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THE SITUATION ROOM
Exclusive Video From Myanmar; Interview With Anita Hill
Aired October 2, 2007 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Kitty.
Happening now, smuggled evidence of a pro democracy movement brutally crushed. Tonight, we have exclusive video from inside the crackdown in Myanmar. The images, the military rulers don't want you to see.
Also this hour, it's Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas all over again. She's now telling CNN her sexual harassment allegations against the Supreme Court justice stand 16 years later. And she says she simply has to speak out now.
And was Princess Diana's death a decade ago an accident or murder? A jury now is in place to consider allegations of a royal conspiracy.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Tonight, exclusive undercover footage taken inside a city under siege as security forces crack down on pro democracy demonstrators, some monasteries normally full of devout Buddhist monks now reportedly deserted, the fate of their residence simply unclear. And it is happening in isolated secretive Myanmar, sudden in the world spotlight. Here is CNN's Dan Rivers.
DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the ugly face of military repression. The generals who control Myanmar have tried so hard to cover up. The images just smuggled out by men and women who risk their lives, are at least two days old. The pictures taken just before Myanmar's foreign minister claimed security personnel had exercised what he called the utmost restraint. The soldiers corral those they caught in the middle of the road. Some prisoners already clearly injured, watched over by an officer in the now silent street.
RIVERS: Earlier, the smuggled video showed a very different scene.
RIVERS: The deafening chant of a confident crowd marching peacefully through the city. But the moment was short-lived. The demonstrators flee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
RIVERS: Soldiers bark ordered as an injured protester is tended to by an anxious friend, trying to stay out of sight and in the street, the remains of the stampede. Those who weren't fast enough are searched and loaded onto trucks by men who are not wearing uniforms, backing up protesters claims that plain clothed intelligence officers were operated in their midst, smuggled evidence seeping out of this isolated country that the pro democracy movement is being ruthlessly crushed. Pictures that are likely to define Myanmar's government to the world.
Dan Rivers, CNN, Bangkok.
BLITZER: Strategically located in Southeast Asia, Myanmar, or Burma, as it is still called by many, has been increasingly isolated by much of the world community since it came under military rule back in 1962. A series of repressive regimes have cracked down in dissent. The current military junta assumed power under a different name in 1988, now known as the so-called state peace and development counsel, this ruling body of a dozen generals has been run for 15 years by senior General Than Shwe, head of state. Now in his '70s, he's a career military officer and is reportedly superstitious man who consults with astrologers.
Private American security guards packing a lot of fire power, paid to protect American diplomats. Now with the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians under investigation, Congress has asked if that price is simply too high. The well-connected security firm Blackwater USA is forced into the spotlight at a public hearing today. Let's go live to our State Department correspondent Zain Verjee. She is catching all of this unfold. What happened, Zain?
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, for the first time Blackwater is under fire from lawmakers.
ERIK PRINCE, BLACKWATER USA: Call us mercenaries; we have Americans working for America.
VERJEE (voice-over): Blackwater's CEO grilled about his firm's conduct in Iraq, amid chargers they are trigger happy cowboys.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Blackwater appears to have fostered a culture of shoot first and sometimes kill and then ask the questions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the bad guys just have to get lucky once.
VERJEE: Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL, says the job of his men is to get diplomats out of danger, using war zone techniques. PRINCE: Defensive fire, sufficient force to extricate ourselves from that dangerous situation. We're not there to achieve fire power dominance or to drive the insurgents back. We're there to get our package away from danger.
VERJEE: Blackwater's role in Iraq came to a boil after this September 16 shootout where at least 11 Iraqi civilians were killed. Blackwater guards say they came under hostile fire and shot back. Lawmakers were prevented from asking questions about that gun battle.
It is now being investigated by both the State and Justice Departments. But plenty of questions were raised about a drunk Blackwater employee who shot and killed the Iraqi vice president's guard last Christmas Eve. Blackwater fired him, made him pay a fine, and shipped him out of the country. Blackwater also compensated the family.
PRINCE: But we as a private organization can't do anymore, we can't flog him, we can't incarcerate him.
VERJEE: The State Department too came under fire for what lawmakers said was poor supervision of Blackwater contractors.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D-CA), OVERSIGHT CHAIRMAN: Is the government doing enough to hold Blackwater accountable for alleged misconduct? And what are the costs to the federal taxpayers?
VERJEE: The State Department's top man on Iraq says diplomats can't do their job without contractor security, but there are strict rules.
DAVID SATTERFIELD, SPECIAL ADVISER ON IRAQ: These policies, these standards only allow for the use of force when absolutely necessary, to address imminent and grave danger against those under their protection themselves, and others.
VERJEE: Some lawmakers threw their support behind Blackwater, thanking them for risking their lives to protect U.S. diplomats, reconstruction workers and senior Iraqi government officials.
VOICE OF REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Zero individuals that Blackwater's protected have been killed in a Blackwater transport.
PRINCE: That's correct.
VERJEE: Some lawmakers, Wolf, questioned the use of private contractors, saying it is just not a good deal for American taxpayers, who are paying Blackwater alone more than $1 billion. Wolf? BLITZER: And some of these security guards, they are getting hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and their salaries, as opposed to U.S. military personnel who are getting a whole lot less and there is a lot of resentment. But Zain, you have spoke with some American diplomats, U.S. embassy in Baghdad is the largest in the world, more than 1,000 Americans are there. What are they saying to you about Blackwater, those who have been protected by these guys?
VERJEE: Well, they are saying that the bottom line is they just can't do their jobs without the protection of security contractors like Blackwater. They say the military is stretched thin. And diplomatic security just doesn't have the kind of training or the experience to do the kind of dangerous work like there is to be undertaken in Iraq. And diplomats say that they have to conduct U.S. foreign policy and they need them. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, Zain. Thanks very much.
Tonight a startling charge of government waste that cost all of us, all of us, $146 million in only one year, it is the first of its kind investigation of travel by federal employees -- let's go to CNN's Kathleen Koch. She is watching this unfold. It is part of an extensive investigation, Kathleen. A lot of Americans who are watching, their blood is going to be boiling after they hear this.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They absolutely will be, Wolf, because the prices you know that we pay, as consumers, quite different from what some of these government employees are getting away with. Now this is a probe by the Government Accountability Office that looked at more than a dozen government agencies.
And what it found was that over a one-year period, starting in July 2005, federal employees there wasted at least $146 million flying business or first-class. Now, in a draft report that was obtained by The Associated Press, we learned that government rules here now do require that feds fly coach unless it is a flight of 14 hours or longer. But these investigators say that they found senior officials and political appointees the most frequent violators felt that they were entitled to the perk, and when they got this perk, Wolf, the cost was from five to ten times the price of coach fares.
BLITZER: Kathleen, give us some of the worst offenders, what this report is suggesting.
KOCH: Wolf, among the worst were State Department employees. Take one case; 32 employees flew premium class from Washington to Liberia over a six-month period. They spent $169,000 more than they would have paid for coach tickets. And Agriculture Department executive took 25 first-class flights, cost him $163,000. That's an average of more than $6,500 a ticket.
Political appointee at the Pentagon spent $105,000 on 15 flights. Now he said he needed the upgrade because of a surgery years earlier, but the only evidence he produced was a note that was signed by a fellow Pentagon employee. Now the GAO says it is referring this abuse that it found for administrative action and possible repayment, but there could be more problems to come, because there are certain feds that are exempt from the travel rules. Top officials at the U.S. Postal Service, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, well they can fly business or first class whenever they want, no questions asked, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Kathleen. Thanks very much -- Kathleen Koch with that report.
Let's check in with Jack Cafferty for "The Cafferty File" -- our tax dollars, Jack, at work, $146 million and that's just one report.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Why can't these people be fired for doing that stuff?
BLITZER: Good question.
CAFFERTY: Yeah. It's no wonder Congress has such anemic approval ratings. All you have to do is look at some of their priorities these days. First, you remember, it was all about MoveOn.org, that ad that questioned the credibility of General Petraeus. Republicans spent two weeks criticizing the ad, and the Democrats, and then both Houses, approved resolutions condemning MoveOn.org.
Now, they are worrying about Rush Limbaugh, and comments that this fat drug addict made on his radio show about, quote, "phony soldiers", unquote. The Democrats are going to go after Limbaugh for attacking the courage and character of those fighting in Iraq. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked colleagues to condemn what Limbaugh said. Limbaugh is a private citizen and today Senate Democrats sent a letter to the CEO of Clear Channel Communications, calling on him to publicly repudiate what Rush Limbaugh said.
But Limbaugh insists his comment was taken out of context. That he was referring to anti-war soldiers who falsely claim to have served in Iraq. And he also said of Reid, quote, "he's got to be a nut." Well, the truth is they are all nuts. Now, members of both parties are introducing resolutions, one commends Limbaugh, one condemns Limbaugh. They have nothing better to do? Aren't there some other serious issues facing this country that deserves the attention of these clowns in Washington? That we elect in good faith to do the country's business?
Here's the question. What should Congress focus on instead of MoveOn.org ads and Rush Limbaugh's commentaries on his radio show? E- mail CaffertyFile@CNN.com or go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Excellent question, Jack, thanks very much.
Senator Barack Obama says he has something to clear up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that Senator Clinton has been effective in trying to blur the distinctions. And it is our job to make these distinctions clear to the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The Democratic presidential candidate acknowledging his Iraq message needs work. It's all in a brand new interview with our Candy Crowley. We'll share it with you.
And Anita Hill says no one ever put her up to making accusations against Clarence Thomas. The woman who failed to stop Thomas from becoming a United States Supreme Court justice 16 years ago is responding now to his fresh attacks on her.
And new insights into what President Bush was thinking on the eve of the war in Iraq. A transcript reveals impatience and stresses he compares -- and stressed that he compares the Chinese water torture.
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: A jury in New York today found New York Knicks coach, NBA legend Isiah Thomas sexually harassed a former employee. His employer has been ordered to pay millions in damages. Here is CNN senior correspondent Allan Chernoff. Allen?
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the jury did not find Isiah Thomas to be credible when he denied all the allegations. The jury deciding that Thomas, Madison Square Garden, owner of the Knicks, as well as James Dolan, chairman of the parent company, all engaged in sexual harassment.
CHERNOFF (voice-over): A huge victory in court for former New York Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders, who claimed Knicks coach Isiah Thomas had verbally abused her and even came onto her, trying to kiss her. She was fired after complaining to her employer of Thomas' behavior.
ANUCHA BROWN SANDERS, PLAINTIFF: What I did here, I did for every workingwoman in America. And that includes everyone who gets up and goes to work in the morning, everyone that aspires to be in a corporate environment.
CHERNOFF: Jurors found Thomas liable of subjecting Brown Sanders to a hostile work environment, and found Madison Square Garden, owner of the Knicks, and James Dolan, chairman of the parent company, liable of the same, as well as retaliating against the plaintiff. The jury awarded Brown Sanders damages of $8.6 million from MSG and $3 million from Dolan, amounts that the judge has the authority to change. Jurors were deadlocked on whether Thomas should have to pay damages. The Knicks' coach, who denied Brown Sanders' accusations, is promising to appeal.
ISIAH THOMAS, HEAD COACH, NEW YORK KNICKS: I'm very innocent. And I did not do the things that she accused me in this courtroom of doing. I'm extremely disappointed that the jury could not see the facts in this case.
CHERNOFF: MSG said, "We believe the jury's decision was incorrect and plan to vigorously appeal the verdict."
The trial portrayed the Knicks' organization as a basketball animal house. Star player Stephon Marbury testified in court to having sex with a Knicks intern in his truck and cursing at Brown Sanders.
CHERNOFF: The case has been a big distraction for the team and may continue to hang over the Knicks. Training camp started today, without head coach Isiah Thomas. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, thanks very much, Allan, for that.
One drug, two different forms and two very different sets of sentencing guidelines, crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. Crack is used much more prevalently among minorities and carries much harsher sentences. Now the Supreme Court is taking up the controversial issue. CNN justice correspondent Kelli Arena has details. Kelli?
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the justices aren't being asked to dictate sentencing guidelines. What they are looking at is whether judges who disagree with them can set lower sentences.
ARENA (voice-over): Karen Garrison remembers vividly the day her sons were sentenced for dealing crack cocaine.
KAREN GARRISON, MOTHER OF CONVICTED MEN: You know I passed out during some point to that. I can remember when they said 15 and a half and 19 and a half. I mean it seems like just I got a ringing in my ears because I couldn't believe that it was that much.
ARENA: Her twin sons are college graduates with no prior criminal records. They were fingered by a convicted drug dealer. But no drugs were ever found on them. The men refused to plea, maintaining their innocence. But they ran into a legal brick wall.
Sentences for crack cocaine are far stiffer than for powder cocaine. Five grams of crack gets you five years, mandatory. You'd have to have 500 grams of powder to get the same time. Why the difference? Well, critics say it's black and white. Crack dominates in African American communities, powdered coke, among whites. And that, they say, is discrimination. Until now, the argument hasn't flown very far.
KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: The constitutional challenges were consistently rejected by the courts, because it was very clear that crack cocaine has fundamentally different and much more destructive dimensions than so-called white powder cocaine. ARENA: The case before the Supreme Court involves a crack dealer who got 15 years when the guidelines called for at least 19. The district judge in the case imposed the lower sentence because he felt the guidelines were way too tough. The defense agrees.
MICHAEL NACHMANOFF, FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER: Judges have to be able to impose a sentence anywhere within the full range, given by Congress. And that's what we were asking the court to recognize today.
ARENA: The government says he had no right to ignore the will of Congress.
ARENA: The high court has already ruled that judges can use discretion. The distinction here is whether they can use that discretion simply because they disagree with federal law -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Kelli Arena at the Supreme Court for us -- thank you.
About 90 percent of the cocaine in the United States, by the way, comes through Mexico. But that country has been cracking down on drug smuggling, and the Bush administration says that's cutting supplies into the United States, with law enforcement in 37 cities reporting a cocaine shortage, the result -- higher prices. The Drug Enforcement Agency says the price of a gram of pure cocaine is up 24 percent to almost $120.
What was President Bush thinking on the eve of the war in Iraq? There are new details emerging of a high level conversation that may shed some light on where the president stood, regarding Saddam Hussein. We're going to show what you we found.
Plus, Anita Hill speaking publicly now about the fresh allegations against her, by the Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas, in his new book; she talks to CNN about the new chapter in a showdown that goes back 16 years.
Stay with us. You'll hear the interview right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: There's new information tonight on the president's stance shortly before the start of the war in Iraq, an insider look at a high level conversation between President Bush and another world leader. Let's go right to CNN's Brian Todd. He's watching this story for us. What are you learning, Brian?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this account sets the stage for the invasion and really illustrates the president's frustration with how the diplomatic process was going.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TODD (voice-over): Nearly four weeks before the U.S. invades Iraq, President Bush meets at his ranch with Spain's prime minister. Behind closed doors, Mr. Bush indicates his patience with the U.N. may have run out. This is like Chinese water torture, he tells Jose Maria Aznar. We have to put an end to it. This, according to a transcript of the meeting, published in the Spanish newspaper, "El Pais".
ERNESTO EKAIZER, ASSISTANT EDITOR, "EL PAIS": He's absolutely fed up of this equation, and he has in mind, the military planning case of the war.
TODD: At the meeting, the Spanish prime minister says Saddam Hussein could go into exile and the perfect solution would be to win without firing a shot. Bush replies, I don't want to go to war. I know about wars. I know the destruction and death they cause. I am the one who has to console the mothers and widows of the dead. For sure, for us it would be the best solution. And besides, the president adds, we'd save $50 billion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You in the United States know very well how the cost of the war increased in a very notable way.
TODD: "El Pais", a major Spanish newspaper seen as close to the ruling socialist party, says it verified the transcript with current and former sources in the Spanish government. CNN got independent verification of the transcript's accuracy from a senior Spanish official with knowledge of the meeting. The White House won't confirm or deny its accuracy, but responded to questions about it by saying there was no rush to war.
DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: All diplomatic measures ran their course.
TODD: Just before the first strike, the president doesn't say invasion is certain, doesn't mention a timetable.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Commenced at a time of our choosing.
TODD: But in that meeting with Aznar a month earlier, he predicted, we'll be in Baghdad at the end of March.
TODD: But according to the transcript, Mr. Bush alternates between that and other possibilities, telling the Spanish prime minister that there was always a chance that Saddam could be assassinated and war could still be avoided. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, Brian. Thanks very much -- Brian Todd watching that story.
Tonight, Anita Hill, in a new he-said, she-said fight with the Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What you do is you attack your accuser. And, you mischaracterize them, you slander them, you smear them, and in effort to deflect the truth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Hill says Thomas is still trying to smear her, 16 years after the confirmation hearings that shocked a nation. The interview with Anita Hill, that's coming up.
And a jury now is investigating a question with huge ramifications for Britain's royal family. Was Princess Diana murdered?
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Welcome back. Her stunning testimony almost derailed Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination. Now, Anita Hill is responding to revived allegations he makes against her in his new memoir.
Our cameras caught up her on the streets of New York today, and we'll hear from Anita Hill in just a moment. You are going to want to hear this interview. First, let's bring back Carol Costello. I guess, over the years, has either side at all deviated, changed their stories?
COSTELLO: Not even a little bit, Wolf. In listening to both, I got the feeling I did 16 years ago when I was riveted to my TV set, watching the hearings and every salacious detail.
CLARENCE THOMAS, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: I do.
ANITA HILL, BRANDEIS PROFESSOR: I do.
COSTELLO (voice-over): Sixteen years have passed, but the anger remains, a he said she said with no definitive answer about what actually happened. On CBS's "60 Minutes" he still says ...
THOMAS: Didn't happen.
COSTELLO: And she still says ...
HILL: I know what the truth is. I know what happened to me.
COSTELLO: Flash back to 1991, one of the most lurid Senate confirmation hearings in United States history. It had it all. Race, sex, and according to Thomas the worst kind of politics.
THOMAS: I think most well-meaning people understand that for what it was. It was a weapon to destroy me. Clear and simple. COSTELLO: Thomas claims Anita Hill was a pawn. That her claim he'd sexually harassed her at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was a ploy to derail his nomination because of his opposition to abortion.
THOMAS: That was the elephant in the room.
COSTELLO: But 16 years ago, as millions watched on television, the elephant in the room was perceived to be Anita Hill, and her no holds bar descriptions of how Thomas had harassed her at the EEOC.
HILL: Conversations were very vivid. He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals, and films showing group sex or rape scenes.
COSTELLO: She testified such talk in other conversations made her uncomfortable.
HILL: He got up from the table, at which we were working, went over to his desk to get the Coke, looked at the can, and asked, who has put pubic hair on my Coke?
COSTELLO: Thomas writes he never listened to the testimony. In his book, "My Grandfather's Son," he says it consisted of lies from a mediocre former employee who was angry at not being promoted over a light complexioned woman.
THOMAS: She was not the demure, religious, conservative person that they portrayed. That's not the person I knew.
COSTELLO: Thomas writes the drama so angered him, he agreed to testify in his own defense, and planned to use a phrase that crystallized his feelings. High tech lynching.
THOMAS: This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I'm concerned, it is a high tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves.
COSTELLO (on camera): And what he said trumped anything she had said. With that, the hearing ended. Thomas was confirmed, and as you will hear Anita Hill say, she lost, and he won.
BLITZER: Thanks, Carol, very much. And as we just said, a CNN crew caught up with Anita Hill earlier today in New York, and asked her about the Thomas allegations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge Thomas said that you were a political pawn, he described you as such, a front of other issues, about the abortion issue.
HILL: Well, the amazing thing is that there have been several books written about the hearings since then by independent journalists. They have all investigated those charges that were raised in 1991 and he raises now and they've all found them to be false. They haven't shown one connection between me and anyone who was politically motivated to keep him off the court.
What happened and, and I will repeat this, was that I was contacted by the Senate and the Senate contacted me and asked me a direct question about what happened to me in the workplace and I responded truthfully. And there was no intermediate group that put me up to anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have maintained a very private life over the last 16 years. Is it difficult for you to relive this now that Judge Thomas has written a book and made these public comments?
HILL: You know, in many ways I have made peace with what has happened, what happened in 1991. Even what happened in the years that I was working with Thomas. I think, at this point, one of the things that I will say that has helped me to do that is really the letters and calls and the prayers of a lot of different people and I've moved on, but, when comments like those made by Judge Thomas are made, again, completely unsubstantiated comments, then I have to speak out and that's why, you know, I wrote a piece today for publication in the "New York Times" and I'm doing very limited interviews, except for when you catch me on the street.
And, so, yes, I do live a private life. But I do speak about these issues and I've learned about them since.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You took a very personal attack, called you a mediocre employee, upset over passed over for a promotion, that you were not the conservative religious woman that you appeared to be. What do you make of this?
HILL: Well, what I make of it, knowing what I know about sexual harassment claims and what I know generally about workplace abuse claims, discrimination claims. This is a typical tactic that accused people take. When you're accused of bad behavior, as opposed to wanting people to look at all of the evidence, look at all the credible evidence, what you do is you attack your accuser.
And you mischaracterize them, you slander them, you smear them. And in effort to deflect the truth, and, in fact, I know what the truth is. I testified about it in 1991 and I maintained that testimony today is as truthful today as it was then. And will always be. I know what happened to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a justice on the highest court in the land, I mean, you have a feeling about that? He really did win.
HILL: In essence, he won. He got what he came for and I think, I'm not sure what his expectations were. But that's for him to resolve. It's not for me to resolve. The only portion of this that I have to respond to is his characterization of me and what I feel is the real injury that it can do to other people who want to stand up for their rights. That if they see a Supreme Court justice behaving in this way, they can see that that's going to be the model for other people who are accused of wrongdoing. And that's what they're going to have to face and it's hard enough to stand up for your rights anyway. But when you have this kind of behavior being played out by a Supreme Court justice, I think it is, it has a chilling effect on claims.
Now, on the other hand, it could have just the opposite. And I hope that's what happens. And I hope that people are even more adamant about speaking out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is that hope? Can you express that and what your hope is to come out of this very painful incident?
HILL: Well, my hope is that people will look at all of the evidence. And they'll look at all of the things that have been written since I spoke out in 1991. That they will evaluate those carefully. Including all of the witnesses that attempted to come forward during the time of the hearing that were kept from testimony, including the evidence of people who have come forward and talked to these authors since then and have talked about his behavior, either towards them or that they witness him behave in public places. Or, you know, that they saw this kind of behavior before.
I hope that people will look at everything and evaluate it in that way and say, you know, you just can't always believe people just because they are in power and just because they seem to have authority.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think your experience, as painful as it was, changed the society and its approach to this particular issue?
HILL: You know, I can't be a judge about how much society was changed entirely. What I do know is that I hear from people regularly saying that this experience, my experience helped them to understand their own experience. And it helped them, and for those people who haven't had problems in the workplace, it also helped them to understand the experience of others.
So, I think that it was a time of turmoil and it was a difficult time and painful for people to watch, but I do think that it was a moment in which we, a moment in history in which we became educated about the way the workplace works and how it fails in terms of trying to achieve fairness and equality.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much. Thank you.
HILL: Thank you.
BLITZER: Anita Hill speaking with us earlier today in New York.
In their ongoing battle, Barack Obama, firing off a fresh shot against Hillary Clinton. He's suggesting she wants to confuse you about one issue. Obama will explain just what that is. That our one- on-one interview. He sat down with Candy Crowley earlier today.
And was Princess Diana murdered? A jury has begun to consider that very question. We're going to tell what you what's happening. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Tonight, Senator Barack Obama is trying to show he would be an agent of change on the world stage. He's now calling for the U.S. to work with other nations to phase out nuclear weapons and atomic material and keep them out of the hands of rogue nations and terrorists.
But the Democratic presidential candidate says he would not disarm the United States of nuclear weapons unilaterally. Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley talked with Obama today about another major foreign policy issue. That would be Iraq. Candy?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, as you know, rival campaigns and Obama critics have said, yes, he was an early opponent of the war, but since then, his record has been less than clear.
CROWLEY (voice-over): I want to talk about your Iraq speech because you have also said since then that you're not sure what you would have done, had you been in the Senate, because you weren't privy to the intelligence.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The only time when I said I'm not sure what I would do, if I were in the Senate was right before the Democratic convention, when we had two nominees that obviously I did not want to be criticizing right before they got up and received the nomination.
CROWLEY: But you didn't mean it?
OBAMA: Well, no -- what I'm suggesting is, everybody had difficult choices to make. And, these were difficult choices. I made the right choice. I think that Senator Clinton has been effective in trying to blur the distinctions. And it is our job to make those clear to the American people.
CROWLEY: I want to also ask about something you said recently, which was that you couldn't commit to having U.S. troops out of Iraq by 2013, which would be the end of your first term. What does that say to all of the people who thought last year, they voted to get out of Iraq?
OBAMA: What I've said is that I would retain a very limited number of troops to carry out functions that we carry out in other areas of the world that aren't war zones. Protecting our diplomatic and civilian corps, our embassy, and having a strike force which might be in Iraq or in the region, to target al Qaeda in Iraq.
CROWLEY: Isn't that war? OBAMA: Well, but -- the point is that we are going to have the need to engage in potential military actions in the region. Against targets in the region. That is very different from having a set of troops in the midst of a civil war.
BLITZER: Barack Obama speaking with our Candy Crowley in Chicago earlier today. Meantime, his rival, Hillary Clinton raised $27 million in third quarter funds, $7 million more than Obama. Huge numbers for Senator Hillary Clinton.
It hadn't happened in seven years, until today. Long divided, the leaders of the two Koreas meet. We're going to tell you how the summit between North and South Korea went.
And was Princess Diana murdered? That's what a jury has begun to consider. We'll tell you what's happening. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: A handshake and a brief "glad to meet you" signals the start of the second summit ever between North and South Korea. CNN's Sohn Jie-Ae has the story.
SOHN JIE-AE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il personally greeted the visiting South Korean president Roh Moo-Hyun.
In the background hundreds of North Koreans wave Kimjongilia, the flower named for its leader. The two leaders walked together, but in marked contrast. Kim in his trademark military jump suit walking stiffly and occasionally clapping. And the slightly younger Roh, smiling broadly and dressed in a dark, Western-style suit. A dramatic mood set for a start of the three-day summit of the two Koreas. It all started earlier in the day as Roh stopped his motorcade just before the demarcation line between South and North Korea. He got out of the car and made the crossing by foot, becoming the first South Korean leader ever to do so.
"As president, I'm crossing this forbidden line this time says Roh. After I am back, I hope that more people will follow suit and then this forbidden line will eventually be erased."
The meeting between Kim and Roh was compared to that seven years ago between Kim and then South Korean President Kim Dae Jung. High hopes for long awaited peace on the Korean Peninsula were dashed soon afterwards when North Korea embarked on a path to develop nuclear weapons.
SOHN (on camera): In a televised address to South Koreans before he embarked on his trip to North Korea, Roh himself sent more realistic expectations, characterizing his trip as one that would remove stumbling blocks in opening a new era in inter-Korean relations, a move towards hastening the slow march towards unification.
Sohn Jie-Ae, CNN, Seoul.
BLITZER: In Kabul, Afghanistan a suicide bomber struck a bus, leaving at least 10 people dead. It's the second deadly attack in Kabul within four days. Our Internet reporter Abbi Tatton is here with some new I-Reports coming in from the ground in Afghanistan. Abbi, what are we seeing?
ABBI TATTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the pictures are eyewitnesses photos from just moments after that suicide bombing happened earlier this morning as people were headed to work in Kabul. Sent in by S. Samimi. He says that he was just a couple of hundred feet away when this happened and he rushed to the scene, took these photos. He said he was shaking as he did so.
Family members were arriving at the scene, and his photos show just how strong this blast was. A suicide bomber in the entrance of this vehicle blew himself up, killing civilians, killing Afghan police, and you can see the blast ripped off the side of the bus.
He said that as people were arriving, he said this was very close to home for him. The first suicide bombing that's happened in his district. He said he sent these into CNN's I-Report, because the situation is not good there, he said, and he wanted the world to see. Wolf?
BLITZER: They are seeing it right know. Thanks very much, Abbi, for that.
Let's check back with Jack Cafferty in New York for "The Cafferty File." Jack?
CAFFERTY: The question is, what should Congress focus on instead of moveon.org ads and Rush Limbaugh's comments on the radio.
David writes from Maine, "The rap against starting impeachment proceedings against Cheney and Bush is that to do so would prevent Congress from doing anything else. Maybe that'd be a good thing."
Ed in Rhode Island, "It's been a year since the Democrats won in 2006. Unless I'm mistaken, it was to end the war in Iraq. That's what Congress should be focusing on."
Scott in Alabama. "What should our elected politicians focus on? Writing resignation notices and contacting movers. There isn't one of them that deserves their jobs and salaries or has done anything to earn them."
Patrick writes from Columbus, Ohio. "As a dinosaur otherwise known as an American citizen that actually cares about how his government is run or misrun, I am in utter disbelief our politicians are so complacently tolerated. They lie, they cheat, they steal, they spend our tax dollars without want of any sense of restraint and then when we want them to actually spend it on us, our children, our infrastructure, our elderly, you know the poor slobs they extracted it from, we're told no. Isn't it time someone told everyone of those bastards no? Wake up America, put down the remote, the latte and the cell phone and do something. When is enough enough?"
Steve writes, "I think Congress should issue a joint resolution commending you on your appearance on 'The Daily Show' last night."
And Brian in Virginia writes, "They should be working on a resolution to condemn themselves."
If you didn't see your e-mail here, you can go to cnn.com/caffertyfile where we post more of them along with video clips of "The Cafferty File," Wolf.
BLITZER: Very busy here in Washington, Jack. Thanks very much.
Princess Diana. Accident victim or murder victim? Tonight, a new investigation is under way in Britain, into Diana's death 10 years ago.
BLITZER: Allegations of murder still swirling a decade after the death of Britain's Princess Diana. Now an official inquiry is looking into that explosive charge. CNN's Richard Quest has the latest from London.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The inquest lost little time in getting to the heart of the issue. Was the crash an accident or were the couple murdered? In a frank opening address to the jury of six women and five men, the coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker said they were responsible for deciding the facts. The court would fully and fearlessly investigate, he said, but their job was not to apportion blame or guilt. It's taken 10 years for this inquest to get started. Delayed by investigations in France and Britain.
This man, Dodi's father, Mohammed al-Fayed, arriving at court, made it clear, he's already reached his verdict, even before the evidence has been heard.
MOHAMMED AL-FAYED, DODI FAYED'S FATHER: I'm hoping for justice. I'm a father who lost his son. And fighting for 10 years, at last we are going to have a jury of ordinary people and I hope to reach the decision which I believe, that my son and Princess Diana have been murdered by the royal family.
QUEST: The coroner repeatedly reminded the jury of al-Fayed's allegations. That the couple had been murdered by the British establishment and the royal family. A conspiracy that had the queen's husband, Prince Phillip, at its center.
The reason, according to Mr. Al-Fayed, was that Diana was engaged to his son and expecting their child. The question for the jury is, what are the facts? The coroner said again, and again.
The jury will be taken next week to Paris, to see the Alma (ph) tunnel crash scene for themselves. Later, they will hear evidence from the paparazzi who were present after the accident. They will hear about Diana's postmortem. And will be asked to consider whether she was pregnant at the time of her death. A British police inquiry has concluded she was not.
(on camera): What seems to be clear from this first day is that the court will consider every possible cause of death, from the mundane to murder. As Lord Justice Scott Baker put it, if necessary, to dispel grandiose speculations and suspicions. Richard Quest, CNN, London.
BLITZER: And we're going to stay on top of that story for you and go back to Richard Quest with updates throughout this proceeding in London.
Remember, we're here in THE SITUATION ROOM weekday afternoons from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Back for another hour at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
Among other things tomorrow, we're going to have a debate, a debate on whether the United States should ease its sanctions against Cuba. That debate coming up tomorrow, 7:00 p.m. Eastern, right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Until then, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. Up next, Rick Sanchez with OUT IN THE OPEN. Rick?
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