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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Terror Training; Supporting Iraq; Nuclear Push
Aired June 22, 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: And good evening, everybody. Tonight, President Bush is calling on Congress to deliver an energy bill. I'll be joined by the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee to talk about ways to cope with what is becoming an energy crisis.
Congress threatens to block U.S. payments to the United Nations. My guest tonight, a leading congressman who supports bold reforms at the United Nations. We'll also be talking with a U.S. senator on how to secure our borders.
The ethics of genetic testing for unborn babies, should those tests be used to determine whether a pregnancy should be terminated? Our special report tonight, "Crisis of Conscience."
We begin tonight with a report that Iraq may be nothing less than a training ground for an entire new generation for radical Islamist terrorists. The Central Intelligence Agency says foreign terrorists are traveling to Iraq to learn new tactics. The CIA says terrorists who survive the war are likely to return to their home countries to launch attacks against U.S. targets and our allies.
David Ensor reports.
DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The new classified CIA report says Islamist terrorists are likely to take urban combat techniques like car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations that they are perfecting in Iraq to their home countries, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and try to destabilize those governments. According to officials who have read it, the report says Iraq may turn out to be an even more effective training ground for terrorists than Afghanistan was under the Taliban, when Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda ran training camps there.
Those terrorists could also end up in Europe, or the U.S. The White House spokesman said the U.S. prefers to fight the extremists in Iraq.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: That's why it's so important that we succeed in Iraq, because when we succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan, that will be -- those will be major blows to the terrorists and their ideology that they seek to spread.
ENSOR: U.S. officials said they have captured Saudis, Syrians, Egyptians and others with the insurgents in Iraq. The threat they posed was highlighted by CIA Director Porter Goss in recent testimony.
PORTER GOSS, CIA DIRECTOR: Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists. Those jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focused on acts of urban terrorism. They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terror cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries.
DENNIS PLUCHINSKY, FMR. STATE DEPT. ANALYST: There are a lot of seeds of potential conflict, especially in western Europe, and also in the Middle East, of people going back and setting up cells. In other words, the true impact of Iraq probably won't be felt tor maybe four, maybe five or six years.
ENSOR (on camera): U.S. officials say the kind of urban warfare techniques extremists are learning from Iraqi insurgents were not learned in mostly rural Afghanistan. And they say the Iraq veterans could one day pose a threat worldwide.
David Ensor, CNN, Washington.
DOBBS: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today launched one of her strongest verbal attacks against Syria for its support of Iraqi insurgents and terrorists. Rice declared Syria has a responsibility to prevent insurgents from using its territory to wreak havoc in Iraq. The secretary of state made her comments in Belgium at an international conference on aid for Iraq.
John King reports from Brussels.
JOHN KING, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The goal of the international summit here in Brussels is obviously to get new political, financial and moral support for the new government in Iraq. But for Secretary of State Rice, it is also an opportunity, she hopes, to prove wrong many of the president's critics back in the United States.
In recent days and week, the Democrats: more and more emboldened. Public opinion polling showing opposition to the president's policies in Iraq on the rise. Just in recent days, the House Democratic leaders saying the war was quote, "A grotesque mistake that has not made the United States safer."
Leading Democrat in the Senate, Joe Biden, saying that Mr. Bush and Vice President Cheney have been far too optimistic in their assessment of the fight against the insurgency and their assessment of the political transition underway in Iraq.
So, Secretary Rice promising more support to the Iraqi government here and also saying that she hopes the American people get from this conference, back home, words that will convince them, many of the president's critics are dead wrong. CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: I thought the Iraqi foreign minister said something very interesting. He said, "I'm not here essentially to paint a rosy picture, but I am here to say that Iraq is going to succeed."
And so you can be optimistic about the future and still be realistic about the challenges that they have. They are engaged now in a political process that day by day, more Iraqis are involved in and where Iraqis see their future, on the political side, not with the people who are it getting off suicide bombs against innocent Iraqis.
KING (voice-over): In the months ahead, many of the problems facing the new Iraq will be problems dealt with by the United Nations, where the United States, at the moment, does not have a permanent ambassador. Secretary Rice telling us in an interview that even while traveling overseas, she has been making calls back to Washington to try to help the President make his case for his controversial nominee John Bolton.
(on camera): Twice the Senate Democrats have blocked an up or down vote on Mr. Bolton. The President is considering whether to use his extraordinary power of making a recess appointment once Congress adjourns this summer. Secretary Rice repeatedly refused to say whether she would recommend that dramatic step by the President, but she also made clear Mr. Bush and the entire administration is not ready to give up the fight.
RICE: My view of the hunt for Osama bin Laden is that on the day that I get the phone call that he's been found, that will be a very important day, but close is not good enough. We just have to -- there's a very active campaign to get him. His world is clearly gotten a lot smaller.
KING: At the we beginning of the year, Rice's predecessor, then Secretary of State Colin Powell, said it should be possible to start bringing home U.S. troops by the end of this year, by the end of 2005. Asked about those comments today, Secretary Rice said she could make no such commitment; acknowledging the insurgency was still quite strong in Iraq and saying it was far too soon to even think about a timetable for bringing home U.S. troops.
John King, CNN, Brussels.
DOBBS: That insurgency has claimed the life of another American soldier killed in combat in the Iraqi city of Ramadi. The soldier was serving in an Army unit assigned to the 2nd Marine Division. 1,724 American troops have now been killed in Iraq since this war began more than two years ago. More than 13,000 of our troops have been wounded in Iraq.
Terrorists also targeted Iraqi civilians again today. A series of car bombs in Baghdad killed at least 18 people. Nearly 50 others were wounded. American troops in southern Afghanistan today fought insurgents in one of the biggest battles since the fall of the Taliban. Five American soldiers were wounded, 76 insurgents were reported killed.
Two U.S. Chinook helicopters were hit by enemy fire. One made an emergency landing and was repaired, the other returned to a nearby base. American warplanes and attack helicopters blasted enemy positions. Officials said the target, a Taliban safe haven.
A U.S. Air Force spy plane involved in the war in Afghanistan has crashed. The pilot of the craft was killed.
The U-2 was returning to its base in the United Arab Emirates when it was -- when it came down. Military officials do not believe the crash was caused by hostile fire. The U-2 has been in Air Force service for now more than a half century. The aircraft is used for high-altitude surveillance missions. It does not carry any weapons.
President Bush today focused on this country's economic security and the need to reduce our dependency on foreign energy. The president called on Congress to send him an energy bill as soon as possible, before the August recess. And President Bush declared it's time for the United States to build nuclear power plants again.
Suzanne Malveaux reports from the White House -- Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, it's actually a piece of legislation the president is focusing on that political observers think they can push through Congress. There are various versions in the House and the Senate. Congress expected to vote on it on Friday.
Of course the big push in his energy plan is his push for nuclear reactors. President Bush earlier today touring the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland.
Now, a nuclear reactor has not been ordered in the United States in some 30 years since the tragic accident at Three Mile Island in the 1970s. But President Bush is now arguing that more nuclear power will make the United States less dependent on foreign sources of oil by providing a cleaner, cheaper and safer source of energy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Nuclear power is one of America's safest sources of energy. The people right here practice a lot of safety. They're good at it. You've got nuclear engineers and experts that spend a lot of time maintaining a safe environment.
Just ask the people who work here. You wouldn't be coming here if it wasn't safe, I suspect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Now, Lou, there are still some environmentalists who express some skepticism, some concern. They talk about radioactive waste from these nuclear reactors. That is one thing they have said that they don't really support -- one of the reasons they don't support the building of these nuclear reactors.
We also heard today from Democrat Steny Hoyer, as you know, of course, the congressman from Calvert County where President Bush visited today. He disagrees with the president's energy plan, also saying, of course, that he doesn't believe that the president is really dealing with the issues the American people are concerned with. And that also his energy plan is not going to solve the problem with the rising gas prices -- Lou.
DOBBS: Suzanne Malveaux. Thank you.
I'll be talking about the president's energy plan with my guest, the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee, Senator Pete Domenici and Senator Jeff Bingaman, coming up here later.
The United States is unlikely to receive any help from Europe on energy, Iraq or any other issue, for that matter, because the European Union itself is bitterly divided over its own future. But critics say European weakness really doesn't matter, because Europe is no longer a reliable partner and ally of the United States.
Bill Schneider reports.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Right now, European leaders are preoccupied with their own problems, like the rejection of the new European constitution by French and Dutch voters, and the failure to reach agreement on a European budget.
Are Europe's difficulties a problem for the United States or an opportunity? Some in the Bush administration might welcome a weak and divided Europe. By dividing new Europe from old Europe, the Bush administration was able to peel off countries like Poland and Spain that supported the war in Iraq. But much of that support has been withdrawn.
JEREMY SHAPIRO, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Yes, you can divide them. Yes, you can bring certain countries along. But if you don't bring them along together, that support really isn't very lasting.
SCHNEIDER: Some Europeans, particularly the French, dream of a united Europe being a counterweight to U.S. power. Should Americans be worried about that?
SHAPIRO: Quite frankly, the idea of Europe as a counterweight I think is something that only exists in the wildest dreams of Frenchmen and the paranoid fantasies of American neo-conservatives. It's not going to happen, whether the French want it, whether the Americans don't want it, or under any circumstances.
SCHNEIDER: What Americans need to worry about is that a weak and divided Europe may not be a reliable partner on issues where the United States truly needs collaboration, like the reconstruction of Iraq and China's growing economic and military power, and a potential nuclear threat from Iran.
BUSH: And I complimented the EU, complimented Mr. Solana, as well as the foreign ministers from Great Britain, Germany and France for sending a clear message to the leadership in Iran that we're not going to tolerate the development of a nuclear weapon.
SCHNEIDER: What may be the biggest problem for the United States is not a strong Europe, but a weak Europe.
SHAPIRO: If Europe descends into two years of inward-looking naval gazing, then that is going to effectively undermine the case of the people in the administration that a unified Europe is in the U.S. interest. Not because Europe is scary, but because it's useless.
SCHNEIDER: You have to ask what's more useful to the United States, a strong partner with whom the U.S. sometimes disagrees, or a useless partner that has little of value to offer the U.S. -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, useful or useless, there seems to be such a -- an affection for the idea of Europe itself when the principal powers are, of course, Germany and France and Spain and Italy. The relationship with those four countries is critical.
SCHNEIDER: That's right. It is critical. But Europe is a lot bigger than it used to be.
New Europe has been added on to old Europe, so it's now, what, 500 million people in Europe. But I asked the fellow that I interviewed, Jeremy Shapiro, an interesting question.
I said, "If you add together the military spending of all the countries of Europe, how does it compare with the United States?" And he said, "The total amount spent on the military in all of Europe together is 60 percent of what the United States spends." And in fact, he says, they don't spend it very efficiently. So the actual combat power is probably less than half.
DOBBS: I love the implication, Bill, that the United States spends its money on defense so efficiently.
DOBBS: You don't want to mitigate in any way that -- that suggestion?
SCHNEIDER: The mitigation is, we may not be terribly efficient, but they're less efficient.
DOBBS: Bill Schneider, thank you very much.
Still ahead here, Europe's biggest defense contractor plans to build a factory in Alabama, trying to win lucrative U.S. defense contracts, efficient or otherwise. We'll have a special report.
And the crisis at our borders. Border security. A leading U.S. senator joins me to talk about her plans to secure what are now porous borders, particularly with Mexico.
DOBBS: All but ignoring trade frictions between the Europe Trade Association and the United States, Europe's largest defense contractor today said it plans to build a new factory for its Airbus unit in Mobile, Alabama. Airbus hopes that plant will help it win a multibillion-dollar contract to build refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. Airbus also hopes that its new friends in Congress will help it win that contract.
Lisa Sylvester has the story.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, or EADS, selected Mobile, Alabama, as the site of a new Airbus factory. No coincidence Alabama is the home sait of two key senators, Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby. Both will help shape the congressional debate over whether the European contractor can bid on a multibillion-dollar Pentagon contract.
What's at stake? Who will build the next generation of Air Force aerial refueling tankers to replace the aging KC-135s, a U.S. company like Boeing or Europe's Airbus? At a news conference, Senator Shelby suggested why America was irrelevant in the industry.
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: You've got to remember this, there's no such thing as -- as far as aerospace -- this is made in America, or this is made so-and-so. It's made -- the components come from everywhere.
SYLVESTER: But critics vehemently disagree. If Chicago-based Boeing were awarded the contract, it would build the bulk of the tankers in the United States. Airbus and its parent company, EADS, would ship jobs and profits overseas.
REP. TODD TIAHRT (R), KANSAS: If we lose jobs overseas, if we have manufacturing of military hardware overseas, we are more vulnerable than we were before that contract was written.
SYLVESTER: A House amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill would block Airbus from bidding on the tanker contract on the grounds the company receives lucrative subsidies from the European Union. Boeing workers say their company has been disadvantaged by the unlevel playing field.
MARK BLONDIN, AEROSPACE MACHINISTS UNION: They take that government aid and then put their product out on the market at below- market prices, and it really hurts American jobs. SYLVESTER: The new Airbus Alabama factory will create 1,000 new jobs. But if Airbus ultimately gets the tanker contract, an estimated 20,000 jobs could leave the United States.
SYLVESTER: As one defense analyst told me, if Airbus gets the tanker contract, that will be the granddaddy of all offshoring -- Lou.
DOBBS: The reaction to Senator Shelby saying there's no such thing as a made in America defense contract, I mean, that's a rather breathtaking defense of Airbus. What's been the reaction?
SYLVESTER: Well, I think that caught a lot of people maybe a bit surprised that he was so openly for Airbus in this case. I mean, his statement essentially speaks for itself, but you certainly have the critics pouncing on that one statement -- Lou.
DOBBS: If not careful, he could be referred to as the senator from Airbus. Thank you very much. Lisa Sylvester.
Some wild weather to tell you about in the West. In Colorado, snowplows had to be called in on the first day of summer.
What you're looking at is a foot of hail that fell in Colorado Springs. Rescue crews saved several people who were trapped in their cars. Heavy winds the problem in Spokane, Washington. Winds there gusted to 77 miles an hour, damaging roofs, blowing down trees and fanning several fires. At one point, more than 28,000 people in the area were without power.
And in Wyoming, lightning struck near Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Eleven people were injured in the lightning strike. A 12-year-old boy was hospitalized. The lightning strike part of a mid- afternoon storm that dropped heavy rain and again hail in that region.
It may seem like an oxymoron, but some high school students in Minneapolis are now taking physical education classes online. Students are given a heart monitor and an activity journal to track and record their workouts. The school district admits it was skeptical about the idea of virtual P.E. at first, but says the online classes are a good way for busy students to fulfill state-required credits for P.E.
Coming up next here, an emerging moral debate over genetic testing for unborn children. Which tests and how many tests should parents request for their children before they're born? What should they be allowed to do with the results of those tests? Our special report is next.
And then, our border crisis. The lack of detention centers for illegal aliens is only encouraging more illegals to cross our borders. We'll have a special report.
And a leading senator working to put more Border Patrol agents on duty at the border with Mexico is my guest next. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Tonight, genetic testing of unborn children is raising new ethical dilemmas. Expectant mothers are routinely tested for a an array of genetic diseases, but how far should that testing go? Some parents want to screen for deafness before the baby is born, others say this practice goes too far and costs far too much.
Kitty Pilgrim reports.
KAREN COVELER, MOTHER: Good job. Yeah!
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two-year-old Benjamin Coveler was born deaf. Right after he was born, his mother, Karen, found out there was a test she could have taken years ago before she had children to predict the disability.
COVELER: I mean, I had no history of it in my family, but recessive diseases have a way of sneaking up on you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey Benjamin. Hi.
COVELER: Can you say "Hi?"
PILGRIM: Karen did take 10 tests for other diseases. She feels she did everything possible while she was pregnant.
COVELER: I didn't smoke, I didn't drink, I didn't eat unpasteurized milk, I didn't have caffeine. Nothing.
And did all the things that I thought was right. And then my child failed his hearing -- his hearing screen. I was totally surprised.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to open it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, nice job.
PILGRIM: The hearing test is not a standard test, but she wishes it had been offered.
DR. MICHAEL MENNUTI, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS & GYNECOLOGISTS: Patients might say, I would rather know now, so that I can prepare myself. And maybe there are special preparations that they would make, or they would become educated about the disease in advance.
PILGRIM: How many tests should doctors offer to pregnant patients, and whose choice is it to order them? Some patients opt for the standard three for Down Syndrome Spina Bifida and Cystic Fibrosis. Others want more. But how much testing is too much?
DR. MICHAEL WATSON, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF MEDICAL GENETICS: We have the potential really to do thousands of tests, and it would be financially impossible, probably, to deliver every possible genetic test to a couple who is considering pregnancy, or to a fetus.
PILGRIM: Some couples faced with life-threatening illness would opt to terminate a pregnancy, but some test results are ambiguous.
DR. HARRY OSTRER, NYU MEDICAL CENTER: If you, for instance, heard, you know, your baby was going to be at, you know, 20 percent risk for developing heart disease, or, you know, 15 percent risk for developing manic depressive disease, how would you use that information?
PILGRIM: Some tests point to a disability, not a life- threatening disease, like Benjamin's hearing. Science also has more remedies as well as tests. Benjamin now has nearly normal hearing due to cochlear implants.
PILGRIM: Now, aside from the ethics of whether or not to test, there's costs, often not covered by insurance, and some tests can run into the thousands of dollars. Ultimately, science can only provide some answers. And even those answers are expensive -- Lou.
DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much.
That brings us to the subject of our poll tonight. Do you think parents should have the right to demand more genetic testing than the current standard, yes or no? Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. Results coming right up.
In today's quote of the day, a mind-boggling apology from the Duke University Hospital system. Duke says thousands of its hospital patients were operated on with equipment, surgical equipment that had been washed in hydraulic fluid before sterilization.
In case you're wondering how Duke Hospital workers could confuse hydraulic fluid with hospital soap, here's what happened. Elevator workers drained the fluid into empty soap containers and didn't change the labels. And unbelievably, it was mistaken for soap for two months straight.
Duke sent out a letter this week to the nearly 4,000 patients that were affected saying patients should not worry about infection. It says hydraulic fluid does not hurt the sterilization process. And it says, "We regret when any patient suffers. Unfortunately, we also know from long experience that there is always some risk of an undesirable outcome in any procedure, even under the best of circumstances."
It is fair to say that hydraulic fluid does not contribute to the best of circumstances. Coming up next, the United States urgently needs new detention facilities for illegal aliens. A special report on the push to keep illegal aliens in detention and off of our streets.
And a tireless fighter in the war against illegal immigration and for border security. I'll be talking with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison about her new efforts to hire more Border Patrol agents. Without those efforts, we would be in trouble.
Also, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher will be here. He's trying to get the United Nations reform and willing to cut U.N. dues from this country to do so.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Tonight, it is perhaps the best deal for illegal aliens in an entire broken immigration system. Illegal aliens from any country other than Mexico can surrender to our Border Patrol and then walk free. The reason? There are simply not enough detention centers in this country for illegal aliens -- for illegal aliens called OTM -- that means "other than Mexican." Bill Tucker reports from Pearsall, Texas.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the busiest crossing for OTM's, "other than Mexicans," in the country. It's a public golf course in Eagle Pass, Texas. As soon as they cross the Rio Grande River, they surrender to the Border Patrol by notifying them of their presence by waving at the cameras watching the border.
SHERIFF THOMAS HERRERA, MAVERICK COUNTY, TEXAS: They seem to just come across and do their things, you know, get their diplomas, and go to wherever they're going.
TUCKER: By diploma, the sheriff means a notice-to-appear document, a document which is routinely ignored. Officially, the government says 15 percent show up for their court date. Unofficially, the number is less than 10 percent. Once released, their business is ready and waiting to help move the OTM's deeper into America. The word is out on the catch-and-release policy.
DAVID V. AGUILAR, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL CHIEF: Nationwide, fiscal year-to-date, the Border Patrol as a whole has apprehended over 800,000 illegal aliens. We have also arrested over 98,000 other-than- Mexicans.
TUCKER: That's on pace to hit a record 150,000. That would be two-and-a-half times last year's record detention of 66,000. Those kinds of numbers translate into problems at the local level.
MAYOR DORA ALCALA, DEL RIO, TEXAS: Under this program right now, the catch-and-release, there are no detention facilities available here. They are full. There is no room at the inn. TUCKER: Local law enforcement is not equipped to deal with the problem, and wants to see the federal government fulfill its responsibilities.
SHERIFF D'WAYNE JERNIGAN, VAL VERDE COUNTY, TEXAS: The federal authorities need to step up to the plate and face their responsibility. They are responsible for protecting our borders, all the borders of the United States, and that includes keeping illegal aliens from entering this country illegally. They need to stop it.
TUCKER (on camera): Now, this is the detention center in Pearsall, Texas, Lou. It's a 1,000-bed facility. If the authorities decide to stop their catch-and-release policy, it's woefully inadequate. In Del Rio alone, local officials were telling us that since October, 18,000 OTMs have been caught and released into the country. Lou?
DOBBS: And there isn't going to be much change in that pathetic situation anytime soon, unfortunately. Bill Tucker, thank you.
Well, as Bill just reported, almost 100,000 illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico have entered this company since -- country -- since October. Immigration officials say those illegals come from more than 100 countries. Of those illegal aliens who are ordered deported, immigration officials say 85 percent remain in the country.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson has worked to add 500 more border patrol agents to our border with Mexico. She's also won funding for 1,000 more agents from the Appropriations Committee, which she serves on. I asked Senator Hutchison earlier where our nation is going in terms of staffing of the Border Patrol at a proper level.
SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: We're not where we need to be Lou, but we are getting there a whole lot faster than when I first came to the United States Senate. We have now 11,000 Border Patrol agents, but that's Canada and Mexico. We're talking about 2,000 miles of border with Mexico; 5,000 with Canada. We now have a commitment to do 10,000 more over the next 10 years, and -- actually, over the next five years, so we are now not only beefing up the Border Patrol, which we must do, but also adding detention beds for other-than-Mexicans, and that number has also increased exponentially.
DOBBS: The other-than-Mexican category, of those apprehended at the border -- 98,000 so far this year, almost tripling of the number of last year, a record year -- the fact that 85 percent of those apprehended are simply released into our society is just incredible.
HUTCHISON: It's stunning, and that is one of the big security risks we have in our country right now, because, of course, Mexico will not take someone back who is not from their country. So, we have no way to detain them without detention beds, and one of the focuses that I have put into recent appropriations bills, and even the supplemental, is more detention beds.
DOBBS: More detention beds. We still have very few Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs enforcement agents pursuing those fugitive criminal illegal aliens in this country. Senator, what are we going to do?
HUTCHISON: We must stay absolutely focused and make this a priority. Next week on the floor of the Senate will be the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, and to Senator Gregg's credit, he has taken money away from other areas and put more money into Border Patrol, and more money into those detention beds, and more money into the justice system so that we can process these people.
We have been woefully behind. Catching up is very hard, but that is the effort that we are making.
DOBBS: Without your effort, Senator, President Bush's addition of 200 Border Patrol agents would be where we are for this fiscal year, rather than -- what will likely be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 to 2,000, if all goes well with the legislation that will be approved by Congress. How is it that a senator from the state of Texas, the same state the president hails from, members of the same political party, can have such divergent views and focus on such an important issue as illegal immigration, and the critically important issue of border security?
HUTCHISON: You know, I think that the president is actually now starting to focus on this, even more. Obviously he's from Texas, and he understands this issue, but frankly, Lou, it's escalated just in the last six months to a greater degree than we've ever seen before, and over the last year it has been building up.
So, I think you will see a focus from the president. I think you'll see him talking about it more, and I feel very confident that in next year's budget he, too -- his budget will recognize the need for us to really make this a priority. We can wait no longer. It's now a national security threat as well as an economic hardship.
DOBBS: Senator, congratulations on your successful efforts, and thank you for the opportunity to talk with you.
HUTCHISON: Thank you very much.
DOBBS: When we come back, a new energy bill appears headed for a vote in the Senate. Some say it's merely a give-away to special interests. I'll be talking with the Democratic and Republican co- authors of this massive piece of legislation, and a Republican Congressman who's fed up with the United Nations. He wants President Bush to slash U.N. funding. I'll talk with him about his fight next. Stay with us.
DOBBS: A new scandal revealed at the United Nations tonight: A senior procurement official has resigned following allegations of conflict of interest. The United Nations says it is investigating Alexander Yakovlev to determine whether he helped his son get a job with IH Services. IH Services represents companies trying to secure U.N. contracts.
My next guest has called the United Nations a negative factor in the world. He has also declared that the United Nations must be reformed or it will lose all credibility and sink into absolute irrelevancy. Congressman Dana Rohrbacher joins us from Washington. Congressman, good to have you here.
REP. DANA ROHRBACHER, (R) CALIFORNIA: Thank you very much, Lou.
DOBBS: There are some, as you know, who would say that the United Nations is already irrelevant. What can the United Nations do, in your judgment, to secure relevancy and effectiveness?
ROHRBACHER: Well, it's got to clean up its act. But first of all, we have to have faith that the people who are working in the United Nations, the leadership, has a level of integrity that will not put up with the type of corruption we've seen. And we have not been getting the feedback in the last few months that we need to get from that leadership to have that kind of faith.
I mean, they -- we've had some of the top level people right under Kofi Annan burning the records, you know, burning records at a time that we were involved with investigating the United Nations. And what's retaliation? There is no retaliation.
And of course, we've had Kofi Annan's people who are very close to him, Bevan Sevan, who we found out -- here's a fellow who was overseeing the Oil-for-Food Program. And what was happening? We found out after investigation that this man was actually on the take. He was -- Saddam Hussein was transferring money into his pocket via the oil-for-food program.
So what's happening is that Saddam Hussein and the other gangsters of the world are bringing down the good people in the U.N. And will bring us down, too, if we rely on the United Nations.
DOBBS: The degree to which the United States relies on the United Nations certainly somewhat diminished in recent years. But the fact is that Kofi Annan, who has basically said that the war in -- basically -- he said the war in Iraq is illegal, pinning an op ed piece in which he praised the progress in Iraq and the administration.
Now, calling for reforms on his own after presiding over the scandals of the sexual atrocities committed by peacekeepers, the U.N. oil for food scandal, and the list goes on. At what point does it become so serious that other nations will join in this concern about the U.N.?
ROHRBACHER: Well, let's remember this, that there are people in the United States -- and we saw this in the last election -- who believe that we should place more of our faith in the United Nations, and in multi-lateral approaches rather than putting faith in our own military and our own president to make decisions that are important for national security.
DOBBS: Well, Congressman, I've got to say right there, no weapons of mass destruction, the intelligence was a disaster on Iraq and frankly, what the United Nations was doing -- in fairness to those people, I've got to say they've got a severe complaint with the intelligence apparatus that the administration relied upon.
ROHRBACHER: Well, let me just note that, although I certainly agree with you that the president was using information that has proven -- since proven not to be provable. During that time period, I think that you'll find that people at the United Nations, our allies and other people who disagreed with the president, were actually saying, well, this is probably true.
DOBBS: Absolutely. That intelligence was corroborated by bad intelligence in other countries as well.
DOBBS: I'm just suggesting to you that the United Nations, while it is -- it's a disaster in terms of the governance over the past several years, so has our intelligence. And if I may quibble with you, Congressman, on another matter saying the intelligence was not provable, the fact is, it was dead wrong.
ROHRBACHER: Well, I will hold my judgment as to whether it was dead wrong. By the way, I never used that argument -- I never used the argument that we should have gone against Saddam Hussein and eliminated him because of weapons of mass destruction. I thought that it was plenty fine that this man hated America and that he was -- he wanted to hurt us in the long run and that he was a despot and murdering his own people. That was good enough for us to get rid of him.
However, I admit to you the president was wrong in stressing the other argument. But let's put it this way, we shouldn't be relying on the United Nations to make the decisions for our own security.
DOBBS: I couldn't agree with you, Congressman, more on that issue. The fact is, the legislation moving to cut that funding without substantive reform, passing in the House. Is there any, in your judgment, likelihood that the Senate will join with the House in supporting that legislation?
ROHRBACHER: There's always a hope. But what's most important is people like yourself, Lou, who are informing the American people, who will then call their senators and say, we do not want to depend on the United Nations, especially if we can't even make demands on the United Nations to reform, with the threat of withholding our funds.
You know, Lou, the United Nations was a great dream. But in the reality of it, the United Nations can't do anything unless, for example, Communist China, the world's worst human rights abuser, has a veto power over anything the U.N. can do. How could we possibly trust an organization like that?
DOBBS: Congressman Dana Rohrbacher, thanks for being here.
ROHRBACHER: God bless you. Thank you.
DOBBS: Coming up at the top of the hour here on CNN, Anderson Cooper. And Anderson here is here to tell what's going to happen -- Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Lou, good evening. Next on 360, an exclusive interview with a dad of 11-year-old Boy Scout Brennan Hawkins, four days in the wilderness, found alive. Today, Brennan is back home safe. We'll find out what his father knows about how he survived and how he's doing right now.
I'll also talk with Reverend Franklin Graham, about his father, the Reverend Billy Graham, and about his views on Islam. That's next on 360 -- Lou.
DOBBS: Look forward to it, Anderson. As always, thank you.
The president wants an energy bill on his desk by the August recess. The chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, Senator Pete Domenici, joins us to tells us whether that will happen. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Senate debate underway this week on a long delayed energy bill. President Bush first asked congress to pass new energy legislation back in 2001. But now, four years later, with the price of oil reaching repeated record highs, the nation still waits.
Republican Senator Pete Domenici is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, joining us tonight from Capitol Hill. And he is the co-author of the energy legislation now before the Senate. Mr. Chairman, good to have you with us.
SEN. PETE DOMENICI, (R) NEW MEXICO: Well thank you, Lou. It's a pleasure to be with you. It's nice to be off the floor. I be -- take it easy, let them fight down there.
DOBBS: Well, and the ranking member...
DOMENICI: Senator Bingaman
DOBBS: Senator Bingaman is still there.
DOBBS: And let me -- we had intended that he be here, but the Senate business takes precedence, even over this broadcast. Senator, let me ask you: Are you going to have legislation by the August recess?
DOMENICI: Well, we're certainly going to get a bill off the floor, and the House has one. We'll be in conference -- everybody knows what that means. That means the two bodies have to agree and that's a conference. We should be finished in time to meet the president's requested objective of presenting him a bill for signature by August 1st. I'm very hopeful, and it's probable, not just possible.
DOBBS: Well, the idea that this legislation -- let's get a couple of things, I think, out of the way in terms of what we're discussing. One is: This is not going to have any influence over present record-high oil prices and gasoline prices and heating oil prices, is it?
DOMENICI: Well, in the sense that we can't tell you that within a year, or six -- or two years, or three, it will have impact. But I'll tell you, it will send the world a signal that the United States now has an energy policy for a number of alternative fuels that we will begin to produce, that are clean, that will solve greenhouse gas problems, and put us in a position where we won't become so dependent on other kinds of energy, and we very well might move ahead in diminishing our need for crude oil with hybrid cars; some other reforms that will be very important. So, all in all, it's a brand-new American policy that's very positive.
DOBBS: In terms of reducing greenhouse gases, Senator Bingaman, amongst those certainly pushing that amendment defeated in the Senate, the president's voluntary approach, that of the legislation that you are sponsoring and that you will move, it appears now, through the Senate...
DOBBS: Is that really enough over the course of the next ten years?
DOMENICI: Well, let's see. What we passed in the Senate was a piece of legislation that moves alternate technology ahead as fast as possible. New technology to get all of the greenhouse gases out of the system as we can. Now, nobody wanted to do mandatory restraints next week, or next month, even next year. They want to do it voluntarily, for a period of time. This merely says: We're going to do all these things that we can with new technology in the meantime; until we go the next step. It doesn't say whether there will be a next step or not, but I believe there will be. But for now, we're not going to do that. We're going to do what's very positive, what everybody will accept.
DOBBS: What everybody will accept at this point now, consensus that global warming is an issue, but at the same time how much of an issue remains in debate.
DOBBS: Will there be substantive efforts in your legislation and that legislation, in your best judgment, that emerges from the conference committee, to address the issue of global warming?
DOMENICI: Lou, there is no doubt that we will come out of conference with some funding, some resources, and great incentives to move the nation towards new technology that will be -- that will be producing energy, that diminishes greenhouse gases. That's what you want to do to attack global warming. So, we will come out of there with some of that, probably as strong a package as we can. What we won't have is mandatory caps, which will then start moving backward through the system forcing different utilities to change the kinds of energy they produce.
DOMENICI: That will have to wait.
DOBBS: Senator, right now, 55 percent of the energy in this country is generated by coal.
DOMENICI: That's right.
DOBBS: The president today, talking about nuclear.
DOBBS: We've got at least 250 years to provide complete energy to this country in coal.
DOBBS: There is a huge risk to the environment, to human life if there is an accident with the waste products of nuclear power. Why not focus more aggressively on coal rather than nuclear?
DOMENICI: Well, let me say, Lou, you might be expressing your opinion, or not, but if you are, I disagree. Frankly, I believe...
DOBBS: Well, I'll join the opinion. It wasn't my opinion, but I'll join it.
DOMENICI: OK. Most people that analyze the risk would say that there's less risk from nuclear power, than from coal burning nuclear -- for power. The only issue left is: What do you do with the waste? But as far as global warming, it is the most unique way to get rid of global warming gasses. In fact, some environmentalists are joining that cause. We don't know how to do it for coal, but we're going to put every resource we can to try do what you've suggested and clean up the coal.
DOBBS: Senator Domenici, as always, it is good to talk with you.
And congratulations on moving your legislation ahead. Thank you.
DOMENICI: Thank you. Bye.
DOBBS: Still ahead: The results of our poll tonight. A preview of tomorrow's headlines and stories.
Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight: 83 percent of you say parents should have the right to demand more genetic testing than the current standard, 17 percent disagree.
Taking a look now at some of your thoughts, John in Bradenton, Florida, said, "Pharmacists should be held to the same standard as doctors and leave personal beliefs outside of work. If they feel that strongly about it, they should find another job."
Judy in Kent, Washington: "We don't require all obstetricians to perform abortions, why should we require all pharmacists to fill prescriptions that they feel are morally wrong?"
Whitney Keen in Tenafly, New Jersey: "A pharmacist refusing to fill a prescription for moral reasons is equal to a vegetarian cashier refusing to ring up a meat purchase."
Sue Cunningham in Lake Worth, Florida: "Any woman who wants a prescription that someone refuses to fill can easily go to another store. Please don't create a negative view of these pharmacists who have a moral dilemma and believe they are making the proper decision."
And Faith, in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts: "How many people employed in other jobs can refuse to do their work and keep their job? I do not agree with the medication either, but my feelings cannot interfere with my job."
And John in Suffern, New York: "No person or authority has the right to force any person to commit an act which is contrary to his religious beliefs."
Send us your thoughts at LouDobbs.com. Each of you whose e-mail is read on this broadcast receives a copy of my book, "Exporting America," and if you want our e-mail newsletter, sign up at LouDobbs.com.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us here tomorrow.
Red star rising: China racing to buy whatever it can inside this country including American icons like IBM and Maytag -- how, China's buying spree could threaten our national security.
And: Senator Bob Bennett working on a so-called Social Security reform plan that has nothing to do with private accounts. He says he has the president's support -- he's our guest here tomorrow evening.
Please join us.
ANDERSON COOPER 360 starts right now -- Anderson?
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