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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Ortho Evra Patch Warning; Wedding Party Bombing; Senator John McCain Talks Torture; Test Tube Babies
Aired November 10, 2005 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Welcome again to 360. A sobering warning for American women and more bad news from the Middle East.
ANNOUNCER (voice-over): A bride and groom's deadly wedding. An up close look at what happened inside the Radisson when a suicide bomber walked in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHRAF DA'AS, GROOM: We lost 16 people. And my wife's family lost 12 people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Senator John McCain talks torture. How he survived cruel and inhumane treatment and why he's fighting to prevent American torture in the War on Terror.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: To torture someone is just not what the United States of America is about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: And, should you be able to play God, tinkering with genes, selecting your baby's eye color -- even their interests? Want a future athlete? How about a super model? Tonight, the rights and wrongs of designing babies.
This is Anderson Cooper 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Thanks for joining us. We're going to go live Amman shortly, but first a look at the headlines at this moment.
CNN has obtained a January 2003 CIA report that raises doubts about Iraq's links to Al Qaeda, questioning the credibility of the information's source. One month after the report was written, then Secretary of State Colin Powell told the United Nations that Al Qaeda had sent operatives to Iraq to acquire chemical and biological weapons.
U.S. State Department says two Americans were killed in yesterday's terror attack in Amman, Jordan; four other Americans were wounded, two seriously. Al Qaeda in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the bombings. A live report from the region in a moment.
The New Orleans Police Department has fired five more officers who were missing when Hurricane Katrina struck. More than 200 officers were unaccounted for in the days after Katrina, 56 of them have since lost their job. The vast majority of officers showed up for work, of course.
And in a written letter today, Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito says he never ruled in a case where he had an obligation to recuse himself. He also says a vow he made in 1990 to avoid cases involving two particular investment firms, was quote, "unduly restrictive." Some Democrats are investigating a 2002 case involving one of those firms, in which Alito issued a ruling.
(voice-over): We begin this hour with Breaking News -- potentially affecting millions of women who use a popular form of birth control. We're talking about the Ortho Evra patch, worn by about four million women in this country since it came on the market three years ago. The maker of the patch warns it may put women at higher risk for blood clots. The problem seems to be that the patch will release its dose of hormones too suddenly into the system -- too much estrogen, leading to the clots and potentially causing death. A story is going to be following in the coming days. The bottom line, though, for women who may be using this patch is consult your doctors about whether you should continue using it.
Of the 56 people now who died in the hotel blast in Amman, Jordan, yesterday, 38 of them knew one another. They were all in the very same place at the very same time, doing precisely the same thing. They were beaming with joy at the young man and woman. They had come as family members or friends to see married. It was meant to be an unforgettable day, but not for the sad reason it now always will be. CNN's Hala Gorani reports.
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It should have been one of the happiest days of Ashraf Da'as's life -- his wedding day. Instead --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DA'AS: It's my family -- all of them. We lost 16 people. And my wife's family lost 12 people. And we lost also almost 10 people -- friends and close friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP) GORANI: That's 38 people, including his father and father-in- law, dead in the suicide explosion at Amman's Radisson hotel.
Today, at a traditional wake, the groom accepted condolences. Friends and family, whispering words of comfort.
At the hospital, several injured friends and relatives are being treated. The groom's brother -- still dazed, recounts the shocking story of a blood bath,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BACHAR DA'AS, BROTHER OF GROOM: My mom's first cousins -- there's seven or eight -- they died on the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: As they recover from the massacre, other guests recall how the bomb went off right before the wedding procession reached the hotel's main hall. One of the guests, Mohammad, says he fell on the floor and people started trampling him. When he finally fought his way to his feet, he tried to help carry the injured and the dead away from the chaos.
The groom's brother, emotional, says Ashraf Da'as was robbed of his happiness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
B. DA'AS: They were waiting for this day, from (inaudible), and it was their day. Someone took it from them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: In front of the Radisson hotel, where a day before, ambulances rushed to save lights, tonight there is a candlelight vigil -- strangers mourning, sharing the pain of a family united in grief.
Hala Gorani, CNN, Amman.
COOPER: It is an unspeakable loss for that family and for that country. Again, Al Qaeda in Iraq, led by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, has claimed responsibility for yesterday's carnage. But Al-Zarqawi wasn't himself in Jordan -- did not himself detonate the bombs. He only controlled those who did. So, who were they? CNN's Nic Robertson investigates.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): It is Jordan's worst nightmare. Repercussions of the two and a half year war in neighboring Iraq, finally erupting in the tiny kingdom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI SHUKRI, FORMER JORDANIAN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: They got people trained over there. And now they're exporting them. A statement from Al Qaeda in Iraq.
ROBERTSON: General Ali Shukri reads a claim of responsibility from Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. A former security adviser to King Hussein, there is little doubt in his mind, Jordan's most notorious Jihadi is behind the attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHUKRI: The operation itself, it has the hallmark of Al-Zarqawi or (inaudible) the operations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: But, there's another new twist as a result of the war in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees are flooding into Jordan, making it harder for intelligence services to spot terrorists.
In the past, Jordan's intelligence officials have had remarkable success. Thwarting an attack last year, they said could kill tens of thousands. And in 1999, heading off a plot targeting the same Radisson hotel hit Wednesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARIM KAWAR, JORDANIAN AMBASSADOR: That plan was foiled by our security agencies. of course, we try to be as vigilant as possible, but at the end of the day we're all vulnerable to such attacks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Zarqawi's claim, "We chose the place to carry the mission on some of the hotels which the Jordan dictator turned into a backyard for the enemies of the faith, the Jews and the Crusaders." If genuine, this mirrors his tactics in Iraq, sending suicide bombers to kill innocent Muslims, while claiming to attack Westerners. The first ever suicide attack in Jordan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHUKRI: You've got to find out who are these suicides. Whether they were local or whether they came across the borders. And you've got to go into the details of the local support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: To do that, says Shukri, will mean focusing on the crime scenes and working back from there -- a job made so much harder by hundreds of thousands of Iraqis now seeking refuge in Jordan.
Now police say they've discovered the remains of two of the bombers whom they believe to be Iraqis. But the very fact that three hotels can be targeted and hit almost simultaneously is an indication that a blind spot has opened up in Jordanian's intelligence services -- Anderson.
COOPER: Nic, I want you to stay with us for our round table discussion. We're going to have more. I want to talk to you some more now about the state of things in Jordan and the Middle East, generally. We're joined live in Washington by Salameh Nematt, a D.C. Bureau Chief for the Pan-Arab Newspaper, "El Hyatt." Major General James "Spider" Marks joins us as well, retired, who is now CNN's military analyst. And joining us from Los Angeles, CNN National Security Adviser, a former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin. Nic Robertson also still standing by.
Major General Marks, I want to start off with you. Today, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said that even though Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi is on the run most of the time, he's still capable of carrying out these attacks. How is it possible that a guy who's allegedly on the run is recruiting and training and sending out people to do suicide bombings not only in Jordan, but in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq?
MAJOR GENERAL JAMES MARKS, U.S. ARMY, RETIRED, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Anderson, it's the recruitment network that he has in place. It's very vast. A lot of the recruitment is done online. You bring these young males in and they're now a part of a system. They're captured and they end up with this kind of a result. So, it's not surprising at all. And I think, as Nic indicated, the initial forensics indicate -- no confirmation -- that the two suicide bombers might be Iraqis, wouldn't be surprising if they came from elsewhere in the greater mid-East.
COOPER: Mr. McLaughlin, I mean a skeptic might say maybe this guy, Zarqawi's not as much on the run as we like to think he is. If he is, where's he getting his money?
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, he raises funds from sources throughout the Persian Gulf and he gets money also from donors who admire what he's doing in Iraq, mostly (inaudible) variety. And his choice of Jordan here is, I think, a very strategic choice, Anderson. The point I want to make -- the more I've thought about this, to the degree that he can complicate things for Jordan and complicate things in Jordan, he will complicate things for the United States in Iraq because Jordan has been in many ways the gateway for much of whatever business has gone into Iraq, for many people moving through Jordan to Iraq, Jordan-trained police, of course, for Iraq. Jordan was cooperative with the United States before the war. So this is a very strategic choice he's made here.
COOPER: Mr. Nematt, you think other countries may be involved -- Syria, in particular.
SALAMEH NEMATT, D.C. BUREAU CHIEF, AL HAYAT: Yes, I think that we should look at Syria, in the sense that we all know that Syria has been the main recruiting party for Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in Iraq. Syria has declared openly that they want to abort the American project in Iraq. They have been trying to destabilize Lebanon, they've been sending, you know, popular front for the liberation of Palestine General Command Forces and Arms into the Palestinian refuge camps in Lebanon. (Inaudible), a terrorist organization in Lebanon. And I feel that with the news striking around this city, because of the security council resolutions, the international investigation in the Hariri murder, they would like to see Jordan destabilized. They would like to send a message that if you target us, if you put too much pressure on us, we will basically light up the region. We will threaten the whole region.
COOPER: Mr. McLaughlin, what do you think of that?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I think that's true. I think he makes a very good point. In addition to that, it's noteworthy that I think a lot of Iraqis -- in fact, the figure I have in mind is about 500,000 or 600,000 Iraqis have come into Jordan since the war to escape turmoil there and so forth. And within Iraq, increasingly, Zarqawi's movement is fundamentally an Iraqi movement -- maybe 70-80 percent of his recruits are Iraqis. So he's got a network there that extends from Iraq into Jordan. And he can easily, as "Spider" was saying, recruit people in Jordan to do this kind of work. And I won't be surprised if at the end of the day these recruits came from Iraqis who were in Jordan, versus people sent in.
COOPER: Nic, I understand Jordan shut down its borders for several hours, to not try to let anyone escape. They've arrested a number of people. But, I mean, when I read that, I kind of thought of the old La Casa Blanca, you know, we'll round up the usual suspects. I mean, do they really have a beat on possible suspects in Jordan?
ROBERTSON: I think they're really beginning, Anderson. It's not clear that they have a firm line on anyone yet. The fact that they've said that they think these two might well be Iraqis -- the two bombers, who they found the remains of so far, it's an indication of which direction they're going in. And certainly it does seem -- it would be more likely that the recruits were sort of embedded, sleeper cells, within those hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. If that's the case, who've come across the border recently into Jordan.
COOPER: Major General Marks, sleeper cells, I mean that's something that is not easy to penetrate by the CIA or by U.S. military units.
MARKS: No, it's not at all. But I mean, clearly what needs to take place is -- one of the clear objectives is to try to achieve degrees of penetration into any one of these cells and that's extremely difficult. It doesn't happen overnight. John is a master at understanding this and working this. This takes years and years of work. The relationship between the United States and Jordan has always been very strong. It has strengthened over the years. Clearly, since the preparation for the invasion of Iraq and during our period there. What will happen from the forensics of this horrible even that just occurred will affect and will apply to how the U.S. Forces and the coalition forces are prosecuting their fight in Iraq. I think that linkage needs to be made very, very clear. COOPER: Mr. Nematt, I want to ask you in a moment, what do you think it -- what kind of impact that's going to have on Jordan, in particular, these bombings.
But first, Nic, you have been to Zarqawi's old neighborhood, to the town of Zarqa, what -- I mean, what is it like? What do they think of him there? I understand there were no demonstrations -- anti-Zarqawi demonstrations there today.
ROBERTSON: It is interesting. Certainly we were there a few months ago. If you were standing on the streets outside the house where Zarqawi grew up, there was still support him, still support for what he was doing inside Iraq. The very fact that he's now come to Jordan is going to cast it in a different light for a lot of people. He's treading a very fine line here. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden's deputy, sent that letter to Zarqawi, warning him that he could lose popular support if he continues to target Muslims. And certainly that notion is going to resonate more broadly here in Jordan. How it plays out in the town of Zarqa, where Zarqawi is from isn't clear. It's a very poor town. A lot of young people are unemployed there. But there is no doubt, some people are going to look at this here and say no, Zarqawi is targeting Muslims. We didn't kind of see that before it was happening in Iraq. There were other reasons we could get behind it because it was attacking the U.S. troops there. But people are going to look at it differently here now.
COOPER: Mr. Nematt, very briefly, we don't have much time. How do you think this is going to impact Jordan? Does it bring the country together? Does it create greater divisions?
NEMATT: Well, it's going to take back as very drastically -- if we step back and look at the bigger picture, Syria is an in a bind. The Syrian regime is threatened. Hasbala is backed by Syria and Iran. Iran, there's a rise of fundamentalists, extremists, presidential power. They feel threatened by the United States. Iran, because of the nuclear issue; and Syria, because of the assassination of Hariri and security council resolutions. They would like to see a country like Jordan, a moderate pro-Western state undermined so that the Americans won't entertain any ideas of further expansion beyond Iraq.
COOPER: Salameh Nematt, appreciate it. Major General "Spider" Marks, good to talk to you. John McLaughlin, as well. And Nic Robertson, as always. Thank you, gentlemen, appreciate it.
Coming up ahead on the program tonight, a far different subject. Do you want your child to be happy and healthy? What about perfect? Science may soon be able to build the perfect baby -- if there is such a thing. But we're talking about selecting eye color, hair color, even interests. We'll look into that.
Also, next on a cold, clear night here in Manhattan, Senator John McCain joins us.
A break first. You're watching 360.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: John McCain, the Senator from Arizona, is a maverick, but a maverick with a following. Recently, 89 colleagues, Republican and Democrats stood with him in support of legislation banning the torture of enemy detainees -- legislation, the president says he will veto.
And today, Senator McCain called for the administration to revamp its strategy in Iraq, and do a better, more honest job of explaining it to the country. He's a senator with something to say clearly and something to write. It's the latest effort, "Character is Destiny. The Value of Personal Ethics in Every Day Life." We spoke with the senator just the other day.
COOPER: Now you write about your own experiences in prison in North Vietnam.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I start to write about a guard, rather than me --
COOPER: Right, as an example of faith.
MCCAIN: Because this guard -- one time I was being punished by the Vietnamese and I was tied up in ropes very tightly on my biceps and pulled back. And it's a painful way to spend an evening. And this guy was what we call a gun guard. He's just sort of like a century that wanders around. He came into the room -- the interrogation where I was being held and he put his fingers to lips and loosened the ropes. He came back a few hours later because he was going off duty and tightened it up again. Never said a word, never -- the following Christmas, about two months later, I was allowed to stand outside my cell for a few minutes. And I was standing there and he walked over and he stood next to me and he drew with his sandal a cross in the dirt in front of us and stood there for a moment and then he rubbed it out and he walked away. And just for that one moment, we weren't at war and we weren't in a far-off place, we were two Christians together. So his faith, obviously was something that was incredibly strong and should -- I think motivate all of us.
COOPER: To your own experiences, I mean it must inform the fight you are having now in Washington about torture and you have proposed this measure to ban outright torture. The president came out on Monday, saying we do not torture. Do you believe him?
MCCAIN: Well, I think it's a definitional thing and that's why we need specific interrogation techniques put into the Army Field Manual. Also, not only torture, but cruel and inhumane treatment is prohibited under our amendment. Colin Powell strongly supports it. I have not talked to a single senior officer who opposes this amendment.
COOPER: Does torture work? I mean you have been tortured.
MCCAIN: No. No, I don't -- I'm sure it doesn't because if you inflict physical pain on someone, they'll tell you anything you want to know. COOPER: What your critics to day is that writing down, codifying what can and cannot be done is basically aiding the enemy. I just want to read you one thing. Senator Pat Roberts said, he said quote, "You're only successful with detention and interrogation when the detainee has a fear of the unknown, doesn't know what's going to happen." Do you think that's true?
MCCAIN: That's -- well, I agree, but that's why it's classified and kept secret, these techniques. But we've had these techniques in the Army Field Manual for interrogation since World War II. It is nothing new. They've just taken a long time to revise the Army Field Manual.
COOPER: How can -- I mean, is there a discrepancy that with the president saying we don't torture, and yet there have been, I think, the last count 36 confirmed deaths in interrogations, hundreds of prisoners treated cruelly and inhumanely, documented cases. At what point does it become an aberration -- and not just an aberration, but a policy?
MCCAIN: I think it's probably an aberration, but there have been documented cases, as you say, of even death under interrogation and that's why we got to stop it. Part of it was that people were not clear as to exactly what they could or couldn't do.
COOPER: Clearly, the polls, whatever polls you look at, American public is losing confidence in what is happening in Iraq, losing support of the war. How does that -- what is the end game in all of this?
MCCAIN: Well the end game is a functioning -- flawed, but functioning government in Iraq, with the Iraqi military able to take over our responsibilities, being trained up and capable of doing so, which we are a long way from. And it means that we adopt a strategy where we go into a place and we take it and we control it, keep control and expand that control.
COOPER: But, I mean, you've been a proponent of more troops on the ground -- that strategy does require a certain amount of troops.
MCCAIN: Yes. Yes, it does. I still think we need additional troops and I will not change that view. But without the -- we do have -- now we're up to 160,000, which is more than we've had in a long time. But I do believe that we can carry this off.
COOPER: Your book is, "Character is Destiny." Thanks very much.
MCCAIN: Thanks for having me.
COOPER: Senator John McCain. Erica Hill, from "Headline News," joins us with some of the other stories -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, plenty of health and medical news topping this hour. First, the good news. This year's flu season, off to a slow start according to the CDC, and that means more time to distribute flu vaccines around the country. In an average year, the flu kills about 36,000 Americans.
Some new warnings for women using a popular birth control patch. The makers of Ortho Evra say their patch may put users at greater risk for blood clots. The patch went on sale in 2002. The company says it is cooperating with the FDA, which released the warning.
And a new test for women who are pregnant can detect Down Syndrome at the 11th week of pregnancy. Doctors say the test allows women who wish to terminate their pregnancy, to do so before the second trimester, posing less risk and less trauma. It also gives those who want to continue with their pregnancy more time to prepare emotionally for their child's condition.
And talk about a blast from the past. Say hello to Godzilla. That's the pet name for this 135 million year old fossil, found in Argentina. Basically, it was like a crocodile with a dinosaur-like head. Scientists say the find probably hunted and terrorized marine life in the South Pacific. Nice guy. Look for Godzilla on the December cover of "National Geographic" -- Anderson.
COOPER: Erica, thanks. Coming up next on 360, a much different topic. Test tube babies created with the sperm of super achievers. So how'd they turn out? And how much did they credit their biological fathers for how they turned out?
Plus, the ethics of designer babies. Should parents be able to pick their hair color and eye color of your unborn child? Has science gone too far? We'll look into it.
COOPER: Well, if you're of a certain age, you may have been conceived the new fashion way, but artificial insemination. The science dates back, of course, to the 1960s. By the '80s, sperm donor banks were going upscale. Why give an egg just any old sperm, when the essence of brainiacs can be yours for the asking. The genius factory was an idea whose time had come. Now the results have come of age.
COOPER (voice-over): At 21, Leandra Ramm has an extraordinary voice. She's won national and international competitions since age 14. Her great passion -- a life in opera.
LEANDRA RAMM, SINGER: I'm just doing what I love the best. So, the best that I can be.
COOPER: Her parents, Adrian and David Ramm, who were unable to conceive children, selected a sperm donor in the early 1980s. Not any donor, though. They say they got the sperm from the Repository for Germinal Choice. This man, Robert Graham, created it, he said, to quote, "produce more useful citizens." He hoped all the sperm donors would be Nobel Prize winners. Yes, it was hugely controversial. The press quickly dubbed it, the Nobel Prize sperm bank. Imagine, a generation of geniuses.
DAVID RAMM, LEANDRA'S FATHER: See, we didn't think of it as the genius sperm bank. It was the Repository for Germinal Choice and Nobel, schmobel.
COOPER: Yes, but they did want gifted children. For the first time, prospective parents could make an educated choice, pun intended. They could choose from a catalog. Pick the traits you want from anonymous color-coded donors. Donor White was very engaging: warm, friendly. Donor Turquoise: head of a large research lab. Donor Fuchsia: a world champion in his field. The parents, and now their children remember those color-coded genius fathers.
L. RAMM: He was named Clear, was the color. There was a whole bunch of colors. There was fuchsia, that's my sister and brother's biological father.
COOPER: To Graham's dismay, however, only three Nobels participated, worse for him, none produced any kids. So he adjusted the standards and we now know his donors were scientists, businessmen, and even Olympic Gold medalists.
DAVID PLOTZ, AUTHOR, "THE GENIUS FACTORY": Would it, in fact, create a generation of geniuses?
COOPER: David Plotz is a self-described sperm detective and a journalists. But the repository had closed in 1999, two years after Ramm died and records were sealed.
PLOTZ: I wanted to see how this first experiment of human genetic engineering had turned out. What would happen when you tried to program children to make them better than Mother Nature intended?
COOPER: So, Plotz, now the author of "The Genius Factory", used the Internet.
PLOTZ: I wrote an article inviting anyone who had been involved in the Nobel Prize sperm bank to contact me. And I sort of expected to hear from hoaxers -- I didn't -- you know, I kind of hoped I'd hear from somebody. But I didn't really expect the response that I got.
COOPER: Plotz has spoken with about a dozen men, who say they were some of the estimated 40 donors, located in 35 of the estimated 200 or so children believed to be offspring of the genius factory.
PLOTZ: I think that the children themselves are above average as a group. And some of them, like Leandra Ramm, are quite extraordinary. Again, as with any group, there is a wide variety.
L. RAMM: My mom said I sang before I talked. I don't know if that's true. But I -- and I played the piano. I played the flute.
COOPER: But is that genius? Or is it just how her parents raised her, or perhaps both?
PLOTZ: The parents who went to the Nobel Prize sperm bank were parents who clearly had the resources to locate it, to find it, to seek out Robert Graham and his special sperm. And they also tended to be very well educated.
L. RAMM: If I hadn't been infertile, it would have been the same thing. Because I'd like to think that I'm intelligent. And so I would have passed on equivalent quality sperm, so to speak. As long as the child was going to have good start in life, a healthy start, and with some genes that had possibilities.
COOPER: For Leandra, the possibilities seem endless. Most impressive is her sense of self. She knows what she wants, who she is, and who, in her 21 years, has defined her most.
L. RAMM: David is my father. You know, even though he's not biologically my father. He's my dad.
COOPER: When her parents selected their sperm donor, donor clear, he was described as a fair-haired science professor of European roots.
L. RAMM: My dream is to be an opera singer. I, you know, am studying and I would love to perform on all the world's best stages one day.
COOPER: A dream she attributes to her parents love and support, not to her biological father. Still, if she had the opportunity, would she want to meet donor clear?
L. RAMM: You know, I'm here today because of what he did. So, I would really love to meet one day. Just so I could even just to express my gratitude to him.
COOPER: Well, he's out there, may be listening. So if you are making a designer today, what are the latest design options you ask? Next on 360 we'll tell you what kind of choices you have and whether you have the right to have those choices.
And we talk with Geena Davis about a gathering of some of the most powerful women in American. Networking and sharing advice, tips you can use.
COOPER: So, male or female? Brown eyes or blue? People are designing babies before they're born. Is it progress, do you think? Or is it science run amuck? That's coming up. But first here's a look at what's happening at this moment.
The FBI has sent a small contingent of crime lab personnel to Amman, Jordan, to examine the terrorist bombings there. Jordan at first said it didn't need assistance in the case, but it later asked the FBI for help. At least 56 people were killed in the attacks.
New York City is not taking any chances in the wake of the Amman bombings. Police have increased patrols of Manhattan hotels, heavily armed teams swept through several of them today. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there is no reported threat. He calls the security boost a normal precaution.
In Iraq a suicide bombing at a Baghdad restaurant often frequented by Iraqi police. It has killed 34 people, 25 others were wounded. Al Qaeda in Iraq, has reported claimed responsibility through a web site.
And in a suburb of Denver, Colorado a city hall complex was evacuated after a man with a duffel bag was seen running away from a parked car, which had a propane tank inside. It turns out it was a misunderstanding. The man called police to tell them he'd left the car because he was tired of waiting for his girlfriend to file a police report and the tank was related to his construction job.
Well, as we saw a moment ago, test-tube babies have really come a long way, Baby. Today the design options offer far more than just your standard packages. And that, of course, raises questions that we wanted to discuss with CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Doctor Sanjay Gupta.
COOPER: Sanjay, the reality right now is what, for parents. What can they select in their unborn child?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's really remarkable, Anderson. There are actually techniques out there right now that with about 99 percent accuracy can predict and select the sex of a child. A lot of parents talking about that, actually selecting the sex of the child, different techniques out there. But they're also talking about things like eye color, for example. Eye color is largely a genetically determined trait.
They're also looking at markers -- scientists -- this is in the future -- but looking at markers for depression, for example, as well as trying to select children who are less likely to have depression. Also, things like, you know, selecting a child whose muscles metabolize oxygen better. So perhaps that they're better athletes. A lot of those things far off in the future. But sex selection, Anderson, about 99 percent accuracy of some techniques out there.
COOPER: So, I mean, right now, can you select the eye color of your child?
GUPTA: Well, you can't do that right now. I mean, it is a genetically determined thing, but a lot of the focus has been on sex selection.
COOPER: I want to bring in Art Caplan, who is the director for the Center of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania.
Art, when you hear all of this, what do you think? Is this ethical? ART CAPLAN, CENTER FOR BIOETHICS, UNIV. PENNSYLVANIA: Well, you know, I think, Anderson, this is the start of a future that we're going to be debating for a long time. This is basically designing our descendants. And I think the answer to your question is, partly. There are certain traits, you know, if you could give somebody better eyesight as a child, or give them better hearing. I find it hard to say what's ethically wrong with that.
But when we get over to somebody saying, you know, I want to design someone to be an athlete, or only someone who can play the violin, then I think you are starting to have parents narrow or restrict what their children could be. So something --
COOPER: Yes, Sanjay, are these safe? These procedures?
GUPTA: Well, you know, if you talk to some of the people at MicroSort, for example, one of the companies that is in clinical trials. They'll say, look, the risk of having a genetic malformation, with this technique, is about 2.4 percent, versus 3 to 4 percent in the general population. So, they say their technique is safer. But you know, when you are starting to do operations, for example, on women, just so that they can select the sex of the child, a lot of doctors will say, well, that's just an unnecessary procedure.
COOPER: I remember seeing in -- I think it was in India -- people sort of suddenly amniocentesis operations were hugely popular because people wanted to know what the sex of the child was. And the idea being that they would have the child aborted if it was a female.
CAPLAN: Absolutely true. And in fact you can ride around on the subway in Bombay and see those signs. So we get to another interesting question, is sex or gender a disease? Is it a problem? I mean, most people would say male/female, what's the difference? Hopefully we're to the point where, you know, we don't really care that much one way or the other. But, when you start to say you can pick the sex of your baby, you are kind of turning something that is normal and natural into more of a disease like state. And I think there are problems with that.
COOPER: Sanjay, you agree with that?
GUPTA: Well, you know, I mean, I think that -- I agree in part with that, Anderson. I think that in some ways, when we started doing test-tube baby and we started sort of getting this idea that we can tinker with genetics, tinker with reproduction, tinker with fertility, in general, I think we opened up a lot of doors. And I think Art is absolutely right in some ways. But I think we have to be consistent when we think about this. If we're going to allow tinkering with fertility, and tinkering with genetics, it becomes a slippery slope as opposed to a defined line.
And I think people who are going to want to pay $15,000 because they absolutely want to have a girl, and not a boy, or visa versa, I think that is just going to happen, Anderson.
COOPER: Art, how do you figure out where that line is? Because you're right, on the one hand you think, OK, well someone really wants to determine the sex of their child. You know, it may be OK. But then -- or wants their child not to have depression or you know have a certain disease. But at a certain point --
CAPLAN: Just get a Serta (ph).
COOPER: Yeah, where does that line go?
CAPLAN: I'm going to try two principles and see if you guys will buy them.
COOPER: Suddenly, you want what, all of your children to have blond hair and blue eyes. I mean, it sounds like the Nazis?
CAPLAN: It is sort of lurching towards genetics unintentionally -- eugenics, unintentionally.
I'm going to try two principles. One is don't allow things that make kids worse off. So, if somebody says you know, I want a baby with one arm. I think the right response to that is, no, you can't -- that's a preference you can't pick it. You can't do things to kids that would make them less than they would have been.
The other principle I'm going to point toward is, don't do things that narrow a child's possibilities. So, if I say, violinist, athlete only, and that's all you can be and I picked your genes and I kind of seal your destiny. I'm not letting you live your own life.
So, I don't mind genetic engineering that expands possibilities, but I don't like the ones that narrow them.
COOPER: I mean, that's the joy of children.
COOPER: Is that they surprise you in who they turn out to be. If you are trying to select them and determine what they're going to be -- I mean, that's just bizarre to me.
CAPLAN: Ethically, you sort of say, every person should have the right to become what they want to become, not sort of get this burden laid on them. You must be a genius, you must be a beauty. You must be an athlete. You know, parents do put expectations on kids. But they don't normally wire them so they can only do that. And if they fail to do that, then what kind of disappoint is that going to be for both the kid and the parent. So you have to be careful here.
COOPER: Sanjay, is there anybody regulating this stuff?
GUPTA: Well, you know, I'm not sure if there is actually a formal regulatory body right now. I mean, you can do the sex selection, for the most part. Most reproductive endocrinologists probably aren't going to agree to put a woman through PGD, again. That's the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, the IVS stuff, just for sex selection. But I'm sure there are doctors out there that will probably do that. You know, I should just say as well, it's a great point that -- can you imagine being that child, who is the product of this genius sperm and have all those pressures put on you as well, to perform for the rest of your life. I can't imagine what sort of pressure -- I thought my mom was bad. But that must just be remarkable in terms of --
CAPLAN: I'll tell you this, right now, no regulations, no oversight. It is pretty much a wild, wild west of the marketplace. I think if you've got the money, you could get somebody to do this right now. Whatever it is you want.
COOPER: It is a brave and scary new world. Art Caplan, thanks. And Doctor Sanjay Gupta, it was good to talk to you.
CAPLAN: My pleasure.
GUPTA: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, coming up next on 360. Some of America's most powerful women, why do they want to create a new role model? And I'll talk to Geena Davis, who on screen and off, has dealt with the challenge of attaining power and learning what to do with it.
COOPER: We were just talking about designer babies before the break and whether you think picking the best genes for a baby is good or bad, ethical or despicable. There remains the simple fact, perfect genes or not, babies grow up in a very imperfect world, where the playing field is not always level, which brings us to the workplace and women and the actress Geena Davis. Here's CNN's Gary Tuchman.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Two hundred seventy-five women of influence. Some you may not recognize, others you do. All gathered at a hotel in Pasadena, California, for a gathering, all for the "Fortune" Most Powerful Women Summit.
This workshop is on how smart women make difficult decisions on the path to power.
CAROLYN BUCK LUCE, SENIOR PARTNER, ERNST & YOUNG: I've heard a lot over the last couple of days about where we need to be better role models. It goes beyond that. We actually have to change the model.
TUCHMAN: The American workplace is still heavily skewed towards men. Even in 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau says females only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by males. Studies also show that women's salaries often go down after they have children, while men's go up. So how do women effectively mix personal and professional life?
The chairman of DrugStore.com was inspired by her son.
DAWN LAPORE, CHAIRMAN & CEO, DRUGSTORE.COM: He really said this, he said to me, Mom, I want to be a CEO when I grow up, but I don't know if boys are allowed to be CEOs.
TUCHMAN: Leading this discussion, actress Geena Davis and former Texas Governor Ann Richards.
ANN RICHARDS, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: First, I think we all wish that Geena Davis really was the president.
(BEGIN TV SHOW CLIP, "COMMANDER IN CHIEF")
GEENA DAVIS, ACTRESS: I'm going to go out there and I'm going take the oath of office.
(END TV SHOW CLIP)
TUCHMAN: Geena Davis plays President McKenzie Allan on the ABC program, "Commander in Chief". Hollywood has its own glass ceiling issues.
DAVIS: We really just fall of the face of the Earth, after you pass 40, so I had a lot of anger about this sort of forced retirement. I mean, I did "Stuart Little", and some things here and there. But "Thelma & Louise" was not coming across my desk anymore.
TUCHMAN: But "Commander in Chief" did come across her desk, and Geena Davis grabbed it.
(On camera): They call this the world's premier gathering of women leaders. And it's hard to doubt that. These women will now go back to their jobs, where what they've heard and learn will undoubtedly affect the women, and men, who work for them.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Pasadena, California.
COOPER: Art always doesn't reflect life. Sometimes it's a head of the curve. As you just saw, Geena Davis took a break from her gig as the first female president in the television hit, "Commander in Chief" to attend the Most Powerful Women Summit. I talked to her yesterday.
COOPER: You're at this conference now on powerful women and the choices they make. It is tough, though making those choices, what do you find in common with the people at this conference -- the people -- the women who you meet? I mean, the women who are able to succeed in this workforce, a workforce where, on average, women are -- you know, there is still a huge wage gap.
DAVIS: There is a huge wage gap and we've talked about how, if women step off the career track, when they try to get back on, they are income level drops significantly. And in the business world it can drop by an average of 37 percent when they try to go back to a similar job. So, it's tough. It's really tough. And there are very hard decisions to be made.
But, you know, for the vast majority of American women, there isn't a choice. They need -- they're family needs the income.
COOPER: I don't think a lot of Americans realize though, this wage gap. I mean, we're not even talking about, you know, women who are on maternity leave earning less than men who are working full time. We're talking about women who are working full time who are there doing the same job that men are doing full time.
COOPER: And yet are still earning 23 cents less on every dollar. I mean, that it's -- do you understand why that happens? I mean, does it make any sense to you?
DAVIS: It does not. It does not. But I think the reason that it still happening, because we've known this, since the '70s at least, so I think the reason that it is still happening is we stopped talking about it.
COOPER: It's interesting. I was talking to Maureen Dowd, yesterday on the program, and she was saying that in her new book that there is really there has been this 40-year backlash against the women's movement. You know, there were some advances made early on, but now it has sort of been paying for it, in some ways, ever since.
What needs, in your opinion, to happen now in order for that wage gap to shrink. It has shrunk significantly over the last 20 or 30 years, but what is the next step? And where do you see this battle going?
DAVIS: To another women's movement. Every about 30 or 40 years has been the pattern, and so I think we're a little behind and we need to just have another one. Because it is out of people's consciousness right now.
COOPER: Do you have advice for women -- for other women who want to make it work in both realms?
DAVIS: I don't have a lot of advice about how to handle it. No, I just -- I just follow my passions and I think, you know, if you feel passionate about things, you find a way to make it work. But I don't have, really, any advice about how to balance things. I mean, that's like the eternal question for women -- which men don't get asked.
COOPER: That is absolutely true. I can vouch for no one has ever asked me that question, I can tell you that.
DAVIS: Nobody has asked you, exactly.
DAVIS: And I don't think they ask President Bush, you know, how do you balance, being a parent and --
COOPER: That's is an interesting point, that the expectation is that somehow it is the woman's role to somehow balance. No one asks the men, though. That's a good point taken. Thanks for pointing that out.
COOPER: It is a good point, indeed. Geena Davis from "Commander in Chief". Coming up next on 360, "On The Radar", Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson speaking out, once again. Guess what he said this time. He's making a lot of people mad. I'll tell you about it ahead.
COOPER: "On The Radar" is our way of looking at tomorrow's stories, tonight.
Here's a real problem. How do you conduct a murder trail when the lawyers in the case keep getting murdered? We're talking about the trail of Saddam Hussein & Company for crimes against humanity. Two lawyers dead, one wounded now. The lawyers threatened to boycott proceedings. No mystery why. The panel of judges is weighing a response and we'll be following that tomorrow.
And then there's this, we reported earlier tonight, Pat Robertson, telling the good people of Dover, Pennsylvania, on a show of "The 700 Club", quote, "If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected him from your city." Translation: Reverend Robertson says that voting against school board members who supported teaching "Intelligent Design" in local schools, people have turned their back on God.
We don't speak for the Almighty here, but we can speak for the National Weather Service. Dover's forecast for the next 10 days is mostly sunny, just a small chance of light showers -- or so it says on their radar.
That's it for our "Radar". More of 360 ahead, stick around.
COOPER: Thanks very much for joining this two-hour edition of 360. Hope you enjoyed it. We'll be here, back tomorrow, 10 o'clock Eastern Time, 7 o'clock Pacific, for another two-hour edition. Larry King is next. Good night.
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