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Iraq Rebuke Fails; Surprise Stop for Condoleezza Rice in Iraq; Britney Gets Buzz

Aired February 17, 2007 - 16:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: In a rare Saturday session, the U.S. Senate votes on holding an Iraq debate. What's at issue?
A new study says it might be brain food for babies. Why pregnant women should eat more of it.

And hair free, but apparently not carefree. Why is Britney bald?

Hello. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

It passed the House but won't be taken up by the Senate. One day after the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning President Bush's Iraq troop surge, Republicans have blocked any debate of that resolution in the Senate.

CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash is standing by with the details -- Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, as expected, the Senate came in, in a rare form, came in on a Saturday to have a vote on Iraq. But as expected, they ended up exactly where they started out the day, and that is deadlocked on the issue of Iraq, specifically on a resolution, a symbolic resolution, opposing the president's plan to send more troops to Iraq.

Now, the vote was 56-34. So a majority of the senators did vote on this procedural motion which would start debate, officially start debate on the resolution. But that wasn't enough for it to pass because to pass, the senators -- the Democrats would have had to have 60 votes.

Now, Democrats immediately said that what Republicans were doing, they were trying to protect the president from an embarrassing vote.


SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: For those who have voted to block debate to protect President Bush, Americans now know they want to stay a failed course in Iraq. They want more of the same. They support escalation. The Senate is not done with this issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BASH: Now, this is a little bit of deja vu, Fredricka, because this is -- these arguments that we are hearing are the same that we heard almost two weeks ago when the Senate had the same kind of procedural vote and ended up deadlocked. Republicans say that Democrats are simply trying to push this resolution forward without giving Republicans a fair shake. And Republicans wanted to have a vote on their resolution which Democrats simply aren't allowing, and that is a resolution to keep funding -- promising to fund the troops who are already in Iraq.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNEL (R), MINORITY LEADER: Senate Republicans have indicated once again that they are going to insist on a debate about Iraq that includes funding for the troops. This's nothing more essential to the Iraq debate than the issue of funding of the troops.


BASH: Now, there is a big difference between this vote and what we saw about two weeks ago. And that is seven Republicans who oppose the president's plan to send more troops to Iraq voted with the Democrats. That's five more than last time.

Essentially, what Republicans, influential Republicans like John Warner and Gordon Smith and even Chuck Hagel, said is that they have simply lost patience with their leadership. The last time they voted with the Republicans in order to stick with their party to kind of force Democrats to give Republicans their vote, but over about two weeks or so, they decided that it is too important for them and they wanted to vote with the Democrats to at least start debate.

So, essentially, Democrats, the majority, Fredricka, felt pressure after the House debated all week and voted on a resolution to at least give it one more try. But they knew from the beginning that this try was not going to succeed -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Meantime, Dana, you caught up with at least one of the senators who is running for president. What did Barack Obama say?

BASH: Well, four Democratic senators who are presidential hopefuls came right back off the campaign trail to be here for the vote and then went right back out. And our congressional producer, Ted Barrett, caught up with Barack Obama as he was leaving.

Let's listen.


TED BARRETT, CNN CONGRESSIONAL PRODUCER: Why was it important for you to important your schedule and come back today?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, look, Iraq is the single most important issue that we face in this country, and it was important to register my objection to the president's strategy.

See you guys.

BARRETT: Do you think this was an important statement today?

OBAMA: Absolutely. When you have a majority of the Senate, 56 votes, saying, President, you are taking the wrong path, that -- that should send a strong signal. And I think it is reflective of where the American people are.


BASH: So you saw Barack Obama getting right back in the car to get back out to the campaign trail. So did the other candidates.

One Republican presidential candidate was not here, and that is Senator John McCain. He is somebody who supports the president's plan to send more troops to Iraq, and he has long called this kind of resolution meaningless and perhaps even hurtful -- harmful to troops who are in combat. He said he didn't feel the need to come back for the vote, and he didn't -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. Dana Bash on Capitol Hill.

Thanks so much.

So, now to the White house. How close a scrutiny will the White House have on what took place in the House yesterday and the Senate today?

CNN White House Correspondent Elaine Quijano joins us live.

And so what is the reaction? Clearly they have been to be taking pause based on the numbers -- both in the Senate and in the House -- on this resolution.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. Certainly they are watching, and they watched this debate very closely. But just a minute ago, Fredricka, we received now the statement officially reacting now, a statement by the White House press secretary, Tony Snow, talking about the Senate vote and also laying out really what has been the White House's strategy over recent days here, and that is to shift the focus now to the votes that will come up on funding, or to the decisions on funding.

I will read you part of the statement here, but this talks about these -- the votes coming up as a matter of cardinal importance for America's future security and global credibility. This is talking about the president's request for some $100 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan.

A rather lengthy statement here noting that the week's voting gave the world a "glimpse of democracy's vigor. The next vote should provide unmistakable assurance of this nation's resolve in achieving success, supporting the cause of democracy and stopping terrorist forces in their ultimate aim of bringing their violence to our shores." And as I noted, really this has been the message out of the White House in recent days. Even as the president, other officials, saying that lawmakers clearly do have the right certainly to express their opinions, that it is how they vote on funding the nation's military that will really matter here.

Now, the president himself yesterday in the Oval Office after the house passed its resolution didn't comment on it. And essentially, as he sat down with the man he has chosen to become the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, talked about how he says there have already been some early signs of progress in Iraq since he announced his new Iraq plan. The president noting that he spoke with Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, yesterday and said that he was pleased that the prime minister was already meeting some benchmarks; notably, delivering Iraqi troops as promised to the fight.

At the same time, of course, the White House very mindful of this staunch opposition on Capitol Hill. At the same time, showing no signs of backing down. The president believes that the 21,000 additional troops in Iraq are what are needed in order to give that government there what the White House has called breathing space and time to assert itself -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Elaine Quijano at the White House.

Thank you.

Fostering peace in the Middle East, the agenda of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on her visit to the region. But the big headline today was the stop that Rice made before she actually arrived in Jerusalem, a surprise trip to Baghdad, which began a little later than planned.

Reporting from the Iraqi capital now, CNN international correspondent Arwa Damon.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's plane reportedly circled for about 30 minutes over Baghdad International Airport due to ongoing military operations on the ground. A small taste of the violence that Iraqis and U.S. troops here face on a daily basis before she began her meetings with Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, as well as senior Iraqi and U.S. officials.

Rice's aim is to make a preliminary write assessment of the Baghdad security plan that has been put forward by the Iraqi government and the U.S. administration dubbed Operation Law and Order. Rice saying that the initial indications were that the Iraqi government was meeting its benchmarks.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: I want to say that we are very impressed with the leadership of the prime minister and his team thus far. We believe that they are clearly showing that this can be a new face for the people of Iraq. DAMON: The main aim of this operation is to lay down a framework for Iraq's political process to move forward and hopefully jump start its economy. Some Iraqi officials are saying that the violence in the capital has decreased over the last few days, saying that this is an initial sign of success of the operation. But it might be premature to be making those statements just yet.

The U.S. military is saying that they believe that the insurgents have merely blended back into the local population, chosen to lay down their arms whilst they sit back, wait and assess the security operation before they move forward in their attacks. A trend that we have seen in the past is that when U.S. and Iraqi presence is increased, sectarian violence does go down, which indeed is something that we have seen over the last few weeks. But we have also seen a number of massive attacks against marketplaces which have had a devastating death toll.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.


WHITFIELD: Coming up, call her Britney Sheers. The pop star shaves her head and sets tongues wagging. We'll have the latest.

A dramatic courtroom confrontation between a woman and her husband after he is convicted of trying to kill her.

And this...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I supervised CIA agents and assets in over 30 countries on three different continents.


WHITFIELD: The Cold War becomes the backdrop on for an African- American's success story -- inside the CIA.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she should stay natural because it looks really weird to shave her head.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think if she did it to be like in a movie or something, or for a video, that would be OK. But she's probably just looking for attention now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think -- I don't know what she is thinking. It's too risky. You never know what's going to happen after that. Like...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really ugly.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she just has emotional issues and that she really is trying to use it to get attention. And it's really bad to see her the way she is because I used to be one of her biggest fans. And it's just (INAUDIBLE) acting that way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Same here. I'm still her biggest fan, but she had beautiful hair. So (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really don't -- I don't prefer it. I know it's going to grow back and everything, but it's the way (INAUDIBLE). So it's not a big deal to me. Like, it's her own life and it's not anybody else's life. So everybody needs to stay out of her business.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's retarded. I don't see why she had to cut all her hair off.


WHITFIELD: So, some thoughts from some young ladies who are in Atlanta for a cheerleading convention.

Well, it is generating a lot of buzz. And certainly that's never been a probably for pop star Britney Spears. But having shaved her head last night, the lengths to which she is going, have a lot of her fans starting to wonder, are these just ploys for attention or maybe a cry for help?

Here's CNN's Peter Viles in Los Angeles.


PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As they might say back in her hometown in Louisiana, that Britney sure has changed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you, Britney!

VILES: Witnesses tell CNN she walked into an L.A. hair salon Friday and asked to have her head shaved.

BRADLEY JACOBS, "US WEEKLY": The hair stylist refused. So she literally went and picked up the clippers herself and shaved her head clean off, bald.

VILES: Next stop was a tattoo parlor where she pulled her low- rise jeans a little lower and also explained the hairstyle. Sort of.

EMILY WINN-HUGHES, TATTOO SHOP WITNESS: She basically just said that she was tired of having things plugged into it and she didn't want anybody to touch her, tired of people touching her, that sort of thing. It seemed like she was kind of sick of it all, whatever it all is. She's obviously not having a good time right now. And she -- yes, she was very upset. She was disturbed. I think she really just wanted to be left alone.

VILES: "People" magazine reports that Spears checked herself into a rehab facility this week but checked out a day later. A spokesman for Spears has not answered CNN's request for comment.

The 25-year-old has two young children and filed for divorce last November. Lately she has been turning weird behavior into an art form.

CAROLINE SCHAEFER, "US WEEKLY": She hosted New Year's Eve at Pure (ph) nightclub, and, you know, there were reports that she collapsed. So she sort of started out on that note. And it's really just continued. She has been out almost every night. A lot of partying for somebody with two small children.

VILES: Spears hasn't had a hit record in three years, but she doesn't necessarily need the money. "Forbes" has estimated her net worth at $100 million.

Peter Viles, for CNN, Los Angeles.


WHITFIELD: Well, all seriousness aside, there are some people who are very worried about Britney Spears. In about 15 minutes, Sibila Vargas talks to some who think she might need some help.

News "Across America" now.



WHITFIELD: And let's head on down to New Orleans when we come back. Susan Roesgen is there getting ready for the Mardi Gras finale -- Susan.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT: We are right in the middle of the action right here on St. Charles Avenue. Come be in the parade with us when we come back.

WHITFIELD: We're there.

And believe it or not, Prince Harry, well, guess where he is headed? To war. Where? You might not believe it. That story in five minutes.

You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


WHITFIELD: Well, it's party time in New Orleans. When is it not? Well, especially now. Despite the pile of debris that still haunt neighborhoods after Katrina and the vacant houses waiting on owners to return, many residents are looking forward to Mardi Gras.

Our Susan Roesgen looks at what the annual bash means to Katrina survivors.


ROESGEN (voice over): Stacie Merritt is a rider on a float in one of the many New Orleans parades leading up to Mardi Gras. Each rider buys boxes of things to throw to the crowds and spends hours getting ready. And if you don't live here, the effort may seem strange in a city where so much serious work still needs to be done.

STACIE MERRITT, FLOAT RIDER: That is the dining room.

ROESGEN: Stacy is still waiting to move back home. She's living in an apartment while she tries to get a contractor to start doing some work. It's a common frustration in New Orleans, even a year and a half after the hurricane. But for many people, stepping away from the unfinished part of their lives is what Stacy calls therapy.

MERRITT: But when you're here and you see construction and you see trailers and you see school zones but they're not on because the schools are not open anymore, that kind of depresses you. And you want to get out of that.

ROESGEN: On the eve of this year's Mardi Gras, entire neighborhoods are still struggling. Bureaucratic snafus have tied up money to rebuild, and a new wave of crime frightens many people who have come back. But the publisher of the local magazine on Mardi Gras, Arthur Hardy, says the carnival spirit is alive and well.

ARTHUR HARDY, MARDI GRAS HISTORIAN: It's amazing that Mardi Gras has recovered much more quickly than the general recovery of the area, and I think it's because private industry, citizens, run Mardi Gras. There's no government involved, really, and people can do whatever they want to do without having to wait for any kind of outside help or interference.

ROESGEN: And so, for the next few days until Fat Tuesday, thousands of New Orleanians will drag around bags of beads instead of lumber and sheet rock. But the end result is magic: a glittering fantasy for people who choose to celebrate life and not surrender.

Susan Roesgen, CNN.


WHITFIELD: And now Susan Roesgen is in the middle of the magic right now.

Where are you exactly?

ROESGEN: I'm on St. Charles Avenue, where all the big parades come down. Two big parades today that are rolling right now, and then a big nighttime parade.

You know, this is really where all the locals come, all the children. They all want the beads.

Let's see what we can get here, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Well, the beads are flying.

ROESGEN: You know, Fredricka...


ROESGEN: It isn't just fun. It's really important for the city of New Orleans, too.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And how -- how important is it? I mean, given that not all the residents are back and a lot of businesses still need that kind of support from tourists.

ROESGEN: Well, let me put it to you this way. The city (INAUDIBLE) of police protection and cleanup after all this (INAUDIBLE) in revenue.

So the city is making money on Mardi Gras (INAUDIBLE) $1 billion boost to the local economy with all the people who came to local hotels, visit the local restaurants. And all these local riders buy their own costumes and floats.

It's a huge economic boost in the city at a time when we really need it. This is not just a party. We are not ignoring Katrina. But we are trying to help the city recover and we're trying to get back in touch with our soul.

I love this city. And Mardi Gras is the number one time of year.

WHITFIELD: Well, a lot of folks are happy, apparently in your shot as well, that Mardi Gras still rolls on.

Susan Roesgen, thanks so much, there on St. Charles.

Well, time now to go global with some other headlines from around the world.



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: "Now in the News," the Senate has refused to consider a resolution that opposes President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq. The effort failed on a procedural vote earlier today, 56-34. Sixty votes were needed for passage.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has arrived in Israel after a surprise visit to Iraq. Rice says it is an important time to discuss the idea of a Palestinian state. Rice is in Israel ahead of next week's three-way summit with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Another deadly attack rocks Pakistan. A suicide bombing today inside a courtroom in Quetta. The judge and at least 12 other people were killed. It is the deadliest in a string of attacks to rattle the country in recent weeks.

So what was she thinking? Pop star Britney Spears pulled another shocker. Shaves off her locks and sports a couple of new tattoos to boot. A bald-headed play for publicity or a cry for help?

Our Sibila Vargas takes a look at Spears' recent dive into outrageous fame.


SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even though Britney Spears says she's trying to get her act together, the newspapers are full of reports of more partying, more late nights and more explosive tabloid headlines, as Brit gets off to yet another bad year.

CAROLINE SCHAEFER, US WEEKLY MAGAZINE: I think people were every hopeful that 2007 would bring, you know, a more composed Britney, a sort of more responsible mom. But it doesn't look like she's going in that way. You know, she hosted New Year's Eve at Pure Nightclub, and, you know, there were reports that she collapsed. So she sort of started out on that note and it has really just continued. She has been out almost every night. A lot of partying for somebody with two small children.

VARGAS: Two of New York's biggest newspaper are describing in excruciating detail Brit's drinking, dancing and make out sessions at several clubs: "Britney's Wild Night" in The New York Post; "Thong Tweaking " in The Daily News. Behaviors so regular "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" can tell you that it has become a joke.

ADRIANNE FROST, AUTHOR, "I HATE OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS": Look, I'm a clubber; I club in New York City all the time. And I sit in my VIP section with my peeps. And Britney comes in, and she's like, hey, ya'll, how you doing? And her friends are there to pull up her pants and make sure that they cover up her whale tail. And my friends are there to make sure I don't muffin top. So it's all good.

VARGAS: Newspaper reports and explosive unconfirmed reports in tabloid magazines about her sex life while married to Kevin Federline, allegations coupled with pictures like this, showing Brit's now- infamous pantyless partying while out with fellow wild child Paris Hilton, that could really damager her image when it comes to the custody battle over her two kids with K-Fed.

SCHAEFER: He actually is coming out look a lot better, sort of more clean cut. And Britney right now is not looking like the most responsible mom.

HOWARD BRAGMAN, FIFTEEN MINUTES PUBLIC RELATIONS: I would say try something novel: stay home and watch your kids. Sometimes the solution to bad press is not more press, but no press. VARGAS: "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" takes you back to one year ago, February 2006, when the bad press started. This picture of Britney behind the wheel of her black SUV with five-month-old Sean Preston on her lap, no car seat, no seatbelt, lots of outrage following.

KELLY RIPA, "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": The smallest fender bender...


RIPA: And that child's neck snaps, and that's it.

JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": You don't take off in a car.


SCHAEFER: Whether she was driving with her infant on her lap or dropping him out of his high chair, there were a lot of things that happened that really made her look like a questionable -- how good of a mom was she really?

VARGAS: From the driving disaster in February to this in May: Brit almost dropped Sean Preston outside of her New York hotel. Two incidents, a lot of bad press.

But things only got worse once a very pregnant and not-so-put- together Britney sat down with Matt Lauer for "Dateline."

BRITNEY SPEARS, ENTERTAINER: You have babies at home, and you have -- you have a life. And if you don't, you have to realize that we're people, and that we need -- we just need privacy, and we need our respect. And those are things that you have to have as a human.

SCHAEFER: Well, Britney's publicist right before her interview with "Dateline" said, you know what? Why don't you spit out your gum? Why don't you wear this? And Britney said, no, I'm going to be myself. You know, and so she did.

VARGAS: With two kids to care for, an image to revive and a music career to resuscitate, maybe being herself isn't the best idea. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" is asking if Britney needs an intervention.

FROST: I think Christina Aguilera needs to step in and just, you know -- I want to help you.


SPEARS: Britney!

FROST: I think "The Mickey Mouse Club" needs to come together, like Band Aid did, maybe Bono could be there, and just have a concert for Britney to save Britney.

VARGAS: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT found out the hard way that Britney's ex and former Mickey Mouseketeer Justin Timberlake isn't really interested in talking about Brit's image. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, SINGER: Oh, I'm not commenting on any of that. So, thank you.

SCHAEFER: Britney ultimately is going to do whatever she wants. You know, she grew up in the limelight; she really never had that adolescence. So now she's really having that delayed adolescence. You know and it's sort of unfortunate that she does have two small children.


SCHAEFER: Yes. I do think a life coach or somebody to intervene to tell her what to do. But I do think she has that already, I just don't think that she's really following that advice.

SPEARS: What's that supposed to mean?


WHITFIELD: And that was Sibila Vargas of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT."

So should a pregnant woman eat more fish? Some new information that has just come out based on a new study. Details when we come right back.


WHITFIELD: A new study links seafood consumption during pregnancy to smarter babies. It seems to fly in the face, however, of government guidelines telling moms to be -- to limit certain types of fish intake. So what should expectant mothers do now? Let's turn to Dr. Bill Lloyd, clinical professor at the University of California- Davis Medical Center.

Good to see you.

DR. BILL LLOYD, UNIV. OF CALIF.-DAVIS MEDICAL CENTER: Hi, Fredricka. Can you imagine it? One branch of the government is contradicting another branch of the government.

WHITFIELD: How does that happen? And we are talking about fish consumption in terms of the types of fish because so many pregnant women have been told to limit the intake of mercury, you know, in certain types of fish like salmon and mackerel.

LLOYD: Yes. Cut back on your mercury. Not good for you. It will mess with your lungs, it will mess with your liver, and then in the case of mothers with young children, or mothers expecting children, it will interfere with brain development.

Yes, reducing the amount of fish that is eaten is the issue that is being debated right now. They are talking about 12 ounces of fish per week. That's about two servings. Everybody is saying stay away from the fish and seafood that we know has more mercury than it is supposed to. Things like shark, cut back on the shark, Fredricka. Swordfish, king mackerel, and something called tilefish. Everybody agrees there are some safer kinds of seafood. Shrimp for example. And with Fat Tuesday coming, go to New Orleans, get a bowl of that shrimp etouffee.


LLOYD: (INAUDIBLE), canned light tuna, stay away from the albacore. And good old fashion catfish, which you can get all over Atlanta.

WHITFIELD: So that's the kind of stuff we have been hearing all along. But now with this new study, you know, just encouraging people or pregnant women in general to eat more fish, I mean, is it promoting some confusion over the types of fish? And how much and all of that?

LLOYD: Here is the debate. We are talking about the development of these young children and their minds, their motor skills and their intellect. And the new research out of the National Institutes of Health, says wait a minute, moms ought to be eating more fish. Because we looked at 11,000 pregnant mothers and their children over a range of time dating back to 1991. And we found the more fish moms ate, beyond 12 ounces a week, the better their children benefited.

And we didn't come across any problems with mercury poisoning so long as they ate the fish from the good list. Now, EPA and FDA going back to 2002 developed a document in trying to help mothers expecting their children and using older research. They didn't do the research themselves. But their analysts looking at old research information said moms may be in trouble if they eat too much fish because of the risk of mercury.

Now -- but today's scientists are saying, the risk of mercury is not nearly as bad as the risk of your child having developmental problems if moms don't eat enough fish that is loaded with the omega 3s, plenty of good proteins and other natural substances that will help young brains development.

WHITFIELD: All right. All good food for thought, Dr. Lloyd.

LLOYD: Oh that's good. Thanks.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much.

LLOYD: We will talk again, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right. See you next weekend.

All right. Rick Sanchez is here with a preview of what is to come later on.

Do you eat a lot of fish?


WHITFIELD: I do too. SANCHEZ: Yes. I love the fish oils. My wife eats them. I love them. I am a big salmon guy. Hey, I will tell you what the big story is.

WHITFIELD: How about we talk about food -- what is the big story?

SANCHEZ: The big story is Iraq. And the unbelievable, many would argue, travesty that the U.S. Senate not only isn't debating what's going on in Iraq and the troop surge that the president has suggested of 20,000, they can't even come to terms on how to debate the debate. It is an interesting argument, one that needs to be posed and one that we are going to be posing to both a Republican and a Democrat to ask them why, I think as most Americans would say, can't they get their act together on this? It does seem preposterous, doesn't it?

WHITFIELD: It will continue to be a fiery debate.

SANCHEZ: It certainly will. And, oh, by the way, the Genarlow story. Do you all remember the Genarlow story we did? Young man, 17 years old, is going to be in prison for 10 years for essentially teen sex. We ran a story, well, there is a development in that story. And tonight we are going to be devoting a half-hour of our show at 10:00 to just that. You are not going to believe what...

WHITFIELD: Does it increase or decrease his chances of a reprieve?

SANCHEZ: Kind of status quo at this point. But you wouldn't believe what's going on. Again, the politics of this, when a senator stood up and said on the floor of the Georgia Senate, so I went grabbed a microphone and went over and had a bit of a contentious conversation with him.

WHITFIELD: A heart to heart.

SANCHEZ: A heart to heart. And we are going to share that tonight.

WHITFIELD: All right. Good. We are looking forward to that. Thanks a lot, Rick.

SANCHEZ: You are the best.

WHITFIELD: No, you are.


WHITFIELD: But thanks. All right. Well, this man right here, his CIA code -- code name, was "Mike." His job was to supervise spies worldwide. But he wasn't the first in his family to work for the agency. The curtain lifts on a mother and son's historic journey with the CIA. A fascinating story. And you're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


WHITFIELD: So before James Bond and Jack Bauer, there was Leutrell "Mike" Osbourne Sr. No he was not a super spy but he did supervise CIA agents worldwide. In fact, Osbourne was one of the first African-Americans to hold such a position with the agency. Leutrell Osbourne Sr., the subject of tonight's "America Uncovered."


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: It was the 1950s. And "Superman" was on TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up in the sky, it's a bird!



HARRIS: The Cold War with the Soviet Union dominated the global scene. Two images that would define the future of Leutrell Osbourne -- oh, his mom worked for the CIA.

LEUTRELL "MIKE" OSBOURNE SR., FMR. CIA SPY SUPERVISOR: Well, from what I understand, my mother had a clerical position. And what she would allow me to know was enough for me to get interested in deciding that I wanted to be a spy. And that was basically how the story began. I was all of 12 years old at the time.

HARRIS: His mother, Ella Grisby Motley (ph), was working for the CIA in the National Photographic Intelligence Center. Osbourne says that Superman image and his mother's job left no doubts where he wanted to be.

OSBOURNE: By the time I was 17 years old, I had decided that I was going to the agency and I taught myself photography, how to take pictures and how to enlarge them.

HARRIS: Those self-taught skills would land Osbourne his dream job five months after high school as a from a photographer for the CIA. That was in 1957. His mother had left the agency by then. But never before had an African-American woman and her son both worked with the CIA.

Osbourne would get a college degree, move up in the CIA, and eventually become one of the first African-American spy managers.

OSBOURNE: I was a case officer. I supervised CIA agents and assets in over 30 countries on three different continents.

HARRIS: Osbourne says he became only the 10th African-American in that role.

OSBOURNE: In the operations division, that's where all of the case officers are. The supervisors were spies. Everything is set around basically case officers because they are the kings. And they are the people in the agency that make things happen, as far as collecting intelligence and running what we call clandestine operations.

HARRIS: One of his biggest cases, he says, was one of his first, turning a foreign official in to a spy for the United States. But first, he had to learn to speak Spanish. Today he speaks four languages.

OSBOURNE: In the business, to recruit and intelligence officer is big stuff. So that to be my first successful assignment, I was really -- it went to my -- it didn't go to my head. I felt good about it.

HARRIS: Years later, during the Reagan administration, he worked on policy toward Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

OSBOURNE: The White House wanted to know whether the Libyan government, Gaddafi, could mount a successful assassination attack on the president of the United States. And the request trickled down to you-know-who, me. That was what a lot of people would know would be a very significant experience when you can respond to a request in the White House.

HARRIS: When asked what he cherishes most about his days as a CIA operative, and the answer has nothing to do with being a spy. While stationed in Europe in 1964, he was able to attend the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Nobel Peace Prize (INAUDIBLE) and the gold medal.

HARRIS: Afterwards, Osbourne spent an hour with the civil rights leader.

OSBOURNE: He was just as cool and calm and he treated me just like I was a big shot. And I was all of 25 years old, he was 35.

HARRIS: With 27 years of CIA service behind him, Osbourne is now a security consultant. Any advice for those with an interest of being a spy?

OSBOURNE: Don't be afraid and don't take no for an answer. Don't let anybody tell you can't learn enough language, you don't know how to do things. All of those things that people tell you, don't believe it. Because it is people trying to keep you out of the good stuff.

HARRIS: Tony Harris, CNN, Atlanta.


WHITFIELD: Osbourne has been extremely busy in his retirement. That includes writing a book about his time in the agency. The working title, "The Dark Operative Series: Black Man in the CIA."

Straight ahead, in honor of Presidents Day weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gary, George Washington never has wooden teeth. There's no -- in fact, there's no evidence that there were ever a set of wooden teeth made in the United States.


WHITFIELD: Oh, really? Well, that and other little known presidential facts, straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: So it is the kind of American presidential history that you won't find in the books. And it is all neatly tucked away in jars, vessels and specimen bottles at an Army hospital near Washington.

Our Gary Nurenberg takes the tour.


NURENBERG (voice-over): Inside the National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, skeletons are the office mates of collections manager Brian Spitola (ph) who can show you things you won't see in presidential museums.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we have Eisenhower's gallstones from his operation at Walter Reed Hospital in 1966.

NURENBERG: They save lots of things medical here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the 12th thoracic vertebrae and the first and second lumbar vertebra of President James Garfield, who was shot by Charles Guiteau on July 2, 1881.

NURENBERG: He lived for 80 days, his doctors probing the wound with their fingers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they ended up doing is introducing bacteria which ultimately killed him.

NURENBERG: The museum has the bones of Garfield's assassin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And also, we have small sections of Guiteau's brain, which is an object of controversy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the bullet that killed President Lincoln. We have the probe that our Army Medical Museum surgeon used to locate the bullet, fragments from Lincoln's skull which are in these two small containers. And a bit of his hair. It is a chapter out of American history that you just can't get anywhere else.

NURENBERG: Which is what they say in one room at the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All about George Washington and his dentures and his teeth.

NURENBERG: Despite popular misconception, Washington never had wooden teeth. He had five sets of dentures and worked on them himself.

(on camera): So you have got George Washington at his desk with his teeth on his desk, filing the teeth?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's probably why that denture ended up looking as small as it does.

NURENBERG (voice-over): To protect them in the Civil War some of Washington's false teeth were sent to England, where they remain.

(on camera): Well, who won the Revolutionary War?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we won the war. But they won the -- they are arguing over the dentures.

NURENBERG (voice-over): Does that bite?

Gary Nurenberg, CNN, Baltimore.


WHITFIELD: Well, that gives me the heebie-jeebies now.

SANCHEZ: What a great story. I love stuff like that.

WHITFIELD: It is fascinating.

SANCHEZ: I love it. Taking the kids, when you -- take your kids Washington.

WHITFIELD: That means you've probably gone to that tour of the human bodies, huh? If not, you should.

SANCHEZ: I did, I did.


SANCHEZ: But the Ford's Theatre is a fabulous place to go.

WHITFIELD: Yes, oh, it is.

SANCHEZ: All right. Thanks, Fred.

WHITFIELD: OK. Have a good night.

SANCHEZ: What do you say we get right to it?


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