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New Iraq Strategy Delayed; More Than 70 Killed in Baghdad Suicide Bombing; Soldier Who Exposed Abu Ghraib Scandal Speaks Out

Aired December 12, 2006 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: If you were waiting for a new White House strategy for Iraq, get ready to wait some more. The plan is being pushed back. And you might be surprised by the reason why.

ANNOUNCER: More chaos, many more casualties -- Americans want action. The White House says, wait. We will tell you what you could be waiting for and what's in store for the troops.

Telling the truth, paying the price.

JOE DARBY, FORMER U.S. ARMY SOLDIER: And I was like, wait a minute. This is the prison. These are prisoners.

ANNOUNCER: He blew the lid off Abu Ghraib. Then, his life changed.

COOPER: So, you were scared?

J. DARBY: Very. I slept with a pistol under my pillow.

ANNOUNCER: And that was before he tried to go home.

Plus: Spying on Diana, did it happen? And, if it did, what was U.S. intelligence looking for?


ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.

Reporting tonight from the CNN studios in New York, here's Anderson Cooper.

COOPER: Want to welcome our viewers here in America and watching around the world on CNN International.

The Iraq Study Group called the situation grave and deteriorating. White House spokesman Tony Snow said he hoped for fast action, within two weeks time. Well, tonight, as another White House spokesman decades ago once put it, that phrase is no longer operative -- no action until after New Year's, when, according to some reports, President Bush will announce a major boost in troops levels -- this as new polling out tonight shows that 70 percent of Americans now disapprove of how Mr. Bush is handling the war. It also comes on the heels of one of the deadliest suicide bombings yet seen in Baghdad.

We begin tonight with CNN's Ed Henry from the White House.


ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Under increasing pressure to reshape his war policy, the president consulted with Iraq's vice president, a key Sunni leader, who has seen his own brother and sister killed by sectarian violence.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In spite of his grief and in spite of pain in his heart, he is willing to work for a united Iraq and a peaceful Iraq.

HENRY: But the president refused to discuss why he's decided to scrap initial plans to reveal a new Iraq policy by Christmas, a reversal that adds to the picture of a beleaguered White House groping for answers.

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That is not going to happen until the new year. We do not know when, so I can't give you a date. I can't give you a time. I can't give you a place. I can't give you the way in which it will happen. So, all those questions are yet to be answered.

HENRY: But it was the White House staff that had the set the expectations of a December announcement. So, the delay only sparked more questions.

During a secure videoconference with the president Tuesday, did military commanders urge a change?

SNOW: No. No. No. The president is the commander in chief. He issues orders. It is -- he decided that, frankly, they're -- it's not ready yet.

HENRY: Snow denied one theory that the president is just waiting until after the holidays to announce he's sending even more troops to Iraq. But the press secretary seemed to give credence to another possibility...

BUSH: But I'm the decider.

HENRY: ... that perhaps the president is taking his time, so any momentum for the Baker-Hamilton report fades, and he can chart his own course.

SNOW: The touchstone is not the Baker-Hamilton commission. It's the situation in Iraq, and it's the situation in the region. That is the touchstone.


COOPER: Ed, we have heard all the options. What -- what is the president likely to choose?

HENRY: Well, people familiar with the deliberations are now telling CNN that the president is actively considering sending more troops to Iraq, a controversial move that White House aides just will not confirm or deny.

It's controversial because there is conflicting opinion on just how many troops can be sent. Will this stretch the military too thin? But also controversial because this is a big gamble -- what if you send more troops to Iraq and it does not crush the insurgency? Then your options really are dwindling -- Anderson.

COOPER: And is there any sense of how many troops could actually be sent, and could be sustained?

HENRY: Well, Senator McCain, as you know, has advocated 30,000, 40,000, maybe even 50,000 U.S. troops. There are some saying, you really can't send that many troops. There are also others saying that, how long, what's the duration, that, while you maybe be able to send that many for maybe a few weeks, a couple of months, that you can't do it long term.

So, that's why the president needs probably a little more time before he unveils this big speech, to really run through everything, and make sure they have got all their ducks in a row -- Anderson.

COOPER: Ed Henry, thanks.

As we mentioned at the top, the day in Iraq began with an especially cruel blow, mass murder, targeting people simply trying to feed their families, desperately looking for work.

Reporting tonight from Baghdad, CNN's Nic Robertson.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): So powerful the blast, it could be felt more than a mile away. So cynical the suicide bomber, according to witnesses, he called out he had jobs to offer.

He collected people who were innocent and in need of money, this man explains. And then he exploded the coach, almost 450 pounds of explosives packed into a vehicle -- more than 71 dead, more than 220 wounded -- possibly a sectarian attack, many of the victims believed to be Shias, who are among Iraq's poorest, least educated, and the most likely to be unemployed.

Estimates variously put unemployment at one in five, to over one half the population. According to U.S. General Peter Chiarelli, Iraq's stagnating economy is killing his soldiers and Iraqis alike. So, the key to stopping the violence, he says, is creating more jobs.

LT. GEN. PETER CHIARELLI, COMMANDER, MULTINATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ: Things are critical to this -- to the level of security and the level of -- lowering the levels of violence you have in the country. I just don't understand how anybody can argue with the fact that a man or a woman is much less likely to want to join a militia if they have a job to go to every day.

ROBERTSON: Chiarelli, already at the end of his second tour in Iraq, is getting ready to hand over to his successor. He says few people back home seem to get the importance of fixing Iraq's economy, which frustrates him.

CHIARELLI: I wish we had, had more assistance in those areas.

ROBERTSON (on camera): The economic areas?

CHIARELLI: Yes, in the economic areas.


ROBERTSON: Now, a recent poll of Iraqis came to a similar conclusion. When asked how to get rid of the insurgents' and militia's guns, most people said, the best way was to give them jobs. But there is no quick fix to the economy here. It will require massive reinvestment and restructuring of Iraq's very centralized economy -- Anderson.

COOPER: Joining Nic tonight in Baghdad, we are joined in Washington by Michael Gordon, the chief military correspondent for "The New York Times," and recent co-author of the book "Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq."

Michael, thanks for being with us.

The White House announcing today they are going to delay making a decision on -- on the course of action moving forward. Why the delay? What are you hearing?

MICHAEL GORDON, CHIEF MILITARY CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, I just think they have conflicting device -- advice, and the issue is a pretty complicated one.

We have the Baker-Hamilton panel, but, recently, the president heard from a group of retired generals, one of whom, General Keene, was advocating sending even more forces. So, I think it's a complicated issue. They're not quite sure exactly where to go. They have to work it out.

And, you know, Anderson, the Iraqi government has recently inputted its own advice, which is another factor in this.

COOPER: Nic, last week, we talked to -- to Baker and Hamilton. They said: Look, we are talking about days and weeks, in terms of the -- the timeline of when we need to act by.

On -- on the ground there, what does the timeline look like? How much time does the U.S. have to change course?

ROBERTSON: It's really very, very sensitive, indeed, when you look at what's happening with the insurgency on the ground, when you look at what is happening with the militias, when you look, really, at the sectarian violence, which is on a hair trigger here.

You have one event in one part of the city triggering another event an hour later, an hour away. You have tit-for-tat killings. It's on a hair trigger. And -- and the assessment of some of the communities, particularly the Sunnis here, who are really under fire, is that they only trust the American troops here to protect them.

So, there is a real sense that, whatever decision has to be made, has to be made quickly, and put into effect very, very fast -- Anderson.

COOPER: Michael, how likely do you think it is that more U.S. troops are going to be sent to -- to Iraq?

GORDON: Well, I can't really gauge that exactly.

What I -- what I can say is, the American commanders in Iraq are not pushing for more troops, that the Joint Chiefs of Staff have concerns about sending some more troops, but that there are some civilians in the American government who think it's needed. So, I think there's a divided opinion on this.

If they were to send more troops, what they would do is surge for a limited period of time, maybe 20,000 troops for a period of up to six months. It wouldn't be something that would be sustained long term.


GORDON: That's the kind of option they're discussing.

COOPER: And, Michael, what's the thinking on that? I mean, because, you know, Shinseki had talked about hundreds of thousands of troops needed in Iraq long ago, many years ago. You know, 30,000 or 40,000, that would bring the number maybe up to -- to 180,000 or so. But will that -- would -- would even that be enough?

GORDON: Well, what Shinseki was talking about was nationwide.

Really, what the focus is now on Baghdad. So, the concept would be, add some more forces to Baghdad to help stabilize that city, but it would only be in the context of political and economic steps that would be taken. I mean, troops by themselves are not the answer.

And, you know, Anderson, the Iraqi government, as I mentioned, they have come in with a -- their own recommendation. And it is not clear that the Iraqi government actually wants a lot of American troops in the center of the capital. This is a Shiite-dominated government. They seem to prefer that the Americans redeploy out of the capital.

COOPER: Nic, what about that? You were saying a lot of Iraqis there only trust the U.S. But, when the U.S. tried to lock down Baghdad, and tried to secure it just a couple weeks ago, that didn't really work. The murders skyrocketed. ROBERTSON: Well, what's really interesting about this is, we are hearing from the Sunnis, who are now feeling really, really under threat. And they were the community that first used to attack the U.S. troops here. They are the ones who are now saying, we need the American troops.

But it is the Shias who are in the dominance here. And it is what the majority of polls, or the majority of people in Iraq are saying, at least that they want the troops out, that, at least, at the very least, get them out of the cities.

The Iraqis, the majority, again, of Iraqi people, say that they can do this job of security better, and they don't need to have more American soldiers around. But I think there is a complete agreement that you have to fix the security situation in Baghdad. And, if you take independent advice, the best way to do that is, in the short term at least, at a military level. It does need that economic component behind it, though.

COOPER: Michael, the day after the Iraq Study Group report came out, you had a front-page story in "The New York Times" talking to a lot of the military advisers, military officers, who had been advisers to the Iraq Study Group, who said they weren't consulted with the final military assessment, and they disagreed with the whole notion that you could pull out troops by 2008.

GORDON: The Iraq Study Group had, in my estimation, a very unrealistic proposal to withdraw all combat brigades out within about a year's time.

There is a group of senior retired officers who were listed as advisers to this panel. They were not consulted about these final recommendations. And I quoted one of them, General Keene, the former vice chief of staff of the Army, as saying, not only was he was not consulted, that he disagreed with them.

COOPER: So, Michael, why aren't military commanders in Iraq, and, I assume, here in the United States -- I guess I saw Abizaid saying this -- why aren't they behind this idea of -- of raising the number of troops, even in the short term?

GORDON: Well, the commanders who are skeptical of this, I mean, their perspective is that you can't solve this problem on the basis of adding troops alone, that, really, what's required are a lot of steps by the Iraqis, in the realm of political reconciliation, economic, job creation, which is, really, largely a function of the Iraq government, reconstruction, amnesty, de-Baathification.

There's a whole host of things that have to happen to create a better Iraq. And what the American military commanders are saying is, hey, don't look to us to try to solve all of this simply by sending more American soldiers and Marines over there. The Iraqis need to do some things. And, if you try to solve this with military force alone, you really miss the larger point. There are things the Iraqis have to do.

COOPER: Michael Gordon, Nic Robertson, appreciate your reporting. Thanks, guys.

Just a reminder of what is at stake: The number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq now stands at 2,937. The number-one killer is roadside bombs. Here's the "Raw Data."

Through the end of last month, according to the Brookings Institution, IEDs were responsible for 35 percent of U.S. deaths. Nearly 32 percent died from other hostile fire. Sixteen-point-six percent of deaths were from non-hostile causes. And 4.5 percent were from car bombs.

The Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal was a turning point for American troops in Iraq. It ignited a backlash, of course. It also changed one man's life in ways he never imagined. Coming up, you're going to meet him, Joe Darby. The whistle-blower who turned in pictures of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib tells why he decided to expose the truth, and why, even now, he looks over his shoulder in fear.

Also ahead; Could the diamond on your finger have blood on it? Could it actually be fueling some of Africa's dirtiest wars? You won't believe what one man found when he went into New York's diamond district.

And later: new details of the bugging of Princess Diana and her two sons -- the two princes planning a royal celebration for their late mom. You will hear from William and Harry, in their own words -- ahead on 360.


COOPER: Exposing the truth has not been easy for Joe Darby. He is the man who turned in the pictures of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, pictures that he discovered purely by accident.

Tonight, in a story I did for CBS' "60 Minutes" this past weekend, Joe Darby will tell us how he came upon those pictures, and how turning them in has changed his life forever, and for the worse.

Growing up in Appalachia, Darby was just an ordinary Joe. He signed up to be an M.P. in the Army Reserves. His local unit was sent to Abu Ghraib, where Darby worked in an office while others guarded the prisoners. And then, one day, when Joe Darby wanted scenic pictures to send home, he spotted the unit's camera buff, prison guard Charles Graner.


JOE DARBY, FORMER U.S. ARMY SOLDIER: So I walked up to Graner, and I -- you know, "Hey, do you have any pictures?"

And he said, "Yes, yes, yes, hold on." Reaches into his computer bag and pulls out two C.D.s, and just hands them to me.

COOPER: And -- and he gives you these -- these disks -- do you think he realized what was on them? I mean, do you think he -- he knew he was doing this?

J. DARBY: I don't think he realized what was on them, but I don't think it would have mattered either way. I knew Graner. And Graner -- Graner trusted me.

COOPER (voice-over): That trust was about to change Darby's life forever. He copied Graner's disks, and gave him back the originals. When Darby looked at the photos, he first saw shots of life in Iraq -- but then came upon the pictures that launched the scandal, starting with this pyramid of naked Iraqis.

J. DARBY: I -- I didn't realize it was Iraqis at first. Because we lived in prison cells, too.

COOPER (on camera): And you thought this was maybe Americans? You thought these were soldiers...

J. DARBY: I had no idea.

COOPER: ... soldiers goofing off?

J. DARBY: I had no idea. I laughed. I -- I looked at it, and I -- I laughed. And then the next photo was of Graner and England standing behind them. And I was like, wait a minute. This is the prison. These are prisoners. And then it kind of sunk in that they were doing this to prisoners. This was people being forced to do this.

COOPER (voice-over): Forced, Darby says, by Graner, who he calls the ringleader.

(on camera): What was Charles Graner like?

J. DARBY: If you were around him long enough, you saw that he had a -- just a dark side, a morbid side.

COOPER (voice-over): And a sadistic side, according to Darby, who told us Graner directed the abusive posing and picture-taking during his night shift, when he and his buddies were alone with the prisoners.

(on camera): And what is -- what's going through your mind, looking through these pictures?

J. DARBY: Disbelief. I tried to think of a reason why they would do this.

COOPER: What if someone said, look, this is a valuable interrogation tool.

J. DARBY: These were M.P.s. Our job wasn't to interrogate prisoners.

COOPER: There has been testimony that some of the M.P.s were told to soften the prisoners up, that this was part of that.

J. DARBY: It -- and I've heard that. And I wasn't there. I didn't work the tier. I can't say that that didn't happen.

COOPER (voice-over): But no matter why they were doing it, Darby knew what they were doing was wrong.

J. DARBY: I've always had a -- a sense -- a moral sense of right and wrong. And I -- I knew that, you know, friends or not, it had to stop.

COOPER (on camera): Your unit was pretty close-knit.

J. DARBY: Mmm-hmm.

COOPER: You guys had trained together, lived together.

J. DARBY: We joined together.

COOPER: Similar backgrounds?

J. DARBY: It was all small town.

COOPER (voice-over): Still, Darby decided he had to turn in the pictures. But he didn't want his friends to know that he'd done it.

(on camera): It was important to you to remain anonymous. Why?

J. DARBY: I knew a lot of them wouldn't understand and would -- would view it as a -- as, you know, being a stool pigeon or -- however -- a rat, however you want to put it.

COOPER: You knew that there would be some kind of investigation.

J. DARBY: Oh, I -- I knew these people were going to prison.

COOPER: You did?

J. DARBY: I knew that.

COOPER: And, in your opinion, deserved to go to prison?

J. DARBY: Yes.

COOPER (voice-over): Darby copied Graner's pictures onto a disk and put it in an envelope with an anonymous letter. He took the envelope to the Criminal Investigations Division, CID, and told them it had been left on his desk.

J. DARBY: This was left in my office; I was told to give it to the CID. And I said, "Have a nice day, sir," and turned around and walked away.

COOPER (on camera): And you thought, maybe that would be the end of it.

J. DARBY: I hoped it would. I really did.

COOPER: How long was it before they came back to you? J. DARBY: Not even 45 minutes.

COOPER: Really?

J. DARBY: He knew where I worked.

COOPER: And the investigator knew the Darby wasn't telling the truth. He promised to keep Darby's name secret, and convinced him to explain how he'd really gotten the pictures. Then, investigators immediately began to round up the suspects.

Once they were brought in -- once this investigators began, were they removed from the base?

J. DARBY: No. They still had their weapons. They still had unlimited access to the facility and me the whole time, for almost a month.

COOPER: So, you were scared?

J. DARBY: Very. Slept with a pistol under my pillow, loaded.

COOPER: You slept with a pistol under your pillow?

J. DARBY: Mmm-hmm, with my hand on it. I put it in my pillowcase. I would put my hand on it and cocked it -- cocked the hammer, and I'd sleep with it under my hand, under my pillow.

COOPER: Every night?

J. DARBY: Every night. I slept in a room by myself, and anybody could come in, in the middle of the night. Walk in the door, you hang a left and you -- come in and cut my throat.

COOPER: And you really thought that could happen, someone could cut your throat?

J. DARBY: I knew that, if they found out who did it, they would be after him.

COOPER: When was it that they were finally removed?

J. DARBY: Oh, about three weeks, three -- three-and-a-half weeks.

COOPER (voice-over): Darby could finally sleep without a gun under his pillow. The suspects were gone. His name was still secret.

Several months later, "60 Minutes II" broke the story of the pictures. An article in 'The New Yorker" revealed Darby's role, though no one in Iraq seemed to notice. But then Darby was having lunch in the mess hall, watching Donald Rumsfeld testify before Congress about Abu Ghraib, when Rumsfeld said.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: There are many who did their duty professionally. And we should mention that as well, 1st Specialist Joseph Darby, who alerted the appropriate authorities that abuses were occurring.

J. DARBY: I just stopped mid -- mid-bite. I was, like, eating, and I just stopped. And what the hell just happened? Now the anxiety came back. Now I'm worried.

COOPER (on camera): Yes, I mean, so -- so much for anonymity.

J. DARBY: Yes. Every one in the unit knew within four hours.

COOPER: And the reaction was?

J. DARBY: It wasn't as bad as I thought I would be. You know, I got support.

COOPER (voice-over): But not back in Cumberland, Maryland, a military town that felt Darby had betrayed his fellow soldiers. The commander of the local VFW post, Colin Engelbach, told us what people were calling Darby.

COLIN ENGELBACH, VFW COMMANDER: He was a rat. He was a traitor. He let his unit down. He let his fellow soldiers down, the U.S. military. Basically, he was no good.

COOPER (on camera): And you agree with that?

ENGELBACH: I agree that his actions that he -- he did were no good, and borderline traitor, yes.

COOPER: What he says in his defense is, look, I -- I'm an M.P., and this is something which was illegal.

ENGELBACH: Right. But do you -- do you put the enemy above your buddies? I wouldn't.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER (singing): God bless America.

COOPER (voice-over): Their hometown held a vigil for members of his unit, including the accused -- not, however, for Darby.

J. DARBY: These were people who knew me since I was born. These were people who were my parents' friends, my grandparents' friends, that turned against me.

COOPER: To prevent any soldiers from retaliating against him in Iraq, the military sent Darby back to the states early, ahead of the rest of his unit.

J. DARBY: I get called into my commander's office at, like, 10:00 at night, and he said, "Do you have your bags packed?"

I said: "Sir, we live in a tent. I always have my bags packed."

He said: "Good. Be on the flight line in an hour. You leave."

COOPER: When Darby arrived at Dover Air Force Base, his wife, Bernadette, was there to meet him. He thought they would head back home. But the Army had other plans.

(on camera): When an officer says to you, "What do you want to do?"

J. DARBY: "Sir, I just want to go home. I've always just wanted to go home."

He said, "Well, son, that's not an option." He said, "The Army Reserve has done a -- a security assessment of the area, and it's not safe for you. You can't go home."

COOPER: You can't go home?

J. DARBY: "You can probably never go home."

COOPER: They -- they actually said you can probably never go home?

J. DARBY: Yes. They said, "If you had to choose, where would you want to live? And, you know, basically, where do you pick?"

You know, you had lived a whole life in one area.

COOPER: Did it seem fair to you?


BERNADETTE DARBY, JOE DARBY'S WIFE: It's not fair, that we're being punished for him doing the right thing.

COOPER (voice-over): The Army's security assessment of his hometown had concluded that, the overall threat of harassment or criminal activity to the Darbys is imminent. A person could fire into his residence from the roadway.

The local VFW commander told us, the military was right to keep Darby out of town.

ENGELBACH: Probably so. There was a lot of threats, a lot of phone calls to his wife.

COOPER (on camera): There was a lot of anger in Cumberland.

ENGELBACH: Yes, there was, because it really did put our troops in harm's way, more so than they already were.

COOPER: What did you hear people calling your husband?

B. DARBY: That he was a dead man, that he was walking around with a bullseye on his head.

COOPER: Walking around with bullseye on his head?

B. DARBY: Yes. I -- I heard them say that.

COOPER (voice-over): To keep Joe and Bernadette safe, the military moved them to an Army base, with bodyguards around the clock.

J. DARBY: I couldn't go anywhere without secret, nowhere.

COOPER (on camera): Even going to a restaurant, that could be scary for you?

J. DARBY: We would walk with me and her and six guys?

B. DARBY: Yes. And...

J. DARBY: And all of them are armed.

COOPER: How long did that last? How long did you have security guards?

J. DARBY: Probably almost six months.

B. DARBY: Mmm-hmm.


COOPER (voice-over): But, while he was a villain to his neighbors, he was a hero to people he had never met, including Caroline and Senator Ted Kennedy, who gave him a Profile in Courage Award, in honor of President John Kennedy.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: It was Joseph Darby who spoke out, when others looked the other way.


COOPER: Joe left the Army recently, and he misses it. They miss their hometown as well. They say they will never move back to Cumberland. Instead, they've moved on. But they are still way.

J. DARBY: We have started over.

COOPER (on camera): But you don't want to say what you do?


COOPER: Because you don't want to say where you live?


COOPER: You don't want to say anything about your family?



J. DARBY: I worry about the one guy who wants to get even with me.

B. DARBY: Mmm-hmm.

J. DARBY: And that one guy could hurt me and my family.

COOPER: This has made you paranoid.

J. DARBY: To a degree.

B. DARBY: Yes.

COOPER: Is it true you have had relatives turn against you?

J. DARBY: Oh, yes. Yes.

B. DARBY: I have, too.

J. DARBY: Both sides of the family, hers and mine.

COOPER (voice-over): Six of the seven guards involved in the abuse went to prison. Joe testified against Charles Graner.

J. DARBY: He just gave me this stone-cold, evil stare the entire time I was on the stand, didn't take his eyes off me once.

COOPER (on camera): What was the look?

J. DARBY: You put me here, and, someday, I will repay you for it.

COOPER (voice-over): Darby had been under a gag order until the trials ended. He gave his first interview to "GQ," and told us he wants to restore his unit's honor.

J. DARBY: I want people to understand that I went to Iraq with 200 of the finest servicemen I have ever seen in my life. But those 200, for the rest of their lives, their unit is going to carry a bad name because of what seven individuals did.

COOPER: General George Fay, who investigated Abu Ghraib, told us that Graner and his gang took the vast majority of the pictures for their own sadistic amusement, but that, in a few cases, military intelligence officers had asked the gang to soften up a prisoner. The general called Darby courageous for blowing the whistle.

(on camera): Did you want the pictures to be leaked to the media?

J. DARBY: No, not at all. I never thought it would be anything that the media would -- would get a hold of. And, even if they did, I didn't think it would be as big as it was.

COOPER: Do you wish that it wasn't you who was given those C.D.s?

J. DARBY: No, because if they had been given to somebody else, it might not have been reported.

COOPER: And would that have been so bad, if it had never been reported? J. DARBY: Ignorance is bliss, they say. But to actually know what they were doing, you can't stand by and let that happen.

COOPER: There are still a lot of people, though, who will say, look, you know, so what they did this? You know, Saddam did things which were much worse.

J. DARBY: We're Americans. We're not Saddam. You know, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Our soldiers hold themselves to a higher standard.

COOPER: You would still do it again?

J. DARBY: Yes. They broke the law, and they had to be punished.

COOPER: And it's that simple?

J. DARBY: It's that simple.


COOPER: Well, one final note: Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Gary Kurpius send us this statement, after my interview aired on Sunday on "60 Minutes."

"The comments made by Cumberland, Maryland, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Commander Colin Engelbach on Sunday night's CBS' '60 Minutes' show were personal, and are not representative of the 2.4 million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and its auxiliaries."

COOPER: Coming up: eavesdropping on Princess Diana -- what may have been Washington's motives, clues to why her phones were reportedly tapped, and the connection she had with an American jet- setter.

Plus: Princes William and Harry in their own words. See how they plan to mark the 10th anniversary of their mother's death -- when 360 continues.


COOPER: The death of Diana, the new report, the wiretaps and an American reportedly caught in the middle, next on 360.


COOPER: Well, Princess Diana died more than nine years ago, but the official British investigation into her death will not be released until Thursday. On that night in Paris, Diana was being followed by paparazzi. We all know that. They weren't the only ones, of course, tracking her that evening.

It now seems that some people in Washington may have been interested in conversations she may have been having with an American billionaire. CNN's David Mattingly reports.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The British newspaper "The Evening Standard" says Michigan a much-anticipated Scotland Yard report on the death of Princess Diana will reveal that U.S. intelligence was bugging her phones because of a friendship with wealthy American financier and philanthropist, Theodore Forstmann.

The former acting director of the CIA and now CNN analyst John McLaughlin believes the couple was not charted for U.S. wiretaps.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN ANALYST: Once this report comes out, in all likelihood, it will turn out that there are one or two possibilities. One is that this is a total garble and that there's nothing at all to it.

Or the other is that there is some rational and benign explanation for what has been reported.

MATTINGLY: A spokesman for Forstmann says the two were good friends. A source familiar with that friendship tells CNN Forstmann met Diana at a London party in the early '90s as her marriage to Prince Charles was ending. The two became fast friends with the older Forstmann frequently acting as a confidant and an adviser.

But the "Evening Standard" also reports that U.S. intelligence raised security concerns and played a role in canceling a U.S. vacation Diana and princes William and Harry planned to take at Forstmann's home in the Hamptons in the summer of 1997.

The paper does not name its sources for the alleged surveillance of the couple, or suggest a reason. Its reporting could not be independently confirmed.

On Monday the National Security Agency released a statement saying "NSA did not target Princess Diana's communications."

MCLAUGHLIN: If her name appears in NSA files, it's just because she's referred to in some legitimate communication they were monitoring. It's conceivable that U.S. intelligence had an eye on someone that had a relationship with her, but it seems highly unlikely to me. It just doesn't make sense.

MATTINGLY: But even in the absence of fact or context, nine years after her death, Princess Di's life and her associations continue to generate intrigue and speculation.

The introduction that made Ted Forstmann, a high profile billionaire with Republican connections, raises new questions and what-ifs for royal watchers, like author Gerold Strober.

GEROLD STROBER, ROYALS AUTHOR: He certainly is a very reputable major businessman in the United States. There would seem to be no reason whatsoever, other than perhaps the political reason for the Clinton administration to try to eavesdrop on his conversations.

MATTINGLY: The answers, or perhaps even more questions, will come when the Scotland Yard report is released on Thursday.

David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Well, the princess' sons are planning a tribute to their mother, and they're inviting the world to join in. Prince William and Prince Harry offering up a very different side of them. Tonight, you'll hear what they have to say in their own words.

Plus, a ring on your finger. The price can be measured in human lives. Undercover and unflinching, the reality of the diamond trade, when 360 continues.


COOPER: And some breaking news to bring to you concerning Iraq, but originating in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The "New York Times" is now reporting that the Saudi royal family has given the Bush administration a warning. If the American troops leave Iraq, the Saudis might -- they say might -- throw their support behind the Sunni insurgency.

CNN's Nic Robertson joins us now in Baghdad with more.

Nic, what do you make of this?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there seems to be an element in this that rings true of recent events. We've seen the very sudden resignation of Prince Faisal al-Turki (sic), the Saudi ambassador to Washington. He's left back to Riyadh. No replacement has been named. That is very unusual in diplomatic circles. There was no leaving, no going-away parties, no big fanfare.

The visit to Dick Cheney, a very, very brief visit to visit King Abdullah in Riyadh a couple of weeks ago indicated that something was afoot, but perhaps the biggest indications of Saudi thinking came from an op-ed piece in "Washington Post", written by a Saudi security consultant while based in Washington.

Nuafo Bade (ph) wrote that, in his op-ed piece, that if the United States was to pull out precipitously from Iraq, Saudi Arabia would feel compelled to back the Sunnis in Iraq, because they would see the Sunni community. They are all majority Sunnis in Saudi Arabia.

They would see that community here needing support. They would have to come to their aid. They would have to come with financial aid. They would have to essentially back the insurgency and back the Sunnis of Iraq.

Now Nuafo Bade (ph) was shortly after that he let go by Prince Faisal al-Turki (sic). But it seems very unlikely from my detailed knowledge of that situation, that Mr. Bade (ph), a close security consultant with the Saudi embassy in Washington, would have written such an article without a nod from his seniors. He has obviously been released, which would indicate that this is a separation of views and ways there. But this has also had a backlash in Saudi Arabia.

Just over the last couple of days, clerics in Saudi Arabia who until very recently the Saudi government thought they had under control, those clerics have said that they feel that as Muslims, as Sunnis, they would have to back the Sunnis in Iraq, if they were left out of the political equation or they feel marginalized, as they do in Iraq right now.

COOPER: And just to repeat for anyone who's just joining us. This is breaking news concerning Iraq. "New York Times" reporting that the Saudi royal family has given the Bush administration a warning on this trip that Vice President Cheney was on some two weeks ago, that the Saudi king telling Vice President Cheney that if American troops left Iraq, the Saudis might throw their support behind the Sunni insurgency.

Nic, what I guess is so remarkable about this, important about this, is that up until now the Saudis have been loathe to -- officially the Saudis have been loathe to support the Sunni insurgency because of its ties to al Qaeda. Obviously al Qaeda, one of their biggest targets is the Saudi royal family.

ROBERTSON: Absolutely. The Saudis know it could have huge blow back. They know that the insurgent -- that so many insurgents have been coming from Saudi Arabia. They know that some of the money has very, very likely been coming from Saudi Arabia. They have tried their best to stem that, they say. They've built a whole long fence along the Saudi/Iraq border to try and stop people crossing over coming between the two countries.

But the reality is for the Saudi royal family, they look, as do other Sunni regimes in this region -- Jordan is another example -- they look at the growing influence and power now in the region of Iran. They look at the United States weakening influence at the moment, and they realize that there's a new power developing here, and it's not in their favor.

For the Saudis, the Shias who leave in Saudi Arabia live in the east over the oil fields. The Saudis are very sensitive to the fact that if Iran becomes more powerful, it could try and perhaps destabilize Saudi Arabia, that the events in Iraq could blow back and damage Saudi Arabia, as well.

So there's a number of concerns, but these are broad, regional concerns, within Sunni regimes around Iraq at the moment, that if the Sunnis aren't protected within Iraq, that these countries will have to come to their aid.

And that, while they have to come to the Sunnis' aid in Iraq, this will be at the expense of relationships with Iran, which are not the best. They are historically not particularly good relationships.

And it reflects the real and deep fears of these countries. King Abdullah of Jordan, barely a year ago, described Iran and its growing influence as the Shia crescent in the region, which really triggered some -- some surprise that he would be so outspoken about such a sensitive issue.

But for the Saudis, they know it. They realize that if they put money into the Sunni insurgency now, directly, that could blow back on them, because those same insurgents and al Qaeda, whom they would by default be supporting in Iraq, could them take the fight against the Saudi royal family.

And the Saudi royal family has been one of the principal targets of al Qaeda. There have been -- and there was recently an arrest of over 100 people tied to al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. This is a battle, an internal battle, the Saudis have been battling for the last two or three years, Anderson.

COOPER: Also, the "New York Times" reporting that King Abdullah expressed opposition to the idea of talking with Iran.

John Roberts is also joining us on the phone who has been following this story now out of Washington.

John, clearly, the United States, the United States, the Bush administration right now is trying to build or strengthen some sort of coalition between Sunni Arabs, moderate Sunni Arabs and the moderate Shia government inside Iraq.

We saw President Bush today meeting with Iraq's vice president, who is a Sunni. Questionable, though, John, about how successful that can be, whether that coalition really can be formed to try to weaken the power of someone like Muqtada al-Sadr.

JOHN ROBERTS, ANCHOR: It's a bit of a Hail Mary right now, Anderson. And certainly, the White House is trying to figure out what they can do to try to, if not decapitate Muqtada al-Sadr, at least reduce the amount of influence that he has in the Iraqi government as a reason why Nuri al-Maliki is -- the prime minister right now -- is in large part because of Muqtada al-Sadr.

And it's clear from what we see happening in this rhetoric between the Iraqi government, Nuri al-Maliki, in particular, and the U.S. government, that Muqtada al-Sadr is sort of pulling the strings in the background.

He is very strong on this idea of Iraqi nationalism. It's also a Shiite nationalism that he's talking about. That's something that's very concerning to Iraq's neighbors in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia, like Kuwait, countries that have some very wealthy Sunni Arabs inside them who are people who would perhaps step up to the plate and fund the Sunni insurgency if they believe that the Shia were consolidating power to the point in Baghdad that they were not just going to dominate the Sunnis, but perhaps decimate the Sunnis.

You see, this is a big worry of a lot of these countries surrounding Iraq, is that not only are the Shia going to take control in Iraq, but they are going to conduct a campaign against the Sunnis to try no not only reduce their power, but perhaps reduce their numbers, as well.

We hear about ethnic cleansing. Some people have used the word genocide. We're bordering on genocide for Iraq. There's a lot (UNINTELLIGIBLE) with these majority Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia, that the Sunnis could fall victim, could fall prey to the Shiite. And they don't want to see that happen.

They may not agree with the insurgency, but they are Sunnis through and through. And when Sunni brethren are in trouble, Sunnis often step up to the plate, Anderson, with support, be it financial, actual material support, sending weapons across the border, as something that's definitely within the realm of possibility.

COOPER: And of course, the big headline today, President Bush saying that they will be delaying -- a President Bush spokesman saying that they will be delaying making any kind of announcement about a way forward, to use their terminology in Iraq, until after the new year. Previously, they had said they expected to have something perhaps by Christmas.

Now there is this delay. Whether or not it's in any way linked to what we are learning now, the "New York Times" reporting this mention by the king of Saudi Arabia, that they might be willing to support the Sunni insurgency if and when the United States pulled out. We do not know.

We will continue to follow this story in the next two hours. We'll talk to John and Nic a little bit later on.

Less than a week after the body of James Kim was found, another desperate search is going on right now in Oregon, this time for three missing climbers. They were last scene when they tried to climb Mt. Hood. We'll tell you about the heroic effort to try and find them, right now.

And the diamonds you wear may have cost lives in Africa. An undercover investigation, the harsh reality of what's known as blood diamonds, 360 next.



LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: You hear that? You hear that? They're coming to this city overnight. It's started. What are you going to do now? The right stone can buy anything: information, safety, even freedom. But a big stone does not stay secret for very long. The moment you tell anyone about it, your life is absolutely worthless.


COOPER: Well, that's from "Blood Diamond." The movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The film is about the deadly trade of so-called conflict diamonds, which are rough stones from African countries that are used to fund military regimes.

And it's not a stretch of the imagination to say the diamonds you wear or buy might have cost someone a life. To reduce the chance of buying conflict diamonds, several governments and organizations created what's known as the Kimberly process, which keeps a paper trail of the gems.

Jewelers are supposed to follow the Kimberly process and never buy conflict diamonds, but the new Warner Brother documentary, "Blood on the Stone", tells a much darker story. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is the heart of the American street where uncut rough diamonds are traded every day. I will be filming secretly. It doesn't take long to find a willing buyer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I deal a lot with Africa. I'm not dealing only with you.

People give me diamonds, give me gold. I help all of them. I deal with African people. Do you understand? I want the relationship to buy from you whatever you have. You come over here in half an hour and you've done everything. You go back. You get the money, go back, buy again. I'll buy all the diamonds you have. I need stones. I'm not kidding.

OK, how much you want?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the next place they give me the hard sell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a business, a safe place. It's for business deals. There's no robberies or anything like that. You're safe in this place. Remember that. Talk to the man behind the desk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, how can I help you, sir? Don't mind them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have some business. I don't know whether (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roughs? Take them out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are proper, proper African.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From Congo. I don't have documents, because everyone says you have to have documents to sell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What, the Kimberly Certificate? How much do you want for this? How much do you want?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty thousand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the whole thing?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thirty thousand? Those stones, these stones, whatever stones you have in Congo, I'll buy everything. Give me the ultimate, ultimate, ultimate best price. I take out cash and buy right now. Sam, 2, 4, 6, 8 -- $10,000 right here. Cash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diamonds are so beautiful, but what is it about them that make people so greedy? This guy is really putting the pressure on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is $10,000 cash.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boss, please put something please; $10,000 is small.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the best price.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is your money out of here. This is my stuff here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These could so easily be diamonds that people died for, but he just doesn't seem to care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excellent price. I don't joke around. You know what speaks for me? This right here. This speaks. I am a man who gives you business right away. You want a million dollars? I have a million dollars. You want ten million dollars? I have ten million dollars. Whatever number you ask, that's what I have. Believe me. You understand?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand only too well, and it's a bit of disappointment for me. From the desperation in Africa to the greed on the pavements of New York, it just makes me feel diamonds are a dirty business.


COOPER: Well, ahead next on 360, a closer look at the desperation that fuels the business of blood diamonds. CNN's Jeff Koinange takes us to those dangerous diamond mines where people risk their lives for a pittance.

And also a rare success story, Botswana, where the diamonds are free of bloodstains. How they did it, ahead on 360.



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