Skip to main content
Search
Services


 

Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

D.H.S. Sex Allegations; Sex, Teens and the Web; How it Happens; Child Porn Trackers; DeLay Departing; Trouble on the Right; Tragedy in Iraq; Child Murder Case; 21st Century Cousteau

Aired April 4, 2006 - 23:00   ET

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


ANNOUNCER: Victim of child porn, lured into cyberspace at just 13, to perform sex acts. He says he's not alone.
JUSTIN BERRY, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY VICTIM: There are hundreds of kids in the United States alone who are right now wrapped up in this horror.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, the wake-up call every parent must know.

Stepping down. Tom DeLay resigns from Congress.

REP. TOM DELAY (R), TEXAS: I have come to the conclusion that it is time to close this public service chapter in my life.

ANNOUNCER: Did he jump? Was he pushed? And what does it mean for both parties?

Chilling confession -- a Georgia teen admits to killing a little girl. But why is another boy convicted of the crime? We'll have the latest, including a stunning development.

From across the U.S. and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360. Live from the CNN studios in New York.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN CO-ANCHOR: And we begin with breaking news. A Department of Homeland Security official charged with using his computer to seduce a 14-year-old girl. The girl was actually an undercover police officer.

This is the suspect, Brian Doyle. He is a deputy press secretary for Homeland Security. He was arrested at his Maryland home earlier this evening. Authorities say he sent more than a dozen pornographic films to the person he thought was a child.

The investigation involves federal and local authorities, including the sheriff's office in Polk County, Florida.

In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said the following. "We take these allegations very seriously and we will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation."

And we spoke with Grady Judd, the Polk County sheriff, just a short time ago. Sheriff, thanks for being with us tonight. As we look at that video and we watched you a little bit earlier today, sort of break this case down so far. What stands out to you the most? Is it the brazen nature of the way that these things often happen?

GRADY JUDD, POLK COUNTY SHERIFF: Heidi, what stands out to me the most in this particular case was the fact that Brian, on his first conversation with our undercover detective, who he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, clearly identified himself as the deputy press secretary for Homeland Security. And if he would provide that kind of information, to include a photograph of himself with his identification tags, who else may he be talking to around the world who he thinks to be a 14-year-old girl?

The reality of it is, he was very, very, very negative, very nasty, very profane. He told the undercover detective what he wanted to do with the 14-year-old girl and what he wanted the 14-year-old girl to do to him.

And as a result of our investigation, he's facing 23 felony counts in the state of Florida. Assistant State Attorney Brad Kople (ph) will be the prosecutor.

He's also possibly facing federal charges. That investigation is underway. But what's interesting, Heidi, he was on his computer, communicating with the undercover detective who he believed to be a 14-year-old girl at the time we knocked on his door in Maryland, took him into custody, and served a search warrant.

COLLINS: Well, it's just amazing. And, of course, also amazing that it comes out today, on a day where we've been dealing with this -- older now -- but 13-year-old boy when it first began, Justin Berry who was also going through this type of activity through the use of computers.

In Polk County, it's incredible that this was already sort of a sting investigation, if you will, set up. Quite a coincidence that he was contacting an undercover sheriff's computer crimes detective.

JUDD: That's correct. In fact, we have profiles online because we're searching for these predators, not only across the county and across the state, but across the world.

And as you can see, the long arm of the law from Polk County, Florida, stretched all the way to Maryland in this particular case.

These folks are dangerous. He was grooming this 14-year-old girl for sexual activity. And we stopped him. We stopped him with the assistance of the State Attorney's Office and certainly our colleagues from the federal government. It is a team effort. And we intend to keep our children, not only in Polk County and in Florida, but across the United States, safe.

COLLINS: That was Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. Doing some good work down there.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CO-ANCHOR: Yes.

Now the story that we thought would be the lead tonight. It turned out to be a sad companion to the one that you just saw. Frankly, the kind that makes you want to run home and find out what your kids are up to.

Today a congressional committee heard the story of a 13-year-old, Justin Berry, who got a webcam. In the end, it seduced him, or he seduced himself, or both, into life as an internet sex performer.

His story now from CNN's Kelli Arena.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Justin Berry was just 13 and lonely. He thought a webcam could help him meet other teenagers. That never happen.

JUSTIN BERRY, CHILD POROGRAPHY VICTIM: No teenager outside of the webcam pornography business ever contacted me. But I did hear from many child predators.

ARENA: Testifying before visibly uncomfortable members of Congress, the former honor student and class president told his shocking story.

BERRY: One of these men approached me online with a proposal. He would pay me $50 if I took off my shirt for a few minutes while sitting in front of my webcam.

ARENA: To a 13-year-old, $50 is a lot of cash. Berry says the predator set up a PayPal account, an instant online payment system. More money and gifts followed. And the requests got more explicit.

BERRY: They wanted me to take off my pants, remove my underwear, and eventually masturbate on camera.

ARENA: Berry, like so many other children, felt safe because it was happening in the privacy of his own home. Experts say this type of child abuse is growing. And victims are getting younger.

Webcams cost as little as $20. And more than 15 million homes are equipped with one.

ERNIE ALLEN, NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN: Five percent of our confirmed child pornography reports have involved self-produced, you know, produced by kids. Many of them are kids who are persuaded to do photos of themselves, and then it escalates. It's kind of an exploitation or a seduction scenario. We think moms and dads ought to be concerned about it.

ARENA: Justin Berry says it was easy to hide his activities from his mother. Her use of the latest child protective software proved no match for pedophiles. Eventually, the online molestation turned physical.

BERRY: I had become exactly what my members viewed me to be, what their degrading conversations convinced me I was, a piece of meat for sale to the highest bidder.

ARENA: At the urging of a "New York Times" reporter investigating child porn, Berry finally went to authorities. Now 19, he says he provided the names of 1,500 men he claims gave him money and gifts for his sexual performances. Only one has been arrested.

Berry accuses the Justice Department of dragging its feet while it decided whether to grant him immunity for selling sex.

BERRY: I cannot describe the agony of that time. Each night I wondered were the children I knew being molested that night?

ARENA: Justice officials won't comment on the ongoing investigation, but say the department "uses every resource available to quickly protect and remove children who are being exploited from dangerous situations.

As for Justin Berry, he's getting his life together. And believe it or not, is pursuing a career in computers.

BERRY: I love it. Computers are wonderful. Computers are great. You just have to know how to use them and who's on the other side of them and get your safety facts right.

ARENA: Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Ask a parent who's ever had to ask a teenager for help with a computer, and a 13-year-old can seem awfully grown up. But in every conceivable way, they are not. And not just in terms of intellect or street savvy, their brains are literally wired differently.

Sadly, you can easily exploit a 13-year-old. Given the right circumstances, though right is probably the wrong word here, a 13- year-old can think it's OK to let themselves be exploited. It certainly happened to Justin Berry.

So how does it work, and what can parents look out for? What are the warning signs? We asked Child Psychologist Susan Bartell.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Dr. Bartell, in many ways Justin sounded like a typical candidate to be targeted by pedophiles. He was a lonely kid, was striving for parental affection. But he also, at the same time, sounded like he wasn't the sort of kid that would get caught up in this. He was class president, on the Honor Roll, I mean, it just seems to go to show that you can't really nail it down who's vulnerable and who's not.

SUSAN BARTELL, CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST: Right. I think that it's definitely true that you can't nail it for sure, but certainly some kids are more vulnerable than others. And those who are loners -- and he was a self-professed loner -- those who don't have friends -- even if they're smart kids, even if they do well in school, that doesn't mean that they aren't starving for attention and for sympathy from adults, particularly, and even from other kids. ROBERTS: That sympathy, is that what the pedophiles play off of?

BARTELL: Absolutely. They play off sympathy, they play off a kid who's looking for attention, a kid who's looking for love. And they really know how to get to a kid's heart and give them what they know that kid really is desperately looking for.

ROBERTS: There really is a contradiction here, too, when you look at Justin Berry. You know, on the one hand, he seemed to like the affection, seemed to appreciate it, but then at the same time, he said every time he performed one of these acts for these pedophiles over the internet, a little piece of him died. So something about him knew that this was wrong. Yet he still continued. How is that?

BARTELL: Right. Unfortunately, for these kids, they end up feeling trapped. They are desperate for what they're looking for, for the love and the affection, but at the same time, they know deep down that this isn't really the way to be getting it. But it's so hard for them to take themselves away and feel like they're alone again.

ROBERTS: The complicity of the father, what is that all about?

BARTELL: Well, you've got to wonder about that. And probably part of what made Justin so vulnerable in the first place, was having had some very early life experiences with a dad who wasn't nurturing and who wasn't there for him. And so in some ways it's not surprising his dad was the kind of person he turned out to be.

ROBERTS: You know, Ican Walt (ph) said that he thought that Justin went down to Mexico to meet with his father as a plea for help. This is what I'm involved in. I'm laying it out here on the table. Help me get out of it. But instead the father just drew him further and further in.

BARTELL: Right. Right.

ROBERTS: I mean, what kind of an abrogation of parental trust is that, and what does that do to a kid?

BARTELL: It's an unbelievable devastation that probably there is very little healing from. You know, it would probably take years and years of psychotherapy and work to help this child get over such a betrayal by his father.

ROBERTS: He seems pretty reasonable right now. But, I mean, there's still got to be some deep emotional scars there.

BARTELL: Not only deep emotional scars, but also the chance that if someone doesn't really hold onto him, that he could slip back into that again, that you know, he needs to stay clean, he needs to stay away from drugs and really hold onto people who can keep him safe and help him move forward.

ROBERTS: What's a parent to do? Because the mother said, I had no idea this was going on. I thought he was a talented kids with computers. Justin was very good at hiding all of this from his mother.

BARTELL: Right. Kids are very good at hiding it, but there are almost always signs that parents must look for. Kids who are secretive, kids who are spending enormous amounts of time online and doing it with the door closed, kids who are not socializing, kids who are looking for things that they're not getting from the outside world.

If your child is spending a lot of time on the phone secretly making and receiving phone calls, if they're getting packages from strangers, if they have more money than you think that they should have -- all of those are signs.

ROBERTS: And parents need to know that this danger exists both for girls and for boys.

BARTELL: Absolutely.

ROBERTS: Dr. Susan Bartell, thanks very much for being with us. Appreciate it.

BARTELL: Good.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Heidi?

COLLINS: And from the cyber sex victims to the predators themselves. We'll take you behind the investigations to show you how child porn trackers follow their target.

ROBERTS: Also tonight, "The Hammer" falls. More on Tom DeLay's resignation and the impact it's having for both political parties.

COLLINS: Plus, civilians killed in their homes months ago. A criminal investigation is underway. Was it an accident by U.S. Marines? A massacre? Or a tragedy of warfare more complex than either one? A survivor speaks out.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERRY: For five years, beginning when I was 13 years old, I operated a pornographic website featuring images of myself loaded onto the internet by webcams.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: As Justin Berry told Congress today, entering the world of child porn was as easy as getting a webcam and going online.

But catching the criminals who prey on kids like Justin is much hard work. We're about to get a rare look inside a child porn investigation.

The heroes in this story are the agents who piece together clues from crime scenes they often never visit.

Here's CNN's Thelma Gutierrez.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sebin (ph) City, the Philippines. A favorite destination for American tourists. For one California man, it was the perfect place to tour the city's Catholic churches and practice his religious devotion.

The 61-year-old retired auditor, Edilberto Datan, had a dark secret. And U.S. agents knew all about it.

JORGE GUZMAN, ICE ASSISTANT SPECIAL AGENT: Mr. Datan went to the Philippines for the sole purpose of engaging in sex with minors.

GUTIERREZ: Agents with ICE, the Immigration Customs Enforcement Bureau in Long Beach, California, mobilized to try to catch Datan coming into the country with child pornography.

GUZMAN: ICE investigations.

GUTIERREZ: This is a rare look inside the forensic lab where ICE agents, child porn trackers, conduct their investigations.

DAVID DRASIN, ICE SENIOR SPECIAL AGENT: The hardest part of this job is looking into their eyes and trying to imagine the pain that they must be going through.

GUTIERREZ: Assistant Special Agent In Charge Jorge Guzman says after ICE agents were tipped off about Datan's trips to Sebin (ph) City, they began tracking his movements.

GUZMAN: He was engaged in sexual misconduct with these young boys, as young as 14 years old, from what we've learned. They could be younger.

GUTIERREZ: According to federal authorities, Edilberto Datan enticed young boys to his room.

RUPA GOSWAMI, ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: He would take them for food, he would offer them t-shirts or backpacks, not huge amounts of money for access to them.

GUTIERREZ: For as little as $2 Datan took pictures of the kids with his digital camera.

GUZMAN: It also showed other young males in very disturbing scenes, including very detailed close-ups of the genital area of these young boys.

GUTIERREZ: Datan would lure as many as 18 boys to his room during his trip.

GOSWAMI: There's images of him naked with a naked child on top of him. There's also a series of photographs of the children displayed out.

GUTIERREZ: The images would be stored on small devices called memory cards, or memory sticks, which he would then smuggle out of the Philippines and trade with his friend.

As Datan returned to Los Angeles from the Philippines and made his way through Customs, an officer ran his passport through the database. His name was flagged. Datan was pulled aside and searched.

GUZMAN: He had three memory sticks from a camera that were taped inside the pocket of his jeans.

GUTIERREZ: A fourth stick was found in his camera.

A federal search warrant turned up more than a dozen boxes of child pornography in his San Diego home. The boxes and his computer were seized. But to lock up their case, agents still needed to prove that Datan took the photos.

Just as investigators at a crime scene take special care with physical evidence like blood and fingerprints...

GUZMAN: We're using both databases.

GUTIERREZ: ... forensic agents would have to take special care in analyzing Datan's camera, memory sticks, and computer hard drive without contaminating the original electronic evidence.

DRASIN: What we will do at that point is we will make an exact duplicate copy, some people call it a mirror image.

GUTIERREZ: When Datan's memory sticks were accessed, agents found more than 100 photos of Filipino boys.

GUZMAN: The memory sticks was the most important piece of evidence against Mr. Datan because it basically showed him in the act of exploiting children and basically working as a predator.

GUTIERREZ: Each photo would have to be analyzed.

DRASIN: Each child pornographic image has one digital fingerprint, just like people that only have one fingerprint.

GUTIERREZ: The evidence is run through a sophisticated software program where crucial information begins to emerge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes they'll find a camera, make, model, date the picture was taken, other internal data that the user won't see when they look at the picture.

GUTIERREZ: In addition to tying the perpetrator's camera to the crime, the digital fingerprints can also help identify the child. This digital information is run against a database in Washington of known victims of child pornography. If a match is found, investigators can identify the child.

GOSWAMI: The images are really -- they're of a crime scene. We just didn't get there in time.

GUTIERREZ: Forensic agents were able to match his Edilberto Datan's camera to the images on the memory sticks he was carrying. And authorities in the Philippines were able to identify eight of Datan's victims.

GUZMAN: He never thought he was going to get caught. And what's equally disturbing is that Mr. Datan exhibited a lackadaisical attitude after being apprehended or arrested for his crime. He basically thought he had done nothing wrong.

GUTIERREZ: In the end, Datan pled guilty to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors and producing child pornography, and is now serving a 17-year sentence in a federal prison.

Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Datan was also forced to pay $17,000 to his young victims in the Philippines. This case marks a milestone for the federal government. It is the first time a perpetrator has been ordered to pay restitution to victims overseas.

ROBERTS: Did a court convict -- or at least over two decades he rose to become one of the most influential names in Washington. But today Tom DeLay called it quits. Why is he doing it? We'll hear him in his own words.

COLLINS: Also tonight, this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... too much about specific detailed facts that we were told to keep quiet from the media. And he knew, according from what we understand today, about 14 detailed facts that no one could have possibly have known except for the killer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: The shocking case of Amy Yates and the alleged confession of a second teenager who claims to have killed the child.

A break first. You're watching 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: The man who the Republicans could count on to win votes in Congress is leaving office. Today Congressman Tom DeLay announced his resignation, insisting it had nothing to do with the criminal trial he is facing and the corruption scandal that has already claimed one of his former top aides.

Here's Tom DeLay, in his own words.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) REP. TOM DELAY (R), TEXAS: Today I am announcing my intention to resign my seat in the House.

This is probably a big surprise for a lot of people. We ran a poll. It showed that I had a 50/50 chance of winning. Spent a lot of time praying about it, trying to seek what the Lord wanted me to do.

There's no guarantee that I can win. I think I could win. It would be a very close race. It would be very expensive.

It really boils down to I want a guarantee that the seat in the 22nd District is Republican. And I can guarantee that by stepping aside.

I have no fear whatsoever about any investigation into me or my personal or professional activities.

There is nothing that connects me to Abramoff or any of the activities that they have. I am not a target of this investigation. I haven't even been interviewed by these investigators.

I have no regrets today and no doubts. I am proud of the past. I am at peace with the present. I want to continue to elect Republicans and grow the Republican majority, something I've worked on for 21 years, and I'm very proud of our record of building a good conservative movement, not just here in Washington, D.C., but all over the country. I don't know what the future holds for me. I'm in God's hands, and He guides me. And whatever I can do to help this country by leading it in a conservative direction, I'm going to do.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: In his resignation speech, DeLay said he leaves Congress with no regrets and no doubts.

That may be true, but he also goes with a cloud over his head. And it's not just DeLay who's under scrutiny. So, too, some would say, is the party he so forcefully championed.

Here's CNN's John King.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESONDENT (voice-over): A dozen years ago on the steps of the capitol, a defining moment in what would become the Republican revolution.

REP. NEWT GINGRICH (R), GEORGIA: The fact is that America is in trouble, and our trouble extends beyond the White House.

KING: Consider the tables turned. The man of the moment, the face of a Republican congressional majority, tainted by a mushrooming lobbying scandal.

SCOTT REED, FORMER RNC CHIEF OF STAFF: Tom DeLay, like it or not, became a symbol of Republican excessiveness with power. KING: Add in a Republican president struggling because of an unpopular war, and internal party struggles over record deficits, and issues like immigration, and what you find are mounting worries of drift, even rot (ph) on the right. STEVE SHEFFLER, IOWA CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE: There is some frustration at the grassroots, I think, because they're wondering, you know, why did we elect the Republicans, to see this?

REP. WALTER JONES (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Absolute power, absolutely corrupt.

KING: Congressman Walter Jones proudly signed the Republican contract with America back in 1994, but is better known now for signing letters of condolences to families of soldiers killed in Iraq. And for sparring with the leadership of a party he believes has lost its way.

JONES: The power corrupts, and money buys power, and power, you know, money is part of the game here in Washington. And if nothing else good comes from all of this, maybe there will be a purification for both parties.

KING: Survival, as in holding their fragile House and Senate majorities, is the immediate Republican worry. And as he wished Mr. DeLay well, the president tried to sound an optimistic note.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My own judgment is, is that our party will continue to succeed because we're the party of ideas.

KING: But even most Republicans called the Bush domestic agenda modest at best and see a White House preoccupied with its own troubles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is focused on Iraq and the worldwide war on terrorism, which is what the American people elected him to do. But when it comes down to having a sharp campaign message, I think it's up to the Congress to get it together.

KING: But major restraints on spending will be hard to come by in an election year. And talk of allowing illegal immigrants to get legal status has many grassroots conservatives warning bad morale now could translate into low turnout come November.

SHEFFLER: By just saying we're better than the opposition, where it doesn't quite cut the mustard. And so they're going to have to step up to the plate and address some of these issues if they want to energize that base.

KING: Energizing the base was a big part of Tom DeLay's job, claiming liberal as a trademark to the end, but not enough to overcome the cold reality he was doing his party more harm than good.

John King, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ROBERTS: Tom DeLay may have been doing his party more harm than good, but for some Democrats, his farewell is not enough.

Earlier I spoke to Howard Dean, and the Democratic national committee chairman did not hold back.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Governor, Tom DeLay says he's dropping out of the race because he doesn't want to let liberal Democrats steal his seat in Texas with personal attacks. Is that what you were going to do? Were you going to make this race personal?

HOWARD DEAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: That sounds like a personal attack, doesn't it? We have a great candidate, Nick Lampson, who I think is perfectly capable of winning in that district without personal attacks.

But I think it's a good thing for the country that Tom DeLay stepped aside. But there is a culture of corruption in Washington. And it's not just Tom DeLay. The Republican leader of the Senate, Bill Frist, is under investigation for insider trading. The chief of staff of the vice president, Karl Rove's right-hand -- I mean George Bush's right-hand guy, Karl Rove, still as the security council, even though he's leaked CIA agents' identities.

So there is a culture of corruption. And this -- Tom DeLay is a symptom, he's not the whole culture of corruption.

ROBERTS: Does his dropping out hurt democrats? Because recent polls -- and I think CNN was the organization that did the polling -- suggested that he was going to lose that race. Now it could be a toss up again.

DEAN: You can't tell. Nick Lampson is a congressman who's represented part of that district before. We think he can win no matter who is opponent is, and he's done a terrific job working really, really hard. So, you know, this is not about who's going to win that particular race. This is about what's good for the country.

ROBERTS: There's no question that the Republicans are in a weaker position than they have been in the past 12 years. Are you going to be able to take advantage of that? Because I want to show a quote here from two popular Democratic bloggers who in a new book write, "The Democratic Party stands for everything, yet stands for nothing. It's a gaggle of special and narrow interests often in conflict with each other, rarely working in concert to advance their common causes."

I mean it kind of sounds like the gang -- not the gang that couldn't shoot straight, but the gang that's shooting in every direction, almost a circular firing squad, if you will, to some degree. Can you capitalize on the weakness of the Republicans?

DEAN: We stand -- our agenda is very clear. One, we want honesty and openness in government. Two, we want a strong national defense, which depends on telling the truth. Three, we want American jobs that will stay in America. Four, we want a healthcare system that works for everybody, just like 36 other countries have. Five, we want a public education system that works for everybody. And six, we want real retirement security, which means stop fooling around with Social Security and stop allowing businesses to give away pension money that doesn't belong to them. I think that's a clear agenda in a short period of time.

ROBERTS: You told Wolf Blitzer recently that the Democratic Party, if it hopes to prevail in November and win back control of Congress, needs a relentless message in 435 congressional districts to take control, and you're looking to Newt Gingrich. You, Howard Dean, are looking to Newt Gingrich as a model for that.

Let me ask you this question, who is the Democratic Party's Newt Gingrich?

DEAN: Well, who knows about that?

ROBERTS: Well, don't you need one?

DEAN: I think what you need is...

ROBERTS: I mean, obviously, the guy with the bagpipes that the parade was following in 1994.

DEAN: Well, let's be clear about Newt Gingrich. He's a good strategist. His politics are somewhat to the far right.

ROBERTS: Well, I'm speaking to the strategy ideas.

DEAN: That's right, the strategy idea is very clear. In order to combat a sitting president, and when you don't control the House, the Senate or the White House, you've got to be relentless about your message discipline. And we will be. We have been. We're on message. We're going to be coming out with more stuff. We've already done security and ethics, and we're going to be doing more as the election gets closer and closer. And it's my hope that the party will unify behind this national message. And if they do, we're going to win.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, looking for the Democratic version of Newt Gingrich.

COLLINS: I was worried how long he was going to go. One, two, three. We got to five, though.

ROBERTS: At least he stopped there.

COLLINS: Straight ahead, on to other topics now. Tragedy in Iraq. Iraqi civilians killed in their homes. Was it an accident by the Marines? Was it a massacre? Or something more complex? We'll talk about that next.

ROBERTS: Later, one murdered child and two confessions. Which one is the truth?

Around the country and around the world, you're watching 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: More bloodshed across Iraq today. In Samara, this is the aftermath of a car bombing. Two people were killed, three others wounded.

Sixty miles south in Baghdad, 16 people were killed in various attacks there.

Plus, another 16 bodies were found. Some of them with their hands tied behind their backs. The victims were all shot in the head.

Meanwhile, there is fallout from a deadly day last year in Haditha, northwest of Baghdad. Last month, CNN broke the news that the military was launching an investigation into whether U.S. Marines overreacted to an insurgent attack there and needlessly killed Iraqi civilians.

A few days later, "TIME Magazine" published the detailed account of what some survivors claim was a massacre.

With an update tonight, here's CNN's Jamie McIntyre.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was this gruesome videotape provided to "TIME Magazine" by an Iraqi human rights group that began to unravel the U.S. military's official version of what happened at Haditha last November 19th.

A Marine Corps press release issued the next day stated 15 Iraqi civilians were killed from the blast of a roadside bomb.

But the images of blood-splattered walls, bodies wrapped in rugs, and bullet wounds belied that story; strongly indicating the men, women and children had been gunned down by the Marines who shot their way into several houses.

The only survivors in one of the houses were a brother and sister. And only one is talking. Eman Waleed, who was 9 at the time.

EMAN WALEED, SURVIVOR (through translator): I heard explosions by the door. The Americans came into the room where my father was praying and shot him. They went to my grandmother and killed her, too. I heard an explosion. They threw a grenade under my grandfather's bed.

MCINTYRE: Eman Waleed showed her wounds in this interview, aired last week on Britain's "ITV News." She told essentially the same story in an account published earlier in "TIME Magazine," saying the attack that killed seven of her family members was unprovoked.

WALEED (through translator): We were all crying, but the Americans were also screaming. They were shouting at my father before they killed him.

MCINTYRE: Reporter Bobby Ghosh, who helped write the original "TIME" article, believes the young girl is telling the truth as she knows it.

APARISIM "BOBBY GHOSH", "TIME MAGAZINE," REPORTER: She is very credible. She lost her entire family except for one younger brother. Father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, uncle. Seven members of her family were mowed down in her home in her presence. She cannot know whether the soldiers did what they did deliberately. She only knows the facts of the case that her family were killed by the soldiers. And this is no longer in doubt anymore.

MCINTYRE (on camera): It was "TIME Magazine's" investigation that forced the U.S. military to consider the awful possibility that the killings might have been done by undisciplined Marines on a rampage after losing one of their own, Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas, to an improvised explosive device, or IED.

(Voice-over): The "TIME" account quotes U.S. military officials familiar with the investigation as saying, "the Marines say they came under fire from the direction of the Waleed house immediately after being hit by the IED." The officials say one group of Marines entered the house, walked into a corridor with closed doors on either side, and thought they heard the clack-clack sound of an AK-47 being racked and readied for fire. Believing they were about to be ambushed, they broke down the two doors simultaneously and fired their weapons.

GHOSH: The first report was so far off the facts. That is disturbing. It was also disturbing that they took so long to begin an investigation. Essentially it would appear they waited for us to bring them the tape before they even began to examine this seriously.

MCINTYRE: CNN was the first to report last month that an investigation was underway. The Pentagon will say little about the probe beyond the public statements by the three-star general who ordered it.

LT. GENERAL PETER CHIARELLI, MULTINATIONAL CORPS Iraq: We take these allegations of potential misconduct seriously, and they will be thoroughly investigated.

MCINTYRE: Meanwhile, the U.S. has apologized to the families and given them $2,500 for each of the 15 victims.

That doesn't impress the young girl who says her father was shot while praying.

WALEED (through translator): They kill people, then they say sorry. I hate them. I hate the Americans. The whole world hates them for what they have done here.

MCINTYRE: Military sources tell CNN criminal investigators are looking into the civilian deaths, while a separate non-criminal investigation is reviewing whether the initial inaccurate reports were a deliberate cover-up. Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: And for more on this story, you can go online and read the full "TIME Magazine" report. You can you find that at CNN.com/world.

COLLINS: And ahead on 360, a dramatic twist in a landmark child murder case. Two years after 8-year-old Amy Yates was killed, a judge reopens the case. What does the ruling mean for the boy who pleaded guilty?

ROBERTS: Also, his famous father gave him a deep love the sea. Now he's trying to make others care as much about some of the most remote islands on the planet.

All that, coming up on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: In Georgia tonight, a child murder case is taking a very surprising turn. The victim was a little girl, just 8 years old. A 12-year-old boy pleaded guilty to killing her, but her parents believe she was killed by someone else -- a teenager who confessed to the crime.

CNN's Rusty Dornin has the story in today's dramatic court ruling.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The crime was solved, at least that's what police in west Georgia thought. 8-year- old Amy Yates, out riding her bike near her trailer park home, was found strangled to death in a ditch in April 2004.

Who did it? This boy, said investigators. They said he admitted being involved after a four-hour interrogation. But according to his lawyer, the boy later told him he did not do it. Even still, four months later, as part of a deal, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in a treatment facility. Under Georgia law, the maximum allowed for his age.

Today, the boy who, at 14, can still not be identified, has almost finished his sentence.

Now comes a bizarre turn in what the presiding Judge Dan Camp described as the weirdest case in his career.

In February, Chris Gossett (ph), an 18-year-old neighbor, said to have an IQ of 60, told his mother he killed the little girl out in the woods. He even acted it out for police.

CHRIS GOSSETT (ph), CONFESSED TO KILLING AMY YATES: Like this. I was laying on top of... DORNIN: So just last week, the judge held a hearing, where the attorneys seemed to swap their normal roles.

Prosecutors tried to convince the court that the mentally- challenged Gossett could not have done it. The defense attorney for the boy already serving time for the crime tried to convince the court Gossett (ph) did do it.

Prosecutors wanted to preserve the conviction of the first boy, and the defense wanted the judge to reopen the case and charge Gossett (ph) with the murder.

To add to the confusion, by the time the hearing was held, the new confessor, Gossett (ph), had changed his story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill Amy Yates?

GOSSETT (ph): No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you tell people you killed Amy Yates?

GOSSETT (ph): Yes, sir.

DORNIN: Following that exchange, a court-appointed representative told the judge that Gossett (ph) had recently been discharged from a psychiatric ward following a suicide attempt. The judge was told the young man testified while on medication.

JUDGE DAN CAMP, CARROLL COUNTY JUVENILE COURT: I don't think, from the testimony he's given, that he completely understands what's going on.

DORNIN: But those who wanted the case reopened said the 6'5", 300-pound Gossett (ph) knew too much. Amy Yates' father, Tom, fought hard to put the first boy behind bars. Now he changed his mind and wants Gossett (ph) charged with his daughter's murder.

TOM YATES, FATHER OF AMY YATES: He knows too much about specific detailed facts that we were told to keep quiet from the media. And he knew, according from what we understand today, about 14 detailed facts that no one could have possibly have known except for the killer.

DORNIN: One child psychiatrist told the court Gossett's (ph) mental retardation would make it nearly impossible for him to keep a secret for two years.

And then there's the cause of death. The medical examiner pointed out Gossett (ph) says he smothered the little girl, but Amy Yates was strangled.

(On camera): Back to the boy, now in prison for the crime. His attorney claims investigators intimidated the boy into making that first confession without his parents or an attorney present. He says the boy denied any involvement in the killing right after the confession and has remained steadfast in that denial. (Voice-over): Late today the judge vacated the boy's plea agreement reopening the case, but that doesn't mean he goes free. Other charges may be filed.

At the same time, the judge decided Chris Gossett's (ph) confession could be deemed reliable. Raising the question again, who killed Amy Yates?

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Carrollton, Georgia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Gerald Word is the defense attorney for the boy who was convicted -- whose conviction, excuse me, was vacated today.

He and CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin joined me earlier to talk about the case.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Mr. Word, why, if your client claims to be innocent, did he, in fact, plead guilty?

GERALD WORD, 14-YEAR OLD'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, at the time, we had a situation where he had already been incarcerated over a year. He didn't necessarily have to get credit for that time. We had this so-called confession that, you know, they got out of him. And it just seemed to be, at the time, about the only prudent course to give this young man a chance to get on with his life.

COLLINS: So Jeff, what are the actual legal options for this person now?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there could be a new trial. There could be some sort of plea. They could get rid of the case.

But you know, Heidi, this case illustrates why we used to have a really clear distinction in the legal system between how kids were treated and how adults were treated.

But now, because there's been so much anger at, you know, crime committed by kids, kids are treated like adults.

COLLINS: Well, a lot of people say if the child is doing an adult crime, they should serve that time.

TOOBIN: Exactly. A lot of people say that. But this case illustrates that kids can't really even help defend themselves sometimes, and would lead to what appears to be a terrible (inaudible) to justice here, that this kid's been in jail for two years for something he didn't do.

COLLINS: Mr. Word, have charges been dropped against your client? And will this case, the murder of Amy Yates actually be retried, then? WORD: Well, at this point, all the judge has done is vacate the adjudication and it now will be put back on the trial calendar.

COLLINS: Tell us exactly what that means. To vacate adjudication.

WORD: Well, the judge basically found that the new confession or newly discovered evidence, that it was sufficiently reliable, that it would have changed the outcome, and we would not have entered the plea, basically, had we known this information.

So he's kind of set it back to square one, where it's though he's never entered a plea, and now we will go forward with the trial if the district attorney chooses to go forward.

TOOBIN: But, I mean, he's make it sound a little bit like this just like happens every day.

COLILNS: Sure.

TOOBIN: Judges don't do this very often. This is a very big deal, especially with a terrible crime like this one, where the legal system essentially was done with this case. They had the right person, he was in prison, and the judge says no. Let's start over.

COLLINS: Let's start over. Right.

TOOBIN: That's a big deal. And I think it indicates that something terribly wrong happened in this case.

COLLINS: And something else that you brought up, Jeff, about the difference between when an adult commits a crime and when a child commits a crime.

Mr. Word, the child did confess to this crime after being interrogated. Was a parent or a guardian or an adult of some kind present during that interrogation?

WORD: No. The parents were required to stay outside, and he was interrogated for over three hours before he gave this alleged confession.

COLLINS: So, Jeff, that brings up a good point, too. I mean, when you have a child, a minor, should they have some sort of adult with them when they're being questioned?

TOOBIN: Well, this is an example of how the legal system is treating kids more and more like adults. Adults don't have to have parents or lawyers with them.

In fact, you know, the cops often essentially try to discourage it. Here, he was more vulnerable. He was more susceptible to a confession without the parents there. The system did not require the parents there. And he wound up confessing to something that based on the way I read this case, he clearly didn't do.

Again, kids being treated like adults, sometimes as in this case lead to terrible injustice.

COLLINS: Well, we will follow the story. It sounds like it's going to be a while before we see the end of it. That is for sure.

Gerald Word in Atlanta, and Jeffrey Toobin, thank you very much.

TOOBIN: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Coming up on 360, an undersea adventurer with a legendary name, Cousteau, Jean-Michel Cousteau, as you will see, he lives up to the family legacy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Sea World has nothing upon us.

Baby boomers easily remember Jacques Cousteau, the underwater explorer and filmmaker, who championed respect for the oceans.

Well, tomorrow night on PBS, the mission continues, thanks to his son, Jean-Michel.

COLLINS: You say that very well.

Voyage to Kure, chronicles a journey to some of the most remote islands on earth. We'll still learning how to say the place. The message is, we can't protect what we can't understand. Cousteau's mission is to change that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS (voice-over): As a boy, Jean-Michel Cousteau dreamed of building cities underwater. His inspiration? His famous father, Explorer Jacques Cousteau, who gave him a profound love of the sea.

JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU, EXPLORER: Put a tank on my back and he put a tank on the back of my brother who was 4-1/2 at the time. And we became divers.

COLLINS: In the Cousteau tradition, Jean-Michel's latest documentary filmmaking journey is to the most remote islands on the planet.

COUSTEAU: It's 1,200 miles from the main island of Hawaii northwest, really in the middle of nowhere.

COLILNS: As if ripped from the pages of an adventure novel, his team's first discovery -- a shipwreck.

COUSTEAU: There is nothing worse of a nightmare than to run aground.

COLLINS: But worse, pollution in paradise. More than 100 tons of trash. COUSTEAU: Coming from all over the world, children's toothbrush, adults, mascara.

I felt insulted in many ways as a species by my own species. And saying, here we are was the (inaudible) reflex of throwing things, thinking out of sight, out of mind, when 4,000 or 5,000 miles away, we may affect places which are very, very special, very unique.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We most likely will be diving in an area that no other divers have seen.

COLLINS: Offshore, the team experiences the thrill of the dive.

COUSTEAU: Almost immediately, the team is engulfed in a swarm of fish.

COLLINS: The discovery of big fish is a surprise. Researchers say 90 percent of all big fish are gone.

COUSTEAU: But there's 10 percent left. So it's not over yet. You go wow! We can recover.

A deep dive like this can be dangerous in the open sea, 100 miles from the nearest island.

COLLINS: Allies in their adventure, advanced high-depth cameras, an advanced technology that allows them to dive for more than three hours at a time.

For Cousteau, it is a humbling and emotional experience.

COUSTEAU: As an explorer, you now can go and observe what's going on, you can be a voyeur, a kind of, and literally understand how nature works, how complex it is, how beautiful it is, and try to learn from what you see during these very, very magical moments as a scuba diver.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: It's always good to see those documentaries. I remember as a kid, you know, waiting for the next Cousteau documentary. But that was 100 years ago.

COLLINS: Yes. Oh, they're just beautiful, beautiful.

ROBERTS: More of 360 coming up in just a moment. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Before we go, I'd be remiss if I didn't say, good job Lady Terrapins. Maryland -- alma mater -- wins in overtime, championship title.

ROBERTS: You got it out; can we go now?

COLLINS: Yeah. Goodnight everybody, thanks for watching. I'm Heidi Collins.

ROBERTS: And I'm John Roberts. "LARRY KING LIVE" is next. Have a good night.

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

Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines