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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Port Security Deal Firestorm; Inside the Ku Klux Klan; Interview With New York Congressman Peter King; Inside the KKK; Rise in Hate Groups; Where Are We From?
Aired February 22, 2006 - 22:00 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.
Should an Arab company get control of American ports? Congress didn't know about it. You and I didn't know about it. Not even the president knew about it. You can bet he's hearing about it now.
ANNOUNCER: The White House under fire, now admitting mistakes in the port deal controversy.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We probably should have briefed members of Congress about it sooner.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, as his own party lines up against the commander in chief, what's his next move?
They terrorized the country for decades. Then, the KKK went underground. But now the movement is growing -- a rare look inside their world of hate and how their recruiting is going high-tech.
And, where exactly do you come from?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all, effectively, members of an extended family.
ANNOUNCER: Anderson finds his roots and explores the new discoveries on the origin of every person on Earth.
ANNOUNCER: From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: And good evening again.
We begin tonight with a story everyone seems to be talking about, the decision to let an Arab company take control of six big American ports -- a lot to get to, including the political trouble this is causing the Bush administration -- and there is lots of that -- and real questions about safeguarding our ports, and how this decision got made.
Reporting for us tonight, CNN's Dana Bash, and John King, and John Roberts.
First, we go to CNN's Dana Bash.
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As CNN first reported Monday, the president did not even know about the deal until lawmakers started questioning it.
CNN is also now told, no one in the top White House staff, who usually acts as an early-warning system for the president on sensitive issues, knew the deal was approved until it was announced. That gave rise to a Republican firestorm that close allies worry could cost him precious political capital, one the White House now concedes came from avoidable blunders.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Looking back, in hindsight, we believe members of Congress should have been briefed on it sooner.
BASH: What they have here is a communication problem.
JOHN SNOW, TREASURY SECRETARY: Our failing here -- if there's a failing -- was -- was in explaining this process.
BASH: This has the president back on his heels on security, his calling-card issue since 9/11, putting not only the port deal in doubt, but raising new questions about Mr. Bush's broader political standing in his own party. It is only now that top Bush officials are actively briefing lawmakers and blanketing the airwaves...
DAN BARTLETT, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT BUSH: This company is a reputable company.
BASH: ... making the case for why they think turning over port operations to an Arab country will not jeopardize American security.
Across the board, Republicans say they were in the dark and under political pressure, and had no choice but to take their concern public.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you get to the issue of security, you are going to watch individuals, in -- in this case, the Senate and the House, focus on what they believe is best for their constituency, in terms of safety. And, if they don't understand the decision, they're going to challenge it.
BASH: The multi-agency committee that vetted the deal included several White House representatives, the National Security Council, the National Economic Council, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Bush aides insist, the very nature of the negotiation is what caused this uproar, because port contracts are a matter of national security, and deliberations are in secret. One official admits, they were tone-deaf to how an Arab company running America's biggest ports would play in public.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we could have been more politically attuned, particularly with regard to briefing the Congress.
BASH: But a former White House chief of staff says, the president's senior aides had a responsibility to be on top of this.
JOHN PODESTA, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Make sure that they rise up through the -- through structure of the White House, because this, obviously, could be a very, very controversial matter. It obviously has -- has, you know, hit the -- hit the fire now. And the president is in a very awkward position.
BASH: Now, the Senate Armed Services will hold the first public hearing tomorrow morning, where Bush officials will be able to explain this deal. That is the reason that they put out this two-page talking-points sheet, trying to do the same thing.
But, despite the -- despite the flurry of activity, Anderson, one senior GOP congressional aide told us tonight that this is a -- quote -- "tipping point," saying, Republicans will no longer fall behind or remain silent when the president announces things or makes policy decisions they think will hurt them this election year.
Dana, stand by. We will talk to you in a moment. We're going to get -- go -- have a lot more from Dana in just a moment.
We want to talk about the political dimensions to this fight and how the decision was actually made, who knew, and who didn't.
CNN's John King investigates that.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Put this president in a port in the post-9/11 world, and the result is something like this, here in Philadelphia.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will use all our power to keep out the terrorists and the criminals, so they can't hurt our citizens.
J. KING: The Port of Baltimore.
BUSH: We're strengthening defenses at our most important and vulnerable locations.
J. KING: Union Pier, Charleston, South Carolina.
BUSH: We have a solemn duty to protect our homeland, including the seaports of America. J. KING: How, then, did it come to this: the president at war with his party and at odds with public opinion, defending a deal to allow an Arab company to manage six major U.S. ports?
ERIC DEZENHALL, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDING PARTNER, DEZENHALL RESOURCES: Americans often have a harder time with inconsistency than we do dishonesty.
J. KING: As we now know, the White House says the president and other top officials didn't know about the deal until after it was approved by a government review panel led by the Treasury Department.
But Patrick Mulloy, an attorney who helped write the law, says the president should have known.
PATRICK MULLOY, INTERNATIONAL TRADE LAW EXPERT, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY: The process was not followed as Congress laid it out in the law.
J. KING: The law calls for the president to weigh in and to report his findings to Congress, if the initial review suggests the foreign investment could undermine national security.
MULLOY: Then, senior people get involved and start debating the merits, pros and cons.
J. KING: But Mr. Bush and his top aides were not involved in this deal, to the astonishment of critics, because the lower review, led by Treasury, did not warn of a national security risk that warranted presidential attention.
Only six months ago, the investigative arm of Congress raised alarms on this very issue, suggesting, Treasury is too biased in favor of foreign investment, and, as a result, "narrowly defines what constitutes a threat to national security, and is reluctant to initiate investigations for possible presidential action."
MULLOY: And that's what happens when you don't follow the law. You short-circuit it. And, then, you get yourself into trouble.
J. KING: Looking to get out of political trouble, the administration plays down security worries, says Customs and the Coast Guard do the policing, whether the port manager is based in Abu Dhabi, London, or Nebraska, for that matter. That's a hard sell in Washington and among longshoremen at the Port of New Jersey.
GLENN GOODWIN, LONGSHOREMAN, PORT OF NEW JERSEY: You know, for the last four years, we have been hearing about -- you know, our president telling us that, you know, the Middle Easterners are the enemies. But, yet -- and, still, now it is OK to go to the negotiation table with them. You know, I mean, it is ridiculous.
DEZENHALL: Spectacle overwhelms analysis. It doesn't pass the outrage factor. And a lot of what crisis management is about is addressing outrage, which is irrational, not factual. J. KING: And, in politics, as a two-term-governor-turned-two- term-president surely knows, first impressions and emotion often trump the facts.
J. KING: And, Anderson, as this town and this country talk about this controversial deal, many say, if the president didn't know about it, if everyone in his party seems to be against it, why is he so defending it now?
Many say, what is the political strategy? People close to this president say, don't look at it as a strategy; it is his very stubborn personality.
John King, stand by.
We are also joined, again, by Dana Bash and by senior national correspondent John Roberts.
John, welcome to 360, your first appearance here.
I understand you have some new information tonight. What do you know?
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We do.
We found out that, in order for this deal to go through, Dubai Ports World has agreed to certain conditions, related to cooperation and disclosure, that senior Homeland Security officials says go well and above -- well -- well and above beyond what has ever been required by any company before.
And those relate to a couple of particular items. Dubai Ports World had to agree, in order for this deal to go through, to cooperate with any future U.S. investigations, and, also, to surrender, on demand, certain documents, should U.S. authorities want them.
Again, the Department of Homeland Security is saying that this goes well above and beyond anything that has been required of any company in the past. So, this is an indication that, while some people -- at least, this is the way that the administration is portraying it -- that, while some people may think that they're playing fast and loose with national security here, indeed, this is a process that was thought through, and that this company has agreed to do things that other companies have not done before.
COOPER: It -- it's interesting, John, because I think a lot of people in the United States probably don't realize that a -- a great majority of the major ports are actually operated by foreign-owned companies.
So, what -- what this information is, that -- that the Bush administration actually was making this Dubai company jump through even more hoops than they would put through the Chinese companies.
And -- and I talked with the fellow from the Treasury Department who is the lead on this, a fellow named Clay Lowery, who told me that, once the homeland security and national security concerns were addressed, they didn't see this as being much of a big deal, because, in fact, 30 percent of container operations in this country are handled by companies that are based in third countries.
For example, in the Port of Baltimore, you have companies from Denmark, Taiwan, and Singapore that are involved in -- in container operations and terminal operations there. And, in fact, out of the 14 terminals in the Port of Baltimore, only two would be controlled by Dubai Ports World.
So, they thought that, once they had these extra assurances on national security from this company, that it was pretty much a routine transaction.
COOPER: Dana Bash, what are you hearing about how extensive the investigation of this company actually was? Because Pete -- Pete King, a Republican congressman, has said that he doesn't think it was very extensive at all.
We're going to talk to him in a moment, too.
BASH: Well, certainly, the -- the fact of the matter is, there was an option to give this an extra 45 days to review.
Some read the law as saying, it was a requirement to give it a 45-day review, because this company from Dubai is actually a -- it's a government-run company, and that is -- some read it as -- as a requirement.
But what you just heard John Roberts reporting is exactly, Anderson, the kind of thing that members of Congress, particularly Republicans, people who call the president an ally, wanted to know beforehand, wanted to know before they were home with their constituents and heard people very upset about it.
If they would have had, they say, this kind of information, perhaps, this firestorm wouldn't have happened. You know, perhaps it would have been a tough sell, but it -- just in terms of -- of reading the political tea leaves, they say that this administration, and -- and, even if the White House, even if the president's top aides didn't know, which they say they didn't, that the political appointees on that panel should have had their radar up to understand that.
COOPER: Well -- and, John King, why so -- I mean, how can this administration be so flat-footed all of a sudden? They -- they have been very politically adept, you know, up until recent times.
J. KING: If you...
(LAUGHTER) J. KING: If you can answer that question, Anderson, in a way that the president likes the answer, you maybe can have an ambassadorship somewhere.
J. KING: I mean, that is one of the great mysteries in Washington right now: What happened to the vaunted Bush discipline? What happened to the great radar? What happened to the political operation that, after winning a contested election, was able to get a Ronald Reagan-sized tax cut through Congress, was able to do so many other things that many thought this president could not do?
Even aides, people very close to this president, former advisers, former administration officials, say they look at the White House now, and they simply do not know what has happened. They think a lot of people are tired. They think a lot of people are burned out. They think, perhaps, the president is getting some bad advice.
And, on this one, as both John and Dana have noted, you have a mid-level review, and nobody raised their hand and said, folks, this may not be one of the boxes we're required to check, but this one is going to be flammable. We need to take it to a higher level.
COOPER: John Roberts, a longtime watcher of this White House, does it surprise you, the -- the flat-footedness?
ROBERTS: Not really, because this has happened before with this White House.
There are a lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill who complain that they're tone-deaf to some pretty -- pretty -- you know, some ideas that really should be considered to be radioactive.
I mean, this is a White House that was pretty adept at controlling the message. And, on a couple of pretty big issues, as of late, they have really been caught on this way to be flat-footed.
COOPER: Well, John Roberts, appreciate your reporting tonight, and, John King, as well, and, Dana Bash. Thanks very much.
COOPER: We have a lot more ahead on the port controversy. We're going to look at the security concerns. What are they really, besides the politic? Let's put that aside for just a couple of minutes, and let's just talk -- look -- and reality. What is the security concerns?
Also ahead tonight, we're going to talk to Congressman Peter King about his concerns. We're going to talk about what he believes is all wrong about this deal.
We hold our right to free speech as dear as life itself. So, of course, it is complicated and hurts when white supremacists use that right to sow hate. We're going to take a look inside the KKK and why some KKK leaders are saying they are on the rise.
And are you interested in tracing your ancestry, well, back to, say, the Garden of Eden? We're going to have more this evening on the Genograph -- the Genographic Project, an experiment like no other. It allows you to trace your roots back tens of thousands of years -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: Well, the president put himself on a collision course with Republicans in Congress the other day with his threat to veto legislation blocking the deal to sell control of American ports to a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates.
And Republican Congressman Peter King, fair to say, might be on the other side of that collision. He chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security. And he joins me now from Long Island.
Congressman, thanks for being with us.
You may have just heard John Roberts reporting that the Bush administration got this Dubai company to agree to extraordinary measures, including cooperating with any future investigations and surrendering internal documents, whenever requested. Does that matter to you? Does that allay any of your concerns?
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: Only partly.
It actually raises more concerns. It shows that the committee looking at it did have concerns about this company, you know, enough concerns to put these conditions on them. And, yet, they conducted no real investigation of the company. They -- they -- all they did was ask John Negroponte what the intelligence community had on them.
So, to me, if they had concerns, that was all the more reason to conduct a full 45-day investigation. And that's really where the ball was dropped. Also, on these conditions, I know they have to make their records available. My understanding is that those records will not be maintained in the United States.
If that's true, you know, that -- you know, that's a little troubling. But, really, the key thing here is, you know, the conditions only mean something if you can trust the company. And the only way you can find out if there's a level of trust with the company is to carry out the investigation, which they never did.
COOPER: Well, you -- as you know, the White House has been putting out these talking points. And -- and I don't like to -- to go on talking points, but one of the -- the points that they do raise is that, you know, United Arab Emirates, the -- this company, which oversees ports there, see more U.S. warships docking at those ports, and they haven't had any problems.
P. KING: Oh, but, again, we don't know who all the personnel are with the company. We don't know what their hiring practices are. We don't know, for instance, whether or not those in the Dubai and Emirates government which brought about the recognition of the Taliban back in 1996, and was one of the only -- you know, one of only three governments in the world to recognize the Taliban, how much of an influence they still have in the government.
And how much influence does the government actually have on this company, since they are the principal owner of it? So, these are all real issues that should have been looked in to. And, under the statute -- you know, everything in the statute, as Pat Mulloy said before, cried out for a full 45-day investigation. What was the rush to judgment here? There's 24 years left on the lease.
COOPER: Well, the other two governments...
P. KING: There's no reason why they couldn't have done another...
COOPER: The other two governments...
P. KING: I'm sorry.
COOPER: ... who supported the Taliban were Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, both of whom are, allegedly, our very close allies in the war on terror.
P. KING: Right. Right.
But, even on that point, Anderson -- on that point, for instance, I think Pakistan has been a very good ally. I would not want a Pakistani company, though, working on our ports, because I know -- and all of us know -- there is still a large Taliban influence in the Pakistan government, in the Pakistan intelligence agencies.
President Musharraf is a good ally, but his government is still infiltrated by Taliban and al Qaeda supporters.
COOPER: Supporters of this deal will say, look, if union -- American union longshoremen are still the folks working in these ports, as they're going to be, and the Coast Guard, and the Customs, and the Border Patrol are still in charge of security, why does it matter who actually manages the port?
P. KING: Because you would have -- assume that there is a problem with this company. And that's what we have to investigate to find out.
You would, then, have an enemy, you know, within our own defense perimeter. They would know what all the operations are, as far as security. They would know what all the machinations and mechanisms are within our ports. So, you would be giving them access to the ports, which they wouldn't have otherwise. That's the real danger here.
COOPER: But I don't think most Americans realize that just about all major American ports are run by foreign companies. I mean, you have got Chinese -- I mean, even here in New York, you have got, you know, a Chinese company running some of the terminals in the New York ports, or running, you know, terminals out there in L.A. You have got Dutch companies. You have got British companies.
P. KING: Mmm-hmm.
COOPER: Do you have any concerns about Chinese companies being in charge of -- of the ports? I mean, they have Muslim terrorists there, too.
P. KING: Yes, I think there could be concerns about China, you know, for other reasons.
But, as far as a al Qaeda terrorist threat, United Arab Emirates is unique from all the others you mentioned. It's certainly different from Denmark, different from Great Britain, different from Taiwan, because of the fact that they were a pro-Taliban government, the fact that, as we all know, about the different contacts that al Qaeda had within UAE, within Dubai.
And, so, that -- that is what makes it different. This is, potentially, having an enemy within our perimeter. Now, again, a full investigation may show the company can be trusted -- all the more reason why I would suggest that the company should do is voluntarily now offer to step aside for 45 days, say: We have nothing to worry ability, nothing to hide. We welcome a full investigation.
And Congress should be made aware of the results of that investigation, as it goes forward, because we're in the post-9/11 era. The law that is on the books now is pre-9/11. It's geared toward encouraging foreign investment. It's not geared towards stopping terrorism, again, proven by the fact that there was no real in -- investigation at all of possible terrorists connections with this firm.
COOPER: We will continue to follow it.
Congressman Peter King, appreciate you joining us tonight. Thanks.
P. KING: Anderson -- Anderson, thank you very much.
COOPER: Good night.
Erica Hill from Headline News joins us right now with some of the other top stories we are following -- Erica.
HILL: Anderson, we begin with a chaotic, violent day in Iraq, apparently in reaction to a bombing early this morning at a Shiite holy site, the one you see here in Samarra. Twenty-seven mosques were attacked in Baghdad, resulting in the deaths of three Sunni imams.
Reports of a much-feared illness, but from an entirely unanticipated cause -- a New York musician has now tested positive from anthrax. But authorities say it came from unprocessed animal skins he brought back from Africa. He brought them back to make traditional instruments. The musician is in stable condition at a Pennsylvania hospital, where the state health department says he poses no public health threat.
Three Florida teenagers entering pleas of not guilty today to charges of first-degree murder, in connection with the beating death of a homeless man in January. The teens also pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the beatings of two other homeless men the same night.
And some good news -- we are talking really, really good news -- for the residents of an apartment complex in Idaho -- Bessy, the Burmese python, no longer on the loose. That's after two weeks of slip, sliding away in the walls. The eight-foot-long snake was finally found by a snake of another kind, a plumber's kind of snake that they use to reach those-hard-to-reach places.
The man who found Bessy in a bathroom ceiling said it was -- quote -- "the most interesting plumbing job I have had so far."
HILL: Yes. I would never challenge him on that one.
COOPER: That's incredible.
When I was a little kid, a -- a snake got stuck in a car in my -- in my building. But that was...
COOPER: Yes, it's creepy.
HILL: I don't like snakes.
COOPER: Yes. Well, what can you do?
Tonight, we are going to have a rare and pretty disturbing look inside the KKK. And, yes, they are still around. A young man, he's 23 years old, but he's a white supremacist, and he's already a powerful Klansman. And he has dreams to make America an all-white nation. We will talk to him.
Also tonight, to catch a liar -- a common scan used in hospitals may be the best way to tell if someone is lying or not. It's a whole different take on a polygraph machine.
Across America and around the world, you're watching 360.
COOPER: Homegrown hate in America -- a disturbing look inside the modern KKK -- 360 next.
COOPER: Well, just this week, an Austrian court sentenced a British historian to three years in prison for saying that the Nazis did not murder six million Jews. In Austria, it's a crime to deny the Holocaust. Here in America, it's free speech, and a core belief for homegrown extremists, among them, a 23-year-old man. He's leader in the KKK.
And, with the Internet, he and other supremacists are hoping others will embrace their culture of hate. And their numbers may be on the rise.
CNN's Alina Cho investigates.
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBERS: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): July 24, 2005 -- this is the face of today's Ku Klux Klan.
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBERS: ... with liberty and justice for all white men.
CHO: This videotape is a rare look at the inner workings of the KKK. Those who track the Klan say its members are younger, and the movement is growing.
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBER: White power.
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBERS: White power!
CHO: Just ask Jarred Hensley. At 23, he is the second most powerful Klansman in the state of Ohio, a grand titan of the Imperial Klans of America, the largest faction of the KKK. Hensley dreams about an all-white America.
JARRED HENSLEY, GRAND TITAN, IMPERIAL KLANS OF AMERICA: All- white neighborhoods, all-white cities, you know, good values.
CHO: He joined the Klan as soon as he turned 18. Like most new members, he was intrigued by what he saw on the Internet.
HENSLEY: This is our Web site.
CHO: White supremacist Web sites, which serve as recruiting brochures -- the Internet allowed Hensley to connect with other white supremacists at events like Nordic Fest...
CHO: ... an annual festival held in Kentucky dedicated to racist music and ideology. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We stand for a better world! We stand for the white race in all things at all times!
MARK POTOK, DIRECTOR, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER INTELLIGENCE PROJECT: There's a whole subculture that comes with this world.
CHO: Mark Potok, with the Southern Poverty Law Center, says the number of hate groups in America has grown from 600 to 800, a 33 percent jump in the past five years.
POTOK: The fact is, these groups continue to grow. We see more and more neo-Nazi-type incident in high schools and even middle schools.
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBER: White power!
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBERS: White power!
POTOK: For me, it's -- it's a worrying phenomenon. I don't think that the country is doing well, in terms of race relations. And, in fact, I think a strong argument could be made that we're really going backward, in many ways.
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBER: The handshakes.
CHO: At this Klan meeting, members take part in secret handshakes, prayer...
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBER: God save our race. Help us.
CHO: ... even fund-raising.
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBER: I think it's important that none of us forget about the Aryan baby drive.
CHO: All for the white race. And Potok says, the Klan of today is changing. Both he and Hensley say, the new Klan is starting to join forces with neo-Nazi skinheads, focusing their hate, more than ever, on Jews.
UNIDENTIFIED KU KLUX KLAN MEMBER: Hitler inside of a swastika right there.
CHO: They also worship Adolf Hitler.
(on camera): What about the Holocaust?
HENSLEY: The Holocaust, it's completely false. I mean, I don't believe that six million people died at all.
CHO (voice-over): Hensley believes Jews and other minorities are taking jobs from whites.
(on camera): Are you saying that you think I should leave?
HENSLEY: I think you should go, you know, build in your country, in a country -- you could -- could have been born here, but you're not originally from here, just like we wasn't. But we built this country.
CHO (voice-over): He wants to build an all-white America, his land of opportunity, his dream for his 3-year-old daughter.
HENSLEY: See, in my eyes, this is what's beautiful, is, like, a, you know, white -- just white kids, white values, and nice home, nice land around.
HENSLEY: See, in my eyes, this is what's beautiful, is like, you know, white, just white kids, white values and nice home, nice land around.
CHO: Alino Cho, CNN, Middletown, Ohio.
COOPER: Well, as you just heard in that report, the number of hate groups in the U.S. soared 33 percent over the last five years to 800. It is a frightening statistic. I wanted to know what's behind the rise.
You just heard from Mark Potok with the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alina Cho's piece. He joins me now from Montgomery, Alabama.
Mark, thanks for being with us.
So what is causing the rise in hate groups?
MARK POTOK, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER: Well, I think a number of factors are really playing into this. I mean, I would say that the biggest kind of macro element is globalization, political and economic globalization.
You know, one of the things that's coming with globalization is a real rise in immigration. You see it in this country and you see it very clearly in western and even eastern Europe as well. And, you know, those are countries that also have grown in particular Neo-Nazi movements.
COOPER: But when you say there are 800 -- you know, now 800 groups, some of those are just, I mean, a couple of knuckleheads with a DSL connection who, you know, put up a Web site. I mean, isn't it just sort of a lot of this just inner-based fantasy?
POTOK: Yes, there's something to that. I mean, we try real hard in counting these groups to not, you know, count a man, a dog and his computer as a group. But there's no doubt that some of them are very tiny.
On the other hand, some are quite large. Look at a group like the Council of Conservative Citizens. You know, you might be talking as many as 14,000, 15,000 people. So there's a lot of variation in size.
COOPER: And, I mean, how much of a real threat are they? I mean, you know, I look at this video of this, like -- you know, these guys just kind of sitting around. It's kind of pathetic. You know, they're all giving each other Hitler salutes and, you know, giving secret handshakes. And a lot of them look like to be -- you know, they're teenagers.
POTOK: Well, you know, I think the real danger is in what the couldn't criminal of conservative is it zips, 14, 15,000 people. So there's a lot of variation in size.
How much of a real threat are they? I look at this video, these guys kind of sitting around. It's kind of pathetic. All giving each other Hitler salutes and, you know, giving secret handshakes. And a lot of them look like they're teenagers.
POTOK: Well, you know, I think the real danger is in what the ideology brings to people who are violently inclined or unhappy anyway. You think of that young kid who attacked people in a gay bar a few weeks ago and ended up in a shootout with police officers out in Arkansas. I mean, that kid was clearly very influenced by Neo-Nazi propaganda that he found on the Web.
So, I mean, I think that's really what happens, is that, in a sense, what's on the Web, what's in other radical right-wing propaganda, it gives a kind of permission to people who are feeling unhappy or aggrieved or something's not going right in their lives to go out and start shooting. And that happens from time to time.
COOPER: Also, this new phenomenon that you're coming across, sort of Neo-Nazi groups and the KKK combining forces, how real an alliance is that? And how -- I mean, does it matter? Is that actually a threat?
POTOK: Well, no alliances are too permanent in the world of the American radical right. These groups spend so much time accusing each other of being, you know, FBI informants and every other kind of thing that there's always a lot of suspicion out there. But it is certainly true that the Klan has been kind of Nazified (ph) over the last 20 years or so, meaning that the Klan really now identifies Jews as the primarien enemy, and of course that's true of Neo-Nazi groups as well.
So the groups as a general matter are having -- are seeing the world, you know, in more and more common ways. And I think it does matter, at least potentially.
You know, the worst thing that I think could happen is to see these groups unify into any kind of real fighting machine. That hasn't happened as a general rule, but it's certainly possible.
COOPER: And geographically, where are we talking about? I mean, that group was in Ohio. Where are most of these groups located?
POTOK: Well, surprisingly, they're really spread out all over the United States. I mean, what you see is different types of group in different areas.
For instance, you know, you might see religiously-based Neo-Nazi groups, Christian Identity is the name of the theology. It tends to be a rural phenomenon. Skin heads tend to be a very urban phenomenon. But when you look at the whole picture of all these different kinds of groups, they exist in almost every state in the union.
COOPER: Mark Potok, appreciate it. Thank you.
POTOK: Thank you.
COOPER: Well, get this, everyone you've seen tonight, from KKK members to lawmakers in Washington, are all related, and they're related to you and to me. After the break we'll explore an ambitious project to take family ties farther than they've ever gone before and we'll show you how you can be part of it and how far you can trace your family back. We're talking tens of thousands of years.
Plus, their families fell apart because they simply can't throw anything away. It's an affliction hurting thousands. What's it's like to be a hoarder, and can anything be done to help them?
Across America and around the world, you're watching 360.
COOPER: So where are you from? We've all heard that question before, most times on vacation. And often, we simply give an answer, our hometown, our state or our country. But that's just one identity.
Take it a step further, and you're looking at ancestry. What country or continent or families are from -- many of you know little about it, really. But go a step further toward the origins of humanity and, well, it gets a little hairy.
That's where "National Geographic" comes in. Next month, the society's magazine focuses on the greatest journey ever told, the trail of our DNA. "National Geographic" and IBM are working together exploring that trail through an ambitious five-year experiment called the Genographic Project, and they want your help.
Here's an inside look at how it all works.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Genographic Project.
COOPER (voice over): In it sheer scale, it's an historic project. In fact, it's meant to unlock the very secrets of history. Who were your ancestors, where did we come from?
A team of genetic anthropologists from the National Geographic Society, led by explore-in-residence Spencer Wells, took on the massive task of collecting DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people around the world. And what they're finding may surprise you.
It turns out...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're all a part of one big family. COOPER: One big family that started with one father in Africa, perhaps as long as 120,000 years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Y chromosome and his Y chromosome and his Y chromosome, they've been here for 40,000 years.
COOPER: Here's how it works. The Genographic Project team is taking samples from indigenous people across the globe. But you, too, can become part of the study and learn about your own history by requesting a kit online at a cost of $100.
We know about DNA and its role in solving criminal cases, but it also holds the key to who we are and can provide a roadmap that shows how hundreds, even thousands of the generations that came before us moved out of Africa and populated the globe. They study so-called markers in DNA samples. Those are the tiny changes that occur in DNA over time. And they say those markers form a path from our earlier ancestors to where we find ourselves today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man is a direct descendent of a person who lived in central Asia about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. And his ancestor is also the ancestor of most Europeans and Native Americans.
COOPER: The ancestor who they believe started the human race.
COOPER: As we said, the great thing about this project is that anyone can take part in it. In fact, it's encouraged. I, myself, sent in my own DNA sample several weeks ago. It cost $100. And earlier today I discussed the results with Spencer Wells, author of the book "The Journey of Man," which is the origin for this study.
What we found was pretty fascinating. Take a look.
COOPER: It's ironic that we're talking about this project now. We've just came out of a story about white supremacists in the United States.
What your project really shows is how we all come from the same place.
SPENCER WELLS, EXPLORER IN RESIDENCE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY: That's right. We're all effectively members of an extended family. And the story of how we're related is written in our DNA.
COOPER: And 99.9 percent of the human genome everybody shares as the exact same?
WELLS: We're 99.9 percent identical at the genetic level. So, it's only one in every thousand nucleotide base pairs, these building blocks in your genome that differ between two unrelated people.
COOPER: And the Genographic Project, what exactly is it? WELLS: It is a concerted scientific effort over the next five years to answer that key scientific or even human question, where do we all come from? And we use DNA as a tool to do that.
COOPER: And it's basically -- I did this several weeks ago. It's these little swabs here. And you basically...
WELLS: This is the public side of the project. So anybody around the world can send off for one of these kits, go on to our Web site, learn about the project and get their own DNA tested, yes.
COOPER: So it's $100 for the kit.
WELLS: That's right. That's right.
COOPER: And you basically take the swab...
COOPER: ... put it in your mouth, rub it against your gums.
WELLS: And we can tell you something about how your ancestors got from where we originated as a species to wherever you're found today.
COOPER: As I said, I did this several weeks ago. We have the results.
What did you learn? Where did I come from?
WELLS: Well, you are a member of what we call a Hapler (ph) group...
COOPER: I knew it.
WELLS: ... which is like an ancestral clan called R1A.
COOPER: R1A? What does that mean?
WELLS: This is -- you share a set of genetic markers with other people, and that places you within this clan. But they also tell a story of the journey of your ancestors from our common origin in Africa to wherever your most recent family...
COOPER: So this map that we're showing is literally where my ancestors -- how many years ago?
WELLS: That's right. So everybody originated in Africa. That's very clear from looking at the DNA. And so you and I and everybody else in the world originated in this part of Africa, probably Eastern Africa, around 60,000 years ago. So this is the common male ancestor of everybody alive today.
COOPER: And for the -- for the white supremacists who are watching carry over from that last story, they are African.
WELLS: That's right.
WELLS: So we go back to this common Y chromosome ancestor in East Africa around 60,000 years ago, and at some point the people who didn't stay on in Africa started to leave that continent.
In the case of your ancestors, that was around 45,000 years ago.
COOPER: Man, that's incredible.
WELLS: They move up into the Middle East. You pick up an additional marker we call M89. And these were hunters living on the Savannas of Africa and on the grasslands in the Middle East.
And when they got into the Middle East, they could have turned west into Europe. But they would have encountered the mountains and the forests of the Balkans. It made more sense to turn east and head towards Central Asia.
COOPER: So they went through Iran, Afghanistan...
WELLS: Absolutely, picking up additional markers. So it's like notches on a belt.
COOPER: Hunting all along the way?
WELLS: Exactly. So hunting the big game on the steps.
And when they got into Central Asia, they bumped into these mountain rangings, the Pamir Knot, the Hindu Kush coming off to the west and the Himalayas to the east and Tajikistan (ph) going off to the northeast. And that split the populations.
You had some moving down into India, some moving over into East Asia. Your ancestors turned to the north, into the (INAUDIBLE), if you will. Picked up an additional marker.
WELLS: And you share that marker with most men living in Western Europe, but also most of the men living in the Americas. If you see that tiny little arrow up to the right there, those people later went off into the Americas.
COOPER: Oh, you're kidding. Really?
WELLS: Yes. Yes.
So your ancestors didn't. They turned to the left, to the west, and moved into Europe. Picked up a marker we called M173.
These were the first modern humans to move into Europe. These were the Cromagnum (ph), the people who drew the amazing, you know, depictions in Shobe (ph) and Lesco caves and so on.
And when they got into Europe they encountered the Neanderthals. The Neanderthals went extinct very quickly, but your ancestors lived on. I'm a member of the lineage that's defined by M173, but your ancestors picked up an additional marker. And that's what places you in R1A.
R1A originated probably in southern Russia or Ukraine around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, during the last ice age. And at the end of the ice age, the population started to expand.
COOPER: And what's so exciting about this is people anywhere can trace their origin all of the way back.
WELLS: Absolutely. The entire story. The entire story.
COOPER: How specific, though, and how recent can you get? Because, I mean, you're talking about 45,000 years ago. I know I had ancestors who were in England in the 1700s and were Dutch, you know, in the 1600s.
WELLS: Well, the great thing about the project is that as time goes on, as we collect more samples, the hundreds of thousands we're hoping to sample over the next five years, the story is going to get better and better. So keep checking back o the Web site. Your DNA results won't change, but the interpretation will get better.
COOPER: So the more people who send in their DNA...
WELLS: The better the story is going to get.
COOPER: That's incredible.
COOPER: And why is this important? Why does it matter?
WELLS: Well, in part, I think it's -- you know, it's answering that deep question, where do we all come from. But as you said earlier, it shows how closely related we all are. It connects people up in a very tangible way using this genetic code that you're carrying around in your pocket.
COOPER: And it's so simple, too. I mean, this is -- this technology now, it's incredible that it's gotten to the point where, you know, there's this mail order kit, you can just send it in.
WELLS: I know. You know, it's a spin-off of the Human Genome Project, if you will. And it's amazing to be able to apply these tools to study, you know, deep mysteries about...
COOPER: How specific would you be able to get in the ideal world?
WELLS: In theory, you know, in your case, we might be able to narrow it down to an ancestral village in a part of Europe in the future. We don't know.
COOPER: That's incredible. It all depends on how many people...
WELLS: How many people participate, absolutely. COOPER: Wow.
Well, maybe come back in a couple of years and we'll see.
WELLS: Yes, I'd love to.
COOPER: Excellent. Thank you so much, Spencer.
WELLS: Thanks for having me on.
COOPER: Well, if you're interested in learning more about the project or if you want to participate, go to National Geographic's Web site. It's www.nationalgeographic.com. Click on the Genographic Project link.
Coming up, the lie detector test, Hollywood loves the drama they provide. The truth is, they can't really be trusted. Take a look at this. Soon it may be possible for authorities to virtually read your mind.
We're going to take the new lie detector test ahead.
Plus, a disorder known as perfection obsession, a maddening, unrelenting drive to get everything absolutely perfect all the time. What's the cause, how do you treat it? We'll investigate when 360 continues.
COOPER: So allow us a disclaimer. Nobody is suggesting that you personally are a liar. Still, if you had to fib, do you think you could beat a polygraph test? There's a good chance. The truth is, they are notoriously unreliable.
But liars beware, because researchers at Temple University are now developing and testing MRIs to see right through your lyin' and cheatin' eyes.
Here's CNN's Rob Marciano.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): So I put their test to the test.
DR. SCOTT FARO, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: We're actually going to test both, not only lying, but also the MRI can test whether you're telling the truth.
MARCIANO (on camera): And how do you see that? What is the computer screen going to show you?
FARO: What we found is that when you lie, there's many areas in the brain that activate.
MARCIANO (voice over): In the MRI, I heard recorded questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, did you fire a gun?
MARCIANO: The doctors asked me to lie to some and to tell the truth on others. I answered yes or no using a computer mouse. The doctors watched the MRI record blood flow in my brain.
So, did I shoot a gun today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lift up both your arms.
MARCIANO: Bill Fleisher is a professional polygraph examiner. He attached me to a blood pressure cuff, skin sensors and cables to monitor my breathing, then asked me the same questions. Again, I lied to some, told the truth to others.
BILL FLEISHER, KEYSTONE INTELLIGENCE: Did you shoot that gun today?
MARCIANO (on camera): No.
(voice over): So how good a liar am I? I'm told the polygraph was inconclusive. The expert thought I was trying to trick the machine.
The MRI, like Pinocchio's nose, clearly showed when I was lying and telling the truth. The MRI took hundreds of pictures. The red shows when I lied and the blue when I told the truth.
DR. FEROZE MOHAMED, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: What we found out was in the lying group, there were 14 areas in the brain that were activated, as opposed to seven areas in the group in which we were asked to tell the truth. We also saw unique areas in memory which are seen only in the group when they were lying. When somebody's telling a lie, they had to probably go back and compare their notes in their memory centers to what -- what answer they should give.
MARCIANO: The MRI showed the brain is twice as active when processing a lie. It was just as good as the polygraph at detecting liars and better than the polygraph at detecting truth-tellers.
That's because the polygraph measures physical reactions someone might have when they are lying, but might also have if they're just nervous or afraid. Remember "Meet The Parents?"
ROBERT DE NIRO, ACTOR, "MEET THE PARENTS": Have you ever watched pornographic videos?
BEN STILLER, ACTOR, "MEET THE PARENTS": No.
FLEISHER: The false positives, the mistakes, are (INAUDIBLE).
MARCIANO: Fleisher thought I was lying.
FLEISHER: I see a specific reaction when you deny shooting that gun. Specific changes in blood pressure, an increase of blood volume. MARCIANO (on camera): So you think I shot a gun today?
FLEISHER: Well, I think you certainly reacted to it.
MARCIANO (voice over): That's why polygraphs are criticized. Three years ago, the National Academy of Sciences reported lie detector tests have serious limitations. Polygraph results are not admissible in most U.S. courts. Still, the government uses them to screen employees.
Fleisher says lie detectors are accurate if an experienced tester can run multiple tests. But he agrees it's possible to trick the machine.
FLEISHER: Can I get in somebody's head? Not with this, but now with the brain prints, maybe we can.
MARCIANO (on camera): Do you think there's a way to beat this MRI science test that you're developing?
MOHAMED: It's pretty hard for somebody to make up something. You will certainly see it in the brain.
MARCIANO (voice over): In a few years the doctors say catching a liar may well be foolproof. A simple matter of seeing red or true blue.
Rob Marciano, CNN, Philadelphia.
Well, it may be the biggest bank robbery of all time, $43.5 million taken by armed men posing as cops. We'll have details of the massive heist coming up.
And later, a message to Martha Stewart, don't mess with Donald Trump. Find out why he is lashing out at the home maven.
You're watching 360.
COOPER: We have less than 100 days to a new hurricane season. How prepared is FEMA going to be? We'll take a look at that coming up.
First, Erica Hill from "Headline News" joins us with some business stories tonight -- Erica.
COOPER: We want to thank our international viewers for watching as well. But we have a lot ahead on 360, though.
FEMA says it has changed since last year. The question is, are they going top to be prepared for the next hurricane season less than a hundred days away? We're keeping them honest ahead. Plus, we've heard that our port security won't change under new ownership, but how safe are our ports to begin with? We'll investigate that.
And a mysterious affliction. Thousands of people literally trapped in their own mess. Take a look at the mess in that person's home, unable to throw anything out. They're hoarders, and for them it is a painful affliction.
That when 360 continues.
COOPER: And welcome to 360.
It is a harsh dose of reality. The Gulf Coast still in shambles as a new hurricane season rumbles just on the horizon. The big question tonight, will America be ready?
ANNOUNCER: Less than 100 days until hurricane season, but are we any better prepared for the next Katrina?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the people at FEMA are very bewildered about who's the captain of the ship and where is the ship headed.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, 360's keeping them honest.
Addicted to hoarding.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels like, you know, it's an alcoholic is going by a bar and they want another drink. It's like, I want to go in. I want to find more.
ANNOUNCER: For the thousands who are obsessed with collecting possessions, it's no laughing matter. It can take over their lives.
And "The Donald" versus the domestic diva.
MARTHA STEWART: I'm really very upset at my long-time friend.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, why "The Apprentice" dynamic duo turned into a high-powered grudge match.
ANNOUNCER: From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Live from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: All that to come in the hour ahead.
We begin, however, with the deal to allow an Arab company to buy a British company that currently runs a number of big American ports. It has touched off a political donnybrook, pitting Republicans against -- well, against Republicans.
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