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Talk of CNN

Aired December 1, 2002 - 10:00   ET


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, I'm Carol Lin. And welcome to THE TALK OF CNN. This is where you're going to see CNN's best interviews, news-making interviews, interviews that get behind the headlines and some that are, frankly, just plain quirky. For example, he's 10 years old and already on his way to stardom in front of the camera. You are going to meet one self-possessed, cute young man. Bill Hemmer, look out!
And President Bush calls Islam a religion of peace but Christian fundamentalist, Pat Robertson, says Muslims are out to kill. Our face-to-face interview with him was pretty fiery. And the man in black is back. Johnny cash reveals all to Larry King about fighting health problems. He also debuts his new release and you're going to see it right here.

But up first in this hour, our newsmaker. U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq head out on another busy day in the search for weapons of mass destruction. This time they checked out a military site and an air base. Earlier this week, chief inspector, Hans Blix, sat down for an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And now we turn to Dr. Hans Blix, chief U.N. weapons inspector.

Thank you for joining us.

So, there you have the report. You've obviously been briefed by your own people. How, in your mind, did today go, the first day?

DR. HANS BLIX, CHIEF U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: I think it went as we had expected it. After all, we have had long discussions with Iraqis about the practical arrangements, precisely because we want to avoid any clashes that are unnecessary. And it worked out as it should.

AMANPOUR: Now, your own spokespeople in Baghdad have indicated that, in fact, you're going to spend weeks looking at sites that have been previously inspected, checking monitoring equipment, doing stuff that has already been done and not going to new sites. Is that correct?

BLIX: We have a vast number of old sites, 700 or more of them, and we can select new sites. You take, for instance, a missile factory, where they are allowed to make missiles that can go 150 kilometers but not longer than that. But if you have such a factory, there could be a possibility that they make missiles, which are reaching further. So you may have to go to it many times.

Similarly, chemical factory may be able to produce both chemical weapons and something that is innocent that is needed. And you have to go and see were there any traces of any illegal production.

AMANPOUR: So are you planning in the first few days to make surprise visits at sites that have not been inspected before?

BLIX: Well, we aren't going to tell anybody, and least of all media, where we're going in the next few days. But we will certainly -- surprise visits are everywhere, yes. We are not giving notice in advance. But the inspectors go to where they want to go, and when they arrive at the place, they tell them, "This is where we want to inspect."

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you a couple of technical questions that may be determined, in fact, as in the end. You just talked about missiles. There are missiles that are legally possessed by the Iraqis, and then there are missiles that they're not allowed to possess -- long-range missiles.

Let's say if you go to an area where -- or your inspectors go -- where there are the appropriate kinds of missiles there, would your inspectors be able to tell whether these missiles have been modified, tinkered with, adapted to be long-range, and therefore prohibited?

BLIX: Yes, I think they would. They are very advanced experts. They know what material they are looking at.

AMANPOUR: And what about in terms of chemical or biological agent? We know in the past that there have been many gallons, tons of agents imported. The Iraqis have accounted for a number of gallons of that. And then, according to reports, there is stuff that hasn't been accounted for.

What happens if they say, "Well, you know, here's the 600 gallons that we accounted for and we just don't know what happened or we don't know what's going on with the remaining quantity?"

BLIX: Well, we think that they should account for all of what they have produced. And they should also show us how much did they produce in the first place. That has to be proven. Because otherwise, we cannot exclude the possibility that something is left.

If I take the case of anthrax, for instance, they gave the information that they have produced about 8,500 liters, but it could have been more. I mean, technically, capacity would have gone up to 25,000 liters if they had made use of the capacity.

And that it is to declare that they destroyed it all. But we didn't full accounting that it was destroyed. So then we cannot exclude that there could be something left.

AMANPOUR: And that would be a material breach? I realize the Security Council has to make that decision, but is that a central point here?

BLIX: If we were to find it, yes. If we were to find this quantity, and a quantity they haven't declared, that would be a material breach, yes. If we do not find it, well, then it's still an open question, as far as we are concerned.

AMANPOUR: But what if there's intelligence that shows that material has been imported and they don't account for it?

BLIX: Well, intelligence is intelligence. If they simply say, "We have intelligence telling us that," that's interesting, but it's not evidence.

AMANPOUR: So where is the burden of proof here?

BLIX: We maintain that the burden of proof is on Iraq. And they object that they say, "Anyone who is arraigned before a tribunal is acquitted if you do not -- cannot -- a prosecutor cannot prove the case." And we say, "You are not in a criminal tribunal. You are in a situation where you want to create confidence that Iraq does not have any anthrax or anything else that is prohibited. And that takes more than that there's no evidence of it."


LIN: Christian's interview with Hans Blix covered the nuts and bolts of the weapons inspections in Iraq and the pressure-packed politics on the inspectors. Let's listen in.


AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about searching for these weapons. I've heard from an administration source, an administration official, that they intend to look at the declaration, study it carefully, and if it doesn't include things that they believe the Iraqis have, that they will then notify you, notify your team and lead you to them. For instance, missiles, Scuds, things like that. Is that appropriate? Will you follow that strategy?

BLIX: Well, we want to have the information from member states about any sites where there may be prohibited items. And we go to them even before the declaration. If I had tomorrow an indication of such a site, well, we might go there after -- the day after tomorrow.

AMANPOUR: But if there is information provided to you after this declaration comes in and they say, "Well, this wasn't on the list, and we have a strong belief that this is there," this is where...

BLIX: Well, I think if they say that publicly, the things will be gone the next day, before we get there.

AMANPOUR: No, but to you. BLIX: But if they say do it privately, confidentially, yes, we may well go there, if it's plausible.

AMANPOUR: What does that mean, if it's plausible?

BLIX: Well, they have to give us some suggestion that it is based upon something, that they're not just pulling us by our noses.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that might happen?

BLIX: Well, we are not supposed to trust anybody, so we have to assess the value of a site.

We are not just people -- governments cannot just tell us, "Go there," and we go there. No, we decide ourselves where we go, and therefore we have to have some reason to go to sites.

AMANPOUR: Have you read the administration's CIA dossiers and also the Blair dossier that was publicly released, you know, several months ago, weeks ago?

BLIX: Yes. Yes, I have seen it.

AMANPOUR: And do you agree with those?

BLIX: Well, I'm not supposed to agree with them. I read them and they have...

AMANPOUR: But do you...

BLIX: ... I take the British dossier, for instance, they will say up and down pages that, "Intelligence tells us this, or intelligence tells us that." Well, it may well be true. We are not contradicting them. But at the same time I'm not confirming what they say because simply stating that, "Intelligence says this," is not evidence. And I think we have to be effectual and see what is evidence.

AMANPOUR: As you know there's a drumbeat of criticism against you. Hardliners in the United States administration, their allies inside and outside of government basically don't think you're up to the job. Things like "weak" have been bandied around, "wimp" has been bandied around. Can you do this job?

BLIX: Well, I had 16 years at the International Atomic Energy Agency, and being responsible for that organization, and I was elected, re-elected three times, unanimously. I could have been elected a fourth time, re-elected a fourth time if I wanted. And I was unanimously picked by the members of the Security Council.

I think that the governments have confidence in me. There are a number of private individuals who are skeptical. Well, that's their business. But I have not had any criticism from any government.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you this. You talk about your head, your position as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, from -- I believe it was from '81 to '97.

As you know, as everybody knows, under your stewardship, Iraq was very close to producing a nuclear weapon at a time when you and your organization gave it a carte blanche, if you like -- not a carte blanche -- you called it "exemplary cooperation." And basically, you missed what was going on, as some people say, right under your nose.

BLIX: Well, the whole control system -- verification system of the IAEA was worked out by governments. And so, we were mandated to act in a particular manner. Now, that included going to declared installation, not going to undeclared installation. And this is where the Iraqis mainly produced their -- tried to make the enriched uranium. So the system was set up by the governments in this manner.

Moreover, we were not the only ones who didn't see. The CIA didn't know what was going on, and they were not restricted as we were. Even the Mossad in Israel didn't know.

Iraq was an extremely closed society at that time. I know an ambassador told me that he lived there for four years and never been able to meet his neighbor. So moving around was impossible to us.

AMANPOUR: That may be the case, but there were also provisions made for certain level and intensity of inspections, certain sizes of, let's say, uranium and this and that was under -- you had to inspect them every three months or whatever. In any event, what they seemed to have done was to have made their weapons smaller.

BLIX: No, not really. Now, it's true that there were certain procedures for how often should we go to sites, which contained so and so much of fissionable material. But this was nothing that really impacted upon the Iraqi program. They tried to enrich uranium themselves, and they failed in doing that. They only get very, very tiny quantities. They didn't have time to do it.

At the end and close to the war, they started a crash program in which they had intended to take the fissionable material under safeguards. But they never succeeded in doing that.

AMANPOUR: We have to go to a break, but I want to ask you one more question on this using the powers at your discretion. This new U.N. resolution is very clear and very tough; including it allows you to take Iraqi scientists and their families out if you feel that's the only way to be -- or if that's the only way to be able to get information out of them. And you've already said that seems to be impracticable and unworkable. Why is that?

BLIX: Well, this sounds almost as if you were, sort of, cloak- and-dagger agency to put people in the trunk of the car and drive them out. And I don't think that's what the inspectors are for, nor do I think that we are an abduction agency.

If people come to us with -- and they say, "We don't want to leave the country." What shall we do? Shall we take them out anyway? I can see the practical difficulties. That's what I refer to.

AMANPOUR: So you don't think you'll be bringing any scientists out?

BLIX: Well, I will -- if they come, if they want to, yes. We will be ready to facilitate it. That's the word of the resolution. Yes, we will do that. But what if the Iraqis stop it? We cannot force it. We are not an army.


LIN: That was Hans Blix, chief weapons inspector. Still to come on THE TALK OF CNN, he has the skills that could prevent another terrorist attack, but the military kicked him out anyway. Why? Well, because he's gay. You're going to meet him.

And later, the man comes around. Find out how country crooner, Johnny Cash, kicked his drug habit cold turkey.


ALASTAIR GAMBLE, FORMER ARMY SPECIALIST: I think that the people, the United States, needs to look at this policy and determine whether or not it's really helping the Army or if it's hurting it.



LARRY KING, HOST: What was it like performing when you were on drugs?

JOHNNY CASH, COUNTRY MUSIC LEGEND: Well, for a while it was OK. For a while it was OK. For a while, Larry, when I took my first ones, I said, "This is what God meant for me to have in this world. This is invented for me."



LIN: The Army's policy is, if you're gay, they're not going to ask, but you're not going to tell or risk getting expelled. Well, the Army dismissed nine linguists, including several who were trained in Arabic, because they're gay. Our Martin Savidge spoke to one of them on CNN's "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS."


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alastair Gamble was among those dismissed and he joins us in our Washington studio.

Thank you very much for being with us, Alastair.

GAMBLE: Absolutely, thank you.

SAVIDGE: Did you understand the policy when you went into the military?

GAMBLE: I did understand the policy, yes.

SAVIDGE: You knew what it covered and you knew how you would be affected by it, possibly?

GAMBLE: Yes, absolutely.

SAVIDGE: Let's go over the statement from the Army, just so that everyone is clear. And it reads like this: "When an individual does something that violates the provisions of Title 10, section 654 of the U.S. Code, the law requires the services to separate the individual from the military," a.k.a. dismissal. And that is what happened to you. If you knew that going in, why are you complaining now?

GAMBLE: I'm not complaining about my personal situation. I'm complaining about the policy, which is really weakening national security. My own personal situation, absolutely, I take full responsibility for it. And I'm having to pay the consequences because of it. But I think that the people, the United States needs to look at this policy and determine whether or not it's really helping the Army or if it's hurting it.

SAVIDGE: Now, you've decided to go to "The New York Times" and print this article. Why? What was the purpose there?

GAMBLE: Well, my main purpose was really to try and instigate a national debate about whether or not this policy is doing what it purports to do, which is essentially make sure that the military is running as efficiently and proficiently as possible. And I think that obviously discharging six linguists -- excuse me, Arabic linguists, at a time where we're facing a war with Iraq and with the war on terror still raging, we need to keep the qualified personnel in the military service, regardless of their sexual orientation.

SAVIDGE: When you were contemplating going into the military, and this is a personal question, but you obviously had to do some soul searching here, saying, "Am I going to put my loyalty and my faith in the nation ahead of my sexual preference?" Did it go like that, or what were you thinking?

GAMBLE: No, I think that, quite honestly, I was planning on playing it by ear. I had definitely -- I had met a number of gay service members who had had long careers and long relationships, and so my understanding was that the policy was essentially, if I didn't say anything to my commander, then there would be no repercussions, that I would be able to have a full career with the military. But I found out that that wasn't the case.

SAVIDGE: Well, it went that way until one fateful night, apparently.

GAMBLE: That's right. That's correct.

SAVIDGE: Well, explain how that happened because there is some misperception as to what the raid, in which I understand you were found, was all about. GAMBLE: Well, what had happened was, my partner and I, Rob, had decided to spend a night together. It wasn't at all sexual. We just wanted to spend the night together in the same room. We had been dating for eight months and we hadn't gotten to do that. He was about to move on to his next station. So we decided we could risk it. And they came in. They found us in the room together. Cited me for breaking visitation policies, which I later on served restriction and extra duty for that violation. But because they found us in the room, they did a quick search of the room and discovered personal photographs of the two of us in a romantic -- absolutely not sexual -- but a romantic embrace.

SAVIDGE: But you didn't actually tell. I mean, this doesn't quite fall into the don't ask, don't tell.

GAMBLE: No, I never made a statement. And in fact, when my commander asked me if I would answer questions regarding my sexual orientation, I said I wouldn't do so without a lawyer. And I never made a statement.

SAVIDGE: What are you doing now? What are you going to do with your life?

GAMBLE: I'm starting to regroup. Right now, I'm working in the private industry. But I don't know what my life holds for me now.

SAVIDGE: Alastair Gamble, thank you very much for coming in and talking with us. We appreciate it.

GAMBLE: Thank you very much. Thank you.


LIN: And we're also talking about a different kind of controversy, too. He is back in the news. We're talking about Pat Robertson versus Islam. And up next, a boy who wants to make news, his life and he's only 10 years old.


LIN (on camera): What does it feel like for you to be on camera?

RILEY WEATHERFORD, 10-YEAR-OLD SPORTS ANCHOR: I like it. I like to be the center of attention.



LIN: Well, we don't like to believe it takes years to master news anchoring and reporting, but a 10-year-old boy from Oklahoma is actually a natural. Riley Weatherford beat out hundreds of contestants to host a new kid's sports show on Nickelodeon. And I got to speak with Reilly on "CNN LIVE TODAY."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WEATHERFORD: It was fun. It wasn't very hard.

LIN (on camera): You had to put a tape together, right, a little demonstration tape?

WEATHERFORD: To do the audition?

LIN: Yes.

WEATHERFORD: No, what they made us do was they gave us a sheet, and it was blank, and it's like, "Hi, I'm blank, I'm coming to you from blank, and me and my dad filled it out, and then we read it.

LIN: And then you read it on camera.


LIN: What does it feel like to be on camera?

WEATHERFORD: I like it -- I like to be the center of attention.

LIN: Well, let's take a look at the clip of the competition itself and see how you looked there. Actually, this is you on a local station, right, at KOCO? And the sports anchor is about to introduce you for one of the sports segments.

Let's see how you do.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're now joined by Riley Weatherford, 10- year-old budding sportscaster. Riley's from Charles Caskill (ph) Elementary. He's going to do the last story in tonight's sportscast.

Riley, take away, big guy.


What would the sport of boxing be without Mike Tyson? There would probably be less bizarre behavior. Tyson was at a news conference today to announce a February fight in Memphis, and he appeared to be a kinder, gentler Mike Tyson.


LIN: You don't even look nervous.

WEATHERFORD: I was kind of.

LIN: Were you a little bit nervous?

WEATHERFORD: Just a little.

LIN: All right. But your mom tells us that you're also taking acting lessons, too.


LIN: So do you want to be an actor, or do you want to be an anchor?

WEATHERFORD: Well, I've always been an actor, and I've always done movies when I was a kid, and I'm just always looking for work whenever.

LIN: And which do you think is harder?

WEATHERFORD: Oh, what, the anchoring?

LIN: Or the acting.

WEATHERFORD: I don't know. I mean anchoring's kind of -- I mean, you're in front of cameras more often, but acting's more being on stage and performing in front of people, but I don't know, maybe they're about the same.

LIN: They're about the same?


LIN: Oh, good. Well you know, because some people think that we're actually acting, but there's a lot of adlibbing involved, especially in sports. You really have to know what you're talking about, right?


LIN: So where do you think you're going to take this?

WEATHERFORD: I don't know. I'm hoping to do -- I mean if I can do more anchoring, that'd be cool, too. But I'm hoping to do acting, and TV and film, because that's what I've always done. I've always done little gun shows with my dad, and then I asked my mom, can we bring out the camera and do this, and she's like sure, so we made movies all the time when I was kid.

LIN: You are addicted. You know what you remind me of?


LIN: Check this out. Look on the screen. You look exactly like our Bill Hemmer, same expression and everything.


LIN: Only you're 10, right?


LIN: How would do you think Bill is?

WEATHERFORD: How's everything going?

LIN: No, how old do you think Bill is?


LIN: He's a good age. Yes, he's getting to that age where it's just good.


LIN: Hey, thanks so much, Riley. Good luck to you.


LIN: We'll be tracking your career. It'll be a very long one since you're starting at the age of 10.



LIN: And at the age of 10, he says he's always looking for work.

All right. A check of the top stories is straight ahead, plus a look at possible airport delays on this busy holiday travel day. And later...


PAT ROBERTSON, RELIGIOUS BROADCASTER: This is going on in the Philippines. It's going on in Indonesia. It's going on in other parts of the world right now.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And there are Christians that are also burning mosques as well.

ROBERTSON: No, there's not. Come off it. You know better than that. Christianity is a peaceful religion and we're out to talk about peace.



LIN: Of course, CNN is your air travel information headquarters today. If you're coming back from that long Thanksgiving weekend, we've got the update on possible delays at the airport. We're going to go to Rally Caparas of, who's been keeping an eye on the skies.

Rally, how are things going out there?

RALLY CAPARAS, TRAVELOCITY.COM: Carol, things are going just fine, as we speak. There are some delays up in the Northeast, however. If we can go to the graphics, I'll show you what it looks like from the skies, about -- I don't know -- seven or eight miles above the earth. We should see a picture -- well, it doesn't look like we're going to get that graphic. Anyway, let me tell you about delays. Lots of airplanes, 3,000 or so flights in the air, as we speak, talking to air traffic. Here's how it breaks down for you. If you're headed into or out of Boston's Logan Airport today, you can expect to see 30-minute arrival and departure delays. Strong, gusting northwest winds will keep your airplane rocking a little bit, extra spacing for safety there.

Down in New York, Newark, LaGuardia, Kennedy and Philadelphia airport for that matter will see strong, gusting northwest winds also. And that will decrease the amount of airplanes that can make it into each airport during a given hour. So you can expect 30 to 45 minute arrival delays there.

In the Great Lakes region, east Great Lakes, let's make it that, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Rochester, you name it, you're going to get deicing delays, departure deicing, 30 minutes for everybody leaving, 30 minutes for everybody arriving.

On the other side of the Great Lakes, Chicago O'Hare, we'll see 30-minute arrival delays associated with wind.

Out west, the only airport with any concerns, Seattle, Tacoma, 15 to 30 minute arrival delays because of fog. It should be gone by mid- afternoon.

Let's take it back over to Carol. I'll be back with more from Travelocity's eye in the sky in the next hour -- Carol.

LIN: All right. Thanks so much, Rally. A lot better of a picture than what we saw outbound last Wednesday. Poor families trying to get into town. All right. The TALK OF CNN continues right now.

Religious broadcaster, Pat Robertson, is back in the news. Now, in his own way, he is taking on the president of the United States and the entire Muslim world. Here's the reverend with CNN's Marty Savidge.


SAVIDGE: Religious broadcaster, Pat Robertson, is stirring up more controversy with his latest comments about Islam. He's quoted as saying that he wishes President Bush had never called Islam a religion of peace and that the Koran incites Muslims to kill people of other faiths. Pat Robertson joins us now from his headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Sir, thank you very much for being with us.

ROBERTSON: Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Let me start by first playing the sound from President Bush because that's part of the crux of our discussion here, so here's what President Bush had to say in defense of Islam.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.


SAVIDGE: Now, for the purpose of our discussion, sir, let me ask you this. Is it that you disagree with the president speaking out in defense of Islam or that you don't agree that Islam is a religion of peace?

ROBERTSON: Oh, you know I'm a history major and when I was in college I have operated an Arabic-speaking television station on the border of Lebanon for about 18 years. I'm very familiar with what goes on in the Islamic world where our reporters are all over that area and it's clear from the teachings of the Koran and also from the history of Islam that it's anything but peaceful.

Now, there are millions of Muslims who are very peaceful people, and I just think there was a semantic difference here and it's lead to a great deal of confusion. The -- of course there are peace-loving Muslims but at the same time at the core of this religion, taught by Mohammed, it is jihad and it is to subject the unbelievers, either to force conversion or death. That's what it teaches.

SAVIDGE: But my point, sir were you disagreeing with the president speaking on this subject or that you just find that Islam is not a peaceful way?

ROBERTSON: I'm a person that just likes to speak the truth and I don't understand why in America it's such a big deal that we won't read the Koran and we won't look at history.

SAVIDGE: But someone might point out and say that the Bible itself is filled with stories that are accounting violence or incite violence?

ROBERTSON: Well, it's not true. Jesus Christ is a prince of peace. He told us to live in peace. He told us to love our enemies. He told us to do good to them that despitefully use us. Mohammed said kill the unbelievers. He said that the Jews, the Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs. That's being taught all over the Muslim world right now, hatred.

SAVIDGE: There are people who have taken the very fine words say of the Bible or the Koran and have twisted it to fit their own violent ways. Look, that has been done in Christianity as much as it's been done in Islam.

ROBERTSON: Have you ever read any of the excerpts of the Koran?

SAVIDGE: I have, sir.

ROBERTSON: Well, you know very well what it says. I mean there's no question that jihad historically means war and right now a fatwah was issued against some reporter in Nigeria who suggested that Mohammed may have been favorable toward Miss Universe.

SAVIDGE: The fatwah was issued by a human being, not by someone on a high.

ROBERTSON: Well, I don't understand what you're trying to say. I mean this is really confusing to me because all I'm -- I'm not against Islam. I have very peaceful relations with many people who hold to Islam. I just think that America had better wake up and especially the Jews. They want to kill the Jews and they also consider America the great Satan and they want to kill us. It's just that simple.

SAVIDGE: What I would like to know, though, is whether you believe it's the interpretation by those people here with the Islam religion or whether it is the religion itself that is at fault?

ROBERTSON: It's been what you call the religion. I mean if you look at the Koran, which is the foundational doctrine, if you consider that Mohammed is the prophet of Allah, you look at what he said, what he instructed his followers to do and then what they did for 1,400 years of unrelenting warfare against Europe and the Christian world, then you begin to say, "Well this is the way they are" It's not a question of interpretation. Look at history. Look the battle of...

SAVIDGE: The Crusades were also carried out in the same part of the world in which countless people were killed under the name of Christianity.

ROBERTSON: I hate to tell you right now in Sudan; about two and a half million people have been slaughtered by an Islamic regime in the north. They're being bombed as we speak in their villages when they're trying to eat their food by the Islamic regime trying to impose sharia upon them. The same thing happened in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in Nigeria where thousands of people were slaughtered by Islamic people. This is going on in the Philippines. It's going on in Indonesia. It's going on in other parts of the world right now.

SAVIDGE: And there are Christians that are also burning mosques as well.

ROBERTSON: No, they're not. Come off it. You know better than that. Christianity is a peaceful religion and we're out to talk about peace and I ran a television station that promoted peace between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the Middle East for 18 years and I'm an advocate of peace period. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Well, we disagree. Thank you, Mr. Robertson. I appreciate it very much.

ROBERTSON: All right, thank you very much. OK.

SAVIDGE: Thank you.


LIN: Broadcasting live from behind enemy lines during the Gulf War. Hear first hand what it was like coming up.


HELENA BONHAM CARTER, ACTRESS: I'm not the suicidal type. I suggest you go, too. Nothing you can do to stop this, especially dying.



LIN: This week, a lot of us at CNN will remember one of CNN's historic moments, when we were the only network to report live from behind enemy lines in Baghdad at the start of the Gulf War. The HBO movie, "Live From Baghdad," premieres in Atlanta Tuesday night. And CNN's Connie Chung sat down with CNN producer, Ingrid Formanek and the actress, Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Ingrid in the movie. Both talked about the new risks if there is another war with Iraq.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what it's about. You're going to stay.

CARTER: No. Actually, I was going to go.


CARTER: I'm not the suicidal type. I suggest you go, too. Nothing you can do to stop this, especially dying.


CHUNG: That was Helena Bonham Carter, who joins me now, along with the CNN producer she portrays, Ingrid Formanek.

Thank you for both of you being with us. Thank you very much.

How did you get to know her, because you didn't meet her until after the film was done?

CARTER: No, we had a long chat on the telephone. And then I did try, because I said, "Look, I am trying to play you" -- although I won't necessarily completely impersonate her, because I can't -- "but it would be nice to get something, given that I can't necessarily meet you." So I managed to -- she managed to persuade her lovely Brian (ph), tall cameraman of a husband to video...

CHUNG: Very handsome.

CARTER: Yes, very handsome. Well, anyway...


CHUNG: To video you?

CARTER: To video her. So she -- so I got this video. That's how I got to know Ingrid.

CHUNG: How was it being portrayed? I know that you didn't feel it was really identical to what you experienced, but it was close.

INGRID FORMANEK, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, it's not a documentary. It's a film. It's very strange watching the screen and hearing your name and watching somebody who's meant to be you.

CARTER: And it's not you.

FORMANEK: No, Helena and I referred to this person as a she.


FORMANEK: But, no, I think you've got some things done really, really well. But it's a composite character and there's composite events in the film.

CHUNG: Ingrid, I want to know how hard it was for you when the decision had to be made as to whether or not you would leave before the bombing started.

FORMANEK: It was difficult, because it was very much an emotional roller coaster in the lead-up to the war. The whole tension, which was a global tension, we felt on a very immediate level in Baghdad. So it was yes one minute, no one minute, yes one minute, no one minute.

CHUNG: In fact, you stayed.

FORMANEK: Stayed. And as soon as the bombs fell, it was a very easy decision to make because it happened and it wasn't nearly as bad as what you imagine. You always imagine things that are much worse than reality.

CHUNG: You were just there and kicked out.

FORMANEK: Yes, I was part of the team that was in Baghdad that got expelled, which the Iraqis backtracked on and they said they would allow us back in. And now I'm waiting for a visa to go back in.

But, yes, journalistically, it's our job to do this. It's a huge challenge. And we all play chicken with ourselves, you know. And we look at every situation separately. We try and assess the dangers, the reality of it. And, is it worth it? I mean you take your risks. You try and calculate them. If you think you can survive it, you go and do it. It's our job.

CHUNG: Where were you when those bombs began dropping?

CARTER: I was actually in New York on holiday here. And I remember being somewhat completely glued to the television. I think I'm right in saying that that war was a sort of television war broadcast live from behind enemy lines.

Do you feel that's accurate?

CHUNG: Yes. Yes.

FORMANEK: Yes, I think that's right.

CARTER: That's right. OK.

FORMANEK: You're right.

CHUNG: And, Ingrid, this war, you will go back.

FORMANEK: Yes. I'm debating right now, assessing the risks. It depends on a lot of things, like every war. We look at the composition of people. You have to look at your colleagues, who you're in there with. But, yes, basically it's waiting for a visa to go back in.

CHUNG: And you will, despite the potential danger of chemical, biological warfare?

FORMANEK: There's a lot of dangers. That's one of the many potential dangers, I think. The risks are much higher this time around. The stakes are much higher, because the end game is there.

The administration talks about regime change, which I think makes this war much more serious. I think it will be much more intense. I think there will be different dangers. I think that, if journalists are in a building that is a target or there is somebody else in this building, I think it will be a very different calculation, perhaps hostage-taking. We don't know. There's a lot of possible scenarios. And all these have to be assessed before one goes in.


LIN: And coming up, he's got an album, a new album, and a fresh outlook on life. An inspiring life story from Johnny Cash himself when we return.


LIN: Not everything this past week at CNN was totally serious. Some of the stories we covered were downright inspiring. For example, take what singer, Johnny Cash told our Larry King.



KING: It's a great pleasure to welcome a return visit to LARRY KING LIVE the wonderful Johnny Cash. His new album, "The Man Comes Around" will be out -- it just came out November 4, as we play this. And this past year, we've seen the release of "The Essential Johnny Cash," a two CD chronicle of his recording years with Sun, Columbia and Mercury and the past year has also seen the release of an expanded addition of five vintage Johnny Cash LPs put out on CD. You're like a -- you're a legend.

CASH: Well, there's a great compilation of my work that they've all put together, all the companies I've been working on. Everybody, I guess, is trying to outdo the other one.

KING: You sang with Sun?

CASH: Yes, I was on Sun Records.

KING: When Presley was there?

CASH: Yes, when Presley was there.

KING: You both sang for Sun Records?

CASH: Yes, right.

KING: Why didn't that company last forever?

CASH: Well, I don't know. It was a money thing, I guess. RCA -- Victor went to Sam Phillips to buy Elvis and they bought him. And he was the nucleus of the whole thing that the rockabilly thing was revolving around.

KING: Did you realize his greatness then?

CASH: I think so. I think everybody that saw him perform did, yes.

KING: Yes.

All right, Johnny, first and foremost, how are you doing? How's your health?

CASH: Good. Good.

KING: Because, you know, you look like you've had some stuff times. Explain.

CASH: I have had some tough times. I have had pneumonia three times in the last three years -- four times in the last three years. And it debilitates you. It takes the strength away. It took the life out of my legs and I can walk, but not very well. But...

KING: And now, is this pneumonia related to that autonomic neuropathy, which you have?

CASH: Autonomic neuropathy.

KING: Which is what?

CASH: Well it's a kind of -- the way I understand it, it's a deadening of the nerve cells of the nerve endings in the lower extremities and sometimes the hands and other extremities.

And for me that's really about the only thing it's really affected a lot. I'm not sure that it's affected my lungpower but I don't have the lungpower I did. But of course, pneumonia will take that away too.

KING: Now is the pneumonia an offshoot of that disease?

CASH: Yes.

KING: Do you get pneumonia because you have that disease?

CASH: Right.

KING: How did you first discover this?

CASH: Well, it was 1993 and I was hospitalized with a -- I went into a coma and I was there for 12 days. They all thought I was dying and they couldn't diagnose what was wrong with me. They finally came up with a diagnosis of Shydreger (ph) Syndrome. But a few months later, they realized I didn't have that so it was Parkinson's. And then it was not that. So then finally it was autonomic neuropathy.

KING: They finally got it right.

CASH: They finally got it right. And I'm pretty well resolved to the fact that that's what it is. And it's a slow dying process of the nerve endings.

KING: No cure?

CASH: No, I don't think so. But that's all right. There's no cure for life either.

KING: Can you sing?

CASH: Well, as well as I ever could I guess.

KING: You can? I mean, do you go out and sing?

CASH: Yes. Well, I don't go out and sing. I don't do concerts any more because the physical thing of going out there and doing concerts and the planes and the cars and the hotels and all that. And the backstage is where it's so dark I have a hard time.

My vision is -- my vision is over. I'd probably say 60 percent gone because of the neuropathy and the diabetes.

KING: But you can still record.

CASH: Yes. Oh, I can still record, yes. I have been in the studio a lot. I have focused my energies from the road to the studio and it really feels good. I'm really enjoying it.

KING: Are you bitter?

CASH: Bitter? No.

KING: Angry? You're a young guy. You're only 70.

CASH: No, I'm not bitter. Why should by bitter? I'm thrilled to death with life. Life is -- the way God has given it to me is just a platter -- a golden platter of life laid out there for me. It's been beautiful.

I have been with you many times, Larry, and it's all been uphill every time. You remember?

KING: Yes.

CASH: Yes, things have been good. And things will get better all time.

KING: So you have no regrets?

CASH: No regrets.

KING: And no anger at the, Why did God do this to me?

CASH: Oh, no. No. I'm the last one that would be angry at God. I'd really (UNINTELLIGIBLE) if I shook my fist at him.

KING: What was -- do you remember anything about being in a coma?

CASH: I remember voices in the room. I remember things they were saying. And I couldn't respond to. But I was in a coma several times with -- over the periods of time. It was actually three times with pneumonia. I was in a coma several times with pneumonia three times. And several times I wanted to wake up and tell them, I heard what you said, you know. I'm not dying.

KING: What's that feeling like?

CASH: I'm not dying. I could hear the people in the room rustling around and talking. And after a while, you know, the conversation inevitably has to come around to "Well, if he dies, this or that, you know?"

KING: Oh, and you're lying there hearing that?

CASH: And I'm lying there hearing that, you know? And I hear a lot of that. I hear a lot of that...

KING: And you can't move?

CASH: ...over the days and nights. And I can't respond. No, I can't move, no.

KING: How much of this do you think, Johnny, the disease, pneumonia, the trouble you've had in the '90s, can go back to your drug addiction, which was in the '60s, right?

CASH: I'm not going to blame it on that at all.


CASH: Not at all. The drug addiction, I won't blame this on drug addiction at all. And people say, "Well, he wore that body out." Well, maybe I did, but it was to a good purpose. They should be thankful that I wore it out to the purpose I wore it out and that was writing and recording and touring and doing concerts. Everywhere I could possibly do them that I thought I might enjoy them. I thought people might enjoy me.

KING: You never stopped, did you?

CASH: I never stopped until 1993.


CASH: Never.

KING: All right, in the '60s your dependency was on what?

CASH: In the '60s, amphetamines and barbiturates.

KING: Amphetamines to stay up.

CASH: Yes.

KING: Barbiturates to bring you down after you were up.

CASH: Right.

KING: Now what was it like performing when you were on drugs?

CASH: Well, for a while it was OK. For a while it was OK. For a while, Larry, when I took my first ones I said, this is what God meant for me to have in this world. This was invented for me, you know? I honestly thought it was a blessing -- a gift from God, these pills were.

And -- but then I thought -- then I finally found out I was deceiving myself. That this was one of those things that have a false face -- that it's the devil in disguise that has come to me.

KING: Make a nice song.

CASH: Probably been written but I'd write it.

KING: Was it hard to get rid of it?

CASH: To get rid of the pills?

KING: Yes.

CASH: Yes. . It took -- the first time I broke the addiction it was -- it took 32 days. And I was in a house that was unfinished. I had just bought it. This was just before June and I were married. And I was living in this house and she moved out there with her mother and her father. And several other people rallied around me and the commissioner of mental health for the state of Tennessee, he had befriended me. And he said, "Well, I will help you save your life if you want to save it." And I said, "I want to save it." So he came to me every day at 5:00 when he got off work. He came every day for a counseling session for 32 days.

Only about the -- a funny thing happened on about the seventh or eighth day. I had these pills that I had rat holed, you know. I had hidden back that I just knew nobody would know where they were.

KING: Safety measure.

CASH: Yes, my safety measure, yes.

And one day about the fifth or sixth day he was out there, he said, "OK, how you doing?" I said, "Just great" He said, "No, you're not. You're lying." I said, "OK." He said, "Where are they? You want to flush them or do you want me to just leave and you keep taking them?" I said, "I'll flush them." So I did. I flushed them.

KING: And stayed off it?

CASH: Stayed off of it, yes. For 32 days.

KING: More on the saga of Johnny Cash as we salute a true American legend tonight on this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. It's always good seeing him as he keeps on keeping on. We'll be right back.



LIN: And now you know why we call it THE TALK OF CNN. Thanks so much for joining us for our debut show. I'm Carol Lin at the CNN Center. We've got much more news ahead, a full half hour coming up. So stay right there.


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