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Intelligence Reform Bill; Scott Peterson Penalty Phase

Aired December 3, 2004 - 07:31   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. It's just about half past the hour on this AMERICAN MORNING.
A live report on a major round-up of suspected Iraqi insurgents this morning to talk about.

Also, the White House is busy twisting some arms, trying to get the 9/11 intelligence reform bill passed. Lots of passion on both sides of this legislation. It is, of course, the first real test of the president's power on Capitol Hill, and it could set the tone for the next four years.

Miles O'Brien is in for Bill Hemmer this morning. We're going to talk about all of that ahead.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: And much more. Good morning to you.

Talk about the power of words. Scott Peterson's friends and family know that his life depends on what they say to the jury. We're going to talk with a defense attorney, who has been in the courtroom about the powerful case they're making to the jury, what has to be the most agonizing decision of the jurors' lives for sure.

Let's get another check of the headlines now. Carol Costello...


S. O'BRIEN: Like that. She's here.

M. O'BRIEN: She appeared, poof.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I just jogged right down. I'm here. It's amazing. We have to talk about breaking news right now.

There is breaking news out of Iraq. U.S. and Iraqi forces are detaining more than 50 suspected insurgents during operations in northern Iraq.

Senior international correspondent Nic Robertson joins us by phone from Mosul. And he's going to tell us about the recent fighting there. In fact, it's going on right now, isn't it, Nic?

I don't think we have Nic on the phone, because, of course, it's hard to get a connection from out there. But, Nic, can you hear me now? We lost Nic Robertson.

But apparently, American and Iraqi forces are clashing right now with insurgents in Mosul. That's north of Baghdad. When we can get that connection, we'll get to Nic Robertson.

Turning now to other news, baseball's Barry Bonds is reportedly saying he unknowingly used substances laced with steroids. According to the "San Francisco Chronicle," Bonds says he used a cream and a clear substance given to him by a trainer, but he thought they were arthritis balms and flaxseed oil. His statement was apparently given at a grand jury investigation. Bonds' trainer has been indicted for distributing steroids.

Dozens of cities considered at high risk for a terror attack are getting extra funding. The Homeland Security Department is distributing more than $850 million. Almost a quarter of the funds will apparently go to New York City.

And a former New York cop is expected to be named the next Homeland Security secretary. Aides say President Bush will make it official today. Bernard Kerik led the New York City Police Department during the September 11 terror attacks. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani apparently personally recommended Kerik for the job. The current secretary, Tom Ridge, resigned earlier this week.

S. O'BRIEN: It will be interesting to see who he picks as his No. 2...


S. O'BRIEN: ... since he's not quite a political animal...


S. O'BRIEN: ... in Washington, D.C.

COSTELLO: Well, you know, but being a police commissioner in New York City, you have to be political.

S. O'BRIEN: A little political, right?


S. O'BRIEN: All right, Carol, thanks.


S. O'BRIEN: Yes. Thanks a lot.

When Congress reconvenes next week, tops on the agenda will be the now-stalled intelligence reform bill. In recent days, both Democrats and Republicans have blamed President Bush for not doing enough to get that bill passed.

But as congressional correspondent Ed Henry tells us, that seems to have changed.


ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Senior White House adviser Karl Rove called a top Republican senator Thursday to underscore President Bush wants to end the stalemate on intelligence reform.

Senator Susan Collins says, despite some claims the president hasn't pushed hard enough, Rove told her Mr. Bush wants Congress to finish the legislation next week.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: It's clear that the White House is working very hard to get this bill through. There is a full-court press on.

HENRY: That includes a new round of phone calls from the president and vice president to Capitol Hill. Those follow previous calls to Republicans Duncan Hunter and James Sensenbrenner, who have refused to endorse the deal now on the table.

Nine-eleven families who support Collins are holding vigils in major cities, like this one in New York, to urge Congress to act during the end of its lame-duck session.

One idea floated to break the logjam: have the president commit to considering Sensenbrenner's immigration proposals next year. But Sensenbrenner aides say he's compromised enough, and 9/11 families who support him fear if immigration reform is dropped now, the president will not follow through.

PETER GADIEL, 9/11 FAMILIES FOR SECURE AMERICA: We're very worried. We know that the president is supposedly supporting this defective bill. But, again, that comports with his usual position of not securing the borders.

HENRY: Hunter has cited warnings by Joints Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers that a new director of national intelligence could slow key information from reaching military troops in the field. But late Thursday, General Myers said congressional negotiators have allayed his concerns, which could boost the bill's fortunes.

Collins believes with the president fully on board, the legislation will get done with or without the holdouts.

COLLINS: I hope it will pass with the support of Congressman Sensenbrenner and Congressman Hunter, but I think it will pass regardless.

HENRY (on camera): Some Republicans believe the president has staked enough credibility on this issue that he has to get a deal. These Republicans say the White House fears that if Sensenbrenner and Hunter win, this can embolden other Republicans to buck the president on key issues like Social Security.

Ed Henry, CNN, Capitol Hill.


S. O'BRIEN: The Congress reconvenes on Monday -- Miles. M. O'BRIEN: Now to the Scott Peterson trial, where the defense is presenting the softer side of Peterson during the sentencing phase. Friends and family are hoping to persuade jurors to spare Peterson's life.

Defense attorney Paula Canny has been in the courtroom, and she joins us now from Redwood City, California, where it's very early.

Good have to you up with us. Thank you.

PAULA CANNY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning. Thank you.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. Give us a sense of what you saw yesterday, Scott's half-brother, his sister-in-law, attempting to, I guess, humanize Scott Peterson.

CANNY: Well, his sister-in-law, Janey Peterson, was by far the most powerful witness that's testified for the defense. She's often been the spokesperson for the family. She wasn't covered under the gag order and didn't testify in the guilt phase.

She connected with the jury. She, you know, emoted a lot. She cried a lot. When Janey testified, Scott cried, as did his mother, Jackie, and his half sister, Sue Padilla (ph). And I think that the jurors were engaged by her testimony. It was powerful.

M. O'BRIEN: Let's read a little excerpt for folks so they can get a sense of this. It's Janey Peterson, a quote from her: "I think the one thing we've all learned in all of this is how important life is. I think every one of us would give up everything we have, whether it's money, our homes, every stitch of clothing, because that's how important life is." Now, she's pleading there for Scott Peterson's life. I suspect many jurors might be thinking about Laci and her unborn son.

CANNY: Well, that's the great irony of this situation. And I believe that's absolutely true. When they show a picture of Scott as a little boy, you know, in the courtroom, I think that the jurors may well think, I wonder if that's what Conner would have looked like?

But Janey was very effective in that she acknowledged the great loss of Laci, and that she absolutely loved Laci. And that had power, too.

M. O'BRIEN: A lot of testimony talking about Scott Peterson as he grew up and all of the good works he supposedly did.

CANNY: Right.

M. O'BRIEN: Some funny stories even, even actually a few smiles in the courtroom despite this tense, tense life-and-death situation. Just tell us how that played out.

CANNY: Well, it's true that some of the jurors did, in fact, smile when John Peterson, his half-brother, testified. I don't know how it's going to play out, really. I mean, we'll all sort of look back, and based on what the jury did, then decide if it was effective or not. But it seems kind of odd to me. They showed a picture of him, voted most likely to succeed in eighth grade. I mean, it's just kind of bizarre, really.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, I should say so. Now...


M. O'BRIEN: ... what we expect to see today is Scott Peterson's mother, correct?

CANNY: No, I don't think so. The story is here, that there are going to be about 28 defense witnesses. And when Pat Harris gave the opening, he said Lee Peterson would go first, then Jackie Peterson would be his last witness. Judge Delucchi basically sort of said, we could go well into next week. And Jackie Peterson, Scott's mom, will be the last witness, as I believe that in the defense attorneys' minds, she's going to be the most effective witness that they have.

M. O'BRIEN: And just to sum it up then, do you think when it comes time to deliberating, it's going to be the two mothers' testimony that will be weighed on jurors' minds.

CANNY: Well, in California, you're supposed to weigh aggravating factors versus mitigating factors. There is basically 10 fairly concise factors and 11 catch-all.

But, again, the defense's goal is to just not get a death penalty verdict. That is, they just need one person to vote for life, and then the court can't impose a death verdict. They can either, you know, mis-try it or have all 12 be L-wop (ph). But I think that that's a fairly -- well, it's a great point. It may be mother against mother.

But, again, the defense strategy is to just get one juror to vote for life, and then the court can't impose a death verdict.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. Some canny insights.


M. O'BRIEN: I appreciate it.

CANNY: Yes, thanks.

M. O'BRIEN: Paula Canny in Redwood City, California.

CANNY: You're welcome. Thanks so much.

M. O'BRIEN: Appreciate it -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Weather now and Rob Marciano at the CNN center for us.


M. O'BRIEN: Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, Wal-Mart goes all out to save Christmas. Andy explains in "Minding Your Business."

S. O'BRIEN: Also, Vegas bets the house on Barry Manilow. But is that gamble going to pay off? "90-Second Pop" is just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


M. O'BRIEN: All right, "Question of the Day" with Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Every time one of these athletes gets caught using steroids, we all get into this big hand-ringing, oh, this is terrible. What can be done about it? And if we make these players take drug tests is that violating their rights, and yadda, yadda, yadda?

I wonder if anybody cares, at the professional level, what these guys or women do to themselves, as long as it's not bothering anybody else, in order to hit more homeruns, go faster, jump higher, whatever? After all, that's the American way, ain't (ph) it?

Lee in Canton, Ohio, says: "Since there are so many athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs, doping, et cetera, I've become apathetic to their use by professional athletes. I'm more concerned about the millions of young Americans who look up to athletes and feel pressured to use steroids to enhance their athletic performance."

Johnny in New Orleans writes: "Of course I care, but what hypocrisy. We don't care that actors and models get plastic surgery to keep their looks. We excuse musicians for lip-syncing, because they feel they need to jump around while they're performing. We contemplate excusing players for gambling on the sport so they can get into the Hall of Fame. What happened to natural talent and integrity? I care, but I am just one voice."

Weldon in New Market, Ontario: "Why not use steroids? Everything else about today's professional athlete is inflated. Long gone is the day where you can judge their ability on their true self. Their physiques and their salaries are grossly out of proportion."

Dana in California: "If a professional athlete has to use steroids, then they're not professionals. They're merely high-paid drug users."

And Reg in Thunder Bay: "Jack, practice what you preach and go get a real job."

Thank you, Reg.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: I thought he was going to say go take some steroids.

CAFFERTY: Reg has figured out my secret.


CAFFERTY: That this ain't (ph) a real job. SERWER: Yes, he did. He outed you.

S. O'BRIEN: Are you getting a lot of e-mails?


S. O'BRIEN: Yes, I would think so.

CAFFERTY: Many, many.

SERWER: Well, how do you separate it? You're saying professionals could use steroids but then kids -- high school and college athletes couldn't. I mean, that would be a hard transition to make, wouldn't it?

CAFFERTY: Well, but the word "professional" is what's key.


CAFFERTY: You know, if you're a pro athlete, that's different. If you're in high school...

S. O'BRIEN: It's...

CAFFERTY: ... you're a child, and you're subject to a different set of rules. If Barry Bonds wants to put clear liquid under his tongue that he claims he didn't know what it was...

SERWER: He didn't know what that was.

CAFFERTY: Oh, good, Barry.


SERWER: He didn't know what it was.

CAFFERTY: Yes, here, put a drop of this under your tongue.

SERWER: He didn't know.

CAFFERTY: Try it. Don't ask what it is. Just put it right in your mouth.

S. O'BRIEN: Well, then why bother to go...

CAFFERTY: Of course, Barry, we all believe you.

S. O'BRIEN: I mean, then why bother to go -- why have records at all if they're going to cheat, right?

SERWER: Well, the records are really...

S. O'BRIEN: I mean, come on. That's what it's about.

CAFFERTY: But that -- I mean, that's the whole hypocrisy and the whole issue. If you want to stop it, it can be stopped. You test them after every single game. And if you fail a drug test, you're out of the sport. Not one strike, two strikes. You're done.


CAFFERTY: Go get another job.

SERWER: Yes, they've got to do that.

CAFFERTY: Go bowling. You're finished.

SERWER: And it's going to come to that, I think.

S. O'BRIEN: I hope so. I'm good.

CAFFERTY: And that will end it. But the country doesn't want it ended. There's too much money involved. You know, it's just...

S. O'BRIEN: I think the country does. The people who are running things don't. But we'll talk about that later. All right, thanks, Jack.

SERWER: To be continued.

S. O'BRIEN: To be continued, because we're talking about Wal- Mart now, and 'tis the season to shop at Wal-Mart stores, they want you to think. Also, predictions for the football action this weekend. Andy Serwer is "Minding Your Business."

SERWER: Good morning again. Let's talk about Wal-Mart.

S. O'BRIEN: Good morning. Wal-Mart?

SERWER: Yes. The empire strikes back, Soledad. You may remember over the past couple of days Wal-Mart has been stung by competitors that have slashed prices on a lot of X-mas items. Now, Wal-Mart says it's going to cut prices on 24 very popular items like DVD players and those Elmo things. And they're going to start this ad blitz. So you'll be hearing all about this.

So let's go from Wal-Mart to football, apple pie, America, and...

S. O'BRIEN: A smooth segue. Why not?

SERWER: And let's -- there she is.


SERWER: I call her Sole-tie (ph).

M. O'BRIEN: Wow!

SERWER: Sole-tie (ph), if you know what I'm saying, Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: I know what you're saying.

SERWER: She is the leader of the pack. I'm slip-sliding away. There is Jack. But Jack doesn't make football picks. He stirs the pot.


S. O'BRIEN: Stirs the pot.

SERWER: That's what he does here.

CAFFERTY: Yes, obviously (UNINTELLIGIBLE) football picks.

SERWER: All right...

S. O'BRIEN: And I want to send a shout out to Todd, who is my better half.


SERWER: Yes, yes, there we go. Let's do a couple of highlighting games this week here. We've go the Minnesota Vikings against the Bears. Some cold weather, real football here. Randy Moss is playing. Chad Hutchinson is starting for the Bears. He hasn't played in a long time. I'm picking the Vikes (ph). Jeff George is now with the Bears. Here's a great American, right?

What about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jags? I'm going with the Steelers again. Ben Roethlisberger, the rookie phenom (ph) for the Steelers, has PFJ on his shoes that he's written. The NFL told him they can't do that. That stands for "play for Jesus," another little controversy in America.

The Green Bay Packers against the Eagles, the 10-1 Eagles. I'm going to go with Eagles. The Eagles are playing at home.

And there you have it. But then again, I'm barely above 500.

S. O'BRIEN: I'm not sure who I'm going with yet.

SERWER: I'm barely above 500.

S. O'BRIEN: I've got to consult with Todd on that.


M. O'BRIEN: You'd better call him quickly.

SERWER: Yes. Let's have Soledad do this from now on. Right? I mean, she's the one with the juice.

S. O'BRIEN: Todd, who are we picking? Who are we picking, Todd?


S. O'BRIEN: All right, Andy, thanks.

SERWER: She's the one with the juice.

S. O'BRIEN: Still to come this morning, one of the biggest movie stars in America has gone missing. Who's stealing SpongeBob SquarePants? The "90-Second Pop" gang is trying to crack that mystery up next on AMERICAN MORNING.


S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. It is "90-Second Pop" for a Friday. The gang is all here. Sarah Bernard, contributing editor for "New York" magazine. B.J. Sigesmund, staff editor for "US Weekly." And Jessica Shaw from "Entertainment Weekly."

Good morning.




S. O'BRIEN: We've been talking about it all morning. Who's stealing SpongeBob?

SIGESMUND: Well, I'll tell you a little bit of batch of information. Last month...

SHAW: It could have been (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

SIGESMUND: Yes. Last month, Burger King restaurants across the country received these 9-foot high and 9-foot wide, 50-pound inflatable balloons of SpongeBob SquarePants tied to a promotional campaign for the movie, which came out a couple of weeks ago. Now, as the movie has done really well, it's made about $60 million, almost 50 of these balloons have been stolen across the country from Florida to Utah.

S. O'BRIEN: So who is stealing them?

SIGESMUND: Kids probably are getting up in the middle of the night, getting on to the roofs of these Burger Kings. Well, one of them -- I say "kids" figuratively. One of them turned up at an off- campus party at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I would have loved to have one.



SHAW: That's my question.

SIGESMUND: Exactly. And then another one turned up on eBay, but eBay was very quick to point out that they....

S. O'BRIEN: It was stolen property?

SIGESMUND: Yes, stolen property, and you can't sell that on eBay. So if anyone watching... S. O'BRIEN: You can't sell it.

SIGESMUND: ... if you see on eBay, report it to authorities immediately.

S. O'BRIEN: You can sell a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich, not the stolen SpongeBob.

BERNARD: The story is absolutely ridiculous. I honestly think it is people from Nickelodeon and Paramount who are stealing the balloon...

SHAW: Absolutely.

BERNARD: ... just so that we can keep talking about the movie, because "Closer" is coming out this weekend.

S. O'BRIEN: Sure.

BERNARD: And a lot of other things that are going to push it off.

S. O'BRIEN: So this is just a spin on a PR thing.

SHAW: Absolutely. This movie has been out for two weeks. And they're, like, oh, we need some help. Let's send our marketing executives out and steal some balloons.

S. O'BRIEN: Could you imagine a marketing executive in her little high heels and a suit...

SHAW: Right.


BERNARD: You know, 50 pounds, that's a big balloon.


BERNARD: I don't know.


S. O'BRIEN: It's a whodunit. I'm not sure we've solved it this morning. Let's talk about Barry Manilow.

SHAW: Yes!

S. O'BRIEN: By the way, I was in Barry Manilow's fan club when I was little.


S. O'BRIEN: I love him.

SIGESMUND: Cool! S. O'BRIEN: I am so getting...

SHAW: Maybe you'll get a ticket on Valentine's Day opening night.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, I love him.

SHAW: He is getting $60 million for one year at the Las Vegas Hilton.

S. O'BRIEN: Worth every dime.

SHAW: Which is worth every dime, I totally agree, as opposed to Celine Dion, who got 100 million for three. So he's getting pretty much double what she is. I say perfect marriage. Barry Manilow in Las Vegas. He's cheesy. He likes the jazz hands.


SIGESMUND: And, you know...

S. O'BRIEN: Where do you go with this?

SIGESMUND: Barry Manilow has done...

SHAW: I say that in only in a good way.


SIGESMUND: Yes, I mean, he has done really, really well. His last album, "Ultimate Manilow," which came out in 2002.

S. O'BRIEN: I have it.

SIGESMUND: Soledad owns it! I'm sure it's going to sell many, many more copies today. But, yes...



SIGESMUND: And his last tour made, like, $25 million.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes.

BERNARD: I think this is more about what's happened to Vegas, though. I mean, it used to be kind of the place where people went when they had no career anymore. But now it's the ultimate gig. You get more money than you could ever imagine to have a huge show there.


BERNARD: We talk about it on TV. I just want to know how we could get if we took "90-Second Pop" to the Belagio (ph). What do you think? Like 600 bucks?

S. O'BRIEN: I'd do it for free.


S. O'BRIEN: Before we go on to our next question, I have a little something for you guys. Here. Open this up, please. Open this up.


S. O'BRIEN: Open it up. Open it up.

BERNARD: It's going to be a car.

S. O'BRIEN: You know what? Actually...

SIGESMUND: Oh, look at this.

SHAW: Yea!



S. O'BRIEN: I bought each and every one of you a Jaguar for the AMERICAN MORNING giveaway.

BERNARD: Oh, that's so great! I'm going to cry!

S. O'BRIEN: Not. There is this big trend of giveaways. Oprah did it. And then some people do (UNINTELLIGIBLE) giveaways, kind of like sad giveaways.

BERNARD: Absolutely.

S. O'BRIEN: Why now?

BERNARD: Well, Oprah started it, because she gave away a Pontiac actually to everybody in her audience. Just a week ago she gave...

S. O'BRIEN: There they are.

BERNARD: There they are!

SIGESMUND: Just running to them.

BERNARD: And they're all running to see it.

SIGESMUND: Oh, my god!

BERNARD: And she actually gave away $15,000 worth of her favorite things, including a washer and dryer, a television, to a bunch of teachers to thank them for all of their hard work. And what is happening is people are just obsessed with watching this almost kind of reality show on "Oprah." But the thing is other shows have started to copy her. Tony Danza' show...

S. O'BRIEN: What did he give away?

BERNARD: ... he's now giving away trips to Miami.

SHAW: It's so sad.



BERNARD: I know. Everyone is considering it. But the thing is, it's just the ultimate product placement. I don't think people know, or maybe they've figured it out, that it's not Oprah buying these things for you.

S. O'BRIEN: Oh, they know, and they don't care.

BERNARD: Right. It's just...

SHAW: It's the hottest ticket in town, though.

BERNARD: It's the ultimate product placement. If Oprah says this is her favorite television, there's nothing better than that for the company.

SIGESMUND: Yes. But Oprah and the others have gotten smart, too, because remember that whole (UNINTELLIGIBLE) over Oprah and the taxes.


SIGESMUND: Like, you've got a $26,000 Pontiac car, but then you have to pay $7,000 in taxes next year in income taxes. So, they've gotten smarter, and now they're taking care of the taxes.

SHAW: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: Okay, you guys...

SHAW: Here at CNN, no taxes, just the BMW.


S. O'BRIEN: The keys don't open any actual cars.


S. O'BRIEN: Sorry, just a joke.

SHAW: Maybe a taxi ride?

S. O'BRIEN: Maybe it can get you a cab back downtown. You guys, as always, thank you.

Miles -- back to you.

M. O'BRIEN: Where's my envelope? No envelope? (CROSSTALK)

S. O'BRIEN: Sorry.

M. O'BRIEN: Please? A little car? A little car? All right.

In a moment, today's top stories, including baseball's steroid scandal. The sport's biggest star is under the microscope this morning. Find out what he reportedly said to a grand jury about the so-called supplements he used. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


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