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CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN
Doubleday To Publish al Qaeda Book; Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger; Fallujah Residents Hopeful To Vote In Upcoming Election
Aired January 21, 2005 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Aaron is off tonight.
The pomp and pageantry is over for another four years. Then it was back to work at the White House today. President Bush did not mention Iraq directly in his inaugural speech yesterday but Iraq, fair to say, is the most crucial immediate issue facing Mr. Bush in his second term. Iraq is in the program tonight. We're going to cover a lot of other ground as well.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): And upcoming book raises concerns and questions about cashing in on terror, who should profit from the words of the world's most hunted terrorist?
Defending America and our children why school busses could come under attack.
And, one-on-one with the governor of California.
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: The hunger and the desire and this burning desire inside that they want to be somebody and they want to make it and they want to be the best.
O'BRIEN: Is his ultimate goal 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
O'BRIEN: All that and much more in the hour ahead.
We begin with a report that contains graphic images, which may be disturbing especially for children. Almost every day the fighting in Iraq claims more lives and often the victims are civilians and sometimes their deaths are the result of a misunderstanding. A photographer captured one recent tragedy involving an Iraqi family. The horror of it produced an unusually quick apology from the U.S. military.
CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr has the story.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was just after 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, already getting dark, past curfew when U.S. troops fired shots at this car in the northern Iraqi town of Talifar (ph). The U.S. military says the soldiers on foot patrol were alert for suicide car bombs. The photographer who took these pictures watched as the tragedy unfolded.
CHRIS HONDROS, GETTY IMAGES STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER (voice-over): I realized that some shots were going to get fired because I know, I mean I could know -- I knew that the car would have a hard time seeing these camouflaged soldiers, so I sort of scooted off to the side outside of anybody's line of fire and the car kept approaching. I could hear it.
STARR: In moments, it was a nightmare on the street. An Iraqi man and his wife in the front seat killed by U.S. gunfire, six terrified children emerged from the back seat, one slightly wounded, blood everywhere, a small boy bewildered at what he has just seen.
HONDROS: The soldiers when they realized what was going on, they very professionally and empathetically swept into action, picked the kids up. Immediately the medics came over and immediately tried to assess the injuries the children had.
STARR: Soldiers upset as well as they tried to help the children. They took them to a nearby hospital. A U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad says there was no intention to harm innocent civilians. He says, "While the pictures are heart wrenching they also go to show in the moments immediately following, soldiers went from trying to protect their patrol to rendering comfort and assistance to the children suffering a tragic loss."
The military spokesman says procedures were followed. There were hand signals to the driver, warning shots fired and then shots to disable the vehicle and then shots that were fatal. No one may ever know if the Iraqi driver didn't see the soldiers, didn't understand the order to stop or if there was panic.
But with five car bomb attacks in Iraq in the last three weeks against patrols and checkpoints, security concerns are at an all time high, still, the human tragedy.
HONDROS: I remember the captain was adamant about making sure the children were all in a room when the two bodies of the adults were brought in to the morgue in the hospital and he specifically said that he didn't want the children to see anymore.
STARR: The orphaned children now in the custody of the oldest teenager. The military may compensate the family but the faces of this war show their agony. One small Iraqi girl sits at the feet of U.S. soldiers waiting for someone to tell her what happens now.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
O'BRIEN: Chris Hondros, the photographer we just heard from in Barbara's report, joins us by phone from Mosul. He works for Getty Images. Chris thanks for talking with us. From your vantage point could you tell if the driver was ignoring the hand signals and the warning shots or if he just didn't see them and hear them?
HONDROS (by telephone): Well, Soledad, I think it was difficult. It was dusk, I mean really closer to dark and I would imagine that it would be difficult to see the camouflaged soldiers' hand signals under the circumstances.
It was obviously 90 percent dark at that time. The car was approaching and I'm sure by the time the car got into the headlight range of the soldiers they were pretty close and I think the soldiers had to make a split second decision at that point. So, I think probably the driver of the car didn't see the soldiers until they were fairly close and then the events went on from there.
O'BRIEN: It's been described as blood everywhere in the back of that car. What finally was the extent of the injuries among the children?
HONDROS: Incredibly and, you know, when the soldiers engage a car like this, I mean they shoot. They stop the car all together. A number of soldiers shot at the car. I mean there must have been just dozens and dozens of shots and the car was completely penetrated.
Incredibly, the children in the back seat, one had a cut on her finger and a boy had a pretty good little gash on the small of his back probably from a little bit of flying glass. That was pretty much the extent of the children's injuries, which is unbelievable considering the circumstances.
O'BRIEN: Incredibly remarkable actually. They were obviously, as we can see from your photographs, utterly terrified. What did the children say? Did they say anything?
HONDROS: You know to be -- I got from the translator, the American-Iraqi translator, that, you know they were just terrified and one of the teenage girls was saying that, you know, they weren't soldiers obviously. They had no weapons. They were just going home, you know. Why did they shoot at them? They were saying those kind of things. I think the kind of typical thing that people under that kind of shock and stress would say under those circumstances.
O'BRIEN: When it was determined that clearly the vehicle was full of civilians, what was the reaction specifically among the soldiers?
HONDROS: Well, as soon as that was clear, the soldiers swept right in and immediately, you know, started to treat the children and do what they could. They swept the children out of there, out of the back seat taking them to a nearby sidewalk.
The medics came out to assess the injuries to the children. The bodies of the adults were placed in body bags and whisked away. And then after maybe 15 minutes of treating the children on the street there, the whole convoy of heavy armored vehicles went to the local hospital and took the children and bodies of the adults there.
O'BRIEN: In your mind what do you think the photographs that we've been showing during our interview, of course, what do you think they captured? Do you think you've captured confusion during wartime? Do you think you've captured heightened tensions as the Iraqis head toward their vote? Do you think you've just captured a horrible misunderstanding?
HONDROS: I think it's clearly a horrible misunderstanding and I, you know, I hope that the photos show some of the reality of war you know. Nowadays, especially I think people want wars to be fought in un-warlike ways and they're not and I don't think they ever have been.
And these kinds of incidences are the things that happen in wars all the time, friendly fire instances and mistakes and, you know, whenever you're dealing with a wartime situation these kinds of things happen. And even if we don't want them to happen or think they don't really happen, they do and this kind of incident happens all the time in Iraq.
So, I hope that these photos just shed some light on the ambiguities and real difficulties of this war and any war and I hope that people keep this in mind and won't make the decision to go to war in the future.
O'BRIEN: The photos are remarkable. Chris Hondros, the photographer, Chris thank you for joining us from Mosul by phone this evening.
Two other notes from Iraq, the country's interim defense minister said today the former Iraqi exile leader, Ahmed Chalabi, will be arrested on Saturday and handed over to Interpol to face bank fraud charges in Jordan. Mr. Chalabi was a key U.S. ally leading up the war in Iraq but fell out of favor when the pre-war intelligence that he supplied failed to pan out.
And, with Iraq's elections just nine days away more violence today in a largely Sunni town south of Baghdad, a suicide bomber drove an ambulance into a Shiite wedding party killing several people, wounding at least 38 others.
We have dramatic and heartbreaking images from Iraq on such a steady basis that it's hard to fathom how Iraqis are feeling about their country and themselves as they prepare for the upcoming elections.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour has been taking the pulse of Iraqis with someone who really is in a position to know.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The last time we sat in on Amal Al-Mudaress' talk show was in June just before the U.S. handed sovereignty back to Iraq. Then we heard a torrent of complaints about everything from violence to chronic shortages. So, what's changed in these seven months?
AMAL AL-MUDARESS, TALK SHOW HOST (through translator): The security in the country is at its worst. We are in a race with death. We never know when it will get us. With all these explosions death is just seconds away.
AMANPOUR: We meet Amal again the morning after another bloody Baghdad day, at least 26 people killed in a series of suicide bombs and every day seems to bring assassinations and more violence, even to her colleagues.
(on camera): Since we were last here in June, the number of this station's employees who have been killed has doubled from eight to 16 people. In addition, two are missing and presumed kidnapped, including the general manager.
(voice-over): But this is also a national holiday and for just one day, Amal's listeners want to laugh and forget their troubles. Above all they want to hope.
"My biggest wish for all Iraqis is that peace and security will prevail" says Saba (ph).
Out in a Baghdad park, families try to enjoy this Eid holiday but many say they don't have enough money to buy the traditional new holiday clothes for their children. Unemployment is still high like the violence.
"We're happy because it's Eid," says Suad (ph) "but we're sad because there is no security or stability. We live in a miserable situation. We don't have electricity, water or kerosene for heating and we don't know when these problems will be solved."
As President Bush begins another four-year term, Amal's listeners wonder what happened to all the promises he made them.
AL-MUDARESS (through translator): To be honest, the Iraqi people are not concerned whether Bush goes through his second or third term but they are concerned that reconstruction should start in their own country and to solve the problems of shortages and violence.
AMANPOUR: But still they hope, the same hopes they had seven months ago on the eve of sovereignty.
"I wish for Iraq to be secure and for all these shortages to go away" says Abul Hamid (ph). "I want Iraq to become strong and I want to be able to walk in the street and be proud to be an Iraqi."
Christiane Amanpour CNN, Baghdad, Iraq.
O'BRIEN: Iraq, as we said at the top of the program, is a big part of the backdrop as President Bush begins his second term but it is not the only focus. Inaugural speeches are often full of grand visions and yesterday's was no exception. While short of specifics, Mr. Bush sent a clear message about where U.S. foreign policy is heading.
Here's CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give them a clear mind, a warm heart.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A blessing for President Bush at his inaugural prayer service marked the end of the pomp and circumstance ushering in the president's second term. Washington and the world now focused on Mr. Bush's agenda, his vow to make democracy the centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty we will stand with you.
MALVEAUX: The message was seen by some Bush critics and political observers as a potential call to arms, a perceived warning to nuclear powers like North Korea and Iran that, like Iraq, they could be next.
KEN POLLACK, SABAN CENTER: I think we need to expect that governments around the world are going to see this as a potential threat.
MALVEAUX: Analysts point to some of the U.S.' strongest allies in the war on terror, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as some of the worst human rights abusers as designated by the U.S. State Department.
Political analysts say the challenge for the Bush administration will be in striking a balance between rewarding its allies who have cooperated in the war on terror and holding those nations accountable for instituting democratic reforms.
MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: We're going to have to provide economic and other incentives and threats in order to push countries towards a democratic path.
MALVEAUX (on camera): Analysts say among them China and Russia. President Bush faces a test to see just how persuasive he can be in pushing forth his brand of democracy next month when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Europe.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, the White House.
O'BRIEN: Ahead on NEWSNIGHT, profiting from hate, what does a publisher have to do to avoid accusations of cashing in on terror?
And, "Defending America," three years after 9/11 why is the FBI still struggling to recruit Arab agents?
Around the world tonight this is NEWSNIGHT.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) O'BRIEN: There's a buzz in publishing circles today about a forthcoming book called the "Al Qaeda Reader." The book will include writings by bin Laden and other key terror figures in al Qaeda's high command, like Ayman al-Zawahiri. No one is seriously questioning Doubleday's right to publish the material but what about the profits the book might generate?
With me now is one of the most respected men in publishing Peter Osnos, CEO of the Public Affairs Division of Perseus Books, modest as well I might add. Doubleday is now saying that they're going to use part of the profits after expenses and give that to a charity still yet to be determined. How critical do you think that move is and do you think does that go a long way in staving off any potential criticism?
PETER OSNOS, CEO, PUBLIC AFFAIRS BOOKS: Well, I think obviously it does. A big issue here is how do you turn something like a manifesto of rage into a commodity? It's going to be for sale. People are going to find it in the stores. They're going to take money and put it on the table for it.
The issue is what happens to that money and I don't think Doubleday ever could have possibly intended that they would just take the money and run. I think that what happened here is that once they realized what they had that they understood that it had to be treated in an unusual or special way.
O'BRIEN: There are critics who say this is an attempt to cash in on the deaths of 3,000 people. Do they have any point?
OSNOS: Well, you can be sure that the people at Doubleday don't intent to cash in on anybody's death. What they're trying to do and what all publishers do is provide information but this is a very special case. Osama bin Laden and his colleagues really mean very evil things and they say very evil things about us, about the west, about much of the world.
So, what they have to say should be put in context and I think that the whole issue here is how this material is presented, the form in which it's presented, the way it's explained. And I think what happens to the money is one of those issues.
O'BRIEN: Let's talk about the form. What do you advise doing certain transcripts and then explanation, analysis, framing it that way?
OSNOS: Yes. Yes. I think that's what, I mean had I been the person who was offered the book and had I chose to publish it that certainly would be the way that I would do it. No, we are, you know, there's an old American adage, you know, that sunlight is the best disinfectant.
We cannot ever be afraid of information but providing context for that information, where it comes from, first of all the most important issue here and I assume that they're going to take great care with this, let's make sure it's authentic that it has to be -- you have to be 100 percent sure that the material is real that it wasn't concocted somewhere in a garage by some guy who is making money. We all know that documents can be a problem, so let's be sure it's real and then have people who are experts explain the meaning of what these documents say.
O'BRIEN: How does this circumstance differ, do you think, than the Unabomber's Manifesto, than Hitler's "Mein Kampf"?
OSNOS: Well, the Unabomber's Manifesto was published in full as a form of blackmail. The suggestion was that he would go on doing what he was doing unless the thing was published in full and newspapers had a real problem in that. In the end, they published it because they felt there was some news value in it but it was a very difficult choice.
"Mein Kampf" was originally published as a book of philosophy. Now the fact is it's still published today. It's still available today but, as far as I know, all of the proceeds go into public education. Well that makes sense doesn't it? We should have the ability to read these things but I don't think any publisher thinks that they should make a ton of money off it.
O'BRIEN: And there's a strange legal issue isn't there because to some degree the writer of the treatise gets rights to the royalties potentially?
OSNOS: Well, except in this case it's sort of a public domain document. I suspect that Osama bin Laden is perfectly happy. In fact, somewhere in his cave he and his pals are probably giggling over this whole controversy. Somehow, you know, an American publisher has gotten into trouble for wanting to publish Osama bin Laden. It's kind of ironic. It is our system. He's never going to get any royalties. In the end, I fully expect that this money is going to go to a good cause.
O'BRIEN: Expect it to be a success?
OSNOS: You know that's a very good question. I suspect that there are some people who will want to read it but not a whole lot and will want to pay for it a lot less.
O'BRIEN: Peter Osnos nice to see you. Thank you very much for your insight, appreciate it.
In Detroit this week, FBI officials met with Muslim and Arab leaders, part of a nationwide effort to help improve relations between two groups with mutually high levels of distrust and suspicions. More than three years after 9/11, the agency still has fewer than two dozen FBI agents of Arab descent and is making little progress in its recruitment efforts.
With some reasons why here's CNN's Justice Department Correspondent Kelli Arena.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Khalil Salem is a 24-year-old college student living near Washington. He's Palestinian and says he believes the FBI has a lot of preconceived notions about Arab Americans.
KHALIL SALEM, COLLEGE STUDENT: Oh, there's a terrorist. I mean that's one of them.
ARENA: Salem, a criminal justice major, says he's applied for a job as an FBI agent. He says the more Arabs there are within the bureau the better off people like him will be.
SALEM: I had an FBI agent come to my house or wherever and ask me questions. He was Arab American and we could communicate on that level, it would be much different. I wouldn't feel as threatened.
ARENA: Salem is a rare find. The FBI has a critical need for agents and translators who are fluent in languages spoken in the Middle East and Asia but recruitment efforts have been disappointing.
Privately, FBI officials say there are only about 20 Arab American agents in the whole bureau. Officially, the bureau says it does not administratively classify its employees in that manner.
The FBI director says recruitment is a problem across the board due to issues like low pay. But with al Qaeda as motivated as ever to strike, he admits there is a more urgent need for Arabs and Muslims on the payroll.
ROBERT MUELLER, FBI DIRECTOR: Tremendously important to the organization to have diversity. It's also important to have particularized skills to address the challenges of the future.
ARENA: In fact, the 9/11 Commission last year underscored the lack of agents as a priority six for the FBI. Commission Jamie Gorelick says the shortage makes the U.S. more vulnerable.
JAMIE GORELICK, 9/11 COMMISSIONER: Obviously if we had greater insight into the Muslim community so that we could assess whether there were dangers percolating there we would be safer.
ARENA: She adds the focus should not only be on recruitment but also on establishing a stronger relationship with the Arab American community. It's a daily challenge for Michael Mason, the head of the FBI's D.C. field office. He says the flow of information from the Arab American community to the FBI is crucial.
MIKE MASON, FBII D.C. FIELD OFFICE DIR.: That if people see things that they know are anomalous behavior, they know something is out of sorts, we hope that they will call us. We hope that they will call their local police but call somebody. We don't want them afraid of that initial contact with the FBI that somehow we're going to be the snake that turns around.
ARENA: Mason has been meeting regularly with Arab American leaders since the September 11th attacks and is currently working with them on a pamphlet to help Arabs, Muslims and Sikhs who may feel threatened by the FBI and its antiterrorism efforts.
It is worthwhile to deliberate. It's a good thing.
ARENA: Abdallah Al-Zuabi, the national field director for the Arab American Institute, is also working to improve relations but for a different reason to make sure the rights of Arabs and Muslims are not abused.
ABDALLAH AL-ZUABI, ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE: Just following up on our FBI meeting.
ARENA: He says the meetings with the FBI have helped foster understanding but says there's a long way to go to establish trust within his community.
AL-ZUABI: Unless there's more examples of positive and constructive and respectable dealings with the community it's hard to convince them otherwise.
ARENA: Al-Zuabi, a Jordanian, has lived in the United States for most of his life. He says before September 11th the FBI had virtually no relationship with his community.
AL-ZUABI: We're not going to wake up one day and the Arab American community is going to feel, you know, that they feel comfortable and safe and they respect the law enforcement community. That's not going to happen. What you're going to see is a gradual ease into a new situation.
ARENA: Despite his best efforts and the urgent need, Al-Zuabi says it may take a generation or more for real change. It's a frustrating reality for the FBI charged with doing all it can to prevent another attack on U.S. soil.
Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.
O'BRIEN: Coming up on NEWSNIGHT, why school busses may be the ultimate soft target for terrorists and what's being done to protect them.
Also ahead, from (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to politician on the move but where is Governor Schwarzenegger headed next?
From New York this is NEWSNIGHT.
O'BRIEN: In the new normal, this much is clear. Defending America requires a great deal of imagination. If commercial jets can become missiles and shoes can become bombs, what's to prevent a school bus from becoming the next target?
It is not a rhetorical question, as David (r)MDNM¯Mattingly reports.
JIM ROBERTS, SCHOOL BUS DRIVER: This first little girl we pick up, her mom is a schoolteacher.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jim Roberts has been behind the wheel of a school bus for nearly 30 years in Georgia, a state among national leaders in school and bus security. And now, in addition to driving the bus, Roberts is also its first line of defense in case of a terrorist attack.
(on camera): Once you slam the door in their face, then what do you do?
ROBERTS: Well, if I could, I would take off.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): With children as passengers, the yellow and black buses are considered possible targets. Drivers like Roberts are trained with one goal in mind, keep the terrorists off the bus, because the alternative would be disastrous.
In Douglasville, Georgia, west of Atlanta, police train for the worst-case scenario, terrorists holding hostage a bus full of children. Most scenarios like this end in bloodshed. And no matter how much they train, young casualties will always be a possibility.
LT. GARY SPARKS, DOUGLASVILLE POLICE SPECIAL OPS: We're going to have go in there and neutralize the situation.
MATTINGLY (on camera): Neutralize, bloodshed. Somebody is going to get killed.
SPARKS: Possible. Possible.
ROBERTS: They can put dangerous things in a lot of different disguises. So...
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Roberts has to rely most on his eyes, constantly looking for suspicious people, vehicles and packages, the same life-saving practices used by soldiers in Iraq. His only weapons of defense are the push-button doors he can slam shut and the two-way radio he can use to call for help. Roberts admits to feeling the pressure.
ROBERTS: Sometimes it gets to you a little.
MATTINGLY (on camera): In what way?
ROBERTS: It's depressing that people want to go around killing other people. It wasn't meant to be that way.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): This month, the National Organization of School Transportation Officials called school buses a soft target for those who would attempt to harm our children. The group called for more attention on bus security, citing the deadly school attack in Beslan, Russia, the discovery of building plans from U.S. schools on a computer disk in Iraq, and the arrest of a Minnesota man alleged ties to al Qaeda once licensed to drive school buses.
But this international connect-the-dots does not lead to a specific threat.
CHARLIE GAUTHIER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NASDPTS: The last thing in the world we want to do as a nation, as an industry, is to scare mom and dad into thinking that the school bus, which provides the safest form of transportation for their children, is not a secure means of transportation.
MATTINGLY (on camera): The problem with school buses is the opportunity they represent. Think about it, a half-million bright yellow buses transporting 25 million kids, picking up and dropping off at the same locations at the same times every single school day.
(voice-over): It is a simple formula of abundance, plus predictability that equals schools this concern about school bus security. And some experts say they are most alarmed at how few school officials have been doing the math.
(on camera): If you had to gauge the level of concern on the part of school systems across the country, what color would they be at right now?
FRANK O'HARE, TRANSIT SECURITY EXPERT: They wouldn't even be in the spectrum of the color.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): On a cold and rainy New York street, transit security expert Frank O'Hare paints an equally dreary picture of school bus readiness.
(on camera): Every single school system has to be aware of this vulnerability they have with their buses, right?
MATTINGLY: What percentage of them are actually doing something about it?
O'HARE: A very small percentage. I've gone around the country. And what I've found is, a lot of them planning to do it. When I question, what are they doing right now, they're not really doing anything right now. They're only in the planning stage.
ROBERTS: Everything looks pretty good so far.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Drivers with Roberts' level of training remain in the minority. Security advocates hope someday soon, all drivers will start the day inspecting for signs of sabotage.
ROBERTS: I'm looking for anything strange.
MATTINGLY: And looking for bombs.
(on camera): Did you know what a terrorist was when you started this job?
ROBERTS: We didn't have them, not in this country. It was -- it's different.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): The challenge is to keep pace with the rapidly changing times and to stay one stop ahead of anyone intending to do harm.
David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
O'BRIEN: Still to come on NEWSNIGHT, a technology that could potentially trace a terror bomb back to its source, why hasn't it been deployed?
And a fascinating interview with a politician who understands how to pull his punches.
This is NEWSNIGHT around that world.
O'BRIEN: Science has long played a crucial role in national defense, which brings us to the next stop in our "Defending America" series. About a year ago, homeland security officials warned that al Qaeda or other terrorists could smuggle ammonium nitrate bombs on board trains or buses. Tonight, we meet a scientist who has helped develop a way to trace these bombs to their sources. Why, then, is his invention not being used?
Here's CNN's Daniel Sieberg.
DALE SPALL, NANOTECHNOLOGIST: Well, my dad started me fly- fishing when I was 6. Before that, I was a bait fisherman. I generally fish where there aren't any people. So it's the solitude. The smell of the river is nice, too.
DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To see him cast his line on the Rio Grande in this pristine part of New Mexico, you wouldn't suspect Dale Spall works at the crossroads of science and security.
SPALL: A lot of the guys in the original Manhattan Project would come down here during a break and they would sit around next to the river, where it was fairly cool.
SIEBERG: Bill's fishing spot is just a few miles from where the atomic bomb was invented, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the brain trust for the nation's defense and the place Dale worked for more than 20 years. And he says there's a parallel between science and fishing.
SPALL: You spend a lot of your time casting, a little bit of your time catching and most of the time they're not very big. SIEBERG: Dale's work isn't big in a literal sense. In fact, it's one of the tiniest used in homeland security, nanotechnology. You can't even see it under a microscope.
SPALL: A micron is 1/150th of the diameter strand of hair. So anything smaller than that is a nanoparticle.
SIEBERG (on camera): And there would be one trillion of those.
SPALL: There's approximately a trillion in this vial.
SIEBERG (voice-over): Dale is holding a sample of ammonium nitrate, ordinary fertilizer for farmers and a common ingredient in explosives.
SPALL: This is the explosive of choice for terrorists. This is what formed almost all of the IRA's explosions in Ireland and England. And this is what caused Oklahoma City.
SIEBERG: What you can't see is Dale's creation, more than a trillion tiny tracer molecules chemically attached to these little white prills. Even after an explosion, the molecules attached to the prills survive the blast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get them back!
SIEBERG: Dale's stubborn molecules would have helped investigators in the Oklahoma City. The tracers he invented can act as invisible tattletales for whomever tries to build a bomb.
SPALL: These are nanoparticles that we make.
SIEBERG: Tracers can be added during manufacture and, like a chemical fingerprint, make each batch unique.
SPALL: You could trace this back to which plant it was made, when it was made and all the way down the distribution point, including where it was sold. If you remember, in Oklahoma City, they were tracking that by trying to track sales receipt. They finally found a sales receipt, but that was only after thousands of man hours of checking all the possible places where it could have been bought.
SIEBERG (on camera): I just purchased this 50-pound of ammonium nitrate at a local hardware store. It's about enough to blow a tree stump out of your front yard, which is a fairly common use. Anyone can buy this stuff at more than 10,000 outlets in the U.S. alone.
Now, if the material had molecular tracers in it, you wouldn't need a receipt to track down the buyer. But, at present, manufacturers are not required to put the tracers in their product.
(voice-over): The last report on this topic from the National Academy of Sciences released seven years ago includes that, "Additives that improve detection of explosives before detonation or determine their origins after a blast are not yet practical enough for broad use in the United States." (on camera): Does it frustrate you in some way that it's not being implemented in this situation?
SPALL: Oh, definitely, yes. It's a perfectly good solution. It just hasn't been implemented for a wide variety of reasons. A lot of the stuff we do ends up that way. It's deemed too expensive.
SIEBERG (voice-over): Not because of the technology itself is expensive, adding only 3 to 7 cents per ton, but because of the extensive paperwork that would be required. Dale is now with a private company, Authentix, and some of its technology is being used in the airport security.
SPALL: Over here are the IMS spectrometers that we use.
SIEBERG (on camera): The high-tech sniffers.
SPALL: These are high-tech sniffers. And this is what is used in the airports.
SIEBERG (voice-over): And Dale's molecular tracers also help authenticate pharmaceuticals, both in the drugs themselves and on the packaging.
JENNIFER DUKE, AUTHENTIX: We are mixing the ink that will be used as a packaging marker for pharmaceutical packaging.
SIEBERG (on camera): It sounds like it's the tiniest defense.
SPALL: Yes, it is, but it's also the most effective.
SIEBERG (voice-over): Dale has spent the better part of 30 years here and he believes strongly that science of all sizes helps the nation stay one step ahead in a dangerous world.
SPALL: People that work at the national laboratory basically feel that this is something that they're doing for the security of the country. It's not just a job. It's more than that. I know that sounds corny, but there's 15,000 people up here that believe that. And I'm one of them.
SIEBERG: Daniel Sieberg, CNN, Los Alamos, New Mexico.
O'BRIEN: Ahead on NEWSNIGHT, Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about the people who inspire him, how he conquers failure, and why he takes risks.
From New York, this is NEWSNIGHT.
O'BRIEN: As a way of honoring and celebrating CNN's first 25 years, we've created a series called "Then and Now" to take a look back at some of the newsmakers and events that have defined this past quarter of a century.
Tonight, we look at Ken Starr, the man whose name evokes such vivid memories of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and President Clinton's impeachment. An update now on what he's doing today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
KEN STARR, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: Special prosecutor Ken Starr spent five years and $50 million investigating President Clinton. What started out as a probe into the Whitewater land deal culminated in the 445-page Starr report, detailing a salacious relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and other allegations.
STARR: The president chose deception, a pattern of calculated behavior over a span of months.
UNIDENTIFIED CORRESPONDENT: President Clinton survived the results impeachment. Starr stepped into private life and out of the beltway. He and his wife, Alice, now live in Southern California. They have three children. Star is the dean of the Pepperdine University Law School and practices law in L. A. Starr says very little about the Clinton investigation, but in a recent interview, he called it challenging times that made his faith deeper.
O'BRIEN: Throughout 2005, CNN will take a look back at the major stories from the last 25 years as we mark 25 years of broadcasting. We'll revisit the stories that touched our lives and find out what happened to yesterday's newsmakers.
More is still ahead. We'll be right back.
O'BRIEN: Love or hate his politics, Arnold Schwarzenegger is an undeniably fascinating character both on stage and off. Well, now that he is firmly fixed in the national spotlight as governor of California, questions turn to his ultimate political ambitions.
In a wide-ranging interview with CNN's Carlos Watson, Schwarzenegger talked about risk, ambition and his heroes.
GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: I had, you know, big visions. I mean, when I was a kid, I had visions of coming to America and being a body building champion and making millions of dollars.
CARLOS WATSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You really had that vision?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Yes, absolutely.
WATSON: Where did all this ambition come from?
SCHWARZENEGGER: The hunger and the desire, and this burning desire inside that I want to be somebody and I want to make it and I want to be the best. I think it came from growing up in a little village and wanting to get out of there and wanting to kind of be part of something big. And for me, America symbolized that.
WATSON: Have you ever had a major failure, something that to this day you still regret?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, you know, I've had failures. I mean, I've been in competitions that I didn't win. I considered that a major failure. I've done movies that I thought that were going to be a big hit and they went in the toilet.
WATSON: Which one?
SCHWARZENEGGER: "Last Action Hero." We thought this was a great concept and it is a movie that is going to go through the roof.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LAST ACTION HERO")
SCHWARZENEGGER: A bomb!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHWARZENEGGER: And it didn't. You know, so you have to just look at this and say, Well, that didn't work, and then just move on. You can dwell on it.
But you know, there are sometimes things that you want to make happen and it doesn't happen. See, it's all about risks. Otherwise you don't know how far. So you take risks and more risks and more risks, and eventually you're going to fail. And then it sets you back and then you start all over again and you take risks and risks. So, that's what I do.
WATSON: Your next risk, assuming everything that goes well here in California. You know there's a speculation about, if there's a change in the Constitution, would you run for president?
SCHWARZENEGGER: I don't even want to think about it.
WATSON: Not at all?
SCHWARZENEGGER: No. I'm just thinking about one thing, and this is fixing this. Because it's like a movie. You don't have to worry about your next movie and the movie after that. Make your movie that you're doing right now perfect. Make it a 10.
If it's a 10 and it goes through the roof in the box office, then everything will be laid out for you anyway. So why worry about it? So the same is with this. This has to work. I am totally committed to California. I'm totally committed to turn the state around.
WATSON: When you look for inspiration in politics, what politicians, either current or in the past, do you admire and do you draw inspiration from, thinking about how to govern?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Nelson Mandela is one of the persons. Mikhail Gorbachev, he's another one. Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. So these were people that really made things happen.
WATSON: Why do you admire Nelson Mandela? What about these people stand out to you as figures to admire?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, first of all, I think Nelson Mandela, I mean, he is a guy that has never involved in politics or running anything. And then all of a sudden, he's running the country.
And the reason why he could really run it, is because it was a time for an outsider to come in and to bring people together.
And Mikhail Gorbachev is another one. He was brought up during the communist system, worked his way up step by step to become the mayor of Moscow. Then he became the head of the party and then all of a sudden, there he was, President Gorbachev.
And then to look at the system, the communist system and say, This is wrong. It's a dictatorship. There's no democracy. We are not fair for the people. We aren't representing the people the right way.
And to dismantle, slowly but surely, communism, I mean, that man is a huge hero for me. And it's like something that is very rarely you see.
So those are the people that I admire and that everyone ought to admire.
O'BRIEN: Carlos Watson will be back Sunday night with a special edition of his program, "OFF TOPIC." You can catch Carlos starting at 10:00 p.m. in the East.
We're going to wrap it up when we return from New York. This is NEWSNIGHT.
O'BRIEN: Coming up Monday on "AMERICAN MORNING," she went from college student to spy for the CIA. We're going to meet a woman who tells us what she thinks is wrong with America's top secret agency and why she came in from the cold. That's Monday morning on "AMERICAN MORNING," starting at 7:00 a.m. Eastern. That is it for tonight. Aaron is back on Monday.
I'm Soledad O'Brien. Have a great night.
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