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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Iran's Growing Influence; Rudy Giuliani Too Moderate To Win Republican Presidential Nomination?; Spreading Radical Islam's Message

Aired November 14, 2006 - 22:00   ET

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


JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening to you, everyone.
Late developments tonight in a story so strange and so terrifying, it could only happen in Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Military precision, daylight madness -- dozens of kidnappers take dozens of hostages right in the middle of Baghdad, right in the middle a workday. Even Iraqis have never seen anything like this.

Thumbing his nose at the U.N., possibly building the bomb -- hostage takers, terrorist supporters, axis of evil -- with all that, can we talk with Iran? And why we might have to.

Also, remember FEMA's trailer troubles?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Oh, no!

ANNOUNCER: Well, get ready for the sequel -- FEMA housing rotting away, costing you millions, maybe costing victims of the next hurricane a home. We're "Keeping Them Honest."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Sitting in for Anderson, and reporting tonight from the CNN studios in New York, here's John King.

KING: We begin tonight with the kidnappings, but, first, some perspective.

At least 1,600 people were murdered in Baghdad last month. Hundreds more have been blown to bits. Nearly every day, the river fills up with tortured body. But, even by those standards, gruesome standards, what happened today in Baghdad is something else.

With tens of thousands of troops patrolling the city, a convoy of trucks somehow made its way into a neighborhood right in the center of town, not far from the Green Zone, right around 10 a.m. local time. The trucks pulled up. Gunmen got out. And a bizarre day of terror and mystery began. Reporting tonight from a badly shaken Baghdad, here's CNN's Michael Ware.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These Iraqi security forces move in to seal off a Baghdad university building, but it was too late.

Just a short time earlier, about 80 gunmen in similar army or police uniforms had also set up a cordon, before pouring inside this four-story research institute, claiming to be on official business, segregating men from women, and, within 20 minutes, escaping in a convoy of more than 20 vehicles, taking the men hostage -- the exact number, unknown -- police saying as many as 60 -- a government minister saying it's up to 100 -- the only ones left behind, the distraught women.

The sophisticated raid, executed at 10:00 a.m., just after rush hour, was audacious -- so many gunmen, so many hostages, possibly the largest mass kidnapping of the war, all within the heart of the capital, with more than 60,000 American and Iraqi troops on the streets.

Hours later, the top police commanders in charge of the area where the kidnapping took place were called in for questioning by Ministry Of Interior Officials. Then, overnight, a government spokesman revealed, most of the hostages had been released unharmed.

Mystery surrounds the affair, with signs of paramilitary involvement, no claim of responsibility, uncertainty as to the precise number of men taken, and, of course, the men's sudden release, an uncommon end to such incidents in Iraq -- yet, the scale of the kidnapping on the morning after a one-day visit by America's top commander in the region, General John Abizaid, a clear illustration of what still confronts this ailing U.S.-backed government.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Michael Ware joining us now from Baghdad -- Baghdad.

Michael, the first question is, how? And, I guess, part of that question is, do they think this is somehow an inside job?

WARE: Well, just looking at the size of this operation, the degree of sophistication and organization involved, it certainly suggests that there was definitely paramilitary involvement. And, of course, the first finger of suspicion points to the ranks of the government forces themselves, particularly the much-maligned police and Ministry of Interior forces.

I mean, what we saw here, in the midst of the heart of the city, in particular an area laden with the security forces, because there are so many officials living and working in that part of the city, you have up to 80 gunmen in what the -- the minister for higher education said was more than 20 trucks, some of them, eyewitnesses claim, with police and -- and government markings, roll in, cease the kidnapped -- kidnap victims, and roll out again, without a checkpoint and cordons established to cover their backs.

That suggests definitely something's going on -- John.

KING: And, so, Michael, viewers in the United States might ask, with so many U.S. troops there, tens of thousands in Baghdad itself, how could this have happened? What are the U.S. rules of engagement? Are they actively policing in areas like this, as of this morning? And after this audacious, as you call it, kidnapping, are there -- is there any talk there of changing the way the United States operates?

WARE: Well, it just so happens, John, that the broader area where this happened is -- is within an area known as Karada here in the city. That's the same area where it's believed that the U.S. soldier who's currently missing was seized by his kidnappers.

So, in the wake of the disappearance of the U.S. soldier, that area was sealed off for just over a week. And U.S. forces were ordered by the Iraqi prime minister to lift their blockade and their -- and their -- and their checkpoints in that area.

So, this is what happens in Iraq. Even with the tens of thousands of troops that are here in Baghdad, with their rules of engagement, with the size of this city, with the complexity of the threat against them, they simply are not everywhere all the time. In fact, most of the time, they're simply not there at all -- John.

KING: And, as you know well, Michael, we often here back in the United States, from political leaders, talk that Iraqi training is getting better, that the security apparatus is getting better.

Take our viewers up to 5,000 feet, if you will. To get to this point in the city, how many barricades, checkpoints, and other security lines and perimeters should -- should -- these kidnappers have had to go through?

WARE: Well, for example, I used to live, broadly, within that area.

And there's checkpoints controlling access there at each of the key bridges that you come off. Often, the streets themselves, the avenues throughout that part of the city, will be lined by government troops or police forces of some kind or another, waiting for a dignitary to come through.

I mean, the place is literally saturated with Iraqi security forces. So, on one hand, the movement of a large convoy would not attract so much attention. But, on the other hand, this -- this operation of this size was able to slip through, control a part of the city it needed to for at least 20 minutes, and then withdraw, without anyone trying to stop them.

I mean, clearly, there's some kind of inside operation going on here -- John.

KING: Michael Ware for us on this remarkable and troubling story in Baghdad -- Michael, thank you very much.

And some additional perspective now from retired Generals James "Spider" Marks and David Grange, both now, of course, CNN military analysts.

Gentlemen, thank you for joining us tonight.

General Grange, I want to begin with you. You're just listening to Michael Ware. A convoy comes through, apparently, the kidnappers wearing some kind of uniforms.

How can this happen, three-and-a-half-plus years into this war, in central Baghdad?

BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, they could very well, in fact, be a part of the security force, or they could just buy uniforms off the street, which is very easy to do.

But it's obviously a result of detailed reconnaissance, casing the target, planning the ingress and egress routes where they're in cahoots with security forces that manning the -- the checkpoints. These are -- this is secured by an Iraq -- by Iraqi organization. And it's really kind of done to discredit and embarrass the Iraqi government.

KING: And, General Marks, I assume you would agree, embarrass and discredit the United States military, as well, to have this happen right in the center of Baghdad.

If you are General Casey and General Abizaid tonight, and you are sitting down, saying, "How did this happen?" what is it that you think that you need to do tomorrow or the next day to make sure it doesn't happen again?

BRIGADIER GENERAL JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Clearly, what you need to do is, you need to get in face of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, and, clearly, the -- the senior folks that are running the Iraqi security forces, and -- and understand, as I know you do, John...

(COUGHING)

MARKS: Excuse me -- that there are a number of Iraqi security forces that make up the aggregate total.

But you really need to get into the -- into the top leadership and say: Look, actions like this are unacceptable. You know it. You control the streets.

And, as David indicated, clearly, these folks could have been Iraqi security forces, or they could have been guys that came in off the street. But, most importantly, you need to get down to the noncommissioned-officer level, those that actually execute the tasks on the ground, and make sure you can identify those -- those individuals, as best you can, that are with you and those that aren't with you, because the key challenge right now is corruption within the Iraqi security forces, and, I would argue, even more broadly, within the government.

KING: Well, General Grange, if that is the case, and you're the United States of America trying to decide what you do about this, and you're doing that in the middle of a political debate -- the Democrats just won big in the elections -- most leading Democrats say, start bringing those troops out in four to six months.

You have others like Senator John McCain saying, no, this is exactly a textbook reasons why you need more troops, that we still don't have a secure environment in Baghdad, let alone the country at large.

What would you be recommending, General Grange?

GRANGE: Well, you know, it's -- I -- I'm not sure I would pour more troops into places like Baghdad. I think that -- I think withdrawing would just make it even worse, if you can imagine that. But it will.

And that's exactly the strategy of our opponents. And what has to happen is, we're going to have to stand down a little bit against Iran. In other words, their strategy is working. Their influence with the -- with the militias is doing these kind of operations at -- at will. It has to be curtailed, if there's going to be any kind of success, any kind of a secure environment for prosperity to take place.

And -- and -- but to leave right now would be a tremendous mistake, because it would just verify their belief that the United States is losing resolve and the will and the determination to continue this mission.

KING: Well, then General Marks, what do you do? Is it the wrong composition of troops, the wrong mix of troops? Should they be in a different place? Should the rules of engagement or the responsibilities be done?

MARKS: John, a number of good questions.

I would offer two suggestions. One is, I think we need to increase the training of the Iraqi security forces, and you need to get more of those Iraqi security forces through that pipeline. And what's that's going to cost is more -- a little more money. Certainly, I -- I have to disagree with David a little bit, in that you have got to uptick your forces a little bit, and make sure you have got the right functions aligned toward the training of those Iraqi security forces. And then they have to set for a while.

The second thing is, you need to get the forces where they need to be. Right now, they are scattered throughout the country in a number of posts and camps and stations that are in Iraq. And you need to concentrate those with some mass in probably about three or four locations. In that way, you achieve some overwhelming presence that allows you to take care of situations like that. And that's a combination of Iraqi and U.S. forces.

KING: General David Grange, General "Spider" Marks -- gentlemen, thank you both for your input tonight. Thank you so much.

GRANGE: Thanks, John.

KING: Though not on the scale of this one, kidnappings in Iraq are hardly rare, nor, unfortunately, are insurgents masquerading as legitimate forces.

That's because, in Iraq, as General Grange just said a moment ago, they can get their hands on official uniforms about as easily as you or I can fall into The Gap.

More on that tonight from CNN's Arwa Damon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This man is one of the lucky ones, rescued from the back of one of these pickup trucks. U.S. and Iraqi troops responded to a citizen's phone call reporting suspicious activity by people they thought were members of the Iraqi army.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL TOM FISHER, U.S. ARMY: They were reporting that there were men in Iraqi army uniforms who were in the process of entering their village, and they were calling to see if these were legitimate army missions.

DAMON: They were not. Instead, insurgents wearing Iraqi uniforms were conducting an operation of their own.

Posing as a member of Iraq's security forces is easier than you would think. Just head to Baghdad's so-called thieves market. And, as long as you have $23, you can walk into the market dressed as a civilian, and walk out dressed like a member of Iraq's security force. The tailors here once made uniforms for Saddam Hussein's regime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have been making uniforms for 45 years. This street is only for uniform-makers. We never make uniforms for anyone except for officers and those people who have special I.D.s.

DAMON: But the I.D.s are as easy to make as the uniforms themselves. These days, the tailors, who declined to give their names, find themselves caught in the middle, targeted by both insurgents and the Iraqi government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Now they want us to close our shops. It means that we will lose our jobs. Are they going to offer us other jobs?

DAMON: Finding these men jobs can be added to the long to-do list for Iraq's new government. Security is its priority.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: That's amazing.

Here's the "Raw Data" on kidnappings in Iraq. In January 2004, two Iraqis were reportedly abducted per day in Baghdad. That number rose to 10 in December of 2004. Now, nationwide, as of March of this year, between 30 and 40 Iraqis were kidnapped every day. And, according to "Newsweek" magazine, the average ransom paid by an Iraqi family is $30,000.

Now, the chaos in Iraq has created new opportunities for its ancient rival, Iran -- coming up, how Iran's power and influence is growing, and why that could be a very dangerous thing for America.

Also, he's a big Republican name from America's biggest city, but some are saying Rudy Giuliani is too moderate to win his party's presidential nomination.

And first came the trailers that went to waste. Now another type of FEMA housing rotting away -- we're "Keeping Them Honest." And you won't want to miss it, because your tax dollars are paying for the mistake -- that when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: That, of course, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- at a news conference today, he said he's ready to talk with the United States, provided American officials show Iran more respect and recognize it as a regional power in the Middle East.

While Iran's leader was spelling out his conditions, the United Nations inspectors say they have found unexplained plutonium and highly enriched uranium traces in a nuclear waste facility in Iran. That latest report also confirms that Iran continues uranium- enrichment experiments, in defiance of the U.N. Security Council.

Mr. Ahmadinejad has done nothing to deny that charge. In fact, he's celebrating it.

More now from CNN's Aneesh Raman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iran's president was smiling today, his confidence visible, as he announced, Iran expects to be producing nuclear energy by February, despite protests from the U.S. and around the world.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We will commission some 3,000 centrifuges by this year's end. We are determined. RAMAN: But Ahmadinejad's confidence goes far beyond nuclear energy. The Iranian president insisted, his country will become a nuclear power soon, and that Western nations, especially the U.S., will have to sit down with Iran on its terms.

AHMADINEJAD (through translator): Today, the Iranian nation possessions the full nuclear fuel cycle. And time is completely running in our favor, in terms of diplomacy.

RAMAN: Iran's president leaves little doubt he's looking to dethrone America's dominant influence in the Middle East.

And with Iraq's growing sectarian violence, Ahmadinejad is betting the U.S. will have to deal, one on one, with a country it hasn't had diplomatic relation with since Americans were held hostage there in 1979. But he made it clear he won't just come to the table because he's asked.

AHMADINEJAD (through translator): If they fix their behavior toward us, we will have a dialogue with them. But they have their own way of thinking. Think really they own the world. They always sort of look down on you.

RAMAN: He says Iran speaks from a position of strength. It has built alliances over the years with groups like Lebanon's Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.

And Iran sits on some of the world's largest oil reserves. It has all built toward this, a defining moment, that could establish Iran, instead of the U.S., as the dominant player in Middle Eastern affairs. That desire is widespread in this country, even among the president's critics -- at this reformist newspaper, one question for Americans.

JALAL KHOSHCHEHREH, EDITOR, "KARGOZARAN" (through translator): Iran accepts that the U.S. is a superpower. But, every time Iran's power is discussed, the U.S. portrays it as a threat.

RAMAN: For the U.S., Iran isn't just a threat. Although Iran denies it, the U.S. says it is a state that sponsors terror by sending weapons to Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. And Iran is still pushing ahead with uranium enrichment, in open defiance of the U.N.

(on camera): That is a new reality in this region, a reality the United States may soon have to acknowledge by dealing directly with a country that would like to proclaim itself the Middle East's new superpower.

Aneesh Raman, CNN, Tehran.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Some there of what Iran's leader said in public today -- what he says in private is something else altogether -- coming up, Islam's extremist agenda -- Glenn Beck on the words and images that Iran and other radical Islamic hotbeds use to fuel rage against the West.

Plus: How does a moderate on key Republican issues sell himself as his party's best hope for the White House? The fight ahead for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Words and images that help fuel rage against Israel and the West, they're rarely seen by Westerners, and they may shock you -- next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Well, as Iran continues to advance its nuclear aims, it remains, of course, on the United States' list of states that sponsor terrorism.

Tomorrow night, Glenn Beck of Headline News takes a closer look at radical Islam and the techniques it uses to recruit supporters and spread its mission. Iran, an Islamic republic since 1979, is one of the places discussed.

A bit earlier, I talked to Glenn Beck about his special hour, "Exposed: The Extremist Agenda."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Glenn Beck, you're doing a special tomorrow night on radical Islam...

GLENN BECK, HOST, "GLENN BECK": Yes.

KING: ... and how -- the propaganda machine and how it affects attitudes in the Middle East...

BECK: Yes.

KING: ... but also here in the United States.

Want to begin, though, with, where does the responsibility lie? And I ask the question in the context of Iran's president yet again calling for the destruction of Israel, saying -- quote -- "We will soon witness its disappearance and destruction."

When you have a leader of a country talking like that, can you be surprised at all that state media and others would spread such a radical message?

BECK: Oh, no.

What I'm surprised is that we don't see the message. You know, when -- when we -- when we had -- and, tomorrow night, we will juxtapose his interview with Anderson or Mike Wallace, and the nice things that he said while he was over here in the United States, and, then, what he said when he returned home. And the -- the -- the images of the two don't match up at all. I think it is irresponsible, and I think it's done out of fear and a political correctness, for us not to go and translate their words in their language on their networks, and show it here.

KING: Well, that's a leader at the top of the political chain. And it also is a tool used to influence children.

I want to play a piece...

BECK: Yes.

KING: ... from the program tomorrow night...

BECK: Mmm-hmm.

KING: ... and have you talk about that.

BECK: Sure.

KING: Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "EXPOSED: THE EXTREMIST AGENDA")

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Basmallah, do you know the Jews?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Do you like them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Why don't you like them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Because.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Because they are what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They are apes and pigs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: "Apes and pigs" -- the goal of that, to demonize children against Jews.

BECK: Yes.

You see it throughout the Middle East. And this is -- this is nothing new. This is -- this was happening over in Germany in World War II.

It's -- it's -- it's horrifying stuff. When you see the cartoons that are used, just like "Speed Racer" here in America, to -- to encourage children to die and kill Jews, it's amazing.

KING: It is amazing, but not new, sadly and unfortunately, to have countries like Iran, others in the region, attacking Jews and attacking Israel, threatening...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: ... Israel.

BECK: Right.

KING: How much has it changed since the U.S. invasion of Iraq? And is the United States somewhat responsible, if you will? You say we should challenge the leaders more.

BECK: No. I -- you know, I...

KING: We should translate the leaders more.

BECK: Here's...

KING: But has the language of it changed?

BECK: No, here is the -- here's the point of the special tomorrow.

There are people that do not -- they have an agenda, and they do not want you to see these images. Whether that agenda originates over in the Middle East, they think that we're not watching them. And we're not.

There is an agenda here to not let you see these images, because this -- tomorrow night is not balanced view of what is happening on the -- on television over in the Middle East. But it is a huge piece of what's happening over there that we refuse to look at and show our people.

KING: Let me play devil's advocate. There are some who will watch your special or watch this interview and say, here's a guy who has a provocative TV show...

BECK: Sure.

KING: ... a provocative radio program.

BECK: Mmm-hmm.

KING: He's trying to use this to generate outrage, to generate calls, to generate ratings, not to solve a problem.

BECK: I will tell you that the most frightening thing I have ever done is this special. The most frightening thing that I have ever done on the radio is talk about the truth of what people are saying in the Middle East.

It is a dangerous world we live in. There are a lot of people that would not like this message to come out. You can believe whatever you want. I am telling you that the messages that you will see tomorrow night are not heard anywhere else in America, and need to be heard for people to understand the full scope of the evil that we are facing.

KING: Glenn Beck, thank you very much.

BECK: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: And you can watch Glenn Beck's one-hour special, "Exposed: The Extremist Agenda," on Headline News tomorrow at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Other stories we're following: For years, Rudy Giuliani ran New York City under a Republican flag, not always toeing the party line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK: I don't agree with litmus tests for any party, Republican, Democratic, liberal, conservative.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: So, if he goes for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, will the conservative base of his party follow him?

And remember this? Well, tonight, the Los Angeles Police face more accusations of brutality.

Stay with us. This is 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Imagine going from having the most important job of your life to being practically unemployable.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a dirty little secret. People do not like to talk about it. I am finding actual discrimination out in employers. Employers do not want to hire veterans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Coming up in our next hour, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, finding one of their toughest battles is right here on the American job front.

First, though, politics and a look at the momentum already building for the 2008 presidential race.

Former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani, is among those eyeing the White House. He's formed a presidential exploratory committee, but with his moderate stance on some key Republican issues, he might have to make an end run around his party's traditional base if he hopes to win the nomination.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING (voice-over): Rudy Giuliani's White House bid would challenge the gold standard of the Republican presidential politics of the past quarter certainty.

TERRY JEFFREY, EDITOR, "HUMAN EVENTS": Since Ronald Reagan's nomination in 1980 and since the Republicans wrote the pro-life plank into their platform, the pro-life position has really been essential for Republican a presidential candidate.

KING: The former New York City mayor is anything but a social or cultural conservative.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: I'm pro- choice. I'm pro-gay rights.

KING: Giuliani supports a woman's right to an abortion, and back in 1999, he opposed a federal ban on late-term abortions.

GIULIANI: No, I have not supported that, and I don't see my position on that changing.

KING: Immigration could be another presidential landmine. Back in 1996, Mayor Giuliani went to federal court to challenge new federal laws requiring the city to inform the federal government about illegal immigrants.

JEFFREY: He took the side of illegal immigrants in New York City against the Republican Congress.

KING: Giuliani opposes same-sex marriage but as mayor, he supported civil unions and extending health and other benefits to gay couples. He also supported the assault weapons ban and other gun control measures opposed by the National Rifle Association.

GIULIANI: I'm in favor of gun control. I'm pro-choice.

KING: Back in 1998, Giuliani told an Iowa public television interviewer the Republican Party needed to be more open to views like his.

GIULIANI: The Republicans have to appeal to moderates. When Republicans do not appeal to moderates, including moderate Republicans, we lose.

KING: But then California Governor Pete Wilson and Pennsylvania's Senator Arlen Specter are among the social moderates who found the Republican nominating process less than welcoming.

It begins in Iowa, where Christian conservatives have disproportionate power in the state's caucus format. Libertarian New Hampshire is more welcome territory, but then comes conservative South Carolina.

Giuliani calls himself a common-sense conservative who believes in low taxes and balanced budgets, and he had a strong law and order image both as mayor and as a federal prosecutor.

GIULIANI: I don't agree with the litmus test for any party, Republican, Democratic, liberal, conservative.

KING: The most recent CNN poll by Opinion Research Corporation ranks Giuliani at the top of the Republican field.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giuliani for president!

KING: But surveys this far out are based largely on name recognition, and conservatives like Terry Jeffrey scoff when asked about Giuliani's chances.

JEFFREY: Rudy Giuliani has absolutely no chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination. He's just way too far left on cultural issues for Republican voters.

KING: Giuliani advisers, however, say Republicans unhappy with the party's direction and its 2006 midterm losses might be more open to a moderate and a Washington outsider in 2008. One reason he moved so quickly to form a presidential exploratory committee.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Christian evangelical voters, of course, were a cornerstone of George Bush's reelection and his first election and likely will get much attention by all of the candidates heading into the 2008 race.

But does Mayor Giuliani have a prayer of gathering their support? Republican strategist Ed Rollins joins us here in New York to discuss this issue. And in Washington, Charmaine Yoest, vice president of the Family Research Council.

Charmaine, let me begin with you, an influential organization among cultural and Christian conservatives. Do you agree with Terry Jeffrey? He says Rudy Giuliani does not have a chance. Do you agree?

CHARMAINE YOEST, VICE PRESIDENT, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Terry's right. Politics at the bottom line is just about numbers, and 62 percent of GOP voters as recently as just last month responded that they consider themselves pro-life. There is no chance whatsoever for Rudy Giuliani in this -- in this coming race at all.

And, you know, I hear a lot of talk in the wake of this election of people saying that the GOP needs to appeal to moderates, but when they -- when they start talking like that, they're really, really misreading what happened in this last election.

You know, even in the Senate piece you were talking a little bit about his moderate positions, but really the positions that you were describing for Rudy Giuliani, it really sounds to me like he needs to go run against Hillary in the Democratic primary.

KING: Ed Rollins, what do you make of that? You've been through this game with Ronald Reagan. You know it very well. Is Rudy Giuliani, is he different enough? Many say he is different. He can break the traditional mold because of the 9/11 image, because of his leadership credentials. Is it enough?

ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I spent 40 years of my life in American politics, and I've worked for four presidents and I've watched several others who people said could not be elected, and starting with Ronald Reagan who I was the White House political director for.

You know, the bottom line is people look for different things in different elections. And right now, I think people are clearly looking for a leader, and Rudy Giuliani is a leader.

The American public had an opportunity to watch him after September 11, when he took this city that was in ashes and rebuilt it. He took this city before that and rebuilt it. He served in the Reagan administration.

He was the No. 3 guy in the Justice Department. He was part of the architect of putting tough conservative judges on the bench across this country, working with Ed Meese and others.

And I've known him for a long, long time, and I think to a certain extent, anyone who underestimates his opportunity or his leadership. And I think if we think we're just going to set litmus tests, and the only people that are qualified to be are anti-gay or people that are pro-life, are diminishing themselves and going to diminish our party.

KING: Well, Charmaine, you're shaking your head, so I want to let you in. But as I do, I want to ask you this. What the Giuliani people say to Ed's point is you're from one of the establishment cultural conservative groups. They can go around you. They can find pastors in Iowa, pastors in Pennsylvania, pastors in South Carolina or individual voters. And they can make the case one on one.

You have a pretty good network, e-mail, faxes, Internet back and forth with your people. What do they say about Rudy Giuliani?

YOEST: You know, with all due respect to Ed, I just really think this is wishful thinking and a projection of what they want to see out there in the electorate, instead of really looking at the hard numbers.

Let's take the marriage issue, for example. Seven out of eight of the ballot initiatives on marriage in this last election passed resoundingly, even in cases where the Democratic candidates went to succeeded like in Virginia.

So every single time there's been a marriage initiative on the ballot across this country it's passed with over 70 percent of the popular vote. So, you know, for -- Rudy Giuliani is not just out of step with the GOP. He's out of step with the American people as a whole. I see him having a problem both in the GOP but also if, for some miracle...

KING: Let me jump in before you finish. We're going to run out of time.

ROLLINS: The very same elections, the darling of the conservatives was going to be the flag carrier, Senator Allen, is now no longer a senator. Rick Santorum...

YOEST: Well...

ROLLINS: No, no, he's no longer a senator. Rick Santorum, who carried the flag, who also was one of the greats, is no longer a senator.

YOEST: Well, yes, and who did he lose to, Ed? He lost to a pro- life Democrat, or someone who claimed to be pro-life.

ROLLINS: In order to win the presidency -- in order to win the presidency, states like Ohio, Virginia, Missouri are very, very important. So if we want to go further to the right and not have an opportunity to win those states we will never get to 270 electoral votes.

Republicans are of all bodies across the country and of all opinions and primaries are to choose the best candidates. We are not a narrow-based party, and the narrower we get, the less opportunity we'll have to be viable.

KING: Let me jump in -- let me jump in, please. We're short on time. I want to ask you one quick thing. It's a long list. It's gay marriage. It's abortion. It's immigration.

If you were in a room with Rudy Giuliani, would you tell him he needs to bend or change on any one of those if he's going to get some of those voters? Or should he just be defiant and go in and say, "I'm different. Vote for me."

ROLLINS: I would argue at this point in time, he's very -- well, he's very positioned and he's a man of integrity. And you can't basically go pander at this point in time. You've got to go out and make your case about leadership.

And you can say, "I have all the respect in the world for those who have different viewpoints than I am, but this is about leadership. And now I'm going to take the country in a different direction in a time of war."

I mean, here's George Bush, who can match every one of the litmus tests, but what kind of a leader is he at this point in time when he's at 31 percent and the country has just rejected him and rejected his policies?

KING: Ed Rollins, Charmaine Yoest, I wish we had more time. I wish we had more time. I suspect we will revisit this in early tests and tastes of what Mayor Giuliani will face out there. Thank you both.

And coming up, you've probably seen this video. Millions have on YouTube and news programs around the country. Now there's another tape, another incident, another headache for the Los Angeles Police Department. That's just ahead.

Plus, believe it or not, and you probably can, more trouble for FEMA. Hundreds of modular homes for Katrina evacuees. They've never been used. They're severely damaged. It's your tax dollars at work or not. We're "Keeping Them Honest" when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: To protect and to serve. That is, of course, the motto of the Los Angeles Police Department. But tonight, it is facing more disturbing allegations after another videotaped arrest raises questions of unnecessary force.

CNN's Chris Lawrence reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This home video captures an LAPD officer pepper spraying a suspect after he's handcuffed inside the patrol car. We're blurring the face of the suspect, Dave Barker, as part of an agreement with his attorney. But the witness who shot the video could tell Barker was hurting.

CALVIN MOSS, AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER: He was tearing. There was a lot of saliva. He was drooling and he looked very in pain.

LAWRENCE: The officers arrested him after Barker assaulted a store worker in Venice Beach. The videotape shows Barker complaining and yelling.

BARKER: Stop! Stop!

LAWRENCE: But eventually, he voluntarily gets in the car.

JOHN RAPHLING, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: He's subdued. He's submitted to their authority. He's handcuffed. He's helpless. He can't do anything to them.

LAWRENCE: Attorney John Raphling admits the officer did loosen Barker's handcuffs when he complained they were too tight. Chief William Bratton says the officers showed restraint, based on behavior not seen in the videotape.

CHIEF WILLIAM BRATTON, LOS ANGELES POLICE: He kicked at Officer Kusing (ph), lunged toward Sergeant Barris (ph) and battered Officer Gutterman (ph) by spitting on him. Barker spat inside the police car and then vandalized it during transportation to the jail.

LAWRENCE: This arrest happened last year. The officer who sprayed Barker resigned shortly thereafter. Chief Bratton says after a full investigation, the prosecutor found the officers did not violate the law.

BRATTON: Pepper spray is here to stay. It's -- make no mistake about that. It is an appropriate tool to deal with uncooperative individuals.

LAWRENCE: Last week, the FBI launched an investigation into a separate incident in Hollywood. Police say William Cardenas ran when ordered to stop and resisted arrest. Cardenas says he struggled because he could not breathe.

Civil rights attorney Connie Rice says officers are in a tough position.

CONNIE RICE, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: They've got a make a split- second decision that may or may not get them killed. And in that assessment, does LAPD have a culture that has an overreaction in terms of force?

LAWRENCE: A question investigators and the LAPD are still trying to answer.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Venice, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: They were supposed to house Katrina's homeless, but then came the damage and the disgrace. It's the latest chapter in the government's failed response to the hurricane, and we're "Keeping Them Honest".

Plus, more on Iran and its new bold message on its nuclear ambitions. Can the United States do anything to stop Tehran? Will it have to talk with Tehran? This is 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Fourteen months after Hurricane Katrina, the questions continue for FEMA. This time, the agency is under fire for letting modular homes that should go to storm victims sit empty, exposed to the elements. And guess what -- you already did -- you're paying for it.

CNN's Rick Sanchez now, "Keeping Them Honest".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR (voice-over): Underneath this sea of tarps are more than 550 homes that were intended for Katrina evacuees. But here in Texarkana, Texas, where they've been stored at taxpayer expense, the wind and rain has more than taken their toll on them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no!

SANCHEZ: Two hundred and fifty -- that's almost half of these modular homes -- are now classified as unsalvageable, according to a homeland security inspector general's report.

(on camera) When the rain comes, it sits there and eventually, it works its way through the tarp?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I imagine that's what happened, yes.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

(voice-over) The federal government purchased 145,000 temporary homes after Katrina. Many remain unused. They include travel trailers and mobile homes which have at least held up relatively well in storage.

But they also purchased 1,700 modular homes which have not held up so well. Why? These are not really homes. They're like giant home kits. Think of it like the boxes filled with Legos that your children play with.

(on camera) The damage that we're talking about is obviously accumulated over time. You could take a look. These are all parts to a house, parts that many cases no longer work.

This is a shutter that goes on a house and you could tell how it's really very warped at this point.

You can look at boxes like this one over here, where the water has just come through and deteriorated the cardboard, as it has with this one over here, as well. And you see water marks on almost all the smaller items.

All told, inspectors say, there's about $4 million worth of damages.

(voice-over) The $4 million is the inspector's estimate, or the loss we all will pay. FEMA granted CNN access to this modular storage area. The same workers who removed the tarps for us had previously done the same for inspectors.

(on camera) How closely -- how closely did they look at them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They looked at them for many hours.

SANCHEZ: FEMA officials tell us the modular homes were purchased in a hurried effort to help desperate people following a natural catastrophe. They say some, maybe as many as a thousand, will be used in Baton Rouge. The rest, though, will likely continue to sit here, where a well-intended effort has seemingly turned into an expensive eyesore.

Rick Sanchez, CNN, Texarkana, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: It is amazing.

More now on some of the other housing that Rick alluded in his report. Those trailers, you might remember them in Hope, Arkansas. Anderson has been telling you about them for months now.

FEMA came under fire for storing more than 10,000 trailers in Hope and never getting many of them to Katrina evacuees along the Gulf Coast. Eighty-eight hundred are still there, but several hundred that did make it to Katrina victims are coming back. They're being refurbished for use in future disasters.

Coming up, a sweet homecoming for a U.S. soldier. But first, Randi Kaye joins us with a "360 Bulletin".

Hi, Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: Hi, John.

We begin tonight in California with the case of a Marine charged with killing an Iraqi civilian. At Camp Pendleton, Corporal Trent Thomas pleaded not guilty to kidnapping a man in Hamdaniya back in April, then shooting him and trying to cover it up.

He's one of seven Marines and a Navy corpsman who were accused of the crime. Three of them have pleaded to reduced charges in return for their testimony. Thomas could face life in prison if convicted.

U.S. Catholic bishops meeting in Baltimore adopted new guidelines in dealing with gay parishioners. They agree gays should not face discrimination but said they should be celibate, since the church considers their sexuality, quote, "a disorder."

Gay Catholic activists called the new approach flawed.

On Wall Street, stocks rallied to give the Dow a record close. Blue chips gained 86 points. The NASDAQ rose more than 24 points. The S&P added eight points.

And the iPod's latest challenger has yet to take a bite out of Apple. Microsoft rival Zune hit store shelves today, but analysts say the newest MP3 player isn't likely to threaten iPod's market dominance this holiday season.

So John, I guess it won't be on your list.

KING: I have to worry about the Wii. Do you know what the Wii is?

KAYE: No.

KING: The Wii is a new video game. My son says, it's a Wii or I'm voted out as dad.

KAYE: Really? It's tough to keep up with all these gadgets.

KING: It sure is tough to find them, too.

Randi, thank you.

In the spirit of our "Coming Home" special last night, here's something that caught our eye for "The Shot of the Day". Ask 2-year- old Matthew Baca (ph) who's your hero and he can tell you, his father, Army National Guard Sergeant Ismail Baca (ph).

He and the 150 members of the 111th Defense Artillery Unit returned home today to Biggs Army Airfield in Fort Bliss, Texas. Matthew was just a year old when his daddy was sent to Iraq a year ago. Looks like these two have some catching up to do.

KAYE: So cute.

KING: We wish them the best. Look at that.

KAYE: Cute.

KING: That is adorable.

Another story -- another coming home story coming up. How music changed the war for one Marine and how the war is now changing his music.

Also, the latest on Iran's nuclear ambitions, its dreams of being a super power, and the growing possibility this member of what the president calls the axis of evil could end up across the negotiating table from the United States.

Plus, remember election 2000? Get ready for another Florida recount. All ahead on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Good evening, again. They took Americans hostage. They're thumbing their noses at the United Nations. And could be building nukes. Iran is the last country you'd imagine the United States doing business with. Except tonight, more and more people are imagining just that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: Defiance and diplomacy.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, PRESIDENT OF IRAN: (speaking foreign language)

ANNOUNCER: Iran says it's willing to talk to the U.S. But only if the U.S. gets a new attitude. So what now?

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com

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