Return to Transcripts main page
CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN
Families Search for Loved Ones in London; How Can We Keep America Safe?
Aired July 11, 2005 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, HOST: Good evening again, everyone.
Four days after the terrorist strikes in London, two searches continue tonight and each is equally difficult.
In three subway trains deep beneath the city's streets, one of them 70 feet underground, rescuers are combing through the wreckage for bodies of victims, the heat stifling, the work exhausting. Investigators, meanwhile, are looking for clues that might lead them to the bombers.
Today the death toll in London rose to 52. Officials identified for the first time victims, a 53-year-old married mother of two and a 51-year-old office cleaner. Think about that. They know at least 52 people died. But figuring out who died from the sadly and, literally, the fragments of remains they have is proving to be both heartbreaking and difficult.
In the House of Commons, Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, said that Britain will not rest until the bombers are caught, bombers he said, who are likely Islamic extremist terrorists. It's not the first time that suggestion has been made in a country where diversity has come with complications.
We begin tonight with CNN's Nic Robertson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not about international law or the rule of law.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's Sunday night, three days after the London bombing. And a group of young Muslims meet in south London.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not talking about religions anymore. This is about bigger than that.
ROBERTSON: They're members of Hisbiutahir (ph), the largest hard line Islamic group in the country. They've come to condemn the bombing and discuss accusations that radical Muslims are behind the attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are any number of scenarios that can be played out here. Whether it was a British intelligence services, U.S. intelligence services or another power, which may have interest in doing such a thing, we just leave the door open.
ROBERTSON: Kassam Kawarja (ph) is one of the group's leaders. He attended Oxford University. By day, he's a computer consultant. He fits exactly the profile of a Muslim extremist as defined by this report from the British home office. "By and large, most extremists fall into one of two groups: well educated with degrees and technical professional qualifications, or underachievers."
This same document suggests Hisbiutahir (ph) wants a global Islamic state and could be used for recruiting terrorists. Kawarja denies that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I'm saying is, in day to day, in the Muslim communities that I'm involved in, I have seen no evidence of it at all. No evidence of it at all. There is no recruitment.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Kawarja's (ph) group has been banned from universities and some mosques. By any standards, the views he espouses are far more radical than the vast majority of British Muslims.
(voice-over) In the last 30 years, Britain has had a massive influx of Muslims, so much so some have dubbed these streets Londonistan. One point six million Muslims now live here in Britain.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: People know full well that the overwhelming majority of Muslims stand four square with every other community in Britain.
ROBERTSON: British Prime Minister Tony Blair appears at pains not to alienate the country's Muslims. But even moderate leaders warn of discontent among Muslim youth.
DR. MUHAMMAD ABDUL BARI, CHAIRMAN, EAST LONDON MOSQUE: There is a social disaffection. There is deprivation. There is job. There is a job problem, employment problem. And, of course, the foreign policy of the government. These are probably the issues that some young people feel bitter about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the force side.
ROBERTSON: Former garage owner Glen Jenvey has made it his personal battle to draw London's Islamic extremists out into the open.
GLEN JENVEY, ISLAMIST RESEARCHER: There was enough there to sort of hang half Hamza and half the Jihadis in London.
ROBERTSON: After 9/11 he founded this fake Islamist web site. And convinced the radical London cleric, Abu Hamza, once a vocal and leading member of Hisbiutahir (ph), to send him recruiting videos.
JENVEY: I basically made them think that I was actually a jihadi.
ROBERTSON: The videos were so revealing, they resulted in one Islamic extremist, already facing charges in the U.S. for supporting terrorist organization, to plead guilty.
And Hamza, until then only suspected of supporting terrorism, was arrested, and charged with soliciting to murder.
JENVEY: It's like inviting a load of snakes. I'm playing with them and they're poking them, and Britain's being bitten.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a great deal of skepticism, great deal of skepticism around the kind of evidence that we are being asked to believe.
ROBERTSON: Skepticism not only about who's responsible for last week's London bombings.
(on camera) You don't believe Osama bin Laden was responsible for September 11th.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm not saying that. All I'm saying is that there is a case that's being presented.
ROBERTSON: And you don't...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me to engage in that case with little or no evidence...
ROBERTSON: Apart from his confession.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. But his confession. Where is he? Where is this organization? We hear the name of al Qaeda being applied left, right and center.
ROBERTSON: If views like this are common currency, the British government may have much more to worry about than just arresting those individuals responsible for last Thursday's bombings.
ROBERTSON: Now, Hawaja (ph) insists that, for all his rhetoric, there is no military action. His group is all about vocalizing their issues politically, Aaron.
BROWN: Nic, I want to try and get two things here. So work with me. First have all, I understand polemics as well as anybody, but do you think he actually does not believe there is an al Qaeda and actually does not believe Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11, and actually doesn't believe there's a Mohammed Atta and the rest?
ROBERTSON: You know, what is fascinating about this, Aaron, and quite surprising, to me here in London, as well, no, he doesn't. They thank -- many people in his group think -- there are a host of conspiracy theories about 9/11, about the bombs in London.
And just to round that home, if you will, to me, when I was out on the street earlier by a mosque, some people came up to talk to me, some Muslims from the local community. We got talking about this. And they said, "No, we don't believe that either. We -- you know, we think that the west is against us." It's surprising how deep among some in the community these thoughts run.
BROWN: Quickly on the investigation, is there any sense in London that they are close to breaking this?
ROBERTSON: We're not getting that from any of our sources. We're being told that the police are playing it close to their chest. We know that. They've said that they won't say, for example, what type of explosives there are, although it's being reported in some press today they're military explosives. The residue analysis should be, by this stage, giving the police that kind of information.
They're not revealing many of the names of the dead. Again, we're being told from inside this investigation, that the police are looking very, very, very closely at people who are missing, if you will. People that they've been watching and keeping an eye on that have disappeared off the radar screen.
So again, I think the police appear to be holding back on some information, Aaron.
BROWN: Nic, thank you. Good to see you. Nic Robertson is in London in the early morning there.
Whatever the final number of dead or injured or under arrest, at the end of it all, this is a story about individuals, more about how they lived and how they died, how those they loved are adjusting and how life for a lot of people may change.
For now, though, the story is about lives interrupted, or in the case of a woman from Nigeria looking for her missing son, it is about all of that and everything else that lives in a mother's heart.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIE FATAYI-WILLIAMS, MISSING MAN'S MOTHER: This is Anthony, Anthony Fatayi-Williams, my son. Twenty-six years old. He's missing. And we feel he was in the bus explosion that exploded on Thursday. We don't know.
We know of New York. We know Madrid. We know London. But the widespread slaughter of innocent people. Terrorism is not the way.
My son Anthony is my first son, my only son, 26, my only son, the head of my family. African society, they hold onto sons. He has dreams and hopes. And I, his mother, must fight to protect them, to protect his values and to protect his memory.
Innocent blood will always cry to God Almighty for reparation (ph)! So how much blood must be spilt? How many tears shall we cry? How many mothers' hearts must be maimed? My heart is maimed at the moment. I pray that I see my son Anthony!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Two young American women who were injured in one London subway explosion underwent surgery today, underwent surgery at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. They've been flown home.
Sisters Emily and Katie Benton were just 10 feet from the bomb that exploded in a subway car near Edgware Road. The doctor said their condition is stable. They appear to be doing well, all things considered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREGORY GEORGIADE, M.D., SURGEON: Their injuries are multiple in nature. They will survive, and they have great faith. And they have great support by the family, and they will do well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Emily and Katie Benton are from Tennessee. Last week, they were vacationing in London with.
Another American, 37-year-old Michael Matsushita of the Bronx is presumed dead in the bombings. He'd already -- he had recently, rather, moved to London, has not been seen since. He left his flat for work on Thursday morning.
The attacks on London have refocused our attention on the war on terror here at home, of course, as well. In a speech at the FBI training academy in Virginia today, President Bush talked about terror strikes last week in London, raising several familiar themes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These kind of people who blow up subways and buses are not people you can negotiate with or reason with or appease. In the face of such adversaries, there is only one course of action. We will continue to take the fight to the enemy. And we will fight until this enemy is defeated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: President Bush speaking at the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia, today.
There is probably something about human nature that has us fighting the last battle and not the next, where the war on terror is concerned. Since 9/11 we spent nearly 20 billion on airport security and relative chunk change, $250 million on mass transit. Had the 9/11 hijackers hit subways and not airplanes, you can bet the numbers would be different.
In one part this is a political story, in another part it's a security story, and in truth, it's also part of a story about limitations. We can only do so much.
Joining us now from Washington, James Carafano is the senior fellow for defense at homeland security at the Heritage Foundation. We're pleased to see him.
Look, the question, I think, is not can money solve every problem, and I think the question is, A, are we spending money right? And B, if we spent more on mass transit, would we be safer?
JAMES CARAFANO, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: No.
CARAFANO: No, because quite frankly, what the terrorists would do is they'd just move on to the next target. I mean, you know, comparisons between aviation and mass transit are very inappropriate. The hugest chunk of the money that's paying for airline security comes from taxes that we stick on airline tickets.
CARAFANO: So if mass transit wants the same amount of money as aviation security, then you're going to start putting surcharges on subway passes and bus tokens. And it won't be mass transit anymore; nobody will be able to afford do it.
BROWN: Time out here. It strikes me, honestly, that we're kind of mixing arguments here. One argument is where does the money come from.
My question really has to do with forget where the money comes from for a second. If we had more money or if we spent money differently, could we make Grand Central Station or Union Station in Washington, could we make it safer? Because if you take the train -- I've taken the train -- you know that you could walk on Amtrak tomorrow with a bomb and know one would stop you.
CARAFANO: Right. The answer is no. I mean, first of all, mass transit is designed to move many people very quickly. The kind -- the kind of things that would make it impenetrable are screening systems and hardening, enormously expensive and they would pretty much make mass transit dysfunctional. So there's not a good practical solution to doing that.
And then you still wouldn't solve the problem, because then they'd just blow up a station in Oklahoma City or they'd blow up the station in Los Angeles.
So you start with the best investment, the best bang for the buck is to get the terrorists to begin with. So the first thing you want to fully fund is your intelligence, your early warning, your counter- terrorism operations, because that's the best investment on a dollar.
Trying to child proof America is a disaster strategy. And it is about throwing money at the problem. I mean, that's essentially what we're doing. We've allocated $250 million to mass transit security. Most of that money hasn't been spent and people are screaming to throw more money at it.
BROWN: All right. Let me -- let me take the argument to an end and we can decide if it's in a logical end or not.
I agree with you that the first thing to do is to stop them from getting in. I don't think any disagrees. That's -- that's a slam dunk. But honestly, I'm not that confident we can do that.
So if we take your argument to its end, we really wouldn't spend money screening airline passengers any more than we'd spend money securing subway stations, because they'll just move on to the next one, a chemical plant or a water treatment plant or a milk supply. Or -- right?
CARAFANO: Quite frankly, I think that the airline security approach it's not a good model, we spend 99 percent of our money screening 99 percent of people that aren't a problem.
Now, there are things that we should do. I mean, there are reasonable things that we should do that can make mass transit safer. Situation awareness, where you know what's going on in the system, interoperable communications, information sharing, intelligence exchange, public awareness. But quite frankly, we're doing a lot of those things already.
BROWN: So if you had another $100 million and I said to you, you can only spend this on subways, mass transit generally, when all is said and done, you don't think it would be any safer than it is right now?
CARAFANO: No. Actually, I'd take the money and I'd give it to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is running around with ships that are sinking and are older than the crews that are on them. And they're providing the first line of defense for this country, and they don't even have the ships they need. And we're going to spend money hardening trains, it just makes no sense.
BROWN: Well, as a former Coast Guardsman, I'd probably take the money. Thank you. Good to see you. We appreciate the argument tonight.
In a moment, when a hurricane hits, who's in charge? But first, at a quarter past the hour, if I talk really fast, Erica Hill joins us from Atlanta with some of the day's other news.
Good evening, Ms. Hill.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS: Good evening to you. You just made it just under the wire. Eight seconds to go. Nice work.
Actually, let me start off with a rather somber marking of an anniversary. Tens of thousands gathering today in Bosnia-Herzegovina to honor the victims of the worst massacre since World War II, when nearly 8,000 Muslims were murdered by Bosnia Serb troops in Srebrenica. The massacre began 10 years ago today. Two key Bosnian wartime leaders have been indicted for genocide by the U.N. Tribunal on War Crimes, but both are still at large.
And yet more sad news in a very sad story, after the FBI positively identified remains it discovered last week in Montana as those of 9-year-old Dylan Groene. James Edward Duncan III, a convicted multiple sex offender, is already being held on charges of kidnapping Dylan and his sister, Shasta, who survived. In southern Colorado, a wildfire has destroyed 8,000 acres of the San Isabel National Forest. It has also -- it's also forced the evacuation of 5,000 people in the area about 100 miles south of Denver. The next few days, forecasters say, will bring dry windy conditions. That is not good news for firefighters.
And as Lieutenant Columbo always said, just one more thing, Aaron. A plug for the best way to see as much CNN video you'd like whenever you'd like. Go to CNN.com. But best of all, you can get it for less than Columbo paid for a five-cent cigar, about a nickel less, just in case you forgot over the weekend.
BROWN: I don't want to worry you. But I got an e-mail from someone on this with an obscenity attached to it. OK?
HILL: That's not good.
BROWN: Not good at all. Thank you. We'll see you in a half an hour.
More to come tonight on the program, starting with the storm.
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": It's falling apart. Get back! Get back!
BROWN (voice-over): When things get rough, when high winds gather, meet the gathering call.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming off that three-mile bridge area, wind gusts there easy 50 miles an hour, probably got four foot waves breaking across there.
BROWN: Hurricane Dennis and the county sheriff known as Hurricane Ron.
Later, police opened fire, a young child died. What went wrong? Did anything go right? We'll ask the Los Angeles chief of police.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I've known Karl for a long time and I didn't even need to go ask Karl, because I know the kind of person that he is. And he is someone that is committed to the highest standards of conduct.
BROWN: That was then. What about now? Did the president's top political adviser break the law and out a CIA agent? He's Karl Rove and this is NEWSNIGHT.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Warm moist night in the city. Hurricane Dennis is now -- well, it's not a hurricane, for one thing -- it's a tropical depression that moving up the Ohio River Valley carrying high winds and lots and lots of rain. But a shadow of the Category 3 storm that struck the Panhandle of Florida yesterday afternoon, killing five people when it came ashore.
More than half a people -- half a million homes lost power. There is flooding and there is much damage. And there is also this. People know how much worse it might have been. Some, because they lived through it before, others because it's their job to.
Here's CNN's David Mattingly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're doing here today. This the roadblock we've got set up to turn away anybody other than residents.
How y'all doing? You doing OK? How's it going?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fine, sir.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Escambia County Sheriff Ron McNesby (ph) in Florida's extreme western Panhandle, checks on preparations while in the sights of an extremely dangerous Hurricane Dennis. The day before landfall, the early news is about as bad as it gets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It scares me to death. It really does. It makes you just really numb about the thing, you know?
MATTINGLY: Debris from September's Category 3 Ivan is still everywhere, and Dennis, already a killer, is shaping up to be an Ivan clone.
(on camera) What's your biggest fear with this storm?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My biggest fear of this storm is that it totally destroys what's left and breaks the heart and the back of the people. How much -- how much can you take?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join with me as we have a word of prayer. It's a tough time. This the only way I know how to deal with it. Our most kind and gracious heavenly father, I pray for protection of our community, dear God, and I know it looks bleak.
MATTINGLY: Sunday morning the mood inside the command center is unsettled. But McNesby (ph) has worked through so many hurricanes he's earned the nickname Hurricane Ron. But even he's never seen two storms so big and so close together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we're going through a time now that everybody's starting to get tense. We need to relax a little bit, take a breath and move on.
MATTINGLY: There are no windows in the basement command center, so McNesby (ph) won't stay inside to watch Dennis approach on video screens. Hurricane Ron has to do that outside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we speak coming off that three-mile bridge area, wind gusts there are easy 50 miles an hour, probably have got four-foot waves breaking across there.
MATTINGLY: With the storm bearing down, McNesby (ph) moves by instinct. Landfall minus four hours, he is among the last to attempt to drive over the angry bay waters for one last look at the ocean. What he sees tells him it's time to make his most difficult decision of the day.
(on camera) It's the decision to pull his deputies off the streets. In order to keep them safe during the storm, they have to take shelter. When they do this, they can't respond to any emergency calls. When they did this during Hurricane Ivan, people died.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very hard last time. Some of the very calls that we got in, people crying, saying, "I'm in my attic. I can't get out, the water's up." And you have to tell somebody you can't come. How do you do that?
This is going to be the hardest time for y'all.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): Landfall minus three hours, McNesby (ph) orders his deputies in and immediately comforts his dispatchers, the ones who will have to tell the people in need to wait.
Landfall minus two hours, Hurricane Ron takes one last look at the storm from the roof.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can pretty well tell the bands of rain are coming in better.
MATTINGLY: Meanwhile, several stories below, the focus is on responding after the storm. Deputies monitor shelters, hospitals and watch for where they will be need most. Landfall minus 30 minutes, there's nothing to do but wait.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't ever know what to expect. You just have to be prepared and you have to be patient. That's the hard thing. This is a little bit of a downtime. You'll see a little more -- spirits are a little bit down now because of that anticipation.
MATTINGLY: And as Dennis comes ashore, all eyes are on the eye, and a welcome sight: a late shift in the storm's path sends it ever so slightly to the right. Unlike Ivan that passed to the west and poured rain on the county for hours, the eye of Dennis that was bearing down on Pensacola instead, passes to the east and drops to a Category 3. Inside the command center, there is welcome relief.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was going so fast. It moved a little to the right and it just came apart in a hurry. Sometimes that does happen.
MATTINGLY (on camera): You dodged a very big bullet here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're very fortunate.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): But this is what fortunate looks like in the aftermath of a major hurricane.
Two hours after landfall we followed the sheriff's convoy for their first look at the island beaches. We found flooded roads, tumbled trailers, toppled power lines. But according to Hurricane Ron, this was no Ivan.
MATTINGLY (on camera): Considering how bad it could have been, are you happy right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am tickled pink.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, look at what we've got. We've got something to work with. I really thought we'd come back over here and find a flat beach. I really expected that.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): To a less seasoned hurricane responder the destruction from Dennis might appear daunting. But roads will be cleared, and residents will be allowed back in in a matter of days. Once power is restored, the tourists won't be far behind.
(on camera) Sheriff, I almost hate to ask you this question right now. Do you feel lucky about this one? What about next one?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's the thing, we're already hearing about a system off the African coast already. With the luck we're having in Pensacola, Florida, I don't know. That scares me to death. For now, we'll take this good luck.
MATTINGLY (voice-over): David Mattingly, CNN, Pensacola, Florida.
BROWN: First it was Ivan, then Dennis and then what? It's one kind of question for the weather service or the sheriff. It's another question entirely for the people who have had more than enough over the last 10 months. Here's CNN's Keith Oppenheim.
KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Lee and Francine Neal walk into their home in Gulf Breeze, Florida, they have doubts about the home they've loved for years.
(on camera) How sure are you that you will stay in this house?
FRANCINE NEAL, GULF BREEZE RESIDENT: I'm not so sure. I'm not so sure. I think we'll get it back, you know, and get it finished and then we'll just kind of assess what the odds of having to go through this again are.
OPPENHEIM (voice-over): They've loved it, but for a quite awhile now they haven't been able to live in it.
(on camera) I'm sort of taken by the fact that I'm walking into a house that's under construction.
F. NEAL: Right, from Ivan. We had extensive damage from Ivan, and we were 10 months out of it, almost ready to move back in.
OPPENHEIM (voice-over): Ten months ago, Hurricane Ivan ripped through their home of 17 years right on Pensacola Bay. Since then, they've been repairing it...
F. NEAL: This is 80 percent new drywall.
OPPENHEIM: ... returning it to its original form, all at a cost of about $200,000.
And during all this, the family has stayed in a temporary home, this 29 foot trailer, which they park on the front lawn. Lately, the Neals' son, Charlie and daughter, Morgan, have been staying there, too.
(on camera) So we've got brother, sister, mom and dad in unity.
F. NEAL: Unity. That's right.
OPPENHEIM (voice-over): But last week, the charm was starting to wear off when the Neals got more bad news: Hurricane Dennis.
LEE NEAL, GULF BREEZE RESIDENT: You feel really sick at your stomach. You feel like, I've been through this once. Do I really want to go through it again? Did I make the right decisions?
BROWN: For the Neals, as for most down here, Dennis wasn't nearly as bad as Ivan. They had some water damage but mostly the inconvenience of putting things away.
(on camera) All this stuff would have just, you know, blown into the bay if you hadn't put it up here.
F. NEAL: Right, right.
L. NEAL: Basically all this stuff is uninsured property. If we lost it, it would have been just another loss out of our pocket.
OPPENHEIM (voice-over): But for the Neals, Dennis was about emotion, not money.
L. NEAL: If we're going to stay here we have to get smart enough to survive. We have to become survivors in this environment. And the people who leave are the people who can't adapt to this.
OPPENHEIM: Hurricanes, of course, are not easy to adapt to, especially for a family like the Neal, who love where they live but know they are powerless in the face of the next storm, one that might destroy their home.
Keith Oppenheim, CNN, Gulf Breeze, Florida.
BROWN: Just ahead tonight, the hostage standoff that turned into a shootout that took the life of a very young child. What happened on the streets of Los Angeles, what went wrong?
We'll take a break first after a look around the world. This is "NEWSNIGHT."
BROWN: We, just in the last few minutes, learned the name of the fourth and final Navy SEAL, to be recovered in the mountains of Afghanistan. His name is Petty Officer Second Class Matthew Axelson of Cupertino, California. Only one of the four survived. New details now emerging how the young man managed to survive.
Here's our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The outnumbered, outgunned SEAL team was in big trouble, even before the rescue helicopter sent on a risky daylight mission was shot down. Only one of the four U.S. Navy commandos stranded on the ground would make it out alive.
REAR ADM. JOSEPH MAGUIRE, NAVY SPECIAL WARFARE COMMAND: He was able to, after suffering his combat wounds, travel at least four kilometers through extremely mountainous terrain, engaging the enemy along the way and avoiding capture.
MCINTYRE: In an exclusive story entitled, "How the shepherd Saved the SEAL," "Time" magazine says an Afghan herdsman named Gulab discovered the wounded U.S. commando and convinced him not to shoot.
"I remembered hearing that if an American sticks up his thumb, it's a friendly gesture. So that's what I did." According to the "Time" account, "...Gulab lifted his tunic to show the American he hasn't hiding a weapon. He then propped up the wounded commando, and together the pair hobbled down the steep mountain trail..."
For days they U.S. military mounted a frantic search for any survivors, but so did the Taliban, who sent a terse demand to the Pashtun villagers who sheltered him. "We want this infidel." A firm reply from the village chief, Shinah, shot back, "The American is our guest, and we won't give him up."
(on camera): CNN has learned the SEAL wrote a note, which was delivered by a villager to the U.S. military, who then came to his rescue. He's now been reunited with his family in Texas, but because of the nature of his job, his name and the details of his mission will likely never be publicly acknowledged.
MAGUIRE: Secrecies away of life with us and that's how we do things.
MCINTYRE: At a memorial service last week, the sacrifice of the SEALs was marked by their fins, face masks and combat knife: Weapons a frog man, who died 7,000 feet up the side of a mountain more than 300 miles from the sea.
MAGUIRE: We are Naval commandos. We are warriors from the sea, but we were in the Kunar Province, up in the Himalayas, because that's where the enemy was and that's where we go.
MCINTYRE: Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.
BROWN: James Reston, who covered Washington for decades, once said the ship of state is the only known vessel that leaks from the top.
Tonight, we know that in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, James Reston got it right. Though not in name and perhaps not illegally, that's for a prosecutor and jury ultimately to decided, the president's top political adviser clearly leaked, which is different from what the White House said at the time. Which, to use a phrase from another time and another scandal all together: Previous statements by the president's spokesman appear to be inoperative.
Reporting tonight from the White House, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, was the secret source for "Time" magazine reporter Matt Cooper, in a story that eventually ousted a covert CIA agent. But questions remain as to whether any laws were broken.
In e-mails first published in "Newsweek" and Monday's "Washington Post," Cooper tells his boss he "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background," regarding Joe Wilson.
The ambassador said he'd been sent by the CIA to investigate whether Iraq was trying to buy uranium in Africa. According to Cooper's e-mail, Rove tried to warn him off some of Wilson's assertions.
"It was, KR [KARL ROVE] said, Wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on weapons of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip. Her name, Valerie Plame, was first reported by columnist Robert Novak in July 2003, three days after Cooper's conversation with Rove.
Since then, a federal prosecutor has been investigating whether any knowingly blew her cover, which is a federal crime. Last august, Rove told CNN...
KARL ROVE, POLITICAL ADVISER: I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name. MALVEAUX: Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, backs that claim today, telling CNN, "A fair reading of Cooper's e-mail suggest that what Karl was trying to do was to discourage "Time" from reporting allegations that proved to be false, not to encourage them to publish anything about Wilson's wife.
Luskin says Rove never identified Plame by name, nor did he know she was covert operative. When Rove's name first came up as part of the CIA leak investigation, the White House was seemingly quick to clear him and other administrative officials Elliot Abrams and Lewis Libby.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I spoke with those individuals,as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this.
MALVEAUX: But now, the White House has changed its tact.
MCCLELLAN: Those overseeing the investigation expressed a preference to use that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it's ongoing.
MALVEAUX (on camera): Last year, Mr. Bush promised to fire anyone caught leaking, saying that if the person violated law, they will be taken care of. So far, there is no evidence to show that Karl Rove knew that Valerie Plame's identity was being protected.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, the White House.
BROWN: Still to come tonight: The hostage standoff in Los Angeles that ended in the death of a baby. What happened?
And what's with gasoline prices? Where are they headed? You can only imagine.
From New York, this NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: Evidence is still being gathered. Some answers will come only from the autopsies, but this much is known: After a hail of gunfire late yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles, a hostage situation ended in the worst possible way.
BROWN (voice-over): It was the barrage of gunfire that ended the two-hour standoff in Los Angeles late Sunday afternoon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About a good 12 shots is what I thought I heard, a good -- probably about 12 shots.
BROWN: Police were called to the scene by reports of an armed man holding a child hostage. SWAT team negotiators talked to the suspect, Jose Raul Pena, by phone, and a woman trapped in the standoff made a quick break to safety.
According to police, Pena came out of the building several times. Eyewitnesses said he was carrying the 18-month-old toddler, and firing erratically. Police returned fire, and the third time an officer was wounded. Both the toddler, Suzy Marie Lopez, and her father were dead.
Lorena Lopez, the child's mother, said, "the only thing I want is justice, because they ended the life of a baby."
A police spokesman said the shooting was traumatic for everyone involved.
JIM MCDONNELL, LAPD: Anytime you go to a scene and you have a young baby killed, it takes a tremendous toll. These officers are all family people and they can picture their own kid in that same circumstances, so they're taking it to heart, they're taking it tough.
BROWN: The man who now has to deal with just how tough an incident like this can be on his community and on his police department is the chief of police in Los Angeles, William Bratton. He spoke to reporters earlier this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BRATTON, LA POLICE CHIEF: Unfortunately in this instance, the suspect's actions left the officers no choice. Over a period of two and a half hours, Mr. Pena was given repeated opportunities by officers and hostage negotiators to surrender or release the child. He refused to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Ultimately the Los Angeles Police Commission will review all the evidence, decide whether or not police acted appropriately.
Two decades ago, she blazed a trail in politics, took some bumps along the way. Where is Geraldine Ferraro today? We'll take a look at that coming up.
Also coming up, pain at the pump, but not enough pain, it turns out, to keep you from buying. We'll take a break. This is NEWSNIGHT on CNN.
BROWN: It's another tough day in Iraq today, more bombings there.
In a moment, the woman who broke the gender barrier for national office two decades ago. But first, at about a quarter to the hour, time once again for other news of the day. Erica Hill joins us in Atlanta -- Erica. HILL: Hi again, Aaron. Still almost two months of summer driving ahead, and gas prices setting a new record. The national average now, $2.31 a gallon for regular. And don't expect any relief here, folks. Compared to a year ago, gasoline demand is up 2.5 percent.
Kelly Frank, the man accused of planning to kidnap Harry Joseph Letterman, son of the talk show host David Letterman, is now going to jail. But not for kidnapping. Frank reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in Montana today, where he will serve up to 10 years for lesser charges, including theft. In March, he was arrested after he talked about a plan to abduct the toddler from the Letterman ranch, where he was an employee.
It's all systems go at Cape Canaveral, where NASA officials are feeling pretty positive about Discovery, the first shuttle mission since the Columbia tragedy was two years ago. Conditions for Wednesday afternoon's scheduled litfoff are predicted to be about 70 percent favorable.
And in China, the Great Wall, not big enough to keep a California scateboarder from jumping over it this weekend, more than once. Danny Way and his board soared 61 feet, after taking off from a specially built ramp. In its 3,000-year history, no one ever cleared the Great Wall without using a motor, much less tried to do it on a skateboard. Not too shabby, although when he falls there, it looks like it hurts.
BROWN: Well, that's it. Communism is dead. If they're selling rights to skate on the Great Wall, it's over. Thank you.
That's -- well, they don't tell me how to run the program, I won't tell them how to run their country. Thank you very much. Talk to you later.
You can tell the pioneers, so the saying goes, by the arrows sticking out of them. It's not easy being first, especially when being first doesn't mean finishing first. Sometimes, though, it's worth it, every now and then, or, as the case may be here, every "Then & Now."
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Political history was made when 1984 Democratic presidential candidate, Walter Mondale, named New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate. It was the first time a woman was a contender for the country's second highest office on a major party ticket.
GERALDINE FERRARO, FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whether it was a rally, whether it was a press conference, whether it was a debate against the vice president of the United States, my biggest concern when I walked in was making sure that I did it right and didn't let down the women.
ZAHN: The reelection of Ronald Reagan ended her executive office hopes, but Ferraro went on to serve as a U.S. ambassador, and, after leaving government, hosted CNN's "CROSSFIRE."
In 1998, while campaigning for a Senate seat, Ferraro was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a very rare and often fatal blood cancer. She is now in what her doctors call pathological remission.
Besides raising awareness for myeloma, she's traded the life of a politician to a slightly less demanding VP role with a global consulting group.
Ferraro has been married for 45 years; the mother of three and the grandmother of seven. She considers herself a very lucky person.
FERRARO: I went from being a kid who lost her father and who lived in the South Bronx, almost to going in to live in the White House. That just tells you about what this country is all about.
BROWN: Geraldine Ferraro. The Hurricane Dennis out of the way, the next storm is building. We'll give you details of that, and "Morning Papers" too after the break.
BROWN: OK. Time to check the morning papers from around the country and around the world, but We interrupt this edition of "Morning Papers" for a quick check of the weather -- in this case, Tropical Storm Emily, which looks like the next major storm is already building in the Caribbean. You can see it. A lot of things influence whether these storms grow to become hurricanes and the directions they go, what weather systems surround it. So we'll just keep an eye on Emily, as we have to do here at NEWSNIGHT, as it turns out.
Now, on to papers. "The International Herald Tribune." A lot of good stuff going on for the middle of summer, honestly. "At Srebrenica, vows of justice 10 years later." This is the 10th anniversary of the massacre there. "Bosnian Muslims see empty promises," in part, I must say, because most Serbs seem to deny it ever happened, or many Serbs do. I don't know that most Serbs do, but many do, which is too bad.
"Christian Science Monitor," down at the bottom here, on this shuttle, the one coming up on Wednesday, 3:00 Eastern time here on CNN, by the way, "On this shuttle, safety is obsession." I hope so. Tomorrow's planned launch will be treated as a high-risk test flight. We'll have extensive coverage.
Spanish papers, Spanish headline. "Spain's first gay marriage celebrated in Madrid suburb." Couple met in 1975, when anti- homosexual law was in effect. Gay marriage now legal in Spain.
Wilson (ph), how are we doing on time? One minute. Thank you very much.
"The Washington Times," notable for two reasons. Didn't put the Karl Rove story on the front page, which to me is front-page story, particularly in Washington, but again, I don't tell the Chinese how to run their country, I don't tell "The Washington Times" how to run their paper. "House bill respects Patriot Act powers. Bush pushes for extended access." A little battle there. And "Bombs planner fled Britain early, police say." That's the first story I've seen like that, where they got a line on somebody. So we'll kind of keep an eye on that.
"Cincinnati Enquirer." "Hurricane fallout" here. "Two inches of rain," that would be in Cincinnati. "Bush aide Rove tied to leak." I don't know how you can not put that on the front page of your newspaper. My goodness.
"Chattanooga Times Free Press." Chattanooga got some rain, "Dennis breezes over the area."
And Detroit -- I want to get this in before the clock runs out. "Detroit News," "Hitsville USA," not Hockeytown, USA. The All-Star game is there tomorrow, so baseball has the entire front page of "The Detroit News."
Weather tomorrow in Chicago, by the way -- "glug, glug" -- it's the storm.
We'll wrap it up in a moment.
BROWN: Picture of the day comes out of Srebrenica, the 10th anniversary there. Look at the woman's face. Tells you everything about that story.
We'll see you tomorrow, 10:00 Eastern time. Good night for all of us.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com