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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Election Poll Out; Defending the U.S.-Canada Border
Aired June 16, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, from high atop Queen Anne Hill, overlooking beautiful downtown Seattle. Tonight, with the president out here raising money for Republicans, the big question: Has he and have they managed to stop the political bleeding from Iraq?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Presidential popularity, the election may turn on it. We've got new numbers.
So empty it echoes.
SHERIFF BERNIE GIUSTO, MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF: We're not here because we're looking good; we're here because we've become the laughingstock of this country.
ANNOUNCER: Millions spent to build a jail. Two years later, it's still not open and criminals are walking the streets. We're keeping them honest.
And they call it the slash.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My greatest fear would be having a terrorist slip through our area.
ANNOUNCER: Defending a wild stretch of the longest undefended border in the world the old-fashioned way. This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360, keeping them honest on the West Coast.
Live from Seattle, here's Anderson Cooper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And thanks for joining us here. An amazing view of downtown Seattle with the Space Needle. Clear as day. It rained earlier this morning when the president was here. The sun has now come out.
We are wrapping up our West Coast tour tonight, one step behind the president, who is now, after being in Seattle, went on to Albuquerque later on in the day. Like us, he was closing out a pretty good week. Unlike us, there's a report card out already.
New polling numbers tonight, all the angles on that. What appears to be the slimmest boost on job approval for the president, a slightly larger bump on his handling of the war, but a real chiller for Republican candidates this fall. Continuing signs that being associated with this president might actually hurt them.
Also, the war effects. Zarqawi's gone, but the violence goes on. A deadly mosque bombing today. More U.S. troops killed. Is any of it moving public opinion?
And after the House food fight over Iraq, the political winners and losers. David Gergen joins us for that.
We begin with the new numbers. Reporting for us tonight, CNN's Ed Henry.
ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's a bounce to President Bush's step again as he hits the road, this time the swing state of New Mexico, reprising his role as fundraiser in chief for vulnerable Republicans like Congresswoman Heather Wilson.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will not cut and run. It's important to have people in the United States Congress who understand the stakes of the fight in Iraq and complete the mission. And Heather Wilson is such a person.
HENRY: A new CNN poll shows the president's approval rating has inched up five points to 37 percent from a low of 32 percent. Approval of the president's handling of Iraq has risen five points to 39 percent since last month, after the president's surprise visit to Baghdad to celebrate formation of a new Iraqi government and the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
The president was also buoyed Friday by a House vote to back the mission in Iraq, with Republicans rejecting a timetable for troop pullout.
REP. HEATHER WILSON (R), NEW MEXICO: It is a choice between resolve and retreat. And, for me and my family, I choose resolve.
HENRY: The president returned the favor by raising big money for Wilson, after a fundraiser in Seattle earlier in the day for freshman Republican Dave Reichert.
But CNN's new poll suggests these visits could do more harm than good. Only 27 percent of registered voters say they would be more likely to support a candidate that the president stumps for. A whopping 47 percent would be less likely to support a Bush candidate, while 20 percent say a Bush visit would make no difference.
PATRICIA MADRID, NEW MEXICO ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm very happy that the president is here campaigning for my opponent, Heather Wilson, because what it demonstrates is that she really does vote with him 88 percent of the time, that she is on his team.
HENRY: New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid, Wilson's Democratic challenger, says Republicans should not be confident about recent good news in Iraq.
MADRID: I simply don't think that the situation is going to get better, although there are no simple answers for this no-exit war that we've gotten into.
HENRY: Protesters greeting the president here in New Mexico, a reminder of just how divisive the war still is here at home. CNN's new poll shows that 53 percent of Americans want a timetable for bringing troops home from Iraq.
Ed Henry, CNN, with the president in Albuquerque.
COOPER: Well, however, as you just saw, the House today and the Senate yesterday rejected a timetable. They did so in what one House Republican, Charlie Norwood, called a choice between Al Qaeda and America. That's how he saw it, and what a lot of Democrats call political dirty pool. Whatever it was, it certainly made for a hot time on the Hill. Here's a sample.
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REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: This resolution is one thing and one thing only: It is an affirmation of President Bush's failed Iraq policy.
REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: They're advocating a policy called cut and run. They're advocating a policy of waving the white flag to our enemies.
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO: The truth is Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, did not have weapons of mass destruction. The truth is that, in the name of fighting terrorism, we're creating more terrorists.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Let's be clear here: Those who say this is a war of choice are nothing more than wrong. This is a war of necessity that we must fight.
REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: When I hear somebody standing here, sanctimoniously saying we're going to fight this out, we're not fighting at all. The troops are doing the fighting; the families are doing the sacrificing. A very small proportion of the families in this country are doing the sacrificing.
REP. JEB HENSARLING (R), TEXAS: Some just want to criticize the administration yet offer no plan of their own. That is political posturing.
REP. JAMES MORAN (D), VIRGINIA: It's been argued that, if we redeploy, that it might hurt our credibility around the world. As has been said, our approval ratings around the world are the lowest they've ever been.
REP. BARBARA CUBIN (R), WYOMING: Policies of appeasement did not work against Nazi Germany; they did not work against the Soviet Union; and they will most certainly not work against terrorists right now plotting violence and bloodshed against our citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, some of the various perspectives we heard on the Hill in the last two days. Joining us now is former presidential adviser David Gergen.
David, what do you make of what you heard from the Hill in these last 24 hours or so?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Well, hot and heavy. The Republicans, with Team Bush on a roll, Anderson, are clearly trying to exploit a perceived weakness on the part of the Democrats with regard to Iraq and, more generally, on the use of force.
And they cleverly have pushed through a resolution in the House today by a large margin, which Democrats couldn't defeat, saying, "Don't set a timetable."
I think, even though the polls don't show a lot of support for what they're doing, in some marginal districts where, after all, the control of the House may rest here in November, I am sure the White House has polls showing that this may help them in some marginal districts.
What I don't think it does, Anderson -- in fact, what I think it actually hurts them on is governing. Any time you try to go after the other party as being weak on defense, weak on patriotism, you so anger that other party that it becomes really hard to get them to vote with you on other major bills where the president may need some help from Democrats, if he wants to get big things done in the next two years.
COOPER: Karl Rove, the Republican Party seemed to be trying to turn what was supposed to be their Achilles' heel, which is Iraq, into their strength. Can they do that?
GERGEN: Well, you know, we've seen elections now in 2002 and 2004, when Karl Rove has exploited the issues of terrorism and the war in Iraq extremely well to stick it to the Democrats. You know, on an issue in 2002, when it was the Democrats who called for Department of Homeland Security, the Republicans embraced it at the last minute, pushed through a bill, and then went after Democrats who voted against it, those few Democrats who voted against it.
So this is a very clever, smart White House. And Karl Rove, of course, is the master at that kind of politics. So I would not exclude the possibility that he'll gain some traction, that the Republican candidates will try to gain traction in marginal races.
Much of the country remains solidly opposed to the war in Iraq. They think it's been a mistake. They think the Bush administration has mishandled it. About 55 percent of the country says we ought to set a deadline; it's been a mistake; it's been mishandled. Those numbers haven't changed very much, even though the president's personal popularity has gone up a bit.
COOPER: Even those people call for a deadline, though, on pulling out seem unclear on when they want that deadline to be. I mean, some people say it shouldn't be in the next six months, it should be a year or two years from now. Both parties seem to be using Iraq to boost their chances for the midterm elections. If the debate boils down to either cut and run or do you want to stay the course, who do you think has the advantage?
GERGEN: I think, if it's cut and run versus stay the course, I think those who say stay the course have the advantage, not by much, but they have the advantage.
If you look at the polls on how many people actually want to pull troops out of Iraq today, it's only about 18 percent. It's a really small minority of the country wants to get out now.
And if you look at the question of, how long should we leave them in there? Most people, about 48 percent, want to pull them out within the next year or so, but they don't want to do it right away. They do want to give the president a little more time. And the Zarqawi death definitely helps the president in that regard.
So I think to be in the cut-and-run position is a loser for Democrats, except in some urban, very strong solid Democratic districts. I don't think it helps them much in the marginal districts, with some possible exceptions.
But as a general proposition, I think the Republicans wouldn't have put on this display and the Democrats wouldn't have been so angry in the House yesterday and today and in the Senate if they didn't feel this was strictly a political ploy to hurt the Democrats in the midterm elections.
COOPER: Congressman Tom Cole said this about the debate on Iraq and the Democrats. He said, quote, "I believe their real challenge is that they have no common, unified position on Iraq. Whether we are right or wrong on our side of the aisle, we do have a common position."
And the Democrats are trying to say, "Look, it's a strength of our party that we have, you know, various choices and we have this honest debate going on."
Does that actually work, though? I mean, when people actually go to the ballot box, do they view that as a strength of the Democratic Party?
GERGEN: No, they don't. And vacillation is always a weakness in politics, and that's, of course, why John Kerry got so hurt. He looked like he was wavering in the position during the last election that weakened his candidacy. And the divisions among the Democrats are not helpful.
The Democrats -- I'm sorry to say this -- but it's always the out party that benefits from bad news in the nation, and that's true in the Democrats' case here now. What the Democrats -- you know, what would help the Democrats -- I think the Democrats ought to be supportive of trying to see this through and to a successful conclusion.
I think that's a much stronger position for them to be in. And, if Iraq goes badly, then the president is going to pay a huge price, and Iraq has mostly gone badly up until very recently.
If, on the other hand, we keep on going on through the elections, then I think the Democrats -- I just think this cut-and-run argument, they do not want that label on their party. That is not what they want to go into an election with, they're the cut-and-run party.
It plays to all the old weaknesses of the Democrats on national security, something Republicans have been able to exploit for a long time. When the Democrats were the majority party, when they were seen -- the party that was tough on national security. When it was the Truman party, the FDR party, the John F. Kennedy party, in those days, when they supported an internationalist, tough foreign policy, a tough-minded foreign policy, they were the majority party.
COOPER: Well, we will see if the cut-and-run label sticks. David Gergen, thanks. Appreciate your perspective.
COOPER: Seattle's home to the biggest ferry system in America. It is also one of the biggest terror targets in the U.S. Coming up, a look at what is being done to protect the ferries against an attack.
Also ahead tonight, the verdict is in for a woman accused of murdering her therapist, a man who became her husband. She says it was in self-defense. We'll see if the jury agreed.
And protecting the border between Washington State and Canada and doing it by taking a page out of the Wild West, when this special edition of 360 continues from Seattle.
COOPER: And welcome back. We are live from the great city of Seattle this evening.
Today, the Department of Homeland Security released a report on just how prepared the U.S. is for the next manmade or even natural disaster. And after Katrina and $18 billion in grants the department found -- get this -- a majority of state and city emergency plans are not adequate and not acceptable.
Specifically, the report had profound concerns with evacuation planning. Among the states with the lowest assessments are West Virginia, Oregon, Louisiana and Montana. Also, a majority of New Orleans emergency plan received the lowest possible rating.
Now, that report has a lot of people, of course, here in Seattle concerned, and with good reason. You may not know this, but one of the top terror targets in the U.S. is right here in this city. It is not the Space Needle, which you see behind me; it is Washington State ferries, the largest ferry system in America, carrying an estimated 24 million passengers a year.
That's a live picture of a ferry right now behind me out there in the bay. Some of the ferries are massive, more than 2,500 people aboard at a time. Peter Viles investigates.
PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a major tourist attraction, Seattle's highway on the water. According to the FBI, it's an inviting target for terrorists.
LAURA LAUGHLIN, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE, SEATTLE: We consider the ferry system in the state of Washington to be a very viable target. It's the largest in the country, and everyone is aware of that fact.
VILES: Like the New York subways, Seattle's ferry service does not lend itself to a security system that could screen every passenger, not with 500 crossings a day and ships big enough to carry 2,500 passengers.
W. MICHAEL ANDERSON, EXEC. DIR., WA STATE FERRIES: We certainly can't continue a mass transit organization and meet its mission if you're asking people to show up an hour or two hours early on each side of the water to catch their ferry.
VILES: So security is random. Some vehicles simply drive aboard without being searched; others are checked out by dogs trained to detect bombs. Some ferries have no security officers aboard; others carry state troopers. Some get escorts from heavily armed Coast Guardsmen; most do not.
CAPT. STEPHEN METRUCK, UNITED STATES COAST GUARD: Part of it is deterrence. It's cop on the beat. When you're out there on the water, you are -- a part of that is deterrence.
VILES: The Coast Guard and Washington state troopers are visible, but with a combined head count of fewer than 400 on Puget Sound, they cannot be everywhere.
CAPT. STEVE SUTTON, WA STATE PATROL: It would be fantastic to put two troopers on every boat. It would be fantastic to have two or three troopers at every terminal. But the bottom line is: We don't have the resources to do that, and so we take a random approach.
VILES (on camera): Now, there's a good reason for all of these concerns about a potential terrorist attack on a passenger ferry, because, twice in the past two years, terrorists have successfully attacked passenger ferries.
(voice-over): The Philippines, 2004, a bomb inside a television set explodes sinking a ferry and killing at least 116 people. The government blamed a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda. And again in the Philippines last August, a homemade bomb on a ferry injures 30.
There was a scare in Seattle this week. The main terminal shut down for two hours Wednesday amid fears a passenger was carrying explosives. It turned out he was carrying fireworks, but the incident reminded passengers of the potential threat.
SUSIE BURDICK, FERRY PASSENGER: You kind of feel like -- well, at least I do, that I'm not -- I can't worry about it. Who knows if it's going to happen? But I see a million ways that it could.
VILES: There is no safer way to travel. In 55 years, not a single passenger has died on the Washington State ferries. But in a time of terrorism, that record is not as reassuring as it once was.
Peter Viles for CNN, Seattle.
COOPER: Well, with the terror threat in mind, the Department of Homeland Security has made sweeping changes to protect the country's shoreline. Here's the raw data.
As part of the Maritime Transportation Act that took effect in 2004, some 10,000 ships and 5,000 coastal facilities, including ferry terminals, have had to hire and train security officers and buy security equipment, while the owners of more than 4,000 ships have had to buy and install a radio beacon so their identity and movements can be tracked. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates the cost of port ships and coastal facilities will exceed $7 billion over the next 10 years.
A preview of my exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie is coming up. But first, Erica Hill from Headline News has some of the other stories we're following -- Erica?
ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is off the hook. A federal grand jury has decided not to indict the Georgia Democrat who was accused of assaulting a Capitol police officer back in March.
The confrontation happened when the officer tried to stop McKinney from bypassing a metal detector which members of Congress are allowed to do. She first called the incident racial profiling, then later apologized for her actions on the House floor.
Another member of Congress taking a hit today, Louisiana Democrat William Jefferson, who's been kicked off the powerful Ways and Means Committee. He is the focus of an FBI bribery investigation. Agents say they found $90,000 in bribe money in the freezer at his home. Jefferson has denied any wrongdoing.
In New York, a sports shocker. Tiger Woods missed the cut at the U.S. Open. The world's number-one player ended the day at 12 over par. This is the first time he's failed to make it to the weekend at a major in his entire pro career. It is, of course, also the first time Tiger has played since his father's death last month.
And just what we all needed, the excuse for not cleaning up the house this weekend. Two studies suggest rats and mice living in the gritty sewers around farms actually have a healthier immune system than the squeaky clean ones in labs.
Now, the thinking here is that a wild rodent's immune system can actually fight nasty germs, while those in a lab, well, not quite the same. They overreact to just the slightest problem.
As for us humans, researchers say clean living, Anderson, might actually make you sick, which explains your office that would we looked at last year in a story that Heidi Collins did. Yes, there were a lot of germs in there, as I recall.
COOPER: A lot of germs, and yet I remain healthy, thank goodness. So there you go.
HILL: You seem very healthy, absolutely.
COOPER: Erica, thanks.
HILL: See you in a bit.
COOPER: A programming note about my exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie. I spoke with her a couple of days ago, just four days after she and Brad Pitt returned from Africa with their baby, Shiloh. We talked about Shiloh, her acting, her activism, and one of her most important roles, that of UNHCR goodwill ambassador.
The work takes her to refugee camps around the world, including one in Sierra Leone. She described it as one of the worst things she'd ever witnessed.
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COOPER: Had you ever seen anything like that before?
ANGELINA JOLIE, U.N. GOODWILL AMBASSADOR AND ACTRESS: I hadn't seen anything like that. And I don't think any -- I mean, it was the most -- it was one of those things where you -- in so many ways, I was so grateful to have had that experience and I knew I was changing as a person. I was learning so much about life, and so, in some ways, it was the best moment of my life, because it changed me for the better and I was never going to be -- never going to want for more in my life.
COOPER: How did it change you?
JOLIE: Well, I was young, and I grew up in Los Angeles. And I'm an actor, so everything, you know, is very focused on certain things in life. And then suddenly you see these people who are really fighting something, who are really surviving, who have so much pain, and loss, and things that you have no idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: We'll be airing all of our exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie on World Refugee Day. That is next Tuesday, here on a special edition of 360.
We found this story next door in Oregon. An empty jail that cost millions to build two years ago, but it's never been used, even though it means that criminals are going free. Coming up, we're keeping them honest.
Plus, her much older psychologist became her lover, then her husband. Today, a verdict in her murder trial. Did she kill her husband in self-defense? What the jury ruled, and you will hear from a member of the jury when 360 from Seattle continues.
COOPER: And welcome back. We are live in Seattle. And if you look there on the right of your screen, you'll see the top of Mount Rainier peeking above the clouds. The clouds have recently just parted, and we just saw the mountain for the first time, 35 square miles of snow and ice. On a clear day, you can see it from as far away as Portland.
We've been here on the West Coast all week keeping them honest. We're in Seattle, as I said tonight, right next door in Oregon. We found a story that, well, kind of made our jaws drop. A brand-new jail, cost tens of millions to build, but it has never been used. It has been sitting empty now for two years.
That would be shocking enough, but wait until you hear what else is happening in the very same county where this jail is. CNN's Dan Simon investigates.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They built it but no one came. This is Portland, Oregon's, new $58 million jail. The Wapato Facility, as it's called, was completed nearly two years ago and was ready to take in bad guys and ease jail overcrowding, but this place has sat empty. The bunks, the bathrooms, the basketball court haven't been touched.
SHERIFF BERNIE GIUSTO, MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF: This is a prime example of why government lacks the confidence of the people it serves.
SIMON: Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto is responsible for Portland's jails, three including Wapato. He calls the place a $58 million echo chamber.
(on camera): It really does echo.
(voice-over): And a national embarrassment.
GIUSTO: We're not here because we're looking good. We're here because we've become the laughingstock of this country. SIMON: The problem: money. Voters approved the funds to build the jail, but the county, in the face of shrinking taxes, didn't have the funds to operate it and still doesn't. Not surprising, it's become a political hot potato for local officials who have to make the tough budgetary choices. Politicians here, when faced with either funding jails or classrooms, have chosen the latter.
(on camera): While the purpose of this place is to lock people up, the sheriff was so anxious to have it used, used for something, that he actually offered it to the victims of Hurricane Katrina as short-term housing. The Red Cross nixed that idea, but it showed the level of frustration some people have about having a perfectly good facility sit empty.
(voice-over): But there's an even greater concern. The county's two other jails are maxed out within inmates. As a result, the sheriff's department is having to release large numbers of accused criminals because there's no room.
Last year, it let out more than 4,500 inmates due to overcrowding, most before they've ever even seen a judge, but they're still expected to show up for court, but authorities say many don't. And others simply have their jail time shortened.
GIUSTO: Burglars, auto thieves, identity thieves, people who use methamphetamine.
SIMON: Among those released early: 45-year-old Richard Koehrsen. Police arrested him in January for trespassing and drinking in public. After only 24 hours in custody, he was let out.
The sheriff's department says it needed space for suspects accused of more serious offenses. Two days later, Corson was arrested for murder, accused of stabbing a man in the neck. He pleaded not guilty. His attorney had no comment, and a trial date has yet to be set.
SGT. JESSE LUNA, MULTNOMAH CO. SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: It's really hard to say, hey, this guy's going to do it.
SIMON: Sergeant Jesse Luna oversees the unit that decides which inmates walk free when the jails get full. Corson was deemed to be a low risk.
LUNA: I mean, we're talking someone that drinks in public. And this is unfortunately -- it happened.
SIMON: He says, just this month, at least 65 other inmates got their get-out-of-jail-free card, the irony of an empty jail not lost on the sheriff.
GIUSTO: I avoid this place. I have people come and make sure it's standing, but I avoid this place, because I don't have -- every time I come here, it's just a sense of frustration about how government gets here.
SIMON: And with county funds not likely to increase anytime soon, the Wapato jail is expected to collect even more dust.
Dan Simon, CNN, Portland, Oregon.
COOPER: Moving down the coast, a California wife on trial accused of killing her husband who was once her therapist. Did the jury believe it was self-defense? We'll talk to one of the members of the jury.
Plus, border security, northern-style. As we mentioned earlier, terrorism a real concern here. Authorities broke up one plot; now they're using horses and citizens to tighten things up, 360 tonight from Seattle.
COOPER: And welcome back. We are live tonight in Seattle. A guilty verdict today in a murder trial that even by west coast standards has seemed both tragic and warped. Susan Polk was charged with murdering the therapist, a man who later became her husband. She acted as her own attorney. With more, CNN's Ted Rowlands.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Susan Polk, a 48-year-old suburban housewife who insisted on acting as her own attorney, is now facing at least 15 years in prison after being found guilty for the murder of her husband. Felix Polk, a prominent California psychologist, was killed in October 2002 in this poolside cottage at his home in the San Francisco Bay area. Susan Polk admits she did it but in an interview with CNN last year, she said she acted in self- defense.
SUSAN POLK, CONVICTED OF KILLING HUSBAND: My recollection is that I stabbed him five or six times. I was on my back the entire time. He was aggressing the entire time. He was biting my hand and wrestling for the knife. And I thought I was going to die. So I did -- I mean, it was horrible. But I did what I had to do to survive.
ROWLANDS: It's a story that began in 1972, when Susan Boling then 15, was sent to see 42-year-old psychologist Felix Polk.
POLK: He was my psychotherapist at the time. What I really needed help with was like tutoring and, you know, getting prepared for school.
ROWLANDS: By 17, Polk says she was a willing participant in what had become a sexual affair with Felix Polk, who was married. Then at the age of 25, 10 years after she started therapy, Susan Boling married Felix Polk and together they had three children. Adam, Eli, and Gabriel.
POLK: As I grew older, I was ashamed. I was ashamed that I split up his family. I felt -- I was ashamed that I married my psychologist. When I confronted him about it, he got very, very nervous. And he told me I could never leave him. Because of what I might say. That it would destroy him -- his career.
ROWLANDS: Prosecutors told jurors that Susan Polk attacked and brutally stabbed her 70-year-old husband. The coroner testified that Felix Polk had 27 wounds. Susan Polk claimed she was attacked and simply fought back.
POLK: I was lying there and just for this instant, I thought of myself as that 15-year-old girl. And I thought, no, I'm not going to die here, I'm going to live.
ROWLANDS: Barry Morris, a criminal attorney and friend of the family, thinks Susan Polk was mentally ill when she killed her husband. During the trial, Susan Polk talked about secret government experiments and claimed that she could have prevented 9/11, but her husband stopped her from alerting authorities.
BARRY MORRIS, FORMER NEIGHBOR: She's crazy. She thought he was after her. She thought he was the Israeli Secret Service. Everybody was conspiring against her. She was an oppressed woman.
ROWLANDS: The prosecution's strongest witness, according to jurors, was her son Gabriel who at the age of 15 found his father's body. Both Adam and Gabriel Polk testified against their mother. After the verdict Adam Polk talked about his father.
ADAM POLK, SON: He was not the controlling and manipulative individual that he was portrayed to be. He was an imperfect person, as we all are. But Susan had no right to take him from us. We are glad justice has been served. Because that is what Susan deserves.
ROWLANDS: In the end, jurors said they didn't believe Susan Polk which is exactly what she predicted would happen.
POLK: Am I going to just go down without a fight? No. Do I think I'm going to be convicted? Yeah. But I'm going to give them a fight.
ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Joining us now on the phone from Concord, California, is the juror forewoman, Lisa Cristwell. Lisa thanks for being with us. Is that what it boiled down to, you just did not believe Susan Polk?
LISA CRISTWELL, JURY FOREWOMAN: No we did not believe her at all. She claimed to be a battered wife. And we did not see the evidence of that. We saw that she was definitely hit. But it was by her son Eli. Not by her husband.
COOPER: She wanted to know from you and your fellow jurors what she did or said that suggested she should not be believed. What specific instances really made you question her credibility?
CRISTWELL: I think it was not -- saying she was battered. Saying she was punched in the face that evening three times. And she came out of this pretty much unscathed. No injuries to herself at all. And that was pretty damaging evidence for us.
COOPER: How hard were the deliberations? What did you need to convince -- I know you were pretty set early on. Others needed more convincing. What was the big sticking point?
CRISTWELL: I think the sticking point for some, though not the majority, was whether it was a sudden quarrel or not. And most of us believed that it was not. That it was not something that happened as a result of the heat of passion. That it was more intentional than that.
COOPER: And you actually acted out the crime?
CRISTWELL: We did somewhat. You know. Paul Sacora (ph), the D.A., asked is in his closing arguments, charging us to go in there and try it. And we did as best we could. And we did not feel that she could have inflicted those wounds buy being on her back.
COOPER: Did Susan Polk make a mistake by trying to defend herself in court?
CRISTWELL: Yes. Yes, I think she did. I think if she had a competent attorney, she would have done much better.
COOPER: Lisa Cristwell, it's been a difficult process for you I'm sure, appreciate you joining us Lisa, thank you.
CRISTWELL: Thank you.
COOPER: Back to the northwest where security prevented one terrorist attack but more needs to be done. We'll show you why patrols on horseback are playing a central role right now in strengthening security efforts along the Canadian border.
Plus citizen volunteers on the border. They are so trusted that authorities here actually train them to use deadly force. Those stories and more on this special edition of 360 Live from Seattle continues.
COOPER: Welcome back. We are live tonight from Seattle. We are close to the Canadian border tonight. Not far from here in Seattle, just north of here in Port Angeles is where the would-be millennium bomber tried to enter the U.S. And if you move east across Washington to Idaho, to Montana, there's a vast amount of rugged terrain that's potentially vulnerable. Tonight CNN's Randi Kaye reports on the border patrol's newest old weapon.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They call it the slash. The dividing line between Washington State and Canada. It slices right through some of the most beautiful but rugged mountains in the country. The kind of terrain that affords safe passage for smugglers, immigrants, and terrorists. GARY ROMAN, U.S. BORDER PATROL: My greatest fear? Would be having a terrorist slip through our area.
KAYE: Border agent Gary Roman knows the Canadian border is the largest undefended border in the world. Just 1,000 agents monitor more than 4,000 miles. Islamic terrorist Ahmed Ressam slipped through in 1999. From Canada to Washington. He was looking to blow up Los Angeles International Airport. The only terrorist caught crossing the U.S. border with explosives. And in 2003, two Pakistani men smuggled in from Canada were arrested at Seattle's airport. One was on a no fly list.
CARL ECKLUND, U.S. BORDER PATROL: The border up here kind of scares me. Because it's just so -- there's just so much of it. There's so much territory to cover. That it would be nice to have some more help.
KAYE: Border patrol in the enormous Spokane sector have no experience with terrorists but they see a lot of smugglers. Just this week they caught two men with large quantities of cocaine. Last weekend, they caught 13 illegal immigrants.
ECKLUND: The trees are so dense, you know. They don't think we're out here. So they think their odds are better trying to get through a place that's as remote as this.
KAYE: But two months ago the Spokane border patrol changed those odds. They went back to the future. Not even flying drones or high- tech motion sensors could do it better. The Spokane sector of the border patrol and their horses are responsible for more than 300 miles of border that spreads across three states. Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Now, that's more than 87,500 square miles of territory. And much of it is impassable.
ECKLUND: Most of it's steep mountain terrain. That makes it impossible for a vehicle to climb. Heavy vegetation, such as we're in now, which makes it difficult and unpleasant if you're on foot.
KAYE: We are riding just two of the patrol's newest recruits. They have dozens of horses to navigate the steep wilderness and beat the odds. What are the signs that they'd show you if something was going on before you saw it?
ECKLUND: Well if you're moving like we are now, they would come to a complete halt. Their head would come up and ears would come up and they'd be real alert. And then they're not going to move either. They're going to try to figure out what exactly is out there.
KAYE: The horses help agents track footprints and tire tracks. The agents say they're stealth, extremely good at sneaking up on someone. So just how easy is it for anyone to cross the border from Canada into the United States? Well, this is Canada. And this is the United States. I'm standing right on the border. There's no fence separating the two countries. All anyone would have to do is walk across. Once they're in, even on horseback, it's still not easy to catch them. As we climb the dense terrain, branches snap in our faces. Horses slip. Until we finally get up to 3,500 feet. It's hard work for the horses. At one point, they are belly-deep in brush. But as hard as it is, it's what it takes, they say, to protect the northern exposure.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: It's amazing how they've gone back to sort of this old school technique. Does it actually work?
KAYE: Well so far, they've only had the horses for a couple of months. And so far, the horses have not been involved in any arrests. But they have been really successful at getting these guys, the border patrol officers, up into this really rugged area where they would not have been able to access without these horses. So up there, they're able to find new trails and new paths that these smugglers might be using. So next time, because they say they're there 24/7, they'll be able to be there waiting for these guys.
COOPER: I was impressed with your horse riding abilities. You don't actually ride though?
KAYE: Don't be. I don't ride at all.
COOPER: And the cameraman.
KAYE: It was his first time on a horse and he held the camera, shot the entire story, and held the reins. Very impressive.
COOPER: Coming up, other key players play a part along the border. Of course in a sense they're secret weapons. Citizen volunteers. They watch, they listen and they actually get special training here in the northern border. We'll give you a look.
And later, a man with an ax almost killed her 30 years ago. Police never solved the crime. But she says she finally did. This is 360 live from Seattle.
COOPER: Welcome back. We're live from Seattle. As we showed you earlier the border between the U.S. and Canada is the longest undefended border in the world, monitored by just 1,000 officers. But they have some very good allies. Folks so trusted that they're put through the U.S. Border Patrol's Citizens Academy. Once again CNN's Randi Kaye.
KAYE: Metaline Falls, Washington. Population, 351. The tiny town sits 12 miles south of the Canadian border. It's the kind of community where strangers stick out. Just what the U.S. Border Patrol wants.
TIM WOODWARD, U.S. BORDER PATROL: They know when something doesn't look right and some one doesn't act right. And I mean, we, you know -- we rely on them to use their own instincts.
KAYE: With just 13 border patrol agents working this area, Agent Tim Woodward wants residents to be more vigilant.
WOODWARD: Our first class today is going to be over the use of force.
KAYE: So every Wednesday night at the citizens' academy, locals learn how they can help secure the border. After all, the northern border has just one-tenth the number of agents as the southern border. And there has been at least one terrorist caught in Washington State after entering illegally from Canada. Ahmed Ressam was convicted of plotting to blow up Los Angeles International Airport. Do you feel like you need help from the citizens here?
WOODWARD: The more eyes you can put out on the border, the more people you have out there that are looking just for anything that doesn't look right. Even if it turns out to be nothing, we still make the call so we can go check it out.
KAYE: If you're asking yourself why on earth would a terrorist come here, you're looking at the answer. Overlook boundary dam. The dam sits right on the border and is the largest single power source for the city of Seattle. Do you worry because of the remoteness and the rugged territory? Do you worry about people sneaking in this way and then sort of hiding around here?
CAROLYN MYERS, CAROLYN'S ON 5TH AVENUE: No. No. Not at all.
KAYE: Not worried at all?
MYERS: No. Not really, no.
KAYE: Still, Carolyn Myers is attending the citizens' academy. In five weeks' time she will learn to recognize forged documents and track a suspect. Shooting a gun with blanks is a class favorite. One of the things they teach in this class is when and when not to use deadly force. They do that by having the citizens run through scenarios, like the one you're about to see. Stop!
Justify your actions.
KAYE: I justified my actions. He had a gun so I shot at him. But I missed. Oh, well. I had just 1.23 seconds to make a decision. Easy to see what the border patrol is up against. And now, if residents see anything strange, they know where to turn.
JUDY ASHTON, METALINE FALLS RESIDENT: I have seen like airplanes fly over and drop things and that sort of thing. So you don't know who to call if you see that. Now I understand that we call the border patrol right away.
KAYE: Some progress in a nationwide effort to keep all communities safe. Randi Kaye, CNN, Metaline Falls, Washington.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: Coming up, the shot of the day. But first, Erica Hill has some of the business headlines. Erica?
HILL: Anderson, all good things must come to an end, even on Wall Street. Today the Dow dropped less than a point which isn't much but it does end a two-day surge. It closed at 11,014. The NASDAQ lost 14 points on the session while the S&P fell almost 5.
Fear of rising inflation and another interest rate hike fueled the drop.
It is not exactly smooth sailing for Carnival Cruises. The world's largest cruise operator posted a 2 percent loss for its second quarter, ending May with a net income of $380 million.
And on land Winnebago took a hit with a third quarter earnings drop of 25 percent compared to a year ago. Slow demand for motor homes contributed to the earnings report. Shares though still managed to close up nearly 8 percent because the losses were more gradual than Wall Street had expected.
And coming soon to a computer near you, yet another mega supermarket. Amazon.com announcing it's going to sell food on its Web site. For now though the goods will consist only of nonperishables -- things like cereal, microwave popcorn and canned soup. And there's more. The Seattle-based company will also stock its cyber shelves with diapers and detergent. Who knows what else will be for sale in the future, Anderson.
COOPER: Who knows. Erica, time for the shot, our favorite picture of the day. This one from a baseball game in Minnesota, I don't know if you saw this between the Twins and the Red Sox. Play was stopped for a couple of fans, they jumped onto the field then this guy was tagged out in grand fashion, boom, right there. The Boston bat boy tackled the guy after he slid into home base. Took him right down. Before he was a bat boy, Nate Reese was a wrestler apparently which explains his near-perfect takedown. He said the moment was cool and the crowd was totally in approval. They cheered the bat boy.
HILL: How could you not cheer that kid. That was fantastic. I don't think those people will be back at the ballpark for a while, though.
COOPER: Don't mess with the bat boy. Erica, thanks.
HILL: See you later.
COOPER: Well still ahead on "360," the question whether the marines went on a rampage in Haditha. We're going to hear a strong case for the defense. A lawyer for one of the marines in his first television interview. That's only on 360.
Also Howard Schultz of Starbucks, he talks about the empire that he built and how he lived before the caffeine kicked in.
Later, with so many people spending so much time stuck in traffic, cars with all the comforts of home. You would not believe. From Seattle, you're watching 360.
COOPER: A Bush bounce or just wishful thinking? New poll numbers the White House and the Democrats have been waiting for, next on 360.
COOPER: And good evening from one of the most beautiful spots in the country, high on a hill overlooking downtown Seattle. The president was in town today working for a local candidate. The question now is being associated with him a political asset or liability.
ANNOUNCER: He began the week in Iraq and ended it with a win in congress. But has President Bush really managed to defuse the bomb that could explode in November. What the new poll numbers say.
A bloody terrifying chapter of her past. But would she find the stranger who tried to kill her with an axe?
And he built the empire that changed the way the world drinks coffee. But he wasn't always the boss. So was it his idea to call a small coffee tall? Tonight, Anderson with a super caffeinated chief Starbucks.
This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360, "Keeping them Honest on the West Coast." Live from Seattle, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Thanks for joining us. One more beautiful spot. I don't think we have seen. Downtown Seattle. The golden hour. We begin the hour not with the caffeine kick but the question of a Bush bounce. Is it really happening? New polling tonight says not yet. Neither a ringing endorsement of republicans nor a sign that democrats are gaining as much traction with the public as they need. That said as CNN's Ed Henry reports, the news is mildly good for the White House. And after months of downright terrible, that is a change.
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