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THE SITUATION ROOM

Russian Tanks on the Move; Condoleezza Rice to Russia: 'Stop'; Clinton's Name in Nomination

Aired August 14, 2008 - 16:00   ET

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


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, utter devastation and uncertainty about Russia's next move. The conflict in Georgia is keeping the U.S. and the world on edge. Is Moscow retreating or digging in?
Plus, Barack Obama's new move for a political peace. Hillary Clinton's name will be placed in nomination at the Democratic convention, with his blessing.

And it turns out legendary TV chef Julia Child, well, she was cooking more than French cuisine. New information on some famous faces who were spies during World War II.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

It's about midnight in the combat zone of Georgia. Russia is promising to hand over the city of Gori by day's end. Troops seen leaving the city earlier today, but there are now fresh reports from Georgia that Russian forces are moving deeper into the former Soviet republic right now. A U.S. defense official tells CNN that hundreds of Russian forces seized control of Gori and the port city of Poti.

In France, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice repeated her call for Moscow to honor its cease-fire pledge. She heads to that Georgian capital, Tbilisi, tomorrow.

And the United Nations now says almost 115,000 people have been uprooted by the fighting in Georgia. The first U.S. aid to refugees landed there just over the past 48 hours.

CNN's Michael Ware is on the ground in Georgia.

Michael, we are hearing that a convoy, up to about 100 vehicles, are heading into the second largest city. What do you know? What are you seeing on the ground?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we've heard in the last hour and a half or so, Suzanne, is that approximately 100 Russian armored vehicles are indeed moving deeper into Georgian territory. Now, what we need to understand here is that in the country of Georgia, there's key disputed enclaves of pro-Russian communities. So what Russia has done has launched a key front attack into Georgia. First, to secure both of those enclaves, one in the east, one in the west. However, what Russia has since done is advance into Georgia proper, deep into sovereign Georgian territory. And indeed, we now know that the Russians are comfortably in control of at least one Georgian city, and it now appears that they're in control of a second key port city as well.

We visited one of those front lines this afternoon around the city of Gori. Now, that's a Georgian city. But we saw that the Russian troops were firmly in control. So they are very much taking the upper hand here.

At the same time, on the road leading from Gori to the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, we saw ragtag columns of the Georgian military, rallying as best they can. But to be honest, from what I witnessed, they pose very little threat to any Russian advance, if in fact that's what the Russians intend. Now, on the second front to the west, we see this armored column moving, and perhaps the Russians are consolidating further into Georgian territory.

And right now I have to say there's absolutely no incentive for the Russians to back off, and I'm afraid to say that having seen this on the ground today, I have to tell you that America is much more involved in this war. This war was much more about U.S. interests than I think folks back home realize -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And Michael, what do you think is actually happening there? Do you think that this is a threatening posture from Russia when you see the vehicles there? Or do you think they're just kind of showing off, if you will, kind of the manpower, the fact that they can be there on the ground and move without impunity?

WARE: I think it's very much the latter, Suzanne. The Russians militarily, I believe, have achieved their primary goals.

Now, from what I saw today, they were sitting, as I said, comfortably, relaxed. They didn't seem to perceive any kind of direct threat from the Georgian military. And from my personal assessment, there is no direct threat from the Georgia military.

But more importantly, Suzanne, what's the bigger picture here is that the Russians know, as Washington knows, is that there's no direct threat from the U.S. either. With its combat divisions already overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Russians know there's nothing America can do to help its ally here on the ground -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Michael Ware, on the ground in Georgia.

Thank you so much for those observations.

New warnings today from the Bush administration about the consequences for Russia if it does not stand down in Georgia. Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledging that the U.S. options are limited, and that the fallout from Moscow would be diplomatic rather than military.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROBERT GATES, U.S SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: If Russia does not step back from its aggressive posture and actions in Georgia, the U.S./Russian relationship could be adversely affected for years to come.

I don't see any prospect for the use of military force by the United States in this situation. Is that clear enough?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Gates says that the Pentagon is involved in a major humanitarian mission in Georgia, and that the most urgent priority for the United States military right now is saving lives.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is sending her own message to Moscow. She held talks on the conflict in France today before heading to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

CNN State Department Correspondent Zain Verjee.

Zain, what is Rice hoping to accomplish? You've been following her trip.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is really hoping to get a cease-fire deal between Russia and Georgia signed as soon as possible so the fighting on the ground stops.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VERJEE (voice over): The U.S. secretary of state taking back the diplomatic spotlight, demanding the Russians get out of Georgia.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The Russian president has said that their military operations have halted. We would hope that he would be true to his word.

VERJEE: When she leaves France for Georgia, Condoleezza Rice will be carrying a cease-fire agreement negotiated by the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to be signed by the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili.

PRES. NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRANCE (through translator): You could say the cease-fire on the ground is fragile. We know that.

VERJEE: Under the agreement, Russia and Georgia will end the fighting, promise not to use more military force, allow the delivery of humanitarian aid. Georgian troops will also withdraw to their regular bases, while Russia pulls its forces back to positions it held before the fighting started.

RICE: There shouldn't be any question about the territorial integrity of Georgia.

VERJEE: But there's one loophole that needs to be fixed before the deal's final. The agreement gives Russian peacekeepers the right to stay inside South Ossetia and can enforce additional security measures in a limited area beyond that. A senior State Department official says the language needs to be toughened up so that Russia doesn't interpret those powers as a green light to continue its military occupation deep inside Georgia in the name of security.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VERJEE: The bottom line now, Suzanne, is that France is going back to the agreement just to clarify that any Russian military role, its future role in Georgia, is well defined, limited, and temporary -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And Zain, is there any reaction from the State Department about these reports now that these Russian forces are moving in, these troops and these vehicles in parts of Georgian territory?

VERJEE: We spoke to one U.S. official on the ground at the embassy in Georgia who says that they have been hearing those reports, but they're unable to confirm them. And they are hearing them also from Georgian sources. And the U.S. is unable to independently confirm that right now.

MALVEAUX: And Zain, obviously Secretary Rice, they want to put pressure and change the behavior of Russia. Why isn't she going to Moscow? Why isn't she sitting down with those Russian officials in their own country?

VERJEE: Well, Secretary Rice was asked that a press conference, and she says that she is in touch with them. She's speaking to them on the phone, like with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. And she has direct contact. But the fact of the matter, Suzanne, is really that the U.S. wants to send a message to Russia that it can isolate Russia, that it's not business as usual, and that their relationship is damaged.

MALVEAUX: Zain, thank you so much. I know you'll be following all of these developments throughout the show.

Time now for a turn here. It is "The Cafferty File." Jack Cafferty joining us. Jack, what are you watching?

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Summertime and the swift boats have set sail. The author of a book that attacked John Kerry's war record during Vietnam and ultimately torpedoed Kerry's campaign is now going after Barack Obama.

Jerome Corsi is out with "The Obama Nation," which debuts at number one on "The New York Times" bestseller list on Sunday. It portrays Obama as a radical liberal who's tried to cover up his connections to Islam. The book also questions whether Obama's drug use as a youngster ever ended.

This is real nice stuff.

Critics say a lot of the book's accusations are unsubstantiated or just plain not true. Corsi has a record of putting out lots of wild theories in other books that call into question his veracity and credibility.

Obama's campaign says the book is "Nothing but a series of lies that were long ago discredited." Nevertheless, political attack books like "Unfit for Command," about John Kerry, have become over the years an effective tool in campaigns.

The former Democratic presidential candidate, Kerry, was criticized for being too slow to respond to the swift boat attacks against him, which is why Kerry, along with some of his former top aides, say the Democrats this time around must fight back quickly and hard. Kerry launched a Web site yesterday questioning the claims in Corsi's book. His former chief strategist says Obama's campaign has to debunk every single assertion in this book, although he acknowledges it's a fine line to walk in not drawing too much attention to the book in the process.

Here's the question: Can the author of the swift boat book sink two Democrats in a row?

Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile. You can post a comment on my blog -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you, Jack.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton reach a new agreement in the name of party unity. Is there any downside to the plan to let Clinton's name be placed in nomination?

Obama and John McCain will have a rare joint appearance this weekend at a forum on faith. The host, Pastor Rick Warren, tells me how he hopes to pin down the candidates.

And the remarkable story of the TV chef who spied for the U.S. Julia Child's secret life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Barack Obama appears to be trying to make the most of what could have been an embarrassing situation. Hillary Clinton supporters were threatening to place her name in nomination for president at the Denver convention. Today, the Obama and Clinton camps announced an agreement for that to actually happen.

A joint statement says, "Senator Obama's campaign encouraged Senator Clinton's name to be placed in nomination as a show of unity and in recognition of the historic race she ran and the fact that she was the first woman to compete in all of our nation's primary contests."

Our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, is with Senator Obama in Hawaii.

Candy, second-place candidates are often placed in the nomination, but this really seems to be kind of a bigger, different kind of deal here.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely.

First of all, because that primary was so tense. Second of all, because that primary was so close. So when you are approaching a convention where you want to show unity, what both of these campaigns were looking at were increasing numbers of people saying, we're going to take to the streets for Hillary Clinton, we demand that her name be put into nomination.

There was an ad that one group put up called The Denver Group -- put up in "Roll Call," which, as you know, is a pretty influential Capitol Hill newspaper. So there were all these kinds of tribulations out there that the Clinton campaign says they were worried about. They said, we worried that we couldn't control this.

Now, that is their version. They say when they said to the Obama campaign, we're worried about this, what can we do, that the answer then came back, place her name in nomination. Let's go ahead and do that.

Now, I will tell you that the logistics have not been worked out. That is, how the vote will be taken. And I'm told, of course, Hillary Clinton will vote for Barack Obama.

Will she do that after the vote has been taken on her? How will the vote be taken? Will it be electronic, will it be people on the floor? That kind of thing I am told, at least by Clinton people, has not been worked out.

So this really has been a huge deal. But I think because of the tensions between the two campaigns, as well as the tensions in the primary -- although I also have to tell you that the Clinton campaign maintains that these negotiations largely about logistics and where Hillary Clinton will campaign -- has been cordial and collaborative -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And where does she stand in terms of her delegates, holding on to her delegates? How does that figure into all of this?

CROWLEY: Well, it figures into the fact that she has not released them at this point to go vote for Barack Obama. Having said that, they are free to do what they want to do, so we're not exactly sure how many of them will vote for Hillary Clinton for the history of this first most powerful female campaign for a major party. So again, she has not released them per se, though they are welcome to go ahead and vote for whoever they want.

Hillary Clinton will put out, we are told, a note to her delegates today saying, listen, party unity is very, very important. While we still need to recognize the efforts of all of those who contributed in the primary -- which is to say, her supporters who worked so hard for her.

So it's kind of on the one hand, on the other hand. Yes, you need party unity, but the Clinton campaign has maintained all along that, for that unity, there must be some way for her supporters to have a voice at that convention, and now it appears that that voice will be heard through a vote and a nomination placing Hillary Clinton's name into nomination.

MALVEAUX: It's going to be a very interesting convention. Thank you so much, Candy.

Candy Crowley in Hawaii.

A state-by-state roll call vote has been a staple of every Democratic convention after 1964.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We proudly cast our entire delegation of 186 votes for the 44th president of the United States, John Kerry!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: In 2004, John Kerry was not nominated unanimously, as Al Gore and Bill Clinton were before him. Dennis Kucinich got 43 votes.

The last time a woman received votes for the nomination at either party's convention was in 1992, when Democrat Pat Schroeder got eight votes. Republicans have had a roll call vote at every convention since the first one in 1856.

Before the Democrats arrive in Denver, in a little over a week, John McCain is in Colorado, trying to keep that battleground state in the Republican's column. He has an event in the next hour, and he's likely to discuss the Russia/Georgia conflict. We'll be monitoring his remarks. McCain also has several fund-raisers in Colorado today.

We now have some breaking news from Carol Costello, who is following a story regarding Kwame Kilpatrick.

Carol, do you have information you can share with us at this time?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: It is a very complicated story, Suzanne. But we have a report, been reporting most of the day, that the Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick would be able to attend the Democratic National Convention in late August because a judge had lifted his travel restrictions against him.

Well, the Michigan Attorney General's Office went back to that same court, to that same judge, because they're prosecuting the mayor on assault charges. And they said, hey, we don't want the mayor traveling anywhere. So the judge clarified his ruling and said that the mayor could not go to the Democratic National Convention unless he specifically asked, which means the travel restrictions are back on, Suzanne, and he also has to wear that tether.

Also, according to "The Detroit Free Press," the Obama campaign in Michigan has made a comment about this, about the possibility that the mayor -- that Mayor Kilpatrick might attend the Democratic National Convention. He said, "We have not said he" -- Kilpatrick -- "is welcome or not welcome." He went on to say, "Many Michigan families are struggling as a result of the failed policies and the old politics that John McCain wants to continue. The focus of our convention to people back here in Michigan should be on Barack Obama and how the party intends to get America back on track, not a distraction involving the troubles of one individual."

This is by Brent Colburn, who represents the Obama campaign in Michigan.

Still working this story, Suzanne. I'll have more information to pass along soon.

MALVEAUX: And Carol, we've heard back and forth obviously throughout the day and the weeks, a lot of controversy over Kilpatrick, whether or not he would be a distraction to Barack Obama, whether or not some of the spotlight would be more on him, as opposed to the presumptive nominee. A lot of back-and-forth there.

So it's very interesting to see the details and the developments as to how this is all going to unfold. A lot of people watching whether or not ultimately he is going to be there. It looks like that is not going to happen at this point. Is that right?

COSTELLO: Right. And there are many calls for the mayor to step down. Coming from an influential African-American newspaper, "The Michigan Chronicle," one of the editors telling me today he thinks the mayor should step down.

I asked him, though, if Mayor Kilpatrick should attend the convention. He said, "You know what? That's up to Kwame Kilpatrick. But he is completely separate from Barack Obama. One has nothing to do with the other."

I also talked to the Democratic National Committee to find out the rules to see, because, you know, Kwame Kilpatrick is a superdelegate. So I asked them, you know, can somebody disinvite Kwame Kilpatrick, and the answer is no, he has every right to go.

MALVEAUX: OK. Carol Costello.

Thanks so much for following all those latest developments, Carol. Thank you.

COSTELLO: Sure.

MALVEAUX: It's a controversy with comparisons to the detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib. A new case of American service members accused of abusing detainees in Iraq.

And you've surely seen their commercials, but do those Airborne tablets really work as advertised? The government may help you decide if you should even take one.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (NEWSBREAK)

MALVEAUX: Obama and John McCain will have a rare joint appearance this weekend at a forum on faith. The host, Pastor Rick Warren, tells me how he hopes to pin down the candidates.

Plus, for decades America watched her as "The French Chef." Well, now we're learning that Julia Child was a spy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now, innocent people caught in the crossfire. Many people in Georgia are victims, including a TV reporter who was shot, but keeps reporting as cameras keep rolling.

At times they pray as others prepare for what they believe will be an all-out war with Israel -- Palestinian militants whose supporters call them freedom fighters, but that Israel calls terrorists.

Our Paula Hancocks gets a rare look at their inner workings.

And don't let its small size fool you. One spider's bite can kill you. It caused tremendous pain and suffering for one boy. Could it be crawling in your home?

Wolf Blitzer's off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We have breaking news now. There are huge fines that are being levied against American Airlines for safety violations.

We want to go to Carol Costello with some of the details about this late-breaking news.

Carol, what do you have?

COSTELLO: Boy, Suzanne, it is a busy day in world of news.

That's right, federal -- federal regulators announcing $7.1 million in fines against American Airlines over maintenance issues and its drug and alcohol testing program. It says, that huge fine was necessary because American Airlines knew the planes needed maintenance,but flew them anyway.

Now, American Airlines can appeal this ruling, can appeal this fine, but we have not heard from American Airlines as of yet. Of course, we're efforting that -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: That is huge news, once again, American Airlines fined $7.1 million for safety violations.

Carol, thank you. One of America's most influential spiritual leaders will bring together the men vying to be the leader of the free world. Pastor Rick Warren will moderate a live faith forum between John McCain and Barack Obama on Saturday night right here on CNN.

Warren, of course, is a world-renowned philanthropist and spiritual adviser. He is also the author of the best-selling book "The Purpose Driven Life."

So many people will surely be watching what he asks McCain and Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Pastor Rick Warren, thank you so much for joining us here on THE SITUATION ROOM. It's a pleasure.

PASTOR RICK WARREN, AUTHOR, "THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE": Nice to see you.

MALVEAUX: This is potentially the first time that we're going to see the candidates standing side by side on the same stage before the big, big fight.

WARREN: Right.

MALVEAUX: What are you hoping to get from these two that we don't know, that we haven't seen or heard before? What do you hope to learn?

WARREN: Well, I'm a pastor, not a -- not a pundit, so I'm going to ask some heartland questions.

We're actually going to look at four different areas in four segments. The first segment of questioning is going to be on the stewardship of the presidency. And that's, what do they believe is the role of government? What do they believe is the role of the Constitution? What do they believe is the role of the president? Some longer-term issues on that.

Then, we're going to talk about leadership. And I have been training leaders for about 28 years. About a half-a-million leaders have gone through training that I have taught in the 162 countries. So, I know a little bit about that. We're going to talk about competence of leadership, character, their convictions, their experience.

I'm going to delve a little bit into their personal lives, because that matters. It's a -- it matters to their credibility. And we will deal with that. Then, the third major section will be on what I call world view, which are some of those faith and moral issues that are thorny, that, no matter how you answer them, somebody is going to be upset with you. And we will deal with some of that.

And, then, in the fourth section of questions, we're going to look at America's role internationally. We're the most blessed nation in the world. And what should be our role in helping less fortunate nations?

MALVEAUX: And, Pastor, you talked about some of the personal issues. What kind of personal issues do you think are relevant when it comes to what kind of leader these two candidates are?

WARREN: Yes. Well, I don't want to give away the questions, so they can prepare for them, because I don't want them to give me boilerplate answers. And I'm trying to create some questions that are -- don't have any wiggle room in them.

But I do want to know how they handle a crisis, because a lot of the things in the presidency often deal with things you don't know are going to happen, that we don't know will happen in the next four years.

And I think issues of humility, issues of generosity, issues of compassion, issues of flexibility, how they change their minds, what causes them to make decisions, how they make tough decisions -- there are a lot of different things that you can deal with in the life of a leader that will tell us more about the candidate than some of the typical questions.

You know, a lot of times, the questions in -- in civil forums or -- or -- or town halls or debates tend to do with hot-button political issues. And we have been hearing about them for months, the war, the border, price of oil...

(CROSSTALK)

MALVEAUX: Well, let's talk a little bit about that.

WARREN: ... those kind of things.

MALVEAUX: Back -- back in 2004 -- it was just two weeks before the election -- you sent out an e-mail -- this was to several hundred thousand pastors -- essentially saying that there were non-negotiable issues that Christians should consider when they go to the ballot to vote, some of those being stem cell research, abortion, gay rights.

There were many people who thought that that really helped President Bush get reelected. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

WARREN: Well, it sure was the right thing to do for me, because I happen to have strong convictions about those issues.

But this forum is not about me. It's not about what I believe. It's about what they believe. And, really, my -- this is not a forum for me to push by bias. It's for me to provide an open forum for Barack Obama and for John McCain to share their views.

As I talk to Americans -- and I talk to a lot of them -- there are certain things they say: You know, I like this about Barack Obama, but I don't like this. And then I will hear people say: You know, I like this about John McCain, but I don't like that. Actually, I think that's healthy, because neither of these guys is the savior of the world. They both have flawed -- you know, they're imperfect men. But they're also good men. I happen to like them both. They're very different.

MALVEAUX: Is there one you prefer? Is there one you prefer, one over the other?

WARREN: I never, never -- I never, ever endorse. I am called as a pastor to shepherd all the flock. And I have in my church Democrats and Republicans and liberals and conservatives and moderates and everybody in between. And -- and my calling is -- is to shepherd all those people. So, I don't think it's appropriate for pastors to endorse. I really don't.

MALVEAUX: There's a poll from "TIME" magazine that says that 70 percent of evangelicals are for McCain, 19 percent for Obama, 11 percent for the undecided.

Why do you think that McCain has such an advantage when it comes to evangelicals?

WARREN: You know, I'm a pastor, not a prophet, so I'm not going to predict how -- how evangelicals vote.

I do -- can -- I can tell you this. They're not a monolithic bloc, as the press frequently tries to make them out to be. I -- I think that, for many of evangelicals, they're not convinced that either of these men is an evangelical. They may be believers in Christ. They may be Christians, but they want to know, for instance, their world view, and they want to hear it out.

I think there are Christians who -- or evangelicals who say, I have a problem with Barack Obama's stand on abortion. And they would say to John McCain, I have a problem with John McCain's stand on -- on stem cells, using unborn children for -- for stem cells.

So, to me, that's just one of the issues. What I'm trying to do is stake out a common ground for the common good.

(CROSSTALK)

WARREN: There are a lot of disenfranchised people who are neither left nor right, and aren't really satisfied with either the Democratic or the Republican Party. And, in fact, they like portions of both campaigns and portions that they don't like.

MALVEAUX: And, Pastor, if I can ask you, are there some issues that are more important than others, say, emphasizing the social issues, like abortion, like stem cell research, human cloning? Do those take precedence over the things that you have also talked about, fighting AIDS, poverty, climate change?

WARREN: Yes. Yes. Of course they do. And that depends on the voter you're talking to.

Everybody has a world view. Everybody has a hierarchy of values. Everybody -- if you had...

MALVEAUX: What are -- what is your emphasis? What do you think is more important?

WARREN: Well, my emphasis doesn't matter. Obviously, I'm pro- life. But I'm more than pro-life. I am what I call whole life. I don't just care about that little girl who's unborn. I care about her once she's born. I care about whether she gets an education, whether she lives in poverty, whether she's a crack baby, whether she has AIDS or not.

So, I have extended my -- my personal agenda from simply pro- life. I call myself whole life. But there are a lot of people who disagree with me. And the issue that we have to deal with is, how do you disagree without demonizing the opposition? We have to...

MALVEAUX: Do you think either one of these candidates are whole life? Do you see either one of these candidates as having kind of that whole life agenda that you talk about?

WARREN: We will sure find out.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you so much.

Pastor Rick Warren, appreciate you being here on THE SITUATION ROOM. Thanks again.

WARREN: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Again, you can watch Pastor Rick Warren moderate that faith forum between John McCain and Barack Obama right here on CNN. That happens Saturday evening at 8:00 Eastern.

Well, their day jobs became -- became TV chef and Supreme Court justice. But Julia Child and some other famous names were once involved in a risky side venture, spying for the United States.

And John McCain admits, his Internet experience is limited. Can he prove, when it comes to technology, that he gets it?

And the danger that could be lurking almost anywhere, a spider whose bite can carry one of the most toxic venoms known to man.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: For the first time ever, we're learning that some celebrities and other public officials helped the U.S. infiltrate enemy ranks to help defeat the Nazis and Japanese.

Well, you know their names and faces for writing books or acting in movies or competing as athletes, but you didn't know about their stealth work as members of a super-secret spy ring.

Well, our Brian Todd has details. Brian, this is just the most amazing -- this is a fascinating story. What have you learned?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is fascinating.

We spent a good part of the day looking over documents from the old OSS, America's spy service during World War II, the precursor to the CIA.

Now, look at these pictures. You see some really famous faces, Julia Child, the baseball player Moe Berg. At certain points in these doctors, you feel like you're going through a veritable who's-who of 20th century icons.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): She was the chirpy schoolmarm who made cooking on TV hip decades before Rachael Ray.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIA CHILD, FORMER OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES OPERATIVE: Today, we are going to do breast of chicken in the French manner.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: But, before she cooked up chicken breasts as "The French Chef" on PBS, Julia Child helped concoct shark propellant for the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, America's chief spy agency during World War II and the forerunner of the CIA.

The National Archives just released 35,000 files of OSS operatives from the war, including details of Julia Child's work as an administrative specialist behind enemy lines in Asia.

(on camera): This is the research room at the National Archives. Some of these documents are so sensitive that you can't use camera light in here. You have to use the natural sunlight coming in. We are going to show you Julia Child's OSS file from during World War II. This is a lot of it right here. She went by the name Julia McWilliams then. That was her maiden name.

This is a commendation from 1946 for her work behind the lines in China and in Sri Lanka. It talks about the resourcefulness, industry, and sound judgment that she used.

(voice-over): Ninety-three-year-old Elizabeth McIntosh was a propaganda specialist for OSS and worked closely with Child, who she says had to keep track of spy teams.

ELIZABETH MCINTOSH, FORMER OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES OPERATIVE: She used to have great fun calling them all sorts of nuts, macadamia nuts, and walnuts. And Team Walnut is now off in Burma.

TODD: The files reveal operatives who, before and after the war, were top actors, athletes, attorneys, Arthur Goldberg, who later became a Supreme Court justice, worked labor unions behind the lines in Europe looking for recruits, Chicago White Sox catcher Moe Berg, a daring spy who spoke several languages and tapped into the Germans' deepest-held secrets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was sent over to determine whether -- how close the Nazis were to building an atom bomb.

TODD: And remember this guy, the actor who played the corrupt cop in "The Godfather"?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STERLING HAYDEN, FORMER OFFICE OF STRATEGIC SERVICES OPERATIVE: Take a hold of him. Stand him up. Stand him up straight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: In real life, his name was Sterling Hayden. As an OSS operative running agents behind the lines in Europe, he went by John Hamilton, and was the toughest, most courageous spy you could imagine -- one document saying he "has shown an almost reckless disregard of his own life where duty is involved."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will see in this file he's trying to outrun a chase -- they're being chased by the Germans. His driver is killed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Now, some commendations for Sterling Hayden, known then as Captain Hamilton, you have to see to believe. They describe him running agents on boats through enemy-infested waters, surviving ambushes, almost single-handedly disabling German operations off the Croatian coast.

This is the stuff of Hollywood, none of it made up. Of course, Sterling Hayden goes on to have this great Hollywood career.

Suzanne, you could spend a week in this place, looking over this, and not get enough of it.

(CROSSTALK)

MALVEAUX: And you and I were talking over break. I mean, Julia Child here, we watched her as kids and was one of our favorite shows here.

TODD: Exactly. Right.

MALVEAUX: You said, when she was concocting that shark...

TODD: Shark repellent.

MALVEAUX: ... repellent that she couldn't -- couldn't cook. That was her first job. TODD: That's right. Her friend Elizabeth McIntosh said, at that time, during their time in Sri Lanka and in China, Julia Child wasn't into cooking, didn't know how to cook, didn't really pick it up until later. She -- she almost portrayed her as almost being pathetic in the kitchen. It's really strange.

MALVEAUX: Ah. It's fascinating.

(LAUGHTER)

MALVEAUX: Great stuff.

TODD: Thanks.

MALVEAUX: OK. Thanks again.

John McCain admits that he's not really savvy when it comes to new technology, especially when it comes to computers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance that I can get.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: His campaign is coming up with a plan that might help that perception.

And Hillary Clinton's team is making some demands about her convention presentation -- those stories in our "Strategy Session" up ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: After a bitter primary fight, Barack Obama's campaign does something that one Democrat says will bring -- quote -- "peace in the kingdom."

As we reported moments ago, Senator Clinton's name will be placed in nomination at the Democrats' convention.

Here for today's "Strategy Session," Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, and Republican strategist John Feehery.

So, obviously, a lot of buzz, a lot of talk about this. There was speculation over what was going to happen, whether or not people were going to unite behind Barack Obama.

Maria, does this accomplish that goal by putting her out there and -- and having this roll call?

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely. I think it does. And I'm thrilled. I think what it demonstrates is that, since June, the Obama campaign and Senator Clinton's campaign have been working very, very hard to ensure a Democratic victory in November. Part of that means a very unified, a very strong party coming out of Denver. And both campaigns understood the importance of that.

And Senator Obama, as -- as he stated earlier, was one who urged Senator Clinton to put her name into nomination to make sure that the 35 million voices that participated in this historic -- historic campaign are heard and respected. And, so, I'm really much looking forward to that, and we're going to come out of Denver very strong.

MALVEAUX: John, does this minimize what the Republicans essentially can get out of this? Because, obviously, this is some damage control that they're doing ahead of time.

JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Whose convention is this, anyway? Is it Barack Obama's, or is it Hillary Clinton's? It kind of reminds me of Vladimir Putin invading Georgia. I mean, Hillary Clinton is all over this convention. She's owning it. Barack Obama is out in the Safeco Field somewhere doing -- doing his speech.

The fascinating thing is, she's coming up for nomination. She's demanding that she has her own videos. She's making all these demands. And I don't know. I don't think the Democratic Party is united at all. And I think this is going to be a big problem for Barack Obama.

MALVEAUX: Do you think that she's overstepped the line here? There's a -- there's at least a perception among some that, I mean, she's -- she's going to make her -- this video before she makes her presentation that night. She's got a prime-time slot, along with her husband, that this really was some kind of some -- some back-and-forth here, and it had to be done, because there was -- otherwise, there was going to be a big stink?

CARDONA: Well, clearly, that's the perception that the media loves, because it gives you guys a story. And it's a perception that the Republicans love, because it gives them something other -- to talk about other than their flawed candidate, John McCain.

But the reality is, is that both campaigns have been working very hard, very collaboratively. And this is not Senator Clinton's convention. She has made it very clear that Senator Obama has led every step of the way. It's his convention. She has said that, as it should be. And he's the one who's encouraged her to put her name into nomination to make sure that we come out of this a unified party. And that's exactly what's going to happen.

MALVEAUX: We have heard from some Hillary supporters, in all fairness, who -- who said that they were going to threaten to, like, put up signs, and chants, and protests, that type of thing, that this might be something that would help them unite behind Barack Obama, kind of that catharsis that -- that Hillary Clinton was talking about.

CARDONA: Well, you know what? There were 18 million people who voted for Senator Clinton, and she doesn't control all of them. I think the -- the important thing here, though, is that, hopefully, they will take her lead.

And her lead from the day that the primaries were over is that they should come over and support Senator Obama, because that's what she has been working for, for so long. And that's what they have been working for as well. And, so, that's what she's going to ensure, to make sure that we all come out of here united behind Senator Obama, to make sure that he is the one who takes the oath of office in -- in January.

FEEHERY: Barack Obama still has a very difficult time getting a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters. He's doing very poorly with Reagan Democrats.

I think the fact of the matter is that he's also not doing as well as people thought he would do with -- with older female white voters. This is a real problem for Barack Obama. And, you know, I don't know how he fixes it. I think that, if you're looking at Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, where a lot of the Reagan Democrats are, Barack Obama still is going to have a tough time winning those states.

MALVEAUX: I want to turn the corner here real quick here. John McCain, he has been criticized, really, for not being all that technologically savvy. Well, now he's coming out with this agenda. He's talking about opposition to Internet taxes, a tax credit for research and development employees.

Is -- is this -- is this going to help him ultimately to convince some of those younger voters and people who think, you know, perhaps, he's not up to speed that he is paying attention to those issues?

CARDONA: I think that it was something he needed to do just to prove to people that he, you know, isn't from the last century.

But, unfortunately, I think that he doesn't have a whole lot of credibility here. I think Senator Obama, from the get-go, has been a leader on technology. People see him for that. He has used technology to run a fantastic campaign. He's going to continue to do that. And, frankly, I think voters are going to want to have a president who, if they get that call at 3:00 a.m., they are going to be able to check their e-mail.

MALVEAUX: Oh. Ouch.

(CROSSTALK)

MALVEAUX: What do you say, John?

FEEHERY: John McCain actually -- the funny thing about McCain, you know, he's not -- he's not -- he has admitted himself he's not computer literate. But he gets it.

And how he gets it, the YouTube videos, the John McCain videos, were the top videos going out in the country. People love those videos. CARDONA: But can he watch them?

(LAUGHTER)

FEEHERY: Well, yes, I think he can watch them.

And this agenda is actually smart, because it is the future. The high tech is the future. You have got to support the high tech. Internet taxation, which he's opposed to, there are a lot of Democrats who actually want Internet taxation.

The fact of the matter is, that is the future of the economy. John McCain is right on the agenda, which is the most important thing.

MALVEAUX: All right, thank you so much. Appreciate it, both, in the "Strategy Session."

For tens of thousands of Americans, the crisis in Georgia is personal. A New York family worried about their daughters, and hoping they're not caught in the crossfire, hear from them coming up.

And they're tiny, creepy, and potentially deadly -- a surge in the amount of side effects from one type of spider bite. It landed a boy in intensive care. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us ahead.

And a CNN correspondent blindfolded and taken to a secret location, where Palestinian militants are training in the Middle East -- a firsthand look at what they're doing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: On our "Political Ticker": Barack Obama's camp sets a new fund-raising record. It says two million donors have contributed to the Democrat's presidential bid, with more than two months left until Election Day. Obama passed the one million donor mark back in February. The most recent figures showed he has raised a total of almost $340 million for his campaign.

Jack joins us again with "The Cafferty File." Jack, what are you following?

CAFFERTY: The question this hour is, can the author of the Swift Boat book sink two Democrats in a row?

Deborah writes from Florida: "Absolutely, he can. When we choose to be ignorant, it's easy to fool most of the people most of the time. Too many Americans can't think for themselves long enough to even try to discern the truth. And they don't care. If the truth really mattered, Rush Limbaugh wouldn't make $400 million and Bush and Cheney would long ago have been impeached, removed from office, and deposited at The Hague. Truth? Please. It's a casualty of political war."

Mike writes: "Kerry's Swift Boating demise was as much his fault as the Swift Boaters. The guy couldn't give a straight answer to save his. He was slow to pull up people who were there who could refute the Swift Boaters' lies. Obama has a machine in place that can rapidly expose the liars for what they are this time."

Nick writes: "The success of the Swift Boaters was in a large way due to the lack of due diligence on the part of the media. Instead of doing any real investigative reporting and finding that the Swift Boaters were, in fact, fabricating their stories, the media took what they said as fact and waited for Kerry to defend himself. I would hope the media will take a more professional, responsible approach to this."

Kathy writes from Connecticut: "They can sink another Democrat if voters remain as utterly naive and stupid as they were in 2004. These are -- there are still educated Americans out there saying things like, I'm sure about Obama. He's a Muslim or something. I mean, these are the people who gave us Dubya -- twice."

Mickie in Philadelphia: "He doesn't have to. Hillary Clinton is doing a fine job of sinking the entire Democratic Party all by herself. The Democrats always seem able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory."

And Susan writes: "Kerry sunk himself by not fighting back. Obama will show this book for the fairy tale it is. This author has a hole in his boat and his head."

If you didn't see your e-mail here, go to my blog at CNN.com/caffertyfile, and look for yours there, among hundreds of others -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right, Jack, thanks so much.

You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

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