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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
London Terror; Bomb Victims; Hurricane Dennis; Netanyahu Interview; Collen Rowley Interview
Aired July 8, 2005 - 17:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody. Tonight, intelligence agencies and law enforcement officials have launched a global investigation into the London bombings. There is a strong suspicion now that al Qaeda's leader in Iraq was instrumental in planning the terrorist attacks in London. We'll have complete coverage.
Heightened concerns tonight about the vulnerability of our mass transit systems to terrorist attacks. Those mass transit systems carry more passengers, 16 times more, than do our airlines, but they receive only a fraction of the federal money that goes to airline security. We'll have that report as well.
And tens of thousands of Americans are evacuating their homes and fleeing the projected path of Hurricane Dennis, its heavy rains falling on the Florida Keys. I will be talking with the director of the National Hurricane Center about this powerful, strengthening Category 4 hurricane.
We begin with a global investigation into the terrorist attacks against London. London police now confirm more than 50 people were killed in the bombings. More bodies remained trapped in the wreckage of the London underground. Several hundred other Londoners were wounded in the four attacks.
Investigators there are searching for evidence in the debris, examining videotapes from London's numerous surveillance cameras. And U.S. counterterrorism officials say the al Qaeda network in Iraq is likely linked to these bombings.
Matthew Chance reports from London.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: With multiple bomb sites, three on underground trains and one on a London bus, this will be a complex investigation. Police deny closing down any phone networks after the blasts, and only a few fragments of fact have so far emerged.
Initial forensic evidence suggests each of the four bombs contained less than 10 pounds of explosives, enough to be carried in a small backpack, say police. They also believe each device was placed on the floor of the train carriages and of the bus. But there's no evidence so far, they say, of a suicide bomber, or of who carried out the well planned and coordinated attacks. IAN BLAIR, METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER: There is likely to still be a cell. Whether these people are still in the United Kingdom is a question, and we woill remain vigilant. We must remain vigilant. This is a national issue. It's not just for London and the Metropolitan Police Service.
CHANCE: Police say forensic teams still working at the bomb sites will probably learn more, but at least one of the underground train tunnels remains inaccessible, they say, because of damage to the tunnel's structure and the presence of vermin. Terrorism analysts say the search for clues will be focusing on how the bombs were made and what that says about who made them.
PAUL SLAUGHTER, TERRORISM ANALYST: What they're looking for is the evidence to actually put it on individuals, whether it's one person or two or three people. So they'll be going through all the devices, trying to find out the fingerprint of the actual bomb makers. And once they have got that, then hopefully there will be sufficient evidence to try and trace them and then to prosecute them.
CHANCE: But, in the end, the best intelligence, say police, will come from the general public, information on suspicious activity, tip- offs on anything people feel may help bring the London bombers to justice.
(on camera): As this investigation gets into full swing, police are warning about the possibility of further attacks and asking be the public to remain vigilant. They are in contact, they say, with other security forces around the world, but the London bombers who are so deadly in the British capital are still very much at large, they say.
Matthew Chance, CNN London.
DOBBS: London police and emergency services remain busy today. A series of alarms about suspected bombs, but none were found by the authorities. The police appealed to the public to be vigilant and to maintain their normal routines, and Londoners returned to the city's buses and trains today.
Alessio Vinci has the story from London.
ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Most of the subway network reopened on Friday, with the exception of the areas hit by the blast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
VINCI: Aldgate was among the stations which stayed shut as investigators searched for clues that could lead them to those responsible for the attacks. At least seven died here, and with simple gestures, people paid homage to them. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden, I was knocked out cold, and I didn't even know what had happened. I just realized that something was wrong and I asked myself, "Am I dead?"
VINCI: With a number of hospitalized victims in critical condition, police say fatalities could rise, though they say they do not expect it to reach triple digits. Thirteen are confirmed dead in the bus bombing, the only attack which took place above ground. But it is what's going on underground that underscores the challenges of the recovery operation.
The tunnels are narrow. At King's Cross, where more than 21 died, rescuers have yet to reach the front carriage where the explosion took place.
ANDY HAYMAN, METROPOLITAN POLICE: The complexity of getting to the carriage is one of mainly safety. What we don't want, of course, is more injuries as a result of trying to investigate (ph) the scene.
VINCI: And British officials say they have so far found no evidence to suggest the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers, meaning the perpetrators could be still alive and, of course, at large. The investigation is going to be long and complex, but police here say they will stop at nothing to bring those responsible to justice.
Lou, back to you.
DOBBS: Alessio, thank you. Alessio Vinci from London.
At least 22 people wounded in yesterday's attacks remain in critical condition in London hospitals. Their wounds and injuries are severe.
Jim Clancy reports now from St. Mary's Hospital in London -- Jim.
JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, when you look at those 22 casualties, most of them had limbs severed by flying shards of hot metal from those four blasts of hatred that hit London's metro system here in the early morning rush hour on Thursday. If people were in need of encouragement this day, they did get it in a royal way.
In a not common move, Queen Elizabeth II herself visited the London Royal Hospital this day. It is very close to the scene of the first blast aboard London's underground.
She talked and gave encouragement and comfort to those who were wounded. She also encouraged the staff there. And she had a broader message to the people of England and the United Kingdom, a message that could be, perhaps, summed up in two words "stand fast."
Prince Charles, with his wife Camilla by his side, also visited here at St. Mary's hospital. He specifically talked with some of the victims, many of whom are just coming to grips with the fact they have been involved in a terror attack as they awake in their hospital beds. He also had encouragement for the accident and emergency worker here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLAIRE BURROUGHS, HOSPITAL SPOKESWOMAN: We have seen 38 people in total, you know, with a range of injuries. Casualty staff were saying that, you know, that they saw yesterday what thy would expect to see in a year of A&E work.
So we have people with chest problems due to smoke inhalation. Many of the victims' eardrums have been perforated because of the noise. We have seen breaks, sprains, head injuries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLANCY: That was Claire Burroughs. She's the hospital spokesperson here at St. Mary's. She says that many of the victims that are here do not have family members. The staff of this hospital filling in for that, only coming now to realize how many different people from different countries were involved in this tragedy -- Lou.
DOBBS: Jim, and all London hospitals overflowing as a result of the injuries, to more than 700 people. Also tonight, the number of missing, after those bomb attacks, what can you tell us about those people?
CLANCY: We don't really know how many people are missing. We do know that they have been coming here to the hospital, sometimes families, repeatedly, their images, they bring them with them. There are people from Nigeria, people from Turkey that are still missing.
Some of them reportedly called their colleagues and told them they couldn't get to work on the tube, they were going to catch a bus. For some of them, at least, there are fears that they may have gotten on that ill-fated double-decker bus that we saw was just a twisted wreck after a bomb ripped through that vehicle -- Lou.
DOBBS: Jim, thank you. Jim Clancy, reporting from London.
Law enforcement and intelligence officials are carefully now collecting and assessing evidence that may lead them to the terrorists behind the cowardly bombings in London. U.S. intelligence officials strongly suspect al Qaeda's leader in Iraq of involvement. One official tells CNN that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al Qaeda leader in Iraq, had some input into future terrorist activity in Europe.
Officials say Zarqawi may also have been trying to extend his reach well beyond Iraq. Zarqawi has eluded the U.S. military and intelligence agents in Iraq ever since the invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein now more than two years ago.
President Bush and other worlds leaders today presented a united front against global radical Islamist terrorism at the G8 summit meeting in Scotland. The leaders also agreed to double aid to Africa to $50 billion a year by 2010. But there was little progress on the other major issue of the summit, global climate change. President Bush left the summit earlier than scheduled today. The White House declared the summit a success. President Bush arrived back in the United States this evening. The president went straight to the British embassy in Washington to sign the book of condolences for victims of the London terrorist attacks. Afterwards, the British ambassador thanked the president and the American people for their support.
When we continue, a deadly hurricane heading our way. Hurricane Dennis, it is now a massive Category 4 storm. It is the earliest Category 4 hurricane ever. We'll have the latest for you.
And the future of U.S. oil giant Unocal hanging in the balance. President Bush says he will not stand in the way of a Chinese takeover.
And witness to terror. Israeli finance minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is our guest here. He was in London yesterday. He received warnings just in time to avoid a conference near the Liverpool Street station bomb explosion.
DOBBS: Tonight, a deadly hurricane is headed for the U.S. Gulf Coast. Hurricane Dennis is packing 140-mile-an-hour winds. A Category 4 storm that the National Hurricane Center is calling extremely dangerous.
On the lower right hand corner of your screen is the latest radar as Dennis is battering now Cuba's south-central coast. Hurricane Dennis is now the most powerful storm to ever form in the Atlantic so early in the hurricane season.
It is also a massive and powerful storm, some 250 miles across. Hurricane-force winds now extend 37 miles from its center. If Dennis stays on its current course, it should pass the Florida Keys as early as tomorrow morning, and it will make landfall along the Gulf Coast somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and Louisiana by Sunday afternoon.
A hurricane warning has now been posted for the lower Florida Keys, where rains from Hurricane Dennis are already falling. Residents today sealing up their homes and heading as fast as they can to the mainland.
Earlier today, the governors of Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama all declared states of emergency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BOB RILEY (R), ALABAMA: All of you know last time we had a very successful evacuation. We want to do it again this time.
Ultimately, our goal it to save lives. And the best way that we can do that is to get people to forget this notion of riding it out. Go ahead and move, and begin today. (END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Dennis dumped as much as 10 inches of rain on Haiti earlier in the week. Homes and bridges there were swept away in massive flooding. At least five people were killed.
The storm also caused some damage at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the U.S., is holding, of course, terror suspects.
And CNN's live in Havana, Cuba, where Dennis is now hitting hard -- Lucia.
LUCIA NEWMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, as you can probably hear, it is extremely, extremely windy here in Havana. Hurricane Dennis is heading towards us from the south, moving north, and then will be heading towards Florida.
In the meantime, it's packing incredibly high winds. It's very dry.
It's been followed usually by rain. But most of the damage has been wind damage. In fact, a short while ago, President Fidel Castro went on Cuban television live to announce that at least 10 people have died so far, all of them in eastern Cuba, in fact. And those were the first two provinces that were hit by the hurricane late last night and early this morning.
So we are only talking about the tip of the iceberg here. And 10 dead in Cuba is a very, very high number, because this country has an extraordinarily good track record for keeping people out of harm's way. But most people are used to a lot of rain, but not this kind of wind.
We've had reports of television towers being knocked out, electricity blackouts in large sections of eastern Cuba and Camajue (ph) province and San Puevos (ph) province as well, which is where this hurricane made landfall. In fact, Lou, this is only the third time in 200 years that a hurricane has hit Cuba, which is the Caribbean's largest island, in July.
So people here are really reeling and are wondering what else is going to be in store for them as this season begins -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, Lucia, we want them and we want you to be safe. Thank you. Lucia Newman reporting from Havana.
NASA says Hurricane Dennis will not pose a threat to the launch of the Shuttle Discovery next week. Discovery, in fact, remains on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Liftoff remains scheduled for Wednesday.
NASA has conferred and discussed moving the shuttle to a hangar, and all of that to prepare as Dennis approaches. But this storm path has since moved well to the west of Cape Canaveral, and Discovery will be the first U.S. shuttle mission since the Columbia disaster in 2003. And its launch remains on schedule.
Still ahead, the tug of war over a major U.S. oil asset. Both sides in the fight for Unocal bracing for a key board of directors' meeting. The United States' national security hanging in the balance.
Also, our nation's mass transit systems, how vulnerable are they to terrorism? A special report on what is needed and what is denied to make our transit systems safe for commuters next.
DOBBS: The radical Islamist terrorist attacks against London's mass transit system have raised major concerns about the vulnerability of buses and trains in this country. U.S. mass transit carries 16 times more passengers than do our airlines, but those mass transit systems receive only a fraction of the money that we spend on airline security.
Kitty Pilgrim reports.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Airports have screeners. No such thing for subways or commuter trains. In the sea of mass transit travelers, 32 million trips a day, security comes down to noticing something as small as a backpack.
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: If you see a package unattended, you know, that's the kind of thing you need to bring to the attention of a police officer or a conductor. Unfortunately an event like what happened in London reminds us that we can all bear some responsibility for protecting ourselves.
PILGRIM: But shouldn't the government be doing more to protect our mans transit system? After September 11, $20 billion in federal funding was given for increased security for air travel, a mere $250 million for mass transit. A funding gap of 80-1. Yet, mass transit carries 16 times more passengers than airlines each day.
Lawmakers plan to push for more when Congress resumes next week. New York senators Schumer and Clinton say they want to quadruple the $100 million for mass transit and rail security in the Homeland Security Spending Bill.
Some say U.S. funding hasn't kept up with the times. Last year's Moscow and Madrid attacks both hit mass transit during the morning rush hour.
REP. EDWARD MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I think the United States has focused on what happened to the United States, which is the use of airplanes to attack the United States. But we haven't been learning the lessons of what happened in Madrid, for example, where trains were used. And again, here in London, we see a similar incident.
PILGRIM: Right now, security in the United States is tight. K9 dogs and heavily-armed police teams are boarding trains. Amtrak riders found this notice on their seats: "All Amtrak employees through the nation have been put on alert to remain vigilant and report any suspected suspicious activity."
Commuter awareness does help, but the real security will come with money.
PILGRIM: And last week, a Senate subcommittee on homeland security appropriations tried to cut funding to mass transit. There was a widespread Congressional outcry, and now those who argue for increased funding will get the attention this issue deserves -- Lou.
DOBBS: Who was the idiot who wanted to cut funding?
PILGRIM: The Senate subcommittee on...
DOBBS: You want to keep it broad?
PILGRIM: I want to keep it broad.
DOBBS: All right. Kitty Pilgrim. Thank you.
A security alert over the Atlantic on an Air France jetliner bound for Chicago. U.S. authorities ordered the aircraft to return to Paris today only two hours into its flight. The name of one of the passengers aboard matched a name on the U.S. no-fly list. The plane landed again at Charles de Gaulle Airport, the passenger was taken in for questioning.
When we continue, Minister Benjamin Netanyahu face to face with terror once again in London yesterday. He is our guest.
And the latest on deadly Hurricane Dennis. A state of emergency has been declared up and down the Gulf Coast. Preparations are under way for the earliest major hurricane in American history.
And the woman who blew the whistle at the FBI before September 11 is now running for Congress. What has the United States learned since 9/11? She's our guest coming right up.
DOBBS: In just a moment we'll be going to London to talk with Israeli Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And I will also be going to the National Hurricane Center, where Max Mayfield will be brining us the very latest on what is happening with Hurricane Dennis.
There is another major threat to U.S. oil supplies and our national security, and that is the sale, the prospective sale of Unocal communist China. Shockingly, President Bush has refused to even comment on this deal.
Lisa Sylvester reports.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the G8 meeting in Scotland, President Bush ducked a question on whether the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation should be allowed to purchase U.S.-based Unocal.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is a process that our government uses to analyze such purchases or intended purchases. And it's best that I allow that process to move forward without comment.
SYLVESTER: But it's the White House that could have the final say. CNOOC must clear a number of regulatory hurdles to buy Unocal, including a national security review led by the Treasury Department. Among the concerns, China is a communist government that conceivably could go to war with the United States over Taiwan.
Still, if CNOOC can meet the regulatory conditions, then Unocal will reportedly consider abandoning a deal that it has already reached with Chevron. CNOOC's offer is $1.5 billion higher than Chevron.
A spokesperson for Unocal said today of the CNOOC proposal, "There were all kinds of regulatory requirements. The board is going to want to know... can this deal be completed?"
The Unocal board of directors is officially sticking with this recommendation to go forward with the Chevron deal, even as negotiations continue with CNOOC. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution, urging closer scrutiny of the CNOOC bid. But critics say the Bush administration is not doing enough.
PETER MORICI, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: The shareholders, it's really not their responsibility to be thinking about geo-security issues. Many of the shareholders have pension funds and so forth.
Rather, it's the responsibility of the United States government. And on issue after issue, the Bush administration has been running interference for the Chinese. Whether it's currency or investment, the movement of jobs, its military buildup, it's been running interference.
SYLVESTER: The White House under presidents Bush and Clinton has been reluctant to block this acquisition. Since 1988, there have been just over 1,500 deals reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investments. Only 12 of those went to the president for a final decision. And out of the 1,500 deals, only one was rejected -- Lou.
DOBBS: An extraordinary canvas of history. National security obviously the forefront of this decision. Lisa Sylvester, thank you very much, reporting tonight from Washington.
That brings us to the subject of our poll tonight. The question is: do you believe the United States government should block the sale of Unocal to China, yes or no? Cast your votes at LouDobbs.com. We'll have the results here later in the broadcast.
Joining me now, a prominent Israeli official who says that Israel, Britain and the United States have now a common bond: all targets in the firing line of Islamic terror. He was in London during yesterday's horrific terrorist attacks. In fact, he narrowly avoided one of the deadly subway explosions.
Joining me now from London, the former prime minister and now finance minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Good to have you with us.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI FINANCE MINISTER: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: Let me first ask you, there are reports, and they surfaced yesterday almost immediately and continued today, that Israeli security forces received advance word of these explosions. Any truth to that?
NETANYAHU: Well, certainly not. If there was any advance notice, then I don't know of any. It certainly didn't get to me.
I was en route to the hotel right above that terminal. And I was stopped by the British security detail, who told my security, my Israeli security detail, that we just had an explosion. So my guys had absolutely no idea that this was about to happen...
DOBBS: You were on your way to the Liverpool Street...
NETANYAHU: And actually, I was on -- yes, to an economic conference right above the place where the first train blew up. So we had no idea this was going to happen.
DOBBS: Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, has asked all of the cabinet to say very little. He may have said it even somewhat more strongly for fear of offending Londoners, the British.
But the fact is, you have been straightforward, in the days you and I talked after 9/11. You have been straightforward now in talking about the common bond as victims of terrorism. What do you think should be the response now?
NETANYAHU: Well, I don't think we have to give any advice to the British government, because prime minister Blair and his government, my colleague Gordon Brown, they know what to do and are handling the situation well.
I think the larger issue is the challenge we all face. I don't mean just Britain; the United States; Spain before this in the Madrid bombings; Israel, obviously; Russia. We have all been in the gun- sights of Islamic terrorism.
And, if fact, we have to understand that this is not a partial attack on America's allies in Iraq. After all, America was attacked before Iraq. In fact, America went to Iraq after it was attacked on September 11th. The problem we face is a worldwide radical movement, a splinter movement that distorts many of the messages of Islam and seeks to roll back the clock of history 1,000 years. It's mad. It's a fantasy ideology. But nonetheless it has a method.
The method is the application of terror to inspire fear among its victims, who are the West. The West they want to destroy, hobble, eventually get rid of our way of life, our free, liberal way of life. And the most important thing is to refuse...
DOBBS: You know, in the aftermath of 9/11 and the aftermath of what the British and we all now will call 7/7, a lot of talk about bringing people to justice, a lot of talk about carrying out life as if it were normal. It also causes one -- in the pain we all suffer when innocents are attacks in this cowardly, barbaric way -- to say: Let's go kill these people who would do us such harm and destroy our way of life.
The fact of the matter is the world is not having immense success in dealing with this radical, Islamist terror. And there has to be a prescription, an approach that bright, intelligent leaders around the world can come up with to deal with this issue, this movement, splinter or otherwise.
NETANYAHU: Well, I agree. And I think there are three things you have to do.
The first is to refuse to surrender to fear and to muster the courage and the resolve to fight back. That's absolutely necessary.
The second thing is to understand that it's not what we do, but what we are that causes offense to these mad radicals: the fact that we breathe in our free society; the fact that women have rights; the fact that children can flip on a TV channel. That is something anathema to people who want to roll us back 1,000 years.
Understand: We are not guilty; they are guilty.
The third is to reverse the odds. It is not we who should cower in fear; it is they who should run for their lives. They means the organizations, the terror organizations, and also the regimes that give them sustenance. There are regimes left who are doing it, both actively supporting them and also ideologically and financially supporting them -- sometimes directly; sometimes passively. I think you have to circumscribe the locus of action.
Here is the reason why you have to do these three things -- if you don't do it, then what I have been saying to you and so many years before to you and to others, I have been saying now for over two decades for close to a quarter of a century -- the danger of international terrorism is you will have terrorists acquiring the weapons of mass destruction.
And when they do, these particular terrorists, especially radical Islamic terrorists, will use them. Bin Laden would have used them. And the studio that you are talking in, the city you are talking from would not exist. We have to stop them before they destroy us. The war is still on.
DOBBS: Obviously and hopefully, that war will turn decisively soon.
Thank you very much, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Turning now to a deadly hurricane that is headed to our coast. Resident from Florida to Louisiana are now bracing for Hurricane Dennis. This is now a dangerous category 4 storm gaining even more strength and expected to gain more strength before hitting the coast Sunday. We turn now to Max Mayfield. He is the director of the National Hurricane Center, joining us tonight from Miami.
Max, I want to say first of all, this storm, have you got a fairly clear understanding now as to where it is headed?
MAX MAYFIELD, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: We think we do. And we have had a pretty consistent forecast here for the past few days. So far it's staying on track, moving across Cuba. We are still getting some HAM radio reports. You know, a lot of the power is out over Cuba. But we just had a report a few minutes ago, gusts of 93 miles per hour here back on the back side of the hurricane. This is the eye right here, it's about 70 miles east-southeast of Havana, moving in that general direction. It will emerge off the north coast of Cuba later tonight around midnight and restrengthen again tomorrow.
DOBBS: Max, how high were those gusts did you say.
MAYFIELD: 93 miles per hour. That's one of the few reports we've gotten here. We had a report earlier of 149 miles per hour when it made land fall 2:00 this afternoon.
DOBBS: When our Lucia Newman was reporting just live moments ago, the winds in Havana, 30 miles away from the storm right now, but the winds were extraordinaire. The path in terms of the United States, where do you expect it to hit our shoreline and when?
MAYFIELD: Well, the first concern is going to be with the lower Florida Keys. We still have a hurricane warning up there. If we have perfect forecasts, the hurricane force winds will stay just little bit west of the lower Florida Keys, shift to the right would not be good news for them. And then -- you can probably see it better on this graphic here -- the forecast is up into the northeast Gulf coast. Basically the same area where Hurricane Ivan hit last year. So, that's not good news.
We have a hurricane watch up from the Steinhatchee River over to the mouth of the Pearl River. People in that area need to start taking this very, very seriously. And listen to the advice of their local officials.
DOBBS: A Category 4, do you expect it to maintain that strength, Max? MAYFIELD: It is weakening as we speak. And will likely come out a weakened category 3 hurricane. In fact, in our next advisory here in about an hour, it will likely be downgraded to a category 3. But once it gets over the Gulf, this is such a strong hurricane that even though the surface circulation is weakening, we think it will regain that strength. And people need to be preparing for a major hurricane, likely borderline category 3 or category 4.
DOBBS: You heard it from the man himself, Max Mayfield who runs the National Hurricane Center. Max, as always, we appreciate you bringing us up to date. Thank you.
MAYFIELD: Thank you, sir.
DOBBS: Coming up next, a famous whistle blower who said the United States could have done far more to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She has made a surprising career move. And she is my guest, next.
And in "Heroes" the remarkable story of a U.S. Marine who served as an elite sniper in Fallujah. One of the most dangerous jobs. We will have his story of heroism and bravery next.
DOBBS; My guest tonight worked at the FBI for nearly 24 years, before she became certainly one of America's best known whistle blowers, if not its best known. Specifically, she blasted the FBI for refusing to pursue terrorism suspect Zacharias Moussaoui before the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. In her view, there was more than enough evidence against Moussaoui for the FBI to act.
Now she's announced she is running for congress in Minnesota. Coleen Rowley joins us tonight from Minneapolis. Good to have you with us.
COLEEN ROWLEY, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, thank you for having me.
DOBBS: Let's begin with what we have just seen happen in London, a tragedy too reminiscent of 9/11. No advance warning, intelligence offering nothing to the British officials. Are you surprised?
ROWLEY: Actually, I warned that we would experience a exponential increase in terrorism about two weeks before we launched the invasion of Iraq.
DOBBS: And why did you do so, based on the invasion of Iraq?
ROWLEY: Well, I was afraid, and from all estimates that this would create a training ground for terrorism and would actually prove counter-productive. And unfortunately, it seems to have proven true. I think last year, the terrorism attacks in the world went up three- fold.
DOBBS: Terrorism attacks in London, are you surprised, though, that there was no intelligence, no warning apparently of any kind? ROWLEY: Well, I think there's always a difference between specific intelligence and more general items. This was the case, obviously pre-9/11. And I'm sure that we don't know the full picture of what general information may have been known also in London. Obviously, terrorists are never going to tip off the exact location and times and dates of their attacks, so rarely will we have specific information like that.
DOBBS: Coleen, you are running for Congress, you are running as a Democrat in Minnesota. You, obviously, have been extraordinarily critical of the FBI. Has there been significant progress in your opinion, first on the part of the FBI, and then the overall intelligence and counter-terrorism efforts of the United States?
ROWLEY: Well, I think in terms of being homeland defense, and certainly the FBI's efforts tie in with that, there has been some improvement. There's no impediment to sharing information between intelligence and law enforcement, and there's been a big push to increase intelligence and analysts. So I think in that respect, it has improved.
Unfortunately, that's only a part of the piece of the puzzle, because a lot of funding has been really, as your earlier piece showed, has gone to the war in Iraq and other areas, and homeland security has been sorely neglected.
DOBBS: Why did you decide to run for Congress, Coleen?
ROWLEY: Well, largely because I think the war on terrorism is not being handled in a very judicious, effective manner. I think the leadership has really done many things that have served in a counterproductive way to increase the threat.
I have four children and a grandchild now, and I think that we need to do a much better job. We have to -- we need to be tough, certainly, but we need to -- that toughness needs to be accompanied with real, smart, effective things that will make sense. We can't be distracted from -- for instance, the Iraq war is a great example of that. We took our forces out of Afghanistan, where the true threat was, and sent them to a country that, at that time, was not linked to al Qaeda.
DOBBS: And so you would, what, you are running to pull the U.S. troops out of Iraq?
ROWLEY: Actually, I think there are no good or great options right now on Iraq. I don't want any further problems or mistakes of this nature made, and I would hope that we could correct these things.
DOBBS: Coleen Rowley, we thank you for being with us here tonight. Thank you.
ROWLEY: Thank you.
DOBBS: A reminder now to vote on our poll. Do you believe the U.S. government should block the sale of Unocal to China? Yes or no. Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results coming up in just a few minutes.
Still ahead, I'll be talking about the week's headlines with three of the best political journalists in the country. The story of one hero whose role is so critical in saving lives of his fellow Marines, he was awarded the Silver Star. And he is all of 22 years of age. His story is here, next. You don't want to miss it.
DOBBS: Each week our tribute to the men and women who serve and protect this country in the nation's uniform. Tonight, we honor Sergeant Ethan Place, a U.S. Marine who has one of the most dangerous jobs. At just 22 years of age, Place is an elite sniper with the U.S. Marine Corps, so successful in Iraq that he was awarded a Silver Star for his heroic actions. Casey Wian has his story.
SGT. ETHAN PLACE, U.S. MARINE CORPS: It's all mathematical, OK? It's all math. Right here, 3.438 minutes, all right?
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marine Sergeant Ethan Place is training marksmen at Camp Pendleton, California.
PLACE: When you're milling out a target, don't be directly behind your rifle. Put it on a good shooting platform.
WIAN: They've all served in Iraq, but Place commands special respect. He's a sniper, awarded a Silver Star for his skill taking out insurgents.
PLACE: When you shot somebody and it hits a bone, what happens? It blows out all different ways. It's a nasty round if you hit a bone.
WIAN: The lessons are based on experience. In March and April of 2004, Place and his sniper team held positions in and around Fallujah. Day after day, they were attacked. Day after day, Place located and shot insurgents in the chaos of the city's buildings and alleys.
PLACE: We have had a lot of close -- a lot of close calls. Between RPGs hitting and mortars hitting and rounds hitting what we call loopholes, and after a lot of the firefights, you look outside your loophole and you'd see the jackets of the rounds still stuck on the wall, and you pull them out. And in our bunker, they would come through into the sandbags and things like that.
WIAN: He brings his experiences back to the classroom.
PLACE: I know nothing over there in Fallujah or Ramadi, those areas, is built the same. It's all different. But street signs is probably the biggest thing. You can look down an alleyway if you're looking down a road or something like that, you can look at a stop sign, and if you ever measure those stop signs, most of those are the same. WIAN: Place was originally recommended for a Bronze Star, but his marksmanship was considered so critical in saving Marine Corps lives over the course of the offensive, that the award was upgraded to a Silver Star.
PLACE: It doesn't really seem like an award for me. I think -- when I think of it, I see Alpha Company, I see my spotter. He was there with me all the time, doing everything. So it's not really a medal for me, it's all of us, really.
WIAN: Casey Wian, CNN, reporting.
DOBBS: The 75th Ranger Regimen is the premiere light infantry unit in the United States Army, and quite possibly the entire world. It contains the best warriors in the Army. General David Grange talked with two Rangers who have just won the Best Ranger competition. General Grange asked them just how tough that competition is.
CAPT. CORBITT MCCALLUM, U.S. ARMY: I think, well, personally, for myself, it was a road march, it was the first night -- so we'd been up for 12 or 14 hours so far, you got about 12 miles on your legs already, then you carry a 70-pound rucksack for a forced march of six hours without an end. You go until they tell you. So there's no fixed end in sight.
BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: And how far was it this year? You were told later after you've had it.
MCCALLUM: It turned out to be 21 miles.
GRANGE: Twenty-one miles. You carried a rucksack weighing?
MCCALLUM: It was about 70 pounds each, sir.
GRANGE: 70 pounds plus weapons and other equipment.
GRANGE: And what about yourself, Sergeant Nelson? What was the toughest you thought?
SGT. 1ST CLASS GERALD NELSON, U.S. ARMY: Second to the road march, is the next night. So you have been up almost 40 hours now. And you do a land navigation course which is 12 points that you have to go find in the woods. This year, that course took 26 miles for us to find 11 points. And it was 11 hours for us to finish the course.
GRANGE: So 26 hours, land navigation course, mostly in the night, partly in daylight.
NELSON: Yes, sir. It went all through the night. We started in daylight, the evening, went all through the night and finished in the morning.
GRANGE: How much sleep did you get in 60 hours?
MCCALLUM: I'd say about two, two-and-a-half hours of sleep, piecemeal, over the three days.
GRANGE: Over the three-day period? And food? A little food? A lot of food?
NELSON: Enough to get us through.
GRANGE: Just to get through.
And when did you feel that you had -- you were going to win, you were at that point?
MCCALLUM: I think after land navigation we knew we were leading, and after that, we knew we put a pretty stiff margin, so after that, I was starting to get confident but anything could happen.
GRANGE: So if you hung in there, you knew you would win?
NELSON: As long as we didn't fall out or get hurt we had a good chance of winning.
GRANGE: OK. so, this is -- this is the epitome of Ranger toughness and Ranger force. And you set the example the other Rangers to follow. So it's proud to be down here at the Ranger Hall of Fame and meeting the two best Rangers for 2005. Thank you very much.
NELSON: Thank you, sir.
DOBBS: General David Grange. And we join him in congratulating Captain McCallum and Sergeant Nelson on their remarkable success. By the way, that award is the David E. Grange Jr. Award named after General Grange's father. We'll be right back. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Joining me now from Washington, Ron Brownstein. He's "Los Angeles Time." Karen Tumulty. She is "Time" magazine. And Bill Schneider. He is CNN. Thank you all for being here.
Let's begin with the attacks in London. The British people will this, in your judgment, invigorate their war on terror?
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Lou, it could set off a political debate. I mean, you know, you have a lot of criticism of the war in Iraq in London. And people -- you are hearing critics, opponents of Blair already saying is this the price that the British people are paying in blood for their support of Bush in the war in Iraq? That criticism is muted so far, and it's mostly on the fringes, but you are beginning to hear some of it.
DOBBS: Ron, the fact is that Blair tried to steer the G-8 summit completely away from the war on terror, the British participation in the war in Iraq and is hit with this devastating tragedy. What are the implications in your judgment?
RON BROWNSTEIN, LOS ANGELES TIMES: Well first of all, I think Bill is right, there will be some debate about whether this is related to the war in Iraq. In fact, you know, there's no question that Islamic radicals have targeted the west with or without the war. But the reverse may also be true.
And that is, the argument from the president and at times Tony Blair that we are fighting in Baghdad so we don't have to fight in London and New York. I think this calls that into question. It really, I think, underscores the idea that there are two distinct tracts here. And whether or not we are in Baghdad, we are going to face this threat in New York and London. And the debate will, as you heard in your show tonight, are our priorities correct, are we putting money in the right place, not only airline versus railroad security, but also the war in Iraq versus homeland security more broadly.
DOBBS: And Karen. The fact is that the Pentagon can't even come up with a new quadrannual (ph) assessment because reportedly there's disagreement about whether or not the word China can be mentioned as a potential threat so they don't know what the heck to do. Have we reached a point in which we are absolutely paralyzed by political correctness and niceties that forbid acting in the national security?
KAREN TUMULTY, TIME MAGAZINE: Well I don't know if that's the case, or we have reached the point where we are absolutely overstretched, both in dealing with the war on terrorism, in trying to figure out how to handle China because we need it very ,very badly in these six party talks with North Korea.
DOBBS: Do we really, Karen? I hear that, I hear that. But the fact is China hasn't done anything, and the United States hasn't got a plan. I don't know what adding four more parties to the thing gets does.
TUMULTY: Getting China to help us out is the plan at this point. And it's the only plan that seems to be...
DOBBS: (INAUDIBLE) Unocal, turn the whole thing over. We can't seem to run the world's only superpower.
TUMULTY: But basically it's a question of not enough resources, and too many hot spots around the world.
DOBBS: One of the hot spots right where you all are, and that is Washington. Justice Rehnquist, chief justice expected to hand in his resignation, rumors rampant all day. What's the truth here, Ron?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I don't think we know. Certainly the rumors have been as high as I have ever seen them. Look, if the president does get two vacancies, there's no doubt that will scramble the equation for both him and the opponents. On the one hand I think the president has a very clear choice. He can either -- if he does get two vacancies, try to move the court decisively to the right with two conservative nominees, or, as someone has said, he can try put together something more of a balanced ticket, which would make the confirmation fight easier.
Interestingly, Lou, there are two precedence in recent times, 1971, Richard Nixon had two vacancies. In 1986, we had dual fights over Rehnquist's elevation and the appointment of Scalia. In each case, one of the nominees became a focal point, Rehnquist both times, and the other sailed through, virtually unanimously. So it might -- there might be safety in numbers for Bush nominees.
DOBBS: Safety in numbers. Does President Bush need safety, Bill Schneider? Why doesn't he just put forth who he wants and devil take the hindmost.
SCHNEIDER: Oh, I think he can do interesting things if he has two vacancies on the court. First of all, he could elevate Scalia to chief justice. Scalia was confirmed 98-0, and he's already on the court, so it wouldn't change the balance, but it would make conservatives happy. He could appoint a staunch conservative, plus he really wants to appoint the Attorney General Gonzalez. And he might be able to do that if he has more than one appointment.
Sure some people on the right will be unhappy, but in the end the confirmation process will be easier. And I think the president will have his way.
One important point here, this confirmation process is nothing like anything we have seen in the past. Don't look at history, because you're seeing mass globalization....
DOBBS: Well, you are the one that brought up history, Bill.
SCHNEIDER: Well, yes, but, I mean, Bush will make a break- through here. It's going to be a political campaign.
TUMULTY: And I think for the activists on all side, the real challenge would be in the case of Chief Justice Rehnquist does resign, to sort of separate their fights and direct their fights. And if you throw in the possibility of elevating Scalia to chief juice then that suddenly puts a third fight in the mix.
BROWNSTEIN: It puts a lot more moving pieces out there for the president to work with. It gives him a lot more options. He can make it harder or tougher depending on what he chooses, but there's no doubt if gives him a broader playing field to work with.
DOBBS: Both parties -- both parties, trying to excite their bases with this talk about affirmative action and abortion. Are those going to be determinant in the process, the confirmation process?
TUMULTY: I think of every issue, abortion is going to be the top one.
DOBBS: With that, we have to say thank you all for being here. Appreciate it. We'll look forward to another news week next week. Thank you, folks.
Finally tonight, we're keeping count, "New York Times" correspondent Judith Miller, the Pulitzer prize winning reporter has now spent two days in jail. She has refused to disclose her confidential sources to a federal grand jury.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Have a pleasant weekend. Good night from New York. Our special coverage of the terrorist attacks in London continues now with "ANDERSON COOPER 360."
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