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American Morning

Where's Bin Laden?; Killer Release

Aired June 21, 2005 - 08:30   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: It's just about half past the hour on AMERICAN MORNING. The head of the CIA making some seemingly surprising comments, saying he's got a pretty good idea where Osama Bin Laden is hiding.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Could it be true? And if so, what happens now? we're going to talk this morning to the former acting head of the agency, John McLaughlin.

M. O'BRIEN: Right now, though, let's get a check on the headlines. Carol Costello here with that.

Hey, Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Good morning, everyone.

Now in the news, firefighters in Detroit are putting out the remains of a massive fire. Some 150 firefighters battled the flames throughout the night. At least two firefighters injured. No word on what started this fire. The four-story building was apparently near the site of a plant where the first Ford Model-T was rolled out.

A former Lebanese official has been killed in a car bombing in Beirut. George Hawi was the former secretary general of the Lebanese communist party. He's the second anti-Syrian figure to die in an explosion this month. The attack comes one day after Lebanon held parliamentary elections. An opposition group critical of Syria held the majority of the votes.

More help is on the way to Aruba. A Texas organization is going to assist in the search for Natalee Holloway. The Alabama teenager disappeared on May 30th. The group, complete with search dogs and sonar equipment, says it will spend at least five days looking for her. A total of four people still being held in connection with Holloway's disappearance, including a 26-year-old disk jockey. You see him there. No formal charges have been filed.

The first solar-sailing spacecraft is ready for its first voyage. The Cosmos 1 is expected to lift off later today from a Russian sub in the Bering Sea. The $4 million mission will last four days, and then open its sails. Scientists say the eight discs will capture enough energy to keep Cosmos 1 going for weeks.

And let the sun shine, it's summer solstice. It is the longest day of the year. More than 20,000 people cheered the sunrise at Stonehenge in England this morning. This is the only time of year when people are allowed to walk among the stones. A handful got arrested for celebrating a bit too hard. You know, they were drinking. But apparently, everything is under control now.

And remember, you can view more CNN reports online. Just visit Click on to "watch" to check out free video from our most popular stories. And you know what the most popular story has been for two days now?

M. O'BRIEN: Tom Cruise and the squirt gun deal.

S. O'BRIEN: Really? Still?

COSTELLO: Still. And Steven Spielberg apparently is standing up for Tom Cruise, and people are really into that.

S. O'BRIEN: Really? Standing up for him why? He didn't do anything wrong.

COSTELLO; That's what Steven Spielberg says, people are picking on Tom, so stop it.

M. O'BRIEN: She's supporting him. She feels bad.

S. O'BRIEN: I do. No one should have to do an interview and be squirted in the face with water.

COSTELLO: Oh, no, no, that was terrible.

S. O'BRIEN: All the other stuff, I can't comment on. I hope the happy couple has many years of wedded bliss, blah, blah, blah.

COSTELLO: Exactly, and many children.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, that too. Thanks, carol.

M. O'BRIEN: CIA director Porter Goss says the U.S. is making progress in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Goss tells "Time" magazine he has an excellent idea of where the Al Qaeda leader is, but he didn't say much more than that. On Monday, the White House tried to clarify the director's comment.


SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECY.: I think what the director was referring to was that he has an excellent idea of what area he may be in. If we knew exactly where Osama Bin Laden was, we would go get him, and I can assure you of that.


M. O'BRIEN: This morning we go on terror's trail to the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where most experts believe Bin Laden is hiding. John McLaughlin was acting director of the CIA before Goss. He's now a CNN national security adviser. He joins us this morning in Washington.

John, good to have you back with us.


M. O'BRIEN: Let's talk about this region for just a moment. We'll put a map on the screen. And I guess it just depends on how big an area you define here. But when you look at this area, this mountainous area right on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to say, well, we think Osama Bin Laden is there, that's not saying much, is it?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, it's a tough area to operate in. The area you have on the map there is about 10,000 square miles of rugged, mountainous terrain. If you fly over it, you see mountains, trails, not many people, about 500 miles long, that border. It's one of the parts of the world that are essentially ungoverned, a bit like Somalia or the southern Philippines. The Pakistani government has recently operated there with some success with conventional forces, but that's a rare occasion in the history of this area.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, so not many people there, but the people that are there, at least enough of them, are sympathetic to Osama Bin Laden and his cause, right?

MCLAUGHLIN: That's right. What you have in this area are extremist tribes who recognize no real border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. That border was drawn in 1893 by the British, and it's a very indistinct line drawn on a map. So the locals there live by tribal law, not by Pakistani law per se. They have a tradition of harboring guests. During the Afghan period, when the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan, they were hosts to Mujahadeen who were crossing the border. It's an area that Bin Laden and his associates are quite familiar with from that period.

M. O'BRIEN: So let's talk about the difficulties in tracking down Osama Bin Laden in this region. And part of the reality here is sort of the political sensibilities with the Pakistani regime. One of the quotes attributed to Porter Goss in this "Time" magazine piece -- and I'll read it to you now: "In the chain that you need to successfully wrap up the war on terror, we have some weak links. And I find that until we strengthen all the links, we're probably not going to be able to bring Mr. Bin Laden to justice. When he talks about those things, is he talking about the difficulties of dealing with the government of Musharraf and the difficulties he faces in being aligned with the United States?

MCLAUGHLIN: That may be part of it. I suspect he's casting -- Porter Goss is casting his net a little broader there when he talks about weak links. He's probably talking about the whole chain of things that have to work successfully in counterterrorism. Musharraf has, in fact, been rather courageous and helpful in this last period, the last four years, in fact. And he is within his own society of course, under enormous pressure to not do some of these things that he's doing. This is not a popular policy he's following. So he's being very courageous. I would say that one of the -- and I would also add this has been a pretty good year for counterterrorism. I could go through a whole series of successes, but one of the noteworthy things that's occurred in the last year is fairly robust Pakistani conventional military operations, particularly in the southern part of that border, which has made it harder for Al Qaeda to seek sanctuary there. This is the area around Waziristan. That's probably driven some of them further north so that the area in which they can find hiding places is somewhat constricted at this point.

M. O'BRIEN: So is it possible then -- and this may sound farfetched, but what the heck, let's try it -- is it possible the U.S. is allowing Osama Bin Laden to remain there and monitoring his communications and thus getting a lot of good intelligence?

MCLAUGHLIN: No, I wouldn't put it that way. I think the White House comment was right, if we knew exactly where he was, we'd go get him. But it is possible that the area in which he can move is somewhat constricted, and it's likely, given the many successes that have occurred over the last year, ranging from the capture of Abu Faraj Al Libbi not long ago, to the wrapup of networks in Pakistan and the take down of the Al Hindi network in the U.K. which was related to those networks, that the communications, the logistics, and all of those things associated with supporting the leadership have become more difficult. So we don't know exactly where he is, or we'd go get him, just as the White House said.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, but then given all of that, is it possible, since he's on the run in caves and trying to avoid detection, is he really in some sense perhaps irrelevant?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, he continues to inspire a worldwide movement. Al Qaeda now has an Asian face, an African face, to some degree, a European face, and they operate there as well, Southeast Asian face. And he probably is not at this point at the control board pushing buttons causing things to happen. But his presence, and his speeches, and his remarks, and his videotapes and the example that his operations have set continue to inspire that movement. So he's not irrelevant at all. He's still very powerful symbolically within this movement.

M. O'BRIEN: John Mclaughlin, former acting CIA director and CNN national security adviser, thanks for being with us -- Soledad.

MCLAUGHLIN: Thank you, miles.

S. O'BRIEN: Now to Canada, where a convicted killer could be just days away from freedom, this after spending just a little more than a decade behind bars. And the question on the minds of many to the north is, is she still a danger?


S. O'BRIEN: She is one of North America's most notorious female killers, Karla Homolka, sentenced in 1993 for her role in the killing of two Canadian teenagers, 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kristen French, kidnapped, raped and murdered by Homolka and her then- husband Paul Bernardo. In return for a reduced sentence on manslaughter charges, Homolka agreed to testify against Bernardo. As part of her plea deal, Homolka was not charged in the death of her own 15-year-old sister, whom the couple drugged and raped on Christmas Eve in 1990.

Paul Bernardo was sentenced to life in prison. Homolka, 12 years. Now 35, she was scheduled to be released from prison on July 5th, but she could be now set free as early as Thursday. Even though she will have served her sentence, she won't exactly be free. In addition to other restrictions, she'll be forced to check in with authorities once a month and tell her parole officer about her travel plans.


S. O'BRIEN: Timothy Danson is the attorney for the families of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, the victims in this case. He's in Toronto this morning.

Nice to talk to you. Thank you very much for talking with us.


S. O'BRIEN: This is a woman who's believed to have complicity, as we mentioned in that spot there, in three murders, including that of her own teenage sister. What's the reaction been from the community now that there's word that she could be released any day?

DANSON: Well, there's a general sense that she god away with murder, and that she, too, should have been charged with murder and convicted and spending the rest of her life in jail with her husband.

Unfortunately, that's not the case. She's going to be released soon. And certainly from my clients' perspective, and I think it's shared generally by Canadians, is that this is a person who participated in a very brutal and sadistic torture and murder of my clients. And In a couple of weeks, she's going to see freedom, and that's a freedom that my clients will never see, and there's a great sense of injustice in this country.

S. O'BRIEN: Outside of being, obviously, very unhappy, your clients, that is, and having a great sense of injustice, are they fearful about either their own safety or the safety of others?

DANSON: They're certainly very concerned about the safety of others, and certainly young teenage girls. That is why we were very active in bringing this application a couple of weeks ago in the court, where we were able, under Canadian criminal law, to impose conditions which will minimize the risk to public safety, and we have these conditions, such as reporting to police, not being able to associate directly or indirectly with people with a criminal record, always knowing where she lives, where she is, if she travels, what her travel plans are. We're going to have a sample of her DNA prior to her release.

But unfortunately, these are really a band-aid solution to a much more serious problem. The Canadian National Parole Board, who has a lot of experience and expertise in this area, has concluded that she represents a very serious threat to public safety, and that there's a high probability that she's going to reoffend when she's out.

S. O'BRIEN: Explain something to me, and forgive me for interrupting you there, but you were one of the few people who saw the videotape that she made with her husband, that showed the torture of the victims whose families you now represent. Why was there a deal in the first place? I mean, why was a videotape not enough to convict this woman, to put her and her husband away for life?

DANSON: Well, unfortunately, at the time that they started investigating her and speaking to her, they did not have the videotapes, and so they were concerned that, without her testimony, they would not be able to secure a conviction against Paul Bernardo. That wasn't our biggest complaint. A lot of people kind of held their nose and went along with the deal.

But subsequently, the videotapes were found, and a critical part of her deal was that she was going to be forthright and honest. On those videotapes, we see that she also participated in the rape of a friend of hers, which she had not disclosed, and that was the opportunity to renege on the plea bargain, because she had breached its terms and to charge her for the rape of what's known as Jane Doe.

Unfortunately, the authorities felt that her testimony was critical to get a conviction of Paul Bernardo, and we missed that opportunity, and we're paying the price for that today.

S. O'BRIEN: Homolka received a psychology degree. She took a correspondence course while she was in prison, and you have said that this has only helped her know how to better con experts. What do you mean?

DANSON: Well, she's extremely intelligent, and she's very conniving and manipulative. Her whole theory has been, and what they seem to have bought into, is that she was a victim of battered-wife syndrome and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. It should be known that all the psychiatrists who say that she's not dangerous and buy into the battered-wife syndrome, seem to ignore the fact that prior to seeing a single psychiatrist, that she studied up on battered-wife syndrome, and so that she was able to give the experts what they were looking for.

Likewise, she then takes a course in prison and gets a psychology degree, and then when we're preparing for the parole issues and whether she still represents a threat to public safety, she's able to know the kind of questions that the psychiatrists are looking for and was able to give them the appropriate answers. So I think it's just part of her manipulation of the system and conning of the system, and so there were a battery of psychiatrists who felt that she was not dangerous, but there was also a battery of psychiatrists who think that she's a psychopath and represents a serious threat to public safety.

S. O'BRIEN: Tim Danson, the attorney for the families of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, the victims. Thanks for talking with us this morning. Appreciate it.

DANSON: Thank you.


M. O'BRIEN: Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, the convicted founder of Adelphia and his son are sentenced.

S. O'BRIEN: Also ahead, shaping up for summer, a trainer to the stars shares his secrets with our very own Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Does that mean Sanjay's in good shape now?

M. O'BRIEN: He's pretty buff, isn't he?

S. O'BRIEN: That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING. Stay with us.

M. O'BRIEN: He does everything, that Sanjay.


M. O'BRIEN: It's official now. Summer's here. And this morning, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is getting some tips from a trainer to the stars on how to look your summer best.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gunnar Peterson says the secret to a healthy body is that there's no secret at all. Instead, it's hard work, drive, and focus and ambition that will get your body in shape. Climbing stairs and sit-ups are things you can easily do, and they don't cost a penny in equipment. And if you want to firm up your back side, like Peterson teaches Jennifer Lopez to do, squats are the way to go.

GUNNAR PETERSON: You don't have to have an axial load squat where the weight is on your shoulders. You can have dumbbells down by your side, you can have dumbbells up top, but slightly forward so the pressure is not directly on the spine. You can vary your foot position. you can vary the cadence. You can vary angles. And their are ways to do it. The glutes, the butt, it's the biggest muscles in the body, so metabolically, that's your best friend.

GUPTA: How do you get the arms of a star?

PETERSON: The shoulders play a big part in arm development, and you want the shoulder to look right, and in proportion with by the bicep and tricep, or you're going to have that flat look and some kind of strange inflation, that's ultimately not going to be what you're looking to do. The key is angles. You've got to work it differently. You have to challenge it. You have to take uneven loads. You have to do things that require the muscles to be -- to work to balance. You have to require the synergistic and the helping muscles to play. So it's not the big belly of the muscles, fundamental exercises. That's great. That's perfect for a foundation, but from there, you have to branch out. GUPTA (on camera): So don't just do curls; I mean, make sure you're doing your deltoids and your biceps as well.

PETERSON: Absolutely. Absolutely. And while curls are valid, there are a number of different curls -- straight bar, easy bar, reverse curls, angle curls, 90-degree curls, curls from high, curls from low. There's a lot of permutations there.

GUPTA (voice-over): And finally, do people have to train differently as they grow older?

PETERSON You do train differently. You have to factor in lifestyle. You have to factor in available time. It doesn't mean you have to train more, and it doesn't mean you have to necessarily train harder. You train smarter, and you train in a way that works for you. Your goals will probably change as well.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Los Angeles.


GUPTA: Sanjay also tells us having a qualified trainer, one who takes your goals into consideration when designing a program can help you avoid a lot of pitfalls. He says winging it on your own might discourage you from exercising in the future. Have you done that personal trainer thing?

S. O'BRIEN: I did. I had a personal trainer who told me I was basically a stick of butter with arms and legs, I swear to god. Swear to God. I went once.

M. O'BRIEN: And you got to write a check after that. Why am I paying for this, is my question? Anyway.

S. O'BRIEN: You just go to the gym, get on that treadmill, you'll be fine.

You know, that actually brings us to this story, speaking of exercise. Have you seen this videotape? You guys have got to look at this. This is a 95-year-old guy, 95 years old, Japanese man, set the world record for the 100-meter dash in his age group, which is 95 to 99 years old. His time for the 100-meter dash -- did I say that?

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, 100 meter.

S. O'BRIEN: Twenty-two seconds. That's two seconds faster than the previous record. When he was asked about his run, about his strategy, he said, he just concentrated on not falling over.

M. O'BRIEN: A lot like anchoring. Concentrate on not falling over. That is incredible.

S. O'BRIEN: How fast can you do the 100-yard dash in.

M. O'BRIEN: I shuffle. I ran yesterday. I shuffled. I shuffled. It suddenly occurred to me at 46, I'm looking like those old guys who I always thought looked so stupid running.

S. O'BRIEN: The fastest person in the world runs something like under 10 seconds, 9.9 seconds.

M. O'BRIEN: So he's -- and he looks great.

S. O'BRIEN: He doesn't look like he's 95 years old, that's for sure.

M. O'BRIEN: He might do another 95 years. We'll have to stay in touch with this guy. He might have found him the fountain of youth there.

Still to come on the program, the ex-CEO at the center of a multibillion dollar fraud case receives what could amount to a life sentence. Andy is "Minding Your Business" up next on AMERICAN MORNING.


S. O'BRIEN: Some major jail time to tell you about for a big name corporate criminal. Andy Serwer's "Minding Your Business" this morning. Good morning.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" COLUMNIST: Good morning, Soledad.

John Rigas, the founder of Adelphia Communications, gave a lengthy and emotional speech to the judge yesterday asking for leniency. And I guess in a sense he got it, because, you know, prosecutors wanted him to serve 215 years. Remember we were talking about that yesterday. His sentence, 15 years in jail. He's 80 years old and ailing. So I think that amounts, essentially, to life in prison.

His son Tim, 49, got a 20-year sentence. The judge noted that neither one of them was contrite or accepted responsibility for the fact that Adelphia Communications went bankrupt and that they were convicted of fraud and essentially looted the company. Interesting wrinkle here, Soledad. For John Rigas, his sentence can be altered after two years.

S. O'BRIEN: The older one?

SERWER: The older one, that's right. If the Bureau of Prisons decides that his life expectancy is only three months. So essentially, if he is really starting to fail, he will be able to get out of prison and...

S. O'BRIEN: At any time after two years.

SERWER: Exactly. Exactly. So it's a long sentence. But, again, you know, the company went completely bankrupt.

S. O'BRIEN: And you know, I also think the whole lack of contrition thing that you pointed to.

SERWER: That's a big point.

S. O'BRIEN: Big issue. Give us a sense of what the markets look like today.

SERWER: Well, let's talk about -- last week, the markets up five days in a row while I was out on vacation. There's no connection there, Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: None. None.

SERWER: Yesterday I'm back, and the markets are down here a little bit, about 14 points in the Dow, about 2 points on the Nasdaq. Higher oil prices finally catching up with the traders' sentiment. This morning, price of oil is down a little bit and futures are mixed.

S. O'BRIEN: All right. Thanks, Andy.

SERWER: You're welcome.

S. O'BRIEN: Miles?

M. O'BRIEN: Still to come, 16 illegal immigrants somehow gained access to a nuclear weapons plant. So why do officials say it wasn't a security breach? CNN's "Security Watch," ahead.