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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Bolton Wins Critical Senate Battle; Nuclear Challenge; Intelligent Design Versus Random Evolution
Aired May 12, 2005 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, a victory for President Bush. John Bolton, as nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has won a critical Senate battle.
ANNOUNCER: Also ahead on LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, nuclear challenge: Iran's defiance. A global nuclear crisis could be imminent.
Drug scene: the FBI arrests current and former soldiers and law enforcement agents.'
And debating our origins: a nation divided. Was a higher force involved? We'll have a special report and a debate tonight.
This is LOU DOBBS, for news, debate and opinion, tonight.
DOBBS: Good evening.
Tonight, the Bush White House is closer to winning its long campaign to appoint John Bolton as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee today agreed to send Bolton's nomination to the full Senate for a vote, but the committee declined to give Bolton a favorable recommendation.
Andrea Koppel, on Capitol Hill, reports on the showdown in the Senate. Ed Henry, at the White House, reports on the next stage of this confirmation battle.
We begin with Andrea Koppel -- Andrea.
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT: Lou, while it is -- while it's happened before in committee, it is certainly extremely rare. And as one staffer put it, "It could be considered a slap in John Bolton's face," especially considering that he is President Bush's choice to be the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. And the Foreign Relations Committee has a 10-8 Republican majority.
KOPPEL (voice-over): After a cliffhanger of a confirmation process, John Bolton took one step closer to the United Nations. But not before Republican Senator George Voinovich of Ohio broke with fellow Republicans and fired a warning shot across Bolton's bow, vowing to vote against him once the nomination reached the Senate floor.
SEN. GEORGE VOINOVICH (R), OHIO: Mr. Chairman, it is my opinion that John Bolton is the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be.
KOPPEL: Three weeks ago, Voinovich forced a delay in the Bolton vote, while Democrats sought more time to prove allegations that Bolton, while at the State Department, had bullied or tried to punish subordinates who challenged him. But the ranking Democrat, Joe Biden of Delaware, cried foul, saying the State Department had refused to provide all the classified documents needed, claiming they were not relevant.
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), DELAWARE: They do not believe the request to be specifically tied to the issues being deliberated by the committee. I repeat what my mother says, who died and left them boss?
KOPPEL: But committee chair Richard Lugar made clear enough was enough. A lengthy investigation, he said, had not shown Bolton was unfit to serve.
SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R-IN), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: The end result is that many of the accusations have proven to be groundless, or at worst overrated.
KOPPEL: Republicans maintain that Bolton has all the most important qualifications to push the president's agenda of reforming the U.N.
SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R), VIRGINIA: We do not need Mr. Milquetoast in the United Nations. We're not electing Mr. Peepers to go there and just be really happy and drinking tea with their pinkies up, and just saying all these meaningless things when we do need a straight talker.
KOPPEL: But Senate Democrats are promising a fight when this gets to the Senate floor. Senator Barbara Boxer of California, for one, said that she would be reaching out to the American people to help prevent Bolton from getting to the U.N. But as to where this goes now, the majority leader, Frist's office, says that it is undetermined at this point, Lou, because next week they know they've got another battle brewing. They want to push through the judicial nominations -- Lou.
DOBBS: A showdown of one kind or another is imminent in the U.S. Senate. Andrea, thank you very much. Andrea Koppel.
The White House declared it is confident the full Senate will confirm Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations. The White House said Bolton is exactly the kind of person this country needs at the United Nations.
Ed Henry reports from the White House -- Ed.
ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Lou. Winning ugly, perhaps. A little bit of a mixed bag for the president, who has staked a lot of political capital on this nomination.
On the one hand, clearly the White House not thrilled that a Republican senator like George Voinovich would issue such scathing criticism today. And certainly the White House would have preferred that this Republican-led committee would have issued a positive endorsement of John Bolton.
On the other hand, very good for the president that he got it out of the Foreign Relations Committee at all. George Voinovich could have voted against this nomination in committee. That would have killed it right then and there. He decided not to do that and to at least let it move forward.
White House officials tonight telling us they are pleased that this got out of committee. They are confident that John Bolton will be confirmed by the full Senate. And White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president still believes that John Bolton is the perfect person to shake up the United Nations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: John Bolton is a strong voice for reform at a time when the United Nations is beginning efforts to move forward on reform. He's exactly the kind of person we need at the United Nations.
He brings a lot of unique qualifications to the position, and a great amount of experience and passion, and sometimes a little bluntness. But the president believes that's exactly what is needed at the United Nations during this time of reform.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: The bottom line is that the White House is still confident that with 55 Senate Republicans they can muster the 51 votes needed to win confirmation for John Bolton with or without George Voinovich. The problem, though, could arise if Democrats launch a filibuster against Bolton. Then Republicans would need 60 votes to get his nomination through. That would be a much steeper hill to climb, especially if other Republicans join Voinovich in voting against Bolton on the Senate floor -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, the timing becomes interesting, doesn't it, Ed? Because, in point of fact, delaying the confirmation vote for John Bolton until a decision is made on whether to exercise the so called nuclear option -- that is, to change the Senate rules and revoke the filibuster or closure vote, that timing could be critically important, in fact may add incentive to the Republican leadership to press ahead with removing the filibuster as a threat.
HENRY: Oh, absolutely, Lou. I mean, there's been a lot of talk in the Senate, as you know, that if Bill Frist, the majority leader, moves forward with using the nuclear or constitutional option next week, that could basically blow up relations between both parties, which are already strained.
If, in fact, that happens next week, and Bolton has not been debated by then, it's going to be that much harder to get this nomination through after the nuclear option is used. It's going to make it very, very difficult -- Lou.
DOBBS: Ed, with everything coming down to party line votes, I don't think that the relationship, at least as it seems to me, could get much worse between the two parties. But perhaps I'm not seeing fully the potential here. Ed, thank you very much. Ed Henry from the White House.
Iran tonight appears to be on the brink of officially declaring it will resume nuclear enrichment processes which could be used to make nuclear weapons. Britain and other European allies today declared they are prepared to support strong measures against Iran if Tehran goes ahead with nuclear reprocessing.
Kitty Pilgrim reports.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iran is on the verge of pushing its luck, saying it will soon restart uranium enrichment activity which had been frozen. The Europeans responded strongly.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We certainly will support referral to the U.N. Security Council if Iran breaches its undertakings and obligations.
PILGRIM: The United States has long held Iran's nuclear program is a front to develop weapons.
MCCLELLAN: Iran has a long history of hiding its nuclear activities. For some two decades, Iran hid its nuclear activities from the international community.
PILGRIM: Experts say the timing of the action is politically motivated.
SELIG HARRISON, CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL POLICY: The problem at the moment is that this issue has become mixed up with Iranian national elections. If the present rulers of Iran look like they are caving in to foreign pressure, that hurts them in the election.
PILGRIM: And the nuclear problem is building. Not just in Iran. Many countries are pushing for nuclear identity. North Korea, India and Pakistan, are now nuclear-capable. And the nonproliferation talks at the United Nations have also reportedly hit an impasse.
GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN": What we are seeing across the world are a number of crises which are converging. And so what we may see in the next couple years is the turning point of the 21st century. But what happens this year and the next couple years very well may determine the course of the next hundred-year period. (END VIDEOTAPE)
PILGRIM: Now, the Europeans have been trying to offer economic incentives to Iran to give up its program, but they say starting up the program is an automatic deal-breaker. Negotiations will stop and the U.N. Security Council, Lou, will likely have to start talking about sanctions.
DOBBS: This is remarkable in that Europe, the so called E-3 nations, saying directly to Iran, we're with the United States in our concern and are prepared to take punitive actions.
PILGRIM: It's a significant move. The Europeans are talking very tough today.
DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.
Coming up next here, how the latest wave of insurgent violence in Iraq is affecting U.S. military recruiting.
And debating our origins. Evolution, creationism, intelligent design -- what should we be teaching our children about the origins of our universe and life itself? We'll have a special report. And I'll be talking with three leading authorities on science, religion, and education.
DOBBS: Three American soldiers have been killed in the latest combat in Iraq. One killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad; the other two soldiers killed in separate explosions near the Iraqi capital. Insurgents also launched a new bomb attack against Iraqi civilians.
In Baghdad, a suicide bomber blew himself up. Twelve people were killed in the explosion, 56 others wounded. Insurgents have now killed more than 400 people since the Iraqis formed a new government just two weeks ago.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made it far more difficult for the Army to recruit. The Army has missed its recruiting goals for the past three months, in fact. And because of those difficulties, many Army recruiters have been breaking the rules. As a result, the army has suspended its recruiting efforts for one day on May 20 to review, as it put it, procedures.
Joining me now, General David Grange.
General, you and I and a lot of other people just a matter of three weeks ago were talking about what could be a turning point in Iraq. The insurgent attacks had ebbed, very few attacks were taking place.
What is going on in your estimation?
GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Lou, we also said there would be peaks and valleys. DOBBS: Right.
GRANGE: Obviously, we're in a valley right now with some of the insurgent successes. But if you look at the type of attacks, there are attacks done by individuals, terrorist-type attacks, improvised explosive devices on roads, suicide bombers. Very, very difficult to defend against, but they are effective. And, of course, that's their -- their tactic of choice right now, because they cannot form units large enough to fight effectively around some of these cities like Baghdad. And it's going to continue.
DOBBS: And let's turn to the impact that it's having here on recruiting, amongst the other factors. The Army missing recruiting goals last month by 42 percent. That's an extraordinary result, or failure to achieve a result. What's happening?
GRANGE: Well, what's happening is you have a lot of people convincing potential recruits not to join the military right now because, in fact, you may go to war as a soldier, which, you know, really is what you train as a soldier and the major probability of being a soldier when do you enlist. And so it's tough to get people in.
It's not just for education now. You know, going to college when you get out, or the job market's not good. It's really a persuading people, well, maybe this is really dangerous. And so some are kind of laying back a little bit. But I do think it will pick up a little.
DOBBS: You're the professional soldier. But when -- when young men and women in this country hear the secretary of defense basically say that he's going to change the organization of the Army, its structure, and, in part, its mission, when the fact is that tours of duty are extended, rather seemingly to many of them, I'm sure, arbitrarily. When Marines are having to recall armored vests, when there isn't adequate armor on Humvees, when we have to buy ammunition from Israel and from Canada and don't manufacture, all of that, does any of that, does it play into those recruiting difficulties as well?
GRANGE: Absolutely. I mean, there's a trust-confidence thing that the American citizen on the street -- that is, a potential recruit -- has to have trust in the government and in the leadership of the military or Congress or the administration before they join up.
This has always been a problem in the military. This is really nothing new.
You've always had shortages. You've always had problems that should have been fixed but weren't. The problem is now, with media on top of it, it's highlighted, it's in everybody's face. And so if you can't correct these things immediately, you pay for it.
DOBBS: And on those -- on illuminating those issues, General Grange, we're proud to have you here to illuminate those issues in the media. General David Grange, thank you very much.
GRANGE: My pleasure. DOBBS: We're making a correction tonight about a story we did on Stickley Furniture. We erroneously reported that Stickley had made promises to Madison Square Furniture that the jobs at a Pennsylvania plant would be moved to a location in the United States, but instead were outsource to Vietnam. Our source for this assertion clarified that he only assumed the designs would be made in the United States and that no actual promises to that effect were ever made or implied by Stickley.
Madison Square Furniture was, in fact, already being liquidated. And Stickley's purchase of their assets didn't close the factory or cause the loss of any U.S. jobs. Stickley acquired Madison Square Furniture designs for use in its already planned Vietnam facility.
Nothing we reported was intended to suggest that Stickley was labeling products made in Vietnam as being made in America. Additionally, we erroneously reported that Stickley had not expanded jobs in the United States while it was developing its plant in Vietnam.
Stickley has, in fact, grown its U.S. employment and invested millions of dollars in expanding its U.S. facilities over the past two years. Over the course of the past 30 years, Stickley has grown its U.S. employment from 25 to 1,400 without a single layoff.
We regret the errors in our reporting and apologize to the owners, employees and customer of Stickley Furniture.
Coming up next here, a new border security plan that supporters say would make Social Security cards impossible to counterfeit. The author of the legislation is our guest.
And then, evolution, creationism, intelligent design, what are they? We'll find out. And a debate over the origins of life and how those origins should be taught in our nation's school coming up. I'll be talking with three experts on evolution, creationism, intelligent design next.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: The Justice Department today charged 16 current and former military and law enforcement officials in a massive cocaine sting at our southern border. The federal government says those officials accepted $220,000 in bribes to move 1,200 pounds of cocaine across the border.
The bribes were paid by undercover FBI agents. The defendants include a former INS inspector, a former federal prison official, a former Army sergeant and members of the Arizona National Guard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NOEL HILLMAN, DEPT. OF JUSTICE: In one instance on October 22, 2002, several of the defendants drove three official government vehicles, including two military Humvees assigned to the Arizona Army National Guard, to a clandestine desert airstrip near Benson, Arizona, where they met with a twin-engine, King Air aircraft flown by undercover agents in the FBI. Those defendants, while in full uniform, supervised the unloading of approximately 60 kilograms of cocaine from the King Air into their vehicles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: The Justice Department says all 16 defendants have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges. They are now cooperating with investigators.
Separately tonight, an illegal alien with a criminal record who avoided deportation two years ago has been arrested. He was working as the head security guard at a city government building in Philadelphia.
Immigration officials say the Jamaican citizen got that job using a fake name and fake Social Security number. Ironically, one of his duties was to check the identification of people who visit the government building. ICE says the alien was arrested on drug charges in New York several years ago. He will be held in detention until he can be deported.
Our nation's border security the focus of hearings on Capitol Hill today. Lawmakers criticize the head of the border agency for its failure to enforce those borders, and they question why the Minuteman Project involving thousands of ordinary citizen volunteers was so successful.
Christine Romans reports.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Capitol Hill, a grilling for the top cop of our nation's borders.
REP. TOM DAVIS (R), CHAIRMAN, GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE: The fact remains that we don't have operational control of our borders.
REP. GINNY BROWN-WAITE (R), FLORIDA: Americans are fed up with it. A couple years ago we might have all had bought that. Well, they are doing jobs that average Americans won't do. So we have to come up with another excuse why we are so lax.
REP. MARK SOUDER (R), INDIANA: What is the plan? Does CBP have a strategic plan to address border security?
REP. JOHN DUNCAN (R), TENNESSEE: Why do you have so many people who aren't wanting to do their jobs in this agency, Mr. Bonner?
ROMANS: The man who runs the nation's Customs and Border Protection.
ROBERT BONNER, COMM., U.S. CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION: We're talking about numbers that are overwhelming. And if we're serious about the border, we're going to have to add some real technology, and we're going to have to add some more Border Patrol agents, and we're going to have to get a handle on it.
ROMANS: And his cautious view of last month's citizen border effort in Arizona known as the Minuteman Project...
BONNER: We value citizen help. We value having citizens that are eyes and ears to tell us when there is suspicious activity. And the question would be, is there a way to, let's say, better and more effectively harness the citizen volunteers? And that is something that we are looking at. I don't have the answer.
ROMANS: Minuteman organizer Chris Simcox...
CHRIS SIMCOX, MINUTEMAN CO-FOUNDER, THE MINUTEMAN PROJECT: Because while you're waiting and while you're making up your minds what to do, we're going to continue with the Minuteman-type projects. We're going to continue basically reinventing the civil defense movement that was -- that aided our country during World War II. We're basically under attack.
ROMANS: Several congressmen praised the Minuteman Project...
DUNCAN: I think it was very patriotic thing that Mr. Simcox and his associates did.
ROMANS: ... and said illegal immigration is a bigger issue for their constituents than tax reform and Social Security.
ROMANS: Is it any wonder Bonner said that there were more than 1,600 illegal aliens apprehended just yesterday, just on the Arizona border, 79,000 last month. Despite those numbers, he says operational control of our borders is possible and his agency is doing the best that it can.
DOBBS: I heard him say, the head of the agency, Mr. Bonner said, "We're overwhelmed," straightforwardly. And then suggested that there should be some discussion about what to do about it.
If we're overwhelmed, this country used to react. But not now. He also said that he valued volunteers. I don't think he checked with the boss. Mr. Bush apparently doesn't, calling them vigilantes.
ROMANS: He was also pleased, he said, that there wasn't any incidents on the border. And he thought that the Minuteman Project went well overall. But he would like to see more oversight and cooperation next time around. He's not really ready yet to embrace this whole idea.
DOBBS: I think we should be clear that the Minuteman Project and those volunteers offered to work closely with the Border Patrol. It was the management of the Border Patrol in Washington and not at the state level that rejected that.
Christine Romans, thank you.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
DOBBS: It's -- I think we have to say with some -- some sense of progress here that things are moving ahead, that people are talking about the issue. And that's a very positive sign.
ROMANS: A lot of new voices on this.
DOBBS: Absolutely. Thank you. Christine Romans, thank you.
ROMANS: You're welcome.
DOBBS: Mexico today added its voice, blasting the United States. The Mexican government said the U.S. has given Mexico "absolutely nothing in return for all its help in fighting illegal immigration."
Sounding as though he was looking for some kind of hand-out, Mexico's interior minister, Santiago Creel, said, "It seems very unfair to us that there have been some advances here and we have seen absolutely nothing there."
Creel also criticized the Real I.D. Act signed into law by President Bush last night. Real I.D. will make it far more difficult for illegal aliens and potential terrorists to obtain driver's licenses in this country.
How does the Mexican government feel about that? The Mexican minister today said Real I.D. seems, in his words, to be "overly extreme."
Coming up next, a bold new effort to secure our borders. A plan to crackdown on counterfeit Social Security cards and employers. Critically important, employers who hire illegal aliens will, of all things, be punished. The congressman sponsoring new legislation joins us.
And also tonight, fighting CAFTA. Protesters mobilizing a national effort to block this latest so-called free trade agreement.
And the debate over the origins of this universe and life itself, what we should be teaching our children about evolution, creationism and the latest approach, intelligent design. I'll be talking with three leading experts on science, philosophy, and religion.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: My next guest has named his new border security plan after the president of the National Border Patrol Council, T.J. Bonner. He calls it The Bonner Plan. It's designed to make Social Security cards more difficult to counterfeit. It would also significantly toughen penalties against companies that hire illegal aliens. Congressman David Dreier of California is the powerful chairman of the House Rules Committee. He joins us tonight from Capitol Hill.
It's also been referred to, Congressman, as the 98...
REP. DAVID DREIER (R), CHMN, RULES CMTE.: HR-98. HR-98. First, let me say that Leslie wanted to tell you, you're looking very sharp tonight with that suit, Lou.
DOBBS: Well, thank you very much.
DREIER: Let me -- let me say that, it was interesting. I listened to the last story that you just had, that Christine covered. So much time and effort has been spent on the supply challenge here at the border.
DREIER: And, what we're doing with our counterfeit-proof Social Security card is, we're trying to focus on demand. You and I know very well that 98 percent of the people who cross the border, coming into our country, want to do what? Feed their families.
DREIER: They are looking for economic opportunity, and with our counterfeit-proof Social Security card, T.J. Bonner -- by the way, no relation to Robert Bonner...
DREIER: ...is -- is...
DOBBS: Which is becoming increasing -- which is becoming increasingly obvious, I think.
DREIER: Yes, yes, exactly. But, it -- I mean, the sense is -- and T.J. believes we can reduce, by 98 percent, the number of illegal border crossings, so that those guys can do their jobs and we don't have to rely on the Minutemen.
DOBBS: Well, the -- the interesting thing to me, in terms of both the identification card that would be counterfeit-proof -- if there is such a thing, or as near to counterfeit-proof as possible -- but to crackdown on the employers of illegal aliens -- how strong would the penalties be in your plan?
DREIER: Well, let me tell you what we do on this, Lou. It's very interesting. We know that we have employer sanctions today, but not much in the way of enforcement. And, we've argued, since it was first put into place in the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, they've really gotten little more than a slap on the wrist. So, what we do is two things.
First, we increase, by 400 percent, the penalties, from $10,000 to $50,000 and we call, for the first time, for incarceration of five years per occurrence. But the most important thing, no matter what you establish as a penalty, if you're not going to enforce it, it doesn't matter. So, we increase by 10,000 the number of agents who will be out there focusing on enforcement and, I argue and T.J. argues, Lou, that if we see three, four, five, really good crackdowns on those employers, especially big companies out there, knowingly hiring people illegally, we're going to see -- sort of like compliance with the Internal Revenue Service. It's not just done out of patriotism, it's done because, you know, you might face a penalty. I think we'll see a diminution in the number of illegal hirings.
DOBBS: And probably a very significant one. And that brings the issue, as you move forward this legislation -- and I assume the White House is fully supportive of this legislation, Congressman?
DREIER: Yes -- I've -- I tell you, I've talked with people at the White House about it. I talked to the president about it, and the notion of doing this in concert with an overall immigration reform bill, which would include some kind of temporary worker program, is something that I think is essential and can work out.
DOBBS: Well, those penalties are long overdue, and one would hope that if your legislation does pass, that at least that element of what -- of our immigration laws would be enforced.
DREIER: I'm just glad we can finally find an area of agreement, Lou. I know it's been tough.
DOBBS: Well, we'll have you back to talk about so-called free- trade some other day. Thanks for being here.
DREIER: Well, I'm all for it. We need it.
DOBBS: Well, Congressman, we're going to give you the last word.
DREIER: Go CAFTA.
DOBBS: We're going to give you the last word at least for this segment of this broadcast. Thanks for -- David Dreier, thanks for being here.
At the White House today, President Bush met with leaders of six countries included in the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The president said they all agreed CAFTA will promote democracy, peace and prosperity in Central America and the Dominican Republic. The president said CAFTA will create prota (ph), a more level playing field for American farmers, and he said it will bolster manufacturing in our hemisphere.
However, CAFTA is facing rising opposition in Congress because of large part -- small but vocal groups of protesters all over the country are making their views known. These groups are lobbying traditionally pro-free trade lawmakers to vote against CAFTA and those formerly for free-trade. Congressman and senators are starting to have second thoughts.
Casey Wian reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CAFTA! CAFTA! We don't have to!
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From Miami to Albuquerque, protesters are taking to the streets to oppose the Central American Free Trade Agreement. This week they have been shadowing a 10-city CAFTA U.S. promotional tour featuring Central American presidents, and sponsored by major U.S. corporations such as Citigroup and Coca-Cola. Scores of grass roots groups from across the political spectrum have mobilized to fight CAFTA saying it will destroy jobs in Central America and the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These corporations, they portray themselves as all-American brands and all-American clothing, but when you look at it they really -- rarely have anything made in America.
WIAN: The director of a critically acclaimed 2004 documentary on the loss of American jobs, this year wrote a book critical of CAFTA. Greg Spotts has scant financial support and no organization. Still, he's influencing the debate.
GREG SPOTTS, DIRECTOR "AMERICAN JOBS": We're attacking CAFTA like a hive of bees would attack a grizzly bear. You know, a lot of small forces loosely organized. And I think what drives everybody is a moral conviction that people here and in Central America should be paid fairly for the work that they do.
WIAN: An opinion shared by Don White at the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. His group has targeted and helped persuade dozens of lawmakers who voted for previous free-trade agreements to oppose CAFTA.
DON WHITE, CISPES: Our objective is to never have it come to a vote, because we do not believe that President Bush wants the humiliation of a CAFTA vote on the House floor and then be voted down.
WIAN: Salvadoran president Tony Saca angered demonstrators in Albuquerque when he dismissed them as uninformed. Protesters countered, they understand CAFTA all too well because they lived through its predecessor, NAFTA, which has left an 11-year legacy of environmental degredation, lost jobs, and increased illegal immigration.
WIAN (on camera): As Esteban Torres (ph), a former congressman and supporter of NAFTA put it, we owe it to all those who could be adversely affected by CAFTA to demonstrate that we have learned from our past mistakes. CAFTA opponents say they are confident the agreement will be defeated, despite what the Congressman Dreier just told you, Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, and thank you for adding that point, Casey. Casey -- Casey Wian, from Los Angeles.
Coming up next, here, a debate on the origin of life. I'll be joined by supporters of evolution, creation, intelligent design, for a discussion on what they think should be taught in our nation's schools. Stay with us.
DOBBS: New York, Kansas, and several other states are considering controversial proposals that would change the way our children learn about the creation of human beings, the earth and our universe. A relatively new theory, called intelligent design, suggests that Darwin's theory of evolution can't explain the existence of every life form on earth. Those who support intelligent design believe a higher being must have played some role. Now, proponents of intelligent design want evolution to be challenged in our classrooms.
Bill Tucker reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to make it clear from the outset that I support mainstream science.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is evolution's lone defender before the Kansas Board of Education, a board considering changes to the way science is taught in Kansas. The lawyer is alone because the scientists who believe in evolution boycotted the hearings. The reason?
PEDRO IRIGONERGARAY, ATTORNEY: You cannot argue science with individuals that are arguing non-scientific ideas. That's the problem. You cannot debate that. It would be, in essence a waste of time. You can't do it.
TUCKER: Intelligent design, despite being supported by some scientists, is dismissed by others as looking and feeling more like a religious doctrine. Proponents of intelligent design see themselves as simply critical of evolutionary theory and more accommodating to the idea of the presence of a force, a guiding force, they don't understand.
BRIAN SANDAFUR, INTELLIGENT DESIGN NETWORK: An intelligent design is not necessarily at odds with evolution per se. Evolution and evolutionary processes certainly explain quite a lot. But there's quite a lot that they don't explain either. So intelligent design is perfectly willing to accept evolutionary explanations where they are actually supported by the data.
TUCKER: The hearings have been characterized as the Scopes Trials turned on its head. It was 80 years ago this months, and depicted in the film "Inherit the Wind," that high schoolteacher John Scopes was tried and convicted in Tennessee for illegally teaching evolution.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that was the title of Darwin's book.
TUCKER: But nowhere in the suggested changes to the science curriculum in Kansas are the words intelligent design, creationism or God. CONNIE MORRIS, KANSAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: Intelligent design doesn't have anything to do with what we're debating. I know that lots of people want to make it true that we're trying to insert intelligent design or, heaven forbid, creationism in the standards, but that's not what we're doing. Nowhere near that. We're not trying to insert religion whatsoever.
TUCKER: The language of the changes call for a more critical look at evolution, institutionalizes skepticism, which some would argue is a hallmark of the scientific process.
TUCKER: The problem is, to have a dialogue, there has to be a shared language. But evolutionists are quick to dismiss the intelligent design argument as modern day creationism. And the intelligent design advocates accuse evolutionist of being simply afraid to admit that the evolutionary theory doesn't explain anything.
So, Lou, perhaps you can get the dialogue started here on the show this evening.
DOBBS: Well, we're sure going to try. We'll be talking with three proponents of each of those elements -- that is evolution, creationism and intelligent design. But first we want to hear from you on this important issue. Which theory do you think should be taught in our schools -- creationism, evolution, intelligent design or all of the above? Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results here. And perhaps, if you needed help in making up your mind in responding to that question, we have some interesting people to debate the issues.
Michael Ruse is philosophy of science professor at Florida State University. He says only evolution should be taught in our schools.
Jonathan Wells, a molecular biologist, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. He says teachers and students should be allowed to discuss the theory of intelligent design in their classrooms.
And John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research, who says evolution is wrong and unscientific.
Gentlemen, thanks for being here.
Michael, let me begin with you. At this point the Kansas Board is really trying to say we want to be able to criticize and effectively debate evolution. What is your response to their mission?
RUSE: Well, if they just want to have a look at science critically, then I've got no problems with that. I take it that one's going to do that with everything. But why are they focusing on evolution as something which needs special treatment? What I think is that hey are trying, as it were, under the radar, to bring in at least intelligent design if not outright fundamentalist, outright creationism that Mr. Morris subscribes to. I mean, either they're trying to do something new or they're not. If they're not, why are they bothering? If they are, then come clean and tell us really what's going to happen in Kansas schools start September?
DOBBS: John Morris, your reaction?
JOHN MORRIS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATION RESEARCH: You know, it's interesting to hear Mr. Ruse say that we're trying to get creation in the schools. Actually the Institute for Creation Research, where I am, does not try to get creation in the schools. The courts have ruled that the Bible, religion doesn't belong in the schools, however much it should have been, but they ruled that way. We don't try to get it in.
What I would like to see is all the facts in and the facts that don't support evolution, we need to stop censoring them out and give our students the chance to make up their own minds.
DOBBS: What kind of fact comes to mind that doesn't support evolution in your judgment?
MORRIS: One of the standard arguments for evolution is the idea that in the mother's womb, the human embryo goes through the various stages. It remembers its evolutionary history. This is in almost all the textbooks, but this is demonstrably wrong, and we're not teaching our kids that this is an outdated theory.
DOBBS: Jonathan Wells, intelligent design. How would you come down on this issue?
JONATHAN WELLS, MOLECULAR BIOLOGIST: Well, I would not advocate teaching intelligent design or not advocate requiring it in science classrooms. And certainly this is not what's happening in Kansas. I just came from testifying there as a biologist, and what I testified was that there are certain areas in the evidence where the more we learn, the less Darwinian evolution looks like the true explanation. And I think students need to hear that.
Michael Ruse, what's your reaction?
RUSE: Well, let's sort of pick up first on Jonathan Wells' point.
RUSE: He sort of equivocated or he moved from evolution to Darwinism. Now, evolution is the idea that all organisms are descended from one or a few original ancestors. Darwinism is the mechanism. Darwinism is certainly accepted I would say by at least 90 percent of active evolutionists in America today.
Is he actually challenging the fact of evolution? I know that Mr. Morris would. Is Jonathan Wells saying it's okay to teach evolution in the schools? Where he's worried is teaching Darwinism? Is he saying we should teach evolution? Let's have some discussions -- DOBBS: Why don't you ask him?
RUSE: -- about Darwinism.
DOBBS: Jonathan Wells, which is it that you're saying?
WELLS: Well, evolution is a very broad term. For some people, it simply means change over time. I don't know anybody who disagrees with that meaning of evolution. So I try to be more precise. When I say Darwinian evolution, I'm referring to Darwin's theory, which he called descent with modification. The first element of that is, as Michael points, out descent of living organisms from common ancestors. The second element is the mechanisms of modification. I think the evidence poses serious problems for both aspects of Darwin's theory.
RUSE: So, in other words, what you're saying is we shouldn't teach that the Earth is 4 1/2 billion years old, that life came about 3 1/2 billion years, that humans have been around for a million years or something like that - that that's part of evolution as you understand it, and you wouldn't have that taught without a great deal of hostility or debate or criticism in schools. Is that your bottom- line position?
WELLS: Michael, you're bringing in something I didn't even talk about. I didn't bring up the age issue.
RUSE: I know I am because you didn't talk about it, because you knew that I'd pin you down if you did.
WELLS: I have no problem with that issue. I have no problem teaching students about that. What I'm saying is that students should also know --
RUSE: So you've got no problem teaching students --
WELLS: Michael, let me answer your question. I think that students need to know that the evidence for this common ancestry thesis and for the mechanism of evolution, the evidence is serious wanting. And students need to know the truth about the evidence.
DOBBS: All right, gentlemen, we're going to continue this discussion, this debate in just a moment. We'll have much more with our distinguished panel here. But first a reminder to vote in our poll tonight. We'd like to know which theory you think should be taught in schools -- creationism, evolution, intelligent design, all of the above. Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll be back with the gentlemen in just a few minutes.
And coming up at the top of the hour on CNN "ANDERSON COOPER 360" joining us now for a preview. Anderson Cooper. Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Lou. Thanks very much. Yeah, in about 12 minutes, we're following a developing story -- a retaining wall on one of New York's busiest roadway has collapsed, burying it in a massive pile of dirt and stone. Searchers are digging through the rubble right now as we speak to see if anyone is trapped underneath. We've got teams on the way there. We're going to bring you the latest.
Also tonight, an exclusive interview with one of the pilots who brought the Cessna in yesterday. He'll talk about how close he came to pulling the trigger on that plane. That and a lot more coming up at 7:00 Eastern time. Lou.
DOBBS: Looking forward to it. Thanks, Anderson.
Still ahead we'll continue our discussion on evolution creationism, intelligent design. Stay with us.
DOBBS: John Morris, you have listened to Jonathan and Michael basically conflict on this issue with some interesting turns. But you believe in creationism and actually believe that there are scientific failings within evolution, and certainly Darwinism, that should make room for creationism. Why?
MORRIS: I do believe that there are failings in evolution. The fact is that these things can vary horizontally within -- within limits, but to go from one basic category to another, that's never been observed by science, and it's contrary to genetic laws, and it's the faith of evolution. That's what I think is the issue. We have a faith of evolution being taught in our public schools as -- masquerading as science.
DOBBS: Masquerading as science -- Michael, I have the funny feeling that you are not going to...
RUSE: Well, we have a -- I mean, you know, let's face up to it. We have a faith in arithmetic, too. You know, I'm pretty committed to two plus two equals four. We've got a faith in (INAUDIBLE)
MORRIS: Now, Michael, you know that's not a valid comparison.
RUSE: Of course it's a valid comparison.
DOBBS: Let me give you all three an example of something and sort of help me out, because it's one of those things, when we talk about the origins of life itself, the big bang theory, or whether we're talking about Genesis -- in the beginning, there was what? Stephen Hawking says, big bang. Other physicists would say that things just were. Genesis says that God created what is.
How do you sort out the science and the faith in either of those two views, because it seems that faith is required in all views regarding the beginning of life, whether scientific, so-called, or whether religious. Michael?
RUSE: Well, if you are asking me, I think it's perfectly possible for somebody to be a Christian and to accept the science as well. I mean, I think that one could certainly believe...
MORRIS: Michael, I would rather you say evolution and not science. Many Christians are scientists.
RUSE: No, not when I'm talking about science. Yes, I also think that one could...
MORRIS: Well, to equate evolution and science is incorrect.
RUSE: No, yes, -- look, it's up to god. If god wants to do it through evolution, that's god's business, not yours or mine or Jonathan Wells' business. That's the way it's supposed to be. It's our job to find out.
MORRIS: I suspect the only way evolution could happen is if god did it.
RUSE: No, I think that you people are being deliberately anti- Christian, anti-religious. You are made in the image of god, then you're supposed to use your reason fearlessly to find out about god's creation. And I think that you two are just too scared to do that.
RUSE: You know, I think...
: I fine it odd that you are accusing us of being anti- Christian. I have at least a dozen (INAUDIBLE) books.
RUSE: Like, well...
DOBBS: You have at least what? I'm sorry.
WELLS: I have a dozen biology textbooks at home that explicitly use evolution, misuse evolution, as an argument against theism, belief in god, Christianity, and so on.
DOBBS: Let me ask the three of you one question -- I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, because the Kansas Board of Education -- state Board of Education -- in point of fact, there are great politics involved in this, which is sometimes overlooked, seeking first to involve creationism, in the first iteration -- the election then shifted and the so-called conservatives in the state board of education moved out and moved back to evolution, in the state panel. And now, with a more conservative board, we're back to this issue.
To what degree should the vagueries of politics influence what is happening in the curriculum of students in the state of Kansas or anywhere else?
WELLS: (INAUDIBLE) ...should at all.
MORRIS: Well, I think I...
WELLS: What I would want to say is...
MORRIS: I think I probably...
DOBBS: Go ahead, Michael. RUSE: OK.
WELLS: I probably know more about what is going on in Kansas than anyone here since I just came from there. In '99, a conservative Kansas board did not try to insert creationism in the standards. They did some things that angered the evolutionary biology community considerably. And an election changed that, and then recently that changed again.
MORRIS: That's what I said.
WELLS: But creationism is not on the table here in Kansas.
RUSE: Oh, yes it is. Oh, yes it is.
WELLS: No, it's not, Michael. Show me where.
RUSE: Intelligent design is
DOBBS: OK, that question isn't going to work because we're going to talk across one another, and I'm the only one who gets to talk across folks here, just bear with me.
The fact is, that evolution, Darwinism, is not a fully explained or completely rigorous and defined science that has testable results within it. Like a...
RUSE: Now, who says that? Is that you?
DOBBS: I do. I do. And, if I may finish, Michael. Michael, I said, only I get to talk over anyone.
RUSE: OK, fair enough. Your show.
DOBBS: And, in that degree, if one moves aside from the issue and suggests that creationism be taught within a religious class, within the schools, and one looks at the prospect of intelligent design and evolution, with critical thought -- because you say life was 4-and-a-half billion years ago, the planet began 4-and-a-half billion years ago -- we continue to change our views scientifically on when what occurred, that is, in terms of missing links within the family tree of life on this planet.
Is there anything wrong with criticizing evolution in your minds? And would that satisfy the -- and would that satisfy you, Jonathan and you, John? But, first you, Michael, if you would answer?
RUSE: Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with criticizing science. I think that you are quite wrong about evolution. I just don't think that we're turning up new evidence which is questioning evolution. You can certainly make predictions. One prediction, you are not going to find...
DOBBS: No, no, I'm not going to -- we need real succinct answers.
RUSE: (INAUDIBLE)...rabbits found in the... (ph)
DOBBS: I'm sorry, we are out of time. I didn't say questioning evolution. I said filling in or creating new concerns and questions about elements within evolution in the tree of life.
RUSE: I don't think there's anything wrong with that as long as it's not a program for inserting religion...
DOBBS: Guys, we're out of time.
RUSE: ...into the schools.
DOBBS: Gentlemen, we thank you for being here. We'll have you back if you will have us back. Michael, thank you very much, Jonathan, John, thank you.
WELLS: Thank you.
MORRIS: Thank you.
DOBBS: Still ahead, here, the results of our poll. Stay with us.
DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight, which theory do you believe should be taught in our schools? Six percent of you say evolution; 63 percent of you say evolution. Intelligent design, 2 percent, all of the above, 29 percent. So would he haven't quite resolved the entire matter but we're well on our way.
And we will have those gentlemen back to continue this discussion. We thank you for being with us here tonight. A call for a state police force dedicated to securing our border -- also tomorrow, what is our government doing to insure American workers are competing on a quote, unquote, "level" playing field, with the rest of the world? We'll be addressing those issues here tomorrow night. Please be with us. For all of us here, good night from New York. "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now.
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