Return to Transcripts main page

American Morning

Are We Less Safe?; Rumsfeld Under Fire; Allen On The Defense; Shelter Killing; Hussein and Co-Defendants Kicked Out of Court; Preaching Prosperity

Aired September 26, 2006 - 07:00   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Sentenced today. But first he must face some of the families who lost everything in Enron's collapse. All this on AMERICAN MORNING.
Good morning to you. I'm Miles O'Brien.


The White House today is defending its role in fighting terrorism and the handling of Iraq. The president's director of National Intelligence says we're better prepared for terrorism. CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is at the White House for us this morning.

Hey, Suzanne.


Well, of course, White House officials are crying foul. I talked to the counselor to the president, Dan Bartlett, as well as his Homeland Security advisor, Fran Townsend, yesterday. Both of them saying that this leaked report does not give the full story. They say while it may state that the Iraq has incited these terror cells around the world, even used it as a recruitment tool, they say that has not necessarily made Americans less safe. That is not the conclusion of this report.

Now late last night we heard from the director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, who tried to make these views known and clear up what they say is misrepresentation.


JOHN NEGROPONTE, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: It talks about the Jihadist movement having spread. My personal assessment, with respect to the United States, is that we are certainly more vigilant, we're better prepared. And, in that sense, I think we could safely say that we are safer.


MALVEAUX: Now Democrats look at this report quite differently, Soledad. They believe that this is just yet another piece of evidence that the Iraq War plan is a failure for this president. Republicans are quite concerned that their issue of national security is going to be undermined for the midterm elections.

So what you are seeing, interestingly, is members of Congress, bipartisan members of Congress, however, calling on the White House to declassify this document, to make sense of this, including the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Pat Roberts, who's a Republican. They want this to happen quickly. They want to get this all out in the open. And, of course, Republicans don't want to pay for this in midterm elections.


S. O'BRIEN: How likely do you think that is, Suzanne, that they will declassify this report, which so far has just been leaked?

MALVEAUX: Well, it's really interesting because I spoke with several White House officials yesterday who seemed like they were quite eager to get this out there. At least more portions of it. They can certainly hide and keep secret those that they feel will compromise their methods, their sources. So I do think that there is somewhat of an effort, and even momentum to try to get more of this document out as quickly as possible. Perhaps the next couple of days or couple of weeks.

S. O'BRIEN: The president's going to meet with Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's president, today as well. What are they hoping to get out of these meetings?

MALVEAUX: Well, you know, Soledad, they certainly have a lot on the line here. Hamid Karzai, of course, the head of Afghanistan, has really been losing a lot of popular support. President Bush is going to try to bolster this leader, if he can. But he is looking at a resurgence of the Taliban, a drug trafficking problem. Really big, big problems in Afghanistan.

And President Bush has always pointed to Afghanistan as this example, this model, of dictatorship to democracy. That this is really the center of his freedom agenda. So he has a lot at stake as well.

S. O'BRIEN: Suzanne Malveaux at the White House for us. Suzanne, thanks.

Deadly suicide bombing to tell you about in Afghanistan. A man blew himself up outside a security office in Lashkar Gah in the southern province of Helmond (ph). Six police officers, 11 civilians are dead. And there was another bomb attack against a NATO patrol that killed an Italian soldier and a child today as well. The bomb was detonated by remote control as the convoy was driving over a bridge just south of Kabul.

Getting an idea now of how American feel about the war in Afghanistan ahead of President Hamid Karzai's meeting with President Bush today. According to a CNN poll conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation, pretty closely divided. Fifty percent favor the war in Afghanistan, 48 percent oppose it. When the war started, nine in 10 American were in favor of the war. Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: So how might the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq affect the midterm elections. A CNN poll done by Opinion Research Corporation shows the Iraq War remains highly unpopular. The poll, conducted Friday through Sunday, shows almost six in 10 Americans opposing the war now. Forty percent in favor. Asked how important the Iraq War and terrorism issues are, well, we added the numbers here for you. Eighty two percent say they are extremely important or very important.

Asked how president bush is doing. It remains about the same. Forty-two percent of Americans approve of how he's handling his job. And polls taken in early September, August and June, the president's approval rating has ranged from 37 to 42 percent.

Some retired military officers are taking aim at Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. At a hearing Monday organized by Senate Democrats, they accused Rumsfeld of fueling terrorism by mismanaging the war in Iraq. CNN congressional correspondent Dana Bash with more.


DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): Top retired military men, side by side on Capitol Hill, with scathing, first-hand accounts of how the president's team planned and prosecuted Iraq.

MAJ. GEN. JOHN R.S. BATISTE, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Secretary Rumsfeld's dismal strategic decisions resulted in the unnecessary deaths of American service men and women, our allies and the good people of Iraq.

MAJ. GEN. PAUL D. EATON, U.S. ARMY (RET.): We are fighting an insurgency, a distributed low-tech, high-concept war that demands greater numbers of ground forces, not fewer. Mr. Rumsfeld won't acknowledge this fact.

BASH: Democrats seized on what they consider an election year gift. Reports of an intelligence assessment that Iraq is spiring more terrorism, hoping to undermine the Republicans claim they made Americans safer.

SEN. HARRY REID, (D) MINORITY LEADER: Far from being the central front in the war on terror, as President Bush describes it, Iraq has become the central reason terror is on the rise five years after 9/11.

SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER, (D) WEST VIRGINIA: I see a world where there's going to be years and years, decades, of the repercussions of the mistakes that we made. And for the reasons that we made them, the moral dimension of the reasons we made them.

BASH: In a sense, this was pure political theater. Two retired generals and a colonel, who've already called for Rumsfeld to be fired, invited by Senate Democrats who don't have the power to call an official hearing but tried to make it look like one. SEN. BYRON DORGAN, (D) NORTH DAKOTA: Does it surprise you that we have been told repeatedly over several years now that the commanders have not asked for more troops?

BATISTE: It is not a surprise at all. The whole thing is absolutely disingenuous.

BASH: Republicans said it was the Democrats being disingenuous.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN, (R) TEXAS: This is really nothing more than a political stunt and grandstanding and asking witnesses that really don't represent an impartial or all points of view.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, (D) NEW YORK: I hope that this hearing will be a wake-up call to our other colleagues in the Congress.

BASH: Democratic sources acknowledge this is a message designed to rally their base. To show if they control Congress, they'll ask the tough questions that Republicans wont.

Top Senate Democrats and the Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee, urged the administration to declassify the controversial report on Iraq. Each side claiming the full document will help make their political case to voters that Iraq is or is not making them more safe.

Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.


S. O'BRIEN: And Senator George Allen of Virginia fielding more allegations of racial insensitivity. He's now being accused by two former college football teammates of using racial slurs 20 and 30 years ago. AMERICAN MORNING's Bob Franken is live in Washington, D.C.

Hey, Bob, good morning.


It is time for the daily George Allen report. When we last left the Republican senator from Virginia, who's running for re-election, he was angrily denying and then embracing a Jewish ancestor. Now, as you pointed out, Soledad, he is fending off charges that when he was a football player at the University of Virginia, he used racial slurs. In the words of one teammate who was quoted in "My impression of him," he said, "was that he was a racist."

Of course we also remember Senator Allen recently, who was captured on video, when he accused an operative for his Democratic opponent of being a "macaca," which we found out was a racial pejorative. Something that the senator said he did not know.




ALLEN: I have - I have no idea what that word meant. If I had any idea that it was an insult to anybody anywhere in the world, I would not have used it.


ALLEN: That's a made-up word.


FRANKEN: Soledad, the senator probably wants to look for a silver lining here. He was considering a run for the presidency. And what's important in a presidency, name recognition. He's certainly gotten that.

S. O'BRIEN: That would be the silver lining in that one, Bob. We'll check in with you tomorrow for the rest of the report on George Allen. Thank you.

Want to make sure you get your daily dose of the latest political news, just click on to CNN's new Political Ticker. It's at It made its big debut yesterday.


M. O'BRIEN: Happening this morning.

No longer any need to fly dry. The ban on liquids in carry-ons is over with a catch. Starting today, you can carry on items like toothpaste and hand lotion as long as they're in those small bottles and kept in a clear Zip-loc bag.

The other day the Saddam Hussein trial in Baghdad. More chaos. Hussein tossed out of court for the third time in a week for arguing with the chief judge. Right now the court is in recess.

In Houston today, some people who lost their retirement nest eggs in the Enron collapse will get a chance to vent. Former Enron executive, Andy Fastow, to be sentenced. And we'll hear from victims. Fastow cut a plea deal. He's expected to be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

And another corporate criminal in the news this morning. Former WorldCom chief, Bernie Ebbers, reports to prison today. Ebbers was convicted on fraud last year in an $11 billion accounting scheme. He faces 25 years behind bars.

A swan song for British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In a couple of hours he'll address the labor party's annual conference for the last time as its leader. Blair has said he'll leave office within a year.

And you're looking at the new prime minister of Japan. No surprise, 52-year-old Shinzo Abe elected as the nation's youngest prime minister since World War II. He replaces Junichiro Koizumi. Abe served as Koizumi's chief cabinet secretary.

A chicken farmer in Thailand has died from the bird flu. The man lived in a poverty-stricken region about 400 miles northeast of Bangkok. This is the third bird flu death this year in Thailand, bringing that nation's total to 17.

S. O'BRIEN: It's time for a check of the forecast. Chad's got that at the CNN Center.

Good morning again.


S. O'BRIEN: Coming up, bad news for thousands of U.S. troops who thought they'd be coming home soon. We're going to find out just how much longer they'll be staying in Iraq.

And we'll follow-up on a story we told you about yesterday. A man suspected of killing his wife in a domestic abuse shelter. There were signs of trouble, apparently, before the attack. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


S. O'BRIEN: Happening in America this morning.

Charges are now formally filed in that gruesome dragging death which took place outside of Denver. Thirty-six year old Jose Luis Rubi-Nava appeared in court on Monday. He faces first degree murder and second degree kidnapping charges in the death of his 49-year-old girlfriend. He's being held without bail. And if he's convicted, he could face the death penalty.

In Texas, students at Houston's Rice University mourning the sudden death of a freshman football player. Nineteen-year-old Dale Lloyd died on Monday. He collapsed on the field while the team was doing some light running. That happened on Sunday. Now his family hopes that an autopsy will reveal the cause of Lloyd's death.

An update on those Duquesne basketball players now. The five that were shot on campus a week an a half ago, six foot seven Sam Ashaolu is the only one who is left in the hospital and he's in serious condition this morning, making progress though doctors say. On Monday, he was able to move from his bed to a chair and doctors have removed a bullet fragment from his head. Others still remain.

In Phoenix, some of the victims of the so-called "Serial Shooter" saw the two men accused in the case in person for the first time. Dale Hausner and Samuel Dieteman were asked for handwriting samples at a pre-trial hearing on Monday. In all, seven people were killed, 17 were wounded by the "Serial Shooter." Both suspects are pleading not guilty.

In North Carolina, a desperate search for a man suspected of murdering his wife inside a shelter for battered women where she had taken refuge. CNN's Rusty Dornin has more for us. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): After her husband allegedly beat and choked her earlier this month, Bonnie Woodring decided she'd had enough. So she took out a restraining order, took her 13-year-old son and fled to a women's domestic violence shelter here in Sylva, North Carolina.

But days later, police say, her husband, John "Woody" Woodring, tracked her down at the shelter, forced his way in and shot and killed her. Now the 35-year-old Woodring, a former Marine and ex-con with a history of domestic violence, is on the run.

SHERIFF JIMMY ASHE, JACKSON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA: I would say there's a community panic. And as the search continues and the days go by, I think a lot of people are concerned that he still could be in the area.

DORNIN: This little town, nestled in the smokey mountains, is in shock. Bonnie Woodring was a well loved nurse at the local hospital. Woody was studying at the local college, ironically to be a counselor. But in their well-kept house on the hill, the Woodring family showed signs of strain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ever since they got married, he was just a real jealous type.

DORNIN: Now Bonnie's family is terrified Woodring will come after them. This close relative didn't even want her name or real voice used.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're all very careful, of course. Everybody's scared. You know, family and even Bonnie's close -- just close friends, co-workers, anybody.

DORNIN: Before her death, Bonnie sensed she was in serious trouble. In a restraining order filed just two weeks ago she wrote, "when I attempted to leave, he choked me twice. He also threatens to kill me if I ever left him."

Bonnie apparently trusted that she would be safe in the shelter. A location that was supposed to be secret.

DORNIN: Does everybody in this town know where that shelter is -- really?

CHIEF JEFF JAMISON, SYLVA, NORTH CAROLINA, POLICE: No, I wouldn't say so. The longer that a location is in existence, then, of course, the more well-known it becomes.

DORNIN: Jean Bockstahler is director of the shelter.

Was he able to just open the door?

JEAN BOCKSTAHLER, REACH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER: It was when a shelter person was coming out. DORNIN: A shelter person was coming out and he was able to force his way in . . .


DORNIN: By pointing his gun.


DORNIN: Did -- so were they able to hit the panic button?

BOCKSTAHLER: No. That's as much as I'm able to really say.

DORNIN: Words that chill the hearts of many abuse victims and the people who try to protect them.

JAMISON: When you're dealing with an individual that is as determined as Woodring showing himself to be and with such a twisted obsession, that it becomes very difficult to safeguard them completely.

DORNIN: Rusty Dornin, CNN, Sylva, North Carolina.


M. O'BRIEN: Coming up, it is the biggest class action lawsuit in U.S. history. Can big tobacco survive it. CNN's senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, will take a look.

And then the King and the queen. Larry King and the queen of all media have a chat. Would she like to be president? Well, I suppose that would be a demotion if you're queen. Stay with us.


S. O'BRIEN: Popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey swapped seats last night. Instead of asking the questions, she was answering them. She was talking to CNN's Larry King about all things Oprah, including a Kansas City man's website which is promoting her for president. Oprah had a suggestion involving another potential presidential candidate.


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Any comment on this movement to make you president?

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Is there a movement?

LARRY KING: This guys got a movement.

WINFREY: I don't know if that's a movement or not.

LARRY KING: He's got a website.

WINFREY: You know what I would say to him? I would say, take your energy and put it in Barack Obama. That's what I would say.

LARRY KING: Is that your favorite guy?

WINFREY: That would be my favorite guy. So I would -- I'm going to call -- I tried to call this guy, Mr. Man (ph), the other day. Mr. Man.

GAIL KING, WINFREY'S FRIEND: Mr. Crow (ph) from Kansas City.

WINFREY: Mr. Crow the other day in Kansas City because my attorneys had sent him a letter and they should have not have sent that letter. You know how . . .

LARRY KING: He can have -- he can do whatever (ph) he wants.

WINFREY: But you know how attorneys are. They just, well, cease and desist.

GAIL KING: Very legalese (ph).

LARRY KING: Assumed (ph).

WINFREY: Yes. And I didn't appreciate that my attorneys did that.

LARRY KING: Are you still an Illinoisan?


LARRY KING: So even though you have a home in California.

WINFREY: Yes, I'm very much an Illinoisan.

LARRY KING: So Senator Obama is your senator.

WINFREY: He is my senator.


S. O'BRIEN: Oprah Winfrey and Gail King sitting to her left with Larry King. A bunch of other people on that couch as well. They were announcing that big radio deal that she just did for $55 million with XM. Yes, that's a lot of dough.

ANDY SERWER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Got to pay all those people, I guess.

S. O'BRIEN: Well, yes.

You can catch "Larry King Live" every night right here on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


M. O'BRIEN: And it is that time of day. Time for another episode of "As the Hewlett-Packard Turns." We need some theme music, don't we?

SERWER: We do.

M. O'BRIEN: Andy Serwer here with that.

SERWER: You know, Miles, I've changed my mind. It's not so much a soap opera. I was trying to think about what Hewlett-Packard reminded me of. And really is the closest thing this country's ever had to a corporate version of Watergate because it just keeps on getting more complicated and more ugly every news day.

Here's the latest. We're learning now that the congressional committee that meets Thursday has issued three subpoenas in the Hewlett-Packard case. You may remember that the former chairman of the company, Patricia Dunn, will appear, as will Mark Hurd, the CEO. He is voluntarily going to come down, presumably. He won't take the fifth. We don't know if Patty Dunn will.

Now, here's who's been subpoenaed. Kevin Hunsaker, the company's chief ethics officer. And a lawyer.

M. O'BRIEN: Where was he during all of this?

SERWER: Well, he's involved. We'll get to that in a second.

Also Anthony Gentilucci, HP's chief of global investigations. I just love that they have a global investigation. It's a complete (ph) upedy (ph).

S. O'BRIEN: It does lead to a whole other arm of questions, doesn't it?

SERWER: It really does.

Now Gentilucci has resigned. Hunsaker reportedly may be leaving the company as well. Also subpoenaed, Ron Delia (ph), who directed the detective work from Massachusetts. He says that he may take the fifth. Or there are indications that he may take the fifth.

M. O'BRIEN: Now is he an HP guys or is he a detective.

SERWER: No, he is not. He is not. Right. So two HP guys and one outside guy.

More e-mails coming out. Interesting stuff. Hunsaker, the HP guy, to Delia, the outside detective, discovering . . .

S. O'BRIEN: Hunsaker was the ethics guy?

SERWER: Hunsaker is the ethics guy. The lawyer.

Expressing glee over the fact that they think that it's the wife of one of the directors who was the leak. Marion Keyworth, George Keyworth's wife. "I knew it! I knew it!! Go get 'em." You know, just stuff like this.

M. O'BRIEN: Wow.

SERWER: And it's fascinating reading here.

Meanwhile, one person unscathed so far is Ann Baskins, who is general council at Hewlett-Packard. She's also going to be appearing at the congressional committee. You have to wonder, (INAUDIBLE).

S. O'BRIEN: Wow, that leads to you thinking, maybe the ethics guy had a pretty clear idea of what was going on, (INAUDIBLE) tip-off on what they're finding in that investigation.

SERWER: Yes. It's just -- we'll find out more tomorrow, I'm sure. So stay tuned.

M. O'BRIEN: Will we or will they all plead the fifth?

SERWER: I don't think they will. First of all, I think we'll have more e-mails and then we're going to get more stuff (INAUDIBLE).

S. O'BRIEN: They're all going to start talking against each other too.

SERWER: Right. He did it. He did it.

S. O'BRIEN: Or I was told.


M. O'BRIEN: What you got next?

SERWER: Next we are going to be talking about Bernie Ebbers, who is going to be starting his prison sentence, and some of the other characters in the wave of corporate scandals and where they are.

M. O'BRIEN: OK. Thank you, Andy.

SERWER: Thank you, Miles.

S. O'BRIEN: Ahead this morning, some war veterans come home from Iraq get a letter of thanks, along with a bill for thousands of bucks from their home town. We'll explain ahead.

And does God want you to be rich?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The word of God is the gateway to the world of wealth.


S. O'BRIEN: He says yes, I guess. We're going to take a closer look this morning at the so-called gospel of prosperity, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) M. O'BRIEN: Happening this morning.

If you're flying today, you can carry liquids on board with a catch. The bottles can't be bigger than 3 ounces and must be in a quart-sized zip-top plastic bag. And after passing through security, you can buy drinks to take on the plane.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is offering a counterpoint to former President Clinton after his gasket blowing interview with Fox. Clinton says he had a plan to fight al Qaeda that he handed over to the Bush team. Rice says they were not given a comprehensive plan.

And another prestigious university dropping early admissions. The University of Virginia will dump the program as of next fall. Harvard and Princeton recently made the same decision, saying such programs give an unfair advantage to wealthier students.

Welcome back to the program, I'm Miles O'Brien.

S. O'BRIEN: And I'm Soledad O'Brien. Thousands of U.S. military service members getting the word don't pack your duffle bags yet. Their tours of duty have been extended in Iraq. CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is with us this morning. Hey Barbara?


Well it all sounds like a bit of a chess game, moving troops around on the board. But this is really serious business for the U.S. army. Let's walk through some of these moves. Now the first one is, that the first armored division brigade, which is on station in Ramadi where some of the violence has been the worse, they will stay now about six extra weeks. Why is that? They're going to stay in Iraq beyond their tour of duty so their replacements, the 3rd Infantry Division out of Ft. Stewart Georgia can at least have 12 months at home with their families before they head back into combat.

In a second move, the Pentagon also confirming that about 4,000 troops, another brigade from the 1st Calvary division in Texas, they will go to Iraq about 30 days early, starting at the end of October. Why is that? That is to try and relieve another unit, the 172nd striker brigade, which already had its tour extended. The bottom line here, Soledad, is once the military said last week that they had to keep 145,000 troops in Iraq through next spring, all these chess moves started to happen because it's going to be very tough to maintain that troop strength - Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: All of it kind of sends a message that things aren't going as well as they could be, doesn't it?

STARR: Well, that's what the secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld keeps getting asked even yesterday during a brief meeting with reporters, that was the question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: From time to time their may be units that will be asked to increase the number of days in country from what had been anticipated. On the other hand, we're also bringing some other units in earlier, which is another way of dealing with that issue.


STARR: The secretary tries clearly to keep it all very much business as usual. But you know Soledad, we all keep hearing the phrase stretched thin, is the army stretched to the breaking point. No one's predicting the collapse of the army's ability to field its forces, but you are clearly beginning to see these pressure points around the edges. Soledad?

S. O'BRIEN: And moves like that certainly don't move those questions. Barbara Starr's at the Pentagon for us. Barbara thanks.

Some Iraq war veterans who are also New York City workers are getting bills from the government. Seems there was a government program that allowed the workers who are mostly cops and firefighters and sanitation workers to get their city paychecks while they also collected their military pay, provided they pay back the lower of the two. One guy got a letter that said he now owes $126,000.00, that's according to the "New York Daily News." He says he can't retire until he pays up. If a worker is killed in Iraq, the estate could be billed. Miles?

M. O'BRIEN: The trial of Saddam Hussein has now adjourned for the day but the primary defendant wasn't there again. He got kicked out of court again this morning, the third time in a week. CNN's Arwa Damon live from Baghdad with more. Arwa?

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right Miles, in today's courtroom antics began about an hour and 45 minutes into the proceedings. Now at the beginning of today's proceedings though, the judge did lecture the defendant about behavior in the courtroom. But an hour and 45 minutes in, Saddam Hussein stood up to protest terminology being used by the prosecution. At that point the judge asked him to sit down and that is what sparked today's anger, today's exchange of words and today's very, very interesting and abrupt ending of the session. Now Saddam Hussein's exchange with the judge is not a new thing that we're seeing throughout this trial, we've seen this time and time again. But today tempers really did flare.


MOHAMMAD MAJEED AL-KHALEFA, CHIEF JUDGE: You're a defendant and I'm a judge, you have to respect the courts. We should not allow you to speak. The court decided to remove defendant Saddam. Shut up, no ones allowed to speak.


DAMON: Now Miles, after Saddam was removed from court the rest of the defendants also refused to sit down, continued confronting the judge. At that point the judge also removed Saddam Hussein's, Iraq's former minister of defense and he brought the session abruptly into recess. When court resumed afterwards we saw no defendants in court. Miles?

M. O'BRIEN: Arwa, the trial appears to be something of a joke at this point. Number one, are Iraqis paying much attention to it, as it becomes much of a side show. And is there much hope they'll be any sort of justice out of all of this?

DAMON: Well Iraqis are following it, especially Iraq's Kurdish population. This is the unsolved trial which is the genocide that Saddam and six of his codefendants are accused of carrying out against Iraq's Kurdish population. So they are paying attention to what's happening. Although there is not the focus on this trial that we saw on the (INAUDIBLE) trial that happened prior to this one. And there is an increased sentiment of frustration amongst the Iraqi people. They feel that this is something of a joke and while they do want to bring their leaders to justice, they want it to be done in a way that is perceived as being legitimate Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Arwa Damon in Baghdad. Thank you. Soledad?

S. O'BRIEN: Will big tobacco faces a multibillion dollar lawsuit? A federal judge is now allowing a class action suit against the makers of light cigarettes to go forward. Plaintiffs claim they were deceived by the marketing from tobacco companies which said lights were less dangerous than regular cigarettes. CNN's senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin here to discuss this case. How is this different from all the other tobacco litigation that we've heard about?

JEFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Well the main difference is the legal theory behind it. Most of the other cases in the 90's that got so much publicity were based on product liability theory, that you sold us a dangerous product. Cigarettes caused damage to our health. This is a fraud prosecution.

S. O'BRIEN: It's about the marketing of it.

TOOBIN: It's really about the marketing. Is that tobacco companies knew that so called light cigarettes were just as dangerous as regular cigarettes, yet they intentionally deceived consumers nonetheless.

S. O'BRIEN: When you look at the range of what they're asking for, somewhere between $20 billion and $200 billion. I mean that's just huge.

TOOBIN: Even for tobacco companies, it's big.

S. O'BRIEN: Right, it's already huge.

TOOBIN: But there is a long way to go between where we are in litigation now and a possible judgment. This is a decision by Judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn, he's a judge I used to appear in front of all the time when I was a federal prosecutor in the Brooklyn courthouse. He's one of the last of the old time liberal judges, a Lyndon Johnson appointee to the court. He has frequently been reversed by the court of appeals on these sorts of decisions.

S. O'BRIEN: To let the case go forward at all.

TOOBIN: Right, this case may not go forward. In part because the class is potentially so big and so difficult to define.

S. O'BRIEN: I was going to ask you, if you're talking about fraudulent marketing, which is what's being alleged here, marketing rather. How do you decide who can be part of this class?

TOOBIN: Well basically the way they will probably do it, it hasn't been settled for sure, is that people will file affidavits with the court and say, you know, I smoked Merits from this point to that point. That may be simply not a reliable enough way to establish who's in the class.

S. O'BRIEN: And if you smoked cigarettes for a day, you smoked them for a week, you smoked them for a year, light cigarettes, is that going to make a difference?

TOOBIN: That would make a difference, but the difficulties in proof, I mean no one has proof of how they smoked cigarettes years ago. That may be one reason why an appeals court would say, look, it's too diffuse a group of people, to difficult to define who's in it, we don't think a class should be certified.

S. O'BRIEN: So individual cases could go forward but a class couldn't be certified?

TOOBIN: But an individual case could never really as a practical matter go forward because the expense of bringing a case like this is so great, it's so complicated, that you have to aggregate a bunch of plaintiffs together, but that's the crux of the case, that's the problem.

S. O'BRIEN: And you look at the big settlements back in 1998, $206 billion and the recipient was those 46 states, '98 also was the $40 billion that went to the four states, Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi and Texas. And then the jury awards, 2001 $3 billion went to Richard Boken(ph) and that was actually eventually brought down to $100 million. The next year, $150 million award went to a family of a woman who died of lung cancer that was also brought down to $100 million. Is there going to be either no case brought whatsoever, or do you think that this will eventually be settled or something for something in that range?

TOOBIN: Well the tobacco companies have turned litigation into a chronic problem rather than an acute problem. Their cases will never go away. Tobacco is a product when used correctly by the consumer kills the consumer. So there's always going to be some kind of litigation. But, it's not -- but in the 90's, in the Clinton administration it really looked like these tobacco companies might go out of business. That's not a problem any more. Phillip Morris is trying to separate itself from its parent company, it probably will eventually once most of the litigation risk is avoided. So, yes, these lawsuits will continue in one way or another but the tobacco companies are no longer in any mortal danger. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know.

S. O'BRIEN: Jeff Toobin thank you very much. Miles?

M. O'BRIEN: In Toledo a stock car race looked a lot like a hockey game yesterday. We'll take you to the glass city 200, that's driver Michael Simco, none too pleased with the other driver there, Don St. Denis, who believed caused him to wreck his car. Simco started drop kicking the car. You're going to lose if you start drop kicking the car. The car's -- there you go. So then St. Denis gets out, they start mixing it on the infield, quick, call in a hockey ref. Eventually cooler heads prevailed, the race finished minus both drivers.

S. O'BRIEN: That was a little crazy.

M. O'BRIEN: That's a little crazy, a little nutty out there.


S. O'BRIEN: Ahead this morning we're going to take a look at the so called gospel of prosperity. We'll take a look at why more and more churches say the path to material riches goes straight through God. Stay with us.


S. O'BRIEN: Does Jesus want you to be rich? Are you nodding in agreement or are you shocked? Like it or not, the prosperity movement is making some major headway with the nation's faithful. AMERICAN MORNING's Delia Gallagher has our report.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sunday morning, the sun has just risen and already thousands are streaming into a giant church south of Atlanta, to hear this pastor talk about blessings, God and money. Yes, money, and he's not shy about it.

CREFLO DOLLAR: The word of God is the gateway to the world of wealth.

GALLAGHER: Pastor Creflo Dollar. Dollar is his real name, has been growing his church for 20 years. He claims it has 29,000 members which ranks it among the largest Christian churches in the United States. Pastor Dollar preaches what's often referred to as a gospel of prosperity.

PASTOR CREFLO DOLLAR, WORLD CHANGERS CHURCH INTL.: Let's say you have a pie and divide it up into slices. You've got the faith slice, the deliverance slice, the healing slice and the financial slice. Now, that whole pie is called prosperity.

GALLAGHER: He says the secret to that prosperity is in the bible. To be prosperous he says all you have to do is read it, understand it and live it. Among the believers are Rick and Norma Hayes, they're in the front row, just seats away from another follower, Evander Holyfield.

RICK HAYES, MEMBER, WORLD CHANGERS: I can think of one scripture in particular in Psalms 112, which says wealth and riches shall be in my house.

GALLAGHER: Like others, the Hayes believe material wealth is just part of the prosperity God blesses on those who follow his word. Rick says he was homeless just before e entered the church 14 years ago. Now, he's a successful salesman. He has a nice home, income and expensive cars. According to "Time" magazine, 61 percent of Christian Americans believe God wants people to be financially prosperous. It's all part of a trend led by pastors like Dollar and Joel Osteen, whose Houston area church with his similar church, is the largest in the United States. Dollar's teachings are a bit controversial. Among other things critics say, it ignores one of the bible's central themes, the suffering of Christ.

DOLLAR: There's this Jesus who died for us so we can have a type of life that experiences peace and prosperity.

GALLAGHER: What's more, he says poverty is a curse and that poor people can find prosperity if they believe. The Reverend Dr. James Forbes is the senior minister at Riverside Church in New York. He sees some positive things in the prosperity movement, but has concerns.

REV. DR. JAMES FORBES, RIVERSIDE CHURCH: I do think that extraordinary luxury begins to undercut the authenticity of the message of God's care for all of us.

GALLAGHER: Dollar and their followers say they use their financial success to help the poor and their church. Tithing or donating is a central part of the church's belief.

DOLLAR: Well it's opportunity for prosperity time.

GALLAGHER: Dollar believes it required by the bible and that God gives back to the true believers who put in. And from the looks of the parking lot, it seems to be working. Delia Gallagher, CNN, Atlanta.


S. O'BRIEN: Pastor Dollar has affiliated churches around the globe, actually flies to New York for World Changers services every Saturday evening. And he's in the middle of some massive fundraising effort to build a church in New York as well. Miles?

M. O'BRIEN: Up next on the program, Andy Serwer, MINDING YOUR BUSINESS. Hello Andy?

SERWER: Hello, Miles O'Brien. Worldcom's Bernie Ebbers goes to prison today. What about the other corporate rogues, where are they? We'll talk about that coming up.

M. O'BRIEN: That would be a long segment to keep track of all of them. All right, thank you very much, you'll need some extra time Andy. Also ahead in the program, an Ohio car dealer thought he was being funny. But -- and Andy told us about this yesterday. But the talk of jihad and burqas and rubber swords, well you could say that fell flat. We'll tell you about his u-turn next on AMERICAN MORNING.


M. O'BRIEN: The jihad is over for a car dealer in Columbus, Ohio. He's putting the brakes on a radio campaign and apologizing to Muslims for an idea he thought was funny. But the employees in burqas and the rubber sword giveaways, well they didn't sit so well. We'll get more from Kurt Ludlow of our affiliate in Columbus, WBNS.


KURT LUDLOW, WBNS (voice-over): At Dennis Mitsubishi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think people have to be able to laugh.

LUDLOW: Their radio commercials are supposed to be funny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's to try to be topical, to try to breakthrough the clutter of every day advertising.

LUDLOW: And they thought they'd written a gut buster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In every day life we should be able to find humor in everyone's approach to life.

LUDLOW: Get ready for the most controversial commercial you've never heard. The ad said Dennis was launching a jihad on the automotive market, using ISD's, improvised sales devices, to sell trucks that can seat up to 12 jihadists. Sales people wearing burqas, where every Friday is Fattah Friday with free rubber swords for the kiddies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We made a decision not to run the ad.

LUDLOW: Keith Dennis says after putting the ad together they realized they'd gone too far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We apologized for any offense that anybody might have taken to it, it certainly wasn't our intent. Our only intent was to provide a chuckle in a time when I think we all could laugh a little more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We accept the apology and we don't bear any hard feelings.

LUDLOW: The Council on American-Islamic Relations says the ad was inappropriate on many levels.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was making a mockery and maybe possibly provoking and making fun of issues related to religion, specifically Islamic culture, Islamic faith, as well as the Pope.


M. O'BRIEN: That was from Kurt Ludlow with our affiliate station WBNS, we thank you for that. Dennis says, the owner of the dealer says, a lot of people contacted the dealership. You bet, I'll bet a lot did. And while many saw the humor, far too many did not. There you have that. Once again, Andy Serwer, leading the pack on all stories business.

S. O'BRIEN: Also leading the pack on the rogue's gallery today, corporate crime.

SERWER: I am Soledad. And today is a big day for Bernie Ebbers, the former CEO of WorldCom. He begins his prison sentence of 25 years. He lives outside of Jackson, Mississippi and that means he will sent somewhere in the vicinity. The thinking is, they haven't announced where, but Yazoo City Federal Correctional facility which is in the state or Oakdale which is over in Louisiana. He appeared on his lawn or at his front door this morning to usher a wire service reporter off his property. Apparently he had a cigar in his mouth and told the person to be gone. He was fairly polite about it, but I kind of understand him not being so happy. Sixty-five years old and apparently the 25 year sentence could be reduced by four years if he has good behavior. But obviously that is a very long sentence.

What about the other folks here. Well, Andy Fastow will be sentenced today in Houston, likely -- he'll very likely get 10 years that is the agreement. The judge could make that less but it's probably going to be 10 years. Jeffrey Skilling who continues to be in the news, getting in a little hot water last week I guess it was.

M. O'BRIEN: Well I don't think it was water, there was something else in that that was the problem.

SERWER: One hundred proof water. Yes, he's going to be sentenced on October 23rd. Dennis Kozlowski from Tyco is in jail pending appeal and Sam Waksal from Imclone, that was the center of the Martha Stewart scandal, is --

S. O'BRIEN: He's been in there for years now, right?

SERWER: Yes, he's been in a couple, three years. He's almost halfway done with his seven year sentence. It's actually been that long already.

M. O'BRIEN: Well we must be missing somebody.

SERWER: Oh we're missing all kinds of people. There was a guy at Dynegy which is an energy company down in Texas who was sentenced to over 20 years and they just reduced his --

S. O'BRIEN: How about the healthcare people, we should look into those too.

SERWER: There's a lot. I thought you were going to give me more time, we're going to go into the next hour with this thing. That's enough for now I think.

M. O'BRIEN: All right what's next besides all that?

SERWER: Next we're going to be talking about rock and roll concerts and how much you're paying for ticket prices and maybe they'll be going down a little bit.

S. O'BRIEN: Oh, that would be nice.

M. O'BRIEN: Down, really?


M. O'BRIEN: It's tough to be in the music business.

SERWER: Deflation.

S. O'BRIEN: Thank you Andy.

SERWER: Thank you.

S. O'BRIEN: A look at our top stories is straight ahead, including some new rules for carry on at airports. Starting today you can bring a little bit more on board and we mean a little bit more. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Suzanne Malveaux at the White House where a political firestorm has erupted over a classified national intelligence document and questions over whether the Iraq war is now increasing contributing to terrorism around the world. I'll have more coming up.

M. O'BRIEN: New rules for carrying liquids on planes, travel might be getting just a smidge easier but not all security experts agree this was the right thing to do right now.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Bob Franken in Washington. George Allen, remember that name. How can you forget?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's kind of like our little bit of sense of security, it's just nice to know that he really is still there.


S. O'BRIEN: Military families now have something to cling to when daddy is serving overseas, a cardboard cut out to carry around. Little flat daddy until the real one comes home.