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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT

Security Breach and Illegal Immigration; Right to Die; Judging Miers; Green Card Controversy; Interview with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison on Illegal Immigration; Interview with John Ralston Saul on Globalism

Aired October 5, 2005 - 17:59   ET

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


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody.
We begin tonight with an incredible incident that reveals the depth of our illegal immigration crisis, our failure to establish secure borders, and a breakdown in a critical part of our legal system. As if all of that were not enough, one of our most sensitive military bases turns out to be all but unprotected.

Federal agents have arrested three illegal aliens at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and charged them with using false documents to gain employment. All three worked as foreign language teachers.

Barbara Starr reports from the Pentagon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Breach of security for the U.S. Army's Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. By all accounts, it is the first such arrest at a Special Operations location.

Two people from Indonesia and a man from Senegal who taught foreign language to Army Special Operations forces were arrested Tuesday, charged with using false immigration papers. According to affidavits, the Indonesians were already facing deportation when they used false documents to gain employment. They were hired by a Florida firm that had a five-year, $50 million contract to provide language instructors to Special Operations units.

The Army says the instructors had no access to sensitive information, and there is no indication of terrorist involvement. But immigration officials worry illegal workers at military sites could be blackmailed by terrorists for what they do know: identities of military personnel, and layouts of sensitive facilities.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, said in a statement, "Unauthorized workers who use fraudulent documents to gain work at sensitive U.S. military inflations pose a serious homeland security threat."

VICTOR CERDA, FORMER ICE COUNSEL: The problem is so widespread in terms of the inability of employers to really verify identity and authorization of an alien. And yes, the exposure is there, the risk is there at military bases. STARR: ICE routinely sweeps oil refineries, airports and nuclear power plants, as well as military bases, to check for illegal aliens. On Tuesday, seven illegal workers were arrested at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. In July, six illegal aliens were arrested at Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida. This year, a total of 117 suspected illegal aliens have been arrested at military locations around the country.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STARR: And Lou, the military says it is now reviewing that contract for foreign language instructors. Experts say it is very difficult to detect phony documents, but it is still the responsibility of the employer to determine that they are hiring legal workers, especially to work at sensitive military locations.

Lou.

DOBBS: It may be difficult, but it is absolutely necessary and critical to national security. How can anyone continue to rationalize what has become a trend in breaching our security at these bases?

STARR: It is a matter of concern, we're told, both by immigration officials and also the military.

You know, there's a difference in this case we're talking about today. Most of the arrests had been workers at military bases who perhaps work at construction, road paving, those types of projects. But this one is different. These are people who did get into a Special Operations training school, and that is certainly a matter of concern to immigration officials.

Lou.

DOBBS: Barbara, thank you very much. Barbara Starr from the Pentagon.

In Parris Island, a court-martial under way today of a Marine recruiter accused of helping illegal aliens become U.S. Marines. Thirty-five-year-old Gunnery Sergeant Hubert Lucas faces court-martial for helping 24 illegal aliens obtain false identification so that they could qualify to join the service. Investigators say Lucas provided illegal aliens with stolen Social Security numbers and counterfeit green cards. They say he allegedly carried out his scheme for four years without being caught.

Later in this broadcast, we'll have a special report on our nation's green card giveaway. Christine Romans will report on how our nation's overwhelmed immigration system is handing out citizenship to those who could well be a danger to our national security.

At the Supreme Court today, an emotional hearing on a patient's right to die. The justices considered a law in the state of Oregon that allows doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medicine to terminally ill patients who want to end their own lives.

Kathleen Koch reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Outside the Supreme Court Wednesday, advocates of Oregon's assisted suicide law, like cancer patient Charlene Andrews, argued it is a comfort and a choice the terminally ill deserve.

CHARLENE ANDREWS, CANCER PATIENT: It's all part of the spiritual journey of being able to die with compassion and with dignity.

KOCH: But opponents believe assisted suicide is wrong and devalues those with disabilities.

CAROL CLEIGH, DISABILITY RIGHTS ADVOCATE: That promotes the idea that people that need help would be better off dead. And we don't believe in that. We believe that our lives are just as valuable as everyone else's.

KOCH: Inside, though, justices wrestled with whether the 1970 Controlled Substances Act gives the federal government the right to stop doctors from giving terminally ill patients a lethal dose of medication. Retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the critical swing vote, asked whether an attorney general who opposes capital punishment could use the law to prohibit lethal injections.

Oregon's assistant attorney general argued that the federal government can regulate drugs but not how physicians administer them. Chief Justice John Roberts seemed skeptical, asking, "If one state says doctors can prescribe morphine to make people feel good, or steroids for bodybuilders, doesn't that undermine the uniformity of federal law and make it harder to enforce elsewhere?"

Solicitor General Paul Clement argued that assisted suicide lacks legitimate medical purpose and so is an improper use of medication and thus a violation of federal drug laws.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KOCH: This divisive case may be fated to end in a tie. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is retiring and will likely be off the court before it's decided. So Harriet Miers, the president's nominee, would then be the tiebreaker. However, because she was White House counsel when this case was appealed to the Supreme Court, she may have to recuse herself.

Lou.

DOBBS: If indeed, she is confirmed. We should add that hypothetical.

Kathleen Koch. Thank you very much.

Later here in the broadcast, I'll be joined by the Oregon woman who is fighting terminal cancer who wants the right to choose how and when she will die if her treatments prove ultimately unsuccessful. The Oregon case is the subject of our poll tonight. The question: Do you believe terminally ill patients should have the right to determine when they end their own lives, yes or no? Cast your vote at LOUDOBBS.com. We'll have the results later here in the broadcast.

As the Supreme Court began hearing this high-profile case with John Roberts as its chief justice, Supreme Court Justice nominee Harriet Miers was meeting with senators whose support she obviously needs to win confirmation. Miers' third day on Capitol Hill comes as conservatives remain unconvinced about her Supreme Court credentials.

Ed Henry reports from Capitol Hill. Ed?

ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lou, in fact, Harriet Miers woke up this morning to a blistering column by conservative George Will, suggesting that Republican senators should stand up and vote her down. She then came up to Capitol Hill, as you mentioned, and got a pretty lukewarm reception.

Not surprisingly, she did get the endorsement of fellow Texan, Senator John Cornyn. He welcomed her warmly at a courtesy call there. But then there was a lot of negative reaction from some other senior Republicans.

Trent Lott saying that sometimes presidents make mistakes. He says that his initial reaction when he heard it was -- Harriet Miers -- was uh-oh. He said he voted for David Souter in the first Bush administration and has regretted it ever since. He's worried the same situation may play out. So he's undecided at this moment.

Another influential Republican, Senator John Thune, basically said that he thinks the anxiety in the conservative community right now is palpable. He says the jury is still out because conservatives had been reassured before and then they got burned, such as in the Souter case.

Conservatives also may not be happy about what transpired in Harriet Miers' meeting today with Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy. He asked her about the fact that influential conservative activist James Dobson has basically said he's been assured that she is pro-life. Here's the reaction.

The reaction basically from that meeting was that Senator Leahy asked her, and he later told reporters that she insisted she has not privately assured anyone about her positions on abortion or anything else, and that she is going to be independent.

Now, White House adviser Ed Gillespie was also on the Hill today. He told reporters that, in fact, he felt the same kind of pressure from conservatives earlier this summer when Chief Justice John Roberts was first appointed by President Bush. He said conservatives obviously were complaining that Roberts was a blank slate.

They eventually were reassured to the point that Roberts got 78 votes. The White House not predicting that many votes, but they're saying they feel after all the hand-wringing in the end, Harriet Miers is going to be confirmed rather easily.

Lou.

DOBBS: Well, Ed Gillespie's reference to Judge Roberts may be the only comparison that I've heard anyone make between Harriet Miers, certainly, and now Chief Justice Roberts. That's remarkable.

HENRY: Right. Well in fact, a senior Republican aide in the Senate here told me that the problem, as you're indicating there, is that John Roberts is an extremely tough act to follow, and that basically anybody who would have been put up would have had a hard time. But specifically, because of Harriet Miers' lack of experience, it could be particularly difficult. And in fact, this senior Republican aide told me that, despite some of the rosy scenarios by the White House, they have a lot more work to do up here to convince Republican senators to support Harriet Miers.

Lou.

DOBBS: To convince Republican senators. Also, the Democrats, who already vowed weeks ago, before, in fact, Chief Justice Roberts was confirmed, that they will engage strongly and vociferously against the president's nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the high court.

Ed Henry, thank you very much.

Well, those comparisons between Harriet Miers and Chief Justice Roberts, there is one comparison that's easy to make. When the president appointed Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court earlier this week, her legal experience stood in stark contrast, of course, to that if Chief Justice Roberts.

Here's how President Bush described both candidates' strikingly different backgrounds while announcing their Supreme Court nominations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In his extraordinary career, Judge Roberts has argued 39 cases before the nation's highest court.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Over the course of a distinguished legal career, Harriet earned the respect and admiration of fellow attorneys.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Both those who've worked with him and those who have faced him in the courtroom speak with admiration of his striking ability as a lawyer and his natural gifts as a leader. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: She has a record of achievement in the law, as well as experience as an elected member of the Dallas City Council.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: John Roberts has built a record of excellence and achievement, and a reputation for goodwill and decency toward others.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: In recognition of her achievements paving the way for women lawyers, Harriet's colleagues in Texas have honored her with numerous awards -- most recently, the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for professional excellence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: That comparison in the president's own words.

Later here, we'll be exploring how Harriet Miers' deep religious faith and convictions could give some insight into just how she would judge on the Supreme Court.

Also ahead here, Tropical Storm Tammy has struck Florida with very little warning. We'll tell you where that storm is headed.

And why some folks in New Orleans are getting a first look but not a long one at the place they once called home.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Tammy are already hitting northeastern Florida, Georgia and parts of South Carolina tonight. The storm, Tammy, which formed very quickly in the Atlantic, is already lashing the Florida coastline. And the storm center is expected to move ashore sometime tonight or early tomorrow with winds of about 45 miles an hour. This storm could dump as much as 10 inches of rain in some parts as it moves inland.

Tropical storm warnings are up tonight from Flagler Beach, Florida, to South Carolina's South Santee River. Tammy is the nineteenth named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season.

In New Orleans today, health officials declared two of that city's main hospitals unsalvageable after Hurricane Katrina. Charity and University hospitals will have to be rebuilt at a cost, an estimated cost, of almost a half-billion dollars. The buildings are polluted with toxic air and mold. The hospitals have been empty since their patients and staff were evacuated. Charity Hospital is the main trauma center for southeastern Louisiana. Meanwhile, east of New Orleans, St. Bernard Parish says it doesn't have enough money to pay for law enforcement. The sheriff says the parish won't be able to make its payroll for 182 employees. Today was payday.

Also in New Orleans, people whose neighborhoods were destroyed by the hurricane were allowed to take their first look at what's left of their homes. It was a day of discovery and often despair for residents who now know what was saved and what was lost.

Lisa Sylvester reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Sheryl Knouse and her daughter have to break a window to get into their home. The front door is warped.

SHERYL KNOUSE, NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT: Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, everything -- nothing is where it ever was. Oh, lord.

SYLVESTER: When Katrina hit, Sheryl moved out and mold moved in. Now it's a scavenger hunt for what can be saved.

KNOUSE: This looks OK. This is my special jewelry. There's the ring my mom gave me, my dad got in Germany in the war. Thank you, god. Thank you for small favors.

SYLVESTER: She and other Lakeview-area residents were allowed to see their homes for the first time. Councilman Jay Batt handed out water to families. Even his home was not spared.

JAY BATT, NEW ORLEANS COUNCILMAN: It looks like a tornado hit. It looks like a tidal wave hit it. And it looks like someone went to -- got some horse dung and slung it around in the room. It is disgusting.

SYLVESTER: As residents sift through their belongings, they're also sorting through insurance matters. Many are finding, even with flood insurance, their losses may not be covered. Sheryl Knouse's home was valued at $175,000.

KNOUSE: When I bought my house, it wasn't worth that much. And I just never upped the insurance to that high.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: And flood insurance is capped at $250,000 for the house structure. So many of the people who live in this middle class neighborhood could find themselves financially upside down, meaning their mortgage payment is actually higher than what the insurance company is willing to give them. Lou.

DOBBS: The misery obviously palpable for so many people in New Orleans. Lisa, give us a sense of the breadth of the number of homes, the reach of this problem, the number of homes that appear to have been all but destroyed. SYLVESTER: Well, in this area, the Lakeview area, there are 35,000 people. And when I spoke to Councilman Jay Batt, who we had in this piece, all together, he said there are about 100,000 residents in this area. So, I mean, as you put the numbers together, it is literally just house after house after house.

These homes may -- are -- for all intent and purposes, they are demolished. If you look inside, they're just covered from the floor to the ceiling, just covered in mold. So it's going to be a while, a good while before these folks come back and will be able to move back into their house. But they're very resilient. And they say they will be back.

DOBBS: Lisa Sylvester. Thank you.

The U.S. Mint today unveiled the new nickel. Beginning next year, the new nickel will feature an image of President Thomas Jefferson facing forward. Previously, all presidential images were in profile.

Now, you may notice a resemblance to someone we all know. I asked our deep research department to take a closer look and to examine this face for familiarity. Add just a hat, and you might get a hint of who it appears to be. Some on our staff seem to think Jefferson's image on this new nickel looks a lot like none other than Don Imus. There is a similarity, I think.

The U.S. Mint assures us it is Jefferson, and that Don Imus did not model that image at all. But we'll find out more as our deep research staff continues to investigate.

Coming up, a green card controversy, another one. Why it's becoming much easier for terrorists to get their hands on one, and the threat that that poses to our national security.

And religion and the bench -- what Harriet Miers' faith could tell us about her judicial philosophy. Should we be asking at all? We'll have that special report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: There are new concerns tonight that mountains of immigration applications are being rubberstamped and national security being compromised. Four years after the 9/11 attacks, experts say a terrorist could again get a visa approved in as little as 14 minutes.

Christine Romans has the report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Six months after 9/11, an immigration adjudicator approved visa changes for hijacker Mohammad Atta and al-Shehhi. A Government Accountability Office investigation at the time found pressure to adjudicate cases quickly, as did a review by the Justice Department.

Today, the men and women who process these applications are still being pushed to cut corners and rubberstamp visas and green cards, according to the union representing them.

KEVIN TINKER, NAT. HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL: We're not 100 percent certain we're identifying the gang members. We're not 100 percent certain that we're identifying the drug smugglers. And not 100 percent certain that we're identifying the terrorists.

ROMANS: A change of status application like the one granted for the 9/11 terrorists can be approved in just 14 minutes, sometimes less. A green card application can run 40 pages to hundreds long. A half an hour review is considered outstanding.

Last week, a Citizenship and Immigration Service investigator warned Congress the agency is riddled with corruption and intense pressure to clear up the immigration backlog.

And CIS is clearing it up. Earlier this year, it told Congress it whittled down the paperwork backlog from 3.8 million to 1.5 million. But the agency insists, even as it reduces the pile of immigration paperwork, national security is paramount. CIS says all applicants are thoroughly reviewed and it conducts 35 million background checks a year. That's about 135,000 a day. A spokeswoman for the agency said there has been progress since 9/11, and downplayed criticism of the agency as union grandstanding.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: But a former immigration agent likens the green card and visa process to a conveyor belt, where government workers are graded on how quickly they push immigrants through the system and push the paper.

Lou.

DOBBS: A hundred and thirty-five thousand background checks a day?

ROMANS: It's a lot of automation, but they say 35 million background checks a year. And every person that gets a visa in this country, they say they have a thorough review.

DOBBS: Christine Romans. Thank you.

In Southern California tonight, firefighters are battling a fierce wildfire that began in Mexico, then jumped the border into the United States near San Diego. This fire has already scorched 1,000 acres in Mexico, another 500 acres in Southern California. Officials say the blaze probably started in a building in Mexico and then spread to dry brush. No word on when anyone expects to contain this fire.

Coming up next, Harriet Miers, her judicial views are in question, but not her faith. And that has, in the minds of many, raised new questions. A special report.

And scary parallels between the killer flu epidemic of 1918 and the avian flu of today.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Tonight, questions being raised over the judicial qualifications of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. One thing not in question, Harriet Miers' deep religious beliefs. She's been a born- again Christian since the late '70s. Her strong religious faith could give some insight into how she might rule from the bench, in the view of many.

Our faith and religion correspondent Delia Gallagher joins me now.

Miers' faith getting a lot of attention, and people are looking to that religious conviction to give them a clue as to what she'll do on the bench.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND RELIGION CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, in part because she doesn't have a judicial record to go on. So, one tries to look at some other facets about her to try to understand who this person is.

I mean, of course, that's not to say that we would understand from that how she might vote on certain issues, but certainly, I think the White House trying to get out that she is a person of evangelical convictions, and that she is a person who perhaps might be in that conservative mindset. And they want to get that message out for sure.

DOBBS: What have you learned about what role her faith has played? What the implications are, if any?

GALLAGHER: Well, I've talked to many of the people down at Valley View Christian Church, which is in Dallas. It's been her church for the past 30 years. And all of them, of course, have wonderful things to say about her and her faith.

You know she was a convert, she had this religious experience. And once you enter into that, she said that -- I talked to Judge Hecht, for example, who is a good friend of hers and was responsible for bringing her in there. And he says she is pro-life, and that, again, not to extrapolate from that, how she might vote, but that she is pro-family and pro-life.

She has been very involved teaching Sunday school at the church. And everybody has sort of emphasized that she has this very strong religious faith.

DOBBS: For many of us, when you describe her in those terms, in terms of her faith, we think a wonderful, decent upstanding person. There are those who are so pro-abortion that they're going to say threat and actually be repulsed by the idea that the president has moved someone who is so pro-life that it might move into the bench and her opinions.

GALLAGHER: Yes. And, I mean, I think it's interesting that even Judge Hecht said, you know, what we are nominating here is a judge, not a priest. And he said the question really is about her judicial qualifications and how she decides cases, not about her faith necessarily.

DOBBS: And I have to tell you I'm personally uncomfortable with the idea of examining one's faith to make some sort of extrapolation about how they'll conduct any other part of their life. It seems to me that's a very private matter, it should not be a public matter.

And I'm frankly -- I was thinking, Judge Roberts is Catholic. No moment was made of that.

If she were Jewish, what would we divine from that? It seems to be not an ecumenical approach.

And I think the idea that she's evangelical, a born-again Christian has set off certain impulses for extrapolation that would not otherwise be there.

GALLAGHER: Well, it's a very good point, Lou. And I think it's something that a lot of people probably share.

But the problem is in the absence of this judicial record, one wants to know who this person is, and that is legitimate -- to ask who she is and what she believes. It's not, as you point out, probably wise to suggest that because she believes something she will necessarily vote one way or the other.

DOBBS: And puts, again, the premium on nominating justices to the Supreme Court who are qualified clearly with their experience legally and with, as President Bush put it, with a keen mind.

Thank you very much.

GALLAGHER: You're welcome.

DOBBS: Delia Gallagher.

Another issue of great moral debate in this country, the focus of emotional arguments today before the Supreme Court. The justices are considering the Bush administration's challenge to the nation's only right to die law, that in Oregon.

My next guest says she would be appalled if the Supreme Court were to overturn that law. Charlene Andrews of Salem, Oregon, is terminally ill with cancer. She says if her treatments are ultimately unsuccessful, she wants the right to choose how and when she dies as allowed by Oregon's law.

Charlene Andrews was at the Supreme Court today and watched those arguments and joins us now from Washington. Charlene, good to have you here.

CHARLENE ANDREWS, CANCER PATIENT: Thank you.

DOBBS: You have been fighting cancer for years. Obviously, it's in remission, and yet, you are absolutely committed to the Oregon law, twice approved by the citizens of Oregon, we should point out.

ANDREWS: Right. I was diagnosed in December 2000 with stage IV breast cancer. I will be celebrating my five years in December at Christmas. The -- I was -- I'm really not in remission. We are controlling the cancer and giving me as much quality of life as possible.

DOBBS: You've been actually taking chemotherapy for what, three, three and a half years?

ANDREWS: Well, I've been on continuous chemo for three and a half years.

DOBBS: And with that good fight, you're doing extraordinarily well. And I think that the great hope is with all of the advances in medicine and technology, the commitment of your doctors, you still are preparing for the ultimate lack of success in those treatments.

ANDREWS: With cancer, we know that our treatment options just go on so long. We know when there is an end to our treatment options. There is a time when we know that there's nothing else out there for us.

DOBBS: Charlene, you are a resident, a citizen of the only state in the Union that has a right-to-die law, a death with dignity law. This is a most difficult issue for families, obviously for any individual whose prognosis is terminal -- to watch this argument before the Supreme Court which could, in fact, end the Oregon right- to-die law. How did you feel today as you listened to those arguments and watched the proceedings?

ANDREWS: I was hopeful from the questions that were asked. I'm hopeful that they would take the human needs of people with cancer into consideration and give us that choice. The choice is very important to me. It's very important to have the compassion with dying, which this law does afford us.

DOBBS: Charlene, you yourself, are you a religious person?

ANDREWS: I don't consider myself religious. I do consider myself very spiritual, and this is all part of my spiritual journey. I feel as though I respect the rights, I respect the religious beliefs, but I also expect them to respect mine.

DOBBS: Your friends, your family, they've come to terms with your decision?

ANDREWS: Yes. I -- generally, I have a lot of support through all my friends.

DOBBS: Well, Charlene Andrews, this case now before the Supreme Court will obviously affect the choice of all of the citizens of Oregon who have to make that very, very difficult choice. We thank you for being here to share your thoughts, and we wish you all of the very best.

ANDREWS: Well, thank you. And it's a very important issue for us.

DOBBS: Absolutely. For all of us. Thank you very much, Charlene Andrews.

ANDREWS: Thank you.

DOBBS: A reminder now to vote in our poll. The question is, do you believe terminally ill patients should have the right to determine when they end their own lives, yes or no? Cast your vote at LOUDOBBS.com.

We'll have the results coming up later here.

Joining me now for the analysis on this right-to-die case and its implications to our society, our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Jeffrey, good to have you here.

You listened to Charlene Andrews, who is more than an interested observer obviously. The state of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act -- the issues are extraordinary, reaching across religious spectrum, the social spectrum of this country, or physicians who are committed to saving life, aiding a patient who makes a decision. How did those arguments appear to you today?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, it's rare you have an issue where so many Americans are confronted with this exact situation whether themselves, their family members -- it's a very familiar story.

The actual legal issue, though, before the court is a fairly narrow one, which is who decides whether this is permissible? Can Oregon by itself say that doctors may prescribe controlled substances in a way that could kill patients intentionally? Or does the federal government, which prohibits that practice, trump the state's right?

DOBBS: To just add some clarity here, in Oregon, the case is that a physician may prescribe lethal doses which the patient may choose to take himself or herself. It is not -- it's a physician-assisted, not a physician -- it's not euthanasia?

TOOBIN: Not at all. It is a joint decision between the patient and the doctor.

But you know, Chief Justice Roberts is emerging as an active participant in his own court very quickly. And he was very skeptical of the Oregon law. He was saying, you know, the whole idea of federal drug laws is to have uniform standards throughout the country. How can we let one state do this when other states don't?

DOBBS: And -- well, the chief justice was also skeptical, was he not, of the capacity of the federal government to reach over -- asking in point of fact for analogs to this case in precedent?

TOOBIN: Indeed. And David Souter was actually very sympathetic to the Oregon law, saying this has nothing to do with illegal drugs. This is not about heroin or cocaine. This is individual transactions between doctors and patients, and why shouldn't states be allowed to regulate that on their own, independent of the federal government?

DOBBS: Was it your sense, as you watch these arguments, that there was a broad sense of humanity?

We know that Justice Roberts is also deeply religious. The personal convictions and the emotions, the humanity involved here, was it evident on the part of the justices?

TOOBIN: Absolutely. Remember, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had cancer. John Paul Stevens has had cancer. Stephen Breyer's wife is a psychologist who counsels cancer patients for a living.

So this is something that is not abstract to them. And I think they will deal with this with considerable sensitivity, though I would guess that the Oregon law will probably fall compared to the federal rights law.

DOBBS: We shall see, as they say.

Jeffrey Toobin, thanks for the analysis. Good to have your insight.

New developments tonight in the investigation of the Lake George boating accident in which 20 people were killed this weekend. Authorities today ran tests on a similar vessel to the Ethan Allen, loading it with heavy barrels of water. The test showing the vessel was not stable enough to hold the approximate weight of the 48 people who were aboard the Ethan Allen at the time it capsized Sunday. The Coast Guard says that test shows the weight limits on the boat could be outdated.

As governments around the world prepare for the possibility of a bird flu pandemic, alarming studies are raising new fears about just how deadly a bird flu outbreak could be.

Scientists tonight say the flu virus that killed tens of millions of people around the world in 1918 and 1919 was probably a flu strain that originated in birds. They say it has important similarities with today's avian flu and share much the same genetic mutations. Scientists, writing in the magazine "Nature" say their studies point out the dangers that this current strain of bird flu poses to humanity worldwide.

Meanwhile, Indonesia today reported its seventh bird flu death. More than 65 people have now died from the bird flu strain around the world.

A mysterious virus at a Toronto nursing home today claimed six more lives, bringing the death total 16. Another 88 residents, employees and visitors in the home are sick with the respiratory illness. Health officials have ruled out SARS which killed 44 people in Toronto two years ago. Officials have also ruled out flu and Legionnaire's disease. The nursing home in question shares building space with a child care facility which remarkably remains open despite the outbreak. Health officials are monitoring the children there who have contracted respiratory illnesses. Still ahead here tonight, a leading economist and social critical declares globalism dead. John Ralston Saul is our guest.

And then, giving local law enforcement the power to capture illegal aliens. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has proposed legislation to do just that. She's our guest as well.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Shocking news tonight from the Central Intelligence Agency. CIA Director Porter Goss has announced no action will be taken against any employee who was singled out in the 9/11 investigation for intelligence failures that led to the biggest terrorist attacks against us on American soil.

In a statement Goss said, "singling out those individuals would send the wrong message to our junior officers about taking risks, whether it be an operation in the field or being assigned to a hot topic at headquarters."

One member of the 9/11 Commission says the recommendation should not have been dismissed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIMOTHY ROEMER, 9/11 COMMISSION: The 9/11 Commission found that there were plenty of mistakes from numerous government agencies, and the CIA or any agency in government shouldn't get a free pass on accountability and making sure we correct the mistakes of the past.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOBBS: John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, oversees Porter Goss. And his agency says he fully supports the CIA director's decision.

My next guest today introduced legislation that would give state and local officials extended powers to arrest, detain and prosecute illegal aliens in the absence of the federal government's interest in doing so. This bill would also create a civilian volunteer border marshal program.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is the author of the bill, joining us tonight from Capitol Hill. Senator, good to have you here. How would your bill strengthen the authority of state, local officials when dealing with an illegal alien crisis that's overwhelmed the federal government?

SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: It would allow state and local officials to allow their people, the law enforcement officers on the street, to apprehend an illegal alien.

Today, a local official cannot do that. And I don't think we'll ever have enough law enforcement officials that are federal, Lou, to really handle the overwhelming situation that we have. These people need help, and if the states want to do it, I think we ought to allow them to do it.

DOBBS: If they want to do it? New Mexico and Arizona, you know, have declared a state of emergency. And the federal government is responding and your bill is certainly a positive step forward.

But the fact is, neither it nor any proposal before the United States Senate or the United States Congress right now calls for the establishment of absolute border security and for the absolute end to this crisis.

HUTCHISON: We are working on having more Border Patrol agents, more detention beds so that we can get people who are other than Mexicans deported, which we cannot do now because we don't have the beds to keep them.

We are working on many fronts. But I think it's time to take bold action, and I think that if local law enforcement officials want to be able to apprehend illegal aliens and hold them until the federal officials can prosecute them and deport them, they ought to be able to do that. It wouldn't allow them to define what an illegal alien is. It would make it federal law.

DOBBS: Well, we pretty well understand that, I believe.

HUTCHISON: Well, that's exactly right. The federal law would prevail. But I think we could get a lot more manpower out there, especially in states, Lou, that aren't on the border.

We don't have the capability in Kansas and Missouri to really deal with a issue that is becoming a looming crisis all over our country. And I think this will add one more layer of law enforcement that could be helpful.

DOBBS: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, we wish you well as well as your legislation. We thank you.

HUTCHISON: Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: Still ahead, I'll be talking with one of the world's most respected economists and philosophers, John Ralston Saul. He says -- and he can back it up -- globalism is dead.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: My special guest tonight is one of the world's most imminent philosophers and economists and social thinkers.

John Ralston Saul challenges conventional orthodoxy by arguing that globalization has run its course, and that nationalism is reasserting itself all over the world. John Ralston Saul is the author of the new book "The Collapse of Globalism and the Reinvention of the World." It is great to have you here. JOHN RALSTON SAUL, AUTHOR, "THE COLLAPSE OF GLOBALISM": Wonderful to be back.

DOBBS: If globalism is dead, I thought we were told that all borders are gone and that this is just one big, happy world.

SAUL: Military spending has just gone over a trillion dollars. It's only 6 percent below the height of Cold War military spending. Arms sales are up about 20 to 30 percent a year.

Europe is stalled. Self-interest is coming back everywhere inside Europe. A whole bunch of new countries in there from Central Europe who are really interested in strengthening their nation-state. Fear of immigration in Europe. Fear of immigration in a number of places.

Return of racism. And interestingly enough, a return of a whole bunch of things that were supposed to disappear. I mean, globalism and the accompanying economics were supposed to bring debt free governments.

DOBBS: Hmm. Now, that's really worked out, didn't it?

SAUL: The United States now has the biggest debt in the history of the world, I think of any government. And it's happening all over the place. European governments are slipping into debt.

DOBBS: Debt mounting for the United States. One of the statistics that I find most incredible -- I don't know what you think, but it strikes me -- when we look at current account deficit, which is boring to people, they don't pay much attention to it. But now it's about -- a little over 6 percent of our GDP in this country. The United States now has 70 percent of the total current account deficits in the world. It's extraordinary.

SAUL: Well, when things start going wrong, the most powerful country in the world, once the British Empire, et cetera, when it's going well it really works for the most powerful country in the world. When it's going wrong, it goes on your back. I mean, you become the reserve good and everything that's wrong. And I guess it's one of the signs of the imbalance out there.

And of the fact that people didn't really think their way through what they meant when they launched a rather simplistic theory of international economics and started saying, look, from now on, economics are going to lead the way. We're going to look at everything through the prism of economics. And they didn't really look what the implications of that were.

DOBBS: Well, I can't tell you how many people told me, 10, 15 years ago certainly, you know, the borders, the nation-state is dead, borders are immaterial, technology will overwhelm all of the base impulses of mankind. And to speak of the national interest is really so declasse and primitive, we've evolved to a new level. Absurdity.

SAUL: Well, the nation state's probably stronger today now than it's been since about 1945. And it -- and there can be positives this. There can be great negatives and great positives.

DOBBS: This is the want of human history.

SAUL: Yes. I mean, I think we're in an interim period. I think, you know, a great truth comes to an end. The elites don't notice, which is why they're so disturbed by this sort of conversation, because they made their careers on the basis that it's inevitable, for at least as long as they're in power, or in their job.

DOBBS: They're shuddering at the United Nations as you speak.

SAUL: Yes. And then suddenly you slipped into this interim period like a vacuum where there are all these contradictory forces going on, banging up against each other. And that's our opportunity. That's the moment of choice when citizens, nation states, can actually slightly direct how we come out of the vacuum. And that's what's so interesting about this moment. We don't have to be the victims of inevitability for the next 25 years.

DOBBS: Are you suggesting we might be still -- that there is such a thing as seizing one's destiny and making choices?

SAUL: To some reasonable extent, yes. I think it's entirely possible.

DOBBS: Well, Washington now is shuddering.

SAUL: Well, you know, I think we have to ask the really big questions. I mean, most of the theories that been done for the last 25 years are 19th century theories. They were designed for societies living in scarcity. We've been in surplus, even though there are poor people -- we've been in surplus for 50 years and using economic theories based on scarcity. This is one of the reasons why it doesn't really work.

We went into the system that was supposed to produce more competition. Today we have oligopolies and monopolies at the international level. In fact, I believe -- and this is maybe the most difficult thing for some of the people to accept -- that we've actually -- we're actually slipping towards a pre-capitalist period, back into something that bored us to death at school, called mercantilism, which is when you had companies like the British East India Company and the Hudson Bay Company that controlled international markets from, you know, the silk worm through to the lady in a ball gown. And there was no real competition. And that is the opposite of capitalism.

DOBBS: What the British called in those days, a level playing field, I believe, and what mercantilism, which the Chinese practice as well, the United States and other countries who have a mantra about free trade. What they haven't noticed is the Chinese are great mercantilists and have a national agenda, interest, initiative and a plan. Give us the sense of what fills the vacuum in your view.

SAUL: Well, I think there are a couple of possibilities. You know, on the negative side, you have a continuing rise of negative nationalism, which we're seeing.

DOBBS: Right.

SAUL: You know, racism, nation states closing in on themselves. There's a rise in fear. We see this everywhere, right? And that fear if it reaches a certain point can overtake anything.

DOBBS: Give us the positive.

SAUL: The positive is frankly that even though they're not in politics, there are more young people involved in public affairs today than ever before in history. Now, they're in NGOs, they're in the parallel movements. But if you can get a reasonable percentage of them to come over into elective politics and humiliate themselves on a daily basis, you know, which is what happens, then you really have a wave of possibilities of new ideas. But they've got to come into the mainstream.

DOBBS: To come into the mainstream. There are liberals out there who are thrilled to hear what you're saying. There are conservatives recoiling.

SAUL: Well, some conservatives might like it too.

DOBBS: I was going to say -- and at the same time, there are those saying, wait a minute, the national interest is probably a good thing to reassert. It doesn't mean one is necessarily unsophisticated to recognize there is such a thing as a national interest that sometimes a system of government makes possible an economy and standard of living.

SAUL: Well, you know, in the end it was very naive and unsophisticated to believe that where you come from doesn't matter.

DOBBS: Right.

SAUL: And that -- how could you turn to the most educated people in the history of the world and say, you don't have any power, abstract markets are going to determine where you're going.

DOBBS: John Ralston Saul, it is always good to have you here. I could talk with you throughout the evening. We appreciate it.

SAUL: Great to see you again.

DOBBS: I've got a producer who thinks I've just done that. Thank you very much.

Still ahead, the results of tonight's poll. A preview of what's ahead tomorrow.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Now the results of our poll. Overwhelmingly, this audience believes that terminally ill patients should have the right to determine when they end their lives. 4 percent of you do not.

Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us here tomorrow when we'll have much more on a mysterious disease that has killed more than a dozen people in Toronto. It is not the flu. It's not SARS. What is it? I'll be talking with Dr. Donald Low, the chief microbiologist at Toronto's Mt. Sinai Hospital.

And Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania announcing a bold new energy plan. He's our guest. He'll share his ideas with us.

For all of us here, please be with us. Good night from New York.

ANDERSON COOPER 360 starting right now.

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