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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Search for Insurgents Continues in Iraq

Aired March 19, 2006 - 07:00   ET

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


SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN ANCHOR: In Iraq, a stepped-up search for insurgents enters its fourth day. Sixty suspected insurgents are being detained. A roadside bomb damaged a vehicle in a U.S. convoy, but no one was hurt. And we'll have a full, live report in the latest for the fight for Iraq coming up in two minutes.
More antiwar protests today around the world, marking the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion. Demonstrations are under way outside the U.S. embassies in Malaysia, Tokyo and South Korea.

Fresh word for critics of the war this morning from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He writes in the "The Washington Post", "If America were to turn away from Iraq, it would be like," in his words, "handing post war Germany back to the Nazis." Rumsfeld comments appear in a guest column.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We are watching an election today in Belarus. Right now we have reports of heavy turnout in the former Soviet country. The presidential election pits a hard-line incumbent with close ties to the Kremlin against an opposition pushing for change. Western countries have forced close ties with the opposition.

In South Carolina, a convicted sex offender who led police on a four-day manhunt is back in jail and the judge says he is going to stay there without bond. Kenneth Hinson is charged with abducting two teenaged girls, holding them in an underground dungeon and sexually assaulting them.

ROESGEN: A new government study says the FBI may have improperly spent millions upgrading computers. The Government Accountability Offices blames lax oversight. The study questions $17 million in spending on the Virtual Case File program.

In the world of professional football, sometimes a trade is worthy of a mention, and this is one. NFL bad boy Terrell Owens will stop stomping on the helmets of Dallas Cowboys and will instead wear one. The Cowboys will pay Owens $25 million over three years to terrorize other teams.

From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

Good morning. It is 7:00 a.m. Eastern, 3:00 p.m. in Baghdad, 6:00 a.m. where I'm from, way too early.

I'm Susan Roesgen, sitting in for Betty Nguyen this morning.

HARRIS: And good morning, everyone. I'm Tony Harris.

Thank you for being with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein's ability to wage war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Three years since President Bush declared that the nation was at war, today the mission trudges on. The victory, some would say, no closer in sight.

Let's go to Baghdad now and CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson, who has been there seemingly from day one.

Nic, good to see you, and good morning to you.

I suppose my first question to you this morning is, three years since the onset of the war in Iraq, and I wonder what is, if you can boil it down this way, the single image of this war that you think will be with you for the rest of your life.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's a very tough question to answer, Tony, to be honest, to boil it down to one image. The most, perhaps, enduring image will be watching "Shock and Awe" unfold, its vastness, and it was an incredible thing to witness. I think, perhaps, the most enduring image since then is a pervasive image within Baghdad, and that is one of intense security, very tight security wherever you go around the international zone, around government buildings. And I think that's perhaps the image I carry with me for longer at this moment -- Tony.

HARRIS: Nic, I'm curious, a simple question, I suppose, but I have to ask it. Why has it been so difficult over the course of these three years to gain control of the security situation in Baghdad, in and around Baghdad?

ROBERTSON: I think analysts and Iraqis would probably agree that the initial phases of the occupation, having enough troops to provide security in an around Baghdad, in and around the country. That is, when you collapse one regime, you need to have a law and order in the country.

Looting took place very quickly. And I remember when I got to Baghdad, the first day I got to Baghdad at the end (ph) of the war, I was told by somebody I knew well -- we'd be thrown out and come back -- and was told me that the U.S. forces needed to provide security or people would lose their faith in them, he said, they wouldn't trust them. And it is that providing a curfew, perhaps, in the first week after the war, perhaps a rapid information campaign to let people know what was possible and what wasn't possible would have been critical in the early stages. A lot of Iraqis see it that way, that their hearts and minds could have been won at that stage. A larger force and information campaign, laws running government ministries, stopping those ministries from being looted so they could run immediately, not getting rid of Saddam Hussein's army, perhaps just the upper echelons of it, things like that Iraqis and analysts would point to that could have made life easier and stopped the insurgency getting a foothold, because it did take them a little while before they were really effective -- Tony.

HARRIS: Yes. Nic, ordinary day-to-day life in Iraq for Iraqis as you've seen it, as they know it, how would you describe it when you're living with an insurgency, an occupation, now sectarian violence?

ROBERTSON: You know, I sat down with a family last night, and it was very interesting. Number one, they didn't want to be seen on camera with me because they're afraid that because they're talking to a foreigner that they would -- that they be targeted.

I went to ask them questions about what they thought. They spent most of their time asking me questions about what I thought about the situation. And I think a lot of Iraqis have a lot of questions.

They want to understand why things have turned out the way they have. There are a lot of conspiracy theories about who is behind it and why all of this has happened. But the father of the family I talked to perhaps said it best of all.

He said, "After three years of this, we are just very confused." The mental strain and the mental pressure of knowing that you or your family members can be caught up in violence at any time is just huge. And I think it's -- he indicated that it puts a huge mental strain on people.

And when you look at people in the street, Tony, you just don't see it. They seem to be going about their daily lives, but huge mental pressures, worry, concern, security among the foremost -- Tony.

HARRIS: Yes. Hey, Nic, let me turn to that question on you that the family was asking you. Let me -- my goodness, you've been there, you've seen this. Why have things turned out the way they have?

ROBERTSON: I think there is a pervasive feeling within this region and particularly within the Arab culture that if there is an occupying force -- and the U.S. is seen here as an occupying force -- perhaps, again, I go back to what I said before, because the need to win the message in the initial phases of the occupation, there was a vacuum, and the insurgents filled that with their message that this is an occupying force and we need to throw them out.

And as the images of this war have continued, and in any war, there are civilian casualties, and those -- those images of civilian casualties have been played big and large in this region. And that's caused a strong animosity against the United States, and that plays into the insurgency here -- Tony. HARRIS: CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson for us in Baghdad.

Nic, as always, appreciate it. Thank you.

ROESGEN: Well, President Bush has always insisted that the Iraqi insurgency will be crushed and democracy will eventually flourish there. But in his weekly radio address, the president says victory is not yet in sight.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BUSH: More fighting and sacrifice will be required to achieve this victory. And for some, the temptation to retreat and abandon our commitments is strong.

If there is no peace, there's no honor and there is no security in retreat. So America will not abandon Iraq to the terrorists who want to attack us again. We will finish the mission.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ROESGEN: Well, far from the battles in Iraq, military planners are waging their own fight. And there, too, lives may be hanging in the balance.

CNN's Tom Foreman explains why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the start of the Iraq war, the question has been debated, how many Americans will have to fight there and for how long? One assessment came before the first shot was fired from the then Army Chief of Staff.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: General Shinseki, could you give us some ideas to the magnitude of the Army's force requirement for an occupation of Iraq?

GEN. ERIC SHINSEKI, FMR. ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF: Something on the order of several hundred thousand soldiers are probably, you know, a figure that would be required.

FOREMAN: That comment was widely criticized as overly cautious, overly pessimistic, especially after the invasion force of 165,000 coalition troops took Baghdad in a few weeks.

BUSH: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.

FOREMAN: But a few months later, the insurgency took off, fueled by long-standing ethnic differences, just as General Shinseki predicted. And ever since, hopes for bringing significant numbers of American troops home have risen only to fall.

Saddam Hussein was captured. American troops stayed the same. The interim Iraqi government took over. American troops stayed. A Constitution was written, full elections were held, tens of thousands of Iraqis were trained as soldiers and police officers and each development brought calls for more American troops coming home.

REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Our military has done everything that has been asked of them. U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It's time to bring the troops home.

FOREMAN: But the military, while talking vaguely of troop reductions now and then, has consistently kept around 130,000 to 150,000 fighting men and women in Iraq.

(on camera): Various military strategists have said announcing a date for a troop reduction would be foolish, letting insurgents mount an offensive at a critical moment.

(voice-over): Furthermore, historically, predicting how many troops are needed for any war has been tricky business, and this is war.

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No one said that combat operations weren't ongoing. Those operations continue.

FOREMAN: Nevertheless, nearly three years after combat started, that central question remains, how many American troops for how long?

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROESGEN: And we want to hear from you on this. What would help the situation in Iraq?

E-mail us, WEEKENDS@CNN.com.

HARRIS: The anniversary of the war is stoking fresh protests across, well, much of the world, with a massive rally expected several hours from now in New York.

Already today in Malaysia, 800 antiwar demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in the capital. And one of the largest demonstrations in the U.S. this weekend. An estimated 7,000 people rallied in Chicago. They called for the withdrawal of troops and said the escalating cost of the campaign could be better spent on domestic needs.

Similar protests were held across California yesterday, including San Francisco. Many said they were discouraged by polls showing that public support of the war is fading.

In Washington, marched from the home of Vice President Dick Cheney to Dupont Circle, where they listened to speeches and antiwar songs.

ROESGEN: Well, few people have stronger beliefs either for or against this war than parents who have had a son or daughter killed in Iraq.

CNN's Chris Huntington reports on the shared sacrifices but differing views in what is for many a tale of two wars.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS HUNTINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Lieutenant Seth Devorn (ph) was a platoon leader in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, Lieutenant J.T. Wroblewski, a platoon leader for the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Marines, two young men from the New Jersey suburbs who were killed in action in Iraq in 2004.

Devorn's (ph) mother, Sue, and Wroblewski's father, John, carry similar burdens of a parent's tragic loss. Both are passionately outspoken about what their sons died from completely different points of view.

SUE NIEDERER, MOTHER OF FALLEN SOLDIER: What did my child -- I have to use the word "child" -- die for? If you can't think of something that your child died for or was killed for, then your child has died in vain.

JOHN WROBLEWSKI, FATHER OF FALLEN SOLDIER: My son, not only my son, but all of those heroes that fell, all of the wounded that are in hospitals and lost limbs and so forth and so on, they did not die in vain. They died honorably.

HUNTINGTON: Wroblewski, a high school athletic director and father of four, is proud his oldest son was a Marine and fervently believes the war in Iraq is necessary.

WROBLEWSKI: It's a war that, if we're not in it and we're not on the offensive, all right, we will be fighting it here on these shores. I think 9/11 proved that.

HUNTINGTON: Sue Niederer, a real estate broker, has actively protested that premise since her son was killed while leading a search for improvised explosive devices, a mission she believes he was under- trained and under-equipped to do.

NIEDERER: How the heck did a piece of shrapnel get up and under my son's helmet and blow the back of his head off? Somebody explain that one to me.

HUNTINGTON: Niederer says her son told her he had lost confidence in the U.S. mission in Iraq but was committed to leading his soldiers. Now she says he is leading her.

NIEDERER: I will continue speaking, marching, being arrested. Until my son tells me to stop, I'm not stopping.

HUNTINGTON: John Wroblewski does not consider himself a pro-war activist, but last fall he spoke at a rally to honor military families.

WROBLEWSKI: And thank you to our commander in chief... HUNTINGTON: And last summer, Wroblewski traveled to Crawford, Texas, to confront Cindy Sheehan, who also lost her son in Iraq and was protesting the war outside President Bush's ranch.

WROBLEWSKI: And I understand Cindy Sheehan. I feel her loss. But I think that, you know, there's a line that's drawn. You know? And she -- at one point in time I think she crossed that line.

HUNTINGTON: Lieutenant J.T. Wroblewski died in a firefight outside Ramadi. But his father visits with him many mornings at a small memorial where a poem is etched into a stone: "If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right to heaven and bring you home again."

Sue Niederer says that's one thing that she and John Wroblewski completely agree upon.

Chris Huntington, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL LESTER, NASCAR DRIVER: I look like a typical NASCAR driver, right? There's nothing different about me, right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROESGEN: Oh, yes there is. History will be made when NASCAR driver Bill Lester breaks the color barrier and puts the pedal to the metal today in Atlanta.

(WEATHER REPORT)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: If you're just joining us, good morning. We'll take a look at our top stories.

On the third anniversary of the Iraq war, U.S. and Iraqi troops forge ahead with their recently launched operation to root out insurgents near Samarra.

Plus, authorities find another 22 bodies strewn across Baghdad, and a flurry of roadside bombings are reported.

A convicted rapist charged with abducting and assaulting two teenage girls has a second bond hearing tomorrow. A magistrate in Darlington, South Carolina, denied bail for Kenneth Hinson yesterday. He was captured Friday after a four-day manhunt.

And in central Florida, residents are being allowed back into about 300 homes that were evacuated due to a brushfire. The blaze scorched about 500 acres near the town of Sebring, south of Orlando. No injuries or damage of homes have been reported.

ROESGEN: Finally getting a break in the weather out there -- yes.

HARRIS: Are they getting some rain in through Florida?

ROESGEN: It's sea breezes, I think.

HARRIS: Let's hope so.

ROESGEN: Yes.

HARRIS: Let's check in -- yes.

ROESGEN: Let's check in with Reynolds Wolf.

(WEATHER REPORT)

ROESGEN: Do you have a dream or a secret passion? Sure do you.

HARRIS: I have both, thank you.

ROESGEN: Yes. Don't tell me.

Could you walk away if your dream or secret passion lured you away from a six-figure paycheck, though? That's a question.

HARRIS: That is a good question. Well, that's exactly what NASCAR driver Bill Lester did as he hits the fast track today. He's racing into the history books.

His story when CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Hope and heartbreak is running rampant this March. That's why they call it "March Madness." Here's a look at just one of the games coming down to the final shot in college basketball's championship tournament.

Fifteen seconds to go, Washington knocked down a three-pointer to beat Illinois. And there you go.

So, brackets for the CNN weekend morning team here.

Jim Witowski, why are we showing him? Is he still leading this thing? Oh, he's still leading it!

Oh, Katie Baratone, one of our fabulous producers, in second place.

Oh, look who is on the first page of the leader board, moving up, yours truly, Reynolds Wolf. Well, it was a tough day yesterday for Reynolds.

Second page, let's see here. Betty on the second page. Rick Horrow you see there. Oh, too bad, Rick. Smart guy, huh?

And Deidre, where are you?

Oh, our director is pulling up the rear in the losers bracket there.

OK, Susan.

ROESGEN: Hey, Tony, did you see LSU last night, last-minute buzzer-beater?

HARRIS: Oh, they won that?

ROESGEN: Yes, they did.

HARRIS: Oh, great. I think I have them. I have them. Wait a minute. Wait, I've got to follow this thing a little closer.

ROESGEN: Come on, man. Maybe you'll move up in the ratings.

HARRIS: There you go.

ROESGEN: OK.

Well, listen, we're talking about another guy now. Bill Lester becomes the first African-American driver to qualify for a race in NASCAR's top series in 20 years, putting himself in sports history.

Lester's on the fast rack, all right. He's on the really fast track, but getting there was slow-going.

CNN's Larry Smith has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL LESTER, NASCAR DRIVER: I come from a fairly atypical background. I mean, I don't know, I look like a typical NASCAR driver, right? I mean, there's nothing different about me, right?

(APPLAUSE)

LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Kidding aside, Bill Lester is all business when it comes to racing. The 45- year-old has been driving full time on NASCAR's truck series for the past four seasons, but on Friday night he'll attempt to qualify for Sunday's Nextel Cup Race in Atlanta. That would make him just the third African-American ever to drive on NASCAR's top circuit.

LESTER: It will be an accomplishment, it will be basically justification that everything I've worked so long and hard to do.

SMITH: With some prodding by his wife Cheryl, it would be an accomplishment that began in 1998 when Lester left the security of a six-figure salary at Hewlett-Packard to chase his lifelong dream of being a professional driver. CHERYL LESTER, DRIVER'S WIFE: And I kept telling him, "Look, you really want to do this. This is your passion. You need to do it full time."

B. LESTER: But I didn't want to live my life not being able to do what I wanted to do with it. And so I was willing to take the risk and my wife was willing to support me in taking the risk. And so everything so far has been paying off.

SMITH: But Lester's opportunity didn't come easily, and it didn't come without some second-guessing.

B. LESTER: And there's always been creeping doubt. You know, when you get rejected by, you know, sponsorship proposals or approaching people and, you know, you're not what they're looking for, or whatever the case might be, obviously it's hard to swallow that.

C. LESTER: And he's always demonstrated that he has talent any time he's had an opportunity behind the wheel. And he thought that when he demonstrated what he had to offer, that, you know, sponsors would be at least accessible to him, at least have the conversation with him. And it's been much, much harder than we thought.

SMITH: Lester is currently the only African-American driver on any of NASCAR's top three circuits and understands the significance of qualifying for Sunday's race.

C. LESTER: We get comments all the time for kind of closet race fans who are African-American who said, "Until Bill was on the circuit, you know, I really didn't talk to my other friends much about racing. But now when I can say that there's Bill on the track, I can get them interested."

B. LESTER: This move that we're making to race on Sunday is really going to kick the door down because, you know, we'll be on network television and a lot of people will be able to know that this is a mainstream sport they can be a part of.

SMITH: Larry Smith, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROESGEN: Good for him.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes. Yes.

ROESGEN: Yes.

HARRIS: History-making, the fifth African-American to run NASCAR. One African-American has ever won a NASCAR race, and the name escapes me, as I thought it might.

ROESGEN: It will come to you. It will come to you.

HARRIS: But it will come to me.

ROESGEN: Yes.

HARRIS: So good luck to him today.

ROESGEN: You bet.

HARRIS: Still to come, who could have seen this coming, four teens and binge drinking? What do you think ended up happening? We'll update you when we go global.

Also...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANK WILLIAMS JR., SINGER: I guarantee you my blood pressure went up about 50 points when they told me what this person had done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROESGEN: The last thing anybody would want to face, a charge of racism. But for singer Hank Williams Jr., that, plus a terrible car wreck, were almost too much to bear. We'll tell you what else he has to say when CNN SUNDAY continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROESGEN: A pre-dawn explosion of bombs over Baghdad marked the start of operation Iraqi freedom three years ago. More than 2,300 American troops have been killed since the U.S.-led invasion began and a recent wave of sectarian violence has raised fears that Iraq could descend into civil war.

U.S. and Iraqi troops are forging ahead to try to flush out insurgents near Samarra. About 60 people have been detained in what they're calling operation swarmer, but resistance has been light and there have been no reports of casualties or any firefights during the operation.

HARRIS: The Bush administration is defending the decision to invade Iraq. The president warns that more sacrifice will be needed, but he says democracy will take hold. In today's "The Washington Post" Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cites the elections and the increasing role of Iraqi troops as a sign of progress. He says turning away from Iraq now would be like handing post-war Germany back to the Nazis.

More anti-war demonstrations are taking place today to mark the anniversary of the Iraq invasion. In Malaysia, protesters gathered outside the U.S. embassy chanting stop the war and no blood for oil. One of the largest demonstrations in the U.S. was in Chicago. More than 7,000 people marched through downtown yesterday demanding that the U.S. pull out of Iraq. Former Baghdad bureau chief Jane Arraf has been on the front lines of the Iraq war. She's now with the Council on Foreign Relations and she'll join us in the 9:00 Eastern hour to talk about the three-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

ROESGEN: A South Carolina man is accused of abducting two teenage girls and sexually assaulting them in an underground dungeon. Kenneth Hinson faces another bond hearing tomorrow after a judge yesterday denied bail on sexual assault and kidnapping charges. CNN's Carol Lin now has the story of how the manhunt for Hinson unfolded.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CAROL LIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was here, under a storage shed on Kenneth Hinson's property the police say the convicted child rapist constructed an underground bunker where he allegedly lured the two teenage victims.

ANDY LOCKLAIR, DARLINGTON CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT: They were both abducted over a period of time, one individual after the other, taken to this dungeon if you call it, duct taped and sexually assaulted.

LIN: The girls managed to escape and told police, launching a massive manhunt. Hinson had fled into a wooded area near his home, surrounded by police and volunteer searchers. Days later, police received a phone call from Hinson's relative and neighbor, saying he was at her door, wanting a glass of water. That's when authorities nabbed him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were on him before he had a chance to even move. He went down without a fight. He had a pistol on him but he didn't try to use it, so he knew he was caught.

LIN: Hinson has been charged with kidnapping, first degree sexual assault and assault and battery with the intent to kill. He was a registered sex offender and served nine years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl at knife point in 1991. Police say he hadn't had any major run-ins with the law since his release in 2000 but investigators have discovered more hidden layers beneath his storage shed, raising questions about what he used them for.

LOCKLAIR: With the construction well-done with this hideaway that he had, this bunker-type, dungeon-type deal, there may be some other things, there's some intelligence that's coming to our office that there may be one or more of these places that he may have had built.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROESGEN: And the irony is if Kenneth Hinson had served his full sentence for raping a 12-year-old girl, we would still be in prison. And that fact is not lost on South Carolina's attorney general.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY McMASTER, SOUTH CAROLINA ATTY GEN: There are a number of us here who think that we ought to abolish all sorts of parole, early release, good time, all that stuff so that when the judge pronounces a sentence at the trial and the victim's there, the family's there, the press is there, everybody's there, you'd be able to mark your calendar at that moment and know when that man's going to get out.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROESGEN: Hinson served half of his 18-year prison sentence.

HARRIS: Taking a look at stories making news across America now, hurt, stunned, confused and downright angry. Country singer Hank Williams Jr. responds to comments from someone suggesting he's racist. A caller to a radio station claimed Williams didn't want black hospital staff to treat his daughters after both were badly hurt in a car accident last week, a claim Williams says is not true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANK WILLIAMS JR., COUNTRY SINGER: There are two black ladies that discovered my daughters laying in the median out there, Rosemary and Sharika. Rosemary was holding the most severely injured girl and praying, because they thought she was going to die there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: And we will hear more from Williams and what one of his daughters had to say about the whole ordeal. That's coming up in our 8:00 hour.

Who is the right person to lead hurricane-ravaged New Orleans as it rebuilds? Mayor Ray Nagin and five other mayoral candidates were in Atlanta yesterday, each hoping to solicit votes from New Orleans residents displaced in Georgia. Critics say Nagin alienated many voters after his infamous chocolate city speech in which he said God intended New Orleans to be a black majority city.

Imagine opening your front door to this -- a grass fire in central Florida threatened to get out of hand. Today firefighters have it under control but not before flames consumed more than 500 acres and caused 300 homes to be evacuated. Reporter JP Hervis (ph) from CNN affiliate WSVN has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Well into Saturday night a stubborn brush fire burns acre after acre of land at Larry and Penny Thompson memorial park. The smoke-filled sky lit up by the (INAUDIBLE) flames forcing cops to shut down several roadways. Firefighters began battling the blaze in the afternoon, the flames feet away from homes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right there in your back yard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really close to the house. Everybody's really afraid around here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Homeowners can only watch, wait, hold onto loved ones as police go door to door with a message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Telling us to go back inside the house, not to come out. It's kind of scary. I mean I don't want it to come to my house.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: Reynolds, what are you talking about, we won't get significant rain in that area for a couple of days? Come on, adjust the models or something.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We're going to take the magic eight ball and shake it up and hope to get a forecast for you. It really doesn't look like they're going to get some soaking rainfall which is precisely what they need. They need the splash, dash stuff. They need the soaking rain that we're seeing in the southern half of the Mississippi valley where there is some flash flooding possible. Now certainly we don't want flooding for Florida or anyplace in the nation but it is something we may have to deal with in parts of the ArkLaTex, Arkansas, southern parts of the state, it could be pretty rough.

And something else we're going to be seeing in the southern parts of Texas all the way through central Texas the potential for some strong storms. We're going to watch that for you very carefully and farther to the north in the northern plains, guys, get this, anywhere from eight to 15 inches of snowfall possible into the northern plains. It's some interesting stuff. Back to you.

ROESGEN: A little bit of everything. Thanks, Reynolds.

Coming up, we have an unusual face of faith for you this morning. A face of faith, this face from convicted murderer to ordained Episcopalian priest. Father James Tramel underwent a literal jailhouse conversion and you'll meet him in a minute.

HARRIS: And from the international desk, let us check in now with Brenda Bernard. Brenda, good morning to you.

BRENDA BERNARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Tony. France is in a fury. Students and unions take to the streets and it all ends in violence. I'll have the details in our going global segment coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Going global now, Hamas has finished picking the new Palestinian cabinet.

ROESGEN: And many people are not going to like it. Our Brenda Bernard joins us from the international desk with the story. Brenda.

BERNARD: Yes, Susan. The militant group Hamas says it will present its cabinet to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today and Abbas has said he will accept the appointees, that's despite the fact that all of the cabinet members are Hamas loyalists. Moderate political groups refuse to join the coalition with the hard-line organization and that could bolster U.S. and Israeli efforts to isolate the new government.

Turning now to France, demonstrations against a proposed labor law turned violent into the night. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd and arrested more than 150 people. But most of the estimated half million people who turned out Saturday across the country marched peacefully. They're demanding that the government scrap a new law they fear will erode job security for young people. Unions are threatening a general strike unless the government responds by tomorrow.

And check out the scene in Barcelona, Spain. I told you yesterday about teenagers across the country protesting for the right to drink alcohol in public places. Well, no surprise here. You mix kids and booze, you get violence. The huge public drinking protest ended in crashes between police and teenagers. Authorities say more than 80 people were injured and at least 50 others were arrested. Susan, alcohol and adolescence, always a volatile mix.

HARRIS: Man! It's something. All right, Brenda, we appreciate it. Thank you. You're right about that.

Let's take a look at our top stories right now. U.S. and Iraqi troops are into day four of operation swarmer. Sixty people remain detained in the offensive to root out insurgents near Samarra.

Protesters are taking to the streets again today to mark the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion. More than 7,000 people marched through downtown Chicago yesterday to demand the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

And the man accused of kidnapping two teenage girls and sexually assaulting them in an underground bunker is denied bail. Kenneth Hinson appeared before a judge in South Carolina yesterday. He faces another bond hearing tomorrow on burglary charges.

ROESGEN: Well, we've all heard of jailhouse conversions, inmates who find religion when they've lost their freedom. But a convict in California has managed to find both freedom and religion in a big way. Here's CNN's Ted Rowlands.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty-eight-year old James Tramel spent his first day of freedom with the people he's been praying with for the past 10 years.

REV. JAMES TRAMEL, PAROLED PRIEST: I'm just looking forward today to spending time with my congregation and family that I haven't seen in so long.

ROWLANDS: From inside the walls of the Solano California state prison, convicted murderer James Tramel managed to transform himself into the first priest in the history of the Episcopal Church to be ordained behind bars.

BISHOP WILLIAM SWING, EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF CALIF: When we stack him up against the other people in the process, he looks good. He's smart enough. He's spiritual enough. He's had great experience with human beings and proven to be a wise counselor. ROWLANDS: At the age of 17, Tramel was convicted of second degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Michael Stephenson. Tramel says he watched as a prep school classmate killed Stephenson in a park in Santa Barbara, California, for no apparent reason. Afterwards, Tramel and his friend showed the body to their other friends before they were both arrested.

EDWARD STEPHENSON, VICTIM'S FATHER: It wasn't enough time; the time did not fit the crime.

ROWLANDS: Edward Stephenson is the father of Michael Stephenson. He says if Tramel wants to preach, he should be doing it behind bars. Stephenson says he's gone to every one of Tramel's parole hearings and he believes that Tramel has pulled the wool over peoples' eyes to get out.

STEPHENSON: I think he found a way to get out of jail by starting to find God and he's out now, only because of those reasons. I don't think there's anything else that would get him out of jail.

ROWLANDS: But for members of Tramel's congregation whom he's been preaching to by telephone from prison his release is the answer to years of prayers.

BETSY HESS BEHRENS, CHURCH MEMBER: Because something bad happened doesn't mean that more bad should continue to happen. That's not going to change what happened in the past.

ROWLANDS: Last year before Tramel was an ordained priest, Governor Schwarzenegger denied his parole. This time the governor has let it go through and many people believe the fact that Tramel is a priest helped him win his freedom. Tramel not only became a priest behind bars. He also met Stephanie Green. The two are now engaged. She is an Episcopal priest as well at the same church in Berkeley, California, where Tramel will preach. She was at his side on his first day out of prison.

TRAMEL: I'm just, you know, overwhelmed and deeply grateful to be home. It's really kind of a bittersweet feeling, as joyful as I feel, you know, I'm also thinking a lot about the Stephenson family today and this has to be a tough day for them.

STEPHENSON: I just feel that that's sweet words rolling off his lips but they're meaningless, because I really don't think he knows -- I really don't think he means it.

ROWLANDS: Now that he's free, it's up to James Tramel to demonstrate whether he's actually found God or just a good way to get out of prison. Ted Rowlands, CNN, San Francisco.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROESGEN: James Tramel says he thinks about that murder every day and he says he'd like to talk to the Stephenson family some day but so far the family has refused. HARRIS: There is still much more to come on this CNN SUNDAY MORNING, including a look at the latest in aquatic robotics. It's coming up in the CNN water cooler. You don't want to miss that and much more in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROESGEN: Well, if you have a couple million dollars burning a hole in your pocket...

HARRIS: Oh sure.

ROESGEN: ...who doesn't? You might want to consider buying a town. You could buy Bridgeville, California. It's for sale on eBay again.

HARRIS: Here's the deal, Susan. The guy who bought it a few years ago says it's all fixed up now. In other words, he is flipping --

ROESGEN: Like you flip a house.

HARRIS: Like you flip a house, he's going to flip the town. You can find the details at eBay for more stories that people are talking about. Here's today's water cooler.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS (voice-over): Ever feel like moving, say to another part of the solar system on the fourth rock from the sun? You can get up close to the Martian landscape at google.com/mars.

Meanwhile, back in the land of GPS coordinates, everyone knows how cranes and herons love to hone in on the free lunch at the loyal koi pond. The Japanese of course have come up with an answer, the robotic koi. Real koi are expensive but the robot costs a lot more, about a quarter of a million dollars. The robo-koi proves the art of invention is in full bloom. In fact, ordinary folks are beating a path to the U.S. patent office to lay claims to all sorts of novel ideas. You want a good laugh? Go to patentlysilly.com, remember, these are real patents for real inventions.

While a patent generally expires in 20 years or less, pub finds in Britain can last forever. Each year, the Swan Pub in Ipswich, England, must pay a two-pound fine because of a murder on its premises in 1664. An eagle-eyed bean counter in Ipswich recently noted the pub had not paid its dues since 1999. The Swan's owners agreed to settle up.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: You know, the water cooler is all about great stories, great pictures that we're able to find. Right, right, you understand that, right, from wherever they might come from. However we might get them from around the world and in Alabama, how about Alabama? Right? Here we go! Look what we found for the water cooler. WOLF: See, why would you do this? Reynolds, not time yet, not time yet.

ROESGEN: People want to know more about you, Reynolds.

HARRIS: There you go, Valley elementary, fourth grade photo, before the braces. 19 -- oh, taking shape now.

ROESGEN: What a charmer.

HARRIS: Taking shape now, Susan.

ROESGEN: You look just the same, Reynolds.

WOLF: It's great.

ROESGEN: You haven't aged a bit.

WOLF: OK, man.

ROESGEN: Were you a good student?

WOLF: Hey, time for weather! Let's show you what's happening out there across the nation.

HARRIS: Gauntlet has been tossed.

ROESGEN: I want to see the high school picture when you've got a mullet.

WOLF: Good gosh almighty, parachute pants, the mullet, the whole nine yards. That is awful.

HARRIS: Can't touch this.

WOLF: Have to tie a pork chop around my head to get the dog to play with me. Good lord. Heavens to Betsy, that was scary stuff. Now that no one's watching and we've scared all the viewers away, goodness gracious, what a scary time that was. All right, let's show you what's happening nationally. Folks, I had no idea that was going to happen so my apologies.

All right. We got some scattered storms moving across the plains of Texas. We needed the rain. We're still getting it. It's going to be rainy throughout the weekend -- man, those are some awful pictures. And we're going to continue to also see the possibility of some flooding especially in Arkansas, into parts of northern Louisiana as well. We're not seeing the rainfall, however in Florida, where we desperately need it today. We're getting a high of 82 degrees in Miami. A few scattered clouds but still not a rain maker.

In Chicago, partly cloudy skies, 43 degrees. There's the potential for some lake effect snowfall in upstate New York. We're talking about the possibility of some in the Berkshires as well and the Green Mountains and maybe even into parts maybe of the Appalachians, we could see just mainly some rain showers there. Denver 36 degrees, the Mile High City, Salt Lake City with 41, 59 degrees in San Francisco and Los Angeles. But Dallas, rainy times for you with a high of 57 degrees. What a morning. Let's send it back to you right now. I got to find some baby pictures of you.

HARRIS: Oh, please.

WOLF: It's going to happen, I'm telling you.

ROESGEN: I thought the pictures were OK. You looked cute. You looked fine, nothing wrong with them. They're cute.

WOLF: Okay. Televisions across America are broken, unbelievable.

HARRIS: And you know where we got these pictures from don't you?

WOLF: I haven't the slightest.

HARRIS: Yeah, Paige Griffith (ph) from our national desk. There she is. There she is. You guys went to school together.

WOLF: Where is Paige?

HARRIS: There she is. There she is. She's on the monitor there. You're going to head on out there

WOLF: I'm heading over there right now.

HARRIS: OK, while you do that, when you get there, give us a shout. You ought to run. We're close to the 8:00 hour here.

ROESGEN: Six degrees of separation.

HARRIS: OK, we're going to get to our email question of the day. There we go. They went to school together.

WOLF: We really have to talk about this.

ROESGEN: I'm sorry.

HARRIS: Hey, Reynolds, what grades are we talking here?

WOLF: Let's see, I think it was, let's see, fourth grade, what was the other one?

HARRIS: Eighth.

WOLF: The eighth grade. The first one was ugly, the second one was extra ugly.

ROESGEN: You could get Paige's picture now. We could run that next Sunday.

HARRIS: There you go. He doesn't have the yearbook.

WOLF: I'm going to crawl here somewhere. HARRIS: Now see, wasn't that a wonderful moment? Glad we could bring that to you here this Sunday morning. The next hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING begins in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROESGEN: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says now is the time for resolve, not retreat in Iraq. In a guest column in today's "Washington Post" Rumsfeld says progress has been made in Iraq over the last three years. He says turning away now would be like handing post-war Germany back to the Nazis.

Iraq's former interim prime minister says the country is in a civil war. In a BBC interview Ayad Allawi says the violence is moving toward the point of no return.

Meanwhile, Iraqi police say eight civilians were killed today in clashes between American troops and gunmen in a Sunni town north of Baghdad.

And the crackle of gunfire echoed across the Iraqi city of Ramadi today. We're getting reports of a fierce battle between American troops and gunmen there. The "Associated Press" says two civilians were killed and ten wounded when gunmen attacked U.S. forces stationed at the provincial governor's office.

HARRIS: Seven people were killed by a roadside bomb in northwestern Pakistan today. Suspected Islamic militants set off the bomb that blew up a police vehicle on routine patrol. Three policemen, three paramilitary troops and a passerby died in the blast. Protesters in France are demanding that the prime minister block a new labor law. It would make it easier for businesses to fire younger workers. Protest organizers want an answer to their ultimatum by tomorrow. As many as 500,000 people took to the streets across France yesterday to protest the law.

Protests in Spain ended in violence overnight after teenagers took to the streets across the country demanding the right to continue drinking alcohol in public places. Several cities are passing new laws to stop the practice. Authorities say more than 80 people were injured and dozens more were arrested.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people. By removing Saddam Hussein from power, America is safer and the world is better off. America will not abandon Iraq to the terrorists who want to attack us again. We will finish the mission.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Contradictions everywhere. Three years. From the CNN Center this is a "CNN Sunday Morning" March 19th 8:00 a.m. at CNN's headquarters in Atlanta. 7:00 A.M. in the heartland and good morning everyone I'm Tony Harris.

ROESGEN: And I'm Susan Roesgen sitting in for Betty Nguyen. Thanks for being with us. So much to see this next hour. Iraq three years and counting, we look at efforts to root out the insurgency there now. And Shiites risk violence during a major religious pilgrimage. Ticked off, that's describing Hank Williams Jr.; he speaks out this next hour about a claim of racism. And what do our legal ladies have to say about Andrea Yates' husband remarrying. They're sure to have plenty to say about that.

HARRIS: We begin with the fight for Iraq three years ago today, President Bush first told Americans that their nation was at war and so it remains today. Despite the passage of time and the pitfalls of unrealistic expectations, today the offensive marches on even as Iraqi pilgrims follow in the ancient footsteps of timeless tradition. Let's get the view from the ground, CNN's Arwa Damon is embedded with the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division and she joins us via video phone in Baghdad. Arwa, give us a sense of what you're seeing and the work that the soldiers are doing, the soldiers that you're embedded with?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via video phone): Good morning, Tony. It definitely is a fight here in Iraq, although the fight for these soldiers of the 4th infantry division has taken on a different face than the one when they were here for alliance one. It is no longer a fight against an enemy that they can see and that they can identify. It's more of a fight against an unseen enemy when they're out in the streets.

They're not really coming under direct fire attack so much in the capital, but they're coming against IEDs, those deadly improvised explosive devices. But it's also morphed into a fight to build trust. And it's not trust so much between U.S. forces and the Iraqi people but it's to help Iraqi security forces still trust amongst their own people. This is a trust that is so vital because it is what is going to encourage Iraq's population to start cooperating with its security forces to help them root out the insurgents which is ultimately going too lead towards the road that everyone hopes the country will go on of security and stability. Tony.

HARRIS: Arwa I have to ask you the same question that I asked Nic Robertson last hour. What has been the difficulty as you see it, and maybe there's something in the geography, maybe there's something in the size of Baghdad itself, but what has been the difficulty in securing that city?

DAMON: Well, Tony, it's on a many number of levels. Baghdad is so complicated in its own way. It has Sunnis, it has Shias, it has people who have lived together for decades, if not even longer. The problem with Baghdad and for it to come under come under control has been this element of unpredictability. It's very hard to pinpoint and even for Iraqis living here that live in, say a Sunni or a Shia or a mixed neighborhood, it's hard for anyone to really pinpoint where the violence is coming from.

There's an element of confusion for light in the capital. Is the violence coming from outsiders trying to instigate sectarian war, is the violence coming from actual sectarian tensions within. So you have that dynamic happening at the same time of the dynamic of the presence of the U.S. forces, you have a lack of trust in their own Iraqi security forces, that it really is a capital that exists in confusion.

HARRIS: OK. Arwa Damon, for us embedded with the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division from just outside of Baghdad, for us. Arwa, we appreciate it, thank you.

ROESGEN: Well a retired general is calling for defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign. In an op-ed piece in today's "New York Times," retired army major general Paul Eaton says, "Rumsfeld is not competent to lead our armed forces. First, he says his failure to build coalitions with our allies from what he dismissively called old Europe has imposed far greater demands and risks on our soldiers in Iraq than necessary."

HARRIS: And let's check some stories across America right now. The anniversary of the war has ignited protests around the world, including rallies in the U.S. Here in Chicago an estimated 7,000 people rallied in one of the nation's largest demonstrations. Another protest is scheduled this afternoon in New York.

ROESGEN: In South Carolina, a judge has denied bail to a man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting two teenage girls. The police say this man, 47-year-old Kenneth Hinson held the teenagers inside an underground dungeon behind his trailer. This convicted sex offender got angry in court when he found out that he would not have an attorney appointed for him until his next hearing tomorrow.

HARRIS: For Dallas Cowboys fans, the Terrell Owens era has begun. The star receiver says he wants to move beyond his ugly dismissal from the Philadelphia Eagles, and it was ugly. Where his mouthy tirades alienated both teammates and fans. Owens enraged Cowboy fans several years ago when he pranced on the team's mid-field logo.

ROESGEN: Well now this next story has more twists and turns than a country western tear jerker. The honky tonk singer Hank Williams Jr. didn't write this story, he is living it. His daughters were badly hurt in a car wreck last week and someone called a radio station claiming that Williams did not want black doctors to treat them. He's hot about it, so are his daughters, and you'll get the story from CNN's Kareen Wynter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Football fans know him from his call to action on Monday night. Country music fans already knew him, a hit maker and former hell razor with tunes like "All My Rowdy Friends are Coming over Tonight." But this week's events revealed a different side of Hank Williams Jr., serious, subdued, and angry about a call to a radio station that sparked rumors across Memphis.

HANK WILLIAMS, JR., MUSICIAN: It's quite unfortunate that there are some people that want to cause trouble.

WYNTER: The phony claim, that Williams didn't want black hospital staff to treat his injured daughters. That claim he says is absolutely false.

WILLIAMS: I challenge you to interview anyone in this hospital. Please do. About what they think about Randall Hank Williams Jr. and what he thinks about folks.

WYNTER: Williams had trouble containing his emotions when he talked about the two African-American women who found his injured daughters.

WILLIAMS: Rosemary and Shareka, Rosemary was holding the most severely injured girl and praying because they thought she was going to die there.

WYNTER: As he ended the news conference, Williams revealed his daughter Holly's reaction to the vicious claim about her father.

WILLIAMS: Whoever made that statement, dad, what a [ bleep ]. Thank you very much.

WYNTER: Kareen Wynter, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: Here's a question for you, did a government lawyer cause a breakdown in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial? We'll discuss this and other controversial cases with two women in the know. Straight ahead here on "CNN Sunday Morning." Plus, checking weather, Reynolds, good morning.

WOLF: Good morning. Expect a high of 43 degrees in midtown Manhattan today, beautiful, partly cloudy skies; a little bit farther south in Baltimore you can expect your highs also to be in the 40s. Here's the live image that we have in the beautiful city of Baltimore, things looking good there. We'll show you what you can expect in your hometown coming up in just a few moments.

ROESGEN: "House Call" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes a closer look at the best way for Americans to be more fit. And like a lot of things in life it begins at school.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now here's an exercise you don't expect to see a PE teacher do. But you see it's taco day and with resources tight in the Grand Rapids school district, the gym at Madison Park Elementary doubles as a lunch room.

HELEN SMITH, PE TEACHER: So we need to walk in, go to our spot and sit down quietly, okay. The floor may be wet.

GUPTA: Helen smith, like many PE teachers here, goes above and beyond, trying to help fight what their district labels a youth obesity crisis.

SMITH: Do you know if you need a big scooter or not, get a big scooter if you need one.

GUPTA: But, it is tough. Kids here get a mere 35 minutes of physical education not per day, but per week. And that's pretty typical for Michigan schools.

SMITH: We definitely have a childhood obesity problem. I mean it's huge, it's 20 to 25% of the kids are overweight, 9 to 15-year- olds. It's an epidemic. It's only going to get worse if we don't do something about it.

GUPTA: So Smith maximizes every minute she has. She has to, four different elementary schools call her their PE teacher, rushing from school to school, carrying her own equipment, she becomes a blur of activity, cramming in as much as possible into class.

SMITH: Run over those, run over them.

GUPTA: If quantity isn't part of the game plan, Smith hopes the quality of fitness her students get will encourage exercise outside of class.

SMITH: It's not all about athletics. It's about moving, getting them off the couch, getting them doing different things, getting them involved, having a good time while they're doing it, not thinking it's work.

GUPTA: Seeing a gap in kids' fitness options, other groups in Grand Rapids step in to help. This is the "YMCA's Healthy U," a 2- year-old program it hopes to bring to other communities. The Y brings its trainers and equipment to the schools for its after school programs two times a week. The other day it picks them up after school and takes them to the Y's state of the art facilities. That means these kids get about 4 1/2 extra hours of fitness and nutrition activities a week.

NAT SOT: That is so good for your heart.

GUPTA: All for free, thanks to grants and corporate sponsorships. There's kid size exercise equipment, fitness classes, yoga.

NAT SOT: Feel the breath as it enters your body and fills up your lung.

GUPTA: When the kids started the program 21% of them already had high blood pressure. 97% scored poor on flexibility tests. Now both are significantly better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know that the program works. Obviously how we feel, it's great, but we also see that the need is much greater than what we're able to do. And so while we've been able to impact 3,000 kids, we see the need as 100,000 kids.

GUPTA: And our phys-ed teacher Helen Smith agrees.

SMITH: We have a lot of couch potatoes I think. So, hopefully we can get away from that.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: Could one woman have caused a collapse of a terror trial while another woman provides the powerful punch in another high- profile case, the Moussaoui and Enron trials are on the legal docket if we can get to all of it. "CNN's Sunday Morning" is calling on two women who are in the know to talk about it. Lida Rodriguez-Taseff is in Miami and we welcome Pamela Bethel from Washington. Pamela, you've done this dance with us before so you know how we're going to do this thing this morning. We're going to start with Moussaoui.

First of all here, Judge Brinkema throws out the heart of the prosecution's case for the death penalty. Then as that decision is being appealed, she meets with the government attorney who coached the seven FAA witnesses and has a partial change of heart. Now you have to give us some guidance here, because I understand you worked in that prosecution's office, that prosecutor's office, and folks are saying that the prosecution team has just mismanaged this case. What do you think? Are you surprised?

PAMELA BETHEL, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes, I'm kind of surprised. And I think it's unfair to say they've mismanaged this case. Look, you're working on the largest case in terms of importance to our national security and just our national psyche.

HARRIS: Pamela, you've had four years.

BETHEL: Yeah, but still, you've got one person that does something, a lawyer, a senior lawyer, does something in direct contravention of what a court order is, you can't anticipate that. You could never expect that. I'm not going to criticize the government lawyers who didn't see that coming. I would not have seen that coming. I would be very, very angry, though.

HARRIS: A lot of folks are criticizing the government lawyers.

LIDA RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Oh, my goodness. You know Pamela, I'm sorry on this one. Of course they shouldn't have seen it coming because it's illegal. She broke the law. She committed prosecutorial misconduct.

BETHEL: She certainly did.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: She tampered with witnesses.

BETHEL: She certainly did. But how do you see that coming? How do you know that? How can you anticipate that?

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Pamela, she's part of the prosecution team. One for all and all for one. If one makes a mistake, if one commits a crime, it's imputed on all of them. It's prosecutorial misconduct. And as a result, it should have been sanctioned by the judge, not just by not allowing the seven tainted witnesses to testify, but by not allowing the government to present any witnesses coming out of the TSA.

BETHEL: That would have been well outside the --

HARRIS: Here's what I'm not understanding... so what is the net effect of the sanction here? They could just go and find other --

BETHEL: Well, because, let's look at what the problem was. You've got to examine the sanction and the concepts of what happened. What she did by her conduct was to taint the witnesses that were to come. So, if you remove them and not let them testify, but the government still can put on that same level of proof by finding other witnesses, with whom she's had no conduct, no harm, no foul.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Wait just a second.

HARRIS: Hang on just a second, Lida. We see the picture of Carla Martin running away from the photographers. I just need to identify her and she is the attorney with the TSA.

BETHEL: Right.

HARRIS: Who allegedly -- well she did. She coached these witnesses. All right Lida. Did the judge cave on this one?

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: The judge totally caved. And you know why the judge caved, the judge caved because the government started whining and saying, well, judge, if you do this, then guess what, we are just not going to put on a case on the death penalty. You've just destroyed our case and the American people are going to hate you. That's what the government did.

BETHEL: Oh come on.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: And it's ridiculous.

BETHEL: You obviously don't know Judge Bringma.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Now Pamela, there is no way that these prosecutors can put on any untainted witnesses.

BETHEL: That's not true.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Because if they weren't tainted by the e-mails sent by Ms. Martin in violation of a court order and in violation of the law, then they were certainly tainted by the fact that this has been in the media for --

BETHEL: That's not true.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: And in any case, wait a second. Pamela, give me a second -- HARRIS: Let me switch topics here. I have one more question on Moussaoui but I got to move on or we won't talk about Yates at all. An appeals court judge says Andrea Yates can be retried for drowning her children in 2001. Lida, is there such a thing anymore in the law as double jeopardy?

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, obviously not in this case. Basically what the defense was arguing that double jeopardy was actually implicated because the prosecution committed misconduct in the original trial. And the misconduct was based on the fact that the prosecutors were the ones who elicited from this expert witness this whole issue of "Law and Order" and this episode of "Law and Order."

HARRIS: Yes. No, no, you're absolutely right, no, go ahead, go ahead.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: This episode of "Law and Order" that was supposed to have been the basis for Andrea Yates inventing this whole defense and trying to figure out a way to get away with murder. Now this whole "Law and Order" thing never happened, the prosecutor should have known it, if they didn't know it, they should have known it. They stuck their head in the sand. It's prosecutorial misconduct, it's double jeopardy.

HARRIS: Pamela, what's going on with prosecutors here?

BETHEL: Let me just tell you what's going on with prosecutors. It's defense lawyers and their overzealous -- listen, I respect --

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Oh my goodness --

BETHEL: I respect the right because I'm now a defense lawyer. I respect the right to defend your client's zealously. But let's not call every misstep, every comment, prosecutorial misconduct.

HARRIS: When you're fighting for your life here you can't make mistakes as a prosecutor if I'm fighting for my life.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: We all can't make mistakes and you can't break the law Pamela, you know well --

BETHEL: No one's sanctioning breaking the law, no one's sanctioning breaking the law here or Moussaoui. But let's fashion remedies that deal with the conduct. Don't let's just throw out the entire case and let people go free.

HARRIS: All right.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Now, Tony, I got to get the last word in on this.

HARRIS: Very quickly, go ahead.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: The last word is this. You can't -- you have to punish prosecutors, you can't reward them when they commit misconduct whether it's Moussaoui or Yates unless you punish prosecutors this will continue.

HARRIS: All right. Ladies that was fun. Good stuff this morning. Have a great Sunday and enjoy the rest of the weekend. We enjoyed that.

RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Take care Tony.

BETHEL: Bye-bye.

ROESGEN: That was fun. Regime change, IEDs and insurgents. Three years now into the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Is there an end in sight? We'll talk to former CNN Baghdad bureau chief Jane Arraf, about the war in Iraq, she's now a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and she'll talk about what might be ahead there.

Plus, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will give you a "House Call." In this edition, it's the final check on the new you folks and much more. "House Call" in about ten minutes.

WOLF: Hi Folks, I'm meteorologist Reynolds Wolf for the very latest on your weather around the nation. We're looking at some strong storms developing through parts of Texas, there's the potential for some flash flooding into the ArkLaTex, into the Ozarks. Meanwhile, some heavy snowfall, some places over a foot in the northern plains and some snow possible in upstate New York. However along the eastern seaboard we are going to be seeing plenty of sunshine, temperatures today will be warming up in many spots into the 30s, 40s and 50s along the eastern seaboard. Atlanta, 54 degrees, 82 in Miami 43 in Chicago, 48 in St. Louis, Salt Lake City with 41, San Francisco and Los Angeles beautiful conditions today if you don't mind some scattered showers in San Diego, a little bit farther to the south, and Phoenix partly cloudy skies, the high of 61. That is a look at your forecast around the nation. Now let's toss it over to Susan.

ROESGEN: All right. Not too bad. Thanks Reynolds. "House Call" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta is next. And here's a preview.

GUPTA: All right, thanks, guys. Well, we have a special show coming up this morning. We're doing our final check on our new you participants. That's right, the eight weeks are over and our three pairs, the lobbyists, the twins and our military family are here to weigh in and fess up to the ups and downs of their resolutions. Who is the biggest loser? Find out coming up on "House Call" at 8:30.

ROESGEN: And then at 9:00 a.m. from the fall of Saddam Hussein to "Operation Swarmer," it's the third anniversary of the war in Iraq. Former CNN bureau chief Jane Arraf, now at the Council on Foreign Relations will join us to talk about Iraq then and now.

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