Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

President Obama?; War in Iraq: Unwinnable?; Draft Back?; Suing Rumsfeld; O.J. Simpson: If I did It; Richards' Rant

Aired November 20, 2006 - 23:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: The pictures shocked the world, but higher ups have yet to pay for abuses at Abu Ghraib. Now some people think they can get justice by going straight to the top, taking Donald Rumsfeld to court.
ANNOUNCER: Draft return? With more violence in Iraq and possibly more troops on the way, a leading Democrat wants the draft reinstated. Will it happen?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the best thing for young people and the best thing for our country.


ANNOUNCER: Suing Rumsfeld. Alleged torture victims want Donald Rumsfeld tried as a war criminal and one of his former commanders may testify against him. Tonight, the exclusive interview.

And comic disbelief. TV's Kramer explodes on stage.




ANNOUNCER: After his outburst comes the apology.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am very, very sorry to those people in the audience.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight, the latest on his racist rants.

Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Sitting in for Anderson and reporting tonight from CNN studios in New York, here is John Roberts.

ROBERTS: Thanks for being with us. It does not quite have the ring of run Jesse, run or I like Ike, but try this one on for size -- Obama in '08. Senator Barack Obama is not running for president yet. A lot of Democrats, though, want him to. A lot of Republicans, worried that he might. He sure looked like he was running today.

More from CNN's Don Lemon.


DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Illinois's junior Senator did his best to look presidential.

SENATOR BARACK OBAMA (D), ILLINOIS: The conflict has left us distracted...

LEMON: Giving a highly publicized speech in Chicago on Iraq and what to do about it.

OBAMA: So I think we have some time for questions.

LEMON: But when Obama sat down for an interview with CNN, he insists it is not a dress rehearsal for a presidential run.

OBAMA: At the moment, I am not auditioning for the job. What I am going -- undergoing is a process to look at how I can be best, most useful to the American people.

LEMON: Most useful right now, Obama thinks, a clear plan for Iraq. And here is what he offered. A timetable for troop withdrawal in four to six months after Baghdad is secured. And reduce troop levels only after consulting with military leaders.

The Bush administration says it is open to pulling out troops later, but insists doing so too soon would lead to chaos.

OBAMA: We should be under no illusions. There is chaos in Iraq at the moment. The question is, what is most likely to lead to a better solution or a worse solution.

LEMON: Obama's critics dismiss his speech as merely an attempt to bolster a thin foreign policy resume, and questioned whether in wartime, Americans will trust him as commander-in-chief. He points to his years as a civil law professor and a state Senator.

OBAMA: But I think the important thing is not experienced per se, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney had the best resumes from Washington and initiated a fiasco in Iraq, but rather, does someone have the judgment necessary to learn from experience and make good decisions.

LEMON: Roland Martin, executive editor of one of the country's oldest African-American newspapers, "The Chicago Defender," says even hinting at a run for president after just a few years on The Hill will be a challenge, just as it was for Hillary Clinton.

ROLAND MARTIN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "THE CHICAGO DEFENDER": Just six years ago, what did people say about Hillary Rodham Clinton? She has no experience to be president. She served six years in the United States Senate, all of a sudden she's a leading candidate to be the Democratic nominee. LEMON: And political watchers say over the next year or so, expect Barack Obama to follow in Senator Clinton's footsteps by bolstering his credentials with speeches like this one and turning up the volume.

MARTIN: With the Democrats now being in control, what kind of impact can he have in the U.S. Senate? That will determine exactly how people are going to relate to him as a presidential candidate.

LEMON: A presidential candidate who so far has not even decided to run.

Don lemon, CNN, Chicago.


ROBERTS: So that is one question, will he run? And it leads naturally to the second question, if he does, could he win?


ROBERTS (voice-over): It was a prime time appearance at the 2004 Democratic Convention that showed how much the spotlight loves Barack Obama, the first step on a rocket ride to political stardom.

A freshman Senator, now seen by some as the future of the Democratic Party.

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I mean, he is the rock star of politics. Oprah's saying he's got to be president, he's on the front cover of magazines. I mean, he is going to be a person to be reckoned with.

ROBERTS: But if this American idol, as some people call him, puts his hat in the presidential race, can he win?

J.C. WATTS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: A very unique, a very interesting candidate, and someone that Democrats nor Republicans should take lightly.

ROBERTS: If Senator Obama does make a run, there is no doubt his lack of experience, only two years in Congress under his belt, will be one of his obstacles.

WATTS: I obviously think the foreign policy, national security is going to be somewhat of an issue. He is somewhat behind, behind the eight ball there. Don't have a very lengthy resume there in terms of foreign policy. But neither did Bill Clinton in 1992.

ROBERTS: And speaking of Clinton, that is another obstacle Obama will have to overcome if he hopes to become the Democratic nominee.

A CNN poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation shows Obama second to Senator Hillary Clinton, with 33 percent of Democrats favoring Clinton, 15 percent Obama. The 45-year-old Senator has opposed the war in Iraq since day one, though he was never in a position to vote for or against it. But will opposition alone be enough to satisfy voters looking for a new president?

WATTS: I think that the American people are going to want more from presidential candidates than just being against the other person's plan. I have not heard the Senator at this point talk a lot about what he would do in terms of dealing with the war in Iraq.

ROBERTS: Apart from the many issues Obama will have to answer on, there is another that will draw a lot of attention, simply by virtue of who he is.

WATTS: He could find himself talking more about his skin color than talking about education or national security or retirement security or, you know, economic security. So, it is going to be a challenge. That remains to be seen.

ROBERTS: Many challenges for sure. But Democrats have high hopes for Senator Obama. Will he run or won't he? One thing is for sure, we won't have to wait long to find out.


ROBERTS (on camera): Well, one other note on policy. The Senator today said he opposes the idea of bringing back the draft. That idea was floated by his colleague Congressman Charles Rangel, and shot down this afternoon by the incoming House leadership. More on that in just a moment.

More now on Iraq and Vietnam. Henry Kissinger, who had a major hand in the latter, has been advising President Bush on the former. Over the weekend he declared Iraq unwinnable, at least by the president's definition of victory.

So what do most Americans think?

CNN's Bill Schneider crunches the poll numbers.


BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Has Iraq become another Vietnam? Most Americans say it has.

What does that mean? It means people don't think the United States is winning. It means that most Americans don't believe the U.S. will win. How about this question...

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Can we still win? Yes, I believe we can.

SCHNEIDER: So do most Americans, but barely. 54 percent say the U.S. can win. That was the source of the public's frustration in Vietnam and now in Iraq.

Henry Kissinger should know. He recently gave his assessment of the prospects for a clear military victory.

HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I don't believe that it is possible.

SCHNEIDER: Because, he said, the U.S. strategy...

KISSINGER: It failed to achieve the objectives that were defined within a timeframe that our political processes will support.

SCHNEIDER: Are Americans impatient? President Bush thinks so.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That we tend to want there to be instant success in the world. And the task in Iraq is going to take a while.

SCHNEIDER: Impatient? The United States was in Vietnam for more than 10 years. The war in Iraq has already gone on longer than U.S. involvement in World War II. The public wanted to win or get out in Vietnam.

If people don't think that the U.S. is going to win in Iraq, are they ready to get out? Yes, but not immediately. 33 percent of the public wants to withdraw all U.S. troops. Most Americans are ready to withdraw some troops.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: We must tell the Iraqis that we would begin starting in four to six months a phase reduction of our troops.

SCHNEIDER: Americans are willing to be patient as long as the U.S. is getting out.

(On camera): Senator McCain maintains that the U.S. can win if it sends more troops. But only 16 percent of the public is willing to do that.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Los Angeles.


ROBERTS: And as far as the exit strategy goes, two major groups are exploring the options. The Iraq Study Group, which you may have heard about, and a secret group of seasoned Iraq field commanders now back at the Pentagon.

According to the "Washington Post," this strategic dialogue group has considered three broad options, go big, go long, or go home. They have apparently settled on go long. A quick, but minor buildup of troops, followed by a long term shrinking deployment over the course of many, many years.

Earlier tonight I talked about that and more with Michael Gordon. He's the chief military correspondent for the "New York Times."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ROBERTS: Michael, you were in Iraq just recently, as I was as well, spent a month there. What's your assessment of the situation on the ground?

MICHAEL GORDON, "NEW YORK TIMES," CHIEF MILITARY CORRESPONDENT: I think the situation remains a very difficult one.

I think the U.S. forces do make a difference in containing the sectarian violence. But they can't be the ultimate solution, as everybody recognizes, and as Mr. Kissinger said.

ROBERTS: Right. What do you think is needed there? Some tinkering around the edges to try to turn the plan in a different direction, or do they need a grand change in strategy?

GORDON: It may not matter so much what I think. But I think it's clear there can't be any one solution to this problem. It can't be a purely military answer. It can't be purely diplomatic.

I think what people are striving for is really a package that will have all elements, military, diplomatic and political.

ROBERTS: You know, some of the commanders that I spoke to believe that Donald Rumsfeld leaving, Gates coming in, may put a new pair of fresh eyes on the situation there, may lead to some changes that they believe might take it in a direction.

What are the people you're talking to saying about the whole shift of power at the top of the Pentagon?

GORDON: Well, it does open up some possibilities, as does the White House recognition that they need a course correction.

I think the things on the table are pretty logical. There are not a whole lot of new ideas out there. They can be connected in new ways. One is a surge in American forces in Baghdad. Clearly, that would have some short-term benefit. General Abizaid said as much last week.

But, you know, there's a constraint on this. It would be have to be a relatively short-term deployment, perhaps six months, because the American military is limited in its size.

Another would be a diplomatic opening to Iran and to Syria, as Kissinger and the Baker commission is expected to propose. That might have some benefits in perhaps reducing the amount of external interference in Iraq.

ROBERTS: James Baker, who is going to be one of the co-authors of that report -- Lee Hamilton also in there -- and Robert Gates was a member of the Iraq Study Group.

In addition to recommending intensive diplomatic engagement with countries like Iran and Syria, Michael, what else do you expect that report is going to contain? GORDON: Well, there's one thing that everybody agrees on. It's sort of the lowest common dominator, but again, it makes sense. And that is stepping up the effort to train the Iraqi army. That's what people are saying in the Pentagon. That's what General Abizaid said. That's what the Baker-Hamilton Commission is likely to endorse.

The effort to train the Iraqi army and the Iraqi police, unfortunately, has not been all that successful. There are a large number of troops, but they can't get them to go to Baghdad. There's a serious problem when it comes to the political loyalty of these forces.

And the U.S. really doesn't have enough advisers in Iraq right now with the Iraqi army.

ROBERTS: Senator John McCain and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger have both said that pulling U.S. troops out now would be a disaster.

Yet, Democrats are still advocating that, given a time frame of four to six months. Are any military commanders agreeing with that strategy?

GORDON: I think the military commanders on the ground in Iraq are -- have an appreciation for just how dicey the situation is.

And I think the Democratic proposal -- I'm not interested in getting involved in American politics, but I think the Democratic proposal says more about the logic of American politics than it does about the logic of Iraqi politics.

I mean, the United States is able to influence the situation in Iraq to a certain extent, because it has a considerable amount of forces there and can leverage -- use that as a form of leverage with the government.

If you begin to withdraw those forces, to my mind, you simply reduce your leverage in the situation.

ROBERTS: Right. Well, it will be intriguing to find out what happens after that Iraq Study Group report is out.

Michael Gordon, thanks very much. Appreciate you being with us tonight.

GORDON: Thank you.


ROBERTS: Could bringing back the draft be an option for the war in Iraq? The controversial proposal being floated by a leading Democratic, will it sink or swim? That's coming up.

Plus, the former general in charge of the Abu Ghraib prison says she is willing to testify against Donald Rumsfeld, a 360 exclusive interview. And what made FOX cancel O.J. Simpson's bizarre interview? That and more, when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: With Iraq dominating the headlines, this headline sure made news -- Congressman Charles Rangel's controversial proposal to reinstate the military draft.

Getting such a measure passed will be a tough battle.

CNN's Joe Johns takes a look.


REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: My colleagues...

JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York brought up the idea of reinstituting the draft years ago. Back then, it seemed like a good way to put the president and the Republican Congress on the spot.

Now Rangel, a Democrat, is in line for the chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, controlling the purse strings of government in the House.

What seems clear so far is that with talk of increasing troop levels and other potential threats, Rangel isn't about to shut up.

RANGEL: You cannot increase the military without thinking about the draft.

JOHNS: But it's hard to buy support for an idea like this, even among other key Democrats.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: I don't think we need it. I don't think we need it. I don't favor it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you support -- if you support Chairman Rangel's call for a draft, is that something...

JOHNS: The country's last experience with compulsory service was, well, instructive. There were violent protests against the Vietnam War, the burning of draft cards, draft dodgers slipping out of the country.

So, why would a Democrat, a decorated Korean War vet, but also a staunch critic of the administration's handling of the war in Iraq, start raising this issue while others in his party are talking at the same time about troop reductions?

A former defense secretary says Rangel's talk about the draft, for the sake of argument, has a way of focusing the public.

WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think it's good for the country to have parents have heartburn. And I think every parent, every citizen of this country should always ask the question, what are we committing someone else's son or daughter to or husband or wife to?

JOHNS: But as a policy matter, military analysts say there are good reasons not to have a draft.

DANIEL GOURE, LEXINGTON INSTITUTE: You have a draft, by and large, when you want cannon fodder. We did in World War I. We did in World War II. Unless you want to have a lot of people out there who are likely to get themselves killed or injured because they're not going to be as well-trained, you don't want to draft.

JOHNS: Almost all military experts agree that the last thing you want to tinker with in a time of war is a professional volunteer army. Rangel says the military recruits disproportionately in poor and minority neighborhoods.

But as critics point out, that everybody who is there signed up and assumed the risk in order to get something in return.

GOURE: The military has been a marvelous engine for the uplift of minorities, African-Americans in particular. It's a training issue. It's a skills issue. It's going to be the same thing for Latinos.

JOHNS: Whatever the prospects for Rangel's proposal -- and they may not look good right now -- it's a conversation that many say the country needs to have.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


ROBERTS: More from Congressman Rangel in a moment.

And later, a 360 exclusive interview, the former general in charge of Abu Ghraib, why she is now willing to testify against Donald Rumsfeld in court.

Plus, a former TV star attacks the audience at a comedy club with racial slurs, a meltdown really. Reaction to his outburst, when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: A lot of controversy in the last couple of days about Congressman Charles Rangel's call to reinstate the draft. I spoke with the Congressman earlier on today, and he tried to explain why he thinks that the draft is necessary.


RANGEL: What I am trying to do is to send the message that when you say we need more troops, that you know where these troops are coming from.

I am trying to say, that if you believe that Osama bin Laden is a threat to the United States of America and not oil and not problems he is having, not civil war, but a threat to us, then you have to say, everyone put up something.

ROBERTS: Everyone needs to share the sacrifice is his message.


ROBERTS: Charles Moskos is a professor emeritus of sociology at Northwestern University. He's also a nationally recognized expert on the military and the draft in particular.

He joins me now.

Professor Moskos, you have studied this issue. What do you think? Does the United States need to reinstate the draft?

CHARLES MOSKOS, MILITARY EXPERT: Definitely. And Congressman Rangel has done our country a great service by making this a public issue.

Let me also preface my remarks by saying I am a former draftee myself. And it was good for me as well as I hope for the country.

ROBERTS: Should we ask which war?

MOSKOS: I was in the late Cold War in the late 1950s. My fellow draftee, by the way, was Elvis Presley. Just imagine if you had that kind of a person serving in today's military.

ROBERTS: So -- well, he would make good music if anything. Why do you think the U.S. needs a draft?

MOSKOS: For many reasons. One is that the military size is too small. And without a draft, we have many areas that are not being met today. Our homeland security needs, for example, guarding the borders on the Mexican side, port security, guarding our chemical and atomic plants. These are things that are not being done and it takes manpower to do this -- or woman power -- and therefore we need a draft. Without this...

ROBERTS: Right. I was going to say, so you're suggesting much more than military service overseas. But doesn't that start to run up against the Posse Comitatus Act if military members are providing security here at home?

MOSKOS: Well, that depends upon a constitutional interpretation. Certainly, we have military members providing security on our borders. The Reserves and the National Guard are being sent down to southwest United States.

Having military people guard our ports would not certainly violate any kind of constitutional principle.

But on top of that, if we don't do that, this is what's going to happen. We are going to hire more and more civilian contractors which cost 10 times more than a draftee would cost. We're going to lower standards, which we are already beginning to do. And at the same time, we are going to begin to recruit foreigners. That will be the next step without having a draft.

ROBERTS: Yes, we hear certainly hear lots of stories about people taking the oath of citizenship after they have been serving in the military for a number of years.

But here is the big argument that a lot of people make. They say that a person who willingly chooses to serve in the military, to choose a career in the military, makes a better soldier than someone who is essentially forced to do it. What do you say?

MOSKOS: That is baloney. Studies have been done in World War II, the war in Korea, the war in Vietnam; and counter-intuitively, draftees had a lower desertion and AWOL rate -- absence without leave -- than did volunteers.

Even during the Cold War era, while we still had the draft, draftees were twice as likely to finish their enlisted tours than were volunteers.

So that is baloney. Draftees are, if anything, by historical data and statistical data, better soldiers.

ROBERTS: Really? Even in terms of fight. I mean, you say that they hang around to a greater degree, but are they better soldiers in terms of their fighting ability?

MOSKOS: Well, as I said, they deserted and had AWOL rates much lower than that of volunteers.

And this largely explain the fact that draftees, on the average, tend to come from socioeconomic backgrounds in which stick-to-itness is more highly valued.

But, even with the draft, as we had in the latter years of the Vietnam War, when you started excusing privileged youth from serving, even the draft is not the answer then. If we have a draft, you have to start at the top of the social ladder.

ROBERTS: Right. And very quickly, do you think that this will eventually pass or is it destined for the trash heap as it has for the last couple of years?

MOSKOS: Well, it's an idea whose time doesn't seem yet to come. But I hope people like Congressman Rangel will continue to advocate it.

It is interesting to remember that all four of the Kennedy brothers served. These were, you know, upper class Amercians -- and not -- the cousins did not do it. A country won't accept casualties either unless privileged youth are willing to put their lives on the line.

ROBERTS: Charles Moskos, thanks very much for joining us with your thoughts. Appreciate it.

MOSKOS: My honor. ROBERTS: Coming up, she was the commander in charge of Abu Ghraib and she could be called to testify against her former boss Donald Rumsfeld. My exclusive interview with Colonel Janis Karpinski is next.

Later, O.J. Simpson and that so-called hypothetical confession of his. Tonight, it's history, when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: They claim they were tortured at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Now they want Donald Rumsfeld to pay for it.

The allegations come from a lawsuit being filed in Germany of all places. In a moment, we will talk to a former general, the possible star witness who says she is willing to testify against the former secretary of defense.

First though, the back story.

Here is CNN's Nic Robertson.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The case hinges on whether these international human rights lawyers can convince German prosecutors to put a dozen senior American officials, including outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on trial.

WOLFGANG KALECK, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: Rumsfeld has to face a trial, has to face a trial because he committed war crimes.

ROBERTSON: German Lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck leads the group filing of a complaint. They are counting on Germanist principle of universal jurisdiction which allows prosecution, no matter where the crimes are committed.

Kaleck believes his case is strong. One witness would be an American officer who commanded Abu Ghraib jail.

JANIS KARPINSKI, FORMER BRIGADIER GENERAL, U.S. ARMY: There was a great effort in the beginning to dismiss these photographs as just seven soldiers, seven bad apples as they were called, out of control on the night shift.

It was far more and far bigger than seven soldiers working a night shift.

ROBERTSON: But Kaleck and his team say the strongest part of their case is over the alleged abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of 12 detainees. Lawyer Gitanjali Gutierrez represents one of them.

GITANJALI GUTIERREZ, LAWYER FOR MOHAMMED AL QAHTAN: He was subjected to a sleep deprivation for 48 days, where he was only allowed to sleep for four hours a day in the morning. During that period of time, he also was facing 20-hour-long interrogations. He was subjected to sexual humiliation, forced nudity, religious humiliation.

ROBERTSON: The lawsuit claims a paper trail tracks the abuse all the way to Rumsfeld's desk. In December of 2002, the defense secretary authorized tougher interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay. The actual memo is on public record and includes the use of a wet towel to induce the misperception of suffocation, sleep deprivation and the use of 20-hour interrogations.

When he signed the document, Rumsfeld noted only one objection, suggesting one rule wasn't tough enough. I stand for eight hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?

(On camera): A Pentagon spokesman says the lawsuit sounds frivolous. And Kaleck says he knows there is no guarantee German prosecutors will actually try the case. But if they do, it could be very embarrassing for Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials, forcing them to avoid traveling to Germany and other European countries.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


ROBERTS: As you just heard, Janis Karpinski, who commanded Abu Ghraib, says she is willing to testify against Donald Rumsfeld.

The former brigadier general joined me earlier today for a 360 exclusive interview.


ROBERTS: Colonel Karpinski, even the attorneys who filed this lawsuit acknowledge that there is little chance that Donald Rumsfeld is going to be spending time in a German jail. Why did you decide that it was important to testify against him though?

JANIS KARPINSKI, FORMER BRIGADIER GENERAL, U.S. ARMY: Well, I agreed to give the same German lawyers and the lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights out of New York City -- I gave them some clarification on some of the points after the first submission of the lawsuit was rejected by the German court. It was dismissed.

They decided to pursue it because there was resubmission, because there was more information that was coming out. And they met me when they were in the United States. I gave them some additional information. I gave them a statement. And then they asked me if I would agree if the court agreed to hear the case, would I come to Berlin at some point to give testimony.

ROBERTS: But why was it important for you to be a part of it?

KARPINSKI: Well, because from the beginning, the story that was being released to the press, to around the world with the pictures in April of 2004, was inaccurate. I know that there was a great effort to tie this up in a neat little package and say this was just seven soldiers out of control on the night shift, and failed leadership at the top. Well, I knew that was so far from the truth that I felt, you know, strongly motivated to get to the truth.

ROBERTS: Well, Pentagon officials have said that the appropriate individuals have been held accountable. They said that just the other day. You don't believe that?

KARPINSKI: No, I don't. This -- this was known in circles in the Pentagon all the way up to the secretary of defense, perhaps even higher than him. They endorsed this type of abuse. They endorsed harsher interrogation techniques. And what you see in those photographs -- those photographs were not even taken during the course of interrogations. They are certainly humiliating acts. It is certainly an abuse of power, but there are far more than seven soldiers who need to be held accountable for this and that goes to the highest level.

ROBERTS: Now some people, Colonel Karpinski, are going to say, well, you are doing this even knowing that Donald Rumsfeld probably is not going to spend any time in jail, because you are bitter, you're angry, you want revenge. How do you answer those criticisms?

KARPINSKI: None of those things are true. I am not angry. I'm not bitter. And I don't want revenge. What I've wanted all along is the truth. And we are not there yet. They continue to insist that the right people have been punished, that people did not know about this. But I can tell you that we know today far more than we knew originally -- information that has been released under court order in some cases, and it identifies specifically people that were wearing -- officers that were wearing three stars, two stars, people that had far more knowledge and who have not only walked away blameless, but have managed to have medals pinned on their chests for their contributions to the war in Iraq.

ROBERTS: And for your part, or your alleged part in it, you were demoted from brigadier general to colonel. But we'll keep watching this very closely.

Colonel Karpinski, thanks very much for your time. Appreciate it.

KARPINSKI: Thank you.


ROBERTS: We all remember the photographs taken at Abu Ghraib. Harder to keep track of though are the numbers.

Here's the raw data for you. Military investigators found 44 instances of abuse at Abu Ghraib, some of which amounted to torture. Since the scandal broke, there had been 11 convictions and about a dozen courts-martial related to the abuse.

Still to come, a media giant pulls the plug and closes the book on O.J. Simpson. We'll take a look at what led to the change of heart over the controversial deal with Simpson.

And a former "Seinfeld" star on the defensive. His outburst and the outrage, when 360 continues.


ROBERTS: Well, for the last week or so, News Corp., the parent company of FOX television network, has been at the center of a firestorm over an interview and book deal with O.J. Simpson. Today, the company announced a complete about face.

Here is CNN's Jason Carroll.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If he did it, the public will have to wait to find out how O.J. Simpson would have gone about it. Late today News Corp., owner of FOX News, bowed to increasing criticism and scrapped the publishing of Simpson's book, titled, "If I Did It".

News Corp. also canceled plans to air a TV special where Simpson's book explains how hypothetically he would have killed his ex-wife, Nicole Brown and her friend, Ron Goldman.

In a statement, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said, "I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill- considered project."

It wasn't just a public outcry. Much came from within News Corp.'s own ranks. FOX's Bill O'Reilly harshly criticized the decision to publish the book and air the interview, calling it "simply indefensible and a low point in American culture."

O'Reilly went a step further, saying he would boycott Simpson's book, as well as any companies that advertised during the televised special.

FOX's Geraldo Rivera expressed his anger on ABC's "Good Morning America."

GERALDO RIVERA, JOURNALIST: Well, I think this project, whoever created it and wherever it's going to air, is just about as low as you can go. This is a -- an appalling idea involving a low-down and dirty double murderer.

CARROLL: The revolt within FOX gained momentum over the past few days. A dozen local FOX stations refused to air the Simpson interview. Ron Goldman's family set up a web site, where thousands signed an online petition to boycott the show and the book.

FRED GOLDMAN, RON GOLDMAN'S FATHER: We want to say thank you, thank you to everyone in this country who raised their voice and stood up for the right thing and made certain that a corporation the size of News Corp. wasn't and won't make money on this nightmare. CARROLL: Before the plug was pulled on the deal, Judith Regan, publisher of Regan Books, owned by News Corp., explained why she went forward with the controversial project.

"I made a decision to publish this book and to sit face to face with the killer, because I wanted him and the men who broke my heart and your hearts to tell the truth, to confess their sins, to do penance, and to amend their lives."

(On camera): Regan could not be reached for comments about the book or TV cancellation.

Simpson's attorney told CNN, even though the deal has already fallen through, Simpson has already been compensated for the deal. The book's publisher made an undisclosed payment toward his children's' education.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


ROBERTS: Well, we don't know how many people planned to read Simpson's book and watch the interview. What we do know though is that the decision to cancel the deal comes as a new CNN poll by Opinion Research Corporation finds that more people are now convinced of Simpson's guilt than ever before. 46 percent of those polled believe the murder charges against Simpson are definitely true. That compares to 10 percent 12 years ago.

Earlier, I spoke with "Court TV" Anchor Lisa Bloom and CNN's Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin about the latest development in the Simpson saga.


ROBERTS: Jeffrey, first of all, let's take a look at the statement that was put out by FOX Chairman Rupert Murdock about this whole thing. He says, quote, "I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project." He goes on to say that "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown-Simpson."

Were you surprised to hear that the book and the interview were pulled? I can't think of any book that was pulled before it was released, at least, but it seemed like supremely dumb to put this whole thing together.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, yes, I was stunned. I mean, this was such an obviously idiotic project that it seemed to me, in for a dime, in for a dollar. They knew that it would generate tremendous attention. That's why they signed it. But the heat got too much and they dropped it. But was I surprised? Absolutely.

ROBERTS: Yes. What about you, Lisa, were you surprised as well? LISA BLOOM, "COURT TV" ANCHOR: I wasn't because you could see the team starting to fall apart at FOX. This morning it was reported that the affiliates were refusing to show it, at least some of the affiliates. Some of the big talent at FOX News, Geraldo Rivera, Bill O'Reilly were saying very publicly and very strongly that they were opposed to it. So it seems like a momentum was starting to build. And of course, the public, there was really a ground swell of opposition.

ROBERTS: Yes, going back as far as last week, I think, O'Reilly was saying that FOX News and FOX Broadcasting aren't associated with each other. He was distancing himself quite a while back.

TOOBIN: Usually when there's a controversy, there are two sides.

ROBERTS: Exactly. We have nothing to do with them.


BLOOM: It was Judith Regan on one side.

TOOBIN: There was Judith Regan on one side and the currently explored universe on the other. And the only defense that she offered was this bizarre 2200-word rant that was a charitably incomprehensible and more likely just crazy, so...

BLOOM: Yes, it was...


TOOBIN: That's right. She was compelled to give O.J. Simpson all this money.

ROBERTS: Yes, well, let's take a look actually at part of the statement that Judith Regan issued last week. She wrote, "What I do know is I didn't pay him. I contacted through a third party who owns the rights, and I was told the money would go to his children."

Lisa, what do you think is going to happen with that money?

BLOOM: Well, if any money has already been paid, and the Goldman's lawyers are as aggressive as they have been so far, they may be able to persuade a court to disgorge those profits. The money should be paid to them because they are judgment creditors.

ROBERTS: But they haven't gotten any -- to the best of my knowledge -- of the $35 million...


BLOOM: All of his income has been protected, it's been in a pension and been in a house in Florida. That's why he moved to Florida...


ROBERTS: Right. Well, is it probably not protected in the same sort of way?

BLOOM: No, this would be income and this I think they have to pay.

TOOBIN: And certainly, all the evidence suggests that this is was an out-and-out fraudulent conveyance, that this whole structure, this whole transaction was designed to avoid paying the judgment. But courts are allowed to go behind fraudulent conveyances and say, we know what you are trying to do, we're not going to let you do it anyway. And this seems like a perfect opportunity for that to be done.

BLOOM: Because the money being paid to the children doesn't satisfy all of the judgment debtors. The other Simpson family members and the Goldmans are completely cut out of this deal. And they're entitled to any money that O.J. makes.

TOOBIN: By the way, if I can just say one more word about the book. Don't think this book will never be published. Someone else could come along. This book has been printed. It exists in the world.


ROBERTS: Yes, I mean, it's...

TOOBIN: It's not on eBay yet.

ROBERTS: It's there in form, right?

TOOBIN: I checked today.


BLOOM: But probably not by a major media conglomerate. I mean, everybody I think realizes that O.J. is toxic. And anybody that is concerned about their reputation is not going to do it. A private individual? Sure. Self-published.

TOOBIN: There are lots of people who don't care about their reputation. And this book was at 20 on Amazon for a while. It's now at about 50. There is a demand for this book. And it exists. I cannot believe that this will not get into the stream of...


ROBERTS: And that in and of itself is a sad statement on the state of parts of this country.

All right, Lisa and Jeffrey, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

BLOOM: Thank you.


ROBERTS: Well, careers have been launched in comedy clubs. Here is one that may have come crashing down. The latest on the "Seinfeld" actor, and the rant that has everyone talking.



MICHAEL RICHARDS, COMEDIAN: I am really busted up over this and I'm very, very sorry to those people in the audience, the blacks, the Hispanics, the whites, everyone that was there that took the brunt of that anger and hate and rage.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: He has offered his apology, but will Michael Richards be forgiven? The comedian, best known from television "Seinfeld," is trying to explain himself after he made racist remarks at a comedy club.

CNN's Brooke Anderson reports, but first we want to warn you that some of the language you are about to hear is extremely offensive.


BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST, HEADLINE NEWS, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" (voice-over): There was nothing funny about the angry racist words comedian Michael Richards, best known as Kramer from "Seinfeld," spewed from the stage of the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles Friday night in reaction to some unruly audience members.

MICHAEL KRAMER, COMEDIAN: Throw his ass out. He's a nigger. He's a nigger! He's a nigger!


KRAMER: A nigger! Look, there's a nigger!

ANDERSON: This cell phone video was obtained by the entertainment web site

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was uncalled for.

KRAMER: What was uncalled for? It's uncalled for you to interrupt my ass, you cheap mother (expletive deleted). You guys have been talking and talking and talking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was uncalled for, you (expletive deleted), cracker-ass mother (expletive deleted). Call me a nigger?

KRAMER: Cracker-ass? You calling me cracker-ass, nigger?

ANDERSON: The reaction to Richards' rant has been shock and outrage, as evidenced by a protest outside the Laugh Factory and a heated exchange inside during a news conference addressing the incident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take responsibility? And don't justify it.


RODRIGUEZ: I hear you.


RODRIGUEZ: I hear you. I hear you. Now, can I say something please?

ANDERSON: Comedian Paul Rodriguez, a club regular who was also on the bill Friday night, and Laugh Factory manager Jamie Masada said Richards was allowed to come back and perform the next night because he told them he planned to apologize when he took the stage again. That apology never came.

RODRIGUEZ: The audience came here expecting to see Kramer, and they got Mark Fuhrman.

ANDERSON: During the O.J. Simpson trial, former LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman was painted as a racist by the defense team because of racial slurs caught on tape.

Richards refused to speak on camera after his act Saturday, but today he did appear via satellite on the "Late Show with David Letterman" to apologize.

JERRY SEINFELD, COMEDIAN: I was extremely upset about it, and he is extremely upset about it, and I asked him if he would come on the show tonight.

RICHARDS: I lost my temper on stage. I was at a comedy club trying to do my act, and I got heckled. And I -- I took it badly and went into a rage.

For me to be on a comedy club and flip out and say this crap, you know, I'm -- I'm deeply, deeply sorry. I'm not a racist. That's what's so insane about this.

ANDERSON: But will it be enough? A coalition of African- American leaders have condemned Richards, and the Laugh Factory has banned him.

RODRIGUEZ: He will not be accepted on this stage until the community, the African-American community and its leaders, tell us that he has made proper amends.

ANDERSON: Making it clear that no one's laughing at Michael Richards' latest act.

Brooke Anderson, CNN, Hollywood.


ROBERTS: Well, straight ahead, the latest on a crash that sent a bus full of children on a deadly plunge. That and more on our 360 bulletin, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Back now to Washington and Joe Johns with the 360 news and business bulletin.

Hi, Joe.

JOHNS: Hi John. A bus carrying high school students plunged off a highway overpass in Huntsville, Alabama, killing three students. Witnesses say a small car struck the school bus which then went over the guardrail and crashed 30 feet below I-565; 33 students and the driver were taken to area hospitals. Police are trying to find the driver of the car suspected of causing the accident.

Happening tonight, firefighters are battling a multi-alarm blaze at a carpet store in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Fire officials say it began around 9 p.m. Eastern. So far, no reports of injuries.

On Wall Street, mixed stocks. The blue chips are down and most tech shares are up. After hitting record highs last week, the Dow lost 26 points, while the NASDAQ gained nearly seven. The broader S&P lost less than a point.

Just as you get ready to hit the road for Thanksgiving, gas prices are up. According to a survey by a oil industry analyst of 5,000 gas stations, the average price of a gallon of self-serve is about $2.23. That is up a nickel over the last two weeks.

And the U.S. Mint says it plans to put out a new dollar coin, a new $1 coin. Four new presidential dollars will be released each year starting with George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 2007. The Mint hopes that changing faces will encourage more people to use dollar coins. You can hear the PSA already, use dollar coins, it makes cents.

ROBERTS: Yes, you know, I think I have got a way to get more people to use dollar coins.

JOHNS: You bet.

ROBERTS: Make them out of paper. That'll do it.

JOHNS: Great idea.

ROBERTS: Joe, thanks very much. We'll see you again.

"LARRY KING" is up next. His guest, Actor Alec Baldwin.

Thanks for joining us. We'll see you tomorrow.