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The Iran Factor; Rudy for President; Diverse Candidates; Wintry Blast; Recruiting Criminals; Anna Nicole Smith: What we Know; North Korea Deal

Aired February 14, 2007 - 23:00   ET


ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): ... while the explosive devices are manufactured in Iran...

GEN. PETER PACE, CHAIRMAN OF JOINT CHIEFS: That does not translate to that the Iranian government, per se, for sure, is directly involved in doing this.

HENRY: But the president's comments flatly contradict what that anonymous intelligence brief said Sunday in Baghdad during an off camera briefing with the reporters.

(on camera): They said the highest levels of the Iranian government...

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Can I get -- I can't say -- let me -- Ed, I can't say it more plainly. There are weapons in Iraq that are harming U.S. troops because of the Quds force.

And as you know, I hope, that the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. Whether Ahmadinejad ordered the Quds force to do this, I don't think we know.

HENRY (voice-over): Mixed signals are fueling questions about whether the White House is relying on flawed intelligence, just like in the run-up to the Iraq war.

What assurances can you give the American people that the intelligence this time will be accurate.

BUSH: I don't think we know -- who picked up the phone and said the Quds force, go do this. But we know it's a vital part of the Iranian government. What matters is, is that we're responding. The idea that somehow we're manufacturing the idea that the Iranians are providing IEDs is preposterous, Ed.

HENRY: The president seemed frustrated with continued questions about whether the maneuvering is building a case for war with Iran.

BUSH: No. It means I'm trying to protect our troops. That's what that means.

HENRY (on camera): Democrats will be turning up the heat on the White House about all of this on Thursday. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Sylvester Reyes is planning a closed, classified hearing, probing why all of this intelligence is coming out now.

Ed Henry, CNN, the White House.


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, about two years from now, if he's lucky, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be sitting where George Bush is sitting. He's now the GOP front-runner, for whatever that's worth so far from even the first primary.

Number one, with a bullet and baggage, it would seem, but also the kind of star power that gets you in the paper or tonight, on CNN's "LARRY KING LIVE."


RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR: It is critical to us that things get to the point in Iraq that we have some degree of stability and not the way they are now. Because if we leave it the way it is now and we run out, then we're going to face further difficulties in the future. Then we're going to lose more lives in the future.

And I'll tell you who tells me that. A lot of people who have been there. I was just in San Diego, speaking to sailors and Marines that have been in Iraq. That's what they tell me. They tell me, look, this is a volunteer army. You want to take our advice, our advice is give us a chance to try to stabilize that place, otherwise, we know what's going to happen. Two years from now you're going to send us back because there's going to be a major war in this area.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE:" But what do you do to change it? 20,000 going to change it?

GIULIANI: I think you got to change the whole strategy, which I hope they did. I mean, I hope, the whole strategy has to be a strategy of not just pacifying places, but holding them and holding them for some period of time.

It reminds me a little, on a much bigger scale, of what I had to do to reduce crime in New York City. We had to not just go into neighborhoods and make them safe, which the city had been doing for years. But the city had been going in there, making them safe, and then leaving. And then going to another place. Make that leave, another place, make it safe, leave.

We've got to go, make it safe in the areas, the districts of Baghdad, and then stay there for a period of time and stabilize it.

I would remove Saddam Hussein again. I just hope we'd do it better and we'd do it in a different way, we do the nation-building part or the handoff to the Iraqis or the rebuilding of the Iraqis.

Here are the things that I learned from it. Not -- take out Saddam Hussein in a second again. I think the world is much better off without Saddam Hussein than with him. And I think maybe some of the confusion doesn't lead us to really see that.

I hope that I would learn from the mistakes that were made in this situation just like the mistakes I made when I was mayor, I tried to learn from them.

If I get to be president of the United States, I probably won't make the same mistakes because I will have learned from them. I'll probably make different ones.

And then the next one will learn from the ones that I made. And I would say that about Bill Clinton or George Bush. This job is so difficult that you've got to have humility about it and you have to understand how to look at the past, not in a way in which it casts blame, but you learn from it.


ROBERTS: Rudy Giuliani tonight on "LARRY KING LIVE."

Sop to borrow a phrase from another New York Mayor, Ed Koch, how's he doing? And what about the competition?

CNN's Bill Schneider has been crunching the numbers.


KING: Are you running or not?

GIULIANI: Yes, I'm running.

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Rudy Giuliani is not just getting in. He's also taking off. Last month, the USA Today/Gallup Poll had Giuliani and McCain running neck and neck among Republicans nationwide. Now Giuliani's moved to a sizable lead over McCain. What's driving it?

GIULIANI: I think they will on the basis of leadership. I that -- I think they will on the basis of ultimately we need someone who we think can handle this country at a time of war.

SCHNEIDER: Giuliani is 9/11. That's what gave him the image of strong, decisive leadership, the same image President Bush used to have.

McCain is becoming more identified with a different Bush image, Iraq.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The commander of the multinational forces Iraq, now General David Petraeus, and all United States personnel under his command should receive from Congress the full support necessary to carry out the United States' mission in Iraq.

SCHNEIDER: McCain and Giuliani both support the president on Iraq. It's a matter of which image the Republicans want to present to voters next year. The Bush of 9/11 got reelected in 2004. The Bush of Iraq got defeated in 2006.

Some social conservatives are determined to block Giuliani.

TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: I think Giuliani is unacceptable from the outset.

SCHNEIDER: Giuliani will never be a favorite of social conservatives, but he's trying to make himself not unacceptable to them. On abortion...

GIULIANI: I am pro choice, yes. But I -- I'm also, as you know -- always have been -- against abortion, hate abortion, don't like it.

SCHNEIDER: On same sex marriage...

GIULIANI: Gays should be protected. I signed the domestic partnership law in New York. But the way I'm portrayed by my opponents, and I guess to drive people away from me, is that I'm in favor of gay marriage.

SCHNEIDER: And on gun control...

GIULIANI: And I used to say also, when I was mayor, one thing for New York, could be something different Texas.

SCHNEIDER: In the end, Giuliani is relying on the halo effect of 9/11, that voters will set aside litmus tests for leadership.

GIULIANI: You can never find a candidate you agree with 100 percent of the time. I don't agree with myself 100 percent of the time. So, how are you going to find a candidate...


KING: Do you think they'll vote for you?

GIULIANI: I think they will. I think they will. I think they will on the basis of leadership.

SCHNEIDER (on camera): Now, among Democrats, Hillary Clinton seems to have the big mo. Her lead over Barack Obama has widened from 11 points last month to 19 points this month.

What happens if you ask people to choose between Clinton and Giuliani? Pretty much a tie.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.


ROBERTS: There you go. One programming note, you can see more of Mayor Giuliani at the top of the hour. His complete interview, coming up on "LARRY KING LIVE."

If elected, Mayor Giuliani would be the first Italian American president. And he's not the only potential pioneer in the running. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS (voice-over): If the presidential election were held today, it's likely that for the first time in history, the Democratic candidate would not be a white male.

Based on current poll numbers, either a woman, Hillary Clinton, or an African-American, Barack Obama, would be at the top of the ticket.

On the other hand, the lengthy upcoming primary process may allow an oddity for the Republican Party to rise to the top. The first nominee of the Mormon faith, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: As a Mormon, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. And a woman. And a woman.

ROBERTS: Certainly, the presidential field has been diverse before.

In 2000, Elizabeth Dole, Alan Keyes and Orrin Hatch, a Mormon, all ran. But none had the chance to win the party nomination that this year's candidates do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The old barriers of race, of gender, of religion, those barriers are coming down. The American people are more open today to support qualified people for office based on their credentials, based on their experience.

ROBERTS: So is America ready to vote a woman, a black or a Mormon into the oval office? According to a recent "USA Today" poll, they are -- 94 percent of respondents said they'd vote for an African- American. Slightly fewer, 88 percent said they'd vote for a woman. While 72 percent said the same about a nominee of the Mormon faith.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eight out of 10 Americans are open to having a female as president. You know, that says that 9 out of 10 Americans are open to having an African-American as president. We've come a long way.

ROBERTS: Pollsters caution, though, that people often give politically correct answers to such questions. And while it appears America would welcome diverse candidates, would their race, gender or religion inevitably become an issue in the campaign?

BAY BUCHANAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There are going to be people in this country who will not vote for a woman, will not vote for a black, will not vote for a Mormon. That is a fact.

ROBERTS: Last year's midterm elections proved the race issue is still very much alive in America.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I met Harold at the "Playboy" party.

ROBERTS: Remember this? Republican attack ad targeting Tennessee Democrat Harold Ford?


ROBERTS: Barack Obama faces that possibility and an added problem. Because his father is Kenyan and his mother white, many African-Americans are skeptical that he'd fully represent their interests.

If Hillary Clinton were up against the machismo of John McCain or Rudy Giuliani, would someone suggest a woman wouldn't be as tough as a man on national security?

And while some Christian conservatives embrace Mitt Romney, other religious groups still see Mormonism as a cult.

BUCHANAN: Well, we all have hurdles, you know? That's part of being in politics. There's going to be hurdles. And I think America is without question ready to look for somebody who offers them a sincere, courageous, bold agenda for this nation.

ROBERTS: There are hurdles, to be sure, perhaps even lingering barriers, and a long road to the 2008 election.

But no question, after fits and starts, America appears ready to take a giant step forward in broadening the political spectrum.


ROBERTS (on camera): As for that long road to the White House, here's the raw data on the number of candidates who are along for the ride.

So far there are 12 candidates who have officially announced that they are seeking the presidency. Nine of them are Democrats and only three are Republicans.

Nine others on both sides of the aisle have filed or are thinking of filing papers to form a presidential exploratory committee which allows them to raise cash.

Coming up next on 360, the slippery road -- not just to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but to just about anywhere.

Slipping, slogging, stuck, a great big mess, and it's not over yet.

He was convicted of arson, sentenced to prison. So how did he end up in the Army in Iraq?


MAJ. GEN. PAUL MONROE (RET.), FORMER HEAD, CALIFORNIA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: As soon as they discovered this guy's a felon, even if he was already in Iraq, they should have arrested him, packed his bags and sent him back.


ROBERTS: Instead, they made him an MP. And he's not alone. Why felons are getting into the military and staying there.


ROBERTS: Stuck on a plane. The flight intended for sunny Cancun from JFK, instead the airbus sat on the tarmac, the passengers, prisoners on board for eight plus hours and none too happy about it. They are free now, but they're not going anywhere tonight.

And JetBlue is offering a full refund and free roundtrip ticket to its passengers who got stuck.

All of this because of the massive storm that dumped snow and caused problems through the Midwest all the way up into the Northeast. Streets turned into parking lots. Schools closed down. Many are closed again tomorrow. And the power is out to hundreds of thousands of people.

Covering the storm in upstate New York for us, CNN's Gary Tuchman and Jason Carroll.

Let's go first to Jason, who's in the state capital Albany. What's it like up there tonight, Jason?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, another band of snow is moving in right now, but we're hearing that the worst of the snow should be behind us. But it's huge drifts of snow like this, combined with high winds, that could cause major problems out here tomorrow.


CARROLL (voice-over): Blizzard-like conditions brought whiteouts and 35 mile-per-hour winds. Drivers who didn't stay off the roads learned why they were warned to stay home.

(on camera): So, you think you are going to be able to get out of here, Barbara?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes. Sure thing.

CARROLL: For Barbara Delucha (ph), it was not a sure thing.

What is she supposed to do to get out of there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just keep the wheels straight and work it back and forth. And, eventually, it will go. She's got front-wheel drive.

CARROLL (voice-over): A little maneuvering and a lot of pushing finally got her on her way.

Government offices shut down early, most schools and businesses closed, as well. Single-digit temperatures, combined with subzero wind gusts, turned roads into ice and kept tow truck operators like Joe Pertorti (ph), busy rescuing stranded motorists.

Upwards of two feet of snow fell in some parts in a matter of hours. Albany's mayor set up an emergency command center.

(on camera): What would you say is your greatest challenge in dealing with a storm like this?

MAYOR GERRY JENNINGS, ALBANY, NEW YORK: Getting people to understand that we need their cooperation.

CARROLL: What do you want people to do in terms of cooperate? What can they do?

JENNINGS: Just watch the regulations and the rules. Stay off the streets. There's no reason to be out driving around to look at anything. Stay home.

CARROLL (voice-over): But, if heading out in the storm, this might be the best way to do it.

MARK WALROD, STUDENT AND SKIER: I saw the opportunity present itself. And I just went out for a ski. You know, I -- I used to ski a lot more when I wasn't a student. But, this is a dream come true, really.


ROBERTS: Jason's back with us live.

Now, Jason, I take it that that's a snow pile that you're standing on, not a snow drift? When is this all expected to end?

CARROLL (on camera): Well, they're expecting some more snow flurries throughout the night. They're expecting that heavy snow warning to end sometime around 6:00 a.m. tomorrow. After that, just snow flurries. And folks out here hoping that the snow really wraps up around 10:00 a.m. or so. But with storms like this, you know, you can never be too sure.

ROBERTS: We saw that rather resourceful fellow on the pair of cross country skis going down Main Street. What kind of an effect has this had on other people's ability to get around, particularly on public transportation?

CARROLL: It's been very difficult for folks out here. Eighty percent of the flights at Albany Airport, canceled. Amtrak canceled its train service. It's going to be a while before the transportation system in this area is up and running fully again -- John.

ROBERTS: All right. Jason in Albany, New York, thanks very much.

The massive storm has been blamed for at least 12 deaths in six states. Its impact is being felt from Kentucky all the way up into Maine.

Gary Tuchman is in Syracuse, New York.

Gary, we saw you last night. The snow was really coming down. What's it look like there tonight?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, I talked to you from this exact same location last night, the entrance to the quad at Syracuse University.

There were three inches of snow on the ground just before the snow started last night. Now it's over. I have this yardstick. It looks primitive, but this is what's used to measure snow officially. And the yardstick tells me right here there's 21 inches. Subtract the three from last night, so 18 inches we're talking about accumulated over the last 24 hours.

Syracuse gets a lot of snow. However, it's unusual that it gets so much snow in a 24-hour period. Nevertheless, because they're used to dealing with lots of snow here, they did a very good job clearing the streets.

The airport here in Syracuse never shut down, despite the fact that we had this snow just blowing -- almost no visibility. Most of the flights were canceled, but they were canceled because the other cities that you were flying to and flying from had canceled flights and closed their airports. And therefore, Syracuse ended up closing -- canceling most of its flights.

Also, Syracuse University, where we're at right now, was open this morning, but then made the decision this afternoon or tonight to shut down because so many teachers couldn't get to their classes.

Now, we spent the day today with the Syracuse Fire Department, members of the fire department. The reason we did that is because they have an interesting mission that they have to take part in when there's lots of snow, and that's clearing the hydrants in this city. This city has more than 6,000 fire hydrants. And if you don't clear them, if there's a big fire, you can't get the water to put out the fires. It's a very hard job because there's a lot of adrenaline when you fight fires. However, when you clear fire hydrants, shovel them, hop out of the fire truck 10, 20, 30, 40 times, there's not a lot of adrenaline, but it's something that's very necessary and it's something we spent the day dealing with today.

Also while we were with the firefighters, they had to rescue a baby. A baby had been locked in a car accidentally. The car hadn't really even started up, so it was very cold. They called the fire department we were with. They came and rescued the baby, so they did some good work.

We do want to tell you that what's most amazing about a place like Syracuse is that many businesses stay open. You can get whatever you need, despite the fact there was a near blizzard today, hamburgers, pizza, beer.

I remember, John, covering a 20-inch snowstorm in Raleigh, North Carolina, five or six years ago. Everything closed down, except for the hospitals. We ended up having Lifesavers for dinner. Back to you.

ROBERTS: Gary, looking at you there, slogging through the snow, I'm thinking instead of sending you up there with a yardstick, it should have been a pair of snow shoes.

Just in terms of how this city is going to be able to handle all of the snow that's been falling, has it been keeping up with it on the roads? Or are there a lot of roads that have yet to be cleared?

You know, in New York City here, when they start clearing the roads, that's when they get into the real problems because they plow the cars that are parked on the side of the road under six-foot drifts.

TUCHMAN: Well, that's what's very funny because there are a lot of cars that have disappeared on the sides of the roads. Some of the side streets still have a lot of snow. However, all of the main roads that we've seen here in Syracuse, New York, population 140,000, are relatively clear.

And you see those cars, they're zooming through here at normal speed limits, which is pretty good.

Tomorrow, John, I can guarantee you -- I can almost guarantee you, it will be back to normal in Syracuse, New York.

ROBERTS: You were up in Oswego County for a couple of days earlier this week, where they're used to all of that lake-effect snow as it comes off of Lake Ontario. They're used to it there, but in terms of the attitude of people, is it as much laissez-faire, sort of laissez le bon temps rouler, when it comes to snow as it is in Oswego County?

TUCHMAN: You know, there's an attitude here and north of here, off the shores Lake Ontario that gets most of the lake-effect snow, of extreme pride and machismo, I must say. They don't want to shut down things. They're used to the snow. They don't want anything to affect their lives and they are proud of being able to deal with it. And that's part of what life is like here. If you don't like snow, this is not the place to live.

And by the way, there's an ambulance coming right now. We don't know why, but that's why you hear all the noise in the background.

ROBERTS: All right. Well, maybe it's coming to pull you out of that drift there.

Gary, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Up next on 360, convicted felons accepted into the military despite their criminal records. We're not talking about a few, we're talking about thousands.

Plus, could the plot get any thicker or the story any stranger? Well, of course it could. The battle over Anna Nicole Smith's body, her baby and her burial, still ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: U.S. troops in Iraq are facing greater dangers than ever at the same time that the U.S. military is stretched thinner than ever.

There's also evidence that to fill its ranks, the military's making it easier than ever to serve -- even if you're a convicted felon.

Here's CNN's Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What these troops may not know is the person fighting next to them, watching their back, could have a criminal past.

MAJ. GEN. PAUL MONROE (RET.), FORMER HEAD, CALIFORNIA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD: We need as strong a force as we can muster. And not one that has felons. You run into serious problems for undisciplined people. We can't have felons in the military -- it's not only a threat to civilians, it's a threat to the military.

KAYE: And yet the military acknowledges that it is knowingly allowing men and women with criminal backgrounds to fight alongside soldiers with clean records.

(On camera): So your husband was convicted of arson?


KAYE: Which is a felony.


KAYE: But instead of going to prison, he went to serve in Iraq?


KAYE (voice-over): How did Rose Giddings' husband end up in Iraq? Former Assistant Defense Secretary Lawrence Korb.

LAWRENCE KORB, FORMER ASSISTANT DEFENSE SECRETARY: What it is, is the Army's under tremendous pressure to meet their recruiting goals. They've quadrupled the number of non-high school graduates they're taking in. They've quadrupled the number of people who score -- did not score above average on their aptitude test. And even with that, one out of every five people last year were taken into the military with moral and criminal problems.

KAYE (on camera): In fact, a longtime Pentagon consultant tells us last year alone the Army enlisted close to 1,000 people with felony records. He told the Pentagon that service members convicted of multiple crimes have continued to serve and been repeatedly promoted. Citing evidence from 1995, the last time the Pentagon matched criminal records with personnel records, the consultant reported soldiers with convictions were given clearance to work with classified and top secret information and with a nuclear missile team. None of these soldiers had their clearance revoked until years later.

(Voice-over): Last year alone, all military branches combined, granted nearly 35,000 new recruits, what are called moral waivers for offense ranging from minor traffic violations to drug crimes, up 11 percent in just three years. The Army is up a whopping 65 percent.

MONROE: Well, it's pretty hard to get a waiver if you're a felon. If you have a misdemeanor, you need a waiver. But, I mean, if you're a felon, you know, it takes a letter from God usually.

KAYE: Retired Major General Paul Monroe, who headed the Army National Guard in California, says upholding moral standards is crucial to military effectiveness.

MONROE: You're supposed to take an annual physical, so we did it every other year. But still, I mean, it was a requirement for physicals. It should be a requirement that they're still good people.

KAYE: Military discipline has long been credited with turning around troubled youngsters. But the military insists it is not a substitute for rehabilitation by the criminal justice system.

Still, the Army says, soldiers who commit a felony after they've enlisted can continue to serve if a military adjudicator lets them stay.

Court documents indicate that's what happened with Army Reservist Bob Gidding. Gidding and his wife, Rose, had been high school sweethearts. But it wasn't long after he returned from boot camp that Rose says she saw another side of her husband.

GIDDING: He got so insecure and so just possessive, like I was his property.

KAYE: While she was still pregnant, Rose says her husband accused her of having an affair. In court, he admitted he then drove to the home of the suspected other man, doused his car with gasoline and set it on fire.

GIDDING: I'm sitting there, like kind of in shock. I was crying. I was like, you know, freaking out pretty much.

KAYE: Gidding pleaded no contest to a charge of felony arson. He was sentenced to five months in prison and three years probation and was barred from owning or possessing a gun. But the judge allowed Gidding to ship out for active duty before serving his time in prison.

And the Army Reserve went along with it. As this affidavit shows, he told his commanding officer he had been convicted of a felony. MONROE: But as soon as they discovered this guy's a felon, even if he's already in Iraq, they should have arrested him, packed his bags and sent him back.

KAYE: But they didn't. What the Army Reserve did do, as this court document shows, is ask California courts for proof of Gidding's felony conviction so that, quote, "we may proceed with discharging this soldier."

But that was two years ago. And Gidding was never discharged. Instead, Gidding was deployed for a second tour of duty in Iraq and made a military police officer, even though it's not clear whether the judge waived his ban on Gidding possessing a gun.

(On camera): So here you have a felon who is charged with upholding the law and given a gun to do so.


KAYE: Did it concern you?

GIDDING: It concerned me a lot because he would tell me over the phone, you know, things about how he didn't like this person and he could shoot him there because they were in Kuwait and it was just desert and no one would know. You know, he could make up a story.

KAYE (voice-over): His attorney denied Gidding ever said anything like that. He did, however, confirm the facts in Gidding's legal case.

The Army Reserve declined comment on why Gidding was allowed to continue to serve, saying to do so would be illegal.

(on camera): So how many Army reservists are serving with felony records? We wish we could tell you, but the reserve says it doesn't know. You see, the reserve says it doesn't conduct background checks after recruitment unless a soldier is promoted. So unless a reservist who has been convicted of a felony fesses up, his or her military superiors would not in most cases know about the crime.

As a result the reserve says it's unable to speculate on how many convicted felons may be in its ranks because it doesn't gather the data.

(Voice-over): As the case of Stephen Green shows, all this carries big risks, not just for the Army, but for America's reputation around the world.

Stephen Green was a high school dropout with three misdemeanor convictions when he joined the Army. He got a waiver to serve in Iraq, but is now in jail awaiting trial as a civilian on charges that he and four other soldiers raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdered her family. Two of the men have pleaded guilty. Two more are awaiting courts-martial.

Green, who was discharged as a private, maintains he is innocent. KORB: You take people like that in, the chances are they're going to behave badly, they're going to do things under pressure in the battlefield that other people might not.

KAYE: Korb says waivers help the military grow its ranks while fighting an unpopular war.

KORB: The quality of your military and its effectiveness is going to decline, and you're going to end up with a force like we did in the latter days of Vietnam that's not up to the job that the nation is asking it to do.

KAYE: Pentagon Consultant Eli Flyer (ph) says he first recommended routine background checks 20 years ago. But, he says, the military still doesn't do them, except when reviewing security clearances or promotion.

Rose Gidding has moved with her son to a new home where her soon- to-be ex-husband can't find her. She says he's too dangerous to be near their son, and has obtained a restraining order against him.

And yet, we checked and Bob Gidding is still an Army reservist living in California and available for deployment.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Monterey, California.


ROBERTS: Still ahead, six-party talks. An agreement, but with whom? A closer look tonight at North Korea's eccentric dictator.

Did we make a deal with the devil?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe we can get past the illusion that they're trustworthy enough to deal with.


ROBERTS: Any agreement with North Korea ultimately depends on its dear leader. Who is Kim Jong-il, and can we trust him? Ahead on 360.

Also, her body, her baby, the legal circus.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The body belongs to me now.


ROBERTS: Yes, more strange turns in the Anna Nicole Smith saga, ahead on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: A new battle is brewing over Anna Nicole Smith. At issue now, who is going to get to claim her body. Like everything else in this saga, this one is a mess.

Again, here's CNN's Randi Kaye.


KAYE (voice-over): A shrine to the late Anna Nicole Smith outside the Broward County medical examiner's office, where her body is still being held, but maybe not for long. Medical examiner Joshua Perper has told the court Smith's body is decomposing and should be released soon.

JOSHUA PERPER, BROWARD COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: I sent an affidavit at the request of one of the attorney, indicating that the death occurred five days ago, and holding the body indefinitely would result in damage to the body. It would be difficult to embalm the body.

KAYE: Perper also said he collected enough DNA samples as part of his autopsy to prove maternity.

His feedback set off a legal battle on both coasts. A Florida judge gave permission to embalm, but not release the body for burial, just what the legal team for Larry Birkhead, Smith's former boyfriend, wanted to hear. They claim he's the father of her 5-month-old baby, Dannielynn.

SUSAN BROWN, LARRY BIRKHEAD'S ATTORNEY: The order says that the body stays at the medical examiner's office pending further order of this court or the California court.

KAYE: It didn't take long for a California court to counter punch. An L.A. judge ruled the body did not need to be held while the legal battle plays out over whether Smith's DNA should be preserved to help determine just who is Dannielynn's father. Smith's attorney cheered that ruling.

RON RALE, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S ATTORNEY: There was sufficient DNA. There was no need to, in any way, delay this process. We want Anna Nicole to have proper burial.

KAYE: But there won't be a burial just yet. Back to Florida we go and an emergency court hearing this afternoon where another judge matched everyone else's tone in this battle.


KAYE: And he has a much different opinion about how quickly the body will decay.

SEIDLIN: It's cold, but it won't decompose so fast. That baby is on a cold, cold storage room. It's not decaying so fast. I can go over there now and look at it and I can go back in a month and still look at it.

KAYE: That judge has delayed until at least tomorrow any decision about whether to release the remains for burial and, if so, who he'd give it to.

Those fighting for Smith's body include her partner and lawyer, Howard K. Stern, listed as Dannielynn's father on her birth certificate. He wants to bury Smith in the Bahamas, next to her son, Daniel, who died in September.

Smith's mother wants the body buried in their home state of Texas.

Everyone playing their cards, even the Playmate's former bodyguard stepping forward, claiming he was another secret lover and could be the real father.

ALEXANDER DENK, FORMER BODYGUARD: I never spoke to any media. I never spoke to anybody about Anna and I because we had a very private, intimate relationship. And I'm very loyal to all my clients in my business I'm doing in my field.

KAYE (on camera): As for what killed Anna Nicole Smith, Howard K. Stern's sister says the centerfold was running a 105 degree fever the day she died after collapsing in a Florida hotel. She says Smith's immune system was low. She was depressed. She kept getting sick, and her body just probably broke down.

Of course, we're still waiting for the official cause of death from the medical examiner. Until then, no one will rest in peace.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


ROBERTS: Our legal experts weigh in on the tug-of-war over Anna Nicole Smith's baby and body. That's coming up next.

Plus, any nuclear deal that's made with North Korea is ultimately a deal with its dear leader Kim Jong-il. So who is he? A closer look ahead on 360.


ROBERTS: More now on the legal ping-pong in the Anna Nicole Smith case. From Florida to California, back to Florida, also in the Bahamas today. Lawyers and judges had their say on battles over DNA, burial plans and even who is going to get to claim her body.

To help us sort through all of this, I spoke earlier tonight with "Court TV" Anchors Lisa Bloom and Jami Floyd.


ROBERTS: Lisa, a judge in Florida today said that he was going to wait until tomorrow before deciding on the disposition of Anna Nicole Smith's body. I want to get you to talk about that, but first let's take a look at what this quite colorful judge, by the way, said about that.

SEIDLIN: I believe in the turtle approach. We've entered now the first threshold. We're going to spend time here. We're in no rush. We're not selling cars. We're going to sit here quietly and we're going to plow through each issue slowly.

ROBERTS: So this fellow is a probate judge. He doesn't seem to do anything quickly. Meantime, the medical examiner is saying it's time to get the body out of here.

LISA BLOOM, "COURT TV": Saying that the body is decomposing. You know, poor Anna Nicole was a turtle approach to litigation her whole life -- 12 years fighting her late husband's family over the estate, and now over her body, over her baby. It never ends.

This needs to be resolved. The poor woman's remains need to be laid to rest. I mean, have some dignity. Get this thing resolved. You know, get that part of the case at least taken care of.

ROBERTS: And Jami, who does the body go to? I don't think that the judge has yet established next of kin. But then there's also this issue of does the executor of the estate hold some claim to the body as well?

JAMI FLOYD, "COURT TV": I think that's right. And that's why we're in probate court on that issue because sad to say, unpleasant as it is, the body is a thing now. The body is a thing. And so the determination is who owns that thing. And you heard the judge say -- he said many times, I own that body now. And I know some of our colleagues, Nancy Grace included, took issue with that. But as a matter of law, that's correct until he determines whether the executor, i.e., the estate takes it or next of kin. And who's that?

ROBERTS: So as for Howard K. Stern, a Bahamian judge is ordering that he cannot leave the island with the baby in his custody. What is this going to do for the case that's raging now in the United States?

FLOYD: Well, there's a huge jurisdictional issue on that custody case. You got the Bahamas, you got California. You also have Florida because that's where she died. So there's that issue. What's the primary jurisdiction? And then there's the question of whether the Bahamian court can actually issue this kind of a ruling. Certainly, they can keep him from leaving with the baby. There's a question about whether they can keep him from leaving at all. And then there's the question about whether he will obey that order. He can leave with the baby, you know, in violation of the court's order.

BLOOM: The Bahamas is finally getting serious about this thing. They realize they got a baby, they got a bunch of people who want the baby. And this is getting embarrassing to them in the international stage. You know, tourists go to the Bahamas, that's their primary economic motive. They want to get rid of this thing. They want to hold the baby there, find the daddy and be done with all of this.

FLOYD: I think they'd like to just foist the whole thing right back on us here in the U.S. if they could.

ROBERTS: Well, and at the same time as well, there is a court in Los Angeles that has ordered that a DNA test be conducted on the baby by the 21st of February to determine paternity. Is that enforceable?

BLOOM: That's not the first time. Those orders have already been made. Do a DNA test on the baby.

ROBERTS: Right. But is that enforceable in the Bahamas?

BLOOM: No. No, because the Bahamas is a sovereign nation. That's why everybody needs to go to the Bahamas, get the orders there. That's what Birkhead's been doing.

FLOYD: And this was an issue even when Anna Nicole was alive, of course. In the United States we are loathe to force DNA tests. We think of this as -- unless you've been charged with some sort of a crime, a real violation of your personal privacy.

Now, this is a baby. Her mother was taking that position for her. Now that her mom is gone, who takes that position? The executor? That's Howard K. Stern.

ROBERTS: One more issue I want to get you to tackle while we've got the time here. Howard K. Stern's sister apparently had a conversation with Anna Nicole in which Anna Nicole revealed that Larry Birkhead was the father of her child.

What do you make of that and what do you also make of this idea that Fredrick von Anhalt is also asking for a DNA test? He's really pushing this issue.

FLOYD: I don't make much of either. I don't make much of what Anna Nicole had to say before her death because she might have said something to Howard K. Stern's sister and said someone else to someone else. And dead women can't speak. Now she can' speak for herself, so really, we're letting all these other people speak on her behalf. So that's number one.

And with regard to the third possible daddy coming out of the woodwork, I'll wait and see the results of the test.

BLOOM: Yes, I think Larry Birkhead is the frontrunner to be the daddy because he's made claims many, many months ago, before there was money potentially attached to this baby.

She told not only the sister, but a lot of people that Larry was the baby's daddy. And in addition, he went to some prenatal visits with her. He even went all by himself to some baby classes as a potential single father after they broke up. So, ...


BLOOM: He certainly seems pretty credible, yes, I think at this point.

FLOYD: Although the money's still on the table.

BLOOM: Well, there is no money. There is no money. There's only the potential for money. And the Supreme Court -- she won the right to keep fighting -- could be zero, could be $400 million, anything in between.

ROBERTS: Well, we know that you'll be keeping a close eye on the court ruling tomorrow.


BLOOM: We're watching the hearing tomorrow on "Court TV" live.

ROBERTS: Ladies, thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.

FLOYD: Thank you.


ROBERTS: Coming up next, dealing with North Korea's dictator. Can he be trusted when it comes to giving up his nuclear program? 360, next.


ROBERTS: North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il turns 65 on Friday. Four months after his country shocked the world by conducting its first nuclear test.

Yesterday North Korea struck a deal to freeze its nuclear weapons program in return for more than $300 million in aid.

At his White House news conference today, President Bush praised the agreement and dismissed its critics.


BUSH: The assessment made by some that this is not a good deal is just flat wrong. Now, those who say the North Koreans have got to prove themselves by actually following through on the deal are right. And I'm one. This is a good first step.


ROBERTS: And a first step down an unpredictable path that could lead nowhere, if history is any guide.

More on that now from CNN's John Vause.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Any deal made by these men will ultimately depend on this man. Kim Jong-il, the unpredictable paranoid dear leader of a country which U.S. officials have dubbed the soprano state because of its involvement in organized crime. In 2003 a North Korean freighter was boarded in Australian waters by elite forces after being chased by a Navy frigate for four days. On board, 275 pounds of heroin. Among the crew, according to media reports, a senior member of North Korea's ruling party. ] The crew were acquitted, much to the surprise of Australian authorities. But in a clear message, from (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to Pyongyang, the ship was later used for target practice and sunk.

According to U.S. officials, the North Korean government is involved not only in the production and trafficking of heroin and methamphetamines, but also fake cigarettes and prescription drugs and counterfeit currency.

In 2001, the Japanese navy was involved in a gun battle with a mystery ship believed to be from North Korea, suspected of spying or smuggling drugs.

The following year, a shipment of North Korean scud missiles headed for Yemen was intercepted by the Spanish navy and later released.

Kim has apologized for kidnapping Japanese citizens to train them as spies. Then there are the broken deals. Kim agreed in 1994 to end his nuclear program and again in 2005 only to renege.

So how will this agreement be different?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will certainly buy us some time, but not a lot of time. And it will, like the past -- it will -- there will be stops and goes.

VAUSE (on camera): Hours after the breakthrough was announced here in Beijing, official state-run media in North Korea reported the deal only required the temporary suspension of nuclear facilities, not the complete shutdown that was agreed to.

It could have been an honest mistake or an ominous sign of what yet may yet be to come.

John Vause, CNN, Beijing.


ROBERTS: On the radar tonight, Anderson's reporting from the Amazon rainforest and the upcoming CNN special series, "Planet in Peril." A lot of viewers weighing in, in the blog. Some of them taking issue with the premise itself.

Rick, in Eugune, Oregon, writes, "The earth has survived giant tsunamis, asteroid impacts, volcanic eruptions that prompted ice ages and so on. The Earth is not peril."

Maggie, on the other hand, from Green Valley, Missouri, asks "Are we killing our planet? Of course we are. And we die right along with it. Are we all blind, deaf and brain dead? One need not be educated in such matters, this is hard to ignore."

And Don in Rio Rancho gets right to the heart of it. He says, "No, we are not killing the planet. We are killing ourselves. It will be too late for us, but the planet will survive."

As always, we welcome your thoughts. Just head to, follow the links and make your case.

Up next on 360, a double whammy. Why the insurance company that claims to be like a good neighbor is moving out of a neighborhood hit hard by Hurricane Katrina.


ROBERTS: A busy day of headlines today. Erica Hill joins us now with a 360 bulletin.

Hi Erica.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, the shopping mall where five people were gunned down Monday night reopened today. Meantime, Salt Lake City police and the FBI are trying to figure out why the 18- year-old suspect went on the rampage and just how he got his hands on a gun. The FBI says it has no reason to believe the shooting was an act of terrorism.

Insurance giant State Farm announced today it would not issue new homeowners or commercial insurance policies in Mississippi. The company says unpredictable legal risks from disgruntled policyholders in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina led to its decision. State Farm, by the way, is Mississippi's largest insurer.

And we brought you their story exclusively on 360. Tonight we have new video of the Filipino hostages talking to reporters and boarding a ship after they were released by their rebel captive in the Niger Delta. The 24 sailors were freed yesterday. They are all reportedly in good health.

And a bit of a reality check for you this Valentine's Day. One of history's most romantic couples, Anthony and Cleopatra were maybe not as good wooking -- good looking, that is, as Hollywood would have us believe. An image on a 2,000-year-old silver coin shows the Egyptian queen famously portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor, a shallow forehead, pointed chin, thin lips and a sharp nose. Her Roman lover, played by Richard Burton, had bulging eyes, a hook nose and a thick neck. Hmm, that will make you rethink a few things -- John.

ROBERTS: Sketchy artistry, I put it at.

Thanks, Erica.

Before we go, a reminder, we want you to help us in 360's mission of keeping them honest. If there is a wrong that needs to be made right in your community, go online and tell us about it at

I'm John Roberts in for Anderson Cooper. He's going to join us for a bit tomorrow night from the rainforest of Brazil.

"LARRY KING LIVE" coming up now.

Good night.


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