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THE SITUATION ROOM

Inside the Drug Enforcement Administration; Iran Warns West to Back Off Over Nuclear Program; Tennessee Manhunt Intensifies; School Bus and Van Collide in Orlando; Interview With Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman; Inside the DEA; Al Qaeda Video Shows SEAL Equipment

Aired August 10, 2005 - 15:00   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM, where news and information from around the world arrive at one place simultaneously, on these screens right behind me, data feeds coming in right now from CNN.com, other sources. They are crossing in, in real time.
And happening right now, it's 9:00 p.m. in Vienna, Austria, where Iran is warning the West to lay off its nuclear program. Iran's real secret weapon may be oil prices. We'll explain.

It's 3:00 p.m. somewhere in Virginia. We can't tell you exactly where. But we'll take you inside the secret command center of the Drug Enforcement Administration. This is a CNN exclusive.

And, in Tennessee, the hunt is on for an escaped prisoner and his wife, who allegedly gunned down a guard. Were others, though, involved as well?

You're in the THE SITUATION ROOM.

We have lots coming up, including this. Check this out. A school bus and day care van collided a little while ago in Orlando, Florida, injuring at least six people. Police say the crash happened at about 2:30 p.m. Eastern, half-an-hour or so ago. Patients have been transported to a local medical center, one patient described in serious condition. We will go there live and get more information.

Also coming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now, new information on the manhunt for a Tennessee couple being compared to Bonnie and Clyde. George Hyatte and his wife, Jennifer Hyatte, are on the run right now. They are considered armed and very dangerous. He's been convicted of robbery. She allegedly helped him escape during a court appearance yesterday, shooting a guard to death.

Investigators updated reporters on the crime in a news conference just minutes ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM MOORE, TENNESSEE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATE SPECIAL AGENT: I think it was planned, because of the vehicles. As the chief said, there were other vehicles in the area for them to trade. We know that -- that they did stay -- she stayed locally one night here. And, obviously, she brought a weapon with her and was in the courtroom and ready to do what she needed to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: CNN national correspondent Bob Franken is joining us now on the phone from Kingston, Tennessee, with more.

What a case, Bob. Update our viewers who are just tuning in on what is going on.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the sheriff told you what we know.

We are watching as they try and develop more leads and try and find out, for instance, just how badly wounded that Jennifer Hyatte was. They are quite certain she was wounded. They found the first vehicle and there was a lot of blood in the seat. There is even some speculation that she may not have survived, since she hasn't been taken to a hospital.

The second question is, how would George Hyatte, who was very, very tightly shackled, how would he be able to operate a vehicle, which now brings up questions about whether there were accomplices involved. The second car belonged to a patient of Jennifer Hyatte. They claim that the car had been stolen. So, there is a massive manhunt going on, but more questions than answers at this point, Wolf. And we will hear more later in the hour.

BLITZER: All right, Bob -- Bob will be back with us later this hour -- thank you very much.

Former FBI investigator Don Clark is joining us now to talk a little bit about this manhunt. He's joining us from Houston.

How do law enforcement authorities go about this, Don? This is not an easy mission right now, looking for these two individuals.

DON CLARK, FORMER FBI INVESTIGATOR: Well, it is a bit of a scramble, Wolf, is what you have when these crises occur like this.

But what you have got to do is really calm the law enforcement community down -- not slow them down, calm them down -- so that they don't step over any opportunities to gather a good lead. And that is what they have got to do now, is sit down, get a strategy going as to how they can proceed to try to locate these people, whether it is going back to relatives, using that vehicle or using something that they may garner from a video camera.

BLITZER: The public can be incredibly helpful to law enforcement. They can be incredibly unhelpful at times as well. What advice do you have for the public out there?

CLARK: Well, I think you have hit it right on the head. And -- and we started down here in Houston a few years ago, as trying to involve the public, to the extent that we possibly can. And you do that through this medium, through the media, if you possibly can, and get the public involved. The public should be -- listen to the information that is given out. That is the best thing that they can do. So, if they do have to call those numbers that are set out by law enforcement, that they will be giving them some pertinent information. And once they do that, then they can benefit. But if they are guessing and thinking that they have heard something that they may not have heard and they are calling law enforcement, it could retard the process.

BLITZER: Don Clark, we will be getting back to you, former FBI investigator. Stand by.

I want to go to CNN Zain Verjee at the CNN Center right now, though, for more on that school bus accident, the pictures coming in.

Zain, very dramatic stuff. Tell our viewers what is going on.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Extremely dramatic pictures that we are getting, Wolf.

We are just receiving word right now from the Orlando Regional Medical Center that they have received six patients. It is not clear the extent of their injuries, but CNN is working to bring more details. Again, this has just come in, a school bus overturning in Orlando, Florida. We understand that six people have been hurt.

It is a multiple vehicle accident in Orlando, Florida. This is video that you are seeing on the scene. These are live pictures. You can see, on the one side, a bus has overturned. It is on its side. It is adjacent to a Kids & Company day care bus. And that vehicle has its front end smashed in.

People, as you can see, Wolf, in these live pictures, have gathered, just to observe what has happened. Some of them may have been involved in the accident.

BLITZER: All right.

VERJEE: Police on the scene there just perhaps investigating what has been going on. But we do understand that six patients have been taken into Orlando Regional Medical Center. And we are going to work on the details and -- and try and learn the extent of their injuries -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Zain, we will be getting back to you on that and other stories as well.

Let's move on to another developing story which may have far- reaching consequences for Americans already battered by the price at the pump. Iran today broke the seals placed by United Nations inspectors on its nuclear processing facility. And Iranian diplomats are warning the rest of the world not to interfere, or else. The "or else" has to deal with oil prices, which are already sky high.

Standing by live on this developing story, CNN's Ali Velshi in New York, Andrea Koppel over at the State Department. First, let's go to our senior international correspondent, Walter Rodgers, in Vienna, the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

What are you learning, Walt?

WALTER RODGERS, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the diplomatic battle lines are deepening here at the International -- at the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The -- we are told by diplomatic sources that the European big three -- France, Britain and Germany -- are leaning toward sanctions, that is, leaning toward taking to -- Iran to the United Nations Security Council, recommending sanctions. We know the United States wants to do that. We understand the Canadians, the Australians and the New Zealanders are joining in.

The Iranians got very confrontational here at the IAEA yesterday. They told the Westerners, if you -- there is any confrontation, any provocation, Iran will personally see that oil prices could go up in the West even higher than they are now. One Western diplomatic source said it was a thinly veiled threat of higher oil prices if there is any confrontation at all over Iran's nuclear weapons -- or nuclear energy program -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Can they deliver on that threat? Can they affect the oil price, based on what you know, Walt, and have a significant impact, given the exports of Iran? And, at the same time, wouldn't they be shooting themselves in the foot, since they rely so much on the revenue from those oil exports?

RODGERS: Long term, the Iranians might be shooting themselves in the foot. Short term, however, everything is on their side.

Recall, the Iranians are a member of OPEC. They are the second largest oil-producing campaign -- country in the world. And they do -- what they do has an impact on oil prices. Additionally, remember, the Iranians are key players in Iraq and that quarter of the world.

And the Iranians said they would be willing to cooperate with the West if there is no provocation over the Iranian nuclear program.

On the other hand, implicit in that, according to Western diplomatic sources, was, again, a thinly veiled threat that, if there is a confrontation with Iraq or -- or Iran over its nuclear program, the implicit threat was that Iran could make mischief in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Walter Rodgers in Vienna, Austria, for us, thank you very much.

Can Iran put your money where its mouth is? If the West does crack down on Iran's nuclear program, will you be paying a lot more at the gas pump?

Let's bring in CNN's Ali Velshi in New York. He's following this story as well -- Ali.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's four million barrels a day coming out of Iran. As Walter was saying, it is the world's second largest producer.

Now, anybody who produces even a million barrels of day -- of oil a day, given world demand, can have an impact on oil prices.

Now, strangely, the -- the oil -- crude oil has hit $65 today. It is settling in around $64.90, is what I'm looking at now, $64.95. So, that is an all-time high. But we have been talking to a number of traders, all of whom say that this -- this Iran threat has been around for a while, as far as speculators and oil buyers are concerned. They are saying that it is -- right now, it's just the increased demand.

Here in the United States, Wolf, a report from the government today said that, while there is enough crude oil in the stockpiles right now, gasoline supplies are down in the United States. Our demand for gasoline is up. And, you know, we have had a few refinery fires in the last few weeks in the United States.

So, the -- the price of oil increase that you are seeing right now, today, is still based on strong demand, not the threat from Iran. If this starts to become something where Iran pushes a little bit and continues to say that they can start to hold supply back or the U.S. decides that they want to impose sanctions, yes, you will absolutely feel the price of that in -- in a barrel of oil. And you will start to feel it in the cost of gas.

BLITZER: And just to be precise, Ali, you are saying $65 a barrel, it reached today?

VELSHI: Sixty-five dollars a barrel, an all-time high, once again.

You know, I like to mix it up, Wolf, so that you don't think you are just playing a tape of me from yesterday, when I keep telling you that oil is at a brand-new high. Oil and gas are at all-time highs right now; $64.95 is what it is settling in at in New York.

BLITZER: All right, Ali, we will be back with you shortly. We'll check to see how it is impacting the markets in New York and elsewhere as well.

While Iranian diplomats are issuing -- issuing warnings, behind the scene, Iran's president says his nation is prepared to talk about the nuclear issue. Is there a way out of the current standoff?

Let's bring in our State Department correspondent Andrea Koppel. Andrea, what are they saying there?

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, here at the State Department, Wolf, they are taking a very cautious approach. They are not overreacting to the negative news that we have heard over the last couple of days. In fact, just yesterday, even President Bush said that he thought it was a positive step that the Iranian president was going to stick to the negotiations, try to keep talking, even though, at the same time, the Iranian president had basically chucked the agreement that the European Union had presented him with.

Nevertheless, the Bush administration has made no secret, Wolf, that it believes that, in fairly short order, within the next six months or so, this will probably end up at the United Nations Security Council. The Bush administration strategy is quite simple. They are letting three European countries -- Germany France and Britain -- take the lead. The U.S. is saying, this is your show, guys. We will support you to the best of our ability.

But, when push comes to shove, they say that it is going to be up to the E.U.-three to decide, Wolf, whether this is going to go to the Security Council.

BLITZER: All right, Andrea Koppel, thanks very much. We will have much more coming up on Iran throughout this program.

But, in the meantime, let's go back to the CNN Center, CNN's Zain Verjee standing by. She has more information on that overturned school bus and the collision with that van.

What are we learning now, Zain?

VERJEE: We know, Wolf, that medical authorities are saying six people have been taken to the hospital with injuries. We don't know the extent of their injuries, though. We do know it was a multiple- vehicle accident. You are looking at a picture here of a school bus that has been overturned on its side.

Joining us now to give us more information is the assistant fire chief. His name is Greg Hoggatt. He is from the Orlando Fire Department.

What is happening now on the scene with the officials there?

ASSISTANT CHIEF GREG HOGGATT, ORLANDO FIRE DEPARTMENT: Hello.

Yes. Right now, what we have got is, we have got a four-vehicle accident, involving one a school bus and one a miniature, after-school day care. All the patients have been transferred to the hospital - to (ph) ambulance transported to the hospital. We have one driver of one of the smaller buses in serious condition.

Apparently, we had a tow truck coming up one of the roads that ran a red light, by information from bystanders, that caused the sequence of events. We are very fortunate the bus had dropped off most of its children and there were only three left on the bus. And those three children are in very, very stable condition, mostly precautionary to take them to the hospital to get checked.

We have one that is in critical condition and he's been transported to our local trauma center for assessment. So, again, we are very, very fortunate that the buses were actually empty and not half-full of people or full of children, that we could have had a very worse situation.

VERJEE: How long will it take to clear the scene?

HOGGATT: Well, we kind of got here within the first three to five minutes on the scene. We established the fact we had multiple patients.

And, approximately, 30 to 35 minutes, we were very successful in extricating the two drivers of the buses, who were actually pinned, getting them out and triaging and getting the other victims transferred to the hospital. So, within the 30-to-45-minute range, we were successful in getting them all out and get them to the hospital and treated appropriately.

VERJEE: Assistant Fire Chief Greg Hoggatt from the Orlando -- Orlando Fire Department, thank you so much for joining us and updating us with that information.

(CROSSTALK)

VERJEE: We will continue to bring you detail on this developing story.

Meantime, back to THE SITUATION ROOM and to Wolf.

BLITZER: Thanks very much, Zain, for that.

We will check back to you -- with you shortly.

Each hour here in THE SITUATION ROOM, you have a chance to weigh in on some of our big stories. It is a segment we call the "Cafferty File."

Jack Cafferty is standing by in New York to tell us what he's got this hour -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, were you ever in the Army?

BLITZER: No.

CAFFERTY: Well, you missed a lot of fun.

There was the right way to do things, the wrong way to do things. Then there is the Army way of doing things. And, apparently, the Army just doesn't have enough to do these days. I mean, they are fighting a war in Iraq and they have got recruitment problems and they got your don't ask/don't tell. But they still found time to relieve a four-star general on Monday of his duty, because he was accused of having an extramarital affair.

This would be 2005, last time I looked at the calendar. General Kevin Byrnes was set to retire in November, 36 years of honorable service, an unblemished record. The general allegedly had an affair with a private citizen, not somebody in the military, not even somebody in the federal government. As for his personal life, he had been separated from his wife for over a year, and their divorce was finalized on Monday, the same day that these yo-yos in the Pentagon decided to bust him out.

Army officials said they wanted to make a point that they take issues of integrity seriously. If that is the case, why didn't they crack down on the higher-ups who knew about the abuse at Abu Ghraib?

The question this hour is this. Did the Army overreact to a general having an affair? CaffertyFile@CNN.com is the e-mail address.

BLITZER: Jack, you are going to get lots of e-mail on this. And we will stand by to hear some of them later this hour.

Jack Cafferty with the "Cafferty File."

Up next, stopping suicide bombers before they strike. Should police shoot to kill suspected terrorists? Police are grappling with that question right now. You may be surprised at their answer.

Plus, the Republican Party chairman, Ken Mehlman. Can he keep Republicans from splitting over stem cell research, immigration, other issues? I will speak with him. That is coming up.

And Yankee jumper. A fan goes over the top. Will he pay for the price -- pay -- pay the price for crossing the line?

You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: In our "Security Watch," tacking -- tracking terrorists in America and what happens when they are spotted.

Our Kelli Arena standing by with words on shoot to kill. That is coming up.

But, first, some new fallout from a story we brought you yesterday about a secret intelligence team that may have identified four of the 9/11 hijackers a year before they struck -- that struck -- they struck.

For that, let's turn to CNN's national security correspondent, David Ensor. He's standing by with details -- David.

DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we are looking at these allegations by an outspoken congressman and a former Pentagon official, that a low-level Defense intelligence unit attached to special operations may have identified 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and three others as potential threats well before those attacks took place, but may have been discouraged from sharing the information with the FBI.

Now, Pentagon and intelligence officials tell us they are looking into the matter. So are we. And we hope to have more for you on this a little later in the broadcast. BLITZER: All right, David, thank you very much.

Right now, our Kelli Arena of the CNN America bureau is working on another story of suicide bombers. This is an amazing story, Kelli. Tell our viewers what you are working on.

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I am working on a story about suicide bombers.

Now, we haven't seen one here in the U.S. But police chiefs around the nation are grappling with how to deal with the possibility. Now, the question is, what do you do if you are a cop facing a suspected suicide bomber? Well, the answer could very well surprise you, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Kelli. We will have more with you on this -- on -- on this program as well.

As Iraqi leaders race to finish a draft constitution, insurgents are stepping up their efforts to thwart any progress toward a new Iraq. They have dealt more heavy blows to U.S. troops and Iraqi police today. It is becoming an almost daily refrain.

Let's bring in our Aneesh Raman. He's standing by in Baghdad with details -- Aneesh.

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the death tolls continue to rise, the military saying six American troops were killed in Iraq yesterday, four of them north of the capital in the town of Beiji.

Task Force Liberty soldiers, they were driving an armored vehicle when they hit a landmine. And then, after that explosion, insurgents came at them with small-arms fire, the military calling it a -- quote -- "complex, coordinated attack."

It brings, Wolf, to 43 the number of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq since the start of this month, and comes on a day where, again, we saw suicide bombings in the capital, a suicide car bomb, this time targeting an Iraqi police convoy. Six people were killed, including two Iraqi police officers -- Wolf.

BLITZER: What are they saying in Baghdad, Aneesh, to what Donald Rumsfeld, the Defense secretary, said yesterday -- other U.S. officials have been saying it for days -- that Iranian explosives, sophisticated explosives, are finding their way, somehow, into Iraq to the insurgents? What are they saying where you are?

RAMAN: Well, I spoke earlier today with the prime minister's spokesman, Laith Kubba. He says that Prime Minister Jaafari brought up this exact issue when went to Tehran last month to meet with Iranian leaders, calling on them not to interfere in Iraq's affairs, whether it be by allowing weapons across that border or in the political realm.

They are being very careful in their wording, Wolf, though. This is a very complex relationship between these two countries. They do say, though, they are looking into the secretary's allegation -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Aneesh Raman in Baghdad. We will be getting back to you as well.

Still to come, Yankee jumper. A fan goes over the top. Will he pay the price for crossing the line?

Plus, a CNN exclusive. Inside the DEA. We will take you to an undisclosed location where they watch the big busts go down.

Also, the husband of Elizabeth -- Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News, he was shot in the head and survived. The latest on the man accused of shooting him.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Let's go to New York now.

Is he just an overly fanatic fan or a fan engaging in a very, very dangerous antic? Those questions being asked of an 18-year-old New York Yankee fan right now in hot water after a daring stunt.

Let's bring in our Mary Snow. She is standing by outside Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

For our viewers who don't know anything about this, Mary, what is going on?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I will tell you, a lot of buzzing up here at Yankee Stadium.

Inside the stadium, the Yankees are now playing the Chicago White Sox. The fans, though, are buzzing about what happened last night. An 18-year-old jumped from an upper deck onto a net over home plate. It was a 40 feet drop. Now, he landed on the net. And he was taken away into custody. The game had to be stopped. He spent the night in the hospital. Officials say he was treated, but he is now in a lot of hot water. He has been arrested this afternoon, not far from. Here he is being arraigned.

Fans are pretty angry about what happened. They are calling for him to be punished. We talked to some of them -- also looking at some other incidents involving rowdy fans. We'll have that at 5:00.

BLITZER: And do we have any word on his motivation for doing this?

SNOW: Some of his friends were quoted as saying that it was a prank, that it was a dare, and that he had been eying the net and that he did it. This is not the first time this has happened. It is the second time in five years that a fan has done this.

BLITZER: All right, Mary is going to stand by at Yankee Stadium. We will have more on the story coming up here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Mary Snow, thank you very much.

We are watching lots of stories right now, including that Tennessee manhunt. We will update you on this developing story, the intense search for a husband and wife considered armed and very dangerous.

We are also going inside the DEA. We will have an exclusive look inside their situation room. Our Brian Todd is there. It is the top- secret heart of the nation's war on drugs.

And, in our next hour, culture wars. We will take you -- we will take a closer look at the battle over mascots and why some say it is political correctness run amok.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: A manhunt is under way right now in Tennessee and beyond, for a Tennessee couple being compared to Bonnie and Clyde. It started with a deadly courthouse shooting, and now relatives are pleading with the couple to turn themselves in.

Our national correspondent, Bob Franken, joining us now live from Kingston, Tennessee, with the latest -- Bob?

FRANKEN: It happened at 10:15 Eastern yesterday morning, when George Hyatte, who has had many escapes and attempted escapes before, was coming out. The wife that he had married who had been a nurse in the prison -- she was dismissed, then she married him after they had a relationship. At any rate, she pulled up in a van, pulled out a weapon and started shooting, killing one corrections officer. He quickly ran into that van. They drove a couple of blocks away and took off in a second van, which is a 2000 gold Chevy minivan.

Police officers, the sheriffs, the FBI are searching far and wide and that is literally the case. They don't know if they're still nearby or if they've gone quite a distance away.

One of the things that might be involved here, is that the first van they found with a lot of blood in the seat -- in the driver's side, meaning that she had been hit. There was enough blood that some police officials wonder if she would've been able to function. They have not found that she has checked into any hospital. So, they wonder about that.

The other question would be whether he, George Hyatte, would be able to get rid of these shackles, which make it extremely difficult for him to function. But we're told that he probably could if somebody had thought to bring a bolt cutter or something like that.

So, the questions are -- there are more questions than answers. There is that massive search going on. Some evidence that officials are not telling us about and they're also not telling where they're focusing for the most part. They are telling us they're talking to any friends and associates they can -- Wolf?

BLITZER: All right. Bob Franken, we'll be checking back with you. Thank you very much. And as Bob noted, this is a rapidly developing story; one that we've been following here in THE SITUATION ROOM since it first broke yesterday.

We want to bring you the latest information we can on the investigation and manhunt. For that, we're joined by Jennifer Johnson. She's the spokeswoman for Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. She's joining us now live from Kingston. Jennifer, thank you very much.

Is it widely assumed now -- are you working under the assumption that these two individuals had help?

JENNIFER JOHNSON, TENNESSEE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Well, we are still ferreting out different leads. It's impossible to really say whether they had additional help. We have talked to friends. We've talked to family members and we're continuing to do that as we speak. I think it would be preliminary for us to say that anyone else was involved at this point.

BLITZER: It would be premature. How sophisticated of an escape was this?

JOHNSON: Well, I think sophistication might be an interesting word to use, because in fact, this happened just right on the other side of these cars. I don't know that it was sophisticated, so much as it was a surprise to most of the people who were involved.

Certainly, I don't think this is something that anyone here could have possibly imagined. She, we know, spent a night in a hotel here in town, the night before this happened. And we do believe that it was premeditated. And of course, they had two vehicles here, so we can only assume that there was a reason for that, as well.

BLITZER: I had heard reports earlier -- and you can confirm this if it's true -- that the words -- words were uttered by him as she approached. She said, "shoot him" -- he said, "shoot him, shoot him" -- ordering his wife to kill this officer. Is that true?

JOHNSON: Well, I wasn't here, but from the witness accounts, we do believe that there was communication between the two of them and that he in some way, asked her to get involved. I don't know if, "shoot, shoot," is exactly what was said, but definitely he indicated something to her.

BLITZER: Jennifer Hyatte is 31 years old. George Hyatte, 34 years old. He was spending years and years in prison for aggravated assault and robbery. She was a nurse in that prison where he was serving when they met. Is that right?

JOHNSON: Actually she was a contract nurse working for the Department of Corrections. I don't know exactly the details of their relationship. We've sort of left that to the Department of Correction to comment on.

What we're focusing on from this point forward, is the manhunt and of course, the crime scene, which was right here behind me.

We -- she was let go from her job in 2004. And beyond that, I really couldn't comment.

BLITZER: Jennifer, how wide is this manhunt right now? I assume it's -- with every hour, the capability of these two getting further and further away from Kingston, Tennessee, grows.

JOHNSON: Well, I think you made a point. It could be a national -- well, I mean it is a national search at this point. We're getting all kinds of leads. In fact, 25 to 35 leads per hour. Many of those are in the state of Tennessee, many are outside. We're following up on every single one of them.

I think what we're optimistic about at this point is that we are getting so many leads. It's not as if we're sitting here wondering where these two are. We have more information than really we can sift through. So, that's what is happening over in our mobile command post, as well as at our headquarters. We're working with the FBI and U.S. Marshal Service to look into every single one of those. So, we are very optimistic.

BLITZER: And Jennifer, before I let you go, if anyone watching this program right now spots anything suspicious, give us the number or give us the best way they could get in touch with you.

JOHNSON: Well, let me be clear and say that these two are extremely dangerous. That goes without saying. I mean, they've committed murder and there's nothing more dangerous than that. So if someone sees them and they come into close contact, we would want them to call 9-1-1.

However, if someone sees this show and thinks about something that may have happened yesterday or something that's not going to put them in immediate danger, we would ask them to call 1-800-TBI-FIND. That is the clearinghouse for every single tip at this point.

BLITZER: Jennifer Johnson, from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Thanks. Good luck to all of you down there in Tennessee and beyond.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

BLITZER: It's Wednesday, August 10. Up next, a CNN exclusive. We'll take you inside the Drug Enforcement Administration and we'll tell you how they're waging their war on drugs.

And an Air Force reserve officer, accused of anti-President Bush vandalism. We'll tell you about this bizarre story.

Plus, ever wanted to fly to the moon? Now you can, maybe, for a price, a big price.

You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

BLITZER: And as you saw, president -- former President Bill Clinton, tomorrow live here in THE SITUATION ROOM with us.

Just like us, just like those officials over at the White House, the Drug Enforcement Administration has its own situation room.

Our Brian Todd got some exclusive access. He's joining us now live from the DEA secret location in Northern Virginia. Brian, we can't tell our viewers where you are.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Wolf. All we can say is that we are at a top-secret location in Northern Virginia.

Now, this is not the government's biggest situation room by any means, but it's certainly one of its most important. Right now we are inside the DEA's Special Operations Division Command Center. This, as we said, top-secret location in northern Virginia. No one has ever been allowed to film in here before. But this is where they coordinate and command some of the most sophisticated and dangerous operations in law enforcement.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): You're looking at a takedown. That's what agents at the Drug Enforcement Administration call this type of raid. Lightning fast, closely coordinated, always dangerous, often deadly, targeting some of the world's most violent suspects.

KEVIN LANE, DEA: They will go to any means necessary. And violence could be shootings or kidnappings, things of that nature, to protect what they are trying to accomplish. And certainly, the one thing they don't want to do is they don't want to get arrested and they don't want to lose their product, whether it be the money or the drugs.

TODD: Since its establishment in 1972, the DEA says it has lost 76 people in the line of duty. A palpable sense of tension, risk, reward. This room has seen it all -- the DEA's Special Operations Division Command Center.

From a top-secret location in Virginia, the planning, set-up and takedown itself, coordinated with other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, all commanded from here in real time.

LANE: When we compile the information, the arrest totals, the numbers, identify leads or potential new intelligence information and probable cause that may be necessary to pursue additional enforcement actions.

TODD: Whether the target is a drug-trafficking or money- laundering operation, agents have to plan every takedown to a tee, taking months or years to prepare, often launching raids in several North, Central and South American cities simultaneously.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Brian, stand by. Unfortunately, we've lost the audio with you. We're going to get back to you and try to fix that problem. Brian Todd with some exclusive access to the Drug Enforcement Administration Control -- Command and Control Center in northern Virginia.

Good work, Brian.

Thousands of projects, billions of dollars. President Bush signs a massive highway spending bill today. Critics already outraged. Why? Some are saying it's pork barrel politics at its worst. Those stories in our next hour.

Coming up next, a trip to the moon for a price, a big price. We'll show you where you can sign up if you would like to, and if you've got the cash.

You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We have re-established contact with our Brian Todd. He's at a secret location in northern Virginia, the command center of the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Brian, what are they doing right now?

TODD: Well, right now, Wolf, this is kind of a simulated operation. This is typically what they do in a takedown operation. The video you see behind me was from a recent takedown of massive proportions. We're going to get to that in just a second. At any given time, there are about 12 agents in the room during a takedown, in constant communication with agents in the field.

Right now I'm joined by Kevin Lane. He is the DEA assistant special agent in charge. He runs this operation.

Kevin, you've been at both ends of this. You've been in the field. You've been in this operation quite a few times. First, let's go through the bank of monitors and agents here. What are these agents doing along this bank here?

LANE: These agents and analysts here are coordinating the information that's coming in from different field entities, so we can identify, you know, what we need as far as arrests, what kind of seizes we have, if we have any usable intelligence or evidence. And then we can then disseminate to other officers, both foreign and domestic.

TODD: OK, and then we have another bank of agents just over here. I'm going to ask my cameraman Reggie (ph) to pan over here to these two gentlemen at their monitors. What are these agents doing?

LANE: They're basically corroborating information that we have received, trying to get it out to the other federal agencies that we work closely with and then try to see if those other agencies have additional intelligence that we could use to support what's going on in the filed.

TODD: OK. And Reggie, we're going to take a little bit of the image of the monitors in the back here. This is from a recent DEA operation called -- what you guys call the Caribbean Initiative. It was a massive undertaking. Tell us what that...

LANE: There were five years' time where there approximately six countries, including the United States, obviously, involved. We targeted the highest level of the drug trafficking organization that was shipping through the Caribbean.

TODD: And about how much of the -- you had a staggering figure for me, but how much of the cocaine that comes into the U.S. was covered just in that one operation?

LANE: Approximately 10 to 12 percent of the cocaine that's brought into the United States was transshipping through this organization.

TODD: OK. And that operation is ongoing, we have to say, Wolf. So there's a lot of that, the Caribbean Initiative, that we can't tell you. But, obviously, as you can see, there's a lot of important work that goes on in this room.

BLITZER: All right. Brian Todd reporting for us from the DEA from their room to the CNN sit room.

Let's bring in CNN's Zain Verjee. She's joining us now live from the CNN Center. She's taking a look at some other stories making news -- Zain.

VERJEE: Hi, Wolf.

In Afghanistan, a U.S. service member and six insurgents are killed in separate incidents. Now, both happened yesterday. The U.S. service member died in the attack near Ghazni, which also wounded another U.S. service member. The six insurgents were killed during a joint offensive involving Afghan and U.S. forces.

In Denver, an Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel could face charges for allegedly engaging in anti-President Bush vandalism. Lieutenant Colonel Alexis Fecteau is accused of defacing cars with pro-Bush bumper stickers. The cars were parked at the Denver Airport. Police say they believe Fecteau defaced at least 10 cars.

And an update on a story we reported yesterday -- the shooting of singer Marc Cohn. Cohn is said to be recovering in New York today, and he's not well enough to make a scheduled concert in Ohio on Saturday. Meanwhile, the shooting suspect appeared in a Colorado court today, where his bond was set at $1 million. On Sunday, Cohn survived being shot in the head during an attempted carjacking -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Zain Verjee, we'll get back to you. Thank you very much. I want to immediately go over to the Pentagon. CNN's Barbara Starr standing by. She's developing a story. What are you learning, Barbara?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, there has been a new piece of purported al Qaeda video, propaganda video, out today on Arab television. We have been looking at it most of the day. Some of it shows what you would typically expect -- purported al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan, training in a classroom, firing their weapons, that sort of thing.

But we have been able to confirm now what is perhaps a very disturbing part of this video that involves a U.S. Navy SEAL who died in June in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan -- part of that four- men reconnaissance team, you may remember, in which three Navy SEALs where killed. They tell us, indeed, this is the I.D. card and the weapon of Danny Dietz -- Petty Officer Second Class Danny Dietz -- who was one of the SEALs killed in the mountains.

They have every reason to believe this is his I.D. card. His death was announced at the time. His family was notified. They have every reason to believe that is the M-4 card of one of the Navy SEALs', perhaps even Danny Dietz's. That is the type of weapon that U.S. Navy SEALs take into the field.

We showed you a moment ago a laptop computer. In the video, the insurgents claim that is a U.S. military laptop. We have talked to the SEAL community. They say they can't confirm that's Danny Dietz's laptop, but that on those type of missions SEALs often take laptop computers into the remote mountain areas. They use them for getting maps to see where they are going, for targeting, for identification of insurgents.

Wolf, one piece of video we are not going to show you, it also shows the body of what may be one of the American servicemen. But U.S. Navy SEALs looked at that video, and what they told us is that picture of that U.S. Navy serviceman who is basically wearing a helmet and his face is obscured, they say that is not the way a U.S. Navy SEAL would have dressed to go on a secret reconnaissance mission in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan.

So, some of this insurgent video confirmed by the Navy, some of it not just yet -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Barbara, we're going to get back to you. We're going to get some more information. What a disturbing story this is. We'll also try to find out what the propaganda value for al Qaeda may have been.

Coming up, the "Cafferty File."

Plus, our eyes are on gas prices. What is driving them sky high? Sixty-five dollars a barrel. A record right now. But the pain going beyond the pump. Ali Velshi watching the bottom line.

And when we go "Inside Politics," the highway bill President Bush signed today is about much more than simply roads. Do jobs win out, or lawmakers' pet projects?

And college teams with native American mascots are facing penalties. And the president's brother is crying foul. You are in the SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Almost time for the closing bell on Wall Street. We'll get -- get to that, Ali Velshi, just a minute.

First, though, let's get your e-mail messages. They are coming into the SITUATION ROOM. Lots of opinions on our question of the hour. Jack Cafferty monitoring all of that with the "Cafferty File."

What are they saying, Jack?

CAFFERTY: Oh, they have got lots of opinions. The Army is relieving a four-star general of his duty -- they did it Monday, actually -- because he was accused of having an extramarital affair.

General Kevin Burns was set to retire this November -- 36 years in the service, an exemplary record. He had been separated from his wife over a year. And their divorce was finalized on Monday, the same day he got booted. Army officials said they wanted to make a point that they take issues of integrity seriously.

The question is, did the Army overreact to a general having an affair?

Jessica in New York writes, "You got to be kidding, a separated man has an affair and gets kicked out of the Army? Don't they have anything better to do like maybe make sure armored vehicles are safe enough for the men and women to drive around a battle zone?"

Don writes this, "It seems I remember not too long ago the commander in chief of all the service had an extramarital affair, no less in government supplied housing and he wasn't dismissed with any reduction of pay or grade."

I think they are talking about former President Clinton there, who by the way, I think is going to be a guest tomorrow on THE SITUATION ROOM. Maybe Wolf will want to ask him what he thinks about this general getting the boot or maybe not.

Mark in Washington, D.C., "all of the details aren't out yet. I don't think we should be criticizing the military for enforcing their rules. If the rules don't work, they have to be changed through an orderly process. Jack, you are wrong on this one."

Tony in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, "How totally idiotic. Adultery is a national pastime in America. For the Army to punish this general is a waste of his talents and the Army's time. I guess torture and murder are acceptable, but pleasure is criminal."

And Michael writes, "Apply the same standards to Congress." We wouldn't have anybody to make the laws -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Jack Cafferty. We'll be checking back with you the next hour of the "Cafferty File." That happens every day here, every hour.

Right now the bottom line on your money, your business and what you buy, Ali Velshi is in New York where it's almost time for the closing bell. Ali, what are you watching? VELSHI: It started off as a bright day on the markets, Wolf. And it's turned around as a result of the fact that starting this morning oil, which had settled in, started to creep higher gaining more than $1.80 today to finally settle down at $64.94 a barrel of crude oil.

The problem here, of course, decreased supply. We're driving a lot. There was a report out by the government today that while we do have some oil stockpiles here in the United States, because we had some refinery fires and the demand has been strong, gasoline supplies are a little low. And we still have a few weeks to go in the summer driving season.

So, you can expect, at least for the next few weeks, you are not going to see gasoline prices lower. They might even inch higher. And gasoline prices, as you know, are at record highs right now, Wolf.

A couple guys, though, who aren't -- or at least one guy in particular who is not too worried about gas prices right now is Carl Icahn. I don't know if you've been hearing about what's going on with him, Wolf.

BLITZER: I have been hearing, because it involves our parent company.

VELSHI: Yeah. Time Warner. If he does -- if Carl Icahn gets what he wants you, and I are going to be able to retire in a few weeks.

BLITZER: Tell our viewers, first of all, Ali, who is Carl Icahn.

VELSHI: Carl Icahn is 69 years old. He's a financier. He's a guy who has involved in a lot of corporate takeovers. He was involved in TWA, RJR Nabisco, Mylan Labs. He's a guy who, you know, gets involved in stuff. He's a big investor.

He's got some money in Time Warner. And there's been some speculation -- not confirmation, speculation -- that he is building up his collection of shares in the parent company of this network, Time Warner.

Now the CEO of Time Warner in an interview the other day said -- didn't comment on this at Time Warner headquarters -- in this building -- has said that they continue to try and build shareholder value, but are not interested in making any comments related to this speculation about Carl Icahn buying shares of the company.

Why does he want to do it? Because he feels that this company, the shares of this company are not worth enough money, and the parts of the company might be worth more. So, he wants to pressure Time Warner into spinning off some of the assets. Maybe the cable side of things, maybe AOL which is valued at nothing by some analysts. Maybe the magazines, the publications and things like that.

So, if Carl Icahn gets his way, and as is reported, the stock of this company might do a little better. And you and I might be on a beach a year from now, not together, necessarily.

BLITZER: All right. Let's talk about the markets. They're closing right now. What do we see?

VELSHI: We have Dow closing about two tenths of a percent lower, 19 points lower to 10,596. And the NASDAQ off three quarters of a percent, 2,158. Those numbers will continue to settle over the next half hour as they always do -- Wolf.

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