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'Million Dollar' Controversy; Keeping Order in Jackson Case

Aired February 7, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us tonight.
Tonight, an award-winning Hollywood blockbuster and the controversy over the message it might be sending.


HILARY SWANK, ACTRESS: I promise I'll work so hard.

CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR: You question me.


ZAHN: A boxing film that's building a lot of buzz, "Million Dollar Baby." More awards.

SWANK: Thankful, speechless.

ZAHN: More fame and more questions about the message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell the public the truth about this movie.

ZAHN: Tonight, a close-up look at an Oscar favorite.

And another superstar defendant, another case under the media spotlight. Can this judge keep order in the court during this trial of the century?


ZAHN: Well, if you missed having some controversy at the Super Bowl, there might be hope for you on Oscar night, thanks to the ending of "Million Dollar Baby."

The film keeps winning awards. Hilary Swank took home the Screen Actors Guild award for best actress over the weekend. And the controversy just keeps on growing. It involves values and ethics, which is why we're discussing it here tonight. But we want to warn you, we'll pretty much give away the ending of the movie. So, if you don't want to know, turn down the sound for a moment.

Having said that, Here's Thelma Gutierrez.


THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is being hailed as one of the best movies of the year.


EASTWOOD: Girlie, tough ain't enough.


GUTIERREZ: Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby", a film about a woman boxer's rise to the top.


SWANK: And according to you, I'll be 37 before I can even throw a decent punch, which after working this feed bag for a month and getting nowhere, I now realize maybe God's simple truth.


GUTIERREZ: That takes a tragic turn and at the risk of giving too much away raises the issue of assisted suicide. And it isn't the only Oscar contender that deals with this sensitive subject.

"The Sea Inside" by Alejandro Amenabar, up for best foreign film, is based on the true story of a disabled man's legal battle for the right to die. The issue sparked protests. A dozen national disabled rights organizations oppose assisted suicide.

EASTWOOD: How people feel about that is up to them. I'm certainly not a pro-euthanasia person, but this was a story and this was a story of a giant dilemma, and a person who had to face that.

GUTIERREZ: But Diane Coleman, with the group Not Dead Yet, says she's disturbed by both Oscar contenders and the message she says the movie sends.

DIANE COLEMAN, PRESIDENT, NOT DEAD YET: The stereotypes held in popular opinion that severe disability is a fate worse than death, and that is a really bad stereotype to reinforce.

KIM ANDERSON, SUPPORTS ASSISTED SUICIDE: For other people to draw that conclusion, I think, it's a little bit fanatical.

GUTIERREZ: Thirty-three-year-old Kim Anderson is a quadriplegic. She cannot use her arms or legs. When Kim was 17, she broke her neck in a car accident. She has been in a wheelchair ever since.

ANDERSON: Assisted suicide is something that has always been red flagged or tried to be pushed under the carpet because it's something that's not supposed to happen.

GUTIERREZ: But Kim says it's an issue that needs to be discussed.

ANDERSON: It doesn't come down to how the families feel. It doesn't come down to how the disability advocacy groups feel. It comes down to how the person in that situation feels. GUTIERREZ: Though Kim says every day is a struggle, she has found purpose in her life since the accident. She graduated from high school, then college. She eventually earned a Ph.D. Kim is now an assistant professor in the neuroscience department in U.C. Irvine in Southern California.

ANDERSON: So make sure you do that one.

GUTIERREZ: Studying something she's well acquainted with, spinal cord injury and possible treatments.

ANDERSON: That's where we need the darker staining.

GUTIERREZ: With all her achievements, Kim has had her moments of despair.

ANDERSON: And I would probably put a bet on it that probably just everyone that has a spinal cord injury has at one time or the other contemplated suicide.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): Have you?

ANDERSON: I have, for sure. I go through -- it's been 16 years now for me. And I go through cycles of depression, because it's not just that I can't walk. It's every single thing that I do every single day seven days a week 24 hours a day for 16 years that is a struggle. Every day is a struggle.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Kim says in the end it boils down to personal choice.

ANDERSON: There are times when, you know, I wish that I was dead. I haven't gotten to that extreme point yet of ending my life, but, you know, on the other hand, if I was in a situation where I could not kill myself, but I really did not want to live this life anymore, I would want the option and the right to die with dignity.


ZAHN: And Hilary Swank, of course, who is playing the lead role in "Million Dollar Baby,' steered clear of the assisted suicide controversy in her acceptance speech at the Screen Actors Guild Awards Saturday night. And today, at a lunch for Oscar nominees, she was specifically asked whether "Million Dollar Baby" does a disservice to the disabled.

She replied that the story in the film didn't necessarily reflect her own views and it was -- quote -- her "job to service the story and get out of its way."

Joining me now from Stony Brook, New York is Brooke Ellison. You may recognize her as the subject of a TV film directed by the late Christopher Reeve. Brooke was hit by a car and paralyzed from the neck down when she was just in the seventh grade. She's also a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, an author and a sought-after motivational speaker. Brooke, thanks so much for joining us tonight.

I wanted to start off by reading to you part of an official statement from the National Spinal Cord Injury Association. It reads that: "Eastwood uses the power of fame and film to perpetuate his view that the lives of people with disabilities are not worth living."

What did you think of this reaction from the disability community?

BROOKE ELLISON, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER: Well, I think that's a reasonable reaction, but we have to be careful a little bit.

I think we run -- we go too close to censorship. We find ourselves in the situation kind of like a "Bonfire of the Vanities"- type situation where art and creativity are frowned upon that don't send a message that we want to send.

So I think Mr. Eastwood had every right to tell the story he wanted to tell. But I can understand people's sensibilities being a little bit hurt to a certain degree.

ZAHN: Brooke, you saw the film. How did you view it?

ELLISON: Well, I thought the movie itself was beautifully done. I thought Mr. Eastwood did an effective job telling the story of the need for human companionship. That's really what the crux of the movie really is all about. It's about our need for one another, about how our lives become intertwined in strange ways. And I thought he did a very effective and beautiful job in telling that story.

ZAHN: But Clint Eastwood says, at its core, this is a story about a giant dilemma. Do you understand the dilemma he was referring to?

ELLISON: Sure. Sure.

There's pain in people's lives, no matter what their circumstances they face themselves -- they face. It's always -- it's a matter of balancing the pain that you feel and the love that is shared. So, I think that he told that story very well.

ZAHN: But, in telling that story, do you think he left the moviegoer with the impression that a disabled person's life is not worth living?

ELLISON: I can see how that could be construed, particularly when you live in a situation like my own and other people with quadriplegia. I can understand how that message would be one that can be taken and taken to heart, unfortunately. Yes, definitely.

ZAHN: I guess we all view movies through our own prism of reference. Did you think this movie was a pro-euthanasia film?

ELLISON: Excuse me?

ZAHN: A lot of people say, critics of this film, that this was a pro-euthanasia film.


ZAHN: Just we were just talking people then to view this through their own reference lens. What did you think?

ELLISON: I don't think it was necessarily pro-euthanasia, so much as it was how one particular person sought to deal with her pain. And I think that was a perfectly reasonable way to handle things.

And I know firsthand that people deal with their pain in that way. And I don't think it's necessarily exclusive to people who face physical disabilities. And I think that's something that we have to balance. There's pain in all sorts of -- in everybody's life. And it's a matter of what we do with that, how we wield our -- the pain we face into hope and not focus too much on what we're limited, how we're limited, but how our lives still have opportunity.

And that's, I think, a central message that we have to all take, regardless of what situation here in. I think -- and this movie can be kind of seen as a wakeup call to many people, regardless of their situation, that the pain that we face is not a death sentence. It's something that we can change into hope.

And, actually, to a certain extent, I think that this kind of elevates the discourse, the public discourse, at least to a certain extent, of how we all have to take responsibility for the pain that we face and the pain that others face, and how we can help bring hope and help change people's attitudes from one of despair to one of hope.

ZAHN: Well, you certainly have set a powerful example that way. And I know that you've inspired so many people who have had the opportunity to hear you speak.

Brooke Ellison, thank you so much for joining us tonight.

ELLISON: Thank you. Thank you.

ZAHN: Thanks.

And coming up next, remember Judge Ito? Well, if you thought he had it rough with the O.J. Simpson case, wait until you hear about the judge who has to stand up to this guy.


ZAHN: As it turns out, Michael Jackson's trial is on hold until Valentine's Day. This last week, the judge postponed jury selection for a week because the sister of Jackson's attorney was gravely ill. She has since then died, so proceedings have been put of for another week.

Now, the judge WHO made that decision is Rodney Melville. What do we know about the man who will preside over this latest trial of the century?

Here's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST (voice-over): On Michael Jackson's first day in court, Judge Rodney Melville was not pleased when the defendant was 20 minutes late. The judge told him: "Mr. Jackson, you have started off on the wrong foot with me. I want to advise you that I will not put up with that. It's an insult to the court."

In spite of the scolding, Jackson danced on the roof of his SUV afterwards, but one of his lawyers at the time told CNN that, in the future, the star would get to Melville's courtroom on time.

BENJAMIN BRAFMAN, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL JACKSON: It will never happen again. And there is nothing that Michael Jackson wanted to do to show disrespect. This is a terrific judge. He's a fair man.

TOOBIN: Many of the lawyers who have argued before him describe Judge Melville as a fair judge with a mild-mannered style, but a firm hand.

JAMES HERMAN, ATTORNEY: He controls the courtroom, which is important. Neither side wants the other side to get out of control.

TOOBIN: According to one of his top aides, Melville is brisk, but not intimidating.

DARREL PARKER, AIDE TO JUDGE MELVILLE: I think he's the way people want their judges to be. I don't think people want them to be Judge Judy, barking from the bench and berating people. I think people want their judges to people that they can respect and look up to.

TOOBIN: The last judge to preside over a trial of the century was Lance Ito. He had an excellent reputation until the O.J. Simpson case. Going into his trial of the century, Rodney Melville also has a strong reputation and the benefit of lessons learned from Judge Ito of what not to do.

JOE GALLAS, ATTORNEY: Unfortunately, Judge Ito, for whatever reason, seemed to get run over by everybody. Maybe that would be something that Rod saw and said, it's not going to happen to me.

TOOBIN: The judge has already fined a Jackson attorney $1,000 when he asked a witness questions that were out of bounds.

But after damaging grand jury testimony leaked out two weeks ago, Judge Melville gave Michael Jackson an exception from the gag order he's imposed and let him make a public statement.

MICHAEL JACKSON, DEFENDANT: The information is disgusting and false.

JUDGE LANCE ITO: Back on the record in the Simpson matter. TOOBIN: The Simpson trial was on live television. But Melville is not only keeping cameras out of the courtroom. He is censoring court documents before releasing them.

Jackson's fans hope the judge is sympathetic to a superstar whose personal life has had some rough patches. But they might be surprised to know that Judge Melville is not stranger to human weaknesses. In a candid interview in 2001, he described his fight with alcoholism decades ago.

MELVILLE: The first time I had a drink, I knew right away that I liked alcohol. It was hot and it was straight. And -- but it did something to me that made me feel more important, a nicer person, more acceptable to the people I was with. What happened to me was, one night, having been extremely drunk, I woke up and it just struck me, and it struck me that I was an alcoholic.

TOOBIN: Judge Melville says it has been 26 years since his last drink. He has worked with local programs to help addicts overcome their problems. But he's also stern with them when they appear before him in court.

HERMAN: It gives him I think a richer understanding of some of the difficulties people have. And, by the same token, it's not something that is going to affect him so that, for example, he's would be lenient simply because somebody has those problems.

MELVILLE: A judge -- when I said earlier that I direct people to treatment, I also give them a consequence for their act, so that there is something more than just good news. There is some reason to quit what you're doing.

TOOBIN: The judge would seem to have little in common with his famous defendant, but it turns out Judge Melville likes to dance, too, if only once a year.

PARKER: At our end-of-the-year employee party, he's singing "The Village People"'s "YMCA" song with an Indian headdress on and doing the, what is that, chicken dance.


ZAHN: So the judge knows how to get down.

TOOBIN: Apparently so. Maybe that will help Michael.

ZAHN: Let me ask you about this whole notion that this guy is a fair-minded guy. Once this trial gets under way, the level of scrutiny is going to be really hot, which is very different from anything else this guy has ever undertaken.

TOOBIN: And you can see he sees this as not just any trial. I was there that day when he scolded Michael for being late. I was sitting across the aisle from Janet Jackson. All the Jackson family was in the room. The atmosphere there is not a normal courtroom. But, by scolding Michael, he's trying to lay down the law in the quite literal sense of, I'm going to hold you to the same standards as anyone else. But when this thing gets revved up and the attention gets revved up, that's going to be the real challenge.

ZAHN: The challenge is that he'll cave or that he will tempted -- there have been people out there who have almost accused him of censorship leading up to the trial.

TOOBIN: Right. Well, I think he is so conscious of the public scrutiny that he's bent over backwards to limit public access, I think unfairly, by censoring all those documents.

But he has one big advantage that Judge Ito didn't have, is that this trial will not be televised. So he will not be under the same kind of scrutiny.

ZAHN: I didn't know that about his background. That's an interesting....


ZAHN: ... the way.

Jeff, thanks for dropping by tonight.

Coming up next, inside the world of espionage.


FLOYD PASEMAN, AUTHOR, "A SPY'S JOURNEY": The Iranian intelligence service attempted to assassinate me on one of my assignments. They failed, as you can see.


ZAHN: When we come back, yes, they failed indeed. Trade secrets from some spies who came in from the cold.


ZAHN: Welcome back.

For the past four months, more than a dozen senior officials have left the CIA, Congress passed the giant package of intelligence reforms, and we learned that the Pentagon is running its own secret spy operations in what's traditionally been the CIA's turf. Well, now we're also getting a firsthand look inside the spy agency, thanks to three former operatives who have written books about their time as spies. Combined, they have more than 50 years of experience combined, two women, one man.

And national security correspondent David Ensor spoke with all of them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We met at a bar not far from the CIA, once a popular hangout for the spy set. Both women were clandestine officers. Both have now written books, Melissa Mahle, an Arabic speaker with 14 years at the CIA, and Lindsay Moran, who spent five years with the agency, part of it in Southeastern Europe.

(on camera): Have either of you been to this bar before?



ENSOR: OK, with others from the agency or...

MORAN: With one other colleague from the agency.

ENSOR: Is this the kind of setting in which a case officer might try to recruit agents?

MAHLE: I would bring somebody here and spend time with them. I don't think I would use this kind of a very intimate, closed-in setting for an actual recruitment pitch.

ENSOR: What sort of a setting would you look for, for that?

MAHLE: Well, I think that I'd like to have someplace where there are not a lot of people and where I can speak more privately, because what if the person goes crazy on you?

MORAN: You want to be somewhere where if, as Melissa said, if the person goes crazy or makes a scene, it's not going to blow your cover.

ENSOR (voice-over): Floyd Paseman also knows something about recruiting spies. We visited him at his home outside Williamsburg, Virginia. Fluent in Chinese, author of a new book, Paseman is a decorated 34-year veteran.

(on camera): Was your life ever in danger as a CIA officer?

PASEMAN: Yes, it was on a number of occasions. I don't want to overdramatize it, but The Iranian intelligence service attempted to assassinate me on one of my assignments. They failed, as you can see.

ENSOR (voice-over): Their job was to go to dangerous places sometimes and try to recruit potentially dangerous people.

(on camera): You're an Arabic speaker, a specialist in the Arab world, but you're a blue-eyed blonde. Did that ever -- was that ever a problem for you?

MAHLE: No. Actually, I always found it to be an advantage.


ENSOR: Ah. How so?

MAHLE: The Arab male rather likes to sit down and talk to a blonde, blue-eyed woman and get to know her. And so I found them to be very welcoming to my efforts to spend some time with them. I've always found that, once you say no, I'm sorry, I'm not going to sleep with you, and that's not why I want to be your friend, then they are so bewildered and befuddled by all of that, you just have them wrapped around your little finger. You can take them anywhere you want to go from there.

ENSOR: But Lindsay Moran, who I also met for lunch earlier, told me it isn't always quite that easy.

MORAN: I knew plenty of women who did get themselves in uncomfortable situations, one woman who was being chased around a hotel room by a sort of libidinous Arab agent. That's a case where she obviously didn't do enough early on to establish the parameters of the relationship.

ENSOR (on camera): Did you ever change your appearance to blend in?

MAHLE: Oh, you betcha. When I wanted to go operational and effectively disappear, the best way to do that in the Middle East is put on a veil.

ENSOR: So you did that?

MAHLE: Oh, yes. And I'll tell you, the minute you put on the head scarf, you put on the big, black tent dress, you look just like every single Arab woman there. And in their culture, they won't look you in the eyes if you're veiled. And you know that's true. So you really do become invisible.

ENSOR (voice-over): Over the years the, CIA's training has changed somewhat, but all three trained to parachute into hostile territory. All three learned to shoot.

PASEMAN: I packed heat for quite a while. Never had to use it. Never did, thank God.

ENSOR (on camera): Did you ever run into any known terrorists?

MAHLE: Yasser Arafat. A lot of people considered him to be a terrorist. And he was somebody with whom that I met with and worked with.

Also, I had, you know, odd experiences, weird experiences of being in a restaurant seated the distance between you and me and looking over there and seeing Abul Abbas, the notorious mastermind behind the Achille Lauro hijacking, in which this citizen was killed. And that's up close and personal.

ENSOR: What did you do? MAHLE: I had to go back and go through a very bureaucratic process of writing a cable and saying hey, this guy, not only is he here; he's running around completely without concern of being caught.

ENSOR: Did anything come of it?

MAHLE: Absolutely nothing.

ENSOR: I have to ask you why you left.

MAHLE: Complicated question, answer. A lot of it I can't talk about, because I have a very threatening letter from the CIA telling me that it's classified without actually telling me what part of it is classified.

But the bottom-line issue was that they didn't like a relationship I had with a foreigner. And you know what? I was paid to go out and meet foreigners. And this is just one of the rules, again, that's wrong.

ENSOR: Was this something that would have happened to a man too?

MAHLE: I don't believe so.

ENSOR: This is kind of an unusual situation. I'm sitting in a bar with two ladies who were spies for their country and have now -- and lived in a secret culture -- and have now written books about it. Are you outcasts from the CIA?

MAHLE: I would say it's a mixed bag.


MORAN: Definitely a mixed bag.

I certainly have lots of friends who are still there. I probably wouldn't show up here for happy hour.


MORAN: But I've heard mixed reactions, certainly, to my book, a lot of people who are extremely angered just by virtue of the fact that I wrote a book. And then a lot of people who say, you know, that's great, and you said a lot of things that need to be said.

ENSOR: All three argue there are too many rules, too many limitations on CIA officers imposed from Washington. All argue for a back-to-basics approach to intelligence gathering in a post-9/11 world.


ZAHN: Well, whether you support their decision to out themselves or not, they certainly are three brave people.

When we come back, "Spy Stories" continue. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORAN: When I tried to go after targets that were of relevance that might have had terrorist ties, I was actually discouraged from doing so.


ZAHN: So the problems, as you can see, don't always come from the enemy. We'll be right back.


ZAHN: Good to have you back with us. We continue now with David Ensor's report on three former CIA spies. We heard them reveal some of the tricks of the spy trade. Now they take on what they see as the agency's weaknesses, including human intelligence, or the lack of it.


ENSOR: Floyd Paseman was the spy who played in a band.

(on camera): "Everyone's Talking at Me?"

PASEMAN: Yes, sir.

ENSOR: Harry Nelson (ph)?


ENSOR: So guitar, spy, where did that fit in?

PASEMAN: Well, it's basically a tool.

ENSOR (voice-over): A tool that once got Paseman's band a gig at the Russian ambassador's residence. Target-rich environment for recruiting spies.

PASEMAN: Best tool I had in 35 years.

ENSOR (on camera): So this is what you used to recruit agents?

PASEMAN: Very helpful.

ENSOR: Music.


ENSOR (voice-over): Music, says Paseman, or whatever it took.

PASEMAN: I've done everything from been a stamp collector to a model airplane, to running jogging clubs, all with the idea of running into a specific person that I felt might have access to secret information.

ENSOR: Paseman, as well as former CIA officers Lindsay Moran and Melissa Mahle say recruiting spies is a delicate dance that can take years, and far too often runs into interference from headquarters.

MORAN: When I tried to go after targets that were of relevance that might have had terrorist ties, I was actually discouraged from doing so.

MAHLE: I personally proposed an operation to penetrate a terrorist camp. Not an al Qaeda camp but a different terrorist camp, and I had deafening silence from headquarters, from Langley. Their response was, this is dangerous, and did you really consider how dangerous it was?

We have so many rules and regulations of what we can and cannot do. And those rules and regulations are there because the agency has been burned either by doing something wrong and then having a backlash from Congress, in particular, saying no, no, no, no, you can't do that, you can't recruit people that might have bad records, that might actually be a terrorist.

And I'm sorry, the CIA breaks laws for a living. And if we're going to be able to do -- really push that envelope, go right up to that edge, we've got to be able to get down and dirty and do our jobs, and we can't do that right now.

ENSOR (on camera): That means hiring people who have committed torture, murder, drug running, whatever, right?

MAHLE: And it means not being afraid to rub elbows with them too.

ENSOR: Neither of you are in the agency anymore. Do you have the impression that these things are changing, that they are getting down and dirty more now than they were when you were in the agency?

MORAN: I think, I'm gathering that I have less faith than Melissa does, that things are changing rapidly. When I left the agency, I didn't see any drastic changes. And my understanding from people who are still there is that it still is a big, plodding bureaucracy, and there still are a number of rules and regulations that at the end of the day preclude you from doing your job.

PASEMAN: We need to go back to the business of spying, and that means train somebody, give them the skills, give them the tools to spy, put them out there, support them, and leave them out there and let them do the hard work in the back alleys of the cities of the world.

ENSOR: And if something goes wrong?

PASEMAN: Then support the officers when things go wrong.

ENSOR: Otherwise they won't do...

PASEMAN: Otherwise you will wind up with a cadre of people who will not take the risk.

ENSOR: Does Washington have to be ready for some embarrassments if it's going to let case officers and station chiefs do their thing, collect more human intelligence?

MORAN: I think there's far less danger of free-for-all of rogue case officers out in the field than there is of continuing with the status quo, which is not gathering quality intelligence, because headquarters always puts the kabash on promising leads.

ENSOR (voice-over): The three ex-spies say the CIA should hire more Americans of Muslim origin, and it should put officers into foreign countries for a dozen years, rather than just a few. Above all, they say, the nation needs spies willing to do whatever it takes.

MAHLE: I'm not ashamed to have said, you know, I lie, cheat and steal on the behalf of the U.S. government. And I think that's the important part, it's on behalf of the U.S. government. I don't do it for my own personal aggrandizement or to get rich, or anything like that.


ZAHN: Well, in spite of what these ex-spies told David Ensor, just today, Jim Pavitt, the former head of the CIA's clandestine service, gave an interview to the Associated Press, and he said that the agency had not been at all reluctant to take risks under his watch.

Coming up next, CNN "Security Watch," counterfeiting as close as the nearest home computer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Years ago you had to either have been a printer or a photographer or have a skill in both to be a counterfeiter. Today, you need a credit card, you go to Best Buy or something, and buy this equipment right off the shelf.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We look more closely...


ZAHN: When we come back, counterfeit passports and what's being done to stop terrorists from using them to get into our country.


ZAHN: Phony passports, phony I.D.'s. Using little more than a computer, a potential terrorist can fake just about any document these days. And as part of our "CNN Security Watch," Jeanne Meserve takes us inside the government agency set up to spot the fakes and help catch the fakers.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The forensic detectives in this laboratory aren't studying flesh and blood, but papers and inks. They're investigating not murder and mayhem, but forgery and falsification, which terrorists could use to put the nation at risk.

The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Fraudulent Document Lab is one of a kind, and Jim Hesse runs the shots.


MESERVE: Passports, visas, birth certificates, licenses, exit and entry stamps from almost every country in the world and some that will never appear in an atlas.

HESSE: This is a totally fantasy passport.

MESERVE (on camera): This country does not exist?

HESSE: Does not exist.

MESERVE (voice-over): In one year the state of Maryland can issue, for instance, 22 different forms of identification. The lab collects variations of all documents to keep in vault-like security.

HESSE: I think the -- it's over 120,000 documents in this room.

MESERVE: Take, for instance, these Greek passports. If you couldn't put them side by side, you might not realize one is authentic and one is not.

HESSE: And that's supposed to be the watermark, OK, so they've simulated the watermark.

MESERVE: When the human eye can't tell the difference, analysts like Jason Lee use a comparison microscope.

JASON LEE, ANALYST: The question visa has a broken line pattern, more of a dashed line, whereas the genuine visa has a continuous line pattern.

MESERVE: Another piece of equipment uses ultraviolet light to expose changes to documents, in this case, a visa.

LEE: Those dark characters are what you actually see with the naked eye. What's unseen is that just behind these characters we have what appears to be a BO39.

MESERVE (on camera): Documents underpin security. You need a license or some other form of I.D., for instance, to get on a plane, a passport to get into the country. If documents are fake or have been altered in some way, security is compromised.

(voice-over) Jim Hesse is painfully, personally aware of the link between documents and security.

(on camera) Do you sometimes feel that the safety of your country is on your shoulders?

HESSE: Well, September 11, 2001, I was in the German embassy in New York City, and we were there talking about how to make visas more secure when the planes hit.

My biggest fear was that those people came in with fraudulent documents. But they didn't. And yes, it's -- it's a responsibility.

MESERVE: Why was it such a fear?

HESSE: Well, the buck stops here.

MESERVE (voice-over): During his 14 years as an immigration agent at New York's JFK Airport, Hesse seized fraudulent documents every day. Agents still on the front line can call up the lab's computer database or send images of question documents to Tim Devins (ph) for analysis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can put the alien number in, and then it will bring up an image, the image that's supposed to be on the card.

MESERVE: In this case the photo on the card is a woman. The photo on file is a man, an obvious falsification.

Though computers can assist investigations, they have also been a boon to counterfeiters.

HESSE: Years ago you had to either have been a printer or a photographer or have skill in both to be a counterfeiter. Today you need a credit card and go to Best Buy or something and buy this equipment right of the shelf.

MESERVE: The resulting flood of fake documents forces the lab to use intelligence to focus its work.

ASST. SECRETARY MICHAEL GARCIA, U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS: In terms of an airport or a feeder airport overseas that's causing us particular concern, is there a type of document we're getting some noise about that might be being used?

MESERVE: Almost as soon as new security features are incorporated into documents, counterfeiters find a way to mimic or circumvent them.

HESSE: It has holograms in the laminate, which one would think is a security feature that you would find in a genuine document.

MESERVE: Jim Hesse believes ultimately there is only one solution.

HESSE: But the real answer, honestly, and I know it sounds a little farfetched, would be to collect DNA at birth. They could safely control that.

MESERVE: For now, it is a matter of holograms, watermarks and this small lab doing what it can to keep documents and the country secure.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ZAHN: Fascinating look by Jeanne Meserve about what's going on out there to keep us safe. We'll continue to keep you posted on security stories like that.

Moving along now, the New England Patriots and dynasty, how they got from there to here. Yay, Patriots!


ZAHN: The folks at Nielson -- you know those guys, the folks that also know what you're watching, when you're watching -- well, they say about 63 percent of the TVs that were on last night were tuned to the Super Bowl. Surprise. That means about 90 million people are debating a very profound question today: when does the team go from merely winning to be a dynasty?

Here's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Time and again during the victory celebration, the question came up, mystical awe- inspiring, flattering, can the New England Patriots now be considered a football dynasty?

TEDY BRUSCHI, PATRIOTS LINEBACKER: You can talk about the Dallas Cowboys, I think it was in the '90s, you know, and they were considered a dynasty. So you want to put us in that company now? We've done something to earn the right to be put in that company, and we all feel great that we can be put in that company.

FOREMAN: The mystery of how to go about creating and maintaining a sports dynasty may be intriguing now more than ever before, because dynasties are harder to come by.

MICHELLE BONNER, CNN SPORTS: So for the Patriots to be able to do what they have been able to do over the last three out of four years is essentially in modern times absolutely, without a doubt, a dynasty.

FOREMAN: The reasons for the rarity of modern dynasties, such as the New York Yankees, are many. Baseball has no salary limit, so the wealthiest teams scoop up the best players, making dynasty building improbable for anyone else.

The Yankees have a payroll of about $185 million, almost seven times as much as the Milwaukee Brewers. For which team would you like to play?

(on camera) In other sports, notably football and basketball, carefully crafted rules control how much the teams can spend on salaries, when players can offer themselves up for trade, even how younger players are drafted into the game. All of that promotes parity or equalness, and it works against dynasty building.

(voice-over) So even when a team gets an edge, like the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s, they can't hang onto it very long.

Still, money is clearly not the only key. The Patriots' payroll is $77 million. But the Washington Redskins' payroll is bigger by about $40 million, and they didn't even make the playoffs.

And look at this. In terms of payroll, the top half of NFL teams produced six playoff contenders, including the Philadelphia Eagles. But the bottom half came up with six playoff teams, as well, including the Super Bowl champs.

BILL BELICHICK, PATRIOTS HEAD COACH: We're thrilled to be able to get to the top. And that's what this year was about. It was about one fight against 31 of the teams to try to win this Super Bowl and win that trophy. So we're happy that we did it and, you know, I'll leave the comparisons and historical perspectives to everybody else.

FOREMAN: So what made this dynasty? Sports analysts say maybe it's Coach Bill Belichick, a detail-oriented thinker who hits the office before dawn and leaves after midnight.

Maybe it's the emphasis the Patriots put on team, rather than individual glory. Maybe it's the quarterback, Tom Brady, always cool as a cucumber and hot as a pistol.

Even the Patriots can't say for sure why they win so much, but they know they work hard and they know why.

TOM BRADY, PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: It's all for this, and wait until you get that Super Bowl ring and go to the White House and hopefully, have a parade again. It's another championship for the city of Boston, another championship for our great franchise.

FOREMAN: Ancient Chinese dynasties lasted hundreds of years, warring against all who might unseat them.

And though defending a sports dynasty is not so violent, staying on top still requires a timeless combination of smart moves, tenacity and luck on and off the battle.


ZAHN: Those are my Pats! That was Tom Foreman, reporting from Washington, where I think we need to remind you all that the Redskins last won a Super Bowl in 1992. Sorry about that.

And one of our friends from Atlanta points out that the Braves are going for their 14th straight division title this year, even if they've only managed to do win the World Series once.

We're filled with statistics tonight.

When we come back, the runway is cleared, and a new reality show takes off. It's all about crashing the world of fashion, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: And you might know, but it's Fashion Week here in New York, and that means the air is filled with breathless talk -- that would be breathless talk. Sorry about that. Talk of trumpet dresses and boat neck tops.

But this year, a new wrinkle: the intrusion of reality TV.

Jason Carroll is with us.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the search for the next big fashion designer.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just when you thought reality TV had peaked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are going to start getting pretty bitchy. Oh, my.

CARROLL: Bravo sent "Project Runway" down the catwalk.

(on camera) It's taken on somewhat of a cult status, this show. Hasn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I'm not surprised that people have really, you know, caught onto it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of the reality shows aren't really about anything. This show is really about talent.

CARROLL (voice-over): The premise?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One designer will be cut every week. Then one winner...

CARROLL: ... who gets 100 grand to start their own line. But first...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to the first challenge. These are your supplies.

CARROLL: ... 12 contestants must survive weekly challenges...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your challenge is to redesign the postal service uniform.

CARROLL: ... heavy doses of drama...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For God's sake, what is this?

CARROLL: ... naughty models...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is really bad.

CARROLL: ... and tough judges. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It looked like my cat chewed up a ball of yarn and spit it out an hour later.

CARROLL: Most of the eliminations...


CARROLL: ... are done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Alexander, you're out.

CARROLL: Who is still in? The dandy, Austin Scarlet.

AUSTIN SCARLET, "PROJECT RUNWAY" CONTESTANT: Mine is sort of American revolutionary.

CARROLL: The professional, Kara Sahn (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a cross between aviation and technology.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love Kara. She understands my vulgar humor but doesn't participate, and I understand her professionalism and don't participate.

CARROLL: The Mod, Wendy Pepper (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wendy is, indeed, a cockroach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very distinctive, Wendy Pepper (ph). There's no question you're wearing my clothes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I'll probably win.

CARROLL: You've already met the wit, Jay McKarol (ph), whose edgy designs closed "Project Runway's" Fashion Week show.

The eliminated designers made predictions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think Kara Sahn (ph) is going to win.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as they stay true, they're all winners.

CARROLL: No matter who wins, the show's success means it's likely we'll see it next season.


ZAHN: American Revolution right there at the top.

Thanks so much for joining us tonight. Tomorrow, he's a rising star who's even caught the president's attention, Reverend T.D. Jakes. Mixing religion and politics with a passion. We'll bring you his story tomorrow night.

Thank you so much for joining us tonight. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next.


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