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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Audio From 9/11 Hijack Played Publicly; Congress Passed Massive Corporate Tax Breaks
Aired June 17, 2004 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you try to make any moves, you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet.
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LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, the voice of terror. A September 11 hijacker giving instructions to passengers on a hijacked aircraft played for the first time in public today.
Also tonight, even lawmakers who favor open borders are astonished by the flood of illegal aliens now entering the country. Dramatic testimony today on Capitol Hill about the huge influx of illegal aliens and the dangers they face.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have many more people dying.
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DOBBS: Congress passes massive tax breaks for corporate America. Congressman George Miller says the bill lets down Americans faced with losing their jobs to cheap overseas labor markets. Congressman Miller is my guest.
And, oh, yes. I'll ask him why so many of his Democratic colleagues supported that measure, which he says is anti-worker.
And we continue our week-long celebration of the people who make this country work. America Works, our special report.
And moral decline in America. Millions of Americans cheating to get ahead. A culture of wrong. I'll talk with author David Callahan, "The Cheating Culture."
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Thursday, June 17. Here now for an hour of news, debate and opinion is Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening.
Tonight, dramatic disturbing new details about the September 11 attacks. The September 11 Commission today said military commanders and aviation officials were totally unprepared to stop the hijackers and U.S. air defenses were simply overwhelmed by those attacks. The commission also played chilling radio transmissions by some of the terrorists for the first time in public in tapes of air traffic controllers who were struggling to respond to the hijackings.
We begin our coverage tonight with Kelli Arena in Washington -- Kelli.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, the 9/11 Commission concluded that U.S. officials were not prepared and not equipped to stop the suicide hijackings.
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PHILIP ZELIKOW, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORIST ATTACKS UPON THE UNITED STATES: The existing protocol was unsuited in every respect for what was about to happen. What ensued was the hurried attempt to create an improvised defense by officials who had never encountered or trained against the situation they faced.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to start first by commending our staff...
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ARENA: The commission says there was mass confusion from the White House on down. The president told the commission he had a hard time obtaining a secure communication to the White House. The vice president relayed orders to shoot down hostile aircraft, but those orders were never relayed to fighter pilots.
Air traffic controllers scrambled to contact the military, even calling a facility that was no longer in operation. At one point, military pilots were told that one flight was still in the air even after it had crashed into the World Trade Center. And that plane that crashed into the Pentagon flew undetected by radar for more than half an hour.
And it was only because passengers on the fourth plane made an effort to regain control of the flight that more lives weren't lost, according to the report.
And, Lou, as you mentioned earlier, in a dramatic and chilling moment, the commission publicly played for the first time a tape from the cockpit of one of the hijacked planes. Family members sat and listened to the voice believed to belong to 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody move. Everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves, you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet. (END AUDIO CLIP)
ARENA: And the report was not a total indictment. The commission did point out that some aviation officials that day did think outside the box and were able to get 4,500 planes that were still in the air safely to the ground -- Lou.
DOBBS: Kelli, thank you very much.
Later in the broadcast, you'll hear more of those terrorist radio transmissions and tapes of the air traffic controllers who were desperately trying to understand what was happening.
Yesterday, the 9/11 commission said there is no evidence that al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein collaborated in attacks on the United States. Today, President Bush insisted there was a relationship between al Qaeda and the former Iraqi leader.
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GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al Qaeda. We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. For example, Iraqi intelligence officers met with bin Laden, the head of al Qaeda, in the Sudan. There's numerous contacts between the two.
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DOBBS: In Iraq today, the worst car bomb attack in four months. The explosion in Baghdad killed at least 35 people. One hundred and forty others were injured. There were no American casualties.
Christiane Amanpour reports now from Baghdad.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 9:00 this morning, a white vehicle packed with artillery shells exploded outside a recruiting center for the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, according to U.S. soldiers who rushed to cordon the area off and search for secondary explosives. They say that no Iraqi recruits inside the building were injured.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people that were outside the gate, unfortunately, were just pedestrians either on their way to work or possibly on their way to the park across the street, those are where the casualties came from.
AMANPOUR: Innocent Iraqi civilians are bearing the brunt of the violence, as terrorists and insurgents keep up their attacks on Iraqi people, infrastructure and government officials. Despite the danger, Iraq's new interim prime minister visited the scene of the latest attack. IYAD ALLAWI, IRAQI INTERIM PRIME MINISTER: It's a cowardly attack. It's a demonstration. Again, these attacks are aimed at the stability of Iraq, are aimed at the Iraqi people.
AMANPOUR: This ahead of the hand-over of power to Iraq June 30. Again, Baghdad hospitals are packed with the dead and wounded, and the violence here is expected to get worse.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN, Baghdad.
DOBBS: And tensions are rising with Iraq's neighbor Iran. The International Atomic Agency agreed on a resolution deploring Iran's poor cooperation with international nuclear inspectors. The agency is pushing forward with that resolution, despite Iranian threats to restart its uranium enrichment program if such a resolution is passed. Enrichment, of course, is a process that could lead to the building of nuclear weapons.
Kitty Pilgrim reports.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The world community suspects Iran is trying to develop a nuclear bomb. It's up to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, to hold them accountable, and some in Congress say it's about time.
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R), CONNECTICUT: For 18 years, Iran has been pursuing a nuclear program that's, one, both peaceful and one that's not peaceful. We've made that accusation for years. The IAEA didn't believe it until recently.
PILGRIM: The head of the IAEA, Mohamed El Baradei, this week called Iran's cooperation "less than satisfactory," and the IAEA drafted a resolution this week to denounce Iran's lack of cooperation with U.N. inspections. The U.S. government is clearly fed up with Iran's lying.
RICHARD BOUCHER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: So we're once again left in a situation where we find that Iran has spent months and months and months denying things that were known, months and months trying to pretend it was not doing things that finally became known and that it finally admitted.
PILGRIM: Nuclear experts say Iran has centrifuges which are used to make highly-enriched uranium or may have imported nuclear material.
HENRY SOKOLSKI, NONPROLIFERATION EDUCATION CENTER: They have all the expertise and several hundred experts necessary to do what's required to make a bomb. So they're very far along.
PILGRIM: Iran claims its nuclear program is for energy, a claim that does not square with the fact that Iran has the second largest natural gas reserves in the world and the fifth largest crude oil reserves. The energy excuse was something even the head of the IAEA seemed to question.
MOHAMED EL BARADEI, DIRECTOR GENERAL, IAEA: We still are not in a position to say this is exclusively for peaceful purpose, and the earlier Iran would enable us to come to a close on this important issue, the better for Iran, for the international community.
PILGRIM: Iran's reaction to the pressure has been to threaten. Now Iran has suspended its uranium enrichment program but refused to discontinue it altogether. And, yesterday, Iranian president Mohammad Khatami said that the uranium enrichment will resume if the IAEA resolution is too harsh -- Lou.
DOBBS: It's clear, Kitty, that that resolution is going to come to pass. Where is this headed?
PILGRIM: There will be a tough resolution. Hopefully, there will be inspections after that. If Iran doesn't comply, U.S. congressmen tell us today they will start bipartisan resolutions against Iran.
DOBBS: OK. Kitty, thank you.
Turning now to politics in this country, the House of Representatives today passed a massive tax cut for corporate America. Supporters say the $150 billion in tax breaks for U.S. companies will create jobs in this country.
Opponents, however, say the bill will only encourage companies to export more jobs overseas. An astounding 48 Democrats crossed party lines and voted in favor of the legislation.
Congressional Correspondent Ed Henry reports -- Ed.
ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lou, this started out as a relatively small problem. Congress had to figure out how to end European sanctions on American products being shipped overseas. That's only a $4-billion-per-year problem. So what did Congress do? It came up with a $150 billion solution. In fact, that ballooned to about 400 pages in this corporate tax bill loaded with goodies for people in both parties.
Conservatives were upset about this price tag and the size of the bill, so they had to get those Democrats you mentioned by loading up programs and projects that would attract Democratic votes in an election year.
There were a lot of Democrats who were looking for provisions that they could show that would bring home the bacon, and this led to kind of a fiery debate today on the House floor as liberal Democrats sort of formed a coalition with conservative Republicans and lashed out at the price tag and said that this is going to only shift jobs overseas. That led to a very interesting exchange between Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel and the Republican Chairman of the Tax Committee, Bill Thomas.
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REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: So you can put lipstick on a pig, but you can't call it a lady. This is a lousy bill, has nothing to do with reform.
REP. BILL THOMAS (R), WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Speaker, I do not rise to defend the honor of Miss Piggy, as the gentleman from New York indicated.
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HENRY: Lou, the bill ended up passing by a margin of about 73 votes because of the fact that there were goodies for people in both parties, as I mentioned.
Let me tick off a few quick ones: a $28 million tax break for ceiling fan makers; $9 million for bow and arrow manufacturers; a $10 billion tobacco buyout. This ends a Depression Era quota system that even farmers said was not working any more because demand is so low now for cigarettes.
Now proponents of this, like Bill Thomas, the congressman we saw a moment ago, say that this is actually going to create jobs. They say the biggest piece of this is a $60 billion tax break for smaller corporations. It's going to cut their tax rate from 35 percent to 32 percent.
The other aspect is $30 billion in tax breaks for multinational corporation, corporations like General Electric that face double taxation overseas and then back over here in America.
The bottom line is also that Congressman Thomas is saying that, with this $150 billion price tag, it's only really going to cost about $34 billion because they're going to bring in some tax revenue as well -- Lou.
DOBBS: Over the course of about 11 years.
And the idea that Democrats in this election year trying -- saying that this is clearly an anti-worker piece of legislation, yet nearly 50 Democrats cross party lines. What in the world is going on?
HENRY: Democratic leaders were privately very frustrated about that fact. For example, there was one -- I'll give you one quick example.
A Democratic Congressman from Texas, Max Sandlin, is facing a very tough race because of redistricting. So he got a provision added in here that will basically make sure that his constituents in Texas who do not pay a state income tax will be able to write off their state sales tax on their federal income taxes. That's a very popular proposal, brought along a lot of other Democrats.
As I mentioned, though, leaders in the Democratic Party very frustrated at that. But this is an election year, Lou, and people in both parties respond to those special provisions.
DOBBS: You said an election year. You really think, Ed, it's different in any other year?
HENRY: Well, in an election year, there's a lot more pressure on people in both parties. Certainly, we've seen these kind of bills that people and critics end up calling Christmas trees because they're loaded up with so many goodies. We see it in nonelection years as well. But, in an election year, when there's so much pressure to bring home the bacon, you see it a lot more often, Lou.
DOBBS: And thank you. As they say, it's not always pretty to watch. Ed Henry, we thank you very much.
And we invite you to take a look and see how your congressman voted on this critical issue. Log on to our Web site, cnn.com/lou. We have a complete break down of today's vote.
And later, hear Democratic Congressman George Miller of California, who, by the way, voted against this legislation today, who is my guest. Congressman Miller says today's vote is another example of Congress turning its back on millions of hardworking Americans.
Still ahead here tonight, the voice of terror. The 9/11 Commission releases a chilling audio tape during its final public hearing on the terrorist attacks of September 11.
Also ahead, Grange on point. Insurgents this week shut down all of Iraq's oil exports, despite the presence of thousands of coalition troops and Iraqi security forces. We'll talk with General David Grange.
And a controversial give and take between U.S. defense contractors and foreign governments that critics say threatens our national security. We'll have that report and a great deal more coming right up.
DOBBS: Growing controversy tonight about a little known program that exists between U.S. defense companies and foreign governments. In this case, it's called defense trade offsets. Critics say that the practice forces the United States to subsidize some of Europe's richest countries and, at the same time, giving them free technology created by American innovation and American workers.
Lisa Sylvester reports from Washington.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Poland decided to buy 48 F-16 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin for $3.5 billion in 2003, the deal came with strings attached. U.S. defense industries had to agree to buy nearly three times as much in goods from Poland. The Polish government also wanted access to U.S. technology.
It's called a defense trade offset. Before many foreign governments buy defense equipment from U.S. manufacturers, they want something to sweeten the deal, including agreements to use foreign suppliers to make the finished U.S. product. But it comes at a cost.
SEN. CHRIS DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: It's jobs. It hurts the economy. It hurts small business. And you run the risk of very critical technologies being exported. We ought to be exporting products and services, not American jobs and not American technology and know-how.
SYLVESTER: Many Western European countries have defense offsets of 100 percent or more, including Belgium, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands and Switzerland. But the United States is prohibited from imposing similar offset agreements on foreign countries.
Provisions in the defense appropriations bill before Congress would change that, authorizing the Defense Department to request offsets when the United States buys from foreign suppliers. Supporters, mostly small and midsize manufacturers, say it's necessary to maintain the U.S. industrial base.
OWEN HERRNSTADT, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS: We fear that the U.S. aerospace industry could suffer enormously like the U.S. shipbuilding industry, which was once one of the world's great leaders.
SYLVESTER: The largest aerospace manufacturers, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, fear without the extra sweeteners they would lose contracts to European aerospace companies.
JOE JOHNSON, AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES: That's the hard facts of life. No one out there is buying off the shelf without some recompense to their own industry or their own workers.
SYLVESTER: No one except the United States.
SYLVESTER: The United States has a buy America law that requires 51 percent U.S. content for defense purchases, but, for our major trading partners, including our NATO allies, those requirements are generally waived, so, in essence, there is no similar offset agreement -- Lou.
DOBBS: And the result is at least in part a half-trillion-dollar trade deficit, and the United States has no reciprocity on offsets. This is one of the most remarkable programs, and yet the Bush administration, many in the Democratic Party want to describe this as free trade.
Lisa Sylvester, thank you very much. That brings us to the subject of tonight's poll: Do you believe at the very least the U.S. military should be required, perhaps even allowed to buy American manufactured uniforms? Yes, no, or you're simply indifferent to the issue. The question and the answer. Cast your vote, please, at cnn.com/lou. We'll have the results for you, of course, later in the broadcast.
In Grange on point tonight, the rising threat to Iraq's oil industry and its oil revenues from insurgent attacks. This week all of Iraq's oil exports were shut down after insurgents blew up a critical pipeline in the southern part of the country.
That attack came despite the recruitment of more than 200,000 Iraqi troops that police the presence in Iraq of more than 140,000 U.S. and coalition troops and heightened security along the oil facilities and pipelines.
I'm joined now by CNN Military Analyst General David Grange.
General, good to have you here.
BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Thank you.
DOBBS: The issue of security. We've heard from every military figure, every official in the CPA that security obviously is not -- is not there in Iraq. But, good grief, can't we protect at least a pipeline?
GRANGE: Not really. Linear, friendly target. And linear friendly targets like roads, pipelines, shipping lanes very difficult to protect. Thousands of people can be underground.
The problem is it's not a bunch of people dressed in a dark -- a black assault suit sneaking up on a pipeline. In most cases, it's civilians like many walking across these lines near some of these pipelines where they live, where they grow crops, and some may have plastic explosives, and they conduct sabotage.
So it's a very difficult target to protect, and a lot of effort goes into doing so.
DOBBS: I accept that, General, but it does raise the question if perhaps somebody -- considering we're talking about two million barrels of oil a day and the livelihood of 25 million Iraqis at stake, it seems like perhaps they should change the way they do business there. Perhaps the United States, the CPA, the military command just might want to decide to have some control over the traffic that goes over that pipeline.
GRANGE: I believe that's correct, and it's probably a high priority security project, task, but it's going to take probably more trained people, and they have to vet the right people to be able to protect it properly. So it's going to take some time, but it should be a priority. There's no doubt about it.
DOBBS: General, I know you have the highest regard for General Peter Schumacher the Army chief of staff. He said this week the war on terror will never go away in our lifetime. Do you concur?
GRANGE: I concur. There's -- it's an economy of force tactic used by the -- a force that a superpower or other powerful nation is fighting against. It's just a great tactic to use, and they're going to continue to do so around the world forever, just like it has been throughout history. And so we're going to see it forever.
It's going to be a backdrop task of the U.S. military and other U.S. organizations, the law-enforcement organizations forever, and other conflicts are going to be embedded within that blanket.
DOBBS: General David Grange, as always, thank you.
Still ahead here, Congressman George Miller. He says a bill slashing corporate taxes won't stop the exporting of American jobs or relieve the pressure on increasingly burdened middle-class Americans. Congressman Miller is my guest.
Also ahead tonight, the cheating culture. Why more Americans are doing wrong to get ahead. The author of this new book, David Callahan, will join us.
And dramatic and disturbing new audio tapes of the September 11 terrorist attacks. A shocking, vivid portrait of what happened that day.
Stay with us.
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REP. MAXINE WATERS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I certainly would like to thank you for all of the hard work that you've put in on this legislation, and I'd like to thank Lou Dobbs at CNN for his constant exposure of the practice of U.S. firms that are outsourcing jobs. These firms are simply exporting American jobs to Third World countries for cheap exploited labor. This bill is a prime example of what Lou Dobbs has been reporting about.
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DOBBS: And, of course, that bill passed today. My next guest voted against today's massive tax break for corporate America. He says the Republican-controlled Congress refuses to address the real issues that face American workers, including what he calls "the shameful outsourcing of hundreds of thousands of jobs to low-cost competitors overseas, often with billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies encouraging the relocation of U.S. jobs."
Democratic Congressman George Miller of California is a co- sponsor of the House Democrats legislation to create American jobs. Congressman Miller joins us tonight from Capitol Hill.
Good to have you with us, Congressman.
REP. GEORGE MILLER (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you. Good evening.
DOBBS: This legislation -- you voted against it. At the same time, the Republicans saying that it's going to create jobs. The Democrats saying that it will cost jobs. Why did you vote against it?
MILLER: I voted against it because this bill really became just a treasure trove of special interest tax breaks, many of which expanded and enhanced the very same tax breaks and subsidies and deferments of payment of taxes that encourage the outsourcing of jobs, that encourage corporations to look to send those jobs overseas in manufacturing and in other industries, and I think it's very clear that the American people understand that we're in a world economy, we're in a globalized world, and they want America to compete and compete well.
But what they don't want is they don't want their tax dollars to subsidize the exit of hundreds of thousands of jobs from America that we see going on today, and this bill just flew in the face of that concern of the American public and ended up taking a small problem of unfair treatment by the WTO and turning it into $140 billion tax giveaway.
DOBBS: Congressman, I know you've worked hard, diligently, creatively on the issues of education, on the issues of labor, and tackled the issue of outsourcing. Yet 48 of your colleagues in the Democratic Party voted with Republicans, 23 of whom departed their party to get this legislation passed. What is going on?
MILLER: Well, they used -- this is a bill that couldn't stand on its own two feet. It couldn't pass the smell test, and so what they did is they made it smell worse. They started adding very special, narrow tax provisions for this member of Congress, for this industry. They put in the tobacco buyout. They put in additional timber subsidies. They put in a lot of narrow tax breaks like that to start garnering votes.
Remember, this bill's been three years in the making, and, over the last several months, almost every editorial board in the country has said this is one of the worst tax bills they've ever seen in front of the Congress. The Treasury opposed portions of this bill. So many people opposed it.
And so what Chairman Thomas did is he kept adding provisions, adding provisions and seeing if he could pick up a few votes, and the tobacco provision became key, and that's why it's now $140 billion bill.
DOBBS: Congressman, are you saying that Chairman Thomas was successful in buying 48 Democratic votes.
MILLER: There's no question about it. He didn't have the votes yesterday. He didn't have the votes the day before. He didn't have the votes the day before.
He went and said to people who are in tough economies in North and South Carolina, Kentucky and elsewhere, where they've been hammered by the outsourcing of jobs, where they've been hammered by the trade agreements, where they've been hammered by the loss of manufacturing and he said I'll give you some money for the tobacco farmers who have been hammered by the changes in tobacco policy in this country.
These are people who are very concerned about their constituents. He really gave them no option. He really gave them no options. It's the oldest legislative trick in the bill. The underlying bill is terrible and of those people are very conflicted about having to cast that vote. But they couldn't abandon their constituents.
DOBBS: Couldn't abandon their constituents, but at the same time the Chairman Thomas is buying votes, those Democratic Congressman effectively sold their votes along with a number of Republicans.
And this brings me to the next question. What does the Democratic Party stand for here? The fact is, that we hear from tens, literally tens of thousands of our viewers here each month and they are frustrated. They look to the Republicans and the Republicans are free trade at any cost. They are ignoring the issues. They are not only ignoring issues surrounding outsourcing, but supporting outsourcing by corporate America of jobs, of hardworking men and women in this country. They turn to the Democratic Party and they watch 48 votes perpetuate the same thing. There are very -- the frustration is there's so few choices here.
MILLER: But, Lou, you have to understand we weren't given that option. We had a substitute, we had a substitute that had bipartisan support. Chairman Rangel's been working on that substitute. The reason the Republicans didn't let us bring that substitute to the floor of the Congress, which would have stopped this give away of American jobs, would have dramatically reduced the cost of this bill, the reason they didn't let that happen is because it would have gotten every Democratic vote and a lot of Republican votes.
So we didn't get to offer our choice. So, what they offered the Democrats was a mismatch of legislation. Our party is very strong on this, That's why we introduced the American Jobs Bill yesterday with the support across our caucus which is to stop the hemorrhaging of the outsourcing of jobs, to take away these tax breaks that subsidize sending jobs to foreign countries, to invest in research and development and education and go for the next generation of manufacturing jobs, next generation of technology. That's what we believe should be done.
We don't get a chance to offer that because of the tyranny of Tom Delay and the Republicans who are afraid of having to debate on that kind of legislation.
DOBBS: Congressman that brings us to my final question. What are your prospects, in your judgment, if everyone's focused on Senator John Kerry and President Bush? What are your prospects in your best judgment to win power in the House, or the Senate?
MILLER: Oh, I'm very encouraged. Recently "TIME" magazine said that the people in their congressional districts would choose a Democrat over a Republican by 13 points. "L.A. Times had it by 11 points. We have very, very good candidates in a significant number of districts. We've set the table.
And the winds in this country, as you know, Lou, are changing dramatically. People are furious about outsourcing. They're furious about a war that was based upon lies and a war that was not properly planned for. You just had a piece on the lack of security in Iraq. And we're heading toward a quarter of a trillion dollars for this adventure by the Bush administration.
So we're very, very encouraged as is apparently the American public, because not only are they joining the Kerry campaign, they're joining the effort to recover and retake the Senate and House of Representatives. Yes, we're quite encouraged.
DOBBS: Congressman George Miller I would be astonished had you replied in the negative.
MILLER: Those are just the facts in the public domain, Lou. That's the wonderful thing, this isn't me, this is what people are telling pollsters across the country. It's exciting.
DOBBS: Congressman George Miller, we thank you for being with us.
MILLER: Thank you.
DOBBS: More disturbing testimony in the U.S. Senate today indicating that our border with Mexico is still far from secure nearly three years after the September 11 attacks. The border, it turns out, is not only porous, but it has turned increasingly dangerous, more so than ever, for illegal aliens desperate to enter this country.
Even so, they're still finding ways to cross the border, almost unimpeded, and they are doing so in staggering numbers. Peter Viles reports.
PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the second time this week, Congress heard troubling testimony portraying a porous and dangerous border with Mexico. Earlier in the week, testimony indicated border patrol agents' hands are tied by bureaucratic policies. Today, a portrait of a border deadlier than ever before for illegal aliens desperate to work in the United States; 51 deaths so far this year along just the Arizona border.
REP. JIM KOLBE, (R) ARIZONA: We've increased the violence, we've increased the danger and as a result you have now many more people dying. And, sadly, they're mostly women and children, because the males don't go back home to Mexico or Honduras, they stay in the United States and they try to bring their families up there.
VILES: Also troubling, this exchange indicating illegal traffic across the border may be much higher than the estimate of 1 million illegal aliens per year into the United States. It began when Congressman Kolbe said 155,000 people were apprehended along the Arizona border in the first three months of this year.
KOLBE: That's about right, yes, sir.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: And they figure that about one out of four or five are apprehended?
KOLBE: That's probably about right.
MCCAIN: So if you say 150,000 times 4 that would be at least 600,000 people attempting or succeeding in crossing in just a three month period. That's 600,000 in the first three months times 4, that could be 2 million 400 thousand people in one year.
VILES: And that bit of math covers only the Arizona border with Mexico.
VILES: McCain and Kolbe agreed it would take comprehensive immigration reform to stop this problem, but most observers believe that is not going to happen in this election year -- Lou.
DOBBS: Listening to Congressman Kolbe, Pete, and Senator McCain, and all due respect, they're both from Arizona, surely they are not simply now awakening to the numbers, the staggering numbers of people crossing our borders.
VILES: No. For some time both have supported legislation that would give Homeland Security more technology and better coordination at the border. I think part of the point...
DOBBS: How about simply putting the border patrol agents who are risking their lives day in and day out on the job and give them the authority to stop illegal aliens?
VILES: It's a good point. Lisa Sylvester raised it earlier in the week. And it's something Congress has not acted forcefully enough on to make Homeland Security respond.
DOBBS: Forcefully enough, Pete? They haven't acted at all. This is just astounding. Pete, thanks. Peter Viles.
Well, Mexican president Vicente Fox is in this country again and he is fighting for the rights of Mexican citizens who live here. During a two-day stop in Chicago, President Fox promised to work with the United States to make it easier for Mexican workers to get work visas and permanent legal status in the United States. But President Fox didn't stop there in his push for Mexican rights, Tuesday Fox asked his Congress to grant Mexicans living in the United States the right to vote in Mexican elections.
Still ahead here tonight, we'll share your thoughts on some of the stories we've been covering.
Plus, an emotional day at the fine public hearing of the 9/11 commission. The panel released audio tapes of what was happening in the air and on the ground September 11 never before heard.
Also ahead, I'll be joined by the author of a new book who says, we're simply becoming a nation of cheats. David Callahan is my guest.
And washed away in Kentucky, authorities make a bizarre discovery floating down the Ohio River. That and a great deal more still ahead.
DOBBS: Tonight chilling tapes of radio transmissions by some of the September 11th terrorists played for the first time in public today. Those audio tapes were played by the September 11th Commission and the dramatic hearing in Washington.
JOHN AZZARELLO, 9/11 COMMISSION STAFF: The controller told the supervisor that he thought something was seriously wrong with the plane. At this point neither the controller nor his supervisor suspected a hijacking. At 8:24 and 38 seconds the following transmission came from American 11.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have some planes. Just stay quiet, and you'll be OK. We are returning to the airport.
AZZARELLO: The next transmission seven seconds later.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody move. Everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet.
AZZARELLO: Hearing that transmission, the controller told us he then knew it was a hijacking. At 8:34 the Boston Center controller received a third transmission from American 11.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody move please. We are going back to the airport. Don't try to make any stupid moves.
AZZARELLO: Meanwhile the manager reported that they had deciphers what they had heard in one of the first hijacker transmissions from American 11.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, you still there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm gonna reconfirm with, with downstairs, but the, as far as the tape -- seem to think the guy said that "we have planes." Now, I don't know if it was because it was the accent, or if there's more than one, but I'm gonna reconfirm that for you and I'll get back to your real quick. OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have what? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Planes as in plural. It sounds like, we're talking to New York; that there's another one aimed at the World Trade Center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's another aircraft?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A second one just hit the World Trade Center.
AZZARELLO: At 8:37 and 52 seconds Boston Center reached NEADS. This was the first notification received by the military at any level that American 11 had been hijacked.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Boston Center TMU, we have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to -- we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this real-world or exercise?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, this is not an exercise, not a test.
AZZARELLO: Shortly after 8:50 while NEADS personnel was still trying to locate American 11, word reached them that a plane hit the world trade center.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have several situations going on here. It's escalating big, big time. We need to get the military involved with us.
AZZARELLO: Between 9:34 and 9:38 the controller observed United 93 climbing to 40,700 feet and immediately moved several aircraft out of its way. The controller continued to try to contact United 93 and asked whether the pilot could confirm that he had been hijacked. There was no response. Then at 9:39 a fifth radio transmission came over the radio frequency from United 93.
ZIAD JARRAH: Uh, this is the captain. Would like you all to remain seated. There is a bomb on board and are going back to airport, and to have our demands (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Please remain quiet.
AZZARELLO: At 9:46 and again two minutes later command center updated FAA headquarters that United 93 was now quote, "29 minutes out of Washington, D.C.," end quote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh, do we want to think about, uh, scrabling aircraft?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh, God I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh, that's a decision somebody's gonna have to make probably in the next 10 minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh, you know, everybody just left the room.
AZZARELLO: United 93 was spotted by another aircraft and 10:01 command center advised FAA headquarters, that one of the aircraft had seen United 93 quote, "waving their wings," end quote. The aircraft had witnessed the radical gyrations in what we believe was the hijackers' effort to defeat the passenger assault on the cockpit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) on United 93.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a report of black smoke in the last position I gave you, fifteen miles south of Johnstown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the airplane or from the ground?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh, they're speculating it's from the aircraft.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh, who -- it hit the ground. That's what they're speculating, that's speculation only.
AZZARELLO: NEADS was never able to locate United 93 on radar because it was already in the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: United nine three, have got information on that yet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, he's down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's down?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When did he land? 'cause we have confirmation...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did not land.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, he's down, down?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Somewhere up northeast of Camp David.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Northeast of Camp David.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the last report. They don't know exactly where.
DOBBS: We'll be right back.
DOBBS: We have, of course, reported extensively here on wave of corporate crime in this country, the exporting of American jobs to cheaper foreign labor markets. A host of other issues. My guest tonight says these trends are indicative of a larger moral crisis in this country. David Callahan has written about it in a book called "The Cheating Culture: Why more Americans are Doing Wrong to get Ahead," and he is my guest tonight.
David, good to have you here.
DAVID CALLAHAN, AUTHOR: Great to be here.
DOBBS: Very provocative thoughts, a terrific book. And you make a strong case that cheating now, it's easy to say we have always cheated in this country, but it's more prevalent now.
You look to the culture of the '80s, why?
CALLAHAN: Well, I think the '80s and '90s has just been one of these go-go periods where tremendous greed, tremendous competition, extreme cut throat values and it's ethos of the time has really been do whatever it takes to make the money, to get ahead. And it's permeated our entire culture.
DOBBS: And you point out that youth today has quite a different perspective of basic value in terms of what they want from life. Tell us about that.
CALLAHAN: 1968 there was a survey of incoming college freshman that asked them what their top priority was, and 80 percent said it was to develop a meaningful philosophy of life. Now that same survey showed the number one goal is to make a lot of money, have financial security. These kids are incredibly anxious. They're worried they're going to be left behind by this economy. They're not going to be able to replicate their parents standard of living, that if they don't get into a name brand college or go to the right graduate school, they're going end up working at Blockbuster. And so, they want to do whatever it takes. And that message -- you know, they see that message from people at the top, especially these corporate scandals.
DOBBS: And interestingly as we put up just before you came on here, 10 people have now in more than 900 days since the Enron bankruptcy and all corporate scandals, only 10 executives have gone to jail, in 927 days. That's remarkably -- that's a remarkable statement of what you can get away with when you think of the hundreds of billions of dollars involved.
CALLAHAN: And this happens again and again. I mean, lot of the people involved in the S&L scandals didn't do time. And you know, there will be hundreds if not thousands of executives, stock analysts, accountants, corporate lawyers who have been involved in these scandals who will never see the inside of a court room, and that creates tremendous cynicism.
DOBBS: And you include the issue of outsourcing. That is simply moving jobs off shore, making decisions about right sizing, downsizing. You see these unethical terms. Broadly what can we do about changing the values that America not only corporate America, but America is working under?
CALLAHAN: Well, you know, we need to create a social contract in this company -- this country that works. People need to feel that if they play by the rules, they're going to get ahead. You know, if they do everything right, they'll be OK. And there's a lot of people who play by the rules and finds out there job ends up in Bangalore or that they don't have health insurance or they can't afford a job. So, some broad sense we need to do a lot more to help the struggling middle class in this country, and help more people get into the middle class.
But then there's a lot of things we can do more concretely, particularly, strengthening the watch dogs. You know, the people at the top, the rich, have gotten away with so much in this country. We need to go after them, strengthen the SEC, strengthen the IRS, do whatever it takes to make it clear that these people aren't above the law. They're not untouchable.
DOBBS: How about providing border security and enforcing immigration laws? Because you're speaking in a liberal perspective. And you correctly point out that we had change of attitudes. Even though the '60s were a high water mark, if you will, in terms of social conscience and social activism, it was all a foundation of an attitude that we can ignore law in this country.
CALLAHAN: Right. And I think that what happens, that the individualism of the '60s teamed up with the hypermaterialism of the 1980s to create this extreme focus on the self that we saw in the last ten years become really pretty a powerful force in our culture.
DOBBS: David Callahan cheating culture. We thank you for being here. Like to have you back to talk more about the ethics and this challenge culture of ours.
CALLAHAN: Any time.
DOBBS: A reminder now to vote in our poll. "Do you believe at the very least the U.S. military should be required to buy American manufactured uniforms? Yes, no, or are you altogether indifferent?" Don't be indifferent. Cast your vote at cnn.com/lou. We'll have the results later here in the broadcast.
Taking a look at some of your thoughts.
On the PATRIOT Act, Charles in Newport, Virginia wrote to say, "we're better off with a stronger, more aggressive PATRIOT Act. Only our enemies and criminals need to fear that act."
C.D. Dodgen of LaPort, Texas, "the so-called PATRIOT Act has done nothing for us, only to us."
And many of you wrote in to share a quote from Benjamin Franklin on the balance between freedom and security, apparently some of you know my penchant for aphorisms, "they who would give up essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security."
Henry Luvitt of Newtown, Connecticut wrote in about the exporting of American jobs to those cheap foreign labor markets, "as an unemployed electrical engineer who saw his job outsourced to a foreign company, I would like to ask our public officials to keep their focus on U.S. jobs, jobs, jobs."
And Eddy Lederfeind of Pacifica, California, "keep fighting, Lou, maybe we can outsource our government. We can get much cheaper Senators, Representatives and judges if we hire them from overseas."
Send us your thoughts, loudobbs@CNN.com.
Coming up next "America Works" as we celebrate the men and women of this country who make this a great country. A fish story for you tonight. Stay with us.
DOBBS: We're celebrating all this week the people whose hard work and dedication make this country great. "America Works." Tonight's report takes us to the waters off the coast of Cape Cod where Bob Miller has been running chartered fishing trips for more than two decades. Bill Tucker has his story.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The sea's been good to Bob Miller: house, family, two kids.
BOB MILLER, CHARTER FISHERMAN: It's a real advantage to be fishing like I'm doing, you know. I'm doing day trips. For the most part day trips. I'm home most every night to have dinner with the family. And that's quality life.
TUCKER: Bob runs a charter fishing business. It's a living, not a bad one. There is a but in there, though.
MILLER: It's really sporadic. I guess, what a lot of people can't deal with in the fishing industry is the sporadic income, you know, because you have to -- you make a lot of money at one point during the year, but then there could be a long time in between, you know?
TUCKER: Bob picks up other work to supplement his income.
MILLER: Like right now I'm involved with a tagging program where we go out and catch cod fish and tag em, let em go, see where they're retrieved from.
TUCKER: Bob's operated out of the same harbor every day since he earned his captain's license 1982. Although, he likes fishing for a living he does see changes in his industry.
MILLER: Most guys come through, they start out in the back of the boat and work their way to the front of the boat. It's still happening, but not quite as much, I don't think, as it used to. Where the fishing industry is a little uncertain right now.
TUCKER: Uncertain, because of rising costs and increasing regulation concerning days he can and cannot fish.
(on camera): Of course, this being a fish story what would it be without a tale about the one that got away.
MILLER: I fought it -- I was by myself, I fought it for four hours and I had the fish pretty much 50 feet from the boat. I saw it had plenty of time. It was big, yes. I have caught them 750 before. So it was -- it was much bigger than that.
TUCKER: And best of all, there wasn't another soul around to deny it. Bill Tucker, CNN, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
DOBBS: Well, the one that didn't get away was pretty impressive. Still ahead, the results of our poll. Stay with us.
DOBBS: The results of tonight's poll, slightly overwhelming. 95 percent of you say, at the very least, the U.S. military should be required to buy American manufactured uniforms.
Thanks for being with us. Join us tomorrow, please. Marcus Courtney, head of the nation's largest worker's alliance and his fight to stop the exporting of American jobs. And P.W. Singer, author of "Corporate Warriors" on the outsourcing of U.S. military contracts in Iraq. Please, be with us.
For all of us here, good night from New York. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" is next.
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