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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Iraq: Breeding Terror; War and Politics; Clinton vs. Condi; Torture, Terror and Us; On the Money Trail
Aired September 26, 2006 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Secrets revealed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You read it for yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Is the war in Iraq creating more terrorists? Today, the president takes action to try and answer the question, did it backfire?
Torture victim. Falsely accused of being an al Qaeda, a man endures unspeakable acts of brutality.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER ARAR, TORTURE VICTIM: It's so painful and it stands just beyond human imagination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: And fights to clear his name.
And, high power, high price tag. With the midterm elections fast approaching, we're on the money trail, giving you the facts and the figures on the billions being spent.
Across the country and around the world this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Reporting from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again. We begin with a political free for all. It began with the leak of material from a classified National Intelligence Estimate that seemed to blame the war in Iraq for the growth in global terror.
President Bush and others called the leak political and today released four pages of that 30-page report. In a moment we're going to walk through the conclusion, so you can judge for yourself.
We begin, however, with CNN's Elaine Quijano and the politics of it all.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Bush launched a full-throated political defense, attacking what he called the politically motivated leaking of a classified National Intelligence Estimate dealing partly with Iraq.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It will stop all the speculation, all the politics about somebody saying something about Iraq. John Negroponte, the DNI, is going to declassify the document as quickly as possible. He declassified the key judgments.
QUIJANO: The president suggested his critics do not understand the war against terrorists.
BUSH: Well, they don't see what I see. They're out there. They're mean. And they need to be brought to justice.
QUIJANO: President Bush noted the NIE was completed in April and leaked just weeks before congressional midterm elections. The president came prepared with talking points on the subject.
BUSH: We weren't in Iraq when they first attacked the World Trade Center in 1993.
QUIJANO: But he insisted he was not declassifying it for political purposes.
BUSH: Because I want you to read the document so you don't speculate about what it says.
QUIJANO: Democrats say it is perfectly clear what the documents say. The Iraq war has made the U.S. less safe.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: It is long overdue for this administration, the Bush administration, to speak truth to the American people on what's happening in Iraq and how it affects our safety.
QUIJANO: The president was asked about comments by former President Clinton, critical of his pre-9/11 efforts to find Osama bin Laden. Mr. Bush said he didn't want to comment, but he did say that he didn't have time for what he called finger-pointing. And, then, he did take the time to define his opponent's views.
BUSH: And -- but there's a difference of opinion. It will become clear during this campaign, where people will say, get out, leave, before the job is done.
And those are good, decent, patriotic people who believe that way. I just happen to believe they're absolutely wrong.
QUIJANO: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a crucial U.S. ally in the war on terror, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with President Bush.
HAMID KARZAI, PRESIDENT, AFGHANISTAN: Terrorism was hurting us way before Iraq or September 11. And how do we fight them? How do we get rid of them, other than going after them? Should we wait for them to come and kill us again?
QUIJANO (on camera): President Karzai's visit comes ahead OF another high-level meeting. On Wednesday, he'll meet with President Bush once again, as well as Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf. Mr. Bush is hoping to ease tensions between the two key U.S. allies over the recent resurgence of Taliban activity along their border.
Elaine Quijano, CNN, the White House.
COOPER: Well, bear in mind that the declassified portion of the report in question are themselves analysis, not hard fact. That said, they do reflect the consensus of the U.S. intelligence agencies and not one party or another. So, a closer look now from CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For days Iraq's effect on worldwide terrorism has been debated. The White House, effectively, saying the war is beating terrorists down. Critics saying it is enraging them and building the terrorist threat up.
Now a summary of the report that started the scuffle is out. And, as it is with the war itself, neither side seems to have won.
Cal Temple is a former Department of Defense counterterrorism official.
CAL TEMPLE, TERRORISM RESEARCH CENTER: It is not a dismal bad news story, and it is not a frontline or headline newspaper saying that we're winning or we have won.
FOREMAN: Key judgments include plenty for America to worry about.
"Jihadists are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion," the report says. "If this trend continues, threats to U.S. interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide. The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement."
It says attacks in Europe demonstrate how radicals are hiding in Muslim communities there and seeking a gateway to America.
TEMPLE: Europe is six hours away from Manhattan, Washington, D.C., and nine hours away from L.A. And, so, it is the air bridge, if you will, to the United States.
FOREMAN: But other judgments show the administration's Iraq goals are on target.
"If democratic reforms in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process."
It notes some moderate Muslim clerics are condemning terrorist violence, and most Muslims don't want an ultraconservative religious state.
The report says, if key leaders keep being killed or arrested, the entire terrorist movement will splinter and weaken. And, "Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight."
(On camera): In many ways, no matter how you read this, it seems like it really does come down to Iraq.
TEMPLE: We have got a lot more hard work to do in Iraq. But, sure, if democracy succeeds there, we win; they lose. And, if it doesn't, they have won the battle.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Whether the White House won or lost politically by releasing the report is a whole different fight.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, now a man who knows firsthand what goes into the making of intelligence. James Woolsey is a former director of Central Intelligence. He's now a vice president of Booze Allen Hamilton, and was an early supporter of the war in Iraq.
Thanks for being with us.
This report says that the U.S. has caused great damage to the leadership of al Qaeda, but it also says that the number of jihadists is growing and that they are spreading. How can the president continue to say that Iraq is making us safer if that's fact, if the number's growing and they're getting more widespread?
JAMES WOOLSEY, CIA DIRECTOR, 1993-1995: Well, the Germans fought harder at the Battle of the Bulge probably than they did earlier in the war. The Japanese fought very hard at Iwo Jima. Often there's a surge in activity during a war.
COOPER: Do you think the end is in sight? Do you think this is the end game?
WOOLSEY: No, I don't. I think this war will last decades -- not Iraq, but the struggle with Islamic extremists in the Middle East, Islamists. But I think the key thing is that this is a pretty balanced document once you look at the parts that were released. It doesn't really reflect the single issue alone that came out in the original "New York Times" story.
COOPER: Right, it was clearly for political purposes. I mean, there's no doubt about it, given what was leaked.
COOPER: But, I mean, it is -- it's almost confusing because when you read it, you can take a paragraph and say, oh look, this proves the Democrats case; or you can take a paragraph, and this proves the Republicans' case.
WOOLSEY: National Intelligence Estimates are sometimes like that.
COOPER: Is that right?
WOOLSEY: On the one hand this, on the other hand that. I think the key thing is that it focuses in part on future and it says, if we're able to pull this out in Iraq, not necessarily a Jeffersonian democracy, but something sane, it will badly damage the jihadis. And if we're not, it substantially helps them.
It also says that if we're able to move toward democracy and the rule of law in this part of the world, it will badly damage the Islamists, terrorists.
So I think you know, it read to me as a pretty balanced document, frankly.
COOPER: That's a mighty big if though. I mean both those ifs, and that's clearly what Republicans are focusing on. The message, what Democrats are focusing is on is that the numbers of jihadists is increasing and that they are spreading. That sort of belies the argument that the president has been making.
WOOLSEY: Well, I think it doesn't in a sense, because bitter fighting is going to be part of any war. And if you compare the situation to what would have been the case if we had not gone into Iraq at all, there might have been fewer jihadis, but on the other than hand, Saddam was averaging about 60,000 people a year whose deaths he was responsible for over his 30 years in power. If you count the people who were killed in the wars he started, as well as the domestic people that he murdered.
COOPER: Would it have been easier to fight the war on terror -- I mean, some Republicans are making the argument, well, look, it's good to have people in a central location, jihadis in a central location, that you can fight them there. Some terrorism analysts we talked to said, well, look, it's not the case that they're all focused there.
WOOLSEY: Anderson, I think a lot of this overstresses our role as a motivator for what's go on. I think these essentially Islam fascists, whatever you want to call them, these movements, both on the Sunni and the Shiite side in Iraq and Iran, were going to be coming anyway. Look, when they came after us 9/11, bin Laden said in his spot well beforehand that they were doing it because we had troops in Saudi Arabia. A year or two later we removed the troops from Saudi Arabia and they moved something up. So, we've been under attack since 1979 from one or another of the Islamists group. I think it really sets up our being the driver too much to say that it's the Iraq war. And if you read the estimate as a whole, it's more balanced than that original statement.
COOPER: When you read, though, the philosophy a lot of these groups, I mean, their true targets are other Islamic regimes that they don't believe are Islamic enough. I mean, they want to create a complete Islamic state, all of the Taliban, in many of these places.
But there are those who argue that the U.S. has made itself the driving force, has made itself enemy number one, and not done enough of a job of sort of pointing out what these guys really want, which is something that most Muslims don't really want.
WOOLSEY: I think it's pretty clear that back as far as '96, Zawahiri decided, and his documents indicate this, that they wanted to move against what they called the far enemy, us, rather than the near enemy. They had failed in knocking Mubarak out of Egypt and they failed in some of their efforts to undermine the Saudi state, and they decided to come after the power that they thought was supporting these governments in the Middle East. And they did that long before we moved into Iraq.
COOPER: But hitting them all, though, with a very broad brush, have we made it in fact easier for them to paint us as the enemy, as opposed to sort of focusing -- and this NIE brief talks about kind of pointing out the differences between these groups and pointing out that what they are ultimately calling for is action against other Muslims and is probably abhorrent to most Muslims. We've somehow made them the standard bearer for the dissatisfied Muslims.
WOOLSEY: My own view is that we needed to go into Afghanistan. I supported going into Iraq when we did, but there's a legitimate argument about whether we needed to go into Iraq as quickly as we did and whether or not I think we've certainly made some mistakes in fighting the war in Iraq.
But generally speaking, I think the president is right, we're not going to have peace in that part of the world until we help it move toward democracy and the rule of law, not immediately by balloting, not quickly, it's going to take decades to bring change about in that part of the world. But if we just leave it alone, we would have seen more and more and more 9/11s. We were trying more or less to leave it alone on 9/11 and they came after us.
COOPER: James Woolsey, I appreciate your perspective. Thanks.
The report that is causing so much debate was produced by the National Intelligence council which serves the Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte. Here's the raw data on the council. The NIC, created in 1979, is an outgrowth of the early CIA that took root after World War II. Its reports are a consensus view of America's 16 intelligence agencies. Thirteen national intelligence officers work on the council, each with an area of expertise. From the intelligence on terror, to the hunt for the top terrorist, Condoleezza Rice, taking on Bill Clinton over his remarks that the Bush administration dropped the ball in those first eight months of their administration in tracking down Osama bin Laden.
Also, wrongly accused marked as a member of al Qaeda, an innocent man is sent to Syria and tortured. We'll hear his story and the methods used by U.S. interrogators.
Plus, the war against criminals. The battle to retake a prison where the inmates made all of the rules.
You're watching 360.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Do you think you did enough, sir?
CLINTON: No, because I didn't get him.
CLINTON: But at least I tried. That's the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, the fallout over that interview continues. Former President Bill Clinton saying the Bush administration is attempting to rewrite history by blaming him for failing to get bin Laden before 9/11.
The White House heard his remarks. It responded with some sharp words from the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
CNN's Brian Todd reports.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An extraordinary brush back from a sitting secretary of state to a former president, prompted by Bill Clinton's combative exchange with "FOX News" on whether he did enough to pursue al Qaeda.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I tried. So, I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti- terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted.
TODD: Condoleezza Rice fires back, telling the editorial board of "The New York Post," "We were not left with a comprehensive strategy to fight al Qaeda."
But she stopped short of calling President Clinton a liar.
And, from the other side:
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: You know, and I'm certain that if my husband and his national security team had been shown a classified report entitled, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States," he would have taken it more seriously than history suggests it was taken by our current president and his national security team.
TODD: So, what does the record show? The 9/11 Commission Report does mention a plan to roll back al Qaeda launched after the 1998 embassy attacks in Africa.
P.J. CROWLEY, FORMER NSC SPOKESMAN: As extensive planning, you know, through the Clinton administration and Richard Clarke presented that Delenda Plan to Condi Rice in February 2001.
TODD: Delenda, then counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke's initiative to go after al Qaeda's financial network, train and arm its enemies, take out its leaders. Clarke did not return our calls and email. The 9/11 report says, after Clarke presented the plan to Rice, quote, "Rice and her then aide Stephen Hadley began to address the issues."
SEAN MCCORMACK, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: They took a look at this plan, decided that they needed, there were missing components to it.
TODD: Like a detailed plan for dealing with Pakistan.
A Clinton administration official concedes it was difficult to engage with Pakistan then because it had recently tested nuclear weapons, and Pervez Musharraf had taken over in a military coup. As for the classified report entitled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," that was shown to President Bush just one month before the September 11 attacks.
One spectator to this blame game, New York's former mayor.
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: The people to blame for September 11 are the terrorists who did it, who are our enemies, who are at war with us, not President Bush, not President Clinton.
TODD (on camera): The 9/11 Commission Report is fairly evenhanded on all of this, saying that while the Bush administration was initially lukewarm to Richard Clarke's Delenda Plan, it did in the months before 9/11 start to implement parts of it, by exploring ways to work with al Qaeda's enemies, and by starting to pressure Pakistan to crack down on the Taliban.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Well, for more on the war of words, earlier I spoke to CNN's Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley and CNN's Senior National Correspondent John Roberts.
COOPER: So, John, now you have Condi Rice asserting that the Bush administration did just as much to kill bin Laden as the Clinton administration did in the preceding years, which is, of course, one of Bush's strengths, terrorism. How worried do you think the Bush administration is that Clinton's accusations are going to stick?
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, they're very worried, which is why Condoleezza Rice came out so quickly to say, hey, listen, we were after bin Laden, true.
And the 9/11 Commission does a little bit back her -- back her up on that a little bit, they reporting that they had a few meetings on it. They were working on a presidential directive, wanting to, quote, "break the back of al Qaeda."
But it really -- there wasn't a lot of follow-through on that until after September the 11th, when everything changed. For her to say that they were doing as much as the Clinton administration, and the 9/11 Commission recognized that, perhaps might be not exactly true to what the 9/11 Commission said.
But you got to take a look at what President Clinton is right now. Remember, in the 2004 campaign, the 2002 campaign, he wasn't really that visible. The 2000 campaign, Al Gore didn't want anything to do with him.
But now he's out. He's out there all the time. He's credible. Many former Republicans -- many Republicans who I have talked to say that, you know, they couldn't stand him when he was in office, but he looks like a statesman now. So, people are listening to what he's saying, Anderson. When he says something critical about this administration, when he stands up and fights, the administration has to take notice.
COOPER: Candy, I mean, a sign of his power that two days after that interview on -- with Chris Wallace, people are still talking about it. Do you think there was a political angle to his outburst? I mean, was it planned?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, certainly, the president has some -- the former president has some deep feelings about this. And nobody wants having ignored a threat to be part of their legacy.
Having said that, look, it's a political season. And what have the Democrats wanted to put out there? They have wanted to put out there that they are just as aggressive and that they can make America safer than Republicans.
They have had a hard time getting that out sort of on a national platform. Along comes their best spokesman, their most popular politician, and, by the way, their most -- their best political strategist.
So, Clinton has been telling Democrats across the board, listen, you have got to speak up on national security. You have got to be tough and show that you are tough on national security. That he did this on national television I don't think is a coincidence.
COOPER: John, do you think it was a calculated move on Clinton's part?
ROBERTS: Well, I covered him for a year-and-a-half, Anderson, and this guy doesn't get surprised by very much. He usually goes into everything he does very much prepared. You know, I do not really want to give an opinion here, but, from observing him, it might be safe to say that he had some things to say. He was waiting for the opportune moment.
And while Chris Wallace, it would appear, from a journalistic standpoint, was asking a legitimate question, the way that President Clinton picked up on it might be an indication that he was prepared for just such an event.
COOPER: You know, Hillary Clinton said her husband "did a great job" -- and I'm quoting, "did a great job in demonstrating that Democrats are not going to take these attacks."
I mean, Candy, do the Democrats gain from all this?
CROWLEY: I think the net gain is for the Democrats if you are sort of parsing this along political lines because, again, it just gave visibility to what they have been trying to say in an election that all of them believe will turn on national security and, in particular, on the Democrats' ability to at least tamp down some of what has been the Republican advantage.
COOPER: John, Candy, thanks.
COOPER: Well, another top story that we are covering tonight, treatment of prisoners. How should prisoners in war, in the war on terror in particular, be treated?
Sleep deprivation, freezing, the sensation that they are drowning, water boarding. Are those interrogation techniques or are they torture? The debate is not over on Capitol Hill. That story is coming up.
And should the president have nearly unlimited power to designate someone an enemy combatant? Critics say the new terror bill would allow it. We'll talk with blogger and author Andrew Sullivan when 360 continues.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Spending some time tonight on how to fight the war on terror, with what tools and against whom. Over the weekend the White House and key Senate members reached a compromise on legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist wants a vote on it by Friday. Not everyone thinks we know enough about it, however.
What we do know is that the bill's language is open to interpretation. It bars interrogators from inflicting serious and permanent mental harm or physical disability, but it doesn't really go into specifics.
In a moment, we'll hear from a critic who calls that a blank check for this and future presidents.
First, here's CNN's Deborah Feyerick.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Depriving prisoners of sleep, freezing them, making them feel they're drowning. Are they interrogation techniques, torture, or useful form of intelligence gathering?
Senator John McCain, former prisoner of war, tortured by the Vietnamese, calls them extreme and says they should never be used by U.S. interrogators.
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It's clear we have to have the moral high ground and we cannot violate the Geneva Conventions.
FEYERICK: But U.S. interrogators have been using these techniques and others, expecting prisoners will talk and give useful information.
JOSHUA DRATEL, ATTORNEY FOR GUANTANAMO BAY DETAINEE: It doesn't take very much to get you disoriented and completely helpless to the point of capitulation.
FEYERICK: Lawyer Joshua Dratel represents one of the detainees at Guantanamo, who say his was abused.
DRATEL: If you are in a cell with a couple of people and they come back bruised and bloodied and you're next, you know what's coming.
FEYERICK: The bill does not specify which interrogation techniques would be banned. Critics say that would leave too much wiggle room for the White House and CIA. But McCain says the bill would cover methods such as water boarding, extreme hypothermia and sleep deprivation.
Greg Hartley, a former interrogator with the U.S. Army, walked us through how they actually work. First, water boarding. A prisoner may be inverted on a board, a soaking towel wrapped around the mouth, while water is poured on the head. GREG HARTLEY, FORMER U.S. ARMY INTERROGATOR: Water boarding is simply making a person think they're going to drown so their brain takes a hiatus and their body takes over. They get into a panic mode and most people will panic and suddenly start to confess.
FEYERICK: With hypothermia, prisoners are exposed to near- freezing temperatures and in come some cases sprayed with water. They lose control and shake violently.
HARTLEY: Hypothermia will confuse the circadian rhythm of the person, so it starts to really impact the way your brain works, the hormones released, all of those kinds of things.
FEYERICK: That can be combined with sleep deprivation, in which interrogators shine lights, play loud music and refuse to let prisoners sleep.
DRATEL: If they took away your clothes, put you in a stress position, meaning that, let's say they bound your hands and then bound hands to your feet so that you're hunched over in that position for hours at a time, four, five, six, hours in a room with very high air- conditioning, how much can a person stand before they say, what do you want to know?
FEYERICK: Military experts say the most reliable intelligence gathering doesn't come from using torture techniques, just the opposite. They say the best way of getting a prisoner to talk truthfully is to gain their trust.
HARTLEY: I constantly tell people if it feels like hazing, you have crossed a line because hazing is intended to cause a participant to quit. A prisoner can't quit.
FEYERICK (on camera): The Army's own manual prohibits both water boarding and extreme hypothermia. The CIA says it doesn't comment on interrogation methods. The military experts we spoke with point out that with the exception of water boarding, elite forces undergo extreme techniques during training so that they may know what to expect in the event they, themselves, are captured.
Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, it's safe to say this bill's language, some of it wide open to interpretation, has touched off a lot of concern from Democrats and Republicans, libertarians and old line conservative.
It's also safe to say that there are smart and serious people out there who worry that these concerns are being steamrollered, and that as a country, we're not having the serious and plain spoken debate that the issue deserves.
Andrew Sullivan takes it one step further. He calls it legalizing tyranny and accuses the administration of debasing the language of freedom. I spoke to him earlier. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Andrew, what is it about this bill that concerns you so much? I mean, your writing on this has been incredibly impassioned.
ANDREW SULLIVAN, "TIME" CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, we don't really know what's in the bill. It's very confusing. It seems as if it's deliberately confusing, and yet they're rushing it into law in the space of a few days.
And when you think of what issues are at stake in this law, namely, that the president of the united states can simply name anybody on the battlefield, off the battlefield, anywhere in the United States...
COOPER: U.S. citizen, non-U.S. citizen?
SULLIVAN: That's not clear either. Name them an illegal enemy competent, detain them indefinitely without charges and torture them by any usual sense of the word torture, at will. I mean, this -- the last person to be able to do this in America was King George III, and I can't believe that we are now returning to that with Congressional backing.
COOPER: You say, "Whatever else this is this is, it is not a constitutional democracy. It is a thinly-veiled military dictatorship, subject to only one control: the will of the Great Decider. And the war that justifies this astonishing attack on American liberty is permanent, without end."
SULLIVAN: Yes. The amazing thing about the provision as we now see is it, is that only one person, not the law, not the Congress, and no courts, only one person, the president, has the right to decide who is going to be detained. Not only that, but he can detain that person indefinitely. At best, they may get a military court at some point. They certainly have no habeas corpus rights, which goes right way back to Magna Carta, and they can be subject to being tortured.
COOPER: It is amazing that the U.S., you know, that President Bush still says America doesn't torture.
SULLIVAN: Well, the meaning of the word torture in the English language and under law is severe, mental or physical pain or suffering. Now if you strap somebody to a board upside down and pour water over their face or dunk their head in water until they're about to drown, then bring them out and you do that repeatedly and repeatedly, it's torture. It was done by the KGB. It's documented by Alexander Solzenitzen in the Gulag Archipelago. It's now being practiced and has been practiced, we know, by the president of the United States.
And in the negotiations with Senator McCain, they left this up to the discretion of the president.
COOPER: Your critics will say you sound like a liberal on this. You say this is actually an issue that conservatives should get behind.
SULIVAN: Look, conservatives have always believed that the most important thing in politics is protecting individual from excessive government power. And whenever conservatives say to me I'm a liberal, I say to them two words, President Hillary. What if -- this law will allow presidents from now, forever in this indefinite war to detain anybody at will for any reason. The potential for abuse of this power is enormous. And civil liberty conservatives and people like Bill Buckley or Bruce Fein, Jeffrey Hart or George Will, these people are concerned about the constitutional due process that this is violating.
COOPER: Why do you think, though, this story, this -- what is happening really hasn't gotten much attraction? I mean, people don't want to hear about it. I mean, I know the ratings for this segment are going to go down because people turn this stuff off.
SULLIVAN: That's how it always happens. People always, when these things occur, look the other way. People think it's always going to happen to someone else or they think that these people are somehow all terrorists. They're terror suspects.
90 percent of the people we detained in Abu Ghraib were innocent, it turned out, as the U.S. admitted. Dozens of people in Guantanamo were completely innocent, as the Army and military subsequently admitted.
So, there is no process to determine who is innocent or guilty in these matters. They're being detained without charges.
COOPER: You're writing a lot about it on the blog, AndrewSullivan.com. Andrew, appreciate you being on. Thanks.
SULLIVAN: Thank you so much, Anderson, for raising this issue.
COOPER: Well, an innocent man. Imagine you arrive in America and at the airport and they say you are a terrorist. Within days you are secretly sent to a foreign country and tortured. It happened to this man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAHER ARAR, TORTURE VICTIM: I don't think this was a simple mistake. This was a deliberate attempt to send me to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) information under torture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: He shares his story when 360 continues.
Plus, the candidates are on the campaign trail and we're on the money trail, counting the mass by both parties, Republicans and Democrats. President Bush has raised a ton, so has Senator Clinton. What is she building up all of that money for? We'll take a look next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: A moment ago, Andrew Sullivan laid out the nightmare scenario, people picked up, detained and tortured in the war on terror. Could it happen? Well, it already has. Just ask Maher Arar.
U.S. officials believe Mr. Arar, a 36-year-old Canadian software engineer was a member of al Qaeda and they deported him to Syria where he was allegedly tortured for months.
Now a two-year investigation by Canadian officials has cleared him of any ties to terrorism. It's also uncovered the mistakes that put an innocent man through ten months of hell.
Earlier today I talked to him about his ordeal. In a moment, my interview. First, some background.
DENNIS O'CONNOR, INQUIRY CHAIRMAN: There is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constitute a threat to the security of Canada.
COOPER (voice-over): Those are the words that Maher Arar waited nearly four years to hear.
MAHER ARAR, TORTURE VICTIM: Today, Justice O'Connor has cleared my name and restored my reputation.
COOPER: The report that's given him his good name back fills 1,200 pages and three volumes. It describes a nightmare that began in late September 2002, when U.S. officials detained Arar at New York's Kennedy's International Airport. They were acting on information received from Canadian police, linking Arar to al Qaeda.
Among the report's findings, those Canadian officers were inexperienced, and the evidence was flimsy at best. It also describes how Canadian counterterrorism officials told the FBI they couldn't link Arar to al Qaeda.
But U.S. officials deported Arar anyway. He was sent to Syria, where he was born. A country notorious for torturing prisoners.
ARAR: The beating I went through was just beyond human imagination. The cell they put me in, the size -- which was the size of a grave, 3 feet wide, 6 feet long and 7 feet high. It was dark, it was filthy.
COOPER: But even as Arar speaks out about his ordeal, the U.S. Department of Justice stands by its decision to deport him.
ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Mr. Arar was deported under our immigration laws. We were not responsible for his removal to Syria. I'm not aware that he was tortured.
COOPER: A special commission in Canada spent two years investigating the incident. The report it released last week urges the Canadian government to formally protest American treatment of Arar. And as for the man at the center of it all, he's suing U.S. officials and agencies responsible for sending him to Syria. He's also demanding an explanation from the Bush administration.
COOPER (on camera): Although, the Bush administration doesn't call what happened to him rendition, the practice of sending terror suspects to other countries for interrogation. It says it simply deported a man believed to be a terror suspect.
Earlier today I asked Mr. Arar exactly what happened to him when he got to Syria.
COOPER: How long was it before the torture began?
ARAR: The message was clear from the first day, that if they do not like my answers, they will be using torture. At end of each day they would tell me, tomorrow will be worse. So next day, they actually started the beating with a cable. Out of nowhere, the interrogator came into the interrogation room and started beating me.
COOPER: What cable, what do you mean?
ARAR: Well, it's a black cable. And he asked me to open my right palm. I opened it. And he hit me with it. And you know, it was extremely humiliating because I was never, never beaten in my life, not even a slap on the face, you know. So the pain that -- just to give you an idea about the pain, it's so painful and intense to the point where you really forget every enjoyable moment in your life.
COOPER: And you're willing to say just about anything?
ARAR: Well, yes. You know, when the -- when the beating becomes intense, to the point where you can't take it, you just tell them what they would like to hear.
COOPER: How long was it before you gave a false confession?
ARAR: Well, it's the third day, the most intensive day was the third day. I can tell you that the interrogation lasted anywhere between 16, I would say, to 20 hours.
COOPER: 16 to 20 hours you were interrogated for at a time?
ARAR: 16 to 20 hours, approximately. And the beatings, of course, on and off. Sometimes they would put me in a room alone, where I could hear other prisoners being tortured. And that was psychological torture in its own. It's just beyond human imagination, frankly.
COOPER: Did you think you would ever get out alive? ARAR: You know, I had more weak moments where I really wanted to commit suicide because I couldn't take it anymore. But I think what kept me going through all of this is my faith and the hope that one day I will be released.
COOPER: I want to read you something the U.S. Justice Department has said. They said you're a Syrian national who was deported. They didn't say you weren't subject of rendition, they said you were deported and that, quote, "that the U.S. government received what they believed to be reliable assurances that you would be treated humanely, consistent with international treaties and conventions." Do you think that's a lie?
ARAR: Well, the deportation process they use is a disguise. You know, if you compare what happened to me to the other stories that we've heard over the past three years, it's clearly -- it follows path of rendition.
COOPER: You're suing, I know. What is it you want? I mean, obviously monetary compensation for what you've been through. But you want someone to apologize?
ARAR: Through the lawsuit that I've launched, you know, just to remind everyone the lawsuit was dismissed last year by a federal judge, but we are appealing. And most importantly, what I want is, I want to hold those people accountable. I want to hold those American officials who sent me to Syria accountable so that this doesn't happen to any other person. That's the most important objective I have.
COOPER: We appreciate you coming on, Mr. Arar. Thank you very much.
ARAR: My pleasure.
COOPER: Well, coming up, fundraisers, speaking engagements and meet and greet dinners -- ah, the chicken circuit. Just some of the ways politicians get the cash to campaign. And this year the cash is flowing like -- well, perhaps like never before. We'll have the numbers coming up. We're keeping them honest tonight.
And the prison where the only way to restore law and order was to break in. We'll explain why, ahead.
COOPER: The mid-term elections are just 42 days away. Starting tonight and every Tuesday until the elections, we're going to bring you in-depth coverage from the campaign trail.
We begin with most of the races begin, of course, with the money. No matter who is running, the war chests are reaching record amounts.
CNN's John Roberts tonight, keeping them honest.
ROBERTS (voice-over): The vice president hit a milestone this week. His 100th fund-raiser of the mid-term election cycle. Not far behind, President Bush, with just under 70 now. In total, Republican candidates and campaign committees have so far raised more than $870 million.
KEN MEHLMAN, RNC CHAIRMAN: I think it's an indication, first of all, the commitment that this party and this president have to keeping our majorities in Congress.
ROBERTS: But it's also a sign, admits Party Chairman Ken Mehlman, of the challenge Republicans face. Just look at this recent fundraising appeal from Senate Campaign Chairwoman Elizabeth Dole. "Republicans are more at risk of losing our critical Senate Majority than ever before," she writes.
THOMAS MANN, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: I think it's a position of weakness. They would not be spending this money if they thought they were in good shape.
ROBERTS: And what's bad for Republicans appears to be paying off for the Democrats.
SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER, CHAIRMAN, DEM. SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE: We've set records already in what we've raised. We've raised more as of now than we raised in all of the last cycle. And we're going to significantly outspend what we spent last time.
ROBERTS: While Democrats are getting better, particularly under new fundraising rules that outlaw so called soft money, they still lag more than $100 million behind the Republicans.
Some analysts believe a rising Democratic tide might compensate for the deficit, but Senate Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer would rather have the cash.
SCHUMER: Well, it's not true that money isn't important. It always is. And in this job, even though I've been in politics for 30 years, it is amazing how you put a couple million bucks on TV, and it changes the election.
ROBERTS: But even the money they have raised isn't all going into the campaign. Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean is using much of his committee's cash to rebuild the party apparatus, and plans to spend just a fifth of what his Republican counterpart will on Congressional races.
HOWARD DEAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Look, I don't pretend for a minute that we have the kind of an election machine that the Republicans have. We need to rebuild that, that's why I'm chair of the party.
ROBERTS: As Democrats bicker over Dean's tight pockets, Republicans will turn theirs inside out.
MEHLMAN: It's the most the RNC's ever spent.
ROBERTS: In politics there's an old saying, whoever spends the most, wins. And even the most optimistic Democrats believe, despite all of their political troubles, the Republicans' cash advantage will make a difference.
SCHUMER: How big a difference, we'll have to wait and see on election day.
COOPER: With all of that money, what's going to do with its advantage?
ROBERTS (on camera): Well, you can watch and expect, Anderson. This is what voters can look forward to in the last two or three weeks of the this election campaign, an ad and outreach blitz on the part of the Republicans, the likes of which has never been seen before in a mid-term election. They plan to flood the airwaves. The Republican strategy is to sort of quote, end quote, "define their Democratic opponents."
I asked Democrats about that, and they said well, the way that we interpret the term define, is that there's going to be an awful lot of negative advertising. They're expecting an onslaught of it and it's going to be up to the Democrats. This is their challenge, to respond to that unlike what happened in 2004 where Senator John Kerry let all of those negative attacks go unanswered until the fatal blow had already been cut.
COOPER: Who are the top money raisers right now?
ROBERTS: The top money raiser right now is President Bush. He's got $170 million that he's raised for various candidates and for various committees. Number two, though, with $47 million, is a person who doesn't need that cash, because she's expected to cruise to election victory on November the 7th, it's Hillary Clinton. So a lot of people are looking at that big pile of cash that she's raised, saying she doesn't need this to win the Senate in New York. This is definitely looking like seed money for a run at the White House in 2008 -- Anderson.
COOPER: You're cynical, John. You're cynical.
ROBERTS: I'm not cynical. I'm just being a realist -- Anderson.
COOPER: John Roberts, thanks.
Well, for years inmates were in control of a notorious prison in central America. Why did authorities let them run the place for so long? And why did they finally step in and take over? The dramatic video, next on 360.
COOPER (voice-over): In Guatemala, police have shut down an infamous prison where for years, the inmates were the ones in charge. Authorities say the prisoners lived better behind bars than most Guatemalans live outside, enjoying and controlling restaurants, stores and bars all on the prison grounds. It seems they also have been running crime rings from the inside.
With helicopters hovering above, the raid began early Monday morning. The operation was dubbed, High Impact.
Police came equipped with shields, masks and batons, soldiers backed up by armored vehicles. 3,000 men came to take back control of what was supposed to be a government-run prison.
Guatemala's minister of defense says it's been 10 years since the prison system lost control of the place to the inmates.
Convicted gang members, drug dealers, murderers and the like, seized control of Paban (ph) prison in 1996, building a lawless city on the property that officials say included drug labs and organized crime dens as well as restaurants and churches.
The felons inside, officials believe, directed much the crime and drug dealing in the rest of Guatemala.
The inmates put up a fight, hurling grenades and firing automatic weapons smuggled in from the outside.
Guatemala's police chief says, many of the armed inmates stood in the back behind the unarmed inmates, to protect themselves while firing on police. Seven inmates were killed in the raid, dozens of resisters were assisted, and nearly 1,600 renegade inmates were transferred to a maximum security prison nearby.
A bloody struggle, but one small victory in Guatemala's battle with soaring crime.
COOPER (on camera): Erica Hill, from "HEADLINE NEWS," has a 360 bulletin now -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, two Colombian brothers who founded the infamous Cali drug cartel have pleaded guilty to U.S. drug trafficking charges. Each is facing 30 years in a U.S. prison. The men will also forfeit more than $2 billion in assets. Their cartel was once responsible for up to 80 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the U.S. Officials say the guilty plea puts an end to the Cali drug cartel.
Another big court case, this time in Houston. Andrew Fastow, Enron's former chief financial officer -- that's him on the right with the gray hair -- has been sentenced to six years behind bars for his role in the company's demise. That's actually four years less than what was originally part of his 2004 plea deal. But the federal judge thought Fastow deserved a lighter sentence because he's shown remorse, has helped prosecutors and his wife also went to prison for a year, you may recall, on a misdemeanor tax crime. Meantime, on Wall Street the Dow closing at its second highest level, nearly 50 points shy of a new record. The blue chips gaining more than 93 points in the day. The NASDAQ was up 12. The S&P tacked on 10.
And in Texas, Golf Legend Byron Nelson has died. In 1945 he had the greatest year in the history of professional golf, winning 18 tournaments, including 11 in a row. Byron Nelson was 94. What a record -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, amazing. Erica, thanks.
COOPER: We'll have more 360 in a moment. Stay with us.
COOPER: Well, it's been almost two decades since Douglas Wilder broke the color barrier as the nation's first African-American governor. Now that trailblazing moment is on the verge of being repeated in Massachusetts and other states across the country. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a record year for black gubernatorial candidates. And if you combine black gubernatorial and Senate candidates, it's a record year for the combination of the both.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Will 2006 be a history-making election year for African- American candidates? That story, plus all the latest news from around the world, tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," starting at 6:00 a.m., Eastern time.
Thanks very much for watching 360. We'll see you tomorrow.
"LARRY KING" is next.
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