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Military Had Short Notice to React on 9/11, Orders to Bring Down Hijacked Planes Were Confused

Aired June 17, 2004 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, I'm Anderson Cooper.
Tonight for the first time the words, the voice of a 9/11 killer. Mohamed Atta on board American Airlines Flight 11, "We have some planes" he said, "just stay quiet and you'll be OK," 360 starts right now.


COOPER (voice-over): America's air defenses wilt under assault by the 9/11 attackers, what went wrong at NORAD?

A desperate hunt in Saudi Arabia, a solemn vigil back home, as time runs out to save Paul Johnson.

President Clinton comes clean about Monica, how he and Hillary survived infidelity.

Questions for Kobe, will a groundbreaking new law let jurors quiz the defendant?

And our special series, "Keeping the Faith," God in words, why the hottest books in your bookstores may be in the religion section.


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

COOPER: Good evening again.

Well, after months of hearings, millions of pages of documents, testimony by 1,000 witnesses, the September 11 attacks pretty much come down to what we've known all along.

A small group of dedicated fanatics financed with a modest amount of money outwitted, baffled and overwhelmed a super power. There's more to it than that, of course, but that's the headline from the final day of public hearings by the commission looking into what went wrong.

The details now from CNN's Kelli Arena.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a chilling moment, a hijacker gives passengers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 an order.

VOICE OF MOHAMED ATTA: We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you'll be OK. We are returning to the airport.

ARENA: The 9/11 Commission believes it's the voice of ringleader Mohamed Atta just before he piloted the flight into the World Trade Center.

LAURIE VAN AUKEN, WIFE OF 9/11 VICTIM: You know you start to cry when you hear that because it's three years but it brings you right back to the day.

ARENA: The tape was played during the final public hearing by the commission in which the members concluded the U.S. Air Defense System was completely unprepared for what happened that day.

PHILIP ZELIKOW, 9/11 COMMISSION EXEC. DIR.: On the morning of 9/11, the existing protocol was unsuited in every respect for what was about to happen.

ARENA: The 29-page report chronicled confusion and delays in trying to confirm which planes were hijacked and where they were headed.

GEN. RICHARD MYERS, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF CHMN.: We got many aircraft calls inbound that morning that turned out to be phantoms.

ARENA: The commission concluded the military never received more than nine minutes' notice from the FAA on any of the hijackings. If it had, military officials now say they could have intercepted all four planes. Instead, the first call from the SAH and the military for help prompted this question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this real world or exercise?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, this is not an exercise (unintelligible).

ARENA: The president, who was in Florida during the attacks admitted to the commission that he had problems communicating with the White House.

TOM KEAN, 9/11 COMMISSION CHMN.: America is under attack and the commander-in-chief can't get through to the nation's capital, I mean that's a serious problem.

ARENA: The commission said President Bush gave Vice President Cheney an order to shoot down hostile aircraft, which he relayed to the military. Half an hour later, Cheney said to the defense secretary: "It's my understanding that they've already taken a couple of aircraft out." He was mistaken.

JOHN FARMER, 9/11 COMMISSION STAFF: The only orders actually conveyed to the Langley pilots were to "I.D., type and tail." (END VIDEOTAPE)

ARENA: And there's more. The FAA told the military Flight 11 was still in the air, even after it had hit the Trade Center and officials never asked for military assistance to deal with the flight that later crashed into the Pentagon.

That flight, American Airlines 77, traveled undetected by radar for more than half an hour but the report was not a complete indictment and did praise the work of aviation officials who were able to get 4,500 commercial planes that were still in the air safely to the ground -- Anderson.

COOPER: Kelli Arena thanks for that.

So, could the planes have been stopped? The truth is despite all the commissions and questions, we'll probably never know the answer. What we do know from transcripts and sound released today is that there was a chaotic frantic attempt to get F-16 fighter jets in the air.

CNN National Correspondent Bob Franken what happened then and what it means for us now.


BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nothing like this had ever happened before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F- 16s or something up there, help us out."

FRANKEN: There was an agonizing delay before the FAA reached the military. Jets were scrambled 153 miles away but airborne too late. American Airlines Flight 11 had already slammed into the World Trade Center.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have several situations going on here. It's escalating big, big time. We need to get the military involved with us.

FRANKEN: Instead of quick, effective air defense decisions there was chaos. Three hijacked planes slammed into their targets. A fourth was stopped by heroic passengers.

MYERS: Obviously we've got pretty good hindsight at this point.

FRANKEN: With that hindsight combat jets are now on regular patrol. The military and the FAA are in constant communication and, unlike 9/11 when emergency orders to bring down hijacked planes were confused or never communicated to fighters, a new protocol streamlines that horrible decision.

GEN. RALPH E. EBERHART, CMDR., NORAD: We would be able to shoot down all three aircraft, all four aircraft. FRANKEN (on camera): The tragic lesson it could happen here. It did and officials say they've learned by thinking long and hard about the unthinkable.

Bob Franken, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Let's hope. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration immediately began looking for culprits and pretty quickly focused on Iraq. While the 9/11 commission says there is no evidence Iraq was involved in the attacks, the president today continued to maintain there is guilt by association.

White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reports.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The 9/11 Commission says it has no evidence that Iraq had anything to do with the September 11 attacks. During a cabinet meeting, the president maintained that the administration never made that claim.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda. We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't disagree with that.

MALVEAUX: And while there is no disagreement regarding the September 11 terrorist attacks, the president and members of his administration continue to highlight what they call direct links between the group responsible for those attacks and Saddam Hussein.

BUSH: Well, the reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.

MALVEAUX: In the lead up to the war with Iraq, President Bush and his top aides cited numerous links between the two.

BUSH: There are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda had met at least eight times since the early 1990s.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Providing safe haven and support for such terrorist groups as Abu Nidal and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He had long established ties with al Qaeda.

MALVEAUX: Some on the 9/11 Commission continue to charge that the president and senior administration officials may have overstated the relationship between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda for political purposes. (END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Now, despite the evidence, a recent poll shows that close to 50 percent of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the 9/11 attacks -- Anderson.

COOPER: Suzanne Malveaux at the White House thanks for that Suzanne.

Tonight we want to hear from you. This is the "Buzz" question. Do you believe there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11? You just heard Suzanne quoting a figure. Log onto, cast your vote. We'll have results at the end of the program tonight.

Later on 360, we'll have much more on the 9/11 investigation, including an interview with panel member, former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson.

In Iraq today a bloody insurgent attack in Baghdad, a car bomb killing at least 35 people outside an army recruitment center wounded more than 100 others, part of a rising offensive launched by insurgents in the days before the June 30 handover. For all their talk of targeting Americans and killing occupiers, the largest number of casualties continues to be Iraqis themselves.

CNN's Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour reports.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Yet another suicide bomber strikes at the very heart of Iraqi society, its new security forces.

During the morning rush hour a car packed with artillery shells exploded outside a recruiting center and, as usual, most of the victims were ordinary Iraqis, a media mobbed U.S. soldier said.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Those are where the casualties came from was innocent civilians that just happened to be on the street when this bomb went off.

AMANPOUR: And it's been like that since last summer but the traffic of caskets in and out of the Baghdad morgue is heavier than usual these days in the run-up to the June 30 handover.

(on camera): While most of the attention has been paid to the deaths of American soldiers and international contractors, by far the highest number of deaths have been among the Iraqis, most of them ordinary civilians.

Ada al-Hilfi (ph) has come to collect the body of his 12-year-old nephew killed by a stray bullet. "These are all our people" he says, "sons and brothers gone because of a lack of security and stability in our country." Statistics for the whole country are hard to come by but in Baghdad and Najaf alone, health ministry officials say 2,600 people have been killed over the last year and another 3,500 injured. That's about triple the number of U.S. soldiers and other foreign contractors killed in the whole country.

The aim is to sow panic and paralyze the country, especially by assassinating government officials and businessmen, kidnapping doctors and other professionals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's random shooting. You don't know who will help you anytime. You don't know in the evening, night. This is something miserable there.

AMANPOUR: Fear and misery that are expected only to get worse even beyond the handover.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Baghdad.


COOPER: We are tracking a number of stories making headlines tonight "Cross Country." Let's take a look.

In Washington, the great debate, presidential candidate Ralph Nader wants in on this year's three presidential debates but he may have to sit them out. The commission organizing the debates says the candidates must have a chance of winning a majority of the Electoral College or have at least 15 percent support in national polls. Nader is currently polling in single digits.

In New York, a fighting man, former President Bill Clinton says he never considered resigning and fought tooth and nail efforts to impeach him, which he called "an abuse of power." Clinton made the comments during an interview with "60 Minutes" that airs this Sunday.

Michael Jackson released a statement denouncing the disclosure of confidential information in a 1993 civil suit against him. In the case, a boy claimed that Jackson molested him. According to the leaked report, Jackson paid the boy and his parents millions but admitted no wrongdoing. Jackson calls the leaks an attempt to try his current child molestation case in the press.

In Detroit, pompoms and pride, a parade for the Pistons brought out tens of thousands of fans. The NBA champs also hosted a rally at their stadium. The team took the title by beating the L.A. Lakers Tuesday night.

That's a quick look at stories right now "Cross Country."

360 next, an American held hostage and a race against time. The family of Paul Johnson holds out hope as the terrorist deadline on his life approaches and now a final appeal from a Saudi friend. Will it be enough to set him free? We'll go live to his hometown for the very latest. Plus, finding your religion in the bookstore, meet the Christian authors of the best-selling series "Left Behind in the Purpose Driven Life," part of our special weeklong series "Keeping the Faith."

And Bill Clinton's family affair we just told you about. As we mentioned, the book selling onslaught has begun. Drips and drabs of tantalizing disclosures, time for maximum sales. Tonight in his own words how Clinton survived the public scandal. We'll take a closer look, all that ahead.

First, your picks, the most popular stories on right now.


COOPER: Well, as time ticks toward what his captors say is a Friday deadline for his death, the attempts to save the life of kidnapped American Paul Johnson, Jr. continue.

The State Department says it's teamed up with Saudi officials to find him. A Saudi man who says he promised to protect Johnson says killing him would break Islamic law.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick is in Eagleswood, New Jersey with the latest.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): All around Paul Johnson's hometown there are ribbons and signs and revived memories.

DENNIS SELLEY, JR., VIGIL ORGANIZER: I was one of the little kids on the block when he was here. My father did work with him once or twice.

FEYERICK: As the deadline nears, neighbors and friends gather for a candlelight vigil at the local firehouse. The mood in Eagleswood, New Jersey, anxious and tense.

EDWARD NICKEL, FIRE CHIEF: Well, everybody's pretty down around the down and everybody's trying to do what they can to help the family and I wish them all the luck in the world.

FEYERICK: In Saudi Arabia where Johnson lives and works, a friend posts a letter on an Arabic TV Web site. He tells the kidnappers as a Muslim he has bestowed his protection on Johnson.

Quoting the Quran he says: "Killing Johnson now would break Islamic law." He writes: "If you are true Muslims, you will let him go," this as Saudi authorities scramble to find the American captive.

RICHARD BOUCHER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: There are a variety of options available to Saudi authorities who have the lead here to try to locate him, free him, crack down on the network.

FEYERICK: American hostage rescuers sent to Riyadh to offer whatever help they can.


FEYERICK: According to the Saudi colleague, Johnson was learning about Islam. He had been reading the Quran. He'd even expressed interest in converting to Islam. Now, there's a vigil going on just behind me right here, a couple of hundred people who are praying that the kidnappers will show mercy -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Deborah Feyerick thanks for that.

A "Fast Fact" for you. Paul Johnson is believed to be the first westerner kidnapped in Saudi Arabia but just within the last two weeks, two Americans and a BBC cameraman have been killed in that country.

A fatal blast in Afghanistan tops our look at what is happening around the globe right now. Let's check the "Up Link."

Four civilians are dead, including two children, after a bomb hit a car used by NATO-led peacekeepers yesterday. The blast happened in the northern part of the country. Insurgents, of course, have vowed to wreck the country's first post-Taliban national election later this year.

In Israel, terror on display, a new terror museum opened just outside Tel Aviv. The exhibits link Palestinians to the nearly four years of violence in the region. Among the items featured, a female mannequin strapped with explosives and pictures showing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat paired up with Saddam Hussein. Palestinians object saying the exhibit will just create more animosity.

In Paris, lights out in the city of lights, power workers in Paris pulled the plug on the Eiffel Tower last night sending it into momentary darkness. Workers say they're worried about their jobs and their future and are protesting the state-owned electric company's plans to privatize. Officials at the Eiffel Tower say business was unaffected by the brief power cut.

That's a quick look at the "Up Link" tonight.

360 next, the authors of "The Purpose Driven Life" and the "Left Behind" series, huge best sellers that have surprised some in the publishing industry. Find out why, part of our special series, "Keeping the Faith."

Also tonight, 9/11 and mass confusion at the highest levels of our government. Find out what went wrong. Commission member Governor Thompson, Jim Thompson joins us live just ahead.

Also a little later tonight, big twist on the Kobe Bryant trial, will the jury actually be allowed to question the witnesses themselves? We'll take a closer look on how this might impact the case, 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well, as those numbers make crystal clear the crossover of Christian books onto best-seller lists is a testament to their immense popularity. Consider the "Left Behind Series." For readers it's a movement, for publishers a miracle. In a moment you'll meet Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, the "Left Behind" authors.

But first, as we continue our special series, "Keeping the Faith," we're going to introduce you to the driving force behind another wildly popular Christian book. His name is Rick Warren. The book is "The Purpose Driven Life."


COOPER (voice-over): He may not look like a superstar but he has the marquee value of one. Rick Warren is the hottest pastor in the country.

RICK WARREN, "THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE": Because it's not about you. It's all about God.

COOPER: The 50-year-old Warren has brought evangelism into the mainstream marketplace all without a TV or radio ministry. He's done it with a book called "The Purpose Driven Life," which has topped best-seller lists alongside "The Da Vinci Code," and "The South Beach Diet."

WARREN: Need me to sign a book for you?


COOPER: Warren calls it the anti-self help book.

WARREN: The thesis is that we were made by God and for God. We're not going to know our purpose by looking within.

COOPER: If people aren't looking within they're clearly looking into Warren's message. Every Sunday, as many as 20,000 people flock to his church in Southern California to hear him preach.

WARREN: It's time to grow up. You need to choose God.

COOPER: And by the end of the year, 30,000 churches will have used Warren's book in a campaign called 40 days of purpose.

WARREN: We have over 2,000 small groups in this church. You could start a small group in your home. You could be a leader there.

COOPER: The question is, is he creating a blueprint for spiritual growth or just a massive marketing machine? In booths outside his church and online, Warren sells purpose-driven journals, videotapes, music CDs, even clothing, got purpose, got dough? The stir the book has spawned has some publishing insiders scratching their heads.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Publishers never saw this coming but, even if they had seen it coming, there was very little they could have done to create this kind of marketing buzz.

COOPER: But Warren, who calls himself a stealth evangelist, says he's not surprised by the success.

WARREN: This is becoming a catalyst that's helping churches come alive. That happened not because of some overarching marketing or strategy. It happened because God decided to use it.

COOPER: And Warren sees no signs of the purpose-driven movement letting up.

WARREN: I think there's a spiritual hunger in people and I'm very optimistic about the future.

COOPER: Spoken like a true believer.


COOPER: An optimistic isn't exactly what readers can expect from the "Left Behind" series, at least for non-Christians. The books speak of a cataclysmic event, the rapture, that will split the world in two leaving billions fighting a war of Armageddon. The latest book is "Glorious Appearing: The End of Days." It's not going to be the last.

Despite the apocalyptic scenario, millions are finding faith within the pages. Earlier I spoke to its authors, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.


COOPER (voice-over): What does mainstream media not get about why people are reading these books, why people are so passionate about these books?

JERRY B. JENKINS, AUTHOR, "LEFT BEHIND" SERIES: The Gallup poll says that there are, you know, millions of evangelical Christians out there and that's our base audience obviously and I think we've revealed that audience, not so much, you know, found it somewhere.

COOPER: Tim, is it a, I mean a different class of religion that sort of mainstream media is out of touch with this?

TIM LAHAYE, AUTHOR, "LEFT BEHIND" SERIES: I don't think the mainstream media is very religious to be honest with you. I think this is an illustration of the fact that the media in some areas of their professional career are out of step with the American people.

COOPER: In your latest book, Jesus is a character in the book. As a man of faith, how is it trying to write Jesus as a character? I mean how do you come up with his dialogue?

JENKINS: You wonder how you can do justice to something, the biggest cosmic event that will ever happen, and also you know how do you describe the indescribable. But what I did for the most part was stick with scripture. Everything, almost everything that comes out of Jesus' mouth in this book is something that either he said in scripture or was said about him and I felt that was safe way to do it.

COOPER: And yet your characters do wrestle with issues of faith. Chloe (ph), one of the characters in the book, you know, sort of questions her own faith and questions what she is seeing around her. Talk about that a little bit. How do you use a character to sort of question and are these sort of questions you have yourself about faith?

JENKINS: I think most people go through periods of doubt and wonder and they really have to wrestle with their faith and even though I've, you know, grown past that point in my life, I feel like I do have a solid faith and growing as a Christian, I realize that so much of our audience are either uninitiated or even disagree with us.

And so I, you know, basically I say to, you know, in the writing that I want to have credible skeptical characters. And so, if Chloe is questioning her faith or questioning her father's faith, these are questions I've heard from other people saying how do you -- how do you think God has anything to do with this?

COOPER: Tim, there are those critics who have said -- there are many different critics who have said many different things but some of them would say in these books you are focused on God's wrath not on God's love, is that fair?

LAHAYE: Not really. God's wrath is portrayed there because we're winding down human history and preparing for the eternity that God has planned for us. But if you look at the fine print you'll find there are many expressions of God's love and mercy.

COOPER: Jerry, there are those who say in these books that you were trying to bring people to God, to Jesus through fear.

JENKINS: Yes, I think that's probably a fair assessment and I don't think fear is too bad a motivator if you believe that what's coming is really coming. I raised three sons. My wife and I raised three sons and we didn't have a problem scaring them about what would happen to them if they played in the street or played with an electrical outlet or played by the gas grill. We really believe that the option for people if they don't receive Christ and plan to spend eternity with him is that they could spend eternity in hell.

COOPER: Tim, "Glorious Appearing," supposedly the last book in this series but we're told also there's going to be a sequel and a prequel. What should readers expect?

LAHAYE: They should take in the prequel we'll examine their lives as young people growing up, some as Christians, some as non- Christians and then the judgment seat of Christ. One of the things you don't talk about very often is the fact that Christians are going to face their own judgment after the rapture and we'll portray much of that.

COOPER: Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins thank you very much for being on the program.

JENKINS: Thank you.

LAHAYE: Our pleasure.


COOPER: Well, tomorrow night as we wrap up our series "Keeping the Faith," interfaith families. They come together in good faith but it is sometimes that very faith that tears them apart. We're going to look at the hurdles faced by one interfaith family. That's tomorrow night.


COOPER (voice-over): America's air defenses wilt under assault by the 9/11 attackers. What went wrong at NORAD?

President Clinton comes clean about Monica, how he and Hillary survived infidelity.

Questions for Kobe, will a groundbreaking new law let jurors quiz the defendant, 360 continues.


COOPER: On 360 next, 9/11 and confusion at the highest levels of government. How did the United States get taken by surprise. We'll take a closer. Plus, hear the stunning audiotape of Mohamed Atta as he commandeered a plane flew it toward the World Trade Center.

First, our top stories in the "Reset." Fort Bragg, North Carolina. CIA contractor facing charges. This man David Passaro, a former Green Beret, was charged with four counts of assault in the death of an Afghan detainee in June of last year. Passaro was working as a contractor for the CIA at the time.

In Washington. On the road for Bush, Senator John McCain will campaign with President Bush in Arizona and Washington state this weekend. McCain has frequently criticized the president, but his appeal to independent voters out west is seen as an important asset to the Bush campaign. So much for those VIP rumors -- or VP rumors, I should say.

And in Hollywood, Gibson gets the crown. According to "Forbes" magazine Mel Gibson is this year's most powerful celebrity. Gibson gambled last year on his controversial movie "The Passion." It was a huge hit. It made $210 million. That's a quick look at our top stories.

Today, for the first time, we heard the anatomy of an attack. In stark, sickening detail, the independent commission investigating the events of 9/11 laid out the timeline, what exactly happened on September 11. The commission played a tape in tomorrow's testimony believed to contain the voice of hijacker Mohamed Atta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHN AZZARELLO, STAFF REPORTER: Controllers immediately began to move aircraft out of its path and searched from aircraft to aircraft in an effort to have another pilot contact American 11. At 8:24:38 seconds, the following transmission came from American 11.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you'll be OK. We are returning to the airport.

AZZARELLO: The controller only heard something unintelligible. He did not hear the specific words, quote, "we have some planes." End quote. The next transmission came seconds later.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody move. Everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves, you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hearing that transmission, the controller told us he then knew it was a hijacking.


COOPER: Just hearing that voice, so disturbing. Former Illinois governor Jim Thompson is a member of the 9/11 commission. He joins me tonight from Philadelphia. Governor, thanks for being with us.

Today, the commission said that basically U.S. officials were unprepared, I think the quote was, "in every respect" and I also quote here, "struggled against an unprecedented challenge they had never encountered and had never trained to meet particularly the FAA and (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Does this mean you think the failure was only of one of institutions not individuals?

GOV. JIM THOMPSON, 9/11 COMMISSION MEMBER: Well, I think there was an institutional failure here, first in communications between the FAA and NORAD, which didn't get the fighters up as quickly as they might otherwise might have gotten up, but there was heroic action on the part of the FAA controllers, particularly in the Boston Air Center, Cleveland Air Center and other places. And some very smart decision on the part of managers at FAA who got 4,000 planes down out of the skies without loss of life or any incident in that respect. Something unprecedented in United States history. The problem is, nobody ever saw an attack within the United States using U.S. airliners as weapons. All our forces were trained to direct outwards against bombers coming in from overseas.

COOPER: And yet, I had read that in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics they had to prepare for that very thing, for planes being used as weapons.

THOMPSON: No. What they had done was to -- Richard Clarke said that he thought about planes being used as weapons, but there you had a defined event at a specific time in a specific location known ahead of time. And so you protected the air space.

COOPER: Another detail from today. We learned that Vice President Cheney relayed orders from President Bush that authorized the shooting down of these planes. But according to the commission, Air Force officers, and I quote, "expressed considerable confusion over the nature and the effect of the order." Now I don't quite get it. Would it have made a difference if that order was understood?

THOMPSON: It would not have made a difference but you're right, there was confusion. The order came from the vice president relaying an order from the president but by the time it got to the pilots the plane had crashed.

COOPER: And the hijackers, I mean, another thing we learned today is just how sort of improvisational their plot was. I mean, there were personality conflicts between them, they switched around who was going to be on what plane. There was really no long-term target date. Were you surprised by how disorganized, in some sense, they were?

THOMPSON: Well, they got lucky in some respects, but as President Clinton told us when he testified before us, al Qaeda is very entrepreneurial, very smart, very clever and very patient. And there was no doubt that Osama bin Laden was controlling all of this through Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Osama being in Afghanistan or Pakistan or back and forth and they got lucky.

COOPER: And then, of course, they only have to get lucky once or twice and...

THOMPSON: That's exactly right.

COOPER: When is the final report coming out, we think?

THOMPSON: Final report will be out before July 27. That is our deadline to go out of business then but we're trying to get it out early to keep it away from the Democratic convention and keeping it out of the presidential campaign. Whether we can do that or not, I don't know.

COOPER: Well, we'll see about that. I know it's been a long day for you, Governor Thompson, I appreciate you being with us.

THOMPSON: My pleasure, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, he is known as Prisoner XXX, a detainee held by Americans in Iraq and unlike the case of those prisoners who were mistreated at Abu Ghraib prison where a small group of relatively low- level soldiers are being blamed, at least so far, Prisoner XXX's case goes straight to the top of the Pentagon. He was essentially disappeared, hidden from the Red Cross intentionally, something Donald Rumsfeld, himself signed off on. Here's CNN Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he was just doing what CIA director George Tenet asked him eight months ago when he ordered a high-value Iraqi prisoner held in secret detention at a U.S. military prison camp near Baghdad airport. The unidentified prisoner dubbed XXX by some soldiers is identified only as a high official and paramilitary leader of the Ansar al-Islam terrorist group believed to be coordinating attacks against U.S. troops. Rumsfeld denies his order was in any way aimed at covering up abuse or inhumane treatment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there an intention to hide this prisoner from the Red Cross?


MCINTYRE: But the prisoner was never registered with the Red Cross as required by the Geneva Conventions. The Pentagon now admits was a breakdown in procedure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should have registered him much sooner than we did. It didn't have it be at the very instant we brought him into our custody.

MCINTYRE: In his investigation of abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison, Major General Antonio Taguba criticized military police for hiding so-called ghost detainees from the Red Cross, calling the practice deceptive, contrary to army doctrine and in violation of international law. Rumsfeld insists the case of XXX who was never at Abu Ghraib is different.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is this case different from what Taguba was talking about, the ghost detainees?

RUMSFELD: It is just different, that's all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Explain how and why.

RUMSFELD: I can't.


MCINTYRE: Other Pentagon officials did offer an explanation saying that the disclosure of XXX's capture might have compromised his intelligence value, but the CIA never interrogated him again -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, Jamie, that is what is so fascinating to me among many things in this story is that this guy who was allegedly this high-level official who allegedly had information about ongoing operations with Ansar al-Islam was only interviewed once when he was first taken in. If he was so important, why didn't anyone interrogate him?

MCINTYRE: Well, the assumption of the U.S. military was that the CIA would come back and talk to him. In fact, there were a couple requests to find out what was going on, but, apparently, that's the part that fell between the cracks.

COOPER: Jamie McIntyre, thanks. Fascinating report.

360 next. Bill Clinton in his own words. The affair, the impeachment, and the efforts to save his marriage. You might have heard, the former president has a book to sell. The selected release of sound bites has begun. Tonight, we'll take a closer look at his explanation of the Lewinsky thing. We'll be right back.


COOPER: President Clinton's autobiography won't be released until Tuesday, but excerpts from the book and from a "60 Minutes" interview set to air this Sunday, are already being released. This is a well thought out, well timed, orchestrated public relations campaign. The goal, of course, maximum sales. Bill Clinton writes about the affair that almost ruined his presidency and his marriage, it is a story of politics, of course, but also a story of infidelity, one that many Americans can relate to.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think I did something for the worst possible reason, just because I could.

COOPER (voice-over): Former President Bill Clinton expresses regret, but offers no excuses.

CLINTON: I thought about it a lot and there are lots more sophisticated explanations, more complicated psychological explanations but none of them are an excuse. Only a fool does not look to explain his mistakes.

COOPER: He tells Dan Rather that his affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, was a terrible moral error that put him in the dog house with his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who he said, needed time to decide whether they would stay together. We take a day a week a week, a whole day, every week for a year and did counseling, he said. Their marriage did survive his infidelity, but some studies show that more than 33 percent of marriages won't. Bill Clinton certainly isn't the first president to betray his marriage vows. Warren G. Harding was caught in the closet dalliance of the White House. Franklin Roosevelt had a long-time affair with his wife's social secretary, Lucy Mercer. And John F. Kennedy's philandering is now famous.

DR. ALLISON CONNER, COGNITIVE THERAPIST: The mindset of being bigger than life and getting a lot of attention and thriving off of that. So, you know, it's very seductive.

COOPER: Of course, not only the powerful play around. Somewhere between 30 to 60 percent of men and between 20 and 50 percent of women will cheat on their spouses. We probably won't find the answers to surviving infidelity in the pages of the president's memoirs, but the publics never ending desire for a peek into a high-profile marriage, probably helped turn tome (ph) into a best seller before it even hit the book stores.


COOPER: As we said before, infidelity is something many Americans are familiar with.

Joining us from San -- San Diego is Constance Ahrons, as sociology professor at the University of Southern California, the author of the book, "We are Still Family."

Thank for being with us, professor. What is the most common reason men give for cheating?

CONSTANCE AHRONS, SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR, USC: Well, men give lots of reasons for cheating, often times it's they have the opportunity to cheat, that they were propositioned, that it was just a one-night stand, that things at home weren't good and, therefore, they, you know, decided that they had to have an affair with somebody else.

COOPER: Because Bill Clinton basically said he did it, I want to get the wording right, "just because I could."

I mean, are people in power, sort of more likely to cheat in some way?

AHRONS: I don't know if they're more likely to cheat, but they certainly have more opportunity. And people in power, women like to be with men that are in power. They get propositioned. They have the opportunity and they have a lot of options.

COOPER: Bill Clinton talked about going to counseling one day a week, for a full day week, for a year. For couples facing this kind of stuff, how do you survive an affair?

AHRONS: Well, certainly going to counseling, going to family therapy is incredibly important. I think there are certain steps. The person who has the affair has to be ready to acknowledge it. He or she has to own up to it, has to understand the pain that he or she has caused, has to apologize and has to ask for forgiveness.

COOPER: And for the spouse?

AHRONS: The spouse has to be willing to listen and to try to understand what went on.

COOPER: It's interesting, though, are the reasons that men give for having a affair, the same as the ones that women do?

AHRONS: Sometimes they're the same, but oftentimes women talk more about of it being for love, being for affection, being for the kind of caring that maybe they weren't getting from their husbands.

COOPER: Do you think it's true, I mean, statistics, I mean, they're all over the place really. There are no real accurate ones on this.

But do you think it's true that more men cheat than women do?

AHRONS: Well, I think it's been changing a lot, because more women today have the opportunity, they're out more.

COOPER: Especially out in the workforce, where I guess a lot of this stuff happens.

AHRONS: Absolutely. And as you know, we have no solid numbers on this.

COOPER: It's fascinating subject. Constance Ahrons, thanks for being with us.

AHRONS: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Well, coming up, will Kobe Bryant's jury be allowed to speak up at the trial?

Just ahead, the judge could pave the way for the 12 men and women to take a vocal role in the courtroom. That story is next.


COOPER: Well, regardless of the outcome, Kobe Bryant's trial is already poised to break legal ground, that's because a ruling in Colorado gives jurors the chance to have there own ask questions as the trial goes on. This new rule goes into effect on July 1st.

Covering the case and this rule for us tonight, "Justice Served," 360 legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom.

Good to see you again.


COOPER: What is the thinking behind this?

NEWSOM: Well, I think this is fascinating. It's really going to be a test case. And the thinking is this will make the jurors participatory in the process, feel included, they can ask questions, things they perhaps might have missed and things the prosecution and defense did not think of, but is helpful, ultimately, to the trier (ph) in fact, to decide the case.

COOPER: We don't know for a fact that this will be allowed yet in the Kobe Bryant case. It can be. It's on the books on July 1.

NEWSOM: Absolutely. That's when it becomes effective. And it will be up to the court's discretion in each individual case. And starting out with the most high profile case, Kobe Bryant, to see if they're going to do it. I think it's a fascinating, interesting idea in theory, but it's potentially problematic in its application.

COOPER: Well yes, you were a prosecutor in California, this is allowed with grand juries traditionally, what are some of the problems that can arise?

NEWSOM: And with grand juries, it's interesting, it's good. I thought it was helpful, but I would prefer not to have it in the case in chief. Meaning, I would rather do a mock jury, a shadow jury a focus group, because it is too problematic to put those questions out there for a jury to almost become invested in the process. They can ask questions that are objectionable, about evidence that has been suppressed or about past, prior records of defendants.

And I think it focuses, also, on them being adversaries in the process and become invested in their position and that's the potential problem.

COOPER: They must become lawyers in a sense.

NEWSOM: Right. And really, you don't want little mini Perry Masons running around the courtroom thinking they can do it best, right?

COOPER: Because, I mean, there's the old cliche that a lawyer, a good lawyer doesn't ask the question they don't already know the answer to. I imagine the lawyers aren't too thrilled by this.

NEWSOM: I think they like the idea of it, but, again, in application, too scary. You lose control of the courtroom and, god knows, lawyers don't like to do that. And it opens up a Pandora's Box with too many issues that could come up that really aren't accounted for. But in this case, they've got it set up good, where a judge is actually going to be able to read the questions, there will be some anonymity, a juror will write a question, pass it to the foreperson, who passes it to the bailiff, judge will read it, see if it's admissible, objectionable and then let the attorneys know.

COOPER: And then, how will the question actually be asked? Will it be the judge asking the questions?

NEWSOM: The judge will ask the question. And see then jurors will get upset if their question isn't asked. Start to favor one side or the other. That's why we have these separate roles, distinct lines here. So that the jury's the trier effect (ph), the advocates represented by prosecution, defense and judge to keep it all in line.

COOPER: It will be fascinating to see whether this actually gets allowed into this trial. I mean, of all the trials it's the most high profile one...

NEWSOM: And you wouldn't want it in this one, I think it's too risky with a victim with a vulnerable past, the alleged accuser in this case. Questions will come up with how many people she slept with, what's going on. It's a lot of things. And then Kobe Bryant and his celebrity. Who wouldn't want to ask Kobe Bryant a question?

COOPER: Yes, a lot of questions there. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, thanks.

NEWSOM: Thank you.

COOPER: Well time to check on some lighter stuff. Some pop news in tonight's "Current." Let's take a look. Madonna has adopted a new name. The Material Girl wants to now be called Esther. She says she got the name from the Bible, although, some think it was inspired by Esther Rolle of "Good Times." I'm not sure if that is true or not.

The sweatiest city in the country was announced yesterday. The winner was El Paso, Texas. Congratulations. The average resident sheds more than 36 fluids ounces of perspiration an hour. A lot, but not nearly as much as Richard Simmons while he "Sweating to the Oldies."

A British man is selling his virginity, seriously. David Vatty (ph) is putting it up for sale on the Internet. He is asking $11,000 for his virginity. Of course, if that amount isn't reached, he will consider a couple beers instead.

And a couple of Frenchmen have become sanitation workers to the stars. Sifting through their junk as though it were precious jewels. In our celebrity obsessed culture, it was only a matter of time before their Hollywood garbage, "Gigli" not included, would become high art. Sorry, Ben. CNN's Jeanne Moos has the dirt.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How would you like strangers peering at your garbage? In this case, it's Madonna's garbage with Coca Pebbles and Liz Taylor's garbage with Downey fabric softner. And John Travolta's garbage with Kraft macaroni and cheese.


MOOS: Though, we're not sure whose hair in Marlon Brando's rubbish. Star Trash consists of photographs by 2 French photographers, they've been raiding celebrity garbage bags for 15 years, sorting it and photographing it from above.

(on camera): Did you not feel embarrassed to be looking through the garbage of celebrities? I mean, wasn't it embarrassing?

PASCAL ROSTAIN, PHOTOGRAPHER: Oh, no. We can say that, that stinks a lot.

MOOS: Sure, it's mundane stuff...


MOOS: ...but folks relate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I eat that, or oh, I use that. So, it's interesting to see that they're people. I love that.

MOOS: I bet Sean Penn doesn't appreciate having his mouse traps and beer bottles on display. Tom Cruise's trash included a Victoria Secret catalogue, Pamela Anderson's featured a dirty t-shirt. They found boxers in Antonio Banderas's garbage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like dives into the crevices of their personal life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a little cheap.

MOOS: The photographers say this is a sociological look at where celebrity and consumerism meet. (on camera): I mean, I get it, I get it, but I just wouldn't do it.

(voice-over): Pascal Rostain, says they left out anything medical and removed Larry King's photo after realizing it included an item that was a bit too personal. Jack Mickelson's trash contained an invite to Elton John's birthday party. Michael Jackson's featured cheese, popcorn and a Big Mac.

(on camera): You're eating classier stuff than those celebrities are eating.

(voice-over): Each photo sells for 6,000 bucks. Photographers say celebrity agents have called wanting to buy back their garbage. Leave it to Liz Taylor's trash to include garbage written about Liz herself.

(on camera): The moral of this the story: lock your garbage up, Anderson Cooper.


COOPER: I shred everything.

So the South has spoken. Just ahead in the "Nth Degree," a woman married to Confederate soldier wants us to know she is still here.

First today's "Buzz," "do you believe there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11?" Log onto, cast your vote now, we'll have results when we come back.


COOPER: Time now for the "Buzz." Earlier we asked you, "do you believe there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11?" E-mails are pouring in on this one, more than 10,000 of you have voted. 22 percent of you said yes, 78 percent of you said no. It is not a scientific poll, but it is your "Buzz" and we appreciate you voting.

Finally tonight, taking the word last to the "Nth Degree." Recently we reported on the death of Alberto Martin. Ms. Martin was supposed to be the last Civil War widow when she died at the age of 97. Now, we learn, there is yet another one still alive, 89-year-old, Mauri Cilia Hopkins family revealed her story after they heard news reports of Ms. Martin's death. Hopkins married confederate veteran William Cantrell back in 1934 when she was 19 years-old and he was 86.

So far as we know, Ms. Hopkins is the last, but will the be the first to admit the word last in the case of Confederate widows should be used this way. Boy, those Confederate widows sure do last.

That's 360 for tonight. Thanks for watching. Up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


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