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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Nuclear Deadline For Iran Expires; Breaking Through Autism; Verdict Delivered in Anna Nicole Smith Case
Aired February 22, 2007 - 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.
Just ahead: much more on the legal hearing that has pushed bizarre to new limits. The judge outdid himself today, crying as he read his ruling in the Anna Nicole Smith case -- just ahead, what that ruling means for the case of dozens, all claiming a stake.
But we begin with news that actually matters, or should matter, to all of us. We're talking about Iran and the deadline that's has now expired. The United Nations gave the Islamic state until yesterday to stop enriching uranium, or face sanctions. Instead, Iran vowed to press on.
After meeting in Berlin with other top diplomats, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the U.S. and its partners will meet next week to try drafting a new resolution aimed at restarting talks with Iran.
The stalled nuclear talks, of course, aren't the only concern. The U.S. Navy's top commander in the Persian Gulf warned, just this week that the region has never been so unstable, and Iran may pose a bigger security threat than al Qaeda.
CNN's Tom Foreman now explains why.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Military analysts are increasingly calling it a genuine and perilous threat, that Iran may attempt to disrupt the world's oil supply by attacking the Strait of Hormuz.
GAL LUFT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR THE ANALYSIS OF GLOBAL SECURITY: The Strait of Hormuz is the most important choke point in the world. We have about 17 million barrels a day flow through this area, which is about 20 percent of the world's oil market.
FOREMAN: The strait is not very big. At its narrowest point, it's only about 30 miles or so across. That's not big at all. But its impact on world oil markets is enormous. Why? Well, because it connects some of the Middle East's most critical oil supplies with the rest of the planet. These are the Saudi Arabian oil facilities. And every hour of every day, the oil that flows out of here is heading for the Strait of Hormuz. (voice-over): One military leader says, concern is at unprecedented levels, because the Iranians have been staging naval maneuvers and testing weapons in that area, then showing their capability on the state-run news network.
The commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, Vice Admiral Patrick Walsh, said, "In the last nine months, you see the open display and the implication of the use of mines."
(on camera): Now, should the strait be shut down or even temporarily disrupted, the alternatives for that Saudi oil, for example, are just not good. Yes, there is an old pipeline that stretches all the way over to the Red Sea, but oil industry analysts say it takes longer, it's not used much, and it may not be reliable.
(voice-over): Protecting the strait through warfare with Iran would open another troublesome battlefront, but doing nothing could be costly, too.
LUFT: If there is a disruption in the Strait of Hormuz, all of us, every American, will feel the pain.
FOREMAN: Even if the United States tapped its strategic oil reserves, world markets would become chaotic, and industry analysts say the price at the pump could rise dramatically to $7, $8 a gallon.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Vice Admiral Walsh, the top commander in the Gulf, also called the tensions in the region at this moment unprecedented -- no surprise, really, there.
Military strategist Dan Goure served in the Pentagon under the first President Bush. He joins me now from Washington.
Dan, at this point, in terms of Iran being determined to have nuclear weapon capabilities, at the very least, has the train already left the station?
DANIEL GOURE, VICE PRESIDENT, LEXINGTON INSTITUTE: I think we not only a train leaving the station. We have a juggernaut.
Everybody in Iran, on virtually all sides of the political spectrum, now believes and have -- supporting the idea of Iran having a nuclear capability, if not actual weaponization.
COOPER: And is that a point of pride in the region, or just power politics?
GOURE: It's everything. It is power politics, the clear notion that Iran is the leader of the Shia people of the world -- having nuclear weapons gives them an extra bit of clout -- also, power politics relative to the U.S. in the region and to U.S. allies, and also a sense of pride that Iran can do something that few nations can do.
COOPER: You know, we all look at Ahmadinejad as the guy sort of pulling all the strings. But it's not really him. I mean, he doesn't actually have much power over Iran's nuclear facilities; correct?
GOURE: That's right.
I mean, this is really being driven by Khamenei, the supreme leader. It's been driven by the religious side of the government, as well as by the political side. I mean, there is a consensus here, basically, on the idea of nuclearization.
COOPER: And, in terms of U.S. options at this point, what are they? All the talk, all the warnings, all the threats really haven't seemed to have amounted to much.
GOURE: No, there isn't much.
I mean, one option is of course strong sanctions by the U.S. and the West. If you don't invest in Iranian oil supplies, if you don't provide them with the technology for their oil industry, they will hurt.
The other option, the only other option, really, is a military one. That would mean the destruction -- or the attempted destruction -- of Iranian nuclear facilities. And that is very dicey.
COOPER: Dicey because, I mean, it seems, from my reading of it, these facilities are spread out here pretty far and wide in Iran. It's not like when Israel bombed Iraq years ago. You know, there was just one site to strike. There are multiple sites. And they are deep in the ground. And there is no clear indication that we can knock them out. Is that correct?
GOURE: That's basically correct.
Also, you are talking about the sites we know about. We don't know about the sites that we don't know about. But there probably are some out there. And we don't yet have the kind of weapons, the bunker-buster bombs, the conventional ICBM or SLBM, that can actually go in and do conventional damage at the level we need to destroy those facilities.
COOPER: So, what are -- so, what is the option, I mean, just accepting that Iran will go nuclear?
GOURE: It may be at this point. We have no other option, particularly if the world is not going to join us in a sanctions regime, but deterrence, moving forces into the Gulf , which creates its own problems, providing missile and air defense to our allies in the Persian Gulf, and potentially threatening to retaliate against Iran, if it should use or allow to be used its nuclear weapons.
COOPER: Is -- is it a hollow threat, though? They know as well as we know how thin our military is stretched right now.
GOURE: Well, some of the military is stretched thin.
We have Air Force and particular the Navy, which is suited very well for operations in and around the Gulf. And the Navy has, back in the past, actually sparred a little bit with the Iranians, if you recall, during the Iran-Iraq War, in much the same way as we're talking about now. They were trying to deploy mines. They were sending out some patrol boats. And we took them on then.
The Navy, if we surge it into the Gulf, can provide enormous power for deterring, or, in fact, engaging Iran in warfare, if necessary.
COOPER: Well, we will see if it comes to that.
Dan Goure, appreciate it. Thanks.
GOURE: My pleasure.
COOPER: To Iraq now -- tonight, more to report on those dirty bombs filled with chlorine that we told you about yesterday.
A U.S. military commander said today that a raid this week near Fallujah uncovered car bombs and a range of weapons, including chlorine cylinders.
Joining me now from Baghdad, CNN's Michael Ware.
Michael, good to see you.
You say that insurgents have actually been experimenting with these chemicals since 2003, 2004. Why a surge in these attacks now?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I don't know. That's a good question, Anderson.
I mean, we know that the insurgents have dabbled with different forms of chemical munitions. I mean, I have seen some of their arsenals, where they have been emptying mortars and refilling them with certain substances.
Now, on one occasion, one of these substances actually burned my throat when I breathed it in. On another occasion, they sent me a substance as an example of what they were doing, and I had to have a hazmat team come to my house in Baghdad and take that away.
One theory -- and this is a theory that might also apply to the current strategy of attacking U.S. helicopters -- that al Qaeda is, by and large, behind these things. We have seen, with the sectarian divide that's increased here in Iraq, more and more Baathists and former members of the army driven towards al Qaeda, secularists who don't share the Islamic agenda, but feel they have got no other choice.
Now, they may have taken certain skills with them to al Qaeda. And, remember, there was a massive military industrialization commission here in Iraq. Also bear in mind that these are very simple bombs. Much of the chlorine is being burned up in the actual explosion itself. Chlorine is very hard to use as a weapon. Its real impact is terror.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, it gets to my next question, which is, is the the explosions which kill more people or the -- the actual chemicals which kill?
I mean, we have talked in the past -- and the U.S. military has made a point to point out how this is a learning enemy. The insurgency learns from our tactics. They change their tactics accordingly. How good are they right now at chlorine attacks?
WARE: Well, this is still very, very embryonic.
I mean, we -- we now know of at least such attacks of varying natures. There's two types, basically. One is your car strapped full of explosives, that you are heading off to attack a target. You throw some chlorine cylinders in there with it. That's one type.
The other type that we have seen is actually a chlorine gas tanker truck that is rigged to explode. But, either way, there's problems with distributing that chlorine as a cloud, as a weapon.
So, what we know is, for example, in Ramadi, in one of the three cases we know of, 16 people were killed. But it's unclear just how many were killed by the explosion, how many were killed by the gas.
We do know that, in the two attacks this week, one in Baghdad, one just north of Baghdad, 11 people killed. The real -- the real number, though, is more than 200 hospitalized with respiratory illness. Those people don't have to die to spread the fear amongst the community.
COOPER: There is certainly that.
Michael Ware, stay safe. Michael, thanks.
The Bush administration used to like to talk a lot about the coalition of the willing in Iraq. It's clear one country is doing most of the fighting. Here's the "Raw Data."
According to "The New York Times," there are 132,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Of course, that number is going to rise to about 153,000. The second largest contingency is from Britain, with about 7,000 troops. And, as we all know now, that number is going to be cut to 5,500. Third is South Korea, 2,300 troops. Australia has 1,400. And 18 other countries have less than 1,000 troops each in Iraq.
Now a developing story: The Associated Press is reporting that a U.S. soldier has been sentenced to 100 years in prison for raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killing the girl and three others in her family.
Sergeant Paul Cortez pleaded guilty this week to four counts of felony murder, rape and conspiracy to rape in a case considered among the worst atrocities by U.S. military personnel in Iraq. He's going to be eligible for parole in 10 years under the terms of his plea agreement. He was also given a dishonorable discharge.
Up next on 360:
COOPER (voice-over): She changed the way you think about autism.
AMANDA BAGGS, AUTISTIC (through voice synthesizer): I think everyone lives in the same world, and the idea that autistic people live in our world is kind of backwards.
COOPER: And many of you asked to hear more from this remarkable woman.
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): A lot of is just people reading us wrong and underestimating us.
COOPER: 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta continues Amanda's story.
Also head: tears of justice?
JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, BROWARD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: This is not a happy moment. I want her buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together.
COOPER: A strange ending to the bizarre courtroom battle over Anna Nicole Smith's body -- everyone was unhappy. Did anyone win? Our legal experts weigh in -- ahead on 360.
COOPER: Well, last night, we introduced you to that woman, Amanda Baggs. She has autism. She can't speak in the way that most people can. But she certainly has a lot to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you wanted to talk to me, could you do that?
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): I could make speech sounds. At this point, I could not make them mean anything I was thinking.
GUPTA: Does that frustrate you?
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): Not really. I type very fast.
GUPTA: Yes, you do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: She actually types 120 words per minute.
Since our report, many of you have asked to hear more about this remarkable woman.
Tonight, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta continues Amanda's story.
GUPTA (voice-over): Like most people with autism, since childhood, Amanda Baggs has been frustrated by her difficulties relating with others. At 14, she was formally diagnosed with autism. But there were signs from the very beginning.
As a baby, she had to be taught to nurse.
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): I remember just being angry that I was different before I knew I was specifically autistic. But that's kind of what happens when you have grown up in a society where you learn that, if you are different, then being different is the problem.
I used to come home from school every day, and just start screaming my head off and crying, because I was really mad that I had to be. Not every kind of person got the kind of experiences I got at school.
GUPTA: But she still tried to fit in. She learned to read, even attended regular elementary school. It was manageable for a few years, but then she began to lose her abilities.
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): It was not a sudden thing. It was like I would have more and more periods where I could not talk. And, also, the thing to understand is, a lot of my speech was very tenuous to begin with.
I know an autistic woman who describes having seen speech as a puzzle to be solved, rather than a means of conversing with people. So, you say I could hold a conversation, and that's true. But you would not necessarily be getting my own opinions during that conversation. So, there is also a degree to which speech was not necessarily communicative.
GUPTA: Which is no doubt why she found comfort not with other kids, but with her pets.
(on camera): Do you find it easier to -- to relate to animals?
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): I slept with a cat when I was a baby. I never was away from cats. I didn't really get to know dogs until I was older.
GUPTA: What about the body language and the communication?
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): Well, dogs are also a bit more in your face. Dogs also expect more body language...
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): ... more of the standard kind. Like, with her, I learned to wag my tail a bit.
GUPTA (voice-over): Amanda has always felt pressure to accommodate people. Since she can't speak, she believes people expect her to respond with gestures, with body language.
But, sometimes, she says, it's simply too much for her to process. In the same way, she does not have an expectation about how I should relate to her. She's OK with me just being present, doesn't care much about eye contact or my body language.
(on camera): One thing I have noticed is that you haven't looked at me the entire time we have talked. You don't know my body language. You haven't looked at me. Wouldn't that be important to do?
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): I can hear you.
GUPTA: What about that body language? Isn't that important?
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): It can be, but, one, it can be seen out of the corner of the eye, when necessary, and, two, if I'm listening to you, I'm not going to. One could be also processing a zillion other things.
GUPTA (voice-over): I asked her if she believes that people with autism live in a different world.
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): I think everyone lives in the same world. And the idea that autistic people live in our own world is kind of backwards, because, again, all the research and stuff, as well as our own experience, is showing that we're taking in more of our environment and consciously seeing more of our environment than non-autistic people are, which has its advantages and disadvantages.
GUPTA (on camera): Parents may hear that their child has autism, and they may take that as devastating news. What kind of optimistic -- or hope you can give them?
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): I mean, generally, what I tell parents is not to believe most of what they read, particularly the stuff that says we have no understanding, and no connection to our families, and no anything, and are empty shells, and stolen fairy children, or whatever. Most of that is not true.
GUPTA: Just nonsense?
BAGGS (through voice synthesizer): Yes. A lot of it is just people reading us wrong and underestimating us.
GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Burlington, Vermont.
COOPER: She certainly has a lot to teach us all about communicating with one another.
We asked you to send Amanda your questions about autism. Her answers are next.
Also tonight: If you thought the hearing was dramatic, wait until you see the ending -- why the judge in the Anna Nicole Smith case broke down on the bench, and who will get custody of her body -- all the tawdry drama and the decision when 360 continues.
COOPER: Before the break, we brought you the story of Amanda Baggs, a woman who is changing the way a lot of us think about autistic people.
Last night, we asked you to write to Amanda by logging on to the 360 blog. We got hundreds of questions for her. She answered as many as she could.
Earlier tonight, I talked about the questions and Amanda's answers with cognitive psychologist Morton Ann Gernsbacher, who has met Amanda and communicates with her regularly online.
COOPER: Professor Gernsbacher, I want to start reading you the first e-mail.
This is from Marion in Ontario, Canada. She asks: "You mentioned that it is beneficial for people with autism to be in contact with other autistic people. Can you share your reasoning for this and how it's helpful to you."
Amanda responded, saying: "Being exposed to a wide variety of autistic people is important, because then we are around people perceiving closer to the same things as we are. We may pick up on things about each other that are invisible to non-autistic people."
Do you think, Professor, it's a good idea to expose autistic people to others who are also autistic?
MORTON ANN GERNSBACHER, COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely.
In fact, some of the first advice I give to parents whose children are recently diagnosed are -- is to get to know autistic individuals. Get to know autistic children, autistic teenagers, autistic adults. Get to know them, either by reading the books that they have written, by listening to presentations that they give at conferences, or, in this...
COOPER: How does it help? GERNSBACHER: It's -- it's extremely helpful.
You know, when you think about it, when parents are expecting a child, they are often quite interested if they are going to have a little boy or a little girl. And the reason is, is that they want to visualize what that child will be like. And they want to think about things that they can do that are very specific and tailored to, in this case, the gender of the child.
So, getting to know who autistic individuals are helps parents get to know who their child might be like. And, of course, there's a lot of variability among autistic individuals. And, as Amanda suggests, it's very important to get to know a lot of autistic individuals.
COOPER: Elizabeth Cruise in Lantana, Florida, asked Amanda: I was wondering how you feel when you hit yourself in the head. Does it hurt or give you some sensory feedback that feels good to you? Is it because of sensory overload?"
And Amanda responded to Elizabeth, saying: "It's usually a reaction to stress or overload, or else something I'm compulsive about that has just gone wrong, and often a combination of the three."
Is this pretty much why other autistic people might hit themselves? Or there are a variety of reasons, I suppose?
GERNSBACHER: Well, I think that it is very important for any behavior, for any of us, for any individual to appreciate the motivation and the interpretation of that behavior from the individual's perspective.
I mean, all of us perform different behaviors. You might, for example, when you come into my house, leave your shoes in the entryway. And I might ask you, well, why did you do that? Is it because you were lazy? Is it because, you know, you were tired of having shoes on? Or did you do it out of respect?
And I think it's extremely important, for all of these behaviors, to be quite respectful, to understand the individual and what his or her motivation and his or her message is in those behaviors.
COOPER: Angie Wettstain in Owensboro, Kentucky, wrote Amanda: "I have been told that those with autism do not show affection to others. Is this a true statement?"
And Amanda responded: "Autistic people do show affection to others. We do not always show it in a standard way, or at the expected times, but most of us do show it."
How -- how do people show -- how do autistic people show emotion?
GERNSBACHER: Every one of our scientific studies suggests that autistic children are just as firmly attached emotionally and socio -- socioemotionally to their primary caregivers as are their peers.
Now, many times, those emotions might be displayed in non-typical or non-standard ways, as Amanda also shares in her YouTube.
COOPER: Lawrence Decker in Floyd, Virginia, wrote Amanda: "There are three persons with autism in my family. How do you think an island, populated only by autistic persons such as yourself, would function?
Amanda's response to Lawrence was: "I don't know. I don't think I would want to live on an island with people of only one neurological configuration, no matter what it was" -- a pretty interesting answer.
You know, Amanda and many other autistic self-advocates are truly beacons for the importance of diversity. They don't want to be excluded. They don't want to be secluded. They truly want to be included. And they appreciate that there is a lot of importance to having variation in our society.
But the -- the critical piece is acceptance and -- and appreciation of that variation, of that diversity.
COOPER: Professor Gernsbacher, appreciate your -- your perspective. Thanks.
GERNSBACHER: You bet. It's been nice.
COOPER: Well, you can read more of Amanda's answers to your autism questions and her blog by logging on to CNN.com/360blog. There, you can also find a link to Amanda's personal Web site.
The courtroom and the case that everyone seems to be watching.
COOPER (voice-over): Also ahead: tears of justice?
SEIDLIN: This is not a happy moment. I want her buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together.
COOPER: A strange ending to the bizarre courtroom battle over Anna Nicole Smith's body -- everyone was unhappy. Did anyone win? .
Also: two potential baby's fathers, one estranged mother, 19 lawyers, not to mention the over-the-top judge, the stars of the courtroom drama that has captured the attention of the country -- ahead on 360.
COOPER: Coming up on 360, a horrible mistake corrected, and listen to this reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you feel?
JAMES WALLER, EXONERATED OF SEX CRIME: I was -- thank the lord! Just screaming. People coming from the house next door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That is James Waller. He has every reason to celebrate. He's been through more than any man should ever have to face. His remarkable story of survival ahead in the next hour on 360.
But first, surreal and strange don't even begin to describe what happened at the Anna Nicole Smith hearing today. Tawdry doesn't begin to describe it either. The case already had its share of odd moments over the last week. But this afternoon, it took a giant leap into the twilight zone. Giant, to say the least.
CNN's Randi Kaye has more on what turned out to be judgment day.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The final day did not disappoint.
LARRY BIRKHEAD, EX-BOYFRIEND OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH: Anything that I make for any of the photos is going to fight for my daughter, and if I have to sell more photographs, if I have to sell this shirt or this tie, I'm going to sell it.
KAYE: Larry Birkhead, Anna Nicole's former boyfriend, testified about his failed attempts to get her off prescription drugs, even during her pregnancy.
BIRKHEAD: At times I took her medicine, and -- and I was told by Mr. Stern to give it back to her because she needed it to live.
KAYE: More than once, Birkhead blamed Howard K. Stern, Smith's lawyer and companion, who like Birkhead, is also claiming he's the father of Smith's baby daughter, Dannielynn.
BIRKHEAD: And they kept bringing more and more drugs in the house.
KAYE: Even Judge Larry Seidlin at one point wondered out loud if Stern wasn't at least partially responsible.
JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA: He would be called, maybe, an enabler because he -- your objection, so noted. He lived in the home.
KAYE: Always a showman, the judge pontificated.
SEIDLIN: Anna Nicole Smith was one complicated individual. Shakespeare -- she could have filled, maybe, the character in Shakespeare in "Hamlet", Ophelia. KAYE: And played coach.
SEIDLIN: We're (ph) searching to get up that mountain. Just search with me, get me the truth.
KAYE: Virgie Arthur's lawyers finally got their turn and played a video clip for the court, home video that Stern shot of Smith in the Bahamas when she was pregnant, apparently drugged and dressed in clown makeup.
HOWARD K. STERN, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S LAWYER & COMPANION: This is a mushroom trip?
ANNA NICOLE SMITH, MODEL: Huh?
STERN: Is this a mushroom trip?
SMITH: What do you mean?
STERN: I'm kidding.
KAYE: Then the really big twist of the day.
SEIDLIN: I'm done.
KAYE: The judge said he would rule in minutes rather than wait another day.
SEIDLIN: Justice is not perfect. It's what...
KAYE: finally, the decision.
SEIDLIN: Richard Milstein, Esquire, as guardian ad litem for Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, is awarded custody of the remains of Anna Nicole Smith.
JAMI FLOYD, COURT TV ANCHOR? He punted. He gave all of the authority and jurisdiction to the guardian ad litem. He didn't give custody to the body to either of the parties that came forward to him.
KAYE: Richard Milstein will decide where Smith is buried, but the judge gave his opinion.
SEIDLIN: I want her buried with her son, in the Bahamas. I want them to be together.
KAYE: Smith's mom, Virgie Arthur, buried her head in tears while Stern wiped away a tear.
(on camera) After court the guardian of 5-month-old Dannielynn met with the other parties and their attorneys. Together they told the world they had reached an agreement to bury Smith in a private funeral in the Bahamas.
But Smith's mother now says she will appeal tomorrow morning. Now that, too, will have to be settled before Smith's body is buried. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, watching it all for us has been CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, who joins me now.
Jeff, I've got to tell you, I could only watch, like, a couple of minutes of this before just having to turn the channel. It was just -- it was, frankly, too much for me. Does someone have to sit and listen to a judge like that? I mean, what do you make of this guy?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No, I mean, I have never heard a judge act remotely this way. I mean, this was beyond bizarre and surreal.
COOPER: It's like being stuck in a cab with the worst possible cab driver just, like, pontificating endlessly.
TOOBIN: Well, who happens to have been a former New York City cab driver. That was his job when he lived in the Bronx.
But the most charitable thing you can say is that all's well that ends well. It did seem fairly obvious that the only reasonable conclusion was that she wanted to be buried next to her son in the Bahamas.
But this was by far the easiest issue in connection to -- legal issue in connection to her death. So it's only going to get harder from here, and we can only hope that a more competent and sane judge takes over from here.
COOPER: I don't know how you could get a less competent one. But I guess I don't know much about these things. We'll talk more about this after the break.
Coming up next on 360 the best, the worst and the strangest moments from the hearing, from the witness box and the bench. You just can't believe some of the things that went on.
COOPER: Well, there was crying. There was singing. There was laughing. We pretty much heard it all in the battle over Anna Nicole Smith's body. At times it felt like theater of the absurd, with the players using up every part of their 15 minutes of fame.
Here's some of the more, I guess, interesting, you might say, moments.
SEIDLIN: And I hope to God you guys give the kid the right shot.
COOPER (voice-over): We'll get back to the judge in a moment. First, let's hear from Anna Nicole Smith's mother. Virgie Arthur wants her daughter buried in Texas. She's also no fan of Smith's companion and attorney, Howard K. Stern.
VIRGIE ARTHUR, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S MOTHER: My grandson did not overdose, Howard was there when he died, and Howard was there when my daughter died.
COOPER: As for Stern, hr believes Smith should be buried in the Bahamas. He also talked about her alleged drug abuse.
STERN: Anna Nicole was on prescription medication at different times. When you say drugs I don't want to give you the impression she was using anything illegal.
SEIDLIN: Was she abusing these drugs? Was she taking too many of them?
STERN: Look, I'm not a doctor.
COOPER: Next is Larry Birkhead, an ex-boyfriend of Smith. He claims to be her baby's father.
BIRKHEAD: I missed the delivery of my child. I've had to pay $4.99 for magazines to see what my child looks like. I've to call and send gifts, FedEx Christmas gifts for my child, and I've missed everything that you can't get back.
COOPER: Also on hand, 19 lawyers who seemed never at a loss for words.
DEBRA OPRI, LARRY BIRKHEAD'S ATTORNEY: Mr. Stern, you can laugh at me all you want. Are you or are you not the biological father of Dannielynn under the laws of this state?
COOPER: Also making an appearance, Anna Nicole Smith.
STERN: This footage is worth money.
COOPER: That video aired during the testimony today of Ford Shelly, Smith's friend. He says he let Smith stay in his home in the Bahamas. Glaring from the witness box, he lashed out at Stern.
FORD SHELLY, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S FRIEND: That child was on that video and asked to call me, and she wasn't allowed by you to call me to come home. It's on the full tape. And they can get a copy of it, Howard. I'll never forgive you for it.
COOPER: Last but not least, Judge Larry Seidlin.
SEIDLIN: We cried for her.
COOPER: His ramblings were bizarre.
SEIDLIN: I gave little anecdotes during this case to try to take the pressure off you all, to try to keep it moving, to try to make it a little softer, because this was a heavy.
COOPER: So were his moments of breaking down. SEIDLIN: The Supreme Court of Florida says justice is not perfect. It's what -- it's what is reasonable.
COOPER: Reasonable or not, what he heard and watched unfold inside this courtroom definitely got everyone's attention.
COOPER: So the fireworks over Smith's body may be done, but the question of the baby are just starting and the money. More insight from CNN's Jeffrey Toobin and other legal eagles coming up.
And another legal battle that will also have you shaking your head: one man's nightmare. His fight for justice after being arrested and convicted for a brutal crime when 360 continues.
COOPER: Well, I guess we learned a lot from the Anna Nicole Smith spectacle, like how the judge likes to play tennis or that Anna Nicole Smith's mother was a cop. But at the center of the mess is some -- are some real legal issues and a woman who two weeks after she died has not been buried.
Joining us again, senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, also Court TV's Jean Casarez, who has been in the court all week, and from Pittsburgh, forensic pathologist, Dr. Cyril Wecht.
Jean, let me start with you. It was a confusing day, to say the least. Are there any winners out of this?
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Are there any winners? There are so many emotions going around in that courtroom. I think there is a winner, and I think it's baby Dannielynn. Because she was next of kin, determined to be in that court. She's receiving her mother's body through the guardian, and I think forever more in her life, she'll remember that she was the one that got her mother at this point.
COOPER: And Jean, what do you expect to happen ultimately with Smith's body? Does Anna Nicole's mother have a chance to win her appeal?
CASAREZ: I don't think so. Not at all. And I think the appeal process is going to go very quickly, because everybody knows time is of the essence. I think that it could even be decided by the end of tomorrow or at least the weekend. And I think immediately, then, her body will be prepared for shipment to the Bahamas.
COOPER: Jeff, how does a judge like this become -- I mean, how does a guy become a judge?
TOOBIN: Well, you know, this was not a Supreme Court appointment. This is a fairly low level judgeship in Florida. He actually became a -- even lower level judge when he was just 28 years old. He's been on this court since 1989. He's been doing this a long time.
And I think what happens a lot with judges is that they don't get a lot of scrutiny. In virtually every other case that Seidlin has ever had, there are no cameras, there are no reporters. And I spoke to a bunch of lawyers I know in Florida and they said, "Hey, look, we've been dealing with this guy for a long time. He's eccentric. He's not a bad guy. He's not evil, but he's weird." And we just got to see it on display.
COOPER: And Jean, you say you have a lot of respect for the judge. Why?
CASAREZ: You know, I do. I grew to respect him so much. Yes, he's different. All right, yes. He's a probate judge. He's a mediator by trade. And as you look in that courtroom, all the comments he made, he was trying to bring them all together. That's what he was trying to do.
And a lot of comments can be taken out of context. And yes, he's unusual, but he was trying to find the truth. He was looking at the important issues. Drug use was an important issue. To see if she had the capacity to form the intent to form contracts.
And so, I think it's very different, but I do respect him.
COOPER: Dr. Wecht, over the last couple of days, we've seen big focus on Anna Nicole's drug use. Do you think we're going to find out that long-term drug use, whether it's prescription or other, played a part in her death?
DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, historically, it is important in terms of doing what we call a psychological autopsy, but that's not going to be relevant in terms of the etiology of her death at this time.
Hair analysis, for example, can be performed, and you can detect the kinds of drugs that may have been abused, going back days, weeks and even months. The important thing is what drugs were in her system, in her blood and in her brain, therefore, when she died, not what was present when she was eight months pregnant or when Daniel died. That's of no relevance or consequence in terms of her death.
In terms of determining ultimately whether Howard Stern will get this or that and what his role was and so on and so forth, that's another matter.
You know, you've got to be careful here. Remember, people talk about drugs. These were prescribed, yes, there are questions about who prescribed them. Did the doctor examine her? Were they prescribed in her name, et cetera? I'm not suggesting that they are to be ignored, but these are prescribed drugs, perhaps, so we're told. And don't think that these are illicit drugs, such as methadone obtained in some surreptitious fashion.
This debacle, and I wholeheartedly concur with your very strong remarks about the entire milieu in which this was conducted and presented. It's a shame. This body, the DNA was collected from her at the time of the autopsy, for the California judge. We're going to hold it to collect more DNA.
He had no idea at all. A sophomore in high school understands you collect DNA and it's there. And 1,000 men can come up and say they're all the fathers. You compare each one of them to the profile that you have in place from her. And the body should not have been left around for eight days, because it undergoes changes that embalming cannot restore. And this is the tragedy for this issue.
The determination of paternity will be made. The determination of the will and the -- money, et cetera. These are other matters. And you'll be talking about this for years to come.
COOPER: Well, I'm not sure I will be, but I'm sure a lot of others will be.
Jeff, what does come next in all of this?
TOOBIN: Well, certainly, the issue of paternity will be settled. That is the one area where there will be absolute certainty. Eventually, either the California court or the Florida court will force all the various pretenders to the throne of parenthood, whether it's Howard Stern, whether it's Larry Birkhead, whether it's Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, will submit DNA tests. There will be DNA tests on Anna Nicole Smith's body and, of course, on the baby, and they'll resolve that.
That will establish paternity, but that will only begin the fight, which is the real fight in this case, sad to say, which is over the money. At least $88 million and perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars more. Everybody is going to be fighting over that for years to come.
COOPER: I'm just going to make a bold prediction. Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband had nothing to do with this. I'm just throwing that out there. I don't know anything.
TOOBIN: Anderson, you're a bold man. You're a bold man to make that statement.
COOPER: Jean Casarez, appreciate it.
Jeff Toobin, Dr. Wecht, as well, thank you very much.
Erica Hill from Headline News joins us from the "360 News and Business Bulletin".
Erica, how are you?
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, it's official. Prince Harry to heading to Iraq this spring for an expected six-month tour of duty. The 22-year-old royal is a tank commander. The British defense ministry, though, is withholding Harry's exact deployment location for security reasons.
The second son of Charles and Diana graduated as a second lieutenant from a military academy.
In Washington, the jury is still out in the Scooter Libby trial. The deliberations began yesterday. Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff is accused of lying to FBI agents. A grand jury is investigating how the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed. If convicted, Libby faces up to 30 years in prison.
On Wall Street today, blue chips dipping further into the red after a record high earlier this week. The Dow closed down 52 points. The NASDAQ gained 6. The S&P was off just one point.
And a little damage control happening at America's airports. After JetBlue's meltdown last week, major U.S. airlines are now trying to head off congressional action against them. The carriers are pledging to update customer service plans and are calling for a government review of airport plans for weather-related problems. Could be welcome news to a lot of folks -- Anderson.
COOPER: Thanks very much, Erica.
Just ahead on 360, why the top U.S. U.S. naval commander in the Persian Gulf thinks Iran is a bigger threat to the region than al Qaeda.
Plus, an outrage we first reported on two years ago, hospitals dumping -- literally dumping -- patients with nowhere else to go on the streets of Los Angeles. It is still happening. Today city officials took a big step to try to change it. We're "Keeping them Honest" when 360 continues.
COOPER: Coming up on 360, Iran's influence. Tensions hit a new high in the Middle East.
First, Americans fighting abroad are unquestionably living in some inhospitable places, but one company is making sure U.S. troops don't go without at least one of the comforts of home.
Here again, Erica Hill with a look at what's "On the Rise".
HILL (voice-over): Life is tough for soldiers on the front lines, but one company is bringing a taste of home to war zones and boosting morale with a cup of joe.
AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JOSHUA R. TOELLNER, U.S. ARMY: I walk in the front door, I look at the counter, and I'm not in the desert anymore. It's like being back home.
SGT. 1ST CLASS JEFF RUTLEDGE, U.S. ARMY: The Green Bean has become my happy spot. It's a chance to escape from what's going on around you.
HILL: Brothers Jason and Jon Araghi opened their first on base Green Beans coffee cafe nine years ago in Saudi Arabia.
JASON ARAGHI, CO-FOUNDER, GREEN BEANS COFFEE: It was not a wartime response type of scenario. We were there before the war. And when 9/11 happened, we were the first American food company to actually offer to go to Afghanistan.
HILL: Today, Green Beans, named to reflect its commitment to organically grown coffee, has 55 locations worldwide, mostly in the Middle East.
ARAGHI: We serve at this point close to 17,000 soldiers a day. We did over $50 million in sales last year. We give proceeds from our revenues to the charities that support the children and families of the soldiers that have lost their lives in the war. And the disabled veterans. And last year, over $100,000 was donated to these charities.
HILL: Now Green Beans is coming stateside with two stores in California and ten more set to open across the country this year.
COOPER: Most judges don't weep while making their rulings, but the judge in the Anna Nicole Smith hearing did, and the case just isn't any probate court matter. Just ahead, today's over the top finale to the hearing that's been called a circus, a travesty and a train wreck. Plus, the cast of dozens now caught up in the case.
We begin with a far more important story, Iran. The deadline for that Islamic state to halt its uranium enrichment program has come and gone. American, European and Russian diplomats plan to meet next week to try to draft a new resolution on the standoff with Iran.
Meanwhile, the top U.S. commander in the Persian Gulf has this grim warning. He thinks Iran, which has increased its military exercises in the gulf, is a bigger threat to the region than al Qaeda.
CNN's Tom Foreman explains why.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Military analysts are increasingly calling it a genuine and perilous threat that Iran may attempt to disrupt the world's oil supply by attacking the Strait of Hormuz.
GAL LUFT: The Strait of Hormuz is the most important choke point in the world.
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