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Former Florida Congressman Enters Rehab; Three Students Killed in Pennsylvania School Shooting; United States Unwelcome in Iraq?
Aired October 2, 2006 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: We're live here in the CNN NEWSROOM with the nation's third deadly shooting in less than a week -- this one happening in Amish county in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 55 miles west of Philadelphia.
Just a short time ago, the police commissioner there in Pennsylvania held a briefing, saying that it was -- this was basically a crime of opportunity -- the gunman living not far from the school where he went in this morning and took children hostage, left -- there were 15 males in the room, 10 to 12 females, let all the -- all the males go, kept the females. And, sadly, according to the police commissioner, he shot them, execution-style, in the head.
We're getting conflicting reports about those who were killed. We were told by the police commissioner that three of the children, the female students, have died, and also the gunman. But, according to the coroner, the coroner says at least six people have died from this incident.
Now, apparently, this -- this shooter was disgruntled about something that happened 20 years ago. And he was taking revenge on it. He left a suicide note, several rambling notes, according to the commissioner this morning, which his wife found, saying that he wanted to act out in a way that -- that would be what he wanted for revenge.
He wanted to go to a school and take some kids hostage. Apparently, he called his wife at 11:00, and said he was not coming home. She also called police. And he said: "The police are here. I am not coming home. And I love you."
Now, according to witnesses there on the scene, and to the police commissioner, he did let one child -- one student go, a pregnant woman who was in the class. He also let three women go who had children with them. One of those teachers managed to call 911. And that is how police got wind of this incident.
When they got there, they tried to talk to the shooter by P.A. system from their police cars. He did not respond. From the phone call, he called the police station saying that, if the police didn't leave in 10 seconds, that there was going to be something bad, that shootings were going to occur.
And, apparently, he kept his promise on that, because, not long after, police heard a rapid gunfire. They went into the school, tried to get through the doors, but he had blocked them. And, so, they had to break through the window. And, once they got in, they exchanged gunfire. They found the gunman dead. And they believe that he killed himself -- so, again, according to the police commissioner, three people dead in this -- according to the coroner, at least six people dead.
We will update you on that information, a shooting in Amish country in Pennsylvania at a schoolhouse this morning.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: And, just about half-an-hour, we did hear from the state police commissioner, Jeffrey Miller. This is how he briefed reporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMMISSIONER JEFFREY MILLER, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: The initial call that we received -- that the Pennsylvania State Police received -- came into the Harrisburg Consolidated Dispatch Center at 10:36 hours. The location that was provided to us was the Amish school, the Georgetown Amish School, located at 4876 White Oak Road. It's along White Oak Road between Mine Road in and PA-896 in Lancaster County.
The call came in from a schoolteacher, stating a male entered the school and had taken hostages. Now, this school is a small one-room schoolhouse. It's an Amish school.
There were approximately 15 males between the ages of 6 and 13 attending school there, as well as somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 females also attending school between the ages of 6 and 13. There were also other people in the building, the teacher. There were also some what appeared to be teachers aides. That would be kids that a little older than the students that are attending school there at the facility.
As I said, the call came in at 10:36 hours. Our troopers first responded from PSP Lancaster at 10:45 a.m.
They responded to the scene and began to set up a perimeter around the schoolhouse. And, as you can see, the -- the school -- where the school sits, it's in an open area of ground. The actor could see our folks pretty easily from -- from where we were pulling up.
We had a number of troopers there. They immediately began to try and hail the suspect using the P.A. system in the cars. They were unable to communicate directly with him. A very short time later, a call was received at our Consolidated Dispatch Center from the Lancaster County 911 facility, stating that they had spoken to the actor, the suspect, who had told them that, if the state police don't remove themselves from the premises in 10 seconds, he's going to -- he's going to begin shooting people.
That information gave us the cell phone that he was using. One of our negotiators at the scene, a state police SERT, special emergency and response team negotiator, who was on scene trying to hail him, immediately tried to make a call to the cell phone at the same time as the information was being relayed to our troopers on the perimeter. We had uniformed patrol troopers and criminal investigators on the scene.
Commensurate with that, within a few seconds of that information being put out to the perimeter and the trooper who was the negotiator trying to call the suspect on the cell phone, they heard shots, multiple shots, in quick succession.
We're not certain at this time, because we haven't been able to do any of the ballistics work, but it appears, because the suspect had with him an automatic handgun and a shotgun, it appears to us that he was utilizing the automatic handgun at that time in quick succession.
Our troopers, who already had removed ballistics shields from the car and were preparing for an assault anyway, in the likelihood that some sort of a communications link could not be established with the -- with the suspect, immediately stormed the residence -- or stormed the schoolhouse.
Now, it's a one-room schoolhouse. All of the doors were blocked. He had taken with him two-by-sixes and two-by-fours. Had he blocked all the exits from the building. We couldn't get in through the doors.
We had to break the windows. The troopers broke the windows and were able to get in, found the suspect dead on the floor of the schoolhouse. He's still in there now. In addition, we found three -- we had three other students, female students between the ages of 6 and 13, that were shot and killed at the scene.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: And State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller holding that news conference not long ago, giving us the details of what happened in that small schoolhouse.
In addition, they do believe that gunman had a motive. And that motive was revenge to something that had happened to him when he was 12 years old, now dead, 32 years old. He says it was 20 years ago that something happened, something with young females that made him want to do what he did today. He left behind a rambling suicide note to his wife, even personal notes to his three children.
They live right down the street from this schoolhouse. Charles Roberts, the gunman that is now dead, 32 years old, was a truck driver, apparently delivered milk, and had some type of business relationship with those here in the Amish community.
We will continue to follow all the latest developments, as the investigation continues there on the scene. That's the home of the gunman, now dead -- his wife and three kids there at that home talking with police at this time. We will follow the investigation and all the details -- three dead at this point, according to the commissioner, seven injured. We will let you know if we find out anything more.
Jason Carroll, on -- on the way to the scene, he will be bringing us live reports, as he works the story. LEMON: And another story developing here in the NEWSROOM this afternoon, the e-mail scandal that ended a Republican congressman's career has started a political firestorm. And it's spreading all the way to the top of the Republican ranks.
Just today, we learned former Florida Representative Mark Foley has checked into rehab for alcoholism and what he calls behavioral problems. But he's not getting any sympathy from House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who spoke a short time ago.
Congressional correspondent Andrea Koppel joins us live from Capitol Hill.
It appears, Andrea, that everyone is safely backing away from this guy.
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly Speaker Dennis Hastert is among those in the -- in the Republican leadership who is trying to do a lot of damage control right now.
We're just five weeks out from those congressional midterms. And it was already looking like Democrats had a pretty good chance of taking back the House. Now Dennis Hastert is trying to calm this firestorm. He had been meeting behind closed doors with the chairman of the House Page Board, who, himself, John Shimkus, congressman of Illinois, had been among the first who was notified about the e-mail that was exchanged between that 16-year-old teen and Congressman Foley.
He and Dennis Hastert met behind closed doors. They didn't take any questions. They came out. And Speaker Hastert made this statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The instant messages reportedly between Congressman Foley and a former page, sent in 2003, were vile and repulsive, and -- both to myself and to my colleagues.
No one in the Republican leadership, nor Congressman Shimkus, saw those messages until last Friday, when ABC News released them to the public.
When they were released, Congressman Foley resigned. And I'm glad he did. If he had not, I would have demanded his expulsion from the House of Representatives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOPPEL: Now, the distinction that Speaker Hastert is making between those instant messages and the e-mails -- the instant messages were the -- that ABC reported on last week were the much more explicit, sexually-graphic messages exchanged with yet another teenage page. Now, where -- what is happening right now is that Speaker Hastert has asked the Justice Department, the attorney general, to launch a federal investigation to see not just what else might have been involved with Congressman Foley, but who within the Republican leadership, the House of Representatives, might have known more about this involving other pages.
They are also, Don, trying to set up a 1-800 hot line for pages, their family members, their friends, to call in, in a confidential way, and share the information they have. Democrats are still alleging, Don, that this is part of an election-year cover-up. Republicans are denying it -- Don.
LEMON: And, Andrea, stand by, because you know that we're getting information here just off the wires. You may not have it, because you're standing there doing this report.
But we're getting information in that is -- that is saying Florida Representative Joe Negron was selected, just a short time ago from the Republican Party of Florida, the executive board, to replace former Representative Mark Foley, as we know, as an Andrea just said, who resigned on Friday.
Negron is 45. He's currently the representative of District 82 in the state legislature, which includes parts of Palm Beach.
But, again, Andrea, tell me what you know about. Do you know anything with Joe Negron?
KOPPEL: I don't. But what I can tell you and what is important for our viewers to know is that, even though Congressman Foley has resigned in disgrace from his seat in the 16th District in Florida, his name is still on the ballot, and cannot be removed, which is why you have the Republican Party in the 16th district so eager to get another replacement candidate, which means that if any voters decide to cast a ballot for Congressman Foley on November 7, the votes would then go to Mr. Negron.
So, even though Foley's name is on the ballot, he obviously can't serve. Congressman -- this Mr. Negron would be the one who would take his place.
LEMON: Right. So, if you -- if you're voting for Foley, you're voting for Negron.
LEMON: Let's put the information back up about him.
We're being told that he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives back in 2000. We had some information there, first elected back in 2000. He has a family, father of three.
So, this is a developing story that is just coming in -- we heard about Representative Foley, who resigned just last week -- elected to the Florida state of representatives in 2000, ran for Florida attorney general in 2006, and then dropped out of the race then. But he's a married father of three.
That is the replacement for Mark Foley, who just stepped down on Friday -- information just coming in to the CNN NEWSROOM -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Well, apparently, the buck stops there.
Just a short while ago, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said that it's the House of Representatives' job, too, in his words, to clean up the mess from the Foley scandal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is an awful and disturbing story. And anybody who sends children, young people, to -- to Capitol Hill for the privilege of becoming pages ought to be assured that their sons or daughters can learn about the noblest traditions of American politics, and not about something else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Well, Snow says that investigation should be allowed to play out before people start demanding resignations of House leaders.
LEMON: Several students and a gunman killed in Amish country in Pennsylvania, happening at a school this morning -- we have details next in the NEWSROOM.
PHILLIPS: Plus: "Americans, go home," the feelings of some Iraqis, as violence racks their country -- a report from Baghdad coming up in the CNN NEWSROOM.
PHILLIPS: Our top story out of Pennsylvania today.
We want to update you with what we know about that shooting in a small Amish schoolhouse here in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
A truck driver barricaded himself in this one-room schoolhouse, killing three girls, wounding seven others, before killing himself over what police say he said was a 20-year-old grudge.
Charles Carl Roberts, 32 years old, of the nearby township of Bart, lived just down the street from this schoolhouse. He barricaded the doors. He sent the male students out, and bound his female students, before shooting them, execution-style, behind a blackboard.
Roberts did leaves notes for his wife and his children before carrying out the killings. We are also told that, when his wife called him on his cell phone, he told her that he was acting out to achieve revenge for something that happened 20 years ago, something that happened when he was 12 years old. This is the home of the dead suspect or the dead shooter right here, not far from that schoolhouse.
Apparently, there was some sort of an issue in the past, that he wanted to exact revenge against female victims. And that's why police believe he picked that schoolhouse, picked that time, and picked those young girls to kill. The victims range in age from 6 to 13. One even died in the arms of a state trooper -- a developing story now out of Pennsylvania. And we will bring you all the details as we get it.
LEMON: Across Iraq's capital, more chaos, more carnage -- today, in broad daylight, another mass kidnapping. Gunmen dressed in Iraqi security forces raided computer stores and dragged away at least 14 people.
Workers, 26 yesterday were kidnapped from a Baghdad meat processing plant. Across the city, a spate of attacks killed seven people and wounded more than 30, all of them Iraqi, most civilians. And, still, more corpses turned up, all showing signs of torture.
With that as a backdrop, Iraqi lawmakers extend martial law until November 1.
Open arms and happy hearts -- the Bush administration's prewar prediction of how Iraqis would react to U.S. forces once Saddam Hussein was overthrown. Some Iraqis did react that way for a while in some places, but not anymore.
A recent poll finds more than 70 percent of Iraqis want U.S. troops to leave before this time next year.
CNN's Arwa Damon shows us why.
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The strain of day- to-day life here is taking its toll. Frustration, anger, despair are predominant emotions in the streets of Baghdad. And now more Iraqis are directing it at the Americans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We want them to leave today, not tomorrow. From the day they arrived, they have ruined the country.
DAMON: U.S. forces have struggled to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, who, from the start, were wary of American intentions in their country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's not just me. All Iraqis want the Americans out, because they are harming, not benefiting the Iraqi people. They made a lot of promises, and they turned out to be lies.
DAMON: The February bombing of the Holy Shia shrine in Samarra catapulted ethnic tensions in Iraq, leading to a near all-out civil war.
U.S. troops were viewed as being a stabilizing force, but, as secretary killing continued to increase, public opinion shifted once again. ZAKI CHEHAB, IRAQ POLITICAL ANALYST: Not a single neighborhood in Iraq is safe. Not a single main road which connects the capital with the major cities is safe. They are scared of killing which is taking place in Iraq, especially the last two months, beyond imagination. To -- to hear of an average attack every -- every -- every 15 minutes in Iraq happening, this is beyond imagination.
DAMON (on camera): The Iraqis have been living the unimaginable for over three years now. They are simply tired of the violence and ready for the Americans to leave, more than ready for this war to be over. The question is, what kind of a life awaits them if the Americans leave now?
Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.
PHILLIPS: Well, a NATO convoy comes under attack in Afghanistan. Police say that a suicide bomber blew himself up on a busy road in Kabul. Six people were hurt, including three NATO soldiers. No one claimed responsibility, but Taliban insurgents have admitted to a string of similar attacks. About a dozen people have been killed in other violence around Afghanistan.
LEMON: An armed gunman walks into an Amish school, orders the boys to leaves, and then shoots all of the girls. That gunman also killed himself -- details on this story ahead in the NEWSROOM .
PHILLIPS: Plus, our other top story: a scandalized congressman out of office -- the Republican leadership under the microscope.
More Foley fallout five weeks before the midterm elections -- straight ahead from the NEWSROOM.
PHILLIPS: Three hundred thousand square feet in the Big Apple and a garage in Silicon Valley.
Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange to tell us all about Google's new spaces.
But should we talk about her Turkey trip first?
LEMON: Yes, how was that?
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it was -- thank you.
LEMON: Welcome back, by the way.
PHILLIPS: Let me introduce you to Don Lemon, Susan Lisovicz.
LEMON: And hello. How are you? Nice to meet you.
LISOVICZ: Thank you.
And welcome to you, Don. I know it has been a busy day for both of you.
LEMON: Thank you.
LISOVICZ: So, I will get right to the point.
LEMON: All right.
LISOVICZ: After nearly a year of speculation, Google is opening an office right here in the Big Apple. The office is more than 300,000 square feet. That is a lot of space. It's located in the city's second largest building -- the move interesting, of course, because New York and Google cultures are, well, worlds apart.
One analyst says he is not going to bet against the company, because, after all, Google has always been known for doing the unusual. Google isn't saying how much the space will cost, but companies typically pay millions a dollar a year in rent for space like this.
I mean, when I lived in the city, I think -- I mean, I barely fit my bed in the -- in the apartment. So, you understand what I mean.
LEMON: Yes. I was going to say, 300,000 square feet in New York City, that's...
LEMON: That's a lot of...
LEMON: That's a lot of space anywhere.
We're hearing about a much, much smaller piece of real estate, making, you know, a landmark real estate move. Tell us about that one...
But it -- it -- it's a sentimental real estate transaction, I would have to say. Google is buying a house in Menlo Park, California, not far from its headquarters in Mountain View.
But this is no ordinary house. It is actually considered by many to be Google's birthplace. Eight years ago, the Internet company's co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, rented the garage, using it to work on their search engine, which, of course, is now a household name -- no word on how much Google paid, but similar houses in the same neighborhood have been selling more than $1 million each -- Kyra and Don, back to you.
PHILLIPS: All right. How is the market looking?
LISOVICZ: Not looking so good right now.
Of course, we're coming off a terrific quarter. This is the start of the week, the day, the -- the new month, the new quarter. But the Dow isn't setting any records right now. Stocks started out on the right move, but have since turned south -- the tech sector taking the biggest hit, as drops in Qualcomm and Apple Computer shares are weighing on the Nasdaq.
Dow, well, it's just down two points. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, is down about 20 points, or about 1 percent.
And that is the latest from Wall Street. I will be back in about half-an-hour with a wrap of the trading day.
Stay with us. CNN NEWSROOM will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: As I said, two -- one shotgun and one handgun were found next to the suspect by our troopers who responded into the school.
We have -- as I said, three students are confirmed dead. There were seven that we know of right now. There were seven injured victims taken to the following hospitals: Lehigh General Hospital, Hershey Medical Center, Christian Hospital in Delaware, Redding Hospital, and Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.
We know that the individuals that were removed from the school suffered from gunshot wounds. It appears that, when he began shooting the victims, these victims were shot execution-style in the head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller there not long ago, within, actually, the past hour, describing what happened in that small schoolhouse there in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
A truck driver who lived just down the street barricaded himself in this one-room Amish schoolhouse. He killed three girls, wounded seven others, before killing himself over what police said was a 20- year-old grudge.
Charles Carl Roberts is his name, 32 years old, lived right down the street. He just -- he actually brought in two-by-six and two-by- fours, blocking every door in that schoolhouse, so police could not get through. He knew exactly what he was wanting to do. He sent the male students out. He bound the female victims, before shooting them, execution- style, behind a blackboard, as you heard there from the commissioner. Roberts, the gunman, did leave notes, a rambling suicide note, apparently, for his wife and his three children, before carrying out these killings.
And, when his wife called him on his cell phone, we're told, after she read that letter, he told her -- quote -- that he was "acting out to achieve revenge for something that happened 20 years ago.
He was 12 years old 20 years ago. Apparently, there was some sort of an issue in his past, that, for some reason, he wanted to exact revenge against female victims. That is coming from the police commissioner there in Pennsylvania -- those young children ranging in age from 6 to 13 years old. One of them even died in the arms of a state trooper -- Don.
LEMON: Also in the NEWSROOM: one scandal, three investigations.
The FBI, the House of Representatives, and Florida law enforcement are all investigating former Congressman Mark Foley, Republican of Florida. Now, as you may know, Foley resigned on Friday, amid allegations he sent sexually explicit e-mails to teenage congressional pages.
Foley's lawyer confirms to CNN that Foley has checked himself into rehab for alcoholism and for what he calls emotional difficulties. Foley says he accepts full responsibility for -- quote -- "the harm that I have caused."
House Speaker Dennis Hastert commented just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOUSE SPEAKER DENNIS HASTERT, (R) ILLINOIS: Congressman Foley duped a lot of people. He lied to Mr. Shimkus and he deceived his in- state paper when they each questioned him. He deceived the good men and women in organizations around the country, with whom he worked to strengthen our child predator law. I have known him for all the years he has served in this House, and he deceived me, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And a closer reading now of Mark Foley's letter, in which he says he is checking into rehab. The ex-congressman states, "I strongly believe that I am an alcoholic." He also says he needs "immediate treatment for alcoholism and related behavioral problems." And Foley says he accepts "full responsibility for the harm that I have caused."
PHILLIPS: Well, did Mark Foley break laws that he helped create? Foley is a former co-chair of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus.
And here he is shaking hands with President Bush in late July, when the president signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. Months later, Foley finds himself at the other end of the law. The sleazy e-mails he is accused of sending teens are being reviewed by federal and state investigators now.
And there's never a good time for a good scandal, but the unsavory news about dirty e-mails and Congressional pages cannot have come at a worse time for Republicans and the White House.
Here is CNN's national correspondent Bob Franken.
BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Congressman Mark Foley is gone from Congress, but his Republican leadership is struggling to avoid being buried in his fallout in this very competitive election battle for control of Congress, while Democrats would love to bury them.
REP. JANE HARMAN, (D) CALIFORNIA: I do think voters, in an election season, have a right to know what the leaders of Congress did, what they knew, and when they knew, and what they did. And I think these matters will have to come out.
FRANKEN: The Republican leaders, in particular House Speaker Dennis Hastert, were trying to not get hopelessly entangled in questions about how they handled the Foley matter. Hastert's aides were notified in the fall of 2005 by Louisiana Republican Congressman Rodney Alexander that a page he had sponsored complained about what the page called "sick e-mails" he had received from Foley.
The information was shared over the next few months with the top echelon of the GOP in the House, including Hastert's office. They reached a consensus that Mark Foley's e-mails were merely, quote, "over friendly". And Foley was warned to end all communications with the page and to be careful about his contacts.
The chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee, Thomas Reynolds, and House Majority Leader John Boehner say they were told early this year and brought it to the attention of Hastert himself. There the matter stood until the explosive revelations of more provocative communications in the form of instant messages to former pages in earlier years and an explosive chain of reaction from house Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
Republican leaders should be questioned under oath about what she called "the cover-up". Speaker Hastert himself has sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and another to Florida Governor Jeb Bush, asking for federal and state investigation. In fact, sources tell CNN the FBI has begun a preliminary investigation.
All of this is being watched very closely at a White House that is battling to make sure the president's fellow Republicans keep control of Congress.
DAN BARTLETT, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: And I know more than anybody else Speaker Hastert wants to make sure if any crime is committed that they be held accountable.
FRANKEN (on camera): What Republicans in and out of Congress are worried about is that they, too, will be held accountable by the voters.
Bob Franken, CNN, Washington.
LEMON: And Florida Republicans today named a replacement for Mark Foley in next month's election. State Representative Joe Negron will be the GOP candidate. Earlier this year he ran for attorney general, but dropped out of that race. Negron is married with three children. Negron's name will not -- it won't appear on the ballot. However, voters in Florida will still have to select Foley's name if they want to vote for the Republican candidate. The Democratic candidate is financial services advisor Tim Mahoney.
PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, terror on tape. Mohamed Atta, the brains of 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it wasn't for Atta, 9/11 may have never happened. The rest were like -- they were described by some people as dumb and dumber wherever they went.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: New insights from a newly revealed tape. You'll see it straight ahead from CNN NEWSROOM.
LEMON: Plus, our top story, a shooting at a school in Pennsylvania. Three people confirmed dead, three students, and the gunman as well. Details on the other side in THE NEWSROOM.
We also have a reporter who is on his way to the scene. Our Jason Carroll, later on in THE NEWSROOM.
LEMON: A silent video, a chilling message and newly revealed tape featuring 9/11 hijackers more than a year and a half before their deadly mission.
CNN's Paula Newton hat story.
PAUL NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The entire video is silent and, yet, the images unnerving. The 9/11 mastermind and his accomplice laughing it up and then going through their lines for a performance of martyrdom wills.
According to the Sunday Times of London, the tape was apparently shot in Afghanistan a full 21 months before 9/11. It is startling in the human portrait it paints of Mohamed Atta, AK-47 at his side, stage managing his look just before he stares deadpan at the camera and gives what the paper claims is a death will, justifying himself for flying a plane straight into the World Trade Center.
With his easy smile and comical posture, Ziad Jarrah is no less bizarre. And then he recites his will. He was the hijacker authorities believe was destined for Capitol Hill, but who then crashed a United Airlines flight in Pennsylvania.
U.S. intelligence sources tell CNN they have been aware of the tape for years, even unsuccessfully tried to have it lip read. It's assumed U.S. authorities found it in Afghanistan in late 2001, but never released it.
YOSRI FOUDA, JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: And I wonder why, because it would have benefited everyone.
NEWTON: Author of the Sunday Times' article Yosri Fouda won't reveal his sources, but says the hour-long tape reveals much about how and why Atta, the so-called ringleader, was so carefully coached by Osama bin Laden.
FOUDA: If it wasn't for Atta, 9/11 may have never happened. The rest were like -- they were described by some people as dumb and dumber wherever they went.
What you needed towards the end of this plot is someone of the caliber of Mohamed Atta, someone to pull the plot together.
NEWTON: Osama bin Laden himself makes an appearance on the tape. Again, the whole thing is silent, but it's clear that bin Laden is holding court in Afghanistan, where he carefully plotted the 9/11 attack.
What is so striking about the incidents depicted in the video is that al Qaeda broke its own rules by bringing two key plotters together.
ROBERT GRENIER, FRM. DIR. CIA COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER: It must have been very important to the al Qaeda leadership at the time that they get a firsthand look at these fellows, because they were residing a great deal of responsibility in them. And perhaps it was thought that it would be important to bring these fellows to meet the al Qaeda leadership in Kandahar so they could motivate them properly.
PAULA NEWTON: No one can know if bin Laden has his strategy, finding it too risky to be as directly involved in future terror plots. But the play-by-play of this footage reveals a long and methodical path to terror.
Paula Newton, CNN, London.
PHILLIPS: Well, denying denial. Having taken no offense two prior books by legendary journalist Bob Woodward, the Bush administration is blasting the newest one. CNN's Kathleen Koch has the latest.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Woodward book has the White House playing offense. Biting dismissals following Saturday by a detailed rebuttal of claims the president concealed deteriorating conditions in Iraq and ignored early requests for more troops.
KOCH: Biting dismissals followed Saturday by a detailed rebuttal of claims the president concealed deteriorating conditions in Iraq and ignored early requests for more troops.
But the White House has less to say about the revelation that CIA director George Tenet and his counterterrorism chief Cofer Black two months before 9/11 requested an emergency meeting with Condoleezza Rice to sound the alarm that intelligence showed al Qaeda would soon attack the United States.
The book claims Rice was, quote, "polite, but they felt the brushoff."
DAN BARTLETT, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: We're puzzled by this. No one has seen these type of quote before. Each of these participants went before the commission and testified. So, Condoleezza is scratching her head, because we don't believe that's an accurate account.
KOCH: Democrats want answers about whether the meeting occurred and if so, why the 9/11 commission and the rest of the country were never told about it.
SEN. JOE BIDEN, (D) DELAWARE: They were obliged to tell the 9/11 commission when they were investigating of all relevant meetings that took place relevant on the attack on 9/11. This sure sounds relevant to me. Why did they not do that?
REP. JANE HARMAN, (D) CALIFORNIA: I find that stunning. It's as close as a smoking guns you can get.
REP. JANE HARMON, (D) CALIFORNIA: I find that stunning. And I think that is as close to a smoking gun as you get.
KOCH: In a "60 Minutes" interview, Bob Woodward defended his working on the Bush administration saying, quote, "they're documented. I talked to the people who were there. It's not just kind of right, but literally right. This is what occurred."
There has already been debate over what impact the book's Iraq revelations will have on voters in the coming mid-term elections.
SEN. MIKE DEWINE, (R) OHIO: Voters fully understand mistakes have been made. So I don't know that this book is going to influence their attitude at all.
KOCH: But the possible concealment of an early warning about the 9/11 attacks could be more damaging.
DAVID GERGEN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: There is a credibility gap in this administration that has now become a canyon.
KOCH (on camera): President Bush himself has yet to directly address any of the claims raised in the Woodward book. He will have ample opportunity this week as he heads out on a three-day campaign swing through the west.
Kathleen Koch, CNN, the White House.
PHILLIPS: And you may not buy the premise, but people sure are buying the book. Step aside Noam Chomsky, Woodward's "State of Denial" has already shot to the top of Amazon's heap. It's no. 1 on the best seller list barely two days into release. Chomsky's book, "Hegemony or Survival" trumped by the president of Venezuela at the U.N. had slipped to no. 17 last we checked.
We'll hear more from Bob Woodward and his new book "State of Denial." Woodward he joins Larry King 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
LEMON: And straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, some big names in the big leagues are denying allegations they used performance enhancing drugs. That's ahead in the NEWSROOM.
LEMON: And there you have it in Pennsylvania -- Lancaster, Pennsylvania an armed man walks into an Amish school, sends the boys outside, opens fire on the girls killing at least three of them. That gunman also died during the altercation with police. It is believed that he shot himself.
Thirty-two year old Charles Roberts who lives in a house very nearby the school, probably less than a mile away, told his wife this morning that he was not going to come home and that he loved her and then proceeded to go on this rampage.
Again, three people dead in this incident, happening in a quiet Amish community 55 miles west of Philadelphia.
PHILLIPS: Well another grim week for the town of Cazenovia, Wisconsin. A 15-year-old boy accused of killing his principal on Friday is set to appear in court shortly. Eric Hanstock has been charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide. The funeral for the principal, John Klang, will be held Wednesday in the high school gym.
The school reopens Thursday with at least one police officer on guard, and grief counselors on hand. Students and teachers are also coping with the death of a student killed in a car crash just minutes before that shooting. His funeral is tomorrow. Evidence lost, different evidence found and a defense team that's fighting every bit of it. John Marc Karr's trial on child pornography charges was due to start today in California, but then came a defense motion to bar new evidence. It's a copy of Karr's computer harddrive reportedly found in a state forensic lab, and allegedly containing images of child porn.
The computer itself was seized in 2001, but it's now missing. We'll keep you posted.
LEMON: Well, it's playoff season in Major League Baseball, and almost as predictably, there's another troubling story involving performance enhancing drugs. Here's CNN's Larry Smith.
LARRY SMITH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a report that's sending shockwaves through baseball. According to the L.A. Times, former pitcher Jason Grimsely implicates Houston Astros pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite as having taken illegal performance enhancing drugs. Clemens deny the accusations saying, quote, "I've been tested plenty of times. My physicals I've taken, they have taken my bloodwork. I have passed every test. Again, I find it amazing that you can throw anybody out there," end quote.
Pettite also denied the report saying, quote, "I've never used any drugs to enhance my performance in baseball. I don't know what else to say. It's embarrassing my name would be out there," end quote.
The Astros were in Atlanta to play the Braves in the final game of the season and defended their teammates.
BRAD AUSMUS, HOUSTON ASTROS: I read the report. I don't -- I really don't put any stock in it. I've played with these guys for three years. And at no point has it even crossed my mind that they might be taking something.
LANCE BERKMAN, HOUSTON ASTROS: I just feel bad Andy and for Roger, because, you know, it's one of those situations where I mean, I could say, well, so-and-so I know for a fact took steroids, and even if I was lying or, you know, didn't know what I was talking about, well his reputation will always, you know, have a cloud of suspicious around it just because I threw that accusation out there.
PHIL GARNER, HOUSTON ASTROS MANAGER: Our guys have been tested through the Major League Baseball program. Rocket was tested in the World Baseball Classic program. And both guys have been clean. There's no reason for us or anybody else to think that they've been doing anything.
SMITH: According to the Times report, Grimsley also allegedly told investigators that Baltimore Orioles players Miguel Tejada used anabolic steroids. Tejada denied the allegations in comments to the Baltimore Sun, saying, quote, I know that I've never used that and I know I am clean. I'll get checked out for anybody, anytime, any moment, whenever they want, end quote.
The timing of this report couldn't be worse. With the playoffs set to begin on Tuesday, it becomes the latest in a series of Major League distractions for baseball as it continues to try to get a grip on the problem of performance-enhancing drugs.
Larry Smith, CNN, Atlanta.
PHILLIPS: Under control, almost fully contained. Finally firefighters in California say that lower temps, lighter winds and higher humidity have helped them gain the upper hand over one of the largest wildfires ever to strike that state. The day fire, so called because it started on Labor Day, has burned 254 square miles in Los Padres national forest.
PHILLIPS: Well the Closing Bell and a wrap of the action on Wall Street is straight ahead.
LEMON: Plus, a small town scandal is big news after an Arkansas mayor is accused of trading water for sex. We'll leak the details next in THE NEWSROOM.
PHILLIPS: Well a small town mayor, a big time scandal. Now Waldron, Arkansas is officially temporarily leader-less. Mayor Troy Anderson stepped down Sunday amid accusations that he offered free city water in exchange for sex. Anderson, who is 72, is charged with six felonies, including abuse of public trust and patronizing a prostitute.
Prosecutors are mulling a plea deal now, but local media say the mayor's wife of almost 50 years has filed for divorce. Good for her. Tonight the city council meets to figure out who is in charge until a new mayor is elected November 7th. Waldron doesn't have a vice mayor, just a former mayor charged with a vice.
LEMON: See, this is where I get in trouble. I'm not going to say anything.
PHILLIPS: No, by all means. That's some high water bills. Anyway.
LEMON: That's something else, something else. Online gambling firms have a major crisis on their hands.
PHILLIPS: Susan Lisovicz, live from the New York Stock Exchange to try and hammer it out, hey Susan.
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