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CNN Newsnight Aaron Brown

Suspect in Idaho Murders, Kidnappings Had Violent Past; Investigators Get Details of Murder, Abductions from Shasta Groene; Laws Getting Tougher on Child Molesters; New Test Gives Gender Results Early in Pregnancy; Some Fear Chilling Effect on Media of Judge's Decision

Aired July 06, 2005 - 22:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": And now we turn things over to our own alien, the host of NEWSNIGHT. A lot of people who watch you think that you, only you, the way you deliver the news, the way you handle yourself, you had to come from, I bet, Uranus.
AARON BROWN, HOST: No, Minnesota. But it's close. Thank you.

KING: Thank you, Aaron.

BROWN: Thank you. We'll talk to you tomorrow.

Good evening again, everyone.

Joseph Duncan, whatever exactly he did or did not do to a family in Idaho, was the walking, talking, living, breathing example of how the country's criminal justice system either has not or cannot deal with sex offenders and sex predators.

Mr. Duncan had a long history of sex crimes: 13 rapes, by his admission, by the time he was 16 years old. He was out on bail on sex charges in Minnesota, when the Idaho killings and rapes took place.

So, of the many questions we raise tonight, we start with this: why he was out on bail in the first place? Here's CNN's Jonathan Freed.


JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Joseph Duncan appeared in court in Minnesota in April, he was facing two counts of criminal sexual conduct, involving young boys he allegedly approached at a playground last year and is accused of fondling one of them. He went free, after posting $15,000 bail.

Duncan was already a convicted sex offender, classified as high- risk, where he's been living in neighboring North Dakota. Becker County District Judge Thomas Schrader told a Minnesota television station that he would have set bail higher to keep Duncan behind bars, if he had known all the details about the 42-year-old's past.

County attorney Joseph Evans tells CNN the judge was advised Duncan served a significant prison term for a sex offense in Washington state. But he's not sure the court was told about Duncan's high-risk status.

The prosecutor wanted bail set at $25,000. But says even if a higher amount was granted, Duncan would probably still have gone free because, it turned out, he paid for the $15,000 bond in cash.

JOSEPH EVANS, BECKER COUNTY ATTORNEY: That would indicate to me that the defendant had the ability to buy a bail bond ten times that size, because typically 10 percent of the bail bond is what's required in order to buy a bond.

FREED: Evans says he thought a $25,000 bond would have been enough to keep Duncan in jail, because he didn't appear to have that kind of money.

And he explains the lowered bail was due, in part, to the Minnesota practice of weighing the likely sentence one would receive if convicted. In this case, 13 months. Not enough, normally, to warrant an extremely high bail, or a request for no bail at all.

Police records showed Duncan was 16 years old when he broke into a neighbor's home in Washington in 1980 and stole handguns and ammunition.

ED TROYER, PIERCE COUNTY SHERIFF: Came across a 14-year-old boy he didn't know. Kidnapped the boy at gunpoint, brought him into the woods out in the Lake City area by Ft. Lewis. And took him out there and raped him repeatedly. During that, he also beat him with a stick, burned him with a cigarette, and dry-fired the gun.

FREED: There were no bullets. But Duncan pulled the trigger twice, making the boy think he was going to kill him.

Duncan pleaded guilty and spent 17 years in prison. After his release in 2000, Duncan moved to Fargo, North Dakota, where he's been working, going to college, and by all accounts, appeared to be staying out of trouble. Another reason, the prosecutor says, that a much higher bail didn't seem warranted.

He was arrested in March of this year in the Minnesota playground case. Two weeks after making bail, police issued an arrest warrant for Duncan, when he failed to check in with a probation officer. And a search for him began.

Less than a month later, 8-year-old Shasta Groene and her 9-year- old brother, Dylan, disappeared from their home in Idaho.

Jonathan Freed, CNN, Chicago.


BROWN: And it is to Idaho we turn next to what investigators are discovering and what, horribly, a young girl is reliving. From Coeur D'Alene tonight, CNN's Sean Callebs.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators are negotiating a delicate balance with Shasta Groene, gently pressing the only apparent witness for details about the triple murders and the kidnapping of her and her brother, without further compromising her emotional and physical well-being.

Family members say it could be cathartic.

DARLENE TORRES, SHASTA'S GRANDMOTHER: Probably her getting this out to the right people is probably the best thing that ever happened to her, you know? Because she's telling her story.

CALLEBS: Shasta's statements are critical to making a case against Joseph Duncan. But there are important gaps, as well. Investigators say, perhaps, looming largest, what brought Duncan to northern Idaho? And why the Groene's house?

CAPT. BEN WOLFINGER, KOOTENAI COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: That's a great question. And that comes back to, sometimes, motive of what -- it really is a motive question. Sometimes motive is the last question we get answered.

CALLEBS: Right now, they say, they have no motive.

Court documents show Shasta told investigators Duncan tied up her mother, 13-year-old brother and her mother's boyfriend. The next day, authorities found a grizzly crime scene, the three bound and bludgeoned to death.

WOLFINGER: The investigative team has stated at this time, and according to the evidence at hand, they believe that Joseph Duncan is the only person responsible for these crimes.

CALLEBS: Duncan was caught with a 2005 Jeep Laredo. But court records show Shasta told investigators that Duncan took her and her 9- year-old brother, Dylan, to a pickup. What happened to the pickup?

WOLFINGER: Investigators say that all vehicles that they are aware of in this case have been accounted for. They are not yet in a position to comment, specifically on the pickup mentioned in yesterday's court documents and its role in the investigation.

CALLEBS: Finally, there's outrage in Coeur D'Alene, where people want to know why Duncan was free to allegedly commit sex crimes again. Investigators here know why. But say that doesn't help them now.

Sean Callebs, CNN, Idaho.


BROWN: Mr. Duncan was known to be a monster, for lack of a better word, as far back as 1980, as we told you. The judge in Washington state declared him a sexual psychopath after the sentence in rape and torture of a 14-year-old there.

So, what to do about the worst of the worst? What to do has evolved since 1980, in part because the predators have not.

Here's CNN's Ted Rowlands.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Jake Goldenflame leaves his San Francisco apartment, he touches the Ten Commandments hanging near his door. Jake is a convicted child predator, who admits to molesting dozens of boys and his daughter.

As Jake walks down the street, notice the boy with the hood on in the background. Jake says that boy would have been one of his prime targets.


ROWLANDS: Later at a coffee shop, Jake talked about the young man with the hood and says, despite his attraction to boys, society can trust him not to molest.

GOLDENFLAME: I notice an attractive boy, in this instance. And it's like, simply, a piece of information. Oh, there's an attractive- looking kid. Then, I go right on my way, because my intention is to come up and get a cup of coffee. It's not going to change.

ROWLANDS: While Jake says he can be trusted, California law no longer takes that chance. When a high-risk predator is released from prison, they're sent to the Atascadero State Hospital and held until doctors decide they are no longer a threat to society.

Since that law was passed in 1996, the Department of Mental Health says only three of the more than 500 people held at the state hospital have been allowed to leave, even though they had all completed their prison sentences.

At least 15 other states have similar, so-called civil commitment laws, allowing them to hold high-risk sexual predators indefinitely.

One of the three let go in California is Brian Devries, who admits to molesting more than 30 boys. As a part of his treatment, he's been surgically castrated.

BRIAN DEVRIES, CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER: I'm not cured. I will not be cured forever. I will always need to keep myself -- and we use the word -- we used the word down in Atascadero, abstinent.

ROWLANDS: Marc Klaas, whose daughter, Polly, was abducted and murdered, says society should not trust child molesters, period.

MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT, BEYONDMISSING.COM: As soon as the offender no longer wants to comply, watch out. Lock up the kids in the neighborhood, because he's coming to get them.

ROWLANDS: Klaas argues that more predators should be locked up for longer periods of time. Jake Goldenflame disagrees GOLDENFLAME: You start passing laws saying we're going to lock you up forever, the next time a pedophile molests a kid, he's going to kill the kid so he has a chance of not getting caught. We'll have a bunch of dead children. We've already got enough of those.

ROWLANDS: Deaths that states like California are trying to prevent by taking better precautions with convicted predators.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.


BROWN: We're joined now by author and lawyer, Andrew Vachss, who spent more than 30 years working on behalf of abused children. Life for him changed when, as an investigator for the federal public health service, he encountered a baby who had contracted a venereal disease after being abused.

Mr. Vachss joins us tonight from Kansas City. It's nice to see you.

Bail is a right of someone who is arrested, suspected of a crime, is entitled to bail. Can we, at least in the cases of repeat offenders, or people we believe might be repeat offenders, deny them bail outright?

ANDREW VACHSS, ATTORNEY & AUTHOR: Not only can't we, but we shouldn't. It's a nonsensical response to a more serious problem.

The real issue is why are they on the street to begin with? Not whether we register them. Not whether we give them high bail when they're caught again. Why are they on the street to begin with? That's the fundamental question that has to be addressed.

BROWN: OK. So -- which begs the question, do we then take -- and which ones do we take? I mean, do we take the flasher? Or who is it that gets hauled in prison forever?

VACHSS: We take the violent, predatory, chronic offender. It's astounding to me that a state could literally say a person is a sexual psychopath and then pronounce him either cured or having paid his debt to society. Neither makes any sense.

BROWN: Well, it's interesting, Washington state, I think, was the first of the states to pass the civil commitment law. Fifteen other states, 14 other states now do it. Is there evidence in those states that there is less abuse of children by repeat offenders?

VACHSS: Not only is there less abuse, but that law is a contradiction in logic. If you're going to retain somebody on the grounds that they have a mental disease or defect, you're actually being a defense attorney's dream. Because if you accept that logic, then all these offenders are insane to begin with, as opposed to people who choose their conduct.

BROWN: That's an interesting way to look at it. You're the lawyer in this. But in most states, if not all, the legal definition of insanity has to do with -- one of the tests is knowing that the act is wrong. Right?

VACHSS: Indeed. Being able to appreciate the consequences of it and knowing it's wrong.

BROWN: And knowing the difference between right and wrong. Mostly people know what they're doing is wrong. They argue, I think, that they can't control the impulse.

VACHSS: That would be enough under many states to satisfy the definition of insanity. Certainly, you can't say we should have a sexual psychopath law and that there's no such thing as irresistible impulse. People like me distinguish state of mind from conduct.

BROWN: Yes. One of the points you make when we talked to you earlier today, is that we're very good at a nation at talking the talk. That we ran this sort of thing like what happened in Idaho. We're outraged for a good four or five days. And then it all goes away.

VACHSS: Indeed, that's the truth. Look, all this screaming and yelling about a registry, right now, you've got six figures worth of registered sex offenders that nobody knows the whereabouts of, not one or two. But there's no federal funds to track them down. There's no federal will to incarcerate them for the crime of absconding. So what's the point of a registry?

BROWN: Just -- we've only got about a half a minute, 40 seconds or so here. But ultimately, we need to stop this -- we need to stop it before a crime is committed. Do we -- have we committed resources to deal with children who are abused? Because the fact is children who are abused tend to become abusers.

VACHSS: Bingo. Unless you believe that these people are biogenetic misfires, unless there's some strange DNA that makes them do what they do, we accept that we make our own monsters and we build our own beasts.

If we actually want to do prevention, then we have to put money on the front lines which is child protective services. As a nation, we have not been willing to do that.

BROWN: Come back and talk to us some more about this. I've got lots more questions.


BROWN: Nice to see you, Andrew Vachss.

Straight ahead, the question every parent to be wonders: in the storm over the test that provides the answer in almost a blink of an eye.


SHERRY BONELLI, CEO, PREGNANCYSTORE.COM: In most cases, it's just curiosity. I can't wait to know.

BROWN (voice-over): Is it a boy or a girl? A new test can give the answer just five weeks into a pregnancy. So, what's the harm in knowing?

BILL KELLER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": This is a chilling conclusion to an utterly confounding case.

BROWN: She's going to jail. He's not. When is an investigation into a possible crime more important than a reporter's promise to a source?

In Scotland, they're pressing world leaders to turn their attention here. Tonight, still pictures, remarkable pictures, from Africa. And pictures speak louder than words.

ANNOUNCER: It's time for the Grant Danzinger Show, only on ESPN (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And welcome to the show.

BROWN: He's the host. He started broadcasting in the eighth grade. He's off to college, now. And the gig goes with him. And this is where our gig takes us next, because this is NEWSNIGHT.


BROWN: In a moment, bringing up baby. Or at least knowing more about baby sooner.

But first, quarter-past the hour. Time for some of the other stories that made news today. Erica Hill in Atlanta tonight.

Good to see you tonight.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS: Nice to be back with you.

We start out with some hurricane warnings. Turns out they're already going up in Jamaica and Haiti for Dennis, the first hurricane of the season. With sustained winds of 80 miles an hour, Dennis is about 300 miles from Jamaica. It could start lashing the island early Thursday, on its way to Cuba. With possible landfall near Mobile, Alabama on Monday. But Mobile, of course, still suffering from heavy rains dumped by Tropical Storm Cindy, which is now fading away.

A warning from the National Transportation Safety Board, nearly nine years after TWA Flight 800 exploded in mid-air off the coast of Long Island, passenger jets are still flying with the same volatile mixture of fuel and air that doomed that flight. And NTSB official says the Federal Aviation Administration hasn't mandated new fuel systems which would reduce the flammability.

London swings again. In a huge upset, London won the nod for the 2012 Olympics. The biggest celebration, in Trafalgar Square, named of course, for the British victory over Napoleon's fleet 200 years ago. British prime minister, Tony Blair, hosting the G-8 summit in Scotland said, quote, "Many people reckon London is the greatest city in the world."

Of course, a few New Yorkers might beg to differ at this point.

And remember, Aaron, it's been a few days since I've been here. So I want you that you're familiar with this new feature at

BROWN: Thank you.

HILL: Just click on the video link.


HILL: Watch the video as often as you want.

BROWN: Really?

HILL: All -- all for a song. But remember, the offer is void where prohibited by law.

BROWN: Well, as they all are.

HILL: But free shipping. So...

BROWN: Well, thank you. In case I forget, remind me again in about a half hour, OK?

HILL: Will do.

BROWN: Thank you very much. Nice to see you.

Science can answer many questions. It can also raise more. This science does both. A new way of knowing simply and early, very early in pregnancy, the sex of the child. Answers and questions.

Reporting for us tonight, Peter Viles.


PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is it a scientific breakthrough? Or is it trouble? A new blood test -- you can take it at home --tells mothers just five weeks into pregnancy whether they're having a boy or a girl. Ultrasounds aren't usually taken until 18 weeks or later.

Jennifer Leitzes is the kind of mother who wants to know.

JENNIFER LEITZES, MOTHER: I just want to know. Because you know, for me, the experience so much more -- I connected much more with this baby growing inside of me, knowing that it was, you know, a baby girl.

VILES: Victoria Trimble's husband is another. VICTORIA TRIMBLE, MOTHER: My husband, actually, is one of those people that cannot stand the suspense. He's one of those people that, if a birthday present comes a week before his birthday, he has to open it as soon as it get there.

VILES: But she also believes some parents will end pregnancies because of what the tests tell them. And that same concern is racing across Internet chat rooms.

TRIMBLE: People are crazy. And obviously, the test was developed for a reason. And that could be one of the many reasons that it was developed for.

VILES: The company marketing the test in the United States,, says the product has nothing to do with family planning. It's designed to answer an age-old question.

BONELLI: I mean, for as long as women have been getting pregnant, women have been wondering and trying to guess and determine what they're having.

VILES: Yes, Bonelli says it's possible the test will result in some abortions. But she said it could actually reduce the overall rate of abortion.

BONELLI: I would actually think it would be harder to have an abortion when you know that's a boy or a girl. Because that, in turn, becomes more personalized to you. There's no studies to my knowledge that show that determining the gender would impact the abortion rate.

DR. STANLEY KORENMAN: It's also possible that this would encourage abortions, if people are really determined to have a child of one gender, rather than another. And as a result, people who are very anti-abortion might find this to be a problem, a concern.

VILES: That same concern has come up before, with the introduction of other gender tests for the unborn.

DR. RICHARD PAULSON, USC MEDICAL SCHOOL: The same ethical argument was made when amniocentesis was first developed, that women would be able to terminate babies, based on the gender alone. Whether that goes on or not, I don't think we have any way of knowing.

VILES: It's worth noting that two of the moms we talked with took the old-fashioned route and they left gender as a last-minute surprise.

HEATHER OWENS, MOTHER: We knew everything about this baby. So, we wanted to have something that would be a surprise.

VILES: For the record, it was a girl. And Grace is 3 months old.

Peter Viles for CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BROWN: Coming up on NEWSNIGHT tonight, a reporter for "The New York Times" goes to jail for refusing to reveal a source. Why the case is not as simple as some want you to believe.

Also ahead, at the ripe old age of 18, he's a veteran radio broadcaster. Yikes. Now he's off to college, taking the job with him. He is on the rise. And we're watching from New York, because this is NEWSNIGHT.


BROWN: Tonight, Judith Miller is in jail and Matthew Cooper is not. That's the simple, short version of a story that is anything but concise or clear.

Both reporters, Miller of "The New York Times," Cooper of "TIME" magazine, headed into a federal courtroom in Washington today to learn their fate for failing to identify the sources they had promised to protect, the latest chapter in the outing of Valerie Plame.


BROWN (voice-over): The trip to jail for Judith Miller of "The New York Times" came after a collision: a collision at the intersection of the government's right to prosecute on alleged crime, and a journalist's belief, because it's certainly not the law, that the reporter should protect a source at all costs.

KELLER: This is a chilling conclusion to an utterly confounding case. It's confounding because of the mystery about exactly what crime has been committed. And what, exactly, the special prosecutor hopes to accomplish by the Draconian act of punishing on honorable journalist.

BROWN: And it is true that it's not clear what crimes Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, is looking at, only that he has a right to present evidence to a grand jury, evidence he believes Ms. Miller has.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There's a big body of opinion in this country that says we have privileges for husbands and wives, for doctors and patients. A journalist's relationship with a source is not that sacred and doesn't deserve the obstruction to the truth- seeking process that any privilege creates.

BROWN: Ms. Miller told federal judge Thomas Hogan that she would not testify before a grand jury because, quote, "If journalists cannot guarantee confidentiality, then journalists can't function, and there cannot be a free press."

The judge said to Ms. Miller, "We have to obey the law. Otherwise our nation would descend into anarchy."

The other journalist facing jail, "TIME" magazine's Matt Cooper, told the judge he would testify because at the last minute, his source specifically phoned him, releasing him from his promise of confidentiality.

MATTHEW COOPER, REPORTER, "TIME" MAGAZINE: I've kept my word. And that word is to only speak to the grand jury about the matter. So I'm not going to discuss the source's identity, the content of the conversations with you here today.

BROWN: While most states have laws protecting journalists in a case like this, there is no federal shield law. When the federal government can show a judge that a reporter is its best witness, the government wins.

TOOBIN: Prosecutors, quite rightly, don't like being told no. Their job is to get information, prosecute crimes. If someone says, "I'm not going to give you that information," and the prosecutor thinks that person is obliged to give that information, they often go to the mat. That's what Fitzgerald has done.


BROWN: Reporters, I can tell you, tend to see this sort of case in pretty black and white terms. We protect the source, whether the source just saved the world from some drug that kills rather than heals or that source was engaged in a game of political smash mouth, as seems to be the case here.

So, should all sources be protected all the time? Are there cases where the source should be ratted out? And is this one of those cases?

We're joined tonight by Steve Chapman, a columnist for "The Chicago Tribune."

It's good to see you. Is this a lousy case to make a stand on the First Amendment?

STEVE CHAPMAN, COLUMNIST, "THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE": I think it's a very bad case. The Supreme Court said in 1972 that there's no constitutional protection for journalists from being forced to testify in criminal cases. Nothing the court has done since 1972 altered that conclusion. The lower courts in this case, gave the government the special prosecutor, a slam-dunk victory, in each -- in each of the decisions. The Supreme Court refused to hear it. I think it was perfectly obvious all along...

BROWN: Steve?

CHAPMAN: ... that -- Yes.

BROWN: Let me ask it differently. You're giving me a legal answer. That is to say there is no law that -- that allows Judy Miller to keep her source secret. I'm asking it somewhat differently. I'm saying is this the right case to make an act of civil disobedience on?

CHAPMAN: No. Not by any means at all.


CHAPMAN: I think -- I think the circumstances in which you can justify civil disobedience in a democratic society are extremely rare. This is not one of them.

There was no interest in the public disclosure of Valerie Plame's identity. And to go to the mat, to protect somebody who exposed the identity of one of our spies, strikes me as very misguided.

BROWN: One of the -- let's try to get a couple more things covered here. One of the things that, I think, reporters argue, somewhat reflexively and somewhat accurately, is that if they cannot guarantee confidentiality, it's going to be more difficult to cultivate sources. Fair?

CHAPMAN: Very few things in life are absolutely guaranteed. I think what reporters ought to do, what they have a right to do, and an obligation to do is promise to protect their sources, to the full extent allowed by the law.

But I don't think any journalist has a right to tell a source that, if a court orders him to testify, orders her to testify, that she's going to defy that order. I think journalists have the same obligation as any other citizen, to obey the law.

BROWN: Would you make a distinction between a civil case and a criminal case?

CHAPMAN: No. I mean, orders by -- valid, legal orders by accomplished courts ought to be obeyed in either case. I don't think journalists have the right to make the decisions, which laws and which court orders we're going to obey and which ones we're not.

BROWN: OK. I actually don't believe that, either. But should we have -- let's try it one more way -- should there be a shield law, a federal shield law, that allows reporters to protect a source? Is the issue itself important enough that that should become part of the federal law?

CHAPMAN: I do think that we should have a federal shield law. I think we should have a law that requires prosecutors to meet fairly high standards before they can compel journalists to testify. I don't want prosecutors to view testimony by reporters as the first resort. I want them to be -- I want it to be the last resort.

And most of the states that have shield laws allow reporters to be subpoenaed only in very limited circumstances. Basically, if the information is critical to an investigation, and if there's no other way to get it, then -- then and only then can a reporter be compelled to testify.

I would add another requirement which is that the disclosure was not in the public interest. It didn't serve some broader purpose that justified breaking the law.

BROWN: Steve, it's good to meet you. We like your column a lot. Thank you.

CHAPMAN: Thank you.

BROWN: Steve Chapman of the "Chicago Tribune."

Each night or, at least most nights, we show you the names of young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Names and ages and home towns go by. And in truth, sometimes we wonder after all these months it has just become background noise.

If it has, this will change it. It is the story of the loss of one sailor, a Navy S.E.A.L. in Afghanistan. It could be the story of any of the 1,700 servicemen and women who have died these last years. It is their story, too by a different name.

From the Pentagon tonight, Jamie McIntyre.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 25-year-old Danny Deets was one of the Navy S.E.A.Ls who died last week in Afghanistan. And his widow is breaking the silence that is the hallmark of America's secret warriors.

Along with personal photographs, Maria Deets released an emotional statement about her loss. "I want to world to know that Danny Deets was not just my husband. He was my other half, my friend, my role model and my hero. The same day he left for Afghanistan, as tear rolled down my cheeks, he told me with sparkles in his eyes, all the training I have underwent for years is going to pay off with this trip. And I'm going to do something special for this country and for my team."

Deets was on a secret reconnaissance mission in the rugged mountains of eastern Afghanistan. And was killed after a helicopter sent to extract his four-man team was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade. One of the four S.E.A.Ls, was knocked into the ravine by force of an explosion, separating him from the others and possibly saving his life. He managed to evade the enemy and was rescued. Deets was one of two S.E.A.Ls, whose bodies were found days later.

"He probably wouldn't have wanted to die any other way, but only trying to protect his fellow teammates and his country," Maria Deets writes in her statement. Her anguish jumps off the page. "As I sit here in the house once shared with my husband, I am consumed in thoughts of pain and confusion about the loss of the most special and important man in my life. I want the world to know it has lost an incredible man, an outstanding Navy SEAL, and a hero."

(on camera): There is a veil of secrecy that surrounds the shadowy world of special operations commandos. And Deets' widow acknowledges that in her statement. She says while people don't know much about what the Navy S.e.A.Ls do, she says, as a proud S.E.A.L. Team wife, she can tell them the world owes those men more than they can imagine.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


BROWN: When we come back, the poverty, the hope, the people, the light: a portrait of Africa in stills.

And later, Rush Limbaugh, and what the public may learn about his drug use.

From New York, this is NEWSNIGHT.


BROWN: Billions. The word comes up a lot when you're talking about Africa. President Bush arrived with other world leaders in Gleneagle, Scotland today for the G-8 summit. High on the agenda, a huge aid package for Africa. The British prime minister, Tony Blair, wants $50 billion in aid for Africa.

Leaders also met with the Irish rock star Bono, who sang to an audience of 3 billion, with a B, in the Live 8 concert in support of Africa.

Senator Everett Dirkson of Illinois famously said, a billion here a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money. But maybe not enough for Africa, a continent with a lot of everything: diamonds and disease, people and poverty. With stunning images from the Associated Press, here's NEWSNIGHT's Beth Nissen.


BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what Africa has in abundance: space. Almost 12 million square miles of desert, savanna, coastline and people. 700 million in subSaharan Africa, 11 percent of the population, more than half of them, children. And almost all of them, poor.

This, too, is what Africa has in abundance: Poverty. SubSaharan Africa is the poorest region in the world. Almost half of the people here live on less than 65 cents a day. Not enough money. Not enough food.

One in three Africans is undernourished. Malnutrition is a major cause of child mortality here. 1 in 5 children dies before reaching the age of 5.

So many lives are short. Average life expectancy for an African is just over 45 years, often less for women, who die bearing children, die of AIDS.

SubSaharan Africa has just over 10 percent of the world's population, but close to 70 percent of all people living with HIV: more than 29 million people, 58 percent of them, women.

More than 16 million Africans have already died of AIDS. That's the populations of Hong Kong, Denmark and Ireland, combined. 12 million children have been orphaned by AIDS. Many of them, like these in Uganda, HIV-positive.

HIV, AIDS, is only one disease plaguing Africa. Malaria kills almost 1 million Africans a year. Measles kills more than 1,000 children every day. That's one child nearly every minute. Measles can be prevented by vaccines, but in subSaharan Africa, only about half of all children are immunized during the first year of life. A suspension of immunization campaigns in Nigeria let polio, which was nearly eradicated in the world, take root again. Spread to 17 previously polio-free countries.

There is no vaccine for diarrheal disease. The best prevention is clean water, which more than 300 million Africans don't have. Water of any kind is often in short supply, or so distant, that the working years of many lives are spent hauling water.

Work for most is hard. 75 percent of Africans live inland, labor as formers, grow what they can, where they, can get it to market however they can.

Across subSaharan Africa, economic growth is low, slow. Economies and currencies unstable. Corruption is another kind of plague here. And so is war.

One in every five Africans lives in a society severely disrupted by violence. Armed conflict has ruptured nearly half of all the countries in subSaharan Africa in the past five years. Most horribly in Liberia, Congo, Darfur, Sudan. Uncounted millions have been founded, traumatized, displaced.

Without stability and good government, progress is limited. So is the willingness of donors to give and investors to invest to bring the vast majority of Africa, Africans into the modern world. To improve education. 41 percent of Africans cannot read or write. As many as half of all African children never finish elementary school. Even though who complete high school, are ill-equipped to be part of a 21st century work force, or the technological age.

Less than 1 percent of the population has a computer. Only 1 in 40 owns a telephone. Yet, Africa has a great, untapped wealth beneath the surface, literally, in minerals, gold, cobalt, copper, diamonds and in oil. SubSaharan Africa countries will earn more than $200 billion in oil revenues over the next decade alone.

And Africa has incalculable wealth in its people who are among the most persevering and resilient on Earth. Who want and from fought for freedom from tyranny. And in a growing number of African countries, free elections. Who want to work, to build a future of real promise, for themselves, for their children, for Africa.

Beth Nissen, CNN, New York.


BROWN: Ahead on the program, it's the big house for the rapper, Lil Kim, really. Like the Judith Miller case, only different. A break first. This the NEWSNIGHT. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: In a moment, a young voice on the rise. But first, at about a quarter till the hour, time for other news of the day. At no extra charge. Erica Hill joins us from Atlanta.

HILL: That's right. We like to give your viewers everything we can for that low, low price of free.

Conservative talkshow host Rush Limbaugh may face more questions about painkillers. This, after a Florida judge gave some of Limbaugh's medical records to prosecutors today, in an effort to resume a long stalled investigation into whether Limbaugh got the drugs illegally by going to several doctors. The records received in 2003. Limbaugh maintains his innocence.

Rap singer Li'l Kim is going to do a little time. A federal judge in New York, sentenced the rap diva to a year and a day in jail for lying to a grand jury about whether she saw two friends during a gun battle outside a New York radio station four years ago.

The judge fined Li'l Kim $50,000 and included three years probation. She told the judge, by the way, she's sorry.

And just a reminder, new feature here want to tell you about. At, click on the video link, for as much video as many times as you want. All for three easy payments of sweet L.A. sunshine, or maybe a little San Francisco fog, which is pretty abundant this time of year.

BROWN: What a deal that is, too.

HILL: Isn't it, though.

BROWN: Yeah. Thank you. See you tomorrow.

Whenever I start thinking that the world is only here to remind me how old I am, it comforts me to know there's also a greater purpose. To remind me how young I used to be.

The kid you're about to meet is a voice in that world. He got his start on the web, got his break on the air and in St. Louis at 1380 on your AM dial, he is definitely on the rise.


GRAHAM BENSINGER, RADIO DJ: Got a real good show coming your way today.

My name's Graham Bensinger. I'm 18-years-old. And I host a show on ESPN radio in St. Louis.

We're talking about the two-time MVP, Kurt Warner. Kurt, thanks for coming on the show.

I spend all week long, trying to line up interviews, preparing questions.

I was going to see if you may have like five, seven minutes to do a call-in interview.

I don't get like autographs or anything like that for interviews. Just pictures are my deal. They're all people that I've had the opportunity to talk to over the past few years on my radio show. And, you know, I like to keep a picture as a way to remember them by.

Hey. Rob, you want to practice?

I'm finishing high school. And then, next year, I'm going to be attending Syracuse, studying broadcast journalism there.

I wake up about 7:00 Saturday morning.

I eat breakfast, read the paper. I read the local paper, the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Since I do a sports show, Saturday, all I read is the sports page.

So, here we are at the station, about ten minutes until air time. I've gone over my notes. Called in and confirmed with my guests. And I'm getting ready to go.

ANNOUNCER: It's time for the Graham Bensinger Show.

BENSINGER: And welcome to the show.

It can be a little intimidating. I'm not going to lie. And you realize you have this microphone in front of you. No one's in the studio. No one's looking at you, besides maybe your producer. But you realize that people are listening on the other end. And you could potentially influence them in some way, shape or form.

How much of a problem -- you'll think there'll really by -- Jackson's 59-years-old -- thanks for taking the time to come on the show -- still to come on the program -- Tony Dorsett.

I enjoy the difficulty in putting a good product on the air. Because I want to eventually, someday, be the man that people tune into.

He was the reason -- that's a really good point -- I just wanted to say, I think the man -- the NFL's a business.

I have high goals that I've set for myself. So, I know if I want to achieve those goals, there are certain steps you take to get there. I love what I'm doing. And I know where I want to be in life.

Welcome back to the Graham Bensinger Show.


BROWN: St. Louis is a pretty big town when you're 18. Morning papers after the break. The kind of sentence we like to see. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: OK. Time to check morning papers from around the country and around the world. We'll start with the "Rocky Mountain News." Because it kind of takes us back to the beginning of the program. "1,319 Years. serial rapist Brent sentence longest in Colorado history. 68 charges, assaulted nine women, tried to kill one. Your relentless pursuit of these victims was nothing less than an ongoing horror in this entire community. I think 1,300 years is life even in Colorado, or especially in Colorado depending on how they view such things.

The "Washington Times." It's been just a really interesting story, I think. Gonzalez seen as wooing the right. Many oppose him for the court. There's been this big foo foo about Alberto Gonzalez, the attorney general, whether conservatives think he's conservative enough.

OK. Here's "The Times of London." And how they handled their front page. They got the Olympics. The 30th Olympiad in 2012. You want to set your TiVo for that. They get it.

"The Boston -- the International Herald," a little more staged. Surging British grab 2012 games from Paris. Paris was the big loser. If you view this story both accurately and internationally.

If you view it from New York, however, New York lost the Olympic games. New York rejected, as London wins the 2012 Olympics, says "The Daily News." But ads in a more upbeat fashion, at least it isn't Paris.

Wild gun battle. Two-handed shooter blasts two cops in street fight. What's that about here in the city today? 30. OK. I can handle that. Thank you, Will.

"The Christian Science Monitor." I didn't know this story. I think it's a good one. I think we should try and do it. Georgia gets distinct and controversial voice as chief justice. Leeward-Sears takes the oath of office, as the chief justice in the Supreme Court in the state of Georgia. Let's find out more about her.

"Chicago Sun Times" reporter goes to jail. Judy Miller going to jail. She's wearing a microphone. What is that about? She had a microphone on. Were they doing a documentary?

The weather by the way in Chicago tomorrow -- luxurious.

World's most expensive trailer when we come back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines, is also known as the "Iron Butterfly." An exbeauty queen, Marcos brought glamour and song to the presidential palace in 1965.

By the end of her husband's 21-year dictatorship, Imelda's personal and public extravagance was causing outrage. A popular uprage in 1986 forced the Marcoses into exile.

Imelda left behind closets stuffed with rows and rows of designer gowns. And a now legendary designer shoe collection, so many, that if she changed pairs every day, even after three years, she still wouldn't have worn all of them. She now says it was her way of sharing her wealth.

IMELDA MARCOS, FRM. FIRST LADY OF PHILIPPINES: By giveling it to the people, it is really flaunting it to the world. But if you were keeping it like a miser, nobody will see what you have accumulated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nowadays, you can say, that Imelda Marcos collects lawsuits. 900 civil cases and pending criminal prosecution alleging everything from corruption to human rights abuses.

She's 76-years-old. Lives in Manila. And frequently meets with her team of lawyers.

She hasn't been convicted of any crime so far. And is unrepentant about her alleged excesses.

MARCOS: I've not only extravagant. I'm not only excessive. I give it all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By the way, Imelda now keeps active for the Philippines shoe industry.


BROWN: Quickly, before we say good night. How crazy is the real estate market in California? Take a look at this. This is a trailer in Malibu, OK. A mobile home in Malibu. $1.4 million. You don't even own the land. Just a triple-wide.

Got to be kidding.

We'll see you tomorrow. Good night for all of us.