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CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN

Anne Bancroft Dies at 73; Dumpster-Diving I.D. Thieves; Marshals Nab Camden, N.J., Fugitives

Aired June 7, 2005 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: We begin tonight the way many programs, including Larry's, just ended, with an obituary. And he showed, in this case, the deceased deserves to lead a program. Anne Bancroft was a great, powerful, often joyful actress, who in one great role became part of the common language we all share. You say "Mrs. Robinson" and people know who you were talking about, what the movie was, what the part was about, what the hero was. Anne Bancroft, Oscar winner, Tony winner, star, has died.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE GRADUATE")

DUSTIN HOFFMAN, ACTOR: Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN (voice-over): Anne Bancroft was Mrs. Robinson, the elder woman to Dustin Hoffman's emerging young man in "The Graduate." The movie directed by Mike Nichols was a classic. The role, her most famous, but not the role she liked best. "With all the good work I've done, some of it very good," she said, "all people want to talk about is Mrs. Robinson. Nobody talks about 'The Miracle Worker.'

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE MIRACLE WORKER")

ANNE BANCROFT, ACTOR: W-A-T-E-R, water.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: She won a Tony on Broadway and an Oscar for the film. She was Anne Sullivan in the story of Helen Keller, "The Miracle Worker." "More happens in her face in 10 seconds than happens in most women's faces in 10 years," said Arthur Penn, who directed her on Broadway.

Born in the Bronx to Italian immigrant parents, she dreamed of being an actress in a time when just getting by was hard enough. But her mother encouraged her, and off to Hollywood she went. Anna Maria Louisa Italiano became first Anne Marno, and then Anne Bancroft. "I thought," she said, "it sounded more dignified."

Her film debut came in 1952, "Don't Bother to Knock," a decade of supporting roles. Then Broadway with the great Henry Fonda, "Two for the Seesaw," for which she won a Tony. She was a dedicated actress and made it sound deceptively easy.

BANCROFT: It's getting up early and it's putting on wigs and, you know, learning lines, and, you know, most of it is that. I mean, there's very few moments in the day when you are really expressing yourself.

BROWN: She married Mel Brooks in 1964. "I've never had so much pleasure being with another human being," she said, after they first met. Their son, Maximillian, born eight years later. The two then co-starred in the farcical "To Be or Not To Be."

For a time, she turned down work in favor of family life, but the lure of the stage, the theater, the screen, pulled her back. The range of her work impressive. She was an aging ballerina in "The Turning Point," another Oscar nomination.

Anne Bancroft could be equally on convincing as Golda Meir or a mother superior in "Agnes of God." There were so many roles we would need most of the program just to list them all. Rarely an easy character or easy role.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "KEEPING THE FAITH")

BANCROFT: All right now, over to you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BANCROFT: It's kind of like giving birth. Think of giving birth, I mean, it's very painful, and hard, hard work. And yet, isn't it worth it?

BROWN: Which brings us back to Mrs. Robinson, she was warned not to take it: it's all about sex with a younger man, but she saw her Mrs. Robinson as a character of unfulfilled dreams and played her to...

(MUSIC PLAYING: "MRS. ROBINSON")

BROWN: Anne Bancroft died of cancer. She was 73.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Of other news tonight, our reporting on identity theft continues, starting with some trash talk, if you will. The idea was simple here, assign a reporter to find out what an identity thief might find in neighborhood dumpster. If you had any doubts about how vulnerable you are, you won't after this.

Here's CNN Keith Oppenheim.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This year, nearly 10 million families could have their most valuable possessions stolen.

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A seemingly nice guy strolls to curbside a garbage can warning about the danger of identity thieves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... pay stubs. In today's world...

OPPENHEIM: But in this TV add for Fellowes shredders, the twist is the nice guy is really the bad guy who takes the trash and ultimately his neighbor's identity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Tom.

OPPENHEIM: That got us thinking. If we hit the streets of Chicago at 4:00 a.m., before the garbage trucks arrive, how much personal data could we actually find?

PERRY MYERS, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: Good garbage, something that's going to be information that people really shouldn't be throwing out in the trash.

OPPENHEIM: Perry Myers is a private detective in Chicago and expert on identity theft. He took to us to places in the city to collect garbage that he thought would contain critical information.

(on camera): What you're doing here is not illegal, right?

MYERS: No, it's not illegal.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): As in most of the United States, as long as the person collecting trash is on public property, which we were, garbage is for the taking.

MYERS: This looks like it came from an area we'd be interested in.

OPPENHEIM: Myers took us to public alleys where we had access to dumpsters for medical offices, car dealerships and private homes. At one residence...

MYERS: We have got someone's bank account number.

OPPENHEIM: We immediately spotted a credit notice, complete with an individual's name, date of birth, and Social Security number, the building blocks of getting a credit card in some else's name.

MYERS: It doesn't take much to just go ahead and apply for credit and get the card and start charging.

OPPENHEIM: In about two hours, Myers selected about a dozen bags of refuse. We brought them to his offices where we sorted and sifted, looking for information an identity thief would want. It didn't take long.

(on camera): Look at what we have here.

MYERS: Illinois driver's license.

OPPENHEIM: What can somebody do with that copy of someone's license like that? MYERS: Well, create a new identity.

OPPENHEIM (voice-over): Myers said a new identity can be created even when some of the information is missing, and that all of the key documents we found had enough for the experienced thief.

(on camera): OK, this is a pay stub, and on it, I have a Social Security number.

MYERS: Social Security number on this piece of paper, the credit report on here. They do -- I do not see a date of birth yet. I've got an income.

OPPENHEIM: All right, so we've got a Social and a name and address.

MYERS: And their bank -- and their bank account number.

OPPENHEIM: Their bank account number.

(voice-over): In all, we came across 15 documents with 19 names. Some had Social Security numbers, others had dates of birth, two of them had both. Myers believes all of them could have been converted into stolen identities. One name came from residential trash. The rest came from medical offices and car dealerships. The lessons?

MYERS: One is that businesses that take your credit information are not guarding it and protecting it the way they should.

OPPENHEIM: So identity theft can still happen, even if you shred all of your documents and you take care of your personal life well?

MYERS: Correct, yes, because it's not always in your hands.

OPPENHEIM: And because of that, Myers' advice is to check your credit at least once a year, and to shred personal documents into finer pieces that can't be pieced together. For the record, that's exactly what we did with all the sensitive documents we found in the garbage.

Keith Oppenheim, CNN, Chicago.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Now you might wonder why an identity thief would bother to sort through the trash in the middle of the night when he or she could simply walk into a company or a bank and steal all the same data.

CNN's David Mattingly spent some time with a man who does exactly that for a living.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to identity theft, Jim Stickley is Jesse James, John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd all rolled into one, minus all the guns and violence. He's claimed to have stolen enough sensitive data to run up credit cards and drain bank accounts of tens of thousands of people. And he's done it by breaking into supposedly secure systems at hundreds of corporations, from small regional banks to Fortune 500 companies.

JIM STICKLEY, TRACESECURITY INC.: I know your mother's maiden name, I know your Social Security number, I know all of your bank account numbers, I possibly know your visa numbers or credit card numbers. I know all of your references, if you've done like a loan, where you had to put reference accounts on there of other people. I know what car you drive. I know your driver's license number. I know every last thing you would ever put on a loan application.

MATTINGLY (on camera): And what can do you with that?

STICKLEY: I can be you, I can just become you tomorrow.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): If you were among the legions of Stickley's victims, you probably never knew it and never will. That's because he's one of the good guys. Corporations pay his company, TraceSecurity in Baton Rouge, to test the security of the data they keep on you. More than a hacker, Stickley is a conman, a master at exploiting human weaknesses. From a Six by 12 cubicle, he concocts schemes and disguises, talking his way into sensitive areas, sometimes as an air conditioning serviceman or pest control guy.

STICKLEY: You should make sure you have an appointment ahead of time. You wouldn't just walk in and say, I'm here to do a pest inspection.

MATTINGLY: But his favorite is posing as a uniformed fire inspector.

(on camera): Does anyone question you when you walk in just wearing this white uniform shirt?

STICKLEY: No. And actually, the uniforms are bought from an actual fire department uniform supplier.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Once inside, Stickley can deploy a number of easy-to-get devices. Connected to back of a computer, this device records everything put into it. A wireless transmitter like this can send data to a waiting van.

Posing as an OSHA inspector, he's actually convinced companies to use this keyboard rigged to record every key stroke. But nothing, he says, is more surprising than how easily he can take things the old- fashioned way.

STICKLEY: The first time I got backup tapes, I walked out with, you know, a box, a box of backup tapes. You know, I figured someone's going to like tackle me as I'm walking through the door. Nobody noticed. Nobody said a word.

MATTINGLY (on camera): If you're worried right now thinking about all that personal information you've given away to any number of companies, experts say you should be. As a customer, there's not a lot you can do once you've given your information away. So consumer groups recommend that you ask a lot of important questions up front.

JAY FOLEY, IDENTITY THEFT RESOURCE CENTER: By more consumers asking the questions, why are you collecting it, who gets access to it, what steps do you take to protect it, and when you're done with it, how will you dispose of it?

MATTINGLY (voice-over): One exhaustive checklist for consumers can be found on the Web site of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Some of it, simple things, like, is the company's data encrypted? Do they conduct employee background checks? Even if it's a public official, do they ever allow outside personnel into sensitive areas unsupervised?

STICKLEY: If I'm a fire marshal, for example, I'll try to use my authority to tell them, go get me these documents, go get me coffee, go do things, make them leave me alone. If they're not trained and told never leave that person alone and tell that person, you must stay with me, they'll say, OK, and they'll go.

MATTINGLY: But as long as humans can be fooled, no system will be fool-proof. Jim Stickley's perfect record of data theft will remain intact and your debt will remain at risk.

David Mattingly, CNN, Baton Rouge.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Still ahead on the program tonight, in the most dangerous city in the country, what seemed like an impossible mission.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police, open the door! Police, get down!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: How the good guys got tough and made a huge dent in crime. It's easier than you might think.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He said I should focus on English. I still hear that quite often.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: So who was the better college student, George W. Bush or the man he defeated, John Kerry? And how much do book smarts really matter anyway when you're president?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People my age, photography was of a new kind of magic. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: More than half a century ago he set out to make his mark as a photographer and boy did he ever. So what made him put his cameras away for 30 years?

From New York, where every story seems to take an unexpected turn, this is NEWSNIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: A lot of fancy stuff of late. A formula for fighting violent crime, one that appears to be working. We'll have that story coming up in a moment or two. But about a quarter past the hour, Erica Hill joins us from Atlanta tonight with the headlines.

Ms. Hill, nice to see you.

ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: And you as well, Mr. Brown.

Former President Jimmy Carter speaking out, calling on the Pentagon to shut down the Guantanamo Bay military prison. He said that would demonstrate America's commitment to human rights. The former president says reports alleging abuse of prisoners are a terrible embarrassment. At the same time Mr. Carter criticized Amnesty International for referring to Guantanamo Bay as a "gulag."

In Southern California, police ended a six-hour freeway chase and standoff with a van by tossing a stun grenade into the vehicle. Now the driver was wanted in connection with an attempted kidnapping. He was then pulled from the van by a police dog. No word tonight on his condition.

An employee of the Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab may have been attacked and beaten because he was scheduled to testify before Congress as a whistleblower. His wife says Tommy Hook was lured to a Santa Fe bar over the weekend where the attack took place. He was set to testify about alleged financial irregularities at the New Mexico lab.

And California Judge Janice Rogers Brown, almost certain now to be confirmed by the Senate tomorrow to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals. Today the Senate voted by a wide margin to end debate over her nomination and proceed with a confirmation vote. Her nomination had been held up by threats of a filibuster for two years.

And that is the latest from HEADLINE NEWS. Aaron, back over to you.

BROWN: Erica, thank you, we'll check with you in half an hour.

There is something that seems so painfully easy about this story it's almost embarrassing to tell it. The way to reduce crime is to take the worst criminals off the street, that's the theory. Most of the worst criminals are actually known, there are warrants out for them. A program created by Congress a few years back gave the U.S. Marshal Service a mandate to find them, arrest them, and jail them, which is what has been going on in crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey, which isn't quite as crime-ridden anymore.

Here's CNN's Deborah Feyerick.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It begins at 4:00 in the morning. A warrant on a guy wanted for armed robbery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police, open the door! Police, get on the floor! Get down!

FEYERICK: The suspect's not home. At midnight he went gambling in Atlantic City. The manhunters will wait and get him later.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand over here and keep your hands up and let her open the door!

FEYERICK: The regional fugitive task force is an elite team of U.S. marshals. They have deputized police, sheriffs, prosecutors, and others who know the local areas very, very well.

(on camera): The kind of guys they're arresting, what have they done?

RICK COPE, DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL: Violent offenders, anything from aggravated assault, armed robbery, attempted murder, murder, sexual assault.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Since January, Camden, New Jersey, the most dangerous city in the nation last year, has been their combat zone. James Plousis is New Jersey's U.S. marshal.

(on camera): Even last summer you had somebody who was raping people in broad daylight.

JAMES PLOUSIS, U.S. MARSHAL: Yes. There was a series of four rapes on one of the main streets in town.

FEYERICK: That is really brazen, on the main street. but they thought they could get away with it.

PLOUSIS: Yes.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Camden wasn't always this way. Just ask Gwendolyn Faison, the city's 80-year-old mayor.

MAYOR GWENDOLYN FAISON, CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY: When I arrived in Camden, Camden was the place to be.

FEYERICK: She spent three-quarters of her life here and remembers how it was before the shipbuilders and other industries pulled out.

FAISON: It was just a beautiful town. And then unfortunately, in the '70s, when the riots came and all of the unpleasant stuff.

FEYERICK: Edwin Figueroa was a rookie cop then. Now he's chief of police.

(on camera): Did you ever think crime would reach the levels that it did here in Camden when you first began?

EDWIN FIGUEROA, CAMDEN POLICE CHIEF: When first began, no, not really.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Camden police made 10,000 arrests last year. The problem? It barely made a dent, because police didn't have the manpower or training to go after the most violent fugitives.

FIGUEROA: It's a frustration not only for me, it's a frustration for the police officers that are out on the street; and the community, knowing that individuals have committed serious crimes and they're not arrested.

FEYERICK: When the U.S. marshals in New York-New Jersey Fugitive Task Force was assigned here, the mayor was thrilled.

FAISON: We need all the help we can get.

FEYERICK: In seven hours one morning, the fugitive hunters hit 10 locations and rounded up five suspects. This one an escaped convict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) Don't tell her where, just tell her they got me on broad...

FEYERICK: In just five months these manhunters made 181 arrests and crime in Camden dropped nearly 30 percent.

MICHAEL SCHROEDER, DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL: It's one step at a time, one fugitive at a time, one street at a time.

FEYERICK: Even long time residents like Sharon Miller feel a difference. Prostitutes and drug dealers no longer camped outside her home.

SHARON MILLER, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: That corner is empty, as opposed to having a bunch of dark-shirt-wearing folks doing whatever they were doing any time of the day or evening.

FEYERICK: That's not to say the job is finished.

(on camera): Do you still sometimes feel you're swimming upstream?

PLOUSIS: No, I think we're going to get a handle on it, I really do. We have the bad guys on the run.

FEYERICK (voice-over): And companies are coming back. The mayor's office lined with ground-breaking shovels to prove it.

(on camera): Are they concerned that it's not safe here?

FAISON: Well, evidently, they know even though we have had some problems but they know that we're doing something about it. That's what's important and it's working because crime has been reduced.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Reduced enough to almost certainly take Camden off the nation's most dangerous list, reduced enough to finally give people here hope that the bad guys are no longer in control.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Camden, New Jersey.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Coming up on NEWSNIGHT, American and Iraqi soldiers moved into an insurgent-held city. CNN's Jane Arraf embedded with the troops and she files tonight.

And terrorism and your milk supply. Why there's concern a scientific paper could be too good for its own good, and for the good of the country.

We'll take a break first, from New York this is NEWSNIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Seemingly endless violence in Iraq is taking its toll on American public opinion. An ABC News/Washington Post poll out today shows the majority of the Americans for the first time do not believe the war in Iraq has made this country safer, and nearly three-quarters find the casualty rate unacceptable. Six in 10 now say the war was not worth fighting.

But the fighting goes on. So does the dying, 1,676 American deaths so far, including two yesterday. CNN's Jane Arraf tonight embedded with an Army unit on the hunt.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): This is modern warfare in an ancient city. U.S. attack helicopters overhead. Tanks in the streets. The danger is insurgents lying in wait in the alleys, where these vehicles can't go. With the buildup of U.S. forces along the Syrian border, this was a major show of force by the American and Iraqi Army in Tal Afar.

As they moved into town, gunfire flew. An American officer working with Iraqi soldiers was killed. Three suspected insurgents also died. The Suriya (ph) neighborhood is believed to be a stronghold of insurgents. On the walls of one of the houses was scrolled "long live the mujahedeen."

Some of the raids focused on specific targets. Others were looking for anything suspicious.

(on camera): This is one of the series of houses on this block that U.S. and Iraqi forces have gone through to see if there are insurgents here. They've blown open the doors and gone through the entire house, but they haven't found anyone here, or anything in it.

(voice-over): This Iraqi Army lieutenant says the insurgents here have fled. But he promises "we'll find them." In a nearby house Iraqi soldiers find what appears to be a manual for explosives and land mines. "These tracts are further proof these are terrorists," this soldier says, but he won't say how.

They round up weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades and warheads found in a cemetery. They detain at least 28 suspected insurgents, all Iraqi and most of them on their wanted list for launching or organizing attacks.

The U.S. and Iraqi Army commanders trying to win over the few civilians they see. This one is an assistant school principal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell him that the Iraqi Army coalition forces are here to rid his neighborhood of terrorists.

ARRAF: The man says he hasn't seen any terrorists. Iraqi General Mohsen Dosek (ph) tells him there are people in the neighborhood helping the insurgents. He says the neighborhood has to help the Iraqi Army fight them. At the same time, the army is trying to separate friend from foe.

Jane Arraf, CNN, Tal Afar, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Long ago the principal argument for the war, weapons of mass destruction, proved wrong. They didn't exist. Everyone knows that now, even if we aren't exactly sure how the intelligence service and the administration got it so wrong.

One answer comes in the so-called Downing Street memo written by a British intelligence official who says the WMD threat was deliberately exaggerated to sell the war.

Neither the president nor the British prime minister would acknowledge that, how could they? But the memo is out there, along with the two allies today, side by side by side.

Reporting tonight for us, CNN's Bill Schneider.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): It was the summit of the survivors, two leaders who got reelected despite voter backlash against the war in Iraq.

BUSH: Congratulations on your great victory.

SCHNEIDER: The main topic for the meeting was aid to Africa, but Iraq was on the agenda in three tenses: past, present, and future. A reporter asked the two leaders about the so-called Downing Street memo. In July, 2002, eight months before the war, a British foreign policy aide reported to Blair and his cabinet what a British intelligence official had concluded after visiting Washington.

The memo, recently leaked to the British press, said: "Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. But the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy."

Mr. Blair denied the allegations.

PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, GREAT BRITAIN: No, the facts were not being fixed in any shape or form at all.

SCHNEIDER: Mr. Bush insinuated that leaking the memo was a political dirty trick done to embarrass Blair.

PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH, U.S.: You know, I read the characterizations of the memo, particularly when they dropped it out in the middle of his race. I'm not sure who they dropped it out is. I'm not suggesting that you all dropped it out there.

SCHNEIDER: So, was the memo incorrect or fraudulent? We're left with a conflict. It comes down to who you believe.

BLAIR: And yet it is absolutely vital for the security, not just of that country and of that region, but of the world that we succeed in Iraq.

SCHNEIDER: There are growing doubts in both countries. In early February, just after the Iraqi election, Americans were divided over whether it was worth going to war in Iraq. By May, with the continuing insurgency and mounting U.S. casualties, American public opinion had turned negative. By April, the British people had turned against the war by nearly two-to-one.

BUSH: Our strategy is clear. We're training Iraqi forces so they can fight -- take the fight to the enemy, so they can defend their country and then our troops will come home with the honor they have earned.

SCHNEIDER: The ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently visited Iraq. He said Sunday on ABC's "This Week..."

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN, (D) DELAWARE: We have to stop misleading the American public so we don't lose their confidence, tell them it's going to take more time. Tell them it's able to be done, but tell them the truth.

SCHNEIDER: What's happening in Iraq, once again, seems elusive, in the past, at present, and in the future.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: A political story of sorts tonight. It turns out that John Kerry wasn't such a smarty pants after all. "The Boston Globe" reported today that Kerry's overall average grade at Yale was 76. That's a point lower than President Bush's. Grade point averages are overrated, I think, but then, I'm a college dropout.

Jeff Greenfield, on the other hand, has several degrees and so he reports tonight on brains, grades, and the presidency.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: So, it turns out that John Kerry, derided as a French-speaking aristocratic elitist, was in fact no better a student than his fellow Yalie George W. Bush. In fact, he was a shade worse. Kerry managed to collect four Ds his freshman year alone; Bush got just a single D in four full years at Yale.

Now, when you think about how hard his opponents tried to paint him as an out-of-touch snob, it might have been a good political move for Kerry to have released these grades instead of keeping them a secret. After all, look at the way George W. Bush, a third generation skull-and-bones man at Yale, likes to paint himself as a regular guy by mocking his academic credentials.

BUSH: He said I should focus on English. I still hear that quite often.

GREENFIELD: Now, there is a more or less serious question lurking behind this shocking revelation: just how much do book smarts matter to a president? The answer, history suggests, is maybe not all that much.

Woodrow Wilson was an academic's dream, college professor and college president, author, but his book learning didn't keep him from political stumbles when he tried to bring the U.S. into the League of Nations.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was so indifferent to serious matters -- he got into Harvard because his family always got into Harvard -- that relatives called him the "feather duster." It took his battle for polio and the frequent push from wife Eleanor to turn him into a champion of the Depression Era America and a leader in World War II.

And Harry Truman, a failed retailer, never went to college at all, the last president not to do so. He was self-educated.

HARRY TRUMAN, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: ...that I will support and defend...

GREENFIELD: And in large measure followed his own instincts.

According to his critics, Ronald Reagan was good at reciting the words at others, although we learned later that as a columnist and lecturer, he was far more engaged with ideas than his reputation suggested. But Reagan was also a president who focused on a few big ideas like confronting the Soviet Union on moral and strategic grounds.

RONALD REAGAN, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...a responsible strip mining legislation.

GREENFIELD: In this sense, Reagan was a sharp contrast to predecessor Jimmy Carter who engaged in the details of budgets and legislation, too much so, according to his critics.

And Bill Clinton? He was the rare example of a president who could deal with the most intricate details of public policy and connect emotionally with the public.

When Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated, just as Oliver Wendell Holmes said of him, a second class intellect, but a first class temperament. This point may be missed by academics and by journalists who tend to value skill with words a great deal. In fact, recent history suggests that they, all right, we may value it a little too much.

Jeff Greenfield, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Still to come tonight on the program, could scientists warning of dangers to our nation's milk supply have given terrorists ideas on how to attack us?

And later, we continue our love affair with the art of the still photographer. We take a break. First around the world, this is NEWSNIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Before 9/11, we didn't think of planes as weapons and a glass of milk was just a glass of milk. In the same way a scientific research paper was just a scientific research paper and not a blueprint for terrorists to inflict death and destruction. But we live in the post-9/11 world. With our "Security Watch" tonight, CNN's Jeanne Meserve.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Milk is the very embodiment of wholesomeness and health, but like most parts of the food supply, it is vulnerable to terrorism. One agriculture expert worries particularly about what could happen at the source, the farm.

DAVID SMITH, UNIV. OF NEBRASKA, LINCOLN: And that's an area that is vulnerable, because we don't have the locked gates and the security passes and those sorts of things that would control access.

MESERVE: A farm milk tank is one place terrorists could introduce botulism into the nation's milk supply, according to a research paper by Stanford University professor Lawrence Wein. The paper is highly specific about the dosage of toxin that would be needed to kill hundreds of thousands of people. It also contains detailed information about milk processing, including the fact that current methods would not kill all the toxins. The National Academy of Sciences posted the paper on a password-protected part of a Web site that lets reporters have a look before publication in journal. But in a letter, the Department of Health and Human Services asked the Academy not to publish, writing "The article is a road map for terrorists and publication is not in the interests of the United States."

RICHARD FALKENRATH, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: The government has a responsibility not to simplify mass-casualty terrorism, and so when it has an opportunity to delay the release of information that would assist in very particular mass-casualty terrorist attacks, that, I think, is appropriate action for them.

MESERVE (voice-over): But published papers of are the way scientists share information and collaborate to solve problems; problems like food contamination.

(on camera): The National Academy of Sciences has not yet decided where to strike the balance between security and the free flow of information. After a meeting with government officials Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman said, "A publication date for the article has not been set."

The academy has taken the article off the web, but it had already been downloaded, so the cat may be out of the bag.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: In a moment, we'll check some of the day's other headlines and a story, a very personal story, behind a dramatic photograph: This one.

From New York, this is NEWSNIGHT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: After devoting decades to the work of other photographers, a master returns to the viewfinder.

But first, quarter to the hour -- almost on the money, Erica.

HILL: Just talk for another nine seconds and you'll thereby.

BROWN: I'll stall it out.

Time for the headlines. Erica Hill is in Atlanta.

HILL: Nice work there, thanks.

We start off in Aruba, where two hotel security guards do remain in custody. They have not yet been charged, though, in the disappearance of 18-year-old American tourist, Natalee Holloway.

The men are due to appear in court Wednesday, that's when a judge will decide if authorities have sufficient grounds to hold them.

Searchers, mean time, continue to comb the island and surrounding waters for the high school senior. She vanished May 30th on a graduation trip with her classmates.

Some potholes look like you'll going to be finding them in the road ahead for General Motors. By 2008, 25,000, a full sixth of all the auto manufacture's U.S. employees, will be laid off. That is according to plan unveiled at the annual meeting today by chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner.

By the end of the year, G.M. will reduce its production capacity to five million cars and trucks. That's a million fewer than in 2002. Factors here: well, they include increased competition from Asia, rising health care and pension costs, and the recent surge in gas prices.

By inviting California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to give the commencement address on June 14th, at Santa Monica College, it also invited some criticism from many on campus. Schwarzenegger, who attended the college in the early '70s, has recently alienated some educators by pushing to raise tuition and curb faculty tenure. A faculty group, claiming the governor was -- has threatened academic freedom, is planning to protest.

Jurors in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial will resume deliberations in the morning. They've now deliberated for a total of 14 hours, over three days. Still no verdict. Jackson was not at the courthouse today, in fact, he's not required to be. The Reverend Jesse Jackson, however, his spiritual adviser, spoke to reporters on the singer's behalf.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. JESSE JACKSON, SPIRITUAL ADVISER: Michael's confidence in his --in the jury, and the process, the makeup of the jury, and his lawyers, remains very strong.

Those who support Michael, support that process. Michael asked me to come be with him several times during this period. I just couldn't physically make it because of my own schedule, but I chose, at this time, since he called, I suppose, Friday, to come and be with him this weekend.

And to pray with him and yet fortify his faith and his confidence, as he is in this crisis moment. In some sense, the jury has the fate and Michael must have the faith in God, and confidence in himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Now, jurors are weighing ten felony charges against Michael Jackson.

That is the latest from "Headline News," at this hour.

Aaron, have a great night.

BROWN: Thank you, very much, Erica. See you tomorrow.

John Szarkowski is proof that it's never too late to finish what you start. More than half a century ago, he set out to make a name for himself as a photographer, but life, as it often does, took an unexpected turn.

Instead, he became the curator of the Museum of Modern Art and for nearly 30 years, his camera sat unused until he retired, and picked up where he left off.

On his 80th birthday, an exhibit of his photographs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It's now touring the country.

It will be in New York this fall.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN SZARKOWSKI, PHOTOGRAPHER: When I started, all young men and some young women were interested in photography. People of my age -- photography was a new kind of magic.

I went to the Museum of Modern Art in 1962 to take over the exhibition program and the collection. I certainly had no expectation at that time that I would be putting my life as a photographer on hold for 29 years.

Now, I'm terribly happy being back in my own original world; making photographs myself. When I look at the pictures on the wall, one might get the impression that when I was younger, I was more interested in the social life, of my country -- more interested in people, more interested in current happening.

I suppose one might say, by this time, in a sense, it's about my life as a photographer, until now, which has a rather odd arc to it. It's my early career, and my late career, but my middle career, I haven't done yet. I've got some plans for that.

Of course, the nature of my own life has changed, I live a different life. I get up and I look at my meadow; and I look at my apple trees; and I check my pond; and my barn; and so these things are as intimate to me and as personal as the pictures that I made when I was younger, and led a different life.

I love that picture, and I remember making it one beautiful August afternoon, you know, soft balmy, not hot, nice breeze coming down the hill from the meadow. And I looked at the ground glass and I thought it was terrific, something was happening there.

It was just terrific, you know, you travel to get the holder and camera, and the slide out, before everything changes.

A successful photograph has something in it that will seduce you, that will capture your attention and make you look at it, and give you some kind of pleasure from looking at it. I've never gotten over thinking that there was some special kind of magic to it, and later, one comes to understand that, beyond the magic, it's a way of trying to understand your life or confirm it, or reassure yourself that the road is what you think it is, only better.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: What a great piece that was.

"Morning Papers" when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: OK, the papers are all here now, time to check morning papers from around the country and around the world.

The last one arrived just moments ago, hot off the presses. "The International Herald Tribune" starts us off. That's a big story today: "GM plans to cut 25,000 jobs in the United States, 20 percent of the blue collar workforce. Some say deeper cuts are needed."

How did it happen that the American car industry -- it just seems like it's collapsing. I mean, the bonds are junk bonds now. This is GM, for goodness' sakes.

"The Washington Post," lots of Iraq there. "Poll finds dimmer view of Iraq war; 52 percent say U.S. has not become safer." We mentioned that.

Outside Iraq but deep in the fight, a smuggler of insurgents reveals Syria's influential changing role. The Syrian government, of course, denies having anything to do with it.

"Tobacco escapes huge penalty. U.S. seeks $10 billion instead of $130 billion." What's a few hundred billion between friends?

"The Christian Science Monitor." "Dean fires" -- down at the bottom, Eddie (ph) -- "Dean fires up base on both sides. A controversial remark puts Democratic chairman on defensive."

He said of Republicans as a group, "they've never had to make an honest living in their lives." He said that was misinterpreted. What would be the other interpretation of that remark?

"The Washington Times." I love this segment, OK? You probably can't tell. "Bush, Blair dismiss memo." "U.S. commits $674 million to fight African famine." The problem with the memo is, it wasn't exactly written by Howard Dean; it was written by a foreign policy aide to Mr. Blair.

"Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson" is what "The Daily News" has to say in New York. "Anne Bancroft dead at 73."

"Feds want all he's Gotti." Get it? That's junior, Gotti. I call him junior. "The Herald Sun" -- this is an Australian paper -- "Russell Crowe admits, I have a problem." How are we doing on time, Wilson (ph)? Thirty? My goodness.

The "Burt County Plain Dealer" in Burt County, Nebraska. They have a -- we haven't heard from them in a while, have we? "Gibson rodeo wet and wild." That sounds a little racy to me.

Let's go to Chicago, what do you say? Roger Ebert on Anne Bancroft. Roger Ebert has lost a lot of weight. Has he been sick, or has he just lost a lot of weight? Anyway, Ebert remembers Anne Bancroft.

And this woman is having trouble getting her due from the U.S. government. Her husband died in Iraq. Come on, government, let's go.

Weather tomorrow in Chicago, "a sizzler," 90 degrees. A little warm here.

We'll wrap it up in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Poor Roger Thompson (ph) out in Lincoln, North Dakota standing in his dining room, with a really nice view of the sky. It's not supposed to be there. Bad weather out there.

We'll see you tomorrow at 10:00 o'clock Eastern time. Good night.

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