The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


January 30 Set As National Election Day In Iraq; Spending Bill Provision Offends Many In Senate

Aired November 21, 2004 - 18:00   ET


CAROL LIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to CNN LIVE SUNDAY. Here's what's happening right now in the news. A class photo was one of the last orders of business today at the APEC summit in Santiago, Chile. Chile called off a state dinner in President Bush's honor after the U.S. Secret Service insisted on security measures the Chileans found excessive.
Iraq has set January 30th as the day for national elections And that puts U.S. and Iraqi military forces on a collision course with insurgents who are determined to stop the vote.

Members of Congress are outraged at a spending bill that lets two committee chairman see tax returns of every American. The Senate has already removed the offending language but the House has yet to act. We are going to have a full report coming up in just a few minutes. I'm Carol Lin, and welcome to CNN LIVE SUNDAY.

Straight ahead, are you safe flying out of Los Angeles international airport? Well, I'm going to be talking to a correspondent who went undercover to expose big security lapses at that airport.

And it's a find that could rewrite history in North America. New evidence of when the first humans really did arrive here, the amazing discovery straight ahead.

Right now we are going to start in Santiago Chile, where President Bush spent the weekend talking about global trade, but mostly global security. His talks at the summit of Pacific Rim nations ranged from the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea to illegal immigration along the U.S./Mexican border. You are looking at a live picture of the presidential palace in Santiago, Chile, where at any moment now, we are going to be hearing from the president as he will be making his last remarks on this very important summit and perhaps even taking questioning from reporters. We are going to take that event live as soon as the president arrives.

Of course there was plenty to talk about when it comes to trade and jobs for people living in 21 nations that ring the Pacific Ocean. Our senior White House correspondent John King spent the weekend in Chile. He joins me now from Santiago, John?

JOHN KING, SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, Carol. It's been quite an interesting day and an interesting weekend. This the president's first international trip since winning re-election and if you look at the issues agenda the president discussed, it is proof that he quickly wants to turn attention to many issues that were either taken off the shelf or put a bit on the back burner, because of all the focus on the war in Iraq, the global war on terrorism and the campaign itself in the United States.

As you noted, we're waiting to hear from the president. He is with President Ricardo Lagos of Chile. Mr. Bush having a bilateral meeting with his Chilean counterpart after the 21 member APEC summit here in Santiago this weekend. Mr. Bush before that meeting, the bilateral meeting, a quick handshake. Reporters were allowed in for that and Mr. Bush also had a review of the troops outside the presidential palace here in Chile. So we will hear from the leaders any minute now. It will be interesting to hear the president's perspective on this trip.

You noted the issues, the nuclear standoff with North Korea. Those talks have been stalled for five months in part because North Korea simply wanted to wait to see if Senator John Kerry won the election, because he, as opposed to President Bush, said he was open to direct negotiations with North Korea. Mr. Bush says he will not do that. He will talk to North Korea only if China, Russia, South Korea and Japan are also at the table. Mr. Bush leaves this summit optimistic. Those talks will resume soon because of pressure from those other nations on North Korea.

You mentioned Iran's nuclear program, the president discussing that with some of his counterparts here as well and in a meeting this morning, he promised President Vicente Fox of Mexico would move ahead on immigration reform. That is an issue that could put the president at odds with key conservative members of his own party in the House of Representatives. So remember just after the election, the president said he had political capital from his victory and he planned on spending it. He could be spending it, Carol, if everything he said here carries through to when he returns in Washington partly on a fight with members of his own political party. Carol?

LIN: All right. John, we're waiting for the president to speak. I want to ask you quickly about a scuffle that happened between the president's Secret Service agent and Chilean security guards where the president actually, it appeared, came to the rescue of one of his Secret Service agents.

KING: A remarkable bit of role reversal you might call it. The president going into a crowd, into a little commotion to pull through a man who is paid of course to protect the president of the United States. That happened last night. U.S. initials say there have been a number of what they are calling security misunderstandings with their Chilean counterparts. Mr. Bush was posing for photographs just after entering an event site for a dinner and a social event, a cultural event but as he was walking away, he noticed a commotion at the door, and he noticed at the center of that commotion was his lead agent who was supposed to be protecting him, his body man if you will in the lingo of the Secret Service.

So Mr. Bush went into the crowd himself, reaching through to grab his agent and pull him through. Pretty remarkable sight, the president of the United States if you will walking into the middle of a bit of a scuffle in the doorway to get his agent through. Now tonight, we have another example of security issues. There was to be a more formal social dinner after the meeting with President Lagos, some 250 people initially invited to that dinner.

Because the Chileans would not agree to have metal detectors to scan every person coming into that dinner, the Secret Service objected. They won't let the president in a room without that security measure. So the dinner tonight, which will be after this news conference we're about to see, has been scaled back to about 20 people instead of 250 people, a working dinner now the White House is calling it. They say it won't affect relations with Chile, but they do say there have been a number of shall we call them security snafus, Carol.

LIN: All right. Yes, a very unusual picture indeed. Thank you very much John. You'll be standing by as we wait for President Bush and the Chilean president to come to the microphones to make their final remarks and take questions from reporters. So as soon as that happens, we are going to take that live, keeping an eye on that.

We want to go quickly back to Washington right now where a huge spending bill to keep the government running is on hold. The U.S. Senate refuses to send it to President Bush because it would give a couple of lawmakers get this, permission to look at absolutely anyone's tax forms. Kathleen Koch explains. Kathleen.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The controversial provision is buried in the 1,000 page spending bill. It's one of a few surprises lawmakers discovered this weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hesitate to lift it. I think it's an OSHA violation.

KOCH: House lawmakers had less than 12 hours to look over the $388 billion spending bill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you read this document?

KOCH: So few did. Senators were stunned to discover a provision giving two committee chairman broad access to income tax returns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a very troubling position that will potentially take away American taxpayers' rights to privacy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would suggest that we can talk a great deal about this section, but it will never become law.

KOCH: A top house Democrat implied the measure was Nixonian, calling it a quote, Saturday night massacre on the privacy of American taxpayers. The Senate Appropriations Committee chairman denied responsibility.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It came strictly from a staff request. You're right, it's absolutely a mistake. I apologize to the Senate. KOCH: Senators voted to drop the provision and (INAUDIBLE) in the bill to the president until the House deletes it as well. But some doubt this was an accident.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D) CALIFORNIA: This is somebody's innovative thinking how they could get their minions into taxes of individuals who might be political opponents or who might come up against them in some way.

KOCH: Some lawmakers were also angered by another unexpected measure, making it easier for health care providers to decline to provide abortion services or referrals.

REP. NANCY PILOSI, (D) MINORITY LEADER: An extraordinary sneak attack on women's rights in a disgraceful display of ideology over health.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This provision is meant to protect health care entities from discrimination because they choose not to provide abortion services.

KOCH: Senate leaders agreed to schedule a vote soon to reexamine the abortion measure. Many lawmakers, including Republicans worry what the tax return incident says about how Congress works.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R) ARIZONA: If there's ever a graphic example of the broken system that we now have that certainly has to be it.

KOCH: While Democrats look at both measures and worry about the coming session.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The real question is are we going to govern in a bipartisan way or is a small group, mainly in the House of Representatives on the hard right going to call the shots?


KOCH: The spending bill is on hold. Congress had to rush a stopgap measure all the way to Santiago Chile for the president to sign otherwise the government would have run out of money to operate at midnight. Carol.

LIN: All right. Thanks very much, Kathleen. Right now we want to move on to Iraq. Almost two weeks after the battle of Falluja began, the focus now is keeping the peace. We're getting a new snapshot of operation new dawn. The military says U.S. forces detained more than 1400 people during the offensive. Four hundred of them were later deemed noncombatants and released. Another 100 are being let go today.

U.S. troops though are still fighting pockets of resistance in Falluja, but some are preparing to leave the city now that it is mostly secured. For them it's a time to reflect on the mission. CNN's Jane Arraf reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JANE ARRAF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For some of the American troops in Falluja, a celebration. The heavy armor in the battle, the army's task force 22 and its soldiers are going back to their bases. For this occasion only, courtesy of the Marines they fought with, for the first time in months they get a beer.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: It tastes a lot better because, it was like we deserve this way more than any other beer we've ever drank.

ARRAF: The task force commander raises a toast to the army's four men killed and others wounded in battle and another for the Marines and other troops remaining.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: We got easy part. All we had to do is go in and kick somebody's butt. Those guys have got to put a city back together and bring the civilians back.

ARRAF: The soldiers included gunners, tankers, artillery men. They fired almost 1,000 rounds of artillery, the most in a battle for a city since Vietnam, clearing the way for Marines to spread throughout the city.

(on-camera): This was the most intense combat most of these soldiers have ever seen. But even though the high intensity conflict is over, some of the biggest challenges for Falluja are still ahead.

(voice-over): Marine officials at a post-battle briefing said the speed of the fight exceeded their wildest expectations. They said, though, with 60,000 buildings in Falluja, each of them able to hold weapons or insurgents, there's no definite timetable for the Marines to leave or citizens to return. A civil affairs official said the Iraqi government using U.S. money was speeding ahead with plans to reconstruct the heavily damaged city. The Army troops just days from returning to their home base and months from going home to their stations in Germany, were celebrating finishing their role in the fight.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: Drinking to the United States.

ARRAF: Sergeant first class Brit Kimbell held a puppy he rescued from the rubble in a neighborhood long ago abandoned by civilians, the dogs were among the few living things.

SGT. FIRST CLASS BRIT KIMBELL: We was coming out a bunker, about ready to throw a fragmentation grenade in there. Got a little closer, realized there was nothing in there, looked a little closer and the puppy's in there (INAUDIBLE).

ARRAF: They named her Falluja. Not something that would go over well with city residents, but for these soldiers a symbol of survival and hope through the devastation. Jane Arraf, CNN, near Falluja.


LIN: For Americans it was November 2nd. Now Iraqis know when they will go to the polls. It's January 30th. That is the date set for the elections that will determine the Iraqi national assembly, a Kurdish assembly and 18 provincial governing councils. It will be Iraq's first democratic election in decades. Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi says he is pleased by the development.

And also another big step forward for Iraq. Major economic powers have agreed to forgive most of the money it owes them. The so- called Paris club of 19 creditor nations will write off 80 percent of the almost $39 billion in debt.

Now live to Santiago, Chile, where President Bush is speaking with reporters.


Today President Lagos and I discussed ways to strengthen democratic institutions throughout the Americas and around the world. I appreciate his advice. I enjoy listening to his wisdom. Chile plays a leading role in the community of democracies, a caucus of democratic nations from every corner of the world whose representatives meet regularly to support the advance of freedom.

Chile will host the next ministerial meeting of the community. And we look forward to those discussions which will examine ways to spread the benefits of liberty. The president and I also reaffirmed our determination to fight terror, to bring drug trafficking to bear, to bring justice to those who pollute our youth, to bring greater security and stability to our hemisphere.

Chile has been a leader in the efforts to strengthen security initiatives among the nations of the Americans and I appreciate your leadership. Mr. President. Your nation has expanded joint military exercises to security cooperation with key regional partners. Chile has sent 600 troops to support peacekeeping operations in Haiti and we thank you for that strong contribution.

Chilean soldiers have also made important contributions to peacekeeping efforts in Cyprus and East Timor and Bosnia. These are the actions of an ally of the United States, a good citizen of Latin America and a friend of liberty. Along with my fellow citizens, I look forward to a future of even stronger and closer relations between our two countries in the years ahead. Thank you for your hospitality.


QUESTION: President Bush, good afternoon, China has a close rapprochement with Latin America, a lot of investment in this region. In your second presidency, are you going to do anything so you don't lose your influence in this region? And second, many business people are worried if you're going to be doing anything about the fiscal deficit in your country during your second term.

BUSH: Today we heard from Hu Jintao (ph) about the phenomenal growth rates that he expects for his economy and it's positive. I think it's helpful for there to be universal prosperity. China represents great opportunities for Chile and the United States and we look forward to working with China. We've done a lot of trade with China, and we want to continue to have good trading relations with china.

We got a lot of trade in the hemisphere. We got a free trade agreement with Chile and NAFTA is a strong driver for prosperity in our own neighborhood and we'll continue to advance free trade throughout this hemisphere. I frankly don't view a trade -- China's actions and the actions of the United States as zero-sum. I view it as a positive development.

Secondly, at the meeting today, people expressed concern about the value of the U.S. dollar. And I reiterated the fact that my government has a strong dollar policy. And the best way to affect those who watch the dollar's value is to make a commitment to deal with our short-term and long-term deficits.

As far as our short-term deficit goes, I present a budget that continues us on the path of reducing our deficit in half over a five- year period of time. We're in the fourth year -- first year of it. We finished the first year of a five-year period to reduce the deficit in half. Congress is working on a -- on the appropriations bill that meets those targets. I look forward to signing it when they come back and finally finish the package in early December.

A long-term deficit issue really relates to unfunded liabilities when it comes to Social Security and Medicare. In the recent campaign I made it clear that I think it's very important for us to address those long-term, unfunded liabilities. For example, in Social Security, I talked about the need for personal savings accounts for younger workers as a part of a solution. Frankly, the Chilean model serves as a good example for those who are going to be writing the law in the United States. And so my commitment to the international world is that we'll deal with a short-term deficit and the long-term unfunded liabilities, so that people can then take a look at our dollar in terms of fiscal austerity in Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first question from the American press will come from Finley Lewis of Copley News Service.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. Your administration recently received a letter from 21 or 22 members of the House, raising skeptical questions about your guest worker program. Now you met with President Fox earlier today and I'm wondering how much, specifically how much political capital that you're so proud of that you're going to spend on trying to overcome the built in resistance to that plan? And specifically, what kind of steps are you proposing to take to sell it to the Congress?

BUSH: Finley, I am proud of my political capital. That's what you get when you win an election. And in the course of that election, I talked about immigration reform. I think it's important for our country to recognize that people are coming to our country to do jobs that Americans won't do. And therefore, I think a program that recognizes the desire of some to come to America to work and the desire of some in America to employ them makes sense. It makes sense and not only for our economy, it makes sense for border security. We'd much rather have security guards chasing down terrorists or drug runners or drug smugglers than people coming to work. And so therefore, I think a guest worker program is important and I look forward to working with Congress on it.

You know, I get letters all the time from people that are trying to steer me one way or the other when it comes to legislation, but I'm going to move forward. In the letter, I noticed that they said well, this is because they're objecting to the program because it's an amnesty program. It's not an amnesty program. It's a worker program. It's a program that recognizes however, that if somebody wants to become a citizen in the United States, they can get in line with the people who have done so legally. I think it's necessary. I think it's an important piece of legislation and I look forward to working it. You asked me what my tactics are. I'm going to find supporters on the Hill and move it.

TRANSLATOR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) ... all over the world this week we saw them in Chile. You stated that you like to hear the wisdom of President Lagos. At any point did Chile say no to this invasion. Chile did say no to this invasion. Who was right? Who was wrong? And how can we change this negative image of the White House that exists in large parts of the world right now?

BUSH: President Lagos didn't agree with my decision and I respect that. He's still my friend. Secondly, whether people agree with my decision or not, there are two things that they got to agree with. One, the world is better off with Saddam Hussein not in power. And secondly, it is important to succeed in Iraq. It's important to develop a democracy there. I fully recognize some do not believe that the democracy can take hold in Iraq. I strongly disagree. I believe not only democracy can take hold in Iraq, I believe a democracy will take hold in Iraq.

I notice today that the elections are on schedule for June (sic) 30th. Think how far that society has come, from the days of mass grave and torture chambers to the day in which they're going to be voting for a president. Prime Minister Allawi, the current leader of Iraq is a strong, capable democrat. He believes in the possibilities of the people of Iraq and he knows that a free society will unleash those possibilities. And so the United States of America will stay the course and we will complete the task. We'll help Iraq develop a democracy and the world will be better off for it. Free societies don't attack each other. Democracies listen to the aspirations of their people, not feed hatred and resentment and future terrorists. And what we're doing is the right thing in Iraq. And history will prove it right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mark Silva from the "Chicago Tribune."

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. With the intelligence reform bill apparently failing, how confident are you that Secretary Rumsfeld is not partly responsible for that? Is there something more you personally could have done and what does this say about your ability to achieve your own legislative agenda in the next two years?

BUSH: I was disappointed that the bill didn't pass. I thought it was going to pass up until the last minute. And so I look forward to going back to Washington to work with the interested parties to get it passed because I understand they're going to come back into session to see if they can't get the bill passed. And I look forward to working with members of the Senate and the House to get it passed.

It's very clear I wanted the bill passed. I talked to key members of the House as did my vice president and we'll continue working with them and hopefully we can get a bill done. I saw the speakers today said that the matter wasn't complete. It wasn't over. It wasn't final, but we have a chance to get a bill. And therefore, when I get home, I'm looking forward to working it. Thank you, sir.

LIN: All right, President Bush and President Lagos of Chile shaking hands, agreeing to disagree on some matters at the APEC summit. They did talk about trade that was on the table, but primarily the discussions were about what the countries could do together about Iran's nuclear program, but more specifically about what they can do together about North Korea's developing nuclear program.

We are going to be following these events very closely as President Bush wraps up the APEC summit there and then he makes his way onto Colombia, I believe, is where he's off to next and then on to the Crawford ranch.

But now want I just want to let you know, we're gathering our facts here. We have some breaking news on the fallout from the Pacers, Detroit Piston's brawl. Some penalties have been handed out. They are some of the stiffest penalties the NBA league has ever issued on a group of players. We're going to have that story for you right after a quick break.


LIN: All right. Breaking news now on the fallout from the Pacers/Pistons brawl. According to the Associated Press, the NBA has issued the following penalty suspensions for Friday night's fight. Ron Artest is out for the rest of the season. Stephen Jackson is out for 30 games. Jermaine O'Neal is suspended for 25 games. Ben Wallace is out for six. Pacers guard Anthony Johnson has been ordered to sit out five games. Four other players have been suspended for one game each. In all, nine players from the teams are banned for a total of 143 games. Steve Overmyer is here from CNN sports to wrap this up. We're going to hear from I think David Stern, the NBA commissioner.

STEVE OVERMYER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: David Stern in a few minutes.

LIN: In just a few minutes.

OVERMYER: This is -- these are the biggest suspensions in the history of the NBA. The Ron Artest suspension is 73 games that is going to be the largest in the history, longer than Latrell Sprewell's (ph) who was also suspended.

LIN: ... for choking his coach.

OVERMYER: ... for choking his coach, P.J. Carlesimo (ph). He was out for 68 games and even the video that we've seen so many times of Kermit (ph) Washington hitting Rudy Tomjanovich (ph). That was 26 games, so Jermaine O'Neal obviously got more than that as well. So this is by far unprecedented suspensions for the NBA.

LIN: This is a message that the NBA wants to send to its players.

OVERMYER: Undeniably, the NBA basically sat down and said that there is no reason whatsoever that a player should go into the stands. These guys are professionals. The fans cheer. The fans boo, but there is no reason, even if things are thrown on them, to run into the stands. You have to be able to trust the security guards. You have to be able to trust the security at the stadium. We'll be able to take care of things.

LIN: The argument has been made that there really wasn't -- they're not security guards per se, they're just staff people who are there to help the patrons find their seats, you know, giving directions.

OVERMYER: Every stadium has a different one. You saw here some stadiums actually have some sort of tarp that covers the walkway into the locker rooms to prevent people from throwing beers and popcorn on guys. Some stadiums do have security guards positioned strategically throughout the stadium. There are just certain -- every stadium has different rules. And I think that the NBA is going to come up with a set number of rules here that will be established throughout the teams.

LIN: We're hearing from David Stern at any moment, the NBA commissioner, about this ruling, this decision. What are you anticipating we're going to hear from him? We're going to take his comments live, but as we anticipate, what he's going to say?

OVERMYER: He's going to come down hard on the Indiana Paceers, and some of the players, and all of the players really involved in this. I'm sure he's going to call this, as he said before, a black mark on the eye of the NBA, one of the worst and most reprehensible acts that you've been able to see in a sporting event of any kind. And you know, when he issues these suspensions, this is a shockwave that will be felt long and hard through the NBA.

LIN: You think so?

OVERMYER: Absolutely.

LIN: Because, you know, the perception is these are the bad boys of the NBA. That their behavior sometimes is geared towards shaping an image that makes them more marketable when it comes to selling products?

OVERMYER: It's funny, in seeing some of this -- this happened against the Detroit Pistons, who at one time were called the bad boys of the NBA, yet it was the Indiana Pacers in this particular situation, namely, Ron Artest who is being labeled the bad boy.

And to be honest with you, this is nothing new for Ron Artest. I mean, he has been clearly, if you will, a bad boy throughout his NBA career. He was suspended twice by the NBA season. The year before that he was suspended five times by the NBA. And once again by his own team a total of 12 games the year before. So, it's not like this is something new for Ron Artest. This is actually interesting timing for Ron Artest.

LIN: Really?

OVERMYER: Do you remember about two weeks ago, Artest went to his coaches, apparently, allegedly saying I want a couple of months off. I got a CD that I want to promote. My CD is dropping on November 23, yep, just a couple of days away from his CD being dropped. Well, you know what, he's going have a couple of months off. In fact, he's going to have the rest of the year to promote his new CD. I don't think this is the way he wanted to get it done, you know what? Coverage is coverage.

LIN: You know what, this is going to be controversial though. Even for -- ESPN, I heard, did a poll from some of the viewers, more than 200 people called in, and half said it was the fans' fault, the fans started it. Kenny Smith last night, veteran former NBA player, now a commentator for TNT said you don't know what these fans are saying, you don't know the insults or threats these players were responding in a form of self-defense. He didn't think Artest should have gone into the stands, but on a player level, he understood what was going on out there.

OVERYMYER: There's a level of understanding you have to have. Listen, we're all human, I mean, somebody says something about your children, somebody says something about your wife, your mother. It's going to light a fire under you, clearly. Somebody throws something at you. We're all human. We're not robots. And these players are not robots. And any time something gets thrown at you -- his emotions were running high at that moment anyway. So you would expect him to get fired up.

LIN: His emotions are running high. And his bank account is going to be a little drier.

OVERYMYER: Yes. Because he will not be getting paid at all for the rest of the year.

LIN: All right. All right, thanks you very much, Steve. We're going to be continuing on this, because we're waiting to hear from David Stern, the NBA commissioner, who is going to be making remarks at any moment.

We're taking a live picture there of where we expect to hear what he has to say about this ruling. Just in case you've just been tuning in, Ron Artest out for the rest of the season. Penalties are pretty big for the other players, too: Stephen Jackson out for 30 games, Jermaine O'Neal suspended for 25 games, Ben Wallace out for 6.

We're going to take a quick break. And expect to hear from David Stern shortly thereafter.


LIN: This just into the CNN Center. We've been talking about the penalties, now, that have come down on the NBA players involved in that huge brawl the other day between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers. Ron Artest, out for the rest of the season, Stephen Jackson, out for 30 games, Jermaine O'Neal suspended for 25 games, all without pay, Ben Wallace out for 6.

We are waiting now for a news conference. Right there you're looking at a live picture where we're expecting David Stern, the NBA commissioner to come out to talk about these rulings, certainly some of the stiffest penalties in the history of the league. A total of 9 players. Steven Overmeyer from CNN Sports joining me right now as we wait for that news conference. Nine players in total out for a total of 143 games. That is a big deal.

OVERMYER: This really hurts the Indiana Pacers right now. You really have to wonder whether or not they're going to be staggering these suspensions.

LIN: Six players.

OVERMYER: Just last night, the Pacers only had 6 players and they still almost beat Orlando Magic. In fact, they only lost by 3 points in that game.

Now, NBA rules say that you have to dress 8 players, so they actaully dressed two players that were injured, could barely could walk. They couldn't even walk, but there were in uniform nonetheless. Still they only had six active players.

Now, apparently, the Indiana Pacers are going to petition the NBA to try to allow for more than 15 players on their roster, which is the maximum players allowed by the NBA.

LIN: The suspensions started last night.

OVERMYER: Indefinite suspensions for the 3 guys started last night for the Indiana Pacers: Ron Artest, Steven Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal. But, don't forget, you've got 4 other guys for the Indiana Pacers that were being suspended at least for one game.

LIN: Yes, because they went to Ron Artest's defense.

OVERMYER: One pulled a big old dust pan, tried to wield it at him as well.

LIN: But the team's got to be disappointed in Artest and the others?

OVERMYER: This will have on Ron Artest. Because had Ron Artest not run into the stadium -- or into the stands, his teammates wouldn't have felt obligated to go in after him. Because he went in there, he endangered the rest of the Indiana Pacers's team.

LIN: It's like the code of the Marines, leave no man behind?

OVERMYERS: You leave no man behind. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what the Indiana Pacers did. And right now, hopefully, they won't all have to serve their suspensions at the same time. But this is unprecedented the number of games that are being -- players and games suspended here. Three out of the top four suspensions in NBA history came from this riot, if you will.

LIN: All right. Well, David Stern expect harsh comments. Clearly he wants the league wants to send a message about player behavior. It's been an interesting story. And you know what, criminal charges may still be pending.

OVERMYERS: We haven't touched on the criminal aspect of it yet.

LIN: Detroit police are reviewing tapes. They are not talking tonight, becasue we tried to get in touch with them. But they are reviewing tapes, fans may be dragged in. Artest may facing criminal charges and some of the others.

OVERMYER: We saw 9 people were treated for injuries from this riot. We'll just have to see how many of those injuries were caused by NBA players. And if f some of the fans are getting some NBA money.

LIN: It's not the last time we're going to be seeing that tape.


LIN: All right, Steve, stand by.

OVERMYER: It's like the Zabruder (ph) film.

LIN: Oh, no, please. Don't even go there, you sports guys!

All right, we're going to have Steve here, still, even after that remark, as we wait for David Stern.

But in the meantime, I want to tell you about a different kind of investigation happening out on the West Coast. You've probably flown into Los Angeles International Airport at one point or another. It's considered widely to be a likely terrorist target in the post-9/11 days. Well now, Los Angeles' mayor is calling for an international investigation into LAX police after hidden cameras showed officers abandoning their posts and drinking at taco stands. The television report by KCBS investigative correspondent David Goldstein is make headlines since L.A. International is at such a risk in these very trying times.

David, good to have you.

DAVID GOLDSTEIN, KCBS CORRESPONDENT: Thank you. Good to see again.

LIN: You how did this investigation start?

GOLDSTEIN: We were tipped by people outside and inside the police department. And we identified a core group of officers that we then started to follow. We had 5 photographers, producers, with hidden cameras at the airport, 5 days a week for two months. And we followed those officers and then it expanded to other officers they would run into.

And found the officers abandoning their posts, hanging out at restaurants, falsifying their records. We were able to obtain field activity reports where they claim they were on patrol when we had them on hidden cameras doing other things.

LIN: So, this was over a period of time, you're not just catching these guys on a bad day playing hooky.

GOLDSTEIN: No, no, no, they were a core group of officers we followed day after day after day. And two specifically that we followed day in and day out, who would be hanging out at restaurants and bars, although not drinking alcohol...

LIN: David, my biggest apologies, I'm sorry, we're waiting for the NBA commissioner to speak, and he's about to right now, hang in, because we may get to you. Let's hear from David Stern.



International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.