The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Militant Muslims Demonstrate in London; Saddam Pictures Offend Many; Laura Bush Continues Travel; South Korean Government Funds Stem Cell Research; Army Recruiters Cheat to Make Quotas

Aired May 20, 2005 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: How will the Muslim world react?
America's secret weapon. First Lady Laura Bush in the Middle East mending fences. Tonight, Laura, Condi and Karen Hughes, the female faces behind U.S. foreign policy.

Is your kid at risk from bullies? Tonight, a teen on a school bus minding his own business gets ambushed by bullies. Tonight, what happened to these kids and what you need to know before putting your kid on a bus.

And artwork valued at more than $300 million vanished in the middle of the night. No leads. No suspects. Tonight, who could have pulled off the greatest art heist in history?

ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is a two-hour special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: And good evenings again.

People walking by their newsstands in England today saw something they cannot ever have expected to see on the front page of the tabloid called "The Sun." And then gawkers (ph) in a great many other places saw it too. This picture of Saddam Hussein, the former strong man of Iraq, in his underwear. Few Americans care about his embarrassment, of course. But many in the Muslim world do. Even those who are glad to have him toppled and in prison. And then there's the embarrassment of the U.S. military, which clearly was unable to keep this and other humiliating images of Saddam private. And we don't know whether his face is read, but a lot of other faces are right now. More now from CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): "The Sun" newspapers flashed the picture of the underwear clad former dictator on its front page. The British tabloid claimed the photo, along with several others showing Saddam Hussein in captivity, were handed over by U.S. military sources who had said hoped to deal a body blow to the resistance in Iraq. Instead, the unauthorized release dealt the U.S. military another public relation's nightmare by provoking outrage from many Iraqis.

UNKNOWN FEMALE, (through translator): It is not acceptable to show a president in such way. It must respect the name of a president all over the world, regardless of if he is a dictator.

UNKNOWN MALE, (through translator): What we saw on TV is not right. Saddam Hussein is an Iraqi and we are a civilize country.

MCINTYRE: In a statement, the U.S. military in Baghdad said the photos "were taken in clear violation of DoD directives and possibly Geneva Convention guidelines" and expressed disappointment that "someone responsible for the security, welfare, and detention of Saddam would ... provide these photos for public release."

Military sources tell CNN, based on the way Saddam looks and the backgrounds, the images appear to have been taken between January and April of 2004 and may have come from a security camera that monitors Saddam around the clock. The military says it's taking the unauthorized release very seriously.

The last thing the U.S. needs is a repeat of the violent demonstrations that followed an erroneous report that military investigators confirmed U.S. interrogators desecrate a Koran. "Newsweek" magazine retracted the story and President Bush downplayed the idea that the Saddam pictures could spark similar protests.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think a photo inspires murderers. I think they're inspired by an ideology that is so barbaric and backwards that it's hard for many in the western world to comprehend how they think.

MCINTYRE: Some critics argue this video of Saddam Hussain, which was released by the Pentagon shortly after his capture in December of 2003 violates the Geneva Convention prohibition against subjecting POWs to insults in public curiosity. But the Pentagon argued that was outweighed by the need to show the Iraqi people their former dictator captured in a spider hole was not coming back.

Even though Saddam Hussein remains under U.S. control, technically he is in Iraqi custody and faces Iraqi justice. But while the Pentagon argues he's no long a POW entitled to Geneva protections, it also says that's not the issue since the photos violate U.S. military rules.

The military says only a small number of people have access to the super secure jail where Saddam Hussein is being held and that personal cameras are banned from the facility. The U.S. is promising an aggressive investigation.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


COOPER: The Giovanni Di Stefano, one of Saddam Hussain's attorneys, has other concerns than his clients front page humiliation.


GIOVANNI DI STEFANO, SADDAM HUSSEIN'S ATTORNEY: Never mind about the photographs of Saddam Hussein in his underpants. That will be dealt with by the Pentagon and their aggressive inquiry. But I would suggest that Mr. Rumsfeld, under President Bush's aggressive inquiry, is into why no charges have still been laid against the President Saddam Hussein after 19 months in custody and only two legal visits within that 19 months.


COOPER: Well, perhaps he didn't get the memo because Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer speaking today in Jordan says he plans to sue "The Sun" and "everyone who helped in showing these pictures."

Meantime in England where this current Saddam flap began, anti- American and anti-British sentiment among Muslims seems to be growing more virulent. CNN's Senior International Correspondent Walter Rodgers reports.



CROWD: Down, down USA.

WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): About 300 Muslims gathered outside the U.S. embassy in London showing a less than merciful face to political Islam. They called for the killing of Americans, the death of the president of the United States, the death of the British prime minister, the bombing of Britain the unthinkable in the U.S. Capitol.

UNKNOWN MALE: Nuke, nuke Washington.

CROWD: Nuke, nuke Washington.

UNKNOWN MALE: Bomb, bomb Pentagon.

CROWD: Bomb, bomb Pentagon.

RODGERS: Some of the militant Islamic rhetoric smacked of incitement to commit murder.

UNKNOWN MALE: Death to Tony Blair.

CROWD: Death to Tony Blair.

UNKNOWN MALE: Death to George Bush.

CROWD: Death to George Bush.

RODGERS: A British policeman said the language was offensive and unpleasant in the extreme. But they overlooked that. Also overlooked, the fact that more than a few of the young men in the crowd covered their faces, technically a violation of British law, again, according to police.

UNKNOWN MALE: The only language that we speak today is a language of jihad. RODGERS: Ostensibly, these British Muslim are protesting the alleged desecration of their holy book, the Koran, at the American Detention Center at Guantanamo. That story now retracted by "Newsweek." Still, this former Guantanamo detainee made this accusation.

UNKNOWN MALE: The soldier picked up the Koran and threw it on the floor.

RODGERS: Holding their Koran's high, they called for death and mayhem, praising the destruction of New York's twin towers, saying, the White House is next.

UNKNOWN MALE: The desecration of the White House is to follow. (INAUDIBLE).

George Bush, you will pay.

CROWD: George Bush, you will pay.

UNKNOWN MALE: With your blood. With your blood.

CROWD: With your blood. With your blood.

RODGERS: This rally, remarkable, not so much for the size of the crowd but for the ferocity and virulence of the things said. And before they broke up and went home, meditation. They all prayed.

Walter Rodgers, CNN, London.


COOPER: And then they prayed.

We talked a little while ago with "Washington Post" Diplomatic Reporter Robin Wright in Washington about what the ramifications of all this business might be.


COOPER: Robin, how much do you think these photos of Saddam in his underwear and other photos are going to inflame anti-American sentiment in the Middle East?

ROBIN WRIGHT, "WASHINGTON POST" DIPLOMATIC REPORTER: Well, they come in context of Abu Ghraib, the Koran incident and so it sends a strong signal in the eyes of many Muslims that this is a sign of disrespect. It also comes at a time that Laura Bush is actually in the Middle East to try to send a message to the Arabs, as well as the wider Islamic world, that the United States understands their needs, is trying to help encourage reform and takes their wishes seriously. And so this is going to be a - the timing of this is very unfortunate.

COOPER: "The New York Post" responded to criticism of publishing the pictures of Saddam, they were just one of the papers that did it, with this statement. They said, "Saddam Hussein is a genocidal maniac who tortured, gassed and killed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. The photographs published today by the New York Post show the U.S. military is treating him with a regard he never showed his own people."

As a journalist, I mean, do you have a problem with showing these pictures?

WRIGHT: Well, the issue really is the Geneva Convention and the rule of law. And this comes at a time that we're trying to say that the rule of law should prevail everywhere. And it's a violation of the Geneva Convention. And even though the United States is not officially in charge of the prison where Saddam Hussein is now held, the fact is, U.S. security does provide the perimeter, or does secure the facility.

COOPER: Army Sergeant Eric Sarr (ph), who worked at Guantanamo Bay for U.S. intelligence, says that he witnessed several instances of religious disrespect against Muslims. He recently told "The Christian Science Monitor," "we say we're trying to win the hearts and minds of Muslim people around the word, yet they can see we are using their religion against them."

When does this stop? I mean, is this only (ph) to get worse as this Red Cross report comes out? As we're learning more about what the Red Cross has been petitioning the U.S. government about complaints that have been made over the last couple of years? I mean, have we seen the end of these allegations or is this just the beginning?

WRIGHT: Oh, I suspect we're going to see this play out over the months, potentially the years ahead. But interestingly enough, these pictures are believed to be quite dated. They're not in the last week or two. And in part because of the response during the first year of detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, from 2001 to 2002, that there was a policy developed by the Pentagon that spells out, in a way does not do about the bible, the tar (ph), or any other religious document, how U.S. soldiers should treat the Koran, putting on clean gloves before they touch it and they have to put on the clean gloves in full view of the detainee. They must hold it with both hands and not give preference to the left hand, which is considered - which has special meaning because of Muslim practices of sanitation. That it must - in order to be moved, be placed on a towel, clean towel, dry towel, on the detainee's bed and wrapped and never turned upside down. They are very particular rules to handle the Koran in an attempt to show respect.

COOPER: There was a recent "New York Times" article commenting on the current state of the insurgency in Iraq. And they said, "the insurgents in Iraq are showing little interest in winning hearts and minds among the majority of Iraqis ... [and] this surge in the killing of civilians reflects how mysterious the long-term strategy remains..."

Why do you think the U.S. has not been better adept at turning the sergeant's mistakes to their advantages? I mean there - it seemed right after the elections in January there was a real surge of hope and optimism. You know, we're seeing more attacks now than we have in a long time.

WRIGHT: The fact is, the insurgents have not won the hearts and minds. In many ways they've failed. The problem is, it's going to take a longer time to defeat them or to push them further to the margins. They still have resources. And they still have weaponry. And that's the ugly truth.

COOPER: That's Robin Wright. Thanks very much.

WRIGHT: Thank you.


COOPER: Well, for your information, the evening edition of "The Sun" has yet more leaked photos of Saddam Hussein. CNN's London bureau is working on that and we expect to have them later in the program.

Coming up next on 360, Laura Bush goes global. The first lady traveling to the Mideast to help fix the U.S. image abroad and promote women's rights. She's not the only woman the president is putting on center stage. A look at the three key women in the Bush administration. That's ahead.

Also ahead, false confession. A man claiming he murdered a 10- year-old girl. Yes, this guy. But investigators saying he's lying. Find out why he admitted to a killing he didn't do.

Also ahead tonight, bullies on the bus. The vicious beating of a seventh grader caught on tape. An honor student's life changed in an instant. Could it happen to your kid? We'll talk about that ahead.

First, let's look at your picks. The most popular stories right now on


COOPER: Time now for a look at other stories making headlines right now cross country. Erica Hill joins us with the latest.

Hey, Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS: Hey, Anderson, and happy Friday.

We start with the news the U.S. Army didn't enlist any new soldiers today. And why? Well that, of course, due to recruitment stand-out. Instead the nation's 7,500 Army recruiters went through ethics training. Now that's amid charges of misconduct. In one case, a recruiter allegedly threatened to arrest a young man if he didn't sign up, while others are accuse of helping recruits lie on their applications. An in-depth report on those charges coming up a little later on 360.

This coming from New Jersey where a killer nurse offers tips in catching others. Charles Collin (ph) pleaded guilt to killing 24 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with lethal doses of medicine. This week, he fulfilled his plea deal that helps him avoid the death penalty by meeting with New Jersey's Attorney General and giving him tips of how to deter medical professionals from committing member.

Palm Beach County, Florida, where prosecutors investing Rush Limbaugh's prescription drug use, have asked a judge to open the radio show hosts medical records. A court hearing is scheduled for Monday. The record were seized in December of 2003 but were sealed when Limbaugh's lawyers appealed saying Limbaugh's privacy rights were violated. Last month the Florida Supreme Court denied hearing the appeal.

And from coast-to-coast, ka-ching, the average cost of a wedding this year, a cool $26,327. That coming to us from the survey by the Fairchild Bridal Group. It also said nationwide a total of $125 billion will be spent on weddings. That's about the size of Ireland's gross domestic product.

And that's the latest from HEADLINE NEWS.

And a person -- as a person who's planning a wedding this year, anytime you say wedding, by the way, they jack up the price by like 150 percent.

COOPER: It seems like such a scam in so many ways.

HILL: It's a total scam.

COOPER: Yes. Oh well. Well, at least you're buying into it.

HILL: We're just having pizza and cake.

COOPER: Is that right. All right. I'm still waiting for my invitation.

HILL: We haven't sent them yet. Don't worry.

COOPER: All right. Erica Hill, thanks very much. See you again in about 30 minutes.

This just in, "The Sun" newspaper in Britain has published more photos in its Saturday edition of Saddam Hussein. Photos that the U.S. military says it did not release. Our Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre is following the latest development and has the photos.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Well, Anderson, earlier today Pentagon officials said, you know, if there are pictures of Saddam Hussein, no doubt there are probably pictures of others as well. It turns out that is the case. "The Sun" in their Saturday edition now has published some new pictures. This one we see of Saddam Hussein behind barbed wire apparently praying. He's said to be in a Muslim prayer garb.

But also interestingly, we see some of his indicted co- conspirators as it were. Associates including a picture that appears to shows Ali Hassan al-Majid, dubbed Chemical Ali. He's a cousin of Saddam Hussein. He was the commander in Southern Iraq. He's known as Chemical Ali for his alleged role in using poisonous gas against the Kurds and the Iranians. He's seen. Apparently he's kept at the same facility, which is near the Baghdad Airport, but some distance away from Saddam Hussein, according to "The Sun" newspaper.

Also we see the person nicknamed Chemical Ali. This is Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash. Also known by some as Mrs. Anthrax. She appears in one of the pictures as well. Seen there in her confinement.

These are all people who have been indicted by the Iraqi Tribunal. These pictures are apparently came - come from security or surveillance cameras, but that's all part of the investigation as the U.S. is trying to track down exactly how all these pictures got out.


COOPER: You know, Jamie, what doesn't make sense to me is "The Sun" newspaper saying that the people who gave them these photos wanted the photos published because they wanted to weaken the insurgency. I don't see how releasing a picture of Saddam Hussein praying behind barbed wire is going to weaken the insurgency.

MCINTYRE: Well, frankly, neither does the U.S. military or the Pentagon. There's been some suggestion that the paper may have bought these photographs either from the person who took them or from some middleman. That's going to be part of the investigation. There's only a small number of people who could have had access to these photographs but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy to figure out what that is.

COOPER: All right. Jamie McIntyre, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

First Lady Bush will be on damage control due to the Saddam photos during her three nation Mideast tour. They began just today. She's in Jordan, where tomorrow morning she's going to speak before the World Economic Forum. Her effort to improve America's image abroad is a task she has shared with two other women in the president's circle right now. CNN's Judy Woodruff takes a look at the raw politics overseas.


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over) Demure no more. Laura Bush is going global. Officially, she's promoting human rights for women. Unofficially, she's sprinkling some of her stardust around the Middle East to boost America.

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: We've had terrible happenings that have really, really hurt our image in the United States. And they're not - they were very A-typical. They're not any sort of typical thing from the United States.

WOODRUFF: In one of the world's most turbulent regions, the first lady has turned first ambassador.

LAURA BUSH: I think we'll be - all be safe.

WOODRUFF: Laura Bush is one of three women the president routinely relies on to craft the American image abroad. The second, no surprise, is long-time Bush confidant Condoleezza Rice. This year, the president name the former national security advisor secretary of state. And she took the world by storm. Boots and all. Completing the trio, Karen Hughes, who has been tapped to mastermind the administration's international PR damage control effort. Right now, Laura Bush is its public face.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am sorry that Laura's not here.

WOODRUFF: Understandably, since she's becoming the one of the most globe-trotting first ladies in American history. Following in the footsteps of Hillary Clinton. Who, in her eight years, took more solo trips abroad than any of her predecessors. But the world was a different place then. And Laura Bush's post-9/11 charge is much heavier, with the White House hoping her soft touch will leave a deep imprint.

Judy Woodruff, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Coming up next on 360, false confession. A man set free for a murder he did not commit. So what made him tell police that he did? Covering all the angles on a strange case.

Also tonight, a bus beating caught on tape. A seventh grader, this young man, assaulted by bullies on the bus. It has changed his life forever, he says. What you need to know about what might happen to your kids on a school bus.


COOPER: What follows is very strange and disturbing report about a crime that at least seemed to have been solved. Someone had confessed, after all. The case closed, you would think. Well, you'd be wrong. CNN's Drew Griffin reports.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): To an Indiana town wracked by a methamphetamine drug epidemic, Katie Collman's death was the breaking point. The 10-year-old girl vanished on her way to a local store. Days later, her body found in a ditch. Then, a shocking confession. Charles Hickman told police he killed the girl because she saw someone making meth in the apartments near her home. Today, Jackson County Prosecutor Stephen Pierson says Hickman's confession, his allegation of Katie spotting a meth lab, the details of how he dumped her body, were all lies.

STEPHEN PIERSON, JACKSON COUNTY PROSECUTOR: It's unusual for someone to confess to a crime they did not commit, especially one that potentially carries the death penalty. You should all now have some incite as to why I was - did not decide on the death penalty earlier on in the case because we were looking for corroboration.

GRIFFIN: It took police nine weeks to investigate the details of Hickman's confession. In the meantime, lab technicians worked on physical evidence left behind at the crime scene, including DNA evidence left behind on this little girl's body. The investigation determined Hickman's story was false. The DNA, according to the prosecutor, determined the real killer was 38-year-old Anthony Stockelman, a man from a neighboring town.

UNKNOWN MALE: It doesn't feel better at all. None of it feels good. Just get a little satisfaction knowing that they have some evidence. (INAUDIBLE).

GRIFFIN: Stockelman faces a possible death sentence if convicted. A judge entered a not guilty verdict on his behalf. Charles Hickman remains behind bars, too, on unrelated molestation charges. And according to police source, he is still offering details on a murder that police say he could not have possibly committed.

PIERSON: Mr. Hickman gave, I think, four different statements and then made a couple of more on the sidewalk on the way out of court the last time he was there. He's been all over the board. Couple of them, you know, he confessed. Said he pushed her in and one he said he held her head under water. But that's - as it turns out, that's all false.

GRIFFIN: Prosecutor Pierson says there is no connection whatsoever to Hickman and the man now charged with Katie Collman's murder. And police say, contrary to what they earlier believed, methamphetamine had no role in Katie Collman's death.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Well, a news note now. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announce today that the Justice Department plans to have a much improved sex offender tracking website up and running by mid July. The site is going to make it possible for parents and other concerned citizens to track known offenders not just in their own states but across the country.

Is your kid at risk from bullies? Tonight, a teen on a school bus minding his own business gets ambushed by bullies. Tonight, what happened to these kids and what you need to know before putting your kid on a bus.

And artwork's valued at more than $300 million vanished in the middle of the night. No leads. No suspects. Tonight, who could have pulled off the greatest art heist in history?

This two-hour edition of 360 continues.


COOPER: Well, some would call it a rite of passage. In grade school, many of us had run-ins with bullies and often got some bruises. But what one teenager in Florida got a bus ride home last year was more than horse play, it was nothing short of a beating. It was all caught on tape.

CNN's Gary Tuchman reports now, on the disturbing story and how the young boy and his family are now fighting back.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A 13-year-old boy reflecting on the day that still gives him nightmares. Caught on videotape, a horrifying incident on a school bus in Jacksonville, Florida.

We watched this bus security tape with Simone Small and his mother Sashemia. This is Simone sitting quietly in his seat on the way home. At the time, he was a seventh grader, new to his middle school, a student who likes to study and keep to himself.

Behind him, a boy one year older motioned for additional students to move toward Simone. The older boy takes off his sweatshirt, and stands in front of Simone. And then, brutality begins.

Simone gets punched in the head by the older boy. Other kids on the bus began punching him, too.

(on camera): Could you believe this was happening to you.


TUCHMAN: How scared were you?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Simone tries to defend himself with his arms, but stays in his seat. While other students run around yelling on the bus, the beating continues. It lasts around 20 seconds.

(on camera): Did you feel like getting up and punching someone?

SIMONE SMALL: No, I couldn't feel anything. The pain. Um, my body was numb. I didn't feel like I could move at all.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Simone wonders why the driver doesn't help. And counts the minutes until he gets home to his mother.

SIMONE SMALL: I just gave her a hug, because my mother and grandmother have always, you know, have been the type of people who could help the pain go away.

TUCHMAN: His mother, a widow has a very difficult time watching tape. She has only seen the whole thing once, the day after it was happened when it was shown to her at her son's school. (on camera): What did you say after it was over.

SASHEMIA SMALL, MOTHER: I couldn't talk. I was actually vomiting. Physically sick. I couldn't stop throwing-up. I couldn't stop shaking. Hyperventilating. It took like a moment of using like a teacher's rest room there to even like calm down.

TUCHMAN: Simone suffered bumps and bruises, particularly to his head. Misdemeanor battery charges were filed, seven juveniles were suspended from school and Simone dropped out of the school. He transferred to a different school. And under his mother's watchful eye, is back on the bus with his younger sister. Their mom walks them to and from the bus stop every day.

SASHEMIA SMALL: It's hard for him to be going to get a haircut. I don't trust people with my children anymore at all.

TUCHMAN: Mother and son have filed a lawsuit against the Duval County School Board and the First Student Bus Company, accusing them of negligence, which they deny. The Small's lawyer is Eddie Farrow.

EDDIE FARROW, ATTORNEY: If any one entity did what they were supposed to, this would not have happened.

TUCHMAN: The lawyer says the bus driver should have intervened. And that the school knew some boys on the bus had been bullying Simone previously.

SASHEMIA SMALL: If I didn't send him to school every day, you could arrest him. But once I send him out, he's no one's responsibility? So, in so many words that's like saying oh, yeah, he has to go, but who cares what happens once he's there.

TUCHMAN: In a statement to CNN, the bus company declared it deplores all student on student violence including that perpetrated against Mr. Small. But said it could not comment on pending litigation.

The company says it has since put cameras on all of its school buses. The school board also said it cannot comment on the lawsuit, but shortly after the incident did defend the bus driver.

JOHN FRYER, DUVAL COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT: You're in dangerous liability grounds when you touch a student. So they have to be very, very careful when they intervene and touch a student.

Simone says there was one person on the bus who did intervene.

SIMONE SMALL: That's the girl right there.

TUCHMAN (on camera): She helped you?

SIMONE SMALL: Uh-huh. That was like the person I knew the most.

TUCHMAN: What did she say? What was she saying?

SIMONE SMALL: She was trying, you know...

TUCHMAN: She was keeping everyone away, wasn't she?

SIMONE SMALL: Yes. She was trying to make sure I was OK and everything.

TUCHMAN: Good for her! Did you thank her later?

SIMONE SMALL: Yes, the next day I saw her. The next -- when I saw her, she, you know, came up and gave me a hug and she was the one who was crying.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Simone will go to high school next year. And the public school he zoned for will likely have some of the people beat him going there. But he's hoping he gets accepted to a magnet school in a different part of Jacksonville. As the kids who bullied him, Simone hopes they realize the damage they have done.

SIMONE SMALL: I want them to sit there and see what they did. Because they didn't seem to have any emotion about it when they did it. I want them to see what they did. And something that they will have to live with.

TUCHMAN: Ultimately, this honor role student wants to go to college, specifically Yale, where he would like to study the law.

SIMONE SMALL: I think that people deserve justice for, you know, anything that has happened to them.

TUCHMAN: But for now, Simone says he is concentrating on being a good son and on being courageous. A poster on his wall reminding him what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.


TUCHMAN: The legal actions taken against the teens who participated in the beating are sealed because of their ages. But we talk to the families of two of the youths. They tell us their boys did community service and are now going on with their lives.

One father told us his son is sorry, but he had never been in trouble before and he hasn't been in trouble after. So far as Simone goes, he graduated from the eighth grade today this very day. And expects to hear if he will get accepted to that magnet school by the end of this month -- Anderson.

COOPER: That's great news that he graduated today. I hope he does get accepted. You know childhood is tough enough, but to have bullies on top of it, it's just -- no reason for it.

Gary Tuchman, thanks.

Coming up next on this special edition of 360, a new battle over stem cells. How a breakthrough in South Korea could complicate an already controversial matter. Also ahead tonight, new pictures of a captured Saddam Hussein. Some rather embarrassing in his underwear. Could this mean more image problems for the U.S.? We're going to take a look at that.

And a little later, $300 million mystery. Art masterpieces vanish from a museum leaving a lot of puzzling questions. The biggest art heist in history. We'll take you on the search for answers.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: President Bush has never issued a veto in his presidency, but that may change soon. Today he threatened to veto a bill that would expand public funding for embryonic stem cell research. This after a South Korean scientist announced today a breakthrough. He says his team successfully created batches of stem cells using cloning technology. 360 MD Sanjay Gupta joins us now to sort it all out. Sanjay, we are hearing that South Korean scientists have made this big breakthrough. What is so important about their discovery?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a big breakthrough, Anderson. Couple of reasons, couple of things to keep in mind. It was just about a year ago that we first talked about actually trying to create an individualized stem cell line, just 12 months ago.

Fast forward now to today, and they become already 25 times more efficient at that. That's very significant in the world of medicine, 25 times more efficient at it.

What we're talking about obviously is getting closer to the promise of stem cells. Now, treating spinal cord injuries, curing Parkinson's disease, fixing broken hearts, all those sorts of things. Twenty-five times better is really significant, and they are also getting much better at creating individualized stem cell lines.

Anderson, what that means, for example, is if you were to have kidney failure and require a kidney transplant, obviously the way the system works now, is you get to get on a list and get a kidney transplant. Within years, not now, they are getting closer to actually being able to take a stem cell line and create a kidney specifically for you, Anderson Cooper, a genetic match, no risk of injection. And to transplant that genetically modified kidney into you.

Now, this is all very exciting stuff. We're not there yet, but they really seem to be moving at lightning speed here, Anderson. Twelve months, they're 25 times better at it already.

COOPER: Well, you know, the U.S. usually leads the way in these kind of discoveries. Why aren't -- why aren't these discoveries being made here?

GUPTA: The biggest thing here, Anderson, something we have talked about quite a bit, is where is the money coming from here? Federally-funded money only exists in this country for existing stem cell lines. You can't create stem cell lines in this country, the United States, with federal money right now. So it's just a lack of money. Obviously, a controversial issue for sure, but that's why instead of Boston or Ann Arbor, you're seeing this research taking place in Korea.

COOPER: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, appreciate it. Thanks.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COOPER: Erica Hill from HEADLINE NEWS joins us right now with the latest, about quarter to the hour. Hey, Erica.

HILL: Hey, Anderson.

It is the first, according to organizers in Cuba. A rare display of democracy. More than 100 people gathered outside a house in Havana today, chanting "down with Fidel." That of course a reference to Cuban President Fidel Castro. Still, some opposition groups refused to take part in the rally, saying the event was backed by a Miami- based exile group that supports violence.

Along El Salvador's Pacific coast, the cleanup effort is under way after Hurricane Adrian, the first hurricane to ever hit the country directly, packed winds of almost 75 miles per hour and caused only minor damage, luckily, and some flooding. It is now a tropical depression making its way across Honduras, headed for the Caribbean.

In Frisco, Colorado, a deadly avalanche. An unidentified man if his 40s was alive when crews pulled him out of the snow, but he died shortly after. Authorities don't believe anybody else was caught in the slide, but they have pulled crews off the mountain because of the danger of more avalanches.

And in Maastricht, the Netherlands, starting this summer, tourists will be banned from buying cannabis joints in coffee shops. All part of a pilot program to curb drug tourism, which would allow only those who live in the Netherlands to get high. It's a really interesting story that's definitely sparked a lot of conversation in the newsroom here in Atlanta, Anderson.

COOPER: And how many jokes have people told when they heard that story, be like, oh, better book your trip to Amsterdam soon? Probably a lot, eh?


COOPER: No? None? All right. Maybe it's just me. Thanks very much, Erica, appreciate it. See you again in about 30 minutes.

Coming up next on this special edition of 360, "Star Wars: Episode III" takes the country by force. Get it? Force! A little pun, yeah, sorry. Look, it's Friday, all right?

It's not the only new "Star Wars" out, however. We'll take you on another journey through the galaxy.

Also ahead tonight, how the mighty have fallen. Saddam Hussein exposed, in more ways than one. More photos released of the ex-Iraqi leader. Is it only going to just fuel this insurgency? We will talk about that ahead.

And a little later, knowing your enemy. We'll take you to a camp where U.S. soldiers learn to think like a terrorist.



HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: You're all clear, kid! Now, (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by. Stand by.


COOPER: Well, if you haven't seen the original "Star Wars" by now, I am sorry to say, that's how it ends, with Luke Skywalker blowing up the giant bowling ball in space, the Death Star, as we all know.

It was a big bang to end a colossal movie. Lucas spent a lot of money it make it happen. There are even more big budget special effects in Star Wars Episode III which premiered yesterday to a record breaking $50 million in ticket sales. That's just unbelievable.

As CNN technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg reports, however, in tonight's "Weekender," you don't need a lot of cash or even George Lucas to create a galaxy far, far away.


DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just another space acrobatic shot from the bearded creator of Star Wars, right? No, not that bearded creator. This one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Switching auxilary power to forward shields.

SIEBERG: To call Shane Felux just a Star Wars fan is like calling George Lucas just a director. Shane spent nearly three years and $20,000 of his own money to produce Star Wars: Revelations, his homage to the epic sci-fi tales.

The 40 minute film is arguably the most ambitious such fan project this galaxy has ever seen.

SHANE FELUX, DIRECTOR, "REVELATIONS": There's never going to be a point in which enough time or enough money to ever make a film. So I just said, look, I'm just going to take a gulp of air. We're just going to jump and just see what happens and work through it. And the end result, Revelations.

SIEBERG: The tale of this epic fan movie began in 2002 when Shane, who produced, directed, and co-stars, bought a digital video camera on eBay. Eventually, he maxed out his credit cards and took out a second mortgage to bring his lifelong dream to the screen. Shane's dream included his wife, Dawn Cowings, who wrote the script and helped with costumes.

Fandom runs deep here including 3-year-old son Ian. Family cars with Anakin and Millenium Falcon license plates. In fact, Shane and Dawn met each other on line in a Star Wars chat room.

DAWN COWINGS, WRITER, "REVELATIONS": Yes, yes, it's sad. But true. No, we did. We were just talking because we were friends and we were both really interested in Star Wars.

SIEBERG: The pair decided "Revelations" would follow the Jedi story line between the current "Revenge of the Sith" and the 1977 Star Wars, "A New Hope."

FELUX: This is Panic-Struck Productions. This where the whole thing is cut and fabricated.

SIEBERG: Shane's lavish production facilities are actually just a couple of computers in the basement office of his Northern Virginia town home. But funds, or lack of them, forced them to work on a shoestring.

(on camera): Shane and Dawn didn't exactly have a travel budget for their film so they shot at various locations in their home like in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., including this rock quarry.

So how did they turn this -- into this? The short answer is tireless dedication. Shane worked with his team for countless hours. A four to five second scene could take a long as two months to complete, even with volunteer artists from around the world.

FELUX: Sweden, UK, Canada, California, Seattle, Boston, Australia, Lithuania. "Revelations" would not be made possible without the Internet. I mean, it's a powerful tool and a resource. And that's how I got almost all of my people to participate in this film, for finding talented individuals, creating a community online.

SIEBERG (voice-over): But while new technology was key to creating the movie, Shane still wanted something very old school.

(on camera): A multithousand dollar blockbuster, at least in the fan film world, it cries out for a big screen premier. And Shane got one of the biggest screens on the east coast. Here at the Senator Theater in Baltimore.

(voice-over): On April 16, complete with Storm Troopers, R2D2 and red carpet, "Revelations" had its unique premier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There will be no talking during the presentation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have served me well. SIEBERG: So how does Darth Vader's creator, George Lucas, feel about fan films like "Revelations?" Well, he encourages them. As long as they don't slander the Star Wars name or aren't used for profit. Shane says he hopes Lucas will notice what he has been able to do with limited cash and give him a chance to work with the big time Hollywood budget.

FELUX: Hopefully, he might enjoy it and say let's hire the kid. But if not, it was a heck a ride. We had a good time.

SIEBERG: And that undaunted optimism seems right in line with the Star Wars mythology.

Daniel Sieberg, CNN, Northern Virginia.


COOPER: Well, let's hope George Lucas is listening.

While it's OK to download "Revelations" over the Internet, the same isn't true for "Revenge of Sith." Apparently a lot of people are doing it anyway. Even before it's release, copies of the latest Star Wars flick have appeared on file-sharing networks. They caused such congestion that downloads were taking more than 40 hours even on high- speed Internet.

For our money, though, why break the law when you can simply download the Star Wars Kid?

Ah, the Star Wars kid.

Coming up next on this edition of 360, Saddam exposed, even more photos are published of fallen leader. We'll show the new ones and talk about the possible fallout. Will the photos damage the effort to win hearts and minds of Iraqis?

And a little later, an unsolved mystery. Art masterpieces valued up to $300 million vanish. Take you inside of the investigation.


COOPER: Well, a special two-hour edition of 360 continues now. Some new pictures of Saddam Hussein. They're just now coming in. They'll be in the Saturday edition of the same British tabloid that shocked world today by publishing a shot of the former dictator in his underwear.

Senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre has the new photos and the controversy from Washington -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, these latest photos in the Saturday edition of the London "Sun" show one of Saddam Hussein appears to be praying behind some barbed wire.

There are no more pictures of Saddam Hussein in various states of undress. But in addition to this new picture of Saddam, we have also seen a couple of other people who are in confinement at Camp Cropper, near the Baghdad airport, including both the man known as Chemical Ali and Chemical Sally. Chemical Ali is actually named -- he's the man who is dubbed Chemical Ali because he was suspected of using poisonous gas against the Kurds. Ali Hassan al-Majid is his actual name.

And then the woman who is also nicknamed Mrs. Anthrax, because of her role in helping Iraq allegedly develop a bioweapons program. Again, it's not clear where these pictures came from. The U.S. military thought the ones of Saddam were from a surveillance camera. The paper says that they were provided to it by a military source who wanted to, quote, "deal a body blow to the resistance in Iraq."

The Pentagon, of course, disagrees that it has any utility. And it is investigating quite vigorously how these pictures would have gotten out. They also -- some Pentagon officials suggest there might be another motive. In fact the paper itself admits that it paid a small amount of money for the photographs -- they did not say how much, but over 500 pounds, which in U.S. dollars would be over $900. Again, the investigation continues. Only a small number of people had access to these pictures or to the ability to get the pictures and that's where the investigation is going to begin.

COOPER: Yeah. What do we know about the circumstances of his confinement at this point? Because when you look at these other pictures of him in the underwear, the other pictures we've seen, it's hard to imagine just anyone being able to get thee pictures.

MCINTYRE: No, it's only a small unit that's in charge of this jail. Now, technically, he's in Iraqi custody, but he is still under U.S. control. The U.S. military is essentially his jailer. It is a small 12 by nine foot cell. There is only a limited number of people who access to him and there are no personal cameras allowed in this facility, so that's why they think it came from the surveillance cameras.

COOPER: All right. Jamie McIntyre, thanks very much.

The new Saddam pictures are causing worldwide sensations. Some Arabic news outlets, including al-Jazeera, were to scandalized to even put the pictures on the air, surprising perhaps, considering the other images they routinely air. And while Saddam may be in his underwear, it's the U.S. that may be feeling pretty naked in the Muslim world right now.


COOPER (voice-over): Saddam Hussein in his underwear. Pictures guaranteed to sell newspapers and guaranteed to cause more headaches for the U.S. around the world. President Bush himself took a hand in the damage control effort, saying he doesn't think the pictures should spark rioting or bloodshed.

GEORGE W. BUSH, U.S. PRESIDENT: I don't think a photo inspires murderers. I think they're inspired by an ideology that is so barbaric and backwards that it is hard for many in the Western world to comprehend how they think.

COOPER: Right now, though, it is clear that many Muslim in the Eastern world can't comprehend what the U.S. is thinking. Let alone its efforts to win their hearts and minds.

Today in the Iraqi City of Najaf demonstrators painted U.S. and Israeli flags on the ground, where they could be stomped on. The leak of the Saddam pictures and senior U.S. military sources stress the photos were not given out on purpose, is just the latest in a long string of public relations catastrophes.

There was, of course, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and continuing allegations of U.S. mistreatment of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then came "Newsweek's" now retracted story of Koran's being desecrated at Guantanamo.

Despite the retraction, the Muslim world is still boiling mad. There were anti-U.S. demonstrations today from Somalia, to India, to London where people actually called for the death of President Bush and a nuclear attack on Washington. Experts say extremists are trying to appeal to the sense of helplessness and injustice felt by many but not all Muslims.

MAHER HATHOUT, ISLAMIC CENTER OF SO. CALIFORNIA: There is a huge amount of grievances that Muslim people have. And I would say that the mainstream Muslims who have this grievances act differently.

COOPER: The U.S. is fully aware of its image problem. The First Lady is touring the Middle East this weekend to talk about democracy and education and women's rights.

LAURA BUSH, FIRST LADY: In every way I hope that the Middle East, the broader Middle East get to know Americans like we really are. And I think that's really, really important. I don't think they really have the sense of Americans being religious, being tolerant.

COOPER: Winning hearts and minds, it could be even trickier than winning the war on terrorism.


COOPER (on camera): Well, it has been 17 months since Saddam Hussein was yanked out of his spider hole look filthy and unkempt. One of the men who confronted him on the day was a young Iraqi- American translator who had fled Saddam's regime after the Gulf War. His name is Samir. And he told the story of that astonishing moment to Ron Young, a former POW in Iraq.


SAMIR, TRANSLATOR: On December 15th, we knew we had -- Saddam is there on that farm hidden somewhere in the farm. But we had his bodyguard. He's the one we were looking for.

Because we knew he leaded to Saddam we got enough on him at about 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night. Forces went inside. And they search the whole farm and there is no sign of Saddam. The guy shows us exactly where the bunker is.

RON YOUNG, FORMER POW: The bodyguard showed you where the bunker was?

SAMIR: Yes. He said -- point with his finger, he said, dig in here.

It is hard to see it was the bunker is it is like -- it is covered with dirt. Little bitty hole. It can't be. Especially when you think about looking for Saddam Hussein, the dictator and he started yelling inside. And they said, Samir, come talk to him, tell him to come out.

And he starts yelling, don't shoot. Don't kill me. Don't shoot. They ask me to tell him to ask him put your hands up. We want to see your hands. I said, put your hands up. And it was like one hand. I said let me see your other hand. And he did this. I said no, both hands up.

He sticks both hand up, and I reached him and I grabbed him. I grabbed him. I was like, I'm not going let him go. But this guy is like they didn't know what I did. I was in the hole. They pull me back. And they were so close to the -- they saw -- everyone got a piece of Saddam. We pulled him out. And I look at him, I knew that Saddam from his face. That was Saddam. I told them, this is Saddam. They didn't believe me first.

They said ask him his name. And I said this is Saddam. No, ask him. And I ask him, what is your name? He said first -- What's your name? He said I'm Saddam. And Saddam what? I had to really yell at him. He said I'm Saddam Hussein. And he called me a traitor and a spy. And he make me really upset.

And I had to -punch him -- I was so angry. I don't know, really punch him, a couple of times in the face. Grabbed him from his beard and they told me to stop. That's enough. He said, you didn't win the war. You didn't win the war. The war is not over. We told him that. The war is over.


COOPER: Well, Samir is in Iraq right now working as a private contractor.

In the war on terrorism, it still pays to remember the old saying, know your enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (video clip): Terrorists are trained to attack in certain ways. So when you're out there defending, you need to be aware of how they've been indoctrinated to attack.

COOPER: In just a minute, we'll show you how U.S. soldiers are learning to think like the terrorists.

Later, the high school reporter whose story forced the Army's 7,500 recruiters to take today off. And an unsolved mystery where you might consider the crime itself a work of art.


COOPER: 360 next, to fight terrorists, they have to think and act like them. Coming up, America's new weapon in the war on terror.


COOOPER: It is easy to imagine Islamic terrorists using the prison pictures of Saddam Hussein to insight attacks against the U.S. The story gives us a reminder, as if we needed on, of how America's hated by some people around the world and how important it is to understand the enemy. Tonight Tom Foreman takes us inside a training camp where American forces are learning to do exactly that.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Call to Prayer comes at dawn, and the faithful answer. Disciplined, dedicated, pausing before their day explodes.

This is life at Mirror Image, a camp in the Carolina woods where American soldiers and law officers learn to think like radical Islamic terrorists and they do it in a radical way. In real life, many are engaged in such sensitive undercover work, we concealed their identities. But here for one week they read the Koran, pray and train just as real terrorists do.

MATTHEW DEVOST, TERRORISM RESEARCH CENTER: You want to understand the cultural and philosophical dimensions of it.

FOREMAN: Matthew Devost is the founder the Terrorism Research Center, a Washington, DC-based company which developed Mirror Image.

DEVOST: Terrorists are trained to attack in certain ways. So when you're out there defending, you need to be aware.

It really is important to kind of know thy enemy so that you're better prepared to defend against them.

DEVOST: To that end, real attacks in places such as Iraq are re- created here. But this roadside assault is not all make believe. The guns are real, outfitted to fire stinging paint ball-like bullets called Simunition.

These men and women have been taught to defend against such assaults but have never mounted one and that is a critical difference, because as instructor Walter Purdy points out, it is difficult to imagine what an enemy can do if you've never tried it.

WALTER PURDY, TERRORISM RESEARCH CENTER: We have seen lots of individuals that have good skills unfortunately get killed in these wars across the world because they didn't have the recognition of where a threat may come from. FOREMAN: Teaching them to recognize the threats means showing them how terrorists' weapons work. How to build makeshift bombs, how to plot assassinations, how to kill from the back of a motorcycle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first time is rather hard. The second time gets a lot easier. The third time you feel like a pro.

FOREMAN (on camera): This is not the sort of thing that American soldiers are routinely taught. But this is the sort of thing that is being learned every day in terrorist camps all around the world.

(voice-over): How do the Mirror Image creators know that?

DEVOST: We have studied the manuals that they put out, the documents that they put out, translate some of their strategic thinking, do analysis of the videos that have been released.

FOREMAN: The result, see for yourself. Side by side, Mirror Image sessions are identical to real terrorist training. And there is something more.

DEVOST: We've got, you know, a diverse group of experts that have actually interacted with people in training camps that we bring in.

FOREMAN: Terrorist training camps.

DEVOST: Terrorist training camps, the real deal.

FOREMAN: Like Andrew Garfield, who spent years in the British army battling the IRA.

ANDREW GARFIELD, TERRORISM RESEARCH CENTER: There are always likely to be some terrorists. But we can make it almost impossible for them to succeed and to operate with impunity.

FOREMAN: The greatest challenge here, he says, is getting professional soldiers to understand the mindset of a terrorist whose aim is not to engage in open warfare, or to capture territory, but instead the terrorist seeks to exhaust, demoralize and scare his opponents.

GARFIELD: He's not trying to defeat us through force of arms. He can only achieve his goals by us determining that the cost of engagement of being involved in these conflicts is too great and the benefits are too small.

FOREMAN: Object lessons to make these students respect such enemies are prized. When the team goes the firing range, I'm asked to grab an automatic weapon and demonstrate how deadly an untrained combatant can be. It takes me five shots to find the target. But then every shot strikes home.

(on camera): It doesn't take that long for somebody that doesn't know that much about this to hit something.


GARFIELD: One round on target and they have achieved their objective. They getaway, great. If they don't, they're a martyr.

FOREMAN: It is surprising how much of what is taught sheer about diplomacy and politics. But the instructors make it clear the greatest weapon of terrorists is the ability to manipulate public sentiment, to recruit followers.

GARFIELD: One has to look at what is motivating them. That's what we're trying to teach on this course. The human emotions, the human psychology, the community issues the grievances, some of which are real.

FOREMAN: The students take it all in and within days, they are preaching the Gospel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today the war is amorphous. It is global.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What people need to understand now is there is no front line. It is everywhere.

FOREMAN: Graduation Day. Trainees break into teams of 12, each team has a mission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Truck drives in. Boom.


FOREMAN: Using their new skills, they will invade a mock village, take out four highly trained guards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you see the threat, engage them.

FOREMAN: And assassinate a government leader. Played by me.


FOREMAN: From the first shot, the first team performs well. They sweep in, hit fast, kill comes within a minute.

(on camera): I got hit here and here and here and here and here.

(voice-over): It takes the second team much longer. Their plan too cumbersome, too slow. They have not taken the terrorist lessons to heart and my guards quickly hustle me to safety.

(on camera): I think I might survive this time.

(voice-over): The last assault, however, is picture perfect. The team moves quickly, they take casualties, but like true terrorists, they don't care. My guards drop one by one. I grab a pistol. Too late, a blistering hail of gunfire ends the drill.

(on camera): It is all pretend, but you realize how confusing these situations are and you see it both from the people defending and the people who are attacking.

(voice-over): This is not war by the rules, but it is the type of war American soldiers face every day. It is, according to many military minds, a winnable war, but only if American fighters can learn to see the world as their enemies do.

And find in that Mirror Image the understanding what it will take to defeat them. Tom Foreman, CNN, Moyock, North Carolina.


COOPER: Know your enemy. Erica Hill from HEADLINE NEWS joins with us the latest at about 18 past the hour. Hey, Erica.

HILL: Hey, Anderson. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is again singling out Syria, blaming Iraq's neighbor for letting insurgnts train on its territory and then cross the border to stage devastating attacks. A recent U.S. military operation fought hundreds of insurgents along Iraq's Syrian border.

The Chilean military says 41 soldiers who vanished in a swirling blizzard in the Andes mountains are likely dead. The snowfall two days ago was so heavy that one commander called it a snow tsunami.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says you'll be able to search an actual database for known sex offenders in your neighborhood within 60 days. All you'll need to do is enter a name, a ZIP code, or county and the site will link all existing state registries. The Justice Department says 20 states will be supplying data at first. Forty eight states are expected to be active by next fall.

And CNN has learned Mary Kay Letourneau will marry her former student, the one she was convicted of raping when he was just a 12- year-old. Vili Fualaau is now 22 and the mother (sic) of two of Letourneau's daughters who reportedly will serve as flower girls for the secret wedding is being held somewhere near Seattle. Letourneau served seven years for the crime.

And it took them a little while, but the Massachusetts legislature has finally repealed a law that forbids American Indians from entering the City of Boston. That law, by the way, dates back to 1675. A little while.


COOPER: Who knew? Erica Hill. Thanks very much. See you again in maybe about 30 minutes. Give or take. All right. She's gone.

Next on 360, you won't believe how far some people will go to get recruits for the U.S. military.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (video clip): I recruited 75 young men. I would say 98 percent of the young men that I signed up for the Marine Corps were fraudulated -- or were frauded into the military.

COOPER: Did he say fraudulated? I don't know if that's a word. Coming up next, the high school journalist who exposed some hi- jinks of some army recruiters.

A little later, the case of the vanishing paintings. Masterpieces stolen. It is a fascinating mystery. It's been unsolved for 15 years.


COOPER: Well, today the Army pulled all 7,500 of its recruiters off the front lines, America's high schools, to spend the day sorting out some serious reports of recruiting violations. Now the reports come at a time when the military is under a lot of pressure to fill the ranks, what with the war in Iraq. Here is a fast fact for you. The army's goal this year is to sign up 80,000 new soldiers. So far it is 15 percent behind for the year. Now some of the most startling reports of shady recruiting practices come from one young journalist who documented them on videotape. Thelma Gutierrez reports.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): David McSwane knew he was on to a big story.

DAVID MCSWANE, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I wanted to see how far they would go to get one more soldier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's getting in there.

GUTIERREZ: What he uncovered at one army recruiting center is making waves all the way up to the Pentagon.

LTC JEFFREY BRODEUR, U.S. ARMY: We aggressively and immediately started an investigation.

GUTIERREZ: David McSwane is not a professional journalist. He is 17 years old, a senior at a Arvada West High School outside Denver, Colorado, and he's a prime target for military recruiters.

MCSWANE: This is something that affects everyone in my age, everyone in high school, across America.

GUTIERREZ: So David, a reporter for the high school newspaper, set out to find out how far army recruiters would go to enlist a new soldier.

MCSWANE: The scenario I came up with is that I'm a 17-year-old dropout. And that I have a drug problem that I just can't kick.

GUTIERREZ: The Army requires a high school diploma or GED and they don't accept recruits with drug problems. But David says a recruiter at this center in Golden, Colorado, told him not to worry.

MCSWANE: These are the transcripts that go with the diploma.

GUTIERREZ: David says his recruiter told him to go to the Internet to buy this fake high school diploma and bogus school transcripts. David taped the conversations.


MSCWANE: They accepted my diploma and all that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, that's what they told us.

MCSWANE: All right. So they don't know that it's fake or anything, I'm not going to get in trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. You won't. No.

MCSWANE: All right. Cool.


GUTIERREZ: As for his made up drug problem?

MCSWANE: This is the detox he told me to buy.

GUTIERREZ: David says the recruiter told him to buy this product to pass the Army's drug test.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (audio clip): You just have the follow the instructions to the tee. It's got like 150 percent guarantee that you'll pass. You know, and I've seen it work before.

GUTIERREZ: The recruiter then took David to a store to buy the product while someone videotaped.

MCSWANE: He went as far as driving me down to the place to buy the detox drink and in a government vehicle.

GUTIERREZ: After David's investigation was published in his high school newspaper, it snowballed into a P.R. nightmare for the Army.

BRODEUR: Disappointment. Wrapped up into one word.

GUTIERREZ: Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Brodeur has 129 recruiters under his command. Two of the four recruiters at this Golden, Colorado center are now under investigation for alleged recruiting abuses.

BRODEUR: So far today, it appears to be a character issue. We're trained not do that.

GUTIERREZ: Jim Massey was a marine recruiter for three years.

JIM MASSEY, FORMER MILITARY RECRUITER: This isn't just an isolated incident. This is a widespread epidemic.

GUTIERREZ: Massey says military recruiters are under such intense pressure to make their quota, they'll often stretch the truth to sign up new recruits. He says he did it too.

MASSEY: I was a recruiter for three years. And I recruited 75 young men and I would say 98 percent of the young men that I signed up for the Marine Corps were fraudulated or were frauded into the military in some capacity.

GUTIERREZ: Massey says when he failed to sign up two recruits a month, he received these letters of reprimand.

MASSEY: I had never had any types of -- any type or signs or symptoms of depression in my entire life until I went out on recruiting duty. My -- by my second year out on recruiting duty, I was taking antidepressants.

GUTIERREZ: Massey fought in Iraq, and then came home with a change of heart. He's now an anti-war activist.

MASSEY: I sold my soul a long time ago to the Marine Corps. And each day I strive to get a little bit of it back.

GUTIERREZ: Major General Michael Rochelle, commanding general in charge of recruiting for the U.S. Army shut down 1700 recruiting offices across the country for one day to review procedures for the army's 7500 recruiters, in direct response to the allegations made by David McSwane and others.

MG MICHAEL ROCHELLE, U.S. ARMY: I was disappointed by it. I was very disappointed by it. I've been around the Army a long time. So very little shocks me, if you will. It hurts, personally and professionally.

GUTIERREZ: General Rochelle says the target is 80,000 new recruits a year. It is a tough task, he says, to recruit an all volunteer army at a time of war. Many parents use their influence to discourage enlistment.

ROCHELLE: One is that the fear of loss of life or limb. And that is real.

Take those two factors along with the resistance on the part of influencers and you present a pretty daunting challenge for the Army.

SHELLY HANSEN, DAVID'S MOTHER: I worried that people would think he wasn't patriotic.

GUTIERREZ: Shelly Hansen says she feared of backlash against her son for exposing his recruiters.

HANSEN: He's probably one of the most patriotic kids I know. He was in the young marines for almost a year. And earned a couple of awards.

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.