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PAULA ZAHN NOW

New Videotape of Missing U.S. Soldier?; Reforming American Intelligence

Aired April 16, 2004 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. I'm Paula Zahn.
It is Friday, April 16, 2004.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN (voice-over): There is frightening new videotape out of Iraq tonight. It shows a missing U.S. soldier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keith Matthew Maupin.

ZAHN: How do you free hostage? Tonight, the Reverend Jesse Jackson tells us about the delicate life-or-death work of hostage negotiators.

In the wake of September 11, does the U.S. need a single intelligence agency or at least a single person in charge of everything?

For some women, sororities are the center of college life. How far will they go to be accepted? An author goes undercover to find out.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Also ahead tonight, brand-new pictures from the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Plus, guns and politics. Find out why some National Rifle Association members are not very happy with the Bush administration.

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

British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with President Bush at the White House today. They reaffirmed their commitment to achieving peace in Iraq, as well as between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Spanish police have arrested three more suspects in connection with the March 11 train bombings. The two suspects are from Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Retired Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien of Phoenix has decided not to appeal his conviction in a hit-and-run case. He was sentenced last month to four years probation, plus 1,000 hours of community service for leaving the scene of a fatal accident. "In Focus" tonight, new anxiety over the plight of Western captives in Iraq. This afternoon, all eyes were on the Arabic TV network Al-Jazeera. It broadcast a videotape showing a man in uniform. A voice on the tape says, we have taken one of the U.S. soldiers hostage.

Let's turn to CNN Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre, who has more details now from Washington.

Good evening, Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, good evening, Paula.

On that tape aired by Al-Jazeera, the young soldier is seen as identifying himself as Private 1st Class Keith Matthew Maupin. Now, the Pentagon is not officially confirming it's him, but there's no reason to suspect the tape at this point is not genuine. And we do know that 20-year-old Private Maupin has been missing since April 9, when there was an attack on a convoy of fuel trucks outside Baghdad.

On this tape, the hostage takers insist that the captive is in good health and being treated, but they said based on the tenets of Islamic law for the treatment of soldiers taken hostage. Again, he's one of the people missing after this incident on April 9, which also resulted in 40-year-old Elmer Krause and several American contractors who worked for the Halliburton subsidiary KBR also being reported missing at that point.

This picture of Maupin shows him from his high school yearbook and clearly shows that he is pretty much the same person we see on the tape. Now, the only demands made by these hostage takers at this time is for -- quote -- to "trade" him for hostages or for prisoners being held by the U.S. military, but the U.S. says it will not deal with hostage takers. Instead, its efforts are to find the hostage takers, to find the insurgents and to attempt to either free the hostages or secure their release by other means -- Paula.

ZAHN: What is the Pentagon saying tonight about who these abductors might be?

MCINTYRE: Well, they don't know. Obviously, they believe they're part of the insurgency, but as for whether they were Sunni Muslims who they're fighting in the north, or in the Fallujah area, or the backers of Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric in the south, they're not saying. They really don't have a good idea who they're dealing with here.

ZAHN: Jamie McIntyre, thanks so much for the update.

And tonight, friends and family of private 1st Class Keith Maupin are gathering in his hometown of Batavia, Iowa, to show their solidarity and pray for his safe return.

ZAHN: And a little bit earlier today, the Reverend Jesse Jackson called for the religious leaders in Iraq to assist in securing the release of all the hostages.

Reverend Jackson joins me now from Chicago. He has negotiated the release of hostages over the years.

Good to see you, Reverend Jackson. Welcome.

REV. JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Good to see you.

ZAHN: Why do you have so much faith in the religious leadership in Iraq that they might effect the return of these hostages?

JACKSON: Well, each time, we were blessed to bring Americans home, whether it was Iraq, or Syria, or Yugoslavia, or Cuba, religion leaders played a very significant role in their release.

If there's any bright light at this point, it is that when Jessica Lynch and her allies and Shoshana Johnson were held captive, they were treated in a dignified way and they were not harmed. We hope that happens in the case of Mr. Hamill, as well as our soldier who is there. Whenever hostages are released, it creates some window of hope.

And so you can only appeal with humility those whose voices have an impact and urge them to appeal to them to please let their hostages go.

ZAHN: You might have just heard Jamie McIntyre's report. He's saying the Pentagon tonight can't even confirm who has taken these hostages. We're not sure if they're Sunni Muslims or Shiites or who they are at this hour.

JACKSON: And that's what makes it difficult, because in the other instances when I went, there was some identifiable leader.

In this case, you have to do a kind of to whom it may concern. Again, the Japanese who were held captive were set free. And that is a window. Unfortunately, an Italian was killed. And that was an attempt to send a message of intimidation. But, certainly, when people are in that predicament, I have always attempted to appreciate their pain without necessarily agreeing with their politics, so to show enough empathy and sympathy and respect as to have some credibility in making the moral appeal for their release, in the case of a good many soldiers and in the case of the others who were in fact civilians.

ZAHN: Reverend Jackson, I wanted to move on to some comments Senator John McCain made last night about the potential fate of American hostage Thomas Hamill. And I understand you were quite critical of the what the senator had to say.

Let's all listen to that together right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The message to these brutal, unspeakable scum is, if you harm him, we will track you down. We will find you, and you will pay.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Why do you believe the senator's comments will actually compromise the government's ability to get Mr. Hamill back safely?

JACKSON: Well, the fact is, it is a threat to people that we have no power or relationship with and or any leverage over.

And so to be on the "LARRY KING" show talking directly to Iraq, calling them terrorists and scumbags, will incite them in fact to prove their point. And if they were to kill our allies there, Mr. McCain has no capacity to do anything. And so at this time it's no time to be bluffing. Pride precedes the fall. Somehow, in these cases, humility and sensitivity can be exalting.

ZAHN: But, Reverend Jackson, with all due respect, how would you characterize the thugs who have taken these Americans hostage?

JACKSON: Well, I'll tell you what, name-calling will not get you the desired result. You're trying to appeal to the most humane element in their society. There may be those who are holding them, or there may be those who know those who are holding them. You're trying to make an appeal to build some kind of bridge.

And so name-calling and calling them terrorists and thugs and let's get it on, that kind of street language really has no effective place in sensitive diplomacy.

ZAHN: Reverend Jackson, appreciate your thoughts tonight. Thanks so much.

Just a programming note here. We did make a call to Senator McCain's office and they declined to comment.

Despite the hostage taking and violence in Iraq, President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair came out of a meeting resolved to stand firm. They are also sticking to the June 30 deadline for turning over sovereignty, something that will be done with the help of the United Nations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This week, we've seen the outlines of a new Iraqi government that will take the keys of sovereignty. We welcome the proposals presented by the U.N. special envoy Brahimi. He's identified a way forward to establishing an interim government that is broadly acceptable to the Iraqi people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Joining me now from Fallujah is Tony Perry, a correspondent with "The Los Angeles Times."

Tony, thanks very much for being with us tonight.

Bring us up to date on the status of the meetings between coalition folks and civic leaders in Fallujah.

TONY PERRY, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, it's been a relatively quiet night. We've had less airpower tonight than almost any night since we've been here, almost two weeks now.

The Marines, 3,700 of them, are dug in in locations around Fallujah. They're there, they're powerful, they're ready. But the lull inside the city is holding. We haven't had as many assaults on Marine positions as we've had in previous nights.

All throughout the lull or cease-fire, whatever you call it, the insurgents have been attacking the Marines. That doesn't seem to be the case tonight. So this is really the quietest night we've had, although we still have got several hours of darkness yet. We could yet have some gunfire.

ZAHN: Can you bring us up to date on the status of any ongoing negotiations at this hour that might better hold this uneasy truce?

PERRY: All I know is they're talking. The mayor of Fallujah is talking. The city council, if it will, is talking to people, and, of course, the ruling Iraqi Governing Council is also talking.

The problem is who are they talking to? It's unclear, at least to the Marines, who speaks for the insurgents, if anybody speaks for them. Is there one group, five groups, 10 groups? Are there freelancers? Are there new groups coming in sneaking in from Syria or Jordan or wherever? So it's a very amorphous group that is out there numbering anywhere from the high hundreds to the mid-thousands of insurgents who are fighting the Marines.

So it's unclear if you can negotiate with the people who really don't have any sort of leadership or command-and-control structure that you can talk to. So I think the optimism that we can reach some sort of settlement where they will lay down their arms, stop fighting, stop terrorizing the people of Fallujah, I think is a guarded optimism, because we're really not even sure who they are, what's on their mind, what their agenda is.

ZAHN: Tony Perry of "The L.A. Times," thanks so much for the update.

And joining me now to talk more about Fallujah and the U.N.'s new role is Iraq is "Newsweek" international editor Fareed Zakaria. He also happens to be the author of "The Future of Freedom: A Liberal Democracy at Home and Abroad," now out in paperback.

Good to see you.

FAREED ZAKARIA, AUTHOR, "THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM": Always great to be here.

ZAHN: First of all, your reaction to some of what you've heard coming out of Iraq tonight, about the status of hostages and any ongoing efforts to try to figure out who has taken these soldiers and Americans hostage. ZAKARIA: Well, I think the crucial thing here is to recognize how bad our intelligence is.

Your Pentagon correspondent made a very interesting point, that we don't actually even know whether the hostage takers are the Sunni insurgents in the north or the Shia militia in the south. That's been our problems in dealing with Iraq and dealing with these flare-ups of violence. We don't know who the people are.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Well, how can that be? Why is the intelligence so bad?

ZAKARIA: That's a good question. Because we don't have many Arabic speakers. We have not really tried to address this politically, and as a result, when these things happen, we use massive force, as we did in Fallujah, but it's entirely indiscriminate.

We're not actually hitting the bad guys. We're hitting town that the bad guys came from, we think. And, as a result, you produce more sympathy for the insurgency. This is a classic guerrilla tactic. You hit so that you force the occupying army to hit back and create more sympathy for your cause.

ZAHN: Could you really have anticipated the strength of this insurgency move? Are you critical of the administration for not having had a much tighter plan in Fallujah?

ZAKARIA: You couldn't have predicted the exact strength of the entire insurgency, but there are two things you could have predicted.

One, postwar operations over the '90s have always required many more troops than we have there. Almost every study done suggested we needed at least 300,000, maybe 500,000 troops. And, secondly, you could have known that there would be some popular support for anti- Americanism, just because we're foreigners. We've come into this country. We have an image problem in the Middle East. We're seen in a certain light.

So much of this could have been predicted. The strength of the insurgency has taken everyone, including myself, by surprise.

ZAHN: On to the U.N. President Bush today endorsing Lakhdar Brahimi's proposal for greatly expanding the role of the U.N. in Iraq. Is that an about-face for the president?

ZAKARIA: Oh, it's a huge about-face, because we ridiculed the U.N. one year ago when Tony Blair made precisely this proposal. And it's an about-face not simply because of that, but Brahimi's plan effectively sidelines the United States. It says that the U.N. will choose the new Iraqi government. And it sidelines our hand-picked Governing Council.

So it really is a change in policy, but that's why it might work, because the current policy was clearly running into a dead end. Brahimi has given us a way of gracefully turning around. And now it's still a very tough call.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: A tough call at a time when the American public is extremely cynical about the effectiveness of the U.N.?

ZAKARIA: Right.

And all I would say about it is look at -- nation-building is very tough. We haven't done a great job at it in the last year. Let's give the U.N. a little bit of time. They have fewer resources than we do, but they actually have some experience over the '90s and it might come to use. Most importantly, they're not seen as the 8,000-pound gorilla that runs the world. You see, the U.N.'s very weakness in a strange sense is its strength here.

ZAHN: Fareed Zakaria, thank you for dropping by as we head into the weekend here.

ZAKARIA: Thank you.

ZAHN: Coming up, the U.S. military steps up its hunt for Osama bin Laden. The latest tape believed to be from the al Qaeda leader surfaced just yesterday.

And senior international Nic Robertson has been with U.S. soldiers searching for bin Laden in Afghanistan. He joins us now from Khost.

Nic, good evening.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Paula.

Well, today, Joint Chiefs of Staff General Myers visited Kabul. He said that he thought there were enough troops inside Afghanistan to pursue their hunt for Osama bin Laden. He couldn't say when the al Qaeda leader would be caught. The troops here are focusing their efforts on generating the sort of intelligence that will lead them to where Osama bin Laden is, lead them perhaps to his associates, and certainly deny him terribly.

This is a very painstakingly slow process. What the troops here are engaged in is going into some of the most remote parts of Afghanistan within a few days walk of the Pakistan border, listening to the communities in those areas, listening to what they need, to what they want, helping give them confidence that security is being returned to their areas, and at the same time trying to encourage them that wherever they have any key information about al Qaeda or Taliban, to pass that on to coalition forces.

But it is a time-consuming job, driving up the remote valleys, taking time, sitting, drinking tea with village elders, having lunch, a very slow, time-consuming process that, so far, troops here admit hasn't produced any key information that would lead them directly to Osama bin Laden -- Paula. ZAHN: Nic, you were out there with the soldiers. Can you give us any sense at all as to what you think the quality of the intelligence was that they were operating from?

ROBERTSON: It seems to be a relatively new intelligence base. They do have intelligence of who the key people were operating under the Taliban supporting al Qaeda. They have gone after those key people. They've gone after them at senior levels. Many of the senior people have fled.

They've gone after their lower lieutenants, and they've gone after the people those lower lieutenants have been paying recently to plant improvised explosive devices at the roadside targeting U.S. troops. For instance, the troops here, their Christmas dinner convoy that was coming here over the winter was targeted and blown up.

There is a serious intelligence network out there that knows when their convoys and local trucks are on the road. So they are tackling some remnants of the al Qaeda and/or Taliban, and they are getting them and picking them up. But the key leading figures who they've known about from the past, those people, many of them are still yet to be brought in, Paula.

ZAHN: Nic Robertson, thanks so much.

Change of focus a little bit here. Should a single person oversee the CIA, the FBI and all the other intelligence operations? We're going to hear from two senators with some considerable influence in intelligence matters.

And NRA backed the president last election, but how dependable is their vote this time?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: A powerful new post, a director of national intelligence, is being considered by the White House. He would oversee the nation's 15 sometimes squabbling intelligence agencies.

At this week's 9/11 hearings, many commissioners seem to be in favor of creating such a post. Is it a good idea?

Well, joining us now to talk about that, Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, who serves on the Select Committee on Intelligence. Also with us is Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who served on the committee for eight years. He took part in that same committee's investigation of intelligence failures after 9/11.

Good to see both of you.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: So, Senator Shelby, why do you support the idea of creating this new agency?

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: I support the idea because I believe that we are going to have to really have a czar or a national director to bring all of our 15 intelligence agencies together under one roof, where they can cooperate more, where they can share information, where one person has control of the budget.

ZAHN: Senator Bayh, you've got the head of the FBI and the CIA very opposed to this idea. Do you understand their concerns?

SEN. EVAN BAYH (D), INDIANA: Well, I'm not sure of the head of the CIA is so opposed. He was a little reluctant to speak his mind for fear of starting a bureaucrat turf war.

But, you know, look, I support the idea as well, along with Richard and others. It was recommended by Brent Scowcroft, a very knowledgeable individual, a close adviser to the first President Bush. And Richard is right, Paula. We simply are not going to make progress in the war on terror unless we have someone in charge of setting priorities, allocating resources and holding all those 15 agencies you mentioned accountable for achieving results.

ZAHN: Senator Shelby, this plan was drafted more than a year ago, and a lot is being made of the timing of this. Do you think that it's being talked about publicly now to preempt the sting of any possible 9/11 Commission report?

SHELBY: If the timing is right, that's what counts. Sometimes you have to have problems to get problems solved, and the commission is coming behind what we did on the joint investigation. And I hope that the president is listening, because he has a great opportunity to change the intelligence community. But it will take his leadership to get it through.

ZAHN: Senator Bayh, other forms being considered are the creation of a domestic intelligence agency. Is that a good idea?

BAYH: I tend to favor that as well, Paula.

We're in the process of trying to reform of FBI to enable them to do a better job with regard to counterterrorism domestically. They're a great law enforcement agency, but they were never really intended to be an intelligence agency. And I think we need to look carefully at what our major allies who have the most experience in this area, the Israelis and the British, have done, which is to have a separate domestic anti-terror agency whose only priority is fighting terrorism.

Currently, the bureau has to fight drugs, bank robberies, auto theft, all that kind of thing, in addition to terrorism. I think we need to seriously consider a single agency that focuses like a laser on fighting terrorism.

ZAHN: Senator Shelby, this week's hearings brought to light some of the serious problems that exist particularly in communications between the CIA and the FBI. Should George Tenet keep his job?

SHELBY: Well, I've always said that's up to the president.

George Tenet has got not about nine lives, but 27 political lives. He wouldn't be working for me. But he's still working for the president. He does have a lot of talent in some areas, but he keeps on saying that it's somebody else's fault. You know, it's never his fault. He's never accountable. But we're all accountable, but one of the problems of the intelligence community, no one steps forward to accept accountable. No one has been fired, to my knowledge, because of the failures of intelligence leading up to September the 11th.

ZAHN: Senator Bayh, do you agree with that assessment?

BAYH: I agree with Richard that it's ultimately up to the president to hold those who work for him accountable. And mistakes have been made, Paula. And I have told Mr. Tenet directly -- and I do have a high regard for George -- I told him directly, look, the American people understand that we're all human and that mistakes are made, but what they won't tolerate is the unwillingness to step forward and admit mistakes and most importantly of all do what it takes to make sure they don't happen again.

ZAHN: Thank you for joining us with your thoughts tonight, Senators Shelby and Bayh.

(CROSSTALK)

ZAHN: Have a great weekend.

An American civilian voluntarily ventures into the treacherous streets of Fallujah. What was he doing there? We'll show you.

And there is a new reality in Hollywood. Ordinary people and the occasional real estate mogul are becoming big stars. What's that doing to show business celebrities?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: The city of Fallujah is just about the most dangerous place in Iraq right now, so what was a civilian American doing there in the first place?

Jim Clancy reports from Baghdad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): David Martinez will remember the casualties being carried into the emergency room. He won't forget the gunmen firing weapons or the bullet holes in his ambulance. Martinez is a Mexican-American who volunteered to go into Fallujah bringing bundles of blankets and medical supplies.

DAVID MARTINEZ, VOLUNTEER: Well, most of the city is shuttered down. People are staying in their homes. A lot of people are trying to leave. And the entire community of Fallujah has come out to defend it against this attack by the Americans.

CLANCY: Fallujah's civilians have paid the price in blood.

MARTINEZ: There was definitely women and children brought in. It's hard to say who was a fighter. Young men come in. Middle-aged men come in. They've got gunshot wounds. I'm not about to go up and ask them, were you fighting or not? They're not brought in with weapons.

The man we retrieved on the street was definitely unarmed, but another guy we retrieved who was dead was armed.

CLANCY: Martinez tried to document some of what he saw and what he heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When they decide to go, one of the snipers sniped them, the American snipers.

MARTINEZ: Mainly, they just want to get out. They're scared. They've seen a lot of death. When we approached the man who had been killed, the whole family poured out, just hysterical: Why couldn't we have been there earlier? Why did they shoot our father? Please, can you help us get out of here?

CLANCY: From the other side of the lines, U.S. Marines say they're only responding to fire coming from the town. Coalition spokesmen angrily deny civilians targeted. They say the civilians are used as human shields.

The Marines say ambulances have been used to transport arms and explosives, but they don't shoot at them unless they're fired upon. Martinez says there were no arms in his ambulance when it was hit by sniper fire, but he can't be sure who was doing the shooting.

MARTINEZ: What I know is that a clearly marked ambulance was fired on.

SHELBY: Martinez didn't see any foreign fighters, but he says he couldn't go everywhere or see everything. So what is the truth? What's really happening in Fallujah? Martinez admits that, even having been there, the truth is elusive.

MARTINEZ: No, I don't have all the answers. Like I say, we mainly worked at the hospital. We didn't go out with any fighters.

CLANCY (on camera): On their last day in Fallujah, the fighters found them. David Martinez and some of his colleagues were detained. Though treated well and released the next day, with all the hostage taking, they wonder about going back.

His account leaves no doubt that there are innocent civilians being killed and wounded, no doubt, too, that their suffering will only end when the fighting comes to an end.

Jim Clancy, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: Challenges and dangers to the Kerry campaign as the candidate launches a new effort to define his image.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kelly Wallace in Pittsburgh. Is the NRA guaranteed to vote for President Bush? More on that coming up.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And the story of a lifelong friendship between a young girl and her concentration camp liberator, a Japanese-American soldier whose family also spent the war behind barbed wire.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And we're back. Here are some of the headlines you need to know right now.

They may be staying longer in Iraq, but at least they'll be getting paid extra staying longer. The Pentagon announced that troops who've had their stays extended will get an extra $1,000 a month.

There are a couple test cases headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and they likely determine the legality of the Bush administration's detention of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It is the first time the Justices will review the constitutionality of these detentions. Their arguments will be heard on Tuesday.

In Augusta, Georgia, police are searching for a pregnant woman who may have been kidnapped when she interrupted a burglary at her mother's house. Twenty-nine-year-old Tamara Dunstan was last seen Thursday night. Police are now looking for a dark-colored Ford Mustang occupied by two men, investigators say one white, the other black.

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association today announced plans for a new on-line news company. It will produce programs for radio and TV, as well as the Internet. Vice President Dick Cheney is tomorrow's keynote speaker at the NRA's Pittsburgh convention, even though some of the NRA's rank and file aren't too happy with the Bush administration. Here's national correspondent Kelly Wallace.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The country's top game callers duel at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, as the hunt for the NRA vote kicks into high gear.

ANDREW BARNITSKIS, NRA MEMBER: I voted for President Bush in 2000, and I'm not going to do it again.

WALLACE: A lifetime member of the NRA, Andrew Barnitskis (ph) of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is outraged by the president's willingness to extend the assault weapons ban set to expire in the fall.

BARNITSKIS: We gun owners have to have a line in the sand, something that someone cannot go beyond and still get our vote. WALLACE: How many members agree? We roamed the convention halls in Pittsburgh and mainly found gun owners who plan to stick with Mr. Bush.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we generally support the president. I think that the real question this year in the election year is whether we're going to be as mobilized as we were in 2000.

WALLACE: Observers believe the NRA helped George W. Bush defeat Al Gore in states with a high number of gun owners, like West Virginia and Tennessee.

(on camera): And with this election also expected to be very close, what the NRA does or does not do for President Bush in battleground states like Pennsylvania could decide the race.

(voice-over): That is why the president recently hosted Wayne Lapierre, the group's executive vice president, at his Texas ranch and why Vice President Cheney will address the NRA's convention this weekend. LaPierre is now trying to fire up his members. The cover of the NRA's current magazine, John Kerry, along with other gun control advocates in the Senate.

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: If you want picture of the apocalypse of the 2nd Amendment, that picture is the apocalypse.

WALLACE: On the trail, the presumptive Democratic nominee says he is a gun owner who supports gun control.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe in the 2nd Amendment in this country, but I don't believe that assault weapons ought to be sold in the streets of America.

WALLACE: Kerry's goal, keeping enough moderate gun owners from rallying for the president. Mr. Bush's? Convincing people like Barnitskis they are better off arming him with the presidency.

Kelly Wallace, CNN, Pittsburgh.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And joining me now to talk all things political, contributor and "Time" magazine columnist Joe Klein, who was also in Pittsburgh. He joins us now.

First of all, let's start off with...

JOE KLEIN, "TIME" MAGAZINE COLUMNIST: A lot of people in Pittsburgh tonight.

ZAHN: ... the NRA -- I know. A very busy place. Why should the president be so concerned about these votes from the NRA?

KLEIN: Well, I don't know that he is that concerned, or should be. I mean, those -- those people are going to wind up as Bush voters, obviously. But...

ZAHN: You just heard that one guy, who said he was a lifelong Republican voter and he's...

KLEIN: Let him...

ZAHN: ... not voting for the president.

KLEIN: Let him -- let's wait until November. He'll come around, I'm sure. You know, a lot of people express dissatisfaction early in a campaign and then come back to church. Bush does have more serious problems with other traditional Republican constituencies, though, like military families, who are very upset about the war, and fiscal conservatives, who are very upset about the big deficits. He has problems. I don't think it's with the NRA, though.

ZAHN: Let's move on to John Kerry, who was in Pittsburgh trying to collect some support. He is launching a two-week advertising blitz. He acknowledges even to his supporters that, quote, "a lot of people still don't really know who I am." Now, he's going to try to sell himself as a moderate, right? That going to work?

KLEIN: Well, I think that it's going to be more than a two-week blitz because they have raised a gazillion dollars. I mean, they raised more than $13 million this week, which is...

ZAHN: The East Coast has been very, very good to John Kerry.

KLEIN: Yes. New York City has been -- he raised more than $7 million in New York City. And so they have to do something with that money, and they're going to start putting up a new wave of ads that are going to be mostly biographical -- I was going to say biological -- mostly biographical and also mostly positive. They've seen the past month of Bush negative ads, and they realize that Kerry's favorables have been influenced a little bit by those, but only at the margins. And now it's their turn to try and establish who he is. And what he's obviously going to try and do is establish himself as someone who can be trusted by people like military families and fiscal conservatives, who may not normally vote for Democrats.

ZAHN: But John Kerry's not rolling over and playing dead here. Let's talk about how he has fired back in response to some of the ads the Republicans have run, particularly one that criticized him for voting for the war and yet against the $87 billion military package. Let's listen to what the candidate had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY: I'm tired of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and a bunch of people who went out of their way to avoid their chance to serve when they had the chance -- I went -- I'm not going to listen to them talk to me about patriotism and how asking questions about the direction of our country somehow challenges patriotism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: In spite of what candidate Kerry just had to say, isn't Iraq a slippery slope for him?

KLEIN: Well, it's a very difficult situation for him because that $87 billion -- that vote on the $87 billion was -- is going to come back to haunt him. It's probably the toughest argument that Bush has against him. They put up this ad today, starting today, criticizing Kerry, saying that he voted not to support our troops, which is why he was so angry there. And by the way, that's John Kerry angry. We haven't seen...

ZAHN: Does John Kerry angry work? Would you like to see more angry John Kerry on the campaign trail?

KLEIN: Well, it's kind of very controlled anger, and I think that there are going to be appropriate times for that, just as there are appropriate times for the president to be angry. What John Kerry has to be more of is kind of comforting and conversational, and he really has to lay out what he'd be doing differently from the president on Iraq, which is getting more and more difficult because, you know, this has been a very good few days for the president, you know...

ZAHN: When it comes to the U.N., aren't their positions almost indistinguishable?

KLEIN: What's happened is that the president has now adopted John Kerry's position.

ZAHN: Right.

KLEIN: He has brought in the U.N. The U.N. is going to essentially run this, with America at its silent partner.

ZAHN: Well, there was another president very good at that, too. President Clinton was good at coopting.

KLEIN: Oh, yes. Well, the best...

ZAHN: Issues like that.

KLEIN: ... politicians are flexible. And the opposition -- it always drives the opposition crazy. But I think that in this case -- you know, for the first time in a while, we really have grounds for hope in Iraq. Brahimi's plan is a very solid one.

ZAHN: Let's move on to some new information that could also put more pressure on the president, about his alleged preoccupation about going into Iraq. We're going to put up on the screen something from Bob Woodward's new book, called "Plan of Attack." He, of course, is from "The Washington Post." And he said the president told him in an interview that he ordered a war plan drawn up against Iraq just two months after the invasion of Afghanistan. The president reportedly told him, "I knew what would happen if people thought we were developing a potential war plan for Iraq. It would look like I was anxious to go to war, and I'm not anxious to go to war."

KLEIN: Well, I think the big surprise is that it happened so late. I was kind of half expecting that Woodward would expose the fact that it was developed at the Republican convention in 2000.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: The real -- you know, that isn't very surprising. The question that, you know, a lot of people are looking to Woodward to answer is why they were so obsessed with Iraq, why the vice president, in particular, was so obsessed with Iraq. This is going to be the talk of Washington next week, and it's going to be another week, you know, when the president's going to be on defense, as he has been with the 9/11 commission and the violence in Iraq. This has been why he's been back on his heels and not doing so well the last couple months.

ZAHN: Joe Klein, thanks so much. And we're going to look ahead to Monday, when Bob Woodward will actually be the guest on "LARRY KING LIVE" to talk about his new book on the Bush administration and the war.

Reality TV produces a crop of new stars, but it could be a bummer for Hollywood celebrities. We'll look at how the new shows are changing the face of fame. And the remarkable story of a Holocaust survivor and the American soldier who was her liberator. And on Monday, a master jewel thief tells us how he managed to steal tens of millions from the rich, the famous and even the Mafia.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, HOST, "THE APPRENTICE": Bill, you're hired.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZAHN: Yay! That was Bill Rancik's (ph) big moment last night, as he became the newest winner in reality TV show roulette. But what about these contestants? Has their newfound stardom eclipsed the real celebrities out there? Joining me now from Seattle is Michael Medved. He is a film critic and a radio talk show host. And with me now in New York is Lori Majewski. She is the executive editor of "US Weekly" magazine. Good to see both of you. Welcome.

LORI MAJEWSKI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "US WEEKLY": Hello.

MICHAEL MEDVED, FILM CRITIC: Thank you.

ZAHN: So Lori, I can only guess who's going to land your cover next week. Will it be someone from "The Apprentice"?

MAJEWSKI: Very might well be.

ZAHN: Now, obviously, you have had a lot of covers devoted to reality TV shows. Do they really sell any better than those with well-known celebrities on them?

MAJEWSKI: Well, yes. J-Lo sells very well. But reality -- reality girls and boys sell really, really well for you, especially "The Bachelor." Andrew Firestone (ph) and Jen Shaft (ph) continue sell really, really well for us.

ZAHN: And you do a lot of research on why people buy magazines, and particularly, you know, the -- the on-the-spot sales are usually governed by the covers. What is it about these newfound celebrities?

MAJEWSKI: Well, I think you look at someone like Jennifer Lopez, and she's wearing, like, a $10,000 gown and she looks absolutely flawless, and she wants to present the most perfect image she possibly can. And then you have someone like Omarosa on "The Apprentice," like, she's lying to everybody, and she's just like the person in your office that you positively can't stand. And we love it. It's actually like the nighttime soaps, like, of the '80s. Think of "Dynasty."

ZAHN: Sure.

MAJEWSKI: Now we have reality TV.

ZAHN: And this genre hasn't only affected television, Michael Medved, it's had a big impact, too, on the kind of movies we're going to see. "The Wall Street Journal" did a piece this morning saying of the some 40-plus new releases, you know, a handful of them had a celebrity in them. The rest are with virtual unknowns. What does this mean?

MEDVED: Well, what it means is that, obviously, it's much easier for people to become famous overnight. And that's one of the reasons I don't think any of these reality show celebs are going to last or have some kind of lasting impact because there's a new reality show on TV tonight that's going to produce a new celebrity. To be an actor, to be a successful actor or actress, you actually have to have even a little bit of talent or a little bit of magic or something.

But one of the reasons I think that the covers sell so well on "US" and other magazines is because people don't know all about these people. They're just curious. Who are they? Where do they really come from? With Jennifer Lopez, we've already heard that story so many times, which is -- the great thing about reality TV for "US" magazine is that there's a brand-new star every single week that you can focus on, that there's curiosity about.

ZAHN: So you firmly believe this is not going to eclipse the stardom of some of these major actors we've watched...

MEDVED: No, no. I mean, the only attempts -- Colleen Haskell (ph), who was a "Survivor," actually was cast in a Rob Schneider movie called "The Animal," and she was awful. She couldn't act at all. And her career has gone nowhere. I don't think that the "American Idol" movie has done anything in particular. I mean, it was Kelly (ph) and Andrew (ph) or -- the thing...

MAJEWSKI: Justin, Mike.

ZAHN: Justin!

MEDVED: Justin. Thank you. MAJEWSKI: You have to -- but you have to imagine that these reality people are on TV every single week. When you go to see a movie, if you don't like it, you're not thinking about it two hours later.

ZAHN: Sure.

MAJEWSKI: You know? But when you watch these -- you watch "The Apprentice" from the beginning to the end, you get so involved. And I think, especially with some of these love stories, like "The Bachelor," we see them meet. We see them meet on television. Then see them get engaged. We want to see them get married. I think they do have...

MEDVED: I'll tell you what I...

MAJEWSKI: ... more longevity, just a different type.

ZAHN: Michael, you get the last word.

MEDVED: I would be willing to stake a great deal on a wager that tells people that two weeks -- years from now, no one will remember Bill. I mean, I think Justin and Kelly are already -- but see, "American Idol" is different...

ZAHN: Yes.

MEDVED: ... because they're people with talent who perform.

ZAHN: Point well taken.

MEDVED: But with so many of these things, whether it's "Survivor" or "Temptation Island," forget about it. It's falls out the memory hole and it's gone two weeks later.

ZAHN: All right. Well, we appreciate both of your weighing in tonight. Lori Majewski, Michael Medved, thanks.

MAJEWSKI: Thank you.

MEDVED: Thank you.

ZAHN: And still ahead: They are friends more than a half century after he liberated her from a Nazi death camp. We'll have the inspiring story of an American soldier who saved a life and found a lifetime friend.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: In Germany during the last days of World War II, Japanese- American soldiers were part of the U.S. force that liberated concentration camps. Frank Buckley tells us about a meeting between one of those soldiers and a camp survivor that led to a lifetime friendship.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At least 28,000 people died at Dachau. The girl in the picture was a witness. Sixteen-year-old Janina Cywinska's parents and brother had already died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Janina was taken to Dachau and survived.

JANINA CYWINSKA, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: I was thinking about that the end (ph). There was no way out.

BUCKLEY: She remembers when the photo was taken. She'll never forget the day she was liberated by American soldiers of Japanese descent. They were part of the segregated and Japanese-America 522nd field artillery battalion. Janina and others thought at first the Japanese won the war.

CYWINSKA: We thought they were going to come (ph) and they were going to shoot us. That was our thinking. Then he said, I am American soldier. I'm your liberator, and I am here to save you, and so forth. And we didn't believe him.

BUCKLEY: George Oiye was one of the liberators.

GEORGE OIYE, RET. SGT. U.S. ARMY 522ND BATTALION: For the local people to see Japanese faces, it was kind of strange until they learned that -- you know, that we were American soldiers.

BUCKLEY: While Oiye and other Japanese-American soldiers were liberating the prisoners of a Nazi concentration camp, some of their families were incarcerated in internment camps in the U.S.

OIYE: Our families were in concentration camps in the States. Being the ones that liberate concentration camps, the real ones, in Europe, and that seemed so strange.

BUCKLEY: They thought of their families at home in America, living behind barbed wire while they fought and died for America to prove their loyalty.

OIYE: It seems so ironic and difficult to deal with.

BUCKLEY: Nearly 50 years later, the Japanese-American liberator and the Polish-American survivor are friends. George Oiye and Janina Cywinska both live in California. They occasionally appear together at places like at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Oiye's personal pictures from the war are among those that help tell the story of man's capacity to hate. Racism and fear stripped people of their dignity in America. It sent people to their deaths in Dachau. But people were also sent to Dachau to liberate them, teaching the world...

OIYE: There is a difference between good and evil.

BUCKLEY: Frank Buckley, CNN, San Jose, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ZAHN: And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ZAHN: And that wraps it up for all of us here on this Friday night. Thanks so much for being with us tonight. On Monday, you're going to meet a master thief who preyed on the rich and famous, stole millions, but spent only three years in prison. That story on Monday. We hope you have a really good weekend. Thanks for dropping by. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Good night.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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