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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
President Bush Commutes Scooter Libby's Sentence; Interview With Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson; New Arrests Made in U.K. Terror Investigation
Aired July 2, 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 hours ago, President Bush threw a lifeline to former White House aide Lewis Scooter Libby, commuting Libby's 30-month prison sentence, not a pardon, but it is a get-out-of-jail-free card, and seems at odds with statements the president has made in the past about commuting sentences and what would happen to leakers in his White House.
Tonight, we will be "Keeping Them Honest."
In Britain, also, stunning developments in the terror investigations in London and Glasgow. We will have the latest on new arrests, new raids, and details about the alleged plotters, some of whom are doctors.
We will also show you how just deadly the London attacks could have been if the car bombs had detonated, a frightening demonstration of how lucky London was this time.
We begin with Lewis Scooter Libby's stay-out-of-jail-free card. President Bush commuted his sentence, under heavy pressure from conservatives and just hours after a federal appeals panel rejected Libby's request to remain free while appealing his conviction.
You may remember Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine for obstruction of justice, lying to the FBI, and lying to a grand jury in the CIA leak case. The administration may hope this story doesn't get a lot of attention this holiday week. It will tonight on this program.
We begin with CNN's White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux -- Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, Scooter Libby was so close to jail time, he already had an inmate number. He was 28301016.
But the president, in an extraordinarily rare move for a midterm president, decided to commute the sentence. This was really -- he was in the air aboard Air Force One, quite a surprise to many people when this news broke. He decided to commute Libby's sentence.
He said, in releasing a public statement, a two-page statement, said that he respected the jury's verdict, but that he thought the two-and-a-half-year prison sentence was excessive. He went on to say: "My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged. His wife and young children have also suffered immensely. He will remain on probation. The significant fines imposed by the judge will remain in effect."
And, Anderson, the White House has tried to portray this as somewhat of a compromise tonight, but it is clear that both sides are not happy with this. Conservative Republicans wanted a pardon. Republicans wanted some jail time. They got neither -- Anderson.
COOPER: But Lewis Scooter Libby gets no jail time. He still has to pay, what, $250,000?
MALVEAUX: Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He remains on probation. The White House says his reputation has been ruined here. This is not over, however. He still has a process, a legal process, that goes forward.
But, in terms of the White House, they hope the political damage is over.
COOPER: Well, Suzanne Malveaux, thanks very much for that.
The president has said the sentence that Lewis Scooter Libby got was excessive. The question is, was it really?
"Keeping Them Honest" tonight, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Jeffrey, in the president's statement, he talks about this being an excessive sentence. Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the case, put out a statement, in which he said -- and I quote -- he says, "The -- in this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws."
It's within federal sentencing guidelines, is it not?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's precisely within the guidelines.
I have to say that, in the president's statement, the word excessive really jumped out at me, because this administration has been totally committed to the idea that federal judges have to be bound, legally bound, by the sentencing guidelines. And Judge Walton complied with those guideline.
So, for the president to say that's excessive was really astonishing to me.
COOPER: How astonishing is it that he commuted the sentence? I mean, in terms of -- he's only done, I think, three commutations in his entire six years.
TOOBIN: And only 113 pardons, which is well fewer, at a slower pace, than any recent president.
I was shocked. Maybe I'm just naive. I was totally shocked by this, because pardons are poison to presidents' reputations, whether it's Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon, whether it's Bill Clinton pardoning Marc Rich. They are low points of people's presidency.
And for the president to violate Justice Department guidelines -- he's allowed to do it; under the Constitution he can do it, but the Justice Department has guidelines for how this works; this is in complete violation of those guidelines -- to help a White House insider, when he's helped so few other ordinary Americans in this way, was just astonishing to me.
COOPER: You say it's in violation of guidelines. Just to play devil's advocate here, the president has complete discretion in how -- whether or not he wants to commute or pardon. So, he can do whatever he wants in this case?
TOOBIN: They're only guideline. They're not laws.
This is one of the few absolute powers under our Constitution. This commutation, it can't be appealed in the courts. It can't be challenged in Congress. He can do it. But the presidents have put in place a structure to sort of channel their authority. They don't have to follow it, but they usually do. Previously, he always has. Didn't follow it today.
COOPER: Bottom line on those, though, previous cases, commutations of sentences and a pardons usually only happen -- I mean, pardons usually only happen after somebody has served their time, and commutations usually once somebody has already been in jail and served a certain amount of time.
TOOBIN: Always, under Justice Department guidelines.
Whenever you go outside the guidelines, that's when you get into trouble. That's when Bill Clinton got into trouble. That's when he got into trouble.
COOPER: For those who don't understand the difference between a pardon and commutation?
TOOBIN: Pardon is an absolute free pass. It is as if you were never prosecuted in the first place, no fine, no probation, no jail sentence. If you're asked, "Are you a convicted felon?" if you have been pardoned, you can honestly say no.
Commutation deals only with the question of prison. Everything else remains intact. But he can never be sentenced to prison for this crime.
COOPER: The president, in his commutation, also pointed out that the critics of Libby's sentence argued that the investigation should not have even happened, since the Justice Department already knew who the person was who leaked Valerie Wilson's name out...
COOPER: ... before Fitzgerald was appointed.
TOOBIN: There have been various criticisms of this prosecution, like there have been criticisms of a lot of prosecutions. But it's worth pointing out that Patrick Fitzgerald is an appointee of George Bush as U.S. attorney, a Republican judge...
COOPER: Appointed by Ronald Reagan.
TOOBIN: ... appointed by Ronald Reagan, and an appeals panel that included some of the most conservative judges on the D.C. Circuit, like David Sentelle, who was responsible for appointing Kenneth Starr.
So, this was hardly some sort of Democratic operation. Practically everyone involved in prosecuting or judging Lewis Libby was a Republican.
COOPER: Jeffrey Toobin "Keeping Them Honest" -- thanks, Jeffrey.
As you might imagine, two people who are not happy about Scooter Libby avoiding prison are Joseph and Valerie Wilson. She, of course, is the former CIA operative whose name was leaked four years ago, setting off this whole mess. The leak came days after her husband wrote an op-ed critical of the Bush administration's Iraq intelligence.
The couple is suing Libby and others in the administration.
Ambassador Joe Wilson joins me now by phone.
Ambassador Wilson, were you surprised by what the president has done?
JOSEPH WILSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR: Well, good evening, Scooter (sic).
Frankly, there's very little that surprises me from this administration anymore. I think it's corrupt from top to bottom.
But let me just say one thing. And that is, I don't give really a darn whether Scooter Libby goes to jail or not. What I care about is that the rule of law and the system of justice that has undergirded our democracy for 220 years is upheld. And that is what has been subverted by the president's actions today.
COOPER: Why do you say it was subverted by his actions?
COOPER: I mean, the president is within his right to commute a pardon.
WILSON: ... should have recused himself.
As Jeff Toobin said earlier, at a minimum, he should have allowed the whole justice system to work, and followed the Justice Department guidelines. In intervening as he did -- because he and his office and the office of the vice president are really part of this ongoing problem.
Mr. Fitzgerald said from the very beginning that there remained a cloud over the office of the vice president because of the sand thrown into his eyes by Mr. Libby's obstruction of justice. And by commuting the sentence, I think the president raises the very real suspicion that he's party to the obstruction of justice or the cover-up of the original crime.
At the end of the day, he should never have done this. I think the public has a right to know whether there was a quid pro quo in this. Did he do this, so that Libby would shut up about what he and the vice president, the role that they had to play in the leak?
COOPER: If there -- there are many people who look at this and say, there was no original crime committed, in terms of the revealing of an intelligence officer's name. Your wife, clearly, her name was put out there. She was outed as a CIA operative.
But the critics of this -- of this entire investigation will say, well, look, if that was really a crime, if a crime was committed, there are laws that people who outed her could be prosecuted under, and they were not.
WILSON: Yes. And Mr. Fitzgerald addressed that at the time of the indictment. Go back and read and report on what Mr. Fitzgerald himself said.
The fact of the matter is that Americans understand the difference between right and wrong. They understand what it means when a senior government official spends two hours in a Washington restaurant telling -- divulging the name of a covert CIA officer. American people now fully understand, because the CIA has acknowledged it. It's in a court filing of Mr. Fitzgerald that Valerie was covert.
Her career was ruined. But, more to the point, the national security of this country was compromised, as a consequence of Mr. Libby, Mr. Armitage's, Mr. Rove's acts, and, presumably, I believe, under the direction of the vice president of the United States.
COOPER: Bottom line, the president all along has said he would not comment on this case that is still under the appeals process. Obviously, there's been some form of resolution today, though, in some way, the appeals process continues.
What do you want to hear from the president now? What are the biggest questions you want answered?
WILSON: You mean, aside from an apology to my wife for what they have done to her and to her career?
COOPER: Do you think you will get that?
WILSON: I doubt it, because I believe that this president is really -- is not a very decent individual.
But, quite apart from that, I believe the president owes the American people an explanation. As for openers, I think that he should release the transcript of both his interview and the vice president's interview with the special prosecutor.
I think he ought to instruct the special prosecutor to release all the documents related to this investigation, so the American people themselves can see what it was the prosecutor was talking about when he talked about a cloud over the vice president's office. And, if he doesn't do so, I think Congress should use its full authority to investigate this, and come to the bottom.
COOPER: Ambassador Joe Wilson, appreciate your time today. Thank you, sir.
WILSON: Thanks very much.
COOPER: We believe in listening to all sides on 360. So, up next, we will hear from somebody who support President Bush's decision to let Libby skip prison.
Plus, we're "Keeping Them Honest." President Bush said he wanted answers in the CIA leak case. Maybe he didn't like the answers he got. How did we get from there to here?
Also tonight, these stories:
COOPER (voice-over): U.K. terror plot: a fast-moving investigation, new arrests after a London and the Glasgow Airport are targeted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I do remember was a kind of look of determination on the driver's face as he was trying to push himself into the terminal building.
COOPER: Tonight: new details on the suspects, the latest on the investigation.
Also, what happens when a car bombs explodes? Flames, the deadly force, what could have played out if the U.K. terror suspects hit their targets -- tonight on 360.
COOPER: Well, President Bush has said -- as we said, called Scooter Libby's 30-month prison sentence excessive. We don't take sides on 360, but we do believe in facts and keeping those in power honest.
Joe Johns tonight looks at how we got here.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president was under extreme pressure from conservatives to do something about the Scooter Libby conviction, or at least the sentence. For the record, this is the same president who once suggested he would fire anyone who had leaked Valerie Plame Wilson's name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JULY 18, 2005)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would like this to end as quickly as possible, so we know the facts. And, if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNS: "Keeping Them Honest," though Libby might not have been the leaker, he was still convicted by a jury of perjury.
And a leading conservative nonpartisan foundation in Washington whose main issue is accountability says there's something wrong when a guy like Scooter walks.
TOM FENTON, JUDICIAL WATCH: Well, this sends a signal that some people are above the law. And it sends a signal to prosecutors in the Justice Department that, if you prosecute friends of the president or the vice president, they may never see jail time.
JOHNS: And it's not like this was some liberal conspiracy to frame a White House aide. The judge, Reggie Walton, is a by-the-book, law-and-order guy, appointed by President Bush, though the White House now calls Libby's sentence from that judge excessive.
The prosecutor, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, appointed by a Republican attorney general, pointed out -- quote -- "The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings, which occur every day throughout this country."
Predictably, some of Libby's backers, like former Senator Fred Thompson, just happened to be the same people who were demanding the rule of law during the impeachment of President Clinton.
But Julian Epstein, who was chief minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceeding, says it's not the same thing.
JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: This is a White House that campaigned on bringing -- restoring truth and honor back into the White House. And, clearly, there's a widespread perception amongst the public right now that it is unaccountable, that this White House is unaccountable, whether it is the war in Iraq, whether it's accountability in Katrina, whether it is wiretapping illegally. It's just generally unaccountable. And this is perhaps the worst symbol of that.
JOHNS: And some say a sign that this administration has all but given up on preserving its legacy.
Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, weeks ago, the Republican presidential candidates were asked how they felt about a pardon for Lewis Scooter Libby. And, today, Libby got the next best thing.
President Bush commuted his sentence, sparing him 30 months in prison. As we said earlier, the fallout from that decision has already begun. Among the leading presidential candidates, reaction is running along party lines, as you might expect, Republicans supporting the decision, Democrats condemning it.
Joining me now is Karen Hanretty, Republican strategist and former press secretary to Arnold Schwarzenegger during his successful gubernatorial candidate in California.
Karen, thanks so much for being with us.
KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Sure.
COOPER: We just heard from Ambassador Joe Wilson, who says that President Bush has -- quote -- "short-circuited the system of justice and rule of law in the country."
Do you buy that?
HANRETTY: No, he actually hasn't.
Look, like the decision or don't like the decision, this is a presidential prerogative. And, you know, presidential pardons -- and this is not even a pardon -- this is a mere commutation of his sentence -- are often very controversial. And I know that there's going to be a lot of criticism from the left, but, you know, if the Democrats in Congress really take such great offense at this commutation, they have options.
They can do what they did back when Bill Clinton was president. And, when he pardoned 16 Puerto Rican terrorists, which the FBI and the U.S. attorney general's office warned against doing, or advised him not to do, Congress, on a vast bipartisan vote, condemned that pardon, President Clinton's pardon, of those terrorists.
Now, Democrats control Congress right now. If they want, they can put up a similar vote, and they can condemn this pardon, and they can send a message to their own constituency and to the American people. And I will be very curious if they actually want to go that far. COOPER: The president has said that this sentence was excessive. Jeff Toobin says it's well within the federal sentencing guidelines. So does the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald. How is it excessive?
HANRETTY: Well, I think the question is whether two years in prison is warranted for the conviction that Scooter Libby was charged with.
And I think that there's a real misperception in America. I think, if you asked -- first off, I think, if you asked most voters, a lot of them couldn't actually tell you who Scooter Libby is. They know the name. They don't know exactly who he is and exactly what he did. They think that he leaked Valerie Plame's name, which, of course, is not what he was convicted of. And he was convicted of lying under oath to federal prosecutors and...
COOPER: Well, he lied to the FBI, and he lied to a grand jury, and he obstructed justice.
HANRETTY: That's exactly what he was charged with. And this is a man who will...
COOPER: So, whether or not most Americans know that, what does that matter in terms of the sentencing guidelines? I'm trying to figure out what's excessive. I mean, the president says it's excessive. People...
COOPER: ... the law say it's not.
HANRETTY: I mean, I will tell you. I mean, I will be honest. I'm surprised that President Clinton (sic) actually did this today. I think a lot of people are surprised he did this.
COOPER: President Bush.
HANRETTY: I think that a lot of folks thought that, probably, he would serve some jail time, I don't know, maybe six months, and have that sentence commuted. I think, from a very politically crass perspective, that might have been better for President Bush to do.
But, you know, again, this is a presidential prerogative. And what it really raises is the question, why do presidents issue pardons, and under what circumstances? And under what circumstances are they commuting sentences of felons?
We have seen far worse felons than Scooter Libby who have been pardoned, whose records have been wiped completely clean.
COOPER: The president was on record, though, saying that -- that people -- or giving the impression that anyone who leaked from his administration would lose their jobs.
Karl Rove was one of the...
COOPER: Well, Karl Rove was one of the two leakers. He still is employed. Do you think he will be fired?
HANRETTY: No, I don't think Karl Rove will be fired. And I think, in fact, it was Richard Armitage who leaked this. And he's not working there.
COOPER: Well, two -- actually, there were two people who gave the name to Novak. I guess one of them was Rove. The other was Armitage.
Karen Hanretty, appreciate your time. Thank you for being on the program.
COOPER: We can't yet know how Americans are reacting to the Scooter Libby commutation.
In a poll last month, CNN asked Americans if Bush should pardon Libby. Seventy-two percent of respondents said no. Just 19 percent said yes. A commutation, however, isn't a pardon, doesn't wipe a criminal record clean.
With that in mind, we turn to CNN's Bill Schneider and Candy Crowley.
Candy, you're in Des Moines, Iowa, where Hillary Clinton is campaigning with her husband. We know, obviously, he executed some pretty controversial pardons, as a lot of our guests have mentioned tonight, when he was president.
I want to play some of what Mrs. Clinton said just moments ago, Senator Clinton said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And what we saw today was elevating cronyism over the rule of law. And what we saw today was further evidence that this administration has no regard whatsoever for what needs to be held sacred.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Again, we don't take sides. We should point out her husband issued many more pardons and commutations than this president has.
Is this a risky strategy for her?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I don't think so.
Remember who she's talking to here tonight. And that is the base of the Democratic Party, which is very, I don't have to tell you, very anti-Bush, who cheered when she said this sort of thing.
Look, the pardons that President Clinton issued are in the past, as far as this particular audience is concerned, as far as the primary voters of the Democratic Party are concerned. So, it's certainly not risky at this point. And it's hard to see how Scooter Libby will be a general election issue.
COOPER: What are we hearing from the other Democratic candidates?
CROWLEY: Pretty much the same thing.
I mean, we heard from Richardson this was breathtaking arrogance; from Edwards, the cause of equal justice in America took a serious blow; Biden, this is blatant disregard for the rule of law.
So, they all said pretty much the same thing.
SCHNEIDER: Bill, president no doubt scored some points with a conservative base who had been angered with him over immigration. Does he risk alienating the public at large with his decision?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you showed the poll. Seventy-two percent said they would disapprove of a pardon. Now, this is not a pardon, but I can imagine that the response to a commutation, once it's explained to people, would be pretty similar.
And the criticism won't just be from the left, because vast numbers of Americans see -- will, I think, see this as special treatment for someone who was well-connected. There are thousands of people all over the country in jail for obstruction of justice who are not well-connected and who can't have their sentences commuted.
COOPER: Candy, let's talk about the Republicans. Fred Thompson had called for a pardon. Some of the other top Republican candidates, Giuliani, Romney, said in the recent debate they would seriously consider pardoning Libby.
Have we heard from them today?
CROWLEY: We heard from Giuliani, who said he thought the president made the right decision.
We heard from Thompson, who said: As you know, I was for a pardon, but I respect what the president did.
So, those are the only two we have heard from.
COOPER: Candy Crowley, Bill Schneider, guys, thanks.
How does President Bush's pardon and commutation record compare with his predecessors? Let's check "Raw Data."
Including Libby, Bush has given 117 pardons and commutations since taking office. President Clinton granted 457. George H.W. Bush issued 77. Ronald Reagan approved 406. Nixon handed out more than 900.
Up next, the other major stories we're covering tonight: the terror attacks in London and Glasgow -- tonight, new arrests and new information about the suspects, including two doctors who saved lives while they were plotting to kill.
COOPER: The other major story that we're following tonight: the terror gripping the U.K.
With each passing hour, we are getting new details and developments about the suspects, the deadly plot, and a rapid-fire investigation that continues to turn up some surprises, including news that some those under arrest are doctors. Police say the plan was to kill as many people as possible. It almost succeeded.
COOPER (voice-over): Around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning, an ambulance crew in London's Haymarket district sees smoke coming from a Mercedes-Benz parked by a packed nightclub. Police arrive to find the sedan loaded with fuel, gas canisters, and nails.
An hour later and just a few blocks away, another Mercedes-Benz is towed for being illegally parked. Witnesses say the car smells like gasoline. Inside, authorities find the same potentially deadly cocktail of fuel and nails. Both car bombs are defused, and a major investigation is under way.
GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The first duty of a government is the security of the people. And, as the police and security services have said on so many occasions, we face a serious and continued security threat to our country.
COOPER: The police and security services follow leads all day Friday. Calls to a cell phone in the first Mercedes include one from a rental agency in Scotland, one that leads police to a modest house just outside Glasgow.
As fast as the investigation is, it can't stop what happens at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. In Scotland, a Jeep Cherokee crosses the divider outside Glasgow's International Airport and slams head on into a crowded terminal. The jeep, filled with propane gas, bursts into flames. An eyewitness describes the driver.
JIM MANSON, WITNESSED GLASGOW AIRPORT ATTACK: He seemed to be of sort of dark appearance, possibly Middle Eastern or Asian. He had a baseball cap on. I will always remember that. But what really struck me was that kind of that he was leaning over the steering wheel, as if he was willing himself to get into that building. COOPER: The driver and a passenger jump out of the SUV. One sets himself on fire and is critically injured. The other fights with police, yelling, "Allah."
In this dramatic picture from the British newspaper "The Daily Mail," we can see this alleged bomber being doused by water. One of the men is identified as Bilal Abdullah, an Iraqi doctor practicing medicine in Scotland.
Police say Abdullah and his accomplice were also responsible for the failed car bombs in London. The owner of a company that rented them a house is stunned.
DANIEL GARDINER, RENTED HOUSE TO SUSPECT: They didn't have a big tattoo on their forehead that said terrorist or anything like that. They were, in many ways, an ideal, professional person, you know, to rent a property.
COOPER: Saturday night, at 9:15, police pull over a car near Liverpool and arrest another doctor, Mohammed Asha, along with a woman believed to be his wife. Asha is a 26-year-old Palestinian from Jordan.
Fearing more terror attacks are imminent, Britain raises its national threat level from severe to critical, the highest level.
On Sunday, police raid several homes outside of Glasgow and arrest two more men. In Liverpool, another man is seized near a train station.
Also on Sunday, police detonate a suspicious vehicle at the hospital where one of the Glasgow suspects is being treated and another worked. Today, authorities conduct several more controlled explosions of suspicious devices found at the hospital.
Meanwhile, police search the home of a third doctor. And this evening we learn that two more men were detained from the residence of the hospital Abdullah worked at and that an eighth person was arrested in the Australian city of Brisbane.
The new prime minister says the plot points to a familiar enemy.
GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It is clear we are dealing in general terms with persons who are associated with al Qaeda.
COOPER: As I mentioned, we know that at least one of the suspects in the attempted attacks is an Iraqi, and the methods certainly are similar to ones we have seen throughout Iraq.
It's just the latest sign of the impact the war on Iraq may be having on terrorism around the world. A National Intelligence Estimate in 2006 here in America warned that violence in Iraq was creating greater threats around the world. We've seen it in Afghanistan and now the streets of London and Glasgow. It's not the message some in power want you to hear, but tonight we're "Keeping Them Honest" with terrorism analyst Peter Bergen. I spoke with him earlier.
COOPER: Peter, to what extent do you think these attackers in London and Glasgow learned from Iraq?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, certainly, the Glasgow attack seemed like a ghastly parody of the car bomb attacks we've seen in Iraq. Now we know that one of the perpetrators is, in fact, an Iraqi. Another one is a Jordanian. Clearly, the Iraq war has had an very energizing effect on the worldwide jihadist movement.
When myself and a colleague at NYU looked at this question, we found a sevenfold increase in jihadi terrorist attacks after the invasion and occupation of Iraq, compared to the period the two years before.
COOPER: A sevenfold increase, seven times more attacks after the Iraq invasion?
BERGEN: Yes, and we used a fairly conservative methodology. We used the Rand Database, which is the best database of terrorist attacks. We only looked at attacks that killed one or more persons. And so our study probably understates that effect.
Now a lot of that, of course, is happening in Iraq. A great deal of it's happening in Afghanistan but also a good deal of it around the Arab world. And, as we've seen with the London attacks of July 7, 2005, the Madrid attack in 2004 and now with these attacks -- or attempted attacks in London and Glasgow, you know, this Iraq effect is pretty strong.
We're not making the ridiculous argument that terrorism didn't exist before the Iraq war. What we're saying is the Iraq war amplified this jihadist terrorist movement.
COOPER: And while this is not something that this administration perhaps wants people to know about or focus on, this is something that the U.S. spy agencies seem to agree on. There was this National Intelligence Estimate back in 2006.
One of the things they said, and I quite, was that "The Iraq conflict has become the cause celebre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement."
What are they learning in Iraq? They're learning -- I mean, it's not only motivation, it's not only angering large numbers of people who maybe, heretofore, may not have gotten involved. They're actually learning specific techniques to cause widespread destruction, correct?
BERGEN: Yes, I mean, you know, the very fast evolution of IED attacks in Iraq, much of which has spread to Afghanistan, the use of suicide operations. This is Iraq -- you know, the largest suicide campaign in history is being conducted in Iraq, and of course, those techniques have migrated to Afghanistan and other places from Iraq.
And then, of course, the fact that in Iraq, you know, you've got foreign fighters coming from around the Muslim world and, indeed -- and parts of Europe even, to get involved in these operations. Not all these people are going to die in Iraq.
Eventually, they're going to go back to their home countries. They're not going to open falafel stands and coffee shops. They're going to be kind of the new shock (ph) troops of the international jihad.
COOPER: So we're seeing this now in London and Glasgow. We've seen it, though, repeatedly. You and I have been there several times now in Afghanistan. Talk about the number of attacks, the number of suicide attacks and how they have grown in Afghanistan since the Iraq war.
BERGEN: Well, Anderson, you know, we -- when we were there in September, when you get off a plane we encountered one right outside the airport, which killed, you know, two American soldiers and something like a dozen Afghan bystanders.
Unfortunately, this is a very routine event there in Afghanistan. There were almost no suicide attacks in the 2001 to 2004 period. 2005, there were 27. Last year, there were 139. This year I think we're going to see numbers above 139.
And, you know, we're also seeing the same thing with IED attacks.
The Taliban did not produce their promised spring offensive in any conventional military sense. Instead, they're adopting all the tactics that work in Iraq, and unfortunately, those tactics have been -- proven to be quite successful in Iraq. And they are proving to be pretty successful in Afghanistan.
COOPER: Peter Bergen, "Keeping Them Honest" tonight. Peter, thank you.
COOPER: Let's check in with Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, Anderson.
Tomorrow we'll bring you the most news in the morning, including the late breaking developments coming out of London.
Plus, how the terror threat is playing on the campaign trails. How are the candidates responding? We'll be live in Iowa first thing in the morning, so wake up to the most news in the morning, right here on CNN. Anderson, back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Kiran, thanks.
Up next, another angle on the U.K. terror plot. How it could have ended, the ugly reality.
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COOPER (voice-over): So what happens when a car bomb explodes? The flames, the deadly force, what could have played out if the U.K. terror suspects hit their targets.
Plus, Al Gore, "The Sopranos" finale and Halliburton. What all three have in common in "Raw Politics", when 360 continues.
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GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We will not yield. We will not be intimidated, and we will not allow anyone to undermine our British way of life.
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COOPER: Well, London is a city on edge tonight. It is also counting its blessings. The attackers lacked the expertise, it seems, to cause widespread damage; not however the intent. The two London car bombs simply failed to detonate.
There have been a lot of questions robin now raised about how powerful the car bombs would have been. Some have suggested the stories being overblown, sewing fear unnecessarily.
We decided to put all this to the test. We're about to show you just how powerful those car bombs really were. This is not a how-to guide. We're not going to impart any details about how bombs are made. The terrorists who planned Friday's attack didn't succeed, thankfully, and we're certainly not to about to help them do better next time.
This isn't about engineering an attack. It's about what is at stake for all of us.
Here's CNN's David Mattingly.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Under the blazing New Mexico sun, a deadly weapon of terror takes shape...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a car bomb. This is an improvised car bomb.
MATTINGLY: ... using the same volatile ingredients investigators say terrorists attempted to use in the failed attacks on London and Glasgow. We commissioned explosives experts at New Mexico Tech to build us a similar car bomb and then blow it up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What will happen is this entire car will turn into shrapnel.
MATTINGLY: This is not a how-to in building car bombs. This bomb starts with about $100 of simple materials: two tanks of liquid propane, the kind you'd atop to your backyard grill. Then tanks of gasoline, about 20 gallons in all.
But where the London bombs reportedly contained nails, for practical purposes, our test uses metal nuts. They're less likely to cause flat tires at the site later.
VAN ROMERO, V.P., NEW MEXICO TECH: For a suicide bomber, a suicide bomber will have plastic or C4 explosives, and they'll put that either on top of the explosives. And then when it detonates, these will shoot out into the surrounding area.
MATTINGLY (on camera): You can see that these are items that are easy to find. Anyone can buy them. Anyone can put them together.
The real expertise behind a car bomb is in knowing how to blow it up. And for security reasons, detonating a car bomb is the one thing experts here do not discuss publicly.
(voice-over) But it's clear to our experts the failed detonations in London and the apparent attempt by terrorists to manually detonate the jeep at the Glasgow airport, that these terrorists lack the skill to carry out their murderous plans.
ROMERO: One, they didn't have a lot of knowledge of how to do it. Or, two, they didn't have access to other types of explosives.
MATTINGLY (on camera): Security procedures demand that we get far, far away from that explosion. We're up here on a hilltop, and you can see the blast site way down there. That's about a half mile away.
I'm told it's possible that that explosion could possibly throw shrapnel all the way up here, and for that reason, when the moment of truth comes, we'll all be hunkered down inside this reinforced bunker.
(voice-over) And after only 30 minutes of assembly, the car is parked in front of a hastily constructed building, and the bomb is ready to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four, three, two, one.
MATTINGLY: From a half mile away, the sound takes about a second to catch up to the churning orange fireball. Watch in slow motion as the car blows to pieces. From this angle we can see fiery debris jetting out of the back. But it's not until we get on the ground that we get a clear idea of the damage this car bomb could have done on a busy London street.
ROMERO: Casualties would probably be fire victims.
MATTINGLY: The building next to the car was incinerated by the blast. If this had been a nightclub full of people, fire could have claimed many lives.
And all those metal nuts, representing nails strapped to the propane tanks, could have wounded pedestrians within a half block or more.
(on camera) There's the other tank.
(voice-over) But the real surprise we found about 150 yards away: one of the propane tanks had soared away like a rocket.
(on camera) And look at that. It blew a hole right in the side of it, and all the gas came pouring out...
ROMERO: All the gas was pouring out, under pressure.
MATTINGLY: And then what happens?
ROMERO: And it starts to ignite with the -- with the fire that's created from the gasoline.
COOPER: David, what's actually sort of comforting about watching that is that it really does take a high level of expertise, as these gentlemen you were with clearly had, which apparently, the terrorists in London did not have.
MATTINGLY: That's right. An, the types of materials they used in this car bomb, essentially, was just going to make a big fire. You see what's left of the building that was standing next to it, and the car itself over here nothing left but the bare metal.
The experts here say that bombs like this are made really for one purpose only, and that's for igniting fear and spreading panic. And those bombs in the U.K. did not get a chance to do that.
COOPER: And in terms of actual maximum damage, they're actually not all that effective?
MATTINGLY: That's right. If this one had gone off in London, a bomb just like this car bomb, it most likely would have created some very heavy localized property damage and some fatalities.
COOPER: All right, David Mattingly, appreciate that.
Up next, which presidential candidate raised the most campaign cash? It may not be who you think. Also ahead, he's not in the race, but he's still got connections. What Al Gore did to make sure he didn't miss "The Sopranos" finale, ahead in "Raw Politics".
COOPER: That's "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits. Don (ph) from Colorado Strings thinks it should be the theme for 360's political coverage. Excuse me. Send us your suggestions at CNN.com/360.
Money is a fitting topic, certainly for tonight, especially for Barack Obama. The second quarter fund-raising totals are in. Obama raised more than $32 million from April to June alone.
Senator Clinton has yet to officially disclose the amount her campaign took in over the three months but estimates she raised about $27 million.
By comparison, John McCain raised just $11.2 million.
While the dollars are counted, the candidates hit the campaign trail in a big way. CNN's Tom Foreman is watching in "Raw Politics".
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we're on a "Raw Politics" road trip to Iowa and with good reason: as Washington shuts down for the Fourth of July holiday, the cornfields and countryside here start producing a bumper crop of presidential wannabes.
(voice-over) The Hawkeye State is warming with campaigners from both parties this week, all because next January voters here will be the first in the nation to make their picks for the Democratic and Republican candidates.
No one is bidding for that honor harder than Republican Mitt Romney. He's spent an early record $4 million on ads to separate himself from the pack.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're using too much oil here. Our schools are failing too many of our kids.
FOREMAN: He is doing well in the polls, but hold onto your soybeans. Almost half the states are pushing their primaries way up, right behind Iowa, or at least discussing it. That means all the candidates will have to spread the love over much more ground to secure a solid lead before Valentine's Day.
Those scary days in London provided an opening for Rudy Giuliani. Mayor 9/11 says this is another reminder about how important national security must be for the next president.
The "Raw Politics" read: good sell. Polls show Republicans worry about security substantially more than Democrats do.
And all the Al Gore-y details. Turns out the former vice president wanted to see the big "Sopranos" series finale but was going on a flight to Turkey when it aired. So a well-connected Hollywood friend had a copy delivered to him in a locked metal case just before takeoff. Only after he was airborne was Dr. Global Warming able to call for the combination.
(on camera) And that case, no kidding, reportedly made by Halliburton. Now, that's raw power. And that's "Raw Politics". More from Iowa tomorrow -- Anderson.
COOPER: Man, who knew? Tom, thanks.
We'd like you, the viewer, of course, to get personally involved in "Raw Politics". Later this month there's going to be a really remarkable night, a Democratic presidential debate where all the candidates are going to have to answer your questions.
It's going to be the CNN/YouTube debates on July 23. It's a Monday in South Carolina. And tonight, basically, viewers are submitting their questions already now to YouTube or to CNN.com. I'm going to play a couple of your questions that we want to share with you.
These aren't necessarily ones that are going to make the final cut, but we think it will give you an idea of some the ways you can ask questions. Here's one from Kim on Long Island who speaks from hash personal experience.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, my name is Kim. I'm 36 years old and hope to be a future breast cancer survivor from Long Island. My chances for survival aren't as good as they might be, however, because like millions of Americans I've gone for years without health insurance that would have allowed me to take preventative medicine.
What would you as president do to make low cost or free preventative medicine available for everybody in this country? Thank you.
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COOPER: That was Kim. We've been getting hundreds of questions already. Some very personal ones like that. The questions also, some of them, taking a lighter tone, as well. Check out this one from one of our younger viewers.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The African elephant, endangered. The Siberian tiger, endangered. The grizzly bear, endangered. Hi, candidates. I'm from Columbia, South Carolina and I'm 10 years old. Most scientists say that when I'm about your age half the species on earth will go extinct. If you become president, what will you do to help save the endangered animals and their habitats?
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COOPER: Great question.
Keep sending us your questions. We'll play some of them here on 360. The presidential candidates get to answer them on July 23. You can learn more about the debates and how to submit your questions. Go to CNN.com, also to YouTube.com. You can submit your questions to both those sites: CNN.com and YouTube.com.
Up next on 360, a new twist in the double murder-suicide of pro- wrestler Chris Benoit and his family.
Plus, it doesn't look like Kansas anymore. Rising water forces thousands from their homes. The latest next.
COOPER: "Shot of the Day" is coming up. A fishing trip like -- well, no other. Do you recognize anyone in that boat? We'll tell you in a second. First, Erica Hill from Headline News joins us with a "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, in eastern Kansas there is massive flooding after heavy rains caused rivers to overflow. A refinery and nitrogen fertilizer plant are submerged in Coffeeville, while other businesses and homes are also under water across the region.
Mandatory evacuations were issued. The problem, though: many people refused to leave.
Here in Georgia, a new twist in the double murder-suicide of pro- wrestler Chris Benoit and his family. Today a grand jury indicted Benoit's doctor on seven counts of improperly dispensing painkillers and other drugs. You may recall investigators raided Dr. Phil Astin's office twice last week. Astin turned himself in today in Atlanta.
And new IPhone owners frustrated. They've had to wait days to activate their phones. AT&T says it's due to an overloaded server, but adjustments have made so customers should not face the delays anymore.
Of course, without the activations, the iPhone isn't going to work, which could lead some customers to joke their up to $600 phone nothing but an expensive paperweight. Wonder where they heard that before, Anderson Cooper?
COOPER: Where have they heard that before?
HILL: I don't know. AC 360?
COOPER: I don't know. Did we use that phrase? HILL: I don't think those exact words were used. Alluded to, perhaps.
COOPER: OK. Can you imagine the frustration of having the iPhone and..?
HILL: I would be so upset. And some people were saying, apparently, if they were switching service providers...
HILL: ... that they were having trouble with the software that transfers all of your numbers, which is just a huge pain in the butt as we all know. You don't want to do it by hand.
HILL: So that was another bit of frustration.
COOPER: Frustration was had by all, but I'm sure all the kinks will get worked out.
HILL: There you go.
COOPER: Have you seen the "Shot of the Day"? Look closely. Look closely, Erica Hill, at the boat. You can pick out two current heads of state. One former on board. Fidelity 3 -- that's the name of the boat -- George H.W.'s fishing boat off his summer home in Maine. I guess his folks' summer home.
George W. and Russian's Vladimir Putin take a break from such talking points as European missile defense and -- I don't know -- maybe commuting the sentence of Scooter Libby. They're calling this the Lobster Summit.
HILL: Busy day.
COOPER: That's right. Busy day. Commuting and fishing. We think historians should remember this as the striped bass summit, because there...
HILL: I think that is more appropriate. Because you don't fish for lobster, of course.
COOPER: That's right. Apparently, Vladimir Putin caught a striped bass there.
HILL: How about that?
HILL: You think they're eating the striped bass for dinner?
COOPER: I don't think so, no. I think this was a photo-op.
HILL: Ah, a photo-op with heads of state? COOPER: Believe it or not.
HILL: Anderson Cooper.
HILL: Next thing you know they'll be pimping the iPhone.
COOPER: Maybe so. I would want to see Vladimir Putin do a demonstration of jujitsu, because he's like a black belt in jujitsu.
HILL: Well, when that is "The Shot of the Day" call me. I'll be here.
COOPER: All right. We want you to send us your shot ideas. If you see some amazing videos -- look at this. My phone is ringing during this. That's not good.
If you see some amazing videos tell us about it, at CNN.com/360. We'll put some of your best clips on the air. It's not the iPhone.
Up next on 360, President Bush commutes Scooter Libby's prison sentence. Cheney's former chief of staff will still have to do probation and pay a fine. He won't have to serve time. Is it fair? We'll get reaction from both sides.
Also ahead, more on the U.K. terror plot. A fast-moving investigation. New arrests and new information about the suspects. Next.
COOPER: Good evening, everyone.
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