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PAULA ZAHN NOW

Interview With Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage; President Bush Apologizes For Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners

Aired May 6, 2004 - 20:00   ET

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


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. I'm Paula Zahn.
President Bush says he is sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners. But a political firestorm is burning in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): Can Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld keep his job?

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's an important of my Cabinet and he'll stay in my Cabinet.

ZAHN: We'll hear from a former Pentagon insider who will tell us if Mr. Rumsfeld will survive this controversy.

And, in an exclusive interview, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage talks about the deep diplomatic hole the U.S. finds itself in.

What brings out the worst in prison guards? We're going to hear from a researcher whose experiment 30 years ago accurately predicted what happened in that Iraqi prison.

And what's with our presidential candidates? Both President Bush and John Kerry take a beating in the polls.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: All that ahead tonight, but, first, here's what you need to know right now.

The FBI has arrested a Portland, Oregon, lawyer in the investigation into March's deadly train bombings in Madrid, Spain. Law enforcement sources saying Brandon Mayfield's fingerprints were on a plastic bag with bomb related-material that had been connected to that attack.

A radical Islamic Web site has posted an audiotape message it says is from Osama bin Laden. The speaker offers 22 pounds of gold to anyone who kills Iraqi administrator Paul Bremer, U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan, or Annan's envoy to Iraq. Intelligence officials have not yet verified the tape's authenticity. Coalition troops in Iraq are closing in on the stronghold of a radical cleric whose name is Muqtada al-Sadr. Today, they took over the provincial governor's office in Najaf.

Jane Arraf, who sent these pictures by videophone, reported some sporadic fire and a mortar attack, but no U.S. casualties.

"In Focus" tonight, an apology and calls for accountability. Today, after meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah, President Bush formally apologized for Iraqi prisoner abuse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I told him I was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and the humiliation suffered by their families. I told him I was equally sorry that people who have been seeing those pictures didn't understand the true nature and heart of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Well, tonight, we'll discuss the motivation behind that apology you just heard with senior White House correspondent John King. We'll also be checking in with senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre about more calls today for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign.

First, though, a little bit earlier, I discussed all this with the second in command at the State Department, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Mr. Armitage, always good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us tonight.

RICHARD ARMITAGE, DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, thank you. I don't know if I should be thrilled playing opposite the "Friends" final episode, but I'm glad to be with you.

ZAHN: Well, thank you for reminding all the viewing audience of that, sir.

(LAUGHTER)

ARMITAGE: Just having fun with you.

ZAHN: For starters, are you glad the president apologized today?

ARMITAGE: I think it's very appropriate, obviously. And the fact that he expressed his emotion in such a heartfelt way I think will help a lot to sort of mend some of the humiliation the detainees felt.

ZAHN: In spite of the president's apology, though, how much backlash have you seen diplomatically as a result of this prison crisis?

ARMITAGE: I've actually seen a fair amount, but a lot of it in Europe, because for many of our European friends, what they saw on those horrible pictures is tantamount to torture. And there are very strong views about that.

In the Arab world, there's general dismay and disgust. But in some places, we were not real popular to start with. So I think I'm actually seeing the European reaction quite a bit stronger.

ZAHN: Are you confident, though, that you will see any appreciable change in the lack of public support, those -- that sector of the population has for America at this point?

ARMITAGE: I think it's quite clear that we have a lot of work to do. And we're in a bit of a hole. Successfully completing our mission in Iraq will help to get out of that hole. I think what happened in New York with Secretary Powell and the quartet members has helped a bit, and particularly the reaction to that in the Arab world has been quite good.

And finally today, President Bush and King Abdullah of Jordan met and I think made very positive comments. And so I think we've -- we're starting to climb out.

ZAHN: When you say we're in a bit of a hole, describe to us on an arc where you think we are.

ARMITAGE: Well, look, don't you think it's a blinding glimpse of the obvious to say we're in a bit of a hole? We've had some difficulties in Iraq. I think we're rounding the corner on that. We've had these disgusting pictures which have horrified all of us and filled us all just with the worst possible feelings.

And, particularly, I think our feelings are so strong, because generally, the U.S. soldiers, servicemen, men and women, are so fantastic and such good advertisements. I can't grade it or put a dipstick against the size of the hole we're in, but we're starting to climb out.

ZAHN: Can you confirm for us tonight the report that Secretary Rumsfeld and other members of the Pentagon resisted efforts from the State Department to confront the problems surrounding this detainee scandal?

ARMITAGE: Well, it's not a secret that the whole administration has had many discussions about the whole detainee situation. And it's not my business to talk about what the secretary or anyone else in this department, what advice we gave to the president or anyone else. That's information that should be kept in-camera.

ZAHN: Well, the president said today that Secretary Rumsfeld should have put him in the loop, made him aware of these prison pictures. At what point was the State Department made aware of them?

ARMITAGE: We'd had talks with the ICRC. This has been made clear by our friends in Geneva. And we as an administration had acted on some of the information they had given us. I don't know the exact date and time that we became aware of some allegations from the ICRC. But it was some time ago.

ZAHN: Is some time ago as far back as January?

ARMITAGE: Well, I'm not talking about the pictures or things of that nature. I'm talking about general situations of detention.

I think the ICRC has said today that, for some time -- I don't think they have put a date on it -- I can't -- they've been talking to various parts of this administration. And they acknowledge themselves that some of their recommendations have been acted upon.

ZAHN: When did you see the pictures for the first time?

ARMITAGE: When you did.

ZAHN: Do you have any explanation for why it took that long for you to have access to those pictures?

ARMITAGE: Well, I'm not sure that a State Department official would have definitely needed access to the pictures. I'd heard that there was this possibility a week or so before the pictures came forward. But, no, I don't think any of us could have imagined what was on them.

ZAHN: There are also calls today for Secretary Rumsfeld's resignation or impeachment. Do you believe that the secretary can weather this crisis?

ARMITAGE: Absolutely.

And the only call that really matters is the one the president makes. And he's expressed full confidence in Secretary Rumsfeld. We've got a war going on. He's been a fine secretary. And I think we'll let it rest at that.

ZAHN: The State Department was supposed to release its annual human rights report yesterday. It was delayed. Would it have been hypocritical to release that report at a time and criticize other countries' human rights abuses when our own abuses were staring this country in the face?

ARMITAGE: Well, I was the one who made the decision to delay the release of that report, because I didn't think that report could even be heard.

I could make just the other opposite observation, that in a country such as ours, even though we've had this terrible tragedy, that there is a transparent procedure to make sure justice is done and that we correct the wrongs. And I think that speaks well about human rights in our country.

ZAHN: You feared the report wouldn't be heard. Is that as a result of what perceived hypocrisy there might have been? ARMITAGE: Well, I wasn't looking so much at the hypocrisy. I was looking at the very correct and understandable noise level that was surrounding the whole issue. And I didn't think we'd be heard at all. And so I made the decision to delay it a week. And we'll do it the first couple of days of next week.

ZAHN: You had said in a speech back in March that, on June 30 -- quote -- "The Iraqi interim government will assume full sovereignty" -- unquote.

But then two weeks ago, your undersecretary of state, Marc Grossman, told Congress that the new government would only have limited sovereignty. Why the change?

ARMITAGE: Well, I think sovereignty is sovereignty.

But let's be clear. If you have a caretaker government, one that is going to be in place for seven months, which is what is envisioned starting 1 July, then it's quite obvious that that government won't be making long-term decisions for the nation of Iraq. That will await a legitimately, democratically elected government.

All of us to some extent who are sovereign nations limit ourselves in our sovereignty. We do it through laws. We do it through international conventions. So I think the definition was a little fuzzy. They'll be fully sovereign, but there are some self- limiting aspects of sovereignty that all nations engage in.

ZAHN: Final question about your boss tonight, "GQ" magazine reporting that your boss, Secretary Powell, is tired and wants out. Characterize for us how he feels about his job right now.

ARMITAGE: Well, I've got a lot of energy. I get up early. I go to bed late. And he runs me ragged. So, if he's tired, he hasn't shown to it me. He's proud to serve. He'll be proud to continue to serve this president.

ZAHN: Well, tired and happy aren't mutually exclusive things, are they, sir? Is he happy at his job?

ARMITAGE: I think he's perfectly happy doing what he's done, 35 years in the military, and doing what he did, even the private sector, which is serving the American people.

ZAHN: Mr. Armitage, thanks for joining us and thanks for not watching "Friends" at this hour.

(LAUGHTER)

ZAHN: Appreciate your time.

ARMITAGE: Thank you, Ms. Zahn.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Oh, yes, yet another reminder of what we're up against tonight.

Now, for an inside look at the motivation behind President Bush's apology, senior White House correspondent John King joins us.

Hi John.

So, the president didn't use the word sorry yesterday when a lot of people were expecting to hear it. Today, he did. Why?

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Because of the reactions to the fact that he did not use it yesterday. Here in the United States and especially across the Arab world, Mr. Bush used that word sorry, Paula, after emerging from a private meeting in the Oval Office with King Abdullah of Jordan.

The king and, we're told, other members of the Jordanian delegation told the president and other U.S. officials that, if they wanted to begin, just begin, to calm the outrage in the Arab world, Mr. Bush needed to directly apologize. Now, the president, after he did that, also discussed the ramifications of this prison abuse scandal. You just talked to the deputy secretary of state. He said the United States was in a bit of a hole.

Here's how the president put it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: It's a stain on our country's honor and our country's reputation. I fully understand that. And that's why it's important that justice be done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Also important from the White House perspective is that Mr. Bush not only said the word sorry, but that he got to appear in public with a respected Arab leader like King Abdullah of Jordan, Mr. Bush hoping this picture at least begins to tempers the outrage across the Arab world.

Now, the king of Jordan was quite reserved in his comments. It was clear he was in an awkward political position of his own, but he did say that he trusted Mr. Bush when the president promised him that there would a thorough investigation and that those responsible for the abuses would be found and brought to justice, the White House quite encouraged by those statements -- Paula.

ZAHN: John King at the White House tonight, thanks so much.

We move now on to Capitol Hill, where more lawmakers are calling on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign or be fired because of the scandal. Tomorrow, Rumsfeld will appear before the Senate and House Armed Services Committee.

Senior Pentagon Jamie McIntyre joins us now with some insights as to what Mr. Rumsfeld might be doing to get ready for tomorrow's testimony. Good evening, Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Paula.

Well, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld sort of took the day off today to cram for his final exam tomorrow. He was supposed to give a speech in Philadelphia. He sent his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, instead. We're told he's going to run through a timeline of essentially what he knew and when he knew it. And he will also bring with him a poster-size version of this. This is the original press release that the Pentagon issued back on January 16. It's one paragraph describing the investigation. It doesn't say, by the way, the name of the prison, nor describe the scale (AUDIO GAP) use it to try to make the case that they did announce to the world what was going on back in January.

ZAHN: All right, Jamie, we're going to leave it there this night. Thanks so much. Appreciate that update.

Moving on, how Donald Rumsfeld likely will respond to questions from Congress during tomorrow's hearings. We're going to actually ask a former Pentagon insider who knows him well.

As the Iraqi prison scandal unfolds, many are wondering what would motivate guards to humiliate prisoners. Well, a study now that is more than 30 years old may actually hold some clues.

And the latest polls in the race for the White House, what the numbers reveal about where the president and John Kerry stand with voters.

And we'll get Ralph Nader's perspective on the campaign.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Donald Rumsfeld was a member of Congress when John F. Kennedy was in the White House and has served U.S. presidents since the Nixon administration. He's seen political firestorms come and go. Well, now he is at the center of one himself.

This is the cover of the new issue of "The Economist." Its headline reads, "Resign, Rumsfeld." That's what Democratic members of Congress are saying as well.

So what is Mr. Rumsfeld himself thinking? Contributor and former Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke has worked closely with him. She joins me now from Washington. She actually spoke with him today.

What is his reaction to these calls for either his impeachment, his resignation, or his being fired?

VICTORIA CLARKE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, with Secretary Rumsfeld, it's really not about him. He knows he serves at the pleasure of the president. He's a tremendous public servant. And the president has made it quite clear that he wants him in his Cabinet. He values his role as a very successful secretary of defense in very challenging times.

So, fortunately, the editors of "The Economist" don't get to decide who gets to be secretary of defense.

ZAHN: Well, certainly. But he, as you said, serves at the pleasure of the president. But he can't be too happy about these pretty widespread calls for his resignation. Could you characterize for us on an emotional level how he's reacting to this, even though it has no impact on whether he keeps his job or not?

CLARKE: Well, I can tell you what he's focusing on, one, as you've heard and I think you'll hear more tomorrow, just how personally appalled he was at these acts that were committed against the Iraqi prisoners.

Just any human being looks at those photographs and says, how could anyone do that to another human being? So, tomorrow, I think you're going to hear some of that. You're going to hear how he feels so badly for those Iraqi prisoners and their families and for the Iraqi people who have put their faith and hope in us. So I think you'll hear a very distinct apology for him. I think -- I know you'll hear that he is responsible for ensuring that we get to the bottom of this in a thorough investigation and make sure that those who are responsible are punished appropriately.

So, right now, I think what he's doing is focusing on the task at hand, which is getting to the bottom of this.

ZAHN: You say there will be -- quote -- "a distinct apology" from him tomorrow. Now, he came very -- as close as you could get yesterday on the morning shows to apologizing and not quite doing it. What has changed in the last 36 hours?

CLARKE: Well, it's a different opportunity tomorrow. Secretary Rumsfeld is one of those people that actually tends to answer questions very directly when people ask him questions.

Tomorrow, in the format, in the testimony, he will be able to make a statement. And, again, I think you're going to hear a very, very forthright statement that indicates how seriously he is taking this, how seriously he takes his personal responsibility in this issue, and, most importantly, and what most of the American people and the world want to see, is some confidence that this investigation is going to be very, very thorough and that it will hold those responsible accountable and will make sure they're punished.

ZAHN: So how much of the blame rests on his shoulders?

CLARKE: He takes the responsibility.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: So no passing of the buck tomorrow?

CLARKE: Absolutely not.

ZAHN: But, certainly, there are other folks to point to in this chain of command, aren't there?

CLARKE: Well, it's one of the reasons you want this investigation. We'd all like to have it done as quickly as possible, but you want it done well and you want it done thoroughly. And the investigation has already begun, obviously. It's been going on for some time.

But it will look at every aspect of this, including the environment, including the climate in which these people committed these atrocities. But no matter how much you can look at the many, many different factors that may have resulted in what they did, I don't think you can ever get away from the fact that those individuals did something that human beings just should not do to one another. And there's no environment, there's no climate that excuses that.

ZAHN: The secretary said that there is a rational explanation for what happened. Can you help us understand that tonight? Can you see any way there is a rational explanation?

CLARKE: Well, I think what he was talking about is explanations for why the facts have come out the way in which they have come out. And I don't think there's any rational explanation for why people would behave in such an animal fashion.

But the military system of justice is very, very complex. And it requires all sorts of rules and regulations about what can and cannot be said publicly, to protect those people who are under investigation. So I think you'll hear some of that. I think you'll also hear that quite a few things about this investigation, the allegations, were brought forward several months ago and were brought forward several times.

My information is that, at the end of January, CNN actually reported on the investigation and suggested it involved atrocities at this particular prison and might involve photographs. So it is important. If people really want to take this issue seriously and not get caught up in the rhetoric and emotion, but take it seriously, it is important for them to look at the facts over the last months.

ZAHN: Victoria Clarke, thanks so much for joining us tonight.

CLARKE: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: And a programming note for you all. CNN will bring you live coverage of Donald Rumsfeld's testimony on Capitol Hill beginning at 11:45 a.m. Eastern.

Did a study done three decades ago predict that abuse is inevitable in prisons? We're going to talk with one of the researchers involved about what he discovered.

And a woman who has spent her life studying serial killers tells us why they are different and why the conventional wisdom about them may be all wrong.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: We all want to know why American prison guards in Iraq would do the appalling things we've seen in photographs. Well, some clues may be found in a psychology experiment done at Stanford University 33 years ago. A dozen volunteers acted as guards, a dozen as prisoners. Within days, the guards had turned sadistic, putting bags on prisoners' heads, forcing them to strip naked, urging them to perform sexual acts, almost exactly what we've seen in Iraq.

Craig Haney, now with the University of California, Santa Cruz, was a lead researcher on the Stanford prison experiment. He joins us now.

Good evening.

CRAIG HANEY, PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ: Good evening.

ZAHN: So, when you first saw these photos out of Iraq, what did you think?

HANEY: I was very saddened, because they looked eerily familiar to photographs that we had taken 33 years earlier in the experiment that we did at Stanford.

ZAHN: What was similar?

HANEY: There were pictures of humiliation. There were pictures of people going out of their way to demean other people. Some of the very acts that were depicted in the photographs in Iraq were very similar to things that were done at Stanford.

The guards in our simulated study forced the prisoners to exercise and then put their foot on their back and made it difficult for them to exercise, used clothing as a way of humiliating them, put bags over their heads also as part of the humiliation which took place in the experiment, went out of their way to physically abuse them out of the sight of the experimenters, and so on.

ZAHN: And we're actually looking at pictures of the study that conducted. What is so stunning about these pictures in your study was that the study was supposed to go on two weeks. You actually halted it just six days into your experiment.

HANEY: Yes, we did.

It got completely out of control. And we realized about five days into it that we had lost control of the environment that we had created and that we had set up to study. The reactions were much more extreme than anything we anticipated. We were not prepared for it. And we realized that the only thing, the only ethical thing to do at that point was to terminate the study.

ZAHN: So you were talking about a controlled environment. In Iraq, you're talking about a strikingly different set of circumstances. Is there any parallel you'd make there? HANEY: Well, actually, there are many parallels. I think the first parallel that's important to keep in mind is that prisons themselves, the dynamic which is set up between prisoners, who have really no power, or virtually no power, and guards, who have virtually complete power, is an inherently dangerous environment for human beings to be in.

And if it's not very, very carefully monitored and regulated, there's an inherent potential in that environment for mistreatment to occur.

ZAHN: So that's what you think leads to this either violence or hideous acts against these prisoners?

(CROSSTALK)

HANEY: Yes, I think the absence of control and regulation and oversight and the absence of a presence of people from the outside coming in to look at what is happening periodically.

We have to do that in actual American prisons in the United States. All of these control mechanisms have to be in place to prevent these kinds of things from taking place. The basic lesson is that these environments are inherently difficult, if not actually inherently bad environments. Even good people who are placed in these environments sometimes find that their behavior is pulled and shaped and twisted into something very different. And they lose perspective inside of these places.

ZAHN: Well, thank you for giving this broad view tonight. And when I read about your experiment, it just was so absolutely eerie and creepy to think about perfectly what we would describe in society as normal people could be led to that kind of behavior.

HANEY: Yes.

ZAHN: In California, when you studied this.

Craig Haney, thank you.

HANEY: You're welcome.

ZAHN: Coming up, Senator Kerry may be closing in on the president, but only because the president is slipping. We'll sort out the latest polls with and without Ralph Nader in the mix.

And Jeanne Moos takes an offbeat look at the end of a television phenomenon and at some people who don't even have a clue about who Ross and Rachel are.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Time to bring you up to date on what you need to know right now. A Portland, Oregon, man is in FBI custody, arrested in connection with the March 11 train bombings in Madrid, Spain. Law enforcement sources say attorney Brandon Mayfield is being called a material witness, which means he can be held secretly and not charged. His detention is based on information from Spanish authorities.

Today Arab TV network Al Arabiya aired video received of an Iraqi-American apparently being held hostage in Iraq. Aban Elias (ph) says in the video that he is a civil engineer who is working with the Pentagon. His family is asking Islamic organizations to help free him.

The Food and Drug Administration will not allow the morning-after pill to be sold over the counter. In its decision today, the FDA cited concern about young teenagers possibly using the pill. However, regulators have suggested they may reconsider their ruling later.

New polls show President Bush's approval rating at -- now at near its lowest point since he took office. It is 49 percent in a new Gallup poll. That is down from 60 percent in January. You might be surprised, though, that George Bush's problems are not helping John Kerry all that much. A new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll shows the president leading John Kerry 46 to 42 percent. That's about the same as in March.

So what the heck is going on here? I spoke with Paul Begala and Robert Novak of "CROSSFIRE." I started off by asking Paul whether the voting public just isn't crazy about either one of these candidates.

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": It's about the incumbent. We have an incumbent on the ballot. And an incumbent's reelection, at least four fifths of it, is how's the incumbent doing? John Kerry's not defined yet in the eyes of voters. To the extent he is, you know, he's had $45 million in negative ads against him. The thing to watch here is the incumbent's vote in the polls. He's a polarizing incumbent. He's not going to get any of the undecideds. So he has to be polling above 50 percent if he has any hope to win.

ZAHN: So Bob, the Bush campaign can't be too happy about these latest numbers, can they?

BOB NOVAK, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": I think they're pretty happy with them, considering all the bad news there's been. There's been a book of the week bashing President Bush. There's been all kinds of bad news in the war, and then these -- just these atrocious atrocity pictures of treatment of prisoners. And he's still running about even. We've got a long -- let's -- let's cool it. We've got a long way to go.

The thing I disagree with Paul on is that this is strictly a referendum on the incumbent. There is -- it takes two to tango. There is another candidate running, and that is the problem. He is not very likable, as you indicated. The other thing I think you have to say is there's a very small undecided vote. Most Americans know who they're going to vote for. They're not going to change. And we're working with a very small universe that sways back and forth, depending on what the latest news is.

ZAHN: Paul, let's come back to those numbers for John Kerry because I think a lot of folks out there may -- might be surprised that he's not benefiting from the president's dip in the numbers. When only 38 percent of folks polled express positive views of him, that is down from 43 percent in March, there's not a silver lining there, is there?

BEGALA: Well, again, it's cost him 5 percent in his favorable to have $45 million, $50 million worth of negative ads against him. This is a guy who's never run on a national ticket before. He's largely unknown. He hasn't had his convention. He hasn't picked his running mate. He hasn't had his debates. President Bush, on the other hand, has had all of that, plus three years in office. There's very little new information we're likely to get about Mr. Bush that's going to persuade anybody to be for him.

But there's a whole lot of potential for Kerry to grow his vote because people don't know a lot about him. He's only now beginning his advertising. And then he'll have, you know, a summer where he's got a running mate and a convention and then he'll have the debates in the fall. So just ask me, I'd rather be running Kerry's campaign than Bush's.

ZAHN: But Bob...

NOVAK: Oh, come on! Bush -- Bush...

ZAHN: ... you made the point -- Bob, you made the point, though, that we're looking at a relatively small number of undecided voters out there. And this closeness of this race makes Nader a wild card. I spoke with Ralph Nader yesterday, and here's what he had to say about what the stakes are. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So how badly do you want John Kerry to beat George Bush?

RALPH NADER (I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I want George Bush to be defeated but with a candidate who has a mandate. And if John Kerry wins the election without any mandate on all these issues, like living wage and universal health care and tax reform and a decent foreign policy, what have we won?

ZAHN: Well, do you think he's going to end up with a mandate? Is that what you're saying?

NADER: We're going to try to give him a mandate. That's one of the purposes of this independent candidacy of mine, as our Web site, votenader.org, demonstrates, is to broaden the number of issues and the number of missions for a better America that both parties have to take into account.

ZAHN: But recent polls would suggest that your candidacy pulls away support equally from President Bush and John Kerry. Do you accept the possibility that your running for president might end up costing John Kerry the election in a close race?

NADER: Not when 100 million non-voters are up for grabs. I mean, so many voters out there, Paula, that the Democrats would do well to stop whining about our candidacy and get to work and grab some of those voters against the extreme wing that is now dominating the corporate Republican Party.

ZAHN: Well, Congress John Kerry says he is worried about all those issues you're addressing. Have you had any recent contact with his campaign?

NADER: Well, we're about to get a schedule to get together and meet. I'm going to show him 10 major issues that reflect the necessities of the American people and the need for justice in this country that he could defeat George Bush on. How's that for giving away your trade secrets?

ZAHN: Well, we love it when you give away your trade secrets, which leads me to my next question. Do you see any scenario where the Kerry campaign could convince you not to run if they took on these issues in what you would deem would be a meaningful way?

NADER: No because even if they do that, it's just rhetoric. You have to keep on the backs of these politicians all the way until the bills are passed and signed and enforced. We've learned that over 40 years representing the health, safety and economic interests of the American people. You've got to stay with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: So Bob Novak, Mr. Nader making it very clear he's here to stay. How much does he hurt John Kerry?

NOVAK: I think he hurts him a little bit, but Ralph is deluding himself if he thinks that the undecided voters, what few there are, or the non-voters, of which there are many -- he's right about that -- are going to be -- he's going to appeal to them. I think he's got his voters. It's not going to get any larger. I mean, they're very strange people who vote for Ralph Nader, and I don't think the universe is going to expand very much.

ZAHN: Paul, what about that? Because he's made it clear he is going after disaffected Republican voters, as well. Does that potentially hurt the president?

BEGALA: No. The president is wildly popular among Republicans. He's done a great job of shoring up his base. He's done it to the detriment of his ability to reach moderate and centrist voters. But there's absolutely no risk of a Nader candidacy hurting the president. There's some great risk that a Nader candidacy hurts Senator Kerry. And I thought your question was great to him. He said even if John Kerry adopts all of his -- all of your positions, Ralph Nader, will you get out of the race? He said no. Well, that tells me that this is about an ego trip. It's not about the issues that Nader says he cares about, it's about his ego trip.

NOVAK: But he's not going to -- he's not going to -- Kerry's not going to adopt all of Nader's positions. You know what.

BEGALA: Certainly not.

ZAHN: Of course not. NOVAK: Of course not.

BEGALA: He's his own person. He's his own candidate. And he is much more moderate. Bob's right, by the way. John Kerry is not a traditional liberal. He's a much more modest, centrist guy. I knew him a little bit when...

NOVAK: No, no! Wait, wait! No, don't...

BEGALA: ... I worked for President Clinton, who was a moderate centrist Democrat.

NOVAK: Don't...

ZAHN: You get the last word, Bob.

NOVAK: Don't attribute that to me! No, no. He's been a left- wing extreme liberal in the Senate, votes to the left of Teddy Kennedy. He's far to the left. But you can't get elected there, so he's moving to the right.

ZAHN: All right...

NOVAK: That's entirely different.

ZAHN: We're just going to have to roll the videotape for evidence here, gentlemen. Paul and Bob, thanks for your time tonight. Appreciate it.

BEGALA: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: Inside the minds of some of America's most notorious serial killers. We're going to talk with a woman who has spent her life learning why they seem to be born to kill.

And my conversation -- and an exclusive one at that -- with music legend Carly Simon. She gives us rare insight into her loves, her career and her triumph over cancer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacey, the Green River killer -- America is horrified yet fascinated by serial killers. Our next guest has actually spoken with more than 80 of them. Dr. Helen Morrison is America's foremost profiler of serial murderers, and she writes about her 30 years dealing with them in her new book, called "My Life Among the Serial Killers." She joins us now.

What's a beautiful girl like you talking to men mostly like this? Where does your fascination in these killers come from?

DR. HELEN MORRISON, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST, PROFILES SERIAL KILLERS: I don't think my fascination's much different than most people. There's something both repelling and very attractive about someone who can murder so many people and have absolutely no remorse, no feeling, no concern about what they've done. ZAHN: You just used an odd word. You said, "attractive," something attractive about them.

MORRISON: Yes, there is. People are...

ZAHN: How so?

MORRISON: ... fascinated.

ZAHN: So sick.

MORRISON: Well, not necessarily. I mean, it could be, but -- depending how far you go with it. But I think people are fascinated by the fact that these individuals are not just murdering one person, but they're murdering 10, 15, 20, 30 and absolutely never get caught until they make some mistake and absolutely are not ever suspected of being a serial murderer.

ZAHN: When you sat down and looked at these guys eye to eye, how many of them do you think were actually telling you the truth about what their motivations were?

MORRISON: They don't have any motives. They just kill.

ZAHN: But what inspired them to kill?

MORRISON: Well, they say they need to kill, and that's it. It's a little bit like a drug addict who needs his drug or needs his fix. And once he has it, he's fine, but at a certain point in time, he needs another one.

ZAHN: So what do you say to them when they say that to you?

MORRISON: I don't say very much. I just listen to them because if you start to try to take charge of their interview, they will clam up. They won't continue to talk.

ZAHN: What is the one thread that connects all these killers you've had intimate conversations with over the years?

MORRISON: They're all male. They are individuals who have absolutely no emotions. They do not see human beings as human. They see them as valuable as a chair, or a match that's lighted and put out. And that's the most common thread.

MORRISON: People might find it odd that down in the basement of your home, you actually have the brain of one of these killers.

MORRISON: Yes.

ZAHN: Why?

MORRISON: One of the things that happened at the autopsy -- and that was about 10 years ago, it was John Gacey -- was to try to look at the brain with the tools we had available then, to see if we could see anything abnormal. And there was absolutely nothing abnormal about it. And the brain is there, waiting for the time when we can do further testing, to see if there's some new tools that we can look at, see if we can find anything at all.

ZAHN: Well, you could store that brain in any number of places, but it's in your home.

MORRISON: Well, one of the things is that, if you look on the Internet and you see the number of souvenirs that are sold from serial killers, it's the safest place it can be.

ZAHN: What is it that you've learned that might save somebody out there from becoming a victim of one of these vicious killers?

MORRISON: One of the things that's very clear is that the serial killer chooses what he considers a disposable victim, someone who's alone, an addict, a prostitute, a runaway child. And why these people continue to get into the cars or vehicles or whatever of these individuals is still a major problem. Even though people know there's a serial murderer out there, they'll still go with this person.

ZAHN: I felt like a bit of a voyeur reading sections of your book. Helen Morrison, it's absolutely fascinating.

MORRISON: Thank you.

ZAHN: And repelling at the same time.

MORRISON: Yes.

ZAHN: You've got that combination right. Thank you, Doctor.

MORRISON: Thank you.

ZAHN: Coming up, quite a change in focus, my exclusive conversation with Carly Simon. I'm going to ask about her transformation from stammering child to music legend and about the love lost along the way.

And then them. The "Friends" call it quits. Jeanne Moos gets an earful from some fans and foes of the long-running sitcom.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: She is vibrant, caring, wildly creative. She is Carly Simon. This week, the legendary singer/songwriter released her latest album, "Reflections: Carly Simon's Greatest Hits." On it, 20 classic songs so familiar they feel like old friends. And recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the icon for a rare interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARLY SIMON, SINGER/SONGWRITER: I was a little kind of awkward, gawky, stuttering child who was very needy, very insecure, very afraid of going away from home, had tremendous trepidations about leaving my mother, especially. I had such a bad stammer that I really couldn't talk, and it would come out very -- it was like that. ZAHN: Do you remember kids making fun of you because of your stammer?

SIMON: Oh, yes. I remember, at one point in 4th grade, the kids all decided that I smelled. And it got around from one kid to another. It was because they couldn't really say that I stammered or I stuttered. So it translated into, There's something wrong with her. She smells.

ZAHN: Oh, how awful!

SIMON: And there was one girl, Rondi (ph), who came up to me one day and whispered to me, You don't smell. And that also caught fire. And then another girl said, You know, you don't smell, a little bit louder. You don't smell. You don't smell. You don't smell. You don't -- you know, so there was a -- it caught on. Things do catch on like that. And so I realized that things can catch on in a positive way, too.

ZAHN (voice-over): This positive attitude has gotten Carly through some very tough times, the bitter and highly publicized divorce from her husband of over 10 years, singer James Taylor, her frequent bouts with anxiety and depression. and most recently, her battle with breast cancer.

(on camera): You came through a tough period when you were diagnosed with breast cancer. What got you through that?

SIMON: I put my head down on the table, still with the phone in my hand, saying, This can't be. This just can't be true. It's impossible. I would say what got me through that period was my own little chaps, my own little chaps who mobilized inside my body and brain. And together, we were like little marching soldiers, saying, you know, We're going to find a way through this.

ZAHN: Were you afraid of dying?

SIMON: Yes. But no more so than I usually am!

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: I mean, I really am the kind of person who's just as filled with fears as I am with joys, which is one of the things that, thankfully, is not coming across too much in this interview. But I am a fearful person.

ZAHN (voice-over): When you sit with this musical legend, you can't help but be surprised by her sense of humor. It comes through when she talks about sad times and happy times, but also when she's trying to avoid answering the question that every fan wants to know. Who is "So Vain"?

(on camera): There's still so much mystery about who inspired the song "You're So Vain." Are you amazed by the level of interest in that question?

SIMON: Yes, I'm amazed by it. And the only real thing that's mysterious is why it's still so interesting.

ZAHN: Long ago, though, you once admitted that it could potentially be a composite of a number of men who were dear to you in your life, whether it was Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, maybe even a little bit of James Taylor in there.

SIMON: Well, I guess -- you know, I mean, those who are interested in clues, the name of the person it was about had an "E" in it.

ZAHN: Oh, well, thank you. That's very helpful, Carly.

SIMON: Maybe I could disclose another letter.

ZAHN: That would be James Taylor, Mick Jagger and Warren Beatty. OK. We still the same three in the pot.

SIMON: See, it also has...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Well, she does eventually give us one other letter. You can see more from my conversation with Carly Simon this weekend on CNN. Tune in Saturday morning at 11:00 AM eastern for "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS."

"Friends" to the end. One of the most successful sitcoms ever is about to fade. Jeanne Moos looks at the farewell parties, the dedicated fans, and would you believe, some who have never heard of Ross and Rachel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: By some estimates, some 50 million Americans tonight will be watching the grand finale of "Friends," which we do not encourage you to do -- slightly less than that watching the show tonight. Yes, right. Well, truthfully, we do know, though, that there are plenty of people out there who are not obsessed with the No. 1 sitcom on TV, and Jeanne Moos set out to find them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You know how friends linger too long at the doorway saying goodbye?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bidding a fond farewell to some of our TV friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Friends" going off the air tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are we going to do?

MOOS: You can tell how long "Friends" has been on the air by the size of the cordless phone in the show's decade-old pilot. NBC went so far as to take a poll on the plot of the finale.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We asked our viewers, Should Ross and Rachel get together?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's Ross and Mitchell?

MOOS (on camera): Ross and Rachel.

(voice-over): Breaking news: There are folks out there who aren't even acquainted with "Friends."

(on camera): Should Ross and Rachel get together?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God. Who are they?

MOOS: Should Ross and Rachel get together?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't care less what they do.

MOOS (voice-over): America is divided.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very hilarious to me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mildly amusing, but cheaply so.

MOOS (on camera): You can kind of divide the United States into two camps today, those who care and those who don't care at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't care about the ones that don't care.

MOOS (voice-over): Hard to believe that there are those of us who have only ever seen snippets of the show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, I had it on last night because there was a thunderstorm and the dog was nervous. So we sat on the couch together and watched it.

MOOS: Man's best friend watching "Friends." If you think it's only for the younger demographic...

(on camera): Should Ross and Rachel get together?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, sure.

MOOS (voice-over): Meet an 88-year-old fan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love them. That's up-to-date stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't watch it?

MOOS (on camera): I didn't like it, to be honest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you watch?

MOOS: I like "The Sopranos."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh!

MOOS: I like "Sex and the City." UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that's too much sex.

MOOS (voice-over): "Friends" may have run its course, but there are always reruns.

ELLEN DE GENERES, COMEDIAN: But I'm going to miss the friends, I mean, because we used to watch them once a week. And now we're going only going to get to see them every day at 3:00, 5:00, 7:00 and 9:00.

MOOS: Aristotle once defined a friend as one soul inhabiting two bodies.

(on camera): Should Ross and Rachel get together?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know who you're talking about.

MOOS (voice-over): Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Well, somehow, I think a lot of you know what she was talking about. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. Appreciate your dropping by. Tomorrow, defense secretary Rumsfeld testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Our coverage begins at 11:45. Good night.

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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