Skip to main content
Search
Services


 

Return to Transcripts main page

LOU DOBBS TONIGHT

Illegal Alien Joins Border Patrol; Washington Accounting Trick; The World's First Cloned Dog

Aired August 5, 2005 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


KITTY PILGRIM, GUEST HOST: Good evening, everybody.
Tonight, "Broken Borders". It's unbelievable. Prosecutors say an illegal alien joined the U.S. Border Patrol and then helped smuggle illegal aliens into this country.

Plus, "Highway Robbery". An incredible accounting trick in Washington. How $8.5 billion in pork can simply disappear. We'll have a special report.

And "Clone Wars". The world's first cloned dog. Human cloning now a step closer? Tonight we'll have a vigorous debate about the science and ethics of cloning.

We begin tonight with a desperate race against time to rescue the crew of a Russian submarine trapped deep underwater. The United States is sending special rescue equipment to Russia's Pacific coast. The seven-man crew could have only hours to live.

Barbara Starr reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In San Diego, Navy and Air Force personnel scrambled to load this cargo jet with rescue gear within hours of the Russian Navy asking for help in saving seven of its sailors trapped 600 feet under the Pacific Ocean. The Russian mini sub, like this one, apparently became tangled on nets and cables.

DMITRY BURMISTOV, RUSSIAN NAVY SPOKESMAN (through translator): The AS-28 submersible's propeller caught a fragment of fishing net and it's wrapped around the vessel's propeller. As the crew tried to break free from the net, a metal cord was caught on the propeller, which then trapped the vessel in deep water.

STARR: The U.S. Navy will try to cut it loose before the Russian crew runs out of air.

COMMANDER KENT VAN HORN, U.S. NAVY: Our only avenue here is to get a vehicle down there that can cut the cable away, and they should be able to get to the surface then.

STARR: The huge C-5 transport aircraft was loaded with two Super Scorpio robotic underwater vehicles, 40 U.S. Navy personnel making the 10-hour flight to Russia, prepared to take their equipment by Russian ships out to the site. The U.S. Navy is also sending two deep sea diving suits so divers can look directly at the Russian sub and help clear debris away, as well as a third robotic vehicle like this one.

This time, Moscow's immediate call for help is far different than five years ago when the submarine Kursk sank off northern Russia, killing 118 sailors. Russians strongly criticized President Vladimir Putin for not quickly seeking international rescue assistance.

It was just two months ago that Russian submariners joined half a dozen other nations in the largest submarine escape and rescue exercise ever. Submarines from Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Turkey were deliberately grounded off Italy with their crews and then rescued.

(on camera) The Russians have tried to rescue the sub themselves. But now the British Royal Navy and the Japanese Navy are joining in the international rescue effort.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: In Afghanistan, two American troops have been killed in a vehicle accident. The military said the accident happened near Jalalabad. The troop's vehicle fell into a river, and both servicemen drowned.

American troops in Iraq have launched a new offensive against insurgents and terrorists in the west of the country. The military says the offensive is not a response to the deaths of 21 U.S. Marines in Iraq earlier this week.

Jamie McIntyre reports from the Pentagon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. military officials say Operation Quick Strike was planned well before Wednesday's deadly attack in which a massive bomb destroyed an amphibious assault vehicle, killing 14 Marines and their civilian interpreter. In fact, the same day of that attack near Haditha, some 800 Marines and 180 Iraqi troops were already taking up positions around the city and two other suspected insurgent strongholds.

Matthew Cox is an embedded reporter for the "Army Times."

MATTHEW COX, "ARMY TIMES": Foreign fighters are coming in. They're using these towns. They bring in a lot of explosives. They prepare these car bombs. And then they go to bigger cities like Mosul and Baghdad.

MCINTYRE: Operation Quick Strike is just the latest in a series of similar operations launched by the Marines in western Iraq since May. The names are different -- Sword, Spear, Dagger, New Market, Matador -- but the objective is the same, to deny insurgents the ability to use Anbar province as a safe base of operations.

BRIG. GEN. CARTER HAM, U.S. ARMY: Western Anbar province has been an area of concern for a very long time. And the Euphrates River and the towns and villages along it are likely locations for the movement of insurgents either cross border from Syria or inside Iraq itself.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE: And military sources tell CNN that there are indications that some of the sophisticated bombs used in recent deadly attacks may have been smuggled into Iraq from neighboring countries. At the very least, they believe the expertise for putting those kind of armor piercing explosions together is coming from outside Iraq -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much, Jamie McIntyre.

In Ohio today, hundreds of people attended a ceremony to remember U.S. Marines killed in Iraq. The 16 fallen troops were from a U.S. Marine Reserve battalion based in a Cleveland suburb. All 16 were killed in Iraq since July 28. Nine of them were killed by a massive roadside bomb that destroyed their armored vehicle.

Well, the war in Iraq is damaging President Bush's poll numbers. A new Associated Press/Ipsos poll says support for the way the president is handling the war has fallen sharply.

Elaine Quijano reports from Crawford, Texas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Against the backdrop of one of the bloodiest weeks in Iraq for U.S. forces, new numbers show the American public's support for President Bush's Iraq policy is falling. Thirty-eight percent of Americans approve of his approach; 59 percent disapprove.

But the president is showing no sign of changing his strategy.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will stay the course. We will complete the job in Iraq. And the job is this: we'll help the Iraqis develop a democracy. They're right in the process of writing a constitution which will be ratified in October, and then they will elect a permanent government.

QUIJANO: While the administration sends the message that Iraqis are making progress, images of violence abroad and grief at home weigh heavily on Americans.

STU ROTHENBERG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think the president's standing in the polls is the result of daily bad news -- reports of casualties and fatalities and a growing sense that we're not making a lot of progress.

QUIJANO: Threats by bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri gave the president a chance to frame the Iraq war debate.

BUSH: The comments by the number two man of al Qaeda make it clear that Iraq is a part of this war on terror and we're at war. (END VIDEOTAPE)

QUIJANO: Earlier this week, President Bush touted his second term legislative achievements, including an energy bill and a highway bill, both of which the president will be focusing on next week. Yet the daily news out of Iraq continues to take the spotlight off of any positive messages the Bush administration is trying to send -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much, Elaine Quijano.

Well, today President Bush's closest ally in the war on terror, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, launched a major crackdown on radical Islamists. The crackdown comes after two waves of radical Islamist terrorist attacks in London last month.

Robin Oakley reports from London.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Insisting that Britons remain as tolerant as they've always been of other cultures in their midst, Mr. Blair said they were angry, too, at extremists who exploited their tolerance. And in the new political mood, it was up to the government to do something about it.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We are today signaling a new approach to deportation orders. Let no one be in any doubt the rules of the game are changing.

OAKLEY: So he made clear as the balance between civil liberties and the security of the citizen.

In the past, Blair's government has been accused of letting its capital become "Londonistan" by failing to crack down harder on preachers like Abu Qatada. Copies of his sermons were found in a Hamburg flat used by some 9/11 hijackers.

Then there's Abu Hamza, facing trial for incitement to murder and stirring up racial hatred.

Now the government plans to stiffen existing paths to make it easier to exclude or deport the so-called preachers of hate, regardless of their nationality. Fostering hatred or advocating violence to further a set of beliefs will become grounds for deportation.

The government also plans a list of undesirable extremist Web sites, book shops, centers and organizations of concern.

BLAIR: Active engagement with any of these will be a trigger for the home secretary to consider the deportation of any foreign national.

OAKLEY: Mr. Blair plans to consult the Muslim community about the vetting of foreign imams who come in to teach at British mosques. But he also wants Muslims to work harder at integration. Respect for their religion and culture is fine, he says, but...

BLAIR: When they withdraw and become separate in a very deliberate way, that is -- that is unhealthy in my view.

OAKLEY (on camera): Mr. Blair believes the British Parliament and people are now in a mood for action against the extremists and ready to accept more restrictive measures than in the past. Though there will be careful consultation with the Muslim community, the program announced Friday, he insisted, is only the beginning.

Robin Oakley, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: Today's quote of the day comes from British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In his speech today, Blair acknowledged and welcomed Muslim contributions to British society. But he also said, "Coming to Britain is not a right. And even when people have come here, staying here carries with it a duty. That duty is to share and support the values that sustain the British way of life. Those that break that duty and try to incite hatred or engage in violence against our country and its people have no place here."

Still to come, what some are calling highway robbery, how $8.5 billion of transportation spending can simply disappear.

Plus an incredible story. Prosecutors say an illegal alien joined the U.S. Border Patrol and then helped smuggle illegal aliens into this country.

And scientists can now clone dogs. Will human clones be next? Tonight we'll have what is certain to be a very lively debate on the ethics and science of cloning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PILGRIM: More now on the massive nearly $300 billion transportation bill just passed by Congress. Critics say Congress won White House support for the pork-laden bill using questionable tactics. They call it a classic case of highway robbery.

Lisa Sylvester reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Washington is notorious for budgetary magic tricks, but this one might take the cake. How do you hide $8.5 billion? That's what some critics say happened with the highway bill Congress approved last week.

The bill's advertised price tag, $286.4 billion. But critics say the real price with when all is said and done will be $295 billion.

PETE SEPP, NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION: Most taxpayers would consider this tactic to be nothing more than a shell game. Two hundred eighty-six and a half billion dollars is already too much for the federal government to be spending on this bill; 295 is an outright travesty.

SYLVESTER: The budget trick is called a rescission. It's tucked in the highway bill that authorizes money for roads, transit and infrastructure projects. Congress promises states $295 billion to spend on transportation projects. But the states are supposed to only spend $286.5 billion, and on the very last day the bill is in effect, return any money left over. Kind of like raiding the cookie jar.

PAT TOOMEY, PRESIDENT, CLUB FOR GROWTH: It's more like saying here are all the cookies, you've got, you know, you've got 24 hours to eat them all and on that 24th hour, if you haven't eaten that last one, we're going to take it back. But I can assure you over the six- year period of this bill, that money is all going to get spent. There's not going to be a rescission.

SYLVESTER: Fiscal conservatives are urging President Bush to follow through on a promise to veto any bill that closes in on $300 billion, but the president has indicated he will sign the bill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: The Department of Transportation defends the use of the rescission, saying it gives states the flexibility to pull back funds from one transportation program to fund another project.

But fiscal conservatives say if the bottom line spending really is only $286.4 billion, why even tempt states by approving $295 billion worth of spending -- Kitty?

PILGRIM: That makes sense. Thanks very much, Lisa Sylvester.

Well, we would like to know what you think about Washington's latest budget tricks. Do you think that President Bush and Congress are being dishonest with the American public about the true coast of the transportation bill? Yes or no. Cast your vote at LOUDOBBS.com. We'll bring you the results a little bit later in the broadcast.

Tonight in "Broken Borders," the incredible story of an illegal alien who, prosecutors say, used a fake ID to get a job with the U.S. Border Patrol. Now the agency responsible for keeping illegal aliens out of the country, we might point out,. And what's worse, prosecutors say the suspect continued to break our nation's immigration laws while working inside the system.

Casey Wian reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Seven weeks after September 11, 2001, Oscar Antonio Ortiz applied to become a U.S. Border Patrol agent. He got the job, prosecutors allege, by using someone else's birth certificate to disguise the fact that he's a Mexican citizen and, incredibly, an illegal alien.

That's bad enough. But according to a criminal complaint, Ortiz then used his badge to help smuggle illegal aliens into this country in groups of 30 to 50. Ortiz pleaded not guilty Friday in San Diego federal court.

T.J. BONNER, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: It's just terrible that someone who is charged with enforcing the immigration laws of the United States turns out to be not only an illegal alien but someone who is smuggling hundreds of other illegal aliens into the country. Who do you trust any more?

WIAN: Wiretaps indicate another Border Patrol agent was involved in alien smuggling with Ortiz, but prosecutors would not discuss the status of that agent.

Prosecutors allege wiretaps picked up a conversation with family members where Ortiz said he was paid between $1,800 and $2,000 to smuggle aliens in himself, or $300 a head to, as he put it, clear the way for aliens to sneak across the border.

REP. J.D. HAYWORTH (R), ARIZONA: Number one, it says that heads should roll at the Border Patrol. If this person was taking about $300 a head to smuggle other illegals into this country, who is to say that a foreign power or Islamofascist with access to untold wealth is able to up the ante and bring terrorist cells into this country?

WIAN: Border Patrol Chief Dave Aguilar said in a statement, "Any agent who defies the Border Patrol's motto of 'Honor First' and chooses to violate the trust of the citizens they swore to protect will be held accountable. There is no place in the Border Patrol for behavior that tarnishes and discredits the badges we proudly wear."

From Texas to San Diego, we've documented at least eight criminal cases against Border Patrol or other Homeland Security Department agents accused of either alien or drug smuggling so far this year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WIAN: Background checks on prospective Border Patrol employees are performed by an outside contractor, not the Homeland Security Department. The Border Patrol is struggling to find enough agents to fill open jobs, and some officials are worried about maintaining high standards for personnel -- Kitty.

PHILLIPS: Casey, very disturbing story. What kind of jail sentence will the suspect face if he's convicted?

WIAN: Maximum sentence for the alien smuggling charge of 10 years in prison, and for the lying about citizenship charge, three years, so a total of 13, Kitty.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much, Casey Wian. Well, we have evidence of shocking new violence in lawless Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Gunmen killed a Nuevo Laredo city councilman today on the street. Two other people were also killed.

Now City Councilman Leopoldo Ramos Trevino was president of the Nuevo Laredo Public Safety Commission.

The U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo was shut down this week because of a flare-up in violence. The consulate will reopen on Monday, despite today's attack.

Nuevo Laredo is just over the border from Laredo, Texas. Texas officials fear the violence will spill over into their streets. Earlier this summer, gunman killed Nuevo Laredo's police chief just hours after he took office. More than 100 people other people have been killed in that town this year.

A Southwest Airlines jet forced to make an emergency landing in Houston today after a passenger found a bomb threat note on board. The plane landed safely. The passengers were evacuated and the plane was checked by bomb sniffing dogs. Officials did not find anything suspicious.

Coming up, the crew of the Shuttle Discovery is packing up, getting ready for Monday's landing. And I'll talk to a NASA astronaut about the challenges of the shuttle landing.

Plus U.S. jobs saw strong growth last month, but is the U.S. creating quality jobs? An inside look at the nation's job market next.

And in tonight's "News Makers," a devastating week for U.S. Marines in Iraq. Our nation's best political journalists discuss the military challenges ahead in this week's "News Makers."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PILGRIM: The White House is cheering news that the unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent last night. The economy created 207,000 jobs, but there was little growth in two critical areas: manufacturing and information technology.

Bill Tucker reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Administration officials were quick to sing the praises of the employment report.

JOHN SNOW, TREASURY SECRETARY: I was particularly pleased to see that, behind the numbers, when you look at it, this is a broad-based job recovery. Teenagers benefited. Minorities benefited with employment among blacks and Hispanics rising and wages rising.

TUCKER: On the surface they do look good, but if you look behind those numbers, as the Treasury secretary suggests, what is noticeable is that the number of jobs in the lower wage sectors of retail, restaurants and bars is where the growth has been the strongest.

So far this year, the retail sector has accounted for 14 percent of all job growth. Food service workers account for another 13 percent of that growth. Those two industries together are accounting for a quarter of the 1.3 million jobs created so far this year.

But noticeably absent in the job growth numbers, manufacturing. That industry has lost almost 60,000 jobs so far this year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it's the only industry that has seen a decline. Manufacturing employment is now down 10 percent over the last 44 months, making this the first recovery ever where the economy has lost manufacturing jobs.

Unemployment in the information technology sector remains persistently high, as well. It matters.

JARED BERNSTEIN, ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE: Those are both sectors that are associated with important technological advances that have helped move our economy forward in big ways over the years. Everyone associates that with computers and IT. But it's also true that manufacturing technology has been a critical part of our economic history.

TUCKER: Those two sectors also pay better than the average job, which helps drive real wage growth, which remains flat.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER: Now there is one bright spot for the economy in July, and that is health care services. Another 29,000 jobs were added last month, and the average hourly pay at doctors' offices, outpatient clinics and hospitals for nurses is almost about $18 an hour, Kitty.

PILGRIM: Thanks, very much, Bill Tucker.

Coming up, "Headlines", including some record low ratings for President Bush, when I talk with three of the country's best political journalists.

Then "Coming Home". I'll talk with a NASA astronaut about the much anticipated return of the Shuttle Discovery.

And later, controversy over cloning escalates after scientists clone a dog. We'll have both sides of the issue with two leading professors of bioethics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PILGRIM: Here's a look now at how you voted this week on several critical issues.

On Monday, 86 percent of you said President Bush was not right to appoint John Bolton to be America's ambassador to the United Nations during the congressional recess.

On Wednesday, 79 percent of you said profiling in an effort to stop terror attacks in the United States is necessary.

Last night, 71 percent of you said both government and business should be responsible for preventing another massive blackout in the United States.

Tonight, of course, we would like to know what you think about the transportation bill. And the question is, do you think President Bush and Congress are being dishonest with the American public about the true cost of the bill? That's a yes or no vote. Cast your vote tonight at LOUDOBBS.com, and we'll bring you the results in a few minutes.

Well, more record lows tonight. Speaking of polls, a new Associated Press/Ipsos poll shows more people disapprove of how he's handling the war in Iraq than ever before; it's 59 percent.

Overall, the president's approval rating does remain low. Only 42 percent of Americans approve of the way he's handling his job.

Joining me now to talk about this and much more in tonight's "News Makers," from Washington, we have Roger Simon of "U.S. News & World Report"; Karen Tumulty of "Time" magazine; and here in New York, CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider. And thank you for being with us.

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you.

PILGRIM: Bill, you're sitting right next to me, so you're up. The poll numbers on President Bush, what do you make of those?

SCHNEIDER: Certainly not good. The Iraq poll numbers are taking a real tumble here -- partly of course, because of the tragic losses which have escalated in the last week. I think 27 Americans lost. But also because Americans aren't sure we're accomplishing much in Iraq. If they had a sense that this is really leading to something that would create a stable government that would enable the United States to withdraw, fine. There was that feeling after the elections in January, but it's been deterioration ever since.

PILGRIM: What's slightly remarkable is this is in the wake of the London bombings, and President Bush tended to do very well in times of civilian terror, that he was seen as a safety.

Karen, what do you make of this?

KAREN TUMULTY, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, I think you're absolutely right, Kitty. But within those numbers, the ones that I found most interesting was the president's slippage among suburban women.

This is the group of voters who became known as security moms in the last election, whose primary concern really boils down to, can you keep me and my family safe? And I think it's becoming pretty clear that they do not see the war in Iraq as being a part of that formula.

PILGRIM: Roger?

ROGER SIMON, "U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT": Yes, the poll numbers stink. And the Iraq war is this two-ton albatross around George Bush's neck. It's dragging down his poll numbers. It has congressional Republicans, who have to run for reelection next year, petrified. And there doesn't seem to be a good way out.

The best thing the Republicans have going for them is the Democrats really don't have any solution that's any better than the Republican solution, which is stay the course.

PILGRIM: Let's take a look at the terror situation. We have Tony Blair talking very tough in London, saying he may deport the hate- mongers. We have searches in the subways. And we've been discussing that all week on this broadcast, which has certainly raised the anxiety level, if not the safety level, in New York.

Where do we stand on this entire terror situation in this country, Bill?

SCHNEIDER: Well, in this country, I think Americans -- they support the idea of the Patriot Act and the renewal of the Patriot Act, but they want to see more safeguards.

Here, when the government proposes renewal of the Patriot Act, it can be modified. And Congress, even though it's a Republican Congress, is, in fact, making changes in the act.

The difference is, in Britain they have what is called an elected dictatorship. The government can get anything it wants, and it won't be changed. And they have a very tough bill now before Parliament.

PILGRIM: Karen, we have the civil liberties people in arms over what's happening here in this country.

TUMULTY: That's right. And it's not -- it's the civil liberties people on both the left and the right. The Patriot Act has really fostered a lot of misgivings.

But don't forget, it did pass right after 9/11. In the Senate, it got through on a vote of 99-0. I think that the sentiments that we're seeing right now in England are very much, you know, what we saw in this country right after 9/11.

At some point, you know, the country tends to step back and take a look at some of the provisions. You know, do we really want the government going through what we check out at the library? But I do think that support for it remains fairly strong in this country.

PILGRIM: Roger?

SIMON: I think Karen is right, but I also think no American president could really say what Tony Blair said today, which is basically, if you don't believe in the values of this country, you have to get out. And no American president could actually do what Tony Blair is about to do. As Bill indicated, you could do about whatever you want, if you're in power in Britain, which is to say that, if you speak about hatred, we're going to deport you.

You just couldn't do that in America. We protect speech in America, even speech we find hateful. And I think that is a big difference between the two countries, even though they share the same fears and the same problems, which is terrorism.

PILGRIM: Definitely different tone.

Let's talk about President Bush. He had a couple of successes. He had CAFTA. He had the transportation bill. He had the energy bill. He slipped Bolton through. Now he's on a working vacation in Texas. Can we expect any surprises? Will this be a sort of quiet period? And is this a time for him to regroup? He's not getting a lot of help with Iraq being such a mess, Bill?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Iraq is a mess. And don't forget Social Security, his number-one legislative priority. He campaigned, what, 80-some days around the country, and that was losing support all year long. Iraq, Social Security, big problems.

He got what he got through Congress for one principal reason, which is Republicans remain loyal to this president. But I'll tell you, the most dangerous figure in this poll you reported, the most dangerous figure is that only 48 percent of Americans now say they consider Bush honest and trustworthy.

That's the first time it's been below a majority. He was elected because he was seen as a man of good character. If he loses that image and reputation, he's in serious trouble.

PILGRIM: Karen?

TUMULTY: Although, I think on Social Security, whatever people's feelings were about Bush as a leader was not helping him at all. This plan was not selling.

And I actually found very interesting a comment that the president made in an interview this week, with some local newspaper reporters, where he pointed out that it had taken him five years to get his energy bill through, and suggesting that Social Security, this fight could, in fact, be a long haul.

This is the first time that we have heard this president talk about this issue in this manner, that it could be a long struggle, something that five years -- that goes on after his presidency is over with. I think that that is a definite change in tone in the urgency he's been talking about with this issue.

PILGRIM: All right, we're going to have to wrap it there. But thank you very much. Always a great Friday discussion. Roger Simon, Karen Tumulty, and Bill Schneider, thank you all.

Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery began preparing for their long journey home today. Now, the Discovery undocks from the International Space Station tomorrow. It's set to land early on Monday morning.

And yesterday, NASA gave the Discovery the OK to return to Earth after ruling out another spacewalk repair mission. NASA says a torn thermal blanket that's near the shuttle cockpit window, that does not pose a threat to the shuttle's reentry.

Well, joining me to talk about Monday's landing, and the future of the shuttle program, NASA Astronaut Scott Parazynski.

And thanks for being with us.

SCOTT PARAZYNSKI, NASA ASTRONAUT: My pleasure, Kitty.

PILGRIM: First of all, all these repairs, what do you think of all that?

PARAZYNSKI: Well, it's been a very busy past several days for the entire NASA team, not just here at the Johnson Space Center but around the country. Analysts, scientists, engineers looking at these issues and, of course, coming to a very successful conclusion.

The gap filler repair was done with absolute perfection. And an incredible team effort on determining the extent of the blanket damage and what it might mean for landing. So very proud of the team.

PILGRIM: Are you comfortable with the decision on the blanket?

PARAZYNSKI: Absolutely. It took a lot of NASA rocket scientists, folks at the wind tunnel at Ames Research Center, structural dynamicists and so on to run mathematical models to figure out, was this safe to land?

And the conclusion is that the probability of anything significant coming off and hitting the orbiter is extremely low.

PILGRIM: Are you comfortable with...

PARAZYNSKI: So I feel very department.

PILGRIM: Are you comfortable with what will happen on Monday? Do you have any worries?

PARAZYNSKI: No. Actually, I think the Discovery's in beautiful shape and ready to come home. We're excited to have them back home.

PILGRIM: Now, Scott, you're scheduled to fly on a shuttle mission. Tell us about that.

PARAZYNSKI: I am scheduled to fly in about 13 months from now on STS-118. And so, as soon as this flight returns, and we repair the external tank and get the next flight launched, STS-121, then my crew will start training.

So we're very excited to continue the assembly sequence of the space station and then, of course, fulfill the vision of space exploration, which is returning to the moon and going on to Mars.

PILGRIM: Scott, these unplanned spacewalks, though, they have to be enormously stressful. How do you mentally prepare for something like this?

PARAZYNSKI: Well, actually, a great deal of the work is done on the ground, the analysis, the testing, looking at the different tool options that we had available to us.

For example, the gap filler repair, we had four different options for removing that material, from something as simple as just pulling it out with your fingertips to using a specially modified hacksaw. So lots of different contingency planning, many, many people involved.

And so, as a spacewalker, you feel very confident that the right decisions are being made and that the plan will go as they expect.

PILGRIM: I have to say, it was flawless execution in all of that. And it was very, very impressive, the professionalism of the crew. Are you a little concerned, though, about the age of this craft?

PARAZYNSKI: Well, certainly, it's a vehicle that was designed in the late '70s, built in the early '80s. So it is vintage hardware. But it still, to this day, is one of the most amazing vehicles ever built by man, probably the most complex vehicle ever built by man.

And it's tremendously capable. It's maintained with the utmost professionalism. And so it still has a number of flights in it. If you look at the orbiter up close and personal, you can see that it's still maintained in wonderful shape. And so, I, again, have a lot of confidence in the hardware.

PILGRIM: Well, we very much trust you to kick the tires. And thanks for explaining it all to us this evening. Scott Parazynski, good luck.

PARAZYNSKI: You're welcome.

PILGRIM: Well, scientists studying the power of hurricanes say they've recorded the largest ocean waves ever measured. Researchers say Hurricane Ivan created monster waves, more than 90 feet high. That was last year. And they say monster waves from Ivan that were not measured probably topped 130 feet. And these waves would easily dwarf a 10-story building.

Up next, man's best friend cloned. But what does that mean for the cloning of man? We'll have a debate with two ethicists, next.

And then "Heroes." One American soldier pays a remarkable tribute to his comrades wounded in Iraq. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PILGRIM: It's a scientific breakthrough for some, an ethical dilemma for others. South Korean scientists this week unveiled the first-ever cloned dog, Snuppy. It's an Afghan hound. He's said to be healthy and, quote, "normal."

Well, Snuppy has raised new questions about what is the next in the world of cloning. And joining me now is Ronald Green, who says Snuppy is a great breakthrough for medicine. He's a professor of ethics and human values at Dartmouth College and he joins us from New Hampshire.

Also joining us is Nigel Cameron. And he warns that the cloning of dogs could lead to human cloning. He's a professor bioethics at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and he joins us from Chicago.

And thanks for being with us, gentlemen. RONALD GREEN, DARTMOUTH COLLEGE: Glad to be here.

PILGRIM: Nigel, let me start with you. And I have to say, in reading the research on this, I was stunned, because cloning a dog is quite similar to cloning a human. It's enormously difficult. It took them three years, seven days a week, to do it, 1,000 eggs. And why do you have problems with it?

NIGEL CAMERON, CHICAGO-KENT COLLEGE OF LAW: Well, I think it's a stunning achievement. I mean, the science is amazing. And these Koreans have applied themselves to this technology in a way that's remarkable. I think no one disputes that.

What is so disturbing, of course, is this is the cloning of man's best friend. And from, you know, when Dolly the sheep was first cloned back in the '96, if the first in all of our minds has been, "Will this happen to people? Should it happen to people?" then this is plainly a way mark down the road toward the cloning of children.

I mean, you know, we have dogs as kind of quasi-members of our families. We associate personality with them.

(CROSSTALK)

PILGRIM: Forgive me if I press you on the logic of this -- I'm sorry if I press you on the logic of this, but we like dogs a little bit better than we like sheep, so it's therefore more dangerous?

CAMERON: No, dogs are a very special character. They're part of our family, you know? I mean, our dog, Charlie, whom we had 15 years, a black lab, when she died a couple of years ago, I mean, we were bereaved. This is serious business.

People have dogs as part of their families, have had for thousands of years. And if you start cloning dogs, then you are clearly halfway across the stream on a stepping-stone to cloning your kids.

PILGRIM: All right, Ronald, I have to get you in on this.

GREEN: Yes, well, I really don't agree with the fears here. First of all, let me point out that dogs are not only our friends, they're very useful to us. And so it would be wonderful, for example, to be able to replicate excellent seeing-eye dogs that cannot now be reproduced because, in many cases, they're neutered before they show their value or quality, or bomb-sniffing dogs down the line.

So I can see, this is an enormously expensive procedure. People are not going to go around tomorrow and do this for their own pet. It's going to be very useful in the areas of law enforcement, in medical research.

The dog shares many, many conditions with us. For example, epilepsy and diabetes were really first discussed, and researched, and diagnosed in dogs. So now we have a model for producing animals that are genetically alike. PILGRIM: The scientific value of this, Nigel, is reasonably clear.

CAMERON: Oh, yes. And I'm not saying that there's something necessarily wrong in itself in using dogs or dog embryos for experimental purposes. But the social significance of this is huge.

And if you, you know, take the broad view, if, one day, we end up cloning kids -- which most people don't want to do, although many of us are concerned that we're going to end up doing it -- when we look back, we will see this as a very important step in that direction. And if it becomes something we get used to, if it becomes something that wealthy people do, you know, with their money, as wealthy people spend their money on crazy things already, it'll get cheaper, and in due course it'll be normal.

And if you saw in Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie, "The Sixth Day," it's about a society in which dog cloning, pet cloning is normal. And I think that's a very dangerous way to go.

PILGRIM: We are looking at pictures of the cloned kitten, which was done. And, Ronald, does this sort of cloning of pets disturb you at all?

GREEN: No, it really does not disturb me terribly. I would point out that we have special breeds of animals that we bred for hundreds of years. There are three and four million special breeder animals produced every year.

I worry about the health and safety of the animals, certainly. And I wouldn't support this unless everything were done to see that the animals that are born had good lives ahead of them. But if that were done, and if somebody wanted to waste the million dollars on cloning a favorite dog, I mean, I really don't -- I can't get upset by that.

People spend tens of thousand dollars on champion cats and dogs right now, and nobody is complaining.

PILGRIM: If you had one word of caution to say right now what would it be, Ronald?

GREEN: Actually, I would caution our country, because I think we are being left behind now by these excellent scientists in South Korea who cloned the first human embryonic stem cells just a few months ago. They're now developing these animal models for biomedical research. And we are bickering back and forth as whether we're even going to support this research. That's, I think, the real take-home worry story here in this dog cloning.

PILGRIM: And, Nigel, I know you have absolutely different worries about this?

CAMERON: Well, I worry greatly that science gets out of control and that people take the view that ethics and public policy should have no relationship. And I am delighted that we have in this country a real debate going on, not least a debate led by the president, about whether things like cloning should be supported publicly and, you know, whether we shouldn't have an ethical framework in which to do science.

And we can't just trust the scientists. The Germans are the people we should go to and ask about that. You know, Germans banned all cloning back in the 1990 for human beings, and I say let the German conscience be your guide.

PILGRIM: All right, gentlemen, you've added a lot to this discussion. Ronald Green and Nigel Cameron, thank you very much.

All right, still ahead, new concerns over America's so-called free trade. We're talking to a leading critic of CAFTA who sees major trade problems ahead for this country.

And, in "Heroes," our weekly tribute to our men and women in uniform, the story of Heath Calhoun. His passion for life is as strong as ever, even after devastating combat wounds in Iraq.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PILGRIM: New concerns tonight over America's troubled trade policies. My next guest says that CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, will hurt America's trade standing in the world. And he says the U.S. made a big mistake in focusing so much of its attention on Central American trade.

Political science Professor Emeritus Bernard Gordon from the University of New Hampshire joins me tonight.

Professor, let's take a look at numbers. NAFTA lost close to 1 million U.S. jobs. Opponents of CAFTA say that could happen again. Do you agree with that?

BERNARD GORDON, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNH: No, I don't, Kitty. And it's a pleasure to be with you tonight. No, my opposition to CAFTA -- it's been a lot of fuss about very, very little.

PILGRIM: All right. Explain that a bit for us, because many people think it's critical for security reasons with Canada and Mexico and other countries to the south of us to trade heavily and create a security network.

GORDON: Well, Kitty, the main thing to remember is that the United States is the only major exporting country that exports almost equally to the three major parts of the world. We sent a quarter of our exports to Europe, a little bit more than that to Asia and the Pacific, and a pretty big bulk to Canada and to Mexico.

The rest of the world doesn't count for very much at all. All of South and Central America combined account just for 8 percent.

PILGRIM: Eight percent of trade. And so you're not optimistic that this will be beneficial to the U.S. economy? GORDON: It'll do a little bit of good for some of our exporters, but it's not -- let me put it this way. The United States already has 40 percent of the Central American -- the market that would be the Central American Free Trade Area. And that's been without a free trade area. So we, in a sense, own that market. Europe, and China, and Japan have tiny little portions of that market; we have almost half of it alone to ourselves. So this new free trade area isn't going to do very much at all.

(CROSSTALK)

PILGRIM: Now, you're concerned that -- excuse me for interrupting, sir, but you're concerned about Asia, are you not?

GORDON: Yes, I am. And a large reason that I'm concerned about this is that, in East Asia, where I travel pretty often, they have been watching what we've been doing for the last eight or 10 years, and as we've been emphasizing, not only CAFTA but the Free Trade Area of the Americans. The Asians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans, and others have convinced themselves that the United States is turning its back on East Asia.

And that would be devastating for the U.S. economy, because we have a market there of $210 billion a year. That's our largest overseas market, bar none.

PILGRIM: And if those were...

GORDON: I'm sorry, Kitty, go ahead.

PILGRIM: No, actually, I was just about to add, if those markets open up properly, and respect intellectual property, and other issues that are very much trade issues for the United States.

GORDON: Yes, we have constant battles on intellectual property. We used to have them a lot with Japan. We are obviously having them now with China.

But we invest -- the United States invests, more than any other country in the world. And that's the area of the world that is the highest growth area, bar none. And that's why I want to see us continue to emphasize East Asia and not waste our energies, as the president did in this instance -- he kept the Congress going for another hour the other night to get this bill passed, and he only did it with two or three extra votes.

PILGRIM: Professor Bernard Gordon, thank you very much for being with us tonight.

GORDON: Thank you, Kitty.

PILGRIM: Still ahead, the results of tonight's poll, what's ahead next week, and also a tribute to our nation's heroes. How one wounded soldier is fighting for his fellow men and women in uniform at home in Tennessee. His story, when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PILGRIM: Now, in "Heroes," our weekly salute to the men and women in uniform, tonight, the story of Heath Calhoun. He was severely wounded in Iraq when insurgents fired a rocket-propelled grenade at his vehicle. This is his story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM (voice-over): Heath Calhoun was a sergeant stationed in Iraq in July 2003. Four months into his tour in Mosul, at age 25, his life changed forever.

HEATH CALHOUN, U.S. ARMY STAFF SERGEANT (RET.): I was in the back of the truck just hitching a ride. I stood up to pop what we call a troop strap (ph). I was popping it to let the guys in. And as I stood up to pop, and the RPG came in the taillight, and exploded there, and blew up, and blew me up against the cab of the truck, and it actually took both legs there.

PILGRIM: Heath spent almost eight months at a hospital in Iraq and at the Walter Reed Medical Center in D.C. His wife quit her job and left their child with the grandparents. She moved from Tennessee to Washington to assist in her husband's recovery. This put a tremendous strain on the family, both emotional and financial.

CALHOUN: We lost 40 percent of our income for six straight months. That's a big chunk of change, but we didn't lose any of the bills.

PILGRIM: When Heath got out of the hospital, he joined the group The Wounded Warrior Project and went on another mission to help these 7,000 severely injured soldiers of the war.

CALHOUN: The Soldier Ride was a 4,200-mile bike ride that we did from Marina Del Rey, California, L.A., to trip to Long Island in New York, to raise money and awareness to help wounded soldiers and their families coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

PILGRIM: Heath's commitment to the troops has taken him to the steps of Congress where he and other veterans lobbied for the Wounded Warrior Bill, signed into law May 11, 2005.

CALHOUN: And now soldiers that are disabled while in active duty for the military, they can get $25,000 to $100,000 worth of insurance to cover the transition time between getting wounded and actually retiring and getting into the V.A. system.

PILGRIM: Heath recently accepted a full-time job with the Wounded Warrior Project. He is also planning to attend college next year, and is expecting his third child in December. And his message to other soldiers?

CALHOUN: I just tell the guys that are wounded just to never quit and not to let that injury define you in life.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PILGRIM: So far, the Wounded Warrior Project has raised $4 million to assist wounded veterans.

Well, now the results of tonight's poll: 94 percent of you think President Bush and Congress are being dishonest with the American public about the true cost of the transportation bill.

And finally tonight, Judith Miller, Pulitzer Prize-winning "New York Times" reporter, now been in prison 30 days for protecting her confidential sources in the White House CIA leak case. We are keeping track.

Thanks for being with us tonight. Have a great weekend. A special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360 is coming up.

But, first, Erica Hill with the day's top stories.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines