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Congress Begins Hearings on 9/11 Intelligence Failures; Catholic Bishops Create New Rules for Handling Abuse Allegations

Aired June 4, 2002 - 16:00   ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. As Congress opened hearings on the September 11th attacks and intelligence failures, we'll get the latest on the probe, the facts and the finger-pointing.

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I'm John King at the White House. The president warns Congress one investigation is enough. He says any more than that would distract from the war on terror.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jason Carroll in Washington. Roman Catholic bishops have drafted rules for handling allegations of child abuse by priests. Will it ease or aggravate the crisis within the church?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm Bill Schneider in Washington. I'll tell you why a governor and a former senator are bargaining to battle for a less powerful job.

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining us. Well, after days of disclosures about an apparent intelligence slip-up, President Bush said today that there were communication breakdowns between the FBI and the CIA before September 11th. But, he said there is no evidence to suggest the government could have prevented the attacks.

Shortly before the House and Senate intelligence committees began a closed-door hearing on terror clues that may have been missed, Mr. Bush urged lawmakers to conduct one focused investigation. He says he's concerned about preventing future attacks, not politics.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In terms of the gossip and the finger-pointing, level three staffers trying to protect or hide, I don't think that's of concern. That's just typical Washington, D.C.

But what I am concerned about is tying up valuable assets and time. And possibly jeopardizing sources of intelligence. And that's why it is very important that the Congress do investigate. But they do so in a way that doesn't jeopardize our intelligence gathering capacity.


WOODRUFF: Our senior White House correspondent John King and our congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl are here. John King, to you first. Politically, why doesn't the administration want any sort of broader investigation?

KING: Well, Judy, the administration insists simply because it is fighting the war on terrorism. The president saying today, Bob Mueller and his deputies need to be running the FBI, not testifying before Congress. George Tenet and his deputies need to be running and reforming the CIA, not testifying before so many congressional committees.

Critics, of course, would say the administration does not want public inquiries, does not want many inquiries, because it will be embarrassed by what the government knew and what government agencies failed to share beforehand. But the president is popular with the American people and what he did today was a warning to Congress. He said one investigation, limited scope, get it over quickly and keep most of it done in private.

The interesting thing now will be how Congress reacts and whether this president can convince the Congress: no independent inquiry and just this one investigation, conducted by the intelligence committees.

WOODRUFF: So, Jon Karl, how are they reacting on the Hill?

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, the reaction of the Democrats and the Republicans to the president's remarks today could not have been more different. Here's a sense of what Tom Daschle and Trent Lott had to say about it.


SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MINORITY LEADER: If our intelligence committee spends all their time going to a whole variety of committee hearings on both sides of the Capitol, they won't have time to do anything about reorganizing the FBI, making sure the CIA communicates with the FBI better, or vice versa.



SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: If the FBI can spend resources investigating whether there is prostitution in New Orleans, they ought to be able to find the resources to investigate what happened in this country prior to 9/11. It seems to me that that is an excuse that just doesn't hold water.


KARL: And, Judy, regardless of the president's demands on this, there are going to be at least two committees looking at this, because the judiciary committee is also joining the intelligence committee and going full steam ahead looking into what happened on September 11th. They'll of course, have that hearing on Thursday, featuring Colleen Rowley, the whistle blower from Minneapolis.

WOODRUFF: Jon, who are some of the inside players that we're likely to see on the Hill this week?

KARL: Well, of course you're going to see Rowley. But there's also two players you'll probably be hearing a lot more about in the coming weeks. First is Coffer Black. He was the head of counterterrorism unit at the CIA on September 11th. But shortly after that, was reassigned to another position.

He, sources tell me, is expected to be the very first witness that the intelligence committee calls before their closed committee, probably on Thursday. And then you're also going to hear -- as a matter of fact, appearing already today -- the judiciary committee in a closed, classified session.

Heard from David Frasca. He was the chief of the FBI's radical fundamentalist unit. And at least three senators on the judiciary committee believe that he had two of the big dots that weren't connected right on his desk.

On one hand, he was the point person on the Moussaoui investigation in Minneapolis and his name was also on the distribution list for the Phoenix memo, that warned about Middle Eastern men training at flight schools in the U.S. Now, he has told the committee that he never saw that Phoenix memo, but they want to know more about what he did know -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: John King, related question. Front page in the newspapers this morning, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak saying Egypt did share important intelligence information about the men who would go on to hijack the planes and drive them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. What's the White House saying about all that today?

KING: Judy, they're frankly quite puzzled by this "New York Times" story. Senior White House officials and officials at other intelligence in other government agencies saying, yes, the United States was in close contact with Egypt and other allies. Yes, Egypt is among the countries last spring and summer that told the United States it was picking up evidence of increased al Qaeda activity -- increased evidence that perhaps al Qaeda was planning a major attack against the United States or U.S. interests.

But U.S. officials say they have gone back and checked in the last 24 hours, because of this report. And they say there is no evidence at all that they can find that there was any specific information about the hijacking plot or about al Qaeda operatives inside the United States. They say Mr. Bush obviously will see President Mubarak next weekend. He will ask him about it.

But they say they're quite puzzled about it. Some officials here saying perhaps "The New York Times" overwrote the story, or perhaps President Mubarak misunderstands just exactly what was passed on.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King at the White House, we haven't heard the end of that one. Jon Karl at the Capitol, thank you both. Before the start of today's congressional hearing on the terror trail of September 11th, I spoke with Senate intelligence committee member Ron Wyden. And I started by asking him if he's completely confident that lawmakers will get all of the information they're looking for.


SEN. RON WYDEN (D), OREGON: I think, Judy, we've just got to insist on it. Right now you've got snippets of information out there. But it's essential that you really get all of the pieces of the intelligence puzzle put together. That's No. 1.

Second, it seems to me that the American people have a right to expect that these committees act like grownups. And that means that there's not a lot of back biting and partisanship, but that we work together and focus on getting the facts and looking at solutions.

WOODRUFF: How do you know this finger-pointing back and forth among the CIA, the FBI and maybe other agencies is not going to interfere with your efforts to investigate?

WYDEN: I think the sparring back and forth between the FBI and the CIA is very unfortunate, because these two agencies play on the same team. I think we are going to be able to show bipartisanship in the intelligence committee.

For example, I know one of your other guests, Senator Shelby, worked with me on establishing a terrorist tracking system. That's a system that would involve all of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies working together with state and local authorities. And in fact it would go significantly further than what the president was talking about this morning, in terms of producing cooperation.

WOODRUFF: Speaking of the president, today at the National Security Agency, he said he hopes that Congress will limit its investigation to one committee, one investigation. He said to do any more than that could tie up resources, tie up valuable assets. Is Congress going to heed his advice?

WYDEN: I'm staying open on the question of whether or not there ought to be an independent inquiry. The best argument for an independent inquiry is that the intelligence committees can only get into certain areas. At least, that has been the tradition.

I think you're going to see, though, a comprehensive effort this time out. I think we understand that this is the most important challenge, to face these committees and the country and decades and decades. And that's why it's going to be a comprehensive inquiry.

WOODRUFF: Senator, there's been some concern expressed that the chairs of the Senate and House intelligence committee, Senator Graham, Congressman Goss, are perhaps too close to the intelligence committee in order to be able to conduct the appropriate independent investigation. Do you have any of those concerns? WYDEN: I have confidence in both men, Judy. And certainly this afternoon I'm not going to discriminate against Florida. Kidding aside, these are two adults. These are people who have been tasked before with responsible inquiries.

I think they understand now that we have to figure out who knew what when. Then we have to see what was done with that information. And then move as aggressively as possible to put in place some solutions. I think that what we understand our job to be is not to be on some kind of witch hunt, but to improve the way we hunt for terrorists.

WOODRUFF: All right, Senator Ron Wyden, member of the Senate intelligence committee. Thank you very much.

WYDEN: Thank you.


WOODRUFF: Tomorrow we will set the stage for Thursday's Senate judiciary committee hearing on terror clues that may have been missed. We'll talk with Chairman Patrick Leahy and panel member Charles Grassley. Here now, Ron Brownstein of "The Los Angeles Times."

Ron, the president so emphatic today, saying this investigation needs to be limited, it needs to be focused. Is there something for the White House to worry about from these hearings?

RON BROWNSTEIN, "LOS ANGELES TIMES": Well, I think there are. Clearly, a congressional investigative process is a very unpredictable political situation. You're already seeing a steady flow of leaks. And one thing that leads to is they generate the momentum for more investigation. The revelations provide the justification for going forward.

The other thing that I think proceeded in a way the White House may not have expected is, it's not very partisan so far. The Democrats have actually been more laid back in their public comments than some of the Republicans.

Senator Shelby, Senator Specter, Senator Grassley have all been sharper in their criticism of the FBI, in particular the CIA, I would argue, than any Democrat in Congress.

WOODRUFF: With more criticism coming from the Republicans, how complicated does that make it for the White House?

BROWNSTEIN: I think it makes it harder to dismiss the entire exercise as a partisan kind of witch hunt. You saw Senator Wyden today. The Democrats are going out of their way to sort of argue that we're not on a partisan witch hunt, we're not looking to cast blame.

And they're trying to cast themselves in a very judicious kind of manner, in a way leaving it to some of the Republican critics to go out there and make these arguments, which may have more credibility with the public, coming from a Republican than from a Democrat, when, for example, they indict the FBI for failing to handle information properly.

WOODRUFF: Right. Now, Ron, the criticism clearly focused on the FBI, the CIA, intelligence gathering procedures and places. Any of this reflecting on the president himself, on the White House?

BROWNSTEIN: In the polling so far, his approval rating has not declined. Americans still have a very strong approval, overall assessment of his job. But you are seeing significant portions of the public in polls, even before these hearings began, saying they do not believe the government did everything it could before September 11th.

So I don't think he's in any kind of personal political danger yet. And it may never be. But I don't think he's totally out of danger, either. It's an unpredictable process, as I said.

And the revelations that emerge are probably going to be, in some cases, embarrassing for this government and for previous administrations. I suspect that everyone is going to have some explaining to do when this is all over.

WOODRUFF: Ron, there is some question out there about whether the intelligence committee work could be followed by some sort of independent commission. Of course, we don't know whether Congress would approve something like that, or the president. But what would be the pros and cons of going off and having an independent blue- ribbon type commission?

BROWNSTEIN: In a way, what the independent commission could do is avoid what we're getting into now. When you pick up the paper every morning and you have pretty much a leak from the investigation, or a leak triggered by something leaked from the investigation of the agencies, circle the wagons bureaucratically.

One thing an independent commission would do for the administration, which is why I'm a little perplexed they're so against it, is that they would take this all and make it go away for a while.

It would bring it out of the political arena, or at least reduce the focus on it. There's probably no way to stop these hearings, now that they're going on. It would allowing for a somewhat longer view and a less politically-charged examination of this. But they are really dead set against it.

And for institutional reasons, Judy, it would be very hard to get all the members of the intelligence committee to vote for this kind of investigation, which they might say is a sleight of their own. It's going to be hard to get 50 votes for Tom Daschle.

WOODRUFF: Why do you think there wouldn't be leaks with an independent commission?

BROWNSTEIN: I think they're structured in a way. They're more likely to be the less directly involved in the political processes. And I think it would be something that would be a step back.

The risk for the White House, of course, is if it came down in a very negative way, it might have more credibility than Congress. And I think that's what they want to avoid.

WOODRUFF: Ron Brownstein, "Los Angeles Times," thanks very much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Appreciate it.

Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno said that she believes the Congressional investigation of intelligence lapses before September 11th will be -- quote -- "very helpful" to the whole country. In Florida, CNN's Mark Potter asked the Democratic gubernatorial candidate for her reaction to recent reports about the terror trail.


JANET RENO, FMR. ATTORNEY GENERAL: My father was a newspaper reporter and he taught me never to believe everything I read in the newspapers. It is very important that you comment based on what actually happened, and the facts. And until I saw those and was briefed on those, I'd think it better not to comment.


WOODRUFF: Later this week, Mark Potter will follow Reno as she campaigns in south Florida with actor Martin Sheen at her side.

Up next, two prominent Catholics debate a new plan to discipline abusive priests.

Also ahead, Jeff Greenfield connects the dots between the problems within the church and within the U.S. intelligence community.

And later, a possible move in California to limit young people from lighting up. Would it go too far?


WOODRUFF: A panel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops today outlined a proposed set of guidelines for dealing with priests who were accused of sexual abuse. In a moment I'll talk about the report with a Notre Dame theology professor and a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

First, CNN's Jason Carroll has details on the bishops' report.


CARROLL (voice-over): The U.S. Conference of Bishops has drafted a set of national guidelines clergy can use to respond to allegations of sexual abuse. The bishops hope it will restore confidence among parishioners shaken by the scandal.

But the proposal is sure to create more controversy because it does not call for a zero-tolerance policy across the board for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse. ARCHBISHOP HARRY FLYNN, AD HOC COMMITTEE ON SEXUAL ABUSE: Even though I've used it myself, the phrase zero tolerance, I don't know whether or not that is a good phrase to use. But I think that what this document says, is that from this day forward, anyone who offends will be out of the priesthood.

CARROLL: There is a provision in the draft that would allow a priest accused of sexual abuse in the past to continue working in the church if he has only had one offense and meets the following conditions: he's treated and not diagnosed as a pedophile, there are no additional offenses, he continues to receive counseling and accepts public disclosure of misconduct.

Victims' groups say that does not go far enough.

PHIL SAVIANO, SURVIVORS NETWORK: A man who would behave like that one time, I'm convinced if he's given an opportunity in a future date when another situation arises, he's going to do it again.


CARROLL: And Archbishop Flynn says there are some strong recommendations in this draft. Namely, clergy are required to report allegations of abuse of a minor immediately to police.

Flynn says this is only a draft, it's not set in stone. And he also says that he expects parts of it will be hotly debated next week when all of the nation's Catholic bishops meet in Dallas -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jason, thanks very much. We appreciate you being with us in Washington.

CARROLL: All right.

WOODRUFF: With me now to talk a little more about the bishop's report, Father Richard McBrien. He is a theology professor at the University of Notre Dame. And Ray Flynn, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

Father McBrien, this recommendation stops short of zero tolerance. Is it enough?

REV. RICHARD MCBRIEN, UNIV. OF NOTRE DAME: Well, that's not an easy question for me to answer. It really isn't a theological question. It's really a question for psychiatrists and psychologists and social workers and social workers, and all the rest.

The statement does go a lot farther than the bishops were at just a few weeks ago. It's not an absolute zero tolerance policy. But even in the case of the priest who has had one incident in his past, and no evidence of recurrence, even there he's not restored to ministry without having gone through a process before a review board, where the victim of the abuse also has input into the process.

I'm not saying that I have a clear mind of my own on this issue, whether or not -- I mean, the popular view really is zero tolerance, no questions asked, past, present or future. But I think the problem is a little bit more complicated than that. And I don't mind the bishops taking a more nuanced approach to this.

WOODRUFF: Is that where you come down, Ambassador Flynn?

RAY FLYNN, FMR. U.S. AMB. TO VATICAN: Well, I've always advocated strongly that there should be a zero tolerance policy. I think we're at this crisis point now in the Catholic Church and across society, that you have to send a very clear, articulate message.

And I think the zero tolerance, one strike you're out, policy, I think is the soundest policy at this point in time for the church to take. I think it would send a very clear message that the protection of victims not only the past victims but in the future, is going to be a very serious issue that the Catholic Church is going to take rather strenuous action in opposing.

WOODRUFF: Father McBrien, why should there be special dispensation for those who have done this once. When, as we just heard from the victim a few moments ago, who was part of Jason Carroll's report, once this has happened, how is everyone to know that it couldn't happen again?

MCBRIEN: Well, I agree. And frankly, my own instinct is to follow the safer course: when in doubt, don't let this individual back into ministry. In fact, exclude him from the priesthood entirely. I'm quite open to that. I mean, I suppose you're supposed to come on a program like this with your mind made up. I think it's a very, very difficult issue.

However, I'd like to make a point which is a bit provocative, I admit. But if we're going to have zero tolerance for priests, past, present and future, we really ought to have zero tolerance, then, for bishops -- any bishop who knowingly reassigned a predatory priest and put innocent children in harm's way.

He, too, should be forced to resign immediately from his office. And I don't think a zero tolerance policy for priests that doesn't also affect the bishops is going to be perceived as evenhanded and fair-minded.

WOODRUFF: What about that, Ray Flynn?

FLYNN: Well, if it's proven conclusively that any bishop, any leader of the church intentionally -- and that's the key word -- intentionally assigned pedophile priest to another parish, knowing that that person had a serious problem, could in fact molest another innocent young victim, I think the priest, the bishop ought to resign as well. I think that has to be proven that it's intentional. And again...

WOODRUFF: But isn't that...

FLYNN: I'm looking for due process here, even in this emotional argument for the priests. And I'm looking for due process here for leaders as well. And I think that therein lies the debate that is going to be debated and developed in Dallas, Texas next week, I just want to make sure, before I sign off anything, I want to make sure there's due process for the priests we have in this country as well.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about that. And I want to show you, as I ask Father McBrien about this question of, how do you determine whether there was a willful move made by someone in a position of authority, by a bishop?

This poll was done last week. It shows that when you ask Catholics about the church's handling of sexual abuse by priests, 75 percent of them say the church has done a bad job. Given that, what should the criteria be, Father McBrien, for determining that a bishop has overstepped his bounds?

MCBRIEN: See, I don't agree with Ambassador Flynn, whom I admire a great deal, in saying that you have to establish some sort of case where the bishop has knowingly done this or that. The fact of the matter is, if a bishop has moved a predatory priest, about whom there was stated record, ignorance is no excuse. The buck stops there. The bishop should resign.

That's how it happens in the business world. That's how it happens in the political world. That's how it happens in the academic world. Someone has to take responsibility. A message has to go out to the public that we are accepting responsibility for what's been done.

It's not "mistakes were made." The buck stops here. We made the mistake, or the mistake was made on our watch. And therefore, I would adopt a very stringent policy, with regard to the bishops as well as the priests.

WOODRUFF: And, Ray Flynn, why wouldn't that work, to say the buck stops here?

FLYNN: Well, of course the buck does stop here. And the poll you indicated clearly indicates the people's displeasure as to the way this whole issue has been handled. I guess I'm not looking for a scapegoat here. And that's not going to solve the problem. What's going to solve the problem is making sure that sexually abusive pedophile priests are weeded out of the priesthood so young people never again have to be subject to this kind of policy.

And if there is any bishop or any church leader that has supported him and doesn't go along with that policy, then the bishop shouldn't be holding up that position of trust in the Catholic Church. Again, one strike, you're out.

Zero tolerance. That's the church that I love. And that's the church that I want to see the policy of the church in the future.

WOODRUFF: Gentlemen, we are going to leave it there. Ray Flynn, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Father Richard McBrien, with the University of Notre Dame. We thank you very much.

MCBRIEN: You're welcome. FLYNN: You're welcome.

WOODRUFF: Well, as that intelligence hearing gets under way on Capitol Hill, the CIA director is overseas. Where he is, and why he is there, straight ahead in the "Newscycle."

Also, old enough to vote but too young to smoke? One of the topics for debate in our "Taking Issue" segment.


WOODRUFF: Checking the INSIDE POLITICS "Newscycle": Members of the House and Senate committees today began a joint hearing into U.S. intelligence procedures before September 11. Earlier, President Bush said he supports a focused investigation that, in his words, does not -- quote -- "jeopardize intelligence capacity."

CIA Director George Tenet is in the Middle East, where he met today in the West Bank with Yasser Arafat. Sources tell CNN that Tenet urged Arafat to consolidate and to reform his security forces.

Here in Washington, House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt delivered a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. The congressman used his remarks to lay out his vision for U.S. policy and to announce his support, if the administration resorts to force, to topple Saddam Hussein.


REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D-MO), MINORITY LEADER: The other regional challenge that requires American leadership is Iraq. Saddam Hussein survives by repressing his people and feeding on a cult of victimization. He is clearly not a victim. And I share President Bush's resolve to confront this menace head-on. We should use diplomatic tools where we can, but military means when we must to eliminate the threat he poses to the region and our own security.


WOODRUFF: Congressman Gephardt also said the Office of Homeland Security should be elevated to Cabinet-level status.

With us now: Laura Ingraham, a syndicated talk show host with Westwood One Radio, and Michael Eric Dyson. He's professor of religious studies at DePaul University.

Laura to you first.

This back-and-forth finger-pointing between the CIA and the FBI, as these intelligence hearings get under way, are the committees going to be able to get real work done in this atmosphere?

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I think the last time anything much got done in one of these overly dramatic committee settings, I can't remember. The last time the Democrats thought they were going to score against the Republicans was the Ollie North hearings. That backfired. Then the Republicans did it to Bill Clinton and that backfired. If this turns into a political battle, the people waging the war are going to lose.

Now, the Bush administration should have come out right after September 11. We know that now. They should have scoured the files. They should have put it all out there. They didn't do that. That's the secrecy problem of the Bush administration. I think they wish they had done that now.

WOODRUFF: Michael Eric, you agree with Laura on this?


I would say that, certainly, we can have a bunch of filibustering and gas-bagging in the Congress. We don't need that. But we do need to move from finger-pointing to fact-finding, from accusations to investigation. I think it is very important that these agencies, the CIA and the FBI -- both of which have been shrouded in enormous secrecy, to the detriment of the civil liberties, not only of domestic citizens, but of people throughout the world -- so, we need to know who knew what when and how we can prevent future kind of problems from occurring, and not to have the intense focus on what happens here in this country, where our Justice Department is trying to crack down on the liberties of citizens, as opposed to going after the real terrorists in the world that are doing harm, not only to this nation, but around the world.

WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of the real terrorists, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld quoted in "The Washington Post" today as saying -- talking about al Qaeda -- saying: "We know they are in enough countries and have enough money and enough leadership that you have got to expect they, in fact, are going to be back again."

Are we confident, should we be confident that another attack can be prevented, given what's gone on, Laura?

INGRAHAM: Well, we keep being told, Judy, that another attack is coming. Another attack is coming. We see what that has done to the stock market. And I think it doesn't give the American public a heck of a lot of confidence in all of this money that we're throwing at this problem, if our government can't tell us that they are on this issue and they are on it 24/7.

Now, I think the president made a good point today. We have to be careful, be mindful of how our intelligence capacity is affected by this major document production that is going on with these committees. I have been a lawyer. I know what it is like to do one of these document productions. All the people that are working on this investigation to give the information to Congress are not working to prevent terrorism.

WOODRUFF: Michael Eric, should we be confident? DYSON: Well, I think what we have to do is -- our confidence is not a question of whether we are putting information in the public realm or forcing people to become much more anxious because we tell them another attack is coming, you know, "The Redcoats are coming."

What we have to do is to make certain that our borders are being protected by not only going after al Qaeda throughout the world, but making sure that the presence of domestic terrorism here is taken care of. And, as a result of that, then we can reach out as a legitimate moral authority to the world community.

Right now, we're the laughing stock of the world, because here we are Johnny-come-lately's to issues that have always gone on with other territories. So, we have to make sure that we are protecting civic democracy here while we are going after abroad -- after the people that we think are doing our nation in.

WOODRUFF: I want to ask you both about a very different subject.

In the state of California, there's a state assemblyman who is proposing legislation to change the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. And they're basing it on, among other things, these statistics: 80 percent of adult smokers start before the age of 18; 5,000 people a day under 18 try their first cigarette.

Is this kind of new law, Laura, going to stop people from smoking? Does this make sense?

INGRAHAM: Of course not. It's so ridiculous. Why don't they raise it to 40? Why stop at 21? It's just typical California.

I think, when you see all the problems with drugs and drinking and teenage pregnancy and date rape and all of these issues, the war against terror, all of these things are bearing down on our country, and we're focusing on smoking? Something is wrong here. But California can do whatever it wants.

WOODRUFF: All right, Michael Eric, you are little closer to California than we are in Washington. Does it make any sense?

DYSON: Well, we have to have a cigarette to discuss it.

No, I think that -- I'm not a smoker. And I certainly understand the addictive qualities of nicotine and seducing our kids through desire created on television ads and so on. But I think here I agree with Laura. But the point is, we have huge issues. If people can go to their armed services and die in being enlisted, certainly they should be able to take a drag on a cigarette.

But we should also be wary of how big business throws huge money to try to seduce our children. But that's a different issue than saying we have the freedom to smoke or not smoke.

WOODRUFF: All right, Michael Eric Dyson, Laura Ingraham, good to see you both. We appreciate it.

DYSON: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: See you again soon.

INGRAHAM: Thanks, Judy.

WOODRUFF: A primary question is ahead: Why are two political powerhouses in the state of South Dakota vying to join the people's house? Our Bill Schneider will have the "Inside Buzz."


WOODRUFF: In seven states today, primary candidates are trying to generate some congressional election-year excitement. In South Dakota, the one and only House primary race has been generating a good deal of buzz.

And here's our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, as you just said, South Dakota has one single House seat. And it must be awfully precious, because you've got a governor and a former United States senator competing in the Republican primary.


(voice-over): Why would a four-term governor like Bill Janklow want to go from being No. 1 in his state to being one out of 435 in the House of Representatives? Maybe he likes the number one.


ANNOUNCER: California has 52, Texas 32, New York 29. But South Dakota gets only one voice to fight for us in the House of Representatives. Who's our strongest voice? Bill Janklow.


SCHNEIDER: The same thing could be true for former Senator Larry Pressler. As senator for three terms, he was one of two from South Dakota. As a House member, he will have South Dakota all to himself.

Actually, Pressler has already served in the House in the '70s. He claims his past congressional service will give him a seniority advantage over his opponents.


LARRY PRESSLER (R), SOUTH DAKOTA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: I will bring to Washington many things no other candidate can. For example, I'll bring my past seniority ranking back into Congress and use it to build power, real power for South Dakota.


SCHNEIDER: But doesn't it look like downward mobility, going from governor or senator to the House? Not necessarily. Even though Claude Pepper served 14 years in the Senate, it was his second career in the House that made him a legend.

After serving as senator and president, John Quincy Adams was elected to the House for nine terms. He accomplished far more in the House as a leader of the anti-slavery cause than he did as president.

Former governors have sometimes gone to the House, most recently Mike Castle of Delaware.


SCHNEIDER: In states with only one congressional district like Delaware and South Dakota, a House member holds statewide office, like a governor or a senator. And that sets themselves up nicely to run for governor or senator when an opportunity opens up, like, say, maybe in South Dakota in 2004 if Tom Daschle should decide maybe to give up his Senate seat and run for president.

WOODRUFF: You're thinking ahead.


WOODRUFF: Doesn't this rivalry, Bill, between Janklow and Pressler go way back?


We are told that it goes all the way back to their college days, when Janklow spearheaded a movement to have Pressler impeached as student government president. Like I said, South Dakota is a small state.

WOODRUFF: People don't forget those grudges, you know.

SCHNEIDER: Absolutely right.


WOODRUFF: OK. Bill Schneider, thanks.

And we hope you'll be sure and check out our Web site, POLITICS, as today's primary results come in. And tomorrow on INSIDE POLITICS, we will talk about the winners and the losers with the Republican and Democratic congressional campaign chiefs. They are Tom Davis and Nita Lowey.

Checking now the headlines in our "Campaign News Daily": A federal judge has thrown out five of the charges against Providence, Rhode Island, Mayor Buddy Cianci. The mayor still faces a dozen other charges, including extortion and bribery. As we reported last week, Cianci is running for a seventh term in office. A recent poll showed his approval rating remains above 60 percent.

An unusual runoff election today for Long Beach, California, mayor: three candidates, but only one name on the ballot. Incumbent Mayor Beverly O'Neill and another candidate are running write-in campaigns. O'Neill is not listed on the ballot due to term limits, but she still finished first in the April primary. Vice Mayor Dan Baker is the only candidate whose name is actually printed on today's ballot.

Potential presidential candidate Al Sharpton says he will travel to India and Pakistan. Sharpton says he will go to the region in the next two weeks and says his delegation will include experts on conflict resolution. A State Department spokesman says the government has no official opinion on Sharpton's plans.

Question: Are there similarities between the Catholic Church and America's intelligence community? Jeff Greenfield shares his thoughts next on some common problems facing two very different institutions.


WOODRUFF: Jeff Greenfield joins me now from New York.

All right, Jeff, two prominent institutions under fire in our country: the Catholic Church and now the intelligence community. You've been thinking about whether there are some links between the two.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: Yes, I do think there are, in the sense of their respective cultures, which are essentially and by nature hierarchical, but secret in operation.

You know, when the church picks a leader, we only know there's a new pope by the fact that we see the color of the smoke changing from the chimneys. And that's very different from, say, the Southern Baptists. I have been at their conventions. Their disputes are right out in the open.

And I think, if you look at the intelligence communities, they are by nature secret, insulated. They have to be. They keep big secrets. And I think, in both cases, it produced cultures that just are not instinctively designed to share very much. Historically, we know the FBI never shared with either local police or even with the CIA. And the church instinctively, I think, would likely not see an early problem with, say, priests, pedophile priests, and hold open discussions with the laity about what to do about it.

WOODRUFF: So, do you see a link between the problems both are having?

GREENFIELD: I think yes, because, in both cases, their actions or inactions have had consequences that spill out to a wider public.

And in the case of intelligence communities, the bureaucratic rivalries between the CIA and the FBI, or disputes between the FBI and headquarters and field offices, they are of absolutely no concern to citizens normally. But now that the failure is seen as possibly partly responsible for the worst attack on America ever, that changes it.

And I would suggest, similarly, whether the Catholic Church has a priestly celibacy rule or admits women to the priesthood or abolishes the Latin mass, that is strictly a matter for the church. For non- Catholics, quite literally, it is none of our business. But sexual contact between an adult who is in a position of trust and a child, this is often a crime. And it seems to me that that, along with institutional cover-ups, then it becomes the wider society's business.

WOODRUFF: So, what does that tell us about any common challenges to reform or change in both institutions?

GREENFIELD: Well, I think what they have in common, they both face the same daunting challenge, which is: How do you change a deeply-embedded culture?

If every FBI agent has been taught to keep information within the agency, can a head of an FBI rewire those agents? And can a church that believes in personal redemption, in the power of a solemn promise to go and sin no more, can that church now decide that some of its own clergy are beyond redemption, as they are apparently beginning to decide, based on what we heard today?

I think what may make the answer yes in both cases is the very fact that the walls have been broken down, that, whether it is the Congress or the courts or the media, there are other forces with a whole lot of power who are no longer going to let these institutions govern themselves.

And I think that, also, that points to one key difference -- since we've been talking about similarities -- the FBI and the CIA have, in the past, been subject to outside scrutiny: the Church Committee with the CIA, post-Hoover FBI investigations. For the Catholic Church, I think this is something of a first. And I think it really raises some very difficult questions for that institution.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jeff Greenfield, thanks very much. And we'll see you tomorrow. Appreciate it.

How much we make, where we live and who we are: Up next, Bruce Morton sorts through the latest census report for a new look at America by the numbers.


WOODRUFF: A new census report finds the American dream costs more than it used to, but more Americans can afford to pay the price.

CNN's Bruce Morton has a look at the numbers and a changing nation.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Census Bureau, using those long forms some of us filled out, is telling us new things about ourselves.

We're richer. The median household income in 1999, the last complete year before the census, was $42,000, up from $39,000 10 years before. And about one household in eight had an income of $100,000 or more. That used to be real money. Back in 1930, Babe Ruth, baseball's highest-paid player, earned just $80,000. A sportswriter noted, "You are making more than the president," Herbert Hoover, who earned $75,000. Ruth answered correctly, "I had a better year." As recently as the 1950s, people could get excited about a lot less than 100K.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, the $64,000 question.


MORTON: Quiz shows offer $1 million now, of course.

And if we make more, we pay more for things. The median value of an owner-occupied family house, the census people say, is now $119,600, almost $20,000 more than in 1990. Over 9 percent of the houses were worth more than $300,000. Anyone remember William Levitt's right after World War II? Price: about $7,500.

Good news: We are better educated. The percentage of college graduates is up. The percentage of those with less than a high school degree is down. Bad news: Commutes are longer, 25.5 minutes in 2000, up from 22.4 minutes in 1990. And more of us drive now, while fewer of us carpool or use public transportation.

And the foreign-born population is up: 31.1 million in 2000, a 57 percent increase over 1990. Just over 11 percent of the population is foreign-born now. The percentage was higher when hordes poured through Ellis Island in the 19th century. Those immigrants came mostly from Europe, today's from Latin America and Asia. Together, they are roughly three-quarters of the foreign-born population, up from just over one-quarter in 1970.

So, we keep changing. You have to miss those $7,500 houses, though. Hard to imagine today.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: It sure is.

INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.


WOODRUFF: Here is what we have in the works for tomorrow's INSIDE POLITICS: New Hampshire goes Hollywood? Ron Brownstein tells us how Al Gore is playing matchmaker with Tinseltown and Democrats from the Granite State. And Brooks Jackson catches up with Nevada Senator John Ensign as he lobbies against putting nuclear waste in his state. His opposition to dumping at Yucca Mountain is making him politically radioactive among his Republican colleagues.

That's it for INSIDE POLITICS. "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" is next. Thank you for joining us. I'm Judy Woodruff.


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