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Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Apologizes Today; Interview With Maria Shriver; Macon, Mississippi Prepares To Welcome Home Thomas Hamill

Aired May 7, 2004 - 20:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. Paula Zahn is off tonight. It has been a day of drama and political tension, as the Iraqi prison scandal led to an extraordinary round of hearings on Capitol Hill.

WOODRUFF (voice over): Donald Rumsfeld says he's sorry. He says there are more and even worse pictures of prisoner abuse that we haven't seen. And while he didn't resign, he says it's possible.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I would not resign simply because people try to make a political issue out of it.

WOODRUFF: What about the politics? How will the unfolding scandal effect international coalitions? And the U.S. presidential race?

SEN. JOHN KERRY, (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America does not merely need a new Secretary of Defense. We need a new President of the United States.


WOODRUFF: He says he's not a hero. His hometown begs to disagree. Tonight, Macon, Mississippi, prepares to say "Welcome home" to former Iraqi captive Thomas Hammill. All that ahead tonight, but first, here is what you need to know now.

CNN has confirmed the army has filed charges against a female soldier who allegedly abused Iraqi prisoners. Private Lynndie England is seen in pictures smiling and pointing at naked detainees. The army charged her with four counts including assault and committing an indecent act.

More violence in Iraq. Two polish TV journalists have been killed in an ambush south of Baghdad. One of them was a well-known war correspondent. At least 14 journalists have been killed in Iraq this year.

Today radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr delivered his weekly sermon in Kufa, Iraq, not far from where his militia has battled U.S. troops. Sadr addressed the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal saying President Bush's apology is not enough. We are Putting Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's testimony in the focus tonight. Joe Johns is standing by on Capitol Hill with the highlights of a day filled with forceful statements from Rumsfeld and tough questions from Congress. And Jamie McIntyre will give us the view from the pentagon. First to you, Joe. What is the reaction on the Hill?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, the reaction to the news today, a lot of different Senators have a lot of questions (UNINTELLIGIBLE) focused a lot of coverage of course on the Senate hearing where Secretary Rumsfeld first apologized. He said he would resign if he found that he could not be effective but he would not resign if people tried to make a political issue out of it. There was a House hearing in which Rumsfeld testified and there was interesting testimony there, too, some very tough questions once again, and a certain amount of emotion when Rumsfeld was asked not about his own resignation but what about getting rid of other people at the Department of Defense as this investigation goes forward? Let's listen now to Secretary Rumsfeld.


RUMSFELD: I don't believe that it would be right for me to run around looking for scapegoats, so you can toss someone over the side. And I'll be damned if I'm--look at that list. And pretend that I think it was badly done. I don't. I think they did a darn good job. Perfect? No. But a good job.


JOHNS: But the big question tonight still is about Secretary Rumsfeld's job and some senators are saying it all depends on how this plays out in the days to come. Still, a number of senators have said they support him fully, as well as a Democrat, Ted Kennedy saying today he thinks Rumsfeld needs to be fired. No Republicans have said that. Judy?

WOODRUFF: All right. Joe Johns watching it all from the Capitol. Let's quickly go to the Pentagon and to our senior correspondent there, Jamie McIntyre -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, as (UNINTELLIGIBLE) as the revelations were, the Pentagon says there are even more damaging pictures that have yet to be released. In fact, they are not planning to release them. The Pentagon does concede if they got out they would make the situation even worse. Among the allegations of abuse still under investigation includes beatings, a possible murder, even the rape of a female Iraqi prisoner by an American military police officer. That prompted Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to call some of this undisclosed material radioactive and one member of Congress to issue an ominous warning.


SEN LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: It's going to get worse. You're going to have more things to show people that'll make people mad, more angry. So, this is going to get worse and I was trying to tell the Secretary, it's going to get worse before it gets better. Do you think you can handle this? And he said he thought he could. And I would ask people who are calling for his resignation, give him a chance. What the American public needs to understand, we're talking about rape and murder here. We are not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We are talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges.


MCINTYRE: Now Defense Secretary Rumsfeld announced he will form an independent panel, not to investigate what is going on. There are already six investigations, but to oversee all of the investigations and see if there's anything else they should be doing. Among the members of the panel, Jim Schlessinger, a former Secretary of Defense in the Nixon administration, Tillie Fowler, a former congresswoman who also headed up investigations into sexual abuse at the Air Force Academy and General Chuck Horner, who is a retired four-star Air Force General who was in command of Forces during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. So, a respected panel. There one more person to be named by the Pentagon. So far they have asked somebody but they have not agreed to serve yet. So, the Pentagon insists they are taking proactive action to try to get things back on track.

WOODRUFF: All right. Jamie McIntyre. Presumably they'll be getting right to work. Jamie, thank you very much.

And now we're going to hear from two members of the Senate Armed Services Committee who questioned Secretary Rumsfeld today. Democrat Evan Bayh of Indiana in a monent, but first Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia. I spoke with him shortly after the hearing.


WOODRUFF: Senator, you were one of those questioning Secretary Rumsfeld and other Pentagon officials. Were you at all satisfied with what you heard today?

SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS, (R) GEORGIA: Well, I was, Judy. I thought the secretary came in and set the right tone in his opening statement when he said, hey, mistakes were made. We know they're terrible, terrible mistakes. And it happened under my watch. I wasn't there, but I'm the guy responsible for it.

His strong leadership was exhibited by the fact that he did set the right tone at the outset of the hearing. He then proceeded to answer very, very tough questions on both sides of the aisle.

WOODRUFF: Senator Chambliss, we also learned the International Red Cross notified the administration at a number of points last year in 2003 about abuses in the detention of prisoners. Are you satisfied you know what happened to those reports?

CHAMBLISS: No, I'm not. That was one issue that was discussed today. And the secretary said that he would make all of the reports that the administration has from the Red Cross available to Congress. And I look forward to receiving those.

WOODRUFF: There has also been a report, Senator, that Secretary of State Colin Powell brought up his concern about the treatment of prisoners on a number of instances, in meetings, at the White House and elsewhere with Secretary Rumsfeld. Where did that go?

CHAMBLISS: Well, I don't know where that went. Again, that's something we have not heard about. This hearing was focused on the situation that occurred at the Abu Ghraib prison in October, November, December timeframe of 2003. And the failure on the part of the Secretary of Defense and his subordinates to communicate to the American people, to Congress and to the world, what happened and to make sure that the appropriate corrections were made.

WOODRUFF: There are still those who are calling for Secretary Rumsfeld to step down. Even he at one point said today that it is possible that under some circumstances it might be the right thing to do to restore America's moral leadership in the world. What is your view of that?

CHAMBLISS: Well, I thought the secretary exhibited strong leadership today. He has guided the security of this nation during one of the most complex times in our history. And I think he's done a good job of that. Have mistakes been made? You bet. But I think he continued today to show the strong kind of leader that he is, and that he's committed to making sure that under his leadership we're going to get to the bottom of this issue and we're going to move on.

WOODRUFF: Are you -- do you agree that the additional pictures and video that the secretary spoke about should be made public, pictures that he said include instances of sadistic treatment?

CHAMBLISS: Well, Judy, It's hard to get much worse than the photographs we've already seen. However, the information we have is that there could be more pictures that are a lot worse than what we have seen. And I have not seen them, obviously. But I don't know whether it serves any purpose for those pictures to be exhibited or not.

WOODRUFF: Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Thank you very much, Senator Chambliss.

CHAMBLISS: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Senator Bayh, thank you very much for talking with me. First of all, are you satisfied with what Secretary Rumsfeld and his colleagues said?

SEN. EVAN BAYH, (D) INDIANA: I think he made a good start, Judy. He apologized, he took responsibility, he said he would hold those who are to blame, culpable in this, and would try and make sure it never happens again. That, however, begs the larger question of does more need to be done to try and protect our image in the world from the damage that's been done, number one. And the other question is, is this just a larger part--another problem in the Iraq policy that may need dramatic retooling? And those questions are yet to be answered.

WOODRUFF: But in terms of the prisoner abuse that took place, are you satisfied that the investigations were done and in a timely manner? That information was forthcoming as it should have been?

BAYH: I think they could have done a much better job in terms of making this public. Why they didn't come out before the "60 minutes" report and basically say "look, here's what's coming, here's what we think about it. We want you to know that we are trying to get to the bottom of it," I don't know. So I think they failed in that regard. But in terms of: Will those responsible ultimately be held to account for this? I think that that will happen.

I personally think we need to look into the role of these private contractors who are outside the military chain of command. I think that's a potentially very troubling area, because they're not held to the Geneva Convention.

WOODRUFF: Senator, you asked Secretary Rumsfeld about what his resignation would accomplish, what signal would it send. Do you personally think he should resign?

BAYH: I think that depends, Judy. And it's basically this is a question for the President because Don Rumsfeld, we should all understand, works for the President. So this is a question of presidential leadership. If his resignation, even if he was not personally culpable in this chain of events, would help to clear the air and send a clear message to the Islamic world and others that we don't tolerate this kind of thing, then perhaps that would be necessary. Or if it's part of a broader retooling of Iraqi policy. Then perhaps that would be necessary. But if they're trying to throw somebody overboard to take the political heat off the White House, I don't think that would accomplish a whole lot.

Secretary Rumsfeld repeatedly referred to something like 18,000 courts martial under way around the world. Saying, in so many words, it's impossible for him to know what's going on in all of those. There could be much more out there potentially. Is that an acceptable answer on the part of the Secretary of Defense?

BAYH: I think it's an acceptable interim answer. He said in this one case, unfortunately, there are apparently other photographs and a videotape that may come out. And I think we all need to prepare ourselves to be shocked and saddened again in that case.

WOODRUFF: Were you surprised -- one last question about the timing of this -- the fact that the secretary said he wasn't aware of the magnitude of this until recently. That he didn't see the pictures in their entirety until last night.

BAYH: I am somewhat surprised about that. I can understand how a document, the report that there were some problems, abuses, would not elicit the kind of reaction these photographs have. This is a classic case of where a signal bad picture is worth a thousand words or more. I'm surprised that someone one lower in the chain of command seeing these pictures did not realize; "wait a minute, we have a god awful problem on our hands, we need to get this up to the top as soon as possible." So, I am surprised about that.

WOODRUFF: Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana. Senator, thank you very much.

BAYH: Thank you, Judy.


WOODRUFF: Shouts of anger today on Capitol Hill, protests by members of Code Pink, which is a group opposed to the war in Iraq, interrupted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Gail Murphy co-founded the group. She was one of the demonstrators today. And she joins me now here in Washington. Gail Murphy, I was watching television when this happened, when you and others stood up, you started shouting. The whole thing lasted maybe a minute. Do you think you accomplished something?

GAIL MURPHY, CO-FOUNDER, CODE PINK: I think so. I think we were able to bring our voices to a place where our voices are not often allowed to be heard. We were only going to hear a report from the Pentagon. And I have been to Iraq four times in the last year. And I have seen the appalling conduct of the military forces there. And I needed...

WOODRUFF: What exactly have you seen?

MURHY: I have been to Abu Ghraib prison. I have seen the families waiting in long lines desperate to see families, desperate to find out if they're all right. I have seen families who have lost members, loved ones standing on the side of the road shot by troops who are shooting randomly into the streets. I have heard terrible stories that we have done under this occupation and it's just not tolerable and it's time that Rumsfeld be accountable for it.

WOODRUFF: How do you know, though, Gail Murphy, that those stories are true? You have the Secretary of Defense and all other military officers saying we conduct ourselves, for the most part, 99.9 percent of the military conducts itself honorably.

MURPHY: There are too many stories, and I've seen video, I've actually interviewed a detainee myself who describes electroshock, who describes the hood over the head, who describes the deprivation of sleep and water and food. Standing out in the hot sun. These stories are too common and they're the same.

WOODRUFF: Have you tried to bring this to the attention of the administration in other ways?

MURPHY: Yes, I have tried to bring it to the media; we've tried to bring it to Congress. We have reports on our Web site, We have tried to speak to the U.N. about it. And so I, under these terrible circumstances, am very happy that finally the truth is coming out about this. WOODRUFF: So, in other words, if it had not been for the news media putting these pictures out there, and we understand there are more to come, how would you have gotten your message out?

MURPHY: Well, everyway I've tried. I've sent a tape of my interview with the detainee, the person who described his torture; I've sent interviews with families who have lost--family members who were killed. And we have gone to congresspersons' offices and talked to them and described these stories.

WOODRUFF: But what do you say to those families who have loved ones, soldiers who are over there doing their best who are not engaged in these kinds of things who are out there fighting for their country.

MURPHY: I believe this is a misguided-It was a misguided war, it's a misguided occupation. They are not managing it right. There's complete disdain from the Iraqi people from higher-ups, and these policies are dangerous for our soldiers. And I believe they should come home now. We have no credibility left, we should be financing peacekeeping forces that do not include American forces and starting a different transition from what we have. We don't have a transition; we have an occupation, a brutal one.

WOODRUFF: Gail Murphy, cofounder of the group Code Pink. They stood up in the hearing room today when Secretary Rumsfeld was testifying. Gail Murphy, thank you very much for coming by.

MURPHY: Thank you for having me.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it, thank you.

A young serviceman facing a possible court martial in the Iraq prison scandal. His family finds it hard to believe that he could be involved. I'll talk with one of his relatives, just ahead.

Former hostage Thomas Hamill's hometown can't wait for his return. But a homecoming parade? That's out of the question.

And California's First Lady Maria Shriver talks about the challenges of being the governor's partner.


WOODRUFF: So far seven soldiers are facing criminal charges in the Iraqi prisoner abuse case. One of those who faces a possible court-martial is Sergeant Javal Davis. Joining me from New York is his sister-in-law Tonenethia Jackson. Ms. Jackson, first of all, where is your brother-in-law and what is he accused of?

TONENETHIA JACKSON, ACCUSED SOLDIER'S RELATIVE: Right now he is accused of -- one of the troops that were alleged responsible for the Iraq prisoners, and just as far as all the accusations of the war crimes, and just all types of hideous things which I know he didn't commit because he called us back in December and he already had foretold us that things were going on that he wasn't approved of.

WOODRUFF: Did he say when you talked to him in December what was going on?

JACKSON: He wasn't precisely, because he couldn't talk long, but he said that things were just going on that he didn't approve of. He was around them and, you know, just there when all these things were going on. But he did not commit any of those war crimes.

WOODRUFF: You have said -- we know that he has not been formally charged yet. How can you be so confident that he is not guilty? Now, as I understand it, he's not in any of the pictures that we have seen. Is that right?

JACKSON: Exactly.

WOODRUFF: How can you be so confident that it was not him, that it was somebody giving him orders?

JACKSON: Because that's what he told us. He said that sometimes they were instructed to do things that he wasn't -- appropriate of doing, but as far as the things that I have been seeing on the news, the sodomizing and torturing of prisoners, I know that he didn't because I speak to my sister on a regular basis, and before this even came to the headlines, he told us just things that were going on. He was in the midst of things that he'll get back to us later. But as far as all the sodomization up there, he was not in that involvement at all.

WOODRUFF: Ms. Jackson, today the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other top military officials, said, in effect, this is just a few bad individuals who are guilty of this. That it didn't go much higher up the chain of command. That is the impression we get. What is your reaction to that?

JACKSON: Well, I'm basically worried about Javal. I feel that as far as the accusation, as far as the Secretary of Defense, the soldiers, they're instructed to do things. He said they're instructed to do things. He's here to serve his country and he is taking that to the forefront as far as since I've known him. He's very -- as far as military is concerned, he takes that very seriously. But at the same time, as far as the military is concerned, I feel that, you know, sometimes, you know, instructions, that's what he is there for, to follow instructions. So, basically I'm concerned about him and just getting him out of -- completely getting him out of the group of the other soldiers because he's not affiliated with those crimes. I just want to separate him from the other troops.

WOODRUFF: All right. We have been talking Tonenthia Jackson, whose brother-in-law, Javal Davis is one of those facing charges, not formally charged, but possibly facing charges. Ms. Jackson, thank you very much.

JACKSON: You're welcome.

WOODRUFF: Appreciate it. I know we will want to stay in touch with you to see what happens, whether those charges are filed.

And one quick programming note, on Monday, Paula Zahn will be talking with journalist Seymour Hersh, he's the one whose reports about the prison abuse scandal have appeared in the "New Yorker Magazine". He is the one who has been breaking the story. He will discuss his latest findings.

WOODRUFF: A Mississippi town gets ready to welcome home a former hostage. But the celebration will be a lot different than what you might expect. We'll show you how one community is coming together to help military families in need.


WOODRUFF: People in the small Mississippi town of Macon are waiting for the return of someone many consider a hero. Truck driver Thomas Hamill is due home soon, just days after his dramatic escape from his captors in Iraq. Mike Brooks joins us now live from Macon, Mississippi. Mike?

MIKE BROOKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Judy. Just moments ago the prayer vigil here at the Noxubee County Courthouse ended. They have been holding a vigil every night since Tommy Hamill was taken hostage in early April. Hamill is due back here in Macon early tomorrow morning, but the large celebration that town officials were planning for him will not take place.


BROOKS (voice-over): The flags are flying on Jefferson Street, the yellow ribbons are everywhere you look. The Hamill family home is even draped in an American flag. A huge celebration that was being planned has been put on hold at the request of the family, at least for now.

MAYOR DOROTHY BAKER-HINES, MAYOR OF MACON, MS: Gosh, we had all kinds of things planned.

BROOKS: The mayor spoke with Kelly Hamill and said the family did not want a big celebration at this time.

Hines: We were a little disappointed but we still think maybe we'll get to do something.

BROOKS: The 43-year-old Hamill, because the money was good, sold his dairy farm, left his family in Macon, Mississippi, a small farming and industry community of 3300 people, and volunteered for the dangerous job of driving a fuel truck in Iraq for contractor Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton.

HAMILL: They attacked our convoy.

BROOKS: he was taken hostage by insurgents April 9th near Baghdad International Airport and escaped May 2nd running out of the mud hut where he was being held and flagging down a U.S. military convoy south of Tikrit. With Hamill due to arrive here soon, the town expressed their support of Tommy Hamill's decision to cancel the celebration.

Now are you disappointed they're not going to have a big celebration, like they were planning?

SAMMY HILL, RESIDENT, MACON, MS: Well, somewhat, because I knew that if he was alive I was looking forward to Macon showing(ph) something great for him.

JESSE GREEN, RESIDENT, MACON, MS: Well, it was a good gesture, it was nice and maybe one day they can do something for him like that.

JUDGE DOROTHY STEWART, RESIDENT, MACON, MS: Well, I was looking forward to it. I was on the planning committee, so I was looking forward to it.


BROOKS: Whether or not the town gets to celebrate Tommy Hamill's safe return, they feel their prayers have been answered -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Mike Brooks, thanks very much. I'm sure they'll find a way to welcome him back personally, privately even if they can't put on the big celebration. Thank you, Mike, very much.

Riveting testimony, intense moments for the defense secretary, but what did he accomplish? We'll get 2 very different views.

Also, a revealing interview with Maria Shriver about her famous father's battle with Alzheimer's and her new role in California politics.


MARIA SHRIVER, FIRST LADY OF CALIFORNIA: I consider myself, as I said, a mate on Arnold's ship. He is firmly in control. He's the one that's elected. And I don't want to get elected.


WOODRUFF: And coming up on Monday, former ambassador to Iraq, Joseph Wilson, why he thinks the White House lied its way into war and blew his wife's CIA cover. That's Monday on PAULA ZAHN NOW.


WOODRUFF: Here's what you need to know right now. Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he is sorry for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. In testimony today on Capitol Hill, Rumsfeld warned that even more graphic videos and pictures of abuse will likely surface. Rumsfeld later announced three of the four people who will sit on an independent panel to investigate the scandal.

At least four people have been wounded in a shooting outside a high school in Baltimore. Most of the injuries are life-threatening. Witnesses say a man drove his vehicle into the school's parking lot, got out and fired at a crowd.

Krispy Kreme issued its first profit warning. The doughnut maker blames the low-carb diet craze. It says earnings for fiscal year 2005 will be 10 percent lower than expected.

Well, as we've been saying, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld spent more than six hours testifying before Congress today. But did his answers ease the political firestorm on Capitol Hill or just feed the flames, so to speak? To gauge some of the political fall-out, I'm joined from New York by Katrina vanden Heuvel. She's the editor of "The Nation." And in Sacramento, we are joined by John Fund of "The Wall Street Journal."

John, first of all, is the right man on the griddle here? He says -- Donald Rumsfeld says he's sorry, but some people are saying this really goes bigger than that, even.

JOHN FUND, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well the defense secretary is directly responsible for the conduct of our armed forces. The only one after that is the commander-in-chief. He's going to have his own explanations, and he's taken his own actions. Don Rumsfeld made the best of a very bad situation today. This is an awful mess, but he took responsibility. He didn't blink. And even before this performance, which I think is pretty impressive, "The Washington Post"/ABC poll found that only 20 percent of people think he should resign and only 30 percent of Democrats, who are his harshest critics, think he should resign.

WOODRUFF: But you've more pictures coming out now.

FUND: I really do believe that these pictures that we've had so far are pretty awful. When you have somebody being led around on a leash, griffing (ph) on the floor, I think you've got most of the reaction. We know what the problem is. The question is, what are we going to do about it? We clearly have addressed that because we've got military justice cracking down...

WOODRUFF: All right...

FUND: ... on these malefactors, and we're going to have a system in which we make sure this doesn't happen again.

WOODRUFF: Katrina vanden Heuvel, the secretary of defense has apologized. Is that sufficient?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, "THE NATION": You know, Judy, I thought today he was more interested in damage control than in acknowledging what an internal Army report called the systemic failures, the illegal abuse of detainees, the collective wrongdoing, the failures at the highest level of Army leadership.

But Judy, I think the question asked should have been, knowing of the abuse that has gone on in other military facilities, the deaths, now we learn, of 25 Iraqi and Afghani detainees, the reports from human rights organizations, from Amnesty, from the Red Cross about abuse, why was it not -- why were steps not taken to halt the abuse, the horrifying abuses we have learned occurred at Abu Ghraib prison?

So I think that, yes, Donald Rumsfeld should resign. He is the ugly face of a brutal policy. He misled a country into war. He miscalculated the human and financial costs, rank incompetence. But we need a new foreign policy. And at "The Nation" this week, Judy, in our cover, is about the expeditious and timely withdrawal from Iraq, which we need because this occupation, this war against terror is breeding the brutality that we see in these pictures.

WOODRUFF: John Fund, what about her central point that Donald Rumsfeld bears a large part of the responsibility, not only for the prisoner abuse, but for other things that have gone wrong in Iraq?

FUND: Lots of mistakes have been made. There's lots of blame to go around. The bottom line is, these -- these incidents stopped four months ago when we first came to light and when military -- you know, they had a press conference, and they had a report issued on this. Whether journalists wanted to report on it is a separate issue. The pictures have changed everything. I believe that we have to get out of Iraq in a way that befits both our honor and our national security, and we will do that.

WOODRUFF: So you think...

FUND: The first step is getting the -- is getting the provisional government in charge on June 30.

WOODRUFF: You're saying that press release back in January was sufficient?

FUND: There was a news conference in January.

VANDEN HEUVEL: A news conference isn't sufficient, John. I mean -- and by the way, we're talking about a culture of lawlessness in which the Geneva conventions, time-honored rules...

FUND: Katrina...

VANDEN HEUVEL: ... that we should abide by, we were told by this president and by the secretary of defense that this did not matter.

FUND: Katrina...

VANDEN HEUVEL: The homicides in Afghanistan of...

FUND: Katrina...

VANDEN HEUVEL: ... two detainees have not been even addressed.

FUND: Katrina, you don't...

VANDEN HEUVEL: So I think these are larger questions, John, than PR management...

FUND: Katrina...

VANDEN HEUVEL: ... and then the polls.

FUND: The International Rode Cross has said the United States has been completely cooperative in this investigation, completely cooperative in reforms. Those are people whose job is human rights and alleviating suffering. As for the Iraqis who died, we have to investigate those. So far, we know there are two homicides. The rest were either natural causes or we're still investigating. So don't put everything -- every incident that happens in a prison is automatically some kind of brutality visited by America. That's what John Kerry did back in Vietnam 30 years ago, and it was a mistake then. We have to address specific causes and specific people and assign specific blame and not to exaggerate or jump to conclusions.

WOODRUFF: Where do we go from here? Katrina vanden Heuvel, to you first.


WOODRUFF: We've had today's hearings all day long before the Senate and the House. What's next?

VANDEN HEUVEL: Well, as I said, Judy, I think the most important thing -- yes, Donald Rumsfeld should resign. There should be a culture of accountability, finally, in Washington. But the most important thing is that all of us begin to talk about the internationalization of withdrawal, not the internationalization of staying the course. And "The Nation" has devoted its issue this week to just that. And the American people, Judy, are ahead of this president and, alas, the Democratic candidate. The erosion of support for this war, the understanding of the costs are growing with each passing day.

WOODRUFF: John Fund, it is the case polls are showing that support for the war is declining.

FUND: That's not surprising. But only 20 percent of the people want Donald Rumsfeld to go. That's because the American people want solutions, they don't just want scapegoating and laying the blame. We have a problem. We need to address it. We don't need to assign blame first.

WOODRUFF: We're going to have to leave it there. Much more to discuss. We'll have opportunities in the future, I know. Thank you both so much for joining us.


WOODRUFF: John Fund, Katrina vanden Heuvel, thank you very much.

Well, campaigning for her husband was just the beginning. An outspoken Maria Shriver tells Paula exactly the kind of political wife she intends to be.


MARIA SHRIVER, AUTHOR, "WHAT'S HAPPENING TO GRANDPA?": It's going to be all things that all women do. I'm going to help my husband. I'm going to watch his back. I'm going to make sure he's surrounded by the best and the brightest.


WOODRUFF: And the call goes out for help in a military town. We'll show you a story of sacrifice far from the front lines of the war.


FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Frank Buckley in Bangor, Maine, where virtually every day, there's an emotional homecoming of U.S. troops returning from war. And the people who greet them? Total strangers. The incredible story coming Monday on "PAULA ZAHN NOW."


WOODRUFF: Maria Shriver calls her new job as California's first lady a work in progress. Still, she's found the time to write a book. "What's Happening With Grandpa?" deals with Alzheimer's disease, and it was written after her father, former Peace Corps director Sargent Shriver, was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's. Paula talked with Maria Shriver about her life, her book and her family.


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: What has been the hardest thing for you to accept about your father's illness?

SHRIVER: That he has Alzheimer's. I mean, I think that's just hard for anybody to accept. It's hard for him to accept. It's hard for my mom to accept. And I think if you talk to anybody who has a relative with Alzheimer's, or for that matter, any disease, it's hard to accept that that's happening, that your parents are aging, that they're different than they were or than you want them to be. And so you yourself have to, you know, adjust.

ZAHN: On a personal level, though, what has the sense of loss been like for you?

SHRIVER: I don't concentrate on that because I concentrate on who my dad is today, and I feel he's a gift to me. And I'm looking forward to celebrating my dad. He's with me. And that's what I concentrate on.

ZAHN: And in spite of everything he's accomplished along the way -- basically starting the Peace Corps, the Job Corps, Head Start, ran for the vice presidency -- this is not a life you ever seriously entered -- entering into yourself -- the political arena.

SHRIVER: No. No. I had...

ZAHN: Why have you shied away from it until this point?

SHRIVER: Because it was really my family thing, and I wanted to do my own thing. And I think anybody who grows up in a well-known family, or really in any family, can understand the feeling that you want to make your own way. You want to develop your own reputation. And so I didn't like the world of politics, and I didn't like the way it kind of took over my whole family. And I wanted to do my own thing.

ZAHN: What didn't you like about politics?

SHRIVER: I didn't like its all-consuming nature. I didn't like that it was, you know, people in your house 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I didn't like that it was really quite heavy all the time. I didn't like that it took both my parents away all the time. And I didn't like being paraded out, being part of a brochure, all of that. I have to say that today, I'm very grateful that that all happened to me, so I...

ZAHN: Because it prepared you for your role today.

SHRIVER: It absolutely 100 percent prepared me for the role I'm in today. And if I hadn't had that, I don't think I could have survived.

ZAHN: Do you believe...

SHRIVER: So it's ironic.

ZAHN: It is ironic!

SHRIVER: It's very ironic.

ZAHN: That is a great irony.


ZAHN: Do you like politics any more today, now that you've been thrust into this life you didn't really ask for?

SHRIVER: Well, I understand the importance of politics, and I believe you can make a difference through politics, like I think Arnold is making. But I'm also a big believer that you can make a difference outside of politics.

ZAHN: How about through your role as first lady?

SHRIVER: Well...

ZAHN: I know you see yourself as a work in progress.

SHRIVER: That's right.

ZAHN: You don't know exactly what role you're carving out just yet.

SHRIVER: But I think I will always be a work in progress. I hope to remain a work in progress. And I think that is really a new definition for a first lady. I'm a person of kind of many different hats, as are most women, I think. So that's who I am as first lady.

ZAHN: You talked a lot about the long shadow cast by your father, the Shriver legacy, the Kennedy legacy, as well. So it was so important for you to carve out this identity as a journalist... SHRIVER: Right.

ZAHN: ... something you did on your own. You got kicked around a lot.


ZAHN: You eventually thrived at NBC News. Now that's been taken away from you. How has that affected your core?

SHRIVER: Well, it was tough. I mean, there's no doubt about it. It's not easy. And I have not only the Kennedy legacy, the Shriver legacy, now I have the Schwarzenegger legacy. And so I try to kind of, you know, look at it as, OK, this was not part of a plan, but so many of -- other women I know are living lives that were not part of their plans. And I have to -- you know, it doesn't get me anywhere to moan and groan about it. I have to embrace what's sitting in front of me. I have to look at it as a great opportunity, a challenge, and make the best of it, which is what I'm trying to do. But there's no doubt I miss my job. I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't miss my job.

ZAHN: Do you resent the fact you had to give up your job?

SHRIVER: No. I mean, I'm over that. I won't say that I didn't. But you know, as I say, it wasn't part of my plan. But you know, I've moved off of it, and I think it's a good thing for me.

ZAHN: Well, I'm going to miss jostling for position with you on the floor of Democratic convention.


ZAHN: Year after year, we were fighting for the same...


SHRIVER: I'll be back! Sometime, somewhere, I'll be back!


ZAHN: How many years will you be back?

SHRIVER: I don't know. I don't know. But I'll wiggle my way back somehow, you know?

ZAHN: So no role at all in the Democratic convention, no role...

SHRIVER: No, no, no.


ZAHN: ... by the Republican convention.

SHRIVER: ... NBC -- I don't work for...

ZAHN: As the wife of a Republican...

SHRIVER: ... NBC News. I don't plan -- that's -- my kids are going back to school. And you know, even though I'm not a working journalist for NBC News, I'm still a journalist. And so I -- you know, I approach everything the same way, and you know, I just report for Arnold now. I report for the state of California.

ZAHN: And you've described yourself as a member of the team, when it comes to being the first lady of California.


ZAHN: Although others out there, who are observing you, are describing as Arnold's secret weapon. Can you reconcile those two for...

SHRIVER: I think they're all the same. I think it depends on who you're talking to. I consider myself, as I said, a mate on Arnold's ship. He is firmly in control. He's the one that's elected. And I don't want to get elected. I'm not looking for this job to be a springboard. I mean, I came to this job already knowing who I was and what I wanted out of my life. So my job really now is not to step in a huge pothole and to really, as I say, watch Arnold's back. And that's a full-time job. I understand that this is a role, that it's a role I'm playing. It's not who I am. But I want to play it well because I want the people of California to feel, you know, that I did it well and I did it elegantly and courageously and in a dignified manner. I think there's a lot to be said for that.

ZAHN: Final little fashion observation. Going back to the pictures, I think you are the only woman I've seen in the political spotlight that has had the courage and biceps to carry off the sleeveless look since Jackie Kennedy.


ZAHN: The tricep was intact! Is that a tricep by Arnold?

SHRIVER: That's it. No, that's a tricep by Maria.

ZAHN: By Maria.


ZAHN: And you still work hard on those.

SHRIVER: I work hard -- well, I work hard to try and stay healthy.

ZAHN: But you're not going to have to think twice about carrying off the sleeveless look for the rest of...

SHRIVER: Oh, thank you, Paula!

ZAHN: ...your first lady-dom.

SHRIVER: Thank you. I have a little jacket today, but...

ZAHN: She lost her willpower today. So great to see you.

SHRIVER: Thank you very much.

WOODRUFF: Good luck with the book and...


SHRIVER: I hope -- I hope people will buy the book because I think it's so important to have a relationship with a grandparent and so important to be able to bring kids into all of these discussions and let them feel active and a part of it, like this little girl in this book does.

ZAHN: Beautifully done. Thanks, Maria.

SHRIVER: Thank you, Paula.


WOODRUFF: Maria Shriver, juggling.

Military families struggling to survive when a breadwinner goes to war. We'll will show what some very good Samaritans are doing to help families on the homefront.


BRANDY TIMMONS, MILITARY WIFE: I have so much respect for what they're doing. And I'm so happy that we have people that are willing to help like this.


WOODRUFF: You could probably ask any military family, and they'll tell you just as soon as a loved one is deployed, Murphy's law kicks in. The car breaks down, the computer crashes, the plumbing leaks. Thelma Gutierrez reports on how one military town is taking care of its own.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Operation Homefront, our continuing commitment to the military families whose loved ones are deployed...

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The call goes out every day over the airwaves in San Diego.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And husband's in the Marines?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he's in Fallujah right now.

GUTIERREZ: Military families calling in with special needs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... request for help with a lawn mower. GUTIERREZ: Operation Homefront screens calls and finds volunteers willing to help out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... so if anybody has some mattresses out there...

GUTIERREZ: Hundreds heeded that call.

MIKE LEVY: I just felt that it was time to do something.

GUTIERREZ: A computer store, a plumbing company and an auto repair shop.

(on camera): Why did you decide that it was important to come forward?

RAY ROMAN, AUTO SHOP MANAGER: Well, the military people are a big part of our community here.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Brandy Timmons is part of that community.

BRANDY TIMMONS, MILITARY WIFE: Just smell it kind of burning...

GUTIERREZ: She found herself in a fix when her car broke down. Normally, she'd turn to her husband, Lance Corporal Robert Timmons, but he's in Iraq. Other auto shops were no help.

TIMMONS: They were, like, Well, you have a blown head gasket. That'll be, like, $1,000. And I was, like, I don't have $1,000. So they're, like, Well, there's there's nothing we can do for you then.

GUTIERREZ: Perfect Auto came through. On a day when temperatures hit 103, Yolanda Cole's (ph) AC unit was blowing hot air.

YOLANDA COLE, MILITARY WIFE: It's harder when you're by yourself, you know, what to do.

GUTIERREZ: With her husband, Staff Sergeant Arthur Cole (ph), in Iraq, Yolanda was helped out by Franco Testa's (ph) company.

FRANCO TESTA: We decided that that system needs to be replaced.

GUTIERREZ: The company absorbed all the costs.

COLE: It's been a blessing.

GUTIERREZ: Aside from the money, those who've been deployed have one less thing to worry about back home.

SANDY ALDRIDGE, OPERATION HOMEFRONT: They've got a job to do over there. They don't need to be worried about these day-to-day issues.

MIKE LEVY: How are you?

JULIA HIA: I'm OK. I'm supposed to come pick up a computer.

GUTIERREZ: Julia Hia (ph) will finally have a way to communicate with her husband, William, overseas. She's one of 700 military families to get a refurbished computer from Mike Levy (ph).

LEVY: Just trying to give back. We've experienced some good fortune.

HIA: It's great there's people out there in the civilian world that will help the military.

GUTIERREZ: Operation Homefront has helped more than 4,000 military families in two years, a model other cities are following. Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, San Diego.


WOODRUFF: It's a model everybody should want to follow. We'll be right back.


WOODRUFF: Thank you for being with us tonight. I'm Judy Woodruff. And remember, on Monday, "New Yorker" magazine investigative reporter Seymour Hersh with new disclosures about prison abuse in Iraq. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Have a good night.


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