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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Osama bin Laden's Message to Americans; Parents of Madeleine McCann Now Prime Suspects?

Aired September 7, 2007 - 22:00   ET

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


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: The tape is here. The experts believe it's real. Tonight, breaking down Osama bin Laden's message to Americans.
Also tonight, as Larry King viewers just saw, a striking turn. The parents of a missing little girl now appear to be the prime suspects in her death. We will hear from a family member about the mother's latest session with police.

And, later, is Fred Thompson about to get new company in the Republican race for president? Details coming up in "Raw Politics."

We begin, though, with the raw terror, not to mention raw anger, that so many people feel whenever Osama bin Laden opens his mouth. It's been a year since we have heard his voice and nearly three since he's appeared on camera.

Today, just days ahead of the 9/11 anniversary, he's back with a new dyed beard, offering this country two alternatives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OSAMA BIN LADEN, AL QAEDA LEADER (through translator): The first is from our side, and it is to continue to escalate the killing and fighting against you. This is our duty, and our brothers are carrying it out. And I ask God to grant them resolve and victory.

And the second solution is from your side. It has now become clear to you and the entire world the impotence of the democratic system, and how it plays with the interests of the people and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: He is talking about Iraq there.

So is President Bush, reacting tonight to the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I found it interesting that, on the tape, Iraq was mentioned, which is a reminder that Iraq is a part of this war against extremists. If al Qaeda bothers to mention Iraq, it's because they are -- they want to achieve their objectives in Iraq, which is to drive us out. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: On the tape, bin Laden needles Democrats for not ending the war. He also goes on to mention the real estate collapse, the election of the French president, and other recent events.

On top of all that, bin Laden's a critic, recommending the writings of peace activist Noam Chomsky and also a book by our next guest, Michael Scheuer, one of his staunchest adversaries. Mr. Scheuer is the former head of the CIA's bin Laden task force and author of "Imperial Hubris." He joins us, along with CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen, author of "The Osama bin Laden I Know."

Welcome to both of you.

Peter, let's start with you.

No overt threats in this tape, but several mentions of September 11, references to politics in the U.S. What makes this tape different in terms of message?

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, it's a kind of strange tape, Randi, compared to most of his other output.

For a start, it was stripped of most of the religious content. Usually, bin Laden lards his tapes up with a lot of references to the Koran, to the Hadith, the saying of the Prophet Mohammed, and these kinds of things.

This was more much of a politicized -- it read like a kind of neo-Chomskyite critique of the American body politic, talking about how corporations dominate the politics of the United States, stuff that bin Laden hasn't really talked about before. He even mentioned at one point the Kyoto treaty.

So, it was kind of a sort of leftist critique of the United States and its politics, some -- not an area that he's usually engaged in and -- and, in that sense, unusual.

KAYE: And, Michael, in the tape, bin Laden also makes mention. He says Americans should convert to Islam if they want the war in Iraq to end. You see a threat in that message to convert. How so?

MICHAEL SCHEUER, FORMER CHIEF OF CIA BIN LADEN UNIT: Well, the Prophet Mohammed was very clear in his direction to Muslims, before they attack, to offer a truce, to warn the enemy very carefully, and to offer them a chance to convert to Islam. If they did that, there would be no more need to fight.

And we will -- and we have already the president, Mr. Chertoff have kind of brushed that away. But bin Laden's audience in -- for that is the Muslim world. What he wants Muslims to see is that he's gone the extra mile, that he has offered the Americans every chance not to be attacked again inside of America.

And, so, implicit in the offer of conversion is, if you don't convert, 9/11 is going to happen again, at a worse level.

KAYE: And what do you make of his new look, Peter, the -- the darker beard? Last time we saw him, it was gray, practically white.

BERGEN: Well, vanity knows no boundaries, right?

I mean, so bin Laden wants to look younger. He celebrated his 50th birthday this year. He has tended to look considerably older than that. And, in an effort -- here we see him from October 29, 2004. And here he is in 2007. So, he's dyed his beard. Maybe he's trying to look -- you know, regain his youth. Who knows?

KAYE: And, Peter, bin Laden, he points to what he calls this -- this biased campaign being waged against Muslims by politicians and the media. What do you make of that?

BERGEN: Well, and he also threw in Hollywood as being a particularly egregious example of bias against Muslims.

You know, bin Laden as media critic, this also is somewhat new. In the past, you know -- and I think Mike would agree here, that, you know, it's usually a -- a very straightforward foreign policy critique of the United States dressed up in religious terms.

This kind of -- this recent speech is a little -- qualitatively, a little different. The -- the Associated Press is reporting that perhaps the American Adam Gadahn had a role in -- making this speech, and that -- that seems quite a plausible idea to me.

KAYE: Michael, you were mentioned by name in this tape.

Bin Laden said -- quote -- "If you would like to get to know some of the reasons for your losing of your war against us, then read the book of Michael Scheuer in this regard."

For those who haven't read your book, just tell us briefly what he's referring to.

SCHEUER: Well, he's just referring to the basic fact that our political leaders on both sides of the aisle have kind of misled, deliberately, the American people about our enemies' motivation.

We continue to hear that it's about freedom and liberty, and they hate women in the workplace, or the fact that I might have a beer after work, and that has nothing to do with it. What we're at war about is the impact of our policy in the Islamic world. That -- that's what motivates al Qaeda and its allies. And that is what gives al Qaeda and its allies unity.

And that's not to say we should change our policy. But, unfortunately, we're fighting an enemy that doesn't exist, the people who hate democracy. What we're fighting in reality is people who are resisting our policies. And, until we understand that, America won't be defended adequately.

KAYE: Peter, this tape is going to be analyzed over and over and over again. What will authorities be looking for, and where do you think that bin Laden is?

BERGEN: Well, I mean, you know, there are -- there's really no information about where bin Laden is. But, I mean, there's informed hypotheses.

And people I have talked to in the intelligence community believe that he's in Pakistan, in the tribal areas, fairly up -- far up north here. Here, we are seeing pictures of, I believe, Chitral. He might be an near there called Bajur.

So, you know -- but these are informed hypotheses. There's no -- there hasn't really been good -- good intelligence about bin Laden's location since the Battle of Tora Bora, where he disappeared back in December of 2001.

KAYE: Peter Bergen, Michael Scheuer, thanks so much for your insight tonight.

SCHEUER: Thank you, ma'am.

KAYE: So, bin Laden surfaces again, and it's far from the first time. Here's the "Raw Data."

Since the September 11 attacks, the al Qaeda leader has appeared in 18 propaganda messages. Fourteen were audiotapes. Four contained video of the al Qaeda leader. But, as we mentioned, the last time he appeared before a camera was nearly three years ago, in October 2004.

Our other big story tonight is the international mystery of what happened to a young girl, Madeleine McCann. She's now 4 years old, but was 3 when she disappeared on a family vacation in Portugal back in May. Her parents say she was kidnapped.

Tonight, a major break: Police are focusing their attention on two suspects. Madeleine's mom and dad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): Whistles and boos greeted Kate McCann as she entered a Portuguese police station for a second straight day of questioning. Her husband, Gerry, followed a short time later for his latest official interview.

Tonight, we can confirm both are no longer witnesses in the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine. They are suspects. It is a stunning turn of events in a mystery that has made headlines around the world.

According to a family spokeswoman, police found traces of Madeleine's blood on a car the family rented more than three weeks after the toddler was reported missing. There's more.

Gerry's sister delivered a bombshell of her own, claiming Kate was offered a plea deal.

PHILOMENA MCCANN, AUNT OF MADELEINE MCCANN: Part of it is that they're trying to get Kate to admit to having accidentally killed Madeleine and disposed of her body, hidden and disposed of her body, which is complete nonsense, has no factual basis whatsoever.

KAYE: In exchange for pleading guilty, McCann's family says Kate would serve two years or less in prison. Kate and Gerry have not been charged with any crime and maintain their innocence.

The allegations have shocked Kate's mother, who says her daughter is being framed.

SUSAN HEALY, MOTHER OF KATE MCCANN: She knows perfectly well that, if this evidence exists, then it is proof that there is somebody inside out of the police department or who's had access to their apartment and their belongings and who's -- who's planted this evidence.

KAYE: Kate and her husband, Gerry, have never wavered from their assertion that Madeleine was kidnapped.

The British couple, who are both doctors, took Madeleine and her two-year-old twin sister and brother on a vacation to a resort in Portugal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gerry, we're on holiday.

KAYE: On the night of May 3, they said they left the children sleeping in one bed to have dinner at a poolside tapis restaurant about 300 feet away. When they returned, Kate checked on the children to find Madeleine gone, with the window open.

KATE MCCANN, MOTHER OF MADELEINE MCCANN: Please, please, please do not hurt her. Please don't scare her. Please tell us where to find her.

KAYE: Police searched the resort and surrounding area. They followed numerous leads. One British national who was staying near the hotel was named a suspect. But no charges have been filed against him.

The McCanns' pleas for help have led to press conferences across Europe. They have also traveled to the U.S., and had a private meeting with the pope. The case has also attracted a celebrity following.

DAVID BECKHAM, PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: If you have seen this little girl, please, could you go to your local authorities or police and give any information that you have?

KAYE: All along, the McCanns have never been under a cloud of suspicion, until now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: And now, for more on the investigation and why the police believe Kate and Gerry McCann are suspects, let's go to CNN's Paula Hancocks, live in Portugal. Paula, where -- where do things stand right now? We heard some of the -- the booing of -- of this family as they approached the police station earlier today. Has public sentiment turned against this couple?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly seemed that way, yes, Randi.

As we watched both of them walk in, there was whistling; there was jeering. But there were also some British holiday-makers who were down here. And they were shouting out, "We're with you; we believe you, Kate," things like that.

So, there was a real mixed opinion out on the streets. But, certainly, it is absolutely astonishing how much can change in this case in just one day.

Twenty-four hours ago, Kate and Gerry being McCann were two parents who millions of people felt sorry for, as they do with other people, other parents in similar situations. The police had consistently said they were witnesses, not suspects.

And, then, so quickly, they walked into this police station behind me in Portimao, this very small little town inside Portugal, this morning as witnesses, and walked out as formal suspects.

KAYE: It's come out in your reporting that this little girl's blood was found in a car that the McCanns rented, that her parents rented 25 days after reporting their daughter was missing. Does that in any way seem to suggest that she was actually alive 25 days later?

HANCOCKS: Well, this is really intriguing. And this is where we really don't know at this point.

The Portuguese police are not obliged to give out their evidence. They wouldn't even have given most of their evidence to Kate and Gerry McCann, even though they are officially suspects at this point.

So, the crux of it is, how good is that evidence? How strong is it? How significant is it? Certainly, the Portuguese police seem to think that it is strong enough to be able to say the mother and the father of this missing girl are under suspicion. So, certainly, that is something that the Portuguese police will be talking to both of them over the next few days.

KAYE: Also being reported is that the police have offered Kate McCann a deal, maybe a few years in jail, if she actually admits to accidentally killing her daughter. Is there a feeling there that they won't get a conviction without a confession?

HANCOCKS: Well, that was really interesting, when that came out. That was Gerry McCann's sister that actually said that, that she could get maybe two years, possibly even one year, if she did say it was an accidental killing.

Now, certainly, I think in many countries, if you do try and broker a deal, then you can get a reduced sentence. But the fact is, the McCanns were furious about this. They are protesting their innocence. They are insulted by this. And they're also saying that -- that Kate McCann was saying earlier that it is utterly ludicrous.

KAYE: All right.

Paula Hancocks, for us live tonight in Portugal, thank you.

And we do hope to talk to this little girl's aunt -- coming up right after the break.

Up next, hear what John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" has to say about the case and the parents.

Also tonight, these stories:

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): See what Rudy's saying about the latest bin Laden tape.

Hear that cold-cash congressman's latest answer to his money- found-in-the-freezer problem.

And is another Republican getting ready to run for president?

That and more -- tonight in "Raw Politics."

Later, she was born into a life of inferiority and abuse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like marching to the guillotine.

KAYE: Inferiority, abuse and the polygamist prophet, Warren Jeffs.

WARREN JEFFS, POLYGAMIST LEADER: Dear wives, realizing happiness is only in being a part and a strength to your husband.

KAYE: See how she escaped, but also how it haunts her to this day -- 360 tonight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: A moment ago you heard Madeleine's aunt, Philomena McCann, who says Kate was offered a plea deal if she confessed to killing her daughter.

Philomena had much more to tell me earlier in a phone interview from Scotland. We spoke just before Gerry McCann was named a suspect.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: Philomena, you have spoken to the family. And you have said that Portuguese police are trying to cut a deal with Madeleine's mom, Kate, asking her to actually confess that Madeleine died accidentally.

Can you tell us a little bit more about this?

P. MCCANN: Well, that's basically it in a nutshell. They're desperate to close up the case.

Gerry and Kate have presented a huge problem for them. And they're trying their best to really undermine their credibility in the eyes of the world. Kate and Gerry have been under intense scrutiny for months. There is no possibility that Kate could have had anything to do with this. And, yet, they're insisting that she had accidentally murdered her own daughter, and then went out with friends, had a congenial evening, sitting, having her dinner, and then come back to find her, and,during all that time, she knew she had murdered her?

It is just absurd to...

(CROSSTALK)

P. MCCANN: ... something that.

KAYE: Have the police said how or why they believe that she would have done this?

P. MCCANN: There's some inference about DNA samples on Kate's clothes and the use of a sniffer dog detecting Madeleine on Kate. Well, what could be more normal for a mother to have traces of her daughter on her clothing?

KAYE: And what has the family's reaction been to this? Has Kate given any indication as to whether or not she would actually consider this plea deal to put an end to this?

P. MCCANN: Under no circumstances will Kate ever consider a plea bargain for her daughter, knowing she's completely innocent.

And, as soon as she would do something as silly as that, her daughter would no longer be searched for. At the end of the day, Kate and Gerry's one goal is to find Madeleine.

KAYE: How is the family doing? Kate has been questioned for some 16 hours over the last couple of days. Gerry was questioned today. What has this been like for them, just briefly?

P. MCCANN: It's been incredibly exhausting for them. And it -- it has sapped their morale in the most horrendous way, but mostly because they have taken that hope that they are out there looking for Madeleine away.

But, you know, by putting Kate up as a scapegoat, we have lost faith in them.

KAYE: How do you believe, though, the Portuguese police are doing, in terms of how they're handling this case?

P. MCCANN: I think they're handling it extremely badly.

They have inept from the day one. From when Gerry phoned them and asked them to come, his daughter was missing, someone had taken her, they didn't believe them. For two days, they were saying that their daughter had wandered off. They never closed the borders for 13 hours. It has just been one incompetence after another.

KAYE: Do you expect that Kate will be charged in this case? Right now, she's reportedly a suspect, but what about charges?

P. MCCANN: No, I don't -- I don't believe they will charge her. I believe that the -- the police have fluffed up the evidence to make it seem more important than what it actually is, and they're just trying to get any closure on this, because Kate and Gerry have made the Portuguese police work so hard over this. And they want them out of Portugal and this resolved, so that their tourism industry picks up.

KAYE: All right, Philomena McCann, we're going to have to leave it there, Madeleine McCann's aunt.

Thank you so much for your time. And we wish your family, of course, the best of luck in this situation.

P. MCCANN: Thank you very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: You heard some of it right there. Supporters of the couple are stunned at the allegations.

But what does John Walsh think about it?

CNN's Tom Foreman spoke earlier with the host of "America's Most Wanted."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, what do you make of these latest developments in this case?

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Well, I hope the media doesn't rush to judgment here. This is a normal consequence, to look at the family, to look at them closely.

And the Portuguese police have never dealt with a case of a missing child. They just don't have the experience. They have made a ton of mistakes, and there's been worldwide scrutiny on them. I'm not saying there's not a possibility of the family being involved.

But this family has been all over the world. They met with the pope. They have celebrities in England. The father came to the America -- came to America to go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That's not the normal behavior.

If you remember Susan Smith, who killed her two boys and said that it was a -- an African-American carjacker, she and several other cases I have worked on, they don't come to the media after two or three days. They don't keep this relentless search going.

So, there needs to be a parallel investigation ongoing. Look at the family. Re-interview the family, yes, but don't eliminate the possibility it could have been a predator that took this little girl.

FOREMAN: Isn't it a natural thing, though, John, right away to look at parents? Because, statistically, parents kill children more than other people.

WALSH: Oh, absolutely. The parents have to be eliminated.

But this police agency never had any experience. It's a small police agency in Portugal in a little resort town. They should have called in Scotland Yard. They should have brought in other consultants to help them with this case, but huge mistakes were made.

And I still say this -- this is what happened in the JonBenet Ramsey case, where the police just totally focused in on the Ramseys, and never, ever pursued a parallel investigation.

I have done many, many cases on "America's Most Wanted" where the parents were suspects, and, years later, it was proven they had nothing to do with the abduction of their child. I say, don't rush to judgment.

And Portuguese law says that this police agency, or any police agency in Portugal, can't talk to the -- to the media without going to jail. They have got huge scrutiny on them. This is -- this is not unusual, for a small agency to say, "Well, we're going to go back and look at the parents; they're the focus of our investigation," when they have made huge mistakes in the beginning.

I -- I say we shouldn't rush to judgment here.

FOREMAN: Even if we're not rushing to judgment, though, John, how much do we have to take seriously the notion that -- that there's now this notion of blood evidence in this car that would possibly link them?

WALSH: Well, let the police or somebody clarify that. This speculation, innuendo is almost like a tabloid feeding frenzy.

Let them tell us. Is it human blood? Is it blood that has DNA related to the mother and father? Or is it a guy that got a nose bleed in a rental car? I mean, I don't get...

FOREMAN: Well, I know one of the issues, John, always seems to be that, with parents, we're always around our children when they do have nosebleeds and they have scrapes and cuts. And I know, in many cases like this, that's one of the issues, isn't it? A family's DNA is very much mixed up.

(CROSSTALK)

WALSH: Absolutely.

Let's -- let's say that the McCann family had nothing to do with this, and it was a sexual predator that took this little girl and killed her and buried her in the roadside. And the whole focus of this investigation, for the police to cover their butt or for the -- to get the media off their back, they refocus in on the family.

And the law in Portugal is, now that the McCanns, the mother, is named a suspect, she can get a lawyer and look deeper into what the police are doing. We -- the jury is not out yet.

FOREMAN: John, it seems like, in this case, like so many others like it, even though they are rare, gosh, right now, it looks like this could very well turn into one of those enduring mysteries, where we never get an answer. Is that your suspicion?

WALSH: Oh, I -- I hope not. I really pray, because some things come to light years and years later.

We did a case on "America's Most Wanted" where a family in Rochester, New York, were the total focus of the investigation, and, nine years later, after they were divorced, after they were both in psychiatric counseling, a pedophile admitted that he had taken their daughter off the front yard, and had put her in an air-conditioning coolant tank.

That family was destroyed by the innuendo. So, I still say they need to be doing a parallel investigation here.

FOREMAN: Thanks so much, John Walsh. Always good to get your perspective.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: Now that both parents have been declared suspects in Madeleine's disappearance, what are their rights under international law? We will find out in a moment.

But, first, Erica Hill joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Randi, in a letter to U.S. forces, the top American commander in Iraq said today he doesn't envision any troop withdrawals before next spring. General David Petraeus said the number of attacks across Iraq declined in eight of the past 11 weeks, but he also said the so-called surge has achieve -- quote -- "uneven results" and has failed to produce tangible political progress.

The letter comes days before Petraeus is to report on the search to Congress.

The death toll from Hurricane Felix now approaching 100, as rescuers scoop more bodies from the open sea. The Category 5 storm passed directly over the Honduran-Nicaragua coast on Tuesday, devastating seaside islands and island fishing hubs. Survivors say the government issued evacuation warnings too late, after hundreds of fishermen and lobster divers were already on the water.

And a grim new forecast about global warming from some new studies by U.S. and Canadian scientists, which predict that more than two-thirds of the world's polar bears will be killed off by 2050, including the entire polar bear population in Alaska. That is because global warming is melting the Arctic sea ice polar bears need to hunt and breathe, Randi.

It's just so sad.

Moving on now to this, though, the "What Were They Thinking?" for tonight, this one will get everybody thinking. It happened in San Diego. Twenty-three-year-old Kyla Ebbert recently took a Southwest Airlines flight to Tucson, Arizona, where she had a doctor's appointment.

Now, she paid for the ticket. It was a one-day round-trip. She passed all the security checkpoints. It was when she got on board, though, that there was a problem, and she was stopped by the fashion police. This is what Kyla was wearing when a flight attendant called her aside and tried to throw her off the flight.

Here's the ensemble. The flight attendant said that this outfit was too revealing for a family airline like Southwest. Now, eventually, they reached a compromise. Kyla made a wardrobe adjustment. She apparently pulled the skirt down, pulled her shirt up. And then, she says, she finally covered herself with a blanket, because she was so humiliated.

Kyla is now considering suing Southwest Airlines.

KAYE: So humiliated, yet, she posed for those photos there for us.

(LAUGHTER)

HILL: She's actually been wearing that outfit on a number of different channels, too.

KAYE: Hmm. Very interesting.

Well, you know what, Erica? We did a little investigating of our own.

And it seems that Southwest wasn't always uncomfortable about showing some skin. That's right. Take a look at this 1972 commercial for Southwest Airlines. In it, the actor playing the flight attendant gushes over the airline's first-class legroom. That's right, legroom.

HILL: Uh-huh.

KAYE: And, by our estimate, the skirt she is wearing really isn't much longer than the one that Kyla was wearing, don't you think?

HILL: It might even be shorter, Randi.

KAYE: Yes, I think it's pretty tiny.

HILL: Perhaps it's the boots, though, that make up for it. Covers more leg that way.

KAYE: Yes. Obviously, the fashion police weren't working back then.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

KAYE: All right, Erica, thanks.

HILL: Thanks.

KAYE: More on the Madeleine McCann case just ahead tonight, including what her parents' rights are as foreigners in Portugal.

Plus: the rights of women here in America when you live in a polygamist community. Twenty years later, one woman still remembers her childhood as like marching to the guillotine.

Does the practice of polygamy here in America surprise you?

As always, we want to hear from you. Send us a v-mail. That's video mail. It's very easy. Just go to CNN.com/360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)



KAYE: Since the day Madeleine McCann disappeared, her parents have cooperated with the investigation, have asked the public for help in finding their daughter.

Tonight, we know Madeleine's mother and father have been named as suspects in the case. Legally, what are their rights, and will they be charged with killing Madeleine?

Let's ask CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Rahul Manchanda, an attorney and expert in international law.

Rahul, let's start with you. The father today also being named as a suspect, so now both parents. Does any of this surprise you? RAHUL MANCHANDA, ATTORNEY: Well, not really. I think that if they were just going to accuse the mother or the father, you know, either one could invoke the spousal privilege. But by accusing both of them, I think they're putting them both in the hot spot at this point.

What they don't want is for one person to be accused of a crime and one person to get lawyered up and sort of -- for them to sort of, you know, talk together and conspire together.

I think they want them both to be in the hot seat, to compare their stories, analyze their stories word for word, timings, dates, places, everything, to see if they can vet the information and find out if there's any truth to the allegation that one or more of them are guilty of this crime.

KAYE: And Jeff, now police are saying that they found Madeleine's blood in this car that her parents rented more than three weeks after they say that she had disappeared. Is that enough for a conviction, and how hard will that be to prove?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think it is enough for even an arrest, much less a conviction. It's certainly an intriguing piece of evidence, but it doesn't explain itself.

How did the blood get there three weeks later? What happened to Madeleine in the intervening -- in the intervening three weeks? How did she die, if she died? I mean, she -- of course, there's no -- no body's been found.

So yes, we'd want to know -- you know, it's part of a story, but how did the blood get there? That -- it doesn't explain itself. And the family, the mother and father, could say that the blood was planted.

So I think it doesn't -- it's not nearly enough for an arrest, much less a conviction.

KAYE: Another surprising bit of information that came out today was this plea deal, apparently, that the police are offering to -- to Kate McCann, suggesting that maybe you'll get two or three years, a light sentence, if you admit to accidentally killing your daughter.

Does that sound like too light of a sentence to you, Rahul, if this occurred?

MANCHANDA: That tells me something. I've been doing this a while. That tells me that they have no case. The reality is, when you offer somebody three years for a potential murder, a sensational murder crime, an international acclaimed murder issue, you're not going to offer two years.

The reality is, it's been six months -- or five, six months since this has happened, and they're offering them a sentence of, you know, two years. The reality is that that tells me that they have nothing and that this blood evidence is sensationalism, and they probably want a conviction out of this, to scare them, to elicit some kind of a confession.

TOOBIN: Sentencing is lower in Europe than it is in the United States as a rule, but it's not that low. A heinous crime like this would not get two years, even if it's some sort of accidental murder. Just merely the act of covering it up for all those years -- for all these months would get you more than two months -- years.

KAYE: What about -- what about some of these actions by the police? They apparently rented out the room where this abduction had occurred. Some of these mistakes along the way. How will that play a role here in this investigation?

TOOBIN: Well, we see the role that it's playing. There's been no arrest. This case has not been solved. And, you know, as everyone knows, the longer from the time of a crime, the less likely it is that anyone is ever charged.

And I would say, based on what we know, at least publicly, the most likely results of this case is no one is ever charged.

And so the absence of physical evidence from the night of the crime that is really pointing at one person means that, you know, there's just much less chance of the crime being solved.

KAYE: At this point, Rahul, if you were defending Mr. and Mrs. McCann, what would you advise them at this point?

MANCHANDA: Say nothing. Say very little. You know, the reality is the prosecution is grabbing at straws right now. They've been renting out the crime scene room. They are now grabbing at straws. They're flailing at this point. They're just lashing out at this point.

If you were truly serious about solving this mystery, this murder, you wouldn't be renting out this room. You know.

TOOBIN: Well...

MANCHANDA: It really is the last dying gasps of a case trying to elicit a confession when there is none.

TOOBIN: They have spoken to them for 16 hours. So -- just in the past few days.

KAYE: Right.

TOOBIN: So we don't know what was said there. Perhaps there were admissions that are useful as investigative leads, but we're talking about a crime, a disappearance that took place in May. Here it is September. It's very hard to reconstruct evidence at that point.

KAYE: All right. Thank you both, Jeffrey Toobin, Rahul Manchanda. Thanks so much.

Just ahead tonight, another gripping family story. One woman's struggle to leave a life of polygamy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): She was born into a life of inferiority and abuse.

SARA HAMMON, THE HOPE ORGANIZATION: It was like marching to the guillotine.

KAYE: Inferiority, abuse and the polygamist prophet, Warren Jeffs.

WARREN JEFFS, SELF-PROCLAIMED PROPHET: Dear wives, realizing happiness is only in being a part and a strength to your husband.

KAYE: See how she escaped, but also how it haunts her to this day.

Plus, see what Rudy's saying about the latest bin Laden tape. Hear that Cold Cash Congressman's latest answer to his money found in the freezer problem.

And is another Republican getting ready to run for president? That and more tonight in "Raw Politics." 360 next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: German authorities said today that U.S. intelligence led to the unraveling of that alleged terror plot targeting Americans in Germany. Three Islamic militants, two Germans and a Turk were arrested Tuesday. Authorities say they had already begun mixing massive amounts of explosives.

On the same day, Danish police charged two suspects with planning a separate terrorist attack with ties to al Qaeda. Both scares were overseas, but they've already made their way into "Raw Politics".

With that, once again, here's CNN's Tom Foreman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FOREMAN: Well, the latest terror scares from overseas are landing right in the middle of our presidential campaign.

(voice-over) Osama bin Laden is making news, and that means headlines for Republican Rudy Giuliani. No one is running harder on the security issue, and he says we'd better not forget 9/11 because the terrorists haven't.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They're still attempting to do the same thing, maybe a different kind of thing, but the same thing that they did on September 11, which is to attack us.

FOREMAN: Democrat John Edwards is also on that soapbox, but he's blaming the Republicans. President Bush, in particular. JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need a new foreign policy of conviction that requires cooperation in exchange for our support, whether it's arm sales, trade or foreign aid.

FOREMAN: Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel has been on the fence about a presidential bid for months. Not anymore. Monday he's expected to say whether he will run for prez or re-election to the Senate or hang up his political spurs.

Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson says the investigation of $90,000 the FBI says it found in his freezer is racist. The beleaguered Democrat says corruption charges are being pursued in Virginia instead of D.C. to avoid black jurors.

And the Oprahmarama. Oprah is hosting a fundraiser for Democrat Barack Obama this weekend in California, expected to bring in a few million.

(voice-over) But, of course, it is the Oprah seal of approval that could really help -- Randi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: Thank you, Tom.

Up next, life in a secretive polygamist community through the eyes of one woman who escaped.

Plus, polygamist members of the FLDS church call him their prophet, but what will the future hold for church leader Warren Jeffs when he faces a jury? That's ahead for him and for us on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Tonight we're going to take you inside the secret world of polygamy. Jury selection is about to begin in the trial of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. He's charged with arranging marriages of child brides, and prosecutors say that makes him an accomplice to rape.

Their key witness was just 14 when she was forced to marry her older cousin. Eventually, she broke free from the sect, and so did the young woman you're about to meet.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): As a young girl in a polygamist home, Sara Hammon knew her future. She'd be forced to marry, likely a man twice her age. She'd been taught he would be her ticket to heaven, but she didn't feel that way.

HAMMON: It was like marching to the guillotine.

KAYE: Sara grew up in Colorado City, Arizona, a polygamist community. Her father had 19 wives. She had 74 siblings.

(on camera) What was the general attitude toward women in your home?

HAMMON: They were second-class citizens to my -- to my father. These women have no voice.

KAYE (voice-over): Sara calls it mind control. She says her mother had more than two dozen nervous breakdowns.

HAMMON: I don't know how a woman can allow another woman to come into her home and cook some supper up with the family for her and go to bed with her husband that night and respect herself.

KAYE: When Warren Jeffs became prophet, he closed the schools. Children were no longer educated. Instead, girls were taught to cook and keep house.

Listen to this rare recording of one of Jeffs' sermons.

JEFFS: Dear wives, realizing happiness is only in being a part and a strength to your husband.

KAYE: Sara learned her place at a painfully young age. Before she'd even turned 5, she says her father and other members of her family had begun sexually abusing her.

That sense of power and entitlement followed Sara's father to his death bed. Before his last breath, she says, he tried to put his hand up her skirt.

HAMMON: He knew he was dying. Instead of at that moment being connecting and, you know, a child and her father, it was -- it was abuse.

KAYE: Investigator Gary Engels knows about the abuse in the community and illegal marriages involving underage girls. The challenge is getting women to talk about it. They're so afraid, he says, it can take years for them to open up.

(on camera) Why did the women stay?

GARY ENGELS, MOHAVE COUNTY INVESTIGATOR: If they get them young enough and get a couple of children, then it makes it very difficult for them to leave. And the fact that the women are not educated or taught how to deal or take care of themselves in the outside world is another issue.

KAYE: Many women don't even know they have options, that another life exists. Those trying to help them are in the process of putting up billboards like this one which, when complete, will let women know that they have a right to education. And if they need help, it's out there.

(voice-over) At age 14, Sara found that help. A couple she'd been baby-sitting for outside the community agreed to take her in.

HAMMON: I was the first 14-year-old girl to successfully leave the community. KAYE: Nearly 20 years have passed. Yet Sara still struggles with her place in society.

(on camera) Have you been able to date? Is that too personal?

HAMMON: I don't date much. I watched my mom just die emotionally, and I relate that to marriage. I still have never been able to undo what I absorbed as a child, that once a man and a woman become a unit, the man's up here, and the woman's down here.

KAYE (voice-over): Sara will forever wonder who she might have been, she says, had she been born into a normal family.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: More on this story and many others with the trial of Warren Jeffs about to begin. That's coming up in our next hour, and so is the latest on this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE (voice-over): Little girl lost, now both parents are suspects.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They tried to get Kate to confess.

KAYE: We'll tell you about the deal police reportedly offered Madeleine's mom, lay out the evidence, and hear what Madeleine McCann's family is saying to police.

Later, a new message and a new look. What the bin Laden tape says about his health, his whereabouts, and his latest attempt to rattle America.

That and more ahead on 360.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: In Louisiana, a legal battle has finally ended just about two years to the day after the original incident. A jury has acquitted the owners of a nursing home in St. Bernard Parish, where 35 patients died after Hurricane Katrina.

The couple, Sal and Mabel Mangano, had faced 35 counts of negligent homicide and 24 counts of cruelty for not evacuating the facility as the storm approached. The victims drowned, some of them in their beds.

Now, some of today's other headlines. Erica Hill from Headline News joins us once again with a "360 News and Business Bulletin".

Hi, Erica.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Randi, the people looking for missing adventurer Steve Fossett remain hopeful he'll be found, but reports are his family is having a tough time.

Today, the search zone expanded to 17,000 square miles in western Nevada. At least 14 aircraft are looking for Fossett. They have spotted two downed planes this week. Both though, were crash sites from decades ago.

Fossett took off Monday from a private air strip and never returned.

Vienna, Austria, now, a tough message from Pope Benedict: abortion is not a human right. He urged European leaders to create a climate where children are seen as a burden but rather as a gift. He also called on Europe not to deny its Christian roots.

The pope is making a three-day visit to Austria.

Here in the U.S., a weaker than expected monthly jobs report. For the first time in four years, the economy lost jobs, 4,000 in August, most of them in construction and manufacturing, raising fears that housing slump and credit crunch will tip the economy into a recession.

And that fuelled a bad day on Wall Street, with the Dow sinking nearly 250 points to close at 13,113. The NASDAQ lost 48 to finish at 2,565. The S&P fell 25 -- Randi.

KAYE: Erica, it's time now for our "Shot of the Day". Happy birthday shout-out to Mei Lan, the panda cub at the Atlanta Zoo, turned 1 yesterday. No longer a baby, she is now 57 pounds. And draws quite the crowd there.

HILL: Well, understandable because she is so cute.

I see your cute panda, though, Randi, and I'll raise you another cute panda. It's a bit of a dramatic animal video, if you will.

KAYE: Oh, boy.

HILL: Yes. Here we go, naptime, sleeping with mom.

KAYE: Not so dramatic.

HILL: Not so dramatic, but just wait. The baby panda sneezed. Is that the largest sneeze you've ever heard?

KAYE: That is the -- she scared her mother.

HILL: I know. Her mother jumped.

KAYE: That's crazy.

HILL: What happens? Who knew? They'll surprise you, the little ones. KAYE: I never knew they made a noise like that.

HILL: I didn't either. See, we learned something tonight.

KAYE: Very, very funny.

All right. A reminder, we want you to send us your "Shot" ideas. If you see some amazing video, tell us about it at CNN.com/360. We will put some of your best clips on the air.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: And still to come, more on the upcoming trial of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.

And breaking down Osama bin Laden's latest message to the west. We'll hear from the CIA officer who headed the hunt for him and is mentioned by name on the new tape.

Also, a stunning turn in the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann.

And a programming note: this weekend, Anderson links up with the CNN special investigations unit for the premiere of "Narco State: The Poppy Jihad". That's this Saturday and Sunday at 8 and 11 p.m. Eastern.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Good evening again. Anderson's on assignment. I'm Randi Kaye.

Tonight, it is the tape you don't want to see. Evidence, apparently, that Osama bin laden is alive and well enough to send a new message to the west. We'll explore it in depth this hour.

Also ahead, the little girl lost. They said she was kidnapped, but police think otherwise. And now Madeleine McCann's mom and dad appear to be the prime suspects.

And for the rest of the hour, with Warren Jeffs heading to trial, an exclusive look inside his polygamist sect, including what the star witness against him has to say.

First, what Osama bin Laden has to say. Experts have now seen the video, his first in nearly three years, and tell us they have no reason to believe it's not him.

You'll see he's got a jet black beard now, as well a message that indicates he was alive as recently as last month.

On it, he says America's got the blood of Iraqis on its hands. He slams Richard Perle, praises Noam Chomsky, needles Democrats for not ending the war and offers America two alternatives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OSAMA BIN LADEN, LEADER OF AL QAEDA (through translator): The first is from our side, and it is to continue to escalate the killing and fighting against you. This is our duty, and our brothers are carrying it out. And I ask God to grant them resolve and victory.

And the second solution is from your side. It has now become clear to you and the entire world the impotence of the democratic system and how it plays with the interests of the people and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations.

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