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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Who Will Pay the Price for Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners?; Family, Friends Remember Pat Tillman

Aired May 3, 2004 - 19:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Anderson Cooper.
Shameful photographs from Iraq, who will pay the price for what happened in an Iraqi prison? 360 begins right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Six American MPs charged with abusing Iraqi detainees. Was this really an aberration or business as usual?

Right now family and friends gather to remember Pat Tillman, football star turned Silver Star winner. We'll take you live to his memorial service.

Conviction overturned for an 18-year-old football star jailed for having sex with his underage girlfriend. Was race a factor in his trial?

New potentially damning evidence in the trial of Michael Jackson, a man turns the singer's underwear and handwritten notes over to authorities.

What if all the Mexicans suddenly disappeared from California; a controversial marketing campaign for an unusual new film.

And, this can't be good for you, so why is CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta doing it? Tonight, he probes the secrets behind living on the edge.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

COOPER: Good evening.

We begin with allegations of prisoner abuse in Iraq. Six U.S. soldiers have been hit with reprimands. A seventh has been admonished. Separately, six military police are now facing criminal charges while a wider investigation into who may have ordered the abuse is just getting underway.

Tracking all the developments for us tonight, Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre and, in Baghdad, CNN's Ben Wedeman who has spoken to one of the Iraqi prisoners photographed naked.

We begin at the Pentagon. Jamie, what's the latest on the investigation?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest is, Anderson, that there are five separate investigations. The latest one that just started is aimed at looking at the role of military intelligence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE (voice-over): So far, six soldiers, including some officers, have been reprimanded effectively ending their military careers and six others including some military police seen in the photos are facing court martial on criminal charges.

But according to lawyers for the accused and a general who was in charge of the prison, the MPs were following orders of U.S. military interrogators or civilians they hired.

BRIG. GEN. JANIS KARPINSKI, COMMANDER, 300TH MILITARY POLICE BRIG.: I don't know how they do this. I don't know how they allowed these activities to get so out of control but I do know with almost absolute confidence that they didn't wake up one day and decide to do this.

MCINTYRE: But the Nuremberg defense, "I was just following orders," is no excuse according to U.S. commanders who say the pictures are in themselves an offense.

BRIG. GEN. MARK KIMMITT, U.S. ARMY: What they were doing in those photos was absolutely wrong, deplorable, and they should be investigated and prosecuted.

MCINTYRE: Sources say some witnesses testifying before military proceedings have detailed instances in which Iraqi prisoners were forced to engage in or simulate humiliating sexual acts, including oral sex and the fact that some of the people responsible could be contract workers, not subject to military or Iraqi justice raises troubling questions of accountability according to legal experts.

ROBERT GOLDMAN, LAW PROFESSOR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: This is very problematic. This is very problematic because when you are in a situation, particularly in an occupation situation, these people become identified with the United States.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE: The Pentagon insists it began investigating the abuses at the prison back in January when pictures were first turned over by a concerned U.S. soldier. But the latest investigation, the one focusing on military intelligence, only began ten days ago after those pictures were shown on TV -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon thanks Jamie.

A quick news note for you on the prisoner abuse, today a White House spokesman said that President Bush has urged Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to make sure that U.S. troops are punished for shameful and appalling acts.

The spokesman did not say what punishment would be appropriate in their opinion but said the actions of "a few do not represent the 99 percent of our men and women in uniform who are performing superbly."

In the photographs, the victims are faceless and nameless in a place where the inmates were only numbers, numberless, but CNN found one Iraqi man who was there in the prison in the photographs.

Ben Wedeman gives a name and a face to his story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "That's me" says (unintelligible), prisoner 13077 at Abu Ghraib prison. Coalition sources confirm to CNN prisoner No. 13077 was one of the seven naked men in these photographs.

"They cut off our clothing with knives" he recalls. "We're Muslims. We don't go naked in front of our families but there we were naked in front of American women and men."

As Heder (ph) explains it this was punishment for beating a prisoner they suspected of spying on them for the Americans. This ordeal, he says, went on for about four hours.

"They were cursing at us," he says. "If you talked they hit you hard in sensitive places, in the kidney, in the chest, in the throat. Our bodies were full of bruises. They didn't let use out of the cells until all our wounds had healed."

He said he was questioned by U.S. military intelligence after the incident and asked to describe those involved.

"There are other pictures" he says. "American intelligence has them of dogs attacking us."

Abbas (ph) claims he was also a prisoner at Abu Ghraib but not in any of the photographs. He didn't want his face to appear on camera.

"They would put the plastic cuffs on someone and leave him outside for hours in the rain and the cold" he tells me. "They would humiliate them and this was just punishment for simple things."

The family of Walid Ahmed Hede (ph), prisoner at Abu Ghraib, has just seen the pictures of alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. Walid's mother, Bethaina (ph), says one of the pictures was particularly disturbing.

"I felt as if this was Jesus crucified," she says. "I thought that could be my son."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WEDEMAN: Now, Anderson, the U.S. military has made it clear it takes a very dim view of this incident and is conducting a variety of investigations into Abu Ghraib prison.

For its part, the Iraqi Governing Council says it wants Iraqi judges to be present during all interrogations by U.S. personnel of Iraqi prisoners and wants full access to all U.S.-run detention centers -- Anderson.

COOPER: Ben, the man you spoke to first he was in that wing of the prison because he apparently beat another prisoner. Why was he in the prison to begin with at all?

WEDEMAN: Our understanding is that what he told me was that he was found driving a car and he didn't have the proper registration papers, which was quite an ordinary thing during the summer of 2003 when things were very unsettled here.

The coalition suspects that he was a car thief, so we have to take some of what he says with a grain of salt but the coalition does say that he is one of the men in those photographs.

COOPER: Fascinating report. Ben Wedeman thanks very much from Baghdad.

We're going to talk more about this story coming up on the program. I'll speak live with a former U.S. Army interrogator to look at what methods work and what methods cross the line. We'll also look at how this story is playing in the Arab world on U.S.-funded Iraqi TV.

Well, to one-time hostage Thomas Hamill now. Right now, Landstuhl, Germany may be the most beautiful place on earth to him. A day after his daring escape from his Iraqi captors in a 6 x 6 foot windowless shack, he is now being checked out and debriefed at a U.S. Army hospital in Germany.

CNN's Chris Burns reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thomas Hamill on his way home. His first stop a U.S. medical center in Landstuhl, Germany where soldiers wounded in Iraq are cared for.

Officials say Hamill was shot in the right forearm during the ambush. He was listed in stable condition undergoing tests. It was barely 24 hours after he fled this house where he was held captive about 40 miles from the spot where his fuel convoy was ambushed outside Baghdad April 9th.

During three weeks as a hostage, one of dozens of non-Iraqis kidnapped by insurgents last month, Hamill was threatened by his captors demanding an end to the siege of Fallujah.

On Sunday, his captors were apparently rattled by a U.S. military patrol looking for a break in a nearby pipeline. Hamill saw his lucky break. Officials say the Mississippi dairy farmer forced open a door and ran toward the patrol. LT. JOSEPH MERRILL, U.S. ARMY: I'm an American. I'm an American POW. At a distance it was obvious that he was unarmed so we did not have our weapons trained on him. He had his hands in the air waving his shirt around.

BURNS: A former volunteer fireman and father of two, Hamill took the high risk, high paying truck driving job in Iraq after selling off his last cows to pay off his debts but his family is just happy he's still alive. His wife plans to escort him back home to Macon, Mississippi.

KELLI HAMILL, WIFE OF ESCAPED HOSTAGE: I really can't put it into words. I'm happy for us but I'm also still worried and praying for the others as well.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNS: Now, Hamill's escape was a glimmer of good news after the bloodiest month for Americans in Iraq just last month and the story of his convoy isn't over yet. There are four co-workers and an American soldier who were found dead. In addition to that, two co-workers are still missing and another U.S. soldier is kidnapped -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, thanks very much.

Well, tonight there is both joy and heartache in Thomas Hamill's home state of Mississippi, joy of course that Hamill is alive but heartache over the death of another Mississippi soldier, the state's 14th loss in Iraq, a husband and a son.

With more on Mississippi's mixed emotions tonight here's CNN's Bob Franken.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two front page stories from Iraq in the local paper. One describes Tommy Hamill's escape from captivity and the exhilarating relief back home in Macon, Mississippi.

HAMILL: I will let you know I've spoke with my husband. He is fine. He's doing well.

FRANKEN: Less than 40 miles away in Columbus, Mississippi, the other story of another family and the knock on the door with crushing news.

JIM DAYTON, FATHER OF JEFF DAYTON: When those two sergeants came in and told me about Jeff, I mean my heart just felt like it was going to explode.

FRANKEN: Sergeant Jeff Dayton was another of the hundreds killed in Iraq his life now searingly painful memories of letters, pictures.

JIM DAYTON: I'll never get to talk to him again. I'll never get to hug him and it's just a helpless feeling. JEREMY DAYTON, BROTHER OF JEFF DAYTON: I'm still in disbelief that it even happened. When I first found out I just, I don't know, I couldn't imagine going on.

FRANKEN: Jeff was a hero to his younger brother Jeremy. The family is trying to cope with his loss by telling the world how proud they were of him, they are of him, yet embracing the spirit of the celebration down the road.

JEREMY DAYTON: It feels good knowing that some people can get some relief.

FRANKEN: But now the first questions are registering.

JIM DAYTON: Once you lose a son, I don't know it's funny, you have to think gee this is -- you feel helpless and it's almost senseless.

FRANKEN (on camera): Here in Macon, they celebrate Tommy Hamill's future but just a short drive away in Columbus another military family must try and celebrate the past.

Bob Franken, CNN, Macon, Mississippi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well more sadness tonight, a memorial service for an American hero. That tops our look at news "Cross Country."

Right now in San Jose, California, friends and family are honoring and celebrating the life of Pat Tillman, the former football player who left the NFL to join the Army and fight in Afghanistan. You're looking at a live picture from the memorial service. We're going to have a live report later on 360.

In Washington tonight, the Justice Department will not bring any criminal charges relating to allegations of abuse of people arrested after the September 11 attacks. Detainees housed at a facility in Brooklyn said they were mistreated. A Bureau of Prisons investigation is still underway.

McNeil Island, Washington now, the only woman committed in Washington State as a sexual predator has been moved to the state's Special Commitment Center where 190 men are confined. Laura McCollum admits sexually assaulting 15 children. The center says she is housed separately from the men and is constantly supervised.

Houston, Texas, court shocker. Remember the man who was supposedly so moved by the movie "The Passion of the Christ" that he went to police to confess that he killed his girlfriend? Well, maybe he needs to see the movie again because today he pled not guilty to murder. His attorney says a guilty plea would have hindered his defense and he demanded that his client follow his advice. That's a quick look at stories "Cross Country" tonight.

A teen honor roll student released from prison just a short time ago. The question is did issues of race color his prosecution?

Also, Michael Jackson's dirty laundry literally, we'll tell you why police are suddenly interested in a warehouse of Jackson memorabilia.

And, President Bush gets on the bus as Campaign 2004 shifts into high gear, so we'll have that and other puns as we continue.

First, let's take a look at your picks, the most popular stories on cnn.com right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Interesting statistic there.

After 15 months in jail in a case that got attention from the NAACP and Oprah Winfrey, 19-year-old Marcus Dixon is going home tonight. Dixon has just been released on bond after Georgia's Supreme Court threw out his conviction on child molestation charges for having sex with a teenage girlfriend.

CNN's Eric Phillips has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PERI JONES, MOTHER OF MARCUS DIXON: It's been hard. It's been hard for a 19-year-old to be in a maximum security prison with no friends and no family.

ERIC PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The news from the Georgia Supreme Court was like music to their ears.

KEN JONES, FATHER OF MARCUS DIXON: Marcus was crying. I was crying. We was both doing the dance.

PHILLIPS: Finally, tears of joy rather than sorrow for this 19- year-old former high school star athlete, honor student, and college hopeful. It all came crashing down with a court conviction last May.

He and a classmate had engaged in sex in this classroom at Pepperell High School in Rome, Georgia. Oprah Winfrey interviewed the accuser.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: And you are aware of the fact that throughout the country that there are people who say that if Marcus had been a white boy that he would not be in jail? You're aware of that, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't matter what color he is. It's not his color that has to do with anything about it. It's his actions that make it wrong.

PHILLIPS: She was 15. He was 18. She said it was rape. He said it was consensual. The jury believed Marcus and threw out the felony rape charge but still convicted him of statutory rape, a misdemeanor and aggravated child molestation. The second conviction meant a mandatory sentence of ten years in prison.

Defense attorneys appealed and the Georgia Supreme Court agreed overturning the conviction saying: "The legislature most recently declared that sex between teenagers less than three year apart should be punished as misdemeanor statutory rape and not felony child molestation." Prosecutors plan to ask the Georgia Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Marcus Dixon's statutory rape conviction stands; however, he's already served well beyond the year maximum sentence called for under that conviction.

You can hear more from Marcus Dixon about his ordeal in the days to come here on CNN. As well, Oprah Winfrey is planning a special show centered around the teen to follow up on her earlier interview -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Eric Phillips thanks very much from Atlanta.

A warning to Americans overseas tops our look at global stories in tonight's "Up Link."

Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. ambassador urges Americans to leave after a weekend attack killed five westerners including two Americans. Four Saudi brothers went on a shooting rampage then tied one of the victims to a car bumper and dragged the body through the streets.

Ankara, Turkey now, terror plot, prosecutors question 16 alleged members of a terror group linked to al Qaeda. The group allegedly planned to bomb a NATO summit that President Bush is expected to attend in Istanbul next month.

Jerusalem now, Sharon prevails. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon survives a no confidence vote in the parliament by a vote of 62 to 46. The vote came a day after Sharon's Likud Party rejected his Gaza pull out plan. Sharon says he will modify it to try to win over the party.

In Germany now, soaring achievement. Austrian Mike Kung (ph), take a look at this, breaks his own record for paragliding altitude descending from more than 33,000 feet. In case you don't know, 33,000 feet is the cruising altitude of some passenger jets. That's a quick look at stories in the "Up Link."

Police have seized an old pair of Michael Jackson's underwear, among other unusual memorabilia. We'll tell you all the dirty details why.

Also tonight the pictures that caused outrage but do these methods actually work? We'll talk with a former Army interrogator.

And, a little later, campaign 360, Kerry and Bush express two very different views on terror, both of those ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, it's a couple thousand miles from Neverland Ranch to Asbury Park, New Jersey, but that's where investigators have gone to search for evidence in his child molestation case. And, as it turned out it is not just a long trip in miles but a long trip back in time as well.

Here's CNN National Correspondent Frank Buckley.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Authorities in Monmouth County, New Jersey confirm that items believed to have belonged to Michael Jackson were seized by Santa Barbara County authorities, among them a pair of underwear. They were found in a wardrobe box with Michael Jackson's name on it, according to Henry Vaccaro, who says a court seized it in 1999 during a legal fight with the Jackson family.

HENRY VACCARO, SR., NEW JERSEY BUSINESS OWNER: One single pair of soiled white Calvin Klein size 28 underpants just thrown in a corner and nobody even bothered. I mean who cared? It was just a pair of dirty underpants as far as I was concerned.

BUCKLEY: In 2002, a company Vaccaro represents purchased a number of items of Jackson family memorabilia from that seizure and later sold them. Some of the items were even displayed for a while on a pay-per-view Web site.

VACCARO: This entire room was full of Jackson memorabilia from the floor to the ceiling.

BUCKLEY: Vaccaro says and New Jersey authorities confirm Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies seized the underwear, two photos of Michael Jackson with young boys, a note to "Rubbers," how Jackson reportedly referred to kids who stayed at Neverland, a note to the late "Dee Dee" Jackson, Tito Jackson's wife warning her about child molesters, a Neverland Ranch welcome kit and a Neverland "Do Not Disturb" sign.

No one has verified the ownership of the underwear, so what relevance could it and other items from five years ago have in the current case?

LAURIE LEVINSON, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: I think that the D.A. is hoping that either the underwear itself has some type of physical DNA evidence that will help their case or that the other evidence that comes with it provides some leads to molestation.

BUCKLEY: Jackson attorneys did not return calls from CNN. Santa Barbara County authorities had no comment.

Frank Buckley, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Well, covering the case for us tonight, 360 Legal Analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle-Newsom, good to see you again. All right, let's talk about this underwear not in too much detail because I really don't want to get into all the gory details of it but I mean is this thing ever going to end up in court?

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE-NEWSOM, 360 LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it has the potential, right, because if it a viable source of DNA, keep in mind it has not been determined it is, in fact, Michael Jackson's, but my prediction this pair of Calvin Klein's is never going to see a day in court.

I think basically there's other ways for them to get a source of DNA from Michael Jackson. They can petition the court and get a search warrant and have him provide a sample.

COOPER: Because, I mean, who knows how many people have touched this thing or, you know, where it's been.

GUILFOYLE-NEWSOM: Quite a few people have so that really interrupts the chain of evidence in terms of it being introduced as a viable piece of evidence if so many different people have handled it. And, again, we still don't know that it is, in fact, his. We know some of the items that it was found with are Michael Jackson's.

COOPER: Searching this warehouse, I mean does it seem like a little bit of a fishing expedition to you?

GUILFOYLE-NEWSOM: Well, it seems to me that the prosecution has cast a very wide net in this case from the beginning, you know, putting up the phone line to call in if anyone has had any contact with Michael Jackson, looking for other victims, going back ten years, et cetera. So, this is not surprising in that sense and there were some other items found in there as well.

COOPER: Right. There was a letter that Michael Jackson allegedly wrote to the wife of Tito Jackson, I guess she has passed away, warning her about child molesters.

GUILFOYLE-NEWSOM: Sure and now, of course, the prosecution is going to say that this could be some kind of consciousness of guilt or some kind of admission or it takes one to know one. Why would he be advising or warning her about that?

COOPER: In fact, he says in the letter like it could be an uncle. It could be an aunt.

GUILFOYLE-NEWSOM: It could be (unintelligible) relative, et cetera. So, the prosecution would love to put this into evidence. If they can authenticate that it is, in fact, Michael Jackson that penned it, maybe it could have some relevance in the case.

Of course, the defense is going to say, look, this has no meaning whatsoever except that Michael Jackson loves children and looks out for his family and his family's children.

COOPER: All right, Kimberly Guilfoyle-Newsom thanks very much.

GUILFOYLE-NEWSOM: Thanks, Anderson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Six American MPs charged with abusing Iraqi detainees. Was this really an aberration or business as usual?

What if all the Mexicans suddenly disappeared from California, a controversial marketing campaign for an unusual new film.

And this can't be good for you, so why is CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta doing it? Tonight, he probes the secrets behind living on the edge, 360 continues.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Take a look at our top stories in tonight's reset. In Najaf, Iraq, the most intense fighting in weeks. U.S. military officials say troops today coming under heavy fire from Muslim militia. The attacks from all directions in the city. No U.S. soldiers are reported killed or wounded.

Ramstein, Germany. Arnold Schwarzenegger pays a visit to U.S. troops. California governor flew into the airbase today. Schwarzenegger drew laughs from the solders with a story about how he lost a tank while serving in the Austrian military.

New York. A long prison sentence for a high-ranking al Qaeda leader. Mahmoud Salim (ph) sentenced to 32 years behind bars today. Salim convicted of trying to murder a jail guard by stabbing him in the eye. The guard lost the eye and suffered brain damage.

In Washington, hate crimes against Muslims in America skyrocketing. An Islamic civil rights group says violence against Muslims up 70 percent in 2003 over the previous year. Factors contributing to the hate crimes include the lingering atmosphere of fear since the September 11 attacks and the war in Iraq according to the study.

Washington now. Gas prices keep climbing to record highs. The average price nationwide now stands at a staggering $1.84 per gallon. That's up 33 cents from the same time last year.

You've likely heard of U.S. contractors helping rebuild Iraq providing security, everything from fixing oil pipelines and security operations but you may not have realized the Defense Department has also outsourced interrogations. And some of those contractors are now under fire, accused of spearheading the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. CNN's Kathleen Koch reports.

Clearly we're having some problems with that.

My next guest is a man who formerly interrogated prisoners for the army. He also now currently operates a company which treats -- which teaches interrogation techniques in the army. His name is Mike Ritz and he joins me now. Mike, thanks very much for joining us.

Let's talk about these interrogation techniques. One of the charges that has been put toward the nine -- the six MPs who are currently facing charges is that they were asked to soften up, if you will, these prisoners for later interrogation. Does softening up, does that mean anything to you? Does that actually work?

MIKE RITZ, FMR. U.S. ARMY INTERROGATION OFFICER: Well, I mean, I think what you're looking at is these terms are very vague, aren't they? And you can take them for what they're worth. Geneva Convention doesn't outline exactly how to treat prisoners. It's a very vague term. So it's kind of up to the leadership to determine what softening up means. But I think the MPs, one of the great assets we have in military police is that they can be our eyes and ears when the interrogation element isn't present. As far as abusing the prisoners, this isn't allowed. You know, it can't happen.

COOPER: But, I mean, the people who are defending these MPs say look, these are -- in some cases one was a private. They're pretty low-level officers if they're officers at all. They're not the ones coming up with these techniques, in their defense their lawyers are going to argue, look, somebody told them to do this. Let's talk about these techniques. I mean, what is the technique of having prisoners naked? Of having a prisoner wear women's underwear? I know it may not be exactly legal, but is there some sort of method to it?

RITZ: Well, I mean, humiliation has been used in the interrogation process for quite some time. But, in this case, what you're looking at is some people that went to extremes. And I think that shows the immaturity of those people involved. And the lack of having any sort of standard operating procedures as far as what they can and can't do.

COOPER: So how do you try to use humiliation?

RITZ: Well, there are other ways to do it. I mean every prisoner has to go through a strip search, for example. Now an interrogator can be present at that strip search, and that can be a humiliating experience for the individual. Can an interrogator put their hands on them? When an interrogator starts to show emotion in this process, when they start to look like they're having a good time, and there's joy, I mean I think that's when we know we have a serious problem here. It's a maturity issue. It's a lack of experience...

COOPER: And a lack of oversight it would seem to be, as well. I'm interested in this notion of humiliation. What does it do, specifically what does it do to the prisoner? What is the purpose of it from the interrogator's point?

RITZ: You're making a prisoner feel vulnerable and letting -- you know getting the prisoner to have his guard now. Now what we could have done that would have been more acceptable from Geneva Convention standard is we could have had a female behind a sheet while prisoners were going through the strip search and she could have been making comments, but never having truly viewed the prisoner. And that could have been a humiliating experience that, in my eyes would have been an acceptable way to create that vulnerability in the prisoner so that they would cooperate.

COOPER: Did it surprise you, seeing these pictures, obviously these individuals, things went too far. Whether or not it was a systematic policy, we don't know. There was sort of a sexual nature to all of these, not only in the pictures, but a lot of the allegations about some of the other things that were going on in this prison. Does that surprise you, the sort of sexual component to it?

RITZ: Yes, I mean, I think what you're really looking at is a classic prison/guard syndrome where you take -- there was an experiment in 1971 that Stanford did, in the psychology department, where they took students, half of them were made guards in a mock prison and the other half were made prisoners, and it was supposed to take place for the period of two weeks to see what was the psychology involved in that and within six days they cut it short, because those students, regular college students, were already starting to behave in a bit of a sadistic manner toward those prisoners. So they had to end the study altogether.

This thing happens if you do not have the proper monitoring and supervision going on. Or you don't have seasoned interrogators. I think the good remedy for this situation would be to bring in some seasoned interrogators that aren't involved in the interrogation process but can assist with the overview, along with a psychiatrist or a psychiatric team that not only analyzed what's going on with the prisoners themselves mentally, but they're also looking at what's going on with the staff in dealing with the prisoners. Because it's very natural for this type of thing to happen.

COOPER: Especially when...

RITZ: You can see it...

COOPER: Especially when there's not a lot of oversight and not a lot of trained professionals both among the interrogators and the MPs. Mike, we're out of time. Mike Ritz, appreciate you joining us. It was interesting to talk to you.

RITZ: Thanks for having me on.

COOPER: Today's buzz is this. Is torture ever justified in interrogation? What do you think? Logon to CNN.com/360. Cast your vote. We'll have results at the end of the program tonight.

The abuse story is playing out in all sorts of ways on TV in the Arab world. One channel, Al Hurra, means the free one in Arabic. It is funded by the U.S. government with about $100 million in cash as they broadcast from their studios in Virginia. And as Octavia Nasr reports now its viewers may be getting the damage control version of this story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) OCTAVIA NASR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Viewers of al Harra TV today might not have noticed the story at all. There were no pictures to show viewers, no Arab reaction, no outrage. But if you stick around for about halfway through the newscast you would have heard this update.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER (through translator): As far as the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of some U.S. soldiers, six of them received a severe written reprimand which might lead to their dismissal.

NASR: A completely different picture from al Harrah's staunchest rival, al Jazeera. It focused its coverage on one of the Abu Ghraib prisoners who appeared in the infamous pictures. He talked about his jailers and acts they forced him to perform.

HASHEM MOHSEN LAZEM (through translator): They used to ask us to face the wall and do this and do that. I cannot even describe these things.

NASR: The Al Arabiya network promoted special coverage of the prisoner abuse story and featured it prominently every hour. It included an interview the station conducted with Brigadier General Janis Karpinski in November 2003 when she was in charge of the Abu Ghraib prison. Her answer then to the allegations of abuse?

BRIG. GEN. JANIS KARPINSKI, COMMANDER, 800TH MILITARY ARMY POLICE BRIG.: Oh, absolutely not...

NASR: She said the prisoners were treated fairly, receiving three meals a day and regular showers. Over her words al Arabiya showed images that painted a very different picture. Octavia Nasr, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: The story's not going away any time soon. Back here in the U.S., at this hour in San Jose, California, a memorial service for hometown hero Pat Tillman. The pro football player turned soldier was killed in a firefight in Afghanistan last month. Joining us live from the memorial, CNN's Ted Rowlands -- Ted.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this memorial has been going on for about 90 minutes now. More than 3,000 people came out to this public ceremony to honor the life of Pat Tillman. Right now, Dave McGinnis, the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, is on the podium, talking to family and friends of Tillman. His story, of course, has been widespread. He left behind an NFL career to join the army in the year of 2002. He was awarded the silver star for bravery on the battlefield by the Pentagon for what happened on April 22. He was in the lead group of two units in Afghanistan of army rangers. He led his group back to help out others in trouble. He was the only one to die in that firefight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Pat's best service to his country was to remind us all what courage really looks like and that the purpose of all good courage...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROWLANDS: This ceremony is expected to last for at least another 45 minutes. It has been long. A lot of people have been spending a lot of time on the podium talking about Pat Tillman. It's unclear what he would have thought of all of this, Anderson. He, of course, did not want to publicize his story when he left the NFL and joined the army, saying that he was well aware that he wasn't the only one putting his life on the line -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Ted Rowlands, thanks very much, from San Jose.

Coming up on 360, "Campaign 360." Bush vs. Kerry, both speaking out today on the war on terrorism. Some very different viewpoints.

Also ahead, rape or a porn star in training?

A court case that has gripped a California town.

And a little later a billboard promoting a movie is drawing plenty of anger. But the filmmakers say there is more to the message.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, time to check some buzz in "Campaign 360."

President Bush has launched a two-day bus tour dubbed "Yes America Can." He made three stops in Michigan today. Tomorrow he heads to another battle ground state Ohio.

Today John Kerry flexed his muscles a bit, giving his take on the war on terror, the anti-defamation (UNINTELLIGIBLE) lunch in in Washington. His comments came as President Bush also spoke out on the subject while on the road. Here's what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The war on terror is not just the flexing of our military muscle. It is, above all, an intelligence gathering and law enforcement effort which will result in military efforts when appropriate. But as we have seen more than ever, we need intelligence that is sound, and we need to make certain that when we act we are acting on the truth.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Listen someone said this is just a matter of enforcement. This isn't a matter of law enforcement. We tried that attitude before. And while we had that attitude that this was just a law enforcement matter the enemy was planning and plotting.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Meanwhile team Kerry has rolled out new ads to show quote what he stands for. The bio-blitz will focus on 19 key states. It's the biggest one-time political ad buy ever, more than $25 million.

In California today, opening statements in the trial of three teenagers accused of videotaping themselves raping an unconscious girl. Tomorrow, jurors will see the tape for themselves.

CNN's Thelma Gutierrez reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Greg Haidl, Kyle Nackreiner, and Keith Spann. Three teenagers accused of gang raping a 16-year-old girl two years ago in this home. The home belongs to assistant Orange County Sheriff Don Haidl, the father of one of the defendants.

DAN HESS, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The evidence will show you that due to the defendants' own perversion and arrogance and stupidity.

GUTIERREZ: In opening statements the prosecution told jurors they will see graphic evidence of the crime. A 20-minute videotape of the alleged rape of an unconscious girl on a pool table, shot by Greg Haidl.

HESS: The way in which these defendants assaulted her, the way in which they penetrated her and raped her, no one would consent to.

GUTIERREZ: The defense attorney John Barnett told jurors the girl was an appearing porn actress who consented to the sexual acts.

JOHN BARNETT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The evidence is going to be that she wanted to be a porn star, and she told her friends that.

GUTIERREZ: The prosecution claims the victim was invited to a 4th of July party, was given liquor, then passed out.

HESS: The evidence shows that the defendants raped Jane Doe, they forcibly orally copulated her, they penetrated her with a number of objects.

GUTIERREZ: The defendants, minors at the time, are being tried as adults. They were arrested after a friend saw the tape and turned it over to police.

BARNETT: The evidence is going to show that Jane doe, without any threats, without any coercion, voluntarily, voluntarily consented to each and every single act that is depicted in this book, and that is depicted on that film.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): The victim is expected to testify. If the defendants are found guilty, they could each face 55 years in prison. Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: 360 continues in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, step right up, ladies and gentlemen, witness life beyond limits. All this week, CNN's senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta learns the tricks of the trade of extreme living. Tonight, the mild-mannered neurosurgeon gets a lesson on fire breathing. I've actually even brought a fire extinguisher just in case he gets into trouble. So he's going to join us now to talk about it. What is this about?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I've always been fascinated by carnival stunts. The eating fire, go to side shows and stuff. Do they really do it? Is it real or is it just an illusion? I wanted to find out, and learn the science behind it, as well. So I thought the best way to do that would be actually to get a lesson in some of this stuff.

And it's worth pointing out, I think, and I've said this a few times, that these are dangerous things, obviously. I spent a lot of time with experts. What we're about to see is a very compressed version of my lesson in breathing fire.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA (voice-over): My first lesson came from Todd Robins. He's a sideshow master who does a lot of things you just shouldn't do, from swallowing swords to blowing fireballs.

The first time was a real rush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Close your mouth.

GUPTA: With that lesson under my belt, I headed to Texas to meet with another master, Brian Brushwood, who literally wrote the book on eating fire.

At first glance, Brian seems like a normal doting father. Penelope Ray (ph) was just 7 days old when we met her. But how many dads can do this?

(on camera): If you get it right, it looks like a little fireball jumping up there.

(voice-over): Today he's working on something called the human candle.

BRIAN BRUSHWOOD, AUTHOR: In fact, practice with me real quick right now. Practice just get a mouth full of air, and then let it out as slowly as you can. And you can totally impress all the fire-eating people, because they think this is one of the hardest things to do. Good wide open, tongue out, there you go, bring it in. You're showing your teeth.

GUPTA: It's hot.

BRUSHWOOD: Yeah, it is hot.

GUPTA: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) upper lip.

BRUSHWOOD: Then you need to tilt back. If you're getting the upper lip -- there you go, there you go. In there. Hold it. Then pull it out. OK, I think you're just exhaling is what's going on. There you go. All the way in. There you go. Yeah! Did you feel that?

GUPTA: Yeah.

BRUSHWOOD: You can tell when it's in there. All the way in. Hold it, hold it there. Hold it there. You got plenty. Slowly. Yeah. That was cool!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Sanjay, man. That's incredible.

GUPTA: I watch it every time. I can't believe that I did that. But you know, it really doesn't hurt at all. It's amazing. And you can actually extinguish it. Just basic physics and anatomy.

COOPER: All right, well, don't try that at home. We're going to see more of this tomorrow. More of you testing the limits. And Sunday at 9:00 is the special.

GUPTA: That's right. Thank you.

COOPER: All right, thanks.

Time to check on some pop news in tonight's "Current." Let's take a look at the world of the ridiculous.

The million marijuana march. There it is. The million marijuana march was held in Manhattan this weekend. Protesters took to the streets demanding the drug's legalization. In case you missed it, some members of the 360 staff will now recreate the event. We want to point out this is a dramatization.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we want?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chips!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do we want it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know, man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: A 360 dramatization. Woody Harrelson, in related news, is the subject of a new documentary film that chronicles a unique trip he made down the Pacific coastline. The actor and some buddies traveled in a bus that was powered by hemp. We hear the fuel came in three varieties, regular, diesel and Jamaican.

Gibson is launching a new digital guitar model. It uses a computer chip to control the sound on each string. Besides helping pros hone their skills, the technology now gives teens around the country a whole new way to butcher "Stairway to Heaven."

And Mike Tyson is heading back to the ring. Word is the former heavyweight will make his return on July 31 against a journeyman. To make sure Tyson's first fighting in the year goes smoothly, we hear his opponent will already be on the floor before Iron Mike even gets into the ring.

Well, almost no one has seen a provocative new film about the role played by Latinos in California. But already it is drawing mixed reviews. That's because of the billboards promoting the movie. Billboards that are creating a storm of controversy on their own. CNN's entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have lost our Mexicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "A Day Without a Mexican."

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What would happen if the entire Latino population in California suddenly disappeared? Mexican director Sergio Arau and his wife, Yareli Arizmendi, explore that topic in their new film, "A Day Without a Mexican."

YARELI ARIZMENDI, CO-WRITER, ACTRESS: There's a lot of humor, and humor allows you to talk very deeply about very difficult issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is the government calling them aliens if they did not think that they were from somewhere else?

Here is Jose. Mother ship.

Jose mother ship.

ARIZMENDI: This is a dialogue opener. That's what it is.

VARGAS: The film has opened dialogue, but not the way the filmmakers expected. One of the billboards advertising the movie was taken down after just one day, because some found it to be offensive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anybody takes a look at that, if they don't know what the reasoning behind it or what the idea behind it is, you get a really bad impression. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of rude and offensive. But then when you think about it a little bit, you think maybe there's something behind it. You hope there's something behind it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is discrimination about the Latino people.

ARIZMENDI: Thank God people reacted to it, because it would be horrible to think that you live in California with people that won't react to a statement like that.

VARGAS: While there may have been initial confusion, the filmmakers hope audiences go home with a clear understanding that the Latino contribution to California is invaluable.

ARIZMENDI: How do you make the invisible visible? You take it away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please come back.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VARGAS: Very funny stuff. And a little bit of trivia. Sergio Arau, the movie's director, is the son of famed Mexican director Alfonso Arau. He directed the critically acclaimed "Like Water for Chocolate."

"A Day Without a Mexican" opens in select theaters May 14. Back to you, Anderson.

COOPER: Sibila, thanks very much.

Coming up, what do seals -- yes, seals -- have in common with the detainees at Gitmo? We take that to "The Nth Degree."

First, today's "Buzz." Is torture ever justified in interrogation? Log on to cnn.com/360. Cast your vote. We're going to have results when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Time now for "The Buzz." Earlier we asked, is torture ever justified in interrogation? More than 28,000 of you voted; 44 percent of you said yes; 56 percent of you said no. Not a scientific poll, just your buzz. Thanks for voting.

Tonight, taking rights to "The Nth Degree."

While the Supreme Court is considering the question of the rights of detainees in Gitmo, the government's position essentially being that they haven't got any, the Senate is pondering the rights of another group of foreigners. And in fact, seems about ready to come out strongly in favor of their rights.

The foreigners we're talking about are Canadian seals. Fifteen U.S. senators have already signed on to co-sponsor a bill condemning Canada for allowing its infamous seal hunt to continue. That bill, the Levin-Collins resolution, has been recommended to the full Senate by its Foreign Relations Committee. This is, after all, a foreign relations matter.

Proves what we've always suspected as well. If you're really, really cute, you've got a huge advantage in life.

Those detainees down there in Guantanamo might want to get the International Fund for Animal Welfare to take up their case. The IFAW has done wonders for those cute seals.

I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks for watching. "PAULA ZAHN NOW" is next.

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


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