CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER
Boxer, Hutchison Discuss Possible War With Iraq; Hatfill Holds Press Conference; Interview With Adel Al-Jubeir
Aired August 11, 2002 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, GUEST HOST: Hello. It is noon in Washington, 9:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, 11:00 a.m. in Crawford, Texas, 8:00 p.m. in Baghdad. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you so much for joining us for LATE EDITION. Wolf is on vacation; I'm Paula Zahn.
We're going to be talking with two leading U.S. senators about the implications of a possible new war against Iraq, but first, our top story in this news alert.
The man identified as a person of interest in the anthrax investigation is getting ready to speak to television cameras for the very first time. Steven Hatfill and his attorneys will be holding a news conference just about an hour from now. CNN will, of course, bring that to you live at about 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Hatfill is also speaking out in an interview today in The Washington Post, which landed a front-page merit. We are joined now by the reporter who interviewed him, Tom Jackman.
Welcome to LATE EDITION.
TOM JACKMAN, REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Hey there. Glad to be here.
ZAHN: So does Mr. Hatfill understand why the FBI is looking at him as one of as many as 30 persons of interest in this anthrax investigation?
JACKMAN: Absolutely, he understands. He agrees with it. He thinks he should be somebody that they're looking at because he worked at USAMRIID, the infectious diseases place where the Army and the Pentagon investigate these things. He says, "Sure, come talk to me." As recently as last week he was saying, "Come question me again. Let's set up a meeting." And instead, they obtained search warrants.
So he doesn't understand why they're sort of taking this confrontational tack when he says he's trying to be as cooperative as possible.
ZAHN: Does he have a legitimate grievance? You spent three hours with this guy. Did you believe him?
JACKMAN: Well, I'm just a lowly reporter, so I don't actually have opinions, I just spout facts. But I think that he's pretty tightly wound, and he's very knowledgeable, and it's rare that criminals come to the media and volunteer their innocence. Usually they are quiet -- and he's been quiet all this time, so I don't know what to believe at this point. But I know what he has said, and what he says is fairly credible. ZAHN: Let's share a little bit more with our audience now, what he told you. And we're going to put up on a screen now part of his defense. And he said, basically, "I went from being someone with pride in my work, pride in my profession, to being made into the biggest criminal of the 21st century for something I never touched. What I've been trying to contribute, my work, is finished. My life is destroyed."
That's what he said, all right. And he would seem to have a claim that, you know, a lot of damage has been done to him by his name getting out in the media. The FBI would say, well, you know, there's two dozen other people we're look at, and you're not publicizing his name. That's true, we don't know who they are.
And so, in the meantime, he's lost 1 1/2 jobs. He's lost his job at Science Applications -- SAIC in McLean, and he had a good job at Louisiana State University and now he's been suspended from that. So he, just by being looked at, has suffered some serious damage.
ZAHN: Let's talk about some of the allegations he addressed with you in this interview you did with him. Among them, that he had unfettered access to a lab where you could get your hands on anthrax. He says?
JACKMAN: He says he did not have unfettered access, that he is a virus guy and that anthrax is a bacteria and that they are investigated and researched in two different places at Fort Detrick's USAMRIID. And he also says that he left there in 1999 and was not able to go back in and out of there freely. Anytime he was in there, he needed an escort. So it wouldn't have been easy for him to get to the anthrax in the first place. And the lab spokesman did say on Friday that he was never issued any anthrax. He wasn't working on it.
ZAHN: What about the charge that he had had a booster shot for anthrax, which would suggest to people, perhaps, that he took that to protect himself if he worked around this stuff lately?
JACKMAN: He completely denies that. He says the last time he was vaccinated or boosted was in December of 1998. His grant to work at USAMRIID ended in 1999. And he has not had a booster shot since then, he says. I have not confirmed that independently.
ZAHN: And there hasn't been anybody really who has independently confirmed that yet.
JACKMAN: No, not that I know of.
ZAHN: And what about -- we're going to put up on the screen one of the anthrax letters that was sent that, on its return address, said, "Greendale School."
JACKMAN: Right. ZAHN: Now, there has been some false reports along way, one suggesting that that was the name of a school not far from where he had lived and worked in Zimbabwe.
ZAHN: What have you found?
JACKMAN: All we know is that there is a subdivision in Harare, Zimbabwe, which is where he went to med school. And he would claim that that's a complete coincidence that that showed up, either that somebody is trying to set him up or its a coincidence.
His lawyers says there are Greendales all over the place. It's a manufactured name, and there's a Greendale all over the United States as well as around the country.
ZAHN: Let's, in closing, share with our audience one of his last thoughts in your piece, where he talk about being essentially assaulted by just about everybody involved in this case, whether it's the press or the FBI. And he told you, "My friends are bombarded. Phone calls at night, trespassing, beating on my door for the shear purpose of selling newspapers and television."
JACKMAN: And here we are talking about him on national TV. It's the way we operate, and it's unfortunate. And it used to be that people who were suspects but who were not charged were not identified in the media, and we've sort of drifted away from that. And I thought that that might stop after Richard Jewell, and I think it did slow down for a little while, he being the security guard at the 1996 Olympics whose name became quite prominent for possibly -- well, he was being investigated for the bomb in the Olympic park. And it was logical for him to be investigated, just like it's logical for Dr. Hatfill to be investigated. They're doing their job. But what happens is that, when we find that out, if we put it out, it's halfway to putting him in the public's mind as guilty, and that's where the damage is done.
ZAHN: So Dr. Hatfill will be addressing the news cameras for the first time just about an hour from now, along with his attorney.
Was it odd to you that in your sit-down interview, his attorney did most of the talking?
JACKMAN: That was sort of one of the ground rules that was set up ahead of time, was that he would answer most of the substantive questions that I had. And Dr. Hatfill was just bursting and trying to answer and did start to answer a lot of the times. And Mr. Glassberg (ph), the lawyer, would say, "Let it alone, Steve."
And so, at the end, when I asked about the impact, Dr. Hatfill just started going with this answer and the lawyer said, "Write it down." And so that was the one time that he was allowed to speak in the interview.
ZAHN: Well, it was fascinating to read this morning. And, Tom, we appreciate you sharing part of your weekend with us here today on LATE EDITION.
JACKMAN: Thanks for having me.
ZAHN: Thanks for dropping by.
We're going to head back to Atlanta now where Kris Osborn is standing by with some breaking news.
ZAHN: Now on to the issue of Iraq. A bellicose response to the United States from Saddam Hussein. During the week he warned that a military invasion by the United States would end in failure. Well, the Bush administration is maintaining it's tough stance on Iraq.
For some insight into how the mounting war talk is being viewed in the U.S. Congress, we turn to two members of the Senate. Joining us from San Francisco today is Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, and in Dallas today, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas.
Senators, good to have you back here on LATE EDITION.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you.
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: Thank you.
ZAHN: We're going to get to Iraq in just a moment, but first I'd like to get your reaction to some of the developments in the anthrax investigation. As you know, Dr. Steven Hatfill will be holding a news conference in a little less than an hour, where he will talk -- or at least face news cameras for the first time since he has become a person of interest in this investigation.
Senator Hutchison, Attorney General Ashcroft says that they really are not close to an arrest. Why?
HUTCHISON: Well, I think the attorney general wants to make sure that he has all of the facts, and he's not going to accuse someone until he feels the evidence is there.
So I think really, this is a situation, and we've seen it in the past, where someone is in the media and I can see how it could destroy a life. But nevertheless, I think it needs to be a methodical and fair process.
ZAHN: Senator Boxer, do you understand the grievance that Dr. Steven Hatfill expressed this morning in The Washington Post?
BOXER: If someone's innocent and they are dragged through, you know, the public eye and presumed by everyone to be guilty, it's very destructive to that person.
But we don't know what the story is here at all, and I do have a lot of faith in Robert Mueller, the FBI director. He doesn't like to parade in front of the press. I'm sure he didn't do this. And it's unfortunate that this thing has gotten out because we don't know all the facts.
And it is essential to solve this crime. This was a devastating thing that happened, and we need to find the right person, and we need to do it as soon as we can.
ZAHN: All right. On to the issue of Iraq now. Senator Hutchison, as you know, the administration just finished meeting with the Iraqi opposition, some splinter groups that really essentially came together for the very first time in Washington.
Do you think that in any way changes the equation, when it comes to the prospect of war?
HUTCHISON: Well, I think the president is beginning to make the case to the American people about why he is so focused on Iraq. And, I think, talking to the dissident people there, who can give information about what is going on in Iraq, I think it's pretty scary. And I think the fact that the president is bringing them in and saying, "We have resolve, we understand that the Iraqi people are being oppressed, they're being starved, they're being abused," we need to make that case to the American people, and I think the president is beginning to do that.
ZAHN: Senator Boxer, I think that Dick Armey surprised a lot of people, the House majority leader, this week, where he said in a very public way that the U.S. should not be going into Iraq. Let's quickly replay a small part of what he had to say to reporters earlier this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RICHARD ARMEY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: My own view would be to let him bluster, let him rant and rave all he wants, and let that be a matter between he and his own country. As long as he behaves himself within his own borders, we should not be addressing any attack of resources against him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Is there congressional support, Senator Boxer, for a potential attack on Iraq?
BOXER: I would say -- I would say it this way. I think that most senators -- and I can't speak for all, clearly -- believe that the case has to be made that we need to explain that Saddam Hussein has disregarded a very important United Nations resolution that he said he would follow, which meant, and you used this term before, "unfettered access," to all of the weapons that he may or may not have there, including nuclear, biological, chemical.
And until he lets those U.N. inspectors in and has that -- and lives up to that resolution, he's in trouble in the eyes of the civilized world.
Now, that case has to be made. We had several days of hearings at the Foreign Relations Committee, and you really keep coming back to that point.
I agree with Dick Armey in this way: Saddam Hussein is a blow- hard. He was a blow-hard in 1991 when he said he would be the victor. Well, he was defeated in basically a few hours. So let's not listen to that.
What's much more important to me is getting at those weapons of mass destruction, and I'm going to focus like a laser beam on that. And I think if we did that, instead of just having a different soundbite every other day from the administration and we just said we're just going to focus on this, we're going to build support for him to open up these areas to the U.N. inspectors, that would be the first step. Very important step, and it hasn't really been done yet.
ZAHN: Aside, though, for some of the concerns you just outlined, is there any one thing that the administration needs to convince you of to support any action against Iraq? What is missing in their case so far, as far as you're concerned?
BOXER: Well, the president himself says he's not ready to go in, and I'm glad to hear him say he needs to build support in the Congress and he needs to build support among our allies.
You know, we have two very important balls in the air when it comes to foreign relations today: the horrible crisis in the Middle East, a terrible cauldron there, and then we have Afghanistan, which we must get right. And Senator Hutchison and I have worked very hard on this, in terms of making sure that the women have rights and that it's safe there.
So, if we don't do this thing right, these two things right, and we go in and have a third ball in the air, it could damage everything. And so, we have to be methodical and careful.
And right now, we must contain Saddam Hussein. I think Senator Levin is right when he keeps making that point. He needs to know, if he hurts any of his neighbors, if he even thinks of using any weapon of mass destruction, he's history. That should keep him quiet while we make the case in the world for this unfettered inspection.
ZAHN: What are your concerns, Senator Hutchison? Is there still stuff you need to hear from the president, or have you made up your mind whether you would support an attack on Iraq?
HUTCHISON: I think the president is just in the beginning phases of making the case.
I think we have to answer two questions. First, this is a precedent-setting move for the United States to basically go on the offense as a defense. And I think President Bush is making that case, that we can't wait for Saddam Hussein to unleash a weapon of mass destruction on one of his neighbors or on American troops. We have to preemptively strike. That case has to be made.
Secondly, why Iraq, why now? We have to see that he does have these weapons of mass destruction, or we have a good indication that he does, and he won't let the U.N. weapons inspectors in. He clearly is breaking his word that he himself agreed to after the Desert Storm war, that he would let the inspectors in. So, if he won't, then that is a provocation that needs to be addressed.
ZAHN: I know, Senator Hutchison, you just said that the administration, of course, is in the beginning stages of trying to build support for a potential action. But I wanted to share with both of you some of the latest statistics from the Gallup poll, which would show just how much work the administration would need to do to convince the American public this is the way to go.
The question was posed, is there a clear idea why the U.S. is considering new military action against Iraq? 56 percent, yes; 44 percent, no.
Senator Boxer, your reaction to that?
BOXER: Well, I think most Americans believe that war is a last resort, not a first resort. I mean, you send beautiful American men and women into an area like that, and it's a very dangerous situation. So I think they do look at it as a last resort.
And I think that, again, coming back to this inspection regime -- and I think we get away from it too often -- you know, if any one thing could be done now to diffuse the situation, it is allowing the inspectors in, unfettered access. And I don't see how anyone in the world would look at that and say to Saddam Hussein, "Well, forget about it, you don't have to let them in." I think it's pretty clear he signed on the dotted line.
We have to have that opportunity, that is, through the United Nations. And it has to be in every inch of the land there, without any interference. And that's where, I think, if we can get to that point, then we can bring everyone along, not only the American people, but our allies.
We cannot go into a situation where we don't have anybody with us, and, you know, in the current circumstance, it's pretty close to that. And that's not good for us. It's not good for the world.
He is a threat, there's no question, because he's got these weapons, we believe, but we need to see the extent of it. And if he refuses, then I think there's really a reason to go to the American people, to go to other countries, and say, we just simply have to get in there and see for ourselves.
And hopefully he'll diffuse the situation. Because one thing that Carl Levin has said over and over, Senator Levin, is that Saddam Hussein is, first and foremost, interested in his own survival. And if he sees that the world is lining up against him in this situation, he may well relent. And for the good of the world, I would hope he would. If not, he will have to pay a price.
ZAHN: You've said a lot for Senator Hutchison to respond to on the other side. We will talk about the allied response so far to this, and I'd also love for Senator Hutchison to take a shot at whether she really thinks there will ever be a legitimate inspection process in Iraq.
We do have to take a short break now, but we have a lot more to talk about with Senators Boxer and Hutchison. We are also looking for your phone calls, when LATE EDITION returns. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I described him as the axis of evil once. I describe him as a enemy until proven otherwise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: President Bush speaking about Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein during a round of golf in Crawford, Texas, yesterday.
Welcome back to LATE EDITION. We are continuing our conversation now with Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California and Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.
All right, Senator Hutchison, I wanted to share with you something that the chancellor of Germany had to say in a newspaper midweek. When talking about the U.S. potentially going it alone, he said: "The fight against terrorism is not yet won. That's why I warn against an attack on Iraq. It would not be thought of as a defensive, and could destroy the international coalition. The Middle East needs peace, not new war."
Who will be with the U.S., if the U.S. attacks Iraq?
HUTCHISON: Well, I think it's unclear at this time. And certainly, we hope that we will have allies. In Desert Storm, we did. They shared the burden as well as the expense, and that is, of course, the optimum situation.
But I don't think that we have the option of saying, it's essential that we have allies. The United States must be prepared to go it alone if we absolutely have to. And that means preparing the American people for casualties, for casualties not only of Americans but innocent Iraqis. An economic disruption, if we end up with lower amounts of oil from the Middle East, it is going to disrupt our economy, which is why it's very important for our Congress to have an energy policy that begins to give us more stability and security in our country with our own energy supply.
I think there are preparations that have to be made, but I think we must be hoping that we will have allies but preparing for the eventuality that we might not.
ZAHN: Senator Boxer, what do you think the chances are that the U.S. will not have those allies on board this time? BOXER: I think that if we can build the case that an Iraq that is developing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons is a great threat to us, and absent any type of cooperation from that regime -- which I hope it is true cares more about staying in power than war -- you know, if they don't -- if they don't choose that path, and they don't let the inspectors in, we're going to have to deal with it. But it's hard for me to imagine that if we had that proof and we could show that to our allies, that they wouldn't come along with us.
But, again, I think the timing is very important. Brent Scowcroft, who was an adviser to the first President Bush, was on one of the shows last week and made a statement that was very strong. He basically said if the timing of this thing is wrong with Iraq, we could have a cauldron in the Middle East.
And we already have a horrible situation, a tragic situation there. And only the United States, it seems to me, can help bring peace there by exerting our influence. We already have problems in Afghanistan. We don't know whether we've gotten bin Laden or not. We know there's al Qaeda there. Those two very important challenges we have yet to complete.
So, before we talk about preparing the American people for body bags, unless we feel there's an imminent attack, we are in imminent danger, I would prefer that we go slower, more deliberately, build a case for the inspections. And I think if we do that, we will have everybody on our side.
It seems to me that the president is, you know, back-pedaling a little bit from all of his talk several months ago, and I think that he's coming to see this. I hope and pray that that is the case.
ZAHN: All right. Senator Hutchison, we need to address the issue of where Saudi Arabia will be in all of this, and our next guest is a foreign policy adviser for the Saudi royal family. A high- ranking Pentagon briefing happened this week where essentially the expert told the administration that he does not view the Saudi Arabians as friends, that he views them as funders of terrorism.
What do you think of the Saudis? Friend or foe?
HUTCHISON: I would say maybe something in the middle, and we're not sure yet.
I have been very frustrated with the lack of addressing of the Khobar Towers on a timely basis. We lost a number of our own men and women from the armed services, and that was not addressed. We've had a lack of cooperation in many respects.
On the other hand, we do have a base there, and I think they have softened that stance just as late as today, about whether we would be able to keep our base there and be able to use it in a way that would be helpful to our situation in the Middle East.
So, I don't think we should walk away from Saudi Arabia, but I don't think they have been as forthcoming as they could. ZAHN: Senator Boxer, your thoughts?
BOXER: Well, I think that Kay's right when she says somewhere in the middle. But the bottom line is, the ramifications of that report leaking were not good for us at this particular time. I mean, here is a country that allowed us to use that base when we were protecting Kuwait the last time in '91. It's a very different circumstance now.
So it only adds to the uncertainty and the difficulty of the whole Iraq situation, and that's why I keep coming back to square one. Saddam Hussein, let those inspectors in, let us see what you've got or you don't have. And then let's build support around what we want to do in a methodical way, and I think then we'll be all right. But to rush in now, it would be, I think, a mistake.
ZAHN: As you know, there's a lot of skepticism whether he'll be answering any of those questions or even listening. But nevertheless we appreciate both of you joining us today, Senator Boxer and Senator Hutchison. Thank you so much.
BOXER: He listens, I'll tell you, he does listen.
ZAHN: We hope so.
We're going to take a short break here. Up next, if or when the United States does take on Iraq, can Saudi Arabia be counted on to help? We're going to talk more about that and more, with the country's foreign policy adviser, Adel Al-Jubeir, when LATE EDITION returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENERAL RICHARD MYERS, CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I think Saudia Arabia has been a -- I mean, it's been a partner for many decades in the region, and an important partner (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: That was the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, reiterating the Bush administration's position on Saudi Arabia and its role in the Middle East.
However, some critics of Saudi Arabia are accusing the country of supporting terrorism, and at least one suggests it be treated as an enemy of the United States.
Joining us to talk about the U.S.-Saudi relationship is that country's foreign policy adviser, Adel Al-Jubeir.
Mr. Jubeir, welcome. ADEL AL-JUBEIR, FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER, SAUDI ARABIA: Thank you. It's good to be here.
ZAHN: Get to see you in person for a change.
AL-JUBEIR: Thank you.
ZAHN: Before we get to that high-level Pentagon briefing, wanted you to update us on the story that broke in the world of news overnight about Iran expelling some 16 al Qaeda fighters to Saudi Arabia, along with four women and six children.
What is the status of the al Qaeda fighters?
AL-JUBEIR: It's not so much that the Iranians expelled them. The Iranians handed them over to us. They also handed over nationals of other countries to those countries.
The individuals are now detained in Saudi Arabia. They're being interrogated, they're being questioned. We want to know as much as we can about them, and we will pass that on to the United States.
ZAHN: What do you know about them now? Is there any suggestion they were involved in either the planning or the execution of the 9/11 attacks?
AL-JUBEIR: That's what we're trying to determine. And what we'll -- what we will then do as a next step, is those which are suspect will be put on trial, and if they're guilty they will be punished severely.
But it's too early yet to tell, and it's also too early now to talk about the results of those investigations in a public manner.
ZAHN: What kind of access will you grant U.S. intelligence officials to these al Qaeda fighters? Will you give them unfettered access? Can they ask them what they want?
AL-JUBEIR: Let me put it to you this way. Everything that we know and everything that we will find out we will share with the United States at the time, just as we have since September 11th.
ZAHN: But that is different than saying you will allow U.S. intelligence officials in there to ask their own questions. Will you allow that to happen?
AL-JUBEIR: There are ways where the objective can be accomplished without violating issues of national sovereignty. And I can assure you that the United States intelligence community, that the U.S. law enforcement agencies will be fully satisfied with the cooperation that they will get from Saudi Arabia. And let me leave it at that.
ZAHN: Well, no, you can't really leave it at that, because if they're not satisfied with the answers, will you allow them to be extradited to the United States? AL-JUBEIR: Well, let me put it this way. If they are Saudis and they committed a crime and they're guilty of that crime, they will be put on trial inside Saudi Arabia, and they will be punished severely. And I can assure that our justice system is very swift, and it's very harsh with evil-doers.
I think it's too early to get to that point yet. Let's see what the investigations reveal and what the interrogations reveal. Let's see what we can find out, and let's see if in fact they are guilty.
ZAHN: Let's talk a little bit more about U.S.-Saudi relations. There was a man, Laurent Murawiec, who went before the Pentagon this week and says some really negative things about your country, basically accused your country of exporting terrorism.
Here's what he had to say. "The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader. Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies."
Now, I know you have said this is pure fiction. I know you've said that this guy has been separated by the RAND Corporation from his statements. But the fact is that the Pentagon invited him to share his point of view. What does that suggest to you about ambivalent feelings at the Pentagon about your country?
AL-JUBEIR: Let's backtrack. It's not quite the Pentagon that invited him. It was the Defense Policy Board that...
AL-JUBEIR: ... invited him, which is an adjunct to the Pentagon. They're not officials or employees of the Pentagon. They advise the secretary of defense.
That's a very good question. What we find very shocking is how somebody who is as lightweight as this, who has no experience about the Middle East, certainly not about Saudi Arabia, can be brought to brief a group as substantial and as distinguished as the Defense Policy Board.
That's the question. Why did it happen? Who did it? What was the reason behind it?
ZAHN: Well, obviously, someone thought this man had some credibility, otherwise he wouldn't have been invited.
AL-JUBEIR: He has...
ZAHN: I mean, there are former secretary of states that make up that Defense Policy Board.
AL-JUBEIR: Correct, correct. There are a lot of distinguished American academics and analysts who are very critical of Saudi Arabia who have not been brought before the board. This person has no experience writing about Saudi Arabia. He's never set foot in Saudi Arabia. He has not -- his writings are way off the charts. RAND Corporation disassociated itself from this individual. This was not a RAND study. He was pushing a person agenda, and somebody was allowing him to do that.
And if I were an American citizen, I would want to ask questions. Why would this happen?
ZAHN: Well, Americans are asking other questions. Let's take a look at this -- well, there are some statistics that Time magazine compiled. You're the point man now in a PR battle to try to win more favor among the American public when it comes to their perception of Saudi Arabia. And 32 percent of Americans have favorable opinions. That has dropped form 60 percent during Desert Storm.
Now, you have to accept the fact that when some American is hear that your government will not allow its bases to be used to launch attacks against Iraq, they're not too happy about that, and they might look at you as foe and not a friend. Do you understand that?
AL-JUBEIR: Well, I think almost half the American public doesn't know why the U.S. should go to war with Iraq. I don't know that they would support it.
What we have said is, we have said that Saddam is a threat. We have said that Saddam has to comply with the U.N. resolutions, he has to comply with agreements he made.
Remember, Paula, we live right next to him. The two countries that are most threatened by Saddam are Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. We want Saddam to comply, we want him to give up his weapons of mass destruction. And we believe that the best way to do that is to have inspectors on the ground searching for them and destroying them and eventually, hopefully, giving them a clean bill of health, because that's how we will be secure.
ZAHN: If the inspections don't happen, or if they do happen and they're not legitimate, would Saudi Arabia change its mind and allow the U.S. to use those air bases that they used during Desert Storm to launch an attack against Iraq?
AL-JUBEIR: We have said -- and we have been very clear about this -- that there is a diplomatic process going on, let's pursue it. We are confident that the Iraqis will allow the inspectors back. The inspectors should have unfettered access. They should search for these weapons and destroy them.
Now, there are a lot of ifs that you asked. And now we're getting to the hypothetical, and I can walk down that path with you and say that, if the...
ZAHN: Inspections are bogus, then what?
AL-JUBEIR: If the inspections don't work, if the international community decides that they have to take action, if the United Nations provides a justification for it, if there is an international consensus, if we can build a coalition, we will go along with those steps. But we're not there yet. We shouldn't put the horse before the cart. We shouldn't talk about war when it will be disruptive to America's interests, damaging to the region, damaging to the people who live in the region, when we haven't exhausted all other options.
We have to say this to you as your friends because we care about your credibility. There are two wars going on in the region right now, one in Afghanistan and one between Israelis and Palestinians. The last thing we want is a third war.
ZAHN: Let me ask you this, if there is a war against Iraq -- and I know you're saying some of this is hypothetical, but the government pretty much knows going in that it needs three things. It needs overflight permission from Saudi Arabia, it needs an air command center, it needs logistical support.
Can you confirm today whether you'll provide any things, if you say the Security Council resolutions are blown, and the U.S. goes by the right treaties to go to war?
AL-JUBEIR: This is an interesting question, and if I were in your position, I would ask it. But my job is to deal with practical matters.
As things stand right now, the case has not been made for using force in Iraq. There is no country in the world that I know of that has come out and publicly said this. The American president has not made that decision yet. So why comment on hypotheticals?
Our view is, as things stand right now, we are not in a position to provide support for something like this. And, in fact, that's the position of almost every country in the world.
ZAHN: One thing that is not a hypothetical, in closing, is the fact that it has been established loud and clear that 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th were from Saudi Arabia. And you have Americans out there saying, how could that happen?
ZAHN: How do you defend that?
AL-JUBEIR: There's no way to defend it. They were 15 Saudis on those planes. We're ashamed of it.
Osama bin Laden has membership in al Qaeda from over 50 countries. He could have chosen any nationality, including Americans, to put them on those planes. He chose Saudis because he wanted to give this operation a Saudi face in order to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. And you know what? He almost succeeded, because this fact created a lot of doubt in the minds of Americans about Saudi Arabia and our commitment to our relationship with the U.S. and our commitment to peace and stability in the world.
And we have been trying ever since to explain to people that this is a set-up by bin Laden and that he -- with the specific objective of driving a wedge between us, and we're committed to make sure that this doesn't happen.
ZAHN: Final question for you, because you know there's so much skepticism out there.
ZAHN: And you have heard the view from some Americans that Saudi Arabia is fine with keeping Saddam Hussein in power, because, if he's toppled, Iraq could flood the oil markets with lots of oil that could bring down your bottom line.
AL-JUBEIR: I think that's a superficial argument. Saudi Arabia has -- we produce 8 million barrels of oil, we have another 2 or 3 million in excess capacity. If Saddam Hussein were to be toppled, it would take many billions of dollars of investments and many years to bring up Iraq's oil production.
World oil demand is increasing at between 1 and 2 percent a year. That's about a million barrels a year extra. So there would certainly be room in the world markets for increased Iraqi oil, as it comes online, should that be the case.
Oil is not the issue that concerns us about Iraq. What concerns us about Iraq is the impact it will have on stability in the region. Do we know what will come after Saddam? Is Iraq going to be dismembered? Is there going to be an implosion? Will the Kurds seek their own state? Is that going to destabilize Turkey and Iran? Will the Shi'ites seek their own state? What happens in terms of who rules over Iraq?
I don't buy this notion that you are going to have a Jeffersonian democracy as soon as the U.S. military marches into Baghdad.
ZAHN: We have 10 seconds left. I know you've said that there are a lot of steps the U.S. must go through before it declares war on Iraq. If you had to guess today, what are the chances that the U.S. will take on Iraq?
AL-JUBEIR: I would say they're less than 50/50.
ZAHN: You have that much faith in this process...-
ZAHN: ... of inspection?
AL-JUBEIR: Yes, I think the Iraqis will let the inspectors back in. I think, when we look at the whole litany of choices before the president, and the cost of something like this -- there's an economic cost. It will cost tens of billions of dollars. There's a human cost. You will need a large number of troops in Iraq for a long period of time. There's the question of what comes after Saddam. There's the question of the impact on the region. There's the question of, are your resources spread too thin. And, at the end of the day, if the objective is to bring about Iraqi compliance, and it can be achieved through a diplomatic process, why not do it? Why do you want to risk the lives of many of your young men and women, and why do you want to, in the process, destabilize the region? It just doesn't make sense at this time.
ZAHN: We're going to have to leave it there on that note. Adel Al-Jubeir, thank you very much for dropping by.
AL-JUBEIR: Thank you.
ZAHN: Nice to see you. I usually interview you on our monitor when you're very far away. Good to see you in person.
AL-JUBEIR: Thank you.
ZAHN: Appreciate your time.
When we come back, how different would a war with Iraq be this time around, and what are the political implications of a new conflict? We're going to get perspectives from a former U.S. assistant defense secretary Lawrence Korb, Republican Congressman Bob Barr, and retired Brigadier Army General David Grange.
LATE EDITION will be right back.
ZAHN: Welcome back to LATE EDITION.
U.S. troops emerged from the 1991 Persian Gulf War relatively unscathed. Operation Desert Storm also took less than two months to carry out. But what are the military and political ramifications of a new war with Iraq?
Well, joining us now to talk about this are three guests: In New York City, a hot and steamy New York City today, former U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Lawrence Korb. From Atlanta, Georgia Republican Congressman Bob Barr. In Madison, Wisconsin, retired U.S. Army General David Grange. He is a Green Beret and was in the Middle East during the Gulf War. General Grange is also a CNN military analyst.
Gentlemen, welcome to LATE EDITION. Glad to have with us today.
So, Representative Barr, we had two of your colleagues on the air about an hour ago, a Republican and a Democratic senator, both of whom said the administration is in the process of building a rationale for going into Iraq. Do you think the U.S. should be waging war against Iraq?
REP. BOB BARR (R), GEORGIA: I think the U.S. should be, as it has been doing for many months now, preparing to take that action necessary to protect ourselves and our national security interests in the Middle East. And that includes the very real possibility, the likelihood of having to take out certain capabilities that we know are possessed by the regime in Iraq. And we know to a certainty that this is the regime that will stop at nothing to accomplish its irrational goals.
So clearly, the predicate is already there. Clearly, we have already been provoked. There is a clear and present danger that faces us, and we will be irresponsible not to be making plans to take out that capability as quickly as we can.
ZAHN: So are you essentially saying it's fine to go in at anytime, or do you need allied support? Because so many of our allies are waffling at this point.
BARR: I think one really has to understand what it is that our allies are saying. I think what our allies are saying, at least some of them are, we don't think would be advisable to go in with a full- scale invasion. But there are many, many options that are available to us, some of which are far preferable to that and have a higher likelihood of success. And I think that if some of these scenarios play themselves out, which rely heavily on indigenous support in Iraq -- there are many, many people in Iraq, I dare a majority of the population, that don't favor the chemical and biological weapons course that their leader currently is taking. So I think there would be a lot of support, depending on the type of action that is being contemplated.
ZAHN: Well, General Grange, let's talk about the reality of that. What about the effectiveness of a scaled-down attack? I mean, we have seen, floated as trial balloons in the papers through various leaks, anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000 troops involved. Does a small-scale operation make any sense to you at all, and would it work?
GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, that would be a great course of action, and it's a possibility could work. But you have to plan for the worst case, and the worst case, if that goes sour, would mean you'd still need overwhelming force.
So, you know, I think it's very prudent to plan for the worst- case scenario, to have the use of indigenous, inside-type activities going on, but then back it up immediately with overwhelming force, very similar to how we did the Panama invasion.
ZAHN: And, Lawrence, there are folks out there who say Saddam Hussein doesn't have much to lose this time around, and yet Senator Levin had this to say about this prospect of Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction if attacked. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: He's a survivalist. He is not a suicide bomber. He cares more than anything about himself. He loves himself more than he hates us. And I think, therefore, it is very unlikely he would initiate an attack with a weapon of mass destruction, because it would lead to his own destruction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Well, he said initiate an attack. What if he's attacked and then unleashes weapons of mass destruction? Is that a course you think he would take?
LAWRENCE KORB, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: Oh, I think so. If he knows he has nothing to lose, there's no doubt in my mind that he would use whatever weapons of mass destruction he has. And I think that's why a lot of people, including our uniformed leaders, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, do not want to undertake this course because they feel that the costs could be much greater than whatever gains you might get.
It's easy to start a war, it's very difficult to stop it. And if this situation gets out of control, the consequences could be very, very dire, not to mention the fact you could undermine the support that we're getting for other nations to wage the war against the terrorists.
ZAHN: Let's take a look at some statistics now, one which would show that the strength of Saddam Hussein's military is way down from what it was during Desert Storm. You can just look at these numbers and it bears that out.
And then I want to move on to something that Sharif Ali Bin Al- Hussein had to say, who is a spokesman for the Iraqi National Congress, about how he thinks the Iraqi military will abandon Saddan Hussein. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARIF ALI BIN AL-HUSSEIN, IRAQI NATIONAL CONGRESS: The Iraqi military is not willing to fight and die for Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi military has been humiliated, insulted, oppressed, tortured, murdered...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: General Grange, what are the chances that the Iraqi military will abandon Saddam Hussein?
GRANGE: I believe, Paula, that some will, but I think there's going to be a hardcore group that's going to stay by his side, because they have something to lose as well. They've done some bad things to the population, and they have no future either, just like Saddam.
So I think the special Republican Guard provision, some of the paramilitary groups that work directly for Saddam Hussein, they'll have to be taken down. So they will not all capitulate; some will, though.
ZAHN: Representative Barr, I wanted to point out something that Brigadier General John Rosa had to say about the sophisticated air defense system that the Iraqis have.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGADIER GENERAL JOHN W. ROSA JR. (USAF), DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR OPERATIONS, JOINT STAFF: The Iraqi air defense system is one of the toughest, most complex systems that we see in the world. It's very capable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: So what do you think the biggest challenge for the U.S. would be?
BARR: Well, of course, one has to keep in mind that this is playing itself out much like a series of interviews before the big football game on Sunday. You never want to telegraph that you underestimate in any way, shape or form your opponent's strength.
But the fact of the matter is that we have the technology to thwart anything that Iraq has, I'm very confident of that. While we certainly should not underestimate their capability, we heard the dire consequences 12 years ago, before moving into Iraq that they had this huge, very powerful military. The fact of the matter is that their military in terms of its quality is not nearly to the point where I think that these dire predictions would come true.
I do think we have the capability to take out their air defenses. We've done it before, we'll do it again. And I think that is really the least of our worries.
The most important problem is ensuring, as I believe we have, that there is sufficient support domestically in Iraq once some sort of action is initiated, to see it through.
ZAHN: And, Lawrence Korb, of course, that's the question that everybody's been asking, what happens the day after? You know, we know that the Iraqi opposition met with the Bush administration this week, and there are those, including the foreign policy adviser to the Saudis, who moments ago told me those are a bunch of robbers and bad guys.
KORB: Well, I think that's the key question. I have no doubt we can prevail militarily if we're willing to commit enough force. I think General Grange is right on. You might be able to do it with a small number, but you can't count on it. And once we start this war, we have to see it through.
But the big question is, what comes next? And this administration has shown itself even unwilling to do what's necessary to rebuild Afghanistan. I think they're going to have to ensure that they're willing to stay at least a decade in order to rebuild Iraq. And we're going to have to bear the cost mostly by ourselves because, in the short term at least, we're not going to get support from other countries around the world.
So we're talking about a long-term commitment, we're talking about a very expensive commitment. And we need to know that well before we start this operation, because once you start, you can't turn back.
ZAHN: Gentlemen, I thank you for all of your insights this afternoon. Lawrence Korb, General Grange, Representative Bob Barr. Good to see you, appreciate your time this afternoon. Ahead in our next hour of LATE EDITION, a former U.S. Army scientist under scrutiny in the anthrax investigation speaks out.
ZAHN: And welcome back to LATE EDITION. I'm Paula Zahn.
We are just moments away from Dr. Steven Hatfill holding his first news conference, talking about some of the allegations that have come his way during this anthrax investigation.
Let's go to Jeanne Meserve who is standing by, who actually has a statement, part of which we'll hear from Mr. Hatfill himself a little bit later on.
Jeanne, what do you have?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, they have handed us a written copy of Dr. Hatfill's statement. Let me read to you in part.
"I am a loyal American, and I love my country. I had nothing to do with the anthrax letters, and it's terribly wrong for anyone to think otherwise."
He goes through, chapter and verse, of how he has been treated by lawyers and by investigators, objecting to the public nature of things that have been said about him.
He says, "If I am a subject of interest, I also am a human being. I have a life. I have, or had, a job. I need to earn a living. I have a family. And until recently, I had a reputation, a career and a professional future.
"I acknowledge the right of the authorities and press to satisfy themselves whether I am the anthrax mailer. This does not, however, give them the right to smear me and gratuitously to make a wasteland of my life in the process."
We expect to have Dr. Hatfill emerge from his lawyers' offices here momentarily and read this and more to us.
Also included in this is a letter from his attorney written to the U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., outlining again their objections to the way this investigation has been handled -- Paula.
ZAHN: And Jeanne, I think we need to make it clear at this point, the FBI has never called him a suspect, right?
ZAHN: Just a person of interest, as well as close to 30 other people out there.
MESERVE: The FBI, in fact, has not said anything publicly about Dr. Hatfill. Government sources have told us he is one of roughly 20 people who they are looking at in connection with this investigation. But no, he is not a suspect. He has not been arrested. He has not been charged.
There have, however, been two searches of his apartment. The first was consensual. The second, conducted earlier this month, took place with a criminal search warrant.
ZAHN: And do you really expect Dr. Hatfill to say more that what you've just read from that statement? Will he take questions?
MESERVE: The guidance says he probably will not take questions. There is a possibility that his attorney, Victor Glasberg, will indeed answer some of our questions. There are, boy, I would say 30 or 40 reports and camera people here. You can rest assured there will be plenty of questions for him. And we hope he will answer them.
ZAHN: Jeanne, as you may know, in our first hour, we actually interviewed the man who had the front page interview in The Washington Post with him. And he said, although he spent three hours with Hatfill, his attorney answered most of the questions. So that probably wouldn't surprise you, would it, if his attorney does the same here.
MESERVE: No, my understanding is that, because the search warrant that was executed earlier this month was criminal in nature, that the advice of his lawyers to him has been that he should say as little as possible. And so, today, we simply expected to read this statement, this very spirited defense of his experience, a denial of his involvement in the anthrax attacks -- Paula.
ZAHN: Let's, Jeanne, if you can, and I know some of this hasn't been firm, go through some of the allegations that have come this way. And you've just made clear that he as acknowledged that it's fine for the authorities to investigate him but not, as you said, or in his words, "make a wasteland out of his life."
But one of these things I guess that was shot down in The Washington Post today was that he unfettered access to a lab at Fort Detrick that would have allowed him to get his hands on anthrax.
Is there anything you can either add to that or clarify with?
MESERVE: Paula, I wish I could. If I'd a few more minutes to study this statement of his, perhaps this is in here. I'm afraid I skimmed it very rapidly.
I can tell you no more than what was in The Washington Post. The point made my his lawyer there, that he handled viral agents when he was at Fort Detrick, not bacterial agents like anthrax. They claimed that he had no access to the laboratories that did handle anthrax -- Paula.
ZAHN: And talk a little bit more about the searches that were done of his apartment. Has there been any information released on what they found, anything they can rule in or rule out?
MESERVE: Paula, we just got a one-minute warning. So excuse me if I stop speaking at any given moment. We have been told by sources that the evidence that has been found was circumstantial. There was a quote that one of our reporters got from a government source saying there was a lot of it but it was circumstantial, nothing that could be taken to court.
We do know, additionally, that blood hounds were given scent packets that were drawn off the anthrax letters which were sent to Senators Daschle and Leahy, and that the dogs reacted very strongly when they were taken to Hatfill's apartment, his girlfriend's apartment, a restaurant where he had recently eaten, and also to Hatfill himself. And so, another interesting piece of information.
We do know also that at one point he had a prescription for Cipro. That, of course, being the antibiotic that was given for anthrax exposure. His doctor has said however that this was simply for an infection.
Also, we've been told by sources that on his computer harddrive was found the outline for a book. This book had to do with a bio- weapons attack.
Again, this man is not being called a suspect. He has not been arrested. He has not been charged. I just want to underline that point once again. Certainly, he will be underlining that point repeatedly when he emerges from this doorway any moment now -- Paula.
ZAHN: And, Jeanne, I'm going to give you a chance to take us live to that news conference, and while you wait -- and we're going to keep an eye on it with one of our eyes here -- we're going to check in with Skip Brandon, who is the former deputy FBI director for national security and counterterrorism, and now the chief operating officer of Smith Brandon International.
Welcome to LATE EDITION. Good to see you.
SKIP BRANDON, FORMER DEPUTY FBI DIRECTOR FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND COUNTERTERRORISM: Good afternoon.
ZAHN: Let's talk a little bit about why Dr. Steven Hatfill caught the attention of FBI officials in the first place. Now, Jeanne sort of ran through some of the things they potentially were looking for. But what was the red flag that was raised?
BRANDON: Where he works, in my opinion. Fort Detrick's where they do the research, they have access. I think that must be what caught their attention.
I have to think there's something else there, though, because there are a lot of people who work at the fort, so there's something else there that we don't know.
ZAHN: What about what his attorney -- oops, sorry, let's tune in right now.
PAT CLAWSON, HATFILL SPOKESMAN: We're here at the offices of Victor Glasberg in Alexandria, Virginia, and you're going to have an opportunity in just a couple of moments to meet a distinguished American scientist and a great patriot, Mr. Steven Hatfill.
He will make a brief statement to the news media. He will not be taking any questions. His attorney, however, will be taking questions, and he'll answer your questions to the fullest extent possible.
I just request that we try to treat this proceeding with some dignity and some decorum. Obviously, this is a story of tremendous national interest.
Right now, for the first time, the American people are going to get to see the man that I have known for the last six years, a man who is a tremendous scientist, a man who is a distinguished medical doctor, a man who is a healer and not a killer. This is not the biological equivalent of the Unabomber. This is a man of medicine, a man aimed at protecting the rights of Americans against biological attack, a man who has devoted his career to help protecting the American public.
I hope all of you will get to know this man and appreciate him, appreciate his intellect, his good humor, his kindness and his warmth the way that I have over the last several years.
I'm Pat Clawson. I'm an investigative reporter and broadcaster here in Washington, D.C. I've covered terrorism and organized crime for many, many years, and I've known Dr. Hatfill for many, many years. He is not the evil monster that the FBI and the media are making him out to be. He is a very good man. He is a very distinguished scientist, and he is a wonderful doctor and a wonderful friend.
So with that, ladies and gentlemen and the citizens of America, I want you to meet my friend, Dr. Steven Hatfill.
DR. STEVEN HATFILL: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Steve Hatfill. I'm a medical doctor and a biomedical scientist.
I am a loyal American, and I love my country. I have had nothing to do in any way, shape or form with the mailing of these anthrax letters, and it is extremely wrong for anyone to contend or suggest that I have.
I've devoted much of my professional career to safeguarding men, women and children from the scourge of different types of disease, from leukemia to infectious disease. I am extremely proud of my service with the government and my efforts to help safeguard public health and protect our country against the scourge of offensive biological warfare.
I am appalled at the terrible acts of biological terrorism that have caused death, disease and havoc in this great country starting last fall. But I am just as appalled that my experience, knowledge, dedication and service relative to defending the United States against biological warfare has been turned against me in connection with the search for the anthrax killer. Last fall, two investigators from the FBI came by my office. The interview was cordial and short, and the agents explained that polygraphs were being conducted on a wide range of scientists in connection with the anthrax letters. They asked if I would consent to a polygraph concerning this incident, and I immediately agreed. The short interview was over.
Later, I went down to the Washington field office and an on-site polygraph was administered. After reviewing the polygraph charts in private, the polygraph examiner told me that I had passed and that he believed I had nothing to do with the anthrax letters.
The FBI told me they believed I had nothing to do with this incident of terrorism. In due course, following an additional debriefing, the FBI confirmed to me and to my former (ph) counsel, Tom Carter, that I was not a suspect in this case. I assumed that my involvement in the investigation was over.
In February, I received a phone call from a reporter all but accusing me of mailing the anthrax letters. He wanted to know precise details about a certain classified project on which I had previously worked, and I hung the phone up on him in mid sentence.
I immediately reported this event to my supervisor as an improper solicitation of classified information. Two days later, I was told by a former medical school colleague that the reporter had phoned him and all but accused me of mailing the anthrax letters.
I know this reporter thereafter telephoned Science Applications International Corporation, my employer at the time, and I know shortly that thereafter SAIC laid me off.
I was devastated by the loss of my job in March, although I can understand why it occurred. Upon leaving SAIC, I took a job with Louisiana State University to work with a consortium group of universities on important federally and Justice-funded programs for biological warfare defense.
Ironically, I was called back to SAIC on numerous occasions to assist with projects I started as well as to help with new projects. SAIC eventually had to contract for my continued services through Louisiana State University.
According to the Frederick News Post of June 27, 2002, in June 2002 a woman named Barbara Hatch Rosenberg (ph), who affiliates herself with the Federation of American Scientists, saw fit to discuss me as a suspect in the anthrax case in a meeting with FBI agents and Senate staffers. I don't know Dr. Rosenberg (ph). I have never met her, I have never spoken or corresponded with this woman. And to my knowledge, she is ignorant of my work and background except in the very broadest of terms.
The only thing I know about her views is that she and I apparently differ on whether the United States should sign onto a proposed modification of the international biological weapons convention. This was something I opposed to safeguard American industry, and I believe she favored.
I am at a complete loss to explain her reported hostility and accusations. I don't know this woman at all.
In any event, within several days after Dr. Rosenberg's (ph) reported comments in Congress, the FBI called me again at home. I was asked if these agents could look at my apartment and swab the walls for anthrax spores. I was surprised at the request. Anthrax is a deadly inhalational disease.
Like all researchers, working at Building 1412 at Fort Detrick previously, I had received a limited number of anthrax vaccinations. This is required for all researchers. However, a yearly booster is required to maintain immunity. I have last been inoculated in my records beginning '99, and since December 2000, I am as susceptible to anthrax as any of you.
So I was surprised at the notion that I might have brought anthrax to my home, and would have been even amused if it was not for the fact that this matter is so grave and serious.
In addition, I have two cleaning ladies with their own keys that come and go and clean. I don't know when they come there, just that things look a lot better when they leave.
Nevertheless, I agreed to the FBI's request without hesitation. I also volunteered to have the FBI search my car and a small, unrefrigerated storage area in Florida where I keep some books, a few paintings and some other personal effects.
The FBI agents promised me that the search would be quiet, private and very low-key. It did not turn out that way. Within minutes of my signing the release to have my residence and property searched, television cameras, satellite TV trucks, overhead helicopters were all swarming around my apartment block. The FBI agents arrived in a huge truck with hazardous-materials technicians fully garbed in protective space suits. In fact, I had previously helped train one of the FBI agents who searched my apartment.
Responding to my surprise and dismay, the agent in charge apologized to me, saying that the request for this swabbing and search had come from very, very high up.
A written and televised media frenzy ensued and continues, with journalists, columnists and others writing, stating and repeating combinations of defamatory speculation, innuendo and other accusations about me. Several have urged the FBI to step up its investigation of me.
And indeed, last week, the FBI executed a search warrant on my residence. This happened one day after my attorneys had left a message on the lead FBI investigator's voice mail confirming my continued readiness to answer questions and otherwise cooperate.
My girlfriend's home was also searched. She was manhandled by the FBI upon their entry, not immediately shown the search warrant. Her apartment was wrecked, while FBI agents screamed at her that I had killed five people and that her life would never be the same again. She was terrified by their conduct, put into isolation for interrogation for eight hours. I was horrified. The search was another media event.
The next day I was put on paid leave from my new job at Louisiana State University. This is very painful to me, though once again I understand the circumstances in which my employers find themselves in light of these actions taken against me.
As a scientist in the field of biological warfare defense, I have never had any reservations whatsoever about helping the anthrax investigation in any way that I could. It's true that my research expertise in biology, for example, the Ebola virus, the Marburg virus, and monkeypox, and not bacteriology, as in the case of the anthrax organism.
It's also true that I have never, ever worked with anthrax in my life. It's a separate field from the research I was performing at Fort Detrick.
But if I could be of assistance, I was happy to help. This is the price, I think, that scientists in this field are happy to pay. And this price is more than offset by the satisfaction I think we all gain in doing work that we believe is important for the security of our country.
All Americans value the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, and I believe this is essential for our continued way of life. But with this freedom comes responsibility. That responsibility has been abdicated here by some in the media and some in the government.
I am appalled at the anthrax terrorist incident, and I wish the authorities godspeed in catching the culprits or culprit. I do not object to being considered a subject of interest by the authorities because of my knowledge and background in the field of biological warfare defense. But I do object to an investigation characterized, as this one has been, by outrageous official statements, calculated leaks to the media, and causing a feeding frenzy operating to my great prejudice.
I especially object to having my character assassinated by reference to events from my past which bear absolutely no relationship to the question of who the anthrax killer is.
After eight months of one of the most intensive public and private investigations in American history, no one, no one has come up with a shred of evidence that I had anything to do with the anthrax letters. I have never worked with anthrax. I know nothing about this matter.
As a substitute, the press and now the public have been offered events from my past going back 20 or more years, as if this were critical to the matter at hand.
In fact, it is not. It is a smokescreen calculated to obscure the fact that there is no evidence that I, the currently designated fall guy, have anything to do with the anthrax letters.
No more than any of you, I do not claim to have lived a perfect life. Like yourselves, there are things I would probably do or say differently than I did 10 or 20 or more years ago. Modern information-retrieval technology, coupled with sufficient motivation, can lead to anyone's life and work being picked apart for every error, wrinkle, failed memory or inconsistency. Mine can; so can yours.
Does any of this get us to the anthrax killers? If I am a subject of interest, I'm also a human being. I have a life. I have, or I had, a job. I need to earn a living. I have a family, and until recently, I had a reputation, a career and a bright professional future.
I acknowledge the right of the authorities and the press to satisfy themselves as to whether I am the anthrax mailer. This does not however, give them the right to smear me and gratuitously make a wasteland of my life in the process. I will not be railroaded.
I am a loyal American. I am extremely proud of the work I have done for the United States and for my country and her people. I expect to be treated as such by the representatives of my government and those who report its work.
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
VICTOR GLASBERG, HATFILL'S ATTORNEY: Good afternoon. My name is Vic Glasberg. I'm Steve Hatfill's lawyer.
A couple of weeks ago, about three weeks ago, Steve Hatfill came to see me. He was having problem with the press and with things that were said about him. I'm not a criminal lawyer. I'm a civil litigator. And the issues that he wanted assistance on were not with regard to criminal law.
The program that I suggested to Steve was one which involved his stepping forward voluntarily to make full disclosure of anything and everything that had put into issue whether by officials of the government, media people or even, in some cases, lunatics on the Internet.
The notion was that stepping forward and handing out the truth, stating what the facts were and letting it all hang out would be the best way to counter the misinformation, half-information and, in some cases, correct information but presented in a terrible that context that was in the process of making his life a wasteland.
Before we embark upon this protocol, I alerted Steve to the fact that the recommendation I was making to him is one that would probably cause any criminal lawyer to have a fit. I told him that he would have to be not merely crazy but stupid to do what I was suggesting if there was the slightest possibility that he was facing any kind of liability in relation to the anthrax matters. He said, "I want to do it."
Over the course of the next few weeks, Steve drafted a lengthy statement. It went back to when he finished medical school and went up to, essentially, the present.
I made arrangements to begin a process of educating the media through a controlled interview in the first instance, following which the statement was going to be released generally to the press, and a copy sent to the director of the FBI. This is the process that was under way, and it reflected Steve Hatfill's position on this investigation since he was first requested to cooperate by the government.
A day or two before the raid, the service of the warrant on Steve's house last week, I received a call from Steve advising me that he'd been called by Agent Bob Roth (ph), one of the lead investigators on the case. It turned out that Agent Roth wanted to see him again, debrief him, get more information, whatever.
Since by that time I was involved in the case and because of the forthcoming civil implications of some of the things that had been said, I'd asked to be kept in the loop.
Steve told Agent Roth, "That's fine, please call my lawyer and set it up." He let me know that. I waited for Roth's call, didn't get it. Within an hour or two, I called Roth. He wasn't in so I left a message on his voice mail. This was, I think, Tuesday or Wednesday before the execution of the warrant, which was on the 1st.
I confirmed that Steve Hatfill remained in a mode of complete cooperation, that he was happy to respond to any questions. I confirmed that he was looking forward to leaving to his new job at LSU the following Thursday and suggested that we get together on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. I left my name and number and asked to be called.
I didn't get called until I got called by Steve Hatfill who was informing me that the FBI had just served a criminal warrant for searching his home. I was astounded. I asked to speak to Roth, he wasn't there, but Steve was able to give me his phone number and I called him. This time I reached him.
I asked him if he recalled having gotten my voice mail, and he said he did. I asked him if he recalled my having suggested that we get together on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday for whatever he wanted, whatever debriefing he wanted, and he said he did.
I asked him if he did not gather from what I said that Steve Hatfill remained in a mode of total cooperation. "Oh, no, no, I didn't understand that." "OK, well, Agent Roth, do you still have that tape?" "Yes, I have that tape." "Agent, will you please hold on to that tape for me?" "Well, I don't know that I'm going to confirm that I'm going to do that. No, I can say that I'll necessarily do that." "Agent Roth, what can I do or say or ask of you to preserve that tape, to get to you preserve that tape?" "Well, we're not going to talk about that, and I'm not making any commitments."
I couldn't get anything out of that. So I got the name of the U.S. attorney who's handling the case, Ken Cole (ph), at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District, and I immediately faxed him a letter in which I told him what I've told you here. I asked him to get the tape, to listen to the tape and to make an independent determination of the appropriateness of Agent Roth's assessment of my message.
I will tell that you I met with Agent Roth the -- excuse me, with U.S. attorney Cole (ph) the following week, and he had never listened to the tape. I don't think he had obtained the tape. I don't know where the tape is, but there are a lot of investigative reporters here, so I hope that you'll go after that tape. And if you get it, please leak it to me. Because there's been a lot of leaking.
The day before the service of the criminal warrant on Steve's house, Steve's father was called by a reporter advising him that something big was going to happen the next day. Both of the media searches -- excuse me, both of the FBI searches were major media events.
Now, I suppose you all have your ways of finding out what the FBI is doing, although, frankly, as a citizen, as a father of kids, I should hope that our FBI has some capacity to conduct an investigation in private without media people being immediately on the scene. That didn't happen in this case.
I will also tell that you today I was advised by ABC News that they have obtained a copy of the manuscript of the novel that Steve was working on. Steve was working on a novel dealing with bioterrorism kinds of things, his professional concern.
Well, they won't tell me where they got it, and I understand that you all can't leak your sources. But, so far as we're aware, there's only one place that it could have been obtained. It was on his harddrive that was on his computer that the FBI seized pursuant to the warrant that was obtained with a subpoena -- with an affidavit filed under seal.
So that material seized in what is surely the most important criminal investigation internally in this country in a long while is now being leaked, and I'll be dealing with the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department of Justice with regard to that.
Steve Hatfill acknowledges the right of the government to be interested in him. He is not, if you will, offended. He has knowledge regarding certain things that most people don't.
Mind you, I'm not sure that too many people that are doing the investigation know the difference between a virus and a bacterium. But let's leave that aside.
Steve understands that he's a biological warfare guru, and that the officials have a right to be interested in him.
In terms of actual, real evidence developed, substantive stuff, there has been a startling lack. What there has been is a continuing drumbeat of things that were part of his life 10, 20, 25 years ago. We don't live perfect lives. I'll tell you this, I wouldn't want anybody asking me what I was doing 25 years ago. Some of it was illegal. And I expect anybody my age or older or maybe even younger can say the same thing, and maybe not only 20 years ago.
What has happened here is that the press, like the investigation, has gone off not so much on whether there's any evidence whatsoever that this man, who has spent his professional life trying to protect us from what's happened, has anything to do with the anthrax mailings, but it has been most convenient to broadcast all manner of things about his private life which have no bearing on that subject and are available because of the power of information retrieval in the 21st century.
That's pretty much what I have to say. I will take some questions, but let me give you some guidelines, and let me beg you, it is too hot to waste time.
I'm not going to talk about Steve's history. Don't bother asking. Please don't bother asking. I am prepared to speak of what I know about, which is my initiatives and the investigation to the extent that I have direct knowledge of it.
One of the things that's plagued this investigation is the game of telephone, in which everybody repeats what he heard from somebody else and by the time it comes around it doesn't bear a good relationship to what was said at the outset. I want to avoid that. And I'm not going to speak on things that I'm not 100 percent confident about. You all can report, the lawyer didn't want to speak about that.
QUESTION: Do you have any reason to believe that a team of scientists in the bio-defense community might be trying to frame Mr. Hatfill? And is Ms. Rosenberg (ph) involved in that?
GLASBERG: I can't imagine why anybody would want to do that. I've discussed these matters with Steve. Steve has always held his colleagues in the highest regard. Steve does not believe that anybody that he worked with at Fort Detrick is implicated in this. It is a total puzzlement to him as to why these things are being vented the way they are.
With regard to Dr. Rosenberg (ph), I beg you, go speak to her. Ask her why is she writing what she's writing and why is she saying what she's saying. I have no better answer for you than that.
QUESTION: In his statement, is he essentially accusing Dr. Rosenberg (ph) of fingering him? Is that what you mean to do? I mean, you seem to imply that. But is that specifically what you're saying?
GLASBERG: The fair answer to that is, I am telling back to you, the media, what the media has told us. It's been reported in the press and, in fact, in the original statement that we had prepared -- oh, I didn't mention, of course, that since last Thursday that plan has been put on ice, right? The guy's under a criminal microscope, so he's now got criminal counsel. And you know what criminal lawyers do, they tell their clients, shut up. I have encouraged to him come forward to a certain extent, and that's you why heard what you did.
The original statement quoted from the newspaper article which attributed to Dr. Rosenberg (ph) the identification or the discussion, if you will, of Dr. Hatfill. And the only thing we know is that happened. It hasn't been denied to my knowledge that that discussion took place, and that several days thereafter the search of the apartment took place, whereas he had been debriefed months before.
QUESTION: What is the government to do? What do you want the government to do?
GLASBERG: Well, a couple of things. I think it's appropriate for the government to have a proper, discreet, professional, ethical and appropriate investigation into the anthrax matter. I think they should be concerned to do that.
I think that they should not unload smokescreen stuff that sells good because they don't have substance. I think that no comment is better than innuendo. And I think they shouldn't scapegoat. I think they shouldn't leak. Including, as I say, the information that I have is that ABC just received the novel. I don't know if it was just received. I just received that information. And I object to that leaking.
QUESTION: Would you volunteer your client to give another series of polygraph tests with the Justice Department now?
QUESTION: Why not?
GLASBERG: He's been told that he passed the polygraph exam, and I've got to tell you, as somebody who doesn't do criminal law, I don't have too much experience with polygraphs. I think I join the congressmen and the senators who are of the view that polygraphs are not good indicators of reality, particularly where you have a totally loaded emotional situation.
This man has been called a Nazi swine. His daughter, who is a police officer, has had her home address posted on the Internet. His life has been laid bare for the past quarter century. When you say the word "anthrax," his heart jumps in his throat. So I could not recommend that to him.
QUESTION: Sir, both you and Dr. Hatfill have made a point of saying he worked with viruses. But did he have access to or have the opportunity to have access to anthrax?
GLASBERG: The short answer is, depending what you mean by access. My understanding, and you can check this with Fort Detrick, is that the labs and the containment -- or the decontamination locations are separate, and that he did not work in the bacteriological area. That's the answer that I can give you.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) at all? You said you were talking about this (OFF-MIKE)
GLASBERG: The only legal action I'm going to take, if you call it legal action, is filing a formal complaint regarding leaks from what should be documents held confidentially by the government.
QUESTION: Have you attempted to contact people in the media with regard to staff about what was said in the meeting?
QUESTION: So you know nothing except what we've read.
GLASBERG: I know nothing but what I've read in the paper, and I have also read a number of pieces published by Dr. Rosenberg (ph) on the web, which are entirely consistent with what I've read in the media.
QUESTION: Can you tell us the premise of Dr. Hatfill's novel, please?
GLASBERG: I haven't read the novel, and I'm afraid I can't. It has something to do with bioterrorism. There's no doubt that it has to do with bioterrorism. I can't tell you more than that, I'm sorry.
QUESTION: What does Dr. Hatfill do now?
GLASBERG: Dr. Hatfill right now is an employee of Louisiana State University and...
QUESTION: But, I mean, projecting to the future, what is he going to be doing in the months ahead? He's on paid administrative leave.
GLASBERG: He's on paid administrative leave, and it is his hope and certainly mine that they're going to permit him to assume his post and will view this situation for what it is. And there are no plans other than that, and he's moving to Louisiana in the anticipation of beginning his employment.
QUESTION: When will he be moving to Louisiana?
QUESTION: I wanted to ask you, was Dr. Hatfill, in his past, was there any connection between him and the elementary school that was listed as a return address, or is that a rumor that got blown up in the press? Did he go there?
GLASBERG: OK, sure. The sum total of knowledge that I have about this is the following: Dr. Hatfill lived in or near Herare, Zimbabwe, for a number of years. There is a subdivision in Herare called Greendale. He did not live there.
We have attempted to determine whether there is a school there called the Greendale School. I attempted to determine it by communicating with a friend of mine who lived in Herare, who did communicate with a friend of his who lives in Herare, and the information we have is that there is no such Greendale School.
So that is the total connection that we know. The name Greendale School was used, and he lived in a city where there was a section called Greendale. I think there are several hundred or thousand Greendales in the United States.
QUESTION: Can I ask a follow-up real quick? Is it possible that the FBI's aggression in searching his place, they might be looking for evidence from people that are trying to frame him? Is that something you guys have considered at all?
GLASBERG: The short answer is no. And please check with them about this theory of saving his reputation. I mean, that's like destroying the village in order to save it.
QUESTION: Can you explain what you know about his circumstances surrounding losing his security clearance?
QUESTION: Events 10 to 20 to 15 years ago, do they have any relevance if the FBI's attempting to determine whether the gentleman meets what they regard to be a profile?
GLASBERG: I don't -- I guess it would depend on the profile. If the profile involved things that were at issue 10 or 20 years ago, then maybe it would.
My understanding of the profile is that a profile depicts a person at the time of the crime, that he's of a certain cast of mind or social status or intellectual capacity. I can't answer that, and that may reflect my lack of expertise in profiling. I'm a civil lawyer, not a criminal lawyer.
QUESTION: Has he talked to the LSU officials as to what their intent is?
GLASBERG: I don't know the answer to that.
QUESTION: Or a representative for him?
QUESTION: Could you face the cameras, please.
QUESTION: Thank you.
GLASBERG: I think that the matter rests with the LSU having advised him of his paid leave. LSU has not taken an aggressive position. It is unfortunately an understandable position, so it isn't an antagonistic relationship between the parties.
I expect that after he goes down there, they'll discuss, and hopefully things will work out.
QUESTION: You mentioned the full cooperation of the FBI, including a polygraph. What else did that entail? And did it include writing samples that could be compared with the letters that were found?
GLASBERG: I do not know if there were writing samples, although, to the best of my recollection, the letters were written, you know, in this kind of childish script. I can't answer that question. I do not know.
He took the polygraph, he was asked to be debriefed. He was debriefed. He answered every single question, didn't withhold a question. He was asked if his house could be searched. It was searched, without warrant. Could his car be searched? It was searched. Could his storage facility in Florida be searched? It was searched.
So -- and the ongoing posture that he has had toward the government has been one of, "Tell me what you want, and I'll give it to you." And then, with, as I say, with my message on the voice mail of the FBI agent, he gets the raid. I mean, you can't...
QUESTION: Why do you think they're acting this way? Why do you think that...
ZAHN: You've been listening to Victor Glasberg, the man who is representing Dr. Steven Hatfill, who claims he has been scapegoated by the FBI in the anthrax investigation.
Rejoining us is Skip Brandon, who is the former deputy FBI director for national security and counterterrorism.
BRANDON: Thank you.
ZAHN: You and I have had a chance to sit here and talk about this. A couple of things have struck both of us.
First of all, the charge, the very serious charge, coming from Mr. Hatfill of illegal seizure or sharing of materials taken from his home. His attorney alleged that when the FBI did a search of the apartment, they went into his harddrive, where they seized what I guess was the beginning of a manuscript of a book on counterterrorism, which in turn apparently was shared with an ABC News reporter.
If this is true...
ZAHN: ... how bad does it make the FBI look? That is illegal, is it not?
BRANDON: Yes. If that happened, it's a violation of the court order. The court approves searches, they have orders on how you handle it. It's clearly a violation of the court order, if this happened. And that's -- we have to be careful about that. But if this happened, it's absolutely a violation of the court order, and there would be very serious sanctions.
ZAHN: You're a former FBI director, or guy...
ZAHN: You're making it sound like you don't believe it, that this happened.
BRANDON: Well, I worked a lot in counterintelligence. We always said, "In God we trust, everybody else is a suspect." So, you always have to look at these things right down the middle. This is an attorney saying this, representing what he may have been told. It may be true, it may not be. That's what the FBI has to do, though, they have to look at this right down the middle.
ZAHN: How common is it for the FBI to do a polygraph on someone and have the polygraph operator, as Dr. Steven Hatfill just said, tell him immediately after that he passed, and then he went on to say that some people from the FBI told him that they didn't think he had anything to do with it? Does that happen?
BRANDON: An operator can tell somebody that they don't have any apparent problems. It's -- this is verbiage.
BRANDON: You don't pass or fail a polygraph in a way. You do show problems in certain areas or not. You may be told that. I doubt very seriously if the FBI said, "You don't have any problems. You're not a suspect." I mean, you'd never say that.
ZAHN: Some other stunning charges. Steven Hatfill accused the FBI of, quote, "manhandling" his girlfriend...
BRANDON: Yes, that's...
ZAHN: ... and ripping apart her apartment. And he went on to say that when they went in to her apartment, they accused him of killing five people with anthrax.
BRANDON: I find a lot of this pretty hard to believe. These things shouldn't happen. They shouldn't happen at all.
ZAHN: Did they ever happen under your watch that you're aware of?
BRANDON: Sometimes people made mistakes, but no, there was an awful lot of discipline.
Now, when you're doing a search, you're doing it under the order of a court. If somebody is interfering with a search, you have to control the scene, you have to control -- you have a right to, to protect the agents, to protect everybody there. If that were the circumstances -- I don't know what "manhandled" means -- I do, but you have the right to control the scene. There's no question about that.
Again, we're hearing one set of circumstances. What I'm hearing sounds pretty bad.
BRANDON: There's always what really happened. And when you do a search, you keep detailed notes, this sort of thing. You take photographs before and after. It will be documented.
ZAHN: So that is the only way you say the FBI can defend itself against some pretty serious charges here, including deliberately leaking information to the press.
BRANDON: Yes, it's very -- it's a very serious charge, whether it came from the FBI, whether it came from the Department of Justice. Maybe local police know about this search. That's more speculation.
ZAHN: But what would explain that both times Dr. Steven Hatfill's apartment was searched that you had news media know about it, tipped off, and they're covering it live?
BRANDON: To be very honest, there is no explanation for that. There is no explanation for that.
People under investigation have the right not to be accused publicly until such time as the legal process kicks in. But quite frankly, the FBI in this case, in conducting an investigation, to do it right, you don't do it in public. You just don't do it in public. Frustrates the media a lot, but you don't do it in public.
ZAHN: So what makes the most sense to you? What would be the motivation for leaking this information? Is it possible that this is a ruse and the FBI really is more interested in another person of interest, as they're calling it, than Steven Hatfill?
BRANDON: Anything is possible, of course. But I don't know whether the FBI is quite that sophisticated. I sure wasn't.
There is no good reason for the FBI, if the FBI did it -- and quite frankly, we're hearing one side of...
BRANDON: ... pushing the FBI on this. I can't see any reason for them to have to done this at all.
ZAHN: Let's quickly review some of what Dr. Steven Hatfill had to say in his rather passionate remarks. He said, "I am a loyal American. I love my country. I had nothing to do with the mailing of anthrax letters, and to suggest otherwise is dead wrong."
What did you make of his statement? Did you buy it? BRANDON: Well, I don't ever buy what anybody says, personally, because I'm a professional, trained cynic.
It was a good statement. He hit all of the right buttons, I think. It was a very good statement. It had been well prepared, practiced. There's no question about that. Nothing wrong with that.
I keep coming back to something, and that is, there is another reason, a major reason why the FBI, be it public or private, has searched his residence twice, have gone through all of this. There's another -- there's something else there that takes them toward him.
ZAHN: But quickly go through how he defended himself today. He said, "It would make no sense that I would bring anthrax home because I didn't have the booster vaccine." He said he originally shot because he needed to because of where he worked at Fort Detrick. But he never got the booster shot. I think he even said post-December 2000.
Does that prove anything to you?
BRANDON: No, it doesn't prove anything at all. He said that he had a booster -- the last booster shot was in '98. You bring the anthrax home, you store it properly. He knows how to do that. It could have been there for years, three or four years, before he did anything with it. He'd know how to handle it too.
That, to me, doesn't mean anything is what I'm saying.
ZAHN: But once again, if any of these allegations are proven to be true, that the FBI seized the harddrive and then shared that information with a reporter...
BRANDON: That's very disturbing, to say the least.
ZAHN: And what would the FBI do about that?
BRANDON: Oh, I think the employee that did that or the people that made that decision, at a minimum, would probably be discharged if they found this and possibly sanctioned or even prosecuted. It's serious.
ZAHN: Well, it's important to be reminded once again that we are just hearing the story now of Dr. Steven Hatfill and his attorney. We have not heard from the FBI...
ZAHN: ... about any of these allegations. And as soon as we get any reaction from the FBI or anybody from Justice, we will bring it to you live.
Skip Brandon, thanks for watching the news conference with us. Appreciate your patience, and delighted to have your perspective.
BRANDON: Have a good day. ZAHN: We're going to take a short break. LATE EDITION will return on the other side.
ZAHN: And hello, welcome back to LATE EDITION.
Mounting troubles for Martha Stewart. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a friend of Stewart's, Mariana Pasternak, has now agreed to cooperate with the investigation into Stewart's sale of ImClone stock just before its value plummeted. The report also said Pasternak may refute Stewart's claim she had no insider knowledge before that sale.
Joining us now from Philadelphia is Republican Congressman Jim Greenwood of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is leading an investigation of the Stewart sale.
Congressman, welcome to LATE EDITION. Glad to have you with us this afternoon.
REP. JAMES GREENWOOD (R), PENNSYLVANIA: It's good to be with you.
ZAHN: Based on the documents you've seen and the investigation that has been done so far, do you believe that Martha Stewart broke the law?
GREENWOOD: Well, I think Martha Stewart has been less than candid with us and with others with whom she's talked on this matter. She clearly had more information than just the information that the stock traded below $60 per share. She talked to Douglas Fanual (ph) at Merrill Lynch who had just been in touch with the Waksals as they were trying to sell their stock.
So I think that Martha Stewart's story continues to change, and I think that that's unfortunate.
ZAHN: But being less than candid and changing one's story doesn't necessarily mean you broke the law, does it?
GREENWOOD: No, and it's really not the Congress' job to determine who broke the law. It's the Congress' job to determine how candid she was with us as we inquired about this story.
She sent information to our committee indicating that the stock was sold simply as a result of a pre-existing order. There's no evidence that there was a pre-existing order. She told us that she had no inside information at all, and there's no -- the evidence all points in the other direction.
The evidence points in the direction that her brokers informed her, at a minimum, that the Waksal family was trading its stock because of impending news, and we think that's why she should come forward and talk to us. ZAHN: Now she has, what, till the 20th of August to turn over to your committee documents related to this sale, her e-mails? If she meets that deadline, would you still plan to subpoena her?
GREENWOOD: Well, we've told her that we want information about her phone call records, her e-mail records, and that we want that by the 20th of August.
If she provides that information to us voluntarily, we will review it. If she does not provide the information to us voluntarily, then we will subpoena that information. Then we'll make a decision as to whether we need to call her forward under subpoena, and we may have to do that.
ZAHN: Let's share with our audience some of what her attorney has said so far about any potential culpability in this matter. James Fitzpatrick has said, "At no time did Ms. Stewart ever receive from anyone any information concerning any action of the FDA with regard to ImClone or any planned or imminent announcement by ImClone of any action by the FDA that was ultimately made public on the day after that sale."
Are there any contradictions here, as far as you're concerned, based on what you say are the everchanging stories?
GREENWOOD: Well, let's look at the evidence. Number one, that was the statement that she made to us through her attorneys on June the 12th. Soon thereafter Merrill Lynch suspended her broker Boconovic (ph) and his assistant, Doug Fanual (ph), saying that their stories were no longer jiving. She has indicated through her attorneys that she spoke with Mr. Boconovic (ph) on the 27th of December. It now appears that that's not the case.
We have e-mails coming from Boconovic (ph) to Doug Fanual (ph), his assistant asking, is the news out, clearly indicating that he knew of the impending news, clearly indicating that he was aware that Mr. Waksal and his daughters had been selling their stock. And that's very much at variance with her original statement.
ZAHN: We've got 10 seconds left. I know you say that you would move to a subpoena if you don't get the information you need. Based on what you've been told so far, what are the chances you think that Martha Stewart will be subpoenaed by your committee?
GREENWOOD: Well, we have a responsibility to make sure that there's integrity in the marketplace, and we can't sweep something like this under the rug just because Martha Stewart is a celebrity. And so I think that we're probably going to have to subpoena her.
ZAHN: Representative Jim Greenwood, we've got to leave it there for this afternoon. Thank you for standing by. We know you waited through that anthrax news conference and came on quite a bit late. Thank you for your patience this afternoon.
And it's time to say goodbye to our international viewers now. Thank you very much for being with us this afternoon. And coming up for our North American audience, the next hour of LATE EDITION. We'll be right back.
ZAHN: And welcome back.
We thought we'd bring you quickly up to date on our top story this afternoon, and that is Dr. Steven Hatfill, a man who was considered of interest to the FBI in the anthrax investigation, coming out and publicly speaking for the first time, declaring his innocence, describing himself as a loyal American, saying that he loved his country and that he had nothing to do with the anthrax letters.
Joining us right now is Pat Clawson, who describes himself as a very good friend of the embattled Dr. Steven Hatfill. He joins us now.
Good of you to join us so quickly after that news conference. Welcome.
CLAWSON: Thank you very much. Nice to be back on CNN again. You know, I'm a former correspondent for the network.
ZAHN: I had heard that. Good to have you back.
CLAWSON: Thank you.
ZAHN: Let's talk a little bit about some of the very serious charges that Dr. Steven Hatfill and his attorney are leveling against the FBI, the most severe of which is that, during the FBI searches of his apartment, that they somehow seized his harddrive, which had on it a manuscript of a book, I guess, that he has a proposal to write on terrorism and that, allegedly, according to Steven Hatfill's attorney, was leaked to a reporter, at least some of the contents of this manuscript.
Tell us a little bit more about that.
CLAWSON: Well, at about 12 noon this afternoon, we got a telephone call from ABC News saying that they were going to go on the air tonight with details of a novel manuscript that Steven Hatfill had written on the subject of bioterrorism.
We certainly have spoken with Dr. Hatfill about that issue. And he says that, to the best of his knowledge, the only complete copy of any novel, which ABC claimed to have, was on the harddrive of his computer that was seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. So, obviously there's quite a question as to how in the world material was on the harddrive of a computer that was confiscated by the FBI and presumably remains in their possession ended up in the hands of the media.
I think that's an interesting question to ask, and hopefully we'll get some interesting answers about it.
ZAHN: Yes, we're waiting for someone to answer that question.
He also made the charge that he was being scapegoated by the FBI. But do you not acknowledge why he would even make the FBI interested in him as a -- not a potential suspect, but a person of interest in this investigation?
CLAWSON: Well, you know, the term "person of interest" is a loaded term to begin with. What is a person of interest? Justice Department guidelines don't really specify what a person of interest is.
Let's cut through the nonsense here. It's a way of calling him a suspect without completely coming out and saying that he's a suspect.
I mean, to date, there's been no information that Dr. Hatfill, a man I've known for many years and consider to be a great American, a very dedicated patriot, has had anything to do at all with the anthrax attacks.
ZAHN: But he also said he understood why the FBI wanted to talk to him.
CLAWSON: Oh, sure.
ZAHN: And he said he didn't mind being questioned, what he objected to was basically, I guess, being tried in the court of public opinion and being deemed guilty, he said, by some.
CLAWSON: Well, look, the reality is that the community of bioweapons researchers in this country is a very small community. I mean, we don't have bioweapons researchers in every city in the country. It's a very close-knit fraternity. It is a logical source that the FBI would turn to to take a look at, to see if any of these scientists might have gone off the reservation in some way and did something bad.
Dr. Hatfill accepts the fact that it's a small community and that it's a legitimate community of inquiry. But that is a big difference from the type of media frenzy and smear campaign that we've seen directed against him over the last several days.
ZAHN: He also said the FBI manhandled, or at least his attorney did, his girlfriend, and that one of the agents, I guess, spewed out that, you know, "Your boyfriend killed five people." Just a final thought on that, and then we've got to move along here.
CLAWSON: Well, that is exactly what Dr. Hatfill said, and I'll allow his statement to stand.
ZAHN: And we are going to have to leave it there. Pat Clawson, thank you very much for joining us.
CLAWSON: Thank you very much.
ZAHN: We're going to head to Atlanta, where Kris Osborn is standing by. (NEWSBREAK)
ZAHN: As we've been discussing, the scientist under scrutiny for the anthrax attacks declares his innocence in a press conference today. His lawyer says legal action will be taken against the federal government.
Joining us now to discuss the case from Los Angeles is criminal defense attorney Roy Black, and in San Diego, civil rights lawyer and Court TV's Lisa Bloom.
Good to have you both back on LATE EDITION. Welcome.
LISA BLOOM, COURT TV: Thank you.
ROY BLACK, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: All right. I don't know how much of the news conference either one of you were able to listen to, but let's start of with the most serious charge Dr. Stephen Hatfill and his attorney leveled against the federal government, essentially accusing the FBI of seizing a harddrive from his computer during a search of his apartment, and allegedly sharing some of the contents of that drive with a reporter from ABC News.
Lisa, how bad does this look?
BLOOM: Well, I think it does look bad for the FBI and for law enforcement to be leaking confidential information gained in the course of an investigation.
And, you know, Hatfill's point is that the rumors and the speculation have spread like the viruses that he was studying at Fort Detrick and are very hard to pinpoint and counteract. He's up against the power of the federal government. That's pretty tough when you're not even a criminal defendant.
ZAHN: Now, Roy, I think we also, to balance this out, should make it clear we haven't heard from anybody from the FBI since these charges were leveled, and we just had on an FBI counterterrorism expert who said he's always been a skeptic and he doesn't necessarily believe all of what he heard at this news conference.
What part did you find either believable or not believable?
BLACK: Well, Paula, I spent over 30 years studying FBI and its tactics, and you can see exactly what's happening here. Number one, there's a lot of corroboration of what Hatfill says because the press showed up at each one of these searches by the FBI. Now, how in the world did they know about that?
What you have to understand -- and Hatfill is wrong here, he said he's being scapegoated. He's not being scapegoated. The FBI's trying to break him. What they do is they don't show up with one or two agents, they show up with 20 or 30. They bring in the news media. They search your family's homes, your girlfriends. You lose your job. You lose your reputation. And what they try to do is to break you with overwhelming force.
Force and fear are the two attributes of the FBI in a criminal investigation, and I would suggest that Hatfill better be ready for this onslaught.
ZAHN: But, Roy, if the FBI did everything you just accused it of doing yourself, don't you think they think they're on to something? That this guy could be their man?
BLACK: Well, I don't doubt that the FBI agents believe there is something there. I'm not suggesting that they're doing this without any reason. I'm just telling you that the kind of tactics they use are -- in Hatfill's case, it's typical and many of these types of investigations.
But clearly, you know, the FBI is also very smart. They have gotten information which they have not told us which is focused on Hatfill, because they wouldn't spend all this time and effort, they wouldn't do these many searches, they wouldn't get search warrants and do all this work unless they had some evidence to believe that he is a legitimate target.
ZAHN: I guess what doesn't make sense to a lot of people watching this, Lisa, is, if that's the case, why would they allow for a lot of this information to be leaked out? Why not just conduct a search of his apartment twice without the media scrutiny?
BLOOM: Well, let's be clear that, at this point, we don't know where the leaks came from. And, Paula, you and I know, as representatives of the media, that sometimes the media has other sources that can leak information to us.
But, you know, you also have to be a little bit skeptical of Hatfill, who calls a press conference to say that there's too much media attention being devoted to his case. I wonder before today how many ordinary Americans had even heard of this guy? And I suspect his story is going to lead the evening news tonight.
ZAHN: Well, let's talk a little bit more about what you perceive, Lisa, maybe some of the holes in his story. Was there anything that you heard that you just didn't buy?
BLOOM: Well, apparently there are some questions about padding his resume. Now, I'm not trying and convicting the guy here in the media. But the FBI does seem to have some information.
However, the FBI itself has said so far, that there's no -- there is no evidence linking him to the anthrax attacks of last fall. That's what he's being accused of. There's got to be some evidence of that, or this guy has to be exonerated.
I mean, I certainly agree that you fail to call somebody a suspect, call him a person of interest, whatever that is, and continue to have him live in limbo. I mean, that's just not fair.
BLACK: But, Paula... ZAHN: Now, the other thing that...
BLACK: ... I hope this is...
ZAHN: Carry on, please.
BLACK: ... I hope this investigation isn't based on the fact that he padded his resume. That's hardly a crime in today's America, and it certainly doesn't prove he had anything to do with anthrax.
BLOOM: No, I certainly agree with that. I mean, the FBI, look, they have to build their case bit by bit whether it's against Dr. Hatfill or anyone else. That's the way law enforcement conducts an investigation. They get a little piece of information here, a little piece of information there. But nobody wants Dr. Hatfill, certainly I don't, to turn into another Wen Ho Lee or another Richard Jewell, people whose reputations have really been devastated. And, you know, where do you go to get your reputation back? It's just impossible.
BLACK: Well, it's too late -- it's too late for that. This has already occurred. I mean, somebody in the government alerted the news media to all of these searches. And you can imagine being accused of a crime like this when you're in such a sensitive field like bioterrorism. How in the world could you ever keep a job? How could you ever go to any conference? How can you talk to any of your associates in the field? I mean, this destroys this man's career.
BLOOM: Well, he apparently does have a job at Louisiana State University...
ZAHN: All right, but hang on, before you go any further, Lisa made the good point though, we don't really don't know where these leaks came from, if they came from Justice or the FBI.
But what would be the motivation, Roy, for the FBI to lead this stuff and compromise their investigation and, as you just said, just to simply tighten the noose around his neck?
BLACK: Well, why don't you ask Richard Jewell that question? I can give you chapter and verse of people that the FBI has done this to. They destroy reputations along with their criminal investigations, because that's how they break you. They break off your source of funding. They break you away from the people who support you.
How do you think Hatfill's girlfriend feels today? Does she want to go out on another date with him, or is she worried about getting a subpoena to the grand jury?
They isolate you. They take away your money. They put pressure on you. They put the news media on you. And then you're ready -- most people are ready to give up by that time. This is a classic law enforcement technique.
BLOOM: Well, Paula... ZAHN: Go ahead.
BLOOM: ... I mean, one of the reasons why lawyers and law enforcement do make cases public is because they're hoping that other evidence is going to come out linking him to the crime, or exonerating him. And they're hoping, I'm sure, that by making this public, if they did intentionally make this public, that other evidence might come to the fore, other people might come forward who otherwise wouldn't. That's the obvious reason.
ZAHN: Lisa, though, a final thought, because our previous ex- guest from the FBI, who was a lifer with the FBI, said there's got to be a reason why the FBI has come back to this guy. You describe some of the, I guess, discrepancies in his resume, which are pretty well documented. There was also a question about what kind of access he had at Fort Detrick, and now they are saying he did not have unfettered access.
Is there anything else you think the audience should know about questions being raised about Steve Hatfill's past?
BLOOM: Well, no, and in fact, I would say just the opposite, that we do have a very strong system of justice in this country. He is innocent until proven guilty.
And certainly any discrepancies on his resume, where he went to school, coincidences, are not enough to convict him. He does deserve the presumption of innocence, even if he has a few minor problems on the evidence here.
BLACK: Paula, one thing I would add that this press conference has proven beyond any doubt, when you're involved in a criminal investigation, you ought to have a criminal lawyer representing you instead of a civil lawyer.
ZAHN: Why? Did you think that guy made mincemeat of himself?
BLACK: Well, look what happened. He didn't know how to communicate with the FBI. It causes searches of his client's home. This issue of cooperation. And all he's worried about is preserving the tape recording of his message he left at some FBI agent's phone. That's not how you deal with the FBI and the Department of Justice and prosecutors.
So I think part of this problem was brought on by themselves.
ZAHN: Wanted to quickly close with the story out of Orange County that the DA there has decided to seek the death penalty in the alleged killer of Samantha Runnion.
Does that come as any surprise to you, Lisa, given the process that the DA must go through in your state?
BLOOM: Oh, no surprise whatsoever. I mean, if this was not an appropriate case for the death penalty, I don't know what would be. This is a man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering a 5-year-old girl.
Legally, we would say there are special circumstances. Morally, this guy is a poster child for the death penalty if he is tried and convicted of these crimes.
BLACK: Well, it just proves the problems of the intersection of politics and justice. The prosecutor in this case has been on every -- virtually every TV show in the country touting his prosecution and of course demanding the death penalty.
I really get concerned when you have prosecutors calling press conferences to tell they're seeking the death penalty within a couple of weeks of an arrest.
ZAHN: And let me ask both of you this. In an appearance earlier this week, President Bush referred to Mr. Avila as the killer of Samantha Runnion. Is that bound to have any impact at all, Lisa?
BLOOM: Well, not appropriate, obviously, until somebody is tried and convicted of a crime.
The president also made a reference to Danielle Van Dam. The Westerfield jury is out deliberating. A lot of people have criticized the president for that.
But, look, I think, overall, he's trying to draw attention to a very problem, the problem of sexual abuse of children, missing children. And I'm glad the president is drawing attention to that.
BLACK: Well, I think the president has shown again he has no real respect for our constitution and laws. A man is presumed innocent when he's arrested. We shouldn't have the chief executive, the chief of the entire country, coming out and declaring his guilt on television. I think that's shocking.
ZAHN: All right, you two, we're going to have to end our conversation there. Appreciate your reacting so swiftly to Steven Hatfill's news conference, Roy Black, Lisa Bloom. Thank you for your time.
BLACK: Thank you, Paula.
BLOOM: Thank you.
ZAHN: We're going to take a short break here. When we come back, the Bush administration tries to talk up a stalled economy, but is the crackdown on corrupt CEOs and accountants having a positive impact on Wall Street?
We're going to get some insights from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Forbes's CEO and former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes. LATE EDITION continues right after this break.
ZAHN: And welcome back to LATE EDITION.
Joining us now to talk more about the new scrutiny on corporate accounting and how the U.S. economy is responding our two guests. From Boston this afternoon, former Clinton labor secretary and current Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Robert Reich, and in New York, former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes. He is also the CEO of Forbes, Incorporated.
Welcome to both of you. Glad to have you with us today.
STEVE FORBES, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good to be with you.
ROBERT REICH, FORMER CLINTON LABOR SECRETARY: Well, thank you, Paula.
ZAHN: All right, before we delve into the broader picture on the economy, I'd love to ask you two a question about Martha Stewart. I don't how much of my interview you heard with Representative Greenwood, whose committee is looking into potential insider trading. And he basically said, that his committee feels that she has changed her story a lot, that she has been, in his words, "less than candid." And it wouldn't surprise him, he told me at the end of the interview that she might have to be subpoenaed.
How many trouble, Steve, do you think Martha Stewart is in?
FORBES: Well, obviously, they're gunning for her, and we'll see what happens.
But I think there's another scandal here, Paula, and that is the behavior of the FDA. Apparently this drug of ImClone does help certain cancer patients, and just because a company doesn't file the paperwork right, if they don't do it, fine, fine them, slap their wrists. But if that drug can help cancer patients, make it available. To tie it up in paperwork I think is outrageous when people are suffering and may be dying and their lives could be saved.
ZAHN: So wait a minute, you're not saying in any way you support what Sam Waksal did with anything related to ImClone and the trading of his stock...
FORBES: No, no, not...
ZAHN: ... this is completely a side issue altogether.
FORBES: Well, it's not a side issue. I think it's a -- gets to the heart of the FDA. If they're blocking the availability of drugs that can help cancer patients, I think that's as much of a scandal as what ImClone executives or Martha Stewart allegedly did.
ZAHN: What about that, Robert?
REICH: Well, I don't think this is about the FDA at all. This is simply and particularly about an allegation of insider trading. Executives are now under tremendous scrutiny, and I think the public is less and less tolerant of insiders getting away with it.
And Martha Stewart, who has become, well, over the years an icon of successful living in America, is not immune to this same kind of scrutiny.
ZAHN: How bad do things look for her, Robert, from your perspective?
REICH: Well, I know just about what you do. I think things do look certainly questionable. There seems to be gathering evidence that she did know, or at least she's been submitting very unclear testimony and very unclear facts as to what she did and know how she knew and when she new it. And I think these will have to come out eventually.
ZAHN: All right. Go ahead, Steve.
FORBES: No, I was just going to make the point, the focus is on Martha Stewart and rightly so. But I also think there ought to be focus on the practices of the FDA, which too often denied drugs and medicines that could help people who are in real need.
ZAHN: Well, that's a good thing for us to further investigate. On to now, though, the issue of the general economy.
Front-page story in The New York Times today suggesting that the wages of more than 100 million Americans are stagnant and there is great concern about their spending power.
How worried are you about that, Robert?
REICH: Well, I think there is certainly reason to be worried, Paula, and we don't want to be profits of doom and gloom. But consumer spending has kept this economy going for the last two years, and if consumers are beginning to get nervous because their 401(k)s are shrinking, because their paychecks are not growing, and because their medical costs are going up because employers are shifting more and more of the cost of health care onto workers, then we may see -- and I don't want to say a double-dip recession, but certainly a longer time lapse before we get out of these current economic doldrums.
ZAHN: How long might that take, Steve?
FORBES: Well, this recovery is a very slow one, and I think that's all the more reason why this administration should advocate some bold economic programs. Obviously, the Federal Reserve has got to stop tightening of money. I think they have not only lowered interest rates, but they've started to make some money available to the banking system. They've got to do more, so I'd be very surprised if they didn't have a rate cut on Tuesday. But the administration should also propose a vigorous tax cut. This ballyhooed tax cut of last summer, by historic standards, is very small, about a penny on the dollar. So we need a good Kennedy-esque, Reagan-esque tax cut on incomes, on capital gains, getting rid of this terrible alternative minimum tax and the like. Reduce the burden on the American people and the American people will get this economy going again just as they've done in the past.
REICH: Well, that's interesting, I...
ZAHN: Steve, what about an idea that's being debated by the administration right now, which is actually accelerating the rate at which the tax cut would be implemented for lower-income groups? Would that help?
FORBES: Well, the whole tax cut of last summer, which, as I say, is fairly small, ought to be made permanent, ought to be enacted, put into effect immediately, instead of stretching it out over three or four or five or six years. But at the same time, why not go for more tax cuts to encourage investment, to allow people to keep more of what they earn?
And they've also got to look at the international front. We are part of an international economy. And the International Monetary Fund, Paula, is destroying countries around the world through devaluations and high taxes. They've destroyed Turkey, Argentina, and now they're going to -- despite that bailout, Brazil's about to go down in the next few months.
ZAHN: Robert, why don't you respond to the first part of what Steve just said, and that is the idea of not only accelerating the current tax cut, the rate at which it's implemented, but adding some new ones? I can almost hear the deficit rumbles coming from you.
REICH: Paula, well, obviously, we do have to be concerned about the deficit. And one of the reasons the markets have been a little bit roiled over the past year has been this $1.35 trillion tax cut, most of which takes effect after 2004.
Everybody knows the baby boomers are going to be retiring in about 10 years, and there is not going to be quite the Social Security and quite the savings necessary to deal with the baby-boom retirees, particularly with that tax cut.
But let me go back to something else. Steve Forbes and I do agree on one thing, and that is that the Federal Reserve Board should probably reduce taxes -- reduce interest rates, rather -- taxes! -- interest rates this Tuesday.
In terms of a short-term tax cut for lower-income people, yes, by all means. If the administration is considering that, let's all get behind that. Lower-income people do spend more of their tax cut. They spend, obviously -- they have a high propensity to consume, and we need consumption right now. ZAHN: Steve, what about a rate cut being announced on Tuesday, do you think it's going to happen?
FORBES: I think it will happen. I think the markets -- one of the reasons the markets got a little bit of buoyancy this week, this past week was precisely anticipation of the Federal Reserve reducing interest rates on Tuesday. If it doesn't happen, I think the markets will take a real hit.
And the Federal Reserve also must make sure to avoid the mistakes of the Bank of Japan. Japan has been reducing interest rates now to zero, and perhaps below zero, but the economy is stalled because they didn't provide sufficient moneys. Like a car, if you don't have sufficient fuel, the car doesn't run. The Fed not only has to reduce the price of money, they've got to make it available.
And in terms of tax cuts, the best way to get a real boom out a tax cut is not to make it temporary, but to make it permanent, just as Kennedy did and just as Reagan did. It works.
ZAHN: All right, gentlemen, before I let you go, just a closing thought on the economic conference that the president will be holding in Texas on Tuesday.
What kind of an impact do you think that'll have, Bob?
REICH: I don't think it's going to have any impact at all, Paula. The president has tried to be a cheerleader for this economy and has failed. He failed miserably when he tried to get in front of the tremendous problems we're having with corporate lack of responsibility and the boardroom shenanigans we saw and we've seen unfolding over the past year.
And I don't think it's a matter of cheerleading now, it's a matter of restoring consumer confidence and investor confidence. The legislation recently passed with regard to corporate responsibility is a step in the right direction.
But I think that we're going to have to wait till Tuesday, and Alan Greenspan and company are going to speak louder than anything the president is going to say or do.
ZAHN: Coming back to the president for a moment, though, Steve, photo-op city, or do you think anything substantive will be accomplished?
FORBES: Well, I think what's going to really happen, what we should look for, is what happens after that get-together in Waco, Texas. If that's a prelude to some substantial policy changes, whether it's with taxes, the Federal Reserve and the International Monetary Fund, if they come out with a gung-ho, positive, pro-growth economic program, then I think it'll be a very positive thing. If it's just to be rah rah, it's not going to have a long-term impact.
He's got to have substantive changes. If he does, then I think the economy will respond pretty quickly. ZAHN: Well, CNN will be covering it very closely. And, gentlemen, thank you both for joining us today, Robert Reich, Steve Forbes. Always good to see the two of you.
FORBES: Thank you.
REICH: Thank you very much, Paula.
ZAHN: And you actually agreed on one thing, which is a rarity, when I've had the two of you together.
REICH: Yes, I was quite amazed myself. Maybe I'm wrong.
ZAHN: Yes, surprised us all.
FORBES: Paula, you deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for that.
ZAHN: For keeping you guys aligned on one issue, at least. All right, take care, both of you. Appreciate it.
FORBES: Thank you.
REICH: OK, bye bye.
ZAHN: Coming up next, the Final Round, our panel weighs in on the debates from the Sunday shows. The Final Round, right after a news alert.
ZAHN: And welcome back.
Time now for the Final Round. Joining me, Julianne Malveaux, the syndicated columnist, Peter Beinart -- there's Peter -- of the Weekly Standard (sic), Rich Lowry of the National Review, and Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard.
Welcome, all. Thanks for sharing part of your sunny, steamy, hot Sunday with us this afternoon.
The topic is what to do about Iraq's Saddam Hussein, and that continues to dominate talk here in Washington. And there is no shortage of advice for the Bush administration. Today, two of the Senate's leading members weighed in with some very different views on the president's approach so far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
LEVIN: I think his -- some of his rhetoric overcommits us to that war. We should look at the options, all the options, but we should not make a commitment to attack Iraq.
SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R), INDIANA: The president has to make the case that in this particular instance, to wait for the attack, to wait for the provocation is to invite a very, very large disaster.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
ZAHN: All right, Peter. Is the administration building an effective case for a potential attack on Iraq?
PETER BEINART, NEW REPUBLIC: Not yet. But I think, you know, give them time, they probably will.
The Democrats' problem is that at least the Bush administration knows what they think. The Democrats have no idea what they think. They keep calling for a national dialogue in the hope that a national dialogue will tell them what to think, but it won't, because they don't have a vision of international relations in the new post- September 11th era. Say what you want about the Bush administration, at least they have an idea.
ZAHN: No (inaudible) among the Democrats?
JULIANNE MALVEAUX, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Peter, I would have to disagree with you. I mean, this is where your right-wing stuff comes out. I don't think the Democrats...
MALVEAUX: ...on the real left...
BEINART: You can have that real left.
MALVEAUX: I am happy to be there, and I am happy also to say that, you know, when you talk, you can't just talk about going around invading people's countries. I think that the Democrats do have a vision, and the vision is that we have to be on the same page. The president simply can't talk all this wartime rhetoric. It weakens our world support for the war on terrorism to continue to talk about isolating Saddam.
ZAHN: How concerned are you about the Democrats getting on the wrong side of this?
STEPHEN HAYES, WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, the Democrats...
ZAHN: ... Gulf War. There is talk now that the Democrats are very, very worried about going the wrong way.
HAYES: Being on the wrong side. Exactly. I think that's why you saw Democrat after Democrat, including Daschle, Gephardt, Biden come out early and say, look, we support the president, we support his objectives here. I think Peter is exactly right. I mean, Democrats are finding themselves all over the board on this issue, and until they find a coherent voice, it's going to be a political problem for them.
RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW: You know, the people talk so much about how isolated we are going to be internationally when we do this. But the fact is, if we did it tomorrow, which we're not, if you look at Europe, we'd have Britain, we'd have Italy, we'd have Spain, we'd have Portugal. If you go to the region, we'd have Kuwait, we'd have Qatar, we'd have Bahrain, we'd have most importantly Turkey, and that's before you really get started wheeling and dealing. And when you do that, you can probably bring in Russia, Jordan and some others.
So to me, that sounds like a pretty good coalition there in the making.
ZAHN: I know you guys can go on for hours, but guess what, we're moving along.
(inaudible) home front and the sluggish economy, the president has been trying to talk it up, but the Democrats are not buying it. Today, the chairman of the Democratic Party gave the White House a failing grade for its handling of the economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY MCAULIFFE, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: This is the worst economic team we've seen since Herbert Hoover's administration. Inconsistencies about how to get this economy going. The president does not talk about how we get the economy going. There are serious problems. And that fact alone goes to the point that I make: They just don't get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: I guess Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Gore have made it very clear where they are going to take this issue going into the midterm elections.
MALVEAUX: Absolutely. As well they should. I mean, you can't have a pep rally at Baylor University and call that tackling real economic issues.
Productivity is down; 1.6 million Americans have lost their jobs, Paula. People are concerned about this, and Mr. Bush and his team -- he's got the most pitiful team -- I wouldn't say since Herbert Hoover, but they are pretty pitiful.
Paul O'Neill has not done very much. The head of the Council of Economic Advisers is like a non-entity here. They, you know, they just keep sort of -- the economy -- the fundamentals are fine -- well, tell that to someone who lives on Main Street, not on Wall Street. ZAHN: The more negative you get, the more, the broader Rich's smile is getting.
MALVEAUX: Well, that's typical Rich.
LOWRY: ... the most pitiful economic team since the first Bush administration. And I have to say about McAuliffe -- it is true, this is an administration that does not have much of an economic policy; it's never had one, and cutting taxes seven years from now doesn't count.
But, when it comes to McAuliffe, though, there is something highly ironic about having him out in front on corporate and economic- related issues, because if one guy personifies money-grubbing greed in American politics, it's Terry McAuliffe.
BEINART: No, that's absolutely right. And I think that's -- the Democrats have been hurt a little bit by that. But the truth is that the big problem the Bush administration has is that on most issues, from prescription drugs, to Social Security, to the environment, the public is generally with the Democrats. We're living in an era, whether you like it or not -- I generally like it -- where the public is generally supportive of bigger government, and that puts the Bush administration again and again on the defensive, particularly as you move further away from 9/11.
HAYES: I think Terry McAuliffe can make these comments because he feels so secure in the plan that Democrats have laid out -- except that they haven't laid out a plan. They haven't done anything. He hasn't said anything...
MALVEAUX: Here you go again. Here you go again!
HAYES: ... and Peter's critique of the Iraq issue applies to the economy as well. Democrats are here, and here, and here, taking potshots at the Bush administration without laying out any coherent economic plan. And I am waiting to hear -- I'm waiting to hear for some courageous Democrat to call for a rollback of the tax cuts. That will be...
MALVEAUX: Taking potshots at the Bush administration, frankly, is effective strategy. The fact is that this man came in talking about improving the economy. He has not done it. The potshots are effective and appropriate.
ZAHN: An economy the president has made very clear he inherited from the last administration, and they have said that a number of times.
MALVEAUX: Paula, this man took a surplus and turned it into a deficit. If you don't say anything else, (inaudible).
MALVEAUX: Singlehandedly, with the tax cuts.
BEINART: The (inaudible) reform stuff is good for the economy, and that did come from the Democrats.
LOWRY: The fact is, it is effective, you are right. If the economy is sluggish, Bush is going to pay the price. That's just the way it works. But that doesn't mean that the Democratic case is intellectually coherent. And the fact is, the one telling point that can make against Bush's economic policy is that he cut taxes too much. Well, if you think that's true, why don't you roll back the tax cut?
MALVEAUX: There have been Democrats who have argued that. Granted, all Democrats have not argued that, but...
HAYES: I mean, the potshots may be good strategy, but what wasn't good strategy was the other thing Terry McAuliffe said in his speech, which was attacking the president on September 11 and his handling of that issue. If there is one issue on which Republicans can celebrate looking into this 2002 election, it would be having Terry McAuliffe out in front leading the charge attacking President Bush on September 11. That's -- that spells...
MALVEAUX: I am so glad that you -- however, the Republicans have used September 11 in grossly inappropriate partisan ways.
HAYES: I hope that you and Terry McAuliffe keep making that argument. It will be interesting.
MALVEAUX: But when you start sending pictures out of the president making phone calls on his plane, when you run into states and say we need this senator to fight the war on terrorism -- it's partisan cynicism, and it's awful. And it has the effect...
HAYES: ... president's approval rating...
MALVEAUX: Well, they have gone down. They (inaudible), but they have gone down, and you know it.
BEINART: Politically, it doesn't make sense for the Democrats to talk about foreign policy before the elections, but I think when we revisit the tax cut, which I would be all for repealing, I think it's worth remembering that it's actually Democrats who pushed for the immediate tax rebate, the only thing you could possibly claim has any stimulus effect, because that's the only thing that has happened, whereas the Bush administration initially pooh-poohed that, because they wanted all of the tax cut to go long-term...
(CROSSTALK) LOWRY: It is another sign of how incoherent the Democratic case is.
MALVEAUX: Oh, please.
LOWRY: Because the one piece of the tax cut that's actually taken effect is the one that Democrats like. It's obviously just a partisan smear.
BEINART: That is not incoherent, because Democrats are not against tax cuts...
MALVEAUX: But the rebate...
BEINART: ... if they are short term, and they are likely to have a stimulus effect and they don't go...
ZAHN: We're having so much fun right now. But I have to cut you off. We're going to take a short break; our conversation, or confrontation, will continue on the other side. We'll be right back.
ZAHN: And coming up next week is the 20th anniversary -- 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. Does our panel still think he's the king? Stay with us.
ZAHN: Time now for our Lightning Round.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is going to be knighted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth for his contribution to global economic stability.
How important has Greenspan actually been to the economy's performance? Rich, fire away.
LOWRY: Well, he deserves a little credit for keeping inflation down, but I think he has been fetishized, to some extent, and I think the policymakers, the elected officials, deserve more credit, keeping taxes down and signing those free trade deals in the Clinton administration.
ZAHN: Did I read that as a nod of the head at the beginning of his response?
MALVEAUX: Why, I somewhat agree with him. I hate to say it, but I think he's absolutely right. I think that Alan Greenspan has become, you know, very deified. He clears his throat and markets move, but, you know, he hasn't done very much. He was most effective post-1987, I think. He has had some really bad moments. And people have felt his impact more on Wall Street than on Main Street or the side street. ZAHN: Stephen?
HAYES: I am going to agree with both of those...
HAYES: ... and say also that the American public deserves most of the credit for the health of the U.S. economy, the American workers who keep it productive, keep it clicking along.
LOWRY: Hear, hear.
BEINART: That's right. Let's remember that last year, Alan Greenspan said that we needed the Bush tax cut because the danger was that we'd pay down the debt too much. That prediction doesn't exactly look too great right now.
MALVEAUX: And Mr. Irrational Exuberance.
BEINART: He's more political than people realize.
HAYES: It's that Democratic rebate that ruined...
ZAHN: We're not going there. We don't have time.
Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden is taking some heat for making "let's roll," the words uttered by United Flight 93 victim Todd Beamer, his team slogan this year.
Is this honoring the man or trivializing those words? Peter?
BEINART: Trivializing, absolutely. It seems to me you want to keep certain things sacred. September 11, in a certain way, is sacred, and I don't think you use it to make money, you don't use it to win football games.
HAYES: No, it's honoring him. I mean, clearly, we can't hear "let's roll" enough. I think Bobby Bowden's team should say it, the teams they play against should say it. We should all be saying it to remember the sacrifice of Todd Beamer and fellow Flight 93 passengers.
ZAHN: Honoring or trivializing?
MALVEAUX: Neither one. It really doesn't matter. "Let's roll" are words in the English language that have been around as one of those popular sayings well before 9/11.
I mean, I think what trivializes what happened is the fact that very few people know that Lisa Jefferson, an African-American woman, was the one who prayed with him, with Todd Beamer, and contacted his wife. That's something we need to immortalize as well.
LOWRY: I think it's inevitable that those words are going to become a cliche, so I have a limited amount of outrage. I am going to save it for something that Julianne says instead.
ZAHN: Oh, good. I can hardly wait.
This Friday is the 25th anniversary of singer Elvis Presley's death. Thousands of people are making the pilgrimage to his Graceland home in Tennessee. Why are so many still fascinated with Elvis? Stephen.
HAYES: You know, the conventional argument is that it's all about race. I think it's all about weight. I mean, we watched Elvis...
... balloon, we watched him to go back down. My next-door neighbor said that I used to look like the fat Elvis -- maybe I still do. I think it's all a weight issue.
MALVEAUX: You don't look like the fit Elvis either (ph).
HAYES: Thank you, I appreciate that.
ZAHN: Watch it, Julianne.
BEINART: I do not have a clue. I mean, I suppose he is considered to have ushered in the era of rock 'n roll, but you know, I tend to remember him more for the bad movies.
MALVEAUX: You know what? I just think of Elvis as a shoplifter. I mean, he stole, you know, prodigiously from black culture. There was nothing original about him at all, and I say thumbs down on the 25th anniversary of Elvis. Forget about it.
LOWRY: Peter took my answer. I really don't have any idea. But maybe it has something to do with the fact that he was really the first modern rock 'n roll celebrity, and he set the template -- you know, early success, self-parodic later career, and then sad and pathetic death.
ZAHN: And less than two weeks after being rescued, nine Pennsylvania miners have actually sold the rights to their story for a made-for-TV movie. They will get $150,000 apiece. Is this a case of crass commercialism so soon after their deal -- or ordeal?
BEINART: I wish they were getting more. I mean, I hope they get enough so they never have to go back into the mines.
ZAHN: It's not like they came to ABC and said "make this movie," right?
ZAHN: Everybody was interested.
MALVEAUX: Actually, people called them. I understand Disney executives actually approached them, in an unprecedented way, the executives were involved in the negotiations. But when we say crass commercialism, I mean, what country do we live in? I mean, is this new information? The question will be, how much money ABC makes, and whether or not $150,000 turn out to be 1 percent, 10 percent or 50 percent.
ZAHN: Well, we know we garnered some of the highest cable ratings for a weekend ever with this amazingly compelling story.
LOWRY: If you stand...
ZAHN: I got to imagine America wants to watch this.
LOWRY: Sure. And if you stand in hip or neck-deep cold water for a couple of days, you should get something for it. So it doesn't bother me at all.
HAYES: Amen. It's a phenomenal story. I think the more money they make, the better.
ZAHN: And we thank you all for sharing part of your Sunday afternoon with us. Good to see you in person.
MALVEAUX: Good to see you.
ZAHN: Rich, Julianne, Stephen, Peter. Go off and have a good rest of the weekend.
That is your LATE EDITION for this Sunday, August 11th. Wolf will be back next week, and be sure to join him Monday through Friday at 5:00 p.m. Eastern for Wolf Blitzer Reports.
I'm Paula Zahn in Washington. Thanks for enjoying our show today. Thanks for watching it.
If you have nothing to do from 7:00 to 10:00 tomorrow morning, you can join us for American Morning.
Have a great day.
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Holds Press Conference; Interview With Adel Al-Jubeir>