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American Morning

Search For A Killer; Abramoff Report; War On Terror; Colorado School Shooting; Living In Fear; Faith In Film

Aired September 29, 2006 - 07:00   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: He's covering the school shooting. A story that we were telling you about yesterday. An absolutely brutal story that ended in the death of a young girl. We'll update you on what's happening there.
Welcome back, everybody. I'm Soledad O'Brien.


In Polk County, Florida, this morning, police are searching for a killer. A man killed one Polk County deputy and wounded another at a traffic stop yesterday. He is still on the run this morning. Residents told to lock their doors. At least one high school will be closed today. CNN's Susan Candiotti joins us from Lakeland with more.

Hello, Susan.


Overnight helicopters have been flying overhead and on the ground they've been using tracking dogs and night scopes. But with the sun about to rise, there is still no sign of a suspected cop killer.


CANDIOTTI, (voice over): It started as a routine traffic stop for speeding. Police say the driver didn't have a license, produced a false I.D. and then got nervous about the possibility of going to jail. He ran into some nearby woods, giving chase. Polk County, Florida, Sheriff's Deputy Matt Williams and his police dog were shot dead. Another deputy survived a leg wound.

SHERIFF GRADY JUDD, POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA: We are prepared for a gun fight if he wants a gun fight. Or we're prepared to take him into custody peaceably if he's got any sense at all. He'll choose that option.

CANDIOTTI: The suspect's name on his fake I.D. was Iswardo Ram Claim (ph), but it could be phony too, just like his address.

JUDD: The address is bogus. The name very well may be bogus. But this is the face of the man who shot and killed my deputy today.

CANDIOTTI: After the deputies were shot, police say the suspect fired at another officer near a home, then disappeared again. Kathleen High School and two others in the immediate search area were locked down for about seven hours. Police from surrounding areas converged on the scene to help look for the suspect. Authorities also urged area residents to stay inside their homes. Just before nightfall, students were escorted to buses for home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fear just goes through you. You know, you're wonder, oh, my God, is this going to be like a Columbine?

CANDIOTTI: The manhunt took investigators into some woods where they used shields and more dogs to find the alleged cop killer.

JUDD: And he's on the run. And anyone who gets in his way, I'm absolutely confident will end upshot as well.

CANDIOTTI: The deputy who was killed was on the force for 12 years. He lost his life on his wife's birthday and leaves behind three children.


CANDIOTTI: So, for now, police say the only thing they know for sure is what this suspect looks like.

Miles, back to you.

M. O'BRIEN: And, Susan, the picture, since it was a fake I.D., do we know that is, in fact, a picture of the suspect?

CANDIOTTI: That is a picture of the suspect. They do know that for sure. But all the other information on it is suspect.

M. O'BRIEN: OK. Susan Candiotti in Lakeland, thank you.


S. O'BRIEN: A congressional report out this morning indicates closer ties between convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the White House than had been previously reported. CNN's congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, is following the story for us on Capitol Hill.

Dana, good morning to you. Is there a sort of smoking gun int his?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly depends on who you are and how you're looking at it, Soledad. There are more than 14,000 pages of documents, as you say, really detailing much more extensively the contacts between Jack Abramoff and his lobbying firm and the White House. Some 400 instances where Jack Abramoff, his clients were billed for work involving White House officials. That includes drinks and meals with White House officials. And 10 direct contacts between Abramoff and top White House political adviser Karl Rove.

Now this report does makes clear that Abramoff didn't have an open line to Karl Rove. In fact, many of his e-mails and phone calls went unreturned to Rove. And it also detailed how he tried to go elsewhere, go through mutual friends like GOP political operative Ralph Reid (ph) in order to get to Karl Rove.

But, you know, the big question here is, did Jack Abramoff actually score anything out of these meetings and all of these efforts from White House officials from clients? And the report certainly says that that is mixed. He did get some significant victories like $16.3 million in federal funding for a jail for an Indian tribe client and $3 million in federal funding for another Indian tribe client for a school construction. But there is also a long list of people that Abramoff and his associates tried to get administration jobs for, judicial appointments for and they were unsuccessful at that.

Now the GOP chairman of the committee that prepared this report, Congressman Tom Davis, he told our congressional producer, Deirdre Walsh, that there is no evidence Rove or anyone else at the White House did anything wrong.


S. O'BRIEN: It could have big implications for Republicans, couldn't it, especially as we approach -- what are we, five weeks away from midterm elections?

BASH: Exactly. You know, it really is remarkable -- I was just talking about the Republican chairman of this committee that prepared this, that he prepared this so close, as you say, to the midterm election. Democrats, as you can imagine, are already pouncing on this, trying to revive what they had called their culture of corruption theme for the election. But if White House officials are upset about this, some Republicans here say, perhaps they have themselves to blame. Because for a very long time, from the president on down, they refused to detail, to give any information about any contacts between Jack Abramoff and his clients and White House officials.

Now Tom Davis did say they've been working on this for nine months. There is not a lot there. And, Soledad, over at the White House, they say that Jack Abramoff is a known liar. That his documents, billing records, are known to be fraudulent. So a spokeswoman there says there is no reason why this should suddenly be reviewed as credible.


S. O'BRIEN: Dana Bash on Capitol Hill for us. Dana, thanks.


M. O'BRIEN: President Bush with some tough election season talk for Democrats, saying they belong to the party of cut and run from Iraq. That at a fund-raiser last night. Today, another speech from the president in Washington to a group of retired military officers. CNN's Kathleen Koch at the White House with a preview.

Kathleen, good morning.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Miles. Well, as you mentioned, that speech yesterday was at a political fund-raiser, so the president took some really tough swipes at Democrats. And that is certainly part of the White House's ongoing strategy to paint Republicans, as the midterm elections approach, as the party that is tough on terror. The party that can best keep Americans safe. Today's speech before this association of retired military officers, a less partisan group, is, therefore, expected to be less partisan. The focus is the war on terror. You can certainly expect the president to echo some of the words that he used yesterday where he took on one of these controversial concluded from the newly released National Intelligence estimate that concluded that the war in Iraq was indeed now the primary recruiting tool for extremists worldwide.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In order to win this war, we need to understand that the terrorists and extremists are opportunists. They will grab on to any cause to insight hatred and to justify the killing of innocent men, women and children. If we weren't in Iraq, they would be using our relationship and friendship with Israel as a reason to recruit.


KOCH: And President Bush is also, in that speech, very much expected to praise the Senate for its vote yesterday evening to pass his plan to try and interrogate suspected terrorists. It was passed by the House on Wednesday.


M. O'BRIEN: Kathleen Koch at the White House, thank you very much.

CNN will carry the president's speech 9:40 Eastern Time right here on CNN.

In our "Security Watch," the Senate has approved legislation that creates new ground rules for interrogating and prosecuting terror suspects. President Bush praising senators for passing his plan. The measure goes to the president's desk after a House vote today.

Congress on the verge of approving a port security bill. The measure agreed to by House and Senate negotiators may be passed in both houses today before the election recess. It would require the nation's biggest ports to install radiation detectors by the end of next year.

And the House gave the green light to warrantless wiretapping of Americans with some restrictions. Republicans say the measure is a test of whether Democrats want to fight or coddle terrorists. Democratic opponents say the war on terror should not be fought at the expense of civil rights.

Stay with CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.


S. O'BRIEN: More information now about the gunman suspected of holding six students hostage at a rural Colorado high school. Police say some of the female hostages were sexually assaulted before they were released. Fifty-three-year-old Duane Morrison is suspected of fatally shooting one student before he killed himself. CNN's Jonathan Freed live in Bailey, Colorado, for us.

Hey, Jonathan, good morning.


It has been two days since that shooting here that has really shaken this community and people here are struggling to find both support and answers.


FREED, (voice over): While students, family and friends cling to each other for support, police in Bailey, Colorado, are still trying to find out why this man, 53-year-old Duane Morrison, attacked Platte Canyon High School on Wednesday, shooting and killing 16-year-old Emily Keyes, before killing himself. Morrison took female students hostage and police say some were sexually assaulted before being let go. One focus of the investigation going forward will be if Morrison was specifically targeting girls.

SHERIFF FRED WEGENER, PARK COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: We also have a report that a male high school student was approached by a suspect yesterday prior to the shooting and asked about the identity of a list of female students.

FREED: Investigators are also examining an assault rifle found a mile from the school. Two guns were discovered on Morrison when his body was removed from the classroom. Police say Morrison has committed some minor offenses in Colorado, none violent.

They say he was living in his car. One odd twist in this story, a long-time friend of the victim, who originally said he was in the classroom and that Morrison shoved a gun in his face when he wanted to stay with the girls, later admitted he made the whole story up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to say that I'm sorry for not being completely honest. I know what I did was wrong. I said what I said because I wanted to be in there so badly. I wish more than anything that I could have helped. That I could have -- I could have been able to have been there with Emily and the other girls that were in there.

FREED: What frame of mind are you in today?

WEGENER: Today I'm just grieving with my community. My, you know, my son was in that building too. FREED: The sheriff believes his county will never be the same again. A friend of Emily's, who says she was in a classroom directly below where the shooting happened, believes grief counselors will only be able to do so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think you just have to just go with your friends and just kind of work it out.

FREED: Emily's parents say the last word they got from her was a text message she sent during the ordeal. It said, "I love u guys."


FREED: And police are telling us that they're going to update us again on the investigation in just under two hours from now.


S. O'BRIEN: Jonathan Freed for us this morning. Jonathan, thanks for the update.


M. O'BRIEN: Let's get a check of the forecast now. Chad Myers at the CNN Center with the latest.

Hello, Chad.


S. O'BRIEN: Coming up this morning, putting a face on the victims of Iraq's insurgency. Why would anybody target a grandmother and kill her when she went out to buy her daily bread? We'll have that story just ahead this morning.

And then later, a small town church puts faith in the power of film. We'll show you how a simple plan to spread the gospel has grabbed Hollywood's attention.

Those stories and much more ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


S. O'BRIEN: This word coming in to CNN this morning. One person's been killed, three other people wounded in a town of Rishan Litzian (ph) about six miles south of Tel Aviv in Israel. Apparently there's been an explosion. It happened today. Unclear at this point if there was a criminal or terrorist act, according to the police. But Israeli radio is reporting that the blast seems to have been caused by a suicide bomber who's explosives prematurely detonated.

Now, of course, we're only about two days away from the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. And normally security would be much more tight as they approach the holiday there. Palestinian suicide bombers have carried out some of their most devastating attacks as the Jewish holidays approach. So we'll update you on this story as we get more information. One person killed, three people wounded in that explosion.

And violence in Iraq is now hitting the family of one of the judges who's trying Saddam Hussein. Baghdad police say a brother-in- law of the chief judge was shot and killed in his car today. Other relatives of the judge are believed to have been wounded in that attack.

And we told you this week that U.S. military commanders say the violence in Baghdad has spiked. Multiple attacks being reported daily. Much of that violence is along sectarian lines, Sunnis versus Shiites. And many Iraqis live in fear today. Well, CNN's Arwa Damon takes a look at how the violence is affecting Iraqis every day.

Arwa, good morning.


And just in the last 24 hours, Iraqi police have found another 25 unidentified bodies. They're finding on average about 1,500 unidentified bodies just in Baghdad bearing signs of gruesome torture, many of them gunshot wounds to the head. And often we don't get to know who these people are. Their family members are just too frightened to talk. But there was one family that wanted to share their story.


DAMON, (voice over): For the family of Umm Luma (ph), pain and anger.

OSAMA RUMANI, VICTIM'S SON, (through translator): They killed my mother. I saw my mother on the street. I picked up her brains with my own hands and wrapped it.

DAMON: She was a grandmother, grew up in a middle class family, married the man she loved and lost him to illness two years ago. She had lived a simple life, raising a family of four boys and two girls. But then one day the so-called Brigades of Death filled in her name on the dotted line. The death warrant was left at the house. "Where will you escape, Umm Luma?" it read. "Await the rage, the slaughter and the murder. Our swords are on the necks of every traitor, agent and coward."

The Brigades of Death, like many Sunni extremist groups, view the Shia as being conspirators with the Americans. This is actually the second threat that the family received over the course of a year. But wrapped in this one was a bullet. The family fled, but no one, least of all Umm Luma herself, thought that they would really kill a woman. So after about a week, she went back home.

On September 16th, she went to buy bread for breakfast. Her niece heard the killer call her by name.

RAFAL ABBAS, VICTIM'S NIECE, (through translator): He said to her, "are you Umm Luma?" She said, "yes, dear, what would you like?" The first shot hit her in the arm and she fell to the ground. When she fell, he got out of the car and shot her four times all over her body. The killers could not have been more than 18 years old.

RUMANI: Why? Why hurt us like this? We ask you, why?

DAMON: Within minutes of the shooting, a stranger pulls up on a motorcycle, checking to make sure Umm Luma was dead and asking for her sons.

ABBAS: We are now living in extraordinary fear. If I'm home alone, I get terrified. Yesterday, for example, was really windy. The door blew open. I fainted because I thought they had come for us.

DAMON: The niece said Umm Luma dreamed of a secure Iraq. Now the other members of her family fear they too may not live to see it.


DAMON: Soledad, Umm Luma's death has not only left her family living in fear, but is has also left them asking a question that is on many Iraqi's minds. A question of why. But so far, Soledad, there are no answers.

S. O'BRIEN: Explain something to me, Arwa. These death squads. They fill people's names in on a piece of paper and stick it to their door? That's how they operate?

DAMON: Well, some of them. You know, threats arrive in many different forms. Sometimes it is quite simply -- and, you know, if you remember back to that package, it looks like it's just a dotted line, a form that a name is filled in on. Sometimes, though, it's also a phone call. Sometimes it's delivered by word of mouth. Sometimes they receive it over e-mail. Sometimes over text message. I mean there are a number of different ways that these threats are being delivered all over the capital.


S. O'BRIEN: Oh, my gosh, what a horrible situation. Arwa Damon for us, thank you. Excellent piece.


M. O'BRIEN: Coming up, executives for Hewlett-Packard grilled on The Hill. So who fessed up and who passed the buck?

Also, a small town church goes Hollywood. Find out how little direct to DVD project got the attention of some showbiz big wigs. Stay with us.


M. O'BRIEN: A feature film coming out in theaters today. The story of "Facing the Giants" isn't as remarkable as who made it and why. CNN's Rusty Dornin explains.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): Coach Graham Taylor just can't get a break. Six losing seasons, his star player transferred to another school, his wife facing the threat of infertility, and his car won't start. The film "Facing the Giants" has action-packed drama, humor and all the trappings of a typical Hollywood yarn, except for one thing -- God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "FACING THE GIANTS": I think that football is just one of the tools we use to honor God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "FACING THE GIANTS": So you think God does care about football?

DORNIN: This film was produced by a church, Sherwood Baptist Church, in the rural town of Albany, Georgia. The brain child of church members and brothers, Alex and Steven Kendrick, who read a survey claiming movies and TV were more influential on American culture than church.

ALEX KENDRICK, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: We thought, if that's where the people are, if that's what's gaining a lot of influence, then let's try that route.

DORNIN: Alex Kendrick plays Coach Taylor. He and 500 church volunteers did everything from lighting to costumes. It took six weeks on a budget of $100,000. An amateur project, except for the camera work.

KENDRICK: We want them to walk out of the movie theater not only having seen a well-told story, but moved emotionally and moved spiritually.

DORNIN: They hope to turn the film into a DVD as they did an earlier religious film, "Fly Wheel," and show it in churches around the country. Then a funny thing happened on the way to opening night. They got a call.

KENDRICK: This is Provident Music Group and we've gotten into the motion picture business because our parent company is Sony and we want to help you distribute this movie. And I about fell out of my chair.

DORNIN: Sony is helping to distribute the film to 450 theaters to open tonight. No sex, no violence. It must be rated G, right? Filmmakers were surprised the movie was bumped up to PG because of the religious theme.

KENDRICK: You express your faith in this movie and some people may find that offensive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, ACTOR, "FACING THE GIANTS": See, we're going to have to change your whole kicking philosophy.

DORNIN: In the film, Bailey Cave plays David, the team kicker, who has no faith in his own ability. In reality, Cave said, the movie production was an act of faith.

BAILEY CAVE, ACTOR, "FACING THE GIANTS": It took a church coming together and honestly just unifying and trusting God.

DORNIN: A theme the film's producers hope will touch the hearts and souls of moviegoers.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Atlanta.


S. O'BRIEN: That looks like a good film too.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, I want to see it.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes.


S. O'BRIEN: God cares about football as well.

SERWER: That's a combination.

S. O'BRIEN: He has other stuff on his plate, too, but maybe he does.

Congress finally got their hands on the folks from HP.


S. O'BRIEN: How did it go? Andy Serwer's "Minding Your Business."

SERWER: I will tell you, Soledad, that we had some folks testifying and most of them taking the fifth. First off, CEO Mark Hurd of Hewlett-Packard did testify. He apologized. He said the buck stops here, but then he said he didn't know anything, which is kind of a nice little combination.

M. O'BRIEN: It's a great combination.

SERWER: It sort of works out. It sort of does, sort of doesn't.

S. O'BRIEN: You can't say that.

M. O'BRIEN: It's kind of a dark alley.

SERWER: He did. He did.

Now former HP Chairman Patricia Dunn also did testify, as we indicated yesterday, and she had some interesting things to say. Let's give it a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PATRICIA DUNN, FORMER HP CHAIRMAN: I am neither a lawyer, nor an investigator. And in this matter, I relied on the expertise of people in whom I had full confidence based upon their positions with the company and in my years of experience in working with them.


SERWER: Well, she's neither a lawyer, nor an investigator, but she was in charge of the investigation. So, again, you know, trying to shift some blame there. She made it pretty clear, I think, that she is not going to be the fall guy or fall person in this instance. I mean she's not connected with the company anymore and, you know, so it will go on.

As expected, nine others connected to this investigation pled the fifth, including former general council Anne Baskins, who resigned yesterday, two other HP executives, as well as six outside contractors, including the five pre-texters. The pre-testers five. Including our favorite, Brian "The Hammer" Wagner. "The Hammer." The guy who destroyed the computers allegedly with a hammer.

M. O'BRIEN: Your favorite character in this morality play is Brian "The Hammer" Wagner.

SERWER: I like him. It's Brian "The Hammer" Wagner. He said I'm not going to talk about it.

M. O'BRIEN: What's next?

SERWER: Coming up, we're going to be talking about Verizon also involved in HP and it is going after the pre-texters. So they've got it coming from all side at this point.

S. O'BRIEN: But can the people who were the victims sue Verizon since Verizon never notified them?

SERWER: Anybody can sue anybody, Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Now you sound like Jeff Toobin, don't you?

SERWER: Exactly, yes.

S. O'BRIEN: The question is, whether you're going to win?

SERWER: Yes, that's right.

M. O'BRIEN: There's God, football and lawsuits in this country, you know what I mean?


S. O'BRIEN: Thank you, Andy.

M. O'BRIEN: Coming up on the program, banned in Tennessee. Some folks there upset about books in a local library. Pornographic? Seditious? No. Just Spanish. And some animal tape we simply couldn't resist. Olympics for animals. Well, it gets a gold medal from our producers, therefore we will show it to you. Stay with us.


M. O'BRIEN: Welcome back to the program. I'm Miles O'Brien.

S. O'BRIEN: And I'm Soledad O'Brien.

A book by journalist Bob Woodward says the White House will not admit just how badly things are going in Iraq. Woodward contends U.S. and allied troops are being attacked on average every 15 minutes.

Our senior political analyst Bill Schneider has a look at the possible political fallout.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In his new book author Bob Woodward charges the situation in Iraq is getting worse and the Bush administration is keeping it secret. That, on top of findings from an intelligence report, that the war in Iraq is hurting the war on terrorism.

The American public is already disillusioned over Iraq. More and more Americans believe the war in Iraq is going badly for the United States; 53 percent in January, 61 percent now.

The new revelations could make things worse for Republicans for several reasons. The stories are putting the White House on the defensive.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Isn't that interesting? Somebody has taken upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes.

SCHNEIDER: Democrats are raising questions about whether the White House is being honest with the American people.

NANCY PELOSI, (D) MINORITY LEADER: It's long overdue for President Bush to speak truth to the American people.

SCHNEIDER: For weeks, Republicans have been trying to frame the campaign around terrorism. The White House is hoping people will see the stories in that context.

BUSH: Everybody can draw their own conclusions about what the report says.

SCHNEIDER: Republicans are doing that.

SEN. BILL FRIST, (R) MAJORITY LEADER: Going back to the intelligence assessment, it said that, first of all, we have no choice but to be victorious because, if not, this will spread and continue to spread. SCHNEIDER: These stories shift the focus of the campaign back to Iraq. That doesn't help Republicans. Among the nearly half of voters who say Iraq is an extremely important issue, Democrats have a better than two to one lead.

(on camera): The implication is if Iraq is the central issue in this campaign, it's not likely to be good for Republicans.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Boston.


M. O'BRIEN: The secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld may have the unflagging support of President Bush, but he is losing ground with you. Check out these numbers from our latest CNN poll: 57 percent now say that Rumsfeld's military planning has hurt the U.S. mission in Iraq. You notice the trend there as well. And 47 percent now think Rumsfeld should step down. CNN is taking a special look at the defense secretary with an hour-long special this weekend. It's called "Donald Rumsfeld: Man of War."

CNN special correspondent Frank Sesno joining us live now from the CNN Center in Atlanta with a preview.

Good morning, Frank.

FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning to you, Miles.

It's been a fascinating experience to look at Donald Rumsfeld and exactly what he's all about. Those popularity numbers that you show also reveal the same kind of split inside the military. And you talk to people, both retired and those who are carefully choosing their words inside. He's a polarizing figure, but he's also a pivotal one.

A quick look at some of what we're looking at.


FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even before Tora Bora, President Bush told Rumsfeld to have his generals start looking at Iraq. Rumsfeld had a long history with the place, as Reagan's envoy, he went there, shook Saddam's hand when Saddam was at war with Iran, America's archenemy.

But after Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, and the first Gulf War, Rumsfeld signed on to a new line of neoconservative thought that America should actively promote democracy in Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein.

At the end of 2001, Rumsfeld ordered Tommy Franks to throw out the existing Iraq war plan, which called for more than 400,000 troops.


DONALD RUMSFELD, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It didn't reflect any of the lessons from Afghanistan, that it didn't reflect the current state of affairs in Iraq.


SESNO: Rumsfeld was adamant, leaning hard on General Tommy franks, who was putting together the war plan.

THOMAS RICKS, WASHINGTON POST MILITARY CORRESPONDENT: There was quite a lot of friction. Fairly harsh tone. Franks would fly up to Washington and show it to him and Rumsfeld would say, fewer troops, faster, cut it down, pare it down.

SESNO: Rumsfeld was thinking transformation and asking tough questions.

GEN. JACK KEANE (RET.), U.S. ARMY: The question sort of goes like this: listen, Saddam Hussein's army today is half the size it used to be. Why do we have to attack the same size force we did back then? Isn't it reasonable to do with less? Well, that's a very good question and it deserves to be asked.

SESNO: The U.S. would attack with fewer than 150,000 troops, though more were available, if needed. Rumsfeld's vision had prevailed. It was about to be tested again, but on a very different battlefield.


SESNO: And, of course, Miles, that very different battlefield was Iraq. They went into Iraq with those troop levels. The troop level issue is something that comes up again and again and again in terms of how this war has been waged and why the United States and the coalition forces are in the spot they're in right now.

M. O'BRIEN: Frank, you had a chance to talk to the secretary. Does he ever acknowledge any mistakes at all?

SESNO: No, not really. The closest he gets, is he says anyone with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight would have to acknowledge that no one foresaw the strength of the insurgency. But Donald Rumsfeld's supremely confident, always has been, combative, still is, totally believes in this mission, believes that where this whole thing has to go now is the United States has to stay the course until it can stand up an Iraq government and security forces, but they can take on the insurgency, which he says may go on for eight, 10, 12 years.

So a real challenge ahead, but no backpedaling from Donald Rumsfeld.

M. O'BRIEN: All right, a fascinating hour. Catch the "CNN PRESENTS" special "Donald Rumsfeld: Man of War" Saturday and Sunday night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.

Thank you, Frank Sesno.


S. O'BRIEN: Big battle under way over a movie, a comedy. The main character is a man named Borat. He is bigoted, backward and boorish, and the comedian is getting laughs at the expense of a nation whose leader is meeting today with President Bush.

CNN's Jeanne Moos has our story.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Imagine if this was the face of your country. No wonder officials from Kazakhstan can't bear what's coming soon. What's also coming soon is a meeting Friday between the president of Kazakhstan and President Bush.

BORAT, 20th CENTURY FOX: Hi, I'm new in town.

MOOS: Assume the presidential get together will have a bit more dignity than Borat's new film.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's a delightful man and it wouldn't take very much time for him to really become Americanized.

MOOS: Borat is also known as Ali G. He's really a British comedian by the name of Sacha Baron Cohen. But he never seems to go out of character. For instance, standing in front of the real Kazakhstan embassy Thursday, threatening war on Uzbekistan.

SACHA BARON COHEN, COMEDIAN: If there is one more item of Uzbek propaganda claiming that we do not drink fermented horse urine --

MOOS: Borat is taking advantage of the Kazakh president's visit to Washington to promote Borat the film. With a hoard of press in tow, he walked over to the White House --

COHEN: I'm giving an invitation to Premier George Walker Bush.

MOOS: see his movie at a nearby theater Friday night. The shtick is anti-gay, anti-Jewish, anti-women.

COHEN: Women have a smaller brain than women.

MOOS: Kazakhstan officials worry what he'll leave is the impression that Kazakhs are really just like him.

VOICE OF ROMAN VASSILENKO, KAZAKHSTAN EMBASSY SPOKESMAN: What he represents, though is not Kazakhstan. It's kind of Borakistan. (INAUDIBLE) country of one person where he pleases his fantasies.

MOOS: The government has begun an American ad campaign with a quasi-looking commercial. Borat is wandering all over America, his film. The government of Kazakhstan also took out a four-page ad in "The New York Times" extolling the country. But all that fine print can't compete with shenanigans like dropping an invitation at the White House gate. The party to be held --


MOOS: Talk about a hoot. This is a guy who dares to show his face and everything else in a neon lime green swimsuit.

COHEN: Very nice. How much?

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.



S. O'BRIEN: Coming up this morning we'll take a look at our top stories, including that massive search for a cop killer. A live report on the manhunt, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.