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THE SITUATION ROOM
Salmonella Outbreak Still Unfounded; Obama Looks to Shift to Center; Former Commander of USS Cole Finally Speaks; Alleged Cop Killer Strangled in Solitary
Aired July 1, 2008 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm John Roberts in New York. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Restaurants and grocery stores have been scrambling to pull tomatoes believed tainted with salmonella and now months into a nationwide scare we're learning that tomatoes may in fact, not be the problem. It's raising some serious questions about the way that the government is handling this. CNN's Brian Todd joins us live now. Brian, what's the latest on this?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, investigators tell us tomatoes are not off the hook but as the number of victims continues to grow, they're now expanding their list of possible suspects.
TODD (voice-over): Inside a massive investigation spanning two countries, mounting frustration and worries about mistaken identity. Since April, a salmonella outbreak has sickened nearly 870 Americans and now a state official involved in the probe tells CNN there's growing concern among investigators that tomatoes may not be solely to blame. Federal inspectors have looked for weeks at tomatoes, tracking them to what they thought might be potential sources, farms in Florida and Mexico. Still, no trace of the original source. Now --
VOICE OF DR. DAVID ACHESON, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: The FDA has expanded its investigation into the cause of the salmonella St. Paul outbreak and the expansion is going to include additional produce items that are commonly served in combination with tomatoes.
TODD: A state official says that could mean lettuce, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, that's because they found clusters of people affected who ate those ingredients together in dishes at restaurants. Investigators are clear, tomatoes are still the lead suspect. But if they turn out not to be the source, have officials from the Food and Drug Administration dropped the ball? Not necessarily. FDA officials and watchdog groups say the sources of these outbreaks are incredibly difficult to find and --
CAROLINE SMITH DEWALL, CTR. FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: FDA food safety programs really operate on a shoestring budget today. They're inspecting food processors once every five to 10 years. And they almost never get to farm fields unless an outbreak brings them there.
TODD: If tomatoes are the source, how do they get infected?
MICHAEL DOYLE, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: In most cases, it's related to water. Whether the water is contaminated in the packing house, and then contaminates the dirty water in the washing of the tomatoes, ultimately contaminates the tomatoes, or in the field, where it's contaminated irrigation water and the salmonella will often come from fecal matter from animals.
TODD: But, again, tracking the source is very difficult. Many shipments of tomatoes don't have labels showing where they came from. Tomatoes from Florida and Mexico are often sent to other places for processing and distribution. Bottom line, federal officials warn they may never find the source of this outbreak -- John?
ROBERTS: Well, Brian, any updates on what kinds of tomatoes that consumers should watch out for? They were talking specifics a few weeks ago.
TODD: They were and they just did it a couple of hours ago. The FDA and CDC say these are the kinds of tomatoes you should not eat, red roma tomatoes, also called plum tomatoes, they're smaller in size and round red tomatoes that are bigger. They say the ones that are safe to eat are cherry and grape tomatoes, tomatoes that are grown on vines and homegrown tomatoes.
ROBERTS: Brian Todd with the latest on that for us.
And here's an extra for us. Salmonella is the name of the bacteria that caused the infection. Usually it's accompanied by diarrhea, cramps and a fever. The onset is anywhere between 12 hours and 72 hours after exposure and lasts between 4 and 7 days. The symptoms are not pretty, neither is the way that most people contract salmonella by eating food that's been tainted with animal feces.
Thorough cooking does kill the salmonella bacteria. So, be cautious with raw foods. Lots of washing also helps, your hands, your utensils, and the food themselves. And don't forget that if you put some raw food down on a counter then you moved it to a plate, never put it back down on that counter without cleaning the counter again first.
The terror attack on his ship killed 17 Americans. Now nearly eight years after the bombing of the "USS Cole", the ship's former commander breaks his silence. Saying that it's taken too long to bring charges against al Qaeda's alleged mastermind. Our senior pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre has the CNN exclusive for us this afternoon. Jamie, what are you finding out?
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the attack on the "USS Cole" was the biggest al Qaeda attack before September 11th and the ship's commander tells me that he believes for too long the case has been on the back burner.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MCINTYRE (voice-over): In his first television interview, the former commander of the "USS Cole" tells CNN he's still waiting for justice almost eight years after al Qaeda attacked his ship. Do you take this personally?
CMDR. KIRK LIPPOLD (RET.), FORMER USS COLE COMMANDER: Yes, I do. 17 of my sailors were killed that morning. 37 were wounded. Absolutely I take it personally.
MCINTYRE: Kirk Lippold was skipper of the "USS Cole" in October 2000, when suicide bombers in an explosives-laden boat blew a 40-foot hole in the ship's hull in the port of Aidan in Yemen.
LIPPOLD: The immediate actions of the crew saved this ship.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The office of the convening authority for military commissions has received sworn charges against Abda al Rahim al Nashiri, a Saudi of Yemeni descent.
MCINTYRE: The Pentagon is now seeking the death penalty against Al Nashiri, who it says planned and directed the attack almost eight years ago. How do you feel about how long this process has taken?
LIPPOLD: I think it's taken too long. Hopefully we will be able to get the conviction we need.
MCINTYRE: So how would you characterize al Nashiri?
LIPPOLD: He is one of the worst of the worst. He worked with Bin Laden himself to plan this attack and he essentially is the mastermind behind pulling it off.
MCINTYRE: The Pentagon is holding al Nashiri in Guantanamo. But before that the CIA admits subjecting him to waterboarding, an interrogation tactic designed to simulate drowning. Al Nashiri testified that's the only reason he admitted anything. But Lippold insists the FBI has a solid case without any coerced confessions.
LIPPOLD: Regardless of what he says, I believe that there is enough evidence to convict him.
MCINTYRE: Commander Lippold effectively lost his Navy career over the "Cole" incident, despite the fact that an official investigation found that there was nothing he or his crew could have done to prevent the attack or limit the damage to the ship. He was denied a promotion and retired last year at the same rank of commander -- John?
ROBERTS: Jamie, what about the other suspects in the "Cole" bombing, what happened to them?
MCINTYRE: One of the frustrating things about this for Commander Lippold and others who followed the Cole case is that, there is one other suspect in U.S. custody in Guantanamo. He's part of the suspects who are being charged with September 11th offenses, but the other suspects in Yemen have either broken out of prison or been released by the Yemeni government and Commander Lippold expressed a lot of frustration about the fact that Yemen has not been a real partner with the United States in trying to bring those suspects to justice.
ROBERTS: I can imagine, he would be frustrated. Jamie McIntyre from the pentagon with that exclusive today. Jamie thanks.
South Koreans have a beef with President Bush so after postponing next week's planned presidential stop in Seoul amid mass protests over U.S. beef imports, the White House is announcing that the president is going to try again next month. Let's go live to CNN White House correspondent Elaine Quijano. Elaine, what's the latest on these new travel plans?
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, John. That's right, new travel plans after a new deal on U.S. beef imports. Back in 2003 fears over mad cow disease prompted the South Korean government to ban American beef imports.
A few months ago, the new South Korean president, President Lee, said that he would agree to lift the ban that in turn sparked huge demonstrations and even riots for weeks in the capital see of Seoul, South Korea. In turn the South Korean government decided to negotiate a change in that deal that only cattle younger than 30 months considered by some to be safer would be allowed into the country.
So now, John, U.S. beef is back on the shelves and South Korea is back on President Bush's travel itinerary. We're told that he will visit South Korea August 5th and 6th, before heading to the Olympics in Beijing -- John?
ROBERTS: And hopefully the protests will have dissipated by that point. Elaine Quijano with the latest for us at the White House. Elaine thanks.
A dismal month for U.S. car and truck sales down across the board in June to the worst level since 1992. Ford sales plunged 28 percent, Toyota 21 percent and General Motors 18 percent. Economic jitters are keeping many would be buyers away, those who do show up have little interest in trucks and SUVs thanks to record high gas prices.
Americans are apparently buying less coffee too. Starbucks is being forced to take drastic action. The company says it will close 600 U.S. stores over the next year and cut back on the number of planned new locations.
Here are just a few of the stories that we're working on right now. Big political problems at home for a governor often named as a possible running mate for John McCain. Louisiana's Bobby Jindal is facing veto outrage and a possible recall.
A woman collapses and dies on a hospital floor while the staff does nothing. The surveillance video will leave you stunned.
And hippies, in the psychedelic era. Many were on something, and now there is new evidence that they may have been on to something.
ROBERTS: For Barack Obama, the focus today is faith with his own religious ideas under attack from some conservatives. The Democratic nominee in waiting spoke of his beliefs and the impact that they have had.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn't grow up in a particularly religious household, but my experience in Chicago showed me how faith and values could be an anchor in my life and an anchor in the community. In time I came to see my faith as being both a personal commitment to Christ and a commitment to my community. While I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn't be fulfilling God's will unless I went out and did the Lord's work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: At a campaign stop in Ohio, Obama sounded like President Bush in saying Washington needs to draw on the work of faith-based groups. But he accused the Bush administration of using such organizations for partisan purposes.
Some Democrats may be surprised to learn that Barack Obama is courting the evangelical vote. He's trying to connect with what some are calling the Christian left. CNN's Jim Acosta has that story.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After 24 years in the pulpit former Pastor Brian McLaren plays guitar, writes books, travels the world -- that's him in Burundi -- and now he serves as an informal adviser to Barack Obama's campaign. His mission to convince evangelical voters to take a new leap of faith.
BRIAN MCLAREN, OBAMA CAMPAIGN ADVISER ON FAITH: I think there is a very sizable percentage. I think between a third and half of evangelicals, especially younger, who are very open to somebody with a new vision.
ACOSTA: A vision McLaren says isn't just focused on traditional social issues like abortion and gay marriage. These are evangelicals who would also like to see an end to global warming and the war in Iraq.
MCLAREN: We've watched the evangelical community be led -- be misled by the Republican Party to support things that they really shouldn't have supported so --
ACOSTA: Such as?
MCLAREN: Well, the blind support for the Iraq war when it was -- when it was launched on either mistaken or false pretenses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, it seems that he is vastly --
ACOSTA: And when Christian conservative James Dobson accused the Illinois senator of twisting the bible, Obama's evangelical supporters took umbrage. The website James Dobson doesn't speak for me was created by Texas pastor, Kirby John Caldwell who officiated at the wedding of first daughter Jenna Bush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The evangelical community seems to be sitting on the fence to a certain degree.
ACOSTA: Georgetown Professor Jacques Berlinerblau says that gives Obama an opportunity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many folks are hating on Barack Obama.
ACOSTA: Despite the senator's pastor disasters.
JACQUES BERLINERBLAU, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: If Senator Obama can get between 30 to 33 percent in those crucial swing states, he's absolutely golden.
ACOSTA: Not all evangelicals are convinced.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When does life begin?
ACOSTA: The president of the family research council posted this web video challenging Obama's position on abortion.
CHARMAINE YOEST, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL ACTION Talking about faith issues, it's not about singing kumbaya, it's about the public policies that the person is going to put in place.
ACOSTA (on camera): This year Christian conservatives don't have George W. Bush to get those value voters from the pews to the polls. It's a voting bloc many on the religious left and, yes, even the right see as up for grabs. Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.
ROBERTS: He's the young governor linked to John McCain and often mentioned as a possible running mate. But now Louisiana's Bobby Jindal has some serious political problems at home, including a recall campaign. CNN's Sean Callebs joins us live now and Sean, what's at the root of this controversy?
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's interesting, if you think about it, because Jindal is somebody who really burst onto the scene in the past several months, seemingly the GOP golden boy, the man who couldn't do anything wrong. Well, now, a political misstep, one in which he has angered state voters as well as Louisiana lawmakers.
CALLEBS (voice-over): As a GOP rising star, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has shared the spotlight with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, shaking hands in New Orleans' decimated lower ninth ward and with Senator McCain at a Memorial Day retreat in Arizona, said to be a testing ground for a possible vice presidential nod. Now Jindal has learned the glare of the spotlight can be punishing as well. As much of Louisiana suffers from the economic downturn and New Orleans still has a hangover from Katrina, Jindal allowed state lawmakers to double their salary. After voter outrage, Jindal vetoed the measure.
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, (R) LOUISIANA: I made a mistake in telling them that I would stay out of this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This shows how fast political fortunes can change.
CALLEBS: New Orleans based political analyst Cilas Lee says a grassroots recall petition caused Jindal to wimp out. Clearly voters are upset.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously this is a result of everybody's uproar. That was a small part of it.
CALLEBS: And now so are state lawmakers. Lee says the governor has himself in an unenviable position.
CILAS LEE, POLITICAL ANALYST: Hopefully this does not establish a pattern whereby when the heat really begins to intensify, the governor will say, well, let me step back and change my position.
CALLEBS: Jindal is only 37 years old. A tick of the clock in terms of his potential political lifespan.
JINDAL: The whole distraction, the side show over massive legislative pay raises has already taken up far too much time.
CALLEBS: The governor's staff again reiterated a statement Jindal has said time and time again, that he has the job he wants and has no interest in being VP. Lee says perhaps that's a good thing.
LEE: I think it would cause some people to re-evaluate him. I don't know about ending it.
CALLEBS: Let's take a big-picture look at this. Jindal is someone who is very young in terms of his political future. He's also very smart. He won here in an overwhelming fashion, running for governor. And if you take a look at this, he's only six months into office, John, if he continues to work for the state and he improves things like health care and improves the economy and improves roads and makes things better down here in New Orleans. This is going to be a bump in the road, it is going to be long forgotten in the next 3 1/2 years.
ROBERTS: Sean, have you reached out to the McCain campaign? What are they saying about this?
CALLEBS: Yes, we did. We reached out to them this afternoon and we got a response back, it was two words you often hear with something like this. No comment. It's difficult to read into that if Jindal is seriously being considered as someone who would be a vice presidential prospect or somebody who is inexperienced and now showing that by making this misstep so early in his gubernatorial time here.
ROBERTS: All right, Sean Callebs for us from New Orleans this afternoon. Sean, thanks.
An unlikely hazard facing U.S. forces in Iraq. Now, they might be in danger even in the shower. Details of a pentagon investigation ahead.
And they're sitting on billions of barrels of oil, so why are Iraqis also sitting in long lines for gas?
ROBERTS: Our Carol Costello is monitoring stories incoming to THE SITUATION ROOM right now. Carol, what are you picking up?
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, private contractors will no longer get immunity from prosecution in Iraq. It's part of a new agreement between Iraqi and U.S. officials. The immunity issue had been an obstacle in talks over a long term security agreement. An Iraqi official says he briefed his parliament on the decision. But no one from the U.S. State Department could be reached for comment.
We can add one more American electrocuted in Iraq. Bringing the total to 13 in the past five years. But Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania calls the numbers and the length it takes to get them troubling. The family of one soldier who was electrocuted by taking a shower in his barracks has sued KBR, incorporated, the Houston based contractor that maintained the barracks. The pentagon has ordered KBR to inspect U.S. facilities in Iraq.
The head of the French army stepped down today after a soldier fired real bullets instead of blanks into a crowd at a military show injuring 17 people. The weekend show was a demonstration of freeing hostages, but a prosecutor says the soldier made a mistake while loading his gun. The country had suspended using blanks at any future public military shows. Three of the 17 hurt were children.
Nelson Mandela can now travel to the United States a bit easier these days. President Bush signed a bill allowing Mandela's arrival without officials having to certify that he's not a terrorist. Mandela had been on an immigration watch list because of his connection with the ANC, the African National Congress. Years ago the U.S. considered the ANC a communist organization. Mandela turns 90 years old later this month. Back to you, John.
ROBERTS: Carol thanks and we'll check back with you in just a little while.
Just when you think you've seen it all, comes this one. A woman lies dying while people just pass right by her. It's all caught on tape. The biggest outrage. Where it happened. See for yourself. That's ahead.
Plus, an accused cop killer. A mysterious death. Only a handful of guards had access to him. Just what happened inside his jail cell?
And Mayor Rudy Giuliani in THE SITUATION ROOM. Find out what he thinks about the possibility of another terror attack. Standing by live for our one on one interview.
ROBERTS: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM and happening now -- a dustup over remarks about John McCain's qualifications to be president. Former rival Rudy Giuliani is here to defend him. But wait until you see what McCain once said about him.
Also, Barack Obama touting his blue-collar credentials. We've got a new advertisement to show you.
And it's not magic, but some mushrooms may contain something that can change your life for the better.
Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm John Roberts, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
John McCain's focus today was on fighting crime. He accused congress of wasting law enforcement funds and speaking to the National Sheriffs Association, McCain said that if he's elected president, Congress will learn that there's a new sheriff in town. The presumptive Republican nominee said crime rates will go down when hardcore criminals are kept in prison. And he made it clear where he stands when it comes to naming judges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Should I be elected president, I will look for accomplished men and women with a proven record of excellence in the law and a proven commitment to judicial restraint. They will -- they will be the kind of judges who believe in giving everyone in a criminal court their due, justice for the guilty and the innocent. Compassion for the victims, and respect for the men and women of law enforcement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: McCain also slammed the federal government for failing to protect America's borders and then headed south of the border for talks on free trade and the drug trade in Colombia and Mexico.
General Wesley Clark is trying to clarify, but he's not backing down from a remark that he made about John McCain's military service. It's at the center of a political firestorm. And joining us to talk more about that is the former Republican presidential candidate and former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, good to see you here.
RUDY GIULIANI, (R) FORMER PRES. CANDIDATE: Good to see you John. ROBERTS: Let's listen first of all to what Wesley Clark told me just a little while ago here THE SITUATION ROOM. He's not backing down at all from his saying -- he says that he is appreciative of John McCain's military record but maintains that it doesn't qualify him to be president. Let's listen to what he said --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME CMDR. (RET.): I honor his service. He's one of my heroes, but having served as a fighter pilot, however great it is to show your character and courage, does not necessarily mean that you're the best qualified person in the race to be the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: So, what do you say about that, Mr. Mayor?
GIULIANI: John McCain's not running as a fighter pilot. John McCain has also been a United States Senator, a United States Congressman. Probably been one of the most active, maybe even in some ways controversial member of the United States Senate by taking on leadership roles, which he even stood up against his own party.
ROBERTS: But he is using his military service as a centerpiece to burnish his credentials on national security.
GIULIANI: I think he's using his many, many years of experience in the United States Senate going all over the world, being involved in negotiations and discussions on almost every single world issue.
ROBERTS: But he is using his military service as a centerpiece to burnish his credentials on national security.
GIULIANI: I think he's using his many, many years of experience in the United States Senate going all over the world, being involved in negotiations and discussions on almost every single world issue. To try to say that John McCain is running as a fighter pilot is kind of -- I mean, it's laughable.
ROBERTS: Is Senator McCain --
GIULIANI: The difference is, and I think this is why Wesley Clark is doing this, Senator Obama has no experience. Senator Obama has a very short career in the United States Senate where he's accomplished nothing compared to John McCain who has passed landmark legislation and, of course, before that he was in the -- in the state legislature.
So, when you put the two resumes against each other, one has the background and experience to take on the most difficult jobs in the world. The other there's a real question mark about.
ROBERTS: Is Senator McCain any more qualified on national security than you are? GIULIANI: Senator -- is Senator McCain more qualified? He certainly has more experience than I have. I think I know quite a bit about national security, because I've been in the Justice Department, I've negotiated with foreign governments, I've traveled to 35 countries. I just got back from Kazakhstan, but I consider John McCain one of the premier experts on national security in our country right now.
ROBERTS: Because I remember back in September of 2007, he said this about your experience. He said, "I think the nation respects the mayor's leadership after 9/11 and I do, too. I don't think it translate necessarily into foreign policy or national security expertise. I know of nothing in his background to indicate that he has any experience in it with him and Romney."
GIULIANI: I think John -- we were running against each other then and we say things about each other.
ROBERTS: Do you say things that aren't true?
GIULIANI: I think John maybe wasn't focusing on the fact that I was the third-ranking decision in the Justice Department, that I had a lot of contact with Interpol, that I negotiated with two or three foreign governments, that I've been on 90 foreign trips the last six years alone, that I've led delegations. I've had a good deal of foreign policy experience. But if you're asking me has John, John has had just about the most of anyone running for president.
ROBERTS: Do you think he was more qualified to be president than you are or were?
GIULIANI: No, I thought I was the best qualified to be president and I once announced on a debate.
ROBERTS: Do you still believe that?
GIULIANI: Well I want to say what I announced during a debate. I think it was on CNN. I can't remember. You can go back and check. I said if I wasn't running, John McCain would be my candidate. So for personal reasons, excuse me if I have a bias in my favor, I thought I was the best qualified, but I thought John was number two.
ROBERTS: Doesn't that mean you had better foreign policy experience than he does or you're better able to handle national security?
GIULIANI: It isn't just about foreign policy. It isn't just about domestic policy. It's about a whole array of things. I'm not a candidate. I'm not a choice. John was my number two choice after me and I got out of the race when I did because I was so convinced that it was important for the country that John McCain get nominated. I didn't want to stand in the way.
ROBERTS: Senator Joe Lieberman said something the other day that took some people by surprise. He predicted that America will be the subject of another terrorist attack on the homeland in early 2009. Pointing out that the first World Trade Center attack was in early 1993, the first year of Bill Clinton's presidency, 9/11 happened in the first year of George Bush's presidency. Many people out there, Democrats mostly, are saying, hey, he's playing to the politics of fear here.
GIULIANI: I don't think the Senator's doing that. What I think the Senator is trying to do is dealing with something almost inscrutable is determining what the terrorists are going to do. The safe thing is to assume they will attack us again and be prepared for it.
ROBERTS: Do you believe there will be an attack? Are you as convinced as he is?
GIULIANI: Do I believe that they are attempting to attack us again? Absolutely. Do I know if they'll be successful? I hope not. They have attempted to attack us again.
ROBERTS: But he was pretty definitive about this saying that there will be a terror attack in early 2009.
GIULIANI: In that sense of caution, you're better off assuming that there would be an attack.
ROBERTS: So would you make that prediction?
GIULIANI: I would not predict a time and what I would say is we should be on guard that there will be an attack. They are attempting to attack us. We are attempting to stop them. You cannot always be 100 percent perfect.
I was in London for the attacks in London a few years ago. And it was a very eerie experience being in New York sort of at the center of the attacks and then in London a half block away from the Liverpool Station where the first bomb went off. So I'm the first one that will discount the possibility of an attack.
ROBERTS: We found after the investigation into the July 7th attacks that there that was a nexus to camps in Pakistan. It looks like al Qaeda is regrouping to Pakistan.
GIULIANI: They just traveled to Pakistan if I recall correctly.
ROBERTS: Right. There appears to be a direct connection between camps in Pakistan and what happened in London on July 7th. Do you believe the United States should be more active in chasing down terrorists in Pakistan?
GIULIANI: I've been saying that for quite some time. I said it when I was running for president that the United States should put emphasis on wiping out al Qaeda, Taliban and the Taliban would be an issue in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We've got to work that out. Pakistan is an independent government with nuclear weapons that's got to be worked out, but it's got to be worked out in a way that we achieve our objective. ROBERTS: You've very been critical of the Supreme Court's decision regarding habeas corpus rights among terrorist prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. And people have been talking about Osama Bin Laden and what should happen if Osama Bin Laden is captured. I want to play you a little bit of sound. We had Susan Rice, Barack Obama's foreign policy adviser on "AMERICAN MORNING" not too long ago. This is what she told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN RICE, BARACK OBAMA'S FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: If he were captured, as opposed to killed, there would have to be a fair and transparent military process or judicial process. That is how we lock people away and make them eligible for the death penalty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Mr. Mayor, do you believe that there is any place for Osama Bin Laden in the American judicial system?
GIULIANI: This is a military matter. It's not a judicial matter. But this is part of the problem with the whole Barack Obama campaign and the whole Democratic approaches. They're -- they want to treat this as a criminal justice matter. And it isn't. This is -- this is the thing we've failed to see in 1993 when they attacked us at the World Trade Center. It was treated purely as a criminal justice matter. We got to get beyond that.
This is a -- this is a war. This is situation in which they have attacked us. They've attacked us over and over again. We've been very fortunate since September 11th, 2001, since we've been on offense under President Bush not to have a domestic attack. If we go back into this let's treat this as a criminal justice matter solely, I believe we're going to put our country in much more jeopardy. At least that's my opinion.
ROBERTS: You mentioned the 1993 World Trade Center attacks. Let me point out what you said about the subsequent trials. You said, "It demonstrates that New Yorkers will not meet violence with violence but with a far greater weapon, the law." You were quite happy to have them prosecuted in the justice system back then. Why not now?
GIULIANI: Because I didn't know what I knew then what I know now. I don't criticize the people for doing that then
ROBERTS: So are you saying you were wrong for saying that back then?
GIULIANI: I didn't know the facts then that I know now. What I have said since September 11th is if we knew back in 1993 what we found out on September 11th, we should have treated this as a long- term terrorist issue and now knowing those facts, why would you want to go back to treating it purely as a criminal justice matter?
ROBERTS: So you were premature in those comments.
GIULIANI: I didn't have the facts at that time. When I got the facts, I changed my mind.
ROBERTS: Mr. Mayor, it's always good to talk to you.
GIULIANI: Thank you. Thank you very much.
ROBERTS: Spirited discussion. Thanks for coming in. It's good to see you. We'll get you back again soon.
In his latest campaign ad, Barack Obama wants a key voting block to know that he can claim some blue-collar credentials. Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES" is going to fact check for us.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": John, Barack Obama didn't do terribly well with working-class voters in the primaries. That's a problem his new ad is trying to fix.
KURTZ: The Illinois senator has an image as an Ivy League elitist, "Newsweek" called it the bubba gap in this cover story in which Obama's symbol was arugula not beer. That's why the commercial points out he didn't come from a wealthy family and worked as a Chicago community organizer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He worked his way through college and Harvard Law, turned down big money offers and helped neighborhoods stung by job loss, fought for workers' rights.
KURTZ: Before that Obama worked as a New York financial consultant and by his own admission didn't have much success in those hard-hit Chicago neighborhoods. But the theme is clear, the word work comes up again and again as the ad touts Obama's record in the Illinois legislature.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He passed a law to move people from welfare to, work, slashed the roles by 80 percent, passed tax cuts for workers.
KURTZ: True, but Obama didn't pass those laws as a state senator. He sponsored or co-sponsored the measures which needed the backing of legislative leaders. Obama is now pushing a measure, as the ad says, to end tax breaks for companies that move U.S. jobs overseas but that hasn't come close to passing.
In advertising, pictures are often more important than words. Just look at this final image.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never forget the dignity that comes from work.
KURTZ: There he is with older, white working women, the very demographic that rallied around Hillary Clinton and that Obama needs now.
KURTZ: It takes more than one 30-second commercial to change a candidate's image, but by passing up public financing, Obama will have the bucks for saturation advertising. This one is running in 18 states, including North Carolina, Virginia, Montana, and South Dakota all previously written off as Republican strongholds -- John?
ROBERTS: Howard Kurtz with that fact check for us. Howard, thanks.
New York City officials are demanding answers after a woman collapses and dies in a waiting room, lying there for hours and she was just ignored. You'll see the video coming up next.
Plus, his comments about John McCain caused an uproar. Now General Wesley Clark explains his position right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ROBERTS: An alleged cop killer found dead in his cell. Now, authorities say he was strangled while in solitary confinement. That's raising tensions and a whole new crop of questions in Maryland County close to the nation's capital.
CNN Homeland Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve is looking into this for us this afternoon.
Jeanne, what have you been learning about this case?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: John, it's being called a case of vigilante justice. It is also a mystery.
MESERVE: 19-year-old Ronnie White is in handcuffs on the right being taken into custody Friday. He was charged with the first-degree murder of a Prince George's County police officer and placed in solitary confinement in the county jail. According to county officials, at 10:15 Sunday morning, guards saw White alive, but 20 minutes later he was found in his cell, without a pulse.
BOBBY HENRY, WHITE FAMILY ATTORNEY: In the Prince George's County Jail, a yet-to-be-identified person or persons took it upon themselves to be both the judge, the jury, and the executioner for Mr. Ronnie White.
MESERVE: A preliminary autopsy shows that White died from asphyxiation and strangulation and had two broken bones in his neck. Was it murder?
GLENN IVEY, PRINCE GEORGE'S CO. STATE'S ATTY.: Well, certainly the medical examiner's conclusion lends itself to that direction. But we still have an open mind.
MESERVE: But a former medical examiner says it's virtually impossible for someone to strangle themselves with their own hands. DR. JONATHAN ARDEN, FORMER D.C. MEDICAL EXAMINER: People do successfully kill themselves by hanging but actually to strangle yourself and have no evidence left at the scene when you're found? No.
MESERVE: White allegedly mowed down Corporal Richard Findley Friday. Findley was approaching this stolen truck, displaying his badge when, according to charging documents, "The driver intentionally accelerated and ran over him." In Prince George's County, flags are flying at half-staff, in Findley's honor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The killing of the officer is just absolutely abhorrent, but also, Mr. White was presumed to be innocent and deserved his day in court just like anyone -- any other citizen.
MESERVE: The Maryland state police are investigating and have already started interviewing the seven prison guards and the supervisors who had access to White's cell. County officials say at this point no one has been suspended or put on leave -- John.
ROBERTS: Jeanne, what about surveillance video? Is there any of that? If not in his cell area, in the access points to it?
MESERVE: We are told none in the cell area, but we have not been able to see if there are any other cameras in other parts of the jail that might give investigators some insight into who was coming and going that day.
ROBERTS: Extraordinary story. Jeanne Meserve for us with that. Jeanne, thanks.
Critics call a chamber of filth, indifference and danger. Now shocking surveillance video is underscoring those charges. It shows a woman collapsing on a hospital floor where she lay for an hour ignored before she died.
CNN's Mary Snow has got the video.
Mary, what's the story behind it? Terribly tragic.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes it really is both tragic and shocking, John. What happened here about two weeks ago, a woman was brought to this city hospital here in Brooklyn and she was admitted involuntarily. What happened was she was waiting for a hospital bed for nearly 24 hours before she collapsed.
Now, a spokesman for the city's hospital says, and it's investigating not only about what you're about to see on this tape, but it says it's also looking into discrepancies on her medical records.
SNOW: Had it not been for a surveillance camera inside the psychiatric emergency room at Brooklyn's King's County Hospital, we may have never what happened to 49-year-old Esmond Green in the moments before she died. As she struggles on the floor, several people walked by but no one does anything to help her and it takes nearly an hour before a medical team arrives to treat her. The New York Civil Liberties Union released this videotape showing Green falling to the floor in the emergency room at 5:30 on the morning of June 19th. About 20 minutes later a security guard comes into view.
BETH HAROULES, MYCLU STAFF ATTORNEY: He walks in. He stands there. We actually think there's a television up at the top. We think he's looking at the TV. But he's clearly got the patient in view, and he walks away.
SNOW: Green was in the E.R. waiting for a bed to become available. At one point, the woman can be seen struggling to free herself from the chairs. And at another point, she appears to make an effort to get up.
A copy of her medical records contradicts the tape, listing her at the same time as being awake, up and about, even going to the bathroom. At about 6:10 a.m., lawyers say, a second security guard enters the room.
HAROULES: Here he comes into the room, checks her out. He can't even get himself off his chair. He sits there. And then you'll see him wheel himself away.
SNOW: Finally, around 6:30 a.m. medical personnel arrive. Green is later pronounced dead. The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation released a statement, saying "We are shocked and distressed by the situation." Adding that after it learned of the incident, the agency's president "directed the suspension and termination of those involved." The city's mayor says the city will do everything it can to cooperate with the investigation.
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: I was horrified, is much too nice a word. Disgusted I think is a better word.
SNOW: Now, John, this is not the first time that King's County Hospital has been cited for complaints. It was the target of a federal lawsuit last year, brought by advocates for the mentally ill. And in that lawsuit, it alleged that this hospital had years of abuse and neglect, longtime abuse and neglect. One of the things the hospital right now is going to be doing, according to officials, is checking on mentally ill patients every 15 minutes. This, along with a list of other reforms, and also six employees have been disciplined -- John.
ROBERTS: It's extraordinary, Mary, to see employees doing nothing about that poor woman. Other people in the waiting room doing nothing about her. Do we know anything about this woman who died?
SNOW: We don't know very much. Officials say that they believe her family is all in Jamaica and that she is from Jamaica. We did talk with someone who was her landlady, saying that apparently she had moved out of her apartment the day before she was admitted to this hospital, but we really don't know a lot about her, other than the hospital saying she was taken in for being agitated and psychosis, John.
ROBERTS: Wow. I think Mayor Bloomberg put it right when he said disgusting. Mary Snow for us.
Mary, thanks very much.
An illegal psychedelic drug might become a legitimate health solution. Magic mushrooms and what scientists at a prestigious college found out about them. It's a fascinating study and dude, it's one that you're not going to want to miss.
And it's not something you hear him say very often but still ahead, you'll hear why John McCain actually says he's "Closely aligned with President Clinton."
ROBERTS: 36 people were on what many say was a life changing trip but none of them left a university laboratory. They volunteered to take a psychedelic ingredient that puts the so-called magic in certain kinds of mushrooms. Now there is a surprising follow-up.
CNN's Carol Costello joins us live with the results.
Carol, what is happening now?
COSTELLO: Well John, maybe the hippies of the '60s weren't just on something, maybe they were on to something. Scientists at Johns Hopkins now say magic mushrooms really can expand your mind, producing a kind of religious experience. Fourteen years ago, they gave dozens of volunteers magic mushrooms. Today, those volunteers are still feeling the effects.
COSTELLO: The whole Johns Hopkins study seems just so hippie dippy '60s. It brings to mind Timothy Leery, the man who first widely touted the alleged magic in this tiny mushroom.
TIMOTHY LEERY, GIVEN MAGIC MUSHROOMS: Five years ago, by accident in Mexico, I took Mexican mushrooms.
COSTELLO: Leery, a Harvard researcher, claim his mushroom induced psychotic trip was so spiritual, it led him and a generation. Until the federal government stepped in and made hallucinogenic drugs illegal.
Fast forward to 2006 and this research room at Johns Hopkins. 36 volunteers took part in an initial study on whether psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, really does have a lasting spiritual effect on people. Dede Osborn, a business consultant, volunteered to find out. DEDE OSBORN, MUSHROOM STUDY VOLUNTEER: It is a very beautiful feeling. I've never felt anything like that before.
COSTELLO: Osborn, lying on this couch, received one dose over an eight-hour period. She saw a kaleidoscope of colors. Then ...
OSBORN: Then there was a tearing open of my heart and then the feeling that we were all one.
COSTELLO: The effects of that single session are still with her 14 months later and with other volunteers. The study says, "At two months, the volunteers rated the experience as having spiritual significance and sustained positive changes in behavior."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people had experiences that really looked quite indistinguishable from during classically occurring mystical type experiences.
COSTELLO: The study is nothing like those done in the '60s. They're far more controlled. The goal is to explore whether this drug could prove therapeutic to those terminally ill.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Volunteers under who are psychological distress secondary to a cancer diagnosis, and the thought here is that an experience of this type, primarily mystical experience, might well alter the course, or the perception that the individual has of their disease process and quality of life.
COSTELLO: As for those volunteers who took that long strange trip on Johns Hopkins' couch, the study says most have no regrets and feel their world is a better place because of it.
COSTELLO: Now please keep in mind, magic mushrooms are illegal in the United States and they can be dangerous if taken without strict supervision. All of the volunteers in the Hopkins study were psychologically prepped for six to nine months. Johns Hopkins' scientists say it can produce fear and intense anxiety in some people -- John?
ROBERTS: Fascinating study, Carol. I'm sure a lot of people are saying where do we sign up?
The gun lobby warns Barack Obama, don't try to fool gun owners. The National Rifle Association mounts a multimillion-dollar effort to portray Obama's position.
And oil, oil, everywhere but not a drop of gas for their cars. Why there are long lines at the pumps in oil-rich Iraq.
ROBERTS: They've got some of the world's largest oil reserves, vast underground oceans of the stuff. But Iraqis have to wait hours to get a chance to pump gas into their cars. CNN's State Department correspondent Zain Verjee has been looking into it.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: John, Iraqis are enduring long lines at the pump, 100-degree plus temperatures, and a new round of fuel shortages.
VERJEE: Life is a challenge in Baghdad this July. To fill up your tank can take hours. Lines at gas stations stretch and stretch. This man blames the hot weather and electricity shortages. People are using more fuel to power their home generators. The Iraqi government says sabotage of a crude oil pipeline interrupted supplies. U.S. officials say the need for more gas comes from the drop in violence.
TOM CASEY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: These things change and develop. There is increasing demand for gasoline and there is because there is an increasingly active economy and increasingly normalized, or more normalized security situation that is allowing people to use their vehicles more frequently, and engage in more normal sorts of activities.
VERJEE: The fuel shortage comes just as the Iraqi government takes the first step toward modernizing its oil industry. On Monday, it opened the way for international firms to develop its oil and gas fields. Small comfort here, as people are forced to push their cars to the pump on top of some of the richest oil reserves in the world.
(on camera): A gallon of gas in Iraq costs $1.44. Sometimes it is three times higher than that on the black market. Still, by American standards, it's a steal -- John.