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Fair Trial For Saddam?; Women of Bill Clinton's Past Speak Out

Aired June 29, 2004 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The charges: war crimes, genocide, as many as 12 counts of crimes against humanity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a country that has been totally decimated and devastated by Saddam.

ZAHN: As Iraq's new government takes legal control of Saddam...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We would like to show the world also that the Iraqi government, the new Iraq government means business.

ZAHN: ... can Saddam Hussein ever get a fair trial?


WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I still think, on balance, there's more good than bad.

ZAHN: Bill Clinton's new book scrapes old wounds.

GENNIFER FLOWERS: I was Bill Clinton's lover for 12 years.

ZAHN: But now the women in his past are fighting back. We'll talk with Paula Jones.


ZAHN: Good evening, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. Glad to have you with us.

Wednesday, two days after the transfer of power, another milestone for Iraq's new government, when it takes legal control of Saddam Hussein. The Iraqis will do a very American thing, displaying Saddam to the world in his very own perp walk. It will be our first view of the former Iraqi leader since his capture nearly eight months ago. It is certain to become another iconic image.


ZAHN (voice-over): Since U.S. troops found Saddam hiding in a spider hole last December, the former Iraqi dictator has been under the control of American authorities. He's been held in a secret location, somewhere around Baghdad, and has been interrogated by the CIA. If Saddam has revealed any information, it has not been made public. On Wednesday, the new Iraqi government will take over legal custody of Saddam, while the U.S. retained physical custody. And, on Thursday, he'll be arraigned.

Saddam is likely to face charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity for, among other things, using chemical weapons against the Kurds in 1998 and for invading Kuwait in 1990. Although it will be months before Saddam goes on trial, Iraq's new interim prime minister is promising justice.

IYAD ALLAWI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE: We assure you that it will be a just trial and a fair trial, unlike the trials that he inflicted on his enemies, on the Iraqi people.


ZAHN: And joining us now, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke, who is now an adviser to the Kerry campaign, Fouad Ajami, director of Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Glad to have the A-team with us tonight.


ZAHN: How do you see this trial playing out?

RICHARD HOLBROOKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: I have no idea. It's a very dramatic trial. It's the second time in just a few years that a war criminal chief of state is going in a national trial. This has never happened before. It's happening twice. The other one of course is Milosevic.

Now, in the Hague, this is an international tribunal. Here, the U.S. government made a decision to turn it entirely over to the Iraqis. I disagree with that. I have would preferred the mixed tribunal system which we worked out at the U.N. for Sierra Leone. A mixed tribunal is neither an international tribunal, like the Hague's trial of Milosevic, nor a pure local tribunal, because you're not sure that they have a strict legal system.

But they're going this route and it's going to be an extraordinarily and interesting trial.

ZAHN: Do you believe this route is compromised, given what Richard just said?

AJAMI: Well, I don't think so much it's compromised. I think we have to look -- this is a gift, if you will, to the Iraqi people, that this monster who had heaped destruction on them will be tried in Iraq.

The victims of Saddam Hussein, we know they're Iraqis, they're Iranians and they're Kuwaitis. These are the principal victims of Saddam. Now, is there is going to be a trial of Saddam in the next several months? Can Iraq bear a trial of Saddam Hussein? Can it bear this trial while there is an insurgency raging in Iraq?

Where is the witness protection program? Who's going to take the stand against Saddam Hussein? So I happen to know the young man, the prosecutor who will be trying Saddam, this young man, Salem Chalabi.

ZAHN: He is worried about Saddam Hussein escaping.


AJAMI: Well, not only that. We have to worry about, can Iraq today, in the condition it's in, can it bear a trial of Saddam Hussein? Don't expect trial for the next several months. We have to wait and see and cope with the insurgency. Then we can take up the issue of Saddam.

HOLBROOKE: Let's see how it goes. There's point in spending too much time predicting the unpredictable.

But the one thing is that's peculiar is that the United States, having been an overly heavy-handed occupying power in every way, Jerry Bremer being exhibit A, suddenly turns over the symbol of everything we sought entirely to an interim government which has no real standing yet. That's a high-risk strategy.

But, in the end Saddam is going to meet his just reward, one way or the other. I just hope it's an open, transparent progress, which is credible, because the last thing in the world we want is for this monster to become a martyr.

ZAHN: What is his just reward and do you see the Iraqi people ever being satisfied?

HOLBROOKE: His just reward is death.

ZAHN: That's what you believe?

HOLBROOKE: Absolutely.

AJAMI: There's not going to be any satisfaction.

The victims of Saddam Hussein will witness the banality of evil. Listen, Hannah Arendt once wrote this famous book of Eichmann when Eichmann was caught in Argentina and brought to Israel to be tried for the war crimes against the Jews. People discovered how pathetic a figure he is. Saddam believes he was a just ruler. He has already said that, that he was a firm ruler.


HOLBROOKE: As does Milosevic, by the way.

AJAMI: Exactly. Exactly.


HOLBROOKE: All these nut -- dictators, who are the people most out of touch in the world, always believe in the end their own crazy propaganda. And we have exhibits A and B, Milosevic and Saddam.

ZAHN: Do you see a scenario in Iraq where you see a situation play out with Milosevic now, a trial that's gone on for almost several years and people said it's made a mockery of the system?

HOLBROOKE: And there's another two years to go.

ZAHN: Sure.

AJAMI: This could become -- imagine a drawn-out melodrama. Is it going to be on Court TV? Will Saddam insist on bringing Don Rumsfeld, asking for him to come and testify? We know all this.

ZAHN: That could happen.

AJAMI: Absolutely.




ZAHN: You don't believe that?

HOLBROOKE: Rumsfeld is not going to testify.

AJAMI: No, of course not.

HOLBROOKE: And Saddam will call him, just like Milosevic has called Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright and myself. It ain't going to happen.


AJAMI: Right.

HOLBROOKE: There will be a trial. He murdered millions of people, many of them deliberately with the most vicious method. And he has to be dealt with accordingly.

But the process matters. And we're going to learn about that. It is going to take a while. And, by the way, it is going to be done -- this is the key point, Paula -- against the context of whether or not this government can establish itself. This government is in a very odd position. It can only rule if it shows it's not an American puppet, but it can only survive with American military, economic and political support of the most massive kind. Otherwise, there will be civil war. So, that will be the context of the trial.


ZAHN: Let's talk about that for a closing thought. Given the fledging nature of this government, how important is it for this trial to be done appropriately?

AJAMI: To be honest with you, I think the trial is a sideshow.

HOLBROOKE: Yes. AJAMI: I think the crimes of Saddam are the crimes of Saddam. And we'll never -- the chain of command will never be established. I think the most important thing for the Iraqis, what really now -- what faces them in the next few months between now and January is the establishment of security, the defeat of the insurgency ,the establishment of public order.

Then they can turn their attention to Saddam and they will discover how pathetic a creature he is, just as we discovered on December 13, when we found him in a spider hole, that this is just a pathetic, small man.

ZAHN: Fouad Ajami, Richard Holbrooke, thank you for both of your perspectives tonight.

We're going to take a short break.

Coming up next, the challenge of putting a nation's former leader on trial? What exactly will the trial look like? Will he face a judge, a jury? Will he get the death penalty? Stay with us. Jeffrey Toobin will be along.


ZAHN: Well, it may be months before Saddam Hussein goes on trial on charges of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Joining us now to look at how his case may play out, senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Who is going to defend Saddam Hussein?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: He'll have no shortage of lawyers. Plenty of people will want the publicity, will want the attention.

ZAHN: What would their strategy be?

TOOBIN: Well, it's not always as easy as it seems to prove someone who appears to be obviously guilty.

We can all say based on journalistic accounts that we know Saddam Hussein ordered these murders. But who is the witness who is going to sit in the witness stand and say, Saddam Hussein told me to execute the following? Where is the document that has Saddam Hussein's signature on it that says kill these following people?


ZAHN: Do you think those documents exist?

TOOBIN: They may well. But it's not a simple thing to track it down. You may have to work out plea bargains with his lieutenants to get that testimony. It all takes time. It's morally complicated.

ZAHN: I find that hard to believe, given the alleged millions of Iraqis that they claim he had some hand in killing. You don't think you'll going to get witnesses to come forward to say, he killed my brother, he killed my father?

TOOBIN: He killed his father. Saddam Hussein may not personally...

ZAHN: Or ordered it.

TOOBIN: Well, ordered. Once you start to get into the business of ordered, that means you have witnesses. You have intermediaries who have their own axes to grind, their own selves to protect. It's gets complicated.

I don't doubt that that evidence is there. All I'm saying is that it's complicated to assemble and it takes a long time and it's not always as easy as it seems. The Milosevic trial, which you were just talking about earlier, it has taken two years-plus and there have not been lots of smoking guns there. So it is often more difficult than it seems in the abstract.

ZAHN: So how will this evidence be collected?

TOOBIN: Well, there are American lawyers working on it right now who are over there. There's a former assistant U.S. attorney from Tampa who is working as an assistant to the people who are organizing the trial.

ZAHN: You already have mass graves being unearthed.

TOOBIN: Yes, there are mass graves being unearthed. There are documents being researched. There is a structure in place, but it's only a bare-bones structure. We know that five judges will try Saddam Hussein.

ZAHN: Where do they come from?

TOOBIN: They are Iraqis. It's very important to our government to have turned this matter over at least in all its substance to the Iraqis.

ZAHN: But who are they? How do they pick them?

TOOBIN: They have not been picked yet.

The person in charge is Salem Chalabi, who is the nephew of the notorious Mr. Chalabi, who is now persona non grata with the Americans. He is a London lawyer who has been running the show. And, interestingly, he has said that the trial may not take place for as long as two years, because, remember, there's a big overarching issue here.

ZAHN: The security involved.

TOOBIN: Security.

ZAHN: And trying to get this trial on board... TOOBIN: Will they be able to protect him from escaping? Escaping is a huge issue. And then, how do you hold a trial where you couldn't even hold the turnover of government in public? There has to be some...

ZAHN: Fear of bombings.

TOOBIN: I mean, tremendous fear of bombings.

That has not been settled at all. And that's going to be the biggest initial hurdle to get over. And it may take months in and of itself.

ZAHN: What are some of the other obstacles you see?

TOOBIN: I think those are pretty big obstacles. The issue of how long, what kind of structure do you set up, because, can Saddam hijack this trial? One of the things that...


ZAHN: He's got a good little role leader, huh, in Milosevic.

TOOBIN: Right. He has, in many respects, hijacked his own trial. He is representing himself. He gets to give speeches every day in court. Will Saddam be given the same opportunity? Will he use this as an opportunity to try to justify his rule? That's a very hard question. Cameras in the courtroom is a very -- is an issue that...

ZAHN: Well, they're going to try to make this as public as possible.

TOOBIN: And I think that's -- but that hasn't been settled finally. There will be some -- certainly, it will be public, but I think cameras will be a necessity here, because interestingly, in the Nuremberg trials -- before the Nuremberg trials after World War II, most people didn't know about the Holocaust.

It was only in the Nuremberg trials that it was all laid out. This trial will have to be the means by which the Iraqi people learn just what Saddam Hussein was up to.

ZAHN: Fascinating. Jeffrey Toobin, thank you.

TOOBIN: A lot more to know.

ZAHN: Yes. We'll be following it with you.

When we come back, the home front and the day-to-day struggles of one military family, as a father faces deployment overseas for the third time in three years.


ZAHN: The silent partners of the soldiers serving in Iraq are the spouses, the children and the family members back home, silent because during a soldier's tour of duty, it's the family that must wait and hope and pray for the safe return of a loved one.

And last night at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, we met the families of some Marines who had been stationed in Iraq or were preparing to go. And while their wives took pride in the work their husbands did overseas they told us separation is never easy.

Tonight, we see just how difficult it is for the family of one Army captain as he gets ready to ship out.

Maria Hinojosa has the story from Fort Drum, New York.


MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These soldiers have less than 24 hours before they're sent off to war in Iraq. Their training has been intensive here at Fort Drum and it hasn't let up.

CAPTAIN MIKE OLSON, U.S. ARMY; We got alerted approximately eight weeks ago. It was a compressed timeline, but we are ready.

HINOJOSA: Captain Mike Olson is in charge of the logistics for 150 soldiers.

M. OLSON: I have 100 percent confidence in my soldiers and my leadership and in myself.

HINOJOSA: The day before they're deployed, Olson says his men are calm. His bags are packed and he's set to go.

M. OLSON: This is my pistol belt, holds my .9-millimeter pistol.

HINOJOSA: But there is something else Mike Olson will take with him.

M. OLSON: "My best, dad. I love you, mom and dad, by Sidney (ph)."

HINOJOSA: A piece of his heart, his family, his three young daughters and his wife, who, for the third time in three years, will be left behind.

M. OLSON: She was sad, so she drew a picture of our house and then she drew a picture of an airplane. And that is me getting on the airplane flying away. So...

HINOJOSA (on camera): What do you say to her when she says, I'm sad, dad?

M. OLSON: I tell her that I'm sad as well. But, you know, we talk about it. We talk about the good things and we talk about when I get home.

HINOJOSA: Mike comes home to hugs. Sarah, his wife, gathers more pictures for him to take to the front lines.

SARAH OLSON, WIFE OF CAPTAIN M. OLSON: The girls and I did this for the first deployment. And we just kind of update it every time.

HINOJOSA: There is a saying here at Fort Drum and it's one that Sarah Olson knows well. The hardest job in the Army is being an Army wife.

S. OLSON: You can either swallow the pill and accept it and confront your emotions or you can hold it all in and be miserable the entire year. I'm not one to sit and feel sorry for myself. It's a lot easier to take it one day at a time with a smile, rather than feel sorry for myself and sit at home and mope. That's just going to make the year go by a lot slower.

M. OLSON: From the minute that you get deployed, you go through the whole gamut of emotions. This is my job, so there's some excitement about deploying. And then you go through the whole other end of leaving the family behind and the sadness of that.

HINOJOSA: So far, 21 soldiers from Fort Drum have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. This young couple has to talk about death.

S. OLSON: Who do you want to come if there's a knock on your door? Do you want just the chaplain and the casualty assistance officer? Is there a friend, a neighbor, someone from your family readiness group?

HINOJOSA: With the hours counting down to Captain Olson's deployment...

M. OLSON: I get you, Natty (ph).

HINOJOSA: ... there is a time for a quick game of tag.

The next morning, a different reality, from husband or wives, brothers or sisters...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty-eight eighty.


HINOJOSA: ... to simply being numbers on a bar code, soldiers ready for deployment. They look tough, but the nervousness and tension is here. Signs say, be safe, but these soldiers know that war is anything but safe.

M. OLSON: Last night, we went through and picked out some pictures. It's a good reminder of family. And when things get down, it's an easy way to pick yourself up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I pray that you bring every single one home safe, lord.

HINOJOSA: Arthur Vanderbilt (ph) is an Army chaplain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is a day of tears. You know, there is lots of crying and there's lots of, you know, tears as the soldiers leave. There's this huge void in the home. There's a lot of grieving. There's a lot of crying and a lot of missing, just learning to cope, you know, in separate places.

HINOJOSA: The Olsons say their final goodbyes. Low-key is how they describe it. At home, daddy's photos are placed at eye level. For a usually composed Sarah, there is a breaking point.

S. OLSON: When you're six months, 3 and 5, so much changes in a year. And it's a lot. It's a lot for Natalie. You know, Natalie is our shy one. She's -- this is her third deployment and she's 3 years old. And she deals so well with it for being 3. And she's my cuddle bug. She helps me get through it.

But then you think about Curly (ph). She's six months old. She doesn't know what's going on.

HINOJOSA: Captain Mike Olson is once again ready to serve his country. Still, he struggles.

M. OLSON: It's not easy to leave the family at home. You know, I'm a captain in the Army and this is my job and I'm ready to do what my nation calls on. And they understand that. They don't like that I have to go away, but they understand it, they support me and they support the military as well.


ZAHN: A commitment that carries with it a lot of pride and heartache.

Maria Hinojosa at Fort Drum, New York, home of the Army's 10th Mountain Division.

What You've just seen the Olsons going through is what thousands of military families are dealing with. And just today, we've learned that the Army plans to call up as many as 5,600 Reserve soldiers for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With us now to discuss this is our military analyst, retired Brigadier General David Grange. He joins from Oakbrook, Illinois.

Always good to see you.


ZAHN: So tell us a little bit more about this category of reservists that has now been called up. Who are they?

GRANGE: Well, what you have, Paula, is you have people that have served in the military. And then as they then enter their time of service, they're on the books. They have a commitment, what they call Individual Ready Reserve.

So if there is a crisis, an emergency, a need, they can be called up for active duty to fill out the ranks in organizations, depending on their specialties that they can provide.

ZAHN: But the issue is that they're not obligated to train regularly, are they? So how up to date are their skill levels?

GRANGE: Well, there are some things you don't forget. I can assure you that there are some techniques that I have not forgotten and I do it quite well.

But you need to get reblued. You need to get retrained. And they'll go through a retraining in Iraq and with their units when they join them.

ZAHN: Is this an uncommon move to have these types of reservists called up?

GRANGE: Well, you usually have a few here and there, and most of them volunteer. This is a little more unusual. This shows that there's quite a demand for the G.I. in the world today.

ZAHN: Shows quite a demand. Does that mean our forces are stretched too thin?

GRANGE: Forces are stretched quite a bit. When you start activating this many National Guard, Individual Ready Reserve, regular reserves, active forces deploying for the third time in three years, this is sustained conflict around the world against many different forces of evil. There's no doubt about it.

ZAHN: So what does it mean over a longer period of time?

GRANGE: It means that there's going to have to be a strategy to sustain this. This is not a peak in commitment. This is a plateau of requirements. And either you reduce the requirements around the world or you increase the size and assessability of certain units in the military.

People that are in, for instance, the Individual ready Reserve, they know that's a commitment come when they sign their contract, but most of them don't expect to be called up. Now the government is hitting every asset they have fill the ranks to conduct this campaign. There's a lot of enemy out there that was talked about in several shows today and elsewhere about jihadists movements and that. And it requires sustain conflict to take them on. And this is going to last for a while.

ZAHN: David Grange, always good to see you. Appreciate your insights tonight.

GRANGE: My pleasure.

ZAHN: Thank you.

Coming up next, a suspected serial rapist on the streets, while his DNA sat in a police crime lab for years. We'll tell you why. That story right after the break.


ZAHN: Well, it may help a -- catch a wanted criminal, but across the country, more than 540,000 DNA samples taken from crime scenes have yet to be tested by law enforcement officials. Many local agencies say they simply can't afford it.

And in one case, a community's DNA backlog left a suspected rapist on the loose for more than two years.

Here's Deborah Feyerick.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One Sunday morning in Columbus, Ohio, Diana Cunningham was raped as she slept in her bed.

DIANA CUNNINGHAM, RAPE VICTIM: I didn't know if he had a weapon, but he did tell me that if I opened my eyes he would slit my throat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robert Patton, Jr., 04CR39...

FEYERICK: The very next day, police caught the man Cunningham says attacked her. Robert Patton confessed to a local Ohio TV station that he had raped some 50 women in the Columbus area as far back as 1988.


FEYERICK: The thing is, police had Patton's DNA on file. A saliva swab was taken September 2001, just before Patton was released from prison, where he had been serving time for burglary.

The problem: federal funding for DNA testing had just run out in Ohio. Patton's DNA remained untested in a crime lab for two-and-a- half years until funding was restored.

During that time Patton is suspected of raping at least five women.

PATTON: You've got to have maybe a half a refrigerator full of my DNA.

FEYERICK: Across the United States, there are estimated half a million untested DNA samples. In Ohio, 14,000 saliva swabs sit on the shelf. But at $28 a swab, the state would have to pay out nearly $400,000 to clear up the backlog.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien believes the answer to many unsolved crimes lies in those tests.

RON O'BRIEN, FRANKLIN COUNTY PROSECUTOR: It's fair to say that there are many crimes that could be detected if these pieces of evidence were processed and many criminals that could be put behind bars and their criminal activities terminated. We just don't know how many.

FEYERICK: So far, Patton has been charged, among other things, with raping nearly 40 women. Diana Cunningham, who identified Patton in a police line-up, was among them.

Her message to politicians...

CUNNINGHAM: Because you decided that you didn't want to spend the money on it, multiple women have been attacked and violated and made to feel unsafe in their homes.

FEYERICK: The Ohio attorney general is now trying to use existing federal money to have all DNA swabs tested.

As for Patton...

PATTON: I'm not even sure if you can get the death penalty for I've done, but in my mind, that's what I think I really want.

FEYERICK: Patton recently pleaded not guilty to the 135-count indictment. If convicted as a sexually violent predator, he could get life in prison.


ZAHN: That was our own Deborah Feyerick.

Our next guest knows what Patton's alleged victims are going through. Kellie Greene was raped in 1994, and DNA helped investigators find her attacker.

Ms. Greene is the founder and director of SOAR, Speaking Out About Rape. It is a nonprofit group that helps victims and works to raise awareness about the crime. She's also on the advisory board for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, which offers counseling through its national sexual assault hotline.

Kellie Greene joins us from Orlando, Florida. Thanks so much for joining us, Kellie.

KELLIE GREENE, FOUNDER/DIRECTOR, SOAR: Thanks for having me, Paula.

ZAHN: Take us back to when you were 28 years old and you were attacked. What happened when you took the news to the police?

GREENE: Well, I had just come home from work and started to do my laundry, and then the rapist entered my apartment and raped me.

After he left, after about 45 minutes, I contacted the police. I reported it to them, and I went through the forensic exam. I did everything that you were supposed to do once you are raped.

ZAHN: How long did you wait until you decided to take a more aggressive role in the process?

GREENE: Well, I was very fortunate in the fact that I had a very -- I had a really good detective working the case. Because -- the case went unsolved for three years, because there were so suspects in the rape. My rape kit sat on a shelf for three years until that detective decided there was another rapist that could match it, and she asked for the kit to be analyzed.

ZAHN: How discouraging was that for you? You must have been furious.

GREENE: It's -- it's very discouraging, but I think what overtakes your mind at the time is living in fear of not knowing who that rapist is, of wondering if he's still out there watching you, following you, going places where you go, attacking other women.

And you really just want to know who that person is so that you can have justice so that you can get closure and move on with your life.

ZAHN: But unfortunately, Kellie, you aren't the only one who's had to put up with this. How many rape test kits are sitting on shelves in police stations across the country that have gone untested?

GREENE: Right now, it's estimated that there's 169,000 rape kits that are sitting on shelves not being tested for DNA.

ZAHN: A hundred and sixty-nine thousand. Why?

GREENE: It's a lack of funding. Legislators pass bills all the time mandating that samples be collected from offenders, and yet they don't pass the funding to go along with these bills so that these things can happen.

So, there's a backlog in all of the crime labs across the United States right now, not only with the offender cases, but also with crime scene evidence cases.

ZAHN: Kellie, anybody hearing your story tonight is going to have empathy for you. Yet, on the other hand, you know there are folks out there who are saying, "Wait a minute. This is a great idea you have, Kellie, but the fact is budgets across the country are what they are. And it's not realistic to think that you'd ever be able to test the some 160,000 kits that are sitting out there untested."

GREENE: There's no reason not to. For every kit that's not tested, that means that there's a rapist or murderer out there on our streets.

And the more crime that they commit, the more money we have to spend to police our streets, once they are caught, to put them through our criminal justice system. And so, it's a never-ending process.

But if we find these criminals and prevent the victimization ahead of time, we're saving people's lives and ultimately saving money.

ZAHN: And there's a lot of confusion here about how investigators would even begin to start sorting through...

GREENE: I'm not hearing her.


ZAHN: We are back, now. We apologize that you weren't able to hear the last minute or so of that interview that I was doing with Kellie Greene, a rape victim, whose case went unsolved for three years.

She was talking very passionately about the need for rape test kits to actually be tested, some 160,000 now sitting on shelves at police departments across the country that aren't being tested, mainly because of financial reasons.

We're going to move on now to a different topic, and that is the topic of Bill Clinton's best-selling book. It has become a nonfiction phenomenon. The former president's memoir, titled "My Life," broke a sales record on the day it was published and sold almost a million copies in less than a week.

While the book is a hot item, not everyone is happy about Mr. Clinton's message, especially the women from his past.


ZAHN (voice-over): He has been talking...

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I regret misleading my family, my administration, and the American people most of all.

ZAHN: ... and talking...

CLINTON: One of the reasons he got away with it is because people like you only ask people like me the questions. You gave him a complete free ride.

ZAHN: ... and talking.

CLINTON: I knew better than to do it. I didn't really want to do it at some level, but I could do it.

ZAHN: And the women who became famous when Bill Clinton became famous are responding.

Monica Lewinsky was the woman everyone wanted to hear from. But throughout most of Clinton's weeklong media blitz, Lewinsky was silent. Then, in London, she gave an interview to a British tabloid.

Quote, "He talked about it as though I had laid it all out there for the taking. I was the buffet, and he just couldn't resist the dessert. That's not how it was. This was a mutual relationship, mutual on all levels."

Lewinsky is not alone in her anger.

GENNIFER FLOWERS, CLAIMS AFFAIR WITH CLINTON: Yes, I was Bill Clinton's lover for 12 years.

ZAHN: Gennifer Flowers went public with allegations of an affair with Bill Clinton in 1992.

CLINTON: How are you doing? Thank you.

ZAHN: In his book, Bill Clinton admits but writes, "The fact is, there was no 12-year affair."

Gennifer Flowers says that's a lie and issued a statement through her lawyer. Quote, "I am sickened by his continued disregard for the truth. Bill Clinton pretends to be contrite, but he continues to bear false witness against his neighbor. He is a national disgrace."

And there are reports Gennifer Flowers is even considering a lawsuit.

PAULA JONES, ALLEGES SEXUAL HARASSMENT: He took me, before I knew it had me and hugged me really tight to the side.

ZAHN: And then, there's Paula Jones. The Arkansas state employee in 1994 sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment.

In "My Life," Clinton continues to deny the harassment and offers no account of what happened in that now infamous hotel encounter.

And despite having settled the case out of court in 1998, Jones now says, quote, "He still thinks that was not an admission of guilt. He was guilty -- he knows he was."

So, Jones is taking her fight to the mic, challenging Clinton to a public debate.


(on camera): And joining us now from Little Rock, Arkansas, for an exclusive interview, that is Paula Jones. Thanks for joining us tonight, Paula.


ZAHN: So, you challenged the former president to a public debate. What is it that you want to talk to him about?

JONES: Well, I mean, hopefully he would maybe confess or whatever. But I have no trouble talking to him on a public forum, because I know I'm telling the truth.

ZAHN: And when you said you want him to confess, confess to harassment?

JONES: I would think, hopefully, that if anything he could at least admit to meeting with me, you know, because he knows he did it. You know, God, I, and he knows what he did, and he did it.

And I don't think he would ever want to do that, but I'm just saying that I would do that if there was ever an opportunity.

ZAHN: Well, in his book, he talks pretty specifically about it, and he says he settled the suit with you simply to not only get it behind him, but get it behind the country. You don't buy that explanation, do you?

JONES: No, I don't. I mean, why is an innocent man going to settle a lawsuit that he says was thrown out in the first place or that he wasn't guilty of?

He knew it would be overturned by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. And with the different experts, witnesses, and people that were saying that it was going it be overturned, that's why he settled it.

ZAHN: You're really confident you would have won in court?

JONES: Oh, I believe I would. Yes, I do. And then, I think it's funny, that I think I've heard that he said he would have won in court or his lawyers said that he would have won. Well, if he would have won, why didn't he take it all the way, then, instead of settling?

ZAHN: But ultimately, it become the "he said, she said" scenario. And many people have been attacking your credibility for years. Has this been worth the fight for you?

JONES: Yes. I mean, I don't look back with regret. I've moved on with my life. I mean, I have -- I'm living a happy life and got three wonderful boys and a wonderful husband. And it was worth it to me.

I mean, you know, he's always going to lie about the truth. He's doing it now. He -- Bill Clinton has a very big problem with telling the truth. And I think most of the American people know that.

ZAHN: And yet, why do you continue to subject yourself to this? You've become targeted by radio talk shows across the country, people assailing your credibility.

JONES: I don't think anybody's said anything about my credibility lately. They just want my opinion of what's going on. And I'm happy to give my opinion of what I think about what he's still out there doing, just like the other women are happy to give their opinion of him just still having trouble telling the truth.

ZAHN: Have you read the book?

JONES: No, I have not.

ZAHN: Do you plan to?

JONES: No. I've heard -- different ones have told me about different excerpts from the book that has my name in it, but that's all I've heard about it.

ZAHN: What have your attorneys told you about the excerpts specifically related to you?

JONES: From the book?

ZAHN: Yes.

JONES: I haven't talked to any of my attorneys.

ZAHN: So, this whole idea of publicly debating the president was your idea?


ZAHN: No one is telling you to do that?

JONES: No, no, no. Nobody's telling me -- I'm just trying to prove that, you know, look, I'm not afraid of debating him, because I know what happened happened. He says it didn't happen, but it did happen.

And I'm just saying that -- to prove a point, that I'm not embarrassed or ashamed to be out and meet him eye to eye and tell him he knows he did what he did to me. But Bill Clinton would never agree to something like that. But I'm just putting it out there to let people know that I'm not afraid to debate him.

ZAHN: And yet, you and I have spoken about this before. There has been a lot of pain involved with your being a part of this story. What has been the worst part of all of this when you decided that it was -- you were willing to confront it publicly? The worst fallout?

JONES: Well, it was, you know, everybody calling me names and all the Clinton people saying that I was lying and that I wasn't even worthy of Bill Clinton looking at me or, you know, harassing me.

And talking about -- oh, James Carville saying that I was -- you know, lived in a trailer park and, you know, run a $100 bill through a trailer park and you'll never know what you get.

And they were just trying to discredit me and say that I wasn't worthy of what, you know, he could have done to me or whatever. And that's what hurt the most, and all the talk show hosts and stuff like that making fun of my appearance and just stuff like that, as though I had to look a certain way.

ZAHN: So, finally tonight, Paula, why do you think so many people are buying this book? It is a publishing phenomenon.

JONES: I think -- well, you know, I mean, a million copies, I think I've heard, have been sold. If you look at the whole majority of the country, it's not a whole lot of books actually.

ZAHN: He's setting records, though. You know he's setting records.

JONES: You know what? Nothing bothers this man. I don't understand it. I think a lot of people are just curious about the book and really don't believe everything that he says in it for the first place. I know I don't, and I know the other women do not believe him.

ZAHN: Well, he certainly has a list of defenders out there who we've had on the air, as well.

Paula Jones, thank you for sharing your part of the story with us tonight. We appreciate it.

JONES: You're welcome.

ZAHN: And four years ago, they kept him at bay, but at next month's Democratic convention, he'll be the man of the day. Bill Clinton is the prime-time attraction at the convention at the opening night. That story, when we come back.


ZAHN: And we're back.

Former President Clinton will still have the spotlight shining on him next month when he speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. It is quite a change from four years ago when Al Gore wanted to distance himself from Clinton during his own presidential bid.

So, what does Clinton's presence mean for the Democrats and especially the Kerry campaign?

Joining us now, two frequent guests on our program. Always good to see both of them. In Washington, Peter Beinart of "The New Republic"; here in New York with me, John Fund of the "Wall Street Journal."

Welcome back.

Peter, I want to start with you this evening. I don't know how much of my interview you could hear with Paula Jones. She basically came out and repeated something she's been saying for years, that Bill Clinton is a liar. In particular, she's not too happy about some of the passages in her book. Your reaction.

PETER BEINART, "THE NEW REPUBLIC": You know, I have to say, I think Bill Clinton was a great president, but I -- but listening to her here, you know, I thought she sounds very credible. And I -- knowing what we know about Bill Clinton, I wouldn't take his word over Paula Jones on this.

And I think that we know now what we knew at the end of Bill Clinton's presidency, which is that I think he was a very gifted politician who did some really terrific things for this country -- things that, in retrospect, look even better -- but in his personal life, he was a man who had very serious problems and who deserved condemnation.

ZAHN: Do you want this guy out front and center at your convention? JOHN FUND, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Yes, because he will attract a lot of attention. He has a enormous following among the Democratic base. And in the fall, he can drive out the vote in many areas, including black and Hispanic neighborhood, where he's still very popular.

But you don't want to the 800-pound gorilla to dominate and overshadow John Kerry and his vice presidential pick.

ZAHN: Are you worried about that, Peter?

BEINART: I don't think so. You know, these conventions have a natural rhythm. They kind of rise to a crescendo with the acceptance speech of the nominee.

And by that point, what Bill Clinton said on Monday, unless it was truly outrageous or there was something deeply controversial, would really be forgotten. It really will be John Kerry's night. And that will be what launches him through the rest of the campaign. So, I don't think there's too great a chance that he'll be overshadowed.

ZAHN: All right. So, you've got the specter of Bill Clinton looming large, the former president of the convention, and also the former vice president, Al Gore. How do you think the Democrats should play him?

FUND: Well, like a legacy. A lot of Democrats have decided that Al Gore has gone a little wacko and joined the party of Michael Moore. You know, his speeches are now yelling festivals.

They're going to give him a prime-time spot, but you're not going to see a lot of reaction to it. Once he leaves stage, he will be forgotten.

ZAHN: Does that help or hurt John Kerry, Peter?

BEINART: I think some of the things that -- Al Gore is like Michael Moore. He could be useful for issues he injects into the campaign, but John Kerry doesn't want to have his fingerprints on them. He wants Al Gore to be able to make those critiques but not have him associated with those critiques.

And I think John is right. What they'll do is they'll have Gore go out and speak, probably not angry as he has been in some of these events. And then, he will be gone, and it will be Kerry's event.

ZAHN: Let's move on to the vice presidential sweepstakes tonight. We have a new poll out by CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup showing John Edwards, as you can see, leading the pack here.

Of course, these folks taking the poll were asked to rate five potential running mates. Gephardt here got a solid second place, and Americans seem positive about some of these other candidates, as well.

How much of a difference will John Kerry's choice mean? FUND: Ultimately not much, because people don't vote for a vice president. George Bush and Dan Quayle is a perfect example of that.

I think, though, that he can provide credibility, and I think he can provide some enthusiasm. Also, of course, is the issue with national security. And I think that Kerry would be helped, in order, by: Edwards; Evan Bayh, who's very moderate; or a completely out of the box suggestion, someone like a Sam Nunn, who could be brought out of retirement and would really show the moderate credentials that John Kerry wants to present to independent voters.

ZAHN: Peter, I haven't heard the name Chuck Hagel bandied about. Is that a real possibility?

BEINART: I think very unlikely. I don't think you'll see Chuck Hagel, both in the Republican Party. You know, Sam Nunn was a hawk, but let's not forget that he was, in fact, the person who gave John Kerry cover to vote against the Gulf War, which is one of the votes that John Kerry was talking about...

FUND: Well, Peter, you're right, and that's why he would provide cover for Kerry across all parts of the Democratic Party. I think all parts of the Democratic Party would find him largely acceptable.

BEINART: No, that's in fact -- take it from me, that's not true. Sam Nunn is way too conservative on a lot of social and cultural issues, I think to be...

FUND: So was Joe Lieberman. Joe Lieberman learned how to talk...

BEINART: No, Joe...

FUND: ... language.

BEINART: No, no, Joe Lieberman is far more liberal on most social and cultural economic issues than Sam Nunn. Not even close.

I think that Kerry has put himself in a difficult position now. Democrats have started to rally behind the idea of Edwards to such a degree, perhaps fueled by Edwards, that if he chooses Gephardt, there really may be a sense of being let down. He may not get the excitement that he wants to get out of the pick.

ZAHN: You hear a lot of stories about the nature of John Edwards' relationship with John Kerry, particularly when they were beating each other's brains out.

FUND: And they were rivals in the Senate.

ZAHN: Absolutely. What's the reality of it? Do they like each other?

FUND: There's wary respect. But here's the problem: Edwards is a perfectly logical choice from every perspective, except John Kerry has to ask himself, do I really want this man serving as my vice president and perhaps even overshadowing me with some Democratic audiences?

ZAHN: What about that, Peter?

BEINART: I think that's right. And I think that, you know, George W. Bush, I think, has also created a new model of a vice president. I think that a lot of people are going to look at this and say, "Wow, George W. Bush has it pretty good. He's got a guy who doesn't have political ambitions of his own, who works very well with Congress, who he can give real responsibility to."

It's pretty attractive if you're thinking about sitting there in the White House and have a Dick Cheney-type. And I think it's the Dick Cheney model which has helped Gephardt rise to the fore.

ZAHN: We're going to quickly move on to the speakers lineup at the GOP convention, which comes about a month later. You have Mayor Bloomberg, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani. Are these folks going to help George Bush?

FUND: Well, I think the Republicans have done...

ZAHN: Ten seconds from you and 10 from Peter.

FUND: They've done a wonderful thing. Schwarzenegger front and center, very popular, lots of star appeal. And they have managed to satisfy Bloomberg, Pataki, and Giuliani -- three New York egos you can't fit in the same room.

ZAHN: You've got that right. Peter, final thought on that?

BEINART: None of these guys represent where the base of the Washington Republican Party is, not by a long shot. It's just like the 2000 convention, a dishonest presentation of what the Republican Party is about.

ZAHN: All right, gentlemen, we've got to leave it there on that note.

Peter Beinart, John Fund, thank you both.

We're going to take a short break. We'll be right back.


ZAHN: And that wraps it up for all of us here this evening. Thanks so much for being with us tonight.

Tomorrow night, we're going to meet a real life band of brothers: a father and five sons taking turns serving their country in Iraq. They're going to talk with a great deal of candor, and I think you'll appreciate what they have to say.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Thanks again for joining us tonight. We hope you have a real good night. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow.


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