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Rumsfeld Memo Questions Progress in War on Terror; Inside the World of Female Suicide Bombers; Interview With Columbine Victim's Father

Aired October 22, 2003 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: "In Focus" tonight: A confidential memo from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld questions U.S. progress in the war on terror. Is he not as confident in private as he seems in public?
The sniper trial. The suspects come eye to eye for the first time in court. What's next for John Allen Muhammad now that he will no longer represent himself?

And it's any NBA fan's dream job, announcing for a pro basketball team. But the competition is tough. Is our intrepid reporter Andy Serwer up to the test?

Good evening. Welcome. Glad to have you with us tonight.

Also ahead, we'll see the chilling videotape released today of the Columbine high school killers actually practicing with guns just weeks before their deadly rampage.

And new questions over the company hired to rebuild Iraq. Is Halliburton overcharging American taxpayers for gasoline in Iraq?

Plus, we will take you inside the world of female Palestinian suicide bombers to see what drives them to kill themselves.

Also, new research hints that American women may not be getting the best cancer screening available.

First, though, here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.

Traces of the deadly toxic ricin have been discovered at a postal facility in Greenville, North Carolina. It was found inside a small metal container sealed in an envelope that turned up last Thursday. Authorities say the envelope also contained a threatening note, but they say there are no apparent terrorism concerns.

Terri Schiavo's husband has dropped his objections to letting her parents visit her hospital room. Schiavo is the severely brain- damaged woman at the center of a right-to-die controversy. Doctors are giving Schiavo intravenous fluids right now, before reinserting a feeding tube that will keep her alive.

And the Pentagon says General William Boykin can stay in his job while authorities investigate his controversial comments about Islam. Boykin, who helps director the hunt for Osama bin Laden, reportedly told an audience that Muslim terrorists hate the U.S. because it is Christian and that the real enemy is Satan.

We begin tonight with questions about the high price of gasoline in Iraq. It is an issue because U.S. taxpayers are footing that bill. Iraq's oil refineries need repairing. In the meantime, Iraq's oil marketing organization says it can import gas for about 98 cents a gallon. But Halliburton, the company hired to rebuild Iraq, is charging $1.59 a gallon. Halliburton, of course, has become a political target because its former CEO Dick Cheney is now vice president, or that's at least what some people suggest.

To help put this all "In Focus," I'm joined now from Washington by Peter Beinart. He's the editor of "The New Republic." And in New York with us tonight, John Fund, a contributor to "The Wall Street Journal"'s

Welcome, both.

I'm going to start with you tonight, John.

Is Halliburton guilty of price-gouging in Iraq?

JOHN FUND, OPINIONJOURNAL.COM: Look, we have two offices in Iraq that are set up to just look at contracting issues and to find out if all of the dots are dotted on the I's and the T's are crossed on the T's. They are going to look at this. There are dozens of civil servants. They're going to look at it.

Halliburton basically says that U.S. contracting retirements are so onerous and you have to go through so many channels that they can't meet the price that the, shall we say, gray market through Turkey would represent. So they have a good explanation. Whether it holds up, that's what the civil servants are for. That's what the auditors will tell us. And there are lots of auditors to do it.

ZAHN: Peter, do you believe those explanations?

PETER BEINART, EDITOR, "THE NEW REPUBLIC": I'm less confident than John is.

For on thing, we've learned that Halliburton and its subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, are so deeply intertwine with the Pentagon on so many levels that, in many cases, they have actually written these rules that they now claim prevent them from charging a reasonable price for oil.

FUND: What evidence is there of that, Peter? There's no evidence of that.


BEINART: John, if you look at "The New York Times" magazine story about Kellogg Brown & Root, what you find is that many of the rules that govern contracting in Iraq were in fact written by Kellogg Brown & Root, because they had the overall contract to set up how you outsourced through the Pentagon to do things like this.

So, in fact, I think we need to know a lot more about the entire relationship that has developed as the military has outsourced more and more of these kind of nonmilitary items, because the perceptions here are terrible. And the administration should be concerned about them.

ZAHN: Why do you have a problem with that, John?

FUND: Well, there are a couple of perceptions that are completely inaccurate.

If Halliburton were called Halliday (ph) Corporation, none of this would be an issue. The issue is, is Dick Cheney profiting from his former association with Halliburton? There's no evidence of that. In fact, none of his compensation is linked to Halliburton's current profits.

ZAHN: John, hang on one second. You would have to acknowledge the simple perception that the vice president was a huge proponent of this war and that this was a no-bid contract that went out. It doesn't look good, does it?


FUND: Paula, that's what we have auditors for.

Now, "The New Republic" of the 1980s used to call this kind of story the gotcha story, the little, little bitty story where you can create a perception of a conflict of interest. And it said it had to put that into perspective. There are a lot of other stories that I wish the Democratic Congress would talk about, including whether or not Saudi Arabia has just signed an agreement with Pakistan for nuclear material, nuclear weapons material.


BEINART: You're changing the subject.

ZAHN: Let's stick with the subject we're talking about tonight.


ZAHN: Peter, a quick thought. Then I want to read a statement from Halliburton to both of you. OK, let me carry on with that.

This is what they told us this evening: "KBR is bound by guidelines in its contract to negotiate fuel prices on short-term basis only from suppliers acceptable to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Simple economics dictate that companies who are not bound by those guidelines can negotiate lower prices."

Surely, there must be some way to lower these prices. Peter?

BEINART: Well, yes, let me make a point here. That was not their first reply. Remember, their first reply when the first "New York Times" story came out was that they couldn't do it because their transport costs were too high.

Now, once we've found out that Iraqi governing authority can do it much cheaper, they have given a second reply. Maybe it's true, but I think that -- I can't imagine that John wouldn't want this investigated.


FUND: There are two offices in Iraq, Peter, that do nothing but audit these contractors. They're run by professional civil servants.

BEINART: That's right. And I think the Congressional Research Service, which has been looking into it, should continue to do that as well.

They administration had recognized that perception matters a great deal here. They're the ones who say that one of the reasons not to give Iraq loans, after all, is to fight the perception that we're in there for the money. So why wouldn't they be concerned about no- bid contracts that create a terrible perception for America throughout the Muslim world?

ZAHN: John, I got to move along here. Quickly, what do you think the audits will reveal?

FUND: We learned five months ago that there was this association between Halliburton and the contracts in Iraq, and, of course, Dick Cheney was involved. There's no evidence that Dick Cheney was involved in that letting of the contract. This sounds like one of those little gotcha stories. It should be pursued, but I think it's going to be a dry hole.

BEINART: Nobody said that.

ZAHN: All right, gentlemen, we have got to leave it there tonight.

John Fund, Peter Beinart, thank you for both of your explanations this evening.

Now on to the dissatisfaction and doubts about the war on terrorism, and from a surprising source, the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, himself. "USA Today" reported a Rumsfeld memo that raised questions about U.S. progress in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror.

Here is what Rumsfeld told reporters late this afternoon.


DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We can win Iraq -- the battle in Iraq and the battle in Afghanistan. It will be a slug, long, hard slug. But the big question is the broader one about the global war on terror.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ZAHN: Two of our regular contributors are here to discuss Rumsfeld's worries, "TIME" magazine's columnist Joe Klein, and a rare privilege for us to have former Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke in person.



ZAHN: Now you can beat yourselves up, beat you two up as we watch.


JOE KLEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: We'll shake hands.

ZAHN: All right. It's a love-in tonight.


ZAHN: Do you think this memo was leaked intentionally?

CLARKE: I don't at all.

And I have to tell you, I had two reactions when I heard about it. The one was, what's all the surprise? Everything in that memo he has said again and again and again. Before 9/11, Secretary Rumsfeld said, we have to do a better job of changing the way the Pentagon operates, because the threats are so different, the challenges are so different. We have to be bolder. We have to be more adaptable.


ZAHN: You making it sound like maybe he doesn't care that this was leaked? This is not good that this was leaked.

CLARKE: Well, he doesn't like leaks as a matter of principle. And you could spend hours trying to guess who did it.

But, on the one hand, I'm surprised that people are so surprised at the memo. Secondly, I'm glad it's out there. Those are exactly the kinds of questions that ought to be getting asked right now. And as hard as it is and as challenging as it is to conduct the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, which they're doing and they're doing quite well, you also do have to look at the bigger picture. You have to look at the next five, 10 years and say, are we positioned appropriately?

So he's absolutely right to be asking his top people those questions.

ZAHN: Does this damage the credibility of the defense secretary or enhance it?

KLEIN: This is a surprise. And it is something of embarrassment, in large part, because, in his public testimony time and time and time again, the secretary of defense has been saying that things are going well.

This memo would not have been written if things were going well. They're not going well.


CLARKE: Completely untrue.

KLEIN: Let me just finish, Torie.

And this is his management style. He asks the tough questions. And he should be congratulated for that. His problem is that, all too often, he has been coming up with the wrong answers, from before the beginning of the war until now. And I think that the secretary of defense is sounding more and more defensive as these weeks go by.

ZAHN: Does that make him vulnerable at a time when people are calling for his resignation, particularly a bunch of Democrats who are now running for president?


CLARKE: Question the sources on that.

But to go back to something Joe said, this is not a surprise to people who have covered him and watched him for quite some time. And evidence to that, earlier today, there was a briefing at the Pentagon that Larry DiRita conducted, the acting spokesman. And the Pentagon reporters who have covered him for years said, what's the big deal? He has been talking about this for a long time.

So it is a surprise to people who have not followed him. And, again, I just go back to how important the fundamental issues he addressed in that memo are. We have got to do better. He said in the memo, we're making progress, but we have got to do better.

ZAHN: Joe is a guy who has been following him.

KLEIN: Part of the reason why we're not doing so well is because, from the very beginning, the Pentagon doubted the CIA's assessments of the weapons of mass destruction capabilities of Iraq.

The Pentagon said that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat, when he wasn't. The Pentagon put a lot of its faith in Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress, who kept on spinning out all of these wild scenarios about how terrible things were and how we would be greeted as liberators. It was the Pentagon's misjudgment in this case -- and the fact is, the Pentagon has been running this show -- that has led us to this very, very difficult moment.

ZAHN: So Joe is essentially saying the secretary got duped.

CLARKE: Oh, absolutely not.

And I think Joe has been a little bit duped, because unlike the people who cover the Pentagon on a regular basis, who said this morning, this is not news to us, he has not been following. He hasn't seen the warnings. He hasn't seen the exhortations. He hasn't seen the secretary for over 2 1/2 years now saying, we've got to do better.


ZAHN: But this same defense secretary works for a White House that hates leaks. It hates things that aren't run tightly.

KLEIN: I've been watching the secretary on places like "Meet the Press" and on television, on programs like this. And he's been saying throughout that Iraq was an imminent threat and that we had to take care of it and we could do it unilaterally, without the rest of the world on our side.

CLARKE: Completely untrue. He never said we could do it unilaterally. And, as a matter of fact, we didn't do it unilaterally.

KLEIN: We did it with the Brits.

CLARKE: We're getting to different topics. We did it with 49 other nations who declared their publicly their support. And we did it with 11 other nations, who gave us support privately.

And you just look at the facts. That war could not have been started, could not have been conducted without the help and support of many countries, including those in the region.

ZAHN: Well, Joe always fights the numbers beyond the numbers you've just talked about. And that is the troop strength that was provided by these countries.

KLEIN: I mean, we have three -- that's right. Mauritius is one of those countries. We have three peacekeepers from Mauritius.

The fact is that the major countries in the world, our major allies in the past, have not been with us on this. We thought that we could do this essentially unilaterally, because the Pentagon, as you know, mispredicted what the situation was going to be on the ground in Iraq after the war was over.

If anybody there had read any history at all, specifically the history of the British in Mesopotamia 1918, they would know that this was going to be a very difficult thing. And it has proven to be even more difficult than the historians thought it was going to be.


ZAHN: All right, you two, we've got to leave it there.

You've got to come back more often in person.

CLARKE: Glad to do it.

ZAHN: Nice to have you with us. Thank you both.

Coming up: The D.C. sniper suspects come eye to eye for the first time in the courtroom. What happened between the alleged killers when they met?

Also, 20 years ago, the Beirut bombing signaled what today's war on terror could become. Is the U.S. any closer to bringing those responsible to justice?

And chilling, disturbing videotape of the Columbine killers' gunplay with automatic weapons weeks before their deadly rampage.


ZAHN: Another surprise today in the trial of Washington-area sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad. He rehired his defense team, after representing himself in court for just two days. He also made eye contact with the other sniper suspect, Lee Boyd Malvo, who was there to be identified by witnesses from other shootings. On meeting eyes with Malvo, Muhammad raised his hand and gestured several times in Malvo's direction.

Joining me now is CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.



ZAHN: They said in "Alice in Wonderland, more curiouser and curiouser all the time in this trial.

TOOBIN: Indeed.

ZAHN: Are you blown away by what happened today?

TOOBIN: Well, it's an attack of sanity, I guess, that he got, although mostly what he got was a toothache, because if you read his sidebar of his conference with the judge, his real problem with being a lawyer is that his tooth hurt and he couldn't really talk very much in court.

Look, this is such a difficult case for the defense, in any case. It's better for him that he's being represented by lawyers. But this case is an uphill slog under any circumstances.

ZAHN: I'm wondering how much you think the judge influenced his decision. Let's put up on the screen some of what the judge had to say in the courtroom today -- quote -- "I'm not sure you can effectively call witnesses." Of course, he's talking to John Muhammad at this point.

"I have another concern about your ability to put on a case if we get to the sentencing phase of the trial. I just don't think you have the understanding to go about doing it. I want you to consider real carefully whether you do want to continue to represent yourself."

How much impact do you think that had on John Muhammad, besides the toothache?

(CROSSTALK) TOOBIN: Probably a lot, because that's the kind of thing judges say to defendants who want to represent themselves all the time. Practically word for word, you would see that in almost any transcript.

I think one thing John Muhammad demonstrated, as acting as a lawyer, is he has some element of rationality. He didn't do too horrible a job. That's something else the judge said today. But he did recognize that this was an exercise in futility. And it's also hard. It's a lot of work to examine all these witnesses, and I don't think he wanted to do it.

ZAHN: I want you to play a courtroom psychiatrist for us now.

TOOBIN: Plenty of opportunity for that in this case.

ZAHN: As we try to -- yes -- to read into the communications between Lee Boyd Malvo and John Muhammad. They made eye contact with each other and then there was a hand gesture from father to, allegedly, son, which everybody denies is his son.

TOOBIN: I think that's really the message, is that John Muhammad in court has called Malvo his son. That is the kind of gesture it was. The gesture was not in front of the jury. However, at some points today, Malvo was in front of the jury. And I think that's extremely powerful, extremely very important, for no other reason, he is so much younger. Malvo is so much younger than Muhammad is.

ZAHN: What, and people are supposed to be sympathetic about that?

TOOBIN: No, that they will be extra unsympathetic to Muhammad, because Muhammad, part of his defense clearly is to claim that Malvo was the shooter, Malvo did the worst of this. But it's so much harder to blame Malvo if the jury has seen that this is effectively just a kid and Muhammad is a man in his 40s.

ZAHN: So how was the jury affected by what they heard the first two days?

TOOBIN: Well, it's very powerful stuff.

ZAHN: What are they supposed to do, just erase it? No.

TOOBIN: There are no do-overs in court.

I think this is a horrifying case and the jury was horrified. These are people shot in cold blood testifying in court about this kind of thing. Prosecutors always put their strongest material at the beginning and at the end, because the idea is, jurors remember what they hear first and jurors remember what they hear last. That's what they're doing here. And I don't really think there's any way to lessen the blow if you're on the defense, lawyer or not.

ZAHN: What do you think his defense team thought when the judge read the statement, which you said was pretty pro forma, and then John Muhammad made this decision, "OK, your turn to represent me"?

TOOBIN: I'm sure that the lawyers threw up their hands and said, look, it's his decision.

But they're trying to save this guy's life. As bad as the evidence is in this case, these lawyers are committed foes of the death penalty. And they think, no matter how bad their client may be, they're trying to save his life. At least now they have a chance of doing that, which is appropriate. There's a reason why the Constitution says you have assistance of counsel, because counsel helps, by and large. And he should be a -- have lawyers.

ZAHN: Well, we'll be relying on your insights in the days to come as we follow this extremely quirky trial.

TOOBIN: Indeed.

ZAHN: Looking back to the Beirut bombing 20 years later, 241 U.S. Marines killed. And the hunt for the mastermind of that attack continues today.

And martyrs or murderers? Inside the world of female suicide bombers. Why are so many women taking on such a deadly role?


ZAHN: Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the Beirut truck bombing that killed 241 U.S. Marines in their barracks. The suspected mastermind is still out there, perhaps preparing to strike again.

National correspondent Mike Boettcher reports on a manhunt spanning two decades.


MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. Marines on Arab soil, not now, 20 years ago in Beirut. I was there with CNN when both Muslim and Christian Lebanese cheered the Marine mission to bring peace to a nation gutted by a decade of war.

It didn't take long for the peacekeepers themselves to become targets. On October 23, 1983, a truck bomb destroyed the barracks housing the American contingent of the peacekeeping force; 241 servicemen died. Almost simultaneously, another suicide bomber struck the French army compound, killing 58. A new era of terrorism began, as did a war against it, one that continues to this day.


RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those who directed this atrocity must be dealt justice. And they will be.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is an enemy that tries to hide, but it won't be able to hide forever. BOETTCHER: October 23, 1983, does not resonate the way September 11, 2001, does, nor are these images seared into the collective world consciousness, the way the events of 9/11 are.

But inside top-secret offices at the Pentagon and the CIA, they have not forgotten. For 20 years, they have pursued this man, Imad Mughniyeh, the Lebanese Hezbollah operative believed to be the mastermind of the Marine barracks bombing. He is still at large. He is wanted for what he did then and could do now. Cofer Black, now the State Department's ambassador for counterterrorism, pursued Mughniyeh back in the days when Black ran the CIA's Counterterrorism Center.

COFER BLACK, U.S. AMBASSADOR FOR COUNTERTERRORISM: The FBI considers Mughniyeh one of their 22 most wanted terrorists. Resources are allocated. The guy is a criminal. He's a murderer.

BOETTCHER: Unlike bin Laden, who keeps up a public presence even while the U.S. manhunt for him continues, Mughniyeh rarely shows himself outside his inner circle. He hides out in both Lebanon and Iran. There are few photographs of him.

ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OFFICER: He is good. He is the best. He's much better than bin Laden.

BOETTCHER: Robert Baer, a former CIA man who pursued Mughniyeh in Lebanon, collected one of the few pictures of him.

BAER: Within 24 hours after we made a photocopy of it, we went back to get the original and it was gone. So, Imad Mughniyeh, we figured out very early on runs an intelligence network in Lebanon like you would not believe.

BOETTCHER: Mughniyeh, in collaboration with Iran, according to U.S. intelligence sources, is also believed responsible for the hijacking of TWA 847, the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, and a long list of other terrorist acts, including the kidnapping of Westerners in Beirut in mid and late 1980s. And many terrorism analysts think he may see in Iraq a chance to again demonstrate a position of strength by once more striking American targets.

BAER: It wouldn't surprise me today if he's working with bin Laden or al Qaeda or whatever is left of it in Iraq, simply because it's a decisive battle. And any time there's a decisive battle, Muslims will unify, believers.

BOETTCHER: But Mughniyeh is a believer in a terrorist war with roots stretching back 20 years, career counterterrorism operatives are also believers, who remember those images of October 23, 1983.

BLACK: I will look you in the eye -- and I'm absolutely confident about this -- you don't want to mess with us. We will never forget you. We will get you in the end. And you will be rendered to law enforcement. And you will face justice.

BOETTCHER: Twenty years later, the hunt continues.

Mike Boettcher, CNN, Atlanta.


ZAHN: Straight ahead: the Columbine killers on videotape just released today, chilling gunplay just weeks ahead of the massacre. Nearly five years later, do these scenes open up old wounds for the victims' families?

Also, a new study suggests that American women are not getting the best cancer screening possible. How do you protect yourself?

And tomorrow, born rich: a rare candid glimpse at children of the vastly wealthy.

And a bittersweet farewell to an aviation legend, final flight of the Concorde.


ZAHN: Welcome back. Here are some of the headlines you need to know at this hour. Doctors have reinserted Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, obeying an order issued yesterday by Florida governor Jeb Bush. Schiavo has been severely brain damaged since a 1990 heart attack. Her husband had obtained a court order to remove the tube and let her die.

New York City officials have suspended the captain of the Staten Island ferry that crashed last week killing 10 people. Captain Michael Gansas failed to appear for meetings with investigators yesterday and again today. His attorney cites health reasons.

The man who lived to tell about going over Niagara Falls says he was suicidal when he jumped into the water. Kirk Jones (ph) says surviving the plunge makes him want to live. Jones is hospitalized and faces charges of performing an unlawful stunt.

ZAHN: Well, a chilling videotape is now in, open to the public, showing the Columbine high school gunmen in target practice six weeks before the shooting rampage that would claim 15 lives, including their own. Authorities released that tape today. A member of the task force investigating the shooting says the video raises important questions about whether opportunities to stop the killers were missed.

Here is a look at the tape. A warning: you might find this very difficult to watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guns. Playing with cut-off shotguns is bad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you saw them off and make them illegal, bad things happen to you.

(LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just say no to sawed-offs!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Imagine that in someone's (DELETED) brain.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got an entry and exit wound there from one of the other ones.


ZAHN: Joining us now from Bismarck, North Dakota, is Darrell Scott, whose daughter, Rachel, died at Columbine. Thanks so much for joining us tonight.


ZAHN: I'll tell you, not having lost a family member at Columbine, it was so difficult to watch this latest tape that was released. It made me sick. What was your reaction the first time you saw this tape?

SCOTT: Well, it's always painful when you see something new, but this was especially painful because, you know, you knew that they were practicing to kill our children and to kill the wonderful teacher that was killed at Columbine that day. And so you knew what was going through their heads as they were allowing themselves to be videotaped and practicing what was going to take place at Columbine.

ZAHN: Had you see this tape before today?

SCOTT: Well, I just saw it in the hotel room before I came to this interview. And you know, one of the things that went through my mind is it's not just -- it didn't begin there in the woods with them shooting guns. It began with them playing violent video games, with them watching movies like "Natural Born Killers" over 100 times, which they admitted.

I would be just as shocked to watch them as they practiced playing the video games in which they'd actually put pictures of their classmates' heads into that game and practiced killing them as I was to watch them so lightheartedly practice what they were going to do at Columbine.

ZAHN: Does it still trouble you, though, to know that no one was onto these kids, with the exception of one man who went to legal authorities saying he felt that his own child was vulnerable because of the actions of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris?

SCOTT: I've always appreciated what the Brown family has done. And I -- it's beyond me why the police didn't go beyond what they did, why they didn't investigate further and when Sheriff Stone was in office there in Littleton, or in Jefferson County, and hid so much from us. It wasn't the police, in general, because I believe there were a lot of good policemen and firemen there that day that were restricted by orders from the sheriff not allowing them to do what they wanted to do. I was told that later.

But I was also upset by the fact that we were not given a lot of information. There's still a lot of frustration with all the victims' families as to why these things weren't told to us or why we didn't get information, why Dave Sanders, this heroic teacher, had to bleed to death for several hours in a classroom.

ZAHN: This tape was made six weeks before your daughter's life was taken away. Who are you angry at? Wouldn't you think, at some point during this period of time, someone would have thought something was amiss and there clearly was some sort of red flag here?

SCOTT: Yes, there was a lot of anger there in the beginning for all of us. And one of the things is just that these young men could do so many of the things they did and it all slipped through the cracks. And all of the victims' families were upset that we weren't really told a lot of the things. We -- the videotapes that were released to "Time" magazine, we weren't -- we didn't know about them until after they were released. Some of us didn't. And so there was a lot of information withheld from us, and we are still shocked by things that are released on an ongoing basis.

ZAHN: Darrell Scott, again, we really appreciate your joining us tonight. And good luck to you, sir.

SCOTT: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: We move along now. Women who die for Palestine, inside the world of female suicide bombers. What is pushing them into martyrdom?

New research raises some fresh concerns about cancer screening for women in the United States. Find out if you're at risk.


ZAHN: What turns an ordinary Palestinian women into a suicide bomber? Well, in our "Truth Squad" segment tonight, we turn to author Barbara Victor for an answer to that question. She has interviewed the families of four women who died for the Palestinian cause and several women who tried and failed to do so. Her book, "Army of Roses," exposes how Palestinian women are pressured into martyrdom. Barbara Victor joins us now.

Welcome. Why do these women do this?

BARBARA VICTOR, AUTHOR, "ARMY OF ROSES": It's a fatal cocktail. It's living under Israeli occupation. It's believing that they're going to a better place. It's the hopelessness of their lives. But for women, it's something special that's added to this cocktail, and what's added is the fact that they believe each one of them have been marginalized within society, and they're promised the only way for a second chance is to die.

ZAHN: Is there a typical profile, other than the fact that they're feeling some of these feelings you just talked about?

VICTOR: Of the four women who actually died, one was divorced, couldn't have babies. And of course, she could never marry again in that society. Another woman's father was accused of being a collaborator, and she was given the option of redeeming the family name. Another woman was simply just starstruck because women and men martyrs in that society are revered like soccer players or rock stars. And another woman wanted to be educated, wanted to continue school, and she was being forced into an arranged marriage.

The last woman who did this, on Yom Kippur, was a brilliant lawyer, so it changed all of the profile of desperation and hopelessness.

ZAHN: And she allegedly did it because her brother was killed in an Israeli raid at an earlier point. One of the more disturbing things you address in this book is this growing trend in schools among young girls. And we have a small piece of tape to understand the extent to which these young girls are being manipulated. Let's listen to this together.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I want to become a martyr and defend my homeland and give my life for my country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'd like to be a martyr because we have duties towards our country. We must return to it what it has given us. It's our obligation to defend it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I, too, would like to be a martyr because the martyr may enter the highest level of paradise.


ZAHN: At what age does this indoctrination begin?

VICTOR: It begins from the cradle on. But it begins at 6 in these schools, which are sponsored by the United Nations. These children -- and as you know, I was there and I filmed it and I wrote about it. From the age of 6 years old, they talk about their desire to die and their desire to be a martyr. This is what's so dreadful because I'm not negating the pain and the humiliation of Israeli occupation, but what I'm saying in the book is that the Palestinian leadership is turning this whole culture, this whole generation and the next generation, into a culture of death.

ZAHN: We're going to look at an old cover from "Newsweek" magazine so you can tell another story that you tell rather poignantly in this book. It is the story of the death of a 17-year-old Israeli, Rachel Levy (ph), who was killed when she went to the supermarket for her mother. The bomber was another teenage girl. You spent time with the mothers of both of these girls and interviewed them for the documentary. Let's listen to what Rachel Levy's mother had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 2:00 o'clock. I heard the noise of the ambulance. I didn't hear the bomb in that case. And from the beginning, I knew that something happened to my daughter. I have something here. Rachel (UNINTELLIGIBLE) all my life. I mean, all my life was Rachel.


ZAHN: Breaks your heart. What else did you learn from these mothers?

VICTOR: What I learned was something that shocked me terribly. When you see them on television, the mothers of the Palestinian martyrs, the women who have become human bombs, are always proclaiming their pride and how proud they are in their children. And after several seconds or minutes with these women, they wept because they're like any mother that would weep when her child was killed.

And what I thought was that one of the solutions is not to expel Mr. Arafat from the occupied territories, it's to get him out of the hearts and mind of these people. And one way to do it is to convince these women that they should show grief and they should show anger, that this isn't something that shows weakness because, really, the Palestinian leadership making them show pride is a racist attitude. People think these aren't like other mothers. They don't have the same feelings. And of course, they have.

ZAHN: Well, "Army of Roses" is a powerful book exploring a subject that we don't know a whole lot about. Barbara Victor, thank you for sharing it with us tonight.

VICTOR: Thank you.

ZAHN: A new study says U.S. doctors need twice as many tests to find breast cancer as physicians in Britain. What do American women need to know to ensure the best possible cancer screening?

And our own Andy Serwer gets behind the mike and tries out for the big time. We'll see his debut.


ZAHN: Welcome back. Mixed news tonight in the fight against breast cancer. The good news has to do with a promising new vaccine. The bad news, the screening test system in the United States could be a lot better.

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, vice president of Johnson & Johnson, who has 18 years of experience as a medical journalist, is here to sort it all out. Always good to see you, Doctor.

DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN, VP, JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Thanks, Paula. ZAHN: Let's start off with this mammography study first. Does it mean that our doctors and our system here in the United States are failing us?

SNYDERMAN: Well, this big study looks at the British medical system and the American medical system and how well we're doing with screening mammograms. And I must say, it's a little bit like apples and oranges because there is a health care service in England, and in the United States, when you get a mammogram, it may be a university, may be an HMO, may be in private practice. And our standards are lower. There's a Standards Act, and in the United States a doctor has to read about 480 mammograms a year to be accredited. In the British system it's much higher, 5,000.

ZAHN: Wow!

SNYDERMAN: And so we're going back for more redos, more second looks, frankly, more biopsies. And it raised the question, Are we just not doing it, as well?

ZAHN: Now, let's take a look at some of those numbers that you're talking about right now. Over the course of three years, in women ages 50 to 54, 14.4 percent of women who received mammograms in the U.S. were called back for more tests, while only 7.6 percent of women in Britain were.

SNYDERMAN: Yes, and...

ZAHN: What does that mean?

SNYDERMAN: Very -- well, it means that, frankly we're getting called back more. Why? Well, in Britain, two radiologists look at every mammogram and figure out is there something important or not. In the United States, it's just one person. And so they may be under- reading them. And we also have this legal system that's hovering over every doctor. Physicians are afraid to miss a breast cancer. So they'll err on the side of, Oh, well, let's call a woman back. The problem is, that costs money.

ZAHN: Sure.

SNYDERMAN: And right now, everyone's squawking about how much money we're spending in our health care system anyway. But there's a little wiggle room in here, and that is, the question that really hasn't been answered by this study -- Are we catching cancers earlier? And some physicians who looked at this study say, yes, in fact, we are. Our equipment is phenomenal, and doctors are erring on the safe side.

ZAHN: All right, now I'm confused.

SNYDERMAN: So big deal if we're coming back more often. Big deal if we're looking at women more often, if we're catching cancers when they're earlier and before they get to be, you know, lumps you can feel in your breasts.

ZAHN: So the bottom line is...

SNYDERMAN: The bottom line...

ZAHN: ... take a little bit of bad with the good here.

SNYDERMAN: Exactly. The bottom line is we're trying to compare two different medical systems. Our bar may not be as high for how many our doctors see and read mammograms.

ZAHN: Right.

SNYDERMAN: However, women in this country want to know that we're playing on the safe side, so they may be going back for a second look and...


ZAHN: Now, if you don't want to go back for the second look...

SNYDERMAN: Ah! That's the bottom line!

ZAHN: ... how do you make sure you get the most accurate look the first time around? First of all, it's very costly.

SNYDERMAN: You know what?

ZAHN: And there are a number of insurance companies that don't cover that.

SNYDERMAN: And women don't want to sit the weekend with, Oh, my heavens, you may have something wrong. Frankly, I think you have to look for a center of excellence in your community. And for a lot of places, that's going to be skip the private practitioner and go to a place that just does breast cancer screening, whether that's a university, whether you drive an hour to your nearest big city. But this probably should not be done in your doctor's office and probably should not be done by doctors who read X-rays of shoulders and knees and everything else.

You want a doctor who does mammograms, just mammograms, nothing more than mammograms, and knows how to look at your present X-ray compared to your past one and say, You know what? We're going to follow you. I want to see you again in three or six months. And I think when a woman gets her mammogram, she should then be invited back into the reading room with a radiologist, and that mammogram up on the screen, should be able to say, Paula, here's what we're looking at. Here's what we're worried about. But don't worry. I'll see you back in a month.

ZAHN: Quick final thought on this vaccine.

SNYDERMAN: Cool stuff. You and I as moms think of vaccines in a way to prevent disease. The new frontier in vaccines will be able to keep women and people from dying from disease. This is a breast cancer vaccine in women who have already been diagnosed with the disease. They don't want the disease to come back. Small study. They're trying to boost the immune system with a cancer protein.

ZAHN: And so far, it looks good.

SNYDERMAN: Very cool stuff. Looks good. Not even close to being on the market, but it's the future of cancer treatment.

ZAHN: We'll be watching it with a great deal of interest from here.

SNYDERMAN: Thanks, Paula.

ZAHN: Dr. Nancy Snyderman, as always, thanks for dropping by.


ZAHN: And maybe your dreams of athletic stardom didn't pan out. So how about the next best thing, announcing for an NBA team?


ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: One team, one New York, the New York Knicks!


ZAHN: Go, Andy, go! We're going to see what happened when "Fortune" magazine's Andy Serwer tried out for the Knicks.


ZAHN: You might think that being editor-at-large for "Fortune" magazine and a CNN contributor would be a fine career in itself, but not for Andy Serwer, who just took a stab at some out-of-the-ordinary moonlighting. So Andy, what were you up to, my man?

SERWER: Well, you know, my wife says temporary insanity, I think, trying to do this. But you know, I was thinking about George Plimpton, who sadly passed away recently, and he sort of created this form of participatory journalism, where a journalist would go out and actually try to do something, particularly in sports. So when this opportunity came up, it was just something I couldn't resist.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now your New York Knicks starting lineup!

SERWER (voice-over): How's this for a dream job? Your office is the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. You sit courtside for Knicks games, and you're basically rubbing elbows every night with courtside regulars like Spike Lee, P. Diddy and Woody Allen. So when the Knicks held tryouts for a new public address announcer, I had to throw my hat into the ring.

The tryouts had all the tension of auditions for a high school play, and I was up against some pretty stiff competition, with most already coming in with years of experience. (on camera): Good evening, everyone, and welcome to Madison Square Garden.

(voice-over): Another part of the job, announcing the half-time contests.

(on camera): Ready to go, Greg. He takes it in. Oh, a rim- rattler!

(voice-over): And the granddaddy of them all, calling the Knicks starting lineup.

(on camera): At guard, 6'6", from Tennessee, the captain, number 20, Allan Houston (ph)!

(voice-over): But were we really trying to make our mark was on the Mutombo (ph) test, announcing the Knicks new starting center.





SERWER (on camera): At center, 7-foot-2, from Georgetown, number 55, Ktembe Mutombo!

(voice-over): So maybe my chances aren't great for getting the gig, but I still have a chance, and there's nothing wrong with getting to be a kid in your dream candy store.

VINCENT JOHNSON, KNICKS PA APPLICANT: Most important to me just to say Ktembe Mutombo, which was my dream name, here in the Garden. That was -- you know, I can die now.

SERWER (on camera): Do one for me. Come on. Come on. You can do it.

JOHNSON: OK. Ready? Ktembe Mutombo!


ZAHN: Mutombo! It's all in the echo.

SERWER: It is.

ZAHN: What's the deal with extending those vowel sounds, Andy?

SERWER: Well, you got to have a signature call. And the thing is, you've got to balance it out, Paula, between being too weird and having a signature call. So it's -- you know, you got to sort of fit it right in. I mean -- why don't you give it a try? You think you can do it? Ktembe Mutombo. Let's hear you. ZAHN: Oh, yes, that rim-rattler over there! I'm rooting for Bernie Williams tonight, and Derek Jeter. Let's hear it for the Yankees! Oh, wrong sport.

SERWER: You're mixing the baseball...

ZAHN: Sorry.

SERWER: You're mixing up the baseball!

ZAHN: Sorry. I lost control there.

SERWER: All right, it's still the World Series, so that's understand -- Bob Shepherd's (ph) got that job out at Yankee Stadium now. I think he wouldn't necessarily like you coming up there.

ZAHN: So are you feeling really confident about your chances of nabbing this job?

SERWER: I still haven't gotten the call yet, so I'm still in the running. Although, you know, I talked to an executive at Madison Square Garden and the Knicks, and she said, Well, you know, you did a really good job. And I said, So I didn't get it, right? And she goes, well, your voice isn't quite deep enough.

ZAHN: Now, this would be a female manager you just cited.

SERWER: That's right.

ZAHN: Were there any females auditioning for this role? And by the way, are there any women across the country doing this kind of announcing?

SERWER: Zip and zip. I mean, I can't say categorically there are no women doing this job. There were no women trying out last night. And I can't think of any women stadium announcers at all anywhere. I mean, there are TV -- women doing TV sports, but not the announcers in the stadiums for the football, for hockey, for basketball. None of them, right?

ZAHN: Hey, all we need is that little echo machine, Andy.

SERWER: Yes. Right. You can get that going.

ZAHN: Maybe you'll inspire some chicks out there...

SERWER: Well, you know what's funny...

ZAHN: try out next year.

SERWER: ...was that, you know, you're there in the arena, and it's completely empty, and you're still nervous. It's so funny. You're staring at 17,000 empty seats, and you still got butterflies going. But we'll have to let you know whether I got it.

ZAHN: Well, you have my vote, Andy Serwer. SERWER: All right. Well, I hope I get it, right?

ZAHN: Good luck.


ZAHN: Thank you for joining us tonight.

SERWER: Thanks.

ZAHN: And thank you all for being with us tonight. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Larry's guest is the former first lady and the president's mother, Barbara Bush.

Hope you're back with us again tomorrow night. Until then, have a great night.


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