Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Obama Prepares to Go Global; Bill Clinton on Board?
Aired July 17, 2008 - 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: Tonight, Barack Obama going global, to Europe, the Middle East, with stops expected as well in Afghanistan and Iraq. We will look at what he hopes to gain, what he stands to lose.
And new developments concerning American troops in Afghanistan. It turns out help may not be on the way anytime soon.
Also ahead, Bill is on board. Bill Clinton today promising to do anything that Barack Obama wants. The big question, what can he really deliver out on the trail?
Later, why so many law-abiding citizens find themselves on the nation's terror watch list, now a million names long. CNN's Drew Griffin's name is on it. Was it because of his reporting critical on the TSA? Today, on Capitol Hill, a leading lawmaker asked that question to the head of Homeland Security. We will show you what he had to say about it himself.
And the mystery of Nancy Cooper. Her husband says she went for a jog, but never came back. Now she's dead and fingers are pointing at the husband and others, even though police say he's not a suspect. A judge, however, has denied his custody -- has denied him custody of his own kids -- all the latest developments in a heart-wrenching mystery, though we begin with new developments that could make a life- and-death difference to the troops in Afghanistan, America's forgotten war.
For a brief moment yesterday, it appeared help would soon be on the way. Instead, Tonight, CNN learned that the men and women there will not be getting reinforcements this fall, reinforcements that were all but promised yesterday by no less than the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Senior military sources telling CNN's Jamie McIntyre they simply don't have any combat forces to spare.
With that as the backdrop, Barack Obama is expected to travel there shortly, the schedule itself a tightly held secret, part of a tour of Europe, the Middle East and Iraq, all next week, a trip that is meant the bolster Obama's international credentials, at a time when many voters see that as one of his biggest weaknesses.
Details from CNN's Candy Crowley.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barack Obama's European trip is the campaign trail via satellite, pictures for the rhetoric back home.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will restore our moral standing in the world.
CROWLEY: From Jordan to Israel, to Germany, France, and England, it is a postcard journey, images for the hesitant to show that this 46-year-old politician, a virtual unknown overseas, is up to a lead role on the international stage. The questions, is he tough enough to stand up for America, graceful enough to improve her image?
SEN. EVAN BAYH (D), INDIANA: Well, the message to voters back home is that he is focused on being a strong, effective commander in chief. He's going to rehabilitate our image across the world.
CROWLEY: Or, as the McCain camp calls it, a political photo-op.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because, if you have political rallies, then it's a political event.
CROWLEY: But McCain, with his credentials at the core of his campaign, has saved his sharpest salvos for Obama's expected trip through Afghanistan and Iraq. He pounds Obama as a neophyte, criticizing him for suggesting that Iraq has distracted the U.S. from Afghanistan.
MCCAIN: To somehow disconnect it from Afghanistan shows again incredible naivete.
CROWLEY: And now an eight-minute video full of what the campaign sees as flip-flops from Obama, his current call to withdraw from Iraq in 16 months up against this from 2004.
OBAMA: We have got to make sure that we secure and execute the rebuilding and reconstruction process effectively and properly. And I don't think we should have an artificial deadline when to do that.
CROWLEY: Domestic politics aside, there are other reasons Obama takes this journey. Unlike McCain, well-known and well-traveled overseas, Obama is a question mark, still a curiosity.
His trip is not just about impressions he sends home, but the ones he leaves behind, in short, a trip to answer the question, does he seem tough enough to stand up for American interests and graceful enough to improve America's image, a potent issue on the Democratic campaign trail?
OBAMA: People are ashamed. They love this country, and they want their cherished values and ideals restored.
CROWLEY: Obama is looking for counterpoint images to this, angry street demonstrations that often come with President Bush's overseas travel. He is not there to push policy or promise it, but, unlike John McCain, who is well-known and well-traveled overseas, for Obama, this is about first impressions, not just the ones he sends back home, but also the ones he leaves behind with European officials.
ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL EDITOR: I mean, people have been saying to me, look, this guy's only been in national politics for three years, let alone international politics. We don't really know quite exactly what he's going to do.
CROWLEY: It is not a trip without political risk. It comes amidst mortgage meltdowns and gas price explosions at home. He could look out of touch. And the Europe card has to be played carefully for a domestic audience. He could look too cozy. And he could fuel, rather than douse, the commander in chief questions. He could make a mistake.
But they bank on picture-perfect. His campaign would be over the moon if Obama returns with this kind of buzz.
OAKLEY: I was talking to a former British foreign secretary this week, and he said, it's like JFK and Camelot. He said, it may not be justified. It may not be sensible, but that feeling is there.
CROWLEY: And that may be the biggest risk of this trip, all those great expectations.
COOPER: One other note: John McCain himself has refused to echo his campaign's criticisms of the Obama trip. However, he has been hammering Senator Obama's legislative record on Afghanistan.
Here's what he said just two days ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: He has been chairman of the committee, of the subcommittee that oversights NATO operations. Afghanistan, we obviously know about NATO involvement. He's never had a hearing. He's never had a hearing. I mean, so, I'm not surprised that all he's done is said, well, we need more troops.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Democrats have been quick to point out that Senator McCain doesn't mention his own record. The Senate Armed Services Committee held six hearings on Afghanistan over the last two years. Senator McCain is a member of that committee, but didn't attend a single one of those meetings.
Late tonight, a spokesman for McCain confirmed that, but said it misses the point. The campaign isn't attacking Obama on attendance, he said. It's attacking him on his leadership, or lack thereof, in their opinion.
"Digging Deeper" on the situation in Afghanistan on the ground and Obama's trip, Candy Crowley joins me, along with CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, author of "The Osama bin Laden I Know." Peter is in Kabul tonight. I think you saw his signal going in and out. We hope he can join us. Also, Sebastian Junger, who spent many months this year and last with U.S. troops in Afghanistan as a contributing editor for "Vanity Fair."
Sebastian, from what you have seen, are there enough U.S. forces there? Are there enough resources being put into Afghanistan?
SEBASTIAN JUNGER, "VANITY FAIR": I think that's difficult to say.
I mean, the Russians had 130,000 men there, and they lost the war. So, it's not a question of sheer numbers.
COOPER: What have you learned from -- you have spent time focusing on one unit in a very dangerous part, in Kunar Province, which is close to where the attack took place just last week.
JUNGER: Yes, I was in one valley, the Korengal Valley, with one platoon for a whole year -- I mean, off and on for a whole year.
On the ground, tactically, the American soldiers are pretty superb. And I saw over the course of a year that they really learned to sort of adapt their tactics to the enemy. And they really had quite a lot of success in that valley.
The problem, I think, -- and this is -- I have a little peephole on the war through that valley, but just my general opinion -- and this reflects a lot of the soldiers' opinions -- Pakistan is an enormous problem.
COOPER: Because Pakistan is basically a safe haven for these Taliban militants, al Qaeda to just go back and forth?
JUNGER: I mean, more than just a safe haven. The opinion really is that the insurgents are actively helped by the military apparatus in Pakistan. So, it's not just a safe haven. They're actively given support.
And that -- as long as that is true -- the opinion over there among the soldiers is, as long as that is true, the U.S. army will have to be there forever.
COOPER: Because the -- they're able to go back and forth across the border, no problem, no questions asked.
JUNGER: That's right.
COOPER: Peter, Obama has called for up to 10,000 more troops. McCain has called for more troops as well, though, in the past, he has focused on NATO troops. Is more troops the answer?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, certainly, more troops can't hurt.
I mean, this is one of the most under-resourced wars the United States has been involved in since World War II, both in terms of boots on the ground and also in terms of money that -- for reconstruction. So, obviously, more troops will help, but they it has to be the right kind of troops, not just national reserve soldiers who may have had no experience here. You really want people who are on their second or third tour. You really want people who can act as advisers to the Afghan army. You want special forces. So, you -- and also you want the right kind of strategy. So, all those things, of course, would help the situation here -- Anderson.
COOPER: Candy, the press coverage on this upcoming trip is going to be intense, rightly or wrongly. John McCain takes trips to Iraq. It certainly doesn't get this kind of coverage.
Is this fair? As you said in your piece, it's basically an international photo-op for a political audience back home.
CROWLEY: Well, you know, politics, like love, isn't fair.
Absolutely, there are campaigns that complain all the time about the lack of coverage. But, listen, they also understand this. This is a big deal for Barack Obama, because voters have not seen him on this international stage. They have seen John McCain there. Therefore, in some ways, it plays into McCain's basis of his campaign, which is, look, I have got the credentials.
I have been around. I know these people. I can work with these people. So, you're right. McCain's trip abroad didn't get nearly the attention. And he didn't actually need to take the trip abroad to kind of show his credentials. So, it works both ways.
COOPER: Sebastian, the unit you're with in Kunar that you have been with now for months on and off, what is the biggest difficulty for them? I mean, why is it so tough for them? They're basically this small little outpost. And the outpost that was overrun, was being set up last week, a small little outpost, it's surrounded by people who don't want them there, it seems.
JUNGER: Well, the -- it's complicated. The locals are sort of ambivalent. But they're not dead set against the Americans. Some of them are very, very friendly. And they recognize that the Americans bring in road projects and things like that.
And a lot of them really don't like the Taliban. So, it's a little like having the police come into a tough neighborhood and clean it up. The locals there maybe don't like the police, but they're glad they're there. It's a little analogous to that.
The biggest problem that I could see is that this is a six-mile- long valley. There aren't that many men in it. It's extremely brutal terrain. I mean, it's high up in the mountains. And the Americans are carrying 120, 140 pounds. And they just -- they just can't move around very easily.
That was the biggest problem that I just experienced accompanying them into battle and on patrol.
COOPER: Peter, the other thing in Iraq, which, Peter, you were just in Iraq a couple of weeks ago, Obama system he's going to withdraw combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of his presidency. He's going to talk to commanders on the ground.
The people you have talked to on the ground in Iraq, are they comfortable with that timetable?
BERGEN: Well, I think, if you look at what Senator Obama is proposing, he's talking about a residual force that would be there. And if you do the math on that residual force, counterterrorism operations, quick-reaction force, protecting the embassy, protecting the supply routes, et cetera, you're looking at a fairly substantial number of soldiers, Anderson, 30,000, 50,000.
So, although he's been careful not to be explicit about what the size of that residual force is, I think the residual force is going to look a lot like what we have got in Afghanistan right now, Anderson. So, whether or not people are comfortable with the timetable or not, that's -- I'm not really sure how that pulls.
BERGEN: But I think it's important to understand that residual force implies a pretty strong, robust presence for the foreseeable future.
COOPER: Candy, Peter makes an incredibly important point. Obama doesn't talk about 40,000, 50,000 troops into this residual force. When people hear residual force, they think probably a couple thousand.
He's in a tough spot on Iraq. If he changes his mind on the timetable or if he talks about the size of a residual force, he angers his anti-war supporters. And if he goes on this trip, and it does not make any kind of impact on his policies, then he gets criticized for just having a photo-on.
And that's the huge risk here in the trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. And it's really what the McCain campaign has been pounding home, saying, wait a second. He's got -- already has a plan for Iraq and Afghanistan. He says he's going to stick with it, so why even go on a fact-finding mission?
So, the McCain campaign has found that kind of soft spot. And they will continue to hammer at it. But you're right. If he should say, listen, I have looked at what is here on the ground, and I think maybe I do need to kind of restrategize here, he just sets off the anti-war base. It's -- I don't know -- the life of a politician.
COOPER: Yes. We have got to move along.
Candy Crowley, thank you, Peter Bergen. Sebastian Junger, it's always good to have you on. And we would love to have you back on and just talk about what you have seen and highlights from the efforts of these troops.
JUNGER: Love to. Love to.
In other political news tonight, former President Bill Clinton finally said in public what his party has been waiting to hear. In New York the , he told reporters he's eager to hit the campaign trail on behalf of Barack Obama and is just waiting for the word on when and there.
For anyone who has ever wondered what ice sounds like when it thaws, now you know. The big chill between Bill Clinton and Obama has apparently ended, but what exactly does Obama gain from it?
CNN's Gary Tuchman has the "Raw Politics."
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: We may have started on separate paths, but today, our paths have merged.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Hillary Clinton endorsed Barack Obama in the town of Unity, New Hampshire, the name of the town seemed to be most appropriate, but many wondered, was Bill Clinton's absence from the event from the event the sign of a lack of unity?
Listen to his response three ago to this reporter's question.
QUESTION: President Clinton, will you be endorsing Barack Obama?
TUCHMAN: No response. But now he's responding.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, I will do whatever I'm asked to do whenever I can do it.
TUCHMAN: The former president has now talked with the man who he would to see as the future president.
B. CLINTON: We had a good talk. And he said he wanted me to campaign with him. And I said I was eager to do so. And, you know, he's busier than I am on politics, anyway. So, I just told him that, whenever he wanted to do it, I was ready. And, so, it's basically on their timetable. He's got a lot of things to do between now and the convention.
TUCHMAN: This is certainly a different-sounding Bill Clinton than the one we sometimes heard during the primary campaign. For example, when asked about Barack Obama stressing his early opposition to the Iraq war: B. CLINTON: Give me a break.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
B. CLINTON: This whole thing is a biggest fairy tale I have ever seen.
TUCHMAN: And, in South Carolina, he got heat when he used Jesse Jackson's name to downplay Barack Obama's accomplishments.
B. CLINTON: Jesse Jackson won in South Carolina twice, '84 and '88. And he ran a good campaign. And Senator Obama has run a good campaign.
TUCHMAN: Interestingly, Bill Clinton talked about Jesse Jackson today, too.
REVEREND JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: I want cut his (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off.
TUCHMAN: Specifically about his crude off-air comments on FOX News about Obama.
B. CLINTON: I think we all know where his heart is on everything involving equal opportunity for people without regard to race and helping poor people in American and throughout the world. And I think Senator Obama accepted his apology. I think it's over.
TUCHMAN: Also over, of course, Bill and Hillary's dreams of moving into the White House this January.
B. CLINTON: I implore you, you say yes to Hillary, you won't have to worry.
TUCHMAN: But he's ready to hit the road for his he second choice. And, as far as speaking at the Democratic National Convention...
B. CLINTON: I have given no thought to it one way or the other.
TUCHMAN: ... that is still to be determined.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: So, what's your take on Bill Clinton getting back in the fray, or the situation in Afghanistan? Let us know. Join the conversation on our Web site, AC360.com. I'm about to blog there as well. Join in the conversation. I will see you there.
Up next: new details on the massive amount of money these guys are raking in. And Obama is often portrayed as a different kind of politician, but, tonight, a rare look at his campaign marketing machine -- what these campaigns know about you, the voters, the information they have on you, simply stunning.
Also, we now know Jesse Jackson said more than just nuts the other day. He used the other N-word. Is it ever OK for anyone, ever, to say that? We go up close.
And, later, new developments on the terror watch list. Drew Griffin's name ended up on it after reporting on the TSA. Tonight, a lawmaker wants answers about how that happened. So do we.
Plus, Scott Peterson, he murdered his pregnant wife, Laci. He's back in the spotlight tonight blogging from death row. He wants your help. How is this happening?
Tonight on 360.
COOPER: Today, the Obama campaign reported its second biggest monthly fund-raising haul yet, $52 million in June, twice as much as the McCain campaign pulled in. That $52 million was a mix of small and large contributions.
Now, to convince people to give, you have to reach out to them. And here's where Obama has actually taken a page from Republicans. It's called micro-targeting. The Republicans were the first to do it, but the Obama campaign is taking it to new levels.
Up close, here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Big Brother may not be watching you, but Internet analysts say the Obama campaign almost certainly is. Team Obama is compiling oceans of information on everything from products you may have purchased, to the value of homes in your neighborhood, to your magazine subscriptions, according to Mike Madden, who wrote about it for Salon.com.
MIKE MADDEN, SALON.COM: A lot of the tactics and also a lot of the data that they have got comes from systems and companies that were originally developed to help credit card companies and banks and things like that.
FOREMAN: So, if you visit their Web site and they know from your past responses that you read e-mail at 4:00 in the afternoon, and if your neighborhood and a questionnaire you completed when you bought some products suggests you fall into a certain tax bracket:
MADDEN: Then, the next time they e-mail you something, they will probably send it around 4:00 in the afternoon, and they will tailor the content of it to what they think someone in your particular demographic makeup will probably be interested in reading about.
FOREMAN (on camera): This micro-targeting of voters was largely pioneered by Republicans years ago. But expanding the use of the Internet has made it a much more precise and powerful tool, especially among young voters.
(voice-over): John McCain's campaign is micro-targeting through the Internet, too, but Michael Cornfield, who studies politics and the Internet at George Washington University, says:
MICHAEL CORNFIELD, CAPITOLADVANTAGE.COM: Far more people watch Obama's interviews on YouTube than McCain's videos. Far more people have signed up to be Obama's friend in Facebook than McCain. He doesn't have the Web site traffic. He doesn't have the e-mail buzz. And that's going to be a long haul to try and catch up with Obama.
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're in a deadly competition.
FOREMAN: Some political analysts are comparing the rise of the Internet now to the rise of television in the 1960s, saying campaigners don't have to be good at it, but they do if they want to win.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Up next: what Jesse Jackson said besides talking about cutting off part of Barack Obama's anatomy. The word and the issue reduced Elisabeth Hasselbeck to tears today on "The View." It's the word that has divided the nation.
Also ahead, wife killer Scott Peterson back in the news, causing outrage.
Well, that's a story about the TSA. We will also have that. How can Drew Griffin's name keeps showing up on a terror watch list?
All that ahead -- stay tuned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE VIEW")
ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST: We live in a world where pop culture then uses that term. And we're trying to get to a place where we feel like we're in the same place and we feel like we're in the same world. How are we supposed to then move forward if we keep using terms that bring back that pain?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I don't quite understand what she was saying, but that is Elisabeth Hasselbeck today on "The View," tearing up during a heated exchange about the N-word.
Jesse Jackson has reignited the fierce debate over who, if anyone, can and should use the most notorious racial epithet in the English language. It turns out that Jackson, a man who has publicly railed against the N-word, used it last week when talking about Barack Obama. Jackson thought his microphone was off. It was live. He didn't direct the racial slur at Senator Obama, but, for many, that is not the point.
In our nation divided, the N-word is incendiary.
Here's CNN's Jason Carroll.
JACKSON: See, Barack...
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We heard Reverend Jesse Jackson apologize after an open microphone caught him making an offensive remark about Senator Barack Obama.
JACKSON: Talking down to black people.
CARROLL (on camera): Now Jackson is apologizing for what you did not hear. FOX would not release the audio, but confirms Jackson used the N-word.
(voice-over): He accused Obama of -- quote -- telling (EXPLETIVE DELETED) how to behave. CNN caught up with Jackson during a religious conference in Madrid, Spain.
JACKSON: That's the form of communication that we chose. It was a very painful and errant conversation. And, fortunately, Senator Barack responded gracefully and quickly. And that healing process has begun.
CARROLL: Jackson's written statement said, "There really is no justification for my comment. And I hope the Obama family and the American people can forgive me."
BRYAN MONROE, "EBONY/JET": I have known Reverend Jackson for more than 20 years. And he's one of the most complex individuals I have ever known. And with that complexity comes the good and the bad.
CARROLL: Jackson's critics are calling him a hypocrite. Just two years ago, Jackson waged a public campaign, trying to get people, especially those in entertainment, to stop using the word.
JACKSON: Its roots are rooted in hatred and pain and degradation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a hypocrite, period. I mean, you can't tell somebody to do something and then you don't buy it yourself.
CARROLL: Jackson's use of the word has raised what can be an uncomfortable question. Is it ever OK to use the N-word? And, if so, who is allowed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just find it funny that they can say it, and we -- we're not supposed to.
CARROLL: Black rappers and comedians commonly say the word. It's also used within the African-American community.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not used in a derogatory way amongst us. It's like just saying, hi, my friend.
JASON WHITLOCK, COLUMNIST, "THE KANSAS CITY STAR": I think most of us in the African-American community are frauds when it comes to this world. We want other races to eliminate it from their vocabulary, but we don't want to do the same.
CARROLL: The word's use sparking a heated debate on ABC's "The View."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE VIEW")
HASSELBECK: How are we supposed to then move forward if we keep using terms that bring back that pain?
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST:
GOLDBERG: Here's how we do it? You listen and say, OK, this is how we're using this word, and this is why we do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARROLL: Angry about its use, last year, the NAACP buried the N- word in a symbolic funeral. It seems symbolism was not enough.
Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
COOPER: Well, as we mentioned, Jesse Jackson campaigned against the use of that word. So did Reverend Al Sharpton? How does he feel about Jackson now. We will dig deeper with Reverend Sharpton and Democratic strategist Keli Goff next.
Also ahead, we're not the only ones who think it's not a coincidence that our Drew Griffin keeps getting stopped by airport security after doing critical reports about the TSA. One member of Congress took it straight to the head of Homeland Security today. Hear for yourself his response.
Also, the sad and mysterious case of this woman, Nancy Cooper, whose husband said she vanished while jogging. Her body has been found this week. Now suspicion is swirling around the husband. We have got all the late developments -- when 360 continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: See, Barack been talking down to black people on this faith based -- I want cut his (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Jesse Jackson apparently thinking the microphone was off when he used that vulgar term to describe what he would like to do to Obama. But the mike was on, as you know. And now we know he also used the N-word in that conversation, setting off another round of outrage and reigniting a familiar and fierce debate.
Today, the Reverend Al Sharpton jumped into the thick of it. He joins me now. And so does Keli Goff, political analyst and author of "Party Crashing: How the Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence."
Reverend Sharpton, what do you think of what Reverend Jackson said? Is it ever OK for him to use that word?
AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: You know, I think that, when we started this campaign, many groups, including mine, National Action Network, we wrestled with the fact that a lot of blacks use it in private. Some of us. I have in the past.
COOPER: You have used the word in the past?
SHARPTON: In the past.
But, when we decided during this campaign, we made the commitment, at least in our group, that we were going to stop using it. You can't preach one thing publicly and not practice it. I don't think it's right for anyone to use it at any time, because it then becomes justified at other times.
Either it's a bad and derogatory word, or it's not. And you and Keli know -- Reverend Jackson, I grew up under Reverend Jackson. He's like 13, 14 years older. He's like a young father or brother. But I cannot condone him doing it, and then jump on rappers or jump on whites.
And, as painful as it is, I do not condone Reverend Jackson's...
COOPER: There's some, Keli, in the African-American community and elsewhere who say, look, if you use the term, it takes away the power from the term?
GOFF: You know, that's certainly an argument. What I would say is first of all, I think we should take a snapshot of this moment today, because I think very rarely are you going to find that Reverend Sharpton, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and myself are all in agreement on something. And yet, I think we are on this, which is that you really can't have it both ways.
I mean, it's such a nuance to try to have to say that, well, if it's used in this context, it's OK. And if it's not, it's used in another context, it's not OK. I think that part of this is a bit of a class and cultural conversation that no one really likes to tap into.
COOPER: How so?
GOFF: Which is that I think that when you look at some of the rappers out there who have grown up in predominantly black neighborhoods, a lot of them have also grown up -- you know, they're very proud to say, "I come from the streets" or "I come from the projects," where they're surrounded by people who do use it excessively.
You look at someone like myself, my generation and my friends who have gone to mixed-race schools, it just would never be appropriate in my circle of friends under any circumstances around my white friends for me to ever felt comfortable using that language, so I don't use it. And that's how my mother raised me.
COOPER: When did you stop using the word?
SHARPTON: I mean, when we started the campaign. I mean...
COOPER: How would you use it in the past?
SHARPTON: Well, I mean, I think if it was part of the trash talk, as we say. But I think that trash talk still reflects who you are.
What really brought it home to me is when we started hearing people defend themselves against hate crimes, using that word. And saying, well, it's used different ways. We can't be the only ones in America that you can't call us a derogatory term. There's no double meaning for any other groups being called a derogatory terms. So why do we have to go through all of these maturations and adjustments for us?
If the hate terms for black is not the "N" word, then what is it? And then how come every other group, it's a clearly defined word but for us, we have to go through 50 different interpretations? I think that that's wrong. I happen to agree with -- with Kelly on this. I didn't know that Elisabeth said it, as well.
COOPER: She did say it, as well.
SHARPTON: Joining the...
COOPER: I watched that clip for, like, five times, and I still don't understand what she was trying to say. Though clearly, you know, she's very emotional.
GOFF: I think she's saying that we shouldn't be using it.
COOPER: I want to show what Reverend Jackson said about this -- about this word earlier when he was talking about the Michael Richards use of it back in 2006.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: We must all -- we'll establish that -- make a commitment to really stop using the pejorative, the inflammatory "N" word. We just must stop it. No matter who does it, we must stop it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Does he seem now just hypocritical?
GOFF: Absolutely. And one of the interesting things was when I was interviewing Young voters for my book, who are members of the so- called post-civil rights generation.
One of the greatest criticisms that they had for Reverend Jackson was specifically the issue of calling him a hypocrite. A lot of them were very deferential to some of the work that he'd. I mean, aside from the civil rights work, actually helping to bring the POWs home.
But what each voter I talked to, time after time, again, said is, "With all due respect to him, I think that he's proven himself to be a hypocrite on a variety of issues." I mean, you don't have to get into the discussion of his personal life. But there are issues in his personal life.
COOPER: Do you think in the future he'll stop using the word?
SHARPTON: I think -- I think -- he said that he's very sorry and asked for forgiveness. And I think he will. And I think at the same time that I do not condone it, the same time, I agree. He's done great work. If this nation can forgive people like Imus who publicly said it, I certainly think that one must offer redemption to a Reverend Jackson.
GOFF: He's had second, third, and fourth chances. And I think that, based on those numbers, I think that his relevance is increasingly waiving, through (ph) this discourse.
COOPER: We'll let our viewers decide. Kelli Goff, good to have you on. Reverend Sharpton, as well.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up, is your name on the FBI's terror watch list? CNN's Drew Griffin's name showed up shortly after he made some critical reports about the TSA? Coincidence? Today one member of Congress demanded answers. That story's next.
Also tonight, the mystery of Nancy Cooper. A wife, a mom vanishes. Her husband says she went jogging then disappeared. Now she's dead. And a judge has denied her husband custody of her kids. The latest details coming up.
COOPER: Tonight a new development in our investigation of the government's terrorist watch list. As we told you earlier, a million names are on this list, including CNN's Drew Griffin. And he's a correspondent with our special investigations unit. After he aired a series of reports critical of the TSA, he started getting stopped at airports across the country. He wants to know why. So do we.
And today, so did a member of Congress, Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee. During a House hearing, she had this to say to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS: We understand that a new member is on the watch list, Drew Griffin of CNN. And my question is, why would Drew Griffin's name come on the watch list post his investigation of TSA? What a curious and interesting and troubling phenomenon. What is the basis of this sudden recognition that Drew Griffin is a terrorist? Are we targeting people because of their critique or criticism?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Chertoff said Drew might share the name with someone else put on the list and described the incident as a possible mismatch. He said he'd look into it. That wasn't good enough for Jackson Lee. She wants an investigation. That's where the story is headed.
Now to see how it all began.
Here's Drew, "Keeping Them Honest."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Washington attorney Jim Robinson is a former assistant attorney general. He's a former U.S. attorney from Michigan. He holds a high-level government security clearance, and he gets delayed, if not stopped, every time he gets on a plane.
Why? Because Robinson is also one of the estimated 1 million names now on the terror watch list.
JIM ROBINSON, ATTORNEY: So it seems for years now, despite my best efforts to get off.
GRIFFIN: What does it mean? It means, because of his name, he can't check into flights electronically. He can't check bags at the curb, can't check in at one of the new speedy airport kiosks. Every time he travels, he and a million others need to wait in line.
ROBINSON: And see somebody who then has to make a call and determine that, apparently, I am not the James Kenneth Robinson who is the cause of my being on the watch list.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you going?
GRIFFIN (on camera): I'm going to Chicago this morning. (voice-over) Don't think it can happen to you? It's happening to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're on the watch list.
GRIFFIN (on camera): A watch list?
(voice-over) Eleven flights now since May 19.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's on the watch list.
GRIFFIN: On different airlines, my name pops up, forcing me to go to the counter, show my identification. Sometimes the agent has to make a call before I get my ticket.
What does the TSA say? Nothing -- at least nothing on camera. Over the phone, a public affairs worker told me I'm not on a watch list. It's the airline's fault. And don't even think that someone in the TSA is trying to get even because of our earlier reports criticizing the TSA.
Even more frustrating than being on it is trying to get off. According to the TSA, you fill out a form online, which I did on May 28. You then copy personal documents, fill out another form and send to homeland security, which I also did on May 28. And then apparently you wait. Robinson has been waiting now three years.
ROBINSON: On May 2, 2005, I filled out all their forms, made a copy of my passport, driver's license, my voter's registration card, put it in a package, and sent it off to TSA and never heard back. And it certainly doesn't seem to have done me any good at all.
GRIFFIN: My wait has apparently just begun.
COOPER: So Drew, what do you think? Do you think you're being specifically targeted?
GRIFFIN: I think the congresswoman is going to find out. More likely, I think, Anderson, this is just another mistake, another blunder with this watch list. Thousands of us are on it, apparently by mistake, including Jim Robinson. And the fact is, we just can't get off.
I'll tell you one thing I'm going to do, though. I'm going to start investigating to find this terrorist with my name.
COOPER: Well, I was going to say, they can come forward, and say, "Well, there's actually a terrorist we would like to find named Drew Griffin, and here's his picture or whatever." That would be kind of interesting. But I have a feeling they can't do that.
GRIFFIN: Well, I'm going to ask them all about that. And I'm going to work my other sources trying to find out. Maybe there is a terrorist out there named Drew Griffin. I'd like to go find him, meet him, and maybe get arrested so I can get back on these planes.
COOPER: Well, meanwhile, take a train, Drew. We'll keep following. Thanks, Drew.
Next on 360, hunting down a killer. A wife, a mother of two Young daughters. Who murdered this woman, Nancy Cooper, and why?
And later, he's back. Scott Peterson sentence to die for the murder of his wife, Laci, and unborn child. Now he's -- well, he's blogging from prison and apparently wants your help. The outrage over his new message, ahead. One
COOPER: "Crime & Punishment, the mystery of what happened to this woman, Nancy Cooper, a wife, a mom. She went out for a jog, according to her husband, and then vanished. Her body was found a few days later.
Police in North Carolina have no suspects, but they do have questions for the people who knew her, including her husband, who her family says was having an affair.
CNN's David Mattingly investigates.
KHRISTA LISTER, NANCY COOPER'S SISTER: She was my best friend and my soul mate.
DAVID MATTINGLY, VOICE-OVER: Overcome with grief, Khrista Lister speaks of her identical twin sister Nancy Cooper, wife, mother of two Young girls, and now, the victim of a horrific crime.
LISTER: She's my sister; she's my everything. She will always be half of me. And I promise to live my life in a way that makes her proud.
MATTINGLY: While Nancy's family mourns, police in Cary, North Carolina, search for the killer.
According to Nancy's husband, Bradley Cooper, his wife went for a jog last Saturday morning but never returned home. Pictures of Nancy were posted as volunteers fanned out, looking for the 34-year-old. And Bradley had this message for them.
BRADLEY COOPER, HUSBAND OF NANCY COOPER: I just wanted to thank all of the hundreds of volunteers that have come out and are continuing to come out. And if anyone knows anything, I just want them to contact the police with any information they may have. And again, thank you to everyone that continues to come out and help out.
MATTINGLY: On Monday, however, everyone's worst fears came true: a man walking his dog discovered the body of a woman at a construction site just outside of the town. It was Nancy. Police said she was murdered but would not reveal how. CHIEF PAT BAZEMORE, CARY, NORTH CAROLINA POLICE DEPARTMENT: We are appalled and outraged by this terrible tragedy. And as the chief of this department, I promise each one of you that nothing will stand in our way of doing our very best to ensure a swift and certain closure to this case.
MATTINGLY: Investigators say they have no suspects, but speculation is swirling around Nancy's husband. Bradley admits he and his wife were having marital problems, but Nancy's sisters and father go one step further, accusing him of having an affair.
Authorities seized evidence from the couple's home, and they also responded to reports that Bradley may have purchased bleach the day Nancy vanished.
BAZEMORE: We can not confirm or deny whether he was at a store and whether he did purchase bleach or any kind of cleaning product the morning of his disappearance.
MATTINGLY: And now, another development. Citing Bradley was unstable and posed ad threat to his children. A judge awarded temporary custody of the two children to Nancy's family.
Police, again, insist Bradley is not a person of interest. As the investigation moves forward, Khrista Lister shares the grief of losing her twin sister.
LISTER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) All I have to do to remember her is look in the mirror.
MATTINGLY: David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: So sad.
Still ahead, Scott Peterson making news all over again. The convicted killer is now writing a blog from his Death Row cell. How can he do that? And what's he saying? The latest ahead.
Also tonight, the FDA makes a major announcement about tomatoes and your health.
Plus, political outcasts, what it's like to be a Democrat in one the most conservative states in America. See for yourself in our IReport documentary, next.
COOPER: So you have the power to cover the presidential race. It's with the iReport Film Festival. The concept is pretty simple. If you're involved in a campaign, volunteering or organizing of just attending rallies, even. Get a camera. Make a short documentary film. It's all about your experience and your own creativity.
For inspiration, here's a sample mini doc by 360 producer Jack Gret (ph).
JACK GRET (PH), CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): Democrats in Utah? One of the most conservative states in the country? Who'd ever heard of such a thing? But I was told that, yes, they do exist. I convinced my bosses at CNN to let me go pay them a visit and get a glimpse of their political bizarro world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're now in Republican country.
GRET (PH) (on camera): Enemy territory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enemy territory. Yes, indeed. We're going to change it. This is -- this is the line that we're going to push back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're on terms, but we're almost here. So, the Young Democrats meeting. Uh-oh, I'm in the wrong lane.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for coming out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for having me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
GRET (PH): Do any of you come from really Republican or conservative families? Really?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hard core.
GRET (PH): Really?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
GRET (PH): So what do they think of you being a Democrat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I -- essentially, I'm the crazy liberal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I first came out as a Democrat, I mean, there was a lot of tension.
GRET (PH): Were you surprised that she was a Democrat? Or did you see it coming, so to speak?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn't -- I don't know if we saw it coming, but she went to graduate school in New York City and came back a staunch Democrat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a confession to make?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 2000 I voted for Bush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh! GRET (PH): We are on our way to Provo, Utah, home of Brigham Young University to meet some of the Brigham Young University College Democrats.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes they go their own way. Sometimes people yell abortion at us and ask why we're Democrats and this, that, and the other. But I think if we're in, you know, San Francisco or somewhere like that, we'd just be preaching to the choir. So I think here is a lot more opportunity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems like, because I am pro choice and a lot of people have a problem with that. Like, "Well, will you have an abortion? Are you going to have abortions? Are you going to do this?" And they put it in such a -- in a personal context.
And think I'm not saying that that's something I'm going to do. I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying there are people who need that option.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My younger brother is actually gay, so it's kind of a personal issue for me. And I just really have trouble viewing him as a bad person. Like, I don't think -- like people are going to say because you're gay, you're bad. I know a lot of people put themselves in that category. That view is just ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like a wonderful, like, merging of the two, that he has this faith that he holds strong to, but it's not something that limits him to accepting other people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I definitely feel on edge. It's like you're always ready for a fight. And I know that sounds bad. Like my wife's always telling me, "You're a Democrat because you just like to argue."
I say no, I don't like to argue. People just -- as soon as they find out I am a Democrat, that's what they like to do. And I'm not going to back down.
COOPER: A portion of Jack's film. You can see the rest on the iReport Film Festival site. Go to AC360.com. Click on a link. If you want to submit a film, you have until October 12 to enter.
The militant Islamic group Hamas has its own way of getting its point across on television: children's television. You're not going to believe this. Tonight's "Shot" is coming up.
But first, Gary Tuchman joins us with the "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, blogging from Death Row. Remember Scott Peterson? He was sentenced to death three years ago for killing his wife, Laci, who was eight months pregnant with their child.
He's still on Death Row at California's San Quentin Prison, now with its very own blog. That's right. Prisoners there can't have Internet access. But, a Canadian group that's against the death penalty has set up the blog for him, complete with family pictures and Scott's own opinions about why his conviction is wrong.
Laci's family, as you might imagine, is outraged.
The government says it's OK to eat tomatoes again. The FDA lifted its salmonella warning amid signs the epidemic may be slowing. But officials say hot peppers like jalapenos and Serranos should be avoided.
Regulators from six states mounted a surprise investigation today and inspection at Wachovia Securities' headquarters in St. Louis. Officials say the move is part of a broad investigation into the company's questionable sales practices.
And Wall Street rallied for the second day on tumbling energy prices and better-than-expected company earnings reports. The Dow rose more than one and a half percent, up nearly 500 points over the past two sessions. The S&P and NASDAQ also gained ground.
Anderson, let's hope the momentum continues.
COOPER: Yes, let's see. Gary, thanks.
Now our "Beat 360" winners. Tonight's picture, Senator John McCain makes a stop at a trucking company in Omaha, Nebraska. He's checking out a computer there.
Our staff -- our staff winner tonight is actually me. My caption: "Is this the Internets I keep hearing the kids talk about?"
(SOUND EFFECT: "Ooooh!")
COOPER: Kind of weak.
Our viewer winner is Alicia from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her caption: "Why is everything Dubya, Dubya, Dubya? I'm the presumptive nominee; Bush is out."
TUCHMAN: Anderson, I need to tell you, Anderson. I talked to Erica Hill a short time ago, and Erica and I are both wondering. She's off tonight, but we're both wondering: you winning, is the fix in here?
COOPER: The fix is not in. Just all the other entries were kind of weak.
TUCHMAN: I see.
COOPER: So mine was the least weak, although it was weak.
TUCHMAN: That explains it.
COOPER: You can check out all the entries we received in our blog, see how week they were. Play along tomorrow by going to our new Web site: AC360.com.
"The Shot" is next. Gary, frankly unbelievable. The Hamas rabbit, the character they have on their kids program, is sentenced to have his hand chopped off for stealing. You simply will not believe this is what Hamas shows children.
Plus, Bill Clinton is finally on board, the former president saying he's ready to hit the campaign trail for Obama. "Raw Politics" coming up in the top of the hour.
COOPER: Time now for "The Shot." Once again, the Hamas children's show. On the latest episode, the Hamas TV bunny encouraged by Satan to steal some money. There is bunny getting ready to steal the money.
The bunny is then caught, busted, and for punishment, the kids announced they're going to chop his hand off, because that's the punishment for stealing. That's Satan, by the way, convincing the bunny to steal.
The bunny pleads to save his hand, so the kids then suggest cutting off an ear. Here's -- I don't know if we have the actual -- this is where she's lecturing the bunny about that they're going to chop off the ear. And then the bunny protests, and then she says they're going to chop off the ear.
Anyway, it fades to black so we don't know if they actually decided to cut off the bunny's ear. I guess we have to wait for the next episode.
TUCHMAN: That's really disturbing television.
COOPER: Yes. Kids' TV.
TUCHMAN: You can also see all the most recent "Shots" on our new Web site, AC360.com. You can also see the other segments on the program, read the blog, check out the "Beat 360," all that stuff. AC360.com.
Coming up at the top of the hour -- Gary, thanks for sitting in for Erica -- Barack Obama going global. We'll preview his trip. And new development in Afghanistan where he's expected to visit.
Later, the Clinton factor. Bill Clinton saying he'll be spending the summer at Camp Obama doing whatever they ask. What's behind the sudden warming? And how does he fit in the campaign picture? Next.