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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Republicans Take Manhattan; Should Paul Hamm Return Gold Medal?
Aired August 27, 2004 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, the Republicans take Manhattan. Politic, protests, the specter of terrorism. And the party is only beginning.
And giving up the gold. The judges blew it. He took the heat.
PAUL HAMM, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: I've done nothing wrong. Why am I forced to deal with it?
ZAHN: But he still came up a winner. Now should Paul Hamm give back his gold medal?
ZAHN: And good evening. Welcome. Glad to have you wrap up the week with us here.
We're going to get to the Republican Convention in a moment.
But we begin tonight with breaking news out of Washington, where there are allegations of a possible spy inside the Pentagon. A senior official tells CNN the FBI is investigating someone who is suspected of passing classified material to Israel. No arrests have been made, but a spokesman for the Israeli government categorically denies the allegations.
For more details, we'll go to national security correspondent David Ensor, who joins us from Washington.
David, what's the latest?
DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, as you say, the FBI, according to sources, has evidence there may be a spy for Israel who has been working at high levels in the Pentagon.
The Israeli mole could have been in a position to influence Bush administration policy towards Iran and Iraq, officials are telling us. Now, CBS News, which first reported this story, says the FBI has evidence against the suspect, including wiretaps and photographs. The network said the alleged spy has ties to two senior Bush administration officials, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith.
An FBI spokesperson said the bureau has absolutely no comment on this report. An Israeli spokesman reacted, reached by CNN, said that the report is false and says -- quote -- "We categorically deny these allegations. They're completely false and outrageous."
Now, officials are saying that the alleged spy passed classified documents to an American lobbying organization with ties to Israel, which passed them on to the Jewish state. The group, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, has also issued a statement saying that -- quote -- "Any allegation of criminal conduct by the organization or its employees is baseless and false."
AIPAC went on to say -- quote -- that it "is an American organization comprised of proud and loyal American citizens committed to promoting American interests" and that such allegations would be baseless and false. They went on to say that take their responsibilities as American citizens seriously at AIPAC -- quote -- "We would not condone or tolerate for a second any violation of U.S. law or interests. and We are fully cooperating with the governmental authorities and will continue to do so" -- that from AIPAC.
Now, this is not the first time that Israel is alleged have to spied on its friend the United States. Former Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard is serving a life sentence for espionage on Israel's behalf. Washington insiders note that it's not unusual for friendly governments to have access to certain classified information. So if these allegations are correct, not everyone involved may have thought they were involved in espionage.
Still, one U.S. source tonight is calling this case -- quote -- "a very serious matter" -- Paula.
ZAHN: So, David, quickly in closing here, you report a couple things that are interesting, that this person may have been in a position to affect foreign policy. You described what sources are saying about the kind of contacts this alleged spy might have had within the Pentagon. Does that suggest to you, then, this person that they are investigating is a high-ranking official?
ENSOR: Well, we understand is that this person is someone who worked for high-ranking officials, who was close to high-ranking officials, but not themselves a high-ranking official. And we understand that this official may have had access to a presidential directive on policy towards Iran before that directive was complete, while it was still a highly classified document, the allegation being that this individual might have passed that document on to AIPAC and thus passed it on to Israel.
ZAHN: David Ensor, thanks for bringing this breaking news to us tonight. Appreciate it.
Now we move on to the convention. New York City opens its arms to the Republican Party this weekend and much, much more. You're looking at some of the last-minute activity at Madison Square Garden, as delegates are starting to pour into town. This will be the sixth major party convention in the city's history. But, for the first time, it is the Republicans who are coming to town. And preparations have been under way for more than a year now. Security, as you might imagine, is incredibly tight.
And the city that never sleeps is ready to write another page in its long and colorful history.
ZAHN (voice-over): The Republicans are coming. And it might be easier to contend with a stampede of elephants. The nearly 5,000 delegates and alternates who will be packing into Madison Square Garden are just the tip of the iceberg. They're coming to an unlikely place, a city where the Republicans are outnumbered 5-1 and where the local Republicans don't always toe the party line.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: There are a substantial number of Republicans who you would describe as moderate Republicans, I guess that's probably the best way to describe them, but who have some very, very strong conservative views on the economy, on national defense. But on social views, we tend to be moderate.
ZAHN: Protesters are coming to the city, too. This morning, Mothers Against Bush pushed strollers across the Brooklyn Bridge. Others have been plastering walls with their anti-Bush messages. And is letting everything hang out business as usual or a political statement?
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (R), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: This is New York. Of course we'd have seven naked people on 8th Avenue.
ZAHN: An anti-war group that was denied permission to use Central Park plans to bring a quarter of a million demonstrators into the city's streets this weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We also have recruited nearly 200 lawyers who have offered their time to represent people pro bono, should there be arrests during these protests.
ZAHN: You say someone should call the police? Ten thousand of New York's finest will be on duty for the convention, reinforced by thousands more federal personnel patrolling the streets, the air and the waterways. They're looking out for violent protesters and guarding against more serious threats.
TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Our goal is that any attempt on the part of terrorists to attack us will be frustrated and repelled by multiple layers of security that they'll encounter all around the city.
ZAHN: Security is extraordinary. Federal agents are inspecting the sewers. Manhole covers are being welded shut. And New York will play host to the largest collection of bomb-sniffing dogs in history. Next week, four tumultuous days will culminate with the renomination of the president. And once the 100,000 balloons drop, everyone will breathe a New York-sized sigh of relief.
ZAHN: But, of course, there's a long way to go before we get to that balloon drop. And one of the biggest worries, of course, is safety. The cost of security for the Republican Convention, according to officials, could reach $65 million, more than twice the original estimate. A multiagency command center will be staffed around the clock, the largest security contingent in New York City since 9/11.
Let's turn to our own homeland security correspondent, Jeanne Meserve, who has more on the city's extraordinary safety precautions.
Good evening, Jeanne.
What might we be surprised by that is in place here this evening?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm a little surprised at all the noise going on here right now. You'll have to excuse this. We have a lot of police cars trying to move down this avenue.
They've put in some special sally ports on this street that are intended to stop trucks and they'll have an undercarriage inspection to make sure they're not hiding any explosives. That's something we haven't seen before. They're putting them around the perimeter of Madison Square Garden to check everything that comes in here.
A lot of the things here, though, you have seen before. The difference is one of scale, New York a lot bigger than Boston, five million people here, five boroughs. You have other events going on next week, a Yankees game, a Mets game, the U.S. Open. You have an incumbent president here expected to attract hundreds of thousands of protesters. You have part of the city already on threat level orange.
And I should tell you, Paula, that even today, they're changing the security plan. We've just learned that the FAA has banned all helicopter flights in and out of New York City by corporate and business helicopters for the duration of the convention. So a lot of the same pieces we've seen before, but just more of them -- Paula.
ZAHN: There is a concern, is there not, too, Jeanne, tonight because of some of the arrests that have come down, 21 of them in all so far, of protesters that that might be diverting attention that these security forces should be paying to the operation of the convention.
MESERVE: Well, the police don't look at it that way. They say they're ready to handle and process thousands of arrests this weekend if that becomes necessary. So the numbers they've seen so far probably all in a day's work for the New York City Police Department -- Paula.
ZAHN: Jeanne Meserve, thank you. You've cut through that noise.
Security experts aren't just employing the latest technology for the Republican Convention. Some 300 bomb-sniffing dogs are here in New York City for the convention. They come from the police department, the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco And Firearms; 300 is an extraordinary number. And since 9/11, the demand for these remarkable animals has outstripped the supply.
Our Deborah Feyerick has one dog's amazing story.
Detective RAYMOND CLAIR, NYPD BOMB SQUAD: You a good boy? Want to find it? Go search.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His name is Winston. And to him, finding bombs is a game.
CLAIR: I think Winston thinks when he's out there looking for explosives that he's really looking for his tennis ball.
FEYERICK: In fact, Winston will find just about any dangerous substance or tennis ball.
CLAIR: And this is it. This is what he gets. Winston likes tennis balls more than he likes food.
FEYERICK: No one knows where Winston came from or why he was abandoned seven years ago.
CLAIR: The pound had picked him up and they had him for about a week, and basically, after a week, I believe Winston's time was up.
FEYERICK: But, at the very last minute, the NYPD Bomb Squad got a call and a Connecticut rescue shelter asked Detective Raymond Clair whether he'd take a chance on Winston.
CLAIR: When I first saw him, he was very skinny. He had no hair on the end of his tail. And he was very, very high-strung.
FEYERICK: The detective and the dog hit it off. And within a week, Winston's high-strung energy had been channeled into sniffing for bombs.
CLAIR: If I hid this in the parking lot for you to find and I told you to find it, it might take you a day.
FEYERICK (on camera): I'd be here until the next Republican National Convention.
CLAIR: Well, he finds it not by looking with his eyes, but by the odor of it.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Winston has both the drive and the nose.
CLAIR: From the ends all the way up to the eyes, those are smelling cells.
FEYERICK: Some 200 million of them.
(on camera): So how many different things is he smelling in this environment right now, would you say? CLAIR: Well, somebody once told me, I don't know if it's true, that when you walk into a house and somebody's cooking chicken soup, you smell the chicken soup. But Winston will smell the carrots, the potatoes, the chicken, and everything. He can differentiate each thing that's in the pot.
FEYERICK: And so that's why, in a sense, he was able to go here, smell through this, look at the gas, and even distinguish between the gas and the amount of explosives.
CLAIR: Yes. And it's a very small amount of explosive.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Winston has no rank and gets no salary. He's with the same partner day in and day out. But in his seven years on the force, he has met presidents and prime ministers, first ladies and foreign dignitaries.
CLAIR: Because of Winston, I've met them all. I wouldn't be able to get into places if I didn't have Winston. And everybody remembers Winston's name and nobody remembers mine.
FEYERICK (on camera): Is there -- has there ever been a dignitary that he didn't get along with?
FEYERICK: So he likes all dignitaries?
CLAIR: Our dogs gets along with everybody.
FEYERICK: Republicans, Democrats, doesn't matter?
CLAIR: I don't think he really cares.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Asked how many times Winston has actually found explosives, Detective Clair will only say:
CLAIR: He's very good at what he does.
FEYERICK: And even though he sometimes works 18-hour days, Winston's not ready to retire.
CLAIR: He really loves the game of looking for explosives.
FEYERICK: The dog and the detective, inseparable.
CLAIR: The lesson to be learned is that a dog that nobody knows even where he comes from can still be a good dog, can still perform a job, and can still be a great dog.
ZAHN: Winston, teaching us all some important lessons. That was Deborah Feyerick reporting for us tonight. When all is said and done, this convention is about one man, the president. When we come back, we're going to look at the seldom-seen side of George W. Bush.
ZAHN: The race for the White House takes on a new mood this week as the GOP Convention convenes in New York. The big show gets under way on Monday with speeches by New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain.
Then on Thursday, President Bush will for a second time accept his party's nomination. So what we've learned about George W. Bush, the man, over the past four years, well, perhaps no national reporter knows President Bush better than our own John King.
and this weekend, he has a one-hour special called "CNN PRESENTS: The Mission of George W. Bush." And we're so happy that he made that long trip from Washington, D.C., to be with us this evening.
JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Thank you.
ZAHN: So in this documentary, you explore a number of different issues, but the issue of faith playing a pivotal role in the president's life. What did you learn?
KING: Well, it's central to his life. And you see that in public to a degree. The president sometimes talks about how it was the rebirth of his Christian faith that helped him kick a very serious drinking habit. he talks about that publicly sometimes.
What we don't see is, behind the scenes, we're also told faith is very important, prayer at the beginning and end of every day. And it's one of the issues, one of the characteristics about him, that is so polarizing. This is a black-and-white president in terms of public opinion. And when you travel the country and talk to everyday Americans, some say they disagree with the war in Iraq, they are worried about the economy, but they find it so redeeming you have a man, an openly religious man in the White House. And others frankly find it scary. They think that this president somehow thinks he's on a mission from God.
So it's one of the very interesting characteristics about him and one of the defining things about both him personally and his politics.
ZAHN: Before we explore that further, why don't we take a look at the small part of the documentary that references that.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Since America's founding, prayer has reassured us that the hand of God is guiding the affairs of this nation.
KING (voice-over): To some, a welcome and natural expression of faith, to others, too close to claiming God's blessing.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MELISSA ROGERS, WAKE FOREST University: The question becomes, well, does that suggest to some people that if God is controlling history and this is a part of history, does that tend to suggest that these policies might be unassailable?
KING: Those close to him bristle at the suggestion Mr. Bush believes his presidency is a religious calling.
LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: It's a very important part of our life. My husband has never said -- I think this is some extrapolation from his critics, maybe, that he felt like he was called to this. He's never said such a thing.
MICHAEL GERSON, DIRECTOR OF PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHWRITING: He wants the public square to be welcoming to people of faith, but not sectarian, favoring one faith above another. And we try to keep that balance in the way that we communicate.
G. BUSH: Freedom isn't America's gift to the world. Freedom is the almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world.
ZAHN: So we heard what the first lady had to say. And she did somewhat bristle about the characterization of this faith being such an exclusionary thing. But to what extent has his faith shaped policy during his presidency?
KING: It has shaped policy, but one of the interesting questions is, it might shape policy more if he's given a second term, because he's campaigned from day one for this so-called faith-based initiative. Let the government give more money to church groups, other religious organizations that the law now prohibits, those that do drug counseling, alcohol counseling, other social services.
The president says they know these people better. Give them the money. He's not gotten anywhere near what he wants through the Congress, because it so is controversial. So if you think this president is blurring the line between church and state, if you think that, you might think about that as you consider the election, because he will try to do more on the faith-based initiative in a second term. He says it's common sense. Some people are frightened by it.
ZAHN: I'd like to share with our audience now the part of the documentary where are you explore the president during that wretched period of our history, shortly after 9/11 happened. Let's all look at that together.
ANDREW CARD, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: And I walked up to his right ear, leaned over and whispered in, a second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack. I wanted to be efficient in how I delivered the message, but I also wanted to be unambiguous about the consequence.
KING (voice-over): Testing time for a president just seven months in office.
ERIC DRAPER, PRESIDENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHER: We were approaching Washington and everyone had noticed the fighter jets that's escorted Air Force One outside. We had been on the plane all day without being in Washington, and so we were finally home.
MARY MATALIN, BUSH CAMPAIGN ADVISER: I remember the night of 9/11 saying to us, this is the mission of this government. This is the mission of this administration. We will bring these terrorists in whatever form it takes to justice.
KING: Two new challenges: rally the country from its shock and comfort the families.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We come before God to pray for the missing and the dead and for those who loved them.
CROWD: USA, USA, USA, USA!
BUSH: I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
BUSH: And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty emotional. He cried with a lot of the families. He hugged a lot of the families. Everyone had tears in their eyes. The families were holding pictures of their loved ones who they lost. It was very intense.
ZAHN: You traveled all over the world covering this presidency. What was it about that period of time that exposed the part of the complexity of this president that perhaps has never been revealed before?
KING: Well, he found his voice then. Even the cowboy rhetoric, dead or alive, with us or against us, good vs. evil, a lot of people thought, that's not the language a president is supposed to use. But the country rallied to it. And this president unquestionably found his voice at that moment. And that is one of the striking moments. The Republicans are coming back to New York. They hope to recapture the magic, if you will, without overplaying the symbolism of 9/11, because he's a very different president now than the president you saw on top of the rubble there, because now he has the war in Iraq and so much more going on. So that was his moment.
ZAHN: I don't want to sound like a shameless shill for your documentary, but it is indeed very good and very revealing. You're not going to want to miss it, "CNN PRESENTS: The Mission of George W. Bush." It airs Sunday at 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. right here on CNN.
John King, if you don't mind standing by, we'd like to bring you back to talk politics straight out of this break.
ZAHN: When we come back, we're going to talk about what the Republicans have to do and what we can expect from next week's convention.
We'll be right back.
ZAHN: For President Bush to get the bounce he needs from the convention, what does he have to do?
Well, I'm joined again by senior White House correspondent John King, up from Washington. With us, regular contributor, "TIME" columnist Joe Klein, who is delighted to be here this week with all this congestion in New York, and from Washington, "National Review" White House correspondent Byron York.
Great to have all three of you here tonight.
So, Joe, what do you think this president has got to do to get any bounce out of this convention?
JOE KLEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's going to be tough to get a bounce out of this convention because the nation so is into this election and so evenly divided.
But one thing he doesn't have to do is introduce himself to the public. The most important thing he has to do is tell us what comes next. He has to talk about the impact of globalization in the domestic economy and what he would do about the layoffs in the employment picture. And he also has to tell us what's going to come next in Iraq.
ZAHN: Byron, how does he have to confront the mistakes that are being made in Iraq? We saw in a print interview in "The New York Times" today the president conceding some of the deficiencies of the postwar plan. What does he have to do in the convention on that note?
BYRON YORK, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, "THE NATIONAL REVIEW": Well, I think what he's going to say about Iraq, he's also going to tie it to the war on terrorism and the war in Afghanistan.
And he's going to say, look, when I took office, the Taliban was in control of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda's camps were in full operational mode there. Women were terribly has mistreated. Saddam Hussein was a threat to his neighbors. He's going to go through this whole scenario that existed before September 11 and say that, since I've been in office, this is what we have done.
And I think he's going to -- as far as the failures are concerned, he's going to talk about, yes, we failed to find stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but Saddam Hussein was still a threat. So I think you're going to see pretty much a full-throated defense of Iraq. And when you talk to Bush officials, they say he really has to do three things at the convention. One is lay out the agenda. Two is defend Iraq. And three is draw the contrasts with John Kerry. And the Iraq thing is going to be a big part of that.
ZAHN: How does he defend the postwar planning? It seems to me today was the first indication that they're going to try to take some of the sting out of this before the president speaks on Thursday .
KING: Well, he has to acknowledge mistakes have happened, because significant mistakes have happened. You're not still fighting for Najaf. So far if -- mistakes happened.
But what he'll say is this. We adapted quickly when we made mistakes. You can believe me when I say something. You can't believe the other guy. And if I've made mistakes, I've made them because, in the post-9/11 world, I will act to defend America. If I am going to make a mistake, that's going to be where I make the mistake, putting your life first.
KLEIN: What he said to "The New York Times" today and he also said in an interview with "TIME" magazine and probably some others is that the biggest mistake was that we won this thing so quickly and so easily. We didn't plan for the Iraqi army disappearing and then coming back again.
Now, that's a kind of tough argument to make, but it does take some of the sting out of the impression that he's so stubborn that he never admits a mistake.
ZAHN: Talk a little bit, John, about the choreography of this convention, because a lot of people were surprised that very moderate Republicans, some Republicans that perhaps the party faithful isn't too happy about hearing from, they stack the first two nights of the convention, and then the picture changes.
KING: Well, social conservatives on the floor will not like hearing from Arnold Schwarzenegger or Rudy Giuliani, because of their views on gay rights or abortion rights. But the White House says is that you will hear from John McCain. He is sort of a maverick, but he has a very conservative voting record. You will from him early in the convention. And then so maybe conservatives on the floor and around the country a little bit saying whose Republican Party is this come Wednesday morning? Then they'll hear from Lynne Cheney, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush. If you don't believe there are any conservatives speaking at this convention, I would say the vice president and the president ought to count.
ZAHN: So, Byron, how successful do you think the president will be in trying to reach beyond his conservative base at this convention?
YORK: Well, that remains to be seen.
Clearly, Bush strategists hope that the small remaining undecided vote are going to be the kind of people who vote on the issue of security and that, when election time comes, they're going to ask themselves -- people are still trying to kill us. Al Qaeda is still out there. Is it safe enough to change leaders in the White House?
They're certainly hoping that they can make that sale. But Ken Mehlman, head of the president's campaign, has been downplaying -- the guy who played up John Kerry's bounce before the convention has been downplaying the president's bounce, saying he expects zero bounce out of it.
ZAHN: That's the right way to play it, isn't it, Joe?
KLEIN: I love the way these guys play it.
ZAHN: Campaign with low expectations.
KLEIN: My feeling is that this election really is going to turn on the debates, which are going to come in late September, early October.
The president will get a small benefit out of this, because he's a charming guy and he'll give a good speech. But I think that in the end, people are going to take a second look at John Kerry and a third look at George W. Bush.
ZAHN: Let's talk about the importance of the debates and how you think they'll play out. John Kerry is known as an excellent debater. The president concedes.
KING: So is George W. Bush.
ZAHN: He says so in a very self-deprecating way, that that's not really his...
KLEIN: I never saw the guy lose.
KING: That's his good gift. He beat a very good politician in Ann Richards. He beat a very smart politician, perhaps not a dynamic politician, but a very smart politician in Al Gore. He did OK in the primary debates.
The president loves it when people underestimate him. That is his greatest gift in politics.
ZAHN: In fact, didn't the first lady tell you that?
KING: The first lady says he's a lot smarter and a lot more complicated. And Dan Vargas, communications director, says those who are sitting around saying this president is not so bright are those who just lost an election to him.
ZAHN: All right, trio, we've got to leave it there. Joe Klein, John King, Byron York, appreciate all of your perspectives tonight. Have a great weekend, gentlemen.
KLEIN: Good to be here.
ZAHN: Thanks. Once again, do not miss John king's terrific one- hour special. Believe me, he didn't pay me to do this. I'm doing it on my own, John. I really, really like it. "CNN PRESENTS: THE MISSION OF GEORGE W. BUSH," this Sunday at 8 p.m., followed by "LARRY KING LIVE" from Madison Square Garden at 9 p.m. And at 10:00, Wolf Blitzer previews the convention. CNN's live coverage begins Monday with "AMERICAN MORNING" at 7 a.m. Eastern.
Coming up next. From conventional politics to an unconventional dispute. Meddling with Paul Hamm's gold medal, when we come back.
ZAHN: It is outrageous. That is the U.S. Olympic Committee's response to a request from the world's gymnastic body that U.S. gymnast Paul Hamm give back the gold medal he won.
Whatever happens, Hamm's achievement will always have an asterisk attached, because of a tenth of a point scoring mistake.
Tom Foreman has more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA, USA, USA!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA, USA, USA!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA, USA, USA!
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paul Hamm is back in the USA, kicking off a gymnastics tour. But the agony of Athens keeps following him, no matter how many times he explains.
PAUL HAMM, U.S. OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: For me personally, I went to the Olympics just trying to make my country proud of everything that I had, you know, done in my life as far as gymnastics. And I did my job. I competed my heart out. FOREMAN: At issue is whether Hamm should give his overall gold medal to South Korean Yang Tae Young, who wound up with bronze after a scoring error by the judges.
The organization responsible for those judges and their mistake, the International Gymnastic Federation, or FIG, is led by Bruno Grandi, and his letter to Hamm has renewed the controversy.
He calls Hamm "a great gymnast and true champion," but then goes on to say the true winner of the all-around competition is Yang Tae Young. "If you would return your medal to the Korean, if the FIG requested it, that would be the ultimate demonstration of fair play."
HERMAN FRAZIER, USOC: Paul Hamm is the Olympic champion.
FOREMAN: The United States Olympic Committee, clearly outraged, would not even deliver the letter to Hamm.
JIM SCHEER, USOC CHIEF EXECUTIVE: We believe that it is improper for the FIG or any organization that purports to support and care about the welfare of their athletes to place an athlete in an untenable position such as this.
FOREMAN: A gymnastics federation has been accused of many mistakes, by Russians who say their stars lost crucial points, by Americans who say some scores were inexplicably low, by sports analysts, who point out judges have adjusted scores following booing by the audience.
So they ask why should one athlete be singled out to give up his gold?
JON WERTHEIM, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED": You're 21 years old. You've dedicated 17 years of your life to this pursuit. This is really it. This is the window. And again, the Wheaties boxes aren't going to silver medalists.
FOREMAN (on camera): Remember some facts. The South Korean protest of Hamm's gold medal, by the rules, should have been filed during the all around competition. It was filed afterward.
(voice-over): The scoring mistake came before the end of competition. If the mistake had been caught and corrected at that time, either athlete might have been encouraged or discouraged and performed differently.
HAMM: I'm hoping at this point in time that people don't feel as if my medal has been tainted at all and will truly look back at my performance and that night and that comeback as what it really was.
FOREMAN: It was a very close contest. What it has become is another big question about the Olympic gold standard.
ZAHN: And that was Tom Foreman reporting for us tonight. And now, the congressman from Hamm's hometown in Wisconsin is accusing the U.S. Olympic Committee of not coming to Hamm's defense soon enough. Republican House Judiciary Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner says he may actually hold hearing on how both the USOC and international Olympic officials have handled, or mishandled, this matter.
For more on all of this, we turn to John Feinstein. He is a sports columnist and a commentator for National Public Radio. John joins us tonight from Washington.
Always good to see you, John. Welcome.
JOHN FEINSTEIN, SPORTS COLUMNIST: Thanks, Paula. How are you?
ZAHN: I am fine, thanks.
So do you believe that Paul Hamm, if he is asked to, should turn over his medal to these officials?
FEINSTEIN: No, absolutely not. It is not up to the athlete to correct the mistakes of judges or officials or umpires or referees.
You know, you can go back to the 1968 in the Masters when Roberto De Vicenzo signed for a wrong score, lost to Bob Goalby by one shot, instead of being in a playoff with him.
And to this day, there are people who say Bob Goalby should have demanded a playoff. Well, under the rules, he couldn't demand a playoff. That's not fair to Goalby.
It's not fair to Paul Hamm to put this on him. If the federation, the gymnastics federation believed that Young should receive the gold medal, then they should simply award it to him.
They should not put it on Paul Hamm. That's not his job. His job is to compete. Their job is to make the rules and follow the rules.
ZAHN: But John, given the politics of all this, do you see that happening?
FEINSTEIN: No, no. See -- see, do I see the gymnastics federation getting this right? No. Do I see politicians getting involved, as you just mentioned, to try to get some publicity and muddy the waters further? Yes.
The thing you have to understand Paula is when you're in a sport like gymnastics or in a sport like figure skating, where God knows we've had our share of controversies through the years and it is judgmental, it is subjective, politics are going to play a role. Mistakes are going to be made.
It's not like track and field or swimming, where you look up at the clock, and the person with the fastest time wins. It's not like baseball, football, basketball, where the team with the most points wins.
Subjectivity, unfortunately, plays a huge role in these sports, and that's why we're always going to have controversies like this.
ZAHN: So John, basically, you're telling me tonight there's no way to fix this system, then, given the years and years that we come back to pretty similar controversies?
FEINSTEIN: No. No. There really isn't. Because you can't take the human element out of it. I don't think you can program a computer to judge gymnastics or to judge figure skating or to judge diving.
I'm amazed there haven't been these controversies in diving yet.
But until and unless you can do that, you're going to have human beings. You're going to have people who are subject to bribes, like we saw at the 2002 winter Olympics. And you're going to have people who are subject to politics.
Remember when the old Soviet block existed, you could predict the scores in gymnastics and figure skating. The Soviet skater was going to get high marks from the Soviet judge and low marks from the American judge, and vice versa with the Americans.
At least we've taken a little bit of that out, but incompetence will always live in sports.
ZAHN: So in closing tonight, John, no matter what way you approach this, there is no doubt in your mind that this permanently stains the credibility of the games. Does it not?
FEINSTEIN: Well, certainly the credibility of these sports in the games have been stained and have been stained for many years.
The shame of it is that an athlete -- an athlete like Paul Hamm, has done nothing wrong, other than to compete to the best of his ability, whether that was gold medal winning or silver medal winning, will, as you said at the outset, be tainted by this for the rest of his life. And that's completely unfair.
ZAHN: Well, thank you for cutting straight to the chase for us tonight, John Feinstein.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: Appreciate your perspective.
When we come back, we turn back to Iraq and the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. The blame moves right up the ranks.
ZAHN: A report out today about the U.S. Army's investigation into horrific abuses at Abu Ghraib find that the former commander in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, approved the use of severe interrogation methods that were to be used only in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.
That story in "The New York Times" draws on classified sections of a report issued this week by three Army generals.
According to the "Times," their investigation also found that Sanchez issued and changed interrogation rules three times in just 30 days. The Army report says that created such confusion that interrogation officers ended up violating the Geneva Conventions.
In fact, last night, we talked with two of the men seen in those Abu Ghraib photos who say exactly that, that confusion was a factor in the abuse.
Military intelligence agent Roman Krol gave us this exclusive interview. M.P. Kenneth Davis also talked with us. Both recalled confusion on just where the line was drawn on acceptable treatment of prisoners.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNETH DAVIS, FORMER ARMY RESERVE M.P.: I'm looking for blatant abuse: someone punching someone, someone kicking them, you know. Something that maybe that would cross the line with me, because I wasn't sure where the line was anymore, especially since military intelligence said they were interrogating. I don't know anything about interrogation, so I don't know what roughing someone up is in their books.
ZAHN: You didn't think anything was wrong with this treatment of the detainees?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I thought something was wrong, but it wasn't my business. It was not my soldier. It was not my detainee. That's what I did. I just walked by.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Well, earlier this evening, I talked with Scott Horton, a human rights lawyer, who has seen the classified parts of the three generals' report on Abu Ghraib. And I started off by asking him what struck him most about these documents.
SCOTT HORTON, HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Most of the report that was made public earlier in the week painted a very clear portrait of what went on in the ground in Iraq, particularly within Abu Ghraib prison, also a few other facilities.
And most of us who looked at that said, you know, there clearly is something missing here in terms of General Sanchez's own staff and their involvement and the interpretation of policies for use in these detention facilities.
Now, these new classified materials make that case a lot clearer.
ZAHN: How did you get your hands on them?
HORTON: Well, I really can't say that, but I think it's obvious that there are a number people in the Pentagon today who are concerned that the public have a clearer understanding of what went on.
ZAHN: Are these people that think Donald Rumsfeld should be bearing more of the burden of this investigation or more of the blame or accountability?
HORTON: I think that these people feel that the reports have dealt very well with the lower level, but they have failed to look up the chain of command in the way that's appropriate.
ZAHN: Essentially, I just want to read into what you're telling me. Part of their motivation might be they believe the grunts are getting a raw deal here?
HORTON: I think -- I think that's absolutely right. For the investigation to result in the prosecution of a couple of dozen grunts and a sprinkling of officers is not satisfactory.
ZAHN: Based on anything you saw in these classified documents, is there anything to suggest that General Sanchez might be charged with something down the road?
HORTON: Well, they certainly don't reflect positively on General Sanchez, but I'll put it this way.
The question is, what's the source? What's the impetus for the changes that occurred in the fall of 2003 that produced the disaster in Abu Ghraib, Camp Cropper and other places?
Was that really on General Sanchez's staff? And I think the answer is no. We see repercussions, but the impetus for this clearly came much further up the command chain.
ZAHN: We all know that Secretary Rumsfeld, at least according to people we've talked to at CNN and some of the same people you've talked to, that Rumsfeld was putting pressure on those in the field to ramp up the military intelligence operation.
HORTON: That's exactly...
ZAHN: Fill in the blank here.
HORTON: That's exactly right. I mean, Secretary Rumsfeld has always been a very hands-on secretary of defense, and he's someone who has been, in the words some of people in the Pentagon, obsessed about intelligence.
We know that in the summer of 2003, he was very troubled by the level and quality of the intelligence that was coming out of Iraq, and he got personally involved in the situation.
We know that it was his initiative to send Major General Miller out to Iraq to GTMO-ize the situation there. And that really is the source from which all these problems spring.
ZAHN: All right. And I know you were speaking a little cryptically earlier. When we talk about the three times the rules were changed by general Sanchez, are you saying that he was given the orders by either Secretary Rumsfeld or someone much higher than Sanchez to do that?
HORTON: Well, again, we know that there was a flow of techniques that were developed for Guantanamo. We know a lot of the techniques were developed and finalized by Major General Miller. We know Major General Miller was dispatched by Secretary Rumsfeld to Iraq to introduce these techniques.
And the report, the Fay and Jones report, tells us that was the source of these problems.
ZAHN: Scott Horton, thank you for your perspective this evening. Appreciate your joining us.
HORTON: Thank you.
ZAHN: And this note for you now. The Pentagon told us tonight it remains committed to a comprehensive investigation into its detention operations. A spokesperson also said there is no confirmation that its policies caused the abuses shown in the Abu Ghraib photos.
We're going to take a short break here. When we come back, we'll set a different course into the past, a look at presidential campaigns through time. The amazing photographs of "TIME" magazine's photographers coming up next.
ZAHN: Before last month's Democratic convention in Boston, we showed you some remarkable photographs of Democratic presidential campaigns in the past.
Well, tonight, it is the Republicans' turn, photos from the archives of "TIME" magazine published by our parent company, Time Warner. They are featured at an exhibit in the convention called "Campaigns in 'TIME.'"
ZAHN (voice-over): They are the Olympians of Republican politics: candidates competing for their gold medal. The top political prize, the keys to the Oval Office.
MICHELE STEPHENSON, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY, "TIME": Unlike most countries that have a much shorter campaign period, this is -- it's amazing to me that they -- they last. It's enormous. They just don't stop for, you know, 15 months, 16. It's straight out.
ZAHN: For more than 25 years, "TIME" magazine's Michelle Stephenson has been dispatching photographers onto the campaign trail.
STEPHENSON: It's a huge country. And how much territory they have to cover and how many town meetings can you have and how many tours on buses and trains and how many diners can you go to? And I think we show that week by week.
And I think it's important to let people know that they're not just relying on television to carry their speeches. They're out there, you know, shaking hands for every vote and talking to, you know, local people as much as possible.
I think that that's important to remind people, you know, because it is an exhausting process.
ZAHN: Over the years, campaigns have become more planned, more choreographed. As a result, "TIME" photographers are forever challenged to capture that special moment in time. And they usually do.
The 1992 Republican convention. President George Bush accepts the party's nomination. His son, the man who would be in the same position eight years later, telling his father, "Dad, you know how proud I am to be your son."
May 15, 1996, a tearful Senate majority leader Bob Dole gives up his powerful Senate post to campaign full-time for president. Six months later, he loses to Bill Clinton.
Election night, 2000. While votes are still be being counted, Governor George W. Bush rehearse as victory speech. It will take 36 days and a Supreme Court decision before he gives that speech.
Every four years, these men are transformed from senators or governors. They go from men in the statehouse or the Senate to men in the glaring political spotlight.
STEPHENSON: It's relentless, the attention they get. Everybody wants to get at them. But that's what they have to deal with. You know, it is, it's overnight.
ZAHN: And according to Stephenson, no one played to those cameras better than Ronald Reagan. The exhibit includes a special photo tribute to the late president.
STEPHENSON: He was, you know, very comfortable, obviously. I mean, he was a natural showman and I love the picture where she's waving to him on the video screen at the convention. It was just, you know, was just right.
ZAHN: And it is these moments that this exhibit celebrates. Moments in time indelibly etched in our political consciousness.
ZAHN: Nice shot. We'll be right back.
ZAHN: Thanks so much for being with us tonight. Don't forget: Monday CNN begins live coverage of the Republican National Convention. I will have an exclusive interview with former President George Bush in the 8 p.m. hour.
Have a great weekend. Thanks for dropping by. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.
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