Return to Transcripts main page


Jackson Doctor Speaks Out; Health Care Fact and Fiction

Aired August 18, 2009 - 20:00   ET



CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, here are the questions we want answered. Who is telling the truth and who is telling lies when it comes to health care reform? We're cutting through the noise to get to the facts.

Plus, tonight's newsmaker, Michael Jackson's doctor. He was with him when he died and could now face criminal charges. He is finally breaking his silence.

DR. CONRAD MURRAY, PERSONAL PHYSICIAN OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I have done all I could do. I told the truth. And I have faith the truth will prevail.

BROWN: Reality bites. Richard Hatch, one "Survivor," ended up in prison and survived, but now says he's broke. We have his story.

And aliens and UFO sightings -- the British government releases their secret X-files.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Either this happened as the witnesses claim and a UFO landed next to two of NATO's most important military bases, or he said all these Americans Air Force personnel were hallucinating or making it up.

BROWN: Tonight's big question: Will conspiracy theories be put to rest once and for all?


ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now. Here's Campbell Brown.

BROWN: Hey, everybody. Those are the big questions tonight. But we begin as we always do with the "Mash-Up," our look at the stories making an impact right now, the moments you may have missed today. We're watching it all so you don't have to.

The White House tonight feeling the heat on health care, an angry right, an angry left, and a press corps demanding answers.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: it's our job to clear up any confusion about where the president stands right now. And, frankly, a lot of people aren't sure if he has privately given up on including a government-run insurance option.

This hour, we are drilling down on that question and whether the White House is trying to have it both ways.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president's saying this is essential, the public option is essential. People voted for this president because he said it was essential. And now, suddenly, because the Republicans are jumping up and down and calling this some end of the world death panel for grandma, all of a sudden it's no longer essential.

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC: But not essential. Not essential means it really doesn't matter whether it's going to be there or not. And it seems that the last 48 hours the White House has been spending a lot of time trying to get the messaging right. You have got disarray here of the Democratic Party and I think the leadership of the White House is failing right now.


BROWN: That's right, the White House stepping into a whole host of problems this weekend. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on CNN's "state of the union" saying a public option isn't, and here's the word, essential to health care reform.

Today, a full court P.R. press, White House spin-meisters spreading out across the TV universe declaring the public option the president's preference and insisting that nothing has changed here, nothing to see here, folks. They very much on message today.


ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The administration's position is unchanged.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely nothing has changed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president and all the folks who have worked for him has been consistent on this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing has changed. Nobody in the administration said anything different.

GIBBS: That's what we said in June. That's what we said in July.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what we have been saying since day one.


BROWN: Enough to convince skeptics? Well, the White House's problem here, videotape don't lie, as Jon Stewart showed us last night.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Very clear about the fact that we should have a public plan.

The public option whether we have it or don't have it is not the entirety of health care reform.

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART": Yes, we can, unless you don't think we should. Then we will do something different. How the hell do I know? Smoke bombs.



BROWN: Stewart clearly puzzled there last night delivering a mini-sermon to the White House, telling the president to get his act together.


STEWART: Mr. President, I can't tell if you're a Jedi 10 steps ahead of everything...


STEWART: ... or if this whole health care thing is kicking your ass just a little bit.


STEWART: Why is this so hard? Why can't you guys just stay on message? Remember the Bush team, a little bit of discipline, a little of repetition? They sold us a war nobody wanted and nobody needed.

Must invade Iraq.


STEWART: Must invade Iraq.


STEWART: Salesmanship.


STEWART: Those guys could sell ice cubes to Eskimos. The Democrats, I don't even think could sell Eskimos (EXPLETIVE DELETED) they need. Insulation, heating apparatus.


STEWART: I'm not that familiar with what Eskimos need.


(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: Jon Stewart not the only one who thinks the president is off his game. So, does Deepak Chopra. He's going to join us a little bit later in the show tonight to talk about health care.

In Afghanistan tonight, a sharp spike in violence with the election just two days away now.


BLITZER: ... Afghanistan right now, militants today carried out two attacks, one on the presidential palace of Hamid Karzai, the other a deadly suicide bombing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are car parts scattered everywhere by the explosion, pieces of engines, a bulletproof windshield from an armored vehicle, evidence of a powerful blast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is the latest and worst in a series of Taliban attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the election looming, the Taliban has increased its number of attacks from 32 a day to 48.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And this is instilling fear in the Afghan people, particularly those close affected. When I spoke to one of those injured, a 21-year-old girl from Saturday's blast, she told me she had a voting card, she wanted to go out and vote, but that blast made the decision for her.


BROWN: NATO commanders say they do still expect a high turnout in Thursday's election.

Switching over to Jackson world now, where today the man at the center of the investigation into the king of pop's death finally breaks his silence, only one of today's developments in this very strange story. Watch.


BLITZER: The doctor who was with Michael Jackson when he died is now speaking publicly for the first time since the singer's death. Dr. Conrad Murray has just released a video message.

MURRAY: I have done all I could do. I told the truth, and I have faith the truth will prevail.

God bless you. And thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Jackson will be buried next week in Los Angeles. And family representatives say a private ceremony will be held August 29 on what would have been Jackson's 51st birthday.

Only family and close friends will attend, but accommodations will be made for the media nearby. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are looking at what is arguably Michael Jackson's most famous performance on a TV special 1983 to celebrate Motown's 25th anniversary. That's where he debuted his famous moonwalk and what would become one of his most iconic fashion accessories, a single sequined glove. That very glove, the one he's wearing in that performance, is now going on the auction block.


BROWN: Sales of all things Jackson just through the roof since the pop star's death.

Over in the parallel universe of reality TV, original "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch, he is speaking out for the first time since he got out on prison on tax evasion charges, grilled by Matt Lauer, who you just heard, on NBC's "Today Show."


MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, "THE TODAY SHOW": I think there are people out there, Richard, who want to believe you're guilty.


LAUER: I think so.

But is perhaps your very best defense this, that who would be so stupid? Who would be so stupid to win $1 million in front of 40 or 50 million people, and then not claim it on their income taxes?

HATCH: I know people think I'm arrogant, but I don't think people think I'm stupid. People watched me play that game and they know that I'm relatively bright.

LAUER: Are you able to support yourself? You're still under house arrest. Are you -- do you have enough of that money left? Or has it all gone to legal expenses?

HATCH: Imagine the financial devastation. That money, that money was in 2000. Today's 2009. And to have been removed from your family for the past four years, taken away from any opportunity to make a dime, no, I'm financially devastated.


BROWN: Hatch insists the judge in his trial discriminated against him because he is gay.

And with that, we welcome the newest resident of reality TV land. He was once the most powerful Republican on Capitol Hill. Then he resigned in disgrace. And soon he will be dancing with the stars. Today, Tom DeLay was on "Good Morning America" explaining how it all happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you doing this?

REP. TOM DELAY (R), FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: I love dancing. You got to be -- you have got to love dancing if you're from Texas. And I have been dancing all my life. I haven't danced for about 20 years, but I love dancing.

And when the producers for "Dancing With the Stars" gave me a call, I jumped right at the chance. This is going to be so fun and so crazy. And I'm really looking forward to it.

DELAY: Conservatives can have fun too, you know.



DELAY: We -- conservatives can let their hair down and open their collar and put on some dancing shoes and get out there on the floor, just like the rest of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you go all the way to sequins?

DELAY: I don't know about that. That's up for negotiation. But if I open my shirt, I will have to get some false hairs.



BROWN: Yes, really not something we want to see.

Today, DeLay Twitters he's off to meet his dancing partner. He hopes it's not Nancy Pelosi. His little joke, his joke. We -- he said that, not we.

And now for the "Punchline." This is courtesy of Mr. Stephen Colbert, who offers something Democratic Congressman Jared Polis something he can probably appreciate these days, a cold beer.


STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": You wrote an article describing Congress as like going back to college.


COLBERT: Congressman, do you want to funnel a beer? Want to do a beer bong?

POLIS: No, thanks.

COLBERT: Come on, man. Hold that.


COLBERT: Coors Light. POLIS: Oh, good from Colorado.

COLBERT: The silver bullet.


COLBERT: All right, let's do it. All right. Get it up there. Drink. Drink, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Drink, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Drink, (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Drink.


POLIS: OK. That's about all I can handle right now.



BROWN: Stephen Colbert, everybody. And that is the "Mash-Up."

Tonight's big question: health care reform. Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? We're going to talk about that. The Truth-O- Meter coming up next.

Plus, tonight's newsmaker, Michael Jackson's doctor. Will he face criminal charges for the pop star's death? Listen.


MURRAY: Because of all that is going on, I am afraid to return phone calls or use my e-mail. I have done all I could do. I told the truth, and I have faith the truth will prevail.



BROWN: With anger escalating on both sides, charges, countercharges flying at breakneck speed, the truth in the health care debate lost in the shuffle, but we are here separating fact from fiction in this make or break month.

And Bill Adair has been hard at work fact-checking all of these claims for us. He is, of course, the editor of, which earned a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation of hundreds of political claims during last year's election.

And, Bill, tonight, I know you have got your latest and greatest items that you have been researching here to no end. Let's start with number one. The number that President Obama has been using to describe how many Americans are uninsured is being contested. Let's listen to what he's been saying.


OBAMA: I don't have to explain to you that nearly 46 million Americans don't have health insurance coverage today. In the wealthiest nation on earth, 46 million of our fellow citizens have no coverage.


BROWN: OK, both the left and the right have said that that figure's slightly off. What is it? Is it accurate?

BILL ADAIR, EDITOR, POLITIFACT.COM: Well, it's a little bit off. We gave it a mostly true on our Truth-O-Meter.

And the reason is, he says Americans. And actually that number which comes from the Census Bureau includes about 9.7 million non- citizens. And so it is definitely off.

But on the other hand, he -- he is -- that number doesn't include, because it's a 2007 number, people who might have lost their health insurance since 2007, when the number was done, and people who have lost their health insurance because of the recession. So, we thought that might erase some of the -- of his overstatement. So, overall, we decided to give it a mostly true on our Truth-O-Meter.

BROWN: All right, Bill, the next one is something that the president of the American Medical Association said over the weekend. It got a lot of attention. It caught my attention. He said -- and this is a quote -- "In the United States, if a woman's pregnant and on the individual market and she tries to get health insurance, that's called a preexisting condition, and it's not paid for."

Is it true an uninsured pregnant woman really could be denied coverage?

ADAIR: It is true. We gave this one a true on our Truth-O-Meter on PolitiFact. And this one is a little bit surprising.

I think we all know there are certain minimum requirements in many states. And I think there's sort of a perception by some people that pregnancy would be covered by most plans. But the key here is that he's talking about individual coverage. This is not the coverage that people get if they have an employer who provides health insurance.

This is the coverage where if you're uninsured or if you're an independent contractor, you have to go to the individual market, basically go to an insurance company on your own and say, insure me. It's in those cases that in most states they do have the ability to just reject you because of a preexisting condition or at least to say we won't cover that preexisting condition.

That's true in 39 states. There are 11 others where the restrictions aren't quite as bad, but they can say, well, we won't cover certain things for six or 12 months, which in the case of a pregnancy would essentially mean there's no coverage.

BROWN: Right.

ADAIR: So, he gets a true on the Truth-O-Meter for that statement.

BROWN: All right, Bill, and we have got one more here. This is "New York Times" columnist David Brooks, who said just this weekend -- here's again a quote -- "Preventive care doesn't save the government money," which sounds, frankly, pretty counterintuitive.

Can this be right?

ADAIR: I will tell you, this one really surprised us.

Brooks also gets a true for this one. Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office came out with a report last week that said that indeed preventive care is more costly, because, if you think about it, to find the people who might be prone to heart disease or diabetes, you have to test a lot of people who may not be prone.

And so those costs add up. And, ultimately, the collective cost of doing those tests, according to CBO and some other studies that we looked at, actually outweighs the savings from preventing the -- from preventing the heart disease or the diabetes.

Now, Brooks did make the point that he thinks it's a good idea to do this preventive testing, but it is still -- he's right that it's more costly. And this is important in the context of President Obama's plan, because this has been a big point by Obama and the Democrats, that they're going to save money by doing more preventive care.

Not true. So, Brooks is right. He gets a true on the Truth-O- Meter. And I guess it's somewhat heartening we have -- we had a lot of falses and barely trues when I was on the show last week. So, we have had an outbreak of truth this week, at least so far.


BROWN: Fantastic. That is good news.

Bill Adair for us tonight, the editor of, he's going to be with us a lot as we try to sort through this in the weeks and probably months ahead.

Bill, thanks so much.

ADAIR: Thanks, Campbell.

BROWN: Tonight's big question, can DNA evidence be faked? A new study shows it can be cooked up in a lab. But does that mean criminals actually could use it to rig a crime scene?


DR. GEORGE CHURCH, PROFESSOR OF GENETICS, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: It could be scary some day, if -- because, certainly, the ability to make synthetic DNA and to spoof such things is technically feasible. It's just not clear whether it is the sort of thing that a criminal would think to do or want to do. (END VIDEO CLIP)



BROWN: Tonight's news maker, Deepak Chopra, he says it's time we all take responsibility for our own health care. He's coming up next.

Plus, crime scene investigation -- can DNA evidence be faked? We're going to take a closer look at a new study making headlines around the world.


BROWN: In a provocative new op-ed, Deepak Chopra claims that, when it comes to health care reform, President Obama is Daniel in the liar's den. The renowned warns that reform is under attack by greedy special interests; America needs to know about it

He's joining us from San Diego to explain.

Welcome to you. Good to see you.

DEEPAK CHOPRA, AUTHOR, "THE BOOK OF SECRETS": It's good to see you, Campbell.

BROWN: You are calling, I know, for a public awareness campaign to try to sell people on the need for health care reform in this country. But, you know, President Obama's been out there talking about this every day for weeks now. You don't think he's getting the job done?

CHOPRA: I think President Obama is doing a great job.

But there are special interest groups who are taking the attention away from the facts. The facts are that we spend $2.4 trillion, more than any other country in the world, on health care. We rank 32 in health performance. We rank 72 in health levels.

We spend $6 billion on advertising, $1.4 million a day on lobbyists in Washington trying to influence people in government, who we have elected, to work against us. Sarah Palin and Senator Grassley, when they talk about death panels, they are fear-mongering. I think people should be aware that most of the interventions at the end of life do not prolong life. They prolong suffering.

They wreak unlimited, untold suffering and carnage on our people, while benefiting special interest groups to the tune of billions of dollars. There's something drastically wrong with our health care system, and unless we become aware that 90 percent of the health care dollars that are spent are on preventive illnesses.

BROWN: So, explain this to me, because I want to get into the specifics here. You recently wrote that we need a health care system that reduces fear, as well as cost. What do you mean by that?

CHOPRA: Well, you know, our health care industry is the only industry that creates a demand when there is no need to create a demand.

You know, capitalism is built on a supply-demand theory, but we doctors have the privilege of generating our own demand by writing a prescription or writing a procedure. The most devastating and expensive health care technology is a physician's pen and a prescription pad.

You know, 80 percent of the drugs we use are of optional or marginal benefit. We spend $700 billion a year on unnecessary tests. The next time you go to a doctor for a routine examination, there's a 43 percent chance that you will be prescribed an unnecessary diagnostic procedure or a test.

You know that we spend 2.5 million unnecessary surgeries a year, hysterectomies, spinal fusions, knee operations, CABG, angioplasty, which do nothing to help the patient. So, unless we are honest enough to look at our own self and how we're generating this demand -- we could be saving $1 trillion a year.

BROWN: how much is also the individual's responsibility, taking responsibility for your own wellness? I know you have talked about this as well.

CHOPRA: Well, it's very important, Campbell, but the individual has to be aware. We have to create a public awareness campaign, which is the only missing part.

If people would realize that they could prevent 80 to 90 percent of chronic illness just by doing three things, exercise, diet, and stress management, and you would regulate, help regulate the genes that are responsible for cancer, for heart disease, for inflammation.

We know that the human body's not a structure. It's a process. And if you understand the process, we can influence the outcome of illness and prevent much of this illness at no cost whatsoever, just by being more aware.

BROWN: Individual responsibility.

Deepak Chopra making his case tonight, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.

CHOPRA: Thank you. Thank you.

BROWN: When we come back, ever since Michael Jackson's shocking death, his doctor has had pretty much nothing to say publicly, until today. He posted this message to all of his well-wishers. Take a look.


MURRAY: Your messages give me strength and courage and keep me going. They mean the world to me.

Please, don't worry. As long as I keep God in my heart and you in my life, I will be fine.



BROWN: Today for the first time since Michael Jackson died, his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, broke his silence. Murray, of course is at the center of the investigation.

Federal drug agents have searched his home and clinics in two states, but now his lawyers have posted a one-minute video from Murray on YouTube. We want you to see it all uncut. Here's Dr. Murray in his own words.


MURRAY: I want to thank all of my patients and friends who have sent such kind e-mails, letters and messages to let me know of your support and prayers for me and my family. Because of all that is going on, I'm afraid to return phone calls or use my e-mail. Therefore, I recorded this video to let all of you know that I have been receiving your messages.

I have not been able to thank you personally, which as you know is not normal for me. Your messages give me strength and courage and keep me going. They mean the world to me.

Please, don't worry. As long as I keep God in my heart and you in my life, I will be fine. I have done all I could do. I told the truth, and I have faith the truth will prevail. God bless you and thank you.


BROWN: With me now in Los Angeles, "Inside Edition" chief correspondent and former CNN anchor Jim Moret. Here in New York, CNN analyst Roland Martin, and our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joining us, as well.

Roland, you heard Conrad Murray. What was your take on the video?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Smart move on his part. The bottom line is we've been watching this grainy video of him going into his home, you know, the helicopter shots. And so this is going to be the video that folks are going to be playing all across the world.

Keep in mind when Michael Jackson was searched by the police officer, when his body was photographed, what did he do? He bought satellite time and broadcast his interview talking directly to his fans. And so, you know, look, I think this guy knows he is the center of attention. He's likely going to get arrested, and so you take the first shot.

BROWN: Jim, you were actually more struck by what Dr. Murray didn't say. In what way?

JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, I didn't think he said anything of substance. I mean, he didn't say anything about Michael Jackson. He didn't say this was my friend, this was my patient, I did everything I could.

He clearly has a lawyer. You don't want your client to admit anything. But this guy didn't say anything except that he's fearful, he invokes the name of God, and he says don't worry about me. And he seemed very detached to me. And I understand the PR move in putting him out there as this person who's been vilified in the press, but I don't know that I agree with Roland. I don't know that this was a great move for him.

BROWN: Jeff?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think it matters much, although Roland mentioned one of the two rules of crime on TV, which is if they show you with a helicopter shot or if they show you in slow motion, that means you're guilty.


That always happens in TV. That's like one of the laws, right? But in any case, I don't think this matters one way or the other. What's going to matter is the evidence. Is there evidence to prosecute this guy? And I continue to believe it's going to be a very hard case to prosecute him.

BROWN: Video or no video.

TOOBIN: Video or no video --

MARTIN: But he's clear that he is trying to establish his compassion. Listen to what he said. I've been getting your e-mails, I've been getting your phone calls. So he's trying to give the impression there are people out there who actually care about me.

BROWN: Do you think he's anticipating an arrest?

MARTIN: Oh, there's no doubt. I don't think this was just, oh, let me see -- this wasn't him swinging a web cam around. This was a professionally produced video. They know what's coming down the pike.

TOOBIN: They have searched his house. They have searched his office. They have searched the pharmacies. The cops don't do that unless they are about to bring a case.

BROWN: And, Jim, you I believe actually talked to a defense attorney who says if this goes to trial this could hurt him in addition?

MORET: Yes. I mean -- you know what? To be honest with you, I think Jeff hit it on the head. The bottom line is that this video isn't going to make any difference in the courtroom. This was solely for public opinion, not criminal courts.

I think it's going to come down to the evidence. I think that the fact that he seems detached to me, it put me off. I really would like for him to have said something, at least acknowledging that this was his patient that died on his watch.

You know, it's -- everybody's going to interpret it differently. I don't think it does much for him positive or negative, but certainly nothing in the court.

TOOBIN: Come on, not everybody is as good as Jim Moret at being on TV. He was nervous. He was reading a teleprompter. Give him a break.

MORET: Oh, come on, Jeff.

MARTIN: But it also changes the story, Campbell.

MORET: Jeff, come on.

MARTIN: But it changes the story that everyone is now covering this video. It's not being played -- played in its entirety. That's what you actually want.

He's being seen in a different light other than oh, Michael Jackson's doctor, what was he doing? That's the whole point of the video.

MORET: But we don't know what he was doing. Why didn't he call 911? What didn't he -- what was going on? He didn't answer a single question.

BROWN: OK. So regardless of what happened so Jeff, in a criminal case, could the family file a wrongful death suit against him? A civil suit?

TOOBIN: They could. But remember, this is a doctor who has declared bankruptcy, who probably...

BROWN: What's the point?

TOOBIN: ... doesn't have much money to his name. The Jackson family is dealing with tens of -- or hundreds of millions of dollars.

BROWN: Hundreds of millions.

TOOBIN: What's the point of suing him? Especially --

MARTIN: Book deal.

TOOBIN: A book deal? Who's book deal?

MARTIN: Think about it. Him. Conrad could write a book.

BROWN: If he gets sued?

TOOBIN: Yes, I doubt.

MARTIN: And make a loan (ph).

TOOBIN: I mean, but if -- if you sue him, he gets to depose everybody about Michael Jackson's drug use. I don't think the family wants that.

BROWN: Very quickly, before we go, let me just get Jim's take on this. Jim, we got word today that Michael Jackson is finally going to be laid to rest. Just give us briefly what you know.

MORET: Finally, he's going to be laid to rest in Forest Lawn in Glendale, which is about 15 miles from the cemetery where he's currently at. It's a beautiful private mausoleum. It will be kept private. The public cannot have access to this area.

The ceiling has a recreation of Michael Angelo's painting. There is a stained glass recreation of The Last Supper. It's a beautiful serene fitting place for Michael Jackson, certainly in the view of his family.

BROWN: All right. Jim Moret for us tonight. Jeff Toobin and Roland Martin, as always, thanks, guys.

MARTIN: Thanks so much.

BROWN: True or false, DNA evidence is 100 percent trustworthy and full proof. The answer true, until just the other day perhaps. Coming up, some scientists claim they can now fake your or anyone else's unique genetic code when we come back.


BROWN: Here is a story that we bet you're going to be telling your friends about tomorrow. That is why it is tonight's "Breakout."

Scientists have made a pretty startling discovery about DNA evidence, they say. It turns out that genetic fingerprints used to solve all those murders, crack all of those cold cases and free all of those wrongly convicted suspects can be faked in a laboratory and even planted theoretically at a crime scene. CNN's Jim Clancy shows us how.


JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The fast-paced crime series "CSI" weaves its fictional television tales with recurring scenes depicting DNA science that TV laboratory reinforces the notion once the DNA evidence is in, the crime is solved. But what would Horatio Caine say if we told him his DNA evidence was forged? His suspect framed?


HORATIO KAINE, "CSI MIAMI": I say bring it on.


ELON GANOR, CHAIRMAN-CEO/NUCLEIX LTD.: Scary. It is absolutely scary because standard procedures for identification of DNA cannot differentiate between DNA which is natural, in vivo DNA, what we call, or artificial DNA which was manufactured in a lab.

CLANCY: Elon Ganor's Israeli firm Nucleix Ltd. published a paper in a respected journal showing how laboratory manufactured DNA was indistinguishable from real DNA. The possibilities are scary. Could DNA be manufactured in a lab and then spread around a crime scene? By developing a test that does distinguish between the two, the company stands to make millions. But some scientists are skeptical a clear and present danger exists.

DR. GEORGE CHURCH, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: It could be scary some day if because certainly the ability to make synthetic DNA and to spoof such things is certainly technically feasible. It's just not clear whether it is the sort of thing that a criminal would think to do or want to do.

CLANCY: Questioning the motives for releasing such news and possible turmoil on the criminal justice system, some forensic experts decline to comment on this story for CNN. But Nucleix and its scientists insist it isn't about money, it's about a loophole that scientists never closed and never wanted to admit.

GANOR: The good part of this news is that this loophole can be easily and quickly closed and maintain the gold standard of DNA fingerprinting, which is far better than the traditional fingerprinting or other ways of human identification.

CLANCY: Geneticist George Church says after reading the study, he's convinced that laboratories are already equipped to even get around this new test or assay.

CHURCH: Almost anything that you can imagine turning into an assay could be spoofed. To say one thing is much harder to spoof than another, I think is a very premature conclusion.

CLANCY (on camera): It is not premature to tell you it's easier than ever for someone to get a tiny sample of your DNA, reproducing vials of it in a laboratory. There's no case of laboratory DNA being used to frame a suspect. But Professor Church of Harvard says this story, this news, inevitably does bring us closer to that first case.

Jim Clancy, CNN, Atlanta.


BROWN: So could this be a game-changer for cops, prosecutors, even criminals? Defense Attorney Michael Cardoza joining us from San Francisco tonight. He's also worked on the other side of the prosecutor. And, of course, back with me, senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin here in New York. Jeffrey, give me your take. Could this pose some real problems here?

TOOBIN: I'm not worried about it. DNA is still the gold standard. It is better than fingerprints. It's better than bite marks. It's better than hair and fiber. And the theoretical possibility that someone might be able to fabricate DNA in a laboratory -- you know, remember, you can always plant evidence.

Anybody who read Scott Turow's "Presumed Innocent" or saw the movie knows that you can plant evidence at a crime scene. That hasn't changed. But the scientific basis for DNA is exquisitely refined and this theoretical possibility I don't think is much of a worry.

BROWN: Michael, though, I know you're a little bit more concerned about what this could mean, how it could impact investigations.

MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, as a criminal defense attorney now, I sort of like it. It opens up an entire avenue of cross-examination that was never there before.

Can you imagine their expert, the prosecutor's expert on the stand? We will now be able to ask them, it's possible to fabricate DNA.

The marketing that's going on here by this company, though, I think is fabulous because they're saying, look, here's how you fabricate DNA. And, oh, by the way, we have the product that will show the difference between a true DNA and a fabricated DNA. So this won't be accepted right away, but it will give a lot of defense attorneys something to talk about in court. It will make prosecutors work a lot harder. It might make our job a tiny bit easier right now.

BROWN: Well, you make two interesting points I want to follow up on, Michael. First of all, why wouldn't it happen right away? I mean, why wouldn't theoretically a defense attorney start raising this before a jury soon?

CARDOZA: Oh, you will start raising it, but the question then will be, can the prosecution bring the test in that shows that it's fabricated DNA? Because there's something and I'm sure Jeff is familiar with it the Kelly-Frye test and that's, will that test be accepted in the scientific community?

So it's going to open up all sorts of legal issues. I guarantee you some defense attorney listening tonight that has a DNA case going on right now will probably be pulling this article offline tonight and be asking the prosecutor's DNA expert about this and it may with some jurors raise a reasonable doubt.

BROWN: Well, let me follow up or have you, Jeff, follow up on Michael's other point that this -- you may want to question the motives perhaps of this company and their marketing plan, if that may be what's behind this, them trying to promote this idea for their own business. TOOBIN: Well, I don't think there's any doubt that that's why they did this is to promote their -- this product that supposedly can tell the difference. That doesn't make them wrong, it just explains their motives.

But I think we need to keep in mind that in the history of forensics and DNA, there has never been a case where this has even been suggested as a possibility that manufactured DNA was substituted for real DNA. So, you know, that is a pretty good record so that -- you know, sure, defense attorneys should use it in cross-examination and try to raise a doubt, but how much doubt will it really raise? I don't think much.

BROWN: Well, it will be interesting. It will be interesting perhaps, Michael, to see who the first defense attorney is who tries this. Fair enough?

CARDOZA: Probably someone in trial right now.

TOOBIN: I think Michael's absolutely right about that. You know?

BROWN: All right. Michael --

TOOBIN: You go with what you have.

BROWN: Michael Cardoza joining us tonight along with Jeff Toobin on this very interesting story. Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

CARDOZA: You're welcome.

BROWN: Tonight, we are talking with the man who helped shed some light on the hundreds of UFO sightings reported in Britain. All of them kept secret until now. The cat is out of the bag.


NICK POPE, FMR. BRITISH DEFENSE MINISTRY OFFICIAL: There were these small number, the five percent or so where it did seem we had strong evidence that structured craft were performing speeds and maneuvers that we couldn't match.



BROWN: The British government is continuing to declassify and make public some records it's been holding pretty close to the vest about UFO sightings during the '80s and '90s. There are few surprises in the so-called X-files. Take a look.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Files detailing hundreds of UFO sightings reported to Britain's defense ministry are now being released online. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The release of more than 4,000 pages of documents related to UFO sightings revealed no fewer than 800 -- 800 alleged encounters over the last 20 years.

ZAIN VERJEE, CO-ANCHOR, "CNN TODAY AND WORLD NEWS": 1996 was the bumper alien year, 609 sightings up five fold from the year before.

1996 was also the year the TV show "X-Files" was at its peak. That same year Will Smith battled aliens in "Independence Day." Coincidence?


BROWN: We had the chance this evening to talk with one of the men who helped investigate some of these astonishing UFO reports. Nick Pope spoke to us a little earlier from London.


BROWN: Now, you were part of this effort to track UFO sightings and I know 90 percent of the time it was due to factors like weather or an airplane or satellite. But give us some examples of the kind of reports that you were looking into that were unexplained.

NICK POPE, FMR. BRITISH DEFENSE MINISTRY OFFICIAL: Well, the cases that were most interesting to us at the Ministry of Defense were the sorts of cases where UFOs were seen by police officers or pilots and indeed where they were tracked on radar.

Now a good example is a case from 1993 where I led the investigation and a UFO flew directly over two air force bases in England. And a report on that went up to the assistant chief of the air staff, one of Britain's most senior military officers. I mean, here we had huge triangular-shaped craft just flying over large parts of the country with total impunity.

BROWN: So what do you think it was?

POPE: Well, we don't know to this day. And these -- the case file on this incident is one of the files that's been open to the public. And there's a marvelous quote in it where my head of division briefs these senior military officers and says in summary there is some evidence to suggest that an unidentified object or objects flew over the United Kingdom on the night in question. And frankly, we didn't know what else to say. We'd eliminated all of the conventional explanations and we were left with a complete mystery.

BROWN: One of Britain's most famous USO -- UFO sightings called the "Rendlesham Forest Incident" was reported by an American Air Force commander who was stationed there. Explain to us what he reported.

POPE: Well, this was Britain's most compelling UFO case and actually on the first night, it was claimed that a UFO had actually landed. And some of the United States Air Force personnel who were based in England at these air force bases got close enough to touch this thing to see strange markings on the side that they likened to Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Our defense intelligence staff assessed radiation levels taken at the landing site significantly higher than background. And that's a direct quote from the government's own assessment. Either this happened as the witnesses claimed and a UFO landed next to two of NATO's most important military bases at a time of huge international crisis, or all these American Air Force personnel were hallucinating or making it up.

BROWN: And, Nick, you didn't start off as a UFO researcher per se. In fact you were a skeptic about all this. What was it that made you a believer?

POPE: Well, I was a career government man. I served for 21 years in the Ministry of Defense. I certainly had no belief or no interest in UFOs. But the more I looked at these files, I investigated the cases that happened on my tour of duty and I began to think that while most of them could be easily explained, there were these small number -- the five percent or so where it did seem we had strong evidence that structured craft were performing speeds and maneuvers that we couldn't match.

Did any of us think they were extraterrestrial? Well, you know, no. We weren't paid up believers in little green men, but we didn't have an explanation either. So we just thought that there were some interesting defense and national security issues here.


BROWN: And that was Nick Pope again, a former employee of the Ministry of Defense in Great Britain.

Hurricane Bill now a category three and we have some good news tonight. Weather download coming up next.


BROWN: The weather making some big headlines tonight. Let's go back to HLN's Mike Galanos in Atlanta for the weather download.

Mike, what have you got.

MIKE GALANOS, CNN ATLANTA: Yes, Campbell, we've just gotten the latest update on Hurricane Bill's growing, bigger, stronger, faster churning out in the Atlantic. Sustained winds now 125 miles an hour, that makes it a major category three hurricane.

The good news is it's going to curve to the north. So that means as of right now, beaches and shorelines along the Eastern seaboard are going to get some pretty heavy surf. President Obama and the First Family, they're headed to Martha's Vineyard where the surf will be strong. So we're going to keep a close eye on this for the next few days.

And check this out. Look at the damage. This is at a Kohl's department store in Beaumont, Texas. That's near the gulf coast. A tornado struck causing part of a roof to collapse. The weather service caught by surprise here. Several people were taken to the hospital, thankfully all just minor injuries.

Campbell, back to you.

BROWN: All right, Mike. Thanks very much.


BROWN: We'll see you tomorrow night.

GALANOS: All right.

BROWN: And that is it for us tonight. Thank you for watching. We will see you tomorrow night, as well.

"LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.