The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With Paul Bremer; Air Terror Patrols; Wal-Mart Facing Accusations of Labor Violations

Aired January 13, 2004 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us tonight. I'm Paul Zahn.
The world, the news, the names, the faces, and where we go from here on Tuesday, January 13, 2004.


ZAHN (voice-over): "In Focus" tonight, an exclusive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aircraft diverted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Secret Service has been informed.

ZAHN: Tense moment inside the cockpit of a fighter jet, as U.S. pilots train for the worse, shooting down hijacked airliners. But does this really make the skies any safer?

Plus, Wal-Mart faces allegations it made minors work too late, too long and during school hours more than 1,000 times, this from the company's own internal report.

And celebrities in a jarring new set of ads aimed at children.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ever wake up with a deep-pounding throbbing in your head and a stranger in your bed?


ZAHN: Messages on drug abuse, domestic violence, and eating disorders. Is this really the way to tackle the tough topics?


ZAHN: Those stories and more straight ahead.

First, here's what you need to know right now.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says he did not take classified documents for use in a new book, but he also says that he would take back some of the critical things he said in the book about how this president makes decisions.

John King has more now from the White House. Good evening, John.


A softer tone for certain from the former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill today. He says he's been watching all the reviews, all the media coverage of this new book, "The Price of Loyalty," and he thinks people are going too far in taking snippets of the book out of context.

The secretary did say today, holding firm, that he never saw any evidence that Saddam Hussein -- firm evidence -- that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but Secretary O'Neill said the intelligence suggested that and, in the end, it's the president's call on whether to go to war. Secretary O'Neill also taking issue with accounts suggesting that he believed from day one that Mr. Bush was in a rush to war in Iraq.


PAUL O'NEILL, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: People are trying to make the case that I said the president was planning war in Iraq early in the administration. Actually, there was a continuation of work that had been going on in the Clinton administration, with a notion that there needed to be regime change in Iraq.


KING: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also talking today, giving a far different view than Secretary O'Neill about his view of the president's management style.

Secretary Rumsfeld saying it is night and day, that he finds the president very much engaged, contrary to how Secretary O'Neill puts it in the book. Secretary Rumsfeld also acknowledging that he called his old friend of 30 years and asked him why he was writing this book and that, in the end, Secretary O'Neill acknowledged some people would not be happy about it.

And, Paula, as for that investigation, the secretary insists he took no classified information, but he says he understands the investigation and does not believe, as many Democrats say, that it is any attempt at retaliation from the Bush White House.

ZAHN: All right, thanks so much, John King, reporting from the White House tonight.

Also "In Focus" tonight, an exclusive report on the war against terror being waged right above our heads. During the holidays, the United States military scrambled fighter jets to intercept airline flights suspected of being threats. Forcing the downing of an airliner and killing of innocent passengers to stop a terrorist attack is a possibility. In fact, it happens to be government policy.

Tonight, Kyra Phillips takes us inside the cockpit of a fighter jet on a terror patrol drill.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aircraft diverted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Secret Service has been informed.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call it the air war against terrorists, and this is the battlefield, the potential enemy, a civilian aircraft under terrorist control, the strategy, to end every incident without firing a shot.


PHILLIPS: But 9/11 spawned a new kind of war, with chilling new rules of engagement. In this war, the military is forced to think the unthinkable.

LT. COL. T.G. KYRAZIS, AIR FORCE: I don't think the public would have stood for anything, us firing on commercial airliners in the past. But it's been proven that, yes, something worse might happen. So we're just kind of an extension of the public will.

PHILLIPS: Lieutenant Colonel T.G. Kyrazis and Major John Black (ph) of the 125th Fighter Wing are getting ready for a routine patrol in Southeast U.S. airspace. These Florida National Guard F-15 fighter pilots are battle ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check the back end of the gun. Make sure it's all hot and the bullets are loaded in the chambers. Take out your heat-seeker. Make sure that all looks good.

PHILLIPS: We're going along on a mission that shows what might happen if a commercial airliner is hijacked. It doesn't take long before this mission is diverted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All attempts to contact this aircraft have failed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you give me a mode three on that one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five-zero-one-two, Jamie.

PHILLIPS: Something is not right with a passenger plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the 2NR battle commander. We have a nordo airliner.

PHILLIPS: Nordo, no radio contact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nordo aircraft has stopped at airlines 401, Miami to Wilmington, a metro liner.

PHILLIPS: Military intelligence and the FAA want to know everything about this airliner. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the range, how far that thing can fly on 3,400 pounds of gas.

PHILLIPS: Could this aircraft reach critical infrastructure? These commanders take no chances.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have committed Rattler 01 (INAUDIBLE) 02 out of the Jaguar cap.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your mission, intercept shadow. Commit. Bullseye, 100, 158, 21,000 track west.

PHILLIPS: Fighters now monitor Falcon Flight 401's every move. Then:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The aircraft is now squawking at 7,500 squawk.

PHILLIPS: Seventy-five hundred is the code for hijack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Change position for fighter to be intercept.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See if they can give us any indication of who's in control of the aircraft.

PHILLIPS: Pilots attempt hand signals. No response. Pilots rock their wings. Still no response.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should acknowledge with a wing rock, which she's not doing it.

PHILLIPS: Two generals are brought in and briefed, one from the Canadian Air Force, one from the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Souls on board?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sixteen, 14 passengers, two crew, one Pakistani, one Saudi, one French. The others are presumed to be of United States descent. Fighters are on it now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My concern is, we could have something else in this country. So we're going to keep our focus on this thing, but we're also going to keep focus on the rest of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The JPAC (ph) has authorized the use of flares to get the pilot's attention.

PHILLIPS: Now is the final attempt to get this pilot to respond. If he doesn't, the order could come to shoot this aircraft down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do we have the engagement authority?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir, we have engagement authority online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rapid (INAUDIBLE) flares are authorized. PHILLIPS: Flares are released.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now he's got to realize he's serious. Now he's coming left. Follow me.

PHILLIPS: The pilot finally responds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think we should ever relax. And we're going to have to continue to prosecute this enemy until they no longer present a threat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Active air scramble. Active air scramble.

PHILLIPS: A new kind of war, a new way of fighting, a battle in which a commander's best choice may be the lesser of two evils. And the battle cry is, never again.

Kyra Phillips, CNN, Tyndall Air Force Base.


ZAHN: Scrambling military jets to shoot down a passenger plane has already happened at least once. That was on September 11, 2001. Hijacked United Flight 93 was on its way towards Washington, but it plunged into the ground in Pennsylvania before military jets could reach it.

Does the shootdown policy make it more dangerous for air travelers? Charles Slepian joins us now from Portland, Oregon. He is an aviation security analyst who does not favor the routine use of fighter jets to trail airliners. And in Dallas, Texas, tonight, Captain Steve Blankenship of the Allied Pilots Association, who does agree with the policy.

Welcome to both of you.


ZAHN: Mr. Slepian, what is wrong, in this post-9/11 environment, to have these fighter jets on routine patrol?

CHARLES SLEPIAN, AVIATION SECURITY ANALYST: Well, certainly, I think the key word that you used was routine.

And if we're going to make a routine out of following commercial airliners coming into the United States to ensure that they aren't used as missiles, we have a problem with that. And the problem that I have particularly is that we can, at this stage of the game, 28 months after 9/11, make those airliners hijack proof. If you can't enter the cockpit, you can't commandeer the airplane and crash it into the ground.

It's as simple as that. If we're going to put fighter planes on airliners, then it's telling us that we haven't yet made those airliners hijack proof. It's something we can do. It's something we must emphasize. It's not acceptable that guns still get by our screening stations.

ZAHN: Mr. Blankenship, is it really necessary to see the cases we've seen of commercial planes lately being tailed by fighter jets that are not hijacked? Is it acceptable?

STEVE BLANKENSHIP, ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION: Well, I think it's more than acceptable.

I think we can't just focus on one layer of defense. We must look at multiple layers of defense, both inside and outside of the aircraft. It's also important to note that that's why the Allied Pilots Association early on pushed for the federal flight deck officer program, that is, specifically the arming of cockpit crew members, so that we could be the last line of defense. The last thing we want, flying airplanes, is to have our airplane shot down.

ZAHN: Mr. Slepian, come back to the idea of the various lines of defense. Would you acknowledge tonight that simply having these fighter jets on patrol could potentially serve as a deterrent to a hijacker?

SLEPIAN: Well, I don't think it does. Actually, even if that hijacker was able to take over the airplane and crash it into the ground, he has now something that's almost as good to him, shoot down the airplane over major city and let it kill some people on the ground, kill everybody in the airplane as well. That is not, to me, the answer.

We are neglecting the duty to ensure that our planes take off, no matter from where in the world, that they are safe, that we can't hijack them, that we know who the passengers are, and that our screening systems on the ground work. Emphasizing, as we are right now, using fighter planes as a last resort, to me, is a very, very sad state of affairs. I agree with Captain Blankenship.

If all else fails, let's give these pilots guns. But this routine use of fighter planes is a very dangerous situation.

ZAHN: Steve, what do you think the risk is of an accidental shootdown?

BLANKENSHIP: I think it's far removed from reality, quite honestly, Paula.

We have disciplined pilots in those airplanes. We have disciplined protocols and procedures. Quite honestly, chances are it's an American airlines pilot that's commanding that fighter jet, since a lot of our pilots have been called to active duty. We have protocols in place. And the last thing that I will do is talk about the issues and the specifics of our security procedures, because we just don't want to talk about that.

But we're confident as pilots that the military chain of command, the command-and-control mechanisms, are in place to ensure our customers and the flying public that they are in a safe environment. ZAHN: Captain Blankenship, we're going to leave it there, with Charles Slepian. Thank you for both of your perspectives tonight. We appreciate you joining us.

SLEPIAN: Thank you.

BLANKENSHIP: Thank you very much.

ZAHN: America votes 2004. The race heats up in Iowa among these four men. So why were half of them not even there today?

And the future of Iraq. I'll be talking with Ambassador Paul Bremer about the future of the country and what he thinks U.S. troops will be up to in over a year there.

Also, a jarring and groundbreaking new public service ad campaign aimed at young people dealing with drug abuse, eating disorders, and domestic violence.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many times have you defended him? You tell yourself it's your fault, you deserve it. Whether he's hitting you or verbally abusing you, there's no excuse.




REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You black out while campaigning in Nevada and wake up married to Britney Spears.



ZAHN: Dick Gephardt campaigning for laughs with David Letterman last night, but is he letting Iowa slip away?

Polls there have him running neck and neck with Howard Dean. And with just six days before the caucus, Gephardt and Dean are far from the state, giving John Kerry and the other candidates a chance perhaps to catch up.

Joining us in the studio is regular contributor and "TIME" magazine columnist Joe Klein. And joining us tonight from Des Moines is "Christian Science Monitor" reporter Liz Marlantes.

Good evening to both of you.




ZAHN: So, Liz, tell us how a little bit about the undecideds are moving in Iowa tonight.

MARLANTES: Well, there seems to be some movement, definitely with both the Edwards campaign and the Kerry campaign. Both candidates are moving up in the polls.

And I think that undecideds may, in fact, be breaking with those candidates, rather than with Gephardt or with Dean.

ZAHN: And can you tell which issues are driving that at this point?

MARLANTES: It seems to be a combination of things.

One of the things that I think is really interesting in these sort of final weeks of the campaign is that the main issue that has really driven the campaign all along, which was the Iraq war, has kind of receded in some ways. Dean has been trying to bring it back, actually, in recent days. He sort of brought it up a lot yesterday on the campaign trail.

But when you go out on the trail with voters and you listen to the questions they're asking, the war has almost never come up in the past few days that I've been out here. Instead, they're asking about the economy. There's more of a domestic focus.

ZAHN: Joe, explain something to me tonight. Where is Dick Gephardt in Iowa? Here you are, three of the most crucial days leading up to the caucus, and he's nowhere to be seen in Iowa, which is a make-or-break state for him, isn't it?

KLEIN: Well, it's kind of a mystery.

But Gephardt once described himself as an old pair of sneakers. And in Iowa, he's kind of an old pair of sneakers. Everybody knows him. Everybody knows who he is and what he's offering. And I would venture to say that, in the polls, where he stands at 22 or 23 percent in every poll that you see, those are the votes he's going to get.

He's going to have enough time to make one last big swing through the state, and that will happen over the weekend.

ZAHN: So what you're saying, he's pretty smart to be spending time elsewhere right now?

KLEIN: Well, he's pretty hopeful. What he's hoping to do is raise some money in other places, because, last time, in 1988, when he ran, he won Iowa and then didn't have money to compete anyplace else.

ZAHN: You were actually in New Hampshire today following Wes Clark's campaign.

KLEIN: I was in Texas and New Hampshire today with Wes Clark's campaign. And I think the interesting thing about this race is that the two hot campaigns right now are Wes Clark, who is really moving up in New Hampshire, in the absence of everybody else, and John Edwards, who I think has picked up some real steam since he was endorsed by "The Des Moines Register."

ZAHN: What are the tea leaves you're reading there, the issues, specifically?

KLEIN: Well, I think that, in both cases, these are optimistic guys, and they're not part of the mudslinging on Howard Dean.

If Liz is right that the war has been supplanted, it's been supplanted by the issue of Howard Dean. That's what everybody's talking about. And that's what Dean is talking about now, and he's begun to lambaste the press for making him the issue, a sure sign of desperation. I think he's in a little bit of trouble this week.

ZAHN: Let's go back to Iowa for a moment with Liz.

Of course, the question on a lot of people's minds is, where is the governor's wife? We have not seen the doctor in the house in Iowa.

MARLANTES: No, never.

In fact, the only time, as far as I know, that she's ever campaigned with him was the one time in Burlington, when he officially announced his candidacy. She's been almost entirely absent as a candidate's wife.

ZAHN: Is that a strange thing at this juncture of the campaign, Joe? We've seen the other wives make the rounds of television shows. A number of them made them right here.

KLEIN: You know, in a way, I kind of admire it. I mean, you know, one less look of glazed devotion, which is the standard candidate's wife's pose, is fine.

ZAHN: You're saying you don't buy into that?

KLEIN: Well, sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't.

But I think that questions are being raised about who Howard Dean is. And if you knew a little bit more about his wife, you'd have some triangulation on who he is. And that is becoming the big question in the last days before the caucus. Who is this guy? Is he just an angry guy who shoots off his mouth? Can we trust him to lead the country, lead the party?

ZAHN: Very good questions to raise. We're going to end it there tonight.

Joe Klein, Liz Marlantes, thank you for both joining us tonight.

MARLANTES: Thank you.

ZAHN: And Wal-Mart goes on the defensive over an internal report that may show the biggest retailer in the world has mistreated teenage workers.

Plus, we're going to get the very latest on the upcoming trials of Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, and Kobe Bryant.


ZAHN: We have some breaking news to report tonight.

CNN has confirmed that former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow and his wife have agreed to plead guilty to a variety of charges. Now, the plea agreements have been in limbo for a weak week. Sources say the impasse over Lea Fastow's sentence has now been resolved. She is expected to plead guilty tomorrow to a tax charge with a 10- to 16- month sentence. Her plea would come after her husband pleads guilty in a deal that involves a 10-year sentence for him.

Prosecutors hope pleas by the Fastows will lead to more charges against other Enron executives. If more information becomes available, we will bring it to you live.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart is facing some troubling new questions tonight about how it treats some of its workers. CNN has learned that an internal audit listed thousands of potential labor violations, including minors and teens working beyond legal time, employees skipping meals and missing breaks.

Joining us from Charlottesville, Virginia, Barbara Ehrenreich. She is the author of the book "Nickel and Dimed," which chronicles in part her experience working at Wal-Mart. And joining us from Las Vegas is Jon Lehman, a former Wal-Mart store manager who was with the company for 17 years.

Good to see both of you. Welcome.


ZAHN: Good evening.

Jon, did the findings of this audit surprise you?

LEHMAN: No, they didn't. In fact, I received the audit back in the year 2000 as a store manager.

ZAHN: And what was most shocking to you out of what you saw?

LEHMAN: Well, when I got the audit, I was -- I looked at it and I remember looking at it and talking to a couple friends of mine who were also store managers. And it wasn't surprising at all. In fact, it was something that I was glad to see.

ZAHN: We're going to put up on the screen now some of the findings of this audit -- quote -- that 1,371 minors were working too late at night during school hours or just too many hours in a day. It also found that 15,705 employees were working through meal times, and that 60,767 workers were not taking breaks.

So, Jon, once this audit became available to you and other store managers and it was distributed internally, did you see any changes?

LEHMAN: Well, not right away.

In fact, I was waiting for some sort of a remedy to come. I was waiting for Wal-Mart to issue some sort of a corrective action program to get this behavior and activity corrected, but that never came. Of course, we were cognizant of it in our own store and careful, as I was in my own store. But I didn't ever see any corrective action from Wal-Mart, which was disturbing.

ZAHN: Barbara, based on the image that Wal-Mart has cultivated, and confronted with this information on this internal audit, is it all a myth, the wholesome image?


The image is of something that is as American as apple pie. Wal- Mart, what could be more wholesome? And yet there's been one expose after another. This is just one in a series of exposes. This is very serious because it involves child labor, but other exposes have talked about people being forced to work overtime and getting no pay at all for that.

Now, that's essentially slave labor. It makes -- you know, it fits with my experience. When I was doing research for my book "Nickel and Dimed," I worked as a Wal-Mart floor clerk. And I was warned by my fellow workers, you know, they'll keep you after. You'll have to stay late if you don't watch out, and they won't pay you. So, you know, they just -- they're trying to squeeze labor as much as possible.


ZAHN: Let me share with both of you part of a statement that Wal-Mart released today to defend itself against these charges. You can read along with me.

"This internal audit was invalid. In some cases, associates modified their schedules to meet a personal need to leave early that day. We have been aggressive in implementing new processes to assure that associates receive breaks and meals as scheduled and that employment and work schedules of minors at Wal-Mart are in strict compliance with the law."

Jon, could this audit have been as flawed as Wal-Mart says it is?

LEHMAN: Paula, I'd like to comment on that, and I'm glad you turned to me, because it irritated me and it disturbs me that that was a comment that was made by company spokesperson Mona Williams. And I've got the comment here in front of me. In fact, I've got some other comments I'd like to refer to.

But one thing that really disturbs me, as a store manager and as what I do now, is that Wal-Mart and Mona Williams is arrogant enough to come out and put the blame on the workers. This study was done by Wal-Mart's own internal audit department, which I've dealt with on numerous occasions, most on the inventories that I had in my store. They would come in and do inventories.

They do studies. And one thing that Wal-Mart internal audit has a reputation for is being brutally honest. And they have to be unbiased, and they are. And I can't believe that Mona Williams would be so arrogant to put the blame back on the workers here. She's saying that the workers are stupid here.


ZAHN: Well, that is repeatedly what you're left with the image of from this statement from Wal-Mart, that, in fact, the results have been misinterpreted. I appreciate both of you dropping by to talk about this tonight.

Barbara and Jon, thanks for your time.

LEHMAN: Oh, thank you.

ZAHN: And the future of Iraq, the capture of Saddam Hussein is all part of my conversation with U.S. civilian administrator Paul Bremer. And hear what he has to say about this question.


ZAHN: When will Iraq be a safer place for U.S. soldiers?


ZAHN: Plus, the case against Michael Jackson. A former sex crimes prosecutor turned best-selling author tells us what it will take for the prosecution to win.


ZAHN: Here are some of the headlines you need to know at the bottom of the hour.

Former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow and his wife will accept plea deals for their roles in the company's accounting scandal. Lea Fastow is expected to plead to a tax charge, getting a 10- to 16-month prison term, while Andrew Fastow pleads to charges resulting in a 10- year prison sentence.

Meanwhile, the man in charge of steering Iraq from dictatorship to democracy says plans are proceeding for Iraqis to eventually take control of their own government, perhaps by November of this year. But U.S. administrator Paul Bremer admits, time may be running out to transfer power through direct elections.

Today, I asked him to tell us when he thinks it will be safe for American soldiers to walk the streets of Iraqi cities.


PAUL BREMER, U.S. ADMINISTRATOR FOR IRAQ: I think it's already getting better here, particularly since the capture of Saddam Hussein about a month ago. We've seen the number of attacks against the coalition drop rather significantly in the last three weeks, four weeks.

It doesn't mean we won't continue to have problems, we will. But I think we really are seeing much better cooperation from the Iraqi people now since Saddam has been captured. A lot of people who are sitting on the fence are now coming over and cooperating with the coalition, and that will help us defeat this insurgency.

ZAHN: Can you characterize for us the quality of information you're getting out of the interrogations with him?

BREMER: I can say he's not being particularly cooperative. But the capture of Saddam Hussein has provided us with a good portion of new intelligence on the organization of the insurgency, and we've been able to use that for targeted action by our military forces and may be one of the reasons we're seeing a decline in the attacks against our forces over the last three, four weeks.

ZAHN: I don't know how exposed you've been to some of the charges Secretary O'Neill has made in an explosive new book, but among them, the issue of weapons of mass destruction as almost being a false issue, that there wasn't any compelling evidence to suggest they even existed in Iraq. What is your reaction to that?

BREMER: Well, I haven't seen exactly what the former secretary said but the fact is that Iraq violated 17 consecutive U.N. security resolutions starting in the early 1990s. This was the conclusion of the previous administration and this administration. It was the conclusion of both houses of Congress. It's been the conclusion of 15 members of the security council. I think it's a pretty compelling case that people believed at the time anyway that there were real violations of the U.N. resolutions.

ZAHN: In the end, why do you think the U.S. went to war with Iraq?

BREMER: I believe the president laid out the reasons for going to war with Iraq last March, and I believe those reasons are still valid. And I think it will be seen -- and indeed is seen already -- particularly, by the vast majority of the Iraqi people -- as a major and important effort by the United States to bring freedom to 25 million people.

ZAHN: A year from now, what do you think the country will look like? How do you think it will be operating?

BREMER: A year from now, this will be a country that will have taken important steps towards democracy. I very much hope the economy will be showing even more lively signs of recovery than it is now. And it will be hopefully stable. There will still be violence here, and there will still be a threat of terrorism here because we have professional terrorists in this country now, and it takes time to get rid of them.

But I think in a year Iraqis will find themselves much better off. Incidentally, the polls are unanimous in that. Iraqis believe in a year, two years, and five years, they will be better off.

ZAHN: Lot of speculation here as to where you might be working if, in fact, there is a second Bush administration. Have you given any thought to that, sir?

BREMER: I haven't given any thought to it. My intention is to, as soon as I'm finished here, go home and sleep for three months. And then I'll worry about what I'm going to do.

ZAHN: I would have thought you deserved about seven months of straight sleep there, sir. Thank you so much for your time.

BREMER: I'll take it.


ZAHN: My interview with Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq.

Well, it is one thing when your political enemies criticize you, but this week the president finds himself taking flack from a former treasury secretary and part of the U.S. military.

Our next guest thinks that may prove what critics of the president have been saying all along. Paul Krugman is an columnist for the "New York Times." He also happens to teaches economics at Princeton university. His latest book is called the "The Great Unraveling, Losing Our Way in the New Century." And I asked him the meaning of the report from the Army War College which called Iraq "a dangerous detour in the war on terrorism."


PAUL KRUGMAN, COLUMNIST, THE "NEW YORK TIMES": This report doesn't dispute that it was an evil regime and bad stuff, but it's saying, look, we have limited resources. We had one specific kind of threat, and rather than focusing on that specific threat, which is from al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalists terrorists, the Bush administration -- it doesn't say the Bush administration, but just generally the U.S. broadened this to an assault on evil wherever it is, which would be a good thing if we had the resources, but we don't and, in fact, we've dropped the ball.

ZAHN: Do you agree with that? Are you basically acknowledging it's a good thing Saddam Hussein is gone?

KRUGMAN: Of course. It's a good thing Saddam is gone. It's a bad thing that Osama hasn't been caught, and it's a bad thing that Afghanistan is not doing well, that the Taliban has had a resurgence. The trouble is that there was a linkage by taking resources off the primary goal, by not focusing on the people who actually attacked us and going after a bad guy who was, however effectively contained. We have allowed the primary, our primary concern to deteriorate. We haven't done -- this was a mistake in priorities.

ZAHN: Let's move on now to some of the continuing fallout from Treasury Secretary O'Neill and what is said in a book that he helped out on. One of the things he says is that during a cabinet meeting he heard Dick Cheney utter a phrase that deficits don't matter. Does that come as any surprise to you?

KRUGMAN: I'm surprised it was that blunt. What's important, by the way, is to say that not very far in time from that remark, Cheney in public said I am a deficit hawk. That's telling you what they say in private and claim to be in public is very different. It's one of many moments like that in the book.

ZAHN: Let me ask you this. Is there anything you've seen in the public polling you've been exposed to that would suggest the American public gives a darn about budget deficits?

KRUGMAN: Very little. There's a little bit of concern out there, but it's quite possible a budget deficit is rather an abstract thing. But they should be concerned, right? It does -- in fact, deficits do matter.

If the import of what you're saying is that these guys might be able to roll through having irresponsible fiscal policy, no one will notice it until after November, that may be true but it's also, as I say, awfully cynical. The key message of this book done in cooperation with O'Neill is that this is an administration where politics trumps the national interest every time, and this is just part of that story.

ZAHN: Well what about some of the improvements we've seen in the economy? Some economists attributing that to the tax cut.

KRUGMAN: Well, some of it is, but there could have been other things that wouldn't have burdened the budget forever, the way the tax cut is that would have done the same thing. It's worth reminding people that for most people what matters is jobs and wages, and neither of those is growing at a rate that makes any difference at all.

The labor market, by most measures, is as bad or worse now than it was six months ago, which means that unless you derive most of your income from stocks and investments, you're probably -- you're not seeing any improvement at all.

ZAHN: And what do you foresee down the road on election day?

KRUGMAN: If I have to make my guess, I would say that the economy will be good enough for Bush to claim victory and bad enough for Democrats to say you call that success, and the election will actually hinge on other things.

ZAHN: Like?

KRUGMAN: Like how things are going in Iraq, perceptions of honesty, on the whole question of administration, double dealing, on its -- there are a number of scandals that are simmering just under the surface. Whether they actually make a difference in the public perception is going to have a lot to do with the election. ZAHN: Paul Krugman. We appreciate your dropping by. Thanks so much for your perspective.

KRUGMAN: Thank you.


ZAHN: And the future of space exploration, President Bush is about to announce a return to the moon. Can the United States afford it?

Also, the latest try at changing young people's destructive behavior with TV commercials. We'll check out a new campaign with a frank and direct approach to getting help.


AD ANNOUNCER: You eat your way into oblivion. Nobody knows your secret. Nobody but John.



ZAHN: Tomorrow President Bush will unveil his proposal for a new era of space travel and a manned mission to mars. Miles O'Brien previews the plan and how the administration wants to pay for it.


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 30 years NASA has been flying in circles, and now it's getting a whole new direction. The Bush plan, in a nutshell, finish the international space station, retire the aging space shuttle fleet, and then move on to the moon first and then ultimately to Mars.

SEN. BILL NELSON (D), FLORIDA: I don't think it's dead on arrival. I think it will be debated. It's a question of how much they're going to ask for how soon.

O'BRIEN: To start the ball rolling, high ranking administration sources say they will ask Congress for 5 percent annual increases in NASA's billion dollar budget for the next five years. The proposal calls for putting the space shuttle in museums by 2010. NASA will then put all its eggs into a new crew exploration vehicle, which could reach the moon possibly by 2013 to test technology and offer a way station to the red planet, which could loom as a destination ten years later.

Is it enough?

NELSON: The first year after Kennedy announced the Apollo program, the NASA budget was doubled, and in the second year, it's doubled again. That's not realistic today. But 5 percent a year increases is not going to get us to the moon by 2013. O'BRIEN (on camera): NASA officials say it is enough to get started, and they're counting on using money from the space station and shuttle programs as they wind down. Ultimately, it could mean NASA will be without a vehicle to carry humans to space for at least three years. The agency says it will be worth the wait for a mission like it has never had before.

Miles O'Brien, CNN, Washington.


ZAHN: So is the exploration worth the price?

Joining us now, Rick Chappell, former NASA mission scientist. He is now a research professor of physics at Vanderbilt University where he is director of the Dire Observatory.

And Chellie Pingree the president of Common Cause.

She joins us from Washington. Welcome to both of you.



Chellie, we'll start with you this evening. Let's take a look at California, Texas, Florida -- all big electoral states with big space centers that could potentially benefit from this mission.

How much of this is about science?

How much of it is about politics?

PINGREE: I think it raises some concern in a political year. I think the question is would this be a national priority?

Has there been a consensus or dialogue that this is the first thing we'd want to do with our money, or is this an election year splash that may not even mean much or may not be in fact what the American public wants to be doing with its investment and with its own dollars?

ZAHN: So how would you answer that?

PINGREE: How would I answer?

ZAHN: You raised both possibilities. Whether this is something people have been clamoring for and whether you can justify the expense.

PINGREE: I think Americans -- we're watching what's going on in mars right now and we love a bold new idea, but I think if you ask most people in the American public what would be the bold idea that means so much to you, it would be health care for all citizens, it would be education for every child that would be a good one. It might be energy self sufficiency, which would be a wonderful scientific endeavor, particularly in this time when we have huge concerns about oil in the other parts of the world. So, I think it will raise concerns. I think the president has not looked good on the close association he has with defense contractors, and now he might be saying does this have to do with making sure money is going into the pocket of close allies and making a big splash in an election year?

ZAHN: Rick, you come at this from a different perspective. From your scientific background, walk through concrete differences that space explorations have had made in all of our lives?

CHAPPELL: Well, of course, the thing about the moon/mars initiative is that it is a grand challenge for this country that would engage our creative scientists and engineers and particularly influence our futures scientists and engineers who are making career decisions in school right now. These creative people in undertaking something like this come up with technologies that are phenomenal, that are then used in new products and new jobs and all of that.

And, Paula, there are just thousands of these technologies, 10s of thousands, that have come out of space exploration in general. Examples are the multi-layer insulation in ski jacket that's we all wear. The lenses on our sunglasses. The software in our CD players that makes -- takes the noise out and makes them work. There's just thousands and thousands of things that come out of this. And our country needs to stimulate this sort of activity through grand challenges like this one that's being suggested.

ZAHN: Chellie, NASA sources tell CNN, when you look at the numbers, President Bush intends to ask for about a 5 percent increase in NASA's budget in the upcoming years, if you look at that through the overall federal budget that tops $2 trillion, are you talking about just a drop in the bucket here?

PINGREE: I think one of the concerns is that we were told the Iraq war would be over in a few weeks and cost not much money and now we are hearing 87 billion is a down payment. I think one of the concerns is would that realistically be the kind of money we need, particularly at a time when people are worried about growing budget deficits, they are worried about not enough jobs in this country, and again might have better ways to invest that money that might be more fiscally prudent. One of the questions is this like your teenager coming to you and saying, hey, I want to buy a new car before I invest in college or your 10-year-old saying I want to eat my dessert before I eat my vegetables. I think we do need bold idea's in this country. We do need inspiration. But there's a lot of ways we can invest in immediate needs that would change people's lives. And again, I'm not sure this process has involved yet a dialogue and debate that really has included the American public on what our major concerns are.

ZAHN: Chellie Pingree of Common Cause, Rick Chappell of Vanderbilt University, thank you for joining us.

PINGREE: Thank you.

CHAPPELL: Thank you, Paula.

ZAHN: Jennifer Lopez, Catherine Zeta Jones providing the voices on jarring new ads that ask people to help themselves.


JENNIFER LOPEZ, ENTERTAINER: self esteem is an inside job. There will always be someone prettier and smarter, tall and thinner and funnier -- don't compare.


ZAHN: Is there a rush to judgment against Kobe Bryant. We are going to with a former sex crime prosecutor who has some surprising things to say about this case.


ZAHN: Welcome back. Some of Hollywood's biggest stars are lending their voices to a new series of ads that deal with drugs, bulimia, depression, domestic violence and more. They have been applauded for break through approaches helping empower you people to face tough head on.

Joining us from Los Angeles is Dr. Drew Pinsky, a specialist on addiction as well as a frequent contributor on this program.

Always good to see you, Doctor, welcome.


ZAHN: We're going to start off by taking a look at some of these PSAS. This targets domestic abuse, and a very familiar voice is involved, that of Halle Berry.


HALLE BERRY, ENTERTAINER: He loves you when he's hitting you or just when he's trying to win you back?

How many times have you defended him?

You tell yourself it's your fault, you deserve it. Whether he's hitting you or verbally abusing you, there's no excuse. It will happen again. Lie to yourself, defend him all you want. You'll lose your life trying. Walk before it's too late. Your choice.


ZAHN: You've seen a lot of these ads. Did this ad work? Will it be effective?

PINSKY: Oh, I think so. These are really for me a paradigm shift of PSAs. Really, PSAs are designed to first provide information then to motivate to action and to suggest an action. This very subtly gives all three. It's designed in such a way that young people will respond to it extremely well. What I love about this is people didn't wait for research to tell them these were good ads. A couple of people got together and had an instinct about what would work and lo and behold, they produced something and executed something wonderful.

ZAHN: Let's take a look at another PSA. This has to do with the issue of drug abuse, something you're quite familiar with and something you fight all the time in your clinic out there. It's narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker.


AD ANNOUNCER: Why do you use? Pop some pills, exhale your anxiety or numb your pain? You may feel you're filling a deep void within you. Using only makes it worse. That well of pain is a bottomless pit. Reach in. Face your problems. Deal with them. It's your choice.


ZAHN: What you got to help me understand here tonight is you say these folks who made these ads weren't sitting around waiting for research to tell them this approach would work. What is so radically different about this approach?

PINSKY: Well, there's a couple -- it's subtle, isn't it? First of all, they are going at topics, a broad range of topics, eating disorders, depression, self esteem. And they're not just trying to frighten kids. They're not just trying to get them not to initiate these behaviors, they're helping them identify whether they're engaged in these behaviors, and there's a subtle suggestion that they're empowered not just to not do these things, but to get treatment.

To me, it speaks volumes about how our stigma about these mental health conditions have reduced and treatment now is an option for people. We live in a day when treatment works and these PSAs are suggesting that people have a choice not just not to do these behaviors but perhaps to get some help with them as well.

For a young person to hear these messages, it's a hard message to deliver. They elicit now celebrities, and celebrities provide a trustful and relatable source for young kids to be brought into these messages. I think these work remarkably well.

ZAHN: But it's a different use of celebrities. Because it's just our hearing their voices. You aren't seeing their faces. You aren't seeing movies and books they're associated with. Just animated creatures.

PINSKY: It's subtle, isn't it? I think that speaks again about how adolescents like being approached. They don't like being sold to, be told what to do. By the time we figure out the kinds of things they like, they've moved onto something else. In this case, we have something subtle, approachable, very real, and they like stuff that is very, as is the case in these ads, blatantly real. They get that.

And then when they have a voice that they kind of recognize and trust, somebody they can relate to, it's not somebody saying, hey, don't do drugs or the kinds of messages that have been out there so long now, this is a more subtle and evolved way to approach a PSA. ZAHN: Well, I think we all want them to work, don't we? Thank you, doctor.

PINSKY: Indeed we do.

ZAHN: The defendants at the center of the three biggest cases of this year, we're going to get the latest on each from best-selling author and former sex crimes prosecutor, Linda Fairstein.


ZAHN: There will be no news cameras in the courtroom when Michael Jackson is arraigned on child molestation charges on Friday. Joining us to look at Michael Jackson case and more, Linda Fairstein, former head of the sex crimes unit of the New York district attorney's office, and she also happens to be the author of a brand new book out today called "The Kills."

It's always good to see you, welcome. Let's start out by talking about the Michael Jackson case. Do you think the prosecution has a sound case?

LINDA FAIRSTEIN, AUTHOR, "THE KILLS": I would hope the prosecution has a sound case. There's a history between this prosecutor and the defendant, and I'd like to make sure he wouldn't go out and try this again if you didn't have the case and the facts.

ZAHN: But as a prosecutor, how do you deal with a videotaped statement, an affidavit by the same accuser who suggested nothing bad, nothing inappropriate happened there?

FAIRSTEIN: As a prosecutor, you'd have to know the reason for this inconsistency. There is nothing more devastating to a case than a tape that will show your witness saying the counterside, the exact opposite of what he or she is saying in court. There has to be an awfully good reason for it, or that too may not survive the direct case of a prosecutor.

ZAHN: Onto the Kobe Bryant case now. This is an area of the law you've had a tremendous amount of exposure to. How do you think that case is shaping up?

FAIRSTEIN: I think the prosecution went out on this way too early.

ZAHN: Why?

FAIRSTEIN: Well, I think most of us were shocked a few months back to find out there were two separate DNA profiles when this young lady turned up at the hospital with her underwear and the medical exam. I thought for a long time, as did many other lawyers in this country, to prevent a victim's sexual history from being an issue at this trial.

ZAHN: That's exactly what this trial will be about, her sexual history, how many partners she had? FAIRSTEIN: If there was a sexual interaction with someone else after she claims she and Kobe Bryant had this event together and before she went to the police, everybody is entitled to scrutinize that. For 30 years I have prosecuted these cases, and I have never had a sexual assault victim who claimed to have been raped and went home and had a sexual encounter consensually with someone else before reporting the rape.

ZAHN: Are you suggesting you do not believe this accuser?

FAIRSTEIN: No, I'm not suggesting that. I'm suggesting the prosecution should never have charged when they did without knowing there was a second DNA profile and without knowing whose profile that is.

ZAHN: Finally, let's look at the Scott Peterson case. Scott has change of venue. Will that have a major impact, you think, on the outcome of this trial?

FAIRSTEIN: I don't think so. I think -- and in this case, the Peterson case, I think the prosecution and the police have done an extraordinary job in preventing leaks. I assume there's an extraordinary amount of evidence and information found in the search of the home and on the boat that will be the pieces of this puzzle put together. But I think once we get beyond the talking heads, that this is a case -- there will be solid evidence to present no matter what the venue.

ZAHN: Linda, finally, I'm going to put you on the spot here. Verdict scorecard. Michael Jackson, you think a jury will find what?

FAIRSTEIN: I think he's probably guilty. Not sure a jury will find it, but the prosecution mounts the case correctly, perhaps they will.

ZAHN: Kobe Bryant?

FAIRSTEIN: I think we may find he should never have been charged in this case. Maybe successfully by his team have a motion to dismiss before the trial as the evidence unfolds. I think he'd be acquitted by a jury.

ZAHN: Scott Peterson?

FAIRSTEIN: I think Scott Peterson is the easiest of these cases for a prosecutor to try, and I think from the evidence we know -- and I assume there's more -- that he will be found guilty by an intelligent jury.

ZAHN: Looks like a case you might have been comfortable trying yourself.

FAIRSTEIN: I would love to be in the middle of that one.

ZAHN: Linda Fairstein, we always appreciate your insight. Thank you. And we want to thank you all for being with us tonight. Thanks so much for joining us. "Larry King Live" is next. Have a good night, hope you'll be back with us again tomorrow night.


Facing Accusations of Labor Violations>

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.