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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Private 1st Class Lynndie England in Court; Family Values and the Election
Aired August 3, 2004 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, she's the infamous face of Abu Ghraib, taking on prisoners with a grin, a dangling cigarette and a dog collar. Now Private 1st Class Lynndie England in court taking on the U.S. Army.
And Republicans call it family values. Democrats calls it valuing families.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families.
COLLINS: The parties, values, and the campaign.
COLLINS: Good evening, everybody. Thanks for joining us tonight. Paula's off tonight. I'm Heidi Collins.
Soldiers coming home from war, it's the subject of songs and movies. And now it's reality for more than 100 American families. They gathered in Petersburg, Virginia, to welcome back their loved ones, Reservists with the 372nd Military Police Company. Their 14- month deployment included a stint at the prison now synonymous with the single biggest scandal to come out of the war in Iraq, Abu Ghraib.
Missing from the homecoming, Private Lynndie England, who as a result of the prisoner abuse scandal now faces charges of conspiracy to mistreat prisoners, assaulting prisoners, committing acts prejudicial to good order, committing indecent acts, disobeying an ordering, and creating and possessing sexually explicit photographs.
Today, a military court began considering whether she should fade court-martial, along with six others the government portrays as rogue soldiers. Central to the case, the photographs that burst into the headlines in April.
COLLINS (voice-over): These are the pictures the world will not forget, images that sum up the Abu Ghraib prison scandal; 21-year-old Private 1st Class Lynndie England, smiling, giving the thumbs up, holding the dog leash, she's become the poster child for the scandal. Today, she walked into a Fort Bragg military courtroom for a hearing to determine whether she will face a full court-martial. England has said others had her pose for those photos.
PRIVATE 1ST CLASS LYNNDIE ENGLAND, U.S. ARMY: I didn't really want to be in any pictures.
COLLINS: Lead military investigator Paul Arthur testified he questioned England about the photos showing her with naked Iraqi prisoners. "It," she said, "was just for fun."
Another military investigator, Warren Worth, was asked whether England was a willing participant in the dog leash photo. Worth said, "She didn't say she objected to it." But that's not exactly what she told one TV interviewer earlier this year. "I was told to stand here, point thumbs up, look at the camera and take the picture. They were for psy-op reasons, and the reasons worked. I mean, so to us, we were doing our job, which meant we were doing what we were told. And the outcome was what they wanted. They just told us, hey, you're doing great. Keep it up."
England answered only procedural questions in court today. I spoke to her lawyer, Richard Hernandez, earlier on "AMERICAN MORNING."
RICHARD HERNANDEZ, ATTORNEY FOR LYNNDIE ENGLAND: What the government wants you to believe is, this was a rogue band of adequately trained soldiers who went behind their chain of command to do whatever they wanted to do. Nothing can be further from the truth. They know that this goes through M.I. They know it's a systematic problem.
COLLINS: Hernandez says the defense will show people higher up in the chain of command and M.I., or military intelligence, provided guidance on performing interrogations. Lynndie England is almost seven months pregnant now. The man identified by her attorney as the father, Charles Graner, another former Abu Ghraib prison guard who is facing a court-martial in Baghdad.
HERNANDEZ: It's hard for Lynndie to see beyond the future, not knowing whether she'll even be around to raise her child if she's facing a 15-year prison sentence.
COLLINS: And recently added charges of personal sexual misconduct with other guards in Iraq could push England's maximum sentence to 38 years.
At today's hearing, there was testimony from two military investigators. Testimony from two other witnesses was postponed after an unexpected delay, when England failed to return from the lunch break.
National correspondent Susan Candiotti was inside the courtroom today. She joins us now from Fort Bragg with more details.
So, Susan, what can you tell us about England leaving? There was a 90-minute delay and then she didn't come back. What was the reason?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Heidi.
Yes, according to her attorneys, they will only say that, during the break, that Lynndie England contacted her doctor -- remember, she is almost seven months pregnant -- and that the doctor asked her to come in. And she decided not to come back to court. The attorneys would not elaborate further, although they did say that she did have a very stressful day, especially after some of the testimony about some of those sexually explicit photos in which she is said to appear.
COLLINS: Let's talk about her demeanor a little bit in the courtroom while she was there, then. What was her body language like?
CANDIOTTI: Well, she was very attentive. She paid attention, was fairly expressionless, actually, until the time when there was testimony from one of the government witnesses about some of the photographs in which she is said to be having sex with other military officers, other prison guards there.
And, at that point, I noticed that she looked down and looked away. She appeared to be embarrassed and uncomfortable.
COLLINS: Well, how did the people inside the courtroom, then, react to her in return?
CANDIOTTI: Well, certainly, reporters, there were plenty of those in the courtroom, including a representative from Al-Jazeera. We were all taking notes and watching very closely. Her mother also sat in the audience. I looked at her as some of this uncomfortable testimony was happening. She was staring straight ahead, again, very pale-looking, I must say, and looking as straight ahead at the witness.
Other than that, there were some observers from the base here watching the proceedings.
COLLINS: All right, so, Susan, let's talk a little bit about what comes next now. Who is expected to testify over the next several days? I think that we've heard that this hearing is going to last or expected to last at least until Friday.
CANDIOTTI: It could. And in fact, because there are 25 witnesses at this time scheduled to testify, it might even stretch into the weekend.
Included among some of the witnesses, Specialist Jeremy Sivits. You might remember that he has already pleaded guilty in this case and is currently doing a year in prison. He is in Germany now and he is expected to be a cooperating witness and testify by telephone at some point during the week. So, again, there are plenty of witnesses to come.
However, Lynndie England has told the court the defense does not plan to call any witnesses. And, really, she's not expected to. She has the opportunity to hear much of the government's case against her at this grand jury-type hearing. COLLINS: All right, national correspondent Susan Candiotti on the story for us at Fort Bragg, North Carolina -- Susan, thanks so much for that.
The England case is unique in that it encompasses not only the international prisoner abuse scandal, but also what was a very private relationship between the young private and Specialist Charles Graner. He's in Baghdad awaiting court-martial there.
And tonight, his attorney, Guy Womack, joins us from Savannah, Georgia.
Thanks so much for being here, Mr. Womack. We do appreciate your time.
Let's talk a little bit about this testimony now today in Lynndie England's hearing. First witness was a military investigator, who we've just mentioned. He said that Lynndie England told him three things. They were that Charles Graner told her to pose for these photographs in which she is holding the prisoner on the leash. He then went to get -- or he was the one who actually got the leash. He was also the one who took the photograph. He also told her that that prisoner on the leash had been involved in killing coalition forces.
How damaging could this information be for your client?
GUY WOMACK, ATTORNEY FOR SPECIALIST CHARLES GRANER: It's not damaging at all.
Those statements fit in exactly with what we've been saying, that these soldiers were involved in breaking down these prisoners for interrogation by military intelligence, other government agency and civilian interrogators. Certainly, he would give orders to subordinates, the same as he would have received orders from his superiors.
COLLINS: So, wait a minute. You say this information is not damaging at all. Is he disputing the information or just saying that, hey, this was a direct order from someone else and I just followed my orders?
WOMACK: This is the first I've heard those comments, but certainly they are very consistent with what we have said from the beginning. So I see no reason to dispute it right now. I don't know if it's true or not.
COLLINS: OK. Well, tell me then about the argument that you will look at as far as defending your client. I understand that you probably will not go into specifics. But, broadly, what will your defense be for Charles Graner?
WOMACK: Our defense is that, based on guidance from the secretary of defense, all the way down to Lieutenant General Sanchez, Colonel Pappas and the other authorities at Abu Ghraib prison, there was a lessening of restrictions on military interrogators, intelligence officers. The information was very critical to mission success.
And, ultimately, they were given authority by Lieutenant General Sanchez to take over and control the operations of Abu Ghraib prison. It was a point of interrogation. It's no longer a detention center. The M.P.s were put under the direct control of those military intelligence officers and other civilians and government employees. And they did what they were told.
And our defense is that first the orders were apparently lawful. And the M.P.s thought they had an obligation to follow those orders. I think they did. And they followed the orders, and now only those lowest-ranking soldiers are in trouble. And the military intelligence officers, the CIA agents, and the civilian interrogator, contract interrogators, are conspicuously absent from this court.
COLLINS: I ask you again, though, sir, are you saying that your client, Charles Graner, took a direct order and indeed that direct order from Lieutenant General Sanchez?
WOMACK: Oh, of course, not. I doubt that he ever spoke with General Sanchez. We're not suggesting the general did anything wrong. We're saying that the general was involved in the collection of intelligence. He was encouraging that. He was a consumer of intelligence.
And through Major General Fast and subordinate officers, he was causing them to aggressively interrogate. And he allowed them the leeway that they had to have in order to do that successfully. And, ultimately, they were issuing orders to the M.P.s to (AUDIO GAP) these prisoners and that's exactly what happened. And you have photographic proof of it .
COLLINS: All right, let's talk a moment, if we could, about Lynndie England herself, seven months pregnant. Your client, Charles Graner, has been identified as the father of that baby. How much contact does Charles Graner have with Lynndie England at this point? Do they talk on the phone?
WOMACK: He doesn't have access to a phone. He's in Baghdad at an Army post. There are no or virtually no commercial phone lines available to the soldiers.
COLLINS: So no contact at all with Lynndie England?
WOMACK: I don't know if he has contact with Lynndie England or not, but he has access to e-mail constantly. And he e-mails me several times a day. I don't know if she's allowed to receive e- mails, if she has access to it. And I don't know that they try to have contact. But, if they do, I presume it would be through e-mail.
COLLINS: Is Charles Graner the father of that baby?
WOMACK: I don't know. I've never asked him that.
COLLINS: You've never asked him that?
WOMACK: He's not charged with fathering a child by her. And I've never asked him about that. We've been focused solely on the allegations of maltreatment and failing to safeguard prisoners. I've not asked him about his personal life. Certainly, I've not asked him about his love life.
COLLINS: All right, Mr. Guy Womack, attorney for Charles Graner, thanks so much for being with us tonight. We appreciate it.
WOMACK: You're welcome.
COLLINS: And when we return, getting to the bottom of Abu Ghraib, where the investigation stands right now.
COLLINS: Since the news about Abu Ghraib broke in April, we have seen congressional hearings and worldwide outrage. And while several investigations are still under way, so far, only a handful of low- ranking soldiers have been charged.
Senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre with an update now on what's been discovered so far and what questions remain unanswered.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been eight months since the military first disclosed it was investigating prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and still no one knows how high up the chain of command responsibility rests.
SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: Can you assure this committee and the American public that we have not only gotten to the bottom of it, but we've also gotten to the top of it, whether it goes to the highest uniformed officer or the highest civilian officer?
LES BROWNLEE, ACTING SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: Sir, I can assure you that these matters are under investigation.
MCINTYRE: But a report by the Army inspector general released in late July concludes the abuses were just the unauthorized actions taken by a few individuals, coupled with the failure of a few leaders to provide adequate supervision.
That drew howls of whitewash from skeptical members of Congress.
SEN. JACK REED (D), RHODE ISLAND: And it seems to me that this is just again reinforcing the conclusion that there were five or six aberrant soldiers. I don't think you've done the job that you have to do.
MCINTYRE: The Army I.G. says his review was an inspection, not an investigation of specific incidents or individuals. It did not, for example, attempt to confirm whether so-called ghost detainees were hidden from the International Red Cross, as found by an earlier Army probe.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: If we didn't investigate a gross and egregious violation such as that, I'm curious what else you didn't investigate.
MCINTYRE: Human rights groups say the U.S. continues to act as though it has something to hide.
ELISA MASSIMINO, HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST: I think the fact that the Pentagon continues to refuse the International Red Cross access to all the prisoners it's holding means that there's conduct going on in those interrogations that the government doesn't want the Red Cross to see or stop.
MCINTYRE: The Pentagon argues, five other investigations still under way will answer all questions. The key probe, looking at whether military intelligence officers encouraged or condoned the abuse, is still not complete. It will determine if Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, who was the top commander in Iraq, authorized the use of unmuzzled dogs to intimidate naked prisoners, something he vehemently denies.
And there are new allegations contained in a lawsuit filed on behalf of former Iraqi prisoners that Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who was in charge of the prison at Abu Ghraib, personally witnessed abuse. In a videotaped deposition, one detainee claimed that, during a beating, his hood was removed and he saw General Karpinski.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She used to come and she used to see me, how they tortured me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She watched?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't know at the time, but she was an American general. She was in charge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, she's in charge and she used to laugh at him.
MCINTYRE: In an interview with the BBC, Karpinski flatly denied the charge, insisting, "There was never a time when I witnessed any abuse at Abu Ghraib or at any other facility anywhere."
Several Pentagon officials familiar with the investigation expect more soldiers, including some officers, to be charged when the last investigation is done. But no one seems to think the culpability will extend to the top levels of the Pentagon.
COLLINS: And Jamie McIntyre joins us now.
Jamie, as you said, it's been nearly eight months since the U.S. military began investigating Abu Ghraib. Why is this key investigation taking so long?
MCINTYRE: Well, it was almost wrapped up by General Fay, a two- star general, when they realized that they needed to ask some pretty tough questions of General Sanchez, who's a three-star. That resulted in the whole investigation being taken over by a four-star general, General Kern, and it basically started over again, although it was 90 percent complete.
We still don't have a timeline for when it will be complete, but supposedly it's supposed to be done in the next month or so.
COLLINS: Well, as you know, the Pentagon says that of the five investigations that are still ongoing, that at some point, they're going to get to the truth of what happened. Do we really know that they'll get to the heart of this matter?
MCINTYRE: Well, one of the investigations, one of the five is really an investigation of the investigations. It's a review by the so-called Schlesinger panel, former Defense Secretary, Energy Secretary Jim Schlesinger.
And he's charged with taking a look at all the investigations, seeing if they did what they were supposed to do, and more importantly whether there was a gap, whether there was something that they should have been looking at that they weren't looking at. That report is due out by the way later this month. That will give us an idea whether he thinks there ought to be yet another investigation.
COLLINS: All right, Jamie McIntyre, senior Pentagon correspondent for us tonight, thanks so much, Jamie.
So, what if any changes have been made at Abu Ghraib? When we come back, the view from both sides of the prison bars.
COLLINS: Much has changed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in the months since those graphic images of prisoner abuse first shocked the world.
CNN's Michael Holmes recently visited the notorious prison and talked to some of the prisoners and their families. They told him that while conditions at Abu Ghraib are better, justice remains elusive.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were photographs that shocked the world, showing gross mistreatment of Iraqi detainees by Americans, in a prison where Saddam Hussein's men had done much the same thing, and more.
Abu Ghraib today is used to house common criminals; 2,300 security detainees have been moved here to this adjacent tent city that is light years away from the infamous main building.
SAAD SULTAN, IRAQI HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTRY: A lawyer, a lawyer, a lawyer, social worker.
HOLMES (on camera): Social worker.
SULTAN: And a lawyer.
HOLMES: And a lawyer.
HOLMES (voice-over): Saad Sultan from the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry, points out his team for us, a team that's come here each week since May.
Saad Sultan Our first visit, when we discussed with the detainees, they told me about the torture, all treatment, mistreatment, all bad behavior.
HOLMES: Saad says the new facility is no picnic, but it has improved.
SULTAN: We have a big difference.
HOLMES: The food contractor was fired, a new one brought in. The tents, air conditioned. There are those weekly human rights visits, a state-of-the-art military hospital and more regular family visits. Small touches, too, a general's wife suggesting that a digital photo at the end of each visit might be nice, a memento for both family and detainee.
Another change, those infamous orange jumpsuits are gone. Now it's civilian clothes behind the wire, yellow jumpsuits when working or visiting family. Lieutenant Colonel Barry Johnson helps run the facility. He says that his troops were stunned by accusations against their predecessors.
LT. COL. BARRY JOHNSON, U.S. ARMY: This facility has matured in many ways since then. And what we emphasize here is humane treatment, treating the detainees with dignity and respect, keeping in mind that these are people who were picked up by our soldiers during the insurgency.
HOLMES: Our visit had rules. We could not show the faces of detainees, nor could we interview them. But we could listen and record what they said to us, often claims that things are far from perfect here.
"Where is the freedom?" this man asks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here why? I don't know.
Several tell us, "I don't know why I'm here" and "They have no evidence." Saad Sultan told me that many of these men, who fought against the Americans, believe they are innocent.
SULTAN: He said that when he fighting the occupation, it's not a crime. He thinks, we have difference of opinion about that. HOLMES (on camera): The military says the goal is to get as many of these men as possible into the court system as soon as possible to be convicted or acquitted. But the reality is, while the insurgency continues the way it's been going, a lot of these men are going to be here for a long time without a trial.
(voice-over): But Colonel Johnson says these detainees are here for a reason.
JOHNSON: Yes, what we've got here are people who have at least been through the board process once, senior officers looking at their files and the evidence and determining that they are indeed a security risk.
HOLMES: The American system provides each detainee a case review every 90 days. The aim is 60 days, much shorter than the six months required by the Geneva Conventions. On this day, visiting family members told us that conditions are better, much better.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I came here to visit my brother, and he is fine and comfortable.
HOLMES: But almost all of them said their loved ones need a faster process to prove their innocence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (through translator): They accuse him of being a terrorist, but they have no proof at all.
HOLMES: Saad Sultan also believes that the justice system is very important.
SULTAN: Send them to the court. Guilty, go to the prison. Not guilty, go to the home. That's what we need.
HOLMES: What we don't need, Saad says, is a return to the old Abu Ghraib.
SULTAN: I think that this photo will never come again in Abu Ghraib.
COLLINS: CNN's Michael Holmes with that report.
Next, tighter security, not behind bars, but here at home. They're bringing out the big guns, but new worries are based on old information.
Meanwhile, the lady of the harbor opens her door a little wider.
That's coming up.
COLLINS: British police arrested 13 men today on suspicion of terrorism. It's unknown if any are believed to have links to al Qaeda.
Here in the United States, officials tell CNN tonight that an al Qaeda suspect arrested last month in Pakistan has provided a wealth of information on the terror network. That information played a role in the decision to raise the terror alert level.
But in a wide-ranging briefing today, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge acknowledged that other information used in that decision was up to three years old.
TOM RIDGE, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: There's no evidence of recent surveillance. But again, I will tell you that the information about the casings that we revealed on Sunday have been updated as recently as January of this year. And we know this is an organization that plans in advance, that prepares, and is patient.
COLLINS (voice-over): Even though some of the intelligence had not been updated, the Homeland Security Department believes it was important enough to warrant immediate action.
RIDGE: I would point out that this is the most significant, detailed pieces of information about any particular region that we've come across in a long, long time, perhaps ever. This is -- and that's why we needed to share it publicly.
COLLINS: While there was no specific evidence an attack was imminent, the administration believed it was best to go public as soon as possible.
RIDGE: I know over the weekend, there's always a great deal of concern about going public and when you go public, but in fact we wanted to get some of this information to security professionals before it went public so they could begin notifying their employees.
I'd much rather have these men and women who showed up to work on Monday morning begin to receive notification from their employer before they get it, with all due respect, from the local news channel.
COLLINS: Security agencies believe the current alert has made it more difficult for terrorists to carry out an attack. More difficult, but not impossible.
RIDGE: I think in this day and age, in a country that is as open and diverse as ours, when we literally have 600 million people that come across our borders every year, I think within the department and I think around the country, we just assume that there are operatives here.
COLLINS: Ridge said it was a judgment call when to release information, and dismissed any suspicions that this latest terror alert was politically motivated.
RIDGE: I guess I wish I could give them all the top secret clearances and let them review the information that some of us have the responsibility to review. We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security.
COLLINS: Joining us tonight in Washington to discuss the raising of the terror alert level at financial institutions, and the fact that some of the information used in making that decision is, as we said, up to three years old, is a former director of both the FBI and the CIA, Judge William Webster.
Judge Webster, thanks so much for being with us tonight.
JUDGE WILLIAM WEBSTER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF FBI AND CIA: Thank you, Heidi.
COLLINS: Let me begin with this terror threat level.
Now, as you know, it was raised on Sunday, and that caused many things to happen, some of which were roads being closed, commercial traffic being diverted from one of the largest tunnels coming into this city, in New York City, armed police on subways, at least in Washington, D.C.
And then, we learned that the information was old. The Department of Homeland Security made a point to create what I will call a sense of urgency. What do you think about that? Was that misleading?
WEBSTER: I don't think it was misleading. I think it might have been better in hindsight if the fact that some of the information occurred a few years ago, put it in the record.
We know that global terrorists take a great deal of pains, time and effort into making their plans. Pan Am 103 at Lockerbie took three years. And I could give other examples.
But I think it's -- it was important to get that information to the first responders, to the law enforcement officials and people guarding the particular buildings that were suspect as soon as possible.
And then it was important, as Governor Ridge said, that employers have a chance to notify their people and their occupants of the buildings, hopefully before the newspapers revealed it to them.
COLLINS: Sir, let me just ask this -- now again, with you at the head of the CIA and the FBI for a short time, or for quite awhile actually, pardon me -- how comfortable are you with giving that type of information to the public?
We talk about first responders. We talk about corporation leaders. But to the public, how comfortable are you?
WEBSTER: Well, at times I'm very uncomfortable with it. Particularly in the days when we'd get bomb threats and wondered how public to go with the bomb threat when it was too amorphous, too -- too non-specific. On the other hand, I think the tone, the tenor, the firmness, the quiet, factual presentation of Secretary Ridge was very reassuring to me and would be to most Americans, that it was a serious problem. It hadn't gone away. And steps were being taken to deal with it.
COLLINS: They talk about the treasure trove of information that was found in these documents. Are we better understanding now after going through some of that and as we continue to go through it, the logic of our enemy?
WEBSTER: It's a good question. I wish I had a good answer for you. I think this particular information, with its specificity as to the approach to financial centers as a logical target for a major and perhaps simultaneous activity, was very helpful.
It doesn't provide the answers. It doesn't provide the time. But it tells us where they're looking. And therefore, we have to take the steps that are necessary, steps to make it hard for them to get through.
COLLINS: All right, let's move on, if we could, to the president's announcement about creating the position of the national intelligence director. Now, I want to read you something from the "New York Times" editorial today.
Here's what it said. "Mr. Bush's intelligence director would be in the worst of all worlds, cut out of the president's inner circle and lacking any real power."
From what the president has said in how he will set up this position, does it sound like the new role would have the authority that it needs?
WEBSTER: I hope so. But I think it needs more clarification.
I listened very closely to the president when he made his announcement. And then I read subsequent news reports about authorities that would not be given to the new head of intelligence.
One of the things that those of us who served as directors of central intelligence all agreed on, as that we were assumed to have more authority than we actually did.
This looked like a good opportunity that the commission was offering a need for more specific authorities. And whether they were given to the DCI or to a new director of national intelligence, the important thing was that he -- that he have the responsibility and that he have it in an independent way, not be part of the cabinet, not be -- not be subject to the suspicion that he was spinning intelligence in order to achieve a specific policy objective.
And all of those things were important. I think the president was absolutely right on those issues. Also right on not giving him a specified term. Nobody in the executive branch has an unqualified term. Even the director of the FBI, who they -- people think has a tenured term, has a term that says, not more than 10 years. So on those I agree. But on the need for the things we thought we were going do get -- greater control over management of the budget, greater responsibility for the selection or at least the approval of all the leaders in the intelligence community, and performance evaluation. Those things that make a leader lead.
We thought -- I thought I heard the president say, coordinate in that kind of a way. If that's not the case, then more clarification is needed, and I hope more strength will be provided.
COLLINS: All right, we certainly do appreciate your time and your insight on all of this. Former CIA Director William Webster, thanks so much.
WEBSTER: Thank you.
COLLINS: From the war on terror, we turn next to another hot button issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We stand for institutions like marriage and family, which are the foundations of society.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And it's time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Both sides talk about values. But are they really talking about the same thing? That's next.
COLLINS: An important question on the ballot today in Missouri: voters are going to the polls to decide whether to ban same-sex marriage in that state.
The issue is very much alive across the country, with similar votes planned this year in as many as 12 states.
The outcome in Missouri may give us a hint of how important this controversial issue will be in the presidential election, where both campaigns are claiming they will best represent and protect the nation's values.
More now from Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Missouri voters are deciding whether they will be the first to constitutionally define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. And they are hearing plenty of voices for and against.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Bible says, in the beginning God created Adam and Eve, and not Adam and Steve.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What Amendment 2 would do is to write discrimination into our Constitution. And that would be the first time we've ever done that.
FOREMAN: Thirteen states are grappling with this idea of banning gay marriages this year. Five of them are presidential battlegrounds, so evenly divided either George Bush or John Kerry could win. And that has political analysts looking once again at the issue of values.
FRANK NEWPORT, GALLUP ORGANIZATION: It's not the deciding issue for the vast majority of Americans, but it's important enough for certain core constituency groups that it could make a difference in certain key states and could swing the election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet."
FOREMAN: Ozzie and Harriet once defined our collective sense of values. Things have changed since a few decades ago, but the public clearly cares about values.
Asked which party better represents your values, 50 percent say the Democrats; 45 percent say the Republicans.
KERRY: We believe that what matters most is not narrow appeals masquerading as values, but the shared values that show the true face of America.
FOREMAN: Those numbers, however, represent the entire population. Among likely voters, Bush and the Republicans come out ahead.
BUSH: In these changing times, our values and strong beliefs will not change. We stand for institutions like marriage and family, which are the foundations of society.
FOREMAN: But neither Democrats nor Republicans seem able to capitalize on the values issues right now, because voters are consistently saying other things matter more.
CHUCK TODD, "THE HOTLINE": There is a sense that there are bigger issues. There are more sort of, to be frank, life and death issues with this presidential campaign. Whether it's the war in Iraq, whether it's the economy and the pocketbook, there are just bigger issues.
FOREMAN (on camera): Still, values are not out of the picture. Why? It goes back to those battleground states. If the gay marriage issue can promote higher voter turnout for liberals or conservatives, that could give one candidate an edge.
(voice-over): So are values the sleeper issue of the presidential race? No one knows yet. But in Missouri, the turnout was considerably higher than expected.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COLLINS: That was Tom Foreman reporting for us tonight.
And as we look at a live picture now of John Kerry campaigning in Dubuque, Iowa, we'll debate the role of values in the presidential election.
Joining us now are representatives from both campaigns. Congressman J.D. Hayworth is a Republican from Arizona. He's speaking on behalf of the Bush/Cheney campaign, and he joins from us tonight from Phoenix.
Thanks, sir, for being with us.
REP. J.D. HAYWORTH (R), ARIZONA: Thank you, Heidi.
COLLINS: And representing the Kerry/Edwards campaign is Virginia Governor Mark Warner, who is a Democrat. He is in Richmond tonight.
Hello to you, as well, Governor.
GOV. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: Hi, Heidi.
COLLINS: Thanks so much.
Congressman Hayworth, I'd like to begin with you. You know, Republicans have always called themselves the party of family values. In fact, today we heard President Bush talking with the Knights of Columbus in Dallas about his faith-based initiatives and his conservative stands on a number of social issues.
But I want you to look at these poll numbers for just a moment, if you would, on this issue, that show that people actually give Democrats a slight edge, 50 -- excuse me, 50 percent to 45 percent, that is, on values and what they mean to them.
Does it surprise you that the Republicans don't have more of an edge here?
HAYWORTH: Heidi, I thank you for raising this issue with the poll, because it gives me a chance to amplify what Tom Foreman spoke about in that report.
Let's understand, when you take a look at the folks they sampled, it really didn't talk about likely voters. And usually there is a skewing of more self-identified Democrats in the polling, especially for major urban areas. So I believe you have to take a look not so much at the polling but at the performance of the two candidates.
And the real problem here, Heidi, is that John Kerry says one thing, then acts in completely a different way.
For example, just a few weeks ago on a bus tour up in Minnesota, he said he represents conservative values, yet the non-partisan "National Journal" ranked John Kerry the most liberal member of the United States Senate. He says he supports -- or he opposes gay marriage. Yet when it comes to the Defense of Marriage Act, an act signed into law by President Clinton back in 1996, he was one of only 14 senators to vote against it.
COLLINS: All right.
HAYWORTH: And he consistently opposes the constitutional amendment that says marriage in the United States shall consist of one man and one woman.
COLLINS: All right, Governor Warner, your thought on that?
WARNER: Well, my thought is very simple. Like John Kerry, I oppose gay marriage. But I think it ought to be left to the states to make that decision. I don't think we ought to elevate this to a constitutional amendment.
If that is the most important issue, then -- then perhaps the folks should vote for George Bush. If you believe the most important issue is how you are going to make sure you're going to have good quality jobs, how you're going to make sure our kids have health care, how you're going to make sure our streets are safe.
I mean, tonight I was in a very tough neighborhood in Richmond, where we were part of a national -- national night out, where communities come out of their neighborhoods, leave the lights on, get out with neighbors in tough areas and get with the police forces.
HAYWORTH: Heidi, our concern...
WARNER: Let me just please finish.
HAYWORTH: Sure, go ahead. He's trying to filibuster.
WARNER: I mean, what we -- the folks I was talking about tonight were, you know, are we going to get health care, are we going to get education?
These are the values that I think are common shared American values. That's what I think John Kerry's talking about. That's what I honestly hope both candidates will talk about between now and November.
COLLINS: Let's define this, then, just for a moment, if we could.
Congressman Hayworth, back to you now. What is the -- what does the word mean to the Republican Party when we talk about family values here? And then how does it differ from what the Democrats are defining it as?
HAYWORTH: Well, perhaps the best way to answer that, Heidi, is to go back to something Mark said, well-meaning but ultimately disingenuous.
The fact is, this issue was thrust upon the scene by five judges of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. And now with so many activist judges at the federal level, those who legislate from the bench, it isn't so far fetched to see the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution being utilized to spread gay marriage across the country.
Indeed, we saw it with the actions of Mayor Gavin Newsom in San Francisco, with several justices of the peace in New York. And that is why...
COLLINS: But Congressman Hayworth, you're not defining the term for the Republicans.
HAYWORTH: Oh, no, I'll be very happy to define the term.
COLLINS: Is it just about gay marriage for the Republicans?
HAYWORTH: No, it isn't. It's about the notion of making sure that people preserve the sanctity of life, that we quit a culture of shouting and incivility, that we understand that the -- that the family unit is most important, just as the best social program is a job, and just as it's good that Mark has been out tonight, dealing with getting crime off the streets, that we have to take action to protect our families.
We don't do that with judges who are soft on crime, and we don't do it through technicalities and clever arguments where we try to reprioritize and thrust upon the scene seismic social shifts such as the issue of gay marriage.
COLLINS: Thank you. Mark, go ahead.
WARNER: Heidi, let me try to address your question, which is, what does it mean for values?
Well, I've got to tell you what I think is the most basic and actually the most unique American value. And that's our ultimate sense of fairness, our sense of fair play.
And I believe that reflects how we address a whole series of issues, how it reflects the fact of whether we care about folks who are being left behind. Whether it's left behind in education, left behind in health care, whether it's our sense that if you can have a God-given right to work hard, you're going to succeed. That's all about fairness.
And I've got to tell you, I don't believe it's a Democratic value. I don't believe it's a Republican value. I believe it's an American value.
I think this whole values debate has become, you know, kind of political gobbledygook about, you know, throwing mud back and forth. I think we ought to get back to what our president, whether it is President Bush reelected or...
COLLINS: All right.
WARNER: ... John Kerry elected...
COLLINS: Thank you, Governor.
WARNER: ... about jobs, education, health care, our role in the world. And I think John Kerry, for a change, finally, the Democrats are not retreating on this issue of value. We're talking about a strong America both at home and abroad. And I think he's going to lay out what is that sense of American values.
COLLINS: All right. To the two of you tonight, we're going to have to leave it there, gentlemen. Congressman J.D. Hayworth, Governor Mark Warner, thanks again very much tonight.
HAYWORTH: Thank you.
COLLINS: When we come back, the masses will be a bit less huddled, as a national icon welcomes visitors once again.
COLLINS: The Statue of Liberty is recognized around the world as a symbol of freedom, but terrorism can force symbols to be put under lock and key.
While Liberty Island has been open to the public since shortly after September 11, the statue and the pedestal it sits on have not. Tourists are still barred from climbing up into Lady Liberty's crown. But today, the pedestal reopened.
CYNTHIA GARRETT, SUPT., STATUE OF LIBERTY: An enduring symbol of freedom, democracy, peace, opportunity, and hope, the Statue of Liberty represents America's past, her present, and her future.
COLLINS (voice-over): A future tested by the 9/11 attacks which forced the monument's closure three years ago.
But today, a future celebrated when visitors once again were allowed to climb Lady Liberty's 154-foot stone pedestal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It kind of gives you goosebumps. It's just breathtaking coming in. Just -- we're so excited to be with the first group that's here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To see her in all of her elegance once again, standing strong on a land of many waters, symbolizing truth, freedom and the American way. I think she's just as grand as ever.
GOV. GEORGE PATAKI (R), NEW YORK: Today the statue is officially reopened. But we have to continue our obligation to keep that promise of freedom, that promise of liberty, alive for those who come after us.
COLLINS: A promise eloquently stated in 1936, by President Franklin Roosevelt when he marked the 50th birthday of the statue.
FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Liberty and peace are living things. In each generation, if they are to be maintained, they must be guarded and vitalized anew.
COLLINS: Today, more than 68 years later, guarding the Statue of Liberty means keeping the statue itself off limits. Tourists are still not allowed inside the statue, to climb the stairs to the crown, 301 feet over the island, a security decision that rankles many, including New York's senior senator.
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: To open the statue without allowing people to go to the crown is a partial victory for the terrorists.
COLLINS: But now, it is possible to visit this symbol, a step toward normalcy for a country and a city sorely tested. And that at the very least is a partial victory for liberty.
COLLINS: Lady Liberty standing tall as always. CNN's Aaron Brown was the emcee for today's ceremony. Be sure to join him tonight for a very special broadcast from Liberty Island. "NEWSNIGHT" begins at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
We'll be back in just a moment.
COLLINS: Thanks so much for being with us tonight, everybody. "LARRY KING LIVE" is coming up next. Good night.
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