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THE SITUATION ROOM
O.J. Questioned in Robbery; More on Troop Drawdown; Jena Teenager No Longer Tried as Adult
Aired September 14, 2007 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Democrats are demanding Congressman Boehner apologize.
Senator John Kerry writes online: "That comment was stunningly cavalier."
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, called it "deplorable."
And now Republican Senator John McCain has weighed in, saying Boehner ought to retract it.
Congressman Boehner's spokesman said in a statement the congressman was referring to the amount of money spent in Iraq, adding, "There isn't a member of Congress who appreciates the sacrifices of our troops more than Mr. Boehner -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Abbi, thank you so much.
And you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, breaking news.
Police question O.J. Simpson as a possible suspect in a reported armed robbery in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson has a very different version of events.
And is this an innocent tourist couple on vacation in Italy or a fugitive American mob boss on the Most Wanted list, right alongside Osama bin Laden?
Why the FBI wants your help.
And loose nukes in the skies over America -- a major security slip up leads to the U.S. Air Force to order a stand own.
Wolf Blitzer is off today.
I'm Suzanne Malveaux and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Another brush with the law for O.J. Simpson. Las Vegas police are investigating the report of an armed robbery over sports memorabilia. The man who says Simpson robbed him spoke exclusively to TMZ.com and tells TMZ Simpson and five other men stormed his hotel room, two of them with guns drawn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ALFRED BEARDSLEY, DEALER: And I was directed at gunpoint to pack the items up in the condition that they were brought in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Simpson told the Associated Press: "Everybody knows this is stolen stuff. Not only wasn't there a break-in, but auction house owner Tom Riccio came to the lobby and escorted us up to the room. In any event, it's stolen stuff that's mine. Nobody was roughed up."
CNN's Ted Rowlands joining us from Las Vegas -- Ted, it's kind of confusing here, but what is going on?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically, Suzanne, here's what happened, according to Las Vegas police.
Last night, O.J. Simpson and, apparently, some associates, went to a hotel room. If you listen to what O.J. says, they went there to recover items that belonged to him and that there was no -- there were no weapons and nobody was roughed up. If you listen to the -- if you believe the alleged victims in this case, they stormed the room. Two pistols were used. The guns drawn and they were forced at gunpoint to assemble the stuff and O.J and his compatriots left.
Now, police do say that they have recovered some memorabilia, presumably from O.J. Simpson. And they have taken that into evidence. They have talked to O.J. Simpson, as well, just concluding an interview here within the last hour with Simpson. They're hoping to get more of this story, there's a chance, though, that Simpson will be lawyered up, if you will, and what they get will be minimal.
What they do say is don't expect this thing to be resolved in the next few hours. It will most likely take days to unravel all of this, to figure out who to believe. They have not recovered any of the weapons as of yet, and that really is the key here, because, if, indeed, O.J. Simpson was with people and there was an armed robbery, he could be in a lot of trouble.
They are saying that his travel, at this point, has not been restricted. That could also change. Safe to say they are investigating something and they think there is something there. They're just trying to figure out O.J.'s role in it and to see if there were, indeed, weapons involved.
MALVEAUX: Ted, thank you so much.
And as the story develops, we'll also go to Jeffrey Toobin, our senior legal analyst here at CNN.
And President Bush today said the U.S. military is bringing some security to Iraq and that's what's allowing him to bring some troops home. He spoke during a visit to the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia. That followed last night's prime time address, in which the president announced a rollback of his Iraq surge.
But the Pentagon is suggesting the possibility of deeper troop cuts.
Here's our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre -- and, Jamie, what do we know about the numbers?
What is the latest?
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, in his first public comments since the General Petraeus report was announced and President Bush approved it, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said all the Joint Chiefs and the U.S. central commander agree it's the best option to avoid what he called "the disastrous consequences of an American failure in Iraq."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: While the analyses of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CENTCOM and General Petraeus varied in emphasis and approach, all of the president's senior military advisers are in full agreement with the recommendations made by General Petraeus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCINTYRE: Gates noted as a newcomer, he has no record to defend and no agenda to promote. He said the slow progress in Iraq was partly blamed on mistakes that the U.S. made and partly on what he called Iraqi history and culture.
General Pace, who is in his last weeks as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, was blunt in accepting responsibility for some of those prewar misjudgments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENERAL PETER PACE, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: The Iraqi Army was not disbanded, it disintegrated. One of the mistakes I made in my assumptions going in was that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi Army would welcome liberation; that the Iraqi Army, given the opportunity, would stand together for the Iraqi people and be available to them to help serve the new nation. They disintegrated in the face of the coalition first several weeks of combat, so they weren't there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCINTYRE: Now, Gates held out the prospect of further troop reductions in Iraq next year if progress continues. But he said it was a hope, not a plan or a forecast. But he said if things continue to improve and they continue to drawdown at the same pace, that by the time the next president took office in 2009, there could be as few as a hundred thousand troops left in Iraq.
But, again, he wasn't forecasting that. He was saying that was a hopeful scenario -- Suzanne.
Hoping for the best. Thank you so much.
And how could a half dozen nuclear warheads wind up aboard a B-52 on a cross-country U.S. flight?
Well, it happened last month, in direct violation of nuclear protocol. The incident prompted the day long grounding of Air Force aircraft.
Our CNN's Brian Todd joining us now -- and, Brian, what do they hope to accomplish with this halt, I suppose, the ground?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They want answers, Suzanne.
Air Force combat wings across the U.S. had until today to complete what they call 24-hour stand-downs, as you mentioned, where fighter jets and bombers are grounded while they review security procedures.
Now, the Air Force calls this a focused and swift response to a very alarming incident.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
TODD (voice-over): Security checks at combat wings across the country, as Air Force officials get to the bottom of an incident they say should never have happened. Six nuclear warheads on cruise missiles hanging from the wing of a B-52 bomber flown from one Air Force base in North Dakota to another in Louisiana -- and the crew didn't know they were there.
MAJ. GEN. RICHARD SHERLOCK, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Now, the Air Force maintains very high standards of safety and precision. And so any deviation from those standards is taken very seriously.
TODD: Current and former Air Force officials tell CNN the public would not have been in danger, even if the plane had crashed.
MAJ. GEN. DON SHEPPERD, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: These weapons were not would not have been able to be -- to detonate. We have permissive action links, other safety mechanisms. The president has to release the codes for the weapons.
TODD: But experts say with the missiles hanging on the wing, nuclear warheads inside them, if there was impact...
HANS KRISTENSEN, FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS: It scatters the plutonium that's inside the warhead. And, therefore, you have a pollution, not a detonation, a nuclear detonation. But you have a pollution problem.
TODD: Because of accidents several decades ago, experts say nuclear weapons haven't been flown on U.S. combat for nearly 40 years. They're transported in cargo planes or over land. Officials alarmed at this incident last month because the military is supposed to have airtight control over these warheads at all times.
SHEPPERD: The Air Force has a two man policy. One person cannot be around a nuclear weapon alone. These people have to have security clearances, background checks.
TODD: Checks that are so tight, they include what medications are used by the personnel guarding the weapons.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
TODD: The investigation is not expected to be completed for several weeks. But Air Force officials say the squadron commander in charge of those weapons in Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota has been relieved of duty and several other personnel who guarded those munitions have been reassigned -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: So, Brian, when it comes to human error, is it possible to handle one of these missiles and not know that it was armed with a nuclear warhead?
TODD: Yes. Officials say the warheads are mostly inside the shell of the cruise missiles. But experts say there is a small marker on the outside that should tell you that it's loaded with a nuclear warhead. I asked Air Force officials if these particular missiles had those markers. They would not comment on that.
Brian Todd, thanks again.
And the B-52 Strato-Fortress is a weapons workforce that entered military service in 1954. The latest version, the B-52H, can carry up to 20 air launched cruise missiles. It can go 8,800 miles without refueling, fly at high, subsonic speeds at 650 miles an hour, fly at altitudes up to 50,000 feet and deliver 70,000 pounds of payload.
Jack Cafferty is off today.
But up ahead, they look like tourists, but could they be a fugitive crime boss and his girlfriend?
The FBI wants to know if you know who they are.
And pictures of families with two moms and two dads -- the film a New Jersey district doesn't want its kids to see.
And are the other Democratic candidates letting their wives gang up on Hillary Clinton?
Well, we'll see.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
MALVEAUX: An innocent tourist couple on vacation abroad or a notorious mob boss with a record going back for more than half a century on the lam for more than a decade?
The FBI wants your help in finding out.
Here is our justice correspondent, Kelli Arena -- and, Kelli, tell us what this story is this all about.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's about "Whitey" Bulger. Now, he's been on the run for nearly 13 years, appeared on "America's Most Wanted" at least half a dozen times and he's been a source of great frustration for the FBI.
But investigators think that they caught him on video back in April.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
ARENA (voice-over): Where's Whitey?
It's a game the FBI is sick of playing. The latest possible sighting of South Boston's most notorious gangster and his mall (ph), of all places, Sicily, birthplace of the mafia.
James "Whitey" Bulger is the alleged former boss of the Winter Hill Mob and he's linked to 21 murders.
WARREN BAMFORD, FBI: What we want is for the public to take a look at the video and the photo and help us identify these people.
ARENA: The FBI says the video was shot back in April. Facial recognition tests were inconclusive, so agents want to talk to anyone who may have seen or spoken with the couple.
BAMFORD: We have some people who have said this absolutely is Bulger and others who have said, no, we're really not sure or we don't think so.
ARENA: Is it the same man?
Well, here is his picture from the FBI's Most Wanted list -- right under Osama bin Laden.
If it is Bulger, chances are he's already long gone. Officials say when he blew town back in 1995, Bulger, who's now 78, had stashed away a bundle of cash in safe deposit boxes around the world. Since then, the FBI believes that he and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, have been traveling around the U.S. and Europe. "The Washington Post" called them Bonnie and Clyde on Geritol.
BAMFORD: You know, this is a career criminal. He's been a violent offender throughout his life. And so I would say he poses a very significant danger, regardless of age.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ARENA: So the price for the winner of where is Whitey -- a cool million dollars. That is the bounty on his snowy white head -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Well, maybe he'll be caught then.
Thank you, Kelli.
MALVEAUX: A snowy white head. OK.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick today said, "We are moving on." That is after the NFL fined him half a million dollars and docked his team a quarter million for spying on an opponent. But business espionage goes far beyond football.
CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll joining us now -- and, Jason, this kind of activity seems to be everywhere now.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, without question.
According to the experts that we talked to, that spying that happened on the field is nothing compared to what you see when trying to tackle the issue of corporate espionage.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
CARROLL (voice-over): Allegations of what happened at Sunday's game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets sound more like the plot of a spy novel. The Patriots' coach was fined and has apologized after the NFL caught his team spying on the Jets, using a video camera to record the Jets' defensive signals.
But these tactics are not just limited to the field. According to Ira Winkler, author of "Spies Among Us," espionage in the corporate world has had some calling foul for years.
IRA WINKLER, AUTHOR: Corporate espionage is almost a part of doing business. Every organization crosses the line in one way or another at different points in time. Some people are clearly much more egregious.
CARROLL: Take the cola war. Three people arrested on charges they conspired to steal trade secrets from Coke and sell them to Pepsi. All three were convicted on conspiracy charges.
Fourteen Hewlett-Packard officials were questioned by Congress over allegations they tried to obtain personal phone records of journalists and board members in what the media dubbed "The H.P. Snooping Scandal." All denied the allegations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was a victim of pretexting.
CARROLL: Congress heard from journalist Christopher Byron in another case. Byron says he was the victim of corporate espionage when a Canadian company tried to obtain his personal information after he wrote a critical article about them. CHRISTOPHER BYRON, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST: You get a sense that for months, people have been peering in your bedroom window or, in this case, your office window, stealing your personal property in order to identify people to whom you've given really what amount to sacred pledges of confidentiality to protect their identity, so that they'll speak freely to you.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CARROLL: And, Suzanne, we should all pay attention to this. Those who follow corporate espionage cases say consumers ultimately pay the price. They say when companies get away with it, the result is they usually end up raising the prices of their products -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: A fascinating story.
Thank you, Jason.
And up ahead, O.J. Simpson under a cloud of suspicion in an alleged armed robbery in Las Vegas.
What kind of legal quagmire could the former football star face now?
And Post-Traumatic Stress isn't just for troops anymore. We'll look at the emotional scars that diplomats coming out of war zones may be suffering, as well.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
MALVEAUX: Carol Costello is off today.
Mary Snow is monitoring stories incoming to THE SITUATION ROOM right now -- Mary, what are you looking at?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, we'll start with the weather.
Tropical Storm Ingrid is plodding along in the open Atlantic Ocean with maximum winds near 40 miles an hour. Ingrid is the ninth named storm of the 2007 Atlantic season. The storm is centered about 710 east of the Lesser Antilles and is moving northward. The storm is expected to remain out at sea and weaken. It does not appear likely to pose a threat to the U.S. or the Caribbean.
TD AMERITRADE is trying to find out who hacked into its database and stole contact information for more than six million customers. A spokeswoman for the online brokerage says Social Security numbers and account numbers do not appear to have been taken. She says customers have received unwanted e-mail ads because of the theft. But she says there's no evidence that any customers suffered financial losses or was a victim of identity theft.
A chunk of a 15-and-a-half ton meteorite is set to be auctioned next month and the Oregon-based Clackamas Indians are denouncing the sale. The Willamette meteorite is a sacred icon to the tribe. It holds an annual religious ceremony with the meteorite in its home at the American Museum of Natural History here in New York. The chunk that's for sale weighs 30 pounds. It's expected to bring in more than $1 million.
And Madonna is celebrating the Jewish New Year by attending a Kabala conference in Tel Aviv. Today, the pop star was clapping and singing Jewish songs with hundreds of people. Madonna has become a follower of Jewish mysticism in recent years. She's on a private visit to the Holy Land -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: All right, Mary Snow.
Thank you so much.
And up next, O.J. Simpson questioned as a possible suspect in what the alleged victim says was an armed robbery.
Is Simpson in trouble again?
We'll ask the legal experts.
And are the wives of other Democratic candidates ganging up on frontrunner Hillary Rod Clinton?
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
MALVEAUX: You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, Alberto Gonzales wraps up his last work day on the job. The embattled U.S. attorney general bid farewell to his colleagues at the Justice Department today. Officially his last day is Sunday.
The menu at the Justice Department gets the once over and it's pricey. An internal audit shows Justice spent almost $7 million on conferences over the past two years. And on the list, $4 per meatball at one lavish dinner. At another event, more than $13,000 was spent on cookies alone.
And Pakistan's opposition party says former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto plans to return home on October 18th. It says Bhutto will land in Karachi to press for the restoration of democracy. Bhutto has been living in London since leaving Pakistan eight years ago amid corruption allegations.
Wolf Blitzer is off today.
I'm Suzanne Malveaux and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
O.J. Simpson is being questioned by police in Las Vegas. A memorabilia dealer tells TMZ.com that Simpson and five men stormed his hotel room and took property from him at gunpoint. Simpson says the things are his. Either way, he faces another potential legal quagmire.
Our CNN senior legal, analyst Jeffrey Toobin, joining us by phone -- and, Jeffrey, we know that you know a lot about this case.
You also covered O.J. And you're the author of "The Run of His Life: The People Versus O.J. Simpson".
So what kind of legal trouble does he face now?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, potentially very serious, because of one thing in particular -- that there may have been a weapon involved. If this had simply been a dispute over property and there's a question of who owns the memorabilia and there was even pushing or shoving, I can't imagine a prosecutor would pay that much attention to it. But if there was a weapon used, and if O.J. Simpson used a weapon, which, of course, I don't know at this point, then the matter could go to a completely different level. And that's obviously what the police are looking into now.
MALVEAUX: And what is the best explanation, perhaps, that O.J. Simpson can give the police that would enable him to walk away from all of this?
TOOBIN: Well, the best explanation is that it was a simple misunderstanding over property that was actually his. The problem for him is even if it turns out that he is the owner of this disputed property, you're not allowed to break into someone's room to get it. You're not allowed to pull a gun to get it. So that's what the police are going to have to figure out. That's why O.J. Is under investigation.
But if it turns out that this is a misunderstanding among people who were doing business with each other, that is probably the best result for O.J.
MALVEAUX: Does it matter if he knew whether or not, perhaps, some of the other people that were with him had a weapon or a gun?
If he wasn't aware of that part of the allegation, does it look like he would be able to walk away from all of this?
TOOBIN: Again, it's really hard to speculate about, you know, what he knew or what the other people did. I think that's the kind of thing that the police will just simply have to sort out.
MALVEAUX: And, obviously, O.J. Simpson has had financial problems, as well.
Why would he be in this situation to begin with, where he is trying to, as he alleges, take some of his property out of an auction house?
TOOBIN: Well, I think that's a very important point you raise, Suzanne, because the way he makes his living, for the most part, despite -- in addition to his NFL pension, which is quite a great deal of money -- over $400,000 a year -- is he sells memorabilia. He signs jerseys. He signs footballs. And that is what's sold and that's how he makes money.
So you can see why he would be determined to hold onto these kind of items, because this is essentially his bread and butter.
MALVEAUX: Jeffrey Toobin, thank you so much for joining us.
And this just in. A new twist in the racially charged so-called Jena 6 case. A Louisiana appeals court has thrown out the battery conviction of an African-American teenager who was facing a 15-year sentence. It stemmed from the beating of a white classmate in the North Louisiana town of Jena.
Joining us by phone is CNN's Sean Callebs. And Sean, what is the significance of this development? Give us a little bit of background to that story.
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on phone): It's a significant development. It really is the case that started out as a racial division in a small community that now has really the attention of civil rights leaders across the country. This is very significant, because we're talking about a 16-year-old named Mychal Bell charged as an adult after getting into a fight with another school student named Justin Barker. Bell African-American, Barker white. Bell knocked Barker out allegedly. That is the charges against Bell as an adult for attempted murder. Those charges were later pared back to second- degree murder. But Bell has been in a jail in Jena since December of this year.
Now, Bell has picked up new attorneys in recent months. His first attorney during the trying could not call any witnesses. The five new attorneys have been trying to get the charges vacated which they have just succeeded today but the -- another significant point of all this is huge demonstration had been planned for the town of Jena this coming Thursday, September 20th. The Reverend Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King III and as many as 30,000 demonstrators were expected to descend on this town of Jena in a peaceful demonstration. We don't know how that be impacted now that these charges as an adult have been vacated. However, the D.A. does has the authority to go back and re file these charges as a juvenile.
MALVEAUX: Does this give any kind of reason to be encouraged, I suppose, looking at some of the other suspects that were involved in this case? Do they think that perhaps it will re-examine the charges against them as well?
CALLEBS: I think that's a good question. I think the attorney for Mychal Bell is relieved and very positive news for him and him his client. Talking about the other five students that's how they became known as the Jena 6. Four of them are 16 or older and charged as adults and one, a juvenile, under 16, he is facing charges in a juvenile court. We don't know if the district attorney is going to reduce those charges or pare back charges from an adult to juvenile court but certainly the way the proceedings have played out today, that would definitely be in their favor.
MALVEAUX: And Sean, why is this particularly important to this community? In Jena, how this is all played out here?
CALLEBS: It's a somewhat complex story. It goes back to a schoolyard fight basically over a tree where the white students congregated during lunch time. A number of African students wanted to be there as well so one day nooses were hung from that tree and that is apparently what sparked this racial division that led to a fight between Bell and Barker.
And later on, a wing of the school was eventually burned down. Really, sides were drawn in this small town. The D.A. took a very hard line stance against Bell. He is portraying Bell, Michael Bell as a no choir boy. He has four convictions as a juvenile. That is one of the reasons the D.A. said he pursued charges as an adult against then 16-year-old Mychal Bell.
MALVEAUX: OK, Sean Callebs, thank you so much for putting it all into context for us. Thanks again.
Conflict in a New Jersey school district. It teaches tolerance but some families are facing off with gay rights groups. We'll tell you why.
And the new word on post-traumatic stress disorder. War zone diplomats are victims, too. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
MALVEAUX: Are the wives of the other Democratic candidates ganging up on Hillary Rodham Clinton? Could be a strategy encouraged by their spouses? CNN's Jim Acosta joining us now. And Jim, tell us what is going on with all of this.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, this isn't the first time of wives of candidates have jumped into the political fray. Witness Lynne Cheney's comments about John Kerry in the 2004 campaign. What makes this different and a little tricky is that the wives are talking about a female contender.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So happy to be here!
ACOSTA (voice-over): Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton can expect criticism from the other candidates but what about their wives? Take this morning when Michelle Obama explained why she thinks her husband isn't doing better among women.
MICHELLE OBAMA, BARACK OBAMA'S WIFE: Some women feel it's a woman's turn, you know? They just feel like it's Hillary's turn. That, I reject, because democracy isn't supposed to be about whose turn it is.
ACOSTA: An Obama campaign spokesman flatly denied that was a jab at Clinton. John Edwards' wife has not been bashful about taking on the senator from New York. In an interview this summer she said her husband would be a better advocate for women's issues. "She's just not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see. John is."
Discussing Clinton's approach to cutting health care costs, "she acts like that is going to make healthcare affordable to everyone, and she knows it won't."
So what is going on here?
BETH FRERKING, POLITICO.COM: Obama and John Edwards particularly are worried if they come after Hillary in this way, that they might be criticized for being ugly or being unusually rude. So they let their wives do the talking.
LINDA DOUGLASS, "NATIONAL JOURNAL": There is a way that women can talk to each other and about each other that is not comfortable for men to do.
CLINTON: Energy agency ...
ACOSTA: After hesitating to criticize Clinton at first, Democratic candidates recently have taken off the gloves as they watch her poll numbers rise but Douglass feels that on women's issues it's a plus to have their wives take on a leading role.
DOUGLASS: In taking about her legitimacy as a representative of women it's much more legitimate, they probably believe, for a woman to make those criticisms than a man.
ACOSTA (on camera): So how is Hillary Clinton responding to Michelle Obama's comments? So far, it's been no comment. That is basically how she has responded to most of Mrs. Edwards' remarks in the past. Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: It's been very interesting. Thanks.
A new ad for Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich's prediction on Republicans keeping the white house in 2008. Joining for us a special edition of our "Strategy Session," we're bringing them back, Democratic strategist James Carville, a CNN contributor, and Terry Jeffrey, editor at large of the magazine "Human Events" for round two.
I want to talk here about the gift that keeps on giving. Moveon.org. The ad that says "General Petraeus or General Betray Us." Hillary Clinton went after Petraeus in his testimony. And now we're seeing Rudy Giuliani really hitting back hard. We've heard him say a few things here, calling it despicable. But here he has got into the act with the ads. He took out his own $68,000 page "New York Times" ad once again attacking her saying that this is times for statesmanship, not politicians spewing political venom here.
James, this moveon.org add does this help her? Does it hurt her? They keep using it against her.
JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: First of all, Rudy Giuliani was a draft dodger who attacked, criticized the troops in Iraq who didn't even attend an Iraq Study Group meeting that he was appointed to that has absolutely no foreign policy experience or military experience. Other than he is eminently qualified I guess with his battalion of ex- wives advising him how to do this. It matters not. Moveon.org is not a Democratic Party. Last time I checked, the First Amendment applies to them. They have a right to free speech. General Petraeus goes up and I expect he brave enough man to be asked questions by United States senators.
TERRY JEFFREY, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "HUMAN EVENTS": I think James has more about draft-dodging presidential candidates than just about anyone. The ad was shameful and it was wrong. Hillary Clinton ought to distance herself from it. It is ridiculous for her to challenge the credibility of General Petraeus.
MALVEAUX: Is he overplaying himself here? I mean, by constantly this reminder of moveon.org she hasn't aligned herself with their statements.
JEFFREY: It's a good political opportunity for Rudy Giuliani for this reason. If the Republican primary race is Giuliani contrasting to the Republicans every candidate in that field has a better claim to the loyalty of Republican voters based on the issues. Rudy is the most alienated from the Republican primary voters on the issues. The more he can make a debate between him and a contrast between him and Hillary Clinton, the better it is for him. This is a freebie for him.
CARVILLE: Yeah. I have no idea what moveon.org has to do with Hillary Clinton. But again, Rudy Giuliani, his record is very clear. He didn't even show up at the Iraq Study Group meetings. This is foolishness.
MALVEAUX: Let's hear what moveon.org is up to next. Obviously, it's about attacking character and credibility. It was with General Petraeus now it's President Bush. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: ... George Bush had 130,000 troops stuck in Iraq. Americans had elected a new Congress to bring them home. Instead, George Bush sent in 30,000 more troops. Now he is making a big deal about pulling out, you guessed it, 30,000. So next year, there will still be 130,000 troops stuck in Iraq. George Bush, a betrayal of trust. Moveon.org Political Action is responsible for content of this advertisement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: James, what ...
CARVILLE: I have one word to describe that ad. Accurate. Is there any factual thing that? Can we do a fact check on that? Because if they're missing a fact, I don't know what it is. That might be the most factual television ad I've ever seen in my life.
JEFFREY: No, look, it's one thing for moveon.org to disagree with the president's policy in Iraq and they have every right to do that and it also legitimate for moveon.org to object to Democratic politicians or be upset with Democratic politicians who ran for office in November 2006 saying they wanted to pull the troops out of Iraq. President bush did not run on that. Everybody knows what President Bush's policy is. He is moving forward. Not a betrayal of trust!
CARVILLE: The facts on the ad are right there.
JEFFREY: How is it a betrayal of trust?
CARVILLE: Any fact -- it namely a fact -- name one fact, name one fact that they got wrong in that ad? That ad is a 100 percent accurate.
JEFFREY: It would be a betrayal of President Bush to turn his back on his own policy and break a strategy in Iraq he did not think had a chance of success. If these guys had their way -- James, let me ...
CARVILLE: We agree on everything! We agree there will be 140,000 troops six years into this war. We agree to moveon.org's ad is factual.
JEFFREY: What do you think would happen in Iraq if we followed moveon.org's strategy? Would there be genocide?
CARVILLE: Can I answer? The first thing is we had followed moveon.org we would never have been there and we'd be a hell of a lot better off. Let's start there. Again, you asked me about moveon.org.
MALVEAUX: What can the Democratic candidates do to satisfy moveon.org?
CARVILLE: They don't have to do anything to satisfy moveon.org.
MALVEAUX: They are talking about troop numbers here.
CARVILLE: Moveon.org is an interest group. I will say this ...
JEFFREY: The jerks (inaudible) part of ....
CARVILLE: If you're not going to let me talk, then you go ahead. I'm not going to say anything.
Again, moveon.org is not part of the Democratic Party.
JEFFREY: Sure they are.
CARVILLE: Again. Because as I pointed out - when they're losing an argument they get desperate. Let me go. They ran a factual ad. Everybody agrees, Terry agrees and I agree it's 100 percent factual.
JEFFREY: It's not factual to say that George Bush is in a betrayal of trust. He's following ...
MALVEAUX: Real quick. JEFFREY: Let me ask James Carville. If in your fact your party does what moveon.org does and precipitously remove our troops from Iraq will there be a catastrophe there as Ambassador Crocker said? Do you believe that?
CARVILLE: First of all, let me stop. We have a catastrophe now. It's going to be a trillion dollars. I don't know how to tell you this, hiss, we're in the middle of a controversy!
JEFFREY: Will there be genocide in Iraq if we do what moveon.org says?
CARVILLE: There has been genocide. I don't know - the Democratic Party has said, Senator Webb says ...
JEFFREY: Will there be a broader regional war in Middle East if we do what moveon.org says?
MALVEAUX: We ...
CARVILLE: We have -- I don't know how to break this news to you. We have a catastrophe.
JEFFREY: James will not address the question ...
MALVEAUX: We got to leave it there! I'm sorry. We didn't have time for Newt Gingrich. We will talk about it the next round. But thank you so much both for a very spirited discussion.
Up ahead. They may not have lost their lives but many U.S. war wounded have lost limbs. Now there's a place they can go for state- of-the-art aid in returning home or even returning to military service.
MALVEAUX: A New Jersey school district is the latest battle ground in the issue involving same sex couples. A video that was supposed to be shown to students to promote diversity is now banned because it features same sex parents. CNN's Mary Snow joining us now. And Mary, what is going on at this school?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, it's really a heated debate and it's over what to teach third graders about diversity. It's divided a school district in Evesham Township, New Jersey.
SNOW (voice-over): This is the film one school district in New Jersey doesn't want their kids to see.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Abby and I'm nine years old. This is my mom, her name is Betty and this is my other mom, her name is Kim. SNOW: The film, created by a director of Women's Educational Media is called "That's a Family." I t aims to teach diversity but made for heated reaction.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't want this!
SNOW: It all started last December when a third grade class was shown "That's a Family." Along with kids of mixed race and adoption and parents who were divorced the film features children talking about their gay parents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really cool to have two gay dads because they brought us into a home and they adopted us and they love us.
SNOW: The school district formed a special committee of parents, teachers and others who reviewed it and recommended the film could be moved from third to fourth graders and parents could opt not to have their children see it but the school district voted to ban it. Some opponents argued it wasn't age-appropriate. Others protested the film itself.
REBECCA NUGENT, PARENT OPPOSED TOSHOWING FILM: It's too political and it's getting into sexuality that aren't necessary to teach children to be kind, respectful and to get along with different people.
STEVEN GOLDSTEIN, CHAIRMAN, GARDEN STATE EQUALITY: Listen. There's such homophobia on the part of some of these parents it's disgraceful. Never in my life have I seen parents so afraid and so vicious toward gay people.
SNOW: The gay rights group Garden State Equality plans to file a lawsuit to get the film reinstated in the Evesham Township Public School District. The film's creator says it's been shown in hundreds of districts around the country, she says this is the first ban of its kind.
SNOW (on camera): The film creator is also an Academy Award winner who is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. She says the film has been showing in the United States for seven years without this kind of uproar. Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: So what do the school officials say about this?
SNOW: They are saying that they now have to come up with a different way to teach kids about diversity to meet the state's mandates.
MALVEAUX: Thank you, Mary Snow.
And they serve in war zones and targeted for terrorists. America's diplomats often pay a price often after serving their country abroad. Here is our State Department correspondent Zain Verjee. And Zain, this is a part of a new series that you're doing called "The New Diplomat." Tell us a little about it.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, exactly what diplomats after 9/11 really are under fire when they go out in the field in places like Iraq, as well as other dangerous posts. And when they come back home, many of them find themselves still under siege from stress.
RACHEL SCHNELLER, U.S. DIPLOMAT: You could run outside of your trailer and you might get hit by a rocket. You could stay inside your trailer and you might get hit by a rocket.
VERJEE (voice-over): Night after night the State Department's Rachel Schneller endured rockets raining down on her compound in southern Iraq.
SCHNELLER: When you hear the rocket attack or the alarm, it's a sudden shot of adrenaline. It's like having a pot of coffee just poured directly inside of your veins.
VERJEE: She knew her assignment as a diplomat in Iraq would be difficult and dangerous. Rachel traveled mostly by helicopter. Driving was too dangerous because of roadside bombs. Then the worst moments came. Her Iraqi coworkers were killed, including a woman who had become her close friend.
SCHNELLER: She and her husband were followed and killed on their way home from our compound.
She risked her life because she believed in what we were doing and I respected her for that and she paid the ultimate price for it, and I think, for me, I felt like I had failed her because there was nothing I could do to protect her.
VERJEE: She completed her tour, but when she got back to the U.S., Rachel found she couldn't function.
SCHNELLER: Every time I heard a door slam, I just would jump out of my skin because it sounded like a mortar.
VERJEE: She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and discovered she wasn't alone. A recent State Department survey found up to 17 percent of diplomats coming back from dangerous posts, like Iraq or Afghanistan, may suffer from it. And have a hard time asking for help.
DR. RAYMOND DECASTRO, STATE DEPARTMENT: For the most part, Foreign Service officers are people who are accustomed to success and they have been doing well all of their lives. When they suddenly find themselves having difficulty, it really, I think threatens their identity.
VERJEE: The State Department says it's giving more help to diplomats in war zones, including mandatory counseling and access to support groups. DECASTRO: The macho myth needs to die a death. We all need help at some point in life, that no man is an island.
VERJEE: Rachel agrees.
SCHNELLER: I'm doing so much better, so much better now.
VERJEE (on camera): Rachel says she has no regrets about going to Iraq. She says the most important thing for her was getting treatment.
MALVEAUX: So what is the most stressful assignment?
VERJEE: Unaccompanied tours is what they call them when you go to all these dangerous posts and you're not with your family.
MALVEAUX: OK. Zain Verjee, thank you so much.
And up ahead, they lost arms and legs on the battlefield. Now a new chance for war-wounded to rebuild their lives up ahead. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
MALVEAUX: We go straight to Mary Snow who has a story that is just in. Mary can you tell us a little bit about these pictures?
SNOW: Yeah. Suzanne, these are pictures from Dekalb County in Georgia. We're seeing a picture of a plane off the runway. Still trying to get some information but it is outside of Atlanta. Seems a small plane off the runway. Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: Mary Snow, thank you so much. We will be getting back as we have more information.
They have lost limbs fighting for their country but a new state- of-the-art rehabilitation center will help train some amputees to keep serving their country. And train others to rebuild their lives. Here is our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. Barbara, this is an advanced treatment facility and what does that mean?
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, this is a place that is very different. This is a place to help troops stay on active duty.
STARR (voice-over): This new facility at Walter Reed Army Medical Center is more than just rehabilitation. This is military training. Major David Rozelle lost a leg in Iraq. He has organized the center. He is an unwavering advocate for keeping wounded troops on duty.
MAJ. DAVID ROZELLE, U.S. ARMY AMPUTEE: This population of amputees is not satisfied with some crutches and wheelchair and have a nice day. It's not the right answer.
STARR: The Army already under fire for the care it has given troops, spent $10 million on this state-of-the-art center, even though all of Walter Reed is scheduled to shut down.
ROZELLE: Do we wait, do we say let's wait four years before with give you a world class facility? The answer is no.
STARR: Specialist Marco Robledo was injured by an IED in May and now his brother Jose helps him into a harness that is marking Marco towards independence.
SPEC. MARCO ROBLEDO, U.S. ARMY AMPUTEE: I was scared to walk by myself. After this, I'm going to leave the wheelchair a little bit and walk on my own.
STARR: Before this center an amputee could walk just for a few steps. Now this harness moves on a circular track in the ceiling. Marco can walk for as long as he wants.
How high do you go on this thing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll go all the way to the top.
STARR: Sergeant First Class Jake Keesler (ph), who has lost both his legs, is now doing what he loves, rock climbing. This is the kind of place, he says, amputees need to move out of that wheelchair.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gives you confidence in your ability to do things.
STARR: Confidence to face a mountain and the future.
STARR (on camera): Suzanne, there are now over 600 troops that have lost an arm or a leg in the war. Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: Barbara Starr, thank you so much. A very moving story. LOU DOBBS TONIGHT starts right now. Kitty Pilgrim is in for Lou. Kitty, what are you looking at?
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN HOST: Thanks, Suzanne. Tonight, a new amnesty push on Capitol Hill. Pro-illegal lawmakers are trying to reintroduce their failed amnesty legislation.
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