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CNN Newsnight Aaron Brown

Safeguarding What's Dear

Aired July 05, 2005 - 22:00   ET


AARON BROWN, HOST: Good evening again, everyone. There is a thread that seems to be running through the program tonight: Safeguarding what's dear. Safeguarding our freedom, our community, our kids.
The desire is simple enough. That is, until the wish meets the world, or the bill comes due, or the parent learns there really are monsters out there.

We begin tonight with the monsters. In Aruba, where Natalee Holloway vanished more than a month ago, and in Idaho, where a multiple sex offender is charged with kidnapping a young boy and a young girl, and suspected of far worse. Tonight, a police report gives us the first glimpse of how much worse. So from Coeur D'Alene, Idaho tonight, CNN's Rusty Dornin.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joseph Duncan was charged in a closed-circuit televised appearance with two counts of first-degree kidnapping, no bail. Eight-year-old Shasta Groene apparently told investigators that Joseph Duncan was at her house before her mother, her older brother and her mother's boyfriend were discovered bludgeoned to death. She said she was woken by her mother the night of May 15th, taken to the living room, where they were bound.

According to the police report, Groene described how Joseph Duncan tied her and the other members of her family up. She told them she and her brother Dylan were taken to a pickup, and then transferred to the red Jeep.

She described being taken to two different camp sites in Montana, and allegedly told them she and her brother were molested repeatedly. Although she never used the word rape, the graphic details make it clear that's what happened.

The report, handwritten and only a few paragraphs long, says nothing about whether she witnessed the murders, or if she saw what happened to her brother Dylan.

Haunting images from a convenience store surveillance tape have now been released of the hours before the little girl and her alleged abductor were discovered.

Investigators say Duncan is the prime investigative lead in the killings of Shasta and Dylan Groene's mother, brother and mother's boyfriend.

The house where the three were bludgeoned to death stands empty, windows boarded up, crime tape still in place. A police sentry stands watch outside.

Investigators believe more charges are soon to come for Joseph Duncan, in particular, if the remains found in western Montana are identified as those of 9-year-old Dylan Groene.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.


BROWN: In truth, it seems like we keep telling the same story over and over again. The characters keep changing. A child in California. A young woman in the Midwest. A little girl in Florida. Different characters, but the same plot. A convicted sex offender who served time, released from prison on parole, lost somewhere in the system, reoffends or is suspected of reoffending again. It seems endless. So what do we do?

Dr. Eli Newberger is an expert on childhood trauma and sex abuse, having started a sex -- a child protection team at Children's Hospital in Boston. Good to see you again.


BROWN: Do we actually know why these people do what they do?

NEWBERGER: Well, we actually know a great deal. And of concern at a time like this, when emotions are running high, we really have to reflect on what it is we know. With regard, for example, to what it is that shapes this kind of a perpetrator.

My concern is, is that we have hundreds of thousands of people who offend against children, and we tend to treat them all the same, as if their backgrounds were similar, as if their propensities to offend and to reoffend were identical.

Here's the great example of how important it is better to classify these individuals by their own propensities.

BROWN: OK, but are we smart enough to -- look, honestly, I'm trying to figure out, because it does seem -- we've had this conversation before.


BROWN: It does seem like we're reporting the same story again and again.


BROWN: Are we smart enough to classify them? Do we have any idea how to cure them? Because if we can't, whether we should or not -- if we can't and we don't know how to cure them, then honestly, I don't want them out there.

NEWBERGER: Well, I think no one would disagree. The problem is that there are so many. And indeed, there are certain things that we know. This fellow, Duncan, for example, was preoccupied by what he called demons, according to the reports. Here was a man who was ridden with impulses, who was concerned to get back at society, and to commit a horrible act, which will culminate in his death. This is not an unfamiliar scenario for rapist/murderers. And given what we are coming to understand about his childhood experience, it raises important issues about what we need to know in order to prevent this from happening, not simply with regard to once the perpetrator is identified, but with regard to children, especially males, who have had the kind of horrid childhood experiences that he appears to have had.

BROWN: I agree with that. It would be great if we could do that. But when we can't do that, or if right now we can't, and there are these people running around, what do we do? I mean, if you can't prevent this from happening when they're children, and if that's where this starts, I'm with you. We should do that first. But when we can't, can we cure them after?

NEWBERGER: Well, it's manifestly clear that the current system isn't working. In the main, perpetrators of sexual offenses who do less time than comparable offenses against -- were they to be committed against adults in jail. Once incarcerated, for the most part, get no serious diagnostic evaluation, and no intervention...

BROWN: That's comforting.

NEWBERGER: ... regarding propensities to reoffend.

Second, I think it's very important to focus on the fact that we simply do not do enough to allay the impacts of victimization on males. And there are very, very many teenagers, for example, who offend against multiple children, who themselves require specialized treatments of the traumatic effects of victimization in order to enable them to get a grip on their emotions, on their impulses.

BROWN: They cannot control -- Dr. Newberger, can they control these impulses?

NEWBERGER: Yes. There are very many people who, with help, can. The earlier one starts, the better. And in many cases, it's necessary to have restrictive settings in which they are enabled better to control themselves.

So, for example, in states like mine, in Massachusetts, not infrequently, people after their prison sentences are over, are reclassified as dangerous offenders, and they are, in effect, held in a psychiatric system. The practice varies all around the country. And in the main, there's a mythology abroad in the land that if we just put them in jail, somehow the problem is going to be solved. It's manifestly clear it is not going to be solved in this fashion.

BROWN: Yeah. It seems that we don't know quite what to do, or at least whatever it is we're doing, we're not doing right.

Dr. Newberger, we always meet in moments like this.

NEWBERGER: I'm sorry.

BROWN: Yeah. I am too. One of these days, we'll figure this out. But not tonight, it doesn't look like. Thank you.

NEWBERGER: You're welcome.

BROWN: Dr. Eli Newberger is also affiliated with Harvard University.

On now to Aruba, where tomorrow F-16 fighter jets will take part in the search for Natalee Holloway, or more likely, for her remains. Their work can be done from above. The rest, which is the search for answers, and of course the search for justice as much as anything else, takes place on the ground.

Today, a day after a pair of suspects was released, it was reflected in a mother's eyes. So from Aruba tonight, CNN's David Mattingly.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reeling from the release of two more suspects, the parents of Natalee Holloway continue to pressure an Aruban investigation they believe has gone nowhere.

BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, NATALEE'S MOTHER: I am asking this in the name of my beautiful, intelligent and outstanding daughter, who I haven't seen for 36 days, and for whom I will continue to search until I find her.

MATTINGLY: Without explanation, a judge in Aruba Monday released brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe after 26 days of interrogation.

TWITTY: Help me by not allowing these two to get away with this crime. It is my greatest fear today that the Kalpoe brothers will leave Aruba.

MATTINGLY: An attorney for the Kalpoe brothers maintains their innocence and says they have no intention of leaving the island. Even though Aruban law does permit them to travel, the Kalpoe family has canceled longstanding plans to travel to their native Surinam.

RUDY OOMAN, ATTORNEY FOR DEEPAK KALPOE: Usually, in cases like this, is that the longer you detain somebody, the stronger your evidence should be. But in this case, in my clients' case, it was the other way around. The longer they stayed in detention, the more proof came out that they didn't have to do anything with the disappearance itself.

MATTINGLY: Officially, the brothers are still suspects and can be taken back into custody if new evidence surfaces. After changing their original story that Natalee was dropped off at her hotel, they eventually told authorities they drove Natalee and 17-year-old Joran Van Der Sloot from a nightclub to a beach, where they last saw the couple together.

Defense attorneys tell CNN local fishermen told investigators they did not see such a couple, but they did spot a white Suzuki on the beach that night. A white Suzuki was one of the vehicles confiscated during a search of the Van Der Sloot home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had seen a Jeep type of car during -- in that timeframe, that stayed for about 30 to 40 minutes. That was the only thing that they saw that was abnormal for that day.

MATTINGLY: Dutch F-16s Tuesday roared over crowded resorts in preparation for a high-tech infrared search of the island. It was a highly public demonstration of the government's commitment to the Holloway search, witnessed by thousands of beachgoers and at least one member of Natalee Holloway's family, her aunt, Linda Allison.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Aruba residents protested criticism of island officials and their handling of the search.

ARLENE ELLIS-SCHIPPER, ARUBAN ATTORNEY: What else do you want us to do? Because everybody is asking, if this would have happened to an Aruban girl in the States, I wonder how many people would have taken the day off from their work to go search?

MATTINGLY: The relentless question of what happened to the young blond honor student once seemed to be a puzzle that was coming together. But the puzzle that has at times involved two former security guards, three young island men, a local deejay and an Aruban judge, has come apart piece by piece.

For now, the investigation seems to focus entirely on the 17- year-old son of an island judge. A handcuffed Joran Van Der Sloot took investigators on Sunday to the beach where he claims he left Holloway alone and alive.

(on camera): But the same judge who ordered the release of the Kalpoe brothers also ordered the teen to remain behind bars for up to 60 more days, meaning possibly two more months of lengthy interrogations and official silence in a mystery that seems less and less likely to produce a happy ending.

David Mattingly, CNN, Aruba.


BROWN: In a moment, the Navy's finest in harm's way, high in the mountains. But first, coming up on a quarter past the hour, time for the other headlines of the day. Sophia Choi with us tonight from Atlanta. Good evening.

SOPHIA CHOI, CNN HEADLINE NEWS: Hi, Aaron. Nice to see you back. Hope you had a happy Fourth. Well, some very stormy weather in the tropics this summer. Tropical Storm Cindy, just short of hurricane-force winds, is roaring towards the Gulf Coast. Residents and tourists are heading for higher ground now. And oil companies are evacuating some rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Not far behind is Tropical Storm Dennis, which could hit Florida later this week. This is the earliest date on record for four named storms to appear.

The painkiller Vioxx goes on trial next week in Texas, despite a plea by drug maker Merck for a delay because of recent negative publicity. The judge rejected the company's request, saying it was unlikely the jury would be biased. This is the first of thousands of civil lawsuits Merck faces after pulling Vioxx off the market following reports of an increased risk of heart attack and strokes.

On the diplomatic front, China not very diplomatically told Congress to butt out when it comes to the proposed takeover of Unocal by CNOOC, China' state-owned oil company. Some members of Congress have warned that the $18.5 billion Chinese takeover bid could pose security risks for the United States. CNOOC is bidding against Chevron for Unocal.

President Bush stopped off in Copenhagen, Denmark on his way to the G-8 summit. Queen Margrethe II welcomed the president and the first lady on Wednesday. President Bush will celebrate his 59th birthday and continue on to Scotland, to meet with the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

And remember our new feature we want to tell you about. Log on to and click the video link. You'll be able to watch video as often as you want, all for the price of a moonbeam on a midsummer's night -- Aaron.

BROWN: The price went up. Thank you, we'll see you in about a half an hour.

CHOI: Sure.

BROWN: Thank you.

Straight ahead on the program, it turned into the deadliest mission in more than a decade for U.S. Special Ops forces. But what were Navy SEALs doing in Afghanistan anyway?


DOUGLAS WALLER, SR. CORRESPONDENT, TIME MAGAZINE: They've also developed the capability to operate really anywhere on land. In this particular case, obviously something went wrong.

BROWN (voice-over): The secret world of the Navy SEALs and their latest mission on land.

It could be your town and your job.

DON WICHAEL, GROTON, CT RESIDENT: If the Navy base isn't here, where's that going to leave me?

BROWN: One town's fight to save its future.

JUDITH MILLER, NEW YORK TIMES: You don't rat on sources.

BROWN: And she's not. And neither is he. But others are talking about this man. How Karl Rove, the president's chief political aide, became part of the story.

JAMES WOOLSEY, "SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY": The massive oil spill has ignited a fire that's spreading throughout the harbor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This just in, we are receiving reports of massive explosions.

ROBERT GATES, "NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER": How do we prevent a panic at this point?

BROWN: They're just acting. But what happens when fiction becomes fact? Here in New York, we always prefer fact to fiction, because this is NEWSNIGHT.



BROWN: In the mountains of Afghanistan, the search continues for a missing Navy SEAL, whose four-man team called for reinforcements a week ago today. That call turned out to be deadly for a group of Special Ops troops that responded. Among the many questions raised by the incident, what are Navy SEALs doing in Afghanistan, in the mountains, in the first place? From the Pentagon tonight, CNN's Jamie McIntyre.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The popular image of SEALs is as frogmen, stealthy Navy commandos who operate from the sea. They still call themselves frogs, but notably SEAL stands for Sea, Air and Land. And these days, that means ground combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

DOUGLAS WALLER, SR. CORRESPONDENT, TIME MAGAZINE: Navy SEALs specialize in amphibious operations. These are operations close to the shore, where they'll infiltrate into the beach and attack a target. But they've also developed a capability to operate really anywhere on land.

MCINTYRE: "Time" magazine senior correspondent Doug Waller is author of "The Commandos: The Inside Story of America's Secret Soldiers."

WALLER: They operate in very small groups. They try to sneak into a target, either to scout it out, or to discreetly take out a target without being seen, without being heard, and then get back out. In this particular case, obviously, something went wrong. MCINTYRE: The Special Operations Chinook helicopter sent to extract the four-man SEAL team on the ground took a rocket-propelled grenade to the tail section and careened into an Afghan mountainside. On board, an eight-man SEAL team, and eight members of the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

Along with the bodies of two SEALs later found on the ground, 18 total dead and one still missing.

(on camera): It was the deadliest mission for U.S. Special Operations forces since 1993, when 19 soldiers were killed in the Mogadishu firefight, immortalized in the movie "Black Hawk Down." And like the Rangers in Somalia, the SEALs in Afghanistan were a hunter- killer team, operating on intelligence that Taliban and al Qaeda fighters were in the rugged mountains near Asadabad.

(voice-over): Why Navy SEALs?

WALLER: They're more action-oriented type of commandos in many cases than, for example, Army Special Forces, which are trained specifically in counter-guerrilla, counter-insurgency type operations. When you want something taken down quickly, in a very, very difficult area to maneuver in, very likely you might want to go to Navy SEALs.

MCINTYRE: And if the SEALs' mission had been a success, their role would likely have never been made public.

WALLER: I found that the people who talk about their missions are not really Navy SEALs. The real Navy SEALs never say what they do. They basically keep to themselves. They're a very close-knit community.

MCINTYRE: On a blog site run by former SEALs, one blogger who claims to be a 17-year veteran says of the rescue of one SEAL, "the identity and story of the SEAL that was recovered today will probably never become public knowledge, and that's the way it has to be."

WALLER: The SEALs have not only a motto but an obsession with never leaving one of their comrades behind. In this particular case, there is still one navy SEAL missing. I can guarantee you that they're moving heaven and earth to find that missing SEAL. And they won't rest until they retrieve him back.

MCINTYRE: Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


BROWN: Difficulties aside, the SEALs in Afghanistan represent a changing U.S. military. The Pentagon is exploring the possibility of expanding the Special Forces and redeploying a vast number of soldiers and sailors and submariners. Already, bases have been targeted for closing. One of them, in southeastern Connecticut, is home to what's proudly known as the silent service, proudly, and as it turns out, loudly.

Here's CNN's Jason Carroll. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Save our sub base! $5!

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Groton, Connecticut. A Navy town. Now, the Defense Department wants to change that, by closing Groton's base.

DON WICHAEL, CONCERNED RESIDENT: It just makes me nervous. You know? I mean, I work for a company that builds submarines. You know? And if the Navy base isn't here, where is that going to leave me?

CARROLL: Don Wichael works as a painter for a company that builds subs. His wife Ellen teaches near the base.

ELLEN WICHAEL, CONCERNED RESIDENT: I think I'm more disappointed in the government. I'm more disappointed in the decisions of, you know, the powers that be that decided to close this base. I'm more disappointed, and I'm more scared than anything.

CARROLL: Like many who depend on the base, the Wichael's family ties to it go way back.

(on camera): Wow, look at that.


CARROLL: That's you?


CARROLL (voice-over): Don's father was a torpedo man here.

(on camera): You're a lot skinnier there.

J. WICHAEL: Yeah, right.

CARROLL (voice-over): His prediction on the fate of the base?

J. WICHAEL: I just got a gut feeling, it's inevitable. It's going to happen.

CARROLL: Not if many in the community can help it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think the Defense Department knew who they were dealing with when they took on southeastern Connecticut.

CARROLL: Local politicians are fighting back. They formed a committee to challenge Pentagon research, which said the Navy would save money by moving to southern ports.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Navy constructed an analysis...

CARROLL: John Markowicz, another local Navy man, is committee chair. JOHN MARKOWICZ, SUBASE REALIGNMENT COALITION: My family is important to me. My country and my service to my country is something I'm very proud of. And I intend to live with that legacy. And this is perhaps my last battle.

CARROLL: The Wichaels will help in the fight. They don't believe the Navy's prediction Groton will bounce back.

D. WICHAEL: It's going to be a ghost town. It will be a ghost town.

CARROLL: But the senior in the family is more confident.

J. WICHAEL: I think if the base was to close, it will be hard, but I think this town can rebound.

CARROLL (on camera): How? What do you think...

J. WICHAEL: The people. They're resilient. They'll make it. They'll make it.

CARROLL (voice-over): Jason Carroll, CNN, Groton, Connecticut.


BROWN: Ahead on the program, with two reporters facing jail for not revealing sources, could one of the sources be none other than the president's top political adviser? Quite an accusation. We'll talk with the accuser.

And later, the story behind the tabloid headline. Don't talk crepe. First, however, the appetizer, from the dining capital of the world, New York. This is NEWSNIGHT.


BROWN: We return tonight to the case of Judith Miller, Matt Cooper, Robert Novak and Valerie Plame. If ever there was a story that defied understanding, this surely is it.

It started simply enough. Who told Robert Novak, the columnist and CNN contributor, that Ms. Plame was a CIA operative, and in doing so perhaps committed a crime? That's how it started.

Tonight, Mr. Cooper, who works for "Time" magazine and Ms. Miller of "The New York Times" are a step closer to jail. Mr. Novak is not, though he won't say exactly why, and it isn't exactly clear what crime the prosecutor is looking at anymore. We begin with CNN's Kelly Wallace.


KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In court documents demanding the testimony of the two reporters, federal special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wrote, "journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality. No one in America is." He said the testimony of Matthew Cooper of "Time" magazine remains necessary for his investigation into who leaked the name of a covert CIA agent. Last week, "Time" magazine chose to turn over e- mails and other internal documents. Time, Inc's editor in chief, Norman Pearlstine, told CNN's Soledad O'Brien, he hoped this would mean Cooper was no longer in legal jeopardy.

NORMAN PEARLSTINE, EDITOR IN CHIEF, TIME, INC.: My own view is that by turning over this information, we obviate the need for Matt to even testify, let alone be incarcerated. But I can't speak for Judge Hogan.

WALLACE: The special prosecutor also opposed the requests of Cooper and Judith Miller of "The New York Times" to be placed under house arrest or be sent to a prison of their own choosing.

Wrote Fitzgerald, "forced vacation at a comfortable home is not a compelling form of coercion." Cooper and Miller and their attorneys declined to comment. In an exclusive interview late last month, Miller, who never actually wrote a story about the agent in question, said she would never reveal her confidential sources.

MILLER: This is either a principle, or it's not. And for me, it's a kind of cardinal principle of our profession. You don't rat on sources.

WALLACE: The person who first reported the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, syndicated columnist Robert Novak, who is also a CNN contributor. Last week on CNN's "INSIDE POLITICS," Novak, whose role in the investigation remains a mystery, said he hoped Miller and Cooper would not go to jail.

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN COMMENTATOR: I deplore the thought of reporters -- I've been a reporter all my life -- going to jail for any period of time for not revealing sources, but did I -- my lawyer said I cannot answer any specific questions about this case, until it is resolved, which I hope is very soon.

WALLACE (on camera): And now the stage is set for a high-stakes hearing in a federal courtroom Wednesday afternoon, with Miller and Cooper facing the possibility of spending the next 120 days behind bars.

Kelly Wallace, CNN, New York.


BROWN: Well, now what exactly "Time" turned over has become the subject of considerable speculation and at least one allegation. Political analyst Lawrence O'Donnell claims that one of the sources revealed in Matthew Cooper's notes and e-mails with his bosses is the White House chief political adviser, Karl Rove, that Mr. Rove is a source. Quite an accusation. Mr. O'Donnell, who is also an executive producer of "West Wing," joins us tonight from Los Angeles. How do you know that Mr. Rove did it? LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, EXEC. PRODUCER, "WEST WING": I learned this months ago, Aaron. And I did not want to reveal it until it was, in effect, something that would not in any way interfere with the grand jury process. I revealed it at exactly the time on Friday that "Time" magazine was handing over their e-mails. So I revealed it then, at a time where the prosecutor would know exactly what I knew. Had I said the same thing a few months ago, I would have then been immediately subpoenaed into the grand jury and would have been asked what you just asked me, which is how do I know this? Which is something that I cannot answer because I have confidential sources on this.

BROWN: Nobody wants to give anything up here.

Here's -- Mr. Rove's lawyer said a couple of things that are interesting, if you really sit down and parse them. He said that Mr. Rove is not a target of the investigation, and he has said that Mr. Rove, while having -- he did, in fact, talk to Mr. Cooper, never knowingly, underscore knowingly here, revealed any classified information. I think the knowingly is important under the law, right?

O'DONNELL: Yes, it is. The law that governs this secrecy requires certain things in order to commit the crime. You have to, first of all, be an authorized person. You have to have a security clearance that authorizes you to know that someone is a covert agent. It's not at all clear, parenthetically, that Karl Rove had that kind of clearance and was an authorized person. Therefore, whatever he said, if not an authorized person, could not be a crime.

The other part is, even if you are an authorized person, you have to know that she is a covert agent. You then have to know that the CIA is taking what the law calls "affirmative measures" to hide her relationship to the CIA. You have to know both of those things in order to commit the crime.

And then, thirdly, she has to actually be a covert agent, and the law itself, not the CIA, defines what that is. The law has very strict requirements to fit the covert agent elements, including having an overseas posting in the last five years. It's very specific. And it's not clear to me that Valerie Plame fits the statutory definition of covert agent that could create the crime in the first place.

BROWN: Now, here's what's not clear to me. There are a couple of things. Is it clear that this is now about who leaked to whomever? To Novak or Cooper or Miller or anybody? Or is this now a perjury investigation?

O'DONNELL: We are probably beyond the leak investigation and on to the perjury investigation.

BROWN: Then it doesn't matter if it was knowingly, whether it was a covert agent, whether it was any of that nonsense?

O'DONNELL: Yes, all those things matter in order to get us past the security violation. Those are the elements that would have -- if they line up the way I suggest they might, which is it may be that Plame is not a covert agent, that's what would eliminate the crime in the first instance. And then what you're left with is a perjury investigation.

The evidence of that is in the prosecutor's own pleadings. Every brief the prosecutor has filed all the way up to the Supreme Court represents to the court that, this is a quote, "the focus of the investigation has shifted." We all know what the initial focus was. The initial focus was this security leak. If it has shifted, what would it have shifted to? They usually shift to perjury investigations.

BROWN: You are a guy that has hung around Washington a long time, knows Washington. Don't you think the president would have called Karl Rove up and said, Karl, look, there's a lot of pressure to get a special prosecutor on this. We could be in kind of deep trouble if you had anything to do with it, so you best tell me now.

O'DONNELL: I think the president wouldn't do that. This is the kind of knowledge that a president doesn't want to have. The president called for a special prosecutor to do that investigation for him. You can't find any examples of presidents, when an investigative question arises in the White House, summoning people in and trying to be the prosecutor themselves. I would be very surprised if this president did that.

BROWN: Ten seconds. Do you think Karl Rove's going down on this?

O'DONNELL: I think Karl Rove is in a position where he may lose his job, but it is hard for me to see where the crime would be for Karl Rove. I think he's too smart for perjury and I don't think he's actually qualified to have committed the original crime.

BROWN: Nice to see you.

O'DONNELL: Thank you.

BROWN: Thank you.

Still to come on the program tonight, filling a seat on the Supreme Court. Why presidents can't or don't always get what they want.

Also, Martha Stewart's take on her time in the slammer. And what the ladies there called her. From Camp Cupcake and New York, you can just call us NEWSNIGHT.


BROWN: On the way to Europe for the G-8 summit, President Bush we are told reviewed the resumes of potential Supreme Court nominees, like his attorney general and old friend Alberto Gonzales. This is shaping up to be the story of the summer, perhaps a generational story when you consider how long a justice serves.

But this is the theme. You can pick, but you can't always choose what you'll get. Presidents often get more than they bargained for when they make nominations to the court. Here's our senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield.


JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST (voice-over): This is Felix Frankfurter, Harvard law professor, ardent New Deal liberal. When Franklin Roosevelt picked him for the Supreme Court in 1939, Frankfurter reliably upheld liberal legislation regulating business. But when the Congress began investigating political dissenters during the Cold War, Frankfurter voted to give the Congress lots of leeway, a position liberals saw as a threat to free speech. And he dissented when the Supreme Court told state legislators their districts had to be roughly equal in population, the so-called "one man, one vote" rule. "That's not our business," Frankfurter said.

This is Earl Warren. When President Eisenhower chose the California governor to be chief justice in 1953, he was picking a life-long Republican, Tom Dewey's 1948 running mate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Supreme Court assembles for its first group picture.

GREENFIELD: But Warren led the court into a period of unparalleled expansiveness, some called it activism. Striking down school segregation, expanding the rights of criminal suspects, banning school prayer and Bible reading in public schools.

"Worst mistake I ever made," Ike said of Warren. Sometimes included in that confession, his choice of William Brennan for the court as well.

The history of presidents picking justices who defy expectations is one that conservatives say they know all too well. Richard Nixon picked Harry Blackmun to moderate a liberal court. Blackmun became a solid part of the liberal block, authoring the Roe vs. Wade abortion decision in 1973.

SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: And I'm extremely happy and honored to have been nominated by President Reagan.

GREENFIELD: Ronald Reagan, Mr. Conservative, chose Sandra Day O'Connor, whose votes on affirmative action, gay rights and abortion angered the right.

The first President Bush picked David Souter, who is now a reliable liberal vote.

(on camera): Why does this happen? Well, in part it's because the same judicial philosophy that can produce a liberal result in one case can lead to a conservative result in another. And in part, it's because political loyalty to a president or an ideology isn't supposed to matter on the court. And with lifetime tenure and complete independence from political pressure, political loyalty often doesn't matter.

(voice-over): For instance, Justice Hugo Black was a staunch liberal, who consistently voted to protect the First Amendment rights of dissidents. But he consistently ruled against the claims of civil rights sit-in demonstrators, saying that conduct, unlike speech, can be prohibited by state authorities. And because he could find no right to privacy in the Constitution, Black argued in dissent that Connecticut had the power to forbid married couples from practicing birth control.

Justice O'Connor, one of the few recent justices to have held political office, consistently looked for the middle ground in cases, upholding some restrictions on abortion, but also affirming Roe vs. Wade. Striking down some religious displays in public, but not all of them.

For social conservatives, such pragmatism was profoundly disappointing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's William O. Douglas.

GREENFIELD: Of course, it's also true that plenty of justices have performed pretty much as predicted. The late Justice William Douglas was a consistent liberal. Chief Justice Rehnquist, along with Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas form the heart of the conservative block.

Clinton appointees Ruth Bader Ginsburg...


GREENFIELD: ... and Stephen Breyer are reliably liberal.

(on camera): And it's entirely likely that this President Bush has taken the lessons of history, including his father's experience with David Souter, to heart. He said that the justices he most admires on the court right now are Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, and the White House is likely to do everything it can to make sure that's the kind of justice he appoints. It's just that in this area, there are no absolute guarantees.

Jeff Greenfield, CNN, New York.


BROWN: Up next, oil at $60 a barrel. What happens to the country and the world if it hits $250? A break first. Around the world, this is NEWSNIGHT.


BROWN: In a moment, what might happen if the price of oil really went through the roof? Really.

First, at about quarter until the hour, time for some of the other stories that made news today. Sophia Choi, HEADLINE NEWS in Atlanta. Good to see you again.

CHOI: Hi there, Aaron. Well, we begin in Seattle and some real reality TV. Derrick Walker is lucky to be alive after his 1977 Ferrari burst into flames while he was filling up. A gas station attendant pulled the hose out of the car and used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Walker says, "I can replace the car but I'm fine, and that's the big deal for me."

An international food fight has broken out over the choice of a host for the 2012 Olympics. Blood boiled in British newspapers after reports that French President Jacques Chirac said, "you can't trust people who have such bad food," and that Britain's only contribution to European agriculture was mad cow disease. "The Sun," a London tabloid, had a simple tabloid reply -- "don't talk crepe."

And the domestic diva tells all. Martha Stewart says she hates house arrest and her electronic ankle bracelet, says it hurts. But Martha told "Vanity Fair" magazine she has fond memories of her five months at Camp Cupcake, the minimum security prison at Alderson, West Virginia. She says she even smuggled out some gingko pods to grow on her 150-acre estate in Bedford, New York, and proudly reveals her prison moniker -- M. Diddy.

And remember our new feature we want to tell you about. Log on to, and click the video link. You'll be able to watch video as many times as you want, all for 100 percent off the regular price. That's free for you, Aaron.

BROWN: Thank you. People will be watching that Ferrari going up in smoke again and again tonight. Thank you very much.

This is a story about a worldwide panic that hasn't happened yet, but might. Consider this possibility -- in a world already thirsting for oil, a series of events unfold that dramatically reduces the supply. Some factories shut down, refineries empty, economies suffocate. Panic sets in. Can't happen? Maybe. Two think tanks in Washington wondered how governments would react if it did. So on the "Security Watch" tonight, David Ensor.


DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The scene, a cabinet meeting, five months from now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president has asked me to thank you all for meeting here at the White House today.

ENSOR: The scenario, world oil markets are reeling from a series of shocks. Violence in Nigeria's oil-rich delta. Record cold temperatures in the U.S. and Europe. Even as Chinese demand for oil soars.

Then, on a fictional cable network with a name like ours, the news gets much worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This just in, we are receiving reports of massive explosions at a natural gas processing plant in Harat (ph), Saudi Arabia.

ENSOR: The national security adviser gets word that key facilities in Saudi Arabia were destroyed by al Qaeda.

ROBERT GATES, "NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER": How do we prevent a panic at this point? Where everyone is going out and filling his or her gas tank, buying all of the five and 10-gallon containers they can and filling those up too, and then stuffing them all in their garage.


GATES: Yeah, absolutely.

WOOLSEY: I have some bad news. I just got a report from my deputy regarding an apparent terrorist attack on the port of Valdez, Alaska. An oil tanker that was entering the port has rammed another tanker that was just about to leave. A massive oil spill has ignited a fire that's spreading throughout the harbor.

ENSOR: At this point, world oil supplies are down by millions of barrels a day. The price surges to $123 a barrel. Gas at the pump, $4.74.

Until this meeting, the advisers had rejected using the nation's strategic petroleum reserve, the SPRO, millions of barrels of oil that are stored in underground caverns.

RICHARD HAASS, "SECRETARY OF STATE": If the SPRO was not created for circumstances like this, then I don't really understand why we bothered to create it.

WOOLSEY: I don't think releasing a few more barrels from the SPRO is decisive action.

ENSOR: A senior Department of Energy official argues there's no reason to overreact.

JOSEPH RAMM, "UNDERSECRETARY OF ENERGY": The doubling of gasoline prices by itself is going to have a large impact on demand. And I think at this point, the best thing for the president to do is to make a call for specific voluntary conservation measures.

ENSOR: They talk about raising the fuel efficiency requirements for new cars, of incentives for more hybrid cars, even of abandoning the Clean Air Act for a while.

CAROL BROWNER, "SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR": Before we go doing something like that, we should consider what the cost to society will be of more pollution in the air.

ENSOR: Although no one in the cabinet is recommending a military response, the secretary of defense pleads for concrete economic action, to show terrorists and oil producers that the U.S. cannot be held hostage. FRANKLIN KRAMER, "SECRETARY OF DEFENSE": It's important to do our best to make the attacks ineffective. Because if they're effective, then they're going to keep on and on and on.

ENSOR: The trouble is, there are no attractive options. They agree to dip into the SPRO, but that's only a stopgap measure.

The national security adviser sums up the advice to the president.

GATES: But I think the one message that unanimously we have to present to him is that it is absolutely imperative that the United States have a long-term energy policy in order to diminish this dependence on foreign oil, which has such huge economic and security consequences for us.

ENSOR: As they close their last cabinet meeting in June of 2006 in this nightmare scenario, a barrel of oil is up around $160, the price at the pump of a gallon of gasoline nearly $6. Entirely plausible, participants say. Fortunately, it's only a game.

David Ensor, CNN, Washington.


BROWN: Coming up, gorillas gone wild and other headlines. Morning papers are next.


BROWN: OK, a quick check of morning papers from around the country and around the world.

We're actually starting with "The Washington Post" from today. I never get to do baseball stories, and I like baseball. "Nationals at RFK Stadium is summer's hottest ticket." Seems like the Nationals have done just gangbusters business, everybody in Washington going out to the ballpark. But it being Washington, you turn to the jump and you find out that the W on the baseball caps spells more than baseball. You see, the thing is, people think that the W is like George W. Right? So we actually spent most of our week's budget to get these cool hats. $21.99, they get for the W hats. They do $21.99 for a baseball cap. No wonder kids don't wear them anymore.

"The Times-Picayune" of New Orleans. "Cindy" -- that would be the tropical storm -- "gets season off to a soggy start." They lead weather.

Down here, this is an unbelievable story to me. "Prosecutor disciplined for holding evidence. Supreme Court weighs three-month suspension." Prosecutor withheld evidence that was favorable to the defense in a case that sent a kid to death row? Come on.

Oh, running out of time. "The Examiner" in Washington, this is for a former assistant, Molly Levinson (ph), who was very big in hookahs when we were in Kuwait. "Hookah bars are gaining popularity among the under-21 crowd who chat and chill." "In the smoky den" is the headline.

"Chicago Sun-Times", "Gorilla attack at Lincoln Park zoo." And it's not the first time that's happened.

By the way, if you're wondering, the weather tomorrow, Wednesday, in Chicago is "precious."

We'll wrap it up in a moment.


BROWN: Tomorrow morning on "AMERICAN MORNING," who will be the host city of the 2012 Olympics? Paris, London, New York? Well, maybe. We'll announce it tomorrow morning on "AMERICAN MORNING." I mean, we won't. They will. We'll see you at 10:00. Until then, good night for all of us.