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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
CIA Director George Tenent Resigns; A look at CIA's Stargate, a Canceled Psychic Intelligence Program
Aired June 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: Good evening, I'm Anderson Cooper. Bit shake-up at the Central Intelligence Agency. 360 starts right now.
COOPER (voice-over): George Tenet resigns, siting personal reasons. But is that code for forced out?
Former President Clinton hits the campaign trail, for his book, that is. But how frank will he be about sex, lies and videotape in the White House?
A convicted sex offender admits to killing 2 women. But are there more unreported victims out there? Police search for bodies.
Did this pharmaceutical giant deliberately mislead doctors and kids about the dangers of its popular anti-depressant?
Stone cold innocent or lying murderer? Who do you believe? And which version will the jury buy?
And easy as ESP? Psychic spies and top secret intelligence. Our special series "Paranormal Mysteries" continues. Do you believe?
ANNOUNCER: Live, from New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
COOPER: Good evening. America's top spy, George Tenet, is calling it quits. And just moments ago, sources tell CNN that CIA deputy director of operations James Pavitt will resign tomorrow. Pavitt's office insists the decision is not related to Tenet's resignation and says Pavitt has been planning to step down for at least three weeks.
Regardless, it is a double whammy for the CIA. Tenet who has been chief of the CIA for 7 years gave an emotional explanation to agency employees today saying it was personal, and he did it for his family. But Tenet has been under fire for months facing lingering questions on intelligence on Iraq, and leading up to 9/11.
Tenet's decision comes as President Bush begins a European trip. In fact, about an hour ago he arrived in Rome. There he is there. The president will be meeting with several leaders on his trip some of whom have been sharply critical of the U.S. campaign in Iraq.
We're covering all angles of Tenet's resignation tonight. In Washington CNN national correspondent David Ensor. And with the president in Rome, CNN senior White House correspondent John King. We begin in Washington -- David.
DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, it's not a surprise that George Tenet is leaving. He's been talking about leaving for over a year. But the timing is a surprise.
ENSOR: George Tenet says it was he who told the president that he wants to leave office in mid-July after 7 years as director of central intelligence.
GEORGE TENET, FRM. CIA DIRECTOR: While Washington and the media will put many different faces on the decision, it was a personal decision. And had only one basis in fact, the well-being of my wonderful family. Nothing more and nothing less.
ENSOR: Tenet is likable and politically astute. But the 9/11 attacks by al Qaeda came on his watch, by definition an intelligence failure. So was the case at the U.N. for going to war to stop Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, weapons that have yet to be found. It was, after all, Tenet quoted in Bob Woodward's book saying it was a slam dunk case.
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R) ALABAMA: The record is there that there have been more failures on his watch as director of CIA, massive failures of intelligence, than anybody I know.
BOB KERREY, 9/11 COMMISSION MEMBER: He did a terrific job as DCI and I'm sad to see that there's so many people sort of gunning for him, trying to run him out of that position.
TENET: We're not perfect, but one of our best-kept secrets is that we are very, very, very good.
ENSOR: Tenet's deputy John McLaughlin, a career CIA man, will take over in July as acting director. Some are calling for the job to be redefined with more powers, before a new director is selected.
REP. JANE HARMAN, (D) CALIFORNIA: I think before we replace him, we should replace his job.
ENSOR: Tenet says, despite some disappointments, he's proud of his record. A senior intelligence official points to the quick war in Afghanistan, to Libya giving up weapons of mass destruction, to rolling up the nuclear black market of Pakistan's AQ Khan and to two thirds of al Qaeda's leaders having been killed or captured, though Osama bin Laden is still out there.
ENSOR: Some are suggesting that Tenet may want to go before the 9/11 commission report this summer. And reports from Hill committees on Iraq WMD that sources say are highly critical of the intelligence community and of Tenet. But stressing the personal nature of the decision to go, a senior intelligence official says to us that in August, Mr. Tenet hopes to be looking at colleges with his high school senior son -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, David Ensor, thanks very much for that. President Bush says he will miss George Tenet, a trusted adviser. The only holdover from the Clinton administration. The two men held meetings almost daily. Now those days, of course, are numbered.
The president is in Rome tonight. His first stop on a European trip. But before leaving Washington, he talked about Tenet's decision to step down. Here's CNN's senior White House correspondent John King.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He served his nation as the director...
JOHN KING, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president tried to make clear Director Tenet was not forced out by the White House.
BUSH: He has been a strong and able leader at the agency. He's been a -- he's been a strong leader in the war on terror and I will miss him.
KING: Administration officials say Tenet delivered the news in a private White House meeting Wednesday night. Mr. Bush said he would make the announcement, and did so Thursday morning just before leaving for Europe, when Mr. Bush's major goal is to use the political transition in Iraq to turn a new page in relations with France and other Iraq war opponents.
BUSH: A sovereign Iraq deserves the full support of the international community.
KING: While insisting the timing is coincidental, some administration officials say the Tenet resignation fits with the goal of moving past the bitter debate over war and whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. But Bush critics say it will only serve as a reminder.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think this certainly steps on it and it kind of reinforces the fact that in essence the intelligence case that he made to go in to Iraq was faulty and flawed. And he had no plan for getting us out of there.
KING: And while stressing Mr. Bush wanted Tenet to stay, administration officials say the resignation should quiet campaign year demands that home that someone be held accountable for intelligence failures in Iraq and before the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry, for example, called for tenet's resignation months ago, but some leading Democrats made clear it's not enough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that many more people are responsible for the mess that the Bush administration has gotten us into.
KING: Now, as the president made his way here to Rome, senior officials say there is no timetable for picking a new CIA chief. Some Republicans suggest the president should wait until after the November election, because making his choice public before then could bring a contentious confirmation battle with Democrats on Capitol Hill. But others say, Anderson, if the president leaves this job vacant for several months it will undermine his constant promise to wage a relentless war on terrorism.
COOPER: Interesting to see what happens. John King, thanks very much from Rome tonight.
Pentagon friend turned foe Ahmed Chalabi is glad Tenet is stepping down. The Iraqi council member is accused of providing inaccurate intelligence on WMDs that led to the war in Iraq. He's also accused of telling Iran that the U.S. had broken its secret intelligence codes but Chalabi points the finger at Tenet, saying he led a smear campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AHMED CHALABI, IRAQ NATIONAL CONGRESS: He provided erroneous information about weapons of mass destruction to President Bush which caused his government massive embarrassment in the United Nations, and in his own country. And George Tenet was behind the charges against me that claim that I gave intelligence information to Iran. I denied these charges and I deny them again. And I'm sorry that we will not have the chance to appear before Congress now to decide whether this information that he provided is correct or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, separately government sources tell CNN the FBI has started gathering information about who had access to the information that was allegedly shared with Chalabi about Iran.
Tenet served for nearly nine years as deputy director and then director of the CIA under two presidents, Democrat and Republican. During his time as director, the agency certainly changed and the threats it sought to discover changed, as well. It was a tenure marked by challenges, some well-met, some failed.
COOPER (voice-over): When George Tenet was appointed by president Bill Clinton and confirmed by the Senate as director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1997, he became the CIA's fifth boss in just five years. At the time, the cold war was just over, and the CIA was plagued by low morale and budget slashing.
RONALD KESSLER, AUTHOR: The whole place really had fallen asleep to some extent. Plus, there was a lack of funding, the number of human officers had been decreased by some 25 percent and finally, there was this lack of focus.
COOPER: In 1995, only 25 clandestine officers graduated from the CIA secret training camp, known as The Farm, an unbelievably low number according to George Tenet himself.
Under Tenet's leadership while serving for both a Democrat and a Republican president, there were serious intelligence lapses. The failure to anticipate India's nuclear test in 1998. The failure to prevent the attacks on 9/11 in 2001. And the incorrect intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
But there were also successes. Quickly after 9/11 the CIA deployed field agents to Afghanistan as the Pentagon worked to come up with a plan. And intelligence experts say the CIA is now a better- funded, better-organized and better-staffed agency, with advanced technology, and stronger human intelligence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are now very good at developing spies, penetrating an organization like al Qaeda. They are also good at analysis, putting it all together.
COOPER: But many analysts say a lot more still needs to be done. Almost three years after September 11, the CIA has reportedly fewer than 1,100 case officers overseas, less than the number of FBI agents assigned to New York City alone.
COOPER: As John King mentioned, administration officials are saying today that President Bush would have liked Tenet to stay on. But once Tenet said his resignation was for personal reasons, the president respected that decision.
Still, some are questioning the timing of the resignation just five months before the election. Joining us now from Washington, former CIA director James Woolsey, now vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton.
Thanks very much for being on the program, Mr. Woolsey.
JAMES WOOLSEY, FRM. DIR. CIA: Good to be with you.
COOPER: Today, former DCI Stansfield Turner said that he thought, in his opinion, that Tenet was either being pushed out or made a scapegoat of. Do you think that's true?
WOOLSEY: I disagree with Stan on that. I take both George and the president at their word. Eight years, 7 years in the job over 8, really, in those two senior jobs is an extraordinarily long time in there. I think George deserves to spend some time with his family.
COOPER: A long time. Was it a successful time? I mean, Senator Shelby today, very critical, said under George Tenet there were more intelligence failures than under any other DCI.
WOOLSEY: Well, there are always intelligence failures and George was in a long time. So yes, there were a few. But there were also some important successes and your immediate previous report chronicled them.
I think what most people focus on first of all is 9/11. And it's important to realize that the two places where the plotting for 9/11 was taking place, in the United States and in Germany, are places the CIA doesn't spy. Those were failures oh, by FBI, by the FAA for having flimsy cockpit doors on airliners or the Air Force for not having fighter interceptors anywhere near Washington or New York and on and on. The country was really asleep.
But I don't put 9/11 really at the feet of the cia. They made one big mistake in not tracking Al-Midir and Al-Hamzi, these two hijackers who were in Malaysia in 2000 that they knew about. They should have let the FBI know about those so they could have been kept out of the country. It was a big mistake. But that was the main one. Most of the other mistakes were made by other people.
COOPER: If a CIA analyst was looking reading the tea leaves on this one, they would certainly look at the timing of this, in the midst of an election, a few months before presidential election. Do you have no suspicions about the timing of all this?
WOOLSEY: Essentially I have none. George said he's resigning for personal reasons. Look, I resigned for personal reasons. My personal reasons were that I never got to see the president, but I didn't make a big thing of it at the time. One or two people said that I had been fired. Wasn't true. People will say that about George, but I don't think it's true.
COOPER: About two weeks ago on a different subject you went to the White House, along with a number of others, Richard Pearl, to complain about the treatment of Ahmed Chalabi, about the turn of events that have happened. Richard Pearl has said quote, "there's a smear campaign under way. It's being perpetrated by the CIA and the DIA a gangle of former intelligence officers" basically against Ahmed Chalabi. Do you believe that George Tenet was involved in a smear campaign against Ahmed Chalabi?
WOOLSEY: Well, I went to the White House -- was invited to give some advice on a range of subjects. And when I advise the government I don't ever talk about what I do. If anybody in the White House wants to talk about the subject, certainly more than one, it's up to them.
COOPER: Do you believe Ahmed Chalabi is capable of selling -- of giving secrets, basically, to the Iranians?
WOOLSEY: My experience with Chalabi was principally when I was representing pro bono five people from his organization and three from the rival Iraqi National Court organization who were imprisoned in the United States on false charges. And I represented them for three years. Chalabi worked with me on it. We got them out of prison. And the blistering opinion by the immigration judge said the U.S. government was wrong on that.
I am very surprised that anybody would remotely consider saying anything to a foreign national, Chalabi or anybody else, about something as sensitive as that intercept capability. I'm surprised, stunned, that if it was said, that Chalabi would say anything about it to the Iranians. And I'm also stunned that if the Iranians knew about it, they would talk about it over the length it was supposedly broken and decrypted. I'm mystified, I gotta admit, Anderson, by this whole series of charges and countercharges.
COOPER: Well, it's being investigated, as ou well know. James Woolsey, good to talk to you again. Thank you very much.
WOOLSEY: Good to be with you.
COOPER: Today's "Buzz" is this, "do you think CIA director George Tenet should have resigned?" Log on to cnn.com/360, cast your vote. We will have results at the end of the programs.
360 next, the case against Scott Peterson. The prosecution calls its first witness. What clues were given to the jury?
Plus. the power of psychics. Do you believe? Meet one man who worked with psychic spies at the CIA, and says that everyone is capable of ESP. Part of our special series "Paranormal Mysteries."
And a rescue on Mount Rainier, a race against time to save 2 stranded climbers. All that ahead. And more about George Tenet.
First, let's take a look at your picks for most popular stories on cnn.com right now.
COOPER: Well, after all the public positioning by both prosecution and defense, the actual presentation of evidence finally began today at the Scott Peterson murder trial. The prosecution's case began with the mundane: details of haircuts and clothing in the last day Laci Peterson was seen alive. "Justice Served" tonight from CNN's David Mattingly.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the evening before Laci Peterson was reported missing, she visited her sister Amy Rocha as Amy gave Scott Peterson a haircut. Amy did not know it was the last time she would see her big sister alive.
And now testifying against her former brother-in-law, Amy Rocha provided details of Laci's last day. She guided the jury around a diagram of the Peterson home as the prosecution displayed a picture of the smiling, pregnant Laci. Rocha claims her sister complained of being tired and once becoming sick.
It is testimony supported by two women from a Modesto Day Spa who saw Laci Peterson earlier that day. They also told the court, Laci said she was tired and uncomfortable from her pregnancy. Information that could be used to challenge Scott Peterson's claim that his 8- month pregnant wife walked the family dog on Christmas Eve.
But most questions focused on Laci Peterson's clothing and the neutral, khaki colored pants she wore when both she and Scott came to Amy Rocha at this Modesto salon. Prosecutors will likely show they are similar to the pants found when Laci's body was recovered last spring. Again, challenging Scott Peterson's story that he last saw his wife wearing black pants.
MATTINGLY: Defense attorney Mark Geragos will continue with his cross-examination on Monday, and already it is clear he is going after the Modesto Police Department, challenging their handling of every aspect of this investigation -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right David Mattingly, thanks for that.
In upstate New York, a convicted sex offender was paroled in January, even though a judge worried he was a threat to the community. Now, after at least two murders, there is concern in Syracuse that the judge may have been right. Following the story for us tonight, CNN's Adaora Udoji.
ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators descended on the south side of Syracuse with cadaver dogs, shovels and anthropologists looking for more bodies. Police say they came at the suggestion of convicted sex offender Nicholas Lee Wily, who now faces charges in two gruesome murders. He pled not guilty at his arraignment on Wednesday.
Two women here were killed. His 31-year-old neighbor, Lotty Thompson, stabbed in her apartment. In a dumpster out back, the badly decomposed body of a pregnant 22-year-old, Hannan Finerty was discovered.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there's a strong possibility, I believe, that he could have done other murders.
UDOJI: Based on your conversations with him, the police's conversation with him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Based upon our investigation.
UDOJI: At 41, Wiley has spent almost 25 years in prison. His first criminal conviction at 16. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been incarcerated for about 75 percent of his adult life and for very serious crimes. Rape, sodomy, beating an elderly woman with a claw hammer.
UDOJI: District Attorney William Fitzpatrick says twice Wiley was able to serve shorter sentences, getting out of prison early on procedural technicalities. The judge who released Wiley in January, after he served twelve years in prison for sodomizing a 16-year-old girl, warned Wiley posed a, quote, "grave risk to the community." But Wiley's landlord for the past two months describes an altogether different man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's quiet, stays to himself. He was looking for odd work. You know, I let him cut the grass and stuff like that. But I never assumed he was the way he is.
UDOJI: Wiley's court-appointed attorney declined repeated CNN requests for an interview.
UDOJI: Authorities here in downtown Syracuse are not saying exactly how many bodies they may be looking for or exactly what Wiley may have told them. But law enforcement sources tell us they are looking very carefully, very closely, at a specific case of one missing young woman -- Anderson.
COOPER: Adaora Udoji, thanks for that.
Vice president Dick Cheney lining up a lawyer. That tops our look at what's going on across the country tonight. In Washington, Cheney's office says he will consult D.C. Attorney Terrence O'Donnell, if necessary, in the CIA leaks investigation but won't say whether he has already done so.
Independence, Missouri. Kerry on the military. John Kerry says the military is stretched too thin. And he promises he'll expand the number of active duty troops by training 40,000 new volunteer soldiers.
Williamsburg, Virginia. KFC versus FTC. Federal regulators reach a settlement with Kentucky Fried Chicken stemming from complaints that its ad made false health claims about its food.
And in Washington, nail biter. There's always drama at the National Spelling Bee. Take a look. Today's finals included an extra scary moment. This young man, got light-headed collapsed on stage. His name is Akshay Buddiga (ph). He's 13 years old. He finally, as you see, pulled himself together, got a standing ovation, came back to place second in the competition. But it was 14-year-old David Tidmarsh of South Bend, Indiana who spelled the final word autochthonous to become this year's champion. By the way, autochthonous means native or indigenous. I didn't know it either. As champion, David gets a prize package worth $17,000 for spelling that word and a grateful hug. That's a look at stories across the country. 360 next. Did a drug company actually mislead consumers about the potential dangers of an anti-depressant? It's a charge made by New York. They're now suing the makers of Paxil. Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes a closer look for us. Also tonight, the CIA director resigns as President Bush heads to Europe. Was it really for personal reasons or was it raw politics? We'll hear from both sides of the political aisle.
And love him or hate him. The lightning rod President Bill Clinton, a peek at his new book.
COOPER: Well, there's no doubting that many kids are depressed. But are drug companies taking risks with their health? That question is at the center of a landmark lawsuit against the makers of Paxil who stand accused of committing fraud by concealing facts about its popular anti-depressant. CNN's senior medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes a look.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It isn't what we do know about Paxil, the popular anti-depressant. It's about what the public was never told.
JOE BAKER, NY ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE: Paxil was not more effective than a placebo or dummy pill. And one study actually shows that the placebo or the dummy pill actually did better than Paxil.
GUPTA: The New York state attorney general is suing GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Paxil, for fraud on the grounds that they conducted five studies of the drug on children and adolescents but only publicized one. The favorable one.
BAKER: Once you start putting out studies, positive study in this case, you've got to release the other studies, negative or not, so that doctors have a complete picture and they can make the appropriate prescribing decision.
GUPTA: Almost all drug trials are now paid for by the wealthy pharmaceutical companies that make the drugs. And there are no specific laws forcing manufacturers to publicize or publish any negative results although they do have to disclose them to the Food and Drug Administration. GlaxoSmithKline concedes it did not make the studies public, but met all legal obligations. And acted responsibly in conducting clinical studies in pediatric patients and disseminating data from those studies.
All pediatric studies have been made available to the FDA but the FDA keeps all studies private. The public doesn't see them unless the company releases them. These new charges in the U.S. follow a firestorm in Britain last year when doctors who got a hold of the unpublished studies warned about the drug's potential link to suicide. All anti-depressants for children except Prozac are now banned in Britain. But in the U.S., last year alone 2.1 million Paxil prescriptions were written for children, even though the FDA hasn't approved it for use by young people. Many U.S. doctors see medicines like Paxil as useful.
DR. JORGE ARMENTEROS, CHILD PSYCHIATRIST: People should be concerned about anti-depressants, of course they should. They should balance risk and benefit.
GUPTA: What really this comes down to is about information and whether there was enough of it. New York state charging now that GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Paxil, were not forthcoming enough with all the information they had -- Anderson.
COOPER: Sanjay Gupta, thanks very much.
Fighting in Kufa tonight tops our look at what is going on around the world in the "Uplink." An eighth straight day of fighting in the holy Shiite city of Kufa. U.S. soldiers are battling militiamen loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. At least six Iraqis killed today, three U.S. soldiers wounded.
Beirut, Lebanon. Boosting oil production. OPEC members agree to increase official oil production quotas by 2 million barrels a day on July 1 and another 500,000 barrels a month later. OPEC's president says he hopes the move will stabilize prices.
In Kinshasa, Congo, looting and rioting. Take a look at these pictures. U.N. staff take cover in their compound as tens of thousands of rioters loot buildings, smash cars. Some Congolese have turned against the U.N. force because it failed to control the latest round of violence in the Eastern part of the country.
In Scotland, Princess Diana's mother dies. Frances Shand Kydd, mother of the late Princess Diana died at her home today at the age of 68. A family spokesman said she passed away peacefully after suffering from a long illness. That's a quick look at tonight's "Uplink."
Tenet's time at the CIA. Covert ops and intelligence failures. We'll look back at his long reign.
Former President Clinton hits the campaign trail. For his book, that is. But how frank will he be about sex, lies and videotape in the White House?
And easy as ESP? Psychic spies and top secret intelligence. Our special series "Paranormal Mysteries" continue. Do you believe? 360 continues.
COOPER: 360 next, the top man at the CIA heads for the exit. Should he be taking the fall for intelligence failures in Iraq? We'll hear from both sides ahead. Here's what's happening right now. The United Nations keeping coalition forces in Iraq. Iraq's foreign minister tells the security council the troops must remain there through the June 30 transition to help prevent chaos and civil war.
Meanwhile another prisoner abuse scandal reported in Iraq. CNN has learned two marines pled guilty in April to abusing a detainee at a detention center near Fallujah allegedly giving electric shocks to the prisoner. One marine was sentenced to a year in prison. The other given an eight-month jail term.
Los Angeles. Huge rollover verdict. $369 million. That's how much a jury awarded a woman paralyzed when her Ford Explorer flipped in an accident. Ford says it's going to appeal.
In Washington state, a dramatic rescue to save two climbers atop Mount Rainier. Just a short time ago a helicopter picked up one of the men. He is being treated at a nearby hospital. The other climber was helped down by Park Rangers.
And across the nation, the gender pay gap. The Census Bureau reports that men make more money than women. Out of hundreds of jobs surveyed only a few women showed -- few women showed earning more. The work includes cleaning up hazardous waste and installing telecommunication lines. That's a quick look at the "Reset" tonight.
Of course the big story we're following in Washington and all over cable news today, the surprise announcement from CIA director George Tenet. He says he'll resign for personal reasons effective July 11. Tenet has been around the political block more than once. From his stint as a legislative assistant to his time at the top of the CIA. He's recognized more for his political savvy than his skill as a spy. And it's his ability to serve masters of either party that makes his story a lesson in the raw politics of survival.
TENET: I've lived in the heart of the CIA family.
COOPER (voice-over): A beleaguered George Tenet saying goodbye to the CIA today. He'll officially leave the job in July exactly seven years from the day he was sworn in, the second-longest serving CIA director in history. He was picked by then President Bill Clinton, a Democrat though he wasn't a CIA career man. He did, however, spend years working on the Senate select committee on intelligence which, along with the full Senate, unanimously approved his appointment.
Tenet quickly came under fire for a series of agency snafus, including faulty CIA intelligence that led to the U.S. bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. But when George W. Bush became president, only one senior official from the Clinton administration kept his job. George Tenet who staunchly supported naming the CIA headquarters in Langley after the president's father, himself a former CIA director. Even after the devastating 9/11 attacks, President Bush stood by him, with a public show of support. GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've got confidence in George Tenet. I've got confidence in the men and women who work at the CIA.
COOPER: More recent controversies, like the faulty intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction sent Tenet's personal stock plummeting.
SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D), FLORIDA: I think that Mr. Tenet has served admirably and is a good person but it was time for him to move on.
COOPER: History will decide whether George Tenet's time with the CIA was a success or a failure but George Tenet is a survivor at the game of raw politics.
COOPER: Joining us to talk about the Tenet resignation right now in New York, "Wall Street Journal" columnist John Fund and in Washington, Peter Beinhart, editor of the "New Republic." Gentlemen, good to see you on the program again. John, was -- in your opinion, was Tenet pressed to resign?
JOHN FUND, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": I think the personal reasons that he cited included the fact that his political credibility had eroded dramatically with people in both parties. He's a man who served both administrations and ended up, I think not serving either particularly well.
COOPER: Because I suppose if President Bush had wanted him to stay he could have not accepted the resignation.
FUND: Yes, he could have said it's for the good of the country, we're in the middle of a war. He didn't.
COOPER: Peter, what does this do for President Bush?
PETER BEINART, "THE NEW REPUBLIC": I think it furthers the sense of disarray in the administration about policy. I think they're going to have zero chance of getting someone else confirmed before the election, which will be a problem. And I think secondly, George Tenet is a more dangerous man politically to them outside of the administration than he was inside. This man knows where a lot of skeletons are in closets in the Bush administration on the question of 9/11, and Iraq WMD. And he's a dangerous man on the outside.
COOPER: John, do you agree with that because Peter's basically saying that this makes the Bush administration look like it's in disarray. I guess the other side of the coin, you could say, it sort of gives the Bush administration a clean slate, some people might argue.
FUND: It's an opportunity to discipline the CIA, and to clean it up and do some of the house cleaning, which should have done a couple of years ago. That's one of the failings of the Bush administration in this that I'll have to report. Now, as for confirmation, I think Bush might well decide, look, I don't think the Senate wants to be in the position of refusing to have an intelligence chief while we're at time of war. What if he sent up Jim Woolsey who is the former CIA director the Senate has confirmed under Bill Clinton or Rudy Giuliani. I think the Senate would have to confirm people like that.
COOPER: Peter, do you think there's any truth to what John is saying that this allows the Bush administration rightly or wrongly to sort of say, look, we are doing something to correct the intelligence problems, look, Tenet left. You know, we're starting out with a clean slate?
BEINART: If they restructured the organization of American intelligence, which is completely dysfunctional, the job that Tenet has, which doesn't have control over all the different intelligence agencies is a disastrously set up job. If they did that it would be worthy of a lot of praise. But of course they've had several years to do that and they haven't done it so I don't think there's a lot of reason to believe they will now.
FUND: We need a more flexible and risk-taking CIA. We don't need an intelligence czar because I think the president benefits from getting intelligence from several different sources. We don't want to put it all under one roof.
BEINART: Unfortunately, that system is precisely what got us into this disastrous situation with Iraqi WMD where we had various different people having intelligence that was not vetted by one central person. I think it's a very dysfunctional system.
COOPER: John, do you think we're going to see more resignations?
FUND: I understand there's going to be one tomorrow from somewhere else in the agency.
COOPER: That's right. The head of the DDO.
FUND: And I think there may well be some others who came in with Tenet or served under Tenet who decided they don't particularly want to have a new boss.
COOPER: What about Rumsfeld?
FUND: No, Rumsfeld stays. And I think his strength is growing with each passing day. I think he's holding firm.
BEINART: I couldn't agree more. Rumsfeld, I think, has been totally marginalized because the Pentagon is so screwed up with the occupation of Iraq that it's now being run by the CIA and the uniformed military who have totally given up on civilians of the Pentagon.
COOPER: You think Rumsfeld is going to stay or go?
BEINART: I think he's going to stay. But I think he's much, much weaker than he was a year ago.
COOPER: All right, gentlemen. Thanks very much. Good to talk to you as always. John Fund and Peter Beinart, thank you very much.
Well, let the memoir sales pitch begin. Former President Bill Clinton steps up to the mike beginning his big book tour. Will he really tell all? We'll see about that.
Plus tapping into so-called psychic powers. Do you believe? Find out ahead in our special series. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Former president Bill Clinton is on a different campaign trail these days, a campaign for readers for his memoir "My Life." The 957-page book doesn't even go on sale until June 22, but let the publicity blitz begin. Right now in Chicago, Clinton is plugging his memoir for the first time at Book Expo America, a publishing trade show. Let's listen in.
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WILLIAM CLINTON, FRM. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ...like one time, about a year ago, maybe, a little less, I went to have lunch in New York with one of my college roommates and a friend of his who became a friend of mine who became the Republican governor of Arizona when we grew up. And we were sitting there, and Sonny saw me at this restaurant and I got that look. And the look was, why did I pay you all this money if you're going to take time to have lunch?
COOPER: He was talking about Sonny Mehta who is the head of Knopf which is his publisher.
Clinton received an advance of reportedly $10 million, perhaps the biggest ever for a memoir. And another record is expected to be broken, Knopf plans a first printing of 1.5 million copies, the most in publishing history.
Now in the past of course, countless memoirs have been dulled by a president's unwillingness to tell all. Still Knopf is promising a revealing and remarkable, those are their words, memoir.
If that's the case, will it change Clinton's legacy? Joining me from Los Angeles to talk about that, CNN political analyst Carlos Watson. Good to see you Carlos.
CARLOS WATSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to see you.
COOPER: Do you expect, you know, sex, lies and videotapes in this memoir?
WATSON: You know, Clinton's a celebrity, and certainly as much of an entertainer as he was a successful policy wonk and politician and president. So I think you will hear about Monica and some of the other things.
But three things I would stay tuned for, Anderson, that I think could be interesting. One, what does he say about Al Gore? And also about the Supreme Court in 2000. Remember, he might have handled it very differently if he had been the candidate.
No. 2, what will he say about his wife and how will he position her for a future run for the presidency?
And last but not least, how aggressively does he go after George W. Bush, the current president, particularly on the question of Osama bin Laden and the war on terror? I think all three of those are going to continue to be stories themselves throughout the summer.
COOPER: And yet, I mean, he's got to talk about Monica Lewinsky. I mean, his wife's book touched on it very in sort of the most I guess the minimum amount necessary in order to sort of justify the advance and get a lot of attention. Does he go into detail, do you think?
WATSON: He's got to give a little bit. Now, he's not going to go any further than Ken Starr's report. But in addition to talking about the pain that he caused his wife and he caused other members of his cabinet, don't be surprised if you finally see an apology to those members of his cabinet.
Also expect him to talk about the impact maybe a little bit on his daughter. And I think in that way, it will both be honest and also capture a little sympathy for people. And in his words maybe explain why he ultimately was maybe some would say reticent up front in discussing the Monica Lewinsky affair.
COOPER: These memoirs are as much about selling books, and also sort of reshaping one's legacy, or trying to shape one's legacy. The second draft, I guess, of history. Carlos Watson, thanks very much.
WATSON: Good to see you.
COOPER: Well the question, can someone read your mind over the phone? Just ahead visionaries, seers, psychics, whatever you want to call them, are they for real or just for raking in money? Judge for yourself coming up.
Also tonight in the "Current," the details are just divine. Martha Stewart's childhood house, it can be yours if the price is right.
And a little later, Cracker Jack back in the lineup at Yankee Stadium. We'll take its welcome return to the "Nth Degree."
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JOHNNY CARSON, FRM. TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Piggly Wiggly.
ED MCMAHON, FRM. CO-HOST TONIGHT SHOW: Piggly Wiggly.
CARSON: Describe Kermit's wedding night.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: That, of course is Karnac the Magnificent on the "Tonight Show" back in the day. Dressed as a fortune teller, the all- knowing, all-seeing Karnac did it all for laughs, but a lot of people have turned to self-proclaimed psychics seeking serious answers, even the Department of Defense and the CIA believe it or not.
We're going to have more on that in just a moment. But first, America's growing fascination with psychic predictions. Part of our special series, "Paranormal Mysteries: Do You Believe?"
PATRICIA MASTERS, PSYCHIC: It's a beautiful smell of flowers around you. I don't know why. Are you around flowers right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a plant with some flowers.
MASTERS: It's not as if you are actually hearing words. What it is is a knowing. It feels as if I go out of myself for a moment, and I know something, it comes in to me very quickly.
COOPER (voice-over): Patricia Masters calls herself a clairaudient psychic. Working over the phone, she claims to harness voices she hears around her.
MASTERS: Very good. Do you know it's a mineral level?
COOPER: Offering life advice to dozens of callers each week.
MASTERS: They're not coming to find out if they're going to get married next year. They're coming to find out why they haven't gotten married yet. As a psychic I can look at the pattern, and I can say, oh, this is where it is.
COOPER: Masters is just one of many psychics who claim to utilize the phone to tap into their sixth sense. Remember Miss Cleo and the TV Psychic Friends network?
MISS CLEO, PSYCHIC: You know I'm telling you the truth, don't you?
COOPER: At one time, it was estimated they were making as much as $100 million a year. That's before they were sued for fraud, and declared bankruptcy.
CLEO: I am who I say I am. I am not a fake, and I am not a fraud.
COOPER: Despite cases like Miss Cleo the number of Americans who believe in psychics is actually on the rise. According to a recent Gallup poll, 54 percent of us believe in psychics or spiritual healing. That's up 8 percent since 1990.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, it's a good opportunity, go for it.
COOPER: This comes as no surprise to Patricia Masters (ph) who says that, in particular, after September 11th, many more people are seeking her help, and for different reasons.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, the need for it is greater. And people are understanding it, they're not looking for the fortune teller anymore. They're looking for the bigger questions.
COOPER: Anderson Cooper, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, 30 years ago my next guest Russell Targ founded a government-sponsored program for the CIA called Operation Stargate which focused on psyching spying. The program was cut in 1995. Targ believes it should be brought back. He joins me tonight from San Francisco. Thanks for being on the show tonight.
What you were engaged in was what you call remote viewing. Describe what that was and what you did for the CIA.
RUSSELL TARG, CO-FOUNDER, STANFORD RESEARCH INSTITUTE'S REMOTE VIEWING PROG.: We had a remote viewing program for 23 years working for the CIA, and NASA, Defense Intelligence Agency, where we would help intelligence people and members of the army, scientists, we would help them to get in touch with the psychic part of themselves so they could describe and experience what's happening in distant parts of the world.
COOPER: So you would get coordinates, longitude and latitude for instance, and what would you be able to do with that?
TARG: One of our initial successes is that Stanfield Turner, director of the CIA, gave us geographical coordinates of a soviet weapons factory in the far reaches of Siberia. And working with those coordinates, the great psychic Pat Price, psychic policeman, was able to describe a giant crane that existed at this weapons factory, and then he could look inside the building and describe how the Russians were building a 60 foot steel sphere, and it turned out a couple of years after Price's death that we had photographs of the sphere that was being used by the Russians, to build a particle beam weapon and shoot down the satellites that were taking the satellite pictures.
Russell, let me ask you, we contacted the CIA about this program. And they gave us this statement -- I'm going to put on the screen, "In 1995, the CIA contracted the American Institutes of Research to validate remote viewing. The AIR report said the information provided was vague and ambiguous and so not of sufficient quality and accuracy for actionable intelligence."
They'd spent some $20 million on your program. They cut it in 1995.
If it was so good, why did they cut it?
TARG: Well, the analysis that was done of our program was done by a well-known skeptic who devoted his life to trying to convince people there is no ESP. The evidence of the success of our program is that we were supported for 23 years, providing intelligence information to Defense Intelligence Agencies, CIA, Army intelligence. In fact, Army intelligence set up a parallel program to ours. We had about $25 million at Stanford to support our program, and there was an equal program at Fort Meade where we were training people. So, there were about three dozen people involved in this program for 23 years.
COOPER: And I know they also spent, as we said, they spent some $20 million or more on this program. As we said it was cut in 1995. It's a fascinating thought. Russell Targ, appreciate you being on the show. Thank you.
TARG: Thank you.
COOPER: Our series "Paranormal Mysteries: Do You Believe" wraps up tomorrow with a look at pet psychics. Are they just bilking fools for money or is your dog really trying to tell you something?
We'll put one popular pet psychic to the test with my own dog. You'll want to see that.
Time to check on some pop news in tonight's "Current." Martha Stewart's childhood home is up for sale. The detached three bedroom three story, New Jersey house is on the market. Asking price $549,000, but if you could put in a good word with the sentencing board you could get it for an even five.
David Kelli is working on a legal reality show where lawyers try real cases. But in keeping with the TV format, defendants will have options on who will decide their fate. They can choose the judge, a jury, or what's behind door number three.
Are the Rolling Stones working on a new album?
Published reports say Mick Jagger and Keith Richard are writing songs together in Europe. They don't want to mention they're getting a little older but instead of drinking beer we hear they're downing bottles of Metamucil. I don't know if that's true though.
And in New Jersey they're putting an end to ladies night. The state says the tavern offer discriminates against men. Bar owners disagree, insisting the right of ladies night is in the constitution. I think that's somewhere next to the all you can eat buffet clause in the constitution. And in the house that Ruth built Cracker Jack fans are rejoicing. We're going to take that to "The Nth Degree," just ahead.
First we'll take a look at today's "Buzz."
Do you think CIA Director George Tenet should have resigned?
You still have a few moment to log to cnn.com/360. Cast your vote. Results when we come back.
COOPER: Time now for "The Buzz."
Earlier we asked you, do you think CIA Director George Tenet should have resigned?
Sixty-eight percent of you said yes, 32 percent of you said, no. Not a scientific poll but it is your "Buzz." And we appreciate you voting.
Tonight taking comebacks to "The Nth Degree."
Recently in this space we talked about the injustice of the New York Yankees throwing out Cracker Jack as if it was nothing more than a slow base runner trying to steal second. Well, tonight, news of a Cracker Jack comeback. In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, the candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a prize are back on sale at Yankee Stadium.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cracker jack!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
COOPER: The team had wanted to replace the century old snack with newcomer Crunch 'n Munch, claiming that it was as much an issue of packaging as anything else. But in baseball what rules the day isn't packaging, it's tradition. And at Yankee Stadium, a place where they have monuments to dead players in center field, tradition most definitely rules. So tradition is safe, your seventh inning stretch is safe as you sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Now if they'd only make the prizes better and put in some more peanuts.
That's "360" for didn't.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy birthday Anderson.
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