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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Taken: Children Lost and Found; Big Chill; Former Cheney Aide Trial; Insurgents have a New Weapon; Girls and Violence; Doomsday Clock

Aired January 17, 2007 - 23:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michael Devlin is already facing kidnapping charges in two rural Missouri counties. Now, a third county is looking into whether Devlin may have been connected to the unsolved cases of two other missing children.

Eleven-year-old Arlin Henderson disappeared in 1991; 13-year-old Bianca Noel Piper, in 2005.

DEBRA HENDERSON, MOTHER: If someone's got him, please let him go. He's all I've got.

FREED: Authorities in Lincoln County say there are similarities between those cases and the abductions of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby, who were found by police in Devlin's home on Friday.

Both Hornbeck and Henderson disappeared at the age of 11 while riding a bike on a rural road. And both bodies were (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and had close cropped hair.

HENDERSON: I think about him every day. I pray, God, if he is alive, let this day be a good day for him.

FREED: Meanwhile, prosecutors in Franklin County are preparing for Devlin's first court appearance on the charge that he kidnapped Ownby. And new charges were filed against Devlin in Washington County for allegedly kidnapping Hornbeck.

KEVIN SCHROEDER, WASHINGTON COUNTY MISSOURI SHERIFF: Our main concern right now is Shawn. He's, you know, been away from his family and everything for four and a half years. So we've got to give him some time to rejoin that family unit and start becoming comfortable again and just get reconnected.

FREED: Prosecutors allege Michael Devlin used a handgun to kidnap Shawn Hornbeck more than four years ago. And they say that should put to rest any questions about whether Hornbeck was abducted or somehow went with Devlin willingly.

JOHN RUPP, WASHINGTON COUNTY MISSOURI PROSECUTOR: Shawn was abducted against his will, period, end of the story.

FREED: Investigators say they've spoken to Hornbeck several times and are impressed by how well he's holding up. SCHROEDER: Shawn seems to be a very strong young man. He's a very articulate young man. Speaks very well.

FREED: They sidestep questions about whether they see Hornbeck eventually taking the stand as a witness in any trial.

Devlin's attorneys say they're gearing up for a long battle to protect their client's rights to a fair trial.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So there are now two counties involved, more possible charges to come. At least investigations under way, including at the federal level. Is that posing a logistical problem? Are they trying to decide where to keep this guy?

FREED (on camera): That came up today at the news conference in Washington County. We are in Franklin County, where his arraignment in the Ownby case is going to be tomorrow. And he is definitely being pulled in various legal directions. And they said that for now, anyway, he is going to stay at the Franklin County Detention Center, and that is where he's going to make that appearance in court tomorrow at his arraignment by closed circuit television.

COOPER: Jonathan Freed reporting. Thanks, Jonathan.

Jessica Bock is the reporter who broke the story, the possible connection to other cases. She writes for the "St. Louis Post- Dispatch." She joins us.

Jessica, thanks for joining us.

You've had a chance to talk with other families in St. Louis, families whose kids are still missing. Does this case give them hope or just open up old wounds?

JESSICA BOCK, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: A little bit of both, Anderson.

I spoke with the family of Arlin Henderson and Bianca Piper last week while Ben was still missing. And it definitely was opening up old wounds for them.

I also spoke with them Friday after the news broke that the boys had been found. And at that point, they were just overcome with emotion and overjoyed for their families, but also still holding out hope and hoping that they can get answers someday, too.

COOPER: Are these families talking to police, pressing them to look for any links with other cases? I talked to a woman, Patty Wetterling last night. And she -- her son, Jacob, has been missing since 1989. He was 11 years old back then. She's hoping to maybe talk to police, seeing if there may be any links.

BOCK: Yes. Arlin's uncle, actually, has been very involved. And he told me he was on the phone with the FBI the minute he heard, insisting that they question the suspect about Arlin's disappearance.

COOPER: And detectives have, I guess, identified some similarities between the abductions of the two boys who were just found and the abductions of two other missing kids, Arlin Henderson -- you just talked about, missing since 1991; Bianca Piper, who went missing in 2005. What are the similarities that they're looking at or maybe looking at?

BOCK: Well, what makes the cases similar is in the Arlin Henderson case, he was also 11. He was riding his bike on a rural road. And I think that's what is so striking to everybody is that resemblance between those cases.

And right now, they're just looking at all of the leads that they had, looking for any possible connection to Michael Devlin. And they haven't found that so far.

COOPER: There was a report that Michael Devlin may have participated in Bianca Piper's -- in the search for her. Do we know, is that true?

BOCK: They're looking into that. They do have a log of all the volunteers who helped in the search for Bianca Piper and they're checking that to see if maybe Michael Devlin was involved in that.

COOPER: And do you know if Arlin Henderson's parents or Bianca Piper's parents have actually been in touch with the Ownbys or the Hornbecks?

BOCK: Well, I do know that Bianca Piper's mom reached out to Ben Ownby's family last week when he was missing. She went up there, she delivered what she called a care package to them with Kleenex, a binder to store information, everything that she needed during the first week of her daughter's disappearance. And she hung up flyers looking for Ben. So she definitely reached out to them. Probably because Shawn Hornbeck's parents had reached out to her when Bianca went missing.

COOPER: So many developments still to be figured out. Jessica, appreciate your reporting. Jessica Bock, with the "St. Louis Post- Dispatch."

BOCK: Thank you.

COOPER: Thanks, Jessica.

The chill in Missouri, of course, comes not just from the Michael Devlin story. It's also literally a chill in the air. And not just in Missouri.

Just about any place you wouldn't want to see snow or ice, we are seeing snow and ice.

Two reports. Jeff Flock, in Chicago, where it's supposed to be cold; and Jacqui Jeras, where it's not.

We begin with Jeff Flock -- Jeff.

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I guess we shouldn't be all that surprised about it. After all, it is the middle of January. But as you report, it has been a very, very tough weather week, and today was another tough weather day.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FLOCK (voice-over): Wine country in white. Parts of Missouri and Oklahoma still in the dark. Georgia, bracing for the worst.

Tens of thousands remain powerless in Oklahoma, including half the town of McAlister. No power at the jail, but all secure, thanks to generators. The governor toured McAlister today, but canceled the more extensive trip because of bad weather. Forecast remains frigid.

Many also remaining in the dark in Missouri. We spent the night by candlelight with Bill Hamilton, outside St. Louis this weekend. The power company still hasn't gotten everyone's lights back on, though it's close.

The way it hit Oklahoma and Texas now threatens the southeast. Trucks at the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) north Georgia mountains.

In New Hampshire, you wouldn't guess they are more used to winter weather.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The trees coated with ice draped over the power lines have to actually be manually beaten upon in order to break off that ice and lift off the power lines. Otherwise, the power just can't travel on that line.

FLOCK: Back to the west in California, this is San Mateo, rare snow in the bay area.

To the south, blizzard conditions stop traffic on a stretch of Interstate 5 in the mountains north of L.A.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's about three inches of snow on the ground and with a blanket of ice underneath that. There's multiple cars that have spun out, big rigs, several jackknifes.

FLOCK: And there is now word that 70 percent of California's oranges, lemons and tangerines were still on the trees when the cold hit. That could spell a loss of $750 million. And according to labor leaders, 12,000 jobs among pickers and packers.

So cold in California, that it looks like it could be Michigan.

And on the shores of Michigan, well, it looks a little like California. Yes, they are surfing in Lake Superior. This is the Presquile Park in the upper peninsula, where the temperature at surf time was 15 degrees. Wet suit -- make that ice suit required.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Jeff, why does it seem to be taking so long to get power restored in some of these places?

FLOCK (on camera): Some people think it's the power companies that have, you know, cut personnel over time. You know how they switch or they swap personnel? They'll call another power company and say, hey, can you send some guys in, we've got a hurricane, we need help. The thought on the part of some consumers is, and consumer groups, is that these power companies are leaner so they don't have enough people to respond when a big disaster comes along like a hurricane or one of these widespread power outages like these storms have produced.

COOPER: All right. Jeff, thanks. Jeff Flock in Chicago tonight.

In San Antonio, Texas, you can normally expect high temperatures in the low 60s this time of year. Today, try knocking about 30 degrees off the average.

CNN's Jacqui Jeras is getting an up close look. Up close and icy.

Jacqui, what's the latest?

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, we're starting to thaw out a little bit, Anderson. San Antonio's mobile once again, but not completely. As you can see the road closed sign behind me and entrance ramp to I-10. I-10 shut down 300 miles yesterday, today about 100 miles. So at least they're making a little bit of progress. The temperature is about 34 degrees. It just takes a while for all that ice, about .5 inch to melt off.

Over here you can see that into the lower areas the traffic is moving along just fine. But then you can see the overpasses. That's what's shut down. So you can get on some of the major thoroughfares, but you can't always get off. It just depends where you are across parts of town.

And you know it's bad in San Antonio when they close the Alamo. They did open that back up at noon today. But much of Texas under this winter's grip; and a big mess in Houston today, dealing with some light freezing rain and ice. Numerous accidents -- more than 100 reported.

And I'm sure many more near misses like that video you're seeing right there. Along I-45, a major thoroughfare in downtown Houston, a 25-car pileup there.

In Dallas, it was snow. The snow came down quite heavy at times today, about three inches on the ground, delaying airports by about two hours today.

Starting to make some improvements there, but Dallas may be seeing some more heavy winter weather coming in late this weekend, into the weekend.

And as for Austin, one of the worst places hit with the freezing rain and ice. Thousands were without power there yesterday. People slowly getting their power back today. Numerous accidents along the roadways. The airport was open, but more than 60 flights in and out of Austin were canceled.

And that was also common right here in San Antonio, Anderson. We had 32 flights, I think, scheduled this morning. Only 28 of them took off. So it's going to take some time to recover from such a big blast of winter weather.

Not a very common thing happening this far south. And people are getting bored, too, by the way. You know, if this was snow, we'd have something to do, something to get out there and play in. But businesses are closed. Schools are closed. They're expecting more things to be open, though, for tomorrow.

COOPER: Yes, no fun for kids at all.

Jacqui, thanks.

What -- a lot of bad weather out there. The bitter cold snap comes on the heels of one of the warmest Decembers on record.

Here's the raw data, of course. Across the U.S. last month was the fourth warmest December since 1985. When recordkeeping began, it was the warmest December ever in five states -- Minnesota, New York, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire. No state was colder than average last month.

In Iraq, a chilling reality. Insurgents have a new weapon. Suicide bombers who don't want to die or kill others. Shocking video coming up.

Also tonight, the fine print for O.J. Simpson's hypothetical confession.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He flat-out admitted that he did it for money and received the money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Money, money, money, money, money. There is no money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: What he got paid. O.J. Simpson's book deal, and how O.J. tried to hide the money. Details from the secret contract, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A jury selection continues in the trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby. He's charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in the leaking of a CIA officer's identity.

The case landed reporters in jail for not revealing sources, and the White House in hot water for allegedly overstating Iraq's nuclear capability in the run-up to the war.

In short, people all around the world learned an awful lot from the case about espionage, nuclear weapons, law and the press. You name it, frankly, everything except this. Just who is Lewis Libby?

Some answers from CNN's John Roberts.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not going to be answering questions.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a trial about secrets. But the biggest secret may be the man in the center of it all, Lewis "Scooter" Libby was the consummate Washington insider. Rarely seen on the Sunday morning talk show circuit, but exerting influence behind the scenes, spinning and leaking to the press, while leaving no fingerprints.

KEN RUDIN, NPR: He's not someone who grabs headlines. He's a behind the scenes kind of guy. And perhaps that's why he's been so effective.

ROBERTS: Like many so-called neoconservatives, Libby's ties with Bush administration figures run deep.

He studied politics under Bush insider Paul Wolfowitz, wrote speeches in the Reagan administration, and worked in Bush 41's Pentagon under then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.

Ken Robinson was working military intelligence at the Pentagon.

KEN ROBINSON, FORMER DOD OFFICIAL: His reputation was really solid. Very affable, friendly, very focused. A very can-do, make it happen, silent, quiet professional.

ROBERTS: In 2001, Cheney lured him back to government as his chief of staff.

LEWIS "SCOOTER" LIBBY, FORMER V.P. CHIEF OF STAFF: I'm a great fan of the vice president. I think he's one of the smartest, most honorable people I've ever met.

ROBERTS: Cheney was a huge fan of Libby's dedication and legendary discretion.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: he worked for me in the Pentagon, did a superb job for me when I was secretary of defense, and I was delighted to get him to give up his very lucrative law practice and come back into public service when I became vice president.

ROBERTS (on camera): Libby, along with the vice president and Paul Wolfowitz, are seen as the architects of the Iraq war, men who believe to their very core and apparently still believe, despite the consequences, that in a post 9/11 world the United States had a moral responsibility to change the equation by invading. ROBINSON: These men are true believers. They have looked at the world and said, if not now, when? If not us, who? Let's do it. And they have quietly shaped the political environment, the strategic environment, toward a policy that shapes the world, shapes the Middle East, tries to move the Middle East forward out of being backward and into the 21st century. And the way they've done that is unilaterally.

ROBERTS (voice-over): The question now facing the court, was Libby enough of a true believer that he lied about the leak of a CIA operative's name? Or, as Libby claims, he was simply so busy, he couldn't keep his facts straight.

John Roberts, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Some perspective now on in the case from CNN's Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

The case is not about Iraq per se, but you're saying this is as close as we'll come to putting the war on trial...

(CROSSTALK)

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Right. I mean, we're seeing that in jury selection now because the whole reason for this controversy was that the administration and Cheney and Libby in particular were trying to justify their belief that there were weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They're -- the -- they were trying to get at a critic, who was saying there were never any weapons of mass destruction, and discredit him in some way. That's the basis of this whole case.

COOPER: So that's why you get questions to the jury like this one, do any of you have feelings or opinions about the Bush administration or any of its policies or actions, whether positive or negative, that might affect your ability to give a former member of the Bush administration a fair trial?

TOOBIN: And this is why Libby is in trouble, being on trial in Washington, D.C., which is the most overwhelmingly Democratic area in the country. Lots of people hate the Bush administration who live in D.C. His lawyers, quite properly, are trying to weed out the people who are going to just use their anger at the Bush administration and just take it out on Libby.

COOPER: You also say this has similarities to the Martha Stewart trial.

TOOBIN: Remarkable similarities.

COOPER: How so?

TOOOBIN: Although obviously, in a very different context. Martha Stewart was investigated for insider trading. She was never charged with insider trading. She was charged with lying in the course of the investigation.

"Scooter" Libby was investigated for leaking the name of a CIA agent. He was never charged with leaking the name of a CIA agent. He was charged with lying in the course of the investigation. You know, it's the old cliche, it's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

But, you know, if he had simply told the truth here, he would never have been in any trouble.

COOPER: Another question to jurors as they're going through jury selection caught my attention, it's is there anyone who believes that everyone's memory is like a tape recorder and therefore all individuals are able to remember exactly what they said and were told in the past? Why is the issue of memory so important?

TOOBIN: The defense here is -- Libby simply forgot where he learned the information that this woman was a CIA agent. He says he just lost track. He -- what he testified to the grand jurors is that he got it from journalists, from Tim Russert, among others. And, in fact, as he now acknowledges, he got it from Dick Cheney, his boss. And Dick Cheney will be a witness at this trial.

COOPER: He's definitely going to testify?

TOOBIN: It seems almost certain -- almost certain that he will. The defense has said they're going to call him.

But, you know, Libby's problem is, as John Roberts' piece pointed out, he's known as being a brilliant guy. His defense is, by golly, I just forgot where I got this very important piece of information and testified falsely about it in the grand jury.

COOPER: Blaming journalists, basically. Blaming Tim Russert, among others.

TOOBIN: Well, that's, I think, the hardest sell part of the case because, you know, he is such a smart guy. And, you know, it's a big deal when you go and testify in the grand jury. And to be just 100 percent wrong in your memory, that's going to be difficult.

COOPER: And if he's found guilty?

TOOBIN: You know, this is a likely prison sentence, but probably not guaranteed. Again, very similar with Martha Stewart. It's a similar crime.

COOPER: A likely presidential pardon?

TOOBIN: You know what, I mean, this is as close, it seems to me, as a guaranteed presidential pardon as you will ever see.

You know, Dick Cheney has been outspoken, even though he's been indicted, said Dick Cheney -- "Scooter" Libby is one of the finest people I've ever known. Bush has, I don't believe, has said anything quite that outspoken, but certainly the support for him has been very strong in the administration. He's raised a lot of money for his legal fees. I think...

COOPER: And how long can this thing drag on for?

TOOBIN: You know, the trial itself is probably not going to be that long. Probably only about -- opening statements will be Monday and the trial will take, they say, four to six weeks.

But if he's convicted, appeals will drag on a long time. This would seem a perfect candidate for one of those post election pre- inauguration parties.

COOPER: 11:59 p.m., when no one else is looking.

TOOBIN: That's right, when Bill Clinton did his Mark Rich pardon...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: All right. Jeff Toobin, thanks.

TOOBIN: OK.

COOPER: A deadly ambush in Iraq. One of the victims, an American aide worker, plus a father of four kidnapped, forced to become a suicide bomber. That story next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: More bloodshed in Baghdad today. An American civilian aide worker and three bodyguards were killed when gunmen ambushed their convoy.

In Sadr City, at least 17 people were blown up by a suicide bomber at a crowded market. That attack comes one day after car bombings killed dozens of university students just two miles away.

Also tonight, we're learning more about a chilling trend. Suicide bombers who are being forced to carry out deadly missions. This is what investigators say happened to an Iraqi family man, who died when his own car blew up at a police checkpoint.

CNN's Arwa Damon now has the story from Baghdad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 42-year-old Kammal al-Khaqani (ph) was happily married with four children, trying like most here to avoid the violence, to just get through each day alive.

ADEL AL-KHAQANI, VICTIM'S BROTHER (through translator): We have nothing to do with politics or anything else.

DAMON: Then one day, like a thousand others, Kammal (ph) left to run errands and pick up breakfast for the family.

He got dressed at 7:00 and told me he would come back at 9:00, his mother says. It was 10:00, 11:00, his wife says. At 11:00, I started to feel nervous. They kept comforting me. At 2:00, I was pacing back and forth. At that point Haloud (ph) knew deep down that her husband of 12 years would not be coming back.

AL-KHAQANI (through translator): The next day someone came by and said, a car similar to your brother's is in al-Hedra (ph) neighborhood and it has been blown up.

DAMON: Kammal's (ph) final moments, pieced together by officers at the scene.

AL-KHAQANI (through translator): He told me, it looks like your poor brother was kidnapped.

DAMON (on camera): Kammal (ph) was released and set off in his own car. Police say he was probably told to drive towards their checkpoint. But they say he must have realized that his vehicle was rigged with explosives and that he was about to become an unwilling bomber.

(Voice-over): It's a trend Iraqi and U.S. officials have been warning since July. They believe a number of suicide bombers are actually kidnapped civilians whose cars have been turned into bombs, set off by remote control.

Some of the clues, hands tied to steering wheels and families. Kammal (ph), who insists the driver was a victim, too, not an insurgent.

And in Kammal's (ph) case, eyewitness evidence he tried desperately to warn the people around him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said he was screaming the whole time, I am booby trapped, I am booby trapped.

AL-KHAQANI (through translator): He didn't finish his words before the car blew up. We showed him his pictures, and he said, yes, that's him.

DAMON: The explosion wounded one policeman. Kammal's (ph) shouted warnings may well have saved lives.

Kammal (ph) is gone, his mother cries. When my sons sit around, Kammal (ph) is not there. His absence has tortured me.

It's difficult, his wife says. How are we going to live? Only God's mercy can keep us going. It's tough. We are four.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Every time his little son starts to cry, I break down in tears.

DAMON: Eleven-year-old Zahrhat (ph) can't even speak. The youngest, 1-year-old, Sajad (ph), still runs around saying, daddy. Too young to realize that daddy is never coming home.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad. (END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, the story you just saw in Arwa's report is just one example of how chaotic and dangerous, of course, the situation is in Iraq.

When 21,000 more troops arrive over time, as part of President Bush's new war plan, securing Baghdad will be the top of their agenda.

They can't do it without help from the Iraqi government. The entire plan is based on that.

And earlier I talked about the new effort with John Burns, the Baghdad bureau chief for "The New York Times."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: You wrote this week the president's new plan for Iraq is meeting some of its stiffest resistance from the very people who are supposed to be executing the plan, Iraqi officials.

And you quote one U.S. military official as saying, "We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government that is actually part of the problem... We are being played like a pawn."

What exactly is the problem right now?

JOHN BURNS, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": The problem is Iraqi history, Anderson. You have a Shiite community that won power at the polls under American protection, that had waited a thousand years for this opportunity. They don't mean to have to share that power with anybody. They are the majority community. The government that represents the Shiite community led by Shiite religious parties, wants to get as much control as quickly as it can. And more American troops in Baghdad and American generals at their shoulder is not part of how they envisage the future because of course this government cannot stand for very long without American troops and American troops in number.

COOPER: When President Bush presented his plan to the American people and to the world, he seemed to indicate that it was all sort of set in stone, that it was all thought out, all planned out.

The articles I read from you on the ground in Baghdad, it doesn't seem like that is the case. It seems like there is a -- some confusion, at the very least, over operational control?

BURNS: There is. When I asked General Casey, the American commander here, at a news conference 48 hours ago whether they would teach at West Point as a model the kind of operational command system they're constructing for this new plan, a broad smile spread across his face and he said, well, coalitions are different.

But the fact is that behind that lies great disquiet. The idea that you have a political leader, the prime minister, right involved in the operational chain of command, picking targets, picking who you go after and who you don't go after.

And if he stays true to form, insisting they don't go after certain Shiite leaders, even ones suspected of being involved in death squads. And when they're arrested, as he has done on more than one occasion in the last few months, handing them back, if you please, giving them up.

You can see why American commanders would be uneasy.

COOPER: The U.N. has now come out with a figure of some 30,000 plus Iraqi dead last year. Do you think that's pretty accurate? Iraqi government officials, though, say it's overstated.

BURNS: I think it may be an undercount, because a lot of bodies never end up in morgues and never end up in graveyards. They end up in sewers and in the river and in the deserts.

COOPER: One of the things that struck me in an article you wrote several days ago is a change in the way military officials speak and basically what they are saying since Rumsfeld has left.

I wonder if you can talk to that a little bit. Are U.S. military officials freer to talk than they were when Rumsfeld was in command? You seem to indicate that they are now kind of admitting that before they didn't have enough troops to kind of do all the operations that they needed to get done.

BURNS: There's no doubt about that. We've picked up signals from field commanders throughout the war about their unhappiness at certain aspects of the way in which this war is being conducted, particularly over the fact that they didn't have enough troops.

But there's absolutely no doubt that the resignation of the Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has had a liberating effect. There's no doubt there is now a freer air about this.

COOPER: John Burns, thank you.

BURNS: Thank you, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, just ahead, the murders according to O.J. Simpson. The book he wrote, the story he told and the contract that may have made him a millionaire. That story is coming up.

Also tonight, a vicious teen attack caught on tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ooh, ooh, ooh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Bullies, moving from the schoolyard to cyberspace. Taunting classmates with threats and turning attacks into home videos. Teen terror over the Internet, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, last night we got an exclusive look at a key chapter of O.J. Simpson's never published tell all book that described in detail the so-called night in question.

Tonight, the never before seen contract for Simpson's book deal that outlines how he would get paid and how much.

Court TV's Ashleigh Banfield read the contract. I talked to her earlier tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So, Ashleigh, tell us about this alleged contract between Harper Collins and O.J. Simpson. What did we learn from it?

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, HOST, "COURT TV" 'HOLLYWOOD HEAT': Well, the thing is everyone has been very cagy within this deal about who dealt with whom and whether O.J. was a signatory (UNINTELLIGIBLE) deal.

The actual contract itself is with Lorraine Brooke Associates.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: That -- that's a company that basically O.J. set up?

BANFIELD: Well, we haven't known that until we found another contract, a one-page deal with Harper Collins, with his name on the bottom, saying I am responsible for Lorraine-Brooke Associates. I am not only bound by publications, but I agree to be personally responsible for it.

And it's to Harper Collins and it is signed, O.J. They made a deal together.

COOPER: Judith Regan, all along, was saying well, we didn't pay the money to O.J., we paid it to this corporation, acting as if they really had no idea that, you know, O.J. was this corporation.

BANFIELD: The money trail will be difficult. You'll really have to watch to see where we've discover the disbursements because the money, technically, is paid to an agent, a book agent, sports agent, whatever you want to call the agent, there was an agent who was going to take 15 percent off the top.

So all of the money from Harper Collins went to the agent. The agent then, presumably, was to pay this company, Lorraine-Brooke. And You remember Lorraine-Brooke are the names -- the middle names of his two children. These contracts were all signed on the same days, right around the time that this book deal was actually put together. So it's extremely suspect.

COOPER: How much money did he make, do we know? BANFIELD: Hard to say. But we do know that it's broken down into eight categories. Seven of those categories are roughly $100,000 a piece, everything from just signing the deal, to giving me half the manuscript, giving me an outline, completing the manuscript. And then a big walloping $400,000 for just sitting down and completing an interview, the TV interview. We all saw excerpts from it. We know it happened. We know he sat for it. Whether he actually got paid for it, because it didn't air, questionable. I think you can fairly say he probably got paid for it, giving the way the contractual language is.

COOPER: So even though there are all these press reports he got a million dollars. Chances are, he did not actually get the million dollars, maybe half of that or something close to it?

BANFIELD: Somewhere between, I would say, $400,000 to $600,000 maybe $800,000 because don't forget there's a 15 percent agent fee.

The $100,000 that was outlined for the completion of the hard cover publication is debatable. I mean, you could litigate this thing. This was never finally published because it didn't make its way into the hands of the reader. It didn't make sale dates. Others will say, are you kidding me? This thing was bound, it was boxed, it was shipped and it was a decision of the company to recall it and destroy it.

COOPER: And what's so interesting is the media reaction to this, once, you know, people just started to get outrages. A lot of people at Harper Collins, who by the way published my book, in all fairness I should say, kind of washed their hands of it and said well, that -- this is an imprint of Harper Collins. It's Regan Books. It really has nothing to do with us.

These contracts that you have seem to tell another story.

BANFIELD: Yes, the president and CEO of Harper Collins, Jane Friedman, signed this deal. She signed it. She's signatory. And also Judith Regan, and then also the vice president of this, what is being alleged as a shell corporation. So, she's on it.

And whether there was bad blood between Judith Regan and Jane Friedman, who knows what that's about. But they both signed this deal. They both are responsible for it.

COOPER: Can Fred Goldman get the money that was sent to O.J.?

BANFIELD: This all depends on where the money actually is. Again, we got to travel the road of the disbursements and find out where the money ended up.

O.J. has actually admitted to the "Associated Press," he spent it. And he's called it blood money. He's just been that forthcoming about this. It's all very dirty. He said that he spent it on debts and he's gotten rid of all sorts of, you know, issues that he had to deal with financially. So it's gone. The legal issue here, Anderson, is that he hasn't done anything criminal by just spending the money that was due in a civil judgment to the Goldmans.

COOPER: Ashleigh Banfield, thanks.

BANFIELD: Sure.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Ashleigh anchors "Hollywood Heat" on "COURT TV."

We called both Harper Collins and O.J. Simpson's attorney for comment on this story. Our calls were not returned.

Teens using the Internet to terrorize. Fights, like the one you are about to see, are finding a home on the web, where the foes and the threats are spreading like wildfire, maybe encouraging other kids to do the same thing. That story, next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, the Internet is changing everything. We all know that. But in many ways, it's a stark reminder of how some things stay the same. Like school bullies. We all know the kind, but now they found a new way to torment others and a new tool to show the world their violence.

CNN's Allan Chernoff reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ooh, ooh, ooh.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First, one girl assaults the victim, a 13-year-old eighth grader, punching, pulling hair, and kicking her face.

A second assailant joins in and then a third.

Police in North Babylon, New York, say the victim knows one of her assailants. They had been arguing online about a boy, and police say, had arranged to meet face to face outside of Woods Road Elementary School on December 18.

LT. ROBERT EDWARDS, SUFFOLK COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: I don't really believe the victim went there with the idea of having a fight with one girl, certainly not with three girls.

CHERNOFF: The assailant brought two ninth grade classmates from North Babylon High School, a person who shot video, and some boys who watched and did nothing to stop the violence.

The video spread quickly on YouTube, MySpace and photobucket. High school officials brought it to the police, who yesterday arrested the three girls at school, charging them with assault and juvenile delinquency.

Two of them are 14. One is 13. All have been suspended from school.

JOSEPH LARIA, SUPT., N. BABYLON SCHOOL DISTRICT: This is not cool. It's a disgrace. It's despicable. And forceful action has to be taken.

CHERNOFF (on camera): Bullies used to beat kids up and let word of mouth send the message of their attacks.

But now in the age of YouTube and MySpace, some teens here say these have actually become bullying tools. Beat someone up, post the video as a way of telling the world, don't mess with me.

(Voice-over): Some seniors in North Babylon High say such beatings on the web, called hopping someone, are getting posted with growing frequency.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happens all the time.

DEBORAH ARUNDALE, LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR: The trend toward bullying and violence...

CHERNOFF: Mental Health Counselor Debra Arondale (ph) says she's helping another girl from Babylon, whose beating was also posted on the Internet.

ARUNDALE: That's, I believe, the worst part. It's humiliating. It's embarrassing. It's frightening to think that other people have seen this, have seen them at probably one of their weakest moments.

CHERNOFF: Frightening that school bullies are now harnessing the power of the Internet to magnify the terror beyond the schoolyard.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, North Babylon, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Really disturbing. As we've just seen, bullies aren't boys, of course. Mean girls in America, young, aggressive. But are they becoming more violent? The facts, next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Before the break, we showed you a disturbing video of three girls punching and kicking another girl. We wish we could tell you that it was an isolated incident, but the crime statistics paint a much different picture.

CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Little girls are said to be made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

But if they are, what are these girls in New York made of?

And what about these girls in California?

And these in Pennsylvania.

Disturbing girl-on-girl violence is increasingly prevalent on TV and the Internet, which makes you wonder how much more is taking place that is never captured on camera.

Doctor Howard Spivak of Tufts University is the author of "Sugar and Spice and No Longer Nice."

DR. HOWARD SPIVAK, TUFTS UNIVERSITY: Yes, girls are becoming more violent. And this is a trend that seems to have been escalating over the past probably five to 10 years.

TUCHMAN: An FBI crime report indicates that over the most recent 10-year period, common assaults among boys were slightly down. But among girls, they were up a startling 24 percent.

Dr. Spivak believes cultural influences have much to do with these numbers. Violent video games are one of those influences, he says. So are movies like "Kill Bill," with a female killer. And "Mean Girls," which lives up to its name. Impressionable girls, says Dr. Spivak, are vulnerable to these messages.

SPIVAK: We're seeing entire movies and TV programs revolving around a physically aggressive women heroes or heroines who are essentially doing the very same things that male heroes have done in the past. It's not self defense. It's problem solving where violence is the primary chosen strategy.

TUCHMAN: The violence is troubling, but some experts say so is some of this research.

PROFESSOR DARRELL STEFFENSMEIER, PENN STATE UNIVERSITY: For 150 years now we've been having similar kinds of stories. The sky is falling. This generation is worse than the previous one. These are real attention grabbers.

TUCHMAN: Penn State Sociology Professor Darrell Steffensmeier has written that more awareness and better surveillance have increased arrests. But that does not mean the incidents themselves have increased.

STEFFENSMEIER: Now, it doesn't mean that girls violence can't be serious, but we're talking about trends and whether girls' violence is greater today than in the past. And the best conclusion I think we have from all the evidence is probably not.

TUCHMAN: The sharpest minds can argue over whether girls have gotten more violent over the years. There's no argument, though, that the sugar and spice moniker does not fit all.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, on the radar tonight, Drew Griffin's follow-up on the loophole that was buried in a reform bill that you helped just get passed. Fine print that means a crooked Congressman, even a murderer, might still collect taxpayer pensions.

Says Charlotte in Stockton, California, "Maybe it might be better if the legislation failed to pass as it is currently written. Once something is on the books, Congress can always point to it and say, see we have something in place. The issue dies."

Not if you don't let it, Charlotte. That's the way it works. We'll be right behind you.

Christina in Windber, Pennsylvania, writes, "Aren't taxpayers going to be supporting them one way or another? Taking their pensions away probably hurts their families much more than it will hurt them. Just a thought people, don't throw tomatoes at me!"

And this from Debbie in Denham Springs, Louisiana. "This is mind numbingly ridiculous," she writes. "This was a bill designed to pacify the masses for a while. But at least CNN did affect some kind of change."

If you'd like to help us in our work or simply register your opinion, just go to our blog at CNN.com/360blog.

A boy with no boarding pass takes off on the West Coast and lands in a mess of trouble. That story is coming up.

And on a much gloomier note, is the end near? Scientists, tinkering with the doomsday clock. Why would they be doing that? The answer, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Well, there's something ticking, but it's not your normal wrist watch. Some very serious scientists have reset what's become known as the doomsday clock, and it's not looking good for humanity.

CNN's Jeanne Moos explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Do not adjust your watch. It won't help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I have the time. It's 2:30.

MOOS: No, it's five minutes to doomsday. Did you hear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's about quarter to 3:00.

MOOS: Did you hear it's actually five minutes to doomsday?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hear that every day.

MOOS: But we mean doomsday...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.

MOOS: Doomsday like you see in the movies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We take the idea of doomsday very seriously.

MOOS: This was the latest unveiling of the so-called doomsday clock. Since 1947, a group of highly respected atomic scientists have been symbolically moving the hands forward when the world is looking more dangerous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two minutes to midnight.

MOOS: Back when, for instance, nuclear negotiations seemed to lessen tension.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventeen minutes to midnight.

MOOS: That was the best it's gotten. After 9/11, the doomsday clock was set at seven minutes. And now the scientists say things have gotten worse.

STEPHEN HAWKING, THEORETICAL PHYSICIST: It is now five minutes to midnight.

MOOS: That's Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking speaking through a voice synthesizer, paralyzed by Lou Gehrig's disease.

Scientists in London join those in Washington via satellite.

KENNETTE BENEDICT, BULLETIN OF THE ATOMOC SCIENTISTS: We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age.

MOOS: They blame nuclear advances by North Korea and Iran, plus the 26,000 nukes the U.S. and Russia have, plus a new culprit, global warming.

Movies like "The Day After Tomorrow" may be alarming, but also alarming is this quiet clock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oy. Oy. It's all I can say.

MOOS (on camera): But, I mean, do you really feel like the end of the world could come?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, if some idiot presses a button.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there are so many idiots at the heads of government now, don't you think?

MOOS: At five minutes to doomsday, no wonder this guy was on "60 Minutes."

Do you feel like it could be the end of the world?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh not at all, but it makes me want to go get something to eat right now.

MOOS: So the next time you look at your watch, keep an eye on the big hand and think big end of the world thoughts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-two minutes to 3:00.

MOOS: Did you know it's five minutes to doomsday?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.

MOOS: The movies may make it look like fun and games.

What time is it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's 2:40.

MOOS: Yes, actually, it's five minutes to doomsday. Have you heard this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my goodness, I'm late for an appointment.

MOOS: Must be on her way to draw up a will.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And you got to love New Yorkers.

Randi Kaye joins us with the 360 bulletin -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Anderson.

Getting the facts, as you know, on Fidel Castro's health is not easy. First came reports that the Cuban leader's condition worsened. After three intestinal surgeries, now comes a -- a much different story. The surgeon who examined the 80-year-old last month said he is showing signs of improvement. Stay tuned, I guess.

Colorado Springs, a deadly fire is now a crime scene. Authorities have arrested a man in connection with Tuesday's massive apartment inferno that killed two people. At least 12 others are missing.

And in Lakewood, Washington, a boy takes an airline for a ride. The 9-year-old didn't have a ticket, but got past screeners and security anyway. He boarded a Southwest jet Tuesday in Seattle. After making a connecting flight, he landed in San Antonio. He's still there, held now in juvenile custody. The odyssey actually began on Sunday, when the child stole a car and led police on a high speed chase.

So we have a 9-year-old getting past security at the airport. Very comforting.

COOPER: Yes, strange story. Randi, Thanks.

Don't forget, we want you to help us keep them honest. If there's a wrong that needs to be made in your community, tell us about it at cnn.com/360.

Thanks for watching tonight. "LARRY KING" is next.

I'll see you tomorrow night.

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