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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Can Alberto Gonzales Survive?; Is America's Food Safe?; Honor Killings Under the Microscope; Rival Factors Fighting in Palestinian Territories; School Security Guards Teaches Students Leadership Skills

Aired May 18, 2007 - 22:00   ET

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


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everyone.
Tonight: growing pressure on the president's top law man, and shrinking confidence within the president's party -- one shoe dropping after another. Our question tonight: How does Alberto Gonzales keep his job?

Also ahead tonight: The images on the Internet shocked the world, but what they show, what these pictures show, is a so-called honor killing. And they go far beyond this one incident. We will go in-depth on why women are dying, killed by their own families.

And later: A year after the tainted spinach outbreak, who is inspecting the food you eat to make sure it never happens again? More accurately, who isn't? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

We begin with a new challenge to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. CNN has learned that, on Monday, members of the House will introduce a resolution saying Congress and the American people have lost confidence in Mr. Gonzales.

The Senate already has a no-confidence measure ready to go. And eight Republican senators say Gonzales should quit or be fired.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... is not serving the president well. And, it seems to me, out of loyalty to the president, that he should resign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, after a week that included testimony that Mr. Gonzales browbeat a critically ill man, plus day after day of new revelations and explanations, two questions remain: How is he still hanging on? And what next?

With that, here's CNN's Joe Johns.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First, there was the warrantless wiretapping, then the justifications for what some call torture, then the firings of United States attorneys, A cauldron of controversy surrounding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, leaving his critics to ask, why is she still in office?

RALPH NEAS, PRESIDENT, PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: Alberto Gonzales has dishonored himself, his office, and the Department of Justice, and he has to go.

JOHNS: Ralph Neas of the liberal interest group People For the American Way wants Gonzales to resign or be fired, saying, there's a basis for even tougher measures than no-confidence votes on the Hill.

NEAS: There's probably legal grounds for something far more serious than a vote of no confidence.

JOHNS (on camera): Like what?

NEAS: Like bipartisan censure or even impeachment.

JOHNS (voice-over): But he doesn't think Congress has the will to go that far.

JAMES COMEY, FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: That night was probably the most difficult night of my professional life.

JOHNS: The thing that stirred up the hornet's nest again was former Department of Justice James Comey, who told of a race through Washington to the hospital bedside of the seriously ill then-Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Gonzales and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card were trying to get Justice to certify that the domestic spying program was legal. Comey and Ashcroft said it wasn't, and refused to sign off.

COMEY: I was concerned that, given how ill I knew the attorney general was, that there might be an effort to ask him to overrule me, when he was in no condition to do that.

JOHNS: Conservative legal analyst Bruce Fein, who served in two Republican administrations, says, this is an ugly set of facts for Gonzales and Card.

BRUCE FEIN, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW EXPERT: And it looks like they're trying to put together a paper trail, if you will, that would justify four years of illegalities of taking Americans' privacy without any court orders and violating the law without any possible good-faith defense.

JOHNS: That law is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which, in court, protects Americans from spying.

Former Republican Congressman and prosecutor Bob Barr:

BOB BARR, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: All of these shenanigans and goings-on try to work around this really are simply different ways to evade the law. They have been breaking the law in this case. It seems to me very clear.

JOHNS: Card has declined comment. Gonzales has said the administration was within its rights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE")

ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: This program, from its inception, has been carefully reviewed by lawyers throughout the administration. And we do believe the president does have the legal authorities to authorize this program.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: So, back to the original question, why is Gonzales still in office? It's pretty simple.

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He's going to continue. We have -- we have faith in him.

JIM VANDEHEI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, "THE POLITICO": Loyalty. This is a president who values loyalty. And the president really wants Gonzales to stay. But, even for Bush, loyalty has its limits.

JOHNS: Limits that apparently have not been reached, not yet anyway.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And joining me now for more on the Gonzales controversy, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, did Alberto Gonzales break the law by his little trip to the hospital room and John Ashcroft's bedside?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think he broke a criminal statute. I think there are real issues of legal ethics of whether, you know, going to someone who is incapacitated to do something you have been told that department of government has already rejected, I think that's a real question of legal ethics. And it's certainly a question of judgment.

But, as for a violation of some specific law, not that I can see.

COOPER: Because -- but we don't know -- there was an article in "TIME" magazine about this. And they were basically saying, look, we don't know what he said to Ashcroft. And Comey didn't go into details about whether he might have revealed any classified information or anything like that.

TOOBIN: Well, and we don't know the nature of the law that -- that he was trying to get approval of.

And -- and, most importantly, I think, you know, the -- the story is so dramatic, one of the things we may be losing sight of is, who sent Card and Gonzales? The implication is, the president did. Did he know that the attorney general was incapacitated? Did he know that they were going around a position of the -- a stated position of the Justice Department?

You know, the president refused to answer questions about it yesterday. But, you know, I can see Congress saying, wait a second. You know, we need to get an answer to this. It's -- because -- because it's really potentially very -- a very serious thing to do.

COOPER: And, in terms of whether or not -- not he broke the law, whether or not he made factually incorrect statements and/or lies to -- to Congress, he did say last year in testimony that there was no real disagreement within the administration on this program.

That certainly does not seem to be the case.

TOOBIN: It doesn't.

And -- and, again, you know, it cries out for further explanation from -- from Gonzales of what he was doing and why, and what he thought -- you know, how he thought he was justified. What the administration has been relying on so far is saying, look, this program is so classified, we can't answer any questions about it.

That's what President Bush, in effect, said yesterday. Presumably, that's what Gonzales will say. But, you know, the question is whether Congress will -- will continue to accept that stonewall.

COOPER: Gonzales has said he's going to stay on as long as he can be effective. Is that still even possible, given all this acrimony toward him in Washington? I mean, is the -- is the Justice Department working?

TOOBIN: As far as I can tell, it's really not.

I mean, I have never seen a Cabinet official, ever, any department, this isolated, this repudiated. You now have six Republican senators, as well as virtually every Democrat, calling for his -- his removal. You have two senators, Schumer and Feinstein, yesterday saying that they're going to ask for no -- vote of no- confidence.

Personally, I think the Republicans are going to be able to procedurally derail that. They won't -- they won't let that vote go forward. But he's completely isolated. But, as long as he has the support of the president, as he appears still to have, he is going to stay there for -- until the next-year-and-half.

COOPER: Let me play devil's advocate on this. There are going to be some saying who will say, well, look, this is just pure politics. This is partisan politics showing its head, Democrats trying to score points, trying to bring down another member of the Bush administration.

TOOBIN: You know, I think there are people who believe that.

The -- the problem is, this is becoming a pretty bipartisan operation here. The denunciations of Attorney General Gonzales, at -- at least in the Senate -- not so much in the House -- in the Senate, at that last hearing, were across both -- you know, across both parties.

You now have six Republicans calling for him to leave. As -- as Washington goes, that's pretty bipartisan.

COOPER: Jeffrey Toobin, thanks.

TOOBIN: OK, Anderson.

COOPER: Well, the United States is a country of laws, of course. So are the countries we're about to show you.

But, in each of them, people also live by powerful traditions, including those that put family honor above human lives, especially women's lives.

In a moment, you are going to see a young woman murdered by a mob that police say included members of her own family, a so-called honor killing. It happened in northern Iraq. It is ugly to think about, let alone to watch. But it's an important subject to tackle, because it is reality.

Tonight, we're about to tackle that. But, please understand, the images you're about to see are graphic.

Here is CNN's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They call them honor killings, but where is the honor in this?

Last month, in Iraq, a partially clothed 17-year-old, Du'a Khalil, was dragged in a headlock from her home to her death. Thrown on the ground, she is then savagely kicked and stoned, until her last breath.

Men in uniform, apparently security forces, do nothing to stop it. Neither does anyone else, more concerned, it seems, about capturing the so-called honor killing on their cell phone cameras.

MALCOLM SMART, MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PROGRAM DIRECTOR, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: That people could stand by and see such an atrocious act committed, and take no action, I mean, that's complicity.

KAYE: The killing took place in a province in northern Iraq. A top official there tells CNN, Du'a, whose family is Kurdish and belongs to the Yezidi religious sect, had been seen with a Sunni Muslim boy.

Yezidis, who are forbidden to say the word "Satan" and don't allow girls to attend school, also do not approve of mixing outside the faith. HOUZAN MAHMOUD, ORGANIZATION OF WOMEN'S FREEDOM IN IRAQ: The climate, the political and social climate, is such that people can do that in daylight, and that the authorities do nothing to them.

KAYE (on camera): The U.N. and human rights groups believe there are thousands of honor killings worldwide each year. Most occur in the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In fact, dozens have been reported this year in Iraq. Most are spontaneous acts, based on sheer suspicion, without any factual proof.

(voice-over): In the case of Du'a Khalil, she had not married the man, nor had she converted. But her attackers, believing she had, delivered the ultimate punishment.

CNN has learned from a provincial official, four people have been arrested in her murder, including two members of her own family. They are looking for four other men, including one of Du'a's cousins, who is suspected of leading the deadly mob. At least three officers who may have done nothing to stop the killing are being investigated.

In 2002, the Kurdish regional government changed laws that were sympathetic to honor killings.

QUBAD TALABANI, KURDISTAN RELIGIOUS GOVERNMENT: One of the things we're doing is trying to bring more female officers into the police and security organizations. This will give anyone that is a victim of these crimes or feels threatened by these kinds of crimes can feel more comfortable in speaking to a lady officer.

KAYE: That didn't help Du'a, now being mourned around the world. This vigil was held in London's Trafalgar Square, inspired by a teenager, whose only crime appears to have been falling in love.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Mourned around the world, but not, apparently, by members of her own family. It is a sickening tape to watch, a sickening tradition. Death can be the penalty for adultery or simply wanting a divorce.

Either can get a woman killed, or, as we found out recently in Turkey, can get her pressured into killing herself.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): A mother and father point to their daughter's wedding picture. This marriage, they say, cost her, her life. Their daughter Margon (ph) committed suicide, trapped in a marriage she felt she couldn't leave, trapped by a culture in which some women are killed for wanting a divorce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She and her sister always talked about life. She told her sister she didn't like her mother-in-law. When I went to see her after the wedding, she was upset. I asked her how she was doing, but she said she was OK. We wanted to take her back from her husband. But then we learned she died.

COOPER: In Turkey's poor conservative southeast, if a woman is accused of shaming her husband's family by asking for divorce, committing adultery, or even being raped, she risks being murdered. It's called an honor killing, a centuries-old tradition designed to restore a family's honor.

Today, some women are still being killed or pressured into committing suicide. All these women are victims. They won't show their faces on camera, because they still fear retribution from their husband's families.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I went to Istanbul to get a divorce, but I was afraid to come back here, because I would have the same problems. My family here said, if I got a divorce, they would kill me. I tried to kill myself by overdosing on vitamins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): During my marriage, I was stepped on and pushed around, abused by everyone. I told my family, but they said: "You chose it. It's your problem."

So, I took pills to try and kill myself.

COOPER: Suicide rates have skyrocketed in this part of Turkey. And, last June, the United Nations sent a special envoy to investigate. The U.N. concluded that, while many of the deaths were suicides, some were honor killings disguised as a suicide or an accident.

Eager to modernize and join the European Union, Turkey has recently changed its laws, mandating life sentences for men convicted of honor killings. But traditions die hard, and many men here still believe honor killings are justified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are bound by the rules. If a woman runs away, she must be killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Good name is more important than the penalty. We don't care about the penalty. A good name is the most important thing in our world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of the times, it's nothing that the woman does willingly that stains the honor.

COOPER: Julia Krittian (ph) is a German journalist who has reported on honor killings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are all these histories of women being raped by their brothers or their fathers. It's always the fault of the woman, never the fault of the man. And the woman is the one who has to bear the consequences.

COOPER: For Margon's (ph) mother and father, the consequences of her death are deeply felt. Their daughter is gone, but the pain still lingers. And this photo is just about all they have to remember her by.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: The brutality of these murders are clear. Now so is the scope. Here's the "Raw Data."

The United Nations estimates that about 5,000 women fall victim every year to these so-called honor killings, and many more, as you just saw, commit suicide. Most, but not all incidents, involve Muslims. Moderate religious scholars point out that there is nothing in the Koran that specifically sanctions honor killings.

Joining me now is Farida Deif. She's an expert in gender-based violence in the Middle East and a researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Thanks for being with us.

FARIDA DEIF, WOMEN'S RIGHTS DIVISION MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA RESEARCHER, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Thank you.

COOPER: How -- how are honor killings? I mean, are -- are they usually this brutal, a woman literally dragged from -- from her home and stoned in front of a crowd?

DEIF: They are usually quite brutal.

But I think what's distinct about Du'a Khalil's case particular was the very public nature of the crime. Generally, they're done in a very clandestine way. Family members will try and cover up the murder, claim that it was a suicide, an accidental death.

But, in fact, in this case, it was extremely public, with about 100 eyewitnesses to the abuse.

COOPER: Not just eyewitnesses, people egging them on, if not throwing stones. And we saw members of the security forces there.

It certainly doesn't send the right message, if -- the Kurdish national government is talking about changing laws to be more sympathetic victims of honor killings. When the police are standing there watching, and/or may be involved, how do you actually stop this?

DEIF: I mean, clearly -- clearly, there needs to be an investigation into the security officers that actually stood by, failed to intervene to save her life, failed to arrest any individuals that were perpetrating these crimes.

And, so, there needs to be, you know -- you know, penalties, to the highest extent of the law, for these actions and for this complicity. And what we see sort of throughout the region, unfortunately, is that there no such prosecution for these crimes.

We have see men who have perpetrated these abuses get a six-month sentence, and be released. And, clearly, the message there is that men can abuse women with virtual impunity. There's really no deterrent, when men actually are not receiving a high sentence, and don't receive a sentence in the same severity as they would for committing any other violent crime.

COOPER: You know, I mean, I looked -- I have watched, looked at this tape now a lot today. And it -- it's so sickening. And -- and, yet, it -- I mean, the reason we played it is, we think it's important for people to realize the reality of -- of what is going on and to see that -- that this is all very real.

Are there other members of the family which don't want their family member killed? Or, usually, does a whole family kind of get together, and agree, and say, this is what has to be done? Or is it just a few members, a few males in the family?

DEIF: Well, you know, it really depends on the case.

I mean, there have been instances, in fact, in which women family members have committed these acts or been complicit in these actions as well. And, so, it -- you know, it depends on the actual situation.

But what you see is that, to a certain degree, there is a certain level of societal acceptance for, you know, violence against women in crimes of this nature. But, you know, clearly, there is a real manipulation of culture and of religion to somehow justify and legitimize these crimes, and create victims, you know, seemingly as -- you know, claim that these women are sort of legitimate targets for these crimes.

And, clearly, that's -- that's really a -- a way to kind of denigrate these cultures and these religions by justifying these really heinous acts in this way.

COOPER: Well, I mean, some religious scholars will say, look, there's nothing in the Koran which -- which allows this. But, at the same time, there -- often, you hear religious justification from -- from the people involved in this. I mean, they feel that they have religious backing to do this.

DEIF: And I think that's why it's -- it's very important for religious leaders throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and throughout the world, really, to speak out against these crimes against women, to, you know, speak out against violence against women generally, including honor crimes, to make it quite clear to believers that, in fact, this is alien to the faith; this is a travesty; it's a crime; and it's something that should not be tolerated and is not tolerated.

And, of course, there is also a very strong role to be played by governments as well, in terms of being very vocal that, you know, they are not going to tolerate any type of vigilante justice, that, you know, the perpetrators of these crimes are going to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And, so, they're really a role for both the government and religious leaders throughout the region.

COOPER: And it seems like we're far away from that happening.

Farida Deif, appreciate you being with us. Thank you very much.

DEIF: Thank you.

COOPER: Straight ahead tonight: a serious issue that 100 percent of Democrats and Republicans agree on.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice-over): Republicans and Democrats singing the same blues.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: I was disappointed.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Disappointed.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: A great disappointment.

COOPER: Question: What do they all agree on?

And what reminds Joe Biden of a rosary and John McCain of enchiladas? Answers ahead in "Raw Politics."

Also tonight: toxic spinach, tainted beef. Who's looking out for you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the food is very safe in this country.

COOPER: So he says. But, then, why are people still getting sick? And why is enforcement down?

We're "Keeping Them Honest" -- tonight on 360.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Straight to "Raw Politics" now, never so raw as when war is on the menu.

Our chef tonight, CNN's Candy Crowley.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CROWLEY: In "Raw Politics" tonight, Anderson: Deal or no deal? No deal on the Iraq spending bill. In their first meeting with White House aides and Hill Republicans, Democratic leaders still wanted a timetable attached to the spending bill, but said the president could essentially ignore it, if he wanted -- White House answer: No.

JOSH BOLTEN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: It was not the exchange we had hoped for.

PELOSI: The meeting was disappointing.

CROWLEY: And that was it for the day -- next step, another meeting. Take one poll, and ask me again in the morning. But, for now, a poll of Iowa caucus-goers shows Republicans McCain, Giuliani and Romney in a statistical tie. That means a point one way or the other, and it's dead even. The same poll has Clinton and Edwards virtually tied, which may sound good for Edwards, but he has staked a lot of time and money in Iowa. Obama runs third, Bill Richardson a distant fourth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you doing?

CROWLEY: Bill who? You will have another chance to get acquainted with the New Mexico governor Monday, when he officially announces his already-up-and-running campaign.

Not many votes, but plenty of symbolism, as Hillary Clinton visits New Orleans' abandoned Ninth Ward, while her husband, the former president, spoke to South Carolina's NAACP. This is called double-teaming the courtship of black voters.

It's commencement season, and you know what that means: lots of talking politicians -- of interest this weekend, former Republican revolution manager Newt Gingrich at Liberty University, home of Reverend Jerry Falwell, who died earlier this week.

Falwell issued the invitation in March, after Gingrich publicly confessed to carrying on an affair during the Clinton impeachment, saying he had been on his knees asking for forgiveness. Falwell said, at the time, he was very impressed with Gingrich's spiritual maturity and certain that he was sincere. In the political sphere, Gingrich's mea culpa was widely interpreted as clearing the decks for a presidential run.

And our fave, the ongoing Associated Press series of questions to candidates, this one: What item most reminds you of where you came from?

Answers range from Joe Biden's rosary beads, to John McCain's enchiladas.

And that, Anderson, is "Raw Politics."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Enchiladas, how about that?

Don't miss "Raw Politics" and the day's headlines with the new daily podcast. You don't need an iPod. You can watch it on your computer at CNN.com/AC360podcast, or get it from the iTunes store, where it is a top download.

Whoosh. Whoosh.

Erica Hill joins us now with a 360 bulletin -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, crews in Florida seem to be getting a handle on the biggest of the dozens of wildfires burning throughout the state. Some people are being allowed to return home in northeast Florida, where more than 120,000 acres burned. Still, firefighters are worried strong, dry winds forecast for the weekend could fuel the flames.

Ferrets, the latest pets at risk -- food for the little critters has now been added to the nationwide pet food recall. Chenango Valley Pet Foods found its ferret food could have been tainted by other contaminated pet foods. Chenango is also recalling seven additional varieties of dog and cat food.

And, in New Mexico, a tranquilizer dart for a walk-in at a health clinic. The patient? A young black bear that waltzed through an automatic door, much to the shock of clinic staff. The tranquilized bear was latest released in nearby mountains. And, in the words of a state game official -- quote -- "Visiting hours are over for that bear."

How about that?

COOPER: Ba-dum-bah.

HILL: You would think that we were going to show you the bear on a trampoline next, but no.

(LAUGHTER)

HILL: I have something better.

COOPER: OK.

HILL: We have all been wondering what the ladies at the center of the Barbie bandit issue there have been thinking for quite some time.

Well, now, apparently, we're going to find out what they were thinking -- the so-called Barbie bandits speaking out. Who could forget the shades, as they held up a bank in -- allegedly held up a bank in Georgia back in February.

They say it all started as a joke. Things, though, literally got out of hand when the teller, who has also been charged in the heist, fumbled the cash.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA")

HEATHER JOHNSTON, DEFENDANT: And it was, like, going everywhere. So, I was pushing it. Ashley was grabbing it and putting it -- throwing it in the bag. And then...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands of dollars?

JOHNSTON: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was the first thing the two of you decided to do with the money?

JOHNSTON: Go straight to the mall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Well, like, why not?

COOPER: Oh, my God. We totally were going to go just straight to the mall.

HILL: Totally. And, then, the first stop when they got to the mall was to get some highlights. And then they went shopping.

But this is my favorite part that I learned recently.

COOPER: Yes?

HILL: Then, they, like, gave some money, like, to the homeless.

COOPER: Oh, that is so nice.

HILL: Isn't that totally nice?

COOPER: Yes, totally.

HILL: Yes.

COOPER: Yes.

HILL: They're both free on bond on right now, by the way.

COOPER: Yes, as if.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Erica, thank you.

HILL: For sure.

COOPER: For sure.

Now here's Kiran Chetry with what's coming up on Monday on "AMERICAN MORNING" -- Kiran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Anderson.

Here's something to think about as you head off into the weekend. How much are you spending at the grocery store? Prices are headed up. And it's not just because of gas prices. We're live on the farms of California to help figure out why we're all paying a bit more.

That's Monday on "AMERICAN MORNING," beginning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern -- Anderson.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Kiran, thanks.

Ahead on 360: from immigration, to the attorney general, to the campaign trail, plenty more politics to discuss. We will get some insight from David Gergen and Mark Halperin.

Plus: How safe was the food you put on the dinner table tonight? The FDA may say it's fine, but there's reason to be concerned.

We're "Keeping Them Honest" -- when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: With the threat of a no confidence vote over his head, Alberto Gonzales might soon sport a new title, former attorney general. But when push comes to shove, of course, it is his boss, the president, who's going to decide whether to shove or keep him on.

With more on that and more political hot topics, David Gergen, an advisor of four presidents, Republican and Democrat, and Mark Halperin, editor-at-large and senior political analyst for "TIME" magazine. Good to have you both on the program.

David, there's a lot of talk about impeachment for Alberto Gonzales or a no confidence vote. Does any of that mean anything, as long as the president still supports him?

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR: Absolutely. When we've got a half-dozen Republican senators now who have spoken out and said he ought to resign. Another half dozen, including Arlen Specter, the top Republican on the judiciary committee, have basically, implicitly, saying he's got to go.

The president will, I think, concede one day soon, maybe -- maybe not quite soon. But he's going to concede, just as he did to the pressure on Paul Wolfowitz.

COOPER: So you think -- you think Gonzales is going to go?

GERGEN: I think it's just a matter of time. It's -- there's -- you know, there was a time maybe about a week ago when it looked like he might survive the firings of the U.S. attorneys.

But now, we've had the -- it's basically three strikes and you're out. He's got one strike against him by the U.S. attorneys. He's got another strike about whether his team politicized the career officials at the Justice Department in terms of their appointments.

And now, thirdly, we've got this strike here that came this week with Mr. Comey, the No. 2 at the Justice Department, formerly, very respected, you know, gave this dramatic testimony about this harrowing race to the hospital with the critically ill John Ashcroft, to head off Gonzales before he got Mr. Ashcroft to sign a piece of paper on his illegal -- this wiretapping.

So I think all of that has left the Republicans on Capitol Hill eager to see him go. And it's just a question now of working it out. COOPER: Mark, do you agree with that? That it's only a question of time?

MARK HALPERIN, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Until about 48 seconds ago I was pretty sure that he was going to stay. David was pretty convincing there, running through that list.

I think that President Bush plays by different rules, even as a lame duck, even with weak poll numbers. If he wants someone to stay, unless they're willing to impeach him, and I don't think they'd have the votes to do that, he can stay.

I do think, though, David's right, that there's been a tipping point in the last couple days, more Republicans going public. And I suspect Republicans, including Arlen Specter, the senior Republican on judiciary -- on the judiciary committee, telling the White House this is a non-starter.

They do have to find someone who can be confirmed. They do have to find someone they'd be comfortable with. And that's a challenge. I don't think they've turned to that, but I predict they will soon.

COOPER: It's Friday night at 10:30. It's the perfect time for a document dump or a resignation, you know, dead of the night. So maybe we'll keep you guys around until midnight. David...

HALPERIN: And for the west coast feed later.

COOPER: Exactly. There you go.

This week, one of the -- David, you know, one of the leading Christian conservative voices, James Dobson, came out and said he would not vote for Giuliani under any circumstances.

He wrote, quote, "Like Bill Clinton, who told us glibly that he wanted abortion to be 'safe, legal and rare', Rudy wanted conservatives to believe he had undergone some kind of an election eve conversion, more or less. I don't believe conserve voters whose support he seeks will be impressed."

How big a blow is Dobson's vote of no confidence in Giuliani?

GERGEN: It's serious. He generally went after him about his positions on issues. But he also dragged him through the mud personally. He talked about his -- you know, his personal life in a very derogatory way.

It's as we were saying earlier this week, Anderson. You know, Rudy Giuliani, I think by all accounts now, won that debate earlier this week among all the Republicans.

But it remains true that the conservative evangelicals have a veto, a significant veto power over who gets nominated by this party. And Rudy Giuliani is in some trouble with them now. So you know, Dobson was saying, essentially, "Look, if you guys want to go ahead and nominate him, you can do that. But I'm probably going to stay home. I won't vote."

That also means there won't be a lot of evangelical volunteers out there, who made a huge difference in electing George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004.

COOPER: Mark, does the change in the primary calendar benefit Giuliani? I mean, you have New York, New Jersey and California, holding their primaries early on Feb 5th. If Giuliani performs well in those states, does that overcome a lack of evangelical support?

HALPERIN: I think that a change in the calendar gives him a chance to be the nominee. But it still remains to be seen whether somebody cannot do well in the earlier states, Iowa and New Hampshire and the others that will vote before those bigger states, and still be the nominee. I think that's a tough challenge.

David is right: they have close to a veto. But they don't have an absolute veto. Remember, this is a, by all accounts, weak Republican field. Giuliani has to be a flawed candidate, like Mitt Romney and like John McCain. I still think it's a big challenge.

I think his biggest challenge is not Dobson. It's not the abortion issue, per se. It's they don't seem prepared for this stuff. They don't seem to have thought it through. They don't seem to have a game plan. They don't seem to have a strategy for taking it on. I think that's a real problem and a real surprise.

GERGEN: Yes, Mark -- and Anderson, Mark he was also underscoring something that's really important here. As Rudy Giuliani has taken -- has been more forthright about his positions on abortion and on gay rights and the like, especially abortion.

There's also been a shift in strategy. So it appears they're not taking those early states seriously. And if he were to not come out on top in the four early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada and South Carolina, that puts him in a pretty far down position, I think, going into the big February 5 period.

COOPER: Interesting. David Gergen, appreciate it, and Mark Halperin, great to have you on. Thank you very much.

GERGEN: Thank you.

HALPERIN: Thank you.

COOPER: Coming up tonight, what it feels like moment by moment to spend a month in Iraq, a 360 special. You can see it at the top of our next hour, 11 p.m.

But up next tonight, we talk with the shadowy men who build rockets and then fire them at civilians.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice-over): They land without warning, spreading death and destruction, Palestinian rockets. Now, an exclusive look at where they come from and who makes them.

Also tonight, toxic spinach, tainted beef. Who's looking out for you?

ROBERT BRACKETT, FDA FOOD SAFETY CHIEF: I think the food is very safe in this country.

COOPER: So he says. But then why are people still getting sick? And why is enforcement down? "Keeping Them Honest" tonight on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: There was a huge explosion this week between two archrival politic groups in Gaza, Fatah and Hamas. Now, Gaza City appears to be on the edge of civil war. Street battles have killed more than 50 people. The resort area now looks likes a war zone.

Who exactly is fighting? It's confusing. So let's start with Hamas, where an Islamic movement backed by Syria and Iran. They want to create an Islamic state and destroy Israel. The U.S. and the European Union considers them a terrorist group.

In January 2006, Hamas won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections. That pushed Fatah, the main party of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, out of power for the first time in history.

Fatah was created in the 1950s to lead the Palestinian national movement. Mahmoud Abbas is the current leader. Fatah and Hamas recently formed a unity government, but hardliners on both sides have sabotaged the alliance.

To complicate things, Hamas fighters have been firing rockets into Israel, triggering air strikes. They're the same rockers Hamas fired into Israel from Lebanon last year.

CNN's Ben Wedeman reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The rockets have slammed into the Israel town of Sderot for years, crude weapons that spread mayhem and terror. And in the last three years killed 17 Israelis, wounded and traumatized many, many more.

And last year, I saw first-hand how they're made.

In a nondescript hovel somewhere in Gaza, masked men mix a witches' brew of chemicals. This is a rocket workshop, where members of the Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, under strict secrecy, go about their deadly business.

To get to the workshop, we changed cars three times, riding in one with the group's gunman. We were blindfolded in the last one.

The chief engineer, masked to protect his identity, goes by the name Ahmed (ph). With chilling professionalism, he explains how they melt aluminum to melt the rocket's components, how they mix the toxic ingredients for the propellant in this basin.

"One of our guys was killed by these chemicals," he says.

The mixture is then put in plastic tubs to dry in the sun. Eventually, it becomes a fine white powder.

Abu Ahmed (ph) declines to say what they use to make the propellant. "Because the enemy is always on the lookout to stop us getting the materials," he tells me.

The powder is heated and stirred over a fire until it turns into a gritty paste.

(on camera) The group says they can make as many as 50 rockets a week, and ironically, almost all the raw materials they use come from Israel.

(voice-over) For extra lethal effect, they pack parcels of metal shards into the warheads. These are crude weapons, without guidance systems, designed to inflict maximum casualties.

The militant group Hamas is now bombarding Israel communities near the Gaza border with similar missiles, and Israel officials believe Hamas has developed new generation rockets with even greater ranges.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Extraordinary pictures.

Ahead on 360, panic in a zoo when a gorilla gets a little too close to visitors. How close? That's our "Shot of the Day".

Plus, watch what you eat. Your food might not be as safe as you think. A disturbing report. We'll "Keep Them Honest" when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Last night it was fish and pigs. Tonight, it is chickens, about 80,000 chickens, to be exact. Tonight, the FDA declared them safe to eat. They were given feed containing tainted ingredients from China, and that's how close we came to being exposed.

We may have dodged a bullet this time. But what's to keep us safe the next time? That question is the focus of an hour-long CNN investigation airing this weekend. Tonight we get a preview from CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Last year, contaminated spinach sickened more than 200 people and killed at least three. Remarkably, it is the 20th outbreak of E. coli in salad greens, just since 1995.

Despite that record, the Food and Drug Administration had issued only warning letters to growers. I went to talk with the FDA's food safety chief.

(on camera) Is our food safe in this country?

BRACKETT: I think the food is very safe, by and large. And in fact, according to CDC statistics, it appears to be even getting safer over the last few years.

GUPTA: Can I say that it's safer than it was last year?

BRACKETT: We've got a better indication of where the problems might be, so we're watching for it. But until we identify exactly where it's coming from and exactly which action should be put in place, we'll have to wait and just see if bad luck happens again.

GUPTA (voice-over): Inspectors had been at the plant that handled the tainted spinach just weeks before the outbreak last summer, and they found no problems. But the FDA had never been visited the farm where the E. coli turned up. They don't inspect fields at all unless there's an outbreak.

(on camera) If it had been tested on the farm or at the plant or anywhere along the way, this may have been found?

BRACKETT: It may have. But that's really a needle in a haystack proposition. It may have only been on one small area. So unless one could test and know exactly where to test, the likelihood is that you would have missed it anyway.

GUPTA (voice-over): Despite the rash of high profile outbreaks since 2003, FDA documents show the number of federal food safety food inspections is down by a third.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Sanjay's special, "Danger: Poisoned Food", airs on CNN this Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern.

You know, often, we tell you about problems that aren't being fixed. We call those segments "Keeping Them Honest".

Well, tonight, we have a chance to do the opposite. A school in Miami with out of control kids. That is, until a security guard offered to help.

CNN's Randi Kaye shows us how this remarkable man is giving 360.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Every morning before school starts, 12-year-old Anthony Brown meets with some of his fifth grade classmates and his school security guard. He admits he used to be a handful.

ANTHONY BROWN, STUDENT: I used to get in trouble a lot with -- concerning the officers (ph) and disrespecting my teachers and wanting to be the class clown and everything else.

KAYE: But that was before a mentoring program called M-LOT, short for Male Leaders of Tomorrow, started by Fredrick Douglass Elementary School security guard Shannon Pierce.

SHANNON PIERCE, FOUNDER, M-LOT: I had to find a way to put discipline inside of those boys.

KAYE: In the beginning, Pierce served as a reading tutor. But later he teamed up with math teacher Vernard Prass and took M-LOT beyond schoolwork, showing the 12 boys of M-Lot what life is like outside Miami's inner cities.

They've taken the boys on field trips to wealthy areas and regularly have guest speakers talk to the boys during lunchtime. They even organized a formal dinner last Christmas to teach the boys proper etiquette.

PIERCE: I just wanted to see -- you know, to let them know that there's other things other than the area they live in.

VERNARD PRASS, TEACHER: It was -- to see their eyes light up and to know that there is, you know, hope. I need a volunteer for the next question, please.

KAYE: Everyone at the school has seen the boys' remarkable transformations, including their principal. And she gives much of the credit to Pierce.

CATHLEEN MCGINNIS, PRINCIPAL: Reading scores went up, self- esteem went up, conduct went up. And I think the biggest thing was that the boys learned how to solve problems.

KAYE: Anthony's noticed the change, too.

BROWN: I feel that I'm doing something right. And I just feel better about myself.

A simple idea with great results.

Ahead on 360, close encounters with a silver backed gorilla. A mad rush when one of them breaks loose at a zoo. It's our "Shot of the Day".

And in our next hour, an intense, behind-the-scenes look at what it's like, really like, covering the war in Iraq. A viewpoint rarely seen. Stories you won't forget. A 360 special report, "Month of "Mayhem". Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Our "Shot of the Day" is coming up, the day at the zoo turned into mayhem after a 400 pound gorilla got loose. First, Erica Hill joins us with a "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Anderson, the Army confirmed the identity of a fourth soldier killed in an ambush south of Baghdad last Saturday. Twenty-three-year-old Sergeant Anthony Schober died in the attack.

He joined the Army when he was just 17, and this was his fourth tour in Iraq.

A massive search continues for the four soldiers who are still missing.

In New York, an arrest as that church attack, which was caught on tape. We first reported it to you last night.

Don Michael Petry was arrested after an off-duty firefighter saw him riding a bike, will recognize him from the news coverage and call the police.

On Wall Street, stocks up again this Friday, the Dow gaining almost 80 points to end at a record 13,556. The NASDAQ rose 19. The S&P finished the day up 10.

Although who needs stock when you've got sunken treasure? Deep sea explorers say they have mined what could be the richest shipwreck in history. They hired a charter jet to bring home -- get this -- 17 tons of colonial era silver and gold coins from an undisclosed site in the Atlantic Ocean.

The estimated value here: $500 million. How about that?

COOPER: Wow. That's a lot of colonial silver.

HILL: Not bad for a day's work. That is. Paul Revere would be impressed.

COOPER: Take a look at the "Shot of the Day". This is what it was like moments after a 400-pound gorilla escaped from his enclosure at a zoon in the Netherlands. He's sort of there covered by the tree. People running. Can you imagine the panic these parents were feeling, trying to get their kids to safety?

HILL: I'd be freaking out.

COOPER: Let's take a better look at what they were running from. Bokito is an 11-year-old silver backed gorilla. It's not clear how he got over the stone wall surrounding his enclosure and over the moat. He bit a woman. He injured three other people before he was shot with a sedative dart.

They are huge, huge animals.

HILL: They are. He didn't look very happy. And I know you've had a run-in with a gorilla before. In fact, I think we have a clip of that, don't we?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have a gorilla.

COOPER: I can feel -- I can feel the gorilla behind me. Any advice on....

HILL: Just ignore her.

COOPER: Ignore her?

HILL: Just ignore her.

COOPER: She's now smelling my armpit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: How easy is it to ignore a gorilla?

COOPER: Yes, it's not that easy. But luckily, that was not a silver back. That was a baby. The silver backs are just huge, and it must be very scary.

Erica, we want you to send us your "Shot" ideas, not just your, Erica Hill. If you see -- our viewers out there -- see some amazing video, tell us about it: CNN.com/360. Don't try to get close to a gorilla,, though, to get some clips. We'll put the best clips on the air.

Good advice. Up next on 360, a side of war reporting rarely seen. CNN's Michael Holmes puts a human face on the casualties of war. He shares his personal, behind the scenes account of life in Iraq. A 360 special report is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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