Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Bush to Announce Supreme Court Nominee Tonight; Johnnie Cochran's Doctor Suggests Cell Phone Caused Tumor

Aired July 19, 2005 - 13:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, HOST: Supreme Court watch. Will we find out who the president will pick today? We're live from the White House.
Tracking Hurricane Emily. Texas and Mexico brace for a possible direct hit, possibly tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This preaching of hate is not inside the mosque but it is outside and we need to deal with that.


PHILLIPS: What inspires terror bombers? Muslim leaders in London face that troubling question.

From the CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Kyra Phillips. CNN's LIVE FROM starts right now.

Up first this hour, naming names. One name in particular that President Bush is expected to announce soon, perhaps sometime today, is that of his first nominee to the Supreme Court. Speculation is rampant about who it will be and how he or she might impact the law of the land.

We have two correspondents covering the story for you. CNN's Ed Henry is on Capitol Hill. But first let's go to our national correspondent, Bob Franken. He's at the White House -- Bob.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And we've been getting mixed signals all day. The speculation has been, and it's been fueled by any number of sources here at the White House, that there would be an announcement today about the selection of President Bush.

And Scott McClellan at the -- Scott McClellan, the press secretary of the president, has just announced in the briefing room, not on camera, he's just announced that President Bush has made selection and will make the announcement at 9 p.m. tonight. So that settles that.

Now, of course, it's going to be the mad scramble to try and get ahead of that 9 p.m. announcement. The president now is going to be making a selection.

There has been a variety of names that have been tossed out there. And of course, the confusion is are those names out there as straw men and straw women that are designed to mislead, to obscure the final selection, or is it from one of those? And will the person be somebody that appeals to the president's conservative base or one that stands a stronger likelihood of having a smooth confirmation through a Senate and through a divided country that is just primed for a battle over the president's first Supreme Court nomination?

In any case, we have the answer to the questions that's been preoccupying us all day and that is that the official announcement from President Bush will be coming at 9 p.m. tonight. Dare I guess that we'll be covering that, Kyra?

PHILLIPS: No doubt, 9 p.m. I would hope so Bob. I think that you're going to have a long day. I guess word was we were all supposed to wear our best suits, because we wouldn't be leaving the office anytime soon.

Let's talk a little bit. So now we know there will be an announcement, that a decision is made. Let's talk about options that are out there. The White House, of course, some individuals coming out and talking about the fact that this could be a history-making pick, nominating a strong conservative. That, of course, would change the direction and the future of the court.

A lot of other people coming forward, saying no, diversity has to be a very important issue here. Considering gender, ethnicity. Now that we know a decision has been made, you're working your sources there. What do you think folks are leaning towards?

FRANKEN: Well, it could be all of the above. It could be somebody who is conservative, to touch that base, who is a woman, to touch that base, and Hispanic, to touch that base, where much of the speculation has gone.

It could be somebody, as the president has so often said, in the Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas mode. Those would be people who are considered on the conservative side of the legal and political spectrum.

It could be a consensus candidate. I'm just going through the various could-be's.

Remember now, that there's also been advice from various members of the U.S. Senate, Democratic and Republican alike, that the president perhaps considered going out of what Senator Patrick Leahy, the Democrat, called the judicial monastery, and that is to say getting somebody would has had practical legal experience, excuse me, political experience, as had Sandra Day O'Connor, who, of course, has gotten all this started with her resignation.

And one thing we've been told, by the way, is Scott McClellan, who in the last several days has been making some news deflecting questions on Karl Rove, is canceling his briefing that's coming up, scheduled to come up in just a short while, for reason we all understand, because he'd be deflecting questions that he wants the president to answer this evening in the Supreme Court nomination. Speaking of the Karl Rove matter, of course, that is news that is considered at the moment so yesterday. We've moved on. And of course, they're going to have big news tonight.

Back to your question, Kyra, some of the selections range from those who are going to be very pleasing to conservative, some who have been very outspoken in opposition to the Roe v. Wade decision. Others who have not got much of a record at all, one of those judges who's on the appeals court whose name has come up is one that doesn't really have much of what is a paper trail.

And that worries the conservatives because they remember David Souter. They had hoped that he would be more conservative than he's turned out to be on the Supreme Court.

So the answer to your question, long treatise, Kyra. The real answer is, who knows?

PHILLIPS: That's true. And it always comes down to it, doesn't that? Well, looking at, you know, conservative, liberal. Then you've got Arlen Specter sticking with what he says a moderate should be the individual that takes the seat.

FRANKEN: Well, you know, that's such an interesting word, because it suggests that somebody who does not agree with Arlen Specter would be immoderate. It's a term that a lot of people would try.

Specter is somebody who tries to argue for what is oftentimes described as mainstream. We've also had the president's spokesman say that the president will choose somebody from the mainstream. But mainstream is one of those words that's in the eyes of the beholder. And we're going to find out who the eyes of the beholder.

The important beholder tonight will be President Bush. He's certainly not going to come out and say, "I've decided to nominate somebody who is not in the judicial mainstream." What we do know, he is going to say is that he's looking for somebody that is not what is described as a judicial activist. That is a code word, something that normally antagonizes for conservatives. That goes back to the civil rights movement. That goes back to Earl Warren, who by the way, of course, was a Republican nominee of Dwight Eisenhower.

So the point is that the president is going to try and say, at least, that he has gotten somebody who is that mainstream consensus candidate, and then we'll just see how fragile that consensus is after the announcement this evening.

PHILLIPS: All right, Bob Franken. Let's get ready for a long day. We'll be checking in with you, of course, throughout the next few hours, for sure. Bob Franken at the White House. Thank you so much.

As you know, the White House is contacting select lawmakers that it hopes will be vocal supporters of the nominee once the name is announced. CNN congressional correspondent Ed Henry on Capitol Hill. Now we're getting word, 9 p.m., Ed. What are you hearing there on the Hill?

ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the bottom line is that senators in both parties were expecting that, if not today, it would come at least in the next couple of days. Because there's a push now, if the president, as he has said, he wants to get this new justice in place by the first Monday in October. He has to get the ball rolling.

That's why we're seeing this nomination coming tonight. The Senate will be heading out of session at the end of next week for the August recess. The point her is you have to get a nominee who can start making courtesy calls here on Capitol Hill to meet with key senators, on the judiciary committee, like Arlen Specter, over the next few days, into next week.

Then the August recess would be, the entire month, would be used for the FBI background search, also for the Senate Judiciary Committee's background search of this nominee, make sure there are no problems in the background, no problems in the record that they spot, any ethical issues. They'll comb through anything.

That would set the table for confirmation hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee probably right after Labor Day at the beginning of September. Then some sort of a floor debate in the United States Senate, later in September. Again, all with the eye trained on getting this nominee confirmed by the beginning of October. That's what we've heard over and over from the president.

Now, what we're hearing from key senators, the idea that there was some imminence to this announcement first came up last night when we learned that Senator Arlen Specter had been planning to attend a softball game on the National Mall with his staff but instead got called over for a meeting with the president.

After that meeting, we saw, as you can see there, the senator was chatting with Karl Rove, the White House chief deputy of staff for a couple of minutes. Then he headed over to the softball game a little bit late.

But he told CNN there at the game that he had had a discussion with the president. He wouldn't get into any details of it, but he seemed to be indicating that something was coming soon.

And in fact, about 15 minutes ago, I ran into Senator Specter in the hallway with some other reporters. We were pressing him on the details. I asked him point blank, did the president last night give you a name or a list of names, a short list of names? The senator refused to answer.

He said he wants to be invited back to the White House. He assumed that the conversation last night was confidential, so he does not want to talk about the details. He does not want to step on the president's announcement.

What the senator, though, as Senate judiciary chairman is talking about, is the fact, as you mentioned a moment ago, Kyra, Senator Specter want to see a more moderate, more mainstream justice nominated here in this process. There's been a lot of talk about the Sandra Day O'Connor seat being a tipping point on this court, and that if the president gets a conservative through the Senate for that seat, that could tip the balance on a lot of major social issues.

Senator Specter yesterday in an exclusive interview with CNN made clear he wants to see more of a moderate picked. Here he is.


HENRY: Are you looking for a nominee that's going to keep the ideological balance that there's now? There's a lot of talk about the O'Connor seat being a more moderate seat. Is that the way you view it?

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R), PENNSYLVANIA: I do. I think that it's important to keep balance on the court. And that is in every respect. And I think that Americans are concerned about having somebody who's too far one side or too far to the other side. And the balance is critical.


HENRY: So you can see there Senator Specter making his pitch for what he want to see. Obviously, though, this is up to the president, not up to Senator Specter. But he will have a very important role as the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman in shaping the confirmation battle, basically, ahead.

Senator Specter has been through nine previous Senate Supreme Court confirmation fights, including the Bork hearings, the Clarence Thomas hearings. He told me yesterday in that interview he considers those, as he put it, rock 'em, sock 'em affairs. He expects this one to be no different -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Ed, some analysts have come forward and said, look, the White House needs to go for the more controversial conservative nominee first and then the second time around, when Rehnquist steps in -- or steps down, rather, that a woman or a minority should be appointed. Have you been hearing that on the Hill?

HENRY: Well, the equation has changed, as you suggest in the question. Before, when there was a lot of speculation that there could be two seats open on the court, there was an idea that the president could do some bargaining. He could maybe get a more moderate candidate, as you suggest, on one of the seats perhaps to replace O'Connor, as Specter wants, and then a more conservative person to replace Rehnquist.

Chief Justice Rehnquist has made clear, despite all these rumors, he's not -- he has no plan to step down. So the stakes have been raised. There's only one seat open now. That's why the outside conservative groups are trying to put all their marbles on that seat. They don't want to see a moderate picked. They want to make sure this is a conservative picked, because again, they want to make sure that the balance of the court has tipped.

And they feel, obviously, that's the president's right. He won this last election. The Republicans run the Senate. They want to see the makeup of this court change. They do not want to see a moderate picked that will basically keep this a status quo court. Conservatives feel like it's time for it to shift, and that's what they're pushing for, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Ed Henry on the Hill, thank you so much.

And if you're just tuning in, 9 p.m. tonight Eastern Time is when we're going to hear from the president of the United States. He will announce his pick for the Supreme Court. Who will replace Sandra Day O'Connor? We will find out, 9 p.m. Eastern tonight. Stay with CNN. We're continuing our coverage.

Quick break. We'll be right back.


PHILLIPS: Next on LIVE FROM is there a connection between cell phones and brain tumors?

DR. KEITH BLACK, CEDARS SINAI HOSPITAL: There is a significant correlation between the side one uses their cell phone on and the side that you develop the brain tumor on.

PHILLIPS: Attorney Johnnie Cochran's cancer doctors shares his insights.

Later on LIVE FROM, an Iraqi insurgent hits his target, an American soldier. And you'll be amazed at what the soldier did next to the man who tried to kill him.

Also ahead, the Minutemen move in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Racists go home! Racists go home!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Racists go home! Racists go home!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Racists go home! Racists go home!

PHILLIPS: And so do the protesters. A group of volunteer border guards get a chilly reception in southern California.



PHILLIPS: So who is the president's Supreme Court nominee? We are told now we will find out 9 p.m. Eastern Time. If you've been watching CNN, we just got the news. Our Bob Franken working the story from the White House. Also, our Ed Henry on the Hill. And of course, Joe Johns and others working the story from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now we have found out -- of course, a lot of questions as to who this individual is. A lot of people, analysts, coming forward and talking about who's on their short list. Our legal analysts talking about who's on their short list. But we really don't know. There's a lot of names out there to who may replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

And now we are being told at 9 p.m. Eastern tonight, the president will make his announcement on who his nominee is.

Meanwhile, we're also following hurricane Emily at the same time. It's taking aim at Mexico again. It's hours away from making another landfall, that, we're told, just a day after it battered the Yucatan Peninsula.

CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras tracking that storm for us -- Jacqui.


Emily's gaining strength right now. Winds are up to 95 miles an hour. Still in the Category 1 range, but just barely. We only need one more mile an hour, and that's going to put it in Category 2 range.

We're expecting additional strength, and it should be at least a Category 2, possibly a weak Category 3, with winds of 111 to 130 miles per hour before making landfall.

There you can see on the satellite image, really easy to pick out that eye right now. It's becoming a little bit more well defined. And it's also becoming a little bit more symmetrical, the inner core of the hurricane. And those are all signs that it is gaining strength.

We're starting to see some showers and thunderstorms from Emily make their way along the Gulf Coast there, from Brownsville all the way up to Houston. So watch for those gusty winds and some heavy downpours as well.

Forecast track is staying right on target. It is expected to take a little bit of a turn to the west later on tonight and that's why we're forecasting that it's going to be moving into Mexico. But if it doesn't take that turn, look out, because south Texas could still be in the line of fire. So we're not going to rule you out just yet. Looks like landfall should be coming in to play overnight for tonight.

New topic. The heat is affecting millions of Americans at this hour. Temperatures feel like middle to upper 90s throughout the northeast. Heat advisories are in effect all over the place here. It's all that humidity. And believe it or not a lot of it has to do with the tropical storms that we've had that made landfall so far. That's what's bringing in all that additional moisture across much of the east and making the temperatures feel a lot hotter than what they're reading on the thermometer.

Ninety-five is the temperature in Atlanta, 97 in Charlotte. Check out Tampa: 99 at this hour; 97 in Houston. You also have your fair share of heat going on across the southwest. Heat index in Las Vegas now up to 101, 100 degrees in Phoenix. You always talk about that dry heat. Well, we're just getting into that monsoon season into Arizona, so your dew points are up there today. No dry heat in Arizona this afternoon.

We'll have more LIVE TODAY (sic) right after a break.


PHILLIPS: Well, if you use a cell phone, and chances are you do, could you be putting yourself in danger? Well, doctors are still at odds whether cell phones can cause brain cancer. And now our senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, examines an intriguing theory that famed attorney Johnnie Cochran's cell phone may have played a role in his death.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The news of her father's illness opened a wellspring of sadness and fear in Johnnie Cochran's daughter, Tiffany. Her father, relatively young and healthy, struck suddenly by a brain tumor.

TIFFANY COCHRAN, JOHNNIE COCHRAN'S DAUGHTER: It was traumatic, because I thought, well, biopsy, that's not good. Spot on the MRI. I knew it wasn't good.

GUPTA: So she turned to her father's physician, renowned Los Angeles neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black, to answer the question asked by so many when cancer strikes, why? And he offered the family an opinion they found stunning.

COCHRAN: He explained that this type of cancer is a balance between environment and genetics, but he thought for my dad, it was more environment. And he said perhaps cell phone usage.

BLACK: My own belief is that there probably is a correlation between the use of cell phones and brain cancer, even though there's no scientific proof.

GUPTA: Dr. Black, who's the head of neurosurgery at Cedar Sinai Medical Center, believes one day science will catch up to what he's already seeing with his own patients.

BLACK: We know that people that use cell phones a lot also complain of headaches, difficulty with concentration, with memory. You know, this is a microwave antenna, so you're essentially cooking the brain when you hold the receiver right next to your brain.

GUPTA: That's a hypothesis that Dr. Howard Frumkin, who studies the relationship between cancer and cell phone use, vehemently disputes.

DR. HOWARD FRUMKIN, EMORY UNIVERSITY: The level of energy is so different with a cell phone than it is with a microwave oven or with some of the other big sources of energy that there's really no way to equate the two. They're completely different phenomena. GUPTA: Still, Dr. Black points out something else that troubles him. Cochran's tumor was on left side of his brain. He was known to hold the cell phone on that same side. Dr. Black's experience with his own patients...

BLACK: We do know that there is a significant correlation between the side that one uses their cell phone on and the side that you develop the brain tumor on.

GUPTA: Today in the United States, 175 million people use cell phones. World wide, the number is 1.6 billion. And according to the FDA, they say this, "There is no hard evidence of adverse health effects on the general public from exposure to radiofrequency energy while using wireless communication devices."

Dr. Frumkin insists there's no way cell phones could have led to Cochran's, or anyone else's, death, given the scientific evidence.

FRUMKIN: I'm worried that if people hear claims like that they'll be unduly concerned. This is a very low probability kind of a thing, approaching a zero probability. So I think that there's no evidence to support the idea that Mr. Cochran's brain tumor resulted from cell phone use.

GUPTA: While the FDA says no study has definitively drawn a connection between cancer and cell phone use, the agency points out there haven't been any studies to rule one out either. The FDA and Dr. Frumkin agree that more studies should be done, protectively.

Tiffany Cochran realizes the question of whether cell phone use was a factor in her father's fatal illness cannot be answered today. And Cochran's friend and doctor, Keith Black, stresses cell phone moderation and using an ear piece to be on the safe side.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Los Angeles.


PHILLIPS: And here's what the cell phone industry has to say about cell phones and cancer: "Unfortunately, this type of claim is not new. This is an issue that should be guided by science, and public statements that ignore the enormous body of available scientific research or fail to contribute to it do not serve the public's interest. Just last month, the American Cancer Society in conjunction with Discovery Health Channel and 'Prevention' magazine, published its top ten cancer myths. Wireless phone use ranked eighth."

Straight ahead an Army private takes a direct hit from an insurgent sniper.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of opened up my...

(END VIDEO CLIP) PHILLIPS: And what happened next amazes everyone who hears this private's story.

And he was hailed as a hero by some, criticized harshly by others. The life and legacy of general William Westmoreland, a leader in one of American's most controversial wars. More on him just ahead.

ANNOUNCER: You're watching LIVE FROM on CNN, the most trusted name in news.


PHILLIPS: Once again, we're continuing to follow the breaking news from the Supreme Court. Actually, it's from our sources and from the White House. That the president of the United States will announce his nominee for the Supreme Court, who the individual will be to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. We should find out his nominee, 9 p.m. tonight, Eastern Time. We, of course, will take that live.

Meanwhile, we're talking about the possibilities, the strong runners. Jeffrey Toobin, our legal analyst, of course, has been following -- following it for us all morning, all afternoon.

But you definitely have -- should I say she's a favorite, or should I say she's the one you think will be selected?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, how can I say it so that if I'm right, I get credit, but if I'm wrong, I don't get blamed for being wrong? That's basically the position I'm seeking, right?

PHILLIPS: Let's think about the language, OK?

TOOBIN: The leading suggestion that I have heard, calling around today, is Judge Edith Clement, known as Joy, who is a judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, appointed by President George Herbert Walker Bush to the district court. So our graphic is not exactly right in that it was -- she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by the current President Bush in 2001.

So she hasn't been an appeals court judge for very long. She does not have much of a track record on the controversial issues that everybody focuses on.

But she is apparently a conservative. She's a member of the Federalists Society, which is a group of conservative lawyers that's been a great talent pool for Republican administrations over the past 20 years. But she is not someone who is very well known in legal circles. But she's kind of burst on the scene as a candidate for chief -- for justice on the court. And she's looking like a real possibility for tonight.

PHILLIPS: Well, give me a little texture on this process, Jeffrey. How did -- how do you reach talking about someone like Edith Clement, the way we are now? I mean, I know the Bush administration has researched dozens of possible replacements for O'Connor, state and federal courts across the country.

But how does that -- how do those names come together? How is that short list formed? How does that research process go forward? And who in the Bush administration is doing the research and the interview and background checks?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, every administration, from the moment a presidential election is over, starts making a list. And, you know, the list of prominent court of appeals judges is not unlimited. And court of appeals judges in recent years has been the talent pool from which presidents have drawn.

And, you know, people -- this process is almost entirely run out of the White House counsel's office, formerly run by Alberto Gonzales, who's now the attorney general, and himself a candidate for the Supreme Court in the minds of many. And now run by a much lower profile figure named Harriet Myers. But that's always the nerve center for judicial selection.

There's always a significant amount of input from the Department of Justice, which does its own research and helped -- and helps in its own way. But for Supreme Court justices, this is very much a White House operation.

So the White House counsel's office has run this process, as it has in virtually every administration, and in part, intentionally, in part through the efforts of nosy journalists like me, a list of people who are being looked at is certainly -- you know, gets into circulation. And that's in part an intentional attempt to sort of draw out if there are any problems with these people as they start getting press attention, and also seeing how interest groups react to them and see, you know, what kind of reaction they're likely to get.

PHILLIPS: So political.

TOOBIN: You know what, it is a very, political process. And it's always been a political process. There were Supreme Court justices denied confirmation by the Senate since the beginning of the republic. This is nothing new. You know, Robert Bork in 1987 is the first confirmation fight that most people remember. But in the '30s, 1930s, there was a president -- there was a nominee rejected. This has gone on. Every president and every senator has recognized the stake in the supreme court since John Marshall was chief justice in the early part of the 19th century. So this has been a big political process since day one of the republic.

PHILLIPS: All right, next time, we talk, we'll talk about the whole corporate lobby, too. That's another interesting factor.

TOOBIN: Every lobbyist in every part of every interest group has a finger in here.

PHILLIPS: Jeffrey Toobin, and I know you've got your finger on the pulse of this story. We're going to continue to talk to you throughout the day. Thank you so much. If you're just tuning in, 9:00 p.m. tonight Eastern Time, we are expect to hear from the president of the United States on who his nominee is to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

We're going to take a quick break. More LIVE FROM right after this.


PHILLIPS: Now to Britain. As the investigation into the London bombings continues, Muslim leaders are grappling with reports that the four bombers were all born in Britain. Some leaders met today in London with Prime Minister Tony Blair to talk about clamping down on extremists. One Muslim lawmaker in parliament calls it a profound challenge for the U.K.'s large Islamic community, which encompasses a huge range of political and religious thought.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This preaching of hate is not inside the mosque, but it is outside. And we need to deal with that.


PHILLIPS: Tabasum Aslam is a locally elected city official, and also serves on the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. He's joins me from Leeds with more on the dilemmas facing British Muslims right now.

Good to see you again, Mr. Aslam. I appreciate your time.

Let's talk about the preaching of hatred we just heard. A number of Muslim leaders, like yourself, talking with this. Where is this coming from? I know you were shocked to find out -- we're having a little bit of a wind issue. There we go. I think we've got it taken care of. I apologize.

But tell me the biggest challenge for you right now as the city councillor there, the challenge of trying to let everybody know that everything will be OK within in your community, but at the same time needing to take a stronger stance speaking out against extremism.

TABASUM ASLAM, CITY COUNCILLOR: Well, I mean, as one the gentleman just said, I just heard in the background, about a minute ago, about this extremism, the message of the extremism is not coming from within the mosque; it is coming from outside. I echo those sentiments. And I can assure, as an elected counselor, I do get the opportunity to go to several mosques. I can give you my word for that. Now those preachings are not coming from within the mosque. Those preachings are coming from outside the mosque. It's just like the analogy of a drug dealer and a drug addict. These extremist people, they are out there looking for people who are going to give them their ideology, and the people with the ideology are out there trying to -- looking for this kind of recruit, people to be recruited.

So most of this work, the majority of this happening outside the Islamic institutions.

PHILLIPS: So how is this getting into your neighborhood, into these neighborhoods? How is it reaching individuals? As we've been reading -- learning about the backgrounds of these suspects, they seem to be educated, intelligent, family men, many of them. What -- how are they being reached? Where is it coming from? Is it something inside Britain? Is it definitely coming from outside your communities?

ASLAM: Well, first of all, you need to understand the mind set of a Muslim. I won't call this like the mindset of a Muslim living in Britain; I would say the mindset of a Muslim living anywhere in the world.

As a Muslim, we see innocent Muslims being butchered, killed, murdered, from Palestine all the way down to Iraq. So that builds up a frustration. It builds up anger. I mean, even myself, I feel angry about it. But at the same time, I have the conscious to make a decision that I can basically go through the democratic process where we can make a change.

The problem is that the Islamic institutions are not really picking up this frustration, which is present among every single Muslim individual. And they are not channeling that frustration out in an appropriate, peaceful democratic system. That is the reason that those people are finding alternative sources to feed their frustration, where these recruiters come. They preach to them about extremism. They preach to them about fundamentalism. They (INAUDIBLE) off the truck. They don't really teach them what all Islam is really about, which is a weakness of our Islamic institutions themselves, because just instead of teaching them about reciting Koran and praying in the mosque, they are not teaching them (INAUDIBLE), then those people get picked upon these extremists, and that is why they get brainwashed by these outsiders, and they go ahead and carry out these atrocities.

PHILLIPS: Tabasum Aslam, I think we pretty much got what you were saying. We apologize. There's some wind interference there with your mike, so it's hard to understand you, but I promise we will bring you back and talk more about what you're doing in your community to help the message of Islam get out in a more profound way, and not distorted as you have told me. And I know you're working hard with the Muslim community there to do that and to help eliminate the problems of extremism within the community. Tabasum Aslam, city councillor there in Leeds, thank you so much for your time today.

Straight ahead, from the war in Iraq, chilling sights and sounds. Insurgents videotape a sniper attack on a U.S. soldier. What happened next, though, might surprise you. The soldier's story straight ahead.

He was once America's top soldier. The controversial commander of U.S. troops in Vietnam. We're going to look back and the life and times of General William Westmoreland.


PHILLIPS: He was once America's top soldier. The controversial career of the commander of U.S. troops in Vietnam. We're going to look back the life and times of General William Westmoreland.


PHILLIPS: Film buffs pausing today to remember actress Geraldine Fitzgerald. The Dublin-born beauty appeared in many screen classics, including the 1939 version of "Wuthering Heights" and the 1981 comedy "Arthur," in which she played Dudley Moore's cantankerous grandmother. Fitzgerald was also a regular on the stage and the small screen. She died Sunday in New York after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Geraldine Fitzgerald was 91.

Also news today that retired General William Westmoreland has died at the age of 91. Westmoreland was a lifelong soldier who fought in World War II and Korea. But he's most known for commanding U.S. troops in Vietnam from 1964 through 1968.

CNN's Robin Meade takes a look at how those four controversial years came to define Westmoreland's military career.


ROBIN MEADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: General William C. Westmoreland, the man in charge when the mission in Vietnam moved from advising the South Vietnamese to joining the fight in what would become the longest armed conflict in the history of the United States.

GEN. WILLIAM C. WESTMORELAND: And I was center stage in the most unpopular episode or one of the most unpopular episode in the history of America. But it doesn't bother me. Nothing bothers me that I can't change.

MEADE: He was a top West Point graduate who would later run the academy. And at one point, the U.S. Army's youngest major general. He went on to command U.S. troops in South Vietnam, a mission that went from advising an ally to leading a fighting force of nearly 500,000. He became a lightning rod, a symbol for the growing anti-war movement in the United States and Europe. In 1967, at the urging of President Lyndon Johnson, Westmoreland made a series of speeches to help convince Congress and the country that the United States was winning the war.

WESTMORELAND: Backed at home by resolve, confidence, patience, determination, and continued support, we will prevail in Vietnam over the communist aggressor.

MEADE: But the tide of support quickly turned in early 1968. A major North Vietnamese attack on the U.S. base at Cason (ph). Then the T.E.D. (ph) offensive, a series of attacks throughout South Vietnam. The U.S. fought off the attacks, losing by some accounts about 1,000 men, but killing some 40,000 enemy troops. But in Saigon, the Vietcong attacked the presidential palace and the U.S. embassy, dealing a major blow to American public opinion.

WESTMORELAND: The casualties were unbelievable. So they didn't really, in the final analysis, win anything military, but they won psychologically. I knew the T.E.D. offensive is coming. And if I had to do it over again, I would have called a press conference and made known the intelligence we had and alerted the American people. MEADE: Not long after T.E.D., Westmoreland returned state side to become Army Chief of Staff. By the time he retired in 1972, the Nixon administration had reduced U.S. ground forces in South Vietnam to fewer than 150,000. In his later years, Westmoreland appeared at military events around the country. And journalists would venture to his South Carolina home to ask about his career, especially his years in South Vietnam running the war. He would remind them that the U.S. military did not lose.

WESTMORELAND: I did my conscientious best.

MEADE: He died Monday night. His wife by his side. General William C. Westmoreland was 91.


PHILLIPS: And coming up in the second hour of LIVE FROM, we're going to talk about General Westmoreland's legacy with retired general David Grange.

Also ahead, federal border agents find trouble. The controversy next hour.


PHILLIPS: And a reminder to tune in to our live coverage tonight. 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. We expect to hear from the president of the United States on who his nominee is for the Supreme Court, the individual who will replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Stay with us.


PHILLIPS: Tune in to our live coverage tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We expect to hear from the president of the United States on who his nominee is for the supreme court, the individual who will replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Stay with us. How about stay with us all the way until 9:00 p.m. and past? And we'll bring you information throughout the day.



PHILLIPS: Well, every person who knows a U.S. soldier in Iraq knows what it's like to worry about someone that you love. But for parents of those troops, the anxiety is almost unbearable. Will my baby be safe today? That's the question.

CNN's Alina Cho has one story and the heart-stopping videotape that tells it.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The camera rolls. From their hidden position, the insurgent snipers are watching their victim. "Go ahead. Shoot him in the name of God," says one.

"I am waiting for him to straighten up," says the other.

Their target, this American soldier, Private 1st Class Stephen Tschiderer from Mendon, New York. What comes next is this.

CHO: And, as the snipers chant, "God is great," Private Tschiderer gets back on his feet. With rifle in hand, he takes cover. Debby Tschiderer believes it's a miracle her son is alive.

DEBBIE TSCHIDERER, MOTHER: The bullet grazed his thumb, and because it grazed his thumb, it went in as an angle.



© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines