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CNN SUNDAY MORNING
Barack Obama's Stance on Iraq Draws Ire of Australian Prime Minister; Are Iranian Weapons Fueling War in Iraq?
Aired February 11, 2007 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: "Now in the News": NATO says an American service member has been shot dead in Afghanistan. That death is now under investigation; 286 service members have died in Afghanistan since 2001.
Are weapons from Iran fueling the war in Iraq? The U.S. says it his evidence of Iranian weapons being used to kill coalition troops. Our Correspondent Michael Ware joins us from Baghdad, this hour with the breaking news details.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Also more bold rhetoric from Iran's president, not about Iraq, but about Iran's nuclear program. He says Iran has the right to pursue nuclear technology, and will not give it up. He adds that an important milestone in the country's nuclear program will be announced in the spring. Stay tuned for that.
Let's get you over to Bonnie Schneider for a quick check of the weather outside, getting colder out there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America, it is time to start bringing our troops home.
JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: I think he's wrong. I mean, he's a long way from being president of the United States. I think he's wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Coming up, it's just his first day as an official candidate for president, and already criticism for Barack Obama all the way from Australia.
Plus, what about a law that requires you to have children if you get married? We'll talk live to the man behind that, in just a few minutes.
It is Sunday, February 11th. Good morning to you all from the CNN Center in Atlanta. I'm T.J. Holmes.
NGUYEN: Yes, good morning. A lot of hot issues on the table. But we want to thank you for starting your day with us. We have those stories in just a moment. But first, we've been following a fire fight between U.S. and Iraqi troops and suspected Al Qaeda in Iraq. CNN's Arwa Damon is embedded with the U.S. Army's 3rd Brigade. I talked with her a little bit earlier on the phone from Baquba, the center of today's firefight.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): I'm actually standing in the street in downtown Baquba, some 500 yards from where we started out this morning. It has been incredibly slow going in this operation today, because the roads are so inlayed with IEDs, improvised explosive devices, those deadly roadside bombs.
In fact, the operation right now, once again, brought to a halt waiting for explosives ordinance disposal to come and destroy another roadside bomb that troops found as they were moving forward through this town, known as Baritz (ph).
It is just to the south of Baquba, and it has been, for quite some time, a thorn in the side of U.S. forces. It has come under control of U.S. and Iraqi security forces only to have the insurgents time and time again drive the Iraqis out of town.
Most recently, in December, Al Qaeda in Iraq came and established a foothold in this very area, and drove the Iraqis out going as far as to hang the Al Qaeda in Iraq flag from the main police station here. This is the first main effort to clear this area of these insurgents. Since then it has been fairly intense all morning.
Coming to a bit of a lull now, but this operation is in its second day and has been going on well since dawn. There are snipers operating in this area. There are insurgents throwing rocket-propelled grenades that are landing uncomfortably close to the troops at times, also firing mortar rounds.
U.S. forces in turn responding with all of the firepower at their disposal. There are currently Apache aircraft overhead. Just a few moments ago, they were firing at targets on the ground.
HOLMES: Also today, in Iraq near Tikrit, a suicide car bomber crashes through a crowd of police officers gathering for roll call. At least 12 people were killed, two dozen more wounded. Minutes later, on the outskirts of Tikrit, a roadside bomb struck a car on a highway, killing two civilians. Meanwhile, west of Mosul, local police tell CNN gunmen ambushed and killed eight men driving home after registering as border guards at a recruitment center.
In neighboring Iran, of course, they're accused by the U.S. of arming insurgents and fueling the violence in Iraq. Now the U.S. says it can back up its accusations with evidence. CNN's Michael Ware is just back from a briefing by a senior U.S. military official. He joins us live from Baghdad with the breaking details. We'll have that for you in just a few minutes. The war in Iraq is the top talk with the presidential hopefuls, but it is the ideas put forward by Senator Barack Obama that seem to be drawing the most fire. Australian Prime Minister John Howard, a staunch supporter of President Bush, and the war in Iraq had this tough assessment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: I think he's wrong. I mean, he's a long way from being president of the United States. I think he's wrong. I think that would just encourage those who want to completely destabilize and destroy Iraq. And create chaos and a victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for an Obama victory.
If I were running Al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and pray as many times as possible for victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: All right, well here's the response from the Obama camp. The senator's spokesman saying, "It's easy to talk tough when it's not your country or your troops making the sacrifices."
We want to let you know there are about 1,400 Australian troops in and around Iraq.
Senator Obama is turning up the heat across the board, especially now that he's an official presidential candidate for 2008. He made the announcement in Springfield, Illinois. The hometown of Abraham Lincoln. The senator used the historical backdrop to highlight one of the key threads in his campaign. That is change, change in Iraq and change in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I recognize that there is a certain presumptuousness in this, a certain audacity to this announcement. I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: After his announcement, Senator Obama hit the campaign trial and moved on to the Iowa, while the other early battleground state belonged to Senator Hillary Clinton. It was her first are trip to New Hampshire, since announcing she was looking at making her own run for the White House in 2008. Senator Clinton will spend the rest of the weekend meeting and greeting potential voters in the Granite State.
NGUYEN: Republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani has taken his message west, to California. There he spoke to the state's Republican's Party convention. The former New York mayor also sat down with fellow Republican, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Giuliani plans to stop in the Silicon Valley on Monday. HOLMES: Also, we invite you to join the best political team on television for the first presidential debate of the campaign season. CNN will sponsor back-to-back debates for the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates on April 4th and April 5th. The first debates in the lead off presidential primary state, right here on CNN, the most trusted name in news.
NGUYEN: There are so many questions surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith one of them is, where is her newborn baby girl, and who is taking care of her? Our CNN crews searched the Bahamas for the answer to that.
Plus, how would you feel if someone said you could not get married unless you promise you're going to have children? We'll talk live with the leader of the Marriage Initiative Movement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REGGIE AQUI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Reggie Aqui. We're going to take you to Mexico. Mexico, New York, where they have 101 inches of snow this morning. That story is coming up, next.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we're going to take you to the blogosphere where Barack Obama is creating his own social networking site. We'll have that when CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues.
NGUYEN: Look at it snow, snow, and more snow. That's what it must feel like in parts of Upstate New York. They've already had well over 100 inches in just the past week. CNN's Reggie Aqui is braving the snow and the cold and he joins us live from Osewego, New York.
We talk about 100 inches; that pretty much amounts to what, 8 to 10 feet? What?
AQUI: Yes, that's what they're seeing, anywhere between 7 to 10 feet, which is really hard to imagine until you're here.
And of course, it all compacts down a little bit. This is Mary's home, and Mary is a very nice woman. We were just talking to her. She actually had to shovel a lot of this herself this morning. She lives alone. She did hire some professional help to come in and shovel the rest out, because this is a huge task even for people used to this snow.
Yesterday we took a drive just a few miles down the road, to a town with an unusual name.
AQUI (voice over): South of the boarder, the Canadian border, there's a Mexico that brags about its drinking water, a Mexico where bikinis are out, and fur is in. Mexico, New York. ED DAVIS, MEXICO, N.Y. RESIDENT: Usually the winter don't -- it ain't this mean to us.
AQUI: After decades of snowy winters, Ed Davis is no stranger to a shovel. But even he can hardly believe where he has to go for the second time this week.
DAVIS: I've been shoveling my roof off all morning. I'm only halfway done. I want to get the other half done this afternoon, if I can.
AQUI: Up to 100 inches of snow is hard work for everybody, everything. Even in a town with a long history of bad weather.
MAYOR TERRY GRIMSHAW, MEXICO, N.Y.: We had a storm in '66, but that was a three-day storm. This has gone on for a week.
AQUI: Mexico's mayor says this time there's a new concern.
GRIMSHAW: What's scary now is we've had a couple buildings collapse, and that always scares people.
AQUI: Generally, though, the people of Mexico aren't so much scared as they're amazed. Here, where weather as seen as no sweat, this storm has them huffing and puffing.
AQUI: All right, and all of this is actually lake-effect snow. You can blame Lake Ontario, which is just a mile or so down that way. We've gotten a break this morning, but we expect we're going to see some more of that lake-effect snow later this afternoon, possibly anywhere between four inches and maybe a half foot before this is all over, Betty.
NGUYEN: That's usually how it's been happening, in the afternoon, the snow really just comes down, and fast. Reggie, we appreciate that update.
We're going to turn now to CNN's Bonnie Schneider in the Weather Center.
HOLMES: The Dixie Chicks, just one of the groups nominated for tonight's Grammys. But it's the reunion of one of the hottest groups of the '80s that could steal the show. That story is coming up.
NGUYEN: Well, it looks like the trail to the White House goes through the internet. Barack Obama campaign the worldwide web, that is next.
HOLMES: The news, of course, is 24/7, and CNN.com, they've got you covered. Most popular story at the website, right now, this morning, the anti-shoplifting T-shirt. What does that say? I have not been able to make out that T-shirt yet. Well, CNN affiliate KING reports on a novel approach to fighting crime. That's the number one story right now.
Number two, is the power napping. This is a personal favorite of Betty's.
NGUYEN: Love it.
HOLMES: The maker of these sleeping pods, believe this is cutting-edge office equipment. CNN's Jen Rogers has that story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Oh, I'm sorry. Did I hit you? (BLEEP) what? Are you going to hit me? You going to hit me?
HOLMES: This is just -- you can't believe it every time you see this. This is the incredible story of the ambushed reporter. He was invited to discuss a story about counterfeit eyeglasses. He got assaulted there. The whole thing is absolutely unbelievable. You might want to check that out.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
And rounding out the top four on CNN.com, Russian President Vladimir Putin's surprisingly harsh criticism of U.S. foreign policy.
NGUYEN: Well, from presidential ambitions on YouTube to candidates, blogs and Myspace pages popping up all over the place, what is going on with the web and candidates this year? Nicole Lapin has been tracking all of that online.
It seems candidates are so savvy this time around.
NICOLE LAPIN, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: So, web savvy. From their web sites to facebook.com. Candidates in the presidential campaign are really using the web to their advantage like never before. Barack Obama specifically. He just made his presidential aspirations official yesterday, and already he started his own social networking site. So think Myspace, but just for Barack Obama.
On mybarackobama.com you can add friends, you can set up groups, you can coordinate events. The only prerequisite is that you want Obama in the White House. His campaign has also been doing YouTubing. YouTube has a lot of sites, of course, a lot of videos, but some of his videos have been seen 100,000 times.
Now, Hillary Clinton also used her web site to announce her candidacy, of course, but soon we're going to keep an eye on her website to watch when they launches her blog.
Some other candidates, though, are kind of sticking to a more traditional web presence. Rudy Giuliani's site doesn't have all the bells and whistles. It's geared more toward fundraising. But that got us thinking, Betty and T.J., just how much do these candidates make online? According to one online tracking group, in 2006, $2 billion was generated online. And then in 2008, we're expecting that number to jump to $9.8 billion. So, while the campaign is really taking shape online, we are keeping an eye on all those potential candidates and see what they are up to. Stay tuned for that.
NGUYEN: Apparently it pays to go online.
LAPIN: Oh, yeah.
NGUYEN: Thank you, Nicole.
HOLMES: Well, a group that is taking on gay marriage, they've got a proposal to ban something that, you know, folks are just calling this a bit extreme. The leader of the movement would require children if you wed. That is coming up next.
Plus, where is Anna Nicole Smith's daughter Dannielynn? Just one of the many questions surrounding the former model. That is next.
Then there are the many legal issues that still remain. No better team then Nelda and Lida to sort it all out. They're coming up with that.
But first, this morning's "Tip From The Top" comes from a space pioneer. Sally Ride lead the way for women astronauts and with her NASA career behind her, she is still paving the path for the next generation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, securing her place in history.
SALLY RIDE, FMR. ASTRONAUT: A challenge, to me, is being able to make it through those very, very difficult moments that you've prepared yourself for, in your life, that you've worked hard towards. And now you really just have to take the next step and make sure that you can manage your success in that endeavor. Preparation is really the key to that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, Ride encourage the next generation through her company Sally Ride Science, which creates innovative science programs specifically geared toward girls.
RIDE: We know the kids are out there, we know that they love this stuff. We just have to remind them that this stuff is really cool and there are a lot of good opportunities out there for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: The first American service member to be killed in Afghanistan this year has died of a gunshot wound. NATO says it happened in a remote northern province along the Pakistan border; 286 U.S. service members have died in Afghanistan since 2001.
Are weapons from Iran fueling the war in Iraq? According to wire reports, the U.S. says it has evidence of Iranian weapons being used to kill coalition troops. Correspondent Michael Ware joins us from Baghdad this hour with this breaking news. We'll get to him shortly.
In the meantime, Senator Barack Obama's stance on Iraq, drawing harsh criticism now from one conservative world leader. The Australian prime minister says Obama's timetable for withdrawal from Iraq next year, would be disastrous for the Middle East. And Prime Minister John Howard also says Al Qaeda should be praying Obama wins in 2008.
Let's get you over to Bonnie Schneider for a quick check of the weather outside, which is really turning quite cold for many of us.
HOLMES: Well, Anna Nicole Smith, even more surprises now after her death. Couple developments here; a dispute has arisen over ownership of the Bahamas mansion where Smith had been living.
A U.S. developer who had a brief relationship with Smith says, it's his. Smith had claimed the developer gave her the house as a gift. The developer changed the locks yesterday. Today Smith's attorney had them changed again.
And a blockbuster from Smith's half-sister. She Tells the "New York Daily News" Smith got pregnant by using frozen sperm from her billionaire late-husband J. Howard Marshall. Are you with us? The big question, still, everybody is asking -- where exactly is her baby girl, Dannielynn? CNN's Rusty Dornin looks for the answer.
RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We find the house only to discover no one is home. Other reporters are on the scene. But we locate Godfrey Pinder, an attorney for the original owner of the house where Smith was saying before she died. He says he'll take us to where he thinks the baby is. But we wind up back at the same house.
So Pinder says, let's go to the mansion in Nassau where Smith was staying. He knows the address well. He claims Smith never paid his client for purchasing the house. It's been an ongoing battle in the local court.
GODFREY PINDER, ATTORNEY: She refused to sign the promissory note and, of course, the mortgage. As a matter of fact, she tore it up.
Reporter: The battle is in full swing as we stand before the locked gates of the property in dispute. Up rolls an entourage, SUVs, television crews and plenty of security. Pinder was told to leave by one of Smith's former bodyguards.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me, you have to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to go.
DORNIN: The why came soon enough? Wayne Monroe, Smith's former attorney, had a court paper ordering the original owner to stay away from the property.
WAYNE MUNROE, SMITH'S FMR ATTY: I'm going to have to ask you to comply with...
PINDER: Well, let me read it first.
DORNIN: Munroe claims things were taken from the mansion illegally by the original owner on Friday, a charge Pinder denies. The confrontation took place complete with reporters and police on the scene. Still, the looming question -- where's the baby? Smith's former attorney would only answer in the vaguest manner.
MUNROE: The child, as far as I know, has never left the country of her birth, never.
DORNIN: She was born here in the Bahamas. While the exact whereabouts of the baby have not been revealed, most here believe the hunt is over, that she remains behind these locked gates. But whether she's here or not, Munroe says with a custody battle looming there are no plans to take her elsewhere.
(on camera): So the baby would stay here until the matter is completely settled, whether it's the Bahamas...
MUNROE: Until the matter is resolved as far as my instructions are.
DORNIN: The poor little, possibly, rich girl whose legal battles may have only just begun.
Rusty Dornin, CNN, NASA, Bahamas.
NGUYEN: And the whereabouts of Smith's daughter is just one of the many legal issues facing all parties involved. Our legal ladies, well, they are back to try to sort all of this out. Good luck, ladies.
Here they are though, civil rights attorney, Lida Rodriguez- Taseff in Washington, and former prosecutor, Nelda Blair in Houston this morning. Let me just start by saying this, ladies -- there's yet another twist. Reading today, the "New York Post" is reporting that Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole's husband maybe, boyfriend for sure, is in the Bahamas with the baby. But, so is Anna Nicole's mother. They're both trying to get custody of this child while we're still waiting to find out what the courts decide. Let me start with you. Who has the right, here, to have custody of that child?
LIDA RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTY: The immediate right belongs to Stern because he was the father listed in the birth certificate of the child. And if it turns out that Anna Nicole left a will leaving him as the custodial parent, the immediate right may actually become the permanent right that he would have to be the father of the child.
NGUYEN: Well, the will trumps everything and we still don't know if there is indeed a will out there, but in the meantime, attorneys are really wrestling this one out in the courts. And what we heard on Friday was an attorney for Larry Birkhead, who also says he's the father, wants to make sure that DNA is taken from Anna Nicole Smith's body to make sure that there's not a bait and switch. Nelda, talk to us about the concern.
NELDA BLAIR, FMR PROSECUTOR: Oh, absolutely a legitimate concern because it may involve millions of dollars. So as long as they have Anna Nicole Smith's DNA and then the potential father's DNA, they can determine for sure who the baby's father is. And you know, that's important. What's even more important that you just touched on, though, is whether or not Anna Nicole Smith had a will. That and whether she was married to Stern is going to determine who gets anything that she ends up getting from the Marshall estate.
NGUYEN: Absolutely, and let's talk about that "marriage" to Anna Nicole Smith. Stern says he was indeed married. There were those pictures of a commitment ceremony. We don't know if it was a legal marriage ceremony. But just take a listen to this -- what if this is the case? Say Stern was indeed married, but say he's not the biological father? What happens with this estate? Does it go to Stern? Does it go to the biological father and the baby, all three of them -- Leda?
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, it depends. If she left a will and she was indeed married and he is not the biological father, then obviously the will would determine who gets what. However, if she died in testate, meaning without a will, and he is married to her, he would possibly inherit everything and then it would be up to him to distribute the assets to the child and obviously, it can be a fight between the biological father and Stern, the husband.
NGUYEN: And Nelda, there are a couple of lawsuits out there, one dealing with the estate of Anna Nicole Smith's late husband, the other a TrimSpa lawsuit that involves Anna Nicole Smith, against them. So how do these proceeds, just the heirs of the estate?
BLAIR: Absolutely. The estate itself becomes the party to the lawsuit. In TrimSpa lawsuit, Anna Nicole Smith has actually been sued individually. She's also involved in a lawsuit in the Bahamas regarding that home, so there are several legal matters that will go on. The Marshall estate being one of them, that will involve Anna Nicole Smith's estate, her estate representatives, whoever that turns out to be, will be the ones that will pursue those lawsuits.
NGUYEN: And Nelda, also want to know about the legal implications on whether if we find out if there were drugs in her body, if there were drugs in her body, that killed her and they were prescribed to Howard K. Stern, could there be charges there and what about the nurse who didn't call 911 right off the bat, but instead she called Stern in?
BLAIR: You know, there are so many legal questions in this particular matter, in Anna Nicole Smith's life in general. But her death has raised so many questions, it's a lawyer's dream. And there is no doubt that if the prescription drugs that were in Stern's name, which if they were in her hotel room, were being given to Anna Nicole Smith, absolutely he could face some charges. The nurse who did not call 911, did not try to resuscitate her, that's absolutely potential grounds for charges.
NGUYEN: There's so many other issues that I want to talk about here, we're out of time. I wanted to get with you, Lida, about the Indian reservation where Anna Nicole Smith died at that Hard Rock Hotel because they're governed by different laws and I wonder if that's going to impede the investigation into exactly how she died and why she died?
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, first of all, they are, because it is an Indian reservation governed by federal laws, there are specific laws involved, and they have their own police force. So far the indication is that they are fully cooperative with the state and federal authorities in this case, and that that will continue. So, it doesn't seem like there will be impeding of an investigation because even though they have their own police force, they're fully cooperative with the state authorities and the local authorities in Florida.
NGUYEN: Lida Rodriguez-Taseff and Nelda Blair, of course we appreciate all the expertise that you share on a story that just keeps getting more confusing by the minute. Thank you.
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Thank you.
BLAIR: Thank you.
NGUYEN: Well, this next story is no laughing matter -- there is movement underway in Washington state that would require you to get married only if you plan to have children. The founder of the eye- opening legislation next, right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN "Breaking News."
HOLMES: Iran, of course, accused by the U.S. of arming insurgents and fueling the violence in Iraq, now the U.S. says it can back up its accusations with evidence and CNN's Michael Ware is just back from a briefing by a senior U.S. military official. He joins us now live from Baghdad with the breaking details. Michael, what did we find out? Is there a smoking gun in here?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Certainly not, there is no smoking gun. The U.S. presented not one but three officials today, a senior defense official from, here in Baghdad; a senior defense analyst, an intelligence-type person, here in Baghdad as well, plus an explosives expert.
Now, what they did was presented information primarily relating to what the military says is Iran's provision of deadly munitions that are being used in attacks against U.S. forces. The main focus was on a particularly deadly type of bomb called an "explosively formed penetrator" that punches through even the toughest armor on American vehicles. And according to the spokespeople today, is responsible for killing at least 170 American soldiers since they first appeared on the scene in the middle of 2004.
So essentially what the military is saying is that Iran's special forces (INAUDIBLE) is arming, equipping and helping these Shia insurgent groups in their attacks on us. To further that, to give evidence, really there was nothing new. We were able to see some of these explosive devices that have been captured. We learned from the explosive exert that they can only, one element of them can only be manufactured in Iran.
And we also saw the military provide many examples of these, which we've shown on CNN last year. Tailfins from 81 millimeter mortars with the manufacturing stamp from last year.
Now, according to the military, 81 millimeter is a signature for Iran, as is the particular manufacturer, this single-piece tailfin is an identifier of Iran. They also said its geometrics is an identifier of Iran. So, they presented information by and large we already knew, but, again, we are seeing an elevation in the war of accusation between the U.S. and Iran over what's happening here on the ground in Iraq.
HOLMES: Michael, before we let you go, and if you can for us, real quickly, give us an idea how high up the chain, the Iranian government, are these U.S. officials telling you all this goes? How high up the chain are these orders coming from to send this stuff into Iraq?
WARE: Well, that's one of the most interesting things that did came out of this. I mean, we've heard it before, but nonetheless they say this comes from the highest levels indeed from the office of the supreme leader Khamenei himself.
Indeed, Iran's program here in Iraq is so comprehensive, both militarily, politically, economically, on a religious front, everywhere. It has to have that kind of authority. And the U.S. spokespeople today said that the kinds of materials we're intercepting, on the level we're intercepting them, have to come from this kind of authority. They draw a direct link to Khamenei office, which is in contradiction to what they were saying a year ago and two years ago saying, yeah, we're picking these things up but we can't trace them to the government. Now they're saying it goes all the way to Khamenei himself.
HOLMES: All right, CNN's Michael Ware in Baghdad for us with those breaking details. Michael, thank you so much. And we'll be right back with much more after a quick break. Stay here.
HOLMES: Married with no children. Nearly half the couples in America fit that bill. You recognize that song and know that it was kind of a dream to be married with no children for Peg and Al Bundy. Well, for many couples out there, it's a lifestyle choice. But should that be outlawed? That's exactly what ballot initiative in Washington state is trying to do. Gregory Gadow is with the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, he joins us now, this morning from Seattle.
Sir, thank you for being here. Just want to give folks a little background, that this initiative would actually be limited, marriage limited to men and women who are able to have kids. Couples will be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license and if you don't have kids within three years, their marriage would be the subject to an annulment.
So tell me, you have actually said yourself that this initiative is absurd, this imitative that you put out there, is absurd. You don't want it to become law. So, what's the point?
GREGORY GADOW, DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ALLIANCE: Well, Initiative 957 is a referendum on the premise that marriage exists for the purpose of procreation. The Washington Supreme Court used that premise last year to say is that same-sex couples did not have a right to be married because they could not have children together.
HOLMES: Well, so you're telling me this is essentially a publicity stunt?
GADOW: No. We're looking to get the judicial precedent overturned and in order to do that, we have to set up a test case to bring it back to the Supreme Court.
HOLMES: A test case. So many might say this is not the right area, the right venue, to be testing something like this. You're playing with the ballot process, the initiative process, you're toying with the courts, making a mockery of marriage. What do you say to that argument? You're saying you're just doing this to kind of try to make a point.
GADOW: If we can collect enough signatures to put this on the ballot, I would say that there is enough public interest to merit putting it to a vote. HOLMES: All right, now, you say the conservatives will tell you that marriage is for the sole purpose of procreation. But there are other reasons out there. That homosexuality, some say is morally wrong, that traditional marriage should be between a man and a woman, that gay marriage would devalue the traditional marriage. So there are other reasons out there and not just for the sole reason of procreation.
GADOW: However, the procreation argument is the one and only argument against same-sex marriage that has been upheld by the courts.
HOLMES: Well, actually, the court there said that folks aren't entitled to the expectation, in their opinion, you're not entitled to the expectation that you can choose to marry someone of the same sex, also says the defensive marriage act does not violate equal rights amendment because the rights are being denied to one sex. So there are other things in that opinion by the court, not just solely -- I'll give it to you that, yes, they do say that, but not solely the reason for procreation.
GADOW: Well, the procreation argument is one that comes up constantly. Also, the other arguments in various ways have been struck down on other marriage issues such as interracial marriage.
HOLMES: Sir, and another thing here -- of course, you know all gay rights groups, even, don't agree with you and the way you're going about it and there could be a backlash because of the way you're going about it. And there are some couples out there who don't plan on having kids and who may not be against gay marriage, but they hear this and see this as you're trying to take their rights away and there could be a backlash. Why are you trying to take someone's rights away instead of trying to get more rights for others?
GADOW: All we are doing is putting the Supreme Court ruling into statutory form. If there are questions about rights being taken away, those would better be addressed to the Washington Supreme Court.
HOLMES: So the Supreme Court. Well sir, I'm sure this is a fight and battle that is not going to end here. Mr. Gadow of the Washington Defense of Marriage Initiatives. Sir, we are going to be keeping an eye on this one and 220-something thousand signatures you need. How close are you to that? I know you're just getting started.
GADOW: Well, we just started on Wednesday, but already we have over 200 signatures.
HOLMES: Over 200. Well, sound like you have a ways to go, sir. We'll keep an eye on it. Certainly hope you come back and keep us updated.
GADOW: Thank you.
HOLMES: All right, and CNN's Paula Zahn will have much more on this story tomorrow night. You can tune in week nights at 8:00 Eastern for PAULA ZAHN NOW.
NGUYEN: Now it's time to check in with Howard Kurtz in Washington to see what is ahead on CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES.
HOWARD KURTZ, RELIABLE SOURCES: Coming up, from a bizarre astronaut love triangle to the death of a former stripper who was famous mainly for being famous. Are the Anna Nicole-crazed media again wallowing in sex, crime, and celebrity?
Barack Obama jumps into the presidential race. Why are journalists suddenly questioning whether the senator is black enough to win? And Tim Russert grilled for hours -- the Scooter Libby trial. Did the defense chip away at his credibility?
That and John Edwards' radioactive bloggers ahead on RELIABLE SOURCES.
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, METEOROLOGIST: I'm CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider. It's a cold Sunday morning, but temperatures will turn colder tomorrow, cold enough for snow in many locations from West all the way to the East. I'll have your complete forecast coming up next on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
HOLMES: Go ahead and sing it, Betty.
NGUYEN (singing): Roxanne
HOLMES: OK, that's enough.
NGUYEN: Yeah, don't ask me to sing again.
HOLMES: All right, we got a musical performance to tell you about that took years to arrange. The Grammy's, we're going to be talking about it next on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
NGUYEN: Dixie Chicks making a statement and from the looks of it, somebody is definitely listening. They're up for five Grammy awards, including Best Country Album. And this...
Yeah, Anthony and the boys outdid themselves this year, the Red Hot Chili Peppers nominated six times, they're up for Album of the Year for "Stadium Arcadia."
Listen to this -- Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers, and Sting on stage together for the first time in a long time, way too long many would say. And it's happening tonight on the Grammy Award show. More folks than you can imagine are excited about this. CNN's Brooke Anderson is all over the buzz.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty-two years after breaking up, The Police are reuniting.
NEIL PORTNOW, RECORDING ACADEMY: We're looking for something that would be really eye opening and earth shattering and I think we arrived at it.
ANDERSON: Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers and Sting will take the stage tonight at the Grammy's.
PORTNOW: People are thrilled that this band is back in business and reuniting, and going to be out there playing the music that people loved so dearly for so many years.
JOSS STONE, SINGER: I love sting. God, I love him. What is it with sting? He's never going to age. He's like ageless.
DREW BARRYMORE, ACTRESS: I used to go and buy all of their albums on vinyl. I had a huge crush on Stewart Copeland. So yeah, I'm excited to see them play again.
ANDERSON: The police skyrocketed to fame in the late '70s. But in 1984, six years after their first album, the group split up amid reports of feuding between the band mates. Stewart Copeland, who directed a documentary about the group's early days, says rumors about the band's differences have been greatly exaggerated.
STEWART COPELAND, THE POLICE: There's this myth that we fought all the time, The police was always fighting. I sort of believed it myself except when I look at this footage, I realize we were actually, you know, were very fond of each other and we enjoyed each other's company.
ANDERSON: And their impact stretched from music to movies like "Another 48 Hours."
EDDIE MURPHY, COMEDIAN: Yeah, I love Sting and The police. I would love to see them.
ANDERSON: A chance many will get tonight at the Grammy's.
Brooke Anderson, CNN, Los Angeles.
NGUYEN: Can't wait to see that.
HOLMES: Well, I'm having a Grammy party this evening.
NGUYEN: No, you're not.
HOMES: Yeah, I'm not. OK, well, RELIABLE SOURCES, of course, coming up next with Howard Kurtz.
NGUYEN: Yeah, no Grammy party there, but I do want to let you know then he wants to be America's next president. Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter talks to Wolf Blitzer about his plans to win the White House in 2008. That is happening on LATE EDITION as it comes your way at 11:00 Eastern.
HOLMES: Also among Wolfs guests, former Democratic National Committee chairman, Terry McAuliffe. NGUYEN: And why have there been several U.S. helicopter crashes in Iraq recently? CNN correspondent give you in-depth analysis at 1:00 Eastern, you don't want to miss it. Don Roberts hosts THIS WEEK AT WAR.
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