National Correspondent Kelly Wallace has more.


KELLY WALLACE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The move comes as John Kerry's former commanding officer is questioning whether Kerry earned the first of his three Purple Hearts in Vietnam.

Lieutenant Commander Grant Hibbard told the "Boston Globe" last week: "People in the office were saying I don't think we got any fire and there is this guy holding a little piece of shrapnel in his palm."

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Kerry was asked if to answer Hibbard's charge he would follow President Bush's lead and release all his military records.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're available to you to come and look at. I think that's a very unfair characterization by that person. I mean politics is politics. The medical records show that I had shrapnel removed from my arm.

WALLACE: A former Navy secretary and now a Kerry supporter disputed any suggestion Kerry did not earn that Purple Heart.

JOHN DALTON, FMR. NAVY SECRETARY: When you're in a military combat zone and you get hit by enemy fire, you deserve a Purple Heart period, paragraph. I mean that's the way it is.

WALLACE: The Bush-Cheney campaign waded into the controversy accusing the Senator of waffling about the release of his records.

KEN MEHLMAN, BUSH-CHENEY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think what we're pointing out is that on this issue, like on many others, what John Kerry says and what John Kerry does are two very different things.

WALLACE: A Kerry campaign spokesman fired back saying: "If the Republicans want to compare Kerry's military service with President Bush's "we welcome that."


WALLACE: And President Bush served in the National Guard during Vietnam and did not serve in combat while John Kerry received three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for his combat service.

Just moments ago, the Kerry campaign gave us three pages of documents of the Senator's military records. We are told the campaign is in the process of downloading some 150 pages of military records and, Anderson, the word is they should be all on that Web site by this time tomorrow -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Kelly Wallace thanks for that.

A forgetful, pistol-packing politician leads off the stories we're following right now "Cross Country."

Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. Representative John Hostettler says he completely forgot about the loaded handgun he had in his bag as he tried to board a flight to Washington today. Security officials detained the Indiana Republican at Louisville International Airport for a short time then let him take another flight to D.C. just like what would happen with you or me, right?

Well, Yonkers, New York, man gets bird flu. Health officials confirm the second known case of human infection from avian flu in the U.S. Unlike the first case, a poultry worker in Virginia, the infected Yonkers man apparently hasn't worked with any birds.

New York mob indictments, 22 members and associates of the Genovese crime family face federal charges of racketeering, fraud, and tax evasion. The indictment announced today alleges they made millions of dollars off a fraudulent drywall enterprise.

Cape Canaveral, Florida now, Gravity probe launch, we may soon know whether Albert Einstein was really a genius or just an eccentric old duffer in a baggy sweater. NASA today launched Gravity Probe B, a satellite that will test Einstein's general theory of relativity.

In New York, gender wage gap, the Institute for Women's Policy Research finds men still earn more in the workplace than women. The report released today also says Asian women make up the highest paid female subgroup, and that's a quick look at stories "Cross Country" for you.

President Bush and the push for war, when did he really decide to pull the trigger? Colin Powell fires back at Bob Woodward. We'll have that.

Also tonight, that is a wrap, adult film actors may soon be forced to wear condoms after an HIV scare brings the industry to a grinding halt. I'll talk with a former actress who knows the business firsthand.

And Guinness' greatest record, fire-eating, glass-walking, I don't even want to hear that, hair-pulling, death-defying stunts, we'll tell you about the man who started it all.

But first what stories most interest you right now, let's check out the most popular stories on right now.


COOPER: Well today, Secretary of State Colin Powell again disputed Bob Woodward's account of when President Bush made the decision to invade Iraq. Here's what he said today.


COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Prince Bandar, as he said last night when the question arose on certain television programs, he was briefed on the plan and he was told that if it came to war this is the plan that we are developing and, as he said last night and as Dr. Rice said on Sunday and as I said yesterday, no decision was communicated to Prince Bandar of the decision -- of a decision on the part of the president to go to war.


COOPER: Woodward's book suggests Powell was out of the loop of Iraq War decision making. The book, of course, continues to generate controversy and its author was once again under scrutiny. Who did he talk to and how did he get such amazing access?

Here's National Correspondent Bruce Morton.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bob Woodward, the workaholic Yalie and Carl Bernstein, the pool shark college dropout burst on the national scene in 1974 with their book "All the President's Men," a chronicle of Watergate and the downfall of President Richard Nixon.

Bernstein back then was the writer. One office rumor had it, they wrote that English was not Woodward's native language. The book was a huge success. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman played them in the movie.

They wrote one more Nixon book together, then Bernstein moved to other projects and Woodward continued to write ten books, mostly Washington insider stuff, since the first one.

His methods are controversial, long interviews with insider conversations reconstructed as the interviewee's and/or Woodward remember them. Critics of his CIA book "Vail" questioned his interviews with ex-CIA Chief William Casey while Casey was hospitalized.

Same story this time, Secretary of State Powell denying he was out of the loop. Did Saudi Prince Bandar know the war decision first? One thing is clear. They all talked to him.

BOB WOODWARD, "WASHINGTON POST": Let them answer. You've got the secretary of state now on record in a period when this is highly politicized and charged saying we all talked to Woodward.

POWELL: In my case, it was just a couple of phone calls. MORTON: Most interesting maybe Woodward's view of the president as a religious man with a mission.

WOODWARD: He said he believes this country and he had the duty to free people, to liberate people and, you know, that's his world view.

MORTON: Bob Woodward when he writes Washington pays attention.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: No doubt we'll be hearing a lot more about him and the controversy in the coming days.

A Saudi TV anchor is beaten by her husband. That story tops news from around the globe checking the "Up Link." A popular Saudi TV host lets cameras see her battered face. You can see them right here, breaking social taboos in Saudi Arabia to bring hidden domestic violence to light. The media hail her as a hero and a Saudi princess is taking over her medical bills.

In India, national elections for the world's largest democracy, voting began today but the process will take three weeks for the more than 650 million voters. Election violence is common in this country of more than a billion people. Nineteen people were killed on the first day.

Tel Aviv, Israel, prisoner to house arrest, Mordecai Vanunu, whistle-blower who told of Israel's secret nuclear weapons program in 1986 walks out of prison tomorrow. Human rights groups protest his house arrest but Israel says he is a security risk.

Paris, France, Arab hatred of U.S. intensifies, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak says the U.S. invasion of Iraq and support of Israeli assassinations are sending Mid East Arab hatred to its highest levels ever.

Washington, D.C., Beluga sturgeon in danger, the U.S. is listing it as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Americans import 80 percent of the world's Beluga caviar but in six months the government will either restrict or ban it completely. Already, $3,000 for two pounds, so watch out your little black fish eggs are going to get a lot more pricey, and that's a look at stories in the "Up Link."

Wrapping it up on adult film sets, an HIV scare may force porn actors to play it safe. The question is why aren't they all doing that already? I'll ask former adult film star and current producer Candida Royalle.

Also tonight, bad headlines but big in the polls, President Bush stays on top. Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson sound off on that.

And how far will politicians go to figure out what you're thinking? How about a brain scan with an MRI? A new study makes raw science into raw politics.


COOPER: Well, in California tonight, an AIDS scare shaking up the porn movie industry. Ever since two actors tested positive for HIV, not only have some companies halted filming but state regulators are saying all actors should be forced to wear condoms during sex scenes. In a moment I'll talk with a former adult film star who says some actors simply refuse to wear condoms.

But first in Los Angeles here's Frank Buckley.


FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the set of an adult video production in Southern California, before the director yells action the performers submit paperwork, including HIV test results. The Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation says it tests performers every 30 days and it claims success in preventing the spread of HIV.

TIM CONNELLY, PUBLISHER "ADULT VIDEO NEWS": You're safer having sex on camera in the porn industry than you are going out to a singles bar on a Friday night.

BUCKLEY: But positive test results from two performers exposed up to 49 other performers and that's prompted health department officials to call for another layer of protection against HIV. They want mandatory condom use in future productions.

DR. PETER KERNDT, L.A. COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: The issue is about the employee and their safety and their well being and their risk. We would no more send a worker into a job site without a hard hat. We would no more recommend that a person drive a car without a safety belt.

BUCKLEY: But industry insiders say a condom only policy would drive production out of the country where even testing of performers couldn't be assured.

RON JEREMY, ADULT FILM ACTOR: If we were to go condom only in America, half the companies would go out of business.

BUCKLEY: Right now industry experts say only two of roughly 200 production companies in Southern California have a condom only policy Vivid Entertainment Group, one of the two companies. Steven Hirsh says he believes regulators have it right but that the industry should regulate itself.

STEVEN HIRSCH, VIVID ENTERTAINMENT GROUP: It is much more important that the people that we work with day in and day out are safe. That's what we aim for.

BUCKLEY (on camera): On Thursday, representatives of the adult video industry say they'll announce the results of tests that will show whether the HIV has spread beyond the two performers who've already been identified. Much is at stake, a multi billion dollar industry and the lives of its performers.

Frank Buckley, CNN, Los Angeles.


COOPER: Well, as Frank indicated it's a huge business. It's estimated that the porn industry in Southern California alone makes between $4 billion and $13 billion a year in sales.

Our next guest is a former adult film star herself, Candida Royalle. Now she's a producer of adult films, president of her own company Femme Productions. Candida, thanks for being with us.


COOPER: You support a mandatory policy of using condoms.

ROYALLE: Absolutely.


ROYALLE: I don't buy the excuse that it will move out of the country. I think it's up to the producers and I think it's about the safety of the actors. I think...

COOPER: In your own company you insist that your actors use condoms?

ROYALLE: Yes. We've been doing that since the late '80s and the only exceptions we make are if they are actual couples but even then I like to show them using condoms to show a sense of responsibility.

COOPER: It boggles my mind though that some actors would refuse to use condoms.

ROYALLE: I know. I actually had actors who said no, we don't want to use them. Well, when you think of it, how, I mean as a woman I know a lot of men who will say no, I don't need to use a condom. I guess it's not that different in the industry sometimes but it is surprising.

COOPER: And there are producers out there who don't want their actors using condoms.

ROYALLE: That's right.

COOPER: Because they think the audience doesn't want to see it.

ROYALLE: Exactly that it's a turn off and which has not been the case in my sales at all.

COOPER: So do you think there's pressure then on those actors in some cases, I mean if they want jobs, if they want to work and they know this producer insists on no condoms they're willing to take the risk? ROYALLE: Yes. I think there is pressure sometimes. Now, of course, you heard that there is mandatory testing and that does happen. They stick to it.

COOPER: Every three weeks, really?

ROYALLE: Every three weeks, yes. Like we have to show the copies of their tests and that's absolute. You do not want to -- you don't want to play with that.

COOPER: It's a tough business. I mean there is no long term disability for these actors. I mean if they get sick they're out of the business and they're on their own.

ROYALLE: Well, they're independent contractors. As with any business, you have to provide for your own disability and health insurance and all that. So, yes, unfortunately that is the case.

COOPER: Do you think the government needs to step in or do you think the industry can actually regulate itself?

ROYALLE: I think the industry should do everything it can to regulate itself so that the government doesn't have to step in.

COOPER: It's a pretty shady industry. I mean there are a lot of sort of fringe players out there.

ROYALLE: Yes, that's the unfortunate thing. That's why I've always said, you know, the more we make this a valid industry the better it is for the performers.

COOPER: All right, Candida Royalle it's always good to talk to you. Thanks for being on the program.

ROYALLE: Thank you.

COOPER: Well, coming up we'll have more news right ahead.


COOPER (voice-over): Are al Qaeda terrorists living amongst us waiting to strike? We'll ask Undersecretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson.

And the tallest, longest, biggest, fastest, the man who put Guinness in the record book, 360 continues.


COOPER: Let's get you caught up right now on some of our top stories in tonight's "Reset."

Baghdad, tribunal for Saddam, the Iraqi Governing Council has chosen the first seven members of the tribunal that will try ousted dictator Saddam Hussein and others in his regime. No dates yet for the trial. In Rome, hope for hostages, Italy's prime minister expects the next few hours to bring news of three Italian civilians being held hostage in Iraq. The kidnappers have already killed a fourth captive.

Washington, threat to the net, the government and web tech experts around the world have been secretly working for weeks to correct a potentially disastrous security flaw in the underlying technology for most of the Internet. They say if the problem goes unaddressed hackers will be able to cause global disruptions of Web surfing, e-mails and instant messages.

Littleton, Colorado. Columbine remembered. Ceremonial candles will glow this evening in a park across from the scene of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. History. Five years ago today, two angry teenagers shot and killed a columbine high school teacher and twelve fellow students, wounded 23 others before taking their own lives.

In Washington, troubled waters. Government scientists warn that pollution, overfishing and poor management have put North America's oceans and coastlines in peril. The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy recommends an annual $4 million trust fund from oil and gas royalties to improve the health of the seas.

In Buffalo, New York today, President Bush making his case for renewing and enhancing the Patriot Act. Take a look.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's hard to assure the American people that we give the tools to law enforcement if they need if somebody is gone to -- gone to all the work to chase down the potential terrorists, and they haul them in front of a court, and they pay bail, and it's adios. It just doesn't make any sense. The Patriot Act needs to be renewed. And the patriot act needs to be enhanced. That's what we are talking about.


COOPER: Critics say the act goes too far and threatens civil liberties. That is not the opinion of our next guest, joining us from Washington, Undersecretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson. Secretary Hutchinson, thanks for being on the program.

From your perspective what is the most important thing that the Patriot Act allows you to do from a law enforcement perspective that you couldn't do before?

ASA HUTCHINSON, UNDERSECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: The most important thing is that you can share intelligence. There was a wall that was put up between those that gathered foreign intelligence, and those that were in law enforcement. And you could not share that information effectively before the Patriot Act. The 9/11 commission's really zeroed in on this. It was a terrible problem in government. Preventing people from connecting the dots. Knowing the full picture of the threats to America. COOPER: President...

HUTCHINSON: Those walls have been broken down now.

COOPER: President Bush says he wants the act enhanced not just renewed. Enhanced how?

HUTCHINSON: The most important thing is to have the Patriot Act renewed because the provisions are about to sunset. And we need to have those very important provisions, allow the sharing of intelligence to be renewed. When it comes to other provisions, the president has mentioned administrative subpoenas that are commonly used in white collar crime cases, drug cases, that's not available to fighting terrorists.

COOPER: You know there are a lot of Americans who say this thing goes too far. They're concerned about it violating civil liberties. In particular there are two things that they particularly point to. The sneak and peek allowance which basically allows the government to enter somebody's home, a suspect's home, photograph things around their house, look at their computer hard drive, even remove things from their home without ever informing this person.

Is there anything in place that prevents this from being misused?

HUTCHINSON: Well, first of all, that sneak and peek that you talk about is a delayed notice provision, and you have to have a judge's order before a law enforcement officer can do that. There are protections in there for civil liberties. I've been fighting crime for over 20 years, when I was a U.S. attorney. This provision is not new. It's been in existence for 35 years. And routine law enforcement case. And this allows us to use it in fighting terrorists. So, it's really not even a controversial provision, but it's been construed with that word sneak and peek. But it's with a judge's approval. And it's been around for a long time. Now we can use it for terrorists.

COOPER: Why is it necessary for the FBI to be able to see what people are reading in libraries?

HUTCHINSON: Well, that's a separate provision. And here again, any grand jury at the request of the U.S. attorney could issue a subpoena for business records, that's always been on the books, including library records. Now that provision, is available in national security cases, and clearly if you've got a terrorist who is studying bomb making or using a computer in a library, we need to have access to that if we have the appropriate court permission to do it.

COOPER: Also just very briefly, there was this report I guess pre-Easter, Homeland Security Office warned local law enforcement that perhaps there are already al Qaeda assets in place in the United States.

Do you believe that is true?

Do you believe there are terrorists already here waiting to strike?

HUTCHINSON: Well, of course the concern is what you don't know about. But clearly in the last 2 1/2 years, we have dismantled cells in the United States, individuals who are connected to al Qaeda and terrorism. And so it's certainly a continued concern. We're monitoring it. The FBI is doing an outstanding job on that. But, what we see worldwide, and the national events that we had this year from the conventions to the G-8 summit, it is a matter of continued concern.

COOPER: Certainly a lot of big events coming up.

Secretary Asa Hutchinson, appreciate you being on the program. Thank you.

HUTCHINSON: Thank you.

COOPER: Today's "Buzz" is this, should the USA Patriot Act be renewed?

You can logon to to vote. I'll have results at the end of the program.

U.S. Military sources say the hunt to find Osama bin Laden has slowed down, and wasn't pick up again for perhaps another month. Possible reasons, the war in Iraq, or perhaps a response to the military operation launched by the Pakistani government to catch what it called a high value target. Remember that? It was only a month ago and there was a huge amount of publicity. As for the results, well, "How Quickly we Forget."


COOPER (voice-over): On March 18th, the Pakistani Government was adamant. They were closing in on an al Qaeda top dog.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTAN PRESIDENT: I think that very likely there's a high value target. Who, I don't know.

COOPER: Pakistani intelligence sources leaked that Ayman al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's no. 2 was cornered by forces in the border area of Waziristan. The White House didn't confirm the claim, but they sure sounded optimistic.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I think that the Pakistanis know their business.

COOPER: Colin Powell, who just happened to be in Pakistan the day the operation started seemed pleased, and the news media, myself included, covered it all.

(on camera): We begin with an assault on al Qaeda. But then two days later an al Zawahiri audio paper surfaced.

And a spokesman for the Taliban claimed al Zawahiri was actually safe and sound in a different mountain hideout. Still the Pakistanis did not back down from their claim of a high value target. On March 29th during a press conference they said they'd killed al Qaeda's chief spy Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah (ph). They even provided pictures. But less than 24 hours later the army said they'd gotten it all wrong and admitted they killed a much less senior operative instead.

What really happened in Waziristan?

Truth is we still don't know. Journalists can't travel there. The Pakistani Government claims the offensive was a victory. After twelve days of fighting it says 60 militants were killed, and 163 arrested, many foreigners. No high value target ever appeared. And it's not clear there ever was one there to begin with. "How Quickly we Forget."


COOPER: Well, despite some tough times in the war on terror and mounting casualties in Iraq, not to mention some tough allegations made in Bob Woodward's new book, President Bush's approval ratings keep inching up. In a new CNN/"USA TODAY" poll the president is leading Senator John Kerry by five percentage points. This is a big turnaround from early March when Kerry had an eight point lead.

Earlier I spoke with political "Crossfire" co-hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson.


COOPER: Paul, Senator Kerry has not been out directly criticizing President Bush on Iraq, or the 9/11 commission. Most recently I heard him talking about the environment. Is this a tactical mistake?

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Yes, and no. Yes, I think he should be a little stronger on criticizing the president on Iraq. It's an ongoing operation. I think it's a disaster. I think Senator Kerry should criticize the way the president's mishandling it and say how he would handle it differently. But on 9/11, no. I think he's wisely set that aside, let the commission do its job. Let the commission render its judgment. Anything he says about that, since it was in the past, is not going to be very helpful either to the commission's work or to Kerry's campaign.

COOPER: Tucker, does the strategy seem to be working to you?

TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Yes. I don't think it's a foolish strategy at all. 9/11, you know, he couldn't be a more vigorous advocate for the Democratic point of view than Ben-Veniste already is and he's a commissioner. So, Kerry doesn't need to weigh in. Moreover I don't believe most Americans are going to hold Bush accountable for 9/11. On Iraq in order to hit Bush directly on Iraq and not just around the edges like with conspiracy theories about Halliburton and things like that you kind of have to have an alternative vision of what we ought to be doing. To this point Kerry's consists of getting the U.N. in there, which I don't think most serious people think is a solution. So until he comes up with one it's kind of hard to take it on directly.

COOPER: Well, Paul, the Kerry camp has got to be concerned by these poll numbers, and I know it's easy to overstate the importance of poll numbers. If you look at this, on the question of who would do a better job handling Iraq, Bush 55 percent, Kerry 41 percent. That's got to be a big concern.

BEGALA: You know, it's not how voters approach an incumbent's re-election. 7/8 of this election is going to be how is Bush doing? How is the president doing. It's not Bush versus Kerry. It's just Bush right now and it will be really until the last couple of weeks until the campaign. Because he's our incumbent. In that same poll only 42 percent of the American people said we're going in the right direction. Now, when I worked for Bill Clinton he was running for re- election it was 55. He got re-elected easily. Bush will not be re- elected easily. In fact, if he doesn't move that number up higher than 42 he's going to lose no matter how much he attacks John Kerry.

COOPER: Tucker, the president does not seem to have sustained any political damage from anything that came out of the 9/11 commission, From Richard Clarke.

Does that surprise you?

CARLSON: Well, I mean I don't think -- I won't be surprised if he's not hurt by the 9/11 Commission, because I just think the claim that he's responsible is implausible. By do think that there is a lag on almost every other subject between an event or a perception and the polls that reflect people's changing attitudes about it. So I think really polls taken next month will be more significant.

COOPER: So, Paul, why doesn't John Kerry come forward with a plan for Iraq as Tucker has said, he sort of has attacked the president on the periphery but not really on the central policy?

BEGALA: Well, I think he's attacked him in general not in specific and maybe that's just a different way of saying the same thing. First, you know what, it's shifting. Sands are shifting. His foreign policy adviser Rand Beers who used to be President Bush's foreign policy adviser has said as much candidly.

We won't be in day-to-day tactical critiques and I think that's wise. But the fundamental policy critique I think is there. Which is that the president didn't line up the kind of international coalition, we didn't need to go to war how and when we did. And he wrote recently an essay for the "Washington Post" in which he did list out three or four, five things he would do. Some of them George Bush is already doing now since Kerry began to say. For example turning over more authority to the U.N.

COOPER: All right. Paul Begala, Tucker Carlson, thanks very much.

Tonight we've been talking about poll numbers. Polling along with focus groups have long been used by politicians looking for an edge. But right now researchers in California are taking political research to an entirely new level. They're experimenting with MRIs. Brain scans to literally see what is going on inside voters' heads. It is a brave new world of raw politics.


COOPER (voice-over): In the experiment subjects laid inside an MRI machine watching ads for President Bush...

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message.

COOPER: And John Kerry.

AD ANNOUNCER: John Kerry, a new direction for America.

COOPER: They also looked at photos of the candidates. Researchers were studying the parts of their brains that respond to danger or emotion or rationality. The scientists say it's still too soon to draw real conclusions, but they did detect some differences in how people respond to candidates they like or dislike. Call it high tech political science. Another way for parties to find out what we really think about their candidates, their commercials, and their policies often before those policies have been decided.

Presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt forward have used polls and focus groups to test the political waters. Bill Clinton was famous for his reliance on polling for everything from public policy to the appropriate family pets. And remember the presidential news conference last week.

BUSH: As to whether or not I make decisions based upon polls, I don't.

COOPER: One of his advisers told the "New York Times" the decision not to apologize was made after the White House polled on the subject. Brain imaging technology has been used by cola companies to see if their commercials strike a chord and sell their products. Soon, politicians may be able to see if the public is really buying their product. Raw science meets raw politics.


COOPER: Fallout from the Martha Stewart trial. Did her friend go too far on the stand? Stewart's co-defendant is making that claim and demanding a new trial. The legal moves ahead in justice served.

Also tonight, paying tribute to the man behind the genius, behind the "Guinness Book of World Records." What a legacy. What is she doing?

And a little later, Darth Vader's got a new look. What is it? One possibility in tonight's current. All ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: In justice served, Martha Stewart's former stockbroker Peter Bacanovic is demanding a new trial. His lawyers say damaging testimony from Stewart's friend Mariana Pasternak unfairly helped to convict him. Pasternak said and I quote, "isn't it nice to have brokers that tell you those things." The judge had told jurors the statement could be used as evidence against Stewart but not against her broker. So was it prejudicial testimony? On the case for us tonight 360 legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom. Does he have a case here based on Pasternak's testimony?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, 360 LEGAL ANALYST: This is actually a really interesting point. You see always defense attorneys trying to get paid making a lot of frivolous appeals. Not in this case or this instance. There was a real question as to whether or not these two people should have been tried together. At the time of the trial the judge said you can use this statement that Mariana Pasternak said against Martha Stewart but not against Peter Bacanovic. What we know now because it was a high profile case and jurors went on all the networks talking about it is that they did consider this evidence. And that in and of itself is improper. You add in a couple extra things about extra record statements that under the U.S. Supreme Court are considered presumed prejudicial, he's got actually a good argument.

COOPER: What about -- now last week they had filed for a retrial based on reports that jurors had discussed media reports about the trial. Is that going forward? Is that a good case?

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: That's also part of the record of appeal here. It is. What we know is that these jurors considered things that were not introduced in court. They were not supposed to look at any other outside reports, media coverage, newspaper, tabloids. And we know there was a ton of it. They talked about how much Martha Stewart's Hermes Birkin bag was. They talked about the cost of her high-priced attorney Morvillo. All of these things should not have come in and been considered by the jury and they were. So it really begs the question, did this prejudice the defendant's right to a fair trial.

COOPER: Let's talk about the Jayson Williams trial developments there. There was this 18-day delay in the trial. Now the defense has reopened their case. They're hearing more witnesses. What is the jury going to make of that?

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: This is the case that never ends. You just don't know when it's going to stop. So far today the defense rested. But they actually scored some big points. Is it going to matter with the jury? Because the jury has been sitting there, they're showing signs of frustration and fatigue in the courtroom. It seems like their read is this is much ado about nothing and the defense is grasping at straws. Making broad statements in court. Taking about secret disassembly of the gun. And wood chips that magically could have caused the gun to misfire. At the end of the day it's really taking the case away from what the facts are, which is what happened that night and whether or not Jayson Williams pointed that gun at the victim. But key points today is that the judge struck the testimony of one of the prosecution's experts. COOPER: Which was -- what does that mean for the prosecution?

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: Well, it's a huge win for the defense. What it is, two key tests...

COOPER: It was testimony about the shotgun.

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: Exactly. About exactly what Jayson Williams allegedly did that night when he flipped it up, kind of how you used to do skeet shooting, allegedly, based on the testimony, and did a partial trigger pull that the gun would fire. The judge says no way, this is not coming in. Jury disregard it. This was not done to a test of a reasonable degree of scientific certainty. Because it was just sort of a loose experiment and not based on any forensic or ballistic acceptable experiment.

COOPER: Interesting. It's expected this week sometime some sort of movement from the Michael Jackson grand jury. Do you expect an indictment to be handed down?

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: I expect that we will see indictments in this case. And I think both sides are expecting that. I think this case is going to proceed forward.

COOPER: You think they're already preparing for that?

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: I think both sides are preparing for that. The prosecution is expecting it and the defense is waiting for it to occur.

COOPER: Because this whole thing has gone on in secrecy, the whole grand jury process.

GUILFOYLE NEWSOM: Absolutely. So the defense is really going to have no idea. What they're going to have to do is wait to get the call from D.A. Tom Sneddon when he picks up the phone and says we've got your guy, bring him in for an arraignment, these are the charges against him. He's looking at nine very serious charges.

COOPER: We'll be watching for that. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, thanks very much.

Remembering the man who made the wacky and weird famous. Coming up, a tribute to the genius behind the "Guinness Book of World Records" from the longest to the coldest to just about anything you can think of.

Also tonight in the current, Sheryl Crow's taking her act to the skies in a performance that gives new meaning to in-flight entertainment. We'll explain in the current ahead.


COOPER: Time for some lighter news. Let's check what's going on in the current. Sheryl Crow is taking her music to new heights. The singer will perform live aboard a United Airlines flight next month. It will be quite a treat for passengers provided they pay the $4 head set charge to listen.

Researchers have found a magic mushroom that may do wonders to your health. Clinical studies report the Cordyceps mushroom lowers weight, boosts strength and best of all, unlike some other mushrooms these won't make the walls in your living room talk.

Oscar De La Hoya is hosting a new boxing reality show for Fox. On it Americans craving attention fight each other week after week before a national audience. It's called "The Next Great Champ." We have another name for it however, "The Jerry Springer Show."

Fans of "Star Wars" are in for a treat when the trilogy DVD is released in September. They'll get to see a sneak preview of the final film, including a look at Darth Vader's new costume. It's top secret but we hope it looks something like this. Dame Edna.

A tip of the hat to Norris McWhirter who died yesterday in England at the age of 78 years old. We owe him quite a debt. You see, along with his twin brother Ross, Norris McWhirter was the man behind...


COOPER: Ta-da. "The Guinness Book of World Records." 49 annual editions. 37 languages. 100 million copies. Where records are concerned -- this is the source. Without Norris McWhirter how we would ever have known about the oldest, the coldest, the tallest, the smallest, the fastest and slowest and highest and lowest.

About champion sheep shearers, world class worm eaters, Grade A coin spinners, speedy bottle openers, lightning-fast sausage swallowers, go for broke turkey clockers, Pogo Stick jumpers, airplane pullers, dominos stackers, Barbie doll and barf bag collectors. Thank you very much indeed, Norris McWhirter where record keepers are concerned you took the cake. The largest of which weighing 128,238 pounds, 8 ounces was baked on October 18, 1989 at the Earth Grains Bakery in Fort (UNINTELLIGIBLE), Alabama. Says who? Says Norris McWhirter's bible of a bar bet settling book. Again, thanks.

Well, packing can be so chaotic. Just ask one lawmaker who forgot to leave his handgun at home. Don't you hate it when that happens? We'll take that bit of forgetfulness to the Nth Degree.

Plus tomorrow, meet one starstruck little boy. You may be jealous of the snapshots in his photo album.

First, today's buzz. Should the USA Patriot Act be renewed? What do you think? Log on to Cast your vote now, we'll have results in just a few moments when we come back.


COOPER: Earlier we asked should the USA Patriot Act be renewed? More than 15,000 of you have voted. 34 percent of you said yes, 66 percent of you said no. A reminder no scientists were hurt in conducting this poll. It is just your buzz. Tonight taking forgetfulness to the Nth Degree. You know how frantic things get when you're packing for a trip. At some point you just start throwing stuff in your bag, toothpaste, shoes, necktie, handgun. That seems to be what happened to Indiana Congressman John Hostettler. Airport security noticed a telltale shape in his briefcase. Things were cleared up in a jiffy though. The congressman is an avid sportsman, had a permit and just kind of lost track of that darn glock.

What surprised us though is just how many people lose track of their heat. The TSA say that as of August last year they've confiscated 1,437 firearms, and 2,300,000 knives. Now I know, you think it can never happen to you. And then there you are, at the gate, the sirens whooping and lights flashing, and you slap your forehead and think, nuts. The bazooka. Take a tip from us. When leaving for the airport bring your passport and your wallet, and make sure to leave the 9 millimeter at home. I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching. Coming up next. "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


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