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THE SITUATION ROOM
CIA Interrogation Threats Revealed; Democratic Health Reform Votes in Doubt; Lethal Levels of Anesthetic Found in Michael Jackson's Blood
Aired August 24, 2009 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Rick.
Happening now, breaking news. The Justice Department taps a federal prosecutor to investigate CIA interrogations of terror suspects as disturbing new details of the questioning come to light. Did the techniques cross a line?
Also, Scotland facing growing backlash over the release of the Pan Am Flight 103 bomber. Now some critics want to make the country pay. Details of growing calls for a boycott.
Also, Hurricane Bill kicking up massive waves along the U.S. East Coast over the weekend. We have dramatic new images from our iReporters of nature's deadly force in action.
Wolf Blitzer is off today.
I'm Suzanne Malveaux I'm in CNN's command center for breaking news, politics, and extraordinary reports from around the world.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
We begin with breaking news, a first look at disturbing new details of CIA interrogations, including threats by interrogators to kill the children of one terror suspect and sexually assault the mother of another man in front of him. That and much, much more in a 2004 CIA report that has just been released as part of a lawsuit by the ACLU.
CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger, CNN's Elaine Quijano, and CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian, they are all working this story for us.
I want to start off with Elaine Quijano.
Elaine, what else do we know in this newly declassified report?
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, this is the report right here. As you can see, it's pretty lengthy. We're still going through it. But there are new details about interrogations that took place under the Bush administration.
For instance, during the questioning of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, here is what the report found on page 43. "According to this interrogator" -- the redacted portions are indicated there, you'll see -- "interrogators said to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed that if anything else happens in the United States, "We're going to kill your children."
Also, in addition to details we learned over the weekend about the use of a gun and a power drill to intimidate a detainee into giving up information, now another tactic has been revealed. The report says, "In July 2002, (blank) operations officer participated with another operations officer in custodial interrogation of a detainee. (Blank) reportedly used a pressure point technique. With both his hands on the detainee's neck, (blank) manipulated his fingers to restrict the detainee's carotid artery."
The report goes on to say, "(Blank), who was facing the shackled detainee, reportedly watched his eyes to the point that the detainee would nod and start to pass out. The (blank) shook the detainee to wake him. This process was repeated for a total of three applications on the detainee."
Now, in a letter obtained by CNN, CIA Director Leon Panetta told employees that the agency referred allegations of abuse to the Justice Department for potential prosecution and made no excuses for behavior that went beyond formal guidelines on counterterrorism. The American Civil Liberties Union, meantime, which pressed for the release of this report, says these details show why a public accounting and an investigation is long overdue -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Elaine, thank you very much.
Meanwhile, President Obama is determined to do things differently. He signed off on a special new interrogation unit, but it will be based out of the FBI rather than the CIA.
CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian is on Martha's Vineyard, where the president's vacationing this week.
But Dan, tell us what is happening here about this new interrogation unit.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: (AUDIO GAP) to provide and get the information through interrogations. And a senior administration official telling CNN that this will be the best possible way to get the right information from these suspected terrorists.
LOTHIAN (voice-over): The White House is getting more involved in how valuable information is squeezed from suspected terrorists. The new high-value detainee interrogation group will be based at FBI headquarters and overseen by the National Security Council.
White House deputy spokesman Bill Burton confirming what was first reported by "The Washington Post."
BILL BURTON, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: And it will bring together all the different elements of the intelligence community to get the best intelligence possible based on scientifically proven methods and consistent with the Army Field Manual.
LOTHIAN (on camera): This will be more efficient, you'll get better information?
BURTON: Well, the president's view is that we can always work harder to protect the American people.
LOTHIAN (voice-over): The president authorized the new group after a recommendation from his top-level taskforce which was looking into new ways of gathering information without resorting to torture. The unit is a departure from the Bush years, when the CIA, not the FBI, almost exclusively handled the interrogations of al Qaeda suspects and used the controversial and now banned practice of waterboarding. But the White House is brushing aside suggestions that the CIA is being sidelined.
BURTON: Oh, no, absolutely not. The CIA obviously has a very important role to play as it relates to interrogations.
LOTHIAN: Even so, harsh criticism coming from a top lawmaker on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Senator Kit Bond calling the move a "odd lack of faith in their own intelligence community" and a "bizarre vote of no confidence" in the director of the CIA.
But CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend says this approach will only enhance intelligence gathering.
FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: From what I've read and the folks I've spoken to, it looks to me as though it's being more inclusive. That is, you're bringing more people into this discussion, and I don't think that's a bad thing.
LOTHIAN: Now, the this unit is called the so-called HIG (ph) unit, made up of analysts and other experts in the area.
Congressman Bond says that he's really concerned, because he believes that if the White House is involved in this at all, that it will really politicize the entire process, could hurt national security in the long run. The White House, though, disagreeing with that assessment, saying that the White House will not be involved in any operational activities of the unit -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: And Dan, obviously, the Justice Department, many people talking about this today. But we know that the president is vacationing at Martha's Vineyard.
Is it all business, or what else has he been up to?
LOTHIAN: That's right. His administration is staying very busy with the business up in Washington, but here the president is trying to relax a little bit and recharge, as the White House has been pointing out today. He started his day by playing some tennis with the first lady, and he headed out to the Links (ph) public course here on Martha's Vineyard, joined by a couple of friends, Marvin Nicholson (ph), who's played with him before. Also Congressman Clyburn. And then, also, the president of UBS Financial Bank also out there on the course with the president.
You know he loves to play golf, and so taking a little time here to relax, but still staying connected to a lot of the big issues that this administration is dealing with.
MALVEAUX: All right. Great.
Well, Dan, you'll be working hard, we know, as it always turns out during the president's vacation.
LOTHIAN: I will.
MALVEAUX: You never get a break. So, thanks again, Dan.
LOTHIAN: That's right. That's right.
Well, now CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger.
There has obviously been some internal friction within the administration over how to handle all of this, the alleged torture and interrogation techniques. What has been the infighting, the back- story behind this?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, when you look back to January, you heard the president of the United States himself say, when he was asked about the prosecution of interrogators, he talked about wanting to move forward...
BORGER: ... and not look backward. Turn the page, if you will.
That has always been the position of the new CIA director, Leon Panetta, because he's got an agency, he believes, my sources tell me, that's got a lot of morale problems. And he said, look, you know, we want to look forward and not go back over and re-litigate the Bush years.
There was also some disagreement over the release of those Justice Department torture memos. The CIA said no, don't do it. And the administration said it had to do it because there was a lawsuit pending in any case.
So, now you have today, also, the news, Suzanne, the appointment of a prosecutor who is going to look in to see whether there's enough evidence to launch a full-scale investigation and possibly criminal prosecution of these CIA interrogators. That's not good news for the agency.
MALVEAUX: And that's huge. That really is huge, something the Obama administration said they were trying to avoid.
Where does the CIA fit into this whole idea of this new unit that they're coming up with to actually investigate the interrogations?
BORGER: Right. So, you have the prosecutor on one side, that's a separate thing at the Justice Department. Then you have this new unit, which, when you talk to people at the White House, they say, look, we want to make sure that the FBI and the CIA are talking to each other, and this is going to be overseen by the National Security Council.
But what it does is it really shifts the emphasis away from the folks at the CIA to the FBI and to the White House. They're not in charge. They just have a seat at the table. They don't see that as good news for them.
MALVEAUX: Very controversial.
All right. Thank you very much, Gloria. I really appreciate that.
Our own Jack Cafferty is in New York with "The Cafferty File."
Jack, what are you following?
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: We're together again, Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: We are. For a little while, too.
CAFFERTY: We have a whole week together.
MALVEAUX: Maybe two.
CAFFERTY: Maybe two. All right. Hey, one can only hope.
More good news from the government. Last Friday, a little after 5:00 on a Friday afternoon, the White House announced that the deficits would climb to $9 trillion over the next 10 years, bringing the national debt to $20 trillion a decade from now.
The government also announced Social Security recipients will get no cost of living adjustments for the next two years. That hasn't happened since automatic increases were put into place in 1975.
We can find hundreds of billions of dollars for AIG and Wall Street, but we cannot give our senior citizens a small cost of living increase in their Social Security.
When does the revolution start?
There is no talk in Washington of cutting expenses or reducing the size of the federal government. There are unfunded liabilities in the tens of trillions of dollars for Medicare and Social Security, no plan for how to pay for health care reform. Add in the drain of millions of illegal aliens, and the fact that many states as well are bankrupt, and we're in some serious trouble here. Here's the question: How's the American dream changing?
Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: A lot to mull over. OK. Thank you, Jack.
Well, there is virtually no Republican support. Now congressional Democrats are starting to fear that they may not be able to secure votes on health care reform from some members of their own party.
Also, the Joint Chiefs chairman calls the situation in Afghanistan serious and deteriorating. New details of the extent of growing Taliban influence.
Also, a doctor shot and killed in his own home as his wife and young child hide in a closet. Was it a burglary gone wrong, a home invasion, or something else?
Details of the investigation into a bizarre case.
MALVEAUX: Lawmakers on their summer recess are taking part in a fresh batch of town hall meetings on health care reform this week. There are at least three that are today in McAllen, Texas; Mustang, Oklahoma; and Oklahoma City. That is where Republican Senator Tom Coburn heard this very emotional plea...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Coburn, we need help. My husband has traumatic brain injury and his health insurance will not cover him to eat and drink.
And what I need to know is, are you going to help him where he can eat and drink? We left the nursing home and they told us we're on our own. He left with a feeding tube. I've been working with him, but I'm not a speech pathologist, a professional that takes six years for a masters. And I'm trying to get him to eat and drink and I can't.
SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: Well, I think, first of all, yes, we'll help. The first thing we'll do is see what we can do individually to help you through our office.
But the other thing that's missing in this debate is us as neighbors, helping people that need our help. You know, we tend to...
The idea that the government is the solution to our problems is an inaccurate, a very inaccurate statement.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MALVEAUX: Meanwhile, there are new seeds of doubt about support in the Senate for health care reform.
I want you to listen to Connecticut Independent Senator Joe Lieberman, what he told John King on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: Morally, every one of us would like to cover every American with health insurance, but that's where you spend most of the trillion dollars plus, or a little less, that is estimated -- the estimates said this health care plan will cost. And I'm afraid we've got the to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy's out of recession. There's no reason we have to do it all now, but we do have to get started.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Let's bring in our CNN senior congressional correspondent, Dana Bash.
And Dana, obviously, you see stories like that, it's kind of heartbreaking, people very personal, very emotional.
Are Democratic leaders -- are they worried when they see Senator Lieberman, that they are not going to get his vote for health care reform?
DANA BASH, CNN SR. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Senator Lieberman, since he switched, has had a complicated relationship, to say the least, with this Democratic leadership. But aides I talked to say they don't expect the president to take his strategy advice anytime soon.
However, what we heard from Senator Lieberman, Suzanne, isn't that different from what we're hearing from other conservative Democrats in the House and the Senate as they've been home with their constituents. Their constituents in these conservative states saying, hold on a second, we don't really -- we don't feel comfortable with you going this far and having this widespread reform that is going to cost so much money, cost nearly a trillion dollars. So, that is definitely a theme that we're hearing more and more from members of Congress who are home with their constituents, those conservatives.
MALVEAUX: And what about these procedural hurdles that they have to get over? Do they feel like they have the 60-plus, the proof -- filibuster-proof votes needed on the Senate side?
BASH: Well, you know, there's so many discussions going on behind the scenes in the Senate among the Democratic leadership.
One potential goal is to try to push this through with just 51 votes. But they're not sure that they will or even that they can technically do that. So, the goal is to try to get to 60 votes, try to get to a point to do that. And there are a lot of options being discussed. We've talked a lot about the so-called co-op idea, because what they want to do is -- again, those conservative Democrats -- is to try to lure them, and they're wary of a public option.
Well, I talked to one Democratic leadership aide today who talked about another possibility, something kind of like a public option light, and that would be to -- instead of having a nationwide government-run insurance plan, to do it regionally, to split it up. And the goal, according to this leadership aide, would be to try to protect insurance companies from, you know, being put out of business by the government-run option, which is a big concern among Republicans and some conservative Democrats, and also to get that competition to lower the cost.
Again, this is one idea being discussed, but it just shows you the way they're working so hard to come up with lots of options, lots of ideas to thread the needle to get a health care reform plan through the Senate, which is going to be so difficult this fall.
MALVEAUX: So, they haven't given up yet. They're obviously putting more things on the table.
BASH: Absolutely. More and more each day.
MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you, Dana, for keeping up with all of that. Appreciate it.
BASH: Thank you.
MALVEAUX: To keep track of the town halls in the health care debate, and to learn what reform efforts might mean for you, go to our new "Health Care in America" Web site. You can check facts and statistics, read the blogs, see the videos. It's all at CNN.com/healthcare.
Well, we are getting word of breaking news in the death of Michael Jackson. Court documents revealing what was found in his blood.
Also, killer waves strike the U.S. East Coast. Details and images from our iReporters of dramatic rescues.
Plus, the hugely popular Cash for Clunkers trade-in program, it is not too late for you to get it on it.
MALVEAUX: We are getting breaking news now, a possible cause of Michael Jackson's death. We are learning new information about that.
Our own Randi Kaye, who joins us from Los Angeles, has the very latest information.
Randi, what can you tell us so far about what we are learning as a probable cause for Michael Jackson's death?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, as you know, there has been a lot of talk about Dr. Conrad Murray, who was Michael Jackson's personal physician. He was at his home the day that he suffered cardiac arrest.
He has been -- we have been told, actually, from sources close to the investigation, that he had administered Propofol, or Diprivan, which is this very powerful sedative, to Michael Jackson within 24 hours of his death. Well, now we have it officially here.
We have a search warrant here. I'm holding a search warrant from his clinic down in the Houston area. And this search took place after Michael Jackson died. And I can tell you that here is the nugget and the big news of the day today. It says that "The coroner's office here in Los Angeles has determined that, at the time of his death" -- I'm reading to you from the search warrant -- "at the time of his death, toxicology analysis showed that Michael Jackson had lethal levels of Propofol in his blood."
That is a very powerful sedative. It's not supposed to be used outside of a hospital setting. It needs to be monitored very carefully. It involves the use of oxygen tanks. And so, now they are saying that he had a lethal dose, confirmed today, of Propofol in his system when he died.
Apparently, the investigators did an interview with Dr. Conrad Murray, who stated that he was Michael Jackson's personal physician, that he administered several drugs according to the affidavit, in the early morning hours of June 25th, which is the day that Michael Jackson died, at approximately 11:00 in the morning, according to Dr. Murray. He said that Michael Jackson stopped breathing.
Now, Dr. Murray apparently told police, told investigators that he had administered 25 milligrams of Propofol to Michael Jackson, along with Lidocaine, to Jackson intravenously in the early morning hours.
Now, apparently, according to this affidavit, Michael Jackson, according to Dr. Murray, was forming what he believed was an addiction and began trying to wean the pop star off this Diprivan and off the Propofol. On the morning Jackson died, according to the affidavit here, Murray -- Dr. Murray, tried to induce sleep without using Propofol, and he said that he gave Jackson Valium at 1:30 in the morning.
When that didn't work, he injected him with Lorazepam intravenously at 2:00 a.m. And then at 3:00 a.m., according to these documents, when Jackson was still awake, Dr. Murray administered a drug called Midazolam.
Now, over the next few hours, apparently, Dr. Murray said that he gave Michael Jackson various drugs, and then at 10:40 in the morning, the day that he died, Murray administered 25 milligrams of this Propofol to Michael Jackson after he, according to Dr. Murray, repeatedly demanded the drug. That is according to these court records that I'm holding in my hand.
So, what's important to point out here, Suzanne, is that we don't know if the Propofol, also known as Diprivan, is what killed Michael Jackson. But we do know that there were very lethal doses of this drug in his system at the time of his death.
MALVEAUX: Now, Randi, perhaps you can help us understand this a little bit more. Obviously, Dr. Murray, he, as a physician, is able to prescribe these medications, to administer certain medications.
Do we believe that if these medications caused Michael Jackson's death, that he would be charged with negligence or manslaughter or even murder? Do we have a sense of what kind of culpability he is facing in the legal system?
KAYE: We do, because over the last few weeks, not only has his clinic in Houston been searched, but his clinic in Las Vegas has been searched, his home in Las Vegas has been searched. And those search warrants, which we obtained weeks ago, both said that they were looking for evidence of manslaughter, they were looking for evidence of Propofol, they were looking for evidence of prescribing to an addict, of administering to an addict.
And I can tell you that in this affidavit that I'm holding right here, which was just made public today in Houston, this says that, according to the officer who was filing this affidavit, he writes, "I do believe the evidence of the crime is manslaughter," and that that evidence has been located at the address that he gives in Harris County, Texas, and that is the address for Dr. Conrad Murray's clinic. So, here it is right there, saying that he believes he has found evidence of manslaughter at that clinic.
MALVEAUX: And Randi, as you and I were talking, we just got this news, this information. This is from The Associated Press.
It says, quoting, a law enforcement official, that "Los Angeles County coroner rules Michael Jackson's death a homicide." This according to the AP, The Associated Press, which is citing a law enforcement official.
This does not come as necessarily a surprise. You've been following this, all of the details here, in terms of who might be responsible for Michael Jackson's death.
KAYE: No. I mean, sadly, it really does not come as a surprise.
We know that there are more than a dozen doctors from day one who have been on a list that investigators have been looking at, have been exploring what their connection was to Michael Jackson, what kind of drugs they prescribed to him, when they prescribed them to him. These are doctors who are in this specific time frame of when they have an interest in checking on Michael Jackson's drug use.
They also want to know what names they were prescribing drugs under. We know that Michael Jackson used 19 different aliases when he was getting drugs, including the alias -- he used one alias for his former chef, Kai Chase. He used his son's name as an alias, his oldest son.
So, they want to track the path here of how he was getting these drug, from whom he was getting them. And that is really how they will piece together the timeline, which drugs he was taking, and which drugs may have caused the homicide, which now we're hearing, at least from The Associated Press, that it's officially ruled a homicide, especially when you have evidence of manslaughter being right here in an affidavit.
MALVEAUX: And Randi, bring us up to speed here for those who haven't been following all the details like you have.
Dr. Murray, has he been cooperative with law enforcement officials, with investigators? Do we have a sense of where he is or -- I know that recently he did at least make some sort of video, on- camera statement.
What do we know about his role now?
KAYE: Right. Well, let me take that a couple of steps in time here.
He did most recently make a videotaped statement which was released on YouTube, and that was really for his supporters and his friends. He said he's gotten so much support and a lot of people wondering how he's doing. So, that was really for them, though it was released really for the media as well to use. But he was basically thanking supporters and saying that the truth will come out, that he told the truth, although he didn't say about what. And that -- that was released just last week, in fact.
But, from what I know, at least at last check with his attorney, he is in Las Vegas, at his home. He's still under -- using a bodyguard 24/7. He's gotten threats. He can't go to work. His clinics are closed temporarily.
He may lose his home to foreclosure. He was supposed to be earning $150,000 a month as Michael Jackson's doctor on tour. And now, with Michael Jackson dead and the tour not happening, he is in some severe debt.
So, as far as we know, he has been cooperating up until now, certainly. His attorney has always said he's a witness, not a suspect. And -- and they have maintained that, even -- even as recently as last week -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: This breaking news could bring more problems for -- for Dr. Murray. Thank you so much, Randi Kaye. We will be getting back to you as more details become available.
MALVEAUX: Thanks again.
Well, a discouraging assessment of the state of conflict in Afghanistan -- President Obama's top military adviser calls it serious and deteriorating. Are the Taliban regaining the unbeatable foothold in Afghanistan?
And the backlash against Scotland over the release of a convicted terrorist bomber. An online call has gone out to boycott travel, golf, and good Scotch.
MALVEAUX: The Obama administration's top military brass are sounding the alarm about the battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is joining us now.
And how strong is the foothold that the Taliban has in that area, Barbara? What do we know?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, it is getting grimmer by the day at this point. Consider this. For the month of August -- and we're not done with the month yet -- this is now the second worst month for coalition deaths since the war began.
STARR (voice-over): As the war in Afghanistan rages and Afghans wait for the results of their presidential election, President Obama's senior military adviser, speaking on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION," sounded an alarm about the insurgency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JOHN KING")
ADMIRAL MICHAEL MULLEN, JOINTS CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: I think it is serious and it is deteriorating. And I have said that over the last couple of years, that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated. Their tactics, just in my recent visits out there, in talking with our troops, certainly indicate that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: How bad is it? CNN has learned the latest U.S. military assessment concludes that the Taliban now exercise extreme influence over one-third of Afghanistan.
Senator Susan Collins just met with General Stanley McChrystal, the new commander in Kabul. In her blog, she says he gave congressional members a "chilling assessment," and she thinks, "he will be asking for more troops."
To reverse Taliban gains, it's now widely expected McChrystal will ask for more troops to add to the record 62,000 now there when he reports to the president next month. Some will help train Afghan forces. Some will be in combat. No one knows how many more troops will go.
But will McChrystal face political pressure from the Pentagon and the White House to not ask for too much?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JOHN KING")
LIEBERMAN: There's a lesson we should have learned from Iraq. Some of the pressure that was put on our generals there not to ask for what they thought they needed to win meant that we lost a lot of lives, spent a lot of money. Don't go for incrementalism. That's a lesson we learned in Iraq. Frankly, it's a lesson we learned a long time ago in Vietnam.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: But, Suzanne, the generals are worried that, after some eight years of war, Americans are simply growing weary. And, if they don't show some progress this year in Afghanistan, they will lose public support for that war -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you very much, Barbara Starr at the Pentagon.
Well, there is more backlash in the wake of Scotland's release of the terminally ill Lockerbie bomber last week. The Scottish justice minister defended his decision before parliament today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENNY MACASKILL, SCOTTISH JUSTICE SECRETARY: It was a decision based on the law of Scotland and the values I believe that we seek to uphold. It was not based on political, diplomatic, or economic considerations.
It is a matter of great regret that Mr. al-Megrahi was received in such an inappropriate manner. It showed no compassion or sensitivity to the families of the 270 victims of Lockerbie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: There is now an Internet campaign to boycott Scottish products. Now, are people willing to give up golf and good Scotch?
CNN's Jim Boulden set out to answer that question.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, Scotland is bracing itself for any evidence that Americans will follow up on threats to actually stop buying products from Scotland or cancel their vacations, in the wake of the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
(voice-over): An outrageous miscarriage of justice, that's what those behind calls to boycott Scotland call last week's release of the convicted Lockerbie bomber.
Stop buying Scotch whiskey, some tweeters say. Others are calling for Americans to cancel plans to travel to Scotland to play golf or to find their family tree. Three hundred and forty thousand Americans visited last year, responsible for a fifth of the money spent by non-U.K. visitors. These pleas to Americans are not falling on deaf ears.
CAMPBELL EVANS, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS, SCOTCH WHISKEY ASSOCIATION: However, what's been encouraging so far is that any campaign to boycott Scottish goods doesn't seem to be having much momentum, and the activity is pretty much limited to the Internet.
BOULDEN: According to the Scotch Whisky Association, the U.S. is its number-one export market. Last year, it shipped more than $600 million worth there.
While any hit in the market would not be welcome, Scotland in total shipped around $5 billion worth of the stuff last year. Scotch makes up a full quarter of all British exports of food and drink.
Some Americans have tried symbolic boycotts in the past, from once dumping British tea in the days before the American Revolution, to renaming French fries to freedom fries on the congressional menu in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The anti-French feeling then worried the British makers of French's mustard so much, it issued a statement to say the mustard was named after its American creator.
But when it comes to a full boycott of Scottish products or those made by Scots, one tweeter claims, beyond whisky, Americans would have to include innovations like penicillin, the telephone, and the television.
(on camera): And, at last count, the Facebook sites promoting a boycott have around 400 members, while those saying there should not be a boycott had less than 100 -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Thank you.
A well-known doctor killed in his own home as his wife and child hide. Police actually passed the suspects as they were fleeing. Now the search is on.
Plus, the anatomy of a killer wave -- how Hurricane Bill swept people to sea, even though the storm was hundreds of miles away.
Also, a former reality show contestant sought in the gruesome death of his wife is found dead himself in a hotel room. New details are emerging in this bizarre case.
MALVEAUX: The remnants of Hurricane Bill are moving out in the Atlantic today, but, yesterday, a girl died when a large wave kicked up by the storm swept her and two other people into the Atlantic Ocean at Maine's Acadia National Park.
Well, we have new dramatic iReport pictures that tell much of this sad, sad story.
Our Internet reporter, Abbi Tatton, is joining us.
Abbi, tell us about these pictures. What do we actually see?
ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: They were taken just moments before noon yesterday, when that huge wave hit.
And you can see from this picture there were crowds of people, some of the thousands of people that were gathered at Acadia National Park, looking out to sea, watching this weather roll in out to the Atlantic.
And if we move the picture on, you will see just how dramatic these waves were. This is really hard to make out, but at the top here, above the surf, above the spray, that's where hundreds more people were gathered yesterday. Park rangers tried to warn people, tell people to keep back, but they said they were unable to reach many of them -- iReporter Bob Myers was one of the people who was there.
He said so many people seemed unaware that there was any danger. He told me the crowd and especially the children cheered and screamed every time a big wave hit. But it was just after noon that three were swept out to see. Seven-year-old Clio Axilrod died.
Park rangers said that several others were injured, some with broken bones, because they were thrown against the rocks there.
MALVEAUX: It's so tragic.
I want to bring in our own CNN meteorologist and severe weather expert, Chad Myers.
And, Chad, you know, Bill was -- it was hundreds of miles offshore. So, how did this happen?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, how it happened was that Bill was making much larger waves than even the ones that did hit up there in Maine.
In fact, if I will do a little distance measure here from -- from Bar Harbor right here for Acadia, right to the track of where Bill was, 272 miles away, it was about 180 or so from Nantucket, and even farther from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, where 80 to 90 people were rescued in the surf.
So, how did it happen? Well, that's a great question, because, as we take a look at some of the buoy measurements from Canada yesterday -- in fact, here is where the storm right. See that yellow track right there? That is where the low pressure -- that is where Bill went.
This buoy -- right there -- had waves of 44 feet. All the waves were around 44 feet. But one wave was 86 feet tall. So, if the waves are doing this, and, then, all of a sudden, maybe two waves get together, and, as they propagate onto shore, they become the big wave.
You can't really use the term rogue wave. I have heard it overused over and over and over today. I -- a -- a rogue wave is a single wave that comes out of nowhere. These waves were coming from a hurricane, one after another after another. The people were lined up on the rocks. They weren't swimming. They were lined up on the rocks. The water was piling up right along the shore.
As that water piled up, the water was getting higher and higher and higher, and then a couple of waves that were 15 to 20 feet crashed onshore one after another, dragging those people out to sea. There were actually about a half-a-dozen people injured just by being thrown against the rocks by the waves themselves.
It was a dangerous situation all the way up and down the East Coast. We knew it was coming. Right now, that situation is headed to the U.K., headed to Great Britain and Scotland and Wales. There it is. It doesn't have a name anymore. The remnants of Bill is all we will call it, but, boy, it was a big one at the time.
MALVEAUX: Thank you so much. Chad Myers, thank you.
MYERS: You're welcome. Sure.
MALVEAUX: We are following breaking news. A new FBI unit is approved for interrogating terror suspects, as a 2004 report detailing questionable methods such as water-boarding, guns and grills -- drills, rather -- goes public. How will the Bush administration answer the report?
MALVEAUX: A newly released report shows questionable interrogation methods were literally used during the years. And the Justice Department names a career prosecutor to investigate.
Well, joining me for today's "Strategy Session," our Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen, and Republican strategist John Feehery.
I want to start off first -- there was a statement that was put out by the press secretary, by the White House. They seem to be trying to really go both ways on this. They say that the president has repeatedly -- says that he wants to look forward, not back. And the president agrees with the attorney general that those who acted in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance should not be prosecuted. Then, he goes on to say, ultimately, determinations about whether someone broke the law are made independently by the attorney general.
It seems as if the White House says, we want to move forward. But you have got this new unit here that is going to take a look and see if there's criminal acts that actually happened in the White House.
Does -- does -- do American people, do they have an appetite for this?
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the American people want the truth. And they want the attorney general to be honest with them. And they want to make sure that the president's keeping them safe from terrorists in the future.
So, I think the way they have divided this up is that the president's job is to say, what do we do going forward? That's why they announced this new terror terror investigation special unit, to take the best of the effective techniques -- because, remember, a lot of these old techniques that were so criminal were actually not even effective.
So, you -- the president has come up with a new way to organize terror investigations. The attorney general is saying, you know what? People broke the law. We're going to investigate it. We're not going to take a pass. That's the attorney general's job.
And I think they have -- they have chosen the right balance here.
JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, ABC News reports that Leon Panetta threatened to resign over this, he was so angry. So, if the CIA director has no appetite for it, I wonder what the American people believe.
I mean, the fact of the matter is that the American -- yes, Hilary is absolutely right. The American people want to be safe, and they want to know that the president is doing everything they can to keep them safe.
The -- the -- the terrorists don't play by the Marquis of Queensbury rules. They're a brutal sort of folks. And we're seeing that in Afghanistan today. The fact of the matter is that -- that, if the president is not doing -- perceived as doing everything he can to keep the American people safe, you know, and something bad happens, this is something -- this very -- very questionable right now.
MALVEAUX: We know that there's tension between the FBI and CIA, but CNN has not confirmed the story about Leon Panetta getting so angry that he would threat -- threaten to resign.
FEEHERY: That's why I quoted -- that's why I quoted ABC.
MALVEAUX: ... one thing that happened in the Bush administration over and over again, senior administration officials felt that they were on solid ground when it came to those harsh interrogation techniques because they really believed that the American people kind of thought, like, well, if we're going to get information, or if there's some sort of potential terrorist attack, we're going to let this go here.
This was not something that a lot of people paid attention to. Do we think that that environment has changed for the Obama administration?
I think, for the most part, people are willing to tolerate a huge amount of unsavory techniques, if they believe it keeps them safer. But what we have found was that those unsavory techniques didn't keep people safer. The -- the CIA used -- this is not really just CIA employees. The CIA used a number of contractors who now the report shows were the ones who engaged in the most, you know, unsatisfactory behavior.
And I -- I would predict that it ends up being some of those contractors that end up getting the bulk of the prosecutions, not CIA employees -- if, in fact, there are prosecutions. The attorney general just said, we're going to investigate. He hasn't committed to actually indicting or prosecuting.
FEEHERY: But this shows a big rift between the CIA and the Justice Department. And I think that this is something that, politically, the president must manage, and must manage effectively, because the left wing might be happy about this, but I think, politically, the rest of the country is not so sure.
MALVEAUX: And -- and, real quick, John, just to wrap this up here, obviously, taking a look at this, focusing this, how much of this is a distraction to his domestic agenda, what he has to push forward, health care reform?
FEEHERY: Well, it's a -- it's a big distraction. And I think it's going to take over -- over the rest of August. And I think that that's the big problem for the president. As he's trying to get health care reform passed, the focus seems to always shift to something else.
MALVEAUX: John, Hilary, got to leave it there.
MALVEAUX: Thank you very much for joining us.
MALVEAUX: Sorry. Running out of time.
Police say he murdered and mutilated his model ex-wife. Now the international manhunt is over, as the suspect takes his own life. Plus, President Obama's vacation reading list, all 2,000-plus pages. What books did he pack along to Martha's Vineyard?
MALVEAUX: On our "Political Ticker": Dealers are getting a reprieve on the cash for clunkers program. Washington has extended the deadline until noon tomorrow.
So, dealers had an 8:00 p.m. Eastern deadline today to file claims for any deals. But some have complained that computer hangups have slowed the process, and they don't want to risk giving a $4,500 car discount that's not going to be reimbursed.
Well, an ambitious -- really ambitious -- reading list for President Obama's weeklong vacation on Martha's Vineyard. The White House says that he packed along the fiction thriller "The Way Home," Thomas Friedman's bestseller on globalization, "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," along with the novels "Lush Life" and "Plainsong," and David McCullough's biography of President John Adams.
In all, we are talking about 2,333 pages. Now, that means that the president, he would have to plow through 291 pages a day if he wants to finish all of those books in eight days.
Remember, for the latest political news any time, check out CNNPolitics.com.
And Jack joins us again with "The Cafferty File."
Jack, I -- I couldn't handle one book, maybe, you know, and a couple of tabloids...
CAFFERTY: You know...
MALVEAUX: ... and that would be it for me on the beach.
CAFFERTY: ... there are congressmen who have gone through almost that many pages.
CAFFERTY: That's terrible.
CAFFERTY: The question this hour is: How is the American dream changing?
Simon in Orlando, Florida: "Very simply, we're losing our freedoms. A quote by Thomas Jefferson: 'A democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not.' The government is coming down harder on the individual achievers that energize our democracy. The idea of rewarding ability is being replaced by the government's concept of fairness."
And writes: "The corruption of our democratic government, Republican and Democrat, is deep, renders us unable to effectively address the major problems that confront us. Until we have real reform that deals with the power of corporations to buy our political leaders, I fear the American dream will turn more and more into a nightmare. The founding fathers would be ashamed of what has happened."
Stacy: "My husband and I recently turned 50. There was a time we both believed that, if we delayed gratification, got an education, and were prepared to work hard, we could expect to enjoy a small comfortable life. Instead, we're struggling to, A, support aging family members who have outlived their retirement income, B, continue to fund college-aged children, for whom a bachelor's degree no longer is a guarantee they can find a job, and, C, watch our own retirement disappear, while Wall Street gets bailed out. It's a good thing we really love each other, because that is apparently all we have."
Graham in Saint Joseph: "It is changing from the credit-based assumed right that it has been for the last decade back into the savings-based hard-earned privilege it rightfully should be. It is also going to be more difficult to attain than ever before, and there are going to be a lot of Americans who will soon realize that their chances of getting it are just that: a dream."
J.M. in South Brunswick, New Jersey: "The U.S. is gradually receding from a superpower, First World status, and morphing gradually into Second or Third World status. Eventually, the dollar will lose most of its value. Europe, in concert with Russia, and China and Asian neighbors will become the power players. People will still have some quality of life and success, but it will take place against that backdrop."
And David in Oklahoma City writes: "The best thing to come out of the economic meltdown is a reality check. Buying homes we couldn't afford, running up credit cards like there was no tomorrow, that was an insane way to pursue the dream. So, the balloon has burst, and, yet, this is a golden opportunity for a great reset. The American dream is still alive and well, but, perhaps now, there will be a dose of realism and common sense. Now people might learn to live within their means."
If you didn't see your e-mail here, you can go to my blog at CNN.com/caffertyfile. Look for yours there, among hundreds of others -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: OK. Thank you, Jack.