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Afghanistan After Eight Years; Tax Advice for Pimp and Prostitute?; Former California Assemblyman's Conversation Caught on Open Mic

Aired September 11, 2009 - 13:59   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We're pushing forward to the next hour now. Routine, low-level, happens all the time. But when you're talking Washington, the Pentagon, the president, 9/11, is anything routine?

We're pushing forward now on a Coast Guard drill on the Potomac River very near a bridge that President Obama had just crossed after 9/11 ceremonies at the Pentagon. It caught other agencies, including the White House and FBI, off guard, but only because the Coast Guard considered it no big deal, not worth a heads up, yet crucial and critical to maintaining readiness.


VICE ADM. JOHN CURRIER, U.S. COAST GUARD: Our people have to train. They do it on a routine and normal basis. We coordinate our training with the other federal agencies. We have very, very well developed protocols for protection of the national capital region. This being a normal training exercise, preplanned, the coordination was minimal with other federal agencies.

I want to re-emphasize that no shots were fired. There was no suspect vessel. There was no criminal activity. This was a preplanned normal training exercise.


PHILLIPS: A former Coast Guard assistant commandant says that the goal is legit, but the timing and setting of this particular mock security breach was all wrong. Fran Townsend served as homeland security adviser to President Bush. She's now a national security contributor to CNN.


FRAN FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: There's a process by which, most of the time, other agencies and other local -- state and local officials and first responders are notified so they know not to react to what's going on. Now, we understand more now that this was a unit level, a very junior-level exercise on the Potomac.

It doesn't change the fact that to have done an operational exercise, even at the unit level, on the Potomac River during the memorial, even though we understand the president had left at that point, was not a good idea. And so, what it underscores is we still need to strengthen the process and procedures by which we plan exercises, we execute the exercise and we notify our colleagues.

And there was no notification as well to the media. And so, it was understandable when all of a sudden there was operational activity on the Potomac next to the Pentagon, there was going to be news coverage of it. I don't think anybody should have been surprised by that.


PHILLIPS: The Coast Guard says that it's taken a good, hard look at how all this was handled.

So, where were you eight years ago today? And will you ever forget what happened at the Pentagon, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and also New York City?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: James Autafret (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Louis Frank Avasano, Jr. (ph)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ezra Avilez (ph).




PHILLIPS: And so it went in New York -- 2,751 names in all were cited and remembered by the loves ones who lost their lives at the World Trade Center.

President Obama took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon to honor the 184 people who died in the attack there and to push forward America's task to ensure terrorists never get another chance.


BARACK H. OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let us renew our resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric act and who plot against us still. In defense of our nation, we will never waver. In pursuit of al Qaeda and its extremist allies, we will never falter.

Let us renew our commitment to all those who serve in our defense, our courageous men and women in uniform, and their families and all those who protect us here at home. Mindful that the work of protecting America is never finished, we will do everything in our power to keep America safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PHILLIPS: And in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field, bagpipes, tolling bells, and a memorial service for the victims there.

Of course, we're not just reminded of 9/11 on its anniversary. We're reminded of it every day in Afghanistan. 9/11 was just the beginning, and the story is still being written. Eight years after al Qaeda pulled the trigger, U.S. troops are still there. The risks just as high and the enemy just as dangerous as ever.

CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr explains.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And the IED was blocking this road in central Afghanistan a few days ago. This time, U.S. troops blew it up before it could cause harm, but stopping roadside bombs is an uphill battle.

We're losing people, as everybody knows.

STARR: The statistics are staggering. Since 2007, the number of IEDs in Afghanistan has jumped more than 300 percent. Many are found before they detonate, but the number of troops killed is up more than 400 percent. The number wounded up more than 700 percent.

One U.S. military source tells CNN that in just the last year, the Taliban's capacity to manufacture bombs, train attackers and target U.S. troops has grown.

On September 8th, near Kandahar, troops seized five tons of ammonium nitrate, more than twice what was used in the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. On August 27, C-4 plastic explosives believe manufactured in Iran were found in Herat by Afghan troops.

Experts say the Taliban have a key advantage. Afghanistan's dirt roads make it easy to quickly hide IEDs.

GEN. MONTGOMERY MEIGS (RET.), FMR. DIRECTOR, DOD IED TASK FORCE: You have disturbed earth all the time. You still probably have junk around, especially close to villages and close to intersections. That just makes the seeing and finding even by soldiers' eyes much more complicated.

STARR: Other worrisome Taliban tactics, in flat areas, like the southern Helmand Valley, detonation wires now may run for more than a mile so the attacker can remain out of sight. And the Taliban know that troops rigorously stop ahead of culverts to search for bombs. Now the Taliban are placing bombs where the convoys stop instead of in the culverts.


PHILLIPS: Barbara, it's a dangerous situation over there. I mean, we all realize that. So, what do you think, more troops on the ground?

STARR: Well, that's the big question right now, Kyra. You know, General McChrystal, the commander over there, is working on a proposal. No one knows exactly what it's going to say, but today, Senator Carl Levin spoke on Capitol Hill, and he recently met with McChrystal, and he says he thinks McChrystal's body language is to ask for more troops.

That's going to be very problematic, because Senator Levin, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a lot of Democrats are lining up voicing a lot of skepticism about escalating the war one more time, about sending large numbers of combat forces. And yet, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says, you know, time is running out in a certain fashion here, that there's only 12 to 18 months to really try and turn this around.

Have a listen, just for a minute, to some of what Senator Levin had to say.


SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: He did not share with us, nor did we expect him to, the options that he's laying out for the president in terms of additional combat forces. I think as of right now, it is likely that there will be a request from him for additional combat forces. I think that's likely based on all the stories that we read and from body language that we would get from him, that that's the current likelihood.


STARR: So, that's a pretty significant prediction about what General McChrystal is about to do.

Senator Levin, from his position, he says he doesn't want to send any more combat forces until he sees more of an effort to send more trainers, if you will, from the U.S. military to help train Afghan forces. But look at the way that war's going, Kyra. Everybody is in combat once they're in Afghanistan -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Isn't that the truth?

Barbara Starr, thanks so much.

Well, the world's oldest profession apparently doesn't fly when you're filing with the taxman, but there is a way around it. At least that's the advice a fake pimp and prostitute got from a couple of workers at the liberal grassroots group ACORN.

CNN Special Investigations Unit Correspondent Abbie Boudreau...

ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boudreau. Call me whatever you want to call me.

PHILLIPS: How many times -- lived in New Orleans, I know you so well. Why do I always stumble on your fabulous Cajun name? Bottom line, tell me about this tape.

BOUDREAU: Have you seen the tape?

PHILLIPS: I have, and it's pretty amazing. I mean, you're shocked that it happened.

BOUDREAU: Everyone's talking about this tape. You know, what happens here is that this is the tape where it appears two ACORN workers were caught on tape offering advice about how to set up a prostitution ring and evade the IRS. Here's what apparently happened.

A man and a woman posing as a pimp and prostitute secretly recorded a conversation with two ACORN workers. Now, the man who recorded the video is an independent filmmaker named James O'Keefe. He's also a conservative activist. And remember, ACORN is a liberal community organizing group.

OK. The undercover sting shows the pair approaching to women working at the ACORN office in Baltimore, Maryland. Now, O'Keefe and the woman posing as a prostitute are heard on the video asking for advice on how to set up a prostitution ring involving more than a dozen underage girls from El Salvador. And we're talking about girls they say were 14, 15, 16 years old.

Now, one of the ACORN workers tells the pair, now, you want to keep them clean, and make sure they go to school. She says to them, "Train them to keep their mouths shut."

One of the employees told the pair they could even declare some of the young girls as dependents to receive child tax credits. And there was even a point in the video where a worker suggests that the woman posing as a prostitute refer to herself as a performing artist on tax forms and to "stop calling yourself a prostitute."

Here's how that all unfolded.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Let's see what we've got here.

Combination food service and drinking places. That doesn't sound good. You're going to have to name something else.

Performance arts. Let's see, independent artist. You can be that.

Your business is a performing artist, which you are. OK? So you're not lying. A little play on words.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're a performing artist. OK? So stop saying prostitute.



BOUDREAU: Right. Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa is calling for a full congressional and Justice Department investigation into the matter. Here's what he had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your business is a performing artist, which you are.


BOUDREAU: OK. Well, that's obviously not the congressman.

We did talk to him, and he does feel as though the Justice Department should launch a full investigation, and that there should be congressional hearings about this.

Now, CNN also reached out to ACORN's national offices. We talked to Scott Levinson (ph), a spokesperson there. He says the portrayal is false and defamatory and an attempt of "gotcha journalism." Levinson (ph) told us today that the filmmakers made similar efforts in Philadelphia, and in that case, ACORN workers actually reported the filmmakers to the police. ACORN provided a copy of that police report to us.

Now, we do actually have that sound from Congressman King. Here's a listen to that.


REP. PETE KING (R), IOWA: Undermine our electoral process, and do so for partisan political activities, and be involved in a criminal enterprise. We have got to audit them completely, every single affiliated corporation that they have.

There needs to be a Department of Justice complete forensic audit. We need to do congressional investigations, and we need to shut off every dime going to ACORN until such time as they can have a clean bill of health.


BOUDREAU: Now, when we did talk to the spokesperson at ACORN, he said that he believes the video was "doctored" and that the group is considering legal action against the filmmakers.

Now, in a letter they sent to Fox News, provided by ACORN, ACORN claims that the questions asked by the filmmakers were edited after the fact, and that one of the staff members involved said she was never asked the questions on tape. In a letter to Fox, ACORN also says the worker "... denies ever giving tax advice to people identifying themselves as a pump and a prostitute." Now, despite that denial, the chairwoman of the Baltimore chapter of ACORN says both workers have been fired.


SONYA MERCHANT, ACORN BALTIMORE: They were dismissed. The two employees that were filmed in the video were immediately dismissed because they did not follow the protocol of this organization. There's specific guidelines of what you can do when you do intake, and that wasn't followed. And so, you know, they were dismissed.


BOUDREAU: Now, we've reached out to those two workers. They have not yet called us back.

But meanwhile, the filmmakers have posted another video that CNN is investigating, allegedly showing a similar sting taking place at an ACORN office in Washington, D.C. We're making calls on that, of course. But...

PHILLIPS: To be continued.

BOUDREAU: It doesn't seem to be ending. Yes, exactly.

PHILLIPS: Well, do we know if anybody else is looking into this?

BOUDREAU: Well, we did call the Baltimore Police Department, and they say that they're not investigating at this time.

PHILLIPS: And that's it? That's the only other entity that's looking into it?

BOUDREAU: Well, I mean, they said that they're not investigating. But at the same time, we just don't know what's going to happen. I mean, as these tapes -- if they continue to come out, and you start getting a lot of pressure from congressmen, like Congressman Steve King, who know what might happen.

PHILLIPS: What could happen. Got it.

BOUDREAU: Exactly. It depends on the pressure. And, you know, who knows?

PHILLIPS: We'll follow it.


PHILLIPS: Thanks so much, Abbie. Appreciate it.


PHILLIPS: Well, here's some advice. If you're in front of a mic, don't talk about your sex life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE DUVALL, FMR. CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLYMAN: So I've been getting into spanking her.


DUVALL: Yes. I like it.


PHILLIPS: Well, buddy, your wife might not like it. And we'll take some comfort, maybe you can. You're just the newest inductee in the Open Mic Hall of Fame -- or shame.


PHILLIPS: A busy week is winding down on Capitol Hill, but it won't be a quiet weekend. The so-called Tea Party protesters are on their way for a rally aimed at bringing town hall health care outrage to lawmakers' doorstep. Most lawmakers and President Obama will be out of town.

And today, the so-called Gang of 6 senators is still in search of bipartisan consensus. The issue of the moment is how to keep illegal immigrants from getting from receiving federal aid.

And open mic, close mouth. Don't spill your secrets because someone might be listening in.

A California lawmaker learned the lesson the hard way this week when bragging about his sexual conquests. But he wasn't the first and he probably won't be the last.

Here's CNN's Casey Wian.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When will they learn?

DUVALL: She wears little eye patch underwear.

WIAN: Self-proclaimed family values Republican state lawmaker Mike Duvall was captured by an open microphone before a California assembly hearing bragging to a colleague about his alleged sexual exploits with a lobbyist.

DUVALL: So I am getting into spanking her.


DUVALL: Yes. I like it.

WIAN: Much of Duvall's locker room tales are too graphic for television. The married father of two resigned Wednesday but says that's no admission he actually had an affair. It is however the latest case of a politician caught by an open mic. You'd think a former actor would know better. But California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was recorded talking about a lawmaker with Puerto Rican heritage.

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: I mean, they're all very hot. They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them. That together makes it.

WIAN: Then there was Jesse Jackson caught by a FOX News mic saying this about the presidential candidate he supported.

REV. JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: See, Barack been, um, talking down to black people on this faith based. I want to cut his (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off.

WIAN: And speaking of cutting off, that's essentially what Senators Hillary Clinton and John Edwards wanted to do to lesser known Democratic presidential candidates during an NAACP forum.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We got to talk because they are just being trivialized.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Senator Joseph Biden. Again, thank you so much. Thank you very much for coming. Have a great afternoon.



WIAN: It's unclear if Republican congresswoman Jean Schmidt was serious when an open mic caught her agreeing with a woman claiming President Obama is ineligible for the White House. A statement Schmidt later disavowed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He cannot be a president by our Constitution.

REP. JEAN SCHMIDT (R), OHIO: I agree with you, but the courts don't.

WIAN: Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell took heat for this backhanded endorsement of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano.

GOV. ED RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Janet's perfect for that job because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19-20 hours a day to it.

WIAN: Former President Clinton turned this less than artful phrase after an interview during the 2008 primaries, explaining his claim the Obama campaign played the race card against his wife.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I don't think I should take any (EXPLETIVE DELETED) from anybody on that, do you?

WIAN: President George W. Bush was also captured using salty language about a "New York Times" reporter.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Oh yes, yes. Good times.

WIAN: Actually that gaffe was small time compared to the lurid tales that caused former California Assemblyman Duvall his job.


PHILLIPS: And that was Casey Wian reporting.

Nobody likes to get flu shots, especially two flu shots. Well, there's some semi-good news when it comes to swine flu to day. One shot might do you.


PHILLIPS: Top stories.

Riot police in London moving in to separate Muslims and anti- Islamic protesters outside a mosque. That protest was planned by a right wing group called Stop the Islamification of Europe. Angry Muslims reportedly threw sticks and stones in counter-protests. No word on injuries or arrests.

Security scare on the 9/11 anniversary. But don't worry, it was just a test. Radio transmissions about the Coast Guard opening fire on a boat near the Pentagon touched off a scare this morning, and it turns out no shots were fired. It was just what the Coast Guard calls a run-of-the-mill training drill. The president, 9/11 survivors and victims' families were gathered at the Pentagon memorial just moments before.

One less shot? It sounds good to me.

New tests show that one dose of the swine flu vaccine is effective instead of the two previously believed, and that would effectively double the vaccine supply. The vaccine is not expected to be available until next month.

And now our hero of the week. Each year more than 52,000 Boy Scouts perform service projects in the U.S. as they pursue the group's highest rank, Eagle Scout. This year, a teenager from Maryland took his community service project just a little farther, to his birthplace in Siberia, Russia.


ANNOUNCER: This is "CNN Heroes."

ALEX GRIFFITH, EAGLE SCOUT: I was abandoned at Hospital Number 20 at birth. I was adopted at 11 and a half months old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first time we saw Alex, he had rickets, malnourished. We fell in love with him immediately. I said, "There's my son. Let's go home, son."

GRIFFITH: Hospital Number 20 gave me a chance to survive, and I wanted to give something back.

I'm Alex Griffith, and I'm building a playground at the hospital where I was adopted from. I've been in Boy Scouts for five years. I wanted to build a playground for my Eagle project.

The old playground at Hospital Number 20 had a rusty old swing with a wooden seat and a sandbox which was actually a mud pit because of all the rain. We had to design the playground.

These are the double-glide slides. Then (INAUDIBLE) playground, and then (INAUDIBLE) over to build it.

Volunteers from all over the world helped to build this playground. All of us adopted from Russia have not and probably will never forget our birth land.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I like this playground because when you slide on it, all the sadness goes away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Makes me very proud. He is becoming an example to (INAUDIBLE) everything is possible if you don't give up.

GRIFFITH: It made me happy just being here. That's all I can say.


PHILLIPS: Well, if you want more information, you can go to our Web site,

Eight years after 9/11, dozens of people still getting sick from the toxic air at Ground Zero that day. We'll hear from a group of firefighters who are battling serious illnesses.


PHILLIPS: 9/11/2001, eight years in the past, but still very much with us. A current event in 2009, the evidence at Ground Zero in New York City, where the names of victims were read off today one by one, and on the ground in Afghanistan, where America's servicemen and women push forward the fight day by day.

Would you have thought back on 9/11/2001, that eight years later, the stakes in Afghanistan would be as high as ever?

CNN's Michael Ware can tell us more about that. He's been in the battle zone with some extraordinary reports. He joins us live once again from Kabul.

And I don't know about you, Michael, but I find it fascinating that even eight years later, still so many people don't understand the difference between al Qaeda and the Taliban, and how it all came together on 9/11, and how much of that terrorism still thrives in that country.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. I mean, it was a complex mix of extremist, you know, jihad or Islamic militant groups that were festering here in Afghanistan that, you're right, did give rise to the actual September 11 attacks.

However, that was eight years ago. That was a long time ago. Al Qaeda does not have bases or sanctuary of any kind here in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda attacks account for just mere percentage points out of the bulk of the violence that's occurring here at the hands of the Afghan Taliban.

Indeed, the U.S. military mission here is fighting a war that no longer really has much to do with Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda. They're across the border in Pakistan's wild tribal areas.

Here in Afghanistan, this is a fight with the Afghan Taliban, a very different organization to al Qaeda. Extremist Islamic group, but one that cares only about Afghanistan. The threat to America, you know, many people argue is the countering that threat to America's national security being answered by fighting the war in Iraq today. People here on the ground legitimately asking that, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: And how important do you think it is eight years later that the U.S. military has not found or captured Osama bin Laden?

WARE: Well, I mean, obviously, Osama bin Laden is an extraordinary symbol for both sides of this conflict. The fact he's still alive, the fact that he can still be out there is an enormous symbolic achievement, a victory for al Qaeda and it's supporters. And obviously, it's a bitter pill for the West to take, knowing that he's still lurking out there somewhere.

However, operationally, effectively, here on the ground, or in terms of al Qaeda's, you know, international operations, it kind of doesn't matter. Even if you capture Osama bin Laden tonight, once the celebrations have died down, you'll find that there's an al Qaeda that still continues without him, perhaps in some ways even stronger.

I mean, al Qaeda is an organization designed for loss. It's a network that's built knowing it's going to lose its leadership and its members, so those below are immediately ready to step up. It's compartmentalized, fractured and broken up and sprinkled across the world. So if they do lose their leader Osama bin Laden, that doesn't necessarily mean anything to the actual body of the al Qaeda terror machine itself, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Michael Ware, great work this week. Thanks so much.

As you can imagine, there's been a lot of impact since 9/11 and now we're talking about 9/11's toxic air eight years later. Getting the blame for a lot of illnesses now, and police officers, firefighters and others who were there at Ground Zero on that day. And doctors are discovering dozens of new cases every month. Here's CNN's Deborah Feyerick with more.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New York City police detective James Adroga, a first responder after the World Trade Center attacks, died in 2006 at age 34 of complications from a respiratory illness.

(on camera): How much time did he spend at this site?

JOSEPH ZADROGA, SON DIED OF RESPIRATORY ILLNESS: He spent approximately 400 hours.

FEYERICK (voice-over): Zadroga joined thousands of others in the weeks after the towers fell, searching for bodies amidst burning asbestos, lead and other cancer causing agents.

ZADROGA: When he died, he had the lungs of a 97-year-old man.

FEYERICK: Doctors tracking 9/11 illnesses say they continue to see new patients, 200 every month. And it's not only respiratory diseases. At New York City's Mount Sinai Medical Center, there's an emerging pattern.

DR. JACQUELINE MOLINE, WTC MEDICAL MONITORING & TREATMENT PROGRAM: What we found is that a number of younger folks developed a cancer that's normally associated with older age groups.

FEYERICK (off camera): By a show of hands, who here has a family history of the disease of which they're now affected? None of you?

(voice-over): These men in their late 30s, early 40s, served with the NYPD. All worked the notorious pile (ph). Detective John Walcott, for seven months.

JOHN WALCOTT, RET. DETECTIVE, NYPD: We all sucked in the same air. And I think whether it's emotional or something, everybody walked away with some sort of problem.

FEYERICK: All are sick and getting sicker like Detective Ron Richards (ph) who seemed fine until a routine checkup just two years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's when my nightmare started. I was in kidney failure and that turned out to be because of multiple myeloma, stage three.

FEYERICK: And retired Vice Detective Ernest Vallebuona, who has lymphoma.

RNEST VALLEBUONA, RET. DETECTIVE, NYPD: I feel like half the man I was since 9/11.

FEYERICK (on camera): Is this just you four?



FEYERICK (voice-over): Where is the money coming from to treat all these people?

Nine thousand first responders and volunteers are suing New York City and building contractors, asking for $1 billion for medical testing and treatment.

The city says it's not at fault and supports a pending Senate bill that would potentially reopen the victim's compensation fund to provide for those too sick to work. But for these men, the fight has taken a toll.

(on camera): How many of you feel that you've been a little bit abandoned?

REGGIE HILAIRE, NYPD: If we're sick, we're not being taken care of, what kind of message does this send to next responders?

FEYERICK (voice-over): As they wrestle with diseases almost certain to cut short their lives, their fear is for those left behind.

VALLEBUONA: What we really worry about is, you know, our families. You know, we want to make sure our families are taken care of.


FEYERICK: Funding for medical programs runs out in 2010. Doctors fear they will not be able to track diseases that develop 20, even 30 years from now or that they will fully understand the ultimate death toll.

PHILLIPS: Deborah Fitger -- Deborah Feyerick, thank you so much for that story.

Now, Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 people on 9/11. Most of its -- most of the individuals in the New York office. So, those who survived vowed to keep the company going and to take care of the families and to truly make 9/11 a day of service.

Susan Lisovicz actually witnessed that firsthand earlier today. Susan, boy, I remember that you just -- just what you remember from 9/11 where you were and what you saw. And I know that's made a tremendous impact on you still eight years later.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How could it not, Kyra? How could it not on any of us? But what we have to remember is that 9/11 is a day that we saw not only the worst of humanity, but we also saw the best of humanity. And that's what I saw today, the fifth year in a row. Charity Day at BCG Partners, which is a spin-off of Cantor.

One hundred percent of the proceeds of 9/11 go to charity. All sorts of celebrities come to the trading floor today. There were members of the Sopranos, Whoopee Goldberg, the Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett, all trying to inspire the traders to bring up their game.

One survivor, Kyra, was an engineer I talked to. He was just outside the building when the plane struck the North Tower. He literally rebuilt the computer network at Cantor. He slept on a cot for months. He says he felt like he lost his family. But Kyra, he says 9/11 today, eight years later is a day of celebration.


RON BAUNDANZA, BGC PARTNERS: So, now it's our way I celebrate them by giving back and being able to do this stuff and give back to other people, you know? And they live on. To go through that on 9/11, it's like an act that you can't explain. Why would somebody do that? There's no explanation to it, there's no reasoning to it. There's no, I guess, revenge to it. The only revenge is kind of to continue to go on.


LISOVICZ: And that's what they do. And today is a perfect example, I think of what everybody at Cantor would have wanted the survivors to do, is to make the company bigger and stronger and to make 9/11 a day of service. But he was getting misty-eyed even as Ron Baundanza was talking about a day of celebration. It was hard for him to contain his emotions.

PHILLIPS: So, how much money was raised?

LISOVICZ: $23 million in the past four years. That's on the Charity Day.

PHILLIPS: Oh, my gosh. I thought you were going to say 23,000. $23 million?

LISOVICZ: No, no, no. Millions on each of these past four 9/11s. So, we're hoping a whole lot of money will be raised today. I saw a lot of feverish trading. This is in addition, by the way, to the 25 percent of Cantor's profit for the first five years that went to the Cantor families. That is $180 million. One of the causes, by the way, the Wounded Warriors Project. So, we hope BGC raises a whole lot of money.

PHILLIPS: Absolutely. Thanks, Susan.


PHILLIPS: New reports and renewed outrage over South African track star Castor Semenyan. Male, female or something more? We're going to talk about it.


PHILLIPS: Top stories now.

Families and friends of those killed in the World Trade Center attacks eight years ago today got a sneak peek at the memorial being built on Ground Zero. The memorial is expected to be partially complete and open for (AUDIO GAP).

More fallout on the heckle heard around the world. Democrats say they'll vote to admonish South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson, who yelled "You lie" as President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night. House Democrats want another "I'm sorry" from Wilson for violating congressional rules of decorum.

Call it the caper, or capper, rather, for NBA great Michael Jordan's incredible playing career. His Airness will be enshrined later tonight in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Never in doubt, it's what you call a slam dunk of a decision.

And a sports story far less obvious. Remember the South African runner whose gender came into question? New reports out of Britain and Australia from unnamed sources, we should add, say that Castor Semenya was born with both male and female organs. CNN's Robin Curnow has the latest now, as well as the swift reaction to the gender revelations from Johannesburg, South Africa.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): For many South Africans, the reports that their star athlete Castor Semenya could possibly be both a man and a woman was mixed with much confusion. Which is why some newspapers had headlines like this, "What is a Hermaphrodite or an Intersexual Person?"

But beyond the initial confusion, many of the headlines reflect the anger that South Africans feel. This one saying shock. This one saying outrage. Basically South africans are very angry. They feel that the international athletics body and the media has treated Semenya badly, and she's been publicly humiliated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the right to privacy? If (INAUDIBLE) she's not a woman the way they define a woman to be, it shouldn't have been leaked to the media. It should have been an internal issue with her and her family and the South African (INAUDIBLE).

CURNOW: So you think she's been treated badly?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's been appalling. I think she's not only been treated badly, she's been made to be less than human.

CURNOW: Now it's important to remember that the International Athletics Body has not confirmed these leaked reports, saying that perhaps Semenya is a hermaphordite. That said, they do confirm that they have taken legal advice on whether or not they can strip Semenya of her gold medal. They say not because she hasn't cheated and that her condition is medical -- she was effectively born with it. The final results of the gender tests taken on Semenya, according to the athletics body, will only be available in the next few weeks.

Now still, though, very many questions about whether Semenya now will be banned or disqualified from competing internationally in women's events. This is what the sports minister here in South Africa had to say to any suggestions that she could be excluded from competing.

MAKHENKESI STOFILE, SOUTH AFRICAN SPORTS MINISTER: I think it would be the third World War. We will go to the highest levels of contesting such a decision, which we would think would be a totally unfair and totally unjust decision.

CURNOW: There's been no comment from Semenya, but she is due to race in an athletics meeting on Saturday. There have been some suggestions that she might not turn up for that race. Either way, wherever she is in South Africa, because nobody has heard or seen from her, she can rest assured that the South African public is still very much behind her. And as this newspaper says, she's still our golden girl.

Robyn Curnow, CNN, Johannesburg, South Africa.


PHILLIPS: Well, I'm sure that many of you are just like us this morning in our editorial meeting. You know, there's a plethora of questions about this, obviously some more difficult than others. We're going to try and answer as many of them as we can.

And do to that, we've asked Dr. Alice Dregger to join us now live from Lansing, Michigan. This is the professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University Medical Center.

I know you have been following this case very closely, Doctor, and there's so many questions to ask you from a physical level to a psychological level to whether she should be able to compete if indeed she has both male and female organs. So maybe let me see where you stand generally on this and where you think the biggest struggle is probably for Semenya right now as she's having to deal with all of this. It's a lot to handle.

DR. ALICE DREGER, PROFESSOR, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: It is a lot to handle, and I think that's one indication that this has been handled really badly. She had pretty much no warning that this was coming. There's no really good policy for her to prepare herself for this or any other athlete to prepare. And as a consequence, she's being subjected to international scrutiny where her sex is concerned. That's a really awful situation to be in.

PHILLIPS: How common is this condition, having both male and female organs?

DREGER: Nobody has all of male and all of female organs, and that's why we don't use the term hermaphrodite anymore...

PHILLIPS: Yes, that's kind of confusing. I was going to ask you, is that sort of a not a politically correct term anymore, like so many terms have changed because we have more understanding as to what this condition is?

DREGER: It isn't an issue of being politically incorrect, although it's offensive word to people with these conditions. The real issue is that it's misleading. So, t gives you that everybody is born with all of the female and all of the male types, and nobody can do that. You can only have one body developed, and as a consequence, you can only have something like male or female or sometimes a mix of some characteristics and other characteristics, but you don't have the complete male and female type. That's a misnomer.

PHILLIPS: So, there is talk that possibly she may be able to produce large amounts of testosterone, which would be the side of the male organs that we're talking about. If that's true, should she be allowed to compete against other women? I mean, how do you work that out from a professional athletic decision when it's supposed to be women against women and men against men?

DREGER: That's a great question. And what's really interesting is the IAAF, the board that oversees these sports, actually has a policy that explicitly says that for some conditions, women born with testes, making lots of testosterone, in fact can compete.

So, let's just step back a second and understand how hormones work. Men and women both have in addition to having sex organs, they have something called the adrenal glands. And those adrenal glands make hormones called androgens. Testosterone is one kind of androgen that's made by testes.

But women make androgens, just like men do. So, all of us are making the kinds of hormones that are thought of as the strength building, masculinizing hormones. So, as a consequence, everybody has that. The question is how much is too much to compete in a women's sport?

Well, what's interesting is that IAAF has said that women who are born with testes who are making lots of testosterone but whose cells don't respond to that testosterone can compete as women. And they've also said that women who have tumors on those adrenal glands, so women who are making lots and lots of androgens because they have adrenal cancer, are allowed to compete as women. So the IAAF policy is kind of all over the place in this way, and having testes doesn't automatically disqualify you from competing as a woman.

PHILLIPS: Interesting. Well, it's definitely a fascinating story, and whatever the situation is, she sure is a fabulous athlete. And we're going to stay on top of this. Dr. Dreger, great insight. Thank you so much.

DREGER: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: A group of women thought they were part of a reality show, but in reality, the show might have been a total sham. The real reality? The stars were captives.


PHILLIPS: Big shoes to fill today, T.J. Holmes.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Big shoes, always, big -- all kinds of things. Sitting in for Rick Sanchez today. You know something else we're going to be hitting on today. You know all too well when reporters go to war zones, no matter if you do think you're in a safe place, you always need to watch out. That's something that our Michael Ware knows all too well. Take a quick look.




HOLMES: That's an IED exploding right next to where our Michael Ware and a cameraman were reporting. We will have that full report and show you just how close he got. Show you some more of that video.

Also, one other thing, Kyra, I can tell you about, we're going to have Representative Adam Smith from Washington, a Democrat, might be a split among the Democrats now on what should happen next in Afghanistan. The president may be wanting to send more troops, some Democrats are saying, not so fast. So, we'll see where he stands on that. Might be another split. Already got a split in health care reform among Democrats. Might have something else that (INAUDIBLE).

PHILLIPS: See you in a minute. More from the CNN NEWSROOM straight ahead.


PHILLIPS: Attractive young women -- were they duped and imprisoned in a villa by porn peddlers? Or did they simply call in the police to help them break their contract with an Internet contest, similar to the reality TV show "Big Brother"? CNN's Ivan Watson has the latest scandal rocking the Turkish capital of Istanbul.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The reality TV industry may have sunk to yet a new low. Earlier this week, Jean Darnitch (ph) here in Turkey raided a house in eastern Istanbul, and they released eight or nine young women under the age of 18. That's according to Jeandarn (ph) officer we spoke with.

A suspect was also detained and then released pending investigation. Now, the women in the house have since claimed in Turkish press reports that they were held at the house against their will. They were being filmed and their images were then being sold on the Internet as part of a reality TV show, somewhat similar to the series Big Brother.

That's a claim that's been denied by a lawyer for the Turkish production company which was running the house. He said the nine contestants, all young women, had signed contracts to appear in a contest, and the winner of the contest would then receive cash prizes.

Now, we have gone to the Web page which is decorated in hot pink and it's titled "We Are at Home." And it's accompanied by dance music and videos shot of the nine women introducing themselves on camera. They appear in bikinis, they are scantily clad, they appear by a pool, exercising, dancing in some cases, and telling the camera that their dream is to become famous, many of them. Their dream is to become a model.

Viewers are able to then vote for their favorite young woman and even buy virtual gifts for these women in the form of pearl necklaces, chocolate or even beer. One of the young women is described by the first name Tuche and described on the Web site as being 18 years old. But then on camera, she goes on to say that she is 16 years old, which is sure to attract controversy and condemnation.

This isn't the first time that the booming reality TV show industry in Turkey has attracted scandal. In 2005, a contestant on the hit show "Would You Be My Bride?" was found dead in a hotel room of an apparent drug overdose after the show wrapped. That show was then condemned by the Turkish prime minister.

Since that show, the mother of the contestant who went on to pass away, she also appeared in the show and has since appeared in a new TV show as a host, also of a matchmaking TV show.

Ivan Watson, CNN Istanbul.


PHILLIPS: I'm Kyra Phillips. Thank you for joining us. We're back on Monday. Meanwhile, T.J. Holmes is in for Rick Sanchez. Take it away.