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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Critics Blast Former CIA Director's Tell-All Book on Iraq War; High-Priced Healing
Aired April 30, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. Thank you for joining us.
Tonight, we're bringing out in the open some stories you have got to see.
Get this: Administration insiders are furious about former CIA Director George Tenet's finger-pointing tell-all book, and they are now fighting back.
We have also got an exclusive and unbelievable look behind the closed doors of a controversial rehab center. You are not going to believe the luxury, nor the price.
And you probably know this. The real estate market is so bad, you may actually become a prisoner in your own home. We will explain.
Out in the open first, though, tonight, a ferocious counterattack aimed squarely at the onetime CIA director George Tenet. His brand- new book, "At the Center of the Storm," came out only today, and is already the number two bestseller on Amazon.com.
So, why is Tenet's book so controversial? Well, for starters, he says his repeated warnings that a terrorist attacks was imminent were ignored before 9/11. He also accuses Vice President Dick Cheney of overstating the CIA's evidence about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
And Tenet says his famous "slam dunk" comment about WMDs was leaked by someone in the president's inner circle, so Tenet would be blamed for the war.
Well, all this is making some of the Tenet's former colleagues absolutely furious. I will talk with one of them in just a moment.
But, first, we asked Kelli Arena to listen to the critics and bring them complaints out in the open for us tonight.
Kelli, what did you hear?
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, it certainly wasn't hard to find them. I mean, critics are saying that we should have heard from him George Tenet long time ago. They say that, by remaining silent, he shares the blame for everything that went wrong on his watch.
ARENA (voice-over): George Tenet is finding out it's not easy to rewrite your own legacy. Six former CIA officers say he already had a chance to change history by urging caution in Iraq, but instead kept his mouth shut.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AMERICAN MORNING")
LARRY JOHNSON, COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: George Tenet's hands are just as bloody as everybody else in this administration in helping gin up what was an unfounded case for war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ARENA: Tenet says the White House destroyed his reputation by claiming he told President Bush finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would be a slam dunk.
In his new book, Tenet now says he was taken out of context and that the administration was hell-bent on going to war regardless of what he said. He recalls running into Pentagon adviser Richard Perle at the White House the day after the September 11 attacks.
Tenet writes that Perle told him -- quote -- "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "60 MINUTES")
GEORGE TENET, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: And I remember thinking to myself as I'm about to go in and brief the president, what the hell is he talking about?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ARENA: Perle reportedly has said he was in France at the time. Tenet says maybe he got the date wrong, but insists the conversation took place.
Tenet is defensive and angry that he's basically known as the guy who got it wrong on Iraq and missed warning signs about 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "60 MINUTES")
TENET: I still lie awake at night thinking about everything that could have been done that wasn't done to stop 9/11.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ARENA: Tenet says he knew an attack was coming, took his concerns to then National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, but claims she brushed him off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "60 MINUTES")
TENET: Essentially, the briefing says there are going to be multiple, spectacular attacks against the United States. We believe these attacks are imminent. Mass casualties are a likelihood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ARENA: In her defense, Rice supporters point out that, while Tenet was still the CIA director, he testified that the administration in fact was focused on the threat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MARCH 24, 2004)
TENET: I think people were doing everything they knew how to do to try and figure out what this was and what this wasn't. I did not -- I didn't get a sense of a lack of urgency on the part of people in this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ARENA: You might wonder why Tenet didn't resign from his post sooner, take a stand, go on the public record earlier. He says he had a job to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE TODAY SHOW")
TENET: We had a war on terrorism. We had conflict in Iraq. I -- I -- I thought I could best serve my country by continuing to do my job every day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Well, as you mentioned at the top of your report, Kelli, a lot of people are wondering why it's now, almost three years since he left the White House, and -- and now this book is coming out. What -- what are you to make of this timing?
ARENA: Well, Paula, you know, Tenet says that he needed time to get time to get his thoughts together, to come down from the craziness of -- craziness of doing his job as CIA director.
He also says that he didn't want to dump a book in the middle of last year's election, but, in the end, he felt that he had a historical obligation to write this.
ZAHN: Kelli Arena, thanks so much.
We're going to move on now. So, what does George Tenet's book get right? And why is it hitting so many people's raw nerves?
Ron Suskind has written his own book about the war on terrorism. It is called "The One Percent Doctrine." Jim Marcinkowski is a former CIA officer and one of the people who signed that letter Kelli Arena just told us all about, criticizing Tenet. And Michael Scheuer is the former head of a CIA's unit assigned to search for Osama bin Laden.
ZAHN: Ron, I'm going to start with you tonight and start off by talking about why Tenet perceives himself as a scapegoat.
Here's what he writes: "From the fall of 2003 onward, the security situation in Iraq continued to deteriorate. Rather than acknowledge responsibility, the administration's message was: Don't blame us, George Tenet and the CIA got us into this mess."
Is Tenet in denial about the role he played in all this, or was he really the fall guy here?
RON SUSKIND, AUTHOR/JOURNALIST: Well, there's no doubt that the administration saw extraordinary convenience, as many people did, with George Tenet. He was a guy who houses secrets, couldn't defend himself.
And, over the years, he's been blamed for everything from geopolitics to mortgage interest rates, frankly. And, after a while, it simmered inside Tenet. And he said: I need to have at least my piece heard. I need to speak my own story.
And that's what essentially creates this book. There's no doubt, though, that -- that Tenet made many mistakes. I write about them in "The One Percent Doctrine." And Tenet writes about some of them here.
But, ultimately, what you have is a process that is sorely broken from the very top, from the president on down, and you have George Tenet as the man who, frankly, everybody said, well, blame Tenet, and let's move on.
ZAHN: Well, Jim, you go even further than that, because we heard about the letter you just wrote, with some five CIA veterans, where you called him the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community.
If he had resigned, are you going to tell me tonight that would have stopped this war?
JIM MARCINKOWSKI, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Well, certainly would have sent a strong message that he was being ignored.
The fact of the matter is, you can't wait three years, and then say, listen, whatever happened, whatever happened wrong, people were ignoring me; I didn't get a voice at the table; I couldn't participate in discussion, and, in fact, no discussion took place.
This war in Iraq was based on intelligence. He was head of the intelligence community of the United States. He owed an obligation to the people of the United States to send a strong message, to take a stand, to yell from whatever forum he was able to participate in that we have some problems here.
The fact that he didn't do that speaks volumes. He can't come out three years later now and, all of a sudden, OK, now I'm going to tell you what exactly happened and why I'm not responsible, and I am going to gauge now in a whole lot of finger-pointing, which is nothing more than a deflection of responsibility for the -- for the errors in Iraq.
ZAHN: Let's talk about deflection of responsibility for a moment, Michael.
You were in charge of the bin Laden unit at the time of the 9/11 attacks, correct? I just want to make sure we have the timing...
MICHAEL SCHEUER, FORMER CHIEF OF CIA BIN LADEN UNIT: No, that's not correct.
ZAHN: Until; what period of time were you...
SCHEUER: From December of '95 until June of '99.
So, the point that he makes over and over again in this book is that he had this briefing that he -- he gave Condoleezza Rice in July, before the 9/11 attacks, saying that there were going to be simultaneous attacks on the United States; there would be mass casualties.
He alleges that Condi Rice dropped the ball. And the question I have got to ask, could he have gone directly to the president at that point, which he said is not the way you deal with the chain of the command at the White House?
SCHEUER: Well, I think that's a disingenuous claim by Mr. Tenet.
If the DCI wants to talk to the president, that happens, unless the president is an idiot, because the DCI is his primary counselor on intelligence matters. If we have a DCI that can't talk to the president, the whole country has a problem.
But Mr. Tenet is also being disingenuous. And this is a very pro-Democratic Party book. You have to remember that.
Mr. -- even if he briefed Mr. Bush in June or July or August of 2001, we did not know where Osama bin Laden was at that time. We could not have killed him. Mr. Tenet -- or the CIA gave Mr. Clinton 10 different chances to either capture or kill him in the 1990s. And he lets Mr. Clinton and all that slimy crowd around Mr. Clinton slide on the fact that they refused to protect America when they had the chance.
So, you can blame Mr. Bush for a lot of things -- and I absolutely carry no brief for him -- but, if you review the chances that Clinton had to take care of the bin Laden problem, they -- Mr. Bush had virtually none compared to Mr. Clinton.
ZAHN: Jim, a very brief answer. At the end of the day, what is George Tenet's legacy?
MARCINKOWSKI: Failed leadership. He failed the CIA. He failed his personnel. When he talks about things like "slam dunk," you have to put that into context. He's slam-dunking what? The intelligence in Iraq? We know that's absolutely wrong.
Now we hear that he was talking about the presentation by the president of the reasons for going to war. That would be a slam dunk. What is the head of the intelligence community in the United States involved in marketing this war? That's not his role. His role is to give advice to the president, unvarnished advice, and speak the truth.
And to come out three years later and somehow start pointing fingers is just disingenuous.
ZAHN: Gentlemen, we have got to leave it there.
Ron Suskind, Jim Marcinkowski, Michael Scheuer, thank you all.
MARCINKOWSKI: Thank you.
SCHEUER: Thank you.
ZAHN: My pleasure.
And former CIA Director George Tenet will join "LARRY KING LIVE" right at the top of the hour.
We're going to move on now. We're on the eve of a major political showdown. President Bush is all set to veto the Democrats' deadline to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq. So, what would happen if U.S. troops actually left?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STAFF SERGEANT MATTHEW ST. PIERRE, U.S. ARMY: We are the buffer right now. When you pull us out, the people that support us are going to feel the wrath, and the -- the people that were against us -- and they're the majority -- they're going to, I believe, ultimately win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Some very scary possibilities about what happens to Iraq whenever the U.S. goes home.
And, then, a little bit later on, can tennis, daily massages, a little surfing in your free time actually help you quit drugs and alcohol?
And, if you're black or Latino, why are you twice as likely to be arrested if the cops pull you over? We will be right back.
ZAHN: Out in the open tonight: We are on the eve of a political showdown looming in Washington. Tomorrow, President Bush is expected to veto a Democratic bill setting a timetable for U.S. troops to start withdrawing from Iraq in October. You might remember that Congress passed that bill last week.
Well, just hours ago, President Bush repeated his intention to reject this legislation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I look forward to working with members of both parties to get a bill that doesn't set artificial timetables.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Well, April has been the deadliest month for U.S. forces so far this year. At least 104 Americans were killed.
And, today, in Iraq, at least 98 civilians were killed, including 32 who died when a suicide bomber struck a funeral in Diyala, northeast of Baghdad.
With the continuing violence, is it even realistic to think about U.S. troops pulling out?
We asked Hugh Riminton to show us what it would mean for Iraq if that happened.
HUGH RIMINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jessie Mohammed (ph) has no doubt what his country would be like without U.S. forces.
"It would be like this," he says. He's seen the sectarian violence firsthand. He's one of just two security guards left protecting a power station on a Sunni-Shia dividing line in northwestern Baghdad. The work is so dangerous, 40 other guards have fled. He welcomes the temporary security of a passing U.S. patrol.
These Iraqi soldiers are on the last day of their training. The U.S. military says the Iraqi army, despite growing in numbers and proficiency, is not yet ready to take over the fight against the insurgents. American commanders, like General Dana Pittard, believe that withdrawing troops too soon would leave the whole country vulnerable.
GENERAL DANA PITTARD, U.S. ARMY: I think that it would cause a huge vacuum that the -- the enemies of the government and enemies of Iraq could take advantage of. Now is not the time. RIMINTON: Among those enemies, the Americans include Iran, already accused by Washington of supporting both sides of the insurgency, but especially their sectarian brothers in Iraq's Shia militias.
PITTARD: We cannot leave Iraq in disarray. I mean, we -- we came here in 2003. We cannot leave here, leave this nation as a failed state.
RIMINTON: Iraq's oil minister, Husayn Al-Shahrastani, agrees now is too early for the Americans to talk of leaving.
HUSAYN AL-SHAHRASTANI, IRAQI OIL MINISTER: Iraq is making good progress in building its armed forces. And, by the end of this year, we should have sufficient trained forces to be able to hand them the security on our own.
RIMINTON (on camera): By the end of this year?
RIMINTON (voice-over): So, what might happen if U.S. troops withdraw before securing stability in Iraq?
JON ALTERMAN, MIDDLE EAST PROGRAM DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: What I would expect to have is lots of warlords popping up with more and more control around the country, and the central government becoming more and more of a shell that doesn't really represent anything.
RIMINTON: Without U.S. support, he fears, Iraq could become an established center for both local and international terrorism, its territory a proxy battlefield for regional powers, like Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and all of that for years to come.
ALTERMAN: When you have a -- a civil war or an insurgency with lots and lots of external resources coming into it, it can go on for a very, very, very long time.
RIMINTON (on camera): One U.S. soldier I spoke to here says he does not believe any longer that the U.S. can win the war here, but he fears the consequences of withdrawal. It could be a catastrophe, he says, for America's friends here.
STAFF SERGEANT MATTHEW ST. PIERRE, U.S. ARMY: We are the buffer right now. And, when you pull us out, the people that support us are going to feel the wrath, and the -- the people that were against us -- and they're the majority -- they're going to, I believe, ultimately win.
RIMINTON (voice-over): It's only one soldier's view, but he believes, whenever U.S. troops withdraw, they will leave Iraq in a worse state than they found it.
Hugh Riminton, CNN, Baghdad.
ZAHN: I want to turn now to our Baghdad correspondent, Michael Ware.
You have been covering Baghdad and the war for years. What do you see once U.S. troops withdraw?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a lot of blood will be shed, Paula. I can't begin to imagine how much. Politically, already, Iran is much more influential in Baghdad than Washington is. The...
ZAHN: What are the obvious signs of that, besides weapons...
ZAHN: ... coming into the country?
WARE: Well, the fact that most of the ministries, the individuals and their parties were created in Iran during the 1980s. The building blocks of political power in Iraq are Iranian-linked. These are parties that were forged in Tehran as people fled from Saddam. They are the ones who have now returned, and under the democratic system that America created, they're the ones who capitalized and have seized power.
They're the ones running the government death squads. They're the ones who won the Interior Ministry, the hospitals, the, you know, transport system, everything. So, Iran would consolidate its power and extend. You would see Western part of -- of Iraq turn into essentially one large al Qaeda training camp.
You would see that Iraq's Sunni allies, America's Arab allies, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, assisting the Sunni insurgents, and, indeed, turning a blind eye to al Qaeda. So, that's the most immediate -- you would have regional conflict brewing.
ZAHN: So, who would be in place, then, to protect Iraqi civilians? No one?
WARE: No one.
ZAHN: Yes. We just heard about one of the security guards talking about...
WARE: It's in no one's interests. I mean...
ZAHN: ... how no one is brave enough to protect them now.
WARE: Listen, this government right now, many members of it, or many of the most powerful factions within it, all they want to do is see the Americans get out of the way, so they can unleash their forces on the Sunni population.
ZAHN: We heard a staggering report today from the inspector general of Iraq, essentially saying that seven out of eight U.S. reconstruction projects that were once considered successful are failing.
So, if U.S. troops pull out, what does that mean? All that work is down the drain?
WARE: Well, there is no work. It's already down the drain. I would like to see what they define as successful.
I have not seen one hugely successful American-backed project. I mean, the infrastructure is not there. The delivery of this money and aid and construction has not happened. And, anything that the Americans touch, the insurgents blow up.
ZAHN: We have just heard your prediction what happens if U.S. troops completely withdraw. How many years are they going to have to be there to prevent what you're talking about happening?
WARE: Well, one American two-star general said to me it may not require the troops we have there now, 20 combat brigades there for 15 years, but it's going to require a long-term commitment.
Any insurgency has never been defeated in anything less than about 12 years. America broke Iraq. Now America must stay until it's fixed.
ZAHN: Michael Ware, thank you.
WARE: Thanks, Paula.
ZAHN: And we know you have a series of reports coming up. We will be looking for them.
You have got to see our next story. It is quite a change in focus. It is a rare look inside a place where stars with alcohol or drug problems go to dry out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the master bathroom. And it is, by far, one of the biggest bathrooms...
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... I have ever stepped my foot on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is enormous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's views. I come over and I brush my teeth every morning, and I get to look at the ocean.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: Oh, yes? Well, wait until you see what else it has and what it costs. How about tens and tens and tens and tens of thousands of dollars a month? We will give you an exclusive look. That's all out in the open next.
ZAHN: Welcome back.
Out in the open now: an inside look at where Hollywood's A-list types go to kick drug and alcohol addictions. We have heard a lot lately about celebrities checking into rehab. And that got us thinking, just what happens when someone like Britney Spears goes to one of these places?
We're about to take you inside a facility that looks so lavish, you would probably think it was a high-end resort, not a place to detox.
Entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson got rare access to this center, and has a report you are not going to see anywhere else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Break the surf zone, and then swim out to the right a little bit more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sweet.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Surfing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just let me know what you think of the pressure.
ANDERSON: Massages. Gourmet meals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have two balconies up here.
ANDERSON: Luxurious accommodations.
(on camera): You wake up every morning to this view?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every morning, I wake up. I step outside, and I take a deep breath, and I just thank God for allowing me to be here.
ANDERSON (voice-over): You may think this is a posh resort, but, in fact, this is drug and alcohol rehab, Malibu style.
(on camera): Is this rehab or is this summer camp? I mean, come on. Here we are at the beautiful beach in Malibu.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's -- it's a little bit of both. But what happens while you're here is that the primary focus is dealing with your emotional, therapeutic issues.
ANDERSON: Twenty-one-year old Scott Young (ph) is nearing the end of his 30-day stay at Passages Addiction Cure Center. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I ended up smoking pot and drinking when I was like, 10, 11 years old. And, ever since then, it just progressed, using heroin, crack, cocaine, drinking when I couldn't get those things. I spent two months in jail before I came here. It's been a long journey for me.
ANDERSON: This is Scott's (ph) first or sixth time in a rehab, his first in the lap of luxury. A family friend picked up the tab this time, because a stay at Passages isn't cheap, at nearly $70,000 a month.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the master bathroom. And it is, by far, one of the biggest bathrooms...
ANDERSON (on camera): Wow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... I have ever stepped my foot on.
ANDERSON: It is enormous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's views. I come over and I brush my teeth every morning, and I get to look at the ocean. So, I mean, it just doesn't get any better than this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Meet Concetta Bruce (ph), a 43-year-old mother who extended her stay to two months. Her parents are picking up the whopping $135,000 bill.
(on camera): What does your family think about you being here? Because, from the outside, boy, it looks like a five-star resort.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They all said, we want to go, you know? We would like to go. They realize that the -- in order to get here, I had to be in a really dark place. And I don't think anybody would want to change places with me, to -- to go through the darkness to get to this place.
ANDERSON (voice-over): Concetta (ph) says she's been in and out of the rehabs over the years, struggling with everything from an eating disorder to gambling, abusing alcohol and methamphetamines, even attempting suicide.
Before getting help this time, Concetta (ph) became isolated from her family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They basically said, look, Concetta (ph), we can't have you this way around our family. You know, we're not going to. And, if you would like -- and I told my daughter, you know, mommy is still very sick, and she's using drugs again.
ANDERSON: Concetta (ph) says she finally feels she has a grip on her dependency, after finding the root of her problems at Passages.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's, you know, four intensive hours a day of therapists one on one, which I really felt I needed to -- to be able to get to the core issues.
ANDERSON: Passages is very different from your average rehab, with less focus on group therapy and more focus on one-on-one treatment, which Concetta (ph) and Scott (ph) allowed us to witness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had no -- no self-acceptance what -- whatsoever.
ANDERSON: Some is what you would expect: regular meetings with a psychologist, as well as therapists, who focus on family issues and chemical dependency.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putting the toxins and poisons into my body, it really -- it didn't affect me at all. And it just -- it just numbed me to having to feel all of this -- this self-hate and misery.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're accepting yourself right now without judgment, and accepting your emotions right now without judgment. That's pretty cool.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are worthy. You're worthy and deserving.
ANDERSON: But there's also regular hypnotherapy...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen, feel, sense. You're learning to love and respect yourself.
ANDERSON: ... and meetings with a nutritionist who specializes in spiritual counseling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Opening the heart, connecting to your emotions.
ANDERSON: Here, they say the massages help heal the body, ravaged by drugs. And, they claim, activities like surfing serve a purpose, too.
STEVEN ELLIS, PASSAGES' LIFE PURPOSE COACH: There's a time to unplug and unconsciously process a lot of the serious work that's happened at Passages. And when we're out here, sometimes there are serious conversations that happen that are by no means trivial whatsoever.
ANDERSON: Chris Prentiss and his son Pax, a former heroin and cocaine addicted, founded Passages six years ago based on the tools they say helped Pax become sober. (on camera): Why the gourmet chefs, why the massage therapists? Is that necessary?
CHRIS PRENTISS, PASSAGES ADDICTION CURE CENTER: It's not necessary in a way, but in a way it is. Because this is a healing center. The people that want to come to this program expect to be in a nice surrounding.
ANDERSON: Nearly $70,000 a month. Why so expensive?
C. PRENTISS: Because it's one-on-one treatment, because it's in a $22 million estate, because there's 100 people who work here to take care of 29 clients. It's an expensive program to put on.
ANDERSON: The Prentiss duo claim a success rate of better than 80 percent, and even wrote a book about their unconventional approach. They reject the decades-old 12-step program and proudly defy scientific studies about addiction.
(on camera): Doctors, scientists say addiction is a disease. You say it's not.
PAX PRENTISS, FORMER ADDICT: I know it's not.
C. PRENTISS: That's correct, we know it's not. People do not use drugs and alcohol because they have a disease in their brain. People use drugs and alcohol because of heartbreak, because of loneliness, because of stress, because of anxiety, because of peer pressure, because of childhood problems, rape, incest, brutality, abandonment, guilt, things they have done to others. That's why people use drugs and alcohol. Not because they're some incurably diseased person with no hope of recovery.
P. PRENTISS: The difficulty I have with the disease concept and with calling yourself an addict, is that labels and defines you.
ANDERSON: When you send patients home, what do you say to them?
P. PRENTISS: You're cured.
C. PRENTISS: Totally cured.
P. PRENTISS: You will never use drugs and alcohol again, your dependency has been cured, have a wonderful life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't wait to, you know, have the rest of my life unfold. And it's going to be wonderful.
ANDERSON (voice-over): The time has come for Scott to pack his bags and head back to New York where he plans to enroll in college to become a drug counselor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of finding that acceptance in myself, I'm able to like connect with the world and other people in such a different way. It's a great feeling. I'm definitely capable of growing out there just like I am in here. ANDERSON: While the Passages approach to treatment may be debatable, hope is never questioned. Brooke Anderson, CNN, Malibu, California.
ZAHN: With me now, someone you just saw in Brooke Anderson's piece, Chris Prentiss, cofounder and co-director of Passages, he also happens to be the author of that book you saw, "The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure."
Also with me, addiction specialist, Dr. Drew Pinsky, who disagrees with the philosophy behind the Passages program. Welcome to both of you. Dr. Pinsky, you heard Chris say that you can cure alcoholism, because he doesn't see it as an incurable disease. Do you agree?
DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: I think he said it wasn't a disease, and I don't know what you can cure other than diseases, so we really aren't arguing whether or not this is a disease. We're arguing whether or not this is a chronic disease, and that simply can't be argued.
I mean, there are tens of thousands of scientists who have spend hundreds of man-hours focusing on this question, and the fact is the functional MRI scans, the structural changes in the brain show quite clearly that there are long-standing changes in the brain, that addiction is a brain disease, it changes how people think and the treatments that Mr. Prentiss is putting in place are an attempt to change that.
I support that, I think it's great to try new treatments. And I've read his book, and the basic modality he is using is something called cognitive therapy, which is changing one's thinking, which has been shown to work. But to not call it a disease, and by the way, I'd urge you to please define what a disease is before you decide whether something is or is not a disease is not debatable, and whether or not it is chronic is not debatable, even though that seems to be the one thing he's taking issue with.
ZAHN: Chris, let's have you jump in here. And what evidence do you have that proves that alcoholism is not a disease?
C. PRENTISS: We had a woman who was drinking for 25 years, who came to Passages. She had been to three treatment centers, she was one of our first clients, we opened our doors in 2001, and we cured her the day she walked in the door.
She was drinking because she had tachycardia, fast pulse. Our medical director discovered it the first day she walked in the door, gave her a simple medication, brought her pulse rate back to normal, she's almost six years sober, where is the disease in that? She had been told you're an alcoholic, you're an addict, you're never going to be able to cure that. The best you can do is manage is. Well, 84.4 percent of the people that come to Passages walk out free and clear of dependency. We don't treat addiction, we don't treat alcoholism. They are merely symptoms. We treat the underlying causes that bring those conditions about.
All right. Now, I see Dr. Drew shaking his head no, I know you said you agree with this cognitive therapy part of the program, but you really took great umbrage at the fact that he says this woman came in and she had this other problem and she walked out cured.
PINSKY: I just have two things. Please publish your data. If you can appear in a peer-reviewed journal this is in fact the case, I will come and study your program, it needs to be published, it needs to undergo scientific scrutiny. That's all I'm asking. Please publish the data.
And you realize there's two different things being discussed here, even. One is why people do drugs and alcohol in the first place, which I agree with Mr. Prentiss 1,000 percent. Abuse, trauma, neglect in childhood are the number one causes of triggering the biological disease we call addiction.
That doesn't explain why people can't stop, why in spite of further destruction of their life, it is no longer is working, they lose everything, including their lives, why they don't stop if it's something that is no longer working, if it's only being used to try to medicate feeling states?
And that we know is a result in a part of the brain called the medial forebrain bundle, the shell of the nucleus accumbens, which is no longer working normally, so the brain literally believes it's committing suicide when it tries not to do drugs and alcohol.
ZAHN: Well, gentlemen, we have got to leave the debate there. Clearly people have very strong views on both sides. Chris Prentiss, Dr. Drew Pinsky, thank you both.
Another one of our priorities on this program is bringing discrimination "Out in the Open." Coming up next some brand-new and very troubling numbers about what happens much more often to blacks on Latino drivers pulled over by police.
And then a little bit later on, if you suddenly need to sell your home, no matter how nice it is, a growing national crisis could wipe you out. We'll explain.
ZAHN: We are bringing what many see as discrimination on the road out in the open tonight. A new report from the Justice Department shows that even though police pull over white, black and Latino drivers at about the same rate, blacks and Latinos are more than twice as likely as whites to be searched and they are more than twice as likely as whites to be arrested after police pull them over.
Let's get reaction from tonight's "Out in the Open" panel, Pedro Noguera, director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education. Republican political strategist Amy Holmes, and CNN contributor Roland Martin. Welcome back to all three of you. So, Amy, the numbers are absolutely stunning. Are you willing to say tonight that it is racism at the core of this, and that we're seeing nothing more than racial profiling being practiced here?
AMY HOLMES, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: I think what we're seeing is a mixed picture. This report, it tells us what, but it does not tell us why. So we know now that police are pulling over whites, blacks, Hispanics, etc, at the very same rate, I suspect the reason why is because police department have had a much more aggressive quota system to make sure that they're not using racial profiling in pulling over drivers, but it's not telling us the context of the stop, why is when that police officer looking in the car, that his suspicions are being raised.
Is that because of his experience with black citizens having a higher rate of criminality, which is a fact? Or is it because of the way the interaction is going that there is something going on in the car? I don't think that the study answers that question. I think it's a vicious cycle that plays into each other.
ZAHN: Let's talk about that, Roland, for a second when it's a fact about high crime rates in some black neighborhoods. Let's put on the screen something that a conservative commentator, a woman named Heather Mac Donald wrote about racial profiling. "Crime," she says, "not police racism drives negative police-community relations in black neighborhoods. Blacks aren't stopped enough, considering that rate at which they commit crimes. Criminal activity among young African Americans is the poison of cities and race relations."
Your reaction to that?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think first and foremost, you clearly have to combat crime, but I can say I have personally been stopped, have not been committing a crime, and so racial profiling exists, OK?
ZAHN: Are you saying you were pulled over, Roland, simply because you were black? Or were you speeding? What were you doing wrong?
MARTIN: No, no, no. First of all, I was pulled over one time, because the cop said i changed lanes at a light signal. Another time I was helping a girlfriend move into an apartment, so neighbors called the cops to say there was a possible burglary in progress when we were moving into an apartment.
And the cop asked for I.D. Asked for all kids of stuff. I even had a cop stop me once, ask me for insurance and my driver's license, gave them that, then asked me for the insurance policy. I said, wait a minute, who cares about the insurance policy? He didn't stop me for any other reason, other than, well, I appeared to be suspicious.
Now, Paula, the problem I have with this study, and I have it right here, is as Amy said, we don't understand the background information. The other piece is, this is based upon interviews with individuals who have been asked various questions. I think better studies are when police have to collect the data and document when they stop somebody, when they're able to document the race, and why they stop them.
You get a better idea of racial profiling with those kinds of studies, because that's hard data versus really asking somebody's opinion, well, the cop didn't treat me right. That's a little bit more difficult to prove.
ZAHN: So both Amy and Roland think there are a lot of whys that this study hasn't answered, but you think there's no doubt in your mind that the blacks and Latinos are arrested at twice the rate because of the color of their skin?
PEDRO NOGUERA, METRO. CENTER FOR URBAN EDUCATION: Well, I think we have to look at how many of those arrests were for disorderly conduct or assaulting a police officer and not for some other offense. Because in those kinds of cases, it's probably the interaction with the officer led to this person then being arrested.
ZAHN: And not necessarily the race.
NOGUERA: And not necessarily they were carrying a weapon or carrying drugs, that is that there was no real crime involved, and if there was no real crime involved, they shouldn't be stopped in the first place. So just to respond to the quote from ...
ZAHN: Heather Mac Donald.
NOGUERA: ... Heather Mac Donald, they should arrest black criminals, but that is who they should arrest, not black drivers or people moving into apartments. And that's the real issue.
HOLMES: But I think also what was interesting is there's a connection here between class, race and gender. The report found, you know, to no one's surprise that young men are more likely to be searched and arrested than anybody else. So if we're talking about we know that young black men have higher rates of crime and they're the ones that tend to be pulled over, is that possibly why there are more searches or arrests. This report doesn't tell us, but I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that the target group tends to be young men in general.
ZAHN: All right, Amy Holmes, Roland Martin ...
ROLAND: But you know, Paula ...
ZAHN: Pedro Noguera, I got to go, everyone. You've got to come back, Roland, and join us later this week. Got plenty more to debate later on in the week as well. MARTIN: Will do.
ZAHN: We are following a national crisis that's getting worse every day and you could end up in the same situation as this person.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't think it would be quite this hard. I'm actually just on the edge of starting to panic.
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ZAHN: Out in the open, why this family's problems could also become yours.
ZAHN: "Out in the Open" tonight, the mortgage mess and the bad housing market, creating a crisis for people trying to sell their homes these days.
As more people find themselves struggling with debt, they're driving up the number of homes for sale in a market where fewer people are buying, and it could get a whole lot worse.
Now we're actually learning about homeowners who are desperate to sell, but the best price they can get isn't enough to pay off their mortgage. So they stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars. It is a terrifying and growing problem. Chris Lawrence reports on one struggling family in tonight's "Biz Break."
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is nothing wrong with your eyes, everything about this home is upside down. The family is listing it $50,000 under what they paid, and that doesn't count the money spent for landscaping.
(on camera): In fact if you take what they paid for the house and all the money they sunk into it, they're now $87,000 in the hole with the potential to be even deeper.
SUSAN ADKINS, TRYING TO SELL HOME: You lose your investment in the house but now we're going to lose significant equity, too.
LAWRENCE: Susan Adkins' husband lost his job in Michigan. He found a new one in Denver. Now he lives in a tiny apartment 1,200 miles away.
Susan and the kids are still in suburban Detroit trying to sell their home. Six months on the market and no realistic offer.
ADKINS: I didn't think it would be quite this hard. I'm actually just on the edge of starting to panic.
LAWRENCE: In March, sales of existing homes had their steepest decline since 1989. Would-be buyers with weak credit are having a hard time getting loans. The Detroit metro area leads the nation in foreclosures. Sellers like Susan have dropped their asking price four times.
DAWN MUELLER, REALTOR: Susan falls into the category of most people.
LAWRENCE: Realtor Dawn Miller says prices have plummeted, whether you're selling a house for a hundred grand or a million.
MUELLER: If they were 300 two years ago, they're probably on the market now for around 260.
LAWRENCE: Susan is not sure they can even afford a home in Denver now, and they're not a young couple just starting out.
ADKINS: This is our third home, we're really in the middle of life and so when you're taking that giant of a step backwards, that's a very difficult place to be. It is. It can be depressing.
LAWRENCE: They don't want to stay, but can't afford to move, and new competitors keep springing up just a few doors down. Chris Lawrence, CNN, Northville, Michigan.
ZAHN: And after six months the Adkins' did get their first and only offer for $460,000, but with renovations, the house cost them $635,000. The Atkins have turned down that offer.
This week we are marking a very special anniversary. Larry King has been in broadcasting for 50 years, and he looked up some of his most surprising, even shocking interviews, like when actress Suzanne Somers revealed she was fighting cancer.
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SUZANNE SOMERS, ACTRESS: I was in such shock. I am very strong, and I was in such shock, because I've always taken care of myself, and I just thought it would never happen to me.
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ZAHN: And Larry will be here with more from that night as well as a look ahead. We'll be right back.
ZAHN: This week we're all celebrating Larry King's 50th year in broadcasting. He's talked to just about everyone. And we asked him to pick out some of the highlights. Here's Larry to tell us more about a moment from 2001 that caught everyone by surprise.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Suzanne Somers, she is was booked on the show and nobody said anything to me, and she just said I want to talk about something tonight that needs talking about, and she revealed that she had breast cancer.
What was your first reaction on hearing you have this?
SOMERS: I was in such shock. I'm very strong, and I was in such shock, because I've always taken care of myself, and I just thought it would never happen to me, but I think that's what everybody thinks. It won't happen to them. And what's interesting is what you learn about yourself when you are diagnosed with cancer and cancer is not for sissies.
KING: It was very revealing, she cried. It was a sad, tender, supportive moment. I'm glad to hear that now she's OK.
ZAHN: And the top newsmakers still coming to Larry's microphones, and Larry's in town with us this week, but he is getting ready for his show down in the studio so he couldn't come visit us in person. You've got a big show tonight, a very important guest.
KING: We sure do, the former director of the CIA, George Tenet will be with us. His first, by the way, live primetime interview on the controversial new tell-all in which he takes on the Bush administration and now some former CIA officers are taking him on. We'll get his reaction, lots more, too. An hour with George Tenet coming up at the top of the hour, just four minutes away.
ZAHN: We did quite a bit on the show tonight on it. It will be interesting to see how he defends himself and answers some of those charges from the critics. Larry, see you at four minutes from now.
KING: We'll be here.
ZAHN: And we'll be right back.
ZAHN: And that wraps it up for us tonight. Tomorrow night, we'll be spending a lot of time on the issue of immigration. We'll be traveling all over the country and show you as legal and illegal immigrants take to the streets to defend their position on immigration.
And we'll have a whole lot more for you than that. So we hope you join us then. Again, we'll be back, same time, same place tomorrow night. Until then, have a great night. LARRY KING LIVE starts right now.
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