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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Saddam Sentenced to Death by Hanging; Ted Haggard Tossed from Church

Aired November 5, 2006 - 09:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The court has sentenced that defendant Saddam Hussein al-Majidida to execution by hanging. Long live the people. Down with the traitors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN ANCHOR: The breaking news this morning, death by hanging. That is the sentence for ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, it is Sunday, November the 5th. Hello to you all. From the CNN Center in Atlanta. I'm T.J. Holmes.

ROESGEN: And I'm Susan Roesgen filling in for Betty Nguyen on a very busy Sunday morning.

HOLMES: Iraq's former dictator convicted and sentenced to death. We want to get you up to speed on this breaking news out of Iraq this morning. The conviction of Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity. CNN's Aneesh Raman was in the courtroom for this next chapter for the country of Iraq. He joins us now live from Baghdad.

Hello to you, Aneesh.

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: T.J., good morning. It was just as the clock struck noon local time that Saddam Hussein, former president and prisoner, then defendant, now convicted of crimes against humanity, walked into the courtroom, one guard on each of his sides, as he entered the docks, he sat down.

The judge demanded he stand up to hear the sentence. He refused. Some seven guards then surrounded the area, forcibly had him get up. And as he stood he heard the sentence that you are seeing there delivered, that Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death by hanging for the willful of execution of at least 148 men and boys after a failed assassination attempt on him in July 1982.

Saddam faced six charges under the rubric of crimes against humanity. The other charges, he got 10 years in prison of each of those. Of course, those are all superseded by the death sentence that he was given today.

Now what happens next, Saddam has an automatic appeal in this process to an appellate court within the Iraqi high tribunal. That has to take place within 10 days. They though have as much time as they want to review this case, but once they are done, if they uphold this conviction and this sentence, Saddam Hussein must be executed within 30 days by hanging.

We have already seen reaction, first, of course, from Iraq's prime minister. Here's what he said earlier this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NURI AL-MALIKI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): There will be no more mass graves or unfair wars or military coups or ethnic cleansing. We want an Iraq where all Iraqis are equal before the law, that the policy of discrimination and persecution is over. The new Iraq will have the law above all else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RAMAN: Now, was there reaction as well among the Iraqi people in Sadr City, a predominantly Shia area, a bastion of support for cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. There were celebrations as well. We saw people come out onto the streets in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown there. They demonstrated in support of Saddam Hussein.

Now a couple of legal points to quickly get through. First, can Saddam be executed with these other trials ongoing? He is currently in a second one. The answer from the prosecution -- from the Iraqi high tribunal is, yes, that he can be executed. He will then be charged and tried in absentia in the trials that are yet to come.

Also to tell you about, Ramsey Clark, the former U.S. attorney general, who has advised this defense counsel from the start in court today only for a few minutes. He was kicked out by the chief judge for a document he had submitted which said that this tribunal was a travesty essentially, was a joke, if you will, of justice.

He said it was Ramsey Clark himself who was a joke. He was kicked out and we heard from the prosecution that they will file with the U.S. Bar Association for essentially an incomplete defense.

But again, a big day for Iraq, a big day for the high tribunal. Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging -- T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Aneesh, and we saw some of that video of Saddam and the confrontation with him and the judge. And then you were actually sitting in that courtroom. We are going to come back to you a little later. I'm sure that had to be fascinating and hear what that was like. We are going to hear from you in about 25, 30 minutes. So we'll see you soon.

And also in 25 minutes, you are going to hear for yourself that sentencing of Saddam Hussein. We're going to replay for you those dramatic exchanges between the chief judge and the former dictator. Again, that's at 9:30 Eastern.

ROESGEN: Now reaction to the verdict from the White House and could the verdict give the administration a boost in its public relations campaign on Iraq heading into the elections? President Bush will be on the campaign trail again today and White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is starting her day near the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Susan, I just spoke with White House press secretary Tony Snow here in Crawford. He said that the president was notified about verdict about 6:00 Eastern time and that the president is expected to make some sort of statement regarding this at about 2:25 Eastern time from Crawford.

The president notified by action officers in the situation room. Now Tony Snow essentially reacting to this, saying that this is a sure sign, a very strong sign, encouraging sign that the Iraqis have an independent judiciary. That they do -- in fact are able to really take control of their own destiny, that this is very encouraging, that the government is strong politically.

That is certainly what they are trying to convey to American voters who have been skeptical about Iraq's future. And I also asked Tony Snow about the skeptics that perhaps are waking up this morning, looking at this news, saying, 48 hours before the midterm elections, maybe this is a little too convenient here, perhaps it smells of politics.

Tony Snow responding to that as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You've got to be kidding me. The way I put it yesterday on the plane is you have got to be smoking rope. I mean, this is -- the idea that some how the Iraq judiciary is going time a verdict to coincide with American elections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Of course, Tony Snow saying that this is an independent process, that the U.S. government, while helping the Iraqi government set up that trial, that they certainly had no coordination or no influence in just when this verdict was going to happen or when it would be a announced.

But, Susan, certainly this works in the Bush administration's favor. President Bush will be addressing this, this afternoon. He has been make the case here that the Republicans are the stronger party of the two when it comes to issues of national security.

Iraq, the number one issue when it comes to voters. So President Bush of course will be addressing this and essentially using it to make the case that it was the right thing to do to remove Saddam Hussein. And, secondly, that there are positive signs that the Iraqi government can in fact govern itself -- Susan.

ROESGEN: All right, Suzanne Malveaux. We'll see you later on the campaign trail. Thank you for joining us live this morning in Crawford, Texas. Coming up later, we will, of course, have much more on the Saddam Hussein verdict and its possible impact on the war in Iraq and the impact on the election. We'll hear more from White House press secretary Tony Snow who will be Wolf Blitzer's guest on a special edition of "LATE EDITION" live from New York. That's at 11:00 Eastern only on CNN.

So as we've said, the verdict is in. Guilty for Iraq's former strongman Saddam Hussein. The ex-dictator convicted of crimes against humanity and the sentence, death by hanging.

We are bringing in once again Michael Scharf, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. He has written a book about the trial.

And, Michael, you're a specialist in international criminal law. All right, it has been a few hours now since the verdict was announced and both the Iraqis and our own troops in Iraq have been worried about the possibly violent reaction. What do you think might happen next there?

MICHAEL SCHARF, CO-AUTHOR, "SADDAM ON TRIAL": Well, Susan, this is an issue that there was hope, I think, that this trial would lead to peace and reconciliation. And that was a bit of a naive objective, because if you look historically, none of the war crimes trials in the short run have had any positive effect on the peace process.

At Nuremburg, the German people largely felt that Hermann Goering was really innocent and had been railroaded. During the Milosevic trial, the Serbs and the Bosnian Muslims actually diverged more than they came together. Same thing in Rwanda.

So I don't think that this trial and this verdict is going to lead to reconciliation. On the other hand, I don't think it is going to be a tipping point, either. I don't think that this is going to tip the country into all-out civil war.

Maybe in 10 years if the country survives this period of danger and violence, we'll look back at this as one of the ingredients that helped it hold together. But if it doesn't, I think we'll look back at this as just a footnote in history.

ROESGEN: Well, let's look ahead to the short term. If Saddam's appeal is denied, will his execution be public and what do you think would be the Iraqi reaction to that?

SCHARF: Well, the biggest surprise when this trial began that was they decided to televise it, making it the first time ever Iraqis or anybody in the Middle East got to see the inside of one of their courtrooms on television.

And it is possible that they'll decide that every part of this process, including the hanging, should be televised so that the Iraqi people can feel the cathartic effect of being there if there is such an effect. That decision hasn't been made yet and it will await until the final appeals process is over, probably some time in the spring of 2007.

ROSEGEN: Well, you know today, Saddam shouted "death to the infidels" in the courtroom. But then his lawyer released a statement afterwards saying that Saddam knew he was going to get the death sentence and that he urged Iraqis not to take revenge on American forces and to stop killing each other. That doesn't sound like Saddam. What was happening there?

SCHARF: Well, clearly, Saddam has stayed with his own playbook which is at every moment possible to try to hijack the proceedings and make it all about the United States and the Iraqi government and try to encourage supporters to take to the streets in violence.

But it is possible that his lawyers are starting to feel a little pressure. It is also true, as you mentioned earlier, that a complaint will be filed against Ramsey Clark because the way he managed this case was really a travesty of justice.

He was disruptive in the courtroom. He ran out and boycotted. He did all sorts of things that would get him disbarred in the United States. And they're making a point. They're saying, a lawyer can't run their show before our courts in this way and we're going to send disciplinary proceeding to the United States. I guess Saddam's lawyer is also afraid of that possibility.

ROESGEN: OK. Let's hope it doesn't get violent there. Thank you, Michael Scharf...

SCHARF: Thank you.

ROESGEN: ... joining us today in Ohio -- T.J.

HOLMES: Well, an assassination attempt gone wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When the convoy reached the old church, three gunmen started shooting at his convoy from the left side. Saddam's guards started shooting back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: CNN's Aneesh Raman revisits the town at the center of the trial and now conviction of Saddam Hussein.

ROESGEN: And later, the fight for Iraq. As the war drags on, some of its biggest supporters are changing their tune. You could call it a "neo culpa." Neocons feeling a little bit different these days. We'll have more in 30 minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: "Now in the News," an important day for the Iraqi people. That's the reaction from the White House of the conviction and sentencing of Saddam Hussein. The ousted Iraqi leader was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. The conviction stems from the killing of 148 people in Dujail in 1982.

Just five days into November now and 13 American troops have been killed in Iraq. The most recent deaths came yesterday. The U.S. military says a Marine died from non-hostile causes in Anbar province. And a soldier was killed by small arms fire in Baghdad.

Meanwhile, President Bush gets back to the campaign trail today just two days before Tuesday's midterm election. The president is scheduled to make appearances in Nebraska and Kansas to help out GOP congressional candidates. The president is predicting the GOP will retain its majority in the House and Senate, but political analysts say that may not happen.

(WEATHER REPORT)

ROESGEN: And we run down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage all morning long. Your next check of the headlines will be coming up at 9:15 Eastern.

HOLMES: Some have waited for Saddam Hussein's judgment day for more than two decades. The case in question dates back to 1982. That's when Hussein responded to an assassination attempt by slaughtering nearly 150 Shiite men in the town of Dujail.

CNN's Aneesh Raman has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RAMAN (voice-over): On July 8th, 1982, Saddam Hussein drove into Dujail, crowds running alongside his convoy, women rushing to kiss his hand, bellowing in forced joy. It was the sort of visit Saddam often orchestrated, showing he was a man of the people, but when offered a glass of water in one home he declined, always fearful of attempts to poison him. Saddam then spoke to a crowd from atop the local party headquarters about the war with Iran.

SADDAM HUSSEIN, PRESIDENT OF IRAQ RAMAN (through translator): I know and everyone knows the people of Dujail are courageous.

RAMAN: He was about to find out just how courageous. On this road, six young men were preparing to ambush the dictator. Mohammed Ali drove one of the shooters to the scene.

MOHAMMED ALI, DUJAIL RESIDENT (through translator): Hassan (ph) came to me. I took him on my motorcycle. I remember he was carrying two pistols. We drove through orchards looking for other men, but we only saw two. Hassan shot with his pistol to give the group a sign to start shooting at Saddam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When the convoy reached the orchards, three gunmen started shooting at his convoy from the left side. Saddam's guards started shooting back.

RAMAN: Saddam escaped unhurt and moments later, villagers desperately tried to prove their loyalty.

HUSSEIN (through translator): These few shots don't frighten the people of Iraq and they don't frighten...

RAMAN: But Dujail knew its fate. Immediately a dictator's vengeance descended upon the village. With icy calm, Saddam himself started interrogating terrified locals.

HUSSEIN (through translator): Where were you going?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I am fasting and was on my way to my house.

RAMAN: No one's loyalty is taken for granted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Please, sir, I'm in the popular army.

HUSSEIN (through translator): Keep them separate and interrogate them.

RAMAN: And in the ensuing weeks, thousands of innocent villagers like Ali, who was 14 at the time, were thrown in jail, tortured and many others executed. Dujail was destroyed. Villagers show us barren land that once blossomed with orchards where the rebel gunmen hid that fateful day.

Ali is lucky. He survived four years in prison, but he never knew what happened to his brothers. They were also in prison that day, and it was only after Saddam's fall that he learned the worst.

MOHAMMED (through translator): I found a document signed by Saddam in 1985 to execute some of the Dujail people (INAUDIBLE) in the prison, 149 people including seven of my brothers, 34 of my relatives and 118 people of my town. They're now for God. To God they returned.

RAMAN: photos on of his brothers proudly hang on Ali's living room wall, casualties of state terror. In sheer numbers, Dujail was not nearly the worst of Saddam's alleged atrocities, but that is of no consequence.

Aneesh Raman, CNN, Dujail, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: And we want to continue to get you caught up on this story. If you are just getting up here or just hearing the news, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was sentenced to hang for ordering the deaths of 148 people. And coming up here in 12 minutes, we will play the entire sentencing and hear from again, CNN's Aneesh Raman who was in the courtroom as the former Iraqi dictator learned his fate.

ROESGEN: But first, evangelical preacher Ted Haggard gets the boot from his church after allegations of gay sex and drug use. We'll go live to the church headquarters in Colorado Springs. CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROESGEN: The man considered a powerful evangelical minister, influential all the way to the White House, is now out of his church. Ted Haggard of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been fired.

CNN's Sean Callebs has the latest on Haggard's fall from grace.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The end came in a six-paragraph statement from the New Life Church Overseer Board that the Reverend Ted Haggard created himself. The four members saying: "Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct." Later saying: "We have decided the most positive and productive direction for our church is his dismissal and removal."

Rob Brendle worked as an associate pastor here for 10 years with Haggard.

ROB BRENDLE, ASSOC. PASTOR, NEW LIFE CHURCH: Our senior pastor has willingly and humbly submit himself to the authority of the board of overseers. They conducted an investigation into the alleged indiscretions and have come to a conclusion and promptly, and we are grateful for that.

CALLEBS: The accusations that brought Haggard down came Wednesday from a former male prostitute in Denver, Mike Jones. After first denying he knew Jones, haggard later admitted buying crystal meth through Jones. Haggard says he never used the drugs, insisting he threw them away.

Jones also alleges he and Haggard had a three-year sexual relationship, but he failed a lie detector test on the subject.

REV. TED HAGGARD, NEW LIFE CHURCH: We are so grateful that he failed the polygraph test this morning.

CALLEBS: The person who administered the polygraph says Jones was exhausted at the time and he wants to retest him. Haggard denies a sexual relationship. The evangelical minister says he did contact Jones for a massage after a Denver concierge recommended Jones as a masseuse.

MIKE JONES, HAGGARD'S ACCUSER: You know, look at the position he's in. What I think is unfortunate is the more denial that he gives, the messier it looks. I think what would be best is he just admit it and move on.

CALLEBS: Before being ousted from the New Life Church, Haggard was forced to resign the politically powerful position as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a group that represents some 30 million Christians nationwide who routinely form a strong and solid voting block. Haggard was at the top of his profession, one of a handful of ministers taking part in a weekly conference call with President Bush or top White House officials. Jones chose the timing just before Tuesday's midterm election to show what he calls the hypocrisy of Haggard and others in the religious right.

The issue of gay marriage is on the ballot in Colorado and several other states. Haggard and evangelicals are fighting gay marriage tooth and nail, but it's a battle now that will go on without Haggard in the pulpit.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CALLEBS: And in just a couple of hours the faithful at the New Life Church will hear exactly what Haggard has to say. That is when that letter of apology is expected to be read to the church.

But one thing remains uncertain at this hour, Susan, with the election just a couple of days away, what if any effect will this scandal have on the polls here in Colorado and throughout the nation. Back to you.

ROESGEN: Yes, Sean, you mentioned that the gay issue is big on the ballot there in Colorado. Have you found that the church was under pressure to fire Haggard before Tuesday's election?

CALLEBS: That's a good question. And we asked the associate pastor last night and he says absolutely not. That it was -- those are two separate items that are going on, that the overseeing board simply had no pressure whatsoever. They weren't concerned about outside political pressures at all. They were simply focused on the accusations against Haggard and what that could do to this church and its members.

ROESGEN: OK. Sean, we'll be very interested to see what Haggard says in that letter coming out later today. Thanks so much, Sean Callebs, live for us in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

HOLMES: Well, Saddam Hussein learns his fate. If you're just waking up and hearing this news this morning, yes, the former Iraqi dictator was convicted and sentenced to death for the brutal crackdown in Dujail.

ROESGEN: Up next, you can see for yourself how he took the news and how he tried to shout out the judge. CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROESGEN: CNN ANCHOR, CNN SUNDAY MORNING: "Now in the News": Guilty, guilty of crimes against humanity. Just this morning Iraq's high tribunal has sentenced former dictator Saddam Hussein and two others to death by hanging for the massacre of 148 Iraqi Shiites in the early 1980s. The latest developments are straight ahead.

Meanwhile, in Iraq right now varying reactions to the verdict, predominantly Shiite areas, like the City of Najaf, are seeing celebrations in the streets. You see guns fired in the air, while Sunni-dominated neighborhoods like Hussein's hometown of Tikrit have seen protests and sporadic violence.

HOLMES: A last-minute push on President Bush on behalf of the GOP faithful. The president has a couple of campaign stops scheduled in Nebraska and Kansas later today. It's part of a 10-state election trek Mr. Bush is making before voters go to the polls on Tuesday.

Former Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is poised to recapture his old job. Ortega is the apparent front-runner of today's presidential elections, which is being observed by form U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The U.S. favors the pro-business candidate to maintain close ties.

ROESGEN: Now to Reynolds Wolf for another quick check of our weather.

(WEATHER REPORT)

ROESGEN: We run down the top stories here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, with in-depth coverage all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 9:45 Eastern.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking in foreign language)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROESGEN: This is the big breaking news story this morning in Iraq. Drama in the courtroom as ousted leader Saddam Hussein is convicted and sentenced. Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity for the 1982 killings of 148 people in Dujail. He was sentenced to die by hanging.

The sentence will be appealed automatically. There's no time limit on the appeal, but if the decision is upheld, the sentence must be carried out within 30 days. Here is how the events unfolded inside that Baghdad courtroom just a few hours ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Stand up. We will read the verdict. Stand up.

SADDAM HUSSEIN (through translator): Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You listen to the verdict --

HUSSEIN (through translator): I can't listen to verdict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Stand up.

HUSSEIN (through translator): No. I want to stay. I want to sit down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Move away from him. The court sentence the defendant Saddam Hussein al Majid to execution by hanging.

HUSSEIN (through translator): Long live the people. Down with the traitors!

God is great! God is great! God is great! God is great!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The punishment is according to the law.

HUSSEIN (through translator): Long live the people! Down with the traitors! Down with the conquerors!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking foreign language)

HUSSEIN (through translator): Damn you and your court!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): (speaking foreign language)

HUSSEIN (through translator): Damn you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are up to it! We are up to it!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking in foreign language)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): War crimes and crimes against humanity according to paragraph 50.

HUSSEIN (through translator): You are the enemies of humanity. God is great! God is great! God is great! Damn the losers!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking in foreign language)

HUSSEIN (through translator): The great Iraqi people. Long live the Iraqi people and all those who deviated. And retreated and I say to them not to accept the will of the occupiers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking in foreign language)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The punishment has been based on article.

HUSSEIN (voice over): You are servants of the occupiers. You are traitors. God is great! God is great!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking foreign language)

HUSSEIN (through translator): Life for us and death to our enemies. Death to the enemies of the people this glorious nation. Long live the nation and death to the enemies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Take him out.

HUSSEIN (through translator): Don't push me, boy. Long live, Iraq!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Well, it's certainly one thing for us to be able to see it on tape there, but our Aneesh Raman was actually in that courtroom when those verdicts were being handed down and all of that was going on. The confrontation between Saddam and the judge; he's live now in Baghdad.

Please, take us inside that courtroom and tell us what it felt like.

RAMAN: Well, let's start with that sentence being delivered. You'll notice there the translator having understandably some difficulty. The judge now plowing ahead, listing the charges, finding Saddam guilty and sentencing him to death, and 10 years, for other charges.

Saddam, though, kept screaming throughout, clearly intent on trying to drag the judge into some sort of back and forth, which he has successfully done before. Did not do so today.

Saddam came in -- and you aren't allowed to see him walk in, because they're not allowed to show the faces of the guards -- with one guard on each side. As he entered the docks, where he just sat down, the judge ordered him to stand up. It took some seven guards who surrounded him to get him to do so.

Saddam turned, at one point, to the guy right at his right, lifting him up, and with the strongest sort of fiery eyes I've seen in Saddam in some time, told him, "Don't bend my arm. You stupid." You heard him at the end say, "You dog," to a certain person as he walked out.

He knew at some level what was coming and was uncomfortable with the setting. As he stood, and as the judge, there in that back and forth, sentenced him to death, one of the guards was actually physically in front of Saddam, and glared right at him, and as he did so he was smiling and chewing gum at the same time. Casually sort of showing Saddam he had no fear, as his sentence of death was being read. That is what sparked demonstration by the defense lawyers. They had to have that guard sort of move out of the way, but it was a back and forth of power dynamics.

Keep in mind when Saddam first entered that courtroom, that's the last time I recall those fiery eyes glaring at these guards as they tried to get him to stand up. He tried to impose that figure of the presidency that he had under his tyranny, and he tried to do so at the start of today. It dissipated pretty quickly, though, T.J.

HOLMES: You were talking about the guards there as well. It was the same sense with the judge, and every official, in that courtroom. They wanted to make sure and had they throughout maybe, even, to make sure, hey, Saddam you're not the big man anymore. They made sure they got that across that he is not in charge of a thing.

RAMAN: They did. They successfully did that today. They had not done it successfully in the past. Saddam has effectively hijacked the courtroom proceedings especially at the start of the trial. The judge, though, often before when Saddam starts to scream, he'll stop, he'll tell him to be quiet. He'll allow that process to go forward, maybe have him forcibly removed.

But the judge, today, didn't even acknowledge Saddam's outbursts, simply plowed ahead. And it was difficult for us in the media gallery. We're sort of directly behind Saddam. His back is to us. The judges are looking at us. To even keep track of what the sentence was, because after he sentenced him to death, all the other charges were sort of clouded by Saddam screaming.

And the translator in the courtroom, as well as our own, having difficulty figuring out who they should be translating in the live feed. They were both talking.

Another interesting point to mention, is Ramsey Clarke, the former U.S. attorney general. He was in the courtroom at the start and was almost immediately kicked out of the courtroom because they said he had sort of a defamatory motion that was filed. Above us, where we sit in the media gallery, is a visitor's gallery. There are government officials and witnesses as well. There was applause heard from the upstairs gallery. There was also applause and cries of "God is great" when the first sentence of death was delivered to Anwad Bandar, a co-defendant of Saddam. The judge had to chastise them.

But I think everyone in the courtroom was surprised at how quickly this went today; 50 (ph) minutes for all of the sentences. And Saddam is what happened right at noon, local time. That back and forth, though, was fascinating to watch, T.J.

HOLMES: How was he taken out of the courtroom? Did he leave kicking and screaming as well? I mean, he got the word. How did he react even to hearing that he's sentenced to death?

RAMAN: Yeah. A little bit of both. Immediately after he heard the sentence of death is when he embarked on this seemingly never- ending, God is great; Hell to the occupiers. These chants that we heard before, but they came in a string. As he was escorted out, at one time the guard his arms behind his back. I wouldn't say it was forcible. Saddam needed cajoling, clearly, to get out of the docks and to get out of the courtroom.

Another interesting moment came as he was passing the prosecutors, they're on sort of the left, as I'm facing the courtroom side. And in front of them are the complainant witness lawyers. The people who are essentially the ones who filed this case, in the villagers of Dujail. He turned to them with sort of the same fiery look that he turned to the guard and called them traitors of the Iraqi people, traitors of the process, siders with the occupiers. And the last word he got off -- said -- as he left the courtroom, "Long live Iraq." That has been sort of the summation of what he's tried to do in this courtroom. Re-establish himself after being toppled as the dictator, humiliated in sorts, in that video where he's medically examined, after being found in that spider hole. Re-establish himself with legitimacy and with power; he tried to do so again today, but it was so quick he didn't get a chance really to take control of the proceedings.

HOLMES: All right. Well, Aneesh Raman, thank you so much for taking us inside that courtroom today.

And coming up at 11:00, we'll have much more of Saddam Hussein's conviction and its possible impact on the war in Iraq. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow is Wolf's guest on a special edition of "Late Edition" live from New York today. That's coming up at 11:00 Eastern, only here on CNN.

ROESGEN: Another angle on the story in Iraq straight ahead. Is the president losing some of his strongest support for the war?

HOLMES: A controversial new report claims some of the most hawkish voices in the U.S. foreign policy are breaking with the president. We'll talk to the man behind the story coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROESGEN: "Now in the News": Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is guilty of crimes against humanity and is sentenced to die by hanging. Two co-defendants have received the same sentence in verdicts stemming from a 1982 mass slaughter of Shiite Muslims in Dujail, Iraq.

News of this verdict is bringing people into the streets of Baghdad in celebration, in spite of what was supposed to be a strict curfew, both in Baghdad and two other Iraqi provinces. In Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, an estimated 2,000 loyalists took to the streets to protest the verdict.

And just five days into November and 13 American troops have died in Iraq. The most recent deaths happened Saturday. The U.S. military says a Marine died from non-hostile causes in Anbar Province. And a soldier was killed by small arms fire in western Baghdad.

The president gets back on the campaign trail later today and last-minute appeals to GOP voters. He has stops scheduled in both Nebraska and Kansas. CNN will be with him. The president says he's confident Republicans will retain their congressional balance of power despite predictions to the contrary.

We run down the top stories every 15 minutes on here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, with in-depth coverage all morning long. Your next check of the headlines now will be coming up at the top of the hour.

HOLMES: Documents released yesterday show there should be no surprise, really, at what's happening in Iraq. The documents show how a series of war games carried out by U.S. Central Command in 1999, forewarned what we are now seeing on the ground. The games, called Desert Crossing, predicted if there was a regime change in Iraq, if Saddam fell, forces within Iraq would bid for power.

There would be fragmentation along the religious and ethnic lines. Desert Crossing also determined the U.S. would need 400,000 troops. That's more than twice the number approved by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

And as Iraq seems to slip further into chaos, some may say, Investigative Reporter David Rose writes in a "Vanity Fair" exclusive title, "Neo Culpa". In an online excerpt he asserts more and more conservatives are abandoning the president. And Mr. Rose joins us live this morning from London.

Good morning, sir. Thank you for being here.

DAVID ROSE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "VANITY FAIR": Good morning.

HOLMES: Give folks just a little bit of an idea of the kind of folks who these people were, these insiders, that you talk to for the article.

ROSE: I spent about two weeks in Washington, D.C., talking to some of the leading proponents of the war in Iraq. And before that, proponents of regime change even before a war really looked like it was in the offing, back in the Clinton times.

(INAUDIBLE) to Richard Perle, who of course was chairman of the Defense Policy Advisory Board at the Pentagon, after 9/11. I think he's closely associated in the public mind as having supported and advocated the war quite strongly. Another voice I interview is Kenneth Adelman, who was a board member, also known very much as a neoconservative activist, a strong supporter of the war. I think what's --

HOLMES: Now, these insiders -- let me ask you here -- these insiders, I mean, these are names a lot of people will know. So were they willing, or were you surprised they were willing, and even come off as eager to talk to you for your article?

ROSE: Well, I know these people quite well. I've interviewed them on a number of occasions over the last few years. And I knew that they had serious misgivings about the way things were going in Iraq, but what did surprise me is that both Richard Perle and Kenneth Adelman, who as I say, are strongly associated with supporting. It's Kenneth Adelman, you may remember, who wrote the famous, "Iraq will be a cake walk," op-ed in "The Washington Post" about a year before the war started.

What surprise me is that they are saying that if they had that time over, they would now be arguing against launching a military intervention in Iraq , even though they continue to believe that Saddam did have the capability to recreate his weapons of mass destruction, and did have links to Islamic terrorists.

Even in that belief, as Richard Perle says, if he did have the opportunity to have his time over; he knew how things were going go, how incompetent the administration would be, he would now say that perhaps it wasn't the best way to handle this. That we should look at other ways of containing the threat posed by Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

HOLMES: We want to give people a little flavor of what you're talking about with Kenneth Adelman, the name you've been using there, who was on the Defense Policy Board. This is something he told you here, and I'm quoting here. It says, "I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national-security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent."

He goes on to say, "The turned out to be among the most incompetent teams in the post-war era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaw, but together they were deadly dysfunctional," end quote.

Now, as you started doing these interviews and getting quotes like that, was that pretty much the theme that developed from everyone you talked to?

ROSE: Well, I would say the theme that is common to all the people I interviewed, I did I think about 10 or 11 interviews in all, is a great disappointment with the way things have gone. A feeling that Iraq was, to use the phrase cited to me by the former White House speechwriter David Frum, "a doable do in March of 2003" But because of the way it has been handled, because of the incompetence both on the ground and in Washington, D.C., the failure to make decisions in a timely fashion, often the making of wrong decisions.

Because of those reasons things have turned out far, far worse than they ever expected. And while it would be wrong to say that we are facing an inevitable defeat here. There is clearly a real prospect that America and Britain and the rest of the coalition may end up withdrawing from Iraq leaving it with something like a failed state. And if that does happen, as Richard Perle says, then you will see the all the mayhem that the world can unleash. It would be a clearly undesirable outcome.

HOLMES: So, let us --

ROSE: What I was finding --

HOLMES: Yes, well -- I'm sorry. We're going over each other.

I want to make sure we get to another point because we are running out of time. You mentioned David Frum. And as you know there's been some criticism of the article. It doesn't come out for, I guess, a couple of months -- in January maybe -- but there are some excerpts out there, and it's being promoted, at least.

And there's some criticism of how it's being promoted and David Frum, as you just mentions, writes -- and we have his quote as well -- that he says, he has respect for you, "...has earned a reputation as a truth teller, but the same cannot be said for the editors and publicists of 'Vanity Fair.' They have repackaged truth that war fighting country needs to hear, into lies intended to achieve a shabby partisan purpose."

And there were others that said, hey, there's nothing remorseful in my interviews. I said my words, in it's own context. So, there's been criticism, you know it's out there. What do you say to that? Have the words been twisted a little bit from the interviews that you did, to now promotion for the article?

ROSE: Let me say, I have great respect for David Frum, too. And I'm thankful for his kind words. I have to say if one was to look at the entire interview they did with David Frum, which is a long thoughtful interview. And of course, a full interview, or larger parts of it will be reflected in the article, which will be available actually, not in a couple of months, in the beginning of December.

One can see that actually what he's making is far more strident -- not strident -- but much greater criticisms of the administration than are excerpted on the short piece on the website at the moment.

Michael Ledeen, I know, has also claimed that his words have been taken out of context. But actually what the context of the quote, which is on the web site is, the full context is a tremendous attack by Mr. Ledeen on the decision process at the White House, on the National Security Council, and particularly on its former Chair Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Adviser, until she became secretary of State.

So, if you actually look at the full context of these short excerpts on the web site, you'll find that their criticisms actually go much further than you would realize by looking at what are inevitably just fairly short excerpts. Because we felt at the magazine, that it was important to get these views out there quickly.

HOLMES: OK. Well, it will be out there and people will be able to see for themselves here shortly. So we'll just let them do that.

Again, it's David Rose, the article is "Neo Culpa." It will be appearing in "Vanity Fair" We do appreciate you spending time with us this morning. I'm sure we'll see you again soon.

ROSE: Thank you very much.

HOLMES: Coming up at 11:00, again, much more on Saddam Hussein's conviction, as we were talking about this morning, and it's possible impact on the war in Iraq. And the White House Press Secretary Tony Snow will be Wolf Blitzer's guest on that special edition of "Late Edition". That will be live from New York. Again, 11 Eastern, right here on CNN. And CNN LIVE SUNDAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROESGEN: "Reliable Sources" is next, followed by "Late Edition" and "This Week At War" and the latest developments on the Saddam Hussein guilty verdict. Don't go away.

HOLMES: We'll have live updates with you this morning. Don't go away. Thank you for being with us.

ROESGEN: Fredericka Whitfield will be with you later.

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