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Soldiers Ask Rumsfeld Tough Questions; Senate Debate Over Intelligence Reform Raises Immigration Questions

Aired December 8, 2004 - 18:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, American troops express anger and frustration about their long deployments and the shortage of armor in a blunt exchange with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

SPC. THOMAS WILSON, U.S. ARMY: Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up armor our vehicles?

DOBBS: The Senate votes for intelligence reform. But when will Congress pass tough measures assuring our border security? House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra joins us.

Culture in decline. Too many immigrants to this country don't even bother to learn English, a barrier to assimilation. We'll have a special report.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we have is the government is saying, don't bother to learn English.

DOBBS: In our "Face-Off" tonight a debate between Victor Davis Hanson, who says immigrant groups are encouraging separation, and Ruben Navarette, who says Latinos are making a huge effort to assimilate.

Assault and battery. Prosecutors charge five Indiana Pacers and five fans for fighting. But, incredibly, only one, a fan, is charged with a felony. We'll have that story.

And defending your right to know. Pulitzer prize winning journalist Judith Miller of "The New York Times" joins me. She faces jail for refusing to reveal a confidential source for a story that she never wrote, for a story that was never published.


ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT for Wednesday, December 8. Here now for an hour of news, debate and opinion, is Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today faced a barrage of questions from our troops, some of whom are angry about long deployments and the shortage of armor for their vehicles. This extraordinary exchange took place at a town hall meeting in Kuwait, between the secretary and our troops who are preparing to deploy to Iraq. The tough questions reflect deep frustration on the part of many of our troops about their equipment and the duration of their deployments.

Jamie McIntyre reports.


WILSON: Now, why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up armor our vehicles and why don't we have those resources readily available to us?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rumsfeld appeared unfazed and said the shortage of armored Humvees was being corrected as fast as new armor could be shipped to Iraq.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: As you know, you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. Since the Iraq conflict began, the Army has been pressing ahead to produce the armor necessary at a rate that they believe is a greatly expanded rate from what existed previously, but a rate that they believe is the rate that is all that can be accomplished at this moment.

MCINTYRE: Rumsfeld's statement, that you have to go to war with the Army you have, is seen by critics as a tacit admission the Pentagon failed to anticipate the post-invasion insurgency and, therefore, provide U.S. troops with enough armor to help protect against roadside bombs and rocket propelled grenades.

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DOUD (D), CONNECTICUT: The secretary of defense, in a rather stunning comment, according to reports, said the following, "You go to war with the Army that you have."

What's even more shocking than this statement in many ways is the apparent lack of concern shown by the administration.

MCINTYRE: The Pentagon admits it was caught short last year and that some soldiers have jury-rigged their own armor in the past. But it says 75 percent of the roughly 19,000 Humvees in Iraq are now armored. And that while more armor kits are being rushed to Iraq, un- armored Humvees are being relegated to low threat areas.

LARRY DI RITA, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: The policy is that -- that units that are going into Iraq if they're going to drive their vehicles into Iraq, they drive in armored vehicles. If their vehicles aren't armored, the policy is that they are convoyed on other vehicles. They're put on the back of trucks, and they're used for -- for operations around the base.

MCINTYRE: Rumsfeld was briefed in Kuwait by Major General Gary Speer, who said later he was not aware soldiers were searching landfills for scrap metal and used bulletproof glass. But the general who oversees the Tennessee National Guard unit that's now in Kuwait calls the soldier's question a legitimate concern. In a statement, he said, "I'm surprised by General Speer's statement. I know that members of his staff were aware and assisted in obtaining these materials."

The head of the National Guard at the Pentagon insists Guard troops get the same equipment and training as their active duty counterparts.

LT. GEN. STEVEN BLUM, CHIEF, NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU: So this second class citizen, we're treating the Guard as second class citizens and we're equipping them after the active force is -- it's just untrue. I mean, there's no other way to put it. It's an old myth that needs to go away.


MCINTYRE: The Pentagon says the National Guard troops that will be moving into Kuwait will not be driving unarmored Humvees into Iraq, that those Humvees will be put on the back of trucks.

But that's one of the key questions, Lou. Some of the soldiers are complaining the trucks are not armored enough, and they're very concerned about that.

DOBBS: And so many of the injuries, the wounds, grievous wounds in many cases, and the deaths of our troops in Iraq, Jamie, as you well know, have occurred as bombs exploded, roadside, hitting these Humvees.

We're 19 months do into this conflict, since May 1, when major combat was over. To hear the secretary of defense say you go to war with the Army you have, 19 months later, he can say that to our troops? Isn't that remarkable?

MCINTYRE: Well, it is an admission that they didn't anticipate they were going to need the degree of armor that they had. And the -- the Army is being reorganized into a force that's supposed to be lighter, more mobile.

But as you note, this war started some time ago. And this is what happens when you don't anticipate exactly what's going on.

Now the Pentagon's trying to adjust. They say they're churning out armor and armor kits as fast as they can. And even that, the armor is not full protection. Even soldiers who are in tanks have been killed by roadside bombs.

DOBBS: No one's suggesting it's a complete answer, but it's certainly a big part of the answer. And this is supposed to be a can- do secretary of defense. And that didn't sound like a can-do answer, an answer that I would presume he would expect from the generals and the full Army over which he presides.

MCINTYRE: Well, you know, he's taking a lot of criticism for that. In the full context of his remarks, he's basically saying that they went with what they had and, obviously, you could always hope for more and you can try to adjust for more. The reality is you've got what you've got and they're trying to adjust to the reality on the ground now.

DOBBS: Yes, it's -- it's the -- the Army that you go to war with. It certainly shouldn't be the same Army nearly two years later. I think nearly everyone would agree with that.

Jamie McIntyre, senior Pentagon correspondent, as always, thank you.

On Capitol Hill today, the Senate approved the intelligence reform bill agreed to by the House yesterday. But that debate over the legislation exposed deep divisions among Republicans about the importance of border security and the need to reform our immigration laws.

Congressional correspondent Ed Henry with the report.


ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than three years after the 9/11 attacks, Congress has sent a sweeping intelligence reform bill to President Bush's desk. The bill's authors say the current system is so broken, the security of the nation is hanging in the balance.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: We approached this task with a -- with a real sense of urgency, a grave and growing sense of urgency, because we know that we face a clear and present danger from terrorists.

HENRY: The bill follows the 9/11 Commission's recommendation to create a director of national intelligence to oversee the nation's 15 spy agencies. And it gives teeth to a National Counter-Terrorism Center.

But not everyone was pleased that the bill, stalled for weeks, was suddenly speeding through Congress.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: As I say, it's outrageous for senators to read and understand this 600-page bill in less than 24 hours.

HENRY: and even supporters of the bill point out deficiencies. Senator John McCain noted it only reforms the executive branch, ignoring the commission's finding that congressional oversight of the intelligence community is lacking.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: In the words of John Lehman, a member of the commission, the old bulls in Congress have decided it's more important to protect their turf than it is to be involved in national security. I regret it, and with the American people deserve a lot better. HENRY: Then there's Congressman James Sensenbrenner, who still is smarting over his immigration provisions being left out, though Republican leaders have pledged early action next year.

REP. JIM SENSENBRENNER (R-WI), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I think it is important to deal with the driver's license, asylum and fence issues immediately. And even senators who opposed including them in the 9/11 bill have stated that there is merit to doing something legislatively.


HENRY: Washington is now abuzz with talk of who will be the new director of national intelligence. CIA Director Porter Goss and former 9/11 Commission chairman Tom Kean have been mentioned.

An intriguing possibility is Democratic senator Joe Lieberman. He told CNN today he'll consider it if the president asks -- Lou.

DOBBS: Ed, thank you. Ed Henry.

Sixty-seven Republican congressmen opposed the intelligence bill in the House, because of the removal of measures to bar states from issuing driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

During the debate, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi strongly criticized those measures.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I just want to make sure I understand correctly. The egregious, considered by some of us, extraneous provisions that were in this bill that were removed in order to get the compromise legislation that we have here today will be taken up in the next Congress and be moved quickly to, what, to pass into law?


PELOSI: Pleased to yield to...

hoaxster: We will go through -- we will go right through regular order to take -- many of the provisions that had previously passed the House as part of H.R. 10 will be considered again by the House and will move through the regular process meaning that this House -- this body will consider the legislation.

REP. DANA ROHRABACHER (R), CALIFORNIA: This bill should be defeated because it has gutted the provisions in this bill that passed the House that were aimed at controlling this massive invasion we have of illegal immigrants into our country, and we are not going to have a secure America when we have millions and millions of illegal aliens coming here, many of whom could be terrorists.

REP. J.D. HAYWORTH (R), ARIZONA: To those who say that it's incremental, it's a step in the right direction, well and good. But incrementalism in wartime when our national survival may be at stake is unacceptable. Either do it right, or don't do it. It's sad, but necessary to reject this bill because it fails to deal with preventing terrorist attacks by understanding that border security and national security are one and the same.


DOBBS: Leading opponents of the intelligence reform bill today said they will introduce legislation to tighten border security on the first day of the new Congress in January. Those measures will include driver's license reform, tougher asylum laws, the completion of a border fence in California.

Lisa Sylvester reports.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you don't succeed at first, try again next year. Congressman James Sensenbrenner and other lawmakers say without meaningful immigration reform, the intelligence bill is simply a Band-Aid.

REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: American citizens have the right to know who is in their country, that people are who they say they are and that the name on a driver's license is the holder's real name, not some alias.

SYLVESTER: The intelligence bill adds 14,000 border guards and inspectors and sets new standards for driver's licenses, but absent are measures to close immigration loopholes.

Sensenbrenner says he'll introduce legislation on the first day of the new session that includes prohibiting illegal aliens from getting driver's licenses, setting a higher standard for political asylum and finishing a fence on the Mexico-California border.

President Bush and the House Republican leadership have promised immigration reform supporters they won't stand in the way.

The 9/11 hijackers had multiple driver's licenses from various states, a problem clearly identified in the 9/11 commission report.

PETER GADIEL, 9/11 FAMILIES FOR A SECURE AMERICA: If people can't get in here, they can't commit these acts, and, with open borders, they will get in, and that's what we have right now. We have essentially open borders, and this bill just doesn't do the job.

SYLVESTER: Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia already require that applicants prove they are in the country legally before getting driver's licenses.


SYLVESTER: The most likely scenario is the immigration provisions would be included an Iraq supplemental appropriations bill. Pro-immigration groups are promising to fight any new legislation, saying the measures will not make the country safer -- Lou.

DOBBS: Lisa, thank you very much.

That brings us to our poll tonight. The question: Do you support legislation that would secure our borders and reform immigration law? Yes or no. Please cast your vote at or We'll have the results here later.

Also ahead tonight, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra joins to us talk about the importance of the intelligence reform legislation and reforming our immigration laws and securing our borders.

Is it really reform, that intelligence legislation, or is it simply the shuffling of bureaucratic deck chairs? We'll have that report.

And assault and battery. Prosecutors charging players and fans alike in the basketball brawl in that game between the Pistons and the Pacers. The toughest charge of all, though, is levied against a fan, not a player.

And doctors say they're tired, sick and tired, of big drug companies pushing their pills on them and their patients. We'll tell you what they're doing about it next.


DOBBS: That brawl that broke out between the Indiana Pacers players and some fans in Detroit resulted in five players and five fans being charged today with assault and battery. But prosecutors say they saw fit rather to level only one felony charge and that against a fan who threw a chair.

Prosecutors are blaming yet another fan, John Green, for single- handedly inciting the November 19 fight. Apparently, he threw a cup at Pacer Ron Artest. Artest, for his part, was suspended for the entire season for jumping into the stands. We'll have more on this in just a matter of moments.

But, first, turning to a story we've covered extensively here over the past two years, the shipment of American jobs to chief foreign labor markets. Confidential papers discovered by a Honeywell employee suggest that Honeywell is planning to export more jobs oversees.

The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, which obtained those documents, claims they detail plans to cut more than 500 Honeywell aerospace jobs in this country over the next five years. At the same time, the documents say Honeywell will hire thousands of workers in China, Mexico and the Czech Republic. Honeywell says Washtech's claims are inaccurate.

One of the oldest and most respected names in American business is selling out to the Chinese. IBM has completed a deal to sell its entire personal computer business, including all of its intellectual property, to a Chinese competitor.

Bill Tucker has the story.


BILL TUCKER, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS (voice-over): The IBM PC once set the standard, but, in the face of aggressive price competition from Hewlett-Packard and Dell, Big Blue is now seeing red. Chinese computer maker Lenovo is outright buying IBM's PC business and everything that goes with it, except for the manufacturing, which IBM outsourced a couple of years ago.

SIMON YATES, FORRESTER RESEARCH: Basically, what IBM would be selling to Lenovo is all of the intellectual property that they've built up through enormous investments in R&D over the last 25 years that they've been in the PC business.

They'll be giving up that R&D. They're giving up their product designs. They'd be giving up, you know, some of their core brands like ThinkPad, and more than likely they'd be, you know, turning over some of that engineering expertise to Lenovo, too.

TUCKER: The new company's headquarters will be in New York, and its CEO will be the current head of the PC division giving it the look of an American company. The employees who work for the group keep their jobs, 40 percent of whom already work in China.

IBM is not concerned about the patents or technology involved in the sale, calling it old technology. Critics of the deal, though, say that the transfer is disturbing.

RICHARD D'AMATO, U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC & SECURITY REVIEW COMMISSION: I think that CEOs and American business schools should start thinking about what are the long-term implications of moving so much of our technology to another country. We haven't done that before, but I think that's the kind of assessment we need to start making now.

TUCKER: IBM keeps a 19 percent stake in the new venture. In announcing the deal, IBM beats technology rival Cisco Systems at one goal.


TUCKER: Earlier this fall, John Chambers of Cisco Systems made the startling statement that he wants to make Cisco a Chinese company. Well, Lou, with this deal, it's a done deal for IBM PC.

DOBBS: Indeed, it is, at least making Lenovo an American company with a firm planted foot here.

It is remarkable to me that this deal is happening without anyone in Congress, without anyone in policy at all even looking -- even slightly askance at it.

TUCKER: No. Well, they never have in the past. Why would they start now, Lou?

DOBBS: Well, for example, let me give you a few reasons. One, it is a communist country. This company is in a communist country. And the fact is it is a huge transfer of intellectual property. But then again, no one's been concerned about that in recent years anyway.

Bill Tucker, thank you.

Well, still ahead here tonight, the intelligence reform bill is headed for the president's desk. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra joins me. He's among those mentioned, by the way, as a candidate to be the new director of national intelligence. He's our guest.

And then, an unhealthy relationship between our nation's doctors, the big pharmaceutical companies who are pushing pills. Some doctors now say they've simply had enough of all the dinners, gifts and other perks. We'll have a special report on the price of medical independence.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: Tonight, a growing rift between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. More and more doctors are becoming outraged with ceaseless mass marketing from the drug companies. Doctors and medical students across the country today took a stand.

Christine Romans reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want the pens!

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These medical students and doctors say drug companies shamelessly ply them with free lunches and trinkets, trying to get them to prescribe the newest, most expensive drugs.

BOB GOODMAN, NO FREE LUNCH: If we saw this happening somewhere on Capitol Hill or elsewhere, we would call it a bribe, and, certainly, that is what happens, that the gifts are given, physicians prescribe on account of those gifts.

ROMANS: Gene Carbona knows firsthand. He spent 10 years as a salesman for Merck.

GENE CARBONA, FORMER MERCK SALES REP: There are 100,000 drug reps knocking on physicians; doors every day of the week, and each of them are talking to about eight to 10 doctors a day. And if you do the math, that's about a million discussions a day that are promotional in nature.

ROMANS: Drug companies pay doctors five-figure fees to speak at their dinners. They spend a half-billion dollars a year advertising in medical journals, and they pay for the clinical trials and studies that are published in those journals.

At least a quarter of doctors and academia have consulting contracts with drug and biotech companies. In fact, after medical school, almost all of a doctor's continuing education is provided by drug companies.

JERRY KASSIRER, AUTHOR, "ON THE TAKE": Doctors shouldn't be on the take. They shouldn't be taking free food. They shouldn't be taking free gifts. They shouldn't be getting free education from the pharmaceutical companies.

ROMANS: Most doctors say all the free stuff from drug companies does not effect their judgment, but studies tell a different story. In one study, 46 percent of physicians reported that drug reps are moderately to very important in influencing their prescribing habits. Another study found a majority of medical residents said they would never be influenced by drug promotions, but their colleagues probably are.

Now PHRMA, the industry group, says it no longer tolerates the real lavish perks, the drug companies giving free vacations to the whole doctor's family, and they say they're proud to help educate doctors about drugs.

But, Lou, answering the call for unbiased research for some real straight facts, Consumer Reports tomorrow starts publishing its own review of drugs, their effectiveness and their cost, which is the best drug for the lowest cost.

DOBBS: We have a real issue in this country right now. It's wonderful that the medical association is beginning to deal with it and trying to at least mitigate the influence, but there is a conflict of interest here that is overwhelming, that has grown up admittedly over a number of years almost silently. But that silence is obviously being broken.

Christine, thank you very much.

Still ahead here, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Pete Hoekstra, joins me. The Congressman says intelligence reform is the most significant modernization of U.S. intelligence in nearly six decades.

And culture in decline. Tonight, why the United States doesn't require immigrants to learn English. We'll have a special report. Separation or assimilation? Two leading experts will be here to debate the issue tonight.

And defending your right to know. Pulitzer Prizewinning "New York Times" reporter Judith Miller will be here. She faces jail, protecting the confidentiality of her sources. She's our guest next.

Stay with us.



ANNOUNCER: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT continues. Here for more news, debate and opinion, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee will be joining me in just a moment. We'll be talking about the intelligence reform legislation.

But, first, a look at some of the top stories tonight.

In California, three people were killed when a commuter van from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory plummeted hundreds of feet down a mountain road in the Los Angeles national forest. Seven other people were injured in the accident, one critically. Ten people were in the van car pool on their way to work when the accident occurred this morning. Six JPL employees, two contractors, two NASA employees in the van.

Martha Stewart will soon be back on television. Martha Stewart Omnimedia says Stewart will host a daily syndicated television show. It's expected to debut next fall. Meanwhile, Stewart ran into some trouble with tax authorities in Connecticut where she apparently owes nearly $10,000 in property taxes with interest.

Dick Clark is recuperating tonight from a mild stroke that he suffered earlier this week. In a statement, the 75-year-old Clark said he hopes to be in Times Square for New Year's Eve. Clark has been a New Year's Eve icon for the past 32 years.

And one key member of President Bush's economic team is staying at work. Earlier today, the president asked Treasury Secretary John Snow to remain at his post. Snow has agreed. Another senior Bush administration official has, however, decided to step down. Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi is resigning. No replacement has been named.

My guest tonight voted in favor of the intelligence reform legislation. He worked hard to secure the compromise agreement. Congressman Pete Hoekstra says it will make this nation's intelligence community more vibrant and organized. He's chair of the House intelligence committee, joining us tonight from Capitol Hill. Mr. Chairman, good to have you with us.

To move to the simple issue, 67 Republicans voted against the legislation. How concerned are you about that?

REP. PETE HOEKSTRA (R), INTELLIGENCE CMTE. CHAIRMAN: Well, I'm not concerned that they voted against the legislation. The legislation passed yesterday and I think the issues that they raised are issues that Congress is going to need to deal with. Many of them were concerned not about what was in the bill. They supported the intelligence reform, the law enforcement portions. They just said, you didn't get enough of the immigration reform border security. And I tend to agree with them.

DOBBS: And with that agreement, is it your sense that something, for the first time, the United States Congress will focus, the House and the Senate will focus on the importance of border security and securing -- and this almost sounds surreal to even say it -- that we will be focusing on border security as part of homeland defense?

HOEKSTRA: You think we really have to focus on border security. And we need to focus on immigration reform. As I've described it to my constituents back home, I'm not comfortable and I don't like saying it, but the lack of attention to immigration reform, the lack of enforcing our immigration laws is the dirty little secret that Congress hasn't been willing to acknowledge for the last 10 or 15 years.

DOBBS: And as you put it, Mr. Chairman, that, whatever else benefits accrue as a result of this intelligence reform legislation, that very public awareness that has been enhanced as a result of this debate, I think, is a principal benefit as well, just as you're suggesting. In terms of the reform, some of the critics, Congressman Hoekstra, have said that this legislation, this reform is really a bureaucratic reshuffling. How do you respond to them?

HOEKSTRA: Well, we don't know exactly what it's going to be. We know what we've got in mind. When I came out of the business world, I worked for a fortune 500 company. You know, we passed a marketing -- when I got my boss to agree to a marketing plan or proposed a new product and management accepted it, that was the beginning of the work. A year later two years later, they'd say exactly what results did you get? It now becomes a responsibility of those of us in Congress to manage the oversight of the implementation of this bill that we passed to make sure that we get the results that we intended, that we get a vibrant, an agency -- a vibrant agency, an agency that thinks outside of the box and gives us better intelligence.

DOBBS: And to do that is going to require some work. Both Porter Goss, the CIA director, his predecessor, George Tenet said it would take five years. In the case of Porter Goss, it would take more than five years to have an effective, covert operation. Will this intelligence community reform in your opinion, accelerate that at all?

HOEKSTRA: Well, I sure hope so. I think what we're going to have is a new director of national intelligence. That person is going to be able to hopefully put together a strategic plan. We need this person to think like a chief executive officer. Establish a vision for the intelligence community and make sure that the people that are working for him or her, that they then go about implementing this strategic plan. There has not been a strategic plan or a strategic vision for the intelligence community, I think, for a long time.

DOBBS: Well, as you mentioned, the job of director of national intelligence amongst the names, including Porter Goss, Senator Joe Lieberman, the name Pete Hoekstra. Are you interested in that job?

HOEKSTRA: Hey, I just got a new job 12 weeks ago as chairman of the intelligence -- I've had enough excitement in my life recently. I'm really focused on making sure that we here in Congress reestablish a very aggressive oversight role, you know, in the role of the intelligence committee here in the House. Porter did a great job. We're going to build on that foundation. I'm not looking to move anywhere. I love the folks of the second congressional district of Michigan. I love living in Michigan. I know who I work for and I like this job.

DOBBS: Congressman Pete Hoekstra, chairman of the House intelligence committee. Good to have you here.

HOEKSTRA: Hey, great. Thank you.

DOBBS: A reminder to vote in our poll. The question, do you support legislation that would secure our borders and reform our immigration law? Cast your vote at We'll have the results coming right up.

Still ahead, new charges in the brawl at the Detroit Pistons- Indiana Pacers game. What culture in decline? Prosecutors, however, say one man is to blame for sparking the entire incident. We'll have that story next.

And the brawl simply the latest evidence in American cultural decline. Tonight, another factor. The rising use of foreign languages in this country, which would make us multilingual, except in these cases, English isn't amongst the multi. Two experts will be here debating what the government role should be in encouraging everyone in this country to speak English.

That and a great deal more still ahead here. Stay with us.


DOBBS: As we reported, five Indiana Pacers and five Detroit Pistons fans today charged in one of the worst brawls in sports history. Eric Phillips reports.


ERIC PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This scene from the November 19 brawl at the Pistons/Pacers game is etched in the minds of basketball fans and the public at large. The NBA stepped in almost immediately, suspending four Pacers players as a result of the disturbance. Now, several have been charged with crimes. Jermaine O'Neal has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault and battery, while teammates Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Johnson and David Harrison all were charged with one count. Also, five fans have been charged in this brawl. One with a felony for throwing a chair. John Green is one of those charged. Authorities say it all started when he threw a drink at Ron Artest and Artest charged the stands.

DAVID GORCYCA, OAKLAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR: In my opinion, I would like to hold Mr. Green more accountable, because had not he thrown that cup and struck Artest, we wouldn't be here today.

PHILLIPS: The local police chief is hoping these charges send a strong message. CHIEF DOREEN OLKO, AUBURN HILLS POLICE: We hope that this incident can serve as a turning point to mark the return of sportsmanship and civilized conduct of players and of their fans at all levels of sport competition.

PHILLIPS: Authorities say NBA players are told to not enter the stands during games. And fans are cautioned that disturbing behavior could cause them to be ejected from the facility.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that you have a ticket does not mean you have a license to harass or batter players, whether or not they enter into the -- off the playing area and into the spectator seating.

PHILLIPS: Authorities say more people could still be charged.


PHILLIPS: Now tomorrow, the players association will be meeting with an arbitrator to see if those suspensions can either be lifted or greatly reduced. If they stick, they will cost players a combined total of more than $10 million in income -- Lou.

DOBBS: It's a sad commentary, isn't it Eric, that the meeting is about lessening the punishment, rather than further investigating what more needs to be done to stop that kind of despicable behavior.

PHILLIPS: Absolutely. And the arbitrator will have two decisions, really to make, Lou. First of all, whether or not he has jurisdiction to make this decision. The NBA will argue he does not. Secondly, what decision he will make if, in fact he finds that he does have jurisdiction. The rest we'll have to see tomorrow.

DOBBS: Thank you very much, Eric.

Tonight in our special report, "Culture in Decline" the decline of a common language in this country in many quarters. Speaking English in America is often seen as an option, because the use of foreign languages are encouraged in our schools and government office, while English is not. Peter Viles reports.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Soy (ph) George W. Bush. Ya probe esta mencaje (ph).


PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Whether we like it or not, we have no common language. You can see it on television. You can hear it on the radio. The number of American whose speak a language other than English at home now stands at 47 million. That's up 47 percent in just 10 years. And 21 million of those speak English, quote, less than very well.

K.C. MCALPIN, PROENGLISH: If it continues, there's no question we're headed for something of a crisis in terms of our unity, linguistic unity as a country.

VILES: If this is a crisis in the making, the government is responsible. From bilingual education to ballots, it sends the message that assimilation isn't necessary, you can speak whatever language you like.

JIM BOULET JR., ENGLISH FIRST: What we have is the government is saying, don't bother to learn English. We'll tell you everything you need to know. If you want to vote, here's your bilingual ballot. If you want to apply for welfare, here's your Spanish language form.

VILES: Bilingual education is such a disappointment, that many Hispanic families fought to end it in California.

VIVIAN MARTINEZ, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: They want their children to learn the language of English, and to be successful because that's why they're here. They want an opportunity for their child, and that child's opportunity comes in the form of English language. And that's where they want their children to go.

VILES (on camera): California law now says that all students must be taught in English unless they get a special waiver. But federal policy couldn't be more different. It says that all government services must be made accessible to those who do not speak English. Peter Viles, CNN, Los Angeles.


DOBBS: This debate over what is effectively assimilation in this country is the at center of our Face Off tonight. Joining me from Dallas, syndicated columnist with the Dallas Morning News, Ruben Navarrette. He says Latinos are making strides in assimilating into this country.

Victor David Hanson disagrees, saying we're allowing immigrant groups to vulcanize and to separate from our mainstream population. He is a senior fellow from the Hoover Organization, joining us tonight from Palo Alto, California. Gentlemen, good to have you with us.


DOBBS: Let me, begin, Ruben, with you. What in the world is going on that we have 47 million people in this country, not only from Mexico and South America, but literally from around the world, for whom language is not a first choice -- English is not a first choice of language at home?

RUBEN NAVARRETTE, DALLAS MORNING NEWS: I'd say what's going on, Lou, is frankly thinks that have been going on for a hundred years, similar to the first wave of immigrants, last wave a hundred years ago, when the immigrants who were German and came from Germany and didn't want to let go of German as a language held on to that language as well.

The patterns are very similar. I think immigrants come here from other countries, from Mexico and South American countries, and in one or two, three generations they learn English. That's what the studies show, that's what the research finds. There really is less to worry about than many folks on the cultural right would have us believe.

DOBBS: The cultural right. Victor Davis Hanson, is that you?

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, SR. FELLOW HOOVER INSTITUTION: I don't know. That's kind of a buzz word. But the problem is we've never had in the United States 13 million, 10 to 13 million people here illegally. Nor have we had a situation where the host has lost confidence in the powers of assimilation so that we have people who go to school and learn in two languages.

People always -- immigrants spoke their native language for a while. But because of the sheer number of people, we're having a constant pull now of first and second generation people who simply don't speak English.

By any historical marker we know what happens in places like Iraq with Shi'ites and Kurds and Sunnis, or in Rwanda or the Balkans. Anytime a person owes their allegiance to a particular language or language or tribe rather than as a nation as a whole, you start to unravel these very precious, historic bonds that keep us together. We're a nation, not cultures, but of different races that have one common culture. We're really the only successful multiracial society in the history of civilization.

DOBBS: Is that point often lost in all of this, you just mentioned cultural right, Ruben. The fact is we're living, we have the great fortune to live in the most culturally, racially, ethnically diverse society on the face of the planet. We don't give ourselves much credit for the it. And then, at the same time, we exacerbate matters by talking about the cultural left and the cultural right. What in the world -- what's going on here?

NAVARRETTE: Well, the point is that there are two different realities here, Lou. There's the reality as drawn out by alarmists on the cultural right, people who think immigrants are somehow the ruin of the country, that -- let me get this straight, they're not assimilating, they're not learning English, they still have high birth rates, they're not becoming Americans, they have divided loyalties. OK, I got it.

The problem is, that flies in the face of study after survey after survey study that tells us that isn't true. Just recently, a story in the New York Times saying that Latino births are going down. The story is in today's New York Times saying that Latinos are learning English. 72 percent of Latinos in the third generation speak English.

Again, it might help some folks sell books, get on television shows and ring this bell, ring this bell, the sky is falling, it's just not happening that way.

DOBBS: What was the name of your book, Ruben?

NAVARRETTE: "A Darker Shade of Crimson." I wrote it 10 years ago. We all have our books, Lou.


NAVARRETTE: I'll send you one, you send me one.

DOBBS: You got a deal. Well, I much prefer you buy it. Mine is so recent. But I'll buy yours as well, Ruben, just to keep the quid pro quo even.

NAVARRETTE: I was a kid.

DOBBS: You got it.

Victor, this issue is boiling up, as I said to Ruben, this cultural right stuff, I think personally, is nonsense. I think the cultural left is also nonsense. I think what we have, if I may say, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and yours as well, Ruben, we have a bunch of people with a vested interest in this subject that are distorting the reality for all of us who are not directly involved in that first or second generation of immigration into this country whether legal or illegal.

And by that, I mean, we have unions that are trying to bring in cheap labor to be exploited, frankly. We have corporate America who want to bring in cheap labor to be exploited. Both are benefiting.

And we're not even beginning to control our borders, let alone our schools or the cultural institutions, including church's, including our schools. And there's a tremendous problem.

How do we deal with it?

HANSON: I agree with you. I don't see this as a political left or right. My experience in talking to a variety of people, it's a class issue. People who are in the halls of corporate American, people in the Chicano studies departments, people in journalism, people in politics who don't live with the reality every day tend to think it's not a problem. People who try to go to school in the public schools, assimilate, they want this.

Some of the success stories Ruben is referring to came in spite of, not because of, a lot of the leadership in the Latino community that fought tooth and nail, bilingual education and ethnic identification.

One of the reasons that we're starting to recover our confidence in the melting pot in California is that the people rose up and said, no more bilingual education. They said no more ethnic identification for jobs, we're all here as Californians. And now we have this ironic Orwellian situation that, with the powers of popular culture and the revolt of the people, they've started to bring back this idea. And all of a sudden spokesmen say, see it's working. It's working despite people in the past who have tried to separate us.

DOBBS: Victor Davis Hanson, Ruben Navarrette, we thank you very much. We hope you'll both be back as we continue our examination on this. And we know you will continue to examine the issue from your perspectives, almost daily.

Just ahead, freedom of the press, your right to know. It's under assault. I'll be joined by one journalist who is facing jail time for refusing to reveal a confidential source. New York Times Pulitzer prize winning reporter Judith Miller joins me next.


DOBBS: At least 10 journalists now face jail time for refusing to reveal confidential sources -- for defending your right to know, in point of fact.

One of those journalists is Judith Miller, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter at "The New York Times." She is refusing to reveal a confidential source for a story, in point of fact, she never wrote. Today, Miller went to the U.S. Appellate Court in Washington for a hearing on her case. Judith Miller joins us tonight from Washington, D.C. Good to have you here.

JUDITH MILLER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Nice to be here, Lou.

DOBBS: After the proceedings today, is there some reason to hope that this issue will go away and that the next steps won't have to be taken?

MILLER: Well you know, I mean, just being in an appellate court, where I've never been, surrounded by these portraits of the justices and watching this process, three judges kind of struggling for the truth, asking hypotheticals, it's amazing to watch. And I wish that I'd been covering it instead of...

DOBBS: The center...

MILLER: The subject of it.

DOBBS: The subject and the center of the issue.

MILLER: Right. Right.

DOBBS: As you heard the justices, the judges examine the attorneys and the attorneys make their arguments and, of course, you were a center in those arguments, what was your reaction?

Are you more confident?

Are you more concerned as a result of what transpired today?

MILLER: Well, I think I'm a little of both. I heard things from different judges which both depressed me and also encouraged me. At one point, the special prosecutor who was arguing against our appeal, seemed to suggest that there is a qualified privilege for journalists not to appear before a grand jury, and that was encouraging. And the court also looked at the issue of if there were an exemption for journalists, would Web bloggers be covered. You know, how do you define a journalist? Is somebody who just sets up a Web blog covered? And my attorney said, basically, yes. If he or she is functioning as a journalist. My attitude is if the walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.

DOBBS: Well, I'm not sure bloggers appreciate that, necessarily, as the description.

MILLER: I'm a journalist, though. Quack.

DOBBS: Exactly. The fact of the matter is, this issue is confronting you, another 10 of our -- 10 of our colleagues, in point of fact around the country.


DOBBS: Is it your sense that enough has been made of the issue, that is, that media companies, national media companies in particular, whether it be the "Times" company, whether it be Time Warner, whether it be whatever the media corporation. Are the corporate interests themselves doing enough to stand up for journalists?

MILLER: Well, I'm very lucky to work for a newspaper which is totally behind me, as is "Time" magazine behind Matt Cooper, who is my colleague. Our cases have been joined. I think in general, the press itself was kind of slow to wake up to this threat. When the special prosecutor began asking Bob Novak, who his sources were for the story that he wrote, which has gotten Matt and me and the others into this situation, I don't think journalists really responded with the alarm we should have.

Some liberal journalists said, oh, Bob Novak is conservative. He was carrying water for the president and, therefore he didn't deserve the protection of the First Amendment. I think we were all a little, perhaps, quittance (ph) about this threat, because there are so many attacks on freedom of the press now that, I think even I've been a little surprised once you really begin to look at them as part of a pattern.

DOBBS: And it's a pattern with whom on this broadcast, we've talked with a number of experts if you will, those who are most interested in studying and preserving the First Amendment rights of journalists around the country. The difficult questions ahead are going to be addressed, first by the appellate court ruling.

When do you think that will come?

MILLER: We don't know. That's another problem, Lou, is that until you actually get a ruling, your life is kind of on hold. It's just very difficult to take a long trip or begin a long investigation. It could come at any time. It could come by the end of the month. It could come sooner. It could come next month. But coming it is, because this is a criminal proceeding, because the special prosecutor is pressing for swift justice in this case.

DOBBS: Well, Judith Miller, we hope that the news is good for you.

MILLER: Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: And for all of us who practice the craft. And we wish you the very best.

MILLER: I hope it's good for the public.

DOBBS: You got it.

MILLER: And thank you very much.

DOBBS: Take care, Judith Miller.

Still ahead here, the results of our poll, a preview of what's ahead here tomorrow.


DOBBS: Results of our poll tonight, 96 percent of you support legislation that would secure our borders and reform our immigration laws.

Thanks for being with us tonight, please be with us tomorrow.

The man who brought charges today in the basketball brawl, Oakland County prosecutor David Gorcyca is our guest. Please be with us.

For all us here, good night from New York. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" is next.


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